Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/58

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Cleveland
Cleveland
52

tended emulously for his abode as the seven cities for Homer's birth).' He had not long resided there before 'an intermittent fever seized him, whereof he died, a disease at that time epidemical.' This was on Thursday, 29 April 1658. His body was removed to Hunsdon House, and carried thence on Saturday, May day, for burial in the parish church of St. Michael Royal on College Hill. Mr. Edward Thurman performed the service. The Rev. Dr. John Pearson (afterwards bishop of Chester, expositor of the Creed) preached the funeral sermon. Thomas Fuller ranks Cleveland among Leicestershire worthies as 'a general artist, pure latinist, exquisite orator, and eminent poet. His epithets were pregnant with metaphysics, carrying in them a difficult plainness, difficult at the hearing, plain at the considering thereof. Never so eminent a poet was interred with fewer (if any remarkable) elegies upon him.' Samuel Butler's grief and affection needed no public outcry. He is probably alluded to, with his care for his friend's reputation, in the preface by E. Williamson to 'J. Cleaveland revived' (21 Nov. 1658; the second edition, 1666), when he mentions 'certain poems in manuscript received from other of Mr. Cleveland's near acquaintance, which when I sent to his ever-to-be-honoured friend of Gray's Inn, he had not at that time the leisure to peruse them; but for what he had read of them he told the person I intrusted that he did believe them to be Mr. Cleaveland's, he having formerly spoken of such papers of his, that were abroad in the hands of his friends, whom he could not remember.' In 1677 Obadiah Blagrove printed the volume 'Clievelandi Vindiciæ; or, Cleveland's Genuine Poems, Orations, Epistles, &c., purged from the many false and spurious ones that had usurped his name. … Published according to the author's own copies.' The dedication to Francis Turner, D.D., master of St. John's College, Cambridge, is signed by J. L. and S. D. (Lake and Drake, already mentioned), who were doubtless the writers of the 'Short Account of the Author's Life' which followed, with one of the five elegies. We may safely accept the contents of this volume as genuine, but it is far from containing all Cleveland's extant writings. Guthrie records the saying of General Lesley, when Cleveland had been brought before him, charged with having some political poems in his pocket: 'Is this all ye have to charge him with?' said the general; 'for shame! let the poor fellow go about his business and sell his ballads' (Biog. Brit. p. 631). Milton's nephew, Edward Phillips, in 1675 wrote disparagingly of him, being evidently jealous of this rival of his own dead uncle's fame (Theatrum Poetarum Anglicanorum).

To the 1661 edition of 'Poems by John Cleavland [sic], with Additions never before printed,' is prefixed a copperplate portrait, probably authentic, showing a pleasant, handsome face, with long curling hair, well curved eyebrows, and expression combining thoughtful gravity and intellect with a genial smile of mirthfulness. It is declared to be 'Vera et viva effigies Johannis Cleeveland.' The portrait is in an oval, formed by palm-leaves. In the 'Vindiciæ' also is a copperplate portrait, which Granger mentions as 'in a clerical habit,' and 'probably fictitious, because he was never in orders.' But the dress seems to indicate a lawyer's gown, and he wears a collar not exclusively ecclesiastical. This portrait of Cleveland is pleasing, of good features, though large and some what heavy. Another portrait, accounted genuine, is engraved in Nichols's 'Select Collection of Miscellaneous Poems,' vol. vii. 1781, from an original painting by Fuller, in possession of Bishop Percy of Dromore. His printed works may fail to sustain his former reputation in the opinion of those who cannot make allowance for their evanescent or ephemeral character. His influence on Butler is not difficult to trace. Aubrey writes: 'That great poet has condescended to imitate or copy Cleveland in more instances than occurred to Dr. Grey in his notes upon Hudibras.' Those who fail to recognise the genius of Samuel Butler are naturally blind to the merits of Cleveland, whom Eachard styles 'the first poetic champion of the king.' He loved the anagram of his name, 'Heliconean Dew.'

[Baker's Hist. Coll. St. John, Camb. (Mayor), pp. 225, 294, 295; Nichols's Sel. Coll. of Misc. Poems, vol. vii.; Clievelandi Vindiciæ, 1677; Granger's Biog. Hist.; Thurloe State Papers, iv. 184, 1742; Eachard, p. 735; David Lloyd's Memoires, 1668, 1677; Dr. Thomas Percy on Cleveland in Biog. Brit. ed. Kippis, iii. 628, 1784; Chalmers's Engl. Poets, ix. 468, 1813; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 221; Nichols's Hist. Leicestershire, pt. ii. pp. 913-15, 1804, and his Hist. of Hinckley, p. 135, 1783; Rev. John E. B. Mayor in Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. No. 92, p. 266, October 1857, showing that the verses on sleep were by Thomas Sharp, and that many of John Hall's poems were wrongly attributed to Cleveland; Reliquiæ Hearnianæ (Lib. Old Authors ed.), ii. 15, where is a statement of general report that Cleveland was the author of Majestas Intemperata, or The Immortality of the Soul, 1649, 12mo; Sir E. Brydges's Restituta, iv. 225, 256; Thomasson's Coll., original broadside of Cleveland's Petition, October 1657 (King's Pamphlets, folio, 669, f. 20, art. 69); Fuller's Worthies, Leicestershire, pp. 572, 573, ed. 1811; J. Cleave-