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His bonnet vail'd, ere ever I could think,
The sportful wind, to mock the headless man,
And straight it to a deeper ditch hath blown :
Though he perhaps ne'er pass'd the English shore, Yet fain would counted be a conqueror.
His hair, French-like, stares on his frighted head, One lock amazon-like dishevelled,
As if he meant to wear a native cord,
If chance his fates should him that bane afford.
Whose thousand double turnings never met:
SATIRE VII*. BOOK III.
SEEST thou how gaily my young master goes, Vaunting himself upon his rising toes; And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side; And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide? "Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he dined to-day? In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humfrày. Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer, Keeps he for every straggling cavalier. And open house, haunted with great resort; Long service mix'd with musical disport. Many fair yonker with a feather'd crest, Chooses much rather be his shot-free guest, To fare so freely with so little cost, Than stake his twelvepence to a meaner host. Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say He touch'd no meat of all this live-long day. For sure methought, yet that was but a guess, His eyes seem'd sunk from very hollowness, But could he have (as I did it mistake) So little in his purse, so much upon his back? So nothing in his maw? yet seemeth by his belt, That his gaunt gut no too much stuffing felt. Seest thou how side it hangs beneath his hip? Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip. Yet for all that, how stiffly struts he by, All trapped in the new-found bravery. The nuns of new-won Calais his bonnet lent, In lieu of their so kind a conquerment. What needed he fetch that from farthest Spain, His grandame could have lent with lesser pain? *In this description of a famished gallant, Hall has rivalled the succeeding humour of Ben Jonson in similar comic portraits. Among the traits of affectation in his finished character, is that of dining with duke Humphry while he pretends to keep open house-The phrase of dining with Duke Humphry arose from St. Paul's being the general resort of the loungers of those days, many of whom, like Hall's gallant, were glad to beguile the thoughts of dinner with a walk in the middle aisle, where there was a tomb, by mistake supposed to be that of Humphry, Duke of Gloucester.-E.
SATIRE VI†. BOOK IV. Quid placet ergo?
I wor not how the world's degenerate,
The general scope of this satire, as its motto denotes, is directed against the discontent of human beings with their respective conditions. It paints the ambition of the youth to become a man, of the muckworm to be rich, of the rustic to become a soldier, of the rhymer to appear in print, and of the brain-sick reader of foreign wonders to become a traveller.-E.
He sleeps but once, and dreams of burglary,
And his dim eyes see nought but death and drear.
Now with discourses breaks his midnight sleep
Now are they dunghill cocks that have not seen
And now he plies the news-full Grasshopper,
To know much, and to think for nothing, know
Was a native of Oxfordshire, and was born, as Mr. Ellis conjectures, in 1558. He left the university of Oxford without a degree, and came to London, where he pursued the business of an attorney of the common pleas. Scott, the poet of Amwell, discovered that he had been buried in the church of that parish in 1609, having died suddenly in the night-time.*
His "Albion's England" was once exceedingly popular. Its publication was at one time interdicted by the Star-chamber, for no other reason that can now be assigned, but that it contains some love-stories more simply than delicately related. His contemporaries compared him to Virgil, whom he certainly did not make his
model. Dr. Percy thinks he rather resembled Ovid, to whom he is, if possible, still more unlike. His poem is, in fact, an enormous ballad on the history, or rather on the fables appendant to the history of England; heterogeneous, indeed, like the Metamorphoses, but written with an almost doggrel simplicity. Headley has rashly preferred his works to our ancient ballads; but with the best of these they will bear no comparison. Argentile and Curan has indeed some beautiful touches, yet that episode requires to be weeded of many lines to be read with unqualified pleasure; and through the rest of his stories we shall search in vain for the familiar magic of such ballads as Chevy Chase or Gill Morrice.
A many princes seek her love, but none might A brace of years he lived thus, well pleased so to live, her obtain, And, shepherd-like, to feed a flock himself did wholly give ;
For gripel Edel to himself her kingdom sought to gain,
And for that cause, from sight of such he did his ward restrain.
By chance one Curan, son unto a Prince of Danske, did see
The maid with whom he fell in love, as much as one might be :
Unhappy youth, what should he do? his saint
was kept in mew;
Nor he nor any nobleman admitted to her view: One while in melancholy fits he pines himself away, Anon he thought by force of arms to win her if he may,
And still against the king's restraint did secretly inveigh.
At length the high controller, Love, whom none may disobey,
Imbased him from lordliness into a kitchen drudge, That so at least of life or death she might become his judge;.
