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[Died, 1632?]

EDWARD FAIRFAX, the truly poetical translator of Tasso, was the second son of Sir Thomas Fairfax, of Denton, in Yorkshire. His family were all soldiers; but the poet, while his brothers were seeking military reputation abroad, preferred the quiet enjoyment of letters at home. He married and settled as a private gentleman at Fuyston, a place beautifully situated between the family seat at Denton and the forest of Knaresborough. Some of his time was devoted to the management of his brother Lord Fairfax's property, and to superintending the education of his lordship's children. The prose MSS. which he left in the library of Denton sufficiently attest his literary industry. They have never been published, and, as they relate chiefly to religious controversy, are not likely to be so; although his treatise on witchcraft, recording its supposed operation upon his own family, must form a curious relic of superstition. Of Fairfax it might, therefore, well be said

"Prevailing poet, whose undoubting mind

Believed the magic powers which he sung*."

Of his original works in verse, his History of Edward the Black Prince has never been pub

lished; but Mr. A. Chalmers (Biog. Dict. art. Fairfax) is, I believe, as much mistaken in supposing that his Eclogues have never been collectively printed, as in pronouncing them entitled to high commendation for their poetry. A more obscurely stupid allegory and fable can hardly be imagined than the fourth eclogue, preserved in Mrs. Cooper's Muse's Library its being an imitation of some of the theological pastorals of Spenser is no apology for its absurdity. When a fox is described as seducing the chastity of a lamb, and when the eclogue writer tells us that

"An hundred times her virgin lip he kiss'd, As oft her maiden finger gently wrung," who could imagine that either poetry, or ecclesiastical history, or sense or meaning of any kind, was ever meant to be conveyed under such a conundrum ?

The time of Fairfax's death has not been discovered; it is known that he was alive in 1631; but his translation of the Jerusalem was published when he was a young man, was inscribed to Queen Elizabeth, and forms one of the glories of her reign.


RINALDO, after offering his devotions on Mount Olivet, enters on the adventure of the Enchanted Wood.

It was the time, when 'gainst the breaking day,
Rebellious night yet strove, and still repined ;
For in the east appear'd the morning grey,
And yet some lamps in Jove's high palace shined,
When to Mount Olivet he took his way,
And saw, as round about his eyes he twined,
Night's shadows hence, from thence the morn-
ing's shine;

This bright, that dark; that earthly, this divine:

Thus to himself he thought: how many bright
And splendent lamps shine in heaven's temple high!
Day hath his golden sun, her moon the night,
Her fix'd and wand'ring stars the azure sky;
So framed all by their Creator's might,
That still they live and shine, and ne'er shall die,
"Till, in a moment, with the last day's brand
They burn, and with them burn sea, air, and

[* Collins.]

Thus as he mused, to the top he went,

And there kneel'd down with reverence and


His eyes upon heaven's eastern face he bent;
His thoughts above all heavens up-lifted were--
The sins and errors, which I now repent,
Of my unbridled youth, O Father dear,

Remember not, but let thy mercy fall,
And purge my faults and my offences all.

Thus prayed he; with purple wings up-flew
In golden weed the morning's lusty queen,
Begilding, with the radiant beams she threw,
His helm, his harness, and the mountain green :
Upon his breast and forehead gently blew
The air, that balm and nardus breathed unseen;

And o'er his head, let down from clearest skies,
A cloud of pure and precious dew there flies:

[ The fourth eclogue alone is in print; nor is a MS. copy of the whole known to exist.]

The heavenly dew was on his garments spread,
To which compared, his clothes pale ashes seem,
And sprinkled so, that all that paleness fled,
And thence of purest white bright rays outstream :
So cheered are the flowers, late withered,
With the sweet comfort of the morning beam;
And so, return'd to youth, a serpent old
Adorns herself in new and native gold.

The lovely whiteness of his changed weed
The prince perceived well and long admired;
Toward the forest march'd he on with speed,
Resolved, as such adventures great required:
Thither he came, whence, shrinking back for dread
Of that strange desert's sight, the first retired;
But not to him fearful or loathsome made
That forest was, but sweet with pleasant shade.

Forward he pass'd, and in the grove before
He heard a sound, that strange, sweet, pleasing was;
There roll'd a crystal brook with gentle roar,
There sigh'd the winds, as through the leaves they
There did the nightingale her wrongs deplore, [pass;
There sung the swan, and singing died, alas!

There lute, harp, cittern, human voice, he heard,
And all these sounds one sound right well declared.

A dreadful thunder-clap at last he heard,
The aged trees and plants well nigh that rent,
Yet heard the nymphs and sirens afterward,
Birds, winds, and waters, sing with sweet consent;
Whereat amazed, he stay'd, and well prepared
For his defence, heedful and slow forth-went ;
Nor in his way his passage ought withstood,
Except a quiet, still, transparent flood:

On the green banks, which that fair stream inbound,
Flowers and odours sweetly smiled and smell'd,
Which reaching out his stretched arms around,
All the large desert in his bosom held,
And through the grove one channel passage found;
This in the wood, in that the forest dwell'd:
Trees clad the streams, streams green those trees
aye made,

And so exchanged their moisture and their shade.

