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Gave, from two conquer'd parts o' th' world their name, 1
Nor thy great grandsire, nor thy father Paul,
Of whom we hear, and read, and write their praise.
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,
To us discovers day from far;
His light those mists and clouds dissolv'd
Till time had blasted all their bays:
But cursed be the fatal hour
That pluck'd the fairest, sweetest flower
That in the Muses' garden grew,
And amongst wither'd laurels threw.
Time, which made them their fame outlive,
Old mother-wit and nature gave
Shakspere and Fletcher all they have;
In Spenser, and in Jonson, art
Of slower nature got the start;
But both in him so equal are,
None knows which bears the happier share:
He melted not the ancient gold,
And when he would like them appear,
Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear. . . .
EXTRACT FROM "THE SOPHY:
[Abbas, king of Persia, is led to believe that his son Mirza is a traitor, and wishes to depose him and seize the crown. Haly, his favourite, who hates the prince, has invented the tale, and brought up false proofs. The king orders the prince's eyes to be put out. The minister becomes more and more powerful, and fearing lest the king should relent, he causes a poisoned draught to be conveyed to the prince. The king too late finds out the perfidy of his favourite, and dies after recommending the Princess Erythaea to take care of the young Sophy, who is heir to the throne. Haly tries to set aside the prince and elect a tool of his own; his design had almost succeeded when Abdall and Morat, two friends of the murdered prince, lead on the army and bring the infamous favourite Haly to justice, at the same time seating the prince's son, Sophy, upon the throne, where he reigns happily King of Persia.]
Enter the Prince, who has been undeservedly blinded by his father the King; at the other door is the Princess his wife, and Sophy his son. servant leads the Prince.
Servant (to Prince). Sir, the princess and your
Prince. Sophy, thou comest to wonder at Thy wretched father; why dost thou interrupt Thy happiness, by looking at an object
Princess. My lord, methinks there is not in your voice
The vigour that was wont, nor in your look
Princess. What's your disease, my lord?
Prince. Nothing, but I have ta'en a cordial,
As if the weight of many years oppress'd them;
They snatch me to it;
Sophy, be not a man too soon,
My great example shall excite thy thoughts
To noble actions.
Give not your passions vent, nor let blind fury And you, dear Erythaea, Precipitate your thoughts, nor set 'em working, Till time shall lend 'em better means and instruments
Than lost complaints. Where's pretty Fatima? I prythee call her.
Princess. I will, sir, I pray try if sleep will
Your torments, and repair your wasted spirits.
Is grown a stranger, and the day and night
Shakes from him, as a ransom'd slave his fetters.
Servant. Yes, sir.
Prince. 'Tis well:
I would not have her present at my death.
Morpheus, the humble god, that dwells In cottages and smoky cells,
Hates gilded roofs, and beds of down; And though he fears no prince's frown, Flies from the circle of a crown.
Come, I say, thou powerful god,
Lest he should sleep and never wake.
Nature (alas) why art thou so
And both are the same thing at last.
Servant. So now he sleeps, let's leave him To his repose.
Enter the KING.
Enter the PRINCESS and SOPHY. Princess. He's gone! he's gone for ever: Oh that the poison had mistaken his,
And met this hated life! but cruel fate
They come but single, and long expectation
[Nicholas French, afterwards Bishop of Ferns, was born in the town of Wexford in 1604, from which he was sent early in life to the Irish College at Louvain. There before long he distinguished himself, and "there also he was received into holy orders." Soon after, hearing of the troubles of his country, he determined to return thither, and having been appointed parish priest of Wexford, "he became of such repute both for elocution, behaviour, prudence, and integrity that he was chosen one of the representatives of that town in the assembly of the confederate Catholics at Kilkenny." Before this time French had already completed his first work, A System of Philosophy, which so far as we can discover yet remains unpublished.
In 1643 French was appointed Bishop of Ferns, and in 1645 his election to the assembly at Kilkenny took place as stated. For the next few years he laboured busily in connection with political matters, giving good advice to the party to which he belonged, and not wanting courage to strike out against those he opposed. In 1651 he went as ambassador for his party to the Duke of Lorraine at Brussels, in which negotiation he was successful, though in the end, owing to no fault of the ambassador, all came to nought. In 1652, the year of the downfall of his political hopes, he published at Brussels his celebrated work, The
Unkinde Desertor of Loyall Men and True Friends. In this he mercilessly belaboured the Duke of Ormond,' to whom he attributed the ultimate failure of his mission. Soon after we find him at Paris, where he was appointed coadjutor to the archbishop; but from this post he was shortly driven by the intrigues of Ormond and the exiled Charles II. In 1662 and 1665 he was at Santiago in Spain, as we know from some letters written by him from that place. In the latter year he writes also from Paris, and a little later he returned to the cloisters of St. Anthony's at Louvain.
