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A PINdAR1c One, &c.] In that MS. volume, which I have supposed to be compiled by order of the earl of Newcastle, there is a letter to him from Jonson, inclosing a few poems on himself. “My noblest lord, (he says,) and my patron by excellence, I have here obeyed your commands, and sent you a packet of mine own praises, which I should not have done, if I had any stock of modesty in store:—“but obedience is better than sacrifice;’ and you command it.”
Two of the inclosures are from (lord Falkland) sir Lucius Cary. The first he calls “An Anniversary Epistle on sir Henry Morison, with an Apostrophe to my father Jonson.”
“I must imitate master Gamaliel Du : both in troubling you with ill verses, and the intention of professing my service to you by them. It is an Anniversary to sir Henry Morison, in which, because there is something concerns some way an antagonist of yours,” I have applied it to you. Though he may be angry at it, I am yet certain that tale temperamentum sequar ut de iis queri non poterit side se bene sentiat. What is ill in them (which I fear is all) belongs only to myself: if there be any thing tolerable, it is somewhat you dropt negligently one day at the Dog, and I took up.
Tu tantum accipies ego te legisse putabo
Sir, I am
It appears that this was the third “Anniversary” which sir
Nothing can exceed the affectionate warmth with which sir Lucius speaks of his friend, who appears, indeed, to have deserved all his kindness.
“He had an infant's innocence and truth,
* This antagonist is Quarles. It does not appear why he was hostile to Jonson. Sir Henry says little more than that the subdued and careless tone of his divine poetry is suitable to the expression of sorrow.
Among other topics of praise, his friendship and respect for our author are noticed :
“And next his admiration fix'd on thee,
The second inclosure of sir Lucius is a poetical “Epistle to his noble father Ben.” In this he gives the commencement of their acquaintance, in an elegant application to himself of the fable of the fox, who first feared the lion, then grew familiar with him, &c.
“I thought you proud, for I did surely know,
and he adds a wish, which was probably accompanied with some token of his kindness :
“I wish your wealth were equal to them both ;
At what period the acquaintance of this “noble pair” begun I know not. They seem to have travelled together. Not long after the return of sir Lucius Cary to England, their intimacy was still more closely cemented by his growing attachment to Letitia, the sister of sir Henry Morison, and the daughter of sir Richard Morison of Tooley Park, in Leicestershire, whom, to the displeasure of his father (for the lady had no fortune) he subsequently married. The amiable youth did not live to witness this event, which took place in 1630, when Lucius was in his twentieth year. “She was a lady” (lord Clarendon says) “of a most extraordinary wit (sense) and judgment, and of the most signal virtue, and exemplary life, that the age produced, and who brought him many hopeful children in which he took great delight.”
The life and death of this most distinguished nobleman are familiar to every reader of English history. Lord Clarendon, who knew him well, having lived, as he says, “on terms of the most unreserved friendship with him from the age of twenty to the hour of his death,” has given in the History of the Rebellion,
* Qfingenuity.] i.e. of ingenuousness, candour, frankness: ingine (wit) is used in the large sense of genius and talents; the common acceptation of the word in that age.
a delineation of his character replete with grace, elegance, strength, and beauty, warm with truth, and glowing with genuine admiration; which yet does not go beyond what was said and thought of him by his contemporaries: and it is quite amusing to find Horace Walpole indulging a hope to counteract the effect of lord Clarendon's description, with a few miserable inuendos and captious quibbles, and persuade us that his friend was little better than a driveller. It is the frog of the fable, waddling after the lordly bull, with a view to efface the print of his footsteps. Warburton says well in his letters to Hurd that “Walpole (whom he terms a most insufferable coxcomb) after reading Clarendon, would blush, if he had any sense of shame, for his abuse of lord Falkland.” But Walpole had no sense of shame. He persecuted lord Falkland, as he did the gallant and highspirited duke of Newcastle, because he was loyal to his prince. Walpole is particularly severe upon lord Falkland's poetry. Much need not be said of it:—but when it is considered that this illustrious nobleman always speaks of it himself with the greatest modesty, and that his little pieces are nothing more than occasional tributes of love and duty, the sneer of such an Aristarchus will not appear particularly well directed. It is true, that Walpole was only acquainted with the lines in the Jonsonus Virbius :-but had he known of those, which are now mentioned, for the first time, he would not have abated of his virulence; for he had adopted the opinion of his “clawback,” Pinkerton, respecting Jonson, and any additional praise of him would therefore only call forth additional abuse of the writer. There is another part of lord Falkland's character particularly obnoxious to the critic. “He (lord Falkland) had naturally,” (lord Clarendon says, in the History of his own Life) “such a generosity and bounty in him, that he seemed to have his estate in trust for all worthy persons who stood in want of supplies and encouragement, as BEN Jonson and others of that time, whose fortunes required, and whose spirits made them superior to ordinary obligations.” Walpole, who never bestowed a sixpence on any worthy object or person, and who continued, to extreme old age, to fumble with his gold, till his fingers, like those of Midas, grew encrusted with it, must have been greatly scandalized at this, and probably drew from it his shrewd conclusion that lord Falkland “ had much debility of mind.” To have done with this calumniator of true patriotism, loyalty and virtue—though gorged to the throat with sinecures, he was always railing at corruption, and indulging, with the low scribblers whose flattery he purchased with praise,