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not long. He died [at Chelsea] in 1707, and is buried in Westminster Abbey, with this epitaph, which Jacob transcribed :

H. S. E.
GEORGIUS STEPNEIUS, Armiger,

Vir
Ob Ingenii acumen,
Literarum Scientiam,
Morum Suavitatem,

Rerum Usum,
Virorum Amplissimorum Consuetudinem

Linguæ, Styli, ac Vitæ Elegantiam,
Præclara Officia cum Britanniæ tum Europa

prastita,
Sua ætate multum celebratus,
Apud posteros semper celebrandus ;

Plurimas Legationes obiit
Ea Fide, Diligentia, ac Felicitate,
Ut Augustissimorum Principum

Gulielmi & Anna
Spem in illo repositam

Nunquam fefellerit,

Haud raro superaverit.
l'ost longum honorum Cursum

Brevi Temporis Spatio confectum,
Cum Naturæ parum, Fama satis vixerat,
Animam ad altiora aspirantem placide efilavit.

On the left hand :

G. S.
Ex Equestri Familia Stepnciorum,
De Prendergast, in Comitatu

Pembrochiensi oriundus,
Westmonasterii natus est, A.D. 1663.

Electus in Collegium
Sancti Petri Westmonast. A. 1676.

Sancti Trinitatis Cantab. 1682.
Consiliariorum quibus Commercii

Cura commissa est 1697.
Chelseiæ mortuus ; &, comitante

Magnâ Procerum

Frequentiâ, huc elatus, 1707. It is reported that the juvenile compositions of Stepney made grey authors blush. I know not whether his poems will appear

4 By Oldisworth. See p. 43.

1663-1707.

CHARACTER AS A POET.

17

such wonders to the present age. One cannot always easily find the reason for which the world has sometimes conspired to squander praise. It is not very unlikely that he wrote very early as well as he ever wrote; and the performances of youth have many favourers, because the authors yet lay no claim to public honours, and are therefore not considered as rivals by the distributors of fame.

He apparently professed himself a poet, and added his name [1693] to those of the other wits in the version of Juvenal; but he is a very licentious translator, and does not recompense his neglect of the author by beauties of his own. In his original poems, now and then, a happy line may perhaps be found, and now and then a short composition may give pleasure ; but there is, in the whole, little either of the grace of wit, or the vigour of nature.”

a

a

* The Diplomatic Correspondence of Stepney is now in the British Museum, but does not add anything to our knowledge of his poetic life.

VOL. II,

c

JOHN PHILIPS.

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