Before he had scarcely well settled down in his old quarters he took up his pen again, and in quick order appeared his numerous tracts upon Irish affairs, among which were "Thirty Sheets of Reasons against the Remonstrance," "The Due Obedience of Catholics,” and “A Dissertation Justifying the Late War." In 1668 appeared his best work, from a literary point of view, The Settlement and Sale of Ireland; and in 1674 The Bleeding Iphigenia. Before this he became president of the Irish College, but about this time he moved to Ghent, where he was appointed coadjutor bishop, and where he died in the year 1678. He was buried in the church of St. Nicholas, and
The Duke of Ormond well known for his intrigues with Cromwellians and Charles II.
his funeral oration was pronounced by Thomas Stapleton, like himself an Irishman, and a distinguished scholar at Louvain.
In addition to the works named, French also wrote The Doleful Fall of Andrew Sall and The Friar Disciplined, as well as a larger work entitled Religion in England. His critics generally concur in giving him credit for great ability, but for this very reason they are hard upon him. One speaks of him as "a waspish prelate," another calls him "seditious," and Harris dubs him "a foul-mouthed writer," a name which is not deserved. As specimens of their kind of literature, and also as characteristic of the period in which they were written, his works are deeply interesting. Until a few years ago, however, they were among the rarest of the rare books. A reprint of some of the more popular of them has been published by Duffy and Son of Dublin.]
THE IMPEACHMENT OF ORMOND.
(FROM "THE UNKINDE DESERTOR OF LOYALL MEN.")
To know when to speak, and when to be silent, is a commendable virtue. Solomon, the wisest of men, taught this lesson to men in these words: Tempus est tacendi, and tempus loquendi. He began with tempus tacendi, and his reason was, truth is first learned by silence, next published by teaching. Socrates, that famous Grecian, sapientissimus hominum pronounced by the Oracle, did much commend silence unto his disciples, and with great reason, inasmuch as there is greater wisdom and less danger in being silent than in speaking; wherefore Symonides, one of the wisest men of his own time, was often heard to say, "Often have I repented to have spoken, never for having held my peace;" notwithstanding all these great encomis of silence, celebrated by so many wise sages in all times, nevertheless a long and unseasonable silence is and may be as blamable as the other is recommendable.
To be silent and hold my peace when an open injury is done to my religion, country, and parents, is neither wisdom, piety, nor virtue to be commended; this is, and hath been (as I perceive), the long silence the Catholics of Ireland had with the Lord Duke of Ormond, giving him both time and leisure to work their ruin and downfall, without preventing the same (in a just form and seasonable time), by their instant addresses to the king, council, or any else.
We have kept longer silence (to our great detriment) than Pythagoras his scholars have done, their silence was limited to five years only, before their public Tentamens in school for the performance of which Magister dixit was sufficient to them; but we, poor souls! have been silent near now upon thirteen years, suffering with all patience the open wrongs, and manifest detriments this noble man have done us, so that under the notion of a friend we discovered him at long running to be our open enemy.
Seneca tells us the ambitious man receiveth not so much contentment by seeing many behind him, as discontent by seeing any before him; there are many great men in this age sick of this disease, such as cannot know when they are well, and though great they be, will strive still to be greater, so that they can at no time be at ease or at quietness, much like that Italian, who being well must needs take physic and died thereof, upon whose sepulchre this epitaph was engraved, "I was well, and Would be better; I took physic and came to the phereter."
