Austin, Samuel (fl.1658) (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

AUSTIN, SAMUEL, the younger (fl. 1658), poetical writer, inherited little of his father's humility, and seems, indeed, to have been an arrant coxcomb. He became a commoner of Wadham College, Oxford, in 1652, took his B.A. degree in 1656, and afterwards migrated to Cambridge. At Oxford he made a laughing-stock of himself by his inordinate self-conceit. Wood is very severe on him: 'Such was the vanity of this person that he, being extremely conceited of his own worth, and overvaluing his poetical fancy more than that of Cleveland, who was then accounted the "hectoring prince of poets," fell into the hands of the satyrical wits of this university, who, having got some of his prose and poetry, served him as the wits did Tho. Coryat in his time.' These pieces of verse and prose, rendered more ridiculous by grotesque alterations and additions, were published in 1658 'by express order from the Writs,' under the title of 'Naps upon Parnassus; a sleepy Muse nipt and pincht, though not awakened.' A number of satirical commendatory verses is prefixed, among the contributors to which were Thomas Flatman, fellow of New College; Thomas Sprat, of Wadham College, afterwards bishop of Rochester; George Castle, of All Souls'; Alexander Amidci, a Jew and teacher of Hebrew at Oxford; Sylvanus Taylour, of All Souls', and others. At the restoration of Charles II, Austin came before the public with a fulsome 'Panegyrick' (1661). Luckily this awkward attempt in the Pindaric measure fell stillborn from the press. In a prefatory note to the 'Panegyrick' he threatens that 'the author, according as these find acceptance, intends a larger book of poems.' Then he enumerates the subjects that he intends to take in hand, among which are 'Christ's Love to his Church, shadowed out in Joseph and Potiphar's Daughter in a familiar Dialogue betwixt them,' 'Two Lovers in one Heart,' 'The Young Man's speech to a silent Woman,' &c. What became of him after the publication of the 'Panegyrick' is not known.

[Wood, Athen. Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 499, iii. 675; Corser's Collectanea, i. 90-93; Boase and Courtney, Biblioth. Cornub. i. 8.]

A. H. B.