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And in these rocks for us did frame
Thus sung they, in the English boat,
The Poem on Paradise Lost, which, though it is frequently prefixed to the editions of Milton, still must not be omitted here.
"When I beheld the poet blind, yet bold,
Or if a work so infinite he span'd,.
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit;
So that no room is here for writers left,
VOL. X. PART 11.
That majesty which thro' thy work doth reign
At once delight and horror on us seize,
Where could'st thou words of such a compass find?
Well might thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells, And, like a pack-horse, tires without his bells. Their fancies like our bushy points appear,
The poets tag them; we for fashion wear.
And while I meant to praise thee, must commend.
In number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme."
"Near this Place
Lyeth the Body of Andrew Marvell, Esq.
So improved by Education, Study, and Travel.
He became the Ornament and
good Men, feared by bad, admired by all :
Tho' imitated, alas! by few,
But a Tombstone can neither contain his
in the Minds of this Generation and will be
From whence he was constantly deputed to that
Loss, have erected this Monument of
Heu fragile humanum Genus. Heu terrestria Vana!
We regret that our limits in this number prevent us from doing justice to the remains of Marvel in this article. We, however, propose, in some future number, to resume the consideration of his poetry, and enter upon that of his prose works.
ART. VIII. Resolves; Divine, Moral, and Political.
In a note by the late M. Gilchrist, upon some verses, written by Felltham, to the memory of Ben Jonson, we find the following observation: "It seems something remarkable, that nothing should be known of a book so popular as Felltham's Resolves has always been, beyond the bare circumstances related by Oldys in his MS. notes on Langbaine, of his father, Thomas Felltham, being a Suffolkman, and that Owen was one of three children." It is, indeed, remarkable, and yet so literally the case, that Mr. Cumming, the latest editor of the Resolves, who, we believe, during the fourteen years that elapsed between the first and second editions of his reprint, sought, with unwearied diligence, for further particulars of Felltham, was not able to add a single fact of importance to this brief record of
his author's private history. But the assertion, that the "Resolves have always been popular," is only partially correct. It is true, they had passed through twelve editions previous to 1709, but another century had nearly elapsed ere an attempt was made to awaken public attention in their favour, by a small compilation, entitled "The Beauties of Owen Felltham," containing a selection from twenty or thirty of the Essays. The work itself was then fast gliding into oblivion, when accident threw into the way of Mr. James Cumming, a gentleman connected with Indian affairs, who had the taste to discover the merit of Felltham's lucubrations, and the spirit to rescue them from the neglect to which they had well-nigh fallen a prey.He published an edition of the Resolves, (with some account of the author and his writings) in 1806, and a subsequent one in 1820, with the addition of a selection from the poetry of Felltham.
As two impressions of this re-publication have appeared, we are bound to assume, that it has met with fair encouragement; but we have seldom seen it ourselves in the hands of general readers, and we cannot help suspecting that our review will introduce it to the notice of many who never even heard of the name of Owen Felltham.
The Resolves, in all the editions, we believe, except the first, consist of two parts, styled Centuries; but the first edition contains the latter part only, composed by the author when in his eighteenth year, and revised by him afterwards. Both parts comprise a series of Essays, on subjects connected with religion, morality, and the conduct of life; and they appear to have been termed Resolves,-because, at the conclusion of each Essay, the author generally forms resolutions founded on his own precepts, having, as he states in his early Preface, written and published his Reflections," not so much to please others as profit himself." In this direct personal application, they differ from the "Essays, Civil and Moral," of Lord Bacon, to which they otherwise bear a frequent resemblance in manner, and still more in matter, the subjects of a great many of the Resolves being the same as those treated on by the illustrious writer
The following is the list of editions given by Mr. Cumming, of which we have only seen the 7th and 8th:
1st edition, date uncertain, 12mo | 8th edition 2d and 3rd
alluded to. The style of Owen Felltham is not always equal. He is occasionally prolix; his illustrations are two multipled; and his language is sometimes loose and familiar. He likewise participates in the antithetical and punning propensity of Arthur Warwick, as in the passage-" It is from where there is no judgement, that the heaviest judgment comes." But his general style is nervous and appropriate; rather close and pointed than diffusive, though at times really eloquent. His phrases are such as, to use his own words, "are expressively pertinent, which lead the mind to something beside the naked truth."He is prodigal of metaphor and quotation, and has, perhaps, on that account, been accused of pedantry; but, surely, if to quote at all from ancient writers be allowable, such allusions as the following add both force and interest to the maxims they are intended to support.
"I like of Solon's course, in comforting his constant friend; when, taking him up to the top of a turret, overlooking all the piled buildings, he bids him think, how many discontents there had been in those houses since their framing,-how many are, and how many will be; then, if he can, to leave the world's calamities, and mourn but for his own. To mourn for none else were hardness and injustice. To mourn for all, were endless. The best way is, to uncontract the brow, and let the world's mad spleen fret, for that we smile in woes.
"Silence was a full answer in that philosopher; that being asked what he thought of human life,-said nothing, turned him round, and vanished."
How delicate and how appropriate is the Scriptural metaphor of St. Bernard, in the succeeding extract.
"Meditation is the soul's perspective glass; whereby, in her long remove, she discerneth God, as if he were nearer hand. I persuade no man to make it his whole life's business. We have bodies as well as souls; and even this world, while we are in it, ought somewhat to be cared for. As those States are likely to flourish, where execution follows sound advisements; so is man, when contemplation is seconded by action. Contemplation generates; action pro-. pagates. Without the first, the latter is defective; without the last, the first is but abortive, and embryous. Saint Bernard compares contemplation to Rachel, which was the more fair; but action to Leah, which was the more fruitful. I will neither always be busy, and doing; nor ever shut up in nothing but thought. Yet, that which some would call idleness, I will call the sweetest part of my life; and that is, my thinking. Surely, God made so many varieties in his creatures, as well for the inward soul, as for the outward senses; though he made them primarily for his own free-will and glory. He was a monk of an honester age, that being asked how he could endure that life, without the pleasure of books, answered-The nature of the