1691 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Quarles

Gerard Langbaine, in Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) 409-11.



This Gentleman was Son to James Quarles, Esq; who was Clerk of the Green-Cloth, and Purveyor to Queen Elizabeth. He was Born at Stewards, in the Parish of Rumford in Essex. He was sent to Cambridge, and was bred for some time in Christ-Church Colledge: afterwards he became a Member of Lincolns-Inn, in London. He was sometime Cup-bearer to the Queen of Bohemia; Secretary to the Reverend James Usher, Archbishop of Armagh; and Chronologer to the Famous City of London. He was a Poet that mix'd Religion and Fancy together; and was very careful in all his Writings not to intrench upon Good Manners, by any Scurrility, in his Works; or any ways offending against his Duty to God, his Neighbour, and himself. The Occasion of our Mentioning him in this place, is from his being the Author of an Innocent, Inoffensive Play, called The Virgin Widow, a Comedy, printed 4to. Lond. 1649.

As to his other Works, they are very numerous: those which I have seen, are his History of Sampson in Verse; Jonah, Esther, Job Militant. His Emblems, are reputed by some, a Copy of Hermannus Hugo's Pia Desideria; Anniversaries upon his Paranete. Pentalogia, or The Quintessence of Meditation; Argalus and Parthenia; being founded on a Story, in Sir Philip Sydney's Arcadia. Enchiridion of Meditations Divine and Moral. Nor must I forget his Loyal Convert, tho' I never saw it; being a Cause of his Persecution, by the Usurped Authority then in being.

The troubles of Ireland forc'd him from thence; so that he dy'd in his Native Country, Sept. 8. 1644. being aged 52 Years, and the Father of eighteen Children, by one Wife; and was buried at St. Foster's Church, London.