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ELEGY ON SIR HENRY WOTTON,

WRIT BY

Mr. ABRAM COWLEY,

W hat shall we say, since filent now is he,
Who when he spoke all things would silent be?
Who had so many languages in store,
That only Fame shall speak of him in more.
Whom England now no more return'd must fee;
He's gone to heav'n on his fourth embassy.
On earth he travellid often, not to say
He'd been abroad to pass loose time away;
For in whatever land he chanc'd to come,
He read the men and manners; bringing home

Their

7.64 Every thing which Cowley wrote,” says the editor of his select works, “ is either so “good or so bad, that in all reason a separation should be made.” His Elegy on the death of Sir Henry Wotton is classed by him among the latter, as he has not inserted it in his “ Collec« tion of Cowley's Poems.” Dr. Johnson entertains a more favourable opinion of it: By him it is pronounced to be vigorous and happy, the series of thoughts easy and natural, and the conclusion, though a little weakened by the intrusion of Alexander, elegarit' and forcible. Denham has remarked of Cowley,

“ To him no author was unknown,
"" Yet what he writ was all his own."

The last lines of this elegy bear so strong a resemblance to an epigram of Grotius upon the death of Joseph Scaliger, that the great critic above quoted thinks them copied from it, though they are copied by no servile hand. Joseph Scaliger, like Sir Henry Wotton, was celebrated for his accurate knowledge of languages. Grotius composed four elegies on the death of this eminent scholar.

That which Cowley is supposed to have imitated begins with these lines

“ Hic jacet et Gades super exauditus et Indos
“ Scaliger, hic mundi publica lingua jacet."

Their-wisdom, learning, and their piety,
As if he went to conquer not to see.
So well he understood the most and best
Of tongues that Babel sent into the West;
Spoke them so truly, that he had (you'd swear)
Not only liv'd but been born every where.
Justly each nation's speech to him was known;
Who for the world was made, not us alone.
Nor ought the language of that man be less,
Who in his breast had all things to express :
We say that learning's endless, and blame Fate
For not allowing life a longer date.
He did the utmost bounds of knowledge find,
And found them not so large as was his mind;
But, like the brave Pellean youth", did moan,
Because that art had no more worlds than one.
And when he saw that he through all had past,
He dy'd left he should idle grow at last.

A. COWLEY.

Sir Henry Wotton's most important emballies were those to Venice. To that republic he was thrice sent ambassador from James I.

d«Unus Pellæo juveni non fufficit orbis."

Juyen. Sat. X. 168.

APPENDIX

THE WORKS OF SIR HENRY WOTTON.

SIR HENRY WOTTON is addressed as a poet by Bastard the epigrammatist, in the following lines :

Wotton, the country and the country swaine,
“ How can they yeelde a poet any sense?
“ How can they stirre him up or heal his vaine?
• How can they feed him with intelligence ?
“ You have tha: fire which can a wit enflame
“ In happy London, England's fayreft eye :
" Well may you poets have of worthy name
“ Which have the foode and life of poetry.

“ And yet the country or the towne may (way
" Or bear a part, as clownes doe in a play."

His poems were collected by Isaac Walton, and inserted in « RELIQUIÆ WOTTO. NIANÆ; or, a Collection of Lives, Letters, Poems with Characters of sundry Personages, and other incomparable Pieces of Language and Art: By the curious Pencil of the ever memorable Sir Henry Wotton, K'. late Provost of Eton College, 1651.” In the fourth edition which appeared in 1685, is the valuable addition of letters to the Lord Zouch.

This collection contains the “ TREATISE on the ELEMENTS of ARCHITECTURE," first published in 1624, 4to. This Treatise is still held in great estimation, has been translated into Latin, and annexed to the works of Vitruvius, and to Freart's “ Parallel of the Ancient Architecture with the Modern."

Besides the pieces in “ The Remains," Sir Henry Wotton wrote
I. “ A JOURNAL of his EMBASSIES to ROME ”

11. “ THREE PROPOSITIONS to the COURT of ĄNGOSCIOLA, in MATTERS of DUELS.”

III. “ The STATE of CHRISTENDOM; or, a most exact and curious Discovery of many secret Passages and hidden Mysteries of the Times: Written by the renowned Sir Henry Wotton, K'. Ambaffadour in Ordinary to the Most Serene Republique of Venice, and late Provost of Eaton College.” London, 1657. To which is added “ A SUPPLEMENT to the HISTORY of the STATE OF CHRISTENDOM.” Reprinted in 1677.

This work was begun about the year 1599, during Sir Henry Wotton's first residence at Venice, after his departure from Froland.

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