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one of the royal favorites, was knighted, and appointed to various high and lucrative offices in the kingdom.
Colonization Schemes. - In 1584 Raleigh received letters-patent empowering him to colonize and govern any unoccupied territories that he might find in North America. In that same year one of his parties discovered the land which was afterwards named Virginia in honor of the Queen. Another party made an unsuccessful attempt to colonize Roanoke Island. The iutroduction of tobacco and the potato into Europe is commonly ascribed to Raleigh.
Other Adventures. - In 1588, Raleigh took an active part in the contests with the Spanish Armada. Having lost favor with the Queen by his marriage with Miss Throgmorton, one of the Queen's maids-of-honor, he tried to compensate for the disgrace by acquiring fresh laurels as a discoverer. Accordingly, in 1595 he sailed in search of the fabulous land of gold, Eldorado, and ascended the river Orinoco for nearly sixty leagues. An account of his expedition he published in the same year. He regained the royal favor, and served as rear-admiral at the taking of Cadiz, in 1596.
Disliked by James. - When James I. became king, Raleigh fell again into disgrace. He was accused of being an accomplice in Cobham's treason, and convicted in 1603, on scanty proof. Instead of being executed, he was confined in prison until 1615, when he was released conditionally. During this long coufinement he wrote his most celebrated work, The History of the World.
Last E.rpedition. The condition of his release was that he should open a goldmine in Guiana. On the way the squadron attacked the Spaniards near St. Thomas. The attempt to discover the gold-mine was unsuccessful, and the expedition returned in 1618. The Spaniards complained of the outrage done to them, and King James, who was anxious at that time to keep on good terms with them, revived the former condemnation for high treason pronounced fifteen years before. Raleigh was executed October 28, 1618.
Personal Character. - Of Raleigh as a man and an adventurer it is scarcely yet time to speak. The history of the reign of Qucen Elizabeth has not yet been written; fresh investigations are showing more and more the uncertainty of former judgments upon the men and events of that day. Sir Walter Raleigh, in particular, needs a careful and impartial biographer. The outlines of his life are clear enough, but there is a halo of fable about many of the details, and also about the personal character of the man and his motives. It will be wise, therefore, to suspend judgment until more positive information is attainable.
How Regarded by his Contemporaries. - IIe was looked upon as the flower of courtesy in an ago when court life was the prominent phase of English society; he was, for the times, an accomplished scholar, a bold adventurer, a lover of the muses, and a friend of the poet Spenser, who honored him with one of his sweetest sonnets. Raleigh is thus the type of the England of the sixteenth century, — bold, hasty, gallant, not over-scrupulous in the choice of means, but genial in manners, and, with all its faults, full of life and character. Literary Merits.
Raleigh's poems have been collected by Sir S. E. Brydges. The best known of them are: The Country's Recreations, Phillida's Love Call, The Silent Lover, The Shepherd's Description of Love, &c. It may be said of Raleigh that he just fell short of becoming a fine lyric poet. His life was too irregular, and left him too little leisure to develop his poetical talents. His greatest prose work is un
questionably his Iistory of the World, which, however, is brought down only to the end of the Macedonian Empire. Although, of course, superseded in matters of fact by later works, it is regarded as a model of style, and the pioneer of the great English school of historical writers. It is clear and spir acute without being taken up in trivialities, and is pervaded with the sweet spirit of philosophic culture.
Raleigh's Letter to his Wife, written in 1603, when he was expecting speedy execution, is a wonderful example of the combination of affection and simple dignity.
“The Greek and Roman story is told more fully and exactly (in the History of the World) than by any earlier English author, and with a plain eloquence that has given the book a classical reputation in our language, though from its length, and the want of that critical sifting of facts which we now justly demand, it is not greatly read. There is little now obsolete in the words of Raleigh, nor, to any great degree, in his turns of phrase; the periods, when pains have been taken with them, show that artificial structure which we find in Sidney and looker; he is less pedantic than most of his contemporaries, seldom low, never affected." - Hallam.
Thomas Sackville, 1536-1608, Earl of Dorset, and Lord High Treasurer of England, was a man of note in letters, as well as in affairs of state.
The Mirrour for Magistrates. In 1557, Sackville formed the design of a poem, entitled The Mirrour for Magistrates, of which he wrote only The Induction, and one Legend, that on the life of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham.
