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books and the study of poetry. During the civil wars he fuffered much for his religion, which was that of Rome, and the King's caufe; he pretended then to be a baronet, created by King Charles I. after by violence he had been drawn from the Parliament, about June 10, 1641; yet he was not deemed fo by the officers of the army, because no patent was enrolled to justify it, nor any mention of it made in the docquet books belonging to the clerk of the crown in Chancery, where all Patents are taken notice of which pass the Great Seal. Sir Afton was esteemed by fome a good poet, and was acknowledged by all a great lover of the polite arts; he was addicted to extravagance; for he wasted all he had, which, though he Luffered in the civil wars, he was under no neceffity of doing from any other motive but profufion.
Amongst our author's other poetical productions, he has written three plays and a mafque, which are in print, which we shall give in the fame order with Mr. Langbaine.
1. A Mafque, prefented at Bretbie in Derbyshire, on Twelfth-Night 1639. This Entertainment was prefented before the Right Honourable Philip, first Earl of Chesterfield, and his Countess, two of their fons acting in it.
2. The Obftinate Lady, a Comedy, printed in 8vo. London 1650. Langbaine obferves, that Sir Afton's Obftinate Lady, feems to be a coufin Jerman to Maflinger's Very Woman, as appears by comparing the characters.
3. The Tragedy of Ovid, printed in 8vo. 1669. I know not (fays Mr. Langbaine) why the author calls this Ovid's Tragedy, except that he lays the fcene in Tomos, and makes him fall down dead with grief, at the news he received from Rome, VOL. II. No. 9. L
in fight of the audience, otherwise he has not much bufinefs on the ftage, and the play ought rather to have taken the name of Baffane's Jealoufy, and the difmal Effects thereof, the Murder of his new Bride Clorina, and his Friend Pyrontus.'
4. Trapolin creduto Principe, or Trapolin fuppofed a Prince, an Italian Tragi Comedy, printed in 8vo. London 1658. The defign of this play is taken from one he faw acted at Venice, during his abode in that city; it has been fince altered by Mr. Tate, and acted at the Theatre in Dorfet-Garden; it is now acted under the title of Duke and No Duke.
He has written befides his plays,
What he calls a Chain of Golden Poems, embellished with Mirth, Wit, and Eloquence. Another title put to these runs thus: Choice Poems of feveral forts; Epigrams in three Books. He tranflated into English an Italian Romance, called Dianea, printed at London 1654.
Sir Afton died at Derby, upon the breaking of the great Froft in February 1683, and his body being conveyed to Polefworth in Warwickshire beforementioned, was privately buried there in the chancel of the church. His lordship of Pooley, which had belonged to the name of Cokaine from the time of King Richard II. was fold feveral years before he died, to one Humphrey Jennings, efq; at which time our author referved an annuity from it during life. The lordship of Ashbourne alfo was fold to Sir William Boothby, baronet. There is an epigram of his, directed to his honoured friend Major William Warner, which we shall here tranfcribe as a specimen of his poetry, whichthe reader will perceive is not very admirable.
Plays, eclogues, fongs, a fatyr I have writ,
For Heaven's fake name no more, you fay I cloy
I do obey you; therefore friend God b'wy you.
Sir GEORGE WHARTON
AS defcended of an
ancient family in Westmoreland, and born at Kirby-Kendal in that county, the 4th of April 1617, spent fome time at Oxford, and had fo ftrong a propenfity to the ftudy of aftronomy and mathematics, that little or no knowledge of logic and philofophy was acquired by him. After this, being poffeffed of fome patrimony, he retired from the univerfity, and indulged his genius, till the breaking out of the civil wars, when he grew impatient of follitude, and being of very loyal principles turned all his inheritance into money, and raised for his Majefty a gallant troop of horfe, of which he himself was captain.
*Wood Athen. Oxon. v. ii.
After feveral generous hazards of his perfon, he was routed, about the 21st of March 1645, near Stow on the Would in Gloucestefhire, where Sir Jacob Afley was taken prifoner, and Sir George himself received 'feveral fears of honour, which he carried to his grave §. After this he retired to Oxford the then refidence of the King, and had in recompence of his loffes an employment conferred upon him, under Sir John Heydon, then lieutenant-general of the ordnance, which was to receive and pay off money, for the fervice of the magazine, and artillery; at which time Sir Edward Sherborne was commiffary-ge-. neral of it. It was then, that at leisure hours he followed his ftudies, was deemed a member of Queen's College, being entered among the ftadents there, and might with other officers have had the degree of matter of arts conferred on him by the members of the venerable convocation, but neglected it. After the furrender of the garifon of Oxford, from which time the royal cause daily declined, our author was reduced to live upon expedients; he came to London, and in order to gain a livelihood, he wrote feveral little things, which giving offence to thofe in power, he was feized on, and imprisoned, firft in the Gatehouse, then in Newgate, and at length in Windfor Caftle, at which time, when he expected the fevereft ftroke of an incenfed party to fall upon him, he found William Lilly, who had formerly been his antagonist, now his friend, whofe humanity and tenderness, he amply repaid after the reftoration, when he was made treafurer and paymatter of his Majefty's ordnance, and Lilly flood profcribed as a rebel. Sir George who had formerly experienced the calamity of want, and having now an opportunity of retriev
§. Wood, ubi fupra.
ing his fortune, did not let it flip, but so improved it, that he was able to purchase an eftate, and in recompence of his ftedfaft fuffering and firm adherence to the caufe of Charles I, and the fervices he rendered Charles II, he was created a baronet by patent, dated 31st of December 1677.
Sir George was esteemed, what in thofe days was called, a good aftrologer, and Wood calls him, in his ufual quaint manner, a thorough paced loyalift, a boon companion, and a waggish poet. He died in the year 1681, at his houfe at Enfield in Middlesex, and left behind him the name of a loyal fubject, and an honest man, a generous friend, and a lively wit.
We shall now enumerate his works, and are forry we have not been able to recover any of his poems in order to prefent the reader with a specimen. Such is commonly the fate of temporary wit, levelled at fome prevailing enormity, which is not of a general nature, but only fubfifts for a while. The curiofity of pofterity is not excited, and there is little pains taken in the prefervation of what could only please at the time it was written.
His works are
Hemerofcopiens; or Almanacks from 1640 to 1666, printed all in octavo, in which, befides the Gefta Britannorum of that period, there is a great deal of fatirical poetry, reflecting on the times.
Mercurio-calico Maftix; or an Anti-caveat to all fuch as have had the misfortune to be cheated and deluded by that great and traiterous impoftor, John Booker, in anfwer to his frivolous pamphlet, entie tled, Mercurius Cælicus; or, a Caveat to the PeoL 3