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GEORGE GASCOIGNE

[Born, 1536, Died, 1677.)

Was born in 1536*, of an ancient family in turned to England, and resided generally at Essex, was bred at Cambridge, and entered at Walthamstow. In 1575 he accompanied Queen Gray's-Inn ; but being disinherited by his father Elizabeth in one of her stately progresses, and for extravagance, he repaired to Holland, and wrote for her amusement a mask, entitled the obtained a commission under the Prince of Princely Pleasures of Kenilworth Castle. He is Orange. A quarrel with his Colonel retarded generally said to have died at Stamford, in 1578; his promotion in that service ; and a circum but the registers of that place have been searched stance occurred which had nearly cost him his in vain for his name, by the writer of an article life. A lady at the Hague (the town being then in the Censura Literariat, who has corrected in the enemy's possession) sent him a letter, which some mistakes in former accounts of him. It is was intercepted in the camp, and a report against not probable, however, that he lived long after his loyalty was made by those who had seized it. 1576, as, from a manuscript in the British Gascoigne immediately laid the affair before the Museum, it appears that, in that year, he comPrince, who saw through the design of his ac plains of his infirmities, and nothing afterwards cusers, and gave him a passport for visiting his came from his pen. female friend. At the siege of Middleburgh he Gascoigne was one of the earliest contributors displayed so much bravery, that the Prince re to our drama. He wrote The Supposes, a warded him with 300 gilders above his pay; but comedy, translated from Ariosto, and Jocasta, he was soon after made prisoner by the Spaniards, a tragedy from Euripides, with some other and having spent four months in captivity, re pieces.

THE ARRAIGNMENT OF A LOVER.

At Beauty's bar as I did stand,
When False Suspect accused me,
George, quoth the Judge, hold up thy hand,
Thou art arraign'd of Flattery ;
Tell, therefore, how wilt thou be tried,
Whose judgment thou wilt here abide ?

Then Craft the crier call'd a quest,
Of whom was Falsehood foremost fere ;
A pack of pickthanks were the rest,
Which came false witness for to bear;
The jury such, the judge unjust,
Sentence was said, “ I should be truss'd."

My lord, quod I, this lady here,
Whom I esteem above the rest,
Doth know my guilt, if any were ;
Wherefore her doom doth please me best.
Let her be judge and juror both,
To try me guiltless by mine oath.
Quoth Beauty, No, it fitteth not'
A prince herself to judge the cause ;
Will is our justice, well ye wot,
Appointed to discuss our laws;
If you will guiltless seem to go,
God and your country quit you so.

Jealous the gaoler bound me fast,
To hear the verdict of the bill ;
George, quoth the judge, now thou art cast,
Thou must go hence to Heavy Hill,
And there be hang'd all but the head ;
God rest thy soul when thou art dead !
Down fell I then upon my knee,
All fat before dame Beauty's face,
And cried, Good Lady, pardon me !
Who here appeal unto your grace ;
You know if I have been untrue,
It was in too much praising you.
And though this Judge doth make such haste
To shed with shame my guiltless blood,
Yet let your pity first be placed
To save the man that meant you good ;
So shall you show yourself a Queen,
And I may be your servant seen.

* Mr. Ellis conjectures that he was born much earlier.

| Cens. Lit. vol. i. p. 100. (Gascoigne died at Stamford on the 7th of October, 1577.-See COLLIER's Annals, vol. i. p. 192.)

SWIFTNESS OF TIME.

Quoth Beauty, Well ; because I guess
What thou dost mean henceforth to be ;
Although thy faults deserve no less
Than Justice here hath judged thee ;
Wilt thou be bound to stint all strife,
And be true prisoner all thy life?

Yea madam, quoth I, that I shall;
Lo, Faith and Truth my sureties :
Why then, quoth she, come when I call,
I ask no better warrantise.
Thus am I Beauty's bounden thrall,
At her command when she doth call.

