Other literary forms
In later life, Francis Quarles (kwahrlz) published a pious work in prose called Enchiridion, Containing Institutions Divine and Moral (1640). This very popular collection of aphorisms on religious and ethical subjects was reissued in an expanded edition the year after its original publication. It is notable for its stylish phrasing and wordplay.
Always strongly royalist in his sympathies, Quarles produced several prose works of a political nature toward the end of his life, as the struggle between king and Commons became more pronounced. Observations Concerning Princes and States upon Peace and Warre (1642) may perhaps be grouped with such works; although it is essentially another collection of pious meditations, it had obvious political implications in such volatile times, similar to those of the poetry in The Shepheards Oracles. More explicitly polemical is The Loyal Convert (1644), a defense of the king’s political and religious position. Of a like nature are The Whipper Whipt (1644) and The New Distemper (c. 1644). The three royalist polemics were republished under the collective title The Protest Royalist in His Quarrell with the Times (1645) shortly after the author’s death.
Among Quarles’s other posthumous publications are Judgement and Mercy for Afflicted Soules: Or, Meditations, Soliloquies, and Prayers (1646; an unauthorized and inaccurate edition of part 2 of this work had been published in 1644 under the title Barnabas and Boanerges: Or, Wine and Oyl for Afflicted Soules). Judgement and Mercy for Afflicted Soules is a book of prose meditations which would today probably be classified as prose poems. Also among the posthumous works, and somewhat surprisingly, is a play—or rather an interlude or masque—called The Virgin Widow: A Comedie (pb. 1649, written in 1641 or 1642). This comedy in mixed prose and verse is less amusing than it might have been, overwhelmed as it is by its strong didactic purpose and allegorical framework.