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« The beasts themselves have sense; nay, they have appearing (thogh not apparept) vertues; but none of them euer yet moūted one degree of Contemplations rising scale: by which the wise man, with an aspiring zeale, ascends the throne of God; and seeing most things there inscrutable, in humilitie descends againe vpon his fontestoole. O! but Gentry now degenerates: Nobilitie is now come to bep nuda relatio, a meere bare relation, and nothing else. Hovv manie Players baue I seene vpon a stage, fit indeede to be Noblemen? how many that be Noblemen, fit onely to represent them? VVhy? this can Fortune do, who makes some companions of her Chariot, vvho for desert should be lackies to her Ladisbip. Let me want piltie, it I dissolue not into pittie, when I see such poore stuffe under rich stuffe; that is, a body richlie clad, vvhose mind is capable of nothing but a hunting match, a racket-court, or a cock-pit, or, at the most, the story of Susanna* in an a' house. Rise, Sidney, rise! thou Englauds eternall honour, reuiue! and lead the reuolting spirits of thy countrey-men against the soules basest foe, Ignorance. But, what talke I of thee? heauen hath not left earth thy equall: neither do I think that ab orbe condito, since Nature first was, any man hath beene, in whom Genus and Genius met so right. Thou Atlas to all vertues, thou Hercules to the Muses, thou Patron to the poor, thou deseruest a Quire of ancient Bar di to sing thy praises; who, with their musickes melody, might expresse thy soules harmonie. Were the transmigration of soules certain (which opinion, as Cæsar saith, the ancient Brittish Druidæ imbraced) I would thy soule had fitted into my bodie; or wold thou wert aliue again, that we might lead an indiuiduall life together. Thon wast not more admired at home, then famous abroad; thy penne and sword being the Heraldes of thy Heroicke deedes. A worthy witnesse of thy worth was Lipsius; vvhen in amazement he cried out, Nihil fibi deest, quod aut Naturæ, aut Fortunæ adest : Nothing, saith he, to thee is absent, that either to Nature or Fortune is present. And in another place hee addeth, O tu Britanniæ tuæ clarum sidus, cui certatim lucem effundunt Virtus, Musa, Oratia, Fortuna! O, saith he, thou bright star of thy Brittany, whose light is fedde by Vertue, the Muses, Forlune, and all gruces! The verses vvbich are extant in S. Pauls Quire at London, made in a grateful memory of this King of Knights, suthiciently declare his deserts : vvbich verses, valour and honour command me beer to insert.
England, Netherland, the heauens, and the Arts,
The souldiers, and the world, haue made sixe parts. . Of the Noble Sydney: for who will suppose
That a small heape of stones can Sydney inclose!
England hath his bodie, for shee it fedde ; :: Netherlund his bloud, in her defence shed:
• Perhaps Stafford alludes to the Story of Susanna and the Eldera, told by Robert Greene, in a small pamphlet called The Mirrour of Modestie, printed at the latter end of the reign of Elizabeth
The Heanens haue his soule ; the Arts haue his fame ;
All souldiers the griefe; the World his good name. « Lord, I have sioned against thee, and heaven; and I am not worthy to be called thy childe: yet, let thy mercie obtaine this Boone for me from thee, that when it shal please thee that my name be no more, it may end in such a man as was that Sidus Sydney orum." (p. 111-117.)
Such a panegyric is not easily exceeded either in elo quence or in singularity. The epitaph is also preserved in Camden's Remains, as well as in Churchyard s “ True Disa course historicall of the succeeding Governours in the New therlands," 1602, a curious pamphlet, reviewed in our Number for June. Many were the effusions of a like kind poured out by his petical admirers, some of great merit, and others of none: among the last we may place the follow: ing by Bancroft, inserted in his very scarce “ two bookes of Epigrammes," as he misnames them: we believe that it has never been referred to by any writer of the life of Sidney, and as we understand that a new Memoir is in the press, we quote it merely that it may be useful.
