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given that the flower pots should be inspected. The messengers however missed the room in which the paper was left. Blackhead went therefore a third time; and finding his paper where he had left it, brought it. away,

The bishop, having been enlarged, was, on June the joth and 13th, examined again before the Privy Council, and confronted with his accusers. Young persisted with the most obdurate impudence, against the strongest evidence ; but the resolution of Blackhead by degrees gave way. There remained at last no doubt of the bishop's innocence, who, with great prudence and diligence, traced the progress, and detected the characters of the two informers, and published an ac, count of his own examination, and deliverance; which made such an impression upon him, that he commemorated it through life by an yearly day of thanksgiving

With what hope, or what interest, the villains had contrived an accusation which they must know them: selves utterly unable to prove, was never discovered,

After this, he passed his days in the quiet exercise of his function. When the cause of Sacheverell put the publick in commotion, he honestly appeared among the friends of the church. He lived to his seventyninth year, and died May 20, 1713.

Burnet is not very favourable to his memory; but he and Burnet were old rivals. On some publick occafion they both preached before the house of commons, There prevailed in those days an indecent custom ; when the preacher touched any favourite topick in a manner that delighted his audience, their approbation was expressed by a loud hum, continued in proportion

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to their zeal or pleasure. When Burnet preached, part of his congregation bummed so loudly and so long, thay he sat down to enjoy it, and rubbed his face with his handkerchief. When Sprat preached, he likewise was tonoured with the like animaring hum; but he stretched out his hand to the congregation, and cried, “ Peace,' peace, i pray you, peace.”

This I was told in my youth by my father, an old man, who had been no careless observer of the passages of those times.

Burnet's sermon, says Salmon, was remarkable for fedition, and Sprát's for loyalty. Burnet had the thanks of the house ; Sprat had no thanks, but a good living from the king; which, he said, was of as much value as the thanks of the Commons.

The works of Sprat, besides his few poems, are, The History of the Royal Society, The Life of Cowley, The Answer to Sorbiere, The History of the Ryehouse Plot, The Relation of his own Examination, and a volume of Sermons. I have heard it obferved, with great justness, that every book is of a different kind, and that each has its distinct and characteristical excellence.

My þusiness is only with his poems. He confidered Cowley as a model ; and supposed that as he was imitated, perfection was approached. Nothing therefore but Pindarick liberty was to be expected. There is in his few productions po want of such conceits as he thought excellent ; and of those our judgement may be settled by the first that appears in his praise of Cromwell, where he says that Cromwell's fame, like qian, will grow white as it grows old.

HALIFAX

H L L F A X,

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H E life of the Earl of Halifax was properly

that of an artful and active statesman, employed in balancing parties, contriving expedients, and combating opposition, and exposed to the vicissitudes of advancement and degradation : but in this collection, poetical merit is the claim to attention; and the account which is here to be expected may properly be proportioned not to his influence in the state, but to his rank among the writers of verfe.

Charles Montague was born April 16, 1661, at Horton in Northamptonshire, the fon of Mr. George Montague, a younger son of the earl of Manchester, He was educated first in the country, and then removed to Westminster ; where in 1677 he was chosen a king's scholar, and recommended himself to Busby by his felicity in extemporary epigrams. He contracted a very intimate friendship with Mr. Stepney ; and in 1682, when Stepney was elected to Cambridge, the election of Montague being not to proceed till the year following, he was afraid left by being placed at

Oxford he might be separated from his companion, and therefore solicited to be removed to Cambridge, without waiting for the advantages of another year.

It seems indeed time to wish for a removal; for he was already a school-boy of one and twenty.

His relation Dr. Montague was then master of the college in which he was placed a fellow-commoner, and took him under his particular care. Here he commenced an acquaintance with the great Newton, which continued through his life, and was at last attested by a legacy.

In 1685, his verses on the death of king Charlesmade fuch impression on the earl of Dorset, that he was invited to town, and introduced by that universal patron to the other wits. In 1687, he joined with Prior in the City Mouse and Country Mouse, a burlesque of Dryden's Hind and Panther. He ligned the invitation to the Prince of Orange, and sat in the convention. He about the same time married the counters dowager of Manchester, and intended to have taken orders; but afterwards altering his purpose, he purchased for 1500l, the place of one of the clerks of the council.

After he had written his epistle on the victory of the Boyne, his patron Dorset introduced him to king William with this expression : Sir, I have brought a Mouse to wait on your Majesty. To which the king is said to have replied, l'ou do well to put me in the way of making a Man of him; and ordered him a pension of five hundred pounds. This story, however current, feems to have been made after the event. The king's answer implies a greater acquaintance with our proverbial and familiar diction than king William could poffibly have attained.

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In 1691, being member in the house of commonsi he argued warmly in favour of a law to grant the affistance of counsel in trials for high treason; and in the midst of his speech, falling into fomie confusion, was for a while silent ; but, recovering himself, 03ferved, “ how reasonable it was to allow counsel to “ men called as criminals before a court of justice, “ when it appeared how much the presence of that " assembly could disconcert one of their own body *.»

After this he rose fast into honours and employments, being made one of the commiffioners of the treasury, and called to the privy council. In 1694, he became chancellor of the Exchequer; and the next year engaged in the great attenipt of the recoinage, which was in two years happily compleated. In 1696, he projected the general fund, and raised the credit of the Exchequer; and, after enquiry concerning a grant of Irish crown-lands, it was determined by a vote of the commons, that Charles Montague, esquire; had descrved his Majesty's favour. In 1693, being advanced to the first commission of the treasury, he was appointed one of the regency in the king's absence : the next year he was made auditor of the Exchequer; and the year after created bason Halifax. He was however impeached by the commons; but the articles were dismissed by the lords.

At the accession of queen Anne he was dismissed from the council ; and in the first parliament of her reign was again attacked by the commons, and again escaped by the protection of the lords. În 1704, he wrote an answer to Bromley's speech against occasional

* This Anecdote I have heard related of the Earl of Shaftesbury; Author of the Characteristics.

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