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sequestering notorious delinquents having passed, and our prelate being included by name, a distinction which his writings and his popularity had merited, all his rents were stopped, even the half-year then due; and a few days after the sequestrators entered his palace, and began the work of devastation with unfeeling brutality, seizing, at the same time, all his property, real and personal. Some notion of their proceedings may be formed from his own brief account.
“ The sequestrators sent certain men appointed by them (whereof one had been burned in the hand) to appraise all the goods that were in my house ; which they accordingly executed with all diligent severity, not leaving so much as a dozen of trenchers, or my childrens' pictures, out of their curious inventory. Yea, they would have apprized our very wearing apparel, had not some of them declared their opinion to the contrary. These goods, both library and household stuff of all kinds, were appointed to be exposed to public sale ; but in the mean time, Mrs. Goodwin, a religious good gentlewoman, whom yet we had never known or seen, being moved with compassion, very kindly offered to lay down to the sequestrators the whole sum at which the goods were valued ; and was pleased to leave them in our hands, for our use, till we might be able to re-purchase them. As for the books, several stationers looked on them, but were not forward to buy. At last, Mr. Cook, a worthy divine of this diocese, gave bond to the sequestrators to pay them the whole sum whereat they were set: which was afterwards satisfied out of that poor pittance wbich was allowed me for my maintenance."
This “ poor pittance” had at first the appearance of liberality, for when he applied to the committee of sequestrators at Norwich, they were either so ashamed of what they had been compelled to do, or entertained so much respect for his character, as to agree that he should have £400 a year out of the revenues of the bishopric. But their employers at the seat of government disdained to vary their proceedings by such an act of generosity, and the Norwich committee were told that they had no power to allow any such thing; but if his wife needed a maintenance, upon her application to the lords and commons she might receive a fifth part. After long delays, this was granted; but the sequestrators produced such confused accounts, that the bishop could never ascertain what a fifth part meant, and was obliged to take what they offered. And that even this pittance might wear the appearance of insult and persecution, after they had cut off all his resources, they demanded assessments and monthly payments for the very estates they had 'seized, and levied distresses upon bim, in spite of every assurance that he had given up all. They even commanded him to find the arms usually furnished by his predecessors, although they had deprived him of all power over his diocese.
While he remained in his palace, he was continually exposed to the insolence of the soldiery and mob, who were plundering and demolishing the windows and monuments of the cathedral. At length he was ordered to leave his house, and would have been exposed to the utmost extremity, had not a neighbour offered him the shelter of his humble roof. Some time after, but by what interest we are not told, the sequestration was taken off a small estate which he rented at Higham, near Norwich, to wbich he retired. His sufferings had not damped his courage, as, in 1644, we find him preaching in Norwich, whenever he could obtain the use of a pulpit; and, with yet more boldness, in the same year he sent A modest Offer of some meet Considerations, in favour of episcopacy, addressed to the assembly of divines. During the rest of his life he appears to have remained at Higham, unmolested, performing the duties of a faithful pastor, and exercising such hospitality and charity as his scanty means permitted. VOL. V.
He died September 8, 1656, in the eighty-second year of his age, and was buried in the church-yard of Higham, without any memorial. In his will he says, “ I leave my body to be buried without any funeral pomp, at the discretion of my executors, with this only monition, that I do not hold God's house a meet repository for the dead bodies of the greatest saints." His wife died in 1647. He left a family behind, according to Lloyd, of whom Robert, the eldest son, was afterwards a clergyman and D.D.
His prose works were published at various periods, in folio, quarto, and duodecimo. They have lately been collected in a very handsome edition, by the rev. Josiah Pratt, in ten volumes, octavo. The Meditations have been often reprinted. As a moralist, he has been entitled the Christian Seneca; his knowledge of the world, depth of thought, and eloquence of expression, place him nearer our own times than many of his contemporaries, while he adorned his age by learning, piety, and the uniform exercise of all the
Mr. Warton has bestowed more elegant discussion on the merits of bishop Hall, as a poet, than on any of the Elizabethan age; and as this part of his History of Poetry has not been published, it may be considered as possessing the value of a manuscript. No apology can, therefore, be necessary for adopting it in this place.
BISHOP HALL'S SATIRES;
BY MR. WARTON.
From the few sheets of Vol. IV. of his History of Poetry, which were printed,
but not published.
THESE Satires are marked with a classical precision, to wbich English poetry had yet rarely attained. They are replete with animation of style and sentiment. The indignation of the satirist is always the result of good sense. Nor are the thorns of severe invective unmixed with the flowers of pure poetry. The characters are delineated in strong and lively colouring, and their discriminations are touched with the masterly traces of genuine humour. The versification is equally energetic and elegant, and the fabric of the couplets approaches to the modern standard. It is no inconsiderable proof of a genius predominating over the general taste of an age when every preacher was a prinster, to have written verses, where laughter was to be raised, and the reader to be entertained with sallies of pleasantry, without quibbles and conceits. His chief fault is obscurity, arising from a remote phraseology, constrained combinations, unfamiliar allusions, elliptical apostrophes, and abruptness of expression. Perhaps some will think, that his manner betrays too much of the laborious exactness and pedantic anxiety of the scholar and the student. Ariosto in Italian, and Regnier in French, were now almost the only modern writers of satire : and I believe there had been an English translation of Ariosto’s Satires. But Hall's acknowledged patterns are Juvenal and Persius, not without some touches of the urbanity of Horace. His parodies of these poets, or rather his adaptations of ancient to modern manners, a mode of imitation not unhappily practised by Oldham, Rochester, and Pope, discover great facility and dexterity of invention. The moral gravity and the censorial declamation of Juvenal, he frequently enlivens with a train of more refined reflection, or adorns with a novelty and variety of images.
