Imatges de pÓgina

The people, too, dislike the youth,
Alleging reasons, for, in truth,

Mothers should honour'd be:
Yet others say, he loves her rather
As well as e'er she lov'd his father,"
And that's notoriously.

His queen, a pretty little wench,

Was born in Spain, speaks little French:
She's ne'er like to be mother;

For her incestuous house could not
Have children which were not begot
By uncle or by brother.

Now, why should Lewis, being so just,
Content himself to take his lust
With his Lucina's mate;

And suffer his pretty little queen,
From all her race that yet hath been,
So to degenerate?

'T were charity.for to be known

To love others' children as his own,
And why? It is no shame;

Unless that he would greater be

Than was his father Henery,

Who, men thought, did the same."

The next passage which we shall quote, is taken from An Elegy upon the Lady Haddington, who died of the small-pox. Corbet is happy in this species of composition; he is neither fulsome, dull, nor so conceited as his contemporaries, but, in nearly every instance, gives birth to a series of striking moral reflections, such as ought to arise in the mind of a man contemplating the ravage of death among the beautiful, the virtuous, and the wise. Corbet thus laments the loss of Lady Haddington. He dwells upon a point of her character which is not usually remarkably developed in the most amiable of her sex. It seems, she was a reprover of the vices of her times, and seems to have applied her window to a use that would have done honour to a Mrs. Candour or a Lady Sneerwell.

"Oh, what a want of her loose gallants have,
Since she hath chang'd her window for a grave,
From whence she us'd to dart out wit so fast,
And stick them in their coaches as they past!

Who now shall make well-colour'd vice look pale?
Or a curl'd meteor with her eyes exhale,

And talk him into nothing? Who shall dare
Tell barren brains they dwell in fertile hair?
Who now shall keep old countesses in awe,
And, by tart similes, repentance draw

From those whom preachers had given o'er? Even such
Whom sermons could not reach, her arrows touch.

Hereafter, fools shalf prosper with applause,

And wise men smile, and no man ask the cause:

He of fourscore, three night-caps, and two hairs,

Shall marry her of twenty, and get heirs

Which shall be thought his own; and none shall say
But 'tis a wond'rous blessing, and he may."

The poet thus forcibly apostrophises the disease to which Lady Haddington fell a victim:

"Oh, thou deform'd unwoman-like disease,

That plough'st up flesh and blood, and there sow'st pease,
And leav'st such prints on beauty, that dost come

As clouted shon do on a floor of lome;

Thou, that of faces honeycombs dost make,
And of two breasts two cullenders, forsake
Thy deadly trade: thou now art rich; give o'er,
And let our curses call thee forth no more;
Or, if thou needs wilt magnify thy power,
Go where thou art invoked every hour,―
Amongst the gamesters, where they name thee thick
At the last main, or the last pocky-nick.

Get thee a lodging near thy client, dice,

There thou shalt practise on more than one vice.

There's wherewithal to entertain the pox;

There's more than reason, there's rhyme for 't,—the box.
Thou, who hast such superfluous store of game,
Why struck'st thou one whose ruin is thy shame?
O, thou hast murder'd where thou should'st have kiss'd;
And, where thy shaft was needful, there it miss'd.
Thou should'st have chosen out some homely face,
Where thy ill-favour'd kindness might add grace,
That men might say, ' How beauteous once was she!'
Or, 'What a piece, ere she was seiz'd by thee!'
Thou should'st have wrought on some such lady's mould
That ne'er did love her lord, nor ever could,
Until she were deform'd: thy tyranny

Were then within the rules of charity."

It might have been expected, that the Puritans would have formed the subject of many of Corbet's verses. We, however, find among the printed poems but two in honour of the starched ruff. We quote a few stanzas from The Distracted Puritan.

"Am I mad, O noble Festus!
When zeal and godly knowledge
Have put me in hope

To deal with the Pope,

As well as the best in the college?

Boldly I preach, hate a cross, hate a surplice,

Mitres, copes, and rotchets;

Come, hear me pray, nine times a day,

And fill your heads with crotchets.

