صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

*

*

[ocr errors]

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 bid 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, Betokening 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 times exhibited in the faults of coeval literature, bishop of Exeter he was so mild in his conduct

a convocation of the protestant divines.

As 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 omitting 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 i' 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 rii, state, in 1618. He was, besides, consulted by Charles;

**

*

SATIRE I. BOOK I.

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 Nor 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 ivy 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,
They haunt the tided Thames and salt Medway, When each base clown his clumsy fist doth bruise,
E’er since the fame of their late bridal day. And show his teeth in double rotten row,
Nought have we here but willow-shaded shore, For laughter at his self-resembled show.
To tell our Grant his banks are left forlore. Meanwhile our poets in high parliament

Sit watching every word and gesturement,
Like curious censors of some doughty gear,
Whispering their verdict in their fellow's ear.

Woe to the word whose margent in their scroll
SATIRE III f. BOOK I.

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 halfpenny. 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 baser muse would now haunt the shore of Granta (the Cam), which they have left deserted, and crowned with willows, the types of desertion ever since Spenser celebrated 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 evident allusion to Marlowe; and in the conclusion he attacks the buffoonery that disgraced the stage.-E.

Fie on all courtesy and unruly winds,
Two only foes that fair disguisement finds.
Strange curse! but fit for such a fickle age,
When scalps are subject to such vassalage.
Late travelling along in London way,
Me met, as seem'd by his disguised array,
A lusty courtier, whose curled head
With auburn locks was fairly furnished.
I him saluted in our lavish wise :
He answers my untimely courtesies.

His bonnet vail'd, ere ever I could think,

Though he perhaps ne'er pass’d the English shore, Th' unruly wind blows off his periwink.

Yet fain would counted be a conqueror.
He lights and runs, and quickly hath him sped His hair, French-like, stares on his frighted head,
To overtake his over-running head.

One lock amazon-like dishevelled,
The sportful wind, to mock the headless man, As if he meant to wear a native cord,
Tosses apace his pitch'd Rogerian,

If chance his fates should him that bane afford.
And straight it to a deeper ditch hath blown : All British bare upon the bristled skin,
There must my yonker fetch his waxen crown. Close notched is his beard both lip and chin ;
I look'd and laugh’d, whiles, in his raging mind,

His linen collar labyrinthian set, He curst all courtesy and unruly wind.

Whose thousand double turnings never met : I look'd and laugh’d, and much I marvelled, His sleeves half hid with elbow pinionings, To see so large a causeway in his head ;

As if he meant to fly with linen wings. And me bethought that when it first begon, But when I look, and cast mine eyes below, 'Twas some shroad autumn that so bared the bone. What monster meets mine eyes in human show! Is’t not sweet pride then,when the crowns must shade So slender waist with such an abbot's loin, With that which jerks the hams of every jade,

Did never sober nature sure conjoin.
Or floor-strew'd locks from off the barber's shears? Lik'st a straw scare-crow in the new-sown field,
But waxen crowns well 'gree with borrow'd hairs. Reard on some stick, the tender corn to shield ;

Or if that semblance suit not every deal,
Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel.

*

*

*

SATIRE VII*. BCOK III

SEEST thou how gaily my young master goes,
Vaunting himself upon his rising toes ;
And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side ;
And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide ?
'Tis Ruffio : Trow'st thou where he dined to-day ?
In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humfrày.
Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer,
Keeps he for every straggling cavalier.
And open house, haunted with great resort ;
Long service mix'd with musical disport.
Many fair yonker with a feather'd crest,
Chooses much rather be his shot-free guest,
To fare so freely with so little cost,
Than stake his twelvepence to a meaner host.
Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say
He touch'd no meat of all this live-long day.
For sure methought, yet that was but a guess,
His eyes seem'd sunk from very hollowness,
But could he have (as I did it mistake)
So little in his purse, so much upon his back ?
So nothing in his maw ? yet seemeth by his belt,
That his gaunt gut no too much stuffing felt.
Seest thou how side it hangs beneath his hip?
Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip.
Yet for all that, how stiffy struts he by,
All trapped in the new-found bravery.
The nuns of new-won Calais his bonnet lent,
In lieu of their so kind a conquerment.
What needed he fetch that from farthest Spain,
His grandame could have lent with lesser pain?

* In this description of a famished gallant, Hall has rivalled the succeeding humour of Ben Jonson in similar comic portraits. Among the traits of affectation in his finished character, is that of dining with duke Humphry while he pretends to keep open house -— The phrase of dining with Duke Humphry arose from St. Paul's being the general resort of the loungers of those days, many of whom, like Hall's gallant, were glad to beguile the thoughts of dinner with a walk in the middle aisle, where there was a tomb, by mistake supposed to be that of Humphry, Duke of Gloucester.-E.

