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But oh! if from your praise I feel
just commands obey.
Leaves me unpitied far behind On the forsaken barren shore,
To sigh with echo and the murmuring wind. With melancholy eyes I view the plains,
Where all I see is ravishing and gay, And all I hear is mirth in loudest strains : Thus while the chosen seed possess the promis’d land, I like the excluded prophet stand ; The fruitful happy soil can only see But am forbid by fate's decree To share the triumph of the joyful victory.
All we can collect from this is, that Doctor Burnet wished the lady's nuse to be employed on a nobler subject,-to sing, doubtless, the exploits of the great Nassau the deliverer; but her “loyalty" forbad ;--she was then a Jacobite, and did not approve of the glorious revolution. Near the end of this poem she speaks, alas! of her "indigence and lost repose.”
Earl of Dorset.
BORN 1637.-Died 1705.
“ The best good natured Man, with the worst natured Muse.”
The Earl of Dorset was in the early part of his life the companion of Buckingham, Rochester, Sedley, and the other dissipated noblemen and wits of Charles the Second's court.
Like Sedley, he made some amends for the follies of his youth, by joining the party which opposed the violent measures of James the Second, and promoting the revolution which placed William the Third upon the British throne. He was rewarded with a place about the
person of that monarch, and lost his life in consequence. Being exposed, with the king, in an open boat, for several hours in rough and tempestuous weather, his health declined, and he died in the 68th year
of his age.
With the place this nobleman occupies in the British History, or the British Peerage, we are not concerned, but it may perhaps be permitted us to express an opinion respecting the place he has been allowed to fill among the poets of his country; for he was certainly indebted to the patronage he afforded to men of genius, and to his rank, rather than to his poetic deserts. Dryden,
who requires all his reputation as a poet to palliate his total want of dignified and honourable feeling as a man, repaid in abject flattery what he obtained from him in patronage. Prior followed, and drew his character in glowing colours. Pope ranks him above all the wits and geniuses of his age; and finally, Johnson enrolls him among the classical poets of his country.There is however less excuse for Pope and Johnson, than for Dryden and Prior; personal intimacy and the influence of living rank may palliate in a degree, the absurd flatteries of the latter, but the praise bestowed by Pope sbewed total want of judgment and of taste, and absolute forgetfulness of his own just but severe remark:
" But let a Lord once own the happy lines,
And Johnson, the rigid moralist and unsparing critic, should not have admitted into a collection of national poetry, a very few pieces, in which some po tion of wit is blended with a much greater portion of gross personal abuse, and undisguised indelicacy, though the author was a nobleman.
SONG. Dorinda's sparkling wit and eyes
United, cast too fierce a light,
Pains not the heart, but hurts the sight.
Smooth are bis looks, and soft his pace ;
That runs his link full in your face.
Corydon beneath a willow,
By a murmuring current laid,
Thus address'd the charming maid,
0! my Saccharissa tell
How could nature take delight, That a heart so hard should dwell
In a frame so soft and white.
Could you feel but half the anguish,
Half the tortures that I bear, How for you I daily languish;
You'd be kind as you are fair,
See the fire that in me reigns,
O! behold a burning man: Think I feel my dying pains, And be cruel if
With her conquest pleas'd the dame
Cry’d, with an insulting look, Yes, I fain would quench your flame :
She spoke and pointed to the brook.
BORN ABOUT 1690.-Died 1747.
The very respectable family of this learned and worthy Divine, has long been settled in the western part of the County of Kent. It does not appear from Hasted, when he became Rector of Sevenoke, (or Sevenoaks, commonly called Sennock), which was in the patronage of his family, but we learn that in 1715, he was collated to the valuable vicarage of Wrotham, in the same county, of which he was before rector. He died in 1747, and was succeeded in the Rectorship of Sevenoaks by his son, Dr. Henry Curteis, who was afterwards a Prebendary of Canterbury Cathedral, and Rector of St. Dionis Backchurch, London. Dr. Curteis died at his house at Sevenoaks in 1775, and was there buried.
In 1728, Mr. Thomas Curteis published his “ Eirenodia; a Poem sacred to Peace and the promoting of Human Happiness : Inscribed to his Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: Printed for R. Wilkin, in 8vo. St. Paul's Church Yard, 1728." As the Poem has in many parts great merit, and is a very good specimen of the Miltonic style, we shall give it entire, together with the Dedication to Archbishop Wake, and such parts of the Preface as serve to explain the nature and design of the Poem.