Skip to main content

Full text of "Elizabethan critical essays;"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 









• n • 


First edition 1904 

Reprinted photographically in Great Britain in 1937 
by LOWE & BRYDONE, LONDON, from sheets of the 

First edition 


• • 



The purpose of these volumes is to collect the 
writings of the Elizabethan age which are concerned 
with Literary Criticism. The term is used in its most 
comprehensive sense, and permits the inclusion not 
merely of academic treatises on the nature of poetry 
or on more special problems of form, but of tracts 
and prefaces which express contemporary taste. 
Some of the texts, such as Harvey's and Nash's, are 
reproduced less for their matter than for their manner 
of approach. The work is therefore an attempt to 
recover, primarily in the words of the Elizabethans 
themselves, what then passed for critical opinion in 
literary circles. I hope the collection will commend 
itself as being fairly complete: the ingenious repeti- 
tion of argument and illustration which runs through- 
out would show at least that we are in possession of 
the abiding topics. 

Several of the texts have been reprinted, either 
individually or as parts of works, during the late 
century, and notably by Haslewood, Grosart, and 
Mr. Arber. In these, it may be said, the interest has 
been exclusively bibliographical and historical— a 
restriction perhaps inevitable in the plan of separate 
reprints. The advance in the study of Criticism has 
proved, however, that there are other, and perhaps 
more important, interests in this material, and that 
these are best served by treating it as a whole. In 
no other way can we find the historical perspective 
of what appears to be a 'mingle-mangle' of ill-con- 

vi Preface 

sidered, ofF-hand sayings, or better appreciate the 
fact that in these we have the true beginnings of 
English Criticism as a separate literary 'kind,' or 
adequately understand how much of the classical 
mood expressed in Dryden and his successors is the 
natural and native outcome of these early specula- 
tions. I have endeavoured, in the Introduction, to 
discuss these general problems, and to show that the 
texts here reprinted supply evidence for certain 

It has been found convenient to use the epithet 
' Elizabethan ' in the strictest chronological sense, 
and to exclude the earlier treatises of Coxe, Wilson, 
and Sherry, and, with them, Fulwood's book of 1568, 
which are either entirely rhetorical or merely antho- 
logical. By ending with Elizabeth's death-year, we 
are denied the critical work of Ben Jonson, — other 
than the earlier pieces which appear in the Appendix 
to Vol. ii, — and all the work of Bacon : for iough 
the first edition of the Essays appeared in 1597, 
the important reissues fall well within James's 
reign. Moreover— considerations of space apart — 
Jonson's and Bacon's milieu is Jacobean, and their 
work introduces us to a later stage in the history of 
criticism. In that work, with Bolton's Hypercritica, 
Stirling's -^M«'5, Drayton's Epistle to Rey-nolds, and 
others, there is ample material for another volume. 
Yet we need not concern ourselves overmuch with 
the chronological division. The defence of the limits 
here chosen must be the mutual dependence of 
the essays between Ascham's chapter on fmitation 
and Daniel's Defence. It so happens that the date of 
the latter falls in or about 1603. 

Preface vii 

All the writings in the body of the book are in 
prose. The contributions in verse, such as Daniel's 
Musophilus, Hall's Satires, or Peele's judgements on 
contemporaries, are either plainly supplementary or 
too occasional for the present purpose. These have 
been incorporated by way of illustration in the 
Notes, The extracts from Jonson's earlier criticism 
in verse and a passage from the Returne from Par- 
nassus have been printed as an Appendix to Vol. ii, 
partly to elucidate certain matters, partly to make a 
link with the next period of English criticism. 

In every case the texts have been taken from the 
originals, and have been carefully collated. I am 
responsible for the punctuation, and in several places 
for editorial emendation. The errors and confusion, 
which it is easier to note than to put right, are partly 
due to the carelessness or poor scholarship of some 
of the authors, but more frequently to the fact that 
the essays were printed without their consent, and 
were issued without correction, or were ' edited ' by 
the compositors. Printer Jaggard once rounded on 
an author who had dared to complain, that he re- 
gretted his workmen had not been ' so madly dis- 
posed ' as to ' have given him leave to print his own 
English.' For then, thought Jaggard (with what 
truth, it matters not), the complainer would have 
proved his incompetence. There is good reason to 
believe that in mast cases the author never saw a 
proof of his work, and that in some no proof was 
pulled. Only in this way can we explain the appear- 
ance, if not always the meaning, of the gibberish 
in Lodge's Defence, or the eccentricities of Webbe 
and Meres, which are not unworthy of the genius 


viii Preface 

whose Butyrttm el Casetim disguised the names of 
Caesar's murderers. In one or two places the cor- 
rection or suggested emendation of errors in the 
originals, which had escaped my scrutiny, will be 
found in the Notes. There must be others. For the 
transcription and collation of the texts in the Bodleian 
I am indebted to Miss L, Toulmin Smith, and of 
those in the British Museum to Mrs. Salmon. 

As for the Notes, I hope I may claim for them, as 
Sir John Harington does for his, that they are not 
a 'work of supererogation'; though it is perhaps 
no defence or extenuation to state that the majority 
of the texts are here annotated for the first time. I 
shall be sorry if they are not explicit in showing 
my indebtedness to those who have helped me 
personally or by their writings. No venturer in this 
subject dare reckon without the learned author of the 
History of Criticism, or the American scholar who 
broke fresh ground in the remarkable volume on 
Literary Criticism in the Renaissance. To the thanks 
which I owe to them for my share of these public 
gifts, 1 add my hearty acknowledgement of not a few 
happy suggestions which our friendship has made 
possible. Mr. Nichol Smith, who very kindly read 
all the proofs, has supplied me with many interesting 
references, especially to the French critics. I would 
also thank the Secretary and Staff of the Clarendon 
Press for their ready co-operation at every stage of 
the work, and Mr. Doble, in particular, for helping 
me to the solution of some textual difficulties. 

Deccmliir 19, 1903. 






I. Preliminary, pp. xi-xiv; 11. The Puritan Attack, 
pp.xiv-jtxi; III. The Defence, pp. xxi-xxxi; 


IV. The Classical Purpose, pp. xxxi-xli ; 

V. The Special Problems; i. Decorum, 

pp. xli-xlvi ; 2. Prosody, pp. ilvi-lv ; 
3. Diction, pp. Iv4x; VI. The Romantic 

Qualities, pp. Ix-lxvi ; VII. The Critical 

Temper, pp. Ixvi-lxxi ; VIII. The Sources ; 
I. Classical and Mediaeval, pp. Ixxi-lxxvii ; 

3. Italian, pp. Ixxvii-Ixxxvii ; 3. French, 

pp. Ixxxvii-lxxxix ; 4. Spanish, pp, Ixxxix- 
xc ; 5. English Predecessors : Inter-borrow- 

ings, pp. xc-xcii 

Roger Ascham. 

' Of Imitation ■ : The Sc^olemasler {Book 11). 1570. 



Richard Wclles. 

From Poetnatum Liber. 1573. Footnote. 


George Gascoigne. 

Cerlaytte Notes 0/ Instruction. 1575 


George Whetstone. 

The Dedication to Promos and Cassandra. 1578 . 


Thomas Lodge. 


A Offence of Poetry. 1579 

Bibliographical List of Pamphlets for and 
against the Stage. 1577-87 .... 



fc.^ . . .^ 


X Contents 


Spenser-Harvey Correspondence, 1579-80. 


Edmund Spenser to Gabriel Harvey. [I] 


Gabriel Harvey to Edmund Spenser [U] . 


Edmund Spenser to Gabriel Harvey. [Ill] . 


Gabriel Harvey to Edmund Spenser. [IV] . 


From Gabriel Harvey's Letter-Book . 


'E. K.' 

^ Epistle Dedicatory to The Shepheards Calender 



Richard STANYHirasr. 

From the Dedication and Preface to the Transla 

tionofthe^oieii/. 158a. 


Sir Phiup Sidney. 

An Apologiefor Poelrie. c. 1583 (printed 1595) 


King James VI. 

VAne Schorl TreaUss conteining some Reulis and 

Cauielis to be obseruit and escheviit in Scottis 

Poesie. 1584 


/WiLUAM Webbe. 

Y 1/ A Discourse of English Poelrie. 1586 . 



V From The Arcadian Rhelorike. 1588 . . 


Thomas Nash. 

I. fteface to Greene's Menaphon. 1589 . 
l\^T<m. The Analomie of Absurditie. 1589 . 

307-3=0 1 

■ 3ai-337 


From E. Hoby's translation of Coignet's Potitiqu 

Discourses. 1586 

■ 339-344 

Notes to Texts in Volume 1 . , . . 

■ 345-431 

T T is a co mmonplace that the age of Elizabeth was too 
great in creation to be even respectable in criticism. 
Many who see the bad logic and bad history of this 
popular formula have concluded not less adversely from 
a survey of the literary evidence. It is shown that the 
' critical ' writings are a mere miscellany of stray pamphlets, 
a 'gallimaufry' of treatises in the old rhetorical vein, 
tracts on prosody, or prefaces of abuse : and that the 
writers who disclose something of the critical temper were 
indifferent to the things which interest modern criticism, 
or indeed interested their own generation. For is it not 
remarkable that when Spenser and Sidney, not to speak 
of the lesser, turn critic, they have no eyes for the pageant 
of their stage, and but careless ears for the immortal music 
of contemporary verse ; that they find the measure of 
dramatic excellence in Buchanan's Jephthes or Watson's 
Absolon, or the secret of English poetry in hobbling 
hexameters? And if Spenser redeemed his honour by 
giving us the Faerie Queene and Campion his in the Books 
of Airs, they have proved not so much how great they 
were as poets as how poor they were as critics. Sidney 
in his Apologie, to which of all these writings least excep- 
tion can be taken, commends himself most when he strays 
from academic argument to raptures on the nobility of the 
Poet's calling. 

This is altogether a superficial estimate. It is inadequate 
as a description of the critical activities which are crowded 
into the work of a single generation. The mere volume of 


xu Introduction 

the texts is evidence against the occasional character of the 
reflections; and their variety, far from showing the in- 
consequence of the amateur, proves a vitality of critical 
purpose. The persistent effort towards the understanding 
of the principles of Poetry is in itself an important fact 
which must prompt us, if it do nothing else, to discover 
its cause. Moreover, the modern dislike of the classical 
elements in the essays leaves unanswered the very per- 
tinent question why Eliza bethan criticism is apparently 
out of touch with the literature of its age. And it passes 
\y the important consideration of the bearing of this pre- 
onsonian material upon the doctrine of Dryden and hia 
successors, who inherited more of Elizabethan tradition 
than it has been the custom to allow. Further, the 
experimental character of the work, taken as a whole, 
the tentative conclusions, the hoixQwings-and reborrow- 
ings, the inconsistencies, are not without their posidye 
yalue, especially as the age was itself conscious that it 
was but seeking its way,_-Nor-musLit_be forgotten that 
English criticism had no English tradition, and little, if 
any, English material on which it could found a Poetic ; 
and that it was at this time in England, and hardly earlier 
in Renaissance Europe, that Criticism per se first laid 
claim to rank as a literary 'kind' in the vernacular. It 
appears therefore more reasonable to look upon this ex- 
tensive and mixed collection of documents as a n impor- 
^gnt body of evidence in the study of literary origins. 
In the perspective of these essays we may find something 
of that critical temper which is first made clear in Dryden, 
.sg_ justly named [he Father_of English Criticism; but 
we must not measure the quality of these early efforts, 
and even of Jonson's, by later experience, any more than 
we may look for a general canon governing the exercise of 
that temper. All is in the making : these remains are 
Explorata or Discoveries — Timber for the building of the 


Introduction xiii 

later edifice, of which Jonson drew the plans, but which he 
could not complete. 

It may be said that the recognition of this inchoate, and 
to some extent irregular, character of Elizabethan criticism 
is a serious objection to the treatment of the essays as a 
whole, and makes their association in these volumes a mere 
matter of convenience. What i s com mon,_it wiU be askgd, 
to Ascham on the imitation of classical authors, Gascoigne 
on th e mailing of verses, Nash on Gabriel Harvey, Sidney 
^ def ence of 'poor Poetry,' Puttenham on rhetorical 
figures, and Meres in his directory of writers? Can we 
reconcile the purposes of the practical educationist, the 
Bohemian, the college pedant, the rhapsodist, the courtier 
who writes for courtiers ? And what is the critical utility 
of malting neighbours of Gascoigne's random notes and 
Puttenham's 'whole receipt of Poetry,' or King James's 
juvenilia and Daniel's great Defencel The objection is 
less valid than it would appear to be, though it may be 
useful as a caution against making a too absolute ' com- 
posite ' out of the variety. Recent study, especially on 
the comparative side, has greatly increased our knowledge 
of the relationship of phases which appear to be indi- 
vidual and incoherent. We have outlived the merely 
antiquarian taste which happily prompted Haslewood to 
collect certain of these tracts in his Ancient Critical Essays ; 
though there is in him some hint of their value as a 
corporate study, ' Perhaps it may be confidently said,' 
he wrote, ' that such a body of criticism as these tracts 
collectively present, although few in number, is not any- 
where to be found. Independent of rarity, intrinsic value 
may justly entitle this volume, although a humble reprint, 
to range with those of the Elizabethan aera ',' This was 
written nearly a century ^o, and since then the editorial 

• AhcUhI Critical Essays upon English Potts and Poesy, edited by 
Joseph Haslewood (a vols., iBii, 1815), II. utii. 




interest has been confined to the publication of some of 
these tracts either individually or in popular gatherings 
of kindred prose. The present collection brings these 
together again, and recovers others of not less importance. 
What justification there may be for restoring this comrade- 
ship, and for reasons other than that the Essays were 
written about the same time, the following pages will en- 
deavour to show. 

II. The Puritan Attack, 
Elizabethan criticism arose in controversy. The e arly 

^ Essays are ' Apologies ' for Poets and Poetry against the 
attacks of a vigorous Puritanism. Some are direct answers 
to onslaughts on special forms or on individuals : .all have 
the common_ purpose of upholding the usefulness and 

•■ pleasure-giving power of Peltry. It is noteworthy that 
the greater forces which stimulated this literary defence 
were themselves unliterary. They are not represented in 
these volumes, except in the answers of their adversaries'. 

I They denounce Poetry be ca.use it is often lewd, the theatre 
because it is a -school of abuse r their argume'nt i s sQgSl. 

. _p!^ical, personal. Thei r .importance — and it should not 
be unHerestnnateS^ lies in the fact that they called forth 
a reasoned defence, and compelled their opponents to 
examine the principles of Poetry. They thus defined the 
first problem for English criticism. But they did more, 
by helping the critics, in their investigation of the bases of 
Poetry, to see that there was some excuse for the obloquy 
cast upon what had been written, and that some reform from 
within was necessary. The problem as it presented itself 
'o Sidney and his friends was in general terms. Poetry 
is a good thing in itselfj Jit is abused and docs not abuse'; 
if there be vice in it, it is the fault of ' poet-apes,' not of 

' Occasional passages from Gosson are given in the notes to Lodge's 
reply. See the bibliography of the pamphlets, L 61-3. 

Introduction xv 

E be taken away. Thus, to a degree, the 

spirit of the extremer sort who would banish poets from 
the commonwealth passed into their opponents and made 
them severe judges of the literature which fell short of 
their idea!. There was not as yet any serious thought 
of the fixing of a canon, but the scrutiny of English habit 
which proceeded apace was, in the nature of things, the 
sure forerunner of a critical system. The achievement 
of this is, however, the tale of a later period. The Eliza- 
bethan mind was not, could not be, resolved on such disci- 
pline. Yet its efforts, though tentative, were not chaotic, 
for .it estab lished the prelhninary positions that Poetry'' 
can jus tify herself, and that English Poetry must. And 
if the reader will keep this in view, he may escape 
some of the confusion which surrounds the double argu- 
ment of the defenders against the ' Misomousoi ' or Poet- 
haters, and against the 'rakehelly rout' of English rhymers. 

The Puritan arguments fall into two main groups— the l 
histo rical and moral. The former was the less urgent, 
though it may be undervalued because the other was 
debated with greater noise and persistency. There was, 
in the first place, the patristic tradition of the iniquity of' 
qtagc-'pl^ys, songs, and merry tales, wrested with more or i 
leas exaggeration from Augustine, Tertullian, Cyprian, I 
Lactantius, and Chrysostom. Passages of this mediaeval 1 
protest are quoted and requoted, not because Renaissance 
or Reformed England was in sympathy with the Fathers, 
or even knew their work at first hand, but because these 
satisfied the perennial instinct of that half of the nation 
which must be ascetic. The marked Puritanism of the 
Elizabethan age, to be traced alike in the Faerie Queene 
and in the abhorred plays, was but one phase of a condition 
which was constitutional rather than the literary infection 
of earlier theology and philosophy. It found support for 
its purposes in the alien and misunderstood past, and 


xvi Introduction 

readily borrowed its phrases to clinch tiie argument. So, 
too, it turned Co classical literature, and confounded the 
scholars and lovers of vain things with the dicta pf_ 
Aristotle, or of Plato, the accredited expeller of poeta_ 
from the ideal Commonwealth. It was a partisan selec- 
tion; and opponents of no greater scholarship found it 
easy to marshal other holy and learned adversaries, or 
to turn these very mentors to their own account. The 
Precisians, however, made a stronger point when they 
appealed to the Protestant antipathy to the so-called Dark 
Ages. It is clear to us that the blindness to the merits 
of the mediaeval romances is due less to a crazy dislike of 
what they chose to call their 'bold bawdry,' than to the 
fact that they were the work of 'abbey-lubbers' and 'wanton 
canons.' Even the courtier Puttenham boldly concludes : 
' Thus what in writing of rhymes and registering of lies was 
the clergy of that fabulous age wholly occupied '.' The 
Humanists joined with them in condemnation of the 
' standing pool ' of English literature, though their nicer 
noses smelt ignorance rather than Papistry in its stagnant '' 
waters. But the chief support to this hatred of the 
fooleries and lies of the Muse lay in the record of English 
poetry. With the exception of Chaucer, and there was 
no reason why the sterner minds should except even him, 
there was little or nothing of poetry, as they knew it, to 
be commended, except by professional friendship, and 
certainly nothing sufficiently outstanding to win over the 
more open-minded of that party. The defenders are the 
first to admit this, but on that admission they founded an 
argument for the revival, not foi the suppression of the Art, 
. The attack was, however, keener on the side of 
^ /Morality, and it was led in two directions — against the 
I playhouse and its associations, and against the foreign, 
1 especially the Italian, influences in society. The former 


Inlroduction xvii 

are the immediate object. (The Puritan pamphleteers in- 
veigh rather than argue ;lhey are more concerned with 
the social bearings of the playhouse than with the in- 
trinsic immorality of the plays. They seldom condescend 
to t^ie literary question ; in their condemnation they are 

•^ ' Rude foggie squires 

That knowe not to esteeme of witt or arte ',' 

and they are not too explicit in their production of evidence 
against the theatre as a social institution. Gosson, who 
, has the exceeding enthusiasm of the pervert, defends his 
position thus : ' Now if any man ask me why myself 
have penned comedies in time past, and inveigh so 
eagerly against them here, let him know that samel in- 
saniuimus omties: I have sinned, and am sorry for my 
fault : he runs far that never turns ; better late than 
never',' Such a plea, however effective it may have 
proved by reason of its confidence, and however welcome 
it must have been to cherished sentiments, was clearly in- 
adequate for the settlement of even the narrowest issues. 
It was not difficult for the opponents of the Puritans to 
point out that all the vices of the playhouse, which 
they themselves were not slow to condemn, were not an 
argument against its continuation, much less against plays 
and poetry. 

There was more force in the protest against the Italianate i 
Englishman. Yet the Precisians state it in an indifferent 
or occasional way, and do not see that it was perhaps the 
best weapon in their armoury. Their more clear-sighted 
opponents wrested it from their hands and used it for 
their own purposes. To these, and not to the Puritans, 
we must go for the best estimate of the risks which came 
to English life and art from ' diabolical rufis and wicked 
great breeches full of sin,' The Puritans hale the over-sea 

' Filsrimagi io Parnassus, v. (536-7)- ' '■ 3^ 


K*S ItUronuiitM 

ADcctattoo Dccansc tticy ddo m it ocTtam ^Aiing cwscoccs 

of P^^aitT JiHT A fi in i -n ji_ of loOSC livilie sth^ fiUn 

RiMfiiig. Th^ hardly toneh the old fubka n 
B^ tKltf by Its voy ezcTQS^ tend Id < 

*Asclia^ die kaM booted in his Paritaa 8 

in the ItaliHi books the »»»wi«»Hg nf *i««it >>»* « 
and honest Bvtn^ the openiag of 'not fand and c 
wxj* to vic^ biC skIi snbcle, cnnni 
sliUb ... as the stnipje head at an '. 
not aUe to iinent*.* When be ^)|)nndm i 
the literafT intentiaD, as in hi* demniciation c 
be vagQcly ccodudcs: 'And yaa that be aUe t 
stand no more than ye find in the Italian toc^ne, ai 
we« £utber than the scfaotd of Petmch aiMl j 
;d>n»d, or else of CbaDcer at home, **>rmt^ ^ 
[deasuFe to wander Ulndlj attO in joar fiml vnong waj, 
ttrrj not others that seek, as wise nen base done befacc 
then, the laircst and rubiest way ; or rise, beside the just 
reproach of malice, wise ntea shall truly ju<%e that yoo 
do SO; as I have said and say yet again unto you, because 
cither for idleoess ye will noc, or for ignorance ye cannot, 
cone by no better yoarself *.' There is no cntidsm in 
these tbii^: merely the old war against the Devil and 
his woric;% be he Italian or Englishman, ihymer or not, 
and the tonging of saints and piulosopbers for the old 
gtmpUci^. The constant appeal to the days of yore, wbea 
men were not yet schooled in abuse — to the Engtand 'of 
oar foreiatfacrs' time,' ere monkish talcs of Sir Lancelot 
and Sir Tristram had infected our chivalry— is but the cry 
of the Gossons of every generation. In their zeal against 
jriajdwKue ribaldry and Italian luxury some prayed for 
the Scriptural pastures, some for a new Scythia, where 
MBong valorous men even Poetry would be 'without vic^ 
w the Pboenix in Arabia without a fellow V 




r It would, however, be an error to consider the Puritan 

I attack as ineffectual zealotry. Though it was badly 
managed, though it erred by exaggeration, and was 
ignorant of the working values of the pleas which it 
ad vanced ^h ough ^in Sidney's wordsjn it fell out 'with 
these Poet-whippers, as with some good women, who 
often are sick, but in faith they cannot tell where',' it 
has more than an accidental bearing upon the develop- 
ment of Elizabethan criticism. That it was taken so 
seriously by the writers who had the cause of literature 
at heart gives it the importance of having to some extent 
determined the lines of their defence. Not merely were ' 
the Puritan positions, such as the appeal to history, directly 
met, but others of more specific character, such as the /t 

charges against the theatre and the denunciation of Italian ^^^« ■■ 
influence, were transformed into essential topics in the s-**'" 
ensuing discussion of literary principles. And, further, ,.' 
the Puritans called forth, and perhaps intensified, a latent 
sympathy with their ideals in some of the best and 
keenest of their professed opponents, even though their 
overstrainings prompted not a few hard sayings about 
the 'senseless stoical austerity,' and the inconsistency 
and confidence of the 'sour reforming enemies of art'.' 
Ascham is strongly sympathetic ; Sidney, who represents 
the most complete and positive qualities of Elizabethan 
criticism, gives a courtly hearing ; Harington, who sees 
but a weak faction in those who from malice love not 
Poetry or from folly understand it not ', must say that ' to 
us that are Christians, in respect of the high end of all, 
which is the health of our souls, not only Poetry but all 
other studies of Philosophy are in a manner vain and 
superfluous '.' And William Vaughan, who will not have 
plays suffered in a Commonwealth, but defends Poetry, 
' i. iSo. ■ The hvdest hit {at many) at the Puritan is Jonson's. 

See Dinovtriis lii, ' Jiypocrila.' * ii. 195. ' ii. 197. 



Finust yd have it after the purest pattern. 'Sundry times,' 
rhe says, 'have 1 been conversant with such as blasphemed 
1 Poetry, by calling it mincing and lying Poetry. But it is 
arvcl that they thus deride Poetry, since they stick 
iftOt in ihia out-worn age to abuse the ministers of God by 
■terming them bookish fellows and Puritans, they them- 
IacIvcs not knowing what they mean '.' There is Ukely to 
■i^ some confusion here, in this enthusiasm for Poetry and 

It must be admitted that the main thesis of the Poet- 
Lwhippers was not fully met by the Apologists. The con- 
' tro\-cisy was carried on from different standpoints. The 
Puritans had in view the popular literature of the play- 
house and of Paul's, As men of the people they spoke 
only of what interested the people. ' Poetry ' with them 
meant Elderton and Tarkon. or bawdy sonnets; 'books' 
tmnslations of the naughty ules of Italy; 'playgoing' the 
noisy delights of Shoreditch. The defence of Poetry was 
in the hands of courtiers and scholars who lived beyond 
the pale of Bohemia. To Sidney, Puttcnham, or Haringtoa 
those things which they admitted were pleasing neither to 
gentlemen nor Christians were not the sum of the matter. 
If Poetr)- was to be denounced because of this pofnilar 
travesty, of which they professed to know little and lor 
which perhaps they cared as little, it was necessary to 
^ow that she could be defended on broader and better 
grounds. Hence it is that each par^. tbongfa in amiafafe 
•gncBtoit on the vkiousness of "Wiet, afgoe for and 
«C>inst the dMns of Poetry front diffcRM prcwscs. 
^Aad faefic^ loo, «tir earlia- critical GlenCwe picsents 
die douMe pandu— that cdtaR wdkann^ ^kh 
were both ibtt muA ciiiiHpet u iritaflJe~aoJ 3» waJ ageM 
HI the ucvclu|MneMt of cnncnH^ took bd <erwit oced to 
dte mihrmitioMJ NwatarevAhiAach ta Ac Cotnrc dm 

^^^P Introduction xxi J 

criticism must primarily concern itself: and, in the second ' fl 
place, that the defence was based largely on over-sea tradi- I 

tion and Italian practice, which in its more popular applica- 
tion was contemned by both sides. Thus Ascham, who") 
hates things Italianate not less than the monkish Moru{ 
'^ Arthur, justifies his literary theory by the canons of Italian* 
"■, Humanism in which he had been schooled. The PuritansV 
in their anxiety to exile the too amorous Tuscan were the \ 
means of calling in his more learned, perhaps more respect- / 
able, brother to defend him against themselves. 

III. The Defence. 

s into two main 

The argument for the Defence falls into two main 

divisions— the historical testimony in favour of Poetr.y, '^tSt 

and the excellence of its nature or character. There is, 

as we shall see, little originality in the general drift or in 

the illustrations. It is obvious that the Essayists are '- 

constantly borrowing from each other, and often verbatim : 

it is not less obvious from their selection and arrangement 

of the leading reasons that they are drawing from outside 

opinion'. There are of course degrees of adaptation — 

from the absolute 'scissors-and- paste' method of the 

Palladis Tami'a to the happily disguised borrowings of 

the Apologia for Poelrie. 

/ On the historical side there are three proofs of the good-i 

/ ness of Poetry : for when it is of hoary antiquity, is found ; ' 

1 with all peoples, and has enjoyed the favour of the greatest, I 

\ it is surely good. To those who hold that in the earliest 

period of the national life men were rather doing things 

worthy to be written than writing things lit to be done', 

Sidney says, ' What that before time was, I think scarcely 

Sphinx can tell',' So thinks Lodge, when reflecting on 

Kia'; so Nash, quoting from Cicero'; so Puttenham, 
: infra, p. Ixxi et seq. ' i. 187. " Ibid. 

' i, 80. ' i. 3a8. 

xxii Introdudum 

when he sa)'s that the 'profesaon and use of Poesy is 
most aocient from the b^inning, and not, as many erro- 
neously suppose, after, but before any dvil society was 
/among men'/ The Poets were the first lawgivers, the 
£rst philosophers, and, in due course, the first historians. 
It is a later refinement, specially comineDdable to King 
James VI and the courtier Puttenham, which denies them 
the right to treat of the grave matters of princes'. 

la all nations, too, there has been 'some feeling of 
Poetry'.' As it was the roost ancient, so was it the most 
" universaL 'Which two points,' adds Puttenham, 'give 
to all human inventions and affairs no small credit*,' 
Sidney and he have little di£Gculty in illustrating this by 
accounts of the poet-loving Turk, Indian, Dane, 'the 
Perusine, and the very cannibal '.* 

As for the approbation of Poetry by princes and the 
learned, the citations are certainly ample in Lodge', Sid- 
ney', Webbe', Puttenham', Harington "*, Chapman ", and 
Meres ". ' But to speak of all those . . . were tedious, and 
would require a rehearsal of all such in whose time there 
grew any to credit and estimation in that faculty".' This\ 
favourite argument by testimonial" received an exaggerated \ 
importance from the fact that the Puritans had made so j 
much of the opinions of the theologians and philosophers. ' 
The obvious retort was to count the votes on the other 
side : yel the defenders were not whole-hearted in the 
business. Harington, who feels that the defence of poctiy 
is a supererogation, is content to say that he could bring 
in such an army of approvers 'as not only the sight but 
the very sound of them were able to vanquish and dismay 

»the final forces of our adversaries ",' 
' iL 6. ' i. aai, ii, 33. ■ i. 153. • ii. 10. ' Ibid. 

• i. lo-i. ' i. 193-3. ' L 333-3. ' ii. 16-33. " "■ '95- 
" ii, 303. " il 3al-a. " L 333. 

" or which Boccaccio's Di Ginialagia Dtontm gives >n early model. 
See infra, pp. lixviii-ix, " ii. 193. 


Introduction xxiii 

They based their defence with more confidence on the '^ 
nature of Poetry, on its claims as a moral force and as an 
artistic pleasure. In this section of their Apology they 
made their first critical experiments. The argument is 
worked out on different lines; but in no single author, 
with perhaps the exception of SiHne^ is a complete state- 
ment attempted. The main points are these : — 

{ilXoeM^. is_Qf divine origin- ' Who thinketh not,' says -^ 
Lodge, 'that it proceedeth from above? ... It is a pretty 
sentence, yet not so pretty as pithy, Poeta nascitur, orator 
fit^' All poets may not be holy', yet the poet, per st, 
is vales, diviner, foreseen, prophet'. He is possessed 
of the Platonic furor', or divine rapture'. Homer's 
poems were written 'from a free fury '.' Est deus in nobis: 
agiiante calescimus illo\ Harington quizzically refuses to 
admit the point to debate by saying that Puttenham's 
'parcels' of his own verse quoted in his treatise are 
themselves the best proof that poetry is a gift, not an art'. 

(a) Poeli¥-is_an art oLijnitation, and not a mere empiric v' 
of sound and form or the refashioning of traditional material. 
It is, as Sidney and others claim, Troirja-K and fuiLria-n in a 
fuller sense than is allowed by their extremer opponents, 
or understood by the ordinary practitioners, or by young 
critics who could accept James VI's 'deciphering' of the 
perfect poet '. This appeal to Aristotelian doctrine,^ 
through Horace and especially through Scaliger and the j 
Renaissance critics, is of first importance in its effect oii4 
the development of criticism in England. It breaks fresh 
ground for the study of the bases of poetry ; and it fore- 
shadows the introduction of aesthetic theory. Though the 
argument was classical in origin and classical in its first 
application, it contained in gremio the justification of 
romantic freedom ", 

' i. 10-1, * e.g. i. 71 ' i. 154, • ii. 3. ' ii, 097. 

* ii.agS. ' Sec 1. 339. ' ii. 197. * i.ali. " Infra, p. U cl seq. 


(3) Th^e_argu.ment of the moral value of Poetry is 
a great extent based on the mediaeval doctrine of the 
Alleg ory. 'For undoubtedly,' Wilson had said in his 
Arte "of Uhetorique, 'there is no one tale among all the 
Poets, but under the same is comprehended some thing 
that pertaineth either to the amendment of manners, to 
the knowledge of truth, to the setting forth of Nature's 
work, or else to the understanding of some notable 
thing done. . . . The Poets were wise men and wished 
in heart the redress of things'.' This idea runs through- 
out the essays, alike in the general theory, and in the 
method used in the interpretation of literary examples. 
There is, on the one hand, the plain statements of Lodge, 
following Campanus*, or of Stanyhurst', or the more 
extreme attitude of Chapman, who upholds the views 
of Spondanus': on the other, the more reasonable and 
historical explanation offered by Sidney and Harington. 
Between these two extremes there is perhaps more than 
a question of degree. In a sense there is 3 volte-face: or 
at least the turn has begun. The older view assumes that 
the moralitas is the kernel, and that the fable and poetic 
jmaglnings are an outside means to attract the_reader 
to some hidden good. Or, to borrow the familiar Renais- 
sance metaphors, common with the Elizabethans, Poetry 
is the sugar-coating of the pill, the candy with the dose 
of rhubarb. The sugar-coating or the candy is there, 
because there is the necessary pill or rhubarb. In other 
words, the allegorical usefulness of poetry is its rationale, 
and for that reason it is to be defended as a good thing. 
On the other hand, it is clear that with the progress of the 
general defence of Poetry this view becomes less important. 
Thus Sidney, though he refers to it in his claim for the 
boet as the right popular philosopher ^, makes little of it ; 
dqd Harington, in his analysis of the allegorical senses in 

ed. [56a, f. 99'. » i. 65. ' i, 136. • ii. ag;. ' i. 167. 

if the 

^^ and Ha 


which poetry may be read ', rather emphasizes the attitude 
' of the wealcer capacities who take but the pleasantness 

!the story and the sweetness of the verse. The quite con- 
trary position that imagination first constructs the fable, 
and thereafter the poet or his. commentator or his reader 
finas fhemora), could hardly be established until aesthetic 
' criticism had found its axioms. But we are not far from 
it, certainly not far from the later theory of poetic free- 
dom. The change was undoubtedly furthered by the 
increasing attention by the critics to the pleasure-giving 
function of Poetry. Nor must it be forgotten that the 
allegorical enthusiasm of the age was of a secondary kind, 
and that in so far as the majority of writers are interested 
in the 'rind within the rind,' they often show no more than 
emblematic or anagrammatic curiosity. 

|(4)_^n_their xough definitions of the purpose of Poetry 
the defenders are careful not to subordinate the duke to 
the uiii e. The end of Poetry is, with Sidney, 'to teach 
and delight '.' It is well known, says Nash, ' that delight 
doth prick men forward to the attaining of knowledge, 
I and that true things are rather admired if they be included 
in some witty fiction, like to pearls that delight more 
if they be deeper set in gold^' Webbe's plea, which 
he borrows by admission from Horace, is generally ac- 
cepted, 'The perfect perfection of poetry is this, to 
[' mingle delight with profit in such wise that a reader 
might by his reading he partaker of both*.' Puttenham 
goes further in his account of the subject or matter of 
Poetry' when he names, as one of its functions, 'the 
common solace of mankind in all his travails and cares 
[ of this transitory life'; and claims that 'in this last sort, 
^ being used for recreation only, it may allowably bear 

k matter not always of the gravest or of any great com- 
wdity or profit, but rather in some sort vain, dissolute, 
H ' ii. ao3-3. ' i. 15B. ' i. sag. • i. 350. ' ii. 35, 

de -1 

in- / 

xxvi Introduction 

or wanton, so it be not very scandalous and of evil 
example'.' Here the friends of poetry found their 
chief argument: and here too their adversaries, ever 
suspicious of pleasure, in argument or in practice, found 
the heresy. For this seductive power as readily leads 
men to like obscenity as to love honesty. Yet the de- 
fenders, though heartily admitting the danger, are in no 
doubt that the abuse cannot discredit the function or the 
excellence of its effects. * In this their argument of abuse,' 
aays Sidney, ' they prove the commendation '.' The 
result of this consideration by the defence was that, 
though they did not go quite so far as to separate the 
duUt from the utile, they appeared to give a primary 
importance to the former. In Sidney's reiteration of the 
'delightful teaching'' he appears to be laying more stress 
on the pleasure than on the profit, and in the memorable 
passage on the Poet as Monarch he is still less equivocal. 
The Poet ' cometh to you with words sent in delightful 
proportion, either accompanied with, or prepared for, the 
well enchanting skill of music; and with a tale for- 
sooth he cometh unto you, with a tale which holdeth 
children from play, and old men from the chimney 
corner*,' Moreover, in Webbe's opinion, 'as the very 
sum or chiefcst essence of Poetry did always for the most 
part consist in delighting the readers or hearers with 
pleasure, so, as the number of Poets increased, they still 
inclined this way rather than the other, so that most of 
ihem had special regard to the pleasantness of their 
fine conceits, whereby they might draw men's minds 
into admiration of their inventions, more than they had 
to the profit or commodity that the readers should 
reap by their works",' Puttenham caps his fore-quoted 
defence of (oj-s by a more remarkable passage at the coo- 


Introduction xxvii 

elusion of his quaint chapter on ' Proportion in Figure',' 
and pushes the Puritan's logic ad absurdum. 

'All is but a iesE, all dust, all not worth two peaaon : 
For why in mans matters is neither rime nor reason," 
The effect of this separation, or emphasis, of the 
^pleasure-giving function was undoubtedly to quicken the 
theory of Poetry as an Art. We find hints of this in 
Sidney', even in writers like Nash, who lay stress on 
the ' profit ' in the poetical account. ' Nothing is more 
odious,' says the latter, ' than the artless tongue of a 
tedious dolt, which duUeth the delight of hearing, and 
slacketh the desire of remembering '.' Yet the expression 
of a general theory is but half-conscious : we shall see 
the underlying principle more clearly in their practical 
schemes of reform. Sidney, who reaches nearest to the 
root of this matter, comes to it by natural sympathy rather 
than by critical insight. When he points to the danger 
of poesy which 'by the reason of his sweet charming 
force can do more hurt than any other army of words ',' 
he has no inkling of the problem of the self-destruc- 
tion of Art'. He is merely admitting that abuse is 

In support of these views of the character of Poetry 
the writers added the well-worn comparisons with Philo- 
sophy and History, and answered, in more or less stereo- 
typed fashion, the charges of Agrippa', that poets are liars, 
wantons, and wasters of wise men's time. The persis- 
tency of these comparisons is not less striking than their 
lack of originality. The defensive character of the Essays 
probably gave an undue importance to this line of argu- 

'i!. 115-16. 'e-g. i. 183. 'i. 335. ' i. 187. 

* Supra, p. xvili. 

* Agrippi, who is named by Sidney, was not the Hnt framcr of these, 
■9 Boccaccio's writings show. Sec infra, p. Ixxix. 


xxviii Introduction 

ment, by which ihcy sought to make clear that the Poet 
must be worthy of honour, if he can be shown to be better 
than the honoured Philosopher or the honoured His- 
torian. So Sidney makes bold to prove that he is the 
monarch of all sciences'; and Pultenham that he is 
'above all other artificers scientific or mechanical'.' We 
have perhaps lost the perspective of this interminable 
squabble from the days of Aristotle ; but, though we may 
think lightly of the whole retort, we must at least acknow- 
ledge its historical propriety. We have only to look at 
the authors represented in such collections as the Artis 
Penus Historicae' to see how the defenders of 'poor 
Poetry ' were forced, even as a matter of form, to set the 
balance aright. 

It was probably this historical craze which gave point 
to the old charge that Poets are liars, and compelled the 
critics' reply. Lodge, who finds the imputation supported 
'by no small bird, even Aristotle himself,' and by 'severe 
Cato,' answers by the aid of his Lactantius'. Sidney in his 
reply is again comparative ; ' the poet is the least liar ',' 
certainly less so than the Historian, who can 'hardly 
escape from many lies*.' The Poet 'never affirmeth^*; 
he 'never maketh any circles about your imagination, to 
conjure you to believe for true what he writes '.' This is 
/indorsed by Harington, who enlarges on the importance 
^f invention or fiction as one of the main components, 
(and the glory, of Poetry, And after all, as Sidney had said, 
' a feigned example hath as much force to teach as a true 
, example '.' Yet the taunt is ever recurring, not only from 
the natural Puritan who finds consolation in Socrates's 
being 'ill brought up to poesy, because he loved the truth",' 
but from others of more generous mind, who are yet 
strongly prejudiced on some particular point. Thus Nash 

Introduction xxix 

isseldom more angry than when he is speaking of mediaeval 
Romance as 'that forgotten legendary licence of lying'.' 

That poets are wanton is of course one of the main 
topics of the Gosson-Lodge controversy*, and is fully met 
by Sidney', Nash', and Harington', who readily admit 
the danger when Cupido is lawlessly crept in. Gosson's 
plea that Poetry makes men eifeminale directly inspires 
Sidney's memorable countercuff that it, above all things, 
is the companion of camps'. Harington, with Ariosto 
as his illustration to hand, shows that there may be even 
literary decorum in ' the persons of those that speak 
lasciviously/ that ' obscenousness ' may be altogether a 
matter of good or bad interpretation of the poems, and \ 
that the Puritans who so disregard the context convict / 
themselves of the failing of the chaste wife of Brutus^ i 
The hackneyed statement that Plato banished poets, so ' 
that youth might not be corrupted, is easily answered by 
several of the writers'. 

To the third, that the study of poetry is a waste of time 
and a pleasure to fools, Sidney and Harington reply 
with some word-chopping and sarcasm, which, though not 
a convincing reply to a Precisian, is reasonably sufficient. 
Sidney ends the controversy curtly — ' but I still and 
utterly deny that there is sprung out of earth a more fruit- 
ful knowledge"; and Harington concludes his answer 
by expressing the doubt whether the charge be worth 
the answering"*. Puttenham, who is firmly convinced of 
the dignity of Poesy and approves all manner of toys, 
even ' pillars' and 'fuzies,' has of course no doubt o^ the 
silliness of the proposition. 

The pleas for Poetry in the general are supplemented 
by others dealing with special forms or subjects, or with 



XXX iHtroduction 

topics arising from the consideration of them. The chief 
interest of these more particular discussions lies, as we 
shall see, in their critical intention. The essayists, un- 
hampered by the necessity of answering a vaguely expressed \ 
attack on the whole art, condescend to the more detailed \ 
examination of one or other form ; and in these separate ' 
studies they give us the positive side of Elizabethan , 
criticism. It is thus in the special analyses of the dramatic-' 
forms, or heroic poetry, or the art of translation, that they, 
to our eyes, not only best express the character of the 
onslaught of the poet-whippers, but lay the foundations of 
later speculation on literary principles. In the drama, for 
example, which is the chief area of conflict, it is a minor 
matter to learn how they met Gosson's pronouncement 
that morality is impossible in the play-house, or the 
quasi -literary absurdity that the plays of Buchanan or the 
Christus ascribed to Nazianzen were written 'dialogue- 
wise ' for the closet. On the other hand, it is clear that 
the purpose of the essayists in the detailed treatment of 
certain portions was less in the interest of critical theory 
than in support of their side in the controversy with 
the poet-haters. For they argued that the excellence 
possible in each and all, whether tragedy, comedy, heroic i 
poetry, pastoral, elegy, satire, epigram, or anagram, had 
a cumulative value in proving the excellence of Poetry 
itself, Sidney. Webbe, and the others distinctly imply 
that the poet is not merely the monarch of all the arts, 
but that his empire is wide and self-sufficing. Poetry, 
says Webbe, ' is not debarred from any matter which 
may be expressed by pen or speech'.' The consuming 
->> sense of the dignity and compass of the art is the 
most striking characteristic of its most eloquent de- 
fenders, who seldom, if ever, forget to refer to these 
things, even when they bury themselves in professional 
' La49, Cf. Ch«pin«n, Efiit. to FirtI Xll Boots o/ Homtr, II 118-19. 



Introduction xxxi 

problems of technique. Though their large assurance 
sometimes led them into critical blind-alleys, as in their 
confusion of the functions of verse and prose, it supplied 
the staying power to these beginnings in criticism, and 
moreover was thoroughly appropriate to the circum- 
stances. Nor was their superior manner of debate, and 
an occasional irritation at their opponents, less appropriate 
to the occasion. In feeling with Harington that the whole 
matter was but the Sophister's praise of Hercules', they 
intimated an intellectual confidence which promised well 
for an English doctrine of taste. 

IV. The Classical Purpose. 

The apologetic character of the essays is, however, of 
less importance to the present purpose. It is at most 
only of historical interest, as a clue to the cause of the 
\ remarkable attention to a great literary problem. Their ^ 
\ true value lies in the evidence which they give of an I 
incipient, and to some extent unconscious, effort towards \ 
an appreciation of the principles of literature, and to- \ 
wards a systematic investigation of the capabilities of / 
' the craft of English. -/ 

Proof of the conviction of the critics that their house 
must be put in order need not be sought in their classi- 
fication of literary types and forms. The favourite 
groupings by style , as in Ascham *, Sidney ', Webbe ', or 
Puttenham', by s ubject , most elaborately in Meres's 
Comparative Discourse, or by pro sodic form s, are little 
else than the accentuation of a mediaeval fashion which is 
observed in the earlier Renaissance stages of all European 
literatures. We find the first positive evidence of the 
awakening criticism in the dissatisfaction with certain 

' '»■ «94- 

' i. 33-6- 

xxxii Introduction 

existing conditions and in the acknowledgement that 
EngUsh is in transition. 

The persistency of contemporary reference to this chaos 
and to the necessity of some immediate interference is 
perhaps the most striking feature of these early efforts. 
They are the topic of every writer, and they supply the 
motif for reform, however much the ultimate purpose of 
each critic may differ. The vocabulary of denuncia- 
tion has the Elizabethan fullness. Ascham laments the^' 
'fond books,' the 'lewd and rude rhymes,' sold in every 
shop". 'Good God,' says Stanyhurst, 'what a fry of 
wooden rylhmours AoXh swarm in stationers' shops": and 
Webbe thinks sadly of the 'infinite fardels of printed 
pamphlets wherewith this country is pestered '.' ' E. K.* 
anathematizes 'the rakehelly rout of ragged rhymers*,' 
and Sidney, who mourns that 'an over-faint quietness 
should seem to strew the house for poets',' candidly 
admits, ' I that, before ever I durst aspire unto the dignity, 
am admitted into the company of the paper-blurrers, do 
find the very true cause of our wanting estimation in 
wanting desert ; taking upon us to be poets in despite of 
Pallas'.' It is a world of 'rude smatterers',' 'brainless 
bussards',' 'pottical, poetical heads,' who rhyme 'in 
commendation of Copper noses or Bottle Ale ' ' ; and full 
enough of fooleries, without these 'new-new writers, the 
loadstones of the press, wonderfully beholden to the 
Ass'".' 'Such is this golden age wherein we live,' 
quoth Nash, who elsewhere bids the poets put out their 
rush-candles", 'and so replenished with golden asses of 
all sorts, that, if learning had lost itself in a grove of 
genealogies, we need do no more but set an old goose 
over half a dozen pottle pots (which are as it were 

Introduciion xxxi 

problems of technique. Though their large assurance 
sometimes led them into critical blind-alleys, as in their 
confusion of the functions of verse and prose, it supplied 
the staying power to these beginnings in criticism, and 
moreover was thoroughly appropriate to the circum- 
stances. Nor was their superior manner of debate, and 
an occasional irritation at their opponents, less appropriate 
to the occasion. In feeling with Harington that the whole 
matter was but the Sophister's praise of Hercules', they 
intimated an intellectual confidence which promised well 
for an English doctrine of taste. 

IV. The Classical Purpose. 
The apologetic character of the essays is, however, of 
less importance to the present purpose. It is at most 
only of historical interest, as a clue to the cause of the 
\ remarkable attention to a great literary problem. Their \ 
I true value lies in the evidence which they give of an \ 
incipient, and to some extent unconscious, effort towards \ 
,' an appreciation of the principles of literature, and to- \ 
I wards a systematic investigation of the capabilities of / 
\ the craft of English. -/ 

Proof of the conviction of the critics that their house 
must be put in order need not be sought in their classi- 
fication of literary types and forms. The favourite 
groupings by st^Ie. as in Ascham ', Sidney ', Webbe ', or 
Puttenham", by s ubjec t, most elaborately in Meres's 
Comparative Discourse, or by pr osodic form s, are little 
else than the accentuation of a mediaeval fashion which is 
observed in the earlier Renaissance stages of all European 
literatures. We find the first positive evidence of the 
awakening criticism in the dissatisfaction with certain 

I ii. 194, ' i. 33-6. * I 175- ' '■ 349- ' "■ " 




vinced that cure is possible, and that refonnation can 
come only when English literature is freed from the 
'cankered enmity of curious custom'.' With Puttenham 
Poetry must be 'corrected and reformed by discreet judg- 
ments,' and with no less cunning and curiosity than Greek 
and Latin. To disallow this improvement in the most 
ancient of arts is but to admit that Adam and Eve's 
aprons were the gayest garments, and the shepherd's 
tent the best housing'. Poetry, he believes, may be an 
Art in our vulgar, and that very methodical and com- 
mendable : indeed, the whole aim of the author of the 
Arte of English Poesie is to bring order into the literary 
chaos, and to show, in Nash's words, 'what an obloquy 
these impudent incipients in Arts are unto Art V In the 
'rabblement ' of English the critics see a cause why Poetry 
Is in disrepute, and why their general defence, which they 
feel to be somewhat of a supererogation, is justified. But 
they do not rest there. Their confidence that all will yet 
be well with English Poetry, the immediate recognition 
by all groups of critics of the first signs of revival in con- 
temporary work — a recognition which has proved to be 
historically just,— their enthusiasm in experiment, and their 
general good sense in the discussion of its results, show 
that the Matter of English Literature was now acknow- 
ledged to be a subject for profitable reflection. The very 
seriousness with which they approach the problem, and 
their own never-ending protests that the Essays are too 
haphazard and unworthy of the occasion, are symptoms of 
vital importance. 

It is not too much to say that the intention is strongly 
classical. When' E.K.' in his eulogy of Spenser takes upon 
himself to tell how the New Poet differs from most Eng- 
lish writers, he points out that his work is 'well grounded, 
finely framed, and strongly trussed up together *,' This 
' "■ 334- ' '■ 'ai- 


Introduction xxxv 

is somewhat inconsistent with the accepted judgement 
on the author of the Faerie Queene (though it must be 
remembered that it is with the Shepheards Calender that 
the critics are chiefly concerned), but the Tightness or 
wrongness of it is of less importance than the fact that 
they looked for these qualities as an explanation of supeV 
riority. In other words, what was disorder in mediaeval 
and contemporary literature is in Spenser changed to 
order. Poetry, they believe, cannot be good, unless il / 
( show the discipline of Art. This admitted, it was tha / 
^junction of criticism to teach that discipline, to tell loversl 
\of poetry ' what they do, and how they do.' 

,' Ascham appears to be the first in English to give definite 
''expression to this doctrine in the notable passage on 
Ei^v^s', which supplied the motif and title to Lyly's work, 
and through that, as well as directly, left its mark on Eliza- 
bethan literature. The idea is of course not original', 
but the credit for its more complete expression and its 
introduction to English letters is undoubtedly Ascham's'. 
It must be noted that the proposition is not exclusively 
I literary, or rather that its literary application is but part of 
' a more comprehensive conception. For^iterature is to "^ 
I be ' well- grown,' to show the just proportions of art in 
I subject, technique, and intention, just as the human body 
and the body politic are to express the ideal harmony of 
line and plan. The larger notion runs throughout the 
Essays, from Ascham's own reflections on the rude writing 
of men who are themselves rude ' and his reminiscences 
of Cheke's conversations " to Puttenham's defence of his 
inclusion in his Arte of Poesie' of the question of decen- 
cies in general conduct. 

The acknowledgement of the necessity of discipline, y 
implied in this classical argument, gives a point of contact , 

' i. i-a. ' See infra, liiii ; i. 349. •' See note to i. 349. ' i. 6-7. 
* i. 40-1. * See the opening sentence of chap, jcxir, iL tSi. 


between the critics and their Puritan adversaries. But they 
approach from quite opposite direction^ and their agree- 
ment is, after all, merely accidental. It is more important 
to note that in the acceptance of this principle we find the 
explanation of the strong disJike of mediaeval literature 
and Italian fashions, two of the most remai^able of the 
id^es fixes of the Elizabethans'. Other causes, as we have 
seen, contributed to the unpopularity of the Romances : 
they were 'bold bawdry,' they were the amusement of 
abbey-lubbers, they were jingles of rhymes; but the y 
were also the disor dered product_of a disordered literary 
age/ They had no decency in proportions, no coherence 
of episodes. The Italian, if he could not be charged with 
barharousness, was, apart from being a danger to English 
moraU, an extravagant in his literary motives and literary 
forms, as he was in his dress and social habits. And the 
Italianate Englishman, whether a mere adventurer or an 
enthusiast for Italian tales and sonnets, if not always a 
diavolo iftcarnato, was at least bad company. It is quite 
clear that beyond the growing national feeling against 
foreign affectations in public and private life — which must 
have had its effect in the determination of literary taste- 
there was the more purely critical dislike of the licence 
and curiosity of Italian romanticism. The combination 
of these impressions, that the Middle Ages were dis- 
credited because they were barbarous and Gothic, and 
that the contemporary inflow of Italianate habits and 
ideas was no less disorderly and dangerous, supplemented 
by the full confidence in the sufficiency and possibilities 
of English, forced the critics to some immediate con- 
sideration of the cure, especially as they found ready to 
hand, in Renaissance literature, an apparently perfect 
rule of health. 
It may be premised that the first endeavours towards 
' 5ee Mipn, ivi, ivii. 

^^ It may I 


r reform would be concerned with technical details rather f 
than with geherar "principles. Criticism could not begin 
otherwise, and a criticism which was to a great extent 
derived was at iirst attracted to the nicer points of the 
canon. Yet despite the attention to the things of vo cabu lary 
and p rosod y, it is possible to unravel the general principles 
which are threaded through these miscellanies, and there- 
afler to show how one or other of these minor problems 
relates itself to a larger critical purpose. 

The saving quality of this incipient classicism, for so let 
us call it, is that it is not extreme. There is much good 
sense, even in the most partisan discussions on the reforma- 
tion of English prosody, and in the most ample borrowings 
from the rules of the Italian critics. Not only is the whole 
matter tentative, as the historical eye cannot fail to see, 
but it is "act n owl edged to be so by the essayists them- 
selves. They have a genuine conviction of their in- 
efficiency, and though they play with dogma, which in the 
immediate future became the creed of a militant criticism, 
/they seldom forget that they cannot claim to be more than 
tsyperimenters. 'God help us,' says Harvey to Spenser, 
after recitation of a set of ' pawlting bungrely ' verses, ' you 
and I are wisely employed (are we not ?) when our pen 
and ink, and time and wit, and all runneth away in 
this goodly yonkerly vein : as if the world had nothing 
else for us to do, or we were born to be the only Non- 
proficients and Nihilagents of the world '.' So far as 
the critics are minded to expound the classical reform of , 
English, they are content to prove its necessity rather 
than to be dictatorial in defining a new body of laws. 
'And that is enough for me,' says Puttenham, 'seeking 
but to fashion an art, and not to finish it : which time only ^ 
and custom have authority to do'.' The ma^ealJon of 
the Elizabethan view is the more remarkable, since it was 


held that the time had come to English when she must 
prove that she can match the greatness of Greece and 
Rome, and not less clearly admitted that in these rivals 
were to be found the alpha and omega of literary perfec- 

The classical quality of Elizabethan criticism is dis- 
closed in its main theses that English literature must 
improve itself by attention to suitable m odel s, and that the 
most absolute matters for consideration are rp straint and 
symmetry. The necessity of studying and imitating the 
masterpieces begins with Ascham's plea in his Schoie- 
master. His memorable account of a conversation with 
Cheke' defines the character of the new discipline. The 
' ancients ' offer ' expesience,' which cannot but be useful 
to a youthful vernacular : but there is to be no blind 
imitation of them, and certainly no superficial copy of 
what is after all but mannerism. Writing is not to be 
'more Art than nature and more labour than Art*,' for 
a writer's uncontented care to write better than he can is 
aa hateful as disorder. This qualification is but the general 
expression of that dj shke of unnatural e ffort which they 
found grown to such enormity in the archaic, inkhom, 
and over-sea affectations of the age '. 'dmitalion must be 
reasonable * ; it is a trai ning of the ju dgement, for writers 
must not be common porters and carriers'; there is in 
this doctrine no shackling of the wit, no hindering of the 
course of a man's good nature '. Rome herself had her 
' unmeasurable confluence of scribblers',' In all this there 
is good sense, and it was well for the future that Cheke 
and Ascham, who gave the password to their contem- 
poraries, had put it so. Harvey, though he knows the 
value of a 'good pattern' to the Poet', shows not less 
clearly than they do that the adaptation of Method must 

' i. 40. ' See infra, Iv et seq. * i. g-io. 


Inlrodudton xxxix 

proceed with a lively knowledge of its propriety to the 
case in hand, and that the vitality of the model, and not its 
mere corpus, must be transferred to the canvas. ' He 
must not dream of perfection that improveth not the 
perfectest Art with the most perfect industry'.' 'Perfect 
use worketh masteries . . . : singular practice [is] the only 
singular and admirable workman of the world',' There 
is no mistaking the deep purpose of this classical appeal : [ 
it is at bottom that English may draw upon the life and 
spirit of the great things of antiquity, not that she should 
become the ape of Greece and Rome, simply because she 
is heartily sick of her present confusion. When Chapman ' 
sees in Homer a means to the absolute redress of all the 
unmanly degeneracies of his age, he is thinking only of the 
I direct vigour and free soul of the old poet which will cure 
I the fantasies of a transposed and Italianate England*. 
And though Campion rather spoiled by bad logic his 
excellent aphorism that the world is made by symmetry 
and proportion ', his error was confined to the technical , 
details of prosody. The critics had convinced themselves I 
that symmetry and proportion must be the corner-stones I 
of the new edifice : they saw how Greece and Rome had 1 / 
builded. So far they were wise: but they were wiser in ]■ 
refusing to be mere copyists. 

The essayists are explicit on this point. Indeed, there 
is nothing which is so often and so strenuously urged 
throughout these pages than their repugnaDs:e_tQ_aj:igid-^ 
classical canon. They are suspicious of 'ram's-horn 
rules of direction ','of a 'rabble of scholastic a 1 precepts'," 
of ' strict and regular forms ',* of the cumber of ' artificial 
rules and imitative patterns',' Even in the narrower 
problem of the reformed versifying we find Harvey dis- 

I claiming any intention to lay down a general Art • : and 
I* iL S37. ' ii. 236. • ii. 302-3. ' ii, 309. • i. 336. 

B • ii. 176. ' ii. 393. i- 193- • '■ loa. laa- 

xl Introduction 

Stanyhurst' and King James VI' are against a final 
judgement. Daniel, who perhaps reaches deepest to the 
philosophical bases of criticism, enters a general caveat 
against arrogance, and draws attention to the 'unnecessary 
intrications * which confound the understanding — 'as if 
Art were ordained to afflict Nature'.' So open-minded is 
this defender of rhyme against the attacks by one of its 
happiest exponents, that he can admit that it should be 
used with great moderation. He sees that the tyranny of 
^ licence may be as great as the tyranny of a code '. 

If the main interest of this criticism is that it is 

classical, whether as a preliminary symptom of later 

academic theory or as an instrument for the reform of 

contemporary literature, we must note that, taken in its 

I most general bearings, this criticism is as yet quite unpre- 

' judiced. In other words, we should have had no reason 

I to assume, had we been ignorant of later history, that the 

forces of classicism were destined lo become paramount, 

! On the other hand, our knowledge of later developments 

makes it clear that we have in these propositions the true 

awakening of the classical spirit in English literature. 

And it is only when we have searched these beginnings 

and the work of the neglected successors of these essayists 

in the first half of the seventeenth century that we find 

ourselves in a position to interpret aright Johnson's 

dictum that Dryden is the Father of English Criticism. 

Then, and then only, do we know how much Dryden 

and his age drew from later continental sources through 

French channels, and how much from earlier English 

critical tradition, however or whenever his Elizabethan 

masters had been themselves inspired". 

Though the classical quality of these Essays is sug- 

' i. 144. • i. aio. ' ii.365. 

< See infra, ' Romantic Qualities,' p. Ix et seq. 
' It is probably more than a coincidence that makes the questions of 


Inirodudion xli 

gested rather than carefully defined, it is none the less 
true that, even in their brief compass, some progression 
in its application may be observed. Jonson's criticism 
is not Sidney's, nor is it Ascham's: and the difference 
between these must be expressed in terms of a greater 
or less classical intention. Jonson tnarks the close of i 
the first stage ; but the full statement of his position ' 
is outside the scope of these volumes, and more fitlyi 
belongs to Jacobean and Caroline criticism, to which it 
is the natural introduction. \ 

While therefore the leading propositions of Elizabethan \ 
criticism are classical only in a general sense, there are 
certain special problems in which, through the heat of 
controversy or the narrow area of argument, the classical 
character is thrown into stronger relief These discus- 
sions have a value of their own, for though their relation 
to fundamental principles was not readily, if at all, re- 
cognized, and though some, such as the question of the 
hexameter, could not but be of passing interest, they re- 
present the laboratory experience of independent workers 
in a young science. 

V. The Special Problems. 
I. Decorum. 
One of the most persistent topics is the adjustment of 
the classical notion of Decorum to English style. It 
recurs in the discussion of almost every 'kind,' but chiefly 
of the dramatic forms. In its most general acceptation it 
MS identical with what has been understood by proportion,— 
y decency,' the truly euphuistic, or, as Puttenham puts 

' BarburisRi,' 'Monosyllables,' and 'Prosody' interesting lo Dryden in 
his Diseoursi coiutrmng Ihi Originai and Progitss of Satin, Yi'ii Didkaliim 
of iJit AtHtia, antj his Prebce to Albion and Albanita ; and, later, to 
Sbaflesbury '" ^'* Advia to an Aulhor. 




it excellently in his chapter on this subject', 'the good 
grace of everything in his kind.' 'We in our vulgar,' he 
says, 'call it by a scholastical term decency; our own 
Saxon English term is seemliness. . . .: we call it also 
comeliness, for (so runs Puttenham's philology) the delight 
it bringeth coming lowards us, and to that purpose may 
be called pleasant approach^.' In an earlier chapter he 
points out the necessity of style being fashioned to thfrv 
matter, so that 'decorum and good proportion' be kept 1 
in every respect '. This notion appears in nearly all the ! 
Essays. Ascham shows its importance in his scheme/ 
of perfect imitation of classical authors*; Gascoign« 
sees its breach in the mingling of merry jests in serious 
matter'; 'E. K.' notes its due observance in the con- 
struction and details of the Shepheards Calender', as Stany- 
hurst does in the Aenei'd'; and Puttenham fails to find 
it in parts of Stanyhurst's translation'. It is intended in 
King James's plea for vocabula artis'. The term is o( 
course not understood in the modern restricted sense, 
Harington defends the naughty passages in Ariosto at 
the expense of Virgil, and shows that there may be de- 
corum ' in the persons of those that speak lasciviously".* 
All are but re-expressing the Horatian maxims, either 
directly or through media such as Fabricius's Calholica, 
which Webbe has translated ", 

As a problem of dramatic style it assumes greater im- 
portance, and is the common element in the varied dis- 
cussions on the character and differentia of tragedy and 
comedy, on the mixed tragi-comedy, on the doctrine of 
the Unities, on the development of the notion of the 
Humours. The main charge against contemporary stage- 
craft, in the few places where the critics refer to the 

Introduction xliii 

romantic drama, is its lack of decorum in one or more 
ways; and the attempts at positive criticism of the 
English examples of the classical type are concerned 
with the exposition of their observance or neglect of 
'true decency.' Robert Wilmot exactly expresses the 
critical attitude in the Address prefixed to Tancred and 
Gismund (1591), where he warns his Gismund not to 
' straggle in her plumes abroad, but to contain herself 
within the walls of your house ; so I am sure she shall 
be safe from the tragedian tyrants of our time.' Gas- 
coigne, who for decorum's sake divided his Discourse of 
Promos and Cassandra into two comedies', shows how the 
Englishman in his play-making is 'out of order '; Sidney 
follows suit'; and Jonson condemns these ' ill customs of 
the age',' as he does later its 'scenical strutting and 
furious vociferation'.' 

The criticism of the mixed kinds of Drama is the effect j 
of a double set of influences — classical example, enforced/'' 
by the definitions of the Renaissance commentators, andl 
distrust of the contemporary Romantic Drama in England, ' 
The domination of the former is first indicated byAscham, 
who bases his judgement of the excellence of plays on the 
' precepts ' of Aristotle and Horace and the examples of 
Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca'; but it receives its 
fuller acknowledgement from Sidney, who may be said v 
to be the first to enuntiate the formulae of Elizabethan 
dramatic criticism. He and his contemporaries, ex- 
cepting Ascham, are in their views on tragedy more 
exclusively Aristotelian and Senecan : for comedy their 
models are Plautus and Terence or the Terentian 
Scholia. The hard-and-fast distinction between tragedy ^ 
and comedy, which is a Renaissance tradition, appears 

' i. 58. • i. 199. 

' ii. 389. For other refcrc 


xliv Introduction 

in the definitions given in Webbe and Puttenham, and is 
suggested in Sidney. It is probably unnecessary here to 
restate these well-known differences, especially as the 
texts are quite explicit ', but it is important to note that 
the rigidity of these canons, as incorporated in the English 
ars poetica, was one of the main causes of the not less 
rigid censure of English dramatic practice. The objec- 
tions which came most naturally to the classicists were 
that English was not careful in its differentiation of kinds, 
that it mixed the tragic and comic purposes, that it neg- 
lected the propriety of the characters and the relation- 
ship of each with its neighbours, and that it was careless 
of the so-called Unities in the development of the plot. 
It is interesting to observe that this criticism is to 
some extent an academic anticipation of what became 
later a practical problem to English dramatists in the 
Comedy of Humours, and in the Rules of the Dramatic 
Unities. Indeed, all the later classical manner, as all 
this Elizabethan criticism, was based on a more or less 
acute appreciation of the virtues of decorum. Sidney is 
somewhat inconsistent in his argument against mixed 
kinds, for he says in one passage that ' if severed they 
be good, the conjunction cannot be hurtful ' ' ; but it is 
easy to see from his later utterances, despite a certain 
romantic predisposition, hinted rather than expressed, that 
his sense of literary decency is jarred by the matching of 
hornpipes and funerals, and by the intrusion of the clown- 
ish element in the so-called tragi-comedy. There is a 
suspicion in his case that it is less a reasoned objection 
against the combination of the different elements than 
a courtly dislike of the vulgar buffoon per se and of 
the vulgar associations of the contemporary stage. He 

' See Spiiigarn, Lit Cril^ pp. 9S3-90; H. Symmes, Lts Dibuti Ji la 
Cntifui DramaUqui, &c., Paris, 1903, passim; and intra, i. pp. 391-a, 

Introduction x!v 

more readily disapproves these forms because they do not 
appear to be countenanced in the statelier drama and 
more learned criticism to which he is of necessity 
attracted. In his pronouncement on the Unities, the 
neglect of which is his chief fault with the well-esteemed 
Gorboduc, he formulates a doctrine which, though dis- 
regarded by the Elizabethan Romantic Drama, passed 
into English criticism, and is always present, in a more or 
less definite way, in the later history of that criticism. 
The fruit of the doctrine which required decorum in 
character came early in the Humorous Comedy of Ben 
Jonson, and lingered for a time in the seventeenth cen- 
tury ^ It too, though discredited by later playwrights, 
has never lost its influence in later criticism, even outside, 
the more strictly classical eighteenth century. 

In the other literary forms Elizabethan criticism finds 
small opportunity : but in so far as it defines or ventures 
on commentary it is essentially classical. Thus in the 
references to HeroicJ'oetry, such as are given by Sidney, 
Webbe, Puttenham, Harington, and Campion, there is the 
restatement, at second or third hand, and probably without 
knowledge of the source, that it is 'the most accomplished 
kind of Poetry,' i.e. uTamixiimnov koi iJyioiiSf'fTOTOv '. But 
Harington goes further and makes the first contact between 
English criticism and Aristotle on this topic. He is not 
content in his panegyric of Ariosto with the expected com- 
parison with Virgil, in which Ariosto would have had the 
better of the Roman, but he meets those who ' reduce all 
heroical poems unto the method of Homer and certain 
precepts of Aristotle ' by showing how Ariosto fulfils every 
requirement. With regard to the latter he is quite certain. 
'As for Aristotle's rules, I take it he hath followed them 
very strictly": and he proceeds to prove this by Ariosto's 

' See note, ii. p. 46a. 

' See noto, u. pp. 43 (1. ai), 338 [I. a). 


^^^pSvi Introduction ^^^^j 

] attention to three things, the historical basis, the credibility 1 

j of the narrative, and the r-tptxei-fia '. Yet the main interest 

I; of Heroic Poetry to these defenders of Poetry is that it j 

I offers a standing refutation of the charge of wantonness, 1 

\ for 'of all kind of poesy the heroical is least infected 

! therewith'.' It at least satisfied the broader claims of 

decorum. It was left to a later period of English criticism, 
to Dryden and his age, to feel the professional classical 
influence of Le Bossu, Rapin, and the French specialists 
i| in epical theory. The comments on the Pastoral, Elegy, 

\ Lyric, Satire, Epigram, and other kinds are slight, and are, 

especially in Sidney's Apologie and the more formal arles \ 
poeiicae of Webbe and Puttenham, a mere echo of Latin j 
and neo-Latin opinion. When Webbe gives his list, he I 
appears to be not less concerned to illustrate his view I 
that ' Poetry is not debarred from any matter which may 
be expressed by pen or speech" than to discuss the ' 
differences of the kinds. 

It is, however, in the discussions of problems of even 1 

more detailed and technical interest that the real force 
of the classical influence is felt. These arguments are li 
concerned with two main topics, the reconstruction of 
English Prosody — the 'reform of English versifying,' as 
the pioneers of the Areopagus called it, and the purifica- 
tion of English from archaism, inkhornism, and over-sea 

2. Prosody. 
No subject obtrudes itself more than Prosody. Even 
in the Essays which are not intended to be exclusively 
interested in it, there are continual references and digres- ''i 
sions to some part of it, and in especial to the establish- 
ment of the so-called Hexameter. This matter is indeed" 
an obsession of the Elizabethan mind; and in it we find, 
Uie most positive evidence of a classicizing purpose. It 
' iL ai6. ' ii. 909. * Supra, p. lu and Dote. 


Introduction xlvii 

is confessed that here, if anywhere, something must be 
done by way of refonn, and it is as readily taken for 
granted by the greater number of the writers that some- 
thing can be done. Their grievances were more patent. 
To them the older verse, Chaucer's excepted, was poor 
enough, and the Eldertonian doggerel plentiful enough : 
and the revel of even the better poets in Italian stanzas 
was the despair of the least censorious. The cure was at 
hand, though the measure of its success on the continent 
was not considered in the hurry to stay the spasms of 
ingenuity' and restore English to prosodic decorum. Not 
the least remarkable feature of this special controversy, and 
of the poets' experimental interest in it, ia its brief life, 
which begins and ends within the limits of these volumes. 
When Daniel struck his blow the craze was at the point 
of death, for Campion, who incited Daniel, was a belated 
theorist ; and the curious preface to the First Booke of ihe 
Preservation of King Henry the fV/'is the enthusiasm of a 
monomaniac out of touch with the times. The effects of 
the discussion continued to be felt, and may be seen in later 
experiments in better though not less inappropriate hexa- 
meters, down to our own day : but the problem over which 
the Elizabethans fought so well must be considered, both 
in its intention and in its specific terms, as a strictly Eliza- 
bethan matter — an episode in critical development whicli 
derives its meaning from Elizabethan conditions. 

The proposition of the classicists resolved itself into 
three parts: that the metrical chaos was due largely to 
the use of rhyme; that the accentual structure of the line 
was monotonous and should be changed for quantitative 
variety; and that a uniform orthography and a rule of 
pronunciation was necessary. They are mixed up in the 
different ar^ments of the classicists. Not a few of the 
writers make the discrediting of rhyme a necessary 
' CC i. 394, aas, ' See i. pp. 377-8. 

xlviii Introduction 

preliminary to their reform of the measures. Harvey 
sees the honour of the hexameter in being the 'high 
controller of rhymes'.' It is not impossible that the 
'philological confusion of rhyme and rhythm, as shown in 
Puttenham ' and others, may have put some of those who 
honoured the hexameter in a false position towards the 
function of rhyme. 

Ascham, in repeating Cheke's opinion, set the fashion 
of abuse, and he also to a great extent prescribed the terms 
to his successors. To them the 'rude beggarly rhyming' 
I was a foreign thing, and the heritage of the Goths and 
I Huns; and English poets in following it rather than the 
I 'true versifying' of the Greeks had eaten acorns with 
f swine, when they might have freely eaten wheaten bread 
amongst men '. There can be no doubt that much of the 
dislike of rhyme had been nourished by the rhyming j 
Latin verses of the mediaeval church. Webbe' and Putten- 
ham * say as much, and the latter, though he is by no means 
an opponent, recognizes the impropriety of this Gothic 
intrusion in Latin poetry. Moreover, as such lines were 
generally the 'idle invention of monastical men',' they 
were less commendable to the Renaissance temper. To 
a man of Harvey's turn of mind there could be no allow- 
ance, but he is less severe in his attack on rhyme than on 
the loose rhythm of the line ; and this gives some point 
to Nash's taunt that he was clapped in the Fleet for a 
rhymer'. The details of the arguments for and against 
rhyme do not concern us in this place : all that can be 
said against it will be found in Campion's Essay, and all 
for it, and in the best possible manner, in Daniel's reply. 
Not a few cast side glances of reproof at rhyme, as if it I 
were responsible for the mischief in metre ; but the his- • 
torical writers, and especially Puttenham, are inclined in its 



Introduction xlix 

favour. The most curious fad in (he whole controversy 
^ is Spenser's and Campion's rdles as an li- rhymers. Fortu- 
nately in both cases theory was divorced from their general"^ 
practice; and it is possible to make too much of Spenser's 
college gossip with Harvey', for he appears to be but half- 
hearted in his critical interest in their burlesque toys. 
Campion's attitude is, as Danie' himself hints, difficult to 
understand, though it is the extremeness of his special 
pleading rather than his demand for prosodic revision that 
is unintelligible. Later criticism has been seldom more 
superficial than when it has condemned these critical 
experiments as foolishness. Their value is not to be 
measured by the metrical illustrations which accompanied 
them, perhaps between jest and earnest ', Daniel's judged 
ment set the matter at rest for a while : when rhyme again 
involves the critics, in the seventeenth century, the problem 
is restricted to its usefulness in one literary form. To the' 
historical student the controversy has another and all- 
important interest of which the Elizabethans were quite- 
. unconscious. "^It does not appear to have been suggested 
to any one of them that in their efforts to be rid of the 
jingle of English metres they were working for the recog- 
nition of blank_ verse, and were in reality justifying it on 
the side of theory. They are not at fault because they had. 
not the gift of prophecy, nor because they lacked insight in 
connecting their plans with the beginnings of that later 
triumph of English. Yet so far were they out that they 
did not understand Surrey's 'strange metre.' Not only 
did they fail to perceive how different it was from the 
metre of such a piece as Gascoigne's Steele Glas; but 
the stumbling Webbe thought it was written in hexa- 
metrum epicum *. 

The plea for the 'new versifying' shows the classical 
influence in a more constructive way. It follows naturally 
' i. 2<5. ' i. 983. 

1 Introduction 

on the attack on rhyme, for by the law of compensation 
it was necessary to find somg new rhythm within the line 
to make good the loss : antftne absence of unrhymed verse, 

■"■^or the ignorance of the possibilities of Surrey's example, 
made the traneiiion to out-and-out classicism not only 
probable but quite reasonable. The first symptoms of 
the 'heaameter fury'' appear in Ascham ', who, while 
admitting that the dactyl is difficult to manage in English 
on account of the monosyllabic richness of the language, 
thinks that the carmen iambicum may be naturalized '. 
But the impetus to the movement came from the Areo-1 
pagus, of which we have a vague account in the Spenser- \ 
Harvey correspondence *. The inspirer of these delibera- j 
tions, 'gorbellied' Archdeacon Drant, is a mere shadow 
to us. It -is doubtful whether his famous 'rules' were 
committed to writing, and whether it was not certain of 
his experiments, like Thomas Watson's, rather than any 
critical argument, which had fired Harvey to be a reformer 
and had created an interest in the circle of Spenser, Sidney, 
and Dyer. The earlier efforts of Ascham, Watson, and 
Blenerhasset (in his Contplaint of Cadwallader'), are 

I accenLual hexameters, as not a few of the later examples 
. are;\^ut the difference which the Areopagites, except- 
ing Harvey, endeavoured to establish was that English 
verse should be quantitative J) Between Drant's system 
(in so far as we know it) and Harvey's there is a 
serious disagreement. The first is an uncompromising 
imitation of classical usage, which accepts the rule of 
'position' and gives absolute values to monosyllables 
and word-endings. When accentuation and long quantity 
coincide, as they frequently do, the agreement is treated 

e Minvr/er Magistralis. 

Introduction li 

as an accident, Harvey, on the other hand, sees 
that what appears to be an accident in the system is 
really an insidious proof that it cannot reckon without 
accent. ' 1 dare swear,' he says to Spenser, '. . , that it 
is not either Position, or Diphthong, or Diastole, or any 
like grammar-school device that doth or can indeed 
cither make long or short, or increase, or diminish the 
number of syllables, but only the common allowed and 
received Prosody, taken up by a universal consent of 
all, and continued by a general use and custom of all. 
Wherein nevertheless I grant, after long advice and 
diligent observation of particulars, a certain uniform 
analogy and concordance being in process of time espied 
out, sometime this, sometime that, hath been noted by 
good wits in their analyses to fall out generally alike, 
and as a man would say, regularly, in all or most 
words : as Position, Diphthong, and the like : not as first 
and essential causes of this or that effect (here lieth the 
point), but as secondary and accidental signs of tins or 
that quality'.' Harvey, therefore, though an hexametrist ', 
and the traditional standard-bearer of the faction, does not 
hesitate to make certain qualifications. His conception 
'' of the importance of accent, which was left to Put^enham 
and others to develop, shows that he would be no party 
to the mere 'dranting' of verses. What he appears tOi 
have fully recognized, and this is the sum of his re- 
form, is that something should be done to extend the 
possibihties of English verse, and that the hints towardsl 
effecting that lay to hand in classical practice : and, havingi 
committed himself to the party which loved not rhyme, 
he saw the necessity of compensating the loss by a re- 1 
arrangement and elaboration of the rhythm. It is perhaps 

n Nosh's epithet and Harvey's acceptance of it (ii. 930, 



^^H not 
^^^H were 


not remarkable that he and the extremer critics who 
were so blind to the meaning of Surrey's experiment 
did not observe that they entirely failed in practice to 
secure rhythm in their hexameters, except in those places 
where accent agreed with quantity. Harvey did not see 
that his acute criticism of Drant's verses was ;)erhaps not 
less valid against his own. Yet, despite this limitation, he 
was the truer classicist, in that he adapted rather than 
adopted direct. He shows this in his subsidiary plea for 
a uniform orthography, by which he hoped to exorcise the 
spirits of confusion which had undone English Prosody. 

Harvey's argument proved of greater force. Stanyhurst 
shows his agreement in the deliberate attempt to define 
orthography, and in his protest against being too 'stiffly 
tied to the ordinances of the Latins',' though it may 
be said he went somewhat further than some of the 
Priscianists in his devotion to quantity '. Sidney reveals 
but a courteous interest in the topic, and, notwithstanding 
the use of quantity in his early verses in the Arcadia, is 
not partisan in his Apologie. There he holds the balance 
fairly, speaks kindly of both, and even shows how admir- 
ably suited English is for rhyme '. Of Webbe, who has not 
even the merit of respectable scholarship, little need be said 
beyond this, that he is ' fully and certainly persuaded ' 
that had English submitted early to the rigid discipline of 
classical quantity, it would by his time have enjoyed a 
reputation with the best '. So fast does this Procnistes 
stand for ' position ' that he would that words and syllables 
which do not suit 'be a little wrested'.' He is sadly 
out in his interpretation of Surrey's 'strange metre,' and 
his own experiments are not in his favour. We can 

' See the paper by Mr. R. I 

for StBEyhursfs treatnienl oflh 

> i. 304-5. ' i- = 


Introduction liii 

only guess that Fraunce, perhaps the most active prac- 
titioner of the new versification, was on the same side, 
for he has left no record of critical opinion. Yet the 
domination of accent, or rather its coincidence, in his 
so-called hexameters, shows that he was no Dranter : 
and his heresy of 'rhythming' or rhyming' hexameters 
must have disturbed the archdeacon. Harvey's triumph t A 
came with Puttenham, who, while recognizing the useful- '"^ / 
ness of Latin models, is all for accent', He explains his 
attitude with a pretty condescension to young poets and 
others who delight in novelty, and refers to the problem 
that he 'may not seem by ignorance or oversight to 
omit any point of subtlety.' He points out the essential \ 
antipathies between Classical and English prosody ', and ' 
feels that if anything must be done it must be in the 
English way of compromise. His general plan amounts 
lQ_ the substitution of accent for quantity. Some minor 
allowances which he offers as a sacrifice to * position ' are 
the only blemishes in a thoroughly common-sense judge- 
ment. At the close of the discussion he frankly states 
that he thinks them 'but vain and superstitious observa- 
tions, nothing at all furthering the pleasant melody of 
our English metre,' and so will say no more of them, 
rather wishing ' the continuance of our old manner of 
poesy *.' Though the e.xperiments continued, the next 
critical opinion is Caicpjon's on the eve of the dissolution 
of the whole craze. He is of course chiefly concerned 
with rhyme ; and he h'^s that the classical rhythms ^ 
have been attempted with 'passing pitiful success.' He 
thinks that accent must be diligently observed, ' for 
chiefly by the accent in any language the true value of 
the syllables is to be measured"; but 'position' must be 

' Hot necessarily 'rhyming' in the modem sense, but showing 

r difl 



rule ', and we must take our syllables as we speak Ihem, 
not as we write them, because our English orthography 
differs from our common pronunciation *. As far as 
rhythm is concerned he is hardly at variance with Putten- 
ham ; indeed, as Daniel points out, he admits that his 
feet are but the old English 'apparelled in foreign titles'." 
If he is aiming at anjihing tangible it is at equality in. the 
reading length of the lines, and his rules to this end 
assume the propriety of syllabic equivalence '. As our 
period closes, the scheme in both its extremer and more 
elastic forms is already discredited by the critics, as it had 
been neglected by the great body of poets. The discus- 
sion had gradually resolved itself to the conclusion that 
' Sweet Poesy 
Will not be clad in her supremacy 
With those strange garments (Rome's hexameters), 
As she is English ; but in right prefers 
Our native robes {put on with skilful hands — 
English heroics) to those antic garlands'.' 
So the poet. And so the satirist, who wrote : — 
'Manhood and garboils shall be chaunt "with changed feet. 
And head-strong dactyls making music meet*."' 
And so, too, the philosopher, when the matter was ended : 
'Illud reprehendendum, quod quidam antiquitatis ni- 
mium studiosi linguas modernas ad mensuras antiquas 
(herolcas, elegiacas, sapphicas, etc.) traducere conati sunt ; 
quas ipsarum linguarum fabrica respuiC, nee minus aures 
exhorrent. In huiusmodi rebus sensus iudicium artJs 
praeceptis praeponendum . , . Neque vero ars est, sed 
artis abusus, cum ilia naturam non perficiat sed per- 
vertat ',' 

We must not, however, fail to observe that this criticism 

' "■ 353. ' Ibid. ' ii. 350, 377. ' See M'Kerrow, us., p. ta. 
■ Chapman, Tht Skadovi o/JVig/il i^ftymiius in CyHltiiam, II. B6-91). 
' H«ll, i. vi, ' Bacon, Of D^. Cf Augm. ScitiU. vi. i. 




of rhyme and rhythm is touched by the shyness which 
characterizes all the critical work of the age. If Drant 
did seek to establish a tyranny, he has been badly served 
by history. Harvey, whom posterity would make god- 
father to every pedantry, and in this matter to the most 
ridiculous of codes, is careful to disclaim any 'general 
certainty'.' 'Credit me,' he says, 'I dare give no pre- 
cepts nor set down any certain general art '.' Stany- 
hurst tells us that his preface was written to explain his 
own verses, not to publish a 'directory' to the learned*. 
"■"Puttenham gently persuades to discipline by showing thC 
discredit of a rhymer ' that will be tied to no rules at 
all',' and, after showing the danger of inventing a new 
prosody and the folly of thinking that it will please every- 
body, proceeds to his account, only that the subject may 
be 'pleasantly scanned upon'.' If the details of this con- 
troversy are less important to us than the general prin- 
ciple for which the writers strove, that general principle 
is in its turn of subsidiary interest in the history of criti- 
cism to the temper in which it was presented and handled. 
And here as elsewhere the Elizabethan critics showed 
something of the true classical spirit, not less in the 
manner of their argument than in their predisposition to 
certain lines of thought. 

3. Diction. 
The plans for the reform of the vocabulary of English \ 
poetry deal with three varieties of excess, archaism, 1 
inkhornism, and over-sea language ; that is, with the 
affectation of antique forms, latinized terms of Humanist 
study, and foreign, especially Italian, words and phrases. 
They may be conveniently grouped together in this 
place, as the critical problem involved is, despite obvious 
difierences, ftindamentallythesameinall. Here, again, the 
' i. 10a. ' i. 147. ' Li. 79, ' ii. 134. 


curiosity i 

intention is classical — a desire to restrain the curiosity 
and eclecticism which had shown such scant respect 
to the 'suiEciency' of English, In a sense the disease 
itself was classical in origin — ^an attempt to bring order 
and to add ornament in the transitional and dialectal 
confusion of the language by borrowing from more fully 
developed literatures ; to do for English what the Bur- 
gundian Rhe'loriqueurs had done, with less reason, for 
French, But excess was inevitable, and the English 'de- 
spumation of the Latial verbocination ' and the craze for 
antiquity required correction. So it fell out that while 
English at one stage sought to imitate the more learned 
and rhetorical style of Latin and the greater vernaculars, 
in the next she felt that she had but substituted one dis- 
order for another, and that she must return to simplicity. 
The first conviction of the English poet was that he must 
write better than he had done ; the later, that he had an 
, uncontented care to write better than he could '. 

The discussion of Diction' was due to several causes, 
and was not primarily literary. The growing feeling of 
nationality, which was stimulated by the dislike of Italian 
influences, had already found voice in literature, and had 
urged writers like the author of Toxophilus, for purely 
patriotic reasons, to write English matters in the English 
tongue for Englishmen '. On this there naturally followed 
a defence of the mother- speech, to prove its sufficiency 
as well as its right to be heard. Some of the more de- 
liberate vindications appear to have been prompted by 
continental examples, as Carew's was by Henri Es- 
H tienne's ' ; or to have been suggested by the argument of 

H continental purists, as Harvey's was by Bembo's teach- 

Y ing. But the defence was not complete until there had 

L been a critical inquiry into the possible reasons for the 

^^^H delay or undoing of the vernacular triumph. These the 
^^^1 ■ i. 40. > Cr. Sidney, i. 901. ■ Toiophilui [Dtdi 


Introduction ivii 

critics found in the outworn, outlandish, and pedantic Hcence 
of their age. The protest had been made before the appear- 
ance of the Sckolemaster. Wilson, in the first pages of 
h\s Arte of Rhetorique, had reminded his reader how the 
philosopher Favorinus had served a youth for using words 
too old and strange. Cheke had told Thomas Hoby that 
English by ever borrowing would fain keep her house as 
bankrupt'. Ascham, despite his enthusiasm for Latin'' 
as an instrument of culture, is with them in pointing out 
that English must not ape foreign fashions, old or new. 
Mulcaster, too, loves Rome, but London better : ' 1 favour 
Italy, but England more ; I honour the Latin, but 1 wor- 
ship the English.' And he adds: 'If we must cleave 
to the eldest and not the best, we should be eating acorns 
and wearing old Adam's pelts. But why not all in Eng- 
lish ? I do not think that any language, be it whatsoever, 
is better able to utter all arguments either with more pith 
or greater plainness than our English tongue is '.' Putten- • 
ham in his shrewd chapter on language ' argues that no- 
thing is to be added or changed in a national speech ' but 
by extraordinary occasions, by little and little ' ; and he 
gives warning of the evils which have come from preachers, 
schoolmasters, secretaries, merchants, and travellers*. To 
Daniel these affectations of antiquity and novelty are a 
deformity next to the folly of the reformed versifying'. 
Nash notes the fault of this ' overracked absonism '.' But 
no one sees it more clearly than Jonson in his Poetaster^. 
His counsel of 'fair abstinence' is the sum of the clas- 
sicists' purpose, fittingly delivered by the greatest of their 

It would be wrong to interpret this critical propaganda 
as the mere backwash of Humanism. Far from being a 
tired reaction after the enthusiasm of the past century, it 

p. ' First Pari of Ihi Eltmmlarii (158a). 

' Ibid. 151, 159. • ii. 384. * ii. 343. 




Iviii Introduction 

was the intelligent application of the principles of dassic- 
ism to the disorders which had come upon English from 
different quarters. There was, in the first place, the glut 
of translations which, though they did inestimable good 
to the literature and language, if only by way of exercise, 
showed many serious symptoms of excess. The 'trade of 
glose or translations" was so enlarged, that the charge of 
insular ignorance which Hoby had brought against his 
countrymen had lost its meaning. Now Nash could wish 
nothing worse to those who 'feed on nought but the crumbs 
that fall from the translators' trencher ' than that they be 
left to the mercy of their mother-tongue'. To such 
a pass had it come that Harington and others thought it 
necessary to defend the craft of the translator. There 
was, in the second place, the remarkable interest in 
Chaucer and in the pseudo-Chaucerian pieces of the 
fifteenth century, of which the more aureate examples 
were greedily gorged in the general hunger. They were 
at least English, and so far would escape the censure 
directed against foreign influences. Nash saw the danger 
of this insidious argument, and in brave language main- 
tained that Chaucer, had he lived, would have been 
scandalized by these 'balductums'; and, further, in a brief 
historical argument, that there was then no reason that 
English, 'when she hath recovered her state,' should 
be compelled to 'wear the robes of adversity and jet 
it in her old rags'.' Later, Drayton showed that the 
enthusiasm must be for Chaucer's genius, not for the 
assumed perfection of his form : — 

'As much as then 
The English language could express to men 
He made it do*.' 

And in the third place, there was the effect, also native 

' L. 315. ■ i. 308. ' ii. 343-3. ' Epallt to Hmiy RtynolJs. 


Introduction _ lix 

in process, of the artificial style of Euphuismi- This was 
as alien in the eyes of the more rea'S'Onable purists as the 
most foreign, inkhornlsh, or antique affectation, ) Sidney, 
taking his metaphor from the Italianate folly, calls it 
a transformed and awry thing. Lyly, though he de- 
served, and received, full allowance for his aid in the 
betterment of English style, must take his share of 
blame with the imitators of ' his ridiculous tricks '.' 
English had outgrown the youthful fervour when Eu- 
pkms was ipse tile'. 

Definite as this criticism is in its exposure of the causes 
of disorder, and in its conviction of the ' equipollence ' and 
individuality of English', it too is tempered by that fine 
discretion which Horace exhorted the poet to observe*. 
The writers, who are mo'^t sensible of the dangers of 
eclecticism are just those who admit that English must be 
a borrower. But the poet must borrow as the translators 
do, or should do, by making his adornments appear 
natural and fitting to the tongue which receives them'. 
Gascoigne enters a caveat against strange words, but 
admits, as Ronsard had done, that In some places they 
may 'draw attentive reading*,' Spenser's panegyrist 
naturally, and yet with stated reasons, is sure that an- 
cient solemn words are a great ornament'. Though 
Sidney disapproves of the ' dictionary ' method ', he under- 
stands the proposition that English is a mingled lan- 
guage'. Chapman in defence of his translation craves 
Englishmen to accept his variety of new words as a 
compromise between ' discountryed affection ' and the 
nakedness of ordinary table-talk". And Daniel de- 
nounces foreign words not because they are altogether 

' Drayton, Epiilii to Hinry Riyuolds. ' ii. 343. 

' See, in addition, i. 13B, 143, 159, Sec, ; ii. laa, &c., 985, 997, 30a, 
Sic. And cf. FJetcher'a Licia and Danipl's CItofalra. 

' Cf. i. 300. ' Cf. ii. 396. * '■ 53- ' '■ '*9- ' '■ a""- 

Ix Introduction 

■ bad, but because they are established free-denizens ' with- 
out a Parliament, without consent or allowance'.' It was 
Peele's praise of Harington (the ' well- lettered and dis- 
creet') that he had 

' So purely naturalized 
Strange words and made them all Iree-deoizens *. ' 
So that here again, as in the discussion on Prosody, we 
have not only in the direct attack but also in the tone 
and terms of the reformers the true expression of the 
classical temper. 

VI. The Romantic Qualities. 
It is not inconsistent with what has been said about the 
marked classical tendency in Elizabethan criticism to find 
■^hints of a contrary movement in the direction of romantic 
taste. In the first place, it is fair to assume that however 
much criticism was indifferent to the fervours of the age — 
by which that age has commended itself to posterity — it 
could not altogether escape the influence of the popular 
manner. And, in the second place, we are reminded that 
the two apparently opposite moods of Classicism and 
Romanticism are always found co-existing in the greatest 
periods and greatest writers. Indeed, if we look for a too 
strong antithesis, and certainly if we expect exclusiveness 
for the one or the other, the distinction must entirely fail 
as a critical instrument. It is not necessary to defend 
the paradox of the classicism of Shakespeare, or of the 
romanticism of Virgil; or to show in cases of minor 
importance that the 'placing' of an author or of his 
period may be difficult and inconclusive, and indeed that 
the choice of the epithet largely depends on the point of 
view of the critic. We have illustration of this in these 
essays. The persistent plea of Harvey and others that J 

' ii. 38^. ' Ad Uatctnaltm Prahgut, 1593. 

Introduction Ixi 

Tcuatom, common usage, or 'natural instinct' must rule in 4 
I the shaping of style, is in one sense the romantic claim 
for freedom from the tyranny of the canon, in another 
an admission that the writer, far from enjoying individual 
liberty, is conditioned by practice, which is not less 
exacting than classical convention. Daniel's hearty 
-counsel that the world is to be suffered 'to enjoy that 
which it Itnows and what it likes'' may quite reason- 
ably be accepted by the classicists, or prove irksome 
to the romanticists. Experience, another of Harvey's 
favourites, commends itself to his party, because it hits 
at tradition and deals with things known to, or feh by, the 
poet. Experience, say the opponents, especially perfected 
experience, gives the 'Ancients' and the Great Patterns 
their claim upon the obedience of their successors. To 
the first, it makes the individual writer and creates the 
living pages of literature; to the others, it is the sum 
of the past, discovered of old, and handed on by the 
'classics' as the unsurpassed, perhaps unsurpassable, 
expression of the wisdom of life and beauty of art. When 
I Harington, in his critique on Ariosto, answers certain 
I objections with the striking words, ' Methinks it is a suffi- 
cient defence to say Ariosto doth it',' what appears so 
modern and aesthetic in its tone is afler all but the masked 
admiration of the classicist for another Homer or Virgil. 
And so our signposts may be Knights or Saracens, 
according as we look upon them ; for much may be said 
on both sides. 

The unwillingness to have rigid rules, whether in the 
choice of subject, in language, or in prosody, has been 
already noted. The caution against interference with ex- 
isting habit, against drawing Poetry by the ears ', is not only 
Sidney's and Daniel's, but the commonplace of this collec- 
tion of essays. The dictum, too, that Poetry has no limita- 
' 11.363. ' ii. 317. ' i- 195- 

' tioi 

'tedi Introduction 

tions, which is urged hardly less frequently, is on the side 
of eclecticism, though the critics may not have quite realized 
the fact. So much freedom is allowed to the writer that he 
is advised not to 'compose of seen subjects',' but to rely 
on his own invention. In a sense, this unwillingness is 
an effect of the classical restraint and discretion, a trans- 
ference of method from literary practice to criticism per 
se, though it is in time lost when critics have made up 
their minds as to what is orthodoxy, and how it is to be 
enforced. Or it may be to some extent due to timidity or 
confusion in interpreting the relationship of the classical 
canon to English use and wont. But if there be little or 
no evidence of romantic bias in the call for discretion, it 
is otherwise when the critics condescend to discuss the 
reasons. Thus Puttenham says, 'Since the actions of 
man with their circumstances be infinite, and the world 
likewise replenished with many judgements, it may be 
a question who shall have the determination of such 
controversy as may arise whether this or that action or 
speech be decent or indecent'.' And Daniel, who in 
many places speaks strongly against arrogance in judging 
the positive though varying virtues of 'this manifold 
creature man ",' advances a step further when he admits 
that he dare not take upon himself to dictate to his fellows, 
because he holds a fixed view and thinks it right; for 
.'indeed there is no right in these things that are con- 
(tinually in a wandering motion, carried with the violence 
I of uncertain likings, being but only the time that gives 
them their power '.' Here there is no truce with either 
the stricter discipline, or with the good-mannered discre- 
tion of the classicist. 

Daniel's remark foreshadows the modern conception of 
historical process in literature. There is no hint of it 
*- la the generality of Elizabethan writings, which tacitly 
' i. 48, aao. » ii. 175. " iL 367. ' ii. 3B3. 

Itiiroduction Ixiii 

accept tfie^ restricted Mediaeval tradition or substitute for 
itthejiol less exclusive views of the Renaissance. There 

Iis nothing more remarkable in the Elizabethans than their 
ne^ect of the earlier literary conditions in England, as 
bearing on the problems which interested them so much. 
It was indeed more than neglect, for the reformers, and 
those who had hopes of a great English revival, made it 
a preliminary to their argument to abuse the lack-learning 
times, and on every occasion to scoff at the Amadises and 
Arthurs. Sidney, in notable exception to Ascham and hisT 

' friends, shows a genuine, though reserved, appreciation 
of Romance, but he does not make any effort to justify 
his catholicity. And Puttenham, who in one place appears 
to think kindly of the old stuff', is neither acute nor con- 
sistent, and is perhaps thinking most of his own historical 
ditty. There is a hint of the later attitude in Bl en erh asset's 

^Epistle in the Second Part of the Mirror for Magisirales, 
where he excuses his style by pointing out that those 
whose falls he has described lived not 'of late time,' 
and that he had not thought it decent 'that the men 
of the old world should speak with so garnished a style, 
as they of the latter time '.' We have here the superior* 
manner of Renaissance criticism, but there is also the 
confession that ages differ, and that each has its own 
mode. And the importance of this allowance is not 
diminished, although his attitude may be reasonably ex- 
plained as the application of the classical doctrine of 
decorum in the representation of different times as in 
that of different characters. In Daniel, however, the ex- 
pression of the modem idea is, for the first time in 
English, unequivocal. His apology for the Middle Ages 
and his demurrer to the infallibility of Latin are a direct 
retOIt ^^ybe classicists. As different conceptions of< world are but one, 'apparelled 
:66. ' HulcwDod, i. 349. 



according to the fashion of every nation',' so the tastes 
of different ages but express ' that perp etual revolution - 
which we see to be in all things that never remain 
the same'.' He speaks of this continuity as 'the law of 
time',' and sees in its process the passing of all things — 
including Campion's craze against rhyme. What matters 
it, when this 'will make all that for which we now contend 
Nothing"} There is more in this than in Puttenham's 
commonplace that all old things soon wax stale'; it 
is, as it were, the exaltation of fate and the refutation of 
finality in Art. The practical application therefore is, to 
the artist, that he shall take such opportunity as comes by 
mood rather than by convention ; and to the critic, that he 
shall not arrogantly find perfection in one phase of artistic 
experience. Daniel is but further expounding this larger 
doctrine when he brings home the difficulty of finding the 
true perspective of an age which shall stand the test when 
'after-times shall make a quest of inquiry'.' If it be 
claimed for this historical sense, which is the flower of 
Elizabethan criticism, that it is but the perception of a 
larger unity, and the extension of the old bounds, and 
is therefore nothing more nor less than a transcendent 
classicism, we must bear in mind that it shows the building 
up of the whole by its parts, not the illustration of that 
unity by certain forms and works. The Renaissance 
allowed little to the individual except in his relation- 
ship to the general principle which it had accepted ; here 
criticism accepted the individual works on their own merits, 
and thereafter based its conception of unity and continuity 
on the evidence of their essential qualities. D aoiel's es say, 

I even considered in the narrowest sense of re-establishing 
the literary credit of the Middle Ages, was an important 
document on the side of romanticism. 

The Renaissance individualism which stimulated this 

' ii. 37a. 

' U. 384. 

• Ibid. 


Introduction Ixv 

sense by giving to each age, or literary kind, or writer, thei 
consideration which it accorded to each man, shows other] 
immediate effects in the critical work of the time. And 
these further illustrate the coincidejice of classical, and 
romantic purpose, to which reference has already been 
made. For the plea, as expressed by Puttenham, that I 
criticism shall give 'special regard to -all circwiistances 
of the personj place, time, cause, and purpose',' or by 
Chapman, that 'the whole drift, weight, and height' of 
a poet's works shall be set before the ' apprehensive eyes 
of his judge',' is a classical conception, at base but the 
familiar decorum ; and it is here applied to criticism per se, 
as it was later, and with fuller meaning, by Dryden, Pope, 
and Johnson. But it also meant the recognition of 
individual workmanship, and the giving of fair treatment 
even to inferior writers'. In other words, it broke with 
the Renaissance habit of judging works only as part of 
a system or as examples of a certain kind. 

There could be as yet but litlle_a£sthetic__cjiticism in 
the modern acceptation of the term ; but there are hints 
of it in the claim by the critics, for a freer expression of 
their^erspnalJiking. Puttenham speaks of his 'singular 
Opinion*,' and admits that it may be disputed. Chap- 
man says that his chief pleasure of his labours is in 
his own profit, and that he does not tremble before the 
feverish censure of a 'young prejudicate or castigatory 
brain '.' Daniel's ' own ease ' is his guide in certain 
questions. Yet he and the others admit that though 
such are their own conclusions, they may not be com- 
mendable to others. ' I must not out of mine own 
daintiness condemn this kind of writing, which peradven- 
lure to another may seem most delightful',' This then 
I more than unwillingness to accept the authority of a 


Ixvi Introdudion 

body of rules : it grants the reasonableness of individual 
criticism, and by allowing that criticism may be based on 
impression, whether fued or tentative, hits at the heart of 
convention. »^on5on, as a classicist, saw the danger of this 

I unloosing in the insidious working of the pathetic fallacy*; 
but the tendency made for critical sympathy, and was not 
without good influence in the strictest age of classical 

VII, The Critical Tekper. 

In this period, in which Criticism first claims, or is 
preparing to claim, the right to be recognized as a ' kind ' in 
English letters, the method, tone, and craftsmanship of the 
critic are hardly less important than the general principles 
by which he is guided. It might not be too much to say 
that it is by reason of these qualities that this olla of 
treatise, preface, and letter deserves the name of criticism 
in the accepted sense. For it is clear that such general 
questions as the origin of poetry, or its defence, or the 
respective advantages of a classical or romantic theory of 
Art, may remain entirely academic, and may neither help 
nor harm the critic in his efforts to interpret individual 
genius or record his impressions of a literary group. 
The additional interest of these essays, therefore, is that 
in them we have the first hints in English of the Critical 

The evidence of this is scattered ; and there are many 
passages and points of views which on analysis must lose 
their apparent claims to novelty in this respect. This is 
especially true of the judgements on Classical and Re- 
naissance writers. With perhaps the exception of Cheke's 
ingenious explanation of Sal lust's style*, or Chapman's 
assault on Scaliger', nothing is said in appreciation of the 
gods of the Old and the New Rome which had not been 

Introduction Ixvii 

said before, or might have been said. *The historical ■' 
sketches of classical literature by Sidney, or Webbe, or 
Puttenham, or even Jonson, are but shreds of Horalian * 
tradition or patchwork of Renaissance commentary. In I 
their references to the later material, down even to their 
own time, the critics wield the weapons and give the cries I 
of the Aristotelian and Ciceronian wars of the previous [ 
century. Harvey's panegyric on Petrarch is but a heap of 
epithetic scrap-iron ; Harington's special pleading for 
Ariosto at the expense of Virgil discloses little more than 
the wisdom of Renaissance commonplace. 

When we come to their treatment of contemporaries, 
there are signs of vitality, though they are occasional, 
and appear in a phrase here and there rather than in 
the complete argument. It may not be difficult to see 
that at times the purpose and method of these references 
to writers of their day have been suggested by such 
Renaissance models as Scaliger or Lilius Gyraldus, or 
have been devised as the appropriate retort to the Puritan 
attack ; yet their frequency is a new and noteworthy 
feature. Jonson, himself a ready censurer and gossip on 
fellow-authors, drew attention, a few years later, to these 
•running judgements upon poetry and poets'.' That they 
were in the main preposterous, as Jonson holds, does 
not lessen the historical importance of the activity of such 
early experiment. It may be said that the heat of con- 
troversy which gave the critics their opportunity, did 
not at the same time give them a keener judicial faculty. 
Their praise and blame, their descriptions and groupings, 
appear in the false relief which is familiar in the argument 
of the special pleader. They cite and quote to prove or 
illustrate some definite thesis ; less frequently do they 
attempt to give an independent appreciation. Thus there is 
a certain historical value in the lucubrations of Lodge on 
' Datoviriis, liiii, ' CensHi-a de PotHs.' 

^^^^^cviii Introduction n|^H 

^^^B Gosson, Stanyhurst on Phaer, Harvey on Nash, or Nash I 
^^^r on Kyd, which may or may not be negligible in a later 1 

^^^^ critical estimate of Gosson, Phaer, Nash, or Kyd. 
Occasionally, as in the uniform correctness of their 
judgement of Spenser, they have anticipated the verdict of 
posterity; but tt is no disrespect to either the intelligence 
or humanity of any of them to say that their opinion might 
have been different had Spenser been less a free and 
uncontentious person. 

Two of the more striking features of their work they 
owed to humanistic culture; the one of method, the other \ 
of manner : and their chief claim to originality is shown in 
the way which they modified these. The former, the Com- 
parative Method, was a choice of necessity; but it was the 
surest" beginning, yAt first an author is good or bad ' 
according as he stands comparison with some accepted 
pattern ; English is a noble and self-sufficing language: 
because it is as rich and subtle as other honoured 
vernaculars; English prosody is at fault because it does'. 
not carry the Latin measures. This is but the humanistic 
pitting of the one against the other, without due consider- 
ation of the fairness of the encounter, or indeed of the 
necessity of their fighting at all, -^he habit was doubt- 
less confirmed by the anthological craze of the age, and by 
the prevalence of the Euphuistic mood, by which accidental 
or far-fetched similitudes and antipathies had acquired 
a false importance. The extreme is found in Meres's 
fantastic catalogue ; there is much that appears meaning- 
less in the more scholarly Harvey, and perhaps not less in 
Nash and others. But it is not difficult to see that, by i 
some, comparison is less and less used as an instrument I 
for shaping forth a prejudice, and more as an exercise for I 
widening the literary horizon. Daniel, at the close, hits at / 
the narrow scholastic method when he says : ' It is our ' 
weakness that makes us mistake or misconceive in these 

I wid 

I the 

I wea 


hitrodudion Ixix 

delineations of riien the true figure of their worth. And 
our passion and belief is so apt to lead us beyond tmth, 
that unless we try them by the just compass of humanity, 
and as they were men, we shall cast their figures in the 
air, when we should make their models upon earth'.' He 
argues that differences between nations and individuals 
are of fashion rather than of degree, and that in the 
'collation of writers' men rather weigh the accidents 
than the positive merit '. This is but another expression 
of the romantic argument for toleration ; and evidence of 
its more direct application to critical method, 

A like tendency is recognizable in the change in the ' 
tone of Elizabethan criticism. The ea rlier c ritics are not 
less humanist in their manner of censure than they are 
in their erudition. They have a fine genius for denuncia- 
tion and personality, which would do credit to the noisiest 
of the Ciceronians. In their statement of general princi- 
ples they are tolerably meek, but they show small measure 
of ' decency * when an opponent is to be damned. Yet 
scholars' quarrels have always been lively ; and it is 
perhaps no accident, though it is not a primary cause, that 
as scholarship decreases in Elizabethan criticism a gentler • 
habit begins to rule. There is of course no lack of 
biting speeches in the later writers, but these are to be 
treated on their individual merits, and as idiosyncrasies of 
the authors. Thus Nash's 'declamatory vein' is Nash's 
own : much more so than Harvey's is his own natural 
rudeness, unaffected by his pedantic training and recrea- 
tion. Yet it would be too fine and unprofitable a discussion 
to distinguish between these kinds of 'flyting.' There is 
poor sport for the modern in this cockpit of abuse. We 
feel a change when we pass from Ascham to Sidney, or» 
from Harvey to Daniel, How much of the difference is 
directly due to Sidney it might be difficult to say, but it 
' ji. 371. ' ii. 3B0. 


Izz Iniroduditm 

is at least reasoo^ile to i»vs" i f that Im rcpsMMm and his 
literary tone bad soBic rSkxt, dse the BNdtibKfiaoos nftr- 
CDces to the ' Wrfnai-an sImmkis of swcet d ia co urae ' * have 

I no iBrpanii^ Tbe faA that he and ftaiewhaia and Har- 
ington and odicis arc muiti e i> — bj |inili Mbiiwi. Id ns say 
— could not bSi to ameliorate the haiatncss of the mere 
adubr or the Hartiiiist, ifaou^ it mts on 1^ other iiand 
a barrier to Uieir critical afqireciation of die great wdt^ 
of the Bohemians. Yet mere cotmlincss wiD not ^*plaiii 
die endmaa^ the geoerons wisdoa^ an4 above al^ the 
ahaobtf temper of his Apalopt, or accoont fix- its iidhi- 
cnce on cont emp otaries. Nor caa it have been alugether 
a personal qoaUty, fiir io the Italian sources, from wrtudi 
Sidn^ and die odieis dmroot a little, already somcthnig 
of the old harshness had been lost 

It is to be observed that this cfaai^^ hodi m the out-i 
look and manner of Eogji^ critictsm, is fiisc associaledV 
■• with those whose sjriBpaducs are on the romantic ad^ I 
and e^iedalljr whb Sidney and Daniel, the most striking / 
exponents of tfa^ turn in taste. It is they who estabfism 
tbe daim of En^ish criticisin as a separate literary kind, \ 
as an i nstrm n en t frf power octside tbe craft of riietoiicians / 
and acbdais. For tboi^ it was for <-l»<^FW-al ends that 
this ciitidsm was first turned to account, and tbou^ it 
was later by Hasriral hands made perfect, it was by tbe 
genius of those wbo woe least trammelled by r-l^^yfy^l 
tiaditioa that it first fiwnd its cunning. There are 
many passages in Sidney, and more than' enough in 
Daniel of in^Mred knowledge, b^^>y si^gestioi^ and 
generxMis cmnnoQ sense, to show how faa die best of tbe 
Elizabethans had wandered fhsn tbe old way^ and how 
very near they coold come to some of tbe best of tbcir 
later successors. And in other places, in essays of less 

% sustained power, as in Puttenbam's definition of s^le*. or 
> Cnttbaw, Waka. * it 153. 

Introduction Ixxi 

Chapman's defence of Homer's 'ascential muse',' or in 
Harvey's spasms of phrase, there is no lack of critical 
intelligence, which more than balances all the dreary pages 
of the 'most threatening slashers" and pedants. 

VIII. The Sources. 

There remains the question of origins: how much of 
Elizabethan criticism expresses a general tendency or 
deals with matters which are as English as they are 
Italian or French, and how much is directly drawn from 
foreign sources. It is of course impossible to measure 
the latter with accuracy, and it is easy to err in over- 
estimating its extent. Yet it is not the less true that 
Elizabethan criticism, especially on its theoretical side, 
shows, and to some extent admits, a considerable assimila- 
tion of argument and illustration from without. Whatever 
may be said of the'onginal qualities" of these essays, it is 
clear that their authors, like certain wits described by 
Jonson, usurped freely from others; but it must be put 
to their credit that, unlike these, they did not protest 
against all reading, or make a ' false venditation of their 
own naturals'.' The notes will show how handsomely 
some of them borrowed. 

We shall confine ourselves here to a general statement 
of that indebtedness, and in attempting to estimate its 
extent we shall assume that the essayists drew from one or 
more of three main sources, (i) from Classical canon, 
either directly or through the medium of the mediaeval 
recensions of Plato, Aristotle, Horace, and others, (a) from 
Italian and French criticism, Latin and vernacular, of the 
sixteenth century, and (3) from English writers before 
1570 and from contemporaries. ^ 

it is hardly necessary to remark on the persistence of 
i. 359. ' Discovirits, txv. { 8. 

bom Introduction 

classical tradidon is critidsm, at all stages of its history, 
wbether in thg theory of poetry or in the regulation of 
poetic form. (The chief guides had been Plato, Aristotle, 
and Horace, or what passed for them at the hands of 
the grammarians^ Of these, Plato is of least accounL 
There is nothing in Elizabethan criticisin corresponding 
to the influence exened by the Platonic philosophy in the 
works of contemporaij.Doets and thinkers. The all- 
'important notion oi (jv^v^i^ an adaptation to hteraturc 
from philosophy, and, though Platonic in origin, was 
inost probably known to the Renaissance writers and 
the Elizabethans through later works, such as Plutarch's 
Moralia *. The direct references to Plato (and their direct- 
ness is sometimes disputable) are almost without exception 
to the passage dealing with the expulsion of poets from 
the commonwealth : and in these the critics more often 
discuss the plain question of Plato's intention' than his 
general views on the fable and the relation of poetry to 
philoBt^y, by which be appeared to conclude against the 
poets'. Tbou^ the critics strain to pro\-e that Plato 
was no enemy to poetrj-, they show that they bear him 
some grudge. Sidney is carefiil to say that he rcvcrcoces 
bim ss a philosopher * ; and Puttenham, on his first page, 
chaBcDges the ' Platonists with their Ideas ^' Webbe's 
references to the Platonic explanation of rhythm* are 

r unimportant. It is perhaps possible, with the aid of tbc 
Italians, to find some threads of Plato's doctrine in the 
Fli>jlmhan a{^lication of the arguments in fa^TKir of tbc 
pbilofiofiiber to the defence of the poet ; or in the assump- 

U*iQa that die Platonic theory of be*u^ can be extended 
■s a jusdficatioQ of poetry. There is cntaitUy soiDcthing 
■ S«*L»». 

* eg. Lodce,i67i Sidney,! ttli^ lit rmrrijj tjn ■: Hnk,i3flB; 
Ho^, L S41 i Haiiaclaa, fi. aof. Sec nfra, |k. Inis. 

Introduction Ixxiii 

Platonic in Sidney's conception of the golden world of * 
art beyond the brazen world of nature'. But it would 
be pushing the historical method too far to explain such 
positions as direct borrowings, even from the Renaissance 
Platonists. And it would be not less extreme to connect 
the romantic feeling for freedom in the exercise of the 
imagination with any special system or dictum. If these 
things were originally Plato's, Plato had been absorbed in 
European thought ; and the impulses, though first ex- 
pressed by him, were, in every valid sense, each thinker's 

With Aristotle, and especially with Horace, the case isv 
otherwise. As formalists they more readily commended 
themselves to a young criticism which was concerned 
before everything with practical matters of form. Ascham 
puts it on record, that he, Cheke, and Watson, the author of 
Absohn, 'had many pleasant talks together in comparing 
the precepts of Aristotle and Horace de Arte Poetica with 
the examples of Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca ^' The 
passage has the additional interest of containing, as far as 
we know, the first allusion in English to the Poetics*. 
Hitherto all the Aristotelian borrowings had been from 
the philosophical works, the Politics, and the Rhetoric; 
and, indeed, for some time to come the tradition of the 
scholastic discipline was paramount in English letters, or 
at least the writers show by their allusions to the Politics, 
Ethics*, and Analytics greater intimacy with these works. 
Of the ten or twelve passages in these essays which are 
based on the Poetics, only a few imply any knowledge of 
the text or discuss its doctrine ; and nearly all of them 
are to be found in Sidney's Apologie, in which the Poetics 

' The recovery or the Potties in Italy, France, and England inaugurated 
the critical reputation of Aristotle, just at the time when his long- 
established authority in pbilosophy was on the decline. 

' e.g. Sidney, i. i6i, ao (note). 

Ixxiv Introduction 

* takes its place in the list of literary testimonies in favour 
of poetry '. They refer to the commonplace on fii/iijcw ', 
to the comparison of poetry with history', to the Unity 
of Time*, and to to yiKoXov'. But there is a suspicion 

• even in these that Sidney had reached Aristotelian theory 
in a roundabout way— a suspicion which is confirmed by 
other vague and unauthenticated references', and is but 
slightly removed by his recommendation in his corre- 
spondence that Aristotle should be studied in the original '. 
The passage on the ' Unity of Time,' for example, derives 
its importance from its relationship to recent Italian views 
rather than to the original*. Of the other writers, Har- 
ington, who owes so much to Sidney, merely alludes to 
fuHTia-it*, and to the fable'", though he elsewhere speaks 
approvingly of 'Aristotle and the best censurers of Poetry".' 
Webbe's allusions arc accidental, and as valueless as his 
i references to Plato ". Puttenham refers to Aristotle thrice, 
but does not seem to have known the Poetics ; and Daniel 
makes mention at second-hand of some Latin account of 
Aristotle's views on rhythm ", There are but few traces 
of other Greek critics in the Essays. Demetrius Pha- 
lereus and Dionysius of Halicarnassus are known to 
Ascham, and possibly to Puttenham, whose strangely 
mixed list of points of ' good utterance ' would appear to 
be based upon them, though perhaps indirectly". From 
Longinus little or nothing has been borrowed. 

Y~ The vitality of Horatian tradition in late classical and 
I mediaeval times, and especially throughout the Renais- 

' L 19a. ■ i. 158, 173. ■ i. 167. 

• i. 197. ' i. aoo. • e.g. i. 306. See note. 
' Ed. Pears, pp. aB, 195, aofl. 

' See note to i. 39B. Yet Sidney has the credit, however much he 
may have drawn from Scaliger and othen, or infusing the Aristotelian 
elementi into English criticism, especially od the dramatic side. 

• ii. aoo, 'J ii. ao3. " ii. bi6. " i. 031, 336, 34B. 
" ii. 360. " See note to ii. p. 163, I. 4, 4c 


Introduction Ixxv 

history. An essentially derivative criticism such as the| 
Elizabethan could not but draw freely from this storehouse ; 
and it did so from the first, before it had acquired anything 
from Aristotle, directly or indirectly. The Horatian notion 
of the original function of the poet as the legislator and 
vales commended itself to the English' mind, and woul^ 
have done so hardly less easily had there been no pre- 
disposing cause in mediaeval and Renaissance habit. 
Horace, too, in his body of general rules, met the taste 
and practical needs of the defenders of poetry ; Aristotle, 
in a sense a new acquaintance, offered theory and canon 
for the drama, which was but one of their interests, and-. 
not the most important. The debt to Horace is certainly i 
greater than would appear at the first estimate, for much f 
that stands to the credit of Aristotle and others is really \ 
his, or is at least Horatian. The Ars Poetica had usurpedJ 
the place of mentor, not only to many who would write 
poetry, but to all who would write about it. Though the 
direct references in these essays to it or its author are not 
frequent, and though Webbe's inclusion in his Discourse 
of a complete translation of Fabricius's vademecum ' is 
an exceptional proof of enthusiasm by one of the least 
scholarly of the critics, there is no lack of borrowing of 
Horatian doctrine and rule, not to speak of innumerable 
tags of quotation in Latin. But the matter need not be 
laboured further ; and the many references in the Notes 
may be accepted as evidence. 

The critical influence of Cicero and Quintilian was, as^ 
might be expected, confined almost exclusively to rhetorical 1 
matters. When it is found outside these, it is merely illus-/ 
trative or analogical ; that is, it occasionally applies argu- 
ments in favour of poetry which were familiar in the 
Rhetorics. This is, however,more noticeable in the Italians, 





Dlxxvi Inliodudion 

as in Minturno \ than in the Elizabethans who are indebted 
to them. Cicero's sole claim on English, as a critic an3" 
not as the educational demi-god of the Ciceronians, is based 
on an error; for the credit of the definition of comedy 
given by Lodge ' and others belongs to Donatus. Quintilian 
has some share in the genesis of the doctrine of imitation 
upheld by Ascham. The latter was directly inspired by 
Sturm ', and by Cheke, too, we may be certain ; and they, 
with Melanchthon and others, had well digested the chapter 
on imitation in the Institutes*. Though Ascham criticizes 
Quintilian, and even qualifies Sturm's view, which he 
thinks is 'far best of all',' he helps us to trace the 
genealogy of the argument. Yet Quintilian's influence 
was never active, then or later. The frequent quota- 
tions and allusions in the Discoveries prove nothing 
more than that the rhetorician was one of Jonson's 

Plautus, Terence, and Seneca are referred to merely as 
models of dramatic form. Aelius Donatus, the scholiast oil 
the second, was too well known, even to schoolboys, I 
to escape being pilfered from by some. His characteri-l 
zation of comedy was a commonplace, though nobody 
gave him the credit of its authorship. Lodge evidently] 
knew his tract*, and it is plausible that not a little of 
what passes for older dramatic theory and history in these 
essays is not more ancient', Plutarch, whose Moralw^ 
was not less popular than his Lives, stands sponsor fori 

' For eiBntple : ' Nam, ut id quoque de oralore ad poetam, ex H. 
Tullio in huDC locum, qucmadmodum et alia non pauca transferamus, hie 
noater Heroicus, quem . . .,' fti. {Di Pmta, p. 105). Cf. the application 
of the Platonic eulogy of the philosopher to the poet, supra. 

