« EdellinenJatka »
And giving us the use, did soon recal,
Thus then he disappear'd, was rarefied,
As such we loved, admired, almost adored, Gave all the tribute mortals could afford. Perhaps we gave so much, the powers above Grew angry at our superstitious love; For when we more than human homage pay, The charming cause is justly snatch'd away,
Thus was the crime not his, but ours alone ; And yet we murmur that he went so soon, Though miracles are short, and rarely shown. Learn then, ye mournful parents, and divide
, That love in many, which in one was tied. That individual blessing is no more, But multiplied in your remaining store. The flame's dispersed, but does not all expire ; The sparkles blaze, though not the globe of fire. Love him by parts, in all your numerous race, And from those parts form one collected grace; Then, when you have refined to that degree, Imagine all in one, and think that one is he.
YOUNG MR ROGERS,
The family of Rogers seem to have been of considerable antiquity
in Gloucestershire. They possessed the estate of Dowdeswell du ring the greater part of the 16th and 17th centuries. Many of their monuments are in the church of Dowdeswell, of which they were patrons.See ATKyn's Gloucestershire. The subject of this epitoph was probably of this family.
Of gentle blood, his parents only treasure,
ON THE DEATH OF
HENRY PURCELL, as a musician, is said by Burney to have been as much the pride of an Englishman, as Shakespeare in the drama, Milton in epic poetry, or Locke and Newton in their several departments of philosophy. He was born in 1658, and died in 1695, at the premature age of 37 years. Dryden, to whose productions he had frequently added the charms of music, devoted a tribute to his memory in the following verses, which, with others by inferior bards, were prefixed to a collection of Purcell's music, published two years after his death, under the title of ORPHEUS BRITANNICUS. The Ode was set to music by Dr Blow, and performed at the concert in York Buildings. Dr Burney says, that the music is composed in fugue and imitation ; but appears laboured, and is wholly without invention or pathos.
The “ Orpheus Britannicus” being inscribed by the widow of Purcell to the Hon. Lady Howard, both Sir John Hawkins and Dr Burney have been led into the mistake in supposing, that the person so named was no other than Lady Elizabeth Dryden, our author's wife. Mr Malone has detected this error; and indeed the high compliments paid by the dedicator to Mr Purcell's patroness, as an exquisite musician, a person of extensive influence, and one whose munificence had covered the remains of Purcell with " fair monument,” are irreconcileable with the character, situation, and pecuniary circumstances of Lady Elizabeth Dryden. The Lady Howard of the dedication must, unquestionably, have been the wife of the Honourable Sir Robert Howard; whence it follows, that the “honourable gentleman, who had the dearest, and most deserved relation to her, and whose excellent compositions were the subject of Purcell's last and best performances in music," was not our author, as has been erroneously supposed, but his brother-in-law, the said Sir Robert Howard, who contiVOL. XI.
nued to the last to be an occasional author, and to contribute songs to the dramatic performances of the day.*
Although Dryden's lady certainly did not erect Purcell's monument, it is more than probable, judging from internal evidence, that the poet contributed the inscription, which runs thus :
Who left this life,
can be exceeded.
Obiit 21mo die Novembris,
Anno ætatis suce 37mo,
* I have here inserted the Dedication which led to so singular a mistake, as the “ Orpheus Britannicus” is a scarce book.“ To the Honourable Lady Howard. Madam,—Were it in the power of music to abate those strong impressions of grief which have continued upon me ever since the loss of my dear lamented husband, there are few, I believe, who are furnished with larger or better supplies of comfort from this science, than he has left me in his own compositions, and in the satisfaction I find, that they are not more valued by me, who must own myself fond to a partiality of all that was his, than by those who are no less judges than patrons of his performances. I find, madam, I have already said enough to jus. tify the presumption of this application to your ladyship, who have added both these characters to the many excellent qualities which make you the admiration of all that know you.
“ Your ladyship’s extraordinary skill in music, beyond most of either sex, and your great goodness to that dear person, whom you have sometimes been pleased to honour with the title of your master, makes it hard for me to judge whether he contributed more to the vast improvements you have made in that science, or your ladyship to the reputation he gained in the profession of it: For I have often heard him say, that, as several of his best compositions were originally designed for your ladyship's entertainment, so the pains he bestowed in fitting them for your ear, were abundantly rewarded by the satisfaction he has received from your approbation and admirable performance of them, which has best recommended both them and their author to all that have had the happiness of hearing them from you ladyship.
“ Another great advantage, to which my husband has often imputed the suc. cess of his labours, and which may best plead for your ladyship's favourable acceptance of this collection, has been the great justness both of thought and num. bers which he found in the poetry of our most refined writers, and among them of that honourable gentleman, who has the dearest and most deserved relation to yourself, and whose excellent compositions were the subject of his last and best performance in music.
“ Thus, madam, your ladyship has every way the justest titles to the patronage of this book ; the publication of which, under the auspicious influence of your name, is the best (I had almost said the only) means I have left, of testifying to the world, my desire to pay the last honours to its dear author, your ladyship ha
The stone over the grave bore the following epitaph :
Plaudite, felices Superi, tanto hospite ; nostris
Præfuerat, vestris additur ille choris :
Questa decus secli, deliciasque breves
Musa, prophana suos, religiosa suos :
Dumque colet numeris turba canora Deum. Of the following ode, it may be briefly observed, that it displays much conceit, and little pathos, although the introductory simile is beautifully worded.
ving generously prevented my intended performance of the duty I owe to his ashes, by erecting a fair monument over them, and gracing it with an inscription which may perpetuate both the marble and his memory.
“ Your generosity, which was too large to be confined either to his life or person, has also extended itself to his posterity, on whom your ladyship has been pleased to entail your favours, which must, with all gratitude, be acknowledged as the most valuable part of their inheritance, both by them, and your ladyship’s most obliged, and most humble servant,
“ FR. PURCELL."