Quàm interim erga Cognatos pius & officiofus,

Teitetur hoc faxum
A MARIA Philips Matre ipfius pientissima,
Dilecti Filii Memoriæ non sine Lacrymis dicatum.

His Epitaph at Westminster:

Herefordiæ conduntur Offa,
Hoc in Delabro ftatuitur Imago,
Britanniam omnem pervagatur Fama
Qui Viris bonis doctisque juxta clarus,

Immortale suum Ingenium,
Eruditione multiplici excultum,

Miro animi candore,
Eximiâ morum fimplicitate,

Litterarum Amoeniorum fitim,
Quam Wintoniæ Puer sentire cæperat,
Inter Adis Chrisi Alumnos jugiter explevit,

In illo Mufarum Domicilio
Præclaris Emulorum ftudiis excitatus,
Optimis fcribendi Magiftris semper intentus,

Carmina fermone Patrio compofuit
A Græcis Latinisque fontibus feliciter deducta,
Atticis Romanisque auribus omnino digna,

Versuum quippe Harmoniam

Rythmo didicerat.
Antiquo illo, libero multiformi
Ad res ipsas apto prorsus, & attemperato,
Kon numeris in eundem ferè orbein redeuntibus,
Mon Clausularum fimiliter cadentium fono

Uni in hoc laudis genére Miltono fecundas,

Primoque pene Par.
Res seu Tenues, feu Grandes, seu Mediocres

Ornandas sumserat,
Nusquam, non quod docuit,

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j. P H I i I Pi S.

Et videt, & affecutus est,
Egregius, quocunque Stylum verteret,
Fandi author, & Modorum artifex.

Fas fit Huic,
Auso licèt à tuâ Metrorum Lege difcedere
Poesis Anglicanze Pater, atque Conditor, Chaucere

Alterum tibi latus claudere,
Vatum certe Cineres, tuos undique ftipantium

Non dedecebit Chiorum.

Viri benè de fe, de Litteris meriti

Quoad viveret Fautor,
Poft Obitum piè memory

Hoc illi Saxumi poni voluit.
J. Philips, STEPHANI, S: T. P. Archadiaconi

Salop, Filius, natus est Bamptoniæ

in agro Oxon. Dec. 30, 1676.

Obiit Herefordiæ, Feb. i5, 1708.
Philips has been always praised, without contradic-
tion, as a man modest, blameless, and pious ; whơ
bore narrowness of fortune without discontent, and te-
dious and painful maladies without impatience ; be-
loved by those that knew him, but not ambitious to be
known. He was probably not formed for a wide circle:
His conversation is commended for its innocent gaiety,
which seems to have flowed only among his inti-
mates, for I have been told, that he was in com-
pany silent and barren, and employed only upon the
pleasures of his pipe. His addiction to tobacco is
mentioned by one of his biographers, who remarks
that in all his writings, except Blenheim, he has found
an opportunity of celebrating the fragrant fume. In
common life he was probably one of those who please
by not offending, and whose person was loved be-
eause his writings were admired. He died honoured

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and lamented, before any part of his reputation had withered, and before his patron St. John had difgraced him.

His works are few. The Splendid Shilling has the uncommon merit of an original design, unless it may be thought precluded by the ancient Centos. To de grade the founding words and stately construction of Milton, by an application to the lowest and most trivial things, gratifies the mind with a momentary triumph over that grandeur which hitherto held its captives in admiration; the words and things are prefented with a new appearance, and novelty is always grateful where it gives no pain.

But the merit of such performances begins and ends with the first author. He that thould again adapt Milton's phrase to the gross incidents of common life, and even adapt it with more art, which would not be difficult, must yet expect but a sinall part of the praise which Philips has obtained ; he can only hope to be considered as the repeater of a jest.

“ The parody on Milton,” says Gildon, “ is the

only tolerable production of its author.” This is a censure too dogmatical and violent. The poem of Blenbeim was never denied to be tolerable, even by those who do not allow its supreme excellence. It is indeed the poem

of a scholar, all inexpert of war; of a man who writes books froni books, and studies the world in a college. He seems to have formed his ideas of the field of Blenbeim from the battles of the heroic ages, or the tales of chivalry, with very little comprehension of the qualities necessary to the compofition of a modern hero, which Addison has displayed with so much propriery. He makes Marlborough behold at distance


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the Naughter made by Tallard, then haste to encounter
and restrain him, and mow his way through ranks made
headless by his fword.

He imitates Milton's numbers indeed, but imitates
them very injudiciously. Deformity is easily copied ;
and whatever there is in Milton which the reader
wishes away, all that is obsolete, peculiar, or licen-
tious, is accumulated with great care by Philips. Mil-
ton's verse was harmonious, in proportion to the ge-
neral state of our metre in Milton's age; and, if he
had written after the improvements made by Dryden,
it is reasonable to believe that he would bave admitted
a more pleasing modulation of numbers into his work;
but Philips sits down with a resolution to make no
more musick than he found; to want all that his ma-
fter wanted, though he is very far froin having what
his master had. Those asperities, therefore, that are
venerable in the Paradise Loft, are contemptible in the

There is a Latin ode written to his patron St. John, in return for a present of wine and tobacco, which cannot be pafled without notice. It is gay and elegant, and exhibits several artful accominodations of claltick expressions to new purposes. It seems better turned than the odes of Hannes *.

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* This ode I am willing to inention, because there seems to be an error in all the printed copies, which is, I find, retained in the last, They all read;

Quam Gratiarum cura decentium

0! O! labellis cui Venus infidet.
The author probably wrote,

Quam Gratiarum cura decentium
Ornat; labellis cui Venus infidet. Orig. Edit.


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To the poem on Cider, written in imitation of the Georgicks, may be given this peculiar praise, that it is grounded in truth; that the precepts which it contains are exact and juft; and that it is therefore, at once, a book of entertainment and of science. This I was told by Miller, the great gardener and botanist, whose expression was, that there were many bocks written on tte fame fubjein pruse, which do not contain so much truth as that poem.

In the disposition of his matter, so as to intersperse precepts relating to the culture of trees, with fentiments more generally alluring, and in easy and graceful transitions from one subject to another, he has very diligently imitated his master; but he unhappily pleased himself with blank verse, and supposed that the numbers of Milton, which impress the mind with veneration, combined as they are with subjects of inconceivable grandeur, could be sustained by images which at most can rise only to elegance. Contending angels may shake the regions of heaven in blank verse; but the flow of equal measures, and the embellishment of rhyme, must recommend to our attention the art of engrafting, and decide the merit of the redsreak and pearmain.

What study could confer, Philips had obtained; but natural deficience cannot be supplied. He seems not born to greatness and elevation. He is never lofty, nor does he often furprise with unexpected excellence; but perhaps to his last poem may be applied what Tully faid of the work of Lucretius, that it is written with much art, though with few blazes of genius.


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