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   Chapter 10 ON MR. ELIJAH FENTON.

The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes By Samuel Johnson Characters: 1136

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03

At Easthamstead, in Berkshire, 1730.

This modest stone, what few vain marbles can,

May truly say, here lies an honest man:

A poet, blest beyond the poet's fate,

Whom heav'n kept sacred from the proud and great:

Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease,

Content with science in the vale of peace.

Calmly he look'd on either life, and here

Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear;

From nature's temp'rate feast rose satisfy'd,

Thank'd heav'n that he liv'd, and that he dy'd.

The first couplet of this epitaph is borrowed from Crash

aw. The four next lines contain a species of praise, peculiar, original, and just. Here, therefore, the inscription should have ended, the latter part containing nothing but what is common to every man who is wise and good. The character of Fenton was so amiable, that I cannot forbear to wish for some poet or biographer to display it more fully for the advantage of posterity. If he did not stand in the first rank of genius, he may claim a place in the second; and, whatever criticism may object to his writings, censure could find very little to blame in his life.

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