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THE PRINTER TO THE READER.
T is now about six months' since the most learned and judicious poet, B. Jonson, became a subject for these Elegies. The time interfected between his death and the publishing of these, shews that so great an argument ought to be considered, before handled; not that the Gentlemen's affections were less reddy to grieve, but their judgments to write. At length the loose papers were consigned to the hands of a Gentleman,” who truly honoured him (for he knew why he did so). To his care you are beholding that they are now made yours. And he was willing to set you know the value of what you have lost, that you might the better recommend what you have soft of him, to your posterity.
* It is now about six months.] Jonson died on the sixth of August, 1637; the Poems must therefore have appeared about the beginning of March, 1638.
* This “gentleman,” we find in Howell's Letters, was Dr. Bryan Duppa, bishop of Winchester. Nor was the present collection of tributary offerings the only praise of this excellent man. The patron of learning when learning was proscribed,—for the greater part of what is beautiful and useful in the writings of Mayne, Cartwright, and many others, religion and literature are indebted to the fostering protection of doctor Bryan Duppa. He was born at Greenwich, 10th March, 1588, admitted of Christ Church, Oxford, from WestminsterSchool, in May, 1605. Afterpassing through various honourable situations in the university and at court, he was successively consecrated bishop of Chichester, Salisbury, and Winchester, and died at his favourite residence at Richmond the 26th March, 1662. Charles II. visited him on his death bed, and begged his blessing on his bended knees.
There is great pleasure in opposing these honourable and liberal proofs of the good understanding which subsisted between contemporary poets to the slight and imperfect premises from which dramatic editors have laboured to deduce proofs of most opposite and disgraceful feelings. GILCHRIST.
AN EGLOGUE ON THE DEATH OF B E N J O N S ON,
BETWEEN MELIBOEUS AND HYLAS.
Sun, Our troop is ready, and our time is COme : That fox who hath so long our lambs destroy'd, And daily in his prosperous rapine joy'd, Is earth'd not far from hence; old AEgon's son, Rough Corilas, and lusty Corydon, In part the sport, in part revenge desire, And both thy tarrier and thy aid require. Haste, for by this, but that for thee we stay'd, The prey-devourer had our prey been made. Hyl. Oh! Meliboeus, now I list not hunt, Nor have that vigour as before I wont; My presence will afford them no relief, That beast I strive to chase is only grief. Mel. What mean thy folded arms, thy downcast eyes, Tears which so fast descend, and sighs which rise 2