« السابقةمتابعة »
authors; they were exponents of the highest contemporary cultivation, who looked forward rather than backward, and by their comparative modernness of speech and liberality of view prophesied of future times of light and rest.
Unlike in much, Wotton and Hales resembled one another in their quietism, their reluctance to seem emphatic, their delicate intellectual moderation. Each was distinguished by a life-long attachment to Eton.
Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639) was born on April 9, 1568, at Boughton Hall, in Kent. After being carefully educated at Winchester and Oxford, he devoted himself to the diplomatic career, settling ultimately in Venice as ambassador. On his retirement from the foreign service, in 1623, Wotton
THE was made Provost of Eton
BETRAYING College, and lived there until his death at the close of
OF CHRIST. 1639. His Life was written
Ivdasin despaire. by Izaak Walton. The
The feuen Words of our ever-memorable" John
Sauior on thc Crosíc. Hales (1584-1656) was born
WITH at Bath and educated at Oxford. He entered holy
Arber Poems on the Passion. orders, and
in 1613 was admitted a fellow of Eton College, being ejected and
LONDON reduced to destitution in
Printed by Adam IRip. 1649. Hales died in great poverty on May 19, 1656, and was buried at Eton. He was greatly admired by those who knew him ; Pearson said that Hales most prodigious example of
Title-page of Rowlands' “ Betraying of Christ," 1598 an acute and piercing wit, of a vast and illimited knowledge, of a severe and profound judgment.” He published very little during his lifetime, but three years after his death his Golden Remains were collected, consisting of his sermons and miscellaneous writings. Hales was so lucky in obtaining the rewards of scholarship and so cruelly persecuted for possessing them, that he was called “the happiest and the most unfortunate helluo of books ” who ever lived.
The criticism of literature, which had formed an interesting, if imperfect, Criticism department of prose writing in the age of Elizabeth, was generally neglected in that of her successor. But at the beginning of the reign of James I. two poets crossed swords in a very important controversy.
In 1602 Campion published Observations in the Art of English Poesy, the design of which was to
discourage the “ vulgar and unartificial custom of rhyming." His idea was, as.
that of Spenser for a brief moment had been, to introduce into English unrhymed accentuated verse-forms. Campion was instantly answered by Daniel in his Defence of Rhyme, an able and elegant treatise commending the normal methods of English versification. Ben Jonson wrote a Dis
. course of Poesy, in which he contrived to contradict both Daniel and Campion, but unluckily this is lost. The success of Bacon's Essays gave rise to considerable imitation ; the only specimens of this which are worthy even of mention are those published in 1600 and 1617 by Sir William Cornwallis.
Curiosities of literature abound in the Jacobean age, and none is more curious than the Crudities of THOMAS CORYAT (1577-1617), a book, as its title-page of 1611 tells us, “hastily gobbled up in five months' travels in France, Savoy, Italy, the Grisons, Switzerland, some parts of High Germany and the Netherlands, newly digested in the hungry air of Odcombe in the county of Somerset, and now dispersed to the nourishment of the travelling members of this' kingdom.” The “said travelling Thomas ” went also to Turkey, Persia and India, dying at Surat in December 1617. He was absurd and feather-brained, but a quick observer and an entertaining, though prolix and affected writer. Another traveller, the poet George Sandys, published in 1615 an amusing relation of a journey to the Holy Land. Of purely technical treatises expressed in plain language for ordinary readers there were many published at this time. Among them the highly-coloured and agreeably written “vocations” of GERVASE MARKHAM (1568–1637) take a foremost place. He has been called “the earliest
English hackney writer," and after having essayed to excel in the higher branches of poetical and dramatic literature in his youth, he settled down to the production of books on agriculture,
Sum of fount sfilling 6. Fiscare
Thomas Dekker stige c. peygja membing
Facsimile receipt for 20s. from Dekker to Philip Henslowe
Brilish Museum AISS. 30,262,
365 gardening, and the conduct of a household, which were extremely popular, and which now throw a most valuable light on the social life of the times. The cheerful chatty admonitions of Gervase Markham probably supply us with as close a reproduction as we possess of what the ordinary talk of educated persons was in the reigns of James I. and Charles I., and in this respect are safer guides than the emphatic scenes of the dramatists and the extravagant diatribes of the pamphleteers. The following sentences are taken from Markham's Farewell to Husbandry :
In the month of December put your sheep and swine to the peese-ricks, and fat them for the slaughter and market. Now kill your small porks and large bacons, lop hedges and trees, saw out your timber for building, and lay it to season; and if your land be exceedingly stiff, and rise up in an extraordinary furrow, then in this month begin to plough up that ground whereon you mean to sow clean beans only. Now cover your dainty fruit-trees all over with canvas, and hide all your best flowers from frosts and storms with rotten old horse litter. Now drain all your corn-fields, and, as occasion shall serve, so water and keep moist your meadows. Now be
Sir Henry Wotton come the fowler with piece,
After an original portrait nets and all manner of engine, for in this month no fish is out of season. Now fish for the carp, the bream, pike, trench, barbel, peel and salmon. And, lastly, for your health, eat meats · that are hot and nourishing ; drink good wine that is neat, spirity, and lusty ; keep thy body well clad and thy house warm. Forsake whatsoever is phlegmatic, and banish all care from thy heart, for nothing is now more unwholesome than a troubled spirit.
