Page images

thought to derive grandeur and sanctity Then doth she troul to me the bowl, from its subject.

Even as a malkworm fhould, “ The most notable versifiers of this And faith, Sweetheart, I took my part reign were, John Hall, who published • Of this jolly good ale and old.'

Certaine Chapters out of the Proverbs Back and fide, &c. • of Solomon, and translated into Eng.

“ Now let them drink till they nod • lish Metre;' William Hunnis, a

and wink, gentleman of the chapel, under Ed.

Even as good fellows fould do; ward VI. afterwards chapel-mafier to They shall not miss to have the bliss Queen Elizabeth, and a moft tedious

Good ale doth bring men to. contributor to the Paradise of dainty And all poor souls that have scoured Devices ; Archbishop Parker, and Ro

bowls, bert Crowley, a preacher and printer

Or have them luftily trould, in Holborn; each of whom undertook God save the lives of them and their a version of the Psalter; William Bald.

wives, win and Francis Seagur, both pub

Whether they be young or old. lishers of devotional poems; and Chris- Back and fide, &c.” Vol. ii. p. 85topher Tye, doctor of music at Cambridge, 1545, and musical professor to Prince Edward, and probably to the

REIGN OF ELIZABETH. Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, who THE poetical history of this im. translated and set to music the Acts of portant reign, which occupies near a the Apostles.

century in our annals, could not eafile “ Of such a period, it is not extra- be comprised in a moderate volume. ordinary that few specimens should be Epic and didactic poems, satires, plays, worth preserving, but it is rather sin- maskes, translations from the Greek, gular that the best of these Mould be a Latin, and all the modern languages, drinking song. It is extracted from a hiftorical legends, devotional poema, play called Gammer Gurton's Needle, paftoral sonnets, madrigals, acrostics, first printed in 1551.

and humorous and romantic ballads, were produced during this period, with

a profufion which, perhaps, has never “ I CANNOT eat but little meat,

since been equalled. No less than seMy stomach is not good;

venty-four poets, are assigned to the But fure, I think that I can drink

reign of Elizabeth in the new edition With him that wears a hood.

of the Theatrum Poetarum,' and the Though I go bare, take ye no care,

catalogue might certainly be much farI nothing am a cold,

ther extended. I ftuff my skin fo full within

.“ It is true, that, of these claimants Of jolly good ale and old.

to immorality, the far greater number Back and fide go bare, go bare,

have been very generally configned to Both foot and hand go cold;

oblivion; a few, such as Drayton, -But, belly, God send thee good ale Fairfax, Warner, Sir John Harrington, enough,

Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, Whether it be new or old.

&c. continue to be cited, in deference

to their ancient reputation; but Shake" I love no roast but a nut-brown toast, speare, Jonson, Fletcher, Spenser, and And a crab laid in the fire;

Sir John Davis, are still confeffed to A little bread shall do my stead, be unrivalled in their several styles of Much bread I nought defire.

composition, although near two cenNo frost, no fnow, no wind I trow,

turies have elapsed, during which the Can hurt me if I wold,

progress of literature and the improveI am so wrapp'd, and thoroughly ment of our language have been conlapp'd,

ftant and uninterrupted. Of jolly good ale and old,

The literary splendour of this Back and side, &c.

reign may be justly attributed to the ef. “ And Tib, my wife, that as her life fects of the Reformation. When the Loveth well good ale to seek,

corruptions and impoftures of Popery Full oft drinks she, till ye may see were abolished,' says Mr. Warton,

The tears run down her cheek: I the laity, who had now been taught


[ocr errors]

to affert their natural privileges, be- national partiality, but with pious re'came impatient of the old monopoly 'verence. Chaucer, who was supposed of knowledge, and demanded admis. to have greatly afsifted the doctrines of hon to the ufurpations of the clergy. his contemporary, Wickliffe, by ridi. * The general curiosity for new disco, culing the absurdities, and expoling

veries, heightened either by juft or the impoftures of the monks, was not 'imaginary ideas of the treasures con- only respected as the father of English

tained in the Greek and Roman wric poetry, but revered as a champion of ters, excited all persons of leisure and reformation : and a familiar knowledge 'fortune to study the clatücs. The of his phraseology was confidered, at

