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Or quick designs of France ! Why not repair
V SIR JOHN SUCKLING. SIR John SUCKLING (1608-1641) possessed such a natural liveliness of fancy, and exuberance of ani. mal spirits, that he often broke through the artificial restraints imposed by the literary taste of his times, but he never rose into the poetry of passion and imagination. He is a delightful writer of what have been called 'occasional poems.' His polished wit, playful fancy, and knowledge of life and society, enabled him to give interest to trifles, and to clothe familiar thoughts in garb of poetry. Hi own life seems to have been one summer-day✓ Youth at the prow, and pleasure at the helm. He dreamt of enjoyment, not of fame. The father of Suckling was secretary of state to James I., and comptroller of the household to Charles I. The poet was distinguished almost from his infancy; and at sixteen he had entered on public life! His first appearance was as a soldier under the celebrated Gustavus Adolphus, with whom he served one campaign. On his return, he entered warmly into the cause of Charles I., and raised a troop of horse in his support. He intrigued with his brother cavaliers to rescue the Earl of Strafford, and was impeached by the House of Commons. To evade a trial, he fled to France, but a fatal accident took place by the way. His servant having robbed him at an inn, Suckling, learning the circumstance, drew on his boots hurriedly, to pursue him; a rusty nail, or (according to another account) the blade of a knife, had been concealed in the boot, which wounded him, and produced mortification, of which he died. The works of Suckling consist of miscellaneous poems, five plays, and some private letters. His poems are all short, and the best of them are dedicated to love and gallantry. With the freedom of a cavalier, Suckling has greater purity of expression than most of his contemporaries. His sentiments are sometimes too voluptuous, but are rarely coarse; and there is so much elasticity and vivacity in his verses, that he never becomes tedious. His Ballad upon a Wedding is inimitable for witty levity and choice beauty of expression. It has touches of graphic description and liveliness equal to the pictures of Chaucer. One well-known verse has never been excelled
Description of Castara.
For she's to herself untrue,
Who delights i' th' public view.
Folly boasts a glorious blood,
She is noblest, being good. Cautious, she knew never yet What a wanton courtship meant; Nor speaks loud, to boast her wit ; In her silence eloquent :
Of herself survey she takes,
But 'tween men no difference makes. She obeys with speedy will Her grave parents' wise commands ; And so innocent, that ill She nor acts, nor understands :
Women's feet run still astray,
If once to ill they know the way. She sails by that rock, the court, Where oft honour splits her mast; And retir'dness thinks the port, Where her fame may anchor cast :
Virtue safely cannot sit,
Where vice is enthron'd for wit.
O'er that darkness, whence is thrust
Her feet beneath her petticoat, Like little mice, stole in and out,
As if they fear'd the light; But oh! she dances such a way, No sun upon an Easter-day
Is half so fine a sight I*
* Herrick, who had no occasion to steal, has taken this image from Suckling, and spoiled it in the theft
Her pretty feet, like snails, did creep
Like Sir Fretful Plagiary, Herrick had not skill to steal with taste. Wycherley also purloined Herrick's simile for one of his plays The allusion to Easter-day is founded upon a beautiful old superstition of the English peasantry, that the sun danos upon that morning.
SIR JOHN SUCKLING.
| The maid, and thereby hangs a tale,
Could ever yet produce :
Nor half so full of juice.
It was too wide a peck :
About our young colt's neck.
As if they feard the light : But oh! she dances such a way! No sun upon an Easter-day
Is half so fine a sight.
[SONG.—'Tis now, since I sat down before.] Tis now, since I sat down before
That foolish fort, a heart,
And still I did my part,
Unto her lip did rise ;
The language of her eyes ;
My tongue was engineer;
By whispering in the ear.
Great cannon-oaths, and shot
And still it yielded not.
By cutting off all kisses,
And all such little blisses.
I drew all batteries in :
As if no siege had been.
And thought the place mine own,
And smild at all was done.
These hopes, and this relief?
sed did command in chief. lirch, march (quoth I); the word straight give,
Let's lose no time, but leave her ;
And hold it out for ever.
As will no siege abide;
Her cheeks so rare a white was on,
Who sees them is undone ;
The side that's next the sun.
Some bee had stung it newly ;
Than on the sun in July, Her mouth so small, when she does speak, Thou’dst swear her teeth her words did break,
That they might passage get : But she so handled still the matter, They came as good as ours, or better,
And are not spent a whit.
A Ballad upon a Wedding.
Oh, things without compare !
Be it at wake or fair.
