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1670?–1718–19.

HIS CHARACTER.

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Christian, without knowing himself to be so, it was Dr. Garth," seems not able to deny what he is angry to hear and loth to confess.

Pope afterwards declared himself convinced that Garth died in the communion of the Church of Rome, having been privately reconciled. It is observed by Lowth, that there is less distance than is thought between scepticism and popery; and that a mind, wearied with perpetual doubt, willingly seeks repose in the bosom of an infallible church.9

His poetry has been praised at least equally to its merit. In the • Dispensary' there is a strain of smooth and free versification; but few lines are eminently elegant. No passages fall below mediocrity, and few rise much above it. The plan seems formed without just proportion to the subject; the means and end have no necessary connection. Resnel, in his preface to Pope's Essay,' remarks that Garth exhibits no discrimination of characters; and that what any one says might with equal propriety have been said by another. The general design is perhaps open to criticism ; but the composition can seldom be

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$ It was a fine character of Garth, that “No physician knew his art more nor his trade less."-Richardsoniana, 8vo., 1776, p. 333; and Warton's Essay on Pope, ii. 27, ed. 1782.

Garth, generous as his muse.

DRYDEN:, Epistle to his Kinsman. 9 Garth talked in a less libertine manner than he had been used to do about the three last years of his life. He was rather doubtful and fearful than religious. It was usual for him to say, "That if there was any such thing as religion, 'twas among the Roman Catholics;” probably from the greater efficacy we give the sacraments. He died a papist, as I was assured by Mr. Blount, who carried the father to him in his last hours. He did not take any care of himself in his last illness, and had talked for three or four years as one tired of life: in short, I believe he was willing to let it go.-Pope: Spence by Singer, p. 2.

Dr. Garth I remember used to say, “I vow to God, Madam, I take this to be hell-purgatory at least; we shall certainly be better off in any other world.” I think I am of his opinion.- Lady HERVEY's Letters, p. 330.

You may remember Mr. Garth said he was glad when he was dying; for he was weary of having his shoes pulled off and on.-BARBER, the printer, to Sucift, April 22, 1735 (Scott's “Swift,' xviii. 302.)

Garth is said by Atterbury to have written an epitaph on St. Evremond, intended for Westminster Abbey, in which he was commended for his indifference to all religion.-ATTERBURY's Corresp. iii. 201.

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charged with inaccuracy or negligence. The author never slumbers in self-indulgence; his full vigour is always exerted ; scarcely a line is left unfinished, nor is it easy to find an expression used by constraint, or a thought imperfectly expressed. It was remarked by Pope, that the · Dispensary' had been corrected in every edition, and that every change was an improvement. It appears, however, to want something of poetical ardour, and something of general delectation; and therefore, since it has been no longer supported by accidental and intrinsic popularity, it has been scarcely able to support itself."

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10 Mr. Pope told me himself that “there was hardly an alteration of the innumerable ones through every edition that was not for the better; and that he took Dr. Garth to be one of the few truly judicious authors."-Richard. soniana, 8vo. 1776, p. 195. Pope's own copy of · The Dispensary' (5th ed. 1703), with a note of some contradictions, &c., marked at the end in Pope's handwriting, is now (1854) in the possession of Mr. Rogers, the poet. The passages marked by Pope are amended, I observe, in the serenth edition.

" Johnson has omitted to notice what after • The Dispensary' is Garth's principal poem, viz., ‘Claremont:' addressed to the Right Honourable the Earl of Clare. London: Tonson (May], 1715, fol.

NICHOLAS ROWE.

R0 W E.

1673-1718.

Porn at Little Barford, in Bedfordshire Educated at Westminster

Entered at the Middle Temple - His first Tragedy, "The Ambitious Stepmother' His other Tragedies Made Poet Laureate Translates Lucan Buried in Westminster Abbey Works and Character.

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Nicholas Rowe was born at Little Berkford (or Barford), in Bedfordshire, in 1673. His family had long possessed a considerable estate, with a good house, at Lamerton, in Devonshire. The ancestor from whom he descended in a direct line received the arms borne by his descendants for his bravery in the Holy War. His father, John Rowe, who was the first that quitted his paternal acres to practise any art of profit, professed the law, and published Benlow's and Dallison's Reports in the reign of James the Second, when, in opposition to the notions, then diligently propagated, of dispensing power, he ventured to remark how low his authors rated the prerogative. He was made a serjeant, and died April 30, 1692. He was buried in the Temple church.

Nicholas was first sent to a private school at Highgate; and, being afterwards removed to Westminster, was at twelve years 3 chosen one of the King's scholars. His master was Busby, who suffered none of his scholars to let their powers lie useless; and his exercises in several languages are said to have been written

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His baptism is not recorded in the register of Little Barford. 2 John Rowe, of Lamerton in com. Devon, and Elizabeth daughter of Jasper Edwards, Esq., were married Sept. 25, anno dñi. 1673.- Register of Little Barford. If Elizabeth Edwards was Rowe's mother, his birth is placed at least a year too soon.

3 He was not elected till 1688.

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