pedantry of the prefent age was the least in the reign of Edward VI. as effenpoliteness of the last. Of this pe- tial to the politeness of a courtier. 'I dantry he adduces a curious instance in know them,' says Wilson, in his the occupations of Queen Elizabeth, Rhetorick, that think rhetorick to whose marvellous progress in the Greek stand wholly upon dark words: and nouns, is recorded with rapture by her • he that can catch an inkborn term by precēptor Roger Ascham; and he “the tail, him they count to be a fine might have found many similar ex • Englishman and a good rhetorician. amples in Anne Bullen, and other dif • He that cometh lately out of France tinguished characters. But these ef. will talk French-English, and never forts of patience and industry in the • blush at the matter. Another chops great, were perhaps necessary to encou- in with English Italianated. The fine rage and preserve the general emulation courtier will talk nothing but Chaucer.' of the learned. In a short time, all This, by the way, may ferve to explain the treasures of Greek, Latin, and the cause of Spenser's predilection for kalian literature were laid open to the a phraseology, which, though antipublic, through the medium of trans- quated, was not either obsolete or unlation. The former supplied our poe. fashionable. try with an inexhaustible fund of new “ The whole world of words, there. and beautiful allusions: the latter af. fore (to borrow an expression of one of forded numberless stories taken from our gloffarists), was open to Shakecommon life, in which variety of in- speare and his contemporaries, and the cident and ingenuity of contrivance mode of employing its treafures was wete happily united. The genius left very much to their discretion. which was destined to combine this criticism was in its infancy: this was mass of materials, could not fail to be the age of adventure and experiment, called forth by the patronage of the undertaken for the instruction of porcourt, by the incentive of general ap- terity. Mr. Warton thinks he fees in plause, and by the hopes of raising the the writers of this reign a certain digliterary glory of our nation to a level • nified inattention to niceties,' and to with that which was the result of its this he attributes the 'Aowing modulapolitical and military triumphs. 'tion which now marked the measures

“It must also be remembered that of our poets :' but there seems to be the English language was, at this time, neither dignity ncr inattention in demuch more copious, and confequently viating fro rules which

had never better adapted to poetry, than at any been laid down; and the modulation, prior or subsequent period. Our vo- which he ascribes to this cause, is not cabulary was enriched, during the first lefs likely to have resulted from the half of the fixteenth century, by almost musical studies, which at this time daily adoptions from the learned lan- formed a part of general education. guages; and though they were often The lyrical compositions of this time admitted without neceffity, and only are so far from being usually marked in consequence of a blind veneration with a faulty negligence, that excess for the dignity of polysyllables, they of ornament, and laboured affectation, must have added something to the ex

are their characteristic blemishes. Such preffion, as well as to the harmony and as are free from conceit and antithesis, variety of our language. These exo- are, in general, exquisitely polished, tics however did not occafion the ex and may fafely be compared with the pulfion of the natives. Our vulgar moft elegant and finished specimens of tongue having become the vehicle of modern poetry.” Vol. ii. p. 129. religion, was regarded, not only with




ments, being abandoned to the confie “IT has been remarked by Bishop of rival families, who were alternately Percy, that almost all the poetry which supported by the English adminiftra was composed during the early part of tion; so that it exhibited a species of the preceding reign, was remarkable anarchy under the auspices of a legitifor the facility and musical flow of its mate sovereign. versification; whereas the compositions

“. James I. was himself a poet, and of Donne, Jonson, and many of their specimens

of his talent, such as it was, contemporaries, are, in general, un

are to be found in many of our miscel usually harsh and discordant.

lanies. He also wrote fome rules and “ Indeed, our literature could not cauteles, for the use of professors of the fail of reflecting, in some degree, the art, which have been long, and per. manners of the court. Our maiden haps defervedly, difregarded.” queen, unable to submit, without some p• 3. degree of peevishness and regret, to the ravages made in her charms by the

WILLIAM HERBERT, EARL OF attacks of age and infirmity, spread un

PEMBROKE casiness and constraint all around her:

« and the playful gallantry inseparable

The character of this nobleman is from a female court, was gradually

(as Lord Orford has already obferv. succeeded by more cold and gloomy

ed) most admirably drawn by Lord system of manners. Poetry, which had

Clarendon. (Hift. Rebellion, vol. i. long been busied with the loves and

P. 57.) A collection of poems, partly graces, was now occupied with the

written by him, partly by Sir Benabstruse researches of science; and

jamin Rudyerd, and partly (as it fancy seemed to be crushed and over

should seem) transcribed from other laid by the weight of learning.

writers, was published in 1660, in “ The accession of James I. who

one volume 8vo. If the following brought to the throne the accomplish

poem be really his, it is highly cre. ments and dispositions of a pedagogue,

ditable to his taste. contributed to the growth of pedantry and affectation; and at the same time