There is a house with stairs ;
Vorty at least, in pairs. Amongst the rest, one pest'lent fine, (His beard no bigger, though, than thine)
Walk'd on before the rest : Our landlord looks like nothing to him : The king, God bless him, 'twould undo him,
Should he go still so drest.
Passion, oh me ! how I run on!
I trow, besides the bride :
Nor was it there denied.
His summons did obey ;
Presented, and away.
To stay to be intreated ?
The company were seated.
The bride's came thick and thick ; And when 'twas nam'd another's health, Perhaps he made it her's by stealth,
And who could help it, Dick ! O'th' sudden up they rise and dance ; Then sit again, and sigh, and glance :
Then dance again, and kiss. Thus sev'ral ways the time did pass, Till ev'ry woman wish'd her place,
And ev'ry man wish'd his.
But wot you what! the youth was going To make an end of all his wooing;
The parson for him staid : Yet by his leave, for all his haste, He did not so much wish all past,
Perchance, as did the maid.
1 Whitsun-ales were festive assemblies of the people of whole parishes at Whitsunday.
By this time all were stol'n aside
But that he must not know :
Above an hour or so.
Out upon it, I have lov'd
Three whole days together ; And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather.
Ere he shall discover
Such a constant lover.
Is due at all to me ;
Had it any been but she.
And that very face,
A dozen in her place.
The Careless Lover.
She's fair, she's wond'rous fair,
I fairly will forego it.
She's fair, &c.
She's fair, &c.
She's fair, &c.
She's fair, &c.
She's fair, &c.
Since I can not have thine,
Why then should'st thou hare mine? Yet now I think on't, let it lie,
To find it were in vain ;
Would steal it back again.
And yet not lodge together! Oh love ! where is thy sympathy,
If thus our breasts thou sever ?
I cannot find it out ;
I then am in most doubt.
I will no longer pine ;
As much as she has mine.
When wanton blasts have tost it!
When ruder winds have crost it !
Or the foxes sleeping ?
Or the dove by his bride,
Prithee, why so pale ?
Looking ill prevail !
Prithee, why so pale ! Why so dull and mute, young sinner ?
Prithee, why so mute ? Will, when speaking well can't win her,
Saying nothing do't ?
Prithee, why so mute ! Quit, quit for shame, this will not move,
This cannot take her;
Nothing can make her:
Detraction Execrated. Thou vermin slander, bred in abject minds, Of thoughts impure, by vile tongues animate, Canker of conversation ! could'st thou find Nought but our love whereon to show thy hate ! Thou never wert, when we two were alone; What canst thou witness then ? thou, base dull aid, Wast useless in our conversation, Where each meant more than could by both be said. Whence hadst thou thy intelligence--from earth! That part of us ne'er knew that we did love : Or, from the air ! our gentle sighs bad birth From such sweet raptures as to joy did move ; Our thoughts, as pure as the chaste morning's breath, When from the night's cold arms it creeps away, Were clothed in words, and maiden's blush, that hath More purity, more innocence than they. Nor from the water could'st thou have this tale; No briny tear has furrowed her smooth cheek; And I was pleas'd : I pray what should be ail, That had her love ; for what else could he seek ! We shorten’d days to moments by love's art, Whilst our two souls in amorous ecstacy Perceiv'd no passing time, as if a part Our love had been of still eternity.
Much less could'st have it from the purer fire ; The plot is complicated and obscure, and the characOur heat exhales no vapour from coarse sense, ters are deficient in individuality. It must be read, Such as are hopes, or fears, or fond desire :
like the Faery Queen, for its romantic descriptions, Our mutual love itself did recompense.
and its occasional felicity of language. The versiThou hast no correspondence had in heaven,
fication is that of the heroic couplet, varied, like And th' elemental world, thou see'st, is free.
Milton's Lycidas, by breaks and pauses in the middle Whence hadst thou, then, this, talking monster I even of the line. From hell, a harbour fit for it and thee. Curst be th' officious tongue that did address Thee to her ears, to ruin my content:
[The Witch's Cave.] May it one minute taste such happiness, Deserving lost unpitied it lament i
Her cell was hewn out of the marble rock, I must forbear her sight, and so repay
By more than human art; she need not knock; In grief, those hours' joy short'ned to a dream; The door stood always open, large and wide, Each minute I will lengthen to a day,
Grown o'er with woolly moss on either side, And in one year outlive Methusalem.
And interwove with ivy's flattering twines,
Through which the carbuncle and diamond shines, JOHN CHALKHILL.
