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if indeed it were not something less; and though decidedly unfavourable to the government; Temple threw the blame of this on the king, on and Shaftesbury impatiently expected the day Lord Shaftesbury, on everybody but himself, it when the Houses were to meet. The king, is evident that the failure of his plan is to be guided by the advice of the inner cabinet, de. traced to its own inherent defects. His Council termined on a step of the highest importance. was loo large to transact business which re- He told the Council that he had resolved to quired expedition, secrecy, and cordial co- prorogue the new Parliament for a year, and operation. A cabinet was therefore formed requested them not to object; for he had, he within the Council. The cabinet and the ma- said, considered the subject fully, and had joriiy of the Council differed; and, as was to made up his mind. All who were not in the be expected, the cabinet carried their point. secret were thunderstruck-Temple as much Four votes outweighed six-and-twenty. "This as any. Several members rose and entreated being the case, the meetings of the thirty were to be heard against the prorogation. But the not only useless, but positively obnoxious. king silenced them, and declared that his reso

At the ensuing election, Temple was chosen lution was unalterable. Temple, greatly hurt for the University of Cambridge. The only at the manner in which both himself and the objection that was made to him by the mem- Council had been treated, spoke with great bers of that learned body was, that in his little spirit. He would not, he said, disobey the king work on Holland he had expressed great ap- by objecting to a measure on which his maprobation of the tolerant policy of the States; jesty was determined to hear no argument; and this blemish, however serious, was over- but he would most earnestly entreat his malooked in consideration of his high reputation, jesty, if the present Council was incompetent and of the strong recommendations with which to advise him, to dissolve it and select another; he was furnished by the court.

for it was absurd to have councillors who did During the summer he remained at Sheen, nct counsel, and who were summoned only to and amused himself with rearing melons; leav- be silent witnesses of the acts of others. The ing to the three other members of the inner king listened courteously. But the members cabinet the whole direction of public affairs. of the cabinet resented this reproof highly; Some unexplained cause began, about this time, and from that day Temple was almost as much to alienate them from him. They do not ap- estranged, from them as from Shaftesbury. pear to have been made angry by any part of He wished to retire altogether from business. his conduct, or to have disliked him personally. But just at this time, Lord Russell, Lord CaBut they had, we suspect, taken the measure vendish, and some other councillors of the poof his mind, and satisfied themselves that he pular party, waited on the king in a body, dewas not a man for that troubled time, and that clared their strong disapprobation of his meahe would be a mere encumbrance to them: sures, and requested to be excused from arliving themselves for ambition, they despised tending any more at Council. Temple feared his love of ease. Accustomed to deep siakes that if, at this moment, he also were to within the game of political hazard, they despised draw, he might be supposed to act in concert his piddling play. They looked on his cautious with those decided opponents of the court, and measures with the sort of scorn with which the to have determined on taking a course hostile gamblers at the ordinary, in Sir Walter Scott's to the government. He therefore continued to novel, regarded Nigel's practice of never touch- go occasionally to the board, but he had no ing a card but when he was certain to win. Innger any real share in the direction of public He soon found that he was left out of their se- affairs. crets. The king had, about this time, a dan- At length the long term of the prorogation gerous attack of illness. The Duke of York, expired. In October, 1680, the Houses met; on receiving the news, returned from Holland. and the great question of the Exclusion was The sudden appearance of the detested Popish revived. Few parliamentary contests in our successor excited anxiety throughout the coun- history appear to have called forth a greater try. Temple was greatly amazed and disturbed. display of talent; none certainly ever called He hastened up to London and visited Essex, forth more violent passions. The whole nation who professed to be astonished and mortifed, was convulscd by party spirit. The gentleinen but could not disguise a sneering smile. Temple of every county, the traders of every town, the then saw Halifax, who talked to him much boys at every public school, were divided into about the pleasures of the country, the anxie- exclusionists and abhorrers. The book-stalls ties of office, and the vanity of all human things, were covered with tracts on the sacredness of but carefully avoided politics, and when the j hereditary right, on the omnipotence of Parliaduke's return was mentioned, only sighed, shook ment, on the dangers of a disputed succession, his head, shrugged his shoulders, and lified up and on the dangers of a Popish reign. It was his eyes and hands. In a short time Temple in the midst of this ferment that Temple took found that his two friends had been quizzing his seat, for the first time, in the House of him; and that they had themselves sent for the Commons. duke in order thai his Royal Jlighness might, The occasion was a very great one. His if the king should die, be on the spot to frustrate talents, his long experience of affairs, his un the designs of Monmouth.

