« ForrigeFortsæt »
Nor are you, learned friend, the least renowned ;
These ruins sheltered once his sacred head,
give his work to the press, which he only consented to do on Dr Ent's undertaking the task of editor. Harvey died in June 1667.
Ent himself was a physician of eminence, and received the honour of knighthood from Charles II. He defended Dr Harvey's theory of circulation against Parisanus, in a treatise, entitled, Apologia pro circulatione sanguinis contra Æmilianum Parisanum. He was an active member of the Royal Society, and died, according to Wood, 13th October, 1689.
* First edit. Chose by.
+ This conceit, turning on the ancient and modern hypothesis, is founded on the following curious passage in Dr Charleton's dedication of the “ Chorea Gigantum” to Charles II. “ Your majesty's curiosity to survey the subject of this discourse, the so much admired antiquity of Stone-Henge, hath sometime been so great and urgent,, as to find room in your royal breast, amidst your weightiest cares; and to carry you many miles out of your way towards safety, when any heart, but your fearless and invincible one, would have been wholly filled with apprehensions of danger. For as I have had the honour to hear from that oracle of truth and wisdom, your majesty's own mouth, you were pleased to visit that monument, and for many hours together entertain yourself with the delightful view thereof'; when, after the defeat of your loyal army at Worcester, Almighty God, in infinite mercy to your three kingdoms, miraculously delivered you out of the bloody jaws of those monsters of sin and cruelty, who, taking counsel only from the heinousness of their crimes, sought impunity in the highest aggravation of them ; desperately hoping to secure rebellion by regicide, and by destroying their sovereign, to continue their tyranny over their fellow-subjects."
EPISTLE THE FOURTH.
UPON HER ENCOURAGING HIS FIRST PLAY,
THE WILD GALLANT,
ACTED IN 1662-3.
Barbara Villiers, heiress of William Viscount Grandison, in Ireland, and wife of Roger Palmer, Esq., was the first favourite, who after the Restoration of Charles II. enjoyed the power and consequence a royal mistress. It is even said, that the king took her from her husband, upon the very day of his landing, and raised him, in compensation, to the rank and title of Earl of Castlemain. The lady herself was created Lady Nonsuch, Countess of Southampton, and finally Duchess of Cleveland. She bore the king three sons and three daughters, and long enjoyed a considerable share of his favour.
It would seem, that, in 1662-3, while Lady Castlemain was in the very height of her reign, she extended her patronage to our author, upon his commencing his dramatic career. In the preface to his first play, “ The Wild Gallant,” he acknowledges, that it met with very indifferent success, and had been condemned by the greater part of the audience. But he adds, “ it was well received at court, and was more than once the divertisement of his majesty by his own command."* These marks of royal favour were
* Preface to " The Wild Gallant,” Vol. II. p. 17.
doubtless owing to the intercession of Lady Castlemain. If we can trust the sarcasm thrown out by a contemporary satirist, our author piqued himself more on this light and gallant effusion, than its importance deserved. † The verses abound with sprightly and ingenious turns; and the conceits, which were the taste of the
age, shew to some advantage on such an occasion. There is, however, little propriety in comparing the influence of the royal mistress to the virtue of Cato.
+ Dryden, who one would have thought had more wit,
The censure of every man did disdain ;
Session of the Poets, 1670.
EPISTLE THE FOURTH.
s seamen, shipwrecked on some happy shore, Discover wealth in lands unknown before; And, what their art had laboured long in vain, By their misfortunes happily obtain : So my much-envied muse, by storms long tost, Is thrown upon your hospitable coast, And finds more favour by her ill success, Than she could hope for by her happiness. Once Cato's virtue did the gods oppose; While they the victor, he the vanquished chose : But you have done what Cato could not do, To choose the vanquished, and restore him too. Let others still triumph, and gain their cause By their deserts, or by the world's applause; Let merit crowns, and justice laurels give, But let me happy by your pity live. True poets empty fame and praise despise, Fame is the trumpet, but your smile the prize. You sit above, and see vain men below Contend for what you only can bestow; But those great actions others do by chance, Are, like your beauty, your inheritance : So great a soul, such sweetness joined in one, Could only spring from noble Grandison.
* This seems to be the passage sneered at in the “ Session of the Poets."