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was no less than one hundred pounds, on condition that he would live with him at Beconsfield, which he did eight or ten years together, and from him Mr. Waller used to fay, that he learned a taste of the ancient poets, and got what he had of their manner. But it is evident from his poems, written before this incident of Mr. Morley's arreft, that he had early acquired that exquifite Spirit: however, he might have improved it afterwards, by the converfation and affiftance of Mr. Morley, to whom this adventure proved very advantageous.
It is uncertain, at what time our author was married, but, it is fuppofe, that his first wife Anne, daughter and heir of Edward Banks, efq; was dead before he fell in love with lady Dorothy Sidney, daughter to the earl of Leicefter, whom he celebrates under the name of Sachariffa. Mr. Waller's paffion for this lady, has been the fubject of much converfation; his verfes, addreffed to her, have been renowned for their delicacy, and Sacharissa has been propofed, as a model to fucceeding poets, in the celebration of their miftreffes. One cannot help wifhing, that the poet had been as fuccefsful in his Addreffes to her, as he has been in his loveftrains, which are certainly the fweeteft in the world. The difference of ftation, and the pride of blood, perhaps, was the occafion, that Sacharifla never became the wife of Waller; though in reality, as Mr. Waller was a gentleman, a member of parliament, and a perfon of high reputation, we cannot, at prefent, fee fo great a disproportion and, as Mr. Waller had fortune, as well as wit and poetry, ford Leicester's daughter could not have been difgraced by fuch an alliance. At least we are fure of one thing, that the lives for ever in Waller's ftains, a circumftance, which even her beauty could not have otherwife procured, nor the luftre of the earl of Sunderland, whom the afterwards married the countefs of Sunderland, like the ra diant circles of that age, long before this time would
would have flept in oblivion, but the Sachariffa of Waller is configned to immortality, and can never die but with poetry, tafte, and politenef.
Upon the marriage of that lady to lord Spenfer, afterwards earl of Sunderland, which was folemnized July 11, 1639, Mr. Waller wrote the following letter to lady Lucy Sidney, her fifter, which is fo full of gallantry, and fo elegantly turned, that it will doubtedly give pleasure to our readers to peruse it.
'In this common joy at Penfhurst *, I know, none to whom complaints may come lefs unfea⚫ fonable than to your ladyship, the lofs of a bedfellow, being almoft equal to that of a mistress, and therefore you ought, at leaft, to pardon, if you confent not to the imprecations of the deferted, which juft Heaven no doubt will hear. May my lady Dorothy, if we may yet call her fo, fuffer as much, and have the like paffion for this young lord, whom the has preferred to the reft of mankind, as others have had for her; and may his love, before the year go about, make her tafte of the firft curfe impofed upon womankind, the pains of becoming a mother. May her first born be none of her own fex, nor fo like her, but that he may refemble her lord, as much as herself. May fhe, that always affe&ted filence and retirement, have the house filled with the noife, and number of her children, and hereafter of her grand-children; and then may
*The ancient feat of the Sydneys family in Kent; now in the poffeffion of William Perry, efq; whofe lady is neice to the late Sydney, earl of Leicester. A fmall, but excellent poem upon this delightful feat, was published by an anonymous hand, in 1750, entitled, PENSHURST. See Monthly Review, vol. II. page 331.
fhe arrive at that great curfe, fo much declined
by fair ladies, old age; may fhe live to be very old, and yet feem young ; be told fo by her glass, · and have no aches to inform her of the truth; and when the fhall appear to be mortal, may her lord not mourn for her, but go hand in hand with her to that place, where we are told there is neither marrying, nor giving in marriage, that 'being there divorced, we may all have an equal
intereft in her again! my revenge being immorItal, I wish all this may befal her pofterity to the 'world's end, and afterwards! To you, madam, II with all good things, and that this lofs may,
in good time, be happily fupplied, with a more conftant bedfellow of the other fex. Madam, I humbly kifs your hands, and beg pardon for this trouble, from
• Your ladyship's
moft humble fervant,
He lived to converse with lady Sunderland when She was very old, but his imprecations relating to her glafs did not fucceed, for my lady knew the had the disease which nothing but death could cure; and in a conversation with Mr. Waller, and fome other company at lady Wharton's, fhe asked him in raillery, When, Mr. Waller, will you write fuch fine verfes upon me again?' Oh Madam, faid he, when your ladyship is as young
In the year 1640, Mr. Waller was returned Burgefs for Agmondesham, in which Parliament he oppofed the court measures. The writer of his
life obferves *. that an intermiffion of Parliaments for 12 years disgusted the nation, and the House < met in no good humour to give money. must be confeffed, fome late proceedings had 'raifed fuch jealoufies as would be fure to dif cover themselves, whenever the King fhould come to ask for a fupply; and Mr. Waller was one of the firit to condemn thofe measures. fpeech he made in the Houfe upon this occafion, printed at the end of his poems, gives us fome notion of his principles as to government.' Indeed we cannot but confefs he was a little too inconftant in them, and was not naturally so steady, as he was judicious; which variable temper was the caufe of his lofing his reputation, in great measure, with both parties, when the nation. became unhappily divided. His love to poetry, and his indolence, laid him open to the infinuations of others, and perhaps prevented his fixing fo refolutely to any one party, as to make him a favourite with either. As Mr. Waller did not come up to the heighths of those who were for unlimited monarchy, fo he did not go the lengths of fuch as would have funk the kingdom into a commonwealth, but had so much credit at court, that in this parliament the King particularly fent to him, to fecond his demands of fome fubfidies to pay the army; and Sir Henry Vane objecting. against first voting a fupply, because the King. would not accept it, unless it came up to his proportion; Mr. Waller spoke earnestly to Sir Thomas Jermyn, comptroller of the houfhold, to fave his mafter from the effects of fo bold a falfity; for,. fays he, I am but a country gentleman, and cannot pretend to know the King's mind: but Sir Tho mas durft not contradict the secretary; and his fon
the earl of St. Alban's, afterwards told Mr. Wal-' ler, that his father's cowardice ruined the King.
In the latter end of the year 1642, he was one of the commiffioners appointed by the Parliament, to prefent their propofitions for peace to his Majefty at Oxford. Mr. Whitelocke, in his Memorials, tells us, that when Mr. Waller kissed the ́ King's hand in the garden at Chrift's Church, his Majefty faid to him, though you are laft, yet you are not the worst, nor the leaft in our fayour. The difcovery of a plot, continues Mr. Whitelocke, I then in hand in London to betray the Parliament, wherein Mr. Waller was engaged, with Chaloner, Tomkins, and others, which was then in agitation, did manifeft the King's courtship of Mr. Waller to be for that fervice.' In the beginning of the year 1643. our poet was deeply engaged in the defign for the reducing the city of London, and the Tower, for the fervice of his Majefty, which being difcovered, he was imprifoned, and fined ten thousand pounds. As this is one of the moft memorable circumftances in the life of Waller, we fhall not pafs it flightly over, but give a fhort detail of the rife, progrefs, and discovery of this plot, which iffued not much in favour of Mr. Waller's reputation.
Lord Clarendon obferves*, that Mr. Waller was a gentleman of very good fortune and eftate, ⚫ and of admirable parts, and faculties of wit and eloquence, and of an intimate converfation and familiarity with thofe who had that reputation. He had, from the beginning of the Parliament, • been looked upon by all men, as a perfon of very entire affections to the King's fervice, and ⚫ to the established government of church and ftate; and by having no manner of relation to
*Hiftory of the Rebellion, Edit, Oxon. 1707, 8vo.