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Poems CI. V. Joannis PASSERATII,

Regii in Academia Parisiensi Professoris,

Ad ornatissimum virum ERRICUM MEMMIUN.

Janus adest, festæ poscunt sua dona Kalende,
Munus abest festis quoil possim offerre Kalendis.
Siccine Castalius nobis exaruit humor?
Usque adeò ingenii nostri est exhausta facultas,
Immunem ut videat redeuntis janitor anni?
Quod nusquam est, potius nova per vestigia quæram.

Ecce autem partes dum sese versat in omnes
Invenit mea Musa NIHI., ne despice munus.
Nam Nihil est gemmis, NIHIL est pretiosius auro.
Huc animum, huc igitur vultus adverte benignos :
Res nova narratur quae nulli audita priorum,
Ausonii & Graii dixerunt cætera vates,
Ausoniæ indictum NIHIL est Græcæque Camænæ.

E celo quacunque Ceres sua prospicit arva, Aut genitor liquidis orbem complectitur ulnis Oceanis, NIHIL interitus et originis expers. Immortale NIHIL, NIHIL omni parte beatum. Quod si binc majestas & vis divina probatur, Num quid honore deûm, num quid dignabimur aris? Conspectu lucis NIHIL est jucundius almæ, Vere nihiL, NIHIL irrigio formosius horto, Floridius pratis, Zephyri clementius aura ; In bello sanctum nihil est, Martisque tumultu : Justum in pace NIHIL, NIHIL est in fædere tutum. Felix cui NIHIL est, (fuerant hec vota Tibullo) Non timet insidias : fures, incendia temnit: Solieitas sequitur nullo sub julice lites. Ille ipse invictis qui subjicit omnia fatis Zenonis sapiens, NIHIL admiratar & optat. Socraticique gregis fuit ista scientia quondain, Soire vinil studio cui nunc incumbitur uni. Nec quicquam in ludo mavult didicisse juventus, Ad magnas duta ducet opes, & culmen honorum. Nosce NIHIL, nosces fertur quod Pythagorede Grano hærere fabæ cui vox adjuncta negantis. Multi Mercurio freti duce viscera terre Pura liquefaciunt simul, & patrimonia miscent,

Arcano instantes operi & carbonibus atris,
Qui tandem exhausti damris, fractique labore,
Inveniunt atque inventum NIHIL usque requirunt.
Hoc dimetiri non ulla decempeda possit :
Nec numeret Libycæ numerum qui callet arenæ.:
Et Phæbo ignotum NIHIL est, NIHIL altius astris.
Túque, tibi licet eximium sit mentis acumen,
Omnem in naturam penetrans, et in abdita rerum,
Pace tua, Memmi, NIHIL ignorare videris.
Sole tamen NIHIL est, a puro clarius igne.
Tange nihil, dicesque NIHIL sine corpore tangi.
Cerne NIHIL, cerni dices NIHIL absque colore.
Surdum audit loquitùrque NIHIL sine voce volátque
Absque ope pennarum, & graditur sine cruribus ullis.
Absque loco motuque NIHIL per inane vagatur.
Humano generi utilius NIHIL arte medendi.
Ne rhombos igitur, neu Thessala murmura tentet
Idalia vacuum trajectus arundine pectus,
Neu legat Idæo Dictæum in vertice gramen.
Vulneribus sævi NIHIL auxilitur amoris.
Vexerit & quemvis trans mestas portitor undas.
Ad superos imo NIHIL hunc revocabit ab orco.
Inferni NIHIL inflectit præcordia regis,
Parcarúmque colos, & inexorabile pensum.
Obruta Phlegræis campis Titania pubes
Fulmineo sensit NIHIL esse potentius ictu :
Porrigitur magni NIHIL extra mænia mundi:
Diique NIHIL metuunt. Quid longo carmine plura
Commemorem ? Virtute NIHIL præstantius ipsa,
Splendidius NIHIL est ; NIHIL est Jove denique majus.
Sed tempus finem argutis imponere nugis :
Ne tibi si multa laudem mea carmina charta,
De NIHILO NIHILI pariant fastidia versus.


