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blue without question comes from Neptune's hair, which he cut off some days since, which, by some rare secret, hạth been made liquid. As for the partitions, I believe good fortune made them, because nothing departs from us sooner: and as for the shadows, I believe the great sun of the world, or those of Charité's eyes, are the causers of them; for though the sun be the giver of light, yet he cannot be without shades, but makes them as soon as ever any solid body opposes its beams. The oil wherewith all these colours have been distempered, is the very same wherewith Hercules anointed himself, when he was to wrestle at the Olimpick games. As for the marble whereon they were beaten, 'twas a piece of the first altar, which was erected to the gods after the deluge. We had erewhiles forgot the shells to put these different colours in ; but it must be thought Venus's shell was made use of, with the eggshell of Loda, and for the pencils, they are made of Love's feathers, and his mother's hair ; this must be rather said, than they made use of any feathers of the wind Boreas: lovers have not so much to do with him.
“When thou hast thus spoken of Charité's picture, dear Philiris, thou must bring in the letter that I writ to her, which I will dictate to thee word for word. But here I must have a conceit which all the world knows not yet. Most part of your Romancists, when they introduce a man telling a story, after they have made him say, I writ a letter to my fairest, to this purpose, put down afterwards in capital letters, Philiris's letter to Basilia, Polidor's letter to Rhodogina; and so of others, and then the whole letter at length. That's no way handsome, I like it not; as for example, if I should relate to you my history from one end to another, if I were to say I write a letter to Charité, which was to this purpose, must I pronounce aloud these words, Lysis's letter to Charité ? that were ridiculous. As there's no necessity of reciting that title, so there's none to write it, unless it haply be in the margent, as an annotation or remark for the convenience of the readers; but I have an incomparable invention to this purpose, when the book comes to be printed; it shall be thus, “being highly desirous to discover my affection to that fair one, I writ her this:" here the line discontinues, and a little lower there shall be “ Letter" in a great character, and then the letter follows. This shall serve for a title for the convenience of the reader, and this shall nothing interrupt the system of the narration. In like manner may be said, this gentleman, that prince, that lover or shepherd, willing to lighten his passion by the charms of poetry, on a sudden broke into these (and a little under) “Stanzas,” and so the verses afterwards. That knight not being able to suffer such an affront from his rival, sent him this (under it)“ Challenge,” with the discourse following. And this is an ingenious way to acquire reputation; nor is it a small fault to say, “ Polidor having obtained silence, began thus his history ;” and then afterwards to make a great title of these words, The History of Polidor and Rhodogina, or some such thing; for Polidor being to tell his story, will not pronounce that title aloud : 'tis a folly to put it, and by that means to interrupt the discourse. 'Twere enough to put it in the margent, or make use of some invention like that beforementioned: Yet there are good authors fail in this point; but I, who take from others but what is best, must freely reform what's amiss. When thou hast handsomely brought in my letter, thou must tell by what means it came to Charité's hands; how I got up and laid it on her window, and fastened garlands at the door; and then how I was - carried away by pirates, who yet kept me not long a captive, because
they were Anselm's friends. i “I forgot the meeting with the Satyr, and many other particulars, which I shall give thee another time in order. As for what hath been done in this country, I believe thou art in good part informed. Thou must put down the adventures I ran through when I was disguised like a maid, and then thou shalt affirm for certain, that I was metamorphosed into a tree, though divers hold the contrary. But as for those who shall be concerned in any of these accidents, my humble suit is they may be honourably treated, they must be considered according to the affection they bore me, that they may be worthily recompensed. Thou mayest add what loose pieces thou please to my history; as for example, the loves of those of my acquaintance, it will make the work the more recommendable. Now I acquaint thee, that when thou art to say, I am in this place or that, when I am in any solitary place, it will not be amiss to say, I was making of verses : for, indeed, when I am alone, I do nothing but ruminate on them. Yet I permit thee to make some thyself to adorn the narration, or to thrust in some old papers of thine, that so they may not be lost; for there are a many haye composed romances, on purpose to dispose of their ancient poetry, I shall furnish thee with some of my own; and as for what shall come from thee, it must be purely an imitation of my style. I am in doubt whether we shall bring in more stanzas or elegies. I know not whether is the better; they say, that the making of elegies is like our ordinary walking; and the making of stanzas, in divers cadencies and measures, is as it were dancing: so that the one is much harder than the other. There are others, replied Philiris, that say, that the making of stanzas is like the shifting of little birds from bough to bough, as being yet not fully fledged; but that the making of elegies is the taking of a far flight, which is proper only for such birds as know their trade. These similitudes confound me, said Lysis ; I know not whether I should believe, wherefore let there be of both as thou think'st fit. These digressions have kept us from speaking of the principal things that concern us. Thou art to take notice, that before thou set thyself on work about my loves, thou must for a long time go a hunting after fancies, that thou may'st be well provided on all occasions and subjects. As for thy style, it must be smooth and not rough, as that of some writers of these times, in whose works a man cannot read three pages, without hazarding the skin of his throat, so far as would require above two ounces of licorice to make it whole again. But to aim at perfection, I think it were not fit to bring in twice in the same page, the word somę, nor divers others which I shall call to mind. : " I would not yet have thee follow in all things the rules of our new reformers of language; because, forsooth, they never read any thing, nor can cite any thing; they would have nothing at all quoted, neither in prose or verse, so that a man must shake hands with his
