« PreviousContinue »
LIFE, DEATH, AND IMMORTALITY.
BY EDWARD YOUNG,, LL. D.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
A NEW EDITION.
PRINTED FOR F. AND C. RIVINGTON; OTRIDGE AND SON; LONGMAN
AND J. HOOK HAM.
J. Cundee, Printer, lvy-Lane, Paternoster-Row.
354 3 009
LIFE OF DR. YOUNG.
The pen of biography cannot be better employed, than in the service of an author, who displayed eminent genius and abilities in the cause of virtue and religion. Such was Dr. Young, the subject of these Memoirs.
His father, whose name was also Edward Young, was Fellow of Winchester College, Rector of Upham in Hampshire, and, in the latter part of his life, Dean of Sarum ; chaplain to William and Mary, and afterwards to Queen Ann. Jacob tells us that the latter, when Princess Royal, did him the honour to stand godmother to our poet; and that, upon her ascending the throne, he was appointed Clerk of the Closet to her Majesty
It does not appear that this gentleman distinguished himself in the Republic of Letters, otherwise than by a Latin Visitation Sermon, preached in 1686, and by two volumes of Sermons, printed in 1702, and which he dedicated to Lord Bradford, through whose interest he probably received some of his promotions. The Dean died at Sarum in 1705, aged 63 ; after a very short illness, as appears by the exordium of Bishop Burnet's sermon at the Cathedral on the following Sunday. “ Death (said he) has been of late walking round
us, and making breach upon breach upon us, and has now “ carried away the head of this body with a stroke; so that “he, whom you saw a week ago distributing the holy mys“teries, is now laid in the dust. But he still lives in the
excellent directions he has left us, both how to live 66 and how to die."
Our author, who was an only son, was born at his father's rectory, in 1681, and received the first part of his education (as his father had formerly done) at Winchester College ; from whence, in his 19th year, he was placed on the foundation of New College, Oxford; whence again, on the death of the Warden in the same year, he was removed to Corpus Christi. In 1709, Archbishop Tennison nominated him to a law fellowship at All Souls, where, in 1714, he took the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law, and five years afterward that of Doctor
Between the acquisition of these academic honours, Young was appointed to speak the Latin Oration on the foundation of the Codrington Library; which he afterwards printed, with a dedication to the Ladies of that family, in English.
In this part of his life, our author is said not to have been that ornament to virtue and religion which he afterwards became. This is easy to be accounted for. He had been released from parental authority by his father's death ; and his genius and conversation had introduced him to the notice of the witty and profligate Duke of Wharton*, and his gay companions, by whom his finances might be improved, but not his morals. This is the period at which Pope is said to have told Warburton, our young author had “much genius without
coinmon sense :” and it should seem likewise, that he possessed a zeal for religion with little of its practical influence; for, with all his gaiety and ambition, he was an advocate for
* At the instigation of this peer, he was once candidate for a seat in Parliament, but without success, and the expences were paid by Wharton.