Plan of the Poem. - In imitation of Dante and some others of his predecessors, Sackville lays the scene of his poem in the infernal regions, to which he descends under the guidance of an allegorical personage named Sorrow. It was his object to make all the great persons of English history, from the ('onquest downwards, pass here in review, and each tell his own story, as a warning to existing statesmen.
How Completed. - Other duties compelling the poet, after he had written what has been stated, to break off, he committed the completion of the work to two poets of inferior note, William Baldwin and George Ferrers.
Character of the l'oem.-“The whole poem is one of a very remarkable kind for the age, and the part executed by Sackville himself exhibits in some parts i strength of description and a power of drawing allegorical characters, scarcely inferior to Spenser." — - Chambers.
Other Poetry. - Sackville also was the anthor, jointly perhaps with Thomas Norton, of the first regular English Tragedy, Ferrex and Porrex, called also Gorboduc.
GEORGE FERRERS, 1512-1579, was an Oxford scholar, and was distinguished in his day for his legal knowledge and for his literary culture.
The chief distinction of Ferrers is that he was one of the contributors to the Mirrour for Magistrates. He wrote for this the following six poetical chronicles: The Fall of Robert Trevilian; The Tragedy or Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester; The Tragedy of Richard II.; The Story of Dame Elcanor Cobham; The Story of Humphrey Plantagenet; The Tragedy of Edward, Duke of Somerset.
WILLIAM BALDWIN, 1564, a scholar and printer of some celebrity, was one of the contributors to the Mirrour for Magistrates.
He wrote also, A Treatise on Moral Philosophy; The Canticles or Ballads of Solomon, in English Metres; The Use of Adages, Similes, and Proverbs; and Beware the Cat.
Warner. William Warner, 1558-1609, a lawyer during the reign of Elizabeth, wrote a long poem, Albion's England, which was exceedingly popular at that time, but has since fallen into neglect.
Plan of his Poem. — Albion's England is a narrative poem, professing to give the history of England from the Deluge to the time of James I. It is full of lively and amusing incidents taken from the old chronicles. It is divided into thirteen books, and contains nearly ten thousand fourteen-syllable lines.
Its Character. – Warner in his day was ordinarily coupled with Spenser, the two being spoken of as the Homer and Virgil of English literature. Spenser was the poet of the hall and the boudoir, Warner of the kitchen. His thoughts and style present a perfect contrast to those of Spenser. While the latter is full of mysterious and stately splendors, suited to dazzle the imagination, the former walks in open daylight, and is busied with the common and vulgar wants of men, expressed in common, every-day language. Warner is chargeable also with shocking grossness and indecency, and on this account, more than any other, has fallen into deserved neglect.
Robert South well, 1560-1595, one of the minor poets of the time of Elizabeth, is remembered with melancholy interest on account of his tragical end.
Early Career, - Southwell was born of Catholic parents, who sent him, when very young, to be educated at the English college at Douay, and from thence to Rome, where, at the age of sixteen, he entered the Society of the Jesuits. At the age of twenty-four he returned to his native country as a missionary, notwithstanding a law which threatened with death all members of his profession who should be found in England. For eight years he appears to have ministered secretly but zealously to the scattered adherents of his creed, without, however, so far as is known, doing any. thing to disturb the peace of society.
Arrest and Imprisonment. – In 1592, he was apprehended in a gentleman's house, and committed to a dungeon in the Tower, so noisome and filthy, that, when he was brought out for examination, his clothes were covered with vermin. Upon this his father, a man of good family, presented a petition to the Queen, to the effect, that if his son had committed anything for which, by the laws, he had deserved death, let him suffer death; if not, as he was a gentleman, be hoped her Majesty would orier him to be treated as a gentleman. South well, after this, was better lodged.
Trial and Execution. – An imprisonment of three years, with ten inflictions of the rack, wore out his patience, and he entreated to be brought to trial. Cecil is said to have made the brutal remark, that “ if he was in so much haste to be hanged, ho should quickly have his desire." He was accordingly condemned to death, and executed at Tyburn, with all the revolting circumstances of cruelty characteristic of the old treason law of England. Throughout these scenes, Southwell is said to have behaved with a mild fortitude, which was the strongest commentary on his purity of character. The life of Southwell was ehort, but full of grief; and the prevailing tone of his poetry is that of religious resignation.
