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tioned with applause: "Then have we the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES lately augmented by my friend mayster John Higgins, and penned by the choysest learned wittes, which for the stately-proportioned uaine of the heroick style, and good meetly proportion of uerse, may challenge the best of Lydgate, and all our late rhymers." That sensible old English critic Edmund Bolton, in a general criticism on the style of our most noted poets before the year 1600*, places the MIRrour for MAGISTRATES in a high rank. It is under that head of his HYPERCRITICA, entitled "Prime Gardens for gathering English according to the true gage or standard of the tongue about fifteen or sixteen years ago." The extract is a curious piece of criticism, as written by a judicious cotemporary. Having mentioned our prose writers, the chief of which are More, Sidney, queen Elizabeth, Hooker, Saville, cardinal Alan, Bacon, and Raleigh, he proceeds thus: "In verse there are Edmund Spenser's HYMNES. I cannot advise the allowance of other his poems as for practick English, no more than I can Jeffrey Chaucer, Lydgate, Pierce Plowman, or LAUREATE Skelton. It was laid as a fault to the charge of Salust, that he used some old outworn words stoln out of Cato in his books de Originibus. And for an historian in our tongue to affect the like out of those our poets, would be accounted a
b Fol. vii. a. duodecim. I know but little more of this forgotten writer, than that he wrote also, "A TOUCHESTONE for this time present, expressly declaring such ruines, enormities, and abuses, as trouble the church of God and our christian commonwealth at this daye, &c. Newly sett foorth by E. H. Imprinted at London by Thomas Hacket, and are to be solde at his shop at the Greene Dragon in the Royall Exchange, 1574." duodec. At the end of the "Epistle dedicatorie to his knowne friende Mayster Edward Godfrey, merchant," his name Edward Hake is subscribed at length. Annexed is, "A Compendious fourme of education, to be diligently obserued of all parentes and scholemasters in the trayning vp of their children and schollers in learning. Gathered into Englishe meeter by Edward Hake." It is an epitome of a Latin tract De pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendis. In the dedication, to maister John Harlowe his approoued friende, he calls himself an attourney in the Common Pleas, observing at the same time, that the "name of an Attourney in the common place [pleas] is now a dayes growen into contempt." He adds another circumstance of his life, that he was educated under John Hopkins, whom I suppose to be the translator of the Psalms. [See p. 147. of this volume. "You being trained vp together with me your poore schoolfellow, with the instructions of that learned and exquisite
teacher, Maister John Hopkins, that worthy schoolemaister,nay rather that most worthy parent vnto all children committed to his charge of education. Of whose memory, if I should in such an opportunity as this is, be forgetful," &c. I will give a specimen of this little piece, which shows at least that he learned versification under his master Hopkins. He is speaking of the Latin tongue. (Signat. G. 4.)
Whereto, as hath been sayde before,
With morall sawes in couert tales:
A perfit ready way.
So as nathles we carefull be
To auoyde all bawdie rimes,
That teache them filthie crimes.
And from some civill style,
[But not written till 1616, as he mentions Bishop Montague's edition of the works of James I. which was published in that year. See infra, note 4.-PARK.]
The pieces mentioned in this extract will be considered in their proper places.
foul oversight. My judgement is nothing at all in pocms or poesie, and therefore I dare not go far; but will simply deliver my mind concerning those authors among us, whose English hath in my conceit most propriety, and is nearest to the phrase of court, and to the speech used among the noble, and among the better sort in London: the two sovereign seats, and as it were parliament tribunals, to try the question in. Brave language are Chapman's Iliads.-The works of Samuel Daniel containe somewhat aflat, but yet withal a very pure and copious English, and words as warrantable as any mans, and fitter perhaps for prose than measure. Michael Drayton's Heroical Epistles are well worth the reading also, for the purpose of our subject, which is to furnish an English historian with choice and copy of tongue. Queen Elizabeth's verses, those which I have seen and read, some exstant in the elegant, witty, and artificial book of the ART OF ENGLISH POETRIE, the work, as the fame is, of one of her gentlemen-pensioners, Puttenham, are princely as her prose. Never must be forgotten ST. PETER'S COMPLAINT, and those other serious poems said to be father Southwell's: the English whereof, as it is most proper, so the sharpness and light of wit is very rare in them. Noble Henry Constable was a great master in English tongue, nor had any gentleman of our nation a more pure, quick, or higher delivery of conceit, witness among all other that Sonnet* of his before his Majesty's LEPANTO. I have not seen much of sir Edward Dyer's poetry. Among the lesser late poets, George Gascoigne's Works may
*[A very poor specimen of Constable's poetic talent, the praise of which confers an equal honour on Bolton's critical judgement.-PARK.]
