The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Vol. III

Theophilus Cibber
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753), by Theophilus Cibber
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
Title: The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753)
Vol. III
Author: Theophilus Cibber
Release Date: January 7, 2004 [EBook #10622]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Jayam Subramanian and PG Distributed Proofreaders
Compiled from ample Materials scattered in a Variety of Books, and especially from the MS. Notes of the late ingenious Mr. COXETER and others, collected for this Design,
By Mr. CIBBER, and other Hands.
Contains the
Denham?Killegrew?Howard?Behn, Aphra?Etherege?Mountford?Shadwell?Killegrew, William,?Howard?Flecknoe?Dryden?Sedley?Crowne?Sackville, E. Dorset?Farquhar?Ravenscroft?Philips, John?Walsh?Betterton?Banks?Chudley, Lady?Creech?Maynwaring?Monk, the Hon. Mrs.?Browne Tom.?Pomfret?King?Sprat, Bishop?Montague, E. Hallifax?Wycherley?Tate?Garth?Rowe?Sheffield, D. Buck.?Cotton?Additon?Winshelsea, Anne?Gildon?D'Urfey?Settle

An eminent poet of the 17th century, was the only son of Sir John Denham, knight, of Little Horsley in Essex, and sometime baron of the Exchequer in Ireland, and one of the lords justices of that kingdom. He was born in Dublin, in the year 1615[1]; but was brought over from thence very young, on his father's being made one of the barons of the Exchequer in England 1617.
He received his education, in grammar learning, in London; and in Michaelmas term 1631 he was entered a gentleman commoner in Trinity College, Oxford, being then 16 years of age; where, as Wood expresses it, 'being looked upon as a slow dreaming young man, and more addicted to gaming than study, they could never imagine he could ever enrich the world with the issue of his brain, as he afterwards did.'
He remained three years at the university, and having been examined at the public schools, for the degree of bachelor of arts, he entered himself in Lincoln's-Inn, where he was generally thought to apply himself pretty closely to the study of the common law. But notwithstanding his application to study, and all the efforts he was capable of making, such was his propensity to gaining, that he was often stript of all his money; and his father severely chiding him, and threatening to abandon him if he did not reform, he wrote a little essay against that vice, and presented it to his father, to convince him of his resolution against it[2]. But no sooner did his father die, than being unrestrained by paternal authority, he reassumed the practice, and soon squandered away several thousand pounds.
In the latter end of the year 1641 he published a tragedy called the Sophy, which was greatly admired, and gave Mr. Waller occasion to say of our author, 'That he broke out like the Irish rebellion, threescore thousand strong, when no body was aware, nor in the Ieast expected it.' Soon after this he was pricked for high sheriff for the county of Surry, and made governor of Farnham-Castle for the King; but not being well skilled in military affairs, he soon quitted that post and retired to his Majesty at Oxford, where he published an excellent poem called Cooper's-hill, often reprinted before and since the restoration, with considerable alterations; it has been universally admired by all good judges, and was translated into Latin verse, by Mr. Moses Pengry of Oxford.
Mr. Dryden speaking of this piece, in his dedication of his Rival Ladies, says, that it is a poem, which, for the Majesty of the stile, will ever be the exact standard of good writing, and the noble author of an essay on human life, bestows upon it the most lavish encomium[3]. But of all the evidences in its favour, none is of greater authority, or more beautiful, than the following of Mr. Pope, in his Windsor Forest.
Ye sacred nine, that all my soul possess,?Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless;?Bear me, O bear me, to sequester'd scenes,?The bow'ry mazes, and surrounding greens;?To Thames's bank which fragrant breezes fill,?Or where the muses sport on Cooper's-hill.?(On Cooper's hill eternal wreaths shall grow,?While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow.)?I seem thro' consecrated walks to rove,?I hear soft music die along the grove,?Led by the found, I roam from shade to shade,?By god-like poets venerable made:?Here his last lays majestic Denham sung,?There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue.
In the year 1647 he was entrusted by the Queen with a message to the King, then in the hands of the army, and employed in other affairs, relating to, his Majesty. In his dedication of his poems to Charles II. he observes, that after the delivery of the person of his royal father into the hands of the army, he undertook
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 123
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.