« AnteriorContinuar »
(Born, 1560 ? Died about 1600_4.]
Thomas Nash was born at Lowestoft in Suf- Jupiter and Saturn. Drayton, in his Epistle of folk, was bred at Cambridge, and closed a cala Poets and Poesy, says of himmitous life of authorship at the age, it is said, of forty-two. Dr. Beloe* has given a list of his
Sharply satyric was he, and that way
He went, since that his being to this day, works, and Mr. Disraeli + an account of his Few have attempted, and I surely think, shifts and miseries. Adversity seems to have These words shall hardly be set down with ink,
Shall blast and scorch so as his could. whetted his genius, as his most tolerable verses are those which describe his own despair ; and
From the allusion which he makes in the followin the midst of his woes, he exposed to just derision the (profound fooleries of the astrologer before the introduction of the following lines, it
ing quotation to Sir P. Sydney's compassion, Harvey, who, in the year 1582, had thrown the whole kingdom into consternation by his predic. bounty of that noble character.
may be conjectured that he had experienced the tions of the probable effects of the junction of
DESPAIR OF A POOR SCHOLAR.
FROM PIERCE PENNILESS.
Forgive me, God, although I curse my birth,
War is't damnation to despair and die,
When life is my true happiness' disease ?
The faulty means that might my pain appease :
Ah, worthless wit ! to train me to this woe : | Deceitful arts ! that nourish discontent :
Ill thrive the folly that bewitch'd me so!
Without redress complains my careless verse,
This nobleman sat as Great Chamberlain of able traits of his character are to be found in the 1
England upon the trial of Mary Queen of history of his life. Scots. In the year of the Armada, he distin taken, ordered him to leave the room, and, on his refusal, guished his public spirit by fitting out some ships
gave him the epithet of a puppy. Sir Philip retorted the
lie on his lordship, and left the place, expecting to be I at his private cost. He had travelled in Italy in
followed by the peer. But Lord Oxford neither followed his youth, and is said to have returned the most
him nor noticed his quarrel, till her majesty's council | accomplished coxcomb of his age. The story of had time to command the peace. The queen interfered, his quarrel with Sir Philip Sydney, as it is re- reminding Sir Philip of the difference between earls
and gentlemen," and of the respect which inferiors !lated by Collins, gives us a most unfavourable idea
owed their superiors. Sydney, boldly but respectfully, of his manners and temper, and shows to what a stated to her majesty, that rank among freemen could : height the claims of aristocratical privilege were claim no other homage than precedency, and did not
obey her commands to make submission to Oxford. For i at that time carried. Some still more discredit
a fuller statement of this anecdote, vide the quotation : Tbe Earl of Oxford being one day in the tennis-court
from Collins, in the British Bibliographer, vol. i. p. 83. with Sir Philip Sydney, on some offence which he had § By Mr. Park, in the Cat. of Royal and Noble Authors.
FANCY AND DESIRE.
FROM THE PARADISE OP DAINTY DEVICES
Doth either Time or Age bring him into decay?
times a day.
for me : I should, methinks, be loth to dwell with such a
one as thee,
WHEN wert thou born, Desire? In pride and
pomp of May. By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot ? By fond
conceit, men say. Tell me who was thy nurse ? Fresh Youth, in
sugar'd joy. What was thy meat and daily food ? Sad sighs
with great annoy.
LINES ATTRIBUTED TO THE EARL OF
IN A MS, OF THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY.
What hadst thou then to drink ? Unsavoury
lovers' tears. What cradle wert thou rock'd in? In hope de
void of fears. What lull'd thee, then, asleep? Sweet sleep, which
likes me best. Tell me where is thy dwelling-place ? In gentle
hearts I rest.
If women could be fair, and yet not fond,
Yet, for disport, we fawn and flatter both,
pass the time when nothing else can please,
Where doth Desire delight to live ? He loves to
The date of this writer's birth can only be and that he died in the metropolis. Besides the generally conjectured from his having been elected History of Cardinal Wolsey in three parts, viz. a Student of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1587. his aspiring, his triumph, and death, he wrote The slight notice of him by Wood only mentions several pastoral pieces in England's Helicon. that he was the son of John Storer, a Londoner,
A more than heavenly nymph I did behold,
For sure no sense such sight can comprehend,
When Eden was possess'd with sinful man,
But they refused her, 0 heinous deed !
