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generally admired. Their tendency is to awaken solemn thoughts, and to impress upon the mind the fleeting nature of all sublunary things. In addition to his other publications, he was the author of a metrical translation of the Psalms, a small volume of miscellaneous poems in English, various religious tracts, and several Greek and Latin poems. His affecting verses on the death of his wife have been often quoted as a finished specimen of elegiac poetry.
BORN, 1592 ; Died, 1644. FRANCIS QUARLES was born in 1592, near Romford, in Essex. His father held the situation of Clerk of the Green-cloth, and Purveyor of the Navy, under Queen Elizabeth. He received his education at Cambridge, and entered at Lincoln's Inn. The Queen of Bohemia, daughter of James I., conferred upon him the office of Cup-bearer. Archbishop Ussher afterwards appointed him his private Secretary. He accompanied His Grace to Ireland, but was compelled to leave it in consequence of the rebellion of 1641, having lost his property by that event. He afterwards received the appointment of Chronologer to the City of London. He was the author of a work called the “ Loyal Convert,” which was considered by Parliament to be highly objectionable in its character, and dangerous in its tendency. As a punishment for this offence, his property was sequestrated, and his books were burned. He was deeply affected by this rigorous sentence, and died in 1644, at the
of fifty-two. His works are numerous. The most celebrated of them is his “Divine Emblems," a set of designs exhibited in prints, and illustrated by a copy of verses in each. The “Emblems” are supposed to have been copied from a Spanish author ; but the verses are from the pen of Quarles. They have been praised by competent judges as possessing no ordinary vigour of style, without much pretension to polish or elegance.
The principal poems of this author are the " Scripture Histories of Sampson, Job, Esther, and Jonah :” the “ School of the Heart;" “ Sion's Elegies ;” and “Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man ;" besides several miscellaneous pieces. Of his prose works there are two which have been warmly eulogized, namely, his “Judgment and Mercy for Afflicted Souls," and his “Enchiridon.” The latter is a collection of maxims, divine and moral, written with brevity and strength, and calculated by their wisdom to exercise a beneficial effect upon society.
Willmott, a modern biographer of Quarles, expresses his opinion of Quarles' poetical character and prose writings in the following terms: “We may say of him, in the emphatic words of Dr. Hammond, that he was of an athletic habit of mind, braced into more than common vigour by healthful and ennobling studies, and a pure and virtuous life. There was nothing effeminate in his manners or disposition; he was often ungraceful, but never weak, No man had a correcter notion of the beauty of style, or presented a more striking exception to his own rule—'Clothe not thy language,” he said, 'either with obscurity or affectation; in the one thou discoverest too much darkness, in the other too much lightness. He that speaks from the understanding to the understanding is the best interpreter.' It would have been good for his fame if he had practised what he taught. His eccentricity was the ruin of his genius: he offered up the most beautiful offspring of his imagination, without remorse, to this misshapen idol. The specimens we have given of his poetry, show that he could write with dignity, simplicity, and pathos; and that if his poetry flowed in a muddy stream, particles of precious gold may be gathered from its channel. As a writer of prose, he deserves very high applause. His style is remarkably flowing, and animated by a Christian benignity of spirit. Without the copious richness of Taylor, or the mystical eloquence of Brown, or the poignant terseness of South, he possesses sufficient force and sweetness to entitle him to be named with the masters of our language.”
The private character of Quarles is represented to have been amiable and exemplary. It has been delineated by his wife in glowing colours. The closing scenes of his life, as described by her, cannot be medi. tated upon without awakening solemn reflections. He had endured severe trials and persecutions; and his amiable partner has depicted, with simplicity and feeling his composure and submission. The subjoined passage is taken from Willmott's interesting sketch of his life:-“His patience was wonderful, insomuch, that he would confess no pain, even when all his friends perceived his disease to be mortal; but still rendered thanks to God for his especial love to him, in taking him into his own hands to chastise, while others were exposed to the fury of their enemies, the power of pistols, and the trampling of horses. He expressed great sorrow for his sins; and when it was told him, that his friends conceived he did thereby much harm to himself, he answered, “They were not his friends who would not give him leave to be penitent.'
