Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

249. " Go to the dull churchyard, and see
Those hillocks of mortality;
Where proudest man is only found
By a small swelling in the ground."

266. A poem of rich absurdity upon the house of Loretto.

352. How little must this editor have read, not to know that the cocoa tree was intended.

389. Stonyhurst. It was Sir E. Sherburne's seat. Mr. Weld gave it in 1794 to the English Jesuits of Liege, on their migration to England.

Thomas Tusser. Dr. Manor's edition.

P. 22. Iieber has a copy of Tusser with MS. notes by Gabriel Harvey.

25. Lord Molesworth in 1723 said that this book should be read, learnt by heart, and copied in country schools.

vii. "By practise and ill-speeding

These lessons had their breeding."

xxxv. "Sit down, Robin, and rest thee."

xl. A pretty stanza, but it tells what everybody knows.

Here is the opinion stated that the sick feel the ebb and flow.1

8. "For best is the best, whatsoever ye pay."

28. "Hog measeled kill,

For Fleming that will."

39. " Thy measeled bacon-hog, cow, or thy boar,

Shut up for to heal, for infecting thy
store;

Or kill it for bacon, or souse it to sell
For Fleming, that loves it 6o daintily well."

41. " Be sure of vergis, a gallon at least, So good for the kitchen, so needful for beast."

1 See The Doctor, &c. "The Spaniards think that all who die of chronic diseases, breathe their last during the ebb." P. 207. One volume.—J. W. W.

63. Strawberries seem to have required more care in winter then than now. Was this needless care? or had the plant not yet become acclimated?

85. What trees are meant by raisins? can this word be used for vines? I think not, because grapes, white and red, are mentioned in the same list.

86. "Dame Profit shall give thee reward for thy pain."

88. Cattle fed in the winter upon loppings; and sheep, during snow, upon misletoe and ivy.

96. This mutilation of fillies seems no longer to be practised. One is glad to find any barbarous practice fall into disuse.

102. Swans, a part of the live stock, 110.

109. And peacocks.

126. Number of dogs, a plague to the farmer.

131. Use of leeks in March.

132. "No spoon-meat no belly full, labourers think."

138. "Save step for a stile, of the crotch of the bough."

172. " Where chamber is sweeped, and wormwood is strewn, No flea for his life dare abide to be known."2

181. The saflron plot served for bleaching ground in winter.

183. " Grant harvest-lord more by a penny or two, To call on his fellows the better to do; Give gloves to thy reapers, a largess to cry, And daily to loiterers have a good eye."

188. "Thebetter thou thrivest, the gladder am L"

190. Lent-provision: salt fish, and—

"Go, stack it up dry, With pease-straw between it, the safer to lie."

[ocr errors]

The Fletchers.

Giles Fletciiee (the father I sup|>osi') was involved in some factious opposition to Dr. Goad, the Provost of King's College; and confessed the slander and falsehood of the charges he had assisted in bringing against him. There are several letters upon this matter among the Luiuduwne MS. p. 46, No. 23, 19 and scq.

Ib. p. 122, No. 65, 59. Dr. Fletcher to Lord Burghley, of his intention to write in Latin the history of the Queen's times, with a sketch of it.

Ib. p. 216, No. 112, 39. Some merchants, trading to Russia, represent that if some passages in Dr. Fletcher's History of Russia are not expunged, their trade will be ruined. The book was accordingly suppressed.

Some good remarks on both by Sir Egerton Brydges in the Preface to his Genevan edition of the Theatrum Poetarum.1

There also he observes, and I think justly, that Kirke White seems sometimes to have come nearest to the manner of Giles Fletcher.

Drayton.

In the original preface to the Heroical Epistles, he gives his reason why he observes not the person's dignity in the dedication of each couple: "Seeing none to whom I have dedicated any two epistles, but have their states overmatched by them who are made to speak in the epistles, however the order is in dedication, yet in respect of their degrees in my devotion, and the cause before recited, I hope they suffer no disparagement, seeing every one is the first in their particular interest, having in some sort sorted the complexion of the epistles to the character of their judgments to whom I dedicate them, excepting only the blamefulness of the person's passion, in

1 Geneva. From the press of Bonnant, 1824. In the copy before me, Sunthey has carefully marked this Preface.—J. W. W.

those points wherein the passion is blameful. Lastly, such manifest difference being betwixt every one of them, where, or howsoever they be marshalled, how can I be justly appeached of unadvisement?" This part of the preface was omitted in the later editions.

He apologized also for his notes, saying that he had introduced the matters historical, which required such explanation, because " the work might in truth be judged brainish, if nothing but amorous humour were handled therein."

The dedications, of which he speaks, are in a very affected style. From that to Edward, Earl of Bedford, we learn that he was first bequeathed to the noble lady, his countess, "by that learned and accomplished gentleman, Sir Henry Goodere (not long since deceased), whose I was whilest he was, whose patience pleased to bear with the imperfections of my heedless and unstayed youth. That excellent and matchless gentleman was the first cherisher of my muse, which had been by his death left a poor orphan to the world, had he not before bequeathed it to that lady whom he so dearly loved."

