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His body was interred in the chancel of St. Margaret's church, Weftminster; but his head was long preferved in a cafe by his widow, who furvived him twenty years.
In a word, Sir Walter Raleigh fell, in the fixty-fixth year of his age, a facrifice to a contemptible adminiftration, and the refentment. of a mean prince: a man of fo great abilities, that neither that nor the preceding reign pro. duced his equal. His character was a combination of almost every eminent quality: he was the foldier, statesman, and scholar, united; and, had he lived with the heroes of antiquity, he would have made a juft parallel to Cæfar and Xenophon, like them being master of the fword and the pen. So that he was enabled, as a poet beautifully expreffes it, to enrich the world with his prison-hours.
As the fentence of Raleigh blackens but his king, fo his memory will be ever dear to the lovers of learning, and of their country; and, tho' he makes not a very great figure as a poet, having bufinefs of greater importance continually upon his hands; yet it would be an unpardonable negligence not to mention him in that character.
We shall close this article with a specimen of Sir Walter's poetry in a piece called, The Vifion of the Fairy Queen.
Methought I faw the grave where Laura lay,
For they this queen attended; in whose stead
Where Homer's fpright did tremble all for
And curs'd th' accefs of that cœleftial thief.
THE LIFE OF
EN. JOHNSON, fo famous for being one of the fathers of the English stage, in dramatic poetry, was the fruit of a pofthumous birth, and came into the world about a month after the death of his father. Being born in Westminster, he was put to a private school in the church of St. Martin's in the fields; but removed thence, at a proper age, to that of the royal foundation, where Camden became his mafter. As his father was a gentleman and a clergyman, this step seems to have been taken in the view of breeding him to the church. But the widow being left in narrow circumstances, thought fit not to refufe an offer of marriage, which was made to her by a bricklayer; and, after her fon had continued some years at Westminster school, and made an extraordinary progress in claffical learning, fhe took him away, and obliged him to work under his step-father.
This was nipping the firft fprig of his dawning hopes in the bud; his fpirit was not of a temper to take the bent of fo mortifying a change. In the depth of his refentment, he left his mother; and enlisting himself a foldier,
was carried to the English army, then engaged against the Spaniards in the Netherlands. Here he acquired a degree of military glory, which rarely falls to the lot of a common man in that profeffion. In an encounter with a fingle man of the enemy, he flew his opponent; and stripping him, carried off the spoils in the view of both armies.
Upon his return home, he followed the bent of his inclination; and refuming his ftudies, went to St. John's college in Cambridge. But here he had foon the misfortune to undergo a fecond mortification. The shortness of his purfe not fupplying him with the decent conveniencies of a learned ease, he found himfelf under a neceffity of quitting the seat of the muses, after a short stay there. In this exigence he took a course, not uncommon to perfons of fuch a genius under the like diftrefs. He applied to the play-houses, and was admitted into an obfcure one, called the Green Curtain, in the neighbourhood of Shoreditch and Clerkenwell. He had not been long in this station, when, not contenting himfelf with the bufinefs of an actor only, he took up his pen, and wrote fome pieces for the stage. But his performances either way did no credit to his genius.
During his continuance in this humble station, he had a quarrel with one of the players; who fending him a challenge, there enfued a duel, wherein Johnson killed his adversary. For this offence being thrown into prifon,
under that misfortune, his fpirit, was funk into fuch a degree of melancholy, that he became a fit object to be fubdued by the crafty attacks of a popish prieft; who, officioufly vifiting him in his confinement, prevailed upon him to renounce the doctrine he was bred in, and become a Roman catholic, and he remained twelve years within the pale of that church. But not long after this change in his religious condition, he also made a change in his civil one, and took to himself a wife, having first obtained his releasement from prifon. His spirit revived with his liberty; and, maugre all the difcouragements he met with, he went on digging in the poetic mine, and, by dint of unparalleled industry, improved his genius fo much, that at length he produced a play; which having the good fortune to fall into the hands of Shakespear, that humane good-natured bard, refolving to do full justice to its merit, brought it upon the stage, where he was a manager, and acted a part in it him. felf.
Thus encouraged, his genius ripened apace, and his comedy, intitled, Every Man in his Humour, made its appearance on the fame ftage in 1598. This was followed the next year by Every Man out of his Humour. And he continued, in like manner, to furnish a new play every year, till he was called off by the mafques and entertainments made for the reception of king James I. on his acceffion to the throne of England. He was continually