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the Queen loves best ;” according to E. K.'s illustration. The eleventh is conjectured to have been written at Penshurst. Nor was the poet unnoticed, in regard to his advancement in the world, by this nobleman; as we shall presently see.
The Dedication, therefore, of the Shepheards Calender to “ Maister Philip Sidney” is a proof of gratitude as well as of judgement; to which the poet, “not obvious, not obtrusive,” modestly subscribes himself Immerito; by which appellation also Harvey afterwards addresses him in his Letters. The commentator on the Calender has prefixed to the Poem a Letter to Harvey, which displays with remarkable acuteness the design of the Pastoral ; in which Spenser is styled the unknown and new poet, but who," as soon as he shall be known, shall be beloved of all, embraced of the most, and wondered at of the best.” Congenial as we may suppose the studies of Sidney and Spenser to have been, Sidney has not however given unqualified 'praise to the Calender. “The Shepheards Kalender,” he says, in his Defence of Poesie, “hath much poetrie in his Eclogues, indeede worthie the reading if I be not deceived. That same framing of his stile to an old rusticke language, I dare not allow ; since neither Theocritus in Greeke, Virgil in Latin, nor Sannazarius in Italian, did affect it.” Yet Webbe, in his Discourse of English Poetry, can find no blemish existing in it; and Francis Meres, in his Wit's Treasury, says, “ As Theocritus is famed for his Idyllia in Greek, and Virgil for his Eclogs in Latin ; sơ Spenser, their imitator in his Shepheards Calendar, is renowned for the like argument, and honoured for fine poetical invention and most exquisite wit.” The Poem indeed gained so many admirers as to pass through mfive editions while Spenser lived. Yet the name of Spenser, as the author, appears for some time to have been not generally known. For to a manuscript translation of the poem into Latin verse by John Dove, preserved in the Library of Caius College Cambridge, a Dedication to the Dean and Subdean of Christ Church Oxford is prefixed, which shews that the translator had never heard of Spenser, and had never seen the first edition of what he had translated. The Dean and Subdean, to whom this translation is addressed, are Dr. James and Dr. Heton, of whom the former held the Deanery from 1584 to 1596. It is remarkable that the translator speaks of this unowned poem (to adopt the translator's own allusion (as almost buried in oblivion : "Prodiit (ornatissimi viri) anno salutis 1581 libellus quidam ådéonotos rithmo Anglicano elegantèr compositus, qui vulgari nomine et titulo Calendarium Pastorum inscribebatur, insignissimo D. P. Sidneio dedicatus, cui tum noviter divulgato docti vehementer applauserunt. Quia illustrissimus eques suo patrocinio non indignum judicavit, eundem etiam latinitate donatum in vestri nominis dignitate apparere volui, vestrum nomen conjunctim affari, vos patronos asciscere, partim ut aliquam observantiæ meæ significationem vobis darem quibus me plurimum debere agnosco, partim ut hoc opusculum jam penè deletum et quasi sepultum de novo vestræ lectioni secundò commendarem ; vel, si non integrum, saltem Æglogas 7, 9, etc. quibus sensus inest longè divinissimus. Spero vobis non ingratum fore hoc meum studium, quum non sitis Morrelli, non Davides, non Palinodi, et pseudapostoli ; sed Algrindi, sed Pierci, et Thomalini, orthodoxi pastores, &c.” The poetical translation is by no means indifferent; and there is subjoined to it an Elegy, in very respectable Latin hexameters, on the death of Algrind, that is, Archbishop Grindal, whom Spenser designs, in his fifth Eclogue, under o that anagrammatick name ; as in the seventh he also designs Bishop Elmer or Aylmer, under p that of Morrell.
| Sir Philip, however, in his Defence of Poesie, evidently alludes, with particular commendation, in the following passage, to the satirical turn of the Shepheards Calender : "Is it then the Pastorall Poeme which is misliked ? (For perchance where the hedge is lowest they will soonest leap over.) Is the poor pipe disdained, which sometimes, out of Melibeus' mouth, can shewe the miserie of people under hard lords and ravening souldiers ? And againe by Tityrus, what blessednesse is derived to them that lye lowest, from the goodnesse of them that sit highest ? Sometimes, under the prettie tales of wolves and sheepe, can include the whole considerations of wrong doing and patience; sometimes shew that contentions for trifles can get but a trifling victorie, &c."
m Viz. in 1579, 1581, 1586, 1591, 1597. n Numbered 595 in the valuable collection of manuscripts belonging to this society.