SATIRE Vit. BOOK IV.

Quid placet ergo
I wor not how the world's degenerate,
That men or know or like not their estate :
Out from the Gades up to th’ eastern morn,
Not one but holds his native state forlorn.
When comely striplings wish it were their chance
For Canis' distaff to exchange their lance,
And wear curl'd periwigs, and chalk their face,
And still are poring on their pocket-glass.
Tired with pinn'd ruffs and fans, and partlet strips
And busks and verdingales about their hips ;
And tread on corked stilts a prisoner's pace,
And make their napkin for their spitting-place,
And gripe their waist within a narrow span :
Fond Canis, that wouldst wish to be a man !
Whose mannish housewives like their refuse state,
And make a drudge of their uxorious mate,
Who like a cot-queen freezeth at the rock,
Whiles his breech'd dame doth man the foreign stock.
Is't not a shame to see each homely groom
Sit perched in an idle chariot room,
That were not meet some pannel to bestride,
Surcingled to a galled hackney's hide?
Each muck-worm will be rich with lawless gain,
Although he smother up mowsof seven years' grain,
And hang'd himself when corn grows cheap again ;
Although he buy whole harvests in the spring,
And foist in false strikes to the measuring ,
Although his shop be muffled from the light,
Like a day dungeon, or Cimmerian night ;
Nor full nor fasting can the carle take rest,
While his george-nobles rusten in his chest ;

† The general scope of this satire, as its motto denotes, is directed against the discontent of human beings with their respective conditions. It paints the ambition of the youth to become a man, of the muckworm to be rich, of the rustic to become a soldier, of the rhymer to appear in print, and of the brain-sick reader of foreign wonders to become a traveller.-E.

He sleeps but once, and dreams of burglary, Now with discourses breaks his midnight sleep
And wakes, and casts about his frighted eye, Of his adventures through the Indian deep,
And gropes for thieves in every darker shade ; Of all their massy heaps of golden mine,
And if a mouse but stir, he calls for aid.

Or of the antique tombs of Palestine,
The sturdy ploughman doth the soldier see, Or of Damascus' magic wall of glass,
All scarf'd with piëd colours to the knee,

Of Solomon his sweating piles of brass,
Whom Indian pillage hath made fortunate, Of the bird ruc that bears an elephant,
And now he 'gins to loath his former state ; Of mermaids that the southern seas do haunt,
Now doth he inly scorn his Kendal-green,

Of headless men, of savage cannibals,
And his patch'd cockers now despised been ; The fashions of their lives and governals ;
Nor list he now go whistling to the car,

What monstrous cities there erected be,
But sells his team, and fetleth to the war.

Cairo, or the city of the Trinity ; O war ! to them that never tried thee, sweet ! Now are they dunghill cocks that have not seen When his dead mate falls groveling at his feet, The bordering Alps, or else the neighbour And angry bullets whistlen at his ear,

Rhine: And his dim eyes see nought but death and drear. And now he plies the news-full Grasshopper, O happy ploughman! were thy weal well known : Of voyages and ventures to inquire. O happy all estates, except his own!

His land mortgaged, he sea-beat in the way, Some drunken rhymer thinks his time well spent, Wishes for home a thousand sighs a day; If he can live to see his name in print,

And now he deems his home-bred fare as leaf Who, when he is once fleshed to the press, As his parch'd biscuit, or his barrell'd beef. And sees his hansell have such fair success, ’Mongst all these stirs of discontented strife, Sung to the wheel, and sung unto the pail, O let me lead an academic life ; He sends forth thraves of ballads to the sail, To know much, and to think for nothing, know Nor then can rest, but volumes up bodged rhymes, Nothing to have, yet think we have enow; To have his name talked of in future times. In skill to want, and wanting seek for more ; The brain-sick youth, that feeds his tickled ear In weal nor want, nor wish for greater store. With sweet-sauced lies of some false traveller, Envy, ye monarchs, with your proud excess, Which hath the Spanish Decades read awhile, At our low sail, and our high happiness. Or whetstone leasings of old Mandeville,

WILLIAM WARNER

(Died, 1608-9.)