" , 1, and note. ' i. 9. * X. ii. ' i. 13. 

notes to i, 6B, 35, and 80, 7. 
may go even further, though with less truth her 
next century, and say that not a little which comes originally from 
DonatuB was known only through Scaligcr. 

Introduction Ixxvii 

tSimonides* metaphor of the speaking picture', but for 
Wtle else. 

Virgil is used but sparingly as a critical aid, though 
there is ample proof in the quotations and references 
that mediaeval Maronism was still a living faith, now 
disciplined by HuTnanism, When he is alluded to, it is 
to point a comparison with some later author; or his 
verses are treated as practical models by the reformers 
of English measures. The comparative passages, some- 
what in the Macrobian vein, are of no critical value, 
except when Harington turns the balance in favour of 
Ariosto, and Chapman in favour of Homer ; and there the 
critical interest lies, not in what they say in behalf of their 
literary gods, but in the one's daring so bravely for Ariosto, 
and in the other's trouncing Scaliger so roundly. 

These classical authorities, and, we may add, the 
'classics' of early patristic literature' are the general 
quarries where every man who would build his house 
found his stone. So far the borrowing is inevitable, and 
its extent cannot be satisfactorily determined. The diffi- 
culty is perhaps not less when we endeavour to estimate 
the debt to immediate predecessors and contempo- 
raries. There the detective of plagiarism must carry 
himself with the greatest circumspection, even though 
it be clear that the borrowings have a more individual 
character and deal with narrower issues, instead of being 
the consensus of long-estahlished opinion. At the same 
time it must be kept in mind that not a few of these appro- 
priations, of which the writers make full confession, are 
of value only as indicating the personal liking, or per- 
haps the recent reading of the critic, and have little or no 
bearing on the general critical process. For example, it 
is easy to exaggerate the importance of Harvey's lists and 
' See i. 3B5. ' Supra, xv. 

IxxvitI Introduction 

interesting allusions as evidence of the debt of the Eliza- 
bethans to Italian literature ; perhaps even to overestimate 
' the influence of that literature on Harvey himself. 

The difficulty lies in tracing the original owners of the 
contents of these ' packets of pilferies,' not in proving that 
they are stolen goods. Whatever objections may be taken 
I to the detailed evidence advanced by enthusiasts for the 
Italian origin of Elizabethan criticism, there can Be no 
doubt as to the validity of the general contention. Its 
truth will be apparent to every one who reads, more or 
less carefully, the series of critical essays between Giraldi 
Cintio's Discorsi (1554) and Castelvetro's version of 
Aristotle's Poetics (1570). The identities and parallelisms 
recorded in the notes to this collection may be taken as 
merely illustrative ; they are not an adequate estimate 
of the evidence in some cases. If their cumulative 
strength does not bring conviction, let us admit that the 
proofs have been indifferently marshalled, or but partially 
stated ; or, as we incline to believe, that they are of a 
kind that must be judged by general impression rather 

I than by painful statistics. It would be an easy matter 

for the historical critic were all plagiarists, and especially 
Elizabethan plagiarists, to disclose where and how they 
borrowed. Yet, even if we neglect the occasional clues 
which the essays themselves afford, it would be difficutt to 
escape the impression that they had been written with an 
intimate knowledge of Italian criticism, 
^ It may be at times a question how much of the borrow- 

* ing from Italian sources is taken direct from Boccaccio's 

De Genealogia Deorunt or from the sixteenth-century ' 
critics who were undoubtedly inspired by that work. Its 
great popularity throughout Europe, especially between 
1500 and 1600, must have established a critical tradition ; 
and it is plausible to find in it, in the fourteenth and I 
\ fifteenth books, the originals of some of the propositions I 

Introduction ixxix 

which were in vogue in the later Renaissance. Thus, to 
give but one or two illustrations, we have an anticipation 
of the Agnppan argument and of its answer in the chapter 
' Poetas non esse mendaces,' in a second beginning ' Porro 
zelantes hi suasores criminum Poetas affirmant,' and in 
another, entitled ' Philosophorum simias minime Poetas 
esse '.' So, too, the comparison of the Poet with the His- 
toriographer", and the interpretation of Plato's much 
quoted dictum about the danger of Poetry', at once con- 
nect themselves with passages in Sidney's Apohgie'. The ' 
assumption that Sidney not merely knew but used the 
book comes in one place as near as possible to proved 
fact". Yet in whatever way future research may adjust 
the claims of Boccaccio and of his successors, the 
Elizabethan debt to Renaissance Italy will remain un- 

The period between Cintio and Castelvetro is but a i 
portion of a full century of critical activity in Italy, which 1 
begins with Vida's De Arte Poeiica (1527), but it contains | 
nearly all the material which was used by the Eliza- I 
bethans. Important as Vida was to Renaissance criticism ^ 
generally, as the high-priest of decorum, the upholder of 
the Horatian canon, and the panegyrist of classical culture, 
he appears to have had no influence in England at this 
stage'. He is neither named nor quoted. It may be that 
the extremeness of his view did not readily attract the 
more moderate English mind, as it did Du Bellay and 

■ Bk. xiv. chaps, xiii, zv, xvii (Basle editioa of Hervagius, 1533, 
pp. 369 et aeqq.). 

* ib. p. 371. ' ib. p. 361. ' Infra, i. p. igi. 

■ See nole lo L p. aoB. II. 6^7. References like thai to Robert of 
Sicily (ed. u. s., p. 385) may be the sources of some of the Elizabethan 

* In the Ute seventeenth century, and espeiially in the e 
Vida's 'honour'd brow* is reverently crowned with the 'cr 
(Cf. Pope, Esstfy oh Ciilidsm, 704.) 

btxxii Introduction 

ing, which it might have had direct through native scholar* 
ship. How reasonable, therefore, to assume that when 
the Elizabethans turned their attention to criticism they 
should look first to the literature from which they had 
drawn their formal experience, and in which the principles 
. of the art of writing had already been fully discussed. And 
' it might not be less reasonable to assume that the rise and 
' activity of critical writing in Italy not merely defined the 
content of English criticism, but was the immediate cause 
of its appearance at this time. When the essayists show 
an acquaintance with even the lesser-known Italian poets 
and prose-writers, and refer to books like Celiano's which 
had just been published', it is unlikely that they passed 
by the critics. There was, of course, greater temptation 
to be silent when plagiarizing from the latter than when 
praising or damning a Tuscan poet. 

This relationship to Italian may be traced in several 
ways. There is, in the first place, the more specific 
indebtedness to individual authors, either expressly ad- 
mitted by the essayists or reasonably certain to the reader 
who makes the comparison. This evidence' is drawn 
. mainly from Minturno and Scaliger, but not entirely. 
Thus Daniel's statement about Remensi, which has dis- 
turbed his editors and tempted them to an absurd correc- 
tion, is GiraJdi Cintio's, and is fixed down by Daniel's 
parenthesis 'as some Italians hold'.' Sidney's explana- 
tion of the function of comedy is strangely like Trissino's*, 
as is his comparison of poetry with ethics and law like 
Varchi's'; and there is a temptation to think that he knew 
Caslelvetro's opinion when he enlarged on verse's ' being 

I tnti 

The ciUtionsoD the follawing pages are, aa staled above, merely illua- 
tntive. The index will help the reader to further references in the Notei. 
JL 360, t>ot«. * See note lo L 176, 30. 

See note to l 163, ag; and Spingfnrn, LS. CriV,, p. 51. 

Introduction ixxxiii 

but an ornamerit and no cause of Poetry',' and that 
he may have been helped by that critic to his extension 
of the notion of the Dramatic Unities'. Such points are 
of minor importance by themselves, but they strengthen 
the general impression that the Elizabethan critics, and 
especially Sidney, were in one way or another conversant 
with the work of their Italian contemporaries. 

In the case of Minturno and ScaJiger the claim might 
be urged on the side of general theory alone, by the 
terms of the defence of poetry, the view as to its origin, 
and the history of its development Minturno is not 
named by any of the essayists: Scaliger is frequently 
cited by them, and at least four times by Sidney. The 
contrast may be explained by the fact that Minturno was 
almost exclusively a critic ', known to critics by two works, 
while Scaliger had already a European reputation, based 
on a long series of treatises, of which the Poelice was but 
a part. It was easier to draw silently from Minturno than' 
from imperial Scaliger, a name to be conjured with even 
in the Pueriles of the schools. 

Minturno's earlier work De Poela {1559)' shows nearly 
all the points of contact, Harington may have his ^rte 
Poelica (1564)* in mind when he refers to the opinion of 

' See note to i. 159, 35. ' i. 398. 

■ He wrote verses m Latin and Italian. He 15 the author of Vamort 
innamorato ( r 559). 

SEX |. . I VENETIIS, ANN. MDLiX. 410. pp. v + 567. 

NELLA QVALE SI CONTENGONO [ i pricelti licroici, Tragid, Comici, 
Sal^r-ici, t d'ognl allra Poisia : \ CON LA DOTTRINA DE" SONETTI, 
CANZO-Ihi, & ogni sorit di Rinu Thoscaiii, doui s'lHSfgua ii tno-\do, tin 
Intitt U Pttrarea nelli sut open. | £( si dickiara a' sum tuoghi tutio ^urt, 
cht da Arislotflr, Horalio, \ & altri aiitton Gttci, t Lalini t sta/o scrillo p<T \ 
aninmtslramento di Potlt. \ CON LE POSTILLE DEL DOTTOR VAL- 

VASSORI, II Pit Gio. Andrea Valnass>rid,l^.\i.\jyi\\\\. 4I0. 

It +4a (Contents and Index) +453 + 3 lunnombered). 



Ixxxiv Introduction 

'Aristotle and the best censurers of Poesy' on the 
' period ' of the Epic '. There is less doubt about Sidney's 
^connexion with the De Poela. Almost ail the references 
are to be found in the Apologie, and there in the first 
instance ; for, as we shall see, Sidney was in turn freely 
copied by his English contemporaries. Yet his disciple 
Harington, who had stronger Italian interests than any, 
must have known it at first hand, if only because of the 
very guilty passage on ' Peripeteia ' and ' Agnition '■' The 
traces of Mintumo are more obvious in the earlier portion 
* of Sidney's essay, where indeed they should occur, as 
the portion is concerned with general doctrine and allows 
less opportunity for original and English matter. Of 
these may be mentioned the terms of his plea for the 
antiquity of poetry', and for its being found in all 
nations*; the order of the illustrative details in the 
passage on the works of Nature as the principal object 
of art •; the view that the poet feigns notable images of 
virtues and vices'; the criticism of the ' thorny argument' 
of the philosopher', which, though found in Daniello, 
probably takes its true place with the subsequent passage 
comparing the poet with the philosopher'. These and 
the important reference to 'Admiration*' are seven : the 
Notes win supply as many more; and others may be 
discoverable. It is open to any one to dispute Sidney's ^ 
debt in each case, but we cannot escape the lesson of the |\ 
whole body, even if they are only possibilities. A dozen / 
possible indications of borrowing constitute the best of 
circumstantial evidence. 
The case for Scaliger'* is still more clear, partly be- 

> See Dote to a. a\6, 17-18. * Note to ii ai6, 18, Ac 

* i. isr, sa. See tbe aotes lo this passive and the following for Ue 
references to Hiotumo'a leiL 

* i. 153. '»- ' ■■ '55. 34. *<■ ' •■ '*»! '3-'^ 

' i. 164, 13-13. ' i- "64, 3S, 4c "See note, L 393. 


Introduction Ixxxv 

cause the writers have on not a few occasions admitted 
their knowledge of his treatise. Il is not difficult, for r 
example, to see that Sidney's dramatic theory, though 1 
Aristotelian, is derived through the medium of Scaliger, / 
and that his illustrations ' and his ' lists ' are reminiscent 
of the Poetice. Passages such as that on the poet as 
maker', on imitation*, on the three several kinds', and 
on the very end of poet^y^ give point to the direct 
reference in Sidney's peroration". He is, by his own 
admission, brought to the question of the necessity of 
verse to poetry by a passage in Scaliger'. Webbe may 
be echoing Scaliger when he points to the lUad and 
Odyssey as fixing the distinction of the dramatic kinds ', 
though the idea was widely diffused *, and may have been 
borrowed from Donatus. PuCtenham, who had lived abroad 
and refers to Italian and French matters in his ArU, is 
distinctly Scaligerian in his general notion of poetry and ' 
the fimction of the poet, and comes perilously near direct 
copying in details of the more rhetorical kind ; e. g. in 
his treatment of the 'figured' verses", and perhaps in 
his definition of Energia and Enargia*^. Harington 
refers to Scaliger's Maronism", a topic which gives 
Chapman an opportunity for vigorous denunciation. Yet 
in the latter's epithets and taunts there is something more 

POETICES UBRI SEPTEU : || I. HistoncHs. II. Hylt. III. Idio. 
IV. Panuavt. V. Crilieus. VI. Hyprrtri-HiMS. VII. Epimma. \ Ad 
Sylvium FQiHiH. ]| Afi^d Ioa«HtyH Criifi-um \ H.D.LXI. Fol., 364 pp. 
double columns + 36 pp. of ladu (triple colunuis). The second edition 
appeared in 1581 {'Afind Ptlrmtt SaniandrtanHttt "). The fiflh, which i* 
now the most easilj pi'ocurmble, was issued id 161] (</h BMiopolia Com- 

'eg. Theagioes and Cariclea, i. 160, 8, note. 

* i. 155, a6. See the notes to this passage and the otbei* tor the 
references to Scaliger's teiL 

* i. 'SB, 5. **• ' »■ '58. 9- * >■ "97. 3- ' "• ""Ci P-"- 

* L 180. ■ i. 049, See note to i. 348, a6, Ac ' CL Pnttenliam. 
■* iL 93 ; ch. ziii, Dote. " iL 14B, 9-ta, note. ■* iL aio, 11, 

Ixxxi^ Inlroduction 

than angry froth : 'Thou soule-blind Scaliger, that neuer 
hadst anything but place, time, and termes to paint thy 
proficiencie in learning'.' 

The relationship may, however, be illustrated in other 
ways than by chapter and page in specified authors. There 
are certain common topics, and metaphors and phrases, 1 
and methods, which, though they cannot be ascribed to I 
any one, were first formulated in Italian, or at least came / 
from it to English criticism. The evergreen antithesis 
of the soldier and scholar* is an Italian commonplace, 
which is used to some purpose in Sidney's plea for 
poetry as the companion of the camps. The notion 
of the speaking picture, though as old as Simonides, 
was discovered by English critics in Renaissance Italy. 
So too was the culinary metaphor by which poetry is 
a dainty dish of divers ingredients; and so the nursery 
figure of coated pills, and rhubarb and candy, which do 
so much for the allegorical part of the argument. And 
the bee which distilled honey and the spider which sucked 
poison, for the benefit of controversialists on the goodness 
or badness of poetry, were creatures of the South. We may 
reasonably suspect that Sidney's metaphor of the ulcer' 
discovers a trace of that Italian tradition which expresses 
the original medical sense of KaOapa-K. Minturno clearly 
leans to this view ', though he is, with the majority of his'N 
countrymen, as with Milton in English', medical rather than j 
surgical. Again, in regard to the form and literary manner, 
apart from the material of the essays, there are salient 
likenesses which are best explained by some sort of kin- 
ship. The conception of the treatise, whether 'art' or 
' apology,' its ordonnance, its restriction to poetry, its 

' ii. 301. ■ See note, i. 395. '1.177. ' 2J* fw/fl, especially p. 64. 

• Prtfaa to SatHsoti jlgonislts. Sec Mr. Bywater's article on ' Hilton 

and the AristoteliBn DefiDition of Tragedy' in the Journal of Philolo^y-i 

MviL 54 (1900), pp. a67-15- 


Introduction ixxxvii 

monotony in title, give these essays a familiar look to tlie 
reader who knows the Italian predecessors, and is yet 
willing to make full allowance for the English quality of 
such a writer as Sidney. Of the mere cataloguing manner, 
shown at its best, or worst, in the Patladis Tamia, it is 
reasonable, and certainly generous, to think of the models 
supplied by Lilius Gyraldus and others. And as for the 
'trade of glose,' which Nash saw to be as painfully en- 
larged as that of translation, it is not fantastical Co find 
some clue in the well-strewn postilU and sposizioni of the 
Italian critics and poets ' — even if we had not had ' E. K.'s 
frank statement that the manner then seemed 'strange 
and rare in our tongue V 

The ' filcheries ' from French criticism are unimportant 
and would appear to be confined to the contemporary pre- 
faces of Du Beilay and Ronsard ". The earlier disserta- 
tions from Deschamps to Sibilet, had they been known, 
would have given little to the theorists of Poetry, and would 
have been useless to English prosodists. Interesting as 
it is to find the old lines of argument on the antiquity of 
poetry in Sibilet', Pelletier', Fauchet', or De Laudun'; 
or Sidney's comparison of the poet with the orator in 
Pelletier ', or his views on poets' being more than rhymers 
in Sibilet'; or to read the general defence of French 
against ' outlandish ' and ' inkhorn ' dangers such as beset 
English ; or to be reminded in Fauchet '" of Ascham's 

* Self commentators, like Watson in his 'EuTo/maSia, had many 
patlerna in the Italian poets, from the author of the Vila Nuovaoavitads. 

* i. 139. ' See the bibliographical notes, i. 404. 
' Thotnaa Sibilet, Art PottiipH Franfois (1548), I. i. 

' Jacques Pelletier. L'Art Paitipu (1555), I. 

* Claude Fauchet, Rrcutil dt VOri^nt dt It Langm il Foisu FraHfoist, 
rymt It rvmans, 1581 {(Euvres, 1610, p. 545). 

' Pierre de Laudun, L'Arl Potliqut Fianfois (1398), I. 
•us. ' u.*,II.a. " U.S., pp. 548°, 549- 

Ixxxnii Introduction 

account of the origin of rhyme, or in Jean de la Taille' 
of Sidney's advance in the conception of the Dramatic 
Unities— nothing but parallelism can be proved, or is 
liltely. This is perhaps remarkable, when we consider 
how much of French Uterature was known to the Eliza- 
bethans, and how even these essays show some knowledge 
of French authors. On the other hand, it need not be 
pointed out that though this fact makes French criticism \ 
of small account for our present purpose, that criticism \ 
is of the greatest Importance to the comparative study of 
critical development. For a spontaneous parallelism in ' 
idea in two literatures may give a better clue to first 
principles than a parallelism which is merely, or lai^ly, 
derivative. So it would appear that though the French 
Arts of Poetry are not very helpful in explaining the 
genealogy of English doctrine, their interpretative value 
in the study of Renaissance theory in England is not 
inferior to that of the Italian models. And, it may be 
added, this would appear to be the true lesson of the 
French analogies in later periods and in other 'kinds,' 
where direct influence, though stronger than here, has 
without doubt been exaggerated. 

The French influence showed itself in borrowings of) 
words, as noted by 'E.K," and Puttenham' — quaffings 1 
of the 'cup of Frenchman's Helicon ' as the Rehtme Jrom 
Parnassus has it* — and in certain plagiarisms of con- 1 
ceils and verse-forms from the literature of the PUiade ' ; 
or it acted in the more general way of su^esting 
a topic, as is shown in Carew's acknowledgements to 
Henn Estienne'. The technical concent of Du Bellay 
and Ronsard in matters of poetic diction and metre per- 

' Di FArl dt la Tragtdit, the preface ta Pad U FhtUhx (157s). 
' i. 130. * JL 171. • ii. 40a. 

* See Ur. BuUen'i note ia Lyric* fivm SUmintJum Dramalals, 1S9I, 
p..a8a. * ii. aBs, note. 


Introduction Ixxxix 

force restricted their effect to a small part of English 
criticism. Indeed, if any critical debts or parallelisms are 
to be found we must look for them in metrical essays 
of the type of Gascoigne's and King James's. , An agree- 
ment such as appears between Sidney' and Ronsard is 
reached independently, and most probably from Scaliger 
or other Italian source^* 

The hard characterization of the poet by Gascoigne, 
and especially by James*, is in marked contrast with 
the Italian view, and is strongly reminiscent of^u Bellay 
and Ronsard. The former is named by James in his 
tract, when he explains his reasons for undertaking an 
Art of Scots Poetry, and excuses himself for reflating 
second-hand observations. His seventh chapter', on the 
difference between the attitude of the translator and of the 
poet, may be part of his debt. Puttenham's theft from the ' 
Defense*, though not of critical importance, shows at least 
that he was familiar with its text. _The suggestions of 
ind ebtedness to Ronsard are perh apS-more -numerous. 
These may be found in the remarks on invention* on 
the musical value of the caesura', and on the use of 
'comparisons'.' Puttenham's reference to the metre of 
twelve syllables, which 'the Frenchman calleth a verse 
AUxandritK',' may well have come from Ronsard's 
chapter, ' Des vers Alexandrins' in the Abr€g€. 

Great as is the debt of Elizabethan literature to Spain*, ^ 
it would appear that criticism owes nothing. Occa- J 
sional references, such as Ascham's to Gonfalvo Perez's 
translation of Homer", or Puttenham's to Vargas", or 

' L iSa, 17-18, note. * See i. an, 19-33, note. 

* L 031. See the notes to this and the other passages for the rderences 
to Du Bellay and ftoosanl. ' See u. 417. * L 47, Ac 

* L 54, ai6L ' L 319, 9 "^ P"t"»p3 18. • " u, 75. 
■ CC e. g. it p. 440. " L 33. * 


^^^Br Introduction ^^^H 

Puttenham's and Harvey's to Guevara', show but a more or 1 
less direct knowledge of certain Spanish books. It could not 

well be otherwise, for Spanish criticism, if we exclude the i 
older rhetorical treatises, does not begin before the close 

of the century, in Rengifo (1592) and Alonzo Lopez(i596); I 

and these do not appear to have been known in England. | 

Even the excusable suspicion that something of the Spanish j 

dramatic heresies of the mixture of kinds and of indifference ! 

to the Unities may have affected English criticism, and j 
perhaps Sidney himself, is dispelled when we find that the 
earlier Spanish examples were not yet available. All that 

is allowed to us is to speculate on the change of attitude | 

which might have taken place in English dramatic criticism \ 

had chronology been other than it was. J 

The tale of indebtedness is not complete until we know | 
how much the Elizabethans borrowed from each other. I 
That it can be proved that they plagiarized may strengthen ) 
the contention that they would not be less inclined to draw I 

from such foreign writers as were accessible ; but at the 
same time it compels us to guard against overestimating 
the extent of that draught. For it is clear that not a fewi 
of the statements, which are obviously non-English inJ 
origin, are taken from English writers who had already 
made them their own. We are helped to this in some 
places by the greater frankness of the borrowers (partly 
due to the growing pride in the sufficiency of English 
letters), and in others by the forced confession of the 
texts. I 

We have an interesling side-light on this literary habit ' 
in the frequent efforts to apportion what is, in Puttenham's 1 
I words, 'as borrowed, and what as of our own peculiar*.* I 

It is one of ' E. K.'s commendations of Spenser that he 
follows the 'footing' of many poets, 'yet so as few, but 
* Haslewood, p, 176 ; Arber, p. aao ; ii. 376. ' iL b6. 


Introduction xci 

they be well scented, can trace him out '.' The Sidney of 
the Apohgie can protest, as the poet lover of Stella, 
' Some doe I heare of Poets fury tell, 
But God wot, wot not what they meare by it: 
And this I sweare by blackest brooke of hell, 
I am no Pickepurse of an others witV 
Nash resents the charge that he has borrowed from 
Greene, or Tarlton, or Lyly: 'the vein which I have . . . 
is of my own begetting, and calls no man father in 
England but myself'.' As things went, each critic, like 
each poet, might well suspect his neighbour. Harington's 
preface takes a different place when we discover how 
inadequately his acknowledgement to Sidney covers his 
debt to the Apologie. Meres, obviously a dullard to the 
most casual reader, discloses an editorial cunning which 
does him credit, and indeed make" his Comparative Dis- 
course not the least important of these documents. For by 
having no mind of his own, and only a plodding interest 
in the whims of others, he has given us a digest of con- 
temporary history and opinion which is of positive value. 

Not a little comes to these essayists from writers of the 
earlier part of the century : notably from the different 
editions of Wilson's Arte of Rhetorique {1553) and his 
Ruie of Reason, conteinyng the Art of Logique (1551), 
and from Sir Thomas Elyot's Governour (1531)'. jyet 
the.jslatjons hip is one of ejeneral agreem ent rat her than 
of literal copy ing. We can see, for example, m Wilson's 
view that 'eloquence itself came not up first by the art, 
but the art rather was gathered upon eloquence" some- 
thing of his successors' dislike of a critical tyranny. 
^^f their own number, Ascham and Sidney are the 
favourite quarries. Aacham's 'dead advertisement and 

' L 133. ' Ailrophil and Sitlla , Uiiv. 5-8. ' ii. 343. 

* e.g. i, 360, 388, 413. Mo influence from Coie's earlier work on 
Rhetoric (c. 1530) is recognizable. '' Fol. 3. 



' artificial 

persuasion," as Harvey calls it', in behalf of s 
verses, is kindly remembered by the reformers, Stany- 
hurst cites the 'golden pamphlet entitled The Schole- 
master ' on this point ' ; and Webbe repeats its views on 
the barbarous origin of rhyming', and incorporates at 
least one passage verbatim *. Nash refers his reader to its 
excellent censures on Greek and Latin authors'. The 
,. debt to Sidney is greater — a fact the more striking 
when we remember that the Apologie remained in MS'. 
till 1595. He is known to everybody, and cited by nearly 
all, but never so greedily as by his admirer'Harington'. 
Puttenham, however, is not far behind '. And Harington 
is in turn indebted to Puttenham'; as James VI and 
Webbe are to Gaacoigne*. But we cannot thread this 
labyrinth. The Notes will supply clues to whac each 
author has taken from his contemporaries. There is some 
recompense in this discounting of the originality of these 
essayists. It may minimize their individual value, but it at] 
least shows that a critical interest had arisen, and that by I 
it not only many, but the best of them, had been attracted. J 
The activity discloses, as it were, a rude concerted plan 
for the recognition of the Art of Criticism as a separate 
branch of English literature. It matters not how much 
was copied, or how much was inappropriate to English 
needs, If we acknowledge the vitality of the Elizabethan \. 
endeavour which lies behind old argument and metaphor, ' 
and see in these registers the genuine beginnings of 
a literary 'kind' in England, and the first hints of the 
true temper of English criticism. 

■ i. 101. ' i. 137. ' i. 340. • i. 367. ' i. 337. 

* ii. 196, and notes from p. 433 onwards, ' e.g. ii. 4i>8, 410, Ac 

' ii. 196, &c. ■ i. 414, &c. ; and see (be notes to James VI's Sdtort 

Trtatis*, i. 403 et seq. 



[The First Book of Tkt Scholemaster (London, John Daye; 
1570) deals with ' the bringyng up of youth,' and is only 
incidentally concerned with matters of literary interest; 
but it supplies hints of certain topics which are discussed 
more fully elsewhere. Ascham defines the Platonic «v$u^c, 
the first of the seven 'trewe notes of a good witte'; he 
interpolates a recommendation of the new ' versifying,' on 
which he promises to speak ' more at large herea^er ' ; and, 
in the well-known passage on the evil influence of Italian 
travel and Italian books (especially in English translation), 
he shows his sympathy with the Puritanical principles of 
Gosson and the anii-stage pamphleteers. In introducing 
the seven ' trewe notes ' he says ; 

' And bicause I write English, and to Englishemen, I will 
plainlie declare in Englishe both what thies wordes of 
Plato meane, and how aptlie they be linked and how 
orderlie they folow one an other.' 
He then proceeds : 

' Eu^uqc is he that is apte by goodnes of witte, and 
appliable by readines of will, to learning, hauing all other 
qualities of the minde and partes of the bodie, that must 
an other day seme learning, not trobled, mangled, and 
balfed, but sounde, whole, full, and hable to do their 
office : as, a tong, not stamering, or ouer hardlie drawing 
forth wordes, but plaine, and redie to deliuer the mean- 
ing of the minde ; a voice, not softe, weake, piping, 
womanntshe, but audible, stronge, and manlike ; a coun- 
tenance, not werishe and crabbed, but faire and cumlie ; 
a personage, not wretched and deformed, but taule and 

2 Roger Ascham 

'goodlie: for surelie a cumlie countenance, with a goodlic 
stature, geueth credit to learning, and authoritie to the 
person ; otherwise, commonlie, either open contempte or 
J priuie disfauour doth hurte, or hinder, both person and 
learning. And euen as a faire stone requireth to be sette 
in the finest gold with the best workmanshyp, or else it 
leseth moch of the Grace and price, euen so excellencye 
in learning, and namely Diuinitie, ioyned with a eumlie 
personage, is a menielous lewell in the world. And how 
can a eumlie bodie be better employed than to seme the 
fairest exercise of Goddes greatest gifte, and that is learning? 
But commonlie the fairest bodies ar bestowed on the foulest 
purposes. 1 would it were not so, and with examples herein 
I will not medle : yet I wishe that those shoM both mynde 
it and medle with it, which haue most occasion to looke to 
it, as good and wise fathers shold do, and greatest authoritie 
to amend it, as good and wise magistrates ought to do. 
And yet 1 will not let openlie to lament the vnfortunate 
case of learning herein. 

' For, if a father haue foure sonnes, three faire and well 
formed both mynde and bodie, the fourth wretched, lame, 
and deformed, his choice shalbc to put the worst to learning, 
as one good enoughe to becum a scholer. I haue spent the 
most parte of my Ufe in the Vniuersitie, and therfore I can 
beare good witnes that many fathers commonlie do thus ; 
wherof I haue hard many wise, learned, and as good men 
as euer I knew make great and oft complainte : a good 
horseman will choise no soch colte, neither for his own 
nor yet for his masters sadle,' 

Further over, Ascham enlarges on the moral weakness of 
Itahanate Englishmen, and concludes: 

'These be the inchatitementes of Circes, brought out of 
IlaUe, to marre mens maners in England ; much by ei- I 
ample of ill life, but more by preceptes of fonde bookes, 
of late translated out of Jlalian into English, sold in 
euery shop in London, commended by honest titles the I 
soner to corrupt honest maners, dedicated ouer boldlie 

L to vertuous and honorable personages the easielter to 

begile simple and innocent wittes. It is pitie that those : 

k which haue authoritie and charge to allow and dissalow I 

Of Imitation 3 

' bookes to be printed be no more circumspect herein than 
they are. Ten Sermons ai Pau!es Crosse do not so moch 
good for mouyng men to trewe doctrine as one of those 
bookes do harme with inticing men to ill liuing. Yea, 
I say farder, those bookes tend not so moch to corrupt 
honest lining as they do to subuert trewe Religion. Mo 
Papisles be made by your mery bookes oi llalie than by 
your earnest bookes of Louain. And bicausc our great 
Phisicians do winke at the matter, and make no counte of 
this sore, 1, though not admitted one of their felowshyp, 
yet hauyng bene many yeares a prentice to Gods Irewe 
Religion, and trust to continewe a poore iorney man 
therein all dayes of my life, for the dewtie I owe, and 
loue I beare, both to trewe doctrine and honest liuing, 
(hough I haue no authoritie to amend the sore my selfe, 
yet I will declare my good will to discouer the sore to 

' S. Paul saith that sectea and ill opinions be the workea 
of the flesh and frutes of sinne : this is spoken no more 
trewhe for the doctrine than sensiblie for the reason. 
And why? For ill doinges breed ill thinkinges. And of 
corrupted maners spryng penierted iudgementes. And 
how? There be in man two speciail thinges: Mans will^ 
mans mynde. Where will inclineth to goodnes, the mynde\ 
is bent to troth; Where will is caned from goodnes toj 
vanitie, the mynde is sone drawne from troth to falseJ 
opinion. And so the readiest way to entangle the mynda 
with false doctrine is first to intice the will to wantorfl 
liuyng. Therfore, when the busie and open Papistes 
abroad could not, by iheir contentious bookes, turne men 
in England fast enough from troth and right iudgement 
in doctrine, than the sutle and secrete Papistes at home 
procured bawdie bookes to be translated out of the Ilalian 
tonge, whereby oner many yong willes and wittes allured 
to wantonnes do now boldly contemne all seuere bookes 
that sounde to honestie and godlines. In our forefathers 
tyme, whan Papistrie, as a standyng pooIe, couered and 
ouerflowed all England, fewe bookes wcfe read in our 
tong, sauyng certaine bookes of Cheualrie, as they sayd, 
for pastime and pleasure, which, as some say, were made 
in Monasteries, by idle Monkes or wanton Chanons: as 



Roger Ascham 

'one for example, Morle Arihurt; the whole pleasure of 
which booke standeth in two speciall poyntes, in open 
mans slaughter and bold bawdrye: In which booke those 
be counted the noblest Knighles that do kill most men 
without any quavcU, and commit fowleat aduoulteres by 
sutlest shiftes ; as Sir Launcelole, with (he wife of king 
Arfhuri, his master : Syr Tristram, with the wife of 
kyng Markt, his vncle : Syr Lamerocke, with the wife 
of king Lott, that was his own aunte. This is good 
stuffe for wise men to laughe at, or honest men to take 
pleasure at Yet I know when Gods Bible was banished 
the Court, and Marie Arlkure receiued into the Princes 
chamber. What toyes the dayly readyng of such a booke 
may worke in the will of a yong ientleman, or a yong 
mayde, that liueth welthelie and idlelie, wise men can iudge, 
and honest men do pitie. And yet ten Morfe Arthures do 
not the tenth part so much harme as one of these bookes 
made in Italie and translated in England. They open, not 
fond and common wayes to vice, but such subtle, cunnyng, 
new, and diuerse shiftes, to cary yong willes tO' vanitie, 
and yong wittes to mischief, to teach old bawdes new 
schole poyntes, as the simple head of an English man 
is not hable to Inuent, nor neuer was hard of in England 
before, yea when Papistrie ouerflowed all. Suffer these 
bookes to be read, and they shall soone displace all bookes 
of godly learnyng. For they, carying the will to vanitie 
and marryng good maners, shall easily corrupt the mynde 
with ill opinions and false iudgement in doctrine ; first to 
thinke ill of all irewe Religion, and at last to thinke nothyng 
of God hym selfe, one speciall pointe that is to be learned 
in Ilalie and Italian bookes. And that which is most to be 
lamented, and therfore more nedefull to be looked to, there 
be moe of these vngratious bookes set out in Printe within 
these fewe monethes than haue bene sene in England 
many score yeare before. And bicause our English men 
made Italians can not hurt but certaine persons, and in 
certaine places, therfore these Italian bookes are made 
English, to bryng mischief enough openly and boldly to all 
states, great and meane, yong and old, euery where.' 
The Second Book, 'teachyng the ready way to the Latin 
tong,' begins with some general remarks on the practical 


Of Imitation 5 

vaJue of 'double translation,' and then proceeds to discuss 
the ' six wayea appointed by the best learned men for the 
learning of tonges and encreace of eloquence,' viz. Trans- 
laiio linguarum, Paraphrasis, Metaphrasis, Epitome, Intilatio, 
Deelamalio. The more important matter for our present 
purpose is found in the fifth and concluding section' 
(fol. 45 v° to the end), which is here printed from the copy 
in the Bodleian Library (Malone, 645}.] 


/MTTA TION is a facu ]t jeto_esgr essg liue lie_andj>er- 
, fi t el iejhat_e sample which yp go_about to folow. And ' 

of it selfe it is large and wide : for all the workes of nature 
in a m aner be examples for arte to folow. 

5 But to our purpose: all languages, both learned andj 
mother tonges, be gotten, and gotten onelie by Imitation.) 
For as ye vse to heare, so ye learne to speake : if ye heare 
no other, ye speake not your selfe : and whome ye onelie 
heare, of them ye onelie learne. 

10 And therefore, if ye would speake as the best and wisest 
do, ye must be conuersant where the best and wisest are : 
but if yow be borne or brought vp in a rude contrie, ye 
shall not chose but speake rudeiie : the rudest man of all 
knoweth this to be trewe. 

15 Yet neuerthelesse, the rudenes of common and mother 
tonges is no bar for wise speaking. For in the rudest 
contrie, and most barbarous mother language, many be 
found [that] can speake verie wiselie: but in the Greekef 
and Latin long, the two onelie learned tonges, which be ' 

»o kept not in common taulke but in priuate bookes, we finde 
alwayes wisdome and eloquence, good matter and good 
vtterance, neuer or seldom asonder. For all soch Authors 
as be fullest of good matter and right iudgement in 


Roger Asckam 

doctrine be likewise alwayes most proper in woides, most 
apte in sentence, most plaine and pure in vttering the 

And, contrariwise, in those two tonges, all writers, either 
in Religion or any sect of Philosophic, who so euer be 5 
foundefonde in iudgement of matter, be commonlie found as 
rude in vttering their mynde. ,For Stoickes, Anabaptistes, 
and Friers, with Epicures, Libertines, and Monlies, being 
most like in learning and life, are no fonder and pernicious 
in their opinions than they be rude and barbarous in their w 
writinges. They be not wise therefore that say, 'What 
care I for a mans wordes and vtterance, if his matter and 
reasons be good.' Soch men say so, not so moch of 
ignorance, as eyther of some singular pride in themselues 
or some ^peciall malice or other, or for some priuate and is 
parciall matter, either in Religion or other kinde of learn- 
ing. For good and choice meates be no more requisite 
for helthie bodies than proper and apte wordes be for 
good matters, and also plaine and sensible vtterance for 
the best and depest reasons ; in which two pointes standeth ao 
perfite eloquence, one of the fairest and rarest giftes that 
God doth geue to man. 

Ye know not what hurt ye do to learning, that care not 
for wordes but for matter, and so make a deuorse betwixt 
the tong and the hart. For marke all aiges : looke vpon 05 
the whole course of both the Greeke and Latin tonge, and 
ye shall surelie finde that, whan apte and good wordes 
began to be neglected, and properties of those two tonges 
to be confounded, than also began ill deedes to spring, 
strange maners to oppresse good orders, newe and fond 30 
opinions to striue with olde and trewe doctrine, first in 
Philosophic and after in Religion, right iudgement of all 
thinges to be penierted, and so vertue with learning is 
contemned, and studie left of: of ill thoughtes cummeth 
pcruerse iudgement, of ill deedes springeth lewde taulke. 35 

Of Imitation 7 

Which- fower misorders, as they mar mans life, so destroy 
they good learning withall. 

But behold the goodnesse of Gods prouidence for learn- 
ing : all olde authors and sectes of Philosophy, which were 
5 fondest in opinion and rudest in vtterance, as Stoii-kes 
and Epicures, first contemned of wise men and after for- 
gotten of all men, be so consumed by tymes, as they be 
now not onelie out of vse but also out of memorie of man : 
which thing, I sureiie thinke, will shortlie chance to the 

lo whole doctrine and all the bookes of phantasticall Ana- 
baptistes and Friers, and of the beastlie Libertines and 

Againe, behold on the other side how Gods wisdome 
'hath wrought, that of Acadetnici and Peripatelki, those 

'5 that were wisest in lodgement of matters and purest in 
vttering their myndes, the first and chiefest that wrote 
most and best in either tong, as Plalo and Aristotle in 
Greeke, Tullie in Latin, be so either wholie or sufficiently 
left vnto vs, as I neuer knew yet scholer that gaue him- 

aoselfe to like, and loue, and folowe chiedie those three 
Authors, but he proued both learned, wise, and also an 
honest man, if he ioyned with all the trewe doctrine of 
Gods holie Bible, without the which the other three be 
but fine edge tooles in a fole or mad mans hand. 

35 But _tp relurns^^ Jmilajiott agaynej There be -three 1 
kindes-of itin matters of. Ie_arning. ' 

The whole doctrine of Comedies and Tragedies is a^ , 
perfite imitalion, or faire liuelie painted picture of the life ) 
of euerie degree of man. Of this Imitation writeth Plato 

30 at large in 3. de Rep., but it doth not moch belong at this 
time to our purpose. 

The second kind of Imitation is to folow for learning i f 
of tonges and sciences the best authors. Here riseth, | 
emonges proude and enuious wittes, a great controuersie, 

35 whether one or many are to be folowed ; and, if one, who 

8 Roger Ascham 

is that one; Seneca or Cicero; Salnst or Ceesar; and so 
forth in Greeke and Latin, 

The third kinde of ImUation belongcth to the second : 
jj as, when you be determined whether ye will folow one or 
^ I mo, to know perfitlie, and which way to folow, that one ; 5 
,1 in what place ; by what meane and order ; by what tooles 
ll and instrumenCes ye shall do it ; by what skill and iudge- 
1 ment ye shall trewelie discerne whether ye folow rightlic 
or no. 
^ This Imilatio is disstmilis maleriei sitnilis tractalto ; and, >« 
f also, similis tnateriei dtssimilis tractalto, as Virgitl folowed 
I Homer: but the Argument to the one was Vlysses, to the 

t other Mneas. iTullie persecuted Aittonte with the same 
wepons; oi eloquence that Demosthenes vsed before against 
Philippe^) IS 

Horace foloweth Pindar, but either of Ihem his owne 
Argument and Person ; as the one, Hiero king of SicHie, 
the other, Augustus the Emperor: and yet both for like 
respectes, that is, for their coragious sEoutnes in warre and 
iust gouernment in peace. »<" 

One of the best examples for right Imitation we lacke, 
and that is Menander, whom our Terence (as the matter 
required), in like argument, in the same Persons, with 
equall eloquence, foote by foote did folow. 
I Som peeces remaine, like broken lewelles, whereby »5 

men may rightlie esteme and iustlie lament the losse of 
the whole. 
(^ I Erasmus, the ornament of learning in our tyme, doth 
*^jj) wish that som man of learning and diligence would take 
|, ' ' the like paines in Demosthenes and Tullie that Macrobius 3* 
hath done in Homer and Virgill, that is, to write out and 
ioyne together where the one doth imitate the other. 
Erasmus wishe is good, but surelie it is not good enough : 
for Macrobius gatherings for the Mneados out of Homer, 
and Eobanus Hessus more diligent gatherings for the 35 

Of Imitation 9 

Bucob'kes out of Theocritus, as they be not fullie taken out 
of the whole heape, as they should be, but euen as though 
they had not sought for them of purpose but fownd them 
scatered here and there by chance in their way, euen so, 

5 onelie to point out and nakedlie to ioyne togithcr their 
sentences, with no farder declaring the maner and way 
how the one doth folow the other, were but a colde helpe 
to the encrease of learning. 

But if a man would lake his paine also, whan he hath 

10 layd two places of Homer and Virgill or of Demosthenes 
and Tullie togither, to teach plainlie withall, after this sort : 

1. Tullie reteyneth thus moch of the matter, thies sen- 
tences, thies wordes : 

2. This and that he leaueth out, which he doth wittelie 
15 to this end and purpose. 

3. This he addeth here. 

4. This he diminisheth there. 

5. This he ordereth thus, with placing that here, not 

ao 6, This he altereth and changeth, either in propertie of 
wordes, in forme of sentence, in substance of the matter, 
or in one or other conuenient circumstance of the authors 
present purpose. 

In thies fewe rude Enghsh wordes are wrapt vp all 

35 the necessarie tooles and instrumentcs, where with 
trewe Imilalion is rightlie wrought withall in any tonge. 
Which tooles, 1 openhe confesse, be not of myne owne 
forging, but partlie left vnto me by the cunningest 
Master, and one of the worthiest lentlemen that euer 

3&England bred, Syr lohti Cheke, partelie borowed by me 

^■^ out of the shoppe of the dearest frende I haue out of 

*F^' England, lo. St. And therefore I am the bolder to borow 

of him, and here to leaue them to other, and namelie to 

my Children : which tooles, if it please God that an other 

35 day they may be able to vse rightlie, as I do wish and 




10 Roger Ascham 

daylie pray they may do, I shal be more glad than if 
I were able to leaue them a great quantitie of land. 

This foresaide order and doctrine of Imilalion would 
bring forth more learning, and breed vp trewer iudge- 
roent, than any other exercise that can be vsed, but not for s 
I yong beginners, bicause they shall not be able to consider 
' dulie therof. And, trewelie, it may be a shame to good 
studentes, who, hauing so faire examples to follow, as 
Plato and TuUie, do not vse so wise wayes in folowjng 
them for the obteyning of wisdome and learning as rude lo 
I ignorant Artificers do for gayning a small commoditie. 
For surelie the meanest painter vseth more witte, better 
arte, greater diligence, in hys shoppe, in folowing the 
Picture of any meane mans face, than commonlie the best 
studentes do, euen in the vniuersitie, for the atteining of is 
learning it selfe. 

Some ignorant, vnleamed, and idle student, or some 
busie looker vpon this litle poore booke, that hath neither 
win to do good him selfe, nor skill to iudge right of others, 
but can lustelie contemne, by pride and ignorance, all ao 
painfull diligence and right order in study, will perchance 
say that 1 am to precise, to curious, in marking and 
piteling thus about the imitation of others; and that the 
olde worthie Authors did neuer busie their heades and 
wittes in folowyng so preciselie, either the matter what as 
other men wrote, or els the maner how other men wrote. 
They will say it were a plaine slauerie, and iniurie to, 
to shakkle and tye a good witte, and hinder the course of 
a mans good nature, with such bondes of seruitude, in 
folowyng other. 3* 

Except soch men thinke them selues wiser then Cicero 
for teaching of eloquence, they must be content to turne 
a new leafe. 

The best booke that euer TuUie wrote, by all mens 
iudgement, and by his owne testimonie to, in wrytyng as 


Of Imitation ii 

wherof he employed most care, studie, leamyng, and 
iudgement, is his booke de Oral, ad Q. F. Now lei vs see 
what he did for the matter, and also for the maner of 
writing therof. For the whole booke consisteth in these 
S two pointes onelie : In good matter,, and good handling of 
the matter. And first, for the matter, it is whole Artslotles, 
what so euer Atttonie In the second and Crassus in the 
third doth teach. Trust not me, but beleue Tullte him 
selfe, who writeth so, first, in that goodlie long Epistle ad 

lo P. Lentulum, and afier in diuerse places ad Atticum, And 
in the verie booke it selfe TuUie will not haue it hidden, 
but both Catulus and Crassus do oft and pleasantly lay that 
stelth to Antonius charge. Now, for the handling of the 
matter, was Tullte so precise and curious rather to follow 

15 an other mans Paterne than to inuent some newe shape 
him selfe, namelie in that booke, wherein he purposed to 
leaue to posteritie the glorie of his witte? yea forsoth, that 
he did. And this is not my gessing and gathering, nor 
onelie performed by TuUie in verie deed, but vttered also 

30 by Tullie in plaine wordes : to teach other men thereby 
what they should do in taking like matter in hand. 

And that which is especially to be marked, Tullie doth 
vtter plainlie his conceit and purpose therein, by the 
mouth of the wisest man in all that companie : for sayth 

35 Scaeuola him selfe. Cur non imilamur, Crasse, Socratem 
ilium, qui est in Phaedro Platonis ? etc. 

And furder to vnderstand that Tullie did not obiter and 
bichance, but purposelie and mindfullie, bend him selfe to* 
a precise and curious Imitation ai Plato, concemyng the 

3« shape and forme of those bookes, marke, I pray you, how 
curious TuUie is to vtter his purpose and doyng therein, 
writing thus to Atticus. 

Quod in his Oratoriis libris, qitos tantopere laudas, per- 
sonam desideras Scaeuolae, non earn femere dimoui: sed 

isfeci idem, quod in xoAmi^ deus Hie noster Plato, cum in 



Roger Ascham 

Piraeeum Socrates vettisset ad Cepkalum locupletem el festi- 
uum senem, quoad primus tile sermo haberetur, adest in 
disfiulando senex : deinde, cum ipse quoque commodissime 
loculus esset, ad rem diuinatn dial se velle discedere, neque 
pos/ea reuertitur. Credo Platonem vix putasse satis con- 5 
sonum fore, si homtttem id aelatis in lam longo sermone 
diutius retinuisset, Multo ego satius hoc mihi cauendum 
pulaui in Scaeuola, quiet aelate el valeludtne erat ea qua [esse] 
meminisli, et his konoribus, vl vix satis decorum videretur, 
cum plures dies esse in Crassi Tusculano. Et erat primi lo 
libri sermo non alienus a Scaeuolae sludiis : reliqui librt 
T(xyo>.oyla.v kabenl, vt sets. Huic ioculaioriae disputationi 
senem illutn, vl noras, inlercsse sane nolui. 

If Cicero had not opened him selfe and declared hys 
owne thought and doynges herein, men that be idle, and 15 
ignorant, and enuious of other mens diligence and well 
doinges, would haue sworne that Tullie had neuer mynded 
any soch thing, but that of a precise curiositie we fayne 
and forge and father soch thinges of Tullie as he neuer 
ment in deed, I write this not for nought ; for 1 haue so 
heard some both well learned and olherwayes verie wise, 
that by their lustie misliking of soch diligence haue drawen 
back the forwardnes of verie good wittes. But euen as 
such men them selues do sometymes stumble vpon doyng 
welt by chance and benefite of good witte, so would 1 haue as 
our scholer alwayes able to do well by order of learnyng 
and right skill of iudgement. 

Concernyng Imitation many learned men haue written, 
with moch diuersitie for the matter, and therfore with 
great contrarietie and some stomacke amongest them 30 
selues. I haue read as many as I could get diiigentlie, 
and what I thinke of euerie one of them I will freelie say 
my mynde. With which freedome I trust good men 
will beare, bicause it shall tend to neither spitefuU nor 
harmefull controuersie. 


Of Imitation 13 

In TuJlie, it is well touched, shortlie taught, not fuUie 

declared by Ant. in a, de Oral. : and afterward in Oral, ad 

Brutum, for the liking and misliking oi Jsocraies : and the 

contrarie Judgement of Tullie agaynst Caluus, Brulus, and 

S Calidius, de genere dtcendi Atft'co et Asiaiico. 

Dionis. Halic. vtpl lufi-^Tfun 1 feare is lost : which 
Author, next AristolU, Plato, and TuUie, of all other that 
write of eloquence, by the iudgement of them that be beat 
learned, deserueth the next prayse and place. 

10 Quintilian writeth of it, shortly and coldlie for the 
matter, yet hotelie and spitefulHe enough agaynst the 
Imitation of TuUie. 

Erasmus, beyng more occupied in spying other mens 
faultes than declaryng his owne aduise, is mistaken of 

<5 many, to the great hurt of studie, for his authoritie sake. 
For he writeth rightlie, rightlie vnderstanded : he and 
Lotigolius onelie differing in this, that the one seemeth to 
giue ouennoch, the other ouer litle, to him whom they 
both best loued and chiefly allowed of all other. 

30 Budaus in his Commentaries roughlie and obscurelie, 
after his kinde of writyng : and for the matter, caryed 
somewhat out of the way in ouermuch misliking the 
Imitation of Tullie. 
Phil. Melancthon learnedlie and trewlie. 

35 Camerarius largely with a learned iudgement, but some- 
what confusedly, and with Duer rough a stile. 

SambucHS largely, with a right iudgement but somewhat 
a crooked stile. 

Other haue written also, as Cortesius to PoHHatt, and 

30 that verie well : Bembus adPicum a great deale better : but 
loan. Slurmius, de Nobilitate tiierata et de Antissa dicendi 
ratiane, farre best of all, in myne opinion, that euer tooke 
this matter in hand. For all the rest declare chiedy this 
point, whether one, or many, or all are to be followed : / 

35 but Sturmius onelie hath most learnedlie declared who is 

14 Roger Ascham 

to be followed, what is to be followed, and, the best point 
of ail, by what way and order trew Imitation is rightlie to 
be exercised, And although Slurmius herein doth farre 
passe all other, yet hath he not so fullie and perfitelie 
done it as I do wishe he had, and as I know he could. 5 
For though he hath done it perfitetie for precept, yet hath 
he not done it perfitelie enough for example: which he 
did, neither for lacke of skill, nor by negligence, but of 
purpose, contented with one or two examples, bicause he 
was mynded in those two bookes to write of it both 10 
shortlie, and also had to touch other matters. 

Bartkoi. Ricdus Ferrariensis also hath written leamedlie, 
diligentlie, and verie largelie of this matter, euen as hee 
did before verie well de Apparalu linguae Lat. He writeth 
the better in myne opinion, bicause his whole doctrine, 15 
iudgement, and order semeth to be borowed out of lo. 
Slur, bookes. He addeth also examples, the best kinde 
of teaching : wherein he doth well, but not well enough ; 
in deede, he committeth no fauhe, but yet deserueth small 
praise. He is content with the meane, and followeth not ao 
the best : as a man that would feede vpon Acornes, whan 
he may eate as good cheape the finest wheat bread. He 
teacheth, for example, where and how two or three late 
Italian Poetes do follow Virgil; and how Virgil hxm selfe 
in the storie of Dido doth wholie imitate Catulbis in the as 
like matter of Ariadna: Wherein I like better his dili- 
gence and order of teaching than his iudgement in choice 
of examples for Imitation. But, if he had done thus, if he 
had declared where and how, how oft and how many 
wayes, Virgil doth folow Homer, as for example the 90 
comming of Vlysses to Alcynous and Calypso, with the com- 
ming otj£»eas to Cartage and Dido ; Likewise the games, 
running, wrestling, and shoting, that Achilles maketh in 
Homer, with the selfe same games that jEneas maketh in 
Virgil; The harnesse of Achilles, with the harnesse of 35 


Of Imitation 15 

jCweai, and the maner of making of them both by Vulcatie; 
The notable combate betwixt Achilles and Hector, with as 
notable a combate betwixt jEneas and Tumus ; The going 
downe to hell of Vlysses in Homer, with the going downe 
5 to hell of^weasin Virgil; and other places infinite mo, 
as similitudes, narrations, messages, discriptions of per- 
sons, places, battels, tempestes, shipwrackes, and common 
places for diuerse purposes, which be as precisely taken 
out oi Homer as euer did Painter in London follow the 

10 picture of any faire personage ; And when thies places 
had bene gathered together by this way of diligence, than 
to haue conferred them together by this order of teaching, 
as diligently to marke what is kept and vsed in either 
author, in wordes, in sentences, in matter, what is added, 

15 what is left out, what ordered otherwise, either praeponendo, 
inlerpoftendo, or postponendo, and what is altered for any 
respect, in word, phrase, sentence, figure, reason, argu- 
ment, or by any way of circumstance : If Riccius had done 
this, he had not onely bene well liked for his diligence in 

ao teaching, but also iustlie commended for his right iudge- 
ment in right choice of examples for the best Imitation. 

Riccius also for Imitation of prose declareth where and 
how Longolius doth folow Tuliie; but, as for Longolius, 
I would not haue him the patern of our Imitation, In 

35 deede, in Longolius shoppe be proper and faire shewing 
colers, but as for shape, figure, and naturall cumlines, by 
the judgement of best iudging artificers he is rather 
allowed as one to be borne wilhall than especially 
commended as one chieflie to be folowed. 

30 If Riccius had taken for his examples where TuUie him 
selfe foloweth either Plato or Detnosthenes, he had shot 
than at the right marke. But to excuse Riccius somwhat, 
though I can not fullie defend him, it may be sayd his 
purpose was to teach onelie the Latin tong; when thys 

35 way that I do wish, to ioyne Virgil with Homer, to read 



Roger Ascham 

Tullie with Demosthenes and Plato, requireUi a cunning 
and perfite Master in both the tonges. It is my wish in 
deede, and that by good reason : For who so euer will 
write well of any matter must labor to expresse that that 
is perfite, and not to stay and content himselfe with the s 
meane : yea, I say farder, though it be not vnposible, yet 
it is verie rare, and meruelous hard, to proue excellent in 
the Latin long for him that is not also well scene in the 
Greeke tong. TuUie him selfe, most excellent of nature, 
most diligent in labor, brought vp from his cradle in that lo 
place and in that tyme where and whan the Latin tong 
most florished naturalhe in euery mans mouth, yet was 
not his owne tong able it selfe to make him so cunning in 
his owne tong, as he was in deede, but the knowledge and 
Imitation of the Greeke tong withall. 15 

This he confesseth himselfe ; this he vttereth in many 
places, as those can tell best that vse to read him most. 

Therefore thou that shotest at perfection in the Latin 
tong think not thy selfe wiser than TuUie was, in choice 
of the way that leadeth rightlie to the same : thinke not ao 

. thy witte better than Tullies was, as though that may serue 

thee that was not sufficient for him. For euen as a hauke 

(^ flieth not hie with one wing, euen so a man reacheth not 

,' I to excellency with one tong. 

I haue bene a looker on in the Cokpit of learning thiea aj 
many yeares : And one Cock onelie haue I knowne, 
which with one wing, euen at this day, doth passe all 
other, in myne opinion, that euer I saw in any pitte in 
England, though they had two winges. Yet neuerthelesse, 
to flie well with one wing, to runne fast with one leg, be 30 
rather rare Maistreis moch to be merueled at than sure 
examples safelie to be folowed. A Bushop that now 
liueth, a good man, whose iudgement in Religion I better 
like than his opinion in perfitnes in other learning, said 
once vnto me ; ' We haue no nede now of the Greeke long, 35 

Of Imitation 17 

when all thinges be translated into Latin.' But the good 
man vnderstood not that euen the best translation is, for 
mere necessitie, but an euill imped wing to flie withall, 
or a heuie stompe leg of wood to go withall : soch, the 
5 hier they (lie, the sooner they falter and faill : the faster 
they runne, the ofter they stumble, and sorer they fall. 
Soch as will nedes so flie, may flie at a Pye and catch 
a Dawe: And soch runners, as commonlie they shoue 
and sholder to stand formost, yet in the end they cum 

ro behind others and deserue but the hopshakles, if the 
Masters of the game be right iudgers. 

Therefore, in perusing thus so many diuerse bookes 
for Imitation, it came into my head that a verle profitable 
booke might be made de Imiiatione, after an other sort 

»5 than euer yet was attempted of that matter, conteyning 
a certaine fewe fitte preceptes, vnto the which should be 
gathered and applied plentie of examples, out of the 
choisest authors of both the tonges. This worke would 
stand rather in good diligence for the gathering, and right 

ao iudgement for the apte applying of those examples, than 
any great learning or vtterance at all. 

The doing thereof would be more pleasant than painfull, 
and would bring also moch proifet to all that should read 
it, and great praise to htm [that] would take it in hand, 

35 with iust desert of thankes. 

Erasmus, giuyng him selfe to read ouer all Authors, 
Greke and Latin, seemeth to haue prescribed to him selfe 
this order of readyng, that is, to note out by the way 
three speciall pointes, All Adagies, all similitudes, and all 

30 wittie sayinges of most notable personages ; And so, by 
one labour, he left to posten'tie three notable bookes, and 
namelie two, his Chiliades, Apophthegtnata, and Similia. 
Likewise, if a good student would bend him selfe to read 
diligently ouer Tullie, and with him also at the same tyme , 

35 as diligently Piato and Xenopkon with his bookes of I 


18 Roger Ascham 

Philosophic, Isocrales and Demosthenes with his orations, 
and AristotU with hia Rhetorickes, which fiue of all other 
be those whom Tullie best loued and specially followed, 
and would marke diligently in Tullte where he doth 
exprimere or effingere (which be the verie proper wordes 5 , 
of Imitation) either copiam Plalonis or venitslatem Xeno- 
phonlk, suauiialem Isocratis, or vim Demostkenis, propriam 
tt purani sublilitatem Artstotelis, and not onelie write out 
the places diligentlie, and lay them together orderlie, but 
ftlso to conferre them with skilfull iudgement by those 10 
few rules which I haue expressed now twise before: if 
that diligence were taken, if that order were vsed, what 
perfite knowledge of both the tonges, what readie and 
pithie vtterance in all matters, what right and deepe 
iudgement in alt kinde of learnyng would follow, is scarsc >5 
credible to be beleued. 

These bookea be not many, nor long, nor rude in 
apcach, nor meane in matter, but, next the Maiestie of 
Gods holie word, most worthie for a man, the louer of 
learning and honcstie, to spend his life in. Yea, I haue »o 
heard worthie M. Cheke many tymes say : I would haue a 
good student paase and iorney through all Authors both 
Greke and Latin ; but he that will dwell in these few 
bookcs onelie, first in Gods holie Bible, and than ioync 
with it TuUie in Latin, Plato, Aristotle, Xetiopkon, /so- »s 
erates, and Demosthenes in Greke, must nedes proue an 
excellent man. 

Some men alreadie in our dayes haue put to their 
helping handes to this worke of Imitation : As Perionius, 
Htnr. Slephanus in dicHonario Ciceroniano, and P. Viclorius 30 
most praiseworthelie of all, in that his learned worke 
conteyniiig xxv. bookes de varia Uctione : in which bookes 
be ioyned diligentlie together the best Authors of both 
the tonges where one doth seeme to imitate an other. 

But all these, with Macrobius, Hessus, and other, be no 35 

Of Imitation 19 

more but common porters, caryers, and bringers of matter 
and stuflTe togither. They order nothing. They lay beforeh^ 
you what is done : they do not teach you how it is donej^ 
They busie not them selues with forme of buildyng. They 
S do not declare, this stuffe is thus framed by Demosthenes, 
and thus and thus by Tuilie, and so likewise in Xenophon, 
Plato, and Isocrates, and Aristotle. For ioyning Virgil 
with Homer I haue sufficientUe declared before. 
The like diligence 1 would wish to be' taken in Pindar 

>o and Horace, an equall match for all respectes. 

In Tragedies {the goodliest Argument of all, and, for the 
vse either of a learned preacher or a Ciuili lentleman, 
more profitable than Homer, Pindar, VirgiU, and Horace, 
yea comparable in myne opinion with the doctrine of 

>5 Arislotle, Plato, and Xenophon), the Grecians Sophocles 
and Euripides far ouer match our Seneca in Latin, namely 
in oUoiiufiuf et Decoro, although Senacaes elocution and verse 
be verie commendable for his tyme. And for the matters 
ot Hercules, Thebes, Hippolytus, and Troie, his Imitation is 

ao to be gathered into the same booke, and to be tryed by the 
same touchstone, as is spoken before. 

In histories, and namelie in Liuie, the like diligence of 
Imitation could bring excellent learning, and breede stayde 
iudgement, in taking any like matter in hand. Onely 

'S_Liuie were a sufficient taske for one mans studie, to 
compare him, first with his fellow for all respectes, Dion. 
Halicamassaeus ; who both lined in one tyme, tooke both 
one historic in hande to write, deserued both like prayse 
of ieamynge and eloquence : Than with Polybius that wise 

3f> writer, whom Liuie professelh to follow ; and, if he would 
denie it, yet it is plaine that the best part of the thyrd 
Decade in Liuie is in a maner translated out of the 
thyrd and rest of Polibius : Lastlie with Thucydides, to 
whose Imitation Liuie is curiouslie bent, as may well 

3S appeare by that one Oration of those of Campania, asking 


Roger Ascham 

• aide of the Romanes agaynst the Sammies, which is wholie 
taken, Sentence, Reason, Ai^ument, and order, out of 
the Oration of Corcyra, asking tike aide of the Atkmtenses 
against them of Corinth. If some diiigent student would 
take paynes to compare them togither, he should easelie s 
perceiue that 1 do say trew. A booke thus wholie filled 
with examples of Imitation, first out of Tullie, compared 
with Plato, Xenophon, Isocrates, Demosthenes, and Aristotle, 
than out of Virgil and Horace, with Homer and Pindar, 
next out of Seneca, with Sophocles and Euripides, lastlie lo 
out of Liuie, with Thucy'dides, PoHbius, and Halicamassaeus, 
gathered with good diligence, and compared with right 
order, as I haue expressed before, were an other maner 
of worke for al! kinde of learning, and namely for elo- 
quence, than be those coldgatheringesof Afa(7n)6(ws,^e5SM5, 15 
Perionius, Stephanus, and Victorius, which may be vsed, 
as I sayd before, in this case, as porters and carycrs, 
deseruing like prayse, as soch men do wages ; but onely 
Sturmius is he, out of whom the trew suruey and whole 
workemanship is speciallie to be learned. "o 

I trust this my writyng shall glue some good student 
occasion to take some peece in hand of this worke of 
Imitation. And as I had rather haue any do it than 
my selfe, yet surelie my selfe rather than none at all. 
And by Gods grace, if God do lend me life, with health, "S 
firee laysure, and libertie, with good likyng and a merie 
heart I will turne the best part of my studie and tyme 
to toyle in one or other peece of this worke of Imitation. 

This diligence to gather examples, to giue light and 
vnderstandyng to good preceptes, is no new inuention, 30 
but speciallie vsed of the best 'Authors and oldest writers. 
For Aristotle him selfe (as Diog. Laertius declareth), when 
he had written that goodlie booke of the Topickes, did 
gather out of stories and Orators so many examples as 
filled XV. bookes, onelie to expresse the rules of his aSj 


Of Imitation 21 

Topiches. These were the Commentaries that Aristotle 

thought fit for hys Topickes : And therfore to speake as 

I thinke, I neuer saw yet any Commentarie vpon Aristoiles 

Logicke, either in Greke or Latin, that euer I lyked, 

5 bicause they be ralher spent in declaryng scholepoynt 

rules than in gathering fit examples for vse and vtterance, 

either by pen or talke. For preceptes in all Authors, 

and namehe in Arislolle, without applying vnto them the 

Imitation of examples, be hard, drie, and cold, and ther- 

10 fore barrayn, vnfruitfull, and vnpleasant. But Aristotle, 

namelie in his Topickes and Elenches, should be not onelie 

fniitfull but also pleasant to, if examples out of Plato 

and other good Authors were diligentlie gathered and 

aptlie applied vnto his most perfit preceptes there. And 

15 it is notable that my frende Sturmius writeth herein, that 

I there is no precept in ArtslotUs Topickes wherof plentie 

I of examples be not manifest in Platos workes. And I 

heare say, that an excellent learned man, Tontitanus in 

Italie, hath expressed euerie fattacion in Aristotle with 

ao diuerse examples out of Plato. Would to God I might 

once see some worthie student of Aristotle and Plato in 

|j Cambrige, that would ioyne in one booke the preceptes 

.. of the one with the examples of the other. For such 

3 labor were one speciall peece of that worke of Imita- 

' «5 tion, which I do wishe were gathered together in one 


I Cambrige, at my first comming thither, but not at my 

going away, committed this fault in reading the preceptes 

of Aristotle without the examples of other Authors : But 

' 30 herein, in my time, thies men of worthie memorie, 

[ M. Redmin, M. Cheke, M. Smith, M. Haddon, M. Watson, 

put so to their helping handes, as that Vniuersitie, and 

I' all studentes there, as long as learning shall !aSt, shall 

I be bounde vnto them, if that trade in studie be trewlie 

I 35 folowed which those men left behinde them there. . 


33 Roger Asckam 

Now to retume to that Question, whether one, a few, 
many, or all are to be followed, my aunswere sbalbe 
short : All, for him that is desirous to know al! : yea, the 
worst of all, as Quest ionistes, and all the barbarous 
nation of scholemen, heipe for one or other consideration : ; 
But in euerie separate kinde of leamyng, and studie by 
it selfe, ye must follow choselie a few, and chieflie some 
one, and that namelie in our schole of eloquence, either 
for penne or talke. And as in port[r]aicture and paintyng 
wise men chose not that workman that can onelie make 
a fatre hand, or a well facioned legge, but soch one as can 
furnish vp fullie all the fetures of the whole body of 
a man, woman, and child, and with all is able to, by good 
skill, to giue to euerie one of these three, in their proper 
kinde, the right forme, the trew figure, the naturall color, 
that is fit and dew to the dignitie of a man, to the bewtie 
of a woman, to the sweetnes of a yong babe; euen like- 
wise do we seeke soch one in our schole to folow, who 
"^ 7tis able alwayes, in all matters, to teach plainlie, to delile 
/I pleasantlie, and to cary away by force of wise talke, all 
^ ' that shall heare or read him, and is so excellent in deed 
as witte is able or wishe can hope to attaine vnto : And 
this not onelie to scrue in the Latin or Greke ian^ but 
also in our own English language. But yet,-bicaU3e the 
prouidence of God hath left vnto vs in no other tong, saue 
1 onelie in the Greke and Latin tong, the trew preceptes and 
'^' perfite examples of eloquence, therefore must we seeke 
in the Authors onelie of those two tonges the trewe 
Paterne of Eloquence, if in any other mother tongue we 
looke to attaine either to perfit vtterance of it our selues 
or skilfull iudgement of it in others. 

And now to know what Author doth medle onelie with 
some ont peece and member of eloquence, and who doth 
perfitelie make vp the whole bodie, I will declare, as I can 
call to remembrance the goodlie talke that I haue had 


in Genus 

urn, -/ 

0/ Imitation 23 

oftentymes of the trew difference of Authors with that 
lentleman of worthie memorie, my dearest frend, and 
teacher of all the litie poore learning I haue, Syr lokn 

s The trew difference of Authors is best knowne per 
diu ersa genera dJcendi that euerie one vsed. And ther- 
fore here I will deuide genus dkendi, not into these three, 
Tenue, mediocre, et grande, but as the matter of euerie 
Author requireth, as 



Philosophicum, -/ 

Oralorium. — 

These differre one from an other in choice of wordes, '| 

15 in framyng of Sentences, in handling of Argumentes, and / 

vse of right forme, figure, and number, proper and fitte for j 

euerie matter; And euerie one of these is diuerse rIso in it / 

selfe, as the first, 


And here, who soeuer hath bene diligent to read i 
aduisedlie ouer Terence, Seneca, Virgil, Horace, or els / 

as Aristophanes, Sophocles, Homer, and Pindar, and shall^ 
diligently marke the difference they vse, in proprietiey 
of wordes,' in forme of sentence, in handlyng of their / 
mattei*, he shall easelie perceiue what is fitte ari d d ec orum ^ 
in euerie one, to the trew vse of perfite Imitation. Whan 

30 M. JVatson in S. lohns College at Cambrige wrote his 
excellent Tragedie of Absahn, M. Cheke, he, and I, for 
that part of trew Imitation, had many pleasant talkes 
togither, in comparing the preceptes of Aristotle and 
Horace de Arte Poctica with the examples of Euripides, 

Roger Ascham 

ragedies 1 

Sophocles, and Seneca. Few men, in writyng of Tragedi 
in our dayes, haue shot at this marke. Some in England, 
moe in France, Germanie, and flalie also, haue written 
Tragedies in our tyme : of the which not one I am sure 
is able to abyde the trew touch oi Artslotles preceptes and 5 
Euripides examples, saue onely two that euer I saw, 
M. iValsons Absalon and Georgms Buckananus Jepkihe. 
One man in Cambrige, well liked of many, but best liked 
of him selfe, was many tymes bold and busie to bryng 
matters vpon stages, which he called Tragedies. In one, 10 
wherby he looked to wynne his spurres, and whereat many 
ignorant felowes fast clapped their handes, he began the 
/'retesfs with Trochoeiis Octonariis: which kinde of verse, 
as it is but seldome md rare in Tragedies, so it is neuer 
vsed, saue onelie tn Epitasi : whan the Tragedie is hiest 13 
and hotest, and full of greatest troubles. I remember ful 
well what Af. IVatson merelie sayd vnto me of his blind- 
ncsse and boldnes in that behalfe, although otherwise there 
passed much frendship betwene them, M. IVatson had 
an other maner care of perfection, with a feare and re- »<> 
uerence of the iudgement of the best learned : Who to this 
day would neuer suffer yet his Absalon to go abroad, and 
that onelie bicause, in locis paribus, Anapestus is twlse or 
I thrise vsed in stede of Iambus : A smal faulte, and such 
' one as perchance would neuer be marked, no neither in as 
Ilalie nor France, This I write, not so much to note the 
I first, or praise the last, as to leaue in memorie of writing, 
' for good example to posteritie, what perfection, in any 
I ^me, was most diligentlie sought for in like maner, in 
all kinde of learnyng, in that most worthie College of 30 
S. lohns in Cambrige. 1 

Diaria, 1 

Annalts, ' 

luslam Historiam. 

HisloricMtH, i 


Of Imitation 25 

For what proprietie in wordes, simpHcitie in sentences,-, 
plainnesse and light, is cumelie for these kindes, Ceesarf 
and Liuie, for the two last, are perfite examples'^f Imita-// 
tion : And for the two first the old paternes be lost, and 
5 as for some that be present and of late tyme, they be fitter 
to be read once for some pleasure than oft to be perused 
for any good Imitation of them. 

iSermonem, as Officio \ 

Cic. elElh. Arist. 1^ 

Co»tefitionem, zs the Dialogesof.^ 
Plato, Xenophon, and Cicero : 

Of which kinde of learnyng, and right Imitation therof, 
Carolus Sigonius hath written of late, both learnedlie 
and eloquentlie : but best of all my frende loan. Slurmius 
'5 in hys Commentaries vpon Gorgtas Platonts, whicii 
booke I haue in writyng, and is not yet set out in 

IHutnUe, L 

Mediocre, y 


Examples of these three, in the Greke tong, be plentifull 
and perfite, as Lycias, IsocraUs, and Demosthenes : and all 
three in onelie Demosthenes, in diuerse orations, as contra 
Olimpiodorum, in Lefitinem, el pro Clestphonte. And trew 

35 it is that Hermogenes writeth of Demosthenes that all 
formes of Eloquence be perfite in him. In O'ceroes 
Orations Medium et sublime be most excellentlie handled, 
but Humile in his Orations is seldome sene. Yet neuer- 
thelesse in other bookes, as in some part of his Offices, 

30 and specially in Patiitionibus, he is comparable in hoc 
humili el disciplinabili genere, euen with the best that euer 
wrote in Greke. But of Cicero more fuUie in fitter place. 
And thus the trew difference of stiles, in euerie Author 



28 Roger Ascham 

of hard fathers, foolish mothers, vnthrifty yong men, craftie 
seruantes, sotle bawdes, and wilie harlots, and so is tnoch 
spent in finding out fine fetches and packing vp pelting 
matters, soch as in London commonlie cum to the hearing 
of the Masters of Bridewell. Here is base stuffe for that 5 
scholer that should becum hereafter either a good minister 
in Religion or a Ciuill lentleman in seruice of his Prince 
and contrie (except the preacher do know soch matters to 
confute them), whan ignorance surelie in all soch thinges 
were better for a Ciuill lentleman than knowledge. And m 
thus, for matter, both Plautus and Terence be like meane 
painters, that worke by halfes, and be cunning onelie in 
making the worst part of the picture, as if one were skilfull 
in painting the bodie of a naked person from the nauell 
downward, but nothing else. 15 

For word and speach Plautus is more plentifull, and 
Terence more pure and proper : And for one respect Terence 
is to be embraced aboue all that euer wrote in hys kinde 
of argument : Bicause it is well known by good recorde of 
learning, and that by Ciceroes owne witnes, that some ao 
Comedies bearyng Terence name were written by worthy 
Scipio and wise Laelius, and namely Heauton and Adelphi, 
And therefore, as oft as I reade those Comedies, so oft doth 
sound in myne eare the pure fine talkc of Rome, which 
was vsed by the floure of the worthiest nobilitie that euer 35 
Rome bred. Let the wisest man, and best learned that 
liueth, read aduisedlie ouer the first scene of Heauton and 
the first scene oi Adelphi, and let him consideratlie iudge 
whether it is the taike of the seruile stranger borne, or 
rather euen that milde eloquent wise speach which Cicero 30 
in Brutus doth so liuely expresse in Laelius. And yet, 
neuerthelesse, in all this good proprietie of wordes and 
purenesse of phrases which be in Terence, ye must not 
follow him alwayes in placing of them, bicause for the 
meter sake some wordes in him somtyme be driuen 35 

Of Imitation 27 

for the first fortie y^are of it, and all the tyme before, 
we haue no peece of learning left, saue Plautus and 
Terence, with a litle rude vnperfit pamflet of the elder 
Cato. And as for Plautus, except the scholemaster be 
3 able to make wise and ware choice, first in proprietie of 
wordes, than in framing of phrases and sentences, and 
chieflie in choice of honestie of matter, your scholer were 
better to play then learne all that is in him. But surelie, 
if iudgement for the long, and direction for the maners, be 

to wisely ioyned with the diligent reading of Piaulus, than 
trewlie Plautus for that purenesse of the Latin long in 
Rome, whan Rome did most florish in well doing, and 
so thereby in well speaking also, is soch a plentiful! store- 
ho[u]se for common eloquence, in meane matters, and all 

15 priuate mens affaires, as the Latin tong, for that respect, 
hath not the like agayne. Whan I remember the worthy 
tyme of Rome wherein Plautus did Hue, I must nedes 
honor the talke of that tyme which we see Plautus doth 

30 Terence is also a storehouse of the same tong, for an 
other tyme, following soone after ; and although he be 
not so full and plentiful as Plautus is, for multitude of 
matters and diuersitie of wordes, yet his wordes be 
chosen so purelie, placed so orderly, and all his stuffe 

as so neetlie packed vp and wittely compassed in euerie 
place, as, by all wise mens iudgement, he is counted the 
cunninger workeman, and to haue his shop, for the rowme 
that is in it, more finely appointed and triralier ordered 
than Plautus is. 

30 Three thinges chiefly, both in Plautus and Terence, are 
to be specially considered : The matter, the vtterance, the '-] 
words, the meter. The matter in both is altogether within,^ 
the compasse of the meanest mens maners, and doth not 
stretch to any thing of any great weight at all, 

35 standeth chiefly in \tteryng the thoughtes and conditions 

not J 


;ions~ | 

Roger Aschant 



of hard fathers, foolish mothers, vnthrifty yong men, craftie 
seruantes, aotle bawdes, and wilie harlots, and so is moch 
spent in finding out fine fetches and packing vp pelting 
matters, soch as in London commonlie cum to the hearing 
of the Masters of Bridewell. Here is base stuffe for that 5 
scholer that should becum hereafter either a good minister 
in Religion or a CiuiU lentleman in seruice of his Prince 
and contric (except the preacher do know soch matters to 
confute them), whan ignorance surelie in all soch thinges 
were better for a Ciuill lentleman than knowledge. And m 
thus, for matter, both Plautus and Terence be like meane 
, painters, that worke by halfes, and be cunning onelie in 
^ making the worst part of the picture, as if one were skilfull 
Mln painting the bodie of a naked person from the nauell 
downward, but nothing else. 15 

For word and speach Plautus is more plentiful!, and 
Terence more pure and proper : And for one respect Terence 
is to be embraced aboue all that euer wrote in hys kinde 
of argument : Bicause it is well known by good recorde of 
learning, and that by Ciceroes owne witnes, that some ao 
Comedies bearyng Terence name were written by worthy 
Scipio and wise Laelius, and namely Heauton and Adelphi. 
And therefore, as oft as I reade those Comedies, so oft doth 
sound in myne eare the pure fine talke of Rome, which 
was vsed by the floure of the worthiest nobilitie that euer 35 
Rome bred. Let the wisest man, and best learned that 
liucth, read aduisedlie ouer the first scene of Heauton and 
the first scene ot Adelphi, and let him consideratlie iudge 
whether it is the talke of the seruile stranger borne, or 
rather euen that milde eloquent wise speach which Cicero 30 
in Brutus doth so liuely expresse in Laelius. And yet, 
neucrthelesse, in all this good proprietie of wordes and 
purenesse of phrases which be in Terence, ye must not 
follow him alwayes in placing of them, bicause for the 
meter sake some wordes in him somtyme be driuen 35 



Of Imitation 29 

awrie, which require a straighter placing in plaine prose, 
if ye will fonne, as I would ye should do, your speach and 
writing to that excellent perfitnesse which was onely \a.t~ 
Tullie, or onelie in Tullies tyme. 
5 The meter and verse of Plautus and Terence be veria'' 
meane, and not to be followed : which is not their reprocn, ^ 
but the fault of the tyme wherein they wrote, whan no 
kinde of Poetrie in the Latin tong was brought to per- 
fection, as doth well appeare in the fragmentes of Ennius, 
10 Cecilius, and others, and euidentlie in Plautus and Terence, 
if thies in Latin be compared with right skil with Homer, 
Euripides, Aristophanes, and other in Greeke of like sort. 
Cicero him selfe doth complaine of this vnperfitnes, but 
more plainly QuintUian, saying, in Comoedia maxime Claudi- 
us camus, elvixleuem consequimurvmbram : and most earnestly 
of all i/orace in AriePoelica, which he doth asiaeXy propter 
carmen lantbicum, and referreth all good studentes herein 
to the Imitation of the Greeke tong, saying, 

Exemplaria Graeca 
90 noctuma versaie manu, versatt diuma. 

This matter maketh me gladly remember my sweete 
tyme spent at Gambrige, and the pleasant talke which 
I had oft with M. Ckeke and M. IValson of this fault, not 
onely in the olde Latin Poets, but also in our new English 

"5 Rymers at this day. They wished as Virgil and Horace 
were not wedded to follow the faultes of former fathers 
(a shrewd mariage in greater matters) but by right IntitafioH ^ 
of the perfit Grecians had brought Poetrie to perfitnesse 
also in the Latin tong, that we Englishmen likewise would 

30 acknowledge and vnderstand rightfully our rude beggerly 
ryming, brought first into Italic by Golhes and Hunnes, 
whan all good verses and all good learning to were 
destroyd by them, and after caryed into France and 
Germanic, and at last receyued into England by men of 

,d j 

30 Roger Ascham 

excellent wit in deede, but of small learning and lesse 
iudgement in that behalfe. 

But now, when men know the difference, and haue the 
examples, both of the best and of the worst, surelie to 
follow rather the Gothes in Ryming than the Grtckes in 5 
trew versifiyng were euen to eate ackomes with swyne, 
when we may freely eate wheate bread emonges men. 
In deede, Chauser, Th. Norton of Bristow, ray L. of Surrey, 
M. Wiai, Th. Phaer, and other lentlemen, in translating 
Ouide, Palingenius, and Seneca, haue gonne as farre to «> 
their great praise as the copie they followed could cary 
them ; but, if soch good wittes and forward diligence had 
bene directed to follow the best examples, and not haue 
bene caryed by tyme and custome to content themselues 
with that barbarous and rude Ryming, emonges their other "5 
worthy praises, which they haue iustly deserued, this had 
not bene the least, to be counted emonges men of learning 
and skill more like vnto the Grecians than vnto the 
Gothians in handling of their verse. 

In deed, our English tong, hauing in vse chiefly wordes ^o 
of one syllable which commonly be long, doth not well 
receiue the nature of Carmen Heroicum, bicause dactylus, 
the aptest foote for that verse, conteining one long and two 
short, is seldom therefore found in English ; and doth also 
rather stumble than stand vpon Monasyllabis. Quintilian, »5 
in hys learned Chapiter de Compositione, geueth this lesson 
de Monasyllabis before me; and in the same place doth 
iustlie inuey against all Ryming ; that if there be any who 
be angrie with me for misliking of Ryming may be angry 
for company to with Quintilian also for the same thing. 3° 
And yet Quintilian had not so iust cause to mislike of it 
than as men haue at.this day. 

A;id although Carmen Exantetrutn doth rather trotte 
and hoble than runne smothly in our English tong, yet 
I am sure our English tong will receiue carmen lambicum 35 


Of Imitation 31 

as naturallie as either Greke or Latin. Bat for ignorance 
men can not like, and for idlenee men will not labor, to 
cum to any perfitenes at all. For, as the worthie Poetes 
in Athens and Rome were more carefull to satisfie the 
5 iudgement of one learned than rashe in pleasing the 
humor of a rude multitude, euen so if men in England 
now had the like reuerend regard to learning, skill, and 
iudgement, and durst not presume to write except they 
came with the like leamyng, and also did vse like diligence 

10 in searchyng out not onelie iust measure in euerie meter, 
as euerie ignorant person may easely do, but also trew 
quantitie in euery foote and sillable, as onelie the learned 
shalbe able to do, and as the Grekes and Romanes were 
wont to do, surelie than rash ignorant heads, which now 

'5 can easely recken vp fourten sillabes, and easelie stumble 
on euery Ryme, either durst not, for lacke of such learnyng, 
or els would not, in auoyding such labor, be so busie 
as euerie where they be ; and shoppes in London should 
not be so full of lewd and rude rymes, as commonlie they 

30 are. But now the ripest of tong be readiest to write : And 
many dayly in setting out bookes and balettes make great 
shew of blossomes and buddes, in whom is neither roote 
of learning nor frute of wisedome at all. Some that make 
Chaucer in English and Petrarch in Italian their Gods in 

as verses, and yet be not able to make trew difference, what 
is a fault and what is a iust prayse in those two worthie 
wittes, will moch mishke this my writyng. But such men 
be euen like followers of Chaucer and Pelrarke, as one 
here in England did folow Syr Tko. More, who, being 

30 most vnlike vnto him in wit and learnyng, neuertheles 
in wearing his gowne awrye vpon the one shoulder, as 
Syr Tho. More was wont to do, would nedes be counted 
lyke vnto him. 
This mislikyng of Ryming beginneth not now of any . 

35 newfangle singularities but hath bene long misliked of 

3a Roger Asckam 

many, and that of men of greatest learnyng and deepest 
iudgemenl. And soch that defend it do so, either for 
lacke of knowledge what is best, or els of verie enuie that 
any should performe that in learnyng, whereunto they, as 
1 sayd before, either for ignorance can not, or for idlenes s 
will not, labor to attaine vnto. 

And you that prayse this Ryming, bicause ye neither 
haue reason why to like it nor can shew learning to 
defend it, yet I will helpe you with the authoritie of the 
oldest and learnedst tyme. In Grece, whan Poetrie was lo 
euen as the hiest pitch of perfitnes, one Simmias Rhodius 
of a ccrtaine singularitie wrote a booke in ryming Greke 
verses, naming it ^t, conteyning the fable how luptkr 
in likenes of a swan gat that e^e vpon Leda, whereof 
came Castor, Pollux, and faire \^H'\de»a. This booke was "S 
so liked that it had few to read it, but none to folow 
it : But was presentlie contemned : and, sone after, both 
Author and booke so forgotten by men, and consumed 
by tyme, as scarse the name of either is kept in memorie 
of learnyng. And the like folic was neuer folowed of any »o 
many hondred yeares after, vntill the Huttttes and Gothiatts 
and other barbarous nations of ignorance and rude 
singularitie did reuiue the same folie agayne. 

The noble Lord Tk. Earle of Surrey, first of all English 
men in translating the fourth booke of VirgiU, and Gonsaluo aj 
Peria, that excellent learned man, and Secretaric to kyng 
Philip of Spaine, in translating the Vtissts of Hormr out 
I of Gnkt into Spanisfi. haue both, by good iudgeraent, 
auoyded the fault of Ryming, yet neither of them hath 
ftillie hit[t]e perfile and Irew versifying. In deede, they 30 
obserue iusl number, and euen feetc: but here is the 
fault, that their feete be feete without ioyntes, that is lo 
say, not distinct by irew <]uaatitie of sillabes : And so 
soch feete be but numme feete, and be euen as vnfitte 
for a verse to tunte and nuine roundly withall as feete 33 



Of hnitalimi 33 

of brasse or wood be vnweeldie to go well withall. And -i 
as a foote of wood is a plaine shew of a manifest tnaime, ) 
euen so feete in our English versifing without quantitie ~i 
and ioyntes be sure signes that the verse is either borne o 

5 deformed, vnnaturaJl, and lame, and so verie vnseemlie<: 
to looke vpon, except to men that be gogle eyed them ; 

The spying of this fault now is not the curiositie of 
English eyes, but euen the good iudgement also of the 

10 best that write in these dayes in Italie : and namelie of 
that worthie Senese Felice Figliucci, who, writyng vpon 
Arisiotles Etbkkes so excellentlie in Italian, as neuer did 
yet any one in myne opinion either in Grehe or Latin, 
amongest other thynges doth most earnestlie inuey agaynst 

15 the rude ryming of verses in that tong : And whan soeuer 
he expresseth Aristotles preceptes with any example out 
of Homer or Euripides, he translateth them, not after the 
Rymes of Petrarke, but into soch kinde of perfite verse, 
with like feete and quantitie of sillabes, as he found them 

30 before in the Greke tonge; exhortyng earnestlie all thS";' 
Italian nation to leaue of their rude barbariousnesse in) 
ryming, and folow diligently the excellent Greke and LatiHy 
examples in trew versifiyng. 

And you that be able to vnderstand no more then ye , 

33 finde in the Italian tong, and neuer went farder than the 1 , 
schole of Petrarke and Arioslus abroad, or els of Chaucer \ ' 
at home, though you haue pleasure to wander blindlie I 
still in your fouje wrong way, enuie not others that seeke, 
as wise men haue done before them, the fairest and 

30 rightest way ; or els, beside the iust reproch of malice, 
wisemen shall trewlie iudge that you do so, as 1 haue 
sayd and say yet agayne vnto you, bicause either for 
idlenes ye will not, or for ignorance ye can not, cum by no 
better your selfe. 

35 And therfore, euen as Virgiil and Horace deserue most 



34 Roger Ascham 

I worthie prayse, that they, spying the vnperfitnes in Ennius 
' and P/au/us, by trew Imitation of Homer and Euripides 
brought Poetrle to the same perfitnes in Lalin as it was 
in Greke, euen so those that by the same way would 
benefite their tong and contrey deserue rather thankes 5 
than disprayse in that behalfe. 

And 1 reioyce that euen poore England preuented Italie, 
first in spying out, than in seekyng to amend this fault in 

And here for my pleasure I purpose a litle by the way lo 
to play and sporte with my Master Tully; from whom 
commonlie I am neuer wont to dissent. He him selfe, 
for this point of learnyng, in his verses doth halt a litle, 
by his leaue. He could not denie it, if he were aliue, 
nor those defend hym now that loue himbest. This fault 15 
1 lay to his charge : bicause once it pleased him, though 
somwhat merelie, yet oueruncurteslie, to rayle vpon poore 
England, obiecting both extreme beggerie and mere bar- 
bariousnes vnto it, writyng thus vnto his frend Allicus: 
There is not one scruple of siluer in that whole Isle, ao 
or any one that knoweth either learnyng or letter. 

But now, master Cicero, blessed be God and his sonne 
lesus Christ, whom you neuer knew, except it were as it 
pleased him to lighten you by some shadow, as couertlie 
in one place ye confesse saying, Veritah's lantum vmbram as 
■ cimseclamur, as your Master P/aio did before you : blessed 
be God, 1 say, that sixten hundred yeare after you were 
dead and gone it may trewly be sayd, that for siluer there 
lis more cumlie plate in one Citie of England than is in 
" Ifoure of the proudest Cities in all Italie, and take Rome 3^1 
1 for one of them. And for learnyng, beside the knowledge 
of all learned tongs and liberall sciences, euen your owne 
bookes, Cicero, be as well read, and your excellent elo- 
quence is as well liked and loued, and as trewlie folowed, 
in England at this day, as it is now, or euer was, sence 35 

Of Imitation 35 

your owne tyme in any place of Italit, either at Arpinum, 
where ye were borne, or els at Rome, where ye were brought 
vp. And a litle to brag with you, Cicero, where you your 
Belfe, by your leaue, halted in some point of iearnyng in 
3 your owne long, many in England at this day go streight 
vp, both in trewe skill and right doing therein. 

This I write, not to reprehend TuUit, whom aboue all ^ 
other I like and loue best, but to excuse Terence, because | 
in his tyme, and a good while after, Poetrie was neuer ' 
"> perfited in Latin, vntiil by trew Imitation of the Grecians 
it was at length brought to perfection : And also thereby 
to exhorte the goodlie wittes of England, which, apte by 
nature and willing by desire, geue them selues to Poetrie, 
that they, rightly vnderstanding the barbarous bringing 
"5 in of Rymes, would labor, as Virgil and Horace did in 
Latin, to make perfit also this point of learning in our 
English long. 

And thus much for Plaulus and Terence, for matter,"* 
long, and meter, what is to be followed, and what to be 
ao exchewed in them. 

After Plaulus and Terence no writing remayneth vntiil 

Tullies tyme, except a fewe short fragmentes of L. Crassus 

excellent wit, here and there recited of Cicero for example 

sake, whereby the louers of Iearnyng may the more lament 

as the losse of soch a worthie witte. 

And although the Latin tong did faire blome and 

blossome in L. Crassus and M. Antonius, yet in Tullies 

tyme onely, and in Tullie himselfe chieflie, was the Latin 

tong fullie ripe and growne to the hiest pitch of all 

30 perfection. 

And yet in the same tyme it began to fade and stoupe, 

as TuUie him selfe, in Brutus He Claris Oraloribus, with 

weeping wordes doth wit n esse. 

And bicause emongs them of that lyme there was some 

33 difference, good reason is that of them of that tyme should 


36 Roger Ascham 

be made right choice also. And yet let the best Ciceronian 
in Italic read Tullies familiar epistles aduisedly ouer, and 
I beleue he shall finde small difference for the Latin tong, 
either in propriety of wordes or framing of the stile, 
betwixt Tullie and those that write vnto him: As Ser.s 
Sulpitius, A. Cecinna, Af. Caef^ijus, M. el D. Bruit, A. PoUio, 
L. Plancus, and diuerse other. Read the epistles of 
L. Plancus in x. Lib., and for an assay that Epistle namely 
to the Coss. and whole Senate, the eight Epistle in number; 
and what could be eyther more eloquentlie or more 10 
wiselie written, yea by Tul/ie himselfe, a man may iustly 
doubt. Thies men and Tu/lie liued all In one tyme, were 
like in authoritie, not vnliite in learning and studie, which 
might be iust causes of this their equalitie in writing: 
And yet surely they neyther were in deed, not yet were 15 
counted in mens opinions, equall with Tul/ie in that facultio. 
And how is the difference hid in his Epistles? vereJie, 
as the cunning of an expert Seaman in a faire calme fresh 
Ryuer doth litle diflfer from the doing of a meaner work- 
man therein, euen so, in the short cut of a priuate letter, ao' 
where matter is common, wordes easie, and order not 
moch diuerse, small shew of difference can appeare. But 
where Tullie doth set vp his saile of eloquence, in seme 
broad deep Argument, caried with full lyde and winde of 
his witte and learnyng, all other may rather stand and aj 
looke after him than hope to ouertake him, what course 
so euer he hold, either in faire or foule. Foure men 
onely, whan the Latin tong was full ripe, be left vnto vs, 
who in that tyme did florish, and did leaue to posteritie the 
fruite of their witte and learning : Varro, Salust, Caesar, 30, 
and Cicero. Whan I say these foure onely, 1 am not 
- ignorant that euen in the same tyme most excellent Poetes, 
deseruing well of the Latin tong, as Lucretius, Catullus, 
Virgill, and Horace, did write, but bicause in this litle 
booke I purpose to teach a yong scholer to go, not to 35 


0/ Imitation 37 

daunce, to S2eake, not to sing {whan Poetes in deed, ^ 
namelie Epici and Lyrici, as these be, are fine dauncers 
and trime singers); but Orafores and Hislorict be those j^y***- 
cumlie goers, and faire and wise speakers, of whom Uir7*« 
5 I wishe my scholer to wayte vpon first, and after hi .^^ </ 

good order and dew tyme to be brought forth to the \,^,: 
singing and dauncing schole : And for this consideration y?^ 
do I name these foure to be the onelie writers of that '^ 
tyme. . 

^V"^ 'MH»7 Wa> n (AAlk 'j<.»cu. <^>i ><tv llun. 
(y> ) ((!-*««: 


Varro, in his bookes He lingua Lafina ei Analogia, as 
these be left mangled and patched vnto vs, doth not enter 
there in to any great depth of eloquence, but as one caried 
in a small low vessell him selfe verie nie the common shore, 

15 not much vnlike the fisher men of Rye and Hering men 17* 
of Yarmouth, who deserue, by common mens opinion, | 
small commendacion for any cunning sailing at all, yet 
neuertheles in those bookes of Varro good and necessarie 
sluffe, for that meane kindc of Argument, be yerie well and 

ao learnedlie gathered togither. 

His bookes of Husbandrie are moch to be regarded 
and diligentlie to be read, not onelie for the proprietie, 
but also for the plentie of good wordes, in all contrey and 
husbandmens affaires : which can not be had by so good 

a^ authoritie out of any other Author, either of so good 
a tyme, or of so great learnyng, as out of Varro. And 
yet, bicause he was fourscore yeare old whan he wrote 
those bookes, the forme of his style there compared with 
Tullies writyng is but euen the talke of a spent old man : 

30 whose wordes commonlie fall out of his mouth, though 
verie wiselie, yet hardly and coldLlJie, and more heauelie 
also than some eares can well beare, except onelie for age 


38 Roger Ascham 

and authorities sake. And, perchance, in a rude contrey 
■rnumcnt, of purpose and iudgement he rather vsed the 
Rpeach of the contrey than talke of the Citie. 

And HO, for matter sake, his wordes sometyme be some- 
whnt rude, and, hy ihe imitation of the elder Caio, old and s 
out of Vie: And beyng dcpc stept in age, by negligence 
•omc wordtB do so scape and fall from him in those 
bookes, as be not worth the taking vp by him that is 
carcfull to speak or write trew Latin, as that sentence 
in him, Homani in fiace a rusticis aUbantur, H in bello ab 10 
his hiibantvr. A good student must be therfore carefull 
«nd diligent to read with iudgement ouer euen those 
Authors which did write In the most perfite tyme: and 
let him not be nffrnyd to trie them, both in proprietie of 
wortles and fomie of style, by the touch stone of Caesar 15 
«nd Cicrro, whose puritie was neuer soiled, no not by the 
sentence of those that loued them worst. 

All louers of leamyng may sore lament the losse of those 
book^s of V'atnt which he wrote in his yong and lustie 
yeares with good leysure and great leamyng of all partes ao 
of Phtlosophie : of the goodliest argumentes perteyning 
both to the common wealth and priuaie life oS man, as 
it RmHomj sbata tf nitutuN/is Hbtrt's, which booke is oft 
ndtcd and moch pniysed in the fragrocntcs of Xtmms, 
fiuen Km* authontie sake. He wrote nost dUigentlie and •$ 
Urgdie abo the whole htslorie of the stale of Roime ; the 
aijstcries of their whole Rdigion ; their laves, costootc^ 
and ptueciKMcM in peace : their manet^ and whole db- 
C^Une in wwre. And this is not my | 
w dmse booice^ but < 
1 pbtfne taatinoaK of TmSt Iran sdfe. wfao 

Of Imitation 39 

manarumque renim nomiiia, genera, officia, causas apemisti, 

But this great losse of Varro is a litle recompensed by 
the happy comming of Dionysius Ha/ica>tiassaeus to Route 
5 in Augustus dayes : who, getting the possession of Varros 
librarie, out of that treasure house of learning did leaue 
vnto vs some fnite of Varros witte and diligence ; I meane 
his goodlie bookes de Antiquitatibus Romanorum. Varro 
was so estemed for his excellent learnyng, as Tullie him 

"> selfe had a reuerence to his iudgement in all doutes of 
learnyng. And Anioiiius Tnuiiiuir, his enemie, and of 
a contrarie faction, who had power to kill and bannish 
whom he listed, whan Varros name amongest others was 
brought in a schedule vnto him to be noted to death, he 

JS tooke his penne and wrote his warrant of sauegard with 
these most goodlie wordes, Vt'ual Varro, vir doctissimus. 
In later tyme, no man knew better, nor liked and loued 
more Varros learnyng than did S. Augustine, as they 
do well vnderstand that haue diligentlie read ouer his 

ao learned bookes de Ciuilaie Dei: Where he hath this 
most notable sentence : ' Whan I see how much Varro 
wrote, 1 meruell much that euer he had any, leasure to 
read ; and, whan I perceiue how many thinges he read, 
I meruell more that euer he had any leasure to write,' 

35 etc. 

And, surelie, if Varros bookes had remained to posteritie, 
as by Gods prouidence the most part of TuUtes did, than 
trewlie the Latin tong might haue made good comparison 
with the Greke. 

Salust is a wise and worthy writer ; but he requireth 
a learned Reader, and a right considerer of him. My 
dearest Trend, and best master that euer I had or heard 


Roger Ascham 

learning, Syr /. Cheke, soch a man as, if I should liue to see 
England breed the like againe, I feare I should liue ouer 
long, did once giue me a lesson for Salusl, which, as 
I shall neuer forget my selfe, so is it worthy to be re- 
membred of all those that would cum to perfite iudgement 5 
of the Latin tong. He said that Salusl was not verie fitte 
for yong men to learne out of him the puritie of the Latin 
tong, because he was not the purest in proprietie of 
/ wordes, nor choisest in aptnes of phrases, nor the best 
/ in framing of sentences ; and therefore is his writing, 10 
ksayd he, neyther plaine for the matter, nor sensible for 
Tnens vnderstanding, 'And what is the cause thereof, Syr ? ' 
yquoth L ' Verilie,' said he, ' bicause in Saltist writing is 
( more Arte than nature, and more labor than Arte : and 
in his labor also to moch toyle, as it were, with an vncon- rj 
^ tented care to write better than he could, a fault common 
to very many men. And therefore he doth not expresse 
the matter liuely and naturally with common speach, as ye 
see XenophoH doth in Greelte ; but it is caried and driuen 
forth artificiallie, after to learned a sorte, as Thiicydi'des ao 
, doth in his orations.' 'And howcummeth itto passe,'sayd 
L ' that Caesar and Ciceroes talke is so naturall and plaine, 
and Salusl writing so artificiall and darke, whan all they 
three liued in one tyme?' 'I will freelie tell you my 
fansie herein,' said he: 'surely Caesar 3.n6 Cicero, beside 35 
a singular prerogatiue of naturall eloquence geuen vnto 
them by God, both two. by vse of life, were daylie orators 
emonges the common people and greatest councelJers in 
the Senate house, and therefore gaue themsehies to vse soch 
J speach as the meanest should well vnderstand and the 30 
'wisest best allow, folowing carefuUie that good councell 
o( Aristolle, loqucndum vl multi, sapiendum vt pauci. Salusl 
was no soch man, neyther for will to goodnes nor skill 
by learning ; but, ill geuen by nature, and made worse by 
bringing vp, spent the most part of his yougth very misor- 3s 

Of Imitation 41 

derly in ryot and lechery, in the company of soch, who, 
neuer geuing theyr mynde to honest doyng, could neuer 
inure their long to wise speaking; but at last cummyng 
to better y cares, and bying witte at the dearest hand, that 
S is by long experience of the hurt and shame that commeth 
of mischeif, moued by the couhcell of them that were 
wise, and caried by the example of soch as were good, 
first fell to honestie of life, and after to the loue of studie 
and learning ; and so became so new a man that Caesar, 
la being dictator, made him Pretor in Nitmidia, where he, 

t absent from his contrie and not inured with the common 
taike of Rome, but shut vp in his studie and bent wholy 
to reading, did write the storie of the Romanes. And for 
the better accomplishing of the same, he red Cato and 
15 Piso in Latin for gathering of matter and troth, and 
Tkucydides in Greeke for the order of his storie and 
furnishing of his style, Cato (as his tyme required) had 
more troth for the matter than eloquence for the style. 
And so Sa/ust, by gathering troth out of Cato, smelleth 
30 moch of the roughnes of his style : euen as a man that 
eateth garlike for helth shall cary away with him the 
sauor of it also, whether he will or not. And yet the vse 
of old wordes is not the greatest cause of Sa/us/es rough- 
nes and darknesse ; There be in Sa/ust some old wordes 
as in deed as palrare bellum, ductare exercilum, well noted 
\>y Quintilian, and verie much misliked of him; and sm^- 
plia'utn for supplkatto, a word smellyng of an older store 

I than the other two so misliked by Quint, And yet is that 
word also in Varro, speaking of Oxen thus, boues ad 

I 30 victimas faciunt, atque ad Deorum suppUcia : and a few old 
wordes mo. Read Sa/wsfe and ?«//« aduisedly together, 
and in wordes ye shall finde small difference ; yea Salusl 
is more geuen to new wordes than to olde, though som 
olde writers say the contrarie : as C/aritudo for Gloria, 
35 exacle for perfecte, Famndia for eloqnmlia. Thies two 


42 Roger Ascham 

last wordes exacte and /acuttdia, now in euery mans mouth, 
be neuer (as I do remember) vsed of Tullie, and therefore 
I thinke they be not good : For surely Tullie speaking 
euery where so moch of the matter of eloquence would not 
so precisely haue absteyned from the word Facundia s 
if it had bene good, that is proper for the tong, and 
common for mens vse. I could be long in reciting many 
soch like, both olde and new wordes in Salust, but in very 
dede neyther oldnes nor newnesse of wordes maketh the 
greatest difference betwixt Salust and Tullie, but first lo 
strange phrases made of good Latin wordes but framed 
after the Greeke tonge, which be neyther choisly borowed 
of them, nor properly vsed by him ; than a hard compo- 
sition and crooked framing of his wordes and sentences, 
as a man would say, English talke placed and framed 15 
outlandish like. As for example first in phrases, nimius 
el animus be two vsed wordes, yet homo nimius animi is 
an vnused phrase. Valgus, el amat, et fieri, be as common 
and well known wordes as may be in the Latin tong, yet 
id quod vtdgo amat fieri, for solet fieri, is but a strange and ao 
Grekysh kind of writing. Ingens el vires be proper wordes, 
yet vir ingens virium is an vnproper kinde of speaking; and 
so be likewise aeger consilii, promplissimus belli, territus 
animi, and many soch like phrases in Salust, borowed, as 
I sayd, not choisly out of Greeke, and vsed therefore 05 
vnproperiie in, Latin. Againe, in whole sentences, where 
the matter is good, the wordes proper and plaine, yet 
the sense is hard and darke, and namely in his prefaces 
and oration[s], wherein he vsed most labor, which fault 
is likewise in TImcydides in Greeke, of whom Salust hath 30 
taken the greatest part of his darkenesse. For T/iucydides 
likewise wrote his storie, not at home in Grece, but abrode 
in Italic, and therefore smelleth of a certaine oudandish 
kinde of talke, strange to them of Athens, and diuerse 
from their writing that liued in Athens and Grece, and as 


Of Imitation 43 

wrote the same tyme that Thucydides did, as Lysias, 
Xenopkon, Plato, and Isocrates, the purest and playnesl 
writers that euer wrote in any tong, and best examples for 
any man to follow whether he write Latin, Italian, French, 
5 or English. Thucydides also seiheth in his writing not 
so much benefited by nature as holpen by Arte, and 
caried forth by desire, studie, labor, toyle, and ouer great 
curiositie ; who spent xxvii. yeares in writing his eight 
bookes of his history. Salust likewise wrote out of his 

locontrie, and followed the faultes of Tbitc. to moch; and 
boroweth of him som kinde of writing which the Latin 
tong can not well beare, as Casus nominatiuus in diuerse 
places absolute positus, as in that place of lugurlh, speak- 
ing de Leptitanis, Itaque ab imperatore facile quae pelehant 

'5 adepti, missae sunt eo cohorles Ligurum qualuor. This 
thing in participles, vsed so oft in Thucyd. and other 
Greeke authors to, may better be borne with all, but 
Salust vseth the same more strangeiie and boldlie, as in 
thies wordes, Multis sibi quisque imperium pelentibus. 1 

ao beleue the best Grammarien in England can scarse giue 
a good reule why quisque, the norainatiue case, without 
any verbe, is so thrust vp amongest so many oblique 
cases.' Some man perchance will smile, and laugh to 
scorne this my writyng, and call it idle curiositie thus to 

35 busie my selfe in pickling about these small pointes of 
Grammer, not fitte for my age, place, and calling to trifle 
in : I trust that man, be he neuer so great in authoritie, 
neuer so wise and learned, either by other mens iudge- 
ment or his owne opinion, will yet thinke that he is not 

30 greater in England than Tullie was at Rome, not yet wiser 
nor better learned than TulUe was him selfe, who, at 
the pitch of three score yeares, in the middes of the broyle 
betwixt Caesar and Pompeie, whan he knew not whither to 
send wife and children, which way to go, where to hide 

35 him selfe, yet, in an earnest letter, amongest his earnest 



Roger Ascham 


councelles for those hcuie tymcs concerning both the 
common state of his contrey and his OH'ne priuate great 
aflTaires, he was neither vnmyndfull nor ashamed to reason 
at large, and learne gladlie of AUiais, a lesse point of 
Crammer than these be, noted of me in Salust, as whether 5 
he should write ad Piraeea, itt Piraeta, or in Piraeeum, or 
Pirafeum, sine firaeposiltone : And in those heuie tymes he 
was so carefull to know this small point of Grammer 
that he addeth these wordes, Si hoc miht C'r^if^ persohuris, 
magna mt moUsHa liberaris. I f TuUie, at that age, in that ><> 
authoritie, in that care for his contrey, in that leoperdie 
for him selfe and extreme necessitie of hys dearest 
ffcndcs, beyng also the Prince of Eloquence hym selfe, 
was not ashamed to descend to these low pointes of 
Grammer, in his owne natural! tong, what should scholers 15 
do, yea what should any man do, if he do thinke well 
doyng better than ill doyng: And had rather be perGte 
than meane, sure than doutefull, to be what he should be 
in deed, not seeme what he is not in opinion. He that 
maketh perfitncs in the Latin tong his marke must cume ao 
ko it by choice and certaine knowledge, not stumble vpon 
Ut by chance and doubtfull ignorance. And the right 
I steppes to reach vnto it be these, linked thus ordcrlie 
1 together, aptnes of nature, loue of learnyng. diligence in 
fright order, constancie with pleasant moderation, and 33 
/' itlwayes to iearne of them that be best ; and so shall you 
*■ iudge as they that be wisest. And these be those reules 
whid) worthic Master Chtke dj-d impart v-nto me con- 
cernyi^ Salmsl and the right iudgement of the £«lof 
tong. so 


Catsar, for that title of him that is left vnto vs, is 
like the halfe £»« of a V'tmn&, the other part of the head 


Of Imitaiion 45 

beyng hidden, the bodie and the rest of the members 
vnbegon, yet so excellentlie done by ApeUes, as all men 
may stand still to mase and muse vpon it, and no man 
step forth with any hope to performe the like. 
5 His seuen bookes de bello Gallico and three de beilo 
ciuili be written so wiselie for the matter, so eloquentlie 
for the tong, that neither his greatest enemies could euer 
finde the least note of parcialitie in him (a meruelous 
wisdome of a man, namely writyng of his owne doynges), 

10 nor yet the best iudegers of the Latin tong, nor the 

most enuious lookers vpon other mens writynges, can 

say any other but all things be most perfitelie done 

by him. 

Brutus, Caluus, and Calidius, who found fault with 

15 Tullies fulnes in woordes and matter, and that rightlie, 

for Tullie did both confesse it and mend it, yet in Caesar 

they neither did, nor could, finde the like or any other 


And therfore thus iustlie I may conclude of Caesar, 

=" that where, in all other, the best that euer wrote, in any 

tyme, or in any tong, in Greke or Latin (I except neither 

Plato, Demosthenes, nor TulUe), some fault is iustlie noted, 

in Caesar onelie could neuer yet fault be found. 

Yet neuertheles, for all this perfite excellencie in him, 

=5 yet it is but in one member of eloquence, and that but of 
one side neither, whan we must looke for that example 
to folow, which hath a perfite head, a whole bodie, forward 
and backward, armes and legges and all. 



iCnnT^r.vK A'oms of Ikstkuctmn) 


IGaacoigne's Cerlayne Notes of Inslruclion first appeared in the 
quarto edilion of The Posies of George Gascoigite, Esquire, 
carreded, perfected, and augmented by the Author, London 
(Feb.) 1575, and was reprinted in the Whole Woorkes (1587). 
The text is taken from the copy of the Posies in the Bodleian 
Library (Malone, 79a), which is freely annotated in the 
handwriting of Gabriel Harvey (see notes passim). The 
Notes occupy five leaves, in black-letter (sig. Tij— Uij).] 


^tgnor Edouardo, since promise is debt, and you {by 5 
*-^ the lawe of friendship) do burden me with a promise 
that I shoulde lende you instructions towards the making 
of English verse or ryme, I will assaye to discharge the 
s«tne, though not so perfectly as I would, yet as readily 
its 1 may : and therwithall 1 pray you consider that Quot i< 

' lo 1573 Richard Willes pub- 
liibed {a)Pontialiim LiUr{Laa6on, 
Toltell). and {b) In mantm Pot- 
rndf. /Arum Ricardi WilttU Sdiotia 
(London, Tottelli, a separate issue, 
iKoitgh alio contained in (a). The 
second bixik, which is dedicaletl 
10 the WardeD and Scholars of 
Wykchan'a CoD<«e ■[ Winch esier. 

is divided into (i) Dt Ri Poetica 
IKsfutatio (Aj— Cj), and (a) SchaUm 
(Cj V— E Uij). It is pre&ced 
by an Epislola (three leaves) and 
by two pages of introductioo to 
the Dispulatio praising Wykeham's 
domicile ^the school} and exiling 
the study of poetry. ' Erunl igilur 
no^lrae disputatjonis partes tres. 

The Making of Verse 47 

homines, tot Sentenliae, especially in Poetrie, wherein 
(neuer the! esse) I dare not challenge any degree, and yet 
will I at your request aduenture to set downe my simple 
skill in such simple manner as I haue vsed, referring the 
5 same hereafter to the correction of the Laureate. And 
you shall haue it in these few poynts foUowyng. 

The first and most necessarie poynt that euer I founde 
meete to be considered in making of a delectable poeme 
is this, to grounde it upon some fine inuention. For it is 

m not inough to roll in pleasant woordes, nor yet to thunder 
in Rym, Ram, Ruff by letter (quoth my master Chaucer), 
nor yet to abounde in apt vocables or epythetes, vnlesse 
the Inuention haue in it also aliqutd salts. By this aliquid 
salts I meane some good and fine deuise, shewing the 

15 quicke capacitie of a writer : and where I say some good 
and fine inuenlion 1 meane that I would haue it both fine 
and good. For many inuentions are so superfine that 
they are Vix good. And, againe, many Inuentions are 
good, and yet not finely handled. And for a general for- 

Poeticne nical matters used ia poetrj 

Poeticae (about a page to eachl, such ai 

oelarum Donal alqui Jidual (being the firal 

generibus, de origine oiElri atque title), QumCHii, Ara, Gladius, 

usu carminum diversis ex aucto- Paruum ovum, Pymm, Pailanaa 

ribus colligam'-. and he goes on fistula, Alat, Canluarjtnsis iidtsiot 

to explain his plan. He has three insigHia, Pyramis inviraa, Sicuris, 

tlieses, viz. (i) Pntti'diiH isat frat- Cnilo,fi/iafisodia.Scc. Willesisnot 

ilaHtiorttH catteris aiiibus (four templed to refer to contemporary 

pages) i (a) Poiiuin arletn esstfru- English veise, or to anj of the 

r/Hiua») (one and a half pages); and problems of versiEcatioD. The 

\.Z'i PotliciM isn iuiuHdissimaiH, volume concludes with a poem on 

with a sub-section, Qiiato&i'iW am- the life of William of Wykeham 

Ira PotUcam tolcHl, ilia modo irunt and a number of distichs on the 

dilHtuda, containing ealumma and Wardens of the School, and witli 

risfl_eHsioius] (about six leaves';, a 'didaacalorum elenchus.' IFrom 

The Sc/iolia explain and expound the copy preserved in the Bodleian 

various words, figures, and tecli- Library (Wood, loj).] 



48 George Gascoigne 

warning : what Theame soeuer you do take in hande, if 
you do handle it but lanquam in oratioue perpelua, and 
neuer studie for some depth of deuise in the Inuention, 
and some figures also in the handlyng thereof, it will 
appeare to the skilfull Reader but a tale of a tubbe. To 5 
deliuer vnto you general! examples it were almoste vnpos- 
sible, sithence the occasions of Inuentions are (as it were) 
infinite; neuerthelesse, take in worth mine opinion, and 
perceyue my furder meanyng in these few poynts. if 
I should vndertake to wryte in prayse of a gentlewoman, 10 
I would neither praise hir christal eye, nor hir cherrie 
lippe, etc. For these things are trita et obuia. But I would 
either finde some supematurall cause wherby my penne 
might wallce in the superlatiue degree, or els I would 
vndertake to aunswere for any imperfection that shee 15 
hath, and therevpon rayse the prayse of hir commen- 
dacion. Likewise, if 1 should disclose my pretence in 
loue, I would eyther make a strange discourse of some 
intollerable passion, or finde occasion to pleade by the 
example of some historie, or discouer my disquiet in 30 
shadowes per Allegoriam, or vse the couertest meane that 
I could to auoyde the vncomely customes of common 
writers. Thus much I aduenture to deliuer vnto you 
(my freend) vpon the rule of Inuention, which of all other , 
rules is most to be marked, and hardest to be prescribed as 
in certayne and infallible rules ; neuerthelesse, to conclude 
>, therein, I would haue you stand most vpon the excellencie 
of your Inuention, and sticke not to studie deepely for 
some fine deuise. For, that beyng founde, pleasant woordes 
will follow well inough and fast inough. 30 

2. Your Inuention being once deuised, take heede that 
neither pleasure of rime nor varietie of deuise do carie 
you from it : for as to vse obscure and darke phrases in 
a pleasant Sonet is nothing delectable, so to entermingle 
merie iests in a serious matter is an Indecorum. 35 

The Making of Verse 49 

3. I will next aduise you that you hold the iust measure 
wherwith you begin your verse. I will not denie but this 
may seeme a preposterous ordre; but, bycause I couet 
rather to satisfte you particularly than to vndertake a 

5 generall tradition, I wil not somuch stand vpon the manner 
as the matter of my precepts. I say then, remember to 
holde the same measure wherwith you begin, whether it 
be in a verse of sixe syllables, eight, ten, twelue, etc. : and 
though this precept might seeme ridiculous vnto you, since 

10 euery yong scholler can conceiue that he ought to continue 
in the same measure wherwith he beginneth, yet do I see 
and read many mens Poems now adayes, whiche beginning 
with the measure of xij. in the first line, and xiiij. in the 
second (which is the common kinde of verse), they wil yet 

IS (by that time they haue passed ouer a few verses) fai into 
xiiij. and fourtene, et sic de similibus, the which is either 
forge tfulnes or carelesnes. 

4, And in your verses remembre to place euery worde 
in his natural Emphasis or sound, that is to say, in such 

ao wise, and with such length or shortnesse, eleuation or 
depression of sillables, as it is commonly pronounced or 
vsed. To expresse the same we haue three maner of 
accents, grauis, leuis, et circumflexa, the whiche I would 
english thus, the long accent, the short accent, and that 

as whiche is indifferent : the graue accent is marked by this 
caracte \, the light accent is noted thus i, and the circum- 
flexe or indifferent is thus signified -^ -. the graue accent 
is drawen out or eleuate, and maketh that sillable long 
wherevpon it is placed ; the light accent is depressed or 

30 snatched vp, and maketh that sillabte short vpon the which 
it lighteth ; the circumflexe accent is indifferent, sometimes 
short, sometimes long, sometimes depressed and 
times eleuate. For example of th' emphasis or natural 
sound of words, this word Treasure hath the graue accent 

35 vpon the first sillable ; whereas if it shoulde be written 


50 George Gascoigne 

this sorte Treasure, nowe were the second sillable long, 
and that were cleane contrarie to the common vse wher- 
with it is pronounced. For furder explanation hereof, 
note you that commonly now a dayes in English rimes (for 
I dare not cal them English verses) we vse none other 5 
order but a foote of two sillabies, wherof the first is de- 
pressed or made short, and the second is eleuate or made 
long; and that sound or scanning continueth throughout 
the verse. We haue vsed in times past other kindes of 
Meeters, as for example this following : '" 

No wigkl in this world, thai wealth can attaynt, 
VnUsse he beleue, thai all ts but vayne. 
Also our father Chaucer hath vsed the same libertic in 
feete and measures that the Latinists do vse: and who 
so euer do peruse ajid well consider his workes, he shall 15 
finde that although his lines are not alwayes of one selfe 
same number of Syllables, yet, beyng redde by one that 
hath vnderstanding, the longest verse, and that which 
hath most Syllables in it, will fall {to the eare) correspon- 
dent vnto that whiche hath fewest sillabies in it : and like an 
wise that whiche hath in it fewest syllables shalbe founde 
yet to consist of woordes that haue suche naturall sounde, 
as may seeme equall in length to a verse which hath many 
moe sillabies of lighter accentes. And surely I can lament 
that wee are fallen into suche a ptayne and simple manner »5 
of wryting, that there is none other foote vsed but one; 
wherby our Poemes may iustly be called RIthmes, and 
cannot by any right challenge the name of a Verse. But, 
since it is so, let vs take the forde as we finde it, and lette 
me set downe vnto you suche rules or precepts that euen 30 
in this playne foote of two syllables you wreste no woorde 
from his natural and vsuall sounde. I do not meane hereby 
that you may vse none other wordes but of twoo sillabies, 


The Making of Verse 51 

for therein you may vse discretion according to occasion 
of matter, but my meaning is, that all the wordes in your 
verse be so placed as the first sillable may sound short or 
be depressed, the second long or eleuate, the third shorte, 
5 the fourth long, the fifth shorte, etc. For example of my 
meaning in this point marke these two verses : 

/ vnderstand your meattying by your eye. 
Your meantng I vnaersiand by yout- eye. 
In these two verses there seemeth no difference at all, 
■o since the one hath the very selfe same woordes that the 
other hath, and yet the latter verse is neyther true nor 
pleasant, and the first verse may passe the musters. The 
fault of the latter verse is that this worde vndersland is 
therein so placed as the graue accent falleth upon der, 
15 and therby maketh der in this worde vnderstand to be 
eleuatcd ; which is contrarie to the naturall or vsual pro- 
nunciation, for we say vnderstand, and not vnderstand. 

