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Take another Epitaph of Ben Johnson’s, on a beautiful and virtuous lady, which has been deservedly admired by very good judges.

Underneath this ftone doth lie
As much virtue as could die ;
Which when alive did vigour give
To as much beauty as could live.

Mr. Pope has drawn the charaćter of Mr. Gay, in an Epitaph now to be feen on his monument in WestminsterAbbey, which he has closed with such a beautiful turn, that I cannot help looking upon it as a master-piece in its kind, as indeed are most of the productions of that surprifing genius.

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Of manners gentle, of affections mild;
In wit, a man ; fimplicity, 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,
And uncorrupted, ev’n among the Great :
A fafe companion, and an easy friend,
Unblam'd thro' life, lamented in thy end.
These are thy honours ! not that here thy bust
Is mix’d with heroes, or with kings thy dust;
But that the worthy and the good shall fay,
Striking their penfive bofoms–Here lies GAY.

There is fomething fo tender and moving, and fuch a frain of paternal and filial affection in Mr. Pope's Epitaph on Dr. Atterbury, that we shall give it a place among thefe examples, tho' the Critics, perhaps, will objećt to its being a true Epitaph.

On Dr. FRAN c 18 ATT ER BURY, Bi/bop of Rochester, who - died in exile at Paris, 1732.

[His only Daughter having expired in his arms, immediately after she arrived in France to fee him.]

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Sbe. 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 duft like me.

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I shall conclude these examples of the ferious kind with

an Epitaph written by Mr. Smart, to the memory of Master

***, who died of a lingering illness, aged eleven.

Henceforth be every tender tear fupprest,
Or let us weep for joy that he is bleft;
From grief to blifs, from earth to heav'n remov'd,
His mem'ry honour'd, as his life belov'd.
That heart o'er which no evil e'er had pow'r !
That difpofition, fickness cou'd not four ! .
That fenfe, fo oft to riper years deny'd !
That patience, heroes might have own'd with pride !
His painful race undauntedly he ran,
And in th’ eleventh winter died a MAN.

Amongst the Epitaphs of a punning and ludicrous cast, I know of none prettier than that which is faid to have been written by Mr. Prior on himself, wherein he is pleafantly fatirical upon the folly of those who value themselves on account of the long feries of ancestors through which they can trace their pedigree.

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Of the fame cast is that written by Mr. Pope on one who would not be buried in Westminster-abbey. .

Heroes, and kings ! your distance keep,
In peace let one poor poet sleep,
Who never flatter'd folks like you :
Let Horace blush, and Virgil too.

The following Epitaph on a Miser contains a good caution and an agreeable raillery.

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But Dr. Swift's Epitaph on the fame subjećt is, I think, a master-piece of the kind.

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We shall give but one example more of this kind, which is a merry Epitaph on an old Fiddler, who was remarkable - (we may fuppose) for beating time to his own musick.

On STEPHEN the Fiddler.

Stephen and Time are now both even ;
Stephen beat Time, now Time's beat Stephen.

We are now come to that fort of Epitaph which rejects Rhyme, and has no certain and determinate measure ; but where the diction must be pure and strong, every word have weight, and the antithesis be preferved in a clear and direći opposition. We cannot give a better example of this fort of Epitaph, than that on the tomb of Mr. Pulteney, in the cloysters of Westminster-Abbey.

Reader, If thou art a BR 1ToN, Behold this Tomb with Reverence and Regret: Here lie the Remains of DAN I EL PULT EN E Y, The kindest Relation, the truest Friend, The warmeft Patriot, the worthiest Man ; He exercised Virtues in this Age, Sufficient to have distinguish'd him even in the best. Sagacious by Nature, Industrious by Habit, Inquisitive with Art ; He gain'd a complete Knowledge of the State of Britain, Foreign and domestic. In most the backward Fruit of tedious Experience, In him the early Acquisition of undistipated Youth : He ferv'd the Court feveral Years : Abroad, in the auspicious Reign of Queen Anne, At home, in the Reign of that excellent Prince K. George the first, He ferved his Country always, At Court independent, ln the Senate unbiass'd, At every Age, and in every Station : This was the bent of his generous Soul, This the Bufiness of his laborious Life. Public Men, and Public Things, He judged by one constant Standard, The true Interest of Britain : He made no other Distinćtion of Party, He abhorred all other : Gentle, humane, difinterested, beneficent, He created no Enemies on his own Account : Firm, determin'd, inflexible, He feared none he could create in the Cause of Britain. Reader, In this Misfortune of thy Country lament thy own : For know, The Loss of fo much private Virtue Is a public Calamity.

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That poignant fatire, as well as extravagant praise, may be conveyed in this manner, will be feen by the following Epitaph written by Dr. Arbuthnot on Francis Chartres; which

is too well known, and too much admired, to need our commendation.

HE RE continueth to rot
The Body of FRANCIS CHARTRES,
Who with an IN F Lex IB Le ConsTAN cY,
And IN IMITAB LE UN I FoRM1ry of Life,
PE Rs 1st ED,
In spite of AG e and IN F1 RM1r i es,
In the Praćtice of Ev E RY HU MAN VI cE,
Excepting PR od 1 G AL1TY and Hx Poc R 1sx :
His infatiable AvAR 1c e exempted him from the first,
His matchless IM PU D E N c e from the fecond.
Nor was he more fingular
In the undeviating Pravity of his Manners,
Than successful
In Accumularing WEALTH :
For, without TRAD e or PR of Ession,
Without TR Us T of PU B I. I c Mo N e Y,
And without BR I BE-w o RT HY Service,
He acquired, or more properly created,
A MIN I sT E R I A L EsTATE.
He was the only Person of his Time
Who could che AT without the Mask of HoN estr,
Retain his Primæval ME AN NE ss
When possess'd of TEN THous AND a year;
And having daily deserved the GIBBET for what he dia;
Was at last condemn'd to it for what he could not da.
Oh Indignant Reader ! |
Think not his Life ufeless to Mankind ;
Providence conniv'd at his execrable Designs,
To give to After-ages
A conspicuous Proof and ExAMPLE,
Of how small Estimation is Exo R BITANT WEALTH
in the Sight of GOD,
By his bestowing it on the most Unworthx of ALL
Mortals. . -

This fort of Epitaph may also admit of humour and ridicule, as will appear by the following on a boon comPanion who is fupposed to have lost his life to obtain his | fienda borough,

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