Imagens das páginas
[blocks in formation]

All their riches, honours, pleasures,

Poor unworthy trifles seem,
If comparéd with thy treasures,

And do merit no esteem :
For they true contents provide thee,
But from them can none divide thee.

William Drummond of Hawthornden was about three years older than George Wither, and Drummond's “ Flowers of Zion" appeared in the same year as Wither's “Faire Virtue," 1623. In this collection (of which the poems have no headings given to them by their author) there is also

Whether thralled or exiléd,

Whether poor or rich thou be, Whether praised or reviléd,

Not a rush it is to thee: This nor that thy rest doth win thee, But the mind which is within thee.

Then, oh why, so madly dote we

On those things that us o'erload ? Why no more their vainness note we,

But still make of them a god ? For alas! they still deceive us, And in greatest need they leave us.


Of the true Happiness.
Amidst the azure clear

Of Jordan's sacred streams,
Jordan, of Lebanon the offspring dear,
When zephyrs flow’rs unclose,
And sun shines with new beams,

With grave and stately grace a Nymph arose.
Upon her head she ware

Of amaranths a crown;
Her left hand palms, her right a torch did bear;
Unveiled skin's whiteness lay;
Gold hairs in curls hung down;

Eyes sparkled joy, more bright than star of day. The flood a throne her reared

Of waves, most like that heaven
Where beaming stars in glory turn ensphered.
The air stood calm and clear,
No sigh by winds was given,
Birds left to sing, herds feed,-her voice to hear :

Therefore have the fates provided

Well, thou happy swain, for thee, That may'st here so far divided

From the world's distractions be: Thee distemper let them never, But in peace continue ever.

In these lonely groves enjoy thou

That contentment here begun;
And thy hours so pleas'd employ thou,

Till the latest glass be run:
From a fortune so assuréd,
By no temptings be alluréd.

“ World-wand'ring sorry wights,

Whom nothing can content
Within these varying lists of days and nights; .
Whose life, ere known amiss,
In glitt'ring griefs is spent;

Come learn,” said she, “what is your choicest bliss :
From toil and pressing cares
How ye may respite find,
A sanctuary from soul-thralling snares ;
A port to harbour sure,
In spite of waves and wind,
Which shall, when time's swift glass is run, endure.

Much good do't them with their glories,

Who in courts of princes dwell; We have read in antique stories,

How some rose and how they fell : And 'tis worthy well the heeding, There's like end, where's like proceeding.

Be thou still in thy affection

To thy noble mistress true; Let her never-match'd perfection

Be the same unto thy view :

“ Not happy is that life

Which you as happy hold;
No, but a sea of fears, a field of strife;
Charg'd on a throne to sit
With diadems of gold,
Preserv'd by force, and still observ'd by wit;

“ Who such a life doth live

You happy even may call
Ere ruthless Death a wished end him give;
And after then when given,
More happy by his fall,
For humanes' earth, enjoying angels' heaven.

Huge treasures to enjoy,

Of all her gems spoil Ind,
All Seres' silk in garments to employ,
Deliciously to feed,
The phonir' plumes to find

To rest upon, or deck your purple bed ;
Fruil beauty to abuse',

And, wanton Sybarites,
On past or present touch of sense to muse;
Never to hear of noise
But what the car delights,

Nweot music's charms, or charming flatterer's voice. Nor can it bliss you bring,

llid Nature's depths to know,
Wlay matter changeth, whence each form doth spring ;
Nor that your fame should range,
And after-worlds it blow

From Tanais to Nile, from Nile to Gange.
All those have not the power

To free the inind from fears,
Mor hideous horror can allay one hour,
When death in stealth doth glance,
In mielenons lurks or years,
And wakiom the soul from out her mortal trance.

“ Swift is your mortal race,

And glassy is the field;
Vast are desires not limited by grace:
Life a weak taper is;
Then while it light doth yield,
Leave flying joys, embrace this lasting bliss."

This when the nymph had said,

She dived within the flood,
Whose face with smiling curls long after staid;
Then sighs did zephyrs press,
Birds sang from every wood,
And echoes rang, “ This was true Happiness.”