5. Here by the way I thinke it not amisse to forewame 
you that you thrust as few wordes of many sillables into 

ao your verse as may be : and herevnto I might alledge many 
reasons. First, the most auncient English wordes are of one 
sillable, so that the more monasyllables that you vse the 
truer Englishman you shall seeme, and the lesse you shall 
smell of the Inkehorne : Also wordes of many syllables 

25 do cloye a verse and make it vnpleasant, whereas woordes 
of one syllable will more easily fall to be shorte or long as 
occasion requireth, or wilbe adapted to become circumflexe 
or of an indifferent sounde. 

6. I would exhorte you also to beware of rime without 
30 reason : my meaning is hereby that your rime leade you 

not from your firste Inuention, for many wryters, when 
they haue layed the platforme of their inuention, are yet 



53 George Gascoigne 

drawen sometimes (by ryme) to forget it or at least to alter 
it, as when they cannot readily finde out a worde whiche 
maye rime to the first (and yet continue their determinate 
Inuention) they do then eyther botche it vp with a worde 
that will ryme (howe small reason soeuer it carie with it), s 
or els they alter their first worde and so percase decline 
or trouble their former Inuention : But do you alwayes 
hold your first determined Inuention, and do rather searche 
the bottome of your braynes for apte wordes than chaunge 
good reason for rumbling rime. » 

7. To help you a little with ryme (which is also a plaine 
yong schollers lesson), worke thus ; when you haue set 
downe your first verse, take the last worde thereof and 
coumpt ouer all the wordes of the selfe same sounde by 
order of the Alphabete ; As, for example, the laste woorde «s 
of your firste line is care, to ryme therwith you haue bare, 
dare, dare, fare, gare, hare, and share, mare, snare, rare, 
stare, and ware, SfC. Of all these take that which best may 
seme your purpose, carying reason with rime : and if none 
of them will serue so, then alter the laste worde of your 90 
former verse, but yet do not willingly alter the meanyng 
of your Inuention. 

8. You may vse the same Figures or Tropes in verse 
which are vsed in prose, and in my judgement they serue 
more aptly and haue greater grace in verse than they haue aj 
in prose : but yet therein remembre this old adage, Ne quid 
mmis, as many wryters which do not know the vse of any 
other figure than that whiche is expressed in repeticron of 
sundrie wordes beginning all with one letter, the whiche 
(beyng modestly vsed) lendeth good grace to a verse, but a* 
they do so hunte a letter to death that they make it 
Crambe, and Crambe bis positum mors esl: therfore Ne 
quid nintis. 

9. Also, asmuche as may be, eschew straunge words, or 
obsalela el imisitaia, vnlesse the Thearae do giue iust occa- 35 



The Making of Verse 53 

sion : marie, in some places a straunge worde doth drawe 
altentiue reading, but yet I woulde haue you therein to vse 

10, And asmuch as you may, frame your stile to per- 
5 spicuily and to be sensible, for the haughty obscure verse 
doth not much delight, and the verse that is to easie is like 
a tale of a rested horse ; but let your Poeme be such as 
may both delight and draw attentiue readyng, and there- 
withal may deliuer such matter as be worth the marking, 

10 II. You shall do very well to vse your verse after 
thenglishe phrase, and not after the maner of other 
languages. The Latinists do commonly set the adiectiue 
after the Substantiue : As, for example, Femina pulchra, 
aedes atiae, &•€. ; but if we should say in English a woman 

15 fayre, a house high, etc, it would haue but small grace, 
for we say a good man, and not a man good, etc. And 
yet I will not altogether forbidde it you, for in some places 
it may be borne, but not so hardly as some vse it which 
wryte thus : 

«> Now lei vs go to Temple ours. 

I will go visit mother myne &c. 

Surely I smile at the simplicitie of such deuisers which 

might aswell haue sayde it in playne Englishe phrase, 

and yet haue better pleased all eares, than they satisfie 

as their owne fancies by suche superfinesse. Therefore euen 
as I haue aduised you to place all wordes in their naturall 
or most common and vsuall pronunciation, so would I wishe 
you to frame all sentences in their mother phrase and 
proper Ididma ; and yet sometimes (as I haue sayd before) 

30 the contrarie may be borne, but that is rather where rime 
enforceth, or per licentiam Poeticam, than it is otherwise 
lawfull or commendable. 

12. This poeticall licence is a shrewde fellow, and 
couereth many faults in a verse ; it maketh wordes longer, 

35 shorter, of mo sillables, of fewer, newer, older, truer, 



iteasure. ^ 

54 George Gascoigne 

falser ; and, to conclude, it turkeneth all things at pleasure, 
for example, ydone for done, adowtte for downe, orecome for ! 
ouercome, lane for taken, power for powre, heauen for heaurt, ' 
tkewes for good partes or good qualities, and a numbre of 
other, whiche were but tedious and needelesse to rehearse, 5 * 
since your owne iudgement and r'eadyng will soone make ' 
you espie such ad u aunt ages. 

• 13. There are also certayne pauses or restes in a verse, 
whiche may be called Ceasures, whereof I woulde be I 
lothe to stande long, since it is at discretion of the wryter, 10 | 
and they haue bene first deuised (as should seeme) by the 
Musicians; but yet thus much I will aduenture to wryte, 
that in mine opinion in a verse of eight sillables the pause 
will stand best in the middest; in a verse of tenne it will 
best be placed at the ende of the first foure sillables ; in 15 
a verse of twelue, in the midst ; in verses of twelue in the 
firste and fouretene in the seconde wee place the pause 
commonly in the midst of the first, and at the ende of the 
first eight sillables in the second. In Rithme royall it is 
at the wryters discretion, and forceth not where the pause aa' 
be vntill the ende of the line. 

14. And here, bycause I haue named Rithme royall, 
I will tell you also mine opinion aswell of that as of the 
names which other rymes haue commonly borne hereto- 
fore. Rythme royall is a verse of tenne sillables ; and ag 
seuen such verses make a staffe, whereof the first and thirde 
lines do aunswer (acrosse) in like terminations and rime, 
the second, fourth, and fifth do likewise answere eche 
other in terminations, and the two last do combine and 
shut vp the Sentence : this hath bene called Rithme 30 
royall, and surely it is a royall kinde of verse, seruing 
best for graue discourses. There is also another kinde, 
called Ballade, and thereof are sundrie sortes : for a man 
may write ballade in a stafle of sixe lines, euery line con- 
teyning eighte or sixe sillables, whereof the firste and 3$- 

The Making of Verse 55 

third, second and fourth do rime acrosse, and the fifth 
and sixth do rime togither in conclusion. You may write 
also your ballad of tenne sillables, rimyng as before is 
declared ; but these two were wont to be most commonly 
S vsed in ballade, which propre name was (1 thinke) deriued 
of this worde in Italian Ballare, whiche signifieth to 
daunce. And in deed those kinds of rimes serue beste 
for daunces or light matters. Then haue you also a rond- 
lette, the which doth alwayes end with one self same 

10 foote or repeticion, and was thereof (in ray iudgeraent) 
called a rondelet. This may consist of such measure as 
best iiketh the wryter. Then haue you Sonnets : some 
thinke that all Poemes (being short) may be called Sonets, 
as in deede it is a diminutiue worde deriued of Sonare, but 

15 yet I can beste allowe to call those Sonnets whiche are of 
fouretene lynes, euery line conteyning tenne syllables, 
The firste twelue do ryme in staues of foure lines by 
crosse meetre, and the last two ryming togither do con- 
clude the whole. There are Dyzaynes, and Syxaines, 

ao which are of ten lines, and of sixe lines, commonly vsed 
by the French, which some English writers do also terme 
by the name of Sonettes. Then is there an old kinde 
of Rithme called Ver layes, deriued {as 1 haue redde) of 
this worde Verd, whiche betokeneth Greene, and JLaye, 

as which betokeneth a Song, as if you would say greene 
Songes: but I muste tell you by the way that 1 neuer 
redde any verse which I saw by aucthoritie called Verlay 
but one, and that was a long discourse in verses of tenne 
sillables, whereof the foure first did ryme acrosse, and the 

30 fifth did aunswere to the firste and thirde, breaking off 
there, and so going on to another termination. Of this 
I could shewe example of imitation in mine own verses 
written to the right honorable the Lord Crey of Wilton 
upon my iourney into Holland, etc. There are also 

35 certaine Poemes deuised of tenne syllables, whereof the 


George Gascoigne 

and the 1 

ire more I 

first aunswereth in terminMion with the fourth, and 
second and thirde answere eche other: these are 
vsed by other nations than by vs, neyther can I tell 
readily what name to giue them. And the commonest 
sort of verse which we vse now adayes [vis. the long verse 5 
of twelue and fourtene sillables) I know not certainly 
howe to name it, vnlesse I should say that it doth con- 
sist of Poulters measure, which giueth xii. for one 
dozen and xliij, for another. But let this sufEse {if it be 
not to much) for the sundrie sortes of verses which we \-se 10 
now adayes. 

15. In all these sortes of verses, when soeuer you vnder- 
take to write, auoyde prolixitie and tediousnesse, and euer, 
as neare as you can, do finish the sentence and meaning 

at the end of enery stalfe where you wright staues, and 15 
at the end of euery two lines where you write by cooples 
or poxilters measure : for 1 see many writers which draw 
their sentences in length, and make an ende at latter 
Lammas : for, commonly, before they end, the Reader hath 
forgotten where he begon. But do you (if you wil follow ao 
my aduise) eschue prolixitie and knit vp your sentences as 
compendiously as you may, since breuitie (so that it be not 
drowned in obscuritiej is most commendable, 

16. I had forgotten a notable kinde of ryme, called 
ryding rime, and that is suche as our Mayster and Father 35 
Chaucer vs^d in his Canterburie tales, and in diuers other 
delectable and light enterprises; but, though it come to my 
remembrance somewhat out of order, it shall not yet come 
altogether out of time, for 1 will nowe tell you a conceipt 
whiche I had before forgotten to wryte : you may see (by 30 
the way) that 1 holde a preposterous order in my traditions 
but, as I sayde before, I wryte moued by good wil, and not 
to shewe my skill. Then to retume too mymatter, as this 
riding rime serueth most aptly to wiyte a merie tale, &o 
Rythme royall is fittest for a graue discourse. Ballades 


The Making of Verse 57 

are beste of matlers of loue, and rondlettes moate apt for 
the beating or handlyng of an adage or common prouerbe : 
Sonets seme aswell in matters of loue as of discourse: 
Dizaynes and Sixaines for shorte Fantazies : Verlayes 
5 for an effectual proposition, although hy the name you 
might otherwise iudge of Verlayes ; and the long verse 
of iwelue and fourctene Billables, although it be now adayes 
vsed in all Theames, yet in my iudgcment it would serue 
best for Psalmes and Himpnes. 
'o I woulde stande longer in these traditions, were it not 
that I doubt mine owne ignoraunce ; but, as I sayde before, 
I know that I write to my freende, and, affying my selfe 
therevpon, I make an ende. 




[The test of the Dedication to The right excelUnl and famous 
Historye of Promos and Cassandra, 1578, is printed from 
the copy in the British Museum (C 34. e. 43).] 


CYR, (desirous to acquitc your tryed frendships with 
""^ some token of good will) of late I perused diuers 5 
of my vnperfect workes, fully minded to bestowe on you 
the trauell of some of my forepassed time. But (resolued 
to accompanye the aduenturous Captaine Syr Humfrty 
Gylbert in his honorable voiadge) 1 found my leysure too 
littel to correct the errors in my sayd workes. So that lo 
(inforced) I lefte them disparsed amonge my learned 
freendes, at theyr leasure to polish, if I faild to retume : 
spoyling (by this meanes) my studdy of his necessarye 
furnyture, Amonge other vnregarded papers I fownde 
this Discource of Promos and Cassandra ; which for the 15 
rarenesse (and the needeful knowledge) of the necessary 
matter contained therein (to make the actions appeare 
more liuely) I deuided the whole history Into two Comme- 
dies, for that, Decorum vsed, it would not be conuayed 
in one. ■ The effects of both are good and bad : vertue ao 
intermyxt with vice, vnlawfull desyres (yf it were posible) 
queancht with chaste denyals ; al needeful actions (t 

Of Comedy 59 

thinlce) for publike vewe. For by the _ rew ards of the 
good the good are encouraged in wel doinge : and with 

the^cowrge of the lewde the lewde are feared from euill 
attempts : mainetayning this my oppinion with Platoes 
5 auctority. Nawghtinesse contmes of the corruption o/nature, 
and not by readinge or bearinge the Hues of the good or lewde 
[/or such publication is necessarye), but goodftesse [saylh he) 
is beawtifyed by either action. And to these endes Menander, 
Piaulus, and Terence, them selues many yeares since in- 
to tombed, (by their Commedies) in honour Hue at this daye. 
The auncient Romanes heald these showes of suche prise 
that they not onely allowde the publike exercise of them, 
but the graue Senators themselues countenaunced the 
Actors with their presence : who from these trifles wonne 
15 morallytye, as the Bee suckes honny from weedes. But 
the aduised deuises of auncient Poets, disc[r]edited with 
tryfels of yonge, vnaduised, and rashe witted wryters, hath 
brought this commendable exercise in mislike. For at 
this daye the Italian is so tasciuious in his commedies that 
ao honest hearers are greened at his actions : the Frenchman 
and Spaniarde folowes the Italians humor ; the Germaine 
is too holye, for he presentes on euerye common Stage 
what Preachers should pronounce in Pulpets. The Eng- 
Itshtnan in this quallitie is most vaine, indiscreete, and 
as out of order; he fyrst groundes his worke on impossi- 
i bilitiesj then in three bowers ronnes he throwe the 
worlde, marryes, gets Children, makes Children men, 
men to conquer kingdomes, murder Monsters, and bringeth 
Gods from Heauen, and fetcheth Diuels from Hel. And 
30 (that which is worst) their ground is not so vnperfect as 
their workinge indiscreete : not waying, so the people 
laugh, though they laugh them (for theyr follyes) to scorne. 
Manye tymes (to make mirthe) they make a Clowne com- 
panion with a Kinge ; in theyr graue Counsels they allow 
35 the aduise of fooles ; yea, they vse one order of speach for 

L i 

wyll yll ■ 

60 George Whetstone 

all persons : a gro5.e Indecorum, for a Crowe wyll ; 
counterfet the Nightingale's sweete voice ; euen so affected 
apeeche doth misbecome a Clowne. For, to worke a Com- 

Imedie kindly, graue olde men should instruct, yonge 
men should showe the imperfections of youth. Strumpets 5 
should be lasciuious, Boyes vnhappy, and Clownes 
should speake disorderlye : enterrhingling all these 
actions in such sorte as the graue matter may instruct 

j and the pleasant delight; for without this chaunge the 
attention would be small, and the likinge lesse. 10 

But leaue 1 this rehearsal] of the vse and abuse of 
Commedies, least that I checke that in others which 1 
cannot amend in my selfe. But this I am assured, what 
actions so ever passeth in this History, either merry or 

I morneful, graue or lasciuious, the conclusion showes the 13 

; confusion of Vice and the cherising of Vertue. And sythe 
the end tends to this good, although the worke (because of 
euel handtinge) be vnworthy your learned Censure, allowe 
(I besceche you) of my good wyll, vntyl leasure semes me 
to perfect some labour of more worthe. No more, but ao 
that almightye God be your protector, and.preserue me 
from dainger in this voiadge, the xxix of July, 1578. 

Your Kinsman to vse, 






{Of Lodge's ' Defence of Poetry, Music, and Stage Plays,' 
written in reply to Stephen Gosson's Schook of Abuse, only 
two copies are known, one being in the Bodleian, the other 
in the Britwell Collection. Neither copy has a title-page. 
The book was issued privately in 1579, and was with- 
drawn immediately. It was reprinted by the Shakespeare 
Society in 1853. The present version, which has been 
transcribed from the Bodleian copy (Malone, Add. 896), 
restores a few words and spellings which had been mis- 
taken in the reprint, The text is very corrupt, and in some 
places defies emendation. Many of the errors seem to be 
due to the printer's ignorance of MS. contractions. In the 
original there are only two paragraph -breaks. 

The accompanying table gives the earlier contributions to 
the anti-stage controversy. 

1577. John Northbrooke enters his Treatise wherein 
Dicing, Daunang, vaine Playes or Ettterluds, with other 
idle Pastimes, &*c., comtnonfy vsed on the Sabaotk Day, 
are reproued by the Authoritie of the Word of God and 
autitienl IVriters (ed. Collier, Shakes. Soc, 1843). 

1579, The Schools of Abuse. Conteining a plesauitt in- 
vecliue against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters and such 
like Ca/terpiliers of a Commonwelt/i; setting vp the 
Flagge of Defiance to their mischieuous exercise, and 
ouerthrowing their Bulwarkes, by Prophane Writers, 
Natural! reason, and common Experience. . . . By 
Stephan Gosson. Stud. Oxon. Dedicated to Sir Philip 
Sidney (See Spenser's letter, le"- Oct., infra, p. 89) 
The pamphlet has been reprinted in Somers's Collec- 
tion (1810, iii. 552\ by the Shakespeare Society (ed. 
Colher), and by Mr. Arber in hia English Reprints 
(New Issue, 1895). 

itepnnis 1 


Thomas Lodge 

1579. Sirautige News out of Affrick. A Defence of the 
stage, of which nothing is known except the account 
given by Gosson in his Ephenierides (see Arber's 
edit. u. s. pp. 6a-3). 

(579. A ShorlApologieoftkeSehookof Abuse, agaittsi Poets, 
Pipers, Players, and their Exeusers, by Gosson. Added 
to his Ephemerides 0/ Pliialo. The Apologie is dedi- 
cated to Sir Philip Sidney. Reprinted by Arber, 
«. 5. pp. 64-75. 

Towards the close Gosson writes : ' It is toide mee 
that they haue got one in London to write 
certaine Honest excuses, for so they tearme it, to 
their dishonest abuses which I reuealed .... 
How he frames his excuses, I know not yet, be- 
cause it is doone in hudder mudder. Trueth can 
neuer be Falsehods Visardc, which maketh him 
maske without a torch, and keepe his papers very 
secret.' It is doubtful whether this passage, and 
especially the allusion to secrecy, refers to the next 

1579. Lodge's Defence (here reprinted). 

1579. The Play ofPlayes, an unknown ' Defence,' described 
by Gosson in the Fourth ' Action ' of his Playes 

1580. Henry Denham enters his tract, A Second and 
Third Blast of Retreat from Plays and Theatres. 

1581. A Treatise of Daunses, whtrtin it is showed, that t/iey 
are as it were accessories and dependants [or things 
annexed] to whoredom : where also by the way is touched 
and proved, thai Playes are ioyned and knit together in 
a ranch or rowe with them (see Chatsworth Library 
Catalogue, vol. iv. p. 49). 

? 158a. Playes confuted in Jive Actions X.c,, by Gosson, in 
answer to Lodge's Defence and the Play of Playes. 
Dedicated to Sir Francis Waisingham. ( Reprinted by 
Mr. W. C. Hailitt in the Roxburghe Library, i86a) 

1581-3. Sidney writing his Apologie or Defence. Pub- 
ished in 1595 (see p. 148). 

Defence of Poetry 63 

1583. The Aiialomie of Abuses, by Philip\ 
Stubbes. (Reprinted by the New 
Sbaks. Soc. 1877, ed. F. J. Furnivall.) 

1584. A Touchstonefor the Time, by George I 
WheUtone. (Added to A Mirour/or}^^^ anti-stage. 
Magexfraies of Cyiies.) 

1587. A Mirrour of Monsters, by William 
Rankin s. I 

There is but little material of literary interest in these con- 
troversial works (excluding S\Auey'^ Apologie or Defence); 
they are almost exclusively devoted to partisan discussion] 
of the social influence of the playhouse, Gosson's essays) 
have not been reprinted here, for though he is the best 
known and the most active of the Puritan pamphleteers, 
and though he prompted Lodge to write his rhetorical 
answer and may have inspired Sidney's essay, he but 
rarely ventures to touch on the art or theory of poetry 
and the drama. The more important passages in his 
works are printed in the notes to Lodge and others, by 
way of illustration and commentary. Lodge's Defence, 
even in the portion here printed, is almost as uncritical as 
Gosson's attack, but it has a superior historical importance 
in defining a special trend in the later development of 
Elizabethan criticism,] 

pROTOGENES can know Apelles by his line though 
he se him not, and wise men can consider by the 
Penn of aucthoritie of the writer thoughe they know him 
not. The Rubie is discerned by his pale rednes ; and 
s who hath not hard that the Lyon is knowne by hys dawes ? 
Though ,^sopes craftie crowe be neuer so deftlye decked, 
yet is his double dealing esely desiphered : & though men 
neuer so perfectly pollish there wrytings with others sen- 
tences, yet the simple truth wil discouer the shadow of 
10 ther follies : and bestowing euery fether in the bodye of 
the right M. tourne out the naked dissembler itito his 


64 Thomas Lodge 

owen cote, as a spectacle of follye to all those which can 
rightlye ludge what imperfections be. 

There came to my hands lately a litle (woulde God a 
wittye) pampheleC, baring a fayre face as though it were 
the scoole of abuse ; but, being by me aduisedly wayed, 5 
I fynd it the oftacome of imperfections, the writer fuller of 
wordes then iudgement, the matter certainely as ridiculus 
as serius. Assuredly his mother witte wrought this wonder, 
the child to disprayse his father, the dogg to byte his 
mayster for his dainty morceli ; but I se (with Seneca) that 10 
the wrong is to be suffered, since he disprayseth, who by 
costome hath left to speake well- But I meane to be 
short, and teach the Maister what he knoweth not, partly 
that he may se his own foUie, and partly that I may dis- 
charge my promise, — both binde me : therefore I would 15 
wish the good scholmayster to ouer looke his abuses 
againe with me, so shall he see an ocean of inormities 
which begin in his first prinsiple in the disprayse of poetry. 
And first let me familiarly consider with this find faulte 
what the learned haue alwayes esteemed of poetrie. »o 
■ Seneca, thoughe a stoike, would haue a poeticall sonne, 
and, amongst the auncientest. Homer was no les accompted 
then Humanus deus. What made Alexander, 1 pray you, 
esteme of him so much ? why allotted he for his works so 
curious a closset ? was ther no fitter vnderprop for his 33 
pillow then a simple pamphelet ? in all Darius cofers was 
there no iewell so costly ? Forsoth, ray thinks, these two 
(the one the father of Philosophers, the other the chef- 
taine of chiualrie) were both deceiued if all were as a 
GossoN would wish them; yf poets paynt naughte but 30 
palterie toyes in vearse, their studies tended to foolish- 
nesse, and in all their indeuors they did naught els but 
agendo nihil agere. Lord, howe Virgil's poore gnatt 
pricketh him, and how Quid's fley byteth him ! he can 
beare no bourde, he hath raysed vp a new sect of serius 35 


Defence of Poetry 65 

stoikes, that can abide naught but their owen shadows, 
and alow nothing worthye but what they conceaue. Did 
you neuer reade (my ouer wittie frend) that vnder the per- 
sons of beastes many abuses were dissiphered ? haue you 
5 not reason to waye that whatsoeuer ether Virgil did write 
of his gnatt or Ouid of his fley was all couertly to declare 
abuse? but you are homo Uieratus, a man of the letter, 
little sauoring of learning; your giddy brain made you 
leaue your thrift, and your abuses in London some part of 

10 your honestie. You say that Poets are subtil; if so, you 
haue learned that poynt of them ; you can well glose on 
a trifeling text. But you haue dronke perhaps of Lethe ; 
your gramer learning is out of your head ; you forget your 
Accidence ; you remember not that vnder the person of 

15 jEneas in Virgil the practice of a dilligent captaine is 

- discribed, vnder the shadow of byrds, beastes, and trees 

— Ihe follies of the world were disiphered ; you know not 

that the creation is signified in the Image of Prometheus, 

thefallof prydein the person of Narcissus; these are toy es, 

ao because they sauor of wisedome which you want. Marke 
what Campanus sayth : Mtra fabulantm vam'las, sed quae si 
inlrospiciantur videri possunt non vanae. The vanitie of 
tales is wonderful; yet if we aduisedly looke into them they 
wil seme and proue wise. How wonderful are the pithie 

35 poemes of Cato ? the curious comedies of Plautus ? how 
brauelydiscouereth Terence our imperfection in his Eunuch? 
how neatly dissiphereth he Dauus ? how pleasauntly paynt- 
eth he out Gnatho? whom if we shoulde seeke in our 
dayes, I suppose he would not be farr from your parson. 

30 But I see you would seeme to be that which you are 
not, and, as the prouerb sayth, Nodum in \^s\cirpo quaerere, 
PoeteSj you say, vse couUors to couer their inco[n]- 
u[en]iences, and wittie sentences to burnish thetr bawdery 
and you diuinite to couer your knauerye. But tell mee 

35 truth, Gosson, speakest thou as thou thinkest ? what 


I 66 Thomas Lodge ^^^H 

coulers findest thou in a Poete not to be admitted? are 1 
, his speeches vnperfect? sauor they of mscience? I think, 

I If thou hast any shante, thou canst not but like and ap- 

i proue them : are their gods displesant vnto thee ? doth 

I Saturne in his majesty moue thee? doth luno with hers 

F riches displease thee? doth Minerua with her weapon 

discomfort thee? doth Apollo with his harping harme 
tliee ? — thou mayst say nothing ies then harme thee, 
I because they are not, and, I thinke so to, because thou ^ 
,iff^ I knowest them not. For wot thou that in the person of laj 
" k \ Saturne our decaying yeares are signified ; in the picture I 
fr I of angry luno our affections are dissiphered; in the per- 

iII'B I ^°" °^ Minerua is our vnderstanding signified, both in 
*^ \ respect of warre as policie. When they faine that Pallas 

»^was begotten of the braine of lupiter, their meaning is iSi 
none other but that al wisedome (as the learned say) is 
I from aboue, and commeth from the father of Lights : in | 

the portrature of Apollo all knowledge is denotated. So 
that, what so they wrot, it was to this purpose, in the way i 
[ lof pleasure to draw men to wisedome : for, seing the world "o^ 

\^ in those daies was vnperfect, yt was necessary that they 
jlike good Phisitions should so frame their potions that 
^. they might be appliable to the quesie stomaks of their 
' werish patients. But our studientes by your meanes haue 
made shipwrackof theyr labors; our schoolemaisters haue aj 
so offended that by your iudgement they shall subire 
fioenam capitis (or teaching poetry; the vniversitie is litle 
beholding to you.^al their practices in teaching are friuolus. 
Witt hath wrought that in you, that yeares and studie 
ncucr setled in the heads of our sagest doctors. No a* 
meruel though you disprayse poetrye, when you know not 
what it meanes. 

Erasmus will make that the path waye to knowledge 
which you disprayse ; and no meane fathers vouchsafe in 
their seriouse questiones of deuinitie to inserte poeticall 35J 


Defence of Poetry 67 

sensures. I think, il we shal wel ouerloke the phUoso* 
phcrs, we shal find their iudgements not halfe perfect. 
Poetes, you saye, fayle in their fables, Philosophers in the 
verye secrets of Nature. Though Plato could wish the 
5 expulsion of Poetes from his well publiques, which he 
might doe with reason, yet the wisest had not all that 
same opinion: it had bene better for him to haue sercht 
more narowly what the soule was, for his definition was 
verye friuoliis, when he would make it naught els but 

to Subslan/iam intclkclu predictam. If you say that Poetes 
did labour about nothing, tell me (I besech you) what 
wonders wroughte those your dunce Doctors in ther 
reasons de ente, et non enle, in theyr deiinition of no 
force, and les witt? how sweate they, power soules, in 

'5 makinge more things then cold be? that I may vse your 
owne phrase, did not they spende one candle by seeking 
another? Democritus, Epicurus, with ther scholler Metro- 
dorus, how labored they in finding out more worlds 
then one ? Your Plato in midst of his presisnes wrought 

so that absurdite that neuer may be redd in Poets, to make 
a yearthly creature to beare the person of the creator, and 
a corruptible substance an incomprehensible God 1 for, 
determining of the principall causes of all thinges, a made 
them naughte els but an Idea, which if it be conferred 

as wyth the truth, his sentence will sauour of Inscience. 
But I speake for Poetes; I answeare your abuse; therefore 
I will disproue or disprayse naught, but wish you with 
the wise Plato to disprayse that thing you offend not in. 
Seneca sayth that the studdie of Poets is to make children 

30 ready to the vnderstanding of wisdom, and that our 
auncients did teache aries Eleutken'as, i. Hberales, because 
the instructed children by the instrument of knowledg in 
time became homines liberi, i. Philosophye. It may be that 
in reding of poetry it happened to you as it is with the 

35 Oyster, for she in her swimming receiueth no ayre, and 


ted that 

68 Thomas Lodge 

you in your reding lesse instruction. It is reported that 
the shepe of Euboia want ther gale, and on the contrarye 
side that the beastes of Naxus have distenlum fel. Men 
hope that scollers should have witt, brought vpp in the ' 
Vniuersite; but your sweet selfe, with the cattell ofs 
Euboia, since you left your College, have lost your learn- 
ing. You disprayse Maximus Tirius poilicey, and that 
thinge that he wrott to manifest learned Poets mening 
you atribute to follye. O holy hedded man 1 why may 
not luno resemble the ayre ? why not Alexander valour? lo 
why not Vlisses poilice ? Will you have all for your 
owne tothe ? must men write that you maye know theyr 
meaning? as though your wytt were to wrest all things? 
Alas I simple Irus, begg at knowledge gate awhile; thou 
haste not wonne the mastery of learning. Weane thy 15 
selfe to wisdome, and vse thy tallant in zeale, not for 
cnuie ; abuse not thy knowledge in dispraysing that which 
is pereles. I shold blush from a Player to become an 
enuiouae Preacher, if thou hadst zeale to preach ; if for 
Sions sake thou coldst not holde thy tongue, thy true aa 
dealing were prayse worthy, thy reuolting woulde coun- 
sel! me to reuerence theei Pittie weare it that Poetrye 
should be displaced ; full little could we want Buchanan's 
workes, and Boetius comfortes may not be banished. 
What made Erasmus labor in Euripides tragedies? Did 35 
he iiideuour by painting them out of Greeke into Latine 
to manifest sinne vnto vs ? or to confirme vs in goodness ? 
Labor (I pray thee) in Pamphelets more prayse worthy: 
thou haste not sauetl a Senator, therefore not worthye 
a Lawrell wrelh ; thou hast not (in disprouing poetry) re- 30 
proucd an abuse, and therfore not worthy commendation. 
Seneca sayth that Magna vilae pars elabitur male agen- 
til/HS, maxima nihil agenlibus, iota aliud agentibus. The 
most of our life (sayd he) is spent ether in doing euiU, or 
nothing, or that wee should not ; and I would wish you 35 

f \ 

Defence of Poetry 69 

weare exempted from this sensure. Geue eare but a little 
more what may be said for poetrie, for I must be briefe ; 
you haue made so greate matter that I may not stay on 
one thing to long, lest I leaue another vntouched. And 
5 first, whereas you say that Tullie, in his yeres of more 
iudgement, despised Poetes, harke (I pray you) what he 
worketh for them in his Oration pro Archia poela: but 
before you heare him, least you fayle in the incounter, 
I would wysh you to followe the aduise of the dasterdlye 

10 Ichneumon of iCgipt, who, when shee beholdeth the Aspis 
herenemye to drawe nighe, calleth her fellowes together, 
bismering herselfe with claye, agaynst the bytlng and 
strol^e of the serpent : arme your selfe, call your witts 
together: want not your wepons, lest your imperfect 

15 iudgement be rewardede with Midas eares. You had 
neede play the night burd now, for you[r] day Owl hath 
misconned his parte, and for 'to who' now a dayes he cryes 
' foole you ' : which hath brought such a sort of wondering 
birds about your eares, as I feare me will chatter you out 

:;o of your luey bush. The worlde shames to see you, or els 
you are afrayde to shew your selfe. You thought poetrye 
should want a patron (I think) when you fyrste' published 
this inuectiue, but yet you fynd al to many, euen pretcr 
ei^ectationetn ; yea, though it can speake for its selfe, yet 

^5 her patron Tullie now shall tell her tale. Haec studta 
(sayth he) adolesceniiam alunt, senectutem oblectanl, secundas 
res omanl, aduersis perftigium ac solaiium praebent, dele- 
clani domi, non tmpediunt foris, pemoclant tiobiscum, pen- 
grinanfur, ntsticanlur. Then will you disprayse that 

go which all men commend ? you looke only vpon the refuse 
of the abuse, nether respecting the importance of the 
matter nor the weigh[t]e of the wryter. Solon can fayne 
himselfe madde, to further the Athenians. Chaucer in 
pleasant vein can rebuke sin vncontrold ; and, though he 

35 be lauish in the letter, his sence is serious. -Who in 

TO Thomas Lodge 

Rome Umented not Roscius death ? and canst thou suck 
no plesure out of thy M. Claudian's writings? Hark 
what Cellarius a learned father attributeth to it; Acuit 
menioriam (saith he), it profiteth the memory. Yea and 
Tuliy atributeth it for prais to Archias that vpon any 5 
theame he cold versify extempory. Who Hketh not of the 
promplnes of Ouid? who not vnworthely cold bost of 
himself thus, Qukquid conabar dicere versus erat. Wlio 
. -■' then doothe not wonder at poetry ? who thinketh not tliat . 
) itpTOcedeth from aboue? what made~"the Chians and 10 
GolophonianS fal^to such controuersy? Why seke the 
Smirnians to recouer from the Salaminians the prais of 
Homer ? Al wold haue him to be of ther city ; I hope 
not for harme, but because of his knowledge. Therais- 
tocles desireth to be acquainted with those who could 15 
best discipher his praises. Euen Marius himselfe, tho 
neuer so cruel, accompted of Plotinus poems. What 
made Aphricanus esterae Ennius ? Why did Alexander 
giue prais to Achilles, but for the prayses which he found 
written of him by Homer? Why estemed Pompie so so 
muche of Theophanes Mitiletus? or Brutus so greallye 
the wrytinges of Accius ? Fuluius was so great a fauorer 
of Poetry, that, after the Aetolian warres, he attributed to 
the Muses those spoiles that belonged to Mars. In all 
the Romaine conquest, hardest thou euer of a slayne as 
Poete ? nay rather the Emperours honored them, beau- 
tified them with benefites, and decked their sanctuaries 
with sacrifice, Pindarus colledg is not fit for spoil of 
Alexander ouercome ; nether feareth poetry the perse- 
cutors sword. What made Austin so much affectate that 30 
heauenly fury? not folly, for, if I must needes speake, 
illud Hon ausint qffinnarc, his zeale was in setting vp of 
the house of God, not in affectate eloquence ; he wrot not, 
he accompted not, he honnored not so much that (famous 
ooetry) whyche we prayse, without cause, for, if it be tme 35 



Defence of Poetry 71 

that Horace reporteth in his booke de Arte Poetica, all the 
answeares of the Oracles weare in verse. Among the pre- 
cise lewes you shall find Poetes ; and for more maiestie 
Sibilla will prophesie in verse. Beroaldus can witnes 
s with me that Dauid was a poet, and that his vayne was in 
imitating (as S, lerom witnesseth) Horace, Flaccus, and 
Pindarus; somtimes his verse runneth in an Iambus foote, 
anone he hath recourse to a Saphic vaine, and aliquando 
semipede ingreditur. Ask losephus, and he wil tel you 

10 that Esay, lob, and Salomon voutsafed poetical practises, 
for (if Origen and he fault not) theyre verse was Hexa- 
meter and pentameter. Enquire of Cassiodorus, he will 
say that all the beginning of Poetrye proceeded from the 
Scripture. Paulinus, tho the Byshop of NoJanum, yet 

15 voutsafe[th] the name of a Poet; and Ambrose, tho he 
be a patriarke in Mediolanum, loueth versifing. Beda 
shameth not the science that shamelesse Gosson mis- 
liketh. Reade ouer Lactantius, his proofe is by poetry; 
and Paul voutsafeth to ouerlooke Epimenides : let the 

ao Apostle preach at Athens, he disdaineth not of Aratus 
authorite. It is a pretye sentence, yet not so prety as 
pithy, Poeta nascitur. Orator fil: as who should say, ( ■ 
Poetrye commeth from aboue, from a heauenly seate of I ^ ' 
a glorious God, vnto an excellent creature man ; an I '" 

35 Orator is but made by exercise. For, if we examine well I 
what befell Ennius amonge the Romans, and Hcsiodus I 
among his contrimen the Grecians, howe they came by 
theyr knowledge, whence they receued their heauenly 
furye, the first will tell vs that, sleping on the Mount of 

30 Parnassus, he dreamed that he received the soule of 
Homer into him, after the which he became a Poete; the 
next will assure you that It commeth not by labor, 
nether that night watchings bringeth it, but that we must 
haue it thence whence he fetched it, which was {he saith) 

35 from a well of the M uses which Persius calleUi Caballinus, 


7a Thomas Lodge 

a draught whereof drewe him to his perfection; so of a 
shephard he becam an eloquent Poet Wei then you 
see that it commeth not by exercise of play making, nether 
insertion of gawds, but from nature, and from aboue : and 
I hope that Aristotle hath sufficiently taught you that 5 
Natura nihil fecil frustra. Persius was made a poete 
Diuino furore percUus ; and whereas the poets were sayde 
to call for the Muses helpe, ther mening was no other, as 
lodocus Badius reporteth, but to call for heauenly inspira- 
tion from aboue to direct theyr endeuors. Nether were lo 
it good for you to sette light by the name of a Poet, since 
the offspring from whence he commeth is so heauenly. 
Sibilla in her answers to jEneas against hir will, as the 
poet telleth vs, was possessed with thys fury ; ye[a], wey 
consideratly but of the writing of poets, and you shal se 15 
that when ther matter is most heauenly their stile is most 
loftye, a strange token of the wonderfull efficacy of the 
same. I would make a long discourse vnto you of Platoes 
4 furies, but 1 leue them : it pitieth me to bring a rodd of 
your owne making to beate you wythal. » 

But, mithinks, while you heare thys, I see you swallowe 
down your owne spittle for reuenge, where (God wot) my 
wryting sauoreth not of enuye. In this case I could wyshe 
you fare farre otherwyse from your foe ; yf you please, 
I wyll become your frende, and see what a potion or re- 35 
ceypt I can frame fytt for your diet. And herein I will 
proue myselfe a practiser ; before I purdge you, you shall 
take a preparatiue to disburden your heuay hedde of those 
grose follis you haue conceued ; but the receipt is bitter, 
therfore I would wysh jou first to tasten your mouth with 30 
the Sugar of perse ue ran ce : for ther is a cold collop that 
must downe your throate, yet such a one as shall chaunge 
your complection quit. I wyll haue you therfore to tast 
first of the cold riuer Phricus, in Thracia, which, as Aris- 
totle reporteth, changeth blacke into white, or of Seaman- 35 


Defence of Poetry 73 

dar, which maketh gray yalow, that is of an enuious man 
a wel minded person, reprehending of zeale that wherein 
he hath sinned by folly; and so being prepard, thy pur- 
gation wyll worke more easy, thy vnderstandinge wyll be 
5 more perfit, thou shalt blush at thy abuse, and reclaime 
thy selfe by force of argument ; so wilt thou proue a clene 
recouered patient, and I a perfecte practiser in framing so 
good a potion. This broughte to passe, I with thee wil 
seeke out some abuse in poetry, which I wil seeke for to 

10 disproue by reason, first pronounced by no smal blrde, euen 
Aristotle himselfe. Poeiae (sayth he) mtiUa mentiuntur; 
and to further his opinion seuer Cato putteth in his cen- 
sure, Admiranda cantml, sed noti credenda, Poetae. These 
were sore blemishes, if obiected rightly ; and heare you 

■ 5 may say the streme runnes a wronge; but, if it be so, by 
youfr] leue, I wyll bring him shortly in his right chanel. 
My answere shall not be my owne, but a learned father 
shall tell my tale; if you wil know his name, men call 
him Lactantius, who, in hys booke de diuinis ittstitutionibus, 

so reesoneth thus. I suppose (sayth he) Poets are full of 
credit, and yet it is requisite for those that wil vnderstand 
them to be admonished that among them not onely the \ 
name but the matter beareth a show of that it is not ; for 1 
if, sayth he, we examine the Scriptures litterallye, nothing 

25 will seeme more falls, and, if we way Poetes wordes and 
not ther meaning, our learning in them wilhe very mene. 
You see nowe that your Catoes iudgement is of no force, 
and that all your obiections you make agaynsl Poetrye be 
of no valor ; yet, lest you should be altogether discoraged, 

30 1 wj'll helpe you forwarde a little more. It pities me to 
consider the weaknes of your cause ; I wyll therfore make 
your strongest reason more strong, and, after I have builded 
it vp, destroy it agayn. Poets you confesse are eloquent, 
but you reproue them in their wantonnesse ; they write of 

35 no wisedom ; you may say their tales are friuolus, they 


74 Thomas Lodge 

prophane holy thinges, they seeke nothing to the perfec- 
tion of our soules, theyr practise is in other things of 
lesse force. To this obiection I answer no otherwise 
then Horace doeth in his booke de Arte Poetics, where he 
wryteth thus, s 

Siluestres homines sacer inlerpresque deorum 

Caedibus el victu fotdo deterruit Orpheus: 

Diclus ob hoc lenire iigres, rabidosque leones: 

Diclits el Amphion, Thebanae cottditor vrbis, 

Saxa mouere sono teshtdinis, et prece blanda u 

Ducere quo vellel: fuii haec sapientia quondam, 

Publica priualis secemere, sacra profanis; 

Concubitu prohibere vago ; dare iura mantis ; 

Oppida moliri; leges incidere ligno. 

The holy spokesman of the Gods, i 

Wich heaue[n]Iy Orpheus hight, 

Did driue the sauage men from wods, 

And made them liue aright; 

And therefore is sayd the Tygers fierce 

And Lyons full of myght a 

To ouercome ; Amphion, he 

Was sayd of Theabs the founder, 

Who by his force of Lute did cause 

The stones to part a sender. 

And by his speach them did derect, a 

Where he would haue them staye. 

This wisedome this was it of olde 

All strife for to allay ; 

To giue to euery man his owne ; 

To make the Gods be knowne; 3 

To driue each lecher from the bed 

That neuer was his owne; 

To leach the law of miiriage ; 

The way to build a towne; 

For to engraue these lawes in woods — = 

This was these mens renowne. 



Defence of Poetry 75 

I cannot leaue Tirtheus poUicy vntouched, who by force 
of his pen could incite men to the defence of theyr coun- 
trye. If you require of the Oracle of Apollo what successe 
you shal haue, respondel bellkoso numtne. 
S Lo now you see your obiections [and] my answers ; you 1^ 
behold or may perceiue manifestlye that Poetes were the P 
first raysors of cities, prescribers of good lawes, mayn- \ 
tayners of religion, disturbers of the wicked, aduancers ^ 
of the wel disposed, inuentors of laws, and lastly the -^. 

10 very fot-paths to knowledge and vnderstanding ; ye[a], if 
we shold beleue Hierome, he will make Plato's exiles 
honest men, and his pestiferous poets good preachers, for 
he accounteth Orpheus, Museus, and Linus Christians; 
therefore Virgil (in his 6 boke of jEneiados, wher he 

15 lemedly describeth the iourny of £neas to Elis[ijum) 
asserteneth vs that, among them that were ther for the 
zeale they beare toward their country, ther wer found 
Quique pii Votes, et Phoebo digna ioqu[u]ii: but I must an- 
s'iver al obiections, I must fil euery nooke, I must arme 

2o myself now, for here is the greatest bob I can gather out 
of your booke, forsoth Quid's abuses, in descrybing 
whereof you labour very vehementlye, terming him letcher, I 
and in his person dispraise all poems : but shall on[e] ' 
man's follye destroy'e a vniuersal commodity? what gift, 

as what perfit knowledg hath ther bin emong the professors 
of which ther hath not bin a bad on[e] ; the Angels haue 
sinned in heauen, Adam and Eue in earthly paradise, 
emong the holy Apostles vngratious ludas. I reson not::^ 
that al poets are holy, but 1 affirme that poetry is ai."~ 

30 heauenly gift, a perfit gift, then which I know not greater-; 
plesure. And surely, if I may speak my mind, I think we 
shal find but few Poets, if it were exactly wayd, what they 
oughte to be : your Muscouian straungers, your Scithian 
monsters wonderful, by one Eurus brought vpon one 

35 stage in ships made of Sheepe skins, wyll not proue you 

Thomas Lodge 


a poet, nether your life alow you to bee of that learning. 
If you had wisely wayed the abuse of poetry, if you had 
reprehended the foolish fantasies of our Poets nomine 
non re which they bring forth on stage, my self wold haue 
liked of you and allowed your labor. But 1 perceiue nowe s 
that all red colloured stones are not Rubies, nether is 
euery one Alexander that hath a scare in his cheke ; al 
lame men are not Vulcans, nor hooke nosed men Ciceroes, 
I ■ nether each professor a poet. I abhore those poets that 
■^sauor of ribaldry: I will with the zealous admit the ex- lo 
'. pullcion of such enormities : poetry is dispraised not for 
the folly that is in it, but for the abuse whiehe manye ill 
Wryters couller by it. Beleeue mee the magestrats may 
take aduise (as I knowe wisely can) to roote out those 
odde rymes which runnes in euery rascales mouth, sauor- 15 
ing of rybaldry. Those foolishe ballets that are admitted 
make poets good and godly practises to be refused. 1 like 
not of a wicked Nero that wyll expell Lucan, yet admit 
I of a zealous gouernour that wil seke to take away the 
abuse of poetry. 1 like not of an angrye Augustus which 00 
wyll banishe Ouid for enuy. I loue a wise Senator, which 
in wisedome wyll correct him, and with aduise burne his 
follyes ; vnhappy were we, yf like poore Scaurus we shoulde 
find [a] Tiberius that wyll put vs to death for a tragedy 
making; but most blessed were we, if we might find a "5 
iudge that seuerely would amende the abuses of Tragedies. 
But I leaue the reformation thereof to more wyser than 
myselfe, and retourne lo Gosson, whom I wyshe to be 
fully perswaded in this cause; and therefore 1 will tell 
hym a prety story, which lustin wryteth in the prayse of 30 
poetrye. The Lacedemonians, when they had loste many | 

men in diners incountryes with theyr enemyes, soughte to 1 

the Oracles of Apollo requiring how they myght recouer 
theyr losses. It was answered, that they mighte ouercome j 

if so be that they could get an Athenian gouernor: Where- 3s 

\-k . i 

Defence of Poetry 77 

upon they sent Orators vnto the Athenians, humbly re- 
questing them that they woulde appoynt them out one of 
theyr best captaynes. The 'Athenians, owinge them old 
malice, sent them in steede of a soldado vechio a scholar 
5 of the Muses, in steede of a worthy warrior a poore poet, 
for a couragious ThemistocJes a silly Tirthetus, a man of 
great eloquence and singuler wytte, yet was he but a lame 
lymde captaine, more fit for the coche then the field. The 
Lacedemonians, trusting the Oracle, receued the champion, 

10 and, fearing the gouernment of a stranger, made him ther 
Citizen ; Which once don, and he obteining the Dukdome, 
he assended the theater, and ther very learnedly wyshing 
them to forget theyr folly and to thinke on victory, they, 
being acuate by his eloquence, waging battail, won the 

15 fielde. 

Lo now you see that the framing of common welthes, 
and defence therof] proceedeth from poets, how dare you 
therfore open your mouth against them ? how can you 
disprayse the preseruer of a countrye ? You compare 

ao Homer to Methecus, cookes to Poetes, you shame your 
selfe in your vnreuerent similituds, you may see your 
follyes; verbum sapienti sal. Where as Homer was an 
ancient poet, you disalow him, and accompte of those of 
lesser Judgement. Strabo calleth poetry primam sapien- 

aj tiam. Cicero, in his firste of hys Tusculans, attributeth 
the inuencion of philosophy to poets. God keepe vs from 
a Plato that should expel such men : pittie were it that 
the memory of these valiant victours should be hidden, 
which haue dyed in the behalfe of ther countryes. Miser- 

30 able were our state yf we wanted those worthy volumes of 
Poetry: could the learned beare the losse of Homer? or 
our younglings the wrytings of Mantuan ? or you your 
volumes of Historyes? Belieue me, yf you had wanted 
your Mysteries of nature, and your stately storyes, your 

35 booke would hau& scarce bene fedde wyth matter. 


78 Thomas Lodge 

therefore you will deale in things of wisdome, correct the 
abuse, honor thfe science, renewe your schoole ; crye out 
ouer Hierusalem wyth the prophet the woe that he pro- 
nounced ; wish the teacher to reforme hys lyfe, that his 
weake scholler may proue Ihe wyser ; cry out against vn- 5 
saciable desyre in rich men; tel the house of lacob theyr 
iniquities ; lament with the Ajmstle the want of laborers in 
the Lords vineyards; cry out on those dume doggs that 
will not barke ; wyll the mightye that they ouer mayster 
not the poore ; and put downe the beggars prowde heart 10 
by thy perswasions. Thunder oute wyth the Prophete 
Micha the mesage of the Lord, and wyth him desyre 
the ludges to heare thee, the Prynces of lacob to hearken 
to thee, and those of the house of Israeli to vnderstande ; 
then tell them that they abhorre Judgement, and preuent tj 
equitie, that they iudge for rewardes, and that theyr priests 
teach for hyre, and the prophets thereof prophesie for 
money, and yet that they saye the Lorde is wyth them, 
and that no euil can befall them; breath out the sweete 
promises to the good, the cursses to the badde, tell them ao 
that a peace muste needes haue a warre, and that God 
can rayse vp another Zenacharib ; shew them that Sala- 
mons iiingdome was but for a season, and that aduersitie 
Cometh ere we espye it. These be the songes of Sion, 
these be those rebukes which you oughte to add to abuses ; 35 
recouer the body, for it is sore; the appe[n]di':es thereof 
will easely be reformed, if that we ar at a staye. 

'iLodge proceeds to discuss Gossan's Second Abuse — 
Music, 'which you vnaduisedly terme Pyping," Homer 
commended it. 'Looke vppon the harmonie of the 3* 
Heauens? hange they not by Musike?' Dauid sang 
and praised the Lord with the harp : and the testimony 
of the Greek philosophers is in fauour of its vse. ' But 
as I like Musik, so admit I not of thos that depraue 
the same : your Pipers are so odius to mee as yourselfe ; 35 



Defence of Poetry 75 

nether alowe I your harpinge raerye beggars, although 
I knewe you my self a professed play maker and a paltry 
actor.' 1 
WelJ, I leaue this poynt til I know further of your 

5 mynde ; mean while I must talke a little wyth you about 
the thyrd abuse, for the cater cosens of Pypers, theyr 
names (as you terme them), be Players, and I thinke as 
you doe, for your experience is sufficient to enforme me; 
but here I must loke about me, quacunque te t[el]tgeris vlctts 

10 est : here is a task that requireth a long treatis, and what 
my opinion is of Players ye now shall plainly perceue. 
I must now search my wits; 1 see this shall passe throughe 
many seuere sensors handling; I must aduise me what 
I write, and write that I would wysh. I way wel the 

'S seriousnes of the cause, and regarde very much the 
iudges of my endeuor, whom, if 1 could, I would perswade 
that I woulde not nourish abuse, nether mayntaine that 
which should be an vniversall discomoditye. 1 hope they 
wil not iudge before they read, nether condemne without 

20 occasion. The wisest wil alwais carry t[w]o eares, in that 
they are to diserne two indiflferent causes. I meane 
not to hold you in suspenc[e] {seuere Iudges) : if you 
gredely expect my verdit, brefely this it is. 

Demost[he]nes thoughte not that Phillip shoulde ouer- 

35 come when he reproued hym, nether feared Cicero 
Anthonies force when in the Senate hee rebuked hym. 
To the ignorant ech thinge that is vnknowne series vn- 
profitable, but a wise man can forsee and prayse by proofc. 
Pythagoras could spy oute in women's eyes two kind of 

30 teares, the one of grefe, the other of disceit ; and those 
of iudgement can from the same flower suck honey with 
the bee, from whence the Spyder (I mean the ignorant) 
take their poison. Men that haue knowledge what 
comedies and tragedis be wil comend them, but it is 

35 sufferable in the folish to reproue that they know not, 



8o Thomas Lodge 

becaus ther mouthes will hardly be stopped. Firste 
therfore, if it be not tedious to Gosson to harken to the 
lemed, the reder shal perceiue the antiquity of play- 
making, the inuentors of comedies, and therewithall the 
vse and comoditye of them. So that in the end I hope 5 
my labor shall be liked, and the learned wil soner con- 
ceue his folly. For tragedies and comedies, Donate the 
gramarian sayth, they wer inuented by k'rned fathers of 
> '^, the old time to no other purpose but to yeelde prayse 
vnto God for a happy haruest or plentiful yeere. And "> 
that thys is trewe the name of Tragedye doth importe, 
for, if you consider whence it came, you shall perceiue 
(as lodocus Badius reporteth) that it drewe his original 
of Tragos, Hircus, et Ode, Catitus (so called), for that 
the actors thereof had in rewarde for theyr labour a gotes 15 
skynne fylled wyth wyne. You see then that the fyrste 
matter of Tragedies was to giue thankes and prayses to 
God, and a grateful! prayer of the countrymen for a 
happye haruest, and this I hope was not discommendable. 
I knowe you will iudge i[t] farthest from abuse. But to ao 
wade farther, thys founne of inuention being found out, 
as the dayes wherein it was vsed did decay, and the world 
grew to more perfection, so the witt of the younger sorte 
became more riper, for they leauing this fourme inuented 
an other, in the which they altered the nature but not the 25 
name ; for, for sonnets in prayse of the gods, they did set 
forth the sower fortune of many exiles, the miserable fal 
of haples princes, the reuinous decay of many countryes ; 
yet not content with this, they presented the hues of 
Satyers, so that they might wiselye, vnder the abuse 30 
I'f that name, discouer the folhes of many theyr folish 
fellow citesens. And those monsters were then as our 
parasites are now adayes : suche as with pleasure repre- 
hended abuse. As for Commedies, because they bear 
a more plesanter vain, I will leaue the other to speake 33 


Defence of Poetry 8i 

of them. Tulley defines them thus : Comedia (saJth he) 
is imitatio vilae, speculum consaeiudinis, el imago veritoHs ; 
and it is sayde to be termed of Comai {emongste the 
Greekes), which signifieth Pagos, and Ode, Cantus; for 
5 that they were exercised in the fielde, they had they[r] 
beginning with tragedies, but their matter was more 
plessaunt, for they were suche as did reprehend, yet 
quodam kpore. These first very rudly were inuented by 
S u sar i on BuUus and Magnes, t[w]o auncient poets, yet 'f 

lo so that they were meruelous profitable to the reclamynge 
of abuse ; whereupon Eupo lis with Cratinus and Aristo- 
phanes began to write, and with ther eloquenter vaine 
and perfection of stil dyd more seuerely speak agaynst _ 
the abuses then they: which Horace hiraselfe witnesseth. " 

15 For, sayth he, ther was no abuse but these men repre- 
hended it ; a thefe was loth to be scene [at] one [of] there 
spectacle[s], a coward was neuer present at theyr assemblies, 
a backbiter abhord that company ; and I my selfe could 
not haue blamed you (Gosson) for exempting yourselfe 

ao from this theater; of troth I shoulde have lykt your 
polhcy. These therefore, these wer they that kept men 
in awe, these restrayned the vnbridlcd cominaltie ; wher- 
upon Horace wisely sayeth, 

Oderunl peccare bom, virlulis amore : 

35 Oderunl peccare malt, formidine poenae. 

The good did hate al sinne for vertues loue ; 
The bad for feare of shame did sin remoue. 
Yea, would God our realme could light vppon a Lucilius; 
then should the wicked bee poynted out from the good ; 

30 a harlot woulde seeke no harbor at stage plais, lest she 
shold here her owne name growe in question, and the dis- 
course of her honesty cause her to bee hated of the godly, 
As for you, I am sure of this one thing, he would paint you 
in your players ornaments, for they best becam you. But 


Tltomas Lodge 

as these sharpe corrections were disanulde in Rome when 
they grewe to more licenciousnes, so 1 fear me if we shold 
practise it in our dayes the same inlertainmente would 
followe. But in ill reformed Rome what comedies now ? 
A poet's wit can correct, yet not offend. Philemon will 5 
mitigate the corrections of sinne by reprouing them 
couertly in shadowes. Menander dare not offend the 
— ' Senate openly, yet wants he not a parasite to touch them 
priuely. Terence wyl not report the abuse of harlots 
vnder there proper stile, but he can finely girde them 10 
vnder the person of Thais. Hee dare not openly tell the 
Rich of theyr couetousnesse and seuerity towards their 
children, but he can controle them vnder the person of 
Durus Demeas. He must not shew the abuse of noble 
yong gentilmen vnder theyr owne title, but he wyll warne '5 
them in the person of Pamphilus. Wil you learne to 
knowe a parasite ? Looke vpon his Dauus. Wyl you 
seke the abuse of courtly flatterers? Behold Gnato. And 
if we had some Satericall Poetes nowe a dayes to penn our 
commedies, that might be admitted of zeale to discypher ao 
the abuses of the worlde in the person of notorious 
offenders, I knowe we should wisely ryd our assemblyes 
of many of your brotherhod. 

But, because you may haue a full scope to reprehende, 
I will ryp vp a rablement of play makers, whose wright- 35 
inges I would wishe you ouerlooke, and seeke out theyr 
abuses. Can you mislike of Cecilius ? or dispise Piinius ? 
or amend Neuius? or find fault with Licinius? Wherein 
offended Atilius? I am sure you can not but wonder at 
Terence? Wil it please you to like of Turpilius? or 30 
alow of Trabea ? You muste needs make much of Ennius ; 
for ouerloke al thes and you shal find ther volums ful of 
wit if you examin them ; so that, if you had no other 
masters, you might deserue to be a doctor, wher now you 
are but a folishe scholcmaister : but 1 wyll deale wyth 35 


Defence of Poetry 83 

you very freendlye, 1 wil resolue eueri doubt that you 
find ; those instrumentes which you mislike in playes grow 
of auncient custome, for, when Roscius was an Actor, be 
sure that as with his tears he moued affections, so the 
5 Musitian in the Theater before the entrance did tnorne- 
fully record it in melody (as Seniius reporteth). The 
actors in Rome had also gay clothing, and euery mans 
aparel was aphable to his part and person. The old men 
in white, the rich men in purple, the parasite disguisedly, 

10 the yong men in gorgeous coulours, ther wanted no deuisc 
nor good iudgement of the comedy, where I suppose our 
players both drew ther plaies and fourme of garments. 
As for the appointed dayes wherin comedies wer showen, 
I reede that the Romaynes appoynted them on the festiual 

15 dayes; in such reputation were they had at that time- 
Also lodocus Badius will assertain you that the actors for 
shewing pleasure receued some profile. But let me apply 
those dayes to ours, their actors to our players, their 
autors to ours. Surely we want not a Roscius, nether 

9o ar ther great scargity of Terence's profession, but yet our 
men dare not nowe a dayes presume so much as the old 
Poets might, and therfore they apply ther writing to the 
peoples vain ; wheras, if in the beginning they had ruled, 
we should now adaies have found smal spectacles of folly. 

95 But (of truth) I must confes with Aristotle that men are 
greatly delighted withjraitation, and that it were good to 
bring those things on stage that were altogether tending 
to vertue : all this I admit and hartely wysh, but you say 
vnlesse the thinge be taken away the vice will continue. 

3° Nay, 1 say if the style were changed the practise would 
profit, and sure I thinke our theaters fit that Ennius, 
seeing our wanton Glicerium, may rebuke her. If our 
poetes will nowe become seuere, and for prophane things 
write of vertue, you I hope shoulde see a reformed state 

35 in those thinges ; which I feare me yf they were not, the 


64 Thomas Lodge 

^idle hedded commones would worke more mischiefe. I wish 
I as zealously as the best that all abuse of playinge weare 
^'abolished ; but for the thing, the antiquitie causeth me to 
allow it, so it be vsed as it should be. I cannot allow the 
prophaning of the Sabaolh. I praise your reprehension 5 
in that ; you did well in discommending the abuse, and 
surely 1 wysh that that folly wer disclaymed ; it is not to 
be admitted, it maks those sinne, whiche perhaps, if it 
were not, would have binne present at a good sermon. 
It is in the Magistrate to Cake away that order, and 10 
appoynt it otherwyse. But sure it were pittie to abolish 
that which hath so great vertue in it, because it is abused. 
The Cermanes, when the vse of preaching was forbidden 
them, what helpe had they I pray you? Forsoth the 
learned were fayne couertly in comedies to declare abuses, 13 
and by playing to incite the people to vertues, when they 
might heare no preaching. Those were lamentable dayes 
you will say, and so thinke I ; but was not this, I pray you, 
a good help in reforming the decaying Gospel ? You see 
I then how comedies (my seuere iudges) are requesit both aa 
for ther antiquity and for ther commoditye, for the dignity 
of the wrighters, and the pleasure of the hearers. But, 
after your discrediting of pi ay making, you salue vppon the 
sore somewhat, and among many wise workes there be 
some that fitte your vaine : the practice of parasites is one, 35 
which I meruel it likes you so well, since it bites you so 
sore. But sure in that I like your iudgement, and for the 
rest to I approue your wit, but for the pigg of your owne 
sow (as you terme it) assuredly I must discommend your 
verdit. Tell me, Gosson, was all your owne you wrote 30 
there? did you borow nothing of your neyghbours? Out 
of what booke patched you out Cicero's Oration ? Whence 
fetyou Catilin's Inuectiue. Thys is one thing, alienam o!et 
lucemam, Hon tnam ; so that your helper may wisely reply 
vpon you with Virgil— 35 


Defence of Poetry 85 

Ho& ego versimtos feci : iulit alter honores. 

I made these verses, other bear[s] the name. 

Beleue me I should preferr Wilson's : Shorte and sweete, 

if I were iudge, a peece surely worthy prayse, the practice 

5 of a good scholler; would the wiser would ouerlooke that, 

they may perhaps cull some wisedome out of a player's 

toye. Well, as it is wisedome to commend where the 

cause requireth, so it is a poynt of folly to praise without 

deserte. You dislike players very much, theyr dealings 

>o be not for your commodity; whom if I myghte aduise, 

they should learne thys of luuenal. 

Viuendutn est recte, cum propter plurima, turn his 
Praecipue causis, vl linguas tnancipiorum 
Contemnas. Nam lingua mali pars pessima serui. 

IS We ought to leade our Hues aright. 

For many causes moue. 
Especially for this same cause, 
Wisedom doth vs behoue 
That we may set at nought those blames 
so Which seruants Co vs lay; 

For why, the tongue of euel slaue 

Is worst, as wisemen euer say. 

Methinks I heare some of them verifiing these verses vpon 

you ; if it be so that 1 hear them, I will concele it : as for 

js the statute of apparrell and the abuses therof, I see it 

manifestly broken, and, if I should seeke for example, you 

cannot but offend my eyes. For, if you examine the 

statuts exactly, a simple cote should be fitted to your 

backe, we shold bereueyou of your braueryej and examine 

30 your auncestry, and by profession, in respect of that 

statute, we should find you cater cosens with a, (but 

hush) you know my meaning: 1 must for pitie fauor your 

credit, in that you wcare once a scholler. 

Thomas Lodge 


[Lodge then refers briefly lo Gossan's attack on ' Carders, 
Dicers, Fencers, Bowlers, Daunsers, and Tomblers,' and 
closes his Defence wslh these words— '\ 

And because 1 think my selfe to haue sufEciently 
answered that I supposed, I conclude wyth this: Gods 
preserue our peaceable Princes, and confound her enemies : 
God enlarge her wiaedom, that hke Saba she may seeke 
after a Salomon : God confounds the imaginations of her 
enemies, and perfit his graces in her, that the daies of 
her rule may be continued in the bonds of peace, that the lo 
house of the chosen Isralites may be maynteyned in happi- 
nesse : lastly, I frendly bid Gosson farwell, wyshinge him 
to temper his penn with more discretion. 




^Lnrrnxs o.v KMFOxubii V!.ssiFYif/c. at.) 


[Letters I and 11, dated 5 [? 16J Oct. and 23 Oct. ^579 re- 
spectively, were printed at London in 1580 by H. Bynne- 
man, 'dwelling in Thames sireatc, necre unto Baynardes 
Castell,' and entitled Two other \ very commendable Letters ] 0/ 
the same mens wn'ling: | 6otA loucAing the foresaid \ Artificiall 
Versifying, and cet'^tatn other Particulars \ ] More lately de- 
liiiered vnio the \ Printer. The later letters, III nnd IV, 
dated April 1560, were printed earlier in the same year 
by the same printer, and, with a third (placed second 
in the book-order), constituted the Three Proper | and wittir 
familiar Letters : \ lately passed betweene two V-\niHersilie men: 
touching the Earth-\quake in Aprill last, and our \ EngliaM 
refourmed Versifying. | i IVith a Preface of a welt wilier to 
them bath. The second letter in the earlier publication, 
K which is omitted here, contains Gabriel Harvey's reflec- 
H tions on the recent earthquake. The text has-been copied 
V from the rare volume in the British Museum, C 40. d. 16, 
pp. 51 and 61 (I and 11), and pp. i and 31 (III and IV). 
The concluding extracts, which have a direct bearing on 
this correspondence, are from the Letter-Book of Gabriel 
Harvey (1573-1580) B. M. Sloane 93.] 

/'~'OOD Master G., I perceiue by your most curteous 

5 ^"^ and frendly Letters your gcx>d will to be no lessc 

in deed than I alwayes esteemed. In recompence wherot", 

88 Edmund Spenser 

think, I beseech you, that 1 wil spare neither speech 
wryting, nor aught else, whensoeuer and wheresoeuer 
occasion shal be offred me ; yea, I will not stay till it ' 
offred, but will seeke it in al that possibly I may. And 
that you may perceiue how much your Counsel in 
things preuaileth with me, and how altogither I am ruled 
and ouerruled thereby, I am nowe determined to alter 
mine owne former purpose, and to subscribe lo your 
aduizement, being notwithstanding resolued stil to abide 
your farther resolution. My principal doubts are these, lo 
First, I was minded for a while to haue intermitted the 
vttering of my writings, leaste, by ouermuch cloying their 
noble eares, I should gather a contempt of my self, or 
else seeme rather for gaine and commoditie to doe it, for 
some sweetnesse that 1 haue already tasted. Then also 15 
me seemeth the work too base for his excellent Lordship, 
being made in Honour of a priuate Personage vnknowne, 
which of some ylwillers might be vpbraided 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 Person- so 
age: or the like. The selfe former Title stil 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 aduice, I beeseeche 
you, without the leaste selfe loue of your own purpose, 35 
councell me for the beste : and the rather doe it falthfullye 
and carefully, for that in all things I attribute so muche 
to your iudgement, that I am euer more content to anni- 
hilate mine owne determinations in respecte thereof And 
indeede for your selfe to, it fitteth with you now to call 3" 
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 bote, it is good 
striking; and minds of Nobles varie as their Estates. 
Verum ne quid duriits. 35 

euer I 

t be I 

And I 

1 al 5 I 

uled I 

I L 


Of Reformed Versifying^ &c. 8g 

I pray you bethinke you well hereof, good Maister G., 
and forthwith write, me those two or three special points 
and caueats for the nonce, De quibus in superioribus iilis 
melliiissimis loHgtssimisque Litleris tuis. Your desire to 
5 heare of my late beeing with hir Maiestie muste dye in 
it selfe. As for the twoo worthy Gentlemen, Master 
Sidney and Master Dyer, they haue me, I thanke them, 
in some vse of familiarity; of whom, and to whome, what 
speache passeth for youre credite and estimation, I leaue 

lo your selfe to conceiue, hauing alwayes so well conceiued 
of my vnfained affection and zeale towardes you. And 
nowe they haue proclaimed in their cipeicu n-iiyui a generall 
surceasing and silence of balde Rymers, and also of the 
verie beste to : in steade whereof, they haue, by autho[ri]tie 

'5 of their whole Senate, prescribed certaine Lawes and 

rules of Quantities of English sillables for English Verse, 

hauing had thereof already greate practise, and drawen 

-mee to their faction. Ncwe 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 good- 
nesse of that nature to scorne. Suche follie is it not to 
regarde aforehande the inclination and qualitie of him 
to whome wee dedicate oure Bookes. Suche mighte 

"h I happily incurre, entituling my Slomber and the other 
Pamphlets vnto his honor. I meant them rather to 
Maister Dyer. But I am, of late, more in loue wyth 
my Englishe Versifying than with Ryming; whyche 
I should haue done long since, if I would then haue 

30 followed your councell. Sed te solum iam turn susfiicabar 
cum Aschamo sapere : nunc Aulam video egregios alere 
Poitas Anglicos. Maister E. K. hartily desireth to be 
commended vnto your Worshippe : of whome what 
accompte he maketh youre selfe shall hereafter perceiue, 

35 by hys paynefull and dutifull Verses of your selfe. 


go Edmund Spenser 

Thus much was written at Westminster yesternight; 
but comming this morning, beeyng the sixteenth of 
October, to Mystresse Kerkes, to haue it deliuered to the 
Carrier, I receyued youre letter, sente me the laste 
weeke ; whereby 1 perceiue you otherwhiles continue 5 
your old exercise of Versifying in English: whych glorie 
1 had now thought shoulde haue bene onely ours heere 
at London and the Court. 

Truste me, your Verses I Uke passingly well, and enuye 
your hidden paines in this kinde, or rather maligne and >' 
grudge at your selfe that would not once imparte so 
muche to me. But once or twice you make a breache 
in Maister Drants Rules: quod lanieii cotidonabimus 
tanto PoMae luaeque ipsius tnaximae in his rebus auloritati. 
You shall see when we meete in London {whiche, when it '. 
shall be, certifye vs) howe fast I haue followed after you 
in that Course: beware leastc in time I ouertake you. 
VeruHlamen le solum sequar (vl sacpenumero sum pro/essus), 
nunquam saue assequar dunt viuam. And nowe requite 
I you with the like, not with the verye beste, but ■ with ai 
the verye shortest, namely with a fewe lambickes: I dare 
warrant they be precisely perfect for the feele (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 j. 
keepe mine close to your selfe, or your verie entire 
friendes, Maister Preston, Maister Still, and the reste. 

Iambic urn Trimetrum, 
Vnhappie Verse, the witnesse of my vnhappie state, 
Make thy selfe flultring wings of thy fast flying ^i 

Thought, and fly forth vnto my Loue, whersoeuer 
she be: 
Whether lying reastlesse in heauy bedde, or else 

Sitting so cheerelesse at the cheerful! boorde, or else 


Of Reformed Versifying^ &c. 91 

PJaying alone carelesse on hir heauenlie Virginals. 
If in Bed, tell hir that my eyes can take no reste; 
If at Booi'de, tell hir that ray mouth can eate no 
meate ; 
S If at hir Virginals, tel hir I can heare no mirth. 
Asked why? say. Waking Loue sufTereth no sleepe; 
Say that raging Loue do the appall the weake 

stomacke ; 
Say that lamenting Loue marreth the Musicall. 
10 Tell hir that hir pleasures were wonte to lull me 
asleepe ; 
Tell hir that hir beautie was wonte to feede mine 

Tell hir that hir sweete Tongue was wonte to make 
15 me mirth. ' 

Nowe doe I nightly waste; wanting my kindely reste; 
Nowe do I dayly starue, wanting my liuely foodc; 
Nowe do I alwayes dye, wanting thy timely mirth. 
And if I waste, who will bewaile my heauy chaunce ? 
ao And if 1 starue, who will record my cursed end? 
And if I dye, who will saye, this was Immerilo? 

I thought once agayne here to haue made an ende, with 
a heartie Va/e of the best fashion ; but loe an ylfauoured 
myschaunce. My last farewell, whereof I made great 

35 accompt, and muche maruelled you shoulde make no 
mention thereof, I am nowe tolde (in the Diuels name) 
was thorough one mans negligence quite forgotten, but 
shoulde nowe vndoubtedly haue beene sent, whether 
I hadde come or no. Being it can now be no otherwise, 

30 I pray you take all togicher, wyCh all their faultes : and 
nowe I hope you will vouchsafe mee an answeare of the 
largest size, or else I tell you true you shall bee verye 
deepe in my debte, notwythstandyng thys other sweete 
but shorte letter, and fine but fewe Verses, But I woulde 


92 Edmund Spenser 

rather I might yet see youre owne good selfe, and receiuc 
a Reciprocall farewell from your owne sweete mouth. 

Ad OmaUssinsum virum, tnultis iamdiu ttomintbus da- 
risstmtim, G. H. Immerito sui mox in Gatlias nauigaluri 

[Here follow 114 lines of Latin verse.'] 
I was minded also to haue sent you some English 
verses, or Rymes, for a farewell; but, by my Troth, 
I haue no spare time in the world to thinke on such 
Toyes, that you knowe will demaund a freer head than 10 
mine is presently. I beseeche you by all your Curtesies 
and Graces let me be answered ere I goe: which will be, 
(I hope, I feare, I thinke) the next weeke, if I can be 
dispatched of my Lorde, I goe thither, as sent by him, 
and maintained most what of him : and there am to employ 15 
my time, my body, my minde, to his Honours seniice. 
Thus, with many superhartie Commendations and Recom- 
mendations to your selfe and all my friendes with you, 
I ende my last farewell, not thinking any more to write 
vnto you before I goe; and withall committing to your »o 
faithful! Credence the eternall Memorie of our euerlasting 
friendship, the inuiolable Memorie of our vnspotled friend- 
ahippe, the sacred Memorie of our vowed friendship, 
which 1 beseech you Continue with vsuall writings, as 
you may ; and of all things let me heare some Newes from 05 
you, as gentle M. Sidney, I thanke his good Worship, 
hath required of me, and so promised to doe againe. Qui 
tnonel, vt facias, qitod iam facis ; you knowe the rest. You 
may alwayes send them most safely to me by Mistresse 
Kkrke, and by none other. So once againe, and yet 30 
once more, farewell most hartily, mine owne good 
Master H. and loue me, as 1 loue you, and thinke vpon 
poore Immerito, as he thinketh vppon you. 

Leycester House. This 5 [? 16] of October 1579. 

Per mare, per terras, Viuus mortuusque, Tuus Immerito. 35 


Of Reformed Versifying, Gtc. 93 




Ld>eralissimo Signor Jmmerito, in good soothe my poore 
Storehouse will presently aHburd me nothing, cither to 
S recompence or counterualle your gentle Masterships long, 
lar^e, lauish, Luxurious, Laxatiue Letters withal) (now, 
a Gods name, when did 1 euer in my life hunt the Letter 
before ? but, belike, theres no remedie ; I must needes 
be euen with you once in my dayes), but only, forsoothe, 

10 a fewe MiUions of Recommendations and a running 
Coppie of the Verses enclosed. Which Verses [extra 
iocum) are so well done in Latin by two Doctors, and 
so well Translated into English by one odde Gentleman, 
and generally so well allowed of all that chaunced to haue 

'5 the perusing of them, that, trust mee, G, H. was at the 
first hardly intreated to shame himselfe, and, truely, now 
blusheth to see the first Letters of his name stande so 
neere their Names, as of necessitie they must. You know 
the Greeke prouerb, irop^i'pa trtfH. rapi^vpay hiaKpniu, and 

oo many colours (as in a manner euery thing else), that 
seuerally by themselues seeme reasonably good and 
freshe ynough, beyng compared and ouermatched wyth 
their betters are maruellously disgraced, and, as it were, 
dashed quite oute of Countenaunce. I am at this instant 

■3 very busilye and hotly employed in certaine greate and 
serious affayres: whereof, notwithstanding {for all youre 
vowed and long experimented secrecie), you are not like 
to heare a worde more at the moste, till I my selfe see 
a World more at the leaste. And, therefore, for this once 

30 I beseech you (notwithstanding your greate expectation of 
1 knowe not what Volumes for an aunsweare) content your 
good selfe with these Presentes (pardon me, I came lately 

94 Gabriel Harvey 

out of a Scriueners shop) and, in lieu of many gentle 
Farewels and goodly Godbewyes at your departure, 
gyue me once againe leaue to playe the Counsaylour 
a while, if it be but to iustifie your liberall Mastershippes, 
Nasfri Calo maxt'me saedi: and I coniure you by the 5 
Contents of the Verses and Rymes enclosed, and by al 
the good and bad Spirites that attende vpon the Authors 
themselues, immediatly vpon the contemplation thereof 
to abandon all other fooleries, and honour Vertue, the 
onely immortall and suruiuing Accident amongst so manye m 
mortall and euer-perishing Substaunces. As I strongly 
presume, so good a Texte, so clearkly handeled by three 
so famous Doctours, as olde Maister Wythipole and 
the other two bee, may easily and will fully perswade you, 
howsoeuer you tush at the fourths vnsutable Paraphrase. 15 
But a worde or two to your large, lauishe, laxatiue 
letters, and then for thys time Adieu. Of my credite, 
youre doubtes are not so redoubted as youre selfe ouer 
suspiciously imagine ; as I purpose shortely to aduize you 
more at large. Your hotte yron is so hotte that it aa 
striketh race to the hearte; I dare not come neare to 
strike it. The Tyde tarryeth no manne, but manye a good 
manne is fayne to tarry the Tyde. And I knowe some, 
whyche coulde be content to bee theyr own Caruers, that 
are gladde to thanke other for- theyr courtesie. But aj 
Beggars, they saye, must be no choosers. 

Your new-founded ^lov iniyov I honoure more than you 
will or can suppose, and make greater accompte of the 
twoo worthy Gentlemenne than of two hundreth Dionisii 
Areopagilae, or the verye notablest Senatours that euer 30 
Athens dydde affourde of that number. 

Your Englishe Trifnelra I like better than perhappes 
you will easily beleeue, and am to requite them wyth 
better, or worse, at more conuenient leysure. Marry, you 
must pardon me, I finde not your warrant so sufficiently 35 


Of Reformed Versifying, Gfc. 95 

good and substauntiall in Lawe that it can persuade me 
they are all so precisely perfect for the feete, as your 
selfe ouer-partially weene and ouer-confidently auouchc: 
especiallye the thirde, whyche hathe a foote more than 
5 a Lowce {a wonderous deformitie in a righte and pure 
Senahie), and the sixte, whiche is also in the same 
Predicament, vnlesse happly one of the feete be sawed 
off wyth a payre of Syncopes : and then shouide the 
Orthographic haue testified so nmche ; and, in steade 

10 of HeaulnH VirgJnSis, you should haue written Heaanfi 
Virgnals, and Virgnals againe in the ninth, and should 
haue made a Curtoll of Immirilo in the laste: being all 
notwithstandyng vsuall, and tollerable ynoughe, in a mixte 
and licentious Iambickc: and of two euilles better (no 

15 doubte) the fyrste than the laste, a thyrde superfluous 
sitlablc than a dull Spondee. Then me thinketh you 
haue in my fancie somwhat too many Spondees beside : 
and whereas Trochee sometyme presumelh in the firste 
place, as namely in the second Verse, Make iky, whyche 

aa thy by youre Maistershippes owne authoritie muste needes 
be shorte, I shall be faine to supplye the office of the 
Arte Memoratiue, and putte you in minde of a pretty 
Fable in Abstemio the Italian, implying thus much, or 
rather thus little, in effect, 

as A certaine lame man, beyng inuited to a solerapne 
Nuptiall Feaste, made no more adoe, but sate me hym 
roundlye downe foremoste at the hyghest ende of the Table. 
The Master of the feast, suddainly spying his presumption, 
and hansomely remoouing him from thence, placed me 

30 this haulting Gentleman belowe at the nether end of the 
bourd ; alledging for his defence the common verse 
Sedes nulla datur praeterquam sexta Trockaeo, and 
pleasantly alluding to this foote, which, standing vppon 
two syllables, the one long, the other short (much like, 

35 of a like, his guestes feete), ia alwayes thrust downe to the 

96 Gabriel Harvey 

Isst place in a true Hexameter, and quite thrust out of 
doores in a pure and iust Senarie. Nowe, Syr, what 
thinke you I began to thinke with my selfe, when I began 
to reade your warrant first, so boldly and venterously 
set downe in so formall and autentique wordes as these, 5 
Precisely perfit, and not an inch from the Rule? 
Ah Syrrha, and lesu Lord, thought 1, haue we at the 
last gotten one, of whom his olde friendes and Companions 
may iustly glory In eo solum peccal, quod nihil peccat, 
ajid that is yet more exacte and precise in his English lo 
Comicall lambickes than euer M. Watson himselfe 
was in his Latin Tragicall lambickes, of whom M. Asckam ' 
reporteth that he would neuer to this day suffer his famous 
Absolon to come abrode, onely because Anapaestus in iocis 
paribus is twice or thrice vsed in steade of Iambus ? A 15 
small fault, ywisse, and such a one, in M. Aschams owne 
opinion, as perchaunce would neuer haue beene espyed, 
no neither in Ilafy nor in Fraunce. But when I came to 
the curious scanning and fingering of euery foote and 
syllable : So here, quoth I, M. Watsons Anapaestus for ao 
all the worlde : A good horse, that trippeth not once in 
a iourney: and M. Ihuerito doth but as M. Watson, 
and in a manner all other lambici haue done before him : 
marry, he might haue spared his preface, or, at the least, 
that same restrictiue and streightlaced terme Precisely, 35 
and all had been well enough : and 1 assure you, of my 
selfe, I beleeue, no peece of a fault marked at all. But 
this is the Effect of warrantes, and perhappes the Errour 
may rather proceede of his Master M. Drantes Rule 
than of himselfe. Howsoeuer it is, the matter is not 30 
great, and I alwayes was, and will euer continue, of this 
Opinion, Pauca multts condonanHa vilia Viriutibus, 
especially these being no Vilia neither, in a common 
and licencious Iambicke. Verum ista obiter, non quidem 
contradicendi animo aut etiam corrigendi mihi credc : scd 3$ 


Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 97 

nostra iUo Academico, pristittoque more raiioa'nandi. And, 
to saye tnieth, partely too to requite your gentle courtesie 
in beginning to me, and noting 1 knowe not what breache 
in your gorbellyed Maisters Rules: which Rules go for 

5 good, I perceiue, and keepe a Rule, where there be no 
better in presence. My selfe neither sawe them, nor heard 
of them before, and therefore will neither praise them, 
nor dispraise them nowe; but, vppon the suruiewe of 
them and farther conference (both which I desire), you 

10 shall soone heare one mans opinion too or fro. Your 
selfe remember 1 was wonte to haue some preiudice of 
the man ; and I still remaine a fauourer of his deserued 
and iust commendation. Marry in these poyntes, you 
knowe, Partiautie in no case may haue a foote: and 

15 you remember mine olde Stoicall exclamation, Fie on 


OF scHOOLE MATTERS- This I Say, because you charge 
me with an vnknowne authoritie, which, for aught I know 
yet, may as wel be either vnsuiEcient or faultie as other- 

ao wise ; and I dare more than halfe promise (I dare not 
saye warrant) you shall alwayes in these kinde of con- 
trouersies finde me nighe hande answerable in mine owne 
defence. Reliqua omnia quae de hac supersunt AngUcorum 
versuum ralione in aliud tempus reseruabimus ofiosum 

33 magis. Youre Latine farewell is a goodly braue yonkerlj 
peece of work, and, Goddilge yee, I am alwayes maruellously 
beholding vnto you for your bountifull Titles: I hope by 
that time I haue been i^esldent a yeare or twoo in Italy 
I shall be better qualifyed in this kind, and more able to 

30 requite your lauishe and magnificent liberahtie that way. 
. , . Trinitie Hall, stil in my Gallerie, 23 Octob. 1579. 
In haste. 

Yours, as you knowe, 
G. H. 

Edmund Spenser 



Good Master H. I doubt not but you haue some great 
important matter in hande, which al this while restraineth 
youre Penne and wonted readinesse in prouoking me vnto 
that wherein your selfe nowe faulte. If there bee any 
such thing in hatching, I pray you hartily lette vs Ifnowe 5 
before al the worlde see it. But if happly you dwell 
altogither in lustinians Courte, and giue your selfe to 
be deuoured of secreate Studies, as of all likelyhood you 
doe, yet at least imparte some your olde or newe, Latine 
or Englishe, Eloquent and Gallant Poesies to vs, from 10 
whose eyes, you saye, you keepe in a manner nothing 
hidden. Little newes is here stirred : but that olde greate 
matter still depending. His Honoure neuer better. I 
thinke the Earthquake was also there wyth you {which 
I would gladly learne) as it was here with vs, ouerthrow- 15. 
ing diuers old buildings and peeces of Churches. Sure 
verye straunge to be hearde of in these Countries, and 
yet I heare some saye (1 knowe not howe truely) that 
they haue knowne the like before in their dayes. Sed 
quid vobis videlur magnis Philosopkis ? I like your late "o 
English Hexameters so exceedingly well that I also 
enure my Penne sometime in that kind: whyche I fynd 
indeede, as I haue heard you often defende in worde, 
neither so harde, nor so harshe, that it will easily and 
fairely yeelde it selfe to oure Moother tongue. For the "S 
onely or chiefest hardnesse, whych seemeth, is in the 
Accente ; whyche sometime gapeth, and, as it were, yawneth 
ilfauouredly, comming shorte of that it should, and some- 
time exceeding the measure 0/ the Number, as in Car- 
penter the middle sillable, being vsed shorte in speach) 

Car- i 
ache, 3^ 

Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 99 

when it shall be read long in Verse, seemeth like a lame 
Gosling that draweth one legge after hir : and Heauen, 
beeing vsed shorte as one sillable, when it is in Verse 
stretched out with a Diastole, is like a lame Dogge that 
5 holdes vp one legge. But it is to be wonne with Custome, 
and rough words must be subdued with Vse. For why, 
a Gods name, may not we, as else the Greekes, haue the | 
kingdome of oure owne Language, and measure our Ac- 
centes by the sounde, reseruing the Quantitie to the 
■o Verse? Loe, here I let you see my olde vse of toying 
in Rymes turned into your artificial straightnesse of 
Verse by this Tetrasticon. I beseech you tell me your 
fancie without parcialitie. 

See yee the blindefoulded pretie God, that feathered 

15 Of Louers Miseries which maketh his bloodie Game? 
Wote ye why his Moother with a Veale hath coouered 

his Face ? 
Trust me, least he my Looue happely chaunce to 


Seeme they comparable to those two, which I translated 
you ex tempore in bed, the last time we lay togither in 
ao Westminster ? 

That which I eate did I ioy, and that which I greedily 

As for those many goodly matters leaft I for others. 

I would hartily wish you would either send me the Rules 
and Precepts of Arte, which you obserue in Quantities, 
as or else followe mine, that M. Philip Sidney gaue me, 
being the very same which M. Drant deuised, but enlarged 
with M. Sidneys own iudgement, and augmented with my 
Obseruations, that we might both accorde and agree in 
one, leaste we ouerthrowe one an other and be ouerthrown 


Mpo Edmund Spenser 

of the rest. Truste me, you will hardly beleeue what 
greate good liking and estimation Maister Dyer had of 
youre Satyricall Verses, and I, since the viewe thereof, 
hailing before of my selfe had speciall liking of Englishe 
Versifying, am euen nowe aboute to giue you some token, 5 
and howe well therein I am able to doe : for, to tell you 
trueth, I minde shorteiy at conuenient leysure to sette 
forth a Booke in this kinde, whyche I entitle Epithalamioit 
Thamesis, whyche Booke I dare vndertake wil be very 
profitable for the knowledge and rare for the Inuention i» 
and manner of handling. For in setting forth the marriage 
of the Thames I shewe his first beginning and offspring, 
and all the Countrey that he passeth thorough, and also 
describe all the Riuers throughout England e whyche 
came to this Wedding, and their righte names, and right 15 
passage, &c, A worke, beleeue me, of much labour, 
wherein notwithstanding Master Holinshed hath muche 
furthered and aduantaged me, who therein hath bestowed 
singular paines in searching oute their firste heades and 
sources, and also in tracing and dogging oute all their 
course til they fall into the Sea. 

Tite, siquid ego, 
Ecquid erit pretti? 

But of that more hereafter, Nowe, my Dreames and 
Dying Peltkane being fully finished (as I partelye signl- aj 
fied in my laste Letters) and presentlye to bee imprinted, 
I wil in hande forthwith with my Faery Queene, whyche 
I praye you hartily send me with al expedition ; and your 
frendly Letters and long expected ludgement wythal, 
whyche let not be shorte, but in all pointes suche as you 
ordinarilye vse and I extraordinarily desire, Multum vale. 
Westminster, Quarto Nonas Aprilis 1580. Sed, amabo te, 
meuin Corculim tibi se ex animo commendat plurimtim : 
tarn diu mirata, te nihil ad literas suas responsi dedisse. 

Of Reformed Varsifymg, &c. loi 

Vide qitaeso, ne id ttbi Capitals sit : Mihi eerie qtiidem eril, 
neqiie libt hercle impune, vt opitior, iletTim vale, el guaiit 
voles saepe. 

Yours alwayes to commaunde, 

5 Immerito. 


"• FYING. 

To my very friend M. Immerito. 

Signor Immerito, to passe ouer youre needelesse com- 
plaint, wyth the residue of your preamble (for of your 
Earthquake I presuppose you haue ere (.hfe receyued 

15 my goodly discourse), and withall to let my late Englishe 
Hexametres goe as lightlye as they came, I cannot 
choose but thanke and honour the good Aungell (whether 
it were Gabriell or some other) that put so good a motion 
into the heads of those two excellent Gentlemen Mr. 

=° Sidney and M. Dyer, the two very Diamondes of hir 
Maiesties Courte for many speciall and rare qualities, 
as to helpe forwarde our new famous enterprise for the 
Exchanging of Barbarous and Balductum Rymes with 
Artificial Verses, the one being in manner of pure and 

35 fine Goulde, the other but counterfet and base ylfauoured 
Copper. I doubt not but their liuelie example and Prac- 
tise wil preuaile a thousand times more in short space 
than the dead Aduertizement and persuasion of M. Ascham 



Gabriel Harvey 

' to the same Effecte, whose Scholemaister, notwith- 
standing, I reuerenj:e in respect of so learned a Motiue. 
1 would gladly be acquainted with M. Drants Prosodye, 
and I beseeche you coramende me to good M. Sidneys 
iudgement, and gentle M. Immeritos Obseruations. I 5 
hope your nrxte Letters, which I daily expect, wil bring 
me in farther familiaritie and acquaintance with al three. 
Mine owne Rules and Precepts of Arte I beleeue wil fal 
out not greatly repugnant, though peraduenture somewhat 
different : and yet I am not so resolute but I can be lo 
content to reserue the Coppying out and publishing 
thereof vntil I haue a little better consulted with my 
pillowe, and taken some farther aduize of Madame 
Sperienza. In the meane, take this for a general 
Caueat, and say I haue reuealed one great myslerie is 
vnto you : I am of Opinion there is no one more regular 
and iustifiable direction, eyther for the assured and in- 
fallible Certaintie of our English Artificiall Prosodye 
particularly, or generally to bring our Language into 
Arte and to frame a Grammer or Rhetorike thereof, ao 
than first of all vniuersally to agree vpon one and the 
SAME Ortographie, in all pointes conformable and pro- 
portionate to our Common Natural Prosodve. Whether 
Sir Thomas Smithes in that respect be the most perfit, 
as surely it must needes be very good ; or else some aj 
other of profounder Learning and longer Experience 
than Sir Thomas was, shewing by necessarie demon- 
stration wherin he is defectiue, wil vndertake shortely to 
supplie his wantes and make him more absolute; my 
selfe dare not hope to hoppe after him, til I see something 30 
or other, too or fro, publickely and autentically established, 
as it were by a generall Counsel or acte of Parliament : 
and then peraduenture, standing vppon firmer grounde, 
for Companie sake, I may aduenture to do as other do. 
Interim, credit me, 1 dare geue no Preceptes, nor set 35 

Of Reformed Versifying^ &c. 103 

downe any Certaine General Arte; and yet see my 
boldenesae. I am not greatly squaJmishe of ray Par- 
ticular Examples, whereas he that can but reasonably 
skil of the one wil giue easily a shreude gesse at the 
3 other, considering that the one felcheth his original and 
offspring from the other. In which respecte, to say troth, 
WE Beginners haue the start and aduantage of our Fol- 
lowers, who are to frame and conforme both their Exam- 
ples and Precepts according to that President which they 

TO haue of vs : as no doubt Homer or some other in Greeke, 
and Enkius or I know not who else in Laline, did preiu- 
dice and ouerrule those that followeth them, as well for 
the quantities of syllables as number of feete, and the 
like : their onely Examples going for current payment, 

15 and standing in steade of Lawes and Rules with the pos- 
teritie. In so much that it seemed a sufficient warrant 
(as still it doth in our Common Grammer Schooles) to 
make n in n/i^ and v in Vmis long, because the one hath 
Tt/t^ S' Ik Sid« Imi and the other Vnus homo nobis, and so 

Ko consequently in the rest. But to let this by-disputation 
passe, which is already so througlily discoursed and can- 
uassed of the best Philosophers, and namely Aristotle, 
that poynt vs, as it were with the forefinger, to the very 
FOUNTAiNES AND HEAD SPRINGES of Artcs and Artificiall 

aa preceptes, in the Analitiques and Metaphysikes: most 

excellently set downe in these foure Golden Termes, 

the famoussest Termes to speake of in all Logique and 

PhiloSOPHIE, i/j/rrtipia, itrropia, a.i<r6r}irii, iirayjyy^. 

Shall I nowe by the way sende you a Ianuarie gift 

30 in Aprill, and, as it were, shewe you a Christmas 
Gambowlde after Easter? Were the manner so very 
fine, as the matter is very good, I durst presume of an 
other kinde of Plaudite and Cramercie than now I will 
but, being as it is, I beseeche you set parciahtie aside, and 

35 tell me your maisterships fancie. 


Gabriel Harvey 

JA New yeeres Gift to my old friend Maister 
George Bilchauncer: in commendation of three 
MOST PRECIOUS AcciDENTES, Vertve, Fame, and 
Wealth', and finally of the fourth, a good 

ToiKVE. S 

to Renowne ; Far 


Vertue sendeth a i 

Aboundaunce ; 
Fame with Aboundaunce maketh a man thrise blessed 

and happie ; 
So the Rewarde of Famous Vertue makes many 

And the Regard of Wealthie Vertue makes many 

O blessed Vertue, blessed Fame, blessed Aboundaunce, jo 
O that I had you three, with the losse of thirtie 

Nowe farewell Mistresse, whom lately I loued aboue all. 
These be my three bonny lasses, these be my three 

bonny Ladyes; 
Not the like Trinilic againe, saue onely the Trinitie 

aboue ail : 
Worship and Honour first to the one and then to 15 

the other. 
A thousand good leaues be for euer graunted Agrippa, 
For squibbing and declayming against many fruitlesse 
Aries and Craftes, deuisde by the Diuls and Sprites 

for a torment 
And for a plague to the world ; as both- Pandora, 

And that cursed good bad Tree can testifie at all times : 20 
Meere Gewegawes and Babies, in comparison of these, 
Toyes to mock Apes and Woodcockes, in comparison 

of these, 
lugling castes and knicknackes, in comparison of these. 



Of Refonned Versifying, &■€. 105 

Yet behinde there is one thing, worth a prayer at all 

A good Tongue in a mans Head, A good Tongue in 

a woomans. 
And what so precious matter and foode for a good 

As blessed Vertue, blessed Fame, blessed Aboundaunce. 


Maruell not that I meane to send these Verses at 

On Neweyeeres Euen, and OMyeeres End, as a 

Memento : 
Trust me, I know not a richer lewell, newish or oldish. 
Than blessed Vertue, blessed Fame, blessed Abundaunce. 

O blessed Vertue, blessed Fame, blessed Aboundaunce, 
O that you had these three, with the losse of Fortie 

1 Valetes. 

I He Ikai wisketh you may Hue to see a hundrelk 

I Good Newe yeares, euery one happier and merrier 

ihan other, 

s Now to requite your Blindfolded pretie God (wherin 
by the way 1 woulde gladly learne why The in the first. 
Ye in the first and thirde. He and My in the last, being 
shorte, Me alone should be made longer in the very 
same). Imagin me to come into a goodly Kentishe Garden 

o of your old Lords, or some other Noble man, and, spying 
a florishing Bay Tree there, to demaunde ex tempore as 
followeth. Thinke vppon Petrarches 
Arbor vi'ltoriosa, trionfale, 
Onor dimperadori e di Poeti, 

i and perhappes it will aduance the wynges of your Imagi- 
nation a degree higher: at the least if any thing can be 

io6 Gabriel Harvey 

added to the loflinesse of his conceite, who[m] gentle Mis- 
tresse Rosaiinde once reported to haue all the Intelli- 
gences at commaundement, and an other time christened 
her Segnior Pegaso. 

Encomium Lauri. s 

What might I call this Tree ? A Laurell ? O bonny 

Laurell : 
Needes to thy bowes will 1 bow this knee, and vayle 

my bonetto. 
Who, but thou, the renowne of Prince and Princely 

Th'one for Crowne, for Gariand ih' other thanketh 

Thrice happy Daphne, that turned was to the Bay '" 

Whom such seruauntes serue, as challenge seruice of 

all men. 
Who chiefe Lorde, and King of Kings, but th' Em- 

perour only ? 
And Poet of right stampe ouerawith th' Emperour 

Who but knowes Aretyne, was he not halfe Prince 

to the Princes? 
And many a one there Hues, as nobly minded at all 15 

Now farewell Bay Tree, very Quecne, and Goddesse 

of all trees, 
Ritchest perle to the Crowne, and fayrest Floure to 

the Garland ! 
Faine wod I craue, might I so presume, some farther 

aquaintaunce ; 
O that I might? but 1 may not: woe to my destinie 




Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 107 

Trust me, not one more loyall seruaunt longes to thy 

But what says Dafihtie? Noh omni donnio, worse 

Yet Farewell, Farewell, the Reward of those tha' I 

honour : 
Glory to Garden: Glory to Musts: Glory to Verhie. 
5 Partitn lout et Palladi, 

Partim Apolb'm et Musis. 

But seeing I must needes beuray my store, and set open 
my shoppe wyndowes, nowe I pray thee, and coniure thee 
by all thy amorous Regardes and Exorcismes of Loue, 

10 call a Parliament of thy Sensible and Intelligible powers 
together, and tell me, in Tom Trothes earnest, what // 
fecondo &• famoso Poela Mester Immerito sayih to 
this bolde Satyri[c]al] Libell, lately deuised at the instaunce 
of a certayne worshipfull Hartefordshyre Gentleman of 

15 myne olde acquayntaunce in Gratiam quorundam IIlu- 
strium Anglofrancitalorum, hie et ubique apud nos volilan- 
Hum. Agedum vera, nosli homines, fanquam tuam ipsius 

Speculum Tuscanismi. 

Since Galako came in and Tuscanisnte gan vsurpe, 
ao Vanitie aboue all, Villame next her, Slatelynes Em- 

presse ; 
No man but Minion, Stowte Lowte, Plaine swayne, 

quoth a Lording : 
No wordes but valorous, no workes but woomanish onely. 
For life Magnificoes, not a beck but glorious in shew. 
In deede most friuolous, not a looke but Tuscanish 

alwayes : 
as His cringing side necke, Eyes ghuneing, Fisnamie 


io8 Gabriel Harvey 

With forefinger kisse, and braue embrace to the foote- 

Lai^ebelled Kodpeas'd Dublet, vnkodpeased halfe hose, 
Straite to the dock, like a shirte, and close to the 

britch, like a diueling, 
A little Apish Hatte, cowched fast to the pate, like an 

French Camarick Ruffes, deepe with a witnesse, 

starched to the purpose; s 

Euery one A per se A; his termes and brau'eries in 

Delicate in speacH, queynle in araye, conceited in all 

poyntes : 
In Courtly guyles a passing singular odde man ; 
For Gallantes a braue Myrrour, a Primerose of 

Honour ; 
A Diamond for nonce, a fellowe perelesse in England. lo 
Not the like Dt'scourser for Tongue and head to be 

found out, 
Not the like resolute Man for great and serious 

Not the like Lynx to spie out secretes and priuilies 

of States, 
Eyed like to Argus, Earde like lo Midas, Nosd like 

to Naso, 
Winged like to Mercury, fittst of a Thousand for to is 

be employde : 
This, nay more than this, dolh practise of Italy in one 

None doe I name, but some doe I know, that a pecce 

of a tweluemonth 
Hath so perfited, outly and inlj', both body, both soule, 
That none for sense, and senses, halfe matchable with 

A Vulturs smelling, Apes lasting, sight of an Eagle, 



Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 109 

A spiders touching, Harles hearing, might of a Lyon, 
Compoundes of wisedome, witte, prowes, bountie, be- 

All gallant Vertues, all qualities of body and soule : 
O thrice tenne hundreth times blessed and happy, 
5 Blessed and happy Trauaile, Trauailer most blessed 
and happy, 

Penalibus Hetruscis laribttsque nastris 

Tell me, in good sooth, doth it not too euidently appeare 
that this English Poet wanted but a good patterne before 

"> his eyes, as it might be some delicate and choyce elegant 
Poesie of good M, Sidney or M. Dyers (ouer very Castor 
and Pollux for such and many greater matters) when Ihis 
trimme geere was in hatching : Much like some Gentle- 
wooMEN 1 coulde name in England, who by all Phisick and 

15 Physiognomic too might as well haue brought forth all 
goodly faire children, as they haue now some ylfauored 
and deformed, had they, at the tyme of their Co^■CEPTlON, 
had in sight the amiable and gallant beautifull Pictures of 
Adonis, Cupido, Ganymedes, or the like, which no doubt 

ao would haue wrought such deepe impression in their 
fantasies and imaginations, as their children, and per- 
happes their Childrens children too, myght haue thanked 
them for as long as they shall haue Tongues in their 

as But myne owne leysure fayleth me, and, to say troth, 
1 am lately become a raaruellous great straunger at i.iyne 
olde MisTREssE Poetries, being newly entertayned and 
dayly employed in our Emperour Iustinians seruice 
(sauing that 1 haue alreadie addressed a certaine pleasur- 

30 able, and Morall, Politique, Naturall, mixte deuise to his 
most Honourable Lordshippe in the same kynde, where- 
vnto my next Letter, if you please mee well, may per- 


no Gabriel Harvey 

chaunce make you priuie) : marrie nowe, if it lyke you in 
the meane while, for varietie sake, to see howe I taske 
a young Brother of myne (whom of playne Iohn our 
Italian Maister hath Cristened his Picdolo GiouanHtbat- 
lista), Lo here (and God will) a peece of hollydayes 5 
exercise. In the mqming I gaue him this Theame out of 
OuiD to translate, and varie after his best fashion, 

Dunt fueris felix, mullos numerabis amicos ; 
Tempora si fuerint ttubi/a, solus eris. 

Aspkis, vt vetiiant ad candida tecla columbae? lo 

Accipiat ttuUas sordida turris aues. 

His translation, or rather Paraphrase, before dinner was 
Urst this : 


Whilst your Bearnes are fatte, whilst Cofers stuff'd 
with aboundaunce, 

Freendes will abound : If beame waze bare, then "5 
adieu sir a Goddes name. 

See ye the Dooues ? they breede, and feede in gor- 
geous Houses : 

Scarce one Dooue doth loue to remaine in ruinous 

And then forsooth this, to make proofe of his facultie 
in Pentameters too, affecting a certain Rilhntus withall : 

Whilst your Ritches abound, your friends will play the » 

Placeboes ; 
If your wealth doe decay, friend, like a feend, will away. 
Dooues light and delight in goodly fairetyled houses : 
If your House be but olde, Dooue to remoue be ye 




Of Reformed Versifying, &c. iii 

And the last and largest of all, this : 

If so be goods encrease, then dayly encreaseth a goods 

If so be goods decrease, then straite decreaseth a 

goods friend, 
Then G[o]od night goods friend, who seldome prooueth 

a good friend, 
s Giue me the goods, and giue me the good friend ; take 

ye the goods friend, 
Douehouse and Louehouse in writing differ a letter; 
In deede scarcely so much, so resembleth an other an 

Tyle me the Doouehouse trimly, and gallant : where 

the like storehouse? 
Tyle me the Doouehouse ; leaue it vnhansome ; where 

the like poorehouse ? 
TO Looke to the Louehouse ; where the resort is, there 

is a gaye showe : 
Gynne port and mony fayle, straight sports and Com- 

panie faileth. 

Beleeue me I am not to be charged with aboue one or 
two of the Verses, and a foure or fiue wordes in the rest. 
His afternoones Theame was borrowed out of him, whom 
IS one in your Coate, they say, is as much beholding vnto as 
any Planet or Starre in Heauen is vnto the Sunne, and 
is quoted, as your self best remember, in the Close of your 

Giunto Alessandro a\l\la fantosa lomba 
as Del fero Achille, sospirando disse, 

O foriunalo, che si cht'ara trotnba 
^ Trouasti. 

Within an houre, or there aboutes, he brought me these 

112 Gabriel Harvey 

foure lustie Hexameters, altered since not past in a worde 
or two. 

Noble Alexander, when he came to the tombe of 

Sighing spake with a bigge voyce ; O thrice blessed 

That such a Trump, so great, so loude, so glorious 5 

hast found, 
As the renowned and surprizing Arckpoet Homer. 

Vppon the viewe whereof : Ah my Syrrha, quoth I, here 
is a gallant exercise for you in deede : we haue had 
a little prettie Iriall of you[r] Latin and Italian Transla- 
tion : Let me see now, I pray, wtiat you can doo in your to 
owne Tongue. And with that, reaching a certaine famous 
Booke, called the newe Shephardes Calender, I turned 
to WiLLYES and TuoMALiNS Emblemes, in Marche, and 
bad him make them eyther better or worse in English 
verse. I gaue him an other howres respite ; but, before 15 
I looked for him, he suddainely rushed vpon me, and gaue 
me his deuise, thus formally set downe in a faire peece of 

I. Thomalins Embleme. 
Of Honny and of Gaule in Loue there is store : so 

The Honny is much, but the Gaule is more. 

2. Willyes Embleme. 
To be wize, and eke to Loue, 1 

Is graunted scarce to Cod aboue. | 

3. Both combined in one. 3 

Loue is a thing more fell, than full of Gaule, than of 

And to be wize, and Loue, is a worke for a God, or 

a Goddes peere. 



Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 113 

With a small voluntarie Supplement of his owne, on 
the other side, in commendation of hir most gratious and 
thrice excellent Maiestie : 

Not the like Virgin againe, in Asia, or Afric, or 
5 For Royall Vertues, for Maiestie, Bountie, Behauiour. 
Raptim, vii vides. 

In both not passing a worde or two corrected by mee, 
Something more I haue of his, partly that very day begun, 
and partly continued since : but yet not so perfitly finished 
that I dare committe the viewe and examination thereof 

10 to Messer Immeritoes Censure, whom after those same 
tWo incomparable and myraculous Gemini, omni excepiione 
maiores, I recount and chaulk vppe in the Catalogue of 
our very principal! EngUshe Aristarchi, Howbeit, I am 
nigh halfe perswaded that in tyme (siqutdem vlUma pritnis 

IS respondeant) for length, bredth, and depth it will not come 
far behinde your Epilhalamion Tkamesis : the rather, hau- 
ing so fayre a president and patterne before his Eyes as 
I warrant him, and he presumeth, to haue of that : both 
Master Collinshead and M. Hoi-li[njShead too being 

30 togither therein. But euer and euer, me thinkes, your 
great Catoes, Ecquid erit prelii, and our little Catoes, 
Res age quae prosunt, make suche a buzzing and ringing in 
my head, that I haue little ioy to animate and encourage 
either you or him to goe forward, vnlesse ye might make 

"5 account of some certaine ordinarie wages, at the leastwise 
haue your meate and drinke for your dayes workes. As 
for my selfe, howsoeuer I haue toyed and trifled hereto- 
fore, I am nowe taught, and I trust I shall shortly learne 
(no remedie, 1 must of meere necessitie giue you ouer in 

30 the playne fielde) to employ my trauayle and tyme wholly, 
or chiefely, on those studies and practizes that carrie, as 
they saye, meate in their mouth, hauing euerraore their 



1X4 Cabrvi Harvey 

I tyc vppon tbe Title D€ pane huroMdo, and their hand 
j vpon their halfpenny. For, I pray now, viat saith 

H. CuDOiE, aiias you know vriio, in the tenth £glogi;e of 

tbe foresaid famous new Calender : 

Piers, I haue piped erst so long with payne, 5 

That all myne oten reedes been rent and wore. 
And ray poore Muse hath spent hir spared stor^ 
Yet little good hath got, and much lesse gayne. 
Such pleasaunce makes the Grashopper so poore, 
And ligge so layde, when winter doth her strayne. m 
TTic Dapper Ditties, that 1 woont deuize 
To feede youthes fancie, and the flocking fiy, 
Delighten much: what I the belt for-thy? 
They han the pleasure, 1 a sclender prize. 
I beate the bushe, the birdes to them doe flye. 15 

What good thereof to Cuddy can arise ? 
But Master Collin Clodte is not euery body, and 
albeit his olde Companions, Master Cuddy and Master 
H0B6IN0LL, be as little beholding to their Mistsesse 
PoETRiE as euer you wist ; yet he, peraduenture, by the ao 
raeanes of hir speciall fauour and some personall priui- 
ledge, may happely hue by Dying Pellicanes, and pur- 
chase great landes and Lordshippes with the money 
which his Calendar and Dreahes haue, and will, 
afiburde him. Extra iocum, 1 hke your Dreames pass- sj 
ingly well : and the rather, bicause they sauour of that 
singular extraordinarie veine and inuention whiche I 
euer fancied moste, and in a manner admired otielye, in 
Locian, Petrahche, Aretine, Pasqitill, and all the 
most delicate and fine conceited Grecians and ItaUans 30 
(for the Romanes to speake of are but verye Ciphars in 
this kinde): whose chiefest endeuour and drifle was 
to haue nothing vulgare, but in some respecte or other, 
and especially in liuely Hyperbolicall Amplifications, 


Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 115 

rare, queint, and otlde in euery pointe, and, as a man 
woulde saye, a degree or two at the leaste aboue the 
reach and compasse of a common Schollers capacllie. ( 
In which respecte notwithstanding, as well for the sin- 
5 gularitie of the manner as the Diuinitie of the matter, 
1 hearde once a Diuine preferre Saint Johns Reue- 
LATiON before al the veriest M«taphysicall Visions 
and iotlyest conceited Dreames or Extasies that euer 
were deuised by one or other, howe admirable or super- 

"> excellent soeuer they seemed otherwise to the worlde. 
And truely I am so confirmed in this opinion, that when 
I bethinke me of the verie notablest and moste wonder- 
ful Propheticall or Poeticall Vision that euer I read or 
hearde, me seemeth the proportion is so vnequall, that 

15 there hardly appeareth anye semblaunce of Comparison : 
no more in a manner {specially for Poets) than doth be- 
tweene the incomprehensible Wisedome of God and the 
sensible Wit of Man. But what needeth this digression 
betweene you and me : I dare saye you wyll holde your 

ao selfe reasonably wel satisfied if youre Dreames be but as 
well esteemed of in Englande as Petrarches Visions be in 
Italy : whiche I assure you is the very worst I wish you. 
But see how I haue the Arte Memoratiue at commaunde- 
ment. In good faith 1 had once again nigh forgotten 

35 your Faerie Queene : howbeit, by good chaunce, I haue 
nowe sent hir home at the laste, neither in better nor 
worse case than I founde hir. And must you of neces- 
sitie haue my ludgement of hir in deede ; To be plaine, 
I am voyde of all iudgement, if your Nine CoMizOiEs, 

30 wherunto, in imitation of Herodotus, you giue the names 
of the Nine Muses (and in one mans fansie not vn- 
worthily), come not neerer Ariostoes Comoidies, eyther 
for the finenesse of plausible Elocution or the rarenesse of 
Poetical Inuention, than that the Eluish Queene doth to 

35 his Orlando Furioso, which, notwithstanding, you wil 


ii6 Gabriel Harvey 

needes seeme to emulate, and hope to ouei^o, as you 
flatly professed your self in one of your last Letters. 
Besides, that you know it hath bene the vsual practise of 
the most exquisite and odde wittes in all nations, and 
specially in Ilalie, rather to shewe and aduaunce them- 5 
selues that way than any other: as, namely, those three 
notorious dyscoursing heads, Bibiena, Machiauel, and 
ARtTiNE did (to let Bembo and Ariosto passe) with the 
great admiration and wonderment of the whole countrey : 
being in deede reputed matchable in all points, both for 10 
conceyt of Witte and eloquent decyphering of matters, 
either with Aristophanes and Menander in Greek or 
with Plautus and Terence in Latin, or with any other, 
in any other long. But 1 wi] not stand greatly with you 
in your owne matters. If so be the Faerye Queene be 15 
fairer in your eie than the Nise Muses, and Hobgoblin 
runne away with the Garland from Apollo, Marke what 
I saye, and yet 1 will not say that I thought; but there 
an End for this once, and fare you well, till God or some 
good Aungeti putte you in a better minde. 90 

And yet, bicause you charge me somewhat suspitiouslye 
with an olde promise to deliuer you of that ieatousie, 
1 am so farre from hyding mine owne matters from you, 
that loc I muste needes be reuealing my friendes secreates, 
now an honest Countrey Gentleman, sometimes a SchoUer : 25 
At whose request 1 bestowed this pawlting bungrely 
Rime vpon him, to present his Maistresse withall. The 
parties shall bee namelesse, sauing that the Gentle- 
womans true, or counterfaite, Christen name must neces- 
sarily be bewrayed. 30 

[Mere foUoai forty-two lines of burlesque verse, ' To my 
good Mistresse Anne, the v'ery lyfe of my lyfe, and onely 
beloued Mystresse,] 

God helpe vs, you and I are wisely employed (are wee 
not ?) when our Pen and Inke, and Time and Wit, and all 35 

Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 117 

runneth away in this goodly yonkerly veine : as if the 
world had nothing else for vs to do, or we were borne 
to be the only Nonproficients and Nihilagents of the 
world. Cuiusmodi lu nugis, alque nam's, tiist vna mecum 
5 (qui sokinnt quodam iureiurando alque voto obslriiigor, 
relicto isto amoris Poculo, iuris Poculum prima quoque tem- 
pore exhaurire) iattt tandem aliquando valedicas, (quod tamen 
vnum libi, credo, tSiv o&vva-ruiv videbilur): nihil dkam ampHus: 
Valeas. E meo mutticipio. Novo Calendas Maias. 

10 But hoe I pray you, gentle sirra, a word with you more. 
In good sooth, and by the faith I beare to the Muses, you 
shal neuer haue my subscription or consent (though you 
should charge me wyth the authoritie of fiue hundreth 
Maistcr Drants) to make your Carpenter, our Carpenter, 

'5 an inche longer or bigger than God and his EngUshe 
people haue made him. Is there no other PoUicie to pull "^ 
downe Ryming ahd set vppe Versifying but you must 
needes correcte MflgwySca; : and againste all order of Lawe, 
and in despite of Custome, forcibly vsurpe and tyrannize 

20 vppon a quiet companye of wordes that so farre beyonde 
the memorie of man haue so peaceably, enioyed their 
seueral Priuiledges and Liberties, without any disturb- 
ance or the leaste controlement ? What?" Is Horaces 
Ars Poetica so quite out of our Englishe Poets head that 

35 he muste haue his Remembrancer to pul! hym by the 
sleeue, and put him in mind oi Penes vsum, and ins, and 
norma /oquendit Indeed I remember who was wont 
in a certaine brauerie to call our M. Valanger Noble 
M. Valanger. Else neuer heard I any that durst pre- 

30 sume so much ouer the EngHshe (excepting a fewe suche 
stammerers as haue not the masterie of their owne 
Tongues) as to alter the Quantitie of any one sillable, other- 
wise than oure common speache and generall receyued 
Custome woulde beare them oute. Woulde not I laughe, 

35 thinke you, to heare Mester Imherito come in baldely 


ii8 Gabriel Harvey ' 

with his Maiestte, RoyalU'e, Homsiie, Sciences, FacBlU'es, 
Excellent, Tauemour, Manfully, Faithfully, and a thousande 
the like, in steade of Matestie, Roy&ltie, HonSstie, and so 
forth : And trowe you anye coulde forbeare the byting of 
his lippe or smyljng in his Sleeue, if a iolly fellowe and 5 
greate Clarke (as it mighte be youre selfe) reading a fewe 
Verses vnto him, for his owne credit and commendation, 
should nowe and then tell him of bargatneth, foBomng, 
harrDwing, thoroughly, or the Hke, in steade of bargalneth, 
following, Itarrdwing, and the reste : Or will Segnior Im- 10 
MERiTO, bycause, may happe, he hathe a fat-bellyed Arch- 
deacon on his side, take vppon him to control! Matster 
Doctor Watson for his All Trauailers, in a Verse so highly 
extolled of Master Ascham ? or Maiater Ascham himselfe, 
for abusing Homer and corrupting our Tongue, in that 15 
he saith, 

Quite throStghe a Doore flStve a shafle with a brasse 

Nay, haue we not somtime, by your leaue, both the 
Position of the firste and Dipthong of the seconde con- «> 
curring in one and the same sillable, which neuerthelesse 
is commonly and ought necessarily to be pronounced 
short? 1 haue nowe small time to bethink me of many 
examples. But what say you to the second in Mer- 
chaandisef to the third in Couenaitntethl and to the as 
fourth in Appurtenaunces'i Durst you aduenture to make 
any of them long, either in Prose or in Verse ? I assure 
you I knowe who dareth not, and suddalnly feareth the 
displeasure of all true Englishemen if he should. Sayyou 
suddalnly, if you like ; by my certainly and certainty I wil 30 
not. You may perceiue by the Premisses (which very 
worde I woulde haue you note by the waye to) the Latlne 
is no rule for vs : or imagine aforehande (bycause you are 
like to proue a great Purchaser, and leaue suche store of 
money and possessions behinde you) your Executors wil 35 

H J 

Of Reformed Versifying, &c. iig 

Aea\e fraudulently or violenUy with your succlssour (whichc 
in a maner is euery mans case), and it will fall oute 
a resolute pointe : the third in Executores, fraudulenier, 
vtolenler, and the seconde in Successor, being long in the 
5 one and shorte in the other, as in seauen hundreth 
more, suche as disciple, recited, excited: tenlmenf, oratour, 
laudibk, and a number of their fellowes are long in 
English, short in Latine, long in Latine, short in English. 
Howbeit, in my fancy such words as violently, diligently, 

to magnificently, indifferently seeme in a manner reasonably 
indifferent, and tollerable either waye; neither woulde 
I greately stande with him that translated the Verse 
Cur miitis violas? vt me violentius vrasF 
Why send vou violets? to burne my poore hart 

is violently. 

Marry so, that being left common for verse, they are to 
be pronounced shorte in Prose, after the maner of the 
Latines, in suche wordes as these, Cathedra, Volucres, 
mediocres, Celebres. 

ao And thus farre of your Carpenter and his fellowes, 
wherin we are to be moderated and ouerruled by the 
vsuall and common receiued sounde, and not to deuise 
any counterfaite fantastical! Accent of oure owne, as manye, 
otherwise notvniearned, haue corruptely and ndiculouslye 

35 done in the Greeke. 

