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Translated from the Latin by Basil Kennet.

(Camden's “ Britannia"-Oxfordshire.)
Rose of the world, not rose the fresh, pure flow'r,
Within this tomb bath taken up her bow'r:
She scenteth now and nothing sweet doth smell,

Which erst was wont to savour passing well. This is the well-known monkish epitaph in the nunnery at Godstow. “In Corio's History of Milan' it is stated to have been first placed on the tomb of Rosamunda, Queen of the Lombards, who died in the sixth century"

" (“Notes and Queries,” 2nd S. X. 88). Two stanzas in Warner's " Albion's England," on Queen Eleanor's discovery of Rosamund's bower, and treatment of her, are interesting in connection with the epitaph. The first is singularly beautiful (chap 41):

With that she dasht her on the lippes,

So dyed them doubly red:
Hard was the heart that gave the blow,

Soft were those lippes that bled.

Thus did faire Rose (no longer rose

Nor faire, in scent, or sight)
Whome pensive Henry did inter,

And soone her wrong did right.


OF HIS STATUE OF NIGHT.Translated from the Italian by Bland, in Collections from the Greek

Anthology,1813, 407. Night in this lovely posture you behold:

An angel's art to rugged marble gives

This slumbering form. Because she sleeps, she lives. Doubt you? Then wake her; by herself be told.

Michael Angelo thus answered for the goddess (translated by Bland):

Grateful is sleep—but more to be of stone,

While guilt and shame upon the earth appear.
My lot is happy nor to see nor hear:

Then wake me not-I fain would slumber on. The lines found by Michael Angelo on the pedestal of his statue are attributed to Giovanni Strozzi.

GALLATTA-BATTUS. (“The Mastive, or Young-Whelpe of the Olde-Dogge. Epigrams and

Satyrs.” By H. P.)

Vera Filia Patris.
Why strives young Gallatèa for the wall ?
If needs you'll know the cause (quoth one) you shall :
Her father was a mason, and, they say,
It makes her ladyship lean much that way.

Ebrius Dissimulans.
Battus (though bound from drinking wine of late)
Can thus far with his oath equivocate:
He will not drink, and yet be drunk ere noon,

His manner is to eat it with a spoon. The volume from which these epigrams are taken is ascribed by some to Henry Parrot; but this is, probably, a mistake, as the epigrams are very different in style, and very inferior in wit, to those in “ Laquei Ridiculosi” by that author. Others, with better reason, ascribe it to Henry Peacham, the author of " The Compleat Gentleman."


(Malone's "Shakespeare," 1821, II. 506.)
Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here:
Bless'd be the man that spares these stones,

And curs'd be he that moves my bones.
Similar execrations are found in many ancient Latin epitaphs; and
it is probable that such lines were common in Shakespeare's time.
They are supposed to allude to the custom of removing skeletons after

a certain period, and depositing them in charnel-houses. There is no reason to believe that Shakespeare wrote the lines himself. They were probably placed on his gravestone by those who had the care of his funeral. A correspondent of “Notes and Queries,” (3rd S. II. 164), states that he found a similar inscription in Wimbledon Churchyard, on a tomb of the date of 1847.


(Burke's “ Extinct Baronetage.”)
Would'st thou (Reader) draw to life
The perfect copy of a wife,
Read on, and then redeem from shame,
That lost, that honourable name.
This dust was once in spirit a Jael,
Rebecca in grace, in heart an Abigail,
In works a Dorcas, to the Church a Hannah,
And to her


Prudently simple, providently warie,
To the world a Martha, and to Heaven a Marie.

In “Wit Restored,” 1658, ed. 1817, II. 233, there is a quaint epitaph of similar character on a matron :

Here lies a wife was chaste, a mother blest;
A modest matron, all these in one chest:
Sarah unto her mate, Mary to God,

Martha to men whilst here she had abode. In the “Gentleman's Magazine," LXXX. Part II. 527, an epitaph of similar character at Grays, in Essex, is given:

Behold the silent grave; it doth embrace
A virtuous wife, with Rachel's lovely face,
Sarah's obedience, Lydia's open heart,
Martha's kind care, and Mary's better part.


