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Take another Epitaph of Ben Johnson’s, on a beautiful and virtuous lady, which has been deservedly admired by very good judges.
Underneath this ftone doth lie
Mr. Pope has drawn the charaćter of Mr. Gay, in an Epitaph now to be feen on his monument in WestminsterAbbey, which he has closed with such a beautiful turn, that I cannot help looking upon it as a master-piece in its kind, as indeed are most of the productions of that surprifing genius.
Of manners gentle, of affections mild;
There is fomething fo tender and moving, and fuch a frain of paternal and filial affection in Mr. Pope's Epitaph on Dr. Atterbury, that we shall give it a place among thefe examples, tho' the Critics, perhaps, will objećt to its being a true Epitaph.
On Dr. FRAN c 18 ATT ER BURY, Bi/bop of Rochester, who - died in exile at Paris, 1732.
[His only Daughter having expired in his arms, immediately after she arrived in France to fee him.]
Sbe. Yes, we have liv'd–one pang, and then we part !
I shall conclude these 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 fupprest,
Amongst the Epitaphs of a punning and ludicrous cast, 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 those who value themselves on account of the long feries of ancestors through which they can trace their pedigree.
Of the fame cast is that written by Mr. Pope on one who would not be buried in Westminster-abbey. .
Heroes, and kings ! your distance keep,
The following Epitaph on a Miser contains a good caution and an agreeable raillery.
But Dr. Swift's Epitaph on the fame subjećt is, I think, a master-piece of the kind.
We shall give but one example more of this kind, which is a merry Epitaph on an old Fiddler, who was remarkable - (we may fuppose) for beating time to his own musick.
On STEPHEN the Fiddler.
Stephen and Time are now both even ;
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 antithesis be preferved in a clear and direći opposition. We cannot give a better example of this fort of Epitaph, than that on the tomb of Mr. Pulteney, in the cloysters of Westminster-Abbey.
Reader, If thou art a BR 1ToN, Behold this Tomb with Reverence and Regret: Here lie the Remains of DAN I EL PULT EN E Y, The kindest Relation, the truest Friend, The warmeft Patriot, the worthiest Man ; He exercised Virtues in this Age, Sufficient to have distinguish'd him even in the best. Sagacious by Nature, Industrious by Habit, Inquisitive with Art ; He gain'd a complete Knowledge of the State of Britain, Foreign and domestic. In most the backward Fruit of tedious Experience, In him the early Acquisition of undistipated Youth : He ferv'd the Court feveral Years : Abroad, in the auspicious 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, ln the Senate unbiass'd, At every Age, and in every Station : This was the bent of his generous Soul, This the Bufiness of his laborious Life. Public Men, and Public Things, He judged by one constant Standard, The true Interest of Britain : He made no other Distinćtion of Party, He abhorred all other : Gentle, humane, difinterested, beneficent, He created no Enemies on his own Account : Firm, determin'd, inflexible, He feared none he could create in the Cause of Britain. Reader, In this Misfortune of thy Country lament thy own : For know, The Loss of fo much private Virtue Is a public Calamity.
That poignant fatire, as well as extravagant praise, 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.
HE RE continueth to rot
This fort of Epitaph may also admit of humour and ridicule, as will appear by the following on a boon comPanion who is fupposed to have lost his life to obtain his | fienda borough,