After a recovery from severe illness Drummond sent these lines


With the Author's Epitaph. Though I have twice been at the doors of death, And twice found shut those gates which ever mourn, This but a light'ning is, truce ta’en to breathe, For late-born sorrows augur fleet return.

Amidst thy sacred cares, and courtly toils,
Alexis, when thou shalt hear wandering fame
Tell, Death hath triumph'd o'er my mortal spoils,
And that on earth I am but a sad name;

If thou e’er held me dear, by all our love,
By all that bliss, those joys heaven here us gave,
I conjure thee, and by the maids of Jove,
To grave this short remembrance on my grave:

Here Damon lies, whose songs did sometime grace The murmuring Esk :-may roses shade the place.

# No, but blunt lifo is this:

With chantu and pure desire
I'm turn unto the load-star of all bliss,
0 (od the mind to rest,
Ihanat up with sacred fire,

I'vastseing lliin to be by Him possest;
When to the bulmy cast

Mun doth his light impart,
Oi wlun ha diveth in the lowly west
And ravimhoth the day,
With potlone hand and heart

ition derfully to praise, and to Him pray; Tweet wat netion so

As over in his might,
Moto towning doing ill than passive woe;
Not to mom other things
Than what yo nro aright;
Novor to do what may repentanco bring;
Not to be blown with pride,

No mov'd nt glory's breath,
Wheh shadow-like on wings of time doth glide;
Muridice to dinurm
And conquer hasty wrath,

As to do good to those that work your harm;
The hote h no bane desires
Oi guld or Innd to gain,
Wall Pilona'd with that which virtue fair acquires;
To have the wit and will
commenting in one strain,

Than whunt is good to have no higher skill ;
Novor on neighbour's goods

with cockntricu's eye
To look, nor make another's heaven your hell;
Nor to bo benuty's thrall,
All fruitlom love to fly,

Yot loving mill a Love transcendent all,
A Lovo which, while it burns

The moul with fairest beams,
To that incronte sun the soul it turns,
And make such beauty prove,
Thut, if nende saw her gleams
All lookors on would pine and die for Love.

Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, born in 1580, was about five years older than Drummond. He also was a poet, and had been in favour with James VI. before he became James I. of England. In 1621 he received a grant of Nova Scotia, which he was to colonise at his own expense. He lived until 1640, was made Secretary of State for Scotland, and otherwise honoured. As poet, he is, perhaps, best known for his four Monarchic Tragedies, but he published at Edinburgh, in 1614, a long poem in octave rhyme, entitled “ Doomsday, or the Great Day of the Lord's Judgment,” of which there was a London edition in 1637. It is divided into Twelve Hours, and was perhaps inspired by the poem of Du Bartas on the Seven Days of creation ; one poet tells of the beginning of the world, the other of its end. The first hour of Doomsday declares God proved in His works, tells of the sin of man and of temporal plagues and judgments that have been as figures of

Thus helpful alms, the offering most esteemed,
Doth men on th'earth, the Lord in heaven content,
How many are, if time might be redeemed,
Who wish they thus their revenues had spent ?
If this on th'earth so profitable seemed,
What usurer would for others' gains be bent ?

But would the poor with plenty oft supply,
Though they themselves for want were like to die.

the last. The second hour tells of signs and wonders before the sounding of the last trumpet call. The

theme of the third hour is the descent of Christ to ITD. - judgment and the end of the world. In the fourth

hour the trumpet sounds and the dead rise. In the -*- fifth hour trial of souls begins, and in this hour and

the sixth and seventh the heathen, the creature worshippers, those whom ambition led through blood,

those who lived sensually, the false judges and the - learned, above all the Churchmen, who abused their

gifts, are accused. With the eighth hour begins the record of the souls who stand in triumph. First come the patriarchs, priests, and prophets, faithful

to God, though knowing Christ only in types and propostas figures. Then in the ninth hour come the evangelists, a apostles, and those who knew Christ in the flesh; as then the first martyrs and early Fathers of the dation Church. In the tenth hour there is the parting of

the evil from the good :-

Those who, affecting vain ambition's end,
To gain opinion muster all in show;
And, prodigal, superfluously spend
All what they have, or able are to owe,
For pleasures frail, whilst straying fancies tend,
As Paradise could yet be found below:

Still pamp’ring flesh with all that th' earth can give,
No happiness more seek but here to live;


Those if not gorgeous who do garments scorn,
And not in warmness but for cost exceed,
Though as of worms they have the entrails worn,
Worms shall at last upon their entrails feed;
Those dainty tastes who, as for eating born,
That they may feast strive appetite to breed,

And, curious gluttons, even of vileness vaunt,
Whilst surfeiting when thousands starve for want.

