See also:NICHOLAS (1545?-1626),
See also:English poet, belonged to an old
See also:family settled at Layer-Breton,
See also:Essex . His
See also:William Breton, who had made a considerable
See also:fortune by
See also:trade, died in 1559, and the widow (nee
See also:Bacon) married the poet
See also:Gascoigne before her sons had attained their majority . Nicholas Breton was probably
See also:born at the " capitall
See also:house " in Red
See also:Cross Street, in the
See also:parish of St
See also:Giles without Cripplegate, mentioned in his father's will . There is no official record of his residence at the university, but the
See also:diary of the Rev .
See also:Richard Madox tells us that he was at Antwerp in 1583 and was " once of Oriel
See also:College." He married
See also:Ann Sutton in 1593, and had a family . He is supposed to have died shortly after the publication of his last
See also:work, Fantastickes (1626) . Breton found a
See also:patron in Mary, countess of Pembroke, and wrote much in her
See also:honour until 16o1, when she seems to have withdrawn her favour . It is probably safe to supplement the meagre record of his
See also:life by accepting as autobiographical some of the letters signed N.B. in A Poste with a Packet of Mad Letters (1603, enlarged 1637); the 19th
See also:letter of the second
See also:part contains a general complaint of many griefs, and proceeds as follows: " bath another been wounded in the warres, fared hard, lain in a
See also:bed many a bitter storme, and beene at many a hard banquet? all these have I; another imprisoned? so have I; another long been sicke? so have I; another plagued with an unquiet life? so have I; another indebted to his
See also:hearts griefe, and fame would pay and cannot? so am I." Breton was a facile writer, popular with his contemporaries, and for-gotten by the next generation . His work consists of religious and pastoral poems, satires, and a number of
See also:prose tracts . His religious poems are sometimes wearisome by their excess of fluency and sweetness, but they are evidently the expression of a devout and
See also:earnest mind . His praise of the Virgin and his reference's to Mary Magdalene have suggested that he was a Catholic, but his prose writings abundantly prove that he was an ardent
See also:Protestant . Breton had little
See also:gift for satire, and his best work is to be found in his pastoral
See also:poetry .
His Passionate Shepheard (1604) is full of
See also:sunshine and fresh air, and of unaffected gaiety . The third pastoral in this book—" Who can live in heart so glad As the merrie
See also:country lad "—is well known; with some other of Breton's daintiest poems, among them the
See also:lullaby, " Come little babe, come
See also:silly soule," 1—it is incorporated in A . H . Bullen's Lyrics from Elizabethan Romances (189o) . His keen observation of country life appears also in his prose idyll, Wits Trenchmour, " a
See also:conference betwixt a scholler and an
See also:angler," and in his Fantastickes, a series of
See also:short prose pictures of the months, the Christian festivals and the
See also:hours, which throw much
See also:light on the customs of the times . Most of Breton's books are very rare and have
See also:bibliographical value . His
See also:works, with the exception of some belonging to private owners, were collected by Dr A . B . Grosart in the 1 This poem, however, comes from The Arbor of Amorous Devises, which is only in part Breton's work .
See also:Chertsey Worthies Library in 1879, with an elaborate introduction quoting the documents for the poet's
See also:history . Breton's poetical works, the titles of which are here somewhat abbreviated, include The Workes of a
See also:Young Wit (1577) ; A Floorish upon Fancie (1577); The Pilgrimage to
See also:Paradise (1592); The Countess of Penbrook's Passion (MS.), first printed by J . O .
Halliwell Phillipps in 1853; Pasquil's Fooles cappe, entered at Stationers'
See also:Hall in 1600; Pasquil's Mistresse (1600); Pasquil's Passe and Passeth Not (1600); Melancholike Humours (1600);
See also:Marie Magdalen's Love: a Solemne Passion of the Soules Love (1595), the first part of which, a prose
See also:treatise, is probably by another
See also:hand; the second part, a poem in six-lined stanza, is certainly by Breton; A Divine Poem, including " The Ravisht Soul " and " The Blessed Weeper " (1601) ; An Excellent Poem, upon the Longing of a Blessed Heart (1601); The Soules Heavenly Exercise (160,); The Sondes Harmony (1602); Olde Madcappe newe Gally mawfrey (1602); The
See also:Mother's Blessing (16o2); A True Description of Unthankfulnesse (16o2); The Passionate Shepheard (16o4); The Soules Immortall
See also:Crowne (1605); The Honour of Valour (1605); An Invective against Treason; I would and I would not (1614); Bryton's Bowre of Delights (1591), edited by Dr Grosart in 1893, an unauthorized publication which contained some poems disclaimed by Breton; The Arbor of Amorous Devises (entered at Stationers' Hall, 1594), only in part Breton's; and contributions to England's Helicon and othermiscellanies of
See also:verse . Of his twenty-two prose tracts may be mentioned Wit's Trenchmour (1597), The Wil of Wit (1599), A Poste with a Packet of Mad Letters (1603) .
See also:Sidney's Ourania by N . B . (1606); Mary Magdalen's Lamentations (1604), and The Passion of a Discontented Mind (1601), are sometimes, but erroneously, ascribed to Breton .
MANUEL BRETON DE LOS HERREROS (1796—1873)
JULES ADOLPHE BRETON
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