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SHIRE. 1649-1720.
Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well.

Essay on Poetry. There's no such thing in nature, and you 'll draw A faultless monster which the world ne'er saw.

Ibid. Read Homer once, and you can read no more, For all books else appear so mean, so poor ; Verse will seem prose ; but still persist to read, And Homer will be all the books you need.


HENRY ALDRICH. 1647 – 1710.

If on my theme I rightly think,
There are five reasons why men drink :
Good wine, a friend, because I'm dry,
Or lest I should be by and by,
Or any other reason why.'

Biog. Britannica. Vol. i. p. 131. 1 These lines are a translation of a Latin epigram (erroneously ascribed to Aldrich in the Biog. Brit.) which Menage and De la Monnoye attribute to Père Sirmond.

Si bene commemini, causæ sunt quinque bibendi ;
Hospitis adventus ; præsens sitis atque futura;
Et vini bonitas, et quælibet altera causa.

Menagiana, Vol. i. p. 172.

THOMAS OTWAY. 1651 - 1685.

O woman! lovely woman! nature made thee
To temper man; we had been brutes without you.
Angels are painted fair, to look like you :
There 's in you all that we believe of heaven;
Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
Eternal joy, and everlasting love.

Venice Preserved. Act i. Sc. I. Dear as the vital warmth that feeds my life ; Dear as these eyes, that weepin fondness o'er thee."

Ibid. Act v. Sc. I. What mighty ills have not been done by woman? Who was 't betray'd the Capitol? A woman! Who lost Mark Antony the world ? A woman ! Who was the cause of a long ten years' war, And laid at last old Troy in ashes? Woman ! Destructive, damnable, deceitful woman!

The Orphan. Actii. Sc. I.


1653-1716. I knew a very wise man that believed that, if a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation. Letter to the Marquis of Montrose, the Earl of Rothes, etc. ISAAC NEWTON. 1642 – 1727.

i Compare Gray, The Bard, Part i. St. 3.

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble, or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Brewster's Memoirs of Newton. Vol. ii. Ch. 27.

NATHANIEL LEE. 1655 – 1692.

Then he will talk-good gods! how he will talk !?

Alexander the Great. Act i. Sc. 3.

Vows with so much passion, swears with sɔ

much grace, That 't is a kind of heaven to be deluded by him.

Ibid. Act i. Sc. 3. When Greeks joined Greeks, then was the tug of war.

Ibid. Act iv. Sc. 2. | See Milton, Paradise Reg., Book iv. Lines 327–330.

? It would talk,

Lord! how it talked ! Beaumont and Fletcher, The Scornful Lady, Act v. Sc. 1. 'T is beauty calls, and glory shows the way."

Alexander the Great. Act iv. Sc. 2. Man, false man, smiling, destructive man.

Theodosius. Act iii. Sc. 2.

JOHN NORRIS. 1657 1711.

How fading are the joys we dote upon !
Like apparitions seen and gone ;

But those which soonest take their flight
Are the most exquisite and strong;

Like angels' visits, short and bright, Mortality 's too weak to bear them long.

The Parting


Pity 's akin to love.

Oroonoka. Act ii. Sc. I.

| leads the way,' in the stage editions, which contain various interpolations, among them

“See the conquering hero comes,

Sound the trumpet, beat the drums," which was first used by Handel in Joshua, afterwards transferred to Judas Maccabaus, The text of both oratorios was written by Dr. Thomas Morell, a clergy. man. ? Like those of angels, short and far between.

Blair, The Grave, Line 588.
Like angel-visits, few and far between.

Campbell, Pleasures of Hope, Part ii. Line 378. 3 Compare Beaumont and Fletcher, ante, p. 157.

JOHN DENNIS. 1657 – 1734.

A man who could make so vile a pun would not scruple to pick a pocket.?

They will not let my play run ; and yet they steal my thunder.”

JOHN POMFRET. 1667 – 1703.

We bear it calmly, though a ponderous woe, And still adore the hand that gives the blow.3

Verses to his Friend under Affliction.

Heaven is not always angry when he strikes, But most chastises those whom most he likes.


i This on the authority of The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. li. p. 324.

2 Our author, for the advantage of this play (Appius and Virginia), had invented a new species of thunder, which was approved of by the actors, and is the very sort that at present is used in the theatre. The tragedy, how. ever, was coldly received notwithstanding such assistance, and was acted but a short time. Some nights after, Mr. Dennis being in the pit, at the representation of Macbeth, heard his own thunder made use of; upon which he rose in a violent passion, and exclaimed, with an oath, that it was his thunder. “See,” said he, “how the rascals use me! They will not let my play run; and yet they steal my thunder." — Biog. Britannica, Vol. v. p. 103. 8 Bless the hand that gave the blow.

Dryden, The Spanish Friar, Act ii. Sc. 1.

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