Beaumont, Robert (fl.1639) (DNB00)

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BEAUMONT, ROBERT (fl. 1639), essayist, was a man of a retired life and solitary disposition, if his testimony of his own character, which he gives in the preface to his book, is to be believed. He is chiefly remarkable for his 'Missives,' which are, in plain speech, letters, and seem, from one part of Beaumont's epistle to the reader, to be his own composition, and from another part to be the composition of others. But the former intimation has the stronger support. It is evident they were written upon supposititious occasions. Letters, he says, should be like a well-furnished table, where every guest may eat of what dish he pleases. This reminds us of Bickerstaff's once-popular opera, ' Love in a Village : '

The world is a well-furnished table,
Where guests are promiscuously set.

The essays are fifteen in number, and are on the various parts of the body–the head, eye, nose, ear, tongue, and so forth. They are full of trope and figure, frequently with much force of application, quaint and sententious. The precise title of his work is as follows: 'Love's Missives to Virtue; with Essaies, Lond. printed by William Godbid, and are to be sold at the signe of the Star, in Little Britain, 1660.' Small 8vo, pp. 120.

[Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Lowndes's Bibliog. Man. i. 138; Sir E. Brydges' Restituta, 3, 278-81.]

J. M.