WENTWORTH DILLON, earl of Roscommon, was the son of James Dillon and Elizabeth Wentworth, sister to the earl of Strafford. He was born in Ireland* during the lieutenancy of Strafford, who, being both his uncle and his godfather, gave him his own sirname. His father, the third earl of Roscommon, had been converted by Usher to the protestant religion; and when the popish rebellion broke out, Strafford thinking the family in great danger from the fury of the Irish, sent for his godson, and placed him at his own seat in Yorkshire, where he was instructed in Latin : which he learned so as to write it with purity and elegance, though he was never able to retain the rules of grammar.

Such is the account given by Mr. Fenton, from whose notes on Waller most of this account must be borrowed, though I know not whether all that he relates is certain. The instructor whom he assigns to Roscommon, is one Dr. Hall, by whom he cannot mean the famous Hall, then an old man and a bishop.

When the storm broke out upon Strafford, his house was a shelter no longer; and Dillon, by the advice of Usher, was sent to Caen, where the protes


* The Biog. Britan. says, probably about the year 1632; but this is inconsistent with the date of Strafford's viceroyalty in the following page. C.

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tants had then an university, and continued his studies under Bochart.

Young Dillon, who was sent to study under Bochart, and who is represented as having already made great proficiency in literature, could not be more than nine years old. Strafford went to govern Ireland in 1633, and was put to death eight years afterward. That he was sent to Caen, is certain; that he was a great scholar, may be doubted.

At Caen he is said to have had some preternatural intelligence of his father's death.

“ The lord Roscommon, being a boy of ten years “ of age, at Caen in Normandy, one day was, as it “ were, ma dly extravagant in playing, leaping, get

ting over the tables, boards, &c. He was wont to “ be so ber enough; they said, God grant this bodes " no ill-luck to him! In the heat of this extravagant « fit he cries out, My father is dead. A fortnight “ after, news came from Ireland that his father was « dead. This account I had from Mr. Knolles, who

was his governor, and then with him, since secre

tary to the earl of Strafford; and I have heard his “ lordship's relations confirm the same.” Aubrey's Miscellany. The present age


little inclined to favour any accounts of this kind, nor will the name of Aubrey much recommend it to credit; it ought not, however, to be omitted, because better evidence of a fact cannot

а. easily be found than is here offered ; and it must be

l by preserving such relations that we may at last judge how much they are to be regarded. If we stay to, examine this account, we shall see difficulties on both. sides; here is a relation of a fact given by a man who had no interest to deceive, and who could not be deceived himself; and here is, on the other hand, a

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miracle which produces no effect; the order of nature is interrupted, to discover not a future but only a distant event, the knowledge of which is of no use to him to whom it is revealed. Between these difficulties what way

shall be found ? Is reason or testimony to be rejected ? I believe what Osborne says of an appearance of sanctity may be applied to such impulses or anticipations as this : Do not wholly slight them, because they may be tru ; but do not easily trust them, because they may be false.

The state both of England and Ireland was at this time such, that he who was absent from either country had very little temptation to return; and therefore Roscommon, when he left Caen, travelled into Italy, and amused himself with its antiquities, and particularly with medals, in which he acquired uncommon still.

At the restoration, with the other friends of monarchy, he came to England, was made captain of the band of pensioners, and learned so much of the dissoluteness of the court, that he addicted himself immoderately to gaming, by which he was engaged in frequent quarrels, and which undoubtedly brought upon him its usual concomitants, extravagance and distress.

After some time, a dispute about part of his estate forced him into Ireland, where he was made by the duke of Ormond captain of the guards, and met with an adventure thus related by Fenton.

“ He was at Dublin as much as ever distempered “ with the same fatal affection for play, which en“ gaged him in one adventure that well deserves to « be related. As he returned to his lodgings from

a gaming-table, he was attacked in the dark by " three ruffians, who were employed to assassinate

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