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furnished the court with masks and pageants. In King James's reign he was made gentleman extraordinary, and afterwards one of the grooms of the privy chamber to the queen-consort, who took great delight in his conversation and writings.
He now rented a small house and garden in Old Street, St. Luke's, where he composed most of his dramatic pieces, and enjoyed the friendship of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Chapman, as well as of many persons of rank: but he appears to have been dissatisfied with the opinion entertained of his talents; and towards the end of his life retired to a farm he had at Beckington, near Philip's Norton, in Somersetshire ; where, after some time devoted to study and contemplation, he died, Oct. 14, 1619.
Daniel is much praised by his contemporaries. Old Fuller writes of him: “He carried in his Christian and surname two holy prophets ; his monitors so 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, quality of great distance in other authors. He was a servant in ordinary to Queen Anne, who allowed him a fair salary. As the tortoise burieth itself all the winter under the ground, so Mr. Daniel would lie hid in the gardenhouse in Old Street, nigh London, for some months together (the more retiredly to enjoy the company of the Muses), and then would appear in publick, to converse with his friends, whereof Dr. Cowell and Mr. Camden were principal.
“Some tax him to smack of the old cask, as resenting of the Romish religion ; but they have a quicker palate than I, who can make any such discovery. In his old age he turned husbandman, and rented a farm in Wiltshire, nigh the Devises. I can give no account how he thrived thereupon. For though he was well versed in Virgil, his fellow-husbandman poet, yet there is more required to make a rich farmer than only to say his Georgics by heart : and I question whether his Italian will fit our English husbandry. Besides that, Mr. Daniel his fancy was too fine and sublimated to be wrought down to his private profit."
His works consist of: 1. The Complaint of Rosamond (1594); 2. Various Sonnets to Delia ; 3. Tragedy of Cleopatra (1594); 4. Of the Civil Wars between the Houses of Lancaster and York (1604); 5. The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses, presented in a Mask (1604); 6. Panegyric congratulatory delivered to King James at Burleigh-Earrington in Rutlandshire (1604); 7. Epistles to various great Personages, in verse (1601); 8. Musipholus, containing a general defence of learning; 9. Tragedy of Philotas (1611); 10. Hymen's Triumph, a pastoral
tragi-comedy at the Nuptials of Lord Roxburgh (1623); 11. Musa, or a Defence of Rhime (1611); 12. The Epistle of Octavia to M. Antonius (1611); 13. The First Part of the History of England, in three books (1613), reaching to the end of King Stephen, in prose; to which he afterwards added a second part, reaching to the end of King Edward (1618), continued to the end of King Richard III. by John Trussel ; 14. The Queen's Arcadia, a pastoral tragi-comedy (1605); 15. Funeral Poem, on the Death of the Earl of Devon (1623).
Coleridge, in a letter to Charles Lamb (written on the fly-leaf of the latter poet's copy of Daniel's works), thus speaks of Daniel : “Dear Charles, I think more highly, far more than you seemed to do (on Monday night, Feb. 9, 1808). The verse does not teize me; and all the while I am reading it I cannot but fancy a plain England-loving English country gentleman, with only some dozen books in his whole library, and at a time when a Mercury or Intelligencer was seen by him once in a month or two, making this his newspaper and political Bible at the same time, and reading it so often as to store his memory with its aphorisms. Conceive a good man of that kind, diffident and passive, yet rather inclined to Jacobitism, seeing the reasons of the revolutionary party, yet, by disposition and old principles, leaning, in quiet nods and sighs, at his own parlour-fire, to the hereditary right (and of these characters there must have been many), and then read this poem, assuming in your heart his character,-conceive how proud he would look, and what pleasure there would be, what unconscious, harmless, humble self-conceit, self-compliment in his gravity; how wise he would feel himself, yet, after all, how forbearing; how much calmed by that most calming reflection (when it is really the mind's own reflection),-Ay, it was just so in King Henry the Sixth's time. Always the same passions at work.” And again :
“Second Letter (five hours after the first).
“Dear Charles,—You must read over these Civil Wars again. We both know what a mood is; and the genial mood will — it shallcome for my sober-minded Daniel. He was a tutor and a sort of steward in a noble family, in which form was religiously observed, and religion formally; and yet there was much warm blood and mighty muscle of substance in them that the moulding-irons did not disturb, though they stiffened the vital man in them. Daniel caught and recommunicated the spirit of the great Countess of Pembroke, the glory of the North; he formed her mind, and her mind inspirited him. Gravely sober on all ordinary affairs, and not easily excited by any, yet there is one on which his blood boils—whenever he speaks of English valour exerted against a foreign enemy. Do read over,but some evening when I am quite comfortable at your fireside,and, oh, when shall I ever be if I am not so there !-that is the last altar at the horns of which my old feelings hang; but, alas, listen and tremble-nonsense !-well, I will read to you and Mary the 205, 206, and 207 pages-above all, that 93* stanza! What is there in description superior even in Shakespeare ? only that Shakespeare would have given one of his glows to the first line, and flattered the mountain-top with his sovran eye, instead of that poor 'a marvellous advantage of his years.' But this, however, is Daniel, and he must not be read piecemeal ;—even by leaving off and looking at a stanza by itself, I find the loss.
