« AnteriorContinuar »
the view of heightening the effect, as many of his contemporaries are prone to do. His picture of Fair Rosamond in the hands of Queen Eleanor is very touching:—
Fair Rosamund, surprised thus ere thus she did expect, Fell on her humble knees, and did her fearful hands erect: She blushed out beauty, whilst the tears did wash her pleasing face, And begged pardon, meriting no less of common grace. So far, forsooth, as in me lay, I did, quoth she, withstand; But what may not so great a king by means or force
command 2 And dar'st thou, minion, quoth the Queen, thus article to me? * o * sk
With that she dashed her on the lips, so dyed double red:
Hard was the heart that gave the blow; soft were those lips that bled.
Then forced she her to swallow down, prepared for that intent,
A poisoned potion . . . . .
But we must also give an example or two of the eloquence of another kind with which the poem more abounds. Much of it is in the style of the following curious passage (from Book IX. Chap. 47):—
The younger of these widows (for they both had thrice been so) Trots to the elder's cottage, hers but little distance fro: There, overing o'er two sticks across, burnt at a smokey stock, They chat how young men them in youth, and they did young men mock; And o threescore years ago (they aged fourscore In OW Men, women, and the world were changed in all, they knew not how. When we were maids, quoth the one of them, was no such new-found pride; Yet served I gentles, seeing store of dainty girls beside.
Then wore they shoes of ease; now of an inch broad, corked high : Black karsey stockings; worsted now, yea silk of youthful'st dye: Gaoo: lists; but now of silk, some edged deep with olol : With * toys—for coarser turns than used, perhaps, of old. Fringed and embroidered petticoats, now beg: but heard you named, Till now of late, busks, periwigs, masks, plumes of feathers framed, Supporters, pooters,” fardingales above the loins to wear, >k * 2k xSome wives, grey headed, shame not locks of youthful borrowed hair; Some, tiring art, attire their heads with only tresses bare. Some (grosser pride than which, think I, no passed age might shame) By art abusing nature, heads of antick’t hair do frame. Once lacked each foresaid term,” because was lacking once the toy; And, lacked we all those toys and terms, it were no grief but joy: But, lawful were it some be such, should all alike be coy 2 Now dwells each drossel in her glass: when I was young, I wot, On holydays (for sildom else such idle times we got) A tub or pail of water clear stood us instead of glass,
* :* sk + My parents they were wealthy, and myself in wanton youth Was fair enough, but proud enough, so fool enough in truth. I might have had good husbands, which my destiny withstood:
Of three now dead (all grief is dry, gossip, this ale is good)
a Chalmers has “posters.” * Chalmers has “Once starching lacked the term.”
In faith not one of them was so; for by this drink I swear (Requarrelling the cup) we—and her lips imparted were When the other beldam, great with chat (for talkative be cups) The former's prate, not worth the while, thus fondly interrupts:– When I, quoth she, the country left to be a London lass, I was not fairer than myself believed fair I was. Good God! how formal, prankt, and pert became I in a trice, As if unto the place it were a nature to be nice:
And so the dialogue proceeds, though with more spirit than refinement, for a couple of pages farther. In another place (Book XIV. Chap. 91) a Lar, or Elf, is introduced inveighing against the decay of ancient manners, in the following strain : —
To farmers camé I, that at least their loaf and cheese once freed For all would eat, but found themselves the parings now to need; So do their landlords rack their rents; though in the manor place Scarce smoked a chimney: yet did smoke perplex me in strange case. I saw the chimneys cleared of fire, where ne'ertheless it smoked So bitterly as one not used to like it might have choked. But, when I saw it did proceed from nostrils and from throats Of ladies, lords, and silly grooms, not burning skins nor coats, Great Belsabub! thought I, can all spitfire as well as thine? Or where am I? It cannot be under the torrid line. My fellow Incubus . . . . . .
Did put me by that fear, and said it was an Indian weed,
These also work, quoth Incubus, to our avail, for why? They tend to idle pride, and to inhospitality. With that I, comforted, did then peep into every one, And of my old acquaintances spied many a country Joan, Whose fathers drove the dung-cart, though the daughters now will none. I knew when prelates and the peers had fair attendance on By gentlemen and yeomanry; but that fair world is gone: For most, like Jehu, hurry with pedanties two or three, Yet all go down the wind, save those that hospitalious be. Greatest ladies, with their women, on their palfreys mounted fair, Went through the streets, well waited on, their artless faces bare, Which now in coaches scorn to be saluted of the air. I knew when men judicial rode on sober mules, whereby They might of suitors, these and they, ask, answer, and reply. I knew when more was thrived abroad by war than now by peace, And English feared where they be frumpt since hostile terms did cease: But by occasion all things are produced, be, decrease. Times were when Practice also preached, and well said was well done; When courtiers cleared the old before they on the new would run; When no judicial place was bought, lest justice might be sold ; When quirts nor quillets overthrew or long did causes hold; When lawyers more deserved their fees, and fatted less with gold;
when to the 'fifteenth Psalm sometimes had citizens recourse;
When Lords of farmers, farmers of the poor, had more remorse;
When poverty had patience more; when none, as some of late,
Illiterate, ridiculous, might on the altar wait; &c.
Warner's most abusive invectives, however, in which he exhausts the vocabulary of the kitchen and the streets, are directed against the old religion; but we cannot afford room for any further soecimens.
The great work of Samuel Daniel, who was born at Taunton, in Somersetshire, in 1562, and died in 1619, is his ‘Civil Wars between the Two Houses of Lancaster and York,” in eight Books, the first four published in 1595, the fifth in 1599, the sixth in 1602, the two last in 1609; the preceding Books being always, we believe, republished along with the new edition. He is also the author of various minor poetical productions, of which the principal are a collection of fifty-seven-Sonnets entitled “Delia, his “Musophilus, containing a General Defence of Learning, some short epistles, and several tragedies and court masques. And he wrote, besides, in prose, a History of England, from the Conquest to the end of the reign of Edward III., as well as the Defence of Rhyme (in answer to Campion), which has been already mentioned. Very opposite judgments have been passed upon Daniel. Ben Jonson, in his conversations with Drummond, declared him to be no poet: Drummond, on the contrary, pronounces him “for sweetness of rhyming second to none.” His style, both in prose and verse, has a remarkably modern air: if it were weeded of a few obsolete expressions, it would scarcely seem more antique than that of Waller, which is the most modern of the latter part of the seventeenth century. Bishop Kennet, who has republished Daniel's History, after telling us that the author had a place at Court in the reign of King James I.,