Lapas attēli

Thy poems (sacred spring!) did from thee flow,
With as much pleasure, as we read them now.
Nor need we only take them up by fits,
When love or physic hath diseased our wits;
Or construe English to untie a knot,
Hid in a line, far subtler than the plot.
With thee the page may close his lady's eyes,
And yet with thee the serious student rise:
The eye at several angles darting rays,
Makes, and then sees, new colours; so thy plays
To every understanding still appear,
As if thou only meant'st to take that ear;
The phrase so terse and free, of a just poise,
Where every word has weight, and yet no noise;
The matter too so nobly fit, no less

Than such as only could deserve thy dress:
Witness thy comedies, pieces of such worth,
All ages shall still like, but ne'er bring forth.
Others in season last scarce so long time,
As cost the poet but to make the rhyme:
Where, if a lord a new way does but spit,
Or change his shrug, this antiquates the wit.
That thou didst live before, nothing would tell
Posterity, could they but write so well.
Thy catholic fancy will acceptance find,
Not whilst an humour's living, but mankind.
Thou, like thy writings, innocent and clean,
Ne'er practised a new vice, to make one scene;
None of thy ink had gall, and ladies can
Securely hear thee sport without a fan.

But when thy tragic muse would please to rise
In majesty, and call tribute from our eyes,
Like scenes, we shifted passions, and that so,
Who only came to see, turned actors too.

How didst thou sway the theatre! make us feel

The players' wounds were true, and their swords, steel!
Nay, stranger yet, how often did I know

When the spectators ran to save the blow! *

At's fingers ends; no frenzy, fever, sickness,
But he hath cordials for: so his large bills
Pasted on every post speak in his praise."

How often did I know

When the spectators ran to save the blow This alludes to those spectators who were accommodated with chairs on the stage. The encomiast may refer to some contemporary anecdote, like that of Mademoi

Frozen with grief we could not stir away
Until the epilogue told us 'twas a play.
What shall I do? all commendations end
In saying only, thou wert Beaumont's friend!
Give me thy spirit quickly, for I swell,
And like a raving prophetess cannot tell
How to receive thy genius in my breast:
Oh! I must sleep, and then I'll sing the rest.

T. PALMER, of Ch. Ch. Oxon.

Upon the unparalleled Plays written by those renowned Twins of Poetry, BEAUMONT and FLETCHer.

WHAT'S here? another library of praise, 4
Met in a troop to advance contemned plays,
And bring exploded wit again in fashion?
I can't but wonder at this reformation.
My skipping soul surfeits with so much good,
To see my hopes into fruition bud.

A happy chemistry! blest viper! Joy!

That through thy mother's bowels gnaw'st thy way!
Wits flock in shoals, and club to re-erect,

In spite of ignorance, the architect

Of occidental poesy; and turn

Gods, to recal Wit's ashes from their urn.

selle Dumesnil, who, performing the character of Cleopatra in a high strain of passion, on uttering a threat against the gods, was struck violently on the neck by an old officer, who accompanied the blow with execrations. At the conclusion of the tragedy she thanked him most warmly, declaring that she never had received equally valuable applause.

3 Wood mentions five authors of this name, so that it is uncertain to which of them these verses should be attributed.

4 Another library of praise.] This alludes to the numerous commendatory copies of verses on Tom Coryat's Crudities, which swelled into an entire volume. This is touched at in the copy of verses by Richard Brome:

"For the witty copies took,

Of his encomiums made themselves a book.”



Like huge Colosses, they've together knit 5
Their shoulders to support a world of wit.

The tale of Atlas (though of truth it miss)
We plainly read mythologized in this!
Orpheus and Amphion, whose undying stories
Made Athens famous, are but allegories.
'Tis Poetry has power to civilize

Men, worse than stones, more. blockish than the trees.
I cannot choose but think (now things so fall)
That Wit is past its climacterical;

And though the Muses have been dead and gone,
I know they'll find a resurrection.

'Tis vain to praise; they're to themselves a glory,
And silence is our sweetest oratory.

For he, that names but Fletcher, must needs be
Found guilty of a loud hyperbole.

His fancy so transcendently aspires,

He shews himself a wit, who but admires.

Here are no volumes stuff'd with chevrel sense,"
The very anagrams of eloquence;

Nor long long-winded sentences that be,

Being rightly spell'd, but wit's stenography;
Nor words as void of reason as of rhyme,
Only cæsura'd to spin out the time.
But here's a magazine of purest sense,
Cloath'd in the newest garb of eloquence:

Scenes that are quick and sprightly, in whose veins
Bubbles the quintessence of sweet high strains.
Lines, like their authors, and each word of it

Does say, 'twas writ by a gemini of wit.

