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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 antients, 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.
NOW return to the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES, and to Sackville's Legend of Buckingham, which follows his INDUC
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 may 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,
*[Shakespeare seems to have burlesqued these lines in one of Pistol's
-Abridge my doleful days!
Let grisly, gaping, ghastly wounds, un-
In these lines there is great energy.
O would to God the cruell dismall day
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!
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 traiterous behaviour of his antient 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 in this sort, with shame and sharpe reproch,
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 launced speare he writhes out of the wound,
His friendes amazde at such a murther done,
He calls for death, and loathing longer life,
This prince, whose peere was never under sunne,
His bloudy handes himselfe could not abide,
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
This edition, printed by Thomas Marshe, has clx 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.-EDIT.]
d 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 MIRKOUR 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
The Myrror of the Latin Tonge, &c.
The Theatre, or Mirror of the World, 1569.
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.