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And damp the rays you would have shed;
Or night your rising now restrains,
It lost, when back you went,
And the sick king learned Heaven's intent;
I feel my watch, I tell the clock,
Even Egypt, when three days,
With joy and light the saints are blest,
Pain and darkness both unite,
Yet in my darkness and my pain,
God's favours darkest clouds expel,
And his soft love each pang endears;
Sun, mend not then for me your pace,
I am refreshed by light,
Than you ten thousand times more bright;
Shall have both light and joy divine.
His watch was purposely so contrived as that he could by his finger
discover the time, to half a quarter of an hour.
SIR RICHARD BLACKMORE, descended of a respectable family in Wiltshire, was born about the year 1653. He received his elementary education successively at a country school and at Westminster, whence he removed, in 1668, to Edmund Hall, Oxford. He took his M.A. degree on the 3rd of June, 1676; and protracted his university residence till it had reached a term of thirteen years. He dropped the profession of a schoolmaster, in which he was for some time engaged, to proceed to Italy; and graduated as Doctor of Medicine at the University of Padua. After a further period of a year and a half, spent in continental travel, he returned to England, and attained to considerable eminence and to an extensive practice in his profession. One instance of royal favour conferred upon Blackmore is commemorated by Pope in the well-known couplet :
"The hero William, and the martyr Charles,
One knighted Blackmore, and one pensioned Quarles."
It is yet undecided in what proportions Blackmore, who was a stanch Whig, owed this distinction to his politics, his physic, and his poetry. He closed a life of piety and benevolence on the 8th of October, 1729.
At the present day, the verses of Blackmore are wellnigh as dead as his patients. He is one of the best pelted men who ever stood in the literary pillory. From Garth to Dryden, from Pope to Gay and Dennis, from epigram to abuse, every man and every weapon were against him;
whilst he-to the honour of his fortitude and forbearance it should be recorded-almost uniformly smiled at their noble rage. His epics were nearly as numerous as his prescriptions, and were written in the intervals of the latter, which gave occasion for Dryden to say of "Prince Arthur, an Heroic Poem, in Ten Books," published in 1695, that it was written "to the rumbling of his chariotwheels." Other epic poems were "King Arthur," in twelve books (1697); King Alfred;" "Eliza," in ten books (1705), of whom Dr. Johnson says, "She dropped, as it seems, dead-born from the press." It will suffice to mention one other, and that the best of his works, “Creation; a Philosophical Poem, in Seven Books," published in 1712, which, amongst other favourable notices, received the hearty commendation of Addison.
In one of the numbers of the "Spectator," it is said that this poem was undertaken with so good an intention, and executed with so great a mastery, that it deserves to be looked upon as one of the best in our English verse. The reader cannot but be pleased to see the depths of philosophy enlivened with all the charms of poetry, and to see so great a strength of reason amidst so beautiful a redundancy of the imagination." Dennis, also, notwithstanding his asperity towards Blackmore in other instances, calls his "Creation" a "philosophical poem, which has equalled that of Lucretius in the beauty of its versification, and infinitely surpassed it in the solidity and strength of its reasoning." Blackmore has confronted the author of the "De Rerum Natura" at every step; the following extract bears to have been conceived with the express intention of confuting the foaming unfairness of the paragraphs "Laus Inventoris," and "Exemplum Religionis " of the first book of the Roman hierophant of the godless mysteries of Epicurus.
BLESSINGS OF RELIGION.
Offspring divine! by thee we bless the Cause
Extol his goodness, and revere his power.
Our wondering eyes his high perfections view,
Till, ravished, we the great Idea find
Checked by thy voice, lay down the sword and spear.
Scornful of heaven, subdued or won by thee,
JOSEPH ADDISON, one of the most distinguished luces et tutamina of English letters, the son of a dean of Lichfield and rector of Milston, in Wiltshire, was born at the latter place in the year 1672. The first rudiments of education he received at home; and was thence successively removed to Salisbury, Lichfield, and the Charterhouse Schools. At the age of fifteen he was sent to Queen's College, Oxford; and after some time migrated to Magdalen, under the auspices and encouragement of Dr. Lancaster, of the latter college. Whilst at the University, he became distinguished for his skill in Latin verse, in which, a few years after, he composed a poem, of the mingled Whiggism and elegance of which King William, to whom it was dedicated, conceived so high an opinion that he rewarded the author with a pension of £300 a year. Addison now found it possible to travel; he visited France and Italy, writing from the latter his celebrated letter to Lord Halifax, in which, with much fire and enthusiasm, he treated of the phenomena of the fair classic land, whether antiquarian, picturesque, natural, or artistic. In 1702 he returned to England, and published an account of his travels, as well as his " Dialogues on Medals." Upon the accession of Queen Anne his pension ceased; but having celebrated the battle of Blenheim in a poem, "The Campaign," which was fortunate enough to secure the admiration of the Lord Treasurer, Godolphin, he was rewarded with the post