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Title: Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England
Author: Greg, Walter W., 1875-1959
Language: English
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Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama

  _Far, far from here ...
  The sunshine in the happy glens is fair,
  And by the sea, and in the brakes
  The grass is cool, the sea-side air
  Buoyant and fresh._

  Matthew Arnold.

Pastoral Poetry & Pastoral Drama

A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration Stage in

By Walter W. Greg, M.A.


Oxford: Horace Hart
Printer to the University



Some ten years ago, it may be, Mr. St. Loe Strachey suggested that I
should write an article on 'English Pastoral Drama' for a magazine of
which he was then editor. The article was in the course of time written,
and in the further course of time appeared. I learnt two things from
writing it: first, that to understand the English pastoral drama it was
necessary to have some more or less extensive knowledge of the history of
European pastoralism in general; secondly, that there was no critical work
from which such knowledge could be obtained. I set about the revision and
expansion of my crude and superficial essay, proposing to prefix to it
such an account of pastoral literature generally as should make the
special form it assumed on the English stage appear in its true light as
the reasonable and rational outcome of artistic and historical conditions.
Unfortunately perhaps, but at least inevitably, this preliminary inquiry
grew to ever greater and more alarming proportions as I proceeded, till at
last it swelled to something over half of the whole work. Part of this
bulk was claimed by foreign pastoral poetry, the origins of the kind; part
by English pastoral poetry, and the introduction of the fashion into this
country; part by the pastoral drama of Italy, the immediate parent of that
of England. The original title proved too narrow to cover the subject with
which I dealt. Hence the rather vague and perhaps ambitions title of the
present volume. I make no pretence of offering the reader a general
history of pastoral literature, nor even of pastoral drama. The real
subject of my work remains the pastoral drama in Elizabethan
literature--understanding that term in the wide sense in which, quite
reasonably, we have learnt to use it--and even though I may have been
sometimes carried away by the interest of the immediate subject of
investigation, I have done my best to keep the main object of my inquiry
at all times in view. The downward limit of my work is a little vague. The
old stage traditions, upon which all the dramatic production of the time
was at least in some measure, and in different cases more or less
consciously, based, were killed by the act of 1642: the new traditions,
created or imported by a company of gentlemen who had come under the
influence of the French genius during the eleven years of their exile,
first announced themselves authoritatively in 1660. During the intervening
eighteen years a number of works were produced, some of which continued
the earlier traditions, while some anticipated the later. My treatment has
been eclectic. Where a work appeared to me to belong to or to illustrate
the older school I have included it, where not, I have refrained from
doing so. Fanshawe's _Pastor fido_ (1647) will be found mentioned in the
following pages, T. R.'s _Berger extravagant_ (1654) will not.

Some explanation may be advisable with regard to my method of quotation.
Where a satisfactory modern edition of the work under discussion was
available I have taken my quotations from it, whether the spelling of the
text was modernized or not. Where none such existed I have had recourse to
the original. This explains the perhaps alarming mixture of old and modern
orthographies which appear in my pages. Such inconsistency seemed to me a
lesser evil than making nonce texts to suit my immediate purpose. I have,
however, exercised the right of following my own fancy in the matter of
punctuation throughout, and also in that of capitalization, though I have
been chary of alterations in the case of old-spelling texts. This applies
to English works. I have found it necessary myself to modernize to some
extent the spelling of the quotations from early Italian in order to
render it less bewildering to readers who may possibly, like myself, have
no very profound knowledge of the antiquities of that tongue. I have been
as sparing as possible, however, and trust I may have committed no
enormities to shock Romance scholars. Lastly, the italics and contractions
which are of more or less frequent occurrence in the original editions
have been disregarded, and certain typographical details made to conform
to modern practice.

My indebtedness is not small to a number of friends who, during the
progress of my work, have helped me more or less directly in a variety of
ways. A few have received specific mention in the notes. Alike to those
who have, and to the far greater number, I fear me, who have not, I desire
hereby to confess my debt, and humbly to beg them to claim their share in
the dedication of this volume. More specifically I should mention Mr. R.
B. McKerrow, who was the first to read the following pages in manuscript,
and to make many useful suggestions, and Mr. Frank Sidgwick, to whose
careful revision alike of manuscript and proof and to whose kind and
candid criticism I am indebted perhaps more than an author's vanity may
readily allow me to acknowledge. Lastly, it would argue worse than
ingratitude to pass over my obligation to the admirable readers of the
Clarendon Press, whose marvellous accuracy in the most diverse fields and
whose almost infallible vigilance form a real asset of English

W. W. G.
Park Lodge, Wimbledon.
_December_, 1905.


Chapter I. Foreign Pastoral Poetry

   I. The origin and nature of pastoral
  II. Greek pastoral poetry
 III. The bucolic eclogue in classical Latin
  IV. Medieval and humanistic eclogues
   V. Italian pastoral poetry
  VI. The Italian pastoral romance
 VII. Pastoral in Spain
VIII. Pastoral in France

Chapter II. Pastoral Poetry in England

   I. Early pastoral verse
  II. Spenser
 III. Spenser's immediate followers
  IV. The regular eclogists
   V. Lyrical and occasional verse
  VI. Milton's _Lycidas_ and Browne's _Britannia's Pastorals_
 VII. The pastoral romances

Chapter III. Italian Pastoral Drama

   I. Mythological plays containing pastoral elements
  II. Evolution of the pastoral drama (see Appendix I)
 III. Tasso and his _Aminta_
  IV. Guarini and the _Pastor fido_
   V. Minor pastoral drama

Chapter IV. Dramatic Origins of the English Pastoral Drama

   I. Mythological plays
  II. Translations from the Italian
 III. Daniel's imitations of Tasso and Guarini

Chapter V. The Three Masterpieces

   I. Fletcher's _Faithful Shepherdess_
  II. Randolph's _Amyntas_
 III. Jonson's _Sad Shepherd_

Chapter VI. The English Pastoral Drama

   I. Plays founded on the pastoral romances
  II. The English stage pastoral

Chapter VII. Masques and General Influence

   I. Pastoral in the masques and slighter dramatic compositions
  II. Milton's masques: _Arcades_ and _Comus_
 III. General influence. Pastoral theory. Conclusion.

Appendix I. On the origin and development of the Italian pastoral drama
Appendix II. Bibliography


Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama

Chapter I.

Foreign Pastoral Poetry

In approaching a subject of literary inquiry we are often able to fix upon
some essential feature or condition which may serve as an Ariadne's thread
through the maze of historical and aesthetic development, or to
distinguish some cardinal point affording a fixed centre from which to
survey or in reference to which to order and dispose the phenomena that
present themselves to us. It is the disadvantage of such an artificial
form of literature as that which bears the name of pastoral that no such
_a priori_ guidance is available. To lay down at starting that the
essential quality of pastoral is the realistic or at least recognizably
'natural' presentation of actual shepherd life would be to rule out of
court nine tenths of the work that comes traditionally under that head.
Yet the great majority of critics, though they would not, of course,
subscribe to the above definition, have yet constantly betrayed an
inclination to censure individual works for not conforming to some such
arbitrary canon. It is characteristic of the artificiality of pastoral as
a literary form that the impulse which gave the first creative touch at
seeding loses itself later and finds no place among the forces at work at
blossom time; the methods adopted by the greatest masters of the form are
inconsistent with the motives that impelled them to its use, and where
these motives were followed to their logical conclusion, the resuit, both
in literature and in life, became a byword for absurd unreality. To live
at all the ideal appeared to require an atmosphere of paradox and
incongruity: in its essence the most 'natural' of all poetic forms,
pastoralism came to its fairest flower amid the artificiality of a
decadent court or as the plaything of the leisure hours of a college of
learning, and its insipid convention having become 'a literary plague in
every European capital,' it finally disappeared from view amid the
fopperies of the Roman Arcadia and the puerile conceits of the Petit

Wherein then, it may be wondered, does the pastoral's title to
consideration lie. It does not lie primarily, or chiefly, in the fact that
it is associated with names of the first rank in literature, with
Theocritus and Vergil, with Petrarch, Politian, and Tasso, with Cervantes
and Lope de Vega, with Ronsard and Marot, with Spenser, Ben Jonson, and
Milton; nor yet that works such as the _Idyls_, the _Aminta_, the
_Faithful Shepherdess_, and _Lycidas_ contain some of the most graceful
and perfect verse to be found in any language. Rather is its importance to
be sought in the fact that the form is the expression of instincts and
impulses deep-rooted in the nature of humanity, which, while affecting the
whole course of literature, at times evince themselves most clearly and
articulately here; that it plays a distinct and distinctive part in the
history of human thought and the history of artistic expression. Moreover,
it may be argued that, from this point of view, the very contradictions
and inconsistencies to which I have alluded make it all the more important
to discover wherein lay the strange vitality of the form and its power of
influencing the current of European letters.

From what has already been said it will be apparent that little would be
gained by attempting beforehand to give any strict account of what is
meant by 'pastoral' in literature. Any definition sufficiently elastic to
include the protean forms assumed by what we call the 'pastoral ideal'
could hardly have sufficient intension to be of any real value. If after
considering a number of literary phenomena which appear to be related
among themselves in form, spirit, and aim we come at the end of our
inquiry to any clearer appreciation of the term I shall so far have
attained my object. I notice that I have used the expression 'pastoral
ideal,' and the phrase, which comes naturally to the mind in connexion
with this form of literature, may supply us with a useful hint. It
reminds us, namely, that the quality of pastoralism is not determined by
the fortuitous occurrence of certain characters, but by the fact of the
pieces in question being based more or less evidently upon a philosophical
conception, which no doubt underwent modification through the ages, but
yet bears evidence of organic continuity. Thus the shepherds of pastoral
are primarily and distinctively shepherds; they are not mere rustics
engaged in sheepcraft as one out of many of the employments of mankind. As
soon as the natural shepherd-life had found an objective setting in
conscious artistic literature, it was felt that there was after all a
difference between hoeing turnips and pasturing sheep; that the one was
capable of a particular literary treatment which the other was not. The
Maid of Orleans might equally well have dug potatoes as tended a flock,
and her place is not in pastoral song. Thus pastoral literature must not
be confounded with that which has for its subject the lives, the ideas,
and the emotions of simple and unsophisticated mankind, far from the
centres of our complex civilization. The two may be in their origin
related, and they occasionally, as it were, stretch out feelers towards
one another, but the pastoral of tradition lies in its essence as far from
the human document of humble life as from a scientific treatise on
agriculture or a volume of pastoral theology. Thus the tract which lies
before us to explore is equally remote from the idyllic imagination of
George Sand, the gross actuality of Zola, and the combination of simple
charm with minute and essential realism of Mr. Hardy's sketches in Wessex.
Nor does the adoption of the pastoral label suffice to bring within the
fold the fanciful animalism of Mr. Hewlett. By far the most remarkable
work of recent years to assume the title is Signor d'Annunzio's play _La
Figlia di Iorio_, a work in which the author's powerful and delicate
imagination and wealth of pure and expressive language appear in matchless
perfection. It is perhaps scarcely necessary to add that there is nothing
in common between the 'pastoral ideal' and the rugged strength and
suppressed fire of the great modern Italian's portrait of his native land
of the Abruzzi.


Some confusion of thought appears to have prevailed among writers as to
the origin of pastoral. We are, for instance, often told that it is the
earliest of all forms of poetry, that it characterizes primitive peoples
and permeates ancient literatures. Song is, indeed, as old as human
language, and in a sense no doubt the poetry of the pastoral age may be
said to have been pastoral. It does not, however, follow that it bears any
essential resemblance to that which subsequent ages have designated by the
name. All that we know concerning the songs of pastoral nations leads us
to suppose that they bear a close resemblance to the type of popular verse
current wherever poetry exists, folk-songs of broad humanity in which
little stress is laid on the peculiar circumstances of shepherd life. An
insistence upon the objective pastoral setting is of prime importance in
understanding the real nature of pastoral poetry; it not only serves to
distinguish the pastoral proper from the more vaguely idyllic forms of
lyric verse, but helps us further to understand how it was that the
outward features of the kind came to be preserved, even after the various
necessities of sophisticated society had metamorphosed the content almost
beyond recognition. No common feature of a kind to form the basis of a
scientific classification can be traced in the spontaneous shepherd-songs
and their literary counterpart. What does appear to be a constant element
in the pastoral as known to literature is the recognition of a contrast,
implicit or expressed, between pastoral life and some more complex type of
civilization. At no stage in its development does literature, or at any
rate poetry, concern itself with the obvious, with the bare scaffolding of
life: whenever we find an author interested in the circle of prime
necessity we may be sure that he himself stands outside it. Thus the
shepherd when he sang did not insist upon the conditions amid which his
uneventful life was passed. It was left to a later, perhaps a wiser and a
sadder, generation to gaze with fruitless and often only half sincere
longing at the shepherd-boy asleep under the shadow of the thorn, lulled
by the low monotonous rustle of the grazing flock. Only when the
shepherd-songs ceased to be the outcome of unalloyed pastoral conditions
did they become distinctively pastoral. It is therefore significant that
the earliest pastoral poetry with which we are acquainted, whatever half
articulate experiments may have preceded it, was itself directly born of
the contrast between the recollections of a childhood spent among the
Sicilian uplands and the crowded social and intellectual city-life of

As the result of this contrast there arises an idea which comes perhaps as
near being universal in pastoral as any--the idea, namely, of the 'golden
age.' This embraces, indeed, a field not wholly coincident with that of
pastoral, but the two are connected alike by a common spring in human
emotion and constant literary association. The fiction of an age of
simplicity and innocence found birth among the Augustan writers in the
midst of the complex and luxurious civilization of Rome, as an
illustration of the principle enunciated by Professer Raleigh, that
'literature has constantly the double tendency to negative the life
around it, as well as to reproduce it.' Having inspired Ovid and Vergil,
and been recognized by Lucretius, it passed as a literary legacy to
Boethius, Dante, and Jean de Meung; it was incorporated by Frezzi in his
strange allegorical composition the _Quadriregio_, and was thrice handled
by Chaucer; it was dealt with humorously by Cervantes in _Don Quixote_,
and became the prey of the satirist in the hands of Juvenal, Bertini, and
Hall. The association of this ideal world with the simplicity of pastoral
life was effected by Vergil, and in this form it was treated with loving
minuteness by Tasso in his _Aminta_ and by Browne in his _Britannia's
Pastorals_[2]. The fiction no doubt answered to some need in human nature,
but in literature it soon came to be no more than a polite convention.

The conception of a golden age of rustic simplicity does not, indeed,
involve the whole of pastoral literature. It does not account either for
the allegorical pastoral, in which actual personages are introduced, in
the guise of shepherds, to discuss contemporary affairs, or for the
so-called realistic pastoral, in which the town looks on with amused envy
at the rustic freedom of the country. What it does comprehend is that
outburst of pastoral song which sprang from the yearning of the tired soul
to escape, if it were but in imagination and for a moment, to a life of
simplicity and innocence from the bitter luxury of the court and the
menial bread of princes[3].

And this, the reaction against the world that is too much with us, is,
after all, the keynote of what is most intimately associated with the name
of pastoral in literature--the note that is struck with idyllic sweetness
in Theocritus, and, rising to its fullest pitch of lyrical intensity,
lends a poignant charm to the work of Tasso and Guarini. For everywhere
in these soft melodies of luscious beauty, even in the studied sketches of
primitive innocence itself, there is an undercurrent of tender melancholy
and pathos:

            Il mondo invecchia
    E invecchiando intristisce.

I have said that a sense of the contrast between town and country was
essential to the development of a distinctively pastoral literature. It
would be an interesting task to trace how far this contrast is the source
of the various subsidiary types--of the ideal where it breeds desire for a
return to simplicity, of the realistic where the humour of it touches the
imagination, and of the allegorical where it suggests satire on the
corruption of an artificial civilization.

When the kind first makes its appearance in a world already old, it arises
purely as a solace and relief from the fervid life of actuality, and comes
as a fresh and cooling draught to lips burning with the fever of the city.
In passing from Alexandria to Rome it lost much of its limpid purity; the
clear crystal of the drink was mixed with flavours and perfumes to fit the
palate of a patron or an emperor. The example of adulteration being once
set, the implied contrast of civilization and rusticity was replaced by
direct satire on the former, and later by the discussion under the
pastoral mask of questions of religious and political controversy. Proving
itself but a left-handed weapon in such debate, it became a court
plaything, in which princes and great ladies, poets and wits, loved to see
themselves figured and complimented, and the practice of assuming pastoral
names becoming almost universal in polite circles, the convention, which
had passed from the eclogue on to the stage, passed from the stage into
actual existence, and court life became one continual pageant of pastoral
conceit. From the court it passed into circles of learning, and grave
jurists and administrators, poets and scholars, set about the refining of
language and literature decked out in all the fopperies of the fashionable
craze. One is tempted to wonder whether anything more serious than light
loves and fantastic amours can have flourished amid eighteenth-century
pastoralism. When the ladies of the court began to talk dairy-farming with
the scholars and statesmen of the day, the pretence of pastoral simplicity
could hardly be long kept up. Nor was there any attempt to do so. In the
introduction to his famous romance d'Urfé wrote in answer to objectors:
'Responds leur, ma Bergere, que pour peu qu'ils ayent connoissance de toy,
ils sçauront que tu n'es pas, ny celles aussi qui te suivent, de ces
Bergeres necessiteuses, qui pour gaigner leur vie conduisent les troupeaux
aux pasturages; mais que vous n'avez toutes pris cette condition que pour
vivre plus doucement et sans contrainte.' No wonder that to Fontenelle
Theocritus' shepherds 'sentent trop la campagne[4].' But the hour of
pastoralism had come, and while the ladies and gallants of the court were
playing the parts of Watteau swains and shepherdesses amid the trim hedges
and smooth lawns of Versailles, the gates were already bursting before the
flood, which was to sweep in devastation over the land, and to purge the
old order of social life.


The Alexandria of the Ptolemies was not the nurse of a great literature,
though the age was undoubtedly one of considerable literary activity.
Scholastic learning and poetic imitation were rife; the rehandling of
Greek masterpieces was a fashionable pastime. For serious and original
composition, however, the conditions were not favourable. That the age
produced no great epic was less due to the disparagement of the form
indulged in by Callimachus, chief librarian and literary dictator, than to
the inherent temper of society. The prevailing taste was for an arrogant
display of rare and costly pageantry. At the coronation of Ptolemy
Philadelphus the brilliant city surfeited on a long-drawn golden pomp,
decked out in all the physical beauty the inheritance of Greek thought and
memories of Greek mythology could suggest, together with a wealth of
gorgeous mysticism and rapture of sensuous intoxication, which was the
fruit of its intercourse with the oriental world. The writers of
Alexandria lacked the 'high seriousness' of purpose to produce an
_Aeneid_, the imaginative enthusiasm needed for a _Faery Queen_. What they
possessed was delicacy, refinement, and wit; what they created, while
perfecting the epigram and stereotyping the hymn, was a form intermediate
between epic and lyric, namely the idyl as we find it in the works of
Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus.

It is interesting to note that the literary _milieu_ in which Theocritus
moved at Alexandria must have abounded in all those temptations which
proved the bane of pastoral poetry at Rome, Florence, and Ferrara. There
were princes and patrons to be flattered, there were panegyrics to be sung
and ancestral feats of arms to be recorded; nor does Theocritus appear to
have stood aloof from the throng of court poetasters. In spite of the
doubtful authenticity of some of the pieces connected with his name, there
appears no sufficient reason to deprive him of the rather conventional
hymns and other poems composed with a view to court-favour. These have
little interest for us to-day: his fame rests on works which probably
gained him little advantage at the time. It was for his own solace,
forgetful for a moment of the intrigues of court life and the uncertain
sunshine of princes, that he wrote his Sicilian idyls. For him, as at a
magic touch, the walls of the heated city melted like a mirage into the
sands of the salt lagoon, and he wandered once more amid the green woods
and pastures of Trinacria, the noonday sun tempered by the shade of the
chestnuts and the babbling of the brook, and by the cool airs that glide
down from the white cliffs of Aetna. There once more he saw the shepherds
tend their flocks, singing or wrangling with one another, dreamily piping
on their wax-stopped reeds or plotting to annex their neighbours' gear; or
else there sounded in his ears the love-song or the dirge, or the
incantation of the forsaken girl rose amid the silence to the silver moon.
Once again he stood upon the shore and watched the fishers cast their
nets, while around him the goats browsed on the close herbage of the
cliff, and the crystal stream leapt down, and the waves broke upon the
rocks below, till he saw the breasts of the nymphs shine in the whiteness
of the foam and their hair spread wide in the weed, and the fair Galatea,
the enticing and the fickle, mocked the clumsy suit of the Cyclops, as she
tossed upward the bitter spray from off her shining limbs. All these
memories he recorded with a loving faithfulness of detail that it is even
now possible to verify from the folk-songs of the south. To this day in
the Isles of Greece ruined girls seek to lure back their lovers with
charms differing but little from that sung by the Syracusan to Lady
Selene, and the popular poetry alike of Italy and Greece is full of those
delicate touches of refined sentiment that in Theocritus appear so
incongruous with the rough coats and rougher banter of the shepherds. For
though the poet raised the pastoral life of Sicily into the realms of
ideal poetry, he was careful not to dissociate his version from reality,
and he allowed no imaginary conceptions to overmaster his art. He depicted
no age of innocence; his poetry reflects no philosophical illusion of
primitive simplicity; he elaborated no imaginary cult of mystical worship.
His art, however little it may tempt us to the use of the term realism, is
nevertheless based on an almost passionate sympathy with actual human
nature. This is the fount of his inspiration, the central theme of his
song. The literary genius of Greece showed little aptitude for landscape,
and seldom treated inanimate nature except as a background for human
action and emotion, or it may be in the guise of mythological allegory.
Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that Theocritus, so tenderly concerned
with the homely aspects of human life, was not likewise sensitive to the
beauties of nature. At least it is impossible to doubt his attachment to
the land of his childhood, and it is at worst a welcome dream when we
imagine him, as the evening of life drew on, leaving the formal gardens
and painted landscapes of Alexandria and returning to Syracuse and his
beloved Sicily once more.[5]

The verse of Theocritus was echoed by his younger contemporaries, Bion
and Moschus.[6] The former is best known through the oriental passion of
his 'Woe, woe for Adonis,' probably written to be sung at the annual
festival of Syrian origin commemorated by Theocritus in his fifteenth
idyl.[7] The most important extant work of Moschus is the 'Lament for
Bion,' characterized by a certain delicate sentimentality alien to the
spirit of either of his predecessors. It is perhaps significant that
Theocritus appears to have been of Syracusan, Bion of Smyrnian, and
Moschus of Ausonian origin.[8] With the exception of this poem, which is
modelled on Theocritus' 'Lament for Daphnis,' there is little in the work
of either of the younger poets of a pastoral nature. Certain fragments,
however, if genuine, suggest that poems of the kind may have perished.
Among the remains of Moschus occurs the following:

    Would that my father had taught me the craft of a keeper of sheep,
    For so in the shade of the elm-tree, or under the rocks on the steep,
    Piping on reeds I had sat, and had lulled my sorrow to sleep;[9]

lines in which we already take leave of the genuine love of the pastoral
life, springing from an intimate knowledge of and delight in nature, and
see world-weariness arraying itself in the sentimental garb of the
imaginary swain.

Once again, five centuries later,[10] the spirit of Greece shone for one
brief moment in a work of pastoral elegance that has survived the
changing tastes of succeeding generations. The 'romance of _Daphnis and
Chloe_ is the last word of a world of sensuous enervation toying with the
idea of vernal freshness and virginity. It is a genuine picture of the
purity of awakening love, wrought with every delicacy of sentiment and
expression, and yet in such manner as by its very _naïveté_ and innocence
to serve as a goad to satiated appetite. It has been suggested that the
work should properly be styled the _Lesbiaca_, a name which recalls the
_Aethiopica_ and _Babylonica_, and reminds us that the author, though a
student of Alexandrian literature, belonged to the school of the erotic
romanciers and traditional bishops, Heliodorus and Achilles Tatius. Of his
life we know nothing, and even his name--Longus--has been called in
question. The story, unlike those of most later pastoral romances, is of
the simplest. The author, however, was no longer satisfied with the
natural refinement of popular love poetry; the central characters are
represented as foundlings nurtured by the shepherds of Lesbos, and are
ultimately identified, on much the same conventional evidence as Ion and
others had been before, as the children of certain rich and aristocratie
families.[11] The interest of the story lies in the growth of their
unconscious love, which constitutes the central theme of the work, though
relieved here and there by wholly colourless adventure.

A Latin translation made the book popular after the introduction of
printing, and the renaissance saw the French version by Amyot, a work of
European reputation. This was translated into English under Elizabeth; an
Italian translation followed in the seventeenth century,[12] and a Spanish
is also extant. There is no doubt that it was widely read throughout the
sixteenth and following centuries, but it exercised little influence on
the development of pastoral literature. By the time it became generally
known the main features of renaissance pastoral were already fixed, and in
motive and treatment alike it was alien to the spirit that animated the
fashionable masterpieces. The modern pastoral romance had already evolved
itself from a blending of the eclogue with the mythological tale. The
drama was developing on independent lines. Thus although, like the other
romances of the late Greek school, it supplied many incidents and
descriptions to be found in later works, it played no vital part in the
history of pastoral, and left no mark either on the general form or on the
spirit that animated the kind. Longus' romance finds its true descendant,
as well as its closest imitation, in a work that achieved celebrity on the
eve of the French revolution, that masterpiece of unreal and sentimental
simplicity, Saint-Pierre's _Paul et Virginie_.


A faithful reproduction of the main conditions of actual life was the
characteristic of Theocritus' poetry. It was subject to this ever-present
limitation that his graceful fancy exercised its power of idealization. He
took the singing match, the dirge, and the love-song or complaint as he
found them among the shepherd-folk of Sicily, and gave them that objective
setting which is as necessary to pastoral as to every other merely
accidental form of poetry; for the true subjective lyric is independent of
circumstances. The first of his great successors made the bucolic eclogue
what, with trifling variation, it was to remain for eighteen centuries, a
form based upon artificiality and convention. I have already pointed out
that the literary conditions at Alexandria did not differ materially from
those of Rome; it follows that the change must have been due to the
character of Vergil himself. That intense love of beauty for its own sake
which characterized the Greek mind had little hold over the Roman. Nor did
the latter understand the charm of untaught simplicity. It is true that to
the Roman poets of the Augustan period we owe the conception of the golden
age, but it remained with them rather a philosophical mythus than the
dream of an idyllic poet. To writers of the stamp of Ovid, Lucretius, and
Vergil the Idyls of the Syracusan poet can have possessed but little
meaning, and in his own Bucolics the last named seems never to have
regarded the pastoral form as anything but a cloak for matters of more
pith and moment. Although he followed Theocritus in his use of the several
types of song and stamped them to all future ages in pastoral convention,
though he may have begun with fairly close imitation of his model and only
gradually diverged into a more independant style, he at no time showed
himself content with the earlier poet's simplicity of motive.[13] The
eclogue in which he followed Theocritus most closely, the eighth, is
equally, perhaps, the most pleasing of the series. It combines the motives
of the love-lament and incantation, and the closeness with which it
follows while playing variations on its models is striking. One instance
will suffice. Take the passage in the second Idyl thus rendered by

    Hail, Hecatë, dread dame! to the end be thou my assistant,
    Making my medicines work no less than the philtre of Circë,
    Or Medea's charms, or yellow-haired Perimedë's.
      Wheel of the magic spells, draw thou that man to my dwelling.

Corresponding to this we find the following passage in the Latin poem:

    Song hath power to draw from heaven the wandering huntress,
    Song was the witch's spell transformed the mates of Ulysses....
      Home from the city to me, my song, lead home to me Daphnis.

Vergil was the first to begin the dissociation of pastoral from the
conditions of actual life, and just as his shepherds cease to present the
features and characters of the homely keepers of the flock, so his
landscape becomes imaginary and undefined. This peculiarity has been
noticed by Professor Herford in some very suggestive remarks prefixed to
his edition of the _Shepherd's Calender_. 'The profiles of the Sicilian
uplands,' he writes, 'waver uncertainly amid traits drawn from the Mantuan
plain. In this confusion lay, perhaps, the germ of those debates between
highland and lowland shepherds which reverberate through the later
pastoral, and are still loud in Spenser.' The gulf that separated Vergil
from his predecessor, in so far as their treatment of shepherd-life is
concerned, may be measured by the manner in which they respectively deal
with the supernatural. In the Greek Idyls we find the simple faith or
superstition as it lived among the shepherd-folk; no Pan appears to sow
dismay in the breasts of the maidens, nor do we find aught of the mystical
worship that later gathered round him in the imaginary Arcadia. He is
mentioned only as the rugged patron of herds and song, the wild indweller
of the savage woods as he appeared to the minds of the simple swains, who
hushed their midday piping fearful lest they should disturb the sleep of
the god. It is true that Theocritus introduces mythological characters in
the tale of Galatea, but it should be noticed that this merely forms the
theme of a song or the subject of a poetical epistle to a friend.
Moreover, it is open to more than one rationalistic interpretation.
Symonds treats it as an allegory in harmony with the mythopoeic genius of
Greek poetry. It is equally possible to regard the Cyclops as emblematic
merely of the rough neatherd flouted by the more delicate
shepherd-maiden--the contrast is of constant occurrence in later
works--for, alike in one of his own fragments and in Moschus' lament, Bion
is represented as courting this same Galatea after she has rid herself of
the suit of Polyphemus. Vergil was content with no such simple mythology
as this. He must needs shake Silenus from a drunken sleep and bid him tell
of Chaos and old Time, of the infancy of the world and the birth of the
gods. This mixture of obsolescent theology and Epicurean philosophy
probably possessed little reality for Vergil himself, and would have
conveyed no meaning whatever to the Sicilian shepherds. Its introduction
stamps his eclogues with that unreality which has been the reproach of the
pastoral from his day to ours. The didactic homily was one fresh
convention introduced. Far more important was the tendency to make every
form subserve some ulterior purpose of allegory and panegyric.[15] For the
Roman its own beauty was no sufficient end of art. That the _Aeneid_ was
written for the glorification of Rome cannot be made a reproach to the
poet; the greatness of the end lent dignity to the means. That the
pastoral was forced to serve the menial part of a vehicle of sycophantic
praise is less easily pardoned. In Vergil's hands a conversation between
shepherds becomes an expression of gratitude to the emperor for the
restitution of his villa, a lament for Daphnis is interwoven with an
apotheosis of Julius Caesar, and in the complaint of the forsaken
shepherd, whom Apollo and Pan seek in vain to comfort, we may trace the
wounded vanity of his patron deserted by his mistress for the love of a
soldier. The fourth eclogue was written after the peace of Brundisium, and
describes the golden age to which Vergil looked forward as consequent upon
the birth of a marvellous infant, perhaps some offspring of the marriages
of Antonius and Octavianus, celebrated in solemnization of the treaty. The
poem achieved considerable fame, which lasted as late as the time of
Dryden, owing to the belief that it contained a prophecy of the birth of
Christ drawn from the Sibylline books, and won for Vergil throughout the
middle ages the title of prophet and magician. Whether this belief was
well founded or not may be left to those whom it may interest to inquire;
it is sufficient for our purpose to note that in the poem in question
Vergil first introduced the convention of the golden age into pastoral

The first of the long line of imitators of whom we have any notice was a
certain Calpurnius. His diction is correct and his verse smooth, but the
suggestion that he belonged to the age of Augustus has not met with much
favour among those competent to judge. He followed Vergil closely, chiefly
developing the panegyric. His poems, however, include all the usual
conventions, singing matches, invocations, cosmologies, and the rest, in
the treatment of which originality never appears to have been his aim.
Some of his pieces deal with husbandry, and belong more strictly to the
school of the _Georgics_ and didactic poetry. The most interesting of his
eclogues is one in which he contrasts the life of the town with that of
the country, the direct comparison of which he appears to have been the
first to treat. The poem likewise possesses some antiquarian interest,
owing to a description of a wild-beast show in an amphitheatre in which
the animals were brought up in lifts through the floor of the arena.
Calpurnius is sometimes supposed, on account of a dedication to Nemesianus
found in some manuscripts, to have lived at the end of the third century,
but even supposing the dedication to be genuine, which is more than
doubtful, it does not follow that the person referred to is that
Nemesianus who contested the poetic crown with Prince Numerianus about the
year 283[16]. This Nemesianus was probably the author of some eclogues
which have been frequently ascribed to Calpurnius (numbers 8 to 11 in most
editions), but which must be discarded from the list of his authentic
works on a technical question of the employment of elision[17]. The
_editio princeps_ of these eclogues is not dated, but probably appeared in
1471, so that they were at any rate accessible to writers of the
_cinquecento_. It is not easy to trace any direct influence, unless, as
perhaps we should, we credit to Calpurnius the suggestion of those poems
in which a 'wise' shepherd describes to his less-travelled hearers the
manners of the town.

A few pieces from the _Idyllia_ of Ausonius appear in some of the bucolic
collections, but they cannot strictly be regarded as coming within the
range of pastoral poetry.


Events conspired to make Vergil the model for later writers of eclogues.
The fame of the poet was a potent cause among many. Another reason why
Theocritus found no direct imitators may be sought in the respective
methods of the two poets. Work of the nature of the _Idyls_ has to depend
for its value and interest upon the artistic qualities of the poetry
alone. Such work may spring up spontaneously under almost any conditions;
it is seldom produced through imitation. On the other hand, any scholar
with a gift for easy versification could achieve a certain distinction as
a follower of Vergil. His verse depended for its interest not on its
poetic qualities but upon the importance of the themes it treated.
Accidental conditions, too, told in favour of the Roman poet. During the
middle ages Latin was a universal language among the lettered classes,
while the knowledge of Greek, though at no time so completely lost as is
sometimes supposed, was a far rarer accomplishment, and was restricted for
the most part to a few linguistic scholars. Thus before the revival of
learning had made Greek a possible source of literary inspiration, the
Vergilian tradition, through the instrumentality of Petrarch and
Boccaccio, had already made itself supreme in pastoral[18].

During the middle ages the stream of pastoral production, though it
nowhere actually disappears, is reduced to the merest trickle. Notices of
such isolated poems as survive have been carefully collected by
Macrì-Leone in the introduction to his elaborate but as yet unfinished
work on the Latin eclogue in the Italian literature of the fourteenth
century. As early as the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth
century we find a poem by Severus Sanctus Endelechius, variously entitled
'Carmen bucolicum de virtute signi crucis domini' or 'de mortibus boum.'
It is a hymn to the saint cross, and in it for the first time the pastoral
suffered violence from the tyranny of the religious idea. The 'Ecloga
Theoduli' alluded to by Chaucer in the _House of Fame_[19] appears to be
the work of an Athenian writer, and is ascribed to various dates ranging
from the fifth to the eighth centuries. While preserving as its main
characteristic a close subservience to its Vergilian model, the eclogue
participated in the general rise of allegory which marked the later middle
ages. Pastoral colouring of no very definite order had shown itself in the
elegies of Alcuin in the eighth century, as also in the 'Conflictus veris
et hiemis,' traditionally ascribed to the Venerable Bede, but more
probably the work of one Dodus, a disciple of Alcuin. Of the tenth century
we possess an allegorical religious lament entitled 'Ecloga duarum
sanctimonialium.' About 1160 a Benedictine monk named Metellus composed
twelve poems under the title of _Bucolica Quirinalium_, in honour of St.
Quirinus and in obvious imitation of Vergil. Reminiscences and paraphrases
of the Roman poet are scattered throughout the monk's own barbarous
hexameters, as in the opening verses:

    Tityre tu magni recubans in margine stagni
    Silvestri tenuique fide pete iura peculi!

It would hardly be worth recording these medieval clerks, the
undistinguished writers, 'de quibus,' Boccaccio said, 'nil curandum est,'
were it not that they show how the memory at least of the classical
pastoral survived amid the ruins of ancient learning, and so serve to lead
up to one last spasmodic manifestation of the kind in certain poems which
else appear to stand in a curiously isolated position.

It was in 1319, during the bitter years of his exile at Ravenna, that
Dante received from one John of Bologna, known, on account of his fame as
a writer of Latin verse, as Giovanni del Virgilio, a poetical epistle
inviting him to visit the author in his native city. His correspondent,
while doing homage to his poetic genius, incidentally censured him for
composing his great work in the base tongue of the vulgar[20]. Dante
replied in a Vergilian eclogue, courteously declining Giovanni's
invitation to Bologna, on the ground that it was a place scarcely safe for
his person. As regarded the strictures of his correspondent, his
triumphant answer in the shape of the _Paradiso_ lay yet unfinished, so
the author of the _De Vulgari Eloquio_ trifled with the charge and
purported to compose the present poem in earnest of reform. There is a
tone of not unkindly irony about the whole. Was it an elaborate jest at
the expense of Giovanni, the writer of Vergilian verse? The Bolognese
replied, this time also in bucolic form, repeating his invitation and
holding out the special attraction of a meeting with Mussato, the most
regarded poet of his day in Europe. Dante's second eclogue, if indeed it
is correctly ascribed to his pen, introduces several historical
characters. It is said not to have reached Bologna till after his death.
These poems were not included in any of the early bucolic collections, and
first appeared in print in the eighteenth century. They seem, from their
purely occasional nature, their inconspicuous bulk, and lack of any
striking characteristics, to have attracted little notice in their own
day, and to have been ignored by later writers on pastoral as forming no
link in the chain of historical development. Given, indeed, the Bucolics
of Vergil, they are imitations such as might at any moment have appeared,
irrespective of date and surroundings, and independent of any living
literary tradition[21]. It is therefore impossible to regard them as in
any way belonging to, or foreshadowing, the great body of renaissance
pastoral, a division of literature endowed with remarkable vitality and
evolutionary force, which must in its growth and decay alike be studied in
close connexion with the ideas and temperament of the age, and in
relation to the general development of the history of letters[22].

The grandeur of the Roman Empire, the background against which in
historical retrospect we see the bucolic eclogues of Vergil and his
immediate followers, had vanished when Italian literature once more rose
out of chaos. The political organism had resolved itself into its
constituent elements, and fresh combinations had arisen. Nevertheless,
though the Empire was hardly now the shadow of its pristine greatness, men
still looked to Rome as the centre of the civilized world. As the seat of
the Church, it stood for the one force capable of supplying a permanent
element among the warring interests of European politics. Nothing was more
natural than that the poetic form that had reflected the glories of
imperial Rome should bow to the fascination of Rome, the visible emblem on
earth of the spiritual empire of Christ. To the medieval mind, so far from
there being any antagonism between the two ideas, the one seemed almost to
involve and necessitate the other. It saw in the splendeur of the Empire
the herald of a glory not of this world, a preparation as it were, a
decking of the chamber against the advent of the bride; and thus the
pastoral which sang of the greatness of pagan Rome appeared at the same
time a hymn prophetic of the glory of the Church[23].

Moreover, during the centuries that had elapsed since the days of Vergil
the term 'pastoral' had gained a new meaning and new associations. In the
days of Augustus Pan was a boorish anachronism; it was left to medieval
Christianity to create a god who was in fact a shepherd of men[24] and so
to render possible a pastoral allegory that should embody the dearest
hopes and aspirations of the human heart. That Christian pastoralists
availed themselves successfully of the possibilities of the theme it would
be difficult to maintain. It is a singular fact that, at a time when
allegory was the characteristic literary form, it was yet so impossible
even for the finer spirits to follow a train of thought clearly and
consistently, that it was only when a mind passed beyond the limitations
of its own age, and assumed a position _sub specie aeternitatis_, that it
was able to free itself from the prevalent confusion of the imaginary and
the real, the word and the idea, and to perceive that success in allegory
depends, not on the chaotic intermingling of the attributes of the type
and the thing typified, but on so representing the one as to suggest and
illuminate the other.

In the early days of renascent humanism, the first to renew the pastoral
tradition, broken for some ten centuries, was Francesco Petrarca. It is
not without significance that the first modern eclogues were from the same
pen as the sonnet 'Fontana di dolore, albergo d'ira,' expressive of the
shame with which earnest sons of the Church contemplated the captivity of
the holy father at Avignon; for thus on the very threshold of Arcadia we
are met with those bitter denunciations of ecclesiastical corruption which
strike so characteristic a note in the works of the satirical Mantuan, and
seem so out of place in the songs of Spenser and Milton. In one eclogue
the poet mourns over the ruin and desolation of Rome, as a mother deserted
of her children; another is a dialogue between two shepherds, in which St.
Peter, under the pastoral disguise of Pamphilus, upbraids the licentious
Clement VI with the ignoble servitude in which he is content to abide; a
third shows us Clement wantoning with the shameless mistress of a line of
pontifical shepherds, a figure allegorical of the corruption of the
Church[25]; in yet a fourth Petrarch laments his estrangement from his
patron Giovanni Colonna, a cardinal in favour at the papal court, whom it
would appear his outspoken censures had offended. Petrarch's was not the
only voice that was raised urging the Pope to return from the 'Babylonian
captivity,' but the protest had peculiar significance from the mouth of
one who stood forth as the embodiment of the new age still struggling in
the throes of birth. When 'the first Italian' accepted the laurel crown at
the Capitol, he dreamed of Rome as once more the heart of the world, the
city which should embody that early Italian idea of nationality, the ideal
of the humanistic commonwealth. The course urged alike by Petrarch and by
St. Catherine was in the end followed, but the years of exile were yet to
bear their bitterest fruit of mortification and disgrace. In 1377 Gregory
XI transferred the seat of the papacy from Avignon to Rome, with the
resuit that the world was treated to the edifying spectacle of three
prelates each claiming to be the vicar of Christ and sole father of the

These ecclesiastical eclogues form the most important contribution made by
Italy's greatest lyric poet to pastoral. Others, one in honour of Robert
of Sicily, another recording the defeat of Pan by Articus on the field of
Poitiers, follow already existing pastoral convention. Some few, again, of
less importance in literary history, are of greater personal or poetic
interest. In one we see Francesco and his brother Gherardo wandering in
the realm of shepherds, and there exchanging their views concerning
religious verse. A group of three, standing apart from the rest, connect
themselves with the subject of the _Canzoniere_. The first describes the
ravages of the plague at Avignon; the second mourns over the death of
poetry in the person of Laura, who fell a victim on April 6, 1348; the
third is a dirge sung by the shepherdesses over her grave. One, lastly, a
neo-classic companion to Theocritus' tale of Galatea, recounts the poet's
unrequited homage to Daphne of the Laurels, thus again suggesting the
idealized source of Petrarch's inspiration. This poem is not only the gem
of the series, but embodies the mythopoeic spirit of classical imagination
in a manner unknown in the later days of the renaissance.

The, eclogues, twelve in number, appear to have been mostly composed
about the middle of the fourteenth century. In the days of Petrarch the
art of Latin verse was yet far from the perfection it attained in those of
Poliziano and Vida; it was a clumsy vehicle in comparison with the vulgar
tongue, which he affected to despise while setting therein the standard
for future ages. Nevertheless, Petrarch's Latin poems bear witness to the
natural genius for composition and expression to which we owe the
_Canzoniere_. The _editio princeps_ of the pastorals appeared in the form
of a beautifully printed folio at Cologne in 1473, ninety-nine years after
the poet's death. They were entitled _Eglogae_[26] (i.e. _aeglogae_), by
which, as Dr. Johnson remarked, Petrarch, finding no appropriate meaning
in the form _eclogae_, 'meant to express the talk of goatherds, though it
will only mean the talk of goats.'

No two men ever won for themselves more diverse literary reputations than
Petrarch and his friend Boccaccio. The Latin eclogue is one of their few
points of literary contact. The bucolic collections contain no less than
sixteen such poems from the pen of the younger writer[27], which, though
not devoid of merit as poetical exercises, show that as a metrist
Boccaccio fell almost as far short of his friend in the learned as in the
vulgar tongue. They were composed at various dates, mostly, it would
appear, after 1360, though some are certainly earlier; and it would be
difficult to say whether to him or to Petrarch belonged the honour of
reviving the form, were it not that, both in the poems themselves and in
his correspondance, he explicitly mentions Petrarch as his master in the
kind[28]. In any case the dates of composition must cover a wide period,
for the poems reflect varions phases of his life. 'Le Egloghe del
Boccaccio,' says an Italian critic, 'rappresentano tutta la vita
psicologica del poeta, dalle febbri d'amore alle febbri ascetiche.' The
amorous eclogues, to which in later life Boccaccio attached little
importance, are early; several are historical in subject and are probably
of later date, though one may be as early as 1348; there are others of a
religions nature which belong to the author's later years. The allusions
in these poems are so obscure that it would in most cases be hopeless to
seek to unravel the meaning had not the author left us a key in a letter
to Martino da Signa, prior of the Augustinians. Many of the subjects are
purely conventional, such as those of the early poems on the loves of the
shepherds, the historical panegyrics and laments, and the satire on rich
misers. The same may be said of a dispute on the respective merits of
poetry and commerce, and of a poem in praise of poetry; although the
former has an obvious relation to the author's own circumstances, and the
latter appears to be inspired by genuine enthusiasm and love of art. The
forces of confusion that have dogged the pastoral in all ages show
themselves where the poet tells a Christian fable in pagan guise; the
antithesis of human and divine love, while suggesting Petrarch's influence
over his life, is a theme that runs throughout medieval philosophy and was
later embodied by Spenser in his _Hymns_. One poem stands out from the
rest somewhat after the manner of Petrarch's _Daphne_. In it Boccaccio
tells us, under the thinnest veil of pastoral, how his daughter Violante,
dead in childhood many years before, appeared to him bearing tidings of
the land beyond the grave. The theme is the same as that of the almost
contemporary _Pearl_; and in treating it Boccaccio achieves something of
the sweetness and pathos of the English poem. One eclogue, finally, the
_Valle tenebrosa (Vallis Opaca)_, which appears to owe something to
Dante's description of hell, is probably historical in its intention, but
the gloss explains _obscurum per obscurius_, and we can only suppose that
the author intended that the inner sense should remain a mystery.

When Boccaccio wrote, the eclogue had not yet degenerated into the
literary convention it became in the following century; and, though he was
no doubt tempted to the use of the form by Vergilian tradition and the
example of Petrarch, he must also have followed therein a natural
inclination and no mere dictate of fashion. Even in these poems the
humanity of the writer's personality makes itself felt. While Laura tends
to fade into a personification of poetry, and Petrarch's strongest
convictions find expression through the mouth of St. Peter, we feel that
behind Boccaccio's humanistic exercise lies his own amorous passion, his
own religious enthusiasm, his own fatherly tenderness and love. His
eclogues, however, never attained the same reputation as Petrarch's, and
remained in manuscript till the appearance of Giunta's bucolic collection
of 1504.

       *       *       *       *       *

As humanism advanced and the golden age of the renaissance approached,
Latin bucolic writers sprang up and multiplied. The fullest
collection--that printed by Oporinus at Basel in March, 1546--contains the
poems of thirty-eight authors, and even this makes no pretence of giving
those of the middle ages. The collection, however, ranges from Calpurnius
to Castalio (i.e. the French theologian Sébastien Châteillon), and
includes the work of Petrarca, Boccaccio, Spagnuoli, Urceo, Pontano,
Sannazzaro, Erasmus, Vida, and others. There is a strong family likeness
in the pastoral verse of these authors, and the majority are devoid of
individual interest. A few, however, merit separate notice.

It was in the latter half of the fifteenth century that the renaissance
eclogue, abandoning its last claims to poetic inspiration, assumed its
definitive form in the works of Battista Spagnuoli, more commonly known
from the place of his birth by the name of Mantuanus. His eclogues, ten in
number, were accepted by the sixteenth century as models of pastoral
composition, inferior to those of Vergil alone, were indeed any
inferiority allowed. Starting with the simple theme of love, the author
proceeds to depict its excess in the love-lunes of the distraught Amyntas.
Thence he passes to one of those satires on women in which the fifteenth
century delighted, so bitter, that when Thomas Harvey came to translate it
in 1656 he felt constrained, for his credit's sake, to add the note,
'What the author meant of all, the translater intends only of ill
women[29].' There follows the old complaint of the niggardliness of rich
patrons towards poor poets, and a satire on the luxury of city life. The
remaining poems are ecclesiastical. One is in praise of the religious
life, another describes the simple faith of the country folk and the joys
of conversion; finally, we have a satire on the abuses of Rome, and a
discussion on points of theological controversy. None of these subjects
possess the least novelty; the author's merit, if merit it can be called,
lies in having stamped them with their definitive form for the use of
subsequent ages. Combined with this lack of originality, however, it is
easy to trace a strong personal element in the bitterness of the satire
that pervades many of the themes, the orthodox eclogue on conversion
standing in curious contrast with that on ecclesiastical abuses.

It is not easy to account for Spagnuoli's popularity, but the curiously
representative quality of his work was no doubt in part the cause. His
poems were what, through the changing fashions of centuries, men had come
to expect of bucolic verse. They crystallized into a standard mould
whatever in pastoral, whether classical or renaissance, was most obviously
and easily reducible to a type, and so attained the position of models
beyond which it was needless to go. They were first printed in 1498, and
went through a number of editions during the author's lifetime. As a young
man--and it is to his earlier years that the bulk of the eclogues must be
attributed--Spagnuoli was noted for the elegance of his Latin verse; but
his facility led him into over-production, and Tiraboschi reports his
later writings as absolutely unreadable. He was of Spanish extraction, as
his name implies, became a Carmelite, and rose to be general of the order,
but retired in 1515, the year before his death.

Three eclogues are extant from the pen of Pontano, a distinguished
humanist at the court of Ferdinand I and his successors at Naples, and a
Latin poet of considerable grace and feeling. His poems were first
published by Aldus in 1505, two years after his death. In one
characteristic composition he laments the loss of his wife, to whom he was
deeply attached; another introduces under a pastoral name his greater
disciple Sannazzaro[30].

Jacopo Sannazzaro, known to humanism as Actius Sincerus, disciple of the
'Accademia Pontana,' and editor of his master's works, the greatest
explorer, if not the greatest exponent, of the mysteries of Arcadia, was
born of parents of Spanish origin at Naples in 1458. His boyhood was spent
at San Cipriano, but he soon returned to Naples, where he fell in love
with Carmosina Bonifacia. His passion does not appear to have been
reciprocated, but the lady has her place in literature as the Phillis of
the eclogues. He attached himself to the court of Frederick of Aragon,
whom he followed into exile in France. Returning to Naples after his
patron's death in 1503, he again fell in love, this time with a certain
Cassandra Marchesa, to whom he continued to pay court, _more Platonico_,
till his death in 1530. He is said to have died at her house.

To his Italian work I shall have to return later; here it is his five
Latin piscatory eclogues that demand notice. There is nothing in the
subject-matter to arrest attention--they consist of a lament for
Carmosina, a lover's complaint, a singing match, a panegyric, and a poem
in honour of Cassandra--but the form is interesting. Of course the claim
sometimes put forward for Sannazzaro, as the inventor of the piscatory
eclogue, ignores various passages in Theocritus, notably the twenty-first
Idyl, whence he presumably borrowed the idea. But it is certainly
refreshing, after wandering in an unreal Sicily and an imaginary Arcadia,
and listening to shepherds discourse of the abuses of the Roman Curia, to
dive into the waters of the bay of Naples, or wanton in fancy along its
sunlit shore from the low rocks of Baiae to the sheer cliffs of Sorrento,
and to feel that, even though Jacopo was no Neapolitan fisher-boy, and
Carmosina no nymph of Posilipo, yet the poet had at least before him the
blue water and the dark rocks, and in his heart the love that formed the
theme of his song[31].

Sannazzaro also wrote a mythological poem entitled _Salices_, in which
certain nymphs pursued by satyrs are changed by Diana into willows. The
tale was evidently suggested by Ovid, and cannot strictly be classed as
pastoral, though it may have helped to fix in pastoral convention the
character of the satyr; who, however, at no time enjoyed a very savoury
reputation. The Latin works were first published at Naples in 1536, and
though far from rivalling the popularity of the _Arcadia_, went through
several editions.

The Latin eclogues of the renaissance are distinguished from all other
forms of allegory by the obscure and recondite allusions that they
affected. There were few among their authors for whom the narration of
simple loves and sorrows or the graces of untutored nature possessed any
attraction; we find them either making their shepherds openly discuss
contemporary affairs, or more often clothing their references to actual
events in a sort of pastoral allegory, fatuous as regards its form and
obscure as regards its content. Tityrus and Mopsus are alternately lovers,
courtiers and spiritual pastors; Pan, when he does not conceal under his
shaggy outside the costly robes of a prince, is a strange abortive
monster, drawing his attributes in part from pagan superstition, in part
from Christian piety; a libel upon both. The seed sown by Petrarch and
Boccaccio bore fruit only too freely. The writers of eclogues, either
debarred from or incapable of originality, sought distinction by ever more
and more elaborate and involved allusions; and their works, in their own
day held the more sublime the more incomprehensible they were, are now the
despair of those who would wring from them any semblance of meaning.

The absurdities of the conventional pastoral did not, indeed, pass
altogether unnoticed in their own day, for early in the sixteenth century
Teofilo Folengo composed his _Zanitonella_ in macaronic verse. It consists
of eclogues and poems in hexameter and elegiac metre ridiculing polite
pastoralism through contrast with the crudities of actual rusticity. In
the same manner Berni travestied the courtly pastoral of vernacular
writers in his realistic pictures of village love. But though the satirist
might find ample scope for his wit in anatomizing the foible of the day,
fashionable society continued none the less to encourage the exquisite
inanity, and to be flattered by the elegant obscurity, of the allegorical


In 1481 appeared an Italian translation of the Bucolics of Vergil from the
pen of Bernardo Pulci. The same volume also contained a collection of
eclogues in the vernacular by various authors, none of which have any
particular interest beyond what attaches to them as practically heading
the list of Italian pastorals[32]. It will be noticed that these poems
correspond in date with the later school of Latin bucolic writers,
represented by Mantuan; and the vernacular compositions developed
approximately parallel to, though usually in imitation of, those in the
learned tongue. But the fourteenth-century school of Petrarch had not been
entirely without its representative in Italian. At least one poem included
by Boccaccio in his _Ameto_ is a strict eclogue, composed throughout in
_terza rima_, which was destined to become the standard verse-form for
'pastoral,' as _ottava rima_ for 'rustic,' composition. The poem is a
contention between an upland and a lowland shepherd, and begins in genuine
pastoral fashion:

    Come Titan del seno dell' aurora
      Esce, così con le mie pecorelle
      I monti cerco sema far dimora.

It is chiefly differentiated from many similar compositions in Latin--and
the distinction is of some importance--in that the interest is purely
pastoral; no political or religious allusions being discernible under the
arguments of the somewhat quarrelsome swains[33]. This peculiarity is on
the whole characteristic of the later vernacular pastoral likewise, which,
after the appearance of the collection of 1481, soon became extremely
common, Siena and Urbino, Ferrara, Bologna and Padua, Florence and Naples,
all alike bearing practical witness to the popularity of the kind[34].

In 1506 Castiglione[35] and Cesare Gonzaga, in the disguise of shepherds,
recited an eclogue interspersed with songs before the court of Duke
Guidubaldo at Urbino. The Duchess Elizabeth was among the spectators. The
_Tirsi,_ as it is called, begins with the simple themes of pastoral
complaint, whence by swift transition it passes to a panegyric of the
court and the circle of the _Cortegiano_. It was not the first attempt at
bringing the pastoral upon the boards, since Poliziano's _Orfeo_ with its
purely bucolic opening had been performed as early as 1471; but
Castiglione's _ecloga rappresentativa_ was the first of any note to depend
purely on the pastoral form and to introduce on the stage the convention
of the allegorical pastoral. Some years later a further step was taken in
the dramatization of the eclogue by Luigi Tansillo in his _Due pelegrini_,
performed at Messina in 1538, though composed and probably originally
acted some ten years before. It is through these and similar poems that we
shall have to trace the gradual evolution of the pastoral drama in a later
section of this work. Tansillo was likewise the author, both of a poem
called _Il Vendemmiatore_, one of those obscene debauches of fancy which
throw a lurid light on the luxurious imagination of the age, and of a
didactic work, _Il Podere_, in which, as his editor somewhat naïvely
remarks, 'ci rende amabile la campagna e l'agricoltura[36].'

