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After the death of Sir F. Wolley, his next protector was Sir Robert Drury, whom he accompanied on an embassy to France. His wife, with an attachment as romantic as poet could wish for, had formed the design of accompanying him as a page. It was on this occasion, and to dissuade her from the design, that he addressed to her the verses beginning, "By our first strange and fatal interview." Isaak Walton relates, with great simplicity, how the poet, one evening, as he sat alone in his chamber in Paris, saw the vision of his beloved wife appear to him with a dead infant in her arms, a story which wants only credibility to be interesting. He had at
last the good fortune to attract the regard of King James; and, at his majesty's instance, as he might now consider that he had outlived the remembrance of his former follies, he was persuaded to become a clergyman. In this capacity he was successively appointed chaplain to the king, lecturer of Lincoln's Inn, vicar of St. Dunstan's Fleet Street, and dean of St. Paul's. His death, at a late age, was occasioned by consumption. He was buried in St. Paul's, where his figure yet remains in the vault of St. Faith's, carved from a painting for which he sat a few days before his death, dressed in his winding-sheet.
SWEETEST love, I do not go
Nor in hope the world can show
A fitter love for me.
But since that I
Must die at last, 'tis best
Yesternight the sun went hence, And yet is here to-day;
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor half so short a way:
Then fear not me,
But believe that I shall make Hastier journeys, since I take More wings and spurs than he.
THE BREAK OF DAY.
STAY, oh Sweet! and do not rise:
The light that shines comes from thine eyes;
Tis true, it's day-what though it be?
Light hath no tongue, but is all eye;
If it could speak as well as spy,
This were the worst that it could say,
That, being well, I fain would stay,
And that I loved my heart and honour so,
That I would not from her that had them go.
IMAGE of her whom I love more than she
So if I dream I have you, I have you,
For all our joys are but fantastical,
And, but the waking, nothing shall repent;
ON THE LORD HARRINGTON, &c.
TO THE COUNTESS OF BEDFORD.
FAIR Soul! which wast not only, as all souls be,
A part in God's great organ, this whole sphere;
If looking up to God, or down to us,
Come to your knowledge and affections too,
To-morrow's business, when the lab'rers have
Of this author I have been able to obtain no farther information, than that he belonged to the Inner Temple, and translated a great number of John Owen's Latin epigrams into English. His
songs, sonnets, and elegies, bear the date of 1631. Indifferent as the collection is, entire pieces of it are pilfered.
FROM SONGS, SONNETS, AND ELEGIES, BY T. PICKE.
THE night, say all, was made for rest;
Bright was the moon, as bright as day,
Say, gentle dames, what moved your mind
At last for shame you shrunk away,
[Born, 1593. Died, 1632-3.]
"HOLY George Herbert," as he is generally called, was prebendary of Leighton Ecclesia, a village in Huntingdonshire. Though Bacon is
said to have consulted him about some of his writings, his memory is chiefly indebted to the affectionate mention of old Isaak Walton.
FROM HIS POEMS, ENTITLED "THE TEMPLE, SACRED POEMS, AND PRIVATE EJACULATIONS."
SWEET day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
Sweet dews shall weep thy fall to-night,
Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
THIS writer was the antagonist of Jonson in the drama, and the rival of Bishop Hall in satire*, though confessedly inferior to them both in their respective walks of poetry. While none of his biographers seem to know anything about him, Mr. Gifford (in his Memoirs of Ben Jonson) conceives that Wood has unconsciously noticed him as a gentleman of Coventry, who married Mary, the daughter of the Rev. W. Wilkes, chaplain to King James, and rector of St. Martin, in Wiltshire. According to this notice, our poet died at London, in 1634, and was buried in the church belonging to the Temple. These particulars agree with what Jonson said to Drummond respecting this dramatic opponent of his, in his conversation at Hawthornden, viz. that Marston wrote his father-in-law's preachings, and his father-in-law Marston's comedies. Marston's comedies are somewhat dull; and it is not difficult to conceive a witty sermon of those days,
when puns were scattered from the pulpit, to have been as lively as an indifferent comedy. Marston is the Crispinus of Jonson's Poetaster, where he is treated somewhat less contemptuously than his companion Demetrius (Dekker); an allusion is even made to the respectability of his birth. Both he and Dekker were afterwards reconciled to Jonson; but Marston's reconcilement, though he dedicated his Malcontent to his propitiated enemy, seems to have been subject to relapses. It is amusing to find Langbaine descanting on the chaste purity of Marston as a writer, and the author of the Biographia Dramatica transcribing the compliment immediately before the enumeration of his plays, which are stuffed with obscenity. To this disgraceful characteristic of Marston an allusion is made in "The Return from Parnassus," where it is said, "Give him plain naked words stript from their shirts, That might beseem plain-dealing Aretine."
FROM SOPHONISBA, A TRAGEDY.
