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age he scarcely ever went from his lessons to bed before midnight. His eyes were weakened and injured by excessive study, and he was subject to frequent headaches. These ailments not retarding his impetuosity in learning, his father caused him to be daily instructed both at home and at the grammar-school of St. Paul's, and he acquired various tongues, and also some not insignificant taste for the sweetness of philosophy. When he had learned Latin and Greek, or, as he more grandly states it, the eloquence of the tongue of Romulus, and the great words becoming the mouth of Jove, he was advised to study French, Italian, and Hebrew.

Never was poet more nobly educated than Milton, and never did poet more nobly repay the love which so educated him. We may be sure that his father was proud of him, and never more proud than at Horton, whither the family removed while he was at Cambridge. It was at Horton that Milton passed the five happiest years of his life,-years of learned leisure and delightful labor. It was at Horton, in the flower of his early manhood, and in the society of his parents, that he wrote his Arcades, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Lycidas, and the incomparable masque of Comus. It was at Horton that his mother died. His father survived ten years longer; and if he was not satisfied while at Horton that his son was the greatest of living English poets, he must have been satisfied before his death, in London, that he was the greatest prose writer of the time. It is to be hoped that the love of music was a solace to him to the last, for, it must be owned, that he had fallen on evil days. The kingdom was convulsed with warring opinions, and his sons, John and Christopher, had ranged themselves on opposite sides. When John ranged himself against anything he was not to be moved. It was so at college; it was so now; it would be so to the end. Pass to thy rest, father of Milton,-full of years, full of goodness, "John Milton, gentleman."

If one could find a reader of English Literature who was at once learned in regard to the qualities of authors, and ignorant in regard to their personal history, it would be interesting to know what conclusions he would arrive at in regard to the ancestry of the writers of the Seventeenth Century. Could he tell-could he guess from their works, who were well, and who were ill, born? I doubt it very much; for both the

well and the ill-born were alike scholarly, and alike impressed by the literary spirit of their period. Let us see who some of its dramatists were: The parents of Webster are unknown, though his father is supposed to have been a merchant tailor. The parents of Shirley are unknown, but it is conjectured that he descended from a good family. Ford belonged to a respectable family in Devonshire, where his father married a daughter of Chief Justice Popham. Nothing is known of Marston's ancestry, and of Massinger's only the fact that his father, Arthur Massinger, was attached to the family of Henry, Earl of Pembroke-it is not stated in what capacity, but, probably, a confidential one, for we read that he was dispatched by his lord on one occasion with a letter to Queen Elizabeth, who certainly would not have received him if he had been a menial. The memory of a great name clung to the household of this nobleman, and it is pleasant to think that Massinger may have been influenced by it in his youth. It was the memory of Sir Philip Sidney, whose sister Mary, for whom the Arcadia was written, was Countess of Pembroke. A poet herself, she was the patron of poets, one of whom, Ben Jonson, or William Browne, immortalized her in an epitaph.

We are further removed from the people in the ancestry of Beaumont and Fletcher. Francis Beaumont descended from an ancient and honorable family, whose seat for several generations was at Grace-dieu, in Leicestershire. Of his father we only know that his name was Francis; that he was appointed one of the Justices of Common Pleas by Elizabeth, and that he married a widow, who bore him three children, of whom the eldest, John, and the youngest, Francis, were poets. The Beaumonts were a literary family. There were four Francis Beaumonts living in 1615, three of whom were poetical. Richard Fletcher, the father of John Fletcher, was eminent in a certain sense. Pushing, energetic, time-serving, he was the man to rise in this world, if not in the next. The Church was the field wherein he exercised his talents, which were excellent, and he was advanced from a minister at Rye, in Sussex, where John was born, till he became chaplain to the Queen, Dean of Peterborough, and Bishop of Bristol. It was whispered and believed that he obtained the latter promotion by leasing the lands of the see to greedy courtiers at ruinous rates. A ready tool of

it in this artificial period. Let us see who Waller, Carew, Lovelace and Suckling were. Edmund Waller was descended from a family of great antiquity. They held rich possessions in four counties, and were distinguished for valor in the field as well as honor in civic pursuits. Their revenues were princely. Robert Waller, the father of Edmund, inherited Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire, the seat of the main branch of the family. He studied