Mary, the French Queen, was dedicated to Sir II. Goodere: and then to " the happy and generous family of the Goodere's " he "confesses " himself " to be beholding for the most part of his education."

To his most dear friend, Master Henry Lucas, son to Edward Lucas, Esq. he says, "Sir, to none have I been more beholding than to your kind parents, far (I must truly confess) above the measure of my deserts. Many there be in England of whom, for some particularity, I might justly challenge greater merit, had I not been born in so evil an hour, as to be poisoned with that gall of ingratitude." This seems to mean that he had met with unkind or ungrateful treatment.

"Yet these mine own; I wrong not other men.

Nor traffic farther than this happy clime,

Nor filch from Portes(?)' nor from Pe-
trarch's pen,
A fault too common in this latter time.
Divine Sir Philip, I avouch thy writ,
I am no pick-purse of another's wit."

Sonnet to Sir Anthony Cooke.

In the prefiice to the Poly Olbion, he complains of this great disadvantage, that "verses are wholly deduced2 to chambers, and nothing esteemed in this lunatic age but what is kept in cabinets, and must only pass by transcription."

See Phillips' Theatrum Poetarum.

Matthias published at Naples, 1826, "H Cavaliero della Croce Rossa, rceato in verso Italiano," from Spenser.

11 And golden-mouthed Drayton musical, Into whose soul sweet Sydney did infuse The essence of his phoenix-feathered muse." Fitz-geffrey's Life and Death of Drake, p. 10.

Oeorge Wither.

"The Great Assizes holden in Parnassus, 1643," a squib upon the Diurnals and Mercuries, is ascribed to him, for " its good sense and heavy versification."—D' Isb A Eli's Quarrels of Authors, vol. 2, p. 254.

"Please your Majesty," said Sin John Denham, " do not hang G. Wither, that it may not be said I am the worst poet alive!"

Lansdowne's MS. No. 846. "A petition of George Wither to the House of Commons, that he might be restored to liberty, and appointed searcher of Dover." Though bound up with MS. this petition is printed.

1 Southey has put a qufere, with Dps Portn in the margin. No doubt the French poet, Philip des Portes, is alluded to.—J. W. W.

1 Quaere? reduced.—R. S.

In the debate upon sending Mr. Howard to the Tower, for the letter which he had circulated (1675), Mr. Mallett said, " There is another precedent, of Withers the poet, which if true does us justice."—Pari. Hint. Tol. 4. p. 749.

Compare his conduct during the Plague with Van Helmont's, an enthusiast of a different kind. See p. 12.

"Whoever," says Phillips, " shall go about to imitate his lofty style, may boldly venture to ride post and versify."

Ben Jonson (vol. 8, p. 7-9) satirizes George Wither, and in a way which shows him to have been a popular writer at that time.

The plates in his emblems, first appeared in a book with this title; "Gab. Rollenhagii Emblematum Centuria?," 2 vols. Cologne, 1613. M'Pherson's Catalogue.'*

Sir William Davenant.

"Quarrels of Authors" vol.2, p. 212. An account of the Attacks on Gondibert, in which D'Israeli has committed two extraordinary blunders: he speaks of the poem as published when Charles's Court gave the law—and supposes Dr. Donne to have been one of his four ironical vindicators.— p. 230-1.

There are some verses by Charles Cotton (Chalmers, vol. 6, p. 748) in answer to some in the Seventh Canto of the Third Book of Gondibert, directed to his Father. This canto has not been published, but seven stanzas of it are prefixed to these verses of Cottons.

Gondibert, p. 92. An irreverent allusion to the Resurrection, not in accord with the feeling of the poem.

3 I may observe here, that Southey had a long cherished wish of editing a collected edition of Wither's Poems. He expressed himself to this intent on the imperfect republication of them byGutch.—J. W. W.

"And here the early lawyer mends his pace, For whom the earlier clientwaited long."

Gondibcrt, p. 104.

"Care, that in cloysters only seals her eyes, Which youth thinks folly, age as wisdom owns,

Fools, by not knowing her, outlive the wise; She visits cities, but she dwells in thrones."

Ib. p. 119.

"Hither a loud bell's toll rather commands Than seems to invite the persecuted ear."

Ib. p. 183.

"That lucky thief, (In Heaven's dark lottery prosperous more than wise)

Who groped at last, by chance, for Heaven's relief,

And throngs undoes with hope, by one drawn prize."

Assurance.

"Yet these, whom Heaven's mysterious choice fetched in, Quickly attain devotion's utmost scope; For, having softly mourned away their sin, They grow so certain as to need no hope."

Ib. p. 185.

187. Here too, as in G. Herbert, a prediction that religion will take its way to America.

198. " Common faith—which is no more Than long opinion to religion grown."

