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With her I scorn the idle breath of praise,
Stanhope, in wisdom as in wit divine,
Let Stanhope speak his listening country's wrongs,
his rural friend,
Hers be the care of all my little train,
For her I'll yoke my oxen to the plough,'
Delia alone can please, and never tire,
Oh, when I die, my latest moments spare,
Let them, extended on the decent bier,
WILLIAM SOMERVILE, an agreeable poet, was born in 1692, at his father's seat at Edston, in Warwickshire. He was educated at Winchester school, whence he was elected to New College, Oxford. His political attachments were to the Whig party, as appeared from his praises of Marlborough, Stanhope, and Addison. To the latter of these he addressed a poem, in which there is the happy couplet alluded to in the Spectator :
“ When panting Virtue her last efforts made,
“ You brought your Clio to the Virgin's aid." “ Clio" was known to be the mark by which Addison distinguished his papers in that miscellany.
Somervile inherited considerable paternal estate, on which he principally lived, acting as a magistrate, and pursuing with ardour the amusements of a sportsman, varied with the studies of a man of letters. His mode of living, which was hospitable, and addicted to conviviality, threw him into pecuniary embarrassments, which preyed on
his mind, and plunged him into habits which shortened his life. He died in 1742; and his friend Shenstone, with much feeling, announces the event to one of his corr nts. Somervile passed his life in celibacy, and made over the reversion of his estate to Lord Somervile, a branch of the same family, charged with a jointure to his mother, then in her 90th year.
As a poet, he is chiefly known by “ The Chase," a piece in blank verse, which maintains a high rank in the didactic and descriptive classes. Being composed by one who was perfectly conversant with the sports which are its subject, and entered into them with enthusiasm, his pictures greatly surpass the draughts of the same kind which are attempted by poets by profession. Another piece connected with this is entitled “ Field Sports;” but only describes that of hawking. In his “ Hobbinol, or Rural Games," he attempts the burlesque with tolerable success. Of his other pieces, serious and comic, there are few which add to his fame.
Argument. The subject proposed. Address to his royal high
ness the prince. The origin of hunting. The rude and unpolished manner of the first hunters. Beasts at first hunted for food and sacrifice. The grant made by God to man of the beasts, &c. The regular manner of hunting first brought into this island by the Normans. The best hounds and best horses bred here. The advantage of this exercise to us, as islanders. Address to gentlemen of estates. Situation of the kennel and its several courts. The diversion and employment of hounds in the kennel. The different sorts of hounds for each different chase. Description of a perfect hound. Of sizing and sorting of hounds; the middle-sized hound recommended. Of the large deep-mouthed hound for hunting the stag and otter. Of the lime-hound; their use on the borders of England and Scotland. A physical account of scents. Of good and bad scenting days. A short admonition to my
brethren of the couples. The Chase I sing, hounds, and their various breed, And no less various use. O thou, great prince ! Whom Cambria's towering hills proclaim their lord, Deign thou to hear my bold, instructive song. While grateful citizens with pompous show, Rear the triumphal arch, rich with th' exploits Of thy illustrious house ; while virgins pave