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pageants for the court, but retired, with apparent retirement from London; but at times he fremortification, before the ascendant favour of quented the city, and had the honour of ranking Jonson*.
Shakspeare and Selden among his friends. In While composing his dramas he lived in Old his old age he turned husbandman, and closed street, St. Luke's, which was at that time thought his days at a farm in Somersetshire.
RICHARD THE SECOND, THE MORNING BEFORE HIS MURDER IN POMFRET CASTLE,
DANIEL'S CIVIL WARS, ST. 62, 69.
WHETHER the soul receives intelligence,
However, so it is, the now sad king,
Where others' liberty makes him complain
* The latest editor of Jonson affirms the whole conduct of that great poet towards Daniel to have been perfectly honourable. Some small exception to this must be made, when we turn to the derision of Daniel's verses, which is pointed out by the editor himself, in Cynthia's Revels. This was unworthy of Jonson, as the verses of Daniel at which he sneers are not contemptible, and as Daniel was confessedlyan amiable man, who died“ beloved, honoured, and lamented."-E.
GILES AND PHINEAS FLETCHER.
(Giles Fletcher died, 1623.)
The affinity and genius of these two poets Giles as the elder son of this Dr. Fletcher, evinaturally associate their names. They were the dently by mistake, as Giles, in his poetry, speaks cousins of Fletcher the dramatist, and the sons of his own “green muse hiding her younger of a Doctor Giles Fletcher, who, among several head,” with reference to his senior brother. Giles important missions in the reign of Queen Eliza was bred at Cambridge, and died at his living of beth, negotiated a commercial treaty with Russia Alderston, in Suffolk, in 1623. Phineas was greatly to the advantage of England, in spite of educated at the same university, and wrote an many obstacles that were presented by a capri- | account of its founders and learned men. cious czar and a barbarous court. His remarks was also a clergyman, and held the living of on Russia were suppressed on their first appear- Hilgay in Norfolk, for twenty-nine years. They ance, but were afterwards republished in 1643, were both the disciples of Spenser, and, with his and incorporated with Hakluyt's Voyages. diction gently modernised, retained much of his
Mr. A. Chalmers, in his British Poets, mentions melody and luxuriant expression. Giles, inferior
as he is to Spenser and Milton, might be figured, Long at the gate the thoughtful Intellect
Stay'd with his fearful queen and daughter fair; in his happiest moments, as a link of connexion
But when the knights were past their dim aspect, in our poetry between those congenial spirits, for
They follow them with vows and many a prayer. he reminds us of both, and evidently gave hints At last they climb up to the castle's height, to the latter in a poem on the same subject with
From which they view'd the deeds of every knight, Paradise Regained.
And mark'd the doubtful end of this intestine fight. Giles's “Temptation and Victory of Christ” As when a youth bound for the Belgic war, has a tone of enthusiasm peculiarly solemn.
Takes leave of friends upon the Kentish shore,
Now are they parted ; and he sail'd so far, Phineas, with a livelier fancy, had a worse taste.
They see not now, and now are seen no more ; He lavished on a bad subject the graces and in Yet, far off, viewing the white trembling sails, genuity that would have made a fine poem on a
The tender mother soon plucks off her vails, good design. Through five cantos of his “Purple And, shaking them aloft, unto her son she hails. Island," he tries to sweeten the language of But the conclusion of the Purple Island sinks anatomy by the flowers of poetry, and to support into such absurdity and adulation, that we could the wings of allegory by bodily instead of spiritual gladly wish the poet back again to allegorising phenomena. Unfortunately in the remaining the bladder and kidneys. In a contest about the cantos he only quits the dissecting-table to launch eternal salvation of the human soul, the event into the subtlety of the schools, and describes is decided by King James the First (at that time Intellect, the Prince of the Isle of Man, with his a sinner upon earth) descending from heaven eight counsellors, Fancy, Memory, the Common with his treatise on the Revelation under his Sense, and the five external Senses, as holding arm, in the form of an angel, and preceding the out in the Human Fortress against the Evil Powers Omnipotent, who puts the forces of the dragon that besiege it. Here he strongly resembles the to the rout. old Scottish poet Gawain Douglas, in his poem of These incongruous conceptions are clothed in King Heart. But he outstrips all allegorists in harmony,and interspersed with beautiful thoughts: conceit, when he exhibits Voletta, or the Will, / but natural sentiments and agreeable imagery the wife of Intellect, propped in her fainting-fits will not incorporate with the shapeless features by Repentance, who administers restorative
of such a design ; they stand apart from it like waters to the Queen, made with lip's confession things of a different element, and, when they and with “pickled sighs,” stilled in the alembic
occur, only expose its deformity. On the conof a broken spirit. At the approach of the com trary, in the brother's poem of Christ's Triumph, bat between the good and evil powers, the interest its main effect, though somewhat sombrous, is of the narration is somewhat quickened, and the not marred by such repulsive contrasts ; its parting of the sovereign and the queen, with their beauties, therefore, all tell in relieving tedium, champions, is not unfeelingly portrayed.
and reconciling us to defects.
MERCY DWELLING IN HEAVEN AND PLEADING FOR THE GUILTY, WITH JUSTICE
DESCRIBED BY HER QUALITIES.