tories and fables, since a man durst not speak of them : but we must contemn their ignorance, for I would gladly have your ancient things brought into competition with the modern, were it for no other reason, but that this causes the bringing in of a many proper names, which, by their great letters would extremely set out the story. Next to this, comes to be considered, that thy discourses must not be tied to one kind of period, nor be always of one dress, like the fool's coat in a play. It is an excellent secret I heard one boast of at Paris; I think he had an ell wherewith he measured all his periods, clipping them if they chanced to fall out too long, or else he cast them in a mould, and measured them by the pottle, such was his dexterity in that point; whereof he gave this reason, because he was a poet, an orator, and a musician (which seldom happens) and knew all the measures, cadences, and harmonies of discourse, which others were ignorant of. But we shall do well enough to imitate him, nay exceed him. Moreover, when the book shall be finished, thou must not dedicate it to Charité alone, as I sometime proposed to Clarimond. Thou shalt dedicate it to me too, and shalt make either of us an epistle. But here is one thing troubles me extremely to know, when the book is bound up in red Spanish leather, with our characters upon it, whether thou wilt come and present it with only a simple compliment; as to say, Incomparable Shepherd; I present you with this work in my dressing; or whether it will be necessary that thou repeat to us by heart the epistle that shall be in the book, which thou shalt pronounce, as if it were an oration. The author I quoted before, desirous to dedicate his book to the King of Spain, was in the same perplexity. Now, thou art to know, that he having sufficiently dedicated his books in this kingdom, goes from country to country to seek new gods to sacrifice unto; and it is thought, that one of these days, he will go and present Bethlem Gabor with a romance of knight-errantry, to instruct him in the militia ; and the great Turk with a book of love-letters, to teach him to overcome the cruelty of his mistresses, which must be Persia, Germany, and the republic of Venice, whom he hath a long time been a suitor to. This author, I say, being on his departure, thought it was but civil to repeat his “epistle dedicatory” all through before him he should present his book to, though he had never done it before. But to be more assured in the business, he knew not whether he should take the advice of a casuist, a civilian, or a sworn stationer. At last, a certain poet told him, that since men put epistles before their books, it was a sign the authors never presented them themselves, but should send them, though they lived in the same house with their Mecenas, because the epistles would speak for them, there being no need of their presence. I think he took his advice, for he gave over his voyage into Spain.—Thou must seriously consider what judgement thou shouldst make on such an occasion. But since we are come so far, I shall note to thee the opinion of the same author upon a sonnet in Pasquire, against those who, speaking to the king, make use of the words, your majesty,' as. if they spoke of another person, and so make the royalty feminine, which was, never to call the King of Spain his catholic majesty in his epistle. He said that when he heard that word, he imagiend it spoken
of the king's wife, and to give the king a more convenient title, it must be a masculine; as if one should say, “Sir, since it hath pleased your ray to shed its favours on me;' or to speak yet better, “Sir, since your power hath vouchsafed to look on me with a favourable eye, I will die in the service of your power: I am, your power's most humble vassal.' Thus you see this writer had handsome inventions: but it is true, for some we have no need of them, and for the rest, they are not much better than such as we should find out ourselves. You give me such excellent instructions, says Philiris, that if I have but the ingénuity to follow them, I shall be the best author in the world, but must acknowledge an obligation to you, both for my eloquence and reputation: I wish myself already retired, that I might take notes of all you have said. I have not told thee all, says Lysis: There will be one thing very remarkable in my history, if thou write it immediately, before there happen any notable change in my affairs ; and that is, that all who shall . read it will be finely decoyed; they will imagine to find at last, a marriage between the shepherd Lysis and the shepherdess Charité, according to the ordinary rules of all romances; but there will be no such thing. It is certain they will be much deceived there, replies Philiris, smiling; but your marriage shall come in the continuation of your adventures, which I shall one day finish. But that shall not be till such time as we shall have no readers but such as will be abused. Yet I must tell you, the circumvention will be ever thought remarkable. I have known divers romancists, who would come and make their brags to me, that they would surprise and decoy all the world; for the first romance they would make should begin at the end, and that there was no great art or subtilty to begin one but in the midst. As for yours, I shall begin it according to your order and instructions to Clarimond : but though your adventures be already very eminent, and able to satisfy the most disdainful and nauseous intellects, yet I should intreat you to add to, and heighten them if it may be possible, that so the work may be the more complete.”
