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That she, whilst I thy temple's beauties shew,-
Perhaps the following specimen of the composition of this poem will be sufficient for the satisfaction of our readers,
Having the shrine survey'd, we now proceed,
And though it be the dryest common place
Kent, who of worthies nut unfruitful art,
Boughton, both to that living name a seat,
[Lib. 5. p. 90.]
The notes are omitted, as the substance of them has been given before in the account of Sir Henry Wotton.
BORN 1618.-DIED 1654.
Whose hand so rudely grasps the steely brand,
Him valiant'st men and fairest nymphs approve,
Thy youth an abstract of the world's best parts,
(CHARLES COTTON) Elegy on the death of Lovelace.
For the few particulars that have descended to us respecting this gallant cavalier and accomplished man, we are indebted to the industry of Anthony Wood. Biography is a science of modern times, and was in a great measure unknown in the early period of our literature, and the memory of Lovelace has suffered in common with that of some of the most illustrious names that adorn our annals.
Richard Lovelace was the eldest son of Sir William Lovelace, of Woolwich in Kent, and born there in 1618. He was educated at the Charter House, and removed at the age of sixteen, to Oxford, where he became a gentleman commoner of Gloucester Hall. Two years afterwards, on a visit made by the Court to the University, he was created a Master of Arts, which honour he thus prematurely obtained, as Wood assures us, “ at the request of a great lady belonging to the Queen.” *
Upon leaving the university he attached himself to the court, and obtained the patronage of Lord Goring, afterwards Earl of Norwich, who sent him in the capacity of an ensign with the army employed in Scotland in 1639. In the subsequent expedition to that country he held a captain's commission. During these military employments he commenced author, and wrote a tragedy called The Soldier, which was neither printed nor acted, and is probably lost..
Upon the pacification at Berwick, he quitted the army for a time, and retired to his estate in Kent, which according to Wood produced him an annual income of 500 pounds. Whether he took an active
* Lovelace appears to have been a great favourite with the ladies. Wood observes that he was “much admired and adored by the female sex.” Andrew Marvell has the following
“But when the beauteous ladies came to know
He who best loved, and then defended best :" and James Howell
“ Lovelace the minion of the Thespian dames,
part in the military proceedings of that unhappy time, as might have been expected, or not, does not appear by the narrative of his biographer. He must however, have been held in considerable estimation by his Kentish contemporaries, as he was niade choice of to deliver the first petition presented from that county to the House of Commons, for the restoration of the King, and by so doing, rendered himself obnoxious to that despotic assembly. He was apprehended in consequence, and confined a close prisoner in the Gatehouse at Westminster, and it was during this imprisonment that he composed the well-known and justly admired song “ to Althea from prison." His confinement lasted only three or four months, when he was liberated upon bail, conditionally that he should not remove beyond the lines of communication without a pass from the Speaker of the House.
After the surrender of Oxford in 1646, when the King's affairs became desperate, he formed the resolution of embarking with the wreck of his fortune in the service of the French ; with which intention be raised a regiment assumed the command of it and was wounded soon afterwards at Dunkirk.
He returned to England in 1648, and was upon his arrival in London, committed again as a prisoner to Peterhouse in that city, together with his brother Dudley, who was a captain in his regiment. This confinement lasted until after the judicial murder of the King; being then no longer an object of dread to the party in power, he was set at liberty. His unhappy condition at this time must be given in the words of the Oxford historian :-“ Having consumed all his estate, he grew very melancholy, which at length brought him into a