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Sepulchral Lies, our holy walls to grace,
REMARKS. Ver. 43. Sepulchral Lies.) is a just satire on the Flatteries and Falsehoods admitted to be inscribed on the walls of Churches, in Epitaphs ; which occafioned the following Epigram : “ Friend! in your Epitaphs, I'm griev'd,
“ So very much is said :
66 The other never read." Ver. 44. New-year Odes.] Made by the Poet Laureate for the time being, to be sung at Court on every New-year's day, the words of which are happily drowned in the voices and instruments. The New-year Odes of the Hero of this work were of a cast distinguished from all that preceded him, and made a conspicuous part of his character as a writer, which doubtless induced our Author to mention them here so particularly.
Ver. 45. In clouded Majesty here Dulness fhone ;] See this Cloud removed, or rolled back, or gathered up to her head, book iv. ver. 17, 18. It is worth while to compare this description of the Majesty of Dulness in a State of peace and tranquillity, with that more busy scene where she mounts the throne in triumph, and is not so much supported by her own Virtues, as by the princely consciousness of having destroyed all other.
Prudence, whose glass presents th' approaching jail:
Here the beholds the Chaos dark and deep, SS
70 How Time himself stands ftill at her command, Realms shift their place, and Ocean turns to land, Here gay description Ægypt glads with lowers, Or gives to Zembla fruits, to Barca flowers ; Glittering with ice here hoary hills are seen,
75 There painted vallies of eternal green, In cold December fragrant chaplets blow, And heavy harveits nod beneath the snow.
All REMARKS. Ver. 57. genial Jacob] Tonfon. The famous race of Booksellers of that name.
All these, and more, the cloud-compelling Queen Beholds through fogs, that magnify the scene. 80 She, tinsel d o'er in robes of varying hues, With self-applause her wild creation views; Sees momentary monsters rise and fall, And with her own fools-colours gilds them all.
'Twas on the day, when ** rich and grave, Like Cimon triumph'd both on land and wave : (Pomps without guilt, of bloodless swords and maces, Glad chains, warm furs, broad banners, and broad faces) Now Night descending, the proud scene was o'er, But liv’d, in Settle's numbers, one day more. 90
Now VARIATION. Ver. 85. in the former Editions,
'Twas on the day, when Thorold, rich and grave. Sir George Thorold, Lord Mayor of London in the year 1720.
of the poem.
Ver. 85, 86. 'Twas on the Day, when * * rich and grave-Like Cimon triumph’d] Viz. a Lord Mayor's Ďay; his name the author had left in blanks, but most certainly could never be that which the Editor foilted in formerly, and which no way agrees with the chronology
Bentl. The procession of a Lord Mayor is made partly by land, and partly by water-Cimon, the famous Athenian General, obtained a victory by sea, and another by land, on the same day, over the Persians and Barbarians.
Ver. 90. But liv'd, in Settle's numbers, one day more.] A beautiful manner of speaking, usual with poets in praise of poetry.
Ibid. But liv'd, in Settle's numbers, one day more.] Settle was poet to the City of London. His office was
Now Mayors and Shrieves all hufh'd and satiate lay,
to compose yearly panegyrics upon the Lord Mayors, and verles to be spoken in the Pageants: But that part of the shows being at length frugally abolished, the employment of City-poet ceased; so that upon Settle's demile, there was no successor to that place.
Ver. 98. John Heywood, whose Interludes were printed in the time of Henry VIII,
Ver. 103. Old Pryn in restless Daniel] The first edition had it,
She law in Norton all his father thine : a great Mistake! for Daniel de Foe had parts, but Norton de Foe was a wretched writer, and never attempted Poetry. Much more justly is Daniel himself made fuccesor to W. Pryn, both of whom wrote Verses as well as Politics ; as appears by the .Poem de Jure divino, &c. of De Foe, and by some lines in Cowley's MiscelJanies on the other. And both these authors had a refemblance in their fates as well as their writings, having been alike sentenced to the Pillory.
She saw slow Philips creep like Tate's poor page, 105 And all the mighty Mad in Dennis rage.
Ver. 104. And Eusden eke out, &c.] Laurence Eurden Poet Laureate. Mr. Jacob gives a catalogue of fome few only of his works, which were very numerous. Mr. Cooke, in his Battle of Poets, faith of him,
“ Eusden, a laureld Bard, by fortune rais’d,
“ By very few was read, by fewer prais'd.” Mr. Oldmixon, in his Arts of Logic and Rhetoric, p. 413, 414. affirms, “ That of all the Galimatia's he
ever met with, none comes up to some verses of this
poet, which have as much of the Ridiculum and the “ Fustian in them as can well be jumbled together, and are “ of that sort of nonsense, which so perfectly confounds “ all ideas, that there is no distinct one left in the mind." Farther he says of him, “ That he hath prophesied his “ own poetry shall be sweeter than Catullus, Ovid, and “ Tibullus ; but we have little hope of the accomplish"ment of it, from what he hath lately published.” Upon which Mr. Oldmixon has not spared a reflection, “ That the putting the laurel on the head of one who “ writ such verses, will give futurity a very lively idea “ of the judgment and justice of those who bestowed it. Ibid. p. 417. But the well-known learning of that noble Person, who was then Lord Chamberlain, might have screened him from this unmannerly reflection. Nor ought Mr. Oldmixon to complain, so long after, that the laurel would have better become his own brows, or any other’s: It were more decent to acquiefce in the opinion of the Duke of Buckingham upon this matter :
“ --In rulh'd Eusden, and cry’d, who shall have it, “ But I, the true Laureate, to whom the King gave it? “ Apollo begg‘d pardon, and granted his claim, " But vow'd that till then he ne'er heard of his name."
Session of Pocts.