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* friend for my error's reprehension. I were not a friend, if I should see my friend out of the way and not advise him : I were unworthy to have a friend, if hee should advise mee (being our of 'the way) and I bee angry with him. Rather let me have my ' friend's anger than deserve it; rather let the righteous smite mee
friendly by reproofe, than the pernicious oyle of flattery or connivence breake my head. It is a folly to flie ill-will by giving 'a just cause of hatred. I thinke him a truer friend that deserves my love, than he that desires it.' p. 36.
In the second part, the author is somewhat more diffuse, and does not confine himself so much to abstract thoughts, but generally illustrates them with imagery, which possesses, however, the same terseness and closeness of application as his unadorned meditations. His similes are, indeed, mathematically accuratethey run in parallel lines—they never interfere with the subject in hand, nor approach it nearer at one point than another. Our readers cannot fail to be pleased with the few specimens which succeed.
When I see leaves drop from their trees, in the beginning of ' autumne, just such, thinke I, is the friendship of the world. Whiles the sap of maintenance lasts, my friends swarme in abundance, but, in the winter of my need, they leave me naked. He is a happy man, that hath a true friend at his need; but he is more • truly happy that hath no need of his friend. p. 44.
• The gentle and harmlesse sheep being conscious of their owne innocency, how patiently, how quietly, doe they receive the knife, either on the altar, or in the shambles ? How silently and undaunted doe they meet death, and give it entrance with small resistance? When the filthie, loathsome, and harmefull swine roare 'horribly at the first handling, and, with an hideous crying reluc6 tancy, are haled and held to the slaughter. This seemes some cause to me, why wicked men (conscious of their filthy lives and nature) so tremble at the remembrances, startle at the name, and, with horrour, roare at the approach of death : when the godly quietly uncloathe themselves of their lives, and make small difference 'twixt a naturall night's short sleepe, and the long sleepe 6 of nature. 2nd part, p. 7.
I see, when I follow my shadow, it flies me—when I flie my 6 shadow, it followes me: I know pleasures are but shadowes, which hold no longer than the sun-shine of my fortunes. Least then my pleasures should forsake me, I will forsake them. Pleasure most flies me when I follow it.'
• It is not good to speak evill of all whom wee know bad : it is worse to judge evill of any, who may prove good. To speake *ill upon knowledge shewes a want of charity--to speake ill upon suspition shewes a want of honesty. I will not speake so bad as I know of many: I will not speake worse than I know of any. To
know evill by others, and not speake it, is sometimes discretion : to speake evill by others, and not know it, is always dishonesty.'
Our author, notwithstanding his gravity, is very sportive in his diction, and does not scorn a pun, as our readers may have seen, and will see more particularly in the following meditations.
There is a sort of men which are kind men to me, when they • expect some kindnesse from me—who have their hands downe to
the ground in their salutations, when the ground of their saluta• tions is to have a hand at mee in some commodity. But their
own ends once served, their kindnesse hath its end at once : and s then it seemes strange to mee, how strange they will seeme to
grow to mee; as if the cause (their desire) being removed, the ef"fect (their courtesie) must straight cease.' p. 33.
I see a number of gallants every where, whose incomes come in yearly by set puinbers, but ranne out daily sans number. I could pitty the cases of such brave men, but that I see them still in brave
cases ; and when I see them often foxed, me thinke the proverbe 'sutes those sutes, What is the fox but his case ? I should thinke
them to be Eutrapelus bis enemies, whom he cloathed richly to make them spend freely and grow deboshed. I will doe those men right, and wonder at them, because they desire it. I will not wrong inyself to envie them, because they scorne it. I know that gorgeous apparell is an ornament to grace the court, for the glory of the kingdome, but it is no ornament useful in the kingdome of 'grace, nor needful in the kingdome of glory. A rich coate may bee commendable in the accidents of armory onely, but it is not the onely substance of a commendable gentleman, I will value
the apparell by the worthinesse of the wearer; I will not value s the worthinesse of the wearer by the worth of his apparell. Adam
was most gallantly apparelled when he was innocently naked.' p. 37.