The heavens on high perpetually do move ;
By minutes meal the hour doth steal away,
By hours the days, by days the months remove,
And then by months the years as fast decay;
Yea, Virgil's verse and Tully's truth do say,
That Time flieth, and never claps her wings ;
But rides on clouds, and forward still she flings.

*

THE VANITY OF THE BEAUTIFUL.
FROM GASCOIGNE'S GRIEF OF JOY,
An unpublished Poem in Manuscript, in the British
Museum. 18 A. 61.--King's Library.

They course the glass, and let it take no rest ;
They pass and spy who gazeth on their face ;

They darkly ask whose beauty seemeth best ; THERE is a grief in every kind of joy,

They hark and mark who marketh most their That is my theme, and that I mean to prove ; grace; And who were he which would not drink annoy, They stay their steps, and stalk a stately pace ; To taste thereby the lightest dram of love ? They jealous are of every sight they see ;

They strive to seem, but never care to be.

*

*

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John HARRINGTON, the father of the translator the few specimens of his father's poetry which of Ariosto, was imprisoned by Queen Mary for are found in the Nugæ Antiquæ may excite a his suspected attachment to Queen Elizabeth, by regret that he did not write more. His love whom he was afterwards rewarded with a grant verses have an elegance and terseness, more of lands. Nothing that the younger Harrington modern, by an hundred years, than those of his has written seems to be worth preserving : but contemporaries.

1.

VERSES ON A MOST STONY-HEARTED MAIDEN WHO DID SORELY BEGUILE THE NOBLE

KNIGHT, MY TRUE FRIEND.
J. H. MSS. 1564.-From the Nugæ Antiquæ.

II.
Why didst thou raise such woeful wail,

Why, thank her then, not weep or moan ; And waste in briny tears thy days?

Let others guard their careless heart, 'Cause she that wont to flout and rail,

And praise the day that thus made known At last gave proof of woman's ways;

The faithless hold on woman's art;
She did, in sooth, display the heart

Their lips can gloze and gain such root,
That might have wrought thee greater smart. That gentle youth hath hope of fruit.

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But, ere the blossom fair doth rise,
To shoot its sweetness o'er the taste,
Creepeth disdain in canker-wise,
And chilling scorn the fruit doth blast :
There is no hope of all our toil ;
There is no fruit from such a soil.

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IV.

Give o'er thy plaint, the danger's o'er ;
She might have poison'd all thy life;
Such wayward mind had bred thee more
Of sorrow had she proved thy wife :
Leave her to meet all hopeless meed,
And bless thyself that so art freed.

v.

WHENCE comes my love? O heart, disclose ;
It was from cheeks that shamed the rose,
From lips that spoil the ruby's praise,
From eyes that mock the diamond's blaze :
Whence comes my woe ? as freely own ;
Ah me! 'twas from a heart like stone.
The blushing cheek speaks modest mind,
The lips befitting words most kind,
The eye does tempt to love's desire,
And seems to say “ 'tis Cupid's fire ;"
Yet all so fair but speak my moan,
Sith nought doth say the heart of stone.
Why thus, my love, so kind, bespeak
Sweet eye, sweet lip, sweet blushing cheek-
Yet not a heart to save my pain ;
O Venus, take thy gifts again;
Make not so fair to cause our moan,
Or make a heart that's like our own.

No youth shall sue such one to win,
Unmark'd by all the shining fair,
Save for her pride and scorn, such sin
As heart of love can never bear ;
Like leafless plant in blasted shade,
So liveth she-a barren maid.

SIR PHILIP SYDNEY.

Born, 1554. Died, 1586.)