FROM GILES FLETCHER'S " CHRIST'S VICTORY IN HRAVEN **
No riot of affection revel kept
But Justice had no sooner Mercy seen
Opend the world, which all in darkness lay,
But as the eagle, that hath oft compared
And in one hand a pair of even scales she wears. 1
The winged lightning is her Mercury,
Famine, and bloodless Care, and bloody War;
Yet strange it was so many stars to see,
JUSTICE ADDRESSING THE CREATOR.
Upon two stony tables, spread before her,
painted : Was never heart of mortal so untainted, But, when that scroll was read, with thousand
THE PALACE OF PRESUMPTION.
Witness the thunder that Mount Sinai heard,
Here did Presumption her pavilion spread
High in the airy element there hung
A painted face, belied with vermeil store,
All suddenly the hill his snow devours,
And all about, embayed in soft sleep, In lieu whereof a goodly garden grew,
A herd of charmed beasts aground were spread, As if the snow had melted into flow'rs,
Which the fair witch in golden chains did keep, Which their sweet breath in subtle vapours threw, And them in willing bondage fettered : That all about perfumed spirits flew.
Once men they lived, but now the men were dead, For whatsoever might aggrate the sense,
And turn'd to beasts, so fabled Homer old, In all the world, or please the appetence,
That Circe with her potion, charm'd in geld, Here it was poured out in lavish affluence. Used manly souls in beastly bodies to immould.
The garden like a lady fair was cut,
FROM PHINEAS FLETCHER'S PURPLE ISLAND,
INSTABILITY OF HUMAN GREATNESS, In a large round, set with the flow’rs of light :
that looks on earth for happiness, The flowers-de-luce, and the round sparks of dew
And here long seeks what here is never found ! That hung upon their azure leaves, did shew
For all our good we hold from Heav'n by lease, Like twinkling stars, that sparkle in the evening
With many forfeits and conditions bound; blue.
Nor can we pay the fine and rentage due :
Though now but writ and seal’d, and giv'n anew, Upon a hilly bank her head she cast,
Yet daily we it break, then daily must renew. On which the bower of Vain-delight was built. | White and red roses for her face were placed, Why should'st thou here look for perpetual good, And for her tresses marigolds were spilt ;
At every loss against Heav'n's face repining? Them broadly she display'd, like flaming gilt,
Do but behold where glorious cities stood, Till in the ocean the glad day were drown's :
With gilded tops, and silver turrets shining ; Then up again her yellow locks she wound,
Where now the hart fearless of greyhound feeds, And with green fillets in their pretty cauls them
And loving pelican in safety breeds ; bound.
Where screeching satyrs fill the people's empty
(steads. Over the edge depends the graping elm,
Where is the Assyrian lion's golden hide, Whose greener head, empurpuled in wine, That all the east once grasp'd in lordly paw ? Seemed to wonder at his bloody helm,
Where that great Persian bear, whose swelling pride l' And half suspect the bunches of the vine,
The lion's self tore out with ravenous jaw? Lest they, perhaps, his wit should undermine, Or he which, 'twixt a lion and a pard, | For well he knew such fruit he never bore :
Through all the world with nimble pinions fared, But her weak arms embraced him the more, And to his greedy whelps his conquer'd kingdoms And her with ruby grapes laugh’d at her paramour.
[shared ? Hardly the place of such antiquity,
Or note of these great monarchies we find : t'nder the shadow of these drunken elms
Only a fading verbal memory,
An empty name in writ is left behind :
And sinks at length in time's obscurer shades,
That monstrous Beast, which nursed in Tiber's fen,
Did all the world with hideous shape affray ; Seem'a to have molt it in their shining holes :
That fill'd with costly spoil his gaping den,
And trode down all the rest to dust and clay : But when Panglory here did list to play,
His battering horns pullid out by civil hands, Rose-water then it ran, and milk it rain'd they say.
And iron teeth lie scatter'd on the sands ;
And that black Vulture“, which with deathful wing Three gaping mermaids with their ewers did feed, O'ershadows half the earth, whose dismal sight Whose breasts let fall the streams, with sleepy Frightend the Muses from their native spring, noise,
Already stoops, and flags with weary flight: To lions' mouths, from whence it leapt with speed, Who then shall look for happiness beneath ? And in the rosy laver seem'd to bleed ;
Where each new day proclaims chance, change, The naked boys unto the waters fall,
and death, Their stony nightingales had taught to call, And life itself 's as flit as is the air we breathe. When zephyrs breathed into their wat’ry interail.
& The Turk.
Born, according to Mr. Ellis's conjecture, | long obliged to live in a state of banishment. He about 1568, was a noted sonneteer of his time. returned to England, however, about the beginDr. Birch, in his Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth, ning of James's reign. The time of his death is supposes that he was the same Henry Constable, unknown. who, for his zeal in the Catholic religion, was
MR. Ellis conjectures that this writer was roll of his indifferent works which are enumerated born in 1555, and died in 1624. He is supposed in the Biographia Poetica, the Censura Literaria by Mr. Ritson to be the same Capt. Nich. Breton, imputes to him a novel of singular absurdity, in whose monument is still in the church of Norton, which the miseries of the heroine of the story are in which parish his family were lords of the manor consummated by having her nose bit off by an till within these few years. His happiest vein is aged and angry rival of her husband. in little pastoral pieces. In addition to the long