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the workmanship of death, finish the sorrowful business of a wretched life; towards which we always travel both sleeping and waking; neither have those beloved companions of honour and riches any power at all to hold us any one day, by the glorious promise of entertainments; but by what crooked path soever we walk, the same leadeth on directly to the house of death, whose doors lie open at all hours and to all persons. For this tide of man's life, after it once turneth and declineth, ever runneth with a perpetual ebb and falling stream, but never floweth again ; our leaf once fallen springeth no more; neither doth the sun or the summer adorn us again with the garments of new leaves and flowers. And the great History closes with that invocation of death, beginning, eloquent, just, and mighty death,' which is probably better known than any other piece of Raleigh's writings, as one of the most faultless passages of prose in the English language. Whoever may have helped him in his long journey through the arid deserts of great portions of the History, there can be no doubt that we owe passages like these to Raleigh's hand alone.
It is consistent with the habitual tenour of his writings that several of his minor poems bear the same character, and have been ascribed to the night before his death' by the officiousness of foolish transcribers who seem to have existed for the misguidance of unwary editors.* There is no doubt that the legend is partly true of one small poem eight lines long. The rest all belong to earlier periods in his history.
Three times his life and liberty were in special danger. Three times he rose to the height of this great argument, in language well adapted to his circumstances and years.
1. The first piece must be again ascribed to the time, or near about the time, of his imprisonment in 1592, as it can be traced to a MS. copy dated not long after that period ;I though it is not known to have been printed before 1608. It seems to have attracted an unusual amount of contemporary notice. It was copied, enlarged, answered, and vilified; and later critics have recognized some writers as claimants to the authorship, who have only served it as gypsies are said to serve the children
* Thus besides the pieces given above, a MS. in the Edinburgh University Library describes · Like hermit poor”-which was in print in 1593—48 Sir Walter Raleye's last Eligie’; and a couplet in his “Remains' is headed, "Sir W. Raleigh on the snuff of a candle the night before he died.'
† Six of the eight lines are now known to be taken from an earlier piece, printed for the first time by Mr. A. H. Bullen in Speculum Amantis,' 1889.
| For proofs of dates, &c., it is sufficient to refer to the notes appended to the several pieces in ' Courtly Poets.'
they have stolen. It is Raleigh's work beyond a doubt. His name is affixed in several good MSS. It is expressly mentioned in replies, (* make answer that rude Rawly no stomach can digest,)' and the whole of the controversy which it plainly aroused assumes in every part of it that Raleigh was the author. The longer poem which we have just been considering repeats the tones of his more meditative mood. In this piece there flash forth the keen and piercing shasts of his more haughty temper. The genuine copies consist of thirteen stanzas ; but as the piece is well known, a selection must suffice us :1. Go, soul, the body's guest, 6. "Tell zeal it wants devotion ; Upon a thankless arrant:
Tell love it is but lust; Fear not to touch the best; Tell time it is but motion ; The truth shall be thy
Tell flesh it is but dust: warrant :
And wish them not reply, Go, since I needs must die, For thou must give the lie. And give the world the lie.
7. Tell age it daily wasteth; 2. “Say to the Court, it glows
Tell honour how it alters; And shines like rotten Tell beauty how she wood;
blasteth; Say to the Church, it shows
Tell favour how it falters ; What's good, and doth no And as they shall reply, good :
Give every one the lie.
Commanded thee, done 3. Tell potentates, they live
Deserves less than
stabbing, tion :
Stab at thee he that will, If potentates reply,
No stab the soul can kill.' Give potentates the lie.
2. The second piece is generally entitled “Sir Walter Raleigh's Pilgrimage.' It was, printed anonymously in 1604, at the close of Scoloker's Daiphantus, as the passionate man's pilgrimage, supposed to be written by one at the point of death.' * The evidence in favour of Ralcigh's authorship is amply sufficient; and the strange harshness of some phrases gives point and sting to his retort to the cruel injustice which he had received from lawyers, and especially from the King's Attorney' at his Winchester trial in 1603. In this case, too, an extract must suffice.
Reprinted by Dr. Grosart in 1880, and in Arber's · English Garner,' vol. vii. P. 419; 1883.
“Give me my scallop shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My bottle of salvation,
* And when our bottles and all we
Christ pleads His death, and then we live.'
Even such is time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we bave,
Who in the dark and silent grave,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.'
cheated of its victory.' In words that Mr. Spedding quotes from a contemporary letter, it seems that he knew better how to die than to live.'
