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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 understool. For, by peculiar ill-luck, the formulary expression which makes the beauty, misleads the reader into a sense which takes it quite avay. Warburton.
The conceit n the last line is certainly very puerile, and a false thought borroved from Crashaw:
Entonb'd, not in this stone but in my heart."
CRASHAW, Poems, p. 94.
INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON,
Tesantur Tempus, Natura, Cœlum:
Hoc marmor fatetur.
Nature ad Nature's Laws lay hid in Night: GOD sad, Let Newton be! and all was Light.
Ver. 1. Natre] The antithesis betwixt Mortalem and Immortalem is much unsuited to the subject; and the second English line, "God said, &" borders a little on the profane. The magnificent Fiat of Moses ill be always striking and admired, notwithstanding the cold objectns of Le Clerc and Huet. Warton.
Ver. 2. Let Jewton be!] He was born on the very day on which
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.
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).
YES, we have liv'd-one pang, and then we part!
Till you are dust like me.
Dear Shade! I will:
Then mix this dust with thine-O spotless Ghost!
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.
O more than Fortune, Friends, or Country lost! Is there on Earth one care, one wish beside? Yes-SAVE MY COUNTRY, HEAV'N,
Dr. Johnson says,
-He said, and dy'd.
"the contemptible Dialogue between He and She,' should have been suppressed."
Many of our old Epitaphs are written in dialogue. In this instance, nothing could so well express the story of the Daughter and Father meeting in a foreign country, he exiled, and she dying in his arms! Bowles.
Ver. 9. SAVE MY COUNTRY, HEAV'N,] Alluding to the Bishop's frequent use and application of the expiring words of the famous Father Paul, in his prayer for the state, "Esto perpetua." With what propriety the Bishop applied it at his trial, and is here made to refer to it in his last moments, they will understand who know what conformity there was in the lives of the Prelate and the Monk. The character of our countryman is well known; and that of the Father may be told in very few words. He was profoundly skilled in all divine and human learning. He employed his whole life in the service of the State, against the unjust encroachments of the Church. He was modest, humble, and forgiving, candid, patient, and just; free from all prejudices of party, and all the projects of ambition; in a word, the happiest compound of science, wisdom, and virtue. Warburton.
This severe sarcasm would certainly, if he had seen it, been highly displeasing to Pope, who retained for Atterbury the warmest affection and respect. But from the Letters of Atterbury, printed, in three volumes, by Mr. Nicholls, and particularly from those in p. 148, to p. 168, it almost indisputably appears that the Bishop was engaged in a treasonable correspondence, and in the intrigues of the Pretender. Warton.
ON EDMUND DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.*
WHO DIED IN THE NINETEENTH Year of his age, 1735.
Ir modest Youth, with cool Reflection crown'd,
* Only son of John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, by Katherine Darnley, natural daughter of James II.
Ver. 1. If modest Youth, &c.] This Epitaph Mr. Warburton prefers to the rest, but I know not for what reason.
with reflection, is surely a mode of speech approaching to nonsense. Opening virtues blooming round, is something like tautology. The six following lines are poor and prosaic. Art, is in another place used for arts. The six last lines are the best, but not excellent.
The above Epitaph is written with a degree of feeling, which would atone for greater blemishes than Dr. Johnson has been able to point out.
FOR ONE WHO WOULD NOT BE BURIED IN
HEROES and Kings! your distance keep:
In peace let one poor Poet sleep,
ANOTHER, ON THE SAME.
UNDER this Marble, or under this Sill,
Or under this Turf, or e'en what they will;
Imitated from the following lines of Ariosto:
Ludovici Areosti humantur ossa
Sub hoc marmore, vel sub hoc humo, seu
Sub quicquid voluit benignus hæres
Sive hærede benignior comes, seu
Opportunius incidens Viator:
Nam scire haud potuit futura, sed nec
Tanti erat vacuum sibi cadaver
J. M'Creery, Tooks Court,
END OF VOL. III.