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Françe, where he resumed-his- former station, and staid till the Restoration. .
“ He continued, says his biographer, “ under these bonds till the general “ deliverance;" it is therefore to be supposed, that he did not go to France, and act again for the King without the consent of his bondsmen; that he did not shew his loyalty at the hazard of his friend, but by his friend's permission.
Of the verses on Oliver's death, in which Wood's narrative seems to im. ply something encomiastick, there has been no appearance. There is a difcourse concerning his government, indeed, with verses intermixed, but such as certainly gained its author no friends among the abettors of usurpation.
A doctor of phyfick however he wa's made at Oxford, in December 1657; and in the commencement of the Royal Society, of which an account has been published by Dr. Birch, he appears busy among the experimental philosophers with the title of Doctor Cowley.
* There is no reason for fuppofing that he ever attempted practice; but his preparatory studies have contributed something to the honour of his country. Considering Botany as necessary to a physician, he retired into Kent to gather plants, and as the predominance of a favourite stụdy affects all subordinate operations of the intellect, Botany in the mind of Cowley turned into poetry. He composed in Latin
feveral books on Plants, of which the first and second display the qualities of Herbs, in elegiac verse; the third and fourth the beauties of Flowers in various measures; and in the fifth and fixth, the ufes of Trees in heroick numbers, . . . :
At the same time were produced from the same university, the two great Poets, Cowley and Milton, of diffimilar genius, of opposite principles; but concurring in the cultivation of Latin poetry, in which the English, till their works and May's poem appeared, seemed unable to contest the palm with any other of the lettered nations. ..
If the Latin performances of Cowley and Milton be compared, for May I
hold to be fuperior to both, the advantage seems to lie on the side of Cowley. Milton is generally content to express the thoughts of the ancients in their language; Cowley, without much loss of purity or elegance, accommodates the diction of Rome to his own conceptions.
At the Restoration, after all the di. ligence of his long service, and with consciousness not only of the merit of fidelity, but of the dignity of great abilities, he naturally expected ample preferments; and, that he might not be forgotten by his own fault, wrote a Song of Triumph. But this was a time of such general hope, that great numbers were inevitably disappointed ;
and Cowley found his reward very tediously delayed. He had been promised by both Charles the first and second the Mastership of the Savoy, but “ he loft “ it,” says Wood, “ by certain persons, “ enemies to the Muses.” · The neglect of the court was not his only mortification; having by such alteration, as he thought proper fitted his old Comedy of the Guardian for the stage, he produced it to the public under the title of the “ Cutter of Cole“ man-street.” It was treated on the stage with great severity, and was afterwards censured as a satire on the king's party.
Mr. Dryden, who went with Mr. Sprat to the first exhibition, related to