And from that garden banish'd was their seed.
Since when, at sundry times in sundry ways, After several personages of sacred history, some alle Atheism and blended Ignorance conspire, gorical ones condescend to visit the sleeping Cardinal, How to obscure those holy burning rays, among whom Theology naturally has a place, and is
And quench that zeal of heart-inflaming fire thus described
That makes our souls to heavenly things aspire ; In chariot framed of celestial mould,
But all in vain, for, maugre all their might, And simple pureness of the purest sky,
She never lost one sparkle of her light.
(Born, 1574. Died, 1656.]
Bishop Hall, who ,for his ethical eloquence | tical manner and an antique allusion, which cast has been sometimes denominated the Christian obscurity over his otherwise spirited and amusing Seneca, was also the first who gave our language traits of English manners; though the satirist an example of epistolary composition in prose.
himself was so far from anticipating this objection, He wrote besides a satirical fiction, entitled that he formally apologises for “ too much stoopMundus alter et idem, in which, under pretence ing to the low reach of the vulgar.” But in many of describing the Terra Australis Incognita, he instances he redeems the antiquity of his allusions reversed the plan of Sir Thomas More's Utopia, by their ingenious adaptation to modern manners; and characterized the vices of existing nations.
and this is but a small part of his praise ; for in Of our satirical poetry, taking satire in its moral the point, and volubility, and vigour of Hall's and dignified sense, he claims, and may be al numbers, we might frequently imagine ourselves lowed, to be the founder : for the ribaldry of perusing Dryden I. This may be exemplified in Skelton, and the crude essays of the graver
the harmony and picturesqueness of the following Wyat, hardly entitle them to that appellation*. description of a magnificent rural mansion, which Though he lived till beyond the middle of the the traveller approaches in the hopes of reaching seventeenth century, his satires were written the seat of ancient hospitality, but finds it deserted before, and his Mundus alter et idem about, the by its selfish owner. year 1600 : so that his antiquity, no less than
Beat the broad gates, a goodly hollow sound, his strength, gives him an important place in the With double echoes, doth again rebound; formation of our literaturet.
# The satire which I think contains the most vigorous In his Satires, which were published at the
and musical couplets of this old poet, is the first of Book age of twenty-three, he discovered not only the 3rd, beginning, early vigour of his own genius, but the powers Time was, and that was term'd the time of gold, and pliability of his native tongue. Unfortu When world and time were young, that now are old. nately, perhaps unconsciously, he caught, from I preferred, however, the insertion of others as examples studying Juvenaland Persius as his models,anellip- of his poetry, as they are more descriptive of English
manners than the fanciful praises of the golden age (* Donne appears to have been the first in order of com which that satire contains. It is flowing and fanciful, position-though Hall and Marston made their appear. but conveys only the insipid moral of men decaying by ance in print before him.]
the progress of civilisation ; a doctrine not unlike that † His name is therefore placed in these Specimens with which Gulliver found in the book of the old woman of a variation from the general order, not according to the Brobdignag, whose author lamented the tiny size of the date of his death, but about the time of his appearance
modern Brobdignagdians compared with that of their as a poet.
But not a dog doth bark to welcome thee,
During his youth and education he had to Nor churlish porter canst thou chafing see.
struggle with poverty ; and in his old age he was All dumb and silent like the dead of night, Or dwelling of some sleepy Sybarite;
one of those sufferers in the cause of episcopacy The marble pavement hid with desert weed,
whose virtues shed a lustre on its fall. He was With house-leek, thistle, dock, and hemlock seed. born in the parish of Ashby de la Zouche, in * *
Liecestershire, studied and took orders at CamLook to the towered chimneys, which should be bridge, and was for some time master of the The wind-pipes of good hospitality,
school of Tiverton, in Devonshire. An accidental Through which it breatheth to the open air, Betokéning life and liberal welfare,
opportunity which he had of preaching before Lo, there th' unthankful swallow takes her rest Prince Henry seems to have given the first imAnd fills the tunnel with her circled nest.
