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ON CHARLES EARL OF DORSET,
IN THE CHURCH OF WITHYAM IN SUSSEX.
DORSET, the Grace of Courts, the Muses' Pride, Patron of Arts, and Judge of Nature, died. The scourge of Pride, tho' sanctify'd or great, Of Fops in Learning, and of Knaves in State: Yet soft his Nature, tho’severe his Lay, His Anger moral, and his Wisdom gay. Blest Satirist! who touch'd the Mean so true, As shew'd, Vice had his hate and pity too. Blest Courtier ! who could King and country please, Yet sacred keep his Friendships, and his Ease. Blest Peer! his great Forefathers ev'ry grace Reflecting, and reflected in his Race ; Where other BucKHURSTS, other Dorsets shine, And Patriots still, or Poets, deck the line.
Epitaphs] These Epitaphs are in general overrun with point and antithesis, and are a kind of panegyrical epigrams; they are consequently very different from the simple sepulchral inscriptions of the ancients; of which that of Meleager on his Wife, in the Greek anthology, is a model and masterpiece.
ON SIR WILLIAM TRUMBAL,
One of the principal Secretaries of State to King WILLIAM III, who having resigned his Place, died in his Retirement at Easthamsted, Berkshire, 1716.
A PLEASING Form; a firm, yet cautious Mind; Sincere, tho' prudent; constant, yet resign'd : Honour unchang'd, a Principle profest, Fix'd to one side, but mod’rate to the rest : An honest Courtier, yet a Patriot too;
5 Just to his Prince, and to his Country true : Fill'd with the Sense of Age, the Fire of Youth, A Scorn of Wrangling, yet a Zeal for Truth : A gen'rous Faith, from Superstition free; A Love to Peace, and Hate of Tyranny; 10 Such this Man was; who now, from earth removid, At length enjoys that Liberty he lov’d.
Ver. 5. a Patriot too ;] Dr. Johnson objects to the closing this verse with the word too, and to the word fill'd in the seventh line, as weak and prosaic, having no particular adaptation to any of the words that follow it. The whole of this epitaph is one string of antitheses throughout.
ON THE HON. SIMON HARCOURT,
ONLY SON OF THE LORD CHANCELLOR HARCOURT;
At the Church of Stanton-Harcourt in Oxfordshire,
To this sad 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 died.
How vain is Reason, Eloquence how weak! If Pope must tell what HARCOURT cannot speak. Oh let thy once lov'd Friend inscribe thy Stone, And, with a Father's sorrows, mix his own!
NOTES. Ver. 4. But when he died] 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 are not uncommon.
Ver. 6. If Pope must tell] A very wretched quibble on the eloquence of Lord Harcourt !