1871 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Lok

Alexander B. Grosart, "Memorial-Introduction" Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies' Library (1870-76) 2:5-33.



Of HENRY LOK, the Worthy to whom it is now our privilege to introduce the Reader, little or nothing has hitherto been known beyond the bibliographic accounts of his extremely rare volume of 1597. RITSON and similar authorities, give us the merest morsel. Mr. J. PAYNE COLLIER was the first to disinter two letters of his from the State-Paper Office: and to shew that the ascription of "Orpheus and Euyridice" to him because of the initials H. L., was a mistake, — these representing the Publisher not the Author.

It is our pleasant task greatly to encrease the number of Letters of LOK from the treasures of the "Record Office" — including a correct text of the two somewhat blunderingly printed by Mr. Collier, as will be seen on comparison — and through one of the Sonnets as a first-guide, to trace his ancestry and connections. If still the light is dim and troublous, it will nevertheless be allowed that as in other cases our additions to the stock of literary biography herein, are considerable — all the more that incidentally the great name of JOHN LOCKE emerges.

In the HERALD'S COLLEGE, in a volume, known there as VINCENT'S MIDDLESEX, there is a Pedigree of the family of LOK or LOCK or LOCKE — such is the arbitrarily various orthography. It is meagre in its details: but an examination shews it to be accurate as to names and relationships. Taking this Pedigree as a basis, we shall add many particulars obtained from Wills, Parish Registers, and other authentic manuscripts.

The first person named in VINCENT (as supra) is WILLIAM LOCK, who had two sons THOMAS and JOHN. The latter has heretofore been identified with one of the name who was Sheriff of London in 1461: but as he did not die till 1519, it may be doubted if they were identical. Further: in several of the Biographies of JOHN LOCKE the Philosopher, his descent has been deduced from him: but erroneously, as according to his Will he had no children. The error originated in assuming that THOMAS above named was his son, while he was certainly his brother. This THOMAS LOCK (or as sometimes Lok and Loke) was a Mercer of London. He died in 1507 and was buried in Mercer's Chapel. His wife was JOANNA, daughter of ... Wilcocks of Rotherham, co. York: and she too was buried in the same Chapel in 1512. They appear to have had one son only, viz WILLIAM LOK, who was born according to the Pedigree in 1480. He also became a Mercer of London, and one of the aldermen of the city. In 1548 he was Sheriff of London, and was knighted at Westminster in that year. He was Mercer to King Henry VIIIth. with whom he was an especial favorite, so much so that it is said he held a key to the king's private chamber — a fact which had been an equivocal compliment before FROUDE wrote. One of his daughters, ROSE, who by marriage became ancestress of the HICKMANS of Gainsborough, and of the EARLS of PLYMOUTH, left an account of his sufferings during Queen Mary's reign, which is printed, at length, in STARK'S Gainsborough. It may serve to lighten up dry genealogies to quote from its commencement, briefly, as follows: "Of my father, in HOLINSHED'S Chronicle, I find this story. In the 25th yere of the reign of King HENRY 8. being the yeere of or Lord 1534, at the sute of the ladye KATHERINE, dowager, a curse was sent from the Pope, which cursed both the king and the realme. This curse was set up in the town of Dunkirk in Flanders: for the bringer thereof, durst no neerer approach, where it was taken down by Mr. Lock of London, Mercer. Now I, his daughter, Rose Throckmorton, widow, late wife of Simon Throckmorton Esq, and first the wife of Anthony Hickman, a merchant of London, reading this of my father, have thought good to leave to my children this addition to it, that for that act the king gave him £ 100 a yeere, and made him a gent of his privy chamber, and he was the king's Mercer, and his Majesty vouchsafed to dine at his house. Moreover he was knighted, although he was never Major, but only sherief of London, and so was never any Londoner before him." All honour to the stout heart of Master William Lok in pulling down the "Bull"! Evidently the fair Rose's eyes — she must have been fair — kindled over Holinshed.