9. Archbishop Grindal appears, by these commendations of Spenser and Dove, to have been greatly respected on account of the mildness of his disposition. The puritans claimed him, unjustly, as their own. Dr, Drant, another contemporary poet, (of whom further mention is presently made,) wrote and published a poem also in praise of Grindal, which he named, by way of eminence, Præsul. The memory of Grindal indeed will continue to be the theme of gratitude, while Queen's College Oxford, and Pembroke Hall Cambridge, shall exist. See Strype's Life of this prelate.
p Dr, Elmer or Aylmer, Bishop of London, excited the displeasure of Spenser perhaps, in consequence of his ceasing to
If Mr. Dove's translation has represented the fame of the Shepheards Calender as sleeping, let us oppose to his evidence the acknowledged utility of the poem, within the period in which he deplores its supposed burial, as subservient not only to the solacing the troubled spirit, but to the illustration of perhaps the most abstruse subject within the circle of English Literature, The Logick of the Law! Abraham Fraunce, (a poet as well as a barrister, and the friend of Sir Philip Sidney,) who tells us that “seaven yeares were almost overgone him since he began to be a medler with Logicall meditations,” published in 1588 9“ The Lawiers Logike ;” and in his Preface he says he had read his meditations six times over within the seven years,
“thrise at S. Iohns colledge in Cambridge, thrise at Grays Inne in London. After application of Logike to Lawe,” he continues, " and examination, of Lawe by Logike, I made playne the precepts of the one by the practise of the other, and called my booke, The Lawyers Logike; not as though Logike were tyed only unto Law, but for that our Law is most fit to expresse the præcepts of Logike. Yet, because many love Logike that never learne Lawe, I have reteyned those ould examples of the new Shepheards Kalender, which I first gathered ; and thereunto added thease also out of our Law bookes, which I lately collected.”—I select a pithy illustration from the tenth chapter of the first book : “Of Opposites. Opposites are eyther Disparates or contraries. Disparates are sundry opposites wherof one is equally and in like manner opposed unto many. Hobbinoll in Aprill in his song of Elisa :
Bring here the pincke, and purple cullambine,
with gelliflowres :
Bring coronations, and sops in wine, &c. &c. All which herbes bee equally differing one from another, and are therefore Disparates. M. Plowden, Fol. 170. a. b. Mes vn grosse nosme poyet conteigner diuers choses corporall, come Manor, Monastery, Rectory, Castell, Hopor, et tiels semblables. Car eux sont choses compound, et poyent conteyner tout ensemble messuages, terres, prees, bois, et tiels semblables.” I will add another instance, which may perhaps entitle me to the thanks of the next editor of Plowden, as it exhibits a correction of that great lawyer ! “Of Contraries. Repugnant arguments bee such contraries, whereof one is so opposite to one, or at the inost to two, as that there can never any agreement bee found betweene them. So warre is onely opposite to peace : but covetousness to liberality and prodigalitie, yet more to prodigality. Perigot in August :
Ah Willy, when the hart is ill assayde,
How can bagpipe or ioynts be well apayde ? Maister Plowden, Fol. 467. a. Et issint il apiert diversitie, (hee should have sayde rather Repugnancy,) enter les deux equities ; car l'un abridge, l'auter enlarge ; l'un dymynisha, l'auter amplifie ; l'un tolla de le letter, l'auter ad al ceo."
These remarkable circumstances relating to the first publication, by which Spenser became distinguished, being noticed; it is now necessary to turn to his correspondence with Harvey. And the following Letter will at once inform us of his situation, his employment of time, and his expectations. “ To the Worshipfull his very singular good friend, Maister G. H. Fellow of Trinitie Hall in Cambridge.
“Good Maister G.-I perceive by your most curteous and frendly letters your good will to be no lesse in deed, than I alwayes esteemed. In recompence wherof, think I beseech
that I wil spare neither speech nor wryting, nor aught else, whensoever and wheresoever occasion
inveigh against the superior clergy; for “when he first became a preacher," says Sir John Harington," he followed the popular phrase and fashion of the younger divines of those tymes, which was to inveigh against the superfluities of the churchmen :-of which not long after, by reading and conference, he was throughly cured.--Certain it is, no bishop was more persecuted and taunted by the puritans of all sorts then he was, by lybells, by scoffs, by open railing, and privy backbiting." Briefe View of the State of the Ch. of Eng. 12mo. 1653, p. 18. See also a slander upon this bishop refuted in Fulke's Retentive to stay good Christians in true Faith, 12mo. Lond. 1580, p. 69.