Plutarch expresseth naturally this unquietness of ambitious minds in Pyrrhus, king of Epirot, who having greatly enlarged his dominions with the conquest of the great kingdom of Macedonia, began also to design with himself the conquest of Italy; and having communicated his deliberation with his great counsellor Cineas he demanded his advice, whereto Cineas answered, that he greatly desired to know what he meant to do when he had conquered Italy? Sir, quoth Pyrrhus, the kingdom of Cicily is then near at hand, and deserveth to be had in consideration, as well for the fertility as for the riches and power of the island. Well, quoth Cineas, and when you have gotten Cicily, what will you then do? Quoth Pyrrhus, Africk is not far off, where there are divers goodly kingdoms, which partly by the fame of my former conquests, and partly by the valour of my soldiers, may easily be subdued. I grant it, quoth Cineas; but when all Africk is yours, what mean you then to do? When Pyrrhus saw that he urged him still with that question, then, quoth Pyrrhus, thou and I will be merry, and make good cheer; whereunto Cineas replied, if this shall be the end of your adventures and labours, what hindereth you from doing the same now? will not your kingdoms of Epyras and Macedonia suffice you to be merry and make good cheer? and if you had Italy, Cicily, Africk, and all
the world, could you and I be merrier than we are, or make better cheer than we do? will you therefore venture your kingdoms, person, life, honour, and all you have to purchase that which you have already? Thus said wise Cineas to Pyrrhus, reprehending his immoderate ambition, who knew not when he was well, neither yet what he would have, seeing he desired no more than that which he had already, which in the end cost him dear; for following his own ambition and unbridled appetite, to amplify his dominions, as he got much, so he lost much, being able to conserve nothing any time, and at length having entered the town of Ayros by force, he was killed with a brick batt thrown down by a woman from the top of a house; here you see the wretched end of Pyrrhus his ambition.
Had Ormond such a counsellor by him as Cineas was, and heard unto him, he had likely been happier than he is at present, such a counsellor I mean as would say unto him intrepidly, when he took the course of stripping honest gentlemen of their estates, My Lord, I would desire to know what you resolve to do when you have by hook and crook ingrossed the lands and inheritances of innocent persons, poor widows, and orphans unto yourself; when you have obtained all, is the thing you aim at only to make good cheer and be merry? if this be your design you need not trouble yourself so much, nor expose your conscience to danger, nor your honour to such an ignominious shame and infamy (which shall endure to all ages), in taking away that which is not your own; far better content yourself as you are, and feast upon that great patrimony your predecessors left. Cannot that estate which maintained them honourably (without damaging any other) maintain and content you? but I see this is an evil familiar, those exalted to the height of greatness and favour in the prince's eye have no counsellors that will speak freely the truth, as worthy Cineas did to Pyrrhus; few are near kings and princes can say that which Seneca excellently expressed to his friend Lucilius, thus, "They live not in courts and the houses of kings that will severly speak, and sincerely the truth." What man can without tears behold so many great personages, even Christians in this age, that live, and do far wickeder things than Gentiles or Pagans have done or do, which had more respect and regard to their idols (in whom they apprehended some deity) than those to the true and living God.
Titus Livius tells us Quintus Cincinnatus was carried from the plough to the dignity of a dictator, which war being ended, he returned cheerfully to the plough again; he relates also how the ambassadors of the Samnites found Curius Dentatus, another dictator, making ready and cleansing of roots for his supper, and even at that time, he says, there were no more in all the Roman armies of waiting men (such as we call calones) but two. Marcus Anthonius, not he (that fatal man to Cicero, and to the commonwealth), but another chosen consul of a great army designed into Spain, had but eight servants, so Carbo in the same dignity placed (as we read), had but seven; what shall I say of Cato the senior, who in the same employment, power, and commission for Spain, had but three; however, this Cato named the Censor (though contented wisely with such a small retinue) was captain general in their army, a famous orator, and a prudent counsellor reputed by the commonwealth (in the commonwealth) and by all Rome for his sober life, was called a good father to his children, a good husband to his wife, a frugal housekeeper, and a man (a great praise in those days) well skill'd in the plough.
Epaminondas, a famous captain, protector and flower of the Thebans, who fought so many battles valiantly, nevertheless it is written, he had but one suit of clothes, which, when required reparation, he was forced to keep house till mended and brought unto him. This Epaminondas I speak of died so poor, as not so much in his house could be had as to pay his funerals, which was performed by the commonwealth.
What need I speak in this place of Phocion, Socrates, Iphaltes, miracles of nature, and wisest of Athens? This Phocion, who fought twenty-six battles, victorious always, and triumphant over his enemies, yet a greater despiser of riches, honours, and titles (as histories do testify), refused one hundred talents sent unto him by Alexander the Great as a present, demanding of those who brought the present what was Alexander's meaning in sending to him alone, and only, that present; they replied, forasmuch as he takes you to be the only man of honour and merit amongst the Athenians; to this he answered briefly, Why then let Alexander leave me so during my life, which is a thing I cannot be if I receive and accept of his talents of gold.
These profane examples of those heroic