The Description of Mr. Dryden’s Funeral, together with the manner of his Death. His Elegy. Some Passages of Hackney Coachmen in Quarrelling. Of the Mob conducting home a Prize-Fighting Gladiator. A Character of a Prize-Fighter in Verse. Of two Astrologers going to Law. Of the Vanity of Astrologers, and Astrology in Verse. The End of their Suit.
A Deeper Concern hath scarce been known to affect in general the Minds of Grateful and Ingenious Men, than the Melancholy Surprize of the Worthy Mr. Dry den’s Death hath occasion’d thro’ the whole Town, as well as in all other parts of the Kingdom, where any Person, either of Wit or Learning, have taken up their Residence. Wheresoever his incomparable Writings have been scatter’d by the Hands of Travellers into Foreign Nations, the Loss of so great a Man must needs be Lamented amongst their Bards and Rabbies; and ’tis reasonable to believe the commendable Industry of Translators has been such, to render several of his most Accurate Performances intoin-to
totheir own Language, that their Native Country might receive the Benefit, and themselves the Reputation of so Laudable an Undertaking: And how far the Wings of Merit have convey’d the pleasing Fruits of his Exuberant Fancy, is a difficult Conjecture; considering what a continual Correspondence our Nation has with most parts of the Universe. For it is reasonable to believe all Christian Kingdoms and Colonies at least, have been as much the better for his Labours, as the World is the worse for the Loss of him. Those who were his Enemies, while he was Living (for no Man Lives without) his Death has now made such Friends to his Memory, that they acknowledge they cannot but in Justice give him this Character, that he was one of the greatest Scholars, the most Correct Dramatick Poet, and the best Writer of Heroick Verse, that any Age has produced in England: And yet to verifie the old Proverb, That Poets, like Prophets have little Honour in their own Countries, notwithstanding his Merit had justly Intit’led his Corps to the most Magnificent and Solemn Interment, the Benificence of the greatest Spirits could have bestow’d on him; yet ’tis Credibly Reported the Ingratitude of the Age is such that they had like to have let him pass in private to his Grave, without those Funeral Obsequies suitable to his Greatness, had it not been for that true Brittish Worthy, who meeting with the Venerable Remains of the neglected Bard passing silently in a Coach unregarded to his last Home, order’d the Corps, by the Consent of his few Friends that attended him, to be Respited from so Obscure an Interment; and most Generously undertook at his own Expence to revive his Worth in the Minds of a forgetful People, by bestowing on his Peaceful Dust a Solemn Funeral answerable to his Merit; which Memorable Action alone will Eternalize his Fame with the greatest Heroes, and add that Lustre to his Nobility, which time cannever