Without enduring Lord Orford's cold blooded a soldier, of which the chivalrous accomplishdepreciation of this hero, it must be owned that ments could not be learnt without diligence and his writings fall short of his traditional glory ; | fatigue. All his excellence in those pursuits, nor were his actions of the very highest import and all the celebrity that would have placed him ance to his country. Still there is no necessity among the competitors for a crown, was gained for supposing the impression which he made in a life of thirty-two years. His sagacity and upon his contemporaries to have been either | independence are recorded in the advice which illusive or exaggerated. Traits of character will he gave to his own sovereign. In the quarrel distinguish great men, independently of their with Lord Oxford*, he opposed the rights of an pens or their swords. The contemporaries of English commoner to the prejudices of aristoSydney knew the man: and foreigners, no less cracy and of royalty itself. At home he was the than his own countrymen, seem to have felt, patron of literature. All England wore mournfrom his personal influence and conversation, an ing for his death. Perhaps the well-known homage for him, that could only be paid to a anecdote of his generosity to the dying soldier commanding intellect guiding the principles of 'speaks more powerfully to the heart than the a noble heart. The variety of his ambition, whole volumes of elegies, in Hebrew, Greek, and perhaps, unfavourably divided the force of his | Latin, that were published at his death by the genius ; feeling that he could take different universities. paths to reputation, he did not confine himself to Mr. Ellis has exhausted the best specimens one, but was successively occupied in the punc of his poetry. I have only offered a few short tilious duties of a courtier, the studies and pursuits of a scholar and traveller, and in the life of

* Vide the biographical notice of Lord Oxford.

ones.

FROM THE ARCADIA.

“What now,

SONNET.

When Cupid having me his slave descried
TO SLEEP.

In Mars's livery, prancing in the press,

Sir Fool ?” said he, “I would no less; Come sleep, O sleep, the certain knot of peace,

Look here, I say.”—I look'd, and Stella spied, The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe ;

Who hard by made a window send forth light ; The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,

My heart then quaked, then dazzled were mine eyes; Th' indifferent judge between the high and low.

One hand forgot to rule, the other to fight ;

Nor trumpet's sound I heard, nor friendly cries. With shield of proof shield me from out the prease My foe came on and beat the air for me, Of those fierce darts despair doth at me throw : Till that her blush taught me my shame to see. O make in me those civil wars to cease, I will good tribute pay if thou do so. Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed, A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light, A rosy garland and a weary head ;

O HAPPY Thames, that didst my Stella bear,
And if these things, as being thine by right, I saw myself, with many a smiling line
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me Upon thy cheerful face, joy's livery wear,
Livelier than elsewhere Stella's image see. While those fair planets on thy streams did shine;

The boat for joy could not to dance forbear ;
While wanton winds, with beauties so divine
Ravish’d, staid not till in her golden hair

They did themselves, oh sweetest prison ! twine ; In martial sports I had my cunning tried, And fain those Eol's youth there would their stay And yet to break more staves did me address, Have made, but forced by Nature still to fly, While with the people's shouts, I must confess, First did with puffing kiss those locks display: Youth, luck, and praise, e'en fill'd my veins with She, so dishevell’d, blush'd :—from window I, pride;

With sight thereof, cried out, 0 fair disgrace,

Let Honour's self to thee grant highest place. Press, or crowd.

SONNET.

ROBERT GREENE

(Born, 1560. Died, 1592.)

Was born at Norwich about 1560, was educated A list of his writings, amounting to forty-five at Cambridge, travelled in Spain and Italy, and separate productions, is given in the Censura on his return held, for about a year, the vicarage Literaria, including five plays, several amatory of Tollesbury, in Essex. The rest of his life romances, and other pamphlets, of quaint titles seems to have been spent in London, with no and rambling contents. The writer of that other support than his pen, and in the society of article has vindicated the personal memory of men of more wit than worldly prudence. He is Greene with proper feeling, but he seems to said to have died about 1592*, from a surfeit overrate the importance that could have ever occasioned by pickled herrings and Rhenish wine. been attached to him as a writer. In proof of Greene has acknowledged, with great contrition, the once great popularity of Greene's writings, a some of the follies of his life ; but the charge of passage is quoted from Ben Jonson's Every profligacy which has been so mercilessly laid on Man out of his Humour, where it is said that his memory must be taken with great abatement, Saviolina uses as choice figures as any in the as it was chiefly dictated by his bitterest enemy, Arcadia, and Carlo subjoins, “or in Greene's Gabriel Harvey, who is said to have trampled on his works, whence she may steal with more security.” dead body when laid in the grave. The story, it This allusion to the facility of stealing without may be hoped, for the credit of human nature, is detection from an author surely argues the reuntrue ; but it shows to what a pitch the malig verse of his being popular and well knownt. nity of Harvey was supposed to be capable of Greene's style is in truth most whimsical and being excited. Greene is accused of having grotesque. He lived before there was a good deserted an amiable wife ; but his traducers model of familiar prose; and his wit, like a rather inconsistently reproach him also with the stream that is too weak to force a channel for necessity of writing for her maintenance. itself, is lost in rhapsody and diffuseness.

