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MR. JOHN DYER was born in
Carmarthenshire, and educated at Westminster school. His father, an attorney of great practice and reputation, intended to introduce this his second fon into his own business : but his genius led him a different way; besides his early taste for Poetry, he had a passion no less strong for the Arts of Design; and he determined to make Painting his profession.
With this view he made the voyage of Italy, where besides the usual study of the remains of Antiquity, and the works of the great Masters, he frequently spent whole days in the country about Rome and Florence, sketching those pittoresque prospects with facility and spirit. Images from hence naturally transported themfelves into his Poetical Compositions. The
principal beauties of the Ruins of Rome are perhaps of this kind, and the various landscapes in the Fleece have been particularly admired.
On his return to England, he soon found, he could not relish a town life, nor submit to the assiduity required in his profeflion : his talent indeed was rather for Sketching than Finishing. So he contentedly sat down in the country with his little fortune, painting now and then a Portrait or a Landscape, as his fancy led him.
As his turn of mind was rather serious, and his conduct had been irreproachable, he very properly followed the opinion of his friends, who advised him to enter into Orders. And after some time spent upon a snall cure in Warwickshire, his worthy character, and the merit of his Poetical Performances recommended him to the notice of the Ld Chancellor HARDWICKE, who presented him successively to the rectories of Belchford and Kerkby in Lin
colnshire ; as did Sir John HEATHCOTE to that of Coningsby in the same county. Upon this latter preferment he resided till the end of 1757, when a consumptive diforder with which he had long struggled, carried him off at last in the 59th year of
His character as a Writer has been fixed by the following pieces published by himfelf, and now first collected: wherein a Poetical Imagination perfectly original, a Natural Simplicity, connected with and often productive of the True Sublime, and the warmest sentiments of Benevolence and Virtue, have been universally taken notice of. As a Member of Society, the same Simplicity appeared in his Manners, joined with a liberal turn of Thinking, which feldom sollicited a Favor, and never lost a Friend