(Wood's “Athena Oxonienses,” ed. 1813, II. 639.) The conceits of the writers known as the Metaphysical Poets, of whom Dr. Johnson, in his “ Life of Cowley," has given a masterly account, were sometimes carried to an extent which might appear almost incredible. An example is exhibited in an epitaph in the churchyard of Banbury over the grave of William Whatelie, or Wheatly, the vicar, a man of much learning, who died in 1039:

Whatsoe'er thou'lt say who passest by,

Why? here's enshrin'd celestial dust;
His bones, whose name and fame can't die,

These stones, as feoffees, weep in trust.
It's William Wheatly that here lies

Who swam to's tomb in 's people's eyes.
There is a Latin distich of a period a little earlier, by Bernardus
Bauhusius, on the death of Lipsius, in which the conceit by which
grief is expressed is almost as singular. The translation, by James
Wright, is of a date but little later (“Delitiæ Delitiarum,” 204):

Some in rich Parian stone, in ivory

And marble some, Lipsius in tears doth lie.
In “ A Farther Discourse on Epitaphs,” by Camden, in Hearne's
“ Collection of Curious Discourses,” an epigram is preserved “On the
Removal of Queen Elizabeth's Body from Richmond to Whitehall by

The Queen was brought by water to Whitehall,
At every stroke the oars tears let fall:
More clung about the barge, fish under water
Wept out their eyes of pearl, and swom blind after.
I think the bargemen might with easier thighs,
Have rowed her thither in her people's eyes.
For howsoe'er, thus much my thoughts have scann'd,

Sh‘ad come by water, had she come by land. Camden calls this “doleful"; Horace Walpole says it is “a most perfect example of the bathos."

HUGO GROTIUS, When confined in the fortress of Loevestein on suspicion of favouring the Arminians, obtained permission to borrow books, which came in and were returned in chests. His wife enabled him to effect his escape by concealing him in one of these chests, supposed by the guards to contain books. The following epigram was made on the event. It is translated from the Latin in "Selections from the French Anas," 1797, II. 17:

This chest, which to its master did convey
Full many a massy volume every day,
Unconscious now of greater weight and cares,
A living library in Grotius bears.

Owen addressed a Latin epigram “ To Roger Owen, a learned Knight " (Bouk IV. 245), which Harvey thus translates :

Thou know'st the Britons' laws, their old, new rites,
And all that their whole history recites :
In thy discourse, thou’rt so profoundly read,

A living library seems in thine head. Cowper, in the second of his odes “On the burning of Lord Mansfield's Library,” rejoices in the care which preserved "his sacred head from harm,” and adds :

There Memory, like the bee that's fad

From Flora's balmy store,
The quintessence of all he read

Had treasured up before.

(“Wit Restored,” published 1658. Reprinted 1817, II. 232.)

Could he forget his death that every hour
Was emblem'd to it, by the fading flower ?
Should he not mind his end ? Yes, sure he must,

That still was conversant ’mongst beds of dust. Unhappily, it is too commonly the case that those who are “emblemed to " death are the very persons who think the least of their own end. The callousness which is bred by habit is inimitably drawn out by Shakespeare in the grave-diggers' scene in “Hamlet," where the singing of the one clown and the play of wit of both, is only interrupted by the order of the one to the other, “Go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of liquor."

COLONEL JOIN LILBURN, Born in 1618, was called, says Granger, “ Freeborn John," and was the most hardened and refractory of all the seditious libellers of the time. He was, moreover, of such a quarrelsome disposition, that it was appositely said of him, Wood tells us, “ that, if there was none living but he, John would be against Lilburn, and Lilburn against John. This saying was probably the origin of the following epigram on his death, which is found in Grey's notes to Butler's “Hudibras,” ed. 1806, II. 271; and in other places :

Is John departed, and is Lilburn gone?
Farewell to both, to Lilburn and to John.

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