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and was there poisoned through the machinations of the Earl of Somerset.
Overbury wrote two didactic poems, The Wife, and The Choice of a Wife. His best work was in prose, consisting of a series of Characters, or Witty Descriptions of the Properties of Sundry Persons.
Wotton. Sir Henry Wotton, 1568-1639, was a writer and a political character of some note in the reigns of Elizabeth and of James I.
His Career. - Wotton was born at Bocton Hall, the seat of his ancestors, in Kent. After receiving his education at Winchester and Oxford, and travelling for some years on the Continent, he attached himself to the service of Essex, the favorite of Elizabeth, but had the sanuity to forisee the fate of that nobleman, and to elude its consequences by withdrawing in time from the kingilom. Having afterwards gained the friendship of James, by communicating the secret of a conspiracy formed against him, he was employed by that monarch, after his accession to the throne of England, as ambassador to Venice. He had a versatile and lively mind, well suited in some respects to the intricacies of foreign diplomacy. One of his sayings is often quoted. He defines an ambassador to be "an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." In 1627, he was made Provost of Eton, which post he occupied until his death, in 1639,
Works. – While living abroad he embodied the result of his inquiries into political affairs in a work called The State of Christendom, or, A Most Exact and Curious Discovery of Many Secret Passages and Hidden Mysteries of the Times. While Provost of Eton he published Elements of Architecture, the best work on the subject at that time. The Reliquix Wottoniunx, published posthumously, is a collection of his miscellaneous pieces, including Lives, Letters, Poems, and Characters.
" The poetry of Wotton, though chiefly written for the amusement of his leisure, and through the excitement of casual circumstances, possesses the invaluable attractions of energy, simplicity, and the most touching morality; it comes warm from the heart, and, whether employed on an amatory or a didactic subject, makes its appropriate impression with an air of sincerity which never fails to delight. Of this description are the pieces entitled A Farewell to the Vanities of the Worli, the Character of a Happy Life, and the Lines on the Queen of Bohemia."-- Drake's Shakespeare.
BARNABY BARNES, 1569 —, one of the hangers-on of the Earl of Essex, wrote a considerable number of sonnets, madrigals, odes, &c. IIis Sonnets were 100 in number, and were called by him A Divine Century of Spiritual Sonnets, 1596. He putu lished also Four Books of Oslices, and The Devil's Charter, a Tragedy.
RICHARD BARNFIELD, 1574 , was the author of several poems : The Affectionate Shepherd, 1594; Cynthia, 1595; The Encomium of Lady Pecunia, or Praise of Money, &c., 1598.
JosiitA SYLVESTER, 1563-1618, enjoyed in his day no little reputation as a poet and a linguist, and was even called the “silver. tongued."
Sylvester was the author of a number of Bonnets and poems, in several of which he vied with leis royal master, James I., in the denunciation of tobacco. His chief fame, perhaps, rests upon his translation of the works of the French poet Du Bartas. One of the poems by vu Bartas — La Semaine - may be said to contain the germs of Milton's Paradise Lost.
WILLIAM BROWNE, 1590–1615, a writer of pastorals, was highly commended by Ben Jonson, Drayton, and Selden, and by critics of a later date; but his poems have failed to hold a perinavent place in literature. Works: Britannia's Pastorals; The Shepherd's Pipo; The Inner Temple, a Masque, etc.
SAMUEL ROWLANDS, 1634, was the author of many curious poetical pieces, which form a part of the literary history of the period.
The following are the titles of some of Rowland's poems: The Betraying of Christ; Judas in Despair; The Letting of Ilumor's Blood in the lead-Vein; "Tis Merry when Gossips Meet; Look to it, for I'll stab Ye; Doctor Merryman, or Nothing but Mirth; The Knave of Clubs; The Knare of Hearts; More Knaves Yet; Good News and Bad News; The Night Raven, etc.
“The humorous description of low life exhibited in Rowlands's Satires are more precious to antiquarians than more grave works, and those who make the manners of Shakespeare's age the subject of their study may better spare a better author than Samuel Rowlands." — Sir Walter Scott.
Giles and Phineas Fletcher.
Giles Fletcher, 1588-1623, and Phineas Fletcher, 15841650, brothers, were poets of a kindred stamp, and were much alike in their characters and pursuits.
Both were educated at Eton and Cambridge; both were clergymen; both are in good estimation for poetry of a quiet, but pure and elevating character.