That happy squadron is not question'd now,
What ill they did, what good they did neglect,
No circumstance is urg'd, when, where, nor how,
They oft had fail'd, in what God did direct ;
He trusts, not tries, not counts, but doth allow;
The Lord in Israel will no fault detect,

But absolutely doth absolve them all,
And from their bondage to a kingdom call.

The world's chief idol, nurse of fretting cares,
Dumb trafficker, yet understood o'er all,
State's chain, life's maintenance, load-star of affairs,
Which makes all nations voluntar'ly thrall,
A subtle sorcerer, always laying snares;
How many, Money, hast thou made to fall!

The general jewel, of all things the price,
To virtue sparing, lavish unto vice.

[merged small][ocr errors]

The fool that is unfortunately rich,
His goods perchance doth from the poor extort,
Yet leaves his brother dying in a ditch,
Whom one excess, if spar'd, would well support;
And, whilst the love of gold doth him bewitch,
This miser's misery gives others sport:

The prodigal God's creatures doth abuse,
And them, the wretch, not necessar'ly use.

“ When pressed by famine you me friendly fed,
And did with drink my scorching thirst allay;
You with your garments me, when naked, clad,
Whose kindly visits sickness could not stay;
No, even in prison, they me comfort bred,
Thus charity extended every way:

Your treasures, kept in heaven, for int'rest gain
That you enrich'd eternally remain."

Those roving thoughts which did at random soar,
And, though they had conveniently to live,
Would never look behind, but far before,
And, scorning goodness, to be great did strive ;
For, still projecting how to purchase more,
Thus, bent to get, they could not dream to give :

Such minds whom envy hath fill'd up with grudge,
Have left no room, where charity may lodge.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Ah! who of those can well express the grief,
Whom once this earth did for most happy hold ?
Of all their neighbours still esteem'd the chief,
Whilst stray'd opinion balanc'd worth by gold :
That which to thousands might have given relief,
Wrong spent or spar'd, is for their ruin told:

Thus pleasures past, what anguish now doth even?
We see how hardly rich men go is heaven.

[ocr errors]

The eleventh hour of “Doomsday” displays the suffering of those who are condemned ; and the

[ocr errors]

twelfth points at the transcendent bliss of the souls About the year of our Lord 1600, I came to London: glorified.

shortly after which the attempt of the Earl of Essex, related in our history, followed, which I had rather were seen in the

writers of that argument than here. Not long after this, Francis Quarles, who was four years younger than

curiosity, rather than ambition, brought me to court; and as Wither, and in the time of James I. was cupbearer it was the manner of those times for all men to kneel down to his daughter Elizabeth before becoming secretary

before the great Queen Elizabeth, who then reigned, I was to Dr. Usher in Ireland, wrote in James's reign some likewise upon my knees in the presence-chamber, when she poems upon the Scripture stories of Jonah, Esther, and passed by to the chapel at Whitehall. As soon as she sw m Job, with metrical versions from Jeremiah and King she stopped, and swearing her usual oath, demanded, “ Wbu Solomon, as “Sion's Elegies” and “Sion's Sonnets.” is this?" Everybody there present looked upon me, but But Quarles is best known for his “Emblems,” which no man knew me, until Sir James Croft, a pensioner, finding were published in the reign of Charles I.

the queen stayed, returned back and told who I was, and that We may pass out of the reign of James I. with the I had married Sir William Herbert of St. Gillian's daughter. two brothers Edward and George Herbert, sons of The queen thereupon looked attentively upon me, and swear. Richard Herbert, Esq., Deputy-Lieutenant of Mont ing again her ordinary oath, said, “It is a pity he was married gomeryshire. Richard Herbert's grandfather, Sir so young," and thereupon gave her hand to kiss twice, both Richard Herbert of Colebrook, had been steward times gently clapping me on the cheek. I remember litil of the Welsh Marches in Henry VIII.'s time, and more of myself, but that from that time until King James's brother to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.

