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exhibited; and the company of gentlemen actors to which he belonged, consisted chiefly of his coadjutors in the tragedy already mentioned. He is said to have performed the characters of Marc Antony, Jaffier, Horatio, and Moneses, with distinguished applause, a circumstance that will be readily believed by those who are no strangers to his judicious and graceful manner of speaking in the pulpit. Young Cibber, being likewise a Wykehamist, called on Dr. Ridley soon after he had been appointed chaplain to the East-India Company at Poplar, and would have persuaded him to quit the Church for the Stage, observing that “ it usually paid the larger salaries of the two." For great part of his life, he had no other preferment than the small College living of Weston in Norfolk, and the donative of Poplar in Middlesex, where he resided. To these his College added, some years after, the donative of Romford, in Essex. « Between these two places the curricle of his life had," as he expressed it, “ rolled for some time almost perpetually upon postchaise wheels, and left him not time for even the proper studies of economy, or the necessary ones of his profession." Yet, in this obscure situation, he remained in possession of, and content with, domestic happiness; and was honoured with the intimate friendship of some who were not less distinguished for learning than for worth: among these, it may be sufficient to mention Bp. Lowth *, Mr.
* To the friendly communication of this learned and venerable Prelate, I was indebted for several particulars in the Me. moirs both of Dr. Ridley and Mr. Spence, which were first printed in the “ Select Collection of Poems, 1782."
Fulham, Sept. 23, 1780. “I am very much obliged to you for your kind attention to me, in sending to me the proof-sheet containing Poems of my late dear friend Mr. Spence, with an account of him. Your application to me is not improperly directed: for I have lately been emploved in preparing an article for the new edition of Biographia Britannica on the same subject. I would very readily communicate my papers to you if you should desire it; but there is no occasion for it. Your account seems sufficiently full to answer your purpose; there is nothing material omitted;
Christopher Pitt, Mr. Spence, and Dr. Berriman. To the last of these he was curate and executor, and
and it is in the main very exact. I will here give you the few remarks that occur to me.
P. 2. note, I. 2. spuriously, and 1, 5, and consequently not in orders. This is a false conclusion. He was ordained in the year 1794. The truth is, he left this pamphlet $ in the hands of a friend, to be published as soon as he had left England, with that Grub-street title, which he had drawn up merely for a disguise, not chusing to have it thought that he published it himself.
“Mr. Gray's chief objection to Polymetis is, that the author has illustrated his subject from the Roman, and not from the Greek Poets; that is, he has not performed what he never undertook; nay, what he expressly declared that he did not undertake.
“Plain matter of fact," &c. was Mr. Spence's. I think he wrote it during the Rebellion in 1745-6; and would have continued it, had the Rebellion continued. It was intended for a popular thing, and for the lower class of readers. Having no memoranda, and not knowing where to find it anong my pamphlets, I have made no mention of it in my papers, and perhaps shall not add it, or only just note it as you do. .
“I have looked over the titles of all the Poems in Dodsley's Museum and Collection; and may venture to assure you, that there is no Poem of Mr. Spence's in either, except “ An Epistle from a Swiss Officer to his Friend at Rome.” Museum, vol. II. p. 259. Collection, vol. III. p. 58.
" What you say of me is a great deal too much. I believe I looked over the whole with him before it was sent to the press; but certainly advised no alteration in Mr. Holdsworth's part, which is almost the whole. I communicated a few remarks ; and after it was finished at the press, I examined all the sheets to collect the errata, which were more numerous than we expected. Mr. Spence was not then able to do it. Mr. Holdsworth's scheme to answer the description of Jugerum, p. 528, was lost; and I made out a new one for the engraver. This, as far as I can recollect, is all that I did in it.
.“ He was found flat upon his face, at the edge, where the water was too shallow to cover his hand, or any part of his body. This I know to be true; and I wish you would add it, because certain ill-natured people gave out that he drowned himself. He could not have chosen that place so improperly, where there were other places ncar at hand quite fit for such a purpose.
"I have made a few corrections of points, &c. in the verses. I must particularly desire you to print the first word in line 12, p. 14, as corrected; which is the principal word in the Poem, and which the Oxford correctors had printed His'try, to tle ute · His account of Stephen Duck, first published in 1731, is professed to be written by Jos. Spence, Esq. Poetry Professor. See vol. II. p. 373.
preached his Funeral Sermon. In 1740 and 1741, he preached “ Eight Sermons at Lady Moyer's lec
ter ruin of the verse, and to set the reader's teeth on edge. Be pleased to give it in capitals, and with an apostrophe (HisTORY'), to direct common readers, since the Oxford critia were at a loss about it.