Access so had, to see and speak, he did his love bewray,
And tells his birth-her answer was, she husbandless would stay:
Meanwhile the king did beat his brain, his booty to achieve,
Not caring what became of her, so he by her might thrive;
At last his resolution was some peasant should her wive:
And (which was working to his wish) he did observe with joy,
How Curan, whom he thought a drudge, scap'd
many an am'rous toy :
The king, perceiving such his vein, promotes his vassal still,
Lest that the baseness of the man should let perhaps his will;
Assured, therefore, of his love, but not suspecting who
The lover was, the king himself in his behalf did woo: The lady, resolute from love, unkindly takes that he Should bar the noble and unto so base a match agree;
And therefore, shifting out of doors, departed hence by stealth,
Preferring poverty before a dangerous life in wealth.
When Curan heard of her escape, the anguish of his heart
Was more than much, and after her he did from court depart;
Forgetful of hmself, his birth, his country, friends, and all,
And only minding whom he miss'd, the foundress of his thrall:
Nor means he after to frequent the court, or stately towns,
But solitarily to live among the country growns.
So wasting love, by work and want, grew almost to the wane,
And then began a second love the worser of the twain ;
A country wench, a neat-herd's maid, where Curan kept his sheep,
Did feed her drove ; and now on her was all the ; shepherd's keep.
He borrow'd on the working days his holie russets oft,
And of the bacon's fat to make his startups black and soft,
And lest his tar-box should offend, he left it at the fold:
Sweet grout or whig his bottle had as much as it might hold;
A shave of bread as brown as nut, and cheese as white as snow,
And wildings, or the season's fruit, he did in scrip bestow;
And whilst his pyebald cur did sleep, and sheephook lay him by,
On hollow quills of oaten straw he piped melody; But when he spied her his saint
A nymph no tongue, no heart, no eye, might praise, might wish, might see,
For life, for love, for form, more good, more worth, more fair than she;
Yea, such a one as such was none, save only she was such ;
Of Argentile, to say the most, were to be silent much.
I knew the lady very well, but worthless of such praise,
The neatress said, and muse I do a shepherd thus should blaze
The coat of beauty; credit me, thy latter speech bewrays
Thy clownish shape a colour'd show ; but where
fore dost thou weep?
The shepherd wept, and she was woe, and both did silence keep :
In troth, quoth he, I am not such as seeming I profess,
But then for her, and now for thee, I from myself digress;
Her loved I, wretch that I am, a recreant to be,
I loved her that hated love, but now I die for thee.
At Kirkland is my father's court, and Curan is my name,
In Edel's court sometime in pomp, till love controll'd the same;
But now-what now? dear heart, how now, what aileth thou to weep ?
The damsel wept, and he was woe, and both did silence keep.
I grant, quoth she, it was too much, that you did love so much,
But whom your former could not move, your second love doth touch;
Thy twice-beloved Argentile submitteth her to thee,
And, for thy double love, presents herself a single fee ;
In passion, not in person, changed; and I, my lord, am she;
Thus sweetly surfeiting in joy, and silent for a
SIR JOHN HARRINGTON.
[Born, 1561? Died, 1612?]
A SPECIMEN of the poetry of Sir John Harrington's father has been already given in this volume, which is so polished and refined, as almost to warrant a suspicion that the editor of the Nuge Antiquæ got it from a more modern quarter. The elder Harrington was imprisoned in the Tower, under Queen Mary, for holding a correspondence with Elizabeth; on whose accession his fidelity was rewarded by her favour.
His son, the translator of Ariosto, was knighted on the field by the Earl of Essex, not much to the satisfaction of Elizabeth, who was sparing of such honours, and chose to confer them herself. He was created a knight of the Bath in the reign of James, and distinguished himself, to the violent offence of the high church party, by his zeal against the marriage of bishops.
FROM SIR JOHN HARRINGTON'S EPIGRAMS.
A TAILOR, thought a man of upright dealing—
He walked mannerly, he talked meekly,
He heard three lectures and two sermons weekly;
Was born in 1581, and perished in the Tower of London, 1613, by a fate that is too well known. The compassion of the public for a man of worth, "whose spirit still walked unrevenged amongst them," together with the contrast of his ideal Wife with the Countess of Essex, who was his murderess, attached an interest and popularity to his poem, and made it pass through sixteen editions before the year 1653. His Characters, or Witty Descriptions of the Properties of sundry Persons, is a work of considerable merit; but unfortunately his prose, as well as his verse, has
a dryness and quaintness that seem to oppress the natural movement of his thoughts. As a poet, he has few imposing attractions: his beauties must be fetched by repeated perusal. They are those of solid reflection, predominating over, but not extinguishing, sensibility; and there is danger of the reader neglecting, under the coldness and ruggedness of his manner, the manly but unostentatious moral feeling that is conveyed in his maxims, which are sterling and liberal, if we can only pardon a few obsolete ideas on female education.