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Where all the hopes I had to have won
Your heart, being dash'd, will break my own.
Yet if you were not so severe
To pass your doom before you hear,
You'd find, upon my just defence,
How much y' have wrong'd my innocence.
That once I made a vow to you,
Which yet is unperform'd 'tis true;
But not, because it is unpaid,
"Tis violated, though delay'd:
Or, if it were, it is no fault,
So heinous as you'd have it thought;
To undergo the loss of ears,
Like vulgar hackney perjurers:
For there's a difference in the case,
Between the noble and the base;
Who always are observ'd t' have done 't
Upon as different an account;
The one for great and weighty cause,
To salve, in honour, ugly flaws;

For none are like to do it sooner,

Than those who 're nicest of their honour:

The other, for base gain and pay,
Forswear and perjure by the day,
And make th' exposing and retailing
Their souls, and consciences, a calling.

It is no scandal nor aspersion,
Upon a great and noble person,
To say he natʼrally abhorr'd

Th' old-fashion'd trick, to keep his word,
Though 'tis perfidiousness and shame,
In meaner men, to do the same:
For to be able to forget,

Is found more useful, to the great,
Than gout, or deafness, or bad eyes,
To make 'em pass for wondrous wise.
But though the law, on perjurers,
Inflicts the forfeiture of ears,
It is not just, that does exempt
The guilty, and punish the innocent;
To make the ears repair the wrong,
Committed by th' ungoverned tongue;
And, when one member is forsworn,
Another to be cropt or torn.

Love, that 's the world's preservative,
That keeps all souls of things alive;
Controls the mighty pow'r of Fate,
And gives mankind a longer date;
The life of nature, that restores,
As fast as Time and Death devours,
To whose free gift the world does owe,
Not only earth, but heaven too:
For love's the only trade that's driven,
The interest of state in heaven,
Which nothing but the soul of man
Is capable to entertain ;
For what can earth produce, but love,
To represent the joys above ?
Or who but lovers can converse,
Like angels, by the eye-discourse?
Address, and compliment by vision,
Make love, and court by intuition ?
And burn in am'rous flames as fierce
As those celestial ministers?
Then how can any thing offend,
In order to so great an end ?
Or Heav'n itself, a sin resent,
That for its own supply was meant ?
That merits, in a kind mistake,
A pardon for the offence's sake?
Or if it did not, but the cause
Were left to th' injury of laws,
What tyranny can disapprove
There should be equity in love?
For laws that are inanimate,
And feel no sense of love, or hate,
That have no passion of their own,
Nor pity to be wrought upon,
Are only proper to inflict
Revenge, on criminals, as strict;
But to have power to forgive,
Is empire, and prerogative;
And 'tis in crowns, a nobler gem,
To grant a pardon, than condemn.
Then, since so few do what they ought,
'Tis great t' indulge a well-meant fault;
For why shou'd he who made address
All humble ways, without success,
And met with nothing in return
But insolence, affronts and scorn,
Not strive by wit to countermine,
And bravely carry his design?

Or why should you, whose mother-wits Are furnish'd with all perquisits ; That with your breeding teeth begin, And nursing babies that lie in, B’allow'd to put all tricks upon Our cully sex, and we use none? We, who have nothing but frail vows, Against your stratagems t' oppose, Or oaths more feeble than your own, By which we are no less put down? You wound, like Parthians, while you fly, And kill with a retreating eye; Retire the more, the more we press, To draw us into ambushes.

For women first were made for men, Not men for them. It follows, then, That men have right to every one, And they no freedom of their own; And therefore men have pow'r to choose, But they no charter to refuse. Hence 'tis apparent that, what course Soe'er we take to your amours, Though by the indirectest way, 'Tis no injustice, nor foul play ; And that you ought to take that course, As we take you, for better or worse, And gratefully submit to those Who you, before another, chose, For why shou'd every savage beast Exceed his great Lord's interest ? Have freer pow'r than he, in Grace And Nature, o'er the creature has ? Because the laws he since has made Have cut off all the pow'r he had;

Retrench'd the absolute dominion
That Nature gave him over women;
When all his power will not extend,
One law of Nature to suspend;
And but to offer to repeal
The smallest cause, is to rebel.
This, if men rightly understood
Their privilege, they wou'd make good;
And not, like sots, permit their wives
T'encroach on their prerogatives;
For which sin they deserve to be
Kept, as they are, in slavery.


