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arms, or by relieving ingenious men in want, whether scholars, musicians, soldiers, &c."
In 1648 he was imprisoned a second time; but Wood relates, "after the murther of King Charles I., Lovelace was set at liberty, and having by that time consumed all his estate, grew very melancholy, (which brought him at length into a consumption;) became very poor in body and purse, was the object of charity, went in ragged cloaths, (whereas when he was in his glory, he wore cloth of gold and silver) and mostly lodged in obscure and dirty places, more befitting the worst of beggars and poorest of servants, &c. * He died in a very mean lodging in Gunpowder Alley, near Shoe Lane, and was burried at the west end of St. Bride, &c. in 1658." Wood continues, "having been accounted, by all those that well knew him, to have been a person well versed in the Greek and Latin poets, in music, whether practical or theoretical, instrumental or vocal, and in other things befitting a gentleman. Some of the said persons have also added, in my hearing, that his common discourse was not only significant and witty, but incomparably graceful, which drew respect from all men and women. Many other things I could now say of him, relating either to his generous mind in his prosperity, or dejected estate in his worst part of poverty, but for brevity's sake I will now pass them by."*
* In Mr. Bliss's new edition of the Athena, from which we quote, there is added in a note, Aubrey's account of Lovelace, printed from his papers; which is as follows: "Richard Lovelace, Esq., obiit in a cellar in Long Acre, a little before the restauration of his majestie. Mr. Edmund Wyld, &c. had made collections for him and given him money. He was of in Kent, £500. or more. He was an extraordinary handsome man, but proud. He wrote a poem called Lucasta, 8vo. 1649. He was of Gloucester-Hall, as I have been told. He had two younger brothers, viz. Colonel Fr. Lovelace, and another that died at Carmarthen. George Petty, haberdasher, in Fleet Street, carryed twenty shillings to him every Munday morning, from Sir Many and Charles Cotton, Esq. for months, but was never repayd." Aubrey is by no means esteemed very highly, and it is to be hoped that the accurate Anthony à Wood has, in this instance, somewhat exaggerated the misery of our unfortunate author, or been in some measure misinformed. For it appears that Lovelace's daughter, who married Lord's (son or) nephew, brought her husband the family estates in Kent; though it is possible that during her father's lifetime, the rents may have been entirely in the hands of the creditors of Lovelace, or, if they had been previously sold, they may, at the restoration, have been rened to his family. Yet he left two, if not three, brothers behind him, who do not appear to have been in want, and who, it is hardly probable, would permit their brother to fall into the
But it is time to turn from the contemplation of the unhappy close of our author's life, to his poems, which were, doubtless, chiefly the production of the happier moments of it; when the absence of real distress allows the poet to amuse himself by inventing fictitious miseries; and the lover, perhaps, in the full enjoyment of his mistress's favour, will imagine himself now forsaken, and now rejected, out of the very wantonness of his joy. These poems, though consisting of numerous small pieces, had, it seems, the general name of Lucasta given them, from a lady to whom, says Wood, "sometime before, he had made his amours; a gentlewoman of great beauty and fortune, named Lucy Sacheverell, whom he usually called Lux Casta; but she, upon a strong report that Lovelace was dead of his wounds, received at Dunkirk, soon married." It was after his return from Dunkirk, when he, on his arrival in London, with his brother Dudley, was immediately committed to prison, that he beguiled the time of his confinement, by collecting and preparing these poems for the press. The collection, which he himself printed, the first Lucasta, is eminently superior to the posthumous publication; whether the first was a selection from the whole of his lucubrations, made by a discriminating taste, which we should scarcely be inclined to give the author credit for, or whether the second series was written at a later period than the former, when the author's spirit was broken, and his fire began to wax dim; certain it is, that, though nearly the whole may be said to be infected with the
abject state above described. Especially as the greatest affection indubitably existed among them, and since Dudley Posthumus was indebted to his elder brother for his rank and education; for whose memory he appears to have had such a regard, that he, immediately after his death, collected and published his remains. Moreover, the numerous elegies upon his death, which are collected at the end of the posthumous Lucasta, are not in the strain which might have been expected, had Lovelace died in the friendless and wretched state described by Wood and Aubrey. Take for instance a few lines of his friend Charles Cotton's elegy.
And though thy virtues many friends have bred,
So that, perhaps, we may be allowed to indulge the pleasing hope, that he who once figured a noble specimen of humanity, did not die an example of abject poverty and misery.
poetical vices of the age, the latter contain the alloy in a much greater proportion, and possess very few redeeming qualifications. Indeed, the really good of Lovelace's remains may be collected in no great space, and we hope to make such extracts from them, as will render a reference to the works themselves unnecessary to all but the literary antiquary, or poetical student, who might, perhaps, contrive to disentangle thoughts too thickly interwoven with worthless rhyme for us to extract; or develope ideas for their own use, which, not unfrequently, shew but the rudiments of their formation, in the ingenious but perverted lines of our author. When Lovelace discloses his own natural feelings, his sentiments are sure to be noble, and his versification easy and spirited; but when he ransacks his brain for images and conceits, he is, commonly, harsh and obscure, though, sometimes, it must be confessed, new and ingenious. Specimens of both will appear in our extracts. The first that occurs, in the book, worthy of notice, is a most elegant little song, addressed to Lucasta, on his going to the wars.'
"Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
Of thy chaste breast, and quiet mind,
True; a new mistress now I chase,
Yet this inconstancy is such,
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
From a song of seven stanzas, to Amarantha, "that she would dishevel her hair," we can break off a few fragments, which present some pleasing versification, and not unfanciful imagery. What we leave behind, our readers may rest satisfied, would only mar any gratification to be derived from such as we can quote.
"Amarantha, sweet and fair,
Oh, braid, no more, that shining hair!
Let it fly, as unconfin'd
As its calm ravisher, the wind;
Ev'ry tress, must be confest,
Do not then wind up that light,
Like the sun, in's early ray;
But shake your head, and scatter day."
The stanzas on the Grasshopper are written with much fancy, spirit, and, what we do not often find in poets of Lovelace's time, a feeling and observation of nature. We quote the first part of it.
"Oh thou that swing'st upon the waving hair
Drunk ev'ry night with a delicious tear
Dropp'd thee from heav'n, where now thou'rt rear'd.
The joys of earth and air are thine entire,
That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly;
Up with the day, the sun thou welcom'st then,
But ah, the sickle! golden ears are cropp'd;
And what scythes spar'd, winds shave off quite.
The next extract, we shall make from what the author calls an epode from prison; a series of verses in a graver vein than is common with him. The scene of their composition, a prison, and the calamities of the times, appear to have abstracted his muse, for a while, from the contemplation of the charms of his Lucasta. After asking of Lucasta to grant him leave to try other loves, and "fancy all the world beside;" he thus commences, to "prove" the objects of his worthy of his devotion.
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He concludes that nothing is worthy of his attachment but his sovereign, whose glories he celebrates to the end of the poem.
Lucasta is not the only object of his admiration. Whether, however, he woos the same lady under different names, or whether he had eyes for other charms than those of that pure,