Nowe for your Heauen, Seauen, Eleauen, or the like, 
I am likewise of the same opinion, as generally in all 
words else : we are not to goe a little farther, either for 
the Prosody or the Orthography (and therefore your 

go Imaginarie Diastole nothing worthe)then we are licenced 
and authorized by the ordinarie vse, and custome, and 
proprietie, and Idiome, and, as it were, Maiestie of our 
speach : which I accounte the only infallible and soueraigne 
Rule of all Rules. And therefore, hauing respecte there- 

35 unto, and reputing it Petty Treason to reuolt therefro, dare 

120 Gabriel Harvey 

hardly eyther in the Prosodie, or in the Orthography 
either, allowe ihem two sillables in steade of one, but 
woulde as well in Writing as in Speaking haue them 
vsed as Monasyllaba, thus : keavn, seavtt, a ieavn, as 
Maister Ascham in his Toxophilus doth Yrne, commonly 5 
written Yron : 

yp to lite pap his string did he pttll, his shafte to the 
harde yrne : 
especially the difference so manifestly appearing by the 
Pronunciation betweene these two, a Ieavn a clocke and "> 
a leaven of Dowe, whyche ka-ven admitteth the Diastole 
you speake of. But see what absurdities thys yl fauoured 
Orthographye, or rather Pseudography, hathe in- 
gendred, and howe one errour still breedeth and begetteth 
an other, Haue wee not Moonelh for Moonlhe, sitkence 15 
for since, whitest for whtlsle, phantasie for phansie, euen 
for evn, Diuel for Divl, God hys wrath for Goddes wrath, 
and a thousande of the same stampe, wherein the corrupte 
Orthography in the moste hathe beene the sole, or 
principall, cause of corrupte Prosodye in ouer many? 00 

Marry, I confesse some wordes we haue indeede, as for 
example fayer, either for beaulifuS or for a Marie, ayer, 
bothe pro aere and pro haerede, for we say not Heire but 
plaine Aire for him to (or else Scoggins Aier were a poore 
iest), whiche are commonly and maye indifferently be vsed as 
eyther wayes. For you shal as well and as ordinarily 
heare_^>'^r zs, faire, and Aier as Aire, and bothe alike, 
not onely ofdiuersand sun d rye persons but often of the 
very same, otherwhiles vsing the one, otherwhiles the 
other : and so died or dyde, spied or spide, tryed or tride, 30 
fyer oi/yre, myer or myre, wyth an infinyte companye of 
the same sorte, sometime Monosyllaba, sometime Poly- 

To conclude both pointes in one, I dare sweare priuately 
to your sclfe, and will defcnde publiquely againste any, it is 35 



Of Reformed Versifying, &c. 121 

neither Heresic nor Paradox to selte downe and stande 
vppon this assertion (notwithstanding all the Preiudices 
and Presumptions to the contrarie, if they were tenne 
times as manye moe) that it is not either Position, or^ 
5 Dipthong, or Diastole, or anye like Grammer Schoole 
Deuice that doeth or can indeede either make long or 
short, or encrease, or diminish the number of Sillables, 
but onely the common allowed and receiued Prosodye, 
taken vp by an vniuersall consent of all, and continued by , 

to a generall vse and Custome of all. Wherein iieuerthe- 
lesse I grant, after long aduise and diligent obseruation 
of particulars, a certain Vniform Analogic and Concord- 
ance being in processe of time espyed out, sometime 
this, sometime that, hath been noted by good wits in their 

15 Analyses to fall out generally alyke, and, as aman woulde 
saye, regularly, in all or moste wordes; as Position. 
Dipthong, and the like ; not as firste and essentiall causes 
of this or that effecte (here lyeth the point), but as Secun- 
daria and Accidentall Signes of this or that Qualilie. 

20 It is the vulgare and natural! Mother Prosodye that 
alone worketh the feate, as the onely supreame Foundresse 
and Reformer of Position, Dipthong, Orthographie, or 
whatsoeuer else : whose AfRrmatiucs are nothing worth, 
if she once conclude the Negatiue: and whose secutidae 

25 inlenliones muste haue their whole allowance and warrante 
from hiTprimae. And therefore, in shorte, this is the verie 
shorte and the long : Position neither maketh shorte nor ' 
long in oure Tongue, but so farre as we can get hir good 
leaue. Peraduenture, vppon the diligent suruewe and 

30 examination of Particulars, some the like Analogic and 
Vniformity might be founde oute in some other respecte, 
that shoulde as vniuersally and Canonically holde amongst 
vs as Position doeth with the Latines and Greekes. I 
saye peraduenture, bycause, hauing not yet made anye 

35 special! obseruation, I dare not precisely affirme any 

122 Gabriel Harvey 

generall certaintie : albeit I presume, so good and sensible 
a Tongue aa our is, beeyng wythall so like itselfe as it is, 
cannot but haue something equipollent and counteruaiie- 
able to the beste Tongues in some one such kinde of 
conformitie or other. And this forsooth is all the Artificial 5 
Rules and Precepts you are like to borrowe of one man at 
this time, 

Sed amabo le, ad Corculi tut delicalissintas Literas, prope- 
diem, qua poiero, accuralissime : tot interim illam exquisi- 
Hssimis salutibus, atque salutationibus impertiens, quot habet 10 
in Capitulo, capillos semiaureos, semiargertieos, semigemmeos. 
Quidquaeris? Per luam Venerem altera Rosalindula est: 
eatnque nott alter, sed idem ille, {lua, vt ante, bona cum 
gratia) copiose ainat Hobbinolus. O mea Domina Immerilo, 
mea bellissima CoHttia Chuta, multo plus plurimum salue, 15 
atque vale. 

You knowe my ordinarie Postscripte : you may com- 
municate as much or as little as you list of these Patcheries 
and fragments with the two Gentlemen : but there a straw, 
and you loue me ; not with any else, friend or foe, or other : ao 
vnlesse haply you haue a special desire to imparte some 
parte hereof to my good friend M, Daniel Rogers, whose 
curtesies are also regislred in my Marble booke. You 
know my meaning. 

Nosti manunt el slylum. "s 



Of English Style 


What ihoughe Italy, Spayne, and Fraunce, rauisshed 
with a certayne glorious and ambitious desier (your gal- 
lantshipp would peraduenture terme it zeale and deuotion) 
S to sett oute and aduaunce ther owne languages aboue the 
very Greake and Lattin, if it were possible, and standinge 
altogither vppon termes of honour and exquisite formes of 
speaches, karriinge a certayne braue magnificent grace 
and maiestye with them, do so highly and honorablely 

lo esteerae of ther countrye poets, reposing on greate parte 
of their souraigne glory and reputation abroade in the 
worlde in the famous writings of their nobblist wittes? 
What though you and a thousand such nurrishe a stronge 
imagination amongst yoursehies that Alexander, Scipio, 

15 Csesar, and most of ower honorablist and worthyest cap- 
taynes had neuer bene that they were but for pore blinde 
Homer? What thoughe it hath vniversally bene the 
practisse of the floorishingist States and most politique 
commonwelthes, from whence we borrowe our substan- 

ao tiallisl and most materiall preeceptes and examples of 
wise and considerate gouernement, to make the very most 
of ther vulgare tunges, and togither with there seigniorycs 
and dominions by all meanes possible to amplifye and 
enlarge them, deuisinge all ordinarye and extraordinarye 

■5 helpes, both for the polisshinge and refininge of them 
I at home, and alsoe for the spreddinge and dispersinge 
of them abroade? What though II Magnifico Segnior 
I Beniuolo hath notid this amongst his politique Dis- 
courses and matters of state and gouernemente, that the 

30 most couragious and valorous minds have euermore 
bene where was most furniture of eloquence, and greatist 
stoare of notable orators and famous Poets? What, ' 
a goddes name, passe we what was dun in ruinous i 

124 Gabriel Harvey 

Athens or decayid Roome a thousand or twoe thousande 
yeares agoe? Doist thou not ouersensibely perceiue that 
the markett goith far otherwise in Inglande, wherein 
f nothinge is reputid so contemptible, and so baselye and 
I vilelye accountid of, as whatsoeuer is taken for Inglishe, 5 
whether it be handsum fasshions in apparrell, or seemely 
and honorable in behauiour, or choise wordes and phrases 
in speache, or anye notable thinge else in effecte that 
sauorith of our owne cuntrye and is not ether merely or 
mixtely outlandishe ? Is it not cleerer then the sonne at "> 
noonedayes that oure most excellent Inglish treatises, 
were they neuer so eloquentlye contriued in prose, or 
curiously deuised in meeter, haue euer to this daye, and 
shall euer hereailer, be sibb to arithmetericians or 
Marchantes cownters, which nowe and then stande for 15 
hundreds and thowsands, by and bye for odd halfpens or 
farthinges, and otherwhiles for very nihils? Hath your 
monsieurshipp so soone forgottin our long Westminster 
conference the verie last Ester terme touchinge certayne 
odd peculiar qualities, appropriate in a manner to fnglishe so 
heddes, and esspeciallye that same worthy and notorious 
PpnawiKTjv (v}\oTvirlav that Erasmus prettily playeth withall 
in a certayne gallant and braue politique epistle of his, 
written purposely to an Inglish gentleman, a courtier, to 
instructe him howe he mighte temporize and courte it 3$ 
best here in Inglande? Is not this theprincipall fundation 
and grande maxime of our cuntry PoUicy, not to be ouer 
hasty in occupying a mans talent, but to be very chary 
and circumspect in opening himselfe and reuealinge his 
gifles vnto others? Is it not on of the highest pointes of 30 
our Inglish experiencid wiadum, and, as a man would 
I saye, the very profoundist mystery of our most deepe and 
stayd hedds, to haue euery on in continuall ielouzye lest 
he sitl ouer neere there schirtes or haue familiar insighte 
in ther commendable and discommendable qualityes?3s 



Of English Style 125 

Doth not silence couer and conceale many a want, and is 
it not both) an easier and far surer way to maynetayne and 
nurrish the opinion of a mans excellency by noddinge 
and countenauncinge oute the matter ether with tunge 
5 or penne withoute thessame discoursing vagaries after a 
certayne solemne manner then by speakinge or writinge 
to purchisse creddit: Esspecially in Inglishe where In- 
glishe is contemnid, or in meeter where meeter goith 
a begginge? And canst thou tell me nowe, or doiac 

10 thou at the last begin to imagin with thyselfe what 
a wonderfull and exceeding displeasure thou and thy 
Prynter have wroughte me, and howe peremptorily ye 
have preiudishd my good name for euer in thrustinge me 
thus on the stage to make tryall of my extemporall faculty, 

15 and to play Wylsons or Tarletons parte ? I suppose thou 
wilt go nighe hande shortelye to sende my lorde Vawsis 
or my lord Ritches Players or sum other freshe starteupp 
comedanties vnto me for sum newe deuised interlude, 
or sum maitconceiuid comedye fitt for the Theater or sum 

ao other paintid stage, whereat thou and thy liuely copesmates 
in London maye Jawghe ther mouthes and bellyes full for 
pence or twoepence apeece : by cause peraduenture thou 
imaginest Vnico Aretino and the pleasurable Cardinal! 
Bibiena that way esspecially attraynid to be so singularly 

a5 famous. And then perhappes not longe after vppon newe 
occasion (an God will) 1 must be M. Churchyards and 
M, Eldertons successours tooe, and finally cronycled for 
on of the most notorious ballat makers and Christmas 
carollers in the tyme of Her Maiestyes reigne. Extra 

3° iocum, In good troothe, and by the fayth of a most 
faythfull frende, 1 feare me exceed ingl ye thou haste 
aired dy hazard id that that will fall owte to your 
greatist . . . 

In the nexte seate to thes hexameters, adonickes, and 


136 Gabrul Harvey 

ianbtcks I sett tbose dial sUnd vppon (be Domber, not in 
meter, sutcli as my lorde of Surrey is sayde first to bauc 
patt forthe in prynte, and my lorde Buckhorste and 
M. Norton in the Tragedyc of Gorboduc, M. Gascoygnes 
Steele Glasse, an vncertayne autor in cenayne cantioos 5 
agaynst the wylde Irishe, and namelye Mack Morric^ an 
inuectiue agaynst Simmias Rfaodius, a folishe idle phan- 
tasticall poett that first deu'sed this odd riminge with many 
other triflinge and childisbe toyes to make verses, that 
shoulde in proportion represente the fonn and figure of "o 
an e^, an ape, a winge, and sutche ridiculous and madd 
gugawes and crockchettes, and of late foolishely rcuiuid by 
sum, otherwise not vnlemid, as Pierius, Scaliger, Crispin, 
and the rest of that crue, Nothinge so absurde and fniteles 
but beinge once taken vpp shall haue sume imitatoures. 15 
The like veyne of those that hunte the letter ; and I heard 
one Mr. Willes, a greate trauelour, very well lernid, and 
nowe of riper yeares and sownder iudgnient, that hath vsid 
them himselfe, call them meere fooleryes, vices taken vpp 
for virtues, apish deuices, friuolous boyishe grammer schole ao 

And heare will I take occasion to shewe you a peece of 
a letter that 1 lately receyuid from the Courte written by 
a frende of mine, that, since a certayn chaunce befallen 
vnto him, a secrett not to be reuealid, calleth himself =5 

'Thetwoe worthy gentlemen, Mr. Sidney and Mr. Dyer, 
haue me, I thanke them, in sum vse of familiaritye; of 
whome and to whome what speache passith for your creddite 
and estimation, I leaue yourselfe to conceyue, hauinge 30 
allwayes so well conceyuid of my vnfainid affection and 
good win towardes yow. And nowe they haue proclaymid 
in there iptuf irdyif.' 


'E. K.' 

(TWfi Epistle DsoKAToiiy to rut Shkpheards Calender) 


[This Epistle, addressed by ' E. K. ' to Gabriel Harvey in com- 
mendation of Spenser's Skepheards Calender, is reprinted 
from the first edition of the Calender, issued by Hugh 
Singleton of Creed Lane near Ludgale, towards the close 
of 1579 ] 


I TNCOVTHE, vnkiste, sayde the old famous Poete 
^^ Chaucer; whom, for his excellencie and wonderful! 
skil in making, his scholler Lidgate, a worthy scholler 

la of so excellent a tnaister, calleth the Loadestarre of our 
Language, and whom our Colin Clout in his jEglogue 
calleth Tityrus the God of shepheards, comparing hym 
to the worthines of the Roman Tityrus, Virgile. Which 
prouerbe, myne owne good friend Ma, Haruey, as in that 

15 good old Poete it serued well Pandares purpose for the 
bolstering of his baudy brocage, so very well taketh place 
in this our new Poete, who for that he is vncouthe (as said 
Chaucer) is vnkist, and vnknown to most men is regarded 
but of few. But I dout not, so soone as his name shall 

aocome into the knowledg of men, and his worthines be 
sounded in the tromp of fame, but that he shall be not 
onely kiste, but also beloued of all, embraced of the most, 

'E. k: 

and wondred at of the best. No lesse, I thitike, deserueth 
his witlinesse in deuising, his pithinesse in vttering, his 
complaints of loue so louely, his discourses of pleasure so b 
pleasantly, his pastoral rudenesse, his morall wisenesse, 

I his dewe obseruing of Decorum euerye where, in per- 5 
sonages, in seasons, in matter, in speach ; and generally, 
in al seemely simplycitie of handeling his matter and 
framing his words : the which, of many thinges which in 
him be straunge, 1 know wit! seeme the straungest, the 
words them selues being so auncient, the knitting of them w 

^so short and intricate, and the whole Periode and com- 
jpasse of speache so delightsome for the roundnesse, and 
■so graue for the straun gen esse. And firste of the wordes 
to speake, 1 graunt they be something hard, and of most 
men vnused, yet both English, and also vsed of most <s 

- excellent Authors and most famous Poetes. In whom, 
whenas this our Poet hath bene much traueiled and 
throughly redd, how could it be (as that worthy Oratour 
sayde) but that walking in the sonne, although for other 
cause he walked, yet needes he mought be sunburnt; and, ao 
hauing the sound of those auncient Poetes still ringing in 
his eares, he mought needes, in singing, hit out some of 
theyr tunes. But whether he vseth them by such casualtye 

, and custome, or of set purpose and choyse, as thinking 
them fittest for such rusticall rudenesse of shepheards, =3 
eyther for that theyr rough sounde would make his rymes 
more ragged and rustical, or els because such olde and obso- , 
lete wordes are most vsed of country folke, sure I think, 
and think I think not amisse, that they bring great grace, 
and, as one would say, auctoritie to the verse. For albe, 30 
amongst many other faultes, it specially be obiected of 
Valla against Liuie, and of other against Saluate, that with 
ouer much studie they affect antiquitie, as coueting thereby 
credence and honor of elder yeeres, yet I am of opinion, 
and eke the best learned are of the lyke, that those auncient 35 

In praise of the New Poet 129 

solemne wordes are a great ornament, both in the one 
and in the other; the one labouring to set forth in hys 
worke an eternall image of antiquitie, and the other care- 
fully discoursing matters of grauitie and importaunce. 
5 For, if my memory faile not, Tullie, in that booke wherein 
he endeuoureth to set forth the paterne of a perfect 
Oratour, sayth that ofltlmes an auncient worde maketh 
the style seeme graue, and as it were reuerend, no other- 
wise then we honour and reuerence gray heares, for a cer- 

10 tein religious regard which we haue of old age. Yet 
nether euery where must old words be stuffed in, nor the 
common Dialecte and maner of speaking so corrupted 
■ therby, that, as in old buildings, it seme disorderly and 
ruinous. But all as in most exquisite pictures they vse 

IS to blaze and portraict not onely the daintie lineaments of 
beautye, but also rounds about it to shadow the rude 
thickets and craggy clifts, that, by the basenesse of such 
parts, more excellency may accrew to the principall ; for 
oftimes we fynde ourselues, I knowe not how, singularly 

aa delighted with the shewe of such naturall rudenesse, and 
take great pleasure in that disorderly order. Euen so doe 
those rough and harsh termes enlumine, and make more 
clearly to appeare, the brightnesse of braue and glorious 
words. So oftentimes a dischorde in Musick maketh a 

ss comely concordaunce : so great delight tooke the worthy 
Poete Alceus to behold a blemish in the ioynt of a wel 
shaped body. But if any will rashly blame such his pur- 
pose in choyse of old and vnwonted words, him may 
I more iustly blame and condemne, or of witlesse headt- 

^ nesse in iudging or of heedelesse hardinesse in con- 
demning; for, not marking the compasse of hys bent, he 
wil iudge of the length of his cast : for in my opinion 
it is one special prayse of many whych are dew to this 
Poele, that he hath laboured to restore, as to theyr 
35 rightfull heritage, such good and naturall English words 



as haue ben long time out of vse and almost cleane dis- 
herited. Which is the onely cause that our Mother 
tonge, which truely of it self is both ful enough for 
prose and stately enough for verse, hath long time ben 
counted most bare and barrein of both. Which default 5 
when as some endeuoured to salue and recure, they 
patched up the holes with peces and rags of other lan- 
guages, borrowing here of the French, there of the Italian, 
every where of the Latine ; not weighing how il those 
tongues accorde with themselues, but much worse with "o 
ours : So now they haue made our English tongue a 
gallimaufray or hodgepodge of al other speches. Other 
some, no[t] so wel sene in the English tonge as perhaps in 
other languages, if they happen to here an olde word, 
albeit very naturall and significant, crye out streightway is 
that we speak no English, but gibbrish, or rather such as 
in old time Euanders mother spake : whose first shame is, 
that they are not ashamed, in their own mother tonge, 
atraungers to be counted and alienes. The second shame, 
no lesse then the first, that what so they vnderstand not ao 
they streight way deeme to be sencelesse and not at al to 
be vnderstode. Much like to the Mole in ^sopes fable, 
that, being blynd her selfe, would in no wise be perswaded 
that any beast could see. The last, more shameful then 
both, that of their owne country and natural speach, which "5 
together with their Nources milk they sucked, they haue 
so base regard and bastard judgement, that they will not 
onely themselues not labor to garnish and beautifie it, but 
also repine that of other it shold be embellished. Like to 
thedoggein the maunger.that him selfe can eatenohay,and 30 
yet barketh at the hungry bullock that so faine would feede ; 
whose currish kind, though it cannot be jf^^fcp barking, 
yet I conne them thanke that they refr? ' ^^ing. 

Now, for the knitting of sentences all the 

'oynts an ' <bers therof, and foi ise of 

In praise of the New Poet 131 

the speach, it is round without roughnesse, and learned ' 
wythout hardnes, such indeede as may be perceiued of ' 
the leaste, vnderstoode of the raoste, but iudged onely 
of the learned. For what in most English wryters vseth 
5 to be loose, and as it were vngyrt, in this Authour is well 
grounded, finely framed, and strongly trussed up together. 
In regard wherof, I scorne and spue out the rakehellye 
route of our ragged rymers (for so themselues vse to hunt 
the letter) which without learning boste, without iudge- 

10 ment iangle, without reason rage and fome, as if some 
instinct of Poeticall spirite had newly rauished them aboue 
the meanenesse of commen capacitie. And being in the 
middest of all theyr brauery, sodenly, eyther for want of 
matter or of ryme, or hauing forgotten theyr former con- 

'5 ceipt, they seeme to be so pained and traueiled in theyr 
remembrance, as it were a woman in childebirth, or as 
that same Pythia when the traunce came vpon her : Os 
rabidum/era corda damans, &c. 

Nethelesse, let them a Gods name feede on theyr owne 

ao folly, so they seeke not to darken the beames of others 

glory. As for Colin, vnder whose person the Authour selfe 

is shadowed, how furre he is from such vaunted titles and 

glorious showes, both him selfe sheweth, where he sayth, 

Of Muses, Hobbin[ol], I conne no skill, 

as and 

Enough is me to paint out my vnrest, &c; 
And also appeareth by the basenesse of the name, 
wherein it semeth he chose rather to vnfold great matter 
of argument couertly then, professing it, not suffice thereto 

30 accordingly. Which moued him rather in >Eglogues then 
other wise to write, doubting perhaps his habilitie, which 
he little needed, or mynding to furnish our tongue with 
this kinde wherein it faulteth ; or following the example 
of the best and most auncient Poetes, which deuised 

35 this kind of wryting, being both so base for the matter 



i3> ■£. K- 

and homely for the manner, at the first to tryc thcyr 
babilities, and, as young birdes that be newly cr^ out 
of the nest, by little first to proue iheyr tender wyngs 
before they make a greater flyght. So flew Theocritus, 
as you may perceiue he was all ready full fledged. So 5 
flew Virgile, aa not yet well feeling his winges. So flew 
Mantuane, as not being full somd. So Petrarque. So 
Boccace. So Marot, Sanazarus, and also diuers other 
excellent Iwth Italian and French Poetes, whose foting 
this Author eucry where followeth ; yet so as few, but i* 
they be wel sented, can trace him out. So finally flyeth 
this our new Poete as a birde whose principals be scarce 
growen out, but yet as [one] that in time shall be hable to 
Icecpc wing with the best. 

Now, as touching the general! dryft and purpose of his 15 
^gloguea, I mind not to say much, him selfe labouring 
to conceale it. Onely this appeareth, that his vnstayed 
yougth had long wandred in the common Labyrinth of 
Louc, in which time to mitigate and allay the heate of his 
passion, or els to warne {as he sayth) the young shepheards, ao 
.f. his equalls and companions, of his vnfortunate folly, he 
compiled these xij jEglogues, which, for that they be pro- 
portioned to the state of the xij monethes, he terraeth the 
Shepheards Calendar, applying an olde name to a new 
worke. Hereunto haue I added a certain Glosse or scho- 35 
lion, for thexposition of old wordes and harder phrases ; 
which maner of glosing and commenting, well 1 wote, wil 
seeme straunge and rare in our tongue : yet, for so much 
as I knew many excellent and proper deuises, both in 
wordes and matter, would passe in the speedy course of 3* 
reading, either as vnknowen or as not marked, and that 
in this kind, as in other, we might be equal to the learned 
of other nations, I thought good to take the paines vpon 
me, the rather for that by meanes of some familiar ac- 
qunintaunce 1 was made priuie to his counsell and secret 33 

In praise of the New Poet 133 

meaning in them, as also in sundry other works of his, 
which albeit I know he nothing so much hateth as to pro- 
mulgate, yet thus much haue I aduentured vpon his frend- 
ship, him selfe being for long time furre estraunged, hoping 
5 that this will the rather occasion him to put forth diuers 
other excellent works of his which slepe in silence, as 
his Dreames, his Legendes, his Court of Cupt'de, and sondry 
others, whose commendations to set out were verye vaine, 
the thinges though worthy of many yet being knowen to 

10 few. These my present paynes, if to any they be pleasur- 
able or profitable, be you iudge, mine own good Maister 
Haruey, to whom I haue, both in respect of your worthi- 
ncsse generally and otherwyse vpon some particular and 
special considerations, voued this my labour and the may- 

>5 denhead of this our-commen frends Poctrie ; himselfe hau- 
ing already in the beginning dedicated it to the Noble and 
worthy Gentleman, the right worshipful! Ma. Phi. Sidney, 
a special fauourer and maintainer of all kind of learn. 
ing. Whose cause, I pray you, Sir, yf Enuie shall stur vp 

00 any wrongful accusasion, defend with your mighty Rheto- 
rick and other your rare gifts of learning, as you can, and 
shield with your good wil, as you ought, against the malice 
and outrage of so many enemies, as 1 know wilbe set on 
fire with the sparks of his kindled glory. And thus recom- 

85 mending the Author vnto you, as vnto his most special good 
frend, and my selfe vnto you both, as one making singuler 
account of two so very good and so choise frends, I bid 
you both most hartely farwel, and commit you and your 
most commendable studies to the tuicion of the greatest. 

30 Your owne assuredly to be commaunded, 

E. K. 
Post scr. 
NOW I tnist, M. Haruey, that vpon sight of your 
speciall frends and fellow Poets doings, or els for enuie of 

134 'E. k: 

so many vnworthy Quidams which catch at the gariond 
which to you alone is dewe, you will be perswaded to 
pluck out of the hateful darknesse those so many excel- 
lent English poemes of yours which lye hid, and bring 
them forth to eternall light. Trust me, you doe both 5 
them great wrong, in depriuing them of the desired sonne, 
and also your selfe, in smoothering your deserued prayses, 
and all men generally, in withholding, from them so - 
diuine pleasures, which they might conceiue of your gal- 
lant English verses, as they haue already doen of your 10 
Latine Poemes, which, in my opinion, both for inuention 
and Elocution are very delicate and superexcellent. And 
thus againe I take my leaue of my good Mayster Haruey : 
from my lodging at London thys 10. of Aprill, 1579. 




[The Dedication and the Preface ('Too thee Learned Reader') 
are prefixed to Thee First Fov\re Bookes of Vir-\gil his Aeneis 
\lra»sla\ted in loo English Heroical Verse , , . || Imprinted al 
Leiden in Holland by John Pates \ Anna M.D.LXXXII. 

The following extracts are taken from the copy which 
was formerly in the Ashburnham Library, and is now in 
the British Museum. The only other known copy is pre- 
served in the Ubrary at Britwell Court, Burnham, Bucks. 
The second (or 1583) edition, which is now hardly less 
rare, was a London reprint by Henry Bynneman, the 
printer of the Spenser and Harvey Letters (ante, p. 87I. 
As the difference between these editions is entirely ortho- 
graphical, it appeared, prima facie, to be desirable to take 
the London text, partly because it is more ' modem,' and 
partly because the earlier is accessible in Mr, Arber's 
excellent reprint (1880). Bynneman's text, on the other 
hand, was reprinted by James Maidment in 1836 in a 
private issue of fifty copies. But a collation of the British 
Museum text of 158a with that of 1583. in the copy pre- 
sented to the library of the University of Edinburgh in 
i6a8 by the poet William Drummond, has made it clear 
that the former is the better. For though Pates speaks, 
in his Note 'To thee Cvrteovs Reader,' of 'thee nooueltye 
of imprinting English in theese partes, and thee absence 
of the author from perusing soom proofes,' his text is 
more consistent with Stanyhurst's rules, and seems, as far 
as the prefatory matter is concerned, to have been revised 
by the author. Bynneman, who is somewhat impatient of 
the ' newe Ortographie vsed in the booke (whether with 
the writers mind or the Printers fault, I know not)', sets 
himself to cut out most of the double 'e's and 'o's and 



136 Richard Stanyktirst 

other eccentricities of the text ; but he retains Staryhui 
account of these special forms. His rendering is therefore 
a botch, neither illustrating his author's theory nor con- 
forming to contemporary English usage. Stanyhurst's 
, orthography, Uke that of the Onnulum, must be considered 
' as a necessary part of the writer's prosodic theory. 

The Dedication is dated ' From Leiden in Holland, thee 
last of lune 1582,'] 


■^ATHAT deepe and rare poynctes of hydden secrets 

Virgil hath sealde vp in his twelue bookes of 5 
j£neis may easelye appeere too such reaching wyts as 
bend theyre endewours too thee vnfolding thereof, not 
onlye by gnibling vpon thee outward ryne of a supposed 
historie, but also by groaping thee pyth that is shrind 
vp wythin thee barck and bodye of so exquisit and singular 10 
a discourse. For where as thee chiefe prayse of a wryter 
I consisteth in thee enterlacing of pleasure wyth profit, 
' oure author hath so wiselye aJayed thee one wyth thee 
oother as thee shallow reader may bee delighted wyth 
a smooth tale, and thee diuing searcher may bee aduantaged 15 
by sowning a pretiouse treatise, And certes this pre- 
heminencyc of writing is chieflye (yf wee respect oure 
old latin Pofites) too bee afforded too Virgil in this wurck, 
and too Ouid in his Metamorphosis. As for Ennius, Horace, 
Juuenal, Persius, and ihee rablement of such cheate PoCtes, so 
theyre dooinges are, for fauoure of antiquitye, rather 
to be pacientiye allowed thean highlye regarded. Such 
leauinges as wee haue of Emiius his ragged verses are 
nothing current, but sauoure sooniwhat nappy of thee 
spigget, as one that was neauer accustomed too strike as 
vp thee drum, and too crj'e, in blazing martial exploytes, 

On the Translation of Virgil 137 

'alanne,' but when hee were haulfe lipsye, as Horace 
recordeth. Thee oother three, ouer this that iheyre Verses 
in camfering wise run, harshe and rough, perTourme nothing 
in matter but biting quippes, taunting Darcklye certeyn 
5 men of state that liued in theyre age, beesprinckling theyre 
inuectiues with soom moral preceptes aunswerable too 
thee capacitye of eurie weake brayne. But cure Virgil, 
not content wyth such raeigre stuffe, dooth laboure, in 
telling as yt were a Canlorburye tale, too ferret owt thee 

,0 secretes of Nature, with woordes so fitlye coucht, wyth j 
verses so smoothlye slyckte, with sentences so featlye | 
orderd, with orations so neatlie burnisht, with similitudes 
so aptly applyed, with eeche decorum so dueiy obserued. 
as in truth hee hath in right purchased too hyni self thee 

15 name of a surpassing poet, thee fame of an od oraloure, 
and thee admiration of a profound philosopher. Hauing 
therefore (mi good lord) taken vpon mee too execute soom 
part of mayster Askam his wyl, who, in his goulden 
pamphlet intituled thee Schoolemayster, dooth wish thee 

so Vniuersitie students too applie theyre wittes in bewtifying 
oure English language with heroical verses, I heeld no 
Laiinist so fit, too geeue thee onset on, as Virgil, who, for 
his peerelesse style and machlesse stuffe, dooth beare thee 
prick and price among al thee Roman PoCts. How beyt, 

as I haue heere haulf a guesh that two sortes of carpers 
wyl seeme too spume at this myne entreprise ; thee one 
vtterlie ignorant, thee oother meanejye letterd. Thee 
ignorant wyl imagin that thee passage was nothing craggye, 
in as much as M. Phaere hath broken thee ice before mee: 

30 Thee meaner clarcks wyl suppose my trauail in theese 
heroical verses too carrye no great diflicultie, in that yt 
lay in my choise too make what word I would short or 
long, hauing no English writer beefore mee in this kind 
of poCtrye with whose squire I should leauel my syllables. 

35 Too shape therefor an answer too thee first, I say they 


Richard Stanyhurst 

'l-i^l- ciif-h ' 

are altogeather in a wrong box : considering tliat such 
woordes as fit M. Phaer may bee very vnapt for mee, 
which they would confesse, yf theyre skil were, so much 
as spare, in theese verses. Further more, 1 stand so 
niceUe on my pantofles that way, as yf I could, yeet I 5 
would not renne on thee skore with M. Phaer or ennie 
oother, by borrowing his termes in so copious and fluent 
a language as oure English tongue is. And in good 
sooth althogh thee gentleman hath translated Virgil in too 
Engh'sh rythrae with such surpassing excelleneie, as a verie 10 
few (in my conceit) for pyckt and loftie wordes can burd 
hym, none, I am wel assured, ouergoe hym: yeet hee hath 
rather dubled then defalckt oght of my paines, by reason 
that, in conferring his translation with myne, I was forced 
too weede owt from my verses such choise woordes as 15 
were forestaid by him, vnlesse they were so feeling as 
oothers could not countreuaile theyre signification: In 
which case yt were no reason too sequester my pen from 
theyre acquaintance, considering that, as M. Phaer was 
not thee first founder, so hee may not bee accoumpted ao 
thee only owner of such termes. Truely I am so far from 
embeazling his trauailes, as that for thee honoure of thee 
English I durst vndertake too renne ouer theese bookes 
agayne, and too geeue theym a new liuerie in such dififerent 
wise, as they should not iet with M. Phaer his badges, 35 
ne yeet bee clad with this apparaile, wherewith at this 
present they coom furth atyred. Which I speake not of 
vanitie, too enhaunce my coonning, but of meere veritie, 
too aduaunce thee riches of oure speeche. More ouer 
in soom poinctes of greatest price, where thee matter, as 30 
yt were, doth bleede, I was mooued too shun M. Phaer 
his enterpretation, and clinge more neere too thee mean- 
ing of myne authoure, in slising thee husk and cracking 
thee shel, too bestow thee kernel vpon thee wyttye and 
enquisitiue reader. 

On the Translation of Virgil 139 

[Stanykursl then proceeds to discuss some points of differ- 
ence between his version and P/iaer's.] 

Now too coom too theym that guesh my trauaile too be 
easye by reason of thee libertye I had in English woordes 
5 (for as I can not deuine vpon such bookes that happlye 
rouke in studentes mewes, so I trust I offer no man iniurie 
yf I assume too my selfe thee maydenhed of al wurcks 
that hath beene beefore this tyme in print, too my know- 
legde, diuulged in this kind of verse), I wil not greatly 

10 wrangle with theym therein : yeet this much they are too 
consider, that as thee first applying of a woord may ease 
mee in thee first place, so perhaps, when I am occasioned 
too vse thee selfe same woord els where, I may bee as 
much hyndered as at thee beginning I was furthred. For 

15 example ; In thee first verse of Virgil I mak season long ; 
in an oother place yt woul[d] steede mee percase more 
yf I made yt short, and yeet I am now tyed too vse yt 
as long. So that the aduantage that way is not verie 
great. But as for thee general facititiee, this much I dare 

ao warrant yoong beginners, that when they shal haue soom 
firme footing in this kind of Poetrie, which by a litie 
payneful exercise may bee purchast, they shal find as 
easye a veyne in thee English as in thee Latin verses, 
yee, and much more easye than in the English rythmes. 

as Touching myne owne trial, this much I wil discoouer. 
Thee three first bokes I translated by startes, as my 
leasure and pleasure would serue mee. In thee fourth 
booke I did task my self, and persued thee matter soom- 
what hoatlie. M. Phaer tooke too thee making of that 

30 booke fifteene dayes. I hudled vp myne in ten. Wherein 
I coouet no prayse, but rather doe craue pardon. Fore 
lyke as forelittring biches whelp biynd puppies, so I may 
bee perhaps entwighted of more haste then good speede, 
as Syr Thomas More in lyke case gybeth at one that made 

33 vaunt of certeyn pild verses clowted vp extrumpere. 


3 Richard Stanyhurst 

Hos quid le scripsisse mones ex tempore versus ? 
Nam liber hoc loquitur, te reticente, tuus. 

But too leaue that too thee veredict of oothers (wherein 
I crauc thee good lyking of thee curteouse, and skome 
thee controlment of thee currish, as those that vsuallie 5 
reprehend moste, and yeet can amend leaste), thee ods 
beetweene verses and rytlime is verye great. For, in thee 
one, euerye/oote, euerye word, euerye syllable, yea euerye 
letter is too bee obserued : in thee oother, thee last woord 
is onlye too bee heeded : As is very Huelye exprest by 10 
thee lawyer in empaneling a iurye. 

Johannes Doa : lohannes Den : Johannes Hye: 

Richardus Roa : PVillielmus Fen : Thomas Pye : 

lohannes Myles : fVillielmus Neile : Richardus Leake : 

ThomasGiles: lohannes Sneile : Johannes Peake. 15 

Happlye such curious makers as youre lordship is wyl 
accompt this but rylhme Hogrel; but wee may suite yt 
wyth a more ciuil woord, by terming yt rytkme peak meale — 
yt rowles so roundlye in thee hyrer his eares. And are 
there not diuerse skauingers of draftye pofitrye in this ao 
oure age, that bast theyre papers wyth smearie larde 
sauoring al too geather of thee frying pan ? What Tom 
Towly is so simple that wyl not attempt too bee a rith- 
moure ? Yf your Lordship stand in doubt thereof, what 
thinck you of thee thick skyn that made this for 2. fare wela^ 
for his mystresse vpon his departure from Abingtowne ? 

Abingtowne, Abingtowne, God bee wylh thee: 
For thou haste a steeple lyke a dagger sheathe. 

And an oother in thee prayse, not of a steeple, but of 1 

a dagger. 30 

^^^_ When al is goane but thee black scabbard, J 

^^^B Wei fare tltee haft wyth thee duggeon dagger. m 

m •— —m 

On the Translalion of Virgil 141 

Thee therd (for I wyl present your lordship with a leshe) 
in thee commendacion of bacon. 

Hee is not a king that weareth saiten, 

But hee is a king that eateth bacon. 

5 Haue not theese men made a fayre speake? If they 
had put in Mighlye /cue, and Gods in thee plural number, 
and Venus wyth Cupide thee blynd Boy, al had beene in 
thee nick, thee rythme had beene of a right stamp. For 
a few such stiches boch vp oure newe fashion makers : 

10 Prouyded not wythstanding alwayes that Artaxerxes, al 
be yt hee bee spurgalde, beeing so much gallopt, bee 
placed in thee dedicatorye epistle receauing a cuppe of 
water of a swayne, or elles al is not wurth a beane. Good 
God, what a frye of such wooden rylhmours dooth swarme 

15 in stacioners shops, who neauer enstructed in any grammar 
schoole, not atayning too thee paringes of thee Latin or 
Greeke tongue, yeet lyke blynd bayards rush on forward, 
fostring theyre vayne conceites wyth such ouerweening 
silly follyes, as they reck not too bee condemned of thee 

ao learned for ignorant, so they bee commended of thee 
ignorant for learned. Thee reddyest way therefore too 
flap theese droanes from thee sweete senting hiues of 
Poitrye is for thee learned too applye theym selues wholye 
(yf they be delighted wyth that veyne) too thee true making 

as of verses in such wise as thee Greekes and Latins, thee 
fathers of knowledge, haue doone, and too leaue too theese 
doltish coystrels theyre rude rythming and batducktoom 
ballads. . . . 

30 In thee obseruation of quantitees of syllables, soom 
happlye wyl bee so stieflie tyed too thee ordinaunces of 
thee Latins, as what shal seeme too swarue from theyre 

rs. In I 

ttribute I 

142 Richard Slanyhurst 

maximes they wyl not stick too skore vp Tor errours. 
which resolution such curious Priscianistes dooe attribute 
greater prerogatiue too thee Latin tongue than ; 
wyl affurd, and lesse Hbertye too oure language than 
nature may permit. For in as much as thee Latins haue 5 
not beene authors of theese verses, but traced in thee 
steps of thee Greekes, why should we with thee stringes 
of thee Latin rules cramp oure tongue more than the 
Latins doe fetter theyre speeche, as yt were wyth thee 
chaynes of thee Greeke preceptes. Also that nature wyl >o 
not permit vs too fashion oure wordes in at poinctes 
correspondent too thee Latinistes, may easely appeere 
in suche termes as we borrow of theyra. For esemple : 
The first of Breuiler is short, thee first of briefly wyth 
vs must bee long, Lykewise, sonans is short, yeet 15 
sowning in English must bee long, and much more yf 
yt were Sounding, as thee ignorant generaly, but falslye, 
dooe ivryte; nay, that where at I woonder more, thee 
learned trip theyre pennes at this stoane, in so much as 
M. Phaer in thee verye first verse of Vii^il mistaketh thee ao 
woorde. Yeet sound and sowne differ as much in English 
as solidus and sonus in Latin, Also in thee midest of 
a woord wee differ soomtymes from the Romans. As in 
Latin wee pronounce Ordior, Auditor, Magisfer long: in 
English, Oraloure, Audttoure, Magistral short, Lykewise as 
wee pronounce Preeparo, cmnparo short in Latin, and 
prepSred and compared long in English. Agayne thee 
infallibelist rule that thee Latins haue for thee quantitye 
of middle syllables is this. Penultima acuta producitur, 
vt virtiitis ; penultima grauata corripitur, vt sangutfiis. 3o 
Honoure in English is short, as wyth thee Latins; yeet 
dishonour must bee long by thee formoure ma.xime : which 
is contrary too an oother ground of thee Latins, whereby 
they prescribe that thee primatiue and deriuatiue, thee 
siinple and compound, bee of one quantitye. But that rule 35 



Latin and English Prosody 143 

of al oothers must be abandoned from thee English, oother 
wise at woordes in effect should bee abridged. Moofher 
I make long; yeet^aKMrfwo/ACT- must bee short. Buckler 
is long; yeet swashbuckler is short. And albeyt that 
5 woord bee long by position, yeet doubtlesse thee natural 
dialect of English wyl not allow of that rule in middle 
syllables, but yt must bee of force with vs excepted, where 
thee natural pronuntiation wyl so haue yt. For oother- 
wise wee should bannish a number of good and necessarye 

10 wordes from oure verses ; as M. Gabriel Hantye (yf I 
mystake not thee gentleman his name) hath verye wel 
obserued in one of his familiar letters; where hee layeth 
downe diuerse wordes straying from thee Latin preceptes, 
as Maiestye, Royaltye, llonestie, ^-c. And soothly, too my 

'5 seeming, yf thee conjunction And were made common 
in English, yt were not amisse, although yt bee long by 
position : For thee Romans are greatly aduantaged by 
theyre woordes Et, Que, Quoque, Atqite : which were they 
disioincted from thee Latin poStrie, many good verses 

30 would bee rauelde and dismembred that now cary a good 
grace among theym, hauing theyre ioynctes knit with 
theese copulatiue sinnewes. But too rip vp further thee 
peculiar propretye of oure English, let vs listen too Tullye 
his iudgement, wherein thogh hee seeme verie peremptorie, 

25 yeet, with his fauoure, hee misheth thee cushen. Thus 
in his booke intituled Orator, hee writeth, Ipsa nalura, 
quasi ntodularetur kominum oralionem, in omni verba posuil 
aaitam vacem, nee vna plus, nee a postrema sy/laba ci/ra 
tertiam. In this saying TuUye obserueth three poinctcs. 

30, First, that by course of Nature euerye woord hath an 
accent: next, one only: lastlye, that thee sayde accent 
must be on thee last syllable, as propi, or on thee last 
saluing one, as VirtHtis, or, at thee furthest, on thee therd 
syllable, as Omnipotens. Yeet this rule taketh no such 

35 infallible effect with vs, althogh Tutfy maketh yt natural, 


ayme at 1 
or is too I 

144 Richard Stanyhurst 

who by thee skyl of thee Greek and Latin dyd ayme i 
©other languages too hym vnknowen, and therefor i: 
bee borne wythal. h?,,Peremlorie is a woord of foure 
syllables, and yeet thee accent is on thee first. So 
SScundarie, Crdinarie, Mdlrimonie, Pdlrimonie, Ptdnetarie, 5 
fmperaliue, C6smographie, 6riography, with many lyke. 
For althogh thee ignorant pronounce Itnperatiue, CosmO- 
graphie, Ori6graphy, geeuing the accent too thee therd 
syllable, yeet that is not thee true English pronuntiation. 
Now put case thee cantel of thee Latin verse Sapiens 10 
dominabitiir aslris were thus Englished, Planetary woorck- 
inges thee aiismans vertue represselh, albeyt thee middle 
of planeta bee long with thee Romans, yeet I would not 
make yt scrupulus too shorten yt in English, by reason 
thee natural pronoun tiation would haue yt so. For thee 15 
final eende of a verse is to please thee eare, which must 
needes bee thee vmpyre of thee woord, and according too 
that weight oure syllables must bee poysed. Wherefor 
syth thee poetes theymselues aduouch, Tu nihil inuita fades 
dicesue Minerua, That nothing may bee doone or spoaken so 
agaynst nature, and that Art is also bound too shape yt 
self by al imitation too Nature, wee must request theese 
grammatical Precisians, that as euery countrye hath his 
peculiar law, so they permit euerye language too vse 
his particular loare. For my part I purpose not too beat as 
on euerye childish tittle that concerneth Prosodia, neither 
dooe I vndertake too chalck owt any lines or rules too 
oothers, but too lay downe too thee reader his view thee 
course I tooke in this my trauaile. Such woordes as 
proceede from thee Latin, and bee not altred by oure 3" 
English, in theym I obserue thee quantitie of thee Latin. 
As Honest, Honor: a few I excepted, as thee first of 
apeered, auenture, aprocked I make short, althogh they 
are long in Latin, as Appareo, Aduenio, Appropinquo : 
for which, and percase a few such woordes, I must craue 33 


Latin and English Prosody 145 

pai'don of thee curteous reader. For oolherwise yt were 
lylte ynough that soom grammatical pullet, hacht in Dispater 
his sache!, would stand docking aganyst mee, as thogh 
hee had found an horse nest, in laying that downe for 
5 a fait that perhaps I dooe knowe better then hee. Yeet 
in theese diriualtofts of termes I would not bee doomde 
by euerye reaching herrault, that in roaming wise wyl 
attempt too fetche thee petit degree of woordes, I knov^■ 
not from what auncetoure. As I make thee first of Riuer 
10 short, a Wrangler may imagin yt should bee long, by 
reason of Rtuus, of which yC seemeth too bee deriued. 
And yeet forsooth riuus is but a brooke, and not a riuer. 
Likewyse soom English woordes may bee read in soom 
places long, in soom short, as skyeward, seaward, searowme. 
IS Thee difference thereof groweth beecause they are but 
compound woordes that may bee with good sense sunderd : 
and thee last of Sea and skye beeing common breedeth 
that diuersitie. Also thee self same woord may varye 
beecause of thee signification. Thee first of Felon for 
ao a Ibeefe I make long, but when yt slgnifieth thee disease, 
so named, I hold yt better too make yt short. Agayne 
a woord that is short beeing deuided may bee long in 
an oother place contracted. As thee first of. Leaues, yf 
you deuide yt in two syllables, I make short ; yf you 
35 contract yi too one syllabe, I make yt long. So thee first 
in Crauing is long, and thee therd person of thee verb, 
too wyt, Craues, may seeme short, where the next woord 
following beglnneth with a vocal, yet yt is long by contrac- 
tion : and so diuerse lyke woordes are too bee taken. 
30. And truely such nice obseruations that Grammarians dooe 
prescribe are not by thee choysest poetes alwayes so pre- 
ciselye put in execution : as in this oure authour I haue 
by thee way marckt. In thee fore front of thee first 
booke hee maketh thee first of Lauin[i]um long. In thee 
35 same booke hee vseth yt for short. Likewise dooth he 

146 Richard Stanyhurst 

varie thee first of Sickceus. So in thee therd booke thee 
midest of Cydopes sooratyme is made long, soomtyme 
short. And in the same booke the coniunction Qite is 
long, as 

Liminaque laurusque Dei; lotusque tnoueri: 5 

And in thee fourth : 

Crelesque Dryopesque fremunl, picXique Agatkyrsi: 
Also thee first of Italia is long: yeet in thee therd book 
Italus is short, as 

Has autem terras, Italique kanc littoris orani. 10 

Touching the terniinalion of syllables, I made a prosodta 
too my selfe squaring soomwhat from thee Latin : in this 

A. finila commiinia. B. D. T, breuia : yeet theese 
woordes that eende lyke dipthonges are common : as 'S 
motitfi, south, 4r. C. common, E. common : yf yt bee 
short, I wryte yt vsualy with a single E, as the, me; yf 
long with two, as thee, mee; allhogh I would not wish 
thee quantitie of syllables too depend so much vpon thee 
gaze of thee eye as thee censure of thee eare. F. breuia. ao 
G. breuia : soomtyme long by position where D may bee 
enterserted, as passage is short, but yf you make yt long, 
passadge with D would bee written ; albeyt, as I sayd 
right now, thee eare, not ortographie, must decyde thee 
quantitye as neere as is possible, I. common. K, 35 
common. L. breuia, prater Hebreea, vl Michail, Ca&rxl. 
N, Breia'a ; yeet woordes eending in dipthongwise would 
bee common, as playne, fayne, suiayne. O. common, 
prater 6 longum. P. Breuia. R. Brevta, except 

woordes eending lyke dipthonges that may bee common, 30 
as youre, oure, houre, soure, succour, ^c. As and Es 
common. Is breuia. Os common. Vs breuia. V. 
common. As for M. yt is either long by position, or els 

Latin and English Prosody 147 

dipt, yf thee next woord begyn with a vocal, as fame, 
name: for albeyt E bee thee last letter, that must not 
salue M from accurtation, beecause in thee eare M is 
thee last letter, and E dooth noght els but leng[t]hen and 
5 moilifye thee pronountiation. As for I. Y. W., in as much 
as they are moungrels, soomtyme consonantes, soomtyme 
vocals, where they further I dooe not reiect theym, 
where they hinder I doe not greattye weigh theym : As 
thee middle of folowing I make short, notwythstanding 

10 thee W, and lykwise the first of power: But where 
a consonant immediatly followeth the W, I make yt 
alwayes long, as fowling. 

This much I thoght good too acquaynt thee gentle 
reader wythal, rather too discoouer wj^h what priuat 

15 preceptes I haue embayed my verses then too publish 
a directorye too thee learned, who in theyre trauayls 
may franckly vse theyre owne discretion wjlhowt my 


(^.v Apolocie for Poetrie) 

c- 1583 (printed 1595) 

wo editions of Sidney's famous essay (written c. 1583) 
appeared in 1595-(al The \ Defence of\ Poesie. \ By Sir 
Phillip Sidney, I KtiigA/ \\ London. \ Printed for fVilliam 
Ponsonby. I 1595, and (b) An \ Apologie \ for Pottrie. \ 
Written by the right noble, veriu-\ous, and learned, Sir Pkiliip\ 
Sidney, Knight. \\ Odi profnnum vulgus, ttarceo. \\ At London, 
I Printed for Henry Olney, and are to be sold at \ his shop in 
Paules Church-yard, at the signe \ of the George, neere to 
Cheap-gate. \ Anno 1595. Ponsonby's edition, which is 
extant in the unique copy in the collection of Mr. F. Locker, 
seems, from the evidence of the Stationers' Register', 
to have been the earlier of the two. It is the basis of the 
later tests from the folio of 1598, where the essay appears 
.ae an addition to the Arcadia. It has been reprinted 
by Dr. Ewald FlOgel in his Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel 
and Stella und Defence of Poesie, Halle 1889. Yet OIney's 
text is more carefully printed than Ponsonby's and his 
successors'. It was last reprinted by Mr. Arber in his 
English Reprints and by Mr. Shuckburgh in the Pitt Press 
Series. The present text has been taken from the copy of 
OIney's edition presented to the library of the University 
of Edinburgh by the poet William Drummond. The 
important differences between it and Mr. Locker's copy 
of Ponsonby's edition (ed. Flflgel) are pointed out in the 

It will be seen that there is bibliographical justification 

for either title— Defence or Apologie. The popularity of 

the later editions, founded on Ponsonby's, gave greater 

vogue to the former. Sidney himself speaks of his effort 

> See Notei. 


An Apology /or Poehy 149 

as a 'pittiful defence of poore Poetry': and the term 
was frequently employed by contemporary critics in their 
pamphlet feuds. But the title Apologie, of the 1595 edition, 
was perhaps not less common among Sidney's friends and 
successors, for we find Harington so styling the Essay in 
his Brie/e Apologie 0/ Poetrie (q.v.), which was printed four 
years before the first edition of Sidney's work. So also 
William Vaughan (q, v.). 

The Essay is preceded in Olney's edition by four sonnets 
' written by Henrie Constable to Sir Phillip Sidney's soule,' 
and by the following note ' To the Reader ' ; — 

'The stormie Winter (deere Chyidren of the Muses), 
which hath so long held backe the glorious Sunshine of 
diuine Poesie, is heere by the sacred pen-breathing words 
of diuine Sir Phillip Sidney not onely chased from our fame- 
inuiting Clyme, but vtterly for euer banisht eternitie ; then 
graciously regreet the perpetuall spring of euer-growing 
inueotion, and like kinde Babes, either enabled by wit or 
power, help to support me poore Midwife, whose daring 
aduenture hath deliuered from Obliuions wombe this 
euer-to-be-admired wits miracle. Those great ones who 
in themselues haue intcrr'd this blessed innocent wil with 
Aesculapius condemne me as a detractor from their Deities: 
those who Prophet-like haue but heard presage of his 
coming wil (if they wil doe wel) not onely defend but 
praise mee as the first publique bewrayer of Poesies Messioii. 
Those who neither haue scene, thereby to interre, nor 
heard, by which they might be inflamed with desire to 
see, let them (of duty) plead to be my Champions, sith 
both theyr sight and hearing by mine incurring blame is 
reasoned. Excellent Poesie (so created by this Apologie), 
be thou my Defendresse; and if any wound mee, let thy 
beautie (my soules Adamant) recure mee; if anie com- 
mend mine endeuored hardiment, to them commend thy 
most diuinest fury as a winged incouragement 
thou haue deuoted to thee, and to them obliged. 


;;emen[; so snait ■ 

liged, j 

Henry Olney.\ J 

Sir Philip Sidney 


Vy/HEN the right vertuous Edward Wolton and I 
were at the Emperors Court together, wee gaiie our 
selues to learne horsemanship of lohn Pieiro Pugliano, 
one that with great commendation had the place of an s 
Esquire in his stable. And hee, according to the fertilnes 
of the Italian wit, did not onely afoord vs the demonstration 
of his practise, but sought to enrich our mindes with the 
contemplations therein which hee thought most precious. 
But with none I remember mine eares were at any time lo 
more loden, then when (either angred with slowe paiment, 
or mooued with our learner-like admiration) he exercised 
his speech in the prayse of his facultie. Hee sayd, 
Souldiours were the noblest estate of mankinde, and 
horsemen the noblest of Souldiours. Hee sayde they 15 
were the Maisters of warre, and ornaments of peace; 
speedy goers, and strong abiders; triumphers both in 
Camps and Courts. Nay, to so vnbeleeued a poynt hee 
proceeded, as that no earthly thing bred such wonder to 
a Prince as lo be a good horseman. Skill of gouernment ao 
was but a Pedanteria in comparison. Then would hee adde 
certaine prayses, by telling what a peerlesse beast a horse 
was; the onely seruiceable Courtier without flattery, the 
beast of most beutie, faithfulnes, courage, and such more, 
that if I had not beene a peece of a Logician before 1 came 05 
to him, 1 think he would haue perswaded mee to haue 
wished my selfe a horse. But thus much at least with his 
no fewe words hee draue into me, that selfe-loue is better 
then any guilding to make that seeme gorgious wherein 
our selues are parties. Wherein, if Pugliano his strong 30 
affection and weake arguments will not satisfie you, I wil 
giue you a neerer example of my selfe, who (I knowe not 
by what mischance) in these my not old yeres and idelest 
times, hauing slipt into the title of a Poet, am prouoked 


Alt Apology /or Poetry 151 

lo say somthing vnto you in the defence of that my vn- 
elected vocation, which if 1 handle with more good will 
then good reasons, beare with me, sith the scholler is to 
be pardoned that foloweth the steppes of his Maister, 

5 And yet I must say that as I haue iust cause to make 
a pittiful defence of poore Poetry, which from almost the 
highest estimation of learning is fallen to be the laughing- 
stoclce of children ; so haue 1 need to bring some more 
auaileable proofes : sith the former is by no man barred of 

lo his deserued credite, the silly latter hath had euen the 
names of Philosophers vsed to the defacing of it, with 
great danger of ciuill war among the Muses^ And first, 
truly to al them that professing learning inueigh against 
Poetry, may justly be obiected, that they goe very neer to 

'5 vngratfulnes, to seek to deface that which, in the noblest 
nations and languages that are knowne, hath been the first 
light-giuer to ignorance, and first Nurse, whose milk by 
little and little enabled them to feed afterwards of tougher 
knowledges : and will they now play the Hedghog that, 

so being receiued into the den, draue out his host ? or rather 
the Vipers, that with theyr birth kill their Parents? Let 
learned Greece In any of her manifold Sciences be able 
to shew me one booke before Mnstrus, Homer, and 
Hesiodus, all three nothing els hut Poets. Nay, let any 

U5 historie be brought that can say any Writers were there 
before them, if they were not men of the same skil, as 
Orpheuft, Linus, and some other are named : who, hauing 
beene the first of that Country that made pens deliuerers 
of their knowledge to their posterity, may iustly chalenge 

30 to bee called their Fathers in learning : for not only in 
time they had this priority (although in it self antiquity 
be venerable) but went before them, as causes to drawe 
with their charming sweetnes the wild vntamed wits to 
an admiration of knowledge. So as Aniphion was sayde 

35 to moue stones with his Poetrie to build Thebes ; and 


I soun 

152 Sir Philip Sidney 

Orpheus to be listened to by beastes, indeed stony and 
beastly people. So among the Romans were Liuius, 
Andronicus, and Ennius. So in the Italian language the 
first that made it aspire to be a Treasure- house of Science 
were the Poets Dante, Boccace, and Petrarch. So in our s 
English were Gower and Chawcer. 

After whom, encouraged and delighted with theyr 
excellent fore-going, others haue followed, to beaulifie our 
mother tongue, as wel in the same kinde as in other Arts. 
This did so notably shewe it selfe, that the Phylosophers "> 
of Greece durst not a long time appeare to the worlde 
but vnder the masks of Poets. So Thales, Empedocles, and 
Pamienides sange their naturall Phylosophie in verses: 
so did Pythagoras and Phocilides their morral counsells : 
30 did Tirleus in war matters, and Solon in matters of 15 
policie : or rather, they, beeing Poets, dyd exercise their 
delightful vaine in those points of highest knowledge, 
which before them lay hid to the world. For that wise 
Solon was directly a Poet it is manifest, hauing written 
in verse the notable fable of the Atlantick Hand, which ao 
was continued by Plato. 

And truely, euen Plato, whosoeuer well considereth, 
shall find that in the body of his work, though the inside 
[ and strength were Philosophy, the skinne as it were and 
beautte depended most of Poetrie ; for all standeth vpon 35 
Dialogues, wherein he'faineth many honest Burgesses of 
Athens to speake of such matters, that, if they had been 
sette on the racke, they would neuer haue confessed them. 
Besides, his poetical describing the circumstances of their 
meetings, as the well ordering of a banquet, the delicacie 30 
of a walke, with enterlacing meere tales, as Giges Ring, 
and others, which who knoweth not to be flowers of 
Poetrie did neuer walke into Apollos Garden. 

And euen Historiographers (although tlieyr lippes 
sounde of things doone, and verltie be written in theyr 33 

An Apohgy for Poetry 153 

fore-heads) haue been glad to borrow both fashion and 
perchance weight of Poets. So Herodolus entituled his 
Historic by the name of the nine Muses: and both he 
and all the rest that followed him either stole or vsurped 

5 of Poetrie their passionate describing of passions, the 
many particularities of battailes, which no man could 
affirme, or, if that be denied me, long Orations put in the 
mouthes of great Kings and Captaines, which it is certaine 
they neuer pronounced. So that, truely, neyther Phylo- 

10 sopher nor Historiographer coulde at the first haue entred 
into the gates of populer iudgements, if they had not taken 
a great pasporC of Poetry, which in all Nations at this 
day, wher learning florisheth not, is plaine to be scene : in 
all which they haue some feeling of Poetry, In Turky, 

15 besides their lawe-giuing Diuines, they haue no other 
Writers but Poets. In our neighbour Countrey Ireland, 
where truelie learning goeth very bare, yet are theyr 
Poets held in a deuoute reuerence. Euen among the 
most barbarous and simple Indians where no writing is, 

ao yet haue they their Poets, who make and sing songs, which 
they call Areytos, both of theyr Auncestors deedes and 
praises of theyr Gods : a sufficient probabilitie that if 
euer learning come among them, it must be by hauing 
theyr hard dull wits softned and sharpened with the 

35 sweete delights of Poetrie. For vntill they find a pleasure 
in the exercises of the minde, great promises of much 
knowledge will little perswade them that knowe not the 
fruites of knowledge. In Wales, the true remnant of the 
aiincient Brittons, as there are good authorities to shewe 

30 the long time they had Poets, which they catted Bardes, 
so thorough all the conquests of Romaines, Saxons, 
Danes, and Normans, some of whom did seeke to ruine 
all memory of learning from among them, yet doo their 
Poets, euen to this day, last ; so as it is not more notable 

35 in soone beginning then in long continuing. But since 



154 Sir Philip Sidney 

the Authors of most of our Sciences were the Romans, 
and before them the Greekes, let vs a little stand vppon 
their authorities, but euen so farre as to see what names 
they haue giuen vnto this now scorned skill. 

Among the Romans a Poet was called Vales, which is 5 
as much as a Diuiner, Fore-seer, or Prophet, as by his 
conioyned wordes Vatkinium and Valicmari is manifest : 
so heauenly a title did that excellent people bestow vpon 
this hart-rauishing knowledge. And so farre were they 
carried into the admiration thereof, that they thought in 10 
the chaunceable hitting vppon any such verses great fore- 
tokens of their following fortunes were placed. Where- 
upon grew the wprde of Series Vtrgilianae, when, by 
suddaine opening Virgils booke, they lighted vpon any 
verse of hys making: whereof the histories of the 15 
Emperors Hues are full ; as oi Albinus, the Gouernour of 
our Hand, who in his childehoode mette with this verse, 
Arma amens capio tiec sal ralionts in armi's ; 

and in his age performed it : which although it were 
a very vaine and godles superstition, as also it was to ^n 
think that spirits were conimaunded by such verses— 
whereupon this word charmes, deriued of Carmina, com- 
meth— so yet senieth it to shew the great reuerence those 
wits were helde in. And altogether not without ground, 
since both the Oracles of Delphos and Sibillas prophecies as 
were wholy deliuered inverses. For that same exquisite 
obseruing of number and measure in words, and that high 
flying liberty of conceit proper to the Poet, did seeme to 
haue some dyuine force in it. 

And may not I presume a little further, to shew the 3° 
reasonablenes of this worde Vales ? And say that the 
holy Dauids Psalmes are a diuine Poem ? If I doo, 
1 shall not do it without the testimonie of great learned 
men, both auncient and moderne : but euen the name 



An Apology /or Poetry 155 

Psalmes will speake'for mee, which, being interpreted, is 
nothing but songes. Then that it is fully written in meeter, 
as all learned Hebricians agree, although the rules be not 
yet fully found, Lastly and principally, his handeling his 
5 prophecy, which is tneerely poetical. For what els is the 
awaking his musicall instruments ; the often and free 
changing of persons ; his notable Prosofiopet'as, when he 
raaketh you, as it were, see God comming in his Maiestie; 
his telling of the Beastes ioyfulnes, and hills leaping, but 

10 a heauenlie poesie, wherein almost hee sheweth himaelfe 
a passionate louer of that vnspeakable and euerlasting 
beautie to be scene by the eyes of the minde, onely 
cleered by fayth ? But truely nowe hauing named him, 
1 feare mee I seeme to prophane that holy name, applying 

'5 it to Poetrie, which is among vs throwne downe to so 
ridiculous an estimation : but they that with quiet iudge- 
ments will looke a little deeper into it, shall finde the end 
and working of it such, as beeing rightly applycd, deserueth 
not to bee scourged out of the Church of God. 

lio But now, let vs see how the Greekes named it, and 
howe they deemed of it. The Greekes called him a Poet, 
which name hath, as the most excellent, gone thorough 
other Languages. It commeth of this word Poiein, which 
is to make : wherein I know not, whether by lucke or 

35 wisedome, wee Englishmen haue mette with the Greekes 
in calling him a maker: which name, how high and 
incomparable a title it is, I had rather were knowne by 
marking the scope of other Sciences then by my partial! 

30 There is no Arte deliuered to mankinde that hath not 
the workes of Nature for his principall obiect, without 
which they could not consist, and on which they so 
depend, as they become Actors and Players, as it were, of 
what Nature will haue set foorth. So doth the Astronomer 

is looke vpon the starres, and, by that he seeth, setteth downe 

156 Sir Philip Sidney 

what order Nature hath taken therein. So doe the 
Geometrician and Arithmetician in their diuerse sorts of 
quantities. So doth the Musitian in times tel you which 
by nature agree, which not. The naturall Philosopher 
thereon hath his name, and the Morrall Philosophers 
standeth vpon the naturall vertues, vices, and passions of 
man ; and 'foilowe Nature' {saith hee) 'therein, and thou 
shalt not erre.' The Lawyer sajth what men haue deter- 
mined. The Historian what men haue done. The 
Grammarian speaketh onely of the rules of speech ; and 10 
the Rethoriciaii and Logitian, considering what in Nature 
will soonest proue and perswade, thereon glue artificial 
rules, which still are' compassed within the circle of 
a question, according to the proposed matter. The 
Phisition waigheth the nature of a mans bodie, and the 15 
nature of things helpeful or hurtefull vnto it. And the 
Metaphisick, though it be in the seconde and abstract 
notions, and therefore be counted supernatural I, yet doth 
hee indeede builde vpon the depth of Nature. . Onely' the 
Poet, disdayning to be tied to any such subiection, lifted ao 
vp with the vigor of his owne inuention, dooth growe in 
effect another nature, in making things either better then 
Nature bringeth forth, or, quite a newe, formes such as 
neuer were in Nature, as the Heroes, Demigods, Cyclops, 
Chimeras, Furies, and such like : so as hee goeth hand in 35 
hand with Nature, not inclosed within the narrow warrant 
of her guifts, but freely ranging onely within the Zodiack 
of his owne wit. 

Nature neuer set forth the earth in so rich tapistry 
as diuers Poets haue done, neither with plesant riuers, 30 
fruitful trees, sweet smelling flowers, nor whatsoeuer 
els may make the too much loued earth more louely. 
Her world is brasen, the Poets only deliuer a golden. 
But let those things alone and goe to man, for whom 
as the other things are, so it seemeth in him her vtter- 35 


An Apology /or Poetry 157 

most cunning is imployed, and knowe whether shee haue 
brouglit foorth so true a louer as Tkeagines, so constant 
a friende as Pilades, so valiant a man as Orlando, so right 
a Prince as Xenopkons Cyrus, so excelle nt a man euery ^■ 
5 way as Virgils Aeneas : neither let this be Jestingly con- 
ceiued, because the works of the one be essentiall, the 
other, in imitation or fiction; for any vnderstanding 
knoweth the skil of the Artificer standeth in that Idea 
or fore-conceite of the work, and not in the work it selfe, 

10 And that the Poet hath that Tdea is manifest, by deliuering 
them forth in such excellencie as hee hath imagined them. 
Which deliuering forth also is not wholie imaginatlue, 
as we are wont to say by them that build Castles in the 
ayre: but so farre substantially it worketh, not onely to 

IS make a Cyrus, which had been but a particulcr excellencie, 
as Nature might haue done, but to bestow a Cyrus vpon 
the worlde, to make many Cyrus's, if they wil learne aright 
why and how that Maker made hira. 

Neyther let it be deemed too sawcie a comparison to 

JO ballance the highest poynt of mans wit with the efiicacie 
of Nature : but rather giue right honor to the heauenly 
Maker of that maker, who, hauing made man to his owne 
likenes, set him beyond and ouer all the workes of that 
second nature, which in nothing hee sheweth so much 

=5 as in Poetrie, when with the force of a diuine breath he 
bringeth things forth far surpassing her dooings, with no 
small argument to the incredulous of that first accursed -. 
fall of Adam: sith our erected wit maketh vs know what 
perfection is, and yet our infected wil! keepeth vs from ' - 

30 reaching vnto it. But these arguments wil by fewe be ^ 
vnderstood, and by fewer granted. Thus much (I hope) -' 
will be giuen me, that the Greekes with some probabilitie 
of reason gaue him the name aboue all names of learning. 
Now let vs goe to a more ordinary opening of him, that 

35 the trueth may be more palpable : and so I hope, though 


of hU J 

> man 1 

158 Str Philip Sidney 

we get not so vnmatched a praise as the Eiimologie of 
names wil grant, yet his very description, which no 
wiU denie, shall not iustly be barred from a principall 

Poesie therefore is an arte of imitation, for so Aristotle 5 
termeth it in his word Mimesis, that is to say, a repre- 
senting, counterfetting, or figuring foorth : to speake meta- 
phorically, a speaking picture : with this end, to teach and 
delight. Of this haue beene three seuerall kindes. 

The chiefe both in antiquitie and excellencie were 10 
they that did imitate the inconceiuable excellencies of 
GOD. Such were Dauid in his Psalmes, Salomon in 
his song of Songs, in his Ecclesiastes, and Prouerbs, 
Moses and Debora in theyr Hymnes, and the writer of 
lob ; which, beside other, the learned Emanue/i TremetiMS 15 
and franciscus Junius doe entitle the poeticall part of the 
Scripture. A^inst these none will speake that hath the 
holie Ghost in due holy reuerence. In this kinde, thou^ 
in a full wrong diuinitie, were Orpheus, Ampkion, Homer 
in his hymnes. and manj- other, both Greekes and Romaines: ao 
and this Poesie must be vsed, by whosoeuer will follow 
S. lames his counsell, in singing Psalmes when they are 
merry : and 1 knowe is vsed with the fruite of comfort by 
some, when, in sorrowfull pangs of their death-bringing 
sinnes, they find the consolation of the neuer-leauing 35 

The second kinde is of them that deale with matters 
Philosophical! ; eyther morrall, as Tirteus, PhodliiUs, and 
Cato ; or natural!, as Lucretius and Virgtis Georgicks ; or 
Astronomicall, as Manilius and Ponlanus ; or historical, 30 
as Lucan : which who mislike, the faulte is in their iudge- 
ments quite out of taste, and not in the sweet foode of 
sweetly \ttered knowledge. 

But because thys second sorte is wrapped within the 
folde of the proposed subiect, and takes not the course of 33 

An Apology /or Poetry 159 

his owne inuention, whether they properly be Poets or no 
let Gratnarians dispute : and goe to the thyrd, Indeed right 
Poets, of whom chiefly this question ariseth; betwixt whom 
and these second is such a kinde of difference as betwixt 
5 the meaner sort of Painters (who counterfet onely such 
faces as are sette before them) and the more excellent, who, 
hauing no law but wit, bestow that in cullours vpon you 
which is fittest for the eye to see ; as the constant though 
lamenting looke of Lucrecm, when she punished in her selfe 

iQ an others fault ; wherein he painteth not Lucrecia whom he 
neuer sawe, but painteth the outwarde beauty of such a 
vertue. For these third be they which most properly do ^ 
imitate to teach and delight, and to imitate borrow nothing 
of what is, hath been, or shall be : but range, onely rayned 

15 with learned discretion, into the diuine consideration of 
what may be, and should be. These bee they that, as the 
first and most noble sorte, may iustly bee termed Vates, 
so these are waited on in the excellen[te]st languages and 
best vnderst an dings, with the fore described name of Poets : 

ao for these indeede doo meerely make to imitate, and imitate 
both to delight and teach, and delight to moue men to 
take that goodncs in hande, which without delight they 
would flye as from a stranger; and teach, to make them 
know that goodnes whereunto they are mooued, which 

35 being the noblest scope to which euer any learning was 
directed, yet want there not idle tongues to barke at them. 
These be subdiuided into sundry more speciall denomi- 
nations. The most notable bee the Herokk, Lirick. Tragick, 
Comtek, Satirick, lambtck, Elegiack, Pastorall, and certaine 

30 others, some of these being termed according to the 
matter they deale with, some by the sorts of verses they 
liked best to write in, for indeede the greatest part of 
Poets have apparelled their poeticall inuentions in that 
numbrous kinde of writing which is called verse ; indeed 

33 but apparelled, verse being but an ornament and no cause 

i6o Sir Philip Sidney 

to Poetry, sith there haue beene many most excellent 
Poets that neuer versified, and now swarme many versi- 
fiers that neede neuer aunswere to the name of Poets. 
For XenophoH, who did imitate so excellently as to giue 
vs effigiem tush' imperii, the portraiture of a iust Empire 5 
vnder the name of Cyrus [as Cicero sayth of him), made 
therein an absolute heroicall Poem ; so did Hdiodonts 
in his sugred inuention of that picture of lone in Tkeagtnes 
and Cariclea ; and yet both these writ in Prose : which 
I speak to shew that it is not riming and versing that '<> 
maketh a Poet, no more then a long gowne maketh an 
Aduocate. who though he pleaded in armor should be 
an Aduocate and no Souldier. But it is thatjayning 
I notable images of vertues, vices, or what els, with that 

delightfull teaching, which must be the right describing fs 
I note to know a Poet by: although indeed the Senate of 
Poets hath chosen verse as their fittest rayment, mean- 
ing, as in matter they passed all in all, so in maner 
to goe beyond them: not speaking {table taike fashion 
or like men in a dreame) words as they chanceably fall »o 
from the mouth, but peyzing each sillable of each worde 
by iust proportion according to the dignitie of the 

Nowe therefore it shall not bee amisse first to waigh 
this latter sort of Poetrie by his works, and then by his as 
partes; and if in neyther of these Anatomies hee be 
condemnable, I hope wee shall obtainc a more fauourable 
sentence. This purifing of wit, this enritching of memory, 
enabling of iudgnient. and enlarging of conceyt, which 
commonly we call teaming, vnder what name soeuer it 30 
com forth, or to what immediat end soeuer it be directed, 
/ the final end is to lead and draw vs to as high a perfection 
/ as our degenerate soules, made worse by theyr clayey 
I lodgings, can be capable of. This, according to the inclina- 
tion of the man, bred many formed impressions. For some 35 

An Apology for Poetry i6i 

that thought t his feli city principally to be gotten by know- 
ledge, and no Icnowledge to be so high and heauenly 
as acquaintance with the starres, gaue themselues to 
Astronomic ; others, perswading themselues to be Demi- 

igods if they knewe the causes of things, became naturall 
and supernaturall Philosophers ; some an admirable delight 
drew to Musicke; and some the certainty of demonstra- 
tion to the Mathematickes : But all, one and other, . 
hauing this scope — to knowe, and by knowledge to lift vp v 

lothe mind from the dungeon of the body to the enioying ( 
his owne diuine essence. But when by the ballance of ' 
experience it was found that the Astronomer looking 
to the starres might fall into a ditch, that the enquiring 
Philosopher might be bUnde in hlmselfe, and the Mathe- 
rs matician might draw foorth a straight line with a crooked 
hart ; then loe, did proofe, the ouer ruler of opinions, make 
manifest that ail these are but seruing Sciences, which as 
they haue each a priuate end in themselues, so yet are 
they all directed to the highest end of the mistres Know- 

ao ledge, by the Greekes called Arkilecktomke, which stands, 
(as I thinke) in the knowledge of a mans selfe, in the 
Ethicke and politick consideration, with the end of well ~** 
dooing and not of well knowing onely ; euen as the 
Sadlers next end is to make a good saddle, but his 

05 farther end to serue a nobler facultie, which is horseman- 
ship ; so the horsemans to souldiery, and the Souldier not 
onely to haue the skill, but to performe the practise of 
a Souldier; so that, the ending end of all earthly learning 
being vertuous action, those skilles that most serue to 

30 bring forth that haue a most iust title to bee Princes ouer 
all the rest. Wherein if wee can shewe the Poets noblenes, 
by setting him before his other Competitors, among whom 
as principall challengers step forth the raorrall Philo- 
sophers, whom, me thinketh, I see comraing towards mee 

35 with a sullen grauity, as though they could not abide vice 

i6a Sir Philip Sidney 

by day light, rudely clothed for to witnes outwardly their 
contempt of outward things, with bookes in their hands 
agaynst glory, whereto they sette theyr names, sophisti- 
cally speaking against subtility, and angry with any man 
in whom they see the foule fault of anger: these mens 
casting larges as they goe of Definitions, Diuisions, and 
Distinctions, with a scornefull interogatiue doe soberly 
aske whether it bee possible to finde any path so ready 
to leade a man to vertue as that which teacheth what 
vertue is? and teacheth it not onely by deliuering forth "> 
his very being, his causes, and effects; but also by making 
known his enemie vice, which must be destroyed, and his 
combersome seruant Passion, which must be maistered ; 
by shewing the generalities that contayneth it, and the 
specialities that are deriued from it ; lastly, by playne '5 
setting downe, how it extendeth it selfe out of the limits 
of a mans own little world to the gouernment of families, 
and maintayning of publique societies. 

The Historian scarcely giueth leysure to the Moralist 
to say so much, but that he, loden with old Mouse-eaten =° 
records, authorising himselfe (for the most part) vpon other 
histories, whose greatest authorities are built vpon the 
notable foundation of Heare-say, hauing much a-doe to 
accord differing Writers and to pick trueth out of 
partiality, better acquainted with a. thousande yeeres as 
a goe then with the present age, and yet better knowing 
how this world goeth then how his owne wit runneth, 
curious for antiquities and inquisitiue of nouelties, a 
wonder to young folkes and a tyrant in table talke, 
denieth, in a great chafe, that any man for teaching of 3° 
vertue, and vertuous actions, is comparable to him. I am 
Lux vitae, Temporum magistm, Vita memoriae, Nuttcia 
vetustatis, ^-c. 

'The Phylosopher' (sayth hee) 'teacheth a disputatiue 
vertue, but I doe an actiue : his vertue is excellent in 3S 

An Apology /or Poetry 163 

the dangerlesse Academic of Plato, but mine sheweth 
foorth her honorable face in , the battalias of Marathon, 
Pharsalia, Poitiers, and Agincourt. Hee teacheth vertue 
by certaine abstract considerations, but I onely bid you 
5 follow the footing of them that haue gone before you. 
Olde-aged experience goeth beyond the fine-witted Pliylo- 
sopher, but I giue the experience of many ages. Lastly, 
if he make the Song-booke, I put the learners hande to 
the Lute : and if hee be the guide, I am the light.' 

■o Then woulde hee alledge you innumerable examples, 
conferring storie by stone, how much the wisest Senatours 
ajid Princes haue beene directed by the credite of history, 
as Brutus, Alphonsus of Aragon, and who not, if need 
bee ? At length the long lyne of theyr disputation maketh 

>5 a poynt in thys, that the one giueth the precept, and the 
other the example. 

Nowe, whom shall wee finde (sith the question standeth 
for the highest forme in the Schoole of learning) to bee 
Moderator? Trulie, as mee seeraeth, the Poet; and if not 

ao a Moderator, euen the man that ought to carrie the title 
from them both, and much more from all other seruing 
Sciences. Therefore compare we the Poet with the 
Historian, and with the Morrall Phylosopher, and, if 
hee goe beyond them both, no other humaine skill can 

"5 match him. For as for the Diuine, with all reuerence it 
is euer to be excepted, not only for hauing his scope 
as far beyonde any of these as eternitie exceedeth a 
moment,. but euen for passing each of these in themselues. 
And for the Lawyer, though lus bee the Daughter of 

30 Justice, and lustice the chiefe of Vertues, yet because hee 
seeketh to make men good rather Formidine poenae then 
Virtutis amore, or, to say righter, dooth not indeuour to 
make men good, but that their euiti hurt not others, 
hauing no care, so hee be a good Cittizen, how bad 

3S a man he be : Therefore, as our wickednesse maketh 


164 Sir Philip Sidney 

him necessarie, and necessitie maketh nim honorable, 
so is hee not in the deepest tnieth to stande in rancke 
with these who all indeuour to take naughtines away, 
and plant goodnesse euen Ln the secretest cabinet of our 
soules. And these foure are all that any way deale in 5 
that consideration of mens manners, which beeing the 
supreme knowledge, they that best breed it deserue the 
best commendation. 

The Philosopher therfore and the Historian are they 
which would win the gole, the one by precept, the other 10 
by example. But both not hauing both, doe both halte. 
For the Philosopher, setting downe with thorny argument 
the bare rule, is so hard of vtterance, and so mistie to hee 
conceiued, that one that hath no other guide but him shall 
wade in him till hee be olde before he shall finde sufficient is 
cause to bee honest : for his knowledge standeth so vpon 
the abstract and generall, that happie is that man who 
may vnderstande him, and more happie that can applye 
what hee dooth vnderstand. On the other side, the 
Historian, wanting the precept, is so tyed, not to what ao 
shoulde bee but to what is, to the particuler truth of 
things and not to the general reason of things, that hys 
example draweth no necessary consequence, and therefore 
a lesse fruitfull doctrine. 

Nowe dooth the peerelesse Poet performe both: for 35 
whatsoeuer the Philosopher sayth shoulde be doone, hee 
giueth a perfect picture of it in some one, by whom hee 
presupposeth it was doone. So as hee coupleth the 
generall notion with the particuler example. A perfect 
picture J say, for hee yeeldeth to the powers of the minde 30 
an image of that whereof the Philosopher bestoweth but 
a woordish description : which dooth neyther strike, 
pierce, nor possesse the sight of the soule so much as 
that other dooth. 

For as in outward things, to a man that had neuer 35 



An Apology for Poetry 165 

scene an Elephant or a Rinoceros, who should tell him 
most exquisitely all theyr shapes, cullour, bignesse, and 
perticular markes, or of a goi^eous Pallace the Archi- 
tecture, with declaring the full beauties, might well make 
5 the hearer able to repeate, as it were by rote, all hee had 
heard, yet should neuer satisfie his inward conceits with 
being witnes to it selfe of a true liuely knowledge : but the 
same man, as soone as hee might see those beasts well 
painted, or the house wel in moddel, should straightwaies 

10 grow, without need of any description, to a iudicial compre- 
hending of them : so no doubt the Philosopher with his 
learned definition, bee it of vertue, vices, matters of 
publick policie or priuat gouernment, replenisheth the 
memory with many infallible grounds of wisdom, which, 

15 notwithstanding, lye darke before the imaginatiue and 
iudging powre, if they bee not illuminated or figured 
foorth by the speaking picture of Poesie. 

TuUie taketh much paynes, and many times not without 
poeticall helpes, to make vs knowe the force loue of our 

30 Co un trey hath in vs.. Let vs but heare old Anckises 
speaking in the middest of Troyes (lames, or see Vlisses 
in the fulnes of all Calipso's delights bewayle his absence 
from barraine and beggerly Ithaca. Anger, the Sloicks 
say, was a short madnes : let but Sophocles bring you 

35 Aiax on a stage, killing and whipping Sheepe and Oxen, 
thinking them the Army of Greeks, with theyr Chiefe- 
taines Agamemnon and Menelaus, and tell mee if you 
haue not a more familiar insight into anger then finding 
in the Schoolemen his Genus and difference. See whether 

30 wisdom e and temperance in Vlisses and Diomedes, vaiurc 
in Achilles, friendship in Nisus and Eurialus, euen to an 
ignoraunt man carry not an apparent shyning : and, con- 
trarily, the remorse of conscience in Oedipus, the soone 
repenting pride oi Agamemnon, theselfe-deuouringcrueltie 

35 in his Father Atreus, the violence of ambition in the two 


i66 Str Philip Sidney 

Tkeban brothers, the sowre-sweetnes of reuenge in Medtea, 
and, to fall lower, the Terentian Gnato and our Ckamers 
Pandar so exprest that we nowe vse their names to 
signiiie their trades ; and finally, all vertues, vices, and 
passions so in their own naturall seates layd to the viewe, 5 
that wee seeme not to heare of them, but cleerely to see 
through thera. But euen in the most excellent determina- 
tion of goodnes, what Philosophers counsel! can so redily 
direct a Prince, as the fayned Cyrus in Xenophoitf or 
a vertuous man in all fortunes, as Aeneas in VtrgiWi 10 
or a whole Common-wealth, as the way of Sir Thomas 
Moores Entopial I say the way, because where Sir 
Thomas Moore erred, it was the fault of the man and 
not of the Poet, for that way of patterning a Common- 
wealth was most absolute, though hee perchaunce hath is 
not so absolutely perfourmed it : for the question is, 
whether the fayned image of Poesie or the regular in- 
struction of Philosophy hath the more force in teaching; 
wherein if the Philosophers haue more rightly shewed 
ihemselues Philosophers then the Poets haue obtained ao 
to the high top of their profession, as in truth, 
Mediocribus esse poetis, 
Non Di, non homines, rwti concessere Cokimnae, 

it is, I say againe, not the fault of the Art, but that by 
fewe men that Arte can bee accomplished. Certainly, ag 
euen our Sauiour Christ could as well haue giuen the 
morrall common places of vncharitablenes and humble- 
nes as the diuine narration of Diues and Lazarus; or 
of disobedience and mercy, as that heauenJy discourse 
of the lost Child and the gratious Father; but that hys 30 
through-searching wisdom knewe the estate of Diues 
burning in hell, and of Lasarus being in Abrahams 
bosome, would more constantly (as it were) inhabit both 
the memory and iudgment. Truly, for my selfe, mee 


An Apology /or Poetry 167 

seemes I see before my eyes the lost Childes disdainefull 
prodigality, turned to enuie a Swines dinner: which by 
the learned Diuines are thought not historical! acts, but 
instructing Parables. For conclusion, I say the Philo- 
5 sopher teacheth, but he teacheth obscurely, so as the 
learned onely can vnderstande him, that is to say, he 
teacheth them that are already taught ; but the Poet is 
the foode for the tenderest stomacks, the Poet is indeed 
the right Popular Philosopher, whereof Esops tales giue 

lo good proofe: whose pretty Allegories, stealing vnder the 
formall tales of Beastes, make many, more beastly then 
Beasts, begin to heare the sound of vertue from these 
dumbe speakers. 

But now may it be alledged that if this imagining of 

13 matters be so fitte for the imagination, then must the 
Historian needs surpasse, who bringeth you images of 
true matters, such as indeede were doone, and not such 
as fantastically or falsely may be suggested to haue been 
doone. Tniely, Aristotle himselfe, in his discourse of 

ao Poesie, plainely detennineth this question, saying that 
Poetry is Pkilosophoteron and Spoudaioleron, that is to 
say, it is more Philosophical! and more studiously 
serious then history. His reason is, because Poesie 
dealeth with Katholou, that is to say, with the vniuersall 

35 consideration ; and the history with Kathekaston, the per- 
ticuler: 'nowe,' sayth he, 'the vniuersall wayes what is fit 
to bee sayd or done, eyther in likelihood or necessity, 
(which the Poesie considereth in his imposed names), and 
the perticuler onely marks whether Akibiades did, or 

30 suffered, this or that.' Thus farre Aristotle : which reason 
of his (as all his) is most full of reason. For indeed, if 
the question were- whether it were better to haue a per- 
ticular acte truly or falsly set down, there is no doubt 
which is to be chosen, no more then whether you 1 

33 rather haue Vespasians picture right as hee was, 01 


i68 Sir Philip Sidney 

the Painters pleasure nothing resembling. But if the 
question be for your owne vse and learning, whether it 
be better to haue it set downe as it should be, or as it 
was, then certainely is more doctrinable the fained Cirus 
in Xettophon then the true Cyrus in Justine, and the 5 
fayned Aeneas in Firgii then the right Aeneas in Dares 
Pkrigius. As to a Lady that desired to fashion her 
countenance to the best grace, a Painter should more " 
benefite her to portraite a most sweet face, wryting 
Canidia vpon it, then to paynt Cam'dia as she was, who, lo 
Horace sweareth, was foule and ill fauoured. 
^ If the Poet doe his part a-right, he will shew you in 
Tatitalus, Atreus, and such like, nothing that is not to 
be shunned ; in Cyrus, Aeneas, VHsses, each thing to 
be followed; where the Historian, bound to tell things 15 
as things were, cannot be liberall (without hee will be 
poeticall) of a perfect patterne, but, as in Alexander or 
Scipio himselfe, shew dooings, some to be liked, some 
to be misliked. / And then how will you discerne what 
to followe but by your owne discretion, which you had ao 
without reading Quintus Cur/ius? And whereas a man 
may say, though in vniuersall consideration of doctrine 
the Poet preuaileth, yet that the historic, in his saying 
such a thing was doone, doth warrant a man more in that 
hee shall follow, the aunswere is manifest, that if hee as 
stande vpon that was — as if hee should argue, because it 
rayned yesterday, therefore it shoulde rayne to day — then 
indeede it hath some aduantage to a grose conceite ; but 
if he know an example onlie informes a coniectured like- 
lihood, and so goe by reason, the Poet dooth so farre 3° 
exceede him, as hee is to frame his example to that which 
is most reasonable, be it in warlike, politick, or priuate 
matters, where the Historian in his bare Was hath 
many times that which wee call fortune to ouer-rule 
the best wisedome. Manie times he must tell euents-35 

An Apoiogy for Poetry i6g 

whereof he can yeelde no cause : or, if hee doe, it must 
be poeticall. 

For that a fayned example hath asmuch force to teach 
as a true example (for as for to mooue, it is cieere, sith 
5 the fayned may bee tuned to the highest key of passion), 
let vs take one example wherein a Poet and a Historian 
doe concur. Herodoltis and lustine do both testifie that 
Zopirus, King Darius faithfull seruaunt, seeing his Maister 
long resisted by the rebellious Babilonians, fayned him- 

loselfe in extreame disgrace of his King: for verifying of 
which, he caused his own nose and eares to be cut off: 
and so flying to the Babylonians, was receiued, and for 
his knowne valour so far credited, that hee did finde 
meanes to deliuer them ouer to Darius. Much like 

15 matter doth Liuie record of Tarquiwus and his sonne. 
Xenopkon excellently faineth such another stratageme, 
performed by Abradates in Cyrus behalfe. Now would 
I fayne know, if occasion bee presented vnto you to 
serue your Prince by such an honest dissimulation, why 

so you doe not as well learne it of Xenophons fiction as 
of the others verity: and truely so much the better, as 
you shall saue your nose by the bargaine ; for Abradates 
did not counterfet so far. /So then the best of the Histo- 
rian is subiect to the Poet ; for whatsoeuer action, or 

as faction, whatsoeuer counsel!, pollicy, or warre stratagem 
the Historian is bound to recite, that may the Poet {if 
he list) with his imitation make his own; beautifying it 
both for further teaching, and more delighting, as it 
pleaseth him: hauing all, from Dante his heauen to hys 

30 hell, vnder the authoritie of his penne. y Which if I be 
asked what Poets haue done so, as I might well name 
some, yet say I, and say againe, I speak of the Arte, and 
not of the Artificer. 

Nowe, to that which commonly is attributed to the prayse 

3S of histories, in respect of the notable learning is gotten by 


170 Sir Philip Sidney 

marking the successe, as though therein a man should see 
vertue exalted and vice punished. Truely that commenda- 
tion is peculiar to Poetrie, and farre of from History, For 
X indeede Poetrie euer setteth vertue so out in her best 
cullours, making Fortune her wel-wayting hand-mayd, that 5 
one must needs be enamored of her. Well may you see 
Vlisses in a storme, and in other hard plights; but they 
are but exercises of patience and magnanimitie, to make 
them shine the more in the neere-foliowing prosperitie. 
And of the contrarie part, if euill men come to the stage, 10 
they euer goe out (as the Tragedie Writer answered to 
one that misliked the shew of such persons) so manacled 
as they little animate folkes to foUowe them. But the 
■"^"Historian, beeing captiued to the trueth of a foolish world, 
i is many times a terror from well dooing, and an incourage- 15 
{^ raent to vnbrideled wickednes. 

For see wee not valiant Milciades rot in his fetters? 
The iust Phocion and the accomplished Socrates put to 
death Hke Traytors ? The cruell Seuerus liue prosperously? 
The excellent Seuerus miserably murthered? Syila and ao 
Marius dying in theyr beddes ? Pompey and Cicero slaine 
then when they would haue thought exile a happinesse? 
See wee not vertuous Cato driuen to kyll himselfe? and 
rebell C(xsar so aduaunced that his name yet, after 1600 
yeares, lasteth in the highest honor ? And marke but euen 35 
Ccesars own words of the fore-named Sylla (who in that 
onely did honestly, to put downe his dishonest tyrannic), 
Literas tiesciuit, as if want of learning caused him to doe 
well. Hee meant it not by Poetrie, which, not content 
with earthly plagues, deuiseth new punishments in hel for 30 
Tyrants : nor yet by Philosophie, which teacheth Occi- 
dendos esse; but no doubt by skill in Historic, for that 
indeede can affoord your Cipselus, Periander, Phalaris, 

)i Dionisius, and I know not how many more of the same 
I kennell, that speede well enough in theyr abhominable 3S 

An Apology for Poetry 171 

vniustice or vsurpation. I conclude, therefore, that hee 
exeelleth Historic, not onely in furnishing the minde with 
knowledge, but in setting it forward to that which de- 
serueth to be called and accounted good : which setting 

5 forward, and moouing to well dooing, indeed setteth the 
Lawrell crowne vpon the Poet as victorious, not onely 
of the Historian, but ouer the Phylosopher, howsoeuer 
in teaching it may bee questionable. 

For suppose it be granted (that which I suppose with 

10 great reason may be denied) that the Philosopher, In 
respect of his methodical proceeding, doth teach more 
perfectly then the Poet, yet do I thinke that no man is 
so much Philophtiosophos as to compare the Philosopher, 
in m oouin p. with the Poet. 

15 And that moouing is of a higher degree then teaching, 
it may by this appeare, that it is wet nigh the cause and 
the effect of teaching. For who will be taught, if hee bee 
not mooued with desire to be taught? and what so much 
good doth that teaching bring forth {I speak still of morrall 

ao doctrine) as that it mooueth one to doe that which it dooth 
teach ? for, as Aristotle sayth, it is not Gnosis but Praxis 
must be the fruit. And howe Praxis cannot be, without 
being mooued to practise, it is no hard matter to con- 

n5 The Philosopher sheweth you the way, hee informeth 
you of the particularities, as well of the tediousnes of the 
way, as of the pleasant lodging you shall haue when your 
iourney is ended, as of the many by-turnings that may 
diuert you from your way. But this is to no man but to 

30 him that will read him, and read him with attentiue studious 
painfulnes. Which constant desire, whosoeuer hath in 
him, hath already past halfe the hardnes of the way, and 
therefore is beholding to the Philosopher but for the other 
halfe. Nay truely, learned men haue learnedly thought 

35 that, where once reason hath 30 much ouer-mastred passion 

iasaion J 

IP inwrarH 

173 Sir Philip Sidney 

as that the minde hath a free desire to doe well, the inward 
light each minde hath in it selfe is as good as a Philo- 
sophers hooke; seeing in nature we know it is wel to doe 
well, and what is well and what is euiil, although not in 
the words of Arte which Philosophers bestowe vpon vs. 5 
For out of naturall conceit the Philosophers drew it ; but 
to be moued to doe that which we know, or to be mooued 
with desire to Itnowe, Hoc opus, hie labor est. 

Nowe therein of all Sciences (1 speak still of humane, 
and according to the humaine conceits) is our Poet the 10 
Monarch. For he dooth not only show the way, but 
giueth so sweete a prospect into the way, as will intice 
any man to enter into it. Nay, he dooth, as if your 
iourney should lye through a fayre Vineyard, at the first 
giue you a cluster of Grapes, that, full of that taste, you 13 
may long to passe further. He beginneth not with obscure 
I definitions, which must blur the margent with interpreta- 
' tions, and load the memory with doubtfulnesse ; but hee 
commeth to you with words sent in delightfull propor- 
tion, either accompanied with, or prepared for, the well no 
inchaunting skill of Musicke; and with a tale forsooth he 
commeth vnto you, with a tale which holdeth children 
from play, and old men from the chimney corner. And, 
pretending no more, doth intende the winning of the mind 
from wickednesse to vertue : euen as the childe is often 35 
brought to take most wholsom things by hiding them in 
such other as haue a pleasant tast: which, if one should 
beginne to tell them the nature of^/o^.i or Rubarb they 
shoulde receiue, woulde sooner take their Phisicke at their 
eares then at their mouth. So is it in men (most of which 30 
are childish in the best things, till they bee cradled in their 
graues) : glad they will be to heare the tales of Hercules, 
Achilles, Cyrus, and Aeneas ; and, hearing them, must needs 
heare the right description of wisdom, valure, and iustice ; 
which, if they had been barely, that is to say Philo- 35 


An Apohgy for Poetry 173 

sophically, set out, they would sweare they bee brought to 
schoole againe. 

That imitation, wherof Poetry is, hath the most con- 

ueniency to Nature of all other, in somuch that, as 

5 AristoUe sayth, those things which in themselues are 

horrible, as c rue II battailes, vnnaturall Monsters, are 

made in poeticall imitation delightfull. Truely, I liauc 

knowen men, that euen with reading Amadis de Gaule 

(which God knoweth wanteth much of a perfect Poesie) 

'ohaue found their harts mooued to the exercise of cour- 

tesie, liberalitie, and especially courage. Who readeth 

Aeneas carrying olde Anchises on his back, that wisheth 

not it were his fortune to perfourme so excellent an 

acte ? Whom doe not the words of Turnus moouc ? 

15 (the tale of Turnus hauing planted his image in the 


Fugientem haec terra videbil ? 
Vsque adeone mori miserum est ? 

Where the Philosophers, as they scorne to delight, so 
30 must they bee content little to mooue, sauing wrangling 
whether Vertue bee the chiefe or the onely good, whether 
the contemplatiue or the actiue life doe excell : which Plato 
and Boetius well knew, and therefore made Mistres Philo- 
sophy very often borrow the masking rayment of Poesie. 
as For euen those harde harted euill men who Ihinke vertue 
a schoole name, and knowe no other good but indulgere 
genio, and therefore despise the austere admonitions of 
the Philosopher, and feele not the inward reason they 
stand vpon, yet will be content to be delighted, which is 
30 al the good felow Poet seemeth to promise ; and so steaie 
to see the forme of goodnes (which seene they cannot but 
loue) ere themselues be aware, as if they tooke a medicine 
of Cherries. Infinite proofes of the strange effects of this 
poeticall inuention might be atledged; onely two shall 



S74 -S'^ Philip Sidney 

I »erue, which are so often reraembred, as I thinke all men 
knowe them. 

The one of Menemus Agrippa, who, when the whole 
people of Rome had resolutely deuided themselues from 
the Senate, with apparant shew of vtter ruine, though hee 5 
were (for that time) an excellent Oratour, came not among 
them vpon trust of figuratiue speeches or cunning insinua- 
tions; and much lesse with farre fet Maxinies of Phylo- 
Bophie, which (especially if they were Plalonkk) they must 
haue learned Geometric before they could well haue con- m 
ceiued ; but forsooth he behaues himselfe like a homely 
and familiar Poet. Hee telleth them a tale, that there was 
a time when all the parts of the body made a mutinous 
conspiracie against the belly, which they thought deuoured 
the fruits of each others labour : they concluded they would 15 
let so vnprofitable a spender starue. In the end, to be 
short, (for the tale is notorious, and as notorious that it 
was a tale) with punishing the belly they plagued them- 
selues. This applied by him wrought such effect in the 
people, as I neuer read that euer words brought forth but ao 
then so suddaine and So good an alteration; for vpon 
reasonable conditions a perfect reconcilement ensued. 
The other is of Nathan the Prophet, who when the holie 
Dauid had so far forsaken God as to confirme adulterie 
with murther, when hee was to doe the tenderest office of 95 
a friende, in laying his owne shame before his eyes, sent 
by. God to call againe so chosen a seniant, how doth he 
it but by telling of a man whose beloued Lambe was 
vngratefullie taken from his bosome ? the applycation most 
diuinely true, but the discourse it selfe fayned ; which 30 
made Dauid (I speake of the second and instrumentall 
cause) as in a glasse to see his own filthines, as that 
heaueniy Psalme of mercie wel testifieth. 

By these, therefore, examples and reasons, I think it 
may be manifest that the Poet, with that same hand of 35 

An Apology /or Poetry 175 

delight, doth draw the mind more effectually then any 
other Arte dooth : and so a conclusion not vnfitlie ensueth, 
that as vertue is the most excellent resting place for all 
worldlie learning to make his end of, so Poetrie, beeing 
5 the most familiar to teach it, and most princelie to moue 
towards it, in the excellent work is the most excellent 
workman. But I am content not onely to decipher him 
by his workes (although works in commendation or dis- 
prayse must euer holde an high authority), but more 

10 narrowly will examine his parts: so that (as in a man) 
though al together may carry a presence ful of maiestie 
and beautie, perchance in some one defectious peece we 
may find a blemish. Now in his parts, kindes, or Species 
(as you list to terme them), it is to be noted that some 

■ 5 Poesies haue coupled together two or three kindes, as 
Tragicall and Comicall, wher-vpon is risen the Tragi- 
comical!. Some in the like manner haue mingled Prose 
and Verse, as Sanaszar and Boetius. Some haue mingled 
matters Heroicall and Pastorall. But that commeth alt to 

ao one in this question, for, if seuered they be good, the 
coniunction cannot be hurtfull. Therefore perchaunce 
forgetting some, and leauing some as neediesse to be 
remembred, it shall not be amisse in a worde to cite the 
speciall kindes, to see what faults may be found in the 

as right vse of them. 

Is it then the Pastorall Poem which is misliked 7 (for 
perchance, where the hedge is lowest they will soonest 
leape ouer). Is the poore pype disdained, which sometime 
out of Melibeus mouth can shewe the miserie of people 

30 vnder hard Lords or rauening Souldiours ? and again, 
by Titirus, what blessednes is deriued to them that lye 
lowest from the goodnesse of ihem that sit highest? 
sometimes, vnder the prettie tales of Wolues and Sheepe, 
can include the whole considerations of wrong dooing 

35 and patience ; sometimes shew that contention for trifles 

a man 

176 Sir Philip Sidney 

can get but a trifling victorie. Where perchaunce 
may see that euen Alexander and Darius, when they 
straue who should be Cocke of thys worlds dunghill, the 
benefit they got was that the after-liuers may say, 

Haec memini el vidum frastra contendere Thirsin : 5 

Ex illo Coridon, Condon esl tempore nobis. 

Or is it the lamenting Elegiack, which in a kinde hart 
would mooue rather pitty then blame, who bewailes with 
the great Philosopher Heraclitus the weakenes of man- 
kind and the wretchednes of the world : who surely is "> 
to be praysed, either for compassionate accompanying 
iust causes of lamentation, or for rightly paynting out 
how weake be the passions of wofulnesse? Is it the 
bitter but wholsome lambick, which rubs the galled 
minde, in making shame the trumpet of villanie with is 
bolde and open crying out against naughtines ? Or the 
Satirick, who 

Omne vafer vittum ridenti tangit amico ? 

who sportingly neuer leaueth vntil hee make a man 
laugh at folly, and, at length ashamed, to laugh at him- ao 
selfe ; which he cannot auoyd, without auoyding the follie ; 
who, while 

circufn praecordia ludit, 

giueth vs to feele how many head-aches a passionate life 
bringeth vs to — how, when all is done, aj 

£s( Vlubris, animus si nos non deficit aequusF 

No, perchance it is the Comick, whom naughtie Play- 
makers and Stage-keepers haue iustly made odious. To 
the argument of abuse I will answer after. Onely thus 
much now is to be said, that the Comedy is an imitation 30 
of the common errors of our life, which he representeth ' 
in the most ridiculous and scornefuU sort that may be; 


j4» Apology for Poetry 177 

so 33 it is impossible that any beholder can be content 
to be such a one. \ 

Now, as in Geometry the oblique must bee knowne I 
aa wel as the right, and in Arithmelick the oddc as well 
5 as the euen, so in the actions of our life who seeth not 
the filthines of eull wanteth a great foile to perceiue the 
beauty of vertuc. This doth the Comedy handle so in 
our priuate and domestical matters, as with hearing it 
we get as it were an experience, what is to be looked 

10 for of a nigardly Demea, of a crafty Dauus, of a flattering 
Gttalo, of a vaine glorious T/iraso, and not onely to know 
what effects are to be expected, but to know who be such, 
by the signifying badge giuen them by the Comedian. | 
And little reason hath any man to say tliat men learne 

15 euill by seeing it so set out : sith, as I sayd before, there 
is no man liuing but, by the force trueth hath in nature, 
no sooner seeth these men play their parts, but wishelh 
them in Pisirirtum: although perchance the sack of his 
owne faults lye so behinde hys back that he seeth not 

ao himselfe daunce the same measure; whereto yet nothing 
can more open his eyes then to finde his own actions 
contemptibly set forth. So that the right vse of Comedy 
will (I thinke) by no body be blamed, and much lesae of 
the high and excellent Tragedy, that openeth the greatest 

as wounds, and sheweth forth the Vlcers that arc couered 
with Tissue; that maketh Kinges feare to be Tyrants, 
and Tyrants manifest their tirannicall humors; that, with 
slurring the affects of admiration and commiseration, 
teacheth the vncertainety of this world, and vpon how 

30 weake foundations guilden roofes are builded ; that maketh 
vs knowe. 

Qui scepira saeuus dura imperio regit. 
Timet timen/es, metus in audorem redit. 
But how much it can mooue, Plutarch yeeldeth a notable 



178 Sir Philip Sidney 

testimonie of the abhominable Tyrant Alexander Pkeraeus 
from whose eyes a Tragedy, wel made and represented, 
drewe aboundance of teares, who, without all pitty, had 
murthered infinite nombers, and some of his owne blood. 
So as he, that was not ashamed to make matters for 5 
Tragedies, yet coulde not resist the sweet violence of a 
Tragedie, And if it wrought no further good in him, it 
was that he, in despight of himselfe, withdrewe himselfe 
from harkening to that which might molhfie his hardened 
heart. to 

But It is not the^Tragedy they doe mislike : For it 
were too absurd to cast out so excellent a representation 
of whatsoeuer is most worthy to be learned. Is it the 
Liricke that most displeaseth, who with his tuned Lyre, 
and wel accorded voyce, giueth praise, the reward of vertue, »5 
to vertuous acts ? who giues morrall precepts, and natural! 
Problemes, who sometimes rayseth vp his voice to the 
height of the heauens, in singing the laudes of the immortall 
God. Certainly I must confesse my own barbarousnes : 
I neuer heard the olde song of Percy and Duglas that «> 
I found not my heart mooued more then with a Trumpet; 
and yet is it sung but by some blinde Crouder, with no 
rougher voyce then rude stile; which being so euill 
apparrelled in the dust and cobwebbes of that vnciuill age, 
what would it worke trymmed in the gorgeous eloquence =5 
of Pitidar? In Hungary 1 haue scene it the manner at 
all Feasts, and other such meetings, to haue songes of 
their Auncestours valour; which that right Souldier-likc 
Nation thinck the chiefest kindlers of braue courage. The 
incomparable Lacedemonians did not only carry that kinde 30 
of Musicke euer with them to the field, but euen at home, 
as such songs were made, so were they all content to bee 
the singers of them, when the lusty men were to tell what 
they dyd, the olde men what they had done, and the 
young men what they wold doe. And where a man may 95 


j4» Apology for Poetry 179 

say that Pindar many times prayseth highly victories of 
small moment, matters rather of sport then vertue ; as it 
may be aunswered, if was the fault of the Poet, and not 
of the Poetry; so indeede the chiefe fault was in the 

5 tyme and castome of the Greekes, who set those toyes 
at so high a price that Phillip of Macedon reckoned a 
horse-race wonne at Olimpus among hys three fearefuU 
felicities. But as the vnimitable Pindar often did, so 
is that kinde most capable and most fit to awake the 

■o thoughts from the sleep of idlenes, to imbrace honorable 

There rests the Heroicall, whose very name (I thinke) 
should daunt all tack-biters ; for by what conceit can a 
tongue be directed to speake euill of that which draweth 

15 with it no lesse Champions then Achilles, Cyrus, Aeneas, 
Tumus, Tideus, and Rtnaldol who doth not onely teach 
and moue to a truth, but teacheth and raooueth to the 
most high and excellent truth ; who maketh magna- 
nimity and iustice shine throughout all misty fearefulnes 

30 and foggy desires ; who, if the saying of Plato and 
Tullie bee true, that who could see Vertue would be 
wonderfully rauished with the loue of her beauty : this 
man sets her out to make her more louely in her holyday 
apparel!, to the eye of any that will daine not to disdaine 

25 vntiil they vnderstand. But if any thing be already sayd 
in the defence of sweete Poetry, all concurreth to the 
maintaining the Heroicall, which is not onely a kinde, 
but the best and most accomplished kinde of Poetry, 
For as the image of each action styrreth and instructeth 

30 the mind, so the loftie image of such Worthies most 
inflameth the mind with desire to be worthy, and informes 
with counsel how to be worthy. Only let Aeneas be 
wome in the tablet of your memory ; how he gouerneth 
himselfe in the mine of his Country; in the preseruing 

35 his old Father, and carrying away his religious cere- 

i8o Sir Philip Sidney 

monies ; in obeying the Gods commandement to leaue 
Dido, though not onely all passionate kindenes, but euen 
the humane consideration of vertuous gratefulnes, would 
haue craued other of him; how in storms, howe in 
sports, howe in warre, howe in peace, how a fugitiue, 5 
how victorious, how besiedged, how besiedging, howe to 
strangers, howe to allyes, how to enemies, howe to his 
owne; lastly, how in his inward selfe, and how in his 
outward gouernment ; and I thinke, in a minde not 
preiudiced with a preiudicating humor, hee will be found "> 
in excellencie fruitefuU, yea, euen as Horace sayth. 

Melius Chrisippo el Cranlore. 

But truely I imagine it falleth out with these Poet- 
whyppers, as with some good women, who often are sicke, 
but in fayth they cannot tel where. So the name of 15 
Poetrie is odious to them, but neither his cause nor 
effects, neither the sum that eontaines him nor the particu- 
larities descending from him, giue any fast handle to their 
carping disprayse. 

Sith then Poetrie is of all humane learning the most a* 
auncient and of most fatherly antiquitie, as from whence 
other learnings haue taken theyr beginnings; sith it is 
so vniuersall that no learned Nation dooth despise it, 
nor no barbarous Nation is without it ; sith both Roman 
and Greek gaue diuine names vnto it, the one of pro- as 
phecying, the other of making; and that indeede that 
name of making is lit for him, considering that where 
as other Arts retaine themselues within their subiect, and 
receiue, as it were, their beeing from it, the Poet onely 
bringelh his owne stuffe, and dooth not learne a conceite 30 
out of a matter, but maketh matter for a conceite ; Sith 
neither his description nor his ende contayneth any euill, 
the thing described cannot be euill ; Sith his effects be so 
good as to teach goodnes and to delight the learners ; 

An Apology for Poetry iSi 

Sith therein (namely in morrall doctrine, the chiefe of all 
knowledges) hee dooth not onely farre passe the Histo- 
rian, but, for instructing, is well nigh comparable to the 
Philosopher, and, for mouing, leaues him behind him; 
5 Sith the holy scripture (wherein there is no vncleannes) 
hath whole parts in it poeticall, and that euen our 
Sauiour Christ vouchsafed to vse the flowers of it ; Sith 
all his kindes are not onlie in their vnited formes but 
in their seuered dissections fully commendable: I think 

io(and think I thinke rightly) the Lawrell crowne appointed 
for tryumphing Captaines doth worthiiie (of al other 
learnings) honor the Poets tryumph. But because wee 
haue eares aswell as tongues, and that the lightest reasons 
that may be will seeme to weigh greatly, if nothing be 

15 put in the counter- ballance, let vs heare, and aswell as 
wee can ponder, what obiections may bee made against 
this Arte, which may be worthy eyther of yeelding or 

First, truely I note not onely in these Mysomousoi, 

ao Poet-haters, but in all that kinde of people who seek 
a prayse by dispraysing others, that they doe prodigally 
spend a great many wandering wordes in quips and 
scoffes, carping and taunting at each thing, which, by 
styrring the Spleene, may stay the braine from a through 

35 beholding the worthines of the subiect, 

Those kinde of obiections, as they are full of very idle 
easines, sith there is nothing of so sacred a maiestie but 
tliat an itching tongue may rubbe it aelfe vpon it, so 
deserue they no other answer, but, in steed of laughing 

30 at the iest, to laugh at the iester. Wee know a playing 
wit can prayse the discretion of an Asse, the comfortable- 
nes of being in debt, and the iolly coramoditie of beeing 
sick of the plague. So of the contrary side, if we will 
turne Quids verse, 
35 VI lakal virtus proxtmilale iita/i. 


i82 Sir Philip Sidney 

that good lye hid in (leerenesse of the euill, Agrippa will 
be as merry in shewing the vanitie of Science as Erasmus 
was in commending of follie. Neyther shall any man or 
matter escape some touch of these smyling raylers. But 
for Erasmus and Agrippa, they had another foundation s 
then the superficial! part would promise. Mary, these 
Other pleasant Fault-finders, who wil correct the Verbe 
before they vnderstande the Noune, and confute others 
knowledge before they confirme theyr owne, I would 
haue them onely remember that scoffing commeth not of "> 
wisedom. So as the best title in true English they gette 
with their merriments is to be called good fooles, for so 
haue our graue Fore-fathers euer termed that humorous 
kinde of iesters. But that which gyueth greatest scope 
to their scorning humors is ryming and versing. It is 15 
already sayde (and, as I think, trulie sayde) it is not 
ryming and versing that maketh Poesie. One may bee 
a Poet without versing, and a versifyer without Poetry. 
But yet presuppose it were inseparable (as indeede it 
seemeth Scaliger iudgeth) truelie it were an inseparable ao 
commendation. For if Orath next to Ratio, Speech next 
to Reason, bee the greatest gyft bestowed vpon mortalitie, 
that can not be praiselesse which dooth most pollish that 
blessing of speech, which considers each word, not only 
(as a man may say) by his forcible qualilie but by his best 33 
measured quantitie, carrying euen in themselues a Har. 
monie (without, perchaunce. Number, Measure, Order, 
Proportion be in our time growne odious). But lay a side 
the iust prayse it hath, by beeing the onely fit speech for 
Musick (Musick I say, the most diuine striker of the 30 
sences), thus much is vndoubtedly true, that if reading 
bee foolish without remembring, memorie being the onely 
treasurer of knowled[g]e, those words which are fittest for 
menrory are likewise most conuenient for knowledge. 

Now, that Verse farre exceedeth Prose in the knitting 35 

An Apoiogy /or Poetry 183 

vp of the memory, the reason is manifest; the words 
(besides theyr delight, which hath a great affinitie to 
memory) beeing so set as one word cannot be lost but 
the whole worke failes : which accuseth it selfe, calleth 
S the remembrance backe to it selfe, and so most strongly 
confirmeth it ; besides, one word so, as it were, begetting 
another, as, be it in ryme or measured verse, by the 
former a man shall haue a neere gesse to the follower : 
lastly, euen they that haue taught the Art of memory 

10 haue shewed nothing so apt for it as a certaine roome 
deuided into many places well and throughly knowne. 
Now, that hath the verse in effect perfectly, euery word 
hauing his naturall seate, which seate must needes make 
the words remembred. But what needeth more in a thing 

15 so knowne to all men? who is it that euer was a scholler 
that doth not carry away some verses of Virgill, Horace, 
or Caio, which in his youth he learned, and euen to his 
old age serue him for howrely lessons? But the fitnes it 
hath for memory is notably proued by all deliuery of Arts : 

so wherein for the most part, from Grammer to Logick, 
Mathematick, Phisick, and the rest, the rules chiefely 
necessary to bee borne away are compiled in verses. So 
that, verse being in it selfe sweete and orderly,' and beeing 
best for memory, the onely handle of knowledge, it must 

ag be in iest that any man can speake against it. 

Nowe then goe wee to the most important imputations 
laid to the poore Poets : for ought I can yet learne, they 
are these. First, that there beeing many other more 
fruitefull knowledges, a man might better spend his tyme 

30 in them then in this. Secondly, that it is the mother of 
lyes. Thirdly, that it is the Nurse of abuse, infecting 
vs with many pestilent desires; with a Syrens sweetnes, 
drawing the mind to the Serpents tayle of sinfull fancy. 
And heerein, especially, Comedies giue the largest field to 

33 erre, as Chaucer sayth : howe both in other Nations and in 



184 Sir Philip Sidney 

ours, before Poets did soften vs, we were full of courage, 
giuen to marliall exercises, the piilers of manlyke liberty, 
and not lulled a sleepe in shady idlenes with Poets 
pastimes. And lastly, and chiefely, they cry out with an 
open mouth, as if they out shot Robin Hood, that Plato s 
banished them out of hys Common- wealth. Truely, this 
is much, if there be much truth in it. First to the first : 
that a man might better spend his tyme is a reason in- 
deede : but it doth (as they say) but Petere prmcipium : 
for if it be, as I affimie, that no learning is so good as 10 
that which teacheth and mooueth to vertue, and that none 
can both teach and moue thereto so much as Poetry, then 
is the conclusion manifest that Incite and Paper cannot 
be to a more profitable purpose employed. And certainly, 
though a man should graunt their first assumption, it 15 
should followe (me thinkes) very vnwilHngly, that good 
is not good because better is better. But I still and 
vtterly denye that there is sprong out of earth a more 
fruitefull knowledge. To the second therefore, that they 
should be the principall lyars, I aunswere paradoxically, 20 
but, truely, I thinke truely, that of all Writers vnder the 
sunne the Poet is the least lier, and, though he would, 
as a Poet can scarcely be a Iyer. The Astronomer, with 
his cosen the Geometrician, can hardly escape, when they 
take vpon them to measure the height of the starres. 05 
How often, thinke you, doe the Phisitians lye, when 
they auer things good for sicknesses, which afterwards 
send CkarOH a great nomber of soules drownd in a 
potion before they come to his Ferry? And no lesse of 
the rest, which take vpon them to afRrme. Now, for 30 
the Poet, he nothing affirmes, and therefore neuer lyeth. 
For, as I take it, to lye is to affirme that to be true 
which is false. So as the other Artists, and especially 
the Historian, affirming many things, can. in the cloudy 
knowledge of mankinde, hardly escape from many lyes. 35 



An Apology /or Poetry 185 

But the Poet (as I sayd before) neuer affirmeth. The 
Poet neuer inaketh pny circles about your imagination, 
to coniure you to beleeue for true what he writes. Hee 
citeth not authorities of other Histories, but euen for hys 
S entry calleth the sweete Muses to inspire into him a good 
inuention ; in troth, not labouring to tell you what is, or is 
not, but what should or should not be: and therefore, 
though he recount things not true, yet because hee telleth 
them not for true, he lyeth not, without we will say that 
"> !\lalhan lyed in his speech, before alledged, to Dauid. 
Which as a wicked man durst scarce say, so think 1 
none so simple would say that Esope lyed in the tales of 
his beasts : for who thinks that Esope writ it for actually 
true were well worthy to haue his name cronicled 
IS among the beastes hee writeth of What childe is there 
that, comming to a Play, and seeing Thebes written in 
great Letters vpon an olde doore, doth beleeue that it 
is ThebesJ If then a man can ariue, at that chiids age, 
to know that the Poets persons and dooings are but 
ao pictures what should be, and not stories what haue 
beene, they will neuer giue the lye to things not affirma- 
tiuely but allegorically and figuratiuelie written. And 
therefore, as in Historic, looking for trueth, they goe 
away full fraught with falshood, so in Poesie, looking for 
as fiction, they shal vse the narration but as an imaginatiue 
groundplot of a profitable inuention. 

But heereto is replyed, that the Poets gyue names to 
men they write of, which argueth a conceite of an actuall 
truth, and so, not being true, prooues a falshood. And 
30 doth the Lawyer lye then, when vnder the names of John 
n stile and loltn a noakes hee puts his case ? But that is 
easily answered. Theyr naming of men is but to make 
iheyr picture the more liuely, and not to builde any 
historie ; paynting men, they cannot leaue men namelesse. 
as We see we cannot play at Chesse but that wee must giue 


186 Sir Philip Sidney 

names to our Chesse-men ; and yet, mee thinks, hee were 
a very partiall Champion of truth that would say we lyed 
for giuing a peece of wood the reuerend title of a Bishop. 
The Poet nameth Cyrus or Aeneas no other way then to 
shewe what men of theyr fames, fortunes, and estates 
should doe. 

Their third is, how much it abuseth mens wit, trayning 
it to wanton sinfulnes and lustfiili loue ; for indeed that is 
the principall, if not the onely abuse 1 can heare alledged. 
They say the Comedies rather teach then reprehend 
amorous conceits. They say the Lirick is larded with 
passionate Sonnets : The Elegiack weepes the want of 
his mistresse : And that euen to the Heroical Cupid hath 
ambitiously climed. Alas, Loue, I would thou couidest 
as well defende thy selfe as thou canst offende others. 
I would those, on whom thou doost attend, could eyther 
put ihee away, or yeelde good reason why they keepe 
thee. But grant loue of beautie to be a beastlie fault 
(although it he very hard, sith onely man, and no beast, 
h.ith that gyft to discerne beauty). Grant that louely 
name of Loue to deserue all hatefull reproches (although 
euen some of my Maisters the Phylosophers spent a good 
deale of theyr Lamp-oyle in setting foorth the excellencle 
of it). Grant, 1 say, what soeuer they wit haue granted; 
that not onely loue, but lust, but vanitie, but {if they list) 
scurrilitie, possesseth many leaues of the Poets bookes : 
yet thinke I, when this is granted, they will finde theyr 
sentence may with good manners put the last words fore- 
most, and not say that Poetrie abuseth mans wit, but 
r that mans wit abuseth Poetrie. 

\ For I will not denie but that mans wit may make 
I Poesie (which should be Etkastike, which some learned 
I haue defined, figuring foorth good things) to be Phanla- 
' stike: which doth, contrariwise, infect the fancie with 
[Vnw6rthy obiects. As the Painter, that shoulde giue to 

An Apology /or Poetry 187 

the eye eyther some excellent perspectiue, or some fine 
picture, fit for building or fortification, or contayning in 
it some notable example, as Abraham sacrificing his 
Sonne Isaack, ludith killing Holofernes, Dauid fighting 
5 with Goliah, may leaue those, and please an ill-pleased 
eye with wanton shewes of better hidden matters. But 
what, shall the abuse of a thing make the right vse 
odious? Nay truely, though I yeeld that Poesie may 
not onely be abused, but that beeing abused, by the 

to reason of his sweete charming force, it can doe more 
hurt then any other Armie of words, yet shall it be so 
far from concluding that the abuse should giue reproch 
to the abused, that contrariwise it is a good. reason, that 
whatsoeuer, being abused dooth most harme, beeing 

15 rightly vsed {and vpon the right vse each thing con- 
ceiueth his title), doth most good. 

