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ence to his senior brother. Giles was bred at Cam. bridge, and died at his living of Alderston, in Suffolk, in 1623. Phineas was educated at the same university, and wrote an account of its founders and learned men. He was also a clergyman, and held the living of Hilgay, in Norfolk, for twenty-nine years. They were both the disciples of Spenser, and, with bis diction gently modernized, retained much of his melody and luxuriant expression. Giles, inferior as he is to Spenser and Milton, might be figured, in his happiest moments, as a link of connexion in our poetry between those congenial spirits, for he reminds us of both, and evidently gave hints to the latter in a poem on the same subject with Paradise Regained.
Giles's “ Temptation and Victory of Christ” has a tone of enthusiasm peculiarly solemn. Phineas, with a livelier fancy, had a worse taste. He lavished on a bad subject the graces and ingenuity that would have made a fine poem on a good design. Through five cantos of his “Purple Island,” he tries to sweeten the language of anatomy by the flowers of poetry, and to support the wings of allegory by bodily instead of spiritual phenomena. Unfortunately in the remaining cantos he only quits the dissecting table to launch into the subtlety of the schools, and describes Intellect, the Prince of the Isle of Man, with his eight counsellors, Fancy, Memory, the Common Sense, and the five external Senses, as holding out in the Human Fortress against the Evil Powers that besiege it. Here he strongly resembles the old Scottish poet Gavin Douglas, in his poem of King Heart. But he outstrips all allegorists in conceit, when he exhibits Voletta, or the Will, the wife of Intellect, propt in her fainting fits by Repentance, who administers restorative waters to the Queen, made with lip's confession and with “ pickled sighs,” stilled in the alembic of a broken spirit. At the approach of the combat between the good and evil powers, the interest of the narration is somewhat quickened, and the parting of the sovereign and the queen, with their champions, is not unfeelingly pourtrayed.
Long at the gate the thoughtful Intellect
As when a youth, bound for the Belgic war,
But the conclusion of the Purple Island sinks inte such absurdity and adulation, that we could gladiy
wish the poet back again to allegorizing the bladder and kidneys. In a contest about the eternal salvation of the human soul, the event is decided by King James the First (at that time a sinner upon earth) descending from heaven with his treatise on the Revelations under his arm, in the form of an angel, and preceding the Omnipotent, who puts the forces of the dragon to the rout.
These incongruous conceptions are clothed in harmony, and interspersed with beautiful thoughts: but natural sentiments and agreeable imagery will not incorporate with the shapeless features of such a design, they stand apart from it like things of a different element, and, when they occur, only expose its deformity. On the contrary, in the brother's poem of Christ's Triumph, its main effect, though somewhat sombrous, is not marred by such repul. sive contrasts; its beauties, therefore, all tell in relieving tedium, and reconciling us to defects.
MERCY DWELLING IN HEAVEN AND PLEADING FOR
THE GUILTY, WITH JUSTICE DESCRIBED BY HER QUALITIES.
FROM GILES FLETCHER'S CHRIST'S VICTORY IN HEAVEN.
But Justice had no sooner Mercy seen
Meeting with fresh Eöus, that but now
She was a virgin of austere regard :
No riot of affection revel kept
The winged lightning is her Mercury,
But if her cloudy brow but once grow foul,
Famine, and bloodless Care, and bloody War ;
JUSTICE ADDRESSING THE CREATOR.
Upon two stony tables, spread before her,
painted: Was never heart of mortal so untainted, But, when that scroll was read, with thousand terrors
Witness the thunder that Mount Sinai heard,