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upon him. He suffered like Sir Henry Sidney, who, three times Lord Deputy, was for each of those three times three thousand pounds the poorer in estate. Spenser remained in Ireland, where his home was in Dublin, in the forfeited house of Lord Baltinglas, and he was busy with his work as Clerk of Chancery.

The population of Ireland at that time was estimated roughly as equal to about an eighth part of the population of England. There were not more than five millions in England, and, if the proportion was rightly suggested, all Ireland contained a population of six hundred thousand. So much of this as had been Anglicised in times long past yielded, as was rightly said, chiefs more Hibernian than the Hibernians themselves.

Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of. Desmond, after the destruction of Fort del Ore, was a hunted man. In June, 1581, nearly caught near Castlemange, he escaped to the woods in his shirt. Next Christmas he was almost caught in Kilquegg Wood, near Kilmallock. Escape followed escape until daybreak on Monday, the eleventh of November, 1583, when the only companions left to him were a priest, two horsemen, a kerne, and a boy. He was surprised that morning by five soldiers in the woods of "Glanaginty. To make sure against rescue, his head was at once cut off and sent to England. In 1586 Desmond's estates were forfeited by Act of Parliament, and the scheme was devised for the settlement of loyal English

undertakers upon forfeited estates in Munster which brought Spenser to Kilcolman.


Lodowick Bryskett, who had friends in Florence, and may have been himself of Italian origin, had studied at

Trinity College, Cambridge, without taking a Bryskett's

degree. In 1571 he was, for a time, serving in
Ireland as Clerk of the Council under Sir Henry
Sidney. In 1572 he became the companion of

" Discourse
of Civil

young Philip Sidney during his three years of foreign travel. In 1577 he took the office of Clerk of the Irish Chancery, which Spenser bought of him in 1581. He and Spenser had become friends. Spenser employed some of his leisure time in helping Bryskett to learn Greek. Bryskett remained for some years in service of the Crown in Ireland, and in 1606, when he published his translation from Giraldi, “A Discourse of Civill Life, containing the Ethike Part of Morall Philosophie,” he was reputed to have large estates in Dublin, Cavan, and Cork. Although Bryskett's “Discourse of Civill Life” was not published until 1606, its Introduction indicates that this translation was made in Ireland before 1589, after which date Sir obert Cecil, in a letter to Sir. George Carew, speaks of Bryskett as an ancient servitor of the realm of Ireland, and now employed by her Majesty beyond the seas.” Giovanbattista Giraldi was the Cinthio of the Hecatommithi,* a busy writer of great mark in his own time, who died at the end of the year 1573, aged sixty-nine. Besides writing the hundred tales, or Hecatommithi, and nine tragedies in Italian, he was a doctor and professor of medicine at Ferrara, where he taught rhetoric, as he had before taught it in Mondovi and Pavia, and acted also as secretary to the reigning Duke. His three Dialogues on Civil life, designed as guides for the training of children and to teach self-rule to the young, were widely known to readers of Italian because they were published together with the Hecatommithi, which were themselves set forth upon their title page as moral aids to a right life.f

* " E. W.” viii. 292, 293.

+ This is the title-page of the book as published at Venice in 1580, probably the book from which Bryskett made his translation : “Hecatommithi, ouero Cento Novelle di M Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio nobile Ferrarese : Nelle quali, oltre le dilletteuoli materie, si conoscono moralità vtilissime a gli huomini per il ben viuere; & per destare altresì l'intelletto alla sagacità. Potendosi da esse con facilità apprendere il vero modo di scriuere Toscano. Et vi sono tre Dialoghi della Vita

The speakers in Giraldi's Three Dialogues were Fabio, Lelio, and Torquato, gentlemen of Rome, and Giannettino d'Oria, a nobleman of Genoa. Bryskett, when he published his version, set it in a dialogue among friends of his own, which


have been all invented, but seems to have been invention based upon the recollection of three days when friends were really met, as he says, in his cottage near Dublin, to hear him read the three parts of his book to them. His aim was to write dialogue-wise a pleasant introduction to the translation of a set of dialogues, and to put in corresponding form some comments upon each of the three books. It is not necessary that we should take an introduction so planned as giving an exact report of what was actually said in Bryskett's cottage. But even if Bryskett drew every word of his own dialogue out of his own imaginings, he was using the names of his friends, and basing his suggestion of their talk on knowledge of their lives and characters. He was at least inventing possible talks, with familiar knowledge of the conditions of life among English officials in Dublin.

In what Spenser is made to say of “The Faerie Queene," upon which he was busy in Ireland, there is nothing told

that was not perfectly well known to every Bryskett's

reader of the first three books, published sixteen Spenser.

years before Bryskett's book appeared. Bryskett's book added nothing at all to our knowledge of Spenser. But it

gave the names of some of his friends and companions in Ireland, and showed him talking as he might have talked, touching upon him with personal knowledge that would give to its narrative, even if the whole incident were invented, the proper colouring of truth.

