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his face. Much was the hurry and confusion ; | images, which compelled a man to re cloths and napkins were at hand, to make all lieve himself by words, to act exterclean. His Majesty then got up and would dance with the Queen of Sheba ; but he fell nally, to represent freely and boldly down and humbled himself before her, and was the interior drama which made his carried to an inner chamber and laid on a bed whole body and heart tremble. They of state ; which was not a little defiled with the
are rather wits of the court, cavaliers presents of the Queen which had been bestowed on his garments; such as wine, cream, jelly, of fashion, who wish to show off their beverage, cakes, spices, and other good matters. imagination and style. In their hands The entertainment and show went forward, and love becomes gallantry; they write most of the presenters went backward, or feli down; wine did so occupy their upper cham- songs, fugitive pieces, compliments to bers. Now did appear, in rich dress, Hope, the ladies. There are no more up Faith, and Charity: Hope did assay to speak wellings from the heart. They write but wine rendered her endeavours so feeble eloquent phrases in order to be ap tiat she withdrew, and hoped the king would excuse her brevity: Faith .. left the court plauded, and flattering exaggeratione in a staggering condition. ... They were both in order to please. The divine faces, sick and spewing in the lower hall. Next came the serious or profound looks, the vir. Victory, who
by a strange medley of ver- gin or impassioned expressions which sification ... and after much lamentable utterance was led away like a silly captive, and burst forth at every step in the early laid to sleep in the outer steps of the anti-cham- poets, have disappeared; here we see ber. As for Peace, she most rudely made war nothing but agreeable countenances, with her olive branch, and laid on the pates of painted in agreeable verses.
Black those who did oppose her coming. I ne'er did see such lack of good order, discretion, and so guardism is not far off ; we meet with briety in our Queen's days." *
it already in Suckling, and crudity to
boot, and Observe that these tipsy women were sentiment is expressed before long, in
osaic epicurism; thei: great ladies. The reason is, that the such a phrase as : "Let us amuse oui grand ideas which introduce an epoch, selves, and a fig for the rest." The end in their exhaustion, by preserving nothing but their vices; the proud little graceful things, a kiss, a May:
only objects they can still paint, are sentiment of natural life becomes a day festivity, a dewy primi ose, a daf. vulgar appeal to the senses. An en fodil, a marriage morning, a bee.* trance, an arch of triumph under James I., often represented obscenities; and * “Some asked me where the Rabies grew, later, when the sensual instincts, exas- And nothing I did say ; perated by Puritan tyranny, begin to
But with my finger pointed to
The lips of Julia. raise their heads once more, we shall Some ask'd how Pearls did grow, and find under the Restoration excess revel
where ; ling in its low vices, and triumphing in
Then spa.. !n my girle. its shamelessness.
The quarelets of Pearl.
But forthwith bade my Julia show
A bud in either cheek.' singularity, refinements, exaggerations,
HERRICK's Hesperides, ed. Wajford had made it great, slackened and di
1859; The Rock of Kudies, i). 38. minished. With Carew, Suckling,
" About the sweet bag of a bee, and Herrick, prettiness takes the place Two Cupids fell at odds; of the beautiful. That which strikes And whose the pretty prize shu'd a them is no longer the general features
vow'd to ask the Gods.
Which Venus hearing, thither came, of things, and they no longer try to And for their boldness stript them ; express the inner character of what
And taking thence from each his flame they describe. They no longer pos
With rods of mirtle whipt them. sess that liberal conception, that in
Which done, to still their wanton cries
When quiet grown sh'ad seen them, stinctive penetration, by which we She kist and wip'd their --veike eyes, sympathize with objects, and grow And gave the bag between them.' capable of creating them anew. They
HBRRICK, Ibid. ; The Bag of the
Bee, p. 41. no longe boast of that overflow of emotions, that excess of ideas and Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prythee, why so pale ? * Nye Antiqua, i. 349 et passim.
Will, when looking well can't move ber
Herrick and Suckling especially pro- Then come the second class, th: im. duce little exquisite poems, delicate, ita:ors. who sedulously repeat his ever pleasant or agreeable, like those form, ard alter it by exaggeration attributed to Anacreon, or those which Some nevertheless have talent, as bound in the Anthology: In fact, Quarles, Herbert, Habington, Donne lere, as at the Grecian period alluded in particular, a pungent satirist, of D, we are in the decline of paganism; terrible crudeness, * a powerful poet, able begins. People do not relinquish who still preserves something of the the worship of beauty and pleasure energy and thrill of the original inspi: bu dally with them. They deck anc ration.t But he deliberately spoils all fit :hem to their taste; they cease to these gifts, and succeeds with great su due and bend men, who enjoy them difficulty in concocting a piece of non. whilst they amuse them. It is the last sense. For instance, the impassioned bean of a setting sun; the genuine poets had said to their mistress, that poetic sentiment dies out with Sedley, 1 if they lost her, they should hate all Waller, and the rhymesters of the other women. Donne, in order to Restoration; they write prose in verse; eclipse them, says: :heir heart is on a level with their
O do not die, for I shall hate style, and with an exact language we All women so, when thou art gone, find the commencement of a new age That thee I shall not celebrate and a new art.
