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She shew'd till now! When, having won his way,
Cel. Take your desire, sir,
man! I love thee with my soul, but dare not say
it! Once more, farewell, and prosper
SIR JOHN DAVIES.
BORN 1570.-DIED 1626,
Sir John Davies wrote, at twenty-five years of age, a poem on the immortality of the soul; and at fifty-two, when he was a judge and a statesman, another on the art of dancing." Well might the teacher of that noble accomplishment, in Moliere's comedy, exclaim, La philosophie est quelque chose mais la danse!
Sir John was the son of a practising lawyer at "Tisbury, in Wiltshire. He was expelled from the Temple for beating Richard Martyn', who was afterwards recorder of London ; but his talents redeemed the disgrace. He was restored to the Temple, and elected to parliament, where, although he had flattered Queen Elizabeth in his poetry, he distinguished himself by supporting the privileges of the house, and by opposing royal monopolies. On the accession of King James he went to Scotland with Lord Hunsdon, and was received by the new sovereign with flattering cordiality, as author of the poem Nosce teipsum. In Ireland he was successively nominated
1 A respectable man, to whom Ben Jonson dedicated his Poetaster,
solicitor and attorney-general, was knighted, and chosen speaker of the Irish House of Commons, in opposition to the Catholic interest. Two works which he published as the fruits of his observation in that kingdom, have attached considerable importance to his name in the legal and political history of Ireland'. On his return to England he sat in parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyne, and had assurances of being appointed chief justice of England, when his death was suddenly occasioned by apoplexy. He married, while in Ireland, Eleanor, a daughter of Lord Audley, by whom he had a daughter, who was married to Ferdinand Lord Hastings, afterwards Earl of Huntingdon. Sir John's widow turned out an enthusiast and a prophetess. A volume of her ravings was published in 1649, for which the revolutionary government sent her to the Tower, and to Bethlehem hospital.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. FROM NOSCE TEIPSUM, OR A POEM ON THE IMMORTALITY OF
Why did my parents send me to the schools,
· The works are, “A discovery of the causes why Ireland was never subdued till the beginning of his majesty's reign," and * Reports of cases adjudged in the king's courts in Ireland.”
What is this knowledge but the sky-stol'n fire,
In fine, what is it but the fiery coach
withal, Or the boy's wings' which, when he did approach The sun's hot beams, did melt and let him fall?
And yet, alas! when all our lamps are burn'd,
What can we know, or what can we discern,
When reason's lamp, that, like the sun in sky,
How can we hope, that through the eye and ear,
i Prometheus. Phaeton. Icarus.
So might the heir whose father hath in play
The wits that div'd most deep and soar'd most high, Seeking man's powers, have found his weakness
such; Skill comes so slow, and time so fast doth fly, We learn so little and forget so much.
For this the wisest of all moral men
As spiders, touch'd, seek their web's inmost part;
If aught can teach us aught, affliction's looks
She within lists my ranging mind hath brought,