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the shares of his brothers, and made him his own property. He sent him to feed his hogs on Slieu Mis.1
It was here he perfected himself in the Irish language; the wonderful providence of God visibly appearing in this instance of his captivity; that he should have the opportunity in his tender years of becoming well acquainted with the language, manners, and dispositions of that people to whom he was intended as a future apostle. Possibly the ignorance in these particulars of his predecessor Paladius might have been the cause of his failure in the like attempt.
A.D. 395. He continued six whole years in servitude, and in the seventh was released. There seems to have been a law in Ireland for this purpose, agreeable to the institution of Moses, that a servant should be released the seventh year.
The writers who deal in the marvellous tell you that the angel Victor appeared to him, and bid him observe one of his hogs, who should root out of the ground a mass of money sufficient to pay his ransom; but St. Patrick saith no such thing; he only informs us that he was "warned in a dream" to prepare for his return home, and that he arose and be took himself to flight, and left the man with whom he had been six years.
He continued abroad thirty-five years pursuing his studies, for the most part under the direction of his mother's uncle, St. Martin, bishop of Tours, who had ordained him deacon; and after his death partly with St. German, bishop of Auxirre (who ordained him a priest and called his name Magonius, which was the third name he was known by), partly among a colony of hermits and monks
| in some islands of the Tuscan Sea, and he spent a good part of the time in the city of Rome among the canons regular of the Lateran Church.
[Sir John Denham, the first Irish poet of repute that wrote in English, was born in Dublin in the year 1615. His father, at that time chief baron of the exchequer in Ireland, and also one of the lords commissioners for
He was in his sixtieth year when he landed in Ireland in 432; Alfred, Cressy, and other writers, following the authority of William of Malmesbury and of John the Monk of Glastonbury, place his arrival in Ireland in 425, but this plainly contradicts the more early writers. He happily began his ministry by the conversion and baptism of Sinell, a great man in that country, the grandson of Finchad, who ought to be remembered, as he was the first-fruits of St. Patrick's mission in Ireland, or the first of the Irish converted by him. He was the eighth in lineal descent from Cormac, king of Leinster, and afterwards came to be enumerated among the saints of Ireland. Nathi, the son of Garchon, and king of that district, who the year before had frightened away Palladius, in vain attempted to terrify Patrick by opposing and contradicting his doctrine.
1 Mis, a mountain in county Antrim.
All the early Irish writers affirm that St. Patrick was buried at Down, in Ireland, and it is from such authorities that the truth must be drawn. . . . From these and many more early authorities we may safely conclude to give Down the honour of containing his remains, with which several of the English writers also agree; and Cambrensis affirms that the bodies of St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St. Columb were not only buried at Down, but were also there taken up and translated into shrines by John de Courcy, conqueror of Ulidia, about the year 1185, and to this purpose gives us these verses :-
SIR JOHN DENHAM.
"In Down three saints one grave do fill, Brigid, Patrick, and Columbkille."
BORN 1615-DIED 1669.
that kingdom, was of Little Horseley in Essex. His mother was Eleanor, daughter of Sir Garrett More, baron of Mellefont in Ireland. When the poet was only two years of age, his father, being appointed one of the barons of exchequer in England,removed to that country, carrying with him his family. In 1631 the
youth was entered a gentleman commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, where it seems he was "looked upon as a slow and dreaming young man by his seniors and contemporaries, and given more to cards and dice than his study; they could never then in the least imagine that he would ever enrich the world with his fancy or issue of his brain, as he afterwards did." At the end of three years he underwent his B.A. examination, and was sent to Lincoln's Inn to study law, which he did so far as his vice of gaming would allow him. After having been plundered by gamesters and severely reproved by his parents he acquired a sudden abhorrence of the evil practice, and wrote an essay against it, which he presented to his father. He also about this time added the study of poetry to that of laws, and produced a translation of the second book of Virgil's Æneid. In 1638 his father died, and immediately after Denham gave himself up to his old vice, and lost the money-several thousand pounds-that had been left him.
