תמונות בעמוד
PDF

S E C T. XXXII.

NOW return to the MIRRou R of MAG is TRATEs, and 1 to Sackville's Legend of Buckingham, which follows his INDUCTION. The Complaynt of HENRYE Duke of BuckINGHAM, is written with a force and even elegance of expression, a copiousness of phraseology, and an exactness of versification, not to be found in any other parts of the colle&tion. On the whole, it may be thought tedious and languid. But that obječtion unavoidably results from the general plan of these pieces. It is impossible that soliloquies of such prolixity, and designed to include much his torical and even biographical matter, should every where sustain a proper degree of spirit, pathos, and interest. In the exordium are these nervous and correót couplets.

[ocr errors][merged small]

And paynt it forth, that all estates may knowe :
Have they the warning, and be mine the woe.

Buckingham is made to enter thus rapidly, yet with much address, into his fatal share of the civil broils between York and Lancaster.

But what may boot to stay the sisters three,

When Atropos perforce will cut the thred

The dolefull day was come, when you might see ** Northampton field with armed men orespred. , !

In these lines there is great energy.

O would to God the cruell dismall day
That gave me light fyrst to behold thy face,
With foule eclipse had reft my fight away,
The unhappie hower, the time, and eke the day, &c.

And the following are an example of the simple and sublime united.

And thou, Alećto, feede me with thy foode 1
Let fall thy serpents from thy snaky heare
For such reliefe well fits me in my moode,
To feed my plaint with horroure and with feare!
With rage afresh thy venomd worme areare.

Many comparisons are introduced by the distressed speaker. But it is common for the best poets to forget that they are describing what is only related or spoken. The captive Proteus has his fimile of the nightingale; and Eneas decorates his narrative of the disastrous conflagration of Troy with a variety of the most laboured comparisons.

Buckingham in his reproaches against the traiterous behaviour of his antient friend Banastre, utters this forcible exclamation, which breathes the genuine spirit of revenge, and is unloaded with poetical superfluities.

[ocr errors]

The ingenious writers of these times are perpetually deserting propriety for the sake of learned allusions. Buckingham exhorts

the peers and princes to remember the fate of some of the most K k 2 renowned renowned heroes of antiquity, whose lives and misfortunes he relates at large, and often in the most glowing colours of poetry. Alexander's murther of Clitus is thus described in stanzas, pronounced by the poet and not by Buckingham. good specimen of his classical accomplishments. He calls Peckham his principal friend, and the most eminent patron of letters. A recommendatory copy of verses by Churchyard the poet is prefixed, with four Latin epigrams by others. Another of his works in the same profession is the NoMenclator of Adrian Junius, translated into English, in conjunction with Abraham Flemming, and printed at London, for Newberie and Durham, in 1585 *. It is dedicated in Latin to his most bountiful patron Dočtor Valentine, master of Requests, and dean of Wells, from Winsham", 1584. From this dedication, Higgins seems to have been connected with the school of Ilminster, a neighbouring town in Somersetshire *. He appears to have been living so late as the year 1602. For in that year he published an Answer to William Perkins, a forgotten controversialist, concerning Christ's descent into hell, dedicated from Winsham. To the MIRRour of MAGIs TRATEs Higgins wrote a new INDUCTION in the očtave stanza ; and without assistance of friends, began a new series from Albanaćt the youngest son of Brutus, and the first king of Albanie or Scotland, continued to the emperor Caracalla'. In this edition by Higgins, among the pieces after the conquest, first appeared the Life of CARDINAL Wolsey, by Churchyard *; of SIR N1chol As BURDET, by Baldwine"; and of ELEAN or Cobh AM ", and of HUMF REY Duke of Gloucester ", by Ferrers. Also the Legend of KING JAMES THE Fou RTH of Scot LAND ",

And deeply grave within your stonie harts
The dreerie dole, that mightie Macedo
With teares unfolded, wrapt in deadlie smarts,
When he the death of Clitus sorrowed so,
Whom erst he murdred with the deadlie blow ;
Raught in his rage upon his friend so deare,

For which, behold loe how his panges appeare 1

The launced speare he writhes out of the wound,
From which the purple blood spins in his face :
His heinous guilt when he returned found,
He throwes himself uppon the corps, alas !
And in his armes howe oft doth he imbrace
His murdred friend And kissing him in vaine,
Forth flowe the floudes of salt repontant raine.

His friendes amazde at such a murther done,

In fearfull flockes begin to shrinke away;
And he thereat, with heapes of grief fordone,

Hateth himselfe, wishing his latter day.

He calls for death, and loathing longer life,
Bent to his bane refuseth kindlie foode,
And plungde in depth of death and dolours strife
Had queld" himselfe, had not his friendes withstoode.
Loe he that thus has shed the guiltlesse bloode,
Though he were king and keper over all, :
Yet chose he death, to guerdon death withall.

* Killed. Manqueller is murderer.

This prince, whose peere was never under sunne,
Whose glistening fame the earth did overglide,
Which with his power the worlde welnigh had wonne,
His bloudy handes himselfe could not abide,
But folly bent with famine to have dide;
The worthie prince deemed in his regard
That death for death could be but just reward.

Our MIRRour, having had three new editions in 1563", 1571, and 1574, was reprinted in quarto in the year 1587“, with the addition of many new lives, under the condućt of John Higgins.

Higgins lived at Winsham in Somersetshire". He was educated at Oxford, was a clergyman, and engaged in the instruction of youth. As a preceptor of boys, on the plan of a former colle&tion by Nicholas Udal, a celebrated master of Eton school, he compiled the Floscu LI of TERENCE, a manual famous in its time, and applauded in a Latin epigram by the elegant Latin encomiast Thomas Newton of Cheshire'. In the pedagogic chara&ter he also published “Holcot's Diction AR1e, newlie “ correóted, amended, set in order, and enlarged, with many “ names of men, townes, beastes, fowles, etc. By which you “ may finde the Latine or Frenche of anie Englishe worde you “ will. By John Higgins, late student in Oxeforde *.” In an engraved title-page are a few English verses. It is in folio, and printed for Thomas Marshe at London, 1572. The dedication to fir George Peckham knight, is written by Higgins, and is a

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

* Oétavo. ' The Dedication of his Mir Rour to MAG1st Rates is from the same place. * He says, that he translated it in London. “Quo facto, novus interpres Waldenus, “Ilmestriae gymnasiarcha, moriens, prius. “quam manum operi summam admovisset, “me amicum veterem suum omnibus libris “suis et hoc imprimis Nomenclatore [his “ translation] donavit.” But Higgins found his own version better, which he therefore published, yet with a part of his friend's. * At fol. 108. a. The two last lives in the latter, or what may be called Bald

win's part of this edition, are JANE Shorr and CARD INAL Wols EY by Churchyard. Colophon, “Imprinted at London by “Henry Marshe, being the assigne of “Thomas Marshe neare to raint Dun“stanes churche in Fleet-streete, 1587.” It has 272 leaves. The last signature is M m 4.

* Fol. 265. b.

* Fol. 244. a.

* Fol. 14o. b.

* Fol. 146. a.

* Fol. 253. b.

« הקודםהמשך »