4 " The Lawiers Logike, exemplifying the præcepts of Logike by the practise of the common Lawe, by Abraham Fraunce, Lond. 1588." 4to. A poetical Dedication to Henry Earle of Pembrooke is prefixed. Fraunce is a writer of verses, and shines particularly as an English hexametrist. His Countesse of Pembrokes Yvychurch, and his translation of part of Heliodorus, are written in melodious dactyls and spondees, to the no small admiration of Sidney, Harvey, &c. Sidney adopted, in his Arcadia, almost every kind of Latin verse for his English songs. Fraunce appears to have been intimate with Spenser, and to have seen the Faerie Queene long before it was published.
shall be offred me : yea, I will not stay till it be offred, but will seeke it in al that possibly I may. And that you may perceive how much your counsel in al things prevaileth with me, and how altogither I am ruled and over-ruled thereby ; I am now determined to alter mine owne former purpose, and to subscribe to your advizement : being notwithstanding resolved stil to abide your farther resolution. My principal doubts are these. First, I was minded for a while to have intermitted the uttering of my writings, leaste, by over-much cloying their noble eares, I should gather a contempt of myself, or else seeme rather for gaine and commoditie to doe it, for some sweetnesse that I have already tasted. Then also me seemeth the work too base for his excellent 'lordship, being made in honour of a private personage unknowne, which of some ylwillers might be upbraided, not to be so worthie, as you knowe she is; or the matter not so weightie, that it should be offred to so weightie a personage, or the like. The selfe former title still liketh me well ynough, and your fine addition no lesse. If these, and the like doubtes, maye be of importaunce in your seeming, to frustrate any parte of your advice, I beseeche you, without the leaste selfe love of your own purpose, councell me for the beste : and the rather doe it faithfullye, and carefully, for that, in all things, I attribute so muche to your iudgement, that I am evermore content to adnihilate mine owne determinations, in respecte thereof. And indeede for your selfe, to, it sitteth with you now, to call your wits and senses togither (which are alwaies at call) when occasion is so fairely offered of estimation and preferment. For whiles the yron is hote, it is good striking, and minds of nobles varie as their estates. Verùm ne quid durius.
I pray you bethinke you well hereof, good Maister G. and forthwith write me those two or three special points and caveats for the nonce ; De quibus in superioribus illis mellitissimis longissimisq litteris tuis. Your desire to heare of my late beeing with hir Maiestie, must dye in it selfe. As for the twoo worthy gentlemen, 'Master Sidney, and Master Dyer, they have me, I thanke them, in some use of familiarity : of whom, and to whome, what speache passeth for youre credite and estimation, I leave your selfe to conceive, having alwayes so well conceived of my unfained affection, and zeale towardes you. And nowe they have proclaimed in their åpewrayó a general surce
rceasing and silence of balde rymers, and also of the verie beste to: in steade whereof, they have, by authoritie of their whole senate, prescribed certaine lawes and rules of quantities of English sillables, for English verse : having had thereof already great practise, and drawen mee to their faction. Newe bookes I heare of none, but only of 'one, that writing a certaine booke, called The Schoole of Abuse, and dedicating it to Maister Sidney, was for hys labor scorned ; if at leaste it be in the goodnesse of that nature to scorne. Such follie is it, not to regarde aforehande the inclination and qualitie of him, to whome wee dedicate oure bookes. Suche mighte I happily incurre, entituling My • Slomber, and the other pamphlets, unto his honor. I meant them rather to Maister Dyer. But I am, of late, more in love wyth my Englishe v versifying, than with ryming : whyche I should have done long since, if I would then have followed your councell. Sed te solum iam tum suspicabar cum Aschamo sapere ; nunc Aulam video egregios alere Poëtas Anglicos.
Maister "E. K. hartily desireth to be commended unto your Worshippe, of whom, what
The Earl of Leicester, I suppose. $ Sidney and Dyer appear to have been particular friends. Harvey calls them “the Castor and Pollux of poetry.-' In Davison's Poetical Rapsodie, edit. 1602, two pastoral Odes are to be found, made by Sir P. Sidney upon his meeting with his two worthy friends, and fellow-poets, Sir Edward Dier and M. Fulke Grevill."
