Page images

eth not a fox from a fern-bush, and a foolish fellow that cannot discern craft from conscience, being once cozened. But why should I lament thy follies with grief, when thou seemest to colour them with deceit? Ah, Euphues, I love thee well, but thou hatest thyself, and seekest to heap more harms on thy head by a little wit, than thou shalt ever claw off by thy great wisdom. All fire is not quenched by water; thou hast not love in a string; affection is not thy slave; thou canst not leave when thou listest. With what face, Euphues, canst thou return to thy vomit, seeming with the greedy hound to lap up that which thou didst cast up? I am ashamed to rehearse the terms that once thou didst utter of malice against women, and art thou not ashamed now again to recant them ? ́ They must needs think thee either envious upon small occasion, or amorous upon a light cause; and then will they all be as ready to hate thee for thy spite, as to laugh at thee for thy looseness.

No, Euphues, so deep a wound cannot be healed with so light a plaster; thou mayst by art recover /the skin, but thou canst never cover the scar; thou mayst flatter with fools because thou art wise, but the wise will ever mark thee for a fool. Then sure I cannot see what thou gainest, if the simple condemn thee of flattery and the grave of folly. Is thy cooling card of this property, to quench fire in others, and to kindle flames in thee? or is it a


whet-stone to make thee sharp, and us blunt; or a sword to cut wounds in me, and cure them in Euphues? Why didst thou write that against them thou never thoughtest, or if thou didst it, why dost thou not follow it? But it is lawful for the physician to surfeit, for the shepherd to wander, for Euphues to prescribe what he will, and do what he list.

The sick patient must keep a straight diet, the silly sheep a narrow fold; poor Philautus must believe Euphues and all lovers (he only excepted) are cooled with a card of teen, or rather fooled with a vain toy. Is this thy professed purity, to cry peccavi? thinking it as great sin to be honest, as shame not to be amorous: thou that didst blaspheme the noble sex of women without cause, dost thou now commit idolatry with them without care, observing as little gravity then in thine unbridled fury, as thou dost now reason by thy disordinate fancy? I see now that there is nothing more smooth than glass, yet nothing more brittle: nothing more fair than snow, yet nothing less firm: nothing more fine than wit, yet nothing more fickle.


Thou art in love, Euphues, contrary to thine oath, thine honour, thine honesty; neither would any professing that thou doest live as thou doest, which is no less grief to me, than shame to thee; excuse thou mayst make to me, because I am credulous; but amends to the world thou canst not frame, because

thou art come out of Greece, to blaze thy vice in England, a place too honest for thee, and thou too dishonest for any place.

Lilly appears to have been an author much in fashion in his day. Edward Blount, the. editor of six of his Comedies, speaks of those plays as "written by the only rare poet of that time, the witty, comical, facetiouslyquick, and unparalleled John Lilly, master of arts." In his epistle also to the reader, after observing that the poet, "was heard, graced, and rewarded by queen Elizabeth," he says, that those plays were published "to prevent oblivion from trampling upon such a son of the Muses, as they called their darling." And then proceeds to assert that the nation was indebted to our author for a new English, which he taught them in his Euphues; that all the ladies of that time were his scholars; she who spoke not Euphueism being as little regarded at court, as if she could not speak French. It is remarkable, that this assertion is confirmed in Ben Jonson's "Every Man out of his Humour;" in which, Fallace,

wife of Deliro, a proud mincing lady, dotes upon Fastidius Brisk, a spruce affected courtier. The gallant being thrown into the counter, is there visited by Fallace; who concludes the expressions of her fondness in these words: "O master Brisk (as it is in Euphues) hard is the choice when one is compelled, either by silence, to die with grief, or by speaking, to live with shame." Upon this passage, we have the following note by Mr. Whalley. "Euphues is the title of a Romance, wrote by one Lilly, that was in the highest vogue at this time, The court ladies had all the phrases by heart. The language is extremely affected, and like the specimen here quoted, consists chiefly of antitheses in the thought and expression."


BARON of Burghley, Burleigh, or Burly, was born at Bourn in Lincolnshire, in 1520. After being initiated in grammar learning at the grammar schools of Grantham and Stamford, he was removed, in 1535, to St. John's College, Cambridge; and in 1541, entered at Gray's Inn as student of the law. There he distinguished himself by his application; the fruit of which was an intimate acquaintance with the constitution of his country.

On his introduction at court, his first promotion was to the office of Custos Brevium, in the beginning of the reign of Edward VI. In 1547, he was appointed master of requests; and the year after, obtained the post of secretary,which he enjoyed twice in Edward's reign. He was knighted and sworn of the privy council in 1551. In the reign of Mary he lost his

« PreviousContinue »