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(Died, 1682 ?)
EDWARD FAIRFAX, the truly poetical translator lished; but Mr. A. Chalmers (Biog. Dict. art. of Tasso, was the second son of Sir Thomas Fairfax) is, I believe, as much mistaken in supFairfax, of Denton, in Yorkshire. His family posing that his Eclogues have never been collecwere all soldiers ; but the poet, while his brothers tively printed, as in pronouncing them entitled were seeking military reputation abroad, pre to high commendation for their poetry t. A ferred the quiet enjoyment of letters at home. more obscurely stupid allegory and fable can He married and settled as a private gentleman at hardly be imagined than the fourth eclogue, preFuyston, a place beautifully situated between the served in Mrs. Cooper's Muse's Library : its family seat at Denton and the forest of Knares being an initation of some of the theological borough. Some of his time was devoted to the pastorals of Spenser is no apology for its abmanagement of his brother Lord Fairfax's pro- surdity. When a fox is described as seducing perty, and to superintending the education of his the chastity of a lamb, and when the eclogue lordship's children. The prose MSS. which he writer tells us that left in the library of Denton sufficiently attest his “ An hundred times her virgin lip he kiss'd, literary industry. They have never been pub As oft her maiden finger gently wrung," lished, and, as they relate chiefly to religious
who could imagine that either poetry, or ecclesicontroversy, are not likely to be so; although his
astical history, or sense or meaning of any kind, treatise on witchcraft, recording its supposed
was ever meant to be conveyed under such a operation upon his own family, must form a
conundrum ? curious relic of superstition. Of Fairfax it might,
The time of Fairfax's death has not been distherefore, well be said
covered; it is known that he was alive in 1631 ; “ Prevailing poet, whose undoubting mind
but his translation of the Jerusalem was pubBelieved the magic powers which he sung*."
lished when he was a young man, was inscribed Of his original works in verse, his History of to Queen Elizabeth, and forms one of the glories Edward the Black Prince has never been pub- of her reign.
FROM FAIRFAX'S TRANSLATION OF TASSO'S JERUSALEM DELIVERED,
BOOK XVIII. STANZAS XII. TO XLI.
RINALDO, after offering his devotions on Mount Olivet, enters on the adventure of the Enchanted Wood.
| Thus as he mused, to the top he went,
And there kneel'd down with reverence and
It was the time, when 'gainst the breaking day,
ing's shine ;
His eyes upon heaven's eastern face he bent;
Remember not, but let thy mercy fall,
Thus to himself he thought : how many bright Thus prayed he ; with purple wings up-flew
Upon his breast and forehead gently blew That still they live and shine, and ne'er shall die, The air, that balm and nardus breathed unseen; "Till, in a moment, with the last day's brand
And o'er his head, let down from clearest skies, They burn, and with them burn sea, air, and A cloud of pure and precious dew there flies : land.
[t The fourth eclogue alone is in print; nor is a MS. (* Collins.)
copy of the whole kuown to exist.]
The heavenly dew was on his garments spread,
And so, return’d to youth, a serpent old
Where'er he stepp’d, it seem'd the joyful ground
And on the boughs and branches of those treen
The lovely whiteness of his changed weed
But not to him fearful or loathsome made
The manna on each leaf did pearled lie ;
But yet unseen those nymphs, those singers were,
Forward he pass'd, and in the grove before He look'd, he listen’d, yet his thoughts denied
There lute, harp, cittern, human voice, he heard, And far above all other plants was seen
A dreadful thunder-clap at last he heard,
Upon the tree his eyes Rinaldo bent, The aged trees and plants well nigh that rent, And there a marvel great and strange began; | Yet heard the nymphs and sirens afterward, An aged oak beside him cleft and rent,
Birds, winds, and waters, sing with sweet consent; And from his fertile, hollow womb, forth ran,
Nor in his way his passage ought withstood, An hundred plants beside, even in his sight,
Childed an hundred nymphs, so great, so
Which reaching out his stretched arms around, The dryads painted, whom wild satyrs love,
Whose arms half naked, locks untrussed be,
Save, that instead of shafts and bows of tree, And so exchanged their moisture and their shade. She bore a lute, a harp or cittern she ; The knight some way sought out the flood to pass, And wantonly they cast them in a ring, And as he sought, a wondrous bridge appear'd ; And sung and danced to move his weaker sense, A bridge of gold, an huge and mighty mass, Rinaldo round about environing, On arches great of that rich metal rear'd : As does its centre the circumference ; When through that golden way he enter'd was, The tree they compass'd eke, and 'gan to sing, Down fell the bridge; swelled the stream, and wear's That woods and streams admired theirexcellence
The work away, nor sign left, where it stood, Welcome, dear Lord, welcome to this sweet grove, And of a river calm became a flood.
Welcome, our lady's hope, welcome, her love ! He turn'd, amazed to see it troubled so,
Thou comest to cure our princess, faint and sick Like sudden brooks, increased with molten snow; For love, for love of thee, faint, sick, distress'd ; The billows fierce, that tossed to and fro,
Late black, late dreadful was this forest thick, The whirlpools suck'd down to their bosoms low; Fit dwelling for sad folk, with grief oppress'd ; But on he went to search for wonders mo, See, with thy coming how the branches quick Through the thick trees, there high and broad which Revived are, and in new blossoms dress'd !