spoiled public character, the high posts which He was soon convinced, by a still stronger he had filled, scemed to mark him out as a man proof, that though he had not exactly offended on whom much would depend. He acted like bis master, or his colleagues, in the cabinel, he himself. He saw that, if he supporied the Ea had ceased to enjoy their confidence. The clusion, he made the king and the heir-prc result of the general election had been sumptive his enemies; and that, if he opposed


11, he made himself an object of hatred to the He had about fifteen hundred a year, besides unscrupulous and turbulent Shaftesbury. He the Mastership of the Rolls in Ireland; an neither supported nor opposed it. He quietly office in which he had succeeded his father, and absented himself from the House. Nay, he which was then a mere sinecure for life, look care, he tells us, never to discuss the requiring no residence. His reputation both question in any society whatever. Lawrence as a negotiator and a writer stood high. He Hyde, afterwards Earl of Rochester, asked him resolved to be safe, to enjoy himself, and to let why he did not attend in his place. Temple re- the world take its course; and he kept his replied that he acted according to Solomon's ad- solution. vice, neither to oppose the mighty, nor go about Darker times followed. The Oxford Parliato stop the current of a river. The advice, what- ment was dissolved. The Tories were triumphever its value may be, is not to be found either ant. A terrible vengeance was inflicted on the in the canonical or apocryphal writings ascrib-chiefs of the Opposition. Temple learned in ed to Solomon. But Temple was much in the his retreat the disastrous fate of several of his habit of talking about books which he had old colleagues in Council. Shaftesbury fled to never read; and one of those books, we are Holland. Russell died on the scaffold. Essex afraid, was his Bible. Hyde answered, “You added a yet sadder and more fearful story to are a wise and a quiet man.” And this might the bloody chronicles of the Tower. Monmouth be true. But surely such wise and quiet men clung in agonies of supplication round the have no call to be members of Parliament in knees of the stern uncle whom he had wronged, critical times.

and tasted a bitterness worse than that of death, A single session was quite enough for —the bitterness of knowing that he had humTemple. When the Parliament was dissolved, bled himself in vain. A tyrant trampled on the and another summoned at Oxford, he obtained liberties and religion of the realm. The naan audience of the king, and begged to know tional spirit swelled high under the oppression. whether his majesty wished him to continue Disaffection spread even to the strongholds of in Parliament. Charles, who had a singularly loyalty,—to the cloisters of Westminster, to the quick eye for the weaknesses of all who came schools of Oxford, to the guardroom of the near him, had no doubt seen through and household troops, to the very hearth and bedthrough Temple, and rated the parliamentary chamber of the sovereign. But the troubles support of so cool and guarded a friend at its which agitated the whole society did not reach proper value. He answered good-naturedly, the quiet orangery in which 'Temple loitered but we suspect a little contemptuously, “I doubt, away several years without once seeing the as things stand, your coming into the House smoke of London. He now and then appeared will not do much good. I think you may as in the circle at Richmond or Windsor. But well let it alone.” Sir William accordingly in the only expressions which he is recorded to formed his constituents that he should not again have used during those perilous times, were apply for their suffrages; and set off for Sheen, that he would be a good subject, but that he resolving never again to meddle with public had done with politics. affairs. He soon found that the king was dis- The Revolution came. Temple remained pleased with him. Charles, indeed, in his usual strictly neutral during the short struggle ; and easy way, protested that he was not angry,- then transferred to the new settlement the same not at all. But in a few days he struck Temple's languid sort of loyalty which he had felt for name out of the list of privy councillors. Why his former masters. He paid court to William this was done Temple declares himself unable at Windsor, and William dined with him at to comprehend. But surely it hardly required Sheen. But in spite of the most pressing solihis long and extensive converse with the world citations, he refused to become Secretary of to teach him that there are conjunctures when State. The refusal evidently proceeded only men think that all who are not with them are from his dislike of trouble and danger; and against them,--that there are conjunctures not, as some of his admirers would have us when a lukewarm friend, who will not put him- believe, from any scruple of conscience or self the least out of his way, who will make no honour. For he consented that his son should exertion, who will run no risk, is more distaste- take the office of Secretary at War under the ful than an enemy. Charles had hoped that new sovereigns. That unfortunate young man the fair character of Temple would add credit destroyed himself within a week after his apto an unpopular and suspected government. pointment, from vexation at finding that his But his majesty soon found that this fair cha- advice had led the king into some improper racter resembled pieces of furniture which we steps with regard to Ireland. He seems to have have seen in the drawing-rooms of very precise inherited his father's extreme sensibility to old ladies, which are a great deal too white to failure; without that singular prudence which be used. This exceeding niceness was alto-kept his father out of all situations in which gethi r out of season. Neither party wanted a any serious failure was to be apprebended. man who was afraid of taking a part, of in- The blow fell heavy on the family. They recurring abuse, of making enemics. There tired in deep dejection to Moor Park, which they were probably many good and moderate men now preferred to Sheen, on accouni of the greatwho would have hailed the appearance of a er distance from London. In that spot,* thco respectable mediator. But Temple was not a very secluded, Temple passed the remainder Mediator. He was merely a neutral.

