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by the uncertainty of its issue, he composed one or two
touching Hymns, which testify the sincerity of his heart
and the piety of his feelings. Probably the last words
ever traced by his pen, were the lines written in his
Bible on the evening preceding his execution, in which
he renewed his expression of confidence in the me")
and intercession of our Saviour.
The following Hymn requires no criticism to reco-
mend it.
Rise, oh, my soul, with thy desires to heaven,
And with divinest contemplation use
Thy time, where time's eternity is given,
Ånd let vain thoughts no more thy thoughts abus";
But down in darkness let them lie,
So live thy better, let thy worse thoughts die. .

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And thou, my soul, inspired with holy flame,
View and review with most regardful eye
That holy cross whence thy salvation came,
On which thy Saviour and thy sin did die.
For in that sacred object is much pleasure,
And in that Saviour is my life, my treasure.

To Thee, O Jesu, I direct my eyes,
To thee my hands, to thee my humble knees,
To thee my heart shall offer sacrifice,
To thee my thoughts, who my thoughts only sees.
To thee myself, myself and all I give;
To thee I die, to thee I only live.

The lover of poetry will always regret that Raleigh's retreats to his charming seat, at Sherborne, were not more frequent, and of longer continuance; and that the “pure contents” which, in his own words, were wont to “pitch their tents" upon those pastures, were unable to detain him from the empty vanities of the court.

I bring this hasty Introduction to an end with regret;


I have said little where my heart prompted me to say much. I have been compelled to pass over, without notice, many who left their fame upon a harp-string, and from whose antique leaves might be gathered thoughts of the serenest piety and peace. Of some of these I shall have an opportunity of speaking in the following pages. I have walked through the burial-ground of our Elder Poets with no irreverent footstep, and I shall not have lingered there in vain, if I have renewed one

obliterated inscription, or bound one flower upon their tomb.

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GILEs FLETCHER, the author of one of the finest reli-
gious poems to which the early part of the seventeenth
century gave birth, has not received the attention due to
his genius, either from his contemporaries, or from pos-
terity. Yet in him and his brother Phineas we behold
the two most gifted followers of Spenser; in their hands
the torch of allegorical poetry, if I may employ the
metaphor, was extinguished, and transmitted to no suc-
cessor. William Browne was rather the imitator of
Spenserin his pastoral vein, than in the arabesque imagery
of the Faerie Queen. Of Giles Fletcher's life little has
hitherto been told, and that little imperfectly. Mr.
Chalmers has reprinted Christ's Victorie, with a prefatory
notice of the writer, in his edition of the British Poets, but
without adding much, if anything, to the previous stock
of knowledge. In the following memoir something has,
perhaps, been accomplished towards the illustration of
the poet's history, and the additional facts relating to his
father will not, it is trusted, be uninteresting.
Dr. Giles Fletcher, the father of the poet, was the
brother of Richard Fletcher, Bishop of London. Having
been educated at Eton, in 1565, he was elected to King's
College, Cambridge, where, in 1569, he took the degree
of B.A.; that of M.A. in 1573; and LL.D. in 1581.
Anthony Wood says that he became an excellent poet.
The only specimens of his poetical talent I have seen
are the verses upon the death of Walter Haddon”.

• Haddon was a member of King's College, and one of the most eminent men of the age. His contemporaries speak in enthusiastic appreciated by Elizabeth, who employed him as her Commissioner in Scotland, Germany, and the Low Countries. I have ascertained that he sat in Parliament in 1385, with Herbert Pelham, Esq., for the then flourishing town of Winchelsea”. In 1588, the memorable year of the Armada, he was sent to Russia, where he concluded a treaty with the Czar, beneficial to English commerce. Soon after his return, he published his observations upon that country; they were, however, soon

Fletcher's political talents appear to have been highly | | +

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suppressed, and not reprinted until 1643. They were " || || ||

afterwards incorporated in Hackluyt's Voyages t. - | The worthy Fuller informs us that, upon Fletcher's i;

arrival in London, he sent for his intimate friend Mr.

