Imatges de pàgina

titled "A Bibliographical and Critical discovered, what is the simple fact, Account of the Rarest Books in the that there were two poems instead of English Language.” In this work he one, similar in scope and spirit, but claims the authorship of “ The Lie," still two poems, - “ The Lie” and “ otherwise called The Soul's Er- “ The Soul's Errand." rand,'” for Sir Walter Raleigh, and I have said that Sir Egerton Brydges rests his authority on a manuscript copy alludes to a “parody” of “ The Lie,” in “of the time,” headed, “Sir Walter Sylvester's volume, there called “The Wrawly his Lye.” He quotes the Soul's Errand.” In that volume I find poem at length, beginning,

what Sir Egerton calls a “parody.” It

is, in reality, another poem, bearing the "Hence, soule, the bodies guest."

title of “The Soul's Errand,” consistAll other copies that I have seen read, ing of twenty stanzas, all of four lines Go, soul,” which I think will be each, excepting the first stanza, which deemed the more fitting word.

has six. “ The Lie " consists of but Collier does not allude to Sylvester thirteen stanzas, of six lines each, in connection with this poem, but in- the fifth and sixth of which may be troduces him in another article, and termed the refrain or burden of the treats him somewhat cavalierly, as "a piece. I annex copies of the two mere literary adventurer and translat

poems; Sir Walter's (so called) is ing drudge.” “When he died,” Collier taken from Percy's “Reliques," and says, “is not precisely known.” He Sylvester's is copied from his own might have known, since there were folio. records all round him to show that On comparing the two pieces, it will Sylvester died in Holland, in Septem- be seen that they begin alike, and go ber, 1618. His great contemporary, Sir on nearly alike for a few stanzas, when Walter Raleigh, was beheaded in Oc- they diverge, and are then entirely diftober, one month after.

ferent from each other to the end. I (By the way, Payne Collier holds out do not find that this difference has marvellously. Here is his new work, ever been pointed out, and am theredated 1866, and I have near me his fore left to suppose that it never “ Poetical Decameron," published in was discovered. At this late day 1820, forty-six years ago.)

conjectures are not worth much, but Ritson, a noted reaper in the “old it would appear that, the opening stanfields,” supposes, that “ The Lie” was zas of the two poems being similar, written by Francis Davison; and their identity was at some time carein Kerl's “Comprehensive Grammar," lessly taken for granted by some colamong many poetical extracts, I find lector, who read only the initial stantwo stanzas of the poem quoted as zas, and thus ignorantly deprived Sir written by Barnfield, - probably Rich- Walter of “The Lie,” and gave it to ard. These two writers were of Ra- Sylvester, with the title of “ The Soul's leigh's time, but I think their claims Errand.” may be readily dismissed. Supposing This, however, is certain: “ The that “ The Lie” was written by either Soul's Errand," so called, of thirteen Joshua Sylvester or Sir Walter Ra- stanzas, given to us by Ellis and by leigh, I shall try to show that it was Chambers as Sylvester's, is not the not written by Sylvester, and that he poem that Sylvester wrote under that has wrongfully enjoyed the credit of its title, and we have his own authority for authorship

saying so. His poem of twenty stanCritics and collators have for years zas, bearing that title, does not appear been doubting about the authorship of to have ever been reprinted, and it is this little poem, written over two cen- believed cannot now be found anyturies and a half ago ; and, so far as I where out of his own book. Ellis, it can ascertain, not one of them has ever is plain, is not to be trusted. Professing to be exact, he refers for his au- I hunted up Sylvester's old folio, and thority to page 652 of Sylvester's works, the result of my search may be found and then proceeds to print a poem as in these imperfect remarks. his which is not there. Had he read Frankly, I would fain believe that the page he quotes so carefully, he “ The Lie” was written by Sir Walter. would have seen that “ The Lie” and It is true I am not able to prove it, but “ The Soul's Errand” were two sep- I think I prove that it was not written arate productions, alike only in the six by Sylvester. He wrote another poem, stanzas taken from the former and in- “ The Soul's Errand," and he is welcluded in the latter.

come to it; that is, he is welcome to We learn that Sir Walter Raleigh's fourteen of its twenty stanzas, – the poems were never all collected into a other six do not belong to him. Give volume, and, further, we learn that him also, painstaking man! due lauda“The Lie,” as a separate piece, was tion for his version of the “Divine Du attributed to him at an early period. Bartas,” of which formidable work any Payne Collier, as I have said, prints it one who has the courage to grapas his, from a manuscript of the ple with its six hundred and fifty-odd time"; and in an elaborate article on folio pages may know where to find Raleigh, in the North British Review,

a copy copied into Littell's Living Age, of But Sir Walter Raleigh, - heroic Sir June 9, 1855, the able reviewer refers Walter, – he is before me bodily, runparticularly to “The Lie," “ saddest of ning his fingers along the sharp edge of poems," as Sir Walter's, and adds in a the fatal axe, and calmly laying his nonote that “it is to be found in a manu- ble head on the block. script of 1596.” This would make the

“The good Knight is dust, piece two hundred and seventy years

And his sword is rust"; old. When and by whom it was first but I want to feel that he left behind taken from Sir Walter and given to him, as the offspring of his great brain, Sylvester, with the altered title, and

one of the most impressive poems of why Sylvester incorporated into his his time, – ay, and indeed of any time. poem of “ The Soul's Errand

six stanzas belonging to “The Lie,” can now, of course, never be known.

THE LYE. I find that I have been indulging in quite a flow of words about a few old verses; but then they are verses, and

Goe, soule, the bodies guest, such as one should not be robbed of.

