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the sage philosopher Zoroas: a classical and elegant description of whose skill in natural science, forms a pleasing contrast amidst images of death and destruction; and is inserted with great propriety, as it is necessary to introduce the history of his catastrophe.

Shakyng her bloudy hands Bellone, among
The Perses, soweth all kynde of cruel death.—
Him smites the club; him wounds far-striking bow;
And him the sling, and him the shinyng swoord.-
Right over stood, in snow-white armour brave',
The Memphite Zoroas, a cunning clarke,
To whom the heaven lay open as his boke:
And in celestiall bodies he could tell
The movyng, metyng, light, aspect, eclips,
And influence, and constellacions all.
What earthly chances would betide: what yere
Of plenty stord: what signe forwarned derth :
How winter gendreth snow: what temperature
In the prime tide u doth season well the soyl.
Why sommer burns: why autumne hath ripe grapes:
Whether the circle quadrate may become:
Whether our tunes heavens harmony can yeld w :-
What starre doth let* the hurtfull sire' to rage,
Or him more milde what opposition makes :

What fire doth qualify Mavorses 2 fire, &c. & Our astronomer, finding by the stars that he is destined to die speedily, chooses to be killed by the hand of Alexander, whom he endeavours to irritate to an attack, first by throwing darts, and then by reproachful speeches.

Shameful stain
Of mothers bed! Why losest thou thy strokes
Cowards among? Turne thee to me, in case
richly decked.

* hinder. ' with plenty

spring, printemps. y Saturn. [Sirius. Ritson.] * Whether any music made by man ” of Mavors, or the planet Mars. can resemble that of the Spheres.

brave,

u

a Fol. 115.

Manhode there be so much left in thy hart:
Come, fight with me, that on my helmet weare
Apolloes laurel, both for learnings laude,
And eke for martial praise: that in my shielde
The sevenfold sophie of Minerve contain.

A match more meet, sir king, than any here. Alexander is for a while unwilling to revenge this insult on a man eminent for wisdom.

The noble prince amoved, takes ruthe upon
The wilful wight; and with soft wordes, ayen:
O monstrous man, quod he, What so thou art !
I pray thee live, ne do not with thy death
This lodge of lore', the Muses mansion marr,
That treasure-house this hand shall never spoyl.
My sword shall never bruse that skilfull braine,
Long-gathered heapes of Science sone to spill.
O how faire frutes may you to mortal men
From WISDOMES garden geve! How many may,
By you, the wiser and the better prove !
What error, what mad moode, what frenzy, thee
Perswades, to be downe sent to depe Averne,
Where no arts florish, nor no knowledge 'vailes
For all these sawes? When thus the soverain sayd,

Alighted Zoroas, &c. d I have a suspicion, that these two pieces in blank-verse, if not fragments of larger works, were finished in their present state, as prolusions, or illustrative practical specimens, for our author's course of lectures in rhetoric. In that case, they were written so early as the year 1547. There is positive proof, that they appeared not later than 1557, when they were first printed by Tottell.

I have already mentioned lord Surrey's Virgil: and for the sake of juxtaposition, will here produce a third specimen * of

b his head. lessons of wisdom. in Gascoigne's Steele Glass, 1576, and & Fol. 115. 116.

Aske's Elizabetha Triumphans, 1588. • The intervening specimens appeared -PARK.

early blank-verse, little known. In the year 1590, William Vallans published a blank-verse poem, entitled, A TALE OF TWO SWANNES, which, under a poetic fiction, describes the situation and antiquities of several towns in Hertfordshire. The author, a native or inhabitant of Hertfordshire, seems to have been connected with Camden and other ingenious antiquaries of his age. I cite the exordium.

When Nature, nurse of every living thing,
Had clad her charge in brave and new aray;
The hils rejoyst to see themselves so fine:
The fields and woods grew proud therof also:
The medowes with their partie-colourd coates,
Like to the rainebow in the azurd skie,
Gave just occasion to the cheerfull birdes
With sweetest note to singe their nurse's praise.
Among the which, the merrie nightingale
With swete and swete, her breast again a thorne,

Ringes out all night, &c. Vallans is probably the author of a piece much better known, a history, by many held to be a romance, but which proves the writer a diligent searcher into antient records, entitled, “The HONOURABLE PRENTICE, Shewed in the Life and Death of Sir John HAWKEWOOD sometime Prentice of London, interlaced with the famous History of the noble Fitzwalter Lord of Woodham in Essex', and of the poisoning of his faire daughter. Also of the merry Customes of DUNMOWE, &c. Whereunto is annexed the most lamentable murther of Robert Hall at the High Altar in Westminster Abbey 8."