And in that forest huge, and desert wide, (grow; This was their song ; and after from it went The more he sought, more wonders still he spied: First a sweet sound, and then the myrtle rent.
Tue history of this author is quite unknown, | Jonathan Wild. His descriptions of contemporary except that he was a prolific pamphleteer in the follies have considerable humour. I think he reigns of Elizabeth, James I. and Charles I. has afforded in the following story of Smug the Ritson has mustered a numerous catalogue of his Smith a hint to Butler for his apologue of vicarious works, to which the compilers of the Censura justice, in the case of the brethren who hanged a Literaria have added some articles. It has been poor weaver that was bed-rid," instead of the remarked by the latter, that his muse is gene- cobbler who had killed an Indian, rally found in low company, from which it is
“ Not out of malice, but mere zeal, inferred that he frequented the haunts of dissipation. The conclusion is unjust_Fielding was not
HUDIBRAS, Part II. Canto II. 1. 420. a blackguard, though he wrote the adventures of
Because he was an Infidel."
TRAGEDY OF SMUG THE SMITH.
FROM THE NIGHT RAVEN.
Following the vicar's steps in everything,
A smith for felony was apprehended,
FROM HIS EPIGRAMS, NO. XXXVII.
First published in 1600.
As honest vicar and a kind consort,
He hath some humours very strange and odd,
FROM THE SAME.
Then, pray thee, let us two in love go drink,
THE MARRIED SCHOLAR.
A SCHOLAR, newly enter'd marriage life,
Because when she his company expected,
By bookish business she was still neglected ;
Coming unto his study,“ Lord,” quoth she, Two friends that met would give each other wine,
Can papers cause you love them more than me? And made their entrance at next bush and sign,
I would I were transform'd into a book, Calling for claret, which they did agree,
That your affection might upon me look ! (The season hot) should qualified be
But in my wish withal be it decreed, With water and sugar : so the same being brought I would be such a book you love to read. By a new boy, in vintners' tricks untaught,
Husband (quoth she) which book's form should I They bad him quickly bring fair water in,
take?” Who look'd as strange as he amazed lad bin.
“ Marry,” said he, “ 'twere best an almanack : “ Why dost not stir," quoth they," with nimble
The reason wherefore I do wish thee so, “ 'Cause, gentlemen," said he, “it is not meet [feet?” | Is, every year we have a new, you know*.” To put in too much water in your drink,
[* Malone attributes this saying to Dryden, but it was For there's enough already, sure, I think;
said before Dryder was born; is in Rowlands, and among Richard the drawer, by my troth I vow,
the jests of Drummond of Hawthornden.] Put in great store of water even now.”
The life of Donne is more interesting than his but the chancellor would not again take him into poetry. He was descended from an ancient his service ; and the brutal father-in-law would family ; his mother was related to Sir Thomas not support the unfortunate pair. In their disMore, and to Heywood, the epigrammatist. A tress, however, they were sheltered by Sir prodigy of youthful learning, he was entered of Francis Wolley, a son of Lady Ellesmere by a Hart Hall, now Hertford College, at the unpre former marriage, with whom they resided for cedented age of eleven: he studied afterwards several years, and were treated with a kindness with an extraordinary thirst for general know that mitigated their sense of dependence. ledge, and seems to have consumed a consider Donne had been bred a catholic, but on mature able patrimony on his education and travels. reflection had made a conscientious renunciation Having accompanied the Earl of Essex in his of that faith. One of his warm friends, Dr. expedition to Cadiz, he purposed to have set out Morton, afterwards bishop of Durham, wished on an extensive course of travels, and to have to have provided for him, by generously surrenvisited the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem. Though dering one of his benefices : he therefore pressed compelled to give up his design by the insuper- | him to take holy orders, and to return to him able dangers and difficulties of the journey, he the third day with his answer to the proposal. did not come home till his mind had been stored " At hearing of this," (says his biographer,) with an extensive knowledge of foreign languages “ Mr. Donne's faint breath and perplexed counand manners, by a residence in the south of
tenance gave visible testimony of an inward conEurope. On his return to England, the Lord flict. He did not however return his answer Chancellor Ellesmere made him his secretary, till the third day; when, with fervid thanks, he and took him to his house. There he formed a declined the offer, telling the bishop that there mutual attachment to the niece of Lady Elles. were some errors of his life which, though long mere, and without the means or prospect of sup- repented of, and pardoned, as he trusted, by port, the lovers thought proper to marry. The God, might yet be not forgotten by some men, lady's father, Sir George More, on the declara and which might cast a dishonour on the sacred tion of this step, was so transported with rage, office.” We are not told what those irregularithat he insisted on the chancellor's driving ties were; but the conscience which could dictate Donne from his protection, and even got him such an answer was not likely to require great imprisoned, together with the witnesses of the offences for a stumbling-block. This occurred marriage. He was soon released from prison, in the poet's thirty-fourth year.