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Lost in iny Works, how oft I pass the day,
LONDON : Printed for, and under the Direction of, G. CAWTHORN, British Library, STRAND.
JOHN HUGHES. John Hughes, son of a worthy citizen of London, by Anne, the daughter of Isaac Burges, Esq. a gentleman of an aniient family and good estate in Wiltshire, was born at Marlborough in that county, Jan. 29, 1677. He was educated in London, and received the rudiments of learning in private schools.
At an early period of life he applied with ardcur in the pursuit of the sister-arts of poetry, drawing, and music, in each of which he made considerable progress; but rather followed these as agreeable amusements, being liable to frequent confinement from indispesition, and a continual valetudinary state of health.
Mr. Hughes had for some time an employment in the office of Ordnance, and was Secretary to two or three commissions under the Great Seal, for purchasing lands for the better securing the docks and harbours of Portsmouth, Chatham, and Harwich.
The Triumph of Peace was our Author's first Poem of any length which appeared in public. It was writ on occasion of the peace of Ryswick, and printed in 1637. A gentleman of Cambridge, in a letter to a friend of Mr. Hughes, 28th of February 1697-8, gires the following account of the reception that poem met with at Cambridge upon its publication. " I think !
never heard a poem read with so much admiration
as The Triumph of Peace was by our best critics “ here, nor a greater character given to a young poet “ at his first appearing; no, not even to Mr. Con
greve himself. So nobly elevared are his thoughts, "s his numbers so harmonious, and his turns so fine and “ delicate, that we cry out with Tully on a like oc
casion, Nostra spes altera Romæ !” Much about this period Mr. Hughes wrote the tragedy of Amalasont, Queen of the Goths, which displays a fertile genius and a masterly invention; but as it was never designed by him for the press, nor revised and corrected in his riper age, the diction in general was too much neglected.
The Court of Neptune was writ on King William's return from Holland, and was published in 1699, This poem he addressed to Mr. Montague, the general patron of the followers of the Muses. On this poem an ingenious gentleman, in a letter to Mr. Hughes, January 11, 1699, makes the following pertinent remarks :-“I am pleased to find that you al
ways: make choice of worthy subjects for your " Muse, and take it as an omen of something greater “ to follow. Virgil, in his Bucolics, preluded his “ Æneid, and first sung the praises of Augustus in
eclogues, or copies of verses, before he attempted
an heroic poem. I am satisfied, by this specimen, " that you will never descend into the rank of those "' little souls who make it their business only to please,