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To be interested in the character and lives of those whose writings have instructed and delighted us, 'is natural to the human mind; nor is it reasonable that they who have laboured successfully for our advantage, should be wholly forgotten. “ The Monument of Banished Mindes" is contemplated with a sort of pensive pleasure; and such mementoes must always contribute something of life and energy to the pieces which we peruse. Brief therefore as is the following sketch of our author's history, it will not be an unacceptable introduction to his poem of the PURPLE ISLAND.
His father, Dr. Giles Fletcher, was a man of considerable reputation as an author, a poet, and a statesman. He was born in Kent in the middle of the 16th century; was educated at Eton; and in the year 1565 was elected scholar of King's College, Cambridge. He took the degree of A. B. in 1569, that of M. A. in 1573, and that of L. L. D. in 1581. Queen Elizabeth, who discovered so much prudence and discrimination in her choice of ministers, appointed him her commissioner in Scotland, Germany, and the Netherlands; and in 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada, she constituted him her ambassador to the court of Russia; where he concluded a commercial treaty with the Czar Theodore, much to the advantage of his native country: During his residence in that barbarous empire, he composed