1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Quarles

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 3:135-36.



Francis Quarles, who was some time cup-bearer to the Queen of Bohemia, secretary to Archbishop Usher, and chronologer to the city of London, had, at this time, a very considerable reputation as a poet; but he merited much more as an honest and pious man. His Emblems, which have been serviceable to allure children to read, have been often printed, and are not yet forgotten. We sometimes stumble upon a pretty thought among many trivial ones in this book; and now and then meet with poetry in mechanism in the prints. He has borrowed a considerable part of this work from the Emblems of Hermannus Hugo. His Feast for Worms, and many other poems, have been long neglected, and are now literally worm-eaten. In the time of the civil war, a petition full of unjust accusations was preferred against this worthy man, by eight persons, of whom he knew not any two, but by sight. The news of this had such an effect on him, that he declared "it would be his death;" which happened soon after, according to his prediction. He is said to have had a pension, in consideration of his writings, from Charles I. Ob. 8 Sept. 1644, Aet. 52. He was father of eighteen children by one wife.