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And gazers sence with double pleasure fed,
Her yvoire forhead, full of bountie brave,
And twixt the perles and rubins2 softly brake
1. Canto TIL
t'pon her eyelids many Graces sate,
How shall frayle pen descrive her heavenly face,
Like twinckling starres; and all the skirt about
of the side
2 Rubins--rubies. Belgardes-sweet looks. 4 Retrato-picture.
Purtled-embroilered. 7 Plight-plait. 8 Aygulets-tagged points, Queen Elizabeth enter largely into the descriptions of beauty by the poeta
of her reign.
ser bas dan Pretor.
And low behinde her backe were scattered:
In her rude heares sweet flowres themselves did lap,
Book II. Canto III.
THE CARE OF ANGELS OVER MEN.
In heavenly spirits to these creatures bace,
That blessed Angels he sends to and fro,
To come to succour us that succour want!
And all for love and nothing for reward :
Book 11. Canto VIII.
First, lusty Spring all dights in leaves of flowres
A guilt5 engraven morion he did weare;
1 Lap-entwine themselves.
Had hunted late the libbard / or the bore,
Then came the Autumne all in yellow clad,
As though he ioyed in his plentious store,
And in his hand a sickle he did holde,
Lastly, came Winter cloathed all in frize,
Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill;
For he was faint with cold, and weak with eld;5
Book VII. Canto VII.7
The chief prose work of Spenser is his « View of the State of Ireland.” It gives an excellent account of the customs, manners, and national character of the Irish, and there is no contemporary piece of prose to compare with it in purity. From it we have room to select the following short extract, only, upon
1 Leopard. Yielded. Nose. 4 Retort. 6 Old age. 6 Wield, move. 7 "I bave just finished 'The Faerie Queen.' I never parted from a long poem with so much regret. He is a poet of a most nusical ear-of a tender heart-of a peculiarly soft, rich, fertile, and flowery fancy, His verse always flows with ease and nature, most abundantly and sweetly; his diffusion is not only pardonable, but agreeable. Grandeur and energy are not his characteristic qualities. He seems to me a most genuine poet, and to be justly placed after Shakspeare and Milton, and above all other English poets." --Sir James Mackintosh.
*Spenser excels in the two qualities in which Chaucer is most deficient-invention and fancy. The lavention shown in his allegorical personages is endless, as the fancy shown in his description of then is gorgeous and delightful. He is the poet of romance. He describes things as in a splendid and voluptuous dream."- Hazlitt.
"His command of imagery is wide, easy, and luxuriant. He threw the soul of harmony into our perse, and made it more warmly, tenderly, and magnificently descriptive than it ever was before, or. with a few exceptione, than it ever has been since. It must certainly be owned that in description he exhibits nothing of the brief strokes and robust power which characterize the very greatest poets; but we shall nowhere find more airy and expansive images of visionary things, a sweeter tone of sentiment, or a finer flush in the colors of language, than in this Rubena or English poetry." Czapleles Specimena, 1. 195.
The best, or variorum edition of Spenser, (so called because it has all the notes of the various commentators,) is that of Todd, 8 vols. 8vo. London, 1805. Read--an article on Spenser's Minor Poems In Retrospective Review, xii. 142: also, Edinburgh Review, xxiv.: also, a brilliant series of papers on the Faerie Queene, in Blackwood's Magazine, 1834 and 1835, by Professor Wuson: also, "Ob. servations on the Paerie Queene," by Thomas Warton.
THE IRISH BARDS. There is amongst the Irish a certain kind of people called Bards, which are to them instead of poets, whose profession is to set forth the praises or dispraises of men, in their poems or rithmes; the which are had in so high regard and estimation amongst them, that none dare displease them for fear to run into reproach through their offence, and to be made infamous in the mouths of all men. For their verses are taken up with a general applause, and usually sung at all feasts and meetings by certain other persons, whose proper function that is, who also receive for the same great rewards and reputation amongst them. * *
Such poets as in their writings do Jabor to better the manners of men, and through the sweet bait of their numbers to steal into the young spirits a desire of honor and virtue, are worthy to be had in great respect. But these Irish bards are for the most part of another mind, and so far from instructing young men in moral discipline, that they themselves do more deserve to be sharply disciplined: for they seldom use to choose unto themselves the doings of good men for the arguments of their poems, but whom. socver they find to be most licentious of life, most bold and law. less in his doings, most dangerous and desperate in all parts of disobedience and rebellious disposition ; him they set up and glorify in their rithmes, him they praise to the people, and to young men make an example to follow.
