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On Dr. FRANCIS ATTERBURY, Bishop of Rochefter, who died in exile at Paris, 1732.
[His only Daughter having expired in his arms, immediately after she arrived in France to see him.]
Yes, we have liv'd-one pang, and then we part!
Dear fhade! I will:
I fhall conclude thefe examples of the ferious kind with an Epitaph written by Mr. Smart, to the memory of Master **, who died of a lingering illness, aged eleven.
Henceforth be every tender tear fuppreft,
Or let us weep for joy that he is blest;
From grief to blifs, from earth to heav'n remov'd,
That heart o'er which no evil e'er had pow'r !
That difpofition, fickness cou'd not four!
That fenfe, fo oft to riper years deny'd !
That patience, heroes might have own'd with pride!
Amongst the Epitaphs of a punning and ludicrous caft, I know of none prettier than that which is faid to have been written by Mr. Prior on himself, wherein he is pleafantly fatirical upon the folly of thofe who value them felves on account of the long feries of ancestors through which they can trace their pedigree.
Nobles and Heralds, by your leave,
Here lie the bones of Matthew Prior,
Let Bourbon or Nassau go higher.
Of the fame caft is that written by Mr. Pope on one who would not be buried in Weftminfter-abbey.
Heroes, and kings! your distance keep,
The following Epitaph on a Miser contains a good caution and an agreeable raillery.
Reader, beware immod'rate love of pelf:
Here lies the worst of thieves, who robb'd himself.
But Dr. Swift's Epitaph on the fame fubject is, I think, a mafter-piece of the kind.
EPITAPH on a MISER.
Beneath this verdant hillock lies
We shall give but one example more of this kind, which is a merry Epitaph on an old Fiddler, who was remarkable (we may fuppofe) for beating time to his own mufick.
On STEPHEN the Fiddler.
Stephen and Time are now both even ;
Stephen beat Time, now Time's beat Stephen.
We are now come to that fort of Epitaph which rejects Rhyme, and has no certain and determinate measure; but where the diction must be pure and strong, every word have weight, and the antithefis be preserved in a clear and direct oppofition. We cannot give a better example of this fort of Epitaph, than that on the tomb of Mr. Pulteney, in the cloyfters of Westminster-Abbey.
If thou art a BRITON,
Behold this Tomb with Reverence and Regret:
The kindest Relation, the trueft Friend,
The warmest Patriot, the worthiest Man;
He gain'd a complete Knowledge of the State of Britain, Foreign and domeftic.
In most the backward Fruit of tedious Experience, In him the early Acquifition of undiffipated Youth: He ferv'd the Court feveral Years:
Abroad, in the aufpicious Reign of Queen Anne, At home, in the Reign of that excellent Prince K. George the first. He ferved his Country always, At Court independent, In the Senate unbiass'd, At every Age, and in every Station : This was the bent of his generous Soul, This the Bufinefs of his laborious Life.
Public Men, and Public Things,
He feared none he could create in the Caufe of Britain.
In this Misfortune of thy Country lament thy own:
The Lofs of fo much private Virtue
That poignant fatire, as well as extravagant praife, may be conveyed in this manner, will be feen by the following Epitaph written by Dr. Arbuthnot on Francis Chartres; which
is too well known, and too much admired, to need our commendation.
HERE continueth to rot
The Body of FRANCIS CHARTRES,
In fpite of AGE and INFIRMITIES,
In the undeviating Pravity of his Manners,
In Accumulating WEALTH:
For, without TRADE OF PROFESSION,
He was the only Person of his Time
Who could CHEAT without the Mask of HONESTY, Retain his Primæval MEANNESS
When poffefs'd of TEN THOUSAND a year;
And having daily deferved the GIBBET for what he did,
Think not his Life ufelefs to Mankind ;.
A confpicuous PROOF and EXAMPLE,
By his bestowing it on the moft UNWORTHY of ALL. MORTALS.
This fort of Epitaph may also admit of humour and ridicule, as will appear by the following on a boon companion who is fuppofed to have loft his life to obtain his friend a borough,
An EPITAPH on Mr. Dove, an Apothecary; who unfortunately murdered himself by canvaffing at Elections.
Sequefter'd from the various calamities of life,
of May, 1754, he fell a victim,
An agreeable companion,
In the most corrupt and abandon'd age,
Nor cou'd the arts and infinuations of the wicked
The part of a Jack-of-both fides;
He gain'd many profelytes to the caufe
He was a good Chriftian in his day,
A man of Virtue,
Tho' a lover of the Wenches.
Some faults he had,
But none that his friends could fee,