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WARBURTON points out fome lines in the Epistle to Jervas, which he thinks would have made the finest Epitaph ever written. They are certainly uncommonly beautiful:

"Call round her tomb each object of defire,
"Each purer frame inform'd by purer fire;
"Bid her be all that cheers or softens life,
"The tender fifter, daughter, friend, and wife;
"Bid her be all that makes mankind adore,

"Then view this marble, and be vain no more."

It is aftonishing to think, confidering the great number of funeral infcriptions which are extant, how few we have that unite all that should be required in fuch compofitions. An Epitaph fhould be fimple, characteristic, and, as Johnson justly remarks, not longer than common beholders may have time and leisure to perufe. We rarely ever meet the genuine AQλ, which distinguished moft of the Grecian infcriptions. Contemptible jeft, or affected quaintneffes, indifcriminate and cumbersome panegyrics, often set off with puns, defcribe the majority of the records of the dead in England from the 14th to the 17th century.

One of the best in Weever is "On Maude, daughter of Malcolm "Camoir, King of Scots, and wife to King Henry the First.” "She had an excellent Epigram," fays Weever, "made to her "commendation, whereof thefe four verfes only remain :

“Prospera non lætam fecere, nec afpera tristem,

Afpera rifus erant, profpera terror erant. Nec decor effecit fragilem, nec fceptra fuperbam, Sola potens, humilis, fola pudica decens." "Thus," he adds, "paraphraftically tranflated: "No profperous fate did make her glad, "Nor adverfe chances make her fad ; "If fortune frown'd -fhe then did fmile ; "If fortune fmil'd-fhe fear'd the while:



"If beauty tempted-fhe faid Nay;
"No Pride fhe took in Sceptre's sway.
"She only high, herself debas'd,
"A Lady only fair and chaste."

Funeral Monuments, p. 234. This is poor enough; but the Epitaph "which was," Weever fays. "no doubt penned with applaufe in thofe days," may be quoted as truly ridiculous:

"Rex Ethelbertus hic clauditur in Poliandro,

Fana fidus certus Chrifto meat abfque Meandro."

"King Ethelbert lies buried here,
"Closed in this Poliander ;

For building churches fure he goes
"To Chrift, without Meander!"

The former Epitaph may put the reader, perhaps, in mind of a beautiful line of Spenfer's:

"Gently he took all that ungently came.'

Among the more modern Epitaphs a laboured elegance seems too much to prevail, at the expence of fimplicity, and thofe 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,




DORSET, the Grace of Courts, the Muses' Pride,
Patron of Arts, and Judge of Nature, dy'd.
The scourge 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 show'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 still, or Poets, deck the line.


Epitaphs.] Thefe 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 inscriptions of the ancients; of which that of Meleager on his Wife, in the Greek anthology, is a model and mafter piece. WARTON.

Dr. Johnfon has been particularly fevere on thefe 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 teft of fuch severity of investigation.



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:
An honeft Courtier, yet a Patriot too;
Juft to his Prince, and to his Country true:
Fill'd with the Senfe of Age, the Fire of Youth,
A Scorn of Wrangling, yet a Zeal for Truth:
A gen'rous Faith, from Superftition 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.




VER. 5. a Patriot too;] It was unfuitable to the nicety required in fhort compofitions, to close his verse with the word too; every rhyme fhould be a word of emphafis, nor can this rule be safely 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.


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