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• "Alas! I wretch, whom thus thou see'st distrain'd
Where Pluto, god of hell, so grisly black,
Doth reve (take away) remembrance of each thing fore-past."'
Under her guidance the poet goes first to the grisly lake,' intending subsequently to attend her ' unto the blissful place of rest;' and sees within the porch and jaws of Hell' Remorse of Conscience, Dread, Revenge, Misery, Care, Sleep,
(-Small keep took he whom Fortune frowned on,
And next in order sad Old Age we found,
His beard all hoar, his eyes hollow and blind;
With drooping chere (countenance) still poring on the ground, As on the place where Nature him assign'd
To rest, when that the Sisters had entwined His vital thread, and ended with their knife The fleeting course of fast declining life.
There heard we him, with brok'n and hollow plaint,
With sweet remembrance of his pleasures past,
'But an the cruel Fates so fixed be,
That time forepast cannot return again,
This one request of Jove yet prayed he:
"That in such wither'd plight and wretched pain,
'Had brought on him, all were it woe and grief,
'He might awhile yet linger forth his life;
'And not so soon descend into the pit
'Where Death, when he the mortal corpse hath slain, With retchless hand in grave doth cover it;
"Thereafter never to enjoy again
'The gladsome light, but in the ground ylain In depth of darkness waste and wear to nought, As he had ne'er into the world been brought.'
'But who had seen him sobbing, how he stood
Unto himself, and how he would bemoan
'Crook-back'd he was, tooth-shaken, and blear-eyed; Went on three feet, and sometime crept on four, With old lame bones that rattled by his side,
His scalp all piled (bald) and he with eld forbore; His wither'd fist still knocking at Death's door, Trembling and drivelling as he draws his breathFor brief, the shape and messenger of Death.
Next follow Malady, Famine (struck by Death) and War, with a copious and classical description of the subjects depainted on his targe.' By the help of Charon, they cross Acheron :
'Here puled the babes, and here the maids unwed,
'We stay'd us strait, and with a rueful fear
Beheld this heavy sight, while from mine eyes The vapour'd tears down stilled here and there; And Sorrow eke in far more woeful wise
Look'd on with plaint, upheaving to the skies Her wretched hands, that with her cry the rout 'Gan all in heaps to swarm us round about.
"Lo! here (said Sorrow) princes of renown,
That whilom sat on top of Fortune's wheel;
Even with one frown, that stay'd but with a smile!
Then first came Henry, Duke of Buckinghamwho in his Complaint,' speaking of the
Turmoil'd, which never feeleth ease or stay,
"Well gave that judge his doom upon the death
"To his two sons, that in his chamber layen,
"He thought it could not be, that they which brake
"Or dreadless breathe one breath out of their breast.
"So gnaws the grief of conscience evermore, "And in the heart it is so deep ygrave,
"That they may neither sleep nor rest therefor,
"Nor think one thought but on the dread they have; "Still to the death foretossed with the wave "Of restless woe, in terror and despair, "They lead a life continually in fear.
"Like to the deer that stricken with the dart, "Withdraws himself into some secret place: "And feeling green the wound about his heart "Startles with pangs, till he fall on the grass, "And in great fear lies gasping there a space; "Forth braying sighs, as though each pang had brought "The present death, which he doth dread so oft." &c.
SIR ROBERT CECIL,
EARL OF SALISBURY.*
SIR ROBERT CECIL, the son of the celebrated Lord Burghley, is supposed to have been born in 1550.† Deformed from his birth, of a feeble constitution and sickly in his habit of body, he was deemed unfit in early youth for scholastic exercises. He was, therefore, put under a private tutor at home; and thus while he was gradually improving himself in different branches of human learning, from being constantly with his father he acquired an early knowledge of state-affairs. At St. John's College, Cambridge, he received an honorary degree, and was subsequently admitted ad eundem in the sisteruniversity. In the parliaments of 1585, and 1586, he served for the city of Westminster; and for the county of Hertford, in those of 1588, 1592, 1597, and 1600. In 1588 he was, also, one of the young nobility, who went out as volunteers in the fleet sent
Wilson's Life of James I.; Weldon's Court and Character of James I.; Hume's History of England; and Collins' Peerage.
† Some writers, however, assign his birth to the year 1563.