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affairs at so serious a crisis as that which occurred during his Parliamentary life ; but Waller seems to have floated scatheless for a while through the storms of the Civil War, trusting, like the nautilus amid shoals and quicksands, to his own fragility. He showed repeated signs of tergiversation during that difficult period, professing adherence to Puritan and Republican doctrine, while really sympathising with the Court party ; and on more than one occasion he was accused distinctly of military treachery. Even his consummate adroitness did not always succeed in securing his impunity ; and, in 1643, the House convicted him of a plot to betray London to the King. He narrowly escaped capital punishment, but was imprisoned, fined £10,000, and banished for some time. He spent this interval in France. His conduct at this juncture seems to have been mean and abject. Although he was Hampden's first cousin, and therefore a direct connection of Oliver Cromwell himself, whom he celebrated in one of his best poems, Waller was ready to hail any political change with enthusiasm, and panegyrised Cromwell in 1655 and Charles II in 1660 with equal fervour, if not with equal

He lived to see the accession of James II, and to prophesy with accuracy the fatal results of his policy. During

the whole of his life Waller was the idol of society ; but Waller's

his pliant and shifty conduct brought him neither much popularity and influ

trust nor much respect. In his own day, and in the once on post- succeeding generation, his poetry enjoyed the highest poetry.

repute. It was said that he carried to perfection the

art of expressing graceful and sensible ideas in the clearest and most harmonious language ; and his example acted powerfully on Dryden and Pope. But his poetry owed its influence rather to the good sense and good taste which led him to avoid faults than to the ardour and enthusiasm which alone can produce beautiful verse. The regular and well-balanced line of Waller, the parent of Pope's reasonable Alexandrine, always gratifies the judgment, but appeals very little to the heart or imagination. Here and there in his works may be found strokes of happy ingenuity which may be due either to accident or to genius ; as, for example, the line “ He catched at love and filled his arm with bays,” in which, lamenting the cruelty of his mistress, and boasting that his disappointment as a lover had given him immortality as a poet, he alludes to the fable of Apollo and Daphne. Most of his poems are love verses, chief among them those addressed to Lady Dorothy Sidney, afterwards Countess of Sunderland, under the name of Sacharissa ; but his panegyric on Cromwell contains many passages of dignity and force. He was less successful in his longer work, The Battle of the Summer Islands, in which, in a strain half serious, half comic, he described an attack upon a stranded whale-the Summer Islands being the Bermudas. His collected poems appeared first in 1645, but a second part was published posthumously in 1690 ; and the first part contains,




generally speaking, fugitive lyrics and other pieces. His panegyrics were published separately.

$ 7. SIR WILLIAM D'AVENANT was born in the same year with Waller, and was one of the most active literary and political personages of his day. He is chiefly interesting to us as being the leading instrument in the theatrical SiR WILLIAM

D'AVENANT revival of the Restoration. He was Shakespeare's

(1606-1668). godson, and was, for a few years of his youth, one of the household of Lord Brooke, the most seriously Senecan of all the dramatists. His life was spent in literary pursuits, and in the successful endeavour, during the Commonwealth, to reintroduce the drama into England under the form of a musical entertainment. He became Poet Laureate in 1638, succeeding Ben Jonson, and, during his life, wrote a considerable amount of verse. Among his plays were Albovine (1629), The Cruel Brother (1630), The Siege of Rhodes (1656), The Law Against Lovers (1662), and many more. One of his principal

Gondibert" non-dramatic works is the poem of Gondibert (1651),

(1651). narrating a long series of lofty and chivalrous adventures in a dignified and somewhat monotonous manner. It is written in the peculiar four-lined stanza with alternate rhymes first employed by Sir John Davies in Nosce Teipsum, and afterwards by Dryden in his Annus Mirabilis. This is, however, a form of versification singularly unfitted for continuous narrative ; and its employment may be one cause of the neglect into which D'Avenant's once admired work has fallen. To-day there are probably not ten men in England who have read it through.

