Imagens das páginas

of Parliament, fpake of the fame to other members of Parliament; who fpake thereof unto the Peers of the Realm. Lo! thus did our counsels enter into the hearts of our Generals and our Law-givers ; and from henceforth, even as we devised, thus did they,

After this, the ruhole book is turned on a sudden, from bis own Life, to a History of all the publick I ransactions of Europe, compiled from the News-papers of those times. I could not comprehend the meaning of this, till I ferceived at laft (to my no small Astonishment) that all the Measures of the four last years of the Queen, together with the peace at Utrecht which have been usually attributed to the E

D of o Lords H- and B and other great men; do here most plainly appear, to have been wholly owing to Robert Jenkins, Amos Turner, George Pilcocks, Thomas White, but above all, to P. P.

of O.

The reader may be sure I was very inquisitive after this extraordinary writer, whose work I have here abfraéted. I took a journey into the Country on purpose ; but could not find the least trace of him: till by accident I met an old Clergyman, wbo faid he could not be positive, but thought it might be one Paul Philips, who had been dead about twelve years. And upon enquiry, all he could learn of that person from the neighbourhood, was, That he had been taken norice of for swallowing Loaches,

and remembered by fome people by a black and white Cur with one Ear, that confiantly followed him.

In the Church-yard, I read bis Epitaph, said to be written by himself.

O Reader, if that thou canst read,
Look down


this Stone; Do all we can, Death is a man,

That never spareth none.



November 19, 1729.

HE time of the election of Poet Laureate beT'ing now at hand, it may be proper to give fome account of the rites and ceremonies anciently used at that Solemnity, and only discontinued through the neglect and degeneracy of later times. These we have extracted from an historian of undoubted cre. dit, a reverend bishop, the learned Paulus Jovius; and are the same that were practised under the pontificate of Leo X. the great restorer of learning.

As we now see an age and a court, that for the encouragement of poetry rivals, if not exceeds, that of this famous Pope, we cannot but with a restoration of all its honours to poesy; the rather, since there are so many parallel circumstances in the person who was then honoured with the laurel, and in him, who in all probability) is now to wear it.

I shall translate my author exactly as I find it in the 82d chapter of his Elogia Vir. Doct. He begins with the character of the poet himself, who

was the original and father of all Laureates, and called Camillo. He was a plain country-man of Apulia, (u hether a shepherd or threber, is not material.) This man (says Jovius) excited by the fame of the “ great encouragement given to poets at court, and “the high honour in which they were held, came to “ the city, bringing with him a strange kind of lyre

in his hand, and at least some twenty thousand of verses. All the wits and critics of the court flocked “ about him, delighted to see a clown, with a ruddy, “ hale complexion, and in his own long hair, so top “ full of poetry; and at the first sight of him all a“greed he was born to be Poet Laureatea. He had “ a most hearty welcome in an island of the river “ Tiber (an agreeable place, not unlike our Rich“ mond) where he was first made to eat and drink plentifully, and to repeat his verses to every body. “ Then they adorned him with a new and elegant "garland, composed of vine-leaves, laurel, and braf

. fica (a fort of cabbage) fo composed, fays my au“ thor, emblematically, Ut tam sales quam lepide ejus temulentia, brafficæ remedio colitenda, notaretur. “ He was then saluted by common consent with the “ title of archi-poeta, or arch.poet, in the style of those, “ days, in ours, Poet Laureate. This honour the “ poor man received with the most sensible demon

a Apulus præpingui vultu alacer, et prolixe comatus, omnino dignus fefta laurea videretur,

“ strations of joy, his eyes drunk with tears and giad“ nefs b. Next, the public acclamation was “ pressed in a canticle, which is transmitted to us, aw “ follows:


Salve, brafficea virens corona,
Et lauro, archipoeta, pampinoque !
Dignus principis auribus Leonis.

All hail, arch-poet, without peer!
Vine, bay, or cabbage, fit to wear,
And worthy of the prince's ear.

From hence he was conducted in pomp to the Capitol of Rome, mounted on an elephant, thro' the shouts of the populace, where the ceremony ended.

The historian tells us further, “That at his in. “troduction to Leo, he not only poured forth ver“ses, innumerable, like a torrent, but also fung them “ with open mouth. Nor was he cnly once introdu

ced, or on pated days (like our Laureates) but “made a companion to his master, and entertained as " one of the instruments of his most elegant pleasures. “ When the prince was at table, the poet had his “place at the window. When the prince had half

eaten his meat, he gave with his own hands the “rest to the poet. When the poet drank, it was

c Semesis opsoniis.

b Manantibus præ gaudio oculis. Vol. VII.


« AnteriorContinuar »