[Puttenham says, "For dittie and amourous ode I finde Sir Walter Rawleygh's vayne most loftie, insolent, and passionate, Maister Edward Dyar, for elegie most sweete, solempne, and of high conceit."
[To this passage Drummond thus adverted, in his conversation with Ben Jonson: "He who writeth the arte of English poesy, praiseth much Rawleigh and Dyer; but their works are so few that are come to my hands, I cannot well say any thing of them." Drummond's Works, p. 226, 1711. fol.
[It is the further remark of Mr. Ellis, that the lot of Dyer, as a poet, has been rather singular: "His name is generally coupled with that of Sir P. Sidney and of the most fashionable writers of the age; and yet Bolton, who was almost a contemporary critic, professes not to have seen much of his poetry." Specim. of English Poets, ii. 186.
[In the Paradise of Daintie Devises, one poem signed M. D. is presumed by Ritson in his Bibliographia to denote Master Dyer. Six pieces preserved in England's Helicon
are warrantably assigned to him; other short poems occur among the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian library, and one of them bears the popular burden of "My mind to me a kingdom is."
[The time of Sir Edward Dyer's birth and death are alike veiled in uncertainty. The former Mr. Ellis computes to have been about 1540, and he lived till the reign of King James. According to Aubrey, he was of the same family as the judge, and proved a great spendthrift. Aubrey styles him of Sharpham park, Somersetshire. He was educated at Oxford, and as Wood intimates at Baliol College. Obtaining the character of a well-bred man, and having Sidney and other distinguished persons for his associates, he was taken into the service of the court. By queen Elizabeth he was sent on several embassies, particularly to Denmark in 1589, and had the chancellorship of the garter conferred on him at his return, with the honour of knighthood. It is not improbable that his property was squandered, as Aubrey affirms it to have been, by his credulous attachment to rosicrusian chemistry under those infatuated devotees Dr. Dee and Edward Kelly. Wood erroneously speaks of him as a contributor to the collection of poetical flowers, called "England's Parnassus,"
be endured. But the best of these times, if Albion's England be not preferred, for our business, is the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES, and in that MIRROUR, Sackvil's INDUCTION, the work of Thomas afterward earl of Dorset and lord treasurer of England: whose also the famous tragedy of GORBODUC, was the best of that time, even in sir Philip Sidney's judgement; and all skillful Englishmen cannot but ascribe as much thereto, for his phrase and eloquence therein. But before in age, if not also in noble, courtly, and lustrous English, is that of the Songes and Sonnettes of Henry Howard earl of Surrey, (son of that victorious prince the duke of Norfolk, and father of that learned Howard his most lively image Henry earl of Northampton,) written chiefly by him, and by sir Thomas Wiat, not the dangerous commotioner, but his worthy father. Nevertheless, they who commend those poems and exercises of honourable wit, if they have seen that incomparable earl of Surrey his English translation of Virgil's Eneids, which, for a book or two, he admirably rendreth, almost line for line, will bear me witness that those other were foils and sportives. The English poems of sir Walter Raleigh, of John Donne, of Hugh Holland, but especially of sir Foulk Grevile in his matchless MUSTAPHA, are not easily to be mended. I dare not presume to speak of his Majesty's exercises in this heroick kind. Because I see them all left out in that which Montague lord bishop of Winchester hath given us of his royal writings. But if I should declare mine own rudeness rudely, I should then confess, that I never tasted English more to my liking, nor more smart, and put to the height of use in poetry, than in that vital, judicious, and most practicable language of Benjamin Jonson's poems d."
1600: perhaps he misnamed the title for that of "Belvidere, or the Garden of the Muses." The "Sheapheardes Logike," a folio MS. cited in the British Bibliographia, ii. 276, has dedicatory verses by Abr. Fraunce, to the "ryght worshypful Mr. Edwarde Dyer."-PARK.]
