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decision, the pressing necessities and the anxious hazards, of a course full of uncertainty and peril. He had before his eyes, day by day, fearless, unshrinking determination, in a hateful and most unpromising task.
He believed that he saw a living example of strength, mantiness, and nobleness; of unsparing and unswerving zeal for order and religion, and good government; of single-hearted devotion to truth and right, and to the Queen. Lord Grey grew at last, in the poet's imagination, into the image and representative of perfect and masculine justice. When Spenser began to enshrine in a great allegory his ideas of human life and character, Lord Grey supplied the moral features, and almost the name, of one of its chief heroes. Spenser did more than embody his memory in poetical allegories. · In Spenser's View of the present State of Ireland, written some years after Lord Grey's death, he gives his mature, and then, at any rate, disinterested approbation of Lord Grey's adıninistration, and his opinion of the causes of its failure. He kindles into indignation when, most untruly and maliciously, those evil tongues backbite and slander the sacred ashes of that most just and honorable personage, whose least virtue, of many most excellent, which abounded in his heroical spirit, they were never able to aspire unto."
Lord Grey's patronage had brought Spenser into the public service ; perhaps that patronage, the patronage of a man who had powerful enemies, was the cause that Spenser's preferments, after Lord Grey's recall, were on so moderate a scale. The notices which we glean from indirect sources about Spenser's employment in Ireland are meagre enough, but they are distinct. They show him as a subordinate public servant, of no great account, but yet, like other public servants in Ireland, profiting, in his degree, by the opportunities of the time. In the spring following Lord Grey's arrival (March 22, 1581), Spenser was appointed Clerk of Decrees and Recognizances in the Irish Court of Chancery, retaining his place as Secretary to the LordDeputy, in which character his signature sometimes appears in the Irish Records, certifying State documents sent to England. This office is said by Fuller to have been a “lucrative” one. In the same year he received a lease of the Abbey and Manor of Enniscorthy, in the County of Wexford. Enniscorthy was an important post in the network of English garrisons, on one of the roads from Dublin to the South. He held it but for a short time. It was transferred by him to a citizen of Wexford, Richard Synot, an' agent, apparently, of the powerful Sir Henry Wallop, the Treasurer; and it was soon after transferred by Synot to his patron, an.official who secured to himself a large share of the spoils of Desmond's rebellion. Further, Spenser's name appears, in a list of persons (January, 1582), among whom Lord Grey had distributed some of the forfeited property of the rebels--a list sent home by him in answer to charges of waste and damage to the Queen's revenue, busily urged against him in Ireland by men like Wallop and Fenton, and readily listened to by English ministers like
Burghley, who complained that Ireland was a "gulf of consuming treasure. The grant was mostly to persons active in service, among others one to Wallop himself; and a certain number of smaller value to persons of Lord Grey's own household. There, among yeomen ushers, gentlemen ushers, gentlemen serving the Lord-Deputy, and Welshmen and Irishmen with uncouth names, to whom small gratifications had been allotted out of the spoil, we read~"the lease of a house in Dublin belonging to [Lord] Baltinglas for six years to come to Edmund Spenser, one of the Lord-Deputy's Secretaries, valued at 52."
“of a custodiam' of John Eustace's (one of Baltinglas' family) land of the Newland to Edmund Spenser, one of the Lord-Deputy's Secretaries." In July, 1586, when every one was full of the project for “planting” Munster, he was still in Dublin, for he addresses from thence a sonnet to Gabriel Harvey.. In March, 158, we find the following, in a list of officers on the establishment of the province of Munster, which the government was endeavoring to colonize from the west of England : • Lodovick Briskett, clerk to the council (at 20l. per annum), 131. 6s. 8d. (this is exercised by one Spenser, as deputy for the said Briskett, to whom (i.e., Briskett) it was granted by patent 6 Nov. 25 Eliz. (1583).” (Carew MSS.) Bryskett was a man much employed in Irish busi
He had been Clerk to the Irish Council, had been a correspondent of Burghley and Walsingham, and had aspired to be Secretary of State when Fenton obtained the poet : ' possibly in disappointment, he had retired, with an office which he exercised by deputy, to his lands in Wexford. He was a poet, and a friend of Spenser's : and it may have been by his interest with the dispensers of patronage that one Spenser," who had been his deputy, succeeded to his office.
