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spring of 1621, from which place he dates his Argalus and Parthenia, on the 4th of March in that year. His connexion with the learned Usher may have commenced at this period, although we possess no information on the subject.

In his youth, Usher had cultivated the Muse, and we may conclude, from the interesting anecdote communicated to Aubrey by Sir John Denham, that he had been acquainted with the author of the Faerie Queen. When Sir William Davenant's Gondibert appeared, Denham asked the Bishop if he had seen it. "Out upon him with his vaunting preface," he replied; "he speaks against my old friend, Edmund Spenser." But Quarles had qualities more calculated than a poetical fancy to attract the great Prelate's regard; unaffected piety, unwearied industry, and much rapidity and excellence in prose composition. When he published the History of Argalus and Parthenia, Usher was only recently returned to Ireland, on his elevation to the see of Meath; and in the preface, the poet speaks of the work as the "fruit of a few broken hours." It is clear, therefore, that he was employed in severer studies. The poem, he tells us, was "a scion" lately taken out of Sir Philip Sidney's orchard, and "grafted on a crab-stick of his own." The fruit in Sidney's Arcadia has been oftener praised than tasted, and Quarles's “scion" has shared a similar fate. Yet the Fair Parthenia must have been favourably received, for the poet's son, John, published a continua. tion of it in 1659*.

But this was not his first production: he had before

There was also a play of the same name. Pepys says in his Diary, January 31, 1660,-"To the theatre, and there sat in the pit among the company of fine ladies, and the house was exceeding full to see Argalus and Parthenia, the first time that it hath been acted."

written the Feast of Worms, or the History of Jonah, which must have been the earliest effort of his pen, for he calls it his "Morning Muse." In this singular

poem, his merits and defects are curiously mingled; there is the same strength, frequently degenerating into coarseness, and the same freedom of touch, and breadth of colouring. The sleepy man whose arms

Enfolded knit

A drowsy knot upon his careless breast;

and the herd of deer, which startled

at the fowler's piece, or yelp of hound,

Stand fearfully at gaze

are natural and pleasing images.

About the same time he wrote the Quintessence of Meditation, and the History of Queen Esther.

His next work was a paraphrase upon Job, interspersed with original meditations. Of this composition, Fuller, the church-historian, thought very highly. The author in his preface calls it a "work difficult and intricate;" and in the imitative parts he was less successful than in those more strictly original. Passages in the Meditations read like fragments from an uncorrected copy of Pope's Essay on Man; they have the strength and rough ́ness which we may suppose to have existed in the draught of that poem, before it grew into perfect harmony beneath the lingering hand of the writer. In the midst of much that is valueless, the mind of the reader is continually startled by pictures of fearful magnificence, or refreshed by touches of pure and gentle description. The fine fable of the Gorgon's head has never been more grandiy applied than in these verses, addressed to one deprived of a dear friend.

Advance the shield of Patience to thy head,

And when Grief strikes, 'twill strike the striker dead.

And the comparison, in the third Meditation, of the long-suffering of God to the affectionate care of a nurse, is tenderly worked out:

Even as a nurse whose child's imperfect pace

Can hardly lead his foot from place to place,
Leaves her fond kissing, sets him down to go,
Nor does uphold him for a step or two:
But when she finds that he begins to fall,
She holds him up, and kisses him withal;—
So God from man sometimes withdraws his hand
Awhile, to teach his infant faith to stand,
But when he sees his feeble strength begin
To fail, he gently takes him up again.

The plague in 1625, bereaved our poet of one of his best and most esteemed friends, the son of Bishop Aylmer, and he honoured his memory with a collection of Elegies, which must ever be numbered among the most precious tributes of sincere affection, to be found in our language. He gave them the quaint title of "An Alphabet of Elegies upon the much and truly lamented death of that famous for learning, piety, and true friendship, Doctor Ailmer, a great favourer and fast friend to the Muses, and late Archdeacon of London."

Imprinted in his heart, that ever loves his memory. They are introduced with this short and affecting address:


"Readers,-Give me leave to perform a necessary duty, which my affection owes to the blessed memory of that reverend Prelate, my much honoured friend, Doctor Ailmer. He was one whose life and death made as full and perfect a story of worth and goodness, as

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