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out much censure from those whom he : forsook, and was received by the new ministry as a valuable reinforcement. When the earl of Oxford was told that Dr. Parnell waited among the croud in the outer room, he went, by the persuasion of Swift, with his treasurer's staff in his hand, to enquire for him, and to bid him welcome; and, as may be inferred from Pope's dedication, admitted him as a favourite companion to his convivial hours, but, as it seems often to have happened in those times to the favourites of the great, without attention to his fortune, which indeed was in no, . great need of improvement.

Parnell, who did not want ambition: or vanity, was desirous to make himself ;

il conspi

conspicuous, and to shew how worthy. he was of high preferment, as he thought himself qualified to become a popular preacher, he displayed his elocution with great success in the pulpits of London ; but the Queen's death putting an end to his expectations, abated his diligence: and Pope represents him as falling from that time into intemperance, of wine. That in his latter life he was too much a lover of the bottle is not denied; but I have heard it imputed to a cause more likely to obtain forgive. ness from mankind, the untimely death of a darling fon; or, as others tell, the loss of his wife, who died (1712) in the midst of his expectations. ::

He

· He was now to derive every future addition to his preferments from his perfonal interest with his private friends, and he was not long unregarded. He was warmly recommended by Swift to archbishop King, who gave him a prebend in 1713; and in May 1716 presented him to the vicarage of Finglas in the diocese of Dublin, worth four hundred pounds a year. Such notice from such a man, inclines me to believe that the vice of which he has been accused was not gross, or not notorious.

But his profperity did not last long. His end, whatever was its cause, was now approaching. He enjoyed his pre

ferment

dant natures, that an attempt to bring them together is to couple the serpent with, the fowl. When Dyer, whose mind was not unpoetical, has done his utmost, by: interesting his reader in our native commodity, by interspersing rural imagery and incidental digressions, by cloathing small images in great words, and by all the writer's arts of delusion, the meanness naturally adhering, and the irreves rence habitually annexed to trade and manufacture, sink him under insuperable oppression; and the disgust which blank verse, encumbering and encumbered, superadds to an unpleasing subject, soon repels the reader, however willing to be

pleased.

Let

Let me however honestly report whatever may counterbalance this weight of censure. I have been told that Akenfide, who, upon a poetical question, has a right to be heard, said, “ That he would “ regulate his opinion of the reigning 6 taste by the fate of Dyer's Fleece; for, 66 if that were ill-received, he should « not think it any longer reasonable to 66 expect fame from excellence.”

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