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He sicken'd at all triumphs but his own ;
possessed of considerable learning and abilities, contrived to. render himself obnoxious to most of his contemporaries. Per haps, had he been willing to allow merit in others, his own would have been by their assistance rendered more conspicuous. He was Greek professor at the University of Cambridge, and died possessed of considerable c!urch preferment in 1784.
65 George Colman, the translator of Terence, and of the Art of Poetry, and the intimate friend and favourite of our author, was the son of Francis Colman, Esq., resident at the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, by a sister of the first Countess of Bath, and born at Florence about 1733. He was educated with our author at Westminster School, and thence proceeded to Christ Church, Oxford, where he engaged with Bonnel Thornton, in writing the Connoisseur, a periodical paper of some merit. He was called to the bar, but never practised. His first dramatic work, Polly Honeycomb, was performed at Drury Lane theatre in 1760, with success ; and the next year his comedy of the Jealous Wife met with unbounded applause. In 1764 Lord Bath died and left him a liberal annuity, which was enlarged by General Pulteney. In 1767 he became a Patentee of Covent Garden theatre, but in 1770 sold his share, and purchased Foote's theatre in the Haymarket. Besides the above works, he was the author of prefaces to Massinger, and to Beaumont and Fletcher's plays, edited by him, and of several fugitive tracts; he also, in conjunction with Garrick, wrote the Clandestine Marriage, and some other dramatic performances. At the close of the theatrical season of 1785, Mr. Colman was seized, at Margate, with the palsy, and at the beginning of the season of 1789, he first showed symptoms of derangement of mind, which, increasing gradually, left him in a state of idiotism. In this melancholy condition he was placed in a private house of restraint at Paddington. The management of the theatre was entrusted to his son, with an allowance of £600 a year. Mr. Colman died on the 14th of August, 1794, at the age of 62
Of prudent Age found out that he was young: For Murphy some few pilfering wits declared, Whilst Folly clapp'd her hands, and Wisdom stared.
Tomischief train’d, e'en from his mother's womb, Grown old in fraud, though yet in manhood's
67 Arthur Murphy, Esq. a native of Ireland, was originally intended for trade, which pursuit, from a growing fondness for literature and politics, he soon discontinued. He com menced his career as an author in 1752, by publishing a periodical paper called the Gray's Inn Journal; this was continued till October 1754, when he, at Covent Garden, attempted the province of an actor, and after deserting to Drury Lane, and a trial of two seasons, found he had egregiously mistaken his powers, and resumed his former employment as a writer. The violence of party running high, he undertook the unpopular side of the question, and published several pamphlets in defence of Lord Bute's administration. The circumstance that chiefly excited the animosity of Wilkes and Churchill, was his being employed in the beginning of the reign of George the Thiril, to write a weekly paper called the Auditor, in opposition to the North Briton. Mr. Murphy, in consequence of the powerful patronage his political labours had procured for him, and which his poetical ones, although equally below mediocrity, had failed to acquire, was, notwithstanding his having been an actor, which occasioned his rejection at Gray's Inn and the Temple, successful in his third application for the degree of Barrister, to which he was called by the Society of Lincoln's Inn, and afterwards attained the dignity of a Bencher. He was the author, or rather the translator and purloiner from the French, of some tolerable plays and farces; he also published an edition of Fielding's works, a translation of Tacitus, and a meagre life of Garrick; his last publication, and of the same vapid character, was the Memoirs of Foote. A pension of £200 a year was ultimately bestowed upon this literary veteran, who died at Knights. bridge, 18 June, 1805, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. VOL. I.
Adopting arts by which
villains rise, And reach the heights which honest men despise Mute at the bar, and in the senate loud, Dull ’mongst the dullest, proudest of the proud, A pert, prim, prater of the northern race, Guilt in his heart, and famine in his face, Stood forth,—and thrice he waved his lily handAnd thrice he twirl'd his tye-thrice stroked his band
[aim, " At Friendship's call (thus oft, with traitorous Men void of faith, usurp faith's sacred name) At Friendship’s call I come, by Murphy sent, Who thus by me developes his intent: But lest, transfused, the spirit should be lost, That spirit which in storms of rhetoric toss’d, Bounces about, and flies like bottled beer, In his own words his own intentions hear.
