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EORGE STEPNEY, descended from
the Stepneys of Pendigrast in Pembrokeshire, was born at Westminster in 166z. Of his father's condition or fortune we have no account. Having received the first part of his education at Westminster, where he paffed fix years in the College, he went at nineteen to Cambridge*, where he continued a friendship begun at school with Mr. Montague, afterwards Earl of Halifax. They came to London together, and are said to have been invited into publick life by the Duke of Dorset.
His qualifications recommended him to many foreign employments, so that his time
* He was entered of Trinity College, and took his Master's degree in 1689. H.
seems to have been spent in negociations. In 1692 he was sent envoy to the Elector of Brandenburgh ; in 1693 to the Imperial Court; in 1694 to the Elector of Saxony; in 1696 to the Electors of Mentz and Cologne, and the Congress at Francfort; in 1698 a second time to Brandenburgh; in 1699 to the King of Poland; in 1701 again to the Emperor'; and in 1706 to the States General. In 1697 he was made one of the commissioners of trade. His life was busy, and not long. He died in 1707; and is buried in Westminster Abbey, with this epitaph, which Jacob transcribed:
Linguæ, Styli, ac Vitæ Elegantiam, Præclara Officia cum Britanniæ tum Europæ
Plurimas Legationes obiit
Ea Fide, Diligentia, ac Felicitate, ht?"
Ut Augustissimorum Principum
Gulielmi & Annæ
Haud raro superaverit.
Brevi Temporis Spatio confectum, 63111? Cum Naturæ parum, Famæ fatis vixerat, Bu Animam ad altiora aspirantem placide efflavit
Electus in Collegium
Sancti Trinitatis Cantab. 1682.
Cura commiffa eft 1697.
It is reported that the juvenile compositions of Stepney made grey authors blush. I know not whether his
appear ders to the present age. One cannot always easily find the reason for which the world has sometimes conspired to squander praise. It is not very unlikely that he wrote very early as well as he ever wrote; and the performances of youth have many favourers, because the authors yet lay no claim to publick honours, and are therefore not considered as rivals by the distributors of fame.
He apparently profeffed himself a poet, and added his name to those of the other wits in the verfion of Juvenal; but he is
lic centious tranflator, and does not recompense
his neglect of the author by beauties of his ei 101
own. "In his original poems, now and then, a happy line may perhaps be found, and now and then a short composition may give pleafure.
But there is, in the whole, little either of the grace of wit, or the vigour of 63754-11 HIM beirtos 973
OHN PHILIPS was born on the
30th of December, 1676, at Bampton in Oxfordshire; of which place his father Dr. Stephen Philips, archdeacon of Salop, was minister. The first part of his education was domestick ; after which he was sent to Winchester, where, as we are told by Dr. Sewel, his biographer, he was soon distinguished by the superiority of his exercises ; and, what is less easily to be credited, fo much endeared himself to his schoolfellows by his civility and good-nature, that they, without murmur or ill-will, saw him indulged by the master with particular immunities. It is related, that, when he was at school, he seldom mingled in play with the other boys, but retired to his chamber; where his sovereign pleasure