« ZurückWeiter »
To Mr. THOMAS SOUTHER-N,
On his Birth-day, 1742.
VER. 6. A table,] He was invited to dine on his birth-day with this Nobleman, who had prepared for him the entertainment of which the bill of fare is here set down.
VER. 8. Presents her harp] The harp is generally wore on the Irish Linen ; such as Table-cloths, etc.
VER. 16. The price of prologues and of plays,] This alludes to a story Mr. Southern told of Dryden, about the same time, to Mr. P. and Mr. W. When Southern first wrote for the stage, Dryden was so famous for his Prologues, that the players would act nothing without that decoration. His usual price till then had been fourguineas: But when Southern came to him for the Prologue he had bespoke, Dryden told him he must have six guineus for it; " which " (said he) young man, is out of no disrespect to yon ; but the • players have had my goods too cheap." We now look upon these Prologues with the same admiration that the Virtuosi do on the Apothecaries pots painted by Raphael.
· EPIT A P H S.
His faltem accumulem donis, et fungar inani
I. . . On CHARLES Earl of DORSET, In the Church of Withyam in Sussex.
DORSET, the Grace of Courts, the Muses' Pride,
Patron of Arts, and Judge of Nature, dy'd. The scourge of Pride, tho’ fanctified or great, OF Fops in Learning, and of Knaves in State : Yet soft his Nature, tho’ severe his Lay, His Anger moral, and his Wisdom gay. Blest Sat’riit! who touch'd the Mean so true, As show'd, Vice had his hate and pity too. Bleft Courtier! who could King and Country please, Yet sacred keep his Friendships, and his Ease.
Epitaphs.] These little compositions far exceed any thing we have of the same kind from other hands : yei, if we except the I pitepé on the young Duke of Buckingham, and perhaps one or two more, they are not of equal force with the rest of our Author's writings. The nature of the Composition itself is delicate; and generally it was a task imposed on him; though he rarely complied with regnefts of this nature, as we may fee by the small number of chefe poems, but where the subject was worthy of his pen.
For random fraise the Work svould ne'er be done :
Blest Peer! his great Forefathers ev'ry grace
Yet when these elegiac movements came freely from the heart, he mourns in such trains as thew he was equally a master of this kind of Composition with every other he undertook, as the following lines in the Epiftle to Fervas may witness; which would have made the finest Epitaph in the world :
Call round her Tomb each object of desire,
II. On Sir WILLIAM TRUMBAL, One of the principal Secretaries of State to
King WILLIAM III. who, having resigned his place, died in his Retirement at Easthamsted in Berkshire, 1716.
A PLEASING Form ; a firin, yet cautious Mind;
Sincere, tho' prudent; constant, yet refign'd: Honour unchang'd, a Principle profeit, Fix'd to one side, but mod’rate to the rest : An honest Courtier, yet a Patriot too ; Just to his Prince, and to his Country true : Fill'd with the Sense of Age, the Fire of Youth, A Scorn of Wrangling, yet a Zeal for Truth; A gen'rous Faith, from Superstition free : A Love to Peace, and Hate of Tyranny; Such this Man was : who now, from Earth remov'd, At length enjoys that Liberty he lov'd. .
III. On the Hon. SIMON HARCOURT, Only Son of the Lord Chancellor Har
COURT, at the Church of Stanton-Harcourt in Oxfordshire, 1720.
TO this fad Shrine, whoe'er thou art! draw near,
How vain is Reason, Eloquence how weak!
On JAMES CRAGGS, Esq.
REGI MAGNÆ BRITANNIÆ A SECRETIS
ET CONSILIIS SANCTIORIBUS,
. PRINCIPIS PARITER AC POPULI AMOR ET DELICIA:
VIXIT TITULIS ET INVIDIA MAJOR
ANNOS, HEU PAUCOS, Xxxv.
Statesman, yet Friend to Truth! of Soul fincere,
VARIATIONS. It is as follows on the Monument in the Abbey erected to Rowe and his Daughter.
Thy Reliques, Rowe! to this sad shrine we trust,
NOTE S. VER. 3. Beneath a rude] The Tomb of Mr. Dryden was erected upon this hint by the Duke of Buckingham ; to which was originally intended this Epitaph,
This SHEFFIELD rais'd. The sacred Dust below
Was DRYDEN once : Tbe kejt who does not know? which the Author fince changed into the plain inscription now upon it, being only the name of that great Poet.
J. DR Y DE N. Natus Aug. 9. 1631. Mortuus Maij 1. 1700. JOANNES SHEFFIELD DUX BUCKINGHAMIENSIS POSUIT.