Doe wee not see the skill of Phisick {the best rarapire 
to our often-assaulted bodies) beeing abused, teach poyson, 
the most violent destroyer? Dooth not knowledge of 

20 Law, whose end is to euen and right all things being 
abused, grow the crooked fosterer of horrible iniuries? 
Doth not (to goe to the highest) Gods word abused breed 
heresie? and his Name abused become blasphemie? 
Truely, a needle cannot doe much hurt, and as truely 

35 (with leaue of Ladies be it spoken) it cannot doe much 
good. With a sword thou maist kill thy Father, and 
with a sword thou maist defende thy Prince and Countr}-. 
So that, as in their calling Poets the Fathers of lyes they 
say nothing, so in this theyr argument of abuse they 

30 prooue the commendation. 

They alledge heere-with, that before Poets beganne to 
be in price our Nation hath set their harts delight vpon 
action, and not vpon imagination : rather doing things 
worthy to bee written, then writing things fitte to be done. 

35 What that before tyme was, I thinke scarcely Sphinx 


i88 Sir Philip Sidney 

can tell : Sith no memory is so auncient that hath the 
precedence of Poetrie. And certaine it is that, in our 
plainest homelines, yet neuer was the Albion Nation 
without Poetrie. Mary, ihys argument, though it bee 
leaueld against Poetrie, yet is it indeed a chaine-shot 5 
against all learning, or bookishnes, as they commonly 
tearme it. Of such minde were certaine Gothes, of whom 
it is written that, hailing in the spoile of a famous Citie 
taken a fayre librarie, one hangman (bee like fitte to 
execute the fruites of their wits), who had murthered a 'o 
great number of bodies, would haue set fire on it: 'no,' 
sayde another very grauely, 'take heede what you doe, 
for whyle they are busie about these toyes, wee shall 
with more ieysure conquer their Countries.' 

This indeede is the ordinary doctrine of ignorance, and 15 
many wordes sometymes I haue heard spent in it: but 
because this reason is generally against all learning, aswell 
as Poetrie, or rather, all learning but Poetry; because 
it were too large a digression to handle, or at least to 
superlluous (sith it is manifest that all gouernment ofao 
action is to be gotten iy knowledg, and knowledge best 
by gathering many knowledges, which Is reading), I onely, 
with Horace, to him that is of that opinion, 

Inbeo slullum esse libenkr : 

for as for Poetrie it seife, it is the freest from thys obiec- =5 
lion. For Poetrie is the companion of the Campes. 

I dare vndertake, Orlando Fun'oso, or honest King 
.^(•/Awr, will neuer displease a Souldier: but the quiddity 
of E»s and Prima materia will hardely agree with a 
Corslet: and therefore, as I said in the beginning, euen 30 
Turks and Tartares are delighted with Poets. Homer, 
a Greek, florished before Greece florished. And if to 
a slight coniecture a coniecture may be opposed, truly 
it may seeme, that as by hini their learned men tooke 

An Apology /or Poelry 189 

almost their first light of knowledge, so their actiue men 
receiued their first motions of courage. Onlie Alexanders 
example may serue, who by Plutarch is accounted of such 
vertue, that Fortune was not his guide but his foote- 
5 stoole : whose acts speake for him, though Plutarch did 
not; indeede the Phosnix of warlike Princes. This 
Alexander left his Schoolemaister, liuing Aristotle, be- 
hinde him, but looke deade Homer with him : he put 
the Philosopher Calisthenes to death for his seeming 

10 philosophical 1, indeed mutinous, stubburnnes ; but the 
chiefe thing he euer was heard to wish for was that 
Homer had been aliue. He well found he receiued more 
brauerie of minde bye the patterne of Achilles then by 
hearing the definition of Fortitude : and therefore, if Cato 

15 misliked Fuluius for carying Ennius with him to the 
fielde, it may be aunswered that, if Cato misliked it, the 
noble Fuluius liked it, or els he had not doone it; for it 
was not the excellent Cato Vlicettsis {whose authority 
I would much more haue reuerenced), but it was the 

20 former, in truth a bitter punisher of faults, but else 
a man that had neuer wel sacrificed to the Graces. Hee 
misliked and cryed out vpon all Greeke learning, and yet, 
being 80 yeeres olde, began to leame it; be-like fearing 
that Pluto vnderstood not Latine. Indeede, the Romaine 

=5 lawes allowed no person to be carried to the warres but 
hee that was in the Souldiers role : and therefore, though 
Cato misliked his vnmustered person, hee misliked not his 
worke. And if hee had, Scipio Nasica, iudged by common 
consent the best Romaine, loued him. Both the other 

30 Scipio Brothers, who had by their vertues no tesse sur- 
names then of Asia and Affrick, so loued him that they 
caused his body to be buried in their Sepulcher. So as 
Cato his authoritie being but against his person, and that 
aunswered with so farre greater then himselfe, is heerein 

35 of no validitie. 

igo Sir Philip Sidney 

But now indeede my burthen is great ; now Plato 
his name is layde vpon mee, whom, I must confesse, 
of all Philosophers I haiie euer esteemed most worthy 
of reuerence, and with great reason, sith of all Philoso- 
phers he is the most poeticall. Yet if he will defile 5 
the Fountaine out of which his flowing streames haue 
proceeded, let vs boldly examine with what reasons hee 
did it. First truly, a man might maliciously obiect that 
Plalo, being a Philosopher, was a naturall enemie of 
Poets : for indeede, after the Philosophers had picked out 'o 
of the sweete misteries of Poetrie the right discerning 
true points of knowledge, they forthwith, putting it in 
method, and making a Schoole-arte of that which the 
Poets did onely teach by a diuine delightful nes, beginning 
to spurne at their guides, like vngratefull Premises, were 'S 
not content to set vp shops for themselues, but sought by 
all meanes to discredit their Maisters, Which by the 
force of delight beeing barred them, the lesse they could 
ouerthrow them, the more they hated them. For indeede, 
they found for Homer seauen Cities stroue who should «> 
haue him for their Citizen ; where many Citties banished 
Philosophers as not fitte members to Hue among them. 
For onely repeating certaine of Euripides verses, many 
Atkenia*%s had their lyues saued of the Siracusi'ans; when 
the Athenians themselues thought many Philosophers as 
vnwoorthie to Hue. Certaine Poets, as Simonides and 
Pindarus, had so preuailed with Hiero the first, that of a 
Tirant they made him a iust King, where P/ata could do 
so little with Dionisius, that he himselfe of a Philosopher 
was made a slaue. But who should doe thus, I confesse, 30 
should requite the obiections made against Poets with like 
cauillation against Philosophers, as Hkewise one should 
doe that should bid one read Phadrus or Symposium in 
Plato, or the discourse of loue in Plutarch, and see whether 
any Poet doe authorize abhominable filthines, as they doe. 3S 

An Apology for Poetiy igi 

Againe, a man might aske out of what Common-wealth 
Plato did banish them ? insooth, thence where he himselfe 
ailoweth communitie of women. So as belike this banish- 
ment grewe not for effeminate wantonnes, sith little should 
5 poeticall Sonnets be hurtfull when a man might haue what 
woman he listed. But I honor phi iosophi call instructions, 
and biesse the wits which bred them : so as they be not 
abused, which is likewise stretched to Poetrie. 
S. Paule himselfe, who {yet for the credite of Poets) 

m alledgeth twise two Poets, and one of them by the name 
of a Prophet, setteth a watch-word vpon Philosophy, in- 
deede vpon the abuse. So dooth Plato vpon the abuse, 
not vpon Poetrie. Plato found fault that the Poets of his 
time filled the worlde with wrong opinions of the Gods, 

15 making light tales of that vnspotted essence; and, there- 
fore, would not haue the youth depraued with such 
opinions. Heerin may much be said: let this suffice: 
the Poets did not induce such opinions, but dyd Imitate 
those opinions already induced. For all the Greek 

30 stories can well testifie that the very religion of that 
time stoode vpon many, and many- fashioned, Gods, not 
taught so by the Poets, but followed according to their 
nature of imitation. Who list may reade in Plutarch 
the discourses of Isis and Osiris, of the cause why 

35 Oracles ceased, of the diuine prouidence, and see 
whether the Theologie of that nation stood not vpon 
such dreames which the Poets indeed supersticiously 
obserued, and truly (sith they had not the light of Christ) 
did much better in it then the Philosophers, who, shaking 

30 off superstition, brought in Atheisme. Plato therefore 
(whose authoritie I had much rather iustly conster then 
vniustly resist) meant not in general of Poets, in those 
words of which lulius Scaliger saith. Qua attthoritate 
barbari quidam atque hispidi abuti vJint ad Poetas e 

35 repubtka exigendos ; but only meant to driue out those 


192 Sir Philip Sidney 

wrong opinions of the Deitie (whereof now, without 
further law, Christianity hath talten away all the hurtful 
beliefe), perchance (as he thought) norished by the then 
esteemed Poets. And a man need goe no further then 
to Plato himselfe to know his meaning: who, in hiss 
Dialogue called Ion, giueth high and rightly diuine 
commendation to Poetrie. So as Plato, banishing the 
abuse, not the thing, not banishing it, but giuing due 
honor vnto it, shall be our Patron and not our aduersarie. 
For indeed I had much rather (sith truly I may doe it) 10 
shew theyr mistaking of Plato (vnder whose Lyons skin 
they would make an Asse-like braying against Poesie) 
then goe about to ouerthrow his authority, whom the 
wiser a man is the more iust cause he shall find to haue 
in admiration ; especially sith he attributeth vnto Poesie 'S 
more then my selfe doe, namely, to be a very inspiring 
of a diuine force, farre aboue mans wit, as in the afore- 
named Dialogue is apparant. 

Of the other side, who wold shew the honors haue 
been by the best sort of iudgements granted them, a whole ao 
Sea of examples wouide present themselues : Alexanders, 
Casars, Scipios, al fauorers of Poets ; Lelius, called the 
Romane Socrates, him selfe a Poet, so as part of Heaulon- 
Hmorumenos in Terence was supposed to be made by 
him. And euen the Greek Socrates, whom Apollo con- as 
finned to be the onely wise man, is sayde to haue spent 
part of his old tyme in putting Esops fables into verses. 
And therefore, full euill should it become his scholler 
Plato to put such words in his Maisters mouth against 
Poets. But what need more? Aristotle writes the Arte 30 
of Poesie : and why, if it should not be written ? Plutarch 
teacheth the vse to be gathered of them, and how, if they 
should not be read ? And who reades Plutarchs eyther 
historie or philosophy shall finde hee trymmeth both 
theyr garments with gards of Poesie. But I list not to 35 

An Apology for Poetry 193 

defend Poesie with the helpe of her vnderling Historio- 
graphy. Let it suffise that it is a fit soyle for prayse to 
dwell vpon ; and what dispraise may set vpon it, is eyther 
easily ouer-come, or transformed into iust commendation. 

5 So that, sith the excellencies of it may be so easily and 
so iustly confirmed, and the low-creeping obiections so 
soone troden downe ; it not being an Art of lyes, but of 
true doctrine ; not of effeminatenes, but of notable stirring 
of courage ; not of abusing mans witte, but of strengthning 

10 mans wit; not banished, but honored by Plato; let vs 
rather plant more Laurels for to engarland our Poets 
heads (which honor of beeing laureat, as besides them 
onely tryumphant Captaines weare, is a sufficient authority 
to shewe the price they ought to be had in) then suffer the 

15 ill-fauouring breath of such wrong- speakers once to blowe 
vpon the cleere springs of Poesie. 

But sith I haue runne so long a careere in this matter, 
me thinks, before I giue my penne a fulle stop, it shalbe 
but a little more lost time to inquire why England (the 

at> Mother of excellent mindes) should bee growne so hard 
a step-mother to Poets, who certainly in wit ought to 
passe all other ; sith all onely proceedeth from their wit, 
being indeede makers of themselues, not takers of others. 
How can I but exclaime, 

35 Musa mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso. 

Sweete Poesie, that hath aunciently had Kings, Emperors, 
Senators, great Captaines, such as, besides a thousand 
others, Dauid, Adrian, Sophocles, Germaiiicus, not onely 
to fauour Poets, but to be Poets. And of our neerer 
30 times can present for her Patrons a Robert, king of Sicil, 
ihe great king Francis of France, King lames of Scotland. 
Such Cardinals as Bembus and Bibiena. Such famous 
Preachers and Teachers as Bcza and Melanclhon. So 
learned Philosophers as Fracaslon'us and Scaliger. So 




194 Sir Philip Sidney * 

great Orators as Ponlatius and Muretus. So piercing 
wits as George Buchanan. So graue Counsellors as, be- 
sides many, but before all, that HospitaU of Fraunce, 
then whom (I thinke) that Realme neuer brought forth 
a more accomplished iudgement, more firmely builded 
vpoii vertue. I say these, with numbers of others, not 
onely to read others Poesies, but to Poetise for others 
reading. That Poesie, thus embraced in all other places, 
should onely finde in our time a hard welcome in 
England, I thinke the very earth lamenteth it, and ther- 
fore decketh our Soyle with fewer Laurels then it was 
accustomed. For heertofore Poets haue in England also 
florished ; and, which is to be noted, euen in those times 
when the trumpet oi Mars did sounde loudest. And now 
that an ouer-faint quietnes should seeme lo strew the 
Jiouse for Poets, they are almost in as good reputation 
as the Mqttnlibaticks at Venice. Truly euen that, as of 
the one side it giueth great praise to Poesie, which like 
Venus {but to better purpose) hath rather be troubled in 
the net with Mars then enioy the homelie quiet of Vulcan ; 
so serues it for a peece of a reason why they are lesse 
gratefull to idle England, which nowe can scarce endure 
the payne of a pen. Vpon this necessarily followeth, that 
base men with seniile wits vndertake it: who think it 
inough if they can be rewarded of the Printer, And so 
as Epaminondas is sayd, with the honor of his vertue, to 
haue made an office, by his exercising it, which before 
was contemptible, to become highly respected ; so these,, 
no more but setting their names to it, by their owne di*' 
graccfulnes disgrace the most gracefull Poesie. For now, 
as if all the Muses were gotte with childe, to bring foorth 
bastard Poets, without any commission they doe poste 
ouer the banckes of Helicon, tyll they make the readers 
more weary then Post-horses ; v/V "Ic, in the mean tyme, they, 
Queis meliore lulo finxil praecordia Titan, , 

An Apology for Poetry 195 

are better content to suppresse the out-flowing of their 
wit, then by publishing them to bee accounted Knights 
of the same order. But I that, before euer I durst aspire 
vnto the dignitie, am admitted into the company of the 
5 Paper-blurrers, doe finde the very true cause of our 
wanting estimation is want of desert ; tailing vpon vs 
to be Poets in despight of Pallas. Nowe, wherein we 
want desert were a t h an ke -worthy labour to expresse : 
but if I knew, I should haue mended my selfe. But 

»o I, as I neuer desired the title, so haue I neglected the 
meanes to come by it. Onely, ouer-mastred by some 
thoughts, I yeelded an inckie tribute vnto them. Mary, 
they that delight in Poesie it selfe should seeke to knowe 
what they doe, and how they doe; and, especially, looke 

15 themseiues in an vnflattering Glasse of reason, if they 
bee inclinable vnto it. For Poesie must not be drawne 
by the eares ; it must bee gently led, or rather it must 
lead. Which was partly the cause that made the 
auncient-leamed affirme it was a diuine gift, and no 

aohumaine skill: sith all other knowledges lie ready for 
any that hath strength of witte ; A Poet no industrie can 
make, if his owne Genius bee not carried vnto it : and 
therefore is it an old Prouerbe, Orator jil, Poeta nasdhir. 
Yet confesse I alwayes that as the firtilest ground must 

35 bee manured, so must the highest flying wit haue a 
Dedalus to guide him. That Dedalus, they say, both in 
this and in other, hath three wings to beare it selfe vp 
into the ayre of due commendation: that is, Arte, Imita- 
tion, and Exercise. But these, neyther artificial! rules 

30 nor imitatiue patternes, we much cumber our selues 
withall. Exercise indeede wee doe, but that very fore- 
backwardly: for where we should exercise to know, wee 
exercise as hauing knowne : and so is oure braine deliuered 
of much matter which neuer was begotten by knowledge. 

35 For, there being two principal parts, mattej to be expressed 


196 Sir Philip Sidney 

by wordes and words to expresse the matter, in neythei 
wee vse Arte or Imitation riglitly. Our matter is Quod- 
libet indeed, though wrongly perfourming Quids verse 

Quicquid conabar dicere versus erat: 

neuer marshalling it into an assured rancke, that almost 5 
the readers cannot tell where to finde themselues. 

Chaucer, vndoubtedly, did excellently in hys Troy/us 
and Cresseid; of whom, truly, I know not whether to 
meruaile more, either that he in that mistie time could 
see so clearely, or that wee in this cleare age walke so « 
stumblingly after him. Yet had he great wants, fitte to 
be forgiuen in bo reaerent antiquity. I account the 
Mirrour of Magistrates meetely furnished of beautiful 
parts; and in the Earle of Surries Liricks many things 
tasting of a noble birth, and worthy of a noble minde. ij 
The Sheapkeards Kalender hath much Poetrie in his 
Eglogues: indcede worthy the reading, if I be not 
deceiued. That same framing of his stile to an old 
rustick language 1 dare not alowe, sith neyther Theocriltts 
in Greeke, Virgill in Latinc, nor Sanasar in Italian did « 
affect it. Besides these, doe I not remember to haue 
scene but fewe (to speake boldely) printed, that haue 
poeticall einnewes in them : for proofe whereof, let but 
most of the verses bee put in Prose, and then aske the 
meaning; and it will be found that one verse did but >% 
beget another, without ordering at the first what should 
be at the last; which becomes a confused masse of words, 
with a tingling sound of ryme, barely accompanied with 

Our Tragedies and Comedies (not without cause cried 3<» 
out against), obseruing rules neyther of honest ciuilitie 
nor of skilful[ Poetrie, excepting Gorboduck (againe, I say, 
of those that I haue seene), which notwithstanding, as 
is full of stately speeches and well sounding Phrases, 

say, J 
s it J 


An Apology for Poetry 197 

clyming to the height of Seneca his stile, and as full of 
notable moralitie, which it doth most delightfully teach, 
and so obtayne the very end of Poesie, yet in troth it 
is very defectious in the circumstaiinces, which greeueth 
5 mee, because it might not remaine as an exact model of 
all Tragedies. For it is faulty both in place and time, 
the two necessary companions of all corporall actions. 
For where the stage should alwaies represent but one 
place, and the vttermost time presupposed in it should 

10 be, both by Arislolles precept and common reason, but 
one day, there is both many dayes, and many places, 
inartificially imagined. But if it be so in Gorboduck, how 
much more in al the rest? where you shal haue Asia 
of the one side, and Affrick of the other, and so many 

15 other vnder-kingdoms, that the Player, when he commeth 
in, must euer begin with telling where he is, or els 
the tale wil not be conceiued. Now ye shal haue three 
Ladies walke to gather flowers, and then we must be- 
leeue the stage to be a Garden. By and by, we heare 

so newes of shipwracke in the same place, and then wee 
are to blame if we accept it not for a Rock, Vpon 
the backe of that, comes out a hidious Monster, with 
fire and smoke, and then the miserable beholders are 
bounde to take it for a Caue. While in the meantime 

as two Armies flye in, represented with foure swords and 
bucklers, and then what harde heart will not receiue it 
for a pitched fielde ? Now, of time they are much more 
liberall, for ordinary it is that two young Princes fall in 
loue. After many trauerces, she is got with childe, 

30 deliuered of a faire boy ; he is lost, groweth a man, falls 
in loue, and is ready to get another child ; and all this in 
two hours space : which how absurd it is in sence euen 
sence may imagine, and Arte hath taught, and all auncient 
examples iustified, and, at this day, the ordinary Players 

35 in Italic wil not erre in. Yet wil some bring in an 


ig8 St'r Philip Sidney 

example of Eunuchus in Terence, that containeth matter 
of two dayes, yet far short of twenty yeeres. True it ia, 
and so was it to be playd in two dates, and so fitted to the 
time it set forth. And though Plautus hath in one place 
done amisse, let vs hit with him, and not misse with him. J 
But they wil say, how then shal we set forth a stoiy,.j 
which containeth both many places and many times?] 
And doe they not knowe that a Tragedie is tied to thfr] 
lawes of Poesie, and not of Historic ? not bound to foUonr^ 
the storie, but, hauing liberty, either to faine a quite newC] 
matter, or to frame the history to the most tragicall 
conueniencie. Againe, many things may be told which 
cannot be shewed, if they knowe the difference betwixt 
reporting and representing. As, for example, 1 may 
speake (though I am heere) of Peru, and in speech] 
digresse from that to the description of Calicut; but in 
action I cannot represent it without Pacolets horse : and 
so was the manner the Auncients tooke, by some Nuncius, 
to recount thinges done in former time or other place- 
Lastly, if they wil represent an history, they must not (a£ i 
Horace saith) beginne Ab ouo, but they must come to 
the principall poynt of that one action which they wil 
represent. By example this wil be best expressed. I haue 
a story of young Polidorus, deliuered for safeties sake, 
with great riches, by his Father Priamus to Polimneslor, 
king of Thrace, in the Troyan war time. Hee afier some 
yeeres, hearing the ouer-throwe of Priamus, for to make 
the treasure his owne, murthereth the child ; the body of 
the child is taken vp by Hecuba ; shee the same day findeth 
a slight to bee reuenged most crueJIy of the Tyrant : where 
nowe would one of our Tragedy writers begin, but with 
the deliuery of the childe? Then should he sayle ouer 
into Thrace, and so spend I know not how many yeeres, 
and trauaile numbers of places. But where dooth Euripidest ^ 
Euen with the finding of the body, leaning the rest to bej 


An Apology /or Poetry 199 

tolde by the spirit of Polidorus. This need no further to 
be iniar^ed ; the dullest wit may conceiue it. 

But besides these grosse absurdities, how all theyr 
Playes be neither right Tragedies, nor right Comedies; 
5 mingling Kings and Clownes, not because the matter so 
carrieth it, but thrust in Clownes by head and shoulders, to 
play a part in maiesticall matters, with neither decencie nor 
discretion : So as neither the admiration and commisera- 
tion, nor the right sportfulnes, is by their mungrell Tragy- 

10 comedie obtained, I know Apuleius did some-what so, 
but that is a thing recounted with space of time, not repre- 
sented in one moment : and I knowe the Auncients haue 
one or two examples of Tragy-comedies, as Plaulus hath 
Ampkitrio. But, if we marke them well, we shall find, 

15 that they neuer, or very daintily, match Horn-pypes and 
Funeralls. So falleth it out that, hauing indeed no right 
Comedy, in that comicall part of our Tragedy we haue 
nothing but scurrility, vnwoorthy of any chast eares, or 
some extreame shew of doltishnes, indeed fit to lift vp 

aoaloude laughter, and nothing els: where the whole tract 
of a Comedy shoulde be full of delight, as the Tragedy 
shouide be still maintained in a well raised admiration. 

rBut our Comedians thinke there is no delight without 
laughter; which is very wrong, for though laughter may 

as come with delight, yet commeth it not of delight, as 
though delight should be the cause of laughter; but well 
may one thing breed both together: nay, rather in them- 
selues they haue, as it were, a kind of contrarietieylor 
delight we scarcely doe but in things that haue a con- 

30 ueniencie to our selues or to the generall nature : laughter 
almost euer commeth of things most disproportioned to our 
selues and nature. Delight hath a ioy in it, either perma- 
nent or present. Laughter hath onely a scornful tickling. 
For example, we are rauished with delight to see a faire 

35 woman, and yet are far from being moued to laughter. 


Sir Philip Sidney 

lely we | 

z laugh I 

, nf n„r ' 

We laugh at deformed creatures, wherein certainely i 
cannot delight. We delight in good chaunces, we 1 
at mischaunces; we delight to heare the happines of c 
friends, or Country, at which he were worthy to be 
laughed at that would laugh ; wee shall, contrarily, laugh 5 
sometimes to finde a matter quite mistaken and goe 
downe the hill agaynst the byas, in the mouth of some 
such men, as for the respect of them one shalbe hartely 
sorry, yet he cannot chuse but laugh; and so is rather 
pained then delighted with laughter. Yet deny I not 10 
but that they may goe well together; for as in Alexanders 
picture well set out wee delight without laughter, and in 
twenty mad Anticks we laugh without delight, so in 
Hercules, painted with his great beard and furious 
countenance, in womans attire, spinning at Omphaks 15 
commaundem ;nt, it breedeth both delight and laughter. 
For the representing of so strange a power in loue 
procureth delight; and the scornefulnes of the action 
stirreth laughter. But I speake to this purpose, that all 
the end of the comicall part bee not vpon such scornefull ao 
matters as stirreth laughter onely, but, mixt with it, that 
delightful teaching which is the end of Poesie. And the 
great fault euen in that point of laughter, and forbidden 
plainely by Artshlle, is that they styrre laughter in sinful! 
things, which are rather execrable then ridiculous r or in 35 
miserable, which are rather to be pittied then scorned. 
For what is it to make folkes gape at a wretched Begger, 
or a beggerly Clowne ? or, against lawe of hospitahty, to 
iest at straungers, because they speake not English so well 
as wee doe ? what do we learne ? sith it is certaine 30 

Nil /label infelix paupertas durius in s 

Quant quod ridicuhs homines facit. 

But rather a busy louing Courtier, a hartles threatening 
Thraso, a selfe-wise-seeming schoolemaster, a awry-trans- 

ning 1 
ans- m 

An Apology /or Poetry 201 

formed Traueller : These if wee sawe watke in stage 
names, which wee play naturally, therein were delightful! 
laughter, and teaching delightfulnes : as in the other, 
the Tragedies of Buchanan doe iustly bring forth a diuine 
5 admiration. But I haue lauished out too many wordes 
of this play matter. I doe it because as they are excel- 
ling parts of Poesie, so is there none so much vsed in 
England, and none can be more pittifully abused. Which 
like an vnmannerly Daughter, shewing a bad education, 

10 causeth her mother Poesies honesty to bee called in 

Other sorts of Poetry almost haue we none, but that 
Lyricall kind of Songs and Sonnets : which. Lord, if he 
gaue vs so good mindes, how well it might be imployed, 

!.■! and with howe heauenly fruite, both priuate and publique, 
in singing the prayses of the immortall beauty, the 
immortal! goodnes of that God who gyueth vs hands to 
write and wits to conceiue ; of which we might well want 
words, but neuer matter; of which we could tume our 

so eies to nothing, but we should euer haue new budding 
occasions. But truely many of such writings as come 
vnder the banner of vnresistable loue, if 1 were a Mistres, 
would neuer perswade mce they were in loue ; so coldely 
they apply fiery speeches, as men that had rather red 

=5 Louers writings, and so caught vp certaine swelling 
phrases, which hang together like a man which once 
tolde mee the winde was at North West, and by South, 
because he would be sure to name windes enowe, — then 
that in truth they feele those passions, which easily (as 

30 I think) may be bewrayed by that same forciblenes, or 
Energia (as the Greekes cal it), of the writer. But let 
this bee a sufficient though short note, that wee misse the 
right vse of the materiall pn 

Now, for the out-side "■■ (as 

35 I may tearme it) Dicti 

202 Sir Philip Sidney 

that honny-flowing Matron Eloquence apparelled, 
rather disguised, in a Curtizan-like painted affectation : 
one time with so farre fette words, they may seeme Mon- 
sters, but must seeme straungers to any poore English 
man; another tyme, with coursing of a Letter, as if 5 
they were bound to foUowe the method of a Dictionary; 
an other tyme, with figures and flowers, extreamelie 
winter-starued. But I would this fault were only peculier 
to Versifiers, and had not as large possession among 
Prose -printers, and (which is to be meruailed) among 10 
many Schollers, and (which is to be pittied) among 
some Preachers. Truly 1 could wish, if at least I might 
be so bold to wish in a thing beyond the reach of my 
capacity, the diligent imitators of TuUie and Demosthenes 
(most worthy to be imitated) did not so much keep is 
Nisolian Paper-bookes of their figures and phrases, as by 
attentiue translation (as it were) deuoure them whole, 
and make them wholly theirs. For nowe they cast Sugar 
and Spice vpon euery dish that is serued to the table ; 
like those Indians, not content to weare eare-rings at ao 
the fit and naturall place of the eares, but they will thrust 
lewels through their nose and lippes, because they will 
be sure to be fine. Tullie, when he was to driue out 
Catiline, as it were with a Thunder-bolt of eloquence, 
often vsed that figure of repitition, Viuit, viuit? into ina<, 
Senatum venil S^c. Indeed, inflamed with a well-grounded 
rage, hee would haue his words (as it were) double out 
of his mouth ; and so doe that artificially which we see 
men doe in choller naturally. And wee, hauing noted 
the grace of those words, hale them in sometime to a 30 
familier Epistle, when it were too much choller to be 

Now for similitudes, in certaine printed discourses, I 
thinke all Herbarists, all stories of Beasts, Foules, and 
Fishes are rifled vp, that they come in multitudes to waite 35 

An Apology for Poetry 203 

vpon any of our conceits ; which certainly is as absurd a 
surfet to the eares as is possible ; for the force of a simili- 
tude not being to prooue anything to a contrary Disputer 
but onely to explane to a willing hearer, when that is done, 
5 the rest is a most tedious pratling, rather ouer-swaying 
the memory from the purpose whereto they were applyed 
then any whit informing the iudgeraent, already eyther 
satisfied, or by similitudes not to be satisfied. For my 
part, I doe not doubt, when Anlonius and Crassus, the 

10 great forefathers of Cicero in eloquence, the one (as Cicero 
testifieth of them) pretended not to know Arte, the other 
not to set by it, because with a playne sensiblenes they 
might win credit of popular eares ; which credit is the 
neerest step to perswasion ; which perswasion is the chiefe 

15 marke of Oratory;— I doe not doubt (1 say) but that they 
vsed these tracks very sparingly, which who doth generally 
vse any man may see doth daunce to his owne musick; 
and so be noted by the audience more careful to speake 
curiously then to speake truly. 

30 Vndoubtedly (at least to my opinion vndoubtedly) 
I haue found in diuers smally learned Courtiers a more 
sounde stile then in some professors of learning : of which 
i can gesse no other cause, but that the Courtier, following 
that which by practise hee findeth fittest to nature, therein 

as (though he know it not) doth according to Art, though 
not by Art ; where the other, vsing Art to shew Art, and 
not to hide Art (as in these cases he should doe), flyeth 
from nature, and indeede abuseth Art. 

But what? me thinkes I deserue to be pounded for 

30 straying from Poetrie to Oratorie : but both haue such 
an affinity in this wordish consideration, that I thinke 
this digression will make my meaning receiue the fuller 
vnderstanding : which is not to take vpon me to teach 
Poets howe they should doe, but onely, finding my selfe 

33 sick among the rest, to shewe some one or two spots of 


204 Sir Philip Sidney 

the common infection growne among the most part of 
Writers: that, acknowledging our selues somewhat awry, 
we may bend to the right use both of matter and manner; 
whereto our language gyueth vs great occasion, beeing 
indeed capable of any excellent exercising of it. I know 5 
some will say it is a mingled language. And why not 
so much the better, taking the best of both the other ? 
Another will say it wanteth Grammer. Nay truly, it hath 
that prayse, that it wanteth not Grammer: for Grammer 
it might haue, but it needes it not; beeing so easie of it 10 
selfe, and so voyd of those cumbersome differences of 
Cases, Genders, Moodes, and Tenses, which I thinke 
was a peece of the Tower of Babihns curse, tJiat a man 
should be put to schoole to learne his mother-tongue. 
But for the vttering sweetly and properly the conceits 15 
of the minde, which is the end of speech, that hath it 
equally with any other tongue in the world : and is parti- 
culerly happy in compositions of two or three words 
together, neere the Greeke, far beyond the Latine : which 
is one of the greatest beauties can be in a language. 30 

Now, of versifying there are two sorts, the one Auncient, 
the other Moderne : the Auncient marked the quantitie 
of each silable, and according to that framed his verse; 
the Moderne obseruing onely number (with some regarde 
of the accent), the chiefe life of it standeth in that lyke aj 
sounding of the words, which wee call Ryme. Whether 
of these be the most excellent, would beare many speeches. 
The Auncient (no doubt) more fit for Musick, both words 
and tune obseruing quantity, and more fit liuely to expresse 
diuers passions, by the low and lofty sounde of tJie well- 30 
weyed silable. The latter likewise, with hys Ryme, 
Etriketh a certaine musick to the eare: and, in fine, sith 
it dooth delight, though by another way, it obtaines the 
same purpose : there beeing in eyther sweetnes, and 
wanting in neither maiestie. Truely the English, before 35 

An Apology for Poetry 205 

any other vulgar language I know, is fit for both sorts : 
for, for the Ancient, the Italian is so full of Vowels that 
it must euer be cumbred with Elisions ; the Dutch so, 
of the other side, with Consonants, that they cannot yeeld 
5 the sweet slyding fit for a Verse; the French, in his 
whole language, hath not one word that hath his accent 
in the last siiable, sailing two, called Aittepenullima ; and 
little more hath the Spanish : and, therefore, very grace- 
lesly may they vse Dacliles. The English is subiect to 

10 none of these defects. 

Nowe, for the ryme, though wee doe not obserue 
quantity, yet wee obserue the accent very precisely : 
which other languages eyther cannot doe or will not 
doe so absolutely. That Ctesura, or breathing place 

15 in the middest of the verse, neither Italian nor Spanish 
haue, the French, and we, neuer almost fayie of. Lastly, 
euen the very ryme it selfe the Italian cannot put in 
the last siiable, by the French named the Masculine ryme, 
but still in the next to the last, which the French call the 

ao Female, or the next before that, which the Italians terme 
Sdrucciola. The example of the former is Buono, Suono, 
of the Siifucciola, Femina, Semitia. The French, of the 
other side, hath both the Male, as Bon, Son, and the 
Female, as Plaise, Taise. But the Sdrucciola bee hath 

35 no; : where the English hath all three, as Due, True, 

Father, Rather, Motion, Potion ; with much more which 

might be sayd, but that I finde already the triflingnes 

of this discourse is much too much enlarged. 

So that sith the euer- praise- worthy Poesie is full of 

30 vertue-breeding delightfulnes, and voyde of no gyfte that 
ought to be in the noble name of learning : sith the blames 
laid against it are either false or feeble ; sith the cause why 
it is not esteemed in Englande is the fault of Poet^apes, 
not Poets ; sith, lastly, our tongue is most fit to honor 

35 Poesie, and to H bv Poesie j I coniure you all 

2o6 Sir Philip Sidney 

that haue had the euill lucke to reade this incke-wasting 
toy of mine, euen in the name of the nyne Muses, no 
more to scorne the sacred misteries of Poesie, no more 
to laugh at the name of Poets, as though they were next 
inheritours to Fooles, no more to iest at the reuercnt 5 
title of a Rymer; but to beleeue, with Aristotle, that they 
were the auncient Treasurers of the Graecians Diuinity. 
To beleeue, with Bembus, that they were first bringers 
in of all ciuilitie. To beleeue, with Scaliger, that no 
Philosophers precepts can sooner make you an honest "> 
man then the reading of Vtrgill. To beleeue, with Clau- 
serus, the Translator of ComutuSi that it pleased the 
heauenly Deitie, by Hesiod and Homer, vnder the vayle 
of fables, to giue vs all knowledge, Logick, Rethorick, 
Philosophy, naturall and morall ; and Quid non ? To 15 
beleeue, with me, that there are many misteries contained 
in Poetrie, which of purpose were written darkely, least 
by prophane wits it should bee abused. To beleeue, with 
Landin, that they are so beloued of the Gods that what* 
soeuer they write proceeds of a diuine fury. Lastly, to m 
beleeue themselues, when they tell you they will make 
you immortall by their verses. 

Thus doing, your name shal florish in the Printers 
shoppes ; thus doing, you shall bee of kinne to many 
a poeticall Preface ; thus doing, you shall be most fayre, 05 
most ritch, most wise, most all; you shall dwell vpon 
Superiatiues. Thus dooing, though you be Liberitno patre 
natus, you shall suddenly grow Herculea proles, 

Si quid mea carmina possunt 

Thus doing, your soule shal be placed with DatUes 30 
Beatrix, or Virgils Anchises. But if (fie of such a but) 
you be borne so neere the dull making Cataphract of 
Nilus that you cannot heare the Plannet-like Musick of 
Poetrie, if you haue so earth-creeping a mind that 

tt it I 

An Apology for Poetry 207 

cannot lift it selfe vp to looke to the sk^ of Poetry, or 
rather, by a certaine rusticall disdaine, will become such 
a Mome as to be a Momus of Poetry; then, though 
I will not wish vnto you the Asses eares of Midas, nor to 

5 bee driuen by a Poets verses (as Bubonax was) to hang 
himselfe, nor to be rimed to death, as is sayd to be doone 
in Ireland; yet thus much curse I must send you, in the 
behalfe of all Poets, that while you Hue, you Hue in loue, 
and neuer get fauour for lacking skill of a Sonnet ; and 

o when you die, your memory die from the earth for want 
of an Epitaph. 



ne schorl \ Treatise,] ainUining some revlis \ and cauteKs to bt 
obseruii and \ esc/tewit in Scot/is | Poesie, was issued in the 
volume of The Essayes of a Prentise, in the Divitu Aii of 
PoMW, printed at Edinburgh by Thomas Vautroullier in 1584. 
The test is taken from the copy which was formerly in the 
possessionof the poet William Drummond of Hawihornden, 
and was presented by him to the Library of the University 
of Edinburgh (De, 2. 57). The Treatise begins at sig. K. 
On the back of the special title-page is printed 'A Qvadraio 
of Alexandrin Verse, declaring to qvhome the Authour 
hes directit his labour. 

To ignoranis obdurde, qukatr wilful errour lyis. 
Nor yit to curious folks, quhilks carping dois deiect thet, 
Nor yit to learned men, quha thinks Ihame onelie uiyis, 
Bol to Ike docile bairns of kitawledge I direct thee.' 
The incorporation in a book o{ Elieabelhan texts of a tract 
on Scots verse, by a Scottish king, requires no apology, 
especially when its relation to earher Southern work can 
be clearly shown (see Introduction). 


'T'HE cause why (docile Reader) I haue not dedicat this \ 

short treatise to any particular personis (as com- 
mounly workis vsis to be) is, that I esteme all thais quha ' 
hes already some beginning of knawledge, with ane earnest s J 

A short Treatise on Verse 209 

desyre to atteyne to farther, alyke meit for the reading of 
this worke, or any vther, quhilk may help thame to the 
atteining to thair foirsaid desyre. Bot as to this work, 
quhilk is intitulit The Reulis and caulelis to be obseruit and 
S'eschewit in Scotlis Poesie, ye may maruel! parauenture 
quhairfore I sould haue writtin in that mater, sen sa mony 
learnit men, baith of auld and of late, hes already written 
thairof in dyuers and sindry languages : I answer that, 
nochtwith standing, I haue lykewayis writtin of it, for 

10 twa caussis. The ane is : As for them that wrait of auld, 
lyke as the tyme is changeit sensyne, sa is the ordour of 
Poesie changeit. For then they obseruit not Flowing, 
nor eschewit not Ryming in tertnes, besydea sindrie vther 
thingis, quhilk now we obserue and eschew, and dois well 

13 in sa doing: because that now, quhen the warld is waxit 
auld, we haue all their opinionis in writ, quhilk were learned 
before our tyme, besydes our awin ingynis, quhair as they 
then did it onelie be thair awin ingynis, but help of any 
vther. Thairfore, quhat I speik of Poesie now, I speik of 

30 it as being come to mannis age and perfectioun, quhair 
as then it was bot in the infancie and chyldheid. The 
vther cause is : That as for thame that hes written in it of 
late, there hes neuer ane of thame written in our language. 
For albeit sindrie hes written of it in English, quhilk is 

as lykest to our language, yit we differ from thame in sindrie 
reulis of Poesie, as ye will find be experience. I haue 
lykewayis omittit dyuers figures, quhilkis are necessare to 
be vsit in verse, for twa causis. The ane is, because they 
are vsit in all languages, and thairfore are spokin of be 

30 Du Beilay, and sindrie vtheris, quha hes written in this 
alrt. Quhairfore, gif 1 wrait of them also, it sould seme 
that I did bot repete that quhilk they haue written, and 
yit not sa weil as they haue done already. The vther 
cause is that they are figures of Rhetorique and Dialectique, 

35 quhilkis airtis I professe nocht, and thairfore will apply to 

310 King James VI 

my selfe the counsale quhilk 'Apelks gaue to the shoomaker, 
quhen he said to him, seing him find fait with the shankis 
of the Image of Venus, efter that he had found fait with the 
pantoun, Ne sutor vilra crepidatn. 

I will also wish yow (docile Reidar) that, or ye cummer 5 
yow with reiding thir reulis, ye may find in your self sic 
a beginning of Nature as ye may put in practise in your 
verse many of thir foirsaidis preceptis, or euer ye sie them 

Ias they are heir set doun. For gif Nature be nocht the 
cheif worker in this airt, Reulis wilbe hot a band to 10 
Nature, and will mak yow within short space weaty of 
the haill airt : quhair as, gif Nature be cheif, and bent to 
it, reulis will be ane-help and staff tQ_Nature. I will end 
"heir, lest my preface be langer nor my purpose and haill 
mater following: wishing yow, docile Reidar, als gude 15 
succes and great proffeit by reiding this short treatise as 
I tuke earnist and willing panis to blok it, as ye sie, for 
your cause. Fare weill. 

I haue insert in the hinder end of this Treatise maist 

kyndis of versis quhilks are not cuttit or brokin, bot alyke ao 
many feit in euerie lyne of the verse, and how they are 
commounly namit, with my opinioun for quhat subiectis ilk 
kynde of thir verse is meitest to be vsit. 

To knaw the quantitie of your lang or short fete in they 
lynes, quhilk I haue put in the reule quhilk teachis yow 95 
to knaw quhat is Flowing, I haue markit the lang fiite 
with this mark — , and abone the held of the shorte fiite 
I haue put this mark u. 

A short Treatise on Verse 



SEN for your sat'k I wryte vpon your airl, 
Apollo, Pan, and ye O Musis nyne, 
And Ikou, O Mercure, for to kelp Iky pairt 
I do implore, sen thou be thy ingyne, 
Nixt efter Pan had found tke quhissUl, syne 
Thou did perfyte that quhilk he bol espyit: 
And efter that made Argus for to tyne 
(Quha kepit lo) all kis windois by it. 
Concurre ye Gods, it can not be denyit. 
Sen in your airt of Poi'sie I wryte. 
Auld birds to leame by ieicking it is tryit: 
Sic docens discens, gif ye help to dyte. 

Then Retdar sie of nature tkou kaue pairt, 
Syne laikts thou nocht bot ket'r to reid the airt. 



ANE rype ingyne, ane quick and walkned wilt, 

fVilk sommair reasons, suddenlie applyit, 

For euery purpose vsing reasons Jitt, 

Witk skilfulnes, where learning may be spyit, 

IVitk pitkie wordis, for to expres yow by it 

His full intention in his proper leid, 

The puritie qukairof weill kes he tryit, 

With memorie to keip quhal he dots reid, 

With skilfulnes and figurts, quhtlks proceid 

From Rhetorique, wiUi euerlasting fame, 

Witk vtkers woundring, preassing with all speid 

For to atteine to merite sic a name: 

All thir into tke perfvltt ^"'"- >" 

Goddis, grant I -iV, 

King James VI 


Chap. I, 

First, ye sail keip iust cullouris, quhairof the cautelis } 
are thir. 

That ye ryme nocht twyse in ane syllabe. As for- 
exemple, that ye make not proue and reproue ryme to- 
gether, nor koue, for houeing on hors bak, and behoue. 

That ye ryme ay to the hinmest lang syllabe (with ; 
accent) in the lyne, suppose it be not the hinmest syllabe 
in the lyne, as bakbyle yow and outflyle yow. It rymes in 
byte and Jlyle, because of the lenth of the syllabe, and 
accent being there, and not in yow, howbeit it be the , 
hinmest syllabe of ather of the lynis. Or question and *a 
digestion : It rymes in ques and ges, albeit they be bot the I 
antepenult syllabis, and vther twa behind ilkane of thame. I 

Ye aucht alwayis to note that, as in thir foirsaidis or 1 
the lyke wordis, it rymes in the hinmest lang syllabe in 1 
the lyne, althoucht there be vther short syllabis behind it, a^ 
sa is the hinmest lang syllabe the hinmest fute, suppose | 
there be vther short syllabis behind it, quhilkis are eatin 
vp in the pronounceing and na wayis comptit as fete. 

Ye man be war likewayis {except necessitie compell 
yow) with Ryming in'Termis, quhilk is to say, that youra 
first or hinmest word in the lyne exceid not twa or thre 
syllabis at the maist, vsing thrie als seindill as ye can. 
The cause quhairfore ye sail not place a lang word first in 
the lyne is that all lang words hes ane syllabe in them sa 
verie lang, as the lenth thairof eatis vp in the pronouncing a 
euin the vther syllabes quhilks ar placit lang in the same 
word, and thairfore spillis the flowing of that lyne. As 

A short Treatise on Verse 213 

for exemple in this word, Arabia, the second syllable [ra] 
is sa lang that it eatis vp in the prononcing {a), quhilk is 
the hinmest syllabe of the same word. Quhilk (a) althocht 
it be in a lang place, yit it kythis not sa, because of the 

5 great lenth of the preceding syllabe {ra}. As to the cause 
quhy ye sail not put a lang word hinmest in the lyne, it 
is because that the lenth of the secound syllabe [ra], 
eating vp the lenth of the vther lang syllabe {a), makis it 
to serue hot as a tayle vnto it, together with the short 

o syllabe preceding. And because this tayle nather seruis 
for cullour nor fute, as I spak before, it man be thairfore 
repetit in the nixt lyne ryming \Tito it, as it is set doune 
in the first : quhilk makis that ye will scarcely get many 
wordis to ryrae vnto it, yea nane at all will ye finde to 

5 ryme to sindrie vther langer wordis. Thairfore cheifly be 
warre of inserting sic lang wordis hinmest in the lyne, for 
the cause quhilk I last allegit. Besydis that, natlier first 
nor last in the lyne, it keipis na Flowing. The reulis and 
cautelis quhairof are thir, as foltowis. 

o Chap. II. 

First, ye man vnderstand that all syllabis are deuydil 
in thrie kindes : That is, some schort, some lang, and 
some indifferent. Be indifferent I meane they quliilk are 
ather lang or short, according as ye place thame. 

5 The forme of placeing syllabcs in verse is this. That 
your first syllabe in the lyne be short, the second lang, 
the thrid short, the fourt lang, the fyft short, the sixt lang, 
and sa fiirth to the end of the lyne. Alwayis tak heid 
that the nomber of your fete in euery lyne be euin, and 

o nocht odde : as four, six, aucht, or ten, and not thrie, 
fyue, seuin, or nyne, except it be in broken verse, quhilkis 
are out of reul and dayiie inuentit be dyiiers Poetis. Bot 
gif ye wald ask me the reulis quhairby to knaw euerie ane 
of thir thre foirsaidis kyndis of syllabes, I answer your 

314 ^^*^S J^^>^^s VI 

eare man be the onely iudge and discerner thairof. And 
to proue this, I remit to the Judgement of the same, quhilk 
of thir twa lynis following flowis best, 

Into the Sea Iheti Lucifer vpsprang. 

In the Sea then Lucifer to vpsprang. s 

1 doubt not bot your eare makltia you easilie to persaue 
that the first lyne flowis weil and the vther nathing at all. 
The reasoun is because the first lyne keips the reule 
abone written^towit, the first fute short, the secound lang, 
and sa furth, as I shewe before — quhair as the vther is lo 
direct contrair to the same, Bot specially tak held, quhen 
your lyne is of fourtene, that your Sectioun in aucht be 
a lang monosyllabe, or ellis the hinmest syllabe of a word 
alwais being lang, as I said before. The cause quhy it 
man be ane of thir twa is for the Musique, because that is 
quhen your lyne is ather of xitij or xij fete it wilbe drawin 
sa lang in the singing, as ye man rest in the middes of it, 
quhilk is the Sectioun : sa as, gif your Scc/iokm be nocht 
ather a monosyllabe, or ellis the hinmest syllabe of a word, 
as I said before, bot the first syllabe of a polysyllabe, the ao 
Musique sail make yow sa to rest in the middes of that 
word, as it sail cut the ane half of the word fra the vther, 
and S3 sail mak it seme twa different wordis, that is bot 
ane. This aucht onely to be obseruit in thir foirsaid lang 
lynis : for the shortnes of all shorter lynis then thir before as 
raentionat is the cause that the Musique makls na rest 
in the middes of thame, and thairfore thir obseruationis 
semis nocht for thame. Onely tak heid that the Sectioun 
in thame kythe something langer nor any vther feit in 
that lyne, except the secound and the last, as 1 haue said 30 

Ye man tak heid lykewayis that your langest lynis 

A short Treatise on Verse 215 

exceid nochte fourlene fete, and that your shortest be 
nocht within foure. 

Remember also to mak a Sectioun in the middes of 
euery lyne, quhether the lyne be lang or short. Be 
S Sectioun I mean, that gif your lyne be of fourtene fete, 
your aucht fute man not only be langer then the seuint, or 
vther short fete, but also langer nor any vther lang fete in 
the same lyne, except the secound and the hinmest. Or 
gif your lyne be of twelf fete, your Sectioun to be in the 

10 sext. Or gif of ten, your Sectioun to be in the sext also. 
The cause quhy it is not in fyue is because fyue is odde, 
and euerie odde fute is short. Or gif your lyne be of 
aucht fete, your Sectioun to be in the fourt. Gif of sex, in 
the fourt also. Gif of four, your Sectioun to be in Iwa. 

IS Ye aucht likewise be war with oft composing your hail! 
lynis of monosyllabis onely {albeit our language haue sa 
many as we can nochl weill eschewe it), because the maist 
pairt of thame are indifferent, and may be in short or lang 
place, as ye like. Some wordis of dyuers sylJabis are 

30 likewayis indifferent, as 

Thairfore, restore. 
I thairfore, then. 
In the first thairfore, (thair) is short and (fore) is lang ; 
in the vther, {thair) is lang and (/ore) is short ; and yit 

95 baith llowis alike weill. Bot thir indifferent wordis, corn- 
posit of dyuers syllabes, are rare, suppose in raonosyllabes 
commoun. The cause then quhy ane haill lyne aucht 
nocht to be composit of monosylJabes only is that, they 
being for the maist pairt indifferent, nather the secound, 

30 hinmest, nor Sectioun will be langer nor the other lang 

fete in the same lyne, Thairfore ye man place a word 

composit of dyuers syllabes, and not indifferent, ather in 

the secound, hinmest, or Section 

Ye man also tak held that 

hat ye 1 
tven as I 
nill. vp ' 

9i6 King James VI 

syllabis efter the last lang syllabe in the lyne, that 
repeit thame in the lyne quhilk rymis to the vther, even 
ye set them downe in the first lyne : as for exempill, ye 
man not say 

Then feir nocht s 

Nor heir ocht, 

Then feir nockl 

Nor heir nochl, 

repeting the same nocht in baith the lynis : because this lo 
syllabe nocht, nather seruing for cuUour nor fiite, is bot 
a tayle to the lang fute preceding, and thairfore is repetit 
lykewayis in the nixt lyne quhilk rymes vnto it euin as 
it [is] set doun in the first. 

There is also a kynde of indifferent wordis asweill as of i^ 
syllabis, albeit few in nomber. The nature quhairof is 
that gif ye place thame in the begynning of a lyne they 
are shorter be a fute nor they are gif ye place thame 
hinmest in the lyne, as 

Sen patience I man haue perforce, » 

/ Hue in hope with patience. 

Ye se there are bot aucht fete in ather of baith thir lynis 
fibone written. The cause quhairof is that patience in the 
first lyne, in respect it is in the beginning thatrof, is bot 
of twa fete, and in the last lyne of thrie, in respect it is 25 
the hinmest word of that lyne. To knaw and discerne 
thir kynde of wordis from vtheris, your eare man be the 
onely iudge, as of all the vther parts oi Flowing, the veric 
twichestane quhairof is Musique, 

1 haue teachit yow now shortly the reulis of Ryming, 30 
Fete, and Flowing. There restis yet to teache yow the 
wordis, sentences, and phrasis necessair for a Poete to 
vse in his verse, quhilk 1 haue set doun in reulis, as eftcr 
folio wis. 


A short Treatise on Verse 

Chap. III. 

First, that in quhatsumeuer ye put in verse, ye put in 
na wordis ather metrt causa or yit for filling furth the 
nomber of the fete, bot that they be all sa necessare as 
s ye sould be constrainit to vse thame in cace ye were 
speiking the same purpose in prose. And thairfore that 
your wordis appeare to haue cum out willingly, and by 
nature, and not to haue bene thrawin out constrainedly, 
be compulsioun. 

m That ye eschew to insert in your verse a lang rable of 
mennis names, or names of tounis, or sik vther names. 
because it is hard to mak many lang names all placit 
logether to flow weill, Thairfore, quhen that fallis out in 
your purpose, ye sail ather put bot twa or thrie of thame 

15 in euerie lyne, mixing vther wordis amang thame, or ellis 
specifie bot twa or thre of them at all, saying {With the iaij 
of that race), or (With the rest in thay patriis), or sic vther 
lyke wordis: as for example, 

Out tlirougk his cairt, quhair Eons was eik 
30 With other thre, quhilk Phaeton had draivin. 

Ye sie thair is bot ane name there specifeit, to serue for 
vlher thrie of that sorte. 

Ye man also take held to frame your wordis and 

.sentencis according to the mater : As in Flyting and 

35 Inuectiues your wordis to be cuttit short, and hurland 

ouer heuch. For thais quhilkis are cuttit short, I meane 

be sic wordis as thir, 

lis Heir cair, 
30 1 sail neuer cair, gif your subiect 

were of loue, or tragedies. Because in thame your words 
man be drawin lang, quhilkis in Flyting man be short. 
Ye man lykcwayis tak heid that ye waill your wordis 


Kmg James VI 

according to the purpose : as in ane heich and leamit 
purpose to vse heich, pilhie, and leamit wordis. 

Gif your purpose be of loue, to vse commoun language, 
with some passionate wordis. 

Gif your purpose be of tragicall materis, to vse lament- 5 
able wordis, with some heich, as rauishit in admiratioun. 

Gif your purpose be of landwart cffairis, to vse corruptit 
and vplandis wordis. 

And finally, quhatsumeuer be your subiect, to vse voca- 
bula artis, quhairby ye may the mair viuelie represent that 10 
persoun quhais pairt ye paint out. 

This is hkewayis neidfull to be vsit in sentences, als 
Weill as in wordis. As gif your subiect be heich and 
leamit, to vse learnit and infallible reasonis, prouin be 
necessities. 15 

Gif your subiect be of loue, to vse wilfuU reasonis, 
preceding rather from passioun nor reasoun. 

Gif your subiect be of landwart effaris, to vse sklender 
reasonis, mixt with grosse ignorance, nather keiping forme 
nor ordour. And sa furth, euer framing your reasonis ao 
according to the qualitie of your subiect. 

Let all your verse be Literall, sa far as may be, quhat- 
sumeuer kynde they be of, bot specialHe Tumbling verse 
for flyting. Be Literall I meane that the maist pairt of 
j'our lyne sail rynne vpon a letter, as this tumbling lyne a.i 
rynnis vpon F. 

Fetching fude for to feid it fast furth of the Farie. 

I Ye man obserue that thir Tumbling verse flowis not 
on that fassoun as vtheris dois. For all vtheris keipis 
the reule quhilk i gaue before, to wit, the first fute short, 3° 
the secound lang, and sa furth. Quhair as thir hes twa 
short and ane lang throuch all the lyne, quhen they keip 
ordour : albeit the maist pairt of thame be out of ordour, 
and keipis na kynde nor reule of Flowing, and for that 

A short Treatise on Verse 219 

cause are callit TumBling verse : except the short lynis 
of aucht in the hinder end of the verse, the quhilk flowis 
as vther verses dois, as ye will find in the hinder end 
of this buke, quhair I gtue exemple of sindne kyndis of 
5 versis. 

H Chap. HII. 

Mark also thrie speciall ornamentis to verse, quhilkis 

are Comparisons, Epithetis, and Prouerbis. 
As for Comparisons, take heid that they be sa proper for 
10 the subiect that nather they be oner has, gif your subiect 

be heich, for then sould your subiect disgrace your Com- 

parisoun, nather your Comparisoun be heich quhen your 

subiect is basse, for then sail your Comparisoun disgrace 

your subiect. Bot let sic a mutuall correspondence and 
15 similitude be betwix them as it may appeare to be a meit 

Comparisoun for sic a subiect, and sa sail they iikane 

dec ore vther. 

As for Epithetis, it is to descryue brieflie, en passani, 

the naturall of euerie thing ye speik of, be adding the 
io proper adiectiue vnto It, quhairof there are twa fassons. 

The ane is to descryue it be making a corruptit worde, 

composit of twa dyuers simple wordis, as 

Apollo gyde-Sunne, 
The vther fasson is be Circumlocution, as 
i5 Apollo, rmlar of the Sunne. 

I estcme this last fassoun best, because it expressis the 
authoris meaning als weill as the vther, and yit raakis na 
corruptit wordis, as the vther dois. 

As for the Prouerbis, they man be proper for the sub- 
30 iect, to beautifie it, chosen in the same forme as the 


King James VI 

se, lo I 

Chap. V. 
It is also meit, for the better decoratioun of tlie 
vse sumtyme the figure of Repetitioun, as 
Quhylis toy rang, 
Quhylis noy rang. ^r. 5 

Ye sie this word quhylis is repetit heir. This forme of 
repetitioun, sometyme vsit, decoris the verse very mekle. 
Yea, quhen it cummis to purpose, it will be cumly lo repete 
sic a word aucht or nyne tymes in a verse. 

Chap. VI. 
Ye man also be warre with composing ony thing in the 
same maner as hes bene ower oft vsit of before. As in 
special!, gif ye speik of loue, be warre ye descryue your 
Loues makdome, or her fairnes. And siclyke that ye 
descrj-ue not the morning and rysing of the Sunne in is 
the Preface of your verse ; for thir thingls are sa oft and 
dyuerslie writtin vpon be Pofitis already, that gif ye do 
the lyke it will appeare ye bot imitate, and that it cummis 
not of your awin Inuentioun, quhilk is ane of the cheif 
properteis of ane Poete. Thairfore, gif your subiect be to so 
prayse your Loue, ye sail rather prayse hir vther qualiteis. 
nor her fairnes or hir shaip ; or ellis ye sail speik some 
lytill thing of it, and syne say that your wittis are sa smal, 
and your vtterance sa barren, that ye can not discryue any 
part of hir worthelie; remitting alwayis to the Reider to as 
iudge of hir, in respect sho matches, or rather excellis, 
Venus, or any woman, quhome to it sail please yow to 
compaire her. Bot gif your subiect be sic as ye man 
speik some thing of the morning or Sunne rysing, tak 
heid that, quhat name ye giue to the Sunne, the Mone, 3" 
or vther starris the ane tyme, gif ye happin to wryte 
thairof another tyme, to change thair names. As gif ye 


A short Treatise on Verse 221 

call the Sutine Titan at a tyme, to call liJm Phabtts or 
Apollo the vther tyme; and siclyke the Moiie, and vther 

Chap. VII. 
5 BoT sen Imtaition is ane of the cheif vertewis in a Poete, 
it is best that ye inuent your awin subiect your self, and 
not to compose of sene subiectis. Especially translating 
any thing out of vther language, quhilk doing, ye not onely 
essay not your awin ingyne of Ittuenli'oun, bot be the same 

10 meanes ye are bound, as to a staik, to follow that buikis 
phrasis quhilk ye translate. 

Ye man also be war of wryting any thing of materis of 
commoun weill, or vther sic graue sene subiectis (except 
Metaphorically, of manifest treuth opinly knawin, yit nocht- 

15 withstanding vsing it veryseindil), because nochl onely ye 
essay nocht your awin Inuenltoun, as I spak before, bot 
lykewayis they are to graue materis for a Poet to mell in. 
Bot because ye can not haue the Inuenlioim, except it 
come of Nature, I remit it thairvnto, as the cheif cause 

30 not onely of Inucntioun bot also of all the vther pairtis of 
Poesie. For airt is onely bot ane help and a remembraunce 
to Nature, as I siiewe yow in the Preface. 

Chap. VIII. 


First, there is ryme quhilk seruis onely for lang his- 
toreis, and yit are nocht verse. As for exemple, 

In Matt when that the blisse/uU Pkabus brichi, 
The tamp of ioy, the keauens gemme of licht, 
30 The goldin cairt, and Ihe etherialt King, 

With furpQur face in Orient dots spring. 


222 King James VI 

Afaist angel-lyke ascending in his sphere, 
And birds with all thair heauenlie voces cleare 
Dots mak a swell and keauinly harmony. 
And fragrant flours dois spring vp luslely: 
Into this season, sweitest of delyte, 
To walk I had a lusty appetyle. 
And sa furth. 

U For the descriptioun of Heroique actis, Martiall and 
knichtly faittis of armes, vse this kynde of verse following, 
callit HeroicaU, as lo 

Meik mundane mirrour, myrrie and modest, 

Blyth, kynde, and couries, comelie, dene, and chest. 

To all exemple for thy honeslie, 

As richest rose, or rubie, by the rest, 

With gracis graue, and gesture maisl digest, 15 

Ay to thy honnour alwayis hauittg eye, 

Were fassons fliemde, they micht be found in the: 

Of blissings all, be blylh, thow hes (he best; 

With euerie beme belouit for to be. 

IT For any heich and graue subiectis, specially drawin ao 
out of learnit authouris, vse this kynde of verse following, 
callit Ballot Royal, as 

That nicht he ceist, and went to bed, bot greind 

Yit fast for day, and ihocht the nicht to lang. 

At last Diana doun her head recleind 35 

Into the sea. Then Lucifer vpsprang, 

Auroras post, whome sho did send amang 

The leittie cludds, for to foretell ane hour, 

Before sho stay her tears, quhilk Oaide sang 

FeU for her loue, quhilk iurnit in a flour. 30 

H For tragicall materis, complaintis, or testanientis, vse 
this kynde of verse following, callit Troilus verse, as 


A short Treatise on Verse 223 

To thee, Echo, and thow to me agane. 
In the desert, amangs Ike wods and wells, 
Quhair destinie kes bound the to remane, 
But company, within the firths and fells, 

5 Let vs compkin, with wofull youtts and yells, 
A shaft, a shatter, that our harts hes slane: 
To thee. Echo, and thow to me agane. 

V For flyting, or Inuectiues, vse this kynde of verse 
following, callit Rouncefallis or Tumbling verse, 
o In the hinder end of haruesl, vpon Alhallow ene, 

Quhen our gude nichtbors rydis [nou gif I reid richt), 
Some bucklit on a benwod, and some on a bene, 
Ay trottand tnto troupes fra the twylicht: 
Some sadland a sko ape, all gratked into grene : 
5 Some hotckeand on a hemp stalk, hovand on a heicfU: 
The king of Fary with the Court of the Elf quene, 
With many elrage Incubus, rydand that nicht: 
There ane elf on ane ape ane vnsell begat, 
Besyde a pot baith auld and wome: 
■a This bratshard in ane bus was borne: 

They fand a monster, on the mome. 
War facit nor a Cat, 
U For compendious praysing of any bukes, or the 
authouris thairof, or ony argumentis of vther historeis, 
5 quhair sindrie sentences and change of purposis are re- 
quyrit, vse Sonet verse, of fourtene lynis, and ten fete in 
euery lyne. The exemple quhairof I neid nochl to shaw 
yow, in respect I haue set doun twa in the beginning of 
this treatise. 
o IT In materis of loue, vse this kynde of verse, quhilk we 
call Commoun verse, as 

Quhais answer made ihame nocht sa glaid 
That they sould thus the victors be, 


Z24 Kmg James VI 

As eueii the answer quhilk I haid 
Did greatly toy and confori me : 
Qithen lo, this sfiak ApoUo myiie, 
All that tliou seikis, it sail be thyne. 

1! Lyke verse of ten fete, as this foirsaid is of aucht, ye 3 
may vse lykewayis in loue materis : as also all kyndis of 
cutlit and brokin verse, quhairof new formes are daylie 
inuentit according to the Poflles pleasour, as 

Quha wald haue tyrde to heir that lone, 

Quhilk birds corroborat ay aboiie m 

Throuch schouting of the Larkis ! 
They sprang sa keich into the skyes, 
Quhill Cupide walkitis with the cryis 

Of Naturis chapell Clarkis. 
Then, leauing all the Heauins aboue, ts 

He lichted on the card. 
Lo! how that lylill God of lone 

Before tne then appeard. 
So myld-lyke, ,,^, , , , , 

And chyld-lyke, ^^'^' **'"' '^'''' ^""'^""^ ^'""" 

So moylic 

And coylie. 

And sa furth. 

He lukit lyke a Sani. 

1: This onely kynde of brokin verse abonewrittin man 
of necessitie, in thir last short fete, as so moylie and 
coylie, haue bot twa fete and a tayle to ilkane of thame, 
as ye sie, to gar the cullour and ryme be in the penult 35 

H And of thir foirsaidis kyndes of ballatis of haill verse, 
and not cuttit or brokin as this last is, gif ye lyke to put 
ane owerword till ony of thame, as making the last lyne 
of the first verse to be the last lyne of euerie vther verse 30 
in that ballaC, [will] set weill for loue materis. 

A short Treatise on Verse 225 

Bot besydis thir kyndes of brokin or cuttit verse, quhilks 
ar inuentit daylie be Poetis, as . I shewe before, there 
are sindrie kyndes of haill verse, with all thair lynis 
alyke lang, quhilk I haue heir omittit, and tane bot onelie 
5 thir few kyndes abone specifeit as the best, quhilk may 
be applyit to ony kynde of subiect, bot rather to thir 
quhairof I haue spokin before. 

GR. SM. 


(W Viscovjii 


\A Discourse of Eng\lish Poelrie. \\ Together with the AMikors\ 
iudgment, touching the re-\formaHan 0/ our Eng-\lish Verse.\\ 
By William Webbe \ Graduate was printed at London in 
1586 by John Charlewood for, Robert Walley (1 vol. 4(0). 
The text is taken from the rare copy in the Bodleian 
(Malone 708'. Webbe dedicated this 'draught of English 
Poetry ' to Edward Suliard, of Flemyngs, in the parish 
of Runwel), Essex, to whose sons Edward and Thomas 
he had been tutor. 'I sende it into your sight, not 
as anie wyttie pcece of worke that may delight you, 
but being a sleight somewhat compyled for recreation 
in the intermyssions of my daylie businesse {euen thya 
Summer Eueningesi, as a token of that earnest and vn- 
quenchable desyre I haue to shewe my selfe duetifull and 
welwylting towardes you '.'] 

AMONG the innumerable sortes of Englyshe Bookes, 
and infinite fardles of printed pamphlets, wherewith 
thys Countrey is pestered, all shoppes stuffed, and euery s 
study furnished, the greatest part I thinke, in any one 
kinde, are such as are either meere Poetical!, or which 
tende in some respecte (as either in matter or forme) to 


' WartoninformsusthatEdwj 
HBke wrote a tract entitled ; 
Touri-MoHt 0/ Willi 
letter; Land on 
1538), ' chieHy compiled with so 
slender additions from Willi 
Webbc's DiscOHrao/English Poel 

{Hist, iv, 97). He quotes one sen- 
tence from il : ' Then haue we the 
Mirrour of Magistrates lately aug- 
mented by my friend mayster 
lohn HipRins, and penned by the 
choysest learned witles, which, for 
the stately- proportioned uaine of 

Of English Poetry 227 

Poetry. Of such Bookes therfore, sith I haue beene 
one that haue had a desire to reade not the fewest, and 

because it is an argument whicli men of great learning 
haue no leysure to handle, or at least hauing to doo with 
' 5 more serious matters doo least regarde, if I write some- 
thing concerning what I tliinke of our English Poets, or 
aduenture to sette downe my simple iudgement of English 
Poetrie, I trust the learned Poets will glue me leaue, and 
vouchsafe my Booke passage, as beeing for the rudenesse 

10 thereof no preiudice to their noble studies, but euen (as 
my intent is) an t'nslar cotis to stirre vppe some other of 
meete abilitie to bestowe trauell in this matter : whereby 
I thinke wee may not onelie get the meanes, which wee 
yet want, to discerne betweene good writers and badde, 

15 but perhappes also challenge from the rude multitude of 
rusticall Rymers, who will be called Poets, the right 
practise and orderly course of true Poetry, 

It is to be wondred at of all, and is lamented of manie, 
that where as all kinde of good learning haue aspyred 

ao to royall dignitie and statelie grace in our English tongue, 
being not onelie founded, defended, maintained, and en- 
larged, but also purged from faultes, weeded of errours, 
and pollished from barbarousnes, by men of great 
authoritie and iudgement, onelie Poetrie hath founde 

as fewest frends to amende it, those that can reseruing theyr 
skyll to themselues, those that cannot running headlong 
vppon it, thinking to garnish It with their deuises, but 
more corrupting it with fantasticall errours, What shoulde 
be the cause that our English speeche, in some of the 

30 wysest mens iudgements, hath neuer attained to anie 
sufficient ripenes, nay not ful auoided the reproch of 

the heroick style and good meelly of Hake's volume. W«rton docs 

proportion of uerae, may challenge not tell i 

the best of Lydgale, and all our text. No 

late rhymers.' This is all wc know preserved. 

228 William Webbe 

barbarousnes in Poetry ? The rudenes of the Counlrey, 
or basenesse of wytts ; or the course Dialed of the 
speeche? Experience vtterlie disproueth it to be anie of 
these. What then ? Surelie the canckred enmitie of 
curious custome : which as it neuer was great freend to 5 
any good learning, so in this hath it grounded in the most 
such a negligent perswasion of an impossibiUtie in match- 
ing the best, that the finest witts and most diuine heades 
haue contented themselues with a base kinde of fingering, 
rather debasing theyr faculties in setting forth theyr skyll lo 
in the coursest manner, then for breaking custome they 
would labour to adorne their Countrey and aduaunce their 
style with the highest and most learnedst toppe oi true 
Poetry. The rudenes or vnaptnesse of our Countrey to 
be either none or no hinderaunce, if reformation were is 
made accordinglie, the exquisite excellency in all kindes 
of good learning nowe flourishing among vs, inferiour to 
none other nation, may sufficiently declare. 

That there be as sharpe and quicke wittes in England 
as euer were among the peerelesse Grecians or renowmed » 
Romaines, it were a note of no witte at all in me to deny. 
And is our speeche so course, or our phrase so harshe, 
that Poetry cannot therein finde a vayne whereby it may 
appearc like it selfe ? Why should we think so basely of 
this ? rather then of her sister, I meane Rhetoricall as 
EloqwitioH ? which as they were by byrth Twyns, by kinde 
the same, by original! of one descent, so no doubt, as 
, Eloquence hath founde such fanourers in the English 
tongue, as she frequenteth not any more gladly, so would 
Poetrye, if there were the like welcome and entertainment 3* 
gyuen her by our' English Poets, without question aspyre 
to wonderfull perfection, and appeare farre more gorgeous 
and delectable among vs. Thus much I am boide to say 
in behalfe of Poetrie, not that I meane to call in question 
the reuerend and learned workes of Poetrie written in aj.; 

Of English Poetry 229 

our tongue by men of rare iudgement and most excellent 
Poets, but euen as it were by way of supplication to the 
famous and learned Lawreat Masters of Engiande, that 
they would but consult one halfe howre with their 
5 heauenly Muse what credite they might winne to theyr 
natiue speeche, what enormities they might wipe out of 
English Poetry-, what a fitte vaine they might frequent, 
wherein to shewe forth their worthie faculties if English 
Poetrie were truely reformed, and some perfect platfomie 

10 or Prosodia of versifying were by them ratified and sette 
downe, eyther in immitation of Greekes and Latines, or, 
where it would skant abyde the touch of theyr Rules, the 
like obseruations selected and established by the naturall 
affectation of the speeche. Thus much I say, not to per- 

15 swade you that are the fauourers of Englishe Poetry, but 
to raooue it to you : beeing not the firste that haue thought 
vpon this matter, but one that by consent of others haue 
taken vpon me to lay it once again in your wayes, if 
perhaps you may stumble vppon it, and chance to looke 

ao so lowe from your diuine cogitations, when your Muse 
mounteth to the starres and ransacketh the Spheres of 
heauen : whereby perhaps you may take compassion of 
noble Poetry, pittifullie mangled and defaced by rude 
smatterers and barbarous immitatours of your worthy 

as studies. If the motion bee worthy your regard, it is 
enough to mooue it; if not, my wordes woulde simply 
preuaile in perswading you ; and therefore 1 rest vppon 
thys onely request, that of your courtesies you wyll graunt 
passage, vnder your fauourable corrections, for this my 

30 simple censure of English Poetry, wherein, if you please to 
nmne it ouer, you shall knowe breefely myne opinion of 
the most part of your accustomed Poets, and particularly, 
in his place, the lyttle somewhat which I haue sifted on*' 
of my weake brayne concerning thys reformed versifyin 

35 w. ^^ 


William Webbe 



Intending to write some discourse of English Poetrie, 
I thinke it not amysse if I speake something generally of 
Poetrie, as, what it is, whence it had the beginning, and 
of what estimation it hath alwayes bcene and ought to be s 
among al sorts of people. Poetrie. called in GreekeTrotrpto 
beeing deriued from the Vei^be Troiioi, which signifieth in 
Laline facere, in English to make, may properly be de- 
fined the arte of making : which word, as it hath alwaies 
beene especially vsed of the best of our English Poets to ro 
expresse t he very faculty of speaking or wrvtingAPoetic - 
. _ allyi. so doth it in deede containe most fitly the whole 
grace and property of the same, the more fullye and 
effectually then any other English Verbe. That Poetry is 
an Arte (or rather a more excellent thing then can be 15 
j(^ contayned wythin the compasse of Arte), t hough I neede 
i^\ , not stande long to prooue, both the witnes q( Horace, who 
v' wrote de arte Poelica, and of Terence, who calleth it Artetn 

Musicam, and the very natiiraU property thereof may 
sufficiently declare. The beginning of it, as appeareth by w> 
Plato, was of a vertuous and most deuout purpose ; who 
witnesseth that by occasion of meeting of a great company 
of young men, to solemnize the feasts which were called 
Panegeryca, and were wont to be celebrated euery fift 
yeere, there they that were most pregnant in wytt, and 35 
indued with great gyfts of wysedome and knowledge in 
Musicke aboue the rest, did vse commonly to make 
goodly verse s, measured according lo the sweetest note s 
of Musicke. containing the Rra^ag of some noble vertue, 
or ot unmortalitiCj or of some such thing of greatest 30 
estimation : which vnto them seemed so heauenly and 
ioyous a thing, that, thinking such men to be inspyrde 

I ) 

Of English Poetry 231 

with some diuine instinct from heaiien, they called them i, 
Vates . iao when other among them of the finest wits and / 
aptest capacities beganne in imitation of these to frame ^ 
ditties of lighter matters, and tuning them to the stroake ' 
5 of some of the pleasantest kind of Musicke, then began 
there to growe a distinction and great diuersity betweene 
makers and makers. Whereby (I take it) beganne thya 
difference : that they which handled in the audience of 
the people graue and necessary matters were called wise 

10 men or eloquent men, which they meant by Vates ; and 
t he rest which sange of loue matters, or other ligh ter 
deuisRs^aUuring vnto pleasure and deliq-ht. were calle^d 
PoetcE or makers, Thus it appeareth both Eloquence and 
Poetrie to haue had their beg inning anH nfigi naJl from 

15 t hese exercises, beeing framed in such sweete measure 
of sentences and pleasant harmonie called "SyQjio'i, which 
is an apt composition of wordes or clauses, drawing as it 
were by force the hearers eares euen whether soeuer / 
it tysteth, that Plato affirmeth therein to be contained 

no yi.i)TcCa an inchaunCment, as it were to perswaJe them ani^ 
t hing whether they would or no . And heerehence is 
sayde that men were first withdrawne from a wylde and 
sauadge kinde of life to ciuillity and gentlenes and the 
right knowledge of humanity by the force of this measur- 

35 able or tunable speaking . ' 

This opinion shall you finde confirmed throughout the 
whole workes of P/ato and Aristotle : and that such was 
the estimation of this Poetry at those times, that they sup- 
posed all wisdome and knowledge to be included mystic- 

30 ally in that diuine instinction wherewith they thought 
their Vates to bee inspyred, Wherevpon, throughout the 
noble workes of those most excellent Philosophers before 
named, are the authorities of Poets very often alledged. 
And Cicero in his Tusculane questions is of that minde, 

3j that a Poet cannot expresse verses aboundantly, sufR- 

232 William Webbe 

ciently, and fully, neither his eloquence can flowe plea- 
sauntly, or his wordes sounde well and plenteously, without 
celestial! instinction : which Poets themselues doo very 
often and gladlie witnes of themselues, as namely Ouid 
in 6. Faslo : £"5/ deus in nobis ; agilante calesctmus illo, 5 
etc. Wherevnto I doubt not equaJJy to adioyne the au- 
thoritye of our late famous English Poel who wrote the 
Sheepheards Calender, where, lamenting the decay of Poetry 
at these dayes, saith most sweetely to the same : 

Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wytt, le 

And, whence thou earnest, flye back to heauen apace, etc. 

Whose fine poetical] wilt and most exquisite learning, 
as he shewed aboundantly in that pecce of worke, in my 
iudgment inferiour to the workes neither of Theocritus in 
Greeke nor Virgill in Latine, whom he narrowly immi- i; 
tateth : so I nothing doubt but if his other workes were 
common abroade, which are as I thinke in the close 
custodie of certaine his freends, we should haue of our 
owne Poets whom wee might matche in all respects with 
the best. And, among all other his workes whatsoeuer, ac 
1 would wysh to haue the sight of hys English Poet, which 
his freend E. K. did once promise to publishe, which 
whether he performed or not, I knowe not : if he did, my 
happe hath not beene so good as yet to see it. 

But to returne to the estimation of Poetry. Besides a; 
the great and profitable fruites contained in Poetry, for 
_.the instruction of manners and precepts of good life (for 
that was cheefly respected in the first age of Poetry), this 
ia also added to the eternall commendations of that noble 
faculty : that Kinges and Princes, great and famous men, y 
did euer encourage, mayntaine, and reward Poets in al 
ages, because they were thought onely to haue the whole 
power in their handes of making men either immortally 
famous for their valiaunt exploytes and vertuous exercises, 

Of English Poetry 233 

or perpetually infamous for their vicious Hues. Where- 
vppon it is said of Achilles that this onely vantage he 
had of Hector, that it was his fortune to be extolled and 
renowmed by the heauenly verse o( Homer. And as Tulty 
5 recordeth to be written of Alexander, that with natural 
teares he wept ouer Achilles Tombe, in ioy that he con- 
ceiued at the consideration howe it was his happe to be 
honoured wyth so diuine a worke as Homers was. Aris- 
totle, a most prudent and learned Philosopher, beeing 

10 appointed Schoolemaster to the young Prince Alexander, 
thought no worke so meete to be reade vnto a King as the 
worke of Homer: wherein the young Prince, being by 
him instructed throughly, found such wonderfull delight 
in the same when hee came to maturity, that hee would 

15 not onely haue it with him in all his iourneyes, but in his 
bedde also vnder his pyllowe, to delight him and teache 
him both nights and dayes. The same is reported of 
noble Scipio, who, finding the two Bookes oi Homer in the 
spoyle of Kyng Darius, esteemed them as wonderfull 

ao precious lewelles, making one of them his companion for 
the night, the other for the day. And not onely was he 
thus affected to that one peece or parte of Poetry, but so 
generally he loued the professors thereof, that in his most 
serious aifayres, and hottest warres against Nuntantia and 

25 Carthage, he could no whitte be without that olde Poet 
Ennius in his company, But to speake of all those noble 
and wyse Princes, who bare speciall fauour and counten- 
aunce to Poets, were tedious, and would require a 
rehearsall of all such in whose time there grewe any to 

go credite and estimation in that faculty. Thus farre there- 
fore may suffice for the estimation of Poets. Nowe 
I thinke most meete to speake somewhat concerning 
what hath been the vse of Poetry, and wherin it rightly 
consisted, and whereof consequently it obteyned such 

35 estimation. 


I mem 

IVilliam Webbe 

To begin therefore with the first that was first worthelye 
memorable in the excellent gyft of Poetrye, the best 
wryters agree that it was Orpheus, who by the sweete gyft 
of his heauenly Poetry withdrew men from raungyng vn- 
certainly and wandring brutishly about, and made them 5 
gather together and keepe company, make houses, and 
keep fellowshippe together, who therefore is reported (as 
Horace sayth) to asswage the fiercenesse of Tygers and 
mooue the harde Flynts. After him was Amphion, who 
was the first that caused Citties to bee builded, and men 10 
therein to Hue decently and orderly according to lawe and 
right. Next was Tyrtaus, who began to practise warlike 
defences, to keepe back enemies and saue themselues 
from inuasion of foes. In thys place I thinke were most 
conucnient to rehearse that auncient Poet Pyndarus; but 13 
of the certaine time wherein he flourished I am not very 
certaine; but of the place where he continued moste, it 
shoulde seeme to be the Citty of Thebes, by Piinie, who 
reporteth that ^/f.vai;(/<:r in sacking the same Cittie woulde 
not suffer the house wherein he dwelt to be spoyled as all ao 
the rest were. After these was Homer, who as it were 
in one summe comprehended all knowledge, wisedome, 
learning, and poIHcie that was incident to the capacity of 
man. And who so liste to take viewe of hys two Bookes, 
one of his lUadf.s, the otJier his Odissea, sliall throughly 35 
perceiue what the right vse of Poetry is : which indeede 
is to mingle profite with pleasure, and so to delight the 
Reader with pleasantnes of hys Arte, as in tlie mean time 
his mind may be well instructed with knowledge and wise- 
dome. For so did that worthy Poet frame those his two 30 
workcs, that in reading the first, that is his Iliads, by 
declaring and setting forth so liuely the Grecians assembly 
against Troy, together with their prowesse and fortitude 
against their foes, a Prince shall learne not onely courage 
and valiantnesse, but discretion also and poUicie to en- 35 

Of English Poetry 235 

counter with his enemies, yea a perfect forme of wyse 
consultations with his CaptaJnes and exhortations to the 
people, with other Infinite commodities. 
Agayne, in the other part, wherein are described the 
5 manifold and daungerous aduentures of Vlisses, may a 
man learne many noble vertues; and also learne to escape 
and auoyde the subtyll practises and perrilous entrap- 
pinges of naughty persons ; and not onely this, but in 
what sort also he may deale to knowe and perceiue the 

10 affections of those which be ncere vnto him, and most 
familiar with him, the better to put them in trust with his 
matters of waight and importaunce. Therefore I may boldly . 
sette downe thys to be the truest, auncientest, and best ', 
kinde of Poetry, to direct ones endeuour alwayes to that'- 

15 marke, that with delight they may euermore adioyne com- / 
moditie to theyr Readers ; which because I grounde vpon V, 
Homer, the Prince of all Poets, therefore haue I alledged ( 
the order of his worke, as an authority sufficiently proou- '. 
ing this assertion. 

30 N owe what other Poets which followed him, and beene 
of greatest fame, haue doone for the moste parte in their 
seuerall workes I wyil briefely, and as my slender ability 
wyll serue me, declare. But, by my leaue, ! must content 
my selfe to speake not of all, but of such as my selfe haue 

33 scene and beene best acquainted withall, and those not 

all nor the moste part of the auncient Grecians, of whom I 

knowe not how many there were, but these of the Latinists, 

which are of greatest fame and most obuious among us. 

Thus much I can say, that Aristotle reporteth none to 

30 haue greatly flourished in Greece, at least wyse not left 
behynd them any notable memoriall, before the time of 
Homer. And Tully sayth as much, that there were none 
wrytt woorth the reading twyce in the RoiD' 
before the Poet Ennius. And surely as the 

35 or cheefest essence of Poetry dyd alwayes fa 



236 IVtUiam Webbe 

consist in delighting the readers or hearers wyth pleasure, 
so, as the number of Poets increased, they styl! inclyned 
thys way rather then the other, so that most of them had 
speciall regarde to the pleasantnesse of theyr fine con- 
|-' ceytes, whereby they rnight drawe mens raindes into admits 
i ration of tlieyr inuentions, more then they had to the 
.\_ profitte or commoditye that the Readers shoulde reape by 
I their works. And thus, as 1 suppose, came it to passe 
among them that, for the most part of them, they would 
not write one worke contayning some serious matter : but 10 
for the same they wold likewise powre foorth as much of 
some wanto n or l aciuious inuention. Yet some of the 
auncientest sort of Grecians, as it seemeth, were not so 
much disposed to^vayne delectation; as Arisiot/e sayth of 
Empedocles, that in hys iudgment he was onley a naturall i.s 
Philosopher, no Poet at all, nor that he was like vnto 
Homer in any thing but hys meeter or number of feete, 
that is, that bee wrote in verse. After the time of Homer 
there began the firste Comedy wryters, who compyled 
theyr workes in a better stile, which continued not long no 
before it was expelled by penalty, for scoffing too broade 
at mens manners, and the priuie reuengements which the 
Poets vsed against their ill wyllers. Among these was 
Eupolis, Cratittiis, and Aristophanes; but afterward the 
order of thys wryting Comedies was reformed and made 35 
more plausible : then wrytte Plato [Comt'cus), Menander^ 
and I knowe not who more. 
There be many most profitable workes, of like antiquity, 
--or rather before them, of the Tragedy writers: as of 
Euripides and Sophocles; then was there Phocilides and 3» 
Theagines, with many other; which Tragedies had their 
inuention by one Thespis, and were poUished and amended 
by jEschilus. The profitte or discommoditie which aryseth 
by the vse of these Comedies and Tragedies, which is 
most, hath beene long in controuersie, and is sore vrgedss 


Of English Poetry 237 

among vs at these dayes : what I thinke of the same, 
perhaps I shall breefely declare anon. 

Nowe concerning the Poets which wrote in homely 
manner, as they pretended, but indeede with great pythe 
5 and learned iudgment, such as were the wryters of Sheepe- 
heards talke and of husbandly precepts, who were among 
the Grecians that excelled, besides Theocritus and Hesia- 
dus, I know not; of whom the first, what profitable work es 
he left to posterity, besides hys IdilHa or contentions of 

10 Goteheards, tending most to delight and pretty inuentions, 
I can not tell.' The other, no doubt for his Argument he 
tooke in hande, dealt very learnedly and profitably, that is, 
in precepts of Husbandry, but yet so as he myxed much 
wanton stuffe among the rest. " 

15 The first wryters of Poetry among the Latines shoulde 
seeme to be those which excelled in the framing of Com- 
medies, and that they continued a long time without 
any notable memory of other Poets. Among whom the 
cheefest that we may see or heare tell of were these : 

JO Ewiius, Caea'/ius, Naeuius, Licinms, Aililius, Turpilius, 
Trabea, Lusa'us, Plautus, and Terens. Of whom these 
two last named haue beene eucr since theyr time most 
famous, and to tliese dayes are esteemed as greate helpes 
and furtheraunces to the obtayning of good Letters. But 

a5 heere cannot I stay to speake of the most famous, re- 
nowmed, and excellent that eoer writte among the Latine 
Poets, P. Virgin, who performed the very same in that 
tongue which Homer had doone in Greekc, or rather 
better, if better might, as Sex. Propert. in his Elegies gal- 

30 lantly recordeth in his praise, Nescio quid magis nascitur 
lliade. Vnder the person of^H^ashe expresseth thevaloure 
of a worthy Captaine and valiaunt Gouemour, together with 
the perrilous aduentures of warre, and poliiticke deuises 
at all assayes. And as he immitateth Tke, 

35 so doth he likewyse followe the ve 


338 William IVebbe 

in his most pythy inuentions of his j^glogttes: and like- 
wyse Hesiodiis in hys Georgicks or bookes of Husbandry, 
but yet more grauely, and in a more decent style. But, 
notwithstanding hys sage grauity and wonderful! wisedome, _. 
dyd he not altogether restrayne his vayne, but thaj_Jif; 5 
would haue a cast at some wanton and skant comelx^n 
Argument, if indeede such trifles as be fathered vppon 
him were his owne. There followed after him very many 
rare and excellent Poets, wherof the most part writt l^gbt 
matters, as Epigrammes and Elegies, with much pleasan t 10 
dalliance, among whom may be accounted Properitus, Ti- 
buUus, Catullus, and diners whom Oui'ii speaketh of in 
diuers places of his workes. Then are there two Hystori- 
call Poets, no lesse profitable then delightsome to bee read, 
Silius and Lucanus : the one declaring the valiant prowesse 15 
of two noble Captaines, one enemie to the other, that is, 
Scipio and Hanibali; the other, likewise, the fortitude of 
two expert warriours (yet more lamentably then the other, 
because these warres were ciuill), Pompey and Casar. 
The next in tyme, but (as most men doo account, and soao 
did he himselfe) the second in dignity, we wyll adioyne 
Ouid, a most learned and exquisite Poet. The worke of 
greatest profitte which he wrote was his Booke of Meta- 
morphosis, which though it consisted ofXajned Fables for 
the most part, and poeticall inuentions, yet be eing moralized 35 
according to his meaning, and the trueth of euery tale 
beeing discouered, it is a worke of exceeding wysedome 
and sounde iudgment. If one lyst in like manner to haue 
knowledge and perfect intelligence of those rytes and 
ceremonies which were obserued after the Religion of the 30 
Heathen, no more profitable worke for that purpose then 
his bookes De fastis. The rest of his dooinges, though 
they tende to the vayne delights of loue and dalliaunce 
(except his Tristibus wherein he bewayleth hys exile), yet 
surely are mixed with much good counsayle and profitable 3$ 

Of English Poetry 239 

lessons, if they be wisely and narrowly read. After his 
time I know no woFke of any great fame till the time of 
Horace, a Poet not of the smoothest style, but in sharp- 
nesse of wytt inferiour to none, and one to whom all the 
5 rest both before his time and since are very much be- 
holding. About the same time luuenall and Persius, then 
Martial, Seneca, a most excellent wryter of Tragedies, 
Boetius, Lucretius, Slatius, Val: Flaccus, Maniiius, Auso- 
nius, Claiidian, and many other, whose iust times and seue- 

<o rail workes to speake of in this place were neither much 
needefull, nor altogeather tollerable, because I purposed 
an other argument. Onely I will adde two of later times, 
yet not farre inferiour to the most of them aforesayde, 
PaSengenius and Bap. Mattlnanus ; and, for a singuler 

15 gyft in a sweete Heroicail verse, match with them Ckr. 
Oclan, the Authour of our Anglontm Pralia. But nowe, 
least I stray too farre from my purpose, I wyl come to our 
English Poets, to whom 1 would I were able to yeelde 
theyr deserued commendations: and affoorde them that 

ao censure which I know many woulde, which can better if 
they were nowe to write in my steede. 

I know no memorable worke written by any Poet in 
our English speeche vntill twenty yeeres past: where, 
although Learning was not generally decayde at any time, 

U5 especially since the Conquest of King William Duke of 
Nonnandy, as it may appeare by many famous works and 
learned bookes (though not of this kinde) wrytten by 
Byshoppes and others, yet surelye that Poetry was in 
small price among them, it is very manifest, and no great 

30 maruayle, for euen that light of Greeke and Latine Poets 
which they had they much contemned, as appeareth by 
theyr rude versifying, which of long t; "^^ 

barous vse it was), wherin they conuertj 
perty of the sweete Latine verse to t 

35 ryming, thinking nothing to be learn 

240 William Webbe 

which fell not out in rynie, that is, in wordes whereof the 
middle worde of eche verse should sound a like with the 
last, or of two verses the ende of both should fall in the 
like letters as thus : 

male vtuenles, versus audite sequenles. S 

And thus likewise ; 

Propter kaec et alia dogmata doctorum 
Rear esse melius el magis decorum : 
Quisque suam babeat, el non proximorum. 

This brutish Poetrie, though it had not the beginning m 
in this Counlrey, yet so hath it beene affected heere that 
the infection thereof would neuer (nor I thinke euer will) 
be rooted vppe againe ; I meane this tynkerly verse which 
we call ryme. Master Asckam sayth tTiat it first b^an 
to be followed and maintained among the Hunnes and is 
Gothians and other barbarous Nations, who, with the 
decay of all good learning, brought it into Italy; from 
thence it came into Fraunce, and so to Germany ; at last 
conueyed into England, by men indeede of great wise- 
dome and learning, but not considerate nor circumspect >» 
in that behalfe. But of this I must intreate more heere- 

Henry the first King of that name in England is won- 
derfully extolled, in all auncient Recordes of memory, for 
hys singuler good learning in all kinde of noble studies, a^ 
in so much as he was named by his surname Beaucteark, 
as much to say as Fayreckrke (whereof perhappes came 
the name of Fayrectowe). What knowledge hee attained 
in the skyll of Poetry, I am not able to say, I report his 
name for proofe that learning in this Country was not 30 
little esteemed of at that rude time, and that like it is, 
among other studies, a King would not neglect the faculty 
of Poetry. The first of our English Poets that I haue 


Of English Poetry 241 

heard of was lohn Gower, about the time of king Rychard 
the scconde, as it should seeme by certayne coniectures 
bothe a Knight and questionlesse a singuler well learned 
man : whose workes I could wysh they were all whole 
5 and perfect among vs. for no doubt they contained very 
much deepe knowledge and delight ; which may be gathered 
by his freend Chawcer, who speaketh of him oftentimes in 
diuers places of hys workes. Chawcer, who for that ex- 
cellent fame which hee obtayned in his Poetry was alwayes 

10 accounted the God of English Poets (such a (ytle for 
honours sake hath beene giuen him), was next after if not 
equall in time to Gower, and hath left many workes, both 
for delight and profitable knowledge farre exceeding any 
other that as yet euer since hys time directed theyr studies 

15 that way. Though the manner of hys stile may seeme 
blunte and course to many fine English eares at these 
dayes, yet in tnieth, if it be equally pondered, and with 
good iudgment aduised, and confirmed with the time 
wherein he wrote, a man shall perceiue thereby euen a 

20 true picture or perfect shape of a right Poet. He by his 
delightsome vayne so gulled the eares of men with his 
"3euises, that, although corruption bare such sway in most 
"inatters that learning and truth might skant bee admitted 
to shewe it selfe, yet without controllment myght hee 

35 gyrde at the vices and abuses of all states, and gawle 
with very sharpe and eger inuentions, which he did so 
learnedly and pleasantly that none therefore would call 
him into question. For -such was his bolde spyrit, that 
what enormities he saw in any he would not spare to 

30 pay them home, eyther in playne words, or els in 
prety and pleasant couert, that the simplest might 

Neere in time vnto him was Lydgate, a Poet surt 
good proportion of his verse and meetely currant 

35 as the time aflfoorded, comparable with Chawcer, ye 

espy 1 

243 I'Vilh'am Webbe 

occupyed in supersticious and odde matters then was 
requesite in so good a wytte : which, though he handled 
them commendably, yet, the matters themselues beeing 
not so commendable, hys estimation hath beene the lesse. 
The next of our auncient Poets that I can tell of I sup- j 
pose to be Pierce Ploughman, who in hys dooinges is 
somewhat harshe and obscure, but indeede a very pithy 
' wryter, and {to hys commendation I speake it) was the first 
; that I haue scene that obserued the quantity of our verse 
without the curiosity of Ryme. w' 

Since these I knowe none other tyll the time of Skelton, 
who writ in the time of Kyng Henry the eyght, who as 
indeede he obtayned the Lawrell Garland, so may I wyth 
good ryght yeelde him the title of a Poet; hee was 
doubtles a pleasant conceyted fellowe, and of a very jj 
sharpe wytte, exceeding bolde, and would nyppe to the 
very quicke where he once sette holde. Next hym I 
thynke 1 may place master George Gaskoyne, as painefull 
a Souldier in the affayres of hys Prince and Country as 
he was a wytty Poet in his wryting ; whose commenda- 
tions, because I found in one of better iudgment then my 
selfe, I wyl sette downe hys wordes, and supprcsse myne 
owne : of hym thus wryteth£. A'., vppon the ninth jiT^/o^e 
of the new Poet. ' Master George Gaskoyne, a wytty Gen- 
tleman and the very cheefe of our late rymers, who, and 
if some partes of learning wanted not (albe it is well 
knowne he altogether wanted not learning), no doubt would 
haue attayned to the excellencye of those famous Poets. 
For gyfts of wytt and naturall promptnes appeare in him 

I might next speake of the dyuers workes of the olde 
Earle of Surrey, of the L. Vaus, of Norton of Bristow, 
Edwardes, Tusser, Churchyard, Wyl. Hunnis, Haiwood, 
Sand, Hyll, S. Y., M. D., and many others; but to speake 
of their seuerall gyfts and aboundant skyll shewed forth 


Of English Poetry 243 

by them in many pretty and learned workes woulde make 
my discourse much more tedious. 

I may not omitte the deserued commendations of many 
honourable and noble Lordes and Gentlemen in her 

5 Maiesties Courte, which in the rare deuises of Poetry 
haue beene and yet are most excellent skylfull, among 
whom the right honourable Earle of Oxford may chal- 
lenge to him selfe the tytle of the most excellent among 
the rest. I can no longer forget those learned Gentlemen 

10 which tooke such profitable paynes in translating the 
Latine Poets into our English tongue, whose desertes in 
that behalfe are more then I can vtter. Among these 
I euer esteemed, and while I lyue in my conceyt I shall 
account. Master D. Phaer without doubt the best : who, 

15 as indeede hee had the best peece of Poetry whereon to 
sette a most gallant verse, so performed he it accordingly, 
and in such sort, as in my conscience I thinke would 
scarcely be doone againe, if it were to doo again. Not- 
withstanding, I speak it but as myne own fancy, not 

ao preiudiciall to those that list to thinke otherwyse. Hys 
worke, whereof I speake, is the englishing of Alneidos of 
Virgin, so farre foorth as it pleased God to spare him 
life, which was to the halfe parte of the tenth Booke, the 
rest beeing since wyth no lesse commendations finished 

35 by that worthy scholler and famous Phisition, Master 
Thomas Twyne. 

Equally with him may I well adioyne Master Arthur 
Golding, for hys labour in englishing Quids Metamor- 
phosis, for which Gentleman surely our Country hath for 

30 many respects greatly to gyue God thankes : as for him 
which hath taken infinite paynes without ceasing, trauelleth 
as yet indefatigably, and is addicted without society by 
his continuall laboure to profit this nation and speeche 
in all kind of good learning. The next very * 

35 serueth Master Bamabe Googe to be placed, as a 

and speeche A 

very well de- ■ 

as a painefuU I 

■ ^ 

044 IVilltam IVebbe 

furtherer of learning : hys heipe to Poetry, besides hya 
owne deuises, as the translating of PaUengenitts Zodiac 
Abraham Flemming, as in many prety Poesis of hys owne, 
so in translating hath doone to hys commendations. To 
whom I would heere adioyne one of hys name, whom 5 
I know to haue excelled as well in all kinde of learning 
as in Poetry most especially, and would appeare so if the 
dainty morselles and fine poeticall inuentions of hys were 
as common abroade as I knowe they be among some of 
hys freendes. I wy] craue leaue of the laudable Authors 
of Seneca in English, of the other partes of Outd, of 
Horace, of Mantuan, and diuers other, because I would 
hasten to ende thys rehearsall, perhappes offensyuc to 
some, whom eyther by forgetfulnes or want of icnowledge 
I must needes ouer passe. 

And once againe, I am humbly to desire pardon of the 
learned company of Gentlemen Schollers and students of 
the Vniuersities and Innes of Courte, yf 1 omitte theyr 
seuerall commendations in this place, which I knowe a 
great number of them haue worthely deserued, in many « 
rare deuises and singuler inuentions of Poetrie: for 
neither hath it beene my good happe to haue scene all 
which I haue hearde of, neyther is my abyding in such 
place where 1 can with facility get knowledge of their 

One Gentleman notwithstanding among them may I not 
ouerslyppe, so farre reacheth his fame, and so worthy is 
he, if bee haue not already, to weare the Lawrell wreathe, 
Master George Whetstone, a man singularly well skyld in 
this faculty of Poetrie. To hira I wyl ioyne Anthony 4 
Munday, an earnest traueller in this arte, and in whose 
name I haue scene very excellent workes, among which, 
surely, the most exquisite vaine of a witty poeticall heade 
is shewed in the sweeCe sobs of Sheepheardes and 
Nymphes; a worke well worthy to be viewed, and to beejj 


Of English Poetry 245 

esteemed as very rare Poetrie. With these 1 may place 
lohn Graunge, Knyght, Wylmott, Darrell, F. C, F. K., 
G. B., and many other, whose names come not nowe to my 

5 This place haue I purposely resenied for one, who, if 
not only, yet in my iudgement principally, desenieth the 
tytle of the rightest English Poet that euer I read, that 
is, the Author of the Sheepeheardes Kalender, Intituled 
to the woorthy Gentleman Master P!ii/iip Sydney: whether 

10 it was Master Sp. or what rare Scholler in Pembrooke 
Hall soeuer, because himself and his freendes, for what 
respect I knowe not, would not reueale it, I force not 
greatly to sette downe : sorry I am that I can not find 
none other with whom I might couple him in this Cafa- 

15 logue in his rare gyft of Poetry : although one there is, 
though nowe long since seriously occupied in grauer 
studies {Master Gabrieli Hantey), yet as he was once his 
most special freende and fellow Poet, so because he hath 
taken such paynes, not onely in his Latin Poetry (for 

30 which he enioyed great commendations of the best both 
in iudgment and dignity in thys Realme), but also to 
reforme our English verse and to beautify the same with 
braue deuises, of which I thinke the cheefe lye hidde in 
hateful! obscurity ; therefore wyll I aduehture to sette 

"3 them together, as two of the rarest witts and learnedst 
masters of Poetrie in England. Whose worthy and 
notable styl in this faculty I would wysh, if their high 
dignities and serious businesses would permit, they would 
styll graunt to bee a furtheraunce to that reformed kinde 

30 of Poetry, which Master Harvey did once beginne to 
ratify: and surely in mine opinion, if hee had chosen 
some grauer matter, and handled but with halfe that skyll 
which I knowe he could haue doone, and not powred it 
foorth at a venture, as a thinge betweene iest and earnest, 

35 it had taken greater effect then it did. 

246 William Webbe 

As for the other Gentleman, if it wculd please him or 
hys freendes to let those excellent Poetnes, whereof I know 
he hath plenty, come abroad, as his Dreames, his Legends, 
his Court ofCttpid, his English Poet, with other, he shoulde 
not onely stay the rude pens of my selfe and others, but 5 
also satisfye the thirsty desires of many which desire 
nothing more then to see more of hys rare inuentions. 
If 1 ioyne to Master Harney hys two Brethren, I am 
assured, though they be both busied with great and 
waighty callinges (the one a godly and learned Diuine, 10 
the other a famous and skylfuU Phisition), yet if they lysted 
to sette to their helping handes to Poetry, they would as 
much beautify and adorne it as any others. 

If I let passe the vncountable rabble of ryming Ballet 
makers and compylers of senceiesse sonets, who be most 15 
busy to stufFe euery stall full of ^osse deuises and yn-_ 
learned Pamphlets, I trust I sh a 1 1 with Hi e~~best sort be 
held excused. For though many such can frame an Ale* 
house song of fiue or sixe score verses, hobbling vppon 
some tune of a Northen lygge, or Robyn hoode, orao 
La lubber etc., and perhappes obserue iust number of 
sillabJes, eyght in one line, sixe in an other, and there 
withall an A to make a iercke in the ende: yet if these 
might be accounted Poets (as it is sayde some of them 
make meanes to be promoted to the Lawrell) surely we 35 
shall shortly haue whole swarmes of Poets : and euery 
one that can frame a Booke in Ryme, though for want 
of matter it be but in commendations of Copper noses 
or Bottle Ale, wyll catch at the Garlande due to Poets ; 
whose potticall, poeticall (I should say), heades I would 30 
wyshe at their worshipfull comencements might in steede 
of Lawrell be gorgiously garnished with fayre greene 
Barley, in token of their good affection to our Englishe 
Malt. One speaketh thus homely of them, with whose 
words I wyll content my selfe for thys time, because 

rhose J 
cause 35 1 

Of English Poetry 247 

I woulde not bee too broade wyth them in myne owne 
speech e. 

' In regarde' {he meaneth of the learned framing the newe 
Poets workes which writt the Sheepheardes Calender) 
5 ' I scorne and spue out the rakehelly rout of our ragged 
Ryiners (for so themselues vse to hunt the Letter) which 
without learning boaste, without Judgment iangle, without 
reason rage and fume, as if some instinct of poetical! 
spyrite had newlie rauished them aboue the meanesse of 

10 common capacity. And beeing in the midst of all their 
brauery, suddainly, for want of matter or of Ryme, or 
hauing forgotten their former conceyt, they seeme to be 
so payned and trauelled in theyr remembraunce, as it 
were a woman in Chyldbyrth, or as that same Pytln'a 

15 when the traunce came vpon her : Os rabidum /era corda 
damans ek.' 

Thus farre foorth haue I aduentured to sette downe 
parte of my simple iudgement concerning those Poets, 
with whom for the most part 1 haue beene acquainted 

ao through myne owne reading : which though it may seeme 
something impertinent to the tytle of my Booke, yet 1 
trust the courteous Readers wyll pardon me, considering 
that poetry is not of that grounde and antiquity In our , 
English tongue, but that speaking thereof only as it ia I 

=3 English would seeme like vnto the drawing of ones I 

pycture without a heade. I 

Nowe therefore, by your gentle patience, wyll I wyth 

like breuity make tryall what I can say concerning our 

Englishe Poetry, first in the matter thereof, then in the 

30 forme, that is, the manner of our verse ; yet so as 1 must 
euermore haue recourse to those times and wryters, 
whereon' the English poetry taketh as it were the discent 
and proprietye. 

English Poetry therefore, beeing considered according , 




248 William Webbe 

.y/to common custome and auncient vse, is where any 
/ T worke is learnedly compiled in measurable speeche, and 
/ framed in word es contayning number or proportion of 
1 lu st syllables, delighting the readers or hearers as well 
S by the apt and decent framing of wordes in equall resem- 5 
f blance of quantity, commonly called verse, as by the 
,' skyllfuU handling of the matter whereof it is intreated. 
I spake somewhat of the beginning of thys measuring of 
wordes in iust number, taken out of Plato: and indeede 
the regarde of true quantity in Letters and syllables k 
seemeth not to haue been much vrged before the time of 
Homer in Greece, as Arislotle witnesseth. A 

The matters whereof verses were first made were / 
'^ eyther exhortations to vertue, dehortations from vices, 
or the prayses of some laudable thing. From thcnc^is 

they beganne to vse them in exercises of immitating^ 

tome vertuous and wise man at their feastes ; where as 
1 Bome one shoulde be appointed to represent an other 
mans person of high estimation, and he sang fine ditties 
and wittie sentences, tun ably to their Musick notes. Ofao 
Ihys sprang the first kinde of Comedyes, when they 
beganne to bring into these exercises more persons then 
one, whose speeches were deuised Dyalogue wise, in 
aunswering one another. And of such like exercises, or, 
as some wyll needes haue it, long before the other, began 35 
the first Tragedies, and were so called of T/Mtyos, because 
the Actor, when he began to play his part, slewe and 
offered a Goate to their Goddesse : but Commedies tooke 
their name of Kuipiftiv ta! ^iv, comessatum ire, to goe 
a feasting, because they vsed to goe in procession with 30 
their sport about the Citties and Villages, mingling much 
pleasaunt myrth wyth theyr graue Religion, and feasting 
cheerefuUy together wyth as great toy as might be deuised. 
But not long after (as one delight draweth another) they 
began to inuent new persons and newe matters for their 35 


I k. 

0/ English Poetry 249 

Comedies, such as the deuisers thought meetest to please 
the peoples vaine; And from these they beganne to 
present in shapes of men '^he natures of vertues and 
vices, and affections and quallities incident to men, as ^^ 
5 Justice, Temperance, Pouerty, Wrathe, Vengeaunce, Sloth, 
Valiantnes, and such like, as may appeare by the auncient 
y' workes oi Aristophanes. There grewe at last to be 
a greater diuersitye betweene Tragedy wryters and 
Comedy wryters, the one expressing onely sorrowfull 

10 and lamentable Hystories, bringing in the persons of 
Gods and Goddesses, Kynges and Queenes, and great 
states, whose partes were cheefely to expresse most 
miserable calamities and dreadfull chaunces, which in- 
creased worse and worse, tyll they came to the most 

15 wofuU plight that might be deuised. The Comedies, on 
the other side, were directed to a contrary ende, which, 
beginning doubtfully, drewe to some trouble or turmoyle, 
and by some lucky chaunce alwayes ended to the ioy and 
appeasement of all parties. Thys distinction grewe, as 

30 some holde opinion, by immitation of the workes of 
Homer; for out of his Iliads the Tragedy wryters founde 
dreadfull euents, whereon to frame their matters, and the 
other out of hys Odyssea tooke arguments of delight, and 
pleasant ending after dangerous and troublesome doubtes. 

35 So that, though there be many sortes of poetical] 
wrytings, and Poetry is not debarred from any matter^ ' 
which may be expressed by penne or speeche, yet fo^ ■ 
the better vnderstanding and breefer method of thys dii^ 
course, I may comprehende the same in three sortes, 

3* which are Comicall, Tragicall, Historiall. Vnder the first 
may be contained all such Epigrayiimes, Elegies, and 
delectable ditties, which Poets haue deuised respecting 
onely the delight thereof: in the seconde, all dolefull 
coraplaynts, kmentable chaunces, and what soeuer 

3S poetically expressed in sorrow and beauines. 

euer is J 

In the I 


WiUiam iVebbt 

ihird we may comprise the reste of all such matters 
which is indifferent betweene the other two, [which] doo 
commonly occupy the pennes of Poets : such are the 
poeticall compyling of Chronicles, the frecndly greetings 
betweene freendes, and very many sortes besides, which s 
for the better distinction may be referred to one of these 
three kindes of Poetry. But once againe, least my dis- 
course runne too farre awry, wyll I buckle my selfe more 
neerer to English Poetry : the vse wherof, because it is 
'^ "nothing dilTerent from any other, I thinke best to confirrae lo 
f by tjie testimony of Horace, a man worthy to beare autho- 
•^^ty in this matter, whose very opinion is this, that the 
^-^rfect perfection of poetrie is this, lo mingle delight with 
* proftit in such wyse that a Reader might by his reading 
- be perlaker of bothe ; which though I touched in the is 
beginning, yet I thought good to alledge in this place, for 
more confirmation thereof, some of hys owne wordes. In 
his treatise de arte Poeltca, thus hee sayth : 


Aut prodesse volunt, aut delectare poetae, . 
Aul simul el tucunda et idonea dicere vilae. 

As much to aaie : All Poets desire either by their 

^works to profitt or delight men, or els to ioyne both 

/profitable and pleasant lessons together for the instruc- 


ion of life. 
And againe : 

Om»e lulit putichtm qui miscuit vtile dulci, 
Lectorcm deleclando pariterque monendo. 

That is. He misseth nothing of his marke which loyneth 
profitt with delight, as well delighting his Readers as 
profiling them with counsell. And that whole Epistle 30 ] 
which hee wryt of his Arte of Poetrie, among all the 
parts thereof, runneth cheefelie vppon this, that whether 

Of English Poetry 251 

the argument which the Poet handleth be of thinges 
doone or fained inuentions, yet that they should beare such 
anjmage of trueth that as they delight they may likewise 
profitt, For these are his wordes : Ficla voluptatis causa 
5 sini proximo veris. Let thinges that are faigned for plea-"" 
sures sake haue a neere resemblance of the truth. This 
precept may you perceme fo bee most duelie obserued of ^ "i.uJCi 
CAawcer: for who could with more delight prescribe such f^i-i 

wholsoine_counsaile and sage aduise, where he seemeth 

'" onelie to respect the profitte ofTiTslessons and instruc- 
tions? or who coulde with greater wisedome, or more 
pithie skill, vnfold such pleasant and delightsome matters 
of mirth, as though they respected nothing but the telling 
of a merry tale? So that this is the very grounde of right 

15 poetrie, to giue profitable counsaile, yet so as it must be 

■ mingled with.delight. For among all the auncient works 

of poetrie, though the most of them incline much to that 

part of delighting men with pleasant matters of small 

importaunce, yet euen in the vainest trifles among them 

20 there is not forgotten some profitable counsaile, which 
a man may learne, either by (latte precepts which therein 
are prescribed, or by loathing such vile vices, the enormities 
whereof they largelie discouer. For surelie I 
this opinion that the wantonest Poets of all, in their 

25 most laciuious workes wherein they busied themselues, 
sought rather by that meanes to withdraw mens mindes 
(especiallie the best natures) from such foule vices 
then to allure them to imbrace such beastly follies as they 

30 Horace, speaking of the generall dueties of Poets, sayth, 
Os tenerum pueri balbuniqtie poeta Jigurat, and manie more 
wordes concerning the profitte to be hadde out of Poets : 
which because I haue some of them compris 
English translation of that learned and i 

35 Sir Thomas Elyot, I wyll set downe his wo' 


252 IViiliam Webbe 

The Poet fashioneth by some pleasant meane 
The speeche of children stable and vnsure : 
Gulling their eares from wordes and thinges vndeane, 
Giuing to them precepts that are pure: 
Rebuking enuy and wrath if it dure: 5 

Thinges well donne he can by example commend : 
To needy and sicke he doth also his cure 
To recomfort, if ought he can amende. 
And manie other likewordes are in that place oi Horace 
to like effect. Therefore poetrie, as it is of it selfe, without ro 
abuse is not onely not vnprofitable to the liues and studies 
of menne, but wonderfuU commendable and of great excel- 
lencie. For nothing can be more acceptable to men, or 
rather to be wished, then sweete allurements to vertues 
and commodious caueates from vices ; of which Poetrie is 
is exceeding plentifull, powring into gentle witts, not 
roughly and tirannicallie, but as it were with a louing 
authoritie. Nowe, if the ill and vndecent prouocations, 
"whereof some vnbridled witts take occasion by the read- 
ing of laciuious Poemes, bee obiected— such as are Otiids ao 
loue Bookes and Elegies, Tibullus, Catullus, and Mariials 
workes, with the Comedies for the most part of Plaulus 
and Tfrence~\ ihinke it easily aunswered. For though 
it may not iustlie be denied that these workes are indeede 
very Poetrie, yet that Poetrie in them is not the essentiall as 
or formall matter or cause of the hurt therein might be 
affirmed, and although that reason should come short, yet 
this might be sufficient, that the workes themselues doo 
not corrupt, but the abuse of the vsers, who, vndamaging 
their owne dispositions by reading the discoueries of 30 
vices, resemble foolish folke who, comming into a Garden 
without anie choise or circumspection, tread downe the 
fairest flowers and wilfuUie thrust their fingers among 
the nettles. 

And surelie to speake what I verelie thinkc, this is 35 


Of English Poetry 253 

mine opinion : that one hauing sufficient skyll to reade 
and vnderstand those workcs, and yet no staie of him 
selfe to auoyde inconueniences, which the remembraunce 
of vnlawfuU things may stirre vppe in his minde, he, in 
5 my iudgement, is wholy to bee reputed a laciuious dis- 
posed personne, whom the recitall of Sins whether it be 
in a good worke or a badde, or vppon what occasion 
soeuer, wyll not staie him but prouoke him further vnto 
them. Contrariwise, what good lessons the warie and 
10 skylful Readers shall picke out of the very worst of them, 
if they list to take anie heede, and reade them not of an 
intent to bee made the worse by them, you may see 
by these fewe sentences, which the foresayd Sir Thomas 
Elyott gathered as he sayth at all aduentures, intreating 
15 of the like argument. First, Plautus in commendations 
of vertue hath such like wordes : 
Verely vertue doth all thinges excell, 
For if liberty, health, liuing, or substaunce. 
Our Country, our parents, and children doo well, 
ao It hapneth by vertue; she doth all aduaunce; 
Vertue hath all thinges vnder gouemaunce : 
And in whom of vertue is founde great plenty 
Any thing that is good may neuer be dainty. 
Terence, in Eunucho, hath a profitable speeche, in biasing 
"5 foorth the fashions of harlots before the eyes of young 
men. Thus sayth Panneno : 

In thys thing I tryumphe in myne owne conceite, 
That I haue found for all young men the way, 
Howe they of Harlots shall know the deceite, 
30 Their witts and manners, that thereby they may 
Them perpetuallie hate; for so much as they 
Out of their owne houses be fresh and delicate, 
Feeding curiously, at home all day 
Lyuing beggerlie in most wretched estate. 


254 William Webbe 

And many more wordes of the same matter, but which 
may be gathered by these fewe. 

Ouid, in his most wanton Bookes of loue,and the reme- 
dies thereof, hath very many pithie and wise sentences, 
which a heedefull Reader may marke and chose out from 5 
the other sluffe. This is one. 

Tyme is a medicine if it shall profitt; 

Wine gyuen out of tyme may be annoyaunce, 

And man shall irritat vice, if he prohibitt 

When time is not meete vnto his vtteraunce. lo 

Therfore, if thou yet by counsayle art recuperable, 

Fly thou from idlenes and euer be stable. 

Martiall, a most dissolute wryter among all other, yet 
not without many graue and prudent speeches as this, is 
one worthy to be marked of these fond youthes which in- 15 
tangle theyr wytts in raging )oue, who, stepping once ouer 
shoes in theyr fancyes, neuer rest plunging till they be 
ouer head and eares in their follie. 

If thou wylt eschewe bitter aduenture. 

And auoyde the annoyance of a pensifull hart, ao 

Set in no one person all wholly thy pleasure ; 

The lesse maist thou ioy, but the lesse shalt thou smart 

These are but fewe gathered out by happe, yet sufficient 
to shewe that the wise and circumspect Readers may finde 
very many profitable lessons dispersed in these workes, 33 
neither take any harme by reading such Poemes, but good, 
if they wil themselues. Neuertheles, I would not be 
thought to hold opinion that the reading of them is so 
tollerable, as that tliere neede no respect to be had in 
making choyse of readers or hearers : for if they be pro- 3a 
hibited from the tender and vnconstant wits of children 
and young mindes, 1 thinke it not without great reason : 
neyther am I of that deuiUish opinion, of which some 

Of English Poehy 255 

there are, and haue beene, in England, who, hauing charge 
of youth to instruct them in learning, haue especially 
made choyse of such vnchildish stuffc to reade vnto 
young Schollers, as it shoulde seeme of some filthy pur- 
5 pose, wylfully to corrupt theyr tender mindes and prepare 
them the more ready for theyr loathsome dyetts. 

For, as it is sayd of that impudent worke of Luciane, 
a man were better to reade none of it then all of it, so 
thinke I that these workes are rather to be kept alto- 

logether from children then they should haue free liberty 
to reade them, before they be meete either of their owne 
discretion or by heedefuU instruction to make choyse of 
the good from the badde. As for our Englishe Poetrie, 
I know no such perilous peeces (except a fewe balde 

15 ditties made ouer the Beere potts, which are nothing lesse 
then Poetry) which anie man may vse and reade without 
damage or daunger : which indeede is lesse to be mer- 
uailed at among vs then among the olde Latines and 
Greekes, considering that Christianity may be a Stale to 

aosuch illecibrous workes and inuentions as among them 
(for their Arte sake) myght obtaine passage. 