Upon a thanklesse arrant; They have lived through centuries of Fcare not to touche the best, time, and outlived generations of ambi- The truth shall be thy warrant: tious penmen, and the true name of the Goe, since I needs must dye, author ought to live with them. Long And give the world the lye. ago, when a school-boy, I used to read and repeat “The Lie," and it was then Goe tell the court, it glowes the undoubted work of Sir Walter

And shines like rotten wood; Raleigh. In after years, on looking

Goe tell the church it showes into various volumes of old English

What 's good, and doth no good :

If church and court reply, poetry, I was told that “The Lie”

Then give them both the lye. was not “ The Lie," and was not written by Sir Walter Raleigh ; that the

Tell potentates they live true title of the piece was “ The Soul's

Acting by others actions : Errand," and that the real author of it

Not lov'd unlesse they give, was a certain Joshua Sylvester. Un- Not strong but by their factions : willing to displace the brave knight If potentates reply, from the niche he had graced so long, Give potentates the lye.

Charles Speague


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Chas Dausm Shanly. "OMING from one of the Brook- policeman give out a hollow sound as

lyn ferries, after dark, on a sultry he paces the narrow trottoir of Ferry summer evening, I take my way through Street, in the heart of “The Swamp." the close-built district of New York Over two hundred years ago, when City still known as “The Swamp.” The Governor Peter Stuyvesant pastured narrow streets of the place are deserted his flocks and herds hereabouts, the by this time, but they have been lively wayfarer would have been more likeenough during the day with the busy ly to mark a solitary heron than a leather-dealers and their teams ; for solitary policeman; for it was really this is the great hide and leather mart a swamp then, and much earthwork of the city, as any one might guess even must have been expended in making now in the gloom by the pungent odors the solid ground whereon the buildthat arise on every side. The heavy ings now stand. Neither is it probable iron doors and window-shutters of the that, even on the most sultry of sumbuildings have been locked and barred mer nights, the nose of old Mynheer for the night; and the thick atmosphere Stuyvesant would have been saluted of the place appears to affect the gas- with odors of morocco leather, such as lights, which burn sickly and dim in fill the air of The Swamp” to-night. the street lanterns. Nobody lives here The wild swamp-flowers, though, gave at night. The footfalls of the solitary out some faint perfumes to the night air in those olden times; but the place reach of it is called Chatham Street; could hardly have been so still of a sum- and, having plunged into this, I have mer night as it is now, for the booming nothing before me now but Bowery for of the bullfrog and the piping of his a distance of nearly two miles. lesser kin must have made night reso- Leaving behind me, then, the twinknant here, and it is reasonable to sur- ling lights of the newspaper buildings mise that owls hooted in the cedar-trees and those of the City Hall Park, norththat hung over the tawny sedges of ward along Chatham Street I bend my the swamp. “Jack-o'-Lantern” was the loitering steps. Israel predominates only inhabitant who burned gas here- here, — Israel, with its traditional stock abouts in those times, and he manufac- in trade of cheap clothing, and bawtured his own. The nocturnal raccoon bles that are made to wear, but not edged his way through the alders here, to wear long. The shops, here are in the old summer nights, and the mostly small, and quite open to the muskrat built his house among the street in front, which gives the place reeds. Not a raccoon nor a muskrat is a bazaar-like appearance in summer. the wayfarer likely to meet with here Economy in space is practised to the to-night; but the gray rat of civiliza- utmost. It is curious to observe how tion is to be dimly discerned, as he closely crowded the goods (bads might lopes along the gutters in his nightly be a more appropriate term for most prowl.

of them) are outside the shops, as well There is something very bewildering as inside. The fronts of the houses to the untutored mind in the announce- are festooned with raiment of all kinds, ments on the dim, stony door-posts of until they look like tents made of vathe stores. Here it is set forth that riegated dry-goods. Here is a stall “Kids and Gorings” are the staple of so confined that the occupant, rocking the concern. Puzzling though the in- in his chair near the farther end of it, scription is to me, yet I recognize in it stretches his slippered feet well out something that is pastoral and signifi- upon the threshold. It is near closing cant; for there were kids that skipped, time now, and many of the dealers, with probably, and bulls that gored, when their wives and children, are sitting out the grass was green here. “ Oak and in front of their shops, and, if not unHemlock Leather," on the next door der their own vines and fig-trees, at post, reads well, for it is redolent of least under their own gaudy flannels glades that were old before the ma- and “loud - patterned ” cotton goods, sonry that now prevails here had been which are waving overhead in the slugdreamed of. Here we have an gish evening breeze. Nothing can be nouncement of “Russet Roans”; and more suggestive of lazily industrious the next merchant, who is apparently a Jewry than this short, thick-set clothcannibal or a ghoul, deliberately noti- ier, with the curved nose, and spiral, fies the public that he deals in “ Hat- oily hair, who sits out on the sidewalk ters' Skins.” Many of the door-posts and blows clouds from his meerschaum announce “ Findings” and “Skivers”; pipe. The women who lounge here are and upon one of them I note the some- generally stoutish and slatternly, with what remarkable intimation of “Pulled few clothes on, but plenty of frowzy hair. Wool.” Gold Street, also, is redolent Here and there one may see a pretty of all these things, as I turn into it, nor face among the younger girls ; and it is there any remission of the pungent is sad to reflect that these little Hebrew trade-stenches of the district until I maids will become stout and slatternly have gained a good distance up Spruce by and by, and have hooked noses like Street, toward the City Hall Park. their mothers, and double chins. The Here the Bowery proper, viewed as a labels on the ready-made clothing are great artery of New York trade and curious in their way. Here a pair of travel, may be said to begin. The first trousers in glaring brown and yellow


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