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veil on his mother. He was fent to Eton fchool, and to King's College in Cambridge; but Mr. Wood, in his Athen. Oxm. lays, that he was mostly trained in grammar learning under Mr. Dobfon, minister of Great Wycombe m Bucks. He gave early difcoveries of that acutenefs of imagination which afterwards breathed throHghhis poetical and profe compoffitions; for at fixteen years of age he was elected burgefs for Aymesham, and took his feat in the Houfe of Commons in the third parliament of James I. That our Auth or did not exceed the years here afcribed to him, is evident from his own words; " I wasbut fixteen," fays he, "when I fat first; and fometimes it has "been thought fit that young men may be early in "councils, that they may be alive when others are "dead." And hence Lord Clarendon has obferved, in hischaracterofyoungWaller, "that hewasnurfed "in parliaments." He obtained a feat in parliament a fecond time,before arriving at theage of manhood, for the borough of Chipping-Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, in the first parliament of Charles I.; and in the third parliament of the fame prince he was again elected for Aymesham.
Our Author began to give proofs of his poetical genius fo early as the year 1613, when he had not exceeded his 18th year, as appears from the copy of verfes " Upon the danger his Majesty (being prince) "efcaped in the road of St. Andero ;" for there Prince Charles, before fetting fail for England, after long foliciting a marriage with the Infanta at the Spanifh court, gave a magnificent entertainment on board the British admiral, then in the port of St. Andero, to fome Spanish noblemen whohad efcorted him from Madrid; but in going ashore, the prince, with his company, were on the point, of perishing in a violent storm. In this beautiful panegyrick we meet with that unexpected, yet natural approximation, comparifon, and contrast of disserent images, which characterize the writings of Waller. Yet perhaps it was not fo much owing to his wit, his fine parts, or his talent for poetry, that he came first to be publicklyknown and distinguifhed, as to his carrying oss the daughter and fole heirefs of a rich citizen, against arival,whofe interest was efpoufed by the court. This lady was Anne, the daughter of Richard Banks, Efq. and Waller's rival was a1 gentleman of the name of Crofts, who paid his addreffes to the lady backed by the influence and interest of the court. It is not known at what time he married this lady, but he was a widower before reaching his 25 th year, when he began to entertain a paffion for Sacliariffa, which wa3 a fictitious name for the Lady Dorothy Sidney, the eldest daughter of the Earl of Leicester, afterwards Countefs of Sunderland. She was one of the celebrated beauties of that age, and in her were united every perfonal and mental accomplishment.
. He now lived more expenfively than ufual, was lenown at court, was caressed by all the people of quality who had any relifh for wit and polite literature, and made one of that celebrated club, of which Lord Falkland, Mr.Chillingworth, Sir FrancisWetiman, Mr. Godolphin, and other distinguished men, were members. By mixingwith the learned and virtuous, our ideasare arranged, our knowledge becomes more dissufed, and our best habits are formed and strengthened; for the clofet only begins that work which fociety completes, by giving the mind all that embellifhment and dignity which it is capable of receiving.
At one of thefe meetings this illustrious club of wits heard a noife in the street, and were told that a fon of Benjonhfon was arrested. The unhappy man was fent for, who proved to be Mr. George Morley, afterwards Bifhop of Winchester. Mr. Waller liked him so well that he paid the debt, which was about ice/, on condition he agreed to live with him at Beaconsfield. Mr. Morley did fo for feveral years; and Waller ufed frequently to acknowledge, that from this gentleman he imbibed a taste for the ancient writers, and acquired what he had of their manner. As Mr. Waller, prior to this incident with Morley, had given fpecimens of his poetical genius, we are only to fuppofe that Morley improved and refined thij propenfity.
The above circumstance is contradicted by Lord Clarendon, and. upon his authority ,byMr.Stochdale, who has lately obliged the world with the life uf our Poet. According to this !ast biograph~r,Morley,wbo. wasoneofthe politest fcholars of the age, was related to our Aurhor, and their love of letters produced an intimacy and friendfhip between them. He further obferves, " that Morley ufed often to vifit Waiter at "Beacon.-field, a^ii nfiift him in his literary progrefs. "He directed him in his choice of books; he read "with dim .trie capital authors of antiquity; he en"krged bis understating, ai:U ref.ntd his taste. "That his coufin Wallt:r, therefore, might gain all "possible improvement, and rife to that confequence "which he n;ighr derive from his uncommon abi"lilies, he introduced him into Lord Falkland's "club."—" He brought him,"fay.I.ordCIarendon, "into that company which was most celebrated for "good converfation."
During the long interm iffion of parliaments, from I019 to I(j4c, Waller dedicated most of his time to the profecution of his studies. \t length a parliament **s called iu the 164' .which iscalied the Short Parliament, as it met on the 13th of April, and was diffolved before the end of May. This long recefs of parliament having difgusted the nation, and raifed Kaluilies against thedefignsofthe court,whichwould it futetodifieover themfclveswhenever the King came to ask a fupply, Mr. Waller, elected for Aymesham, refolved to attack the late meafures of the court, anc plead the caufe of freedom and the people. On tht *zd April i640, in a most animated fpeech, fortunately preferved, he gives us fome notions of his general principles in government. He propofed to the Houfe, that the necesfary fubfidies should be granted to the King; but that before they were taken into confideration the faults of administration mould be examined and redreffed, liberty consirmed, and property fecured. This fpeech does Waller honour, as it evinces he was equally an enemy to defpotifm and anarchy, and that he meant not to abridge the lawful authority of che King, thoughhe strenuoufly vindicated the rights of the people.
The Long Parliament met on the 3d of Nov. 164c, in which Waller again reprefented Aymesham for the third time. Being now warmJy actuated with that general fpirit of oppofition to the court, which the abrupt diffolution of the preceding parliament, and other unpopular meafures of the King and his ministers had excited, (although it does not appear that al this crisis he harboured any rebellious designs againU his fovereign) Waller was appointed to fupport the impeachment against Judge Crawley, Accordingly on the lAth July 164 (, at a conference of the Two Houfes, he delivered the impeachment, and enforces it with a fpeech replete with painted wit andnervx,w