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have seen it enough observed, that Cowley had a most happy talent of imitating the easy manner of Horace's epiftolary writings; I must therefore infert a specimen of this his excellence :
"Ergo iterum verfus? dices. O Vane! quid ergo
There is another epiftle also, well worthy perufal, to his friend, Mat. Clifford, at the end of the fame volume. Pope, in one of his imitations of Horace, has exhibited the real character of Cowley with delicacy and candour:
"Who now reads Cowley? If he pleases yet,
His moral pleases, not his pointed wit;
Forgot his epic, nay Pindaric art,
But ftill I love the language of his heart."
His profe works give us the most amiable idea both of his abilities and his heart. His Pindaric odes cannot be perused with common patience by a lover of antiquity. He that would fee Pindar's manner truly imitated, may read Masters's noble and pathetic Ode on the Crucifixion; and he that wants to be convinced that these reflections on Cowley are not too fevere, may read alfo his epigrammatic version of it :
"Doft thou not fee thy prince in purple clad all o'er,
But made at home with richer gore?"
"Open, oh! open wide the fountains of thine eyes,
Their ftock of moisture forth where-c'er it lies,
'Twould all, alas! too little be,
Though thy falt tears came from a fea.”
Cowley being early difgufted with the perplexities and vanities of a court life, had a strong defire to enjoy the milder pleasures of folitude and retirement; he therefore cfcaped from the tumults of London to a little houfe at Wandfworth; but finding that place too near the metropolis, he left it for Richmond, and at laft fettled at Chertsey. He seems to have thought that the swains of Surry had the innocence of thofe of Sydney's Arcadia ; but the perverfeness and debauchery of his own workmen foon undeceived him, with whom, it is faid, he was fometimes fo provoked, as even to be betrayed into an oath. His income was about three hundred pounds a year. Towards the latter part of his life he shewed an averfion to the company of women, and would often leave the room if any happened to enter it whilst he was prefent, but still retained a fincere affection for Leonora. His death was occafioned by a fingular accident; he paid a vitit on foot with his friend Sprat to a gentleman in the neighbourhood of Chertsey, which they prolonged, and feasted too much, till midnight. On their return home they mistook their way, and were obliged to pafs the whole night expofed under a hedge, where Cowley caught a fevere cold, attended with a fever, that terminated in his death. All these particulars were communicated to me by Mr. Spence from his Anecdotes, who assured me he received them from Mr. Pope's own mouth. WARTON.
Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid,
THIS, with the exception of the Imitation of Waller, is by far the best of Pope's Imitations. What he has written as defcriptive of the characteristic style of Chaucer and Spenfer, is as unlike, except in the metre, as it is offenfive and disgusting: the turn of expreffions, the laboured elegance, the ornamented con. ceits, and the general caft of Cowley's poetical embellishments, are here moft admirably hit off; but in this Imitation, poffibly it was fo intended, Pope confounds the feafons, I think, with injuftice to Cowley, if it was intended; and if not, with his general want of correctness, where he speaks of trees and flowers, &c. He calls foft Carnations the humble glories of the youthful Spring;" but most probably the gaudy inaccuracy of flow'ry defcription, was what Pope had in view.
WHILE Celia's Tears make forrow bright,
The Sun, next those the fairest light,
Thefe filver drops, like morning dew,
Foretell the fervour of the day:
The Baby in that funny Sphere
So like a Phaëton appears,
That Heav'n, the threaten'd World to spare,
VER. 13. The Baby in that funny Sphere] The expreffion of the "Baby on eyes," is fo common among our early writers of profe and verse, that perhaps it need not be pointed out. It accurs very often in Burton's Anatomy.