The great interest in horticulture, too, produced a number of very charming herbals or garden-books, which possessed a certain literary importance. Of these the best was that produced in 1597 by John Gerard (1545-1612), the barber-surgeon, and completed after his death by T. Johnson in 1633. This is richly illustrated with accurate portraits of plants, and forms one of the most interesting and precious books of the Jacobean age.
It is well to close our survey of the prose of this period with a brief account of the man in whom its intellectual character seems to be concentrated and sublimated. The central ambition of the prose-writers of the early seventeenth century in England was the collection of knowledge; they rested not from their “unwearied pain of gathering.” The searching after antiquities, the
collation of authorities, the branding of imposture, the rectification of records, these were the most passionate occupations of intellectual men. It must always be recognised that the genuine love of James I. for books and the knowledge that resides in books, mightily spurred on the zeal of his subjects. To be a scholar was a fashionable employment; it was to be like the King; so that Bacon was not speaking an idle word when, in The Advancement of
Lcarning, he praised “the perfection of your Majesty's learning, which as a phoenix might call whole vollies of wits to follow you.” The greatest of these “wits," a man of colossal acquirements and singularly noble character, was John SELDEN, before whom all the scholars of the Jacobean age bowed down as to their “ monarch in letters."
But, although Selden was one of the first men of his time, a giant of erudition and of policy, he was not a great writer of English. In this, too, he was typical of his time. He stood for the past, not for the future. His aim was, in view of the fragility of life, to allow as little
IN TWO BOOKES: knowledge as possible to die The first,containing the whole art ofriding with a man ; he had no care great Horsesin very short time, with the breeding, bres. to add by the creative art to
king, dgeting and ordring of them, and of running, hon
cing and ambling Horses, with the manner how the sum of what would give
so vse ebom in obeir travelle pleasure to future generations. Likewise in two newe Treatises the arts of hunting, His Titles of Honour starts howking, courfing of Grey-bounds with the lames of the leale, before the Flood, and his
Shooting, Bowling, Tennis,Baloone &c. History of Tithes goes back
By G. M. to the “prorogations” of Mel
The Second intituled, chisedek. He was the first
authority of his age on juris
The English Huswife:
prudence; he stood in the forefront of Europe in the
Containing the inward and outward vertues mbicboughe
to be in compleate Woman: as her Phisicke, Cookery, study of Anglo-Saxon, of the Banqueting-fuffe, Distillation, Perfumes, Wooll, Hemp, oriental languages, of Tal
Flaxe, Dairies, Brewing, Baking, and allosher
np mudic law,- but why should
A worke very profitable and necessary for the geaccall we specify, since he
sood of this kingdome. “of stupendous learning in
Aune ie fowierei. all kinds and in all lanYet Clarendon,
Priaced « London by i B.for R. Jackson, and are to be sold at his shop who worshipped him, was
merre Flece-Atect Condou. 1615. obliged to admit that, in the
Title-page of Markham's “ Country Contentments,” 1615 particular of writing English, Selden was “harsh and obscure,” and, further, that he was typical of the scholars of his age in "a little undervaluing the beauty of a style and too much propensity to the language of antiquity." His disdain has been fatal to his influence. Selden had no faith in the power of the English language and no enthusiasm for its cultivation. The result is that a man whose whole life was spent with books, and who had one of the most stupendous minds of the century, is hardly included among English authors at all. Of his ponderous works, the only important examples which are not in Latin are the two technical treatises which have already been mentioned, and it is noticeable that the