The practice of eclogue-writing soon became no less general in the
vernacular than in Latin, and the band of pastoral poets included men so
different in temperament as Machiavelli, who left a 'Capitolo pastorale'
among his miscellaneous works, and Ariosto, whose eclogue on the
conspiracy contrived in 1506 against Alfonso d'Este was published from
manuscript in 1835. The fashion of the piscatory eclogue, set by
Sannazzaro in Latin, was followed in Italian by his fellow-citizen
Bernardino Rota, and later by Bernardino Baldi of Urbino, Abbot of
Guastalla, in whose poems we are able at times to detect a ring of simple
and refreshing sincerity.

Though, as will be understood even from the brief summary given above, the
allusive element is not wholly absent from these poems, it is nevertheless
true, as already said, that it appears less persistently than in the Latin
works, the weighty matters of religion and politics being as a rule
avoided. The reason is perhaps not far to seek, since, being in the vulgar
tongue, they appealed to a wider and less learned audience, before whom it
might have been injudicious to utter too strong an opinion on questions of
church and state.

So far the pastoral poetry of Italy had been composed exclusively in the
literary Tuscan of the day. To Florence and to Lorenzo de' Medici in
particular is due the honour of having first introduced the rustic speech
of the people. His two poems written in the language of the peasants about
Florence, _La Nencia da Barberino_ and a canzonet _In morte della Nencia_,
possess a grace to which the quaintness of the diction adds point and
flavour. A short extract must suffice to illustrate the style.

    Ben si potrà tener avventurato
      Chi sia marito di sì bella moglie;
      Ben si potrà tener in buon dì nato
      Chi arà quel fioraliso senza foglie;
      Ben si potrà tenersi consolato
      Che si contenti tutte le sue voglie
      D' aver la Nencia, e tenersela in braccio
      Morbida e bianca, che pare un sugnaccio.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Nenciozza mia, vuo' tu un poco fare
      Meco a la neve per quel salicale?--
      Sì, volentier, ma non me la sodare
      Troppo, chè tu non mi facessi male.--
      Nenciozza mia, deh non ti dubitare,
      Chè l' amor ch' io ti porto sì è tale,
      Che quando avessi mal, Nenciozza mia,
      Con la mia lingua te lo leveria.

This form of composition at once became fashionable. Luigi Pulci[37]
composed his _Beca di Dicomano_, which attained almost equal success and
passed for the work of Lorenzo. It is, however, a far inferior production,
in which the quaintness of the model is replaced by coarse caricature and
its delicate rusticity by a cruder realism. Other imitations followed, but
none bear comparison with Lorenzo's poem[38]. It is in thought and
expression rather than in actual language that these poems distinguish
themselves from the literary pastoral. More noticeably dialectal is an
anonymous _Pescatoria amorosa_ printed about 1550. It is a Venetian
serenade sung in the persons of fishermen, and possesses a certain grace
of language:

    Cortese donne, belle innamorae,
      Donzelle, vedovette, e maridae,
      Ascholte ste parole, che le no se cortelae,
      Che intendere la causa del vegnir in ste contrae[39].

Symonds and D'Ancona alike remark, with perfect truth, that Lorenzo's
rustic style, in spite of its sympathetic grace, is not altogether
dissociated from burlesque. While free from the artificiality of court
pastoral, it is equally distinct from the natural simplicity of the
Theocritean idyl. Its flavour depends upon the half cynical, half kindly,
amusement afforded by the contrast between the _naïveté_ of the country
and the familiar and conventional polish of town life. This theme had
already caught the fancy of the song-writers of the fourteenth century,
who produced some of the most delightful examples of native and
unconventional pastoral anywhere to be found[40]. Franco Sacchetti the
novelist, for example, gives us a series of charming vignettes of country
life and scenery, but always from the point of view of the town observer.
One poem of his in particular gained wide popularity, and a modernized and
somewhat altered version was iater printed among the works of Poliziano.
It was originally a _ballata_, but I prefer to quote some stanzas from the
traditional version:

    Vaghe le montanine e pastorelle,
      Donde venite sì leggiadre e belle?--

    Vegnam dall' alpe, presso ad un boschetto;
      Picciola capannella è il nostro sito;
      Col padre e colla madre in picciol tetto,
      Dove natura ci ha sempre nutrito,
      Torniam la sera dal prato fiorito
      Ch' abbiam pasciute nostre pecorelle.--

    Ben si posson doler vostre bellezze,
      Poichè tra valli e monti le mostrate,
      Chè non è terra di sì grandi altezze
      Che voi non foste degne ed onorate.
      Ora mi dite, se vi contentate
      Di star nell' alpe così poverelle?--

    Più si contenta ciascuna di noi
      Gire alla mandria, dietro alla pastura,
      Più che non fate ciascuna di voi
      Gire a danzare dentro a vostre mura;
      Ricchezza non cerchiam, nè più ventura,
      Se non be' fiori, e facciam ghirlandelle[41].

Other writers besides Sacchetti produced songs of the sort, but in all
alike the strictly pastoral element was accidental, and merged insensibly
into the more delicately romantic of the _novelle_ themes. The following
lines touch on a situation familiar in later pastoral and also found in
English ballad poetry. They are by Alesso Donati, a contemporary of
Sacchetti's. A nun sings:

    La dura corda e 'l vel bruno e la tonica
      Gittar voglio e lo scapolo
      Che mi tien qui rinchiusa e fammi monica;
      Poi teco a guisa d'assetato giovane,
      Non già che si sobbarcoli,
      Venir me n' voglio ove fortuna piovane:

    E son contenta star per serva e cuoca,
      Chè men mi cocerò ch' ora mi cuoca[42].

But if pastoralism made its appearance in the lyric, the lyric equally
influenced pastoral, for it is in the songs of the fifteenth century that
we first meet with that spirit of graceful melancholy sighing over the
transitoriness of earthly things, the germ of the _voluttà idillica_ of
the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor fido._ This vein is strong in Lorenzo's
charming carnival songs, which at once recall Villon's burden, 'Où sont
les neiges d'antan?' and anticipate Tasso's warning:

    Cangia, cangia consiglio,
    Pazzerella che sei;
    Che il pentirsi dassezzo nulla giova.

The 'triumph' of _Bacchus and Ariadne_, introduced with amorous nymphs and
satyrs, has the refrain:

    Quant' è bella giovinezza,
      Che si fugge tuttavia!
      Chi vuol esser lieto, sia:
      Di doman non c' è certezza.

The flower of lyric melancholy is already full blown. So, too, in another
carnival song of his:

    Or che val nostra bellezza?
      Se si perde, poco vale.
      Viva amore e gentilezza!

_Gentilezza, morbidezza_--the yielding fancy in the disguise of pity, the
nerveless languor that passes for beauty--such is the dominant note of the
song upon men's lips in the troublous times of the renaissance[43].

Another of the outlying realms of pastoral is the mythological tale, more
or less directly imitated from Ovid. The first to introduce it in
vernacular literature was Boccaccio, who in his _Ninfale fiesolano_ uses
a pagan allegory to convey a favourite _novella_ theme. The shepherd
Affrico loves a nymph of Diana, and the tale ends by the goddess changing
her faithless votary into a fountain. It is written in somewhat cumbrous
_ottava rima_, and seldom shows any conspicuous power of narrative.
Belonging to the same class of composition, though of a very different
order of poetic merit, is Lorenzo's wonderfully graceful tale of _Ambra_.
The grace lies in the telling, for the plot was probably already stale
when Phoebus and Daphne were protagonists. The poem recounts how the
wood-nymph Ambra, beloved of Lauro, is pursued by the river-god Ombrone,
one of Arno's tributary divinities, and praying to Diana in her hour of
need, is by her transformed into a rock[44]. Lorenzo's _Selva d'amore_ and
_Caccia col falcone_ might also be mentioned in the same connexion.

Less pastoral in motive and less connected in narrative, but of even
greater importance in the formation of pastoral taste, is the famous
_Giostra_ written in honour of the young Giuliano de' Medici. I have
already more than once had occasion to mention its author, Angelo
Ambrogini, better known from the place of his birth as Poliziano or
Politian[45], the contemporary, dependent, and fellow-littérateur of
Lorenzo il Magnifico, and the greatest scholar and learned writer of the
Italian renaissance. As the author of the _Orfeo_ he will occupy our
attention when we come to trace the evolution of the pastoral drama.
Though he left no poems belonging to the recognized forms of pastoral
composition, his work constantly borders upon the kind, and evinces a
genuine sympathy with rustic life which makes the ascription to him of the
already quoted modernization of Sacchetti not inappropriate. He left
several other pieces of a similar nature, some of which at least are known
to be adaptations of popular songs[46]. Such, for instance, is the
irregular _canzone_ beginning:

    La pastorella si leva per tempo
      Menando le caprette a pascer fuora,
      Di fuora, fuora: la traditora
      Co' suoi begli occhi la m' innamora,
      E fa di mezza notte apparir giorno.

The _Giostra_ is composed, like its predecessors, in the octave stanza,
and presents a series of pictures drawn from classical mythology or from
the poet's own imagination, adorned with all the physical beauty the study
of antiquity could supply and a rich and refined taste crystallize into
chastest jewellery of verse[47]. This blending of luxuriance and delicacy
is the characteristic quality of Poliziano's and Lorenzo's poetry. It is
admirably expressed in the phrase of a recent critic, 'the decorum of
things exquisite.' After the lapse of another half-century, during which
the renaissance advanced from its graceful youth to the full bloom of its
maturity, appeared the _Ninfa tiberina_ of Francesco Maria Molza. 'The
_voluttà idillica_[48],' writes Symonds, 'which opened like a rosebud in
the _Giostra_, expands full petals in the _Ninfa tiberina_; we dare not
shake them, lest they fall.' Like the earlier poem it possesses little
narrative unity--the taie of Eurydice introduced by way of illustration
occupies more than a third of the whole--but every point is made the
occasion of minute decoration of the richest beauty. It was written for
Faustina Mancina, a celebrated courtesan, whose empire lay till the day of
her death over the papal city. The wealth of sensuality and wit that made
a fatal seduction of Rome for Molza, scholar and libertine, is reflected
as it were in the rich cadences and overwrought adornment of his verse.
Such compositions as these had a powerful influence over the tone of
idyllic poetry. I have mentioned only a few out of a considerable list.
The _Driadeo d'amore_ earlier--a mythological medley variously ascribed in
different editions to Luca and to Luigi Pulci--and Marino's _Adone_ later,
were likewise among the works that went to form the courtly taste to which
the pastoral drama appealed. The detailed criticism, however, of such
compositions lies beyond the scope of this work.


We must now return to an earlier period in order to follow the development
of the pastoral romance. When dealing with _Daphnis and Chloe_ I pointed
out that the Greek work could claim no part in the formation of the later
prose pastoral. Between it and the work of Boccaccio and Sannazzaro there
exists no such continuity of tradition as between the bucolics of the
classical Mantuan and those of his renaissance follower. The Italian
pastoral romance, in spite of its almost pedantic endeavour after
classical and mythological colouring, was as essentially a product of its
age as the pastoral drama itself. So far as any influence on the evolution
of the subsequent Arcadia was concerned, Longus might as well never have
written of the pastures of Lesbos. Indeed, were we here concerned in
assigning to its historical source each particular trait in individual
works, rather than in tracing the general development of an idea, it would
be casier to distinguish a faint and slightly cynical reminiscence of
_Daphnis and Chloe _ in the _Aminta_ and _Pastor fido_ than in the _Ameto_
or the _Arcadia_.

In his pastoral romance, 'Ameto, ovvero Commedia delie ninfe fiorentine,'
Boccaccio set a fashion in literature, namely the intermingling for
purposes of narration of prose and verse[49], in which he was followed a
century and a half later by Pietro Bembo, the Socrates of Castiglione's
renaissance Symposium, in his dialogue on love entitled _Gli Asolani_, and
by Jacopo Sannazzaro in his still more famous _Arcadia_. The _Ameto_ is
one of Boccaccio's early compositions, written about 1341, after his
return from Naples, but before he had gained his later mastery of
language. It is not unfairly characterized by Symonds as 'a tissue of
pastoral tales, descriptions, and versified interludes, prolix in style
and affected with pedantic erudition.' It is, however, possible to
underrate its merits, and it would be easy to overlook its historical
importance. Ameto is a rude hunter of the neighbourhood of Florence. One
day, while in the woods, he discovers a company of nymphs resting by a
stream, and overhears the song of the beautiful Lia. His rough nature is
touched by the sweetness of the music and he falls in love with the
singer. Their meetings are interrupted by the advent of winter, but he
finds her again at the feast of Venus, when shepherds, fauns, and nymphs
forgather at the temple of the goddess. In this company Lia proposes that
each of the nymphs present, seven in number, shall narrate the story of
her love. This they in turn do, each ending with a song of praise to the
gods; and Ameto feels his love burn for each in turn as he listens to
their tales. When the last has ended a sudden brightness shines around and
'there descended with wondrous noise a column of pure flame, even such as
by night went before the Israelitish people in the desert places,' Out of
the brightness cornes the voice of Venus:

    Io son luce del cielo unica e trina,
      Principio e fine di ciascuna cosa,
      Del quai men fù, nè fia nulla vicina.

Ameto, though half blinded by the heavenly effulgence, sees a new joy and
beauty shine upon the faces of the nymphs, and understands that the
flame-shrouded presence is that, not of the wanton _mater cupidinum_, but
of the goddess of divine fire who comes to reveal to him the mysteries of
love. Cleansed of his grosser nature by a baptismal rite, in which each of
the nymphs performs some symbolic ceremonial, he feels heavenly love
replacing human in his heart, and is able to bear undazzled the radiance
of the divine purity. He salutes the goddess with a song:

    O diva luce, quale in tre persone
      Ed una essenza il ciel governi e 'l mondo
      Con giusto amore ed eterna ragione,
    Dando legge alle stelle, ed al ritondo
      Moto del sole, principe di quelle,
      Siccome discerniamo in questo fondo[50].

Various interpretations have been suggested for this work, with its
preposterous mixture of pagan and Christian motives. This peculiarity,
which we have already met with in Boccaccio's eclogues, and in his
_Ninfale fiesolano_, was indeed one of the most persistent as it was one
of the least admirable characteristics of pastoral composition. Francesco
Sansovino, who edited the _Ameto_ in 1545, discovered real personages
underlying the characters of the romance. Fiammetta is introduced by name,
and her lover Caleone can hardly be other than Boccaccio. More recent
commentators are probably right in detecting an allegorical intention. The
seven nymphs, according to them, represent the four cardinal and three
theological virtues, and their stories are to be interpreted symbolically.
This view derives support from the baptismal ceremony, in which after the
public lustration one of the nymphs removes the scales from Ameto's eyes,
while another, 'breathing between his lips, kindled within him a flame
such as he had never felt before.' In these ministrants it is not
difficult to recognize the virtues respectively of faith and love. Ameto
may be taken as typical of humanity, tamed of its savage nature by love,
and through the service of the virtues led to the knowledge of the divine
essence. The conception of love as a civilizing and humanizing power
already underlay the sensuous stanzas of the _Ninfale fiesolano_, while
the later part of the romance was not uninfluenced by recollections of the
_Divine Comedy_[51]. It is true that a modern mind will with difficulty be
able to reconcile the amorous confessions of the nymphs with the
characteristics of the virtues, but in Boccaccio's day the tradition of
the _Gesta Romanorum_ was still strong, and the age that mysticized
Vergil, and moralized Ovid, was capable of much in the way of allegorical

The point to which this allegorical interpretation can legitimately be
carried need not trouble us here. Having set himself to characterize the
virtues, it is moreover likely enough that Boccaccio sought at the same
time to connect his figures more or less definitely with actual persons.
It is sufficient for our present purpose if we recognize in the _Ameto_
something of the same triple intention which, not to put too fine a
metaphysical point upon the parallel, we meet with in Dante and in the
_Faery Queen_. Having fashioned in accordance with these motives the
framework of his book, Boccaccio further concerned himself but little with
this philosophical intention, and the allegorical setting having served
its artistic purpose of linking them together into one connected whole, it
was upon the detail of the narratives themselves that the author's
attention was concentrated. It is, however, just in this artistic purpose
of the setting that one of the chief interests of the _Ameto_ lies; for if
in the mingling of verse and prose it is the forerunner of the _Arcadia_,
in the linking together of a series of isolated stories it anticipates
Boccaccio's own _Decameron_.

While there is little that is distinctly bucolic about the _Ameto_, the
atmosphere is eminently pastoral in the wider sense. Nymphs and shepherds,
foresters and fauns meet at the temple of Venus; the limpid fountains and
shady laurels belong essentially to the conventional landscape, whether of
Sicily, of Arcadia, or of the hills overlooking the valley of the Arno.
The Italian imagination was not careful to differentiate between field and
forest: _favola boschereccia_ was used synonymously with _commedia
pastorale_; _drammi dei boschi_ is a term which covers the whole of the
pastoral drama. But what really gives the _Ameto_ its importance in the
history of pastoral literature is the manner in which, undisturbed by its
religions and allegorical machinery, it introduces us to a purely sensual
and pagan paradise, in which love with all its pains and raptures reigns

The narratives of the nymphs, and indeed the whole of the prose portions
of the work, are composed in a style of surcharged and voluptuous beauty,
congested with lengthy periods, and accumulated superlatives and relative
clauses, which, in its endeavour to maintain itself and its subject at the
highest possible pitch, only succeeds in being intensely and almost
uniformly monotonous and dull. It is perfectly true that the work
possesses some at least of the qualities of its defects. There are
passages which argue a feeling for beauty, none the less real for being of
a somewhat conventional order, while we not seldom detect a certain rich
luxuriance about the descriptions; but it must be admitted that on the
whole the style exhibits most of Boccaccio's faults and few of his merits.
The verse interspersed throughout is in _terza rima_, and offers small
attraction to the ordinary reader: 'meschinissima cosa' is a verdict
which, if somewhat severe, will probably find few to contradict it.

In a certain passage, speaking of Poliziano's _Orfeo_, Symonds remarks
that 'while Arcady became the local dreamland of the new ideal, Orpheus
took the place of its hero.' Without inquiring too closely how far the
writers of the renaissance actually connected the hero of music, as a
power of civilization, with their newly discovered country, it is
interesting to note that the earliest work in the Italian language
containing in however amoebean a state the pastoral ideal opens with an
allusion to Orpheus.

    Quella vertù, che già l'ardito Orfeo
      Mosse a cercar le case di Plutone,
      Allor che forse lieta gli rendeo
    La cercata Euridice a condizione,
      E dal suon vinto dell' arguto legno,
      E dalla nota della sua canzone,
    Per forza tira il mio debile ingegno
      A cantar le tue Iode, o Citerea,
      Insieme con le forze del tuo regno[53].

Orpheus, however, does not stand alone. Venus, Phoebus, Mars, Cupid, and
finally Jove, are each in turn invoked, to say nothing of the incidental
mention of Aeneas, Mirra, and Europa. This love of mythology in and out of
season is one of the most prominent features of the work. One of the
nymphs describes her youth in the following words:

  il padre mio .... visse eccellentissimo ne' beni pubblici tra' reggenti,
  e de' beni degli iddii copioso: me a lui donata da loro, nominò Mopsa, e
  vedentemi nella giovanetta età mostrante già bella forma, ai servigi
  dispose di Pallade, la quale me benivola ricevente nelle sante grotte
  del cavallo Gorgoneo, tra le sapientissime Muse commise, là dov' io
  gustai l'acque Castalie, e l'altezza di Cirra tentante, le stelle cercai
  con ferma mano; e i pallidi visi, quelli luoghi colenti, sempre con
  riverenza seguii; e molte volte sonando Apollo la cetera sua, lui nel
  mezzo delle nove Muse ascoltai[54].

She continues for pages in the same strain with illustrative allusions to
Caius Julius, Claudius, and Britannicus.

At the risk of devoting to the _Ameto_ an altogether disproportionate
amount of the space at my disposai I must before passing on attempt to
give some notion of the kind of narrative contained in the romance, all
the more so as it is little known except to students. With this object I
have translated a characteristic passage from the tale of Agape[55].

  I came from my home nigh unto the temple, before whose altars, with due
  devotion, I began thus to pray: 'O Venus, full of pity, sacred goddess
  whose altars I am joyful to approach, lend thou thy merciful ears unto
  my prayer; for I come to thee a young girl, though fairly fashioned yet
  ill-starred in love, fearful lest my empty years lead comfortless to a
  chill old age; therefore, if my beauty merit that I be counted among thy
  followers, enter thou into my breast who so desire thee, and grant that
  in the love of a youth not unworthy of my beauty, and through whom my
  wasted hours may be with delight made good, I may feel those fires of
  thine which many times and endlessly I have heard praised.' I know not
  whether while I was thus engrossed in prayer I fell on sleep, and
  sleeping saw those things whereof I am about to tell, or whether,
  indeed, I was rapt thence in bodily form to see them; all I can tell is
  that suddenly I found myself borne through the heavens in a gleaming
  chariot drawn by white doves, and that inclining my eyes to things below
  I beheld the fruitful earth shrunk to a narrow room, and the rivers
  thereof after the fashion of serpents; and after that I had left behind
  the pleasant lands of Italy and the rugged mountains of Emathia, I
  beheld the waters of the Dircean fount and the ancient walls raised by
  the sound of Amphion's lyre, and soon there appeared to me the pleasant
  Cytherean mount, and on it resting the holy chariots drawn by the
  spotless birds. Whereon having alighted I went straying, alike uncertain
  of the way and of the fortune that might await me, when, as to Aeneas
  upon the Afric shore, so to me there amid the myrtles there appeared the
  goddess I had invoked, and I was filled with wonder such as I had never
  known before. She was disrobed except for the thinnest purple veil,
  which hid but little of her form, falling in double curve with many
  artful foldings over her left side; her face shone even as the sun, and
  her head was adorned with great length of golden hair rippling down over
  white shoulders; her eyes flashed with light never seen till then. Why
  should I labour to tell the loveliness of her mouth and of her snowy
  neck, of her marble breast and of her every part, since to do so lies so
  far beyond my powers, and even where I able, hardly should my words gain
  credence? But whereas she was now at hand I bowed my knees before her
  godhead, and with such voice as I could command, repeated my petition in
  her presence. She listened thereto, and approaching bade me rise,
  saying, 'Follow me; thy prayer is heard, thy desire granted,' and
  thereupon withdrew me to a somewhat loftier spot. There hidden amidst
  the dense foliage she discovered to me her only son, upon whom gazing in
  admiration, I found his beauty such that in all things did he appear
  fashioned like unto her, except in so far as being he a god and she a
  goddess. O how oft, remembering Psyche, I counted her happy and unhappy;
  happy in the possession of such a husband, unhappy in his loss, most
  happy in receiving him again from Jove. But even as I gazed, he, beating
  the air with his sacred wings that gleamed with clearest gold, departed
  with his load of newly fashioned arrows from those parts, and at the
  bidding of the goddess I turned to the spring wherein he used to temper
  his golden darts fresh forged with fiercest fire. Its silver waters,
  gushing of themselves from the earth and shaded along the margin by a
  growth of myrtle and dogwood, were neither violated in their purity by
  the approach of bird or beast, nor suffered aught from the sun's
  distemperature, and as I leaned forward to catch the reflection of my
  own figure I could discern the clear bottom free from every trace of
  mud[56]. The goddess, for that the hour was already hot, had doffed her
  transparent veil and plunged her into the cool water, and now commanded
  me that having stripped I too should enter the spring. We were yet
  disporting ourselves in the lovely fountain, when, raising my head and
  gazing with longing eyes around, I saw amid the leaves a youth, pale and
  shy of appearance, who with slow steps was advancing towards the sacred
  water. As I looked on him he was pleasant in my eyes, but that he should
  behold me naked filled me with shame, and I turned away to hide my
  unwonted blushes. And in like manner at the sight of me he too changed
  colour and was troubled; he stayed his steps and advanced no further.
  Then at the pleasure of the goddess leaving the water we resumed our
  apparel, and crowned with myrtle sought a neighbouring glade, full of
  finest grass and diapered with many flowers, where in the freshness we
  stretched our limbs to rest. Thereupon the goddess, having called the
  youth to us, began to speak in these words: 'Agape, most dear to me,
  this youth, Apyros by name, whom thou seest thus shy amid our glades,
  shall satisfy thy longing; but see that with care thou preserve
  inviolate our fires, which in thy heart thou shalt bear with thee
  hence.' I was about to make answer when my tender breast was of a sudden
  pierced by the flying arrow loosed by the strong hand of the son of her
  who added these unto her former words: 'We give him thee as thy first
  and only servant; he lacks nought but our fires, which, kindled even now
  by thee in him, be it thy care to nourish, that the frost that bound him
  like to Aglauros being driven from his heart, he may burn with the
  divine fire no less than father Jove himself.' She ceased; and I,
  trembling yet with fear, no sooner opened my lips to assent to her
  command, than I found myself once more in prayer before her altars;
  whereat marvelling not a little, and casting my eyes around in search of
  Apyros, I became aware of the golden arrow in my breast, and near me the
  pale youth, his intent gaze fixed upon me, and like me wounded by the
  god; and so seeing him inflamed with a passion no other than that which
  burned in me, I laughed, and filled with contentment and desire, made
  sign to him to be of hopeful cheer.

The advance in style that marks the transition from the _Ameto_ to the
_Arcadia_ must be largely accredited to Boccaccio himself. The language of
the _Decameron_ became the model of _cinquecento_ prose. Sannazzaro,
however, wrote in evident imitation not of the structural method only, but
of the actual style of the _Ameto_. Something, it is true, he added beyond
the greater mastery of literary form due to training. Even in his most
luxuriant descriptions and most sensuous images we find that grace and
clearness of vision which characterize the early poetry of the
Renaissance proper, and combine in literature the luminous purity of
Botticelli and the gem-like detail of Pinturicchio. The mythological
affectation of the elder work appears in the younger modified, refined,
subordinated; there is the same delight in detailed description, but
relieved by greater variety of imagination; while, even in the most
laboured passages, there is a poetical feeling as well as a more
subjective manner, which, combined with a remarkable power of
visualization, saves them from the danger of the catalogue. Again, there
is everywhere visible the same artificiality of style which characterizes
the _Ameto_, but purged of its more extravagant elements and less affected
and conceited than it became in the works of Lyly and Sidney. Like the
_Ameto_, lastly, but unlike its Spanish and English successors, the
_Arcadia_ is purely pastoral, free from any chivalric admixture.

The narrative interest in the _Arcadia_ is of the slightest. It opens with
a description of the 'dilettevole piano, di ampiezza non molto spazioso,'
lying at the summit of Parthenium, 'non umile monte della pastorale
Arcadia,' which was henceforth to be the abode sacred to the
shepherd-folk. There, as in Vergil's Italy and in Browne's Devon, in
Chaucer's dreamland, and in the realm of the Faery Queen, 'son forse
dodici o quindici alberi di tanto strana ed eccessiva bellezza, che
chiunque li vedesse, giudicherebbe che la maestra natura vi si fosse con
sommo diletto studiata in formarli.'[57] The shepherds, who are assembled
with their flocks, are about to seek their homes at the approach of night,
when they meet Montano playing upon his pipe, and a musical contest ensues
between him and Uranio. Next day is celebrated the feast of Pales, an
account of which is given at length, and is followed by a song in which
Galicio sings the praises of his mistress Amaranta, of whom the narrator
proceeds to give a minute description. After another singing-match between
Logisto and Elpino the company betake themselves to the tomb of Androgeo,
whose praises are set forth in prose and rime. There follows a song by the
old shepherd Opico, on the superiority of the 'former age'; after which
Carino asks the narrator, Sincero--the pseudonym under which Sannazzaro
travelled in the realm of shepherds--to recount his history, which he
does at length, ending with a lament in _sestina_ form. By way of
consoling him in his exile Carino, in return, tells the tale of his own
amorous adventures. Next the reverend Opico is induced to discourse of the
powers of magic as the shepherds proceed to the sacred grove of Pan, who
shares with Pales the honours of Arcadian worship, and to the games held
at the tomb of sibyllic Massilia--a name under which Sannazzaro is said to
have commemorated his own mother. At this point the narrator is troubled
by a dream portending death to the lady of his love. As, tormented by this
thought, he wanders lonely in the chill dawn he meets a nymph, who leads
him through a marvellous cavern into the depths of the earth, where he
beholds the springs of many famous rivers, and finally, following the
course of the Sabeto, arrives at his native city of Naples, where he
learns the truth of his sorrowful forebodings.

The form has been systematized since Boccaccio wrote, the whole being
divided into twelve _Prose_, alternating with as many _Ecloghe_, preceded
by a _Proemio_ and followed by an address _Alla sampogna_, both in prose.
The verse is mediocre, and several of the eclogues are composed in the
unattractive _sestina_ form, while others affect the wearisome _rime
sdrucciole_.[58] The most pleasing is Ergasto's lament at Androgeo's tomb,

    Alma beata e bella,
      Che da' legami sciolta
      Nuda salisti ne' superni chiostri,
      Ove con la tua stella
      Ti godi insieme accolta;
      E lieta ivi schernendo i pensier' nostri,
      Quasi un bel sol ti mostri
      Tra li più chiari spirti;
      E coi vestigi santi
      Calchi le stelle erranti;
      E tra pure fontane e sacri mirti
      Pasci celesti greggi;
      E i tuoi cari pastori indi correggi. (_Ecloga_ V.)

One would hardly turn to the artificiality of the _Arcadia_ for
representations of nature, and yet there is in the romance a genuine love
of the woods and the fields, and of the rustic sports of the season.
'Sogliono il più delle volte gli alti e spaziosi alberi negli orridi monti
dalla natura prodotti, più che le coltivate piante, da dotte mani
espurgate negli adorni giardini, a' riguardanti aggradare,' remarks
Sannazzaro at the outset. Elsewhere he furnishes us with an entertaining
description of the various ways in which birds may be trapped, introduced
possibly in pursuance of a hint from Longus.[59] Yet, in spite of his
professed love of savage scenery and his knowledge of pastoral sports, it
is after all in a very artificial and straitened form that nature filters
to us through Sannazzaro's pages. Rather do we turn to them for the sake
of the paintings on the temple walls, of Amaranta's lips, 'fresh as the
morning rose,' of her wild lapful of flowers, and of a hundred other
incidental pictures, one of the most charming of which, interesting on
another score also, I make no apology for here transcribing.

  Subito ordinò i premi a coloro, che lottare volessero, offrendo di dare
  al vincitore un bel vaso di legno di acero, ove per mano del Padoano
  Mantegna, artefice sovra tutti gli altri accorto ed ingegnosissimo, eran
  dipinte molte cose: ma tra l' altre una ninfa ignuda, con tutti i membri
  bellissimi, dai piedi in fuori, che erano come quelli delle capre; la
  quale, sovra un gonfiato otre sedendo, lattava un picciolo satirello, e
  con tanta tenerezza il mirava, che parea che di amore e di carità tutta
  si struggesse: e 'l fanciullo nell' una mammella poppava, nell' altra
  tenea distesa la tenera mano, e con l' occhio la si guardava, quasi
  temendo che tolta non gli fosse. Poco discosto da costoro si vedean due
  fanciulli pur nudi, i quali avendosi posti due volti orribili di
  maschere cacciavano per le bocche di quelli le picciole mani, per porre
  spavento a duo altri, che davanti loro stavano; de' quali l' uno
  fuggendo si volgea in dietro, e per paura gridava; l' altro caduto già
  in terra piangeva, e non possendosi altrimenti aitare, stendeva la mano
  per graffiarlo. (_Prosa_ XI.)

I shall make no attempt at translation. Some versions, really wonderful
in the success with which they reproduce the style of the original, will
be found in Symonds' _Italian Literature_[60]. It is probably unnecessary
to put in a warning that the _Arcadia_ is a work of which extracts are apt
to give a somewhat too favourable impression. In its long complaints,
speeches, and descriptions it is at whiles intolerably prolix and dull,
but it caught the taste of the age and went through a large number of
editions, many with learned annotations, between the appearance of the
first authorized edition and the end of the sixteenth century[61], There
were several imitations later, such as the _Accademia tusculana_ of
Benedetto Menzini; Firenzuola imitated the third _Prosa_ in his
_Sacrifizio pastorale_; while collections of tales and _facetiae_ such as
the _Arcadia in Brenta_ of Giovanni Sagredo equally sought the prestige of
the name. A French translation published in 1544 went through three
editions, and another appeared in 1737, while it was translated into
Spanish in 1547, and again in 1578. It may have been due to the existence
of Sidney's more ambitious work of the same name that no translation ever
appeared in English.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our survey of Italian pastoralism, in spite of the fact that its most
important manifestation has been reserved for separate treatment later,
has of necessity been lengthy. It was at Italian breasts that the infant
ideal, reborn into a tumultuous world, was nursed. The other countries of
continental Europe borrowed that ideal from Italy, though each in turn
contributed characteristics of its own. It was to Italy that England too
was directly indebted, while at the same time it absorbed elements
peculiar to France and Spain. It will therefore be necessary briefly to
review the forms that flourished in those countries respectively, though
they need detain us but a brief space in comparison with the Italian

Before proceeding, however, it may be worth while to pause for a moment in
order to take a general survey of the nature of the ideal, we might almost
say the religion, of pastoralism, which reached its maturity in the work
of Sannazzaro. Its location in the uplands of Arcadia may be traced to
Vergil, who had the worship of Pan in mind, but the selection of the
barren mountain district of central Peloponnesus as the seat of pastoral
luxuriance and primitive culture is not without significance in respect of
the severance of the pastoral ideal from actuality.[62] In it the
world-weary age of the later renaissance sought escape from the
materialism that bound it. Italy had turned its back upon mysticism in
religion, and upon chivalry in love; its literature was the negation of
what the northern peoples understand by romance. Yet it needed some relief
from the very saneness of its rationalism, and it found the antidote to
its vicious court life in the crystal springs of Castaly. What the pietism
of Perugino's saints is to the feuds of the Baglioni, such is the Arcadian
dream to the intellectual cynicism of Italian politics.

When children weave fancies of wonderland they use the resources of the
imagination with economy; uninterrupted sunshine soon cloys. So too with
these other children of the renaissance. Their wonderland is a place
whither they may escape from the pressure of the world that is too much
with them; they seek in it at least the virtue that its evils shall be the
opposite of those from which they fly. They could not, it is true, believe
in an Arcadia in which all the cares of this world should end--the golden
age is always a time to be sung and remembered, or else to be dreamed of,
in the years to come, it is never the present--but if they cannot escape
from the changes and chances of this mortal life, if death and unfaith
are still realities in their dreamland as on earth, they will at least
utter their grief melodiously, and water fair pastures with their tears.
Like the garden of the Rose which satisfied the middle age before it, the
Arcadian ideal of the renaissance degenerated, as every ideal must. The
decay of pastoral, however, was in this unique, that it tended less to
exaggerate than to negative the spirit that gave it birth. Theocritus
turned from polite society and sought solace in his no doubt idealized
recollections of actual shepherd life. On the other hand, to the
allegorical pastoralists from Vergil to Spagnuoli, the shepherd-realm
either reflects, or is made directly to contrast with, the interests and
vices of the actual world; in their work the note of longing for escape to
an ideal life is heard but faintly or not at all. In the songs of the late
fifteenth century and in Sannazzaro there is a genuine pastoral revival;
the desire of freedom from reality is strong upon men in that age of
strenuous living. It has been happily said that Mantuan's shepherds meet
to discuss society, Sannazzaro's to forget it. And yet, after all, these
men are too strongly bound by the affections of this world to be able
wholly to sacrifice themselves to the joys of the ideal. Fiammetta must
have her place in Boccaccio's strange apotheosis of love; the foreboding
of Carmosina's death has power to draw her lover from his newly discovered
kingdom along the untrodden paths of the waters of the earth. And so when
Arcadia ceased to be a necessity of sentiment and became one of fashion,
where poets were no longer content to wander with their mistresses in the
land of fancy, alone, 'at rest from their labour with the world gone by,'
there appeared a tendency to return to the allegorical style, and to make
Arcadia what Sicily had already become--the mirror of the polite society
of the Italian courts. Thus it is that in the crowning jewels of Italian
pastoralism, in the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor fido_, we trace a yearning
towards a simpler, freer, and more genuine life, side by side with such
incompatible and antagonistic elements as the reproduction in pastoral
guise of the personages and surroundings of the circle of Ferrara. Not
content with the pure ideal, the poets endeavoured, like Faust at the
sight of Helena, to find in it a place for the earthly affections that
bound them, and at the touch of reality the vision dissolved in mist.


When we turn to the literature of the western peninsula during the early
years of the sixteenth century, we find it characterized by a temporary
but very complete subjection to Italian models. This phenomenon, which is
particularly marked in pastoral, is readily explained by the fact that the
similarity of the dialects made the transference of poetic forms from
Italian to Spanish an easy matter. Thus when among the nations of Europe
Italy awoke to her great task of recovering an old and discovering a new
world of arts and letters, it was upon Spanish verse that she was able to
exercise the most immediate and overpowering influence. Under these
circumstances it was impossible but that she should drag the literature of
that country, for a while at least, in her train, away from its own proper
genius and natural course of development. Other countries were saved from
servitude by the very failure of their attempts to imitate the new Italian
style; and Spain herself, it must be remembered, was not long in
recovering her individuality and in endowing Europe with one of the
richest national literatures of the world.

It is important, however, to distinguish from the pastoral work produced
under this dominating Italian influence certain other work in the kind,
which, while to some extent dependent for its form upon foreign models,
bears at the same time strong marks of native inspiration. In this earlier
and more popular tradition the tendencies of the national literature, the
pastoral possibilites of which appear at times in the ballads, mingle more
or less with elements of convention and allegory drawn from Vergil or his
humanistic followers. Little influence of this popular tradition can as a
rule be traced in the later pastoral work, but it acquires a certain
incidental interest in connexion with another branch of literature. It is,
namely, the remarkable part it played in the evolution of the national
drama that makes it worth while mentioning a few of its more important
examples in this place.[63]

An isolated composition, in which lay not so much the germ of the future
drama as the index of its possibility, is the _Coplas de Mingo Revulgo_,
the composition of an unknown author. It is an eclogue in which two
shepherds, representing respectively the upper and lower orders of Spanish
society, discourse together on the causes of national discontent and
political corruption prevalent about 1472, at the latter end of the weak
reign of Enrique IV. In this poem we find the king's infatuation for his
Portuguese mistress treated much as Petrarch had treated the relations of
Clement VI with the allegorical Epi, except for the striking difference
that the Latin of the Italian poet is replaced by straightforward and
vigorous vernacular. Of far greater importance in the history of
literature are certain poems--_Éclogas_ they are for the most part
styled--of Juan del Encina, which belong roughly to the closing years of
the fifteenth and opening years of the sixteenth century. Numbering about
a dozen, and composed with one exception in the short measures of popular
poetry, these dramatic eclogues, or amoebean plays, supply the connecting
link between the early popular and religious shows and the regular drama.
About half are religious in character; of the rest, three treat some
romantic episode, one is a study of unrequited passion ending in suicide,
and one is a market-day farce, the personae being in each case rude
herdsmen. Contemporary with, though a disciple of, Encina, is the
Portuguese Gil Vicente, who wrote in both dialects, and whose _Auto
pastoril castelhano_ may be cited as carrying on the tradition between his
master and Lope de Vega.

With Lope's dramatic production as a whole we are not, of course,
concerned. He lies indeed somewhat off our track; the pastoral influence
in his work is capricious. It will be sufficient to note that the
influence, where it exists, is external; it is nowhere the outcome of
Christian allegory, nor does it arise out of the nature of the subject as
such titles as the _Pastores de Belén_ might suggest. It is found equally
in the religious or quasi-religious plays--such as the _Vuelta de Egypto_
with its shepherds and gypsies, and the _Pastor lobo_, an allegorical
satire on the church Lope afterwards entered--and in such purely secular,
amorous, and on the whole less dramatic pieces as the _Arcadia_--not to be
confused with his romance of the same name--and the _Selva sin amor_, a
regular Italian pastoral in miniature, both of which were acted, besides
many others intended primarly for reading, though they may possibly have
been recited after the manner of Castiglione's _Tirsi_.

While on the subject of the drama I may mention translations of the
_Aminta_ and _Pastor fido_. Tasso's piece was rendered into Castilian by
Juan de Jauregui, and first printed at Rome in 1607, a revised edition
appearing among the author's poems in 1618. The _Pastor fido_ was
translated by Cristóbal Suárez de Figueroa, the best version being that
printed at Valentia in 1609, from which Ticknor quotes a passage as
typical as it is successful. It was to these two versions of the
masterpieces of Italian pastoral that Cervantes accorded the highest meed
of praise, declaring that 'they haply leave it doubtful which is the
translation or original.'[64] There likewise exists a poor adaptation of
Guarini's play, said to be the work of Solis, Coello, and Calderon[65].
The pastoral appears, however, never to have gained a very firm footing
upon the mature Spanish stage, no doubt for the same reason that led to a
similar result in England, namely, that the vigorous national drama about
it overpowered and choked its delicate and exotic growth[66].

Apart from the dramatic or semi-dramatic work we have been reviewing, the
pastoral verse which possesses the most natural and national character,
though it may not be the earliest in date, is to be found in the poems of
Francisco de Sâ de Miranda[67]. He appears to have begun writing
independently of the Italian school, and, even after he came under the
influence of Garcilaso, to have preserved much of his natural simplicity
and genuineness of feeling. He probably had some direct knowledge of the
Italians, for he writes:

    .... os pastores italianos
    Do bom velho Sanazarro.

He may also have been influenced by Encina, most of whose work had already

The first and foremost of those who deliberately based their style on the
Italian was Garcilaso de la Vega, whose pastoral work dates from about
1526. To him, in conjunction with Boscán and Mendoza, the vogue was due.
At his best, when he really assimilates the foreign elements borrowed from
his models and makes their style his own, he writes with the true genius
of his nation. The first of his three eclogues, which was probably
composed at Naples and is regarded as his best work, introduces the
shepherds Salico and Nemoroso, of whom the first stands for the author,
while in the other it is not hard to recognize his friend Boscán. This
poem, a portion of which is translated by Ticknor, should of itself
suffice to place Garcilaso in the front rank of pastoral writers. Yet he
does not appear to occupy any isolated eminence among his fellows, and
Ticknor may be right in thinking that, throughout, the regular pastoral
showed fewer of its defects in Spain than elsewhere. It is also true that
it appears to have been endowed with less vital power of development.

Garcilaso's followers were numerous. Among them mention may be made of
Francisco de Figueroa, the Tirsi of Cervantes' _Galatea_; Pedro de
Encinas, who attempted religious eclogues; Lope de Vega; Alonso de Ulloa,
the Venetian printer, who is credited with having foisted the Rodrigo
episode into Montemayor's _Diana_; Gaspar Gil Polo, one of the
continuators of that work; and Bernardo de Balbuenas, one of its many
imitators, who incorporated in his _Siglo de Oro_ a number of eclogues
which in their simple and rustic nature appear to be studied from
Theocritus rather than Vergil.

In spite of the fashion of writing in Castilian which prevailed among
Portuguese poets, we are not without specimens of pastoral verse composed
in the less important dialect. Sâ de Miranda has been mentioned above.
Ribeiro too, better known for his romance, left a series of five
autobiographical eclogues[68] dating from about 1516-24, and consequently
earlier than Garcilaso's. They are composed, like some of Sâ de Miranda's,
in the short measures more natural to the language than the _terza rima_
and intricate stanzas of the Italianizing poets. Later on Camoens wrote
fifteen eclogues, four of which are piscatorial, and in one, a dialogue
between a shepherd and a fisherman, refers in the following terms to

      O pescador Sincero, que amansado
    Tém o pégo de Prochyta co' o canto
    Por as sonoras ondas compassado.
      D'este seguindo o som, que póde tanto,
    E misturando o antigo Mantuano,
    Façamos novo estylo, novo espanto.

Whereas in the case of the verse pastoral the Italian fashion passed from
Spain into Portugal, exactly the reverse process took place with regard to
the prose romance more or less directly founded upon Sannazzaro. The first
to imitate the _Arcadia_ was the Portuguese Bernardim Ribeiro, who during
a two-years' residence in Italy composed the 'beautiful fragment,' as
Ticknor styles it, entitled from the first words of the text _Menina e
moça_. This unfinished romance first appeared, in the form of an octavo
charmingly printed in gothic type, at Ferrara in 1554, though it must
have been written at least thirty years earlier. It differs considerably
from its model, the verse being purely incidental, and the intricacy of
the story anticipating later examples, as does likewise the admixture of
chivalric adventure. It is, indeed, to a large extent what might have
arisen spontaneously through the elaboration of the pastoral element
occasionally to be met with in the old chivalric romances themselves. On
the other hand it resembles the Italian pastoral in the introduction of
real characters, which, though their identity was concealed under anagrams
and all manner of obscurity, appear to have been traceable by the keen eye
of authority, for the book was placed on the Index. Such knowledge of
Sannazzaro's writings as Ribeiro possessed was of course direct, but
before his fragment saw the light there appeared, in 1547, a Spanish
translation of the _Arcadia_. It must be remembered that Sannazzaro was
himself of Spanish extraction, and that he may have had relations with the
land of his fathers of a nature to facilitate the diffusion of his works.

The next and by far the most important contribution made by the peninsula
to pastoral literature was the work of an hispaniolized Portuguese, who
composed in Castilian dialect the famous _Diana_. 'Los siete libres de la
Diana de Jorge de Montemayor'--the Spanish form of Montemôr's name and
that by which he became familiar to subsequent ages--appeared at Valencia,
without date, but about 1560.[69] As in the case of its Italian and
Portuguese predecessors, some at least of the characters of the romance
represent real persons. Sireno the hero, who stands for the author, is in
love with the nymph Diana, of whose identity Lope de Vega claimed to be
cognizant, though he withheld her name. The scene is laid in Spain, and
actual and ideal geography are intermixed in a bewildering fashion. Sireno
is obliged, for reasons not stated, to leave the country for a while, and
on his return finds his lady-love married by her parents to his rival
Delio. In his despair he seeks aid from the priestess of a certain temple,
and receives from her a magic potion which drives from him all remembrance
of his passion. This very simple and somewhat unsatisfactory story is
interwoven with a multitude of episodes and incidental narratives,
pastoral and chivalric, and the whole ends with the promise of a second
part, which however never came to be written, the author, as it appears,
being either murdered or killed in duel at Turin in 1561.

Thanks probably to the combination in its pages of the popular chivalric
tradition with the fashionable Italian pastoral, and also to certain
graces of style which it possesses, the _Diana_ held the field until the
picaresque romance developed into a recognized _genre_, and exercised a
very considerable influence on pastoral writers even beyond the frontiers
of Spain. Googe imitated passages from it in his eclogues; Sidney
translated some of its songs, and took it as the model of his own romance;
Shakespeare borrowed from it the plot of the _Two Gentlemen of Verona_. In
the land of its birth its popularity was shown by the number of
continuations and imitations to which it gave rise. Irresponsible
publishers swelled the bulk of their editions with matter purloined from
less popular authors. The year 1564 saw the appearance of two second
parts. One in eight books, by the physician Alonzo Pérez, only got so far
as disposing of Delio, and appears to exaggerate all the faults of the
original in compensation for the lack of its merits. The other, from the
pen of Gaspar Gil Polo, is in five books, and narrates, in a style
scarcely inferior to its model, the faithlessness and death of Delio, and
Sireno's marriage with Diana. Both alike promise continuations which never
appeared. A third part was, however, published so late as 1627, as the
work of Jerónimo de Texeda, but it is nothing more than a _rifacimento_
of Gil Polo's continuation, altered apparently with a view to its forming
a sequel to Pérez' work. Furthermore, in 1599 there appeared a religions
parody by Fra Bartolomé Ponce, and there are said to be no less than six
French, two English, and two German translations, not to mention a Latin
one of Gil Polo's portion at least.

Besides continuations, there are extant nearly a score of imitations of
varying interest and merit. In 1584 appeared the _Galatea_ of Cervantes,
imitated from Ribeiro and Montemayor; which in its turn is supposed to
have suggested the _Arcadia_, written a few years later at the instigation
of the Duke of Alva by Lope de Vega, and published in 1598. Each is more
or less autobiographic or else historical in outline: 'many of its
shepherds and shepherdesses are such in dress alone,' Cervantes confesses
of his romance, while Lope announces that 'the _Arcadia_ is a true
history.' Lastly may be mentioned the Portuguese _Primavera_ of Francisco
Rodrígues de Lobo, which appeared in three long parts between 1601 and
1614, and is pronounced by Ticknor to be 'among the best full-length
pastoral romances extant.'

All these works resemble one another in their general features. The
characteristics of the _genre_ as found in Spain, in spite of a real
feeling for rural life traceable in the national character, are the
elements it borrows from the older chivalric tradition, combined with an
adherence to the circumstances of actual existence even closer than was
the case in Italy. Sannazzaro was content to transfer certain personages
from real life into his imaginary Arcadia, while in the Spanish romances
the whole _mise en scène_ consists of the actual surroundings of the
author disguised but little under the veil of pastoralism. Thus the ideal
element, the desire to escape from the world, is no less absent from these
works than from the Latin eclogues of the renaissance, and the chivalric
pastoral in Spain advances far along the road towards the fashionable
pastoral of France. Not only are knightly adventures freely introduced,
and the devices of disguise and recognition employed, but the hint of
magic in Sannazzaro is developed and made to play a prominent part in the
tales, while the nymphs and shepherds display throughout an alarming
knowledge of literature, metaphysics, and theology. The absurdities of the
style were patent, and did not escape uncomplimentary notice from the
writers of the day, for both Cervantes and Lope de Vega, in spite of their
own excursions into this kind, pilloried the fashion in their more serious
and enduring works.


In France the interest of pastoralism, from our present point of view, is
summed up in the work of one man--Clément Marot. It is he who forms the
central figure on the stage of French poetry between the final collapse of
the medieval tradition and the ceasing of Villon's song earlier, and later
the full burst of the renaissance in the work of the Pléiade. While
belonging ostensibly to the literary circle of Margaret of Navarre, Marot
appears to have combined in his own person a strange number of conflicting
tendencies. His patroness followed the pastoral tradition in her imitation
of Sannazzaro's _Salices_ and her lament on the death of her brother
François I, and rehandled an already favourite theme in her _comédie_ of
human and divine love. Marot, on the other hand, while equally interested
in pastoral, betrayed in his verse little direct influence of the
Italians, and invariably impressed his own individuality upon his subject.
In his early work he continued the tradition of the _Romance of the Rose_;
later he voiced, somewhat crudely may be, the ideals of the renaissance.
By nature an easy-going _bon vivant_, his only real affection appears to
have been for the faithless mistress of his early years, whom a not very
probable tradition identifies with Diane de Poitiers. He had no higher
ambition than to retain unmolested a comfortable post at the court of
Francis. Yet he was destined by a strange irony of fate to pass his days
as a wanderer on the face of the earth, the homeless pilgrim of a cause he
no wise had at heart. He was accused by the Sorbonne, and ultimately
driven into the profession, of the heresy of Calvinism. Expelled from the
bosom of the church, he sought an uncongenial refuge among the apostles of
the new faith, only to be thrust forth from the city, for no more heinous
offence apparently than that playing back-gammon with the Prisoner of
Chillon. He died at Turin in 1544.

But, however fascinating Marot may be as an historical figure, he was in
no sense a great poet. His chief merit in literature, apart from his often
delicate epigrams, his _élégant badinage_ and his graceful if at times
facile verse, lies in the power he possesses, in common with Garcilaso and
Spenser, of treating the allegorical pastoral without entirely losing the
charm of naïve simplicity and genuine feeling. In his _Éclogue au Roi_ he
addresses Francis under the name of Pan, while in the _Pastoureau
chrestien_ he applies the same name to the Deity; yet in either case there
is a justness of sentiment underlying the convention which saves the verse
from degenerating into mere sycophancy or blasphemy. His chief claim to
notice as a pastoral writer is his authorship of an eclogue on the death
of Loyse de Savoye, the mother of Francis; a poem through which, more than
any other, he influenced his greater English disciple, and thereby
acquired the importance he possesses for our present inquiry.

Marot, however, whose inspiration, in so far as it was not born of his own
genius, appears to be chiefly derived from Vergil, whose first eclogue he
translated in his youth, was far from being the only poet who wrote
bucolic verse or bore other witness to pastoral influence. France was not
behind other nations in embracing the Italian models. Margaret, as I have
said, imitated Sannazzaro in her _Histoire des satyres et nymphes de
Diane_. The _Arcadia_ was translated in 1544. Du Bellay was familiar with
the original and honoured its author with imitation, translation, and even
a respectful mention of it in his famous _Défense_. Elsewhere he asks:

    Qui fera taire la musette
    Du pasteur néapolitain?

The first part of Belleau's _Bergerie_ appeared in 1565, the complete
work, including a piscatory poem, in 1572. On the stage Nicolas Filleul
anticipated the regular Italian drama in a dramatized eclogue entitled
_Les Ombres_ in 1566. Later Nicolas de Montreux, better known under the
name of Ollenix du Mont-Sacré, a writer of a religious cast, and author
of a romantic comedy on the story of Potiphar's wife, composed three
pastoral plays, _Athlette_, _Diane_, and _Arimène_, which appeared in
1585, 1592, and 1597 respectively. They are conventional pastorals on the
Italian model, futile in plot and commonplace in style. He was also the
author of the _Bergerie de Juliette_, a romance published in 1592, which
Robert Tofte is credited with having translated in his _Honour's
Academy_,' or the Famous Pastoral of the Fair Shepherdess Julietta,' which
appeared at London in 1610. Tofte's work, however, while purporting to be
'done into English,' makes no mention of the original author, and though
indebted for its form and title to Nicholas' romance does not appear to
bear much further resemblance to it. A far more important work in itself,
but one which does not much concern us here, is Honoré d'Urfé's _Astrée_,
an autobiographic compilation in which the fashionable pastoral romance
found its most consummate example. The work was translated into English as
early as 1620, but the history of its influence in this country belongs
almost exclusively to the French vogue, which began about the middle of
the century, and formed such an important element in the literature of the

The comparatively small influence exerted by the French pastoral of the
renaissance on that of England must excuse the scanty summary given in the
preceding paragraphs. It remains to be said that there had existed at an
earlier period in France another and very different tradition, which
supplied one of the regular forms of composition in vogue among
_trouvères_ and _troubadours_ alike. The _pastourelle_ has sometimes been
described as a popular form, but it would be difficult to determine
wherein its 'popularity,' in the sense intended, consists, for it is
easily recognized as the offspring of a knightly minstrelsy, and indeed is
scarcely less artificial or conventional than the Italian eclogue.
Although the situation is frequently developed with resource and invention
on the part of the individual poet, the general type is rigidly fixed. The
narrator, who is a minstrel and usually a knight, while riding along meets
a shepherd-girl, to whom he pays his court with varying success. This is
the simple framework on which the majority are composed. A few, on the
other hand, depart from the type and depict purely rustic scenes.
Others--and the fact is at least significant--serve to convey allusions,
political, personal or didactic: a variety found as early as the twelfth
century in Provençal, and about the fourteenth in northern French.
Wandering scholars adopted the form from the knightly singers and produced
a plentiful crop of Latin _pastoralia_, usually of a somewhat burlesque
nature. An idea of the general style of these may be gathered from such
lines as the following, which contain the reply of a country girl
hesitating before the advances of a merry student:

    Si senserit meus pater
    uel Martinus maior frater,
    erit mihi dies ater;
    uel si sciret mea mater,
    cum sit angue peior quater:
    uirgis sum tributa.[70]

Appropriated, lastly, and refashioned by the hand of an original genius,
the _pastourelle_ gave to German poetry the crowning jewel of its
_Minnesang_ in Walther's 'Under der linden,' with its irrepressibly
roguish refrain:

    Kuster mich? wol tûsentstunt:
    seht wie rôt mir ist der munt!

