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GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE :
Memoir of Mr. Thomas Mullett...
Meteorol. Diaries for Dec.1814, & Jan, 1815, 2,94
of Mr. John Tailby.
THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE,
Jan. 10. RESUMING the monumental inscriptions inserted in the two last "Magazines have not proved unacceptable to some classes of readers; I must claim indulgence for the insertion of a few others, which, perhaps, are not less simple, correct, and elegant, than those communicated in my two former letters. As the subjects of them are far removed from the reach of human applause, the affectionate tribute of surviving friends can add nothing to their happiness; but these perishing records may awaken reflection in the minds of the thoughtless, and evince to all the excellence and consolation of a life devoted to religious duty and practical Christianity. Yours, &c. J. C.
I. In Folkstone, Church, Kent. To the Memory of William Langhorne*, A. M. Curate of Folkstone, who died in February 1772, at the age of fifty-one. In life belov'd, in death for ever dear, O friend, O brother, take this parting tear! [sigh, If Life has left me aught that asks a "Tis but like thee to live, like thee to die. JOHN LANGHORNE. Of Langhorne's life, be this memorial given, [was heaven; Whose race was virtue, and whose goal Not through the selfish, drear unfriendly
[trod; Which antient moralists and sophists But in an active sphere of Christian love, He mov'd himself, and will'd mankind
Yet was his aim to dissipate the night
Just in its source, and happy in its end.
II. In St. Mary's Redcliffe, Bristol. On Mrs. Fortune Little, wife of Mr. John Little, died June 26, 1777, aged 57. O could this verse her bright example spread, [dead; And teach the living while it prais'd the Then, Reader, should it speak her hope divine, [thine : Not to record her faith, but strengthen Then should her every virtue stand con
Till every virtue kindled in thy breast: But if thou slight the monitory strain, And she has liv'd, at least to thee, in vain,
Yet let her death an awful lesson give, The dying Christian speaks to all that live.
Enough for her, that here her ashes rest,
Oft would he, in the mines of antient T
Historic truth and moral truth explore ;
*He published "Job, a Poem," a "Paraphrase of Isaiah," and, with his brother, the "Lives of Plutarch."
Mr. URBAN, THE name of "Anna Seward" is erroneously mentioned in vol. LXXXIV. ii. p. 515, as the author of the epitaph on Mrs. Grove. I read the epitaph many years ago in the South transept of the Cathedral at Lichfield, and mentioning it at Dr. Falconer's,
Falconer's, where I dined, said, “I supposed it was by Miss Seward, the Poetess of the place:"-" No, indeed it is not," was the answer. It was written by her husband Dr. Grove himself; and, what is better, she deserved every word of it." Upon this, I re-visited the monument, and transcribed the epitaph. I knew Mr. Grove personally at Oxford, when he was there superintending the education of his son. He had much of the gentleman in his appearance, a handsome, intelligent, prepossessing countenance, and was reckoned a very sensible man. He had been educated at Oriel College; M. A. there 1765, and had the honorary degree of D. C. L. in 1781. He used to live, not at Lichfield, but I think at or near Coventry; and perhaps gave up his seat there to his son on his marriage, and then came and resided in the Close at Lichfield. May 1 add, that I have some reason to believe that Dr.Grove has occasionally corresponded with Mr. Urban?
Whether the other two epitaphs are rightly given to Hannah More and Mrs. Carter, I do not know. Dr. Stonhouse, who wrote many religious tracts, a pious good man, perhaps a little tinctured with methodism, was likely enough to be the author of an epitaph for his wife. But I do not know the fact. One would suppose from these copies, that the names, "Anna Seward," "Hannah More," and" Elizabeth Carter," are inscribed on the respective monuments; and if so, my memory must have imposed upon me in my Lichfield anecdote; but I verily believe that I am right. Yours, &c.
Mr. URBAN, Lichfield, Jan. 12. TRUST you 1 will feel anxious to take an early opportunity of correcting an error of the Correspondent who has attributed, I know not upon what ground, the much-admired epitaph to the memory of Lucy Grove, in Lichfield Cathedral, to the pen of Miss Seward, when in fact it was written by her husband, William Grove, Esq. D. C. L. as is well known to many persons here, as well as to Yours, &c. ANTI-PLAGIARY.
original, that it is time his monumental bust in Stratford Church, the earliest authenticated likeness of our Bard, should recover its deserved estimation.
