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Those scraps are good deeds past: which are devour'd
In monumental mockery. Take the instant way;
Where one but goes abreast: keep then the path;
Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
For time is like a fashionable host,
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand;
And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not yirtue seek
For beauty, wit,
High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,-
More land than gilt o'er-dusted.
The present eye praises the present object:
Troilus and Cressida, Act III. Scene II.
1 Dust that is a little gilt, means, ordinary performances ostentatiously displayed, and lauded by the favor of friends. Gilt o'er-dustid, means, splendid actions of preceding ages, the remembrance of which is weakened by time
* Emulous missions refers to the machinery of Homer, which makes the deities descend from heaven to engage on either side. 3 Law. 4 That is, of different degrees.
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
Henry V., Act L. Scene II.
THEзE names, united in their lives by friendship and confederate genrus, have always been considered together; for they wrote together, their works were published together, nor is it possible now to assign to each his specific share of their joint labors. Some of the productions of each, however, are distinctively known.
ADDRESS TO MELANCHOLY.
Francis Beaumont was born in Leicestershire, in 1586. He studied at Oxford, and thence passed to the Inner Temple; but the law had few charms for him, and, in conjunction with his friend Fletcher, he devoted his short life to the drama, and died in 1616, in the thirtieth year of his age.
John Fletcher was the son of Dr. Richard Fletcher, bishop of London, and was born in that city in 1576. He was educated at Cambridge: little, how ever, is known of his life. He survived his coadjutor nine years, dying of the plague in 1625.
Hence, all you vain delights;.
The plays of Beaumont and Fletcher consist of tragedies, comedies, and mixed pieces. That they have many and great merits is undoubtedly true; but there are two things which will ever be a bar to their being generally read: one is, that they have not that truthfulness to nature which alone can permanently please; and the other is, that they are filled with so much that is repulsive to a delicate and virtuous mind. Still, as has been justly remarked, a proper selection from the works of these dramatists would make a volume of refined sentiment, and of lofty and sweet poetry, combined with good sense, humor, and pathos. In lyrics they have not been surpassed, not even by Shakspeare or Milton; and to these, therefore, we shall confine our extracts.3
1 Sober, grave.
3 Read-Hazlitt's "Age of Elizabeth," and Lamb's "Specimens of Dramatic Poets."
But only melancholy;
Oh, sweetest melancholy,
Then stretch our bones in a still, gloomy valley; Nothing so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
THE LIFE OF MAN.
Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
See, the day begins to break,
EXHORTATION TO EARLY RISING.
Shepherds, rise, and shake off sleep!
Bag and bottle for the field!
THE SHEPHERD'S EVENING.
Shepherds all, and maidens fair,
And let your dogs lie loose without,
Of our great God. Sweetest slumbers,
On your eyelids! So, farewell!
SIR WALTER RALEIGH. 1552-1618.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH, one of the most remarkable men England has produced, was born in the parish of Budley in Devonshire, in 1552. About the year 1568 he entered Oxford, where he continued but a short time, for in the following year he was in France, where Hooker says "he spent good part of his youth in wars and martial exercises." He escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew, (August, 1572,) by taking refuge with Sir Philip Sidney in the house of the English ambassador. In 1579 he accompanied his half brother, Sir Henry Gilbert, in a voyage to Newfoundland: the expedition proved unfortunate, but it doubtless had an influence in leading him to engage in subsequent expeditions which have made his name famous. He soon ingratiated himself with the queen, who, in 1584, granted him a patent to discover such remote heathen and barbarous lands, not actually possessed by any Christian prince, as to him might seem good." Two ships were soon after fitted out by Raleigh, which arrived on the coast of Carolina in July. They were commanded by Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow, who took possession of the country in the name of the Virgin Queen, and called it Virginia. In 1585 he projected a second voyage, and seven vessels were sent out, which arrived at Roanoke, an island in Albemarle Sound. But the colonists failed in their object, and in July 27, 1586, returned to England, carrying with them, for the first time, that nauseous weed, tobacco, instead of diamonds and gold. In 1594 he matured the plan of his first voyage to Guiana-a voyage memorable in his history, as it was eventually the cause of his destruction. This expedi tion he attended in person, and returned to England in the summer of 1595, when he published a work, entitled "Discovery of the Large, Rich, and Beautiful Empire of Guiana."
But his fortune fell with the death of the queen. "A prince from the north, with the meanness of soul which has no parallel, and a narrow subtilty of intellect which is worse than folly, ascended the British throne, and changed the face and character of the court and the nation. King James frowned upon Raleigh, and within three months entertained a charge against him for high treason," of conspiring to dethrone the king, of exciting sedition, and of endeavoring to establish popery by the aid of foreign powers. After a trial, perhaps the most disgraceful in the annals of English jurisprudence, he was condemned to lose his head. He was reprieved, however, by the king, but his estates were taken from him, and he was sent to the Tower for twelve years a period the best employed of any in his life, as he there composed the great work on which his literary fame chiefly rests" The History of the World." In the year 1615 he was liberated by the king, who wanted him to plan and conduct an expedition to Guiana, and in 1617 he sailed with twelve vessels. But the expedition failed, and Sir Walter's death was determined on. Finding no present grounds against him, his enemies proceeded on the old sentence, and he was beheaded on the 29th of October, 1618, dying with the same dauntless resolution he had displayed through his life. "Who is there," exclaims Sir Egerton Brydges, "that will not read with a heart first expanding with admiration, and afterwards wrung with resentment and soi
1 Read--a memoir of Raleigh in that most fascinating of books, Sir Egerton Brydges's "Imaginative Biography;" also, the biography preceding the edition of his poems, by the same author, who has done so much for English literature.