Page images

Where's now my pride t'extend my fame

Wherever statues are?
And purchase glory to my name

In the smooth court or rugged war?
My love hath laid the devil, I am tame.
I'd rather, like the violet, grow

Unmark'd in th' shaded vale,
Than on the hill those terrors know

Are breathed forth by an angry gale;
There is more pomp above, more sweet below.

Castara, what is there above

The treasures we possess?
We two are all and one, we move

Like stars in th' orb of happiness.
All blessings are epitomized in love,

JOSEPH HALL 1574–1656. Few names in our language have united in a greater degree the character of an instructive prose writer and a vigorous poet, than Joseph Hall. He was born at Briston Park, in Leicestershire, in 1574, and after taking his degree at Cambridge, he rose through various church preferments to be Bishop of Exeter, and subsequently, in 1641, to be Bishop of Norwich, In the same year he joined with the twelve prelates in the protestation of all laws made during their forced absence from Parliament. In consequence of this, he, with the rest, was sent to the Tower, and was released only on giving £5000 bail. Two years after, he was among the number marked out for sequestration. After suffering extreme hardships, he was allowed to retire on a small pittance, to Higham, near Norwich, where he continued, in comparative obscurity, but with indefatigable zeal and intrepidity, to exercise the duties of a pastor, till he closed his days, in the year 1656, at the venerable age of eighty-two.

As a poet, Bishop Hall is known by his « Bookes of byting Satyres." These were published at the early age of twenty-three. They are marked, says Warton, with a classical precision to which English poetry had yet rarely attained. They are replete with animation of style and sentiment. The characters are delineated in strong and lively coloring, and their discriminations are touched with the masterly traces of genuine humor. His chief fault is obscurity, arising from a remote phraseology, constrained combinations, un familiar allusions, and abruptness of expression. But it must be borne in mind that he was the first English satirist. Pope, on presenting Mr. West with a copy of his poetical works, observed that he esteemed them the best poetry and the truest satire in the language.


The crouching client, with low-bended knee,
And many worships, and fair flattery,

1 A masterly analysis of these satires may be found in Warton's "History of English Poetry, vol. IV., sections 62, 63, and 64.

Tells on his tale as smoothly as him list;
But still the lawyer's eye squints on his fist:
If that seem lined with a larger fee,
“Doubt not the suit, the law is plain for thee."
Thol must he buy his vainer hopes with price,
Disclout his crowns, and thank him for advice,

A gentle squire would gladly entertain
Into his house some trencher-chapelain ;3
Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
And that would stand to good conditions.
First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
While his young master lieth o'er his head.5
Second, that he do, on no default,
Ever presume to sit above the salt.6
Third, that he never change his trencher twice.
Fourth, that he use all common courtesies;
Sit bare at meals, and one half rise and wait.
Last, that he never his young master beat;
But he must ask his mother to define
How many jerks7 she would his back should line
All these observed, he could contented be
To give five marks and winter livery,


The sturdy ploughman doth the soldier see
All scarf'd with pied colors to the knee,
Whom Indian pillage hath made fortunate;
And now he 'gins to loathe his former state:
Now doth he inly scorn his Kendal-green, 8
And his patch'd cockers' now despised been;
Nor list he now go whistling to the car,
But sells his team, and settleth to the war.
Oh war! to them that never tried thee, sweet:
When'o his dead mate falls grovelling at his feet;
And angry bullets whistle at his ear,
And his dim eyes see nought but dread and drear.

[ocr errors]

1 Yet even.

2 Pull them out of his purse, 3 Or, a table-chaplain. In the same sense we have "trencher-knight” in “Love's Labor Lost." We still too often see, as did Hall, the depressed state of modest, but trne genius; we still see the learned pate duck to the golden fool;" we still see “pastors and teachers" court and flatter men who have little else than their money to recomend them.

4 Pronounced as in four syllables, con-di-ti-ons.

6 This indulgence allowed to the pupil is the reverse of a more ancient rule at Oxford, by which the scholars are ordered "to sleep respectively under the beds of the Fellows, in a truckle bed, (Trooky Leddys, vulgariter nuncupati,) or small bed shifted about upon wheels."

o In Hall's day the table was divided into the upper and lower messes, by a huge salt-cellar, and the rank and consequence of the visitors were marked by the situation of their seats above or below the salt-cellar.

Lashes. 8 A kind of forester's green cloth, so called from Kendal, Westmoreland county, which was famous for its manufacture.

94 A kind of rustic high shoes or hall boots. 10 That is, to them who have never seen the time when, &c.

Seest thou how gayly my young master goes,
Vaunting himself upon his rising toes;
And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side;
And picks his glutted teeth since late noontide?
'Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he dined to-day?
In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humfray.1
Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say
He touch'd no meat of all this livelong day.
For sure methought, yet that was but a guess,
His eyes seem'd sunk for very hollowness;
But could he have (as I did it mistake)
So little in his purse, so much upon his back?
So nothing in his maw? yet seemeth by his belt,
That his gaunt bulk not too much stuffing felt.
Seest thou how side? it hangs beneath his hip?
Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip.
Yet for all that, how stiffly struts he by,
All trapped in the new-found bravery.
His hair, French-like, stares on his frighted head,
One lock amazon-like dishevelled,
As if he meant to wear a native cord,
If chance his fates should him that bane afford.
All British bare upon the bristled skin,
Close notched is his beard both lip and chin;
His linen collar labyrinthian set,
Whose thousand double turnings never met:
His sleeves half hid with elbow pinionings,
As if he meant to fly with linen wings.
But when I look, and cast mine eyes below,
What monster meets mine eyes in human show?
So slender waist with such an abbot's loin,
Did never sober nature sure conjoin.
Lik'st a straw scarecrow in the new-sown field,
Rear'd on some stick, the tender corn to shield.
Or if that semblance suit not every deal,
Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel.