His Poetry. - South well's two longest poems, St. Peter's Complaint, and Mary Magdalene's Tears, were written in prison. Tho composed while he was suffering crnel persecution, no trace of angry feeling occurs in them against any human being or institution. Southwell's poems were for a time exceedingly popular; after that, they fell for a long time into neglect. They have risen again in public estimation in the present day, a new and complete edition of them having appeared in 1856.
Daniel. Samuel Daniel, 1562-1619, figured as a lyric poet, a dramatist, and a historian.
Daniel was educated at Oxford, and became tutor to the Countess of Pembroke. He was associated in London with Shakespeare, Marlowe, Chapman, and others of that class, and towards the close of his life retired to a small farm in the country. He wrote many poems, and was in great favor among his contemporaries.
His Works.- The following are the titles of some of his works: The Queen's Arcadia, a Pastoral Tragi-Comedy; The Tragedy of Cleopatra ; The Tragedy of Philotus; Hymen's Triumph ; Twelve Goddesses; Musophilus; and numerous Sonnets. He wroto also, in prose, A History of England, and A History of the Civil Wars between the Ilouses of York and Lancaster.
“ His father was a master of music; and his harmonious mind made an impression on his son's genius, who passed as an exquisite poet. He carried, in his Christian (name) and surname, two holy prophets, his monitors, so to qualify his raptures, that he abhorred all profaneness. He was also a judicious historian, witness his Lives of our English Kings since the Conquest until Edward III., wherein he hath the happiness to reconcile brevity with clearness, qualities of great distance in other authors. In his old age, he turned husbandman, and rented a farm in Wiltshire. I can give no account how he thrived thereupon.” – Puller's Worthies,
Drayton. Michael Drayton, 1563-1631, was a voluminous poet of much celebrity in his time, though now little read.
Drayton was aided in early life by Sir Walter Acton, and in his later years he lived in comfort under the hospitable roof of the Earl of Dorset.
Chief Work. — Drayton's chief work was the Poly-Olbion, in 30 Songs or Cantos, and making 30,000 Alexandrian lines, rhyming in couplets. It is a topographical description of all the tracts, rivers, mountains, and forests of Great Britain, intermixed with local traditions and antiquities. In other words, it is the antiquities of Britain, in Verse. As a book of antiquities, it is said to be remarkable for its accuracy and for the minuteness of its information, and it is not devoid of poetry.
Other Works. — Drayton wrote also, The Barons' Wars, an account of the civil wars of the reign of Edward II.; England's Heroical Epistles ; The Shepherd's Garlund; The Court of Fairy; The Moon Calf; The Downfall of Robert of Normandy; Hly Hymns, &c., &c. The Barons' Wars and the Ileroical Epistles were of great length. His poems altogether anount to more than 100,000 lines.
“ His Poly-Olbion is certainly a wonderful work, exhibiting at once the learning of an historian, an antiquary, a naturalist, and a geographer, and embellished by the imagination of a poet.” – EUis's Early English Poets.
“There is probably no poem of this kind in any other language, comparable in extent and excellence to the Poly-Olbion ; nor can any one read a portion of it without admiration for its learned and highly gifted author.” — Hallam.
" The genius of Drayton is neither very imaginative nor very pathetic; but he is an agreeable and weighty writer, with an ardent, if not a bighly creative funcy." --- Craik.
"Drayton, sweet ancient bard, his Albion sung,
EDWARD FAIRFAX, 1632, is well known as the translator of Tasso.
Fairfax was a son of Sir Thomas Fairfax, of Yorkshire, and passed his time in lettered ease in a quiet country-seat.
Works. — Besides the translation of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, Fairfax wrote A Poetical History of the Black Prince; Twelve Eclogues; A Discourse on Witchcraft, &c. None of them are of any particular value except his Tasso, and this was so admirable that it has kept its place to this day as a standard work.
"We do not know a translation in any language that is to be preferred to this in all the essentials of poetry.” — London Quart. Review.
SIR THOMAS OVERBURY, 1581–1613, was a witty gallant of the reign of James I. He was imprisoned in the Tower on a frivolous pretext,