1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Percival Stockdale

R. P., "An Epitaph for Percival Stockdale" Gentleman's Magazine 81-82 (December 1811, March 1812) 528, 212.



Berwick, Nov. 29.

Mr. Urban,

As a young Lady of known ability [Jane Porter] has given, in your October Magazine, p. 384, a sketch of the Life and Character of the late Rev. Percival Stockdale (who, with all his failings, was a man of extensive learning, and of no small mental powers; — his faults, we trust, the recording Angel will blot out of his roll — "And rest may his frailties in their dread abode" — As a sequel, I herewith send you an attempt to delineate his ardent mind and polished acquirements, in the inclosed Latin Epitaph. If it should not be grammatically correct, I hope your classical Readers will excuse this first attempt, and probably the last, in such a line. If any one, who knew the man, should think that it is with too much flattery drawn; candour, we hope, will forget the partiality, and forgive the warmth of an old friend.—

I knew him well, Horatio;
A fellow of impressive sense, of most excellent fancy.

M. S.
Percivalis Stockdale,
Paroch. Lesburii & L. Haughton vicat.
qui
hic requiescit.
Eloquentia fuit suavis & nervosus,
ad eruditionem promovendam ardens,
in colloquio jucundus & facetus,
ad virtatem vindicandam strenuus,
et stimulato acer inimicus;
imaginatione fervens, & mente nemini
subjectus;
pietate erga parentes eximius,
et, in excolendis literis,
fortiter & praeclare vitam degit:
necnon, in operibus literaturae prolatis,
non minima laus:
sed, eheu! morbo non ingruente,
animum tandem debilitavit aetas
provecta:
Siste, viator! moralium aerumnas luge!
et naturae fragilitatem ignosce!
Vale.

Berwick, March 5.

Mr. Urban,

Observing that the Translator of the Epitaph on the Rev. Percival Stockdale (see your last volume, page 667) had misunderstood the sense of it in two or three places, I trouble you with another translation. R. P.

"Sacred to the memory of the Reverend PERCIVAL STOCKDALE, whose remains rest here interred. In eloquence he was agreeable and impressive; ardent and fervent in the promotion of learning; in conversation pleasant and acute; strenuous and bold also in the vindication of truth; to the hypocrite a bitter, a determined foe; his imagination was vivid and quick; his mind independent, disdaining servility equally to all; to his parents his affection was warm and constant; and in the cultivation of letters elegantly and actively his life past away: even to him no small praise is due, for the classical productions of his pen. But, alas! age, at length, without disease, weakened and exhausted his vigorous mind. Stop, traveller! and bewail the miseries of man! the frailties of our nature pardon and forget."