Wayland, Prebendary of St. Paul's, and tutor to Fuller's t father, “with whom he expressed his thankfulness to


terms of his mental and personal accomplishments. Archbishop Crzu

mer entertained a high opinion of his learning and talents, and availed

himself of his advice and assistance in ecclesiastical affairs. Haddon

died in London, February, 1571. Isis poems were collected by Thomas \ Hatcher, a fellow of the same college, and one of his warmest admirers.

Mr. Park refers to Dr. Fletchcr's poems in a note upon Warton's





History of Poetry, but in a manner to incline the reader to suppose that the allusion was applicable to the author of Christ's Pictorie. The work which is entitled, Poematum Gwalteri Hudsoni Legum Doctoris, sparsin collectorum, Libri Duo, is exceedingly scarce. Thomas Baker, the well-known antiquary, considered his copy, which afterwards possed into the collection of the bishop of Ely, to be almost unique. There is, however, a copy in the British Museum. * Notitia Parliamentaria, vol. iii., p. 107. * As a picture of Russia in its deepest ignorance and barbarism, the i account of the “Russe Commonwealth" is very amusing. His descrip- : tion of theological learning in Russia, towards the close of the sixteenth century, is singular, especially when contrasted with the glory of our - | own country at that period. Fletcher relates the following anecdote of a conversation with one of their “bishops, that are the choice men out -

of all their monasteries." He “offered him a Russe Testament, and t turned him to the first chapter of St. Alatthew's Gospel, where he began

to read in very good order. I asked him first, what part of Scripture it was that he had read? He answered that he could not well tell. How . many evangelists there were in the New Testament? He said he knew. | not. How many apostles there were 1 He thought there were twelve."— p. 89, ed. 1591.

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God for his return from so great a danger.” The quaint
historian, in his careless way, talks of the emperor being
habited in blood, and adds that, if he had cut off the am-
bassador's head, he and his friends might have sought
their own amends; but, says he, the questio 1 is, where
he would have found it. Certainly, if Fuller alludes to the
head, its recovery would have been very questionable.
But this story of the Czar's cruelty is an invention.
The reigning emperor was Theodore Ivanowich, and
Dr. Fletcher expressly assures us that “he was verie
gentle, of an easie nature, quiet and mercyful." P. 110,
ed. 1591.
On his return, Fletcher was made secretary (town-
clerk) to the city of London, and one of the Masters of
the Court of Requests. The situation of treasurer of
St. Paul's he seems to have resigned in 1610 *. His
death is thought to have taken place in the same year.
Dr. Fletcher also wrote a very curious Discourse ...)
ing the Tartars, which Whiston reprinted in his Memoirs
Giles Fletcher, the poet, we are told by Fuller, was
born in the city of Londont, and according to Mr.
Chalmers's conjecture, about the year 1588;. Fuller

• I find under a notice of Bayly, Bishop of Bangor—1610, 7 Febr.
Ludov. Bayly, A.M., Admissus ad Thesaurariam S. Pauli, per Resig.
Egidii, Fletcheri, L.L. D. Reg. Lond.—Wood, Athen. Oron, ed

tiss. b. 2.
s Worthies of England, vol. ii., London, p. 82, ed. Nichols, 1811.

: Chalmers (Biograph. Dict., Art “ Fiercien”) considers Giles
the eldest son, whose birth he fixes in 1588, and that of Phineas, the
younger, in 1584!, The probability is, that l’hineas was the elder. . At
the conclusion of the fourth book of Christ's Victorie, Giles speaks of

The Kentish lad that lately taught
His oaten reed the trumpet's silver sound.

- - - - -
Let his shrill trumpet with her silver blast
Offair Eclecta o spousal bed
Be the sweet pipe, and smooth encomiast,
But my green Muse hiding her younger head

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