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Cicero, to attend first to the life and power of the man, and not to the mere surface polish of his language, “Let every man,” he said, “learn to be, not a Roman, but himself.” Gabriel Harvey, then, the friend of Spenser and of Sidney, was no pedant. He was the eldest of four sons of a prosperous ropemaker and maltster, who also kept cows, at Saffron Walden. Two other brothers, Richard and John, followed him after a while to Cambridge; Richard, the elder, coming to Pembroke Hall as a boy of fourteen, in 1575, found in his brother Gabriel a guide and tutor.
An obscure book of Gabriel Harvey's enables us to understand the way of Spenser's introduction into life. In July,
1578, Queen Elizabeth visited Audley End, Spenser in
where the buildings of the suppressed abbey,
used as a residence, had the place of the great house afterwards built in the neighbourhood of Saffron Walden. Cambridge being close by, the university paid homage to the queen on that occasion. Gabriel Harvey, being a Saffron Walden man, made much of the event. When the great scholar, Sir Thomas Smith — who was of Saffron Walden and a kinsman, who had become a Secretary of State under Elizabeth and Chancellor of the Order of the Garter, and had written a Latin book upon England, De Republicâ Anglorum—died, in 1579, Harvey wrote his lament called Smithus. A series of Latin poems celebrating notabilities of the queen's visit to Saffron Walden was written by Gabriel Harvey, and published under the name of Gratulationes Valdinenses (“Walden Gratulations”). Two were upon words spoken by the queen concerning Gabriel himself. He pressed forward with his homage, and the queen said, “Who is this? Is it Leicester's man that we were speaking of?” Being told that it was, she said, “I'll not deny you my hand, Harvey.” Again,' as the subject of another set of verses, “Tell me,” the queen said to Leicester, “is it settled that you send this man to
Italy and France ?" “ It is,” said he. “That's well,” she replied, “for already he has an Italian face and the look of a man; I should
hardly have taken him for an Englishman.” In the queen's eyes he was like an Italian, for the dusky hue which Thomas Nash afterwards compared to rancid bacon. Here, then, we learn that Harvey was in Leicester's service, and about to be sent abroad by him. But Harvey just after this time wrote to his friend Spenser, who had left college upon taking his M.A. degree, and who seems to have been living as a tutor in the north of England, bidding him leave "those hills where harbrough nis,"
“ And to the dales resort, where shepheards rich,
And fruitful flocks bene euerywhere to see.”
The common friend of Harvey and Spenser who wrote the original gloss on “ The Shepheardes Calender,” says: “This is no poetical fiction, but unfeignedly spoken of the poet self, who for special occasion of private affairs (as I have been partly of himself informed) and for his more preferment, removing out of the north parts came into the south, as Hobbinol” (that is the name given in "The Shepheardes Calender" to Gabriel Harvey) "advised him privately."
Now, the advancement was by introduction to the Earl of Leicester, and by Leicester-either in place of Harvey, or as well as Harvey-Spenser was sent abroad. In October, 1579, there were addressed to Gabriel Harvey some affectionate hexameters by Edmund Spenser, then on the point of travelling into France. · Despatched by my lord, I go thither," Spenser said, in the postscript dated from Leicester House, as sent by him and maintained, most-what, of him ; and there am to employ my time, my mind, to his honour's service.” Clearly, then, the introduction to Leicester, which determined the whole future of Spenser's life, he had obtained from his friend Harvey. As “Leicester's man'
Harvey had become acquainted with Philip Sidney, Leicester's nephew. Likeness in age and love of literature had developed between them a friendship in which Spenser now was joined. It was in the year 1579, when he was in Leicester's service and Sidney's society, a frequent guest at Penshurst, and a young man with a future to make, that “The Shepheardes Calender" was published. When Spenser planned “The Shepheardes Calender,"
English writers had paid little attention to Eclogues. pastoral poetry. Robert Henryson's “Robene and Makyn,"
,”* in the latter half of the fifteenth century--the first pastoral in our language-was a pastoral by accident. It chanced to use dialogue between a shepherd and a shepherdess for illustration of a homely proverb, without following eclogues of Virgil or of any other writer, and it had no imitators.