The men of most credit in our time are the usurers. For they credit most men : and though their greatest study be security, yet it is usually their fortune to be fullest of care. Time is pretious to them, for they thinke a day broke to them, is worth a 'broke-age from their creditor. Yet thus they finde by use, that 'as they have much profit by putting out, so must they have much care to get it in. For debtors are of Themistocles his minde, and take not so much care how to repay all, as how they may not pay at all their creditors, and make this their first resolution, how 'they may make no resolution at all. p. 40.
[Of composition, he says,] . It is the folly of wit in some to take paines to trimme their labours in obscurity. It is the ignorance ' of learning in others to labour to devest their paine by bluntness; 'the one thinking hee never speakes wisely, till he goes beyond
his owne and all men's understandings; the other thinking hee
never speakes plainely, till hee dive beneath the shallowest apprehension. I as little affect curiosity in the one, as care for the affectation of baldnesse in the other. I would not bave the pearle of heaven's kingdome so curiously set in gold, as that the art of the workman should bide the beauty of the jewell: nor yet so
sleightly valued as to be set in lead : or so beastly used as to be • slubbered with durt. I know the pearle (however placed) still re
tains its virtue, yet I had rather have it set in gold than seeke it in "a dunghill.'
Art. V. The miscellaneous Works in Verse and Prose of Sir
Thomas OVERBURY, Knt. with Memoirs of his Life. The tenth edition. London, 1754. (Review—August, 1820.]
This little volume contains the remains of the unfortunate Sir Thomas Overbury, “ one of the most finished gentlemen about the court” of James I. who fell a victim, as is well known, before the ungovernable passions of the Countess of Essex. The murder of this accomplished man is one of the most disgraceful passages of the history of England ; but as the tragical story is always related there, we shall turn our attention from so gloomy a subject to the agreeable little volume before us. The sympathy which was universally felt for his melancholy fate is demonstrated by the first forty pages, which consist of elegies and tributes of grief and admiration from all quarters, “ on the untimely death of Sir Thomas Overbury, poisoned in the Tower," and on his poem the “ Wife," with manifold regrets that she “bad grown husbandless of late.” The only “ Verse” by Sir Thomas Overbury bimself, in the book, are his famous poem termed the “ Wife," a smaller one on the • Choice of a Wife,” and two or three elegies. The “ Wife" is a didactic poem, and though the precepts which it gives are certainly not of a kind which the reader feels disposed to dispute, they have truly very little to recommend them, being far from remarkable for their ingenuity, and certainly not set off by any charms of poetical grace or ornament. Our rage for reviving the forgotten does not extend so far as to inflict upon our readers many passages, containing nothing better than injunctions to disregard beauty, which, as Sir Thomas observes, is but “ skin deep," and to prefer good, which " is a fairer attribute than white," expressed in a dry style and crabbed versification, though they may be on so universally interesting a subject as the Choice of a Wife.
It is not, however, on the poetry, if it may be so called, of Overbury, that his reputation must be founded-it is the remainder of the volume, “ the Characters or witty Descriptions of the Properties of sundry Persons,” which display the fertile and ingenious
character of his mind. From these we intend to make some extracts, which will we hope give a value and interest to this article. The book itself is seldom read, and not, on the whole, entertaining; but there are portions of it, and numerous portions too, which we think will impress the reader with a high opinion of the author's talent for observation, and his power of witty contrast and felicitous, though sometimes obscure, expression.
The “Noble Spirit" is in a noble style-a character of true philosophical elevation, which could have been composed by no one who did not “ speak what the spirit within him dictated.”