A SONNET. the fullen spirit of puritanism, which

“ SO glides along the wanton brook, began to be widely diffused, concurred

With gentle pace into the main, in vitiating the national taste. The theatres alone seem to have been the Courting the

banks with amorous look

He never means to see again. refuge of genius; indeed no period of our history has produced so many mo

u And so does fortune use to smile dels of dramatic excellence: but the

Upon the short-lived fav’rite's face, wretched fpirit of criticism which pre

Whofe swelling hopes she does beguile, vailed in the closet, is evinced by the

And always

cafts him in the race. multiplied editions of Donne, Herbert, “ And so doth the fantastic boy, and fimilar verlifiers; by the general The god of the ill-managed Aames, preference of Jonson to Shakespeare; Who ne'er kept word in promised joy, and by the numberless volumes of To lover, nor to loving dames. patchwork and shreds of quotation, So all alike will constant prove, which form the profe compositions of Both fortune, running streams, and

love.“ It is remarkable, that the series of Scotish poets terminates abruptly in this reign; and that no name of emis

RICHARD BRATHWAYT, nence occurs between those of Drum- " Author of the English Gentleman mond and Thomson, Indeed it is not and Gentlewoman,' was born in extraordinary, that the period which Westmoreland, 1988, entered at intervened between the union of the Oriel College, Oxford, 1604, and two crowns and that of the countries, afterwards became a trained-band should have proved highly unpropitious captain, a deputy lieutenant, a juss to Scotish literature. Scotland be tice of peace, and a noted wit and coming an appendage to the fifter poet. He died in 1673, leaving bekingdom, was subjected, as Ireland has hind him (says Wood) the character since been, to the worst of all govern of a well-bred geatleman, and a good


this age,

Vol. iii. p. 32.


neighbour. His publications were Thus to laugh, and thus to fing, numerous. Vide Ath. vol. ii. p. Thus to mount on Pleasure's wing,

Thus to sport, and thus to speed,

Thus to flourish, nourish, feed, CARE'S CURE, OR A FIG FOR CARE,

Thus to spend and thus to spare,

Is to bid a fig for care." Vol. iii. p. 83 [From Paredone, or Health from Helicon,

1621.] « HAPPY is that state of his,

LV. Barroru's Travels into the Interior Takes the world as it is.

of Southern Africa. (Concluded Lofe he honour, friendship, wealth,

from p. 259.) Lofe he liberty or health ; Lose he all that earth can give,

SNAKES THE OIL OF TOBACCO AN Having nought whereon to live;

ACTIVE POISON. So prepar'd a mind's in him, He's resolv'd to fink or swim. "SNAKES of different forts were « Should I ought dejected be,

feen and killed daily, all of 'Cause blind fortune frowns on me?

them, according to the Hottentots' in

formation, more or less venomous. Or put finger in the eye When I see my Damon die ?

These people are not unacquainted Or repine such should inherit

with several interesting particulars as More of honours than of merit?

to the nature and habits of the animal, Or put on a sourer face,

as well as the vegetable part of the To see virtue in disgrace?

creation. From one I learned a very

extraordinary effcet produced by the “ Should I weep, when I do try

application of the oil of tobacco to the Fickle friends' inconstancy?

mouth of a snake. One of these repQuite discarding mine and me, tiles, about two feet in length, and of When they should the firmest be;

a blueish colour, had coiled itself five Or think much when barren brains

or fix times round the body of a lizard. Are poffess’d of rich domains,

As I was endeavouring to set at liberty When in reason it were fit

the captive animal, one of the HottenThey had wealth unto their wit ?

tots took out with the point of a stick, " Should I spend the morn in tears, from the short stem of his wooden to'Caufe I see my neighbour's ears bacco-pipe, a small quantity of a thick Stand so flopewise from his head, black matter, which he called tobacco As if they were horns indeed ? oil. This he applied'to the mouth of Or to see his wife at once

the snake while darting out its tongue, Branch his brow and break his sconce, as thefe creatures usually do when enOr to hear her in her fpleen

raged. The effect of the application Callet like a butter.quean?

was instantaneous, almost as that of an « Should I figh, because I see

electric shock. With a convulsed moLaws like spider-webs to be,

tion, that was momentary, the fake Where lesier fies are quickly ta'en,

half untwifted itself, and never stirred White the great break out again;

more; and the muscles were fo conOr so many schisms and fects,

tracted, that the whole animal felt hard Which foul herefy detects,

and rigid as if dried in the sun. The To fuppress the fire of zeal

Hottentots consider the oil of tobacco Both in church and common-weal? among the moft active of poifonous sub.

ftances; but it is never applied to the “ No, there's nought on earth I fear

points of their arrows, being probably Tliat may force from me one tear.

of too volatile a nature to retain its deLofs of honours, freedom, health,

leterious quality for any length of Or that mortal idol, wealth;

time.” P. 267.
With these, babes may grieved be,
But they have no pow'r on me.
Less my substance, less the share

INDICATOR, OR HONEY-BIRD. In my fear and in my care.