210. " For love and grief are nourished best with thought."

224-5. In favour of a universal monarchy.

250. " If you approve what numbers lawful think,

He bold, for number cancels bashfulness.
Extremes from which a king would blush-
ing shrink,
Unblushing senates act as no excess."

With how much feeling might he write this!

294. Political feeling.

329-332. lie would have the good labour to acquire wealth and power, as the means of beneficence. See, too, his preface, p. 19, 20. 51.

A just remark in his preface (p. 2), that "story, wherever it seems most likely, grows most pleasant."

6. Asil'Du Uartas ranked at that time above Ariosto in public opinion.

13. A fine passage, contrasting the philanthropy of the Christian religion with the Jewish and Gentile religions.

26. A remarkable passage concerning wit, not however taking it in Barrow's sense, but in its earlier and wider acceptation.

40. Conscientious writers become for that reason voluminous. A very just observation.

Hobbes's answer to this preface is full of excellent remarks upon poetry and language.

"His private opinion was that religion at last (e. g. a hundred years hence) would come to settlement, and that in a kind of ingenious Quakerism." — Aobbey's Notes. Boswell's Mfdones Shakespeare, vol. 3, p. 284.

"He was buried in a coffin of walnut tree. Sir J. Denham said it was the finest coffin he ever saw."—Ibid. p. 283.

See Spence's Anecdotes. 82.

"though Sir William Davenant wanted that poetical invention which can alone continue to interest, he was a very subtle thinker, had great command of polished and harmonious language, and could express ideas, difficultly conceived by others, with an extraordinary union of conciseness and clearness. This is not the primary purpose of poetry; but still it is very valuable and very instructive."—Sib Egebton. Preface to Phillips, p. xviii.

Thcatrum Poetarum, Part 2, p. 20, No.

Davenant was encouraged to bring out his musical entertainment, when all plays were prohibited, "by no less a person than Sir John Maynard."—Hawhhs, History of Music, vol. 4, p. 322.

Mason.

Horace Walpole, Letters, vol. 2, p. 101. "Mr. Mason has published another drama, called Caractacus; there are some incantations poetical enough, and odes so Greek as to have very little meaning."

Ibid. vol. 4, p. 271. "the version of Fresnoy I think the finest translation I ever saw. It is a most beautiful poem extracted from as dry and prosaic a parcel of verses as could be put together. Mr. Mason has gilded lead, and burnished it highly."

Ibid. p. 343. " I Am very sorry Mr. Mason concurs in trying to revive the associations. Methinks our state is so deplorable, that every healing measure ought to be attempted, instead of innovation."—See also p. 354-5.

PercivalStockdale (Memoirs,vol.2, p. 88,) says of the Heroick Epistle, " a piece of finer and more poignant poetical irony never was written. It was, I will venture to say, foolishly given, by many people to Mason: it Whs totally ditferent from his manner; its force, its acuteness, its delicacy, and urbanity of genius prove that he was incapable to write it; yet he was absurdly and conceitedly offended with those who supposed him to be the author of it: that poet, who was certainly very little above mediocrity, fancied that his abilities and his fame were grossly injured by the mistaken supposition."

Walpole, vol. 4, p. 236, bears witness to the truth of Mr. Mainwaring's assertion, that authorship created no jealousy or variance in Mason towards Gray.

"It So happened, some how or other, that Mason never took a predominant possession of the public mind. Perhaps he was considered too flowery; though that is not an objection commonly made by the popular voice. He often wrote with great harmony and polish, and there is a great show of imagination in his Elfrida and Caractacus; but there is some indefinable failure of the true tone."—Sib Egerton Bridges, Autobiography, vol. 1, p. 132.

Cole says of him, that he was esteemed at college to be one of the chief ornaments of the University. Cole was sorry that he had shown himself " so much of a party man in the Heroic Epistle, as I bad a great veneration for his character," he says.— Restitute, vol. 3, p. 75.

Hannah More. "I was much affected at the death of poor Mason. The Bishop of London was just reading us a sonnet he had sent him on his seventy-second birth day, rejoicing in his unimpaired strength and faculties: it ended with saying that he hud still a muse able to praise his Saviour and his God, when the account of his death came. It was pleasing to find his last poetical sentiments had been so devout. I would that more of^his writings had expressed the same strain of devotion, though I have no doubt of his having been piously disposed; but the Warburtonian school was not favourable to a devotional spirit. 1 used to be pleased with his turn of conversation, which was rather of a peculiar cast." —Memoirs, vol. 3, p. 16.

"Elfrida overcame all our common prejudices against the ancient form of tragedy, especially against the chorus. Mr. Colman therefore deserves praise for introducing on the stage, under his direction, so elegant a performance; and as a proof of the skill and judgment with which he hns endeavoured to render it a pleasing exhibition to every el ass of the spectator, we must add, for the in formation of our distant readers, that it hath

« AnteriorContinuar »