SOPHONISBA, the daughter of Asdrubal, has been wooed by Syphax and Massinissa, rival kings of Africa,'and both the allies of Carthage. She prefers Massinissa; and Syphax, indignant at her refusal, revolts to the Romans. Massinisssa, on the night of his marriage, is summoned to the assistance of the Carthaginians, on the alarm of Scipio's invasion. The senate of Carthage, notwithstanding Massinissa's fidelity, decree that Syphax shall be tempted back to them by the offer of Sophonisba in marriage. Sophonisba is on the point of being sacrificed to the enforced nuptials, when Massinissa, who had been apprised of the treachery of Carthage, attacks the troops of Syphax, joins the Romans, and brings Syphax a captive to Scipio's feet. Syphax, in his justification to Scipio, pleads, that his love for Sophonisba alone had tempted him to revolt from Rome. Scipio therefore orders that the daughter of Asdrubal, when taken prisoner, shall belong to the Romans alone. Lelins and Massinissa march on to Cirta, and storm the palace of Syphax, where they find Sophonisba.
The cornets sounding a march, MASSINISSA enters with his beaver up.
Moss. MARCH to the palace!
Of Lybia thy fair arms speak, give heart
To amazed weakness: hear her that for long time
* He wrote the Scourge of Villany; three books of satires, 1599. He was also author of the Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image, and certain Satires, published 1598, which makes his date as satirist nearly coeval with that of Bishop Hall.
Let me not kneel to Rome; for though no cause
As one well knowing the much-grounded hate
By thee and this right hand, thou shalt live free!
Let slaughter cease! sounds, soft as Leda's breast, [Soft music. Slide through all ears! this night be love's high feast. Soph. O'erwhelm me not with sweets; let me not drink
Till my breast burst! O Jove! thy nectar, think-
We are now in Rome's power. Lelius,
Most sinking from that state his heart did keep.
Lel. But thou dost forget
Thy vow, yet fresh thus breathed. When I desist
Mass. Lelius, enough:
Salute the Roman-tell him we will act What shall amaze him.
Lel. Wilt thou yield her, then?
Mass. She shall arrive there straight.
Lel. Best fate of men
Mass. Speak, sweet.
Soph. Dear! do not weep.
And now with undismay'd resolve behold,
An abhorr'd life! (She drinks.) You have been good to me,
And I do thank thee, Heaven. O my stars!
FROM ANTONIO AND MELLIDA. ACT III. SCENE I.
Representing the affliction of fallen greatness in ANDRUGIO, Duke of Genoa, after he has been defeated by the Venetians, proscribed by his countrymen, and left with only two attendants in his flight.
Enter ANDRUGIO in armour, LUCIO with a shepherd's gown in his hand, and a Page.
And. Is not yon gleam the shuddering morn, that flakes
With silver tincture the east verge of heaven?
My thoughts are fix'd in contemplation
Did nature make the earth, or the earth nature?
Paints me a puppet even with seeming breath,
And in her ear, hallow his misery,
And choak'st their throats with dust open thy breast,
And let me sink into thee. Look who knocks; Andrugio calls. But, oh! she's deaf and blind. A wretch but lean relief on earth can find.
Luc. Sweet lord, abandon passion, and disarm.
Now I defy chance. Fortune's brow hath frown'd,
And that nor mischief, force, distress, nor hell, can take.
Fortune my fortunes, not my mind shall shake.
Luc. Spoke like yourself: but give me leave, my lord,
To wish your safety. If you are but seen, Your arms display you; therefore put them off, And take
And. Wouldst have me go unarm'd among
Being besieged by passion, entering lists,
And murmur to sustain the weight of arms:
Alas! survey your fortunes, look what's left
And. Andrugio lives, and a fair cause of arms; Why that's an army all invincible.
He, who hath that, hath a battalion royal, Armour of proof, huge troops of barbed steeds, Main squares of pikes, millions of arquebuse. Oh, a fair cause stands firm and will abide ;
Legions of angels fight upon her side.
Luc. Then, noble spirit, slide in strange disguise Unto some gracious prince, and sojourn there, Till time and fortune give revenge firm means.
And. No, I'll not trust the honour of a man: Gold is grown great, and makes perfidiousness A common waiter in most princes' courts : He's in the check-roll: I'll not trust my blood: I know none breathing but will cog a dye For twenty thousand double pistolets. How goes the time?
Luc. I saw no sun to-day.
And. No sun will shine where poor Andrugio
My soul grows heavy boy, let's have a song; We'll sing yet, faith, even in despite of fate.
FROM THE SAME. ACT IV.
Andr. COME, Lucio, let's go eat-what hast thou got?
Roots, roots? Alas! they're seeded, new cut up.
But boots not much, thou but pursu'st the world,
That he's most wise that thinks there's no man fool,
Andr. Why, man, I never was a prince till now.