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IX.

ON GENERAL HENRY WITHERS,

IN WESTMINSTER-ABBEY, 1729.

HERE, WITHERS, rest! thou bravest, gentlest mind,
Thy Country's friend, but more of human kind.
Oh born to Arms! O Worth in Youth approv'd!
O soft Humanity, in Age belov'd!
For thee the hardy Vet'ran drops a tear,
And the gay Courtier feels the sigh sincere.

WITHERS, adieu! yet not with thee remove
Thy Martial spirit, or thy social love!
Amidst Corruption, Luxury, and Rage,
Still leave some ancient Virtues to our age:
Nor let us say (those English glories gone)
The last true Briton lies beneath this stone.

NOTES.

5

10

Here, Withers, rest!] In the early part of his life, Pope associated much with General Withers, and his friend Colonel Disney, commonly called, in Pope's correspondence, Duke Disney, who resided with the General at Greenwich. They are mentioned in Gay's Poem on Pope's supposed return from Greece, in the following

stanza:

Now pass we Gravesend with a friendly wind,
And Tilbury's white fort, and long Blackwall;
Greenwich, where dwells the friend of human kind,
More visited than either park or hall,
WITHERS the good, and (with him ever joined)
Facetious DISNEY, greet thee first of all.

I see his chimney smoke, and hear him say,
Duke! that's the room for POPE, and that for GAY.

X.

ON MR. ELIJAH FENTON,

AT EASTHAMSTED IN BERKS, 1730.

THIS modest Stone, what few vain marbles can, May truly say, Here lies an honest Man:

A Poet, blest beyond the Poet's fate,

Whom Heav'n kept sacred from the Proud and Great:

Foe to loud Praise, and Friend to learned Ease, 5 Content with Science in the Vale of Peace.

NOTES.

Ver. 9. From Nature's temp'rate feast, &c.] Wakefield quotes Horace :

Inde fit, ut raro qui se vixisse beatum

Dicat, et exacto contentus tempore vitæ,
Cedat, uti, conviva satur, reperire queamus.

His integrity, his learning, and his genius, deserved this character; it is not in any respect over wrought. His poems are not sufficiently read and admired. The Epistle to Southerne, the Ode to the Sun, the Fair Nun, and, above all, the Ode to Lord Gower, are excellent. Akenside frequently said to me, that he thought this Ode the best in our language, next to Alexander's Feast. "I envy Fenton," said Pope to Mr. Walter Harte, "his Horatian Epistle to Lambard." Parts of Mariamne are beautiful, and it ought to take its turn on the stage. Just before he died, Fenton was introduced into Mr. Craggs' family by Pope's recommendation. Warton.

Pope has left another character of Fenton, not inconsistent with the above. "Fenton is a right honest man. He is fat and indolent; a very good scholar; sits within, and does nothing but read, or compose."-Spence's Anec. p. 19. Singer's Ed.

Calmly he look'd on either Life, and here
Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear;
From Nature's temp'rate feast rose satisfy'd,
Thank'd Heav'n that he had liv'd, and that he dy'd.

XI.

ON MR. GAY,

IN WESTMINSTER-ABBEY, 1732.

Or Manners gentle, of Affections mild;
In Wit, a Man; Simplicity, a Child:

With native Humour temp'ring virtuous Rage,
Form'd to delight at once and lash the age:
Above Temptation, in a low Estate,

5

And uncorrupted ev'n among the Great:
A safe Companion, and an easy Friend,
Unblam'd through Life, lamented in thy End.
These are thy Honours! not that here thy Bust
Is mix'd with Heroes, or with Kings thy dust; 10
But that the Worthy and the Good shall say,
Striking their pensive bosoms-Here lies GAY.

NOTES.

Ver. 1. Of Manners gentle,] "The eight first lines," says Johnson, "have no grammar; the adjectives are without any substantives, and the epithets without a subject." Warton.

Ver. 2. In Wit, &c.] This seems derived from Dryden's Elegy

on Mrs. Anne Killegrew :

"Her wit was more than man; her innocence a child."

Wakefield.

Ver. 3. virtuous Rage,] Silius Italicus, v. 652, has the same ex

pression:

Virtutis sacram rabiem.

Wakefield.

Ver.

Ver. 12. Here lies GAY.] i. e. in the hearts of the good and worthy.-Mr. Pope told me his conceit in this line was not generally understood. For, by peculiar ill-luck, the formulary expression which makes the beauty, misleads the reader into a sense which takes it quite away. Warburton. The conceit in the last line is certainly very puerile, and a false thought borrowed from Crashaw:

66

Entomb'd, not in this stone but in my heart."

CRASHAW, Poems, p. 94.

Warton.

XII.

INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON,

IN WESTMINSTER-ABBEY.

ISAACUS NEWTONUS:

Quem Immortalem

Testantur Tempus, Natura, Cœlum:

Mortalem

Hoc marmor fatetur.

Nature and Nature's Laws lay hid in Night: GOD said, Let Newton be! and all was Light.

NOTES.

Ver. 1. Nature] The antithesis betwixt Mortalem and Immortalem is much unsuited to the subject; and the second English line, "God said, &c." borders a little on the profane. The magnificent Fiat of Moses will be always striking and admired, notwithstanding the cold objections of Le Clerc and Huet. Warton.

Ver. 2. Let Newton be!] He was born on the very day on which

Galileo

Galileo died,

When Ramsay was one day complimenting him on his discoveries in philosophy, he answered, as I read it in Spence's Anecdotes, "Alas! I am only like a child picking up pebbles on the shore of the great ocean of truth." Warton.

And all was Light.] It had been better-and there was Light— as more conformable to the reality of the fact, and to the allusion whereby it is celebrated. Warburton.

XIII.

ON DR. FRANCIS ATTERBURY,

BISHOP OF ROCHESTER.

Who died in Exile at Paris, 1732, (his only Daughter having expired in his Arms, immediately after she arrived in France to see him).

DIALOGUE.

SHE.

YES, we have liv'd-one pang, and then we part! May Heav'n, dear Father! now have all thy Heart. Yet ah! how once we lov'd, remember still,

Till

you are dust like me.

HE.

Dear Shade! I will:

Then mix this dust with thine-O spotless Ghost!

NOTES.

Ver. 1. Yes, we have liv'd-] I know not why this Dialogue should be called an Epitaph. Dr. Johnson says, "it is contemptible, and should have been suppressed for the Author's sake." I see no reason for this harsh sentence passed upon it. Warton.

Dr.

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