Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

JOSEPH HALL

When the queen frown'd or smil'd, and he knows what So nothing in his maw? yet seemeth by his belt, A subtle statesman may gather from that.

That his gaunt gut no too much stuffing felt. He knows who loves whom ; and who by poison Secst thou how sidel it hangs beneath his hip? Hastes to an office's reversion.

Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip.
He knows who hath sold his land, and now doth beg Yet for all that, how stiffly struts he by,
A licence, old iron, boots, shoes, and egg-

All trapped in the new-found bravery.
Shells to transport. Shortly boys shall not play The nuns of new-won Calais his bonnet lent,
At spancounter, or blow point, but shall pay

In lieu of their so kind a conquerment.
Toll to some courtier. And (wiser than all us) What needed he fetch that from farthest Spain,
He knows what lady is not painted.

His grandame could have lent with lesser pain!
Though he perhaps ne'er pass'd the English shore,
Yet fain would counted be a conqueror.

His hair, French-like, stares on his frighted head, JOSEPH Hall, born at Bristow Park, in Leicester- One lock amazon-liké dishevelled, shire, in 1574, and who rose through various church As if he meant to wear a native cord, preferments to be bishop of Norwich, is more dis- If chance his fates should him that bane afford. tinguished as a prose writer than as a poet: he is, All British bare upon the bristled skin, however, allowed to have been the first to write Close notched is his beard, both lip and chin; satirical verse with any degree of elegance. His His linen collar labyrinthian set, satires, which were published under the title of Whose thousand double turnings nerer met: Virgidemiarum, in 1597-9, refer to general objects, His sleeves half hid with elbow pinionings, and present some just pictures of the more remark. As if he meant to fly with linen wings. able anomalies in human character: they are also But when I look, and cast mine eyes below, written in a style of greater polish and volubility What monster meets mine eyes in human show! than most of the compositions of this age. Bishop So slender waist with such an abbot's loin, Hall, of whom a more particular notice is given Did never sober nature sure conjoin. elsewhere, died in 1656, at the age of eighty-two. Lik'st a strawn scarecrow in the new-sown field,

Reard on some stick, the tender corn to shield, [Selections from Hall's Satires.]

Or, if that semblance suit not every deal,

Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel.
A gentle squire would gladly entertain
Into his house some trencher-chapelain:
Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
And that would stand to good conditions.

BEN JONSON.
First that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
While his young master lieth o'er his head.

In 1616, Ben Jonson collected the plays he had Second, that he do, on no default,

then written, and published them in one volume, Ever presume to sit above the salt.

folio, adding, at the same time, a book of epi. Third, that he never change his trencher twice. grams, and a number of poems, which he entitled Fourth, that he use all common courtesies;

The Forest, and The Underwood. The whole were Sit bare at meals, and one half rise and wait.

comprised in one folio volume, which Jonson digni. Last, that he never his young master beat,

fied with the title of his Works, a circumstance But he must ask his mother to define,

which exposed him to the ridicule of some of his How many jerks he would his breech should line. contemporaries.* It is only with the minor poetry All these observed, he could contented be,

of Jonson that we have to deal at present, as the To give five niarks and winter livery.

dramatic pruductions of this stern old master of the

manly school of English comedy will be afterwards Seest thou how gaily my young master goes, * described. There is much delicacy of fancy, fine Vaunting himself upon his rising toes ;

feeling, and sentiment, in some of Jonson's lyrical And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side;

and descriptive effusions. He grafted a classic grace And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide ?

and musical expression on parts of his masques and "Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he dined to-day?

interludes, which could hardly have been expected In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humphrey.

from his massive and ponderous hand. In some of Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer,

his songs he equals Carew and Herrick in pictuKeeps he for every straggling cavalier; An open house, haunted with great resort ;

resque images, and in portraying the fascinations of Long service mixt with musical disport.t

love. A taste for nature is strongly displayed in his Many fair younker with a feather'd crest,

fine lines on Penshurst, that ancient seat of the Chooses much rather be his shot-free guest,

Sidneys. It has been justly remarked by one of

his critics, that Jonson's dramas do not lead us to To fare so freely with so little cost, Than stake twelvepence to a meaner host.

value highly enough his admirable taste and feeling Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say

in poetry; and when we consider how many other He touch'd no meat of all this live-long day.

intellectual excellences distinguished him-wit, obFor sure methought, yet that was but a guess,

servation, judgment, memory, learning—we must His eyes seem'd sunk for very hollowness,

acknowledge that the inscription on his tomb,“ ! But could he have (as I did it mistake)

rare Ben Jonson !" is not more pithy than it is

true.' So little in his purse, so much upon his back!