In the house of pure Emanuel

I had my education,

Where my friends surmise

I dazzled mine eyes

With the light of revelation.

Boldly I preach, &c.

When I sack'd the Seven-hill'd City

I met the great red dragon;

I kept him aloof

With the armour of proof,

Though here I have never a rag on.

Boldly I preach, &c.

With a fiery sword and target,

There fought I with this monster ;

But the sons of pride

My zeal deride,

And all my deeds misconster.

Boldly I preach, &c.

I unhors'd the whore of Babel

With a lance of inspirations;
I made her stink,
And spill her drink

In the cup of abominations.
Boldly I preach, &c.

I observ'd in Perkin's tables

The black lines of damnation :
Those crooked veins

So struck in my brains,
That I fear'd my reprobation.
Boldly I preach, &c.

In the holy tongue of Chanaan
I plac'd my chiefest pleasure,
Till I prick'd my foot

With an Hebrew root,

That I bled beyond all measure.

Boldly I preach, &c.

I appear'd before the archbishop,
And all the high-commission;


gave him no grace,

But told him to his face

That he favour'd superstition.

Boldly I preach, hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rotchets :

Come, hear me pray, nine times a day,

And fill your heads with crotchets."

The Iter Boreale is the longest poem in the volume. It is a sort of imitation of Horace's Journey to Brundisium, and describes a tour of four university men,-two doctors, and two in the way to become so. Their adventures are not very remarkable; but, at the time, we have no doubt this poem would be highly relished. The places visited are not ill described; and the Iter would derive considerable interest from its mention of living and remarkable characters, at whose houses the equestrian Oxonians were entertained. There is little, however, to interest modern readers, and we shall make no extract from it. This, indeed, we may say of the remainder of the poems, which we shall treat in a similar manner. Enough has been given to convey a very sufficient idea of the talents


It is said of Perkins, that "he would pronounce the word damme with such an emphasis (Holy State, p. 80, fol. 1652) as left a doleful echo in his auditors' ears a good while after." This passage is of itself a sufficient illustration of the poet. His works were published in three volumes, folio, 1612. The first in the collection is, A Golden Chaine, containing the Order of the Causes of Salvation and Damnation, &c., in the tables annexed.

of the Bishop-poet, and, perhaps, all that would be intelligible or interesting to the general reader and mere lover of poetry, has been already transferred to our pages.

ART. VIII. The great Evil of Health Drinking; or, a Discourse wherein the original Evil and Mischief of drinking of Healths are discovered and detected, and the Practice opposed. With several remedies and antidotes against it, in order to prevent the sad consequences thereof.

Prov. xx. 1.-Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

London: printed for Jonathan Robinson, at the Golden Lion, in St. Paul's Church Yard. 1684.

When a man of learning, eloquence, and general good sense sits down to write a book on the sin of health drinking, the most instructive lesson he is likely to teach, is the vanity of human reason. When so harmless a compliment can be legitimately proved worthy of the punishment of eternal damnation, we are very forcibly led to suspect, that the ingenuity of man will lead him to any conclusion in reasoning, to which the passion or the fashion of the hour may impel him. In moral disquisition, every thing depends upon the standard to which the reasoner refers for the value of his premises. If no standard be fixed, the conscientious inquirer comes to conclusions which to his mind conclude nothing; if a wrong standard be determined upon, the most rigid logic will lead to conclusions, the very absurdity and impracticability of which, fortunately, demonstrate the existence of error. It is curious to see, however, how far absurdity and impracticability will be tolerated before any doubt is infused of the correctness of the standard which has been looked up to. It is curious, too, to see how much this very absurdity and impracticability is corrected by a silent reference to conclusions derived from reasoning of another and independent kind, which prevents the dictates of perverse ingenuity from being brought at once to confusion and exposure by a reduction to practice. The Puritan, forming to himself a certain notion of the Deity, and also assuming a particular mode of divine government as alone pleasing to him, reasoned on these premises concerning the conduct of man. The consequence is seen in the habits, the manners, and the opinions of this class of men, who succeeded in establishing for them

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »