from their father's estate, but not yet fully paid. Francis became a member of Christ's College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1608. Subsequently he studied law at Lincoln's Inn, with the object, his wife tells us, of fitting himself for composing differences between friends and neighbours rather than of following the legal profession. At the same time he practised music, and on one occasion sold his ‘Inn-of-court gowne’ to pay for a lute-case (Anecdotes and Traditions, Camd. Soc. p. 48). But his mind ‘was chiefly set upon devotion and study.’ Despite an alleged antipathy to court life, he accepted the post of cup-bearer to Princess Elizabeth on her marriage to the elector palatine in 1613. Accompanying his mistress to Heidelberg, he met in Germany Robert Sidney, earl of Leicester, a patron of his father, and other English noblemen, who showed him attention. Returning to London before 1620, he published in that year his earliest work, which plainly indicated the path that he was to tread as a man of letters. It was a lugubrious paraphrase from the Bible in heroic verse, entitled ‘A Feast of Wormes set forth in a Poeme of the History of Jonah.’ It is prefaced by a dedication to the Earl of Leicester, and to it are appended a ‘Hymne to God,’ eleven pious meditations of some intensity, and a collection of fervid poems bearing the general title ‘Pentelogia, or the Quintessence of Meditation’ (other editions 1626 and 1642). Many similar efforts quickly followed. ‘Hadassa: History of Queene Ester,’ appeared in 1621, with a dedication to James I. In 1624 Quarles published ‘Job Militant, with Meditations Divine and Morall,’ dedicated to Charles, prince of Wales; ‘Sions Elegies wept by Jeremie the Prophet,’ dedicated to William Herbert, third earl of Pembroke (an engraved title-page is dated 1625), and ‘Sions Sonnets sung by Solomon the King,’ dedicated to James Hamilton, marquis of Hamilton. The last scriptural paraphrase which he published in his lifetime was the ‘Historie of Samson’ (1631), dedicated to Sir James Fullerton. In 1625 he turned his attention, for the first of many times, to elegiac verse, and issued an ‘Alphabet of Elegies upon the much and truly lamented death of Doctor Aylmer.’ There are twenty-two twelve-line stanzas and a verse epitaph, each line of which begins with a letter of the alphabet in regular order.
Quarles rapidly extended his acquaintance among serious-minded men and women in the higher ranks of society, and he made some friendships among men of letters. In 1631 he wrote an epitaph on Michael Drayton, which was inscribed on the poet's tomb in Westminster Abbey. He exchanged verses with Edward Benlowes [q. v.], a native of Essex like himself, who introduced him to Phineas Fletcher [q. v.] To the latter's ‘Purple Island’ (1633) Quarles contributed two commendatory poems, one of which, beginning ‘Mans bodies like a house,’ he printed in his ‘Divine Fancies.’ In 1626 he was in London, and prosecuted at the Clerkenwell sessions-house a woman, Frances Richardson, for picking his pocket in the parish of St. Clement Danes (Notes and Queries, 7th ser. iv. 521). At the time he was seeking, conjointly with Sir William Luckyn and two other Essex neighbours, an act of parliament to erect works for the manufacture of saltpetre by a new process (Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. p. 10).
Before 1629 Quarles's piety and literary ability had secured for him the post of private secretary to James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh. He lived with his family under his master's roof in Dublin, and helped Ussher in his historical researches. Writing to Vossius, Ussher spoke of him as ‘Vir ob sacratiorem poesim apud Anglos suos non incelebris.’ With a view to increasing his income, Quarles in 1631 obtained a lease in reversion of the impositions on tobacco and tobacco-pipes imported into Ireland (ib. 4th Rep. p. 369).
At Dublin, Quarles first attempted secular poetry, and in 1629 he published (in London) a poetic romance called ‘Argalus and Parthenia.’ It was dedicated to Henry Rich, earl of Holland. An address to the reader is dated from Dublin, 4 March 1628. Owing to a misprint of 1621 for the latter year in a new edition of 1647, bibliographers have assigned the first publication to 1621, but the book was not licensed for the press at Stationers' Hall till 27 March 1629. The story is drawn from Sidney's ‘Arcadia.’ In 1632 more of his sacred verse was collected in ‘Divine Fancies digested into Epigrams, Meditations, and Observations’ (in four books). A eulogy on Archbishop Ussher figures in book iv. (No. 100). This volume was dedicated to Prince Charles and the prince's governess, the Countess of Dorset, who deeply sympathised with Quarles's religious bent. Next year (1633) Quarles's growing fame justified the reissue in a single volume of all his biblical paraphrases, ‘newly augmented,’ together with his ‘Alphabet of Elegies.’ The volume was entitled ‘Divine Poems,’ and was dedicated to the king.
Before 1633 Quarles seems to have retired from Dublin to Roxwell in his native county of Essex, and there he prepared for publication in 1635 the work by which his fame was