Connected with the _pastourelles_ of the _langue d'oïl_ is an isolated
dramatic effort, of a primitive and naïve sort, but of singular grace and
charm. _Li jus Robins et Marion_, the work of Adan le Bochu or de le Hale,
is in fact a dramatized _pastourelle_ of some eight hundred lines
beginning with the rejection by a shepherdess of the advances of a knight
and ending with the rustic sports of the shepherds on the green.
Unsophisticated nature and playful cunning unite in no ordinary degree to
lend delicacy and savour to the work, while the literary quality of Adan's
verse is evident in such incidental songs as Marion's often quoted:

    Robins m'aime, Robins m'a,
    Robins m'a demandee, si m'ara.

In spite, however, of the genuine _naïveté_ and natural realism of the
piece, it is easy to recognize in it something of the same spirit of
gentle raillery that sparkles in the graceful octaves of Lorenzo's

A real and lively love of the country, rather than any idealization of the
actual shepherd class, is reflected in a poem written about 1460 by René
of Anjou, ex-king of Naples, describing in pastoral guise the rustic
retreat which he enjoyed in company with his wife, Jeanne de Laval, on the
banks of the Durance. The conventional pastoralism that veils the identity
of the shepherd and shepherdess is scarcely more than a pretence, for at
the end of the manuscript we find blazoned the arms of the royal pair,
with the inscription:

    Icy sont les armes, dessoubz ceste couronne,
    Du bergier dessus dit et de la bergeronne.

We have now completed the first section of our introductory survey of
pastoral literature. We have passed in review, in a necessarily rapid and
superficial, but, it is to be hoped, not altogether inadequate, manner,
the varions manifestations of the kind in the non-dramatic literature of
continental Europe. The Italian pastoral drama has been reserved for
separate and more detailed consideration in close connexion with that of
this country. It must, however, be borne in mind that in such a survey as
the present many of the byways and more or less obscure and devious
channels by which pastoral permeated the wide fields of literature have of
necessity been left unexplored. Nothing, for instance, has been said about
the pastoral interludes which occupy a not inconspicuous place in the
martial cantos both of the _Orlando_ and the _Gerusalemme_. Before passing
on, however, I should like to say a few words concerning one particular
department of renaissance literature, and that chiefly by way of
illustrating the limitations of the tradition of literary pastoral. I
refer to the _novelle_ or _nouvelles_, in which, although pastoral
subjects are occasionally introduced, the treatment is entirely
independent of conventional tradition. Without making any pretence at
covering the whole field of the _novellieri_, I may instance a tale of
Giraldi's, not lacking in the homely charm which belongs to that author,
of a child exposed in a wood and brought up by the shepherds. These are
represented as simple unpretending Lombard peasants, who look to their own
business and are credited with none of the arts and graces of their
literary fellows. More exclusively rustic in setting is an anecdote
concerning the amours of a shepherd and shepherdess, told with broad
humour in the _Cent Nouvelles nouvelles_ and elaborated with
characteristic gusto and extraordinarily graphic art by Pietro Fortini.
The crude obscenity of the subject alone serves to show how free the
writer was from any influence of the pastoral of polite literature.[71]
Numerous other stories concerning shepherds or _villani_ might be cited,
from Boccaccio to Bandello, the point of which, whether openly licentious
or ostensibly moral, is brought home with a brutal and physical directness
utterly foreign to the spirit of the regular pastoral. This is, on the
whole, what one would expect. The coarse realism that gave life and
vitality to the novel, that characteristic product of middle-class
cynicism and humour, finds no place in the pastoral of literary tradition.
The conventional grace of the pastoral could offer no material to the
novel. It is true that when we speak of the _bourgeois_ spirit of the
_novella_ on the one hand, and the 'ideal' pastoral on the other, it is
well to remember that the author of the _Decameron_ also wrote the first
modern pastoral romance; that the century and country which saw the
publication of the _Arcadia_, the _Aminta_, and the _Pastor fido_, also
welcomed the work of Fortini, Giraldi, and Bandello; and that to Margaret
of Navarre, the imitator of Sannazzaro and patroness of Marot, we are
likewise indebted for the _Heptameron_. Nevertheless the tendencies,
though sometimes united in the person of a single author, yet keep
distinct. Both alike had become a fashion, both alike followed a more or
less conventional type. The novel remained coarse and realistic; the
pastoral, whatever may be said of its morality, remained refined and at a
conscious remove from real life. To examine thoroughly the cause of this
disseverance from actuality which haunted the pastoral throughout its many
transformations would lead us beyond all possible bounds of this inquiry.
One important point may, however, here be noted. The pastoral, whatever
its form, always needed and assumed some external circumstance to give
point to its actual content. The interest seldom arises directly from the
narrative itself. In Theocritus and Sannazzaro this objective point is
supplied by the delight of escape from the over-civilization of the city;
in Petrarch and Mantuan, by their allegorical intention; in Sacchetti and
Lorenzo, by the contrast of town and country, with all its delicate
humour; in Boccaccio and Poliziano, by the opening it gave for golden
dreams of exquisite beauty or sensuous delight; in Tasso, by the desire of
that freedom in love and life which sentimental philosophers have always
associated with a return to nature. In all these cases the content _per
se_ may be said to be matter of indifference; it only receives meaning in
relation to some ulterior intention of the author. Realism under these
circumstances was impossible. Nor could satire call it forth, for no one
would be at pains to satirize actual rusticity. The only loophole left by
which a realistic treatment could find its way into pastoral was when, as
in Folengo's macaronics, it was not the actual rustic life but the
conventional representation of it that was the object of satire. But this
case was naturally a rare one.

Chapter II.

Pastoral Poetry in England


We have seen how there arose in the Italian songs of the fourteenth
century a spontaneous form of pastoral independent of the regular
tradition, and somewhat similar examples are furnished by the dramatic
eclogues of Spain. In the former case, however, pastoral was never more
than a passing note; while in the latter, the impulse, though possessing
some vitality, was early overwhelmed by the rising tide of Italian
influence. In England it was otherwise. On the one hand the spontaneous
and popular impulse towards a form of pastoralism appears to have been
stronger and more consistent than elsewhere; on the other the foreign and
literary influence never acquired the same supreme importance. As a resuit
the earlier native fashion affected in a noticeable degree later pastoral
work, colouring and blending with instead of being overpowered by the
regular tradition. Thus it is possible to trace two distinct though
mutually reacting tendencies far down the stream of English literature,
and to this double origin must be referred many of the peculiar phenomena
of English pastoral work. There was furthermore a constant struggle for
supremacy between the two traditions, in which now one now the other
appeared likely to go under. The greatest poets of their day, Spenser and
Milton, threw the weight of their authority on to the side of pastoral
orthodoxy. Spenser, however, was himself too much influenced by the
popular impulse for his example to be decisive in favour of the regular
tradition, while, by the time Milton wrote, a hybrid form had established
itself on a more or less secure basis and a _modus vivendi_ had already
been achieved. Meanwhile the bulk of pastofal poets affected a less
weighty and more spontaneous song, whether they wrote in the light
fanciful mood of Drayton or the more passionate and romantic spirit of

To this double origin may be ascribed a certain noticeable vitality that
characterizes English pastoral composition. Since this quality has been
habitually overlooked by literary historians, I may be excused for
dwelling on it somewhat in this place. The stigma which, not altogether
undeservedly, attaches to pastoral as a whole has tempted critics to
confine their attention to the more notable examples of the kind, and to
treat these as more or less sporadic manifestations. Thus they have
failed, on the whole, to appreciate the relation in which these works
stand to the general pastoral tradition, which was mainly carried on in
works of little individual interest. It is no blame to them if they
considered that these undistinguished productions were of small importance
in the general history of literature: any one who goes through them with
care will probably arrive at a not very dissimilar conclusion.
Nevertheless the fact remains that the neglect of them has obscured both
the relative positions of the greater and more enduring works, and also
the general nature of the pastoral tradition in this country. That
tradition I believe to have been of a far more noteworthy character than
has hitherto been realized. I am not, of course, prepared to maintain that
pastoral composition in England ever attained, as a whole, to the rank of
great literature, or that it formed such a remarkable body of work as we
find, for example, in the Arcadian drama of Italy. But when we come to
regard the pastoral production of this country in the light of a more or
less connected tradition, it is impossible not be struck by the
originality and diversity of the various forms which it assumed. Though as
a literary kind it never rivalled its Italian model in fertility, it
evinced an individual and versatile quality which we seek in vain in other
countries. To substantiate this claim and to show how far the vitality of
the English pastoral was due to its hybrid origin will be my chief aim in
this chapter. When I come to deal with the main subject of this inquiry it
will be necessary to determine how far similar considerations apply in the
case of the pastoral drama.

In the first place we have to consider what was produced on the one hand
by the purely native impulse, and on the other under the sole inspiration
of foreign tradition, at a period when these two influences had not yet
begun to interact. As an argument in favour of the spontaneous and genuine
nature of the earlier fashion may be noticed its appearance in that
miscellaneous body of anonymous literature which, whatever may be its
origin--and it is impossible to enter on so controversial a subject in
this place--is at least 'popular' in the sense of having been long handed
down from generation to generation in the mouths of the people. The
acceptance of pastoral ballads into this great mass of traditional
literature is at least as good evidence of their popular character as that
of authorship could be. In such a body of literature it would indeed be
surprising had the _pastourelle_ motive not found entrance; but it is
noteworthy that whereas the French and Latin poems are habitually written
from the point of view of the lover, the English ballads adopt that of the
peasant maiden to whom the high-born suitor pays his court. At once the
simplest and most poetical of the ballads on this model is that printed by
Scott as _The Broom of Cowdenknows_, a title to which in all probability
it has little claim. It is a delightful example of the minor ballad
literature, and I am by no means inclined to regard it as a mere
amplification of the much shorter and rather abrupt _Bonny May_ of Herd's
collection, though the latter, so far as it goes, probably offers a less
sophisticated text. In either case a gentleman riding along meets a girl
milking, obtains her love, and ultimately returns and marries her. A
similar incident, in which, however, the seducer marries the girl under
compulsion and then discovers her to be of noble parentage, is told in a
ballad, of which a number of versions have been collected in Scotland
under the title of _Earl Richard_ or _Earl Lithgow_, and of which an
English version was current in the seventeenth century and was quoted more
than once by Beaumont and Fletcher.[72] This was printed by Percy in the
_Reliques_, and two broadsides of it dating from the restoration are
preserved in the Roxburghe collection. It is inferior to the northern
versions, but both are probably late, and contain stanzas belonging to or
copied from other ballads, notably the _Bonny Hynd_ of the Herd manuscript
and _Burd Helen_ (the Scotch version of _Child Waters_). The title of the
broadsides is interesting as betraying the influence of the regular
pastoral tradition: 'The beautifull Shepherdesse of Arcadia. A new
pastarell Song of a courteous young Knight, and a supposed Shepheards
Daughter.'[73] Again, apparently from the Aberdeen district, comes a
ballad on the marriage of a shepherd's daughter to the Laird of Drum. On
the other hand we find three somewhat similar ballads, _Lizie Lindsay_ or
_Donald of the Isles, Lizie Baillie_, and _Glasgow Peggie_, recording the
elopement of a town girl with a highland gentleman in the disguise of a
shepherd. These are obviously late, though a certain resemblance in style
with _Johnie Faa_ makes it possible that they are as old as the middle of
the seventeenth century. None of the pastoral ballads, indeed, can show
any credentials which would suggest an earlier date than the second half
of the sixteenth century, nor can any of them lay claim to first-rate
poetic merit.[74]

Another example of native pastoral, earlier and far more genuine in
character, is to be found in the religious drama. The romantic
possibilities of peasant life were to some extent reflected in the
ballads; it is the burlesque aspect that is preserved to us in the
'shepherd' plays of the mystery cycles. We possess the plays on the
adoration of the shepherds belonging to the four extant series, a
duplicate in the Towneley plays, and one odd specimen, making six in all.
The rustic element varies in each case, but it assumed the form of
burlesque comedy in all except the purely didactic 'Coventry' cycle of the
Cotton manuscript. Here, indeed, the treatment of the situation is
decorously dull, but in the others we can trace a gradual advance in
humorous treatment leading up to the genuine comedy of the alternative
Towneley plays. Thus, like Noah and his wife, the shepherds of the
adoration early became recognized comic characters, and there can be
little doubt of the influence exercised by these scenes upon the later
interludes. With the general evolution of the drama we are of course in no
wise here concerned: what it imports us to notice is that just as it was
the picture of the young gallant riding along on the mirk evening by the
fail dyke of the 'bought i' the lirk o' the hill' that caught the
imagination of the north-country milkmaids, so it was the rough
representation of rustic manners, with which they must have been familiar
in actual life, that appealed to the villagers flocking to York,
Leicester, Beverley, or Wakefield to witness the annual representation of
the guild cycle.[75]

It will be worth while to give some account of the form taken by this
genuine pastoral comedy, as we find it in its highest development in the
two Towneley plays. These belong to the latest additions to the cycle, and
were probably first incorporated when the repertory underwent revision in
the early years of the fifteenth century.[76] Each play falls into three
portions: first, a rustic farce; secondly, the apparition and announcement
of the angels; and thirdly, the adoration. The two latter do not
particularly concern us. Though in the Chester cycle the shepherds show
themselves amusingly ignorant of the meaning of the _Gloria_, in the
Towneley plays they are apt to fall out of character, and certainly
display a singular knowledge of the prophets,[77] for

    Abacuc and ely prophesyde so,
    Elezabeth and zachare and many other mo,
    And david as veraly is witnes thereto,
    Iohn Bapyste sewrly and daniel also.

More remarkable still is one shepherd's familiarity with the classics:

    Virgill in his poetre sayde in his verse,
    Even thus by gramere as I shall reherse;
    'Iam nova progenies celo demittitur alto,
    Iam rediet virgo, redeunt saturnia regna.'[78]

It is perhaps no matter for surprise that one of his less learned fellows
should break out with more force than delicacy:

    Weme! tord! what speke ye here in myn eeres?
    Tell us no clerge I hold you of the freres.

It is one of the little ironies of literature that in the earliest picture
of pastoral life in England the greatest pastoral writer of Rome should be
quoted, not as a pastoralist, but as a magician.

Before the appearance of the angels, however, there is nothing to lead one
to expect this strange display of learning. A rougher, simpler set of
countrymen it would have been hard to find in the England of Chaucer and
Langland. In the shepherd-play known as _prima pastorum_ the comic element
consists mostly in quarrels and feasting among the shepherds, but in the
_secunda pastorum_ it constitutes a regular little three-scene farce,
which at its date was absolutely unique in literature. It is thence only a
step, and a very short one, to John Heywood's interludes--though it is a
step that took more than a century to accomplish.

The first shepherd comes in complaining of the hard weather; his fingers
are chapped, the storms blow from every quarter in turn. 'Sely shepardes,'
moreover, are put upon by any rich upstart and have no redress. A second
shepherd appears with another grumble: 'We sely wedmen dre mekyll wo.'
Some men, indeed, have been known to desire two wives or even three, but
most would sooner have none at all. Whereupon enters Daw, a third
shepherd, complaining of portents 'With mervels mo and mo.' 'Was never syn
noe floode sich floodys seyn'; even 'I se shrewys pepe'--apparently a
portentous omen. At this point Mak comes on the scene. He is a notorious
bad character of the neighbourhood, who boasts himself 'a yoman, I tell
you, of the king,' and complains that his wife eats him out of house and
home. The shepherds suspect him of designs upon their flocks, so when they
lie down to rest they place him the middle man of three. As soon, however,
as the shepherds are asleep--'that may ye all here'--Mak borrows a sheep
and makes off. Arrived at home he would like to eat the sheep at once, but
he is afraid of being followed, so the animal is put in the cradle and
wrapped up to resemble a baby, and Mak goes back to take his place among
the shepherds. Before long these awake and rouse Mak, who, pretending he
has dreamt that Gill his wife has been brought to bed of another child,
goes off home. The shepherds miss one of their sheep and, following him,
find Gill on the bed while Mak sings a lullaby at the cradle. They proceed
to search the house, Gill the while praying she may eat the child in the
cradle if ever she deceived them. They find nothing, and are about to
depart when Daw insists on kissing the new baby. Gill vows she saw the
child changed by an elf as the clock struck midnight, but Mak pleads
guilty and gets off with a blanketing.

So far, intentionally in the case of the drama, and if not intentionally
at least practically in that of the ballads, the appeal of the native
pastoral impulse--tradition it could hardly yet be called--was to an
audience little if at all removed from the actual condition of life
depicted. This ensured at least essential reality, for though in the one
case there may be idealization in a romantic and in the other in a
burlesque direction, either implies that familiarity with the actual world
which appears to underlie all vital art.[79] It was not long, however,
before the pastoral began to address itself to a more cultivated society,
and in so doing sacrificed that wholesome corrective of a genuinely
critical audience which is needed in the long run to keep any literary
form from degeneration. The impulse is still, however, found in all its
freshness and genuineness in such a poem as the following
fifteenth-century nativity carol, which, in its blending of piety and
humorous rusticity, is strongly reminiscent of the dramatic productions we
have just been reviewing:

    The shepherd upon a hill he sat,
    He had on him his tabard and his hat,
    His tar-box, his pipe, and his flagat,
    His name was called Jolly, Jolly Wat!
      For he was a good herds-boy,
              Ut hoy!
      For in his pipe he made so much joy.
         Can I not sing but hoy.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The shepherd on a hill he stood,
    Round about him his sheep they yode,
    He put his hand under his hood,
    He saw a star as red as blood.
              Ut hoy! &c.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Now must I go there Christ was born,
    Farewell! I come again to-morn,
    Dog, keep well my sheep fro the corn!
    And warn well Warroke when I blow my horn!
              Ut hoy! &c.[80]

So, again, in the delightful poem that has won for Robert Henryson the
title of the first English pastoralist the warm blood of natural feeling
yet runs full. _Robene and Makyne_ stands on the threshold of the
sixteenth century, a modest and pastoral counterpart of the _Nut-Brown
Maid_, as evidence that there were poets of purely native inspiration
capable of writing verses every whit as perfect in form as anything
produced by the Italianizers of the next generation, and commonly far more
genuine in feeling. Even in the work of Surrey and Wyatt themselves we
find poems which, were it not for the general tradition to which they
belong, one would have no difficulty in regarding as a natural development
and conventionalization of the native tendency. Such is the _Harpelus'
Complaint_ of 'Tottel's Miscellany.' This was originally printed among
the poems of uncertain authors, but when it re-appeared in _England's
Helicon_, in 1600, it was subscribed with Surrey's name. The ascription
does not carry with it much authority, but is in no way inherently
improbable.[81] The opening stanzas may be quoted as conveying a fair idea
of the whole, which sustains its character of sprightly elegance for over
a hundred lines, ending with the luckless Harpelus' epitaph:

    Phylida was a fayer mayde,
      And fresh as any flowre:
    Whom Harpalus the herdman prayed
      To be his paramour.

    Harpalus and eke Corin
      Were herdmen both yfere:
    And Phillida could twist and spin
      And therto sing full clere.

    But Phillida was all to coy
      For Harpelus to winne.
    For Corin was her onely joye,
      Who forst her not a pynne.[82]

The relation of the early Italianizers to pastoral is rather strange.
Pastoral names, imagery and conventions are freely scattered throughout
their works, yet with the exception of the above there is scarcely a poem
to which the term pastoral can be properly applied. They borrowed from
their models a kind of pastoral diction merely, not their partiality for
the form: 'shepherd' is with them merely another word for lover or poet,
while almost any act of such may be described as 'folding his sheep' or
the like. Allegory has reduced itself to a few stock phrases. In this
fashion Surrey complains to his fair Geraldine, and a whole company of
unknown lovers celebrate the cruelty and beauty of their ladies. It is
rarely that we catch a note of fresher reminiscence or more spontaneous
song as in Wyatt's:

      Ah, Robin!
      Joly Robin!
    Tell me how thy leman doth!

Happily the seed of Phillida's coyness bore fruit, and the amorous
pastoral ballad or picture, a true _idyllion_, became a recognized type in
English verse. It certainly owed something to foreign pastoral models,
and, like the bulk of Elizabethan lyrics, a good deal to Italian poetry in
general; but in its freshness and variety, as in its tendency to narrative
form, it asserts its independence of any rigid tradition, and justifies us
in regarding it as an outcome of that native impulse which we have already
noticed. Such a poem is Nicholas Breton's ever charming _Phyllida and
Corydon_, printed above his signature in _England's Helicon_.[83] Although
we are thereby anticipating, it may be quoted as a representative specimen
of its kind:

    In the merry month of May,
    In a morn by break of day,
    Forth I walk'd by a wood-side,
    When as May was in his pride:
    There I spièd all alone,
    Phyllida and Corydone.
    Much ado there was, God wot!
    He would love and she would not.
    She said, never man was true;
    He said, none was false to you.
    He said, he had loved her long;
    She said, Love should have no wrong.
    Corydon would kiss her then;
    She said, maids must kiss no men,
    Till they did for good and all;
    Then she made the shepherd call
    All the heavens to witness truth
    Never loved a truer youth.
    Thus with many a pretty oath,
    Yea and nay, and faith and troth,
    Such as silly shepherds use
    When they will not Love abuse,
    Love which had been long deluded
    Was with kisses sweet concluded;
    And Phyllida, with garlands gay,
    Was made the lady of the May.

We must now turn to the beginnings of regular pastoral tradition in this
country, springing up under direct foreign influence and in conscious and
avowed imitation of specific foreign models. Passing over the Latin
eclogues of Buchanan and John Barclay, as belonging properly to the sphere
of humanistic rather than of English letters, we come to the pretty
thoroughly Latinized pastorals of Alexander Barclay and Barnabe Googe.
Their preoccupation with the humanistic poets is, in Barclay's case at any
rate, no less dominant a factor than in that of the regular translators,
from whom it is neither very easy nor clearly desirable to distinguish
them. Of the professed translators themselves it may be well to say a few
words in this place and allow them at once to resume their veil of
well-deserved oblivion. Their influence may be taken as non-existent, and
their only interest lies in the indication they afford of the trend of
literary fashion. The earliest was George Turberville, who in 1567
translated the first nine of Mantuan's eclogues into English fourteeners.
The verse is fairly creditable, but the exaggeration of style,
endeavouring by sheer brutality of phrase to force the moral judgement it
lacks the art of more subtly stimulating, produces neither a very pleasing
nor a very edifying effect. This translation went through three editions
before the end of the century. The whole ten eclogues did not find a
translator till 1656, when Thomas Harvey published a version in
decasyllabic couplets. The next poet to appear in English dress was
Theocritus, of whose works 'Six Idillia, that is, Six Small, or Petty,
Poems, or Aeglogues,' were translated by an anonymous hand and dedicated
to E. D.--probably or possibly Sir Edward Dyer--in 1588. As before, the
verse, mostly fourteeners, is far from bad, but the selection is not very
much to our purpose. Three of the pieces, a singing match, a love
complaint, and one of the Galatea poems, are more or less pastoral; but
the rest--among which is the dainty conceit of Venus and the boar well
rendered in a three-footed measure--do not belong to bucolic verse at all.
Incidental mention may be also made of a 'dialogue betwixt two sea nymphs,
Doris and Galatea, concerning Polyphemus, briefly translated out of
Lucian,' by Giles Fletcher the elder, in his _Licia_ of 1593; and a
version of 'The First Eidillion of Moschus describing Love,' in Barnabe
Barnes' _Parthenophil and Parthenophe_, which probably appeared the same
year. Lastly we have the Bucolics and Georgics of Vergil, translated in
1589 by Abraham Fleming into rimeless fourteeners.[84] Besides these there
are a few odd translations from Vergil among the experiments of the
classical versifiers. Webbe, in his _Discourse of English Poetry_ (1586),
gives hexametrical translations of the first and second eclogues, while
another version of the second in the same metre appears first in Fraunce's
_Lawyer's Logic_ (1588), and again with corrections in his _Ivychurch_
(1591).[85] Several further translations followed in the seventeenth

But one step, and that a short one, removed from these writers is
Alexander Barclay, translater of Brandt's _Stultifera Navis_, priest and
monk successively of Ottery St. Mary, Ely, and Canterbury. It seems to
have been about 1514, when at the second of these houses, that he composed
at least the earlier and larger portion of his eclogues. They appeared at
various dates, the first complete edition being appended, long after the
writer's death, to the _Ship of Fools_ of 1570.[86] They are there headed
'Certayne Egloges of Alexander Barclay Priest, Whereof the first three
conteyne the misereyes of Courtiers and Courtes of all princes in
generall, Gathered out of a booke named in Latin, Miseriae Curialium,
compiled by Eneas Silvius[87] Poet and Oratour.' This sufficiently
indicates what we are to expect of Barclay as of the Latin eclogists of
the previous century. The interlocutors in these three poems are Coridon,
a young shepherd anxious to seek his fortune at court, and the old Cornix,
for whom the great world has long lost its glamour. The fourth eclogue,
'treating of the behavour of Rich men against Poets,' is similarly 'taken
out of' Mantuan. In it Barclay is supposed to have directed a not very
individual but pretty lusty satire against Skelton.[88] He also
introduces, as recited by one of the characters, 'The description of the
Towre of vertue and honour, into which the noble Howarde contended to
enter by worthy actes of chivalry,' a stanzaic composition in honour of
Sir Edward Howard, who died in 1513. The fifth eclogue, 'of the
disputation of Citizens and men of the Countrey,' or the _Cytezen and
Uplondyshman_, as it was originally styled, again presents us with a
familiar theme treated in the conventional manner, and closes the series.
These poems are written in what would be decasyllabic couplets were they
reducible to metre--in other words, in the barbarous caesural jangle in
which many poets of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries
imagined that they reproduced the music of Chaucer, and which, refashioned
however almost beyond recognition by a born metrist, we shall meet again
in the _Shepherd's Calender_. The following lines from the fifth eclogue
may serve to illustrate Barclay's style:

    I shall not deny our payne and servitude,
    I knowe that plowmen for the most part be rude,
    Nowe shall I tell thee high matters true and olde,
    Which curteous Candidus unto me once tolde,
    Nought shall I forge nor of no leasing bable,
    This is true history and no surmised fable.

It is in justice due to Barclay to say that the fact of his composing this
eclogue in the vernacular should possibly be counted to him as an original
step. The step had, indeed, been taken in Italy before he was born, but of
this he may, in spite of his travels, have been ignorant. Such credit as
attaches to the innovation should be allowed him.

A somewhat more independent writer is Barnabe Googe--writer, indeed, as
original, may be, as the lesser Latin pastoralists of the renaissance. The
fact of his altering the conventional forms to fit the mood of a sturdy
protestantism, of a protestantism still bitter from the Marian
persecutions, is scarcely to be regarded so much as evidence of his
invention as of the stability of literary tradition under the varying
forms imposed by external circumstances. The collection of his poems,
'imprinted at London' in 1563,[89] includes eight eclogues written in
fourteeners, the majority of which may fairly be said to represent Mantuan
adjusted to the conditions of contemporary life in reformation England.
Others show the influence of the author's visit to Spain in 1561-3. The
best that can be said for the verse and style is that they pursue their
'middle flight' on the whole modestly, and that the diction is at times
not without a touch of simple dignity. There are, moreover, moments of
genuine feeling when the author recalls the fires of Smithfield, and of
generous if naïve appreciation when he speaks of his predecessors in
English song. A brief summary of contents will give some idea of the
nature of these poems. The first recounts the pains of love; in the second
Dametas rails on the blind boy and ends his song by dying. The third
treats of the vices of the city, not the least of them being religious
persecution. In the next Melibeus relates how Dametas, having as we now
learn killed himself for love, appeared to him amid hell-fire. Eclogue V
contains the pitiful tale of Faustus who courted Claudia through the
agency of Valerius. Claudia unfortunately fell in love with the messenger,
and finding him faithful to his master slew herself. This is imitated, in
part closely, from the tale of the shepherdess Felismena in the second
book of Montemayor's _Diana_, the identical story upon which Shakespeare
is supposed ultimately to have founded his _Two Gentlemen of Verona_,
though it is difficult at first sight to trace much resemblance between
the play and Googe's poem. In the sixth eclogue Faustus--the Don Felix of
the Spanish and the Proteus of Shakespeare--himself appears, for no better
reason it would seem than to give his interlocutor an opportunity of
enlarging on the delights of country life and introducing the remarks on
fowling borrowed from Sannazzaro by way of Garcilaso's second eclogue. The
next is a discussion somewhat after the manner of the _Nut-Brown Maid_,
again paraphrased from the _Diana_ (Book I); while the eighth, lastly, is
a homily on the superiority of Christianity over Roman polytheism, in
which under obsolete forms the author no doubt intended an allusion to
contemporary controversies. Thus it will be seen that Googe follows Latin
and Spanish traditions almost exclusively: the only point in which it is
possible to see any native inspiration is in his partiality for some sort
of narrative ballad motive as the subject of his poems.

So far the literary quality to be registered has not been high among those
owing allegiance to the regular pastoral tradition. The next step to be
taken is a long one. The pastoral writings of Spenser not only themselves
belong to a very different order of work, but likewise brings us face to
face with literary problems of a most complex and interesting kind.


In the _Shepherd's Calender_ we have the one pastoral composition in
English literature which can boast first-rate historical importance. There
are not a few later productions in the kind which may be reasonably held
to surpass it in poetic merit, but all alike sink into insignificance by
the side of Spenser's eclogues when the influence they exercised on the
history of English verse is taken into account. The present is not of
course the place to discuss this wider influence of Spenser's work: it is
with its relation to pastoral tradition and its influence upon subsequent
pastoral work that we are immediately concerned. This is an aspect of the
_Shepherd's Calender_ to which literary historians have naturally devoted
less attention. These two reasons--namely, the intrinsic importance of the
work and the neglect of its pastoral bearing--must excuse a somewhat
lengthy treatment of a theme that may possibly be regarded as already
sufficiently familiar.

The _Shepherd's Calender_[90], which first appeared in 1579, was published
without author's name, but with an envoy signed 'Immerito.' It was
dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney, and contained a commentary by one E. K.,
who also signed an epistle to Master Gabriel Harvey, fellow of Pembroke
College, Cambridge. 'Immerito' was a name used by Spenser in his familiar
correspondence with Harvey, and can in any case have presented no mystery
to his Cambridge friends. Among these must clearly be reckoned the
commentator E. K., who may be identified with one Edward Kirke with all
but absolute certainty.[91] Within certain well defined limits we may also
accept E. K. as a competent exponent of his friend's work, and his
identity, together with that of Rosalind and Menalcas, being matters of
but indirect literary interest, may be left to Spenser's editors and
biographers to fight over. It will be sufficient to add in this place that
however 'literary' may have been Spenser's attachment to Rosalind there is
no reason to suppose that she was not a real person, while however little
response his advances may have met with there _is_ reason to suppose that
his sorrow at their rejection was not wholly conventional.

Spenser's design in turning his attention to the pastoral form would not
seem hard to apprehend. Less readily may we suppose that any deep
philosophical impulse directed his mind towards certain modes of
expression, than that in an age of catholic experiment he turned from the
penning of impossible iambic trimeters, 'minding,' as E. K. directly
informs us, 'to furnish our tongue with this kind, wherein it faulteth.'
He was qualified for the task by a wide knowledge of previous pastoral
writers from Theocritus and Bion down to Marot, and deliberately ranged
himself in line with the previous poets of the regular pastoral
tradition. Yet we find side by side in his work two distinct and
apparently antagonistic though equally conscious tendencies; the one
towards authority, leading him to borrow motives freely and even to resort
to direct paraphrase; the other towards individuality, nationality,
freedom, informing his general scheme and regulating the language of his
imaginary swains. It is this double nature of his pastoral work that
justifies us as regarding him, in spite of his alleged orthodoxy, as in
reality the first of a series of English writers who combined the
traditions of regular pastoral with the wayward graces of native
inspiration. It is true that in Spenser the natural pastoral impulse has
lost the spontaneity of the earlier examples, and has passed into the
realm of conscious and deliberate art; but it is none the less there,
modifying the conventional form. The individual debts owed by Spenser to
earlier writers have been collected with admirable learning and industry
by scholars such as Kluge and Reissert[92], but the investigation of his
originality presents at once a more interesting and more important field
of inquiry. So, indeed, Spenser himself appears to have thought, for the
only direct acknowledgement he makes in the work is to Chaucer, although,
as a writer to whom the humours of criticism are ever present has
remarked, 'it might almost seem that Spenser borrowed from Chaucer nothing
but his sly way of acknowledging indebtedness chiefly where it was not

The chief point of originality in the _Calender_ is the attempt at linking
the separate eclogues into a connected series. We have already seen how
with Googe the same characters recur in a sort of shadowy story; but what
was in his case vague and almost unintentional becomes with Spenser a
central artistic motive of the piece. The eclogues are arranged with no
small skill and care on somewhat of an architectural design, or perhaps we
should rather say with somewhat of the symmetry of a geometrical pattern.
This will best be seen in a brief analysis of the several eclogues,
'proportionable,' as the title is careful to inform us, 'to the twelve

In the 'January,' a monologue, Spenser, under the disguise of Colin
Clout, laments the ill-success of his love for Rosalind, who meets his
advances with scorn. He also alludes to his friendship with Harvey, who is
introduced throughout under the name of Hobbinol. The 'February' is a
disputation between youth and age in the persons of Cuddie and Thenot. It
introduces the fable of the oak and the briar, in which, since he ascribes
it to Tityrus, a name he transferred from Vergil to Chaucer, Spenser
presumably imagined he was imitating that poet, though it is really no
more in the style of Chaucer than is the roughly accentual measure in
which the eclogue is composed. For the 'March' Spenser recasts in English
surroundings Bion's fantasy of the fight with Cupid, without however
achieving any conspicuous success. In the April eclogue Hobbinol recites
to the admiring Thenot Colin's lay

      Of fayre Eliza, Queene of shepheardes all,
    Which once he made as by a spring he laye,
      And tuned it unto the Waters fall.

This lay is in an intricate lyrical stanza which Spenser shows
considerable skill in handling. The following lines, for instance, already
show the musical modulation characteristic of much of his best work:

    See, where she sits upon the grassie greene,
      (O seemely sight!)
    Yclad in Scarlot, like a mayden Queene,
      And ermines white:
    Upon her head a Cremosin coronet,
    With Damaske roses and Daffadillies set:
      Bay leaves betweene,
      And primroses greene,
    Embellish the sweete Violet.

In the 'May' we return to the four-beat accentual measure, this time
applied to a discussion by the herdsmen Palinode and Piers of the
lawfulness of Sunday sports and the corruption of the clergy. Here we have
a common theme treated from an individual point of view. The eclogue is
interesting as showing that the author, whose opinions are placed in the
mouth of the precise Piers; belonged to what Ben Jonson later styled 'the
sourer sort of shepherds.' A fable is again introduced which is of a
pronounced Aesopic cast. In the 'June' we return to the love-motive of
Rosalind, which, though alluded to in the April eclogue, has played no
prominent part since January. It is a dialogue between Colin and Hobbinol,
in which the former recounts his final defeat and the winning of Rosalind
by Menalcas. This eclogue contains Spenser's chief tribute to Chaucer:

    The God of shepheards, Tityrus, is dead,
    Who taught me homely, as I can, to make;
    He, whilst he lived, was the soveraigne head
    Of shepheards all that bene with love ytake:
    Well couth he wayle his Woes, and lightly slake
    The flames which love within his heart had bredd,
    And tell us mery tales to keepe us wake
    The while our sheepe about us safely fedde.

The July eclogue again leads us into the realm of ecclesiastical politics.
It is a disputation between upland and lowland shepherds, the descendant
therefore of Mantuan and Barclay, though the use of 'high places' as
typifying prelatical pride appears to be original. The confusion of things
Christian and things pagan, of classical mythology with homely English
scenery, nowhere reaches a more extravagant pitch than here. Morrell, the
advocate of the old religion, defends the hills with the ingeniously
wrong-headed argument:

    And wonned not the great God Pan
      Upon mount Olivet,
    Feeding the blessed flocke of Dan,
      Which dyd himselfe beget?

or else, gazing over the Kentish downs, he announces that

    Here han the holy Faunes recourse,
      And Sylvanes haunten rathe;
    Here has the salt Medway his source,
      Wherein the Nymphes doe bathe.

In the 'August' Spenser again handles a familiar theme with more or less
attempt at novelty. Willie and Peregot meeting on the green lay wagers in
orthodox fashion, and, appointing Cuddie judge, begin their singing
match. The 'roundel' that follows, a song inserted in the midst of
decasyllabic stanzas, is composed of alternate lines sung by the two
competitors. The verse is of the homeliest; indeed it is only a rollicking
indifference to its own inanity that saves it from sheer puerility and
gives it a careless and as it were impromptu charm of its own. Even in an
age of experiment it must have needed some self-confidence to write the
dialect of the _Calender_; it must have required nothing less than
assurance to put forth such verses as the following:

    It fell upon a holy eve,
      Hey, ho, hollidaye!
    When holy fathers wont to shrieve;
      Now gynneth this roundelay.
    Sitting upon a hill so hye,
      Hey, ho, the high hyll!
    The while my flocke did feede thereby;
      The while the shepheard selfe did spill.
    I saw the bouncing Bellibone,
      Hey, ho, Bonibell!
    Tripping over the dale alone,
      She can trippe it very well.

Many a reader of the anonymous quarto of 1579 must have joined in Cuddie's

    Sicker, sike a roundel never heard I none!

Sidney, we know, was not altogether pleased with the homeliness of the
verses dedicated to him; and there must have been not a few among
Spenser's academic friends to feel a certain incongruity between the
polished tradition of the Theocritean singing match and the present poem.
Moreover, as if to force the incongruity upon the notice of the least
sensitive of his readers, Spenser followed up the ballad with a poem which
is not only practically free from obsolete or dialectal phrasing, but
which is composed in the wearisomely pedantic _sestina_ form. This song is
attributed to Colin, whose love for Rosalind is again mentioned.

Passing to the 'September' we find an eclogue of the 'wise shepherd' type.
It is composed in the rough accentual metre, and opens with a couplet
which roused the ire of Dr. Johnson:

    Diggon Davie! I bidde her god day;
    Or Diggon her is, or I missaye.

Diggon is a shepherd, who, in hope of gain, drove his flock into a far
country, and coming home the poorer, relates to Hobbinol the evil ways of
foreign shepherds among whom,

       playnely to speake of shepheards most what,
    Badde is the best.

The 'October' eclogue belongs to the stanzaic group, and consists of a
dialogue on the subject of poetry between the shepherds Piers and Cuddie.
It is one of the most imaginative of the series, and in it Spenser has
refashioned time-honoured themes with more conspicuous taste than
elsewhere. The old complaint for the neglect of poetry acquires new life
through the dramatic contrast of the two characters in which opposite
sides of the poetic temperament are revealed. In Cuddie we have a poet for
whom the prize is more than the praise[93], whose inspiration is cramped
because of the indifference of a worldly court and society. Things were
not always so--

    But ah! Mecaenas is yclad in claye,
    And great Augustus long ygoe is dead,
    And all the worthies liggen wrapt in leade,
    That matter made for Poets on to play.

And in the same strain he laments over what might have been his song:

    Thou kenst not, Percie, howe the ryme should rage,
    O! if my temples were distaind with wine,
    And girt with girlonds of wild Yvie twine,
    How I could reare the Muse on stately stage,
    And teache her tread aloft in buskin fine,
    With queint Bellona in her equipage!

Reading these words to-day they may well seem to us the charter of the new
age of England's song; and the effect is rendered all the more striking
by the rhythm of the last line with its prophecy of Marlowe and mighty
music to come. Piers, on the other hand, though with less poetic rage, is
a truer idealist, and approaches the high things of poetry more
reverentially than his Bacchic comrade. When Cuddie, acknowledging his own
unworthiness, adds:

    For Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne;
    He, were he not with love so ill bedight,
    Would mount as high, and sing as soote as Swanne;

Piers breaks out in words fitting the poet of the _Hymnes_:

    Ah, fon! for love doth teach him climbe so hie,
    And lyftes him up out of the loathsome myre.

And throughout this high discourse the homely names of Piers and Cuddie
seem somehow more appropriate, or at least touch us more nearly, than
Mantuan's Sylvanus and Candidus, as if, in spite of all Spenser owes to
foreign models, he were yet conscious of a latent power of simple native
inspiration, capable, when once fully awakened, of standing up naked and
unshamed in the presence of Italy and Greece. One might well question
whether there is not more of the true spirit of prophecy in this poem of
Spenser's than ever went to the composition of Vergil's _Pollio_.

The 'November,' like the 'April,' consists for the most part of a lay
composed in an elaborate stanza--there a panegyric, here an elegy. This
time it is sung by Colin himself, and we again find reference to the
Rosalind motive. The subject of the threnody is a nymph of the name of
Dido, whose identity can only be vaguely conjectured. The chief point of
external form in which Spenser has departed from his model, namely Marot's
dirge for Loyse de Savoye, and from other pastoral elegies, is in the use
of a different form of verse in the actual lament from that in which the
setting of the poem is composed. Otherwise he has followed tradition none
the less closely for having infused the conventional form with a poetry of
his own. The change by which the lament passes into the song of rejoicing
is traditional--and though borrowed by Spenser from Marot, is as old as
Vergil. Both Browne and Milton later made use of the same device. Spenser

    Why wayle we then? why weary we the Gods with playnts,
    As if some evill were to her betight?
    She raignes a goddesse now emong the saintes,
    That whilome was the saynt of shepheards light,
    And is enstalled nowe in heavens hight.
      I see thee, blessed soule, I see
      Walke in Elisian fieldes so free.
      O happy herse!
    Might I once come to thee, (O that I might!)
      O joyfull verse!

Although some critics, looking too exclusively to the poetic merit of the
_Calender_ as the cause of its importance, have perhaps overestimated the
beauty of this and the April lyrics, the skill with which the intricate
stanzas are handled must be apparent to any careful reader. As the
_Calender_ in poetry generally, so even more decidedly in their own
department, do these songs mark a distinct advance in formal evolution.
Just as they were themselves foreshadowed in the recurrent melody of
Wyatt's farewell to his lute--

    My lute, awake! perform the last
    Labour that thou and I shall waste,
      And end that I have now begun;
    For when this song is sung and past,
      My lute, be still, for I have done--

so they in their turn heralded the full strophic sonority of the

Lastly, in the 'December' we have the counterpart of the January eclogue,
a monologue in which Colin laments his wasted life and joyless, for

      Winter is come, that blowes the balefull breath,
      And after Winter commeth timely death.

    Adieu, delightes, that lulled me asleepe;
    Adieu, my deare, whose love I bought so deare;
    Adieu, my little Lambes and loved sheepe;
    Adieu, ye Woodes, that oft my witnesse were:
      Adieu, good Hobbinoll, that was so true,
      Tell Rosalind, her Colin bids her adieu.[94]

It will be seen from the above analysis that the architectonic basis of
Spenser's design consists of the three Colin eclogues standing
respectively at the beginning, in the middle, and at the close of the
year. These are symmetrically arranged: the 'January' and 'December' are
both alike monologues and agree in the stanza used, while the 'June' is a
dialogue and likewise differs in metrical form. This latter is supported
as it were by two subsidiary eclogues, those of April and August, in both
of which another shepherd sings one of Colin's lays and refers
incidentally to his passion for Rosalind. It is upon this framework that
are woven the various moral, polemical, and idyllic themes which Spenser
introduces. The attempt at uniting a series of poems into a single fabric
is Spenser's chief contribution to the formal side of pastoral
composition. The method by which he sought to correlate the various parts
so as to produce the singleness of impression necessary to a work of art,
and the measure of success which he achieved, though they belong more
strictly to the general history of poetry, must also detain us for a
moment. The chief and most obvious device is that suggested by the
title--_The Shepherd's Calender_--'Conteyning twelve Aeglogues
proportionable to the twelve monethes.' This might, indeed, have been no
more than a fanciful name for any series of twelve poems;[95] with Spenser
it indicates a conscious principle of artistic construction. It suggests,
what is moreover apparent from the eclogues themselves, that the author
intended to represent the spring and fall of the year as typical of the
life of man. The moods of the various poems were to be made to correspond
with the seasons represented; or, conversely, outward nature in its cycle
through the year was to reflect and thereby unify the emotions, thoughts,
and passions of the shepherds. This was a perfectly legitimate artistic
device, and one based on a fundamental principle of our nature, since the
appearance of objective phenomena is ever largely modified and coloured by
subjective feeling. Nor can it reasonably be objected against the device
that in the hands of inferior craftsmen it degenerates but too readily
into the absurdities of the 'pathetic fallacy,' or that Spenser himself is
not wholly guiltless of the charge.

    Winter is come, that blowes the balefull breath,
    And after Winter commeth timely death.

These lines bear witness to Spenser's intention. But the conceit is not
fully or consistently carried out. In several of the eclogues not only
does the subject in no way reflect the mood of the season--the very nature
of the theme at times made this impossible--but the time of year is not so
much as mentioned. This is more especially the case in the summer months;
there is no joy of the 'hygh seysoun,' and when it is mentioned it is
rather by way of contrast than of sympathy. Thus in June Colin mourns for
other days:

    Tho couth I sing of love, and tune my pype
    Unto my plaintive pleas in verses made:
    Tho would I seeke for Queene-apples unrype,
    To give my Rosalind; and in Sommer shade
    Dight gaudy Girlonds was my common trade,
    To crowne her golden locks: but yeeres more rype,
    And losse of her, whose love as lyfe I wayd,
    Those weary wanton toyes away dyd wype.

In the same eclogue we may trace a deliberate contrast between various
descriptive passages. Thus Hobbinol feels the magie of the summer woods--

    Colin, to heare thy rymes and roundelayes,
    Which thou were wont on wastfull hylls to singe,
    I more delight then larke in Sommer dayes:
    Whose Echo made the neyghbour groves to ring,
    And taught the byrds, which in the lower spring
    Did shroude in shady leaves from sonny rayes,
    Frame to thy songe their chereful cheriping,
    Or hold theyr peace, for shame of thy swete layes.

Closely following upon this stanza we have Colin's lament, 'The God of
shepheards, Tityrus, is dead,' containing the lines:

    But, if on me some little drops would flowe
    Of that the spring was in his learned hedde,
    I soone would learne these woods to wayle my woe,
    And teache the trees their trickling teares to shedde.

We have here a specifie inversion of the 'pathetic fallacy.' The moods of
nature are no longer represented as varying in sympathy with the passions
of man, but are deliberately used to heighten an effect by contrast. Even
this inverted correspondence, however, is for the most part lacking in the
subsequent eclogues, and it must be admitted that in so far as Spenser
depended on a cyclic correlation for the unifying of his design, he
achieved at best but partial effect. Another means by which he sought,
consciously or unconsciously, to produce unity of impression was by
consistently pitching his song in the minor key. This accounts for the
inverted correspondence just noted, and for the fact that even the
polemics have an undercurrent of regret in them. In this case the poet has
undoubtedly succeeded in carrying out the prevailing mood of the central
motive--the Rosalind drama--in the subsidiary scenes. Or should we not
rather say that he has extracted the general mood of the whole
composition, and infused it, in a kind of typical form, into the three
connected poems placed at critical points of the complex structure? The
unity, however, thus aimed at, and achieved, is very different from the
cyclic or architectonic unity described above, and of a much less definite

It remains to say a few words concerning the language of the _Calender_
and the rough accentual metre in which parts of it are composed, since
both have a particular bearing upon Spenser's attitude towards pastoral in

Ben Jonson, in one of those utterances which have won for him the
reputation of churlishness, but which are often marked by acute critical
sense, asserted that Spenser 'in affecting the Ancients writ no
Language.'[96] The remark applies first and foremost, of course, to the
_Calender_, and opens up the whole question of archaism and provincialism
in literature. This is far too wide a question to receive adequate
treatment here, and yet it appears forced upon us by the nature of the
case. For Spenser's archaism, in his pastoral work at least, is no
unmeaning affectation as Jonson implies. He perceived that the language of
Chaucer bore a closer resemblance to actual rustic speech than did the
literary language of his own day, and he adopted it for his imaginary
shepherds as a fitting substitute for the actual folk-tongue with which he
had grown familiar, whether in the form of rugged Lancashire or
full-mouthed Kentish. And the homely dialect does undoubtedly naturalize
the characters of his eclogues, and disguise the time-honoured platitudes
that they repeat from their learned predecessors. With our wider
appreciation of literary effect, and our more historical and less
authoritative manner of judging works of art, we can no longer endorse
Sidney's famous criticism:[97] 'That same framing of his stile, to an old
rustick language, I dare not alowe, sith neyther Theocritus in Greeke,
Virgill in Latine, nor Sanazar in Italian, did affect it.'[98] If a writer
finds an effective and picturesque word in an old author or in a homely
dialect it is but pedantry that opposes its use, and it matters little
moreover from what quarter of the land it may hail, as Stevenson knew when
he claimed the right of mingling Ayrshire with his Lothian verse. Even
such archaisms as 'deemen' and 'thinken,' such colloquialisms as the
pronominal possessive, need not be too severely criticized. What goes far
towards justifying Jonson's acrimony is the wanton confusion of different
dialectal forms; the indiscriminate use for the mere sake of archaism of
such variants as 'gate' beside the usual 'goat,' of 'sike' and 'sich'
beside 'such'; the coining of words like 'stanck,' apparently from the
Italian _stanco_; and lastly, the introduction of forms which owe their
origin to mere etymological ignorance, for instance, 'yede' as an
infinitive, 'behight' in the same sense as the simple verb, 'betight,'
'gride,' and many others--all of which do not tend to produce the homely
effect of mother English, but reek of all that is pedantic and

The influence of Chaucer was not confined to the language: from him
Spenser borrowed the metre of a considerable portion of the _Calender_. It
may at first sight appear strange to attribute to imitation of Chaucer's
smooth, carefully ordered verse the rather rugged measure of, say, the
February eclogue, but a little consideration will, I fancy, leave no doubt
upon the subject. This measure is roughly reducible to four beats with a
varying number of syllables in the _theses_, being thus purely accentual
as distinguished from the more strictly syllabic measures of Chaucer
himself on the one hand and the English Petrarchists on the other. Take
the following example:

    The soveraigne of seas he blames in vaine,
    That, once sea-beate, will to sea againe:
    So loytring live you little heardgroomes,
    Keeping you beastes in the budded broomes:
    And, when the shining sunne laugheth once,
    You deemen the Spring is come attonce;
    Tho gynne you, fond flyes! the cold to scorne,
    And, crowing in pypes made of greene corn,
    You thinken to be Lords of the yeare;
    But eft, when ye count you freed from feare,
    Cornes the breme Winter with chamfred browes,
    Full of wrinckles and frostie furrowes,
    Drerily shooting his stormy darte,
    Which cruddles the blood and pricks the harte:
    Then is your carelesse corage accoied,
    Your careful heards with cold bene annoied:
    Then paye you the price of your surquedrie,
    With weeping, and wailing, and misery.[100]

The syllabic value of the final _e_, already weakening in the London of
Chaucer's later days, was more or less of an archaism even with his most
immediate followers, none of whom use it with his unvarying correctness,
and it soon became literally a dead letter. The change was a momentous
one for English prosody, and none of the fifteenth-century writers
possessed sufficient poetic genius to adapt their verse to the altered
conditions of the language. They lived from hand to mouth, as it were,
without arriving at any systematic tradition. Thus it was that at the
beginning of the sixteenth century Hawes could write such verse as:

    Of dame Astronomy I dyd take my lycence
    For to travayle to the toure of Chyvalry;
    For al my minde, wyth percyng influence,
    Was sette upon the most fayre lady
    La Bell Pucell, so muche ententyfly,
    That every daye I dyd thinke fyftene,
    Tyl I agayne had her swete person sene.[101]

It is this prosody, dependent usually upon a strong caesural pause to
differentiate it from prose, which may account for the harshness of some
of Wyatt's verse, and which rendered possible the barbarous metre of
Barclay. It was obviously impossible for a poet with an ear like Spenser
to accept such a metrical scheme as this; but his own study of Chaucer
produced a somewhat strange result. The one point which the late
Chaucerians preserved of their master's metric was the five-stress
character of his decasyllabic line; but in Spenser's day all memory of the
syllabic _e_ had long since vanished, and the only rhythm to be extracted
from Chaucer's verse was of a four-stress type. Professor Herford quotes a
passage from the Prologue of the _Canterbury Tales_ as it appears in
Thynne's second edition (1542), which Spenser would inevitably have read
as follows:

    When zéphirus éke wyth hýs sote bréth
    Enspýred hath évery hólte and héth,
    The téndre cróppes, and the yóng sónne
    Háth in the Rám halfe hys cóurse yrónne,
    And smále foules máken mélodýe
    That slépen al nýght with ópen éye, &c.

This certainly bears on the face of it a close resemblance to Spenser's
measure. There are, moreover, occasional difficulties in this method of
scansion, some lines refusing to accommodate themselves to the Procrustean
methods of sixteenth-century editors, and exactly similar anomalies are to
be found in Spenser. Such, for instance, are the lines in the May eclogue:

    Tho opened he the dore, and in came
    The false Foxe, as he were starke lame.

Now these lines may be written in strict Chaucerian English thus:

    Tho openëd he the dore, and innë came
    The falsë fox, as he were starkë lamë,

and they at once become perfectly metrical. Under these circumstances
there can, I think, be little doubt as to the literary parentage of
Spenser's accentual measure.[102]

Like the archaic dialect, this homely measure tends to bring Spenser's
shepherds closer to their actual English brethren. And hereby, it should
be frankly acknowledged, the incongruity of the speakers and their
discourse is emphasized and increased. That discourse, it is true, runs on
pastoral themes, but the disguise and allegory have worn thin with
centuries of use. We can no longer separate the words from the allusions,
and consequently we can no longer accept the speakers in their
unsophisticated shepherd's rôle. Yet it was precisely the desire to give
reality to these transparent phantasms that led Spenser to endow them with
a rustic speech. Whether he failed or succeeded the paradox of the form
remains about equal.[103]

The importance of the _Shepherd's Calender_ was early recognized, not
only by friendly critics, but by the general public likewise, and six
editions were called for in less than twenty years. Not long after its
appearance John Dove, a Christ Church man, who appears to have been
ignorant of the authorship, turned the whole into Latin verse, dedicating
the manuscript to the Dean.[104] Another Latin version is found in
manuscript in the British Museum copy of the edition of 1597, and after
undergoing careful revision finally appeared in print in 1653. This was
the work of one Bathurst, a fellow of Spenser's own college of Pembroke at

The _Shepherd's Calender_ was Spenser's chief contribution to pastoral;
indeed it was by so much his most important contribution that it would
hardly be worth while examining the others did they not bear witness to a
certain change in his attitude towards the pastoral ideal.