How happy is our age! how blest our men!

When such rare souls live themselves o'er again.

they've together met

Their shoulders to support a world of wit.] I should not find fault with met and wit being made rhimes here, (the poets of those times giving themselves such a licence) but that two persons meeting their shoulders is neither sense nor English! I am therefore persuaded the author wrote knit. So twice in the copy by Jasper Maine:

“In fame, as well as writings, both so knit,
That no man knows where to divide your wit.”

And again,

"Nor were you thus in works and poems knit," &c.


Chevrel sense.] Cheverel is soft pliable kid leather, and the word occurs in the same manner as in the text in several old plays. Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, says, "O, here's a wit of cheverel that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad."

We err, that think a poet dies; for this
Shews, that 'tis but a metempsychosis.
Beaumont and Fletcher here, at last, we see
Above the reach of dull mortality,

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Or power of fate: And thus the proverb hits,
(That's so much cross'd) These men live by their wits.

On the Death and Works of Mr JOHN FLETCHER.

My name, so far from great, that 'tis not known,
Can lend no praise but what thou'dst blush to own;
And no rude hand, or feeble wit, should dare
To vex thy shrine with an unlearned tear.

I'd have a state of wit convoked, which hath

A power to take up on common faith;

That, when the stock of the whole kingdom's spent
In but preparative to thy monument,

The prudent council may invent fresh ways
To get new contribution to thy praise;
And rear it high, and equal to thy wit;
Which must give life and monument to it.

So when, late, Essex died, the public face
Wore sorrow in't; and to add mournful grace
To the sad pomp of his lamented fall,
The commonwealth served at his funeral,
And by a solemn order built his hearse;

-But not like thine, built by thyself in verse,
Where thy advanced image safely stands
Above the reach of sacrilegious hands.
Base hands, how impotently you disclose

Your rage 'gainst Camden's learned ashes, whose

? A poet of no mean powers, and one of the most strenuous and successful satirists upon the republicans of the time. He was born in 1620 and died 1666. Besides his poems, which principally consist of political songs, he wrote a comedy, entitled The Cunning Lovers.

8 So when, late, Essex died.] The Earl of Essex, who had been general for the parliament in the civil war against King Charles the First, died on the 14th of September, 1646, and the first folio of Beaumont and Fletcher's Works was published in 1647.-Theobald.

Defaced statua and martyr'd book,
Like an antiquity and fragment look,
Nonnulla desunt's legibly appear,

So truly now Camden's Remains lie there.
Vain malice! how he mocks thy rage, while breath
Of Fame shall speak his great Elizabeth!
'Gainst time and thee he well provided hath;
Britannia is the tomb and epitaph.

Thus princes' honours; but wit only gives
A name which to succeeding ages lives.

Singly we now consult ourselves and fame,
Ambitious to twist ours with thy great name.
Hence we thus bold to praise: For as a vine,
With subtle wreath and close embrace, doth twine
A friendly elin, by whose tall trunk it shoots,
And gathers growth and moisture from its roots;
About its arms the thankful clusters cling
Like bracelets, and with purple ammelling
The blue-cheek'd grape, stuck in its vernent hair,
Hangs like rich jewels in a beauteous ear.
So grow our praises by thy wit; we do

Borrow support and strength, and lend but show.
And but thy male wit, 9 like the youthful sun,
Strongly begets upon our passion,

Making our sorrow teem with elegy,

Thou yet unwept, and yet unpraised might'st be.
But they're imperfect births; and such are all
Produced by causes not univocal,

The scapes of Nature, passives being unfit;
And hence our verse speaks only mother-wit.
Oh, for a fit o' th' father! for a spirit
That might but parcel of thy worth inherit;
For but a spark of that diviner fire,

Which thy full breast did animate and inspire;
That souls could be divided, thou traduce
But a small particle of thine to us!

Of thine; which we admired when thou didst sit
But as a joint-commissioner in wit;

When it had plummets hung on to suppress
Its too luxuriant growing mightiness:

Till, as that tree which scorns to be kept down,
Thou grew'st to govern the whole stage alone;
In which orb thy throng'd light did make the star,
Thou wert the intelligence did move that sphere.

9 And but thy male wit, &c.] Mr Seward omits this and the nine following lines.-Ed. 1778.

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