coming to the crown, I had a son, which died shortly after. Richard Herbert, the father of Edward and George,

wards, and that I attended my studies seriously, the more I was black-haired, black-bearded, and bold. He and

learnt out of my books adding still a desire to know more. his wife Magdalen, daughter of Sir Richard Newport,

King James being now acknowledged king, and coming had ten children: seven sons and three daughters.

towards London, I thought fit to meet his Majesty at Burley, Edward, born in 1581, was the eldest son. He

near Stamford. Shortly after I was inade Knight of the

Bath, with the usual ceremonies belonging to that ancient became afterwards a Knight of the Bath as Sir Edward Herbert, and then Lord Herbert of Cher

order. I could tell how much my person was commended to

the lords and ladies that came to see the solemnity then und bury. The second son, Richard, after he had been well

but I shall flatter myself too much if I believed it. educated, fought in the Low Countries in battles and

I must not forget yet the ancient custom, being that some duels, and carried scars of four-and-twenty wounds

principal person was to put on the right spur of those tix with him to his grave in Bergen-op-Zoom. William,

king had appointed to receive that dignity: the Earl of the third son, also well educated, spent his life in the

Shrewsbury seeing my esquire there with my spur in his wars. Charles, the fourth son, distinguished himself

hand, voluntarily came to me and said, “Cousin, I bebi te at New College, Oxford, and died early. The fifth

you will be a good knight, and therefore I will put on yor son was George Herbert, born in 1593, the poet spur;" whereupon, after my most humble thanks for whose name remains familiar to his countrymen. great a favour, I held up my leg against the wall, and he praf The other two brothers were Henry, who prospered on my spur. greatly as a courtier, and Thomas, who distinguished There is another custom likewise, that the knights the EN himself by his skill and courage in the navy, but day wear the gown of some religious order, and the mixtu missed the promotion he deserved, and closed his following to be bathed; after which they take an oath nr days in discontent.

to sit in place where injustice should be done, but they shall Edward, the eldest of these sons, was born in 1581, | right it to the uttermost of their power; and particularis at Eyton, Shropshire, in a house that came into the ladies and gentlewomen that shall be wronged in cui family as part of his mother's heritage. He must

honour, if they demand assistance, and many other points. have been more discreet as an infant than as a man,

not unlike the romances of knight errantry. for he says in his autobiography, “ The very farthest

The second day to wear robes of crimson taffety (in whi thing I remember is, that when I understood what

habit I am painted in my study), and so to ride from s. was said by others, I did yet forbear to speak, lest I

James's to Whitehall, with our esquires before us, and the should utter something that were imperfect or im

third day to wear a gown of purple satin, upon the left sleite pertinent.” After private teaching, he was sent, at

whereof is fastened certain strings weaved of white silk and the age of twelve, to University College, Oxford,

gold tied in a knot, and tassels to it of the same, whi h Ji

the knights are obliged to wear until they have done sona. and soon afterwards arrangement was made for his marriage to an heiress in direct descent from William,

thing famous in arms, or until some lady of honour take it

off, and fasten it on her sleeve, saying, “I will answer besti the Earl of Pembroke, who was brother to Edward's great-grandfather, Sir Richard. The young lady in

prove a good knight.” herited her large estates subject to the condition that she should marry a Herbert. Young Edward was Sir Edward Herbert, who had all the faith of his the only Herbert matching her in fortune. He was time in the chivalry of duelling, interpreted his von six years younger, but the match was made, and as a Knight of the Bath in a way that would have Edward Herbert married before he had finished his satisfied his contemporary, Don Quixote, that gud studies at the University.

knight who was first introduced to the world be He himself thus tells in his autobiography how he Cervantes in 1605, about the time when Sir Edward came to London at the age of nineteen, and was Herbert began his career as Knight of the Bath made a Knight of the Bath early in the reign of About the year 1608, when he had a fourth chid James I. :

born, he went abroad. At Paris, soon after his

Jeparture, he made acquaintance with the Duchess . Ventadour, and says :

