Abbildungen der Seite

the region of the heart, all the misery of which can be fully conceived by those only who have had the misfortune to feel it. Yet, such was the strength of his constitution that, in spite of these assaults on it, his existence was protracted for eight years longer. He died on the eighth of August, 1788, and was buried in St. Peter's Church-yard, in the same tomb with his two wives, on which is inscribed nothing more than Here are deposited the remains of Ann, Hannah, and Nathaniel Cotton.'



The character of Dr. Cotton was of the most amiable kind. His heart, free from spleen or guile, was the seat of warm benevolence and unaffected piety. Mr. Hayley, who personally knew him, describes him as being a scholar and a poet, who added to many other accomplishments, a peculiar sweetness of manners in a very advanced life.' In addition to this, we have the testimony of Cowper, who, on the first attack of that dreadful malady which blighted his youth and made his latter years a blank, was placed under the care of Dr. Cotton. In a letter to Lady Hesketh, he says, I reckon it one instance of the Providence that has attended me throughout this whole event, that instead of being delivered into the hands of one of the London physicians, who were so much nearer that I wonder I was not, I was carried to Dr. Cotton. I was not only treated by him with the greatest tenderness while I was ill, and attended with the utmost diligence, but when my reason was restored to me, and I had so much need of a religious friend to converse with, to whom I could open my mind upon the subject without reserve, I could hardly have found a fitter person for the purpose. My eagerness and anxiety to settle my opinions upon that long neglected point made it necessary that, while my mind was yet weak, and my spirits uncertain, I should have some assistance. The doctor was as ready to

administer relief to me in this article likewise, and as well qualified to do it, as in that which was more immediately his province. How many physicians would have thought this an irregular appetite, and a symptom of remaining madness! But if it were so, my friend was as mad as myself, and it is well for me that he was so.'

The poems of Cotton always display propriety of thought, and sometimes vigour, the language of them, though not rising into elevation, is chaste and polished; and the numbers have a smooth and sprightly flow. Elegance is the general character of his verses, but it does not degenerate into tameness. He is happy in his compliments, and he occasionally enlivens his subjects with wit, and touches of good humoured satire. There is in his compositions much with which a reader of taste must be pleased, and little of which he can disapprove. They will bear to be more than once perused, and whatever does not become tiresome by a repetition of perusal, must bear the stamp of genius, or at least of talent.




AUTHORS, you know, of greatest fame,
Through modesty, suppress their name;
And would you wish me to reveal
What these superior wits conceal?
Forego the search, my curious friend,
And husband time to better end.
All ambition is, I own,


To profit and to please unknown;
Like streams supplied from springs below,
Which scatter blessings as they flow.

Were you diseased, or press'd with pain,
Straight you'd apply to Warwick Lane1;
The thoughtful doctor feels your pulse
(No matter whether Mead or Hulse)
Writes-Arabic to you and me,-
Then signs his hand, and takes his fee.
Now, should the sage omit his name,
Would not the cure remain the same?
Not but physicians sign their bill,
Or when they cure or when they kill.

1 College of Physicians.

"Tis often known the mental race
Their fond ambitious sires disgrace.
Dared I avow a parent's claim,
Critics might sneer, and friends might blame.
This dangerous secret let me hide,
I'll tell you every thing beside.
Not that it boots the world a tittle,
Whether the author's big or little;
Or whether fair or black or brown:
No writer's hue concerns the town.

I pass the silent rural hour,
No slave to wealth, no tool to power.
My mansion's warm and very neat;
You'd say, a pretty snug retreat.
My rooms no costly paintings grace,
The humbler print supplies their place.
Behind the house my garden lies,
And opens to the southern skies:
The distant hills gay prospects yield,
And plenty smiles in every field.

The faithful mastiff is my guard,
The feather'd tribes adorn my yard;
Alive my joy, my treat when dead,
And their soft plumes improve my bed.
My cow rewards me all she can;
(Brutes leave ingratitude to man!)
She, daily thankful to her lord,
Crowns with nectareous sweets my board.
Am I diseased?—the cure is known;
Her sweeter juices mend my own.

I love my house, and seldom roam;
Few visits please me more than home.
I pity that unhappy elf
Who loves all company but self,

« ZurückWeiter »