Al last, however, he had escaped from pub- • Mr. Courtenay (vol. il. p. 100) confounds Moor Park lic life, and found himself at liberty to follow in Surrey, where Temple resided, with the Moor Park of his life. The air agreed with him. The Yet in justice to Temple we must say, that soil was fruitful, and well suited to an experi- there is no reason to think that Swift was more mental farmer and gardener. The grounds unhappy at Moor Park than he would have been were laid out with the angular regularity in a similar situation under any roof in Eng. which Sir William had admired in the flower- land. We think also that the obligations which beds of Haarlem and the Hague. A beautiful the mind of Swift owed to that of Temple were rivulet, flowing from the hills of Surrey, bound- not inconsiderable. Every judicious reader ed the domain. But a straight canal which, must be struck by the peculiarities which disbordered by a terrace, intersected the garden, tinguish Swift's political tracts from all similar was probably more admired by the lovers of works produced by mere men of letters. Let the picturesque in that age. The house was any person compare, for example, the conduct small, but neat and well furnished ;-the of the Allies, or the Letter to the October Club, neighbourhood very thinly peopled. Temple with Johnson's False Alarm, or Taxation no had no visiters, except a few friends who were Tyranny, and he will be at once struck by the willing to travel twenty or thirty miles in difference of which we speak. He may possiorder to see him; and now and then a foreigner bly think Johnson a greater man than Swift. whom curiosity brought to have a look at the He may possibly prefer Johnson's style to author of the Triple Alliance.

in Hertfordshire, which he praises in the essay on Gar. his favourite pursuits. His fortune was easy. dening.

Swift's. But he will at once acknowledge that Here, in May, 1694, died Lady Temple. Johnson writes like a man who has never been From the time of her marriage we know little out of his study. Swift writes like a man who of her, except that her letters were always has passed his whole life in the midst of pubgreatly admired, and that she had the honour lic business, and to whom the most important to correspond constantly with Queen Mary. affairs of state are as familiar as his weekly Lady Giffard, who, as far as appears, had al- bills. ways been on the best terms with her sister

“ Turn him to any cause of policy, in-law, still continued to live with Sir William.

The Gordian knot of it be will unloose, But there were other inmates of Moor Park

Familiar as his garter." to whom a far higher interest belongs. An eccentric, uncouth, disagreeable, young Irish- The difference, in short, between a political man, who had narrowly escaped plucking at pamphlet by Johnson, and a political pamphlet Dublin, attended Sir William as an amanuen- by Swist, is as great as the difference between sis, for twenty pounds a year and his board, an account of a battle by Doctor Southey and dined at the second table, wroie bad verses in the account of the same baule by Colonel Na praise of his employer, and made love to a pier. It is impossible to doubt that the supevery pretly, dark-eyed young girl, who waited riority of Swist is to be, in a great measure, on Lady Giffard. Little did Temple imagine attributed to his long and close connection with that the coarse exterior of his dependant con- Temple. cealed a genius equally suited to politics and Indeed, remote as the alleys and flower-pois to letters ;—a genius destined to shake great of Moor Park were from the haunts of the busy kingdoms, to stir the laughter and the rage of and the ambitious, Swift had ample opportunimillions, and to leave to posterity memorials ties of becoming acquainted with the hidden which can perish only with the English lan- causes of many great events. William was in guage. Little did he think that the flirtation the habit of consulting 'Temple, and occasion. in his servants' hall, which he perhaps scarcely ally visited him. Of what passed between deigned to make the subject of a jest, was the them very little is known. It is certain, how. beginning of a long unprosperous love, which ever, that when the Triennial Bill had been was to be as widely famed as the passion of carried through the two Houses, his majesty, Petrarch, or of Abelard. Sir William's secre- who was exceedingly unwilling to pass it

