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Yet he describes Sacharissa as a sublime predominating beauty, of lofty charms, and imperious influence, on whom he looks with amazement rather than fondness, whose chains he wishes, though in vain, to break, and whose presence is wine that inflames to madness. His acquaintance with this high-born dame gave wit no opportunity of boasting its influence; she was not to be subdued by the powers of verse, but rejected nis addresses, it is said, with disdain, and drove him away to solace his disappointment with Amoret or Philis. She married in 1639 the Earl of Sunderland, who died at Newberry in the king's cause ; and, in her old age, meeting somewhere with Waller, asked him, when he would again write such verses upon her; “When you are as young, Madam,” said he, “ and as handsome as you were then.” + In this part of his life it was that he was known to Clarendon, among the rest of the men who were eminent in that age for genius and literature; but known so little to his advantage, that they who read his character will not much condemn Sacharissa, that she did not desend from her rank to his embraces, nor think every excellence comprised in wit. The lady was, indeed, inexorable; but his uncommon qualifications, though they had no power upon her, recommended him to the scholars and statesmen ; and undoubtedly many beauties of that time, however they might receive his love, were proud of his praises. Who they were, whom he dignifies with poetical names, cannot now be known. Amoret, according to Mr. Fenton, was the Lady Sophia Murray, Perhaps by traditions preserved in families more may be discovered. From the verses written at Penshurst, it has been collected that he diverted his disappointment by a voyage; and his biographers, from his poem on the Whales, think it not improbable that he visited the Bermudas; but it seems much more likely that he should amuse himself with forming an imaginary scene, than that so important an incident, as a visit to America, should have been left floating in conjectural probability.
From his twenty-eighth to his thirty-fifth year, he wrote his pieces on the Reduction of Sallee; on the Reparation of St. Paul's; to the King on his Navy; the panegyrick on the Queen Mother; the two poems to the Earl of Northumberland; and perhaps others, of which the time cannot be
discovered. - When he had lost all hopes of Sacharissa, he looked round him for an easier conquest, and gained a lady of the family of Bresse, or Breaux. The time of his marriage is not exactly known. It has not been discovered that his wile was won by his poetry; nor is any thing told of her, but that she brought him many children. He doubtless praised some whom he would have been afraid to marry; and perhaps married one whom he would have been *hamed to praise. Many qualities contribute to domestic happiness, upon which poetry has no colours to bestow; and many airs and sallies may deo imagination, which he who flatters them never can approve. There - - - - - - - - arc
are charms made only for distant admiration. No spectacle is nobler tha a blaze. Of this wife, his biographers have recorded that she gave him five sons and eight daughters. During the long interval of parliament, he is represented as living * those with whom it was most honourable to converse, and enjoying an exuberant fortune with that independence and liberty of speech and condo which wealth ought always to produce. He was however considered as kinsman of Hampden, and was therefore supposed by the courtiers n. favour them. . When the parliament was called in 1640, it appeared o P9 tical character had not been mistaken. The King's demand of a sup; produced one of those noisy speeches which disaffection and discontent gularly dictate; a speech filled with hyperbolical complaints of imaginay grievances. “They,” says he, “who think themselves already undone, can “ never apprehend themselves in danger; and they who have nothing left “can never give freely.” Political truth is equally in danger from the praises of courtiers and the exclamations of patriots. He then proceeds to rail at the clergy, being sure at that time of a favourable audience. His topic is such as will always serve its purpose; an accusation of acting and preaching only for preferment ; and he exhorts the Commons carefully to provide for their protection against Pulpit Zaw. It always gratifies curiosity to trace a sentiment. Waller has in this speech quoted Hooker in one passage; and in another has copied him, without quoting. “Religion,” says Waller, “ought to be the first thing in our “purpose and desires; but that which is first in dignity is not always to “precede in order of time; for well-being supposes a being; and the first “impediment which men naturally endeavour to remove, is the want of “ those things without which they cannot subsist. God first assigned unto “Adam maintenance of life, and gave him a title to the rest of the crea“tures before he appointed a law to observe.” “God first assigned Adam,” says Hooker, “maintenance of life, and “ then appointed him a law to observe.—True it is, that the kingdom of God “must be the first thing in our purpose and desires; but inasmuch as * “righteous life presupposeth life, inasmuch as to live virtuously it is im’ “possible, except we live; therefore the first impediment which naturally “we endeavour to remove is penury, and want of things without which " ** cannot live.” The speech is vehement; but the great position, that grievances ought to be redressed before supplies are granted, is agreeable enough to law and reason: nor was Waller, if his biographer may be credited, such an enos to the King, as not to wish his distresses lightened; for he relates, “ that “the King sent particularly to Waller, to second his demand of some sub
“sidies to pay off the army; and Sir Henry Vane objecting against t - WOtis!