“S. T. COLERIDGE.”
(Circa 1563-1631.) Michael Drayton, of an ancient family, deriving its name from the town of Drayton, in Leicestershire, was born at Hartshill, Warwickshire, about the year 1563. His parents not being opulent, he was indebted to patronage for the benefits of education. His early discovery of talent, and sweetness of disposition and manners, recommended him to some person of distinction, whom he served in quality of page, and who bestowed what was needful for the cultivation of his mind.
In his youth he discovered a propensity to read poetry, and was anxious to know “what kind of creatures poets were.” To gratify this curiosity, the works of Virgil and other classics were put into his hands, which inspired him with a taste superior to his years. Sir Henry Godere, of Polsworth, is said to have maintained him for some time at Oxford ; where, however, his name does not occur among the scholars of any college or hall. From his description of the Spanish invasion in 1568, it has been supposed he was an eye-witness of the defeat of the Armada, and held some commission in the army;
*“ And, in a different style, the 98th stanza, page 208. What an image in 107, page 211! Thousands even of educated men would become more sensible, fitter to be members of parliament, or ministers, by reading Daniel; and even those few who, quoad intellectum, only gain refreshment of notions already their own, must become better Englishmen. Oh, if it be not too late, write a kind note about him !"-S. T. COLERIDGE.
and this, however doubtful, is the only intimation we have of his having applied himself to any regular profession.
Besides Sir Henry Godere, he found a liberal patron and friend in Sir Walter Aston, of Tixhall, in Staffordshire, to whom he gratefully dedicates many of his poems; and Sir Henry, some time before his death, recommended him to the Countess of Bedford. By means of Sir Walter Aston and Sir Roger Aston, he is said to have been employed as a confidential agent in a correspondence between the young king of Scotland and Queen Elizabeth ; but this part of his history rests on no very solid foundation. It is more certain that he rendered the services and homage of a poet to King James, being among the first who congratulated him on his accession to the British throne; and even condescended to praise his majesty's poetical talents in a sonnet, of which he was afterwards ashamed. His duty to his king, however, was so ill repaid, that he gave up all hopes of rising at court; and his fable of the Owl, published a year after the coronation, is supposed to glance at persons and incidents connected with his disappointment. He adverts to the same subject, but so obscurely as to convey no information, in the preface to his Poly-olbion. Nor from this time have we any account of his personal history; and can only conjecture, from certain hints in his dedications and prefaces, that although he obtained the additional patronage of Lord Buckurst, and retained the esteem and kind offices of many private friends, he rose to no situation of wealth or eminence, and did not always derive much advantage from his numerous publications. He died Dec. 23, 1631, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His monument, a tablet of blue marble, with a bust, and some lines by Ben Jonson, was erected at the expense of the Countess of Dorset, in the south aisle. Aubrey attributes the verses to Quarles. His writings are these :
The Harmonie of the Church, containing the spiritual Songs and holy Hymnes of godly Men, Patriarches, and Prophets, all sweetly sounding to the glory of the Highest. 1591.
Idea; the Shepherd's Garland, fashioned in nine Eglogs; and Rowland's Sacrifice to the Nine Muses. 1593.
Mortimeriados: the lamentable Civil Warres of Edward the Second and his Barons. 1596. Published afterwards under the title of the Barons' Wars.
England's Heroical Epistles. 1598.
A Pean triumphall, composed for the Society of Goldsmiths of London, on King James's entering the City. 1604.
The Legend of Cromwell.
Few men appear to have been more highly respected by his contemporaries; and there is reason to think that he associated on very familiar terms with Jonson, Shakespeare, Selden, and other men of eminence for literary character and personal worth. Meres informs us that Drayton, “among scholars, soldiers, poets, and all sorts of people, was helde for a man of virtuous disposition, honest conversation, and well-governed carriage; which," he adds, “is almost miraculous in the declining and corrupt times.”
(1564-1616.) William Shakespeare was descended from an old Warwickshire family, founded, as the name imports, by some soldier of repute, and numbering others in its course; for we read, in the grant of arms to our poet's father, that “his great-grandfather, for his faithful and