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tions which our ancestors have delivered of his achievements and worth. Whatever transient obscuration real merit may occasionally suffer, it must, in the end, be triumphant; and true taste and true feeling, which are the same in all ages, will, at length, vindicate the praises which themselves have bestowed. This temporary eclipse some there are who might lament, yet we lament it not; for, however grateful to the eye may be the brightness of unsullied and uninjured talent, yet never, in our opinion, does genius appear so splendid, so majestic and commanding, as when it, at length, disperses the mists which for a time obscured its face; and rises, like the mighty eagle in Milton's Areopagitica, superior to the hootings of the birds of night. And thus it will be with the works of Sir Philip Sidney; upon a candid and impartial examination, it will appear, that the man, of whom nations once rung and courts resounded " in the consentient harmony of praise,” still deserves to retain a large portion of his former celebrity ; that if the variety of his attempts and the complexity of his character, by diverting his genius into too many channels, contributed to impoverish and distract it, yet that there is still in every thing which he has written an indelible stamp of greatness; and that the edifice of his reputation was not built upon local prejudice or extrinsic regārd, but founded upon reason and established upon truth, and can never, but with them, be overthrown. And here we cannot conclude, without taking notice of that blighting spirit of modern criticism which Sir Philip Sidney has, with many other worthies of old, experienced, and which has given'to the literature of the present age a character of heartless and spiritless insensibility. There seems to be a malignant desire to reduce the great of former ages to the level of common men; to bring down their superiority, intellectual and personal, to valueless and vapid mediocrity; and to demonstrate, that the lights which shone as the directors of our forefathers were little better than momentary meteors or vapourish exhalations. Far are we from being enemies to just and distinguishing criticism; but surely the illustrious characters of antiquity deserve some reverence at our hands, and the laurels which our ancestors have placed on their heads ought not rudely to be plucked off by the hand of the spoiler. There is a kind of proscription in fame which partakes of the sanctity and inviolability of age, and which it hurts our best feelings and excites our indignation to see infringed. It is not very often that popular judgment errs on the side of admiratiou; and why then should we be so eager, in this age, to withdraw the praises which an injudicious, but at the same time generous, prodigality has prompted another to bestow ?-For ourselves, we can only say, that we shall never wish to be among the nurnber of those who would detract from patriotisın its merit, or from heaven-born talent its due. Ever absent from us, and from our pages, be that Vol. II.
ungenerous and ungentlemanlike spirit of criticism, which could induce us to speak coldly of the character of Falkland, or disdainfully of the genius of Sidney!
Art. IV. Spare-Minutes, or resolved Meditations and premeditated Resolutions, written by ARTHUR WARWICK.
Ego cur acquirere pauca
Si possim invidear? The Sixth Edition. London, printed by G. M. for Walter Hammond, and are to be sold by Michael Sparke in Greene Arbour, 1637.-pp. 179. [Review--August, 1820.]
We have a few spare minutes (the reader will forgive us the pun) to dedicate to this small volume. It purports to be a posthumous publication. The author was a clergyman, and a pious one, whose high delight was to hold divine colloquy with his own heart -"to feed on the sweet pastures of the soul”-he was an aspirant after good, who was never less alone than when without company. The well, in which truth is hidden, he discovered to be the heart of man-he sought for it in his own heart, and he found it there. He was not without hopes of this world, and already lived in futurity. The style of his work is as singular as its spirit is excellent. Brevity was his laborious study-he has compressed as much essence as possible into the smallest space. His book is a string of proverbial meditations and meditated proterbs. He does not speak without reason, and cannot reason without a maxim. His sentiments are apposite, though opposite his language is the appropriateness of contrariety-it is too narrow for his thoughts, which show the fuller for the constraint of their dress. The sinewy athletic body almost bursts its scanty apparel. This adds to the apparent strength of his thoughts, although it takes from their real grace. He comprised great wisdom in a small compass. His life seems to have been as full of worth as his thoughts, and as brief as his book. He considered life but his walk, and heaven his home; and that, travelling towards so pleasant a destination, “the shorter his journey the sooner his rest.” The marrow of life and of knowledge does not indeed occupy much room. His language is quaint in conceits, and conceited in quaintnessmit proceeds on an almost uniform balance of antithesis—but his observations are, at once, acute, deep, and practical. We have thrown the following short meditations together.