* This is the portrait of a poor gallant of the days of Elizabeth.

1 Long, or low. In St Paul's Cathedral, then an open public place, there was a

* An epigram addressed to him on the subject is as follows : tomb erroneously supposed to be that of Humphrey, Duke of

Pray tell us, Ben, where does the mystery lurk, Gloucester, which was the resort of gentlemen upon town in

What others call a play you call a work! that day, who had occasion to look out for a dinner. When

On behalf of Jonson an answer was returned, which seems to unsuccessful in getting an invitation, they were said to dine glance at the labour which Jonson bestowed on all his producwith Duke Humphrey.

tionsAn allusion to the church service to be heard near Duke The author's friend thus for the author maye Humphrey's tomb.

Ben's plays are works, while others' works are plays

-1

To Celia.

[From "The Forest.) Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine ; Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst, that from the soul doth rise,

Doth ask a drink dirine ;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,

I would not change for thine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,

Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there

It could not wither'd be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,

And sent'st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,

Not of itself, but thee.

Song.

[From The Forest.']
Oh do not wanton with those eyes,

Lest I be sick with seeing;
Nor cast them down, but let them rise,

Lest shame destroy their being.
Oh be not angry with those fires,

For then their threats will kill me; Nor look too kind on my desires,

For then my hopes will spill me. Ob do not steep them in thy tears,

For so will sorrow slay me; Nor spread them as distraught with fears ;

Mine own enough betray me.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The Sweet Neglect.

(From The Silent Woman.) Still to be neat, still to be drest, As you were going to a feast; Still to be powder'd, still perfum'd : Lady, it is to be presum'd, Though art's hid causes are not found, All is not sweet, all is not sound. Give me a look, give me a face, That makes simplicity a grace; Robes loosely flowing, hair as free ; Such sweet neglect more taketh me Than all th' adulteries of art : They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

To Celia.

[From the same.) Kiss me, sweet! the wary lover Can your favours keep and cover, When the common courting jay All your bounties will betray. Kiss again; no creature comes ; Kiss, and score up wealthy sums On my lips, thus hardly sunder'd While you breathe. First give a hundred, Then a thousand, then another Hundred, then unto the other Add a thousand, and so more, Till you equal with the store, All the grass that Romney yields, Or the sands in Chelsea fields, Or the drops in silver Thames, Or the stars that gild his streams In the silent summer nights, When youths ply their stol’n delights ; That the curious may not know How to tell them as they flow, And the envious when they find What their number is, be pined.

Hymn to Diana.

(From Cynthia's Revels. ] Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,

Now the sun is laid to sleep ; Sented in thy silver chair,

State in wonted manner keep. Hesperus intreats thy light, Goddess excellently bright! Earth, let not thy envious shade

Dare itself to interpose ; Cynthia's shining orb was made

Heaven to clear when day did close ; Bless us then with wished sight, Goddess excellently bright ! Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal shining quiver : Gire unto the flying hart,

Space to breathe, how short soever ; Thou that mak'st a day of night, Goddess excellently bright !

Her Triumph.
See the chariot at hand here of love,

Wherein my lady rideth !
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,

And well the car love guideth.
As she goes all hearts do duty

Unto her beauty;
And enamour'd do wish, so they might

But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side,
Through swords, through seas, whither she would ride
Do but look on her eyes, they do light

All that love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her, she is bright

As love's star when it riseth !
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother

Than words that soothe her!
And from her arch'd brows, such a grace

Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good of the elements' strife.
Have you seen but a bright lily grow,

Before rude hands have touch'd it? Have you mark'd but the fall of the snow,

Before the soil hath smutch'd it ?
Have you felt the wool of the beaver,

Or swan's down ever ?
Or have smell's of the bud o' the brier ?

Or the 'nard in the fire ?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee !
O so white ! O so soft! O 80 sweet is she !

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Thou hast thy walks for health as well as sport;
Thy mount to which the dryads do resort,
Where Pan and Bacchus their high feasts have made
Beneath the broad beech, and the chestnut shade;
That taller tree which of a nut was set
At his great birth where all the Muses met.

