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that I durst never show any ladie but you two. And so wishing you to lock me up as safe in your love, as I know you will lay up this booke safe in your chest, I commend me to you,
And in love, Dec. 19, 1600.
From this collection we transcribe the following; which will shew the writer's talents at easy and humourous rhyme to great advantage. Some readers, perhaps, may think that the wight, calling himself Peter Pindar, has been more indebted to Harrington for his manner, than to the obscure bard of antient Greece.
TO HIS WIFE.-OF WOMEN'S VERTUIS.
A well learn'd man, in rules of life no stoyk,
Yet one that careless epicures derided,
Of women's virtues talking, them devided
He first egan discoursing of the private,
Which each playn country huswife may arrive at,
To beat, strip, spin the wooll, the hemp, the flax,
Breed poultry, gather honey, try the wax,
Was civill virtue fitter for the city
With modest lookes, good clothes, and answers witty, Those baser th.ogs not done, but guided by her.
Her idle tymes and idle coyne she spends
On needle works; and when the season serves
In making dainty junketts and conserveb,
The stately heroyns, whose noble minde
The tongues, toys, tricks of Rome, of Spayn, of Fraunce, These can correntos and lavoltas daunce;
And though they foote it false, 'tis ne'er discearned. The vertues of theise dames are so transcendant,
Themselves are learn'd, and their heroyk spirit
Can make disgrace an honour, sin a merit,
Yet would I wish, take not the wish in evill,
You knew the private virtue, kept the civill, But in no sort aspire to that heroycall.
TO HIS WIFE'S MOTHER.
When with your daughter, Madam, you be chatt'ring,
I find that oft against me you incense her,
My love is all but lust ; this is your censure. 'Tis not my flattering her moves you hereto, It is because I will not flatter you.
This witty and thoughtless man died at Kelston, near Bath, in 1612, aged 51.
The ingenious Dr. Harrington, physician, at Bath, is a descendant of sir John Harrington, and inherits the fullness of his wit, without any of his extravagance.
Many admirable specimens of his classical taste, and lively humour, have been circulated among his friends, and it is a pity that the whole of them are not collected into one or two volumes, while the venerable author is living to give them in a correct state to the public.
“ Yet shelter'd there by calm Contentment's wing,
Pleas'd he could smile, and with sage Hooker's eye See from his mother earth God's blessings spring,
And eat his bread in peace and privacy.”
The name of Hooker has outlived that of the polemics with which he was engaged; and while the immediate subjects which exercised his pen are forgotten, his books of ecclesiastical polity shall continue to be read with admiration, not only for the clearness of their reasoning, and the vigour of their style, but as exhibiting the correctest views of social relation, and the foundations of human laws and government. In them the reader will find the true balance and connexion of individual rights, and social obligation ; what may be claimed, and what may be conceded for the general good.
The mind and character of Hooker greatly resembled that of his immortal work. The one in fact was but a counterpart of the other. In his book we perceive a chaste simplicity, united to the most vigorous strength of reasoning: and though immense stores of reading and acute research,
and observation are poured into it, the whole is so judiciously and naturally blended, as not to have the slightest appearance of pedantry or ostentation.
Such also was Hooker; a man capable of the greatest things, yet in his deportment the simplest and most humble man alive. His birth was lowly, but though his parents had a large family they laudably exerted themselves in giving him a good education, and it is related of him, that when he was a school-boy, he was inquisitive to enquire into the grounds and reasons of things, asking
Why this was, and that was not to be remembered ?" "Why this was granted, and that denied?' Yet this sagacious spirit was mixed, says one of his biographers, with so remarkable a sweetness and serenity of temper, as endeared him to his preceptor, and made him predict that he would become a great man.
Hooker's uncle was chamberlain of Exeter, and being very intimate with bishop Jewell, of Salisbury, he entreated him to become his nephew's patron, which the good prelate consented to, and sent him accordingly to Corpus Christi college, Oxford, where he obtained the place of bible clerk, and followed his studies with unremitted attention.
Hooker's biographer relates a curious anecdote of him and his patron, which, as a picture of the manners of those times, as well as of the characters of the two parties, will be found amusing ; and it may be proper to observe here by the way,