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A NEW AND GENERAL
JEPHSON (ROBERT), the author of some dramas and
poems of considerable merit, was a native of Ireland, where he was born in 1736. He appears to have profited by a liberal education, but entered early into the army, and attained the rank of captain in the 73d regiment of foot on the Irish establishment. When that regiment was reduced in 1763, he was put on the half-pay list. In 1763 he became acquainted with the late William Gerard Hamilton, esq. who was charmed with his liveliness of fancy and uncommon talents, and for about five years they lived together in the greatest and most unreserved intimacy; Mr. Jephson usually spending the summer with Mr. Hamilton at his house at Hampton-court, and also giving him much of his company in town during the winter. In 1767, Mr. Jephson married one of the daughters of Sir Edward Barry, bart. a celebrated physician, and author of various medical works; and was obliged to bid a long farewell to his friends in London, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Burke, Mr. Charles Townsend, Garrick, Goldsmith, &c. in consequence of having accepted the office of master of the horse to lord viscount Townsend, then appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. Mr. Hamilton also used his influence to procure Mr. Jephson a permanent provision on the Irish establishment, of 300l. a year, which the duke of Rutland, from personal regard, and a high admiration of Mr. Jephson's talents, increased to 600l. per anuum, for the joint lives of himself and Mrs. Jephson. In addition to this proof of bis kindness and esteem, Mr. Hamilton never ceased, with
kind of solicitation, to watch over Mr. Jephson's
interest with the most lively solicitude; constantly apply
ing in person, in his behalf, to every new lord lieutenant, if he were acquainted with him; or, if that were not the case, contriving by some circuitous means to procure Mr. Jephson's re-appointment to the office originally conferred upon him by lord Townsend; and by these means chiefly he was continued for a long series of years, under twelve successive governors of Ireland, in the same station, which always before had been considered a temporary office. In Mr. Jephson's case, this office was accompanied by a seat in the house of commons, where he occasionally amused the house by his wit, but does not at any time appear to have been a profound politician. His natural inclination was for literary pursuits; and he supported lord Townsend's government with more effect in the "Bachelor," a set of periodical essays which he wrote in conjunction with Mr. Courtenay, the Rev. Mr. Burroughs, and others. He died at his house at Blackrock, near Dublin, of a paralytic disorder, May 31, 1803.
As a dramatic writer, his claims seem to be founded chiefly on his tragedies of "Braganza," and "The Count of Narbonne." "Braganza" was very successful on its original appearance, but fell into neglect after the first season, in 1775. Horace Walpole, whose admiration of it is expressed in the most extravagant terms, addressed to the author "Thoughts on Tragedy," in three letters, which are included in his printed works. In return, Mr. Jephson took the story of his "Count of Narbonne" from Walpole's "Castle of Otranto," and few tragedies in our times have been more successful. It was produced in 1781, and continued to be acted until the death of Mr. Henderson, the principal performer. Of Mr. Jephson's other dramas it may be sufficient to give the names: "The Law of Lombardy," a tragedy, 1779; "The Hotel," farce, 1783; "The Campaign," an opera, 1785; "Julia,” a tragedy, 1787; "Love and War," 1787, and "Two Strings to your Bow," 1791, both farces; and "The Conspiracy," a tragedy. Mr. Jephson afterwards acquired a considerable share of poetical fame from his "Roman Portraits," a quarto poem, or rather collection of poems, characteristic of the Roman heroes, published in 1794, which exhibited much taste and elegance of versification. About the same time he published anonymously, "The Confession of James Baptiste Couteau," 2 vols. 12mo, a kind of satire on the perpetrators of the revolutionary
atrocities in France, and principally the wretched duke of Orleans.1