“His exhortations to those that came to visit him were most divine ; wishing them 'to have a care of the expense of their time, and every day to call themselves to an account, that so when they came to their bed of sickness, they might lie upon it with a rejoicing heart. And, doubtless, such an one was his ;
insomuch, that he thanked God that whereas he might justly have expected that his 'conscience should look him in the face like a lion,' it rather looked upon him 'like a lamb,' and that God had forgiven him his sins. I might here add, what blessed advice he gave to me in particular, still to trust in God, whose promise is to provide for the widow and the fatherless, &c. But this is already imprinted on my heart, and, therefore, I shall not need here again to insert it. His charity in freely forgiving his greatest enemies was equally Christian-like; and when he heard that the individual, whose vindictive conduct towards him had been the chief cause of his illness, was called to an account for it, his answer was, "God forbid ; I seek not revenge ; I freely forgive him and the rest.""
From the virtuous character of this excellent man, as delineated by his attached wife, there is an important lesson to be derived, namely, that a well-spent life is the best preparation for a tranquil and happy death-bed.
BORN, 1593; Died, 1682.
With moistened eye
What joy to live, and happiness to die.
With a soul composed of harmonies,
Cotton's Lines to Isaac Walton. This amiable and popular clergyman was distinguished for his earnest and unaffected piety, and for his talents as a poet and divine. He was fortunate in meeting with two able biographers-Isaac Walton, and, in more recent times, Willmott—both well qualified to depict, with fidelity and tenderness, his learning as a scholar, his merits as a writer, and his virtues as a
Herbert's first biographer, however, was the Rev. Barnabas Oley, whose memoir of the poet was prefixed to the first edition of his excellent work, “ The Country Parson," published in 1652. To these interesting publications, the student of biography should refer for a full account of this good man and sincere Christian. Our space will not admit of more than a very brief outline, for which we are principally indebted to Willmott, to Gorton's "Biographical Dictionary,” and “The Penny Cyclopedia."
Willmott commences his life of Herbert by observing, that "it possesses the greatest charm, and has long been blended in the heart with scenes of serenity
and peace; with the path of the quiet fields to church, and the sweet solemnity of the pastor's fireside." He was descended from a noble family, and was born on the 3rd day of April, 1593, at the castle of Montgomery, in Wales, near the town of that name. He lost his father in his fourth year, and consequently he "spent much of his childhood under the eye and care of his prudent mother, and the tuition of a chaplain or tutor.” After remaining under her care for twelve years, he attended Westminster School, and went from thence to Trinity College, Cambridge. In the year 1619, he was chosen public orator of the University, having previously obtained his degree as Master of Arts, and a fellowship. He cultivated the modern languages with great assiluity and success; and his eminent abilities attracted the noticeof James I., who appointed him to an office with but few duties to perform, and a liberal salary to receive. It is supposed that, in order to ingratiate himself with the King, he followed the practice of the age in which he lived, by indulging in fulsome adulation. He became a great a favourite at court; and bis Majesty used to cal. him the “ Jewel of Cambridge University,” and pay him much personal attention. Willmott justly remarks, with reference to Herbert's love of princely favour, that
prosperity, though a flowery path, is not exempt from peril. The condescension of his royal master, and the seductive charms of the court, dazzled for a season the eyes of the poet; the old cloisters of Trinity lost their charm; and we are told that he seldom looked towards Cambridge except when the King was there, and then he never failed.” The only excuse that can be offered for this obsequiousness to the great is, that it was characteristic of the age, and that other eminent and good men could not resist the temptation.
After the death of his royal patron, in 1625, Herbert entered into holy orders, and spent the remainder of his life labouring, to use his own words,“ to make the name of a priest honourable by consecrating all his learning, and all his poor abilities, to advance the glory of God who gave them.”. The first living he obtained was the prebendary of Leighton Ecclesia, in the diocese of Lin