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we find not to have happened to May: it is true, they were both the friends of the amiable Endymion Porter, efq; but we are not informed whether that gentleman interested himself on either fide.

In the year 1647, was published in London in folio, The Hiftory of the Parliament of England, which began November 3, 1640, with a Short and Neceffary View of fome precedent Years, written by Thomas May, Efq; Secretary to the Parliament, and published by their authority. In 1650 he published in 8vo. A Breviary of the Hiftory of the Parliament of England. Befides thefe works, Mr. Philips tells us, he wrote a Hiftory of Henry IV. in English verfe, the Comedy of the Old Wives Tale, and the History of Orlando Furiofo; but the latter, Mr. Langbaine, who is a higher authority than Philips, affures us was written before May was able to hold a pen, much less to write a play, being printed in 4to. London, 1594. Mr. Winftanley fays, that in his hiftory, he fhews all the spleen of a mal-content, and had he been preferred to the Bays, as he happened to be difappointed, he would have embraced the Royal intereft with as much zeal, as he did the republican: for a man who efpoufes a caufe from spite only, can be depended upon by no party, because he acts not upon any principles of honour or conviction.

Our author died fuddenly in the year 1652, and was interred near the tomb of Camden, on the Weft fide of the North ifle of Westminster Abbey, but his body, with feveral others, was dug up after the restoration, and buried in a pit in St. Margaret's church yard |. Mr. May's plays are,

1. Agrippina, Emprefs of Rome, a Tragedy, printed in 12mo. London, 1639. Our author has


Wood's Fafti Oxon. vol. i. p. 205.
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followed Suetonius and Tacitus, and has tranflated and inferted above 30 lines from Petronius Arbiter this circumftance we advance on the authority of Langbaine, whofe extenfive reading has furnished him with the means of tracing the plots of most part of our English plays; we have heard that there is a Tragedy on this fubject, written by Mr. Gray of Cambridge, the author of the beautiful Elegy in a Country Church Yard ; which play Mr. Garrick has follicited him to bring upon the ftage; to which the author has not yet confented.

2. Antigone, the Theban Princefs, a Tragedy, printed in 8vo. London, 1631, and dedicated to Endymion Porter, Efq; Our author in the contexture of this Tragedy, has made ufe of the An-' tigone of Sophocles, and the Thebais of Sencca.

3. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, a Tragedy, acted 1626, and printed in 12mo. London, 1639, and dedicated to Sir Kenelme Digby: The author has followed the hiftorians of thofe times. We have in our language two other plays upon the fame fubject, one by Shakespear, and the other by Dryden

4. Heir, a Comedy, acted by the company of revels, 1620; this play is much commended by Mr. Thomas Carew, in a copy of verfes prefixed to the play, where, amongst other commendations beflowed on the ftile, and natural working up of the paffions, he fays thus of the oeconomy of the play.

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The whole plot doth alike itself disclose,

Thro' the five Acts, as doth a lock, that goes

With letters, for 'till every one be known,

The lock's as faft, as if you had found none.



If this comedy, is no better than thefe wretched commendatory lines, it is miferable indeed.

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5. Old Couple, a Comedy, printed in 4to; this play is intended to expofe the vice of covetoufnefs.




AS born in Gloucestershire, where he went to school with one Green, and having got into his accidence, was bound apprentice to a Waterman in London, which, though a laborious employment, did not fo much deprefs his mind, but that he fometimes indulged himself in poetry. Taylour retates a whimsical ftory of his schoolmafter Mr. Green, which we fhall here infert upon the authority of Winftanley. "Green loved new milk fo well, that in order to have it new, "he went to the, market to buy a cow, but his eyes being dim, he cheapened a bull, and askdc ing the price of the beaft, the owner and he a"greed, and driving it home, would have his maid "to milk it, which the attempting to do, could "find no teats; and whilft the maid and her "mafter were arguing the matter, the bull very fairly piffed into the pail;" whereupon his fcholar John Taylour wrote thefe verses,



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Our mafter Green was, overfeen
In buying of a bull,

For when the maid did mean to milk,
He pifs'd the pail half full.

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Our Water-poet found leifure to write fourscore books, fome of which occafioned diverfion enough in their time, and were thought worthy to be collected in a folio volume. Mr. Wood obferves, that had he had learning equal to his natural genius, which was excellent, he might have equalled, if not excelled, many who claim a great share in the temple of the mufes. Upon breaking out of the rebellion, 1642, he left London, and retired to Oxford, where he was much efteemed for his facetious com pany; he kept a common victualling houfe there, and thought he did great service to the Royal cause, by writing Pafquils againft the round-heads. After the garrifon of Oxford furrendered, he retired to Westminster, kept a public house in Phænix Alley near Long Acre, and continued conftant in his loyalty to the King: after whose death, he fet up a fign over his door, of a mourning crown, but that proving offenfive, he pulled it down, and hung up his own picture, under which were thefe words,

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There's many a head stands for a fign,
Then gentle reader why not mine?


On the other fide,

Tho' I deferve not, I defire
The laurel wreath, the poet's hire.

He died in the year 1654, aged 74, and was buried in the church yard of St. Paul's CoventGarden; his nephew, a Painter at Oxford, who lived in Wood's time, informed him of this circumftance, who gave his picture to the school gallery there, where it now hangs, fhewing

Athen. Oxon. vol. ii. p. 393.

him to have had a quick and fmart countenance. The following epitaph was written upon him,


Here lies the Water-poet, honeft John,
Who row'd on the streams of Helicon;
Where having many rocks and dangers past,
He at the haven of Heaven arrived at laft.

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ON of Thomas Habington, Efq; was born at Hendlip in Worcestershire, on the 4th of November 1605, and received his education at St. Omers and Paris, where he was earnestly pref fed to take upon him the habit of a' Jefuit; but that fort of life not fuiting with his genius, he excused himself and left them*. After his return from Paris, he was inftructed by his father in history, and other useful branches of literature, and became, fays Wood, a very accomplished gentleman." This author has written,

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1. Poems, 1683, in 8vo. under the title of Caftara: they are divided into three parts under different titles, fuitable to their subject. The firft, which was written when he was courting his wife, Lucia, the beautiful daughter of William Lord Powis, is introduced by a character, written in profe, of a mistress. The fecond are copies to her after marriage, by the character of a wife; after which is a character of a friend, before feveral funeral elegies. The third part confifts of divine poems, fome of which are paraphrafes on feveral texts out of Job, and the book of pfalms.



Wood Athen. Oxon. v. 2. p. 100.


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