In this position Spenser was brought into communication with the powerful English chiefs on the Council of Munster, and also with the leading men among the Undertakers, as they were called, among whom more than half a million of acres of the escheated and desolate lands of the fallen Desmond were to be divided, on condition of each Undertaker settling on his estate a proportionate inumber of English gentlemen, yeomen, artisans and laborers with their families, who were to bring the ruined province into order and cultivation. The President and Vice-President of the Council were the two Norreys, John and Thomas, two of the most gallant of a gallant family. The project for the planting of Munster had been originally started before the rebellion, in 1568. It had been one of the causes of the rebellion; but now that Desmond was fallen, it was revived. It had been received in England with favor and hope. Men of influence and enterprise, Sir Christopher Hatton, Walsingham, Walter Ralegh, had embarked in it; and the government had made an appeal to the English country gen. tlemen to take advantage of this new opening for their younger sons, and to send them over at the head of colonies from the families of their tenants and dependants, to occupy a rich and beautiful land on easy terms of rent. In the Western Counties, north and south, the
appeal had awakened interest. In the list of Undertakers are found Cheshire and Lancashire names—Stanley, Fleetwood, Molyneux; and a still larger number for Somerset, Devon and Dorset-Popham, Rogers, Coles, Ralegh, Chudleigh, Champernown. The plan of settlement was carefully and methodically traced out. The province was surveyed as well as it could be under great difficulties. Maps were made whic: Lord Burghley annotated. “Seigniories” were created of varying size, 12,000, 8000, 6000, 4000 acres, with corresponding obligations as to the number and class of farms and inhabitants in each. Legal science in England was to protect titles by lengthy patents and leases ; administrative watchfulness and firmness were to secure them in Ireland. Privileges of trade were granted to the Undertakers : they were even allowed to transport coin out of England to Ireland : and a long respite was granted them before the Crown was to claim its rents. Strict rules were laid down to keep the native Irish out of the English lands and from intermarrying with the English families. In this partition, Seigniories were distributed by the Undertakers among themselves with the free carelessness of men dividing the spoil. The great people, like Hatton and Ralegh, were to have their two or three Seigniories : the County of Cork, with its nineteen Seigniories, is assigned to the gentlemen undertakers from Somersetshire. The plan was an ambitious and tempting one. But difficulties
The gentlemen undertakers were not in a hurry to leave England, even on a visit to their desolate and dangerous seigniories in Munster. The “planting" did not thrive. The Irish were inexhaustible in raising legal obstacles and in giving practical annoyance. Claims and titles were hard to discover or to extinguish. Even the very attainted and escheated lands were challenged by virtue of settlements made before the attainders. The result was that a certain number of Irish estates were added to the possessions of a certain number of English families. But Munster was not planted. Burghley's policy, and Walsingham's resolution, and Ralegh's daring inventiveness were alike baffled by the conditions of a problem harder than the peopling of America or the conquest of India. Munster could not be made English, After all its desolation, it reverted in the main to its Irish possessors.
Of all the schemes and efforts which accompanied the attempt, and the records of which fill the Irish State papers of those years, Spenser was the near and close spectator. He was in Dublin and on the spot, as Clerk of the Council of Munster. And he had become acquainted, perhaps, by this time, had formed a friendship, with Walter Ralegh, one of the most active men in Irish business, whose influence was rising wherever he was becoming known. Most of the knowledge which Spenser thus gathered, and of the impressions which a practical handling of Irish affairs had left on him, was embodied in his interesting work, written several years later-A View of the present State of Ireland, But his connection with Munster not unnaturally brought him also an accession of fortune. When Ralegh and the "Somersetshire men" were dividing among them the County of Cork, the Clerk of the Council was remembered by some of his friends. He was admitted among the Undertakers. His name appears in the list; among great statesmen and captains with their seigniories of 12,000 acres, as holding 2. grant of some 3000. It was the manor and castle of Kilcolman, a ruined house of the Desmonds, under the Galtee Hills. It appears to have been first assigned to another person.* But it came at last into Spenser's hands, probably in 1586; and henceforward this was his abode and his home.