: The story now draws near a close. Hircan marries one of the nymphs, and Anselme is joined to Angelica. Adrian, the uncle of Lysis, accompanied by his wife Pernella, comes to carry away his mad nephew, and sees, with astonishment, that the gentlemen around him have so long found amusement in his fooleries, that they are become little better than himself; and he is puzzled and distressed by all the stories they relate, whether true or false. Lysis, driven to his last shift, feigns to poison himself and to die, to the great grief of the honest silkman, especially when he learns, that the dead heroes of Arcadia are burnt, which he considers a most anti-christian way of treating his poor, mad cousin. Lysis, on hearing his own funeral oration, being dissatisfied, moves a little, and his friends think it time to relieve him, seeing his condition ; therefore, Charité is brought in; on which he returns by slow degrees to life, his mistress runs out of the house, and the
poor uncle rejoices exceedingly, but is yet troubled how to proceed.
Clarimond, the author of the Banquet of the Gods, not bearing to see the well-meaning tradesman in such perplexity, undertakes the cure of the Extravagant Shepherd; and to that end, pronounces a long speech against all romance writers, beginning with Homer, as the original sinner of the fraternity, neither does Virgil nor Ovid escape, the latter being particularly amenable at the bar of this literal critic, with whom all metaphor is lying
“I come forward to the Italian poets. There's Ariosto hath made a romance that is pestered with most absurd inventions. His fable is an imitation of those of the knights errants, and yet it contains many things taken out of Ovid's metamorphoses. The flying horse of Astolphus is the Pegasus of Perseus, and both those warriors relieve a young virgin exposed to a monster. Any one may find other relations: besides, the order is so disjointed, that there is above fifty stories heaped one on another. The author at seven or eight times finishes them, and will leave you two knights with their swords lifted up ready to strike, to go and see what another does; and then he returns to them and makes them exchange two or three blows, and then leaves them again.
“ Thus does he make us languish after his fooleries, and his knights are transported from one country into another with as much speed as if their horses had wings.
“ As concerning Tasso, we are as much beholding to him as to Ariosto, for having turned our history into a fable. This last hath made it exquisitely impertinent; for though he be obliged to speak as a Christian in his Jerusalem Besieged; yet he makes nothing to talk as a pagan, and bring all the ancient divinities on the stage. There are a many more who have thus made a confusion of things without any judgement; but its enough to condemn them all at once.
“To come up to our own time, I shall bring in play the most famous poet that ever was in France : any one may conceive I mean Ronsard; and what reputation soever his works have gotten, I shall venture to encounter them. Let a man consider his sonnets, his poems, and his elegies, they are all full of ancient absurdities; and as for his hymns, wherein he is thought to have been most fortunate, pitch upon that of the four seasons of the year, which is the most esteemed because the fables are most of his own invention. The father and mother which he attributes to the winter in one, are not attributed in another; and thus does he make the seasons change parents to accommodate them to his design. As for his Françiad, the same things in a manner may be said against it as against those other pieces of poetry we have already quoted; for if Virgil hath imitated Homer, Ronsard hath imitated Virgil and Homer together; but the imitation is so low and poor, that it will never be forgiven him. If Pallas hides Ulysses in a cloud when he goes to King Alcinöus, and if Venus does the like for Æneas when he goes to Dido, Ronsard must needs tell us, that that