“ If you have any design of adding here Mr. Spence's Poem on the Birth of the Prince of Wales, I must desire you carefully to consider of that matter. That Poem was published in the Oxford Verses very imperfectly; and, I may add, unwarrantably. Mr. Spence had introduced, by way of episode, the Rus siun Tragedy, which was then first in every one's mouth, and was received with universal horror and detestation. The Oxford Crie tics very rightly, and prudently, thought it not fit to be pubJished by the University; they ought therefore to have sent it to the Author to be re-formed, or to have suppressed it entirely. Instead of this, they cut out the whole episode, about onethird of the Poem, and which was the principal part in the Author's view, and for the introduction of which the whole plan of the Poem was formed; and printed the beginning and end, without any connexion or meaning, to the total destruction of the Poem. If you print it from the Oxford copy, you must put asterisks in the middle, to shew that it is a mere fragment. But this will raise curiosity, and enquiries will be made after the middle part, of which I believe some copies may be found; and the publication of that avowedly by you, will, I think, eren now be improper. Pray let ine know what you intend as to this matter; and I beg you to do nothing in it without consulting me.- I see you are come to volume VIII of this work. Pray let me know the plan of it, and of what it consists. I should be glad of the favour of seeing you, if not inconvenient, on Thursday morning next, between 11 and 12 o'clock, when I shall be at my house in St. James's-square ; for I want to talk with you a little more at large upon some of the above particulars. I am, with great esteem, your obedient humble servant, R. LOXdon." "Sir,
Fulham, Oct. 2, 1780. "I send inclosed the proof corrected, as likewise the MS Poem, and the Latin Ode. Of the two latter be so good as to let me have a proof. The note to page 23 will do ; and I think the curious will hardly find out a copy to fill up the blank. The propriety of the two first paragraphs of the English MS Poem de pends upon the reader's being acquainted, that it was the conclud. ing Poem of the Collection, which may be signified in a note. I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, R. LONDON."
“ Oct. 10. Mr. Clitheroe's Poem on Frederick Prince of Wales is the best in that, or perhaps in any Collection of the kind: have you inserted it in your Collection” (This, I believe, is now generally known to have been writtenby the late Judge Blackstone.]
ture," which were published in 1742, 8vo. *
In !756, he declined an offer of going to Ireland as first chaplain to the Duke of Bedford; in return for which he was to have had the choice of promotion, either at Christ-church, Canterbury, West. minster, or Windsor. His modesty inducing him to leave the choice of these to his Patron, the consequence was, that he obtained no one of them all.
In 1761, Mr. Ridley published, in 4to, “ De Syriacarum Novi Federis versionum indole atque usu dissertatic,” occasioned by a Syriac version, which, with two others, were sent to him near thirty years before, by one Mr. Samuel Palmer, from Amida, in Mesopotamia p.
« Fulham, Nov. 10, 1780. “I am much obliged to you for the proof-sheet ; which I have taken the liberty to correct in many places, besides the errata of the press, chiefly in the account of Dr. Ridley, on the truth of which corrections you may depend. I could have given a more exact account of the Syriac Gospels, if I had had the book at hand; but what I have said is right, and, I believe, sufficient. There is an Ode from Horace, by Dr. Ridley, in Dodsley's Museum, vol. I. p. 135. It was written to Mr. Spence. I should think it an honour if you would add me to the list of Dr. Ridley's friends. Be pleased to send another proof of this sheet; perhaps something further may occur. I will return it without delay. Your most faithful humble servant, R. LONDON."
* Besides the Sermon above mentioned, Dr. Ridley published, 1. 2. 3. 4. The Christian Passover ; in four Sermons : in which the doctrine of the Lord's Supper is laid down according to the tenor of scripture, and the general consent of antiquity. Preached in Lent, 1736. 5. On the Rebellion, at St. Anne's, Limehouse, 1745. 6. At the funeral of W. Berriman, D. D. 1750. 7. An Assize Sermon, preached at Thetford, 1753. 8. The Lord's Prayer considered, and applied to a vindication of the Liturgy of the Church of England, at St. Mary le Bow, in pursuance of the will of Mr. John Hutchins, 1755. 9. Before the Sons of the Clergy, at St. Paul's, 1757. 10. Before the Governors of the Lying-in Hospital, 1764. * † His age and increasing infirmities, the great expence of printing, and the want of a patron to contribute towards it, prevented him from carrying this useful undertaking through the press. To this arduous task he seemed to think that none of his countrymen were equal, as may be inferred from his inviting Professor Michaelis to England for that purpose. See Gent. Mag. vol. XLIV. p. 506.
In 1763, he published the “ Life of Bishop Ridley," in 4to, which was patronized by a large subscription, among which were all the Bishops. In this work our Author proved himself worthy of the name he bore, a thorough master of the Popish controversy, and an able advocate for the Reformation.
In 1765, Mr. Ridley suffered one of the severest domestic afflictions that could befal him. His eldest son, Mr. James Ridley, had been educated at Winchester and New College, had succeeded his father at Rumford, and, treading in his steps, had early distinguished himself in the literary world: but, in the year 1761, in attending his duty as chaplain to a marching regiment at the siege of Belleisle, be there laid the foundation of some disorders, which, to the unspeakable grief of his family and friends, he never recovered, and which, some years after, being then happily married and preferred, put an early period to his life *. .
* What his father felt, and what he had lost, his son's merits, and his own sorrows, he thus pathetically expressed, in a letter to a friend : “Dear Sir,
Poplar, April 29, 1765. “ I am ashamed to have appeared so negligent in answering your kind remembrance of me, by a letter so long ago as the 5th of February; but it has pleased God to visit me so sorely since, that I have had no leisure to think of any thing but my sorrows, and the consequent troubles in which they have involved me, Presently after receiving your letter, I went to spend a few days in London, in the Temple, from whence I returned very ill, and three days brought on the gout. My son went ill out of London the day before I did, and during his illness my own confinement would not permit me to see him. About eleven days carried off as hopeful a young clergyman as an affectionate father could wish his son to be. So generous a heart, such an intimate knowledge of the powers and workings of nature, so serious and earnest a desire to serve God and mankind, with a chearful spirit and address in conveying his instructions, make his loss a great to the world as it is to me. Some specimens he has left behind him, in the humourous papers of “ The Schemer," first published in “ The London Chronicle," and afterwards collected into a volume; and he lived just long enough to finish a monthly work, in which he engaged a year before his death, publishing