1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Hervey

Anonymous, in John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 9:488-89.



The Rev. James Hervey, the celebrated Author of "Meditations among the Tombs," "Reflexions on a Flowers garden," &c. and of several other admired productions, and some time Rector of Weston Favell and of Collingtree, both near Northampton, is thus recorded on the South side of the communion-table in the chancel of Weston Favell:

Here lie the remains of the Rev. JAMES HERVEY, A.M,
late Rector of this Parish;
that very pious man, and much-admired author!
who died Dec. the 25th, 1758, in the 45th year of his age.
Reader, expect no more; to make him known
Vain the fond elegy and figur'd stone:
A name more lasting shall his writings give:
There view display'd his heav'nly soul, and live.

Mr. Hervey wished for no sepulchral monument, no "sculptured marble," as appears from his "Meditations among the Tombs." The monument he wished for himself was, "to leave a memorial in the breasts of his fellow-creatures" And, indeed, no one ever had a better monument of this kind than this truly excellent and apostolic man; his name and memory will never be forgotten in the parish and neighbourhood where he lived. His sister, therefore, put down, some years ago, a plain stone with the above short and modest inscription, more for the purpose of pointing out to the stranger and to posterity the exact spot of his interment, than of paying a tribute to his memory; to which, however, it is injustice due. — The Church and Parsonage-house are very picturesque. The latter, among various other good and noble acts, Mr. Hervey rebuilt, at his sole expence, the same year in which he died; but, so frail was his earthly tabernacle, and so uncertain are all things here below, he never lived in it a single day.