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which he used, it is said, instead of the initials of his name to mark upon his linen. Of these papers, few rise above mediocrity; he had talents that enabled him to assist in a work of this kind, but there is no reason to believe that he could have acted as a principal. His best papers are Nos. 307, 313, 337, and 353, on education : they contain many useful remarks, illustrated by apposite examples and authorities. The only papers distinguishable for wit, are Nos. 365 and 395, on the effects of the month of May on the female constitution ; in these the style of Addison is imitated with great felicity ; but I know not what praise we can assign to them, if what Dr. Johnson reports, from traditional authority, be true, that “ Addison wroto BUDGELL's papers, or at least mended them so much that he made them almost his own*."
Besides these twenty-eight papers attributed to him in consequence of the signature, he is, in the opinion of the annotators on the SPECTATOR, the presumptive author of a short letter, signed Eustace, in No. 539, and of Nos. 591, 602, 605, and 628, the last of which contains a Latin translation of Cato's soliloquy, formerly said to be the production of ATTERBURY, but which Mr. Ni. chols has discovered to have been written by Dr. HENRY BLAND, head master of Eton school. These last-mentioned papers occur in the eighth volume of the common editions of the SprcTATOR, which is said to have been conducted by ADDIson and BUDGELL. ture was a typographical error. The signature is omitted in the first 19mo, a very correct edition, and in all the subsequent ones.
BOSWELL's Life of JOHNSON.
The annotators on the Guardian have assigned to him Nos. 25 and 31; but if their authority was the notice in the Preface, that “those which are marked with a star were composed by Mr. BUDGELL," they seem to have committed an orror. The 24th is marked with a star in the folio and first octavo editions, but not the 25th.
No. 31, his last contribution, cannot be read without regret that the author should have departed from his own principles in all the critical periods of his life. A similar reflection will occur in reading his Spectator, No. 389, on Infidelity, to which he certainly verged in the latter part of his life, and which, there is every reason to think, was occasioned by his connection with TINDALL*.
The next contributor, of perhaps more value, was Mr. John Hughes. He was the son of a citizen of London, and was born at Marlborough, July 29, 1677. He received his education at a dissenting academy, under the care of Mr. ThoMas Rowe, where, at the same time, the afterwards celebrated Dr. Isaac WATTS was a student, whose piety and friendship for Mr. HUGHES induced him to regret that he employed any part of his talents in writing for the stage.
Budgelt. published a translation of the characters of Theophrastus, a history of the family of the Boyles, and some political pamphlets. He also compiled a periodical work, called the Bee, chiefly from the newspapers, in the form of a magazine, but in consequence of quarrelling with the book. sellers, and filling the pamphlet with his own disputes and concerns, he was obliged to drop the undertaking. Four volumes of this work are now before me. It exhibits little more than the ruins of a mind. He was attacked on all sides by contemporary writers respecting the affair of Tindall's will
, and he endeavours by long, wild, and incoherent rhap sodies, to regain the good opinion of the public, which, how. ever, he had for ever
forfeited by that transaction.
It does not appear for what profession he was originally intended. He was early distinguished for his poetical and musical abilities, when they could be exerted only in his leisure hours, as he held a place in the office of ordnance, and was secretary to several commissions for purchasing lan'ls necessary to secure the royal docks at Chatham and Portsmouth.
His poetical pieces were written, partly on temporary subjects, and partly for musical entertainments. Some of the latter were set by PEPusch, and some by FLANDEL. The general character of his poetry is not high. Swift and Pope ranked him among the mediocrists, and this opinion, which they gave when his works were published in 1735, and long after he was beyond the reach of praise or blame, has been adopted by Dr. Johnson. The performance for which he is now chicfly remembered, is his tragedy of the Sirge of Damascun, which still holds its rank on the stage, though “it is neither acted nor printed according to the author's original draught, or his settled intention. He had made Phocyas apostatize from his religion ; after which, the ab. horrence of Eudocia would have been reasonable, his misery would have been just, and the horrors of his repentance exemplary. The players, however, required that the guilt of Phocyas should terminate in desertion to the enemy: and HUGHES, uiiwilling that his relations should lose the benefit of his work, complied with the alteration*.”
He died Feb. 17, 1719-20, the sainc day on which this play was first represented. STEELE, who has drawn a very favourable character of him in THE THEATRE, No. 15, says, “I cannot, in the first place, but felicitate a death, on the same evening in which he received, and merited, the applause of his country, for a great and good action ; his work is full of such sentiments as only can give comfort in the last hour; and I am told, he showed a pleasure in hearing that the labours, which he so honestly and virtuously intended, had met with a suitable success.”
*JOHNSON's Life of HUGHES. Ilis life is also written by DUNCOMBE, by CIBIEN,, and by Dr. CAMPUCLI, in the Biog. Brit.
In this, however, STEELE was deceived; and it is singular that he did not perceive he was placing his friend in the novel and ridiculous situation of an author preparing for eternity by the recollection of a well-written play, and the applause of a crowded theatre. The truth is Hughes had laid aside all thoughts of his play, and composed himself to meet death with the resolution and dignity becoming a Christian*. He was of a very feeble constitution, tending to consumption, which, after many lingering attacks, and flattering abatements, put an end to his blameless life, at an age when life is usually reckoned in its prime.
He appears to have been universally regretted as an honest and amiable man, and held an enviable rank among the wits of his time. Such was his acknowledged judgment, that Addison requested he would complete his Cato for the stage; and although this task was afterwards performed by Addison himself, yet it was by the persuasion of Hughes that this celebrated play was finished and acted.
As a prose writer he is known by his edition of SPENSER's works, which he enriched with a life, a glossary, and a discourse on allegorical
* DUNCOMBE's Life, prefixed to Hughes's Works.
poetry. He also wrote the preface to the “Complete History of England," usually called Dr. KINNET's; and translated FONTENELLE's “ Dialogues of the Dead,” to which he added two composed by himself, and (Dr Johnson has re. marked)" 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 twentyfourth year.
His contributions to the TATLER are, a letter signed Josiah Coupler, in No. 64; another signed Will Trusty, in No. 73, to which TICKELI 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 ladics' 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 fortunc; No. 375, a picture