Was a native of Oxfordshire, and was born, as model. Dr. Percy thinks he rather resembled Mr. Ellis conjectures, in 1558. He left the uni- Ovid, to whom he is, if possible, still more unlike. versity of Oxford without a degree, and came to His poem is, in fact, an enormous ballad on the London, where he pursued the business of an history, or rather on the fables appendant to the attorney of the common pleas. Scott, the poet history of England ; heterogeneous, indeed, like of Amwell, discovered that he had been buried the Metamorphoses, but written with an almost in the church of that parish in 1609, having died doggrel simplicity. Headley has rashly preferred suddenly in the night-time.*

his works to our ancient ballads ; but with the His “ Albion’s England” was once exceedingly best of these they will bear no comparison. popular. Its publication was at one time inter- Argentile and Curan has indeed some beautiful dicted by the Star-chamber, for no other reason touches, yet that episode requires to be weeded that can now be assigned, but that it contains of many lines to be read with unqualified pleasome love-stories more simply than delicately sure ; and through the rest of his stories we related. His contemporaries compared him to shall search in vain for the familiar magic of Virgil, whom he certainly did not make his such ballads as Chevy Chase or Gill Morrice.

*

*

ARGENTILE AND CURAN.

FROM ALBION'S ENGLAND. Argentile, the daughter and heiress of the deceased King,

Adelbright, has been left to the protection of her uncle
Edel, who discharges his trust unfaithfully, and seeks

Yet well he fosters for a time the damsel, that to force his niece to marry a suitor whom he believes to

was grown be ignoble, that he may have a pretext for seizing on

The fairest lady under heav'n, whose beauty her kingdom.

being known, (* 9th March 1608—9.)

he may,

*

*

*

*

*

A many princes seek her love, but none might A braceofyears he lived thus, well pleased so to live, her obtain,

And, shepherd-like, to feed a flock himself did For gripel Edel to himself her kingdom sought wholly give ; to gain,

So wasting love, by work and want, grew almost And for that cause, from sight of such he did his

to the wane, ward restrain.

And then began a second love the worser of the By chance one Curan, son unto a Prince of Danske,

twain ; did see

A country wench, a neat-herd's maid, where The maid with whom he fell in love, as much as

Curan kept his sheep, one might be :

Did feed her drove ; and now on her was all the Unhappy youth, what should he do? his saint shepherd's keep. was kept in mew;

He borrow'd on the working days his holie russets Nor he nor any nobleman admitted to her view : oft, One while in melancholy fits he pines himself away, And of the bacon's fat to make his startups black Anon he thought by force of arms to win her if

and soft, And lest his tar-box should offend, he left it at

the fold : And still against the king's restraint did secretly inveigh.

Sweet grout or whig his bottle had as much as it At length the high controller, Love, whom none might hold; may disobey,

A shave of bread as brown as nut, and cheese as Imbased him from lordliness into a kitchen drudge,

white as snow, That so at least of life or death she might become And wildings, or the season's fruit, he did in scrip his judge ;

bestow ; Access so had, to see and speak, he did his love And whilst his pyebald cur did sleep, and sheepbewray,

hook lay him by, And tells his birth-heranswer was, she husband- On hollow quills of oaten straw he piped melody ; less would stay :

But when he spied her his saint Meanwhile the king did beat his brain, his booty

Thus the shepherd woo'd. to achieve, Not caring what became of her, so he by her Thou art too elvish, faith, thou art; too elvish might thrive ;

and too coy ; At last his resolution was some peasant should her Am I, I pray thee, beggarly, that such a flockenjoy!

wive: And (which was working to his wish) he did ob- Believe me, lass, a king is but a man, and so am I; serve with joy,

Content is worth a monarchy, and mischiefs hit How Curan, whom he thought a drudge, scap'd

the high, many an am'rous toy :

As late it did a king, and his, not dwelling far The king, perceiving such his vein, promotes his from hence, vassal still,

Who left a daughter, save thyself, for fair a Lest that the baseness of the man should let matchless wench; perhaps his will ;

Here did he pause, as if his tongue had done his Assured, therefore, of his love, but not suspecting heart offence : who

The neatress, longing for the rest, did egg him The lover was, the king himself in his behalf did woo: The lady,resolute from love, unkindly takes that he How fair she was, and who she was.

She bore, Should bar the noble and unto so base a match quoth he, the belle ; agree;

For beauty, though I clownish am, I know what And therefore, shifting out of doors, departed beauty is, hence by stealth,

Or did I not, yet seeing thee, I senseless were to Preferring poverty before a dangerous life in miss : wealth.

Suppose her beauty Helen's like, or Helen's When Curan heard of her escape, the anguish of something less, his heart

And every star consorting to a pure complexion Was more than much, and after her he did from

guess ; court depart;

Her stature comely tall, her gait well graced, and Forgetful of hmself, his birth, his country, friends,

her wit and all,

To marvel at, not meddle with, as matchless I And only minding whom he miss'd, the foundress

omit ; of his thrall :

A globe-like head, a gold-like hair, a forehead Nor means he after to frequent the court, or

smooth and high, stately towns,

An even nose ; on either side did shine a greyish But solitarily to live among the country growns.

eye.

*

*

on to tell

« السابقةمتابعة »