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she would be graciously pleased to promote Mr. Benjamin Hoadley, for his strenuous exertions in vindicating the constitution of 1688; a motion which for a time rendered him an object of hatred to the Jacobites and Non-jurors.
The favourite diversion of Mr. Henley was music, of which he was an exquisite judge. He sung with great art, and performed upon several instruments with approved skill; he wrote several poems also for music, and the greater part of the opera of Alexander, which was set by his friend Mr. Purcel. So highly, indeed, was his knowledge of this charming art estecmed, that not an opera could be certain of applause until it had received his approbation.
His social and companionable qualities, his vivacity and humour, rendered him a valuable acquisition to the first associations of conviviality and wit. He was, therefore, a member of seve-, ral clubs; and among these, of the celebrated Kit-Cat, where he became acquainted with Dr. Garth, who entertained so high an opinion of his abilities and character, that he dedicated his Dispensary to him in terms which must lead the reader to form a very exalted idea of the virtues and accomplishments of our author.
This amiable man died on the eleventh of August, 1711, at a period of life when his friends, and the public had reason to hope for a much longer enjoyment of his worth and utility.
Though the compositions of Mr. Henley, both in politics and general literature, are supposed to have been numerous, they are at present little known, owing probably to the anonymous form under which they appeared. “ Mr. Henley," says his earliest biographer, “ wrote several things, though he did not put his name to them; I have been informed, that he often assisted the writers of the Tatler and Medley. Be it as it will, 'tis certain no man wrote with more wit and more gaiety. He affected a low simplicity in his writings, and in particular was extremely happy in touching the manners and passions of parents and children, masters and servants, peasants and tradesmen, using their expressions so naturally and aptly, that he has very frequently disguised by it both his merit and character." *
That our author was a frequent correspondent of Steele in the Tatler may be deduced from Gay's pamphlet, entitled “The Present State of Wit." "I have heard,” remarks that gentleman to his friend, speaking of the Tatler, " that several of those letters which came as from un
• See Memoirs of the Most Illustrious Persons, who died in the year 1711, page 534. London, 8vo. 1719.
known hands were written by Mr. Henley ; which is an answer to your query, who those friends are whom Mr. Steele speaks of in his last Tatler." * The annotator, likewise, upon No 25 of the Tatler, having occasion to mention Mr. Henley, observes, “this fine gentleman and elegant writer was certainly a writer in the Tatler, and, it may be, in the first or second volumes of the Spectator. The late Bishop of Rochester, Dr. Z. Pearce, remembered his having read, or heard read, a paper written by A. Henley, Esq. which Steele thought too severe on the ministry, and durst not venture to publish.”+
Yet, notwithstanding there is great probability in the supposition that Mr. Henley was a contributor to every volume of the Tatler, only one piece can be pointed out as certainly his; and that is, a Letter in No. 193, with the signature of J. Downes. It is a composition of a political and satirical cast; for, under the character of the supposed writer (Downes the prompter) the first Duke of Leeds is alluded to, and by “a gentleman of the inns of court,” is meant Harley the minister. Of this letter C.Cibber has expressed his opinion, by declaring that “ the affairs of the
• Swift's Works, Nichols's edition, vol. xviii. p. 38, 39. 1 Tatler, octavo edition of 1797, voi. I. p. 223, Note.
state and the stage are compared in it with a great deal of wit and humour;"* and Steele, in a letter addressed to Nestor Ironside, Esq. in the Guardian, and sigued with his own name, has thus spoken of it: “Old Downes is a fine piece of raillery, of which I wish I had been author. All I had to do in it was to strike out what related to a gentlewoman about the queen, whom I thought a woman free from ambition, and I did it out of regard to innocence.”+ It is remarkable, that when Steele wrote his preface to the fourth volume of the Tatler, he was ignorant that Henley was the writer of this epistle, though one of his most intimate friends, and classes it as the production of an unknown correspondent. It should not be concealed, likewise, that Mr. Temple Stanyan is said to have assisted Henley in the composition of this political satire.
34. JAMES GREENWOOD was the teacher of a boarding-school at Woodford in Essex, and the author of an “ Essay towards a practical English Grammar," which was accompanied with notes. At the commencement of the 18th century, when few attempts had been made to regulate the structure of our language, this was a very valuable • Life of Cibber, vol.i. p. 298, edition of 1756, 12mo.
work, and justly entitled the writer to the thanks of his countrymen. Mr. Greenwood contributed a very useful letter to the Tatler on education, N° 234; in which he particularly insists on the advantage and propriety of well grounding the student in the English grammar preparatory to his initiation in classical literature. Towards the close of this epistle, he speaks in high terms of a grammar, with notes, then in the press, and which was afterwards published in 1711.* “On
of this grammar," says the annotator, prefixed or annexed, was engraven the head of Cato the Censor, in compliment to Steele in the character of Bickerstaff; and from the other, he (the annotator) copied faithfully the following recommendation of the book. " This treatise being submitted to my censure, that I may pass it with integrity, I must declare,- That as grammar, in general, is on all hands allowed the foundation of all arts and sciences; so it appears to me, that this grammar of the English tongue has done that justice to our language, which till now it never obtained. The text will improve the most ignorant, and the notes will employ the most learned. I therefore enjoin all my female
• The full title of this grammar is as follows: “A Grammar of the English Tongue, with Notes, giving the Grounds and Reason of Grammar in general, printed for John Brigbtland, 1711."