In the opening of his general Prologue, he expresses a decent consciousness of the difficulty and danger of his new undertaking. The laurel which he sought had been unworn, and it was not to be won without hazard.
I first adventure, with fool-hardy might,
His first book, containing nine Satires, is aimed at the numerous impotent yet fashionable scribblers with which his age was infested. It must be esteemed a curious and valuable picture, drawn from real life, of the abuses of poetical composition which then prevailed; and which our author has at once exposed with the wit of a spirited satirist, and the good taste of a judicious critic. Of Spenser, who could not have been his contemporary at Cambridge, as some have thought, but perhaps was his friend, he constantly speaks with respect and applause.
I avail myself of a more minute analysis of this book, not only as displaying the critical talents of our satirist, but as historical of the poetry of the present period, and illustrative of my general subject. And if, in general, I should be thought too copious and prolix in my examination of these Satires, my apology must be, my wish to revive a neglected writer of real genius, and my opinion, that the first legitimate author in our language of a species of poetry of the most important and popular utility, which our countrymen have so successfully cultivated, and from which Pope derives his chief celebrity, deserved to be distinguished with a particular degree of attention.
From the first Satire, which I shall exhibit at length, we learn what kinds of pieces were then most in fashion, and in what manner they were written. They seem to have been tales of love and chivalry, amatorial sonnets, tragedies, comedies, and pastorals.
Nor ladie's wanton loue, nor wandering knight,
Saracen divinities. * In modern ballads, Blousilinda, or Blousibella. Doctor Johnson interprets blouze, a ruddy fat-faced wench. Dict. in V.
* Abide, bear, endure. * Perbaps the true reading is apgrie, that is, impassioned. These Satires have been most carelessly printed.
Nor euer could my scornfull Muse abide
The compliinent in the close to Spenser, is introduced and turned with singular address and elegance. The allusion is to Spenser's beautiful episode of the marriage of Thames and Medway, recently published, in 1595, in the fourth book of the second part of The Fairy Queen". “ But liad I,” says the poet, “been inclined to invoke the assistance of a Muse, what Muse, even of a lower order, is there now to be found, who would condescend to sit and sing on the desolated margin of the Cam? The Muses frequent other rivers, ever since Spenser celebrated the nuptials of Thames and Medway. Cam has now nothing on his banks but willows, the types of desertion.”
I observe here, in general, that Thomas Hudson and Henry Lock were the Bavius and Mevius of this age. In The Return from Parnassus, 1606, they are thus consigned to oblivion by Judicio. "Locke and Hudson, sleep you quiet shavers among the sharings of the press, and let your books lie in some old nook amongst old boots and shoes, so you may avoid my censure !?.” Hudson translated into English Du Bartas's poem of Judith and Holofernes, in which is this couplet :
And at her eare a pearle of greater valew
Yet he is commended by Harrington for making this translation in a “verie good and
6 Buskins. 6 Poetry written by hirelings for bread. ? Perhaps this couplet means comedy.
* Heroic poetry, pastorals, comedy, and tragedy, I leave to the celebrated established masters in those different kinds of composition, such as Spenser and Shakspeare; unless the classic poets are intended. The imitation from Persius's Prologue is obvious.
? Or, even if I was willing to invoke a Muse, &c. 19 B. i. 1. f. 1. edit, 1599.
11 B. iv. C. xi.
12 A. i. S. ii.
sweet English verse"}," and is largely cited in England's Parnassus, 1600. Lock applied the sonnet to a spiritual purpose, and substituting Christian love in the place of amorous passion, made it the vehicle of humiliation, holy comfort, and thanksgiving. This book he dedicated, under the title of The Passionate Present, to queen Elizabeth, who, perhaps, from the title, expected to be entertained with a subject of a very different nature".
In the second Satire, our author poetically laments that the nine Muses are no longer vestal virgins.
Whilom the Muses nine were vestal maides,
That pleas'd both Heaven and Earth.......... He complains, that the rabble of rymesters new have engrafted the myrtle on the bay; and that poetry, departing from its ancient moral tendency, has been unnaturally perverted to the purposes of corruption and impurity. The Muses have changed, in defiance of chastity,
Their modest stole to garish looser weed,
Deckt with loue-fauours, their late whoredom's meedwhile the pellucid spring of Pyrene is converted into a poisonous and muddy puddle,
............ Whose infectious staine Corrupteth all the lowly fruitfull plaine 15.
Marlow's Ovid's Elegies, and some of the dissolute sallies of Green and Nash, seem to be here pointed out. I know not of any edition of Marston's Pygmalion's Image before the year 1598; and the Caltha Poetarum, or Bumble-Bee, one of the most exceptionable books of this kind, written by T. Cutwode, appeared in 1599 16. Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis, published in 1593, had given great offence to the graver readers of English verse".
15 Transl. Orl. Fur. Notes, B. XXXV. p. 296. 1633. Hence, or from an old play, the name of Holofernes got into Shakspeare.
1* I have before cited this collection, which appeared in 1597, vol. iji. 445. That was a second edition. To his Ecclesiastes there is a recommendatory poem by Lilly. Some of David's Psalms in verse appear with his name the same year.
1 B. i. 2. f. 4.
" This we learn from a poem entitled, A Scourge for Paper Persecutors, by J. D. with an Inqui. sition against Paper Persecutors by A. H. Lond. for H. H. 1625, 4to. Signat. A. 3.
Making lewd Venus with eternall lines