In 1641, like a lightning flash out of a clear sky, appeared his tragedy called The Sophy, which was at once admired by the best judges, and gave him fast hold of the public attention. Speaking of the poet in connection with this piece, Waller said that "he broke out like the Irish rebellion, threescore thousand strong, when nobody was aware or in the least suspected it." Soon after this he was made highsheriff of Surrey and governor of Farnham Castle for the king, but not caring for, or not being skilled in military affairs, he quitted the post before long and retired to Oxford, where, in 1643, he published Cooper's Hill, a poem of some three hundred lines, on which his fame chiefly rests. Of this work Dryden says it is "a poem which for majesty of style is, and ever will be, the standard of good writing." An attempt was made to rob Denham of his laurels by what Johnson calls "the common artifice by which envy degrades excellence." In the "Session of the Poets," in some lumbering verses, it is said that the work was not his own, but was bought of a vicar for forty pounds.
1 It has been supposed that this poem was directly inspired by his residence at Egham. The writer of the additions to Camden's Britannia says, in speaking of Egham, "Here lived Sir John Denham the poet, who has immortalized Cooper's Hill adjoining."
a widower, and old enough to be her father. . . . She was then about to be appointed lady of honour to the Duchess of York. The matter was still in discussion when Lady Denham was seized with a sudden indisposition, of which, after languishing some days, she expired, January 17, 1667, in the first bloom of her youth and
2 An anonymous poem which appeared in Dryden's beauty, and before she had completed her twenty-first Miscellanies. year. It was believed at the time that she had been poisoned in a cup of chocolate. In notes to the English edition of Grammont's Memoirs of 1809-notes partly written, it is said, by the late Sir Walter Scott-we read, 'The slander of the times imputed her death to the jealousy of the Duchess of York.'"
The facts relating to Lady Denham's death are thus given in Notes and Queries, Sept. 28, 1872:-"Lady Denham had attracted the notice of the Duke of York; but in the midst of this liaison she was married, by the interposition of her friends, at the age of eighteen to Sir John Denham,
"The same attempt," says Johnson, "was made to rob Addison of his Cato, and Pope of his Essay on Man."
In 1647 Denham began to mix in political matters, and in 1648 he conveyed James, Duke of York, into France, or at least so says Johnson and others, though Clarendon affirms that the duke went off with Colonel Bamfield only, who contrived his escape. Certain it is, anyhow, that Denham went to France, from whence he and Lord Crofts were sent ambassadors to Poland from Charles II. In that kingdom they found many Scotchmen wandering about as traders, and from these they obtained £10,000 as a contribution to the king. About 1652 he returned to England, where he was entertained by Lord Pembroke, with whom, having no home of his own, he lived for about a year. At the Restoration he was appointed to the office of surveyor-general of the king's buildings, and at the coronation received the order of the Bath.
After his appointment he gave over his poetical works to a great extent, and "made it his business," as he himself says, "to draw such others as might be more serviceable to his majesty, and, he hoped, more lasting." Soon after this, when in the height of his reputation for poetry and genius, he entered into a second marriage, in which he was so unhappy that for a time he became a lunatic. For this misfortune he was cruelly and ungenerously lampooned by Butler, but fortunately it did not last long, and he was again restored to his full health and vigour of mind.3 A few months after he wrote one of his best poems, that on the death of Cowley. This was his last work, for on March 19, 1669, he died at his office in Whitehall, and was laid in Westminster Abbey by the side of the poet he had just panegyrized.
