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plained, are all conceived in the same chimerical spirit. The poet successively views the glory of the saints, of angels, of the holy Virgin, and at last of God himself.

Heaven as well as hell, among the monks, had its legendary description, which it was heresy to disbelieve, and which was formed on perversions or misinterpretations of scripture. Our author's vision ends with the Deity, and we know not by what miraculous assistance he returns to earth.

It must be allowed, that the scenes of Virgil's sixth book have many fine strokes of the terrible; but Dante's colouring is of a more gloomy temperature. There is a sombrous cast in his imagination; and he has given new shades of horror to the classical hell. We may say of Dante, that

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The sensations of fear impressed by the Roman poet are less harassing to the repose of the mind: they have a more equable and placid effect. The terror of Virgil's tremendous objects is diminished by correctness of composition and elegance of style. We are reconciled to his Gorgons and Hydras, by the grace of expression, and the charms of versification.

In the mean time, it may seem a matter of surprise, that the Italian poets of the thirteenth century, who restored, admired, and studied the classics, did not imitate their beauties. But while they possessed the genuine models of antiquity, their unnatural and eccentric habits of mind and manners, their attachments to system, their scholastic theology, superstition, ideal love, and above all their chivalry, had corrupted every true principle of life and literature, and consequently prevented the progress of taste and propriety. They could not conform to the practices and notions of their own age, and to the ideas of the ancients, at the same time. They were dazzled with the imageries of Virgil and Homer, which they could not always understand or apply, or which they saw through the mist of prejudice and misconception. Their genius having once taken a false direction, when recalled to copy a just pattern, produced only constraint and affectation, a distorted and unpleasing resemblance. The early Italian poets disfigured, instead of adorning their works, by attempting to imitate the classics. The charms which we so much admire in Dante, do not belong to the Greeks and Romans. They are derived from another origin, and must be traced back to a different stock. Nor is it at the same time less surprising, that the later Italian poets, in more enlightened times, should have paid so respectful a compliment to Dante as to acknowledge no other model, and with his excellencies, to transcribe and perpetuate all his extravagancies.

2 Par. L. ii. 720.


Sackville's Legend of Buckingham in the Mirrour for Magistrates. Additions by Higgins. Account of him. View of the early editions of this Collection. Specimen of Higgins's Legend of Cordelia, which is copied by Spenser.

I Now return to the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES, and to Sackville's Legend of Buckingham, which follows his INDUCTION.

The Complaynt of HENRYE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, is written with a force and even elegance of expression, a copiousness of phraseology, and an exactness of versification, not to be found in any other parts of the collection. On the whole, it may be thought tedious and languid. But that objection unavoidably results from the general plan of these. pieces. It is impossible that soliloquies of such prolixity, and designed to include much historical and even biographical matter, should every where sustain a proper degree of spirit, pathos, and interest. In the exordium are these nervous and correct couplets.


Whom flattering Fortune falsely so beguilde,

That loe, she slew, where earst ful smooth she smilde.

And paynt it forth, that all estates maye knowe:
Have they the warning, and be mine the woe.

Buckingham is made to enter thus rapidly, yet with much address, into his fatal share of the civil broils between York and Lancaster.

But what may boot to stay the Sisters three,
When Atropos perforce will cut the thred?
The dolefull day was come*, when you might see
Northampton field with armed men orespred.

In these lines there is great energy.

O would to God the cruell dismall day
That gave me light fyrst to behold thy face,
With foule eclipse had reft my sight away,

The unhappie hower, the time, and eke the day, &c.

And the following are an example of the simple and sublime united.

And thou, Alecto, feede me with thy foode!
Let fall thy serpents from thy snaky heare!
For such reliefe well fits me in my moode,

[Shakspeare seems to have burlesqued these lines in one of Pistol's


Abridge my doleful days!

Let grisly, gaping, ghastly wounds, un-
bind the sisters three,
Come, Atropos, I say.-PARK.]

