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In one short sentence to comprize the whole,
Preserve thy life, my too, too generous friend,
Let princely Monmouth courtly wiles beware,
Ca'ndish, farewell! may Fame our names entwine! Through life I loved thee, dying I am thine; With pious rites let dust to dust be thrown, And thus inscribe my monumental stone. “ Here Russel lies, enfranchised by the grave, " He prized his birthright, nor would live a slave.
* Few were his words, but honest and sincere, . “ Dear were his friends, his country still more dear ; “ In parents, children, wife supremely bless'd, “ But that one passion swallow'd all the rest ; “ To guard her freedom was his only pride, “ Such was his love, and for that love he died." “ Yet fear not thou, when Liberty displays “ Her glorious flag, to steer his course to praise ; " For know, (whoe'er thou art that read'st his fatė, “ And think'st, perhaps, his sufferings were too
great,) “ Bless'd as he was, at her imperial call, • Wife, children, parents-he resign'd them all; " Each fond affection then forsook his soul, " And AMOR PATRIÆ occupied the whole ; « In that great cause he joy'd to meet his doom, « Bless'd the keen axe, and triumph'd o'er the
The hour draws near-But what are hours to me?
West Lothian, 1721,-1672.
Whatever nationality could do for a Poem, has been done
for this writer's Epigoniad. Hume recommended it in the Critical Review, as one of the ornaments of our language, Smollett enumerated it among the glories of George the Second's reign, and he is called the Scottish Homer. All would not do, the fable is well invented, but it is dull, the verses respectable but dull, the author learn d but duil, and dulness is the poctical sin, for which there is
no redemption. Wilkie wrote this poem as the most probable means of in.
troducing himself to the notice of the Great. He composed an epick poem upon the speculation of getting pre
ferment. In person he was slovenly, dirty, and even nauseous, he abhorred nothing so much as clean sheets. One evening at Hatton, being asked by Lady Lauderdale to stay all night, he expressed an attachment to his own bed, but said, if her Ladyship would give him a pair of foul sheets, lıç would stay. But there are more honourable traits in Wilkie's character ;
his talents made him the best farmer in his neighbour,
hood, his honesty the worst dealer in the market, he was parsimonious, and parsimony must be ascribed to him as a virtue, for he had been obliged to borrow ten pounds for his father's burial, and had been refused the loan by his uncle: he provided for his sisters, and was known to
he charitable when he had amassed money. Wallace said, nobody could venture to cope with him in
conversation ; both his manner and thoughts were mas. culine in a degree peculiar to himself. It is extraordinary that no trace of this manliness or originality is to be found in his writings, but it is still more extraordinary that a man should have been able to write verses at all, who could not read them without violating all metre and all melody by the grossest mistakes in quantity and pro
nunciation. His Fables are even worse than his Epick; that which we
have selected is the best, as well as the shortest. His
Dream will show his own opinion of his epick merits. At the time of his death he was Professor of Natural Philo
sophy at St. Andrews, the only preferment he ever obtained, except the living of Rath's, which he resigned for it.
From “ The Epigoniad."
BOOK III. The Spartan bands, with thirst of vengeance fired, The fight maintain’d; nor from their toils respired,
Before the hero fallen, the warriors stand,
Pallas observed, and from the Olympian height