Not set by Art, but there by Nature sown A pastoral romance, entitled Thealma and Clear. They serv'd instead of tapers, to give light
At the world's birth, so star-like bright they shone. chus, was published by Izaak Walton in 1683, with To the dark entry, where perpetual night, a title-page stating it to have been written long friend to black deeds, and sire of ignorance, since by JOHN CHALKHILL, Esq., an acquaintant Shuts out all knowledge, lest her eye by chance and friend of Edmund Spenser.' Walton tells us of Might bring to light her follies : in they went, the author, that he was in his time a man generally The ground was strew'd with flowers, whose sweet scent, known, and as well beloved; for he was humble and Mix'd with the choice perfumes from India brought, obliging in his behaviour ; gentleman, a scholar, Intoxicates his brain, and quickly caught very innocent and prudent; and, indeed, his whole His credulous sense ; the walls were gilt, and set life was useful, quiet, and virtuous.' • Thealma and with precious stones, and all the roof was fret Clearchus' was reprinted by Mr Singer, who ex. With a gold vine, whose straggling branches spread pressed an opinion that, as Walton had been silent All o'er the arch; the swelling grapes were red ; upon the life of Chalkhill, he might be altogether a This, Art had made of rubies, cluster'd 80, fictitious personage, and the poem be actually the To the quick’st eye they more than seem'd to grow ; composition of Walton himself. A critic in the About the walls lascivious pictures hung, Retrospective Review,* after investigating the cir. Such as were of loose Ovid sometimes sung. cumstances, and comparing the Thealma with the On either side a crew of dwarfish elves acknowledged productions of Walton, comes to the Held waxen tapers, taller than themselves : same conclusion. Sir John Hawkins, the editor of Yet so well-shap'd unto their little stature, Walton, seeks to overturn the hypothesis of Singer, So angel-like in face, so sweet in feature ; by the following statement :- Unfortunately, John Their rich attire so difforing ; yet so well Chalkhill's tomb of black marble is still to be seen Becoming her that wore it, none could tell on the walls of Winchester cathedral, by which it Which was the fairest, which the handsomest deck'1, appears he died in May 1679, at the age of eighty. Or which of them desire would soon'st affect. Walton's preface speaks of him as dead in May After a low salute, they all 'gan sing, 1678 ; but as the book was not published till 1683, And circle in the stranger in a ring. when Walton was ninety years old, it is probably an Orandra to her charms was stepp'd aside, error of memory.' The tomb in Winchester cannot Leaving her guest half won and wanton-ey'd. be that of the author of Thealma, unless Walton He had forgot his herb: cunning delight committed a further error in styling Chalkhill an Had so bewitch'd his ears, and blear’d his sight, acquaintant and friend' of Spenser. Spenser died And captivated all his senses so, in 1599, the very year in which John Chalkhill, in- That he was not himself: nor did he know terred in Winchester cathedral, must have been born. What place he was in, or how he came there, We should be happy to think that the Thealma was But greedily he feeds his eye and ear the composition of Walton, thus adding another with what would ruin him. laurel to his venerable brow; but the internal evidence seems to us to be wholly against such a sup
Next unto his view position. The poetry is of a cast far too high for She represents a banquet, usher'd in the muse of Izaak, which dwelt only by the side of By such a shape, as she was sure would win trouting streams, and among quiet meadows. The His appetite to taste ; so like she was nomme de guerre of Chalkhill must also have been an To his Clarinda, both in shape and face. old one with Walton, if he wrote Thealma; for, thirty So voic'd, so habited, of the same gait years before its publication, he had inserted in his And comely gesture ; on her brow in state Complete Angler' two songs, signed .Jo. Chalkhill." Sat such a princely majesty, as he The disguise is altogether very unlike Izaak Walton, Had noted in Clarinda ; save that she then ninety years of age, and remarkable for his un
Had a more wanton eye, that here and there assuming worth, probity, and piety. We have no Rolld up and down, not settling any where. doubt, therefore, that Thealma is a genuine poem of Down on the ground she falls his hands to kiss, the days of Charles or James I. The scene of this And with her
tears bedews it; cold as ice pastoral is laid in Arcadia,
and the author, like the He felt her lips, that yet inflam'd him so, ancient poets, describes the golden age and all its That he was all on fire the truth
to know, charms, which were succeeded by an age of iron, on Or whether some fantastic form it were,
Whether she was the same she did appear, the introduction of ambition, avarice, and tyranny. Fashion’d in his imagination
• Retrospective Review, vol. iv., page 230. The article ap- By his still working thoughts ; so fix'd upon pears to have been written by Sir Egerton Brydges, who con
His lov'd Clarinda, that his fancy strove, tributed largely to that work.
