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with Annotations, and addreffed to King Charles II. The fame year he published the Bible in a large fol. at Cambridge, according to the tranflation fet forth by the fpecial command of King James I. with the Liturgy and Articles of the Church of England, with Chorographical Sculptures. About the year 1662 he went into Ireland, then having obtained a patent to be made mafter of the revels there, a place which Sir William Davenant sollicited in vain. Upon this occafion he built a theatre at Dublin, which coft him 2000l. the former being ruined during the troubles. In 1664 he published in London, in fol. a tranflation of Homer's Odyffey, with Sculptures, and Notes. He afterwards wrote two heroic poems, one entitled the Ephefian Matron, the other the Roman Slave, both dedicated to Thomas earl of Offory. The next work he compofed was an Epic Poem in 12 Books, in honour of King Charles I. but this was entirely loft in the fire of London in September 1666, when Mr. Ogilby's houfe in White Fryars was burnt down, and his whole fortune, except to the value of five pounds, deftroyed. But misfortunes feldom had any irretrievable confequences to Ogilby, for by his infinuating addrefs, and moft aftonishing induftry, he was foon able to repair whatever lofs he sustained by any crofs accident. It was not long till he fell on a method of raifing a fresh fum of money. Procuring his houfe to be rebuilt, he fet up a printing-office, was appointed his Majefty's Cofmographer and Geographic Printer, and printed many great works tranflated and collected by himself and his affiftants, the enumeration of which would be unnecessary and tedious.
This laborious man died September 4, 1676, and was interred in the vault under part of the church in St. Bride's in Fleet-ftreet. Mr. Edward Philips in
his Theatrum Poetarum ftiles him one of the prodigies, from producing, after so late an initiation into literature, fo many large and learned volumes, as well in verfe as in profe, and tells us, that his Paraphrafe upon fop's Fables, is generally confeffed to have exceeded whatever hath been done before in that kind.
As to our author's poetry, we have the authority of Mr. Pope to pronounce it below criticifm, at leaft his tranflations; and in all probability his original epic poems which we have never seen, are not much fuperior to his tranflations of Homer and Virgil. If Ogilby had not a poetical genius, he was notwithstanding a man of parts, and made an amazing proficiency in literature, by the force of an unwearied application. He cannot be fufficiently commended for his virtuous industry, as well as his filial piety, in procuring, in fo early a time of life, his father's liberty, when he was confined in a prifon.
Ogilby feems indeed to have been a good fort of man, and to have recommended himself to the world by honest means, without having recourse to the fervile arts of flattery, and the bland:fhments of fal hood. He is an inftance of the aftonishing efficacy of application; had fome more modern poets been blessed with a thousandth part of his oeconomy and induitry, they needed not to have lived in poverty, and died of want. Although Ogilby cannot be denominated a genius, yet he found means to make a genteel livelihood by literature, which many of the fons of Parnaffus, bleffed with fuperior powers, curfe as a very dry and unpleafing foil, but which proceeds more from want of culture, than native barrennefs.
WILMOT, Earl of ROCHEster.
T is an obfervation founded on experience, that the poets have, of all other men, been moft addicted to the gratifications of appetite, and have pursued pleafure with more unwearied application than men of other characters. In this refpect they are indeed unhappy, and have ever been more fubject to pity than envy. A violent love of pleafure, if it does not deftroy, yet, in a great meafure, enervates all other good qualities with which a man may be endowed; and as no men have ever enjoyed higher parts from nature, than the poets, fo few, from this unhappy attachment to pleasure, have effected fo little good by thofe amazing powers. Of the truth of this obfervation, the nobleman, whose memoirs we are now to prefent to the reader, is a strong and indeli ble inftance, for few ever had more ability, and more frequent opportunities, for promoting the interefts of fociety, and none ever proftituted the gifts of Heaven to a more inglorious purpose. Lord Rochester was not more remarkable for the fuperiority of his parts, than the extraordinary debauchery of his life, and with his diffipations of pleasure, he fuffered fometimes malevolent principles to govern him, and was equally odious for malice and envy, as for the boundlefs gratifications of his appetites.
This is, no doubt, the character of his lordfhip, confirmed by all who have tranfmitted any N 3
account of him but if his life was fupremely wicked, his death was exemplarily pious; before he approached to the conclufion of his days, he faw the follies of his former pleasures, he lived to repent with the fevereft conuition, and charity obliges all men to believe that he was as fincere in his proteftations of penitence, as he had been before in libertine indulgence. The apparent forrow he felt, arifing from the ftings and compunctions of confcience, entitle him to the reader's compaffion, and has determined us to reprefent his errors with all imaginable tenderness; which, as it is agreeable to every benevolent man, fo his lordship has a right to this indulgence, fince he obliterated his faults by bis penitence, and became fo confpicuous an evidence on the fide of virtue, by his important declarations against the charms
Lord Rochester was fon of the gallant Hen. ry lord Wilmot, who engaged with great zeal in the fervice of King Charles 1. during the civil wars, and was fo much in favour with Charles II. that he entrusted his perfon to him, after the unfortunate battle of Worcester, which trust he difcharged with fo much fidelity and addrefs, that the young King was conveyed out of England into France, chiefly by his care, application and vigilance. The mother of our author was of the ancient family of the St. Johns in Wiltshire, and has been celebrated both for her beauty and parts.
In the year 1648, diftinguished to pofterity, by the fall of Charles. I. who fuffered on a scaffold erected before the window of his own palace, our author was born at Dichley, near Woodstock, in the fame county, the fcene of many of his pleasures, and of his death. His lordship's father had the misfortune to reap none of the rewards of fuffering loyalty, for he died in 1660, immediately before the restoration, leaving his fon as the
principal part of his inheritance, his titles, ho-.
were the ornaments of the court of Auguftus, which he read often with the peculiar delight which the greatest wits have often found in ⚫ thofe ftudies.' When he went to the univerfity, the general joy which over-ran the nation upon his Majefty's return, amounted to fomething like diftraction, and foon, fpread a very malignant influence through all ranks of life. His lordship tafted the pleasures of libertinifm, which then broke out in a full tide, with too acute a relish, and was almost overwhelmed in the abyfs of wantonnefs. His tutor was Dr. Blandford, afterwards. promoted to the fees of Oxford and Worcester, and under his infpection he was committed to the more immediate care of Phinehas Berry, fellow of Wadham College, a man of learning and prohity, whom his lordship afterwards treated with much refpect, and rewarded as became a great man ; but notwithstanding the care of his tutor, he had fo deeply engaged in the diffipations of the general jubilee, that he could not be prevailed upon to renew his ftudies, which were totally loft in N. 4 the