SIR JOHN DENHAM was the son of a judge who was from 1609 to 1617 Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland, and a supporter of the Royalist cause. Although a poet of the secondary order, one work of his, Cooper's Hill Sur JOHN (1642), will always occupy an important place in any (1615-1669). account of English literature during the seventeenth century. This place it owes, not only to its specific merits, but to its very prominent position as a work of topographical poetry. In this class of writing the poet chooses some individual scene, round which he accumulates his descriptive or contemplative passages. Denham selected for this purpose a beautiful spot upon the Thames near Richmond ; and, in his description of the scene itself, as well as in the reflections which it suggests, he rose to a noble elevation. Four lines, indeed, in which he expresses the hope that his own verse may possess the qualities which he attributes to the Thames, will be quoted again and again as one of the finest and happiest pieces of verse in any language. This passage did not appear until the edition of 1655. The lines run thus :

“O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream

My great example, as it is my theme !
Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong without rage; without o'erflowing full."

$ 8. One of the most accomplished writers of his day, and the poet whose influence, with that of Waller, was felt most strongly

by the poets of the next century, was ABRAHAM ABRAHAM COWLEY.

He was the son of a London stationer COWLEY (1618-1667).

and was educated at Westminster School. His

intellectual precocity was very remarkable ; for in 1633 he published his first poems, written when he was only thirteen. These, called Poetical Blossoms, were enthusiastic imitations of Spenser. Somewhat later he wrote a pastoral drama called Love's Riddle, which he published in 1638. In 1637 he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, but in 1644, when he was a Master of Arts and minor fellow, he was ejected from his college for his Royalist sympathies, and migrated to St. John's College, Oxford. While at Cambridge (1641) he wrote his comedy, The Guardian, which was acted before Prince Charles. The title of this play, re-written in 1658, was changed to The Cutter of Coleman Street, and was acted in 1661. Among his contemporaries he had the reputation of being one of the best scholars and most distinguished poets of his age. During the earlier part of his life he had been confidentially employed, both in England and France, in the service of Charles I and his Queen ; and in 1646 he followed Henrietta Maria to Paris. But, on attaining middle age, he determined to carry out a philosophical project which he had long fondly cherished, and to live in rural and literary retirement. He was disappointed in obtaining the provision which, as he thought, his services had deserved ; but, receiving a grant of some crown leases which produced a moderate income, he quitted London and went to reside near Chertsey (1665). But his dreams of ease and tranquillity were not fulfilled ; he was involved in continual squabbles with his tenants, from whom he could extract no rent ; and he speaks with constant querulousness of the hostility and vexations to which he was subjected. He died of a fever caused by a cold which he had caught in the fields, but not before he had learned that rural solitude was no panacea for the annoyances and cares of the ordinary world.

Cowley was highly regarded among the writers of his time both as a poet and as an essayist. His essays are only eleven in

number, but his immense and multifarious learning, Cowley's

well digested and brilliantly polished, renders his (1668). prose works, in which he frequently includes passages

of verse, little less delightful to read than the fascinating pages of Montaigne. There are few writers so substantial as Cowley : few whose productions have so peculiar a charm for

the reader as he grows older and more contemplative, His poetry.

As a poet, Cowley's reputation, immense in his own

day, has much diminished; this decline is to be attributed to that abuse of intellectual ingenuity, that passion for learned, far-fetched, and recondite allusions which was to a certain extent the vice of his age. He had very litile passion or


depth of sentiment ; and in the love-verses, which, like every other aspiring poet, he considered himself bound to write, he substituted the play of intellect for the unaffected outpouring of genuine feeling. He was deeply versed in both Greek and Latin literature, and his imitations, paraphrases, and translations show a perfect knowledge of his originals and a great mastery over the resources of English. He paraphrased the odes of Anacreon ; and his Pindaric Odes (1656) were confessedly “written in imitation of the Stile and Manner of Pindar”; but their resemblance to the odes of the Theban Eagle is merely external. Cowley seems always on the watch to seize some ingenious and unsuspected parallelism of ideas and images ; and, when the illustration is so found, the shock of surprise which the reader feels is produced by a flash of wit rather than by a stroke of electric genius. Cowley lived at the moment when the revolution inaugurated by Bacon was beginning to produce its first-fruits. The Royal Society, then recently founded, was astonishing the world and its own members by the extent of the horizon which was opening before the bold pioneers of inductive science. With this mighty movement Cowley deeply sympathised; and perhaps the finest of his lyric compositions are those in which, with a grave and well-adorned eloquence, he proclaims the genius and predicts the triumph of Bacon and his disciples in physical science.