66 On Sir Philip Sidney. .“ Idols I hate, yet would to Sidncys wit • Offer Castalian healths, and kneele to it.” We shall conclude our extracts from “ Staffords Niobe, or bis Age of Teares,” by the following passionate address to Queen Elizabeth : in 1611 this bigh-flown applause had no un worthy motive to debase it to flattery, and the author probably had some solid ground for his admiration, as he calls her in another place “the great fautour of his family.” .“ Elizabeth, thou glorie of thy sexe, thou mirror of Maiestie and modestie, thou resemblance of that sacred Elizabeth, looke down through those thy Crystal spectacles, vpon thy meanest of subiects, who, in defence of ihine honor, would oppose himselfe against all mortalitie, and expose his life to death for thee. I loued thee more then I did all the world, or more then all the world could loue thee. Incomparable, immutable, inimitable Queen! I am not affraid to say, that generations shall call thee Blessed; althogh a generation of Vipers, not forewarned of the vengeance to come, sting thy reputation, and seeke to debase thy euer-exalted name. The Queene of tbe South cam to see Salomon: had Salomon lived in thy time, or thou in his, he wold himselfe haue come to visit the Queen of the North; & beeing the wisest of men, would haue wondered to find so much wisedome in Woman. Blessed Virgine, thou restest from thy labours, & we labour for thy rest; and with ceaseless paive striue to attaine to that endlesse pleasure vvhich novv thou enioyest. Thou abidest Rovv farre enough out of the reach of contumelious tongues, & art secure from all that pale Enuie, or meager malice can charge thee with. There is no greater signe that thou wast vertuous, then that thou art maligned of all vvho are vitious. For, as a great bodie is not without a like shadow; no more is any eminent vertue vvithout imminent detraction. Mee thinks, that Calumny should end with the carcasse of her subiect, and not haunt the Graue til the last bone be consumed. VVhich to effect, Solon made a law, that no man should speake ill of the dead; and his reason was, for feare of immortall enemies. But they will not sticke to write against the dead, vvho are not afraid to write against the liuing." (p. 135—138.)
From the “Niobe dissolv'd into a Nilus" we have already made one extract, in which we proved that Stafford was probably a favourite author with Miltop. It opens with a pretatory epistle “ to the younger gentry of England,” in which he exhorts them to wean themselves from their de. grading vices, telling them, “ You are the Vainest of the Vulgar, in that you exceed the Vulgar in nothing but in vanitie.” In this second part the author's Spleen is supposed to reply to his Soule, who had harangued at much length in the first part, and the Devil steps in as moderator between the disputants. He endeavours to seduce the author by the following novel and poetical description
of his infernal dominion. . “ Alas! Sir, we live in no paine heere (That is a friuolous fable) nor baue wee anie punishment inflicted vpon vs, but onelie the depriuation of light; which is rather pleasing to mee, then anie waie offensiue. You your selfe, Sir, loue a dark chamber, better then a lightsome : why, and I doe the same. And had I foreseene that darkenes should haue been my portion, I bad surelie hastened my fall, to obtaine my welcome and wished-for Inheritance. Within my duskie Vault, I haue pleasures that surmount sense, and strike vnbeliefe into reason; able indeede to enchant the most pseiudiciall soules. I haue Nimphes, Sir, whose flesh is softer then the doun of Swans: their lippes distill sweet balsames; the burning beams of their eyes are able to enflame Ice, and make Satietie turne into Appetite: &c. * * * * * In a worde, Sir, the Turks Paradise is
* We may contrast this posthumous applause with the following disgust. ing specimen of living adulation, addressed to Queen Elibabeth, in “The Arraygnment of Paris," 1584, (a Pastoral which some have stupidly attri. buted to our Shakespeare): The Shepherd Paris has assigned to Venus the golden apple, and the Fates hade given to the Queen their various emblems. Diana then takes the apple “ and deliuereth it into the Queenes owne hands," saying that it is
Prize of the wisdome, beautie and the state
That best becomes thy peerelesse excellence. Venus, Juno, and Pallas severally resign their title to the apple, and the piece closes with the Queen's acceptance of it as her right. What a rage would Ritson have been in at reading such fulsome flattery to the object of his hatred.
heere: and in it are variable delights, to entertaine each seuerall Sense. For your Hearing, Sir, wee haue voices that will make you scorne the songs of Syrens; of power indeede to make Orpheus stand stupid; to amaze Arion, and enforce the Orbes themselues to stand still, and listen. As for your Sight (for you must vnderstand that I haue an artificiall light; though my conscience constraines me to confesse, that it comes farre short of the naturall) whereas it is generally held that the eye gines a being to colours; you shall confesse that the colours which are here, giue a being to your eyes, and that they are preserued by the reception of these formes. Hundred-eyed Argus (were he heere) might finde all his eyes busied at once, and for euery eye baue a hundred objects. Your feeling is already fitted : and as for your Taste it will here want imploiment, Now for your Smelling, Sir, we haue sents here, copounded of all the Earths sweetest Simples. Those which you haue vpon earth are counterfeit, in respect of mine: for I robbe the treasurie of the earths Center.” (p. 18—22.)