• It is some hope of goodness not to grow worse : it is a part of · badness not to grow better. I will take heed of quenching the sparke, and strive to kindle a fire. If I have the goodness I
should, it is not too much, why should I make it less? If I keepe the goodness I have, 'tis not enough : why do I not make it 'more? He ne'er was so good as he should be, that doth not strive to be better than he is : He never will be better than he is, that doth not feare to be worse than he was.' 1st part, p. 11.
• It is the usuall plea of poverty to blame misfortune, when the * ill-finished cause of complaint is a worke of their owne forging. "I will either make my fortunes good, or be content they are no
worse. If they are not so good as I would they should have 'beene, they are not so bad as I know they might have beene. What * though I am not so happy as I desire, 'tis well I am not so wretchied as I deserve.' p. 14.
There is no estate of life so happy in this world as to yeeld a Christian the perfection of content : and yet there is no state of life so wretched in this world, but a Christian must be content with it. Though I have nothing here that may give me true
content, yet I will learne to bee truly contented here with what I have. What care I though I have not much, I have as much as *I desire, if I have as much as I want; I have as much as the most, . if I have as much as I desire.' p. 24.
• Nature bids mee love myself, and hate all that hurt mee; reason bids mee love my friends, and hate those that envy mee; religion bids mee love all, and hate none. Nature sheweth care, reason wit, religion love. Nature may induce mee, reason per* suade mee, but religion shall rule mee. I will hearken to nature in ' much, to reason in more, to religion in all. Nature shall make mee 'careful of myself, but hateful to none; reason shall make mee
wise for myselfe, but harmlesse to all : religion shall make mee * loving to all, but not carelesse of myselfe. I may heare the former, I will hearken onely to the latter. I subscribe to some things in all, to all things in religion.' p. 27.
The good meaner hath two tongues, the hypocrite a double 'tongue. The good man's heart speakes without his tongue, the hypocrite's tongue without his heart. The good man hath of- tentimes God in heart, when, in his mouth, there is no God mentioned: the hypocrite hath God often in his mouth, when the foole hath said, in his heart, there is no God. I may soonest heare the tongue, but safest the heart—the tongue speaketh loudest, but the heart truest. The speech of the tongue is best • known to men : God best understands the language of the heart : 'the heart, without the tongue, may pierce the eares of heaven; the tongue, without the heart, speakes an unknowne language. • No marvell tben if the desires of the poore are heard, when the prayers of the wicked are unregarded.' p. 31.
• It is the folly of affection, not to reprehend my erring friend for 'feare of his anger : it is the abstract of folly, to be angry with my
* friend for my error's reprehension. I were not a friend, if I should see my friend out of the way and not advise him : I were unworthy to have a friend, if hee should advise mee (being our of 'the way) and I bee angry with him. Rather let me have my ' friend's anger than deserve it; rather let the righteous smite mee
friendly by reproofe, than the pernicious oyle of flattery or connivence breake my head. It is a folly to flie ill-will by giving 'a just cause of hatred. I thinke him a truer friend that deserves my love, than he that desires it.' p. 36.
In the second part, the author is somewhat more diffuse, and does not confine himself so much to abstract thoughts, but generally illustrates them with imagery, which possesses, however, the same terseness and closeness of application as his unadorned meditations. His similes are, indeed, mathematically accuratethey run in parallel lines—they never interfere with the subject in hand, nor approach it nearer at one point than another. Our readers cannot fail to be pleased with the few specimens which succeed.