4 Bolton's Hypercritica, or a Rule of Judgement for writing or reading our Historys." Addresse iv. Sect. iii. p. 235. seq. First printed by Anthony Hall, (at the end of Trivet. Annal. Cont. and Ad. Murimuth. Chron.) Oxford, 1722. octavo. The manuscript is among Cod. MSS. A. Wood, Mus. Ashmol. 8471. 9. quarto, with a few notes by Wood. This judicious little tract was occasioned by a passage in sir Henry Saville's Epistle prefixed to his edition of our old Latin historians, 1596. Hypercrit. p. 217. Hearne has printed that part of it which contains a Vindication of Jeffrey of Monmouth, without knowing the author's name. Gul. Neubrig. Præfat. Append. Num. iii. p. lxxvii. vol. i. See Hypercrit. p. 204. Bolton's principal work now extant is "Nero Cæsar, or Monarchie depraved, an Histo
rical Worke." Lond. 1624. fol. This scarce book, which is the life of that emperor, and is adorned with plates of many curious and valuable medals, is dedicated to George duke of Buckingham, to whom Bolton seems to have been a retainer. (See Hearne's Lel. Collectap. vol. vi. p. 60. edit. 1770.) In it he supports a specious theory, that Stonehenge was a monument erected by the Britons to Boadicea, ch. xxv. At the end is his Historical Parallel, showing the difference between epitomes and just histories, "heretofore privately written to my good and noble friend Endymion Porter, one of the gentlemen of the Prince's chamber." He instances in the accounts given by Florus and Polybius of the battle between Hannibal and Scipio; observing, that generalities are not so interesting as facts and circumstances, and that Florus gives us "in proper words the flowers and tops of noble matter, but Polybius sets the things themselves, in all their necessary parts, before our eyes." He therefore concludes, "that all spacious mindes, attended with the felicities of means and leisure, will fly
Among several proofs of the popularity of this poem afforded by our old comedies, I will mention one in George Chapman's MAY-DAY, printed in 1611. A gentleman of the most elegant taste for reading, and highly accomplished in the current books of the times, is called "One that has read Marcus Aurelius, Gesta Romanorum, and the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES."
The books of poetry which abounded in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and were more numerous than any other kinds of writing in our language, gave birth to two collections of FLOWERS selected from the works of the most fashionable poets. The first of these is, " ENGLAND'S PARNASSUS. Or, the choysest Flowers of our moderne Poets, with their poeticall Comparisons, Descriptions of Bewties, Personages, Castles, Pallaces, Mountaines, Groues, Scas, Springs, Riuers, &c. Whereunto are annexed other various Discourses both pleasaunt and profit
abridgements as bane." He published, however, an English version of Florus. He wrote the Life of the Emperor Tiberius, never printed. Ner. Cæs. ut. supr. p. 82. He designed a General History of England. Hypercrit. p. 240. In the British Museum, there is the manuscript draught of a book entitled "Agon Heroicus, or concerning arms and armories, by Edmund Boulton." MSS. Cott. Faustin. E. 1. 7. fol. 63. and in the same library, his Prosopopeia Basilica, a Latin Poem upon the translation of the body of Mary queen of Scots in 1612, from Peterborough to Westminster Abbey. MSS. Cott. Tit. A. 13. 23. He compiled the Life of king Henry the Second for Speed's Chronicle: but Bolton being a catholic, and speaking too favourably of Becket, another Life was written by Dr. John Barcham, dean of Bocking. See The Surfeit to A. B. C. Lond. 12mo. 1656. p. 22. Written by Dr. Henry King, author of poems in 1657, son of King bishop of London. Compare Hypercrit. p. 220. Another work in the walk of philological antiquity, was his "Vindicia Britannicæ, or London righted," &c. Never printed, but prepared for the press by the author. Among other ingenious paradoxes, the principal aim of this treatise is to prove, that London was a great and flourishing city in the time of Nero; and that consequently Julius Cæsar's general description of all the British towns, in his Commentaries, is false and unjust. Hugh Howard, esquire, (see Gen. Dict. iii. 446.) had a fair manuscript of this book, very accurately written in a thin folio of forty-five pages. It is not known when or where he died. One Edmund Bolton, most probably the same, occurs as a CONVICTOR, that is, an independent member, of Trinity-college Oxford, under the year 1586. In Archiv. ibid. Wood
MS. Notes, ut supr.) supposed the Hypercritica to have been written about 1610. but our author himself (Hypercrit. p. 237.) mentions king James's Works published by bishop Montague. That edition is dated 1616.