Nowe will I speake somewhat of that princelie part of 
Poetrie, wherein are displaied the noble actes and valiant 
exploits of puissaunt CapCaines, expert souldiers, wise 

JS men, with the famous reportes of auncient times, such as 
are the Heroycall workes of Homer in Greeke and the 
heauenly verse of Virgils /Eneidos in Latine : which 
workes, comprehending as it were the summe and grounde 
of all Poetrie, are verelie and incomparably the best of 

go all other. To these, though wee haue no English worke 
aunswerable in respect of the glorious ornaments of 
gallant handling, yet our auncient Chroniclers and re- 
porters of our Countrey affayres come most neere them : 
and no doubt, if such regarde of our English speeche and 

35 curious handling of our verse had beene long since thought 

'^56 William Webbe 

r >^ vppon, and from time to time been pollished and bettered 
by men of learning, iudgeraent, and authority, it would 
ere this haue matched them in all respects. A manifest 
I , example thereof may bee the great good grace and sweete 

I vayne which Eloquence hath attained in our speeche, be- 5 

cause it hath had the helpe of such rare and singuler wits, 
as from time to time rayght still adde some amendment to 
the same. Among whom 1 thinke there is none that will 
gainsay but Master lohn Lilly hath deserued moste high 
commendations, as he which hath slept one steppe further w 
therein then any either before or since he first began the 
I wyttiejliscouc6e-of-his_^«^iM£5. Whose workes, surely 
in respecte of his singuler eloquence and braue composi- 
tion of apt words and sentences, let the learned examine 
and make tryall thereof thorough all the partes of Retho- ^5 
ricke, in fitte phrases, in pithy sentences, in gallant tropes, 
in flowing speeche, in plaine sence, and surely, in my 
iudgment, I thinke he wyll yeelde him that verdict which 
Quinlilian giueth of bothe the best Orators Demosthenes 
and Tully, that from the one nothing may be taken away, ao 
to the other nothing may be added. But a more neerer 
^ example to prooue my former assertion true (I meanc the 
meetnesse of our speeche to receiue the best forme of 
Poetry) may bee taken by conference of that famous trans- 
lation of Master D. Phaer with the coppie it selfe, who as 
soeuer please with courteous iudgement but a little to 
compare and marke them both together, and weigh with 
himseife whether the English tongue might by little and 
little be brought to the verye maiesty of a ryght Heroicall 
verse. First you may marke how Vt'rgill alwayes fitteth 30 
his matter in hande with wordes agreeable vnto the same 
affection which he expresseth : as in hys Tragicall ex- 
clamations, what pathe[tijcall speeches he frameth ? in 
his comfortable consolations, howe smoothely hys verse 
runnes ? in his dreadfull battayles and dreery bycker- as 


Of English Poetry 257 

ments of warres, howe bj^ge and boystrous his wordes 
sound ? and the like notes in all partes of his worke may 
be obserued. Which excellent grace and comely kind of 
choyse, if the translatour hath not hitte very neere in our 
5 course English phrase, iudge vprightjy : wee wyll conferre 
some of the places, not picked out for the purpose, but 
such as I tooke turning ouer the Booke at randon. 
When the Troyans were so tost about in tempestious 
wether, caused by Molus at lunoes request, and driuen 
10 vpon the coaste of Affrick with a very neere scape of their 
liues, ^Eneas after hee had gone a land and kylled plenty 
of victuals for his company of Souldiours, hee deuided the 
same among them, and thus louinglie and sweetely he 
comforted them [j£n. Lib. t) ; 
IS ei diclis maerentia pectora ntulcet : 

O socii (neqite enim igttari sumus ante malorum\ 
O passi grauiora; dabit deus kis quoque finem. 
Vos ei Scyllaeam rabietn peniliisque sonantes 
Accestis scapulas : vos ei Cydopea saxa 
aa Experii. Rettocate animos, maestumque iitnorem 
Mittite. Forsan ei haec oltm memiftisse t'uuabii. 
Per varias casus, per tal discrimina rerum, 
Tendimus in Lalium : sedes vbi fata quieias 
Osiendunt. lUic fas regna resurgere Troiae. 
=5 Durate, et vosmet rebus seruate secundis. 

Talia vace referl: curisque ingentibus aeger 
Spent vuliu simulai, premtt ailum corde dolorem. 
Translated thus : 

And then to cheere their heauy harts with these words 
he him bent, 
30 O Mates, (quoth he) that many a woe haue bidden and 
borne ere thys, 
Worse haue we seene, and this also shall end when 
Gods wyll is. 

258 William Webbe 

Through Sylla rage (ye wott) and through the roaring 

rocks we past; 
Though Cyclops shore was full of feare, yet came we 

through at last. 
Plucke vppe your harts, and driue from thence both 

feare and care away; 
To thinke on this may pleasure be perhapps another 

By paynes and many a daunger sore, by sundry 5 

chaunce we wend, 
To come to Italy, where we trust to find our resting 

And where the destnyes haue decreed Troyes King- 
dome eft to ryse. 
Be bold and harden now your harts, take ease while 

ease applies. 
Thus spake he tho, but in his hart huge cares had 

him opprest; 
Dissembling hope with outward eyes, full heauy was 10 

his brest. 
Againe, marke the wounding of Dido in loue with 
JEtteas, with howe choyse wordes it is pithily described, 
both by the Poet and the translator, in the beginning of 
the fourth booke. 

Al regina graui iamdudum saucia cura ,j 

Vidnus alit venis, el caeco carpitur ignt, etc. 
By this time perced satte the Queene so sore with 

loues desire, 
Her wound in euery vayne she feedes, she fryes in 

secrete fire. 
The manhood of the man full oft, full oft his famous 

She doth reuolue, and from her thought his face ao 

cannot vntwyne. 


Of English Poetry 259 

His countnaunce deepe she drawes and fiied fast she 

beares in brest 
His words also; nor to her carefull hart can come no 


And in many places of the fourth booke is the same 
matter so gallantly prosecuted in sweete wordes, as in 
5 mine opinion the coppy it selfe goeth no whit beyond it. 
Compare them likewise in the woefull and lamentable 
cryes of the Queene for the departure of /Eneas, towards 
the ende of that Booke. 

Terque quaferque manu pectus percussa decorum 
"J Flauentesque abscissa comas, proh luptter, t'bil 

Hie ? ail, et nostris illuserit admna regttis ? etc. 

Three times her hands she bet, and three times strake 

her comely brest, 
Her golden hayre she tare and frantikltke with moode 

opprest ; 
She cryde, O lupiier, God, quoth she, and shall 

a goe? 
15 Indeede? and shall a flowte me thus within my king- 
dome so ? 
Shall not mine Armies out, and all my people them 

pursue ? 
Shall they not spoyle their shyps and burne them vp 

with vengance due? 
Out people, out vppon them, follow fast with fires and 

Set sayles aloft, make out with oares, in ships, in 

boates, in frames. 
so What speake I ? or where am I ? what furies me doo 

thus inchaunt? 
O Dydo, wofull wretch, now destnyes fell thy head 

dooth haunt. 


aSo Waiiam Webbe 

And a little after preparing to kyll her owne selfe: 

But Dydo quaking fierce with frantike moode and 

griesly hewe, 
With trembling spotted cheekes, her huge attempting[s] 

to peraue, 
Besides her selfe for rage, and towards death with 

visage wanne, 
Her eyes about she rolde ; as redde as blood they 5 
looked than. 
At last ready to fall vppon ^neas sworde: 

O happy (welaway) and ouer happy had I beene, 

If neuer Troian shyps (ahlas) my Country shore had 

Thus aayd, she wryde her head. And vnreuenged 

must we die? 
And let vs boldly die (quoth shee) ; thus, thus to death » 

I p]y. 
Nowc likewise for the braue warlike phrase and bygge 
sounding kynd of thundring speeche, in the hotte skyr- 
myshcs of battels, you may confer them in any of the 
last fiuc Bookes : for examples sake, thys is one about 
the ninth Bookc. 15 

// clamor lotis per propugnacula muris: 
InUndunt acris arcus, amentaque torquent. 
Stemilur omnc solum telis : turn scuta cauaeque 
Dant sonitum Jliclu galeae: pugna aspera surgil, etc. 
A clamarous noyse vpmounts on fortresse tops and •» 

bulwarks towres; 
They strike, they bend their bowes, they whirle from 

strings sharp shoting showres. 
All strcetcs with tooles are strowed, than helmets, 

skullcs, with battrings marrd ; 
And shicldes dishyuering cracke, vpriseth roughnesse 
bye k ring hard. 


Of English Poetry 261 

Looke how the tempest storme when wind out wrast- 

ling blowes at south, 
Raine ratling beates the grownde, or clowdes of haile 

from Winters mouth 
Downe dashyng headlong driues, when God from 

skyes with griesly steuen 
His watry showres outwrings, and whirlwind clowdes 

downe breakes from heauen. 

5 And so foorth much more of the like eflfect. 

Onely one comparison more will I desire you to marke 

at your leysures, which may serue for all the rest, that is, 

the description of Fame, as it is in the 4. booke, towardes 

the end, of which it foUoweth thus. 

it> Monstrum korrendum ingetis, cut guot sunt corpore plumae 

Tol vigiles oculi, etc. 

Monster gastly great, for euery plume her carkasse beares 
Like number learing eyes she hath, like number harkning 

Like number tongues and mouthes she wag^es, a won- 
drous thing to speake ; 
15 Atmidnightfoorthsheeflyes, and vnder shade her sound 
dooth squeake. 
All night she wakes, nor slumber sweete doth take nor 

neuer sleepes ; 
By dayes on houses tops shee sits, or gates of Townes 

she keepes. 
On watching Towres she clymbes, and Citties great she 

makes agast : 

Both trueth and falshood forth she telles, and lyes abroade 

doth cast. 

ao But what neede I to repeate any more places ? There 

is not one Booke among the twelue which wyll not yeeide 

you most excellent pleasure in conferring the translation 


a6a William Webbe 

with the Coppie, and marking the gallant grace which 
our Englishe speeche affoordeth. And in tnieth the like 
comparisons may you choose out through the whole trans- 
lations of the Metamorphosis by Master Golding, who (con- 
sidering both their Coppyes) hath equally deserued 5 
commendations for the beautifying of the English speeche. 
It would be tedious to stay to rehearse any places out of 
him nowe : let the other suffice to prooue that the English 
tongue lacketh neyther variety nor currantnesse of phrase 
for any matter. to 

I will nowe speake a little of an other kinde of 
poetical writing, which might notwithstanding for the 
variablenesse of the ar^ment therein vsually handled 
bee comprehended in those kindes before declared : that 
is, the compyling Eglagues. as much to say as Gote- 15 
heardes tales, because they bee commonly Dialogues or 
speeches framed or supposed betweene Sheepeheardes, 
Neteheardes, Goteheardes, or such like simple men; in 
which kind of writing many haue obtained as immortall 
prayse and commendation as in any other, » 

The cheefest of these is Theocritus in Greeke; next 
him, and almost the very same, is Virgill in Latin. After 
Virgyl in like sort writ Titus Calphumius and Baptisfa 
Mantuatt, wyth many other both in Latine and other lan- 
guages very leamedlye. Although the matter they take 05 
in hand seemeth commonlie in appearaunce r\ide and 
homely, as the vsuall talke of simple clownes, yet doo 
they indeede vtter in the same much pleasaunt and pr6- 
fitable delight. For vnder these personnes, as it wefe~in 
a cloake of simplicitie. they would eyther sette fporth the 30 
prayses of theyrTreendes, without the note of flattery, or 
«nyeigh grieuously against abuses, without any token of 
■ byttemesse. 

Somwhat like vnto these works are many peeces of 

Of English Poetry 263 

Chawcer, but yet not altogether so poetical!. But nowe 
yet at the last hath England hatched vppe one Poet of 
this sorte, in my conscience comparable with the best in 
any respect: euen Master 5^:, Author of iWe Sheepeheardes 

S Calender, whose trauell in that peece of English Poetrie 
I thinke verely is so commendable, as none of equall 
judgment can yeelde him lesse prayse for hys excellent 
skyll and skylfull excellency shewed foorth in the same 
then they would to eyther Theocritus or VirgiU, whom in 

lomine opinion, if the coursenes of our speeche (I meane 
the course of custome which he woulde not infringe) had 
beene no more let vnto him then theyr pure natiuc tongues 
were vnto them, he would haue (if it might be) surpassed 
them. What one thing is there in them so worthy admi- 

15 ration whereunto we may not adioyne some thing of his 

of equall desert? Take Virgil and make some little com-1;^ — 

parison betweene them,. and iudge as ye shall see cause. / 

Virgin hath a gallant report oi Augustus couertly com- 

prysed in the first j£g!ogue; the like is in him of her 

ao Maiestie, vnder the name of Eliza. VirgiU maketh a 
braue coloured complaint of vnstedfast freendshyppe in 
the person of Corydon ; the lyke is him in his 5 ^glogue. 
Agayne, behold the pretty Pastorall contentions of VirgiU 
in the third jEghgue; of him in the eight Eglogue. 

as Finally, either in comparison with them, or respect of hys 
owne great learning, he may well were the Garlande, and 
steppe before the best of all English Poets that I haue 
seene or hearde ; for I thinke no lesse ' deserueth ' (thus 
sayth E. K. in hys commendations) 'hys wittinesse in 

30 deuising, his pithinesse in vttering, his complaintes of 
loue so louely, his discourses of pleasure so pleasantly, 
his Pastrall rudenes, his Morrall wysenesse, his due 
obseruing of decorum euery where, in personages, in 
seasonfs], in matter, in speeche, and generally in all seemely 

35 simplicity of handling hys matter and framing hys wordes,' 


364 William Webbe 

The occasion of his worke is a warning to other young 
men, who, being intangled in loue and youthful vanities, 
may learne to looke to themselues in time, and to auoyde 
inconueniences which may breede if they be not in time 
preuented. Many good Morrall lessons are therein con- s 
tained, as the reuerence which young men owe to the aged, 
in the second Eglogue : the caueate or warning to beware 
a subtill professor of freendshippe, in the lift Eghgite : the - 
commendation of good Pastors, and shame and diaprayse 
of idle and ambitious Gotcheardes, in the seauenth: the 10 
loose and retchlesse lyuing of Popish Prelates, in the 
ninth : the learned and sweete complaynt of the contempt 
of learning vnder the name of Poetry, in the tenth. There 
is also much matter vttered somewhat couertly, especially 
the abuses of some whom he would not be too playne 15 
withall : in which, though it be not apparent to euery one 
what hys speciall meaning was, yet so skilfully is it 
handled, as any man may take much delight at hys 
learned conueyance, and picke out much good sence in 
the most obscurest of it. Hys notable prayse desenied in ao 
euery parcell of that worke, because I cannot expresse as 
I woulde and as it should, I wyll cease to speake any 
more of, the rather because I neuer hearde as yet any that 
hath reade it, which hath not with much admiration com- 
mended it. One only thing therein haue I hearde some aj 
curious heades call in question, viz: the motion of some vn- 
sauery loue, such as in the sixt Eglogue he seemeth to 
deale withall, which (say they) is skant allowable to English 
eares, and might well haue beene left for the Italian 
defenders of loathsome beastlines, of whom perhappes 30 
he learned it : to thys obiection I haue often aunswered 
(and I thinke truely) that theyr nyce opinion ouer shootelh 
the Poets meaning, who though hee in that as in other 
thinges immitateth the auncient Poets, yet doth not 
meane, no more did they before hym, any disordered 3s 

Of English Poetry 265 

loue, or the filthy lust of the deuillish Pederastice taken 
in the worse sence, but rather to shewe howe the dissolute 
life of young men, intangled in loue of women, doo neglect 
the freendshyp and league with their olde freendes and 

5 familiers. Why (aay they) yet he shold gyue no occasion 
of suspition, nor offer to the viewe of Christians any 
token of such fillhinesse, howe good soeuer hys meaning 
were ; whcrevnto I oppose the simple conceyte they haue 
of matters which concerne learning or wytt, wylling them 

10 to gyue Poets leaue to vse theyr vayne as they see good ; 
it is their foolysh construction, not hys wryting that is 
blameable. Wee must prescrybe to no wryters {much 
lesse to Poets) in what sorte they should vtter theyr con- 
ceyts. But thys wyll be better discussed by some I hope 

IS of better abillity. 

One other sorte of Poetical! wryters remayneth yet to 
bee remembred, that is, The precepts of Husbandry; 
learnedly compiled in Heroycall verse. Such were the 
workes of Hesiodus in Greeke, and Vtrgils Georgickes in 

ao Latine. What memorable worke hath beene handled in 
immitation of these by any English Poet I know not (saue 
onely one worke of M, Tusser, a peece surely of great wytl 
and experience, and wythal very prettilye handled). And 
I thinke the cause why our Poets haue not trauayled in that 

35 behalfe is, especially, for that there haue beene alwayes 
plenty of other wryters that haue handled the same argu- 
ment very largely. Among whom Master Barttabe Googe, 
in translating and enlarging the most profitable worke of 
Heresbackius, hath deserued much commendation, as well 

30 for hys faythfull compyling and learned increa^ 
noble worke as for hys wytty translation of 
of the Georgickes of Virgill into English ve 

Among all the translations whi 
tune to see, I could neuer yet 

35 Georgicks wholly performed. I 

a66 William Webbe 

Flemming in his conuersion of the Eglogues promised to 
translate and publishe it ; whether he dyd or not ! knowe 
not, but as yet 1 heard not of it. 1 my selfe wott well 
I bestowed some time in it two or three yeeres since, 
turning it to that same English verse which other such 5 
WDfki^s were in, though it were rudely: howe beit, 1 did 
it onely for mine owne vse, and vppon certayne respectes 
towardes a Gentleman mine especiall freende, to whom 
I was desirous to shewe some token of duetifull good wyll, 
and not minding it should goe farre abroade, considering m 
Howe slenderly I ranne it ouer ; yet, since then, hath one 
gotl it in keeping, who, as it is told me, eyther hath or 
wyll vnaduisedly publishe it: which iniury though he 
nieanes to doo me in myrth, yet I hope he wj'll make me 
some sufTycient recompence, or els I shall goe neere to 15 
watch hym the like or a worse turne. 

But concerning the matter of our Englysh wryters lett 
thys suffice : nowe shall ye heare my simple skyl in what 
I am able to say concerning the forme and manner of our 
Englyshe verse. ao 

The most vsuali and frequented kind of our English 
Poetry hath alwayes runne vpon and to this day is ohsenied 
in such equall number of syllables and likenes of wordes 
that in ail places one verse either immediatly, or by 
mutuall interposition, may be aunswerable to an other both as 
in proportion of length and ending of lynes in the same 
Letters. Which rude kinde of verse, though (as I touched 
before) it rather discrediteth our speeche, as borrowed 
from the Barbarians, then furnisheth the same with any 
comely ornament, yet beeing so ingraffed by custome, and 30 
frequented by the most parte, I may not vtterly dissalowe 
it, least 1 should seeme to call in question the iudgement 
of all our famous wryters, which haue wonne etemall 
prayse by theyr memorable workes compyled in that 
verse. 3S 

Of English Poetry 267 

For my part, therefore, I can be content to esteeme it as 

a thing the perfection whereof is very commendable, yet 

ao as wyth Others I could wysh it were by men of learning 

and ability bettered, and made more artificiall, according 

s to the woorthines of our speeche,. 

The falling out of verses together in one like sounde is 
commonly called, in English, Ryme, taken from the Greeke 
worde 'Pufl^'s, which surely in my iudgment is verye 
abusiuelye applyed to such a sence : and by thys the 

10 vnworthinesse of the thing may well appeare, in that 
wanting a proper name wherby to be called, it borroweth 
a word farre exceeding the dignitye of it, and not appro- 
priate to so rude or base a thing. For Ryme is properly I 
the iust proportion of a clause or sentence, whether it be 

15 in prose or meeter, aptly comprised together : wherof' 
there is both an naturall and an artificiall composition, in 
any manner or kynde of speeche, eyther French, Italian, 
Spanish, or English, and is propper not oneiy to Poets, 
but also to Readers, Oratours, Pleaders, or any which 

ao are to pronounce or speake any thing in publike audience. 

The first begynning of Ryme (as we nowe terme it), 

though it be somewhat auncient, yet nothing famous. In 

Greece (they say) one Symias Rfiodius, because he would be 

singuler in somthing, wryt poetically of the Fable, contayn- 

as ing howe Jupiter heeing in shape of a Swanne begatte the 
Egge on Leda, wherof came Castor, Pollux, and Helena, 
whereof euery verse ended in thys Ryme, and was called 
therefore udv; but thys foolyshe attempt was so con- 
temned and dispysed that the people would neither admitte 

30 the Author nor Booke any place in memory of learning. 
Since that it was not hearde of till the time the Hunttes 
and Gotkians renued it agayne, and brought it into Italie. 
But howsoeuer or wheresoeuer it beganne, certayne it is 
that in our Englishe tongue it beareth as good grace, or 

35 rather better, then in any other ; and U V (acuity whereby 

a68 William Webbe 

many may and doo desenie great prayse and commendation, 
though our speeche be capable of a farre more learned 
manner of versifying, as I wyl partly declare heereafter. 
, There be three speciall notes necessary to be obserued 
(■ in the framing of our accustomed English Ryme. The first 5 
\is, that one meeter or verse be aunswerable to an other, in 
/■ equall number of feete or syllables, or proportionable to 
( the tune whereby it is to be reade or measured. The 
'] seconde, to place the words in such sorte as none of them 
/ be wrested contrary to the naturall inclination or afFecta- »o 
; tion of the same, or more truely the true quantity thereof. 
The thyrd, to make them fall together mutually in Ryme, 
that is, in wordes of like sounde, but so as the wordes 
be not disordered for the Rymes sake, nor the sence 
hindered. These be the most pryncipall obseruations 15 
which I thinke requisite in an English verse : for as for 
the other ornaments which belong thereto, they be more 
properly belonging to the seuerall gyfls of skylfull Poets 
then common notes to be prescribed by me : but somewhat 
perhaps I shall haue occasion to speake heereafter. ao I 

Of the kyndes of English verses which differ in number 
of syllables there are almost infinite, which euery way 
alter according to hys fancy, or to the measure of that 
meeter wherein it pleaseth hym to frame hys ditty. Of 
the best and most frequented I wyll rehearse some. The 05 
longest verse in length which I haue seene vsed in English 
consisteth of sixteene syllables, cache two verses ryming 
together, thus, 

Wher vertue wants and vice abounds, there wealth is 

but a bayted hooke 
To make men swallow down their bane, before on danger 30 

deepe they looke. 

Thys kynde is not very much vsed at length thus, but is 
commonly deuided, eche verse into two, whereof eche shal 

I commonb 

Of English Poetry 269 

containe eyght syllables, and ryme crosse wyse, the first 
to the thyrd, and the second to the fourth, in this manner, 
Great wealth is but a bayted hooke, 
Where vertue wants, and vice aboundes : 
5 Which men deuoure before they looke. 

So them in daungers deepe it drownes. 
An other kynd next in length to thys is where eche 
verse hath fourteene syllables, which is the most accus- 
tomed of all other, and especially vsed of all the trans- 
10 latours of the Latine Poets, for the most part thus, 

My mind with furye fierce inflamde of late, I know not 

Doth burne Parnassus hyll to see, adorned wyth, Lawrell 

Which may likewyse, and so it often is deuyded, eche 
verse into two, the first hauing eyght sillables, the second 
15 sixe, wherof the two sixes shall alwayes ryme, and some- 
times the eyghtes, sometimes not, according to the wyll of 
the maker. 

My minde with furye fierce inflamde 
Of late, I knowe not howe, 
*> Doth burne Pernassus hyll to see, 

Adornd wyth Lawrell bowe. 

There are nowe wythin this compasse as many sortes 
of verses as may be deuised differences of numbers: 
wherof some consist of equall proportions, some of long 

33 and short together, some of many rymes in one staffe (as 
they call it), some of crosse ryme, some of counter ryme, 
some ryming wyth one worde farre distant from another, 
some ryming euery thyrd or fourth word, and so likewyse 
all manner of dytties appiyable to euery tune that may be 

30 sung or sayd, distinct from pr- ■ 'ird speeche. 

To auoyde therefore tediousi. •■ T y/yW 


270 William Webhe 

repeate onely the different sortes of verses out of the 
Skeepekeardes Calender, which may well serue to beare 
authoritie in thys matter. 

There are in that worke twelue or thirteene sundry sorts 
of verses which differ eyther in length or ryme, of des- S 
tinction of the staues ; but of them which diifer in length 
or number of sillables, not past sixe or seauen. The first 
of them is of tenne sillables, or rather fiue feete in one 
verse, thus, 

A Sheepheards boy (no better doo him call), 'o 

When Winters wastfull spight was almost spent. 

Thys verse he vseth commonly in hys sweete com- 
playntes and mornefull ditties, as very agreeable to such 

The second sort hath naturally but nine syllables, and 15 
is a more rough or clownish manner of verse, vsed most 
commonly of him if you mark him in hys satyricall repre- 
hensions and his Sheepeheardes homelyest talke, such as 
the second Mghgue is. 

Ah for pitty ! wyll rancke Winters rage ^ 

These bytter blasts neuer gynne to asswage? 

The number of nine sillables in thys verse is very often 
altered, and so it may without any disgrace to the same, 
especially where the speeche should be most clownish and 
simple, which is much obserued of hym. as 

The third kynd is a pretty rounde verse, running 
currantly together, commonly seauen sillables or some- 
time eyght in one verse, as many in the next, both ryming 
together : euery two hauing one the like verse after them, 
but of rounder wordes, and two of them likewyse ryming 30 
mutually. That verse expresseth, notably, light and youth- 
fiill talke, such as is the thyrde Mglogue betweene two 
Sheepheardes boys concerning loue. 


0/ English Poetry 

Thomalin, why sitten we so, 
As weren ouerwent with woe 
Vpon so fayre a morrowe? 
The ioyous time now nigheth fast. 
That wyll allay this bitter blast 
And slake the Winter sorrow. 

The fourth sort containeth in eche staffe manie vnequall 
verses, but most sweetelie falling together, which the Poet 
calieth the tune of the waters fall. Therein is his song in 
o prayse of Eliza. 

Ye daintie Nymphes, which in this blessed brooke 

doo bathe your brest, 
Forsake your watrie bowres, and hether looke. 

at my request. 
5 And eke yee Virgins that on Pamass dwell. 
Whence floweth Helicon, the learned Well, 

helpe me to blaze 

her woorthy praise, 
That in her sex doth all ezcelL etc, 

o The lift is a deuided verse of twelue sillables into two 
verses, whereof I spake before, and seemeth most meete 
for the handling of a Morrall matter, such as is the praise 
of good Pastors, and the dispraise of ill, in the seauenth 

5 The sixt kinde is called a round, beeing mutuallie sung 
betweene two : one singeth one verse, the other the next ; 
eche rymeth with himselfe. 

^9et. It fell vppon a holie eue, 
JUsl. Hey ho hollidayl 
o ^tt. When holie fathers wont to shrieue; 

BSljI. Thus ginneth our Rondelay. etc. 

The seauenth sorte is a verie tragical] mournefiiU measure, 



272 IVilliam Webbe 

wherein he bewayleth the death of some freend vnder the 
person of Dydo. 

Vp then Melpomene ! the moumfulst Muse of nyne, 

such cause of mourning neuer hadst afore : 
Vp griesly ghostes ! and vp my moumfull ryme I 5 
matter of myrth now shall thou haue no more. 
Dydo, my deere, alas ! is dead, 
Dead, and lyeth wrapt in leade : 
O heauie hearse ! 
Let streaming teares be powred out in store : to 

O carefull vearse ! 

These sortes of verses for breuities sake haue 1 chosen 
foorth of him, whereby 1 shall auoide the tedious rehear- 
sall of all the kindes which are vsed : which 1 thinke would 
haue beene vnpossible, seeing they may be altered to as is 
manie formes as the Poets please : neither is there anie 
tune or stroke which may be sung or plaide on instruments, 
which hath not some poetical ditties framed according to 
the numbers thereof, some to Rogero, some to Trench- 
more, to downe right Squire, to Galliardes, to Pauines, ao 
to lygges, to Brawles, to all manner of tunes which euerie 
Fidler knowes better then my selfe, and therefore I will 
let them passe, 

Againe, the diuersities of the staues (which are the 
number of verses contained with the diuisions or partitions "S 
of a ditty) doo often times make great differences in these 
verses. As when one staffe containeth but two verses, or 
(if they bee deuided) foure ; the first or the first couple 
hauing twelue sillables, the other fonrteene, which versi 
fyers call Powlters measure, because so they talle thei 
wares by dozens. Also, when one staffe hath mani 
verses, whereof eche one rimeth to the next, or mutualli 
crosse, or distant by three, or by foure, or ended contiarye 
to the beginning, and a hundred sortes, whereof to shewe 

^^^ crosse, or ( 
^^^ to the begi: 

Of English Poetry 273 

seuerall examples would bee too troublesome. Nowe for 
the second point. 

The naturall course of most English verses seemeth to? >^ 
run vppon the olde lambicke stroake, and I may well*---?. 
5 thinke by all likelihoode it had the beginning thereof. For 
if you marke the right quantitie of our vsuall verses, ye 
shall perceiue them to eontaine in sound the very propertie 
of lambick feete, as thus, 

1 that my slender oaten pipe in verse was wont to sounde. 

10 For transpose anie of those feete in pronouncing, and 
make short either the two, foure, sixe, eight, tenne, 
twelue Billable, and it will (doo what you can) fall out 
very absurdly. 

Againe, though our wordes can not well bee forced to 

15 abyde the touch of Position and other rules of Prosodia, 
yet is there such a naturall force or quantity in eche 
worde, that it will not abide anie place but one, without 
some foule disgrace ; as for example try anie verse, as 

30 Of shapes transformde to bodies strange I purpose to intreate, 

Make the first sillable long, or the third, or the fift, and 

so foorth, or, contrariwise, make the other sillables to 

admitte the shortnesse of one of them places, and see 

what a wonderful! defacing it wil be to the wordes, as 

35 thus, 

Of strange bodies transformd to shapes purpose I to intreate. 
So that this is one especiall thing to be taken heede of 
in making a good English verse, that by displacing no 
worde bee wrested against his naturall propriety, where- 
30 vnto you shal perceyue eche worde to be affected, and 
may easilie discerne it in wordes of two sillables or aboue, 
though some there be of indifferencie, that wyll stand in 

374 William IVebbe 

arVy place, Againe, in chouching the whole sentence, the 
like regarde is to be had that wee exceede not too boldly 
in placing the verbe out of his order and too farre behinde 
the nowne : which the necessitie of Ryme may oftentimes 
vrge. For though it be tollcrable in a verse to settes 
r^wordes SO extraordinarily as other speeche will not admitt, 
\ 'yet heede is to be taken least by too much affecting that 
■ manner we make both the verse vnpleasant and the sence 
"obscure. And sure it is a wonder to see the folly of 
manie in this respect, that vse not onejy too much ofio 
thys ouerthwart placing, or rather displacing of wordes, 
in theyr Poemes and verses, but also in theyr prose or 
continued writings ; where they thinke to rolle most 
smoothlie and flow most eloquently, there by this means 
come foorth theyr sentences dragging at one anothers tayle 15 
as they were tyde together with poynts, where often you 
, shall tarrie (scratching your heade) a good space before 
you shall heare hys principal! verbe or speciall word, 
leaste hys singing grace, which in his sentence is con- 
tained, should be lesse and his speeche seeme nothing bv 

The thyrd obseniation is the Ryme or like ending of 
verses, which, though it is of least importance, yet hath 
won such credite among vs that of all other it is most 
regarded of the greatest part of Readers. And surely, as aj 
I am perswaded, the regarde of wryters to this hath beene 
the greatest decay of that good order of versifying which 
might ere this haue beene established in our speeche. In 
my iudgment, if there be any ornament in the same, it is 
rather to be attributed to the plentifull fulnesse of our 30 I 
\ speeche, which can affoorde ryming words sufficient for ' 
the handling of any matter, then to the thing it selfe for 
any beautifying it bringeth to a worke, which might bee 
adorned with farre more excellent collours then ryming is. 1 
L Notwithstanding I cannot but yeelde vnto it (as custome 3s i 

Of English Poetry 375 

requireth) the deserued prayses, especially where it is 
with good iudgement ordered. And I thinke them right 
worthy of admiration for their readines and plenty of wytt 
and capacity, who can with facility intreate at large and, as 
S we call it, extempore, in good and sencible ryme, vppon some 
vnacquainted matter. 

The ready skyll of framing anie thing in verse, besides 
the natiirall promptnesse which many haue therevnto, 
is much helped by Arte, and exercise of the memory : 

10 for, as I remember, I reade once among Gaskoynes 
workes a little instruction to versifying, where is pre- 
scribed, as I thinke, thys course of learning to versifye 
in Ryme. 
When ye haue one verse well setled and decently 

IS ordered, which you may dispose at your pleasure, to ende 
it with what word you wyll, then, what soeuer the word 
is, you may speedilie runne ouer the other wordes which 
are aunswerable therevnto (for more readines through all 
the letters Alphabetically), whereof you may choose that 

ao which wyll best fitte the sence of your matter in that place : 
as for example, if your last worde ende in Booke, you may 
straightwayes in your minde runne them ouer thus, Brooke, 
Cooke, crooke, hooke, looke, nooke, pooke, rooke, forsooke, 
tooke, awooke, etc. Nowe it is twenty to one but alwayes 

as one of these shall iumpe with your former worde and matter 
in good sence. If not, then alter the first. 

And indeede I thinke that, next to the Arte of memory, 
thys is the readyest way to attaine to the faculty of ryming 
well Extempore, especially if it be helped with thus much 

30 paynes. Gather together all manner of wordes, especially 
Monasiilables, and place them Alphabetically in some note, 
and either haue them meetely perfectly by hart (which ia 
no verye laboursome matter) or but looke them diligently 
ouer at some time, practising to ryme indifferent often, 

35 whereby I am perswaded it wil soone be learned, so as 

276 William Webbe 

the party haue withall any reasonable gyft of knowledge 
and learning, whereby bee want not bothe matter and 
wordes altogether. 

What the other circumstaunces of Ryming are, aa what 
wordes may tollerably be placed in Ryme, and what not; 5 
what words doo best become a Ryme, and what not ; how 
many sortes of Ryme there is ; and such like ; I wyll not 
stay nowe to intreate. There be many more obseruations 
and notes to be prescribed to the exacte knowledge of 
versifying, which I trust wilbe better and larger laide forth 10 
by others, to whom I deferre manie considerations in this 
treatise, hoping that some of greater skill will shortlie 
handle this matter in better sorte. 

Nowe the sundry kindes of rare deuises and pretty 
inuentions which come from the fine poeticall vaine of*S. 
manie in strange and vnacustomed manner, if I could 
report them, it were wortbie my trauell : such are the 
turning of verses, the infolding of wordes, the fine 
repititions, the clarklie conueying of contraries, and manie 
such like. Whereof though 1 coulde sette downe manie, a» 
yet because I want bothe manie and the best kindes of 
them, I will ouerpasse, onelie pointing you to one or two 
which may suffice for example. 

Looke vppon the rufull song of Colin sung by Cuddie in 
the Sheepheardes Calender, where you shall see a singuler as" 
rare deuise of a dittie framed vpon these sixe wordes W^oe, 
sounde, cryes, part, sleep, augment, which are most prettilie 
turned and wounde vppe mutually together, expressing 
wonderfully the dolefulnesse of the song. A deuise not 
much vnlike vnto the same is vsed by some who, taking 
the last wordes of a certaine number of verses as it were 
by the rebound of an Echo, shall make them fall out in 
some prettie sence. 

Of this sorte there are some deuised by IoHm Graunge, 
[of] which, because they be not long, I wyll rehearse one. 

Of English Poetry 277 

If feare oppresse, howe then may hope me shielde? 
Denyall sayes, vayne hope hath pleased well; 
But as such hope thou wouldest not be thine, 
So would I not the like to rule my hart. 
5 For, if thou louest, it bidds thee graunt forthwith ; 
Which is the ioy whereof I hue in hope. 

Here if you take the last worde of euerie verse, and place 
them orderlie together, you shall haue this sentence : 
Shielde well ihyne hart wiih hope. But of these Echoes 

10 I knowe indeede verie daintie peeces of worke, among some 

of the finest Poets this day in London, who for the rare- 

nesse of them keepe them priuelie to themselues and wil 

not let them come abroad. 

A like inuention to the last rehearsed, or rather a better, 

'S haue I seene often practised in framing a whole dittie tci 
the Letters of ones name, or to the wordes of some two or 
three verses, which is very witty ; as for example, this is one 
of iV. Huntiis, which for the shortnes I rather chusde then 
some that are better. 

ao If thou desire to Hue in quiet rest, 

Gyue eare and see, but say the best. 

These two verses are nowe, as it were, resolued into 
dyuers other, euery two wordes or sillables being the 
beginning of an other like verse, in this sort, 

as If thou .delight in quietnes of hfe, 

Desire \ to shunne from brawles, debate, and strife, 

To Hue j in loue with GOD, with freend and foe, 

In rest v shalt sleepe when other cannot so. 


Gyue eare . to all, yet doo not all beleeue, 
And see \ the end and then thy sentence gyue ; 
But say I For trueth of happy Hues assignde 
The best > hath he that quiet is in minde. 


378 IVilliam Webbe 

Thus are there infinite sortes of fine conueiances (as 
they may be termed) to be vsed, and are much frequented 
by versifyers, as well in composition of their verse as the 
wittines of their matter : which all I will referre to the con- 
sideration of euerie pleasant headded Poet in their proper s 
gifts ; onelie I sett downe these fewe sortes of their formes 
of versifying, which may stand in steede to declare what 
nianie others may be deuised in like sorte. 

But nowe to proceede to the reformed kind of English 
verse, which manie haue before this attempted to put in 10 
practise and to establish for an accustomed right among 
English Poets, you shall heare in like manner my simple 
Judgment concerning the same. 

I am fully and certainlie perswaded that if the true 
kind of versifying in immitation of Greekes and Latines ij 
) had beene practised in the English tongue, and put in vre 
from time to tyme by our Poets, who might haue con- 
-^tinually beene mending and pollyshing the same, euery 
^ one according to their seuerall giftes, it would long ere 
V this haue aspyred to as full perfection as in anie other ao 
tongue whatsoeuer. For why may 1 not thinke so of our 
English, seeing that among the Romaines a long time, yea 
euen till the dayes of TuUy, they esteemed not the Latine 
Poetrie almost worth any thing in respecte of the Greeke, 
as appeareth in the Oration pro Archia Poeta ; yet after- 05 
wardes it increased in credite more and more, and that in 
short space, so that in Virgilles time wherein were they 
not comparable with the Greekes? So likewise now it 
seemeth not currant for an English verse to runne vpon 
true quantity and those feete which the Latines vse, 30 
because it is straunge, and the other barbarous custome, 
beeing within compasse of euery base witt, hath worne it 
out of credite or estimation. But if our wryters, beeing of 
learning and iudgment, would rather infringe thys curious 
custome then omitte the occasion of Inlarging the credite 35 

Of English Poetry 279 

of their natiue speeche, and theyr owne prayses, by practis- 
ing that commendable kind of wryting in true verse, then 
no doubt, as in other partes of learning, so in Poetry 
shoulde not stoupe to the best of them all in all maner 
5 of ornament and comlinesse. But some obiect that our 
wordes are nothing resemblaunt in nature to theirs, and 
therefore not possible to bee framed with any good grace 
after their vse : but cannot we then, as well as the Latines 
did, alter the cannon of the rule according to the quality 

10 of our worde, and where our wordes and theyrs wyll agree, 
there to lurape with them, where they will not agree, there 
to establish a rule of our owne to be directed by? Like- 
wise, for the tenor of the verse, might we not (as Horace 
dyd in the Latine) alter their proportions to what sortes 

15 we listed, and to what we sawe wold best become the 
nature of the thing handled or the quallity of the words? 
Surely it is to be thought that if any one, of sound iudg- 
ment and learning, shoulde putt foorth some famous worke, 
contayning dyuers formes of true verses, fitting the 

so measures according to the matter, it would of it selfe 
be a sufficient authority, without any prescription of rules, 
to the most part of Poets for them to follow and by 
custome to ratify. For sure it is that the rules and 
principles of Poetry were not precisely followed and 

25 obsenied of the first beginners and wryters of Poetry, 
but were selected and gathered seuerally out of theyr 
workes for the direction and behoofe of their followers. 
And indeede, he that shall with heedefull iudgment make 
tryall of the English wordes shall not finde them so grosse 

30 or vnapt but that they wyll become any one of the most 
accustomed sortes of Latine or Greeke verses meetely, and 
run thereon somewhat currantly. 

I my selfe, with simple skyll, 1 confesse, and farre vnable 
iudgment, haue ventured on a fewe, which notwithstanding 

35 the rudenes of them may serue to shewe what better might 

28o William Webbe 

bee brought into our speeche, if those which are of meete 
abilitye woulde bestowe some trauell and endeuour there- 
uppon. But before I sette ihem downe, I wyll speake 
somewhat of such obseruations as I could gather necessary 
to the knowledge of these kinde of verses, least I should 5 
seeme to runne vpon them rashly, without regarde either 
of example or authority. 

The special! poyntes of a true verse are the due obserua- 
tions of the feete and place of the feete. 

The foote of a verse is a measure of two Billables, or of to 
three, distinguished by time which is eyther long or short. 
A foote of two silJables is eyther simple or mixt, that is, 
of like time or of diuers. A simple foote of two sillables 
is likewise twofoJde, eyther of two long sillables, called 

SponHaus, as goodnesse, or of two short, called 15 

Pyrrichius, as lj ty kylher. A myxt foote of 2 sillables is 
eyther of one short and one long, called Iambus, as 
V — dying, or of one long and one short, called Cboreus, 
«i-w gladly. A foote of 3 sillables in like sorte is either 
simple or myxt. The simple is eyther Molossus, that is ao 

of three long, as forgiuenes, or Tribrachys, that is of 

3 short, as ^ u w merylie. The mixt is of 6 diuers sortes, 
I. Dadylus, of one long and two short, ss - yj ^ happily ; 
a. Anapasius, of two shorte and one long, as ^^ u — 
^yiuelers ; 3. Bacchius, of one short and two long, as as 

u remetnbrcrs ; 4. Palimbachius, of two long and one 

short, as ^j accorded; 5. Creticus, of a long, a short, 

and a long, [as] — i^— dauigerous; 6. Amphibrachus, of 
a short, a long, and a short, as ^^ — w reioyced. 

Many more deuisions of feete are vsed by some, but 30 
these doo more artificially comprehende all quantities 
necessary to the skanning of any verse, according to 
Ta/leeiis in hys Rethorique. The place of the feete Is 
the disposing of them in theyr propper roomes, whereby 
may be discerned the difference of eche verse which ii jj; 

Of English Poetry 281 

the right numbring of the same. Now as for the quantity 
of our wordes, therein lyeth great difficultye, and the 
cheefest matter in this faculty. For in truth there being 
such diuersity betwixt our words and the Latinc, it cannot 
5 stande indeede with great reason that they shoulde frame, 
wee beeing onelie directed by such rules as serue for 
onely Latine words; yet notwithstanding one may well 
perceiue by these fewe that these kinde of verses would 
well become the speeche, if so bee there were such Rules 

10 prescribed as woulde admitt the placing of our aptest and 
fullest wordes together. For indeede, excepting a fewe 
o( OUT Monasyllables, which naturally shoulde most of them 
be long, we haue almost none that wyll stande fitlie in 
a short foote : and therfore, if some exception were made 

15 against the precise obseruation of Position and certaine 
other of the rules, then might we haue as great plenty 
and choyse of good woordes to furnish and sette foorth 
a verse as in any other tongue. 

Likewise, if there were some derection in such wordes 

30 as fall not within the compasse of Greeke or Latine rules, 
it were a great helpe, and therefore I had great misse in 
these few which I made. Such as is the last sillabie in 
these wordes, able, noble, av possible, and such like: againe 
for the nature and force of our IV, of our Ik, of our oo, and 

as ee, of our wordes which admytte an e in the ende after 
one or two Consonantes, and many other, I for my part, 
though (1 must needes confesse) many faultes escaped me 
in these fewe, yet tooke I as good heede as I coulde, and 
in trueth did rather alwaies omiti the best wordes and such 

30 as would naturally become the speech best then I wolde 
committe any thing which shoulde notoriously impugne 
the Latine rules, which herein I had onely for my direc- 
tion. Indeede most of our Monasytlables I am forced to 
make short, to supply the want of many short wordes 

35 requisite in these verses. The Participle A, being but 

IVilliam Webbe 

ihe English article adioyned to Nownes, I alwayes make 
short, both alone and in composition, and likewise the 
wordes of one sillable ending in E, as the, when it is an 
article, he, she, ye, etc, IVe I thinke should needes be 
alwayes long because we pronounce continually VVe. 5 
I, beeing alone standing for the Pronowne Ego, in my 
iudgment might well be vsed common ; but because I neucr 
sawe it vsed but short I so obserued it. Words ending 
in y\ make short without doubt, sauing that I haue marked 
in others one difference which they vse in the same, that 10 
is to make it short in the ende v of an Aduerb, && gladly, 
and long in the ende — of an Adiectiue, as goodly: but the 
reason is, as I take it, because the Adiectiue is or should be 
most commonly written thus, good/ie. 0, beeing an Aduerbe, 
is naturally long : in the ende of wordes, both Monasyllables 15 
and other, I thinke it may be vsed common. The first of 
Pallisytlables 1 directed according to the nature of the 
worde, as I thought most aunswerable to Latine examples, 
sauing that somewhere I am constrayned to straine curtesy 
with the preposition of a worde compounded or such like, ao 
which breaketh no great square, as in defence or depart, 
etc. The myddle sillables, which are not very many, come 
for the most part vnder the precinct oi Position, whereof 
some of them will not possibly abide the touch, and ther- 
fore must needes be a little wrested : such are commonly as 
the Aduerbs of three sillables, as mournfully, spyghtfully, 
and such like words, deriued of this Adiectiue /a//; and 
therfore if there be great occasion to vse them, they 
must be reformed by detracting onely (/) and then they 
stand meetely currant, as moumfuly. The last sillables 30 
I wholly directed so neere as I could to the touch of 
common rules. 

LThe most famous verse of all the rest is called Hexa- 
metrum Epicunt, which consisteth of sixe feete, wherof J 
the first foure are indifferently either Spondai or Daclyli, 35 I 

Of English Poetry 283 

the fift is euermore a dactyl, and the sixt a Spotida, as 

Tyterus happily thou liest tumbling vnder a beetcktree, 
Thys kinde of verse I haue onely scene to be practised 
3 in our English speeche ; and indeede wyll stand some- 
what more orderlye therein then any of the other kindes, 
vntill we haue some tolleration of wordes made by 
speciall rule. The first that attempted to practise thys 
verse in English should seeme to be the Earle of Surry, 

10 who translated some part of Virgil/ into verse indeede, but 
without regard of true quantity of sillables. There is one 
famous Dislichon, which is common in the mouthes of all 
men, that was made by one Master Watson, fellowe of 
S. Johns Colledge in Cambrydge, about 40. yeeres -past, 

15 which for the sweetnes and gallantnes therof in all 
respects doth mat|^c]h and surpasse the Latine coppy of 
Horace, which he made out of Homers wordes, qui mores 
hominum etc. 

All trauellers doo gladhe report great praise to VHsses, 
ao For that he knewe manie mens matters, and saw many citties. 
Which two verses, if they be examined throughout, all 
the rules and obseruations of the best versifying shall bee 
founde to attaine the very perfection of them all. There 
be two other not much inferiour to these, which I found in 
=5 the Glosse of E. K. vppon the fift ^glogue of the newe 
Poet : which Tully translated out of Greeke into Latine, 
Haec habui quae edi etc. 
All that J eale did I toy and all that I greedilie gorged. 
As for those manie goodlie matters left I for others, 
30 Which though they wyll no' ouch oiSynalapha 

in one or yet ] = Enjf" '■'., 

284 William Webbe 

which might wyth good reason be established, would make 
them currant enough, and auoyde that inconuenience 
which is very obuious in our wordes. The great company 
of famous verses of thys sort which Master Haruey made 
is not vnknowne to any, and are to be viewed at all times. 5 
I for my part, so farre as those examples would leade me, 
and mine owne small skyll afFoorde me, haue blundered 
vppon these fewe, whereinto I haue translated the two 
first jEglogues of Virgil, because I thought no matter of 
mine owne inuention nor any other of antiquitye more 10 
fitte for tryal of thys thyng, before there were some more 
Bpeciall direction which might leade to a lesse troublesome 
manner of wryting. 

[ Then follow Webbe' s versions of the first and second 
Eclogues, of which the opening verses are — 15 

i%IelibBcu9. SCJtsrufi. 

Tifyrus, happilie thou tysle tumbling vnder a beech tree. 
All in a fine oate pipe these sweete songs lusliiie chaunling: 
We, poore souks, goe to wracke, and from these coastes beremooued. 
And fro our pastures sweete: thou Tityr, at ease in a shade plott, »■> 
Makst thicke grouts to resound with songes ofbraue Amaritlis. 

O Melibaeus, he was no man but a God who releeude me : 

Euer he shalbe my God: from this same Sheepcot his alters 

Neuer a lender Lambe shall want, with blood to bedew them. 35 

This good gift did he giue, to my steeres ihusfreelie to wander, 

And to my self e (thou seest) on pipe to resound what 1 listed. '\ 

I durat not enterpryse to goe any further with this rude 
translation, beeing for the respects aforesayd a trouble- 
some and vnpleasant peece of labour : And therefore these 30 
shall suffice till further occasion shall serue to imploysome 
profitable paynes in this behalfe. 

Of English Poetry 285 

The next verse in dignity to the Hexameters is the 
Carmen Elegiacum, which consisteth of foure feete and 
two od sillables, viz : the two first feete, eyther Dadyli 
or Spondm indifferent, the one long sillable, next two 

5 Dacfy/i and an other long sillable uu ^u — ^.j — : 

some doo aneasure it in this sorte (and more truely yet 
not so readily to all) accounting first two indifferently 
either Daclyli or Spondm', then one Spondee and two 
Anapasti. But it commeth all to one reckoning. Thys 
10 verse is alwayes vnseperably adioyned vnto the Hexa- 
meter, and senieth especially to the handling of loue and 
dalliances, whereof it taketh the name. It will not frame 
altogether so currantlye in our English as the other, 
because the shortnesse of the seconde Penihimi'mer will 
IS hardly be framed to fall together in good sence after the 
Latine rules. I haue not seene very many of them made 
by any, and therefore one or two for example sake shall 
be sufficient. 
This Disliehon out of Ouid, 
ao Ingenium quondam fuerat pretiosius auro ; 

At nunc barbaria grandis habere nihil. 
may thus be translated, 

Learning once was thought to be better then any gold was ; 
Now he that hath not wealth is but a barbarian. 
as And thys, 

Omnia sunt komtnum tenui pendeniia filo : 
El subito casu quae valuere ruunl. 
Tis but a slender thread, which all mens states do de- 
pend on : 
And most goodly thinges quickly doo fall to decay. 
30 As for the verses Phalaecium and lambicum, I haue 
not as yet made any tryall in them : but the Sapphic I 
assure you, in my iudgment, wyl doo very pretty, if the 


William Webbe 

wants which I speake were once supplied. For tryall of 
which I haue turned the new Poets sweete song oi Eliza 
into such homely Sapphkk as I coulde. 

Thys verse consisteth of these fiue feete, one Chore, one 
spondee, one dactyl, and two Chords, with this addition, s 
that after euery third verse be sette one Adonium verse, 
which consisteth of a dactyl and a sponda. It is more 
troublesome and tedious to frame in our speeche by 
reason they runne without difference, euery verse being 
a like in quantity throughout, yet in my iudgement standeth lo 
meetely well in the same, I pray looke the Coppy which 
I haue translated in the fourth ^glogue of the Sheep- 
heardes Calender— the song of Cotins making which Hob- 
binoll singeth in prayse of the Queenes maiesty vnder the 
name of Eliza. is 

I Ye dain^ Nymphes, that in this blessed brooke 
' doo bathe your brest, 

Forsake your watry bowres, and hethcr looke, 

at my request. 
And onely you Virgins that on Parnass dwell, aa 

Whence floweth Helicon, the learned well, 
helpe me to blase 
her worthy praise, 
That in her sex doth all excell. 
Of fayre Eliza be your siluer song, aj 

that blessed wight : 
The flowre of Virgins, may she flourish long 

in princely plight. 
For she is Syrinx daughter without spott, 
Which Pan, the Sheepheards God, on her begot : 30 

so sprang her grace I 

of heauenly race, J 

No mortall blemish may her blott. m 

See where she sittes, etc. I 

Of English Poetry 

The Saphick Verse. 

O ye Nymphes most fine, who resort to this brooke, 
For to bathe there your pretty breasts at all times, 
Leaue the watrish bowres, hyther and to me come 
at my request nowe. 
fo And ye Vii^ns trymme, who resort to Parnass, 
Whence the learned well Helicon beginneth, 
Helpe to blase her worthy deserts, that all els 

mountelh aboue farre, 
Nowe the siluer songes of Eliza sing yee, 
15 Princely wight, whose peere not among the virgins 
Can be found : that long she may remaine among vs, 

now let vs all pray. 
For Syrinx daughter she is, of her begotten 
Of the great God Pan ; thus of heauen aryseth 
» All her exient race ; any mortal! harde happe 

cannot aproche her. 
See, she sittes most seemely in a grassy greene plott. 
Clothed in weedes meete for a princely mayden, 
Boste with Ermines white, in a goodly scarlett 
aj brauely beseeming. 

Decked is that crowne that vpon her head standes 
With the red Rose and many Datfadillies; 
Bayes, the Primrose, and violetts be sette by : how 
ioyfull a sight ist. 
30 Say, behold did ye euer her Angelike face, 
Like to Phtebe fayre? or her heauenly hauour. 
And the princelike grace that in her remaineth, 

haue yee the like scene ? 



William Webbe 


r Medled ist red rose with a white together, 

I Which in either cheeke do depeinct a trymme cheere 

^^^H Her maiestie and eye to behold so comely, her 

^^^H lilce who remembreth ? 

^V Pha 

^^ For 

eere ; I 

Phabus once peept foorth with a goodly guilt hewe, 
For to gaze ; but when he sawe the bright beames 
Spread abroade fro' her face with a glorious grace, 

it did amaze him. 
When another sunne he behelde belowe heere, 
Blusht he red for shame, nor againe he durst looke : 
Would hedurst bright beames of his owne with hers match, 

for to be vanquisht. 
Shew thy selfe now, Cynthia, with thy cleere rayes. 
And behold her : neuer abasht be thou so : 
When she spreades those beames of her heauenly beauty, >5 

thou art in a dump dasht? 
But I will take heede that I match not her grace 
With the Lalon seede ; Niobe that once did, 
Nowe she doth therefore in a stone repent ; to all 

other a warning, » 

Pan he may well boaste that he did begit her. 
Such a noble wight j to Syrinx is it ioy 
That she found such lott with a bellibone trym 

for to be loaden. 
When my younglinges first to the dammes doo bleat out, "5 
Shall a milke white Lambe to my Lady be ofFred : 
For ray Goddesse shee is, yea I my selfe her Heardgrome, 

though but a rude Clowne. 
Vnto that place Caliope dooth high her, 
Where my Goddesse shines : to the same the Muses 30 
After her, with sweete Violines about them 

cheerefully tracing. 

Of English Poetry 289 

Is not it Bay braunche that aloft in handes they haue, 

Eune to giue them sure to my Lady Eliza : 

O so sweete they play— and to the same doo sing too : 

heaunly to heare ist, 
5 See, the Graces trym to the stroake doo foote it, 
Deftly dauncing, and meriment doo make them, 
Sing to the instruments to reioyce the more, but 

wants not a fourth grace ? 

Then the daunce wyll be eune, to my Lady therefore 
10 Shalbe geune that place, for a grace she shall be 
For to fill that place, that among them in heaune she 
may be receiued. 

Thys beuy of bright Nymphes, whether ist goe they now, 
Raunged all thus fine in a rowe together ? 

15 They be Ladies all i' the Lake behight see ; 

they thether all goe. 
One, that is there chiefe that among the rest goes, 
Called is Ckloris; of Olyues she bears a 
Goodly Crownett, meete for a Prince that in peace 

20 euer abideth. 

All ye Sheepheardes maides that about the greene dwell, 
Speede ye there to her grace ; but among ye take heede 
All be Virgins pure that aproche to deck her, 
duetie requireth. 

as When ye shall present ye before her in place. 
See ye not your selues doo demeane too rudely: 
Bynd the fillets, and to be fine the waste gyrt 

fast with a tawdryne. 

Bring the Pinckes, therewith many Gelliflowers sweete, 
30 And the Cullambyres : let vs haue the Wynesops, 
With the Co mat ion that among the loue laddes 

wontes to be wome much. 

agp William Webbe 

Daffadowndillies all a long the ground atrowe, 

And the Cowslyppe with a prety paunce let heere lye; 

Kyngcuppe, and Lillies so beloude of all men, 

And the deluce flowre, 

One verse there remaineth vntranslated as yet, with 5 
some other of this sorle, which 1 meant to haue finished, 
but by reason of some let which I had, I am constrained 
to defer to some other time, when I hope to gratify the 
Readers with more and better verses of this sort ; for in 
trueth I am perswaded a little paine taking might iiirnish i« 
our speeche with as much pleasaunt delight in this kinde 
of verse as any other whatsoeuer. 

,- Heere followe the Cannons or generall cautions of 
' Poetry, prescribed by Horace, first gathered by Georgius 
/ Fabricius Chemnicensis : which 1 thought good to annex to is 
/ thys Treatise, as very necessary obseniations to be marked 
/ of all Poets. 


First, let the inuention be meete for the matter, not k 
differing, or straunge, or monstrous. For a womans head, 
8 horse necke, the bodie of a dyuers coloured Byrd, and 
many members of sundry creatures compact together, 
whose legges ending like a Fyshes tayle, this in a picture 
is a wonderful deformitie ; but if there be such diuersitye 35 
in the frame of a speeche, what can be more vncomely or 
iDured ? 

2. The ornaments or colours must not bee too many, 
nor rashly aduentured on; neither must they be vsed 
euery where and thrust into euery place. 30 

3. The proprietie of speeche must bee duely obsenied 

Of English Poetry agi 

that wayghty and great matters be not spoken slenderly 
or matters of length too briefly : for it belongeth much 
both to the comlinesse and nature of a matter that in big 
matters there be lykewise vsed boysterous wordes. 
5 4. In Poeticall descriptions the speeche must not ex- 
ceede all credite, nor any thing fainedlie brought in against 
all course of nature. 

5. The disfwsing of the worke must be such that there 
be no offence committed, as it were by too exquisite dilli- 

10 gence ; for many thinges may be oft committed, and some 
thing by too curious handling be made offenciue. Neyther 
is it in one part to be well furnished, and in another to be 
neglected. Which is prooued by example of a Caruer, 
who expressed very artificially the heade and vpper part of 

15 a body, but the rest hee could not make an ende of. 
Againe, it is prooued thus, that a body should not be in 
other partes beautifull, and yet bee deformed in the crooked 
nose ; for all the members in a well shapen bodie must be 
aunswerable, sound, and well proportioned. 

30 6. He that taketh in hande to write any thing must first 
take heede that he be sufficient for the same : for often 
vnwary fooles through their rashnes are ouertooke with 
great want of ability, 

7. The ornament of a worke consisteth in wordes, and 
35 in the manner of the wordes; [they] are either simple or > 

mixt, newe or olde, propper or translated. In them all t~;> 
good iudgment must be vsed and ready wytt. The chiefest jC 
grace is in the most frequented wordes, for the same 
reason holdeth in wordes as doth in coynes, that the most 
30 vsed and tried are best esteemed. 

8, The kinde of verse is to be considered and aptly 
applied to the argument, in what measure is most meete 
for euery sort. The most vsuall kindes are foure, the 
Herotc, Elegiac, lambick, and Lyric. 

35 9. One must vse one kynde of speeche alike in all 


292 William PVebbe 

wrytings. Sometime the Lyric ryseth aloft, sometime the 
comicall. To the Tragicall wryters belong properly the 
bygge and boysterous wordes. Examples must be inter- 
placed, according fitly to the time and place. 

10, Regarde is to be had of affections : one thing becora- j 
meth pleasant persons, an other sadde, an other wrathfull, 
an other gentle, which must all be heedefully respected. 
Three thinges therefore are requisite in verses, beauty, 
sweetnes, and the affection, Theophrastus sayth that 
this beauty or delectablenesse is a deceyt, and Aristotle »< 
called it tt/kuti'&i oKiyoxpiviov, a momentany tyrany. Sweet- 
nesse retayneth a Reader ; affection moueth him. 

ir, Euery person must be fitted accordingly, and the 
speeche well ordered : wherein are to be considered the 
dignity, age, sex, fortune, condition, place. Country, &c. t; 
of eche person. 

12, The personnes are eyther to be fayned by the Poets 
them selues, or borrowed of others. If he borrow thein, 
then must hee obserue to o^ioi', that is, that he folow that 
Author exactly whom he purposeth to immitate and where- a 
out he bringeth his examples. But if he fayne newe per- 
sonnes, then must he keepe his to biiaXov, that is equailie : 
so bringing them in eche place, that it be alwayes agreeable, 
and the last like vnto the first, and not make one person 
nowe a bolde boaster, and the same straightwaies a wise 
warie man, for that is passing absurd. Againe, euery one 
must obserue ri, ap/ioordi-, which is interpreted conuenien- 
tiam, fitnesse : as it is meete and agreeable euery where 
a man to be stoute, a woman fearefull, a seruant crafty, 
a young man gentle. jj 

13. Matters which are common may be handled by a 
Poet as they may be thought propper to himselfe alone. 
All matters of themselues are open to be intreated of by 
any man : but if a thing be handled of some one in such 
sort as he thereby obtaine great prayse, he maketh it his 35 

Of English Poetry 293 

owne or propper to himselfe ; as many did write of the 
Troiane war, but yet Homer made matter which was 
common to all propper to himselfe. 

14. Where many thinges are to be taken out of auncienter 
5 tongues, as the Latines tooke much out of the Greekes, 
the wordes are not so preciselie to be followed but that 
they bee altered according to the iudgment and will of the 
Immitator; which precept is borrowed of Tully, Non ver- 
bum verba necesse est reddere. 

10 15. The beginning must not be foolishly handled, that 
is, straungly or too long, 

16. The proposition or narration let it not be far fetched 
or vnlikely, and in the same forget not the differences of 
ages and persons. 

T5 17. In a Comedie it is [not] needfuU to exhibite all the 
actions openlie, as such as are cruell, vnhonest, or ougly; 
but such thinges may better bee declared by some meete 
and handsome wordes, after what sorte they are supposed 
to bee doone. 

ao 18. If a Commedye haue more Actes then fiue, it is 
tedious ; if fewer, it is not sufficient. 

It fytteth not to bring in the personnes of Gods but in 
verie great matters, Cicero sayth, when the Tragedy 
wryters cannot bring theyr matters to good passe, they 

-5 runne to God. Let not more personnes speake together 
then foure, for auoyding confusion. 

The Chori must be well garnished and sette foorth : 
wherein eyther menne are admonished, or reprehended, 
or counsayled vnto vertue. Such matter must bee chosen 

io for the C/iorus as may bee meete and agreeable to that 
which is in hand. As for instruments and singing, they 
are Reliques of olde simpHcitye- For the Musicke com- 
monlye vsed at Theaters and the licenciousnesse of theyr 
songes, which together wyth theyr wealth increased among 

35 the Romaines, is hurtful! to discipline and good manners. 



394 William Webbe 

' — ' 19. In a Satyr the clownish company and rurall Gods 
are brought in to temperate the Heauinesse of Tragedies 
wyth some myrth and pastyme. In iesting it must be 
obserued that it bee not lacyuious, or Rybaldtike, or slaun- 
derous; which precept holdeth generallie in all sortes ofj, 

In a Satyr greate heede is to be taken of the place, of 
the day, and of the personnes : as of Bacchus, St/etius, 
or the Satyres. Againe of the vnmeetnesse or incon- 
uenience of the matter, and of the wordes that they be li 
fitted according to the persons : of Decorum, that he 
which represented some noble personage in the Tragedie 
bee not some busy foole in the Satyr: finalUe of the 
hearers, least they bee offended by myxing filthy matters 
with iestes, wanton toyes wyth vnhonest, or noysome with 
merry thinges. 

20. The feete are to be applied propper to euery kinde 
of verse, and therin a Poet must not vse too much licence 
or boldnes. The auncient writers in lambkk verses vsed 
at first pure lambicks 1 Afterwards Spondaus was admitted 
into Locos impares, but at last such was the licentious cus- 
tome, that they woulde both Spondteus where they listed, 
and other feete without regarde. 

21. In compyling of verses great care and circumspec- 
tion must be vsed. 

Those verses which be made Extempore are of no great 
estimation : those which are vnartificiall are vtterly re- 
pelled as too foolish. Though many doo lightlie regard 1 
our verses, yet ought the Carelesnesse of the hearers to 
bee no cause in vs of erronr and negligence. Who 
desireth to make any thing worthy to be heard of learned 
eares, let hym reade Greeke Authors heedefullie and 

22. Artes haue their increasinges euen as other things, 
beeing naturall : so haue Tragedies, which were first rudely 

Of English Poetry 2^5 

inuented by Thespis, at last were much adorned by jEschy- 
lus : at the first they were practised in Villages of the 
Countrey, afterwardes brought to stages in great Citties. 
33. Some Artes doo increase ; some doo decay by a cer- 
5 tayne natural! course. The olde manner of Commedies 
decayde by reason of slaundering which therein they vsed 
against many, for which there was a penaltie appointed, 
least their bitternes should proceede to farre : In place of 
which, among the Latlnes, came the Satyres. 
10 The auncient Authors of Comedies were Eupolis, Cra- 
tinus, and Aristophanes ; of the middle sorte Plato Comicus; 
of the last kinde Menander, which continued and was 
accounted the most famous. 

24. A Poet should not content himselfe onely with^'y 
IS others inuentions, but himselfe also by the example of old' - 

wryters sholde bring something of his owne industry which " " 
may bee laudable. So did they which writte among the 
Latines the Comedies called Togatae, whose arguments 
were taken from the Greekes, and the other which wrytt 
30 the Pretexiatae, whereof the arguments were Latine. 

25. Heedefulnesse and good composition maketh a per- 
fecte verse, and that which is not so may be reprehended. 
The faculty of a good witte exceedeth Arte, . 

26. A Poet, that he may be perfect, hath neede to haue 
35 knowledge of that part of Philosophy which inforaieth the 

life to good manners. The other which pertaineth to 
naturall thinges is Jesse plausible, hath fewer ornaments, 
and is not so profitable. 

27. A Poet to the knowledge of Philosophic shoulde also 
30 adde greater experience, that he may know the fashions 

of men and dispositions of people, Thys profit is gott by 
trauelling, that whatsoeuer he wryteth he may so expresse 
and order it that hys narration may be formable. 

28. The ende of Poetry is to wryte pleasant thinges, and '^^^ 
35 profitable. Pleasant it is which delighteth by beeing not ^ 

996 William Webbe 

too long or vneasy to be kept in memory, and which is 
somewhat Itkelie and not altogether forged. Profitable 
it is which styrreth vppe the mindes to learning and 

29. Certaine escapes are to be pardoned in some Poets, 5 
specially in great workes. A faulte may bee committed 
either in respect of hys' propper Arte or in some other 
Arte : that a Poet shouldc erre in precepts of hys owne 
arte is a shamefull thing; to eommitte a faulte in another 
Arte is to be born withal; as in Virgil, who fayneth that 10 
^neas comming into Africa slew with hys darte certaine 
Stagges, whereas indeede Affrica hath in it none of those 
beastes. Such errours doo happen eyther by vnheede- 
fulnes. when one escapeth them by negligence ; or by the 
common fragility of man, because none there is which can 13 
know all thinges. Therefore this last kinde of errour is 
not to be stucke vppon. 

30. A good Poet should haue respect to thys, how 
to retaine hys Reader or hearer. In a picture some 

~ thing delighteth beeing sette farre of, something neerer, ao 
but a Poet should delight in all places as well in sunne as 

31. In a Poet is no meane to be admitted, which, if bee 
bee not [t]he [best] of all, is the worst of all. 

32. A Poeme if it runne not sweetely and smoothly as 
is odious ; which is proued by a simile of the two senses, 
hearing and tasting, as in sweete and pleasaunt meates. 
And the Poem must bee of that sorte, that for the sweete- 
nesse of it may bee acceptable and continue like it selfe 
vnto the ende, least it wearje or driue away a Reader. 30 

33. He that would wrjte any thing worthy the 
posteritye, let him not enterprise any thing wherevnto 
his nature is not agreeable. Mercury is not made of wood 
(as they say), neyther doth Minerua fauour all studies in 
euery one, In all Artcs nature is the best helpe, and 3S 

Of English Poetry 297 

learned men vse commonly to say that A Poet is as well 
borne as made a Poet. 

34. Let no man esteeme himaelfe so learned but that 
he may submytte hys wrytinges to the iudgments of 

5 others, and correct and thoroughly amend the same 

35. The profitte of Poetry sprang thus, for that the 
auncient wyse men set downe the best things that per- 
tained to mans life, manners, or felicity, and, examining 

10 and proouing the same by long experience of time, when 
they were aged they published them in wrytinges. The 
vse of Poetry, what it was at the first, is manifest by the 
examples of the moste learned men : as of Orpheus, who 
first builded houses; of Amphion, who made Citties; of 

IS Tyrtaus, who first made warre; of Homer, who wryt most 

36. In an artificial] Poet three thinges are requisite, 
nature, Arte, and dilligence. 

37. A wryter must learne of the learned, and he must 
so not sticke to confesse when he erreth ; that the worse 

he may learne to auoyde, and knowe howe to follow the 

The confession of an errour betoken[eth] a noble and a 
gentle minde. Celsus and QuiniilHan doo report oi Hippo- 

■^=, crates that, least he should decelue his posterity, he con- 
fessed certayne errours, as it well became an excellent 
minded man and one of great credite. For (as sayth 
Celsus) light witts, because they haue nothing, wyll haue 
nothing taken from them. 

30 38. In making choise of such freendes as should tell vs 
the trueth and correct our wrytinges, heedefull iudgment 
must bee vsed ; least eyther we choose vnskylfull foike, 
or flatterers, or dissemblers. The vnskilfull know not how 
to iudge ; flatterers feare to offende ; dissemblers 

as praysing doo seeme to commende. 

-5 in not 

298 William IVebbe 

39. Let no man deceiue himselfe, or suffer himselfe to 
be deceiued, but take some graue learned man to be iudge 
of his dooing, and let him according to hys counsayle 
change and put out what hce thinketh good. 

40, He which will not flatter and is of ability to iudge, 5 
let him endeuour to nothing so much as to the correction 
of that which is wrytten, and that let be doone with earnest 
and exquisite iudgment. He which dooth not thus, but 
offendeth wilfully in breaking his credite too rashly, may 
be counted for a madde, furious, and franticke foole. 10 

1^ 41, The faultes commonly in verses are seauen, as 
V either they be destitute of Arte, of facility, or ornament, 
or els they be superfluous, obscure, ambicious, or neede- 


[,^^-•-^42. An ioiniitation should not be too seruile or super- 

^^titious, as though one durst not varry one iotte froin the 

\ r en ample ; neyther should it be so sencelesse or vnskilfiill 

I ,■ lis to immitate thinges which are absurde and not to be ao 

I followed. 

/ ^ 43, One should not altogether treade in the steppes of 

5v '—others, but sometime he mayenter into such wayesashaue 

I \y^ot beene haunted or vsed of others. Horace borrowed the 

lambick verse of Archilocus, expressing fully his numbers 23 
and elegantly, but his vnseemely wordes and pratling 
tauntes hee moste wj'selye shunned. 

44. In our verses we should not gape after the phrases 
of the simpler sorte, but striue to haue our writings 
allowable in the iudgments of learned menne. 30 

45, The common peoples iudgments of Poets is seldorae 
true, and therefore not to be sought after. The vulgar 
sort in Rome iudged Pacuuitts to be very learned ; Accitis 


Of English Poetry 299 

to bee a graue wryterj that Affranms followed Metiander, 
Plaulus Epickarmus ; that Terence excelled in Arte, 
Caecilius in grauity : but the learned sorte were not of 
this opinion. There is extant in Macrobius (I knowe not 
5 whether Angellius) the like verdite concerning them which 
wryt Epigrammes : That CaliiUus and Calitus wrytt fewe 
thinges that were good, Naeuius obscure, Hortensius vn- 
comely, Cynna vnpleasant, and Mummius rough. 

46. The olde wryters are so farre to be commended 

10 as nothing be taken from the newer, neyther may we / 
thinke but that the way lyeth open styll to others to attaine 
to as great matters. Full well sayd Sidonius to Eucherius, 
' I reuerence the olde wryters, yet not so as though 
I lesse esteemed the vertues and desertes of the wryters 

15 in this age.' 

47. Newnes is gratefull if it be learned: for certaine 
it is Artes are not bothe begunne and perfected at once, 
but are increased by time and studie; which notwithstand- 
ing, when they are at the full perfection, doo debate and 

20 decrease againe. 

Cic. de orat. There is nothing in the world whicit 
bursteth out all at once and commeth to light all whollj' 

48. No man should dare to practise an Arte that is 
35 daungerous, especially before he haue learned the same 

perfectly; so doo guyders of Shyppes, so doo Phisitions, 
but so did not manic Romaine Poets (yea so doo not too 
many English wryters) who In a certaine corragious heate 
gaped after glory by wryting verses, but fewe of them 
30 obtayned it, 

49. A Poet should be no lesse skylfull in dealing with 
the affectes of the mynde then a tumbler or a Juggler 
shoulde bee ready in his Arte, And with such pyth 
shoulde he sette foorth hys matters that a Reader 

35 shoulde seeme not onely to heare the thing, but to see 

300 William Webbe 

and be present at the dooing thereof. Which faculty 
Fabius calleth v?r<mj5ru(ri>', and Aristotle irp6 onndrav diiriy 

50. Poets are either such as desire to be lilted of on 
stages, as Commedie and Tragedie writers, or such as s 
woulde bee regestered in Libraries. Those on stages 
haue speciall respect to the motions of the rainde, that 
they may stirre bothe the eyes and eares of their beholders. 
But the other, which seeke to please priuately with[in] 
the walles, lake good aduisement in their workes, that "> 
they may satisfy the exact iudgments of learned men in 
their studies. 

51. A Poet shoiilde not bee too importunate, as to 
offende in vnseasonable speeches ; or vngentle, as to con- 
temne the admonitions of others ; or ambicious, as to thinke is 
too well of his owne dooinges; or too wayward, as to 
thinke reward enough cannot be gyuen him for his deserte ; 
or, finally, too proude, as to desyre to be honoured aboue 

53. The emendations of Poemes be very necessary, that ao 
in the obscure poyntes many thinges may be enlightned, 
in the baser partes many thinges may be throughly 
garnished, Hee may take away and put out all vnpropper 
and vnseemely words; he may with discretion immitate 
the auncient wryters; he may abridge thinges that areas 
too lofty, mittigate thynges that are too rough, and may 
vse all remedies of speeche throughout the whole worke. 
The thinges which are scarce seemely he may amende by 
Arte and methode. 

53. Let a Poet first take vppon him as though he were 30 
to play but an Actors part, as he may bee esteemed like 
one which wryteth without regarde; neyther let him so 
poUish his works but that euery one for the basenesse 
thereof may think to make as good. Hee may likewyse 
; the part of gesturer, as though he seemed t 

nesse J 
jwyse I 
ed to 35 I 

Of English Poetry 301 

meddle in rude and common matters, and yet not so deale 
in them, as it were for variety sake, nor as though he had 
laboured them thoroughly, but tryfled with them, nor as 
though he had sweat for them, but practised a httle. For 
5 so to hyde ones cunning, that nothing should seeme to bee 
laborsome or exquisite, when, notwithstanding, euery part 
is pollished with care and studie, is a special! gyft which 
Aristotle calieth Kpi^^w. 
54. It is [not] onely a poynt of wysedome to vse many 

m and choyse elegant wordes, but to vnderstand also and to 
set foorth thinges which pertaine to the happy ende of 
mans iife. Whereuppon the Poet Horace calieth the Arte 
poeticall, without the knowledge of learning and philosophy, 
a prating vanity. Therfore a good and allowable Poet 

15 must be adorned with wordes, plentious in sentences, and, 
if not equaii to an Orator, yet very neere him, and a special 
iouer of learned men. 



This small trauell (courteous Reader) I desire thee take 
3° in good worth: which I haue compyled, not as an ex- 
quisite censure concerning this matter, but (as thou mayst 
well perceiue, and in trueth to that onely ende) that it 
might be an occasion to haue the same throughly and 
with greater discretion taken in hande and laboured by 
=5 some other of greater abilitie ; of whom I knowe there be 
manie among the famous Poets in London, who, bothe for 
learning and leysure, may handle this Argument far more 
pythilie then my selfe. Which if any of them wyll vouch- 
safe to doo, I trust wee shall haue Englishe Poetry at 
30 a higher price in short space : and the rabble of balde 
Rymes shall be turned to famous workes, comparable 
(I suppose) with the best workes of Poetry in other tongues. 


3oa William IVebbe 

In the meane time, if my poore skill can sette the same 
any thing forwarde, I wyll not cease to practise the 
same towardes the framing of some apt English Prosodsa, 
styll hoping and hartelie wishing to enioy first the bene- 
fltte of some others iudgment, whose authority mays 
beare greater credite, and whose learning can better 
performe it. 


(The Arc^d/^h ^hbtorixe) 


[Abraham Fraunce issued, in 1588, from the presa of Thomas 
Orwin, The Arcadian Rhelorike: | Or \ The Pracepls of 
Rkelorike made plaint \ by examples, Greeke, Latin, English, 
Jla\lian, French, Spanish, out of \\ Homers I lias, and Odissea,\ 
Virgils jEglags, Georgikes, and jEneis \ Sir Philip Sydneis 
Arcadiix, Songs, and Sonets, \ Torquato Tassoes Gosfredo, 
Aminla, Torrismondo, \ Salusl his Judith, and both his Se- 
maines, \ Boscan and Gareilassoes Sonets and jEglogs. |[ 
Only one copy is preserved, that in the Bodleian (Malone 
514). Sheet B 1-8 (eight leaves) is missing. A MS, note 
on the fly-leaf states that the tract was entered on the 
Stationers' Books by T. Gubbyn and J. Newman on June 

A summary and a few extracts are here given in place of 
the complete text, which consists almost entirely of quota- 
tions from the authors named above. The rhetorical 
plan of the book is less elaborate than that of the con- 
temporary Arte of Engtishe Poesie (q, v. vol. ii. p. i). The 
volume is dedicated ' To the Right excellent and most 
honorable Ladie,the Ladie Marie, Countesse of Pembroke,' 
in words which are printed thus^ : 
* Vol, pia nympha, tuum quern tolse, la morte, Philtppum. 

AEdentem llenas coelesti melle palabras, 

Italicum iumeil, fiowre of Fraunce- ' 

Italicus Tasso, French Salust, 

' The lines are reprlated here ezn 


Abraham Fraunce 

T^c Pofujt Pop) Virgil, r^t EVXaSot EXXac, 

Greekish Homer, tanto Ifcti iunguntur haip^. 

Your Honors most affectionate 

Abraham Fraunce.' 

The first book contains thirty-six chapters, and extends 
to Sig. H 6. The second book begins on H 6 v", and has 
but six chapters. 

Bk. I. chap. I defines 'What Rhetorike is,' as two parts, 
'Eloqiition & Pronuntiation,' 'Eioqution is the first part 
of Rhetorike, concerning the ordering & trimming of 
speach. It hath also two parts, Congruitie and Brauerie.' 
Congruitie includes 'grammatical! rules'— which Fraunce 
omits, 'Brauerie of speech consisteth in tropes or turn- 
ings : and in figures or fashionings. A trope or turning 
is when a word is turned,' &c. . . . ' So much of the 
general proprieties of tropes : now to the divers kindes 

Chap, 2 to chap. 5 treat of the Metonymia of the subject 
and adjunct, &c. ; chap. 6 of Ironia. Then comes the 
break in the text, which resumes in the midst of chap, 14, 
on feet and poetical dimensions, and the different sorts of 
verse, with examples. Chap. 15 is on the dimension for 
Orators; chap. 16, of Epizeuxis; chap. 17, of Anadiplosis; 
chap. 18, of Climax ; chap. 19, of Anaphora ; chap, ao, 
of Epistrophe; chap, ai, of Symploce ; chap. 23, of 
Epanalepsis ; chap. 23, of Epanodos ; chap. 24, of Paro- 
nomasia; chap. 35, of Polyptoton (a long chapter) ; chap. 26, 
of Figures of Sentences ; chap. 27, of Exclamation (with 
many classified examples) ; chap. 28, of Epanorthosis ; 
chap, 29, of Aposiopesis ; chap, 30, of Apostrophe ; chap. 
31, of Prosopopoia; chap. 32, of Adduhitation ; chap. 33, 
of Communication ; chap. 34, of Prseoccu patio n ; chap. 35, 
of Sufferance ; chap. 36, of Graunting. The Second Book 
consists of these chapters ;— chap, i, ' of utterance or pro- 
nunciation'; chap, a, 'of the application of the voyce to 
several! affections'; chap, 3, 'of action or gesture of the 
whole bodie ' ; chap. 4, ' of the gesture of the head, eyes, 
lipps, &c."; chap. 5, 'of the gesture of the arme, hand, 

Ok Rhetoric 305 

fingers, Slc. \ chap. 6, Of the gesture of other parts of the 

Chap. 19, ' Of Anaphora,' may be quoted as an average 
example of Fraunce's method :— 

' Chap. 19. Of Anaphora. 

Thus much of the continued repetition of the same word 
in one or diuers sentences ; now followeth the severed 
repetition of the same sound, and that cither in the same 
place, or in divers. In the same place, either simple or 
conjoined. Simple, Anaphora and Epislrophe. Anaphora, 
a bringing back of the same sound, is when the same 
sound is iterated in the beginning of the sentence.' 

Then follow quotations from Homer {Iliad I), Virgil 
(Gcorg. IV, Eciog. I, Am. Ill), Sir Philip Sidney, Tasso, 
Du Bartas (four passages from the Stmaines), Bosean, and 

In the volume there are three quotations from Spenser's 
works: (a) fol. C 4. to illustrate mixed iambics and spon- 
dees, the lines beginning, ' Vnhappie verse, the witnes of 
my vnhappie state (see Spenser's letter to Harvey, ante, 
p. 90) : {b) fol. D 7, V', where the author, after giving some 
illustrations of Polyplolon, says, ' Before I leaue of to talk 
of these figures of woords, 1 will here confusedlie insert 
a number of conceited verses, sith all their grace and deli- 
cacie proceedeth from the figures afore-named. Theocritus 
hath expressed the forme of an egge and an alter in verse; 
so hath Willy represented the figure of a swoard, and an 
old Abbot the image of the crosse, in verie laboured and 
intangled verses : but let them passe, and come w^e to such 
as are more plausible;' and, among several examples, he 
quotes, ' Ye wastfull woods, beare witnesse of my woe,' &c. 
(Sheph. Cal., August): and (c),fol. furthf 
of 'conceipted kindes of verses,' he quotes i 
Fairie Queene, 2 booke, cant. 4' — 

' Wrath, iealousie, griefe, loue, doo thu.- 
to the end of the stanza. The 1p 

3o6 Abraham Fraunce 

interest of having been made before the publication of 
the Faerie Queene, and of being probably the first lines of 
the poem to appear in print. The MS. was already in 
circulation among Spenser's intimate friends, and the poet 
made no secret of it even in more general society (see 
Ludovick Bryskett's introduction to his Discourse of Civill 
Ltfiy 1606, but written before 1589).] 


(I. Preface to Cr 
11. From Tr/s A.v^ 

s Mbnaphon , 




[The Preface To Ihe Gentlemen Sludenls of both UmvrrsHies is 
prefixed to Robert Greene's Menaphon: Camillas alarum 
to slumbering Euphues in his melancholie Cell at SHexedra, 
London, printed by T. O. for Sampson Clarke, 1589. 
The text is printed from the copy in tiie British Musenm, 
which is deficient at the end, from the words 'ere long to 
their juggling (p. 319, 1. 35I.' The lost portion is supplied 
from the copy of the edition of 1610, also in the British 


/"^VRTEOVS and wise, whose judgements (not entangled 
^^ with enuie) enlarge the deserts of the Learned by 

5 your liberall censures, vouchsafe to welcome your scholler- 
like Shepheard with such Vniuersitie entertainement as 
either the nature of your bountie or the custome of your 
common ciuilitie may afFoord. To you he appeales that 
knew him ab extretna pueritia, whose placet he accounts the 

10 plaudite of his paines ; thinking his daie labour was not 
altogether lauisht sine linea, if there be anie thing of all in 
it that doth olere atticum in your estimate. I 
ignorant how eloquent our gowned age is grower 
so that euerie mcechanicall mate abhorres Ihe c 

i the Ita 

308 Thomas Nash 

was borne too, and plucks with a solemne periphrasis his 
vi vales from the inkhome : which I impute not so much 

to the perfection of arts as to the seruiie imitation of vain- 
glorious tragcedians, who contend not so seriousHe to 
excell in action as to embowell the clowdes in a speach of 5 
comparison ; thinking themselues more than initiated in 
poets immortalitie if they but once get Boreas by the 
beard, and the heauenlie bull by the deaw-lap* But herein 
I cannot so fully bequeath them to foUie, as thetr idiote 
art-masters, that intrude themselues to our eares as the w 
alcumists of eloquence, who (mounted on the stage of 
arrogance) think to outbraue better pens with the swelling 
bumbast of a bragging blanke verse. Indeed, it may be 
the ingrafted ouerflow of some kilcow conceipt, that ouer- 
cloieth their imagination with a more than drunken resolu- 15 
tion, beeing not extemporall in the inuention of anle other 
meanes to vent their manhood, commits the digestion of 
their cholerick incumbrances to the spacious volubilitie of 
a drumming decasillabon. Mongst this kinde of men that 
repose eternitie in the mouth of a player, I can but ingrosse so 
some deepe read Grammarians, who, hauing no more 
learning in their scuJl than will serue to take vp a com- 
moditie, nor Arte in their brain than was nourished in 
a seruing mans idlenesse, will take vpon them to be the 
ironicall censors of all, when God and Poetrie doth know »5 
they are the simplest of all. 

To leaue these to the mercie of their mother tongue, 
that feed on nought but the crummes that fal from the 
translators trencher, I come {sweet friend) to thy Arcadian 
Metiaphon, whose attire, though not so statelie, yet comelie, 3p 
dooth entitle thee aboue all other to that kmperalum 
dkeadi genus which Tullie in his Orator tearmeth true 
eloquence. Let other men (as they please) praise the 
raountaine that in seauen yeares brings foorth a mouse, or 
the Italianate pen that of a packet of pilfries afToordeth sr 

A General Censure 309 

the presse a pamphlet or two in an age, and then in dis- 
guised arraie vaunts Quids and PItttarchs plumes as their 
owne; but giue me the man whose extemporall vaine in 
anie humor will excell our greatest Art-masters deliberate 
s thoughts, whose inuention, quicker than his eye, will 
challenge the proudest Rethoritian to the contention of 
like perfection with like expedition. What is he amongst 
Students so simple that cannot bring forth [tandem ali- 
quando) some or other thing singular, sleeping betwixt 

10 euerie sentence ? Was it not Maros xij. years toyle that 
so famed his xij. Mneidos? Or Peter Ramus xvj. yeares 
paines that so praised his pettie Logique ? Howe is it, 
then, our drowping wits should so wonder at an exquisite 
line that was his masters day labour? Indeede, 1 must 

15 needes say the descending yeares from the Philosophers 
Athens haue not been supplied with such present Orators 
as were able in anie English vaine to be eloquent of their 
owne, but either they must boiTow inuention of Ariosto 
and his Countreymen, take vp choyce of words by ex- 

so change in Tullies Tusculane and the Latine Historio- 
graphers store-houses, similitudes, nay whole ^heetes and 
tractacts verbatim, from the plentie of Plutarch and Plinie, 
and, to conclude, their whole methode of writing from the 
libertie of Comical fictions that haue succeeded to our 

35 Rethoritians by a second imitation : so that well may the 
Adage, Nil dictum quod tion Hctum prius, bee the most 
iudiciall estimate of our latter Writers. 

But the hunger of our vnsatiate humorists, beeing such 
as it is, readie to swallowe all draffe without indifference, 

30 that insinuates it selfe to their senses vnder the name of 
delight, imployes oft times manie thred bare witts to 
emptie their inuention of their Apish deuices, and taike 
most superficiallie of PoUicie, as those that neuer ware 
gowne in the Vniuersitie ; wherein they reuiue the olde 

35 saide Adage, Sus Mineruam, & cause the wiser to quippe 


JTO Thomas Nash 

them with Asinus ad Lyram. Would Gentlemen & riper 
judgements admit my motion of moderation in a matter of 
follie, I wold perswade them to phisicke their faculties of 
seeing & hearing, as the Sabeeans doo their dulled senses 
with smelling; who (as Sirabo reporteth), ouer-cloyed with j 
such odoriferous sauours as the naturall encrease of their 
Countrey (Balsamum, Amomum, with Myrrhe and Franken- 
cense) sends foorth, refresh their nosthrills with the vri- 
sauorie sent of the pitchie slime that Euphrates casts vp, 
and the contagious fumes of Goates beardes burnt ; so to. 
woulde I haue them, beeing surfetted vnawares with the 
sweete satietie of eloquence which the lauish of our 
copious Language maie procure, to vse the remedie of 
contraries, and recreate their rebated witts not, as they 
did, with the sendng of slyme or Goates beardes burnt, 15 
but with the ouer-seeing of that sublime dicertdi genus, 
which walkes abroad for wast paper in each seruing mans 
pocket, and the otherwhile perusing of our Gothamists 
barbarisme ; so shoulde the opposite comparison of PuHtie 
expell the infection of absurditie, and their ouer-rackte ao 
Rhethorique bee the Ironicall recreation of the Reader. 
But so farre discrepant is the idle vsage of our vnexperienst 
punies from this prescription, that a tale of Ihon a Brain- 
fords will and the vnluckie furmentie wilbe as soon inter- 
teined into their libraries as the best poeme that euer aj 
Tasso eternisht : which, being the effect of an vndesceming 
iudgeraent, makes drosse as valuable as gold, and tosse as 
welcome as gaine, the Glowworme mentioned in /Esops 
fables, namelie the apes follie, to be mistaken for fire, 
when, as God wot, poore soules, they haue nought but their 30 
toyle for their heate, their paines for their sweate, and (to 
bring it to our english prouerbe) their labour for their 
trauaile. Wherin I can but resemble them to the Panther, 
who is so greedie of mens excrements that, if they be 
hangd vp in a vessell higher than his reach, he sooner jj 

A General Censure 311 

killeth himselfe with the ouer-stretching of liis wlndlesse 
bodie than he wil cease from his intemicd enterprise. Oft 
haue I obserued what I now set dowiie ; a secular wit, that 
hath liued all daies of his life by what doo you Incite, to 
5 bee more iudiciall in matters of conceit than our qimdrant 
crepundios that spit ergo in the mouth of cuerie one they 
meete : yet those & these are so affectionate to dogged 
detracting, as the most poysonous Pasquil anie durtie 
mouthed Martin or Montus eiier composed is gathered vp 

10 with greedinesse before it fall to the ground, and bought 
at the deerest, though they smell of the friplcrs lauandcr 
halfe a yeere after : for I know not how the minde of the 
meanest is fedde with this follie, that they impute singu- 
laritie to him that slanders priuelie, and count it a great 

15 peece of arte in an inkhorne man, in anle tapsterlic tearmcii 
whatsoeuer, to oppose his superioura to cnuic. I will not 
denie but in scholler-like matters of controuersie a quicker 
stile may passe as commendable, and that a quippc to an 
asse is as good as a goad to an oxe ; but when an irregiplar 

ao idiot, that was vp to the eares in diuinJlic before euer he 
met with probabiU in the Vniucrsitie, shall leaue pro ^■ 
contra before he can scarcely pronounce it, and come lo 
correct Common weales, that ncucr heard of the name of 
Magistrate before he came to Cambridge, it is no merualle 

as if euery alehouse vaunt the table of the world turned 
vpside down ; since the childe beats his father, & the aSK 
whippes his master. But least I might >erme with thc«c 
night Crowes Mwts «<n'os«3 in aliena repubiica, I'lc tume 
backe to my first text, of studies of delight, and talke a 

30 little in friendship with a few of our triuiall translator!. 

It is a common practise now a daies amongst a sort of 
shifting companions, that nmne through eimy arte and 
thriue by none, to leaue the trade of Nomrinl, whereto they 
were borne, and busie themsetues with the Indcuors of Art, 

3S diat could scarcelie latinize their necke-ver>e if they should 

312 Thomas Nash 

haue neede ; yet English Seneca read by candle light 
yeeldes manie good sentences, as Bloud is a begger, and 
so foorth ; and, if you intreate him faire in a frostie morning, 
he will affoord you whole Hamlels, I should say handfulls 
of tragical speaches. But O griefe ! tempus edax rerurn, 5 
what's that will last alwaies ? The sea exhaled by droppes 
will in continuance be drie, and Seneca let bloud line by 
line and page by page at length must needes die to our 
stage: which makes his famisht followers to imitate the 
Kidde in Msop, who, enamored with the Foxes newfangles, lo 
forsooke all hopes of life to leape into a new occupation, 
and these men, renowncing all possibilities of credit or 
estimation, to intermeddle with Italian translations; wherein 
how poorelie they haue plodded (as those that are neither 
prouenzall men nor are able to distinguish of Articles), let 15 
all indifferent Gentlemen that haue trauailed in that tongue 
discerne by their twopenie pamphlets: iS: no meruaile 
though their home-born mediocritie be such in this matter, 
for what can be hoped of those that thrust Elisium into 
hell, and haue not learned, so long as they haae liued in so 
the spheares, the iust measure of the Horizon without an 
hexameter. Sufticeth them to bodge vp a blanke verse 
with ifs and ands, & other while for recreation after their 
candle stuffe, hauing starched their beardes most curiouslie, 
to make a peripateticall path into the inner parts of the 25 
Citie, & spend two or three bowers in turning ouer French 
Doudie, where they attract more infection in one minute 
than they can do eloquence all dayes of their life by 
conuersing with anie Authors of like argument. 

But least in this declamatorie vaine I should condemne all 30 
& commend none, I will propound to your learned imitation 
those men of import that haue laboured with credit in this 
laudable kinde of Translation. In the forefront of whom 
1 cannot but place that aged Father Erasmus, that inuested 
most of our Greeke Writers in the roabes of the auncienl 


A General Censure 313 

Romaines; in whose traces Philip Melancihon, Sadolel, 
Piattiine, and manie other reuerent Germaines insisting 
haue reedified the mines of our decayed Libraries, and 
merueilouslie inriched the Latine tongue with the expence 
5 of their toyle. Not long after, their emulation beeing 
transported into England, euerie priuate Scholler, William 
Turner and who not, beganne to vaunt their smattering of 
Latine in English Impressions. But amongst others in 
that Age, Sir Thomas Eliots elegance did seuer it selfe 

10 from all equalls, although Sir Thomas Moore with his 
Comicall wit at that instant was not altogether idle: yet 
was not Knowledge fuUie confirmed in hir Monarchic 
amongst vs till that most famous and fortunate Nurse of 
all learning, Saint lohis in Cambridge, that at that time was 

15 as an Vniuersitie within it selfe — shining so farre aboue 
all other Houses, Halls, and Hospitalls whatsoeuer, that 
no Colledge in the Towne was able to compare with the 
tythe of her Students; hauing (as I haue hearde graue 
men of credile reportj more candles light in it euerie 

20 Winter Morning before fowre of the clocke than the fowre 
of clocke bell gaue stroakes— till Shee (I sale), as a pitty- 
ing Mother, put too her helping hande, and sent from her 
fruitefull wombe sufficient Schollers, both to support her 
owne weale as also to supplie all other inferiour founda- 

=s tions defects, and namelie that royall erection of Trinitie 
Colledge, which the Vniuersitie Orator, in an Epistle to the 
Duke of Somerset, aptlie tearmed Colona didttcta from the 
Suburbes of Saint lohns : In which extraordinarie con- 
ception, vno pdrlu in rempublicam prodiere the Exchequer 

30 of eloquence Sir lohn Cheeke, a man of men, supematurally 
traded in al tongues, Sir John Mason, Doctor IValson, 
Redman, Aschame, Crindall, Letter, PUkinglon, all which 
haue, either by their priuate readings or publique workei 
repurged the errors of Arts expelde from their purit 

35 and set before our eyes a more perfect Methode of Stut 

^ none 

314 Thomas Nash 

But howe ill their preceptes haue prospered with our 
idle Age, that leaue the fountaines of sciences, to follow the 
riuers of Knowledge, their ouer-fraught Studies with trifling 
Compendiaries maie testifie : for I knowe not howe it 
comes to passe by the doating practise of our Diuinitie 5 
dunces, that striue to make their Pupills pulpet men before 
they are reconciled to Priscian, but those yeares which 

I shoulde bee employed in Aristotle are expired in Epitomes ; 

I and well too they maye haue so much Catechisme vacation 
to rake vp a little refuse Philosophic. And heere could n> 
I enter into a large fielde of inuectiue against our abiect 
abbreuiations of Artes, were it not growen to a newe 
fashion amongst our Nation to vaunt the pride of contrac- 
tion in euerie manuarie action : in so much, that the Pater 
nosier, which was xvoont to fill a sheete of paper, is written 15 
in the compasse of a pennie ; whereupon one merelie 
affirmed that prouerb to be deriued. No pennie, no paler 
nosier; which their nice curtailing puts me in mind of the 
custome of the Scythians, who, if they be at any time dis- 
tressed with famin, take in their girdles shorter & swaddle ao 
themselues streighter, to the intent, no vacuum beeing left 
in their intrayles, hunger should not so much tirannize 
ouer their stomacks ; euen so these men, opprest with a 
greater penurie of Art, do pound their capacitie in barren 
Compendiums, and bound their base humors in the 25 
beggerly straites of a hungry Analysis, least, longing after 
that infinitum which the pouertie of their conceit cannot 
compasse, they sooner yeeld vp their youth to destinie 
than their heart to vnderstanding. How is it, then, such 
bungling practitioners in principles shuld euer profite the 30 
Common wealth by their negligent paines, who haue no 
more cunning in Logique or Dialogue Latine than apper- 
tains to the literall construction of either: neuerthelesse, 
it is daily apparant to our domestical! eyes that there is 
none so forward to publish their imperfections, either in 35 

A General Censure 315 

the trade of glose or translations, as those that are more 

vnlearned than ignorance and lesse conceiuing than 
infants. Yet dare I not impute absurditie to all of that 
societie, though some of them haue set their names to 
5 their simplicitie. Who eucr my priuate opinion con- 
demneth as faultie, Master Gascoigtie is not to bee abridged 
of his deserued esteeme, who first beate the path to that 
perfection which our best Poets haue aspired too since his 
departure ; whereto he did ascend by comparing the Italian 

fo with the English, as Tultie did Grceca cum Lalinis. Neither 
was Master Turberuile the worst of his time, although in 
translating he attributed too much to the necessitie of rime. 
And, in this page of praise, I cannot omit aged Arthur 
Golding, for his industrious toile in Englishing Quids 

\i Metamorphosis, besides manie other exquisite editions of 
Diuinitie, turned by him out of the French tongue into 
our, own. Master Phaer likewise is not to be forgot in 
regard of his famous Virgil, whose heauenly verse had it 
not bin blemisht by his hautie thoghts, England might haue 

so long insulted in his wit, and corrigat qui potest haue been 
subscribed to his workes. But fortune, the Mistres of 
change, with a pitying compassion respecting Master 
Stanihursts praise, would that Phaer shoulde fall that hee 
might rise, whose heroicall Poetrie, infired, 1 should say 

35 inspired, with an hexameter furie, recalled to life whateucr 
hissed barbarisme hath bin buried this hundred yeare, 
and reuiued by his ragged quiJl such carterlie varietie as 
no hodge plowman In a countrie but would haue held as 
the extremitie of ciownerie; a patterne whereof I will 
propounde to your iudgements, as neere as I can, being 
parte of one of his descriptions of a tempest, which is thus : 

Then did he make heauens vault to rebounde, with rouncc 

rabble hobble 
Of ruffe raffe roaring, with Ikwick thwack thurlery bouncing. 

3i6 Thomas Nash 

Which strange language of the firmament, neuer subiect 
before to our common phrase, makes vs, that are not vsed 
to terminate heauens moueings in the accents of any 
voice, esteeme of their triobulare interpreter as of some 
Thrasonical huffe snufFe, for so terrible was his stile to aJl s 
milde eares, as would haue affrighted our peaceable Poets 
from intermedling hereafter with that quarrelling kinde of 
verse, had not sweete Master France, by his excellent 
translation of Master Thomas IVatsons sugred Aminias, 
animated their dulled spirits to such high witted endeuors. lo 
But I knowe not how their ouer timerous cowardise hath 
stoode in awe of enuie, that no man since him durst imitate 
any of the worste of those Romane wonders in english, 
which makes me thinke that either the louers of medocritie 
are verie many or that the number of good Poets are very is 
small : and in trueth. Master Watson except (whom 1 
mentioned before), I knowe not almost any of late dayes 
that hath shewed himselfe singular in any speciall Latin 
Pofim, whose Aminias and translated Antigone may 
march in equipage of honour with any of our ancient ao 
Poets. I will not say but wee had a Haddon whose pen 
would haue challenged the Lawrell from Homer, together 
with Carre, that came as nere him as Virgil to Theocritus. 
But Tko. Newton with his Leyland, and Gabriell Haruey, 
with two or three other, is almost all the store that is left as 
vs at this hower, Epitaphers and position Poets haue 
wee more than a good many, that swarme like Crowes 
to a dead carcas, but flie, like Swallows in the Winter, 
from any continuate subiect of witte. The efficient 
whereof I imagine to issue from the vpstart discipline 30 
of our reformatorie Churchmen, who account wit vanitie, 
and poetrie impietie ; whose error, although the necessitie 
of Philosophic might confute, which lies couched most 
closely vnder darke fables profounditie, yet I had rather 
referre it as a disputatiue plea to diuines than set it 33 

A General Censure 317 

donne as a determinate position, in my vnexperienst 
opinion. But how euer their dissentious iudgements 
should decree in tlieir aflernoone sessions of an sit, the 
priuat trueth of my discouered Creede in this controuersie 
5 is this, that as that beast was thought scarce worthie to 
bee sacrifised to the jEgiptian Epaphus, who had not 
some or other blacke spotte on his skinne, so I deeme 
him farre vnworthie of the name of scholler, & so, conse-l 
quentJie, to sacrifice his endeuors to art, that is not a Poet, 

10 either in whole or in a parte. And here, peraduenture, 
some desperate quipper will canuaze my proposed com- 
parison plus vltra, reconciling the allusion of the blacke 
spot to the blacke pot; which makes our Poets vnder- 
meale Muses so mutinous, as euerie stanzo they pen after 

15 dinner is full poynted with a stabbe. Which their dagger 
dninkennesse, although it might be excused with Tarn 
Marti quant Mercurio, yet will I couer it as well as I may 
with that prouerbial /(ECHnrft' calices, that might wel haue 
been doorc keeper to the kanne of Silenus, when, nodding 

20 on his Asse trapt with iuie, bee made his moist nosecloth 
the pausing intermedium twixt euerie nappe. Let frugale 
scholares and line fingerd nouices take their drinke by 
the ownce and their wine by the halpe-worthes, but it is 
for a Poet to examine the potde pottes and gage the 

asbottome of whole gallons; qui bene vult iroitlv, debet ante 
jTtWv. A pot of blew burning ale, with a fierie flaming 
tost, is as good as Pallas with the nine Muses on Par- 
nassus top: without the which, in vaine may they crie, 
'O thou, my muse, inspire raee with some pen,' when they 

60 want certaine liquid sacrifice to rouze her foorth her 
denne. Pardon me, Gentlemen, though somewhat merely 
I glaunce at their (moderate foUie, who aflirme that no 
man can write with conceit, except he takes counsell of 
the cup : nor would I haue you thinke that Theonino 

35 denle I arme my stile against all, since I doo knowe 


eonino j 

ve the 


I fan 

I sufl 


'318 Thomas Nash 

moderation of many Gentlemen of that studie to be 
faire from infamie as their verse from equalitie: whose 
sufficieiicie, were it as well scene into, by those of higher 
place, as it wanders abroade vnrewarded in the mouthes 
of vngratefull monsters, no double but the remembrances 
of Macenas liberalitie extended to Maro, and men of like 
qualitie, would haue lefle no memorie to that prouerb of 
pouertie, Si nihil attuleris, ibis Homere foras. ' Tut,' sales 
our English Italians, ' the finest witts our Climate sends 
foorth are but drie braind doltes, in comparison of other w 
countries': whome if you interrupt with redde ralionem, 
they will tell you of Pelrardie, Tasso. Celiatto. with an 
infinite number of others ; to whome if I should oppose 
Chaucer, Lidgate, Gower, with such like, that liued vnder 
the tirranie of ignorance, I do think their best louers 'S 
would bee much discontented with the collation of con- 
traries, if I should write ouer al their heads, Haile fellow 
well met. One thing I am sure of, that each of these 
three haue vaunted their meeters with as much admiration 
in English as euer the proudest Arioslo did his verse in "* 
Italian. What should I come to our court, where the 
otherwhile vacations of our grauer Nobilitie are prodigall 
of more pompous wit and choyce of words than euer 
tragick Tasso could attaine too? But. as for pastorall 
Pofimes, I will not make the comparison, least our "S 
countrimens credit should bee discountenanst by the 
contention, who, although they cannot fare with such 
inferior facilitie, yet I knowe would carrie the bucklers 
full easilie from all forreine brauers, if their suhiectum 
circa quod should sauor of any thing haughtie : and, should 3» 
the challenge of deepe conceit be intruded by an forreiner 
to bring our english wits to the tutchstone of Arte, 1 would 
preferre diuine Master Spencer, the miracle of wit, to 
bandie line for line for my life in the honor of Etigland, 
gainst Spaine, France, Italit, and all the worlde. Neither 39 

A General Censure 319 

is he the only swallow of our summer (although Apo'io, 
if his Tripos were vp again, would pronounce him his 
Socrates), but, he being forborne, there are extant about 
London many most able men to reuiue Poetrie, though 
5 it were executed ten thousand times, as in Plalos, so in 
Puritanes common wealth; as for example Malhcw Roy- 
don, Thomas Atchelom, and George Peele,X\\c first of whome, 
as hee hath shewed himselfe singular in the immortall 
Epitaph of his beloued Aslrophel, besides many other 

lo most absolute comicke inuentions (made more publique 
by euerie mans praise than they can bee by my apeache), 
so the second hath more than once or twise manifested 
his deepe wilted schollership in places of credit, and for 
the last, thogh not the least of them all, I dare commend 

15 him to ail that know him as the chiefe supporter of 
pleasarce nowe liuing, the Alias of Poetrie and primus 
verborum Artifex, whose first encrease, the Arraigne- 
ment oi Paris, might plead to your opinions his pregnant 
dexteritie of wit and manifold varietie of inuention, 

ao wherein {me iudice) hee goeth a step beyond all that 
write. Sundrie other sweete Gentlemen I know, that 
haue vaunted their pens in priuate deuices, and trickt 
vp a companie of taffata fooles with their feathers, whose 
beautie if our Poets had not pcecte with the supply of 

as their periwigs, they might haue antickt it vntill this time 
vp and downe the countrey with the King of Fairies, and 
dined euerie daie at the pease porredge ordlnarie with 
Deiphrigus. But Tolossa hath forgot that it was sometime 
sackt, and beggers that euer theycaried their fardles on 

30 footback : and in truth no meruaile, when as the descrued 
reputation of one Rosctus is of force to inrich a rabble 
of countcrfets; yet let subiects for all their insolence 
dedicate a De pro/undis euerie morning to the preser- 
uation of their Ceesar, least their encreasing indignities 

3S retume them ere long to their tuggling to mediocrity, 


3ao Thomas Nash 

and they bewaile in weeping blankes the wane of their 

As Poetrie hath beene honoured in those her fo renamed 
professours, so it hath not beene any whit disparaged by 
William Warners absolute Albions. And heere Authoritie 5 
hath made a full point: in whose reuerence insisting 
1 cease to expose to your sport the picture of those 
Paraphleters and Poets, that make a patrimonie of In 
speech, and more than a younger brothers inheritance of 
their Abcie. Reade fauourably, to incourage me in the m 
firsthngs of my folly, and perswade your selues I will 
persecute those idiots and their heires vnto the third 
generation, that haue made Art bankerout of her orna- 
ments, and sent Poetry a begging vp and downe the 
Countrey. It may be my Analomie of Absurdities may 15 
acquaint you ere long with ray skill in surgery, wherein 
the diseases of Art more merrily discouered raay make 
our maimed Poets put together their blankes vnto the 
building of an Hospitall. 

If you chance to meete it in Paules, shaped in a new bo- 
suite of similitudes, as if, like the eloquent apprentice of 
Plutarch, it were propped at seuen yeares end in double 
apparell, thinke his master hath fulRlIed couenants, and 
onely cancelled the Indentures of dutie. If I please, 
I will thinke my ignorance indebted vnto you that applaud as 
it : if not, what rests but that I be excluded from your 
curtesie, like Apocrypha from your Bibles? 

How euer, yours euer, 

Thomas Nash, 


A General Censure 


[The following extracts are taken from The Anatomie of Alf 
surdilk . . . Compiled by T. Nashe . . . At London, Printed by 
I. Charlewood for Thomas Hacket . . . Antt. Dom. 1589, 
which may have been written before the Preface to 
Greene's Menaphon. The text is taken from the copy in 
the Bodieian (Malone 366). The last printed page (from 
'me of,' p. 336, 1. 3a) is missing. It is added in MS., in 
a careful hand.] 

7EUXES, beeing about to drawe the counterfet of /««o, 

assembled all the Agrigeniine Maydes, whom after 

he pausing had viewed, he chose out fiue of the fayrest, 

that in their beautie he might imitate what was most 

5 excellent; euen so it fareth with-mee, who, beeing about 
to anatomize Absurditie, am vrged to take a view of 
sundry mens vanitie, a suruey of their follie, a briefe 
of their barbarisme, to runne through Authors of the 
absurder sort assembled in the Stacioners shop, sucking 

10 and seiecting out of these vpstart antiquaries somewhat 
of their vnsauery duncerie, meaning to note it with a 
Nigrum theta, that each one at the first sight may eschew 
it as infectious, to shewe it to the world that all men may 
shunne it. And euen as Macedon Phillip, hauing finished 

T5 his warres, builded a Cittie for the worst sorte of men, 
which hee called irovijpdTroXis, mahrum Ciuitas, so I, hauing 
laide aside my grauer studies for a season, determined 
with my selfe, beeing idle in the Countrey, to beginne in 
this vacation the foundation of a trifling subiect, which 


Thomas Nash 

iiFi^a nT 

might shroude in his leaues the abusiue enormities of 
these our times. It fareth nowe a daies with vnlearned 
Idiots as it doth with she Asses, who bring foorth all 
their life long: euen so these brainlesse Bussards are 
euery quarter bigge wyth one Pamphlet or other. But 5 
as an Egge that is full beeing put into water sinketh to 
the bottome, whereas that which is emptie floateth aboue, 
so those that are more exquisitly furnished with learning 
shroude themselues in obscuritie, whereas they that [are] 
J voide of all knowledge endeuour continually to publish 10 

V theyr foUie. 

Such and the very same are they that obtrude them- 
selues vnto vs as the Authors of eloquence and fountains 
' of our finer phrases, when as they selte before vs nought 
but a confused masse of wordes without matter, a Chaos 15 
of sentences without any profitable sence, resembling 

\drurames, which beeing emptie within sound big without. 
Were it that any Morrall of greater moment might be 
fished out of their fabulous follie, leauing theyr words 
we would cleaue to their meaning, pretermitting their » 
painted shewe we woulde pry into their propounded 
sence ; but when as lust is the tractate of so many leaues, 
and loue passions the lauish dispence of so much paper, 
I must needes sende such idle wits to shrift to the vicar 
of S. Fooles, who in steede of a worser may be such a 35 
Gothamists ghostly Father. Might Ottids exile admonish 
such Idlebies to betake them to a new trade, the Presse 
should be farre better employed; Histories of antiquitie 
not halfe so much beiyed; Minerals, stones, and herbes 
should not haue such cogged natures and names ascribed 30 
to them without cause ; Englishmen shoulde not be halfe 
so much Italianated as they are; finallie, loue woulde 
obtaine the name of lust, and vice no longer maske vnder 
the visard of vertue. 
Are they not ashamed in their prefixed posies to adorne 35 

A General Censure 323 

a pretence of profit mixt with pleasure, when as in their 
bookes there is scarce to be found one precept pertaining 
to vertue, but whole quires fraught with amorous discourses t^ 
kindiing Venus flame in Vulcans forge, carrying Cupid in 
5 tryumph, alluring eiien vowed Vestals to treade awry, 
inchaunting chaste mindes and corrupting the continenst ? 
Henceforth, let them alter their posies of profit with inter- 
mingled pleasure, inserting that of Ouid insteed, 

Si quis in hoc artem populo non nouit antandi, 

10 Me legal, ^- leclo carmine doctus amel. 

So shall the discreet Reader vnderstand the contents 
by the title, and their purpose by their posie : what els 
I pray you doe these bable bookemungers endeuor but 
to repaire the ruinous wals of Venus Court, to restore to 

13 the worlde that forgotten Legendary licence of lying, to 
imitate a fresh the fantasticall dreames of those exiled 
Abbie- lubbers, from whose idle pens proceeded those 
wome out impressions of the feyned no where acts of 
Arthur of the rounde table, Arthur of litle Brittaine, 

30 Sir Tristram, Hewon of Burdeaux, the Squire of low "V 
degree, the foure sons of Amon, with infinite others. It 
is not of my yeeres nor studie to censure these mens 
foolerie more theologicallie, but to shew how they to 
no Commonwealth commoditie tosse ouer their troubled 

as imaginations to haue the praise of the learning which 
they lack. Many of them to be more amiable with their 
friends of the Feminine sexe blot many sheetes of paper 
in the blazing of Womens slender praises, as though in 
that generation there raigned and alwaies remained such 

30 singuler simplicitie that all posterities should be enioyned 
by duetie to fill and furnish their Temples, nay Townes 
and streetes, with the shrines of the Saints : Neuer 
remembring that as there was a loyall Lucretia, so there 
was a light a loue Lais, that as there was a modest 


324 Thomas Nash 

Medullma, so there was a mischiuous Medea, that as there 
was a stedfast Timoclea, so there was a trayterous Tarpeya, 
that as there was a sober Sulpilia, so there was a deceitful 
Scylla, that as there was a chast Claudia, so there was 
a wanton Clodia. s 

[^Nasli then proceeds to discuss, in no friendly way, the 
character of woman, and to offer {in the words of l/ie sub- 
title of the pamphlet) ' a breefe confutation of the slender 
imputed prayses to feminine perfection.' He rates the 
'idle heads' for their 'prodigall commendation,' and /or'* 
not consulting their credit 'in the composition of some 
other more profitable contrary subiect.'] 

I leaue these in their follie, and hasten to other mens 
furie, who make the Presse the dunghill, whether they 
carry all the muck of their mellancholicke imaginations, '5 
pretending, forsooth, to anatomize abuses, and stubbe vp 
sin by the rootes, when as there waste paper, beeing wel 
viewed, seemes fraught with naught els saue dogge daies 
effects ; who, wresting places of Scripture against pride, 
whoredome, couetousnes, gluttonie, and drunkennesse, ao 
extend their inuectiues so farre against the abuse that 
almost the things remaines not whereof they admitte anie 
lawfull vse : Speaking of pride, as though they were 
afraid some body should cut too large peniworthes out 
of their cloth ; of couetousnes, as though in them that u 
Prouerbe had beene verified, Nultus ad amissas ibit amicus 
opes; of gluttonie, as though their liuing did lye vppon 
another mans trencher ; of drunkennesse, as though they 
had beene brought vppe all the dayes of their life wiUi 
bread and water: and finally, of whoredome, as though 3* 
they had beene Eunuckes from theyr cradle, or blind 
from the howre of their conception. But as the Stage 
player is nere the happier because hee represents 
oft times the persons of mightie men, as of Kings & 
Emperours, so I account such men neuer the holier 

A General Censure 325 

because they place praise in painting foorth other mens I 

These men resemble Trees, which are wont eftsoones 
to die if they be fruitfull beyond their wont ; euen so they 
s do die in vertue, if they once ouershoote themselues too 
much wyth inueighing against vice ; to be brainsicke in 
workes, if they be too fruitfull in words. And euen as the 
Vultures slay nothing themselues, but pray vpon that 
which of other is slayne, so these men inueigh against no 

10 new vice which heerctofore by the censures of the learned 
hath not beene sharply condemned, but teare that peece- 
meale wise which long since by ancient wryters was 
wounded to the death, so that out of their forepassed 
paines ariseth their Pamphlets, out of theyr volumes theyr 

15 inuectiues. Good God, that those that neuer tasted of any 
thing saue the excrements of Artes, whose threddebare 
knowledge, beeing bought at the second hand, is spotted, 
blemished, and defaced through translaters rigorous rude 
dealing, shoulde preferre their stuttered sutes before other 

ao mens glittering gorgious array, should offer them water 
out of a muddie pit, who haue continually recourse to the 
Fountaine, or dregs to drink, who haue wine. to sell. Al 
scire tuum nihil est, tiisi ie scire hoc scial alter. Thy know- 
ledge bootes thee not a button, except another knowes 

as that thou hast this knowledge, Anacharsis was wont to 
say that the Athenians vsed money to no other ende but 
to tell it : euen so these men make no other vse of learning 
but to shcwe it. But as the Panther smelleth sweetelie 
but onely to brute beastes, which shee draweth vnto her 

30 to theyr destruction, not to men in like maner, so these 
men seeme learned to none but Idiots, whom, with a 
coloured shew of zeale, they allure vnto them to their 
illusion, and not to the learned in like sort. I know not 
howe it delighteth them to put theyr Oare in another mans 

35 boate, and their foote in another mans boote, to incurre 



326 Thomas Nash 

that prouerbiall checke, Ne sutor vlira creptdam, or that 
oratoricall taunt, Quam quisque norit arfem in ea se exerceat ; 
with the Elephant to jvade and wallowe in the shallow 
water, when they woulde sooner sincke then swym in the 
deepe Riuer; to be conuersant in those Authors which 5 
they cannot vnderstande but by the translatour their 
interpreter; to vaunte reading, when the sum of their 
diuinitie consists in twopennie Catichismes : and yet their 
ignoraunt zeale wyll presumptuously presse into the Presse, 
enquiring most curiouslie into euery corner of the Com- 11 
mon wealth, correcting that sinne in others wherwith 
they are corrupted themselues. To prescribe rules of 
life belongeth not to the ruder sorte ; to condemne those 
calhngs which are approoued by pubhque authoritie argu- 
j- eth a proude contempt of the Magistrates superiority, ij 
V Prologenes knew Apelles by one lyne, neuer otherwise 
i scene; and you may knowe these mens spirit by theyr 
y speeche, their minds by their medling, their folly by 
their phrase. View their workes, and know their vanitie; 
t, see the Bookes bearing their name, and smile in thy sleeue 
A at their shame. A small ship in a shallow Riuer seemes 
a huge thing, but in the sea a very litle vessell ; euen so 
\l each trifling Pamphlet to the simpler sorte a most sub- 
stantial! subiect, whereof the wiser lightly account & the 
learned laughing contemne. Therefore more earnestly as 
I agrauate their faulte, because their crime is crept into 
credit, & their dooinges deemed deuotion, when as 
purposelie to some mans despight they bring into act 
their cholericke motions. 

{Then, after denouncing hypocritical Malcontents and 
those who 'search curiouslie into the secrets of nature' 
and publish portents for the superstitious, the pamphl^ 
proceeds — ] 

Hence come our babling Ballets, and our new found 
Songs & Sonets, which euery rednose Fidler hath at 

A General Censure 327 

his fingers end, and euery ignorant Ale Knight will breath 
foorth ouer the potte, as soone as his braine waxeth hole. 
Be it a truth which they would tune, they enterlace it with 
a lye or two to make meeter, not regarding verltie so they 
smay make vppe the verse: not vnlike to Homer, who 
cared not what he fained so hee might make his Countri- 
men famous. But as the straightest thingsbeeing put into 
water seeme crooked, so the crediblest trothes if once they 
come within compasse of these mens wits seeme tales. 

10 Were it that the infamie of their ignoraunce did redound 
onlie vppon themselues, 1 could be content to apply my 
speech otherwise then to their Apuleyan eares ; but si th they 
obtaine the name of our English Poets, and thereby make 
men thinke more baselie of the wittes of our Countrey, 

15 I cannot but turne them out of their counterfet liuerie and 
brand them in the foreheade, that all men may know their 
faishood. Well may that saying of Campanus be applyed 
to our English Poets, which hee spake of them in his time : 
'They make,' saith he, 'Poetry an occupation; lying is 

ao their lyulng, and fables are their mooueables : if thou takcst 
away trifles, sillie soules, they will famish for hunger,' It 
were to be wished that the acts of the ventrous and the 
praise of the vertuous were by publique Edict prohibited ; 
by such mens merry mouthes to be so odiouslie extolde 

as as rather breedes detestation then admiration, lolhing then 
lyking. What politique Coursailour or valiant Souldier 
will ioy or glorie of this, in that some stitcher, Weauer, 
spendthrift, or Fidler hath shuffled or slubberd vp a few 
ragged Rimes, in the memoriall of the ones prudence or 

30 the others prowesse? It makes the learned sort to be 
silent, when as they see vnlearned sots so insolent. 

These Eussards thinke knowledge a burthen, tapping 
it before they haue half tunde it, venting it before they 
haue filled it ; in whom that saying of the Orator is 

35 verified, Ante ad dicendum quant ad cognoscendum venmtU. 


328 Thomas Nash 

They come to speake before they come to know. They 
contemne Arts as vnprofitable, contenting thetnselues with 
a little Countrey Grammer knowledge, god wote, thanking 
God with that abscedarie Priest in Line olne shire, that 
he neuer knewe what that Romish popish Latine meant. 5 
Verie requisite were it that such blockheads had some 
Albadanensis Appolhnius to send them to some other 
mechanical! Arte, that they might not thus be the staine 
of Arte. Such kind of Poets were they that Plato excluded 
from his Common wealth and Augustine banished exia 
fiuitate Dei, which the Romans derided, and the Lacedee- 
moniatis scorned, who wold not suffer one of Archilocus 
bookes to remaine in their Countrey : and amisse it were 
not, if these which meddle with the Arte they knowe not 
were bequethed to Bridwell, there to learne a new occupa- 15 
tion: for as the Basiliske with his hisse driueth all other 
Serpents from the place of his aboad, so these rude 
Rithmours with their iarring verse allienate all mens 
niindes from delighting in numbers excellence, which they 
haue so defaced that wee may well exclaime with the Poet ao 
Quantum mulatus ab illo. 

