Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

11S

posture as required not the least alteration by those that came to shrowd him.

Thus VARIABLE, thus VIRTUOUS was the life; thus EXCELLENT, thus EXEMPLARY was the death of this memorable man.

He was buried in that place of St. Paul's Church, which he had appointed for that use some years before his death, and by which he passed daily to pay his public devotions to Almighty God (who was then served twice a day by a public form of prayer and praises in that place); but he was not buried privately, though he desired it; for, beside an unnumbered number of others, many persons of nobility, and of eminency for learning, who did love and honour him in his life, did shew it at his death, by a voluntary and sad attendance of his body to the grave, where nothing was so remarkable as a public sorrow.

To which place of his burial some mournful friend repaired, and, as Alexander the Great' did to the grave of the famous Achilles, so they strewed his with an abundance of curious and costly flowers”; which course they (who were never yet known) continued morning and evening for many days, not ceasing till the stones that were taken up in that church to give his body admission into the cold earth (now his bed of rest) were

again

fWhen Alexander crossed the Hellefpont, to visit the ruins of Ilium, he sacrificed to the heroes buried in the neighbourhood, especially to Achilles. Hephestion, as a mark of his friendship to Alexander, crowned the tomb of Patroclus with flowers. (Ant. Un. Hift. Vol. VIII. p. 507.).

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

“With fairelt flowers,
" Whilst summer laits, and I live here, Fidele,
" I'll sweeten thy Sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
" The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
" The azur'd hare-bell."

SHAKSP. Gymboline, A. IV. Sc. V.

again by the mafons' art fo levelled and firmed, as they had been formerly, and his place of burial undistinguishable to common view.

The next day after his burial, fome unknown friend, fome one of the many lovers and admirers of his virtue and learning, writ this epitaph with a coal on the wall over his grave:

“ Reader! I am to let thee know,
“ Donne's body only lies below:
“ For, could the grave his soul comprise,
“ Earth would be richer than the skies.”

Nor was this all the honour done to his reverend ashes; for as there be fome persons that will not receive a reward for that for which God ac-, counts himself a debtor; persons that dare trust God with their charity, and without a witness; so there was by some grateful unknown friend, that thought Dr. Donne's memory ought to be perpetuated, an hundred' marks sent to his two faithful friends and executors (Dr. King and Dr. Monfort) towards the making of his monument. It was not for many years known by whoin; but after the death of Dr. Fox, it was known that it was he that fent it: And he lived to see as lively a representation of his dead friend, as marble can express; a statue indeed so like Dr. Donne, that (as his friend, Sir Henry Wotton, had expressed himself) “ It seems to breathe

faintly, and posterity shall look upon it as a kind of artificial miracle.”

He was of Nature moderately tall, of a straight and equally-proportioned body; to which all his words and actions gave an unexpressible addition of comeliness.

The melancholy and pleasant humour were in him fo contem ed, that each gave advantage to the other, and made his company :2 of the delights of mankind.

His fancy was inimitably high, equalled only by his great wit; both being made useful by a commanding judgment.

His aspect was cheerful, and such as gave a silent testimony of a clear knowing soul, and of a conscience at peace with itself.

His

His melting eye shewed that he had a soft heart, full of compassion; of too brave a soul to offer injuries, and too much a Christian not to pardon them in others.

He did much contemplate (especially after he entered into his sacred calling) the mercies of Almighty God, the immortality of the soul, and the. joys of heaven; and would often say, in a kind of facred ecstacy, “Blessed “ be God that he is God, only and divinely like himself.”

He was by nature passionate, but more apt to reluct at the excesses of it. A great lover of the offices of humanity, and of so merciful a spirit, that he never beheld the miseries of mankind without pity and relief.

He was earnest and unwearied in the search of knowledge; with which his vigorous foul is now fatisfied, and employed in a continual praise of that God that first breathed it into his active body; that body which once was a temple of the Holy Ghost, and is now become a small quantity of Christian dust:- But I shall see it reanimated.

J. WALTON.

FEBRUARY 15, 1639.

VERSES TO THE MEMORY OF DR. J. DONNE.

[blocks in formation]

Dr. Richard Corbet, in 1632, translated from the See of Oxford, to that of Norwich, died in 1635. He was in his younger years one of the most celebrated wits in the university of Oxford, afterward admired for his quaint and eloquent preaching, and much commended for his great liberality and munificence, and particularly in promoting the repair of St. Paul's Cathedral. The volume of his poems, which have great merit, is not common; and therefore several extracts from it are published in the Biographia Britannica.

" If flowing wit, if verses writ with ease,
“ If learning, void of pedantry, can please ;
“ If much good humour, join'd to solid sense,
“ And mirth, accompanied with innocence,
“ Can give a poet a just right to fame,
“ Then CORBET may immortal honour claim :
" For he these virtues had, and in his lines
“ Poetic and heroic spirit shines; .
" Tho' bright, yet solid, pleasant but not rude,
" With wit and wisdom equally endu'd.
“ Be filent, Muse, thy praises are too faint,
" Thou want'st a power this prodigy to paint, -
* At once a poet, prelate, and a faint.

Biog. Brit. in the Article CORBET.)

J. C.

« AnteriorContinuar »