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selfish purposes to serve, and who breathed the air of discord as if it were a genial and invigorating element. He had never been an ultra royalist. He had always preserved his independence of sentiment. He never prostituted his muse to a cringing and servile flattery of those in power. The Satire which he addressed to James, from the Marshalsea prison, and which breathed such a noble spirit of indignation at injustice, proved that there was in him none of the stuff out of which court virtues could be moulded. Hear how he expresses his scorn at “the hired flatterers and eulogists of the day”
“Oh, how I scorn,
In counterfeiting passion." There appears in all his poems an upright, straight-forward simplicity of character, which, while it led him often into imprudences and personal hazards, made him sympathize with any sincere and well-meant endeavours to rectify public evils and reform social abuses. We find him accordingly during the civil war devoting himself, heart and purse and hand, to the cause of the Parliament. He raised troops in the same cause, and suffered from his farm being plundered by the royalists. He spent many years in wearisome and almost fruitless endeavours to obtain from Parliament remuneration for his losses incurred in supporting their cause. He lost also the favor of his republican friends. A bitter pamphlet, which he wrote against Sir Richard Onslow, caused him to be again imprisoned for a twelvemonth. Our poet seems to have been at one time on familiar terms with Cromwell, speaks of having been carried by the Protector to his own table, and of having received from him the key of his private closet at Whitehall, that he might retire thither when he visited him. He, however, had the boldness and honesty to deliver back the said key when he found a lack of sincerity on the part of that singular personage, and seems not to have been backward in serving him up in conversation a dish of wholesome, though probably not to his taste savory truths. Wither, on the whole, seems to have had but a bitter experience of the Commonwealth's days. Poor, aged, and deserted by former friends, he began to look forward wishfully to the return of the monarchy. Charles the Second was restored; but this event did not better the poor poet's fortunes. He was again imprisoned 1661. His muse was his companion in Newgate, as it had been on similar occasions before. He was discharged from the Tower, to which he had been transferred from Newgate, in 1663, and died on the 2d of May, 1667.
Francis Quarles was born in 1592. The best known of his poetical works is his Emblems, which is supposed to have appeared in 1635. The following extract we take from the work before us.
“Ah! whither shall I fly? What path untrod
Shall I seek out, to 'scape the flaming rod
'Tis Thou that strik’st the stroke must guard the blow.” And the man who wrote this is satirized by Pope in the Dunciad thus :
“Or where the pictures for the page atone ;
And Quarles is saved by beauties not his own.”
We wish we had room to give specimens of this writer's prose, which is equal, if not superior, to his verse.
Gentle, pious Herbert comes next in the gallery of old worthies and sacred poets. At one time he had hopes of political preferment, but these were blasted by the death of many of his noble friends, particularly of James; and, although much disappointed, he brought himself, at length, to a surrender of the
painted pleasures of a court life,” that he might devote himself to the work of a Gospel minister. The following lines on Grace are from his “Temple”:
“My stock lies dead, and no increase
Drop from above !
Thy house would but a dungeon prove,
Drop from above!
And shall the dew outstrip Thy dove ?
Drop from above!
Or, if to me Thou wilt not move,
Drop from above !'
“On the proud banks of great Euphrates' flood,
There we sate, and there we wept ;
While unhappy, captived we,
Lovely Sion, thought on thee.
Would have a song carved to their ears,
Come,' they cried, come, sing and play
Sing! Play! To whom (ah!) shall we sing or play,
If not, Jerusalem, to thee?
Of music's dainty touch, than I
The music of thy memory.
Lose this same busy speaking art,
On my dry palate's roof to rest,
A withered leaf, an idle guest.” The author of the "Lives of Sacred Poets" evidently entered upon his task with pleasure, and he has succeeded in collecting from the rubbish of old times many a jewel to adorn the fair forms of Virtue and Piety. “I have walked,” to use his own beautiful language, “through the burial ground of our elder poets with no irreverent footstep; and I shall not have lingered there in vain, if I have renewed one obliterated inscription, or bound one flower upon their tomb.”
NOTICES AND INTELLIGENCE.
Scenes and Characters illustrating Christian Truth. No. 1. Trial and Self-Discipline. By the Author of " James Talbot," “The Factory Girl," &c. pp. 100. — No. II. The Skeptic. By the Author of "The Well-Spent Hour," "Words of Truth," &c. pp. 144. Boston and Cambridge, James Munroe and Company. Both of these little books have appeared since our last number was issued; and the approbation with which the public have received them has been so decided, that we are conscious that our own is hardly needed. Our approbation, however, and our welcome, and our hearty thanks we must give, if it is only to gratify our feelings with regard to them, and to show that we are not insensible to the merits which have won the universal suffrage. We look on these books as commencing, and under the happiest auspices, a new era in our religious literature. We know of no previous work, in our own country certainly, which has so happily presented and illustrated important religious truth, under the forms of interesting narrative, and adorned with the graces of cultivated composition. “Their beauty makes us glad."
The first of these works sets forth in a manner truly touching and deeply impressive, the influence of religious principle in some of the most trying sorrows of life. It is a series of sketches rather than a continuous narrative; but each sketch has its object, and effects it. It appears to us to be an admirable book to put into the hands of the afflicted and distressed, of all those who want something to support them, and inspire them with strengthening principle. We should not know what to think of the person, who should read it faithfully through, and not feel improved by the perusal.
The second of these volumes also attains its end by an equally excellent
We say equally, — though we are aware that some preser the one, and others the other, because we perceive that the whole style of execution is so different in both, and in both so good, that it would be hard to say, in fairness, which is the best. People will decide, according to their peculiarities of taste,
and according to their state of feeling, and their spiritual needs, at the time of reading them. We shall only say that we are delighted with both. “The Skeptic" is intended to exhibit the influences of Christian faith, and of infidelity, as they work in the fortunes of common and domestic life. Perhaps the book will have no good effect on confirmed and hardened unbelievers, there are very few things that will; - but we are inclined to think, that on those who are halting between belief and unbelief, who are standing on the confines of light and darkness, it may exert a great and saving power.
Sober Thoughts on the State of the Times, addressed to the Unitarian Community. Boston. E. R. Broaders. 1835. 12mo. pp. 66. The anonymous author of this able and spirited pamphlet deals for the most part in admonitions and warnings; but he is not the less to be heeded on that account; and besides, he sees much to hope as well as much to fear in the aspect of the times. He undertakes to recount and explain the influences under which the Unitarians of this country have become in many respects a com. munity by themselves, to define the position which they now hold in the religious world, and to indicate some of their peculiar dangers
and responsibilities. As the tract has not been very extensively read, we hope that a short passage or two, taken from it almost at random, will serve the double purpose of illustrating the author's manner, and inducing a curiosity to know more of his “ Sober Thoughts." VOL. XVIII.
N. S. VOL. XIII. NO. II.