Slike strani

Italian translations, also asked for lation of Tasso, with a dedication a measure of form and style with to Queen Elizabeth. This version them. Harington's Ariosto and shows a distinct advance upon Fairfax's Tasso are not rough, | Harington's Ariosto. “It has been haphazard versions : they are, by considered," says Hallam, "as one themselves, literary productions, of the earliest works, in which the attempts to give a worthy ren- obsolete English, which had not dering of their original and to fit been laid aside in the days of Sackit to the appreciation of men of ville, and which Spenser affected to taste and learning. Ariosto and preserve, gave way to a style not Tasso were the Italian poets most much differing, at least in point of in request; their study formed the single words and phrases, from necessary corollary to the study of that of the present day.' But this Spenser : they were also the most praise, he adds, is equally due to modern of the great Italians. The Daniel, to Drayton, and to others definitive edition of the Orlando of the later Elizabethan poets. The Furioso appeared in 1532 ; the first five books of Tasso had bcen Gerusalemme Liberata of Tasso previousiy (1594) translated by the belongs to 1580. As the demand antiquary RICHARD CAREW (1555for Petrarch and the general custom 1620). This translation, although of the sonnct grew slack, the pop- more literal than Fairfax's, is far ularity of the epic and romantic inferior in poetical spirit. authors grew. Their influence on Yet another type of translator is Milton, the greatest poet of the seen in JOSUAH SYLVESTER (1563seventeenth century-their contribu- 1618), a man of Kent, who spent tion to the stock of his imagination most of his life as a merchant in -is easily seen. One may remark, London, and died at Middelburg, as in this place, that thc Elizabethan secretary to the English Merchant writers scem to have recognised Venturers. Sylvester's great work little in Dante beyond his medie. was the translation (1605-6) of the valism : they regarded the Divine French poet Du Bartas' Divine Comedy as they regarded West- Weeks and Works, one of those minster Abbey or Lincoln Minster, inspired poems whose cosmogony is as an antiquated work of art sadly splendid, if uncritical. The original in need of Renaissance beautifying. poem, La Semaine, and its sequel, The study of Dante, so far La Seconde Semaine, had appeared England is concerned, belongs to in 1578 and 1584. This version the nineteenth century.

was in great repute for many years : SIR JOHN HARINGTON (1561 - it went through six editions, the 1612) published, in 1591, the earliest last of which was published in 1641 : translation of the Orlando Furiosoit gained its maker the epithet of Ariosto. His father, the elder of “the Silver-Tongued"; and it John Harington (1534-1582), was had a great influence on the subsethe author of some poems published quent work of Milton. Sylvester also in his son's collection called Nuge published, in 1599, a series of gratuAntiqua, and was imprisoned by latory sonnets, forty in number, Mary in the Tower, for holding addressed to Henry IV of France. correspondence with Elizabeth. Sir John himself was born at Kelston, near Bath. He wrote four books of

(4.) Other Poets. epigrams and several other works. THOMAS CHURCHYARD (1520 ?He was also, as joint executor of 1604) was born at Shrewsbury, and Frances Lady Sussex's will, con- served as a page in Surrey's housenected with the founding of Sidney hold, where pages might be expected Sussex College, in Cambridge. His to develop into poets. Churchyard successor in the path of Italian however, never became a past maste. translation was EDWARD FAIRFAX of the art. Half his life and more (d. 1635), a gentleman of fortune, was spent in active service under all who, in 1600, published a trans- the best commanders of the age ; ENG, LIT,



but his enjoyment of warfare seems which is a considerable addition to to have been but slight. Isaac English pastoral poetry. He also, d'Israeli described him as “one of like many of his friends, was a transthose unfortunate men who have lator, choosing for his effort (1560-5) written poetry all their days and a Latin satire by Pier Angelo lived a long life to complete the Manzoli (Marcellus Palingenius), misfortune." His temperament was known as The Zodiac of Life. Dr. exceptionally gloomy, and there is Courthope notes : " The matter of very little of the cheerful note in his his fifth and sixth eclogues is borpoetry. It may be remembered that rowed from the Diana Enamorada he joined in the compilation of The of Montemayor, which he had doubt. Mirror for Magistrates. In most less read during his travels in Spain ; of his subsequent work he adhered and, as far as I know, this is the to the same stiff, sombre style, in- first trace of the influence of Spanish troducing an autobiographical ele- romance on English poetry." Sidney, ment which is sufficiently melancholy. as we have seen, was indebted to Critics differ considerably about his Montemayor for a certain amount place among contemporary writers ; of his Arcadia. but the comparative smoothness of SAMUEL ROWLANDS (1570 ?-1630) his verse cannot compensate for its was a prolific pamphleteer during the monotony and lack of humour, or late Tudor and the Stewart epoch. place him above a rather hardly “His descriptions of contemporary gained position in the second class follies," said the poet Campbell, of Tudor poets.

