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The following most affectionate and touching letter, written by Raleigh to his wife, after his condemnation, cannot be omitted:
You shall receive, my dear wife, my last words in these my last lines; my love I send you, that you may keep when I am dead, and my counsel, that you may remember it when I am no more. I would not with my will present you sorrows, dear Bess; let them go to the grave with me, and be buried in the dust. And seeing that it is not the will of God that I shall see you any more, bear my destruction patiently, and with an heart like yourself.
First, I send you all the thanks which my heart can conceive, or my words express, for your many travails and cares for me; which though they have not taken effect as you wished, yet my debt to you is not the less; but pay it I never shall in this world.
Secondly, I beseech you, for the love you bare me living, that you do not hide yourself many days, but by your travails seek to help the miserable fortunes and the right of your poor child. Your mourning cannot avail me that am but dust.
Thirdly, you shall understand, that my lands were conveyed bona fide to my child; the writings were drawn at midsummer was twelve months, as divers can witness; and I trust my blood will quench their malice who desired my slaughter, that they will not seek also to kill you and yours with extreme poverty. To what friend to direct you I know not, for all mine have left me in the true time of trial. Most sorry am I, that, being thus surprised by death, I can leave you no better estate; God hath prevented all my determinations, that great God which worketh all in all; and if you can live free from want, care for no more, for the rest is but a vanity: love God, and begin betimes-in him you shall find true, everlasting, and endless comfort; when you have travailed and wearied yourself with all sorts of worldly cogitations, you shall sit down by sorrow in the end. Teach your son also to serve and fear God whilst he is young, that the fear of God may grow up in him; then will God be an husband to you, and a father to him-an husband and a father that can never be taken from you.
Baylie oweth me a thousand pounds, and in Jernesey also I have much owing me. you, for my soul's sake, pay all poor men.
Aryan six hundred;
doubt you shall be much sought unto, for the world thinks I was very rich have a care to the fair pretences of men, for no greater misery can befall you in this life, than to become a prey unto the world, and after to be despised. I speak (God knows) not to dissuade you from marriage, for it will be best for you, both in respect of God and the world. As for me, I am no more yours, nor you mine; death hath cut us asunder, and God hath divided me from the world, and you from me. Remember your poor child for his father's sake, who loved you in his happiest estate. I sued for my life, but God knows it was for you and yours that I desired it for know it, my dear wife, your child is the child of a true man, who in his own respect despiseth death and his misshapen and ugly forms. I cannot write much; God knows how hardly I steal this time when all sleep; and it is also time for me to separate my thoughts from the world. Beg my dead body, which living was denied you, and either lay it in Sherbourne, or Exeter church by my father and mother. I can say no more; time and death call me away. The everlasting God, powerful, infinite, and inscrutable God Almighty, who is goodness itself, the true light and life, keep you and yours, and, have mercy upon me, and forgive my persecutors and false accusers, and send us to meet in his glorious kingdom. My dear wife, farewell; bless my boy, pray for me, and let my true God hold you both in his arms.
Yours that was, but now not mine own,
LADY ELIZABETH CAREY.'
Or the history of this lady, nothing satisfactory can be obtained. She wrote a tragedy, entitled "Mariam, the fair Queen of Jewry," written by that learned, virtuous, and truly noble lady, "E. C. 1613." It is written in alternate verse, and with a chorus after the manner of the Greek tragedians. She died probably some time in the reign of James the First. The following is the chorus in Act IV. of Mariam:
ON FORGIVENESS OF INJURIES.
Is scorning to revenge an injury;
If we a worthy enemy do find,
To yield to worth it must be nobly done;
1 Generally spelled Carew, but incorrectly.
But if of baser metal be his mind,
In base revenge there is no honor won.
We say our hearts are great and cannot yield;
A noble heart doth teach a virtuous scorn,
To scorn to lie, to scorn to do a wrong.
But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have,
And let our hate prevail against our mind?
Had Mariam scorn'd to leave a due unpaid,
She would to Herod then have paid her love;
Is virtuous pride. Had Mariam thus been proud,
SAMUEL DANIEL. 1562-1619.
We know but little of the personal history of Samuel Daniel. He was the son of a music master, and was born near Taunton, in Somersetshire, in 1562. In 1579 he entered Oxford, and left it at the end of three years without taking his degree. Towards the close of his life he retired to a farm in his native county, and died in 1619.
His most elaborate work is "The History of the Civil Wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster," which is rather an uninteresting work, for the reason that you see in it more of the correctness of the annalist than the fancy of the poet. Sound morality, prudential wisdom, and occasional touches of the pathetic, delivered in a style of great perspicuity, will be recognised throughout his work; but neither warmth, passion, nor sublimity, nor the most distant trace of enthusiasm, can be found to animate the mass. But some of his minor poems, especially his moral epistles, have great merit, abounding in original thought, expressed in clear, simple, and vigorous language. A very discriminating and candid critic says, "We find both in his poetry and prose such a legitimate and rational flow of language, as approaches nearer the style of the eighteenth than the sixteenth century, and
of which we may safely assert, that it will never become obsolete. He certainly was the Atticus of his day."1
He that of such a height hath built his mind,
His settled peace, or to disturb the same:
And with how free an eye doth he look down
He looks upon the mightiest monarchs' wars
To serve his ends, and make his courses hold.
And whilst distraught ambition compasses,
Thus, madam, fares that man, that hath prepared
To plant your heart; and set your thoughts as near
Epistle to the Countess of Cumberland.
1 Read-notices of Daniel in Headley's "Beauties of Ancient English Poetry;" in the Retrospective Review, viii. 227 and in Drake's Shakspeare, i. 611.