75 The person thus alluded to was Alexander Wedderburne, then an aspiring barrister, afterwards Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, on which occasion he was raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Loughborough, and lastly Lord Chancellor; on his retirement from which office in 1803 he was created Earl of Rosslyn. In parliament, to a seat in which he was first introduced by Lord Bute, Mr. Wedderburne was an eloquent defender of ministerial measures, and a warm promoter of the persecution against Wilkes, as he was at a later period of that against Dr. Franklin. When Lord Chancellor he gave Murphy, to whom he had been through life a steady patron, the appointment of a Commissioner in Bankruptcy. The dignified deportment of Lord Rosslyn in nis offcial situations, his abilities as a parliamentary debater, and his lucid expositions as a judge, in the absence of the more solid requirements of the bench, were calculated, as the event has proved, to acquir? contemporaneous rather than
“ Thanks to my friends, but to vile fortunes lyorn, No robes of fur these shoulders must adorn. Vain your applause, no aid from thence I draw; Vain all my wit, for what is wit in law ? Twice(cursed remembrance !) twice I strove to gain Admittance 'mongst the law-instructed train, Who, in the Temple and Gray's Inn, prepare For client's wretched feet the legal snare ; Dead to those arts which polish and refine, Deaf to all worth, because that worth was mine, Twice did those blockheads startle at my name, And foul rejection gave me up to shame. To laws and lawyers then I bade adieu, And plans of far more liberal note pursue. Who will may be a Judge—my kindling breast Burns for that chair which Roscius once possessid, Here give your votes, your interest here exert,
posthumons fame. Of his political character, Junius, with his usual acuteness, seizes the prominent feature: “ The wary Wedderburne never threw away the scabbard, nor ever went upon a forlorn hope.”
Lord Rosslyn's judicial character was not of a nature to entitle him to a high rank in the annals of English judicature, and his ephemeral qualities as a courtier and a statesman, based on no public principle, entailed their usual result, a mortified and disappointed old age. He died 2 Jan. 1805, in the seventy-third year of his age. Mr. Foss, in his Grandeur of the Law, or Notices of Eminent Lawyers who have achieved Peerages, has well observed of the Earl of Rosslyn, in corroboration of the preceding observations, “ that more of a politician than a lawyer, his contemporaries did not highly appreciate his decisions on the Bench, and the opinion of his successors in Westminster Hall has not reversed that judgment."
And let success for once attend desert.”
With sleek appearance, and with ambling pace,
107 Sir John Hill, son of the Rev. Theophilus Hill, born about the year 1716, was originally an apothecary and a student in botany, in which latter pursuit he was encouraged by the patronage of the Duke of Richmond and the Lord Petre; but being unsuccessful in it, he made two or three attempts as an actor and dramatic author; a failure in both drove him back to his former trade of an apothecary and to his botanical studies, in which he had more experience if not more talent. Few epigrams possess greater truth than that of Garrick on Dr. Hill's farce of the Rout, which was performed in 1758, and was damned on the second night of its representation
“For physic and farces, his equal there scarce is,
His farces are physic, his physic a farce is." In the course of his botanical pursuits he got introduced to Mr. Martin Folkes, the president, and Mr. Henry Baker, and Dr. Stuart, leading members of the Royal Society, who, thinking him a young man of parts, and well skilled in Natural History, recommended him among their friends. His first publication was in 1746, being a translation from the Greek, of a small tract of Theophrastus on Gems, which obtained him some credit; so much so as to induce the booksellers to engage him in writing a General Natural History in three volumes folio, and soon after a supplement to Chambers's Dictionary, and also to undertake the conduct of the British Magazine. He had received no academical education; but his ambition prompting him to be a graduate, he accordingly obtained from one of those convenient northern universities which barter unsubstantial honours for solid gold, a diploma of doctor of physic. After this he engaged in a variety of works, mostly compilations, which he published with incredible expedition; and though his character was never in such estimation with his booksellers as to entitle him to an extraordinary price for his writings, he was known by such works, by novels, pamphlets, and a daily paper called