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tions, and became acquainted with many of the celebrated men of his time, particularly lord Falkland, then one of the principal secretaries of state,

During the heat of the civil war, he was settled in the family of the earl of St. Albans, and accompanied the queen mother, when she was forced to retire into France, and was absent from his country ten years. In 1656, he returned to England, was soon after seized by the usurpers, and obtained his liberty only on

, the hard terms of a thousand pounds bail.

After the restoration, through the interest of the duke of Buckingham and the earl of St. Albans, a competent estate was bestowed upon him, and he retired to Chertsey, on the banks of the Thames, to pass the remainder of his life in studious retirement. Here also he died in 1667, in the forty-ninth year of his age.

The prose works of Cowley are not numerous; in the whole they occupy not more than about sixty pages, small-sized folio; and even these are interspersed with occasional pieces of

poetry, with a few translations of Latin authors, suggested by the subjects on which he was writing. The following is a list of their titles.

1. A Proposition for the Advancement of Experimental Philosophy.

2. A Discourse, by way of Vision, concerning the Government of Oliver Cromwell.

Several Discourses, by way of Essays, in Verse and Prose.

1. Of Liberty.
2. Of Solitude.
3. Of Obscurity
4. Of Agriculture.
5. The Garden. To J. Evelyn, Esq.
6. Of Greatness.
7. Of Avarice.

8. The Dangers of an Honest Man in much Company.

9. The Shortness of Life, and Uncertainty of Riches.

10. The Danger of Procrastination. A Letter to Mr, S. L.

11. Of Myself.

The last is by far the most interesting; it is very simply and beautifully written.

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Of Myself. It is a hard and nice subject for a man to write of himself; it grates his own heart to say any thing of disparagement, and the reader's ears to hear any thing of praise from him. There is no danger from me of offending him in this kind; neither my mind, por my body, nor my fortune, allow me any matefials for that vanity. It is sufficient, for my own contentment, that they have preserved me from being scandalous, or remarkable on the defective side. But, besides that, I shall bere speak of myself only in relation to the subject of these precedent discourses, and shall be likelier thereby to fall into the contempt, than rise up to the estimation of most people. As far as my memory can return back into my past life, before I knew, or was capable of guessing, what the world, or glories, or business of it were, the natural affections of my soul gave a secret bent of aversion from them, as some plants are said to turn away from others, by an antipathy imperceptible to themselves, and inscrutable to man's understanding. Even when I was a very young boy at school, instead of running about on holidays, and playing with my fellows, I was wont to steal from them, and walk into the fields, either alone with a book, or with some one companion, if I could find any of the same temper. I was then, too, so much an enemy to constraint, that my masters could never prevail on me, by any persuasions or encouragements, to learn, without book, the common rules of grammar, in which they dispensed with me alone, because they found I made a şhift to do the usual exercise out of my own reading the very name of dabbler oversets him; he is swat lowed up in the praise, like sir Samuel Luke in a great saddle, nothing to be seen but the giddy feather in his crown. They call him a Mercury, but he becomes the epithet like the little negro mounted on the elephant, just such another blot-rampant. He has not stuffings sufficient for the reproach of a scribble”, but it hangs about him like an old wife's skin, when the flesh hath forsaken her, lank and loose. He defames a good title, as well as most of our modern noblemen, those veins of greatness, the body politic's most peccant humours, blistered into lords. He hath so raw-boned a being, that however you render him, he rubs it out, and makes rags of the expression. The silly countryman (who seeing an ape in a scarlet coat, blest his young worship, and gave his landlord joy of the hopes of his house) did not slander his compliment with worse application than he that names this shred an historian. To call him an historian is to knight a mandrake; it is to view him through a perspective, and, by that gress hyperbole, to give the reputation of an engineer to a maker of mouse-traps. Such an historian would hardly pass muster with a Scotch stationer in a sieve full of ballads and godly beuks. He would not serve for the breast-plate of a begging Grecian. The most cramped compendium that the age hath seen since all learning was torn into ends, outstrips him by the head. I have heard of


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puppets that could prattle in a play, but never saw of their writings before. There goes a report of the Ilolland women, that, together with their children, they are delivered of a sooterkin, not unlike to a rat, which some imagine to be the offspring of the stoves. I know not what ignis fatuus adulterates the press, but it seems much after that fashion, else how could this vermin think to be a twin to a legitimate writer? When those weekly fragments shall pass for history, let the poor man's box be entitled the exchequer, and the alms-basket a magazine. Not a worm that gnaws on the dull scalp of voluminous Hollinshed, but at every meal devoured more chronicle than his tribe amounts. A marginal note of William Prinne would serve for winding sheet for that man's works, like thick-skinned fruits are all rind, fit for nothing but the author's fate, to be pared in a pillory.

Methinks the Turk should license Diurnals, because he prohibits learning and books. A library of Diurnals is a wardrobe of frippery; it is a just idea of the limbo of infants. I saw one once that could write with his toes; by the same token, I could have wished he had worn his copies for socks; it is he, without doubt, from whom the Diurnals derive their pedigree, and they have a birth-right accordingly, being shuffled out at the bed's-feet of History. To what infinite numbers an historian would multiply, should he crumble into elves of this profession! Lea



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