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Let Brewer take his artful pen in hand,
Attending muses will obey command,
Invoke the aid of Shakespear's sleeping clay,
And strike from utter darkness new born day.

Mr. Winstanley, and after him Chetwood, has attributed a play to our author called Lingua, or the Contention of the Tongue and the Five Senses for Superiority, a Comedy, acted at Cambridge, 1606; but Mr. Langbaine is of opinion, that neither that, Love's Loadstone, Landagartha, or Love's Dominion, as Winstanley and Philips affirm, are his; Landagartha being written by Henry Burnel, esquire, and Love's Dominion by Flecknoe. In the Comedy called lingua, there is a circumItance which Chetwood mentions, too curious to be omitted here. When this play was acted at Cambridge, Oliver Cromwel performed the part of Tactus, which he felt so warmly, that it first fired his ambition, and, from the possession of an imaginary crown, he stretched his views to a real one ;

to accomplish which, he was content to wade through a fea of blood, and, as Mr. Gray beautifully expresses it, shut the Gates of Mercy on Mankind; the speech with which he is said to have been fo affected, is the following,

-Roses, and bays, pack hence ! this crown and

robe, My brows, and body, circles and invests; How gallantly it fits me ! sure the slave Measured my head, that wrought this coronet; They lie that fay, complexions cannot change ! My blood's enobled, and I am transforın'd Unto the sacred temper of a king ; Methinks I hear my noble Parafites Stiling me Cæsar, or great Alexander, Licking my feet, -&c.

Mr.

Mr. Langbaine ascribes to Brewer the two following, plays,

Country Girl, a Comedy, often acted with applause, printed in 4to. 1647. This

, play has been revived since the Restoration, under the title of Country Innocence, or the Chamber-maid turned Quaker.

Love-fick King, an English Tragical History, with the Life and Death of Cartelmunda, the Fair Nun of Winchester ; printed in 4to. London, 1655; this play was likewise revived' 1680, and acted by the name of the Perjured Nun. The historical

part of the plot is founded upon the Invasion of the Danes, in the reign of King Echelred and Alfred.

This last play of Anthony Brewer's, is one of the best irregular plays, next to those of Shake. {pear, which are in our language. The story, which is extremely interesting, is conducted, not so much with art, as spirit; the characters are animated, and the scene busy. Canutus King of Denmark, after having gained the city of Winchester, by the villainy of a native, orders all to be

put to the sword, and at lait enters the Cloister, raging with the thirst of blood, and panting for destruction, he meets Cartesmunda, whole beauty stops his ruffian viotence, and melts him, as it were, into a human creature. The language of this play is as modern, and the verses as musical as those of Rowe ; fire and elevation run through it, and there are many strokes of the most melting tenderness. Cartesmunda, the Fair Nun of Win. chester, inspires the King with a paffion for her, and after a long struggle between honour and love, she at last yields to the tyrant, and for the sake of Canutus' breaks her vestal vows. Upon hearing that the enemy was about to enter the

Cloister,

B 2

Cloister, Cartesmunda breaks out into the following beautiful exclamation :

The raging foe pursues, defend us Heaven!
Take virgin tears, the balm of martyr'd saints
As tribute due, to thy tribunal throne ; ,
With thy right hand keep us from rage and mur-

der;

Let not our danger fright us, but our fins';
Misfortunes touch our bodies, not cur fouls.

When Canutus advances, and first fees Carter. munda, his speech is poetical, and conceived in the trae spirit of Tragedy.

Ha! who holds my conquering hand? what

power unknown, By magic thus transforms me to a ftatue, Senseless of all the faculties of life?" My blood runs back, I have no power to strike; Call in our guards and bid 'em all give o'er. Sheath up your swords with me, and cease to

kill: Her angel beauty cries, the must not die, Nor live but mine : 0 I am strangely touch'd! Methinks I lift my sword, against myself, When I oppose her--all perfection! O fee! the pearled dew drops from her eyes ; Arise in peace, sweet soul.

In the fame scene the following is extremely beautiful.

I'm struck with light’ning from the torrid zone : Stand all between me, and that flaming fun!, Go Erkinwald, convey her to my tent. Let her be guarded with n:ore watchful eyes Than heaven has stars : If here she stay I shall consume to death, "Ti, time can give my passions remedy,

Art

Art thou not gone! kill him that gazeth on her ;
For all that see her fure must doat like me,
And treason for her, will be wrought against us.
Be sudden--to our tents—pray thee away,
The hell on earth is love that brings delay.

THOMAS MAY,

A

was descended of an ancient, but decayed family in the county of Sussex, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth * and was educated a fellow commoner in Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge. He afterwards removed to London, and lived about the court, where he contracted friendships with several gentlemen of fashion and distinction, especially with Endymion Porter esquire, one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber to King Charles I. while he resided at court he wrote five plays, which are extant under his name. In 1622, hc published at London, in 8vo. à translation of Virgil's Georgics with annotations; and in 1635, a Poem on King Edward III. It was printed under the title of the Victorious Reign of Edward III. written in seven books, by his Majesty's command. In the dedication to Charles I. our author writes thus; “I should

humbly have craved your Majesty's pardon for my " omission of the latter part of King Edward's

reign, but that the sense of mine own defects " hath put me in mind of a most necessary fuit,

so beg forgiveness for that part which is here he written

Those great actions of Edward III. are the arguments of this poem, which is here Langbaine's Lives of the Poets.

ended,

B 3

"ended, where his fortune began to decline, “ where the French by revolts, and private prac. “ tices regained that which had been won from “ them by eminent and famous victories; which “ times may afford fitter observations for an acute “ historian in profe, than strains of heighth for an heroic poem.” The

poem

thus begins, The third, and greatest Edward's reign we fing, The high atchievements of that martial King, Where long successful prowesse did advance, So many trophies in triumphed Frar.ce, And first her golden lillies bare ; who o're Pyrennes mountains to that western shore, Where Tagus tumbles through his yellow fand, Into the ocean; fretch'd his conquering hand:

From the lines quoted, the reader will be able to judge what sort of versifier our author was, and from this beginning he has no great reason to expect an entertaining poem, especially as it is of the historical kind; and he who begins a poem thus insipidly, can never expect his readers to accompany, him to the third page. May likewise translated Lucan's Pharsalia, which poem he continued down to the death of Julius Cæsar, both in Latin and English verse.

Dr. Fuller fays, that some disgust was given to him at court, which alienated his affections from it, and determined him, in the civil wars to adhere to the Parliament.

Mr. Philips in his Theatrum Poetarum, observes, that he stood candidate with Sir William Davenant. for the Laurel, and his ambition being frustrated, he conceived the most violent aversion to the King and Queen. Sir William Davenant, besides the acknowledged superiority of his abilities, had ever diftinguished himself for loyalty, and was patro. nized and favoured by men of power, especially the Marquis of Newcastle : a circumstance which

we

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