But least 1 should be mistaken as an enemie to 
Poetrie, or at least not taken as a friend to that studie, 
1 haue thought good to make them priuie to my mind, by 
expressing my meaning. I account of Poetrie as of 35 
a more hidden & diuine kinde of Philosophy, enwrapped 
in biinde Fables and darke stories, wherin the principles 
of more excellent Arts and morrall precepts of manners, 
illustrated with diners examples of other Kingdomes and 
Countries, are contained : for amongst the Grecians there 30 
were Poets before there were any Philosophers, who em- 
braced entirely the studie of wisedome, as Cicero testifieth 
in his Tusculanes : whereas he saith that, of all sorts of 
I men, Poeta are most ancient, who, to the intent they 
' might allure men with a greater longing to learning, haue 35 

^^ A General Censure 329 

followed two things, sweetnes of verse and variety ofi . 
inuention, knowing that delight doth pricic men forward 
to the attaining of knowledge, and that true things are 
rather admirde if they be included in some wittie fiction, 
5 like to Pearles that delight more if they be deeper sette in 
golde. Wherfore seeing Poetry is the very same with 
Philosophy, the fables of Poets must of necessitie be 
fraught with wisdome &. knowledge, as framed of those 
men which haue spent all their time and studies in the 
ID one and in the other. For euen as in Vines the Grapes 
that are fayrest and sweetest are couched vnder the 
branches that are broadest and biggest, euen so in Poems 
the thinges that are most profitable are shrouded vnder 
the Fables that are most obscure : neither is there almost 
15 any poeticall fygment wherein there is not some thing 
comprehended, taken out either of Histories, or out of 
the Phisicks or Ethicks ; wher vpon Erasmus Roterdamus 
very wittilie termes Poetry a daintie dish seasoned with 
delights of euery kind of discipline. Nowe, whether 
20 ryming be Poetry, I referre to the iudgment of the learned ; 
yea, let the indifferent Reader diuine what deepe misterie 
can be placed vnder plodding meeter. Who is it that, 
reading Eeuis of Hampton, can forbeare laughing if he 
marke what scambling shyft he makes to ende his verses 
as a like. I will propound three or foure payre by the way 
for the Readers recreation. 

The Porter said, by my snout, 
It was Sir Beuis that I let out; 
or this, 
30 He smote his Sonne on the breast, 

That he neuer after spoke with Clark nor Priest; 
or this. 
This almes, by my crowne. 
Gives she for Beuis of South-hamptoune ; 


330 Thomas Nash 

Some lost a nose, some a lip; 
And the King of Scots hath a ship. 

But I let these passe as worne out absurdities, meaning 
not at this instant to vrge (as I might) the like instance of 5 
Authors of our time, least, in laying foorth their naked- 
nesse, I might seeme to haue discouered my mallice, 
imitating Aiax, who, objecting more irefully vnto Vlysses 
flattery, detected himselfe of follie. 

As these men offend in the impudent publishing ofio 
witles vanitie, so others ouershoote themselues as much 
another waie, in sencelesse stoicall austeritie, accounting 
1/ Poetrie impietie and witte follie. It is an old Question, 
and it hath beene often propounded, whether it were 
better to haue moderate affections, or no affections? The 15 
Sloicks said none. The Peripalictans answered to haue 
temperate affections : and in this respect I am a professed 
Peripalician, mixing profit with pleasure, and precepts of 
doctrine with delightfull inuention. Yet these men con- 
demne them of lasciuiousnes, vanitie, and curiositie, who bo 
vnder fayned Stories include many profitable morrall 
precepts, describing the outrage of vnbridled youth hauing 
the reine in their owne hands, the fruits of idlenes, the 
ofspring of lust, and how auaileable good educations are 
vnto vertue. In which their preciser censure they re- 33 
semble them that cast away the nutte for mislike of the 
shell, &. are like to those which loath the fruite for the 
leaues, accounting the one sower because the other is 
bitter. It may be some dreaming dunce, whose bald 
affected eloquence making his function odious, better 30 
beseeming a priuie then a pulpit, a misterming Clowne in 
a Comedy then a chosen man in the Ministerie, will cry 
out that it breedes a scabbe to the conscience to peruse 
such Pamphlets, beeing indeed the display of their dun- 

A General Censure 331 

eerie, and breeding a mislibe of such tedious dolts 
barbarisme by the view of their rethoricall inuention. 
Such trifling studies, say they, infect the minde and 
corrupt the manners, as though the minde were only 
5 conuersant in such toies, or shold continuallie stay where 
the thoughts by chaunce doo stray. The Sunne beames 
touching the earth remaine still from whence they came ; 
so a wyse mans mind, although sometimes by chance it 
wandereth here and there, yet it hath recourse in staled 

loyeeres to that it ought. But graunt the matter to be 
fabulous, is it therfore friuolous? Is there not vnder 
Fables, euen as vnder the shaddowe of greene and 
florishing leaues, most pleasant fruite hidden in secrete, 
and a further meaning closely comprised? Did not 

15 Virgill\n^tr the coucrt of a Fable expresse that diuine 
misterie which is the subiect of his sixt Eglogue, 
lam noua progenies caelo demitlitur alto. 

1 could Send you to Ouid, who expresseth the generall 
Deluge, which was the olde worldes ouerthrowe, in the 

ao Fable of Deucalion and Pirrha : vnder which vndoubtedly 
it is manifest {although diuers Authors are of contrarie 
opinion) he meaneth Noes floode, in so much as there is 
a place in Lucian in his hooke De Siria Dea, by the which 
it appeareth that by Deucalions Deluge Is vnderstoode, 

25 not (as some will) that Enundation, whereby in limes past 
Greece and Italie was ouerflowne and the lie AUanta 
destroied, but that vniuersall flood which was in the time 
of Noe. For thus Lucian writeth in that place, that it was 
receiued for a common opinion among the Grecians that 

30 this generation of men that nowe is hath not been from 
the beginning, but that it which first was wholy perrished, 
and this second sort of men which now are be of a newe 
creation, growing into such a multitude by Deucalion and 
Pirrhas meanes. . . . 

33a Thomas Nash 

Hetherto Lucian an Heathen Poet. Plutarch also 
recordeth, in his Treatise De induslria animalium, that 
a Doue, beeing sent out of Deucalions Arke, shewed the 
waters ceasing. By these proofes it is euident that by 
Deucalions Deluge is vnderstoode Noes flood, because the 5 
very like thinges are sette downe in Cetiesis, of brute 
Beastes receiued by Noe into the Arlce, and the Doue 
sent forth by him also, I trust, these probabilities beeing 
duely pondered, there is no man so distrustful to doubt 
that deeper diuinitie is included in Poets inuentions, and lo 
therefore not to be reiected, as though they were voide of 
all learning and wise do me. 

I woulde not haue any man imagine that in praysing of 
Poetry I endeuour to approoue VirgUs vnchast Priapus, 
or Quids obscenitie : I commende their witte, not their 15 
wantonnes, their learning, not their lust: yet euen as the 
Bee out of the bitterest flowers and sharpest thistles 
gathers honey, so out of the filthiest Fables may profit- 
able knowledge be sucked and selected. Neuerthelesse, 
tender youth ought to bee restrained for a time from »o 
. the reading of such ribauldrie, least, chewing ouer wan- 
-> >, tonlie the eares of this Summer Corne, they be choaked 
v/ with the haune before they can come at the karnell. 
Hunters, being readie to goe to their Game, suffer not 
their dogges to taste or smell of anything by the way, 35 
no carrion especially, but reserue them wholy to their 
approching disport; euen so youth, beeing ready to 
vndertake more waightier studies, ought in no case be 
permitted to looke aside to lasciuious toyes, least the 
pleasure of the one should breed a loathing of the profit 90 
of the other. I would there were not any, as there be 
many, who in Poets and Historiographers reade no more 
then serueth to the feeding of their filthy lust, applying 
those things to the pampering of their priuate Venus 
which were purposely published to the suppressing 


)lying J 
Venus I 


A General Censure 333 

that common wandering Cupid, These be the Spyders 
which sucke poyson out of the hony combe and cor- 
ruption out of the holiest thinges, herein resembling those 
that are troubled with a Feuer, in whome diuers things 
5 haue diuers effects, that is to say, of bote things they waxe 
cold, of cold things hote; or of Tygers, which by the 
sound of melodious Instruments aredriuen intomadnesse, 
by which men are wont to expell melancholie. He that 
wil seeke for a Pearle must first learne to know it when 

10 he sees it, least he neglect it when hee findea it, or make 
a nought worth peeble his Jewell : and they that couet 
to picke more precious knowledge out of Poets amorous 
Elegies must haue a discerning knowledge before they can 
aspire to the perfection of their desired knowledge, least 

15 the obtaining of trifles be the repentant end of their 

Who so snatcheth vp follies too greedilie, making an 
occupation of recreation, and delight his day labour, may 
happes proue a wittome whiles he fisheth for finer witte, 

30 and a Foole while hee findes himselfe laughing pastime 

at other mens follies ; not vnlike to him who drinking 

Wine immoderately, besides that hee many times swal- 

lowes downe dregs, at length prooues starke drunke. 

There is no extremitie, either in actiue or contemplatiue 

35 life, more outragious then the excessiue studies of delight, 
wherwith young Students are so besotted that they forsake 
sounder Artes to foUowe smoother eloquence, not vnlike 
to him that had rather haue a newe painted boxe, though 
there be nothing but a halter in it, then an olde bard 

30 hutch with treasure inualuable ; or jEsops Cocke, which 
parted with a Pearle for a Barlie kumell, Euen as a man 
is inclined, so his studies are bended; if to vaineglorie, to 
eloquence ; if to profounde knowledge, to Aristotle ; if 
lasciuious, good in some English deuise of verse ; to con- 

35 elude, a passing potman, a passing Poet. 

[334 Thomas Nash 

\Then follows an attack on the 'abusiue enormities 
practised in the name of knowledge, and a plea for the 
' suppression of the rauenous rable ' vuho discredit learn- 
ing. ' There be three things which are wont to slack young 
Students endeuour : Negligence, want of Wisedome, & S 
Fortune.' ' Nothing is so great an enemie to a sounde 
iudgment as the pride of a peeuish conceit, which causeth 
a man both in life and beliefe either to snatch vppe or 
hatch newfangles.'j 

There is no such discredit of Arte as an ignoraunt Arti- » 
ficer,— men of meaner iudgement measuring oft times the 
excellencie of the one by the ignoraunce of the other. But 
as hee that censureth the dignitie of Poetry by CheriUus 
paultry paines, the maiestie of Rethorick by the rudenesse 
of a stutting Hortensius, the subtiltie of Logique by the ^s 
rayling of Ramus, might iudge the one a foole in writing 
he knewe not what, the other tipsie by his stammering, 
the tl'irde the sonne of Zantippe by his scolding : so he 
that estimate Artes by the insolence of Idiots, who pro* 
fesse that wherein they are Infants, may deeme the •» 
Vniuersitie nought but the nurse of follie, and the know- 
ledge of Artes nought but the imitation of the Stage. 
This I speake to shew what an obloquie these impudent 
incipients in Arts are vnto Art. 

Amongst all the ornaments of Artes, Rethorick is to be aj 
had in highest reputation, without the which a'l the rest 
are naked, and she onely garnished : yet some there be 
who woulde seperate Arts from Eloquence, whose [opinion 
we] oppugne, because it abhorres from common expe- 
rience. Who doth not know that in all tongues taske 30 
eloquence is odious if it be affected, and that attention is 
altogether wanting where it is reiected ? A man may 
baule till his voice be hoarse, exhort with teares till his 
tongue ake and his eyes be drie, repeate that hee woulde 
perswade til his stalenes dooth secretlie call for a Cloake 351 

A General Censure 335 

ba^e, and yet moue no more then if he had been all 
that while mute, if liis speech be not seasoned with elo. 
quence and adorned with elocutions assistance. Nothing 
is more odious to the Auditor then the artlesse tongue 
5 of a tedious dolt, which dulleth the delight of hearing, 
and slacketh the desire of remembring ; and I know 
not how it comes to passe, but many are so delighted to 
heare themselues that they are a cumber to the eares of 
all other, pleasing their Auditors in nothing more then 

iQ in the pause of a ful point, when as by their humming and 
hawking respit they haue leisure to gesture the mislike 
of his rudenes. To the eschewing therefore of the lothing 
hatred of them that heare them, I would wish them to 
learne to speake many things in few, neither to speake 

ts all things which to theyr purpose they may speake, least 
those things be lesse profitably spoken which they ought 
to speake ; neither would I haue them ouershoote them- 
selues with an imitation of breuitie, so that striuing to be 
very short they should prooue very long, namelie, when 

3a as they endeuor to speake many things breefelie. Per- 
swade one point throughlie rather then teach many 
things scatteringly ; that which we thinke let vs speake, j 
and that which we speake let vs thinke ; let our speeche I 
accorde with our life. Endeuour to adde vnto Arte 

as Experience : experience is more profitable voide of arte 
then arte which hath not experience. Of it selfe arte is 
vnprofitabJe without experience, and experience rashe with- 
out arte. In reading thou must with warie regard learne 
as wel to discerne thy losse as thy gaine, thy hurt as 

30 good, least, being wonne to haue a fauorable hke of Poets 
wanton liues, thou be excited vnto the imitation of their 
lust. It is very vnseemely that nobler wits shoulde be 
discredited with baser studies, and those whom high and 
mightie callings doo expect shold be hindered by the 

35 inticements of pleasure and vanitie. Young men are not 


336 Thomas Nash 

so much delighted with solide substances as with painted 
ghadowes, following rather those thinges which are goodly 
to the viewe then profitable to the vse ; neither doo they 
loue so much those things that are dooing as those things 
that are sounding, reioycing more to be strowed with 5 
flowers then nourished with frute. How many be there 
that seeke truth, not in truth but in vanitie, and find that 
they sought not according to trueth but according to 
vanitie, and that, which is most miserable, in the words 
of life they toile for the merchandise of death. Hence "> 
commeth it to passe that many make toyes their onelie 
studie ; storing of trifles, when as they neglect most pre- 
cious treasures : and, hauing left the Fountaines of truth, 
they folow the Riuers of opinions. I can but pittie their 
folly, who are so curious in fables and excruciate them- "5 
selues about impertinent questions, as about Homers 
Countrey, parentage, and sepulcher, whether Homer or 
Hesiodus were older, whether ^irA£ye5 or Pairoclus more 
ancient, in what apparrell Anacharsis the Scithian slept, 
whether Lucan is to be reckoned amongst the Poets or " 
Historiographers, in what Moneth in the yere Virgili 
died, with infinite other, as touching the Letters of the 
Hiacinlh, the Chestnut tree, the children of Niobe, the 
trees where Lalona brought foorth Diana, in all which 
idle interrogatories they haue left vnto vs not thinges "S 
found, but things to be sought, and peraduenture they 
had founde necessary things if they had not sought super- 
fluous thinges. 

[So loo in Philosophy there are 'innumerable such vn- 
necessary questions.'] 30 

I know the learned wil laugh me to scome for setting 
down such Rams home rules of direction, and euen nowe 
I begin toBethinke me of Mulcasters Positions, which 
makes mypenne heere pause as it were at a full point: 
which pause hath changd my opinion, and makes me 35 

A General Censure 337 

rather refer you to Aschame, the antienter of the two : 
whose prayses seeing Maister Grant hath so gloriously 
garnished, I will referre you to his workes, and more 
especially to his Schoolemaster, where he hath most 
5 learnedly censured both our Latine and Greeke Authors. 
As for lighter studies, seeing they are but the exercise 
of youth to keepe them from idlenes, and the preparation | 
of theminde to more weightie meditations, letvs take heede 
least, whiles we seeke to make them the furthering helps 

10 of our finall profession, they proue not the hindering 
harmes of our intended vocation, that we dwell not so 
long in Poetry that wee become Pagans, or that we make 
not such proceedinges in Aristotle that we prooue pro- 
ficients in Atheisme. Let not learning, which ought to 

'5 be the Leuell whereby such as liue ill ought to square 
theyr crooked waies, be the occasion vnto them of farther 
corruption who haue already sucked infection, least thair 
knowledge way them downe into hell, when as the 
ignorant goe the direct way to heauen. 

ao And thus I ende my Anatomic, least I might seeme to 
haue beene too tedious to the Reader in enlarging a 
Theame of Absurditie, desiring of the learned pardon. 
and of Women patience, which may encourage me heere- 
after to endeuour in some other matter of more moment, 

as as well to be answerable to the expectation of the one as 
to make amends to the other. In the meane time I bidde 
them both farewell. 




Z 2 




[The following passage is the thirty-fifth chapter of Pulitiqtte 
5 Discourses on Iruel/i and lying. An instiuclion lo Princes lo 

keepe their faith and promise. . . . Translattd out 0/ French . . . 

by Sir E. Hoby. R. Newberrie. London 1586. 4°. (B. M. 

533. g. 13). The original, by Matthieu Coignet, appeared 

in Paris in 1584, with the title Inslructiott aux Princes pour 
garder la Foy promise : contenant un sommaire de la philo- 

sophie Chresiietine et morale ... en phisieurs discoiirs.] 

T)LA TO wrote that Poetrie consisted in the cunning inucntion 

15 ^ of fables, which are a false narration resembling a true, 
and that therein they did often manifest sundrie follies of the 
gods ; for this cause he banished and excluded them out of 
his common wealth, as men that mingled poyson with honie. 
Besides thorough their lying and wanton discourses" they cor- 

10 rupt the manners of youth, and diminish that reuerence which 
men ought to carrie towards their superiors and the lawes of 
God, whom they faine to be replenished with passions & vice. 
And the principall ornament of their verses are tales made at 
pleasure, Si foolish &. disorderly subiecies, cieane disguising 

25 the trueth & hystorie, to the end they might the more delight ; 
and for this cause haue they bin thrust out of sundry cities. 
Among other, after that Archilacus came into Sparta, he 
presently thrust out, as soon as they had vnderstood how he 
had written in his poemes, that it was better to lose a mans 

30 weopens than his life, & forbad euer after al such deceitful 

343 Appendix 

poesies. Hence grew the common prouerb, that al Poets are 
lyers. And it was written of Socrates, that hee was yl brought 
vp to poesie because he loued the truth. And a man mought 
say that this raoued Caligula to condemne Virgils & Homers 
books, because of their prophane fables, which S. Paul ex- s 
horted Timot/iit to cast away. Plularque telleth of a Lace- 
dtmaman, who, when he was demanded what he thougbt of 
the Poet Tirteus, answered that he was very good to infect yong 
mens wits. And Huron oi Siracusa condemned Epkarmus the 
Poet in a great fine, because in his wiues presence he had ii 
repeated certaine lasciuious verses. And Viues writeth that' 
Ouid was most iustly sent into banishment, as an instrument 
of wantonnesse. He which first inuented the latnbique versify- 
ing, to byte and quippe, was the first thai felt the smart 
And Arcliilocus the Poet fell into confusion through his own ij 
detractions, as Horace and sundry other haue written ; and 
Aulus Gellius reporteth that Orpliens, Homer, and Hesiodus gaue 
names & honours to the gods. And Pithagoras saide that their 
soules hong in hel vpon a tree, still pulled of euery side by 
serpents, for their so damnable inuention. And Dotnilian ao 
banished Juvenal: and Pope Paull 2 and Adrian 6 held them 
as enimies to religion. Eustbius in his 8 booke & first Chapter 
de Preparutione Euattgelica setteth down an example of a Poet, 
who, for hauing lewdly applyed a peece of Scripture to a fable, 
suddenly lost his naturall sight ; and, after that he had done as 
penance, it was restored to him againe. And as Couching 
Painters, they haue beene greatly misliked of, for represent- 
ing such fictions & Poetical deceits. For as Simonides saide; 
Painting is a dumme Poesie, and a Poesie is a speaking paint- J 
ing: Sl the actions which the Painters set out with visible 3J 
colours and figures the Poets recken with wordes, as though ^ 
they had in deede beene perfourmed. And the end of eche is ' 
but to yeeld pleasure by lying, not esteeming the seqnele and 
custoiiie, or impression, which hereby giue to the violating of 
the lawes and corruption of good manners. For this cause the .1; 
Prophets called the statuas, images, and wanton pictures, the 
teachers of vanitie, of lyes, dcceite, & abhomination. And 
Lactaulius writeth, that a counterfait tooke the name of counter- 
faiting, and all deceit (as wee before declared) springeth from 
falshood and lying. This was it which mooued S. JoMn, in the 
ende of his first Epistle, to wame men to keepe Ihentselues from 

Appendix 343 

images: for an image doeth at their fansie counterfait the bodie 
of a man dead, but is not able to yeelde the least gaspe of 
breath. And idolatrie is properly such seruice as is done vnto 
Idoles. Wee reade howe God especially forbad it in the first 
5 table, and how long the Romanes and Persians liued without 
any vse thereof: and howe the Lacedemonians coulde neuer 
abyde that an image should stand in their Senate. There hath 
beenc in sundrye couneels mention made thereof & S. Atkanasius 
more at large discoursed thereof in a sermon he made against 

10 Idols : and S. Augustin in his booke de fide &• Simbolo, and 
vppon 150 Psalm, & in his eighth book of the citie of God, & 
Damascene in his 4 book & 8 c. The occasion of so free passage 
giuen to Poets is, for that their fables (lyde awaye easily, and 
cunningly turne ttiem selues to ticke! at pleasure, whereas the 

15 tnieth plainly setteth downe the matter as it is indeede, albeit 
the euent thereof bee not verie pleasant. Plato in like sort 
compared the disputes in Poetrie to the banquets of the 
ignorant, who vse Musike in steede of good discourse, and, 
in his thirde booke of his commonwealth, he forbiddeth Poets 

ao or painters to set downe or represent any thinge dishonest or 
wanton, for feare of corrupting of good manners. And Aristolle 
in his Politiques, the thirde booke and 17 Chapter, would haue 
all vyle wordes to be banished. And Saint Paul to the Ephesians, 
that any vncleannesse, foolish iesting, or talking shoulde bee 

as once named among them. And Tertutlian, an auncient doctor 
of tne Church, called Poets, and certaine Philosophers, the 
Patriarches of heretiques. This which I haue spoken of must 
not be vnderstood of Poesies wherein much trueth and instruc- 
tion is contained, nor of pictures which represent the actes of 

30 holye and vertuous personnages, nor of fables taken 'out of 
hystories, whereof, there maye growe some edifying; but 
onely of that which is lasciuious, and grounded vpon naughtie 
argument, rendring youth effeminate, and men more giuen 
to wantonnesse, pleasures, passion, & vayne opinions, then to 

35 virtue, eleane turning away the honour that is due vnto God or 
to good edifying ; for according vnto the commaundement of 
God, Chenibyns were made. The admonition which Epielelits 
gaue to such as were too curious in pictures ought by no meanes 
to be here forgotten ; Trim not Iky house (saith hee) with testes 

40 and pictures, but paint it and guild it with Temperance : the on* 
vainely fetdeth the eyes, the other is an eternall ornament which 

344 Appendix 

cannot be defaced. The same doeth Pluiarque teache in the life 
of Dkm, that more care is to bee taken for the hanging and 
adorning of the palace of the soule, then of the outwarde. And 
the same Philosopher did not muche out of the waye wame vs, 
that wee shoulde take heede that the skirt of our garments 5 
shoulde not carrie a stinche of life. 


II i 


ASCHAM (pp. 1-45). 

The story of the origin of the Schotemaster is told by Ascham 
in his Preface to the Reader (Mayor, pp. xiii-xatiii ; Giles, iii. pp. 
78-87). The purpose of the book is discussed at great length 
in a letter addressed by him to his friend Sturm in ? Dec, 1568 
(Giles, ii. pp. 174-91). The latter document is chiefly con- 
cerned \vith ' Imitation,' which Ascham appears to have con- 
sidered the main critical topic of his work. ' Scribis tu de 
Imitatione, et ego nonttihil cogito de eodem argumenio; sed tu 
absolute, eruditis iam ac viris; ego inchoate, rudibus adhuc et 
piieris.' After describing the plan of the book (see note, 
P- 35^)1 3nd informing Sturm that he has written in English, 
he proceeds — 

'In loco di Imitaliotu loHgiitsctdus isl Pracceptor meus. Faltlur st 
omtasfin el villus it rtteniis, qui di Imilalioniscnpstrt, cupidi ptrligisst ; 
prvbarr 31 ihhIIos, adtnirari viro Htmintm, prattir unum Sfurmium. 
Aliqidcerli rate, qui smlimiloHdi; stdquomodo insliluinda nil ipsa i»Bta»di 
ratio, soius docti Slurmius. Ifaque, si atnx ilia pirfectiom praeeiptorum, 
quai in Litersta Ain Nobilitale (/ Amissa diccndi Ratione pitnissimi 
tradila sunt, copiam tliam iximplarum coitiunxisses ; quid praileria nqui- 
rtndum issii, nen vidto. Namqut, ul in vilat tt morum ac in doctrintu tl 
studiorum ralioMt omni, longe plus possHnI iximpla quam praiapla. In 
iliamm vera remm sivt aiit, sine facultali, quae sola iiHilalioiu ptrfici 
videnlur, praectpla aulnMllum auipertxiguiimlialient locum, guuni eximpla 
isl/iic ml solilaria plant regnant. Pidons, aculplons, scriplons hoc el 
prudentir inltUlgani el perftdt praislanl. 

' Al^Hi Ht oratons iliaiti m horum Humtro colb>am tnovfl nonnulla 
ratio, lubet quae ilia est QuiHdiliani aucforilas : qui dicil, Gatonem (iiet 
Cictro de se hoe ips* loaf) iucundilaletn Isocratis, copiam Ptatoms, vim 
Demosthenis effinxisst; it ijingen, in imilalione ntctit propriam sedem 
habial, omnis videnl. Verum tmmvtro ostendert, it tudicare solum, ubi 
kocfacil Cicero, mediocris diUgtntiai, vulgaris it quohdiani est laboris. Hoc 
Perionius, Vidorius, Stephanus, il alii in (jceroni: hoe Macrobius, Htssus, 
It nu/ier diligiHlissime omnium Fulvivs Ursinus, in Virgilio : hoc accurali 
etiam Clemens Alexandrinus, jutnto aTpaiiiaTaiv in vtleribus Graecis Scri- 
pioribus anenlavil. Sid lit omnes fierinde sunt, ul optrarii el baiuli, qui, 
quum comportcnl tnateriam, deesse eerie in opere fadundo nan possuni, 

348 Notes 


merctdem lamtn ifia ptrtxiguam it landiHt quidtm tton 
Hureniur. (Cf. supra, p. 19.] 

■ Alqm doetri pirtpicut it ptrftett, qua rationt Cicero vtl Dtmosthmnn 
vel PlaloHitH imilalur; singulans,/alior, dodtinat, summi iudidi, it rami 
laudia existit. Std ha/c laus adhuc praiapHimis lota propria tst. Aliud 
nolo, plus nquiro. Ofifix nobis tl architrclus opus est, qui separata (om- 
imigm, rudta perpolin, it tolam ofius cOHSlmin, arHfidosa ratioru Hoeeril. 
El illud, mia arit opimoni, lioc ttiodo. " Hinc Dimosthenis locum, ilUne 
Ciceronis ptoduei eupio. Turn, digilo nrtijicis Hit primum dxcivolo ad to, 
quae itt ulmgue shhI aut ladem aul similiima. Da'ndi, quae SHnI m Aoc 
addita il quo cOHsilio ; lum, quai sunt ablata it quo iudicio. Poalrtmo 
quae sunt commulata ; el quo ac quam vario artifiao ; sivi id in vtriomm 
dilectH, sive in seHlenliarumJbnna, sine in tnembmrum drcumdHetioH*, ant 
i« argununlorutn ratioru consislal. Nic hho aut allero extmfilo coHUntus 
era. Numero mulla, gimra varia, ex Plalont, ex Isacrale, ex Denioslhtnt, 
tl ex Aiislolele in libris rhtlorids, exemfila expeio." (Cf, supra, p. 9.) 

' Palior Praeceptorem paratm essi in pratctplorum tradHiaru, modo 
liberalim si el largum in extmfilomiH koh solum produdiane, quod labaru 
est il diliginliac, verum eliam tractalione, quad est doelrinae el iudidi, 
ostendat. , , . 

' Equidim amplictorunia Ciceronis imilatioHim : sed eain dico elprimam 
ardine, itpratcipuam dignilale, qua Cicero ipse Graecos; non qua LacbmtitS 
oliiH, OmpAalius nuper, aut qua mullo filidus guidam Ilali, Galli, Lun- 
lani, el Angli CiceroHem sunt steuH, . . . Non possum probart toHsilimii 
Barlholomaii Ricdi Ftrrarimsis, doctissimi licet viri ; quiquum sic scr^anit 
di recta imilandi nliont, ul quum a Slurmio diseesstris, eaileris ohimAw 
tnea eerie opinione attlepoHtndus sit {pratrxpla mim eius omnia sunl Slur- 
miana, el ex luii /oHlibus hausia alque derivala), eximpla lamen malmS 
Longolii tx Cicerone, quam Ciceronis ex Platoni sibi proponrri ; it VirgSH 
ex Calullo, quam Vii^ii ex Hottiero productre , . . 

' Si vera opianm i^se fieri alltr Cicero {el opiare quidim nefas noH tst), 
ulfitmn, el qua ralione fiertm, guim potius ad eousilium mi/ii adMiiimti, 
quam ipsum Cictmram P . . . llli enim sirmo turn in Italia natus tst, 
sedt Graecorum disa'ph'na i'h Ilaliam traductus. . . . Unde evmit, ul sola 
Ciciionis oralio inter reUquos omnis Romanos, qui I'lli ailate aut sufiiriom, 
aul aiquales, aul supports fuin, non colore solum vemaatio pure timla, aid 
raroet transmarino quodam plene imtnia, tarn admirabililir resplindutinl, 

'Itaque, quum ipsa lingua Lalina.feiidssimo sua tempore, in ipsa Reluct 
in ipso Ciarone, ad summam perficlionem sine Graica lingua non pirvmil: 
cur quisquam in sola Latina quaeril, quod Cicito ipse absque Grotca noH 
intienitf . . . Sid ait quis^ "Rede quidem Cicero; nam ante eum, nnm 
fuit praitir Graecos, ad imilationem proponendus. Sed nunc /labtmus 
ipsum Cictronem, eumquidtm, cum univirsa Graecui, el cum singula guogiu 
Graecorum, in ea iloquentiae laude qua maxime quisque floruit, cotriptt' 
randum. Cur igiiur non dceronem solum mihi, variis illis Graitis n/uHt, 
ad imilandum proponerem ? " Aliquid est, quod dids. Ipse mim CimmidM 
praedpue imilandum volo ; sed luta via, sed reda ration!, auo orditu, mm 
loco. Etralionem meam, cur Hoetioto, itquomodo hoc volo, apiHi osftiuiam, 
Primum, si opiarem ipse alter fieri Cicero (quad ante dixi), qua ratioiu 
pollus fitnm. quam la ipsa, qua ipse Cicero fadus est Citero ? Hanc vwh 
eertam, cognilani, if ex[tdilam isse, opiimus leslis est ipse Cicero, . . . 

ate est ilia via, mea certi opinione, qua ad Ciceronis imilatiomtH rtttm 

Notes 349 

ptrgtHcbim tsi. Noti, qttotnodo Riaius osiatdii LoneoUum ficiist (Jioc at ul 
ips* puiai, exctlltnti ralioiu ; ul igo txislimo, vaiiu laudabililtr ; ul multi 
senliunt, irudiocriirr il lolirabdUtr i it Erasmus tl Paulus MaHuHus iudi- 
canl, iatfili, frigidi, it putrililar], ssd qua roHoru SiHrmna Cttmntm 
imilaHrium tsst, Il praiaplis in Literata rtobilitate pttftctt doal, tt ix- 
tmplis in Quinctiana Eiplicatioiie msfgniltr oslindil. . . . 

'Sid quorsum lanloptn, mi Sltimn,laborairiMS diimHaHtnu T guuni no» 
drsHnt, qui dodi il prudiHlis vidiri votunl, qui imilationim t/il Hu/lam issf 
pulanl, iwf nihUipmrsus mslimaHl, ml omHim lemin pmnixml, ml lam 
lolam, quoMunqui sil, cuiuscutiqut sil, ut sirvilim il puirilitH rrpHdianl. 
Sid hi sunt tl intrlts it imperiti; laionm fugiutti, atiiin nisduHl. . . . 
Arlis mitH it Hatttrai dissidiuM faaunl, quicunqui casu Hon dilectu, fartuilo 
noH obstrvaHoni, in Ktirarum sludiis virsantur. Isti idim sintiunt di 
iliganti ilia iloquiHliai parti, quai in MuiHrrorum ratiom collocota isl ; 
illam mim aul nullatn issi voluni, aut inanmi ornHim iudicant. El 
aurium sinsum aim artifidoso el iHliIHgmli animi iudido nihil caiiimiivii 
haberi ixislimant.' 

He proceeds to lament the loss of the books of Dionysius of 
Halicamassus, De I'miiatione et oraloria e! historica, and to pass 
in review Christophorus Longolius, Budaeus, Erasmus, Paulus 
Manutius, Petrua Victorius, Jovita Rapicius, author of the De 
Numero Oratorio, Carolus Sigonius, Giambattista Pigna, and 
Angelio Pietro da Barga (Bargaeus). All, except Manutius, 
Pigna, and Bargaeus, appear in the English text (see notes) ; 
but of Manutius he says : Gaudeo Praeceptorem Meum loqui 
Anghce : nt, quum fatn libere dtssenHi hac in re a ManuHo, lanlum 
/lomitum offenderei: tamen Manutium non nominal. The refer- 
ences to Pigna are concerned only with his views on Horace's 
Ars Poctica [aureolum Horatii librum), Aristotle's Rhetoric, and 
QuatsHones Sophocleae, Ascham appears to be unaware of 
Pigna's more important apology for the methods of Ariosto 
in / Rotnanei {1554), or is perhaps unwilling to dispute with 
him on these matters of ' bold bawdrye ' {see p. 4), He names 
Bargaeus for his doctissimos commmtarios in erudiiuin ilium 
Demetrii libellum de Elocutions. 

1. Eu^ii^c. Lyly is indebted to this passage for his Euphues. 
Ascham's definition is built up from classical usage, e.g. Plato, 
Aristotle, and especially Plutarch (Moralia, ed. Xylander, 
p. 81 D], but in its completeness of application has some claim 
to originality. Cf, the companion definition- in Estienne's 
Thesaurus, which appeared in 1572. 

a, ao-g. Cf. Toxophilus, ed. Giles, ii. p. 150. 

8. 36. ' In our forefathers tyme,' &c. Cf. the similar passage 

^o Notes 

in the Preface to Toxophilus ('To all Gentlemen and Yeomen 

of England'), ed. Giles, ii. pp. 7-8. See Nash, infra, p. 323; 
Gosson, Playes Confuted, Roxb. Libr. p. 172 ; Jonaon, New Inn, 
i. I. For the argument that Ascham in his attack on Italian 
books is thinking especially of Painter's Palace of Pleasure, see 
Mr. Jacobs's edition of Painter, i. six, xsiv. 

4, 3. bold bawdrye : apparently not Ascham's own phrase. Cf. 
Sir Thomas Elyot, speaking of those 'that suppose that in the 
warkes of poetes is contayned nothynge but baudry (suche is 
their foule worde of reproche) and unprofitable leasinges' (TAe 
Gouernoiir, ed. Croft, i. 133). 

7. 30. De Republica, 393D. 

8. 37. See the Epislolae, No. 1708, and the Preface to his 
' Demosthenes.' 

30. See Macrobios, Saturnalia, Bk. V. 

35. Eobanus Hessus. Helius Eobarns Hessus (1488-1540) 
here interests Ascham as the editor of Theocritus. Cf. infra, 
p. 18, ]■ 35, and p. 20, I. 15. His annotations on the Bucolics 
and Ceorgics were printed in 1529. He had considerable 
reputation as a poet ' Potest et terra nostra Germania,' 
writes Lilius Gyraidus, ' gloriari Hello Eobano Hesso, poeta 
insigni, cuius complura passim leguntur poemata non in Ger- 
mania modo, sad et in Italia et Gatlia ' {De Poelis, ed, Wotke, 
p. 69). His editions of the Psalms and his Medicinae Latts {ex 
Erasmo) were frequently reprinted. His Life is written by 

9. 30. Kindly references to Sir John Cheke (1514-57) are very 
frequent in Ascham's writings. He had been Ascham's tutor 
(P- 39. '■ 33)- See pp. bi (I. 31), 44 (I. 27 and note). 

32. lo. Si. loannes Sturmius. His De Imilaliotie Oratoria 
Libri Tres was printed at Strassburg in 1574. His Poeticum 
primum [secundum . . . sexfum] volumen cum lemmalibus (Strass- 
burg, 1565) was very popular, and his nine-volume edition of 
Cicero (1557) and the earlier In parliliones oratorios Ciceronia 
Dialogiduo (Strassburg, 1539) gave him an authoritative stand- 
ing in the Ciceronian controversy. See note lo p, 13, 1. 31. 

10. 23. piteling. Cf pickling, infra, p. 43, 1. 25. The sense 
seems to be ' piddling' (cf. ii. p. 248, 1. 31), but no other examples 
of these forms have been recorded. 

Notes 351 

35. Ad Alticunt, iv. 13. i. 
11. 10. Ep.adP.L. 1.9. 23; Ep.adAli. iv. 16.2; DeOrat.L 
55. »■ 152. 153. 160. 

25. De Oral. i. 7. a8. 

3a. £yiis(. iv. 16. 
13. 2. Z»e Orai. ii. 89, &c. 

3. Ora/. ad Bntfum, 40, ^c, 172, &c. 

4, Cf. infra, p. 45, 1. 14. See Cic. Bmt. passim, also Quint. 

10. Quint X. 2. 

16. Especially in his Dialogus cut tilulus Ciceronianus ; sive 
de Optimo genere dicendi. See the Dedication. 

17. Longolius (Christopher Longueil de Malines) wrote a 
Commentary on Cicero's i?Arioni:(i54i) and published an edition 
of the Letters to Atticus (1549), which with his own Letters gave 
him a high contemporary reputation as a Ciceronian. 'Audio 
Longolium iuvenem Macliniensem,' says Gyraldus, ' inter bar- 
baros natum et altum ita bonas litteras amplecti, ut nisi adversa 
valetudo obstet, brevi sit Latinae linguae non parum adlaturus 
ornament! ' (ed, Wotke, p. 4a). He edited Quintilian, and pub- 
lished in 1562 the Libri Elegantiarum of Lorenzo Vatla. See 
the references in Ascham's letter to Sturm, supra, p. 348, and 
in Harvey, ii. p. 248, 11. 5, 7. 

20. Bud<eus (Guillaume Bude, 1467-1540). Ascham refers 
to his Commenfarii linguae Craecae (Paris, 1529) in the First 
Book (ed. Mayor, p. 6) ; here, and in his Letters, to the Com- 
mentaries on Cicero's Letters. His complete works, critical, 
philosophical (theological), and juridical, were collected by 
Coelius Secundus Curio {4 vols. fol. Basle, 1557)- 

24. Philip MelatKthon (1497-1560) discusses Imitation in his 
Elemmtorum Rhetorices Libri II (Wittenberg, 1531)- 

25. Camerarius (Joachimus), 1500-74, published several 
editions of Greek and Latin classics, including Aesop, Cicero, 
Macrobius, Plautus, and Terence, and a volume De Imilatione, 
Comment, in Tullii Tusculan, His chief historical value ties in 
his Letters, his Narratio de H. Eobano Hesso, comprehendens 
meniionem de compluribus illius aetatis doctis el eruditis viris 
(Nuremb. 1553), and his Lt/e of Melancthott (Leipzig, 1566). 

27. lo. Sambucus (d. 1584). His book De Imilatione Cicero- 

^a Notes 

niatta, Dialogi Tres (Paris, 1561) passed through many editions. 
An edition of Plautus appeared in 1566, and a commentary on 
Caesar in 1574, Earlier in the Scfiolemaster (ed. Mayor, p. 127) 
Ascham refers to liis annotated paraphrase of the /Irs Poetica 
(Antwerp, 1564), See also note to ii. p. 323, 1. 4. 

39. Cotiesius (Paolo Corteae], 1465-1510, Bishop of Urbino. 
author of a commentary on Peter Lombard and a treatise 
on the Cardinalate. Cortesius's letter, which Ascham ap- 
proves, is criticized at considerable length by Erasmus in 
his Ciceroniattus. Gabriel Harvey in his CicerottiaHus (24) ta.kes 
the other side. The tests are printed in the editions of Poli- 
tian's Letters. Paolo Cortese must not be confused with another 
CorCese (Gregorio, originally Giambattista), 1483-1548, also 
Bishop of Urbino, and of the same family, and author of a 
volume of Letters (Venice, 1573). Paolo had two brothers, 
Alessandro, a poet, and Lattanzio, who wrote a commentary 
on Caesar. 

30. Bembus ad Picum. This letter on ImitalioH {De irMita- 
tione sermonis) and another by Pico are printed in the editions 
of the Episiolae of Bembo. 

31. loem. Slurtnius, &c. The De amissa dicendi rations el 
quotnodo ea recuperanda sit, his first original work, apfieared in 
1538, The Nobilitas titlerata was printed at Strassburg in 1549, 
and was Englished by ' T. B.' in 1570. See also note to p. 9, 1. 3a, 

14, 12. Barikolomaeus Riccius Frrrarimsis (Bartolommeo Ricci 
of Lugo). His De imitatione b'bri tres, ad Alfonsttm Alestium prin- 
eipem, &c. (i.e. his pupil, son of Duke Ercole II of Ferrara), was 
issued from the Aldine press at Venice in 1545. His Latin 
lexicon, Apparatus Latinae Locutionis, had appeared in 1533. 
He was a friend of Lilius Gyraldus, who refers to him at the 
beginning of his De Poetis (ed. Wotke, pp. 2-3). See the letter 
to Sturm, supra, p. 348. 

21-2. Cf. p. 30, II, 6-7. good c/ieape, cheaply, Fr. d don 
march/. Cf. 1 Hen. IV, iii. 3. 51. 

Cf. the Sckokmasler, Bk. I, p. 59(ed. Mayor), where, speaking 
of ' the pastimes that be fitte for Courtlie Jentlemen,' he adds. 
' But of all kinde of pastimes fitte for a Jentleman, I will, God 
willing, in fitter place, more at large, declare fullie, in my booke 
of the Cockpitte,' Ascham's favourite amusement was well 

Notes 353 

kno\vn to his literary contemporaries. Cf. Sir Thomas Smith 
toHaddon(Bordeaux, 6"' April, 1565) 'QwfrfawfeWi^V^sirAowMS 
tuus, item ac meus ? .. . Credo vera gallos suos ila ilium excattlasse, 
ut amicorutu suorunt frorsum sil oblitus {Haddoni Episl. yy]). 
Fuller, in his Worthies, laments that ' in his old age he [Ascham] 
exchanged [Archery] for a wor^e pastime, neither so healthful! 
for his body, nor profitable for his purse, I mean Cock-fighting' 
{ed. 1662, p. 209). 

16. 35. For the loci in the wrangle about the merits of Greek 
and Latin see the excellent note in Mr. Mayor's edition of the 
Sehokmaster (1863), pp. 244-B. 

17. 26, &c. Cf. Niaolian Paper-bookes in Sidney, infra, p. 20a, 
1, 16 (note). 

31. one labour. See Erasmus, Adagia, s, 'Herculei labores.' 

32. namelie, i.e. 'especially.' Cf. p. 45, 1. 9. 

Chiliades, Apophthegmata, and Simlia, i.e. Adagiorum Cki- 
by Grafton, in 154a; and Parabolarum siveSimilium liber {ii^so). 

18. 7. De Oral. iii. 38. 

Bg. Perioniua {loacliimus) is best known by his edition of 
Aristotle (1563) and his Dialogi de linguae gallicae origine 
eiusque cum Graeca cogttatiom (Paris, 1555). He printed selec- 
tions from Plato and Livy. Ascham probably refers to his 
De Optimo genere inlerpretandi (Paris, 1540). See Aseham's 
letter to Sturm, supra, p. 347 ; and Harvey, ii. p. 245, 1. 9. 

Henr.StephanusindictioHarioCiceroHiano, i.e. Henri Estienne 
(second of the name) in his Cicerottiartum Lexicon Graecolalinum, 

P. Victorius . . . de varia kcHom. Pietro Vettori (the elder), 
1499-1585, printed his Variorum Leciionum libriXXVai Florence 
in 1553. By 1582 it had been expanded to thirty-eight books. 
His work was mainly editorial (Aristotle, Cicero, Terence, 
Varro, Sallust, &c.). 

35. Macrobius, Hessns. Cf. p. 8, 11. 30, 35. 

19. 14. Cf. Aseham's letter to Sturm, ed, Giles, ii. p. 189. 

20. 32. Mr. Mayor appears to be right in saying 'There is 
no statement of the kind in Diogenes ' (Schokmaster, p. 249). 

21. 18. Tomitanus, Bernardino Tomitano(i5o6-76),aphysician 
andscholarof Padua, wrote /«^TOrfMrfio«M(3rfSq^/;;sAros£/««c/iiM 

CI. SK. I A a 

^4 Notes 

ArisioleKs, but is best known by his vernacular works Quattro 
h'bri della lingua Thoscana (Venice, 1545), Ragionamenti delta 
Ungiia Toseana (1545), and Discorso mtomo all' eloqumza {1554)- 

31. Redman, Dr. John (1499-1551), of St. Johp's College, 
Cambridge, first Master of Trinity. See p. 313, 1. 3a 

Cheke. See note to p. 9, 1. 30, and p. 44, 1. 27. 

Smith, Sir Thomas {1313-77), Regius Professor of Civil 
Law, who with Cheke shared the honour of upholding Classical 
scholarship at Cambridge: one of 'The two eyes of this 
University' (Harvey in his CiVerowawMs, 43) — 'duo propugna- 
cula. duo ornamenta eruditionis, literarum, Academiae Angliae' 
{Vila Aschami, 30). See note to p. 102, 1. 34. 

HaddoH, Walter (1516-72). 

WalsoH, Thomas (1513-84), Master of St John's, Bishop of 
Lincoln, author of AbsoloH (see p. 23, 1. 31, note) ; not to be con- 
founded with the author of the 'EnaToititaBla, or the Passion^ 
Cmlurie of Love. See note to p. 316, !, 8, and Index. 

23. 3. Cf. ante, p. ai, 1. 31, note. See also Ascham's Letters 
to Cheke, passim. 

7, these three. Cf. Quintil. xii. 10 (§ 636). See also Scaliger, 
Poelice, iv. chaps, xvi-xxi. 

31, iVatson , , . Tragedie q/" Absalon, in Latin (ante, p. ai). 
See other references by Index. He also translated the first 
book of the Odyssey into English verse. See the Scholentaster, 
Bk. I (ed. Mayor, p. 71), where Ascham gives a specimen. 

33. Is this the first known reference in English to Aristotle's 
Poetics } 

24. 7. The Ifphlkes of George Buchanan (1506-81), written 
not later than 1554. was printed at the Plantin Press and by 
the Stephani in 1566, and often later. See Freebaim's edition 
of the Works, 1715. Cf. Sidney, infra, p. aoi, 1, 4. 

24. 8, &c. Mr. E. K. Chambers thinks this may be John 
Christopherson, afterwards Bishop of Chichester (see Mediaeval 
Stage, ii. 195, nole). 

aa. The MS. is said to have been at Penshurst in i860 (see 
Haliiwell, Did. of Old English Plays, p. a) ; but Mr. E. K. 
Chambers points out that it is not recorded in the Hist. MSS. 
Comm. Report (iii. App. 227), and that it is probably identical 
with the B.M. Stowe MS. 957 {Mediaeval Stage, u. s., ii. 458), 

Notes 355 

25. 13. Carolus Sigonius hath written of late. Carlo Sigonio, 
also known as (Bemardinus) Lauredanus, 1524-84, printed his 
De Dialago at Venice in 1561. The Oraliones Septein C. Sigonii 
appeared in the previous year (Aldus, Venice), and his Disputa- 
lionum palavinarum lib. [ii] at Padua in 156a. He translated 
Aristotle's R/ieloricinlo Latin. His complete works were edited 
by Muratori (6 vols,, Milan, 1732-7). See ii. p. 346, 1. 24. 

15. ' Notes of Sturm's lectures, which Ascham procured in 
London, a. d. 1547 (Episl. 14) ; they have not been printed ' 
(Mayor, Scholemaster, p. 261). 

25. Tltpi lifuv, i. I. Sturm's very popular edition of Hermo- 
genes, the rhetorician, was probably the quarry for most of the 
references to that writer. 

26. 23, &c. 'At oratio ac vis formsis, perfectumque prosae elo- 
qtientiae decus, ut idem separetur Cato, . . . ita utiiversa sub principe 
opens sui ^rupil TulUo, ut deUctari ante eum paucissimis, mirari 
vera neminem possis, nisi ant ab iUo visum, aul qui ilium videril.' 
Veil. Pat. Hint. Rom. i. 17. 

27. 3a TAree thinges. Cf. p. 35, IL 18-19. 

28. ao. Cf. Episl. ad All. vii. 3. la. Cf. also Quintil. i. i (licet 
TereiiHi scripta ad Scipionem AJricatium referantur). 

29. 14. Quintil. X. I (§ 513). 

16. Ars Poet. 268-9. 

30. beggerly tyming, &c. See also bk. i (ed. Arber, p. 73), 
Cf. the Spenser- Harvey Letters, Webbe, Campion, and Daniel, 
by Index. Blenerhasset in his Induction in the Mliror for 
Magistrates speaks of the ' Gotish kinde of ryming.' 

31. Cf. p. 32, 1,21. 

30. 6. Cf, ante, p. 14, 11. 21-z. 

8. Ascham calls Chaucer 'our English Homer' in Toxo- 
philus (Giles, ii. 42), and adds, ' I ever thought his sayings to have 
as much authority as either Sophocles or Euripides in Greek.' 

8, Thomas Norton of Brislow ; not to be confounded with 
Sackville's collaborator. Cf Webbe (p. 242, 1. 32), He wrote 
in 1477 a poem entitled The Ordinal, or Manual of Chemical 
Art. See the article in the D. N. B. i also Warton, ed. 1824, 
ii. 447. 

9. Thomas Phaer, See note top. 137,1.29, and cf. Gascoigne, 
Webbe, and Puttenham, by Index. 


356 Notes 

10. Palingenius {Marallus), i.e. Pietro Angelo Manzolll. 
The ZodiacHs Vitae pulcharimum opus M. Palingem SMlati 

poetae (i Venice, 1531), of which there are innumerable editi 
was translated by B. Googe in 1560 {First thru books), 1561 (First 
six books), and 1565 ( T/ie Zodiacke of Life . . .), 

ao. wordes of one syllable. See Index for references in 
these volumes lo the monosyllabic character of English (s. v. 
Monosyllables). Cf. Dryden, Discourse concerning Satire (ed. 
Scott and Saintsbury, xiii. lai). 

26. Quinti!. ix. 3 (§ 478). 

33. Carhien Exametrum ,. .in our English long. YetAscham 
in his Toxophilus gives a few examples from his own pen. 

31. 5. Probably a reference to the passage in Cicero's Brittus, 

33. II. SimmiasRkodius...46v. See Webbe and Puttenham, 
by Index. The title refers only to the shape of the verse, and 
not, as Ascham and his copiers have it, to the subject. Nor is 
the piece in rhyme. 

21, Hunnes and Golhians. See p. 29, 1. 31. 

24. See note to p. 283, 1. 9. 

25. Gousalua Peris . translating the Vtisses of Homer. 
Gonfio Perez issued his translation in 1553 {La Vlyxea de 
Homero . . . tradusida ...en Romance Castellano). It was several 
times reprinted in the sixteenth century. Meres borrows this 
passage (see vol. ii. p. 314, 1. 33). See letter from Ascham to 
G. Periz, Feb. 20, 1565 (Giles, ii. 108). 

33. II. Senese Felice Figliucci, i.e. Felice Figliucci, Sanese (of 
Sienna), whose volume, Delia filosojia morale a commentary 
in Italian ori the Ethics, appeared at Rome in 1551. He also 
translated the Philippics of Demosthenes (Rome, 1551). See 
Tiraboschi, vii. 837, 2323. The plea for classical metres was 
fully advanced earlier by Claudio Tolomei in his Verst e Regale 
delta Nuova Poesia Toscana, 1539, and by his friends of the 
Accademia della Ni40va Poesia. Daniel notes this (see infra, ii. 
p. 368, 1. 34l- 

26. And yet the Prologues of Ariosto's Negromante and 
Cassaria are in classical form. Earlier examples by Leonardo 
Dati and others are extant. 

34. ao-i. Cic Epist. ad Ail. iv. 16 (towards end). 

I uati and c 

^ 34. ao-i 

Notes 357 

25. 'Std iios veri iuris, gertnanaeque iusHttae soUdain et 
txpressam egigiem nullam Unemus: umbra el imagimbus uHmur: 
eas ipsas utinant seqiuremur.' femnlur eiiim ex opiimis naturae et 
veiitalis exemplis.' De Officiis, iii. 17 {§ 69). 

3S. iB. Cf. the similar metaphor in Toxopkilus (Giles, ii. 147). 

88. 32. in these wordes. Acad. Qiiaesi. i, 3, j 9. 

39. 3. ' Fabricius {Bibt. Gr. Harles, iv. 383, note d) has pointed 
out Ascham's error iti confounding the historian with Varro's 
freedman of the same name {Epist. 9), an error common to him 
with Fras. Philelphus. Dionysius says himself (i. 7) that he 
came to Rome "in ^M^s'us dayes"; but for Aschiim's statement 
respecting Varro's hbrary {here and Epist. 9) there seems to be 
no other ground than his occasional citations from Varro' 
(Mayor, p. 265). 

20. Civ. Dei, vi. 3. 

40.6. See the section ' Qui primi legendi' in Quintil. ii. 5 (85). 

16. Quintil. X. 3 (525). Cf. Saintsbury, Hist. ofCril. ii. 151. 

29, &c. ' He that will write well in any tongue must follow 

this counsel of Aristotle, to speak as the common people do, to 

think as wise men do,' Toxophilus, 'To all Gentlemen and 

Yeomen of England ' (Giles, ii. 7). 

41. 19, 26. See Quintil. viii. 3 (jj 391, 393). 
33. So Gellius, i. 15. 18 (' novalor verborum '). Ascham ap- 
pears to be borrowing frotii him here. Cf. exacle (I. 35), which 
is not Sallustian. 

42. 21. Quintilian (from whom Ascham borrows) gives this 
example in the section ' Graecanicae figurat' (ix. 3). 

43. 25. pickling. See note to p. 10, 1. 23. 

44. 4 and 9. Episi. ad Alt. vii. 3. 

37. those reules. A supplement to these critical remarks 
is found in Cheke's letter to Thomas Hoby, July 16, 1557 
(printed at the end of The Courtier, 1561):— '. . . I am of this 
opinion that our own tung shold be written cleane and pure, 
vnmixt and vnmangeled with borowing of other tunges, wherein 
if we take not heed bi tijm, euer borowing and neuer payeng, 
she shall be fain to keep her house as bankrupt. For then doth 
our tung naturallie and praisablie vtter her meaning, when she 
bouroweth no conterfeitness of other tunges to attire her self 
withall, but vseth plainlie her own with such shift, as nature 

358 Notes 

crall, experiens, and folowing of other excellent doth lead faer 
vnto: and if she want atani tijm (as being vnperfight she must), 
yet let her borow with suche bashfulnes, that it mai appeer that, 
if either the mould of our own tung could serue us to fascion 
a woord of our own, or if the old denisoned wordes could 
content and ease this neede, we wold not boldly venture of 
vnknoiven wordes. This 1 say not for reproof of you, who haue 
scarslie and necessarily vsed whear occasion serueth a strange 
word so, as it seemeth to grow out of the matter and not to be 
sought for ; but for mijn own defeos, who might be counted 
ouerstraight a deemer of thinges, if I gaue not thys accompt to 
you, mi freend and wijs, of mi marring this your handiwork . . .' 
This passage and the conversation reported by Ascham are 
the only critical deliverances by Cheke preserved in the verna- 

45. 3- mase and muse. Cf. Heywood, Epigramntes, ' Brought 
to this tricker nother muse nor mase' (ed. Spens. Soc, p, 107),- 

26. example to follow, i.e. Cicero (ante, p. 25, 1. 3a). 

The Sc/iolemaster, as we have it, is incomplete, and was 
probably left unfinished by Ascham, though he had promised to 
discuss ' particularlie of everie one ' of the six sections named 
ante, p. 5. According to the plan which he communicated to 
Sturm about Dec. 1568, there were to be eight divisions. 
* Gradus sunt hi; primus, linguarum versio .... SequutUur 
reliqui Gradus, Paraphrasis, Metaphrasis, Epilome, ImiUUio, Com- 
mentaHo, ScripUo, et Declumatio' (Giles, ii. 177). 

WiLLEs (footnote, pp. 46-7). 
47. Cf. Harvey, infra, i. p. 136 ; Fraunce, inl 
and Puttenham, infra, ii. p. 95 et seq. 

Gascoicne (pp. 46-57) 
[The notes in Gabriel Harvey's hand are here marked (H.) : 
others, on the same copy, which appear to be in a hand rather 
olderthan Harvey's, are marked (N.). I am indebted lo Miss 
Toulmin Smith for the collation of the text and for a copy 
of these manuscript jottings.] 

I older thar 

fe Toulmin 

^^^^ of these 1 



46, 4. ' Aduertisements, worth the reading Be examining'(H.). 

47. 7, ' Pregnant & notable points ' (H.). 

Cf. Ronsard, Abregi de Fart poelique franfois (1565), ' Tu 
auras en premier lieu les conceptions hautes, grandes, beiles, et 
non tralnantes a terre. Car le principal poind est I'invention, 
laqueiie vient tant de la bonne nature, que par la le^oo des bona 
et anciens autheurs,' &c. See the notes to James VI's Reulis, 
infra, p. 210, 11. 5-13, p. aai, ch. vii. 

9. Inuenlio salsa. A liquid laufum, rarutn, el singulare {N.). 

1 1. Prologue to Persones Tale (Oxford Chaucer, iv. p. 568 : 
and see note, vol. v. p. 446). 

48, 5. Inventio rara, non vulgaris (N.). Contemnenda Musa 
vulgaris: praesertitn in tanta messe exquisitorum Ingenionim 

a tale of a fubbe. For early examples of this phrase see 
Mr. Ward's Eng. Dram. Lit. ii. 379, note. 

10- la, ' Nolo' {H.): in xaargm,' In hoc genereLuciattus excellt- 
bats et post eum plerique Itali: fttaxime Poelae (N.) — apparently 
referring to the words Irita el obuia. 

17, &,c. ' Aretinus voluit albis equis praecurrei-e, el esse Vnicas 
in suo quodatn Ayperbolico genere: Petrarcha, Ariostus, Tassus, 
plus habent el civilis ingenii et heroici animi. Nouissime etiam 
Salltislitis Bartasiiis, in lingua Gallicn, ipse est Homerus diuinus. 
Nihil unquam tale in Gallia ' (H.). 

35. 'A non sequilur' (H.). Indecorum. See Dote to p. 59, 

49. 3 (Top margin) 'The diEFerence of the last verse from 
the rest in euerie stanza, a grace in the Faerie Queen ' (H.). 

(Side margin) 'The measure all one thoroughowte ' (N.). 
7. (Bottom margin) ' His aptest partition had bene into 

! Inventio II. 
Elocution. And the seueral rules of both, to be 
sorted and marshialled in their proper places. He doth 
prettily well: but might easely haue don much better, both 
in the one, and in the other: especially by the direction of 
Horaces and Aristotles Ars Foetica' [H,). 

13, 16. xij, xiiij, xiiij. (In margin) 'An errour (if an 
error) in sum few Eclogues of Sir Philip Sidney' (H,). 

19. Over 'emphasis' H. writes 'Prosodie.' (In the margin) 

360 Notes 

'TTie naturall and ordinary Emphasis of euery word, as uiolSntly ; 
not uiolentiy' (N.). Cp. note to p. 102, 1. 23. 

34. ' As I haue heard sum straungers, and namely French- 
men, pronounce it Treasiire, sed inipte ' (N.). 

50. 4-5. Cf. 1. 37, and see note to p. 267, II. 6-15, 
6. ' The onhe verse in esse ' (H.). 

g. ' The reason of menie a good uerse marred in Sir Philip 
Sidney, M. Spenser, M. Fraunce, and in a manner all owr 
Ktcellentest poets : in such words as heaufin, fuil, diufil, and 
the like; made dyssyllables, contrarie to their natural pro- 
nunciation' (H.). 

19, lo the tare. 'So M. Spenser and Sir Philip, for the 
most part' (H.)- 'Our poems only Rymes; & not verses, 
Aschami querela (N.) : et mea post ilium Reformatio ; post me 
Sidneius, Spenseriis, Francius' (H.). 

51. 18, &c. ' Non placet. A greater grace and Maiesty in 
longer wordes, so they be current inglish. Monasyllables ar 
good to make vpp a hobling and hudling uerse ' (N.)- 

aa. Cf. Gascoigne's Steel Clas (ed. Arber, p. 77): — 

' That Grammer grudge not at our english long, 
Bycause it stands by Monosyllaba.' 

24. Inkehome. The common Elizabethan phrase 'inkhorn 
termes' was perhaps established by Wilson in his Arte of 
Rltetorique{i553), though it occurs earlier {see iV. £.0.). ' Ink- 
homism' is frequent in Nash and Harvey (cf. vol. ii. p. 431) 
and Hall. Florio uses 'inkpot tearmes' in his definition of 
' pedanlaggine.' 

aS. ' Sir Philip Sidney and M. Spenser, of mie opinion ' (H.). 

30-1. 'Idem ante in s Regula' (N.). 

52. 10. 'A pithie rule in Sir Philips Apologie for Poetrie. 
The Inuention must guide & rule the Elocution: non con- 
tra' (H.). 

14, &c. Sidney is thinking of such methods in Aslrophel 
and Stella, quoted infra, in note to p. 202, II. 3-8. 

2a. (At end of 5 7) 'f/ocHftort' (H.). 

23. 'Tropes and figures lende an especial! grace to a 
uerse '(N.). 

Gallant & fine * (H.> 


Notes 361 

'Persecuting of our figure too mutely: bald, and 
childish "(N.). 

Ne quid nimis. See ii. p. 161, 1. 15. 

53. 3. (At end of § 9} 'Spenser hath reuiued uncouth, 
tehilom, of yore, for/Ay' (H.). 

4-9. (In margin of § 10) 'The stile sensible and signifi- 
cant ; gallant & flowing' (H.). 

10-32. (In margin of § 11) ' And yet we use to say, " He 
is of the bludd royal," anA not "He is of the roiall bludd": he is 
htier apparaat to the Crowne, and not he is apparant heier to 
the Crowne r Rime Roiall, in regula 13 et 14 (N.), not royal 
ryme' (H.). 

54. I. turkenetk, altereth. Cf. Gascoigne : 'And for ihe rest 
you shall fmd it now in this second imprinting so turquened 
and turned, so clensed from all unclenly wordes . . .' {Posies, 
' Epist. lo Reuerend Diuines,' 1575). This rare word occurs at 
least twice in Golding's De Momay (15&7), pp. 353. 368 (' If they 
chaunce to stumble vpon some good saying for manera or for 
the hfe of man, they turkin it a thousand waies to make it seem 
good for thir purpose"), and once in Rogers's 39 Articles (1607), 
pref p. 24. See Prof Skeat's article in Notes and Queries, 6th 
Ser, V. 165 (4 Mar. 18B2). The etymology is uncertain. Such 
a formation from Fr. torquer, L. torqueo would be unusual, 

3. 'dissyllaba pro monosyllabis ' (N.). 

7. (End of 5 12) 'All theise in Spenser and mame like: 
but with discretion : & tolerably, though sumtime not greatly 
commendably ■ (H.). 

12. Musicians. Cf. Ronsard [apropos of masculine and 
feminine rhymes) in his Abregi. With him ctsure is practically 
elision (' une certaine cesure de la voyelle * '). 

ai. (End of § 13) 'A special note in Sir Philips ^/o/o^V 
for Pottrie' [H.). 

32. 'The Inglish Pentameter' (H.). 

31. 'Ryme Royal still carrieth the credit for a gallant & 
stately verse ' (H.). 

55. 24. Gascoigne is of course out in his etymology. The older 
French form inrtli was falsely associated with virer and lai. 

30. ' Rather better Ihan the royal ' (H.). 
34. Gascoignes voyage into Holland {\^-}3). 

362 Notes 

35. 'Sir Philip vscth this kind often: as in Astrophil, 

Arcadia' tH.). 

56. 6. N. writes oppwsite ' Poulters measure.' 

11. (End of § 14) 'Mr. Phaers Virgil in a braue long 
verse, stately and flowing : the King of owr Inglish metri- 
cians' (H.). See note to p. 30, 1. 9, 

22. (Bottom) ' Gaudenl breuitate modemi. Spenser doth sum- 
time otherwise, and commendably, as the matter kadeth, the 
verse floweth, or other circumstance will beare it owt ' (H,). 

35. Gascoigne, it wi!l be noted, does not give a formal 
definition of ' riding rime,' as he does in other cases, 

33, &c. ' The difference of rymes, according to the differ- 
ence of ihe matters subject' (H.). 

57. 9. ' Or sum heroical discourse, or statelie argument ' (H.). 

12. affying, trusting, confiding. 

Whetstone (pp. 58-60). 

58. 8. Sir Humphrey Gilbert (? 1539-83) the navigator, step- 
brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. Cf. Harvey, ii. 361, 38, Stc. 

Whetstone's friend Gascoigne had published, in 1576, A 
Discourse of a new Passage to Calaia [Cathay] ; WriUtn by 
Sir Humfrey Gilberl, Knight. Gascoigne informs us, in the 
Preface, that he had interested himself in the matter 'because 
I vnderstode that M. Fourboiser [i. e. Frobisher] (a kinsman 
of mine) did pretend to trauaile in the same Discouerie.' 

15. Promos and Cassandra is based on the eighty-fifth 
novel of Giraldi Cintio's Heca/otnntifhi, which Whetstone also 
translated in his HeptanterOH 0/ Ciui/l Discourses {i^a). Shake- 
speare's Measure/or Measure is founded on Whetstone's play. 

59. 15. Cp. p. 79, 1. 31 ; p. 333, 1. 17, and ii. p. 309, 1. 13. 

21. Cemtaine. Cf. p. 84, I. 13. Mr. A. W. Ward (Eng. 
Dram. Lit. i. 216, &c.) points out that the objection to the 
Gerttiaine is the same as that brought against English plays 
by Northbrooke in his Treatise (infra, p. 61). 

37. Cf. p. 197, 1, 29 ; ii, p. 389, 1. 23. So Boileau in his Art 
pE>^i^ife,iii. 41, apropos of the Spanish drama; and D'Aubignac 

Notes 363 


in his Pratique du Thidtre, ii. 7, giving a sketch of a play in j 

which the hero is born and 'gels children,' ) 

33. Cf. Sidney, infra, 199. 5. Also Hall, Satires, i. 3; and The \ 

Pilgrimage to Parnassus, v (1. 671, &c.). Whetstone uses /nde- , 
corutn (60. 1) in the specific sense intended by the generality 
of Renaissance critics. See Decorum, by Index. 

[In 1584 Whetstone published his Touchstone for the Time 
(see p. 63), in which he allies himself with the anti-stage 

Thomas Lodge (pp. 61-86). 

62. (Headnote) Playes Confuted. Gosson calls Lodge William 
on the title-page and in the text (p. 171). 

63. (Headnote) The list may be supplemented by Tlu French 
Academie . . . by Peter de la Primaudaye . . . newly translated into 
English by T[homas] £[owes], London, 1566. ' And I think it 
wii not be far from the matter, if we say that it is a shameful 
thing to suffer amongst us, or to loose time that ought to be 
so precious unto us, in beholding and in hearing plaiers, 
actors of Interludes and Comedies, who are as pernitious a 
piagtie in a common wealth as can be imagined. For nothing 
marreth more the behavior, simplicitie, and natura! goodnes of 
any people than this, bicause they soone receiue into their soules 
a liuely impression of that dissolutenes and villanie which they 
see and heare, when it is ioyned with wards, accents, gestures, 
motions, 6l actions, wherewith players and iuglers know how 
to inrich, by all kind of artificiall sleights, the fihhiest and most 
dishonest matters, which commonly they make choice of. And 
to speek freely in few wordes, we may truely say, that the 
th^tre of players is a school ai all unchastnes, uncleannes, 
whoredom, craft, subtletie, and wickednes (p. ai6).' 

I. The allusion to Protogenes and Apelles is based upon 
the story in Pliny, xxxv. 10. See also Carlo Da''"" C-'- d£ 
Pittori Atilicki, Florence, 1730 ('Vita di Prot' 
infra, p. 326, 1. 16. 

63. 5. Cr. ii. p. 270, 11. i-a. 

61. 5. Gossan's Schoole of Abuse (see 

^^^^ Elizab« 
^^^k the Ser 

364 Notes 

Stationers' Hall on July 2a, 1579 (Arber). It was followed 
on Nov. 7 by his composite volume, Ephemerides of Phialo and 
A Short Apologie (see p. 63), in the first portion of which he 
attacks the SIraunge News out of Affrick (ib.), and in the second 
defends the thesis of his Schook of Abuse. Towards the close 
of the latter he refers to Lodge's counterblast (ib.), and con- 
cludes, 'but I stay my handes till I see his booke ; when I haue 
perusd it I will tell you more.' He fulfils his promise in 
the Playes Confuted (ib.), dealing with Lodge's tract (which 
'came not to my handes in one whole yeere after the priuy 
printing thereof (p. 169)), and the defence entitled The Play 
of Playes (ib,). Lodge therefore had only the Schools of Abuse 
before him when he wrote this Defence. He returned to the 
attack later (1584) in his Preface to An Alarum against Usurers, 
in which he denounces the personalities of the Playes Confuted. 

S3-6. Cf. Sidney, infra, p. 189, 11. 7-8. The persistency of 
the allusion in Elizabethan literature is jocularly referred to in 
The Relume front Parnassus, Pt. i, Act iv, sc. i (1224). 

33-4. ' Virgin sweates in describyng his Gnat : Quid' 
bestirreth him to paint out his Flea : the one shewes his art 
in the lust of Dido, the other his cunning in the inceste <£ 
Myrrha, and that trumpet of Baudrie, the Craft of Loue' 
(Schoole of Abuse, ed. Arber, p. 19). The pseudo-Ovidian Dt 
Pulice is often referred to. Cf Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, vi. 1. 'iifi. 
65, 10. Cf the Schoole of Abuse, passim. The reference is 
not verbal. 

16. Cf. Nash, 331, 12. 

21. Cantpanus. Giovannantonio Campano (c. 1429-1477); 
humanist and poet, pupil of Demetrius Chalcondy las, successiv^y 
bishop of Crotona and of Teramo. (See Fabricius, Bibl. f*ud. rf 
inf. Latin. 1. 326 ; Tiraboschi, VI, 1393, &c. ; Gyraldus, De Poeh\ 
U.S., p. 19 ; and G. Lesca, Giovannantonio Catnpano, Ponteder^ 
1892 ) His books, other than his volumes of poems, are chiefly, 
editorial. The reference here may be to a popular edition 
Aesop in which he collaborated. 1 1 is complete works appei 
at Venice, n. d. (f 1495). See infra, p. 327, I. 17, 

31. This common Latin proverb is a favourite vtfith 
Elizabethan pamphleteers. Cf. 'nodum in serpo quererc 
the Seruingman's Comfort, 1598 (Roxb. Libr.). 

ion <^ 

h thil 

Notes 365 

32. inca[ii\u\eii\iences, improprieties, offences. See Webbe, 
infra, p. 353. 3 : and p. 294. 9 (with Latin on p. 418). Cf. Genevan 
Bible (1560) Numbers, Argt. 'That either they fall not to such 
inconueniences, or else return to him quickly by true repent- 
ance,* The Shakespeare Soc. edit, proposes ' incontinencies.' 

66. a. inscitnce. Cf. 67. 25, This word had juat come into 
vogue. See N. E. D. 

14, as : perhaps a misprint for ' and,' but not wrong. 
18. Orig. ' denocated,' 

33. quesie, unsettled (or easily unsettled), nauseated, 
squeamish ; of common occurrence in Elizabethan books. Cf. 
Gosson, U.S., p. 31, and Playes Confuted (Rosb. Libr.), p. 168; 
Harvey, infra, it, p. 231, 1. 33 ; Chapman, infra, ii. p. 295, 1. 14; 
EuphuesleA. Landmann, p. 30) ; Shakespeare, M. Ado, ii. i. 399 ; 
Greene, Friar Bacon, x. 130. 

24, werisli, here = sick. It is generally applied to food: 
'savourless,' two/ sawsKr/ (Palsgrave). Cf Sc. wersH. 

67. 4. Though Plato, &c. Gosson applies this well-worn 
argument twice in his SckooU (ed. Arber, pp. ao, 21). 

5. well pub/iques. Cf. Stanyhurst, 'with a lagged hystorie of 
a ragged Weale publicke' (Epistle in Description of Ireland, 
Arber's 'Stanyhurst,' p. la). 

68. 3. gale, gall. 

7, &c. Maximus [orig.(Jl/(Wi'»ii«as] Tirius, &c. ' Maximua 
Tyrius taketh vppon him to defend the discipline of these 
Doctors vnder the name of Homer, wresting the rashnes of 
Aiax to valour, the cowardice of Vlisses to Policie, the dotage 
of Nestor to graue counsell, and the battaile of Troy too the 
woonderfuU conflict of the foure elements ; where luno, which 
is counted the ayre, settes in her foote to take vp the strife, 
and steps boldly betwixt them to part the fray. It is a Pageant 
woorth the sight, to beholde how he labors with Mountaines 
to bring foorth Mise.' Gosson, Schook of Abuse, p. 21, Cl. also 
ib. pp. 39, 40, 

14. Irus, the proverbial ' poor man,' after the heggar in the 
house of Ulysses. Cf. ii. p. 45, 1. 21. 

33. Buchanan (p. 24, 1. 7, note). Gosson retorts i " 
Confuted that the reference to ' Buchanans booke 
n obiection,' and that ' neither Players noi 


366 Notes 

are able to proue' that it or the 'Playe of Christ' 
zenus was performed on the stage. He argues that they v 
prepared ' dialoguewise, aa Plato and TuUie did their Philo- 
sophye, to be reade, not lo be played' (pp. 189-197). 

34. Boetius cotnforlts, i. e. the De Consolaliom of Boetius 
or BoeChius (fl. 525). 

25. Erasmus 'interpreted' or translated Hecuba and Iphi- 
genia. Lodge's reference to these, to Buchanan, and to Donatua 
(p. 80) suggests the idea that he was familiar with a popular 
edition of Tragadice select(s issued by Henri Eslienne, printer 
to Huldrich Fiigger (1567, &c.), which contains the interpre- 
tations of Hecuba and Ipkigenia by Erasmus (pp. 5-117), the 
tract by Donatu's De Tragadia el Conuedia (pp. ii8-a8), the 
interpretations of the Medea and Alcestis (pp. 139-213), and of 
the AJax, Antigone, and EUctra of Sophocles, by Georgius 

C9. 5. 'TuUie accustomed to read tbem with great diligence 
in his youth, but when hee waxed grauer in studie, elder in 
yeares, riper in iudgement, hee aecompted them the fathers 
of lyes, Pipes of vanitie, and Schooles of Abuse \Tusc. i. a],* 
Gosson, SchooU of Abuse, p. 31. 

25. Cicero, Pro Archia, xxvi. 7. 

70. 3. Cetlarius. Probably (as suggested by the editor of 
the Shakes. Soc. reprint) a printer's error for Cassiodorus (cf. 
p. 71, 1. 12) : but I have failed to find the passage in the 
collected works (Geneva, 1609). He cannot be ' James Cellarius, 
editor of Cicero,' as stated in the Index of the Hunterian Club 
edition of Lodge's works, for he, Jacob Keller, Jesuit, alias 
' Hercynianus (Fabius),' did not produce his edition of the 
Thesaurus Ciceronianus of Nizolius [see p. 203, 1. 16, note) till 

8. Quicquid, &c. A favourite line. Cf. ii. 333. 17. 

16. Gosson had said that Marius ' doubted the abuses of 
those Schooles, where Poets were euer the head Maiaters ' 
(Schoole of Abuse, p. 23). Lodge's list of examples is in direct 
retort to Gosson's list of persons who held poets in no 
honour (lb.). 

71, I. Horace, ^rs /"iwAVb, 403. 

4. Orig. 'Hiroaldus,' a misprint for Beroaldus, of which 

Notes 367 

name there were two poets {Filippo Beroaldo). The elder 
(1453--1505), humanist and commentator, is here rererred to. 
See Gyraldus, De Poelis, u. s., p. 31. 

13. Cassiodorus (Magnus Aurelius C, b. 468), author of De 
Insiitulione Divmarum Scripturarum. See note 70. 3. 

14. Paulinus . . . Byshop 0/ Nolanum. Saint Paulinus (Me- 
ropius Pontius- Anicius Paulinus), 353-431- His Epislolae tt 
Poema'a was printed by Badius Aacensius in 1516. 

15. Ambrose . . . in Mediolanum. St Ambrose (b. 340). 

16. Probably a reference to the well-known chapter of 
Ba^da's Eccles. Hist. (iv. 24), ' Quod in monaaterio eius fuerit 
frater cui donum canendi sit diuinitus concessum'; perhaps 
also to Basda's Death-Song. 

18. Sec p. 73, 1. 19. Gosson, in his Apologie (Arber, p. 70), 
quotes Lactantius as a condemner of plays 'without any 
manner of exception, thinking them, the better they are 
penned or cunninglier handled, the more to be fled.' 

19-aa Epimenides of Crete, Titus i. la, from the lost work 
' On Oracles' : Aratus of Cilicia, Acts xvii. aS, from the PAae- 
natiiena (see Stobaeus, Eclog. i. 3. 3}. Cf. Sidney, p. 191, 1. 10, 
and note. 

S3. Poeta nascilur, &c. See note to p. 195, 1. 23. 

35. The original print reads 'well of the Muses which 
CabeUmus calleth Forum,' a strange but explicable travesty of 
Lodge's MS. See Persius, Prol. i. 

72. 9. lodocus Badius (1463-1535), the famous printer, also 
a satiric poet: generally known as lod. Bad. Ascensius, from 
Aasche, near Brussels, where he was bom. 

73. 19. Ladanlius (Firmianus), d. c. 325. See p. 342, and fay 

74. 6. Ars Poetica, 11. 391-9. 

75. I. Tyrtjeus. lb., 1. 402. Cf. infra, p. 77, 1. 6, &e. 

6. that Pontes were: the mediaeval conception of poetry, 
adopted by sixteenth -century criticism. 

18. Aen. vi. 662. 

22. See the quotation from Gosson, supra (note to 64. 33-4). 
Elsewhere Gosson speaks of Ovid as the 'high martial of 
Venus' and the 'amorous scholemaister ' (ScAoo/e, p. 29). Cf. 
also pp. 34-5 (ed. Arber). 

JSB Notes 

33. Gosson is fond of making complinieiitary aDustons to 
the Scythians throughout his Schoolt. Cf. * Poetrie in Scytfiia 
without vice, as the Phimix in Arabia without a fellow' 1 side- 
note, p. 23). He praises the olden times in England, when 
there were 'men in valure not yeelding 10 SdtAia' (p-34)- See 
other references by Index. 

76. 7. scare. The clue to this allusion is to be found in the 
EpisOe Dtdicatorie to Euphties. 'Alexander hautng a Skar 
in his cheekc helde his Snger vpon it that Appelles might 
not paint it. Appelles painted him with his finger deauing 
to his face. "Why," quod Alexander, "I layde my finger 
on my Skarre, bicause I would not haue thee see it." 
"Yea," sayd Appelles, "and 1 drew it there, bkause none 
els should perceiue it ; for if thy finger had bene away, eiUter 
thy Sitarre would haue been scene, or my arte mislyked."* 
Is this one of Lyly's inventions? There appears to be no 
record of the scar in the authorities cited by Overbeck in Dig 
antikm SchtifiquelUn. 

17-25. ' Tiberius the Emperour sawe somewhat, when he 
iudged Scaurus to death for writing 3 Tragidie : Augnstus, 
when hee banished Ouid: and Nero when be charged Lueatt 
to put v-p his pipes, to stay his penne and write no more' 
(Gosson, Sc/iook, p. 23). 

30, &c. Justinus, Hist. iii. 5. 

77. 19, &c. ' I may well liken Homer to MiHiecus, and Poets 
to Cookes ; the pleasures of the one winnes the body from 
labor, and conquereth the sense ; the allurement of the other 
drawes the mind from vertue, and confoundeth wit' (Gosson, 
Schoole, p. 33). 

35. Orig. ' ledde.' 

78. 30. Gosson himself had said, ' Pythagoras bequeathes 
them a Clookebagge and condemns them for fooles, that iudge 
Musicke by sounde and eare. If you will bee good Scholars 
and profile well in the Arte of Musicke, ahutte your Fidels 
in their cases, and looke vp lo heauen : the order of the 
Spheres, the vnfallible motion of the Planets, the iuste course 
of the yeere, and varietie of seasons, the concorde of the 
Elementes and their qualyties, Fyre, Water, Ayre, Earth, 7 
Heate, Colde, MoysCure, and Drought, concurring togeather < 

Notes 369 

to the constitution of earthly bodies and sustenance of euery 
creature ' (Scfioole, p. 26). He returns to the subject in Playes 
Confuted (ed. Rosb. Libr., p. 168}. 

79. 2. GoEson in the SckaoU refers to Calilins Conspiracies, 
which he dismisses as 'knowen too be a Pig of myne own 
Sowe' (p. 40), and elsewhere informs us that he had 
written The Comedie of Captaim Mario, and a ' moral,' Praise 
at Parting ; but ' since the first printing of my Iruectiue, to 
this day, I neuer made Playe' (Playes Confuted, 'To the 
Universities, &c.'). He explains his changed attitude thus: 
' Now if any man aske me why my selfe haue penned Comedyea 
in time paste, and inveigh so egerly against them here, iet 
him knowe that semel insaniuimus omnes: I haue sinned, and 
am sorry for my fault : hee runnes farre that neuer tumes ; 
better late than neuer' {Schoole, p. 41), 

79. 31. Cf p. 59, 1. 15 ; p. 33B. 1. 17, and ii. p. 309, I. 13. Thia 
passage is in close parallel with Chettle's Kind-Harts Dreamt, 64. 

80. 7, In the opening words of his tract De Tragiedia &c. 
(see note to p. 68, I. 25) : ' Im'tium Tragcedia Sf Comeedice a 
rebus diuinis est inchoatum : quibus pro frucHbus vola soluenles 
operabantur aniiqui.' 

13. Jodocus Badius. Supra, p, 72, 1. 9, note. 

81. I. Tulley defines. Probably borrowed from Donatus (edit, 
u. s., p. 123), who is responsible for the ascription of the phrase 
to Cicero. It is very common, with, and without, reference to 
its origin ; cf. Every Man out of his Humour, iii. 1, and Hamlet, 
liL a. 23. It is quoted by Minturno, De Poeta, p. 44, Jacques 
Grtvin, Brief Discours (1562), and referred to by Cervantes, Z?o« 
Qhix. pt. I, ch. xlviii. 

Of this passage Gosson says 'va\i\& Playes Confuted: ' Yonge 
Master Lodge, thinking to iett vpon starioppes, and steale an 
ynche of his hight by the bare name of Cicero, allegeth from 
him, that a Play is the Schoolmistresse of life, the lookinge 
glasse of manners, and the image of trueth. But finding him 
selfe too weeke in the knees to stand it out, neither alleadging 
the place where Tullie saith it, nor bringing any reason of 
his owne to proue it, hee flittes from this to the Etymologic 
of Plaies, from thence to the inuentors, and so gallops his 
wisedome out of breath. It seemeth that Master Lodge saw 

EL u. 1 B tl 


this in Tullic with other folkes eyes, and not 
to my remembrance 1 neuer read it in him, neith^dMl 
thinke that Master Lodge can shewe it me. [He titm r^bi 
lo pas-^ages in Tuac, Orat. w/ierr Cicero ' misliketh phjes' 
and lo others where ' he is sharpe set against them '.] Bu: te- 
cause Master Lodge will needea father these \rordes vjwa 
Tullie that n^ver spake them, I will first sette downe tte 
matter, and the persona of both kiodes of playes, then hRt 
vp every part of this definition, that you may see bow this 
Gentleman, like the Foxe at the banquet of the Storte, ticte 
the outside of the glasse with an empty stomacke, irfjec to 
heade will not suffer him to enter in. . . . Master Lodge, findioi 
some peevish index or gatherer of Tullie to be a sleepe, 
very wel contented to winke for company, and f hinVing hii 
worde so currant to goe for payment, woulde gladly 
vs vpon Tullies credite that a Play is the Schoolmistres of life. 
Wherein I perceive hee is no changeling, for hi 
as soundly, being from the vniversitie and out of exercise, a 
hee did when hee was there, and at his booke.' (Roxbur^ 
Library, ed. Hazlitt, pp. 179-83.) 

9. Susarion Bullus and Magnes, probably Lodge's printer's 
misreading of ' Susario, Myllus, and Magnes.' For an account 
of these three early writers of Comedy see Meineke, Histaht 
Crilica Comicorum Graecorum, i. pp. 18-35. 

II. Eupalis with Cratinus. Cf. Webbe, infra, p. 336. Set 
Meineke, u. s,, pp. 104-46, 43-58. 

24. Epist. I. xvi. 53, but altered. 
82. 5. Phittmon of Soli, a Greek comic poet, contemporBiy 
with Menander. 

7. Mfnander, the Greek comic poet, the model of Terence 
(sceAndria, Prol). 

II, Ac. Thais in the Eunuchus; Demeas (Dcmca, Ai/fiiai) h 
the Adelphi; Pamphilus in the Andria and Hecj^ra ; Daitus 'the 
slave' in Terence and Plautus, e.g. in the Andria (cf. p. 65, 
i. a6) and Phormio ; Gnalho in the Eunuchus (cf. p. 65, L a8). 

37, &c. Cecilius, Caecitius Statius, contemporary witb 
Ennius ; Ptinius, for Livius Andronicus (?) ; Neuius, Cn. Naevius 
epic and dramatic poet ; Licinius, Liciniua Imbrex ; Atilius (in 
original te.xt printed Aclilius); Turpiliits, Sextus Turpilius the 


Notes 371 

comic poet, and friend of Terence; Trabea, the Roman comic 

83. 6. as Seruius reporkth. Serviua Honoratus Maurus, gram- 
marian, best known by his commentary on Virgil. 

16, lodocKs Badius, supra, p. 7a, 1. 9, note. 

32. GliceriutH. Glycerium (rkvuipiot) ■ Andria, i. i. 108. 

84. 13. Tht Cermaues, supra, p. 59, 1. 21, note. 

a8. 'The last [Calilins Conspiracies], because it is knowen 
too be a Pig of myne owne Sowe, I will speake the lesse of 
it' {Schook, p. 40). Cf. Harvey's Letler-Book (ed. Scott, p. 59), 
' And nowe in bestowing uppon myselfe a misshapin Ulfavorid 
freshe copyof my precious poems, as it were a pigg of myne owne 
sowe.' Gosson's unfortunate phrase was not readily forgotten. 

85. I. See the Life of Virgil by Tib. Claudius Donatus. Cf. 
Puttenham, infra, ii. p. 58. 

3. Wilson, Robert, the elder [d. 1600), comedian and 
playwright; the fellow of Tarlton, and frequently named 
with him. See Harvey, infra, i. 125. 15, and Meres, infra, ii, 
320. 16, 323. 24. His p'ly of Catiline is not extant. It may 
have been the basis of a play with that title which Henslowe, 
in his Diary (p. 132), tells us was prepared by a Robert Wilson 
(probably R. W. junior) and ChetUe. (See the article on 
Wilson by Mr. S. Lee in D. N. B.) ■ 
12. Juvenal, Saf. 12. 118. 

25. statute of apparreli. Cf. Schoole of Abuse (p. 39) ' How 
often hath her Maiestie . . . sette downe the limits of apparell 
to euery degree, and how soone againe hath the pride of our 
harts ouerflowen the chanel.' 

30, &c. The flout 13 explained in one of the verses by 
Barnabe Rich, prefixed to Lodge's later Alarum againsl 
Vsurers {Shakespeare Society, 1853) ;— 
' If thus it be, good Lodge, continue still ; 

Thou needst not feare Goose Sonne, or Gander's hisse, 
Whose rude reportes, part from a slaundrous quill, 
Will be determind but in reading this, 
Of whom the wiser sort will thinke amis 
To slaunder him whose birth and life is. such 
As false report his fame can never tuch.' 
See abo Tarlton's Jtsls, ed. Halliwell, p. xxi, 

B b 2 




Spenser and Harvey (pp. 87-126). 
According to Nash, Harvey ' publiquely diuulged these 
letters,' and Spenser was 'no way priuie to the committing 
of them to print ' (Fours Letters Confuted in Grosarf s edition 
of Nash, ii. 331, 233). Cf. also his Haue jvith you to Saffron- 
Waldm (ib. iii. 188). 

88. IT, &c. Presumably referring to the Shepheardea Caltnder. 
Spenser, still hesitating to publish his poem, is doubtful of its 
welcome by Sidney and the common friends who were received 
at Penshurst and Leicester House. Cf. p. iia, 1. 12 (note), 

19. she. Cf. p. 106, I. a. 

89. 7. Master Dyer. Sir Edward Dyer {d. 1607), courtier and 
poet. See note to p. 94, I. 29. Sidney and Dyer are grouped 
together in the prefatory verses to Watson's 'Ejcnrofiinifli'o — 

'Hie quoque seu subeas Sydnaei, sine Dyeri 
Scrinia, qua Musis area bina patet.' 

12- Orig. dptiwjrayu. Cf. p. 94, 1.37 (orig. aptiora'oyoc). Of 

this Areopagus we know little. It was probably aa informal 
society, perhaps unknown by that name except to one or two 
of its members, ' Academies ' were in the air ; and it may be 
that the young writers had BalPs recent project in mind. It 
has been suggested that the title was borrowed from ' the 
Florentine Academy in the time of Lorenzo, which bore 
the same name' (Einsleia, Ital. ReHfiissatice in England (igoa), 
p. 357), but it is more probably a direct adaptation from classical 
history. ' Areopagites ' frequently occurs in the ordinary sense. 

ao. Sehoole of Abuse. See p. 61, and notes to Lodge's 
Defence, passim. 

25. Shwber is not known. It may be A senights slumber, 
referred to in the printer's preface to the Complaints (1591). 
See also the Dreames, p. 100, I. 24. 

3a. Maisler E. K. See p. 127, and note. 

90. 3. Mystresse Kerkes. See the note on ' E. K.', p. 127. 

13. Maisler Dranis Rules. These, if ever committed to 
writing, are not extant. The references throughout these 
letters (e. g. pp. g6, 97, 99, 103), and elsewhere, do not 
preclude the possibility that Drant had merely conveyed hia 

Notes 373 

views to his friends in conversation, and had persuaded them 
to carry them out in their verse-making. 

Thomas Drant (rf. ? 1578), Archdeacon of Lewes, is known 
as the author of A MetHcinable Morall, 1566, and of Horace his 
arte of Poelrie, ptsties &• satyrs EtigiisM, 1567. In neither is 
there any critical material. His recognition in later literary 
history is undoubtedly due to the allusions in these letters 
(especially Spenser's), and is as undoubtedly in excess of his 
deserts, even as a contributor to the narrow controversy about 
the English hexameter. 

27. Maister Preston, Thomas Preston (1537-98), Master of 
Trinity Hall, Cambridge, author of Cambises {1569). 

Maisitr Still. John Still (?i543-i6o8). Bishop of Beth and 
Wells, and the reputed author, on very doubtful evidence, of 
Gammer Gurlon's Needlt (1575'. See note, ii. p. 443. 

91. 21. Immerito. Cf. p. 92, L 4, p. 93, I. 3, Sic. Spenser so 
signs the prefatory verses to his Shepheardes Calender, 

92. 29. Mislresse Kerke. See note to p. 127. 

93. II. extra iocum, a favourite phrase of Harvey's. Cf p. 114. 

94. 13. Maister Wythipoli. Gascoigne entitled a set of verses 
Councet giuen to Master Bartholomew WithipM a little before his 
tatter iourttey to Geane, 7573 ( iVorks, Roxb. Libr. i. 373). Harvey 
in his Letter-Book introduces these lines(Camden Soc. ed.p.57)— 

' But preythe see where WithipoUs cum, 
Daniel and Bath both at onse.' 
See the verses in Haslewood, ii. 302-3, which associate 
Harvey with two Wythipolls, father and son. 

2g. Iwoo worthy Ceniiemenne. See pp. 89. 11. 7, loi. 22, 109. 
11, 113. II. 

95. 12. Curioll, curtal ; here a ' docked ' or ' dipped ' word. 
23. Abstemio. Laurentius Abstemius (Lorenzo Abstdmio). 

His Fabukte nuper compositae was printed at Venice in 1495, 
and was often reprinted. 

96. II. WafcoH, ante, p. 354. 

29. Drantes Pule, supra, p. 90, i. 13, note. 

97. 4. gorbeltyed, corpulent. Here applied to Drant, as again 
by Harvey on p, 118, 1. 11. 

26. Goddilge ytf ' 

98. 7. t« lusliiti I found in a 


374 Noles 

letter in Harvey's L<tler-Book addressed to Sir Thomas Smith. 
' Your wurship mai marvel mutch that to haue absentid mi self 
thus long time from you, having so great and iust occasion to 
resort unto you, as I haue had. But suerly, sir, mi lets and 
hinderances eueri wai haue bene sulch, that I could not possibely 
do that I purposid fully, and wuld willingly haue dun for mi 
better proffiling in the ciuil lawe. It were too long a thing to 
declare them al severally and at larg ; but truly, what for sicknes 
and priuate busines, I could scars reade ouer thre titles in 
Justinian before Lent, and euer sins the beginning of Lent, at 
the instant and importunate request of M. Church, mi verri 
frend, I haue red the rhetorick lecture in the schooles; so that 
the prouiding for mi lecture, togither with the reading to mi 
pupils, the doing of ordinari acts in the howse, and disputing in 
the schooles, haue made me so unprouidid for Justinian, that, 
to sai troth, I haue bene ashamid to cum unto you' (Camden 
Soc. edit. pp. 176-7). 

14. Ihe Earthquake, April 6, 1580. Thomas Twyne, the 
translator of the Aeneid, was also prompted to write A skorU 
^^^ and pitkie Discourse concerning it and earthquakes generally; 
^^^L and Anthony Munday, too, wrote a Short Discourse. 
^^^H 37. Orig. ' pauiiulh.' 

^^^V 99. 3i~2a. These lines, with minor differences, appear in 

^^^ ' E, K.'s gloss on ' May ' in the Shepheardts Calender. Dr. O. 
r Sommer finds proof in this that ' E. K.' was Spenser him- 

I self (Sh. Cat. p. 23). But sec note on ' E, K,', p. 127. The lines 

^^^^ arc quoted by Webbe, infra, p. 283. 

^^^L 100. 6. Epithalamion Thamesis is unknown. Cf. p. 113, 1. 16. 
^^^H aa. Cicero, De Setteci. i. i. Generally /memi'i. 

^^^^B 24. my Dreames and Dying Pellicane. The former is referred 

^^^V to in a postscript to this letter (printed in the ' Globe ' Spenser, 
^^^H p. 709), and in ' E. K.'s preface (see p. 133, 1. 7) ; the latter in the 
^^^H printer's preface to the Complaints (1591). Both appear to have 
^^^H been ready for press : but no copies are known. Some have 
^^^H endeavoured to identify the Dreames with Muiopolntos and the 
^^^1 Visions ofBellay. 

^^^f 101. 23. Balductum, trashy, a favourite word of Harvey's. 

I Cf. Nash, ii. p. 242, 1. 26, and Stanyhurst, p. 141, 1. 27. Literally 

I a posset or curd, L. Lat. halduda. 

Notes 375 

102. 3. Dranis Prosodye, supra, p. 37a. 

13. ' Miatresse Experience.' Cf. Harvey's Letter-Boob, 
p. 130, ard infra, ii. p. 383, 1. 33. 

23. Prosodye. Harvey appears to use Ihis word, throughout 
this letter, in the restricted and special sense of the pronuncia- 
tion of a word or syllable (in verse). See note to p. 49, 1. 19 ; 

34. Sir Thomas Smithes (Orthography) : a refei^nce to his 
De recta &• emendata Linguae Anglicae Scriptione, Paris, 1568. 
Harvey had recently written his elegy, Smilhus, vet Musarum 
lackrymae : pro obiiu Tfiomae SmiUii (i^iS), See note to p. 21, 1.31, 

103. 6-ao. Cf. Puttenham, infra, ii, p. 122, 1, 34, &c. : and Du 
Bellay, Defense, 1. is. 

31. Gatfbawlde, toy, plaything. 

104. ai. Babies, baubles. Cf. ii. 331. 12. 

105. 15. Seep. 99,1. 14. 

23. Petrarch, Sonnet CCV (225). This is quoted in ' E. K.'s 
gloss, on ' April ' in the Shephenrdes Calender. Dr. Sommer 
cites this in support of the theory that ' E. K.' is Spenser. 
Here, however, it would be as fair to say that ' E. K.' is Gabriel 
Harvey; and more reasonable to believe that Kirke had heard 
the lines from Spenser. But see note to p. 127. 

106. a. Rosalinde. Cf. p, 88, i. 19, and, more fully, the S/iep- 
heardes Calender, passim. The name, as ' E. K.' tells us, is an 
anagram. For an account of editorial guesses on this subject 
see Mr. Herford's edition of the Calender, pp. xvi-xvii. All the 
solutions assume, quite unnecessanly, that ' Rose ' is one of the 
words, and overk. k the choice of such excellent Elizabethan 
names as Eliza, Delia, Alis. But the matter is of small concern. 

107. :9, &c. Harvey's Letter-Book (f. s^h) introduces 'A 
short poetic discourse to my gentle masters the readers, 
conteyning a garden communication or dialogue in Cambridge 
betwene Master G. H. and his cumpanye at a Midsumer 
Comencement, togither with certayne delicate sonnetts and 
epigraumes in Inglish verse of his makinge.' Of the last 
the verses here printed form a part. (See Camd. Soc. edit. p. 98.) 
With Anglqfrancitalonim (1. 16), cf, 

'O tymes, O manners, O Frenrh. O Italish Inglande' 
'ib. p. 97). 

376 Notes 

Galaleo. The Galaleo (Venice 1558, Milan 1559, Florence 
1560) of Giovanni deliaCasa (1503-56), archbishop of Benevento, ■ 
shared popular favour with Castiglione's Courtier, Guazzo's 
Convtrsalions, and other books of courtesy. It was Englished 
in 1576, but it was known in a French edition of 1562. 

There is an interesting passage in Harvey's Letter-Book 
(pp. 78-9) which describes the reading of his day. 'They 
have gotten Philbertes Philosopher of the Courte [Englished by 
G.North, i575],ihe Italian ArchebysshoppiesbraueGalateo [U.S.], 
Castiglioes iine Coriegiano [Eng. by Hoby, 1561], Bengalassoes 
Ciuil Instructions to his Nephewe Seignor Princisca [f Francesca] 
Canzar, Guatzoes new Discourses of curteous behaviour [Eng. 
by G. Pettie & B. Young, 1586], Jouios and Rassellis Emblemea 
in Italian, Paradines in Frenche, Plutarche in Frenche, Fron- 
tines Stratagemes [Eng. Morysine, 1539], Polyenes Stratagemes, 
Polonica, Apodemica, Guigiardine [Guicciardini's Istoria, £ng, 
by Fenion, 1579], Philipp de Coniines [not Eng. till 1596, by 
Danett], and I know not how many owtlandishe braveryes 
besides of the same stampe.' 

24, Tuscanish: ' Italish' (Letter-Book). 
107-8. Harvey's description of the italianate Englishmen is, 
according to Nash, directed against the Earl of Oxford, who had 
just come home from Italy. But see note to ii. 239. lo-ia. 
108. 5. with a witntsse, excessively. 

17-109. 5. Not in the Letter-Book text. 
108. II. ouer very Castor, &c. See note to p. 94, 1. 09. 

28. See note, p. 98, 1. 7. 
110.3. J^^"" Harvey (1564-92). See Index. 
8. Ovid, Trislia, i. 8. 5. 

111. 17. On fol. 43 of (he original edition of the Shepheardts 
Calender, again referred to on p. 112, 1. 12. The lines are 
from Petrarch, Sonnet CXXXV (154). 

112. IS. Though this allusion 10 ihe Shepheardes Calmder is 
more obvious than Spenser's own (p. 86}, and though both were 
clear enough to the two friends, it must not be forgotten thai 
the authorship remained a mystery to Spenser's admirers for 
several years to come. Cf. Webbe, p. 245, and Puttenham, 
vol. ii. p. 65. 

113. II. two incomparable, &c. See note to p. 94, 1. 29. 


Notes 377 

16, Epilhalamion Thamesis, See supra, p. 100, 1. 8. 

21. Ecquid, &c. See p. 100, 1. 23. 
114. 3. alias you know who. See the gloss to 'October' of 
the Shepheardes Calender. The lines are quoted by Harvey 
from fol. 40 b of the original edition, 

23. Dying Pellicanes. See supra, p. 100, 1. 34 (note). 

25. Extra iocunt. See p, 93, 1. 11, and p. 125, 1. 29. 

116. 7, jBiiiewo (Bernardo), Cardinal (1470- 1560). 

8. Befttbo (Picro), Cardinal (1470-1547). Harvey had been 
inspired by him in his early lectures at Cambridge (see the 

26. pawUing, hesitating or lame ; bungreley, slovenly (bung- 

117. io,&c. Harvey's general argument, and his claim, among 
other things, for a true orthography, is supported by an interest- 
ing passage, addressed to the 'Reader' of The First Booke of 
the Preservation of King Henry the VII, written in so-called 
English hexameters (1599)— printed by Collier in his Illust. of 
O.E.Lii. (1866) II. No. 3, and by Mr, Arber, in his preface to 
Stanyhursfs Aentis. 

' Right honored, worshipfull, and gentell Reader, these Hexa- 
meters and Pentameters in Englishe are misliked of many, 
because they are not yet come to their full perfection, and 
specially of some that are accounted and knowne to be Doctors 
and singularly well learned and ^eat Linguistes ; but especially 
of the plaine Rythmer, that scarce knowes the footed quantitie 
or metricall scanning thereof, muche lesse to reade them with 
a grace according to the same. But for hira, 1 say thus ; 
Sciettlia nullum habet inimicum praeter ignorantem. Whose 
bookes are stuft with lines of prose, with a rythme in the end ; 
which euery fidler or piper can make vpon a theame giuen, 
Neuerthelesse, 1 confesse and acknowledge that we haue many 
excellent and singular good Poets in this our age, as Maister 
Spencer, that was, Maister Gowlding, Doctor Phayer, Maister 
Harrington, Daniel), and diuers others, whom I reuerence in 
that kinde of prose-rythme ; wherein Spencer (without offence 
spoken) hath surpassed them all. I would to God they had 
done so well in trew Hexameters ; for they had then beau! 
our language. For the Greekes and Latines did in a n 


378 Notes 

abolish quite that kinde of rythme-prose : And why should not 
we doe the like in Englishe ? . . . . 

For, at the first, Maister Askam had much ado to make two 
or three verses in English : but now euery schoUer can make 
some. What language so hard, harsh, or barbarous, that time 
and art will not amend ? . . . . 

This trew kinde of Hexametred and Pentametred verse will 
bring vntovsfoure commodities. First, it will enrich our spcach 
with good and significant wordes : Secondly, it will bring a 
delight and pleasure to the skilfull Reader, when he seeth 
them formally compyled : And, thirdly, it will incourage and 
learne the good and godly Students that affect Poetry, and are 
naturally enclyned thereunto, to make the like: Fourthly, it 
will direct a trew Idioma, and will teach trew Orthography. 
For as gould surpasseth leade, so the Hexameters surpasse 
rythme prose.' Yet the author does not ' utterly discommend ' 
this ' prose-rhythme.' 

18. correcie Magnificat. Cf. Ronsard, Preface de la Fran- 
ciadt, ' J'attesle les Muses que je ne suis point ignorant, et ne 
crie point en langage vulgaire, comme ces nouveaux venus qui 
veulent corriger le Magnificat . . . .' Cf. also Harington, infra, 
ii. p. 219, and the Epistle to the Cobler of Canterburie (1608), in 
the Appendix to Tartton's Jests (Shakespeare Soc. 1844, p. 107). 

a6. Horace, Ars Poet. 71, 72. Cf. p. lar, I. 10. 
118. n. FcU-bellyed Archdeacon. See note to p. 97, 1. 4. 

17. Ascham, Toxophilus, Blc. II (ed. Giles, IVorks, ii, lag). 
Cf. infra, p. 283. See Toxophilus, too, for line quoted on p, lao. 

20 (lai, 4, aa-33). Cf. Webbe, i. p. 281, 1, 15, and note. 

120. 34. Scoggins Aier. See The Jests of SeoggiHm')^AiX\VC% 
Old Ettglish Jesl-Books (ii. 93). 

121. 4, Position. Cf 1. 27, p. a8i. 15, See Qmntil. L 5, ix, 4. 
20. Prosodye. See note to p. 102, 1, 23. 

122. 12. Rosalindttla. Cf. supra, p. 106, 1. 2, 

22. M. Daniel Rogers (? 1538-91), courtier and diplomatist. 
He is frequently referred to in the correspondence of Sidney 
and Languet (ed. Pears, 1845). See also his correspondence 
with Buchanan {Edin., 1715, vol, ii). 

124. 14. arilhmetericians. Probably a slip for 'arithmet[r]i- 


Notes 379 

124. xa. Erasmus, Epislolae, cxlii. 

34. silt .: . scfiMes. Cf. note to ii. p. 186, 1. 18. 

125. 15. IVylsons or Tarklons. See supra, p. 85, I. 3, note. 
Harvey is probably referring to his share of the Letters, supra, 
p, &7, &c. 

18. «)»«frfa«A>s = 'eomediantes,' comedians; probably a 
press error. Cf. Sidney's Apology, p. 199, 1. 23, where we have 
' comedients ' in Ponsonby's test (see p. 148). 

23. Vnico Aretitio. This is Bernardo Accolti (rf. 1534) 
famed as an improvvisatore. He is spoken of by Bembo, 
Harvey's favourite. See Tiraboschi, vi. pp. 1249-52. 

26. M. Churchyard. Thomas Churchyard (? 1520-1604), a 
writer of broadsides. Cf infra, p. 242, L 33, note ; ii, 280, 1. 15. 

27. M. Elderton. William Elderton (rf. ! 159a), ballad writer. 
See Harvey, ii. 253, 1. 5 ; 273, 1. 16, &c, ; and cf. 246, II. 28-34. 
There are many references to his heavy drinking (e.g. his 
'ale crammed nose,' Nash, Apol.for Pierce PenniUsse). 

126. 2. Surrey is sayde first, i.e. in his Cetiain Bakes \\\ and IV] 
of Virgiles Aenais lunud into English meter (1557). In Day's 
reprint of the Fourth Book (n. d.) the title describes the trans- 
lation as drawn into a strange meter. 

3. Buekhurste [Thomas, Lord Buckhurst] and M. Norton 
in . . . Gorbodue {acted 1561, printed 1565). See Shakespeare 
Soc. reprint, 1847. 

4. Gascqygnes Steele Glasse {is-]6). See Mr. Arber's reprint. 

5. canlions, songs, d. Sheph. Cal. 'October' (Gloss). 

6. namelye, especially. 

13. Pierius. Giampetro Valeriano (Pierius Valerianus), 
b. J477. His Poemata appeared at Basle in 1538; his Amorum 
lib. V et alia poemata at Venice in 1549. He was attracted 
by the subject of symbols, and wrote Hierogiypkica, siue de 
sacris Aegypiiorum aliartimque gerttium lilteris commeniarioruni 
At. if'/// (Basle, 1556). 

17. Mr. Willes. See p. 47, note (col. 2). Harvey's descrip- 
tion here is explained by the fact that WilJes, after quitting 
New College, Osford, travelled in France, Germany. 
Italy, graduated at Mainz (1565) and was admitted a 
thereafter lectured at Perugia and at Trier, and on his 
to England, where he abjured Catholicism, was incorpoi 

380 Notes 

Cambridge. He is probably Ihe co-editor of a History iif 
Travtl in Iht fftst and East Indies (1577) and the author of 
three papers in Hakluyt's Collections o/Veyagea. 
36-33. See p. 89, U. 6-ia. 

' E. K." (pp. 127-34). 

The identification of ' E. K.', the author of this * Epistle 
Dedicatory" and of the Glosses in the Shepheardes Calender, 
remains a veied question ; but the evidence, such as it is, is in 
favour of the traditional view that the writer was Edward Kirke 
or Kerke (1553-1613) of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. The 
argument that ' EL K.' is Spenser in masquerade has been luUy 
worked out by Uhlemann in JaJtrrsbtricht No. xiii des K. Kaiser 
Williehns GymnasiMnt eu Hannover, 1888, and by O. Sornmer in 
his reprint of the Shepheardes Calmder, 1890 (pp. 15-25). See 
Mr. Herford's exhaustive reply to the latter in his edition of 
the Sh, Cat. 1895 (pp. xiii-jtxvi), and Mr. Sidney Lee's article 
in D. N. B. This is not the place for further discussion, but 
it is perhaps excusable to point out that the references to 
' Mislresse Kerke ' in Spenser's letter (ante, pp. 90, 1. 3, and 92, 
I. 29) have 3 strong circumstantial value in the argument for 
a real ' E. K.' They at least show that some one of the name 
was actually known to Spenser and Harvey; and it may well be 
that she was the mother of their College contemporary, and had 
received them as her son's friends at her house in London '. 
127. 7. Chaucer, Troilus and Criseydt, i. 809— 

' Unknowe, unkist, and lost that is un-sought.' 
See 'E. K.'s eulogy of Chaucer in his gloss lo 'June' of the 
Shepheardes Calender. John Heywood (1562) has two epigrams 
'Of kissing,' beginning 'Unknowen vnkist' (Spenser Soc, ed, 
p. 148). 

9. Lydgate, passim: and all the 'Chaucerians,'EngUsh and 

II. in his j£gk)gue. See 'Febr«arie,'l. 92, and 'E. K.'s gloss, 

16. brocage, procuracy (by a 'go-between' or 'broker'). 

' All were of Pembroke H»I1. Spenser was «din(tleii in 1569, and 
Kirke in 1571. Harvey was elected a Fellow in 1570. His seniority 
may partly explain his general attitude lo Spenser. 

Notes 381 

128. 3a. Valla agaittsl Liuie. See his Entendationes in Livium 
de bello Punico, in the Paris edition of Livy, 1573. 

other against Saiusle. Cf. Asc/iatn, ante, p. 39, &c. 

130. 12. galiimau/ray or hodgepodge. Cf. ii. 253. la, and note. 

131. 7, &c. Quoted by Webbe, infra, p. 347. 

132. i.fullsomd, full fledged. 
21. •/■ = scilicet. 

133. 7. His Dreames, his Legendes, his Court of Cupide. For 
the Dreames, see note to p. 100, 1. 24. The others are also 
unknown. It has been suggested that they were incorporated 
in the Faerie Queene. 

Postscript. Cf. ' E. K.'s gloss to ' September ' of The Shep- 
heardes Calendar, where he speaks of Gabriel Harvey, 'of whose 
speciall commendation as well in Poetrye as Rhetorike and 
other choyce learning we haue lately had a sufficient tryall in 
diuerse his workes, but specially in his Musarum Lachrymae 
[1578 ; see rote to p. 102, 1. 24], and his late Gralulation[es] Valdi- 
««i5[es] [1578] .... Beside other his sundrye most rare and 
very notable writings, partely vnder vnknown Tyiles, and 
partly vnder counterfayt names, as hys Tyrannomastix, his Ode 
Naialih'a, his Ranteidos, and esspecially that parte of Philomusus, 
his diuine Anticosmopolita, and diuers other of lyke importance.' 
See also note to p. 284, 1. 4 infra, 

Stanyhurst (pp. 135-47}- 

136. 20. chea'e Pontes, impostors of poets. 'Cheats' (sb.) is 
used attributively. 

137. 3. in cam/ering wise. Unexplained in N. E. D., which 
quotes Shropshire ' compering' = mettlesome, high -spirited. 

15. od = famous, distinguished, rare. Cf. Ascham, Schole- 
master, ii (ed. Mayor, p. 113), ' For our tyme the odde man to 
ptrformeall . . . is . . . Joannes Sturmius.' See JV.E.D.,s.v. 
' Odd,' ii. 6. 

19. See p. I. 

29. M. Phaere. Thomas Phaer's translation, which Stany- 
hurst criticizes, appeared in 1558 (The Seuen first Bookes of the 
Eneidos of Virgill). Two books were added in 1562 (The nynefyrst 
Booties . . . with so much of the tenth Booke as since his.Dealh [i.e. 

382 Noles 

in 1560] coutd be found). The transUtipn of the twelve books 
was completed by Thomas Twyne in 1573, and republished ten 
years later with the addition of a version of the thirteenth book 
(by Maphaeus Vegius). 

34. squirt = square (carpenter's). See Palsgrave, 

140. I. Mori Epigg., p. a6i, ed. 1518. 

12. Jolianites Doa, &c. See note to p. 185, 1. 30. 

so. draflye, rubbishy, vile. Cf. vol. ii, pp. 399, L j i, 400, 1. 14, 

and Hall's Satires, v. 2 (ed. Singer, p. 134). N^.O, (q.v.) 

explains 'draflye' as an early misreading of 'drasty '. dreggy. 

33. duggeoH dagger, a dudgeon-hilted dagger. Dudgeon is 

a hard wood used for handles of knives, &c. Cf. ji. p. 394, L 16. 

141. 27. ba/dudloom. See supra, p. loi. 1. 23, note. 

142. a. Phsdanisles, grammarians (afler Priscian). 

143. 13. Ante, p. 118, 1. 1. 

25. tnishelh thee cushtn, misseth the cushion, aim, or mark 
(EupAues, ed. Landmann, p. 68). Cf. ' beside the cushion,' ' to 
put beside the cushion ' (to deprive one of place), also common 
Elizabethan usages. The phrase ' bore with a cushion ' is not 
clear (see ii. p. 271, 1. ai, infra). 

26. Cicero, Orator xviii. 58. 

144. 10. MMC^H/ca5v, now suppose. 
19. Horace, Ars Poet. L 385. 

146. 5. Aen. iii. 91. 
7. AeM. iv. 146. 
10. AeM. iiL 396. 

Sidney (pp. 148-207), 

Headnole—Ohiey's text has been reprinted also by Mr. E. 
Rhys in the first volume of his Literary Pamphlets (London, 
1897). Mr. Albert S. Cook's edition, The Defense of Pae^, other- 
wise known as An Apology for Poetry (Boston, U.S.A., 1890, 
1898), contains a modernized text based on both the editions 
of 1595- 

Rodenburg's Eglentiers Poilens Borst-toeringk, which ap- 
peared in 1619, is in part a paraphrase of the Apotogie (see 
Jonckbloet, Geschiedenis der Nederlandsehe Letterkunde, 1689, iii. 
ike). Charles Gildon in his Complete Art ofPottry (1718) 


Notes 383 

incorporates long passages without acknowledgment (see 
Dialogue I, pp. 48-74}. 

150. I. Edward Woiion (1548-1626), afterwards first Baron 
Wotton. Sir Henry Wotton was his half-brother. 

3. John Pielro Pugliano, an Equerry of the Emperor 
Maximilian 11, held in high repute as an exponent of knightly 
exercises on horseback. Sidney shows his enthusiasm for 
these fashionable accomplishments in an elaborate passage 
in the Arcadia (bk. ii), in Astropkel and Stella, Sonnets 41 and 49, 
and in a letter to his brother Robert, Oct. 18, 1580, in which 
he recommends the study of Grisone's work on horsemanship 
[Correspondence, ed. Pears, 1845, p. 202). Castiglione, Sidney's 
model of manners, said that all gentlemen should ride well. 
Cf. Harvey, ii. p. 263 ; and see Einstein's Italian Renaissance in 
England (1902), pp. 69-70. 

14-18. Souldiours . . . Camps and Courts. See note to 
p. 188, 1. 26. 

21. Pedanteria, The Italian form is significant. 

151. 13, &c. Cf. Daniello, Delia Poetica, pp. 12 and 21. 

!■]. first Nurse, &.C. Cf. Minturno: 'loho sempre stimato 
... la Poesia non pur esser di tutte le scienze reina, ma lor 
madre anchora ; c le Muse non solamente di tutte I'arti eccel- 
lenti inuentrici, ma etiandio gouernatrici di tutte le cose.' 
(L'Arte Poet. Preface.) See Harington, infra, ii. p. 194, 1, la 

30. or rather Ike Vipers. Cf. ii. p. 373, 1. 11. Perhaps a 
playful hit at Gosson's Sckoole of Abuse (ed. Arber, p. 46) ; but 
the simile is common, especially in the Euphuistic writers (cf. 
Euphues, ed. Arber, p. 315). It was taken from Pliny (cf. 
Wilson, Arte of Rheforique, ed. 1553, fol. 69I, who may have 
borrowed it from Herodotus iii. 109. 

22. Sidney's plea for the antiquity of poetry and the 
selection of the names which follow seem to he directly inspired 
by Minturno's passage, Poeticae velustas, and his list of illustra- 
tions on pp. 9, 13, and 15 of the De Poeta. 

152. 22-5. Cf. Daniello, U.S., p. aa. Cf. p. 190, 1. 4. 

30-1. Plato, Symposium (passim); Phatdrus, 330 b; De 
Rep. ii. 359, &c. 

34, &c. Cf. Sidney's letter to his brother Robert (Oct. 18, 
1580), in which, in speaking of the writing of history, he says : 

384 Notes 

'This I think in haste, a story is either to be considered as 
a story, or as a treatise, which, besides that, addeth many 
things Cor profit and ornament : as a story, he is nothing but 
a narration of things done, with the beginnings, causes, and 
appendances therof . . . and thus much as a very historio- 
grapher. Besides this, the historian makes himself a discourser 
for profit, and an orator, yea a poet, sometimes for ornament 
An orator, in making excellent orations, " e re nata," which are 

I to be marked, but marked with the note of rhetorical remem- 
brances : a poet, in painting forth the effects, the motions, the 
whisperings of the people, which, though in disputation one 
^J might say were true, yet who will mark them well shall find 
~,^T*"them taste of a poetical vein, and in that kind are gallantly to 

I be marked t for though perchance they were not so, yet it is 
enough they might be so. The last point which tends to teach 
profit is of a discourser, which name to give to whosoever speaks 
" non simpliciter de facto, sed de qualitatibus et circumstautiis 
facti . , ." ' Sidney adds : ' This write I to you in great haste, 
of method without method, but with more leisure and study 
(if I do not find some book that satisfies), I will venture to 
write more largely of it unto you.' (Correspondence, ed. Pears, 
1845, pp. 199-201.) 

153. 12. which in all Nations, &c. Cf. Mintumo : ' Quibus de 
causis cum ita prodesset, tamquam oblectaret Poesis, nulla 
unquam profecto natio, nullaque omnino gens fuit, quae non 
eani libentissime sinu complexuque suo receperit . , , Quod 
denique genus hominum est tarn barbarum, tamque agreste, 
quod a Poesi fuerit alienum f (De Poeta, Bk. I. p. 9), In the 
same passage he refers to the Welsh Bards (cf. 11. 28, 30). 

31. Areylos. Sp. areHo, adopted from the West Indians, 
describing a mixed form of dancing and singing. Puttenham 
apparently borrows Sidney's reference, infra, ii. 10, 32. For an 
account of these song-dances see Oviedo, Hist. Gen. de las 
Indias, v. 1 (quoted by A. 5. Cook), and Guniston's translation 
of Jos. de Acosia's Hist, of Iht Indies, ed. Markham, ii. 445 
(quoted by Shuckburgh), 

154. 5. a Poet was called Vaies, i.e. in the very earliest and 
in the post-Virgilian periods. Sidney may be recalling Mintumo 
(though he transposes the premisses) : 'Quapropter qui apud 


Notes 385 

priscos illos veteres essent interpretes Deorum & sacerdotes, 
qui sapientes, qui eloquentes haberentur, qui reete ac prudenter 
in publicis rebus versarentur, omnes Poetae dicebantur ' (p. 15) ; 
but the similarity of phrase suggests that he had Sir Thomas 
Elyot's words before him : ' in poeles was supposed to be science 
misticall and inspired, and therefore in Latine they were called 
Vales, which worde signifyeth as moche as prophetes. And 
therefore TuUi in his Tusculane questyons supposeth that a 
poete can nat abundantly expresse verses sufficient and com- 
plete, or that his eloquence may flowe without labour, wordea 
wel souninge and plentuouse, without celestiall instruction' 
{Coiieriioiir, ed. Croft, i. 122). With the last words cf, 11. 86-9. 
Cf. p. 159, I. 17. Webbe (infra, p. S31) distinguishes between 
Vales and Poetae. 