The Knight, perusing this Epistle,
Believ'd he'd brought her to his whistle;
And read it, like a jocund lover,
With great applause, t' himself, twice over;
Subscrib'd his name, but at a fit
And humble distance, to his wit,
And dated it with wond'rous art,
Giv'n from the bottom of his heart;
Then seal'd it with his coat of love,
A smoking faggot-and above,
Upon a scroll-I burn, and weep,
And near it-For her Ladyship;
Of all her sex most excellent,
These to her gentle hands present;
Then gave it to his faithful Squire,
With lessons how t' observe and eye

She first considered which was better,
To send it back, or burn the letter:
But guessing that it might import,
Though nothing else, at least her sport,
She open'd it, and read it out,
With many a smile and leering flout;
Resolv'd to answer it in kind,

And thus perform'd what she design'd.


RICHARD CRASHAW was born, it is believed, in London, where his father was an eminent divine. The year of his birth has not been ascertained. It was probably about 1615. He was educated at the Charter House, afterwards became a scholar at Pembroke Hall, and was, in 1637, made fellow of Peter-house, Cambridge; from whence he was ejected by the Parliamentary army, in 1644. He had previously taken orders; and was distinguished as a popular and powerful preacher. Soon afterwards, stimulated, perhaps, by dislike of the persons and persecutions of the dominant party, and prepared by the dreamy character of his mind, and his total lack of pecuniary resources, he embraced the Romish faith, and sought a refuge in France. Here he was found in extreme wretchedness by Cowley, who recommended him to the patronage of the exiled Queen Henrietta Maria, by whose advice he sought to better his fortunes in Italy. He took up his abode in Rome, where he became Secretary to Cardinal Palotta; and subsequently obtained the office of a canon in the church of Loretto, where he died in 1650-" of fever," it is said, but according to the interesting account of a fellow collegian, who encountered his old associate in Rome, "it was doubtful whether he was not poisoned."

To his large and numerous attainments, several eminent writers have borne testimony. Wood says that he excelled in five languages, besides his mother-tongue. Selden, in his Table-Talk, speaks of him in terms of praise. Winstanley calls him "a religious pourer forth of divine raptures and meditations in smooth and pathetic verse;" Car boasts that "sweet Crashaw was his friend"-and Cowley, in a noble epitaph to his memory, speaks of himself as one whom Crashaw was "so humble to esteem, so good to love." To these tributes of his personal friends and contemporaries we may add one from the pen of Coleridge, who has affixed to a memoir of the Poet the following MS. note. "Who but must regret that the gift of selection, and of course, of rejection, had not been bestowed upon this sweet Poet in some proportion to his power and opulence of invention !" And in allusion to the lines on a Prayer Book-which we have selected-he adds, "with the exception of two lines, ('yet doth not stay to ask the windows leave to pass that way') I recollect few poems of equal length, so perfect in suo genere, so passionately supported, and closing with so grand a swell."

Crashaw is by no means free from affectation-the vice of his age. But even his conceits, unlike those of most of his contemporaries, are redeemed by fancy and ingenuity. He is never either tame or dull; his poems are full of tenderness; his descriptive powers are large; and his versification is exceedingly harmonious. If he "trifled for amusement, and never wrote for fame," it is the more wonderful that he has left so rich a legacy to posterity. His compositions are, for the most part, confined to religious subjects-" Scriptures, divine graces, martyrs, and angels." He thought, according to the writer of a singular preface, prefixed to an edition of his poems, in 1670, that "every foot in a high-born verse, might help to measure the soul in a better world;" and he lived, says his devoted friend Car,

"Above in the air

A very bird of Paradise-no care

Had he of earthly trash; what might suffice

To fit his soul for heavenly exercise
Sufficed him."

His poems were printed in 1646, during his exile. The volume was divided into three parts. 1st. Steps to the Temple; so called because they were chiefly penned in the church of St. Mary, Cambridge, where he "made his nest, more gladly than David's swallow near the house of God;" 2d. Delights of the Muses; which contains themes of a more general nature; and 3d. Sacred Poems, in which he again wooes the

"Soft ministers of sweet sad mirth."

It is, however, as a translator that his merit has been chiefly acknowledged. The longest and most important of his translations, the "Sospetto d' Herode," from the Italian of Marino, and "Music's Duel," from the Latin of Strada, are among the finest specimens of versification in our language.

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