Elizabeth, he signalized himself and disgraced his cloth at the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, whose last moment he is said to have embittered by his persistent attempts to convert her. He overreached himself at last, or was overreached, for after the death of his first wife, who bore him many children, he contracted a second marriage with Lady Baker, the widow of Sir Richard Baker, which lost him the favor of his royal mistress. The marriage must have been hurried on, since it was solemn-law, but abandoned it for the life of a ized in less than a year after the death of her first husband, and there must have been something singular in it, since it was much talked about. She was commended as very virtuous, we are quaintly told, and if she was, the more happy she in herself, though unhappy that the world did not believe it. She was the downfall of Bishop Fletcher, who was forbidden to appear in the presence of his virtuous Sovereign, who could not abide married ministers, and was suspended from the exercise of his ghostly functions. They were restored to him after a time, but he was not received at Court, and when he died, which was shortly afterwards, he was buried without any solemn funeral services, and no monument was erected to his memory.


country gentleman, which was easy in one sense, and hard in another, as the life of the English gentry was beginning to be. He died when Edmund was eleven years old, and left him to the care of his widowed mother, who, like himself, was well descended. She was a Hampden. brother William, the father of John Hampden, was married to Elizabeth Cromwell, the daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell, and aunt to the future Protector, then plain Mr. Oliver Cromwell. She was the aunt of John Hampden, while her brother was uncle, by marriage, to Oliver Cromwell. Oliver called her "aunt," and called Edmund "cousin," but the time came when the tie of relationship was a slight one. The widow Waller was a zealous royalist, and, -if the ladies will allow me,-could not well hold her tongue. Cromwell was magnanimous with her, until she was detected in carrying on a secret correspondence with the friends of the Stuarts, when he placed her under surveillance. She lived to see the Commonwealth establish

The Fletchers, like the Beaumonts, were a poetical family; for besides the dramatist, John, there were at least two other tuneful Fletchers, Giles and Phineas, and, I think, a third, named George. Giles and Phineas were the sons of Giles Fletcher, LL. D., who was more distinguished as a diplomat than a divine. Elizabeth made him hered, and, we may suppose from her courage, commissioner into Scotland, Germany, and the Low Countries, and sent him to Muscovy, where he concluded a treaty that was highly advantageous to his countrymen in their trade with Russia. Wood says that he was an excellent poet, but as he forgot to tell us where his poetry is to be found, we must content ourselves with the poetry of his sons. It is not very alluring.

We have glanced at the ancestry of some of the dramatic poets of this century, and have seen that the commonalty were in the majority. We should see, I think, if the character of their poetry entered into the purpose of this paper, that they excelled the gentry in dignified and manly writing. Ford is certainly more pathetic, and Massenger more stately, than Beaumont and Fletcher.

But let us turn for a moment from dramatic to lyric writing-or what passed for

to despise the cowardice of her son Edmund, who, discovered in a plot to reinstate the King, treacherously revealed the names of some of his associates, and made the most abject submission to Parliament, expending, it is said, thirty thousand pounds in bribes, in order to save his life.

Thomas Carew was descended from an ancient and honorable family, which, like many another then, was in no way distinguished, and is only remembered now because he belonged to it. The names of his father and mother have not reached us; nor do we know much about him. Clarendon speaks of him as the younger brother of Sir Matthew Carew, "a great royalist in the great Rebellion," and hits off his likeness with a few happy touches. His titles, if the reader cares for them, were Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and Sewer

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in-Ordinary to his Majesty Charles the First. We know more about Lovelace than Carew, but very little of his parentage. His grandfather, William Lovelace, was a Sergeant-at-Law, and a member of the Honorable Society of Gray's Inn. His father, Sir William Lovelace, is thought to have served with distinction in Holland, and to have fallen at the Gryll. His mother, Lady Ann, was the daughter and heir of Sir William Barnes, of Woolwich.

The family of Sir John Suckling was respectable, but not eminent. His father, Sir John Suckling, was principal secretary of state and comptroller of the household. to James the First; his mother was sister to Sir Lionel Cranfield, afterwards Earl of Middlesex and Lord Treasurer. She is said to have been a woman of wit and vivacity, and her husband a dull fellow. He may have been, but he was a gentleman whom his sovereign trusted, and whom he pensioned. He wrote verse in a small way, to the extent of a sonnet, which appears with other lumber of the same sort in that farrago of nonsense, Coryat's Crudities. His best writing is a passage in his Will. It is the bequest of the portrait of his wife, who died in her thirty-fifth year, and is as follows: "Item. I give to my loving brother in lawe, the Earl of Middlesex, my picture of my late dear wife, hanging in my country house, amongst other pictures, in the little roome next the great hall: for the love he bare to my late deare wife, his most loveinge sister.

