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The first distich of this epitaph contains a kind of information which few would want, that the man, for whom the tomb was erected, died. There are in-. deed some qualities, worthy of praise ascribed to the dead, but none that were likely to exempt him from the lot of man, or incline us much to wonder that he should die.' What is meant by judge of nature, is not easy to say. Nature is not the object of human judgement; for it is vain to judge where we cannot alter. If by nature is meant, what is commonly called nature by the criticks, a just representation of things really existing, and actions really performed, nature cannot be properly op
posed to art; nature being, in this sente, only the best effect of art.
The scourge of pride
Of this couplet, the second line is not, what is intended, an illustration of the former. Pride, in the Great, is indeed well enough connected with knaves in state, though knaves is a word rather too ludicrous and light; but the mention of sanctified pride will not lead the thoughts to fops in learning, but rather to fome species of tyranny or oppression, fomething more gloomy and more for: midable than foppery.
let soft bis nature This is a high compliment, but was not first bestowed on Dorset by Pope. The next verse is extremely beautiful.
Blej satyrist! In this diftich is another line of which Pope was not the author.
I do not Y 4
mean to blame these imitations with much harshness; in long performances they are scarcely to be avoided, and in shorter they may be indulged, because the train of the composition may naturally involve them, or the scantiness of the subject allow little choice. However, what is borrowed is not to be enjoyed as our own, and it is the business of critical justice to give every bird of the Muses his
feather. Bleft courtier ! Whether a courtier can be properly commended for keeping his eafe sacred, may perhaps be disputable. To please king and country, without sacrificing friendship to any change of times, was a very uncommon instance of prudence or felicity, and deserved to be kept separate from so poor a commendation as care of his eafe. I wish our poets would attend a little more accurately to the use of the word sacred, which surely should never be applied in a serious composition, but where some reference may be made to a higher Being, or where some duty is exacted or implied. A man may keep his friendship sacred, because promises of friendship are very awful ties; but methinks he cannot, but in a burlesque sense, be said to keep his ease sacred.
Blejt peer ! The blessing ascribed to the peer has no connection with his peerage : they might happen to any other man, whose ancestors were remembered, or whose pofterity were likely to be regarded.
I know not whether this epitaph be worthy either of the writer, or of the man entombed.
On Sir WILLIAM TRUMBUL, one of the
principal Secretaries of State to King WILLIAM III. who, having resigned his place, died in bis retirement at EallTamsied in Berkshire, 1716. A pleasing form, a firm, yet cautious mind, Sincere, tho'prudent; confant, yet refign’d; Honour unchang'd, a principle profest, Fix'd to one side, but moderate to the rest : An honest courtier, yet a patriot too, 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 generous faith, from superitition free; A love to peace, and haie of tyranny; Such this man was ; who now, from earth
remov'd, At length enjoys that liberty he lov’d.
In this epitaph, as iir many others, there appears, at the first view, a fault