When I remember thou wast one." I Side by side with prettiness comes Twenty times while reading him we affectation ; it is the second mark of rub our brow, and ask with astonishthe decadence. Instead of writing to ment, how a man could have so torexpress things, they write to say them mented and contorted himself, strained well; they outbid their neighbors, and his style, refined on his refinement, hit strain every mode of speech; they upon such absurd comparisons? But push art over on the side to which it this was the spirit of the age; they had a leaning; and as in this age it had a leaning towards vehemence and
See, in particular, his satire against cour:
tiers. The following is against imitators. imagination, they pile up their empha. " But he is worst, who (beggarly) doth chaw sis and coloring. A jargon always Others wit's fruits, and in his ravenous maw springs out of a style. In all arts, the Rankly digested, doth those things out-spew,
As his owne things; and they ’re his owne, first masters, the inventors, discover the idea, steep themselves in it, and Fo if one eate my meate, though it be leave it to effect its outward form. knowne
The meat was mine, th' excrement is his Looking ill prevail?, Pr’ythee, why so pale?
Donne's Satires, 1639. Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Satire ii. p. 128. Pr'ythee, why so mute?
† “ When I behold a stream, which from the Will, when speaking well can't win her,
spring Saying nothing do't?
Doth with doubtful melodious murmuring, Prythee, why so mute?
Or in a speechless slumber calmly ride Quit, quit for shame: this will not move,
Her wedded channel's bosom and there This cannot take her ;
chide If of herself she will not love,
And bend her brows, and swell, if a.; cough Nothing can make her.
Does but stoop down to kiss her atmost Thr. devil take her!"
The traiterous banks to gape and let tier in, 18 whes a lady, walking Flora's bower,
She rusheth violently ard doth divorce Dicks here a pink, and there a gilly-flower,
Her from her native and her long kepe Now plucks a violet from her purple bed,
course, And then a primrose, the year's maidenhead,
And roares, and braves it, and in gallant There nips the brier, here the lover's pansy, Shifting her dainty pleasures with her fancy,
't is true,
In flatt'ring eddies promising return, This on her arms, and that she lists to wear
She flouts her channel, which thence forth is Upon the borders of her curious hair;
dry, At length a rose-bud (passing all the rest)
Then say I: That is she, and this am I.'
DONNE, Elg vi She plucks, and bosoms in her lily breast. QUARLAS. Stansas. # Poems, 7639: A Franer, p. 15
nade an effort to be ingeniously absurd. amorous pieces is but a vehiile for a A fea had bitten Donne and his mis- scientific test, and serves to show that tress, ind he says:
he has read the authors, that he knows • This flea is you and I, and this
geography, that he is well versed in Our mariage bed and mariage temple is.
anatomy, that he has a smattering of Though Parents grudge, and you, ware medicine and astronomy, that he has met,
at his service comparisons and allu And cloyst:r'd in these living walls of Jet. l'hough - make you apt to kill me,
sions enough to rack the brains of his Let not to that selfe-murder added be,
readers. He will speak in this wise : And sacrilege, three sins in killing three." *
“ Beauty, thou active-passive Ill! The Marquis de Mascarille † never
Which dy'st thyself as fast as thou dos cuu any thing to equal this. Would
kills you have believed a writer could in- or will remark that his mistress is to vent such absurdities? She and he blame for spending three hours every made but one, for both are but one with morning at her toilet, because the Sea, and so one could not be killed
“ They make that Beauty Tyranny, without the other. Observe that the
That's else a Civil-government.' wise Malherbe wrote very similar enormities, in the Tears of St. Peter, and After reading two hundred pages, you that the sonneteers of Italy and Spain have to think, by way of consolation
feel disposed to box his ears. You reach simultaneously the same height that every grand age must draw to a of folly, and you will
agree throughout Europe at that time they close, that this one could not do so were at the close of a poetical epoch.
otherwise, that the old glow of enthuOn this boundary line of a closing siasm, the sudden flood of rapture and a dawning literature a poet ap. images, whimsical and audacious fan. peared, one of the most approved and cies, which once rolled through the illustrious of his time, Abraham Cow- minds of men, arrested now and cooled ley, † a precocious child, a reader and down, could only exhibit dross, a a versifier like Pope, and who, like curdling scum, a multitude of brilliant Pope, having known passions less than and offensive points.
You say to books, busied himself less about things yourself that, after all
, Cowley had than about words. Literary exhaus- perhaps talent ; you find that he had tion has seldom been more manifest. in fact one, a new talent, unknown to He possesses all the capacity to say culture, which needs other manners,
the old masters, the sign of a new whatever pleases him, but he has pre- and announces a new society. Cowley cisely nothing to say. The substance has vanished, leaving in its place an
had these manners, and belongs to en pty form. In vain he tries the epic, this society. He was a well-governed, the Pindaric strophe, all kinds of stan
reasonable, well-informed, polished zas, odes, short lines, long lines; in well-educated man, who after twelve vain he calls to his assistance botanical years of service and writing in France, and philosophical similes, all the erudi- under Queen Henrietta, retires at last tion of the university, all the recollec- wisely into the country, where he tions of antiquity, all the ideas of new
studies natural history, and prepares science: we yawn as we read him. a treatise on religion, philosophizing Except in a few descriptive verses, two
on men and life, fertile in general re. or three graceful tendernesses, $ he rections and ideas, a moralist, bidding eels nothing, he speaks only; he is a
his executor “to let nothing stand in poet of the brain. His collection of his writings which might seem the least
in the world to be an offence against * Ibid. The Flea, p: I; + A valet in Molière's Les Précieuses Riti
religion or good manners.” Such in. wles, who apes and exaggerates his master's tentions and such a life produce and manners and style, and pretends to be a mar
indicate less a poet, that is, a seer, a quess. He also appears in L'Etourdi and Le creator, than a literary man, I mean a Hpit Amoureux, by the same author.-TR. 41608-1667. I refer to the eleventh edition who therefore ought to have read much,
man who can think and speak, and The Spring (Tk Mistress, i. pab.
learned much, written much, ought to
possess a calm and clear mind, to be uality, with such divinatio:a of its laws accustomed to polite society, sustain- instincts, and forms, that we might ex ed conversatio.., pleasantry. In fact, tract from their theatre and their pic Cowley is an author by profession, the tures a complete theory of soul and oldest of those, who in England deserve body. When enthusiasm is past, curi the name. His prose is as easy and osity begins. The sentiment of beauty sensible as his poetry is contorted and gives way to the need of truth. The imreasonable. A polished man, wri. theory contained in works of imagina ting for polished men, pretty much as tion frees itself. The gaze continues he would speak to them in a drawing- fixed on nature, not to admire now room,-this I take to be the idea which but to understand. From painting we they had of a good author in the seven- pass to anatomy, from the drama in eenth century. It is the idea which moral philosophy, from grand poetical Cowley's Essays leave of his character; divinations to great scientific views , it is the kind of talent which the wri- the second continue the first, and the ters of the coming age take for their same mind displays itself in both; for model ; and he is the first of that grave what art had represented, and science and amiable group which, continued in proceeds to observe, are living things, Temple, reaches so far as to include with their complex and complete strucAddison.
ture, set in motion by their internal
forces, with no supernatural intervenII
tion. Artists and savants, all set out,
without knowing it themselves, from Having reached this point, the Re- the same master conception, to wit, naissance seemed to have attained its that nature subsists of herself, that limit, and, like a drooping and faded every existence has in its own womb Aower, to be ready to leave its place the source of its action, that the causes for a new bud which began to spring of events are the innate laws of things; up amongst its withered leaves. At an all-powerful idea, from which was all events, a living and unexpected to issue the modern civilization, and shoot sprang from the old declining which, at the time I write of, produced stock. At the moment when art lan- in England and Italy, as before in guished, science shot forth; the whole Greece, genuine sciences, side by side labor of the age ended in this. The with a complete art: after da Vinci fruits are not unlike; on the contrary, and Michel Angelo, the school of anatthey come from the same sap, and by omists, mathematicians, naturalists, endthe diversity of the shape only mani- ing with Galileo; after Spenser, Ben fest two distinct periods of the inner Jonson, and Shakspeare, the school growth which has produced them. of thinkers who surround Bacon and Every art ends in a science, and all lead up to Harvey. poetry, in a philosophy. For science We have not far to look for this and philosophy do but translate into school. In the interregnum of Chris. precise formulas the original concep- tianity the dominating bent of mind tions which art and poetry render sen belongs to it. It was paganism which sible by imaginary figures: when once reigned in Elizabeth's court, not only the idea of an epoch is manifested in in letters, but in doctrine,-a paganisn verse by ideal creations, it naturally of the north, always serious, generally comes to be expressed in prose by posi- sombre, but which was based, like that tive arguments. That which had of the south, on natural forces. In struck men on escaping from ecclesias- some men all Christianity had passed tical oppression and monkish asceticism away; many proceeded to atheism was the pagan idea of a life true to na- through excess of rebellion and de. ture, and freely developed. They had bauchery, like Marlowe and Greene. found nature buried behind scholasti- With others, like Shakspeare, the idea cism, and they had expressed it in of God scarcely makes its appearance; porns and paintings; in Italy by su- they see in our poor short human life pe b healthy corporeality, in England only a drean, and beyond it the long by rehement and unconventional spirit- sad sleep: for them, death is the goa
of life ; at nost a dark gulf, into which came to furnish subject-matter, and man plunges, uncertain of the issue. prose began its reign. Sidney Wilson, If they carry their gaze beyond, they Ascham, and Puttenham explored the perceive, * not the spiritual soul wel the rules of style ; Hackluyt and Purcored into a purer world, but the chas compiled the cyclopædia of travel corpse abandoned to the damp earth, and the description of every land; or the ghost hovering about the church- Holinshed, Speed, Raleigh, Stowe, yard. They speak like skeptics or su- Knolles, Daniel, Thomas May, Lord perstitious men, never as true believers. Herbert, founded history; Camden, Their heroes have human, not religious Spelman, Cotton, Usher, and Selden yirt'ies; against crime they rely on inaugurate scholarship; a legional 10.1or and the love of the beautiful, patient workers, of obscure collect iot on piety and the fear of God. If ors, of literary pioneers, amassed, ar. sthors, at intervals, like Sidney and ranged, and sifted the documents which Spenser, catch a glimpse of the Divine, Sir Robert Cotton and Sir Thomas i is as a vague ideal light, a sublime Bodley stored up in their libraries ; Platonic phantom, which has no resem. whilst utopians, moralists, painters of blance to a personal God, a strict manners-Thomas More, Joseph Hall, inquisitor of the slightest motions of John Earle, Owen Feltham, Burtonthe heart. He appears at the summit, described and passed judgment on the of things, like the splendid cınwn of modes of life, continued with Fuller, the world, but He does not weigh upon Sir Thomas Browne, and Isaac Walhuman life; He leaves it intact and ton up to the middle of the next cenfree, only turning it towards the beau- tury, and add to the number of controtiful. Man does not know as yet the versialists and politicians who, with sort of narrow prison in which official Hooker, Taylor, Chillingworth, Algercant and respectable creeds were, later non Sidney, Harrington, study religion, on, to confine activity and intelligence. society, church and state. Á copious Even the believers, sincere Christians and confused fermentation, from which like Bacon and Sir Thomas Browne, abundance of thoughts rose, but few discard all oppressive sternness, reduce notable books. Noble prose, such as Christianity to a sort of moral poetry, was heard at the court of Louis XIV., and allow naturalism to subsist be in the house of Pollio, in the schools at neath religion. In such a broad and Athens, such as rhetorical and sociable open channel, speculation could spread nations know how to produce, was its wings. With Lord Herbert ap- altogether lacking. These men had peared a systematic deism ; with Milton not the spirit of analysis, the art of and Algernon Sidney, a philosophical following, step by step the natural religion ; Clarendon went so far as to order of ideas, nor the spirit of concompare Lord Falkland's gardens to versation, the talent never to weary or the groves of Academe. Against the shock others. Their imagination is rigorism of the Puritans, Chillingworth, too little regulated, and their manners Hales, Hooker, the greatest doctors of too little polished. They who had the English Church, give a large place mixed most in the world, even Sidney to natural reason,-so large, that never speak roughly what they think, and as ven to this day, jas it made such an | they think it. Instead of glossing they advance.
exaggerate. They blurt out aii, and An astonishing irruption of facts—withhold nothing. When they do not e discovery of America, the revival employ excessive compliments, they of antiquity, the restoration of philol- take to coarse jokes. They are ignorant ogy, the invention of the arts, the of measured liveliness, refined raillery, development of industries, the march delicate flattery. They rejoice in gross uf human curiosity over the whole of puns, dirty allusions. They mistake inthe past and the whole of the globe- volved charades and grotesque images
for wit. Though they are great lords * See in Shakspeare, The Tempest, Measure and ladies, they talk like ill-bred per. for Measure, Hamlet: in Beaumont and Fletcher, Thierry and Theodoret, Act iv.; sons, lovers of buffoonery, of shows, and Webster, passim.
bear.fights. With some, as Overbury