SIR WILLIAM LOK was buried in Mercer's Chapel 27th August 1550. His Will dated 15th March, was proved 11th September in that year. He had four wives: (a) ALICE, daughter of .... SPENCER, of London, Fishmonger, who died in 1522 and was buried in Mercer's Chapel: (b) CATHERINE, daughter of WILLIAM COOKE of SALISBURY, who died in childbed 14th October 1537 and was buried at Martin Abbey in Surrey: (c) ELINOR (widow of WALTER MARSH) who died in 1546: (d) ELIZABETH (widow successively of ... Hutton and of ROBERT MEREDITH) who was buried in Mercer's Chapel 5th December 1551. By his last two wives there were no issue. By his first wife he had 9 children, viz. 8 sons and 1 daughter. From the latter descended the EARLS of ROMNEY. Six of the sons died in their father's life-time and without issue. By his second wife CATHERINE COOKE, Sir William Lok had 5 sons and 6 daughters of whom JOHN, FRANCIS, ALICE and THOMAZINE died young, or without issue. DOROTHY, the eldest daughter, married first OTTIWELL HILL, a mercer of London, and secondly JOHN COSWORTH — of whom more anon. CATHERINE, the second daughter, married first THOMAS STACEY, Mercer of London and secondly WILLIAM MATTHEW, of Braddon, co. Northampton. ROSE, third daughter married, as already brought out in her own Narrative, first ANTHONY HICKMAN, secondly SIMON THROCKMORTON. Elizabeth, the youngest daughter and 19th child (not 20th as is sometimes stated — as the mother died of her son John, second of that name) married first RICHARD HILL, and secondly NICHOLAS BULLINGHAM, Bishop of Worcester: (her daughter MARY HILL, married SIR THOMAS M0UNDEFORD M.D., and their daughter BRIGHT, became the wife of SIR JOHN BRAMSTON, Chief Justice of the King's Bench.)

MICHAEL LOCK, who appears to have been the 18th child of Sir William, and the 9th by his second wife, became an eminent Merchant in London, and has the renown of having been patron of FROBISIHER'S first Expedition. His name often occurs in the Histories of the period: but he evidently met with great reverses of fortune in his later life. He was living as late as 29th of August, 1611, when he administered the estate of one of his sons: but no subsequent trace of him has been discovered. He is sometimes called SIR MICHAEL, but he certainly never was knighted. It is from him, through sometimes a son MATTHEW, and sometimes a son CHRISTOPHER, that JOHN LOCKE is made to descend. But he had no son MATTHEW or CHRISTOPHER, unless, which is most improbable, they were ignored by his wife and several of his sons, whose Wills are extant. His children were Zachary (who was M.P. for Southwark in 1600, and several of whose letters are preserved in the Public Record Office), ELEAZAR, GERSHON — a Puritan trait of the family as fetched from the Bible-story of the "sons of Levi" (Genesis xlvi. 11 et alibi) — BENJAMIN, WILLIAM, ANNE, JOANE, and ELIZABETH.

The remaining son of Sir William Lock by his second wife Catharine Cooke, was HENRY LOK or Loke or Locke. He was the 17th child of the Knight, and the 8th by his second wife. He is mentioned in VINCENT'S Pedigree as a Merchant of London. In his Will, dated 28th January and proved 31st October, 1571, he described himself as a Mercer. He mentioned no children, but leaves all his estate to his wife, who proved the Will as ANNE LOCK. In the Pedigree she is called ANNE VAUGHAN. She remained a widow: for in the Register of Burials of St. Giles, Cripplegate (London) is this entry "Buried 1573, June 12th, Ann Locke, widow." In the Visitation of Cornwall of 1620, this Henry LOCK is described as of Acton, Middlesex: but a careful search there shews no trace of them in the Parish-Registers.

He must have died comparatively young, as his birth — according to the dates exhibited in the preceding details, — must have occurred after 1530.

