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by the dissolute Duke of Wharton, “ 6 the scorn and wonder of his days.” But their fathers had been friends : and from Tindal himself, who spent much of his time at Al Souls, we may infer that, even in early life, Young displayed both animation and ability in the cause of religion. “ The other boys (said he) I can always answer, because. I always know whence they have their arguments, which I have read a hundred times; but that fellow, Young, is continually pestering me with something of his own.”
In 1712, when Queen Anne upon a critical occasion added twelve to the number of Peers, he published · An Epistle to the Right Hon. George Lord Lansdowne;' in order to reconcile the people to one, at least, of the new creation. The affectionate mention of the death of his friend Harrison, at the close of this poem, affords an instance of his art (displayed, şubsequently, with so much success in the Night Thoughts') of making the public a party in his private sorrows.*
In 1713, his · Last Day' made it's appearance, with a dedication to the Queen: but this, with it's high panegyric upon the peace of Utrecht, he excluded from his selected works. The poem itself, not wholly free from political allusions, upon so impressive a subject from the pen of a layman, was loudly approved by the Tory ministry and their friends.
His • Force of Religion, or Vanquished Love,' a
* This poem however, with the recommendatory copy of verses which he prefixed to Addison's Cato' in 1713, and several other compositions, he omitted in his own edition of such of his pieces as he thought the most excusable, in four volumes, 8vo. VOL. VI.
poem, founded on the execution of Lady Jane Gray and her husband in 1554, was published before the Queen’s death. In 1714, he became LL.B.
Two years afterward, when the foundation of the Codrington Library was laid, he was appointed to speak the Latin oration.
In 1719, he took the degree of LL.D., and as tutor to Lord Burghley entered the Earl of Exeter's family, which however he soon quitted on the pressing solicitations and promises of the Duke of Wharton. In consideration of this compliance, of the expenses which he incurred under the same powerful instigation, in 1721, in an unsuccessful canvas for the borough of Cirencester, and of his declining successively two livings of 2001. and 4001. per ann. in the gift of All Souls' College, he received from his patron two annuities (subsequently contested, in 1740, before Lord Chancellor Hardwicke) and a bond for 800l. It was in company with this nobleman, on his return from his travels, it is supposed, that he visited Ireland.
In the same year, he produced his · Busiris,' which was acted with great applause. In this, the haughty message sent by the Egyptian tyrant to the Persian Embassador is copied from the reply of the Ethiopian Prince to Cambyses, in the third book of Herodotus. About the same time, likewise, appeared his . Paraphrase on part of the Book of Job.'
Next followed · The Revenge, which is esteemed his best dramatic performance.*
* His Zanga continues still, with a tolerable representative, to draw large audiences : but though animated and brilliant, it is In 1753, he brought a third upon the stage, under the name of The Brothers,' * which met but with an indifferent reception.
The turn of his mind strongly leading him (now at an age exceeding forty) to divinity, he exchanged the bar for the pulpit, and in 1728 was appointed Chaplain to George II. The same year, likewise, he dis, tinguished himself as a prose-writer by publishing his • Vindication of Providence, or A true Estimate of Human Life: in which the Passions are considered in a new Light.' As this exhibited only the dark side of things, he was asked (it is said) “why he did not, conformably to his promise, give the Light in contrast?' He replied, because he could not.”. Others, however,
occasionally, like his other tragedies, disgraced by puerile or turgid conceits.
An incident in Carey's ' Chrononhotonthologos' was intended as a caricature upon this diabolical character. A blow given by a generous Spaniard to the implacable African, as it is well known, furnishes the plot to The Revenge.' Bombardinian in the farce, having had a box on the ear from his royal master, instantly breaks out into the most furious hyperboles ; calls to the sun and moon to put themselves into eclipse; and bids hills, dales, seas, and cities run together,
• And into chaos pulverise the world ;
* It was under rehearsal, when he took orders; but from a sense of decorum he withdrew it, and it remained in his desk five and twenty years. The whole profits of this drama, of which the fine contest between Perseus and Demetrius in the third act is chiefly a translation from Livy, were bestowed on the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. These he had over-calculated at 10001. He, generously, made up the deficiency out of his own pocket.
havé asserted that, before a transcript had been made, it was torn in pieces by a lady's monkey.
In 1730, he was presented by his College to the valuable rectory of Welwyn in Hertfordshire; and his fellowship being vacated by this preferment, he soon afterward married lady Betty Lee, widow of Colonel Lee and daughter of the Earl of Litchfield, a lady of excellent endowments and great sweetness of disposition. But the duties of his profession did not wholly withdraw his attention from those elegant pursuits, to which he was attached by nature and education. Polite literature still attracted his regard; and, amidst his severer studies, he continued to cultivate his poetical talent.
His satires, entitled • The Love of Fame, or The Universal Passion,' which were at first separately printed in folio in the interval between 1725 and 1728, were well received by the public. These terse and brilliant compositions, though by many deemed his principal performance, are now nearly worn out of fashion. Perhaps, as Swift justly pronounced of them, the satirist should have been either more angry, or more merry :' in fact, they consist of a string of epigrams, written upon one subject, and tire the reader before he gets near the end. They produced, however, to their author upward of 3000l.
But his most celebrated performance is, his ' NightThoughts. His lady had three children by her former husband, a son and two daughters, whose amiable qualities so entirely engaged his affections, that he loved them with all a father's fondness; and, as she had also brought him a son, his domestic felicity was complete ; when it was interrupted by the death
of his wife in 1741, and of a part at least of her family about the same period.* This affliction called for every consolation, which reason and religion could inspire. How deeply indeed he was affected by his loss, and what painful struggles he underwent before he could regain any tolerable tranquillity of mind, is abundantly evident from the · Night Thoughts, which were produced by this calamity.t In this poem, although it's blemishes and defects are
* Her son, who was an officer, married and died soon afterward, leaving no child. Her eldest daughter, his "Narcissa,' who at sixteen had married Mr. Temple (by some, deemed his • Philander') the son of Lord Palmerston, in consequence of a declining state of health was accompanied to the south of France by Dr. Young and his lady, and died at Lyons on her way to Nice in 1736, aged only seventeen. Her funeral was attended with all the difficulties so vividly portrayed in Night the Third.' The youngest daughter, who was left by her mother to the care of her step-father, married Major Haviland, accompanied him to Ireland, and died shortly afterward. Mr. Temple died in 1740. During all this sublime and pious melancholy, however, it ought to be added, that he did not forget his habitual practice of paying court to the great; for all his Nights' were inscribed to elevated or rising persons.
+ Particularly, where he bewails his loss, with some poetical anachronism however, under the names of Philander' and • Narcissa :' • Insatiate archer! could not once suffice? Thy shaft flew thrice, and'thrice my peace was slain;
And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn:' &c. Other great beauties oceur in his description of Death from his secret stand noting down the follies of Bacchanalian society, the Epitaph upon the departed World, the issuing of Satan from his Dungeon at the Day of Judgement, &c.: most of them, however, are debased by paltry witticisms and jingles, and afford painful instances of finely-started thoughts tired down, and metaphors exhausted by a boyish pursuit of them.