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be an occasional author, and to contribute songs to the dramatic performances of the day.
Although Dryden's lady certainly did not erect Purcell's monument, it is more than probable, judging from internal evidence, that the poet contributed the inscription, which runs thus :
Who left this life,
can be erceeded.
Obiit 21mo die Novembris,
Anno ætatis suæ 37mo,
• I have here inserted the Dedication which led to so singular a mistake, as the “ Orpheus Britannicus” is a scarce book. To the Honourable Lady Howard. Madam, Were it in the power of music to abate those strong impressions of grief wbich have continued upon me ever since the loss of my dear lamented husband, there are few, I believe, who are furnished with larger or better supplies of comfort from this science, than he bas left me in his
own compositions, and in the satisfaction I find, that they are not more valued by me, who must own myself fond to a partiality of all that was his, than by those who are no less judges than patrons of his performances. i find, madam, I bave already said enough to justify the presumption of this application to your ladyship, who have added both these characters to the many excellent qualities which make you the admiration of all that know you.
“ Your ladyship’s extraordinary skill in music, beyond most of either sex, and your great goodness to that dear person, whom you have sometimes been pleased to honour with the title of your master, makes it hard for me to judge whether he contributed more to the vast improvements you have made in that science, or your ladyship to the reputation he gained in the profession of it: For I have often heard him say, that, as several of his best compositions were originally designed for your ladyship's entertainment, so the pains he bestowed in fitting them for your ear, were abundantly rewarded by the satisfaction he has received from your approbation and admirable per. formance of them, which has best recommended both them and their author to all that have had the happiness of hearing them from your ladyship.
“ Another great advantage, to which my husband has often imputed the success of his labours, and which may best plead for your ladyship’s favourable acceptance of this collection, has been the great justness both of thought and numbers which he found in the poetry of our most refined writers, and among them, of that honourable gentleman, who has the dearest and most deserved relation to yourself, and whose excellent compositions were the subject of bis last and best performances in music.
“ Thus, madam, your ladyship has every way the justest titles to the patronage of this book ; the publication of which, under the auspicious influence of your name, is the best (I had almost said the only) means I have left, of testifying to the world, my desire to pay the last honours to its dear author, The stone over the grave bore the following epitaph :
Plaudite, felices Superi, tanto hospite; nostris
Præfuerat, vestris additur ille choris :
Questa decus secli, deliciasque bredes
Musa, prophana suos, religiosa suos :
Dumque colet numeris turba canora Deum.
Of the following ode, it may be briefly observed, that it displays much conceit, and little pathos, although the introductory simile is beautifully worded.
your ladyship having generously prevented my intended performance of the duty I owe to his ashes, by erecting a fair monument over them, and gracmg it with an inscription which may perpetuate both the marble and his memory.
“ Your generosity, which was too large to be confined either to his life or person, has also extended itself to his posterity, on whom your ladyship has been pleased to entail your favours, which must, with all gratitude, be acknowledged as the most valuable part of their inheritance, both by them, and your ladyship's most obliged, and most bumble servant,
THE DEATH OF
SET TO MUSIC BY DR BLOW.
Mark how the lark and linnet sing;
With rival notes
To welcome in the spring.
But in the close of night,
They cease their mutual spite,
The godlike man,
As he too late began.
Had he been there,
Their sovereign's fear
The power of harmony too well they knew:
They handed him along, And all the way he taught, and all the way they sung. Ye brethren of the lyre, and tuneful voice, Lament his lot, but at your own rejoice: Now live secure, and linger out your days; The gods are pleased alone with Purcell's lays,
Nor know to mend their choice.
This was perhaps Frances, daughter of Sir William Brooke, Knight
of the Bath, and wife to Sir Thomas Whitmore, Knight-Baronet.
Fair, kind, and true, a treasure each alone,
Come, virgins, ere in equal bands ye join,