Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Prior, Matthew (1664-1721), was educated under Dr. Busby at Westminster School, and became scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge, where, with his friend Charles Montague, he wrote The Story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse, aparody of Dryden's Hindand Panther. Some time after leaving Cambridge he obtained, through the influence of Dorset, the post of secretary to the English ambassador at The Hague. In 1697 he brought over to England the Treaty of Ryswick, and in the following year was transferred to the Paris embassy. In 1711 he was sent to Paris with proposals of peace, and in the following year accompanied Bolingbroke thither. For his share in the Peace of Utrecht he was impeached by the Whigs and imprisoned, and spent the rest of his days in retirement. Prior owes his reputation to his poems, collections of which were published in 1709 and 1718. Alma, or the Progress of the Mind is a long poem in imitation of the author of Hudibras; but it is in his occasional verse, short lyrics and epigrams in the manner of Ovid and Horace, that he chiefly shines.