The first of these later works is the isolated but monumental eclogue
entitled _Colin Clouts come Home again_, of which the dedication to
Raleigh is dated 1591, though it was not published till four years later.
This, perhaps the longest and most elaborate eclogue ever written,
describes how the Shepherd of the Ocean, that is Raleigh, induced Colin
Clout, who as before represents Spenser, to leave his rustic retreat in

                        the cooly shade
    Of the greene alders by the Mallaes shore,

and try his fortune at the court of the great shepherdess Cynthia, and how
he ultimately returned to Ireland. The verse marks, as might be expected,
a considerable advance in smoothness and command of rhythm over the
non-lyrical portions of the _Calender_, and the dialect, too, is much less
harsh, being far advanced towards that peculiar poetic diction which
Spenser adopted in his more ambitions work. On the other hand, in spite of
a certain _allegrezza_ in the handling, and in spite of the Rosalind wound
being at least partially healed, the same minor key prevails as in the
earlier poems. In the spring of the great age of English song Spenser's
note is like the voice of autumn, not the fruitful autumn of cornfield and
orchard, but a premature barrenness of wet and fallen leaves--

    The woods decay, the woods decay and fall.

Thus though time has purged the bitterness of his sorrow, the regret
remains; his early love is still the mistress of his thoughts, but years
have softened his reproaches, and he admits:

      who with blame can justly her upbrayd,
    For loving not; for who can love compell?--

a petard, it may be incidentally remarked, which, sprung within the bounds
of pastoral, is of power to pulverize in an instant the whole artificial
system of amatory ethics.

The most notable points in the poem are the loves of the rivers Bregog and
Mulla, the famous list of contemporary poets, and the presentation of the
seamy side of court life, recalling the more direct satire of the probably
contemporary _Mother Hubberd's Tale_. The first of these belongs to the
class of Ovidian myths already noticed in such works as Lorenzo's _Ambra_.
The subject, however, is treated in a more subtly allegorical manner than
by Ovid's direct imitators, and this mode of presentment likewise
characterizes Spenser's tale of Molanna in the fragment on
Mutability.[106] Browne returned to a more crudely metamorphical tradition
in the loves of Walla and Tavy, while a similarly mythological
_Naturanschauung_ may be traced in Drayton's chorographical epic.

Of the miscellaneous _Astrophel_, edited and in part composed by Spenser,
which was appended to _Colin Clout_, and of the _Daphnaïda_ published in
1596, though, like the former volume, containing a dedication dated 1591,
a passing mention must suffice. The former is chiefly remarkable as
illustrating the uniformly commonplace character of the verse called forth
by the death of one who, while he lived, was held the glory of Elizabethan
chivalry. It contains, beside other verse, pastoral elegies from the pens,
certainly of Spenser, and probably of the Countess of Pembroke, Matthew
Roydon, and Lodowick Bryskett. The last-named, or at any rate a
contributor with the same initiais, also supplied a 'Pastorall Aeglogue'
on the same theme. _Daphnaïda_ is a long lament in pastoral form on the
death of Douglas Howard, daughter of the Earl of Northampton.

Of far greater importance for our present purpose is the pastoral
interlude in the quest of Sir Calidore, which occupies the last four
cantos of the sixth book of the _Faery Queen_.[107] Here is told how Sir
Calidore, the knight of courtesy, in his quest of the Blatant Beast came
among the shepherd-folk and fell in love with the fair Pastorella, reputed
daughter of old Meliboee; how he won her love in return through his valour
and courtesy; how while he was away hunting she was carried off by a band
of robbers; how he followed and rescued her; and finally, how she was
discovered to be the daughter of the lord of Belgard--at which point the
poem breaks off abruptly. The story has points of resemblance with the
Dorastus and Fawnia, or Florizel and Perdita, legend; but it also has
another and more important claim upon our attention. For as Shakespeare in
_As You Like It_, so Spenser in this episode has, as it were, passed
judgement upon the pastoral ideal as a whole. He is acutely sensitive to
the charm of that ideal and the seductions it offers to his hero--

    Ne, certes, mote he greatly blamed be,

says the poet of the _Faery Queen_ recalling the days when he was plain
Colin Clout--but the

                    perfect pleasures, which do grow
    Amongst poore hyndes, in hils, in woods, in dales,

are not allowed to afford more than a temporary solace to the knight; the
robbers break in upon the rustic quietude, rapine and murder succeed the
peaceful occupations of the shepherds, and Sir Calidore is driven once
again to resume his arduous quest. The same idea may be traced in the
knight's visit to the heaven-haunted hill where he meets Colin Clout. In

         hundred naked maidens lilly white
    All raunged in a ring and dauncing in delight

to the sound of Colin's bagpipe, and who, together with the Graces and
their sovereign lady, vanish at the knight's approach, it is surely not
fanciful to see the gracious shadows of the idyllic poet's vision trooping
reluctantly away at the call of a more lofty theme. With this sense of
regret at the vanishing of an ideal long cherished, but at last
deliberately abandoned for matters of deeper and more real import, we may
turn from the work of the most important figure in English pastoral poetry
to his less famous contemporaries.


Besides its wider influence on English verse, and the stimulus it gave to
pastoral composition as a whole, the _Shepherd's Calender_ called forth a
series of direct imitations. Of these the majority are but of accidental
and ephemeral interest and of inconspicuous merit; and it is probable that
Spenser himself lived to see the end of this over-direct school of
discipleship. Several examples appeared in Francis Davison's famous
miscellany known as the _Poetical Rhapsody_, the first edition of which,
though it only appeared in 1602, contained the gleanings of the entire
sixteenth century.[108] Of these imitations, four in number, the first,
the work of the editor himself, is a very poor production. It is a love
lament, and the insertion of a song in a complicated lyrical measure in a
plain stanzaic setting is evidently copied from the _Calender_. The other
three poems are ascribed, either in the _Rhapsody_ itself or in Davison's
manuscript list, to a certain A. W., who so far remains unidentified, if,
indeed, the letters conceal any individuality and do not merely stand for
'Anonymous Writer,' as has been sometimes thought. The three eclogues at
any rate bear evidence of coming from the same pen, and the following
lines show that the writer was no incompetent imitator, and at the same
time argue some genuine feeling:

    Thou 'ginst as erst forget thy former state,
      And range amid the busks thyself to feed:
    Fair fall thee, little flock! both rathe and late;
      Was never lover's sheep that well did speed.
        Thou free, I bound; thou glad, I pine in pain;
        I strive to die, and thou to live full fain.

The first of these poems is a monologue 'entitled Cuddy,' modelled on the
January eclogue. The second is a lament 'made long since upon the death of
Sir Philip Sidney,' in which the writer wonders at Colin's silence, and
which consequently must, at least, date from before the appearance of
_Astrophel_ in 1595, and is probably some years earlier. It is in the form
of a dialogue between two shepherds, one of whom sings Cuddy's lament in
lyrical stanzas, thus recalling Spenser's 'November.' These stanzas do not
reveal any great metrical gift. The last poem is a fragment 'concerning
old age,' which connects itself by its theme with the February eclogue,
though the form is stanzaic.[109] Again we find mention of Cuddy, a name
evidently assumed by the author, though whether he can be identified with
the Cuddie of the _Calender_ it is impossible to say. Whoever he was, he
shows more disposition than most of his fellow imitators to preserve
Spenser's archaisms.

But undoubtedly the greatest poet who was content to follow immediately
in Spenser's footsteps was Michael Drayton, who in 1593 published a volume
entitled 'Idea The Shepheards Garland, Fashioned in nine Eglogs. Rowlands
Sacrifice to the nine Muses.' This connexion between the number of the
eclogues and the muses is purely fanciful; Rowland is Drayton's pastoral
name, and Idea, which re-appeared as the title of the 1594 volume of
sonnets, is that of his poetic mistress.[110] It can hardly be said that
the verse of these poems attains any very high order of merit, but the
imitation of Spenser is evident throughout. In the first eclogue Rowland
bewails, in the midst of spring, 'the winter of his grief.' In this and
the corresponding monologue at the end he clearly follows Spenser's
arrangement and likewise adopts his minor key--

    Fayre Philomel, night-musicke of the spring,
      Sweetly recordes her tunefull harmony,
    And with deepe sobbes, and dolefull sorrowing,
      Before fayre Cinthya actes her Tragedy.

In Eclogue II a 'wise' shepherd warns a youth against love, and draws a
somewhat gruesome picture of human fate--

    And when the bell is readie to be tol'd
      To call the wormes to thine Anatomie,
      Remember then, my boy, what once I said to thee!

Even this, however, fails to shake the lover's faith in the gentle
passion, and his enthusiasm finds vent in an apostrophe borrowed from

    Oh divine love, which so aloft canst raise,
      And lift the minde out of this earthly mire.

The next eclogue, containing a panegyric on Elizabeth under the name of
Beta, is closely modelled on the 'April,' and abounds with such
reminiscences as the following:

    Make her a goodly Chapilet of azur'd Colombine,
    And wreath about her Coronet with sweetest Eglantine:
      Bedeck our Beta all with Lillies,
      And the dayntie Daffadillies,
    With Roses damask, white, and red, and fairest flower delice,
    With Cowslips of Jerusalem, and cloves of Paradice.

Here, however, Drayton shows himself more skilful in dealing with a
lyrical stanza than most of his fellow imitators. In the fourth eclogue
two shepherds sing a dirge made by Rowland on the death of Elphin, that is
Sidney. In the next Rowland himself sings the praises of Idea; and in the
sixth Perkin those of Pandora, doubtless the Countess of Pembroke. The
seventh is a singularly unentertaining dispute, in which typical
representatives of age and youth abuse one another by turns; the eighth is
a description of the golden age, a theme Spenser had omitted; and lastly,
in the ninth we return to the opening love-motive, this time, as in the
_Calender_, amid the frosts of winter.

These eclogues were reprinted in a different order in the 'Poems Lyric and
Pastoral' (_c._ 1606) with one additional poem there numbered the ninth.
This describes a rustic gathering of shepherds and nymphs, and contains
several songs. The verse exhibits no small advance on the earlier work,
and one song at least is in the author's daintiest manner. He seldom
surpassed the graceful conceit of the lines:

    Through yonder vale as I did passe,
      Descending from the hill,
    I met a smerking bony lasse;
      They call her Daffadill:

    Whose presence as along she went,
      The prety flowers did greet,
    As though their heads they downward bent
      With homage to her feete.

Spenser, in spite of the warning he addressed to his book--

    Dare not to match thy pype with Tityrus his style,
    Nor with the Pilgrim that the Ploughman playde awhyle--

could nevertheless assert in semi-burlesque rime:

    It shall continewe till the worlds dissolution;

and his disciple is not to be outdone. Never was truer lover or sweeter

    Oenon never upon Ida hill
      So oft hath cald on Alexanders name,
    As hath poore Rowland with an Angels quill
      Erected trophies of Ideas fame:
    Yet that false shepheard, Oenon, fled from thee;
    I follow her that ever flies from me.

Thus Drayton endeavoured to follow in the footsteps of a greater than he,
and small success befell him in his uncongenial task. He knew little and
cared less about the moral and philosophical rags that clung yet about the
pastoral tradition. He sang, in his lighter vein at least, for the mere
pleasure that his song could afford to himself and others: the Spenserian
and traditional garb fits him ill. His golden age is rather amorous than
philosophical; he is more concerned that love should be free and true than
that the earth should yield her fruits unwounded of the plough; and even
so he hastens away from that colourless age to troll the delightful ballad
of Dowsabel. The inspiration for this he found, not in Spenser and his
learned predecessors, but in the popular romances, and in it we hear for
the first time the voice of the real Michael Drayton, the accredited bard
to the court of Faery. So again in the barren dispute of the seventh
eclogue, he turns aside from his theme as the shadow of the winged god
flits across his path--

    That pretie Cupid, little god of love,
      Whose imped winges with speckled plumes been dight,
    Who striketh men below and Gods above,
      Roving at randon with his feathered flight,
    When lovely Venus sits and gives the ayme,
    And smiles to see her little Bantlings game.

If these eclogues formed Drayton's only claim upon our attention as a
pastoral poet there would be no excuse for lingering over him. He left
other work, however, which, if but slightly pastoral in subject, is at
least thoroughly so in form and spirit. The _Muses Elizium_ did not appear
till 1630, and it is consequently not a little premature to speak of it in
this place. It is, however, so important as illustrating the freer and
more spontaneous vein traceable in many English pastoralists from Henryson
onwards, that it is worth while to place it for comparison side by side
with the more orthodox tradition as exemplified, in spite of his
originality, in the work of Spenser.

The _Muses Elizium_ is in truth the culmination of a long sequence of
pastoral work. Of this I have already discussed the beginnings when
dealing with the native pastoral impulse; and however much it was
influenced at a later date by foreign models it never submitted to the
yoke of orthodox tradition, and to the end retained much of its freshness.
The early anthologies are full of this sort of verse, the song-books are
full of it, and so are the romances and the plays. To this lyrical
tradition belong Breton's songs, of which one has already been quoted;
there was hardly a poet of note at the end of the sixteenth century who
did not contribute his quota. We find it once more, intermingling with a
certain formal strain, in Drayton's _Shepherds' Sirena_ containing the
delightful song, with its subtle interchange of dactylic and iambic
rhythms, so admirably characteristic of the author of the _Agincourt_

    Neare to the Silver Trent
      Sirena dwelleth,
    Shee to whom Nature lent
      All that excelleth;
    By which the Muses late
      And the neate Graces,
    Have for their greater state
      Taken their places:
    Twisting an Anadem
      Wherewith to Crowne her,
    As it belong'd to them
      Most to renowne her.
        On thy Bancke,
          In a Rancke
            Let thy Swanes sing her
        And with their Musick
            along let them bring her.

In this pervading impulse of pure and spontaneous pastoral the soul of
what is sweet and winning in things common and familiar as our household
fairies blends with the fresh glamour of early love and the dainty
delights of an ideal world, where despair is only less sweet than
fruition, and love only less divine than chastity, where, as Drayton
frankly tells us,

    The winter here a Summer is,
      No waste is made by time,
    Nor doth the Autumne ever misse
      The blossomes of the Prime;

    The flower that July forth doth bring,
      In Aprill here is seene,
    The Primrose, that puts on the Spring,
      In July decks each Greene,

a world, in short, in which the nymphs may strew the laureate hearse, not
only with all the flowers and fruits of earth, but with the Amaranth of
paradise and the stars of heaven if the fancy takes them. Of a spirit
compounded of these elements and of its quintessence are the 'Nymphals' of
the _Muses Elizium_. There are portions of the work, it is true, in which
the more vulgar strains of the conventional pastoral make themselves
heard, as in the satires of the fourth and tenth Nymphals; but for the
most part we are allowed to wander undisturbed among the woods and
pastures of an earthly paradise, and revel in the fairy laureate's most
imaginative work. There we meet Lirope, of whom

    Some said a God did her beget,
      But much deceiv'd were they,
    Her Father was a Rivelet,
      Her Mother was a Fay.
    Her Lineaments so fine that were
      She from the Fayrie tooke,
    Her Beauties and Complection cleere
      By nature from the Brooke.

There Naiis sings, roguishly enough, in the martial metre of _Agincourt_:

    'Cloe, I scorne my Rime
    Should observe feet or time,
    Now I fall, then I clime,
      What is't I dare not?'

    'Give thy Invention wing,
      And let her flert and fling,
    Till downe the Rocks she ding,
      For that I care not';

the song then breaking off into gamesome anapaests:

    The gentle winds sally
    Upon every Valley,
    And many times dally
      And wantonly sport,
    About the fields tracing,
    Each other in chasing,
    And often imbracing,
      In amorous sort.

There, again, we listen to the litany of the Muses, with the response:

    Sweet Muse, perswade our Phoebus to inspire
    Us for his Altars with his holiest fire,
    And let his glorious, ever-shining Rayes
    Give life and growth to our Elizian Bayes;

or else hear the fairy prothalamium, most irrepressible and inimitable of
bridal songs--

    For our Tita is this day
    Married to a noble Fay.

There, lastly, we behold the flutter of tender breasts half veiled when
Venus and her wayward archer are abroad, and listen as fair Lelipa reads
the decree:

    To all th' Elizian Nimphish Nation,
    Thus we make our Proclamation
    Against Venus and her Sonne,
    For the mischeefe they have done:
    After the next last of May,
    The fixt and peremptory day,
    If she or Cupid shall be found
    Upon our Elizian ground,
    Our Edict mere Rogues shall make them,
    And as such, who ere shall take them,
    Them shall into prison put;
    Cupids wings shall then be cut,
    His Bow broken, and his Arrowes
    Given to Boyes to shoot at Sparrowes;
    And this Vagabond be sent,
    Having had due punishment,
    To mount Cytheron, which first fed him,
    Where his wanton Mother bred him,
    And there, out of her protection,
    Dayly to receive correction.
    Then her Pasport shall be made,
    And to Cyprus Isle convayd,
    And at Paphos, in her Shryne,
    Where she hath beene held divine,
    For her offences found contrite,
    There to live an Anchorite.

We have here the very essence of whatever most delicately and quaintly
exquisite the half sincere and half playful ideal of pastoral had
generated since the days of Moschus.

How is it then, we may pause a moment to inquire, that in spite of its
crudities of language and even of metre, in spite of its threadbare themes
but half repatched with homelier cloth, in spite of its tedious
theological controversies, its more or less conventional loves and more or
less exaggerated panegyrics--how is it that in spite of all this we still
regard the _Shepherd's Calender_ as serious literature; while with all its
exquisite justness, as of ivory carved and tinted by the hand of a master
and encrusted with the sparkle of a thousand gems, the _Muses' Elizium_
remains a toy? It is not merely the prestige of the author's name: it is
not merely that we tend to accept the work of each at his own valuation.
We have to seek the explanation of the phenomenon in the fact that not
only has the _Shepherd's Calender_ behind it a vast tradition, reverend if
somewhat otiose--the devotion of men counts for something--but also that,
however stiffly laced in an unsuitable garb, it sought to deal with
matters of real import to man, or at any rate with what man has held as
such. It treated questions of religious policy which touched the majority
of men more nearly then than now; with moral problems calculated to
interest the mind of an age still tinged with medievalism; with
philosophical theories of human and divine love. In other words, the
_Shepherd's Calender_ lay in the main stream of literature, and reflected
the mind of the age, while the _Muses' Elizium_, in common with so much
pastoral work, did not. These considerations open up an interesting field
of speculation. Are we to suppose that there is indeed a line of
demarcation between great art and little art wholly independent of that
which divides good art from bad art? Are we to go further, and assume that
these two lines of division intersect, so that a work may be akin to
great art though it be not good art, while, however perfect a work of art
may be, it may remain little art for some wholly non-aesthetic reason? But
we digress.


It will be convenient, in dealing with the considerable volume of English
pastoral verse which has come down to us from the late sixteenth and early
seventeenth centuries, to divide it into two portions, according as it
tends to attach itself to orthodox foreign tradition on the one hand, or
to the more spontaneous native type on the other. To the former division
belong in the main the more ambitious set pieces and eclogue-cycles, to
the latter the lighter and more occasional verse, the pastoral ballads and
the lyrics. The division is necessarily somewhat arbitrary, for the two
traditions act and react on one another incessantly, and the types merge
almost imperceptibly the one into the other; but that does not prevent the
spirit that manifests itself in Drayton's eclogues being essentially
different from that which produced Breton's songs. I shall not, however,
try to draw any hard and fast line between the two, but shall rather deal
first with those writers whose most important work inclines to the more
formal tradition, and shall then endeavour to give some account of the
lighter pastoral verse of the time.

After the appearance of the _Shepherd's Calender_ some years elapsed
before English poetry again ventured upon the domain of pastoral, at least
in any serious composition. In 1589, however, appeared a small quarto
volume, with the title: 'An Eglogue. Gratulatorie. Entituled: To the right
honorable, and renowmed Shepheard of Albions Arcadia: Robert Earle of
Essex and Ewe, for his welcome into England from Portugall. Done by George
Peele. Maister of arts in Oxon.' Like the 'A. W.' of the _Rhapsody_, Peele
followed Spenser more closely than most of his fellow imitators in the use
of dialect, but his eclogue on the not particularly glorious return of
Essex has little interest. His importance as a pastoralist lies elsewhere.

The following year the poet of the _Hecatompathia_, Thomas Watson, a
pastoralist of note according to the critics of his own age, but whose
work in this line is chiefly Latin, published his 'Ecloga in Obitum
Honoratissimi Viri, Domini Francisci Walsinghami, Equitis aurati, Divae
Elizabethae a secretis, & sanctioribus consiliis,' entitled _Meliboeus_,
and also in the same year a translation of the piece into English. The
latter is considerably shorter than the original, but still of tedious
length. The usual transition from the dirge to the paean is managed with
more than the usual lack of effect. The eclogue contains a good deal
beyond its immediate subject; for instance, a lament for Astrophel, a
passage in praise of Spenser, and a panegyric on

    Diana, matchless Queene of Arcadie--

all subjects hardly possible for a poet to escape, writing _more
pastorali_ in 1590. Watson also left several other pastoral compositions
in the learned tongue, which, from their eponymous hero, won for him the
shepherd-name of Amyntas. Thus in 1585 he published a work in Latin
hexameter verse with the title 'Amyntas Thomae Watsoni Londinensis I. V.
studiosi,' divided into eleven 'Querelae,' which was 'paraphrastically
translated' by Abraham Fraunce into English hexameters, and published
under the title 'The Lamentations of Amyntas for the death of Phillis' in
1587. This translation, 'somewhat altered' to serve as a sequel to an
English hexametrical version of Tasso's _Aminta_, was republished in 'The
Countesse of Pembrokes Ivychurch' of 1591. Again in 1592 Watson produced
another work entitled _Amintae Gaudia_, part of which was translated under
the title _An Old-fashioned Love_, and published as by I. T. in 1594.[111]

Next in order--passing over Drayton, with whom we have been already
sufficiently concerned--is a writer who, without the advantage of original
genius or brilliant imagination, succeeded by mere charm of poetic style
and love of natural beauty, in lifting his work above the barren level of
contemporary pastoral verse. Richard Barnfield's _Affectionate Shepherd_,
imitated, as he frankly confesses, from Vergil's _Alexis_, appeared in
1594. Appended to it was a poem similar in tone and spirit, entitled _The
Shepherd's Content_, containing a description of country life and scenery,
together with a lamentation for Sidney, a hymn to love, a praise of the
poets, and other similar matters. The easy if somewhat monotonous grace
which pervades both these pieces is seen to better advantage in the
delightful _Shepherd's Ode_, which appeared in his _Cynthia_ of 1595, and

    Nights were short and days were long,
    Blossoms on the hawthorn hong,
    Philomel, night-music's king,
    Told the coming of the spring;

or in the yet more perfect song:

    As it fell upon a day
    In the merry month of May,
    Sitting in a pleasant shade
    Which a group of myrtles made,
    Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
    Trees did grow and plants did spring,
    Everything did banish moan,
    Save the nightingale alone;
    She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
    Lean'd her breast against a thorn,
    And there sung the dolefull'st ditty,
    That to hear it was great pity....
    Ah, thought I, thou mourn'st in vain,
    None takes pity on thy pain.
    Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee;
    Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;
    King Pandion he is dead,
    All thy friends are lapp'd in lead[112];
    All thy fellow birds do sing,
    Careless of thy sorrowing;
    Even so, poor bird, like thee,
    None alive will pity me[113].

No particular interest attaches to the four eclogues included in Thomas
Lodge's _Fig for Momus_, published in 1595, but they serve to throw light
on a kind of pastoral freemasonry that was springing up at this period.
Spenser and Sidney, under the names of Colin and Astrophel, or more rarely
Philisides, were firmly fixed in poetic tradition; Barnfield, by coupling
them with these, made Watson and Drayton free of the craft in his
complaint to Love in the _Shepherd's Content_:

    By thee great Collin lost his libertie,
      By thee sweet Astrophel forwent his joy,
    By thee Amyntas wept incessantly,
      By thee good Rowland liv'd in great annoy.

Now we find Lodge dedicating his four eclogues respectively to Colin,
Menalcus, Rowland, and Daniel. Who Menalcus was is uncertain; not, it
would seem, a poet. The themes are serious, even weighty according to the
estimation of the author, and befit the mood of the poet who first sought
to acclimatize the classical satire[114]. These eclogues do not, however,
testify to any high poetic gift, any more than do the couple in a lighter
vein found in the _Phillis_ of 1593. Lodge was happier in the lyric verses
with which he strewed his romances--such for instance as the lines to
Phoebe in _Rosalynde_, though these did certainly lay themselves open to
parody[115]. In the same romance Lodge rose for once to a perfection of
delicate conceit unsurpassed from his day to ours:

    Love in my bosom like a bee
      Doth suck his sweet;
    Now with his wings he plays with me,
      Now with his feet.

    Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
    His bed amidst my tender breast;
    My kisses are his daily feast,
    And yet he robs me of my rest.
      Ah, wanton, will ye?

The year 1595 also saw the publication of Francis Sabie's _Pan's Pipe_,
which contains, according to the not wholly accurate title-page, 'Three
Pastorall Eglogues, in English Hexameter.' These constituted the first
attempt in English at writing original eclogues in Vergilian metre, and
the injudicious experiment has not, I believe, been repeated. The subjects
present little novelty of theme, but the treatment illustrates the natural
tendency of English pastoral writers towards narrative and the influence
of the romantic ballad motives. The same volume contains another work of
Sabie's, namely, the _Fishermaris Tale_, a blank-verse rendering of
Greene's _Pandosto_[116].

The three pastoral elegies of William Basse, published in 1602, the last
work of the kind to appear in Elizabeth's reign, form in reality a short
pastoral romance. The court-bred Anander falls in love with the
shepherdess Muridella, and charges the sheep-boy Anetor to convey to her
the knowledge of his passion. His love proving unkind he turns shepherd,
and resolves to remain so until his suit obtains better grace. More than
half a century later, namely in 1653, Basse prepared for press a
manuscript containing a series of pastorals headed 'Clio, or The first
Muse in 9 Eglogues in honor of 9 vertues,' and arranged according to the
days of the week. The whole composition is singularly lacking alike in
interest and merit.[117]

It is not surprising to find the eclogues of the early years of James'
reign reflecting current events. In 1603 appeared a curious compilation,
the work of Henry Chettle, bearing the title: 'Englandes Mourning Garment:
Worne here by plaine Shepheardes; in memorie of their sacred Mistresse,
Elizabeth, Queene of Vertue while shee lived, and Theame of Sorrow, being
dead. To which is added the true manner of her Emperiall Funerall. After
which foloweth the Shepheards Spring-Song, for entertainement of King
James our most potent Soveraigne. Dedicated to all that loved the deceased
Queene, and honor the living King.' The book is a strange medley of verse
and prose, elegies on Elizabeth in the form of eclogues, and political
lectures written in the style of the pastoral romance. The most
interesting passage is an address to contemporary poets reproaching them
for their neglect of the praises of the late queen. The pastoral names
under which they are introduced appear to be merely nonce appellations,
but are worth recording as they refer to a set outside the usual pastoral
circle. Thus Corin is Chapman; Musaeus, of course Marlowe; English Horace,
no doubt Jonson; Melicert, Shakespeare; Coridon, Drayton; Anti-Horace,
most likely Dekker, and Moelibee, mentioned with him, possibly Marston. To
Musidore, 'Hewres last Musaeus' (no doubt corrupt), and the 'infant muse,'
it is more difficult to assign an identity.[118] Throughout Chettle
assumes to himself Spenser's pastoral title.

To the same or the following year belong the twelve eclogues by Edward
Fairfax, the translater of Tasso's _Gerusalemme_, which are now for the
most part lost. One, the fourth, was printed in 1737 from the original
manuscript, another in 1883 from a later transcript in the Bodleian, while
a third is preserved in a fragmentary state in the British Museum.[119]
All three deal chiefly with contemporary affairs, the two former being
concerned with the abuses of the church, while the last is a panegyric of
the 'present age,' and especially of English maritime adventure. This is
certainly the most pleasing of the three, though the style is at times
pretentious and over-charged with far-fetched allusions. There are,
however, fine passages, as for instance the lines on Drake:

    And yet some say that from the Ocean maine,
    He will returne when Arthur comes againe.

More directly concerned with the political events of the day is the
curious eclogue Δάφνις Πολυστέφανος by Sir George Buc, published in 1605,
in praise of the Genest crown, the royal right by Apollo's divine decree
of a long line of English kings, who are passed in review by way of
introduction to the praises of their latest representative. The work was
revised by an unknown hand for the accession of Charles, and republished
under the title of _The Great Plantagenet_ in 1635, as by 'Geo. Buck,
Gent.' Sir George held the post of Master of the Revels from 1608 to 1622,
and died the following year.

In 1607 appeared a poem 'Mirrha the Mother of Adonis,' by William
Barksted, to which were appended three eclogues by Lewes Machin.[120] Of
these, one describes the love of a shepherd and his nymph, while the other
two treat the theme of Apollo and Hyacinth. Composed in easy verse of no
particular distinction these poems belong to that borderland between the
idyllic and the salacious on which certain shepherd-poets loved to dally.

The years 1614 and 1615 saw the appearance of works of considerably
greater interest from every point of view, among others from that of what
I have described as pastoral freemasonry. In the former year there
appeared a small octavo volume entitled _The Shepherd's Pipe_. The chief
contributor was William Browne of Tavistock, the first book of whose
pastoral epic, _Britannia's Pastorals_, had appeared the previous year.
Besides seven eclogues from his pen, the volume contained one by
Christopher Brooke, one by Sir John Davies, and two by George Wither.
These last two were republished in 1615, with three additional pieces, in
Wither's collection entitled _The Shepherd's Hunting_. With the exception
of one or two of Browne's, these fourteen eclogues all deal with the
personal relation of the friends who disguise themselves respectively,
Browne as Willy, Wither as Roget (a name later exchanged for that of
Philarete), Brooke as Cuddie, and Davies as Wernock. Wither's were
written, as we learn from the title-page of the 1615 volume, while the
author was in prison in the Marshalsea for hunting vice with a pack of
satires in full cry, that is, the _Abuses Stript and Whipt_ of 1611. The
verse seldom rises above an amiable mediocrity, the best that can be said
for it being that it carries on, in a not wholly unworthy manner, the
dainty tradition of the octosyllabic couplet between the _Faithful
Shepherdess_ and Milton's early poems. Browne's eclogues are chiefly
remarkable for the introduction into the first of a long and rather
tedious tale derived from a manuscript of Thomas Occleve's. The last of
the series, an elegy on the death of Thomas, son of Sir Peter Manwood, has
been quoted as the model of _Lycidas_, but the resemblance begins and ends
with the fact that in either case the subject of the poem met his death by
drowning--a resemblance which will scarcely support a charge of

In 1621 appeared six eclogues under the title of _The Shepherd's Tales_ by
the prolific miscellaneous writer Richard Brathwaite. Each in its turn
recounts the amorous misfortunes of some swain, which usually arise out of
the inconstancy of his sweetheart, and the prize of infelicity having been
adjudged, the author, not perhaps without a touch of malice, sends the
whole company off to a wedding. The _Tales_ are noteworthy for the very
pronounced dramatic gift they reveal, being in this respect quite unique
in their kind. The same year saw the publication of the not very
successful expansion of one of these eclogues into the pastoral narrative
in verse, entitled 'Omphale or the Inconstant Shepherdesse.' Brathwaite
had already in 1614 published the _Poet's Willow_, containing a
'Pastorall' which recounts the unsuccessful love of Berillus, an Arcadian
shepherd, for the nymph Eliza[122].

Pursuing the chronological order we come next to Phineas Fletcher's
'Piscatorie Eclogs' appended to his _Purple Island_ in 1633. Except that
the scene is laid on the banks of a river instead of in the pastures, and
that the characters spend their time looking after boats and nets instead
of tending flocks, they differ in nought from the strictly pastoral
compositions. They are seven in number, and deal either with personal
subjects or with conventional themes. As an imitation of the _Shepherd's
Calender_, without its uncouthness whether of subject or language, and
equally without its originality or higher poetic value, the work is not
wanting in merit, but it is most decidedly wanting in all power to arrest
the reader's attention.

The last collection that will claim our notice is that of Francis Quarles,
which appeared posthumously in 1646 under the title of 'The Shepheards
Oracles: Delivered in Certain Eglogues[123]. The interest of the volume
lies not so much in its poetic merit, which however is considerable, as in
the fact that it deals with almost every form of religious controversy at
a critical point in English history. Quarles was a stanch Anglican, and he
lashes Romanists and Precisians with impartial severity. One of the
eclogues opens with a panegyric on Gustavus Adolphus, in the midst of
which a messenger enters bearing the news of his death, thus fixing the
date of the poem in all probability in the winter of 1632-3. In the
eleventh and last the Puritan party is mercilessly satirized in the person
of Anarchus, in allusion to the supposed socialistic tendency of its
teaching. He is thus described in a dialogue between Philarchus and
Philorthus (the lovers of order and justice presumably):

    _Philor._ How like a Meteor made of zeal and flame
    The man appears!

    _Philar._    Or like a blazing Star
    Portending change of State, or some sad War,
    Or death of some good Prince.

    _Philor._         He is the trouble
    Of three sad Kingdoms.

    _Philar._       Even the very Bubble,
    The froth of troubled waters.

    _Philor._       Hee's a Page
    Fill'd with Errata's of the present Age.

    _Philar._ The Churches Scourge--

    _Philor._           The devils _Enchiridion_--

    _Philar._ The Squib, the _Ignis fatuus_ of Religion.

To their address Anarchus replies in a song which it would be easy to
illustrate from the dramatic literature of the time, and which well
indicates the estimation in which the faction was popularly held. Here is
one verse:

    Wee'l down with all the Varsities,
      Where Learning is profest,
    Because they practise and maintain
      The Language of the Beast:
    Wee'l drive the Doctors out of doores,
      And Arts what ere they be,
    Wee'l cry both Arts, and Learning down,
      And, hey! then up goe we.

The whole song for sheer rollicking hypocrisy is without parallel in the
language. The date of the poem is doubtful, but Quarles lived till 1644,
and after two years of civil strife the terms which the interlocutors in
the above passage apply to the Puritan party can hardly be regarded as

Besides the works we have examined above, several others are known to have
existed, though they are not now traceable. Thus 'The sweete sobbes, and
amorous Complaintes of Shepardes and Nymphes in a fancye confusde by An
Munday' was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company on August 19,
1583. Two years earlier, on August 3, 1581, had been entered 'A Shadowe of
Sannazar.' Again we know, alike from Wood's _Athenae_ and Meres' _Palladis
Tamia_, that Stephen Gosson left works of the kind of which we have now no
trace; while Puttenham in his _Art of English Poesy_ mentions an eclogue
of his own, addressed to Edward VI, and entitled _Elpine_. Puttenham and
Meres in dealing with pastoral writers also mention one Challener, no
doubt the Thomas Chaloner who contributed to the _Mirror for Magistrates_,
and Nashe in his preface to _Menaphon_ adds Thomas Atchelow, who may be
plausibly identified with the Thomas Achelly who contributed verses to
Watson's _Hecatompathia_ and various sententious fragments to _England's
Parnassus_, among them a not very happy rendering of those lines of
Catullus which might almost be taken as a motto to pastoral poetry as a

    The sun doth set, and brings again the day,
    But when our light is gone, we sleep for aye.


It is not easy to arrange the mass of occasional lyric verse of a pastoral
nature in a manner to facilitate a general survey. We may perhaps divide
it roughly into general groups which possess certain points in common and
can be treated more or less independently. Little would be gained by
following a strictly chronological order, even were it possible to do so.

We occasionally meet with translations, though from the nature of the case
these, as well as evidences of direct foreign influence, are less
prominent here than in the more formal type of pastoral verse. We have
already seen that Googe, besides borrowing from Garcilaso's version of a
portion of the _Arcadia_, himself paraphrased passages of the _Diana_ in
his eclogues, and the latter work also supplied material for the pen of
Sir Philip Sidney. His debt consists in translations of two songs from
Montemayor's romance, printed among his miscellaneous poems[124]. About a
dozen translations from the same source appeared in _England's Helicon_,
the work of Bartholomew Yong. They are for the most part very inferior to
the general average of the collection, but the opening of one at least is
worth quoting:

    'Guardami las vaccas,
      Carillo, por tu fé.--
    Besami primero,
      Yo te las guardaré.'

    I prithee keep my kine for me,
      Carillo, wilt thou? tell.--
    First let me have a kiss of thee,
      And I will keep them well.

Another translation is the poem headed 'A Pastorall' in Daniel's _Delia_
of 1592, a rendering of the famous chorus to the first act of Tasso's

When we turn to original verse, the first group of poets to arrest our
attention is the court circle which gathered round Sir Philip Sidney.
There is a poem by his sister, the Countess of Pembroke, preserved in
Davison's _Poetical Rhapsody_, and there headed 'A Dialogue between two
Shepherds, Thenot and Piers, in Praise of Astrea.' It was composed for the
entertainment of the queen, and was no doubt sung or recited in character.
Such was likewise the mode of production of Sir Philip's 'Dialogue between
two Shepherds, uttered in a pastoral show at Wilton,'[125] which is more
rustic in character. _Astrophel and Stella_ supplies a graceful 'complaint
to his flock' against the cruelty of

    Stella, fiercest shepherdess,
      Fiercest, but yet fairest ever;
    Stella, whom the heavens still bless,
      Though against me she persever.
      Though I bliss inherit never.

The _Poetical Rhapsody_ again preserves two others, the outcome of
Sidney's friendship with Greville and Dyer. The first is a song of
welcome; the second, headed 'Dispraise of a Courtly Life,' ends with the

    Only for my two loves' sake,
    In whose love I pleasure take;
    Only two do me delight
    With the ever-pleasing sight;
    Of all men to thee retaining,
    Grant me with these two remaining.

Of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, the loyal admirer and biographer of
Sidney, who desired on his tomb no better passport to posterity than that
he had been Sir Philip's friend, we have among other works published in
1633 a series of so-called sonnets recording his love for the fair
Caelica. There is a thin veil of pastoralism over the whole, with here and
there a more definite note as in 'Sonnet' 75, a poem of over two hundred
lines lamenting his lady's cruelty--

    Shepheardesses, yet marke well
    The Martyrdome of Philocell.

Of Sir Edward Dyer's works no early edition was published. Such isolated
poems as have survived were collected by Grosart in 1872 from a variety of
sources. If the piece entitled _Cynthia_ is authentic, it gives him a
respectable place beside Greville among the minor pastoralists of his day.
Lastly, in connexion with Sidney we may note a curious poem which appeared
in the first edition of the _Arcadia_ only.[126] It is a 'bantering'
eclogue, in which the shepherds Nico and Pas first abuse one another and
then fall to a comic singing match. It is evidently suggested by the fifth
Idyl of Theocritus, and is a fair specimen of a very uncommon class in
English. Akin to this is the burlesque variety, of which we have already
met with examples in Lorenzo's _Nencia_ and Pulci's _Beca_, and which is
almost equally rare with us. A specimen will be found in the not very
successful eclogue in Greene's _Menaphon_. The following is as near as the
author was able to approach to Lorenzo's delicately playful tone:

    Carmela deare, even as the golden ball
    That Venus got, such are thy goodly eyes:
    When cherries juice is jumbled therewithall,
    Thy breath is like the steeme of apple pies.

It would, of course, be grossly unfair to judge Robert Greene, the
ever-sinning and ever-repentant, by the above injudicious experiment. His
lyrical powers appear in a very different light, for instance, in the
'Palmer's Ode' in _Never Too Late_ (1590), one of the most charming of his
many confessions:

    As I lay and kept my sheepe,
    Came the God that hateth sleepe,
    Clad in armour all of fire,
    Hand in hand with Queene Desire,
    And with a dart that wounded nie,
    Pearst my heart as I did lie,
    That, when I wooke, I gan sweare
    Phillis beautie palme did beare.

From the same romance I must do Greene the justice of quoting the
delightful, though but remotely pastoral, song of every loving nymph to her
bashful swain:

    Sweet Adon, darest not glance thine eye--
      N'oserez-vous, mon bel ami?--
    Upon thy Venus that must die?
      Je vous en prie, pity me:
    N'oserez-vous, mon bel, mon bel--
    N'oserez-vous, mon bel ami?

    See how sad thy Venus lies--
      N'oserez-vous, mon bel ami?--
    Love in heart and tears in eyes;
      Je vous en prie, pity me:
    N'oserez-vous, mon bel, mon bel--
    N'oserez-vous, mon bel ami?

It is hard to refrain from quoting half a dozen other pieces. There is the
courting of Phillis in _Perimedes the Blacksmith_ (1588), with its purely
idyllic close; or again the famous 'Shepherd's Wife's Song' from the
_Mourning Garment_ (1590):

    Ah, what is love? It is a pretty thing,
    As sweet unto a shepherd as a king;
       And sweeter too,
    For kings have cares that wait upon a crown,
    And cares can make the sweetest love to frown:
       Ah then, ah then,
    If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
    What lady would not love a shepherd swain?

No one not utterly callous to the pathos of human life, or warped by some
ethical twist beyond the semblance of a man, has ever been able to pass
unmoved by the figure of Robert Greene. We see him, the poet of all that
is truest and tenderest in human affection, abandoning his young wife and
child, drawn by the power of some fatal fascination into the whirlpool of
low life in London, and then, as if inspired by a sudden revelation of
objective vision, penning the throbbing lines of the forsaken mother's

    Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
    When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.

We see him again amid the despair and squalor of his death-bed, warning
his friends against his own example, and addressing to the wife he had not
seen for years those words endorsed on a bill for ten pounds, words ever
memorable in the history of English letters: 'Doll, I charge thee by the
love of our youth, and by my soul's rest, that thou wilt see this man
paid; for if he and his wife had not succoured me I had died in the
streets.' Such are the scenes of sordid misery which underlie some of the
choicest of English songs. It is best to return to the surface.

The lyric 'sequences' published towards the close of the sixteenth
century frequently contain more or less pastoral matter. Barnabe Barnes
appended some poems of this sort to his _Parthenophil and Parthenophe_ (c.
1593), among others a version of Moschus' idyl of runaway love, a theme
which had long been a favourite one with pastoral writers. Poliziano's
Latin translation of Moschus[127] was commended by E. K. in his notes to
the _Shepherd's Calender_, and the same original supplied Tasso with the
subject of his _Amore fuggitivo_, which served as epilogue to the
_Aminta_. William Smith's _Chloris_ (1596), except for plentiful swearing
by pastoral deities, is less bucolic in spite of its dedication to Colin
Clout. The most important of the sequences from our present point of view
is Nicholas Breton's _Passionate Shepherd,_ which was not published till
1604. It contains five pastorals in praise of Aglaia:

    Had I got a kingly grace,
    I would leave my kingly place
    And in heart be truly glad
    To become a country lad,
    Hard to lie and go full bare,
    And to feed on hungry fare,
    So I might but live to be
    Where I might but sit to see,
    Once a day, or all day long,
    The sweet subject of my song;
    In Aglaia's only eyes
    All my worldly paradise.

This is a fair specimen of Breton's dainty muse, but his choicest work
appeared in that wonderful anthology published in 1600 under the title of
_England's Helicon_. To this collection Breton contributed such verses as
the following:

    On a hill there grows a flower--
      Fair befall the dainty sweet!--
    By that flower there is a bower,
      Where the heavenly muses meet.

    In that bower there is a chair,
      Fringèd all about with gold;
    Where doth sit the fairest fair,
      That ever eye did yet behold.

    It is Phyllis fair and bright,
      She that is the shepherd's joy;
    She that Venus did despite,
      And did bind her little boy.

Or again:

    Good Muse, rock me asleep
      With some sweet harmony;
    The weary eye is not to keep
      Thy wary company.

    Sweet Love, begone awhile,
      Thou knowest my heaviness;
    Beauty is born but to beguile
      My heart of happiness.

Another poem no less perfect has been already quoted at length. In its own
line, the delicate carving of fair images as in crystal or some precious
stone, Breton's work is unsurpassed. We cannot do better than take, as
examples of a very large class, some of the poems printed, in most cases
for the first time, in _England's Helicon_. Of Henry Constable, the poet
indicated doubtless by the initiais H. C., we have a charming song between
Phillis and Amaryllis, the counterpart and imitation of Spenser's
'Bonibell' ballad:

    _P._ Fie on the sleights that men devise--
      (Heigho, silly sleights!)
    When simple maids they would entice.
      (Maids are young men's chief delights.)
    _A._ Nay, women they witch with their eyes--
      (Eyes like beams of burning sun!)
    And men once caught they do despise;
      So are shepherds oft undone.

           *       *       *       *       *

    _P._ If every maid were like to me--
      (Heigho, hard of heart!)
    Both love and lovers scorn'd should be.
      (Scorners shall be sure of smart.)
    _A._ If every maid were of my mind--
      (Heigho, heigho, lovely sweet!)
    They to their lovers should prove kind;
      Kindness is for maidens meet[128].

Of Sir John Wotton, the short-lived half-brother of the more famous Sir
Henry, there is a spirited song, betraying unusual command over a
complicated rhythm:

    Jolly shepherd, shepherd on a hill,
        On a hill so merrily,
        On a hill so cheerily,
    Fear not, shepherd, there to pipe thy fill;
      Fill every dale, fill every plain;
      Both sing and say, 'Love feels no pain.'

Another graceful poet of _England's Helicon_ is the 'Shepherd Tony,' whose
identity with Anthony Munday was finally established by Mr. Bullen. He
contributed, among other verses, a not very interesting reply to Harpelus'
complaint in 'Tottel's Miscellany,' and the well-known and exquisite:

    Beauty sat bathing by a spring
      Where fairest shades did hide her,

which reappears in his translation of the Castilian romance _Primelion_.

In Marlowe's 'Passionate Shepherd to his Love,' of which _England's
Helicon_ supplies one of three texts[129], we come to what is, with the
possible exception of _Lycidas_ alone, the most subtly modulated specimen
of pastoral verse in English. So far as internal evidence is concerned the
poem has absolutely nothing but its own perfection to connect it with the
name of Marlowe; it is utterly unlike all other verse, dramatic,
narrative, or lyric, ascribed to him. An admirable eclectic text, which
exhibits to the full the delicacy of the rhythm, has been prepared by Mr.
Bullen in his edition of Marlowe's works. It would be impossible not to
quote the piece in full:

    Come live with me and be my love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove
    That hills and vallies, dales and fields,
    Woods or steepy mountain yields.

    And we will sit upon the rocks,
    Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
    By shallow rivers to whose falls
    Melodious birds sing madrigals.

    And I will make thee beds of roses
    And a thousand fragrant posies,
    A cap of flowers and a kirtle
    Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.

    A gown made of the finest wool
    Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
    Fair-lined[130] slippers for the cold,
    With buckles of the purest gold.

    A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
    With coral clasps and amber studs;
    And if these pleasures may thee move,
    Come live with me, and be my love.

    The shepherd-swains shall dance and sing
    For thy delight each May-morning:
    If these delights thy mind may move,
    Then live with me, and be my love.

The popularity of this poem was testified by its widespread influence on
the poets of the day. _England's Helicon_ contains 'the Nymphs reply,'
commonly attributed to Sir Walter Raleigh, and also a long imitation;
Donne wrote a piscatory version, and Herrick paid it the sincerest form of
flattery, while less distinct reminiscences are common in the poetry of
the time. Yet Kit Marlowe's verses stand unrivalled.

The pastoral influence in Shakespeare's verse, both lyric and dramatic, is
too obvious to need more than passing notice. Every reader will recall
'Who is Sylvia,' from the _Two Gentlemen_, and 'It was a lover and his
lass,' the song of which, in Touchstone's opinion, 'though there was no
great matter in the ditty, yet the tune was very untuneable,' or again the
famous speech of the chidden king:

    O God! methinks it were a happy life,
    To be no better than a homely swain;
          (3 _Henry VI_, II. v. 21.)

and Arthur's exclamation:

      By my christendom
    So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
    I should be as merry as the day is long.
          (_K. John_, IV. i. 16.)

One poem, bearing a certain resemblance to verses of Barnfield's already
discussed, may be quoted here. It was originally printed in the fourth
act of _Love's Labour's Lost_ in 1598, reappeared in the _Passionate
Pilgrim_ in 1599, and again in _England's Helicon_ in 1600.

    On a day--alack the day!--
    Love, whose month was ever May,
    Spied a blossom passing fair
    Playing in the wanton air.
    Through the velvet leaves the wind
    All unseen gan passage find,
    That the shepherd, sick to death,
    Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
    Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
    Air, would I might triumph so!
    But, alas, my hand hath sworn
    Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
    Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
    Youth is apt to pluck a sweet.
    [Do not call it sin in me
    That I am forsworn for thee;]
    Thou for whom Jove would swear
    Juno but an Ethiope were,
    And deny himself for Jove,
    Turning mortal for thy love.[131]

Lastly, _England's Helicon_ preserves two otherwise unknown poems of
Drayton's, one probably an early work, having little to recommend it
beyond the pretty though not original conceit:

    See where little Cupid lies
    Looking babies in her eyes!

the other similar in style to the eclogue first published in the
collection of c. 1606. About contemporary possibly is the anonymous ballad
'Phillida flouts me,' which in command alike of rhythm and language is
remarkably reminiscent of some, and that some of the best, of Drayton's

    Oh, what a plague is love!
      How shall I bear it?
    She will unconstant prove,
      I greatly fear it.

    It so torments my mind
      That my strength faileth;
    She wavers with the wind,
      As the ship saileth.
    Please her the best you may,
    She looks another way;
    Alas and well-a-day!
      Phillida flouts me[132].

I have already had occasion to mention the mysterious A. W. in Davison's
_Poetical Rhapsody_, but I cannot refrain from calling attention to one
other poem of his. It is headed 'A fiction, how Cupid made a nymph wound
herself with his arrows,' and is perhaps the nearest thing in English to a
Greek _idyllion_, though in the manner of Moschus rather than of
Theocritus. The opening scene will give an idea of the style:

    It chanced of late a shepherd's swain,
      That went to seek a strayèd sheep,
    Within a thicket on the plain,
      Espied a dainty nymph asleep.

    Her golden hair o'erspread her face,
      Her careless arms abroad were cast,
    Her quiver had her pillow's place,
      Her breast lay bare to every blast.

    The shepherd stood, and gazed his fill;
      Nought durst he do, nought durst he say;
    When chance, or else perhaps his will,
      Did guide the god of love that way.

And so the long pageant troops by, not without its passages of dullness,
its moments of pedestrian gait, for it must be borne in mind that the
poems quoted above are for the most part the choice of what has survived
in a few volumes, and that this in its turn represents the gleanings from
a far larger body of verse that once existed. In spite of its perennial
freshness the charge of want of originality has not unreasonably been
brought even against the best compositions of the kind. It could hardly be
otherwise. Except in the rarest cases originality was impossible. The
impulse was to write a certain kind of amatory verse, for which the
fashionable medium was pastoral; not to write pastoral for its own sake.
The demand was for convention, the familiar, the expected; never for
originality or truth. The fault was in the poetic requirements of the age,
and must not be laid to the charge of those admirable craftsmen who gave
the age what it wanted; especially when in so doing they enriched English
poetry with some of its choicest gems.

The pastoral lyric of the next two reigns is far too wide a subject to be
entered upon here. Grave or gay, satirical or idyllic, coy or wanton,
there is scarcely a poet of note or obscurity who did not contribute his
share. Nowhere is a rarer note of pastoral to be found than in
_L'Allegro_, with its

         every shepherd tells his tale
    Under the hawthorn in the vale.

Before, however, saying farewell to this, the lighter side of English
pastoral verse, I would call attention to a poem which perhaps more than
any other illustrates the spirit of _voluttà idillica_, characteristic of
so much that possesses abiding value in pastoral. Unfortunately Carew's
_Rapture_ is almost throughout of a nature that forbids reproduction
except in a scientific edition, or an admittedly erotic collection. Though
its licence is coterminous with the bounds of natural desire, the candour
of its appeal to unvitiated nature saves it from reproach, and the
perfection of its form makes it an object of never-failing beauty. The
idea with which the poem opens, the escape to a land where all
conventional restrictions cease to have a meaning, was of course suggested
by the first chorus of the _Aminta_:

              quel vano
    Nome senza soggetto,
    Quell' idolo d' errori, idol d' inganno;
    Quel che dal volgo insano
    Onor poscia fu detto--
    Che di nostra natura 'l feo tiranno.

I can only extract one short passage out of Tom Carew's poem, that which
describes how

    Daphne hath broke her bark, and that swift foot
    Which th' angry Gods had fast'ned with a root
    To the fix'd earth, doth now unfetter'd run
    To meet th' embraces of the youthful Sun.
    She hangs upon him, like his Delphic Lyre;
    Her kisses blow the old, and breath new, fire;
    Full of her God, she sings inspired lays,
    Sweet odes of love, such as deserve the Bays,
    Which she herself was. Next her, Laura lies
    In Petrarch's learned arms, drying those eyes
    That did in such sweet smooth-paced numbers flow,
    As made the world enamoured of his woe.

This is not itself pastoral, but it belongs to that idyllic borderland
which we previously noticed in dealing with Italian verse. And again, as
in Italy, so in England, we find the same spirit infusing the mythological
tales. Did time and space allow it would be an interesting diversion to
trace how the pastoral spirit evinced itself in such works as Peele's
_Tale of Troy_, Lodge's _Scilla's Metamorphosis_, Drayton's _Man in the
Moon_, Brathwaite's _Narcissus Change_ (in the _Golden Fleece_), and found
articulate utterance in the voluptuous cadences of _Venus and Adonis_.


There are two specimens of English pastoral verse which I have reserved
for separate discussion in this place, namely, _Lycidas_ and _Britannia's
Pastorals_. The one is probably the most perfect example of the
allegorical pastoral produced since first the form was invented by Vergil,
the other the longest and most ambitious poem ever composed on a pastoral

Milton's poem was written on the occasion of the death of Edward King,
fellow of Christ's College, who was drowned on his way to Ireland during
the long vacation of 1637, and first appeared in a collection of memorial
verses by his Cambridge friends published in 1638. It gathers together
within its narrow compass as it were whole centuries of pastoral
tradition, fusing them into an organic whole, and inspiring the form with
a poetic life of its own.

    Yet once more, O ye Laurels, and once more
    Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never sear,
    I com to pluck your Berries harsh and crude,
    And with forc'd fingers rude,
    Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.

For Lycidas is dead and claims his meed of song.

    Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
    That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring;
    Begin, and somwhat loudly sweep the string.

Sing first their friendship, nursed upon the self-same hill, their youth
spent together. But oh! the heavy change; now the very caves and woods
mourn his loss. Where then were the Muses, that their loved poet should
die? And yet what could they do for Lycidas, who had no power to shield
Orpheus himself,

    When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
    His goary visage down the stream was sent,
    Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore.

What then avails the poet's toil? Were it not better to taste the sweets
of love as they offer themselves since none can count on reward in this
life? The prize, however, lies elsewhere--

    Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil.

But such thoughts are too lofty for the swains of Arethusa and Mincius.
Listen rather as the herald of the sea questions the god of winds about
the fatal wreck. It was no storm drove the ill-starred boat to

    The Ayr was calm, and on the level brine,
    Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd,

sounds the reply. Next, footing slow, comes the tutelary deity of Alma
Mater, and in one sad cry mourns the promise of a life so soon cut short.
Lastly, 'The Pilot of the Galilean lake,' with denunciation of the
corrupt hirelings of a venal age, laments the loss of the church in the
death of Lycidas. As his solemn figure passes by, the gracious fantasies
of pastoral landscape shrink away: now

    Return Alpheus, the dread voice is past,
    That shrunk thy streams,

bid the nymphs bring flowers of every hue,

    To strew the Laureat Herse where Lycid lies--

and yet indeed even this comfort is denied, we dally with false

      Whilst thee the shores, and sounding Seas
    Wash far away, where ere thy bones are hurld,
    Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
    Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
    Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world,

or on the Cornish coast,

    Where the great vision of the guarded Mount
    Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold.

But enough!

    Weep no more, woful Shepherds weep no more,
    For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
    Sunk though he be beneath the watry floar,
    So sinks the day-star in the Ocean bed,
    And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
    And tricks his beams, and with new spangled Ore,
    Flames in the forehead of the morning sky.

