1859 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Lawes

David Masson, in Life of John Milton (1859-94; 1965) 1:567.



Henry, in an extant portrait of him by Faithorne, has a certain fine seriousness which is highly pleasing. He was destined to a wider and longer celebrity than his brother. About the year 1632, with something of that fame still to make, he was much employed as a teacher of music in noble and wealthy families. He had a special appointment of this kind in the family of the Earl of Bridgewater, the young members of which, and particularly the young ladies, were among his most hopeful pupils. Through this connexion, and his connexion with the Court, he had a wide circle of acquaintances, including Carew, Herrick, Davenant, Waller, and other wits and poets. Bulstrode Whitlocke, who had no small name among his lawyer friends as an amateur in music, knew Lawes well; and I have found the shade of a possibility that he had given lessons to some of the Bulstrodes of Horton. That Milton, a passionate lover of music, and now cultivating that art by regular study, should have come to know Lawes on his own account about this time would have been a matter of course, even if the acquaintance had not been already formed through his father, at whose house in Bread Street, we are to remember, all that was musical in London, in that generation as in the preceding, must have been familiar independently, on account of the musical reputation and tastes of the Scrivener himself.