Good Life, Long Life.
It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make man better be,
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear.
A lily of a day
Is fairer far, in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light!
In small proportions we just beauties see :
And in short measures life may perfect be.

Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke.
Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother;
Death! ere thou hast slain another,
Learn'd and fair, and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.

1

[ocr errors]

Epitaph on Elizabeth, L. H.
Would'st thou hear what man say
In a little reader, stay.
Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die;
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live.
If at all she had a fault,
Leave it buried in this vault.
One name was Elizabeth,
The other let it sleep with death :
Fitter, where it died, to tell,
Than that it lived at all. Farewell !

Penshurst.
On my First Daughter.

There, in the writhed bark, are cut the names
Here lies to each her parents ruth,

Of many a Sylvan token with his flames. Mary, the daughter of their youth:

And thence the ruddy Satyrs oft provoke Yet all heaven's gifts being heaven's due,

The lighter Fauns to reach thy Ladies' Oak. It makes the father less to rue.

Thy copse, too, named of Gamage, thou hast here At six months' end she parted hence

That never fails, to serve thee, season'd deer, With safety of her innocence ;

When thou would'st feast or exercise thy friends. Whose soul heaven's queen (whose name shc bcars) The lower land that to the river bends, In comfort of her mother's tears,

Thy sheep, thy bullocks, kine, and calves do feed : Hath placed among her virgin train :

The middle ground thy mares and horses breed. Where, while that sever'd doth remain,

Each bank doth yield thee conies, and the tops This grave partakes the fleshly birth,

Fertile of wood. Ashore, and Sidney's copse, Which cover lightly, gentle earth.

To crown thy open table doth provide

The purpled pheasant, with the speckled side:
To Penshurst.*

The painted partridge lies in every field,
(From The Forest.)

And, for thy mess, is willing to be kill'd.

And if the high-swollen Medway fail thy dish, Thou art not, Penshurst, built to envious show Thou hast thy ponds that pay thee tribute fish, Of touch or marble; nor canst boast a row

Fat, aged carps that run into thy net, Of polish'd pillars, or a roof of gold :

And pikes, now weary their own kind to eat, Thou hast no lantern, whereof tales are told ; As loath the second draught or cast to stay, Or stair, or courts ; but stand’st an ancient pile, Officiously, at first, themselves betray. And these grudg'd at, are reverenced the while. Bright eels that emulate them, and leap on land, Thou joy'st in better marks of soil and air,

Before the fisher, or into his hand. Uf wood, of water; therein thou art fair.

Thou hast thy orchard fruit, thy garden flowers, * Penshurst is situated in Kent, near Tunbridge, in a wide and the early cherry with

the later plum,

Fresh as the air, and new as are the hours. rich valley. The grey walls and turrets of the old mansion; its Fig, grape, and quince, each in his time doch come: high-peaked and red roofs, and the new buildings of fresh stone, The blushing apricot and woolly peach venerable aspect. It is a fitting abode for the noble Sidneys. Hang on thy walls that every child may reach. The park contains-trees of enormous growth, and others to And though thy walls be of the country stone, which past events and characters have given an everlasting They’re rear'd with no man's ruin, no man's groan; interest ; as Sir Philip Sidney's Oak, Saccharissa's Walk. Ga. There's none that dwell

about them wish

them down ; mage's Bower, &c. The ancient massy oak tables remain ; and But all come in, the farmer and the clown, from Jonson's description of the hospitality of the family, they | And no one empty handed, to salute must often have groaned with the weight of the feast. Mr Thy lord and lady, though they have no suit. WMiam Howite has given an interesting account of Penshurst Some bring a capon, some a rural cake, in his Visits to Remarkable Places, 1840.

Some nuts, some apples ; some that think they make

The better cheeses, bring them, or else send

That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses,
By their ripe daughters, whom they would commend I mean with great but disproportion'd Muses :
This way to husbands; and whose baskets bear For if I thought my judgment were of years,
An emblem of themselves, in plum or pear.

I should commit thee surely with thy peers, But what can this (more than express their love) And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine, Add to thy free provisions, far above

Or sporting Kyd or Marlowe's mighty line. The need of such! whose liberal board doth flow And though thou had small Latin and less Greek, With all that hospitality doth know !

