1860 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ambrose Philips

George Gilfillan, in Specimens with Memoirs of the less-known British Poets (1860) 3:101.



This gentleman — remembered now chiefly as Pope's temporary rival — was born in 1671, in Leicestershire; studied at Cambridge; and, being a great Whig, was appointed by the government of George I. to be Commissioner of the Collieries, and afterwards to some lucrative appointments in Ireland. He was also made one of the Commissioners of the Lottery. He was elected member for Armagh in the Irish House of Commons. He returned home in 1748, and died the next year in his lodgings at Vauxhall.

His works are The Distressed Mother, a tragedy translated from Racine, and greatly praised in the Spectator; two deservedly forgotten plays, The Briton, and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester; some miscellaneous pieces, of which an epistle to the Earl of Dorset, dated Copenhagen, has some very vivid lines; his Pastorals, which were commended by Tickell at the expense of those of Pope, who took his revenge by damning them, not with "faint" but with fulsome and ironical praise, in the Guardian; and the subjoined Fragment from Sappho, which is, particularly in the first stanza, melody itself. Some conjecture that it was touched up by Addison.