The Pedigree at Herald's College assigns him four children, thus [chart omitted]. The second HENRY above named we have no difficulty in identifying as our Worthy. The clue is furnished by one of his own sonnets, which is dedicated to his brother-in-law ROBERT MOYLE, of BOKE, county Cornwall. Thus our HENRY was son of HENRY LOK, not of MICHAEL, as Mr. COLLIER too facilely surmised, — with girds at the HAKLUYT editor which we must be pardoned regarding as sufficiently uncalled for in the face of three errors for one, of his own, on the very page he gives way to such girds. Thus the author of the "Sundrie Sonets of Christian Passions" proves to have been of good descent: for then to be a Merchant was to be indeed a "prince" in the deepest sense: his father HENRY LOK: his mother, ANNE VAUGHAN. His own birth-date and birth-place we have not been able to find. The first glimpse we get of him is as Author of a Sonnet to King JAMES prefixed to that monarch's "Essayes of a Prentise" (1591) — which we have added to the extra-Sonnets. Our next, in the following entry from the Baptismal-Register of St. Giles, Cripplegate: "1592, April 21, Henry son of Henry Lock, Gent., from widow Hall's in Fore-street." Our next, in another entry, from the Stationers' Registers, of the subject-matter of the earliest form of a portion of our reprint as follows: "The first parte of christian passions, conteyninge a hundred Sonnets of meditation, humiliation and prayer." [London, by Richard Field, 1593] "authorised under the hande of the Lord Bisshop of London." More of this in the sequel. Our further chancing on his name introduces him as intermixed with home and foreign Service for the State, through all which there runs a plaint, if we ought not to say a cry of hardship, wrong, ingratitude — a sorrowful revelation altogether. The Record Office contains a series of Letters from and concerning him: and we proceed to unfold their contents for the first time. It were wearying and superfluous to give all in extenso: but we shall present some wholly and cull whatever of interest is found in the remainder. We begin with the two Letters of Mr. Collier's "Bibliographical Account", which, in order to correct his copies, we reprint in full. These shew that in 1596 and in 1598 — before and after the publication of his Poems — he was a solicitor to SIR ROBERT CECIL for a small public appointment.

"Rt. Honourable.

By your countenans had my travels their first grace, and my hopes thair comfortes which (with your honour's present fartherans) I dowpt not shal sort to sum present stay of my nedy state: For I am by the Lady of Warwick incoraged to make use of hir highness gratius inclination towards me, which to farther she offereth her honourable assistans. Wherto (I having had latly so ample testimony of your honours most effectuall indevors) I am the more incoraged to bend my self, and dowpt not (God now moving your honourable heart to the fartherans therof) but it may prove to the competent stay of me and my poore family herafter, whos passed deserts, if they have not bin according to the proporsion of my many resaived favors, yet God may in future time bles to the testification of my dutiful memory thereof. May it then pleas your honour to vowtsaf me the direction of my coors herin, and to procure me your honourable father's allowans therof, which (sins Monopolis ar scandalus, Reversions of offices uncertain, Consealments, litigius, and Forfetyrs but rarely recovered) I must be forsed to attempt by craving of porsion of hir mts. lands by leas or feefarm; or sum Pension til an office or forfeture may fall to my relefe. Wherin I beseech your honour to excuse my boldnes, sins my sute is not for to consume on vanities, but on the mere necessitis of life and dischardg of honest dutis. Wherin the favour which I shal by your honourable travel resaive, I hope God shal bowntifully reqwit to you and your posterity To whos gratius protection I, in all sinserity of hart, commit your honour, and my servis to your honours perpetual command. This 16 of January 1597. Your honours in all duty.

HENRY LOK."

The second letter, printed by Mr. COLLIER, is as follows:

"Rt. Honourable.

Understanding that by the death of Mr. Ralph Bows divers things retorn to hir Majesties disposition of thaim, I thowght good to crave your honourable faver in renuing to her higness memory, hir late promis to releve my estate (which to be performed was referred to your honours retorn) and the dayly occasions pressing me to solisit the same, ar to my grefe and your troble to much known unto yourself. What is fit for me, or that I am fit for, is in hir Majesties pleasure to censure, and by your honours woonted favor most likly to be bettered; which whatever it prone, (so it protect me from beggery and reproche) shal be as much as I desire, who wold rather have my deserts, then woords, pleade for me; if God had in any caling inabeled me to serve hir Majesty, and to apere thankful to your honour, by whom only I as yet brethe in the hope of a good issue of my long sute. It is better to be a Beareherd, then to be bayted dayly with great exclamations for smal depts. But I dowpt I shal speak to late for things now; when menn are deade so many are redy even to justel with the lining for preferment in this adge. I knowe my lot shal fall where God bath asigned, and trust your honour shal be the happy Dove to give token of rest to my floting fortune. To whose servis (even in al most particular dutis and imploianses) withowt any respect of travils or perils I protest I shal most reidely, whilst I live, dedicate al my powres, so far as shal be commanded. And thus craving pardon of this my forsed importunasy, grownded on the occasion thus offereed, I commend my petition to your honours best oportunity, and your honour to the protection of the Almighty. Your honours in al duty.

HENRY LOK."

The date of the latter communication is ascertained from the endorsement, viz., 8 June 1598: the endorsement of the first is 1596 instead of 1597, the Secretary and Lok commencing the year at different periods, as was then not unusual.

Whatever resulted from LOK'S candidature for the office of Keeper of the Queen's Bears and Mastiffs, which had been held by RALPH BOWES until his decease, he was taken into government service of an extremely confidential kind, not without peril, as emerges in the correspondence. Previous to his application for BOWES' post he had applied for the "collectorship of Devon," but (under date 31st of March, 1598) writes to Secretary Cecil that he "no longer opposes the petition of one Mr. Hals" for it, conditioning merely for his charges "in riding down about the same" Then comes an exceedingly familiar petition to Cecil on certain private affairs touching on Papists and the scare of them at the period, as thus — dated 12th July 1598:—

He has, according to Cecil's advise, examined the estate of his (Lok's) aunt, and finds that by an inquisition taken in August last, it appeared to be £68 pr. an. for her life, which being a competent portion for a lone woman, he craves may be allotted to him to keep her with, "which I rather crave may be elswhere rather then in prison, becaws papists doe commonly repair together there, as at this time of hir imprisonment doe and did, when she was drawn to this peril of life: howbeit the prest to daye diing hath chardged his sowl with clering hir and Barns, for ever knowing him a prest, hering him say Mas, or so much as praing with thaim, for which thay were indited. By which (her Majesty being in mersy likly to be moved to save Barnse's life also, as she hath by his reprival given hope of) if it wold also pleas hir Majesty to bestowe for ful recompens of any servis, and inabeling me for farther imploians, to bestowe on me the benefit of Barnse's living (which with his deth is lost) I shold I trust apere thankful for your helpfull mediation, and hensforth les troblesom: his estate whilst he liveth is held woorth £140 a yere, which might both releve him somwhat and satisfie my present wants, and prevent I trust the future. If my merit seme not fit to carye it all, your honour May dispose of sutch porsion in me as shal seme fit."

On 16th July, 1598, he writes from "Coort, Grinwich" — simply recommending some person not named, to his lordship's confidence and good services.

Again on 26th July, 1598, he communicates news concerning various matters before referred to "And for that it apereth ther is soom credit given by hir Majesty to Mr. Toplif's reports, I here send yowr honour Barnes'es own certificat of his state and Mr. Osborn's of my awnts, then which if yet any better might growe (as I trust) hir Majesty wold not much dislike. Yet I protest I wil be true to yowr honour therin, and refer myself and it to be disposed of, whom I most humbly beseach (if this satisfye not hir Majesty) that I may have warant to Commissioners for farther trial, only I humbly crane that I may not be cownterpesed [sic] in this sute by sutch a rival's intrusion, thre daies after by the parti's owne mosion, I had labored your Honorable favor herin. Espesially he being one by his place abeler to live then myself and having obtained £1000, more by his servis (then I am like) alredy."

