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Or sought she more, by triumphs of denial,
How far her smiles commanded my weakness?
Excuse no more thy folly; but, for Cure,
As well thy shame, as passions that were vain;
To know that Love, lodg'd in a Womans brest,
'Or was it absence that did make her strange,
[VARIATIONS.-1. 'most' is the reading of A B C D. In Rel. Wotton, it is more'. I follow Mr. Dyce in this alteration of the text.-9. her looks'-B C D.-' by despair'-C.-15. 'is but'-B C.-16. After this line, another couplet is found in BCD, viz.
17. than triumphs'-A B C D.-18. To see'-A B C D.-19. Mr. Dyce inserts 'on' after 'commanded,' from D, which is supported by B C. But the line is complete without it, the accent being thrown on the second syllable of 'weakness.'-21. 'Excuse not now. . . . nor her nature'-A B C D.-23. The recent editors of Davison announce that the second 'as' is omitted in ed. 1621,-a mere accidental omission, if it were so; but the line has only been disturbed at the press, to the loss of one letter: it runs, 'Aswel thy shames, passions that were vaine'-24. 'thy gain'-A B C D.-24. Sir E, Brydges prints 'jest' for guest,' without any authority that I know of.]
[JOHN HOSKINS was originally a Fellow of New College (1584-6), where he graduated as B. A. May 6: 1588: and as M. A. Feb. 26: 1591-2: but some sarcasms in which he indulged as Terra Filius for that year, caused him to be expelled from the University without being admitted to his regency. After he had taught a school for some time, and had commenced a Greek Lexicon, a prosperous marriage enabled him to enter at the Middle-Temple, and to become a member of Parliament, where what Sir Henry Wotton calls his "licentiousness, baptized freedom," consigned him to the Tower, June 7: 1614. He was released in about a year, and in 17 Jac. I. (1619) was elected Lent-Reader of the MiddleTemple. In the 21st of the same reign (1623), he was made serjeant-at-law; but although the title of serjeant is the only mark of time about this dialogue, we can scarcely believe that so youthful a piece was composed by two men, of whom the younger was then fifty-five. Wood adds, that Hoskins was
soon after a judge or justice itinerant for Wales, and one
of the council of the Marches thereof." He died Aug. 27: 1638.*
Some of the strange assertions contained in Wood's account of him must undoubtedly be reckoned among the "folliries and misinformations," by which, as Wood complains so grievously, (Life, p. lx.) John Aubrey would "stuff his many letters sent to A. W." and which" somtimes would guid him into the paths of errour." Aubrey was well acquainted with Hoskins's descendants, and certainly took him for a poet;-the story of his "polishing" Ben Jonson seems to be directly borrowed from Aubrey's MSS. ;—and the tradition of the services which he is said to have rendered to Sir Walter Raleigh probably had the same original.+ It is certain, however, that Hoskins was familiar with many of his more eminent contemporaries. Wood says that "he was also much respected and beloved by Cambden, Selden, Sam. Daniel, Dr. Joh. Donne, dean of Paul's, Rich. Martin, recorder of London, sir H. Wotton, and sir Ben. Rudyard;" and he records his name in a similar manner in various other biographies,-e. g. those of Martin, Rudyard, Jonson, and Sir John Davies. ‡ Granger has printed an Inscription found under Martin's portrait, which “Chr. Brocus, Jo. Hoskinus, & Hugo Hollandus, obsequii et amoris triumviratu nexi," dedicated in 1620 to Sir Lionel Cranfield, (afterwards Earl of Middlesex,)" amico amicum amici."|| I have somewhere seen an account of a "Convivium," in which Hoskins, Brooke, and Donne take part,— the latter two under the titles of Christophorus Torrens and Joannes Factus.
* Wood's A. O. ii. 624-627. Fasti, i. 242, 255.
+ See (1.) Letters from the Bodleian, ii. 330, 394, 395, and Mr. Thoms's Anecdotes and Traditions, p. 116. (2.) Letters from the Bodleian, ii. 413. (3.) Raleigh's Works, Oxford edit. viii. 743. (The sentence last referred to is omitted in the copy of Aubrey's Life of Raleigh, which is printed in Letters from the Bodleian.)
Wood's A. O. ii. 626, 250, 401, 612, iii. 456,
His "book of poems, neatly written, bigger than those of Dr. Donne," which, as Wood tells us, was lent and lost by his son, Sir Benedict, has never, I believe, been recovered; nor is it likely that any one will ever try to supply its place by collecting his scattered fragments.-Besides the share he may have had in this dialogue, and four lines which will be found in a later part of this volume, Hoskins is known as one of the contributors of verses prefixed to Coryate's Crudities, 1611 (Sign. e 6 and 7). Dr. Bliss has printed a poem consisting of eighty lines, under the title, "Mr. Hoskins Dreame," from one of the Ashmole MSS. (781, p. 129); but it is seldom found in so complete a state. In two MSS. which I have seen, it is cut down to fifty-six lines ;* and in a third (MS. Malone 16, p. 20), it is unsparingly abridged to six, a copy which must have been well known, since it is inserted in the Ashmole MS. (p. 131) immediately after the longer piece. This last is brief enough to quote. (I give it from the Malone MS.)
VERSES PRESENTED TO YE KING BY MRS HOSKINS, IN THE
"THE worst is told, the best is hidd;
Kings know not all, I would they did;
Who hath not errd, he doth not liue;
Hee errd but once,-once, King, forgiue.
* Namely, in MS. Malone 19, pp. 61.63. Title, "Mr Hoskins his Dreame." And in a MS. belonging to Mr. Pickering, fol. 149, vo. Title, "Mr John Hoskins bewaileing his owne, his wiues, his Mothers, and his Childrens woefull case, ye one borne, ye other yet vnborne.”—Several other fragments by him, besides those given above, may be found in MS. Malone, 19, pp. 87, 140, 141, and in the Cheetham MS. 8012, pp. 76-79,157-159.-There is a jest of his in Mr. Thoms's Anecd. and Trad. p. 45.On a strange dance said to be given by him by Fuller, (Worthies, Introd. to Heref.) see Nichols's Progr. of James I. vol. i. p. xix.-His" Rhetorick," illustrated from Sir Philip Sidney, was sold among Mr. B. H. Bright's MSS. No. 217.-I will only add, that Hoskins is supposed by Wood to have written some execrable verses, alluded to by Jonson (iv. 55, ed. Gifford) in a sufficiently disrespectful manner.
I will add two other short pieces, which, with several others, are ascribed to him in an old MS. Miscellany in the Cheetham Library at Manchester (8012, pp. 76, 158):—
"OF YE LOSSE OF TIME. Per J: HOSKINS.
"If life be time yt here is ent,*
"If doing nought be like to death,
Not, here he liues; but, here he dyes."
AN EP ON A MAN FOR DOINGE NOTHINGE.
"Here lyes the man was borne and cryed,
And again :
These fragments are about the best I could find. The second is also in Camden's Remaines (ed. Philipot, 1657, p. 399) with some variations, among a few conceited, merry, and laughing Epitaphes, the most of them composed by Master Iohn Hoskins when he was young." It is copied in Fuller's Worthies of London, p. 202. Ben Jonson would have put the thought in rather a nobler way, thus :
"Repeat of things a throng, To shew thou hast BEEN long, Not LIV'D"
"The ignoble never LIVED; they WERE awhile,
Of LIFE that fall so"
*The MS. has 'spent-which seems to be erroneous.