, sent tary was Jonathan Swift-Lady Giffard's wait- the Earl of Portland to learn Temple's opinion. ing-maid was poor Stella.

Whether Temple thought the bill in itself a Swist retained no pleasing recollections of good one does not appear; but he clearly saw Moor Park. And we may easily suppose a how imprudent it must be in a prince, siiuated situation like his to have been intolerably as William was, to engage in an altercation painful to a mind haughty, irascible, and con- with his Parliament; and directed Swift lo scious of pre-eminent ability. Long after, draw up a paper on the subject, which, how. when he stood in the Court of Requests with a ever, did not convince the king. circle of gartered peers round him, or punned The chief amusement of Temple's declining aud rhymed with cabinet ministers over Secre- years was literature. After his final retreat tary St. John's Mount-Pulciano, he remembered, from business, he wrote his very agreeable with deep and sore feeling, how miserable he memoirs; corrected and transcribed many of used to be for days together when he suspected his letters; and published several miscellathat Sir William had taken something ill. He neous treatises, the best of which, we think, is could hardly believe that be, the same Swift that on Gardening. The style of his essays is, who chid the Lord Treasurer, rallied the Cap- on the whole, excellent,-almost always pleas tain General, and confronted the pride of the ing, and now and then stately and splendiil. Duke of Buckinghamshire with pride still the matter is generally of much less value; ax more inflexible, could be the same being who our readers will readily believe when we inhad passed nights of sleepless anxiety, in form them that Mr. Courtenay-a biograpner, musing over a cross look or a testy word of a that is to say, a literary vassal, bound by the patron. « Faith,” he wrote to Stella, with bitter immemorial law of his tenure to render hr levity “ Sir William spoiled a fine gentleman.” mage, aids, reliefs, and all other customary

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services to his lord,-avows that he cannot in tolerable order by his discretion, now, when give an opinion about the essay on “ Heroic he had long lived in seclusion, and had become Virtue," because he cannot read it without accustomed 10 regard himself as by far the first skipping ;-a circumstance which strikes us man of his circle, rendered him blind to his as peculiarly strange, when we consider how own deficiencies. In an evil hour he publong Mr. Courtenay was at the India Board, lished an Essay on Ancient and Modern and how many thousand paragraphs of the Learning.” The style of this treatise is very cupions official eloquence of the East he must good—the matter ludicrous and contemptible have perused.

to the last degree. There we read how Lycur. One of Sir William's pieces, however, de- gus travelled into India, and brought the Sparserves notice, not, indeed, on account of its tan laws from that country-how Orpheus and intrinsic merit, but on account of the light Musæus made voyages in search of knowledge, which it throws on some curious weaknesses and how Orpheus attained to a depth of learn. of his character; and on account of the extra- ing which has made him renowned in all sucordinary effect which it produced on the re- ceeding ages-how Pythagoras passed twenty. public of letters.