There are several bye-paths of Raleigh's poetry on which we have no room to enter; such as the courtly and ceremonious tributes he could pay to other friends besides Spenser, such as Sir A. Gorges and W. Lithgow. Nor do we desire to dwell on the acrid sarcasm which he could infuse into an Epitaph, as in the cases of Leicester and Salisbury. The former, says Mr. Palgrave, is in Raleigh's most atrabilious vein.'p of the latter, King James is said to have remarked that it came from so smart a pen, that he hoped the author would die before him.' We trust, however, that we have given sufficient reasons to establish our contention, that his poetry brings out a vivid picture of the man, displaying much of his power, and marred by comparatively little of his weakness. The representative specimens which we have cited seem to us to prove, that he might have taken a high rank among English poets, and even claimed a subordinate seat on the same throne with Spenser, if he had not been lowered and distracted by the meaner struggles of his life. The result of his less happy lot has been, that he is generally regarded, in a literary aspect, as only one of the less-important ornaments of the greatest age of English literature; the age when strength was putting on the garb of cultivation, and the grace of form was adjusting itself to the development of thought. But of this age,' says Mr. Gardiner, of its faults and vices, as well as of its heroism, he was the most complete representative;' # and his life gains fresh light from the closer study of his poetry. We can trace in it the proud isolation, as of 'one that seeld the rising sun hath sought,' the sombre magnificence, the haughty scorn, the acrid temper, which contributed to make him at one time "simply the most unpopular man in England.'s We can
We can see and admire the masterful power and the resentment against injustice with which he confronted his assailants, till his unpopularity was changed to triumph. We regret his adulation of the Queen, in which he far out-topped the other flatterers of the reign. We note the abiding melancholy, which darkened even his youth with the shadow of the future; and we reverence the lofty spirit, combined at last, we trust, with simple faith, which carried him over many a wave of trouble, and
strengthened him to close his stormy career with the calm of a dignified and Christian death.
* Letters and Life of Lord Bacon,' vol. vi. p. 373. + In Grosart's. Spenser,' vol. iv. p. Ixi. | Mr. S. R. Gardiner, History,' &c., vol. ii. p. 370. iş Ibid. vol. i. p. 88.
Art. IX.-1. John Wycliffe and his English Precursors.
By Professor Lechler. Translated by Professor Lorimer, London, 1884. 2. Wiclif's Place in History. By Professor Montagu Burrows.
London, 1882. 3. John Wiclif; his Doctrine 'and Work. By Chr. Wordsworth, D.D., late Bishop of Lincoln. London, 1884. 4. John Wiclif: his Life, Times, and Teaching. By the Rev.
Canon Pennington, M.A. London, 1884. 5. Life of Wycliffe. In 2 vols. John de Wycliffe, a Monograph. By the Rev. R. Vaughan, D.D. London, 1831, 1853. 6. Life of Wiclif. By the Rev. C. W. Le Bas. London,
1832. 7. Fasciculi Zizaniorum Magistri Johannis Wyclif. Edited by
Professor Shirley. London, 1858. 8. A Catalogue of the Original Works of John Wyclif. By
Professor Shirley. Oxford, 1865. 9. The Polemical Works of Wyclif. 2 vols. The Tractatus de
Civili Dominio Liber Primus, the De Ecclesia, the Speculum Ecclesiæ Militantis, the De Benedicta Incarnatione, the De Compositione Hominis. Edited by the Wyclif Society. Lon
don, 1883, 1885, 1886, 1887. 10. Select English Works of John Wycliffe. Edited by Thomas Arnold, M.A. In 3 vols.
In 3 vols. Oxford, 1869, 1871. 11. The English Works of Wyclif hitherto unprinted. Edited for
the Early English Text Society by F. D. Matthew. London,
1880. 12. Joannis Wiclif Trialogus, cum Supplemento Trialogi. Edidit
Gotthardus Lechler. Oxonii, 1869. THE interest still attaching to the life and labours of Wiclif is shown by the numerous works published within the
Wiclif has frequently been misunderstood; and those inclined to do him justice have not always been in a position to form a correct estimate of his character and work. They have formed their estimate of him from the works of his opponents or from works incorrectly attributed to him; they have judged him by the language of the Scholastic Philosophy, well understood in his day, but now obscure ; by · Articles unfairly taken from his writings by Synods or Councils; or they have had at their service very small portions of his own works; they have neglected to compare one work with another; the dates of many of his writings have been, till lately, uncertain ; and attention has not been given to his pro
last few years.