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Art. DCLXXI. REV. JAMES HURDIS.
James Hordis was born about 1763; he was a native of Sussex, and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took the degree of A.M. 1787; and obtained a fellowship. In 1788 he published a poem in blank verse entitled The Village Curate ; and in 1790 Adriano, or the First of June. These poems immediately brought him into notice; and I heard them spoken of in terms of the warmest praise by an eminent Oxford scholar at the time of their first appearance; while others equally condemned them. They are too much an echo of Cowper; but still they possess considerable merit; and by no means deserve the contemptuous terms, in which Miss Seward has spoken of them in her Memoirs of Darwin. In 1790 he published A short Critical Disquisition on the true meaning of a passage in Genesis, i. 21. In 1793, when he was curate of Burwash in Sussex, he addressed to the inhabitants of that parish Reflections on the Commencement of the New Year. In that year he had the honour of being elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford, against the competition of Mr. Kett. I have heard Oxford men say, with what truth I know not, that his scholarship was
not equal to the situation. Perhaps the soreness of the contest had not then subsided. In point of natural endowments he was far superior to some, who have filled that office. He published also A volume of Poems, 1791, including the play of Sir Thomas More,–Cursory Remarks upon the Arrangement of Shakspeare's Plays, occasioned by reading Mr. Malone's Essay on the Chronological order of those celebrated pieces, 1792; and Select Critical Remarks upon the English Version of the ten first chapters of Genesis, 1794. He likewise gave a new edition of Drayton's Heroical Epistles. He was a correspondent of Cowper, several of whose letters to him are in Hayley's Life of that poet. He died at Black bourn, Co. Lancaster, Dec. 22, 1801, aged 38; leaving a character of uncommon gentleness and purity of mind and conduct.
ART. DCLXXII. REV. HENRY MOORE.
This ingenious man was, I believe, a dissenting minister in the west of England, where he wasted a long life in obscurity. He was a flower
born to blush unseen And waste its sweetness on the desert air,
After his death some fruits of his genius however were given to the public, by Dr. Aikin, under the title of Poems Lyrical and Miscellaneous of the late Rev. Henry Moore. Dr. Aikin says, “ They will not, perhaps, rank among the more original poems of the language; but I am mistaken if they will not maintain a permanent place among the most splendid, the most melodious, the most elevated in
sentiment and diction. The versification of the Odes is perhaps too void of regularity, but it abounds in strains exquisitely musical, and often happily adapted to the subject. The imagery is singularly grand, elegant, and rich ; and both the sublime and the pathetic are touched with a master hand. Above all, these pieces are characterized by that expansive glow of benevolence, that ardour of pure and rational devotion, which, when allied to genuine poetry, exert the noblest influence on the soul." * He died Feb. 2, 1802, æt. 71.
ART. DCLXXIII. THOMAS DERMODY. · A young man, whose vicious excesses, and total want of principle and conduct in every action of life, consigned him to a premature grave in Oct. 1802, after his genius blazing through obscurity of birth in Ireland, and almost incredible distresses, created by his own infatuated misbehaviour, had led him into the paths of distinction and patronage. He published a volume of poems in the year in which he died. It exhibits many proofs of wonderful powers, when the circumstances of low dissipation, and debauchery, under which it was written, are considered. It shews the strangest and most unaccountable inconsistency between a mind, which could feel all the delicacies of sentiment, and all the niceties of language; and a conduct which was hardened to the lowest state of vice.
The following Sonnet to Lord Moira breathes a moral pathos, which we should only expect from a virtuous heart.
etters on English Poetry, p. 295.