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Remote from man—with God he passed the days,
The Hermit. Lines 5, 6.
A guardian angel o'er his life presiding,
Human Life. Lines 352, 353.
Never less alone than when alone. *
Ibid. Line 759.
GEORGE COLMAN THE YOUNGER.
On their own merits modest men are dumb.
Epilogue to “The Heir-at-Law."
THE EARL OF ROCHESTER.
Here lies our sovereign lord the King,
Whose word no man relies on ;
Adopted from a
passage in Cicero, De Officiis.
Who never said a foolish thing,
Mock Epitaph on King Charles II.
SIR JOHN MENNIS.
They are neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring.t
Musarum Delicia. Dr. Smith's Ballet,
He that fights and runs away,
* There are several other versions of this mock epitaph, differing slightly from the above. One of them gives the first line
“Here lies our mutton eating king." It is difficult at this period to say which is the correct version. Sir Walter Scott, in his “ Tales of a Grandfather" (Scotland), chap. 49, speaking of the lines, says, “The satirical epitaph written upon him (the king) at his own request, by his witty favourite, the Earl of Rochester, is not more severe than just.”
+ This line occurs also in Dryden's Duke of Guise, and in the works of other old authors. It is doubtless a proverbial expression used long prior to the time when Mennis and Dryden lived.
# The authorship of these repeatedly quoted lines has been involved in a good deal of uncertainty. The popular voice assigns them to Butler's Hudibras, but they are not to be found in any extant edition of that work. They have latterly been attributed to Sir John Mennis, who, in conjunction with Dr. James Smith, published a small volume, now very scarce, called “ Musarum Deliciæ,” and in this work Mr. Cunningham, in the first edition of his “ Handbook of London,” says that they are to be found ; but in a subsequent edition of the “ Hand Book” he speaks more doubtfully, and says that Mennis “is said to have written them.” In Lowndes' Bibliographer's Manual (the recent edition edited by Mr. H. G. Bohn), under the heading of “ Mennis,” it is observed, speaking of the Musarum Deliciæ, “ In some copies a cancelled leaf (reprinted in the new edition) is found, in which are the lines
• But he that fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day;' which have been often quoted as occurring in Hudibras." Butler, however, has in more than one instance embodied the idea conveyed in the celebrated lines under consideration, In Hudibras, Part i., Canto 3, Lines 609-10, he says
“For those that run away and fly,
Take place at least o'th' enemy." Mr. Bohn, in his edition of Hudibras, in a note on this passage, says, “These two lines were not in the first editions, 1663, but added in 1674. This same notion is repeated in Part iii., Canto 3, Lines 241-44; but the celebrated lines of similar import, commonly supposed to be in Hudibras
*For he that fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day,' are found in the Musarum Deliciæ by Sir John Mennis and James Smith, 12mo, London, 1656, and the type of them occurs in a much earlier collection, viz., 'The Apophthegmes of Erasmus,' by N. Udall, 12mo, London, 1542, where they are thus given
That same man that renneth awaie
In a yet more exhaustive note to the lines in Hudibras,
“For those that fly may fight again,
Which he can never do that's slain," Mr. Bohn
says, “ The parallel to these lines is contained in the famous couplet
*He that fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day,' which is so commonly but falsely attributed to Butler, that many bets have been lost upon it. The sentiment appears to be as old as Demosthenes, who, being reproached for running away from Philip of Macedon at the battle of Chæronea, replied
“Ανηρο φεύγων και παλιν μαχησεται.' This saying of Demosthenes is mentioned by Jeremy Taylor, who says, 'In other cases it is true that Demosthenes said, in apology for his own escaping from a lost field, ' A man that runs away may fight again.” (Great Examples, 1649). “ The same idea is found in Scarron, who died in 1660:
'Qui fuit, peut revenir aussi ;
Qui meurt, il n'en est pas ainsi.' “ It is also found in the Satyre Menippée, published in 1594—
'Souvent celuy qui demeure
Peut combattre derechef.'
• Oft he that doth abide
Perhaps may fight again.' “In the Latin Apothegms, compiled by Erasmus, and translated into English by Nicholas Udall in 1542, occur
the following lines, which are obviously a metrical version of the saying of Demosthenes
“That same man that renneth awaie,
Maie again fight an other daie.' “ The Italians are supposed to have borrowed their proverb from the same source
‘E meglio che si dici qui fuggi che qui mori.'
“But our familiar couplet was no doubt derived from the following lines, which were written by Sir John Mennis, in conjunction with James Smith, in the Musarum Deliciæ, a collection of miscellaneous poems published in 1656, and reprinted in Wit's Recreations, 2 vols. 12mo, London, 1817–
'He that is in battle slain,
May live to fight another day.'' Erudite and exhaustive as Mr. Bohn's notes are, they still leave the matter in a state of incertitude.
The edition of Musarum Deliciæ alluded to as being published in 2 vols. 12mo, 1817, and which it is presumed is referred to in Lowndes as the “new edition" containing the “ cancelled leaf reprinted," does not contain these much discussed lines. All the editions of the Musarum are
The 1817 edition contains, in addition to the Musarum Delicie, Wit Restored, and Wit's Recreations, but in neither of these works are the lines to be found. There are several editions of the Musarum in the library of the British Museum ; but a reliable authority says that none of them contain the couplet; whilst, on the other hand, a contributor to “Notes and Queries,” says, “there was a copy of this work in Sion College Library, and I found the lines in it.” A second inspection of the book, however, showed that this statement was an error. It has