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quiet passions will spring up therein as weeds in a neglected soil. His body will languish and become destitute of health, of vigour, of activity, for want of due exercise. All the mischiefs which naturally do spring from sloth and stupidity will seize on him.
4. Thus, on various accounts, a gentleman is engaged to business, and concerned to exercise industry therein : we may add, that indeed the very nature of gentility, or the true notion of a gentleman, doth imply so much.
For what, I pray, is a gentleman, what properties hath he, what qualities are characteristical or peculiar to him, whereby he is distinguished from others, or raised above the vulgar? Are they not especially two, courage and courtesy? which he that wanteth is not otherwise than equivocally a gentleman, as an image or a carcass is a man; without which, gentility in a conspicuous degree is no more than a vain show, or an empty name: and these plainly do involve industry, do exclude slothfulness; for courage doth prompt boldly to undertake, and resolutely to despatch great enterprises and employments of difficulty: it is not seen in a flaunting garb, or strutting deportment; not in hectorly, ruffian-like swaggering or huffing; not in high looks or big words; but in stout and gallant deeds, employing vigour of mind and heart to achieve them: how can a man otherwise approve himself courageous, than by signalizing himself in such a way?
And for courtesy, how otherwise can it be well displayed than in sedulous activity for the good of men ? It surely doth not consist in modish forms of address, or complimental expressions, or hollow professions, commonly void of meaning or sincerity; but in real performances of beneficence, when occasion doth invite, and in waiting for opportunities to do good; the which practice is accompanied by some care and pain, adding a price to it; for an easy courtesy is therefore small, because easy, and may be deemed to proceed rather from ordinary humanity, than from gentle disposition ; so that, in fine, he alone doth appear truly a gentleman who hath the heart to undergo hard tasks for public good, and willingly taketh pains to oblige his neighbours and friends.
5. The work indeed of gentlemen is not so gross, but it may be as smart and painful as any other. For all hard work is not manual ; there are other instruments of action beside the plough, the spade, the hammer, the shuttle : nor doth every work produce sweat and tiring of body: the head may work hard in contrivance of good designs; the tongue may be very active in dispensing advice, persuasion, comfort, and edification in virtue; a man may bestir himself in "going about to do good :" these are works employing the cleanly industry of a gentleman.
6. In such works it was that the truest and greatest pattern of gentility that ever was did employ himself. Who was that?
Even our Lord himself; for he had no particular trade or profession : no man can be more loose from any engagement to the world than he was; no man had less need of business or pains-taking than he; for he had a vast estate, being “ heir of all things," all the world being at his disposal; yea, infinitely more, it being in his power with a word to create whatever he would to serve his need, or satisfy his pleasure ; omnipotency being his treasure and supply; he had a retinue of angels to wait on him, and minister to him; whatever sufficiency any man can fancy to himself to dispense with his taking pains, that had he in a far higher degree: yet did he find work for himself, and continually was employed in performing service to God, and imparting benefits to men; nor was ever industry exercised on earth comparable to his.
Gentlemen, therefore, would do well to make him the pattern of their life, to whose industry they must be beholden for their salvation: in order whereto we recommend them to his grace.
37.-FLOWERS. It has been objected to Milton that in his · Lycidas' he enumerates among “vernal flowers ” many of those which are the offspring of Midsummer, and of a still more advanced season. The passage to which the objection applies is the following:
“ Ye Valleys low, where the mild whispers rise
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
with tears, To strow the laureat hearse where Lycid lies.” A little consideration will show that Milton could distinguish between the flowers of Spring and the flowers of Summer. The Sici. lian Muse" is to “ call the vales, and bid them hither cast their bells, and flow'rets of a thousand hues.” There were not only to be cast the quaint enamell’d eyes” of “ vernal flowers,” but “
every flower that sad embroidery wears; ” or, in the still clearer language of the original manuscript of the poem, “ every bud that sorrow's livery wears.”
The “ vernal flowers” were to indicate the youth of Lycidas; the flowers of "sorrow's livery” were emblems of his untimely death. The intention of Milton is distinctly to be traced in his first conception of the passage. After the “rathe (early) primrose,” we have,
And that sad flower that strove
To write his own woes on the vermeil grain.” This is the hyacinth, the same as “the tufted crow-toe.” He proceeds with more of sorrow's livery
“Next add Narcissus, that still weeps in vain.” Then come “ the woodbine,” and “the pansy freak'd with jet.” In the original passage
- the musk-rose" is not found at all. Milton's strewments for the bier of Lycidas, we hold, are not confined to vernal flowers, and therefore it is unnecessary to elevate Shakspere at the expense of Milton: “While Milton and the other poets had strung together in their descriptions the blossoms of Spring and the flowers of Summer, Shakspere has placed in one group those only which may be found in bloom at the same time.”* The writer alludes to the celebrated passage in the · Winter's Tale,' where Perdita, at the summer sheep-shearing, bestows the flowers of middle summer" upon her guests
“of middle age," and wishes for “some flowers o' the spring” that might become the “time of day” of her fairest virgin friends :
• Patterson on the Insects mentioned by Shakspere.
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,
SHAKSPERE. This is indeed poetry founded upon the most accurate observationthe perfect combination of elegance and truth.
The exquisite simplicity of our first great poet's account of his love for the daisy may well follow Shakspere's spring-garland. Rarely could he move from his books; no game could attract him ; but when the flowers begin to spring,
“ Farewell my book and my devotion." Above all the flowers in the mead he loved most
“ these flow'rés white and red,
Chaucer welcomes the “ eye of the day” when “the month of May is comen.” Another true poet has immortalized that solitary mountain daisy that he turned down with his plough on a cold April morning:
“Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou'st met me in an evil hour;
Thy slender stem.
Thou bonnie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neboor sweet,
Wi' spreckl'd breast,
The purpling east.
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form. The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield, But thou, beneath the random bield
O'clod or stane, Adorns the histie stibble-field,
Unseen, alane. There, in thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawy bosom sunward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ; But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless Maid,
And guileless trust,
Low i' the dust.
Of prudent lore,
And whelm him o'er!