On this note the elegy ends, and there follow eight lines in which the
poet glances at his own pastoral self that has been singing, and realizes
that the world will go on even though Lycidas be no more, and that there
are other calls in life than that of piping on an oaten reed. These lines
correspond to the plain stanzaic frames in which Spenser set his lyrics in
the _Shepherd's Calender_:

    Thus sang the uncouth Swain to th' Okes and rills,
    While the still morn went out with Sandals gray,
    He touch'd the tender stops of various Quills,
    With eager thought warbling his Dorick lay:
    And now the Sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
    And now was dropt into the Western bay;
    At last he rose, and twitch'd his Mantle blew:
    To morrow to fresh Woods, and Pastures new.

The poem, in common with the whole class of allegorical pastorals, is
undoubtedly open to the charge of artificiality, since, in truth, the
pastoral garb can never illustrate, but only distort and obscure subjects
drawn from other orders of civilization. Yet none but a great master
could, to produce a desired effect, have utilized every association which
tradition afforded with the consummate skill observable in Milton's poem.
He has been blamed for the introduction of St. Peter, on the ground of
incongruity; but he has tradition on his side. St. Peter, as we have
already seen, figures, under the name of Pamphilus, in the eclogues of
Petrarch, and his introduction by Milton is in nicest keeping with the
spirit of the kind. The whole poem, and indeed a great deal more, must
stand or fall with the Pilot of the Galilean Lake, for to censure his
introduction here is to condemn the whole pastoral tradition of three
centuries, a judgement which may or may not be just, but which is not a
criticism on Milton's poem. So again with the flowers that are to be
strewn on the laureate hearse. Three kinds of berries and eleven kinds of
flowers are mentioned, and it has been pointed out with painful accuracy
that nine of the latter would have been over, and none of the former ripe
on August 11, when King was drowned; while all the flowers, with the
exception of the amaranth, if it were of the true breed, would have been
dead and rotten in November, when the poem was presumably written. It
would be foolish to quarrel with Milton on this point, since where all is
imaginary such licence is as natural as the strictest botany; yet it must
not be forgotten that it is just this disseverance from actuality that has
made the eclogue the type of all that is frigid and artificial in
literature. The dissatisfaction felt by many with _Lycidas_ was voiced by
Dr. Johnson, when he wrote: 'It is not to be considered the effusion of
real passion, for passion runs not after remote allusions and obscure
opinions.... Where there is leisure for fiction there is little
grief[134].' This is so absolutely true, with regard to the present poem
at all events, that it would appear hardly worth saying were it not that
there have always been found persons to maintain the contrary. There is no
reason whatever to suppose that Milton felt any keen personal grief at the
death of Edward King. There is nothing spontaneous, nothing, one might
almost say, genuine in the lament. This is indeed strictly irrelevant to
the question of its artistic merit, but it must nevertheless be admitted
that there is thus much justice in the censure, that the poem purports to
be the expression of an intimate sorrow, of the reality of which the
reader is never wholly convinced. In so far as it lacks this
'soul-compelling power,' it may be said, not unfairly, to fail of its own
artistic purpose.

One further question, however, inevitably presents itself when we have to
consider such a work as _Lycidas_, a work, that is, in which art has
attained the highest perfection in one particular kind. Although the
objections urged against the individual poem may be shown to miss their
mark as criticisms on that poem, may they not have force as criticisms on
the class? The allegorical pastoral, though in one sense, as I have said,
created by Vergil, was yet, in another, a plant of slow growth, and
represents a tradition gradually evolved to meet the needs of a long line
of poets. Petrarch, Mantuan, Marot, Spenser were more than mere imitators
of Vergil or of one another; they wrote in a particular form because it
answered to particular requirements, and they fashioned it in the using.
Nevertheless it may be urged with undoubted force, that the requirements
were not primarily of an artistic nature, being ever governed by some
alien purpose, and that consequently the form which evolved itself in
answer to those requirements and to fulfil that purpose, was not by nature
calculated to yield the highest artistic results. And thus, though any
attempt to question the perfection of the art which Milton brought to the
composition of his elegy must needs be foredoomed to failure, the question
of the propriety of the form as an artistic medium remains open; and in so
far as critical opinion tends to give an unfavourable answer, in so far
does the form of pastoral instituted by Vergil and handed down without
break from the fourteenth century to Milton's own time stand condemned in
its most perfect flower.

Few things could be less like _Lycidas_ than the work which next claims
our attention. Unique of its kind, and, in spite of its shortcomings,
possessed of no small poetic interest, William Browne's _Britannia's
Pastorals_ may be regarded at pleasure either as a pastoral epic or as a
versified romance. It resembles the prose romances in being by nature
discursive, episodic and inconsequent, and like not a few it remained
unfinished. Little would be gained by giving any detailed analysis of the
plot developed through the leisurely amplitude of its 10,000 lines, while
any attempt to deal, however slightly, with the sources and literary
analogues of the work would lead us far beyond the scope of the present
chapter[135]. With regard to the latter, it must suffice to note that
among the works to which incidents can be directly traced are Tasso's
_Gerusalemme_, Montemayor's _Diana_, and Fletcher's _Faithful
Shepherdess_, while a more general indebtedness may in particular be
observed to Chaucer, _Piers Plowman_, and the _Faery Queen_. The plot
involves two more or less connected threads of action, the one dealing
with the adventures of the swains and shepherdesses, the other concerned
with the progress of Thetis and her court. This latter recalls the poetic
geography of Drayton's _Polyolbion_. The principal episodes in the former
are the loves of Celandine and Marina, and the allegorical story of Fida
and Aletheia, each of which leads to numerous ramifications. Indeed, so
far as the pastoral action is concerned, the whole is one string of barely
connected episodes.

Celandine loves the shepherdess Marina, who is readily brought to return
his affection. To the love thus easily won he soon becomes indifferent,
and Marina in despair seeks to end her sorrows in a stream. Saved by the
god of the fountain, she is carried off to Mona, and there imprisoned in a
cave by the monster Limos (hunger). With her loss, Celandine's love
revives, and in his search for her he is led to visit the faery realm,
where he finds Spenser lying asleep. The poem ends abruptly in the midst
of his adventures. The story of Fida centres round the slaughter of her
pet hind by the monster Riot. From the mangled remains of the animal rises
the beautiful form of Aletheia (truth). The new-transformed nymph is the
daughter of Chronos (time), born, Pallas-like, without a mother. The
narrative of her rejection by the world gives occasion for some biting
satire on the ill-living of the religious orders, the vanity of the court,
and the dishonesty of the crafts. Meanwhile Riot, who from this point
ceases to be an embodiment of cruelty, and comes to typify fallen
humanity--the _Humanum Genus_ of the moralities--passing successively by
Remembrance, Remorse, and Repentance, is purged of his foul shape, and
appears as the shepherd Amyntas, finally to be united in marriage with
Aletheia. With these adventures is interwoven the progress of Thetis, who
comes to view her dominions. From the Euxine and the Hellespont her train
sweeps on by Adriatic and Atlantic shores, past lands which call up the
names of a long line of poets--Vergil, Ovid, Ariosto, Petrarch, Tasso, Du
Bartas, Marot, Ronsard--till ultimately she arrives off the coast of
Devon--the Devon of Browne and Drake. Here the shepherds assemble to do
her honour, from Colin Clout down to Browne's immediate circle, Brooke,
Davies, and Wither, and here the poet entertains her with the tale of
Walla and Tavy, which forms a charming incidental piece. The nymph Walla
loved the river-god Tavy, and while gathering flowers to weave a garland
for him was surprised by a satyr, who pursued her into a wood. She sought
refuge in a cave, where, being overtaken by her pursuer, she prayed to
Diana, and in the last resort to Ina, by whom she was transformed into a
spring, which, after drowning the venturesome satyr, ran on to join its
waters with those of her beloved Tavy. Thus Browne wove the common names
of his familiar home into a romance of pastoral invention. The
metamorphosis of Arethusa pursued by Alpheus, of Ambra by Ombrone, of the
nymphs by the satyrs of the _Salices_, or as frescoed on the temple of
Pales in the _Arcadia_, the loves of Mulla and Mollana in Spenser, and the
mythological impersonations of the _Polyolbion_, find, as it were, a
meeting-place in Browne's lay of Walla.

The three parts of _Britannia's Pastorals_ did not appear together. Book
I was published during the winter of 1613-14, Book II in 1616, each
containing five songs; while the fragment of Book III, containing two
songs only, remained in manuscript till 1853, when it was discovered in
the Cathedral Library at Salisbury, and printed for the Percy

The narrative, as may have been inferred from what has already been said,
is sufficiently fantastic. In the introduction of allegorical characters
Browne was probably influenced by Spenser, and in a lesser degree by the
masque literature of his day and by the study of Langland. Since the work
is unfinished, we may in charity suppose that had Browne completed his
design the whole would have presented a somewhat less incongruous
appearance; there is, however, a marked tendency towards the accumulation
of unexplained incidents, which may most plausibly be referred to the
influence of the Spanish romances, especially of the _Diana_, which was
already accessible in Yong's translation, and one incident of which Browne
did undoubtedly borrow.

In style and poetic merit Browne's work is most astonishingly unequal,
though the general level of _Britannia's Pastorals_ is distinctly higher
than that of the _Shepherd's Pipe_. The author passes at times abruptly
from careful and loving realism to the most stilted conventionality, and
from passages of impassioned eloquence to others grotesquely banal. In
some of his peculiarities, as in the perpetuai use of elaborate similes
and in the indulgence in inflated paraphrases, he anticipates some of the
worst faults of style cultivated by writers of the next century. There are
portions of the poem where the narrative is literally carried on through a
succession of highly wrought comparisons, each paragraph beginning with an
'As' followed by a correlative 'So' half a page further on. No such series
of pictures, however fairly wrought--and Browne's too often end in
bathos--can possibly convey the impression of continuons action. It is the
same with periphrasis. Used with discretion it may be one of the subtlest
ornaments of style, and even when fulfilling no particular purpose is
capable of imparting a luxuriant and somewhat rococo richness to the
verse. The effect, however, is frequently one of unrelieved frigidity, as
in the lines:

    And now Hyperion from his glitt'ring throne
    Sev'n times his quick'ning rays had bravely shown
    Unto the other world, since Walla last
    Had on her Tavy's head the garland plac'd;
    And this day, as of right, she wends abroad
    To ease the meadows of their willing load.
                                 (II. iii. 855.)

At times it was Browne's moral preoccupation that curbed his muse, as in
his description of the golden age where, for the sensuous glow of Tasso
and for Carew's pagan paradise, he substitutes the insipid convention of a
philosophical age of innocence[137]. In his genuine mood as a loving
observer of country life he is a very different poet. His feeling is
delicate in tone and his observation keen; he was familiar with every tree
that grew in the woods, every fish that swam in the waters of his beloved
Devon; he entered tenderly into the homely life of the farm--

    By this had chanticleer, the village clock,
    Bidden the goodwife for her maids to knock,
    And the swart ploughman for his breakfast stay'd,
    That he might till those lands were fallow laid;
    The hills and vailles here and there resound
    With the re-echoes of the deep-mouth'd hound;
    Each shepherd's daughter, with her cleanly peal,[138]
    Was come afield to milk the morning's meal.
                                (I. iv. 483.)

When, however, naturalism of this kind is introduced into pastoral it is
already on the high road toward ceasing to be pastoral at all. Nor are
touches of higher poetic imagination wanting, as when Time is described as

              a lusty aged swain,
    That cuts the green tufts off th' enamell'd plain,
    And with his scythe hath many a summer shorn
    The plough'd-lands lab'ring with a crop of corn.
                                 (I. iv. 307.)

The love of his country is, however, the altar at which Browne's poetic
genius takes fire:

    Hail, thou my native soil! thou blessed plot,
    Whose equal all the world affordeth not!
    Show me who can so many crystal rills,
    Such sweet-cloth'd valleys or aspiring hills,....
    And if the earth can show the like again,
    Yet will she fail in her sea-ruling men.
    Time never can produce men to o'ertake
    The fames of Grenville, Davies, Gilbert, Drake,
    Or worthy Hawkins, or of thousands more
    That by their power made the Devonian shore
    Mock the proud Tagus, for whose richest spoil
    The boasting Spaniard left the Indian soil
    Bankrupt of store, knowing it would quit cost
    By winning this, though all the rest were lost.
                                        (II. iii. 601.)

It is after all in such a passage as this that we see the true William
Browne, with all his high-handedness and worthy enthusiasm, the poet who
not only loves his country with a lover's passion and cannot tolerate that
any should be compared to her in fairness of feature, in stateliness of
stature, or in virtue of mind; but who, first perhaps among English poets,
has that more local patriotism, narrower and more intimate, for his own
home, for its moors, its streams, its associations, all the actual or
imagined surroundings of his beloved Tavistock, and carries in his heart
for ever the cry of the wild west--

    Devon, O Devon, in wind and rain!


Approaching the romance, as we do, from the point of view rather of the
development of the pastoral ideal than of the history of prose narrative
or of the novel, we may spare ourselves any detailed consideration of the
famous work of John Lyly. Although in the novel which has made 'Euphuism'
a word and a bye-word in the language he supplied the literary medium for
the work of subsequent pastoral writers such as Greene and Lodge, his
own compositions in this kind are confined entirely to the drama.

The translations in this department are for the most part negligible.
There is, however, one notable exception, namely, the rendering by
Bartholomew Yong or Young of Montemayor's _Diana_, together with the
continuations of Ferez and Gil Polo. Completed as early as May, 1583, the
work remained in manuscript until 1598, when it was published in the form
of a handsome folio. Although, as we have already had occasion to notice,
the verse portions were not for the most part of a nature to add lustre to
an anthology such as _England's Helicon_, the whole forms a not unworthy
Tudor translation. We learn from Yong's preface that portions of the
romance had already been Englished by Edward Paston, a descendant of the
famous Norfolk letter-writers, who had family relations with Spain and
possessed an intimate knowledge of the language. Of this work nothing
further is known. Some two years, however, before Yong's version issued
from the press, the first book of Montemayor's portion was again
translated by Thomas Wilson, and of this a manuscript yet survives[139].
Passing mention may also be made of Angel Day's translation of _Daphnis
and Chloe_ containing the original insertion of the _Shepherd's Holiday_
with the praises of Elizabeth in verse, and of Robert Tofte's _Honours
Academy_ (1610), distantly following Ollenix du Mont-Sacré's _Bergerie de
Juliette_, but which, as also John Pyper's version of d'Urfé's _Astrée_
(1620), have received sufficient notice in being recorded in connexion
with their originals.

Earlier in date of publication and belonging to an elder tradition than
the _Arcadia_, though later in date of composition, and it may be at times
betraying a familiarity with Sidney's manuscript, the romances of the
Bohemian Robert Greene, and the buccaneer-physician Thomas Lodge, are
naturally the first to claim our attention.

With the exception of _Menaphon_, Greene's romances offer little that is
important in pastoral, apart from the more notable works which they
inspired. And even _Menaphon_, in so far as the general conception is
concerned, can hardly be said necessarily to involve the existence of any
antecedent pastoral tradition. Greene's novel is, indeed, far from being
purely pastoral; no more than in Sidney's, to use Professor Herford's
happy phrase, are we allowed to forget that Arcadia bordered on Sparta. In
this it undoubtedly resembles the Spanish romances, but the resemblance
does not appear to go much further; it is on the whole warlike without
being chivalric, the tone Greek, or what Greene considered such, rather
than medieval--indeed it might be argued that in its martial incidents it
rather recalls _Daphnis and Chloe_ than the _Diana_. There is certainly
nothing chivalric about King Democles, who, when some ten score shepherds
are besieging a castle, sends to the 'General of his Forces,' and not only
has ten thousand men brought secretly and by night at three days'
notice--in itself a notable piece of strategy--but when they arrive on the
scene places furthermore the whole force in ambush! No wonder that when
the soldiers are let loose out of their necessarily cramped quarters,
they kill many of the shepherds, and putting the rest to flight remain
masters of the situation.

The plot might perhaps be considered improbable as well as intricate for
anything but a pastoral or chivalric romance: judged by the standards
prevailing in these species it is neither. Democles, king of Arcadia, has
a daughter Sephistia, who contrary to his wishes has contracted a secret
marriage with Maximus. When the birth of a son leads to discovery,
Democles has them placed in an oarless boat and so cast adrift. A storm
arising they are not unnaturally wrecked, and ultimately husband and wife
are cast upon different points of the Arcadian coast(!), where, either
supposing the other to have perished, they adopt the pastoral life,
assuming the names respectively of Melicertus and Samela. The young mother
has with her child Pleusidippus, but while still in early boyhood he is
carried off by pirates and presented as a gift to the King of Thessaly. In
the meantime Menaphon, 'the king's shepherd of Arcadia,' has fallen in
love with Samela, but while accepting his hospitality she meets her
husband in his shepherd's guise, and without recognizing one another
husband and wife again fall in love. Years pass on and Pleusidippus, who
has risen to fame at court, hears of the beauty of the shepherdess of
Arcadia, and must needs go to test the truth of the report himself. He
does so, and promptly falls in love with his own mother. Nor is this all,
for Democles equally hears of Samela's fame, and disguising himself as a
shepherd falls in love with his own daughter. He endeavours to command
Samela's affection by revealing to her his own identity, but Pleusidippus
is beforehand with more drastic measures, and with the help of a few
associates carries Samela off to a neighbouring castle, to which Democles
and the shepherds, headed by Melicertus, proceed to lay siege. A duel
between father and son is unceremoniously interrupted by the inroad of
Democles' soldiery. Upon this the identity of Samela is revealed by a
convenient prophetess, and all ends happily.

In the relation of verse and prose Greene's work differs from that of
Sannazzaro and Sidney, the former being of considerably greater merit than
the latter. The style adopted exhibits a very marked Euphuism, and the
whole form of narrative is characterized by that fondness for petty
conceit which not seldom gives an air of puerility to the lighter
Elizabethan prose. Puerile in a sense it had every right to be, for modern
prose narration was then in its very infancy in this country. No artistic
form destined to contribute to the main current of literature is born
perfect into the world; the early efforts appear not only tentative,
uncouth, at times rugged, but often childish and futile, unworthy the
consideration of serions men. The substance of the _Gesta Romanorum_ and
the style of the _Novellino_ appear so, considered in relation to the
_Decameron_; the mystery plays are an obvious instance, not to be
explained by any general immaturity of medieval ideas. Traces of the
tendency may even be noticed where revival or acclimatization, rather than
original invention, is the aim; we find it in the _Shepherd's Calender_,
nor was it absent in the days of the romantic revival, either from the
German _Lenores_ or the English _Otrantos_. And so it is with the
novelists of the Elizabethan age. Renouncing the traditions of the older
romance, which was adult and perfect a hundred years before in Malory, but
had now fallen into a second childhood, and determined on the creation of
a new and genuine form of literary expression, they paid the price of
originality in the vein of childishness that runs through their writings.

If, however, Greene was content in the main to adopt the style of the new
novel, he, as indeed Lyly too, could at times snatch a straightforward
thought or a vigorous phrase from current speech or controversial
literature, and invest it with all the greater effectiveness by
contrasting it with its surroundings. Here, as an example of euphuistic
composition, is Democles' address to the champions about to engage in
single combat:

  Worthy mirrors of resolved magnanimitie, whose thoughts are above your
  fortunes, and your valour more than your revenewes, know that Bitches
  that puppie in hast bring forth blind whelpes; that there is no herbe
  sooner sprung up than the Spattarmia nor sooner fadeth; the fruits too
  soone ripe are quickly rotten; that deedes done in hast are repented at
  leisure: then, brave men in so weightie a cause,... deferre it some
  three daies, and then in solemn manner end the combat[140].

With this we may contrast the closing sentence of the work:

  And lest there should be left any thing imperfect in this pastorall
  accident, Doron smudged himselfe up, and jumped a marriage with his old
  friend Carmela.

This is, of course, intentionally cast in a homely style in contrast to
the courtliness of the main plot; but Greene, as some of his later works
attest, knew the value of strong racy English no less than his friend
Nashe, who, in the preface he prefixed to this very work, pushed
colloquialism and idiom to the verge of affectation and beyond.

The incidental verse, on the other hand, though very unequal, is of
decidedly higher merit. Sephistia's famous song should alone suffice to
save any book from oblivion, while there are other verses which are not
unworthy of a place beside it. I may instance the opening of the
'roundelay' sung by Menaphon, the only character strictly belonging to
pastoral tradition, with its picture of approaching night:

    When tender ewes brought home with evening Sunne
      Wend to their foldes,
      And to their holdes
    The shepheards trudge when light of day is done.

Such as it was, _Menaphon_ appealed in no small degree to the taste of the
moment. We know how great was Greene's reputation as an author, how
publishers were ready to outbid one another for the very dregs of his wit.
Thomas Brabine was but voicing the general opinion when, in some verses
prefixed to _Menaphon_, he wrote, condescending to an inevitable pun, but
also to a less excusable mixed metaphor:

    Be thou still Greene, whiles others glorie waine.

Of his other romances it is sufficient in this place to mention that
_Pandosto_, which contains the pastoral loves of Dorastus and Fawnia, and
supplied Shakespeare with the outlines of the _Winter's Tale_, appeared
the year before _Menaphon_, while the year after saw his _Never Too Late_,
which is likewise of a generally pastoral character, but does not appear
to have suggested or influenced any subsequent work.

The remarks that have been made concerning Greene apply in a large
measure also to his fellow euphuist Thomas Lodge. His earliest romance,
_Forbonius and Prisceria_, published in 1584, is partly pastoral in plot,
a faithful lover being driven by the opposition of his lady's father into
assuming the pastoral habit; but it is chiefly the connexion of his
_Rosalynde_ of 1590 with Shakespeare's _As You Like It_ that gives him a
claim upon our attention. _Rosalynde_ is not only on this account the
best-known, but is also intrinsically the most interesting of his
romances. The story is too familiar to need detailing. Its origin, as is
also well known, is the _Tale of Gamelyn_, the story which Chaucer
intended putting into the mouth either of the cook, or more probably of
the yeoman, and the hero of which apparently belongs to the Robin Hood
cycle. The interest centres round the three sons of Sir John of Bordeaux,
who retains his name with Lodge and is Shakespeare's Sir Roland de Bois,
and whose youngest son, Lodge's Rosader and Shakespeare's Orlando, is
named Gamelyn, and the outlaw king, Lodge's king of France and
Shakespeare's Duke senior[141]. The entire pastoral element, as well as
the courtly scenes of the earlier portion of the novel, are Lodge's own
invention. His shepherds, whether genuine, as Coridon and Phoebe, or
assumed, as Rosalynde and Rosader, are all alike Italian Arcadians,
equally polished and poetical. Montanus, a shepherd corresponding to
Shakespeare's Silvius, is a dainty rimester, and is not only well posted
in the loves of Polyphemus and Galatea, but can rail on blind boy Cupid in
good French, and on his mistress too--

    Son cuer ne doit estre de glace,
    Bien que elle ait de Neige le sein.

Thus Lodge added to the original story the figures of the usurper,
Rosalynde, Alinda (Celia), and the shepherds Montanus (Silvius), Coridon
(Corin) and Phoebe, while to Shakespeare we owe Amiens, Jacques,
Touchstone, Audre, and a few minor characters; whence it appears that
Lodge's contribution forms the mainstay of the plot as familiar to modern
readers. Moreover, in spite of the stiltedness of the style where the
author yet remembers to be euphuistic, in spite of the long 'orations,'
'passions,' 'meditations' and the like, each carefully labelled and giving
to the whole the air of a series of rhetorical exercises, in spite of the
mediocre quality of most of the verses, if we except its one perfect gem,
the romance yet retains not a little of its silvan and idyllic sweetness.

Before leaving the school of Lyly, which included a number of more or less
famous writers, I may take the opportunity of mentioning two authors
usually reckoned among them. One, John Dickenson, left two works of a
pastoral nature. His short romance entitled _Arisbas_ appeared in 1594,
and may have supplied Daniel with a hint for the kidnapping of Silvia in
_Hymen's Triumph_. Another yet shorter work, entitled the _Shepherd's
Complaint_, which is undated, but was probably printed in the same year,
is remarkable for being composed more than half in verse, largely
hexameters. In it the author falls asleep and is transported in his dreams
to Arcady, where he listens to the lament of a shepherd for the love of
Amaryllis. The cruel nymph is, however, soon punished, for, challenging
Diana in beauty, she falls a victim to the shafts of the angry goddess,
and is buried with full bucolic honours, whereupon the author awakes. The
other writer is William Warner, well known from his _Albion's England_,
published in 1586, who left a work entitled _Pan his Syrinx_, which
appeared in 1584; but in this pastoralism does not penetrate beyond the

Of the books which everybody knows and nobody reads, _The Countess of
Pembroke's Arcadia_ is perhaps the most famous[142]. Yet though an account
of the romance may be found in the pages of every literary textbook, the
history of how the work came to be printed has never been fully cleared
up[143]. The _Arcadia_, as it remained at Sidney's death, was
fragmentary. Two books and a portion of a third were all that had
undergone revision, and possibly represented the portion which Sidney
compiled while living with his sister at Wilton, after his retirement from
court in 1581--the portion for the most part actually written in his
sister's presence. Even of this trustworthy manuscripts were rare, most of
those that circulated being copies of the unrevised text. Sidney died on
October 17, 1586, and even before the end of the year we find his friend
Fulke Greville, afterwards Lord Brooke, writing to Sidney's father-in-law,
Sir Francis Walsingham, to the effect that the bookseller, William
Ponsonby, had informed him that some one was about to print the _Arcadia_,
and that if they were acting without authority a notification of the fact
should be lodged with the archbishop. Greville proceeds to say that he had
sent to Walsingham's daughter, that is, Lady Sidney, the corrected
manuscript of the work 'don 4 or 5 years sinse, which he left in trust
with me; wherof there is no more copies, and fitter to be reprinted then
the first, which is so common[144].' A complaint was evidently lodged, and
the publication stayed, and we may assume that Ponsonby was rewarded for
his notification by being entrusted with the publication of the revised
manuscript mentioned by Greville, for it was from his house that issued
the quarto edition of 1590. Evidence that it was Greville who was
responsible for the publication of the _Arcadia_ is found in the
dedication of Thomas Wilson's manuscript translation from the _Diana_,
where, addressing Greville, the translater speaks of Sir Philip's
_Arcadia_, 'w^{ch} by yo^{r} noble vertue the world so hapily enjoyes.' In
this edition, containing the first two and a half books only, the division
into chapters and the arrangement of the incidental verse were the work of
the 'over-seer of the print.' The text, however, was not considered
satisfactory, and when the romance was reprinted in 1593 the division into
chapters was discarded, certain alterations were made in the arrangement
of the verse, and there was added another portion of the third book,
together with a fourth and fifth, compiled by the Countess of Pembroke
from the loose sheets sent her from time to time by her brother. This
edition has been commonly regarded as the first published with due
authority, and the term 'surreptitious' has been quite unjustly applied to
the original quarto. The charge, indeed, receives colour from the preface,
signed H. S., to the second edition; but, whoever H. S. may have been,
there is nothing to make one suppose that he was speaking with authority.
The quarto of 1590 having been duly licensed on August 23, 1588, the
rights of the work were in Ponsonby's hands, and to him the publication of
the revised edition had to be entrusted. In 1598 a third edition, to which
other remains of the author were for the first time added, was also
published by Ponsonby. There still remained, however, a lacuna in Book
III, which was not remedied till 1621, when a supplement was added from
the pen of Sir William Alexander. In the edition of 1627 a sixth book was
appended, the work of one Richard Beling, whose initials alone, however,
appear. The early editors seem to have assumed that the unfinished state
of the work, or rather the unrevised state of the later portions, was due
to the author's early death, but most of it must have been written between
the years 1581 and 1583, and it may well be questioned whether in any case
Sidney would have bestowed any further attention upon it. Jonson, indeed,
has preserved the tradition that it had been Sir Philip's intention 'to
have transform'd all his Arcadia to the stories of King Arthure[145],'
though how the transformation was to be accomplished he forbore to hint;
but the more familiar tradition of Sidney's having expressed on his
death-bed a desire that the romance should be destroyed assorts better
with what else we know of his regard for his 'idle worke.'

For the name of his romance Sidney was no doubt indebted to Sannazzaro,
whom he twice mentions as an authority in his _Defence of Poesy_, but
there in all probability his direct obligation ends, since even the _rime
sdrucciole_, which he occasionally affected, may with equal probability be
referred to the influence of the _Diana_. It was, undoubtedly,
Montemayor's romance which served as a model for, or rather suggested the
character of, Sidney's work[146]. Thus the chivalric element, unknown to
Sannazzaro, is with Sidney even more prominent than with Montemayor and
his followers. It is, however, true that, like Greene's, his heroes are
rather of a classical than a medieval stamp, and he also chose to lay the
scene of the action in Greece rather than in his native land, as was the
habit of Spanish writers. The source upon which Sidney chiefly drew for
incidents was the once famous _Amadis of Gaul_, but a diligent reading of
the other French and Spanish romances of chivalry would probably lengthen
the list of recorded creditors. Heliodorus supplies several episodes, and
an acquaintance at least can be traced with both Achilles Tatius and

The intricate plot, with its innumerable digressions, episodes, and
interruptions, need not here be followed in detail, especially as we shall
have ample opportunity of becoming familiar with its general features when
we come to discuss the plays founded upon it. Here it will be sufficient
to note one or two points. In the first place the romance contains no
really pastoral characters, the personae being all either shepherds in
their disguise only, or else, like Greene's Doron and Carmela, burlesque
characters of the rustic tradition. Secondly, it may be observed that the
amorous confusion is even greater than in _Menaphon_, Pyrocles disguising
himself as an Amazon in order to enjoy the company of his beloved
Philoclea, which leads to her father Basilius falling in love with him in
his disguise, and endeavouring to use his daughter to forward his suit,
while her mother Gynecia likewise falls in love with him, having detected
his disguise, and becomes jealous of her daughter, who on her part
innocently accepts her lover as bosom companion[147].

In general the _Arcadia_ is no more than it purports to be, the 'many
fancies' of Sidney's fertile imagination poured forth in courtly guise for
the entertainment of his sister, though his own more serious thoughts
occasionally find expression in its pages, and he even introduces himself
under the imperfect anagram of Philisides, and shadows forth his
friendship with the French humanist Languet. More than this it would be
rash to assert, and Greville did his friend an equivocal service when he
sought to find a deep philosophy underlying the rather formal characters
of the romance[148]. These characters, as we have seen, are for the most
part essentially courtly; the pastoral guise is a mere veil shielding them
from the crude uncompromising light of actuality, with its prejudice in
favour of the probable; while the few rustic personages merely supply a
not very successful comic antimasque.

To the popularity of the _Arcadia_ it is hardly necessary to advert. It
has been repeatedly printed, added to, imitated, abbreviated, modernized,
popularized; four editions appeared during the last decade of the
sixteenth century, nine between the beginning of the seventeenth and the
outbreak of the civil wars[149]. It was first published at a moment when
the public was beginning to tire of Euphuism, and when the heroic death of
the author had recently set a seal upon the brilliance of his fame.
Looking back in after years, writers who, like Drayton, had lived through
the movement from its very birth, could speak of Sidney as of the author

                        did first reduce
    Our tongue from Lyly's writing then in use,

and could praise his style as a model of pure English. In spite of the
generous, if misguided, efforts of occasional critics, posterity has not
seen fit to endorse this view. While finding in Sidney's style the same
historical importance as in Lyly's, we cannot but recognize that in itself
Arcadianism was little if at all better than Euphuism. It is just as
formal, just as much a trick, just as stilted and unpliable, just as
painful an illustration of the fact that a figure of rhetoric may be an
occasional ornament, but cannot by any degree of ingenuity be made to
serve as a basis of composition. In the same way as Euphuism is founded
upon a balance of the sentence obtained by antithetical clauses, and the
use of intricate alliteration, together with the abuse of simile and
metaphor drawn from what has been aptly termed Lyly's 'un-natural
history'; so Sidney's style in the _Arcadia_ is based on a balance usually
obtained by a repetition of the same word or a jingle of similar ones,
together with the abuse of periphrasis, and, it may be added, of the
pathetic fallacy. These last have been dangers in all periods of stylistic
experiment; the former, figures duly noted as ornaments by contemporary
rhetoricians, Sidney no doubt borrowed from Spain. There in one famous
example they were shortly to excite the enthusiasm of the knight of La
Mancha--'The reason of the unreason which is done to my reason in such
manner enfeebles my reason that with reason I lament your beauty'--a
sentence which one is sometimes tempted to imagine Sidney must have set
before him as a model. Thus it would appear that, for their essential
elements, Euphuism and Arcadianism, though distinct, alike sought their
models, direct or indirect, in the Spanish literature of the day. Almost
any passage, chosen at random, will illustrate Sidney's style. Observe the
balance of clauses in the following sentence from Kalander's speech, which
inclines perhaps towards Euphuism:

  I am no herald to enquire of mens pedegrees, it sufficeth me if I know
  their vertues, which, if this young mans face be not a false witnes, doe
  better apparrell his minde, then you have done his body. (1590, fol.

Or again, as an instance of the jingle of words, take the following from
the steward's narration:

  I thinke you thinke, that these perfections meeting, could not choose
  but find one another, and delight in that they found, for likenes of
  manners is likely in reason to drawe liking with affection; mens actions
  doo not alwaies crosse with reason: to be short, it did so in deed. (ib.
  fol. 20.)

Of Sidney's power of description the stock example is his account of the
Arcadian landscape (fol. 7), and it is perhaps the best and at the same
time the most characteristic that could be found; the author's peculiar
tricks are at once obvious. There are 'the humble valleis, whose base
estate semed comforted with refreshing of silver rivers,' and the
'thickets, which being lined with most pleasant shade, were witnessed so
to by the chereful deposition of many wel-tuned birds'; there are the
pastures where 'the prety lambs with bleting oratory craved the dams
comfort,' where sat the young shepherdess knitting, whose 'voice comforted
her hands to work, and her hands kept time to her voices musick,' a
country where the scattered houses made 'a shew, as it were, of an
accompanable solitarines, and of a civil wildnes,' where lastly--_si sic
omnia_!--was the 'shepheards boy piping, as though he should never be
old.' It must not be supposed that these are occasional embroideries; they
are the very cloth of which the whole pastoral habit is made. The above
examples all occur within a few pages, and might even have been gathered
from a yet smaller plot. It is, however, on the prose, such as it is, that
the reputation of the _Arcadia_ rests; a good deal of occasional verse is
introduced, but it has often been subject of remark how wholly unworthy of
its author most of it is.

Given the widespread popularity of the work, the influence exercised by
the story on English letters is hardly a matter for wonder. Of its general
influence on the drama it will be my business to speak later; at present
we may note that while yet in manuscript it probably supplied Lodge with
certain hints for his _Rosalynde_, and so indirectly influenced _As You
Like It_. One of the best-known episodes, again, that of Argalus and
Parthenia, was versified by Quarles in 1632, and, adorned with a series of
cuts, went through a large number of editions before the end of the
century, besides being dramatized by Glapthorne. The incident of Pyrocles
heading the Zelots has been thought to have suggested the scene in the
_Two Gentlemen of Verona_ in which Valentine consents to lead the robber
band, while to Sidney Shakespeare was likewise indebted, not only for the
cowards' fight in _Twelfth Night_, but in the 'story of the Paphlagonian
unkinde king,' for the original of the Gloster episode in _King Lear_. A
certain prayer out of the later portion of the romance was, as is well
known, a favourite with Charles I in the days of his misfortune, but the
controversial use made of the fact by Milton it is happily possible to
pass over in silence.

Finally, it is worth mentioning as illustrating the vogue of Sidney's
romance, that it not only had the very singular honour of being translated
into French in the first half of the seventeenth century, but that two
translations actually appeared, the rivalry between which gave rise to a
literary controversy of some asperity[150].

Thus we take leave of the pastoral novel or romance, a kind which never
attained to the weighty tradition of the eclogue, or the grace of the
lyric, nor was subjected to the rigorous artistic form of the drama[151].
It remained throughout nerveless and diffuse, and, in spite of much
incidental beauty, was habitually wanting in interest, except in so far as
it renounced its pastoral nature. As Professor Raleigh has put it: 'To
devise a set of artificial conditions that shall leave the author to work
out the sentimental inter-relations of his characters undisturbed by the
intrusion of probability or accident is the problem; love _in vacuo_ is
the beginning and end of the pastoral romance proper.' A similar attempt
is noticeable in the drama, but the conditions soon came to be recognized
as impossible for artistic use. The operation of human affection under
utterly imaginary and impossible conditions is not a matter of human
interest; the resuit was a purely fictitious amatory code, as absurd as it
was unhealthy, and, when sustained by no extrinsic interest of allegory or
the like, the kind soon disappeared. As it is, in the pastoral novel, it
is only when the enchanted circle is broken by the rough and tumble of
vulgar earthly existence that on the featureless surface of the waters
something of the light and shade of true romance replaces the steady
pitiless glare ot a philosophical or sentimental ideal.

Chapter III.

Italian Pastoral Drama


We have now passed in review the main classes of non-dramatic pastoral
both abroad and in this country. Such preliminary survey was necessary in
order to obtain an idea of the history and nature of pastoral composition
in general. It was further rendered imperative by more particular
considerations which will appear in the course of the present chapter, for
we shall find that the pastoral drama comes into being, not through the
infusion of the Arcadian ideal into pre-existing dramatic forms, but
through the actual evolution of a new dramatic form from the pre-existing
non-dramatic pastoral.

It is time to retrace our steps and to pick up the thread which we dropped
in a former chapter, the development, namely, of the vernacular eclogue in
Italy. If in so doing we are forced to enter at greater length upon the
discussion of individual works, we shall find ample excuse, not only in
their intrinsic merit, but likewise in their more direct bearing upon what
is after all the main subject of this volume. The pastoral drama of Italy
is the immediate progenitor of that of England. Further, it might be
pleaded that special interest attaches to the Arcadian pastoral as the
only dramatic form of conspicuous vitality for which Italy is the crediter
of European letters.

The history of the rise of the pastoral drama in Italy is a complicated
subject, and one not altogether free from obscurity. Many forces were at
work determining the development of the form, and these it is difficult so
to present as at once to leave a clear impression and yet not to allow any
one element to usurp an importance it does not in reality possess. Any
account which gives a specious appearance of simplicity to the case
should be mistrusted. That I have been altogether successful in my
treatment I can hardly hope, but at least the method followed has not been
hastily adopted. I propose to consider, first of all and apart from the
rest, the early mythological drama, which while exercising a marked
influence over the spirit of the later pastoral can in no way be regarded
as its origin. Next, I shall trace the evolution of the pastoral drama
proper from its germ in the non-dramatic eclogue, by way of the _ecloghe
rappresentative_, and treat incidentally the allied rustic shows, which
form a class apart from the main line of development. Lastly, I shall have
to say a few words concerning the early pastoral plays by Beccari and
others before turning to the masterpieces of Tasso and Guarini, the
consideration of which will occupy the chief part of this chapter[152].

The class of productions known as mythological plays, which powerfully
influenced the character of the pastoral drama, sprang from the union of
classical tradition with the machinery of native religious
representations, in Poliziano's _Favola d' Orfeo_. This was the first
non-religious play in the vernacular, and its dependence on the earlier
religious drama is striking. Indeed, the blending of medieval and
classical forms and conventions may be traced throughout the early secular
drama of Italy. Boiardo's _Timone_, a play written at some unknown date
previous to 1494, preserves, in spite of its classical models, much of the
allegorical character of the morality, and was undoubtedly acted on a
stage comprising two levels, the upper representing heaven in which Jove
sat enthroned on the seat of Adonai. The same scenic arrangement may well
have been used in the _Orfeo_, the lower stage representing Hades[153];
while Niccolò da Correggio's _Cefalo_ was evidently acted on a polyscenic
stage, the actors passing in view of the audience from one part to
another[154]. At a yet earlier period Italian writers in the learned
tongue had taken as the subjects of their plays stories from classical
legend and myth, and among these we find not only recognized tragedy
themes such as the rape of Polyxena dramatized by Lionardo Bruni, but
tales such as that of Progne put on the stage by Gregorio Corrado, both of
which preceded by many years the work of Politian and Correggio.

The earliest secular play in Italian is, then, nothing but a _sacra
rappresentazione_ on a pagan theme, a fact which was probably clearly
recognized when, in the early editions from 1494 onwards, the piece was
described as the 'festa di Orpheo[155].' It was written in 1471, when
Poliziano was about seventeen, and we learn from the author's epistle
prefixed to the printed edition that ît was composed in the short space of
two days for representation before Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga at Mantua.
From the same epistle we learn that the author desired, or at least
assumed the attitude of desiring, that his composition should share the
fate of the ill-fashioned Lacedaemonian children; 'Cognoscendo questa mia
figliuola essere di qualità da fare più tosto al suo padre vergogna che
onore; e più tosto atta a dargli malinconia che allegrezza.' The _favola_
as originally put forth continued to be reprinted without alteration, till
1776, when Ireneo Affò published the _Orphei Tragoedia_ from a collation
of two manuscripts. This differs in various respects from the printed
version, among others in being divided, short as it is, into five acts,
headed respectively 'Pastorale,' 'Ninfale,' 'Eroico,' 'Negromantico,' and
'Baccanale.' It is now known to represent a revision of the piece made,
probably by Antonio Tebaldeo, for representation at Ferrara, and in it
much of the popular and topical element has been eliminated. The action
of the piece is based in a general manner upon the story given by Ovid in
the tenth book of the _Metamorphoses_.

The performance begins with a prologue by Mercury which is nothing but a
short argument of the whole plot. 'Mercurio annunzia la festa' is the
superscription in the original, evidently suggested by the appearance of
'un messo di Dio' with which the religious _rappresentazioni_ usually
open. At the end of this prologue a shepherd appears and finishes the
second octave with the couplet:

    State attenti, brigata; buono augurio;
    Poi che di cielo in terra vien Mercurio.

In the Ferrarese revision these stanzas appear as 'Argomento' without
mention of Mercury, while for the above lines are substituted the
astonishing doggerel:

    Or stia ciascuno a tutti gli atti intento,
    Che cinque sono; e questo è l' argomento.

Thereupon (beginning Act I of the revision) enters Mopso, an old shepherd,
meeting Aristeo, a youthful one, with his herdsman Tirsi. Mopso asks
whether his white calf has been seen, and Aristeo, who fancies he has
heard a lowing from beyond the hill, sends his boy to see. In the
meanwhile he detains Mopso with an account of his love for a nymph he met
the day before, and sings a _canzona_:

    Ch' i' so che la mia ninfa il canto agogna[156].

It runs on the familiar themes of love: 'Di doman non c' è certezza.'

    Digli, zampogna mia, come via fugge
      Con gli anni insieme la bellezza snella;
      E digli come il tempo ne distrugge,
      Ne l' età persa mai si rinovella;
      Digli che sappi usar sua forma bella,
      Che sempre mai non son rose e viole...
    Udite, selve, mie dolci parole,
      Poi che la ninfa mia udir non vole.

The boy Tirsi now returns, having with much trouble driven the strayed
calf back to the herd, and narrates how he saw an unknown nymph of
wondrous beauty gathering flowers about the hill. Aristeo recognizes from
this description the object of his love, and, leaving Mopso and Tirsi to
shake their heads over his midsummer madness, goes off to find her.

So far we might be reading one of the _ecloghe rappresentative_ which we
shall have to consider shortly, but of which the earliest known examples
cannot well be less than ten or twelve years later than Poliziano's play.
With the exception, indeed, of one or two in Boccaccio's _Ameto_, it is
doubtful whether any vernacular eclogues had appeared at the time. The
character of Tirsi belongs to rustic tradition, and must be an experiment
contemporary with, if not prior to, Lorenzo's _Nencia_. The portion before
the _canzone_ is in _terza rima_; that after it, like the prologue, in

The original proceeds without break to the song of Aristeo as he pursues
the flying Euridice (Act II in the revision):

    Poi che 'l pregar non vale,
      E tu via ti dilegui,
      El convien ch' io ti segui.
    Porgimi, Amor, porgimi or le tue ale.

While Aristeo is following Euridice, Orfeo enters upon the scene with a
Latin ode in Sapphic metre in honour of Cardinal Gonzaga. A note informs
us that this was originally sung by 'Messer Braccio Ugolino, attore di
detta persona d' Orfeo.' In place of this ode the revised text contains a
long 'Coro delle Driadi,' with two speeches in _terza rima_ by the
choragus, announcing and lamenting the death of Euridice, who as she fled
from Aristeo has been stung in the foot by a serpent. After this the news
of her death is reported to Orfeo--by a shepherd in the original, by a
dryad in the revised version. That the substitution of the chorus for the
Sapphic ode is an improvement from the poetic point of view will hardly be
denied, yet this improvement has been attained at the cost of some
dramatic sacrifice. In the original Orfeo is introduced naturally enough
in his character of supreme poet and musician to do honour to the
occasion, and it is only after he has been on the stage some time that the
news of Euridice's death is brought. In the revision he is merely
introduced for the purpose of being informed of his wife's death--he has
hardly been so much as mentioned before. He thus loses the slight
opportunity previously afforded him of presenting a dramatic individuality
apart from the very essence of his tragedy.

The announcement to Orfeo of Euridice's death begins the third act of the
revised text, which is amplified at this point by the introduction of a
satyr Mnesillo, who acts as chorus to Orfeo's lament. The character of a
friendly satyr is interesting in view of the role commonly assigned to his
species in pastoral.

After this we have in the original the direction 'Orfeo cantando giugne
all' Inferno,' while in the revision there is again a new act, the fourth.
Symonds pointed out that the merits of the piece are less dramatic than
lyrical, and that fortunately the central scene was one in which the
situation was capable of lyrical expression. The pleading of Orfeo before
the gates of Hades and at the throne of Pluto forms the lyrical kernel of
the play, and gives it its poetic value. The bard appears before the
iron-bound portals of the nether world, and the pains of hell surcease.
'Who is he?' asks Pluto--

    Chi è costui che con sì dolce nota
      Muove l' abisso, e con l' ornata cetra?
      Io veggo ferma d' Ission la rota,...
      Nè più P acqua di Tantalo s' arretra;
      E veggo Cerber con tre bocche intente,
      E le furie acquietar il suo lamento.

At length he stands before Pluto's throne, the seat of the God of the
_sacre rappresentazioni_, the rugged rock-seat surrounded by the monstrous
demons of Signorelli's _tondo_[157]. Here in presence of the grim ravisher
and of his pale consort, in whom the passionate pleading of the Thracian
bard stirs long-forgotten memories of spring and of the plains of Enna,
Orfeo's song receives adequate expression. It is closely imitated from the
corresponding passage in Ovid, but the lyrical perfection and passionate
crescendo of the stanzas are Poliziano's own. Addressing Pluto, Orfeo
discovers the object of his quest:

    Non per Cerber legar fo questa via,
    Ma solamente per la donna mia.

May not love penetrate even the forbidden bounds of hell?--

      se memoria alcuna in voi si serba
    Del vostro celebrato antico amore,
    Se la vecchia rapina a mente avete,
    Euridice mia bella mi rendete.

Why should death grudge the few years at most which complete the span of
human life?--

    Ogni cosa nel fine a voi ritorna;
      Ogni vita mortal quaggiù ricade:
      Quanto cerchia la luna con sue corna
      Convien che arrivi alle vostre contrade--

or why reap amid the unmellowed corn?--

    Così la ninfa mia per voi si serba,
      Quando sua morte gli darà natura.
      Or la tenera vite e l' uva acerba
      Tagliata avete con la falce dura.

    Chi è che mieta la sementa in erba
    E non aspetti ch' ella sia matura?
    Dunque rendete a me la mia speranza:
    Io non vel chieggio in don, questa è prestanza.

Next he invokes the pity of the stern god by the name of Chaos whence the
world had birth, and by the dread rivers of the nether world, by Styx and
Acheron: 'E pel sonante ardor di Flegetonte'; and lastly, turning to 'the
faery-queen Proserpina,'

    Pel pome che a te già, Regina, piacque,
    Quando lasciasti pria nostro orizzonte.
    E se pur me la niega iniqua sorte,
    Io no vo' su tornar, ma chieggio morte![158]

Hell itself relents, and, as Boccaccio had written,

         forse lieta gli rendeo
    La cercata Euridice a condizione--

the condition being that he shall not turn to behold her before attaining
once again to the land of the living. The condition, of course, is not
fulfilled. Orfeo seeks to clasp 'his half regain'd Eurydice,' with the
triumphant cry of Ovid holding the conquered Corinna in his arms:

    Ite triumphales circum mea tempora lauri.
      Vicimus: Eurydice reddita vita mihi est.
    Haec est praecipuo Victoria digna triumpho.
      Hue ades, o cura parte triumphe mea[159].

He turns, and his unsubstantial love sinks back into the realm of shadows
with the cry:

    Oimè che 'I troppo amore
      Ci ha disfatti ambe dua.
      Ecco ch' io ti son tolta a gran furore,
      Nè sono ormai più tua.

    Ben tendo a te le braccia; ma non vale,
    Che indietro son tirata. Orfeo mio, _vale_.

As he would follow her once more a fury bars the road.

Desperate of his love, the bard now forswears for ever the company of
women (Act V of the revised text).

    Da qui innanzi vo corre i fior novelli ...
      Ouesto è più dolce e più soave amore;
      Non sia chi mai di donna mi favelli,
      Poi che morta è colei ch' ebbe il mio core.

Now that she is dead, what faith abides in woman?--

    Quanto è misero l' uom che cangia voglia
      Per donna, o mai per lei s' allegra, o duole!...
      Che sempre è più leggier ch' al vento foglia,
      E mille volte il di vuole e disvuole.
      Segue chi fugge; a chi la vuol, s' asconde,
      E vanne e vien come alla riva l' onde.

The cry wrung from him by his grief anticipates the cynical philosophy of
later pastorals. Upon this the scene is invaded by 'The riot of the tipsy
Bacchanals,' eager to avenge the insult offered to their sex[160]. They
drive the poet out, and presently returning in triumph with his 'gory
visage,' break out into the celebrated chorus 'full of the swift fierce
spirit of the god.' This gained considerably by revision, and in the later
text runs as follows:

    Ciascun segua, o Bacco, te;
      Bacco, Bacco, oè oè.
    Di corimbi e di verd' edere
      Cinto il capo abbiam così
      Per servirti a tuo richiedere
      Festeggiando notte e dì.
      Ognun beva: Bacco è quì;
      E lasciate here a me.
          Ciascun segua, ec.

    Io ho vuoto già il mio corno:
      Porgi quel cantaro in qua.
      Questo monte gira intorno,
      O 'l cervello a cerchio va:
      Ognun corra in qua o in là,
      Come vede fare a me.
         Ciascun segua, ec.

    Io mi moro già di sonno:
      Sono io ebra o sì o no?
      Più star dritti i piè non ponno.
      Voi siet' ebri, ch' io lo so;
      Ognun faccia com' io fo;
      Ognun succe come me.
        Ciascun segua, ec.

    Ognun gridi Bacco, Bacco,
      E poi cacci del vin giù;
      Poi col sonno farem fiacco,
      Bevi tu e tu e tu.
      Io non posso ballar più;
      Ognun gridi Evoè.[161]
        Ciascun segua, o Bacco, te;
        Bacco, Bacco, oè oè.

Lyrical beauty rather than dramatic power was, it has already been
remarked, Poliziano's aim and achievement. The want of characterization in
the hero, the insignificance of the part allotted to Euridice, the total
inadequacy of the tragic climax, measure the author's power as a
dramatist. It is the lyrical passages--Aristeo's song, Orfeo's impassioned
pleading, the bacchanalian dance chorus--that supply the firm supports of
art upon which rests the slight fabric of the play.

The same simplicity of construction, a simplicity in nature rather
narrative than dramatic, characterizes Niccolò da Correggio's _Cefalo_.
The play was represented in state in the great courtyard of the ducal
palace at Ferrara, on the occasion of the marriage of Lucrezia d' Este
with Annibale Bentivogli, on January 21, 1487[162]. Like the _Orfeo_, the
piece exhibits traces of its origin in the religious shows, though, unlike
the original draft of Poliziano's play, it is divided into five acts each
of some length, and is provided with regular choruses on the classical
model. In spite of its inferiority to the _Orfeo_ in lyric power and its
possibly even greater deficiency from a dramatic point of view, it will be
worth while giving some account of the piece in order to get as clear an
idea as possible of the nature and limitations of the mythological drama,
and also because it has never, I believe, been reprinted in modern times,
and is in consequence practically unknown to English readers.

The author, a descendant of the princely house of Correggio, was born
about 1450, and married the daughter of the famous _condottiere_
Bartolommeo Colleoni. He lived for some years at Milan at the court of
Lodovico Sforza; later he migrated to that of the Estensi. In 1493 he sent
an allegorical eclogue to Isabella Gonzaga at Mantua, which may possibly
have been represented, though we have no note of the fact, and the poem
itself has perished[163]. He died in 1508.

After a prologue which resembles that of the _Orfeo_ in giving an argument
of the whole piece, the first act opens with a scene in which Aurora seeks
the love of Cefalo. Offended at finding her advances repulsed, the goddess
hints that the wife to whom Cefalo is so careful of his faith is, for her
part, more free of her favours; and upon Cefalo indignantly refusing
credence to the slander, suggests that he should himself in disguise make
trial of her fidelity. This the unfortunate youth resolves to do. He
approaches Procri in the habit of a merchant, with goods for sale, and
takes the opportunity thus afforded of declaring his love. She turns to
fly, but the pretended passion of his suit stays her, and she is brought
to lend an ear to his cunning. He retails the commonplaces of the
despairing lover:

    Deh, non fuggire, e non si altiera in vista;
      Odime alquanto, e scolta i preghi mei.
      Che fama mai per crudeltà se acquista?
      Bellissima sei pur, cruda non dei.
      Non sai che Amor non vol che se resista
      A colpi soi? così vinto mi dei
      Subito ch' io ti viddi; eh, non fuggire,
      Forza non ti farò; deh, stammi audire.

Not Jove or Phoebus he to assume strange shapes for her love; he is but
her slave, and can but offer his pedlar's pack; but he knows of hidden
treasure in the earth, and hers, too, shall be vesture of the fairest.
After gold and soft raiment comes the trump card of the seducer--secrecy:

    Cosa secreta mai non se riprende;
      El tempo che si perde mai non torna;
      Qui non serai veduta, or che se attende
      Quel se ha a dolere, che al suo ben sogiorna.
      Secreto è il loco, el sol pur non vi splende;
      Bella sei tu, sol manca che sii adorna
      Di veste come io intendo ultra il tesoro.
      Deh, non mi tener più; vedi ch' io moro.

She is almost won; one last assault, and her defences fall. Why, indeed,
should she hesitate--

    Poi ch' Amor dice, ogni secreta è casta?

This stroke of cynicism is put forward as it were but half intentionally,
and with no appreciation of its intense irony in the mouth of the husband.
Throughout the scene indeed he appears merely as a common seducer, and the
author seems wholly to have failed to grasp the real dramatic value of the
situation. On the other hand, the lesser art of the stage has been
mastered with some success, and there is an adaptation of language to
action which at least argues that the author had a vivid picture of the
staging of his play in his mind when he wrote.

The moment Procri has consented to barter her honour, Cefalo discovers
himself, and the unhappy girl flies in terror. Seeing now, too late, the
resuit of his foolish mistrust, Cefalo follows with prayers and

                      Son ben certo
    Che tu mi cognoscesti ancor coperto--

but in vain. The act ends with a song in which Aurora glories in the
success of her revenge--

    Festegiam con tutto il core;
    Biastemate hor meco Amore!