RICHARD HOOKER. 1553—1600. One of the most learned and distinguished prose writers in the age of Elizabeth, was RicHARD HOOKER. He was born near Exeter in 1553. His parents, being poor, destined him for a trade; but he displayed at school so much aptitude for learning, and gentleness of disposition, that through the efforts of the bishop of Salisbury he was sent to Oxford. Here he pursued his studies with great ardor and success, and became much respected for his modesty, learning, and piety. In 1577 he was elected fellow of his college, and in 1581 took orders in the Episcopal church. Soon after this he went to preach in London, at Paul's Cross, and took lodgings in a house set apart for the reception of the preachers. The hostess, an artful and designing woman, perceiving Hooker's great simplicity of character, soon inveigled him into a marriage with her daughter, which proved a source of disquietude and vexation to him thronghout his life. He was soon advanced in ecclesiastical preFerment, and made master of the Temple, where he commenced his labors as forenoon preacher. But this situation accorded neither with his temper nor his literary pursuits, and he petitioned the archbishop of Canterbury in remove him to "some quiet parsonage.” He obtained his desire, and was presented by Elizabeth to the rectory of Bishop's Bourne, in Kent, where
he spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1600, of pulmonic disease, brought on by an accidental cold, when only forty-seven years of age.
Hooker's great work is his " Ecclesiastical Polity," a detence of the Church of England against the Puritans. It doubtless owes its origin to the fact that the office of afternoon lecturer at the Temple was filled by Walter Travers, of highly Calvinistic views; while the views of Hooker, both on church government and doctrines, were different. Indeed, so avowedly did they preach in opposition to each other, that the remark was frequently made that “the forenoon sermons spoke Canterbury, and the afternoon, Geneva.” Such was the beginning of this great work, which is a monument of the learning, sagacity, and industry of the author, and contains the most profound and the ablest defence of ecclesiastical establishments which has ever appeared. The style of the work, too, possesses some of the highest characteristics, perspicuity, purity, and strength; though generally, from the author's great familiarity with the classics, savoring a little too much of the idiom and construction of the Latin. The work, however, is not to be regarded simply as a theological treatise ; for it is still referred to as a great authority on questions in the whole range of moral and philosophical subjects. The praise that Hallam has given him, is well deserved. “The finest, as well as the most philosophical writer of the Elizabethan period is Hooker. The first book of the Ecclesias. tical Polity is at this day one of the masterpieces of English eloquence. His periods, indeed, are generally much too long and too intricate, but portions of them are often beautifully rhythmical : his language is rich in English idiom without vulgarity, and in words of a Latin sense without pedantry. He is more uniformly solemn than the usage of later times permits, or even than writers of that time, such as Bacon, conversant with mankind as well as books, would have reckoned necessary; but the example of ancient orators and philosophers upon themes so grave as those which he discusses, may justify the serious dignity from which he does not depart. Hooker is, perhaps, the first in England who adorned his prose with the images of poetry; but this he has done more judiciously and with more moderation than others of great name; and we must be bigots in Attic severity before we can object to some of his figures of speech."1
The following is the letter which he wrote to the archbishop when he desired to retire to the country :
When I lost the freedom of my cell, which was my college, yet I found some degree of it in my quiet country parsonage. But I am weary of the noise and oppositions of this place; and indeed, God and nature did not intend me for contentions, but for study and quietness. And, my lord, my particular contests here with
1 - Literature of Europe," 1. 381, Harper's edition. Read, also, “a biography which cannot be ex. celled," in old Izaak Walton's Lives of Donne, Hooker, Herbert, &c.-one of Dr. Johnson's most favorite books. "Lowth, in the preface to his Grammar, expresses an opinion, that, in correctness and propriety of language, Hooker has never been surpassed, or even equalled by any of his contemporaries. But amply as he enriched his native tongue, be frequently presents the cumbrous gatt and the rouxta
a ct or a pioneer. Taylor surpassed him in all the charms of imagination; Hall, in the sweetness and color or his thoughts; Barrow, in the illumination of his argument. But Hooker excelled them all in muscular vigor. To his controversy with Travers we owe the immortal Polity. We turn to his works, as to some mighty bulwark against infidelity, impregnable to the assaults of successive generations."-Walnott.