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INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON,
Teftantur Tempus, Natura, Cælum :
Hoc marmor fatetur.
Nature and Nature's Laws lay hid in Night:
VER. 1. Nature] The antithefis betwixt Mortalem and Immor. talem is much unfuited to the fubject; and the fecond English line, “God faid, &c." borders a little on the profane. The magnificent Fiat of Mofes will be always ftriking and admired, notwithstanding the cold objections of Le Clerc and Huet.
VER. 2. Let Newton be!] He was born on the very day on which Galileo died. When Ramfay was one day complimenting him on his discoveries in philofophy, he anfwered, as I read it in Spence's Anecdotes, "Alas! I am only like a child picking up pebbles on the fhore of the great ocean of truth." WARTON.
And all was Light.] It had been better-and there was Light - as more conformable to the reality of the fact, and to the allufion whereby it is celebrated. WARBURTON.
ON DR. FRANCIS ATTERBURY,
BISHOP OF ROCHESTER.
Who died in Exile at Paris, 1732, (his only Daughter having expired in his Arms, immediately after he arrived in France to fee him.)
Yet ah! how once we lov'd, remember still,
Dear Shade! I will:
Then mix this duft with thine-O fpotlefs Ghost!
VER. 1. Yes, we have liv'd-] I know not why this Dialogue fhould be called an Epitaph. Dr. Johnfon fays, "it is contempt ible, and should have been fuppreffed for the Author's fake." I fee no reafon for this harsh fentence paffed upon it. WARTON.
Dr. Johnson fays, "the contemptible Dialogue between He and She,' fhould have been fuppreffed."
Many of our old Epitaphs are written in dialogue. In this inftance, nothing could fo well express the story of the Daughter and Father meeting in a foreign country, he exiled, and she dying in his arms!
O more than Fortune, Friends, or Country loft!
VER 9. SAVE MY COUNTRY, HEAV's.] Alluding to the Bishop's frequent ufe and application of the expiring words of the famous Father Paul, in his prayer for the flate "Efto perpetua." With what propriety the Bishop applied it at his trial, and is here made to refer to it in his last moments, they will understand who know what conformity there was in the lives of the Prelate and the Monk. The character of our countryman is well known; and that of the Father may be told in very few words. He was profoundly skilled in all divine and human learning. He employed his whole life in the fervice of the State, against the unjust encroachments of the Church. He was modeft, humble, and forgiving, candid, patient, and juft; free from all prejudices of party, and all the projects of ambition; in a word, the happiest compound of fcience, wisdom, and virtue. WARBURTON.
This fevere farcafm would certainly, if he had feen it, been highly difpleafing to Pope, who retained for Atterbury the warmest affection and respect. But from the Letters of Atterbury, printed, in three volumes, by Mr. Nicholls, and particularly from those in p. 148. to p. 168. it almoft indisputably appears that the Bishop was engaged in a treasonable correfpondence, and in the intrigues of the Pretender. WARTON.
THE beft illuftration of Pope's Epitaph will be found in the following interefting account:
"The exile of the Bishop of Rochester gave occafion to a very interesting exercise of parental tendernefs on the one part, and of filial duty and affection on the other. What moftly embittered the banishment of the Bishop, was regret at leaving behind him his daughter, Mrs. Morice, in an infirm ftate of health. A mutual longing to fee one another, took faft hold of the father and daughter; and the lady, though very ill, performed, with great
difficulty and pain, a journey and voyage from Westminster to Bourdeaux and Touloufe, where Dr. Atterbury refided. Mr. J. Evans accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Morice on their voyage from Dover to Bourdeaux, and from thence to Toulouse; and being prefent at Mrs. Morice's death, in a letter to his brother, dated Montpelier, November 30, 1729, gives the following very pathetic narrative of that event:
"On Sunday the 6th inftant, N. S. in the evening, we reached Blagnac, a village not above half a league by land from Toulouse; but by water (by reason of a very strong current, and the windings of the river) it takes three hours to get up to the town. So it was refolved, rather than expofe Mrs. Morice too much to the fatigue (of which she had undergone an infinite deal, and bore it with incredible patience), or keep her late on the water, to reft at Blagnac that night, where she was put to bed in the fame weak condition fhe ufually had been, but not feemingly worse. About midnight the women came to Mr. Morice and me, and told us they thought they faw her changed. We rofe and came to her chamber, where we found her fo very ill, that we thought fit to call up the boatmen, and order them to prepare the boat to depart immediately, fearing much, from the change we faw, that near as she was to it, fhe would fcarce live to reach Toulouse, which we all earnestly defired to do, fince no physician, or other help, could be had in the poor place where we then were. She herself preffed this matter; and we well knew that all her defires and wishes were conftantly bent upon fecing her father, whom she hoped to find at Toulouse. She was taken out of bed at her own defire, and carried to the boat with great difficulty, not being able to fit in the chair which Mr. Morice had brought from Bourdeaux, with two chairmen, purely for the carrying her in and out of the boat more at her ease; and fo we parted thence about two o'clock in the morning, fending two servants by land to procure a litter to meet her at the landing-place. About five we arrived there; and foon after fix the litter came, which carried Mrs. Morice to the house in Toulouse, where her father was expecting her arrival, and not knowing, till then, how near or how far off fhe was, though he had dispatched a man and horse to get intelligence of us, who happened to miss us. When the fervants who had been sent for the litter returned, she was informed of the Bishop's being at Toulouse, and feemed to take new spirits upon it, which no doubt were of great use to enable her to bear going
in the litter, which otherwife fhe could scarce have done, even for fo fhort a way. After she had been put into her bed (where, as I told you, the never flept till fhe flept her laft) and had a little recovered the fatigue fhe underwent in the conveyance from the boat, which was about a mile, her father, whom the immediately inquired after, came into her room, and was startled to find her in fo very low a condition. After mutual expressions of concern and tenderness, she particularly acknowledged the great bloffing that was granted her, of meeting her dear Papa; and exerted all the little life that was in her, in grafing his hands with her utmofl force, as the often did; and told him, "that meeting was the chief thing that she had ardently defired.”
"The Bishop some time after left her chamber, that she might compofe herself, and that he might himself give vent to the just grief he was filled with, to fee his beloved child in a manner expiring. But we found she took no rest; so he foon returned, and then taid prayers by her, and propofed to her, receiving the holy Sacrament the next morning, when he hoped the might have been a little refreshed in order to it: fhe embraced the offer with much fatisfaction. He then asked her, for fear of any accident, if the was not defirous to have the abfolution of the church? She declared fhe was, and begged to have it. After fome little private difcourfe with her, he gave it her, in the form prefcribed in "the Vifitation of the Sick," and the expreffed great comfort upon receiving it. A phyfician had been fent for immediately upon her arrival When he came, he gave little hopes, but faid all depended upon the manner of her paffing that night.
She once mentioned Dr. Wyntle, who you know had been her phyfician; and who had fo neglected her before she left England, as never to come near her, according to his appointment, nor give the least direction for her management in the long voyage she was about to make. She faid to the Bishop, "Dear Papa, has Mr. Morice told you how Dr. Wyntle has ferved us?" Who anf wered, "Yes, my dear, I know it all; but do not let that trouble you now." She replied, "O no, Papa, I do not trouble myself about that I have other things to think of at this time; but I did not know whether Mr. Morice had told you.”
Hoping by this time fhe might incline to take a little reft, her father and husband retired, it being between eleven and twelve at night; but about two in the morning the fent one of her women