SOUTHERN

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SOUTHERN, Thomas, a dramatic poet, was born at Dublin, in 1660, and educated there at Trinity college. In 1678, he went to London, with the view of making the law his profession, and entered himself of the Middle Temple, but soon abandoned the study, and dedicated his time to the cultivation of his muse. His first dramatic effort was a tragedy, entitled the Persian Prince, or the Loyal Brother, founded on the story of Shah Thamas. It was first performed in 1682, and, besides raising the author's reputation, procured him the favor of the duke of York, to whom he had paid his court in it. On the accession of James to the throne, Southern went into the army, and rose to the command of a company, in which he served during Monmouth's rebellion. Another of his tragedies, the Spartan Dame, written in 1687, was acted in 1721. From this period, he continued to produce occasionally comedies as well as tragedies: in the former style of composition, however, he was far from being successful; out two of his tragedies yet keep possession of the stage. These are his Oronooko, founded, it is said, on a true story, which forms the groundwork of one of Mrs. Behn's novels; and Innocent Adultery, which, under its modern name, Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage, is one of the most pathetic dramas in the language. The latter part of his days was passed ir ease and affluence. His death took plac* in 1746, when he had attained the ad vanced age of eightysix. His works have gone through several editions.