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own private recreation am wont to resort to such innocent gaieties as the fathers of song have bequeathed to us, so I seldom fail to present them to my readers; and it happens that this philosopher, whom we have seen dealing with high and lofty thoughts, descanting like a hermit on the joys of solitude and the delights of the country,—and in this respect his odes are nothing inferior to his Essays ;—it happens that this identical Cowley hath left behind him the pleasantest of all pleasant ballads, which could hardly have been produced by any one except a thorough man of the world. It is entitled “The Chronicle," and contains a catalogue of all the fair ladies with whom he had at different times been enamoured. Never was list more amusing. It abounds in happy traits, especially the one, which tells to half an hour how long a silly beauty may hope to retain the heart of a man of sense. The expression when the haughty Isabella, unconscious of her conquest and marching on to fresh triumphs, beats out Susan “ by the bye,” has passed into one of those proverbs, of which doubtless as of many other by-words, they who use them little guess the origin.

“ The Chronicle” was written two hundred years ago. Ladies, dear ladies, if one could be sure that no man would open this book, if we were all together in (female) parliament assembled, without a single male creature within hearing, might we not acknowledge that the sex, especially that part of it formerly called coquette, and now known by the name of flirt, is very little altered since the days of the Merry Monarch ? and that a similar list compiled by some gay bachelor of Belgravia might, allowing for differences

of custom and of costume, serve very well as a companion to Master Cowley's catalogue ? I would not have a man read this admission for the world.


Margarita first possessed,
If I remember well, my breast,

Margarita first of all;
But when awhile the wanton maid,
With my restless heart had played,

Martha took the flying ball.

Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catherine :

Beauteous Catherine gave place,
(Though loath and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)

To Eliza's conquering face.

Eliza to this hour might reign,
Had she not evil counsels ta'en :

Fundamental laws she broke,
And still new favourites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,

And cast away her yoke.

Mary then, and gentle Anne,
Both to reign at once began;

Alternately they swayed,
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,

And sometimes both I obeyed,

Another Mary then arose,
Who did rigorous laws impose,

A mighty tyrant she !
Long, alas ! should I have been
Under that iron-sceptered queen,

Had not Rebecca set me free.

When fair Rebecca set me free,
'Twas then a golden time with me,

But soon those pleasures fled;
For the gracious princess died,
In her youth and beauty's pride,

And Judith reigned in her stead.

One month, three days, and half an hour Judith held the sovereign power :

Wondrous beautiful her face,
But so weak and small her wit,
That she to govern was unfit,

And so Susannah took her place.
But when Isabella came,
Armed with a resistless flame;

By the artillery of her eye,
Whilst she proudly marched about,
Greater conquests to find out,

She beat out Susan, by the bye.
But in her place I then obeyed
Black-eyed Bess, her viceroy-maid,

To whom ensued a vacancy. Thousand worse passions then possessed The interregnum of my breast,

Bless me from such an anarchy!

Gentle Henrietta then,
And a third Mary next began ;

Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria,
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Catherine,

And then a long et cetera.

But should I now to you relate,
The strength and riches of their state,

The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribands, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,

That make up all their magazines.

If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts,

The letters, embassies, and spies,
The frowns, the smiles, and flatteries,
The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,

Numberless, nameless mysteries !
And all the little lime-twigs laid
By Machiavel the waiting-maid ;

I more voluminous should grow,
Chiefly if I, like them, should tell
All change of weather that befell,

Than Hollinshed or Stowe.
But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me :

An higher and a nobler strain
My present empress doth claim,
Heleonora, first o' the name,

Whom God grant long to reign ! I add a few original stanzas, which show Cowley's characteristic merits and defects ;—very few, since I must find room for some of those translations from Anacreon, which for grace, spirit, and delicacy will never be surpassed.

Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good !
Hail, ye plebeian underwood !

Where the poetic birds rejoice,
And for their quiet nests and plenteous food,

Pay with their grateful voice.

Here let me careless and unthoughtful lying,
Hear the soft winds above me flying ;

With all their wanton boughs dispute,
And the more tuneful birds to both replying,

Nor be myself, too, mute.

A silver stream shall roll his waters near,
Gilt with the sunbeams here and there,

On whose enamelled bank I'll walk,
And see how prettily they smile,

And hear how prettily they talk. Ah! wretched and too solitary he, Who loves not his own company;

He'll feel the weight of it many a day, Unless he call in sin or vanity

To help to bear it away.


From Anacreon.
Happy insect! what can be
In happiness compared to thee ?
Fed with nourishment divine,
The dewy morning's gentle wine !
Nature waits upon thee still,
And thy verdant cup doth fill;
'Tis filled wherever thou dost tread,
Nature's self, thy Ganymede.
Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
Happier than the happiest king !
All the fields which thou dost see,
All the plants belong to thee;
All that summer hours produce,
Fertile made with early juice :
Man for thee doth sow and plough,
Farmer he, and landlord thou !
Thou dost innocently joy,
Nor dost thy luxury destroy.
The shepherd gladly heareth thee,
More harmonious than he.
Thee country hinds with gladness hear,
Prophet of the ripened year!
Thee Phæbus loves and doth inspire ;
Phæbus is himself thy sire.

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