Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 59.djvu/233

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All or most of these ‘Poems,’ together with a series of twenty ‘Letters Amorous and Gallant,’ addressed to ‘Two Masques’ and others in a more or less sprightly style of raillery, first appeared in Tonson's ‘Miscellany,’ pt. iv. 1716. They were reprinted by Curll in 1736 as ‘revised and corrected by the author’ in 1706, with a preface dated ‘St. James', 1692,’ concerning the art of letter-writing, and, more particularly, the various species of poetry ‘proper for love.’ They subsequently appeared in the collections of Johnson (1779), Anderson (1793), Chalmers (1808), Park (1808), and Sandford (1819). The verse consists in the main of short ‘elegies,’ epigrams, and erotic poetry at large in various metres. From one of Walsh's elegies Pope borrowed the substance of a couplet, and an indifferent rhyme, in ‘Eloïsa to Abelard’ (vv. 183–4; Elwin, ii. 248; and cf. ib. p. 254, as to a possible further debt). In addition, it comprises four ‘Pastoral Eclogues’ in the conventional style, with a fifth, ‘Delia,’ in memory of Mrs. Tempest (d. 1703), whom Walsh induced Pope likewise to commemorate in his ‘Fourth Pastoral’ (‘Winter’) (Elwin, vi. 55); and the ‘visitations’ of Horace and Virgil, previously noticed. In the latter, Johnson considers ‘there was something of humour when the facts were recent; but it now strikes no longer.’ To Walsh rumour also attributed the authorship of a society ballad, ‘The Confederates, or the First Happy Day of the Island Princess,’ written in raillery of the fashionable excitement over the quarrel between the rival managers Skipwith and Betterton. Fletcher's ‘Island Princess,’ converted into an opera by Peter Anthony Motteux [q. v.], had been performed at Drury Lane in 1699 (Dryden to Mrs. Steward, 23 Feb. 1700, in Works, ed. Scott and Saintsbury, xiii. 172). In 1704 Walsh joined with Vanbrugh and Congreve in ‘Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, or Squire Trelooby,’ an adaptation of Molière's farce, which was performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields on 30 March 1704, and, with a new second act, at the Haymarket on 28 Jan. 1706 (E. Gosse, William Congreve, 1888, p. 148; Genest, English Stage, ii. 308 and 347).

Walsh's chief title to fame lies in his connection with Pope, and in the tributes from the latter that resulted from it. Pope printed their correspondence in 1735; an additional letter is among the Homer MSS. in the British Museum (all seven letters are reprinted by Elwin, vi. 49–60). Wycherley had sent to Walsh, to whom Pope then was not personally known, the manuscript of Pope's ‘Pastorals’ (or of part of them), according to Pope himself in April 1705, but this is highly improbable (see Elwin, i. 240. Pope's statement to Spence that he was ‘about 15’ when he made Walsh's acquaintance was clearly incorrect). In return Walsh praised the ‘Pastorals,’ venturing on the assertion that Virgil had written nothing so good at his age. In June Walsh wrote to the young poet in a most encouraging tone, and in the following month Pope began to consult him on particular points in reference to his poem. By July 1707 the acquaintance had become intimate enough for Walsh to write from Abberley expressing his hope to see Pope there shortly, and the latter actually went thither in August. (His statement that he spent part of the summer of 1705 with Walsh in Worcestershire is apparently one of Pope's falsifications of chronology; see Elwin, vi. 59 n.) The ‘Pastorals’ were not published till the year after Walsh's death, but the Richardson collection includes a manuscript in which are to be found at the bottom of the pages Walsh's decisions as to the various readings proposed by Pope for a number of passages (ib. i. 240). Walsh also corrected Pope's translation of book i. of the ‘Thebaïs’ of Statius, which he professed to have made in 1703 (ib. p. 45). Walsh's famous advice to Pope, related by the latter to Spence, that he should seek to be a ‘correct’ poet, this being now ‘the only way left of excellency,’ was no doubt designed to commend something beyond mere accuracy of expression (cf. ib. v. 25, and Walsh's letter to Pope of 20 July 1706). Pope eulogised Walsh in the ‘Essay on Criticism’ (1711), where near the end he, Roscommon, and Buckinghamshire are absurdly made to figure as luminous exceptions to the literary barbarism of their age. In the ‘Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot’ (1735, vv. 135–6) Pope repeated more briefly the personal acknowledgments of the ‘Essay on Criticism.’

[The Works of William Walsh in Prose and Verse, 1736; Lives of Walsh in Johnson's Lives of the English Poets, and in vol. iii. of the Account of the Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, published under the name of Theophilus Cibber, 1753; Narcissus Luttrell's Brief Relation of State Affairs; Dryden's Works, ed. Scott and Saintsbury; Pope's Works, ed. Elwin and Courthope.]

A. W. W.

WALSHE, WALTER HAYLE (1812–1892), physician, son of William Walshe, a barrister, was born in Dublin on 19 March 1812. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, entering in 1827, but did not take a degree. In 1830 he went to live in Paris, and there studied first oriental languages, but in 1832