They were cousins of John Fletcher, the Dramatist, the associate of Beaumont.
Giles Fletcher's chief poem is entitled Christ's Victory and Triumph in Ileaven and Eirth over and after Death. The description which he gives of the first meeting betueen Christ and the Tempter is supposed to have suggested to Milton some of the scenes in his Paradise Regained.
“ Giles, inferior as he is to Spenser and Milton, might be figured, in his happiest moments, as a link of connection in our poetry between those congenial spirits, for he remind us of both, and evidently gave hints to the latter in a poem on the same subject with Paradise Regained.” — Champbell's English Poets.
Phineas Fletcher, the elder brother, wrote several poems: The Locusts or Apollyonists, a satire directed against the Jesuits; Sicelides, a Dramatic piece; Piscatory Eclogues, etc, and good old Izaak Walton calls luimu “An excellent divine and an excellent angler." But his chi'f work, and the only one by which he is now known, was The Purple Island. This was an allegorical poem, after the style of Spenser, the
" Island" being the human body, its streams being the veins and arteries, and the moral and mental faculties of the soul being the actors or heroes.
** The title of the Purple Island is most attractive and most fallacious. If a reader should take it up (as would probably be the case with those ignorant of its nature) with the expectation of finding some delightful story or romantic fiction, what must be his disappointment to plunge at once into an anatomical lecture in verse on the human frame – to find that the poot had turned topographer of an island founded upon human bones, with veins for its thousand small brooks, and arteries for its larger streams; and that the mountains and valleys with which it is diversified are neither more nor less than the inequalities and undulations of the microcosm." – Retrospectire Recico.
“After exerting his entire powers on this department of the subject, the virtues and better qualities of the heart, under their leader, Electa, or Intellect, are attacked by the vices; a battle ensues, and the latter are vanquished, after a vigorous opposition, through the interposition of an angel, who appears at the prayer of Electa.". Headley.
“They were both the disciples of Spenser, and, with his diction greatly modernized, retained much of his melody and luxuriant expression. Giles's Christ's Victory has a tone of enthusiasm peculiarly solemn. Phineas, with a livelier fancy, had a coarse taste. Ile lavished on a bad subject the power and ingenuity that would have made a fine poom on a good design." - Campbell's English Poets.
George Herbert, 1593–1632, a thoughtful and quiet poet of this period, was the author of two works, The Temple, and The Country Parson, which have given him a permanent place in literature.
Herbert was a younger brother of Lord Edward IIerbert. Ile was educated at Westminster School and at Cambridge, and took orders in the Church of England. In all particulars he seems to have been the direct opposite of his brother, leading the quiet, retired life of a country divine, and governed by a spirit of unaffected piety.
Ilerbert is known by the two principal poetical works already named and by Izaak Walton's life of him. Herbert's simple, pure poetry, appearing in an age of unlwunded licentiousness, met with astonishing success. Although later generations have moderated the lavish praise bestowed upon Herbert by his contemporaries, the final judga ment seems strongly in favor of the poet's claims to lasting recognition. His poems are at times overloaded with conceits and quaint imagery - the great fault of that age — but this cannot destroy the vein of true, devotional poetry running through them all.
Drummond of Hawthornden. William Drummond of Hawthornden, 1585-1649, a Scotchman, the son of Sir John Drummond, was a poet of good repute in his day.
Drummond was educated at the University of Edinburgh, and afterwards studied the civil law in France, but abandoned the profession for that of letters. On the death of his father, he retired to the family seat of llawthornden, famons for the beauty of its natural scenery, and there lived in peaceful seclusion, cultivating the muses. Ben Jonson visited him there.
Drummond has the distinction of being the first Scottish port that wrote in the pure English dialect. His poems are not numerous, but they are highly praised. Among them may be particularly noticed his Sonnets, The River of Forth Feasting; The Praise of a Solitary Life, etc.
William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, 1580-1640, a Scotch poet, had some celebrity in his day, and was highly praised by the earlier critics. He was the author of a poem called Parænesis: Aurora, which was a collection of sonnets, songs, and elegies; and four tragedies, Darius, Crosus, The Alexandrian Tragedy, and Julius Cæsar. These are in rhyme, and are not suited for the stage.
The Image of Death.
That daily should put me in mind
That shortly I am like to find;
Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin;
Where eyes and nose had sometimes been;
That teleth me whereto I must;
Remember, man, thou art but dust.”
A hearse doth hang, which doth me tell
Though now I feel myself full well;