« PreviousContinue »
OF EDMUND SPENSER.
IFE AND WRITINGS
published his "Shepheards Calender," es, appropriated to, or rather named
of the year, and written in such vas thought necessary, even at that 1 of the obsolete words at the end pastoral is not confined to scenes
rustic manners, and to descriptions ties of natural scenery or of particu orm but a small part of it. Instead luced his shepherds discussing the Protestant and Romish churches
the development of poetical genius, out of place, but absurd. He has lmost every other of his productions,
his sovereign. "The Shepheards Emoral, and, for the most part, very s tender or beautiful, and affording ellence which the author afterwards ier, some passages not deficient in ition. Sir Philip Sidney, to whom it in measured terms of praise:?” says he, “has much poetry in he reading, if I be not deceived." for the author: Abraham Fraunce, ad of Sidney, drew from it part ogick of the Law, and it passed er's lifetime. <cited respecting Spenser's friend Ć he was not the poet himself, as
are bound to believe, from the zich he indulges when speaking
evidently thought highly of his stance of the name of Mrs. Kerke etters to Harvey, in which E. K. arty commendations to Harvey, name was Kerke. This friend,
his counsel and secret meaning hat “ Rosalind is a feigned name, bewray the very name of his
love and mistress, whom by that name he coloureth.” No ourselves privy to his secret meaning, and E. K. not left us a key to it, we are constrained to leave this w matter to the curious, who may be disposed to try to ori name rightly.
It appears, from the Epistle of E. K. prefixed to “The heards Calender,” that this was not the only poetical w which the pen of Spenser had then been employed: he ex a hope that this publication will “occasion him to pu other excellent works of his which sleep in silence; shis • Dreams, his · Legends, his «Court of Cupid,' and others." In a note to the third eclogue, he mentions
a translation of “Moschus his Idyllion of Wan Love;" and, in the Argument to the tenth, he alludes author's book called “ The English Poet;" " which boo says, “being lately come to my hands, I mind also, by grace, upon further advisement, to publish.” These “
“Leg and “The Court of Cupid,” were probably parts of “The Queene;" the latter, we conceive, was what is now called Masque of Cupid,” in that work.
By Harvey, Spenser was introduced to Sir Philip (the Sidney, by whom he was recommended to the Earl of Lei His biographers, however, differ in opinion as to the i occasion and period of this event. Although it is not a of much importance, yet, as his last biographer has rej in rather decisive terms, two of the assigned occasions introduction, and, as appears to us, on insufficient ground will for a moment advert to it. Mr. Todd, in alluding letter addressed by Spenser to Harvey, dated 16th Oct. in which he speaks of Sir Philip Sidney as a person with he was acquainted, adds, that it “affects the credibility pretended introduction to Sidney on account of his presen to him of the Ninth Canto of the First Book of The ] Queene;' for it shows that he was known to Sidney pri to the publication of "The Shepheards Calender'in 1579. incontrovertible fact,” he subjoins, “refutes the opinion of a very elegant writer (Mr. Ellis), and of others less I to fame, that the Dedication of The Shepheards Cale seems to have procured Spenser his first introduction to