JEREMIAH, metropolitan of Larissa, was raised to the patriarchal chair of Constantinople in 1572, when only in the thirty-sixth year of his age. The Lutherans presented to him the confession of Augsburg, in hopes of his approbation; but he opposed it, both in his speeches and writings. He seemed even not far from uniting the Greek to the Roman church, and had adopted the reformation of Gregory XIII. in the calendar; but some persons, who were envious of him, taking occasion from thence to accuse him of corresponding with the pope, procured his banishment in 1585. Two years after he was recalled and restored to his dignity, but from that time we find no account of him. His correspondence with the Lutherans was printed at Wittemberg, in Greek and Latin, 1584, folio. It had previously been published by a Catholic, in Latin,
JERNINGHAM (EDWARD), an elegant English poet, descended from an ancient Roman catholic family in Norfolk, was the youngest brother of the late sir William Jerningham, bart, and was born in 1727. He was educated in the English college at Douay, and from thence removed to Paris, where he improved himself in classical attainments, becoming a good Latin scholar, and tolerably well acquainted with the Greek, while the French and Italian languages, particularly the former, were nearly as familiar to him as that of his native country. In his mind, benevolence and poetry had always a mingled operation. His taste was founded upon the best models of literature, which, however, he did not always follow, with respect to style, in his latter performances. The first production which raisedhim into public notice, was a poem in recommendation of the Magdalen hospital; and Mr. Jonas Hanway, one of its most active patrons, often declared, that its success was very much promoted by this poem. He continued occasionally to afford proofs of his poetical genius; and his works, which passed through many editions, are uniformly marked by taste, elegance, and a pensive character, that always excites tender and pleasing emotions; and in some of his works, as in "The Shakspeare Gallery," "Enthu
1 Malone's Life of the Hon. W. G. Hamilton.-Biog. Dram.-Lord Orford's Works, vol. II. p. 305.--Davies's Life of Garrick, vol. II. p. 286.
2 Moreri. Dict. Hist.
siasm," and "The Rise and Fall of Scandinavian Poetry," he displays great vigour, and even sublimity. The first of these poems had an elegant and spirited compliment from Mr. Burke, in the following passage:-"I have not for a long time seen any thing so well-finished. He has caught new fire by approaching in his perihelium so near to the Sun of our poetical system."-His last work, published a few months before his death, was entitled "The Old Bard's Farewell." It is not unworthy of his best days, and breathes an air of benevolence and grateful piety for the lot in life which Providence had assigned him.-In bis later writings it has been objected that he evinces a species of liberal spirit in matters of religion, which seems to consider all religions alike, provided the believer is a man of meekness and forbearance. With this view in his "Essay on the mild Tenour of Christianity" he traces historically the efforts to give an anchorite-cast to the Christian profession, and gives many interesting anecdotes derived from the page of Ecclesiastical history, but not always very happily applied. His "Essay on the Eloquence of the Pulpit in England," (prefixed to bishop Bossuet's Select Sermons. and Orations) was very favourably received by the public, but his notions of pulpit eloquence are rather French than English. Mr. Jerningham had, during the course of a long life, enjoyed an intimacy with the most eminent literary characters in the higher ranks, particularly the celebrated earl of Chesterfield, and the present earl of Carlisle. The illness which occasioned his death, had continued for some months, and was at times very severe; but his sufferings were much alleviated by a course of theological study he had imposed on himself, and which he considered most congenial to a closing life. He died Nov. 17, 1812. He bequeathed all his manuscripts to Mr. Clarke, New Bond-street. Mr. Jerningham's productions are as follow: 1. "Poems and Plays," 4 vols. 9th edition, 1806. 2. "Select Sermons and Funeral Orations, translated from the French of Bossuet, bishop of Meaux," third edition, 1801. 3. "The mild Tenour of Christianity, an Essay, (elucidated from Scripture and History; containing a new illustration of the characters of several eminent personages,)" second edition, 1807. 4. "The Dignity of Human Nature, an Essay," 1805. 5. "The Alexandrian School; or, a narrative of the first Christian Professors in Alexandria," third edition, 1810. 6. "The Old Bard's Fare