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213. His Litany.
216. The Thanksgiving.
271. " The Jews their beds and offices of ease
Placed north and south, for these clear purposes,
That man's uncomely froth might not molest God's ways and walks, which lie still east and west."
Herrick has noticed more old customs and vulgar superstitions than any other of our poets, and this is almost the only value of his verses. I question whether any other poet ever thought it worth while to preserve so many mere scraps, and of such very trash.
He seems to have been a mau of coarse and jovial temper, who was probably kept by his profession from any scandalous sins, and may have shown some restraint in his life, though there is so very little in his language.
There is not any other of our old poets who so little deserves the reputation which he has obtained.
Herrick is the coarsest writer of his age. Perhaps Habington may deserve to be called the purest.1
1 Possibly, Southey has been somewhat severe on the verses of Herrick,—and it is one of the very few instances in which (on such a point) I might be inclined to differ with my lamented father-in-law. At all events, like Augustine, Herrick was ready to confess his errors,—as ready, perhaps, as Bezaor Buchanon, or Donne, wnose early verse every well informed reader may call to mind. Certainly from my early years, the coarseness of Herrick grated upon the tympanum, but I cannot forget
His Prayer For Absolution.
Vol. ii. p. 202.
Sir William Denny. 11 Pbi.ecanicidium, or the Christian Adviser against self-murder, together with a Guide, and the Pilgrim's Pass to the Land of the Living." 1653.
In the Proccme he says, " Mine ears do tingle to hear so many sad relations, as ever since March last, concerning several persons of divers rank and quality inhabiting within and about so eminent a city, as latc-fnmcd London, that have made away and murdered themselves."
"The Author chose rather the quickness of verse, than more prolix prose (with God's blessing first implored) to disenchant the possessed; following divinely-inspired David's example to quiet Saul with the melody of his harp."
Not on, but in this Thee-concerning book."
P. 10. Fade for fade.
12. A notion that the nightingale sings all night, to keep herself awake, lest the slowworm should devour her.
In their infancy I taught my children the following
"Grace For A Child.
Ibid. p. 237.
In some sense, certainly, his Noble Numbers are a Palinodia, and there we find him at his own Confessional. As for example, with the Cross and the Book of Books before him :— "Thy Crosse, my Christ, fixt 'fore mine eyes sho'd be,
Not to adore that, but to worship thee.
Ibid. p. 249.
He had learnt, it would seem, with a penitent and contrite heart to look only to
"In vain our labours are, whatsoe're they be, Unless God gives the Benedicite!"—J. W. W.
35. In the Manuduction to the Second Book, he supposes—" thy desperate intentions are diverted, thy fury allayed, and that a more sober temper hath reduced thee to better inclinations by his former verse."
36. "Taking their Q from his."
70. "Have a care of solitude, if thy thoughts be not good enough to keep thee company."
73. " The diamond casements of the sight."
"That innamorata did not doubt but continual suit would mollify his mistress' heart, who presented her the figure of his mind, made in the form of an eye, dropping tears upon a heart, with
80. "Wax tapers burn and leave sweet fume,
While candles with ill scent consume."
Were tapers and candles thus distinguished at that time?
92. "Sneezing is very wholesome, for it agitateth the spirits of the brain, and is very good against paralytic infirmities."
169. "And apish novelty that pleaseth men."
173. Picqueiring explained.
"These are growths of furres (surely furze) so thick as it is very hard to enter into them, much more difficulty is it to get through."
268. The basilisk dies if he hears a cock crow.
Chabi.es Cotton, in Chalmers.
712. He bargains at St. Albans for four horses which take his carriage to the
1 Hyrne, Angulus. Bromft. Pan. in v. Set' Albert Way's note. It is pure Anglo-Saxon.
J. \V. W.
Peak in four days for £8. The journey would have been only three apparently, but lor hindrances on the road. 723. Ale—
"What, must it be purl'd? No, I love it best plain."
He gives sixpence a bottle for this ale—the best Cheshire hum.
725. His breakfast is— — " a draught of ale, sugar and spice."
Beaumont And Fletcher.
1633. "On Twelfth Night the Queen feasted the King at Somerset House, and presented him with a Play, newly studied, long since printed, the 'Faithful Shepherdess," which the King's Players acted in the Robes she and her Ladies acted their Pastoral in the lust year."—Strafford Letters, vol. 1, p. 177. Garbard.
