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“ the fame tranquillity of mind, and “the fame indifférence for life, as “ though he had been upon taking but “ a short journey. He was twice mar“ ried, first to a daughter of Mr. Par“ fons, one of the auditors of the re“ venue; and afterwards to a daughter “ of Mr. Devenish, of a good family “ in Dorsetshire. By the first he had a “ fon; and by the second a daughter, “ married afterwards to Mr. Fane. He “ died the fixth of December, 1718, in “ the forty-fifth year of his age; and “ was buried the nineteenth of the same “ month in Westminster-abbey, in the “ ile where many of our English poets " are interred, over-against Chaucer, “ his body being attended by a select
66 number of his friends, and the dean “ and choir officiating at the funeral.”
To this character, which is apparently given with the fondness of a friend, may be added the testimony of Pope; who says, in a letter to Blount, “ Mr. Rowe accompanied ine, and “s passed a week in the Forest. I need “ not tell you how much a man of his “ turn entertained me; but I must ac“ quaint you, there is a vivacity and “ gaiety of disposition, almost peculiar “ to him, which make it impossible to “ part from him without that uneafi“ ness which generally succeeds all our “ pleasure.”
Pope has left behind him another mention of his companion, less advanB4
tageous, which is thus reported by Dr. Warburton :
“ Rowe, in Mr. Pope's opinion, main“ tained a decent character, but had no “ heart. Mr. Addison was justly of« fended with some behaviour which “ arose from that want, and estranged “ himself from him; which Rowe felt “ very severely. Mr. Pope, their com“mon friend, knowing this, took an “opportunity, at some juncture of Mr. “ Addison's advancement, to tell him “how poor Rowe was grieved at “ his displeasure, and what satisfaction ” he expressed at Mr. Addison's good “ fortune; which he expressed so na“ turally, that he (Mr. Pope) could not “ but think him fincere. Mr. Addison
“ replied, “ I do not suspect that he “ feigned; but the levity of his heart “ is such, that he is ftruck with any
new adventure, and it would affect “ him just in the same manner if he “ heard I was going to be hanged.”— “ Mr. Pope faid, he could not deny 6 but Mr. Addison understood Rowe “ well.”
This censure Time has not left us the power of confirming or refuting; but observation daily fhews, that much. Atress is not to be laid on hyperbolical accusations, and pointed sentences, which even he that utters them desires to be applauded rather than credited. Addison can hardly be supposed to have meant all that he said. Few characters can
bear the miscroscopick scrutiny of wit quickened by anger; and perhaps the best advice to authors would be, that they should keep out of the way of one another.
Rowe is chiefly to be confidered as a tragick writer and a translator. In his attempt at comedy he failed so ignominiously, that his Biter is not inserted in his works; and his occasional poems and short compositions are rarely worthy of either praise or censure; for they seem the casual sports of a mind seeking rather to amuse its leisure than to exercise its powers.
In the construction of his dramas, there is not much art; he is not a nice observer of the Unities. He extends