We have seen † that in the latter days of Henryson, towards the close of the fifteenth century, pastoral writing came into high favour in Italy, and established itself during the earlier half of the sixteenth century in Spain and France. I In England, Alexander Barclay § with his eclogues, written probably between 1513 and 1516, followed the fashion, and we have seen also that two of Barclay's eclogues were expanded versions of two of the eclogues of Mantuan.
In the latter half of the sixteenth century there were only two volumes of eclogue published in England before Spenser's “Shepheardes Calender." These were Barnaby Googe's “Eglogs, Epytaphes and Sonetes," published in 1563, and “The Eglogs of the Poet B. Mantuan Carmelitan, Turned in English Verse, and set forth with the Argument to every Egloge by George Turbervile, Gent. Anno 1567." Barnaby Googe had also some translations from Virgil's
* “E. W." vi. 254-256.
E. W." viii. 54, 55.
“The Zodiac of
Eclogues in his translations of Heresbach's "Four Books of Husbandry," published in 1577.
Barnaby Googe-born on St. Barnaby's Day in the year 1540, at Alvingham, Lincolnshire—was the son of a Robert Googe, Recorder of Lincoln, his mother being
Barnaby Margaret, daughter of Sir John Mantell. He
Googe. studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, and at New College, Oxford, without taking a degree at either university, went then to Staple Inn, and was employed by his kinsman, Sir William Cecil. Googe was energetic in his opposition to the Church of Rome, a poet of repute in his time, and a diligent translator.
His first work was a translation of “The Zodiac of Life," written by Pier' Angelo Manzolli under the anagram of (Marzello Palingenio) Marcellus Palingenius. The author, born at Stellata, in the Ferrarese, is said to have been a physician, protected at the Court of Ercole II. d'Este, who was Duke of Ferrara from November, 1534, to October, 1559. To this prince he dedicated his poem-in Latin hexameters-first published at Venice without date, afterwards at Basel 1552, and entitled Zodiacus Vita, hoc est, De Hominis Vita, Studio, ac Moribus optime instituendis, Libri XII. The twelve books of this moral poem on the doctrine of the life of man were named after the twelve signs of the Zodiac. They were welcome in England for the boldness with which an Italian writer, who claimed to be a member of the Roman Church, poured scorn on the corruption in monastic orders. Palingenius said, in his dedication to Ercole II., that it was not, he thought, to be imputed to himself if in so large a work some things were found that seemed to differ from the orthodox religion : “ For while sometimes I speak of things philosophical I cite the opinions of different philosophers, especially the followers of Plato. If these be false, it is they, not I, who should be blamed. For my intention is never to swerve from the Catholic Faith.” His Church did blame him. “ The Zodiac of Life,” that boldly condemned, together with the pride of princes spiritual and temporal, the gluttony and idleness of monks, and called them pigs,* was entered at Rome in the Index of Prohibited Books as work of a heretic of the first class. The author was protected at Ferrara in his lifetime, but attack was made upon him in his grave by digging up his bones and burning them.
This was the very interesting book upon which Barnaby Googe first tried his skill as a translator. He began by publishing his version of the first three Books, into septenars, in 1560, with a metrical preface in the same popular measure. The Nine Muses, he says, looked in upon him as he sat by the fire in winter. Melpomene bade him “Stand up, young man,” and take his pen and translate Lucan. Urania bade him translate Aratus. But Calliope gave counsel to which the other Muses all assented, and which the young man proceeded to obey. Said Calliope“ A poet late I had whose pen did tread the crabbed ways
Of virtuous life, declaring how that men should spend their days.
Whereby he got himself an everlasting fame
In 1561 there was a second edition of Barnaby Googe's translation of the first three Books of “ The Zodiac of Life,” with the next three Books added. The translation was continued, and in 1565 Googe's complete version of the twelve Books appeared, with a dedication to Sir William Cecil.
*" Pro pudor : hos tolerare potest ecclesia porcos !” is a line near the end of the Ninth Book (Sagittarius).