To feed my plaint with horroure and with feare!
With rage afresh thy venom'd worme areare.

Many comparisons are introduced by the distressed speaker. But it is common for the best poets to forget that they are describing what is only related or spoken. The captive Proteus has his simile of the nightingale; and Eneas decorates his narrative of the disastrous conflagration of Troy with a variety of the most laboured comparisons.

Buckingham in his reproaches against the traitorous behaviour of his ancient friend Banastre, utters this forcible exclamation, which breathes the genuine spirit of revenge, and is unloaded with poetical superfluities.

Hated be thou, disdainde of everie wight,
And pointed at whereever thou shalt goe:
A traiterous wretch, unworthy of the light
Be thou esteemde: and, to increase thy woe,
The sound be hatefull of thy name alsoe.
And in this sort, with shame and sharpe reproch,
Leade thou thy life, till greater grief approch.

The ingenious writers of these times are perpetually deserting propriety for the sake of learned allusions. Buckingham exhorts the peers and princes to remember the fate of some of the most renowned heroes of antiquity, whose lives and misfortunes he relates at large, and often in the most glowing colours of poetry. Alexander's murther of Clitus is thus described in stanzas, pronounced by the poet and not by Buckingham.

And deeply grave within your stonie harts
The dreerie dole, that mightie Macedo
With teares unfolded, wrapt in deadlie smarts,
When he the death of Clitus sorrowed so,
Whom erst he murdred with the deadlie blow;
Raught in his rage upon his friend so deare,
For which, behold loe how his panges appeare!

The launced speare he writhes out of the wound,
From which the purple blood spins in his face:
His heinous guilt when he returned found,
He throwes himself uppon the corps, alas!
And in his armes how oft doth he imbrace
His murdred friend! And kissing him in vaine,
Forth flowe the floudes of salt repentant raine.
His friendes amazde at such a murther done,
In fearfull flockes begin to shrinke away;
And he thereat, with heapes of grief fordone,
Hateth himselfe, wishing his latter day.....

He calls for death, and loathing longer life,
Bent to his bane refuseth kindlie foode,

And plungde in depth of death and dolours strife
Had queld himselfe, had not his friendes withstoode.
Loe he that thus has shed the guiltlesse bloode,
Though he were king and keper over all,
Yet chose he death, to guerdon death withall.

This prince, whose peere was never under sunne,
Whose glistening fame the earth did overglide,
Which with his power the worlde welnigh had wonne,
His bloudy handes himselfe could not abide,

But folly bent with famine to have dide;
The worthie prince deemed in his regard
That death for death could be but just reward.

Our MIRROUR, having had three new editions in 1563, 1571, and 1574, was reprinted in quarto in the year 15874, with the addition of many new lives, under the conduct of John Higgins.

Higgins lived at Winsham in Somersetshire. He was educated at Oxford, was a clergyman, and engaged in the instruction of youth. As a preceptor of boys, on the plan of a former collection by Nicholas Udal, a celebrated master of Eton school, he compiled the FLOSCULI OF TERENCE, a manual famous in its time, and applauded in a Latin epigram by the elegant Latin encomiast Thomas Newton of Cheshire. In the pedagogic character he also published "HOLCOT'S DICTIONARIE, newlie corrected, amended, set in order, and enlarged, with many names of men, townes, beastes, fowles, etc. By which you may finde

2 killed: manqueller is murderer.

This edition, printed by Thomas Marshale, has 160 leaves, with a table of contents at the end.


This edition, printed also for T. Marshe, is improperly enough entitled "The Last Parte of the Mirrour for Magistrates," &c. But it contains all that is in the foregoing editions, and ends with Jane Shore, or Shore's Wife. It has 163 leaves. In the title page the work is said to be "Newly corrected and amended." They are all in quarto, and in black letter. [The propriety of this title is now substantiated, by the discovery of an edition of Higgins's work, unknown to Warton. It was printed by Marsh in 1574, and entitled "The First Parte of the Mirrour for Magistrates," &c. This will explain the language of Higgins quoted in the ensuing note.-PRICE.]

