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It is the treasure-house of the mind, wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved. Plato makes it the mother of the Muses. Aristotle sets it in one degree further, making experience the mother of arts, memory the parent of experience. Philosophers place it in the rear of the head; and it seems the mine of memory lies there, because there men naturally dig for it, scratching it when they are at a loss. This again is two-fold; one, the simple retention of things; the other, a regaining them when forgotten.
Artificial memory is rather a trick than an art, and more for the gain of the teacher than profit of the learners. Like the tossing of a pike, which is no part of the postures and motions thereof, and is rather for ostentation than use, to show the strength and nimbleness of the arm, and is often used by wandering soldiers, as an introduction to beg. Understand it of the artificial rules which at this day are delivered by memory mountebanks; for sure an art thereof may be made, (wherein as yet the world is defective,) and that no more destructive to natural memory than spectacles are to eyes, which girls in Holland wear from twelve years of age. But till this be found out, let us observe these plain rules.
First, soundly infix in thy mind what thou desirest to remember. What wonder is it if agitation of business jog that cut of thy head which was there rather tacked than fastened? It is best knocking in the nail over night, and clinching it the next morning.
Overburden not thy memory to make so faithful a servant a slave. Remember, Atlas was weary. Have as much reason as a camel, to rise when thou hast thy full load. Memory, like a purse, if it be over full that it cannot shut, all will drop out of it; take heed of a gluttonous curiosity to feed on many things, lest the greediness of the appetite of thy memory spoil the digestion thereof.
Marshal thy notions into a handsome method. One will carry twice more weight trussed and packed up in bundles, than when it lies untoward, flapping and hanging about his shoulders. Things orderly fardled up under heads are most portable.
Adventure not all thy learning in one bottom, but divide it betwixt thy memory and thy note-books. He that with Bias carries all his learning about him in his head, will utterly be beggared and bankrupt, if a violent disease, a merciless thief, should rob and strip him. I know some have a common-place against commonplace-books, and yet perchance will privately make use of what they publicly declaim against. A common-place-book contains many notions in garrison, whence the owner may draw out an nrmy into the field on competent warning.
RORERT HERRICK. 1591—1G62.
Oxe of the most exquisite of the early English lyric poets, was Robert Herrick. But little 13 known of his life. His father was a goldsmith of Lontlon, and he was born in that city in 1591. He studied at Cambridge, and took orders in the established church, and obtained a place to preach in, in Devonshire, which he lost at the commencement of the civil wars. At the Restoration he was re-appointed to his vicarage, but died soon afterwards, in 1662.
Abating some of the impurities of Herrick, we can fully join with an able critic in the Retrospective Review1 in pronouncing him one of the best of English lyric poets. "He is the most joyous and gladsome of bards; singing like the grasshopper, as if he would never grow old. He is as fresh as the Spring, as blithe as the Summer, and as ripe as the Autumn. . . . His poems resemble a luxuriant meadow, full of king-cups and wild flowers, or a July firmament, sparkling with a myriad of stars. His fancy fed upon all the fair and sweet things of nature: it is redolent of roses and jessamine; it is as light and airy as the thistle down, or the bubbles which laughing boys blow into the air, where they float in a waving line of beauty."
You haste away so soon;
We have short lime to stay, as you;
We have as short a spring,
Liko to the summer's rain,
TO PRIMROSES, FILLED WITH MORNING DEW.
Why do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears
Nor felt th' unkind
Or warp'd, as we,
Speak, whimpering younglings; and make known
By your tears shed,
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
To blush and gently smile,
What, were ye born to be
An hour or half's delight,
Tis pity nature brought ye forth
But you are lovely leaves, where we
And after they have shown their pride,
HOW THE HEART'S-EASE FIRST CAME.
Frolic virgins once these were,
Over-loving, living here;
Being here their ends denied,
Ran for sweethearts mad, and died.
Love, in pity of their tears,
And their loss of blooming years.
For their restless here-spent hours,
fjave them heart's-ease turn'd to flowers.
THE CAPTIVE BEE, OR THE LlTl'LE FILCHEH.
As Julia once a slumbering lay,
It chanced a bee did fly that way,
After a dew, or dew-like shower,
To tipple freely in a flower;
For some rich flower he took the lip
Of Julia, and began to sip:
But when he felt he suck'd from thence
Honey, and in the quintessence,
He drank so much he scarce could stir;
So Julia took the pilferer:
And thus surprised, as filchers use,
He thus began himself t' excuse ^
Sweet lady-flower! I never brought
Hither the least one thieving thought;
But taking those rare lips of yours
For some fresh, fragrant, luscious flowers,
I thought I might there take a taste,
Where so much syrup ran at waste:
Besides, know this, I never sting
The flower that gives me nourishing;
But with a kiss, or thanks, do pay
For honey that I bear away.
This said, he laid his little scrip
Of honey 'fore her ladyship;
And told her, as some tears did fall,
That, that he took, and that was all.
At which site smiled; and bade him go
And take his bag; but thus much know
When next he came a pilfering so,
He should from her full lips derive
Honey enough to fill his hive.
THE NIGHT PIECE. TO JULIA.
Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
But on, on thy way,
Not making a stay,
The stars of the night
Will lend thee their light,
Then Julia, let me woo thee,
And, when I shall meet
Thy silvery feet
Ask me why I send you here
This sweet infanta of the year?
Ask me why I send to you
This primrose, thus bepearl"d with dew!
I will whisper to your ears,
The sweets of love are mix'd with tears.
Ask me why this flower does show
UPON A CHILD THAT DIED.
Here she lies, a pretty bud,
EPITAPH UPON A CHILD.
Virgins promised, when I died,
UPON A MAID.
Here she lies, in beds of spice,
CATHERINE PHILIPS. 1631—1064.
Mrs. Cathihikb Philips was the daughter of John Fowler, a London merchant, and married, when quite young, James Philips, a gentleman of Cardiganshire. Her devotion to die Muses showed itself at a very early age, and she wrote under the fictitious name of Orinda. She continued to write after her marriage; though diis did not prevent her from discharging, in a most exemplary manner, the duties of domestic life. Her poems, which had been dispersed among her friends in manuscript, were first printed without her knowledge or consent She was very much esteemed by her con