Cowley meditated, but left unfinished, one long epic poem of great pretensions. This was the Davideis (1656), and its subject was the sufferings and glories of David, King of Israel. But this work is now completely neglected. Biblical

Davideis" personages and events have rarely, with the sublime (1656). exception of Milton's Paradise Lost, been successfully transported from the majestic language of Scripture; and it may be maintained, without much fear of contradiction, that Cowley's rhymed heroic couplet is not the form of versification which can best support the reader's attention through a long epic narrative : his genius was certainly far more lyric than epic. He had himself come under Waller's Cowley's influence, like Denham and others; and his shorter importance. lyric poems became, in their turn, the means of transmitting the “correct” style to English poetry. Waller probably had as much direct influence as Cowley upon Dryden and Pope and their contemporaries ; but it is certainly in Cowley's Pindaric metres and heroic couplets that, for the first time, we see the stereotyped neatness of the eighteenth as distinct from the various ingenuity of the seventeenth century. Lyric extravagance gives way to a prosaic moderation of tone, and the tortured conceit is exchanged for the choice epigram.



OTHER POETS OF THE 1647 he published The Rebel Scot, CAROLINE PERIOD a severe satire on the Scotch; he

was imprisoned at Yarmouth in 1655, SIR JOHN BEAUMONT (1583-1627), was released by Cromwell, and died an elder brother of Francis Beau- about two years after. Some of his mont the dramatist, wrote a poem writings are amatory, and, although in the heroic couplet, called Bosworth conceited, contain true poetry. It Field, which was published, together is said that Butler borrowed not a with other remains, by his son Sir | little from him in his Hudibras. John Beaumont (1629).

RICHARD CORBET (1582-1635). JOSEPH BEAUMONT (1616–1699), Bishop of Oxford from 1628 to 1632, Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and then of Norwich, was a celewrote a philosophical poem called brated wit and poet, and a great Psyche, or Love's Mystery (1648), friend of Ben Jonson. His poems, which was intended as an orthodox witty and satirical, were first collected counterblast to Henry More's Song and published in 1647. The best of the Soul (see below).

known are his Journey into France, RICHARD BRATHWAITE (1588?- and the charming Farewell to the 1673), born at Kendal and educated Fairies, one of the most graceful at Oriel College, Oxford, and Pem- | lyrics of its period. broke College, Cambridge, left be- CHARLES COTTON (1630-1687). hind him a great amount of poetry best known as the friend of Isaak of all kinds, which shows much ver- Walton, as the translator (1685) of satility, but is seldom more than Montaigne, and as the author of the mediocre. He is generally remem- second part of The Complete Angler, bered as Drunken Barnaby from his added to the edition of 1676, lived famous doggerel poem in Latin and at Beresford upon the river Dove, English, Barnabæ Itinerarium, or celebrated for its trout. He wrote Barnabee's Journal (1638).

several poems, some of great beauty, WILLIAM CHAMBERLAYNE (1619- others humorous and rather coarse. 1689), a physician at Shaftesbury His Voyage to Ireland, according to in Dorsetshire, wrote Pharonnida Campbell, seems to anticipate the (1659), an heroic poem in five books, manner of Anstey in the Bath Guide. which contains some vigorous pas- SIR RICHARD FANSHAWE (1608sages. The versification, in spite of 1666), brother of Thomas, first Visruggedness, is often beautiful, and count Fanshawe, was secretary of Mr. A. H. Bullen has said that war to Prince Charles, afterwards "both in its faults and its beauties | Charles II. He was ambassador to it bears considerable resemblance Portugal and Spain in the reign of to Endymion." Chamberlayne was Charles II, and died at Madrid. also the author of a tragi-comedy He translated (1647) the Pastor Fida entitled Love's Victory (1658), which of Guarini, Camoëns' Lusiad in 1655. was acted after the Restoration under and (1671) Mendoza's Querer por the new name (1678) of Wit led by solo querer. His song. The Saint's the Nose, or the Poet's Revenge. Encouragement, is full of clever

JOHN CLEVELAND (1613-1658), satire, and all his verse is forcible, the son of a schoolmaster in Holy with here and there a touch of true Orders at Loughborough, was a poetical beauty. fellow of St. John's College, Cam- HENRY KING (1592-1669), chapbridge, and distinguished himself, lain to James I, and afterwards during the Civil War, as a soldier (1642) Bishop of Chichester, wrote and poet on the King's side. In chiefly religious poetry. His style

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