(* Greene died on the 3rd Sept. : 592. See his Dramatic [t See Gifford's Ben Jonson, vol. ii. p. 71.) Works, by Dyce, 2 vols &vo. 1831.)

DORASTUS ON FAWXIA.

JEALOUSY. Ay, were she pitiful as she is fair,

FROM TULLY'S LOVE. Or but as mild as she is seeming so, Then were my hopes greater than my despair, When gods had framed the sweets of woman's Then all the world were Heaven, nothing woe.

face, Ah, were her heart relenting as her hand, And lockt men's looks within her golden hair, That seems to melt e'en with the mildest touch, That Phoebus blush'd to see her matchless Then knew I where to seat me in a land,

grace, Under the wide Heavens, but yet not such. And heavenly gods on earth did make repair, So as she shows, she seems the budding rose, To quip fair Venus' overweening pride, Yet sweeter far than is an earthly flower ; Love's happy thoughts to jealousy were tied. Sovereign of beauty, like the spray she grows ; Compass'd she is with thorns and canker'd flower* ; Then grew a wrinkle on fair Venus' brow, Yet, were she willing to be pluck'd and worn, The amber sweet of love is turn’d to gall ! She would be gather'd, though she grew on thorn. Gloomy was Heaven ; bright Phæbus did avow

He would be coy, and would not love at all ; Ah, when she sings, all music else be still,

Swearing no greater mischief could be wrought, For none must be compared to her note ;

Than love united to a jealous thought.
Ne'er breathed such glee from Philomela's bill,
Nor from the morning singer's swelling throat.
And when she riseth from her blissful bed,
She comforts all the world, as doth the sun.

(* Qy. power or stoure. Dyce, vol. ii. p. 242.]

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE

(Born, 1562. Died, May 1593.)

Was born in 1562, took a bachelor's degree at In Marlowe's tragedy of “ Lust's Dominion” Cambridge, and came to London, where he was there is a scene of singular coincidence with an a contemporary player and dramatic writer with event that was 200 years after exhibited in the Shakspeare. Had he lived longer to profit by same country, namely Spain. A Spanish queen, the example of Shakspeare, it is not straining instigated by an usurper, falsely proclaims her conjecture to suppose, that the strong misguided own son to be a bastard. energy of Marlowe would bave been kindled and

Prince Philip is a bastard born ; refined to excellence by the rivalship ; but his

O give me leave to blush at mine own shame; death, at the age of thirty, is alike to be lamented

But I for love to you-love to fair Spain, for its disgracefulness and prematurity, his own Chuse rather to rip up a queen's disgrace, sword being forced upon him, in a quarrel at a Than, by concealing it, to set the crown brothel. Six tragedies, however, and his nume

Upon a bastard's head.

Lust's Dom. Sc. iv. Act 3. rous translations from the classics, evince that if his life was profligate, it was not idle. The

Compare this avowal with the confession which bishops ordered his translations of Ovid's Love Bonaparte either obtained, or pretended to Elegies to be burnt in public for their licentiousness.

have obtained, from the mother of Ferdinand If all the licentious poems of that period had VII., in 1808, and one might almost imagine that been included in the martyrdom, Shakspeare's he had consulted Marlowe's tragedy. Venus and Adonis would have hardly escaped the flames.

THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE.

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

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