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works. It is to be supposed that this strange and barbarous jargon, the obscurity of which no intellect is able to pierce, was adopted by the fashionable beauties of that virgin court, for the purpose of shielding their virtue from the addresses of importunate ignorance." The former of these doughty critics had certainly an advantage over the latter, in having formed his opinion from actual perusal of his author's work ; since there is every reason to suppose, from the opinion advanced, that Mr. Ellis had never paid any attention to the books he so severely censures. Lilly's style, faulty as it is, according to modern estimate, is by no means a jargon, * and it demands no violent stretch of intellect very justly to comprehend the meaning of every passage.
John Lilly was certainly a man of considerable genius. He was learned, and had stored his memory with the fruits of a most extensive reading; he was also a close and a correct observer, and a candid judge of human actions. As a writer, he was perfectly original, and the founder of a school of temporary celebrity ; but failing in the essential requisite of good taste, he has
* “ Jargon,-unintelligible talk ; gabble, gibberish.”
[Johnson.] It is remarkable, that both Mr. Dunlop and Mr. Campbell make use of the same phrase to characterise the writings of Lilly. The former writer sums up his character as follows:-“In the romance of Euphues, there are chiefly three faults, which indeed pervade all the novels of the same school. 1st. A constant antithesis, not merely in the ideas, but words, as one more given to theft than thrift. 2nd. An absurd affectation of learning, by constant reference to history and mythology. 3rd. A singalar superabundance of similitudes. Lilly is well characterised by Drayton, as always
“ Talking of stones, stars, planets, fishes, fliesa
been more commonly ridiculed of late years, for affectation and nonsense, than praised as he deserves for correct and nervous writing, for a fertile invention, a most active and poetic imagination, and for that strict attention to harmony in the construction of his periods, of which he was the first to give an example in English prose. Lilly attempted an ornamental style of writing, and he is unfortunate only, in having outstepped that just medium, so hard to hit. His pages are crowded with images and metaphors, frequently both apposite and beautiful, occasionally incongruous and absurd. His aim was, not merely to improve the language, but also the morals of the age in which he lived; and it is highly probable that his books, from their popularity, effected in some degree his intention, It must be conceded, that he is most unsparing in his flattery of the “throned vestal" and her courtiers, both males and females, but that is a blemish he inherited in common with some of the best authors in our language, and was the prevailing vice of his time. It has been of late years a fashionable amusement among our gleaners in the fields of literature, to collect aphorisms from the domains of the elder writers; to such labourers we vezture earnestly to recommend the works of our Kentish Lilly, who well deserves the character he obtained from his contemporaries of being, one of the refiners of the English tongue in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
Lilly's celebrated work is a kind of novel in two parts, the former under the title of “Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit, &c.” was first published in 1581. The second part with the title of “ Euphues; and his England &e.” appeared some years after, and from
internal evidence was written in 1583. Many subsequent editions followed, and one containing the former part only, is of so late a date as 1718. The first part is dedicated to William West Lord De la Warre, and contains two whimsical addresses to the Gentlemen Readers and to the Gentlemen Scholars of Oxford. The scene of the first part is laid in Naples, and narrates first a love adventure of the hero Euphues and his friend Philautus, conducted mostly in the form of a dialogue, and containing more argument than incident; --secondly, a treatise on education ;-thirdly, a conversation between Euphues and Atheos, in which the latter, a decided atheist, is convinced by the arguments of the former, of the existence of a deity, and of the veracity of the christian revelation ;-fourthly, a series of letters on various subjects, some of them among the best of our author's writings. The second part conducts Euphues and his friend to England, and is devoted to the love adventures of the latter with the English ladies. The former has become a philosopher, and entertains us with remarks upon the manners of the islanders, and the character of their queen and her court. is dedicated to Edward Vere Earl of Oxford, and contains two addresses also, to the Ladies and Gentlewomen of England, and to the Gentlemen Readers. The following extracts will enable the reader to form his judgment concerning this singular work :
“At thy coming into England, be not too inquisitive of news,
neither curious of matters of state; in assemblies ask no questions, either concerning manners, or men ; be not too lavish of thy tongue, either in causes of weight, lest thou shew thyself an espial, or in wanton talk, lest thou prove thyself a fool.
“ It is the nature of that country to sift strangers ; every one that shaketh thee by the hand, is not joined to thee in heart.
• They think Italians wanton, and Grecians subtle: they will trust neither, they are so incredulous; but undermine both, they are so wise. Be not quarrellous for every light occasion; they are impatient in their anger of any equal, ready to revenge an injury, but never wont to provoke any : they never fight without provoking, and once provoked they never cease.
“ Beware thou fall uot into the snares of love; the women there are wise, the men are crafty, they will gather love by thy looks, and pick thy mind out of thy hands. It shall be there better to hear what they say, than to speak what thou thinkest; they have long ears and short tongues, quick to hear and slow to utter: broad eyes and light fingers, ready to espy, and apt to strike. Every stranger is a mark for them to shoot at : yet this must I say, which in no country I can tell the like, that it is as seldom to see a stranger abused there, as it is rare to see any well used elsewhere; yet presume not too much of the courtesy of them, for they differ in nature; some are hot, some cold; one simple, another wily: yet if thou use few words and fair speeches, thou shalt command any thing thou standest in need of."-There is much good sense and truth in these remarks, which strongly remind us of Sir Henry Wotton's advise to Milton, when about to commence his travels. The following description of English customs is equally characteristic and correct. Concerning their diet, in number of dishes, and change of meat, the nobility of England do excerd most, having all things that either may be bought for
money, or gotten for the season. Gentlemen and merchants feed very finely, and a poor man it is that dineth with one dish, and yet they are so content with' a little, that having half dined, they say, as it were in a proverb, that they are as well satisfied as the Lord Mayor of London ; whom they think to fare best, though he eat not most.
“In their meals there is great silence and gravity, using wine rather to ease the stomach than to load it, not like unto other nations, who never think they have dined until they be drunken.
“The attire they use is rather led by the imitation of others, than their own invention; so that there is nothing in England more constant than the inconstancy of attire: now using the French fashion, now the Spanish; then the Morisco gowns, then one thing, then another; insomuch, that in drawing of an Englishman, the painter setteth him down naked, having in one hand a pair of sheers, in the other a piece of cloth; who having out his collar after the French guise, is ready to make his sleeve after the Barbarian manner.
And although this were the greatest enormity that I could see in England, yet it is to be excused, for they that cannot maintain this pride, must leave off of necessity, and they that be able, will leave when they see the vanity."
Euphues to Botonio, to take his exite patiently. “If I were as wise to give thee council, as I am willing to do thee good, or as able to set thee at liberty, as I am desirous to have thee free, thou shouldest neither want good advice to guide thee, nor sufficient help to restore. Thou takest it heavily, that thou shouldest be accused without colour, and banished with