“ QUICK as the Hottentots are in “ Thus to love, and thus to live, observing the bees, as they fiy to their Thus to take, and thus to give, achts, they have itill a much better

guide, on which they invariably rely. and altered according to situation and This is a small brownish bird, nothing circumstances. Most of the small birds remarkable in its appearance, of the of Southern Africa construct theixnefts cuckoo genus, to which naturalist in such a manner, that they can be enhave given the specific name of Irdica- tered only by one small orifice, and tor, from the circumstance of its point- many suspend them from the fender ing out and discovering, by a chirping extremities of high branches. A fpeand whistling noise, the nests of bees; cies of loxia, or grossbeak, always t is called by the farmers the honey- hangs its neft on a branch extending ird.

over a river or pool of water. It is “ In the conduct of this little animal thaped exactly like a chemist's retort; here is something that approaches to is suspended from the head, and the what philosophers have been pleased fhank of eight or nine inches long, at to deny to the brute part of the crean the bottom of which is the aperture, tion. Having observed a neft of honey, almoft touches the water. It is made it immediately flies in search of some of green grass, firmly put together, human creature, to whom, by its flut- and curiously woven.' Another small tering, and whiftling, and chirping, it bird, the Parus Capensis, or Cape communicates the discovery. Every Titmouse, constructs its luxurious neft one here is too well acquainted with of the pappus, or down of a species of the bird to have any doubts as to the asclepias." This neft is made of the certainty of the information. It leads texture of flannel, and the fleecy hothe way directly towards the place, fiery is not more foft. Near the upper flying from bush to buth, or from one end projects a small tube about an inch ant-hill to another. When close to the in length, with an orifice about three neft, it remains ftill and filent. As fourths of an inch in diameter. Immefoon as the person, to whom the dif- diately under the tube is a small hole covery was made, shall have taken in the side, that has no communication away the honey, the indicator flies to with the interior part of the neft ; in feast on the remains. By the like con- this hole the male fits at nights, and duct it is also said to indicate, with thus they are both screened from the equal certainty, the dens of lions, ti- weather. The sparrow in Africa hedges gers, hyænas, and other beasts of prey round its neft with thorns; and even and noxious animals. In the discovery the swallow, under the eaves of houses, of a bee's nest, self-interest is concern or in the rifts of rocks," makes a tube ed; but in the latter inftance, its mo to its nest of fix or seven inches in tives must proceed from a different length. The same kind of birds in principle. That involuntary and spon- northern Europe, having nothing to taneous agent, which is supposed to apprehend from monkies, snakes, and guide and direct the brute creation, other noxious animals, construd open and which man, unable to investigate nests.” P. 321. the nice shades of cause and effect that no doubt govern all their actions, has refolved into one general moving power

REMARKS ON VAILLANT. called instinct, is perhaps less a blind “ AS this fainily (of Slabert) holds a impulse of nature than a ray of reason. diftinguished place in the page of a The chain of rational faculties from French traveller in southern Africa, man, the topmost link, to the meanest the veracity of whose writings has reptile, may, perhaps, with equal pro- been called in question, curiosity was priety, be supposed to exist, as that naturally excited to make some inquiwhich more apparently is observed to ries from them concerning this author. connect their exterior forms. If it be He was well known to the family, and instinct that in Europe causes the shy, had been received into their house at ness of birds at the approach of man, the recommendations of the fiscal; but the same instinct instructs them to be the whole of his transactions in this fo bold in India and China, where they part of the country, wherein his own are not molefted, as almost to be taken heroism is to fully set forth, they affert by the hand. · The different propenfi- to be so many fabrications. The story ties of animals, proceeding from the of shooting the tiger, in which his different organs with which nature has great courage is contrasted with the furnithed them, are no doubt modified cowardice of the peasantry, I read to


« PreviousContinue »