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While these courtly gentlemen were flirting with the Muse in their elegant, gallant way, there was a vicar down in Devonshire upon whom the Muses beamed. What Anacreon was to Greek poetry, and Horace and Catullus to Latin poetry, this jovial parson was to English lyric verse. He is said

to have descended from one of those ancient and honorable families of which we have been hearing, and which, or a branch of which, was now in trade, his father being a jeweler in Cheapside. All that is known of the jeweler is that he was in good circumstances, and that he died in consequence of injuries received in falling from an upper window of his house into the street. As his Will happened to have been made two days before this event, the biographers charitably insinuate that the fall was probably not accidental! His widow was left with three children, the youngest of whom, our poet, was a little over a year old. His name was Robert Herrick.

Fifteen or twenty years before Herrick stretched his baby hands towards the garden of the Hesperides, there was born to another London merchant a poetic son. There was literary blood in the family on his mother's side, who was descended from Sir Thomas More, and was related to Hayward, the epigrammatist. The name of this second merchant's son was John Donne. Forty or fifty years later another London merchant, a grocer, had a poetical son, or would have had, if he had lived, for he died before the child was born. The education of the boy fell to his widowed mother, who procured him a scholarship at Westminister. It is to her, if it be not to consider it too curiously, that we owe his poetry. He has left on record that it was a copy of Spenser's Faerie Queene which used to lie in her parlor, and which he read through before he was twelve years old, that made him a poet. She lived to see him thought the most famous poet of the time. Posterity has not ratified the verdict, though here and there a man of old fashioned taste thinks kindly of the verse, and highly of the prose, of Abraham Cowley.


NOT one of the neighbors knew where she had come from-that was the mystery, and it was doubly a mystery because the people at Grantley, who were mostly rough, busy men and women, generally knew each other's business pretty thoroughly. But this woman,-Phillis Denham her name, foiled them utterly, and remained a mystery in spite of the efforts of the most curious. She had appeared among them at the Mills one Spring morning (Grantley was a village of mill-hands), and those who lived on one of the most respectable of the narrow streets had seen her come out of a small house which had the day before been unoccupied. And this was all they knew, beyond the later discovery that the cottage was scantily furnished, and yet had an air of neatness not usually seen in Grantley houses, and that Phillis Denham alone, and was either a 'Quaker' or a 'Methody.'



"'Oo isna our loike, at onyrate," said one of the wise ones. "'Oo minces her words loike one o' th' quality, if 'oo does 'thee' and 'thou.'

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She was a young woman, too, and, in a strange, cold, saintly way, a beauty. She had the face of the Madonna, without its soft warmth and tenderness. Her fine eyes were a little hard for the eyes of a woman; her fine mouth had a severe curve; her manner was grave and reserved.

"A woman of stone, my dear," said the good old rector to his wife, after his first parochial call upon the new arrival. "A woman with an injury, I should say, or a woman not easy to understand.”

66 It was kind of thee to come," Phillis had said to him; "but I am not one of thy people. I belong to the Society of Friends.' And even at the end of her visit he had learned not a whit more of her history.

She lived a quiet life, and was a very regular worker. She left her cottage at a certain hour in the early morning, and reentered it as regularly each evening, never far deviating from her accustomed time. She gained no friends, and made no enemies. Her home was as neat and trim as herself, and she was the perfection of simple, almost severe, neatness.

"How are we to ca' thee, lass?" asked one of the boldest of her fellow workers. "Art tha wed or single?"

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"Thee may call me Phillis Denham," she said, a flickering color touching her fine, white skin; "that is my name."

So they felt it wiser to ask no more questions, and she was called Phillis Denham and left to herself. She had been living this sort of life for three months when there came to the mills a new hand,—a handsome woman a year or two older than herself,a woman of a class widely set apart from her, a woman whose early fading beauty was a shame, and who rebelled against the world and tried to flaunt boldly, despite the haggard misery slowly creeping upon her. They knew her at the Mills. The overseer himself knew her, and greeted her with rough familiarity when she appeared at the offices and demanded work almost as if she had the right to expect it.

"What!" said he. "Back again! Going to try work for a while, are you? Well, I suppose we shall have to give you a place. There, go along and behave yourself." And then he turned to the owner's eldest son who stood by, and spoke to him half apologetically. "She's a rough enough customer," he said, "but she can do work that few of them are up to, and if she was steady we should be glad enough to keep her at good wages. She has worked here, off and on, ever since she was a girl; and a handsome girl she was, too,-too handsome for her own good, as it turned out.”