pulse to his preferment, till by gradual promotion His satires are neither cramped by personal he rose to be bishop of Exeter, having previously hostility, nor spun out to vague declamations on
accompanied King James, as one of his chaplains, vice, but give us the form and pressure of the
to Scotland, and attended the Synod of Dort at
As times exhibited in the faults of coeval literature, bishop of Exeter he was so mild in his conduct
a convocation of the protestant divines. and in the foppery or sordid traits of prevailing towards the puritans, that he, who was one of the manners. The age was undoubtedly fertile in
last broken pillars of the church, was nearly eccentricity. His picture of its literature may at first view appear to be overcharged with se
persecuted for favouring them. Had such converity, accustomed as we are to associate a
duct been, at this critical period, pursued by the general idea of excellence with the period of high churchmen in general, the history of a Elizabeth ; but when Hall wrote there was not bloody age might have been changed into that a great poet firmly established in the language
of peace ; but the violence of Laud prevailed except Spenser, and on him he has bestowed
over the milder counsels of a Hall, an Usher, and ample applause. With regard to Shakspeare, the
a Corbet. When the dangers of the church grew reader will observe a passage in the first satire,
more instant, Hall became its champion, and where the poet speaks of resigning the honours
was met in the field of controversy by Milton, of heroic and tragic poetry to more inspired whose respect for the bishop's learning is ill geniuses; and it is possible that the great drama
concealed under the attempt to cover it with
derision. tist may be here alluded to, as well as Spenser. But the allusion is indistinct, and not necessarily
By the little power that was still left to the applicable to the bard of Avon. Shakspeare's sovereign in 1641, Hall was created bishop of Romeo and Juliet, Richard II. and III. have Norwich ; but having joined, almost immediately been traced in print to no earlier date than the after, in the protest of the twelve prelates against year 1597, in which Hall's first series of satires the validity of laws that should be passed in their appeared ; and we have no sufficient proof of compelled absence, he was committed to the his previous fame as a dramatist having been so
Tower, and, in the sequel, marked out for sequesgreat as to leave Hall without excuse for oinitting tration. After suffering extreme hardships, he to pay him homage. But the sunrise of the
was allowed to retire, on a small pittance, to drama with Shakspeare was not without abund- Higham, near Norwich, where he continued, in ance of attendant mists in the contemporary comparative obscurity, but with indefatigable fustian of inferior playmakers, who are severely
zeal and intrepidity, to exercise the duties of a ridiculed by our satirist. In addition to this, our
pastor, till he closed his days at the venerable age poetry was still haunted by the whining ghosts
of eighty-two. of the Mirror for Magistrates, while obscenity and during the siege of Colchester, was sent for by the walked in barbarous nakedness, and the very
heads of the parliamentary army, to encourage the
soldiers, by assuring them that the town would be taken. genius of the language was threatened by revo
Fairfax told the seer, that he did not understand his art, lutionary prosodists.
but hoped it was lawful, and agreeable to God's word. From the literature of the age Hall proceeds
Butler alludes to this when he says, to its manners and prejudices, and among the Do not our great Reformers use latter derides the prevalent confidence in alchymy
This Sidrophel to forebode news ; and astrology. To us this ridicule appears an
To write of victories next year, ordinary effort of reason ; but it was in him a
And castles taken yet th' air? common sense above the level of the times. If any proof were required to illustrate the slow
And has not he point-blank foretold
Whats'e'r the Close Committee would; departure of prejudices, it would be found in the
Made Mars and Saturn for the Cause, fact of an astrologer being patronised, half a The moon for fundamental laws? century afterwards, by the government of England*.
