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prefent and popular, cooperated with passions and prejudices then prevalent, and, with such auxiliaries to its intrinsick merit, was universally and liberally applauded. It was on the fide of charity against the intrigues of interest, and of regular learning against licentious vfurpation of medical authority, and was therefore naturally favoured by those wha read and can judge of poetry.
In 1697, Garth fpoke that which is now called the Harveian Oration; which the authors of the Biographia mention with more praise than the passage quoted in their notes will fully justify. Garth, speaking of the mischiefs done by quacks, has these expressions: “Non & tamen telis vulnerat ista agyrtarum coluvies, fed “ theriacâ quadam magis perniciosa, non pyrio, sed “ pulvere nefcio quo exotico certat, non globulis “plumbeis, sed pilulis æque lethalibus interficit.” This was certainly thought fine by the author, and is still admired by his biographer. In October 1702
he became one of the censors of the College.
Garth, being an active and zealous Whig, was a member of the Kit-cat club, and by consequence familiarly known to all the great men of that denomination. In 1710, when the government fell into other hands, he writ to lord Godolphin, on his dismission, a short poem, which was criticised in the Examiner, and fo successfully either defended or excused by Mr. Addison, that, for the sake of the vindication, it ought to be preserved.
At the accession of the present Family his merits were acknowledged and rewarded. He was knighted with the sword of his hero, Malborough; and was made physician in ordinary to the king, and physician-general
to the army.
He then undertook an edition of Ovid's Metamor phoses, translated by several hands; which he recommended by a Preface, written with more oftentation than ability: his notions are half-formed, and his materials immethodically confused. This was his last work. He died Jan. 18, 1777-18, and was buried at Harrow-on-the-Hill,
His personal character seems to have been social and liberal. He communicated himself through a very wide extent of acquaintance; and though firin in a party, at a time when firmness included virulence, yet he imparted his kindness to those who were not supposed to favour his principles. He was an early encourager of Pope, and was at ence the friend of Addison and of Granville. He is accused of voluptuousness and irreligion; and Pope, who says that “ if ever there " was a good Christian, without knowing himself to " be fo, it was Dr. Garth," seems not able to deny what he is angry to hear and loth to confess.
Pope afterwards declared himself convinced that Garth died in the communion of the Church of Rome, having been privately reconciled. It is observed by Lowth, that there is less distance than is thought between scepticism and popery, and that a mind, wearied with perpetual doubt, willingly seeks repose in the bosom of an infallible church,
His poetry has been praised at least equally to its merit. In the Difpenfary there is a strain of smooth and free versification; but few lines are eminently elegant. No passages fall below mediocrity, and few risę much above it. The plan feems formed without just proportion to the subject; the means and end have no neceffary connection. Rejnel, in his Preface
to Pope's Essay, remarks, that Garth exhibits no dif, erimination of characters; and that what any one says might with equal propriety have been said by another, The general design is perhaps open to criticism; bur the composition can seldom be charged with inaccuracy or negligence. The author never slumbers in self-indulgence; his full vigour is always exerted; scarce a line is left unfinished, por is it easy to find an expreffion used by constraint, or a thought imperfectly expressed. It was remarked by Pope, that the Difpersary had been corrected in every edition, and that every change was an improvement. however, to want something of poetical ardour, and fomething of general delectation; and therefore, since it has been no longer supported by accidental and extrinsick popularity, it has been scarcely able to sup
Ꭱ 0 W
ICHOLAS ROWE was born at Little
Beckford in Bedfordshire, in 1673. His family had long possessed a considerable estate, with a good house, at Lambertoun * in Devonshire. The ancestor from whom he descended in a direct line received the arms borne by his descendants for his bravery in the Holy War. His father, John Rowe, who was the first that quitted his paternal acres to practise any art of profit, professed the law, and published Benlow's and Dallison's Reports in the Reign of James the Second, when, in opposition to the notions then diligently propagated, of dispensing power, he ventured to remark how low his authors rated the
preroa gative. He was made a serjeant, and died April 30, 1692. He was buried in the Temple Church.
Nicholas was first sent to a private school at Highgate * ; and being afterward removed to Westminster,
* In the Villare, Lamerton. Orig. Edit.
† It was in the free-school at Highgate that Rowe received his education, concerning which Newcourt, in his Repertorium, thus
was at twelve years chosen one of the King's scholars. His master was Bulby, who suffered none of his schoJars to let their powers lie useless; and his exercises in several languages are said to have been written with uncommon degrees of excellence, and yet to have cost him very little labour.
At fixteen he had, in his father's opinion, made advances in learning suficient to qualify him for the study of law, and was entered a student of the Middle Temple, where, for some time he read statutes and reports with proficiency proportionate to the force of his mind, which was already such that he endeavoured to comprehend law, not as a series of precedents, or collection of positive precepts, but as a system of rational government, and impartial justice.
When he was nineteen, he was by the death of his father left more to his own direction, and probably from that time suffered law gradually to give way to poetry. At twenty-five he produced The Ambitious Stepmother, which was received with so much favour, that he devoted himself from that time wholly to ele
His next tragedy (1702) was Tamerlane, in which, under the name of Tamerlane, he intended to charac
Speaks : “Near adjoining to the chapel is a free-school built by “Sir Roger Cholmondely, or Cholınly, lord chief baron of the ex“chequer (and after that lord chief justice of the king's bench), in “ the year 1562, at his own charges; and he procured the fame to “ be established and confirmed by Queen Elizabeth, by her letters “ patents, and endowed the same with yearly maintenance, which “ school Edwyn Sandys, bishop of London, enlarged in 1570, by " addition of a chapel for divine service, since which the chapel hath “ been enlarged by the piety and bounty of divers honourable and "worthy persons, all which appears by an infcription over the “ gate."