Even with her shadow, to express his love.
ing his education at Oxford, Cartwright entered [The Priestess of Diana.]
into holy orders. He was a zealous royalist, and Within a little silent grove hard by,
was imprisoned by the parliamentary forces when Upon a small ascent he might espy
they arrived in Oxford in 1642. In 1643, he was A stately chapel, richly gilt without,
chosen junior proctor of the university, and was also Beset with shady sycamores about :
reader in metaphysics. At this time, the poet is And ever and anon he might well hear
said to have studied sixteen hours a day! Towards A sound of music steal in at his ear
the close of the same year, Cartwright caught As the wind gave it being ::-80 sweet an air
malignant fever, called the camp disease, then pro. Would strike a syren mute.
valent at Oxford, and died December 23, 1643. The
king, who was then at Oxford, went into mourning A hundred virgins there he might espy
for Cartwright's death; and when his works were Prostrate before a marble deity,
published in 1651, no less than fifty copies of enWhich, by its portraiture, appear'd to be
comiastic verses were prefixed to them by the wits The image of Diana :-on their knee
and scholars of the time. It is difficult to conceive, They tender'd their devotions: with sweet airs, from the perusal of Cartwright's poems, why he Off'ring the incense of their praise and prayers.
should have obtained such extraordinary applause Their garments all alike ; beneath their paps and reputation. His pieces are mostly short, occaBuckled together with a silver claps ;
sional productions, addresses to ladies and noblemen, And cross their snowy silken robes, they wore
or to his brother poets, Fletcher and Jonson, or An azure scarf, with stars embroider'd o'er.
slight amatory effusions not distinguished for eleTheir hair in curious tresses was knit up,
gance or fancy. His youthful virtues, his learning, Crown'd with a silver crescent on the top.
loyalty, and admiration of genius, seem to have A silver bow their left hand held ; their right, mainly contributed to his popularity, and his premaFor their defence, held a sharp-headed flight, ture death would renew and deepen the impression Drawn from their 'broider'd quiver, neatly tied of his worth and talents. Cartwright must have In silken cords, and fasten'd to their side.
cultivated poetry in his youth: he was only twentyUnder their vestments, something short before, six when Ben Jonson died, and the compliment White buskins, lac'd with ribanding, they wore. quoted above seems to prove that he had then It was a catching sight for a young eye,
been busy with his pen. He mourned the loss of That love had fir'd before :-he might espy
his poetical father in one of his best effusions, in One, whom the rest had sphere-like circled round, which he thus eulogises Jonson's dramatic powers:Whose head was with a golden chaplet crown'd. He could not see her face, only his ear
But thou still puts true passion on ; dost write Was blest with the sweet words that came from her. With the same courage that tried captains fight;
Giv'st the right blush and colour unto things;
Low without creeping, high without loss of wings; [The Votaress of Diana.]
Smooth yet not weak, and, by a thorough care,
Big without swelling, without painting fair.
To a Lady Veiled.
From the dark chaos, he first shed the day;
The half seen, half hid glory of the rose,
So Truth lay under fables, that the eye A coat of silver tinsel, short before,
Might reverence the mystery, not descry;
Was seen, but what might cause men to adore :
As 'tis but only poetry revived.
Such doubtful light had sacred groves, where rods With diamonds, rubies, and rich sapphires set;
And twigs at last did shoot up into gods ; And on the top a silver crescent plac'd.
Where, then, a shade darkeneth the beauteous face, And all the lustre by such beauty gracid,
May I not pay a reverence to the place! As her reflection made them seem more fair ;
So, under water, glimmering stars appear, One would have thought Diana's self were there;
As those (but nearer stars) your eyes do here ; For in her hand a silver bow she held,
So deities darkened sit, that we may find And at her back there hung a quiver fillid
A better way to see them in our mind.
No bold Ixion, then, be here allow'd,
Methinks the first age comes again, and we
See a retrieval of simplicity.
Thus looks the country virgin, whose brown hue WILLIAM CARTWRIGHT (1611-1643) was one of Hoods her, and makes her show even veil'd as you. Ben Jonson's adopted sons of the muses, and of his Blest mean, that checks our hope, and spurs our fear, works Jonson remarked--My son Cartwright writes Whiles all doth not lie hid, nor all appear : all like a man.' Cartwright was a favourite with O fear ye no assaults from bolder men; his contemporaries, who loved him living, and when they assail, be this your armour then. deplored his early death. This poet was the son of A silken helmet may defend those parts, an innkeeper at Cirencester, who had squandered Where softer kisses are the only darts ! away a patrimonial estate. In 1638, after complet