We have next a Letter from ZACHARY LOK to Secretary Cecil, dated 9 Dec. 1598. He was our Worthy's son, and it is sorrowful to find both so pathetically if persistently pleading. This Letter is of deep biographic interest, opening up as it does the Past: "I humblie besseeche yow not to think that naturall affection in my father's cause doth transport me. He was drawne (for that Companie's busynes) out of his Contrie almost 6 yeares past, being then above 64 yeares of age. In Turkey he passed muche hardnesse allmost to ye Hazarde of his life, by the unfitting usage of ye Companie's servants ther. It were too long to troble your Honours cares with repeticon of that. I doe assure yor Honour that hath and will cost him above £500 more then ever he shall receve of ye Companie if he be concluded wthin this Awarde: whereas if he had continewed out his lymited tyme of 4 yeares resydence at Alepo, his estate had byn bettered by a thowsand marks and his credyt preserved. All which doth not greeve me soe much as this letter of Sir Jo: Spencer's man to him, which that may please your Honour to reade and judge of accordinglie. And therfore I humblie desyre that either somme exemplarie punishment may be should upon him or that my father (notwithstanding this ende betweene the Companie and him) maye be lefte to his remedie against this George Dorington for his manyfowld abuses towards him, which I trust in your honorable wisdomes shall be thought fitt." We pass now to 1599 and HENRY LOK himself addressing again Secretary Cecil (dated 31st March 1599) he thanks his lordship for a gelding received this Morning. Delays his departure until to morrow — hopes he will not have to use a certain letter of his lordship's — suggests the use of a cipher, &c. He is now abroad, and in a short Letter dated at Bayonne, 30th May 1599, communicates sundry naval intelligence in that neighbourhood, and then this personal bit: "Of Mr. Le Grands time of going in I here not, but hope your honour wil farther my sute." Next month "10 June 1599, at St. John de Luis" he intimates that he is engaged in a troublesome and somewhat perilous service, and craves some safe and perpetuall employment — evidently on some special or secret service. Again in England at "London 25 December 1599," he encloses certain letters received from France, and mentions his late services at Bayonne and elsewhere. Then "towching the particulars of my sute in my late Letters commended to yowr honour I attend yowr more leisure to be directed, as one whom no wants shold incoradg to be importun or offensive to yowr honour" &c. Further, from "Strand, 26 April 1600," "being nuely arrived out of the West Country" he encloses a letter from the coast of Spain which he finds awaiting him "touching the succes of my jorny with T. Killigrew, this his letter will testify it to be litel to my present relefe and holy depending on your highness favour to make it hopeful or not." The enclosure is a letter from Bayonne, containing general news, addressed thus:

"To the Worshipfull and his verry good frend Mr. Henry Locke, Esquire, in London, at on Mr. Thomas a talyor, in the Strand p. the Diana of Portchmouth whom God preserve."

The Secretary has somehow taken offence: for in a Letter indorsed 1600 on the back, but without date in the body of the document we read as follows:

"The hope which I have that your over just reprofes tend rather to my reformation then utter relinquishment of me, is the only brething life of my languishing hart, whilst that your native bownty cannot lightly abandon the distressed, but (imitating the divine goodnes) then showe itself most powrful when (not in faith thowgh in frailty, the suppliant hath falne." "A more hevy acsident on earth (I protest) cannot befall my declining years and setled thowghts then to be justly abandoned from your grace." He earnestly desires restoration to favour, and offers to take any service, however perilous or expensive to himself, inclosing sundry suggestions as to how he could be serviceable in foreign parts, evidently as a secret emissary of the government, when his better services might cancel his former errors, and he be relieved from his creditors, &c., &c. Our next are two letters from THOS. NICHOLSON to HENRY LOK "at Mr. Harwood's, Strand, opposite the old Lord Treasurers," dated at Calais 10/20 September, 1601, and from Mr. Tresham to Henry Lok, "the Strand, London." dated, Paris, 5 Nov. 1601, — neither of further interest. The "great Queen" is gone and JAMES ignobly fills her splendid throne. Our Worthy is still in correspondence with the State-Officers. Under date 8th November 1615 [sic], he writes to the Earl of Salisbury (Lord High Treasurer) "Finding the importunity of times unfit to troble your Lordship by speach, I herin send a memorial of what I can gather from the Keper of Cambridg Castel. If it be held fit to be farther proseded in, I rest to be directed by your Honour. And if your Lordship pleas to dispose of a Burgeship [i.e. seat in Parliament] in Cornwall, I have a kinsman her, a Justise of peas of that contry, caled Cosworth who wold commend it to your honours nomination of one, which els I wold acsept of," &c., &c.

With reference to the "kinsman Cosworth" of the last Letter, in the Visitation of London of 1598, a John Cosworth, Mercer of London — descended from the Cosworths of Cornwall — married it will be remembered Dorothy, daughter, of Sir William Lok.

Difficulties and sorrows have multiplied around the now aged Suitor and Letter-Writer. He is in "Gate-Hows" — a prison chiefly for debtors in Westminster, — and from thence addresses the Earl of Salisbury, dated 31st March 1606:

"By your honour favour being licensed by my Lord Chamberlin to part with my place and by his honours having this day agreed with my creditor Mr. Grig, for £24, to be paid the next terme, or securing for it then, to pay it and the use at Christmas (which I hope very shortly by my place to dischardg honestly) I rest now only in form of law to be quit herof and to pay his and my own chardges, both which exsede not 6 or £7, wherein if your honour shal be plesed (as a blessed scale of al your favors) to gene me so relefe, I may in the morning be dispatched and attend my former sute for a packet, wherin (as in any thing during life) If I may apere grateful God so bles me as my sowl (of al erthly things) desireth it, who shal in al fortunes and in the bitterest exile continually (with my poore orphants) pray to God for his increas of happines and honour uppon your Lordship and hopeful posterity."

Onward on 18th May, 1608, the same debt-troubles are crushing him. He writes once more to LORD SALISBURY, from the "Clink in Southwark" — another prison—

"Whilst I have bin long a haples sutor to his Majesty and now lately seking to trye a titel of lands and to recover nere £1000 which Sir Thomas Harris the elder Serjant oweth me for land (which I sold him nere to years sins to pay my debts and so folow my sutes) I am (through his breach with me) fallen in to the hands of an old creditor, for surtiship past 20 years sins of a dept then but 13, now grown to £120, for which I lye and have this senight, prisoner in the Clink, to the utter disabeling me to folow my sutes in the Tearms, and in peril of more actions, if I be not by God and your he favour releved in this my humble sute, well is that your Lordship wold be presently pleased to lay your honours commandement uppon me here, wherby no more actions can cum nor be entered. And if farther your Lordship wold vowsafe to undertake my true imprisonment with Mr. Davison Bayly of the Clink (he wold be content to make my servant my keper, and I shal be able to goe abroode to folow my sutes, and be in hope, if I recover my lands or Sarjent Harises dept, to pay my creditors, and live poorly, who els must pine. If therfore your honour shal pleas to take my oth (on my faith to God, aleageans to prins and duty unto your Lordships) for true performans therof, and in trust therof to vowtsafe this your warant to him for my commitment and licens by a keper to folow my sutes, it may be a relefe of the hole fortune of me and mine.

