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FRAGMENTS QUOTED IN ENGLAND'S PARNASSUS.
E that will stop the brook, must then begin When summer's heat hath dried up the spring, And when his pittering streams are low and thin; For let the winter aid unto them bring,
He grows to be of watery floods the king;
T was the month, in which the righteous maid,
Fled back to heaven, where she was first conceived,
And the hot Sirian dog, on him awaiting,
After the chafèd Lion's cruel baiting,
Corrupted had the air with noisome breath,
A MAIDEN'S DREAM.
UPON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON, KNIGHT, LATE LORD CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND.
[THIS piece is now published for the first time in a collected Edition of Greene's Poems. It was discovered by Mr. James P. Reardon in the course of some researches he was making for a life of Nash, and was printed by that gentleman with a short introduction amongst the Shakspeare Society's Papers, II. 127. Until it came into the possession of Mr. Reardon its existence was unknown. No such poem is mentioned by Hazlewood or Beloe. The copy from which the
text is taken Mr. Reardon describes as a quarto of ten leaves in Roman letter. It was printed by Thomas Scarlet for Thomas Nelson, in 1591, apparently soon after the death of Sir Christopher Hatton, which took place on the 20th September in that year.
Sir Christopher Hatton was raised by Queen Elizabeth to the office of Lord Chancellor in 1587, an appointment which occasioned much jealousy, being purely an exercise of favouritism on the part of the sovereign, as Sir Christopher was not qualified for the position by previous study or experience. It is said, however, that owing to his prudence in taking counsel of others, Sir Christopher's decisions were seldom reversed. He enjoyed his high station only four years, and, according to his biographers, died of a broken heart, in consequence of the rigour with which the queen insisted upon the repayment of an old debt. Mr. Reardon observes that Greene, in the dedication of the poem to the wife of the chancellor's nephew, ' refers covertly, but interestingly, to the painful circumstances under which Sir Christopher Hatton died, and to the silence of distinguished poets on the occasion, although some 'mechanical wits,' whose effusions have not survived, had, according to Greene, adopted the event as a theme.]
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL, BOUNTIFUL, AND VIRTUOUS LADY, THE LADY ELIZABETH HATTON, WIFE TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL SIR WILLIAM HATTON, KNIGHT, INCREASE OF ALL HONOURABLE VIRTUES.
MOURNING as well as many (right worshipful lady) for the loss of the right honourable your deceased uncle, whose death being the common prejudice of a present age, was lamented of most (if not all), and I among the rest sorrowing that my country was deprived of him that lived not for himself, but for his country, I began to call to mind what a subject was ministered to the excellent wits of both Universities to work upon, when so worthy a knight, and so virtuous a justiciary, had by his death left many memorable actions performed in his life, deserving highly by some rare men to be registered. Passing over many days in this musc, at last I perceived men's humours slept, that love of many friends
followed no farther than their graves, that art was grown idle, and either choice scholars feared to write of so high a subject as his virtues, or else they dated their devotions no further than his life. While thus I debated with myself, I might see (to the great disgrace of the poets of our time) some mechanical wits blow up mountains and bring forth mice, who with their follies did rather disparage his honours than decypher his virtues; beside, as virtutis comes est invidia, so base report, who hath her tongue blistered by slanderous envy, began, as far as she durst, now after his death, to murmur, who in his lifetime durst not once mutter: whereupon, touched with a zealous jealousy over his wonderful virtues, I could not, whatsoever discredit I reaped by my presumption, although I did tenui avena meditari, but discover the honourable qualities of so worthy a councillor, not for any private benefit I ever had of him which should induce me favourably to flatter his worthy parts, but only that I shame to let slip with silence the virtues and honours of so worthy a knight, whose deserts had been so many and so great towards all. Therefore (right worshipful lady) I drew a fiction called A Maiden's Dream, which, as it was enigmatical, so it is not without some special and considerate reasons. Whose slender muse I present unto your ladyship, induced thereunto, first, that I know you are a partaker of your husband's sorrows for the death of his honourable uncle, and desire to hear his honours put in memory after his death, as you wished his advancement in virtues to be great in his life; as also that I am your ladyship's poor countryman, and have long time desired to gratify your right worshipful father with something worthy of himself. Which because I could not to my content perform, I have now taken opportunity to show my duty to him in his daughter, although the gift be far too mean for so worshipful and virtuous a lady. Yet hoping your ladyship will with courtesy favour my presuming follies, and in gracious acceptance vouch of my well-meant labours,
I humbly take my leave,
Your Ladyship's humbly at command,
R. GREENE, Nordivicensis.
ETHOUGHT in slumber as I lay and dreamt, I saw a silent spring railed in with jeat, From sunny shade or murmur quite exempt, The glide whereof 'gainst weeping flints did beat; And round about were leafless beeches set;
So dark it seemed night's mantle for to borrow,
About this spring, in mourning robes of black,
I looked about, and by the fount I spied
Just at his head there sat a sumptuous queen :
Unlike to all she smiled on his face,
Which made me long to know this dead man's
As thus I looked, 'gan Justice to arise:
THE COMPLAINT OF JUSTICE.
'Untoward Twins that temper human fate,
Too soon you cut what Clotho erst began:
'His eyes were seats for mercy and for law,
The poor he smoothed, the proud he kept in awe; And just to strangers as unto his brother.
Bribes could not make him any wrong to smother, For to a lord, or to the lowest groom,
Still conscience and the law set down the doom.
'Delaying law, that picks the client's purse,
Nor might the pleas be over-long dilated:
Then gave his doom with short despatch of laws.