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His body was interred in the chancel of St. Margaret's church, Westminster ; but his head was long preserved in a case by his widow, who survived him twenty years.
In a word, Sir Walter Raleigh fell, in the sixty-fixth
year of his age, a facrifice to a contemptible administration, and the resentment of a mean prince: a man of so 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 soldier, statesman, and scholar, united; and, had he lived with the heroes of antiquity, he would have made a just parallel to Cæsar and Xenophon, like them being master of the sword and the pen. So that he was enabled, as a poet beautifully expresses it, to enrich the world with his prilon. hours.
As the sentence of Raleigh blackens but his king, so 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 buGiness 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 Vision of the Fairy Queen.
Methought I faw the grave where Laura lay,
Within that temple where the vestal flame Was wont to burn; and paffing by that way,
To see that bury'd duft of living fame,
All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen ;
Oblivion laid him down in Laura's hearse : Hereat the hardest stones were feen to bleed, And groans of bury'd ghosts the heavens did
pierce ; Where Homer's spright did tremble all for
grief, And curs'd th' access of that cæleftial thief.
THE TĦE 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 master. 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 son had continued some years at Westminster school, and made an extraordinary progress in classical learning, the took him away; and obliged him to work under his Itep-father.
This was nipping the first sprig of his dawning hopes in the bud; his fpirit was not of a temper to take the bent of so mortifying a change. In the depth of his resentment, he left his mother; and enlifting himself a soldier,
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 profession. In an encounter with a single 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 resuming his studies, went to St. John's college in Cambridge. But here he had soon the misfortune to undergo a second mortification. The shortness of his purse not supplying him with the decent conveniencies of a learned ease, he found himself under a necessity of quitting the seat of the muses, after a short stay there. In this exigence he took a course, not uncommon to persons of such a genius - under the like distress. He applied to the play-houses, and was admitted into an obscure 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 business 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 sending him a challenge, there ensued a duel, wherein Johnson killed his adversary. For this offence being thrown into prison, under that misfortune, his fpirit, was funk into such a degree of melancholy, that he became a fit object to be subdued by the crafty attacks of a popish priest; who, officia oufly visiting 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 prison. His spirit revived with his liberty ; and, maugre all the discouragements he met with, he went on digging in the poetic mine, and, by dint of unparalleled industry, improved his genius so 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, resolving 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 same stage 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 masques and entertainments made for the reception of king James I. on his acceffion to the throne of England. He was continually