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The inscription on our author's monument, erected near his grave in St. Martin's in the Fields, is, that “He was a man of fine abilities and uncommon eloquence, and a most excellent writer, both in prose and verse. He tempered the severity of the lawyer with the politeness and learning of a gentleman: he was a faithful advocate, an impartial judge, and equally remarkable for a love of sincere piety, and a contempt of anxious superstition.” He is certainly the first, and perhaps the best, didactic poet, in the language. His poem of JNosce Teipsum is distinguished for a novelty and force of argument, a precision of logical and systematic arrangement, and an ease and neatness of versification, which few English authors have been able to parallel. Dr. Johnson praises Waller for the distinguished harmony of his verse; and suggests, that he might have studied Davies as a model."
* Life of Waller, near the end,
There is a natural love and fondness in Englishmen for whatever was done in the reign of queen Elizabeth; we look upon her time as our golden age; and the great men who lived in it, as our chiefest heroes of virtue, and greatest examples of wisdom, courage, integrity and learning. Among many others, the author of this poem merits a lasting honour; for, as he was a most eloquent lawyer, so, in the composition of this piece, we admire him for a good poet, and exact philosopher. It is not rhyming that makes a poet, but the true and impartial representing of virtue and vice, so as to instruct mankind in matters of greatest importance. And this observation has been made of our countrymen, that sir John Suckling wrote in the most courtly and gentleman-like style; Waller in the most sweet and flowing numbers; Denham with the most accurate judgment and correctness; Cowley with pleasing softness, and plenty of imagination: none ever uttered more divine thought than Mr. Herbert; none more philosophical than sir John Davies. His thoughts are moulded into easy and significant words; his rhymes never mislead the sense, but are led and governed by it: so that in reading such useful performances, the wit of