Stephen Gosson ; whose book was first published in 1579. He was a preacher, and a writer of verses; noted, according to Antony Wood, for his admirable penning of pastorals; yet very severe “ against Poets, Pipers, Players, and their Excusers," as he is pleased thus to class them, in his Schoole of Abuse and in his Apologie (published in the same year) for the said didactick work!
u A Sennights Slumber, as it is entitled in the bookseller's address to the reader, prefixed to the Complaints.
v We lament the perverted taste of Spenser in this respect. But he afterwards paid little or no attention to this versifying. He means, by versifying, the unnatural adaptation of English verse to Latin prosody; of which further notice is presently taken.
w The commentator on the Shepheards Calender, whose labours were joined to the poem on its first appearance. By the mention of Mystresse Kerkes, in the next paragraph, some have been led to assign the name of Edward Kerke to the old scholiast. Some also have not failed to suppose that King might be the name ; and, that the force of guessing might no further go, to imagine even the poet and the commentator the same person !
accompte he maketh, your selfe shall hereafter perceive, by hys paynefull and dutifull verses of your selfe.
Thus much was written at Westminster yesternight; but comming this morning, beeyng the sixteenth of October (1579] to Mystresse Kerkes, to have it delivered to the carrier, I receyved youre letter, sente me the laste weeke; whereby I perceive you other whiles continue your old exercise of versifying in English ; whych glorie I had now thought shoulde have bene onely ours heere at London, and the Court.
Truste me, your verses I like passingly well, and envye your hidden paines in this kinde, or rather maligne and grudge at your selfe, that woulde not once imparte so muche to me. But, once or twice, you make a breache in Maister - Drant's rules : quod tamen condonabimus tanto Poëtæ, tuceq ipsius maximæ in his rebus autoritati. You shall see, when we meete in London, (whiche, when it shall be, certifye us) howe fast I have followed after you in that course : beware, leaste in time I overtake you. Veruntamen te solùm sequar, (ut sæpenumerò sum professus,) nunquam sané assequar, dum vivam. And nowe requite I you with the like, not with the verye beste, but with the verye shortest, namely, with a fewe Iambickes. I dare warrant, they be precisely perfect, for the feete, (as you can easily iudge) and varie not one inch from the rule. I will imparte yours to Maister Sidney, and Maister Dyer, at my nexte going to the courte. I praye you, keepe mine close to your selfe, or your verie entire friendes, Maister' Preston, Maister Still, and the reste.
Make thy selfe fluttring wings of thy fast flying
I thought once agayne here to have made an ende, with a heartie Vale, of the best fashion :
x Among the many publications by Drant, I have not discovered these Rules ; which may be a subject of deep lamentation to English hexametrists, and pentametrists, atque id genus omne, unless they have been more fortunate in their search ! Tanner's list of his publications is copious. Drant was of St. John's College, Cambridge, afterwards prebendary of Chichester and archdeacon of Lewes. See his character in Warton's Hist. of Eng. Poetry, vol. iii. p. 429.
y Preston, first of King's College, Cambridge, afterwards Master of Trinity Hall, was the author of “A Lamentable Tragedy mixed ful of pleasant mirth, conteyning the life of Cambises king of Percia, &c.” which is said to have rendered the author an object of ridicule. He wrote also “A geliflower or gwete marygolde, wherein the frutes of teranny you may beholde." See the Biographia Dramatica, Art. Preston, (Thomas) and Cambyses. See also Bibliograph. Poetica.
z Still, who was afterwards bishop of Bath and Wells, is believed to be the author of Gammer Gurtons Needle, the earliest exhibition of what " looks like a regular comedy" in our language. See Biograph. Dram. Art. Still, (John) and Malone's Hist. Acc. of the Eng. Slage. “ His breeding," says Sir John Harington, “was from his childhood in good litterature, and partly in musick, which was counted in those days a preparative to divinitie.-To conclude of this bishop, without flatterie, I hold him a rare man for preaching, for arguing, for learning, for living." Briefe View of the State of the Church of England in Q. Eliz. time, &c. edit. 1653. 12mno. p. 119.
. Admitted into Davison's Poetical Rapsodie, edit. 1611. And since reprinted in Warton's Observations on the Facrie Queene, in Waldron's Literary Museum, and in Neve's Cursory Remarks on the English Poets.
but loe ! an ylfavoured mischaunce. My last farewell, whereof I made great accompt, and
Gallias Navigaturi, ’Eutuxeîv.