"A Discourse of Civill Life : Containing the Ethike Civile, li quali a gli huomini mostrano come deuono ammaestrare i loro figliuoli, & a giouani come ben reggersi. In Venetia, appresso Fabio & Agostin Zopini Fratelli. MDLXXX.”

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part of Morall Philosophie. Fit for the instructing of a gentleman in the course of a vertuous life. By Lod. Br. London, printed for William Aspley, 1606,” was described

Written to the right honourable Arthur, late Earl Grey of Wilton,” who had died on the fourteenth of October, 1593, and was dedicated to “his singular good Lord, Robert Earl of Salisbury." Bryskett's introduction says that the occasion of its discourse “grew by the visitation of certain gentlemen coming to me to my little cottage which I had newly built near unto Dublin at such a time as, rather to prevent sickness than for any present grief, I had in the spring of the year begun a course to take some physic during a few days. Among which were Dr. Long, Primate of Armagh, Sir Robert Dillon, knight, M. Dormer, the Queen's Solicitor, Captain Christopher Carleil, Captain Thomas Norreis, Captain Warham St. Leger, Captain Nicolas Dawtrey, and M. Edmond Spenser, late your Lordship's Secretary, and Th. Smith, Apothecary.” The only object of Bryskett's writing in this matter being to produce an introduction to his translation of an Italian book on ethics, he proceeds to dis

“the happiness of the Italians who have in their mother tongue late writers that have with a singular easy method taught that which Plato or Aristotle have confusedly or obscurely left written.” Giraldi is named as one of three late writers. Bryskett wishes that some Englishman would do like service in English. He says that he plods on as he can with help of the Italians ; but what if Spenser would assist? Spenser is not only perfect in Greek, but well read in philosophy. "Nevertheless," Bryskett goes on,

course on

“Nevertheless such is my bashfulnes, as I never yet durst open my mouth to disclose this my desire unto him, though I have not wanted some hartning thereto from himselfe. For of love and kindnes to me he encouraged me long sithens to follow the reading of the Greeke tongue, and offered me his helpe to make me understand it. But now that so good an opportunitie is offered vnto me to satisfy in some sort my desire, thinke I should commit a great fault, not to myselse alone, but to all this company, if I should not enter my request thus farre, as to moue him to spend this time which we have now destined to familiar discourse and conuersation in declaring unto us the great benefits which men obiaine by the knowledge of Morall Philosophie, and in making us to know what the same is, what be the parts thereof, whereby vertues are to be distinguished from vices; and finally that he will be pleased to run ouer in such order as he shall thinke good, such and so many principles and rules thereof as shall serue not only for my better instruction but also for the contentment and satisfaction of you al. For I nothing doubt but that euery one of you will be glad to heare so profitable a discourse and thinke the time very wel spent wherin so excellent a knowledge shal be reuealed unto you, from which euery one may be assured to gather some fruit as wel as myselfe. Therefore (said I) turning myselfe to M. Spenser, It is you, sir, to whom it pertaineth shew yourselfe courteous now unto us all and make vs all beholding unto you for the pleasure and profit which we shall gather from your speeches, if you shall vouchsafe to open unto vs the goodly cabinet in which this excellent treasure of vertues lieth locked up from the vulgar sort. And thereof, in the behalfe of all as for myselfe, I do most earnestly intreate you not to say vs nay. Vnto which wordes of mine euery man applauding, most with like words of request and the rest with gesture and countenances expressing as much, M. Spenser answered in this maner : Though it may seeme hard for me to refuse the request made by you all, whom euery one alone I should for many respects be willing to gratifie, yet as the case standeth, I doubt not but with the consent of the most part of you I shall be excused at this time of this taske which would be laid vpon me. For sure I am, that it is not vnknowne unto you that I haue already vndertaken a work tending to the same effect, which is in heroical verse under the title of a Faerie Queene to represent all the moral vertues, assigning to euery vertue a Knight to be the patron and defender of the same, in whose actions and feates of arms and chiualry the operations of that vertue whereof he is the protector are to be expressed, and the vices and unruly appetites that oppose themselves against the same to be beaten down and ouercome. Which work, as I haue already well entred into, if God shall please to spare me life that I may finish it according to my mind, your wish (M. Bryskett) will be in some sort accomplished, though perhaps not so effectually as you could desire. And the same may very well serue for my excuse, if at this time I craue to be forborne in this your request, since any discourse that I night make thus on the sudden in such a subject would be but simple, and little to your satisfactions. For it would require good aduisement

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