Dr. Johnson says that "Denham is justly considered as one of the fathers of English poetry. . . . He is one of the writers that improved our taste and advanced our language, and whom we ought, therefore, to read with
much to do." Dryden, speaking of Waller's,
gratitude, though, having done much, he left | That lies between, and first salutes the place
Seem at this distance but a darker cloud:
"the easy vigour of a line Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join ;"
and in his Windsor Forest, within the compass of a few lines, he calls Denham "lofty" and "majestic," and, talking of Cooper's Hill, he prophesies
"On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow,
There can be little doubt that Cooper's Hill is an almost perfect model of its kind, notwithstanding the fact that Johnson, characteristically enough, declares that "if it be maliciously inspected it will not be found without its faults."
Denham's works have been several times reprinted in one volume under the title of Poems and Translations, with the Sophy, a Tragedy. In addition to what appears in this collection there are other things attributed to him. The most important of these is a New Version of the Book of Psalms, which is now little known. A panegyric on General Monk, printed in 1659, is generally ascribed to him, and his name appears on the poem "The True Presbyterian without Disguise," as well as two pieces called "Clarendon's House Warming," and "His Epitaph." These last are, however, believed to be by Marvell, and are printed in the late American edition of that author's works. Strange to say, Denham has been rather overlooked and forgotten of late years, and his name does not appear in any of the later popular editions of the poets.]
Through untraced ways and airy paths I fly,
1 This and the three following extracts are from the work entitled Poems and Translations, with the Sophy, a Tragedy.
Some to undo, and some to be undone.
My eye, descending from the Hill, surveys
Though with those streams he no remembrance
Whose foam is amber and their gravel gold;
But free and common as the sea or wind,
Strong without rage; without o'erflowing full!
2 St. Paul's, as seen from Cooper's Hill.
A shady mantle clothes; his curled brows
There Faunus and Sylvanus keep their courts,
Had given this false alarm, but straight his view
Then to the stream, when neither friends nor force,
Nor speed nor art avail, he shapes his course,
So fares the stag; among the enraged hounds
In troops surround, now these assails, now those,
OF A FUTURE LIFE.
These to his sons (as Xenophon records) Of the great Cyrus were the dying words: "Fear not when I depart (nor therefore mourn) I shall be no where, or to nothing turn; That soul, which gave me life, was seen by none, Yet by the actions it design'd was known; And though its flight no mortal eye shall see, Yet know, for ever it the same shall be. That soul which can immortal glory give To her own virtues must for ever live. Can you believe that man's all-knowing mind Can to a mortal body be confin'd? Though a foul foolish prison her immure On earth, she (when escap'd) is wise and pure. Man's body, when dissolv'd, is but the same With beast's, and must return from whence it came; But whence into our bodies reason flows None sees it, when it comes, or when it goes. Nothing resembles death as much as sleep, Yet then our minds themselves from slumbers keep;
When from their fleshly bondage they are free, Then what divine and future things they see! Which makes it most apparent whence they are, And what they shall hereafter be declare."
This noble speech the dying Cyrus made. Me, Scipio, shall no argument persuade Thy grandsire, and his brother, to whom fame
1 Runnymede, where the Magna Charta was first sealed.
Gave, from two conquer'd parts o' th' world their name, 1
Nor thy great grandsire, nor thy father Paul,
None should persuade me to return, or stay:
For none of them my error shall deride;
TO SIR RICHARD FANSHAWE, ON HIS TRANSLATION OF "PASTOR FIDO."
Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate. But what in them is want of art or vice, In thee is either modesty or choice. . . That servile path thou nobly dost decline Of tracing word by word, and line by line; These are the labour'd birth of slavish brains,
1 Scipio Africanus and Scipio Asiaticus.
Not the effect of poetry, but pains;
It lost by change of times, or tongue, or place.
ON COWLEY'S DEATH.
Old Chaucer, like the morning star,
His light those mists and clouds dissolv'd
That pluck'd the fairest, sweetest flower That in the Muses' garden grew,
And amongst wither'd laurels threw.
None knows which bears the happier share:
Yet what he wrote was all his own;
And when he would like them appear,
Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear. . . .