The knight some way sought out the flood to pass,
And as he sought, a wondrous bridge appear'd ;
A bridge of gold, an huge and mighty mass,
On arches great of that rich metal rear'd :
When through that golden way he enter'd was,
Down fell the bridge; swelled the stream, and wear'd
The work away, nor sign left, where it stood,
And of a river calm became a flood.

He turn'd, amazed to see it troubled so,
Like sudden brooks, increased with molten snow;
The billows fierce, that tossed to and fro,
The whirlpools suck'd down to their bosoms low;
But on he went to search for wonders mo,
Through the thick trees, there high and broad which
And in that forest huge, and desert wide, [grow;
The more he sought, more wonders still he spied:

Where'er he stepp'd, it seem'd the joyful ground
Renew'd the verdure of her flowery weed;
A fountain here, a well-spring there he found;
Here bud the roses, there the lilies spread :
The aged wood o'er and about him round
Flourish'd with blossoms new, new leaves, new seed;
And on the boughs and branches of those treen
The bark was soften'd, and renew'd the green.

The manna on each leaf did pearled lie;
The honey stilled from the tender rind :
Again he heard that wondrous harmony
Of songs and sweet complaints of lovers kind;
The human voices sung a treble high,
To which respond the birds, the streams, the wind;
But yet unseen those nymphs, those singers were,
Unseen the lutes, harps, viols which they bear.

He look'd, he listen'd, yet his thoughts denied
To think that true, which he did hear and see:
A myrtle in an ample plain he spied,
And thither by a beaten path went he;
The myrtle spread her mighty branches wide,
Higher than pine, or palm, or cypress tree,

And far above all other plants was seen
That forest's lady, and that desert's queen.

Upon the tree his eyes Rinaldo bent,
And there a marvel great and strange began;
An aged oak beside him cleft and rent,
And from his fertile, hollow womb, forth ran,
Clad in rare weeds and strange habiliment,
A nymph, for age able to go to man ;

An hundred plants beside, even in his sight, Childed an hundred nymphs, so great, so dight.

Such as on stages play, such as we see
The dryads painted, whom wild satyrs love,
Whose arms half naked, locks untrussed be,
With buskins laced on their legs above,
And silken robes tuck'd short above their knee,
Such seem'd the sylvan daughters of this grove;
Save, that instead of shafts and bows of tree,
She bore a lute, a harp or cittern she;

And wantonly they cast them in a ring,
And sung and danced to move his weaker sense,
Rinaldo round about environing,

As does its centre the circumference ;
The tree they compass'd eke, and 'gan to sing,
That woods and streams admired their excellence--
Welcome, dear Lord, welcome to this sweet grove,
Welcome, our lady's hope, welcome, her love!

Thou comest to cure our princess, faint and sick For love, for love of thee, faint, sick, distress'd; Late black, late dreadful was this forest thick, Fit dwelling for sad folk, with grief oppress'd ; See, with thy coming how the branches quick Revived are, and in new blossoms dress'd!

This was their song; and after from it went First a sweet sound, and then the myrtle rent.

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Before him stepp'd, embraced the plant, and cry'd-See where he comes!-Array'd in glitt❜ring white

Ah! never do me such a spiteful part,

To cut my tree, this forest's joy and pride;

Put up thy sword, else pierce therewith the heart

Of thy forsaken and despised Armide;

Appear'd the man, bold, stately, high and great ;
His eagle's silver wings to shine begun
With wondrous splendour 'gainst the golden sun.

For through this breast, and through this heart, The camp received him with a joyful cry,— unkind,

To this fair tree thy sword shall passage find.

He lift his brand, nor cared, though oft she pray'd, And she her form to other shape did change; Such monsters huge, when men in dreams are laid, Oft in their idle fancies roam and range :

A cry, the hills and dales about that fill'd;
Then Godfrey welcomed him with honours high;
His glory quench'd all spite, all envy kill'd:
To yonder dreadful grove, quoth he, went I,
And from the fearful wood, as me you will'd,
Have driven the sprites away; thither let be
Your people sent, the way is safe and free.


[Died, 1634?]

THE history of this author is quite unknown, except that he was a prolific pamphleteer in the reigns of Elizabeth, James I. and Charles I. Ritson has mustered a numerous catalogue of his works, to which the compilers of the Censura Literaria have added some articles. It has been remarked by the latter, that his muse is generally found in low company, from which it is inferred that he frequented the haunts of dissipation. The conclusion is unjust-Fielding was not a blackguard, though he wrote the adventures of

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A SMITH for felony was apprehended,
And being condemn'd for having so offended,
The townsmen, with a general consent,
Unto the judge with a petition went,
Affirming that no smith did near them dwell,
And for his art they could not spare him well;
For he was good at edge-tool, lock, and key,
And for a farrier most rare man, quoth they.
The discreet judge unto the clowns replied,
How shall the law be justly satisfied?