In your Magazine for June 1759, p. 257, it was properly observed by the Rev. Joseph Greene, at that time master of our free-school, and whose contributions occasionally found a place in your early numbers, that the doubt whether the Stratford bust preserved any resemblance of the Bard did not take date before the erection of his cenotaph in Westminster Abbey ; the admirers of which upheld the opinion that the country figure differed as much from the likeness of the Poet, as it did from the face in the Abbey, and so far endeavoured to depreciate its merit. From that period our Strat ford bust has sunk into comparative neglect; and for these probable reasons-that ever since Scheemaker executed the Abbey bust from Zoust's painting, which must have been a copy, as his earliest known picture in England was done, according to Malone, in 1657; and since Roubiliac is said to have made the statue of our Poet from the Chandos picture for Garrick, from the latter of which the Jubilee Statue presented by that inimitable Roscius to our Town was said to be copied, the publick have formed in their own imagination, and accustomed themselves to a likeness of Shakspeare very different from what it probably ought to be. In this they have been too long assisted by the engravings of Simon, of Vertue, Houbraken, and Earlom; from one or other of which most of the subsequent prints have been copied they have been familiarized to a frenchified head of the "sweet Swan of Avon" by the incalculable number of busts, medals, and seals; and by Malone, in his zealous yet ineffectual endeavours to establish the Chandos canvas, they have been taught to look with a supercilious indifference upon the "pertness in the countenance of the Stratford bust totally differing from that placid composure and thoughtful gravity so perceptible in his original [Chandos] portrait, and his best prints. The statuary (he continues) probably had the assistance of some picture, and failed only from want of skill to copy it."
Thus powerfully will prejudice and prepossession operate. That the Stratford bust has, however, been unmeritedly neglected, is most unequivocally affirmed. The tradition of the town is, that it was copied from a cast after Nature, a practice sufficiently prevalent in that age to support oral communication. "But we have still," says Mr. Britton in his Essay prefixed to Whittingham's edition, "a better criterion, and a more forcible argument in its behalf; one that flashes conviction to the eye of the intelligent artist and anatomist. This is the truth of the drawing, with the accuracy of muscular forms, and shape of the skull, which distinguishes the bust now referred to, and which are evidences of a skilful sculptor." That it was erected within seven years from the Poet's death is certain, being mentioned by Leonard Digges in his verses accompanying the first folio edition of Shakspeare's dramatic works, printed in 1623; and though I cannot altogether agree with the late Mr. Greene, in his before-mentioned letter, that if we compare the earliest engraving which was made of the Bard (that of Droeshout in the first folio) with the face on the Stratford Monument, there will be found as great a resemblance as perhaps can well be between a statue and a picture, except that the hair is described rather shorter and straighter on the latter than on the former; nor coincide with Mr. Malone, who could not, on comparing them, trace any resemblance whatever; yet I think there may be found a considerable similitude of our monumental bust to this print, for the correctness of which we have his friend Jonson's testimony; and the "surly Ben" would surely not have unnecessarily complimented the artist, nor ventured to affirm what, had it been untrue, numbers then living could and probably would have denied. The sculptors of that period seem to have excelled the engravers in their respective arts; and the Stratford bust, which in the disposition of the head indicates some acquaintance with Grecian models, is a much superior specimen of the labour of the chisel, than Droeshout's engraving is of that of the burin.
The intention of these tedious observations, Mr. Urban, is to introduce the mention of a new era in the his
tory of our Stratford bust. In November 1813, I gave Mr. Britton a cast which I had made of this face, and from which was copied the woodcut prefixed to his "Essay." By that gentleman the original was duly appreciated; and in consequence Mr. George Bullock, of Tenterden-street, Hanover-squre, visited Stratford in December last, with such sentiments as animate the connoisseur, and made the first complete cast of the whole bust. Let it, therefore, be hoped that an excellent engraving, upon a large scale, by the first artist in England, will be speedily given to the publick; for though it has been several times copied with the monument itself (in Dugdale's Warwickshire; in Pope and Sewell's 8vo edition, 1728, by Fourdrinier; in Ireland's Avon; Boydell's Illustrations; and in my own History of this Town) yet most of them are incorrectly and all of them unsatis factorily engraved. To multiply the casts from Mr. Bullock's first, and con sequently valuable mould, will be now impossible; for after that which he has in London, and one which I possess (the latter only half way down the body of the bust) were made, the original mould was broken up, and thrown into the Avon.
The Stratford bust is carved out of a solid block of stone (perhaps either Portland or Bath), but on no part of it could be discovered any name or date. By comparing the style and the quality of the material with other contemporary works (between 1616 and 1623) a probable guess may be made which of the few eminent artists of James's reign might have executed it. The general glare of light beaming on all sides through the Gothic windows which surround the monument, is certainly disadvantageous to the appearance of the features of this face; but when a single or more contracted light is properly thrown upon it, then the loftiness and beauty of the forehead, the handsome shape of the nose, the remarkable form of the mustachios and beard, and the very peculiar sweetness of expression in the mouth, are particularly striking. At first sight there appears an extravagant length in the upper lip, which, if viewed in profile, shews in truer proportion. After all, it appears somewhat long; and Lavater, upon whatever principles he determined, and