A few particularities relating to this writer's Nero Cæsar, and some other of his pieces, may be seen in Hearne's MSS. Coll. Vol. 50. p. 125. Vol. 132. p. 94. Vol. 52. pp. 171. 186. 192. See also Original Letters from Anstis to Hearne. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Rawlins. I add, that Edmund Bolton has a Latin copy of recommendatory verses, in company with George Chapman, Hugh Holland, Donne, Selden, Beaumont, Fletcher, and others, prefixed to the old folio edition of Benjamin Jonson's Works in 1616.
[An original letter from E. Bolton to the earl of Northampton, dated 11th of March 1611, occurs among the Cotton MSS. Titus B. v. and two pastoral poems in England's Helicon.-PARK.]
"Lord Berners's Golden boke of Marcus Aurelius emperour and eloquent oratour." See page 52 of this volume. The first edition I have seen was by Berthelette, 1536. quarto. It was often reprinted. But see Mr. Steevens's Shakspeare, vol. i. p. 91. edit. 1778. Marcus Aurelius is among the Coppies of James Roberts, a considerable printer from 1573, down to below 1600. MSS. Coxeter. See Ames, Hist. Print. p. 341.
f Act iii. fol. 39. 4to. See Dissertat. iii. prefixed to Vol. i. I take this opportunity of remarking, that Ames recites, printed for Richard Jones, "The Mirour of Majestrates by G. Whetstone, 1584," quarto, Hist. Print. p. 347. I have never seen it, but believe it has nothing to do with this work.
able. Imprinted at London for N. L. C. B. and Th. Hayes. 1600h." The collector is probably Robert Allot', whose initials R. A. appear subscribed to two Sonnets prefixed, one to sir Thomas Mounson, and the other to the Reader. The other compilation of this sort is entitled, "BELVIDERE, or the Garden of the Muses. London, imprinted for Hugh Astly, 1600." The compiler is one John Bodenham. In both of these, especially the former, the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES is cited at large, and has a conspicuous share. At the latter end of the reign
"Or, sentences gathered out of all kinds of poets, referred to certaine methodical heads, profitable for the use of these times to rhyme upon any occasion at a little warning." Octavo. But the compiler does not cite the names of the poets with the extracts. This work is ridiculed in an anonymous old play, "The Return from Parnassus, or the Scourge of Simony, publickly acted by the students in Saint John's College, Cambridge, 1606." quarto. Judicio says, "Considering the furies of the times, I could better see these young can-quaffing hucksters
shoot off their pelletts, so they could keep them from these English Flores Poetarum; but now the world is come to that pass, that there starts up every day an old goose that sits hatching up these eggs which have been filched from the nest of crowes and kestrells," &c. Act i. sc. 2. Then follows a criticism on Spenser, Constable, Lodge, Daniel, Watson, Drayton, Davis, Marston, Marlowe, Churchyard, Nashe, Locke, and Hudson. Churchyard is commended for his Legend of Shore's Wife in the Mirrour for Magistrates.
Hath not Shores Wife, although a lightskirts she,
Given him a long and lasting memory?
By the way, in the Register of the Stationers, June 19, 1594, The lamentable end of Shore's Wife is mentioned as a part of Shakspeare's Richard the Third. And
a pamphlet called Pymlico, or Run away Redcap, printed in 1596, the wellfrequented play of Shore is mentioned with Pericles Prince of Tyre. From Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, written 1613, Jane Shore appears to have been a celebrated tragedy; and in the Stationers' Register (Oxenbridge and Busby, Aug. 28, 1599.) occurs "The History of the Life and Death of Master Shore and Jane Shore his wife, as it was lately acted by the earl Derbie his servants."
* Allot's is much the most complete performance of the two. The method is by far more judicious, the extracts more copious, and made with a degree of taste. With the extracts he respectively cites the names of the poets, which are as follows. Thomas Achelly. Thomas Bastard. George Chapman. Thomas Churchyard. Henry Constable. Samuel Daniel. John Davies. Michael Drayton. Thomas Dekkar. Edward Fairfax. Charles Fitz-jeffrey. Abraham Fraunce. George Gascoigne. Edward Gilpin. Robert Greene. Fulke Greville. Sir John Harrington. John Higgins. Thomas Hudson. James King of Scots. [i. e. James the First.] Benjamin Jonson. Thomas Kyd. Thomas Lodge. M. M. [i. e. Mirrour for Magistrates.]