Dryden's praise of Beaumont and Fletcher's " Essay of Dramatic Poesy," lxxiv. Plays, vol. 1.
Addison took his Vellum from a character in the "Scornful Lady," (Beaumont and Fletcher, vol. I, p. 294, N.), and a scene in the "School for Scandal" has its seminal hint in the same play.
"My head is broken With a parenthesis in every corner."
Cibber's blunder; good as Montague Kelly's "Philip vows aside."—Seward and Sympson's Edition, vol. 2, p. 129.
"— this same Prologue usual to a Play, Is tied to such an old form of petition, Men must say nothing now beyond commission.
3 Common as the name is, I believe the etymology is unknown. Grose explains it, " Ale in which wormwood has been infused, or ale and bitters drunk warm.'' — Diet, of Vulgar Timgitc. It probably refers to the curling of fluids when mixed.—J. W. W.
The cloaks we wear, the legs we make, the place
We stand in, must be one; and one the face,
P. to the Hum. Lieutenant.
"The King's rice1 (f) The sin's as universal as the sun is, And lights an everlasting torch to shame me." Ibid. p. 62.
With all the grossness of these plays, they are much above the dramas of Dryden's age in their tone of morals, as of language. How would this passage for example, have been endured by Charles the Second's court?
In the "Faithful Shepherdess," rhymes are occasionally (but rarely) introduced,— as by Daniel.
P. 127. Anotheb good blundering emendation.
"liamun's branches Which stuck in entries, or about the bar That holds the door, kill all enchantments."
The joint editors agree in reading Ramson's—the wild garlic (ramps), as if garlic were a tree. The word is Rowan sans doubt.
"Three hours of precious time!"
Epilogue to the Loyal Subject.
This then the time of performance.
In the Prologue to "Rule a Wife," &c. the ladies are desired, if the poet should
"Slip aside Sometimes lasciviously, if not too wide,"
"— hold their fans close, and then smile at ease."
Dyceprinted "Demetrius and Enanthe,"
1 The old reading," device," is, no doubt, the true one; that is, his " ensign armorial," as Mason explains it. The passage occurs in Act iv. Sc. ii.- J. W. W.
by Fletcher.—245. Russell Smith's Cut. 2*. 1830.
Prologue to the Chances.
— " Ingenious Fletcher made it, he Being in himself a perfect comedy; And some sit here, I doubt not, dare aver Living he made that house a theatre Which he pleased to frequent."
"We do entreat that you would not Expect strange turns and windings in the plot:
Objects of state, and now and then a rhyme, To gall particular persons with the time."
Chances, p. 73.
"By Britain, Metheglin and Peeler."2
This, which puzzles the commentators, may perhaps be the Peterman,—strong beer of Louvain.
Bloody Brother. 118. Some couplets.
Is the Wife for a Month by Beaumont and Fletcher? for the Prologue says, "Our noble friend who writ this."
It appears by the Prologue that the Lover's Progress is not printed as Fletcher left it.
Lover's Progress, p. 397. A woman is called "a good fellow."
A few rhymes in Boadicea, and in the Knight of the Burning Pestle.
The Prologue to the Knight of the Burning Pestle is in imitation of the Euphues style, probably in ridicule of it, though not likely so to be understood.
Sympson must have been a very dull man to have supposed that there was anything malicious in the comic imitations of Spenser in this play.
Vol. 7, p. 239. Maid in the Mill. An egregiously absurd note upon the word mother, Theobald's emendation being evidently right.
2 Dyce supposes it to he a corruption of Pedro Simon. See note in loc. Act iv. Sc iii. Vol. 7, p. 297.—J. W. W.
Vol. 9. Prologue to the Coronation. "A Woman, once, in a Coronation, may With pardon speak the Prologue, give as
A welcome to the theatre, as he
Before the play the twelve month."
P. 99. "You must not look for down beds here.
Yet there be many lightsome cool Star
Open to every sweet air."—Sea Voyage.
P. 81. Two lines which are used as an epitaph in country churchyards: "The world's a city full of straying streets, And death's the market-place where each one meets."
129. "The most remarkable point in which kings differ From private men, is, that they not alone Stand bound to be in themselves innocent, But that all such as are allied to them In nearness or dependence, by their care Should be free from suspicion of all crime."
Thierry anil Theodoret.
The stage read wholesome lectures to kings, even in days of arbitrary principles.