Kilcolman Castle was near the high-road between Mallow and Limerick, about three miles from Buttevant and Doneraile, in a plain at the foot of the last western falls of the Galtee range, watered by a stream now called the Awbeg, but which he celebrates under the name of the Mulla. In Spenser's time it was probably surrounded with woods. The earlier writers describe it as a pleasant abode with fine views, and so Spenser celebrated its natural beauties. The more recent accounts are not so favorable. "Kilcolman," says the writer in Murray's Handbook, “is a small peel tower, with cramped and dark rooms, a form which every gentleman's house assumed in turbulent times. It is situated on the margin of a small lake, and, it must be confessed, overlooking an extremely dreary tract of country.". It was in the immediate neighborhood of the wild country to the north, half forest, half boĝ, the wood and hill of Aharlo, or Arlo, as Spenser writes it which was the refuge and the “great fastness" of the Desmond rebellion. It was amid such scenes, amid such occupations, in such society and companionship, that the poet of the Faerie Queene accomplished as much of his work as was given him to do. In one of his later poems, he thus contrasts the peace of England with his own home:
“No wayling there nor wretchednesse is heard,
* Carew MSS. Calendar, 1587, p. 449. 450.
Cf, Irish Papers; Calendar, 1587, p. 309, CHAPTER IV.
THE FAERIE QUEENE-THE FIRST PART.
(1580-1590.) The Faerie Queene is heard of very early in Spenser's literary course. We know that in the beginning of 1580, the year in which Spenser went to Ireland, something under that title had been already begun and submitted to Gabriel Harvey's judgment; and that, among other literary projects, Spenser was intending to proceed with it. But beyond the mere name, we know nothing, at this time, of Spenser's proposed Faerie Queene. Harvey's criticisms on it tell us nothing of its general plan or its numbers. Whether the first sketch had been decided upon, whether the new stanza, Spenser's original creation, and its peculiar beauty and instrument, had yet been invented by him, while he had been trying experiments in metre in the Shepherd's Calendar, we have no means of determining. But he took the idea with him to Ireland; and in Ireland he pursued it and carried it out.
The first authentic account which we have of the composition of the Faerie Queene is in a pamphlet written by Spenser's friend and predecessor in the service of the Council of Munster, Ludowick Bryskett, and inscribed to Lord Grey of Wilton: a Discourse of Civil Life, published in 1606. He describes a meeting of friends at his cottage near Dublin, and a conversation that took place on the ethical" part of moral philosophy, The company consisted of some of the principal English. men employed in Irish affairs, men whose names occur continually in the copious correspondence in the Rolls and at Lambeth. There was Long, the Primate of Armagh; there were Sir Robert Dillon, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Dormer, the Queen's Solicitor; and there were soldiers, like Thomas Norreys, then Vice-President of Munster, under his brother, John Norreys; Sir Warham Sentleger, on whom had fallen so much of the work in the South of Ireland, and who at last, like Thomas Norreys, fell in Tyrone's rebellion ; Captain Christopher Carleil, Walsingham's son-in-law, a man who had gained great distinction on land and sea, not only in Ireland, but in the Low Countries, in France, and Carthagena and San Domingo; and Captain Nicholas Dawtry, the Seneschal of Clandeboy, in the troublesome Ulster country, afterwards “Captain" of Hampshire at the time of the Armada. It was a remarkable party. The date of this meeting must have been after the summer of 1584, at which time Long was made Primate, and before the beginning of .1588, when Dawtry was in Hampshire. The extract is so curious, as a picture of the intellectual and literary wants and efforts of the times, especially amid the disorders of Ireland, and as a statement of Spenser's purpose in his poem, that an extract from