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deed, bears internal evidence of this. The most beautiful of the poems are upon rural subjects, and many of them are addressed to natives of Devonshire.

The name of Herrick is still familiar to the older inhabitants of Dean Prior, who speak of him with pride, as their ancient and famous poet. An ingenious writer in the Quarterly Review,' had the good fortune some years ago to meet with an aged female of the name of Dorothy King, whose mother had lived in family with Herrick's successor in his vicarage. This person, although in her ninety-ninth year, had many anecdotes to tell of her favourite poet. She repeated distinctly five of his Noble Numbers, together with his divine Litany, which she was in the habit of murmuring in pray

1 Yet, justly too, I must confess,
I ne'er invented such

Ennobled numbers for the press,
Then where I loath'd so much.
Discontents in Devon.

Vid. No. for August, 1810.

er every night, after retiring to a couch rendered sleepless by age and infirmity. She described Herrick as a bachelor, living in family with a single maid-servant, and a favourite pig, which he amused himself by teaching to drink out of a tankard. To this barren chronicle of his history, Dr Nott adds, that he wanted a finger, a circumstance which he has thought worthy of poetical commemoration.' We know nothing of his personal appearance; but his portrait, engraved by Marshall, and prefixed to the original edition of the Hesperides, conveys no favourable idea of his physiognomy. He describes his voice as weak, and it is not remarkable, therefore, that his poetry should have been better than his preaching. This appears to have been the opinion of his parishioners. According to the traditional information of Dorothy, he one day threw his sermon at his congregation, cursing them for their inattention.

1 Hesperides, Ed. 1810. p. 151. Note.
2 Crutches.

The Reviewer informs us that Dorothy was still more eloquent in describing the achievements of Herrick's wandering spirit, than in recording his deeds while alive. This part of the old dame's information has been unfortunately suppressed, and we are left to imagine a tale which the narrator is said to have uttered with every symptom of implicit belief, and the curious details of which we can only regret have not been communicated to us.

The interest which is thus still attached by the inhabitants of Dean Prior to every tradition connected with the fame and the memory of Herrick, is more than sufficient to show that he must have been most popular in his day. We may naturally, therefore, conclude, that when ejected from his vicarage by Cromwell in 1648,1 his departure from the parish was accompanied by

1 Herrick was succeeded in the vicarage of Dean Prior by John Syms, who held the incumbency from 1648 to 1650, soon after which it was restored to the author of Hesperides.-Drake's Literary Hours.



the regrets of all his flock. His own feelings on the occasion were of a very different description. His active and joyous spirit exulted in the prospect of exchanging dull Devon for the busier scenes of the metropolis, which he selected as the place of his exile :

From the dull confines of the drooping west,
To see the day spring from the pregnant east,
Ravisht in spirit, I come, nay more, I fly
To thee, blest place of my nativitie;
London my home is though by hard fate sent
Into a long and dreary banishment.

Upon arriving in London, Herrick took up his residence in St Anne's, Westminster, and assumed at once the lay habit and the title of Esquire. As the payment of his Fifths was discontinued, he was soon assailed by poverty, and dependant upon charity for subsistence.' It is more than probable, that the idea of collecting and publishing his poems at this period, originated in a desire to relieve his necessities.

Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 263.

Indeed, that he wrote for bread, and consequently, that his object was to render his volume popular, by suiting it to the depraved taste of the times, is, perhaps, the only mode of accounting for the varied character of its contents.1

In 1648, the first year of the author's residence in London after his ejectment from his vicarage, appeared the HESPERIDES, or Works both Humane and Divine of Robert Herrick, Esq. The volume, which Dr Bliss justly describes as of "equal rarity and merit,2" is a small, thick, ill-printed octavo. The general title, engraved by

1 There is a tradition in the parish of Dean Prior, that Herrick was the first author of Poor Robin's Almanack, and Nichols remarks, that his poverty during his residence in London, renders this not improbable. Our poet may have been the author of the work in question, but it can scarcely be traced to his poverty, because Robin's Almanack was first published in 1661 or 1662, and Herrick was certainly restored to his vicarage before that period.

2 Athen. Oxon.

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