« PreviousContinue »
at Paris. He withstood the solicitations of the Jesuits, who endeavoured to compass his adoption of the rules of their order, and returned to England, where he further continued his studies under the direction of his father, a man of considerable scholarship and refinement. At an early age, having grown into an accomplished gentleman, he married Lucia, daughter of the first Lord Powis, whom he had poetically celebrated under the name of Castara, and who is said to have been a lady of rare endowments and beauty.
He was favourably known as an historian, for his “Life of Edward IV.;” and Mr. Kirkman has ascribed a dramatic piece to him, entitled “The Queen of Arragon; a Tragi-Comedy, acted at Court and the Black-Fryars," and published in London in 1640. His poems, which had been at first privately circulated among his friends, were published about the year 1635. His own estimate of them was as modest as his muse was pure and unaffected;
and in their tender domesticity, and their religious contentment, his verses were a reflex of his amiable and blameless life. “Had I slept,” he says, “in the silence of my acquaintance, and affected no study beyond what the chase or the field allows, poetry had then been no scandal upon me, and the love of learning no suspicion of ill husbandry. If these lines want that courtship which insinuates itself into the favour of great men, best, they partake of my modesty; if satire, to win applause with the envious multitude, they express my content, which maliceth none the fruition of that they esteem happy."
Habington died in 1654, and was buried in the family vault at Hendlip.
NON NOBIS DOMINE.
God, be Thou only praised !
O'th' sudden in a cloud.
Is now resolved to worms?
And ne'er the same appear?
Ebbs like a thief away.
And lose a foot or hand ? How wilt thou hate thy wars, when he, Who only for his hire did raise Thy counterfeit in stone, with thee Shall stand competitor, and be
Perhaps thought worthier praise ? No laurel wreath about
brow! To Thee, my God, all praise, whose law The conquered doth and conqueror bow! For both dissolve to air, if Thou
Thy influence but withdraw.
(ABOUT 1615–ABOUT 1650.) RICHARD CRASHAW, the dates of whose birth and death can be given only approximately, was born in London about the year 1615. His father, William Crashaw, was a divine of some literary eminence, preacher at the Temple Church, and on terms of intimacy with Archbishop Usher. Through the interest of two of his father's friends, Sir Henry Yelverton and Sir Randolph Carew, Richard was placed on the foundation of the Charterhouse School. He was afterwards, March 26, 1632, elected a scholar of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. In 1633, he took his degree of bachelor of arts; removed in November 1636 to Peterhouse, of which he was made a fellow in 1637. He took his master's degree in 1638. Entering into holy orders, he became a preacher of great power and poetic fervour. During his residence of about a dozen years at Cambridge, he employed himself largely in writing devotional and other poetry; and for the greater part of several years he lived in St. Mary's Church “like a primitive saint, offering up more prayers by night than others usually offer in the day.” On the 8th of April, 1644, Crashaw was ejected from his fellowship; and joined the communion of the Church of Rome about the same time that he removed to France. The poverty and privations he experienced here were opportunely relieved by an introduction, possibly from Cowley, to Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I., who gave him letters of recommendation to Italy. He became secretary to one of the cardinals. Dr. John Bargrave, who had been Crashaw's fellow-collegian at Peterhouse, and who, having been driven from Cambridge by the warrant of the Earl of Manchester, had gone abroad, has left the following account of the poet :-“When I first went of my four times to Rome, there were three or four revolters to the Roman Church, that had been fellows of Peterhouse, in Cambridge, with myself. The name of one of them was Mr. R. Crashaw, who was of the Seguita (as their term is), that is, an attendant, or one of the followers of Cardinal Palotta, for which he had a salary of crowns by the month (as the custom is), but no diet. Mr. Crashaw infinitely commended his Cardinal, but complained extremely of the wickedness of those of his retinue; of which he, having his Cardinal's ear, complained to him; upon which the Italians fell so far out with him, that the Cardinal, to secure his life, was fain to put him from his service, and procuring him some small employ at the Lady's of Loretto, whither he went in pilgrimage in the summer time, and, over-heating himself died in a few weeks after he came thither; and it was doubtful whether he was not poisoned.” Crashaw's death occurred probably in the year 1650.
. Crashaw, who was conversant with several modern languages, has signalized his skill as a translator by an English version of the “Sospetto d'Herode,” from the Italian of Marino, a work to which Milton was considerably a debtor. In 1652, the chief of Crashaw's sacred poems were printed at Paris, under the direction of Thomas Car, his literary executor. It has been Crashaw's lot to be for the most part coldly judged, and few of his critics seem to have recognized the wonderful and passionate religious fervour and devotion with which he was permeated and possessed, and of which we have so remarkable an instance in the Hymn to the Name of Jesus, of wh the defects have the misfortune to be the most superficial, and, by consequence, the most readily perceived. Mr. Headley-says:-“With a peculiar devotional cast, he possessed one of those ineffable minds which border on enthusiasm, and, when fortunately directed, occasionally produce great things." The following generously admiring lines to his friend Crashaw are from the pen of Abraham Cowley
" Poet and saint! to thee alone are given
The two most sacred names of earth and heaven,
EASTER DAY. Rise, heir of fresh eternity,
From thy virgin-tomb:
Nature's new womb;
This is the morn,
When life was born,
All creatures have.
Throned in thy grave,