The woman was not in Phillis Denham's room, and in the crowd that passed out of the iron gates, at the ringing of the great bell at meal times, it chanced that for several days each was hidden from the other. But at the end of the week, in going alone down the stairs one evening, Phillis found herself face to face with the new-comer. The woman started back, with something like an oath upon her lips, a flush, half anger, half shame, reddening her cheeks. Phillis whitened perceptibly, and drew back also, straightening her fine, slight form, and holding aside the folds of her dress with an unconscious gesture which spoke worlds.

"Thee-Janet Ayres?" she said.

The woman laughed a laugh whose angry, scornful sound had yet an undertone of miserable humiliation.

"Aye," she answered, "it's me, Janet Ayres! Has tha owt to say agen it?

If tha has, say it, an' be done wi' it,though I dunnot see how tha can help thysen agen my bein' here."

"Nor I," said Phillis, and she looked down at the creature with a sudden, sharp indrawing of her breath, a wild light leaping into her cold eyes for one instant, then dying out. "Wilt thou let me pass?" she said, in a curious, low voice. "I do not wish to harm thee."

Janet Ayres drew back quickly, and almost unconsciously glanced over her shoulder at the great depth of steps below them. Harm her! For that instant the pure, self-righteous woman had actually looked as if her last words might have held a desperate double meaning. And it would have been easy enough to harm her, with that flight of stairs below. A touch would have done it almost. And less deeply wronged women had revenged themselves in such ways before. But the light had died out of Phillis Denham's eyes, and she passed down the staircase without another word.

She was even unusually pale and silent the next day. The women who worked near her noticed, indeed one of them reremembered afterward, that she only spoke once during all the hours of labor, and this once was on hearing the name of Janet Ayres from the lips of the woman at the loom next to her own.

"Th' mesters ha' no reet to tak' such loike nowts," said the speaker, roughly. "If it were na for th' choild, poor little wench

Phillis looked up with a slight start. "Friend," said she, " do I understand thee to say the woman has a child?"


"Aye," was the answer, as pratty a little lass as any honester woman might wish fur-th' Lord help it! Three year owd, or theerabout. Th' parish owt to tak' it to save it fro' goin' its mother's gate.

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But though the matter dropped for the time being, this was not the end of it. On her way home that evening Phillis met with a little adventure. One of the luxuries she allowed herself was a weekly bouquet of common flowers, and she was passing down a narrow street, with a handful of roses and sweet peas, just purchased, when a small hand, thrust through a fence, plucked at her gown, and the sound of a child's voice stopped her.

"Ooman," said the sweet, shrill little pipe; "ooman, gi' us a posy."

She stopped and looked down. She did not often notice children, but the voice of this one, and the soft touch of the small, bold, detaining hand gave her a queer, new feeling. Children did not often notice her, either; she was not the sort of woman to attract a child. The tiny hand plucked at her dress again.

"Gi' us a posy! Gi' us a posy!"

But for a moment or so Phillis did not answer, though it was not the prettiness of the dirty, dimpled face she was looking at so fixedly. It was something else that held her silent-something in the summer blue eyes that struck her with a hard pang.

When she could speak she separated a rose from her flowers and bent down, but the hand with which she offered the blossom trembled, and her voice was strangely unsteady.

"What is thy name?" she asked.

The child fell back a little, regarding her almost distrustfully-the handsome face was so hard for a baby to read.

"Will thee not tell me thy name?" Phillis repeated. "See, here is a rose for thee."

The dimpled hand crept out for the flowers, and then the pretty boldness came back. "Ooman, did

"Jenny," said the child. ta gi' Jenny a posy?" Phillis stood up.

"Yes," she said, in a tone curious enough to use in speaking to a child; "I gave thee a posy."

That was all. She did not stop to caress the little creature. She passed on, with the rest of her flowers in her cold hand, and left it peering through the fence at her. This was the child-the child, and its blue eyes had stabbed again the one rankling wound of her life. The little house had never seemed so quiet as it did when she unlocked the door and entered it; the stillness was like the stillness of death. But Phillis did not feel it. She laid her flowers upon the table, went to the fire, stirred the coals, and sat down. The flame shot up, and, lighting up the room, glowed upon her face, but had not glow enough to flush its pallor.

"It is the child," she said. "Her child has lived, while mine

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Her lips closed, as if in stern resolve. It was part of her creed to force herself to silence. If she had suffered, she had not rebelled by word or deed, she had not rebelled, even if, in her severe struggle to be

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