From thence to honour thee I will not seek Where comes no guest but is allow'd to eat

For names ; but call forth thund'ring Eschylus, Without his fear, and of thy lord's own meat: Euripides, and Sophocles to us, Where the same beer, and bread, and self-same wine Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead, That is his lordship's shall be also mine.

To live again, to hear thy buskin tread, And I not fain to sit (as some this day

And shake a stage : or when thy socks were on, At great men's tables) and yet dine away.

Leave thee alone for the comparison
Here no man tells my cups; nor, standing by, Of all, that insolent Greece or haughty Rome
A waiter doth my gluttony envy:

Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
But gives me what I call, and lets me eat;

Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show, He knows below he shall find plenty of meat; To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe. Thy tables hoard not up for the next day,

He was not of an age, but for all time! Nor, when I take my lodging, need I pray

And all the Muses still were in their prime,
For fire, or lights, or livery; all is there,

When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
As if thou, then, wert mine, or I reign'd here. Our ears, or like a Mercury, to charm!
There's nothing I can wish, for which I stay. Nature herself was proud of his designs,
This found King James, when hunting late this way And joy'd to wear the dressing of his lines !
With his brave son, the Prince ; they saw thy fires Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
Shine bright on every hearth, as the desires

As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
Of thy Penates had been set on flame

The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
To entertain them; or the country came,

Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ;
With all their zeal, to warm their welcome here. But antiquated and deserted lie,
What (great, I will not say, but) sudden cheer As they were not of nature's family.
Did'st thou then make them! and what praise was Yet must I not give nature all; thy art,
heap'd

My gentle Shakspeare, must enjoy a part.
On thy good lady then, who therein reap'd

For though the poet's matter nature be, The just reward of her high housewifery ;

His art doth give the fashion ; and, that he
To have her linen, plate, and all things nigh, Who casts to write a living line, must sweat
When she was far; and not a room but drest (Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
As if it had expected such a guest !

Upon the Muses' anvil ; turn the same,
These, Penshurst, are thy praise, and yet not all; And himself with it, that he thinks to frame;
Thy lady's noble, fruitful, chaste withal.

Or for the laurel, he may gain a scorn ;
His children

For a good poet's made as well as born. have been taught religion ; thence And such wert thou ! Look how the father's face Their gentler spirits have suck'd innocence.

Lives in his issue, even so the race Each inorn and even they are taught to pray, Of Shakspeare's mind and manners brightly shines With the whole household, and may, every day, In his well turned and true filed lines : Read, in their virtuous parenis' noble parts,

In each of which he seems to shake a lance, The mysteries of manners, arms, and arts.

As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance. Now, Penshurst, they that will proportion thee Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a sight it were With other edifices, when they see

To see thee in our water yet appear,
Those proud ambitious heaps, and nothing else, And make those flights upon the banks of Thames
May say their lords have built, but thy lord dwells. That so did take Eliza and our James !

But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere
To the Memory of my beloved Master, William Shak- Advanced, and made a constellation there !

Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with rage,
speare, and what he hath left us.

Or influence, chide, or cheer the drooping stage, To draw no envy, Shakspeare, on thy name,

Which since thy flight from hence hath mourned like Am I thus ample to thy book and fame;

night, While I confess thy writings to be such

And despairs day, but for thy volume’s light!
As neither man nor Muse can praise too much.
Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways

On the Portrait of Shakspeare.
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise ;
For silliest ignorance on these would light,

(Under the frontispiece to the first edition of his works : 1623] Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right;

This figure that thou here seest put, Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance

It was for gentle Shakspeare cut, The truth, but gropes, and urges all by chance ;

Wherein the graver had a strifo Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,

With nature, to outdo the life : And think to ruin, where it seem'd to raise.

O could he but have drawn his wit, But thou art proof against them, and, indeed,

As well in brass, as he hath hit Above the ill fortune of them, or the need.

His face; the print would then surpass I therefore will begin : Soul of the age !

All that was ever writ in brass :
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage !

But since he cannot, reader, look
My Shakspeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie

Not on his picture but his book.*
A little further off, to make thee room :

*This attestation of Ben Jonson to the first engraved porThou art a monument without a tomb,

trait of Shakspeare, seems to prove its fidelity as a likenen. And art alive still, while thy book doth live,

The portrait corresponds with the monumental effigy at StratAnd we have wits to read, and praise to give

ford, but both represent a heavy and somewhat inelegant

the jolly Friar of Copmanhurst than the acts of a

Protestant bishop, but Corbet had higher qualities; RICHARD CORBET.

his toleration, solid sense, and lively talents, proRICHARD CORBET (1582--1635) was the son of a cured him deserved esteem and respect. His poems man who, though only a gardener

, must have pos- were first collected and published in 1647. They sessed superior qualities, as he obtained the hearty are of a miscellaneous character, the best known commendations, in verse, of Ben Jonson. The son being a Journey into France, written in a light easy was educated at Westminster and Oxford, and hav- strain of descriptive humour. The Farewell to the ing taken orders, he became successively bishop of Fairies is equally lively, and more poetical. Oxford and bishop of Norwich. The social quali

[To Vincent Corbet, his Son.]
What I shall leave thee none can tell,
But all shall say I wish thee well :
I wish thee, Vin, before all wealth,
Both bodily and ghostly health ;
Nor too much wealth, nor wit come to thee,
So much of either may undo thee.
I wish thee learning not for show,
Enough for to instruct and know;
Not such as gentlemen require
To prate at table or at fire.
I wish thee all thy mother's graces,
Thy father's fortunes and his places.
I wish thee friends, and one at court
Not to build on, but support ;
To keep thee not in doing many
Oppressions, but from suffering any.
I wish thee peace in all thy ways,
Nor lazy nor contentious days ;
And, when thy soul and body part,
As innocent as now thou art.

[graphic]

[Journey to France.]
I went from England into France,
Nor yet to learn to cringe nor dance,

Nor yet to ride nor fence :

But I to Paris rode along,
Much like John Dory* in the song,

Upon a holy tide.

I on an ambling nag did get,
Norwich Cathedral.

(I trust he is not paid for yet),

And spurr'd him on each side. ties of witty Bishop Corbet, and his never-failing vivacity, joined to a moderate share of dislike to

And to Saint Dennis fast we came, the Puritans, recommended him to the patronage of To see the sights of Notre Dame, King James, by whom he was raised to the mitre.

(The man that shows them suffles), His habits were rather too convivial for the dignity

Where who is apt for to believe, of his office, if we may credit some of the anecdotes May see our Lady's right-arm sleeve, which have been related of him. Meeting a ballad

And eke her old pantofles ; singer one market-day at Abingdon, and the man Her breast, her milk, her very gown complaining that he could get no custom, the jolly That she did wear in Bethlehem town, doctor put off his gown, and arrayed himself in the

When in the inn she lay. leathern jacket of the itinerant vocalist, and being Yet all the world knows that's a fable, a handsome man, with a clear full voice, he presently For so good clothes ne'er lay in stable, vended the stock of ballads. One time, as he was

Upon a lock of hay. confirming, the country people pressing in to see the ceremony, Corbet exclaimed— Bear off there, There is one of the cross's nails, or I'll confirm ye with my staff.' The bishop and Which, whoso sees, his bonnet rails, his chaplain, Dr Lushington, it is said, would some

And, if he will, may kneel. times repair to the wine-cellar together, and Corbet

Some say 'twas false, 'twas never so, used to put off his episcopal hood, saying, “There Yet, fecling it, thus much I know, lies the doctor;' then he put off his gown, saying,

It is as true as steel. * There lies the bishop;' then the toast went round, • Here's to thee, Corbet ;' Here's to thee, Lushing

* This alludes to one of the most celebrated of the old English ton.' Jovialities like these seem more like those of ballads. It was the favourite performance of the English min

strels, as lately as the reign of Charles II., and Dryden alludes figure. There is, however, a placid good humour in the ex. to it as to the most hacknied thing of the time pression of the features, and much sweetness in the mouth and

But Sunderland, Godolphin, Lory, lips. The upper part of the head is bald, and the lofty fore

These will appear such chits in story, head is conspicuous in both, as in the Chandos and other pic

"Twill turn all politics to jests, tures. The general resemblance we have no doubt is correct,

To be repeated like John Dory, but considerable allowance must be made for the defective state

When fiddlers sing at feasts. of English art at this period.

Rilson's Ancient Songs, p. 16

« ElőzőTovább »