A Noble Spirit “Hath surveyed and fortified bis disposition, and converts all occurrences into experience, between which experience and his reason there is marriage, the issue are his actions. He circuits bis intents, and seeth the end before he shoots. Men are the instruments of his art, and there is no man without his use; occa“sion incites him, none enticeth him, and he moves by affection, 'not for affection; he loves glory, scorns shame, and governeth and obeyeth with one countenance, for it comes from one conside• ration. He calls not the variety of the world chances, for his
meditation hath travelled over them, and his eyes, mounted upon “his understanding, seeth them as things underneath. He covers ‘not his body with delicacies, nor excuseth these delicacies by his ·body, but teacheth it, since it is not able to defend its own imbecility, to shew or suffer. He licenceth not his weakness to 'wear fate, but knowing reason to be no idle gift of nature, he is the steers-man of his own destiny. Truth is his goddess, and he • takes pains to get her, not to look like her ; he knows the condition of the world, that he must act one thing like another, and then another; to these he carries his desires, and not his desires 'him, and sticks not fast by the way, (for that contentment is re'pentance,) but knowing the circle of all courses, of all intents, of
all things, to have but one center or period, without all distrac'tion he basteth thither and ends there as his true patural element. 'He doth not contemn fortune, but not confess her; he is no game
ster of the world, which only complain and praise her,) but being * only sensible of the honesty of actions, contemus a particular profit as the excrement or scum. Unto the society of men he is a sun, whose clearness directs their steps in a regular motion. •When he is more particular, he is the wise man's friend, the ex' ample of the indifferent, the medicine of the vicious. Thus time .goeth not from him, but with him, and he feels age more by the strength of his soul than the weakness of his body. Thus feels he no pain, but esteems all such things as friends, that desire to file off his fetters, and help him out of prison.'
"A Melancholy Man" is also drawn in a masterly manner.
A Melancholy Man • Is a strayer from the drove, one that nature made sociable because she made him a man, and crazed disposition hath altered, ' unpleasing to all, as all to him; straggling thoughts are his con
tent, they make him dream waking, there's his pleasure. His 'imagination is never idle, it keeps his mind in a continual motion, ' as the poise the clock; he winds up his thoughts often, and as often Sunwinds them. Penelope's web thrives faster; he'll seldom be ' found without the shade of some grove, in whose bottom a river dwells; he carries a cloud in his face, never fair weather; his outside is framed to his inside, in that he keeps a decorum, both un* seemly. Speak to him, he hears with his eyes, ears follow his mind, and that's not at leisure. He thinks of business, but never does
any ; he is all contemplation, no action; he hews and ' fashions his thoughts as if he meant them to some purpose, but they prove unprofitable as a piece of wrought timber to no use. *His spirits and the sun are enemies, the sun bright and warm, his 'humour black and cold. Variety of foolish apparitions people ' his head, they suffer him not to breathe, according to the necessity og
of nature, which makes him sup up a draught of as much air at once, as would serve at thrice. He denies nature her due in sleep, ' and overpays her in watchfulness; nothing pleases him long but ' that which pleases his own fancies, they are the consuming evils, and evil consumptions that consume him alive. Lastly, he is a man only in show, but comes short of the better part, a whole * reasonable soul, which is man's chief pre-eminence and sole mark from creatures sensible.'
“ The Sailor” is very humorous, and also very curious, as showing the immutable nature of the effects of his mode of life. A · Fine Gentleman,' or · An Amorist,' of the days of James the First, is neither the man of fashion nor the lover of modern times; but the mariner who fought and conquered under Drake or Frobisher, is the same being that fought and conquered under Nelson or Howe.
A Sailor 'Is a pitched piece of reason caulked and tackled, and only stu• died to dispute with tempests. He is part of his own provision,
for he lives ever pickled ; a fair wind is the substance of his creed, 6 and fresh water the burden of his prayers. He is naturally am
bitious, for he is ever climbing out of sight; as naturally he fears, • for he is ever flying ; time and he are every where, ever contend*ing who shall arrive first; he is well winded, for he tires the day, and outruns darkness; his life is like a hawk's, the best part mewed, and if he lives till three coats, is a master. He sees God's • wonders in the deep, but so as they rather appear his play fel