As a prose writer, Hall was known in his day as a most able champion in eontroversial theology, being one of the antagonists of Milton, and writing with great learning, as well as with a most excellent spirit, in favor of the estabhished church. But his numerous tracts on this subject are now but little Tead. Not so, however, with his “Contemplations on the principal Passages of the Holy Story," and his “Occasional Meditations." These are replete with fine thoughts, excellent morality, and sterling piety. He has been styled the Christian Seneca, from his sententious manner of writing, and from the peculiar resemblance of his “Meditations" to " Seneca's Morals."3

1 A proverblat phrase for going without a dinner, arising from the circunstance of St. Paul's, where Duke Hampbrey's tomb was supposed to stand, being the common resort of loungers who had not

2 Long or low. 2 - Poetry was the occupation merely of his youth, the vigor and decline of his days being ern. ployeel in the composition of professional works, calentated, by their piety, eloquence, and originality to promote, in the most powerful manner, the best interests of morality and religion. Druke.


Pretty bird, how cheerfully dost thou sit and sing, and yet knowest not where thou art, nor where thou shalt make thy next meal; and at night must shrowd thyself in a bush for lodging ! What a shame is it for me, that see before me so liberal provisions of my God, and find myself sit warm under my own roof, yet am ready to droop under a distrustful and unthankful dulness. Had I so little certainty of my harbor and purveyance, how heartless should I be, how careful; how little list should I have to make music to thee or myself. Surely thou comest not hither without a Providence. God sent thee not so much to delight, as to shame me, but all in a conviction of my sullen unbelief, who, under more apparent means, am less cheerful and confident; reason and faith have not done so much in me, as in thee mere instinct of nature; want of foresight makes thee more merry, if not more happy here, than the foresight of better things maketh me.

O God, thy providence is not impaired by those powers thou hast given me above these brute things ; let not my greater helps hinder me from a holy security, and comfortable reliance on thee.

UPON HEARING MUSIC BY NIGHT. How sweetly doth this music sound in this dead season! In the day-time it would not, it could not so much affect the ear. All harmonious sounds are advanced by a silent darkness; thus it is with the glad tidings of salvation : the gospel never sounds So sweet as in the night of preservation, or of our own private affliction: it is ever the same, the difference is in our disposition to receive it. O God, whose praise it is to give songs in the night, make my prosperity conscionable, and my crosses cheerful.

UPON THE SIGHT OF A GREAT LIBRARY. What a world of wit is here packed up together! I know not whether this sight doth more dismay or comfort me; it dismays me to think that here is so much that I cannot know ; it comforts me to think that this variety yields so good helps to know what I should. There is no truer word than that of Solomon-there is no end of making many books; this sight verifies it; there is no end ; indeed, it were pity there should : God hath given to man a busy soul; the agitation whereof cannot but, through time and experience, work out many hidden truths: to suppress these would be no other than injurious to mankind; whose minds, like unto so many candles, should be kindled by each other: the thoughts of our deliberation are most accurate ; these we vent into our papers. What a happiness is it, that, without all offence of

necromancy, I may here call up any of the ancient worthies of learning, whether human or divine, and confer with them of all my doubts ! that I can at pleasure summon whole synods of reverend fathers, and acute doctors from all the coasts of the earth, to give their well-studied judgments in all points of question which I propose ! Neither can I cast my eye casually upon any of these silent masters, but I must learn somewhat : it is a wantonness to complain of choice.

THE HAPPY MAN IS HE That hath learned to read himself more than all books; and hath so taken out this lesson that he can never forget it; that knows the world, and cares not for it; that after many traverses of thoughts, is grown to know what he may trust to, and stands now equally armed for all events; that hath got the mastery at home, so as he can cross his will without a mutiny, and so please it that he makes it not a wanton; that in earthly things wishes no more than nature; in spiritual, is ever graciously ambitious; that for his condition, stands on his own feet, not needing to lean upon the great ; and so can frame his thoughts to his estate, that when he hath least, he cannot want, because he is as free from desire as superfluity; that he hath seasonably broken the headstrong restiness of prosperity, and can now manage it at pleasure : upon whom all smaller crosses light as hailstones upon a roof; and for the greater calamities, he can take them as tributes of life, and tokens of love ; and if his ship be tossed, yet is he sure his anchor is fast. If all the world were his, he could be no other than he is, no whit gladder of himself, no whit higher in his carriage, because he knows contentment is not in the things he hath, but in the mind that values them. The powers of his resolution can either multiply, or subtract at pleasure. He can make his cottage à manor or a palace when he lists; and his homeclose a large dominion; his stained cloth, arras; his earth, plate ; and can see state in the attendance of one servant: as one that hath

1 It's no in titles nor in rank,
It's no in wealth, like Lon'on bank,

To purchase peace and rest;
It's no in making muckle mair,
It's po in books, it's no in lear,

To make us truly blest:
If bappiness hae not her seat

And centre in the breast;
We may be wise, or rich, or great,

But never can be blest:
Nae treasures, nor pleasures,

Could make us happy lang;
The heart aye's the part aye,

That makes us right or wrang-BURNE.

« PreviousContinue »