365. Beaumont's letters to Ben Jonson, from the country.
Gifford, for the sake of extolling the Sad Shepherd, abuses the Faithful Shepherdess.1 —B. J. vol. 6, p. 306.
Margaret Fox writes thus to Waller: "London, 25th of 4th Month, 1698. "Dear Friend,
"I should have been glad to have seen
1 There were three works in my younger days I used to sigh for the completion of:—The Fafti of Ovid, the Story of Cambuscan Bold, and The Faithful Shephen-tss. — J. W. W.
thee before I had returned to my outward habitation; understanding that thou hast made choice of that blessed truth that we bear witness to, I cannot but say, it is well that thou hast chosen the better part, which, if thou abide in and obey, it will never be taken from thee. I perceive by some letters from thee, which I have heard read, that there is a work of God begun in thy inward man, where He works in his people the new creation in Christ Jesus, which is unto righteousness, holiness, and purity."— A brief Collection of remarkable Passage* and Occurrences relating to the Birth, Education, Life, Conversion, Travels, Services, and Sufferings of that ancient, eminent, and faithful Servant of the Lord, Margaret Fell, but by her second Marriage Margaret Fox. 1710, 8vo. p. 532.
Samuel Bishop, Poetical Worhs. 1796.
P. xvii. Townlet, under master at M. Taylor's, when Bishop was on the upper form, was the author of " High Life below Stairs." Garrick had so high an opinion of him, that he submitted all his own works to his correction.
xxiii. Woodward, a schoolfellow of Bishop's, and assisted by him in composing "the Seasons," which was designed for the stage, and to have been exhibited in a style of splendour at that time unexampled. Woodward had two favourite projects ; one was, to bring out this superb pantomime; and the other to introduce his black servant, whom he had instructed, with infinite pains, to play Othello. He was disappointed in both.
xxvi. A perfect slave to the school. For the election day he generally supplied above 100 compositions.
xxvii. Warren, Bishop of Bangor, his patron
8. " Oft Fancy, prompted by concern, To urge an half-form'd tear began;
And Hope, that made her bosom burn, Finish'd the pearl, and down it ran."
This reminds me of poor Trauma's1 tear in his poem:
"Then from its diamond sluice o'er rubies ran,
That deck the fair one's cheek, and as it fell,
138. " Bland Hospitality her happiest
To Sunday owes; for Sunday is her day."
146. "Let there be light," one only voice could say,
When Nature first beheld emerging day; But what light is, must all unknown remain, Till the same Voice, with equal power, again Bid intellectual light more strongly rise, And God's whole glory beam on human eyes."
204. "Kick up a Ten-toe trot, and ride on Shanks's mare."
216. An old song of the Man in the Moon,
"Which tells us how he swills his claret, And feasts on powdered beef and carret."
229. Some frivolous gentry of the present day
In alphabetic buckles shine away."
I remember some like an M about 1788 or 1790.
229. "Your children living, and your grandsires dead, Loved while they thumb'd, and tasted as they read,
The Hornbook's best edition, Gingerbread." Vol. 2.
P. 122. "A Chamber, trim as trim can be, A bed, snugg, with a double G-" t?
129. "One semblance more of me, God knows,
The Broomstick, too exactly, shows;
1 James Jennings is the author here alluded to.—J. W. W.
Let this eulogium on my tomb stick,
246. "Hail! great reformer of men's
Thou Fashion, who with silken noose
So daintily dost provide 'em!
Save petticoats to hide 'em."
271. " Youth has unruliness, and age unrest."
The only modem author in whom I have observed this word.
387. The last in the book, and one of the last which he composed, "he considered as descriptive of his own situation in the school."
"Genius, too oft, beneath Adversity's frown, Drudges, laborious; vigorous, yet kept down:
Never advanced, though never at a stay; Keeps on, perhaps shines on, but makes no way!
So fares the mettled steed, in harness bound, To drag some ponderous engine round and round.
His toil is generous effort; but 'tis still Strength, perseverance, progress—in a mill."
I know no other poet who crowds so many syllables into a verse. How his ear could allow of this, I know not. His domestic poems breathe a Dutch spirit,—by which I mean a very amiable and happy feeling of domestic duties and enjoyments.
Queen Anne "doubts whether Mr. Prior's birth will entitle him to the office of envoy, but will give him any other situation that Lord Oxford shall recommend."—Lansdowne MSS. No. 1236, 146.
P. 29. "With fancied rules and arbitrary laws,