When I see leaves drop from their trees, in the beginning of ' autumne, just such, thinke I, is the friendship of the world. Whiles the sap of maintenance lasts, my friends swarme in abundance, but, in the winter of my need, they leave me naked. He is a happy man, that hath a true friend at his need; but he is more • truly happy that hath no need of his friend. p. 44.
• The gentle and harmlesse sheep being conscious of their owne innocency, how patiently, how quietly, doe they receive the knife, either on the altar, or in the shambles ? How silently and undaunted doe they meet death, and give it entrance with small resistance? When the filthie, loathsome, and harmefull swine roare 'horribly at the first handling, and, with an hideous crying reluc6 tancy, are haled and held to the slaughter. This seemes some cause to me, why wicked men (conscious of their filthy lives and nature) so tremble at the remembrances, startle at the name, and, with horrour, roare at the approach of death : when the godly quietly uncloathe themselves of their lives, and make small difference 'twixt a naturall night's short sleepe, and the long sleepe 6 of nature. 2nd part, p. 7.
I see, when I follow my shadow, it flies me—when I flie my 6 shadow, it followes me: I know pleasures are but shadowes, which hold no longer than the sun-shine of my fortunes. Least then my pleasures should forsake me, I will forsake them. Pleasure most flies me when I follow it.'
• It is not good to speak evill of all whom wee know bad : it is worse to judge evill of any, who may prove good. To speake *ill upon knowledge shewes a want of charity--to speake ill upon suspition shewes a want of honesty. I will not speake so bad as I know of many: I will not speake worse than I know of any. To
• know evill by others, and not speake it, is sometimes discretion : 'to speake evill by others, and not know it, is always dishonesty.'
Our author, notwithstanding his gravity, is very sportive in his diction, and does not scorn a pun, as our readers may
have and will see more particularly in the following meditations.
• There is a sort of men which are kind men to me, when they • expect some kindnesse from me—who have their hands downe to * the ground in their salutations, when the ground of their saluta* tions is to have a hand at mee in some commodity. But their
own ends once served, their kindnesse hath its end at once : and s then it seemes strange to mee, how strange they will seeme to
grow to mee; as if the cause (their desire) being removed, the ef"fect (their courtesie) must straight cease.' p. 33.
*I see a number of gallants every where, whose incomes come in yearly by set numbers, but ranne out daily sans number. I could pitty the cases of such brave men, but that I see them still in brave cases ; and when I see them often foxed, me thinke the proverbe sutes those sutes, What is the fox but his case ? I should thinke them to be Eutrapelus his enemies, whom he cloathed richly to make them spend freely and grow deboshed. I will doe those men right, and wonder at them, because they desire it. I will not wrong iyself to envie them, because they scorne it. I know that gorgeous apparell is an ornament to grace the court, for the glory of the kingdome, but it is no ornament useful in the kingdome of grace, nor needful in the kingdome of glory. A rich coate may bee commendable in the accidents of armory onely, but it is not
the onely, substance of a commendable gentleman. I will value * the apparell by the worthinesse of the wearer; I will not value s the worthinesse of the wearer by the worth of his apparell. Adam was most gallantly apparelled when he was innocently naked.'
• The men of most credit in our time are the usurers.
For they . credit most men : and though their greatest study be security, yet it is usually their fortune to be fullest of care. Time is pretious to them, for they thinke a day broke to them, is worth a 'broke-age from their creditor. Yet thus they finde by use, that as they have much profit by putting out, so must they have much care to get it in. For debtors are of Themistocles his minde, and take not so much care how to repay all, as how they may not pay at all their creditors, and make this their first resolution, how they may make no resolution at all.' p. 40. .
[Of composition, he says,] . It is the folly of wit in some to take paines to trimme their labours in obscurity. It is the ignorance of learning in others to labour to devest their paine by bluntness ; 'the one thinking hee never speakes wisely, till he goes beyond his owne and all men's understandings; the other thinking hee