« НазадПродовжити »
That so sweetly were forsworn;
Lights that do mislead the morn.
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Are of those that April wears.
We are irresistibly reminded of the “Penseroso" in reading the fine song that follows, as we are of “ Comus” in the “Faithful Shepherdess.” That Milton had Fletcher in his thoughts cannot be doubted; but the great epic poet added so much from his own rich store, that the imitation may well be pardoned by the admirers of both, the rather that the earlier bard stands the test of such a comparison well. Both are crowned poets; but they wear their bays with a difference.
FROM THE “NICE VALOUR, OR THE PASSIONATE MADMAN.”
Hence all you vain delights,..
Wherein you speed your folly!
But only melancholy,
Welcome, folded arms, and fixed eyes,
Fountain heads and pathless groves,
A midnight bell, a parting groan,
These are the sounds we feed upon.
THE SATYR'S SPEECH, FROM THE "FAITHFUL SHEPHERDESS."
Through yon same bending plain,
Here be grapes, whose lusty blood
Swifter than the fiery sun. The charming pastoral from whence this beautiful speech is taken, was irrevocably condemned in the theatre on the first and only night of representation ; which catastrophe, added to a similar one that befell Congreve's best comedy, “The Way of the World,” both authors being at the time in the very flood-tide of popularity, has been an unspeakable comfort to unsuccessful dramatists ever since. I recall it chiefly to mention the hearty spirit with which two of the most eminent of Fletcher's friendly rivals came to the rescue with laudatory verses. The circumstance does so much honour to all parties, and some of the lines are so good, that I cannot help quoting them ; George Chapman says that the poem
Renews the golden world, and holds through all
This iron age
This iron age that eats itself will never
Loved as itself. Ben Jonson, first characterising the audience after a fashion by no means complimentary, says that the play failed because it wanted the laxity of moral and of language which they expected and desired. He continues :
I that am glad thy innocence was thy guilt,
Or moths shall eat what all these fools admire.
WINTHROP MACKWORTH PRAED. It is now nearly thirty years ago that two youths appeared at Cambridge, of such literary and poetical promise as the University had not known since the days of Gray. What is rarer still, the promise was kept. One of these “ marvellous boys” turned out a man of world-wide renown—the spirited poet, the splendid orator, the brilliant historian, the delightful essayist—in a word, Thomas Babington Macaulay, now, I suppose, incontestibly our greatest living writer. The other was the subject of this paper.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed (I wish it had pleased his godfathers and godmothers to bestow upon him a plain English Christian name, and spare him and me the vulgar abomination of this conglomeration of inharmonious sounds !) Winthrop Mackworth Praed was born in London, in the beginning of this century, of parents belonging to the great banking-house, which still remains in the family. Sent early to Eton, he, while yet a schoolboy, followed the example of Canning, who appears to have been the object of his emulation in more points than one, and in conjunction with Mr. Moultrie set up a paper called the “ Etonian,”