He answers the Devil (whom he at intervals calls by an almost endless variety of ludicrous names, such as Don Deformity, Mons. Madcap, Elector of Erebus, Mr. Filthyface, Mr. Fierie-facies, Mr. Mouldy-face, &c.) with great fervour and indignation, and after an expression of his gratitude to the Saviour, he proceeds to notice some of the delusions practiced on the Jews regarding the Messiah : he takes occasion to tell the following strange story :
« One of these, in Germanie, had his daughter gotten with childe by a Germane Gentleman : wbich so madded him that hee vowed her death, if shee did not speedily reueale the begetter of the bastard. The Wench, fleeing from his presence, betooke her to her Louer: who counselled her to swear to her father, that she knew not how shee should come to bee with childe; for-that no man euer yet touched her vncbastlie. Well: Night being come, her Father went to bedde, with a resolution that shee should neuer rise more from hers. Before the first watch of the night was past, the incensed Father riseth out of his bedde, with a keene knife in his hand, ready to butcher the mother, with her bastard: but he was preuented by a noise wbich he heard vnder his window. Whither going, and looking-out, hee might perceiue a man clad in white, with a laurel on his head, in al points resembling an Angell. The good olde man, being amazed, cried out, In the name of God, who art thou? The false Angell replied, I am an Angell sent from God, to tell thee thy daughter shal bring forth mās Messias. With that, the louer of the Lass (who had al this while plaid the Angell) departed : and the ouer-ioied father ran to the bed of his daughter; and, in stead of killing her, kissed her, and tolde her that her wombe did inclose the worlds Redeemer. He would not go to bedde that night; but sate-vppe, writing Letters to his brethren (dis
persed through all Quarters) to inuite and summon them to the de sired sight of the worlds Sauiour. To bee short : the daie of his daughters deliverie - being come, the lewes flocked thither from all parts of the Earth, expecting the sight of him whome their fathers desired to see, yet could not. And loe, for a rich recompense of all their trauailes and pilgrimages, they sawe a Virgin brought a-bedde of a weneh.” (p. 41-45.)
He enforces the separation that ought to take place between Love and Lust, and in the following terms proves that Love and Reason ought to be reconciled, and that they always co-operated in happy marriages.
“ What a poore pittifull prouerbe it is, that affirmes Loue to be blind! whereas, indeed, it is Lust that is blind, and makes no difference betwixt lone and my Lady. Loue and Reason haue but one paire of eyes betwixt them: they see through all things; and bauing, amongst all those all, espied one more eminent in excellencie then the rest, they there ioyne there powers to praise it: Reason telleth Loue, that there is nothing more louelie; and therefore it must be beloued : and Loue telleth Reason, that she speaks reason; and therefore is to be followed. Wherfore I wil make an Apology for belied Loue to Ladies and Gentlewomen, and tell them, that when their fauorites forsake them, Lust is to bee blamed, not Loue. For affection grounded vppon beautie onely, fades iust as fast as beauty it selfe: but those woughts that are deuoted to Vertue, neuer violate their vowes till Vertue leaue to be hier selfe.” (p. 115, 116, 117.)
The Devil had declared that he had used all means in vain to seduce the great Sidney from the pursuit of glory and the love of honour: we give the indignant answer of the author in vindication of his beloved poet and soldier.
" But to you againe, great Potentate of profaneness : If my conceit deceiue me not, you made great moane for the absence of Sidney; and said withall, that you had beene a long time a plying petitioner to the Parliament of heauen to haue him surrendered into your hands. Why should you desire it, when you see a gulf betwixt him and you ? and beside you knowe that God vseth to raise vp them that fall; that they maie beate downe you, M' Sathan, vnder their feet: much lesse then will he fling down them whom he hath raised, that so you may tread down them vnder your feet. But what in your owne pame) M' Diuell, should driue you (who are your selfe the chief of vncleane spirits) to desire the companie of that cleane and glorified spirit ? Since you first beganne to compasse the earth, you neuer found a spirite which could compasse more then that of Sidneyes. Had hee beene with you, bee would haue turned Hel into an Academy, and taught your fiends the Artmilitary. But hee is as farre from you, as the place from whence