Imágenes de páginas

In the extracts from The Glasse of Time contained in the Introduction, the orthography has been corrected so as to conform to present usage. In the Poem itself, as here reprinted, the spelling, punctuation, italicization, and capitalization of the original edition have been strictly adhered to. This reprint is therefore an accurate transcript of the book as put forth by Lawrence Chapman in 1620, 1623.


Thomas Peyton, the author of the following poem, was born at Royston, in the County of Cambridge, England, in 1595. He was the son and heir of Thomas Peyton, Esq., described in the records of Lincoln's Inn, London, as “late of Royston in the Co. of Cambridge, gentleman."

The Peyton family had been connected with Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Huntingdon, or the Eastern Counties, from the Conquest. The founder was William de Malet, a Norman Baron, who accompanied the Conqueror to Eng. land and was sheriff of Yorkshire in the 3d year of William I., and obtained from the Crown as a recompense for his military services, grants of sundry lordships and manors, amongst which were Sibton and Peyton Hall. “The knightly family of Peyton flowed out of the same male stock," says Camden," whence the Uffords, Earls of Suffolk, descended; albeit they assumed the surname of Peyton, according to the usage of that age, from their Manor of Peyton Hall, in Boxford, in the County of Suffolk.”

The first of the family, by the name of Pey. ton, upon record was, Reginald de Peyton, second son of Walter, Lord of Sibton, younger brother of William de Malet, sheriff of Yorkshire. This Reginald de Peyton, was lord of Peyton Hall, and was an officer in the household of the Earl of Norfolk: ancestor of that earl who refused aid to Henry III. during the Barons' war, 12581265, and when the King said " I will send reapers, and reap your fields for you,” answered de. fiantly to him; “ and I will send you back the heads of your reapers."

From this ancient stock, there is no room to doubt our poet's descent. His father was, as well as we can now make out from the family records, the son of Sir Thomas Peyton, M.P. for


Dunwich in 1557. Though one of the most con. siderable territorial families in the Eastern Counties, from the Conquest to the death of Charles I., the members, or younger sons, were of such active, adventurous, and fearless spirit, that they took service, not only in the British army and navy, whose annals are illustrated by their exploits, but under various foreign Princes. They served in the wars of Gascony in the reign of Edward II., and in Flanders, and one of them achieved such military renown by his skill as a leader at the battle of Poictiers, that he was created Earl of Suffolk and Knight of the Garter about 1356. In his last will, amongst other bequests, he leaves to his son William, the sword, wherewith the King girt him, when he created him Earl; and also his bed with the eagle entire: and his summer vestment, powdered with Leopards."

The subject of this sketch was born in that rank of life which of all others is best calculated to produce men, the blessing of their generation, and the glory of their country, and seems to have been remarkable for the sweetness of his temper and the kindness and unselfishness of his nature. Having studied at the schools of Royston, under the eye of his father, who is described as a man of literary tastes and much learning, and who possessed a valuable library, he attended the classes and completed his education at the University of Cambridge. He now proceeded, in the year 1613, to London for the study of the law, and, as the following extracts from the records of Lincoln's Inn show, was admitted to that Society.*

* Lincoln's Inne. Cantab, S.S Thomas Peyton filius et heres Thome Peyton, nup de Roystone in com. p'dct Gen. admissus est in societatem istius Hospicis xxiiii die Novembris Anno R. Rs. Jacobi xi p im quoznoia hic subscr ppr et soluit ad vsum hospicis p'dct iij ti siij s iiij d quia numquam fuit de vlla domo cancellar.




| HUMFRYE CHAMBERS. admissus p Jacobu Ley.

TRANSLATION. Lincoln's Inn, Cambridge, to wit: Thomas Peyton, son and

It was at the early age of eighteen that our author thus commenced the study

of the law, and not long afterwards his father died. This event having at once freed him from all control, and placed him in possession of an independent fortune, he was enabled to exchange the study of law for higher and graver pursuits more congenial to his tastes. No doubt he had reached a conviction of sin before God-sin worthy of eternal punishment-and felt a desire to enter on a state of preparedness for death and eternity. His profound acquaintance with the Scriptures indicate plainly that they had been for years

the subjects of his deep study before the appearance of his epic. The decided bent of his mind had evidently always been towards the ancient classics, and to the study of these and the Scriptures he returned. The first fruit of his application was the first volume of The Glasse of Time, published in 1620, which was followed by a second volume, published in 1623.

We shall proceed to give, in the language of the North American Review, a slight glimpse of each, but sufficient to show the resemblance of “Paradise Lost” to the “Glasse of Time," pointing out wherein they differ, and in how much the genius of Milton surpasses the effort of the earlier poet; but demonstrating that to him belongs the glory of the original conception.

The first volume commences with the begincing of human existence, and treats mainly of heir of Thomas Peyton, late of Roystone, in the County aforesaid, Gentleman, was admitted into the Society of this Inn on the 24th day of November, in the year of the Reign of King James, (A. D. 1613,) by the security of those whose proper names are subscribed hereto. And he paid to the use of the Inn aforesaid, £3.4.4 because he was never of another house of Chancery.


THO. WODWARDE, admitted by James Ley.

These extracts were taken from the records of Lincoln's Inn in the year 1870, by an American gentleman then in Londen, and the following certificate is appended to them:

"I hereby certify that the above entries are a true extract taken from the records of the Honourable Society of Lin. coln's Inn.

Record Agent, Gray's Inn, London, Dec. 1870."


the fall of man; the second takes a wider range, and follows the descendants of Adam to the time of Noah. The North American Review of October, 1860, thus speaks:

In contemplating the grandeur of those few minds which beam upon our world of thought as the sun among the stars, the results of whose labors are placed by history and the judgment of a daily increasing wisdom high above competition, we are apt to lose sight of the gradual fric. tion, the constant strife, which gave those minds development. We forget that the sun, whose regal power we so easily recognize, is acted upon no less subtilely and surely by all inferior influences,—that to climb to any glorious height, we must have assistance and guides. We are prone to regard a great genius as gifted already with wings full

grown, able to float entirely out of the reach of our baser associations and to receive his inspirations from a purer element.

element. We


of a poet that he is born, not made; and we, many of us, fail to see any connection between the things and facts of material existence, and the beautiful order and law which philosophy creates.

The world of literature, and all that company of earnest and pious souls who best love this life, as foreshadowing and promising the more perfect existence, were startled not many months ago, by the discovery that the Pilgrim's Progress was not originally conceived by John Bunyan, but was adapted by him from the reverent dreamings of an ancient monk, whose manuscript had, by some means fallen into the prisoner's possession. But though we may regret to give to the memory of another than Bunyan a single thrill of the gratitude with which this little book inspires us,-though we may dread to regard its author as a little less the inspired saint we have always believed him,-still let justice be done, though the heavens fall, and at the same time let him who was a victim of tyranny, both in body and soul, have due meed of praise, in that he saw so

« AnteriorContinuar »