Passing two or three days here, it happened one evening that a daughter of the duchess, of about ten or eleven years of age, going one evening from the castle to walk in the meadows, myself, with divers French gentlemen, attended her and some gentlewomen that were with her. This young lady wearing a knot of riband on her head, a French chevalier took it suddenly, and fastened it to his hatband: the young lady, offended herewith, demands her riband, but he refusing

that I did not constrain him to give it, I will fight with him." The French gentleman answered nothing thereunto for the present, and so conducted the young lady again to the castle. The next day I desired Mr. Aurelian Townsend to tell the French cavalier, that either he must confess that I constrained him to restore the riband, or fight with me; but the gentleman seeing him unwilling to accept of this challenge, went out from the place, whereupon I following him, some of the gentlemen that belonged to the constable taking notice hereof, acquainted him therewith, who sending for the French cavalier, checked him well for his sauciness, in taking the riband away from his grandchild, and afterwards bid him depart his house; and this was all that I ever heard of the gentleman, with whom I proceeded in that manner, because I thought myself obliged thereunto by oath taken when I was made Knight of the Bath, as I formerly related upon this occasion.

[graphic][ocr errors]

But with the weakness of his time and of his blood, amusingly illustrated by the simple self-revelation of his autobiography, there was strength; and his other works bear witness to the scholarly side of Edward Herbert's character. When next in Paris he lodged with Casaubon. When home again after adventures in the wars, “ I passed,” he says, “ some time, partly in my studies, and partly riding the great horse, of which I had a stable well furnished.” He was sent as ambassador to Paris, but it was not long before he was anxious to fight a duel with the French Minister, the Duc de Luynes, for which reason he had to be recalled in 1620, but afterwards he was sent again. While in Paris on his second embassy, he published, in 1624, a book in Latin, which he had begun in England, "on Truth as it is distinguished from Revelation that is like the truth, or possible, and from the false.” Of the publication of this remarkable book Edward Herbert writes in his autobiography as follows:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

My book, De Veritate prout distinguitur à Revelatione veri. simili, possibili, et à falso, having been begun by me in England, and formed there in all its principal parts, was about this time finished; all the spare hours which I could get from my visits and negotiations being employed to perfect this work: which was no sooner done, but that I communicated it to Hugo Grotius, that great scholar, who, having escaped his prison in the Low Countries, came into France, and was


(From the Picture once in his Study.)

to restore it, the young lady addressing herself to me, said, - Monsieur, I pray get my riband from that gentleman;" hereupon going towards him, I courteously, with my hat in my hand, desired him to do me the honour, that I may deliver the lady her riband or bouquet again; but he roughly answering me, “Do you think I will give it you, when I have rinsed it to her?” I replied, “ Nay then, sir, I will make you restore it by force;" whereupon also, putting on my hat and reaching at his, he to save himself ran away, and, after a long course in the meadow, finding that I had almost over. took him, he turned short, and running to the young lady, was about to put the riband on her hand, when I, seizing upon his arm, said to the young lady, “ It was I that gave it.” - Pardon me," quoth she, “it is he that gives it me:" I said then, - Madam, I will not contradict you, but if he dare say |

1 Hugo Grotius, the chief Dutch scholar of his time, had been condemned at the Synod of Dort, in November, 1618, to perpetual imprisonment for supporting the Arminians. In his prison at Louvestein he continued his studies, and after two years' confinement his wife obtained leave to remove an accumulation of books on the plea that they reduced space in his cell. This enabled her, instead of the books, to carry off her husband, in a box three feet and a half long. When freed from the box Grotius crossed the frontier in disguise as a mason, with rule and trowel. He found his way to Paris, and there received a pension. It was there that Edward Herbert met with him. In 1622 Grotius published his Apology, which the States-General forbade his countrymen to read, on pain of death. The Arminians, whom Grotius had favoured, began also from this time to add freedom to English thought, religious and political. They derived their name from Jacob Harmensen, Latinized Arminius. Harmensen was born in 1560, a: Oudewater, a small town on the Yssel, in Holland, about eighteen miles from Rotterdam. His father died when Jacob Har. mensen was an infant in the arms of a mother left with poor means, and two elder children to support. The fatherless child was edu. cated and the foundation of his religious life was laid by a reformed priest named Theodore Æmilius, who was a wanderer through perse

« AnteriorContinuar »