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"If beauty tempted-fhe faid Nay;
Funeral Monuments, p. 234,
This is poor enough; but the Epitaph "which was," Weever Lays, "no doubt penned with applause in thofe days," may be quoted as truly ridiculous:
"Rex Ethelbertus hic clauditur in Poliandro,
"Fana fidus certus Christo meat abfque Meandro.”
"King Ethelbert lies buried here,
For building churches fure he goes
The former Epitaph may put the reader, perhaps, in mind of a beautiful line of Spenser's:
"Gently he took all that ungently came.”
Among the more modern Epitaphs a laboured elegance feems too much to prevail, at the expence of fimplicity, and those appropriate touches of character, which conftitute the chief beauty, as well as difficulty, of this fpecies of writing. There are few more elegant, and at the fame time more affecting and characteristic, than the lines often afcribed to Dr. Hawkefworth, but certainly written by the late Lord Palmerston :
"Whoe'er, like me, his heart's whole treasure brings," &c.
T. Warton's Latin Epitaph on Mrs. Serle, in Teftwood church, near Southampton, is claffical, appropriate, and beautiful.
ON CHARLES EARL OF DORSET,
IN THE CHURCH OF WITHYAM IN SUSSEX.
the Grace of Courts, the Mufes' Pride, Patron of Arts, and Judge of Nature, dy'd. The fcourge of Pride, tho' fanctify'd or great, Of Fops in Learning, and of Knaves in State: Yet foft his Nature, tho' severe his Lay, His Anger moral, and his Wisdom gay. Bleft Satirift! who touch'd the Mean fo true, As fhow'd, Vice had his hate and pity too. Bleft Courtier! who could King and Country please, Yet facred keep his Friendships, and his Ease. Bleft Peer! his great Forefathers ev'ry grace Reflecting, and reflected in his Race;
Where other BUCKHURSTS, other DORSETS fhine, And Patriots ftill, or Poets, deck the line.
Epitaphs.] These Epitaphs are in general over-run with point and antithefis, and are a kind of panegyrical epigrams; they are confequently very different from the fimple fepulchral infcriptions of the ancients; of which that of Meleager on his Wife, in the Greek anthology, is a model and mafter-piece. WARTON.
Dr. Johnson has been particularly fevere on these Epitaphs. Some of his obfervations are very just, and his definition of the fpecies of writing is accurate. There are very few things, how. ever, that would ftand the test of such severity of investigation.
ON SIR WILLIAM TRUMBAL,
One of the principal Secretaries of State to King WILLIAM III. who having refigned his Place, died in his Retirement at Easthamfted, in Berkshire, 1716.
PLEASING Form; a firm, yet cautious Mind; Sincere, tho' prudent; conftant, yet refign'd: Honour unchang'd, a Principle profest,
Fix'd to one fide, but mod'rate to the rest:
VER. 5. a Patriot too ;] It was unfuitable to the nicety re quired in fhort compofitions, to clofe his verfe with the word too; every rhyme should be a word of emphasis, nor can this rule be fafely neglected, except where the length of the poem makes flight inaccuracies excufable, or allows room for beauties fufficient to overpower the effects of petty faults,
At the beginning of the feventh line the word filled is weak and profaic, having no particular adaptation to any of the words that follow it.
ON THE HON. SIMON HARCOURT, ONLY SON OF THE LORD CHANCELLOR HARCOURT; At the Church of Stanton-Harcourt in Oxfordshire,
To this fad Shrine, whoe'er thou art! draw near, Here lies the Friend most lov'd, the Son most dear:
Who ne'er knew Joy, but Friendship might divide, Or gave his Father Grief but when he dy'd.
How vain is Reafon, Eloquence how weak! If Pope must tell what HARCOURT cannot speak. Oh let thy once-lov'd Friend infcribe thy Stone, And, with a Father's forrows, mix his own!
VER. 4. but when he dy'd.] These were the very words used by Louis XIV. when his Queen died, 1683; though it is not to be imagined they were copied by Pope. Such coincidences in writers WARTON.
are not uncommon.
VER. 6 If Pope must tell ] Whoever ufed the words, they were contemptible, and almoft burlesque.
ON JAMES CRAGGS*, ESQ.
REGNI MAGNE BRITANNIE A SECRETIS
ET CONSILIIS SANCTIORIBUS,
PRINCIPIS PARITER AC POPULI AMOR ET DELICIE:
VIXIT TITULIS ET INVIDIA MAJOR
ANNOS, HEU PAUCOS, Xxxv.
OB. FEB. XIV. MDCCXX.
Statesman, yet Friend to Truth! of Soul fincere,
* He was the only fon of James Craggs, who has been before mentioned. He had his education at a French feminary in Chelsea; from thence he went to Hanover, thence to the Court of Turin. He removed to Barcelona, and, in the abfence of Lord Stanhope, he afterwards ferved as Under-Minister to the Emperor. Upon the death of Queen Ann, he was