صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

which I think fcarcely any beauty can compensate. The name is omitted. The end of an epitaph is to convey some ac-. count of the dead; and to what purpose is any thing told of him whose name is. concealed ? An epitaph, and a history, of a nameless hero, are equally absurd, since the virtues and qualities so recounted in either, are scattered at the mercy of fortune to be appropriated by guess. The name, it is true, may be read upon the stone; but what obligation has it to the poet, whose verses. wandes over the earth, and leave their subject: behind them, and who is forced, like ane. unskilful painter, to make his purpose: known by adventitious help?

This epitaph is wholly without elevavation, and contains nothing striking or particular; but the poet is not to be blamed for the defects of his subject..

He

He said perhaps the best that could be said. There are, however, some defects which were not made necessary by the character in which he was employed. There is no opposition between an honest courtier and a patriot; for an honest courtier cannot but be a patriot.

It was unsuitable to the nicety required in short compositions, to close his verse with the word too; every rhyme should be a word of emphafis, nor can this rule be safely neglected, except where the length of the poem makes Night inaccuracies excusable, or allows room for beauties sufficient to overpower the effects of petty faults.

At the beginning of the seventh line the word filled is weak and profaic, having no particular adaptation to any of the words that follow it.

The

The thought in the last line is impertinent, having no connection with the foregoing character, nor with the condition of the man described. Had the epitaph been written on the poor conspirator * who died lately in prison, after a confinement of more than forty years, without

any

crime proved against him, the sentiment had been just and pathetical; but why should Trumbul be congratulated upon his liberty, who had never known restraint ?

III, On the Hon. SIMON HARCOURT, only Son

of the Lord Chancellor HARCOURT, at the Church of Stanton-Harcourt in @xfordshire, 1720. To this sad shrine, whoe'er thou art, draw near, Here lies the friend most lov'd, the son most dear:

* Bernardi.

Who

Who ne'er knew joy, but friendship might divide, Or gave his father grief but when he dy'd.

How vain is reason, eloquence how weak! If Pope must tell what Harcourt cannot speak. Oh, let thy once-lov'd friend infcribe thy stone, And with a father's forrows mix his own!

This epitaph is principally remarkable for the artful introduction of the name, which is inserted with a peculiar felicity, to which chance must concur with genius, which no man can hope to attain twice, and which cannot be copied but with fervile imitation.

I cannot but with that, of this inscription, the two last lines had been omitted, as they take away from the energy what they do not add to the | sense.

IV.

On JAMES CRAGGS, Esq; in Westminster

Abbey.

[blocks in formation]

Statesman, yet friend to truth! of foul sincere, In action faithful, and in honour clear! Who broke no promise, ferv'd no private end, Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; Ennobled by himself, by all approv’d, Prais'd, wept, and honour'd, by the Mufe he

lov'd.

The lines on Craggs were not originally intended for an epitaph; and therefore some faults are to be imputed to

the

« السابقةمتابعة »