The reader will observe, that what has been here said about early specimens of blank-verse, is to be restrained to poems not

London, Printed by Roger Ward afterwards mentioned, in the reign of for John Sheldrake, MDXC. 4to. 3 sheets. Henry the Third. He mentions most of the Seats in Hert 6 There are two old editions, at Lonfordshire then existing, belonging to the don, in 1615, and 1616, both for Henry queen and the nobility. See Hearne's Gosson, in 5 sh. 4to. They have only LEL. Itix. V. Pr. p. iv. seq. ed. 2. the author's initials W. V. See Hearne,

" The founder of Dunmowe Priory, ut modo supr. iii. p. v. ii. xvi.

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written for the stage. Long before Vallans's Two SWANNES, many theatrical pieces in blank-verse had appeared; the first of which is, The TRAGEDY OF GORBODUC, written in 1561. The second is George Gascoigne's Jocasta, a tragedy, acted at Grays-inn, in 1566. George Peele had also published his tragedy in blank-verse of David AND BETHŞABE, about the year 15795. HIERONYMO, a tragedy also without rhyme, was acted before 1590. But this point, which is here only transiently mentioned, will be more fully considered hereafter, in its proper place. We will now return to our author Grimoald.

Grimoald, as a writer of verses in rhyme, yields to none of his cotemporaries, for a masterly choice of chaste expression, and the concise elegancies of didactic versification. Some of the couplets, in his poem IN PRAISE OF MODERATION, have all the smartness which marks the modern style of sententious poetry, and would have done honour to Pope's ethic epistles.

The auncient Time commended not for nought
The Mean. What better thyng can there be sought ?
In meane is vertue placed: on either side,
Both right and left, amisse a man shall slide.
Icar, with sirei hadst thou the midway flown,
Icarian beck k by name no man [had] known.
If middle path kept had proud Phaeton,
No burning brand this earth had fallne upon.
Ne cruel power, ne none so soft can raign:
That kepes' a mean, the same shal stil remain.
Thee, Juliem, once did too much mercy spill:
Thee, Nero stern, rigor extreem did kill.
How could August” so many yeres well passe ?
Nor overmeek, nor overferse, he was.
Worship not Jove with curious fansies vain,
Nor him despise: hold right atween these twain.

" Shakespeare did not begin writing for the stage till 1591. Jonson, about 1598.

Icarus, with thy father.
strait, sea.

I that which. m Julius Cesar.

Augustus Cesar.

No wastefull wight, no greedy goom is prayzd:
Stands Largesse just in egall ballance payzdo.
So Catoes meat surmountes Antonius chere,
And better fame his sober fare hath here.
Too slender building bad, as bad too grosse ! ;
One an eye sore, the other falls to losse.
As medcines help in measure, so, god wot,
By overmuch the sick their bane have got.
Unmete, meesemes, to utter this mo wayes;

Measure forbids unmeasurable prayse." The maxim is enforced with great quickness and variety of illustration: nor is the collision of opposite thoughts, which the subject so naturally affords, extravagantly pursued, or indulged beyond the bounds of good sense and propriety. The following stanzas on the Nine Muses are more poetical, and not less correct."

Imps of king Jove and quene REMEMBRANCE, lo,
The sisters nyne, the poets pleasant feres,
Calliope doth stately stile bestow,
And worthy praises paintes of princely peres.

Clio in solem songes reneweth all day,
With present yeres conjoyning age bypast.
Delighteful talke loves comicall Thaley;
In fresh grene youth who doth like laurell last.

With voyces tragicall sowndes Melpomen,
And, as with cheins, thallured eare she bindes.
Her stringes when Terpsichor doth touche, even then
She toucheth hartes, and raigneth in mens mindes.

Fine Erato, whose looke a lively chere
Presents, in dancing keepes a comely grace.
With semely gesture doth Polymnie stere,
Whose wordes whole routes of rankes do rule in place.'

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