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"What? you would faine haue all the great ones freed?They must not for their vices be controld: Beware!—that were a saucinesse indeed; But if the great ones to offend be bold I see no reason but they should be told." ,
Morton. The Frenchman made an empty boast of his courage when he said,
Je ne puis rien nommer si ce nest pas son nom,
J'appelle un chat un chat, et Rolet un Jripon, but he took special care to name nobody whose anger could do him injury in the quarter which he most aimed to please.
Bourne. Wither says elsewhere, that he only names the vices, not those who flourished in them, and he makes no vain pretensions to individual designation: yet the result showed the truth of what Lod. Barry excellently says in his Ram Alley, in Dodsley's Collection,
"All great mens sins must still be humoured,
Elliot. Exceedingly well; but I am longing to see something more by the satirist in your hand.
Bourne. The following quotation is from the first satire of the first book " Of the passion of Love."
"Counsels in vaine, cause when the fit doth take them
As are obiected: From my heart I sent
Elliot. There is not only uncommon ease in the running of the lines, but frequently great force in the very familiarity of the expressions. We have no right to complain that he is not very original on such a theme.
Bourne. The number and variety of his works prove, that he must have composed with very great rapidity. These satires were written in 1611, when the author was only 23 years old, and for that age they show great acuteness and extent of observation.
Morton. In the beginning of the extract Wither seems to allude to some work of his own, under the title of " Aretophils Complaint." Is that extant?
, Bourne. It is not, though some have confounded it with his poem of " the Mistress of Philarete."— "Aretophils Complaint" (which he afterwards called "Philaretes Complaint") is mentioned by Wither as one of his earliest pieces in the catalogue I before spoke of, and he there states that it was lost in manuscript. It was most likely addressed to the lady he alludes to in what I just read, and who rejected him. We will proceed to the fourth Satire on Envy, where the passion is thus happily described:
"But what is this, that men are so inclind
It makes them grieue when any man is friended, Or in their hearing praised or commended. Contrariwise againe, such is their spight, In other mens misfortunes they delight; Yea, notwithstanding it be not a whit Vnto their profit, nor their benefit. Others prosperitie doth make them leane; Yea it deuoureth and consumes them cleane: But if they see them in much griefe, why that Doth onely make them iocund, full & fat. Of Kingdomes ruine they best loue to heare And tragicall reports doth onely cheere Their hellish thoughts; and then their bleared eies Can looke on nothing but blacke infamies, Reprochfull actions, and the fowlest deeds Of shame that mans corrupted nature breeds: For they must wink when Vertue shineth bright For feare her lustre mar their weakned sight."
In the last line her is misprinted their: it is an obvious error, which I corrected.
Morton. And makes nonsense of the conclusion of a fine passage.
Elliot. It is a fine passage upon the whole, though there are weak lines in it. The qualities of Envy have seldom been better described by any of the thousand writers that have touched it. The finest character that Churchill ever wrote, I mean that in the beginning of his Rosciad, is not much better than part of what you have just read.