"Thus leving the lamentable state to your honours compassion, I humbly beseach your Lordship to think that I have rather in hast ever desired to serv your Lordship then to be thus dayly unsavery unto yow in this kinde (whereunto God knoweth extreme peryl and wants compel me) to whos holy protection I commend your Lordships incres in a perfect and perpetual honour and happines, resting whilst I live

Your Lordships faithful beadsman

HENRY LOK."

There follows — dated 22 Oct. 1608 — another appeal for his lordship's consideration. As his lordship had not favourably answered his late petition to recommend his causes to the Lord Chief Justices, he is now put off from trial until Midsummer term &c. Finally — dated 26 Oct. 1608 — he renews his petition for employment, or leave to withdraw out of danger.

There is no after-trace of Henry Lok in the Calendars of the Record Office. Upwards of 64 as we have seen in 1592, he was by the close of 1608 well on to, if not beyond, the "four score years" vouchsafed "by reason of strength." It is to be hoped that he went away Higher to know there no more "labour and sorrow." When or where he died is unknown to us. The Fire swept away many Registers and Monuments: and his name has not been discovered in those that survive, nor in the old Chronicles of the dead.

It is plain that earlier with the "Companie" at Aleppo and later in secret-missions on the Continent, our Worthy was frequently engaged in hard and onerous service: and somehow was suffered to blanch into hoariness in neglect and poverty. Other Letters in the Record Office — which maybe summarized in a foot-note — go to show that he risked limb and life for the State. Pity that like all too many of the brave hearts of the period, risk and loss fell so heavily on him and his "poor orphants" — the tender words accidentally informing us that his wife predeceased him.

Such is all we have to tell of this old Life-story in its outward facts. Whether living LOCKES in our own country and in America descend from the line of HENRY LOK, I know not. They might do worse than give us their family-history.

Turning to the one surviving book of our Worthy — for Mr. Collier has certainly disproved the alleged authorship of "Love's Complaint or Legend of Orpheus and Euridice" — its title-page bears in the face of it that a portion of it at least had been previously in print. The entry from the Stationers' Registers given by Mr. Hazlitt confirms this. Still no copy of this prior impression is known to Bibliographers. Of the edition of 1597 our own exemplar is one of at the utmost four complete copies recorded. That in the British Museum is imperfect. The title-page also shews that the Poet gives prominence to his versification of the book of ECCLESIASTES. Its extent alone justifies this. We have found it as a whole a dilution of the robust and passionate thought of the original, without any of those felicities of wording, even occasional, that sometimes atone for pious common-place. We have had no hesitation in dismissing therefore, the idea of reprinting ECCLESIASTES: but as an Appendix there will be found such few things as seemed noticeable in it. We have prefixed also the Epistle-dedicatory and other preliminary matter, including the versification of certain of the Psalms. Of the Sonnets as well those of the "Christian Passions" as of the extremely-rare additions brought together by the Printer, from (apparently) various scattered sources — we have formed a very much higher yet we believe equally accurate, estimate. In the former there seem to us pulsations and thrills of a true and deep experience of the truest and deepest things, while ever and anon there are bird-like snatches of real singing, and hidden away in unlooked for places, epithetic bits of colour, now gleaming as jewels, now coming and going as a dove's or peacock's neck, as were not usual at the period. I do not claim for HENRY LOK the supreme "aflatus," the grandeur of thoughts "that voluntary move, harmonious numbers." Nevertheless I assert for him a place — whence he has been too long excluded — among the Christian Singers of England — all the more that there are in the Sonnets of the "Christian Passions" real passion, sprung of compassion, tremblings, penitence, sobs, shouts of joy, weeping autobiographic confidences of unquestionable realness, and so of unquestionable worth psychologically. His extra-Sonnets have the further interest of preserving many historic names of whom too little is known. There are in them, beneath their most exaggerate flatteries, traits that tell of personal knowledge.

Our text, as usual, is a faithful reproduction of the Author's own. Our Notes elucidate or, illustrate wherever called for.