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Who make mortality a guilt, and scold,
Be thou propitious, poetry shall know,
UPON BENJAMIN JONSON.
THOUGH Once high Statius o'er dead Lucan's hearse,
Would seem to fear his own hexameters,
7 Henry Coventry, son of the lord keeper, was educated at All Soul's College Oxford, of which he was fellow, and where, on the 31st August 1636, the degree of M. A. was conferred upon him by the king in person; he took a degree in law the 26th June 1638. He suffered much for the royal cause in the rebellion, but upon the restoration of the king he was made groom of the bed chamber to Charles II, sent upon embassies to Breda and Sweden, and on the 3d July, 1672, was sworn one of the principal secretaries of state. In 1680 he resigned his high office, and died at his house near Charing Cross on the 5th December, 1686 aged 68 years. He was buried in St. Martin's church. GILCHRIST.
Let not our poets fear to write of thee,
But pay without comparing thoughts at all,
Nor think whate'er they write on such a name,
If low, it rights thee more, and makes men see,
To praise each well composed piece of thine;
The Muse herself was link'd so near to thee,
Thomas May,-the son of Thomas May, Esq. who purchased the manor of Mayfield-place in Sussex (formerly an archiepiscopal palace, and afterwards the seat of the Greshams) and who was knighted at Greenwich in 1603 and died in 1616,was born in 1595, educated at Sidney College Cambridge, where he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and was ad mitted of Grays Inn the 6th August 1615. In 1617 he joined with his mother Joan May and his cousin Richard May of Eslington, in alienating the estate of Mayfield to John Baker, Esq. whose descendants have ever since enjoyed it. May's attachment to Charles I. and his subsequent apostacy,-his dramatic writings and translations, and his history of the parliament are sufficiently known. He died-already dead-drunk-the 13th November 1650. GILCHRIST.
ON BEN JONSON.
I DARE not, learned Shade, bedew thy herse
That worth, which silent wonder scarce can reach.
Unless we could redeem thee from the grave.
O could we weep like thee! we might convey New breath, and raise men from their beds of
Unto a life of fame; he is not dead,
Thrice happy those brave heroes, whom I meet Wrapt in thy writings, as their winding sheet! For, when the tribute unto nature due,
Was paid, they did receive new life from you; Which shall not be undated, since thy breath Is able to immortal, after death.
Thus rescued from the dust, they did ne'er see True life, until they were entomb'd by thee.
You that pretend to courtship, here admire Those pure and active flames, love did inspire: And though he could have took his mistress' ears, Beyond faint sighs, false oaths, and forced tears; His heat was still so modest, it might warm, But do the cloister'd votary no harm. The face he sometimes praises, but the mind, A fairer saint, is in his verse enshrin'd.
He that would worthily set down his praise, Should study lines as lofty as his plays. The Roman worthies did not seem to fight With braver spirit, than we see him write; His pen their valour equals; and that age Receives a greater glory from our stage. Bold Catiline, at once Rome's hate and fear, Far higher in his story doth appear; The flames those active furies did inspire, Ambition and Revenge, his better fire Kindles afresh; thus lighted, they shall burn, Till Rome to its first nothing do return. Brave fall, had but the cause been likewise good, Had he so, for his country, lost his blood! Some like not Tully in his own; yet while All do admire him in thy English style, I censure not; I rather think, that we May well his equal, thine we ne'er shall see. DUDLEY DIGGS.
• Dudley Digges, the son of sir Dudley Digges, master of the
TO THE IMMORTALITY OF MY LEARNED FRIEND,
I PARLIED once with death, and thought to yield,
I live, and to thy grateful Muse would pay
In vain I then strive to encrease thy glory,
rolls, was born at Chilham in Kent in 1612. He became a commoner in University College Oxford in 1629, took his B.A. degree in 1631, the year following was made probationer-fellow of All Souls, as founder's-kin, and in 1635 was licensed M. A. He was a man of strong parts and considerable attainments, and was firmly attached to the service of the king. He died at an early age, of a malignant fever called the Camp disease, and was buried in the chapel of All Souls college, October 1643.
I am unable to mention any thing concerning George Fortescue, further than his having some commendatory verses prefixed to Rivers's Devout Rhapsodies, 4to. 1648; sir John Beaumont's Bosworth Field, 8vo. 1629; and sir Thomas Hawkins's translation of some of Horace's Odes, 4th edition 8vo, 1638.