Made all the Royal stars recant,
Compound, and take the Covenant ? * William Lilly received a pension from the council of
Hudibras, Canto il. state, in 1648. Ho was, besides, consulted by Charles ;
Or some upreared, high-aspiring swain,
As it might be the Turkish Tamberlain :
Then weeneth he his base drink-drowned spright, Nor ladies' wanton love, nor wand'ring knight, Rapt to the threefold loft of heaven height, Legend I out in rhymes all richly dight.
When he conceives upon his feigned stage Yor fright the reader with the Pagan vaunt The stalking steps of his great personage, Of mighty Mahound, and great Termagaunt. Graced with huff-cap terms and thund'ring threats, Nor list I sonnet of my mistress' face,
That his poor hearer's hair quite upright sets. To paint some Blowesse with a borrowed grace ; Such soon as some brave-minded hungry youth Nor can I bide to pen some hungry scene Sees fitly frame to his wide-strained mouth, For thick-skin ears, and undiscerning eyne. He vaunts his voice upon an hired stage, Nor ever could my scornful muse abide
With high-set steps, and princely carriage ; With tragic shoes her ancles for to hide.
Now sweeping in side robes of royalty, Nor can I crouch, and writhe my fawning tail That erst did scrub in lousy brokery, To some great patron, for my best avail.
There if he can with terms Italianate Such hunger starven trencher poetry,
Big sounding sentences, and words of state, Or let it never live, or timely die :
Fair patch me up his pure iambic verse, Nor under every bank and every tree,
He ravishes the gazing scaffolders : Speak rhymes unto my oaten minstrelsy : Then certes was the famous Corduban, Nor carol out so pleasing lively lays,
Never but half so high tragedian. As might the Graces move my mirth to praise*. Now, lest such frightful shows of fortune's fall, Trumpet, and reeds, and socks, and buskins fine,
And bloody tyrant's rage, should chance appal I them bequeath : whose statues wand’ring twine The dead-struck audience, 'midst the silent rout, Of iry mix'd with bays, circling around
Comes leaping in a self-misformed lout, Their living temples likewise laurel-bound.
And laughs, and grins, and frames his mimic face, Rather had I, albe in careless rhymes,
And justles straight into the prince's place ; Check the mis-order'd world, and lawless times. Then doth the theatre echo all aloud, Nor need I crave the muse's midwifery,
With gladsome noise of that applauding crowd. To bring to light so worthless poetry:
A goodly hotch-potch ! when vile russetings Or if we list, what baser muse can bide,
Are match'd with monarchs, and with mighty kings. To sit and sing by Granta's naked side ?
A goodly grace to sober tragic muse,
Meanwhile our poets in high parliament
Woe to the word whose margent in their scroll
Is noted with a black condemning coal. With some pot fury, ravish'd from their wit, But if each period might the synod please, They sit and muse on some no-vulgar writ:
Ho :-bring the ivy boughs, and bands of bays. As frozen dunghills in a winter's morn,
Now when they part and leave the naked stage, That void of vapours seemed all beforn,
'Gins the bare hearer, in a guilty rage, Soon as the sun sends out his piercing beams,
To curse and ban, and blame his likerous eye, Exhale out filthy smoke and stinking steams.
That thus hath lavish'd his late balfpenny. So doth the base, and the sore-barren brain,
Shame that the muses should be bought and sold Soon as the raging wine begins to reign.
For every peasant's brass, on each scaffold, One higher pitch'd doth set his soaring thought On crowned kings, that fortune hath low brought:
SATIRE V. BOOK III.
* In this satire, which is not perfectly intelligible at the first glance, the author, after deriding the romantic and pastoral vein of affected or mercenary poetasters, proceeds to declare, that for his own part he resigns the higher walks of genuine poetry to others ; that he need
not crave the "Muse's midwifery," since not even a 1 baser muse would now haunt the shore of Granta (the
(am, which they bave left deserted, and crowned with willows, the types of desertion ever since Spenser celobrated the marriage of the Medway and the Thames.-E.
+ This satire is levelled at the intemperance and bombastic fury of his contemporary dramatists, with an evi. dent allusion to Marlowe; and in the conclusion he attacks the buffoonery that disgraced the stage.-E.
Fie on all courtesy and unruly winds,