two years in Egypt, and, after graduating there, A most idle and contemptible controversy spent twelve years more at Babylon, where the had arisen in France touching the comparative Magi admitted him ad cundem-how the ancient merit of the ancient and modern writers. It Brahmins lived two hundred years—how the was certainly not to be expected that, in that earliest Greek philosophers foretold earth age, the question would be tried according to quakes and plagues, and put down riots by those large and philosophical principles of magic-and how mucn Ninus surpassed in criticism which guided the judgments of Les- abilities any of his successors on the throne of sing and of Herder. But it might have been Assyria. The moderns, ne owns, have found expected, that those who undertook to decide cut the circulation of the blood; but, on the the point would at least take the trouble to other hand, they have quite lost the art of maread and understand the authors on whose gic; nor can any modern fiddler enchant fishes, merits they were to pronounce. Now, it is no fowls, and serpents by his performance. He exaggeration to say ihat, among the disputants tells us that “Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus, who clamoured, some for the ancients, and Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Epicurus some for the moderns, very few were decently made greater progresses in the several empires acquainted with either ancient or modern of science than any of their successors have literature, and not a single one was well ac- since been able to reach;" which is as much quainted with both. In Racine's amusing pre- as if he had said that the greatest names in face to the “ Iphigénie,” the reader may find British science are Merlin, Michael Scott, Dr. noticed a most ridiculous mistake, into which Sydenham, and Lord Bacon. Indeed, the manone of the champions of the moderns fell about ner in which he mixes the historical and the a passage in the Alcestis of Euripides. An- fabulous reminds us of those classical dictiorother writer blames Homer for mixing the four aries, intended for the use of schools, in which Greek dialects-Doric, Ionic, Æolic, and Attic Narcissus, the lover of himself, and Narcissus, -just, says he, as if a French poet were to put the freedman of Claudius–Pollux, the son of Gascon phrases and Picard phrases into the Jupiter and Leda, and Pollux, the author of the midst of his pure Parisian writing. On the Onomasticon-are ranged under the same other hand, it is no exaggeration to say that the heading, and treated as personages equally defenders of the ancients were entirely unac- real. The effect of this arrangement resembles quainted with the greatest productions of later that which would be produced by a dictionary times; nor, indeed, were the defenders of the of modern names, consisting of such articles moderns better informed. The parallels which as the following:—“Jones, William, an emi. were instituted in the course of this dispute nent Orientalist, and one of the Judges of the are inexpressibly ridiculous. Balzac was se Supreme Court of Judicature in Bengal-Davy, lected as the rival of Cicero. Corneille was a fiend who destroys ships-Thomas, a founddeclared to unite the merits of Æschylus, ling, brought up by Mr. Allworthy.” It is from Sophocles, and Euripides. We should like to such sources as these that Temple seems to see a “ Prometheus" after Corneille's fashion. have learned all that he knew about the an. The “Provincial Letters,” masterpieces un cients. He puts the story of Orpheus between doubtedly of reasoning, wit, and eloquence, the Olympic games and the battle of Arbela; were pronounced to be superior to all the as if we had exactly as much reason for bewritings of Plato, Cicero, and Lucian together, lieving that Orpheus led beasts with nis lyre, -articularly in the art of dialogue-an art in as we have for believing that there were races which, as it happens, Plato far excelled all at Pisa, or that Alexander conquered Darius. men, and in which Pascal, great and admira- He manages little better when he comes to ble in other respects, is notoriously deficient. the moderns. He gives us a catalogue of those

This childish controversy spread to Eng. whom he regards as the greatest wits of later land; and some mischievous demon suggested times. It is sufficient to say that, in his list of w Temple the thought of undertaking the de- Italians, he has omitted Dante, Petrarch, Ari. sence of the ancients. As to his qualifications osto, and Tasso; in his list of Spaniards, Lope for the task, it is sufficient to say, that he knew and Calderon; in his list of French, Pascal, vot a word of Greek. But his vanity, which, Bossuet, Molière, Corneille, Racine, and Boi. when he was engaged in the conflicts of active leau; and in his list of English, Chaucer, wife, and surrounded by rivals, had been kept Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton

In the midst of all this vast mass of absurdity ness had been increased by many years of seone paragraph stands out pre-eminent. The clusion and flattery,—was moved to the most doctrine of lemple-not a very comfortable violent resentment; complained, very unjust. one-is, that the human race is constantly de- ly, of Bentley's foul-mouthed raillery, and de. generating; and that the oldest books in every clared that he had commenced an answer, but kind are the best. In confirmation of this doc- had laid it aside, “having no mind to enter the trine, he remarks that the Fables of Æsop are lists with such a mean, dull, unmanneriy pe. the best fables, and the letters of Phalaris the dant.” Whatever may be thought of the tem. best letters in the world. On the merit of the per which Sir William showed on this occaletters of Phalaris he dwells with great warmth sion, we cannot too highly applaud his discreand with extraordinary felicity of language. tion in not finishing and publishing his answer, Indeed, we could hardly select a more favour- which would certainly have been a most ex. able specimen of the graceful and easy ma-traordinary performance. jesty to which his style sometimes rises than He was not, however, without defenders. this unlucky passage. He knows, he says, Like Hector, when struck down prostrate by that some learned men, or men who pass for Ajax, he was in an instant covered by a thick learned, such as Politian, have doubted the crowd of shieldsgenuineness of these letters. But of these