In the second act Procri, having recovered from her fright, is bent on
avenging herself for the deceit practised by Cefalo, upon whose supposed
love for Aurora she throws the blame in the matter. She seeks the grove of
Diana, where she is enrolled among the followers of the goddess. Cefalo,
who has followed her flight, rejoins her in the wood, and there renews his
prayers. She refuses to recognize him, denies being his wife, and is about
to renew her flight, when an old shepherd, attracted by Cefalo's
lamentation, stays her and forces her to hear her husband's pleading.
Other shepherds appear on the scene, and the act ends with an eclogue. In
the next we find her reconciled to Cefalo, to whom she gives the
wind-swift dog and the unerring spear which she had received as a nymph of
Diana. Cefalo at once sets the hound upon the traces of a boar, and goes
off in pursuit, while his wife returns home. He shortly reappears, having
lost boar and hound alike, and, tired with the chase, falls asleep.
Meanwhile a faun, finding Procri alone, tells her that he had seen Cefalo
meeting with his love Aurora in the wood--a piece of news in return for
which he seeks her love. She, however, resolves to go and surprise the
supposed lovers, and setting fire to the wood, herself to perish with them
in the flames. On Cefalo's return he is met with bitter reproaches, and
the act ends with a chorus of fauns and satyrs. The fourth contains the
catastrophe. Procri hides in the wood in hope of surprising her husband
with his paramour. Cefalo enters ready for the chase, and, seeing what he
takes to be a wild beast among bushes, throws the fatal spear, which
pierces Procri's breast. A reconciliation precedes her death, and the
close of the act is rendered effective by the successive summoning of the
Muses and nymphs in some graceful stanzas. With a little polishing, such
as Poliziano's bacchanalian chorus received in revision, the scene would
not be unworthy of the time and place of its production.

    Oimè sorelle, o Galatea, presto!
    Donate al cervo ormai un poco pace;
    Soccorrete al pianger quel caso mesto.
    Oimè sorelle, Procri morta giace,
    L' alma spirata, e il ciel guardando tace.

At Cefalo's desire Calliope summons her sister Muses, Phillis the nymphs,
after which all join in a choral ode calling upon the divinities of
mountain, wood, and stream to join in a universal lament:

    Weep, spirits of the woods and of the hills,
      Weep, each pure nymph beside her fountain-head,
      And weep, ye mountains, in a thousand rills,
    For the fair child who here below lies dead:
      Mourn, all ye gods, the last of human ills,
      Your sacred foreheads all ungarlanded.

Here the traditional story of Cephalus and Procris, as founded on the
rather inferior version in the seventh book of the _Metamorphoses_, ends.
There remains, however, a fifth act, in which Diana appears, raises
Procri, and restores her to her husband.

The play, composed for the most part in octaves with choruses in _terza
rima_, is, from the dramatic point of view, open to obvious and fatal
objections. The preposterous _dea ex machina_ of the last act; the
inconsequence of motive and inconsistency of character, partly, it is
true, inherent in the original story, but by no means made less obvious by
the dramatist; the insufficiency of the action to fill the necessary
space, and the inability of the author to make the most of his materials,
are all alike patent. On the other hand, we have already noticed a certain
theatrical ability displayed in the writing of the first act, and we may
further attribute the alteration by which Procri is represented as jealous
of Cefalo's original lover, Aurora, instead of the wholly imaginary Aura,
as in Ovid, to a desire for dramatic unity of motive.

The extent to which either the _Orfeo_ or _Cefalo_ can be regarded as
pastoral will now be clear, and it must be confessed that they do not
carry us very far. The two fifteenth-century plays constitute a distinct
species which has attained to a high degree of differentiation if not of
dramatic evolution, and critics who would see in them the origin of the
later pastoral drama have to explain the strange phenomenon of the species
lying dormant for nearly three-quarters of a century, and then suddenly
developing into an equally individualized but very dissimilar form[164].
It should, moreover, be borne in mind that contemporary critics never
regarded the Arcadian pastoral as in any way connected with the
mythological drama, and that the writers of pastoral themselves claimed no
kinship with Poliziano or Correggio, but always ranked themselves as the
followers of Beccari alone in the line of dramatic development. On the
other hand, there can be no reasonable doubt that such performances went
to accustom spectators to that mixture of mythology and idealism which
forms the atmosphere, so to speak, of the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor fido_.
This must be my excuse for lingering over these early works.


When dealing with the Italian eclogue we saw how, at a certain point, it
began to assume a distinctly dramatic character, and in so doing took the
first step towards the possible evolution of a real pastoral drama. It
will be my task in the ensuing pages to follow up this clue, and to show
how the pastoral drama arose through a process of natural development from
the recited eclogue.

The dramatic tendency was indeed inherent in the eclogue from the very
first. Throughout there is a steady growth in the use of dialogue: of the
Idyls of Theocritus only about a third contain more than one character; of
Vergil's Bucolics at least half; of Calpurnius' all but one; of the
eclogues of Petrarch and Boccaccio all without exception. This tendency
did not escape Guarini, who, when not led into puerilities by his love of
self-laudation, often shows considerable insight. 'The eclogue,' he says,
'is nothing but a short discussion between shepherds, differing in no
other manner from that sort of scene which the Latins call dialogue,
except in so far as being whole and independent, possessing within itself
both beginning and end[165].'

Having thus gradually altered the literary form of the eclogue, this
tendency towards dramatic expression next showed itself in the manner in
which the poem was presented to the world. For circulation in print or
manuscript, or for informal reading, came to be substituted recitation in
character. The dialogue was divided between two persons who spoke
alternately, and it is evident from the somewhat meagre texts that survive
that, in the earliest examples, these _ecloghe rappresentative_, or
dramatic eclogues as I shall call them, differed in no way from the purely
literary productions which we considered in an earlier section. Evidence
of actual representation is often wanting, and the exact date in most
cases is uncertain; but, since there is no doubt that such performances
actually did take place, we are not only justified in assuming that
several poems of the period belong to this class, but we can also, on
internai evidence, arrange them more or less in a natural sequence of
dramatic development. One such eclogue has come down to us from the pen of
Baldassare Taccone, a Genoese who also wrote mythological plays on the
subjects of Danaë and Actaeon. Another, interesting as dealing with the
corruption of the Curia at a moment when its scandalous traffic was
carried on in the light of day with more than usually cynical
indifference, was actually presented at Rome under the patronage of
Cardinal Giovanni Colonna at the carnival of 1490, during the pontificate
of Innocent VIII. Gradually a more complex form was evolved, the number of
speakers was increased, and some of these made their entrance during the
progress of the recitation. So too in the matter of metrical form, the
strict _terza rima_ of the earlier examples came to be diversified with
_rime sdrucciole_, and by being intermingled with verses with internal
rime, with _ottava rima, settenarî_ couplets, and lyrical measures.
Castiglione's representation at Urbino has been noticed previously. Among
similar productions may be mentioned two poems by a certain Caperano of
Faenza, printed in 1508, while others are found at Siena in 1517 and 1523.
Besides the texts that are extant we also have record of a good many which
have perished. In 1493 the representation of eclogues formed part of the
revels prepared by Alexander VI for the marriage of Lucrezia Borgia with
Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro, and this was again the case when, having
been divorced from Giovanni, and her second husband having perished by the
assassin's dagger, she finally in 1502 became the wife of Alfonso d'Este,
heir to the duchy of Ferrara. Eclogues were again represented at Ferrara
in 1508, and received specific mention among the dramatic performances
dealt with by the laws of Venice.

We thus see that the eclogue had every opportunity of developing into a
regular dramatic form. At this point a variety of external influences made
themselves felt, which facilitated or modified its growth. Perhaps
foremost among these should be reckoned that of the 'regular' drama--that
is of the drama based upon an imitation of the classics, chiefly of the
Latin authors. The conception of dramatic art which was in men's minds at
the time naturally and inevitably influenced the development of a form of
poem which was daily becoming more sensibly dramatic. Next there was the
influence of the mythological drama embodying the romantic and ideal
elements of classical myth, but in form representing the tradition of the
old religious plays. This led to the occasional introduction of
supernatural characters, counteracted the rationalizing influence of the
Roman dramatists, and supplied the pastoral with its peculiar imaginative
atmosphere. Lastly, there was the 'rustic' influence, which was at no time
very strong, and left no mark upon the form as finally evolved, but which
has nevertheless to be taken into account in tracing the process of
development. The influence exercised by burlesque and realistic scenes
from real life cannot have been brought to bear on the eclogue until it
had already attained to a dramatic character of some complexity. The
earliest text of the kind we possess dates from 1508, and it is doubtful
whether or not it was acted. In 1513 we have record of a rustic
performance at the Capitol, and a satyrical and allegorical piece of like
nature, and belonging to the same year, is actually preserved, as is also
one in Bellunese dialect. These shows became the special characteristic of
the Rozzi society at Siena, in whose hands they soon developed into short
realistic farces of low life, composed in dialectal verse and acted by
members of the society at many of the courts of Italy. The fashion,
though never widely spread, survived for many years, the most famous
author of such pieces being Michelangelo Buonarroti the younger at the
beginning of the next century.

These _drammi rusticali_, as they were called, may not improbably have
owed their origin to the fashion of rustic composition set by Lorenzo de'
Medici in his _Nencia_, and may thus in their origin have been related to
the courtly eclogue; but the subsequent development of the kind is at most
parallel to that of the pastoral drama, and should not be regarded either
as the origin or as a subdivision of this latter. Nor did the rustic
compositions exercise any permanent influence on the pastoral drama; the
most that can be said is that an occasional text shows signs of being
affected by the low vulgarity of the kind.

Returning to the polite eclogues, we soon find an increase in the dramatic
complexity of the form. Tansillo's _Due pellegrini_, which cannot be later
than 1528, contains the rudiments of a plot, two lovers bent on suicide
being persuaded by a miraculous voice to become reconciled with the world
and life. Poetic justice befalls the two nymphs in an eclogue by Luca di
Lorenzo, printed in 1530, the disdainful Diversa being condemned to love
the boor Fantasia, while Euridice's loving disposition is rewarded by the
devotion of Orindio.

We now come to what may almost be regarded as the first conscious attempt
to write a pastoral play--an attempt, however, which met with but partial
success. This is the _Amaranta_, a 'Comedia nuova pastorale' by
Giambattista Casalio of Faenza, which most probably belongs to a date
somewhat before 1538. In it the mutual love of Partenio and Amaranta is
thwarted by the girl's mother Celia, who destines her for a goatherd.
Partenio is led to believe that his love has played him false, while in
her turn Amaranta supposes herself forsaken. The two meet, however, at the
hut of a wise nymph Lucina, through whose intervention they are reconciled
and their union effected. The piece, which attains to some proportions, is
divided into five acts, and, while owing a certain debt to the _Orfeo_, is
itself pastoral in character with occasional coarse touches borrowed from
the rustic shows. It is in the _Amaranta_ that we first meet with an
attempt to introduce a real plot of some human interest into a purely
pastoral composition; we are no longer dealing with a merely occasional
piece written in celebration of some special person or festivity, no
longer with a mythological masque or pageant, nor with an amorous
allegory, but with a piece the interest of which, slight as it is, lies in
the fate of the characters involved.

The fifteen years or so which separate the work of Casalio from that of
Beccari saw the production of a succession of more or less pastoral works
which serve, to some extent at least, to bridge over the gap which
separates even the most elaborate of the above compositions from the
recognized appearance of the fully-developed pastoral drama in the
_Sacrifizio_. The chief characteristic which marks the work of these years
is a tendency to deliberate experiment. The writers appear to have been
conscious that their work was striving towards a form which had not yet
been achieved, though they were themselves vague as to what that form
might be. Epicuro's _Mirzia_ tends towards the mythological drama; the
_Silvia_ written by one Fileno, which, like the _Amaranta_, turns on the
temporary estrangement of two lovers, introduces considerable elements
from the rustic performances; in Cazza's _Erbusto_ the amorous skein is
cut by the discovery of consanguinity and an ἀναγνώρισις after the manner
of the Latin comedy. Similar in plot to this last is a fragmentary
pastoral of Giraldi Cintio's published from manuscript by Signor Carducci.
Another curious but isolated experiment is Cintio's _Egle_, in intent a
revival of the 'satyric' drama of the Greeks, in substance a dramatization
of the motive of Sannazzaro's _Salices_. In one sense these experiments
ended in failure; it was not through the elaboration of mythological or
superhuman elements, nor through the humour of burlesque or realistic
rusticity, nor yet through the violence of unexpected discoveries, that
the destined form of the pastoral drama was to be attained. On the other
hand, they undoubtedly served to introduce an elaboration of plot and
complexity of dramatic structure which is altogether lacking in the
earlier eclogues and masques, but without which the work of Tasso and
Guarini could never have occupied the commanding position that it does in
the history of literature. They carry us forward to the point at which the
pastoral drama took its shape and being.

Of the elements compounded of pastoral idealism and the graceful purity of
classical myth, and combining the scenic attractions of the masque with
the reasoned action and human interest of the regular drama, the Arcadian
pastoral first achieved definite form in the work of Agostino Beccari. His
_Sacrifizio_, styled 'favola pastorale' on the title-page of the first
impression, was acted at the palace of Francesco d' Este at Ferrara in the
presence of Ercole II and his son Luigi, and of the Duchess Renata and her
daughters Lucrezia and Leonora, on two occasions in February and March
1554. The piece was revived more than thirty years later, namely in 1587,
when the courtly world was already familiar with Tasso's masterpiece, and
was ringing with the prospective fame of the _Pastor fido_, and
represented both at Sassuolo and Ferrara.

The action involves three pairs of lovers. Turico loves Stellinia in spite
of the fact that she has transferred her affections to Erasto. Erasto in
his turn pays his homage to Callinome, the type of the 'careless'
shepherdess, a nymph vowed to the service of Diana. There remains
Carpalio, whose love for Melidia is secretly returned; its consummation
being prevented by the girl's brother Pimonio, who refuses to countenance
the match, and keeps dragon guard over his sister. In the meanwhile
shepherds and shepherdesses assemble to honour the festival and sacrifice
of Pan, which proves the occasion for the unravelling of the amorous
tangle. Stellinia, wishing to rid herself of her rival in Erasto's love,
induces Callinome so far to break her vestal vow as to be present at the
forbidden feast. Here she is promptly detected by the offended goddess and
sentenced to do battle against one of the fiercest of the Erymanthian
boars. Erasto comes to her aid with a magic ointment, which has the power
of rendering the user invisible, and with the help of which she achieves
her task unharmed. Out of gratitude she rewards her preserver with her
love. Not only is Stellinia thus condemned to witness the failure of her
plot, but she is herself carried off by a satyr, who endeavours to deceive
each of the nymphs in turn. Being rescued from his power by the faithful
Turico, she too capitulates to love. Lastly, in the absence of Pimonio,
who has gone to be present at the games held at the festival, Carpalio and
Melidia pluck the fruit of love, and are saved from the anger of the
brother through his conveniently falling into an enchanted lake whence he
emerges in the shape of a boar.

In the prologue the author boldly announces the novelty of his work--

    Una favola nova pastorale
    ............nova in tanto
    Ch' altra non fu giammai forse più udita
    Di questa sorte recitarsi in scena.

Guarini, who is said to have supplied a prologue for the revival of the
piece, bore out Beccari's claim when he wrote in his essay on
tragi-comedy: 'First among the moderns to possess the happy boldness to
make in this kind, namely the pastoral dramatic tale, of which there is no
trace among the ancients, was Agostin de' Beccari, a worthy citizen of
Ferrara, to whom alone does the world owe the fair creation of this sort
of poem[166].'

Several pieces of no great interest or importance serve to fill the decade
or so following on the production of Beccari's play. Groto, known as the
Cieco d' Adria, combined the mythological motive with much of the vulgar
obscenity of the Latin comedy. Lollio also produced a hybrid of an earlier
type in his _Aretusa_. In 1567 a return was made to the pastoral tradition
of Beccari in Agostino Argenti's play _Lo Sfortunato_. Among the
spectators who witnessed the first performance of this piece before Duke
Alfonso and his court at Ferrara was a youth of twenty-two, lately
attached to the household of the Cardinal Luigi d' Este. In all
probability this was Tasso's first introduction to a style of composition
which not many years later he was to make famous throughout Europe. The
play he witnessed on that occasion, however, was no work of surpassing
genius. It cannot, indeed, be said to mark any decided advance on
Beccari's work except in so far, perhaps, as it at times foreshadows the
somewhat sickly sentiment of later pastorals, including Tasso's own. The
shepherd Sfortunato loves Dafne, Dafne loves Iacinto, who in his turn
pursues Flaminia, while she loves only Silvio, who loves himself. Nothing
particular happens till the fourth scene of Act III. Then Silvio, tired of
being the last link in the chain of love, devises a plan for placing
Flaminia and Dafne in the power of their respective lovers. Flaminia,
assailed by Iacinto, makes up her mind to bow to fate, and accepts with a
good grace the love it is no longer in her power to fly. Sfortunato, on
the other hand, rather than offend his mistress, allows her to depart
unharmed, and since he thereby forgoes his only chance of enjoying the
object of his passion, determines to die. His vow is overheard by Dafne,
who, seeing that her love for Iacinto may no more avail, at last relents.
A third nymph, introduced to make the numbers even, takes the veil among
the followers of Diana, and so lives the object of Silvio's chaste regard.
It will be readily seen how in the character of Sfortunato we have the
forerunner of Tasso's Aminta; but it will also appear what poor use has
been made of the situation. The truth is that we have up to now been
dealing merely with origins, with productions which are of interest only
in the reflected light of later work; whatever there is of real beauty and
of permanent value in the pastoral drama of Italy is due to the breath of
life inspired into the phantasms of earlier writers by the genius of Tasso
and Guarini.


We have now followed the dramatic pastoral from its obscure origin in the
eclogue to the eve of its assuming a recognized and abiding position in
the literature of Europe[167]. But if it is in a measure easy thus to
trace back the Arcadian drama to its historical sources, and to show how
the _Aminta_ came to be possible, it is not so easy to show how it came to
be actual. All creative work is the outcome of three fashioning forces,
the historical position, the personal circumstances of the artist, and his
individual genius. The pastoral drama had reached what I may perhaps be
allowed to call the 'psychological point' in its development. At the same
moment it happened that Tasso, having returned from a fruitless and
uncongenial mission to the Valois court, enjoyed a brief period of calm
and prosperity in the congenial society of Leonora d' Este, before the
critical bickerings to which he exposed himself in connexion with the
_Gerusalemme_ wrought havoc with an already over-sensitive and
overstrained temperament. Furthermore it happened that he brought to the
spontaneous composition of his courtly toy just that touch of languorous
beauty, that soft vein of sentiment, which formed perhaps his most
characteristic contribution to the artistic tone of his age, veiling a
novel mood in his favourite phrase, _un non so che_[168]. Had all this not
been, had not the fortune of a suitable genius and the chance of personal
surroundings jumped with the historical possibility, we might indeed have
had any number of lifeless 'Sacrifices' and 'Unhappy Ones,' but Italy
would have added no new kind to the forms of dramatic art. Had it not been
for the _Aminta_, the pastoral drama must almost necessarily have been
stillborn, for Guarini was too much of a pedant to do more than to imitate
and enlarge, while other writers belong to the decline.

The _Aminta_, while possessing a delicate dramatic structure of its own,
yet retains not a little of the simplicity of the _ecloga
rappresentativa_. Indeed, it is worth noting, alike on account of this
quality in the poem itself as also of its literary ancestry, that, in a
letter written within a year of its original production, Tiburio Almerici
speaks of it by the old name of eclogue[169]. Referring to its
representation at Urbino, he writes: 'Il terzo spettacolo, che si è
goduto questo carnovale, è stato un' egloga del Tasso, che fu recitata
questo giovedì passato da alcuni gioveni d' Urbino nella sala, che fu
fatta per la venuta delia Principessa.' The princess in question was none
other than Lucrezia d' Este, who had lately become the wife of Tasso's
former companion Francesco Maria della Rovere, now Duke of Urbino, and who
with her sister Leonora, the heroine of the Tasso legend, had, it will be
remembered, stood sponsor to Beccari's play nearly twenty years before.
The representation at Urbino to which Almerici alludes was not of course
the first. Written in the winter of 1572-3 during the absence of Duke
Alfonso, the piece was acted after his return from Rome in the summer of
the latter year. Ferrara, as we have seen, had become and was long
destined to remain the special home of the pastoral drama in Italy. Here
on July 31, in the palace of Belvedere, built on an island in the Po, the
court of the Estensi assembled to witness the production of Tasso's
play[170]. The staging, both on this and on subsequent occasions, was no
doubt answerable to the nature of the piece, and added the splendour of
the masque to the classic grace of the fable. Almerici remarks on the
special attractions for spectators and auditors alike of what he calls 'la
novità del coro fra ciascuno atto,' by which he clearly meant the
spectacular interludes known as _intermedî_, the verses for which are
commonly printed at the end of the play[171]. But the representation which
struck the imagination of contemporaries was that before the Grand Duke
Ferdinand at Florence. This took place in 1590[172]. Guarini's play had in
its turn won renown far beyond the frontiers of Italy, while the author
of the _Aminta_, a yet attractive but impossible madman, was destined for
the few remaining years of his life to drag his tale of woes and but too
often his rags from one Italian court to another, ere he sank at last
exhausted where S. Onofrio overlooks St. Peter's dome.

The structure of the play is not free from a good deal of stiffness and
artificiality, which it bequeathed to its successors. It borrowed from the
classical drama a chorus, on the whole less Greek than Latin, the use of
confidants, and the introduction of messengers and descriptive passages.
These last, it may be noted, are deliberately and wantonly classical, not
merely necessitated by the exigencies of the action, difficult of
representation as in the attempted suicide of Aminta, impossible as in the
rescue of Silvia from the satyr, but resorted to in order to veil the
dramatic weakness of the author's imagination, as is plain from the
description of the final meeting of the lovers. Yet it may be freely
admitted that to this device, the substitution namely of narrative for
action, we owe most of the finest poetic passages of the play: the
description of the youthful loves of Aminta and Silvia and the former's
ruse to win a kiss, the picture of Silvia bound to the tree by the pool,
Tirsi's account of the court, the description of Silvia at the spring--one
of the most elaborate in the piece--the account of her escape from the
wolves, last but not least that description of Silvia finding the
unconscious Aminta, so full of subtle and effeminate seduction, prophetic
of a later age of morals and of taste:

    Ma come Silvia il riconobbe, e vide
    Le belle guance tenere d' Aminta
    Iscolorite in sì leggiadri modi,
    Che viola non è che impallidisca
    Si dolcemente, e lui languir sì fatto,
    Che parea già negli ultimi sospiri
    Esalar l'alma; in guisa di Baccante
    Gridando, e percotendosi il bel petto,
    Lasciò cadersi in sul giacente corpo,
    E giunse viso a viso, e bocca a bocca. (V. i.)

So too the chorus, though awkward enough from a dramatic point of view
and in so far as it fulfils any dramatic purpose, offers a sufficient
justification for its existence in the magnificent ode on 'honour,' that
rapturous song of the golden age of love, the poetic supremacy of which
has never been questioned, whatever may have been thought of its ethical
significance. To that aspect we shall return later. At present it will be
well to give some more or less detailed account of the action of the piece

The shepherd Aminta loves Silvia, formerly as a child his playmate and
companion, now a huntress devoted to the service of Diana, proud in her
virginity and unfettered state. The play opens in a sufficiently
conventional manner, but wrought with sparkling verse, with two companion
scenes. In the first of these Silvia brushes aside the importunities of
her confidant Dafne who seeks to allure her to the blandishments of love
with sententious natural examples and modern instances.

    Cangia, cangia consiglio,
    Pazzerella che sei,
    Che il pentirsi dassezzo nulla giova;

such is the burden of her song, or yet again, recalling the golden days of
love she too of yore had wasted:

    Il mondo invecchia
    E invecchiando intristisce.

Words of profound melancholy these, uttered in the days of the burnt-out
fires of the renaissance. But all this moves not Silvia, nymph of the
woods and of the chase, and, if she is indeed as fancy-free as she would
have us believe, her lover may even console himself with the reflection

    If of herself she will not love,
    Nothing will make her--
    The devil take her!

She has, after all, every right to the position. The next scene introduces
Aminta and his friend Tirsi, to whom he reveals the object and the history
of his love. Translated into bald prose, his confession has no very great
interest, but it opens with one of those exquisitely pencilled sketches
that lie scattered throughout the play.

    All' ombra d' un bel faggio Silvia e Filli
    Sedean un giorno, ed io con loro insieme;
    Quando un' ape ingegnosa, che cogliendo
    Sen giva il mel per que' prati fioriti,
    Alle guance di Fillide volando,
    Alle guance vermiglie come rosa,
    Le morse e le rimorse avidamente;
    Ch' alla similitudine ingannata
    Forse un fior le credette.

Silvia heals the hurt by whispering over it a charm; and the whole
description is instinct with that delicate, soft sentiment of Tasso's
which almost, though never quite, sinks into sentimentality. Aminta feigns
to have been stung on the lip, and begs Silvia to heal the hurt.

    La semplicetta Silvia,
    Pietosa del mio male,
    S' offrì di dar aita
    Alla finta ferita, ahi lasso! e fece
    Più cupa e più mortale
    La mia piaga verace,
    Quando le labbra sue
    Giunse alle labbra mie.

It is easy to argue that this is childish, that it mattered no whit though
they kissed from now to doomsday. But only the reader who cannot feel its
beauty is safe from the enervating narcotic of Tasso's style.

The first scene of the second act introduces a new character, the satyr,
type of brute nature in the artificially polished Arcadia of courtly
shepherds. He inherits no savoury character from his literary
predecessors, and he is content to play to the rôle. His monologue may be
passed over; it and still more the next scene serve to measure the cynical
indelicacy of feeling which was tolerated in the Italian courts. It is a
quality wholly different from the mere coarseness exhibited in the English
drama under Elizabeth and James, but it is one which will astonish no one
who has looked on the dramatic reflection of Italian society in the scenes
of the _Mandragola_. The satyr is succeeded on the stage by the confidants
Dafne and Tirsi in consultation as to the means of bringing about an
understanding between Aminta and Silvia. The scene is characterized by
those caustic reflections on women which serve to balance the extravagant
iciness of the 'careless' nymphs and became a commonplace of the pastoral

    Or, non sai tu com' è fatta la donna?
    Fugge, e fuggendo vuol ch' altri la giunga;
    Niega, e negando vuol ch' altri si toglia;
    Pugna, e pugnando vuol ch' altri la vinca.

Listening to the deliberations of these two, it cannot but strike us that
in spite of their polished speech the straightforward London stage would
have hesitated but little to bestow on them the names they deserve, and
which it were yet scarce honest to have here set down. We pass on, and,
whatever may be said regarding the moral atmosphere of the rest of the
play, we shall not again have to make complaint of the corruption of
manners assumed in the situation. In the following scene Tirsi undertakes
the difficult task of inducing Aminta to intrude upon Silvia, where she is
said to be alone at the spring preparing for the chase. It is only by
hinting that Silvia has secretly instructed Dafne to arrange the tryst
that he in the end succeeds in persuading the bashful lover to risk the
displeasure of his mistress.

At the opening of Act III Tirsi enters lamenting in bitter terms the
cruelty of Silvia. Interrogated by the chorus, he relates how, as he and
Aminta approached the spring where Silvia was bathing, they heard a cry
and, hastening to the spot, found the nymph bound hand and foot to a tree,
and confronting her the satyr. At their approach the monster fled, and
Aminta released the nymph, who _ignuda come nacque_ at once took flight,
leaving her lover in despair. In the meanwhile Aminta has sought to kill
himself with his own spear, but has been prevented by Dafne, and the two
now enter. At this moment too comes Nerina, one of the 'messengers' of the
piece, with the news that Silvia has been slain while pursuing a wolf in
the forest. Thereupon Aminta, with a last reproach to Dafne for having
prevented him from putting an end to his miserable life before being the
recipient of such direful news, rushes off the scene at a pace to mock
pursuit. In the next act, however, Silvia reappears and narrates her
escape. Here we arrive at the dramatic climax of the play. Dafne expresses
her fear that the false report of Silvia's death may indeed prove the
death of Aminta. The nymph at first shows herself incredulous, but on
learning that he had already once sought death on her account she wavers
and owns to pity if not to love--

              Oh potess' io
    Con l' amor mio comprar la vita sua,
    Anzi pur con la mia la vita sua,
    S' egli è pur morto!

Hereupon Ergasto enters with the news that Aminta has thrown himself from
a cliff, and Silvia, now completely overcome, goes off with the intention
of dying on the body of her dead lover.

The shortness, as well as the dramatic weakness, of the fifth act is
conspicuous even in proportion to the modest limits of the whole. It runs
to less than one hundred and fifty lines, and merely relates how Aminta's
fall was broken, how Silvia's love awoke, and all ended happily. The most
significant passage, that namely which describes Aminta being called back
to life in Silvia's arms, has been already quoted. He revives unharmed,
and the lovers,

    Alike in age, in generous birth alike
    And mutual desires,

gather in love the fruits which they have sown in weeping.

It is worth while quoting the final chorus in witness of the spirit of
half bantering humour in which the whole was conceived even by the serious
Tasso, a spirit we unfortunately too often seek in vain among his

    Non so se il molto amaro
    Che provato ha costui servendo, amando,
    Piangendo e disperando,
    Raddolcito esser puote pienamente
    D' alcun dolce presente:
    Ma, se più caro viene
    E più si gusta dopo 'l male il bene,
    Io non ti chieggio, Amore,
    Questa beatitudine maggiore:
    Bea pur gli altri in tal guisa;
    Me la mia ninfa accoglia
    Dopo brevi preghiere e servir breve:
    E siano i condimenti
    Delle nostre dolcezze
    Non sì gravi tormenti,
    Ma soavi disdegni,
    E soavi ripulse,
    Risse e guerre a cui segua,
    Reintegrando i cori, o pace o tregua.

It is with these words that the author leaves his graceful fantasy; and
such, we have perhaps the right to assume, was the spirit in which the
whole was composed. Were any one to object to our seeking to analyse the
quality of the piece, arguing that to do so were to break a butterfly upon
the wheel, much might reasonably be said in support of his view.
Nevertheless, when a work of art, however delicate and slender, has
received the homage of generations, and influenced cultivated taste for
centuries, and in widely different countries, we have a right to inquire
whereon its supremacy is based, and what the nature of its influence has

With the sources from which Tasso drew the various elements of his plot we
need have little to do. The child-love of Silvia and Aminta is of the
stuff of _Daphnis and Chloe_; the ruse by which the kiss is obtained is
borrowed from Achilles Tatius; the compliment to the court of the Estensi
is after the manner of Vergil, or of Castiglione, or of Ariosto, or of any
other of the allegorical eclogists of whom Vergil was the first; the germ
of the golden-age chorus is to be found in the elegies of Tibullus (II.
iii); the character of the satyr belongs to tradition; the rent veil of
Silvia reminds us of that of Ovid's Thisbe (_Met._ IV. 55). The language
too is reminiscent. The finest lines in the play--

    Amiam: che 'l sol si muore, e poi rinasce;
      A noi sua breve luce
      S' asconde, e 'l sonno eterna notte adduce--(_Coro_ I.)

belong to Catullus:

    Viuamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus;...
    soles occidere et redire possunt;
    nobis cum semel occidit breuis lux,
    nox est perpetua una dormienda. (_Carm._ V.)

The words in which Amore describes himself in the prologue--

              non mica un dio
    Selvaggio, o della plebe degli dei,
    Ma tra' grandi celesti il più possente--

recall Ovid's lines:

    nec de plebe deo, sed qui caelestia magna
    sceptra manu teneo.      (_Met._ I. 595.)

Again, the line:

    Dove la costa face di sè grembo;

which occurs alike in the play (V. i.) and in the _Purgatorio_ (VII. 68),
supplies evidence, as do similar borrowings in the _Gerusalemme_, of
Tasso's study of Dante.

The prologue introduces Amore in pastoral disguise, escaped from the care
of his mother, who would confine his activity to the Courts, and intent on
loosing his shafts among the nymphs and shepherds of Arcadia. In the form
of this prologue, which became the model for subsequent pastoral writers
in Italy[173], and in the heavenly descent of the principal characters, we
may see the influence of the mythological play; while the substance both
of the prologue and of the epilogue, or _Amore fuggitivo_, in which Venus
comes to seek her runaway among the ladies and gallants of the court, is
of course borrowed from the famous first idyl of Moschus. Again the
topical element is not absent, though it is less prominent than some of
the earlier work might lead us to expect. In the poet Tirsi--

              allor ch' ardendo
    Forsennato egli errò per le foreste
    Sì, ch' insieme movea pietate e riso
    Nelle vezzose ninfe e ne' pastori;
    Nè già cose scrivea digne di riso,
    Sebben cose facea digne di riso--(I. i.)

we may, of course, see the poet himself. In Batto too, mentioned together
with Tirsi, it is not unreasonable to recognize Battisto Guarini, whom at
that time Tasso might still regard as his friend. Again, it is usual to
identify Elpino with Giovanbattista Pigna, secretary of state at the
Estense court, and one with whom, though no friend of the poet's, it was
yet to his advantage to stand well. The flattery bestowed is not a little

              Or non rammenti
    Ciò che l' altrieri Elpino raccontava,
    Il saggio Elpino a la bella Licori,
    Licori che in Elpin puote cogli occhi
    Quel ch' ei potere in lei dovria col canto,
    Se 'l dovere in amor si ritrovasse;
    E 'l raccontava udendo Batto e Tirsi,
    Gran maestri d' amore; e 'l raccontava
    Nell' antro dell' Aurora, ove sull' uscio
    È scritto: _Lungi, ah lungi ite, profani_?
    Diceva egli, e diceva che gliel disse
    Quel grande che cantò l' armi e gli amori,
    Ch' a lui lasciò la fistola morendo;
    Che laggiù nello 'nferno è un nero speco,
    Là dove esala un fumo pien di puzza
    Dalle tristi fornaci d' Acheronte;
    E che quivi punite eternamente
    In tormenti di tenebre e di pianto
    Son le femmine ingrate e sconoscenti. (I. i.)

He who sang of arms and love is of course Ariosto--

    Le donne, i cavalier, l' arme, gli amori,
    Le cortesie, l' audaci imprese io canto--

from whom Tasso borrows the above description of the reward awaiting
ungrateful women, as also the fiction of the tell-tale walls and chairs in
Mopso's account of the court (I. ii). And this Elpino, whose pipe

      correr fa di puro latte i fiumi
    E stillar melle dalle dure scorze, (III. i.)

later becomes the Alete of the _Gerusalemme_,

    Gran fabbro di calunnie adorne in modi
    Novi che sono accuse e paion lodi. (II. 58.)

His flattery had not shielded the unhappy poet against the ill-will of
the minister[174].

Again, the picture drawn by Tirsi of the ideal court (I. ii.) is a glowing
compliment to that of the Estensi and to Duke Alfonso himself. It is
contrasted with the usual pastoral denunciation of court and city put into
the mouth of the pretended augur Mopso. In this character it has been
customary to see Sperone Speroni, who later accused Tasso of plagiarizing
him in the _Gerusalemme_, and was the first to apply the ominous word
'madman' to the unfortunate poet. To Speroni's play _Canace_ Tasso may
have been indebted for the free measures with which he diversified his
blank verse, as likewise for the line:

    Pianti, sospiri e dimandar mercede;[175]

though it must not be supposed that there is any resemblance in style
between the _Aminta_ and Speroni's revolting and frigid declamation of
butchery and lust. Nor did the debt pass unnoticed. In 1585 Guarini, who
had long since parted with the sinking ship of the younger poet's
friendship, was ready to flatter Speroni with the declaration 'che tanto
di leggiadria è sempre paruto a me, che abbia nell' Aminta suo conseguito
Torquato Tasso, quant' egli fù imitatore della Canace[176].'

Lastly, in the hopeless suit of Aminta to Silvia, criticism has not failed
to see a reference to the supposed relation between Tasso and Leonora d'
Este. That Tasso, who in his overwrought imagination no doubt harboured a
sentimental regard for the princess, was conscious of the parallel is in
some degree probable; that he should have identified his creation with
himself is, in view of the solution of the dramatic situation, utterly
impossible. Indeed, it would perhaps not be extravagant to suppose that
his care to identify himself with Aminta's confidant may have been an
unusual but not untimely piece of caution on his part, to prevent poisoned
gossip connecting him too closely with his hero.

The question of the influence of the _Aminta_ on later works and on
European thought generally opens up large and difficult issues. It is one
of those works which we are not justified in treating from the purely
literary point of view. If we wish to see it in its relation to
contemporary society, and to estimate its influence upon subsequent
literature, we cannot afford to neglect its ethical bearings. This inquiry
must necessarily lead us beyond the sphere of literary criticism proper,
but it is a task which one who has undertaken to give an account of
pastoral literature has no right to shirk.

The central motive of the piece is the struggle between the feverish
passion of Aminta and the virginal coldness of Silvia. Of this motive and
of the manner in which it is treated it is not altogether easy to speak,
and this less from any inherent element in the subject or from the
difficulty of accurately apprehending the peculiarities of sentiment
proper to former ages, than from the readiness of all ages alike to accept
in such matters the counterfeit coin of conventional protestation for the
sterling reticence of natural delicacy. No doubt this tendency has been
aided by the fact that the secrets of a girl's heart, whatever may be
their true dramatic value, form an unsuitable and ineffective subject for
declamation. The difficulties must not, however, be allowed to weigh
against the importance of coming to a clear understanding as to the true
nature of this _non so che_ of false sentiment, of which it would hardly
be too much to affirm that it made the fortune of the pastoral in
aristocratic Italy on the one hand, and proved its ruin in middle-class
London on the other.

To Tasso is due that assumption of extravagant and conventional _pudor_
which forms one of the most abiding features of the pastoral drama. To
censure an exaggeration of the charm of modesty on the threshold of the
_seicento_, or to object a strained sense of chastity against the author
of the golden-age chorus, may indeed seem strange; but, as with Fletcher
at a later date, the very extravagance of the paradox may supply us with
the key to its solution.

The falsity of Tasso's position is evinced partly in the main action of
the drama, partly in the commentary supplied by the minor personages. The
character of Aminta himself is unimportant in this respect; when we have
described him as effeminate, sickly, and over-refined, we have said all
that is necessary in view of the position he occupies with regard to
Silvia. She, we are given to understand, is the type of the 'careless'
shepherdess, the unspotted nymph of Diana[177], rejoicing in the chase
alone, and importuned by the love of Aminta, which she neither
reciprocates nor understands, and of the genuineness of which she shows
herself, indeed, not a little sceptical. If, however, she is as careless
as she appears, her conversion is certainly most sudden. The picture,
moreover, drawn by Dafne of Silvia coquetting with her shadow in the pool,
though possibly coloured by malice, supplies a sufficient hint of the
true state of the girl's fancy. She is in truth such a Chloe of innocence
as might spring up in the rank soil of a petty Italian court infected with
post-Tridentine morality. Were she indeed careless of Aminta's devotion we
could easily sympathize with her when she brushes aside Dafne's
importunity with the words:

    Faccia Aminta di sè e de' suoi amori
    Quel ch' a lui piace; a me nulla ne cale. (I. i.)

It is altogether different with her attitude of arrogant pudicity when she

              Odio il suo amore
    Ch' odia la mia onestate;    (Ib.)

and again:

    In questa guisa gradirei ciascuno
    Insidiator di mia virginitate,
    Che tu dimandi amante, ed io nemico. (Ib.)

Silvia here conjoins the unwholesome medieval ideal of virginity with the
corrupt spectre of renaissance 'honour'--

              quel vano
    Nome senza soggetto,
    Quell' idolo d' errori, idol d' inganno[178], (_Coro_ I.)

as Tasso himself styled it--that conventional mask so bitterly contrasted
with the natural goodness of the age of gold[179].

The general conception of love and its attendant emotions that permeates
the work and vitiates so many of its descendants appears yet more
glaringly characterized in some of the minor personages. On these it is
not my intention to dwell. Of Dafne and Tirsi, that is, be it remembered,
Tasso's self, I have spoken, however briefly, yet at sufficient length
already. Suffice it to add here that Dafne's suggestion, that modesty is
commonly but a veil for lust, is nothing more than the cynical expression
of the attitude adopted throughout the play. Love is no ideal and
idealizing emotion, but a mere gratification of the senses--a _luxuria_
scarcely distinguishable from _gula_. Ignorance can alone explain an
attitude of indifference towards its pleasures. The girl who does not care
to embrace opportunity is no better than a child--'Fanciulla tanto
sciocca, quanto bella,' as Dafne says. So, again, there is nothing
ennobling in the devotion of the hero, nothing elevating in his fidelity.
All the mysticism, all the ideality, of the early days of the renaissance
have long since disappeared, and chivalrous feeling, that last lingering
glory of the middle age, is dead.

We are, indeed, justified in regarding what I may term the degeneration of
sexual feeling in the _Aminta_ as to a great extent the negation of
chivalrous love, for, even apart from the allegorizing mysticism of Dante,
that love contained its ennobling elements. And yet, strangely enough, not
a little of the convention at least of chivalrous love survives in the
debased Arcadian love of the sentimental pastoral. Both alike are
primarily of an animal nature, and this in a sense other than that in
which physical love may be said to form an element in all natural relation
between man and woman. Again, in both we find the rational machinery by
which love shall be rewarded. The lover serves his apprenticeship, either
with deeds of arms or with sighs and sonnets, and the credit of the
mistress is light who refuses to reward him for his service. The System
assumes neither choice, nor passion, nor pleasure on her part. Her act is
regarded in the cold light of a calculated payment, undisguised by any joy
of passionate surrender. But whereas in the outgrowth of feudalism, in the
chivalry of the middle ages, this system formed the great incentive to
martial daring, whereas when idealized in Beatrice it became almost
undistinguishable from the ferveurs of religion, we find it with Tasso
sinking into a weak and mawkish sensuality. More than any other
sentimentalist Tasso justified his title by 'fiddling harmonics on the
strings of sensualism,' and it may be added that the ear is constantly
catching the fundamental note.

The foregoing remarks appeared necessary in order to understand the
subsequent history of the dramatic pastoral as well as the conditions
under which it took form and being, but they have led us far beyond the
limits of literary criticism proper. The next characteristic of the play
to be considered is one which, while possessing an important ethical
bearing, is also closely connected with the aesthetic composition. I refer
to the peculiar, not sensual but sensuous, nature of the beauty. The
effect produced by the descriptions, by the suggestions, by the general
tone, by the subtle modulations of the verse in adaptation to its theme,
is less one of literary and intellectual than of direct emotional
perception, producing the immediate physical impression of an actual
presence. The beauty has a subtle enervating charm, languid and
voluptuous, at the same time as clear and limpid in tone. The effect
produced is one and whole, that of a perfect work of art, and the same
impression remains with us afterwards. Smooth limbs, soft and white, that
shine through the waters of the spring and amid the jewelled spray, or
half revealed among the thickets of lustrous green, a slant ray of
sunlight athwart the loosened gold of the hair--the vision floats before
us as if conjured up by the strains of music rather than by actual words.
This kinship with another art did not escape so acute a critic as Symonds
as a characteristic of Tasso's style. But the kinship on another side with
the art of painting is equally close; a thousand pictures rise before us
as we follow the perfect melody of the irregular lyric measures. The white
veil fluttering and the swift feet flashing amid the brambles and the
trailing creepers of the wood, bright crimson staining the spotless purity
of the flying skirts as the huntress bursts through the clinging tangles
that seek to hold her as if jealous of a human love, the lusty strength of
the bronzed and hairy satyr in contrast with the tender limbs of the
captive nymph, the dark cliff, and the still mirror of the lake reflecting
the rosebuds pressed artfully against the girl's soft neck as she crouches
by its brink,

    Backed by the forest, circled by the flowers,
    Bathed in the sunshine of the golden hours,

the armed huntress, the grey-coated wolves, and the white-robed
chorus--here are a series of pictures of seductive beauty for the brush of
a painter to realize upon the walls of some palace of pleasure.

The _Aminta_ attained a wide popularity even before the appearance of the
first edition from the Aldine house at Venice early in 1581--the epistle
is dated 1580. The printer of the Ferrarese edition of the same year
remarks: 'Tosto che la Fama ... mi rapportò, che in Venetia si stampava l'
Aminta, ... così subito pensai, che quella sola Impressione dovesse essere
ben poca per sodisfattione di tanti virtuosi, che sono desiderosi di
vederla alla luce.' A critical edition was prepared at Paris in the middle
of the following century by Egidio Menagio of the Accademia della Crusca,
and dedicated to Maria della Vergna, better known, under her married name
of Madame de la Fayette, as the author of the _Princesse de Clèves_[180].
In 1693 the play was attacked by Bartolomeo Ceva Grimaldi, Duke of Telese,
in an address read before the Accademia degli Uniti at Naples[181]. He was
answered before the same society by Francesco Baldassare Paglia, and in
1700 appeared Giusto Fontanini's elaborate defence[182]. To each chapter
of this work is prefixed a passage from Grimaldi's address, which is then
laboriously refuted. The Duke's attack is puerile cavil, and in spite of
the reputed ability of its author the defence must be admitted to be much
on the same level.


The attention which we have bestowed upon the _Aminta_ will allow us to
pass more rapidly than would otherwise have been possible over its
successor and rival, the _Pastor fido_. This is due to the fact that the
moral and artistic environment of the two pieces is much the same, and
further, that it is this environment which to a great extent determined,
not only the individual character of the poems, but likewise the nature of
their subsequent influence.

Recent research has had the effect of dispelling not a few of the
traditional ideas respecting Guarini's play. Among them is the fable that
it took twenty years to write, which would carry back its inception to
days before the composition of the _Aminta_. It is now recognized that
nine years is the utmost that can be assigned, letters being extant which
fix the genesis of the play in 1581, or at the earliest in 1580 a year or
so previous to Guarini's departure from Ferrara[183]. Again, it has been
usual to assume that the play was performed as early as 1585, whereas
there is in truth no evidence of any representation previous to the
appearance of the first edition dated 1590[184]. The early fortunes of the
play are indeed typical of the ill-success that dogged the author
throughout life. Though untouched by the tragic misfortunes which lend
interest to Tasso's career, his lot was at times a hard one and we may
excuse him if, at the last, he was no less embittered than his younger
rival. He was not cursed, it is true, with Tasso's incurable idealism;
but, if in consequence he exposed himself less to the buffets of
disillusionment, he likewise lacked its sustaining and ennobling power.
Tasso used the pastoral machinery to idealize the court; Guarini accepted
the pastoral convention of the superiority of the 'natural' life of the
country, and used it as a means of pouring out his bitterness of soul. The
_Aminta_, it should be remembered, was written during a few weeks, months
at most, at a time when Tasso was comparatively fortunate and happy; the
_Pastor fido_ was the ten years' labour of a retired and disappointed
courtier, whose later days were further embittered by domestic
misfortunes. In the same way as it was characteristic of Tasso's rosy view
that no law should be allowed to curb the purity of natural love in his
dream of the ideal age, so it was characteristic of the spirit of his
imitator to seek the ideal in the prudent love that strives towards no
distant star beyond the bounds of law. And the fact that Guarini saw fit
seriously to oppose a scholastic's moral figment to the poet's age of gold
may serve as a sufficient measure of the soul of the pedant.

When Battista Guarini[185] entered the service of the Duke of Ferrara in
1567 he was already married and had attained the age of thirty, being
seven years older than Tasso. His duties at court were political, and he
was employed on several missions of a diplomatic character. There was no
reason whatever, beyond his own perverse ambition, why he should have come
into rivalry with Tasso, yet he did so both as a writer of verses and as a
hanger-on of court beauties. It is impossible to acquit him of bad taste
in the manner in which he and some at least of his fellow courtiers
treated the unfortunate poet, and there was certainly bad blood between
the two soon after the production of the _Aminta_, owing, probably, to the
ungenerous remarks passed by Guarini upon the author's indebtedness to
previous writers. After Tasso's confinement to S. Anna in 1579, Guarini
became court poet, and the luckless prisoner was condemned to see his own
poems entrusted to the editorial care of his rival.

Guarini, however, was not satisfied with the court of Ferrara. His estate
was reduced by the expenses entailed by his missions as ambassador, for
which, like Machiavelli, he appears never to have received adequate
supplies, and by the continuous litigation in which he involved himself.
His political imagination, too, had been fired during a stay at Turin with
the possibilities inherent for Italy in the house of Savoy--an enthusiasm
which possibly did not tend to smooth his relations with his own master.
In 1582 he left Ferrara and the service of Alfonso and retired to his
ancestral estates of S. Bellino. Here he devoted himself to the
composition of the play he had lately taken in hand, which, in spite of
spasmodic returns to political life not only at the court of the Estensi
but also at Turin and Florence, forms thenceforward with its many
vicissitudes the central interest of his biography. He survived till 1612,
dying at the age of seventy-four.

To do justice to the _Pastor fido_ it would be best to give the story in
the form of a continuous narrative rather than an analysis of the actual
scenes, since the author's constructive power lay almost wholly in the
invention of an intricate plot and his weakness in the scenic rendering of
it. His dramatic methods, however, so far elaborated from the simplicity
of Tasso's, had a vast influence over subsequent work, and it is highly
important to obtain a clear idea of their nature. We shall, therefore, be
condemned to follow Guarini, part-way at least, through the stiff
artificiality of his interminable scenes.

A complicated story which is narrated at length in the course of the play
explains the peculiar laws of Arcadia on which the plot hinges[186]. These
comprise an edict of Diana to the effect that any nymph found guilty of a
breach of faith shall suffer death at the altar unless some one offers to
die in her place; likewise a custom whereby a nymph between fifteen and
twenty years of age is annually sacrificed to the goddess. When besought
to release the land from this tribute Diana through her oracle replies:

    Non avrà prima fin quel che v' offende,
    Che duo semi del ciel congiunga amore;
    E di donna infedel l' antico errore
    L' alta pietà d' un pastor fido ammende.

The only two in Arcadia who fulfil the conditions of the oracle are
Silvio, the son of the high priest Montano, and Amarilli, daughter of
Titiro, who have in their veins the blood of Hercules and Pan. These two
have consequently been betrothed and, being now arrived at marriageable
age, their final union is imminent.

At this point the play opens. Silvio cares for nothing but the chase,
regardless alike of his destined bride and of the love borne him by the
nymph Dorinda; Amarilli is seemingly heart-whole, but secretly loves her
suitor Mirtillo, a stranger in Arcadia, whom, however, she persists in
treating with coldness in view of the penalty involved by a breach of
faith. Mirtillo in his turn is loved by Corisca, a wanton nymph who has
learned the arts of the city, and who is pursued both by Coridone, to whom
she is formally engaged, but whom she neglects, and by a satyr. Almost
every character is provided with a confidant: Silvio has Linco; Mirtillo,
Ergasto; Dorinda, Lupino; Carino[187], the supposed father of Mirtillo,
has Uranio; Montano and Titiro act as confidants to one another. The only
case arguing any dramatic feeling is that in which Amarilli makes a
confidant of her rival Corisca; while Corisca and the satyr alone among
the more important characters are left to address the audience directly.
Even the confidants sometimes need confidants in their turn, these being
supplied by a conveniently ubiquitous chorus.

In the first scene of Act I, after the prologue, in which Alfeo rises to
pay compliments to Carlo Emanuele and his bride, we are introduced to
Silvio and Linco, who are about to start in pursuit of a savage boar which
has been devastating the country. Linco taxes his companion with his
neglect of the softer joys of love, to which Silvio replies with
long-drawn praise of the free life of the woods. The scene is parallel to
the first of the _Aminta_, and the author has sought here and elsewhere to
point the contrast. Thus where Tasso wrote:

    Cangia, cangia consiglio,
    Pazzerella che sei;
    Che il pentirsi dassezzo nulla giova;

Guarini has:

    Lascia, lascia le selve,
    Folle garzon, lascia le fere, ed ama.

In the next scene, again modelled on the corresponding one in Tasso's
play, we find Ergasto comforting Mirtillo in his despair at Amarilli's
'cruelty.' Mirtillo has but recently arrived in Arcadia, and is ignorant
of its history and customs, which Ergasto explains at length. The third
scene is devoted to a long monologue by Corisca; the fourth to a
conversation between Montano and Titiro, who discuss the oracles
concerning the approaching marriage and recount portentous dreams. A
monologue by the satyr relating his ill-usage at the hands of Corisca,
followed by a chorus, ends the first act. The next scene contains the
history of Mirtillo's passion as narrated to his confidant. Ergasto has
enlisted the services of Corisca, and the whole paraphernalia of love lead
in the next act to an interview between Mirtillo and Amarilli. The
author's dramatic method whereby he presents us with alternate scenes from
the various threads of the plot will by now be evident to the reader, and
the remainder may for clearness' sake be thrown into narrative form.

Corisca, well knowing that it is impossible for Amarilli to show favour to
Mirtillo, and hoping to ingratiate herself with him, prevails upon the
nymph to grant her lover a hearing, provided the interview be secret and
short. During a game of blind man's buff the players suddenly retire,
leaving Mirtillo and Amarilli alone. The interview of course comes to
nothing, but as soon as Mirtillo has left her Amarilli relieves her
feelings in a monologue confessing her love, which is overheard by
Corisca[188]. Charged with her weakness, she confesses her dislike of the
marriage with Silvio. Hereupon Corisca conceives a plan for ridding
herself at once of her rival in Mirtillo's affections and of her own
affianced lover. She leads Amarilli to suppose that Silvio is faithless
to his betrothal vow. If Amarilli can prove Silvio guilty she will
herself be free, and she agrees to hide in a recess in a cave where
Corisca alleges that Silvio has an assignation. Next Corisca makes an
appointment to meet her lover Coridone in the same cave, intending that he
and Amarilli shall be surprised together. Finally, in order to obtain a
witness, she accuses Amarilli to Mirtillo of being faithless, and bids him
watch the mouth of the cave in which she alleges the nymph has an
assignation with Coridone. This ingenious plan would have succeeded to
perfection but for Mirtillo's precipitancy, for, seeing Amarilli enter the
cave, he at once concludes her guilt and follows her forthwith to wreak
revenge. At that moment the satyr appears and, misunderstanding some words
of Mirtillo's, proceeds to bar the entrance to the cave with a huge rock,
thinking he is imprisoning Mirtillo and Corisca. He then goes off to
inform the priests of the pollution committed so near their temple. These
enter the cave and apprehend the lovers. Amarilli is at once condemned to
death, but Mirtillo thereupon offers himself in her place and, being
accepted by the priests, is kept as a sacrifice, Amarilli being at the
same time closely guarded lest she should lay violent hands upon herself.

In the meantime Silvio has been successful in his hunting of the boar,
whose head he brings home in triumph. There follows an echo-scene, one of
those toys which, as old as the Greek Anthology, and cultivated in Latin
by Tebaldeo, and in Italian by Poliziano, owed, not indeed their
introduction, but certainly their great popularity in pastoral, to
Guarini. His example is fairly successful. The echo predicts that the end
of Silvio's 'carelessness' is at hand, when he shall himself break his bow
and follow her who now follows him. The prophecy is quick of fulfilment.
With a jest he turns to go, when his eye falls on a grey object crouching
among the bushes. He supposes it to be a wolf, and looses an arrow at it.
It proves, however, to be Dorinda, who has throughout followed his chase
disguised in the rough wolf-skin coat of a herdsman, and who is now led
fainting on to the scene by Lupino. Silvio is overcome with remorse, and,
careless alike of his troth to Amarilli and of the fate of Arcadia,
declares that thenceforth he will love none but Dorinda, and will die
with her should his arrow prove fatal. They leave the stage for good--to
get healed and married.