A thief that steals must die therefore, that's flat.
O Sir, said they, we have a trick for that:
Two weavers dwelling in our town there are,
And one of them we very well can spare;
Let him be hang'd, we very humbly crave-
Nay, hang them both, so we the smith may save.
The judge he smiled at their simple jest,
And said, the smith would serve the hangman best.



In the Letting of Humour's Blood, in the Head Vein.
First published in 1600.

AN honest vicar and a kind consort,
That to the ale-house friendly would resort,
To have a game at tables now and than,
Or drink his pot as soon as any man ;
As fair a gamester, and as free from brawl,
As ever man should need to play withal;
Because his hostess pledged him not carouse,
Rashly, in choler, did forswear her house:
Taking the glass, this was his oath he swore-
"Now, by this drink, I'll ne'er come hither more."
But mightily his hostess did repent,

For all her guests to the next ale-house went,

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Then, pray thee, let us two in love go drink,
And on these matters for our profit think:
To handle such two masters turn us loose;
Shear thou the sheep, and I will pluck the goose."


Two friends that met would give each other wine,
And made their entrance at next bush and sign,
Calling for claret, which they did agree,
(The season hot) should qualified be

With water and sugar: so the same being brought
By a new boy, in vintners' tricks untaught,
They bad him quickly bring fair water in,
Who look'd as strange as he amazed had bin.
"Why dost not stir," quoth they," with nimble
"'Cause, gentlemen," said he, "it is not meet [feet?"
To put in too much water in your drink,
For there's enough already, sure, I think;
Richard the drawer, by my troth I vow,
Put in great store of water even now."


A SCHOLAR, newly enter'd marriage life,
Following his study, did offend his wife,
Because when she his company expected,
By bookish business she was still neglected;
Coming unto his study, "Lord," quoth she,
"Can papers cause you love them more than me?
I would I were transform'd into a book,
That your affection might upon me look!
But in my wish withal be it decreed,

I would be such a book you love to read.
Husband (quoth she) which book's form should I

"Marry," said he, " 'twere best an almanack:
The reason wherefore I do wish thee so,

Is, every year we have a new, you know*.”

[* Malone attributes this saying to Dryden, but it was said before Dryden was born; is in Rowlands, and among the jests of Drummond of Hawthornden.]


[Born, 1573. Died, 1631.]

but the chancellor would not again take him into his service; and the brutal father-in-law would not support the unfortunate pair. In their distress, however, they were sheltered by Sir Francis Wolley, a son of Lady Ellesmere by a former marriage, with whom they resided for several years, and were treated with a kindness that mitigated their sense of dependence.

Donne had been bred a catholic, but on mature reflection had made a conscientious renunciation of that faith. One of his warm friends, Dr. Morton, afterwards bishop of Durham, wished to have provided for him, by generously surrendering one of his benefices: he therefore pressed

THE life of Donne is more interesting than his poetry. He was descended from an ancient family; his mother was related to Sir Thomas More, and to Heywood, the epigrammatist. A prodigy of youthful learning, he was entered of Hart Hall, now Hertford College, at the unprecedented age of eleven: he studied afterwards with an extraordinary thirst for general knowledge, and seems to have consumed a considerable patrimony on his education and travels. Having accompanied the Earl of Essex in his expedition to Cadiz, he purposed to have set out on an extensive course of travels, and to have visited the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem. Though compelled to give up his design by the insuper-him to take holy orders, and to return to him able dangers and difficulties of the journey, he did not come home till his mind had been stored with an extensive knowledge of foreign languages and manners, by a residence in the south of Europe. On his return to England, the Lord Chancellor Ellesmere made him his secretary, and took him to his house. There he formed a mutual attachment to the niece of Lady Ellesmere, and without the means or prospect of support, the lovers thought proper to marry. The lady's father, Sir George More, on the declaration of this step, was so transported with rage, that he insisted on the chancellor's driving Donne from his protection, and even got him imprisoned, together with the witnesses of the marriage. He was soon released from prison,

the third day with his answer to the proposal. "At hearing of this," (says his biographer,) "Mr. Donne's faint breath and perplexed countenance gave visible testimony of an inward conflict. He did not however return his answer till the third day; when, with fervid thanks, he declined the offer, telling the bishop that there were some errors of his life which, though long repented of, and pardoned, as he trusted, by God, might yet be not forgotten by some men, and which might cast a dishonour on the sacred office." We are not told what those irregularities were; but the conscience which could dictate such an answer was not likely to require great offences for a stumbling-block. This occurred in the poet's thirty-fourth year.

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