“have considerable humour. JOHN DAVIES of Hereford (1565?- think he has afforded in the story 1618) was a writing - master and of Smug and Smith a hint to Butler author of miscellaneous verse. His--the author of Hudibras--“for his forte lay in the sonnet and epigram, apologue of vicarious justice, in the 'but he fancied his own powers in case of the brethren who hanged a religious allegory very strongly. His 'poor weaver that was bedrid,' in. best work is to be found in the stead of the cobbler who had killed collections (1610 - 11) called Wits' an Indian Pilgrimage and The Scourge of

Not out of malice, but mere zeal, Folly. He must not be confounded

Because he was an Infidel.'with the more eminent Sir John Davies, to whom we have alluded Robert SOUTHWELL (1561 ?in the text.

1595) was born at Horsham St. HUMPHREY Gifford, in 1580, Faith's in Norfolk, was educated at published a collection of songs called Douai, where he joined the Society A Posy of Gillyflowers, which has of Jesus and took Holy Orders, and something of value as a very distinct returned to England as a missionary example of the transition from the in 1586. He was arrested in 1592 carly Tudor poetry to the full and executed at Tyburn in 1595, not strength of the Elizabethan period. as an accomplice in any plot, but Many of Gifford's poems are semi- simply as a priest of the Roman religious.

Church. His poems have a wonderBARNABE Googe (1540-1594), ful beauty of religious thought and who has been credited with a poem expression, and Ben Jonson said in Tottel's Miscellany, was the son of of the famous Burning Babe, that a Recorder of Lincoln, and migrated | Southwell "had so written that piece from Christ's College, Cambridge, of his, that he (Jonson) would have to New College, Oxford. His repu- been content to destroy many of his." tation is, of course, similar to that Southwell bears some resemblance to of Turbervile, Gascoigne, and other the other great and gentle Romanist pioneers of Elizabethan poetry. He poet, Richard Crashaw. entered the household of Sir William William WARNER (1558?-1009) Cecil, afterwards Lord Burghley. was a native of London, an His chief work is the Eclogues, torney of the Common Pleas, and Epitaphs, and Sonnets, of 1563, I the author of Albion's England, first


printed in 1986, and frequently re-place indeed in the long catalogue printed. This poem, written in the of such poems, are a much more enfourteen-syllable line, is a history of during claim to celebrity than his England from the Deluge to the notes of Jonson's table-talk. In reign of James I. It supplanted The addition to his regular sonnets, he Mirror for Magistrates in popular wrote canzoni and madrigals, those favour. The style of the work was customary appendages to the sonmuch admired in its day, and Meres, net-cycle; nor must we forget his in his Wil's Treasury, says that by unique contribution to prose literaWarner's pen the English tongue ture, a meditation on death called was "mightily enriched and gor- A Cypress Grove (1623), which has geously invested in rare ornaments hardly attracted the notice it deand splendid habiliments." The serves. Although Drummond had tales are chiefly of a “merry" cast, lived much in France, and must cerand the work altogether furnishes tainly have been acquainted with a great contrast to The Mirror for French and Italian sonnet work, his Magistrates.

own originality saves him from slavish imitation. The same may be said

of a third sonnet writer, ROBERT (5.) Scottish Poets.


1654). The work of SIR ALEXANDER Although the two most important SCOTT (15252-1584 ?). "the Scottish Scottish poets of the Elizabethan Anacreon," consisting of love-songs, period belong, in point of time, to satires, and madrigals, belongs to a a later period, and were more nearly much earlier period. the contemporaries of Wither, Her- The allegorical poem, of which rick, and Crashaw than of Spenser Sir David Lyndsay had been almost and Sidney, their chief work, never- the last representative, found another theless, consists of sonnets, and may echo in Scotland as late as 1597, therefore be referred to the epoch when ALEXANDER MONTGOMERIE under discussion. Sir WillIAM (1556 ?-1610?) published The Cherry ALEXANDER, EARL OF STIRLING and the Slae. This work long con(1567?-1640), published in 1637 a tinued to be popular, and its metre collection of works, called Recrea. was adopted by Burns. If we add to tions of the Muses. This contained these names Sir RICHARD MAITan heroic poem called Doomsday, LAND, LORD LETHINGTON (1496– four tragedies founded on grave and 1586), the collector of the ancient royal themes, and a book of sonnets poems which bear his name ; ALEXentitled Aurora. The fact that, so ANDER HUME (1560 ?-1609), whose late in history, a poet should have Hymns and Sacred Songs appeared thought it worth while to revive the in 1599; and, last but not least, KING Senecan form of tragedy is a proof JAMES VI (1566 - 1625), our own of the way in which Scotland fol- James I, who, to add to his varied lowed English fashions at a distance. stock of acquirements, and to parallel

The sonnets of William DRUM | his own poetical achievements with YOND of Hawthornden (1585-1649), his ancestors', produced, in 1584, a a son of Sir John Drummond, are volume of verse, entitled Essayes of another proof of the same very a Prentice in the Divine Art of natural circumstance. Drummond's | Poesie, with the Rewlis and Cautelis name has suffered from his in

to be pursued and avoided--these judicious record of the visit which will complete the tale of Scottish Ben Jonson paid him in 1618: but poetry in the sixteenth and early his sonnets, which take a very high | seventeenth centuries.



