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(1582—1628.) SIR JOHN BEAUMONT was born in 1582, not at Grace Dieu, as Wood error

roneously asserts, but at Belton, in Leicestershire. His father was one of the Justices of the Common Pleas in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and his brother was Francis Beaumont, the famous dramatic poet. He entered Broadgate's Hall, now Pembroke College, Oxford, as a gentleman commoner, in Lent term, 1596. After three

years, he left the university, and became a member of one of the Inns of Court; but soon retired to his native place, where he married Elizabeth, daughter of John Fortescue, Esquire. In 1626 Charles I., then in the second year of his reign, conferred upon Beaumont the dignity of a baronetcy. Sir John died in 1628, and was buried in the church of Grace Dieu. Of the three sons whom he left behind him, John edited his father's poems, and died without issue; Francis became a Jesuit; and Thomas succeeded to the honours and estates. The death of Gervase, a child who died at the age

of seven, was the subject of some pathetic verses from the pen of Sir John. . " The former part of his life,” says Wood, "he successfully employed in poetry, and the latter he as happily bestowed on more serious and beneficial studies : and had not death untimely cut him off in his middle age, he might have proved a patriot, being accounted at the time of his death a person of great knowl se, ity, and worth."

The longest of his miscellaneous poems is one on the battle of Bosworth Field, which, Campbell says, “may be compared with Addison's 'Campaign, without a high compliment to either.” A poem in eight books, called the “ Crown of Thorns," is mentioned by his contemporaries as having been written by Sir John, but no copy is known to exist at present. As a poet, he is favourably known “as one of the earliest polishers of what is called the heroic couplet;" but the chief merit of his works lies in the fact that they are all baptized into the spirit of the Christian religion.


Muse, thou art dull and weak,
Opprest with worldly pain :
If strength in thee remain

Of things divine to speak,
Thy thoughts awhile from urgent cares restrain,
And with a cheerful voice thy wonted silence break.

No cold shall thee benumb,
Nor darkness taint thy sight;
To thee new heat, new light,

Shall from this object come,
Whose praises if thou now wilt sound aright,
My pen shall give thee leave hereafter to be dumb.

Whence shall we then begin
To sing or write of this,
Where no beginning is ?

Or if we enter in,
Where shall we end? The end is endless bliss-
Thrice happy we, if well so rich a thread we spin!

For Thee our strings we touch,
Thou that art Three and One,
Whose essence, though unknown,

Believed is to be such;
To whom whate’er we give, we give thine own,
And yet no mortal tongue can give to Thee so much.

See how in vain we try
To find some type to agree
With this great One in Three,

Yet none can such descry:
If any like, or second, were to Thee,
Thy hidden nature then were not so deep and high.

Here fail inferior things,-
The sun, whose heat and light
Make creatures warm and bright,

A feeble shadow brings :
The Son shows to the world his Father's might,
With glorious rays fro’ forth, our fire, the Spirit, sings.

Now to the topless hill
Let us ascend more near,
Yet still within the sphere

Of our connatural skill;
We may behold how in our souls we bear
An understanding power joined with effectual skill.

We cannot higher go
To search this point divine :
Here it doth chiefly shine

This image must-it show :
These steps, as helps, our humble minds incline
T'embrace these certain grounds which from true faith

must flow.

To Him these notes direct,
Who not with outward hands,
Nor by his strong commands,

Whence creatures take effect;
While perfectly Himself He understands,
Begets another self with equal glory deckt.

From these, the spring of love,
The Holy Ghost proceeds,
Who our affection feeds

With those clear flames which move
From that eternal essence which them breeds,
And strikes into our souls as lightning from above.

Stay, stay, Parnassian girl,
Here thy descriptions faint;
Thou human shapes canst paint

And canst compare to pearl:
White teeth, and speak of lips which rubies taint,
Resembling beauteous eyes to orbs that swiftly whirl.

But now thou may'st perceive
The weakness of thy wings;
And that thy noblest strings

To muddy objects cleave:
Then praise with humble silence heavenly things,
And what is more than this, to still devotion leave.

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FRANCIS BEAUMONT, who with his fellow worker, Fletcher, produced fifty-two dramatic pieces, was a younger brother of Sir John Beaumont, the subject of the preceeding notice. He was born in 1585. From Cambridge, where he was educated, he repaired to the Inner Temple; but shere is no proof of the severity with which he prosecuted his legal studies. He married the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry Isley, of Kent, by whom he had two daughters; and died in March 1615, in the thirtieth year of his age. He was buried at the entrance of St. Benedict's Chapel, Westminster Abbey.

As a dramatist he is beyond our purpose; but amongst his miscellaneous pieces published after his death by his brother, occur a few which make good his claim to a standing amongst sacred poets. The following is a graphic, Rembrandtesque exhibition of the hol. lowness, uncertainty, and evanescence of all earthly grandeur.

Mortality, behold and fear,
What a change of flesh is here !
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stones :
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands;
Where, from their pulpits sealed with dust,
They preach, “In greatness is no trust.”
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest, royal'st seed,
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin :
Here the bones of birth have cried,
Though gods they were, as men they died :
Here are wands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings.
Here's a world of


and state Buried in dust, once dead by fate.


(1584--1650.) PHINEAS FLETCHER, son of Dr. Giles Fletcher, and nephew of Richard Fletcher, Bishop of London, was born in 1584, and educated at Eton and King's College,

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