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THE

COMPLAINT;

OR,

NIGHT THOUGHTS,

ON

LIFE, DEATH,

AND

Immortality.

BY EDWARD YOUNG, L. L. D.
K

WITH THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR THOMAS TEGG,

11, CHEAPSIDE.

1815.

10

MEMOIRS

OF THE LATE

DR. EDWARD YOUNG.

EDWARD YOUNG, L. L. D. author of the Night Thoughts, and many other excellent pieces, was the only son of Dr. Edward Young, an emi→ nent, learned, and judicious divine, dean of Sarum, fellow of Winchester college, and rector of Upham, in Hampshire. He was born in the year 1684, at Upham; and, after being educated in Winchester college, was chosen on the foundation of New College at Oxford, October 13th, 1703, when he was nineteen years of age; but being superannuated

and there being no vacancy of a fellowship, he removed before the expiration of the year to Corpus Christi, where he entered himself a gentleman

commoner.

In 1708, he was put into a law fellowship, at all Souls, by Archbishop Tennison. Here he took the degree of B. C. L. in 1714, and in 1719

• Disqualified on account of his years.

D. C. L. In this year he published his Tragedy
of Busiris: in 1721, the Revenge; and in 1723,
the Brothers: about this time he published his
elegant Poem on the Last Day, which being wrote
by a Layman, gave the more satisfaction. He soon
after published the Force of Religion, or Van-
quished Love, a poem, which also gave much
pleasure, to most who read it, but more especially
to the noble family for whose entertainment it was
principally written. Some charge the Author

with a stiffness of versification in both these
poems; but they met with such success as to
procure him the particular friendship of several
of the nobility, and among the rest the patronage
of the Duke of Wharton, which greatly helped
him in his finances. By his Grace's recommen-
dation, he put up for member of parliament for
Cirencester, but did not succeed. His noble

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patron honoured him with his company to All
Souls; and, through his instance and persuasion,
was at the expence of erecting a considerable part
of the new buildings then carrying on in that college.
The turn of his mind leading him to divinity, he
quitted the law, which he had never practised,
and taking orders, was appointed chaplain in
ordinary to king George II. April 1728.

In that year he published a Vindication of Provi-
dence, in 4to. and soon after his Estimate of
Human Life, in the same size, which have gone
through several editions in 12mo. and thought by
many to be the best of his prose performances.
In 1730, he was presented by his college to the
rectory of Welwyn, in Hertfordshire, reputed

* He was naturally of an ambitious temper and dis
position.

worth 3001. a year, besides the lordship of the Manor annexed to it. He was married in 1731, to lady Betty Lee, widow of Colonel Lee, and daughter to the earl of Litchfield, (a lady of an eminent genius and great poetical talents) who brought him a son and heir not long after their marriage.

Though always in high esteem with many of the first rank, he never rose to great preferment. He was a favorite of the late Prince of Wales, his present Majesty's father; and, for some years before his death, was a pretty constant attendant at Court; but, upon the Prince's decease, all his hopes of farther rising in the church were at an end; and, towards the latter part of his life, his very desire of it seemed to be laid aside; for in his Night Thoughts he observes, that there was one, (meaning himself) in Britain born, with courtiers bred, who thought even wealth might come a day too late; however, upon the death of Dr. Hales, in 1761, he was made Clerk of the Closet to the Princess Dowager of Wales.

About the year 1741, he had the unhappiness to lose his wife, and both her children, which she had by her first husband; a son and a daughter, very promising characters. They all died within a short time of each other: that he felt greatly for their loss, as well as for that of his lady, may easily be perceived by his fine poem of the Night Thoughts, occasioned by it. This was a species of poetry peculiarly his own, and has been unrivalled by all who have attempted to copy him. His applause here was deservedly great. The unhappy Bard," whose griefs in melting numbers flow, and melancholy joys diffuse around," has

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