“voting a supply, because the King would not accept unless it came up to “his proportion, Mr. Waller spoke earriestly to Sir Thomas Jermyn, comp“troller of the household, to save his master from the effects of so bold a “falsity; ‘for, he said, ‘I am but a country gentleman, and cannot pre“tend to know the King's mind;' but Sir Thomas durst not contradict the “secretary; and his son, the Earl of St. Albans, afterwards told Mr. “Waller, that his father's cowardice ruined the King.” In the Long Parliament, which unhappily for the nation, met Nov. 3, 1640, Waller represented Agmondesham the third time; and was considered by the discontented party as a man sufficiently trusty and acrimonious to be employed in managing the prosecution of Judge Crawley, for his opinion in favour of ship-money; and his speech shews that he did not disappoint their expectations. He was probably the more ardent, as his uncle Hampden had been particularly engaged in the dispute, and by a sentence which seems generally to be thought unconstitutional, particularly injured. He was not however a bigot to his party, nor adopted all their opinions. When the great question, whether Episcopacy ought to be abolished, was debated, he spoke against the innovation so coolly, so reasonably, and so firmly, that it is not without great injury to his name that his speech, which was as follows, has been hitherto omitted in his works: * “There is no doubt but the sense of what this nation has suffered from “the present Bishops hath produced these complaints; and the apprehen“sions men have of suffering the like, in time to come, make so many de“sire the taking away of Episcopacy: but I conceive it is possible that we “may not, now, take a right measure of the minds of the people by their “petitions; for, when they subscribed them, the Bishops were armed with “a dangerous commission of making new canons, imposing new oaths, and “the like; but now we have disarmed them of that power. These petition“ers lately did look upon Episcopacy as a beast armed with horns and claws; “but now that we have cut and pared them (and may, if we see cause, yet “reduce it into narrower bounds,) it may, perhaps, be more agreeable“Howsoever, if they be still in a passion, it becomes us soberly to consider “the right use and antiquity thereof; and not to comply further with a “general desire, than may stand with a general good. “We have already shewed, that Episcopacy and the evils thereof are min“gled like water and oil; we have also, in part, severed them; but I believe “you will find, that our laws and the present government of the church are “mingled like wine and water; so inseparable, that the abrogation of “at least a hundred of our laws is desired in these petitions. I have often “heard a noble answer of the Lords, commended in this house, to a propo“sition of like nature, but of less consequence; they gave no other reason “of their refusal but this, Molumus mutare Leges Angliae: it was the bishops - co who * This speech has been retrieved, from a paper printed at that time, by the writers of the talliamentary History. Dr. J.
