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Poema CI. V. JOANNIS PASSERATII,
Ad ornatissimum virum ERRICUM MEMMIUM.
Janus adest, festæ poscunt sua dona Kalendæ, Munus abest festis quod possim offerre Kalendis. Siccine Castalius nobis exaruit humor? Usque adeò ingenii nostri est exhausta facultas, Immunem ut videat redeuntis janitor anni ? Quod nusquam est, potius nova per vestigia quæram.
Ecce autem partes dum sese versat in omnes Invenit mea Musa Nihil, ne despice munus. Nam Nihil est gemmis, NIHIL est pretiosius auro. Huc animum, huc igitur vultus adverte benignos : Res nova narratur quæ nulli audita priorum, Ausonii & Graii dixerunt cætera vates, Ausoniæ indictum NIHIL est Græcæque Camænæ.
E cælo quacunque Ceres sua prospicit arva, Aut genitor liquidis orbem complectitur ulnis Oceanus, NIHIL interitus & originis expers. Immortale NIHIL, NIHIL omni parte beatum. Quòd si hinc majestas & vis divina probatur, Num quid honore deûm, num quid dignabimur aris? Conspectu lucis NIHIL est jucundius almæ, Vere NIHIL, NIHIL irriguo formosius horto, Floridius pratis, Zephyri clementius aura ; In bello sanctum NIHIL est, Martisque tumultu : Justum in pace NIHIL, NIHIL est in fædere tutum. Felix cui NIHIL est, (fuerant hæc vota Tibullo) Non timet insidias : fures, incendia temnit: Sollicitas sequitur nullo sub judice lites. Ille ipse invictis qui subjicit omnia fatis Zenonis sapiens, NIHIL admiratur & optat.
Socraticique gregis fuit ista scientia quondam, Scire Nihil, studio cui nunc incumbitur uni. Nec quicquam in ludo mavult didicisse juventus; Ad magnas quia ducit opes, et culmen honorum. Nosce Nihil, nosces fertur quod Pythagoreæ Grano hærere fabæ, cui vox adjuncta negantis. Multi Mercurio freti duce viscera terræ Þura liquefaciunt simul, et patrimonia miscent, Arcano instantes operi, et carbonibus atris, Qui tandem exhausti damnis, fractique labore, Inveniunt atque inventum NIHIL usque requirunt. Hoc dimetiri non ulla decempeda possit : Nec numeret Libycæ numerum qui callet arenæ : Et Phæbo ignotum NIHIL est, NIHIL altius astris. Túque, tibi licet eximium sit mentis acumen, Omnem in naturam penetrans, et in abdita rerum, Pace tua, Memmi, NIHIL ignorare vidêris. Sole tamen NIHIL est, et puro clarius igne. Tange NIHIL, dicesque NIHIL sine corpore tangi. Cerne Nihil, cerni dices NIHIL absque colore. Surdum audit loquitúrque nihil sine voce, volátque Absque ope pennarum, et graditur sine cruribus ullis. Absque loco motuque NIHIL per inane vagatur. Humano generi utilius nihil arte medendi. Ne rhombos igitur, neu Thessala murmura tentet Idalia vacuum trajectus arundine pectus, Neu legat Idæo Dictæum in vertice gramen. Vulneribus sævi NIHIL auxiliatur amoris. Vexerit et quemvis trans mæstas portitor undas, Ad superos
imo NIHIL hunc revocabit ab orco. Inferni nihil inflectit præcordia regis, Parcarúmque colos, et inexorabile pensum, Obruta Phlegræis campis Titania pųbes Fulmineo sensit NIHIL esse potentius ictu : Porrigitur magni Nihil extra mænia mundi: VOL. IX.
Diique NIHIL metuunt. Quid longo carmine plura
WENTWORTH DILLON, earl of Roscommon, was the son of James Dillon and Elizabeth Wentworth, sister to the earl of Strafford. He was born in Ireland * during the lieutenancy of Strafford, who, being both his uncle and his godfather, gave him his own surname. His father, the third earl of Roscommon, had been converted by Usher to the Protestant religion; and when the Popish rebellion broke out, Strafford thinking the family in great danger from the fury of the Irish, sent for his godson, and placed him at his own seat in Yorkshire, where he was instructed in Latin : which he learned so as to write it with purity and elegance, though he was never able to retain the rules of
grammar. Such is the account given by Mr. Fenton, from whose notes on Waller most of this account must be borrowed, though I know not whether all that he relates is certain. The instructor whom he assigns to Roscommon is one Dr. Hall, by whom he cannot mean the famous Hall, then an old man and a bishop.
* The Biographia Britannica says, probably about the year 1632; but this is inconsistent with the date of Strafford's viceroyalty in the following page. C.
When the storm broke out upon Strafford, his house was a shelter no longer; and Dillon, by the advice of Usher, was sent to Caen, where the Protestants had then an university, and continued his studies under Bochart.
Young Dillon, who was sent to study under Bochart, and who is represented as having already made great proficiency in literature, could not be more than nine years old. Strafford went to govern Ireland in 1633, and was put to death eight years afterwards. That he was sent to Caen, is certain : that he was a great scholar, may be doubted.
At Caen he is said to have had some preternatural intelligence of his father's death.
“ The lord Roscommon, being a boy of ten years " of age, at Caen in Normandy, one day was, as
it were, madly extravagant in playing, leaping,
getting over the tables, boards, &c. “ wont to be sober enough; they said, God grant, " this bodes no ill-luck to him! In the heat of this
extravagant fit, he cries out, My father is dead. “ A fortnight after, news came from Ireland that “ his father was dead. This account I had from “ Mr. Knolles, who was his governor, and then “ with him, — since secretary to the earl of Straf“ ford; and I have heard his lordship's relations “ confirm the same.” Aubrey's Miscellany.
The present age is very little inclined to favour any accounts of this kind, nor will the name of Aubrey much recommend it to credit; it ought not, however, to be omitted, because better evidence of a fact cannot easily be found than is here offered; and it must be by preserving such relations that we