To return to the main plot. At sundown Mirtillo is led out to die, and the
sacrifice is about to be performed when his supposed father, an Arcadian
by birth, though he has long lived at Elis, and has just arrived in search
of his foster child, interposes. Explanations ensue, and it gradually
appears that Mirtillo is the eldest son of Montano, washed away in his
cradle by the floods of the Alpheus twenty years before. Thus in the love
between him and Amarilli, and in his voluntary sacrifice of himself in her
place, the oracle is fulfilled, and Arcadia freed from its maiden tribute.
This seems obvious enough, though it takes the inspiration of a blind
prophet to drive it into the heads of the assembled Arcadians. A final
difficulty remains--the broken troth. But it so happens that Mirtillo was
originally named Silvio, so that to 'Silvio' no faith is broken. A
casuistical reason indeed; but good enough for the purpose. No attempt is
made to clear Amarilli of the compromising evidence on which she had been
condemned, but the pair have the favour of the gods, and the chorus makes
no difficulty of chanting the virtue of the bride.

Such is Guarini's play; a plot constructed with consummate ingenuity, but
presented with an almost entire lack of dramatic feeling. Almost the whole
of the action takes place off the stage. Silvio and Dorinda leave the
scene apparently for a tragic catastrophe; their subsequent union is only
reported; so is the surprisal of Mirtillo and Amarilli, the scene in which
the former offers himself as a sacrifice in her place, and their meeting
after the cloud of death has passed. The solitary scene revealing any real
dramatic power is that between Amarilli and the priest Nicandro, in which
the girl maintains her innocence. Her terror when confronted with death is
drawn with some delicacy and pathos, though we sadly miss those poignant
touches that the English playwrights seem always to have had at command on
similar occasions. Her fear of death, however, stands in powerful dramatic
contrast with the sudden courage she displays when her lover seeks to die
in her place. Guarini was perfectly aware of the value of this contrast,
for he placed the following lines in the mouth of the _messo_ who reports
the scene:

    Or odi maraviglia.
    Quella che fu pur dianzi
    Sì dalla tema del morire oppressa,
    Fatta allor di repente
    A le parole di Mirtillo invitta,
    Con intrepido cor così rispose:
    'Pensi dunque, Mirtillo,
    Di dar col tuo morire
    Vita a chi di te vive?
    O miracolo ingiusto! Su, ministri;
    Su, che si tarda? omai
    Menatemi agli altari.'        (V. ii.)

And yet this dramatic contrast has been wantonly thrown away by the
substitution of narrative for representation, less for the sake of a blind
adherence to classical convention, as on account of the author's inability
honestly to face a powerful situation. The same dramatic incapacity shows
itself in his use of borrowings. It will be sufficient to mention the
sententious words from Ovid (_Amores_, I. viii. 43) placed in the mouth of
the chorus:

    Dunque non si dirà donna pudica
    Se non quella che mai
    Non fu sollecitata;      (IV. in.)

in order to compare them with the use made of the same by Webster when he
made Vittoria at her trial exclaim:

    Casta est quam nemo rogavit!--

a comparison which at once reveals the gulf fixed between the clairvoyant
dramatist and the mere pedantic scholar.

And yet the subsequent history of pastoral reminds us that it is quite
possible to underestimate Guarini's merits as a playwright. In the
construction of a complicated plot, apart from the dramatic presentation
thereof, he achieved a success not to be paralleled by any previous work
in Italy, for the difference in the titles of the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor
fido_, the one styled _favola_ and the other _tragi-commedia_, indicates a
real distinction; and Guarini's proud claim to have invented a new
dramatic kind was not wholly unfounded[189]. It was this that caused
Symonds to speak of his play as 'sculptured in pure forms of classic
grace,' while describing the _Aminta_ as 'perfumed and delicate like
flowers of spring.' And lastly, it was this more elaborately dramatic
quality that was responsible for the far greater influence exercised by
Guarini than by Tasso, both on the subsequent drama of Italy and still
more on the fortunes of the pastoral in England.

Moreover, in Amarilli, Guarini created one really dramatic character and
devoted to it one really dramatic scene. His heroine is probably the best
character to be found in the whole of the pastoral drama, and this simply
because there is a reason for her coldness towards the lover, upon her
love to whom the plot depends. Unless love is to be mutual the motive
force of the drama fails, and consequently, when nymphs insist on parading
their inhuman superiority to the dictates of natural affection, they are
simply refusing to fulfil their dramatic _raison d'être_. With Amarilli it
is otherwise. She has the right to say:

    Ama l' onestà mia, s' amante sei; (III. iii.)

and there is a pathos in the words which the author may not have himself
fully understood; whereas the similar expression of Tasso's Silvia quoted
on a previous page is insufferable in its smug self-conceit.

Of this quality of extravagant virginity noticed as a characteristic of
Tasso's play there is on the whole less in the _Pastor fido_. It is also
freer from the tone of cynical corruption and from improper suggestion.
These merits are, however, more than counterbalanced in the ethical scale
by the elaboration of the spirit of sentimental sensualism, which becomes
as it were an enveloping atmosphere, and lends an enervating seduction to
the piece. This spirit, already present in the _Aminta_, reappeared in an
emphasized form in the _Pastor fido_, and attained its height in the
following century in Marino's epic of _Adone_. We find it infusing the
scene of Mirtillo's first meeting with Amarilli, which may be said to set
the tone of the rest of the poem. Happening to see the nymph at the
Olympian games, Mirtillo at once fell in love and contrived to introduce
himself in female attire into the company of maidens to which she
belonged. Here, the proposal being made to hold a kissing match among
themselves, Amarilli was unanimously chosen judge, and, the contest over,
she awarded the prize to the disguised youth. The incident owes its
origin, as Guarini's notes point out, to the twelfth Idyl of Theocritus,
and the suggestion of the kissing match is aptly put into the mouth of a
girl from Megara, where an annual contest of kisses among the Greek youths
was actually held. Guarini, however, most probably borrowed the episode
from the fifth canto of Tasso's _Rinaldo_.

The sentimental seductiveness of this and other scenes did not escape
sharp comment in some quarters within a few years of the publication of
the play. In 1605 Cardinal Bellarmino, meeting Guarini at Rome, told him
plainly that he had done as much harm to morals by his _Pastor fido_ as by
their heresies Luther and Calvin had done to religion. Later Janus Nicius
Erythraeus, that is Giovanni Vittorio Rossi, in his _Pinacoteca_, compared
the play to a rock-infested sea full of seductive sirens, in which no
small number of girls and wives were said to have made shipwreck. It is at
first sight ratifier a severe indictment to bring against Guarini's play,
especially when we remember that a work of art is more often an index than
a cause of social corruption. After what has been said, however, of the
nature of the sentiment both in the _Pastor fido_ and the _Aminta_, the
charge can hardly be dismissed as altogether unfounded. It is only fair to
add that very different views have been held with regard to the moral
aspect of the play, the theory of its essential healthiness finding an
eloquent advocate in Ugo Angelo Canello[190].

Little as it became him, Guarini chose to adopt the attitude of a
guardian of morals, and Bellarmino's words clearly possessed a special
sting. This pose was in truth but a part of the general attitude he
assumed towards the author of the _Aminta_. His superficial propriety
authorized him, in his own eyes, to utter a formal censure upon the
amorous dream of the ideal poet. He paid the price of his unwarranted
conceit. Those passages in which he was at most pains to contrast his
ethical philosophy with Tasso's imaginative Utopia are those in which he
most clearly betrayed his own insufferable pedantry; while critics even in
his own day saw through the unexceptionable morality of his frigid
declamations and ruthlessly exposed the sentimental corruption that lay
beneath. When we compare his parody in the fourth chorus of the _Pastor
fido_ with Tasso's great ode; his sententious 'Piaccia se lice' with
Tasso's 'S' ei piace, ei lice'; his utterly banal

    Speriam: che 'l sol cadente anco rinasce;
      E 'l ciel, quando men luce,
      L' aspettato seren spesso n' adduce,

with Tasso's superb, even though borrowed, paganism:

    Amiam: che 'l sol si muore, e poi rinasce;
      A noi sua breve luce
      S' asconde, e 'l sonno eterna notte adduce--

when we make this comparison we have the spiritual measure of the man. A
similar comparison will give us his measure as a poet. Take the graceful
but over-elaborated picture:

    Quell' augellin che canta
    Sì dolcemente, e lascivetto vola
    Or dall' abete al faggio,
    Ed or dal faggio al mirto,
    S' avesse umano spirto
    Direbbe: 'Ardo d' amore, ardo d' amore!'

Compare with this the spontaneous sketch of Tasso:

    Odi quell' usignuolo
    Che va di ramo in ramo
    Cantando: 'Io amo, io amo!'[191]

Or again, with the irresistible slyness of the final chorus of the
_Aminta_ already quoted compare the sententious lines with which Guarini
closed his play:

    O fortunata coppia,
    Che pianto ha seminato, e riso accoglie!
    Con quante amare doglie
    Hai raddolciti tu gli affetti tuoi!
    Quinci imparate voi,
    O ciechi e troppo teneri mortali,
    I sinceri diletti, e i veri mali.
    Non è sana ogni gioia,
    Nè mal ciò che v' annoia.
    Quello è vero gioire,
    Che nasce da virtù dopo il soffrire.

It is impossible not to come to the conclusion that we are listening in
the one case to a genuine poet of no common order, in the other to a
poetaster of considerable learning and great ingenuity, who elected to don
the outward habit of a somewhat hypocritical morality. The effect of the
contrast is further heightened when we remember that Guarini never for a
moment doubted that he had far surpassed the work of his predecessor.

Guarini's comment on the _Aminta_ in his letter to Speroni has been
already quoted: it does little credit to the writer. Manso, the companion
and biographer of Tasso, records that, the poet being asked by some
friends what he thought of the _Pastor fido_, a copy of which had lately
found its way to him at Naples:

  Et egli, 'Mi piace sopramodo, ma confesso di non saper la cagione perchè
  mi piaccia.' Onde io rispondendogli, 'Vi piacerà per avventura,'
  soggiunsi, 'quel che vi riconoscete del vostro.' Et egli replicò, 'Ne
  può piacere il vedere il suo in man d' altri.'[192]

Guarini would hardly have acknowledged his indebtedness to Tasso in the
way of art, but he drew on all sources for the incidents of his plot, and,
since he appears to have valued a reputation for scholarship above one for
originality, he recorded a fair proportion of his borrowings in his notes.

       *       *       *       *       *

The _Pastor fido_ was the talk of the Italian Courts even before it was
completed. Early in 1584 the heir to the duchy of Mantua, Vincenzo
Gonzaga, to whose intercession Tasso later owed his liberty, entreated
Guarini to let him have his already famous pastoral for the occasion of
his marriage with Eleonora de' Medici. The poet, however, found it
impossible to complete the work in time, and sent the _Idropica_ instead.
In the autumn a projected representation of the now completed play came to
naught. The following year Guarini presented his play to the Duke of
Savoy, and received a gold chain as an acknowledgement. The occasion was
the entry into Turin of Carlo Emanuele and his bride, Catharine of
Austria, the marriage having taken place at Saragossa some time
previously. The dedication is recorded on the title-page of the first
edition in words that have not unnaturally been held to imply that the
play was performed on that occasion.[193] It is clear, however, from
contemporary documents that this is an error, and, though preparations
were made in view of a performance at the following carnival, these too
were abandoned. After this we find mention of preparations made at a
variety of places, but they never came to anything, and there is reason to
believe that some at least were abandoned owing to the opposition of
Alfonso d' Este, who never forgave a courtier who transferred his
allegiance to another prince. In 1591 Vincenzo Gonzaga, now duke, summoned
Guarini to Mantua, and matters advanced as far as a _prova generale_ or
dress rehearsal. The project, however, had once more to be abandoned owing
to the death of Cardinal Gianvincenzo Gonzaga at Rome. We possess the
scheme for the four _intermezzi_ designed for this occasion, representing
the _Musica della Terra, del Mare, dell' Aria_, and _Celeste_. They were
scenic and musical only, without words. About this time too, that is after
the appearance of the first edition dated 1590, we have notes of
preparations for several private performances, the ultimate fate of which
is uncertain. The first representation of which there is definite
evidence, though even here details are lacking, took place at Crema in
Lombardy in 1596, at the cost of Lodovico Zurla[194]. After this
performances become frequent, and in 1598, after the death of Alfonso, the
play was finally produced in state before Vincenzo Gonzaga at Mantua. On
all these occasions we may suppose that other prologues were substituted
for that addressed to _gran Caterina_ and _magnanimo Carlo_[195].

In the meanwhile Guarini, fearing piracy, had turned his attention to the
publication of his play. He first resolved to submit it to the criticism
of Lionardo Salviati and Scipione Gonzaga, the latter of whom had been a
member of the unlucky committee for the revision of the _Gerusalemme_.
Unfortunately little or nothing is known as to the criticisms and
recommendations of these two men. The work finally appeared, as we learn
from a letter of the author, at Venice in December, 1589. It is a handsome
quarto from the press of Giovanbattista Bonfadino, and is dated the
following year[196]. In 1602 a luxurious edition, said on the title-page
to be the twentieth, was issued at Venice by Giovanbattista Ciotti. This
represents Guarini's final revision of the text, and contains, besides a
portrait and engravings, elaborate notes by the author, and an essay on

The _Pastor fido_ was the object of a violent attack while as yet it
circulated in manuscript only. As early as 1587 a certain Giasone de Nores
or Denores, a Cypriot noble who held the chair of moral philosophy at the
university of Padua, published a pamphlet on the relations existing
between different forms of literature and the philosophy of government, in
which, while refraining from any specific allusions, he denounced
tragi-comedies and pastorals as 'monstrous and disproportionate
compositions ... contrary to the principles of moral and civil
philosophy.' Guarini argued that, as his play was the only one deserving
to be called a tragi-comedy and was at the same time a pastoral, the
reference was palpable. He proceeded therefore to compose a counterblast
which he named _Il Verato_ (1588) after a well-known comic actor of the
time, who, it may be remarked, had had the management of Argenti's
_Sfortunato_ in 1567. In this pamphlet Guarini traversed the professor's
propositions with a good deal of scholastic ergotism: 'As in compounds the
hot accords with the cold, its mortal enemy, as the dry humour with the
moist, so the elements of tragedy and comedy, though separately
antagonistic, yet when united in a third form,' _et cetera et cetera_. De
Nores replied in an _Apologia_ (1590), disclaiming all personal allusion,
and the poet finally answered back in a _Verato secondo_, first published
in 1593, after his antagonist's death, restating his arguments and
seasoning them with a good deal of unmannerly abuse. These two treatises
of Guarini's were reprinted with alterations as the _Compendio della
poesia tragicommica_, in the 1602 edition of the play, and together with
the notes to the same edition form Guarini's own share of the
controversy[198]. But in 1600, before these had appeared, a Paduan,
Faustino Summo, published a set attack on and dissection of the play;
while a certain Giovan Pietro Malacreta of Vicenza illustrated the
attitude of the age with regard to literature by putting forward a series
of critical _dubbî_, that is, doubts as to the 'authority' of the form
employed. Both works are distinguished by a spirit of puerile cavil, which
would of itself almost suffice to reconcile us to the worst faults of the
poet. Thus Malacreta is not even content to let the author choose his own
title, arguing that Mirtillo was faithful not in his quality of shepherd
but of lover[199]. He goes on to complain of the tangle of laws and
oracles which Guarini invents in order to motive the action of his play;
and here, though taken individually his objections may be hypercritical,
he has laid his finger on a very real weakness of the author's ingenious
plot. It is, moreover, a weakness common to almost the whole tribe of the
Arcadian, or rather Utopian, pastorals. Apologists soon appeared, and had
little difficulty in disposing of most of the adverse criticisms. A
specific _Risposta_ to Malacreta appeared at Padua in 1600 from the pen of
Paolo Beni. Defences by Giovanni Savio and Orlando Pescetti were printed
at Venice and Verona respectively in 1601, while one at least, written by
Gauges de Gozze of Pesaro, under the pseudonym of Fileno di Isauro,
circulated in manuscript. These writings, however, are marked either by
futile endeavours to reconcile the _Pastor fido_ with the supposed
teaching of Aristotle and Horace, or else by such extravagant laudation as
that of Pescetti, who doubted not that had Aristotle known Guarini's play,
it would have been to him the model of a new kind to rank with the epic of
Homer and the tragedy of Sophocles[200]. Finally, Summo returned to the
charge with a rejoinder to Pescetti and Beni printed at Vicenza in
1601[201]. But all this writing and counter-writing in no way affected the
popularity of the _Pastor fido_ and its successors. Moreover, the critical
position of the combatants on both sides was essentially false. It would
be an easy task to fill a volume with strictures on the play touching its
sentimental tone, its affected manners, its stiff development, its
undramatic construction, the weak drawing of character, the lack of motive
force to move the complex machinery, and many other points--strictures
that should be unanswerable. But those who wish to understand the
influence exercised by the play over subsequent literature in Europe will
find their time better spent in analysing those qualities, whether
emotional or artistic, which won for it the enthusiastic worship of the
civilized world.

Numerous translations bear witness to its popularity far beyond the shores
of Italy. The earliest of these was into French, and appeared in 1595; it
was followed by several others. The Spanish versions have already been
mentioned, and the English will occupy our attention shortly. Besides
these there are versions, often more than one, in German, Greek, Swedish,
Dutch, and Polish. There are likewise versions in the Bergamasc and
Neapolitan dialects, while the manuscript of a Latin translation is
preserved in the University Library at Cambridge.


There were obvious advantages in treating the two masterpieces of pastoral
drama in Italy in close connexion with one another. It must not, however,
be supposed that they stood alone in the field of pastoral composition.
Both between the years 1573 when the _Aminta_ was composed and 1590 when
the _Pastor fido_ was printed, and also after the latter year, the stream
of plays continued unchecked, though, apart from a general tendency
towards greater regularity of dramatic construction, they do not form any
organic link in the chain of artistic development. Few deserve more than
passing notice. In the earlier ones, at least, we still find a tendency to
introduce extraneous elements. Thus _Gl' Intricati_, printed in 1581, and
acted a few years before at Zara, the work of Count Alvise, or, it would
appear, more correctly Luigi, Pasqualigo, contains a farcical and magical
part combined with some rather coarse jesting between two rogues, one
Spanish and one Bolognese, who speak in their respective dialects. Another
play in which a comic element appears is Bartolommeo Rossi's _Fiammella_
(1584), which has the further peculiarity of introducing allegorical
characters into the prologue, and mythological into the play. Another
piece belonging to this period is the _Pentimento amoroso_ by Luigi Groto,
which was printed as early as 1575. It is a wild tale of murder and
intrigue, judgement and outrageous self-sacrifice, composed in
_sdrucciolo_ verse and speeches of monstrous length. Another piece,
Gabriele Zinano's _Caride_, surreptitiously printed in 1582, and included
in an authorized publication in 1590, has the peculiarity of placing the
prologue in the mouth of Vergil. Lastly, I may mention Angelo Ingegneri's
_Danza di Venere_, acted at Parma in 1583, and printed the following year.
It contains the incident of a mad shepherd's regaining his wits through
gazing on the beauty of a sleeping nymph, thus borrowing the motive of
Boccaccio's tale of Cymon and Iphigenia. Its chief interest for us,
however, lies in the episode of the hero employing a gang of satyrs to
carry off his beloved during a solemn dance in honour of Venus. This looks
like a reminiscence of Giraldi Cintio's _Egle_, and through it of the old
satyric drama[202].

These plays all belong to the period between the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor
fido_. Tasso's and Guarini's masterpieces mark the point of furthest
development attained by the pastoral drama in Italy, or indeed in Europe.
With them the vitality which rendered evolution possible was spent, though
the power of reproduction remained unimpaired for close on a century.
Signor Rossi, in the monograph of which I have already made such free use,
mentions a number of plays, whose dependence on the _Pastor fido_ is
evident from their titles, though Guarini's influence is, of course, far
more widely spread than such eclectic treatment reveals. The most curious,
perhaps, is a play, _I figliuoli di Aminta e Silvia e di Mirtillo ed
Amarilli_, by Ercole Pelliciari, dealing with the fortunes of the children
of the heroes and heroines of Tasso and Guarini. We are on the way to a
genealogical cycle of Arcadian drama, similar to the cycles of romance
that centred round Roland and Launcelot. It would be a work of
supererogation to demonstrate in detail the influence exercised by Tasso
and Guarini over their Italian followers, and a task of forbidding
proportions to give the bare titles of the plays that witnessed to that
influence. Serassi reports that in 1614 Clementi Bartoli of Urbino
possessed no less than eighty pastoral plays; while by 1700, the year of
Fontanini's work on the _Aminta_, Giannantonio Moraldi is said to hsve
brought together in Rome a collection of over two hundred.[203] Every
device was resorted to that could lend novelty to the scenes; in Carlo
Noci's _Cintia_ (1594) the heroine returns home disguised as a boy to find
her lover courting another nymph; in Francesco Contarini's _Finta
Fiammetta_ (1610), on the other hand, the plot turns on the courtship of
Delfide by her lover Celindo in girl's attire; while in Orazio Serono's
_Fida Armilla_ (1610) we have the annual human sacrifice to a monstrous
serpent--all of which later became familiar themes in pastoral drama and
romance. Two plays only call for closer attention, and this rather on
account of a certain reputation they have gained than of any intrinsic
merit. One of these, Antonio Ongaro's _Alceo_, which was printed in 1582
and is therefore earlier than the _Pastor fido_, has been happily
nicknamed _Aminta bagnato_. It is a piscatorial adaptation of Tasso's
play, which it follows almost scene for scene. The satyr becomes a triton
with as little change of character as the nymphs and shepherds undergo in
their metamorphosis to fisher girls and boys. Alceo shows less
resourcefulness than his prototype in that he twice tries to commit
suicide by throwing himself into the sea. The last act is spun out to
three scenes in accordance with the demand for greater regularity of
dramatic construction, but gains nothing but tedium thereby. The other
play to be considered connects itself in plot rather with the _Pastor
fido_. It is the _Filli di Sciro_, the work of Guidubaldo Bonarelli della
Rovere. The poet's father enjoyed the protection of the Duke Guidubaldo II
of Urbino, but in after days he removed to the court of the Estensi at
Ferrara. It was here that the play appeared in 1607, though it is
dedicated to Francesco Maria della Rovere, who had by that time succeeded
his father in the duchy of Urbino. The plot of the play is highly
intricate, and shows a tendency towards the introduction of an adventurous
element; it turns upon the tribute of youths and maidens exacted from the
island of Scyros by the king of Thrace. The figure of the satyr is
replaced by a centaur who carries off one of the nymphs. Her cries attract
two youths who succeed in driving off the monster, but are severely
wounded in the encounter. The nymph, Celia, thereupon falls in love with
both her rescuers at once, and it is only when one of them proves to be
her long-lost brother that she is able to make up her mind between
them[204]. This brother had been carried off as a child by the Thracians
together with his betrothed Filli, and having escaped was lately returned
to his native land. From a dramatic point of view the _dénoûment_ is even
more preposterous than usual. The principal characters leave the stage at
the end of the fourth act, under sentence of death, and do not reappear,
the whole of the last act being occupied with narratives of their
subsequent fortunes. A point which is possibly worth notice is the
introduction of that affected talk on the technicalities of sheepcraft
which adds so greatly to the already intolerable artificiality of the
later pastoral drama, but which is happily absent from the work of Tasso
and Guarini.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have now reached the end of our survey of the Italian pastoral drama.
In spite of the space it has been necessary to devote to the subject, it
must be borne in mind that we have treated it from one point of view only.
Besides the interest which it possesses in connexion with the development
of pastoral tradition, it also plays a very important part in the history
of dramatic art, not in Italy alone, but over the whole of Europe. On this
aspect of the subject we have hardly so much as touched. Nor is this all.
If it is true, as is commonly assumed, that the opera had its birth in the
_Orfeo_ of Angelo Poliziano, it is not less true that it found its cradle
in the Arcadian drama. A few isolated pieces may still be able to charm us
by their poetic beauty. In dealing with the rest it must never be
forgotten that without the costly scenery and elaborate musical setting
that lent body and soul to them in their day, we have what is little
better than the dry bones of these _ephemeridae_ of courtly art.

Chapter IV.

Dramatic Origins of the English Pastoral Drama


Having at length arrived at what must be regarded as the main subject of
this work, it will be my task in the remaining chapters to follow the
growth of the pastoral drama in England down to the middle of the
seventeenth century, and in so doing to gather up and weave into a
connected web the loose threads of my discourse.

Taking birth among the upland meadows of Sicily, the pastoral tradition
first assumed its conventional garb in imperial Rome, and this it
preserved among learned writers after its revival in the dawn of the
Italian renaissance. With Arcadia for its local habitation it underwent a
rebirth in the opening years of the sixteenth century in Sannazzaro's
romance, and again towards the close in the drama of Tasso. It became
chivalric in Spain and courtly in France, and finally reached this country
in three main streams, the eclogue borrowed by Spenser from Marot, the
romance suggested to Sidney by Montemayor, and the drama imitated by
Daniel from Tasso and Guarini. Once here, it blended variously with other
influences and with native tradition to produce a body of dramatic work,
which, ill-defined, spasmodic and occasional, nevertheless reveals on
inspection a certain character of its own, and one moreover not precisely
to be paralleled from the literary annals of any other European nation.

The indications of a native pastoral impulse, manifesting itself in the
burlesque of the religions drama and the romance of the popular ballads,
we have already considered. The connexion which it is possible to trace
between this undefined impulse and the later pastoral tradition is in no
wise literary; in so far as it exists at all and is one of temperament
alone, a bent of national character. In tracing the rise of the form in
Italy upon the one hand, and in England upon the other, we are struck by
certain curious contrasts and also by certain curious parallelisms. The
closest analogy to the ballad themes to be discovered in the literature of
Italy is in certain of the songs of Sacchetti and his contemporaries, but
it would be unwise to insist on the resemblance. The more suggestive
parallel of the _novelle_ has to be ruled out on the score of form, and is
further differentiated by the notable lack in them of romantic spirit.
Again, in the _sacre rappresentazioni_, the burlesque interpolations from
actual life, which with us aided the genesis of the interlude, and through
it of the romantic comedy, are as a rule so conspicuously absent that the
rustic farce with which one nativity play opens can only be regarded as a
direct and conscious imitation from the French. It is, on the other hand,
a remarkable fact, and one which, in the absence of any evidence of direct
imitation,[205] must be taken to indicate a real parallelism in the
evolution of the tradition in the two countries, that in England as in
Italy the way was paved for pastoral by the appearance of mythological
plays, introducing incidentally pastoral scenes and characters, and
anticipating to some extent at any rate the peculiar atmosphere of the
Arcadian drama.

       *       *       *       *       *

The earliest of these English mythological plays, alike in date of
production and of publication, was George Peele's _Arraignment of Paris_,
'A Pastorall. Presented before the Queenes Majestie, by the children of
her Chappell,' no doubt in 1581, and printed three years later.[206] It
partakes of the nature of the masque in that the whole composition centres
round a compliment to the Queen, Eliza or Zabeta--a name which, as Dr.
Ward notes, Peele probably borrowed along with one or two other hints from
Gascoigne's Kenilworth entertainment of 1575. The title sufficiently
expresses its mythological character, and the precise value of the term
'pastoral' on the title-page is difficult to determine. The characters are
for the most part either mythological or rustic; the only truly pastoral
ones being Paris and Oenone, whose parts, however, in so far as they are
pastoral, are also of the slightest. It is of course impossible to say
exactly to what extent the fame of the Italian pastoral drama may have
penetrated to England--the _Aminta_ was first printed the year of the
production of Peele's play, and waited a decade before the first English
translation and the first English edition appeared[207]--but no influence
of Tasso's masterpiece can be detected in the _Arraignment_; still less is
it possible to trace any acquaintance with Poliziano's work.

After a prologue, in which Atè foretells in staid and measured but not
unpleasing blank verse the fall of Troy, the silvan deities, Pan, Faunus,
Silvanus, Pomona, Flora, enter to welcome the three goddesses who are on
their way to visit 'Ida hills,' and who after a while enter, led by Rhanis
and accompanied by the Muses, whose processional chant heralds their
approach. They are greeted by Pan, who sings:

    The God of Shepherds, and his mates,
    With country cheer salutes your states,
    Fair, wise, and worthy as you be,
    And thank the gracions ladies three
      For honour done to Ida.

When these have retired from the stage there follows a charming idyllic
scene between the lovers Paris and Oenone, which contains the delightful
old song, one of the lyric pearls of the Elizabethan drama:

    _Oenone._ Fair and fair, and twice so fair,
        As fair as any may be;
      The fairest shepherd on our green,
        A love for any lady.

    _Paris._ Fair and fair, and twice so fair,
        As fair as any may be;
      Thy love is fair for thee alone,
        And for no other lady.

    _Oenone._ My love is fair, my love is gay,
      As fresh as bin the flowers in May,
      And of my love my roundelay,
      My merry, merry, merry roundelay,
        Concludes with Cupid's curse--
      They that do change old love for new,
        Pray gods they change for worse!

    _Both._ They that do change old love for new,
      Pray gods they change for worse!

The second act presents us the three goddesses who have come to Ida on a
party of pleasure with no very definite object in view, and are now
engaged in exercising their tongues at one another's expense. The scene
consists of a cross-fire of feminine amenities, not of the most delicate,
it is true, and therefore not here to be reproduced, yet of a keenness of
temper and a ringing mastery in the rimed verse little less than brilliant
in themselves, and little less than a portent at the date of their
appearance. Then a storm arises, during which, the goddesses having sought
refuge in Diana's bower, Atè rolls the fatal ball upon the stage. On the
return of the three the inscription _Detur pulcherrimae_ breeds fresh
strife, until they agree to submit the case for judgement to the next man
they meet. Paris arriving upon the scene at this point is at once called
upon to decide the rival claims of the contending goddesses. First Juno
promises wealth and empery, and presents a tree hung as with fruit with
crowns and diadems, all which shall be the meed of the partial judge.
Pallas next seeks to allure the swain with the pomp and circumstance of
war, and conjures up a show in which nine knights, no doubt the nine
worthies, tread a 'warlike almain.' Last Venus speaks:

    Come, shepherd, come, sweet shepherd, look on me,
    These bene too hot alarums these for thee:
    But if thou wilt give me the golden ball,
    Cupid my boy shall ha't to play withal,
    That whenso'er this apple he shall see,
    The God of Love himself shall think on thee,
    And bid thee look and choose, and he will wound
    Whereso thy fancy's object shall be found.

Whereupon 'Helen entereth in her bravery' attended by four Cupids, and
singing an Italian song which has, however, little merit. As at a later
day Faustus, so now Paris bows before the sovereignty of her beauty, and
then wanders off through Ida glades in the company of the victorious queen
of love, leaving her outraged rivals to plot a common revenge. Act III
introduces the slight rustic element. Hobbinol, Diggon, and Thenot enter
to Colin, who is lamenting the cruelty of his love Thestylis. The names
are obviously borrowed from the _Shepherd's Calender_, but while Colin is
still the type of the hopeless lover, there is no necessity to suspect any
personal identification. The _Arraignment_ was probably produced less than
two years after the publication of Spenser's eclogues, and Peele, who was
an Oxford man, may even have been ignorant of their authorship[208]. Still
more unnecessary are certain other identifications between characters in
the play and persons at court which have been propounded. Such
identifications, at any rate, have no importance for our present task,
which is to ascertain in what measure and in what manner Peele's work
paved the way for the advent of the Italian pastoral; and we note, with
regard to the present scene, that the more polished and more homely
elements alike--both Colin on the one hand, and Diggon, Hobbinol, and the
rest on the other--are inspired by Spenser's work, and by his alone.
Meanwhile Oenone enters, lamenting her desertion by Paris. There is
delicate pathos in the reminiscence of her former song which haunts the
outpouring of her grief--

    False Paris, this was not thy vow, when thou and I were one,
    To range and change old loves for new; but now those days be gone.

She is less happy in a set lament, beginning:

    Melpomene, the Muse of tragic songs,

in which we may perhaps catch a distant echo of Spenser's:

    Melpomene, the mournfull'st Muse of nine.

As she ends she is accosted by Mercury, who has been sent to summon Paris
to appear at Juno's suit before the assembly of the gods on a charge of
partiality in judgement. A pretty dialogue ensues in broken fourteeners,
in which the subtle god elicits a description of the shepherd from the
unsuspecting nymph--it too contains some delicate reminiscences of the
lover's duet.

    _Mercury._ Is love to blame?

    _Oenone._    The queen of love hath made him false his troth.

    _Mer._ Mean ye, indeed, the queen of love?

    _Oen._             Even wanton Cupid's dame.

    _Mer._ Why, was thy love so lovely, then?

    _Oen._            His beauty height his shame;
            The fairest shepherd on our green.

    _Mer._              Is he a shepherd, than?

    _Oen._ And sometime kept a bleating flock.

    _Mer._              Enough, this is the man.

In the next scene we find Paris and Venus together. First the goddess
directs the assembled shepherds to inscribe the words, 'The love whom
Thestylis hath slain,' as the epitaph of the now dead Colin. When these
have left the stage she turns to Paris:

    Sweet shepherd, didst thou ever love?

    _Paris._               Lady, a little once.

She then warns him against the dangers of faithlessness in a passage which
is a good example of Peele's use of the old rimed versification, and as
such deserves quotation.

      My boy, I will instruct thee in a piece of poetry,
      That haply erst thou hast not heard: in hell there is a tree,
      Where once a-day do sleep the souls of false forsworen lovers,
      With open hearts; and there about in swarms the number hovers
      Of poor forsaken ghosts, whose wings from off this tree do beat
      Round drops of fiery Phlegethon to scorch false hearts with heat.
      This pain did Venus and her son entreat the prince of hell
      T'impose on such as faithless were to such as loved them well:
      And, therefore, this, my lovely boy, fair Venus doth advise thee,
      Be true and steadfast in thy love, beware thou do disguise thee;
      For he that makes but love a jest, when pleaseth him to start,
      Shall feel those fiery water-drops consume his faithless heart.

    _Paris._ Is Venus and her son so full of justice and severity?

    _Venus._ Pity it were that love should not be linkèd with indifferency.[209]

Then follow Colin's funeral, the punishment of the hard-hearted Thestylis,
condemned to love a 'foul crooked churl' who 'crabbedly refuseth her,'
and the scene in which Mercury summons Paris before the Olympian tribunal.
Here we find him in the next act. The gods being seated in the bower of
Diana, Juno and Pallas, and Venus and Paris appear 'on sides' before the
throne of Jove, and in answer to his indictment the shepherd of Ida
delivers a spirited speech. Again the verse is of no small merit.
Defending himself from the charge of partiality in the bestowal of the
prize, he argues:

    Had it been destinèd to majesty--
    Yet will I not rob Venus of her grace--
    Then stately Juno might have borne the ball.
    Had it to wisdom been intitulèd,
    My human wit had given it Pallas then.
    But sith unto the fairest of the three
    That power, that threw it for my farther ill,
    Did dedicate this ball--and safest durst
    My shepherd's skill adventure, as I thought,
    To judge of form and beauty rather than
    Of Juno's state or Pallas' worthiness--...
    Behold, to Venus Paris gave the fruit,
    A daysman[210] chosen there by full consent,
    And heavenly powers should not repent their deeds.

After consultation the gods decide to dismiss the prisoner, though we
gather that he is not wholly acquitted.

    _Jupiter._ Shepherd, thou hast been heard with equity and law,
    And for thy stars do thee to other calling draw,
    We here dismiss thee hence, by order of our senate;
    Go take thy way to Troy, and there abide thy fate.

    _Venus._ Sweet shepherd, with such luck in love, while thou dost live,
    As may the Queen of Love to any lover give.

    _Paris._ My luck is loss, howe'er my love do speed:
    I fear me Paris shall but rue his deed.

    _Apollo._ From Ida woods now wends the shepherd's boy,
    That in his bosom carries fire to Troy.

This, however, does not settle the case, and the final adjudication of the
apple of beauty is entrusted by the gods to Diana, since it was in her
grove that it was found. Parting company with classical legend in the
incident which gives its title to the play, Peele further adds a fifth
act, in which he contrives to make the world-famous history subserve the
courtly ends of the masque. When the rival claimants have solemnly sworn
to abide by the decision of their compeer, Diana begins:

    It is enough; and, goddesses, attend.
    There wons within these pleasaunt shady woods,
    Where neither storm nor sun's distemperature
    Have power to hurt by cruel heat or cold, ...
    Far from disturbance of our country gods,
    Amid the cypress springs[211], a gracions nymph,
    That honours Dian for her chastity,
    And likes the labours well of Phoebe's groves;
    The place Elizium hight, and of the place
    Her name that governs there Eliza is,
    A kingdom that may well compare with mine,
    An auncient seat of kings, a second Troy,
    Y-compass'd round with a commodious sea.

The rest may be easily imagined. The contending divinities resign their

    _Venus._ To this fair nymph, not earthly, but divine,
    Contents it me my honour to resign.

    _Pallas._ To this fair queen, so beautiful and wise,
    Pallas bequeaths her title in the prize.

    _Juno._ To her whom Juno's looks so well become,
    The Queen of Heaven yields at Phoebe's doom.

The three Fates now enter, and singing a Latin song lay their 'properties'
at the feet of the queen. Then each in turn delivers a speech appropriate
to her character, and finally Diana 'delivereth the ball of gold into the
Queen's own hands,' and the play ends with a couple of doggerel hexameters
chanted by way of epilogue by the assembled actors:

    Vive diu felix votis hominumque deumque,
    Corpore, mente, libro, doctissima, candida, casta.

The jingle of these lines would alone suffice to prove that Peele's ear
was none of the most delicate, and he particularly sins in disregarding
the accent in the rime-word, a peculiarity which may have been noticed
even in the short passages quoted above. Nevertheless, even apart from its
lyrics, one of which is in its way unsurpassed, the play contains passages
of real grace in the versification. The greater part is written either in
fourteeners or in decasyllabic couplets with occasional alexandrines, in
both of which the author displays an ease and mastery which, to say the
least, were uncommon in the dramatic work of the early eighties; while the
passages of blank verse introduced at important dramatic points, notably
in Paris' defence and in Diana's speech, are the best of their kind
between Surrey and Marlowe. The style, though now and again clumsy, is in
general free from affectation except for an occasional weakness in the
shape of a play upon words. Such is the connexion of Eliza with Elizium,
in a passage already quoted, and the time-honoured _non Angli sed

    Her people are y-clepèd Angeli,
    Or, if I miss, a letter is the most--

occurring a few lines later; also the words of Lachesis:

    Et tibi, non aliis, didicerunt parcere Parcae.

With regard to the general construction of the piece it is hardly too much
to say that the skill with which the author has enlarged a masque-subject
into a regular drama, altered a classical legend to subserve a particular
aim, and conducted throughout the multiple perhaps rather than complex
threads of his plot, mark him out as pre-eminent among his contemporaries.
We must not, it is true, look for perfect balance of construction, for
adequacy of dramatic climax, or for subtle characterization; but what has
been achieved was, in the stage of development at which the drama had then
arrived, no mean achievement. The dramatic effects are carefully prepared
for and led up to, reminding us almost at times of the recurrence of a
musical motive. Thus the song between Paris and Oenone, just before the
shepherd goes off to cross Dame Venus' path, is a fine piece of dramatic
irony as well as a charming lyric; while the effect of the reminiscences
of the song scattered through the later pastoral scenes has been already
noticed. Another instance is Venus' warning of the pains in store for
faithless lovers, which fittingly anticipates the words with which Paris
leaves the assembly of the gods. Again, we find a conscious preparation
for the contention between the goddesses in their previous bickerings, and
a conscious juxtaposition of the forsaken Oenone and the love-lorn Colin.
Lastly, there are scattered throughout the play not a few graphic touches,
as when Mercury at sight of Oenone exclaims:

    Dare wage my wings the lass doth love, she looks so bleak and thin!

Such then is Peele's mythological play, presented in all the state of a
court revel before her majesty by the children of the Chapel Royal, a play
which it is more correct to say prepared the ground for than, as is
usually asserted, itself contained the germ of the later pastoral drama.
In spite of the care bestowed upon its composition, the _Arraignment of
Paris_ remains a slight and occasional production; but it nevertheless
claims its place as one of the most graceful pieces of its kind, and the
ascription of the play to Shakespeare, current in the later seventeenth
century, is perhaps more of an honour to the elder than of an insult to
the younger poet. Nor, at a more recent date, was Lamb uncritically
enthusiastic when he said of Peele's play that 'had it been in all parts
equal, the Faithful Shepherdess of Fletcher had been but a second name in
this sort of Writing.'

Before leaving Peele, mention must be made of one other play from his pen,
namely the _Hunting of Cupid_, known to us unfortunately from a few
fragments only. This is the more tantalizing on account of the freshness
of the passages preserved in _England's Helicon_ and _England's
Parnassus_, and in a commonplace-book belonging to Drummond of
Hawthornden, and also from the fact that there is good reason to suppose
that the work was actually printed[212]. So far as can be judged from the
extracts we possess, and from Drummond's jottings, it appears to have been
a tissue of mythological conceits, much after the manner of the
_Arraignment_, though possibly somewhat more distinctly pastoral in

About contemporary with the _Arraignment of Paris_ are the earliest plays
of John Lyly, the Euphuist. Most of these are of a mythological character,
while three come more particularly under our notice on account of their
pastoral tendency, namely, _Gallathea, Love's Metamorphosis_, and the
_Woman in the Moon_[214].

Although Lyly's romance itself lay outside the scope of this inquiry, we
have already had, in the pastoral work of his imitators, ample
opportunities of becoming acquainted with the peculiarities of the style
he rendered fashionable. Its laborious affectation is all the more
irritating when we remember that its author, on turning his attention to
the more or less unseemly brawling of the Martin Mar-prelate pasquilade,
revealed a command of effective vernacular hardly, if at all, inferior to
that of his friend Nashe; and its complex artificiality becomes but more
apparent when applied to dramatic work. Nevertheless in an age when prose
style was in an even more chaotic state than prosody, Euphuism could claim
qualities of no small value and importance, while as an experiment it was
no more absurd, and vastly more popular, than those in classical
versification. Its qualities, when we consider the general state of
contemporary literature, may well account for the popularity of Lyly's
attempt at novel-writing, but the style was radically unsuited for
dramatic composition, and the result is for the most part hardly to be
tolerated, and can only have met with such court-favour as fell to its
lot, owing to the general fashion for which its success in the romance was
responsible. It is indeed noteworthy that Lyly is the only writer who ever
ventured to apply his literary invention _in toto_ to the uses of the
stage, while even in the romance he lived to see Euphuism as a fashionable
style pale before the growing popularity of Arcadianism[215]. The opening
of _Gallathea_ may supply a specimen of the style as it appears in the
dramas; the scene is laid in Lincolnshire, and Tyterus is addressing his
daughter who gives her name to the piece:

  In tymes past, where thou seest a heape of small pyble, stoode a stately
  Temple of white Marble, which was dedicated to the God of the Sea, (and
  in right being so neere the Sea): hether came all such as eyther
  ventured by long travell to see Countries, or by great traffique to use
  merchandise, offering Sacrifice by fire, to gette safety by water;
  yeelding thanks for perrils past, and making prayers for good successe
  to come: but Fortune, constant in nothing but inconstancie, did change
  her copie, as the people their custome; for the Land being oppressed by
  Danes, who in steed of sacrifice, committed sacrilidge, in steede of
  religion, rebellion, and made a pray of that in which they should have
  made theyr prayers, tearing downe the Temple even with the earth, being
  almost equall with the skyes, enraged so the God who bindes the windes
  in the hollowes of the earth, that he caused the Seas to breake their
  bounds, sith men had broke their vowes, and to swell as farre above
  theyr reach, as men had swarved beyond theyr reason: then might you see
  shippes sayle where sheepe fedde, ankers cast where ploughes goe,
  fishermen throw theyr nets, where husbandmen sowe their Corne, and
  fishes throw their scales where fowles doe breede theyr quils: then
  might you gather froth where nowe is dewe, rotten weedes for sweete
  roses, and take viewe of monstrous Maremaides, in steed of passing faire

The unsuitability of the style for dramatic purposes will by this be
somewhat painfully evident, and, as may be imagined, the effect is even
less happy in the case of dialogue. To pursue: the offended deity consents
to withdraw his waters on the condition of a lustral sacrifice of the
fairest virgin of the land, who is to be exposed bound to a tree by the
shore, whence she is carried off by the monster Agar, in whom we may no
doubt see a personification of the 'eagre' or tidal wave of the Humber. At
the opening of the play we find the two fairest virgins of the land
disguised as boys by their respective fathers, in order that they may
escape the penalty of beauty. While they wander the fields and graves,
another maiden is exposed as the sacrifice, but Neptune, offended by the
deceit, rejects the proffered victim, and no monster appears to claim its
prey. In the meanwhile, Cupid has eluded the maternal vigilance, and,
disguised as a nymph, is beginning to display his powers among the
followers of Diana. Here is an example of a euphuistic dialogue. Cupid
accosts one of the nymphs:

    Faire Nimphe, are you strayed from your companie by chaunce, or love
    you to wander solitarily on purpose?

    _Nymph._ Faire boy, or god, or what ever you bee, I would you knew
    these woods are to me so wel known, that I cannot stray though I would,
    and my minde so free, that to be melancholy I have no cause. There is
    none of Dianaes trayne that any can traine, either out of their waie, or out
    of their wits.

    _Cupid._ What is that Diana? a goddesse? what her Nimphes?
    virgins? what her pastimes? hunting?

    _Nym._ A goddesse? who knowes it not? Virgins? who thinkes it not?
    Hunting? who loves it not?

    _Cup._ I pray thee, sweete wench, amongst all your sweete troope, is
    there not one that followeth the sweetest thing, sweet love?

    _Nym._ Love, good sir, what meane you by it? or what doe you call it?

    _Cup._ A heate full of coldnesse, a sweet full of bitternesse, a paine ful
    of pleasantnesse; which maketh thoughts have eyes, and harts eares;
    bred by desire, nursed by delight, weaned by jelousie, kild by dissembling,
    buried by ingratitude; and this is love! fayre Lady, wil you any?

    _Nym._ If it be nothing else, it is but a foolish thing.

    _Cup._ Try, and you shall find it a prettie thing.

    _Nym._ I have neither will nor leysure, but I will followe Diana in the
    Chace, whose virgins are all chast, delighting in the bowe that wounds
    the swift Hart in the Forrest, not fearing the bowe that strikes the softe
    hart in the Chamber.

The nymphs are soon in love with the two girls in disguise, and what is
more, each of these, supposing the other to be what her apparel betokens,
falls in love with her. After a while, however, Diana becomes suspicious
of the stranger nymph, and her followers make a capture of the boy-god,
whom they identify by the burn on his shoulder caused by Psyche's lamp,
and set him to untie love-knots. There follows one of those charming songs
for which Lyly is justly, or unjustly, famous[216].

    O Yes, O yes, if any Maid,
    Whom lering Cupid has betraid
    To frownes of spite, to eyes of scorne,
    And would in madnes now see torne
    The Boy in Pieces--Let her come
    Hither, and lay on him her doome.

    O yes, O yes, has any lost
    A Heart, which many a sigh hath cost;
    Is any cozened of a teare,
    Which (as a Pearle) disdaine does weare?--
    Here stands the Thiefe, let her but come
    Hither, and lay on him her doome.

    Is any one undone by fire,
    And Turn'd to ashes through desire?
    Did ever any Lady weepe,
    Being cheated of her golden sleepe,
    Stolne by sicke thoughts?--The pirats found,
    And in her teares hee shalbe drownd.
    Reade his Inditement, let him heare
    What hees to trust to: Boy, give eare!

This is the position of affairs when Venus appears in search of her
wanton, and is shortly followed by the irate Neptune. After some
disputing, Neptune, to quiet the strife between the goddesses, proposes
that Diana shall restore the runaway to his mother, in return for which he
will release the land for ever from its virgin tribute. This happily
agreed upon, the only difficulty remaining is the strange passion between
the two girls. Venus, however, proves equal to the occasion, and solves
the situation by transforming one of them into a man. An allusion to the
story of Iphis and Ianthe told in the ninth book of the _Metamorphoses_
suggests the source of the incident[217]. Otherwise the play appears to be
in the main original. The exposing of a maiden to the rage of a
sea-monster has been, of course, no novelty since the days of Andromeda,
but it is unnecessary to seek a more immediate source[218]; while the
intrusion of Cupid in disguise among the nymphs was doubtless suggested by
the well-known idyl of Moschus, and probably owes to this community of
source such resemblance as it possesses to the prologue of the _Aminta_.
A comic element is supplied by a sort of young rascals, and a mariner, an
alchemist, and an astrologer, who are totally unconnected with the rest of
the play. The supposed allusions to real characters need not be taken
seriously. Lyly's rascals are generally recognized as the direct ancestors
of some of Shakespeare's comic characters, and we not seldom find in them
the germ at least of the later poet's irresistible fun. Take such a speech
as Robin's: 'Why be they deade that be drownd? I had thought they had
beene with the fish, and so by chance beene caught up with them in a Nette
againe. It were a shame a little cold water should kill a man of reason,
when you shall see a poore Mynow lie in it, that hath no understanding.'
As regards the euphuistic style, the passages already quoted will suffice,
but it may be remarked that the marvellous natural history is also put
under requisition. 'Virgins harts, I perceive,' remarks one of Diana's
nymphs, 'are not unlike Cotton trees, whose fruite is so hard in the
budde, that it soundeth like steele, and beeing rype, poureth forth
nothing but wooll, and theyr thoughts, like the leaves of Lunary, which
the further they growe from the Sunne, the sooner they are scorched with
his beames.' At times one is almost tempted to imagine that Lyly is
laughing in his sleeve, but as soon as he feels an eye upon him, his face
would again do credit to a judge. The following is from a scene between
the two disguised maidens:

    _Phillida._ It is pitty that Nature framed you not a woman, having
    a face so faire, so lovely a countenaunce, so modest a behaviour.

    _Gallathea._ There is a Tree in Tylos, whose nuttes have shels like fire,
    and being cracked, the karnell is but water.

    _Phil._ What a toy is it to tell mee of that tree, beeing nothing to the purpose:
    I say it is pity you are not a woman.

    _Gall._ I would not wish to be a woman, unless it were because thou art
    a man. (III. ii.)
_Gallathea_ may be plausibly enough assigned to the year 1584[219]. The
date of the next play we have to deal with, _Love's Metamorphosis_, is
less certain, though Mr. Fleay's conjecture of 1588-9 seems reasonable.
All that can be said with confidence is that it was later than
_Gallathea_, to which it contains allusions, that it is an inferior work,
and that it has the appearance at least of having been botched up in a
hurry[220]. The story is as follows. Three shepherds, or rather woodmen,
are in love with three of the nymphs of Ceres, but meet with little
success, one of the maidens proving obdurate, another proud, and the third
fickle. The lovers make complaint to Cupid, who consents at their request
to transform the disdainful fair ones into a rock, a rose, and a bird
respectively. Hereupon Ceres in her turn complains to the God of Love, who
promises that the three shall regain their proper shapes if Ceres will
undertake that they shall thereupon consent to the love of the swains. She
does so, and her nymphs are duly restored to their own forms, but at first
flatly refuse to comply with the conditions. After a while they yield:

    _Nisa._ I am content, so as Ramis, when hee finds me cold in love, or
    hard in beliefe, hee attribute it to his owne folly; in that I retaine some
    nature of the Rocke he chaunged me into....

    _Celia._ I consent, so as Montanus, when in the midst of his sweete
    delight, shall find some bitter overthwarts, impute it to his folly, in that
    he suffered me to be a Rose, that hath prickles with her pleasantnes, as
    hee is like to have with my love shrewdnes....

    _Niobe._ I yeelded first in mind though it bee my course last to speake:
    but if Silvestris find me not ever at home, let him curse himselfe that gave
    me wings to flie abroad, whose feathers if his jealousie shall breake, my
    policie shall imp.[221] (V. iv.)

This plot, at once elementary and violent, is combined with the fantastic
story of Erisichthon, 'a churlish husband-man,' who in the nymphs' despite
cuts down the sacred tree of Ceres, into which the chaste Fidelia had
been transformed. For this offence the goddess dooms him to the plague of
hunger. The ghastly description of this monster, who may be compared with
Browne's Limos, was probably suggested by some similar descriptions in the
_Faery Queen_ (I. iv. and III. xii). Erisichthon is put to all manner of
shifts to satisfy the hunger with which he is ever consumed, and is at
last forced to sell his daughter Protea to a merchant, in order to keep
himself alive. Protea, it appears, was at one time the paramour of
Neptune, who now in answer to her prayer comes to her aid in such a way
that, when about to embark on the vessel of her purchaser, she justifies
her name by changing into the likeness of an old fisherman. The deluded
merchant, after seeking her awhile, is obliged to set sail and depart
without his ware. She returns home to find her lover Petulius being
tempted by a 'syren,' who is evidently a mermaid with looking-glass and
comb and scaly tail, disporting herself by the shore--the scene being
laid, by the way, on the coast of Arcadia. Protea at once changes her
disguise to the ghost of Ulysses, and is in time to warn her lover of his
danger. Finally, at Cupid's intercession her father is relieved of his
affliction by the now appeased goddess. This plot is even more crudely
distinct from the principal action of the play than is usual with

It will be noticed that in the play we have just been considering the
nymphs are no longer treated with the same respect as was the case in
_Gallathea_; we have, in fact, advanced some way towards the satirical
conception and representation of womankind which gives the tone to the
_Woman in the Moon_. It would almost seem as though his experience of the
inconstancy of the royal sunshine had made Lyly a less enthusiastic
devotee of womanhood in general and of virginity in particular, and that
with an unadvised frankness which may well account for his disappointments
at court, he failed to conceal his feelings. The play is likewise
distinguished from the other dramatic works of its author by being
composed almost entirely in blank verse. Certain lines of the prologue--

    Remember all is but a Poets dreame,
    The first he had in Phoebus holy bowre,
    But not the last, unlesse the first displease--

have not unnaturally been taken to mean that the piece was the first
venture of the author; but on investigation this will be seen to be
impossible, since the constant reminiscence of Marlowe in the construction
of the verse points to 1588 or at earliest to 1587 as the date. Mr.
Fleay's suggestion of 1589-90 may be accepted as the earliest likely
date[223]. To my mind it would need external proof of an unusually cogent
description to render plausible the theory that the year, say, of the
_Shepherd's Calender_ saw the appearance of such lines as:

    What lack I now but an imperiall throne[224],
    And Ariadnaes star-lyght Diadem? (II. i.)


    O Stesias, what a heavenly love hast thou!
    A love as chaste as is Apolloes tree,
    As modest as a vestall Virgins eye,
    And yet as bright as Glow wormes in the night,
    With which the morning decks her lovers hayre; (IV. i.)

or yet again:

    When will the sun go downe? flye Phoebus flye!
    O, that thy steeds were wingd with my swift thoughts:
    Now shouldst thou fall in Thetis azure armes[225],
    And now would I fall in Pandoraes lap. (IV. i.)

Nor are these isolated passages; from the opening lines of the prologue to
the final speech of Nature the verse has the appearance of being the work
of a graceful if not very strong hand writing in imitation of Marlowe's
early style. We must, therefore, it seems to me, take the words of the
prologue as signifying not that the play was the first work of the author,
but that it was his earliest adventure in verse.

