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'I‘ms illustrious poet was born at London in 1688. and was descended from a good family of tnat name in Oxfordshire, the head of which was the Earl of Downe, whose sole heiress mamed the Earl of Lindsey. His father, a man of primitive simplicity and integrity of manners, was a merchant ol'Loadon, who, upon the Revolution, quitted trade, and con~ verted his effects into mr ney, amounting to near 10,0001. with which he retired into the country ; and died in 1717, at the age of seventy-five.

Our poet’s mother, who lived to a very advanced age, being ninety-three years old when she died, in 1733, was the daughter of William Turner, Esq. of York. She had three brothers, one of whom was killed, another died in the service of King Charlesg and the eldest, following his fortunes, and becoming I general officer in Spain, left her what estate remained after sequestration and forfeitures of her fa, mily. To these circumstances our poet alludes in his Epistles to Dr. Arbuthnot, in which he mentions his parents :

0f gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,

\Vhilc yet in Britain honour had applause)

Each parent sprang—What fortune, prnyI—their own;

And better got than Bestis'l from the throne

Borr: to no pride, inheriting no strife,

Nor marrying discord in u noble wife;

Stranger to civil and religious raga,

The [end man walk‘d innoxioua through his up:

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Nu courts he saw, no Iuitl would ever try;

Nor dared an oath, nor hazardod a lie:
Unlearn‘d, he knew no schoolman‘l subtle art,
No language but the language ofthe heart;

By nature honest, by experience wise,

Healthy by temp'ranee and by exercise,

His life, though long, to sickness pass‘d unknown:
His death was instant, and without a groan.

The education of our great author was attended with circumstances very singular, and some of them extremely unfavourable; but the amazing force of his genius fully compensated the want of any advan tage in his earliest instruction. He owed the knowledge of his letters to an aunt; and having learned very early to read, took great delight in it, and taught himself to write by copying after printed books, the characters of which he would imitate to great perfection. He began to compose verses far ther back than he could well remember; and at eight years of age, when he was put under one Taverner, a priest, who taught him the rudiments ofthe Latin and Greek tongues at the same time, he met with Ogilby's Homer, which gave him great delight; and his was increased by Sandy’s Ovid. The ruptures which these authors, evenin the disguise of such tmnslations, then yielded him, were so strong, that he spoke of them with pleasure ever after. From Mr. Taverner's tuition he was sent to a private schom at Twyford, near Winchester, where he continued about a year, and was then removed to another near Hyde Park Corner; but was so unfortunate as to lose under his two last masters what he had acquired under the first.

While he remained at this school, being permitted to go to the playhouse with some of his’school (ellows of a more advanced age, he was so charmed with dramatic representations, that he formed the translation of the Iliad into a play, from several of

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