** who so answered then ; and it would become the dignity and wisdom of “ this house to answer the people, now, with a Wolumur zuzare. “I see some are moved with a number of hands against the Bishops; “which, I confess, rather inclines me to their defence; for I look upon Epis“copacy as a counterscarp, or out-work; which, if it be taken by this assault “of the people, and, withal, this mystery once revealed, That we must deny “ them nothing when they ask it thus in troops, we may, in the next place, “have as hard a task to defend our property, as we have lately had to re“ cover it from the Prerogative. If, by multiplying hands and petitions, “ they prevail for an equality in things ecclesiastical, the next demand per-- haps may be Lex Agraria, the like equality in things temporal. “The Roman story tells us, That when the people began to flock about “ the senate, and were more curious to direct and know what was done, “ than to obey, that Commonwealth soon came to ruin: their Zegem ro“gare grew quickly to be a Legem serre; and after, when their legions had “found that they could make a Dictator, they never suffered the senate to “ have a voice any more in such election. “If these great innovations proceed, I shall expect a flat and level in “ learning too, as well as in church-preferments: Honor alie Arrer. And “ though it be true, that grave and pious men do study for learning-sake, “ and embrace virtue for itself: yet it is true, that youth, which is the sea“ son when learning is gotten, is not without ambition: nor will ever take “ pains to excel in any thing, when there is not some hope of excellin “others in reward and dignity. “There are two reasons chiefly alleged against our church-government. “First, Scripture, which, as some men think, points out another form. “Second, The abuses of the present superiors. “ For Scripture, I will not dispute it in this place; but I am confident “ that, whenever an equal division of lands and goods shall be desired, there “will be as many places in Scripture found out, which seem to favour that, “ as there are now alleged against the prelacy or preferment in the church. “And, as for abuses, when you are now, in the Remonstrance told, what “ this and that poor man hath suffered by the bishops, you may be presented “with a thousand instances of poor men that have received hard measure “from their landlords; and of worldly goods abused, to the injury of “others, and disadvantage of the owners. “And therefore, Mr. Speaker, my humble motion is, That we may settle “men’s minds herein; and, by a question, declare our resolution, to reform, “that is, not to abolish Episcopacy.” It cannot but be wished that he, who could speak in this manner, had been able to act with spirit and uniformity. When the Commons began to set the royal authority at open defiance, Waller is said to have withdrawn from the house, and to have returned with the king's Permission; and, when the king set up his standard, he sent him
*Him a thousand broad-pieces. He continued, however, to sit in the rebellias conventicle; but “ spoke,” says Clarendon, “with great sharpness and “freedom, which, now there was no danger of being outvoted, was not “restrained; and therefore used as an argument against those who were * gone upon pretence that they were not suffered to deliver their opinion “freely in the house, which could not be believed, when all men knew what “liberty Mr. Waller took, and spoke every day with impunity against the “sense and proceedings of the house.” Waller, as he continued to sit, was one of the commissioners nominated by the parliament to treat with the King at Oxford; and when they were presented, the King said to him, “Though you are the last, you are not “the lowest nor the least in my favour.” Whitlock, who, being another of the commissioners, was wituess of this kindness, imputes it to the king's knowledge of the plot, in which Waller appeared afterwards to have been engaged against the parliament. Fenton, with equal probability, believes, that this attempt to promote the royal cause arose from his sensibility of the king's tenderness. Whitlock says nothing of his behaviour at Oxford: he was sent with several others to add pomp to the commission, but was not one of those to whom the trust of treating was imparted. The engagement, known by the name of Waller's plot, was soon afterwards discovered. Waller had a brother-in-law, Tomkyns, who was clerk of the Queen's council, and at the same time had a very numerous acquaintance, and great influence, in the city. Waller and he, conversing with great confidence, told both their own secrets and those of their fiends; and, surveying the wide extent of their conversation, imagined that they found in the majority of all ranks great disapprobation of the vidence of the Commons, and unwillingness to continue the war. They knew that many favoured the King, whose fear concealed their loyalty; and many desired peace, though they durst not oppose the clamour for war; and they imagined that if those who had these good intentions could be informed of their own strength, and enabled by intelligence to act together, they might overpower the fury of sedition, by refusing to comply with the ordinance for the twentieth part, and the other taxes levied for the support of the rebel army, and by uniting great numbers in a petition for peace. They proceeded with great caution. Three only met in one place, and no man was allowed to impart the plot to more than two others; so that, if any should be suspected or seized, more than three could not be endangered. Lord Conway joined in the design, and, Clarendon imagines, incidentally mingled, as he was a soldier, some martial hopes or projects, which however were only mentioned, the main design being to bring the loyal inhabitants to the knowledge of each other; for which purpose there was to be appointed one in every district, to distinguish the friends of the king, the adherents to the parliament, and the neutrals. How far they proceeded Vol. I. R does