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poetry. He also wrote the preface to the “Complete History of England,” usually called Dr. KENNET's; and translated FONTENELLE's “Dialogues of the Dead,” to which he added two composed by himself, and (Dr Johnson has remarked) “ though not only an honest, but a pious man, dedicated his work to the EARL of WHARTon." His first prose essay, which has much merit, is, “On the pleasure of being deceived,” and is dated 1701, when he was in his twenty
His contributions to the TaTLER are, a letter signed Josiah Coupler, in No. 64; another signed Will Trusty, in No. 73, to which TICKELL alludes in some verses in No.532 of the SPECTATOR; and the Inventory of a Beau, in No. 113.
The annotators suspect that he wrote No. 194, with an eye to his edition of SPENSER.
In the SPECTATOR he was the author of two letters, No. 33 and 53, on the art of improving beauty; in No. 66, of two letters concerning fine breeding; in No. 91, the history of Honoria ; in No. 104, a letter on the ladies' riding-habits; in No. 141, remarks on the Lancashire witches; No. 210, on the immortality of the soul; No. 220, on expedients for wit, a letter; No. 230, all, except the last letter; No. 231, a letter on the awe of appearing before public assemblies; No. 237, on Divine Providence, which was printed by TICKELL, in his edition of Addison's works, but was afterwards claimed for HUGHES by Mr. DunCOMBE; the letter in No. 231, is also published in Addison's works, but evidently from its connection with the rest of the paper.
HUGHES wrote also, in No. 252, a letter on the eloquence of tears and fainting fits; No. 311, a letter from the father of a great fortune ; No. 375, a picture of virtue in distress, which a writer in DunCOMBE's Letters says “mixed tears with a great deal of the tea, which was that morning drank in London and Westminster;" No. 525, on conjugal. love; No. 537, on the dignity of human nature; No. 541, rules for pronunciation and action; and. No. 554, on the improvement of genius; No. 302, the character of Emilia, claimed by Mr. DunCOMBE, was written by Dr. BROME; on the other hand, however, the annotators on the SPECTATOR. assign to himn Nos. 224 and 467.*
In the GUARDIAN, only one paper, No. 37, has been discovered to be his, and in his correspondence, published in 1772, are three short letters, intended for the GUARDIAN, which are added to the present edition. The general character of all his essays is favourable; he appears to have possessed a mild and agreeable humour, some of the strokes of which are truly ADDISONIAN; and his serious papers are excellent both for matter and manner. Such was his regard for decency, that he withdrew his contributions to a volume of Miscellaneous Poems, published by STEELE, beCause Pope's imitation of CHAUCER's Wife of Bath was to be inserted in it.
The name of Pope has been currently repeated among those of the authors of the SPECTATOR,
* In “DUNCOMBE's Letters by several eminent Persons deceased, including the Correspondence of John HUGHES, Esq” is printed a letter by Mr. Hughes, intended for the SPECTATOR, on English Operas, vol. i. p. 61. edit. 1772. The letter signed Parthenissa, in No. 300, is claimed for HUGHES, by Mr. DUNCOMBE, who adds, that the real person alluded to was a Miss RoTHERAM, sister to the second lady of the sixth Lord EFFINGHAM, and afterwards married to the Rev. Mr. WYATT, master of Felsted School, in Essex, Gent. Mag. 1780.
yet one article only, and that a very trifling one, in No. 527, a short letter with a few verses, is all that can with certainty be ascribed to him. His “ Messiah” was published in No. 378, and the annotators deduce that he wrote No. 408, from its train of thought, which is the same that occurs frequently in his works, and especially in his “ Essay on Man.” His contributions to the GUARDIAn are more important, and will be noticed in the Preface to that paper.
Two excellent papers on dreaming, Nos. 586 and 593, and which have been the foundation of many succeeding essays on the same subject, considered in the same point of view, were written by Mr. John BYROM, whose facetious talents were well suited to this species of composition, and whose delicate and simple humour appears so favourably in the well-known verses in No. 603, beginning “My time, O ye muses, &c.” His PHEBE, was the youngest of the celebrated Dr. BENTLEY's daughters, and the mother of RichARD CUMBERLAND, Esq. the present well-known dramatic and miscellaneous writer. The annotators ascribe to Mr. Byrom also No. 587, a paper to which he was certainly equal, but in this assignment they have overlooked a passage in No. 593, in which his being the author is positively denied. They are perhaps more correct in giving him credit for No. 597, although even that ap
This ingenious writer, a younger son of EDWARD BYROM, of Kersal, in Lancashire, was born at Manchester, 1691. He was educated first in his native town, and afterwards at Merchant-Taylor's School, in London, whence he was admitted a pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge, under the celebrated Mr. BABER, July 6, 1708. His
first productions were the papers in the SPECTATOR we have enumerated. In the same year in which they appeared, 1714, he was elected fellow of his college, but not choosing to enter into orders, he was obliged to vacate his fellowship in 1716, and went to Montpellier, where, applying himself closely to the study of physic, he acquired the appellation of Dr. Byrom.* On his return to London, he married his cousin, Miss ElizaBETH Byrom, against the consent of her father, who consequently gave her no fortune, and our author's little property having been exhausted in his travels, he engaged in teaching short-hand writing, and for some years obtained a competent subsistence by that ingenious and useful art, and taught, amongst many others, the celebrated Earl of CHESTERFIELD. His talents, however, must have been otherwise conspicuous, as, in 1724, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. Some time after, the family estate at Kersal devolved to him by the death of his elder brother, and relieved him from the business of teaching short hand.
He now retired to enjoy, what it appears he was eminently qualified for, the pleasures of domestic life, and indulged his pen in a variety of poetical attempts, chiefly on religious subjects; but his lighter verses, which in mature years he despised, have generally been allowed the preference. His religion, which was strongly tinctured with Behemenism, led him to discuss subjects in verse, which perhaps no man but himself would haye clothed in that dress. His humour was, however, generally predominant, and inclines us to wish that he had been less attached to rhyme, a propensity which betrayed him into more than poetical freedoms with subjects beyond his province. In one of his critical dissertations in verse, he denied the existence of St. George, the patron of England, and challenged the antiquaries to con sider the question. The contest between a poet and an antiquary seems very unequal, yet the late venerable Dr. PEGGE accepted the challenge, and confuted the poet's hypothesis in a paper in the Archæologia.
* NICHOLS's Select Collection of Poems, vol. yii.
Mr. Byrom died on the 28th of September, 1763, leaving behind him the character of a man of piety, wit, and learning. The general tenor of his life was innocent and inoffensive, and it appears that the great truths of Christianity had, from his earliest years, made a deep impression on his mind.* It is some deduction from his character, however, that he not only spent much of his time in reading the mystic writers, but even profesa sed to understand the works of Jacob BEHMEN,
Four papers in the eighth volume of the SpecTATOR, were the production of Mr. HENRY GROVE, of Taunton, a very learned and pious divine of the dissenting persuasion, who died in 1737, and of whom a very copious account is given in the Biographia. His papers are of the serious kind. Nos. 588 and 601, on self-love and benevolence; No. 626, on the force of novelty; and No. 635, on the enlargement of the powers of the mind in a future state. Of these essays the praise has been uniform. Dr. JOHNSON declared No. 588 to be “one of the finest pieces in the English languaget;" and No. 635, was republished by the direction of Dr. Gibson, Bishop of Lon
* Biog. Brit. new edit.
† Boswell's Life of JOHNSON. See also the Additions to his Life, p. 12, 2d odit. 1793.