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The people, too, dislike the youth,
Mothers should honour'd be:
His queen, a pretty little wench,
Was born in Spain, speaks little French:
Now, why should Lewis, being so just,
With his Lucina's mate;
'T were charity.for to be known
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,
Who now shall make well-colour'd vice look pale?
From those whom preachers had given o'er? Even such
And wise men smile, and no man ask the cause:
Which shall be thought his own; and none shall say
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,
Thou, that of faces honeycombs dost make,
Get thee a lodging near thy client, dice,
There thou shalt practise on more than one vice.
There's more than reason, there's rhyme for 't,—the box.
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.
I observ'd in Perkin's tables
So struck in my brains,
That I fear'd my reprobation.
In the holy tongue of Chanaan
With an Hebrew root,
That I bled beyond all measure.
appear'd before the archbishop,
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