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all your sins unrepented of -- for how can repentance possibly consist with such a resolution — before the tribunal-seat of God, to expect your final sentence; utterly depriving yourself of all the blessed means which God has contrived for thy salvation, and putting thyself in such an estate that it shall not be in God's power almost to do thee any good. Pardon, I beseech you, my earnestness, almost intemperateness, seeing that it hath proceeded from so just, so warrantable a ground; and since it is in your power to give rules of honor and reputation to the whole kingdom, do not you teach others to be ashamed of this inseparable badge of your religion - charity and forgiving of offences. Give men leave to be Christians without danger or dishonor; or, if religion will not work with you, yet let the laws of that state wherein you live, the earnest desires and care of your righteous prince, prevail with you.
WILLIAM HABINGTON. 16 05--1654. In the life of this author, there are few incidents. His mother is said to have been the writer of the letter which averted the execution of the Gunpowder Plot.
“ The life of the poet seems to have glided quietly away, cheered by the society and affection of his Castara. He had no stormy passions to agitate him, and no unruly imagination to control or subdue. His poetry is of the same unruffled description placid, tender, and often elegant — but studded with conceits, to show his wit and fancy."
EPISTLE TO A FRIEND.
Soon as they happen, and by rote can tell
conquest makes us great. Blood is too dear
that no dull solitude
Of th' country dead our thoughts, nor busy care
EDMUND WALLER. 1605-1687. The mother of Waller was a sister of John Hampden. The poet, in his infancy, was left heir to an estate of £3,000 per amum. At the age of eighteen, he entered Parliament, and wrote his first poem. He married a rich heiress, who died the same year, and he immediately made suit to Lady Dorothea, daughter of the Earl of Leicester, his Sacharissa, to whom he dedicated the greater part of his poetry. She, however, bestowed her hand on another. When far advanced in years, she one day asked him when he would again write such verses upon her. “When you are as young, madam, and as handsome, as you then were,' replied he. The rank of one of the first refiners of poetical diction is claimed for him, and he has been styled the
“ Maker and inodel of melodious verse,” though not with strict justice, it is now thought.
TO HIS SACHARISSA.
* Sir Philip Sidney.
One so destructive. To no human stock
of what augments my woes, But with my own breath still foment the fire, Which flames as high as fancy can aspire !
This last complaint the indulgent ears did pierce Of just Apollo, president of verse; Highly concerned that the muse should bring Damage to one whom he had taught to sing, Thus he advised me: “ On yon aged tree Hang up thy lute, and hie thee to the sea, That there, with wonders, thy diverted mind Some truce, at least, may with this passion find.” Ah, cruel nymph! from whom her humble swain Flies for relief unto the raging main, And from the winds and tempests does expect A milder fate than from her cold neglect ! Yet there he 'll pray that the unkind may prove Blest in her choice; and vows this endless love Springs from no hope of what she may confer, But from those gifts which heaven has heaped on her.
OLD AGE AND DEATH. The seas are quiet when the winds give o'er ; So calm are we when passions are no more : For then we know how vain it was to boast Of fleeting things, too certain to be lost.
* Tunbridge Wells.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
MILTON. 1608-1674. Milton was educated with great care, and was designed for the church ; but did not enter the ministry, because unwilling to submit to the religious restrictions of the times. For five years after leaving the university, he remained at the house of his father, studying classical literature; and during this time he wrote Comus and Lycidas, and also, it is supposed by many, L' Allegro and Il Penseroso. He then travelled, for more than a year, in France and Italy, where the study of the works of art are supposed to have suggested the grace and beauty of some of his poetical creations in Paradise Lost. His first wife, the daughter of a high Cavalier, left him, in one month after marriage, on account of his studious habits, and the seclusion in which he lived. But, on her returning, repentant, he received her with generosity. He married twice, afterwards. He lost the last remains of eyesight in writing his Defensio Populi, and the immortal Paradise Lost was begun after he was entirely, blind. But poverty never entered his dwelling, which was lighted by visions of Paradise, and his mind was bright and calm to the last. He left three daughters of his first marriage; all of whom lived apart from him some years before his death, and of whom he complained that they were undutiful and unkind. Milton was at one time Latin secretary to the Council of State, with a salary of £300 per
Of his prose writings it has been said, “They abound with passages compared with which the finest declamations of Burke sink into insignificance. He wrote against the established church, and was stern and inflexible in principle, in regard to both church and state.
SONNET ON HIS OWN BLINDNESS.
WHEN I consider how my life is spent,