“οντις εδυνησατο ποιμενα λαων doubts he speaks with the greatest contempt. Ουτασαι ουδε βαλειν' πριν γαρ περιβησαν αριστοι, Now it is perfectly certain, first, that the letters

Πουλυδαμας τε, και Αινειας, και διος 'Aγήνωρ, are very bad; secondly, that they are spuri

Σαρπηδων τ' αρχος Λυκιων, και Γλαυκος αμυμων.” ous; and thirdly, that, whether they be bad or good, spurious or genuine, Temple could know Christchurch was up in arms; and though nothirz of the matter; inasmuch as he was no that college seems then to have been almost mor able to construe a line of them than to destitute of severe and accurate learning, no dec,pher an Egyptian obelisk.

academical society could show a greater array This Essay, silly as it is, was exceedingly of orators, wits, politicians,- bustling advenwell received, both in England and on the turers, who united the superficial accomplishContinent. And the reason is evident. The ments of the scholar with the manners and arts classical scholars, who saw its absurdity, of the man of the world, and this formidable were generally on the side of the ancients, body resolved to try how far smart repartees, and were inclined rather to veil than to expose well turned sentences, confidence, puffing, and the blunders of an ally; the champions of the intrigue could, on the question whether a moderns were generally as ignorant as Temple Greek book were or were not genuine, supply himself; and the multitude were charmed by the place of a little knowledge of Greek. his flowing and melodious diction. He was Out came the reply to Bentley, bearing the doomed, however, to smart, as he well de- name of Boyle, but in truth written by Atter. served, for his vanity and folly.

bury, with the assistance of Smalridge and Christchurch ai Oxford was then widely and others. A most remarkable hook it is, and justly celebrated as a place where the lighter often reminds us of Goldsmith's observation, parts of classical learning were cultivated that the French would be the best cooks in the with success. With the deeper mysteries of world if they had any butcher's meat, for that philology neither the instructors nor the pupils they can make ten dishes out of a nettle top. had the smallest acquaintance. They fancied It really deserves the praise, whatever that themselves Scaligers, as Bentley scornfully praise may be worth, of being the best book said, as soon as they could write a copy of ever written by any man on the wrong side of Latin verses with only two or three small a question of which he was profoundly ignofaults. From this college proceeded a new rant. The learning of the confederacy is that edition of the Letters of Phalaris, which were of a schoolboy, and not of an extraordinary rare, and had been in request since the appear- schoolboy; but it is used with the skill and ance of Temple's Essay. The nominal editor address of most able, artful, and experienced was Charles Boyle, a young man of noble men; it is beaten out to the very thinnest leaf, family and promising parts; but some older and is disposed in such a way as to seem ten members of the society lent their assistance. times larger than it is. The dexterity with While this work was in preparation, an idle which they avoid grappling with those parts quarrel, occasioned, it should seem, by the of the subject with which they know themnegligence and misrepresentations of a book- selves to be incompetent to deal is quite won. seller, arose between Boyle and the king's | dersul. Now and then, indeed, they commit librarian, Richard Bentley. Boyle, in the pre- disgraceful blunders, for which old Busby, unface to his edition, inseried a bitter reflection der whom they had studied, would have whipon Bentley Bentley revenged himself by ped them all round. But this circumstance proving that the Epistles of Phalaris were for- only raises our opinion of the talents which geries; and in his remarks on this subject made such a fight with such scanty means. treated Temple, not indecently, but with no Let our readers, who are not acyuainted with great reverence.

the controversy, imagine a Frenchman who Temple, who was quite unaccustomed to had acquired just English enough to read the any but the most respectful usage, who, even Spectator with a dictionary, coming forward to while engaged in politics, had always shrunk defend the genuineness of “Rowley s Poems' from all rude collision, and had generally against Percy and Farmer; and they will hava succeeded in avoiding it, and whose sensitive some notion of the feat which Atterbury had

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