JAMES I–A.D. 1558-1625.

§ 1. Philosophical importance of the era. § 2. Elizabethan chroniclers : Stow, HOLINSHED, and SPEED. $ 3. Sir WALTER RALEGH.

4. Collections of voyages and travels : HAKLUYT, PURCHAS, DAVIS. § 5. Anglican theology: HOOKER'S Ecclesiastical Polity. $6. Life of FRANCIS BACON. $ 7. Bacon's place in philosophy: the scholastic system. $ 8. History of previous attempts to throw off the yoke of the scholastic philosophy. $ 9. Bacon's Instauratio Magna. $ 10. First and Second Books: De Augmentis Scientiarum and the Novum Organum; the Inductive Method. $ 11. Third Book : Sylva Sylvarum; and sketch of remaining books. $ 12. Bacon's services to science. $ 13. His Essays and other English writings. § 14. BURTON'S Anatomy of Melancholy. $ 15. LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY; THOMAS Hobbes : the Leviathan.


the Eliza. bethan era.

§ 1. The principal object of the present chapter is to trace the nature and the results of that immense revolution in philosophy

brought about by the immortal writings of Bacon. character of It will, however, be unavoidable, in accordance with

the chronological order generally adopted in this

work, to sketch the character of other authors, of great though inferior importance, who flourished about this time. Of the general intellectual character of the age of Elizabeth something already has been said : it may be observed that much of the peculiarly practical character which distinguishes the political and philosophical literature of the time is to be traced to the general laicising of the higher functions of the public service, and is one of the most notable results of the English Reformation. The clergy had no longer the monopoly of that learning and those acquirements which, during the Middle Ages, had secured them the monopoly of power : while the vigorous personal character of the great Queen combined with her jealousy of dictation to surround her throne with ministers chosen, for the most part, from among the middle classes of her people. To men like these she accorded unshaken confidence, while she never allowed them to obtain any of that undue influence which was exerted upon her feminine weaknesses by unworthy favourites like Leicester and Essex. Such men as Burghley, Walsingham, and Sir Thomas Smith belong to a peculiar type and class of statesmen ; and their administration, although less brilliant and dramatic than many other historical administrations, was, for wisdom and patriotism, without a parallel.

§ 2. In the humble, but useful, department of the historical chronicle, a few words must be said of the labours of JOHN STOW (15252–1605) and RAPHAEL HOLINSHED

The (d. 1580?). Stow, a London citizen of very slight liter- Chroniclers. ary pretensions but extraordinary industry, devoted the whole of his long life to the task of collecting materials for his chronicles, the most important of which was his Survey of London (1598), a work still of the highest value to the antiquary. His earlier works were the Summary of English Chronicles, first published in 1565, and the Annals of 1592, originally published as The Chronicles of England (1580). He also edited Chaucer (1561), and, under the patronage of Archbishop Parker, was the first editor of Matthew of Westminster (1567), Matthew Paris (1571), and Thomas Walsingham (1574). Holinshed's chronicle (1578) took the form of a general history of England. It was from Holinshed that Shakespeare drew the materials for many of his half-legendary, half-historical, pieces-such as Macbeth, King Lear, and the like ; and it is curious to observe the way in which the genius of the poet animates and transfigures the flat and prosaic language of the old chronicler, whose very words he often quotes textually. Striking examples of this will be found in Henry V and Henry VI. To the names of Stow and Holinshed should be added that of JOHN SPEED (1552?-1629), who, in 1611, published a History of Great Britain from the earliest times down to the reign of James I. This work formed a sequel to The Theatre of Great Britain, which Speed had published earlier in the same year.

§ 3. The most extraordinary and meteoric personage in the literary history of this time is Sir WALTER RALEGH, the brilliancy of whose courtly and military career can be equalled only by the wonderful variety of his Sir WALTER talents and accomplishments, and by the tragic (1552 7-1618). heroism of his death. Early in life, he attracted the favour of Elizabeth by an act of romantic gallantry which has furnished the theme of a famous anecdote ; and, both by his military exploits and by his graceful flattery, he long kept possession of her capricious favour. He highly distinguished himself in the Irish wars, during which he visited Spenser at Kilcolman ; and, on his return, he brought the author of The Faëry Queen back to England with him. As a navigator and adventurer his distinction was no less ; he was engaged in the colonisation of Virginia and the conquest of Guiana, and is said to have been the first to introduce the use of the potato and tobacco into England. On the accession of James I he seems to have been involved, on the very slightest grounds, in an accusation of high treason connected with the alleged plot to place the unfortunate Arabella Stewart on the throne, and, being sentenced to death, was confined for over twelve years in the Tower. Proposing a

« PrejšnjaNaprej »