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Pindarics. These justify the satire of Lord Rochester; but Pope copied him in The Dying Christian to his Soul, without thinking it necessary to mention the obligation. The Thought of Death must yield to the natural and impressive earnestness of the following verses:—
Oh the sad day,
Oh miserable me.
How hollow and how dim they be!
* The only place in which I have seen this poem quoted, is in a note in Elton's reprint of Habington.
Page 63.—Dr. Fletcher formed one of the Commission of the Metropolitan Visitation, appointed in 1581.— Strype's Life of Bishop Grinded, p. 396, Oxford edition. In May 1596, Bishop Fletcher wrote to Lord Burleigh, requesting that nobleman to procure for his brother the appointment of Master Extraordinary in Chancery.— Strype's Annals of the Reformation, vol. iv., p. 373. Dr. Fletcher was also Remembrancer of the City of London, an office obtained for him by Queen Elizabeth, who addressed a long letter in her own hand to the Lord Mayor, &c, upon the subject. A copy of this singular epistle I have been permitted to peruse, and the terms in which Dr. Fletcher is recommended, evince the respect he was held in by Elizabeth.
Page 115.—Wither was again in prison in 1621. Mr. Collier has communicated to me the following interesting extracts from the Registers of the Privy Council:—
26 June, 1621.
A Warrant to John Perrial, to bring before the Lords the person of George Wither.
27 June, 1621.
This day George Wither, Gent., having been sent for by warrant from the Lords, hath tendred his appearance, which for his indemnity is here entred, he being nevertheless injoined to remaine in the custody of the Messenger, until by order from the Lords he shalbe dismissed.
On the same day, however, we find from another entry, that the Council issued a warrant to commit George Wither close prisoner into the Marshalsea, until further order.
15 March, 1621. A warrant to the Keeper of the Marshalsea, to enlarge and sett at liberty the person of George Wythers, upon Bond, to be given by him, with a Suretie before the Clerke of the Councell attendant, to his Majesty's use for his forthcomeing and appearance at all tyme, as there shalbe cause.
Page 183.—Burton has the following entry in his Diary, December 22, 1656:—
"Colonel Whetham offered a petition in behalf of Colonel Wither.
"Mr. Speaker said he had also a copy of very good verses, from the same hand, to offer."
Mr. Rutt, supposes this copy of verses to have been the Boni Ominis Votum, which was printed in 1656, and was occasioned, as we are told by Wood, by the summoning of extraordinary grand juries from the Baronets, Knights, &c, to serve in their several counties during the summer assizes.
Page 204.—When Nichols wrote the History of Leicestershire, in 1798, the Farewell to Dean Bourn was remembered by some old persons of that parish, to whom it had been orally bequeathed by their ancestors. They had also a tradition that Herrick was the original author of Poor Robin's Almanac, first published in 1662. After his ejection from his preferment, he was thrown on his own resources, and the scheme of such a popular production was, not unlikely to suggest itself.
Page 227.—It happens, unfortunately for Quarles, that his beauties rarely exist in clusters; the perfect fruit can only be found after a careful search. This composition, on a verse in Proverbs, is interesting, as clearly manifesting the muscular force of the writer's mind:—
"Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches make themselves wings—they flie away as an eagle."—Proverbs xxiii. 8.
False world, thou ly'st: thou canst not lend
The least delight:
They are so slight:
To please at night.
Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales
Of endless treasure;
Of lasting pleasure.
And swear'st to ease her.
What well-advised ear regards
What earth can say?
Are painted clay;
Thou canst not play.