16-18. Albinus, &c. This anecdote of Albinus is taken 
from the popular Sex Scriplores Hisloriae Augusfae (referred to 
by Sidney as ' the histories of the Emperors hues'). See the 
account in Fabrieius, Bibl. Latina, pp. 546-53. Several Paris 
editions appeared in Sidney's lifedme. 

3a, &c. Dauids Psalmes. Cf Lodge, p. 71, 1. 5 ; Puttenham, 
ii. p. 10, 1. 3 ; Harington, ii. p. S07, 1. 20. 
155. 5. meerely, wholly. 

a6. Maker, as a technical term, synonymous with ' Poet,' 
was used more frequently in our northern literature, and 
especialiy by the Scottish Chaucerians. Cf. Scaliger's com- 
plaint of the lack of the vernacular term in Latin : ' Quod nomen 
Graeci sapientes vbi commodissime itapa ri jro«T» eflinxissenl : 
miror maiores nostros sibi tarn iniquos fuisse : vt Factoris 
vocem, quae illam exprimeret, maluerint oleariorum cancellia 
circumscnbere : eum enim solum qui oleum facit, quum pro 
consuetudine caste, turn pro significatione stulte appellare 
licet' (Poelice, 1. i). Cf. also Uberto Folieta, De Similitudine 
Normae Potybianae [Artis Penus Hisloricae, 1579, ii. 450*). 

Sidney's argument here, and on p. 156, appears to be based 
on this chapter in Scaliger, especially on the portion immediately 
preceding the above quotation. 

34, So dolh the Astronomer, &c. The illustrative details in 
this passage appear to be suggested by Minturno, De Poela, 
pp. 87-100, where they occur in almost identical order. 


386 Notes 

157. 3. Theagmts, in the ronumce by HeHodonis. 
p. i6o, 1. 10, and note. 

3. OHando, in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. H 
English version did not appear tiil 1591- See inCra, iL p, 194. 

19 &c. Cf. Scaliger, Foil. i. i ' At poeta & naturam dteram 
& fortunas plures etiam ac demum sese isthoc ipso perinde 
ac Deum alterum efiicit. Nam quae omnium opifex condkEt, 
eonun reliquae scientiae tanquam actores sunL Poedca veroi 
quum & speciosius quae sunt, & quae non sunt, eorum speciem 
ponit : videtur sane res ipsas, non ut aliae, quasi histrio, narTare, 
sed veiut alter deus conderc : vnde cum eo commune nomm 
ipsi non a consensu hominum, sed a naturae prouideada iR- 
ditum videatur.' See also Mintumo, D« Fuela, pp. 87, Sec. 

158. 5-6. Fotsie . . . Mimesis. Aristotle, Poetics, i. ^ Ac. 
it is more probable that Sidney is drawing here, as he does 
frequently throughout the essay, from Scaligcr's PoeHce. Tbe 
succeeding words, " to teach and delight,' are reminisccn tp 
Bk. 1. c. i, where, speaking of Poesis, Scaliger says : ' Quamol 
tota in imitatione sita fiiit. Hie enim finis est medius a ~ 
vltimum, qui est docendi cum delectatione.' Sidney, 1 
contemporaries, is Horatian rather than Aristotelian in I 
ordination ofthewAib with the t/w/cv. Sec also note top. 197,13. 
8. a speaking piciurt (cf. p. 165, L 17), a commoDplace of 
Elizabethan and Renaissance criticism (cf. the verses in 
Puttenham, iii. ed. Art>er, p. 318 ; E. Hoby, infra, p. 342, L 39; 
Daniel's Musopkilus, 178 ; Jonson's Discoveries, ed. Cunningham, 
iii. 409), borrowed from Plutarch, De And. Poelis, 3, who reTeis 
to it as an established metaphor. Cf. Horace, Ars Poet. 361. 
Vives, in his account of Comedy, utilizes the figure thus : 
' Venit in scenam poesis populo ad spectandum congregate, tt 
ibi sicut pictor tabuUm proponit multitudini spectandam, ita 
poeta imaginem quandam vitae, ut merito I^utarchus de his 
dixerit, pioema esse picturam loquentem, el picturam poema 
tacens, ita magister est populi, et pictor, et poeta' {De Cattsis 
Corrupt. Arfittm, p. 367, ed. 1555). Mambrun in his De Carmmi 
£/(co,i652{pp. 155, 384), mentions it as 'illud Simonidis dictum, 
quod a Plutarcho lib. de aud. poet, accepimus, inypa^at, &c. 
PoesJD pictura loquaci et picturam poesi tacita defintri.* (Cf> 
JonsoD, tLs.) Mambrun also says : ' Poesis est vocatis pictnn^ 


Notes 387 

quae etiam comparatia Aristoteli familiaris futC,' which, if not 
a random association, may perhaps be explained in the light 
of the passages referred to in Mr. Butcher's Arislatle's Theory of 
Poetry, 3rd ed., p. 187, note. Cf. Scaliger's reference to poetry, 
'veluti aurium pictura quadam' [P. \. i). See Mr. Courthope's 
Lifi in Poeiry, &c., p. 17a, for an interesting passage on the 
later influence of the saying of Simonides. The definition of 
Painting reappears in the ' muda poesia ' of Camoens, Lus. vii. 
76. Horace's phrase suggested the opening lines of Du Fres- 
noy's Z)e Arte Graphica (1658), which are freely quoted in the 
eighteenth century. The metaphor is the basis of Lessing's 
Laokoon (see especially the Preface). His statement that the 
ancients were careful to inculcate that each art had its own 
objects and modes of imitation wiU not, however, describe the 
practice of Renaissance writers. 

9. three scutrall kinds, &c. Sidney's division is as in 
Scaliger ; ' Primum est Theologorum ; cuiusmodi Orpheus 
&. Amphion . . . Secundum genus Philosophorum ; idque 
duplex Naturale, quale Empedocles, Nicander, Aratus, Lucre- 
tius : Morale secundum suas partes, vt Politicum ab Solone 
& Tyrtaeo ; Oeconomicum ab Hesiodo ; Commune a Phocilide, 
Theognide, Pythagora. Tertio loco ponentur ii, de quibus 
omnibus mox' (Poetice, i. a). It may be compared also with 
Minturno's parallel division, De Poela, Bk. I. pp. 53-4, 

14. Exodus XV ; Deut. xxxii ; Judges v. 

15-16. EmattutU Tremelius or Trtmellins (text Tremilius) 
(1510-80), a Jew of Ferrara, converted to Catholic Christianity 
by Cardinal Pole and Marcantonio Flaminio, and later to Pro- 
testantism by Peter Martyr. He devoted himself to Oriental 
studies and produced a Latin Bible with the collaboration of 
Franciscus lunius. 

Fratuiscus lunius (1545-1602), a French protestant who 
taught Theology at Neustadt, Heidelberg (where he assisted 
Tremelius with his translation), and Leyden. Sidney refers 
to the title-page of the and vol. of their Bible, containing 
the five ' poetical books.' 

33. Perhaps a reference to the translation of the Psalms 
begun by him, and completed by the Countess of Pembroke. 

29. Cato. The Disticha de moribus, ascribed to a certain 

^^h here, t) 

388 Notes 

Dionysius Cato, The book, which 13 referred to by John 
of Salisbury (Policraticus, vii), was frequently printed towards 
the close of the fifteenth century, and was edited by Erasmus 
and praised by Luther. See Fabricius, Eibl. Latitta, pp. 683-5. 
It was used as a textbook in Elizabethan schools (cf. Drayton, 
To Henry Reynolds ; Peele, Edward I, ed. Bullen, i. 169). 

30. Poulanus, J. Jovianus, author of the Urania (see ii. 
p. 315, 1. 9, note). Scaliger devotes a considerable portion of 
Chap. II {Poetae tvcentiores) in the 6th Book of his Poetice to 
a criticism of his work. 

159. 5. Cf. Cicero, Orator ii. 3. 
17. See p. 154, 1. 4. 

35. verse being but an ornament, &c. See p. 182, II. 17-18 
and note, and 11. 19-20, note. Cf.Castelvetro,/'(w//OT, pp.33, &c., 
190. For a discussion of this question from the Aristotelian 
and Sidneian points of view see Mr. Courthope's Life in Poetry. 
pp.68, &c., and Mr. Butcher's Aristotle's Theory of Poetry (3rd 
edit.), pp. 143, Sfc. 

The contrast between poets and versifiers had been noted 
by Eiyot in the Gouernour {* semblably they that make verses, 
expressynge therby none other lernynge but the craft of verai- 
fyeing, be nat of auncient writers named poetes, but onely called 
versifyers,' ed. Croft, 1. lao). Cf. Puttenham, infra, ii. 3. 16-17. 
The distinctbn is of course as old as Quintilian. 

160. 8. Theagines and Caridea. Supra, p. 157, 1, a. Probably 
borrowed from Scaliger, who also instances Theagines and 
Cariclea as an epic in prose. See Poetice, iii. 95. 

13-16. This is in agreement with Minturno's general theory 
and may even be an echo of his phrases, e.g. 'aut vitia aut 
virtutes effingunt,' De Poeta, p. 27. Cf also pp. 11. and 35, 
Mr. Spingarn points out, in support of this contention, that 
Sidney, like Minturno, makes poets feign images of virtues and 
vices, not merely actions, as Aristotle does. 

161. la. Plato, Theaetetus, 174. Sidney uses the metaphor 
again in the 19th Sonnet q{ Astropkel and Stella. 

so. Arkitechtonike (dpx'T^KTomu]). Arist. Eth. i. I. 4; with 
which compare Sidney's ..-nsuing words (11. 23, &c.). 

31 . I follow the original text in not making a new paragraph 
here, though the Philosophers deserve one equally with the 

Notes 389 

Historians, The following anacolutlion suggests a run-on idea. 
Ponsooby's text reads : ' wherin if we can shew, the Poet is 
worthy to haue it before anyother competitors : among whom 
principall challengers . . .' 

162. a, &c. So Cicero, Pro Arch. 11 ; Titsc. i, 15. 

3a. From Cicero, De Oral. ii. 9. 36 ' Historia vero testis 
temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, nuntia 
vetustalis . . .' 

163. 13. AlphoMsus of Aragon. Alphonso V of Aragon and 
I of Sicily (1416-58). 

29, &c. For a parallel comparison of poetry with ethics and 
law in Varchi's Lteioni (Florence, 1590), see Spingaro's Lit. 
Crii. pp. 50-1. 

31-2. Horace, Epist. i. 16. 53-3. 

164. 13-13. Cf, Daniel!o,u.s., p. 19; aIsoMintumo,Z>*/'oe/(i39 
{' quae scverius asperiusque quam opus fit philosophi disputant'). 

24. Orig. ' fruit I esse.' 

aj, &c. Cf. the passage in Mintumo, De Poela (I. p. 38), 
concluding 'Sed tamen docendus erat populus, Si ad virtulem 
informandus, non praeceptis phiiosophorum, aed exemplis, 
quae non historici, sed poetae prolulissent.' Cf also Varchi, 
as above. The continuation of Sidney's argument, on to p. 168, 
follows Minturno's defence, De Poela, pp. 38-40, both in general 
drift and in the citation of certain examples. For proof of 
a direct point of contact, compare Sidney, p. 167, II. 8-10, with 
' Quod autem iabulas illi fingerent eas, quae populo placerent, 
eiprimerentque ; non alia, quam quae populo probarentur ; 
num adeo philosophi haltucinati ab hominum consuetudine 
mentis aciem abducebant, vel, ut verius dicam, ita mente capti 
e statu SHO dimouebantur, ut non viderent, nisi esset oratio ad 
eorum, qui audirent, opinionem accommodanda, nullum esse 
genus oratorum oportere' (p. 38). And again, ' At enim poeta 
non ita populo seruit, non ita se vulgo addictum putat, ut 
praeter id omne, quod probet multitude, nihil aliud prefer; 
possit' (p. 39). Minturno returns to (his on p. 106. 
Harington, infra, ii. p. 199, 11. 2-3. 

165. 17. Crp. 158, 1.8. 

24. Orig. 'maddesse.' Hor, Epist. i. z. 62 'Ira furor 
brcvis est.' Cf. Seneca, De Ira, i. i. 


25- Sidney refers to the dramatic situation generally, for 
the audience did not see the ' killing and whipping.' 

166. 3. Chaueers Pandar, in Troilus and Criseyde. 

13. Eutopia. Perhaps a misprint, though Mr. Shuckburgh 
points out that in the prefatory verses to the Latin editions 
of the Utopia there is a punning distinction made between 
' Utopia ' and ' Eutopia ' (ed. Apologit, p, g6), 

23-4. Horace, Ars Poet. IL 372-3 ('Non homines, non 
di,' &c.). 

a6. Cf. Harington, infra, u. p. 205, 1. 35. 

167. 9. Popular. So Plutarch. See note to p. 164, 1. 25, &e. 
19-30. See Aristotle's Poetics, 9. 

3i,/«// of reason, Cf. p. 168, 1. 33, and p. 197, 1. 10, See 
Mr. Spingarn's section on the growth of Rationalism in Renais- 
sance criticism (Lit. Crit. pp. 150, &c., 246, &c.). 

168. II. Horace, Sat. i. 8; Epiid. v. 

170. 10-15. Cf. Giraldi Cintio, Dei Romanzi {ed. Daelli, i. 
p. 66). 

II. See Plutarch, De Aud. Poetis, iv. 

17. Milciades (Miltiades), the victor at Marathon. 

18. See Plutarch's Lifi of Phocion. 

19-20. Septimius Severus (193-211) and Alexander Sevenis 


28. Suetonius, /xAVw Caesar, 77. 

33. Cipselus, Periander, Herodotus, v. 92. 

Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum. Cf, Cicero, De Off. ii. 7. 
36. See Harington, infra, ii. p. 310, t. 16. 

Diottysius, tyrant of Syracuse. Cf. Cicero, Tusc. 5. ao. 
171. 13. Pkilophilosophos (i^iXoi^Xdooifor— Ponsonbys text) : a 
Renaissance form, perhaps Sidney's own. Cf, Mysomousoi, 
p. 181, 1. 19. 

14, 15. moouing. Cf. Minturno, De Poeta, p. 106 ; Varchi, 
LeseioHi, 576. 

21. not Gnosis but Praxis. Aristotle, Ethics, i. 
172. 9, &c. Cf. Varchi, passim. (See note to p. 163, 1. 29, &c.) 

31-3. wit/i a tale, &.c. Borrowed by Harington, infra, ii. 
p. 308, II. 6-a. 

25-30. For this common Renaissance simile, see Minturno, 
De P. p. 49, and Daniello, De P. p. 19. See also Harington's 

Notes 391 

reference to Plutarch and his quotation from Tasso, infra, ii. 
pp. 198-9, and p. ao8, 1. I ; Lyiy's Euphues (Arber, p. 328) ; and 
Nash (ed. Grosart, ii. p. 90). It is not probable that Sidney is 
thinking (as Mr. A. S. Cook suggests) of a passage in the 
Preface to Part III of the edition of the Bible by Junius and 
Tremellius (to whom Sidney refers, supra, p. 158I. There the 
figure is the smearing of the mouth of a vessel with honey, as 
it is in Lucretius, i. 936, S;c.— a fact noted by Giutio Guastauino 
and Scipio Gentili in the 1590 Genoa edition of Tasso, whe>c 
a parallel is given from Lactantius, Insiitutiones, v. If Sidney 
be directly indebted to any one, he may be recalling Gosson's 
Sckook of Abuse (ed. Arber, p. ao). 

173. 5. as Aristotle. Poetics, 4. 
17-18. ^f«. xii. 645-6. 

a6. Persius, Sat. v. 151. 

174. 3, &c, Menenius Agripfa. Livy, ii. 33. Cf. Shakespeare, 
Coriolanus, i. 1, 94. 

8. farre fet. A favourite phrase with Sidney. Cf, p. sos, 
1. 3, and note ; and Puttenham, infra, ii. 169, 1. 7, &c. 

23. Nathan. (2 Sam. xii.) Cf. p. 185, 1. 10. This is bor- 
rowed by Harington, infra, ii. p. 205, 1. 27. 

175. 16, &c. the Tragicomicall. Cf. p. 199, 11. 9, 13. 
18. In the Arcadia and in the ConsoiaHo. 

176. 5-6. Virgil, Eclog. vii. 69-70. 

17 and 33. Persius, Sal. 1. 116-117: — 

' Omne vafer vitium ndenti Fiaccus amieo 
Tangit et admissus circum praecordia ludit,' 

26. Horace, Epist. i. 11. 30 'Est Ulubris, animus si te non 
deficit aequus.' 

27. No, perchance. A direct reference to the particular 
attack of the Sckoole of Abuse and like pamphlets (supra, 
p. 61 et seq.), 

30. Comedy is att imitation, Sec. Sidney's definition of the 
function of comedy is analogous to (if not derived from) 
Trissino's {Opere, ii. 127, &c.) and Cicero's {De Oral. ii. 58-9), 
and may be compared with Elyot's statement in the Gouernour 
('53')i ed. Croft, i. 124-5. See also notes to p. 81, 1. i, and ii. 
p. 389, 11, 35-6. Sidney distinguishes the 'common 


39s Notes 

I our life' and the 'domestical matters' as the special material 

for the laughter which is to beget 'admiratio' (see below) in 
the breasts of the spectators. The deligh [fulness of comedy 
cannot be found in the greater evils and sorrows which belong 
to tragedy ; and laughter is an accident and nowise an essential 
condition of effective comedy. Cf Jonson's Discoverits, apropos 
of Aristotle's views on laughter. 

177. lo-ii. Demta,Si,c. See supra, p. 370. 
iB. Pistrinum, the ' mill ' for troublesome slaves. 
' 24-5. See Introduction, p. Ixxxvi. 

a8. affects, feelings. Cf. Sidney's Arcadia, p. 351 (ed. 1603). 
'Admiration' is used in the technical sense first established 
by Minturno, who added it to the Horatian 'instruction' and 
I ' delight ' as the third function of Poetry. See De Porta, p. 10a : 

I 'Verum, ut quae proposita sunt eiponamus, erit Poetae sic 

I dicere versibtis, ot doceat, ut delectet, ut moueat. Qui non 

ita dicet, ut haec tria assequi debeat nunquam, mea quidem 
I sententia, hoc nomine appeliabitur" ; p. 106, ' Illud autem ne 

te praetereat velim, sic poetis esse dicendum, ut siue doceant, 
siue oblectent, siue moueant, haec singula statim admiratio 
L legentis, audientisue consequatur' ; and p. 107 (with the margi- 

nalia). So too Scaliger, Poetice, III. xcvi ('sed & docendi & 
mouendi & delectandi '). See Mr. Spingarn's exposition of 
Mintiorno's doctrine (it'. Crit. pp. 52-3). Though in some 
■ passages of Elizabethan criticism the term is, as here, con- 

I joined with ' commiseration ' as the equivalent of the Aristo- 

telian 'pity' and 'fear' of tragedy, it c'efines, in part, the 
function of poetry /ffse and in all its kinds. Though 'Admira- 
tion ' was ultimately raised to the level of Pity and Terror, 
its critical place is with ' instruction ' and ' delight ' in the 
general definition of the purpose of Poetry. The narrowing 
down comes later, in Comeille, Boileau, and Saint-^vremond, 
I with whom ' Admiration is a tragic passion,' See the important 

letter from Boileau to Ch, Perrault (1700): 'Pouvcz^^ous nier 
que ce ne soit dans Tite-Live . . . que M. de Corneille a pris ses 
i beaux traits, a puis^ ces grandes id^es qui lui ont fait 
1 nouveau genre de trag^die inconnu a Arislote ( 
ur ce pied, a mon avis, qu'on doit regarder quantity 
3 belles pifrces de theatre, oCi, se mettant au-dessus 

£ssus J 

Notes 393 

lies regies de ce philosophe, il n'a point songiJ, eomme les poetes 
de I'aneienne trag^die, k ^mouvoir la pitie et la terreur, mais 
k exciter dans I'Sme des spectateurs, par la sublimite des pens^es 
et par la beauts des sentiments, une certaine admiration, dont 
plusieurs personnes, et les jeunes gens surlout, s'accommo- 
dent souvent beaucoup mieux que des vSritables passions 

33-3. Seneca, (Edipus, 705. (Orig. ' authorem.') 

178. I. 'P\yHaTi:\i,LifeofPelopidas,2g. 

16. naturall Probletnes, i. e. ' problems ' based on, or dealing 
with, natural history. ' Problem ' here and elsewhere is equiva- 
lent to ' figure,' ' illustration.' Cf. Asirophtl and Slelia, iii. II. 6, 
10 (ed. FlQget, p. a). 

ao. Percy aud Dugtas, a reference to the older version of 
Chevy Chase, or perhaps (as Mr. Child has suggested) to the 
Battle of Olterboume. 

30, &c. See Plutarch's Lycurgus, 21. 

179. 7. three fearefutl felicities. Plutarch's Alexander, 3. 

ai. Plato and Tullie. See De Finibus, u. 16, and De O^ciis, 
i. 5. Cicero refers to Plato in both passages. 

28. Cf. Puttenham, infra, ii. p. 43, II. 21-2, note. 

180. la. Horace, Epist. i. a. 4. 

181. 10. II. See note to p. 188, 1. a6. 

19. Mysomousoi: iiva-o/iovaoi (for /iicrn/iou»oi) in Ponsonby's 
text. Perhaps Sidney's own word. Cf. note to p. 171, 1. 13. 
35. Ovid, Ars Amat. ii. 662, altered of purpose by Sidney : 

' Die habilem, quaecumque brevis ; quae turgida, plenam ; 
Et lateat vitium prox imitate boni.' 

182. I, Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, See Harington, infra, 
ii. p. 199, 1. 27, &c. Sidney here refers to Agrippa's De vanitafe 
et ineertitudine sdentiarum. The objections against poetry stated 
on p. 183 are probably inspired by this work, which speaks of 
arehitectrix mendaciorum et cul/rix perversorum dogmatum. 

17-18. See p. 159, 1. 35. Cf. Ronsard, 'Tous ceux qui 
esc rive nt en carmes, tant doctes puissent-iis estre, ne sont pas 
poetes. II y a autant de difference entre un poete et un 
cateur,' &c. (Preface de la Franciade). 

19-ao. Scaliger, Poetice, i. 2 'Poctae igilur nomer 




fingendo, vt putarunt, quia fictis vteretur ; sed initio a faciendo 
versu dictum est.' 

ai. Oralio . . . Ratio: following Quintilian, ii. i6 (109). Cf. 
Cicero, De O^ciis, i. 16, This is a common Renaissance theme. 
Cf. J, J. Pontanus, De Sermone, lib. i {Opera, Aldus, 1518, iii, 
185 v»). 

183. 18. * . . . hourely lessons ; as Perconlalotvm fngito, nam 
garrulus idem est, Dum libi quisque placet credula turba sumus. 
But the fitnes . . .' (Porsonby's test). Hor. Epist. i. 18, and 
Ovid, Hem. Amoris, 686. 

26. Sidney now addresses himself directly to answer 

35. erre {Ponsonby, eare) = ' to plough,' Sidney's reference 
to Chaucer is merely verbal, not as an argument about Comedies. 
See the passage in TAe Knightes Tale, z8, ' I have, God woot, 
a large feeld to ere,' which is borrowed from the Rom. dt la 
Rose, 21481. 

('« otiier Nations, &c. So Gosson's Se/ioole of Abuse, passim. 

184. 5. out shot Robin Hood. See ii. p. Z19, 1. ai, note. 
5-6. Ptalo. Cf. Gosson and Lodge, supra. 
aa. Cf Harington, infra, ii. p. 201, 1. 19. 

185. 10. Nathan, supra, p. 174, 1. 23. 
30-1. lohn a stile atid lokn a noakes (orig. * John Ute stile,' 

i.e. John who dwells at the stile, and 'John atten Oke,' i.e. 
John who dwells at the oak), fictitious names in a legal action. 
See infra, ii. p. 270, 1. 14, and the passage in The Relume from 
Parnassus, pt. 11. iv. i. 1537 et seq. Cf. 'John Doe' and 'John 
Roe ' {supra, p. 140) ; now obsolete in English law, though still 
retained in American law. 

186. 13. Cf. Harington, infra, ii. p. 309, 1. 3. 
30. ib. II. 13-14. 

33, 33. Eikasfike — Phanlastike. See Plato, Sophist. 235-6. 
Cf. phantasticallin PuCtenham, infra, ii. p. 19, 1. 11. 

187. 17. rampire, ' rampart," defence. 

I 35. before, previous, earlier. I 

188. 24. Horace, Sat. i. i. 63 : I 

[ ' Quid facias illi ? iubeas miserum esse, libenter ^^^^M 

^^B^ Quatenus ^^^^^^H 

Notes 395 

26. companion of the Campes (cf. pp. 150, 11. 14-18, 181, IL 10- 
11). So Sidney throughout, both in his life and in his writings. 
Cf. the more academic Buchanan, esteemed by Sidney, who in 
the Preface to his Jephthes, dedicated to the Mar^chal de Brissac, 
writes ' Absurdam fortasse rem facere quibusdam videbor, qui 
ad te, hominem ab incunte aetate militaribus imbutum studtis, 
Si inter anna tubasque semper versatum, munusculum hoc 
literarium mittam : sed ii fere hoc absurdum existimaturi 
sunt, qui aut harum rerum inter se consensionem non satis 
animadvertunt, aut tuum ingenium parum habeat perspectum. 
Neque enim inter rei militaris & hterarum studium ea est, quam 
plerique falso putant, discordia : sed summa potius concordia, 
et occulta quaedam naturae conspiratio.' This concord is a 
favourite Renaissance topic. Cf. the controversy between 
Muzio {// Gentiluomo) and Mora (// Cavaliere) as to whether 
letters or arms better befit a gentleman ; the sixth dialogue 
{Del Paragone dell' Amte &• delk LfUere) of Guazzo's Dialoghi 
piaceuoli; and N. Breton's Discourse 0/ a Sc/ioller and a Souldier 
{1599}, which argues forand against the superiority of 'learning' 
over 'martiall discipline.' Nash laments, in the Epistle to his 
Anatomie of Absurditie, 'that England afforded many medio- 
crities, but neuer saw anything more singuler then worthy 
Sir Philip Sidney, of whom it might truely be saide Arma 
virumque cano.' Cf. also Daniel's Funeral Poem on the Earl of 
Devonshire, II. 120-a {Grosart, i. 176). 

189. 3. Plutarch, De sen Fartuna seu virlule Alexandri. 
7-8. See note to p. 64, 1!. 23-6. 

14-16. In answer to Gosson's Schoole of Abuse, p. ar. 

190. 4. aVA, &c. Cf. supra, p. 15a, 1. aa, and note. 

9. naturall eitemie of Poets. Cf Minturno's passage on the 
dissension between poets and philosophers, 'Fui quondam 
inter poeticam et philosophiam non leuis dissensio,' &c. (De P. 
p. 36)- See also Plato's Republic, x. 607. 

33-5. Cf Scaliger, Poetice, i. a ' Respiciat ipse sese, quot 
ineptas quot spurcas fabellas inserat; quas Graecanicum scelus 
olentes sententias identidem inculceL Certe Symposium & 
Phaedrum atque alia monstra operae pretium fuerit nunquam 

191. 10. Cf. supra, p. 71, 11. 19-ao, and note. The other 


396 Notes 

■two" are said to be Cleanlhes {Hymn to Zms), also in the 
Acts xvii. aS. and Mcnander (Thais) in i Cor. xv. 33. (See 
Mr. Cook's note, ed. Apohgif, p. 109.) Ponaonby's text omits 
the note — ' S. Paule himselfe sets a watchword.' 
Cr. Lodge, supra, p. 71, IL 19-ao. 

31. consler, construe, 

33. Scaliger, Poflice, i. a. See note to p. 193, 1. 34, 

192, 5-6. Sidney borrows the reference from Scaliger, u, s. 
15-18. Plato, Ion, 534 ; elaborated in Minturno, De Potta, 

passim, especially pp. 67, 74-6. Sec also later in the Apologit, 
p. 195, 11. 19-30, and Harington's reference, infra, ii. p. 197, 
11.6-7. Cf. too the 'Argument' of October' in the Shepheardis 
Calender : ' No arte, but a diuine gift and heauenly instinct not 
to bee gotten by laboure and learning, but adorned with both ; 
and poured into the witte by a certaine t'tdov<ruiaii6s and 
celestiall inspiration.' Of this, the writer of the Argument 
continues, ' the author els where discourseth in his book called 
the English Poete, which booke being lately come to my hands, 
I mynde also by Gods grace vpon further aduisemenl to pub- 
lish.' Spenser's treatise is not extant. (See note to p. 232, I, ai.) 

23-4. Cf. Kyd's Householder's Philosophie {transl. from 
Tasso) : ed. Boas, p. 267, II, 37-9. 

24. Grig. ' HeanfontimortttnenoH.' 

27. Plato, Phaedo, 61. 

193. 25. Virgil, Aen. i. 12. 

a8, &c. Hadrian, author of Anintula vagula, blandttia. 

30-1. Robert 11 of Anjou (1309-43); Francis 1 (1515-47). 

King lames of Scotland is generally identified with James I, 
King of Scots (1394-1437), author of the Kingis Qiiair; but 
Sidney is not likely to have known of James's reputation as 
a poet, except through Buchanan's History which had just been 
published (158a)". [If this be so, we have a clue to the date of 
the Apologie.] Can he refer to James VI, whose ^Mv^Mi/tei were 
collected in 1584 (infra, pp. aoB, 404) f 

32. Betnbus and Bibiena, supra, p. 377. 

34. Fracaslorius, Hieronymus (1483-1533), author of the 
dialogue Naugerius, siue de Poeiica, and of Syphilis and other 
works in Latin verse. See Scaliger, Poelice, vi, 4, u. s. 

' It is less likely that he knew Major's Di Gislis Scolorum (1531). 



Scaliger, Julius Caesar (1484-1558), named above, p. 191, 
I- 33, &c. (See the Introduction p. iKxxiv, and Index.) ' Non 
solum soluta oratione, in qua nonnuUa leguntur,' says Gyraldus, 
'sed etversu quaedam cecitiit, inter quae ElyaJus (poematis haec 
inscriptio est), in quo insulam Padi Belvedere Ferrariae duels 
eleganti carmine descripsit et omnem fere Estensium genea- 
logiam ' (ed. Wotke, p. 84). 

194. I, Ponlanus. See supra, p. 158, 1. 30, note. 

Muretus, M. Antonius (1536-85) 1 the Juvenilia written at 
Rome, and the Hymns of his old age. 

2. Buchanan, George. See supra, p. 24, 11. 5-7 : infra, 
p. 3or, I. 4. 

3. Hospitall of Fraunve, Michel de I'HOpital (1505-73), 
Chancellor of France. 

15. Cf. Arcadia, i. (p. 38), where Sidney speaks of men 
' disused with a long peace ' — significant references by the poet- 
soldier to the political situation before the coming of the Armada. 

17. MouHHbancks. Cf. Sidney's letter to his brother Robert 
{Correspondence, ed. Pears, 1845, p. 196). 

35. Juvenal, xiv. 

195. 23. Cf. p. 71, 1. aa. The proverb does not appear to be 
classical, in form at least, and has not as yet been traced further 
back than the Lectiones Antiquae of Coelius Rhodiginus (1450- 
1525). See Mr. Shuckburgh's note, ed. Apohgie, p. 144. The 
genealogy of the more common form Poeta nasdlur, non fit, 
is also doubtful, though it may have been suggested by the 
passage in Florus, De Qualitate Vilae, Fragm. viii (quoted by 
Ben Jonson in his Discoveries, ed. Cunningham, iii. p. 430). 
Cf. Webbe, infra, p. 297, II. i~a, and the original Latin of Fabri- 
cius in the notes (p. 420). 

196. 4. Ovid, Trisl. iv. 10. 26; printed in the original text, 
Quicquid conabor discere versus eril. A favourite quotation. Cf. 
Meres, infra, ii. p. 323, 1. 17. 

13. Mirrour of [for] Magistrates. The first edition, with 
nineteen 'legends' contributed by Baldwin, Ferrers, Phaer, 
Challoner, and others, appeared in 1559. For the later sixteenth- 
century issues, see Corser's Collectanea, viii. p. 418. 

14, the Earle of Surries Liricks appeared first in Toturs 
Miscellany (1557). 


3gB Notes 

16. The Sheapheards Kalendtr was dedicated to Sidney (title- 
page, and 'To his Booke'), Sidney's criticism may be com- 
pared with ' E. K.'s defence, supra. 

3a. Gorboduck (Tragedie of), by Thomas Sackville CLord 
Buclchurst) and Thomas Norton, 1565 {acted 1561), reprinted 
[? 1570] with the title, Tkt Tragidie of Ferrex and Porrtx. 

197. 3. Tht very end of Poesie, cf. p. aoo, I. 22. See Scaliger, 
Poetice, vii. 2 (p. 831) ' Quamobrem dieendum eat Poetae finem 
esse docere cum delectadone . . . Poetae finem esse docere com 
iucunditate ' : and cf. Giraldi Cintio, u. s. {ed. Daelli), i. 61. See 
also note to p. 158, II. 5-6. 

6, Slc. in place and Hme, &c. This is the earliest known 
reference in English to the doctrine of 'the Three Unities,' 
first formulated by Castelvetro in 1570. ' La mutatione tragtca 
non pu6 tirar con esso seco se non vna giornata 5: vn luogo' 
[Poeiica, 1576, p. 534, II. 20-1). See also ib. pp. log, 168, &c., 
and cf. the reference in 1573 by Jean de la Taille in his Art dt 
la Trag^ie. Sidney drew direct from Castelvetro. 

The canon of the Three Unities was a Renaissance develop- 
ment from the single Aristotelian Unity of Action, first by the 
adoption of the Unity of Time by the Italians Giraldi Cintio, 
Robortello, Segni, Maggi, Minturno, Scaliger, and Trissino, and 
later by the addition of the Unity of Place by Castelvetro in 
Italy, Jean de la Taille in France, and Sidney in England. In 
Maggi, Scaliger, and Minturno, there is, as Mr. Spingam has 
pointed out, a forecast of the third unity which Castelvetro first 
made absolute. It should be borne in mind that the title 'the 
three unities' does not occur till well on in the seventeenth 
century. They had been treated individually, as shown above, 
and to some extent by Mairet in his Preface to Silvanire, ? 1625 
(whose attitude is the same as Scaliger's, iv. 97, ed. 617, p. 334), 
but it was left to Chapelain to bind them together in a code. 
Corneilie knew nothing of this triple rule when he began to 
write, nor did Richelieu until he was told of it by Chapelain. 
It should be added that though Jean de la Taille supplies an 
interesting hint of the Unity of Place, he exerted no influence in 
France and was soon forgotten ; and that the later establish- 
ment of the canon of the three Unities was directly due to the 
study of Castelvetro and the Italians. The frequent references 


Notes 399 

to Castelvetro in Chapelain's correspondence would seern to 
narrow down the channel of influence to Chapelain himself, 
though he too naively says, in his Demonstration de la Regie 
des vingl-quatre keures (1630), that he has no defence to offer but 
' la pratique des anciens, suiuie d'un consentement vniuersel 
par tous les Italiens,' and that he does not remember ' si 
Aristote I'a trajtt^, ou aucun de ses commentateurs.' 

For the history of the growth of the theory see Breilinger's 
Les uniUs d'Arislote avant le Cid de Cometlte (Geneva, 1879) , and 
his important correction in the Revue entique, December 37, 
1879 (pp. 478-80) ; Lintilhac's De J.-C Scallgeri Poetics, Paris, 
1887, and his articles in the Nouvelle Revue, May 15 and 
June I, 1890 {Ixiv. 541) ; Arnaud's Etudes , . , sur les Theories 
Dratnatiques an XVII' Steele (1887) ; Ebner's Beiirag au etner 
Geschichte der dramatisc/ien Einheiten in Ilalien, Erlangen, 1898 ; 
Spingarn's Literary Criticism in the Renaissance, pp. 73, 8g-ioi, 
ao6-io ; Saintsbury'a History of Criticism, ii, Bks. iv and v, 
passim ; Butcher's Aristotle's Theory 0/ Poetry, 3rd edit., ch. vii. 

It is not pedantic to protest against the popular title, ' The 
Unities of Aristotle' (as in M. Breitinger's book, referred to 
above), though the 'Dramatic Unities' were evolved in the 
study of the Poetics ; or hypercritical to disclaim M. Lintilhac's 
' Unites scaligeriennes,' now that Mr. Spingarn has stated 
Scaltger's position and established Castelvetro's claim. 

10. See note to p. 167,1.31. 

17, &c. Cf. Whetstone, supra, p. 59, 11. 24, &c. ; Ben Jonson, 
infra, ii. p. 389. Cf. also Shakespeare, Prologue to Henry V, 
and the passage (parallel even in details) in Don Quixote, R. i. 
ch. xlviii. I am reminded by Mr. Spingarn that Rodenburg 
(supra, p. 382) in paraphrasing this passage, in 1619, quotes 
Lope de Vega's similar theory {Arte nuevo de kacer comedias), 
and adds ' 't z'eve ghebruykcn oock alle de Poeten in Enghe- 
landt' (cited by Jonckbloet, u.s., iii. aoi, note). This idea he 
probably got from Sidney ; but it is an interesting early foreign 
comment on the practice of the Elizabethan dramatists. 

35. some, &c. Cf. Castelvetro, Poetica, p. 109, 1. 30 'Per la 
qual cosa veggansi Plauto & Terentio, come si possono scusare 
di non hauere errato, che in alcune comedie loro hanno fatto 
rappresentare 1' attione piii lunga d' ua giorno': and Scaliger, 



^400 Notes 

Poelice, vi. 3. See also Dryden's reference to Scaliger on the 

lutontimorumenas {Essay of Dramatic Pot^, Works, ed. Scott 
and Saintsbury, xv. p, 307). Sidney's mention of the EuHMchus 
is a slip. The ' time ' of Terence's play was a fruitful topic 
of discussion by, among others, Muretu3, Voasius, Mambrun, 
d'Aubignac, and Manage. (See d'Aubignac's Terettce jusSfii 
and Pratique du TMAln.) 

198. 17. Pacolels horst. See the Romance of yalenliHt and 
Orson for the story of the magic horse of the dwarf Pacolet. 
Cf. Rabelais, ii. 34. 

ai. Horace, Xr'sftMd 147. 
190. 5. mingling Kings and Cloumes. See Whetstone, supra, 
p. 58, 1. 19; p. 59, 11. 33-4; p. 60, I. I, and notes; and 'E. K.', 
p. 128, 1. 5. Cf Scaliger, Poetice, 1. xi (end). 

9. mungrell Tragy-tomtdU. Cf. p. 175, I. 16. See the 
Prologue to Antphitruo, 59, 

13-14. Cf. Scaliger, ' Festiue (vt solet) Plautus Amphi- 
truonem suam Tragi com oediam appellauit : in qua personarum 
dignitas atque magnitudo Comoediae humilitati admistae essent' 
(Poet. i. 7, p. 31), See supra, p. 175, 1. 16, &c. 

200. 22. See note to p. 197, 1. 3. 

34. Aristotle, Poetics, v. i. On Laughter, cf. Trissino, 
Opere, ii. 127 et seq. 

31-a. Juvenal, Sat. iii. 152-3. 

34. Thraso, in the Eunuchus of Terence. 

awry-transformed Traueller. Cf. Ascham, Scholemasler (ed. 
Mayor, i. p. 74), ' returned out of Italis worse transformed.' 
The sentiment is, of course, an Elizabethan commonplace. 

201. 4. Buc/ianan, supra, p. X94. 

6-10. this phy matter. Cf. p. 176, 1. 27 (note). 

34-35. Cf Sidney's Aslropkel and Stella, i. 7-8 ; Ixxiv. 8. 

31. Energia {ivipytta, Arisi. Rfiel.m. II. a, Sec. ; Quintil. 401). 
See note in N. E. D., s. v. ' Energy.' Sidney may be recalling 
Scaliger's chapter on ' Efficacia ' (Poitice, iii. a6), which begins 
' Efficaciam Graeci iripytiav vocant.' 

202. 1-3. A retort to Gosson's 'chaste Matrons apparel on 
common Curlesans ' {Schoole of Abuse, ed. Arber, p. ao). 

3-8. Cf. the identity of phrase in Sidney's fil^eenth Sonnet 
in Astrophel and Stella (ed. FlQgel, 1899, p. 7) :— 

Notes 401 

'You that doe search for euery purling spring, 
Which from the rybs of old Pemassus Howes, 
And euery flower (not sweele perhaps) which growcs 
Neere there about, into your Poems wring, 
You that doe dictionary method bring 
Into your rymes, running in ratling rowes, 
You that old Petrarchs long deceased woes 
With new borne sighes and wit disguised sing, 
You take wrong wayes ; those far-fet helps be such 
As doe bewray a want of inward tutch ; 
And sure at length stolne goods doe come to light. 
But if both for your loue & skill you[r] name 
You seeke to nurse at fullest hrest of Fame, 
Stella behold, and then begin to write.' 

Cf. also the third Sonnet (ib. p. 2}. 

8-ia. Apparently a reference to Gosson, and probably, as 
Mr. A. S. Cook suggests, a direct parody of his style. 

16. Nieolian Paper-booies,i.e. on the model of the Thesaurus 
Cuenmianus ot Marias Nizolius (1498-? 1576). The style of ihcac 
collectioas of annotations is described by Ascham, supra, p. 17, 
U. a6, &c. 

16-18. Mr, A. S. Cook compares Du Bellay, De/enst (1549), 
i. 7; '[Les Remains] imitant les meilleurs auteurs grecs, se 
transformant en eux, les devorant; et, apris les avoir bien 
digerez, les convertissant en sang el nourriture.' The metaphor 
is, however, very common. 

25. Cicero, In Catii i. 2, slightly aitered- 

3a. ' ... to be chollericke. How well store of Simililtr 
Cadenses doth sounde with the grauitie of the Pulpit, I woulde 
but inuoke Demosthenes soule to tell : who with a rare dainti- 
nesse vseth them. Truly they haue made mee thinke of the 
Sophister, that wiih too much subtilitie would proue two Egge» 
three, and though he might be counted a Sophister, had none 
for his labour. So these men bringing in such a kinde of 
eloquence, well may they obtaine an opinion of a seeming 
finenesse, but perswade few, which should be the ende of 
their finenesse, Now for Similitudes ..." (Ponaonby's text). 
See FlQgei'j edition, p, 107. 

«^ . Dd 


403 Notes 

34, &c. all Herbarisis, &c. A gibe at the excesses of 
Euphuism, and more directly at Gosaon's style. Cf. Sidney's 
third Sonnet in Asiropkel and Stella : — 

'Or with straunge similes, inricht each line. 
Of hearbes or beastes, which Inde or Affricke hold.' 
See i, p. 322, 1. a8, note, and ii. p. 269. 

203. 10. as Cicero. De Oralore, ii. i. 4. 
20-2. Ronsard, on the contrary, gives the advice not to 

affect the style of courts, as courtiers fight nnore, and better, 
than they write (ed. Blanchemain, vii. 323). 

204. 18. Sidney is fond of this mannerism, especially in 
Arcadia. Cf. Hall, Satires, Bk. vi. 255, &c. (ed. Grosart) :— 

' He knows the grace of that new elegance 
Which sweet PAilisides fetch'! of late from France, 
That well beseem'd his high-stil'd Arcady, 
Tho others marre it with much liberty ; 
In Epithets to ioyne two words in one, 
Forsooth, for Adiectiues cannot stand alone; 
As a great Poet could of Bacchus say, 
That he was Semele-feMori-gena.' 

ai. Cf. the Spenser- Harvey Correspondence, passim. 

205. n. rynte; here ='rhythm' (cf. Webbe, infra, p. 367, 11. 
13, Sc). Contrast the meaning in II. 17-18, and cf. Webbe, u.s 
11. 6-7. Cf. also Gascoigne, supra, p. 50, II. 4-5, 27-8, and p, 5a, 
1. t6. For a kindred Renaissance discussion of these themes cf 
Du Beliay, Defense, ii. chs. 7 and 8. 

For the form rAyi!A»w= rhyme, see the quotation from the 
Prtstrvation of King Henry the VII, supra, p. 377. 
11-12. Cf. Daniel, infra, ii. p. 360, II. 24-5. 
14. Casura, cf Gascoigne, supra, p. 54, 1. 9, &c 

206. 6. Not in Aristotle; but probably taken from Boccaccio, 
De Genial. Deorunt, XV. viii (edit. 1532, pp. 392-3), which refers 
to Aristotle's testimony. 

8. Bembus, supra, p. 396. 

9-11. Scaliger, Pott. iii. c. 19 'Nullis profeclo Philosophoi 
praeceptis aut melior aut ciuilior euadere potes quam ex Vir- 
giliana lection e.' 

11-12. Claustrus, tht Translator of Comntus, Sidney refers 

Noles 403 

to the Preface of the Latin translation, by Conrad Clauser, of 
the w»p! Tie Toi 610U 'piiiTtiis of Annaeus Comutus. 

16-18. Borrowed by Harington, infra, ii. p. 303, 11. 5-10, 

19. Landin (Cristoforo Landino), i424-?i504. The fullest 
account will be found in the Specimen Li/eralurae F/orenlinae 
saeculixv, by Ang. Bandinio, a vols. Florence, 1747. The list of 
his works is given in ii. p. 179, &c, Sidney probably refers to 
the Disputationes Camaldulettses. 

For the doctrine of 'divine fury," here associated with 
Landin, see supra, p. 193, 11. 15-18, note. 

37. Cf. Horace, Sat. L 6. 6. 

29. Virgil, Aen. ix. 446. 

33-3. This common figure will be found in Cicero's 
Somnium Scipionis, 5. Cf Overbury, Charaders, 'A Quack- 
salver' (ed, Rimbault, p. 141). 
207.3. Will become such a fool as to be a dull critic of poetry, 

5. Bubonax. ' Sidney is referring to the tale of Hipponax 
(an Iambic poel of Ephesus about b. c. 500), of whom one story 
was that he satirized the statuary Bupalus so bitterly that he 
hanged himself. By some confusion ... he has combined the 
two names ' (Shuckburgh, ed. Apologte, p. 176). Cf. Hor. Epod. 
vi. 14. 

10-11. Cf. The Pilgrimage to Parnassus, Act. V (II. 538-9). 

King James VI (pp. 208-25). 

209, 7, &c. James's references to his sources are put darkly. 
From tLe writers 'of auld,' whether classical or mediaeval, he 
could draw little help in his study of Scots prosody ; and, 
as his statement that nothing had been written on the subject 
in Scots (1. 33) is still valid, the possible originals are narrowed 
down to English and French. It is difficult to interpret the 
phrase ' sindrie hes written of it in English ' as we do not have, 
except in one case, any evidence, external or internal, how far 
the youthful author was then familiar with the criticism of 
SpKnser and his friends and the other tracts printed in this 
volume, or whether he is referring in a general way to more 
technical rhetorical works such as Wilson's (cf. 11. 34, 35). The 
exception is Gascoigne's Cerlayne Noles (supra, pp. 46-57), though 
D d a 

404 Notes 

James does not name it. The aimiiar purpose of the two books 
and the paralleUsms noted below seem to prove this, unless ii 
be that in some places James, hke Gascoigne (see note to p. 47, 
1. 7], has drawn direct from the French. He mentions Du 
Bellay (1. 30) ; and Che ' sindrie others ' may reasonably include 
Ronsard (see note to 1. 30). 

It has been surmised that the material of the volume of 
Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie, in which this 
tract appears, was selected from the school-exercises which 
James had done when he was Buchanan's pupil at Stirling. 
It may be that his effort towards an Ars Poelica was directly 
inspired by his master's De Prosodia and his annotations on 
Vives (Opera, Edin, 1715, vol. ii). 

13. Flowing, i.e. rhythm. Cf. p. 210, L 36; p. 216, I. aB; 
p. ai8, 1. 34. 

13. Ryming in iermes : defined on p. aia, 1. 25. 

30. Dtt Bfllay. See La Defense et Illustration de la langue 
fran{oist (1st edit. I5^9), the Epistre au Lecteur prefixed to 
L'Olive (ist edit. 1549), the shorter poems Discours au Roy sur 
la Poesie and Le PoSte coutiisan (added to L'Olive), and the 
Epistre to Vers Iraduits (155a). 

See also Ronsard, Preface de la Franciade and Abrigi dt 
^Art poitique frangois (1565). 

210. 1-4. Cf. Thomas Randolphe's letter to Buchanan {Mar, 15, 
1579) : ' No lessefamous then Apelles Table was, & as voyde of 
ComptroUment as his Worke was, howe curiouse soeuer the 
Souter would seme to be' (Buchanan, Opera, 1715, ii; Epist. 
xii). James's misquotation— and from his favourite Pliny 
(N. H. XXXV. (36) 10)— would show that the popular substitution 
of ultra for supra had been already accepted. 

panloun.Ci. Watson, 'EiaTonTroflta, 'To the Reader' : '[say] 
to the second that though Venus be in my verse, yet her slipper 
is left out ' (Spenser Soc. ed., p. 6). 

5-13. Cf Du Bellay, Defense, chap, xi ; and Gascoigne, 
ante, p. 47 and note. See infra, p. 221, chap. vii. And cf. Wilson, 
Arte of Rhelorique [1553], fol. 3 v" : and Ben Jonson : ' But all 
this in vain, without a natural wit and a poetical nature in 
chief (Discoveries, in Works, ed. Cunningham, iii. 421). 

17. blok, plan, ' block out.' Cf. James's preface I 


ce to the j 

Notes 405 

Uranit, ' I haue put in the French on the one side of the leif, 
and my blocking on the olher' (ed, Arber, p. ai). 

z^. /ele; for syllable, though James uses the latter too (e.g. 
p. aiz, 1. 27 ; p. 213, I. ai). 

211. 19-32. The characteristics of the poet here given are 
exclusively external and technical, as in Ronsard and Du Bellay. 
In some portions the resemblance may be due to direct sugges- 
tion (cf. Ronsard, Pre/, de la Frandade ; Du Beliay, Le Po&« 
amriisan, 11. 75-80, 113). 

212. 5, cullotifis (pi.), i.e. rhythm or metre— a Scots usage, to 
be distinguished from that other sense, ' figures,' ' ornaments," 
'rhetorical modes,' deduced from Cicero, Quinlilian, and 
Horace, through Scaliger, Poetice, Jii. 30. For the former sense 
cf., perhaps, Jonson, Conversations, XV ; for the latter supra, 
p. 65, I. 32, Chaucer, Squitres Tale, 11. 30-i. Wilson, Arte of 
Rhelorique [1553], f. 94 V. For the sing, fomrin the sense here, 
see p. 213, 1. II. 

213. 21-4. Cf. Gascoigne, ante, p. 49, U. 33-5. 

86. This exclusive choice of the iamb may be, as has been 
suggested (Sainisbury, Hist. Crii, ii. 178), additional proof of 
French influence in this tract, but the limitation was already 
recognized. See Gascoigne, ante, p. 50, 11, 6-10, 23-7, the 
Spenser- Harvey correspondence, passim, and Webbe, p. 273, 

3a. Cf. p. 324, 1. 7. 

214. i-ii. Obviously modelled on Gascoigne, ante, p. 50, 1. 30- 
p. 51, 1. 17. James's example is less happy. 

12, &c. Seclioutt, i.e. caesura. 

215. 3-14. Contrast Gascoigne's placing of the caesura, ante, 
P- 54. 5 13' 

16. monosyllabis. Contrast Gascoigne, ante, p. 51, § 5. 
26. suppose, though. 

216. 29. Cf. Ronsard, Abr^gide VArtpoitiqut, u. s., p. 344. 

217. 1-3. Cf Gascoigne, ante, p. 48, II. 31-3, and p. 51, 5 6; 
Ronsard, u. s,, p. 351. 

lo-ii. James had many examples to choose from in 
mediaeval literature or in sixteenlh-century Scots : and he 
may have been thinking of such passages as the opening lines 
of Du Bellay's Ex€cration sur I'Angleterre. 

4o6 Notes 

24. Ftyling. This is a common sixteenth -century Scots 
form of poetic invective, allied to the older knson and esirij, 
and analogous in excessive abuse to the Medicean Imsone, 

25. kurland ouer keuch, i.e. dashing (driven violently) over 
craggy steeps. 

33. waitl, choose. 

218. i-io. vocabulaarlis, Cf. Gascoigne's 'apt vocables,'ante, 
p. 47. 1- 13. 

i8-ao. Cf. the Glosse on 'his name' in 'July' of the 
Shepkeardes Calender. Contrast the 'indecorous' learning of the 
shepherds in the Comphynl of Scoltande (1549). 

33, &c. Tumbling verse. See note to p. 233, 1. 9. 

219. 4. Orig. ' giue.' 

g. as for Comparisons. Cf. Ronsard, Pr^f. de la Franciade, 
u. s., p. 1B8. 

18. Ronsard spealts of epithets (Abr/g^, u.s., p. 350), but 
against those which are unnecessary (e. g, riviere couranU). 

28. corrupiit wordis. Cf. Sidney, supra, note to p. 204, I. 18. 

220. 20-8. Cf. Gascoigne, ante, p. 48, !1. 9-23. 

30-2. An anacoluthon : ' that . , .^«' or ' [that] . . . to.' 

221. I. As James does in his Phoenix, e. g. p. 45 (ed. Arber). 
5, iHuenlioH. Cf. p. 310, 11. 5-13 (note). 

la Cf. Du Bellay, Vers traduUs {Episire), p. 4. 
12, &c. Cf. u. p. 33, 11. ia-19. 

a6. Cf. Gascoigne's 'rydingrime' and remarks thereon, ante, 
p. 56, % 16. Also Puttenham, Campion, and Daniel, by the Index. 

222. ai. Uarnit. The example chosen will be found among 
James's poems in the Lusus Regius (ed. Rait, p. 17). 

22. Ballat Royal, ballade royal, originally of seven lines of 
ten syllables, ababbcc, as in the Kingis Quair of James I, 
King of Scots ; later, according to James VI, as here, with an 
additional line inserted between the sixth and seventh, 
ababbcbc. This is not the true otiava rima; nor is it the 
true rliyme-royal, though it frequently bears the name, and is 
historically related through it to the older French chant-royal. 

3a, Troilus verse, so-called from Chaucer's use of the seven- 
lined stanza in his Troilus, is the true rAyme-royal. This is 
Gascoigne's rythme rqyall, defined ante, p. 54, § 14. Chaucer, 


Notes 407 

)uld be noted, uses three rhymes {a b a b b c c). James's 
example is from Alexander Montgomerie's Edto (S. T. S. edit, 
p. 138). 

223. 9. RouncefalUs or Tumbling verse. The origin of the 
term rouncefal, which James VI here applies prosodically, is 
not dear. Stanyhurst uses it in the same sense, ' to tumble ' — 

' thee tree 
At leingth with rounsefal, from stock vntruncked, yt harssheth ' 
{/JeM., ed. Arber, p. 63; see also p. 9a). Dekker has 'Dost roare? 
th'ast a good rouneivall voice to cry Lanthorne and candle-light ' 
{Satiromaslix, 1602, p. 243). T. Heywood in the Golden Age 
(ii. i) speaks of a ' bona roba, a rounceval, a virago, or a good 
manly lass'; and Gayton in 1654 (Notes upon Don Quixote, 111. 
ii. 72) describes a certain woman as a * more rare sight then we 
exhibit at Bartholomew Faire (take in to help it the reaking 
sweating Rouncifolds of Py-Corner too).' The underlying notion 
of ahoydenish, rough-and-tumble, 'falling-away' manner is well 
expressed in the line, and in the rush and bob of the stanza. 
1 am indebted to Mr. W. A. Craigie for the above quotations 
from the collections for N. E. D. 

The example is from Montgomerie's Polwart and Mont- 
gomerie's Flyling (S. T. S. edit. p. 69). 

36-7. Cf. Gaseoigne, ante, p. 55, 1. 16. 

31. Commoun verse. This stave is Gascoigtie's Ballade 
(ante, p. 54, 1. 35), which he also gives lo ' matters of loue ' (ib. 
p. 57. 1- •)■ 

224. 3. this, thus (Middle Scots usage). 
7. Cf. ante, p. 213, 1. 32. 

9. Montgomerie's Cherrie and the Slae (S. T. S. edit, p. 6), 

Webbe {pp. 226-302). 

227. 37. detiises. Sir Egerton Brj'dges would find here an 
allusion to The Paradyse of Daynly Deuices (1578). See his 
edition, p. xxiv. 

229, 16. beeing no! the firste. Webbe refers (infra) to the 
critical opinions of, among others, Ascham, Gaseoigne, Spenser, 
and Harvey ; and has, indeed, small claim to originality in any 
portion of his Treatise. 

4o8 Notes 

30. cfnsure, judgment, criticism (not necessarily adverse). 
Cf. p. 301, 1. 21, note. 

34. /Ays reformed versifying. See pp. 078 et seq. 
230. 6. naiTpia. This impossible variant of n-aiijo-it is Ihe 
M. Lat. word poftria printed in Greek letters : the Greek word 
jraiTjTpia means a poetess. Poetria was given currency by 
Geoffrey de Vinsauf's Nova Poetria, c. laoo. Webbe's scholar- 
ship throughoBt is not of the best, though he ventures on 

Cf. Sidney, ante, p. 155: and 'E. K.'s gloss to 'April 'in the 
Shepheardes Calender. 

18. Plwrmio,Yro\.\Q. Cf.also//MK/.Prol.a3. See infra, ii. 
p. 32g, 11. 9-10, and ' E. K.'s gloss to ' December ' of The Shep- 
heardes Calender: 'Musick, that is Poetry, as Terence sayth 
. . ., speking of Poetes." 

34. Panegeryca, i.e. irarTyvpixd {miiiToaia, it'acva). The whole 
passage (L 20-p. 231, 1.5) is taken direct from 'E. K.'s gloss 
to ' October ' of The Shepheardes Calender. Webbe omits 'E.K.'s 
clue to the passage in Plato (Laws, i). 

231.2, Vales. See ante, p, 154, 1. 5, note. Webbe distinguishes 
between Vales and Poela : just as Ronsard makes a further 
distinction between the original poets who conversed with 
oracles and prophets, and ' les seconds Pogtes' who were 
'plus enflez d'artifice et labeur que de divinity' (AbrJgi). 
i6. Orig.P\0^<,t. Cf.p.a67,ll.6-i5. 20. 0>ig. \„r,Ttl,i. 

34. Tusc. i. 26 ' sine caelesti aliquo mentis instinctu.' Cf. 
Webbe's words on the next page, 11. 2-3. 

232. 5. Fasti, vi. 5. The emblem in 'October' of The Shep- 
heardes Calender, from which Webbe quotes below. 
7. late, recently. 

10-11. Shepheardes Calender, 'October.' 
21. English Poet. Cf. p. 246, L 4, and note to p. iga, U. 15-18. 
' E. K.'s reference to this unknown work will be found in the 
argument to ' October ' in The Shepheardes Calender. Grosart's 
'sotipfon of suspicion' that it is ' incorporated or adapted' in 
Sidney's Apotogie (ed. Spenser, i. pp. 99, 453) is probably of little 
value ; and Collier's discovery of a reference to it in Nicholas 
Breton's 'Epitaph on Spenser' in his Melanchoiike Humours 
(ed. Spenser, i. cslviii) is based on a misunderstanding of the 


Notes 409 

text. See Schelting'3 Poetic and Verse Criticism of the Reign of 
Elizabeth, Philadelphia, 1891, pp. 31-3. 
231, 6, 7. Orig, ' made houses, and kept.' 

235. 15. deiigAl . . . eomntoditie. Cf. supra, p. 15B, 11. 5-6, note, 
and p. 197, 1. 3, note. 

33. none woorth the reading twyce is said by Cicero of the 
plays of Livius Andronicus in particular (' Livianae fabulae vix 
satis dignae quae itenim legantur,' Bnilus, 71) : but his general 
drift in the passage is substantially what Webbe makes it. 

236. 14. Aristotle, Poetics, i. 8. Webbe probably takes this 
at second-hand, as elsewhere in his references to the Aristo- 
tehan canon. He follows Horace not merely in the theory 
but in the historical illustrations, e.g. 1. 24, where, with Lodge 
(supra, p. 81), he reproduces the order of Sat. i. 4 (though 
Cratinus is senior to the other two), and I. 26, where he recalls 
the association of Plato and Menander in Sat. ii. 3. In these 
examples he copies Fabricius Cheranicensis verbatim, whom he 
translates, infra, p. 295. 

31. Theagines. Probably for the tragic poet Theognis (by 
confusion with the better known name of the hero in the 
Aethiopica of Heliodorus, supra, p. 388), of whose work but 
two words, 4'°Pl"-yi njfopios, survive. These are mentioned in 
Aristotle's Rhetoric, and in Demetrius, De Eloculione, 85. Aristo- 
phanes refers to him once or twice as a poet so dull and frigid 
{■\nixpAs) that it snowed in Thrace when he brought out aplay at 
Athens (Smith's Class. Did.). 

237. 20, Cf. Lodge, supra, p. 82. 

30. Propertius ii. 3a. 66. Quoted by Meres, infra, ii. p. 316, 
1. 3 (see note). 
2S8. 15. C. Silius Italicus, author of the Punica. 
239. 14. Pallengenius. See p. 30, 1. 10, note. 
Baplisia Mantuanus. See p. 244, II. 11-13, note. 
15-16. Christopher Oeland, Master of Southwark and 
Cheltenham Schools, whose Latin poems appeared in 158a, 
in a volume entitled Anglorum Praetia ab atiHo 1327 . . . vsqtie 
ad annum 1558. Item De Pacattssitno Angtiae Statu imperante 
Elieabetha compendiosa Narratio. The book was ordered by the 
Privy Council to be taught 'in all grammar and free schools 
within thisrealme.' Alexander i^t\i\ic'& Kettus, sive defuroribus 


4x0 Notes 

Norfolciensium Ketto Duct is included in the volume. Cf. Hall's 
Satires (ed. Grosart), iv. 3, 11. 16-17 1— 

' Or cyte olde Oclands verse, how they did weild 
The wars in Turwin, or in Turttey field.' 

240. 14. See supra, p. 29, II. 31, &c. ; p. 3a, 1. ai. 

241. 4-5. Now in the edition by Mr. G. C. Macaulay, 4 vols., 
Osford, 1899-1902. 

10. Ifie God of English Poets, &c. So Spenser, ' The God 
of Shepheards, Tilyrus, is dead ' [sh. Cal, 'June') ; and ' E. K.' 
in his gloss ' ... by Tityrus is meant Chaucer, . . . whom he 
calleth the God of Poetes for his excellencie." 

242. 9. quantity, Webbe's description of Langland's verse 
is not clear. If he be using ' quantity ' as in p. a8i, 1. I, his 
account is not less inadequate. 

23. ninth ; an error for the eleventh eclogue ('November') 
of the Shepheardes Calender (q. v.). 

31. the olde Earle of Surrey. (See p. 126, 1. a, note.) The 
first collection of his poems appeared in Totlel's Miscellany 
(i557)' See the editions by Nott (1815-16), Yeowell ('Aldinc,' 
1866), and Arber (1870, &c.). 

3a. L. Vaus, i.e. Thomas Vaux, second Baron Vaux of 
Harrowden (1510-56), whose poems appeared posthumously 
in Toltel's Miscellany (1557) and The Paradyse of Daynty Denises 
{1576). See ii. p. 413. 

Thomas Norton of Bristow. See supra, p. 30, 1. 8, note. 

33. Richard Edwardes (? 1523-66), Master of the Children 
of the Chapel Royal (1561), author of PaiiwoM and Arcite (1566), 
and of the comedy Damon and Pithias (1571). 

Thomas Tusser {} 1524-80), author of the popular Hnndrtth 
Good Pointes of Husbandrie (1st edit. 1557). 

Thomas Churchyard (?i520-i6o4), a contributor to Totlel's 
Miscellany, and chiefly known by his occasional booklets or 
broadsheets (Churchyardes Chippes, 1575, Sic). 

William Hunnis (d. 1597), Master of the Children of the 
Chapel Royal (1566), author of .^ Hyw/M//q/"//Mt(«je (1578), and 
some metrical psalms. Webbe quotes from him on p. 277. 

Haituood. This may be either John Heywood the epi- 
grammatist (see Index) or Jasper Heywood (1535-98), who 


Notes 411 

tributed to the Paradyse 0/ Daynty Denises, and to the English 
Seneca. The context favours the latter ascription, 

34. Sand. The ' D. S.' and ' D. Sand' of the Paradyse of 
Dayniy Deuisis have been identified, on slender evidence, with 
Dr. Edwin Sandys (? 1516-88). 

Hyll. Perhaps the ' R. Hill ■ (also printed ' Hall ') of the 
Paradyse of Daynfy Demses. 

S. Y. Is this the ' M. Yloop ' (perhaps for Pooly), one of 
the contributors to the above (see title-page of edit. 1576) } 

M. D. Is this ' Master Dyer' (see p. 89, 1. 7, note}? 

243. 7. EarU of Oxford, i.e. the seventeenth Earl (1550-1604), 
See notes to ii. p. 63, 1. 32 ; p. 65, I, 26. 

14. D. Phaer : an error for T[homas] Phaer, repeated on 
p. 256, 1. 25. For Phaer and Twyne see note to p. 137, 1. 29, 

37. Arthur Golding's translation of the Metamorphoses 
appeared in 1565 i^The Fyrst Fower Bookes) and in 1567 {Thi 

35. Googe . . . Pallengenius. See supra, p. 30, 1. 10, note. 

244. 3. Abraham Fleming (?i552-i6o7). Cf. also p. 266, 1. 1. 
5. one of hys name. Is Webbe alluding to Samuel Fleming 

of King's College (see ii. p. 425) ? Or, if he refers to the 
Christian name, can he be thinking of Abraham Fraunce? 

11-12. Seneca in English. See note to p. 312, 1, i. 

the other paries of Ouid, i.e. The Heroycail Epistles, by George 
Turberville, 1567 (see p. 315, I. 11, note), and the first three 
books of the De Trislibus, by Churchyard (1580). 

Horace, by Drant (see note on p. 373). 

Mantuan. The Eglogs of the Poet B. Atantuan CarHielitan, 
by George Turberville {1567). See p. 315. 11. 11-12, note. 

39. Wheisloiie. See p. 58. 

31. Anthony Munday (1553-1633). Cf. the allusion in ii. 
Appendix, p. 490, 1. 13. 

245. a. lohn Graunge (fl. 1577), author of The Golden Aphro- 
diiis (1577). Webbe quotes from him on p. 377. 

Knyght. Mr. H.Moriey suggests frftuarrfATfulfA/. 'Little is 
known of Edward Knight, whose initials " E. K., Gentleman," 
are before commendatory verses prefixed to Munday's Mirror 
of Mttlabililie, " Ed. Knight " being signed at the end This must 
be Webbe's " Knyght " in the list of good poets— the only known 


419 Notes 

person who might be the " E. K." of Spenser's Sliepkeardts 
Calendar, if he was not Edward Kirke ' (English Writtrs, ix. 153). 

Robert Wylmott (fl. 156S-1608), was to bring out, in 
1591, a second edition of the Tragedy of Tancred and Gismund 
(written by ' The Gentlemen of the Inner Temple ' and acted 
in 1568), in which the older decasyllabic rhymed quatrains are 
'polished according to the decorum of these dales,' i.e. in blank 
verse. Webbe was interested in Wiimot's venture, and wrote 
an epistle for the revised version. There he speaks of the 
play as ' a work, either in stateliness of shew, depth of conceit, 
or true ornaments of poetical art, inferior to none of the best in 
that kind : no, were the Roman Seneca the censurer.' And 
again: 'Your commendable pains in disrobing him of his 
antique curiosity, and adorning him with the approved guise 
of our stateliest English terms (not diminishing, but more 
augmenting his artificial colours of absolute poesy, derived 
from his first parents) cannot but be grateful to most men's 
appetites, who upon our experience we know highly to esteem 
such lofty measures of sententiously confused tragedies.' 
(Dodsley, ed. 1825, ii. 160-4.) 

Darrein This can hardly be the antiquary William Darell 
(rf. 1580), Googe'a wife was a Darrell of Scotney, Kent. 

F. C. Mr. H. Morley suggests that this is a misprint for 
F. C, i.e. Fulke Greville. 

F. K, .'Francis Kinwelmersh (rf. ?i58o), who collaborated 
with Gascoigneand contributed to the Parody seo/DaynfyDeut'ses. 

G. B. Perhaps G. Bucke, who adds a Quatorzain in com- 
mendation of Thomas Watson in the 'E«aTo/i7raflia (Spens. Soc. 
edit. p. 11). A George Buc or Bucke (d. 1623), a minor poet, 
knighted in 1603, was Master of the Revels from 1608. Or is he 
the ' M. Bewe ' who contributes to the ParadyseafDaynlyDeuices, 
which Webbe has much in mind f 

10. Master Sp. See note to p. iia, 1. la. 

17, Gabriell tiaruey. See note to p. 084, 1. 4. 

3I-5. Cf. p. 284, II. 3-5. 
246. 3-4. his Dnames, Ms Legends, &c. See p. 100, 1, 34 
(note) ; p. 133, 1. 7 (note) ; and p. 33a, 1. ai (note), 

8. Iiys Iwo brethren : John Harvey (1564-92), and Richard 
Harvey (1560-1623). 



246.38-34. Probably a reference to Elderton. See ante, p. 195, 
1. 28 (note). With the pun in 1. 30 cf. Nash, infra, p. 333, 1. 35. 

247. 3-16. Quoted from ' E. K.', ante, p. 131. 

248. 26, &e. Webbe here repeats the mediaeval distinction 
between tragedy and comedy borrowed from Donatus and 
the neo-classical critics. Cf. Puttenham, infra, ii, p. 33 et seq. 
On the question of the influence of the Iliad and Odyssey in 
defining these kinds, see Scaliger, Poelice, i. 4. 

250. 19-ao. Ars Poel. II. 333-4. 
26-27. ib., 11. 343-4- 

251. 4. ib., 1.338. 
31. Ep. ii. I. 126. [Ong. /ugital] 
35. Sir Thomas Elyot (1490 ?-i546). 

252. 1-8. See Mr. Croft's edition of Elyot'g Goutrnour, i. 123. 
The third line reads ' Pullyng their eares from wordes unclene.' 

17. Orig. ' but it is were." 

253. 3. inconumiettces. Cf. p. 65, 1. 32 (note). 

255. 22, &c. Webbe's definition of the Epic may be com- 
pared with Puttenham's, infra. 

256. 19. Quintil. 1. 1 (514). 

25. D. Phaer, See note to p. 343, 1. 14. 
257. 15, &c, Aen. i. 201-13. Webbe does not give the extracts 
from Phaer quite verbatim. 

258. 15. Aen. iv. I. 

259. 9. lb„ 1. 589. 

260. 16. Ib., ix. 664. 

261. 8-9. totuardes the end. Not so ; I. i8i, 

262. 4. Golding. See note to p. 243, 1. 27, 

15, &c. Eghgues. Cf, The General Argument of TkeSkep- 
heardes Calender. 

23, Ti'/MjCfl/^AMmiMS.i.e.T.JuliusCalpurnius.Sicilian, whose 
volume Eclogae Septem was printed first at Parma in 1478, and 
in many later editions with the Eclogues of Nemesianus. See 
Fabricius, Bibt. Lat, p. 554 et aeq, 

24. Mauluan. See p. 239, 1. 14 (note), and p. 244, 1. la (note). 

263. 4. Sp. See p. 245, 1. lo (note). 
29. See ante, p. 128, Ii 1-7. 

264. 25-265. 5. Cf. ' E. K.' in Gloss to ' January • of T/it Skep- 
keardes Calender. 


I 27e 


265.12-13. Cf. p. 279,1. 21.. Webbe's wisdom is but Horace's, 
Ars Potl. 9 &c. and 465. 

22. Tusser. Supra, p. 243, 1. 33 (note). 
27. Googe. Supra, p. 243, 1. 35 (note), 

29. Heresbachius, Conradus (1496-1576), author of Rti 
Rusticae Libri Quatuor (Cologne, 1570), Englished in 1577 by 
Googe in his Foure Bookes of Hu^tandrie. 

266. I, Flemming. Supra, p. 244, 1. 3 (note). 

4-16. There is no record of the separate publication of 
Webbe's pirated verses. He himself gives his version of the 
First and Second Eclogues, infra, p. 284, 

27. Supra, p. 240. 

267. 6-15. Cf. p. 231, 1, 16. Cf. also Gascoigne, ante, p. 50, 
11- 4-5. a?- 

22, &c. Borrowed from Ascham, ante, p. 32. See also 
Willes, ante, p. 47 (footnote). 

268. 5. The 'three speciall notes' are taken from Gascoigne. 
See ante, p. 49, §§ 3 and 4. 

270.9-10. 'January ' eclogue. 

271. 9. See the ' April ' eclogue, before the ' Song.' 
11-19. Repeated on p. 286. 

38. 'August' eclogue. 

272. 3-11 ' November ' eclogue. 

19. Rogero . . . TrtHchmore. Cf Gosson, Sckoole of Abuse, 
' neyther pyped Rogero nor Turkelony ' (ed. Arber, p. 26). 

30. Powlttrs Measure : borrowed from Gascoigne, ante, 
p. 56, 1- 8. 

273. 4. the old lambicke siroake. See note to p. 213, 1. a6. 
10-13. ^^- Gascoigne, p. 51, and James VI, p. 214. 

29. See ante, p. 268, 1. 11 (and note). 

274. I. chouchittg, couching. See N. E. D., 3. v. CoikA v.' § 15. 
It is difficult to account for this form. 

15, anotkers (orig. Authors). 

275. 10, &.Z. A tardy acknowledgment to Gascoigne's Cer- 
layne Notes, printed supra, pp. 46-57. The passage here referred 
to will be found on p. 52. 

276. 16-17. See Puttenham, infra, Book ii. 
24. ' August ' eclogue. 
27. Oug.pacl. 

Notes 415 

34, lohn Graunge. See p. 245, 1. 2. 
277, 18. W. Hunnis. See p. 242, 1. 33. 

279. 21. wilkout any prescription of rules. Cf. p. 265, 11. 12-15. 
Perhaps a sly reference to the much-talked -of ' Rules of Master 
Drant ' (supra, p. 90, 1. 13, note), 

280. 18. Choreus : called later Trochaeus, which Webbe re- 
serves for the tribrach. See next note. 

31, Tribrachys. By a well-intentioned error of the press, 
this has been substituted for 'Trochaeus' in Webbe's text. 
The foot is a tribrach, but Webbe adopts the alternative usage 
allowed by Cicero {Or. 57. 193) and Quintilian (ix. 4. 8a) by 
which trochaeus is a name of the tribrach. Puttenham and 
others follow the accepted rule. 

25-6. For the reverse definition of Bacchius and Palint- 
bacchius see Quintil. ix. 4 (484). See also Scaliger, Poetics, ii. 3, 
and Fabricius Chemnicensis, Bk. VI (p. 265 a). 

33, Tallaus. Audomarus Tallaeus or Talaeus, editor of 
Cicero's De Oratore (1553), published his own Rkelorica at Paris 
in 155a. For other references see notes, infra, p, 309, L 11 ; 
ii. p. 245, 11. 6 and 10. 

281. 15, Position. Cf. Harvey {p, 118, 1. 20; p. lai, 1. 4, note, 
22-33)- For the place of ' Position ' &c. in academic criticism, 
see Fabricius, De Re Poelica, i. i, from which Webbe borrows 
the Caiholica, infra, p. 290. 

282. 7-8, From this it would appear that Webbe had not seen 
Stanyhurst's volume, where long ' I ' is common, (See the 
article by Mr, R. B, McKerrow, in The Modern Language 
Quarterly, V. i. 7.) 

283. 3. Seethe complete verse on p, 284. 

9. This is a wrong-headed reference to Surrey's Virgil 
'drawn into a strange meter ' (ante, p, 3a, 1. 24), 

12-20, Watson's lines were certainly ' in the moulhes of all 
men." Cf. Aacham's ScAo/r;»(asi'e»-(ed, Mayor, 71); Spenserand 
Harvey, supra, p. 118, 1, 13 ; Kendall's Flowers of Epigrammes 
(1577). See Sidney's commentary on the Latin quotation in 
the letter to his brother Robert (Correspondence, ed. Pears, 
pp. 19&-7)- 

28-9, See p. 99, U. 21-a, and note, 

284. 4. Cf. Webbe's passage on p. 245. See the specimens 



416 Notes 

in the Spenser-Harvey correspondence, ante, p. B7 et seq., and 
'E. K.'a Postscript, ante, p. 134, and note. 
284. 13, See rote to p. 366, 11. 4-16. 

285. ao-i. Ovid, Amorrs, iii. 8. 3-4. 
36-7. Ovid. Epht. txPonIo, iv. 3. 35-6. 
30. Orig. Pkalocium. 

286. a, &c. The verses are quoted by Webbe on p. 271. 

289. iS. Orig. Chores: Webbe's (or his printer's) confusion 
with Chan, kc. on p. 386. 

290. 13. th€ Cannons . . . gathered by Gforgius Fabridus Chem- 
mansis (orig. Crwrnnicensis, in error). These are a translation 
of the concluding section of the 6th Book of the enlarged edition 
of Fabricius*s Di Re Pottica Libri Seplem (printed in 1560). See 
pp. 300 3-305 b of the 1584 Paris edition, reprinted infra, as 
an Appendix to the Notes to Webbe (pp. 417-21). George 
Fabricius (1516-71) must not be confused with Jo. Albertus 
Fabricius who is referred to supra and infra. His Life (with 
a portrait) by Schreber appeared at Leipzig in 1717. 

892. § la. Cf. Arist. Poetics, xv. 

293. 8-9. Cic. De Opt Cm. Orat. 5 (14). Cf. Horace, An PmL 

15. /« a Comedit : ' In genere Dramatico ' (G. Fabridus). 
33-5. Cicero, De DeorwM Nalura, i. 20. 53. 

294. 9. ineVHuenieHce. Cf note to p. 353, L 3. 
295. 17-31. Cf. Scaliger, Poetia, i. 7. 

Wl. I. A Poelis.&.<:. Cf.Sidney, supra, p-i95,>doiC*Bi 

299. 5. AngtUius. Nic. Angdlius edited Macrobius in 1515 
(Bade). See J. A. Fabricius, Bibl. Lot. p. 633. 

a MuMimiHs. Webbe follows the text of Fabricns ■. 
reading Itemmmis. 

la. C. SoQios ApoUinaris Sidonius (d. 4S3), 
Auvergne (Clermont), whose Carmina XXIV and EfisUmmm , 
kbriiX are extant (ist edit. Uilan, 1498). See J. A Fiila ji m 1. 
U.5.. pp. 634-& 

ai. Dt Or»l ii. 7a 

300. a. See Quinrit iv. a, 191. Scaliger, Poiiiee, iii. 3a. 
SOl.a Webbe repeats the error in the text of Fabricin5(«^ ^u\, 

14. An Fbtt I. 33a. 

ai. txipBsik attsmrt, exact (ordiil) critkisB. 


Appendix to Notes on Webbe. 

(See note to p. 390.) 



Ex Epislola ad PUotus. 

I. ImuMho sil ad maltriatu actommodala, hoh dissidiita, ntm aUnta, mok 
nionstrosa. Nam mHtiiris caput, aruix tqui, corpus anil varie cotorafum, 
numbra c variis animantibus collgcia, ptdes in caudam piscis gxcHHlts, in 
pkfHra monslrum dtformi fadunt : quad si eadtm sit in oralvmc dimrsilas, 
guidpolisl diet nuHdosiia ? 

II. OinatittHta nic tumia sini, nee timin quaesila, rue vbiqut adiii- 
btanlttr ant oslmltnlHr. 

III. Forma diandi eAseruatida, nt graxia Itnuiler, prolixa breuiltr 
dkanlur, hoe ad decorvm ptriititt (3" ad maieriam, vlcuru nbus magis verba 
grattdia eoHsenlianl. 

IV. I" dtscriptioHAHS poftida, fidem rte cxcedal oralio, null sil plant 
contra natHram inducia Jiciio, 

V. Dispositio talis sil, ne piccetur sxquisila stdiililate, aliqua omillt 
possuHl, aliqua prolixilate noctMt: hcc eat viia pars excolenda, b" reliiquenda 
allira. Id probal txtntpio /abri, qui caput b" supirionm torporis parletn 
exprimebat arSficiost, nliquMin opus absoluen non poltral. Probal idem 
suo indicio, quod noBet corporis parti rtliqua esse pulchir, ty naso esst 
aduico deformis. Omnia nambra simUia b* composila sinI aportet, in 
integrB Ei" btnijbrmalo carport. 

VI. Vidcndam ist, num quis par issi possii ei material, quam tractandaif 
SMScipirt cogitat. Ingenii mint vins saepi impntdtntmi vet incaHtum disti- 


VII. Eloaitio in verbis postta est, V in vtriortim/ormis. Verba sunt aul 
aimplida aul coniuncta, vilira out noun, propria aul translala. In singulis 
vieridum iudicio (/ prudinlia, tf vsttatortim praecipuus honor est. Eadint 
mim ratio verborune, quae nuntmorum, vt vsilata fy probata magis valeaiit. 

VIII. Considerandum genus carmims, iy accommodandum aigumtnlis, 
b* qui HUHuri sinI ad quoduis genus aaommodali magis. CanHinum 
ginira vsilalissirHorum quatuor, Hiroicum, Eiigiacum, lambieum, LyeicutH. 

IX. Non vna orationis genire in omnibus sctipiis est vlindum. Insur- 
gUHt inlirdutn Lyrici, interdutn Comici. GmuemunI tiulem grandia pro- 
frv Iragicis, humilia comids. Fit autim vl idiai misceontur, pro ratiom 
limporis aut loci. 

X. Affectuum habmda ralio est: aliud decti kilarta, aliud Irislis : alitid 
iracHtidos, ab'ud lines, quare cum industria tractandi sunt. Requiruntur 
auiem Iria in carmini, pulchritudo, suauilas, ammorum affictio. Tkta- 
phrastus scripsit, puldtritudinem isst quandam diciplionem, tf Aristoltlis 
eatn vocal ruparvlia i^.tyDXpiotnv. Suauilas ntinel lidorem, affectus 

XI. Pirsonis danda suni tHa cottumien'ia, vl eratio sit bini tnorata. 

p4i^8 Notes 

atxus, forfuna, cohiUHo, pro- 

XII. Pirsmuu suttmntHr anl a potlis aliis, aut JinguHhir a nobis. Si 
imuH/Hr ab aliis, obstrvaitdutH isl ti S/uHor, hoc isl, vt aequamur aim 

aiKloriin ixacle, qium ad imilandum pmposuimus, cuius rti poiaattur 
tximpla. Sin fingunlHr nouat a nobis rttiMmdum tsl ri SfioKSr, id ist, 
ttqHo!/, vl 1(0 ptrsonas inlrodueamKS, vl vbiqui sihi coHUim'attl, tr' W 
txlrtma primis rtspondeaiit, ni homiHtm modo audaam iHtroducatHua, 
modo priidtHltrn, tt caulurn: id enim viciosuiH est, 1h viroqut struan- 
dum Tb ipfiirTo*, quod hot loco vertit comuaitHtiam, vl coHuimtns est, 
virutH tsst fofltm, mitlierrm tinuJam, struum caUidum, adoltscmlmt 

XIII. Quat coiHmum'a sunt : Ha Itaclmlur, vl propria fiant. Maltriai 
eemmuHis suHl, de quibus omnis possiini dicerr, qitas si ila quit tracitt, vl 
fnucipuam lattdem constguatur, facil eas ptoprias b" auas, vl itaiUi sen- 
pstruHt di hello Troiano, sed guod commuHt fiiil, id sibi proprittm fidl 

XIV. Di Gnue's quia summJa tnulla, vl Lah'm omttcs sumpstrHHl, 
HOH ladein verba vl tttltipTtH suhI exprimtnda, std tibtrlali quadam vlendutH 
tsl, inginii algae iudicit, qualis esse solii imilaloris. 

Hoc prataplurH dt CiciroHi iranslulil, qHi itiguil, ffon virhmn verba 

XV. Exordium ra sil ituptum, hoc tsl, alitnum, aut tuinidum. 

XVI . Pmpositio vel larralio t propirtguo petila 6' virisimiUs sil. If 
Harrando decorum aelalum tu negligatur, 

XVII. Ih geuert Dramalico, hoh necessarium tsl omnia facta palam 
txhibtrr, vt sunt crudeb'a, lurpia, tnonstrosa : sed ea Harrari tit gtsia sunt, 
oratioHt commoda (r pudica, mullo reclius b* spedosius tsl. 

XVIII. In comoedia plures esse actus, quam quinque, molestuiH, paudorts 

Deorum personal iitduceri hoh deal, nisi in rebus tnaximia. Cicero ; 

• Poilai Trasici cum txplicart argumenti tiituin non possunt, ad Dmm 

antfiigiuHf. ' 

Plures petsonae guam quatuome loquaitlur propter confusumetn, 

Chori sini morati, in guibus aut adtnontaniur homines, aul rtpreheu- 

Chori materia tligatur einstnodi, quae sit argumtMlo praisettti apta alqie 

Inalrumenia &* cantus refimn'ur ad simplicilalem vetuslam. 

Musica tnitn theairalis, b" canluiimlicenlia, quae cum opihus RotnaHomm 
crtuil, est ptmiciosa disciptinat b" moribus. 

XIX. In Satym grex rusticus, if dii agresles producuntur ad ietnpt- 
randam tudo b" iods Tragoediae Iristidam. In iocis ItHcndum, m sinl 
lasciui, scurriles, maiedici, quod praiaplum in genere ad alia sciipla otttma 

In salyra habtnda ratio est loci, vl diti fesli, ptrsenarum, vl Baala, 
Silem', SalyroruM : argumenii ne misceantur inamuenitnlia : vtrbarum, "bI 
tint apla personis ; decori, ne qui in Tragoedia Juil htroa, in Salyra tntro- 
ducalur ardelio : auditorum dtnique, it offendanlur, si misctantnr ridiciiSs 
Jbeda, lurpibus lasciua, iocosis probrosa. 

XJt. Eligendi pedes carminis vmiscuiusqut proprii, in togut ninaa 
licenlia non tsl vtendum. 

Notes 419 

Vtlms in lambue vsi furia iamba, deiHtrfis asstimphts isl ipoudtiu in 
locis inaiqualil'us. 

Semla poslea talis Hcfiiu: al, M &* tpandeo libtrrimi, If pcdibus aliis 
fungn'nis, tuqtiaquaiM faliut vltrmha'. 

XXI. Adhibtnda in canniHi scrilnHdo euro b" otttHlio, 

Quae tx UmpOTt Jmnt carmina, lanqtiam Optra burs habtnlHr. quai sint 
aril fiunt, tudHntuT vl impltu. Hot gHanniis mul/i noH mrani, taitun 
ineuria audiloris, tsst non dibil cauia Heghgrjiliai (r trroria, 

Qm scribert digna enuHtis auribns rupilj audorta Grtucoa studiost Ugolt 
nee 1/nquam dtpottai di manStus. 

XXII. Arils HabtHi lua incremmla, vt earlerat in nalura res. Ha 
Tragoidia, guar frimum Tudia fmt anctort Tluspi, poilfris frtnporibus 
omatntnta acapil ab Aisdiylo, primnm ada mri in vicis, ddndt in lAealris 
irr6inm magnarum. 

XXIII. Arlts qttaedaiM ormntur, guatdant inltm'dnnt, Hatnrali quadam 
vicisatudim, Inttrddii Comoidia veins, ptopirr rnalidictnliam, qua afierlt 
taarabanlnr homTUa : li pttulanliat slalula poena est, ne mnnuni aarUtaa 
progrtdfreluT. In eius locum Salyra auccessil apuJ Latinos. Veteria 
Comoediae audoresjueruni Eupolis, Cratinua, Arislophanis : mediae, Plalo 
Conwus: reanlioris, Minandir, quae in »ju tnansil, b" eilebris facia est. 

XXIV. JVoH simua coiilinii aliorum inuinlis, sed £/ ifisi exemplo velerum 
aliquid nostra induslria proseramua, quad laudeail dignum. Hocfecemnt, 
qui acripstrunt apnd Latinos Togatas, quae habebanl argunmla Gratca : 
vtl qui scripserunt Praetextalaa, quae argumenta LaHna. 

XXV. Vt carmen sit perfixlHtn, id effidl cura (T composilio: idea quod 
tale noH est, mtrilo rtprehtndUur. Jngenii/aenllaa aritnt suptvat. 

XXVI. Poila vt perftdua fiat, egel cognitione tiua pkiloaophiae, quae 
tnoria tjffieil meliarts. Quae ad nalurant apedat, nanna plausibilis tal, (y 
mimia ornamenlorum babel V niinua est vHlis. 

XXVII. Ad phdosophiam tnaior addenda est potlae sdeHlia, vl nouerit 
mores hominum, If ingenia populorum ; id fit peregrinando, vl quae 
scribenda suni, ila exprimat, alque Variel, vljianl narralionta speaosae, 

XXVIII. Finis poelitat est, vt scribanlur iueunda Zr vlilia, luaindum 
est, quod deltetal, nimpt quod non nitnia protixum, quodve tntmoria leneri 
potest, ilaque quod verisimilt. If Hon plant Jiclidum. Vliie est quod anintoa 
indtat doctrina if sapientia- 

XXIX. IgHosciHdum esl delidia quibuadam, fraestrtim in magno open. 
Errorta eommitluMlur out in arli propria, ant in aliena. Errari poilam in 
praeeepiia, lurpetal: in aliena arte ttrortm cemmilltre. ntagis firendum, vl 
a Virgilio in aditu A/ricae fingitur Aeneas ceruos iaculatua, cum Africa 
ctrmtm Hon habeat. Errores iisdem conlinguHl, ant inatna, mm peaalnr 
negligenlia, ant communi hominum fragiHiali, quia nemo iniientus, qui 
nouerit omnia. Ilaque hi postrtmi trrorea etiam »oh sunt exagilandi. 

XXX. Bonus potia hoc agat, vl semper deledel, (f audilorem lectortmve 
detineal. In pidura quaedam delectant longius poatta, quaedant adhibila 
pmpiua. Contra, poita tf in vmbra (f in sole deledalionem asseral. 

XXXI. In poila nihil admillilur mediocre, qui nisi ixetllentissintns ail, 
dilerrimua eat, 

XXXII. Poema nisi ait dulee V atquale, ingralum lal : id probatnr stn- 
sibus duobus, vt auditu b'guatatu in cibia iuaindia. Ila igilur sit poema, 
vl suaiiilale sit gralumj (f sui simile sit, vsque ad finem, ne gutni a legtndo 
montur tf abaltmal. 

£ e a 

4SO Notes 

XXXIII. Qui scripiuna tsl aliguid fosUri'alt dignum, tu id i^gn- 
dialiir, nalMra Hon aJtHuaHli. 

JVoH t ligHo omni fit Sfercuriiu, vt t3l ill proutrhio, nee DniiiiifiH shuJiia 
out laboribus fatal Mi»trua. Prtuslantissima tsl in ammaiit, Halura, Cj* 
fotlam non lamfiin, qiiatn nasci strmoni eruditorum dieilttr. 

XXXIV. Nmio lam doclum si ixislimtl, guiH aliorutn iui&iis sua scrifta 
subiiriat, &" la domi sapius niracltl alqui coTtigal. 

XXXV. Vtitilas poilieiu indi piopagata isi, quia vtlms scripseruni 
opiima, adkomiimm videliat vilam, morts, b" filirilaUm petiinintia, SMoqut 
Seripta lougo Itmport txaminala, iam stms ptvlultmnl. Vsus poitiau quis 
oiimjuen'l, aamplis hoHtiHum doclissintomm eousial, Orphti, gni primvttt 
villas (ondidit: AmfihioHis, qui vrbts: Tjyrtari, qui btlla fariiUr gisail : 
Homeri, qui scripsit sapitnler. 

XXXVI. In pofia arlijia Ma requimnlur, nalura, ars, d" diligtH-tia. 

XXXVII. Disctndum apurilis, V irroria coHfissio seribtnti nt^tsaaria, vl 
quod nialutH tsl villi, b" iridiora discalfaetn. 

Erroris conftssio animi magni est (T inginui. 

Dt Hippocrate mtdico scribunl Ctlsus V QuiHtHiaHUs, quod trrores 
quosdant, ne posteros dtciptnl, ait amfissus, man sdHctl magni viri, (j" 
fidudaHi nrum iHognamm habsniis. Ltuia trn'm ingtuia, quia nihil 
Mabenl, nihil sibi dttrahuni, vl idetn Ctlsus ail. 

XXXVIII. /n ttigtndis amids, qui vtrum noa doaani, b* acripla fmen- 
dtnl nostra, acri iudicio vtmdum cat: nt tliganlur imptrili, adulatorrs 
fraudulinti, imperili iudicart nesciuHt, adiilalons mftuunl offindtn, fraudu- 
llnti non laudanda soUnl coiHtnindare. 

XXXIX. NiMO St ipsi fallal, aul fiilU St ab aliis palialur, sid ad tmtH- 
dationem scrip/omm adhibeal grauem virum iudicint, tiusqut coHailio muiti 
ae dttial, quat corriginda (T ixpolimda videbunlur. 

XL. Qui adulator non est, b* post scriptionim iudicart nouil, rei nuili 
magis incumbat, quam cnUHdatuini, idque facial gtaui sludio b" iudido 
gxquisilo. Id qui nonfacit, b" hac in n quiptccat spouli, tffamatn lemtrt 
proslituil: is fro insano iffurioso V cet{r]ilo habealur. 

XLI. Vicia versuuM sunt sepiim, vl eorum qui careni arte, facitilali, 
ornalu: item a/rum, qui aunt suptrflui, oiseurt, ambigui, otiosi. 

Ex Epislolis ad Maeceualetn, Augualum, Florum. 

XLII. Itnitalio hoh sit struilis nee superstiliosa, quasi Hon audeaa ab 
ixempio deceden, nequt eadtm silfalua b" imprudens, vl etiam imittris hoh 
itnilanda b" viciosa, 

XLMI. Jlliinis visl^'is non semptr iusistindum, viam tnim inlerdum 
Hon IrilatH ab alOs (r inusilatam, ingttdi lieil. - Horalius carmtH lambicuni 
mutuatus ab Archilocho tsl, eiusqut numtros &■ eligantiam a^rtssil: turpi. 
tudintHi in verbis, b" in conuidis dicadlattm vilauit prudenter. 

XLIV. In carmine aura popularis noH captanda, aid vidmdum, vl do- 
ctorunt iudiciis probtntur, la quae seripta sunt. 

XLV. ludidum viilgi dt poitis raro vtrum, idea tton tsl stqutndum. 
Indicauit anient valgus Romae, quod Pacuuiua taset dodus, Accius grandi- 
laqttus, quod Afranius imilator Menandri, Plautus Epicharmi, . guod Term- 
tiua atit isstt superior, CaeriHus grauilate : sed non idem pen'li sentitbanl. 
Exiai apnd Macrobiunt nescio anAngilHum, de Ha qui scripseruni epigram- 
aittdU iudidum, dt Rhetoria Antonii luliam aenleHfia, quod Calullua 

Notes 421 

ty Caluus bona pauca, Netiius implicala, Horlenlitis inuitiusla, CiuHO iltt- 
pida, Mummiua dura scripairit. 

XLVI. Anliqui ila shhI laudandi «e Houis deirahalur, hk aliis pitUtur 
ittr inlrrclusum ad magna peeuenitudi. Scili Sidnmus ad Euchiriutn, 
Ventror aittiqttos, noH lamen ila, vl meorum aequaaiomm viriules duf 
tmrita postpona m. 

XL VII. Nouilas grala isl, si nil erudila: nam arits nOH aimul imhoari 
f perfici cerium tsl, std Itmpore (f studio ixcoluntur; quai lamtn si ad 
summHm ptrutnerint, rursHS >nimiunh4r(y quasi decrtstutil. 

Cie. tit Oral. Nihil tsl in natura nrum omniuiH, quod se vniuermm pro- 
fiindal, Ct* guoJ latum repntte tuolft. 

XLVIII. Arlttn Himo exircert audsl in pritms ptruulosam, qui earn non 
bmi didictrii: id/aduni gtibernalotts, fadunt idem medid: ltd hoc minimi 
ftcemnf poitai guidam Romani, quos calor (/ impttus tantus tiilit, vl 
seribendis carminibus fin omnis gioriam quairerent, pauci lamtH assegai' 

XLIX. PoUa affedwint tradandorum non sit minus pen'tus, quam 
fuHambuhis out magus artia suae esse solel: turn ta euiditdia res discribat, 
Vl kdor Hon audire, sed ipsis lads V nigodis, vbi quid egitur, inttresst 
videatur. EamfiuuUalem bwotiaiuiiui Falmts, irpd i/iiiirair Siaiv 4 nehiaa' 
vocal Aristotilts. 

L. Poilai aut in ihealris placen eupiunt, vl Comici b* Tragid: aut in 
tihiialheds sludtnl reponi. 

ThtalraUs affiduunt am'mi habeanl rationem, vl pirtnoueaHl spedalonim 
aurts tr ocHhs. It vein qui intra parieles placer* expetunt, sumani ad scri- 
behdum olium, V ad expoliendum tempus, vl possint satisfacert poHlis 
virontm sapienlissimomm iudiciis in vmbra, 

LI. Poela non sit importunus, al audilu intempesHuo offendal: non 
diffidlis, vl aliorum admom'liones apemat, non ambiliosus, vl sua scripta 
nimis admirttur : non morosus vt satis praimiorum tribui sibi non possi 
ixislimtt : non superbus deniqui, vt honorari vltra modum vrlil. 

LII, JViassaria poilai est imindatio, vt obscuris lucem, spUndortm vui- 
galia addat. Omnia impropria, leuia, parum decora tollal alqui dileal, 
aHtiguos, cum iudido imHelur, mmis ambitiosa resdndat, asfira ttuiget, 
soHitati sirmoHis in loto scripto Vlalur, quai virluti carml, ea aril V ordini 

LIII. Suadpial primum partis arloris poita, vf sic habtatur, quasi noH 
scribal atlente, nil scripta sua ixpoliat, vl quims pultl, se simiiia posse 
effcerc, propter simplidtalim. Susdpial praetena partes histriimis, vl videalur 
vulgaris Zr vsHataagm: non lamen eadtm agen propter varitlatem : Mic 
labomsse, sed lusisse, nee sudasse, sed EwmtisH videatur. Nam arlim sic 
Ctlare, vl nihil appareat laboriosum aut ixquisilHm, atm lamen studio b" 
cura expolita sini omnia, maxima virlus tsl, guam AristoliUs tpiifiir 

LIV, Sapientia non ea tola est, vli verbis multis &" ileganiibus, sid ea 
etiam scire at diiere, quae ad vilam bene btatequi agmdam per/ininl, vndi 
arlem poeliram sini cognilione (f scienlia philosophiae, nugas eanoras supra 
Hominamt. Itaque poitam bonum V legitimum, oporiel esse omatum 
verbis, (f sentenliis sapientim, V oratotisi non parem, arb maxitni pro- 
pinquum (y philosopho amidssimum. .' 



Fraunce (pp. 303-6). 

Fraunce's Arcadian Rhelorike and his earlier Lawier's Logiie 
(1588), his other prose work in English, probably owe some- 
thing, if only in inception, to Thomas Wilson's popular Arte 
of Rhelorique (1553) and his earlier Rule of Reason, cottteifiyug 
the Arte of Logique {1551). They belong to the same class, 
though, like Richard Sherry's Treatise of Schemes and Tropes 
(1550), or William Fulwood's Enimie ofldknesse {1568), they are 
more exclusively devoted to the collection of illustrative pas- 
sages from ancient and modern authors. The Arcadian Rhe- 
lorike shows an advance on these in respect of its wider range 
of comparison, and it is for this, and its incidental references 
to Spenser, rather than for any critical value, that it is re- 
membered. The Retume from Parnassus (Pt i, Act 4, Sc. 1) 
pokes fun at these books, perhaps at Fraunce's own title-page. 

Fraunce's books of verse, The Lameniaiions of Aminlas, a 
translation of Thomas Watson's Amyntas (1587), The Countesse 
of Pembrokes FiijcAnrcA (Parts I and II, 1591 ; Part 111, 1593), 
and The Countess of Pembrokes Emanuell (1591), are written in 
hexameters, but they do not contain any critica) observations, 
even on their metrical form. In these, according to Ben 
Jonson (by Drummond's report), Fraunce 'was a foole,' but 
perhaps not a greater than many of his contemporaries who 
experimented in the ' English hexameter,' 

303. 11. 20, &c. Countesse of Pembroke, &c. See the titles of 
the poems named above. Fraunce was Sidney's friend. In his 
Lawier's Logike he tells us that the book had grown out of an 
early discourse on logic in presence of Sir Philip Sidney. He 
gives passages from Sidney's Arcadia and Sonnets in the RJu- 
lorike : and the title is probably a direct compliment to his hero. 

305. a6.fonne of an egge, &.c. See ante, p. 32, 1. 11, note; 
p. 47, note. 

27. iViUy, See p. 47, footnote, and p. ia6, I. 17. 
32. Sheph. Cal. In his Lawier's Logike, Fraunce says ' be- 
cause many lone logike that neuer learne Lawe, 1 haue reteyned 
those ould examples of the new Shepheards Kalender which I 
first gathered.' 


rNASH (pp. 307-37)- 

807. II. sine tinea. The proverbial nulla dies sine lima, ex- 
plained in Pliny, xsxv. 10. 36, § 84. 

308. 5-8. Nash'a sarcasm generally contains covert attacks on 
individual authors and books (of. p. 311, 1.3i,&c.). Here, strangely 
enough, he appears to be referring to a passage in Greene's 
Menophon : ' Wee had, answered Doron, an Eaw amongst our 
Rams, whose fleece was as white as the haires that grow on 
father Boreas chinne, or as the dangling deawlap of the siluer 
Bull, . . . her face like Mars treading vpoo the milke white 
cloudes.' Nash may be implying that ' better pens,' such as 
Greene's, are ' outbraued ' by the ' bumbast ' of the tragedians. 
Studioso in the Parnassus Plays delights to bring in Boreas, 

13. bumbast . . . blanke verse. Cf. the phrase in the famous 
Shakespearian passage in Greene's Groalsworfh 0/ ff;/ (' as well 
able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you'}, probably 
written in 1593. 

14. kilcow, bragging, bullying. See N. E.D. 
31. Cic. Oral. 28. Cf. De Oral. ii. 60. 

309. II. Peter Ramus . . . his peHie Logique. The well-known 
logic of Pierre de La Ramee {Dialecticae libri duo, A, Talaei 
praelectionibus illustrali. Paris, 1560) was Englished in 1574 'per 
M. R. Makylnienaeum Scotum.' William Temple, afterwards 
Sir Philip Sidney's secretary, published an edition in 1584. 
See also ii. p, 245, 1. 6, note ; and TAe Pilgrimage to Parnassus, 
Acts a and 3. 

35, &c. Sus Mineruam. This adage (a favourite with Cicero) 
is explained in Pompeius Festus(Mtlll., p. 310): 'Sus Mineruam 
in prouerbio est, ulai quis id docet alterum cuius ipse inscius 
est.' Asinus ad Lyram, spoken of a doltish or awkward person, 
is noted by Gellius, p. 3, 1. 16. Nash is probably borrowing in 
both cases from school-day memories. 

810. 7. Amomum {^fiojfioj'), a fragrant herb, not carefully 
determined in older literary usage, though now restricted to the 
genus ' Zingiberaeeae.' Turner, in his Herbal (1551), reports 
that it is sometimes identified with the Christmas Rose. Cf 
Ettphues (ed. Landmann, p. 85). 


424 Notes 

83-4- !yl of Brainlfqrds Testament was printed by Robert 
Copland, c. 1535. 

funnenlie, frumenty, a spiced dish of hulled wheat boiled 
in milk. 

Brainford (Brentford), 3 holiday resort of the lower classes, 
frequently referred to in the Jest-Books and popular tracts. 
Cf- T/ie Jests of George Peele, with foure of his companions at 
Brainford {Shaks. Jesl-Books, ii), and Dekker, Works, ii. 322, 
iil. 130. 

27-8. Note Nash's 'euphuistic' alliteration. See p. 322, 
IL a8-34, note. 

aS-g. Cf. ii. p. 227, 11, 31-a. 

33, &c. Cf. infra, p. 325, 11. 16, a8. 
811. 8. Pasquil. See ii. p. 56, 1. 29. 

9. A reference to the Martinist controversy. 

11. friplers, i.e. fripperer's, old-clothes man's. 

15. iapsterlU. Cf. supra, p. 125, 1. 28, note ; p. 317, &c. 

30, &c. Nash's reference to triuiall translators, and the 
allusions which he strews throughout the following sentences 
(down to 1. 29 on p. 31a), are now explained as an attack on 
Thomas Kyd. (See G. Sarraiin's Thomas Kyd vnd sein Kreis 
(189a), J. W. Cunlitfe's Influence of Seneca on Elisabelhan Tragedy, 
1893, and the Introduction to F. S. Boas's edition of Kyd's 
Works, 1901.) Kyd had produced, in 1588, The Householders 
Philosophie, a translation of Tasso's Padre di Famiglia (printed 
by Boas, u.s., pp. 231-84). His Cornelia (Boas, u.s., pp. 101-60) 
was a translation, with modifications, of Garnier's Comelie, as it 
appeared in the edition of 1585. 

33. Nouerint. From the opening phrase of a scrivener's 
document : Nouerint uniuerst per praesenles, S;c., as given infra 
ii. p. 338, 1. 31, and in The Retume from Parnassus, PL ii. 4. 3, 
1. 1624. The usage is common. Cf. Greene's Croalswotik of Wit'. 
' for he had good experience in a nouerint' (1, 16). 

35. This would appear to be a satirical exaggeration. (See 
Boas, U.S., p. Ixv.) 

312. I. English Seneca, i.e. the translation of the Tentte 
Tragedies, which was issued by Thomas Newton in a collected 
edition in 1581, consisting of Jasper Heywood's version of the 
Troas (first printed 1559), the Thyestes (1560X the Hercules Furens 




(1561), Alexander Nevyle's Oedipus (wr. 1560, pr. 1563), Thomas 
Nuce's Oclavia (wr. 1562, pr, 1566), John Studley's Medea and 
Agamemnon (1566), Henry Denham's Hippolytus {lie. 1556), and 
Thomas Newton's Thebais (1581:). 

3-4. A reference to the earUer Hamlet, ascribed to Kyd, 
on which Shakespeare founded his play, (See CunlifFe, u,s., 
p, 5 ; Boas, u. s., pp. xlv-liv.) 

10. Mr. Boas (vi. s., p. xxiii) suggests that Nash borrowed the 
image not from Aesop but from the Shepheardes Calender. The 
likeness of Nash's phrase to Spenser's line, ' He was so 
enamored with the newell ' (276), is striking. 

13. lialian. See note to p. 311, I. 30, 

18, Nash's charge of 'home-bom mediocritie' is supported 
by Kyd's editor. {See Boas, u.s., tx.) 


19-30. ' The middle path 

Which brought me to the faire Elizian greene . . . 
Here finding Pluto with his Proserpine 
I shewed my passport . . .' 

The Spanish Tragedie, i. i. 73-7. 

Marlbwe's line ' For he confounds hell in Elysium ' (Doctor 
Fausfus, iii. 60) had been connected by R. Simpson {New Shaks. 
Soe. Trans., 1875-6, 168, note) with Nash's gibe ; but the 
allusion to the foregoing passage is clear. 

20-23. ' The sneer at those who " haue not learned the iust 
measure of the Horizon without (i.e. without the aid of) an 
hexameter " is directed (with a probable pun upon the various 
senses of " measure ") at Kyd's borrowing the details of his 
picture of the lower world from the Sixth Book of the Aeneid.' 
{Boas, u. s., p. xxix.) 


'Loreneo, Vet speake the truth, and I will guerdon thee, 
And shield thee from what euer can ensue, 
And win conceale what ere proceeds from thee ; 
But if thou dally once agaioe, thou diest, 

Pedringauo. If Madame Bd-Imperia be in loue — 

Lorenzo. What, Villaine, ifs and ands ? ' 

The Spanish Tragedie, ii. i. 73-7. 

436 Notes 

Nash's ' bodge up ' is, of course, unjust. 

a6. French Doudie. See note to p. 311, 1. 30. Mr, Boas sug- 
gests that there may be here a more special reference to Kyd's 
imitation in the Lord General's narrative {S/. TV. i. a. aaelaeq.) 
of the Messenger's account in Comilie, Act V, of the Battle of 
Thapsus (U.S., p. xxix]. 

313. 1. Sadolet, Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto. See ii. p. 248, 
11. 5-13, note. 

a. Ptantine, Christoffel Plantin, the famous printer. 

6, iVilliam Turner (rf. 1568), Dean of Wells, physician and 
writer on botanical subjects. 

g. Sir Thomas EUol. Ante, p. 413. 

10--11. with his Comicall wit, in his Utopia (' Libellus vere 
aureus'), Louvain, 1516; afterwards translated, London, 1551 
(' A fmteful and pleasaunt worke '). 

13. Cf. As ch am, supra, p. ar, and the passages printed in 
Mayor's edition, p. 162, &c. See also Aseham's letter to the 
Duke of Somerset, Nov. ai, 1547 (Giles, I. i. p. 138). Nash 
obviously knew his Ascham well ; he reiers to the Schokmaster, 
infra, pp. 336-7' 

27. Cotona. Read Cohrtia, as in Ascham (ed. Mayor, 
p. 162). ' Colony,' not ' Colonist,' is intended. 

3a Sir John Cheke. Ante, i. p. 9, 1. 30, Sic. 

31. Sir John Mason (1503-66), ambassador and statesman. 

Doctor Watson. See i. p. ai, 1. 31, note. 

3a. Redman, John {1499-^1551). See note to p. ai, 1. 31. 

Grindall. This is less likely to be the more notorious 
Edmund (? 1519-81), Archbishop of Canterbury, the 'Algrind' 
of the Shepheardes Calender, than William Grindal (rf. 1548), 
Aseham's favourite pupil, who was a Fellow of St. John's, 
Cambridge, in 1543, and tutor to Queen Elizabeth. See Grant's 
Vita Asc/iami {Giles's Asc/iam, 111). 

Leuer, Thomas (1521-77), Fellow of St. John's, Cambridge, 

Pilkington, James (? 1520-76), Master of St. John's, Cam- 
bridge, 1559, and first Protestant Bishop of Durham, 1561, 

314.14, tnanuarie, manual. Ct. maniiary cra/les (=handicvaRs) 
in Eupkues {' To the Gentlemen SchoUers in Athens '). 

ig. Scythians. Cf. note, supra, p. 75, 1. 33. 

I 01*. 14, tn 

L in Eupkues ( 

^_ 19. Scyt 



315.9. Gascoigne's Supposes (acted 1565) was an adaptatioo 
of Ariosto's / Supfosi'tt. 

10. as Tullie. See Acad. Quaesl. i. 3. 10 ; Dt Fin. i. 3 ; 
Tusc. Quaesl. L 1, &c. 

11-12. Turberuile (George), translator of Mantuan (1567), 
Ovid"s Epistles(i567-8), MancinusCiseS), and the Tragical Talts 
from the Italian {1576). He tried blank verse in six of the 
Ovidian Epistles, 

14. Goiding. See p. 243, 1. 27, note. 

15. edilioHs of Diuinilie . . . ohI of the French tongut. He 
completed Sidney's translation of Dc Momay (1589), and 
translated sermons and commentaries of Calvin, Beza, &c. 

17. Phaer, supra, p. 137, 1. 39, note. 

23. SlanihursI, supra, p. 135. 

30. as tteere as I can. Nash takes great liberties with 
Stanyhursi's text See the Conceitts,, pp. 137-8, in Arber's 

316. 4, friobulare, trifling, of small account (lit. 3 oboli, or a 
J-drachm). ^ 

5. huffe snuffe, braggart. Nash is gibing at Stanyhurst in 
his own words—' Ltnckt was in wedlock a loftye Thrasonical 
hufsn\ifre'(ed, Arber, p. 143). See the parody in ii. p. 241, 11. 4-5. 
Cf. Hall's Sal. i. 3, 17: 'Graced with huf-cap termes and 
thundrinfi threats ', and Peek's Old Wives Tale (Builcn, i. p. 333I. 

8, &e. France. See Fraunce, supra, p. 303, note. 

Thomas Watson (? 1557-92) is best known as the author of 
the 'EimrofiTioflio, or a Passionate Cenlurie of Loue (1582). His 
Latin translation of the Antigone appeared in 1581 (see ii. p. 322, 
1. 39, note); his Latin poem Amyntas in 1585. The last was 
' paraphrastieally translated ' into English by Fraunce {see notes 
to i. p. 303, and ii. p. 321, 11, 7 and 11). 

21. Haddon, Waller. See i. p. 21, 1. 31. Cf. this list of names 
with Meres's, ii. p. 315, 1. 14, &c. 

3^. Carre, Nicholas (1524-68), Regius Professor of Greek at 
Cambridge, 1547. 

24. Thomas Newton with his Leyland. Thomas Newton 
{f 1543- 1607) contributed in 1589 Illustrtum aliquot Anglorum 
Encomia to Leiand's De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea. 

817. 13. vndermeak, aflemoon. 



^■^ a- 95 



i6. Tarn Marti, &c. A common motto ; used by Gascoigne 
his title-pages. See T/ie Relurne front Pamasstts^ Pt, i. 3, i 
(!. 951). Cf. the other form Tarn armis quam ingenio, as in Kyd, 
Sp. Trag. ii. 1. 107. 

18. Hor. EpisL L s 19- 

34-5. Hor. Epist. i. 18. 82. 
318-19, Cf. Meres'a lists, infra, ii. p. 319. 
818. 12. Livio Ceiiano. (Cf Meres, infra, ii. p. 319.) His Rime 
appeared in 1587. A paraphrase of one of his madrigals, as 
printed in John Wilbye's Madrigals, 1598, will be found in 
Mr. Bullen's Lyrics from Etisahethan Song-books, p. 64. 

33. As yet Spenser had published only the Epigrams and 
Sonnets {the Visions of Petrarch and the Visions of Bellay of 
1591), and the Shepheardes Calender. 

319.6,9. Mathew Roydon(f[.i^-i^xi). H&EUgie, or Friends 
passion for his Aslropkill, is printed in Spenser's Colin Clout 
(1595). See the ' Globe ' Spenser, p. 568. 

7. Thomas ^/cAc/oiu, the * ingenious Atchlow' of Dekker'a 
Knights Coniuring (1607). Not in D. N. B. 

George Peele's first work, the Araygnement of Paris, is dated 

Roydon, Aichelow, and Peele are three of the five writers 
of commendatory verses in Watson's 'EnaTon'^raSla {158a). 
320. I. blankes, i. e. blank verse. See note to 1. 18. 

5. William Warner (? 1558- 1609). The first edition of his 
Albions England (Pt. 1) is dated 1586; the second (Parts 1 and 
II), 1589. 

10, Abeie, i. e. A B C. Cf. Abseedaris, infra, p. 328, 1. 4, note. 

18. btankes. Cf. 1. i. Is a pun intended here {blank, a 
small coin) ? 


821. Grosart has endeavoured to explain the title of Nash's 
pamphlet as 'more likely fetched from Greene's Anatomie of 
Flatterie or from his Arbasto, or Anatomie of Fortune than from 
the Anatomie of Abuses,' because of ' his relations to and ad- 
miration of Robert Greene, and contrariwise his detestation of 
Stubbes as a grim Puritan.' The argument is, however, double- 


edged : and we have sufficient evidence to prove that he 
the Puritan in mind. See note to p. 324, I, 16. 

1-5, This favourite story is given by Cicero, De Invent, ii. i. 

a. Cf, Ariosto, O.F.c 11, SL71 ; The Complaynt of Scotlande, 
ed. Murray, p. 11. 

II. duncerie, a common word with Nash (cf. p. 331). 
See also The Retume from Parnassus, Pt. ii. 3. 1 (I. ini). 
N. £. D. gives only later examples. 

la. Nigrum Iheia, (Q), a conventional critical mark indicating 
censure of a passage, derived from the e (the initial of QavaTos), 
placed on the Greek voting-tablets. See ii. p. 376, 1. 4. ■ 

16. Orig. TravHOiraXir. | 

322, »7. Idkbies, idle fellows. 
28-34. A direct hit at the Euphuistic vogue. Cf. Sidney, 
supra, p. 302, 1. 33, note, and ii. p. 269. Note also hue, lust . . . 
vice, visard. Cf. p. 310, II. 27-8. See also the list of names on 
p. 333, 1. 33, &c., and also p. 337, U. 13-13. 

823. I. Sir Egerton Brydges sees here an allusion to the title- 
page of The Paradyse ofDaynty Deuices : Conleyning sundry pithy 
precepies, learned Counsels, and excellent inuenlioKS, right pleasant 
and profitable for all estates . . . (1578). 
9-10. Ovid, Ars Amat. i. i. 

15-31. Cf. Ascham, supra, pp. 3-4. See Nash, p. 329, 
Abbie-liibber. Cf. Euphues (ed. Landmann, p. 83). 

33, &c. Cf. the parallel passage in Euphues (' To the graue 
Matronea and honest Maydens of Italy '). 

324. 16. An obvious allusion to Philip Stubbes's Analomie of 
Abuses (1583). See note to p. 321, 

26. Nullus, &c. Ovid, Tristia, i. 9. 6. Quoted by Greene in 
MenaphoH (ed. Arber, p. 30), and as a motto in the Paradyse cf 
Daynty Devices (ed. Brydges, p. 30', No. 40). 

325. 16 and 28. See note, supra, p. 310, 1. 33, &c, 
35. boale, boote. See note, p. 323, 11. 38-34. 

'328, 1. Ne suior. See note, supra, p. sio, 11. 1-4 

i6-20. See Lodge, supra, p. 63, 11. 1-4. 

21. A small ship. A common Elizabethan metaphor. 

35, rednose Fidler. . . . Ale Knight. Cf. note to p, 135, L 28. 
327. 13. The De Asino Aureo of Apuleius supplies the figure. 

17. Campanus. Cf. Lodge, p, 65, 1. 21. 

ii. I. B 


^0 Notes 

328. 4. abscedarie, illiterate [med, Lat dbecedarmm, an alphabet 
or primer—' A B C D '). 

7. I e. AJabandensis ApoUonius. See Cic. de Orat. L a8. ia6. 

ai, Aett. ii. 374. 

33. In the opening paragraphs of the Tusculan Disputalions. 

329. i8. Poetry a dainlie dish. A common metaphor. See 

23. Cf. the list of Romances on p. 333. I 

331. 1, duncerie. See note, p. 321, 1. la. I 

12. Cf. Lodge, p. 65, 1. 16. ' 
16, sixt. It is in the Fourth, line 7. 

332. 17. Cf. p. 59, 1. 15 ; p. 79, 1. 31, and ii. p. 309, 1. 13. 

19-33. Cf. Ascham, passim, and Webbc, pp. 354-5. 

33. haune, awn, 
383. 35. potman . . . Poet, Cf. Webbe, supra, p. 346, 1. 30, 
334 9. Cf. p, 313, 1. 10, 

13. Cherillus, Choerilus, referred to by Horace, Episl. ii. i. 
233, and Ars Poet. 357. ' I rather take vpon me to write better " 
then Choerilus, then once suppose to imitate Homer,' Thomas 
Watson 'EMj-ofiwaffia, ' To the Reader ' (Spenser Soc. edit., p. 6). 
For other references, see Index. 

16. Ramus, supra, p. 309, 1. 11, note. 
335. 12. ^15. Nnsh has confused his grammatical number. 
836. 33. Mulcaster's Positions tvherein those primiliue circum- 
stances be examimd, which are necessarie for the training vp of 
Children, either for skill in their booke or healOi in their bodit 
was printed in 1581. His First Part of the EUmenlarie which 
enlreatelh chefetie of the writing of our English lung followed 
in ,562. 

The Bodleian text is missing after ' belhinke.' The con- 
cluding portion is added to the copy in a later hand. 
35. See note to p. 313, 1. 13. 
337. 1. SceEduardi Grant Oraliode Vila tt Obitu R.A. {printed 
by Giles, iii. pp. 294-355). 

23. of Women. See supra, p. 324, 11. 6-9. 


Notes 431 

Appendix (pp. 341-4). 

Sir Edward Hoby (1560-1617), son of Sir Thomas Hoby, 
the translator of Castiglione's Cortegiano (* The Courtyer *). 

342. II. ViueSf loannes Ludovicus (1492-1540), frequently 
referred to throughout these volumes (in text and notes). His 
English reputation was probably helped by the fact that he had 
been tutor to the Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. He 
was a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford (see D, N. B,). 
Cf. ii. p. 245, 1. 6, note. 

a&-9. See note to p. 158^ 1. 8. 

38. See note to p. 71, L 18. 



3 1.1D5 DDI tl2 073 "^^'^ 





|415) 723-9201 

All books may be recalled after 7 days