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a work of which the materials could not have been collected without the study of many years, but by a mind of the greatest vigour and activity,
Two years after his settlement at Cambridge he published “ Love's Rid, “ dle,” with a poetical dedication to Sir Kenelm Digby; of whose acquaintance all his contemporaries seem to have been ambitious; and “ Nau“ fragium Joculare;” a comedy written in Latin, but without due attention to the ancient models; for it is not loose verse, but mere profe. It was printed, with a dedication in verse to Dr. Comber, master of the college; but having neither the facility of a popular nor the accuency of a learned
work, it seems III:-:-:
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liament, ejected from Cambridge, and sheltered himself at St. John's College in Oxford; where, as is said by Wood, he published a satire called “ The Pu“ ritan and Papist,” which was never inserted in any collection of his works; and so distinguished himself by the warmth of his loyalty, and the elegance of his conversation, that he gained the kindness and confidence of those who attended the king, and amongst . others of lord Falkland, whose notice cast a luftre on all to whom it was extended.
About the time when Oxford was surrendered to the parliament, he followed the Queen to Paris, where he became secretary to the lord Jermin, af
terwards earl of St. Albans, and was employed in such correspondence as the royal cause required, and particularly in ciphering and deciphering the letters that passed between the king and queen; an employment of the highest confidence and honour. So wide was his province of intelligence, that, for several years, it filled all his days and two or three nights in the week.
In the year 1647, his “ Mistress” was published; for he imagined, as he declared in his preface to a subsequent edition, that “ poets are scarce thought “ freemen of their company without “ paying some duties, or obliging them- selves to be true to Love."
This obligation to amorous ditties owes, I believe, its original to the fame of Petrarchi, who, in an age rude and uncultivated, by his tuneful homage to his Laura, refined the manners of the lettered world, and filled Europe with tove and poetry. But the basis of all excellence is truth: he that profeffes love ought to feel its power. Petrarch was a real lover, and Laura doubtless deserved his tenderness. Of Cowley, we are told by Barnes, who had means enough of information, that, whatever he may talk of his own inflammability, and the variety of characters by which his heart was divided, he in reality was in love but once, and then never had resolution to tell his passion.