But in the Preface Higgins says he began to prepare it twelve years before. In imitation of the title, a story-book was published called The Mirrour of Mirth, by R. D. 1583. bl. lett. 4to. Also The

Mirrour of the Mathematikes, A Mirrour of Monsters, &c. [The Mirror of Mutabilitie, or principall part of the Mirror for Magistrates by Ant. Munday, was printed in 1579; and a Mirror of Magnanimitie, by Crompton, appeared in 1599.

Ritson added the following throng of kindred titles:

The Mirroure of Golde, printed by Pinson and by W. de Worde, 1522.

A Myroure or Glasse for all spiritual Ministers, &c. 1551.

The Myrror of the Latin Tonge, &c.

The Theatre, or Mirror of the World, 1569.
The Mirrour of Madnes, &c. 1576.
The Mirrour of Mans Miseries, 1584.
The Mirror of Martyrs, &c. 1601:
The Myrror of Pollice, &c. Herb. P. 96.

e Dedication, ut infr.

f In TERENTII FLOSCULOS N. Udalli et J. Higgini opera decerptos. Encom. fol. 128. It was also prefixed to the book, with others.

the Latine or Frenche of anie Englishe worde you will. By John Higgins, late student in Oxefordes." In an engraved title-page are a few English verses. It is in folio, and printed for Thomas Marshe at London, 1572. The dedication to sir George Peckham, knight, is written by Higgins, and is a good specimen of his classical accomplishments. He calls Peckham his principal friend, and the most eminent patron of letters. A recommendatory copy of verses by Churchyard the poet is prefixed, with four Latin epigrams by others. Another of his works in the same profession is the NOMENCLATOR of Adrian Junius, translated into English, in conjunction with Abraham Flemming, and printed at London, for Newberie and Durham, in 15851. It is dedicated in Latin to his most bountiful patron Doctor Valentine, master of Requests, and dean of Wells, from Winsham', 1584. From this dedication, Higgins seems to have been connected with the school of Ilminster, a neighbouring town in Somersetshire. He appears to have been living so late as the year 1602; for in that year he published an Answer to William Perkins, a forgotten controversialist, concerning Christ's descent into hell, dedicated from Winsham.

To the MIRROUr for MAGISTRATES Higgins wrote a new INDUCTION in the octave stanza; and without assistance of friends, began a new series from Albanact the youngest son of Brutus, and the first king of Albanie or Scotland, continued to the emperor Caracalla'. In this edition by Higgins, among the pieces after the Conquest, first appeared the Life of CARDINAL WOLSEY, by Churchyardm; of SIR NICHOLAS BURDET, by Baldwine [Higgins]"; and of ELEANOR COBHAMo, and of HUMFREY DUKE OF GLOUCESTER P, by Ferrers. Also the Legend of KING JAMES THE FOURTH OF SCOTLAND, said to have been penned

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some other writer, since Churchyard complains of being "denied the fathering of a work that had won so much credit." He at the same time protests before God and the world, that Shore's wife was his penning, and he would be glad to vindicate his open wrong with the best blood in his body, did not his old years utterly forbid such combat.This anecdote occurs before a reprint of Shore's Wife, augmented by 21 stanzas, in Churchyard's Challenge, 1593. Nash, probably in reference to the above, thus complimented the old courtpoet in the same year:-"Shore's Wife is young, though you be stept in years; in her shall you live, when you are dead." Foure Letters Confuted, &c. Antony Chute published, in 1593, "Beautie Dishonoured, written under the title of Shore's Wife," in six-line stanzas. Vid. infra, p. 233, note J.-PARK.]

Fol. 265 b.

o Fol. 140 b.
9 Fol. 253 b.

n Fol. 244 a.

P Fol. 146 a.

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