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suit of their enemie, they were suddenly come to a parley.

"But Kalander (by his skill of coasting the countrie) was amongst the first that came into the besieged deer; whom when some of the younger sort would have killed with their swords, hee would not suffer: but with a cross-bow sent a death to the poor beast, who with tears shewed the unkindness, hee took of man's crueltie *.”

Few, if any, amongst the most eager of the numerous class of romance readers of the present century would find it possible to wade through a thick folio of such composition as this. However distinguished Sir Philip Sidney might be for the manly beauty of his person and the heroism of his character, his literary productions are unfortunately remarkable for little else than their feebleness, tautology, and conceit. Here, however, occur no phrases which are not genuine English; no sesquipedalia verba, no words of a foot and a half long, and few inversions or deviations from the idiom of the language. Coldness and puerility of conception, and, with few exceptions, a total want of energy and compression in the style, are the defects which have hurried the Arcadia into oblivion.

Far superior to Sir Philip Sidney in every re* Lib. i. p. 34.

quisite for good composition, the venerable HOOKER claims the highest station among the writers of Elizabeth's reign. If his language abound too much in inversions, it yet possesses a dignity and force, and in general an attention to grammatical accuracy, hitherto unknown to our literature. Even in the present day it may be read and admired: Lowth has spoken highly of its merits; and Webb in his Literary Amusements thus beautifully expresses his opinion:

Come, Hooker, with thee let me dwell on a phrase
Uncorrupted by wit, unambitious of praise:
Thy language is chaste, without aims or pretence;
'Tis a sweetness of breath from a soundness of sense.

The style of Hooker, however, is not without some striking defects: though the words for the most part are well chosen and pure, the arrangement of them into sentences is intricate and harsh, and formed almost exclusively on the idiom and construction of the Latin. Much strength and vigour are derived from this adoption; but perspicuity, sweetness, and ease are too generally sacrificed. There is, notwithstanding these usual features of his composition, an occasional simplicity in his pages, both of style and sentiment, which truly charms.

The opening of the preface to his Ecclesiastical

Polity is a striking instance of that elaborate collocation, which, founded on the structure of a language widely different from our own, was now the fashion of the age:

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Though for no other cause, yet for this, that posterity may know we have not loosely, through silence, permitted things to pass away as in a dream, there shall be, for men's information, extant this much concerning the present state of the church of God established amongst us, and their careful endeavours which would have up. held the same."

It is not, however, in every page that this forced construction is to be met with; as a speci. men of style not very uncommon in the works of Hooker, and approaching much nearer to the idiom of his native tongue, the following passage may be adduced:

"Death is that which all men suffer, but not all men with one mind, neither all men in one manner. For being of necessity a thing common, it is through the manifold persuasions, dispositions, and occasions of men, with equal desert both of praise and dispraise, shunned by some, by others desired. So that absolutely we cannot discommend, we cannot absolutely approve, either willingness to live, or forwardness to die.

And concerning the ways of death, albeit the choice thereof be only in his hands, who alone hath power over all flesh, and unto whose appointment we ought with patience meekly to submit ourselves (for to be agents voluntarily in our own destruction, is against both God and nature); yet there is no doubt, but in so great variety, our desires will and may lawfully prefer one kind before another. Is there any man of worth and virtue, although not instructed in the school of Christ, or ever taught what the soundness of religion meaneth, that had not rather end the days of this transitory life, as Cyrus in Xenophon, or in Plato Socrates, are described, than to sink down with them, of whom Elihu hath said, Momento moriuntur, there is scarce an instant between their flourishing and not being? But let us which know what it is to die, as Absalon, or Ananias and Sapphira died; let us beg of God, that when the hour of our rest is come, the patterns of our dissolution may be Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David; who, leisureably ending their lives in peace, prayed for the mercies of God to come upon their posterity; replenished the hearts of the nearest unto them with words of memorable consolation; strengthened men in the fear of God, gave them wholesome instructions of life, and confirmed

them in true religion; in sum, taught the world no less virtuously how to die, than they had done before how to live *."

Of the occasional sublimity and beauty both in thought and diction, which enliven the folio of Hooker, some evidence may be deemed necessary. I therefore bring forward the annexed sentence, as a proof of energy and felicity of construction inferior to no subsequent attempts:

"Of law, there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world. All things in heaven and earth do her homage; the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power. Both angels and men, and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy +."

The ease, simplicity, and sweetness, which mark the diction of the next example, together with the exquisite sentiment which terminates it, cannot be sufficiently admired. Soliciting the archbishop for retirement from the temple for the purpose of study, he observes,

"I have searched many books, and spent many thoughtful hours; and I hope not in vain; for I * Book v. p. 250, edition of 1682. + Vide p. 103.

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