The plan of the work is as follows. The shepherds of Utopia come to dame
Nature and beg her to make a woman for them. She consents and fashions
Pandora, whom she dowers with the virtues of the several Planets. These,
however, are offended at not being consulted in the matter, and determine
to use their influence to the bane of the newly created woman. Under the
reign of Saturn she turns sullen; when Jupiter is in the ascendant he
falls in love with her, but she has grown proud and scorns him; under Mars
she becomes a vixen; under Sol she in her turn falls in love, and turns
wanton under Venus; she learns deceit of Mercury when he is dominant, and
runs mad under the influence of Luna. At length, since the shepherds will
no longer have anything to do with the lady, Nature determines to place
her in the heavens. Her beauty makes each planet desire her as companion.
Nature gives her the choice:

      Speake, my Pandora; where wilt thou be?
    _Pandora._ Not with old Saturne for he lookes like death;
      Nor yet with Jupiter, lest Juno storme;
      Nor with thee Mars, for Venus is thy love;
      Nor with thee Sol, thou hast two Parramours,
      The sea borne Thetis and the rudy morne;
      Nor with thee Venus, lest I be in love
      With blindfold Cupid or young Joculus;
    Nor with thee Hermes, thou art full of sleightes,
      And when I need thee Jove will send thee foorth.
      Say Cynthia, shall Pandora rule thy starre,
      And wilt thou play Diana in the woods,
      Or Hecate in Plutos regiment?
    _Luna._ I, Pandora.
    _Pand._ Fayre Nature let thy hand mayd dwell with her,
      For know that change is my felicity,
      And ficklenesse Pandoraes proper forme.
      Thou madst me sullen first, and thou Jove, proud;
      Thou bloody minded; he a Puritan:
      Thou Venus madst me love all that I saw,
      And Hermes to deceive all that I love;
      But Cynthia made me idle, mutable,
      Forgetfull, foolish, fickle, franticke, madde;
      These be the humors that content me best,
      And therefore will I stay with Cynthia....
    _Nat._ Now rule, Pandora, in fayre Cynthias steede,
      And make the moone inconstant like thy selfe;
      Raigne thou at womens nuptials, and their birth;
      Let them be mutable in all their loves,
      Fantastical, childish, and foolish, in their desires,
      Demaunding toyes:
      And stark madde when they cannot have their will.
      Now follow me ye wandring lightes of heaven,
      And grieve not, that she is not plast with you;
      Ail you shall glaunce at her in your aspects,
      And in conjunction dwell with her a space. (V. i.)

And so Pandora becomes the 'Woman in the Moon.' The play, in its topical
and satiric purpose, and above all, in its utilization of mythological
material, bears a distinct relationship to the masque. The shepherds are
in their origin philosophical, standing for the race of mankind in
general, rather than pastoral; Utopian, in fact, rather than Arcadian.
These early mythological plays stand alone, in that the pastoral scenes
they contain are apparently uninfluenced by the Italian drama. The kind
attained some popularity as a subject of courtly presentation, but it did
not long preserve its original character. The later examples, with which
we shall be concerned hereafter, always exhibit some characteristics which
may be immediately or ultimately traced to the influence of Tasso and
Guarini. This influence we must now turn to consider in some detail, as
evidenced as well in translations and imitations as in the general tone
and machinery of an appreciable portion of the Elizabethan drama.[226]


In any inquiry involving the question of foreign influence in literature
it is obviously necessary to treat of the work done in the way of
translation, although when the influence is of at all a widespread nature,
as in the present instance, such discussion is apt to usurp a position
unjustified by its intrinsic importance. In most cases, probably, the
energy devoted to the task of rendering the foreign models directly into
the language they influenced is rather useful as supplying us with a rough
measure of their popularity than itself significant as a step in the
operation of that influence. We may safely assume that, in the case of the
English pastoral drama, the influence exercised directly by the Italian
masterpieces was beyond comparison greater than that which made itself
indirectly felt through the labours of translators.

Having thus anticipated a possible misapprehension it will be worth our
while to devote some little attention to the history of the attempts at
translation in this line. The first English writer to venture upon the
task of turning the choice music of Tasso into his native language was the
eccentric satellite of the Sidneyan circle, Abraham Fraunce, fellow of St.
John's College in Cambridge. It so happened that he was at the time
pursuing that elusive phantasm, the application of the laws of classical
versification to English poetry. The resuit was at least unique, in
English, at any rate, namely a drama in hexameter verse. It also occurred
to him that Watson's _Lamentations of Amyntas_, a translation of which he
had himself published in 1587, might be made to serve as an appendix to
Tasso's play. With this object in view he changed the name of the heroine
from Silvia to Phillis. This appears to have been the exact extent to
which he 'altered S. Tassoes Italian' in order to connect it with 'M.
Watsons Latine Amyntas' and 'to make them both one English.'[227] Certain
other changes were, however, introduced upon other considerations. Various
unessential points were omitted, notably in connexion with Tirsi, whose
topical character disappears; the name Nerina is altered to Fulvia;
frequent allusions are introduced to the nymph Pembrokiana, to whom among
other things is ascribed the rescue of the heroine from the bear which
takes the place of the wolf in Tasso. Lastly, we have the addition of a
whole scene immediately before the final chorus. Phillis and Amyntas
reappear and carry on a conversation, not unamiably, in a sort of
hexametrical stichomythia. The maiden modestly seeks to restrain the
amorous impatience of her lover, and the scene ends with a song between
the two composed in 'Asclepiades.'[228] Of this literary curiosity
Amyntas' opening stave may be quoted:

    Sweete face, why be the hev'ns soe to the bountifull,
    Making that radiant bewty of all the starrs
    Bright-burning, to be fayre Phillis her ornament?
    And yet seeme to be soe spytefuly partial,
    As not for to aford Argus his eyes to mee,
    Eyes too feawe to behould Phillis her ornament?

It is, perhaps, not a little strange that the pedant who made the
preposterous experiment of turning the _Aminta_ into English hexameters
should nevertheless have been capable of clearly perceiving, however
incapable he was of adequately rectifying, the hopelessly undramatic
character of the last act of Tasso's play. As an example of the style of
the translation we may take the following rendering of the delicate _Chi
crederia_, with which the original prologue opens:

    Who would think that a God lay lurking under a gray cloake,
    Silly Shepheards gray cloake, and arm'd with a paltery sheephooke?
    And yet no pety God, no God that gads by the mountaines,
    But the triumphantst God that beares any sway in Olympus:
    Which many times hath made man-murdring Mars to be cursing
    His blood-sucking blade; and prince of watery empire
    Earth-shaking Neptune, his threeforckt mace to be leaving,
    And Jove omnipotent, as a poore and humble obeissant,
    His three-flak't lightnings and thunderbolts to abandon.

This is in some respects not wholly inadequate; indeed, if it happened to
be English it might pass for a respectable translation, for the exotic
pedantry of the style itself serves in a way to render the delicate
artificiality of the original, and such an expression as a 'God that gads
by the mountaines' is a pithy enough paraphrase of _dio selvaggio_, if
hardly an accurate translation. The unsatisfactory nature of the verse,
however, for dramatic purposes becomes evident in passages of rapid
dialogue; for example, where Daphne tells the careless nymph of Amyntas'
resolve to die.

    _Phillis._ As to my house full glad for joy I repayred, I met thee
    Daphne, there full sad by the way, and greately amased.

    _Daphne._ Phillis alas is alive, but an other's gone to be dying[229].

    _Ph._ And what mean's this, alas? am I now so lightly regarded,
    That my life with, Alas, of Daphne must be remembred?

    _Da._ Phillis, I love thy life, but I lyke not death of an other.

    _Ph._ Whose death?

    _Da._       Death of Amyntas.

    _Ph._               Alas how dyed Amyntas?

    _Da._ How? that I cannot tell; nor yet well whether it is soe:
    But noe doubt, I beleeve; for it is most lyke that it is soe.

    _Ph._ What strange news doe I heare? what causd that death of Amyntas?

    _Da._ Thy death.

    _Ph._      And I alive?

    _Da._           Thy death was lately reported,
    And he beleevs thy death, and therfore seeketh his owne death.

    _Ph._ Feare of Phillis death prov'd vayne, and feare of Amyntas
    Death will proove vayne too: life eache thing lyvely procureth. (IV. i.)

Even in such a passage as this, however, those strong racy phrases which
somehow find their way into the most uninspired of Tudor translations, are
not wholly wanting. Thus when the careless nymph at last goes off to seek
her desperate lover, Daphne in the original remarks:

         Oh tardi saggia, e tardi
    Pietosa, quando ciò nulla rileva;

a passage in translating which Fraunce cannot resist the application of a
homely proverb, and writes:

    When steedes are stollen, then Phillis looks to the stable.

It may, at first sight, appear strange that at a time when the Italian
pastoral was exercising its greatest influence over the English drama this
translation by Fraunce of Tasso's play should have satisfied the demand
for more than thirty years. The explanation, of course, is that the
widespread knowledge of Italian among the reading public in England
rendered translation more or less superfluous[230], while at the same time
it should be remembered that in this country Tasso was far surpassed in
popularity by Guarini. So far as we can tell no further translation of the
_Aminta_ was attempted till 1628, when there appeared an anonymous version
which bibliographers have followed one another in ascribing to one John
Reynolds, but which was more probably the work of a certain Henry
Reynolds[231]. However that may be, the translation is of no
inconsiderable merit, though this is more apparent when read apart from
the original. It bears evidence of having been written by a man capable of
appreciating the poetry of Tasso, and one who, while unable to strike the
higher chords of lyric composition, was yet able to render the Italian
into graceful and unassuming, if seldom wholly musical or adequate, verse.
Thus the version hardly does itself justice in quotation, although the
general impression produced is more pleasing and less often irritating
than is the case with translations which many times reveal far higher
qualities. The following is a characteristic specimen chosen from the
story of Aminta's early love for Silvia.

    Being but a Lad, so young as yet scarce able
    To reach the fruit from the low-hanging boughes
    Of new-growne trees; Inward I grew to bee
    With a young mayde, fullest of love and sweetnesse,
    That ere display'd pure gold tresse to the winde;...
    Neere our abodes, and neerer were our hearts;
    Well did our yeares agree, better our thoughts;
    Together wove we netts t' intrapp the fish
    In flouds and sedgy fleetes[232]; together sett
    Pitfalls for birds; together the pye'd Buck
    And flying Doe over the plaines we chac'de;
    And in the quarry', as in the pleasure shar'de:
    But as I made the beasts my pray, I found
    My heart was lost, and made a pray to other. (I. ii.)

Many a translator, moreover, has failed to instil into his verse the swing
and flow of the following stanzas from the golden age chorus, which,
nevertheless follow the metrical form of the original with reasonable

    O happy Age of Gould; happy' houres;
    Not for with milke the rivers ranne,
    And hunny dropt from ev'ry tree;
    Nor that the Earth bore fruits, and flowres,
    Without the toyle or care of Man,
    And Serpents were from poyson free;...
      But therefore only happy Dayes,
    Because that vaine and ydle name,
    That couz'ning Idoll of unrest,
    Whom the madd vulgar first did raize,
    And call'd it Honour, whence it came
    To tyrannize or'e ev'ry brest,
      Was not then suffred to molest
    Poore lovers hearts with new debate;
    More happy they, by these his hard
    And cruell lawes, were not debar'd
    Their innate freedome; happy state;
    The goulden lawes of Nature, they
    Found in their brests; and them they did obey. (Ch. I.)

Before leaving the _Aminta_ it will be worth while straying beyond the
strict chronological limits of this inquiry to glance for a moment at the
version produced by John Dancer in 1660, for the sake of noting the change
which had come over literary hack-work of the kind in the course of some
thirty years. Comparing it with Reynolds' translation we are at first
struck by the change which long drilling of the language to a variety of
uses has accomplished in the work of uninspired poetasters; secondly, by
the fact that the conventional respectability of production, which has
replaced the halting crudities of an earlier date, is far more inimical
to any real touch of poetic inspiration. Equally evident is that spirit of
tyranny, happily at no time native to our literature, which seeks to
reduce the works of other ages into accordance with the taste of its own
day. Thus, having 'improved' Tasso's apostrophe to the _bella età dell'
oro_ almost beyond recognition, Dancer complacently closes the chorus with
the following parody:

    We'l hope, since there's no joy, when once one dies
    We'l hope, that as we have seen with our eies
    The Sun to set, so we may see it rise. (Ch. I.)

Again, while all the spontaneity and reverential labour of an age of more
avowed adolescence has disappeared, there is yet lacking the justness of
phrase and certainty of grammar and rime, which later supply, however
inadequately, the place of poetic enthusiasm. The defects of the style,
with its commonplace exaggeration of conceits, the thumbed token-currency
of the certified poetaster, are well seen in such a passage as the

    Weak love is held by shame, but love grows bold
    As strong, what is it then can it with-hold:
    She as though in her ey's she did contain
    Fountains of tears, did with such plenty rain
    Them on his cheeks, and they such vertue had,
    That it reviv'd again the breathlesse lad;...
    Aminta thought 'twas more then heav'nly charms,
    That thus enclasp'd him in his Silvia's armes;
    He that loves servant is, perhaps may guesse
    Their blisse; but none there is can it expresse[234]. (V. i.)

As was to be expected, the attention of translators was early directed to
the _Pastor fido_. The original was printed in England, together with the
_Aminta_, the year after its first appearance in Italy, that is in 1591,
and bore the imprint of John Wolfe, 'a spese di Giacopo Castelvetri'; the
first translation saw the light in 1602. This version was published
anonymously, and in spite of the confident assertions and ingenious
conjectures of certain bibliographers, anonymous it must for the present
remain; all that can with certainty be affirmed is that it claims to be
the work of a kinsman of Sir Edward Dymocke[235]. Most modern writers who
have had occasion to mention it have shown a praiseworthy deference to the
authority of one of the most venerable figures of English criticism by
each in turn repeating that the translation, 'in spite of Daniel's
commendatory sonnet, is a very bad one.' And indeed, when we have stated
the very simple facts concerning the authorship as distinct from the very
elaborate conjectures, there remains little to add to Dyce's words. With
the exception of the omission of the prologue the version keeps pretty
faithfully to its original, but it does no more than emphasize the tedious
artificiality of the Italian, while whatever charm and perhaps
over-elaborated grace of language Guarini infused into his verse has
entirely evaporated in the process of translation. No less a poet and
critic than Daniel, regarding the work doubtless with the undiscriminating
eye of friendship, asserted that it might even to Guarini himself have
vindicated the poetic laurels of England, and yet from the whole long poem
it is hardly possible to extract any passage which would do credit to the
pen of an average schoolboy. We turn in vain to the contest of kisses
among the Megarean maidens, to the game of blind man's buff, to Amarillis'
secret confession of love, and to her trembling appeal when confronted by
a death of shame, for any evidence of poetie feeling. The girl's speech in
the last-mentioned scene, 'Se la miseria mia fosse mia colpa,' is thus

    If that my fault did cause my wretchednesse,
    Or that my thoughts were wicked, as thou thinkst
    My deed, lesse grievous would my death be then:
    For it were just my blood should wash the spots
    Of my defiled soule, heavens rage appease,
    And humane justice justly satisfie,
    Then could I quiet my afflicted sprights,
    And with a just remorse of well-deserved death,
    My senses mortifie, and come to death:
    And with a quiet blow pass forth perhaps
    Unto a life of more tranquilitie:
    But too too much, Nicander, too much griev'd
    I am, in so young years, Fortune so hie,
    An Innocent, I should be doom'd to die. (IV. v.)

The next translation we meet with never got into print. It is preserved in
a manuscript at the British Museum[236], and bears the heading: 'Il Pastor
Fido, or The Faithfull Sheapheard. An Excellent Pastorall Written In
Italian by Battista Guarinj And translated into English By Jonathan Sidnam
Esq, Anno 1630.' The prologue is again omitted, and the translation is
distinguished from its contemporaries by an endeavour to reproduce to some
extent the freer metrical structure of the Italian. This was not a
particularly happy experiment, since it ignored the fact that the
character of a metre may differ considerably in different languages. The
Italian _endecasillabi sciolti_ are far less flexible than our own blank
verse, and it is only when freely interspersed with the shorter
_settinarî_ that they can attempt to rival the range of effect possible to
the English metre in the hands of a skilful artist. Thus the imitation of
the irregular measures of Guarini was a confession of the translator's
inability adequately to handle the dramatic verse of his own tongue. As a
specimen we may take the rendering of Amarillis' speech already quoted
from the 'Dymocke' version:

    If my mischance had come by mine own fault,
    Nicander, or had beene as thou beleevst
    The foule effect of base and wicked thoughts,
    Or, as it now appeares, a deed of Sinn,
    It had beene then lesse greevous to endure
    Death as a punishment for such a fault,
    And just it had beene with my blood to wash
    My impure Soule, to mitigate the wrath
    And angar of the Godds, and satisfie
    The right of humane justice,
    Then could I quiett my afflicted Soule
    And with an inward feeling of my just
    Deserved death, subdue my outward Sence,
    And fawne uppon my end, and happelie
    With a more settled countenance passe from hence
    Into a better world:
    But now, Nicander, ah! tis too much greefe
    In soe yong yeares, in such a happie state,
    To die so suddenlie, and which is more,
    Die innocent. (IV. v.)

It was not until the civil war was at its height, namely in 1647, that
English literature was enriched with a translation in any way worthy of
Guarini's masterpiece. It is easy to strain the interpretation of such
facts, but there is certainly a strong temptation to see in the occasion
and circumstances of the composition of the piece an illustration of a
critical law already noticed, namely the constant tendency of literature
to negative as well as to reproduce the life of actuality, and furthermore
of the special liability of pastoral to take birth from a desire to escape
from the imminence and pressure of surrounding circumstance. Like
Reynolds' _Aminta_, Richard Fanshawe's _Pastor fido_ is better appreciated
as a whole than in quotation, though, thanks partly to its own greater
maturity of poetic attainment, partly to the less ethereal perfection of
the original, it suffers far less than the earlier work by comparison with
the Italian. For the same reasons it is by far the most satisfactory of
any of the early translations of the Italian pastoral drama. One
noticeable feature is the constant reminiscence of Shakespeare, whole
lines from his works being sometimes introduced with no small skill. For
instance, where Guarini, describing how love wins entrance to a maiden's
heart, writes:

    E se vergogna il cela,
    O temenza l' affrena,
    La misera tacendo
    Per soverchio desío tutta si strugge; (I. iv.)

Fanshawe renders the last two lines by:

    Poor soul! Concealment like a worm i' th' bud,
    Lies in her Damask cheek sucking the bloud.

A few illustrative passages will suffice to give an idea of Fanshawe's
style. He stands alone in having succeeded in recrystallizing in his own
tongue some at least of the charm of the kissing match, and is even fairly
successful in the following dangerous conceit:

              With one voice
    Of peerlesse Amarillis they made choice.
    She sweetly bending her fair eyes.
    Her cheeks in modest blushes dyes,
    To shew through her transparent skin
    That she is no lesse fair within
    Then shee's without; or else her countenance
    Envying the honour done her mouth perchance,
    Puts on her scarlet robes as who
    Should say: 'And am not I fair too?' (II. i.)

So again he alone among the translators has infused any semblance of
passion into Amarillis' confession of love:

    Mirtillo, O Mirtillo! couldst thou see
    That heart which thou condemn'st of cruelty,
    Soul of my soul, thou unto it wouldst show
    That pity which thou begg'st from it I know.
    O ill starr'd Lovers! what avails it me
    To have thy love? T' have mine, what boots it thee?
                                                     (III. iv.)

In a lighter vein the following variation on the theme of fading beauty by
Corisca also does justice to its original:

    Let us use it whilst wee may;
    Snatch those joyes that haste away.
    Earth her winter-coat may cast,
    And renew her beauty past;
    But, our winter come, in vain
    We sollicite spring again:
    And when our furrows snow shall cover,
    Love may return, but never Lover. (III. v.)

When it is borne in mind that not only is the rendering graceful in
itself, but that as a rule it represents its original if not literally at
any rate adequately, it will be realized that Fanshawe's qualifications as
a translator are not small. His version, which is considerably the best in
the language, is happily easily accessible owing to its early popularity.
It first appeared in 1647 in the form of a handsomely printed quarto with
portrait and frontispiece engraved after the Ciotti edition of 1602, the
remaining copies being re-issued with additional matter the following
year; it went through two editions between the restoration and the end of
the century, and was again reprinted together with the original, and with
alterations in 1736[237]. In the meantime, however, the translation had
been adapted to the stage by Elkanah Settle. In a dedication to Lady
Elizabeth Delaval, the adapter ingenuously disclaims all knowledge of
Italian, and when he speaks of 'the Translated _Pastor Fido_' every reader
would no doubt be expected to know that he was referring to Fanshawe's
work. He left his readers, however, to discover for themselves that,
while he considerably altered, and of course condensed, the original, for
whatever poetic merit his scenes possess he is entirely indebted to his
predecessor. The adaptation was licensed by L'Estrange in 1676, and
printed the following year, while reprints dated 1689 and 1694 seem to
indicate that it achieved some success at the Duke's Theatre. It was
presumably of this version that Pepys notices a performance on February
25, 1668.[238]

Besides these English translations there is also extant one in Latin, a
manuscript of which is preserved in the University Library at
Cambridge.[239] The name of the translater does not appear, but the
heading runs: 'Il pastor fido, di signor Guarini ... recitata in Collegio
Regali Cantabrigiae.' The title is so scrawled over that it would be
impossible to say for certain whether the note of performance referred to
the present play, were it not for an allusion casually dropped by the
anonymous recorder of a royal visit to Oxford, which not only
substantiates the inference to be drawn from the manuscript, but also
supplies us with a downward limit of August, 1605.[240] In this
translation a dialogue between the characters 'Prologus' and 'Argumentum'
takes the place of Guarini's long topical prologue, and a short
conventional 'Epilogus' is added at the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was not till 1655 that _the Filli di Sciro_ of Bonarelli, which has
usually been thought to hold the third place among Italian pastorals,
appeared in English dress. The translation published in that year is
ascribed on the title-page to 'J. S. Gent.,' an ascription which has given
rise to a good deal of conjecture. And yet a very little investigation
might have settled the matter. Prefixed to the translation are some
commendatory verses signed 'I. H.', in a marginal note to which we read:
'This Comedy was Translated long ago by M. _I. S._ and layd by, as also
was _Pastor Fido_, which was since Translated and set forth by Mr. Rich.
Fanshaw.' Another note,[241] to some verses to the reader, tells us that
both translations were made 'neer twenty years agone,' and, as we should
expect, the _Pastor fido_ first; and further, that the latter remained in
manuscript owing to the appearance of Fanshawe's version, which is spoken
of in terms of warm admiration. Now the only manuscript translation of
Guarini's play extant in English is that of Jonathan Sidnam, whose name
gives us the very initials which appear upon the title-page of the printed
play.[242] Since the preliminary verses may have been written any time
between 1647 and 1655, the vague allusion to the date of composition will
quite well fit 1630, the year given in the manuscript. When, furthermore,
we find J. S.'s work characterized by precisely the same use of short
lines as we noted above in the case of Sidnam's, the identification
becomes a practical certainty. The version, though, as the author was
himself aware, it will not stand comparison with Fanshawe's work, is not
without merit, and is perhaps as good as the rather tedious original
deserves. As a specimen we may take a passage in which the author
deliberately followed Tasso, Celia's narration of her adventure with the

    There, to a sturdy Oak, he bound me fast
    And re-enforct his base inhumane bonds
    With the then danglinst Tresses of my hair;
    Ingrateful hair, ill-nurtur'd wicked Locks!
    The cruel wretch then took up from the foot
    Both my loose tender garments, and at once
    Rent them from end to end: Imagine then
    Whether my crimson red, through shame was chang'd
    Into a pale wan tincture, yea or no.
    I that was looking toward Heaven then,
    And with my cries imploring ayd from thence,
    Upon a suddain to the Earth let fall
    My shamefac'd eyes, and shut them close, as if
    Under mine eye-lids, I could cover all
    My naked Members. (I. iii.)

Of the various unfounded conjectures as to the author of this version,
among which Shirley's name has of course not failed to appear, certainly
the most ingenious is that which has seen in it the work of Sir Edward
Sherburne. The suggestion appears to have been originally made by Coxeter,
on what grounds I do not know. 'There is no doubt of the authorship of
this play,' writes Professer Gollancz in his notes to Lamb's _Specimens_,
'"J. S." is certainly an error for "E. S." I have found in a MS. in the
British Museum Sir E. Sherburne's preface to this play.' Professer
Gollancz deserves credit for having unearthed the interesting document
referred to,[243] but an examination of it at once destroys his theory. It
is a preface 'To the Reader' intended for a translation of the _Filli_,
and another copy also is extant,[244] both being found among the papers of
Sir Edward Sherburne, though in neither does his name actually occur. In
the course of the preface the writer quotes 'the Censure of my sometime
highly valued, and most Ingenious friend S'r. John Denham, to whom (some
years before the happy Restauration of King Charles the 2^{d} being then
at Paris) I communicated Some Part of this my Translation. Who was not
only pleasd to encourage my undertaking, but gave me likewise this
Character of the Original. "I will not say It is a Better Poem then Pastor
Fido, but to speak my Mind freely, I think it a Better Drama."' From this
it is clear that the preface was penned after 1660, and we may furthermore
infer that the version was as yet unfinished when the writer was in Paris,
apparently at some time during the Commonwealth. It is therefore
impossible that the preface should be intended for a translation which was
printed in 1655, and which was then distinctly stated to have been
composed not later than 1635. Furthermore, I question whether either the
preface or the version mentioned therein were by Sherburne at all. There
is a translation extant in a British Museum manuscript[245] purporting to
be the work of Sir George Talbot, who is said to have been a friend of Sir
Edward's, into whose hands some of his papers may have come. The
translation is headed: 'Fillis of Scirus, a Pastorall Written in Italian,
by Count Guidubaldo de' Bonarelli, and Translated into English by S'r. G:
Talbot,' and there follows 'The Epistle Dedicatory To his sacred Ma'ty.
Charles 2'd. &c. prophetically written at Paris, an: 57.' The opening is
not wanting in grace:

    The dawning light breaks forth; I heare, aloofe,
    The whistling ayre, the Saints bell of the Heav'n,
    Wherewith each morne it call's the drowsy Birds
    To offer up theyre Hymnes to th' new-borne day.
      But who ere saw, from night's dark bosome, spring
    A morne soe fayre and beautifull? Observe
    With what imperceptible hand, it steales
    The starres from Heav'n, and deck's the earth with flow'rs:
    Haile, lovely fields, your flow'rs in this array
    Fournish a kind of star-light to the day.

Or take again Celia's encounter with the centaur. And in this connexion it
is worth while mentioning that, when revising his translation and
introducing a number of verbal changes, in most cases distinctly for the
better, Sir George appears to have been struck by the absurdity of this
machinery, and throughout replaced the centaur by a 'wild man.' After
telling how she was seized and carried to 'the middle of a desart wood,'
Celia proceeds:

    There, to a sturdy oake, he bound me fast,
    Doubling my bonds with knots of mine own hayre;
    Ungratefull hayre, thou ill returnst my care.
    The Tyrant then my mantle took in hand
    And with one rash tore it from head to foote.
    Consider whether shame my trembling pale
    Did now convert into Vermillion: up
    I cast my eyes to Heav'n, and with lowd cryes
    Implor'd it's ayd; then lookt downe tow'rd the earth,
    And phancy'd my dejected eyebrows hung
    Like a chast mantle ore my naked limbs. (I. iii.)

A comparison of this and the preceding renderings with the original will
show that while Talbot's is by far the more fiowing and imaginative,
Sidnam's is on the whole rather more literal, except where he appears to
have misunderstood the original. No other English translation, I believe,

Lastly, as in the case of the _Pastor fido_, record has to be made of a
Latin version acted at Cambridge. It was the work of a Dr. Brooke of
Trinity[246], and purports to have been performed, no doubt at that
College, before Prince Charles and the Count Palatine, on March 30,
1612[247]. The title is 'Scyros, Fabula Pastoralis,' which has hitherto
prevented its being identified as a translation of Bonarelli's play, and
it is preserved in manuscripts at the University Library[248], Trinity and
Emmanuel. At the beginning is a note to the effect that in the place of
the prologue--Marino's _Notte_--was to be presented a triumph over the
death of the centaur. The cast is given, and includes three
undergraduates, five bachelors, and five masters.


After translation the next process in logical sequence is direct
imitation. Although it is true that the influence of Tasso and Guarini may
be traced either directly or indirectly in the great majority of the
English pastorals composed during the first half of the seventeenth
century, there are nevertheless two plays only in which that influence can
be regarded as completely paramount, and to which the term 'imitation' can
be with full justification applied. These are the two pastorals by Samuel
Daniel, historian and court-laureate, namely the _Queen's Arcadia_, 'A
Pastorall Trage-comedie presented to her Majestie and her Ladies, by the
Universitie of Oxford in Christs Church, in August last. 1605[249],' and
_Hymen's Triumph_, which formed part of the Queen's 'magnificent
intertainement of the Kings most excellent Majestie' on the occasion of
the marriage in 1614 of Robert Ker, Earl of Roxburgh, and Mistress Jean
Drummond, sister of the Earl of Perth[250].

The earlier of these pieces displays alike the greater dependence on
Italian models and the less intrinsic merit, whether from a poetic or
dramatic point of view. It is, indeed, in its apparent carelessness of the
most elementary necessities of dramatic construction, distinctly
retrograde as compared with these models themselves. In the first scene we
are introduced to two old Arcadians who hold long discourse concerning the
degeneracy of the age. The simple manners of earlier times are forsaken,
constant quarrels occur, faith is no longer untarnished nor modesty
secure. In the hope of probing to the root of the evil the two determine
to hide close at hand and so overhear the conversations of the younger
swains and shepherdesses. The fact is that Arcadia has recently been
invaded by a gang of rascally adventurers from Corinth and elsewhere:
Techne, 'a subtle wench,' who under pretence of introducing the latest
fashions of the towns corrupts the nymphs; Colax, whose courtier-airs find
an easy prey in the hearts of the country-wenches; Alcon, a quacksalver,
who introduces tobacco to ruin the constitutions of the shepherds; Lincus,
'a petty-fogger,' who breeds litigation among the simple folk; and lastly
Pistophanax, who seeks to undermine the worship of Pan. Colax has, it
appears, already abused the love of Daphne, and won that of Dorinda from
her swain Mirtillus; Techne has sown jealousy between the lovers Palaemon
and Silvia; while Lincus has set Montanus and Acrysius by the ears over
the possession of a bit of land. Ail the plotting is overheard by the two
concealed shepherds, who when the crisis is reached come forward, call
together the Arcadians, expose the machinations of the evil-doers, and
procure their banishment from the country. Such an automatic solution is
obviously incompatible with the smallest dramatic interest in the plot; it
is not a _dénoûment_ at all, properly speaking, but a severing of the
skein after Alexander's manner, and it is impossible to feel any emotion
at the tragic complications when all the while the sword lies ready for
the operation.

The main amorous action centres round Cloris, beloved of Amyntas and
Carinus, the latter of whom is in his turn loved by Amarillis. Carinus'
hopes are founded on the fact that, in imitation of Tasso's Aminta, he has
rescued Cloris from the hands of a satyr, while Amyntas bases his upon
certain signs of favour shown him. Colax, however, also falls in love with
the nymph, and induces Techne to give her tryst in a cave, where he may
then have an opportunity of finding her alone. Techne, hereupon, in the
hope of winning Amyntas' affection for herself if she can make him think
Cloris unworthy, directs him to the spot where she has promised to meet
the unsuspecting maiden. This is obviously borrowed from the _Pastor
fido_; indeed, Techne is none other than Corisca under a new name, and it
was no doubt she who suggested to Daniel the introduction of the other
agents of civilization. Amyntas, on seeing Cloris emerge from the cave in
company with Colax, at once concludes her guilt, and in spite of all
Techne's efforts to restrain him rushes off with the intention of putting
an end to his life. Techne, perceiving the ill-success of her plot, tells
Cloris of Amyntas' resolve. We here return to the imitation of Tasso:
Cloris, like that poet's Silvia, begins by pretending incredulity and
indifference, but being at length convinced agrees to accompany Techne in
search of the desperate swain. Daniel has produced what is little better
than a parody of the scene in his model. Not content with placing in the
girl's mouth the preposterous excuse:

    If it be done my help will come too late,
    And I may stay, and save that labour here, (IV. iv.[251])

he has spun out the dialogue, already over-long in the original, to an
altogether inordinate and ludicrous extent. When the pair at last come
upon the unhappy lover they find him lying insensible, a horn of poison by
him. The necessary sequel is reported by Mirtillus:

    For we perceiv'd how Love and Modestie
    With sev'rall Ensignes, strove within her cheekes
    Which should be Lord that day, and charged hard
    Upon each other, with their fresh supplies
    Of different colours, that still came, and went,
    And much disturb'd her, but at length dissolv'd
    Into affection, downe she casts her selfe
    Upon his senselesse body, where she saw
    The mercy she had brought was come too late:
    And to him calls: 'O deare Amyntas, speake,
    Look on me, sweete Amyntas, it is I
    That calles thee, I it is, that holds thee here,
    Within those armes thou haste esteem'd so deare.' (V. ii.)

Amyntas' subsequent recovery is reported in the same strain. The reader
will remember the lines in which Tasso described a similar scene. And yet,
in spite of the identity of the situations and even of the close
similarity of the language, the tone and atmosphere of the two passages
are essentially different; for if Daniel's treatment of the scene, which
is typical of a good deal of his work, has the power to call a tear to the
eye of sensibility, his sentiment, divested as it is of the Italian's
subtle sensuousness, appears perfectly innocuous and at times not a little

Cloris and Amyntas are now safe enough, and Carinus has the despised but
faithful Amarillis to console him. The other pairs of lovers need not
detain us further than to note that their adventures are equally borrowed
from Tasso and Guarini. Silvia relates how, wounded by her 'cruelty,'
Palaemon sought to imitate Aminta by throwing himself from a cliff, but
was prevented by her timely relenting. Amarillis fondles Carinus's dog,
and is roughly upbraided by its master in the same manner as her prototype
Dorinda in the _Pastor fido_.

Amid much that is commonplace in the verse occur not a few graceful
passages, while Daniel is at times rather happy in the introduction of
certain sententious utterances in keeping with the conventionality of the
pastoral form. Thus a caustic swain remarks of a girl's gift:

    Poore withred favours, they might teach thee know,
    That shee esteemes thee, and thy love as light
    As those dead flowers, shee wore but for a show,
    The day before, and cast away at night;

and to a lover:

    When such as you, poore, credulous, devout,
    And humble soules, make all things miracles
    Your faith conceives, and vainely doe convert
    All shadowes to the figure of your hopes. (I. ii.)

Colax is a subtle connoisseur in love:

    Some thing there is peculiar and alone
    To every beauty that doth give an edge
    To our desires, and more we still conceive
    In that we have not, then in that we have.
    And I have heard abroad where best experience
    And wit is learnd, that all the fairest choyce
    Of woemen in the world serve but to make
    One perfect beauty, whereof each brings part. (I. iii.)

The historical importance of the _Queen's Arcadia_, as the first play to
exhibit on the English stage the direct and unequivocal influence of the
Italian pastoral drama, is evident to the critic in retrospect, and it is
not impossible that it may have lent some extraneous interest to the
performance even in the eyes of contemporaries; but the zest of the play
for a court audience in the early years of the reign of James I was very
possibly the satirical element. The shadowy fiction of Arcadia and its age
of gold quickly vanished when the actual or fancied evils of the day were
exposed to the lash. The abuse of the practice of taking tobacco flattered
the prejudices of the king; the quack and the dishonest lawyer were stock
butts of contemporary satire; Colax and Techne, the he and she
coney-catchers, have maintained their fascination for all ages.
Pistophanax, the disseminator of false doctrine, who had actually presumed
to reason with the priests concerning the mysteries of Pan, was perhaps
the favourite object of contemporary invective. The term 'atheist' covered
a multitude of sins. This character appears in the final scene only, and
even there he is a mute but for one speech. He is indeed treated in a
somewhat different manner from the other subjects of satire in the play.
Thus the discovery that he is wearing a mask to hide the natural ugliness
of his features passes altogether the bounds of dramatic satire, and
carries us back to the allegorical manner of the middle ages. Apart from
these figures, who bear upon them the form and pressure of the time, and
who are, it must be remembered, the main-spring of the action, there is
little of note to fix the attention in this first fruit of the Arcadian
spirit in the English drama.

In every way superior to its predecessor is the second venture in the kind
made by Daniel after an interval of nearly a decade. Instead of being a
patchwork of motives and situations borrowed from the Italian, and pieced
together with more or less ingenuity, _Hymen's Triumph_ is as a whole an
original composition. The play is preceded by a prologue in which Daniel
departs from his models in employing the dialogue form, the speakers being
Hymen, Avarice, Envy, and Jealousy[252]. In the opening scene we find
Thirsis lamenting the loss of his love Silvia, who is supposed to have
been devoured by wild beasts while wandering alone upon the shore--we are
once again on the sea-board of Arcadia--her rent veil and a lock of her
hair being all that remains to her disconsolate lover. Their vows had been
in secret owing to the match proposed by Silvia's father between her and
Alexis, the son of a wealthy neighbour[253]. In reality she has been
seized by pirates[254] and carried off to Alexandria, where she has lived
as a slave in boy's attire for some two years. Recently an opportunity for
escape having presented itself, she has returned, still disguised, to her
native country, where she has entered the service of the shepherdess
Cloris, waiting till the approaching marriage of Alexis with another nymph
shall have made impossible the renewal of her father's former schemes.
Complications now arise, for it appears that Cloris has fallen in love
with Thirsis, but fears ill success in her suit, supposing him in his turn
to be pining for the love of Amarillis. She employs the supposed boy to
move her suit to Thirsis, and Silvia goes on her errand to court her lover
for her mistress, fearing to find him already faithless to his love for
her[255]. On her mission she is waylaid by the nymph Phillis, who has
fallen in love with her in her male attire, careless of the love borne her
by the honest but rude forester Montanus. The varying fortune of Silvia's
suit on behalf of Cloris, Thirsis' faith to the memory of Silvia,
Montanus' jealousy, and Phillis' shame when she finds her proffered love
rejected by the boy for whom she has sacrificed her modesty, are presented
in a series of scenes and discourses which do not materially advance the
business in hand. Towards the end of the fourth act, however, we approach
the climax, and matters begin to move. Alexis' marriage being now
imminent, Silvia thinks she can venture at least to give her lover some
spark of hope by narrating her story under fictitious names. This she
does, making use of the transparent anagrams Isulia and Sirthis[256]. As
Silvia ends her tale Montanus rushes in, determined to be revenged for the
favour shown by his mistress to the supposed youth. He stabs Silvia, and
carries off the garland she is wearing, believing it to be one woven by
the hand of Phillis. This naturally leads to the discovery of Silvia's sex
and identity, and supposing her dead, Thirsis falls in a swoon at her
side. The last act is, as usual, little more than an epilogue, in which we
are entertained with a long account of the recovery of the faithful
lovers, thanks to the care of the wise Lamia, an elaborate passage again
modelled on Tasso, but again falling far short of the poetical beauty of
the original.

Taken as a whole, and partly through being unencumbered with the satyric
machinery of the _Queen's Arcadia, Hymen's Triumph_ is a distinctly
lighter and more pleasing composition. At least so it appears by
comparison, for Daniel everywhere takes himself and his subject with a
distressing seriousness wholly unsuited to the style; we look in vain for
a gleam of humour such as that which in the final chorus of the _Aminta_
casts a reflex light over the whole play[257]. Again an advance may be
observed, not only in the conduct of the plot, which moves artistically on
an altogether different level, and even succeeds in arousing some dramatic
interest, but likewise in the verse, which has a freer movement, and is on
the whole less marred by the over-emphatic repetition of words and phrases
in consecutive lines, a particularly irritating trick of the author's
pastoral style, or by the monotonous cadence and painful padding of the
blank verse. Daniel was emphatically one of those poets, neither few nor
inconsiderable, the natural nervelessness of whose poetic diction
imperatively demands the bracing restraint of rime. It is noteworthy that
this applies to his verse alone; such a work as the famous _Defence of
Rime_ serves to place him once for all among the greatest masters of 'the
other harmony of prose.'

_Hymen's Triumph_ contains many more passages of notable merit than its
predecessor. There is, indeed, one passage in the _Queen's Arcadia_ which
will bear comparison with anything Daniel ever wrote, but it stands in
somewhat striking contrast with its surroundings. This is the opening of
the speech in which Melibaeus addresses the assembled Arcadians, and well
deserves quotation.

    You gentle Shepheards and Inhabitors
    Of these remote and solitary parts
    Of Mountaynous Arcadia, shut up here
    Within these Rockes, these unfrequented Clifts,
    The walles and bulwarkes of our libertie,
    From out the noyse of tumult, and the throng
    Of sweating toyle, ratling concurrencie,
    And have continued still the same and one
    In all successions from antiquitie;
    Whil'st all the states on earth besides have made
    A thousand revolutions, and have rowl'd
    From change to change, and never yet found rest,
    Nor ever bettered their estates by change;
    You I invoke this day in generall,
    To doe a worke that now concernes us all,
    Lest that we leave not to posteritie,
    Th' Arcadia that we found continued thus
    By our fore-fathers care who left it us. (V. iii.)

Such passages are more frequent in _Hymen's Triumph_. Take the description
of the early love of Thirsis and Silvia, instinct with a delicacy and
freshness that even Tasso might have envied[258]:

    Then would we kisse, then sigh, then looke, and thus
    In that first garden of our simplenesse
    We spent our child-hood; but when yeeres began
    To reape the fruite of knowledge, ah, how then
    Would she with graver looks, with sweet stern brow,
    Check my presumption and my forwardnes;
    Yet still would give me flowers, stil would me shew
    What she would have me, yet not have me, know. (I. i.)

Thirsis, who is the typical 'constant lover' of pastoral convention, and

    Hold it to be a most heroicke thing
    To act one man, and do that part exact,

thus addresses his friend Palaemon in defence of love:

    Ah, know that when you mention love, you name
    A sacred mistery, a Deity,
    Not understood of creatures built of mudde,
    But of the purest and refined clay
    Whereto th' eternall fires their spirits convey.
    And for a woman, which you prize so low,
    Like men that doe forget whence they are men,
    Know her to be th' especiall creature, made
    By the Creator as the complement
    Of this great Architect[259] the world, to hold
    The same together, which would otherwise
    Fall all asunder; and is natures chiefe
    Vicegerent upon earth, supplies her state.
    And doe you hold it weakenesse then to love,
    And love so excellent a miracle
    As is a worthy woman? (III. iv.)

The sententious passages, the occurrence of which we previously noted in
the _Queen's Arcadia_, likewise appear. Thus of dreams:

    Alas, Medorus, dreames are vapours, which,
    Ingendred with day thoughts, fall in the night,
    And vanish with the morning;[260] (III. ii.)

and of thoughts:

    They are the smallest peeces of the minde
    That passe this narrow organ of the voyce;
    The great remaine behinde in that vast orbe
    Of th' apprehension, and are never borne. (III. iv.)

At times these utterances even possess a dramatic value, as where,
bending over the seemingly lifeless form of his beloved Silvia, Thirsis

    And sure the gods but onely sent thee thus
    To fetch me, and to take me hence with thee. (IV. v.)

The two plays we have been considering are after all very much what we
should expect from their author. A poet of considerable taste, of great
sweetness and some real feeling, but deficient in passion, in power of
conception and strength of execution, writing for the court in the
recognized rôle of court-laureate, and unexposed to the bracing influence
of a really critical audience--such is Samuel Daniel as seen in his
experiments in the pastoral drama. We learn from his commendatory sonnet
on the 'Dymocke' _Pastor fido_ that he had known Guarini personally in
Italy, an accident which supplies an interesting link between the dramas
of the two countries, and might suggest a specific incentive to the
composition of his pastorals, were any such needed. So far, however, from
that being the case, the only wonder is that the adventure was not made at
an earlier date, a problem the most promising explanation of which may
perhaps be sought in the rather conservative taste of the officiai court
circle, which tended to lag behind in the general advance during the
closing years of Elizabeth's reign. With the accession of James new life
as well as a new spirit entered the court, and is quickly found reflected
in the literary fashions in vogue. It was in 1605 that Jonson wrote in

    Here's Pastor Fido ...
              ... All our English writers,
    I meane such, as are happy in th' Italian,
    Will deigne to steale out of this author, mainely;
    Almost as much, as from Montagnie:
    He has so moderne, and facile a veine,
    Fitting the time, and catching the court-eare. (1616, III. iv.)

On the whole, perhaps, Daniel's merits as a pastoral writer have been
exaggerated. His dependence on Italian models, particularly in his earlier
play, is close, both as regards incidents and style; while he usually
lacks their felicity. His claims as an original dramatist will not stand
examination in view of the concealed shepherds in the _Queen's Arcadia,_
of his careful avoidance of scenes of strong dramatic emotion--a point in
which he of course followed his models, while lacking their mastery of
narrative as compensation--and of his failure to do justice to such scenes
when forced upon him.[261] If the atmosphere of certain scenes is purer
than is the case with his models, it is in large measure due to his
failure to master the style; if his conception of virtue is more
wholesome, his picture of it is at times marred by exaggeration, while his
sentiment for innocence is of a watery kind, and occasionally a little
tawdry. His pathos, as is the case with all weak writers, constantly
trembles on the verge of bathos, while his lack of humour betrays him into
penning passages of elaborate fatuity. His style is formal and often
stilted, his verse often monotonous and at times heavy.[262] On the other
hand Daniel possesses qualities of no vulgar kind, though some, it is
true, may be said to be rather the _qualités de ses défauts_. The verse is
at least smooth; it is courtly and scholarly, and sometimes graceful; the
language is pure and refined, and habitually simple. The sentiment, if at
times finicking, is always that of a gentleman and a courtier. Moreover,
in reckoning his qualifications as a dramatist, we must not forget to
credit him with the plot of _Hymen's Triumph_, which is on the whole
original, and is happily conceived, firmly constructed, and executed with
considerable ability.

With Daniel begins and ends in English literature the dominant influence
of the Italian pastoral drama. No doubt the imitation of Tasso and Guarini
is an important element in the subsequent history of pastoralism in this
country, and to trace and define that influence will be not the least
important task of the ensuing chapters. No doubt it supplied the incentive
that induced a man like Fletcher to bid for a hopeless success in such a
play as the _Faithful Shepherdess_, and placed a heavy debt to the account
of Thomas Randolph when he composed his _Amyntas_. But in these cases, as
in others, wherever the author availed himself of the tradition imported
from the Ferrarese court, he approached it as it were from without,
seeking to rival, to acclimatize, rather than to reproduce. Nowhere else
do we find the tone and atmosphere, the structure, situations, and
characters imitated with that fidelity, or attempt at fidelity, which
makes Daniel's plays almost indistinguishable, except for language, from
much of the work of the later Italians.[263] To minimize with many critics
Daniel's dependence on his models, or to emphasize with some that of
Fletcher, is, it seems to me, wholly to misapprehend the positions they
occupy in the history of literature, and to obscure the actual development
of the pastoral ideal in this country.

Chapter V.

The Three Masterpieces


Among English pastorals there are two plays, and two only, that can be
said to stand in the front rank of the romantic drama as a whole. The
first of these is, of course, Fletcher's _Faithful Shepherdess_. In the
case of the second the statement would perhaps be more correctly put in
the conditional mood, for whatever might have been its importance had it
reached completion, the fragmentary state of Jonson's _Sad Shepherd_ has
prevented its taking the place it deserves in the history of dramatic
literature. With these two productions may for the purposes of criticism
be classed Thomas Randolph's _Amyntas_, which, however inferior to the
others in poetic merit, yet like them stands apart in certain matters of
intention and origin from the general run of pastorals, and may, moreover,
well support a claim to be considered one of the three chief English
examples of the kind.

These three plays embrace a period of some thirty years, before, during,
and after which a considerable number of dramatic productions, more or
less pastoral in character, appeared. The chief feature in which the three
plays we are about to consider are distinguished from these is a certain
direct and conscious, though in no case subservient, relation they bear to
the drama of the Italians; while at the same time we are struck with the
absence of any influence of subsidiary or semi-pastoral tradition, of the
mythological drama, or the courtly-chivalric romance. We shall therefore
gain more by considering them in connexion with each other than we shall
lose by abandoning strict chronological sequence.

When Fletcher's play was produced, probably in the winter of 1608-9, it
proved a complete failure.[264] An edition appeared without date, but
before May, 1610, to which were prefixed verses by Field, Beaumont,
Chapman, and Jonson. If, as some have supposed, the last named already had
at the time a pastoral play of his own in contemplation, the reception
accorded to his friend's venture can hardly have been encouraging, and may
have led to the postponement of the plan; as we shall see, there is no
reason to believe that the _Sad Shepherd_ was taken in hand for another
quarter of a century almost. The _Faithful Shepherdess_ was revived long
after Fletcher's death, at a court performance in 1633-4, and shone by
comparison with Montagu's _Shepherds Paradise_ acted the year before. It
was then again placed on the public boards at the Blackfriars, where it
met with some measure of success.

The _Faithful Shepherdess_ was the earliest, and long remained the only,
deliberate attempt to acclimatize upon the popular stage in England a
pastoral drama which should occupy a position corresponding to that of
Tasso and Guarini in Italy. It was no crude attempt at transplantation, no
mere imitation of definite models, as was the case with Daniel's work, but
a deliberate act of creative genius inspired by an ambitious rivalry. Its
author might be supposed well fitted for his task. Although it was one of
his earliest, if not actually his very earliest work, it is clear that he
must have already possessed an adequate and practical knowledge of
stagecraft, and have been familiar with the temper of London audiences. He
further possessed poetical powers of no mean order, in particular a
lyrical gift almost unsurpassed among his fellows for grace and sweetness,
howbeit somewhat lacking in the qualities of refinement and power. That
he should have failed so signally is a fact worth attention. For fail he
did. His friends, it is true, endeavoured as usual to explain the fiasco
of the first performance by the ignorance and incompetence of the
spectators, but we shall, I think, see reason to come ourselves to a
scarcely less unfavourable conclusion. Nor is this failure to be explained
by the inherent disadvantage at which the sentimental and lyrical pastoral
stood when brought face to face with the wider and stronger interest of
the romantic drama. Such considerations may to some extent account for the
attitude of the contemporary audience; they cannot be supposed seriously
to affect the critical verdict of posterity. We must trust to analysis to
show wherein lay the weakness of the piece; later we may be able to
suggest some cause for Fletcher's failure.

In the first place we may consider for a moment Fletcher's indebtedness to
Tasso and Guarini, a question on which very different views have been
held. As to the source of his inspiration, there can be no reasonable
doubt, though it has been observed with truth by more than one critic,
that the _Faithful Shepherdess_ may more properly be regarded as written
in rivalry, than in imitation, of the Italians. In any case, but for the
_Aminta_ and _Pastor fido_, the _Faithful Shepherdess_ would never have
come into being; as a type it reveals neither original invention nor
literary evolution, but is a conscious attempt to adapt the Italian
pastoral to the requirements of the English stage. As an individual piece,
on the other hand, it is for the most part original and independent,
little direct influence of the Italians being traceable in the plot,
whether in general construction or in single incidents and characters. A
certain resemblance has indeed been discovered between Guarini's Corisca
and Fletcher's Cloe, but the fact chiefly shows the superficiality of the
comparison upon which critics have relied, since if Corisca suggested some
traits of Cloe, she may be held responsible for far more of Amarillis.
Where Guarini depicted a courtesan, Fletcher has painted a yahoo. Corisca,
wanton and cynical, plays, like Amarillis, the part of mischief-maker and
deceiver, and, so far from seeking, like her successfully eludes the
embraces of the shepherd-satyr. On the other hand, a clear difference
between Fletcher's work and that of the Italians may be seen in the
respective use made of supernatural agencies. From these the southern
drama is comparatively free. A somewhat ultra-medicinal power of herbs,
the introduction of an oracle in the preliminary history and of a wholly
superfluous seer in the _dénoûment_ make up the whole sum so far as the
_Pastor fido_ is concerned, while the _Aminta_ cannot even show as much as
this. In the _Faithful Shepherdess_ we find not only the potent herbs,
holy water, and magic taper of Clorin's bower, but the wonder-working well
and the actual presence of the river-god, who rises, not to pay courtly
compliments in the prologue, but to take an actual part in the plot[265].
Alike in its positive and negative aspects Fletcher's relation to the
Italian masters was conscious and acknowledged. Far from feigning
ignorance, he boldly challenged comparison with his predecessors by
imitating the very title of Guarini's play, or yet closer, had he known
it, that of Contarini's _Fida ninfa_[266].

A glance at the dramatis personae reveals a curious artificial symmetry
which, as we shall shortly see, is significant of the spirit in which
Fletcher approached the composition of his play. In Clorin we have a nymph
vowed to perpetual virginity, an anchorite at the tomb of her dead lover;
in Thenot a worshipper of her constancy, whose love she cures by feigning
a return. In Perigot and Amoret are represented a pair of ideal lovers--so
Fletcher gives us to understand--in whose chaste bosoms dwell no looser
flames. Amarillis is genuinely enamoured of Perigot, with a love that bids
modesty farewell, and will dare even crime and dishonour for its
attainment; Cloe, as already said, is a study in erotic pathology. She is
the female counterpart of the Sullen Shepherd, who inherits the
traditional nature of the satyr, that monster having been transformed into
the gentle minister of the cloistral Clorin. So, again, the character of
Amarillis finds its counterpart in that of Alexis, whose love for Cloe is
at least human; while Daphnis, who meets Cloe's desperate advances with a
shy innocence, is in effect, whatever he may have been in intention,
hardly other than a comic character. The river-god and the satyr, the
priest of Pan and his attendant Old Shepherd, who themselves stand outside
the circle of amorous intrigue, complete the list of personae.

The action which centres round these characters cannot be regarded as
forming a plot in any strict sense of the term, though Fletcher has reaped
a little praise here and there for his construction of one. It is hardly
too much to say that the various complications arise and are solved,
leaving the situation at the end precisely as it was at the beginning.
Even so may the mailed figures in some ancestral hall start into life at
the stroke of midnight, and hold high revel with the fair dames and
damsels from out the gilt frames upon the walls, content to range
themselves once more and pose in their former attitudes as soon as the
first grey light of morning shimmers through the mullioned windows.
Perigot and Amoret come through the trials of the night with their love
unshaken, but apparently no nearer its fulfilment; Thenot's love for
Clorin is cured for the moment, but is in danger of breaking out anew when
he shall discover that she is after all constant to her vow; Cloe recovers
from her amorous possession; the vagrant desires of Amarillis and Alexis
are dispelled by the 'sage precepts' of the priest and Clorin; Daphnis'
innocence is seemingly unstained by the hours he has spent with Cloe in
the hollow tree; while the Sullen Shepherd, unregenerate and defiant, is
banished the confines of pastoral Thessaly. What we have witnessed was no
more than the comedy of errors of a midsummer night.

The play, nevertheless, possesses merits which it would be unfair to
neglect. Narrative is, in the first place, entirely dispensed with in
favour of actual representation, though the result, it must be admitted,
is somewhat kaleidoscopic. Next, the action is complete within itself, and
needs no previous history to explain it; no slight advantage for stage
representation. As a result the interest is kept constantly whetted, the
movement is brisk and varied, and with the help of the verse goes far
towards carrying off the many imperfections of the piece.

It will have been already noticed that the characters fall into certain
distinct groups which may be regarded as exemplifying certain aspects of
love. Supersensuous sentiment, chaste and honourable regard, too
colourless almost to deserve the name of love, natural and unrestrained
desire, and violent lust, all these are clearly typified. What we fail to
find is the presentment of a love which shall reveal men and women neither
as beasts of instinct nor as carved figures of alabaster fit only to adorn
a tomb. This typical nature of the characters has given rise to a theory
recently propounded that the play should be regarded as an allegory
illustrative of certain aspects of love[267]. So regarded much of the
absurdity, alike of the characters and of the action, is said to
disappear. This may be so, but does it really mean anything more than that
abstractions not being in fact possessed of character at all, and being as
ideals unfettered by any demands of probability, absurdities pass
unnoticed in their case which at the touchstone of actuality at once start
into glaring prominence? Moreover, though the _Faithful Shepherdess_ was
among the first fruits of its author's genius, and though it may be
contended that he never gained a complete mastery over the difficult art
of dramatic construction, Fletcher early proved his familiarity with the
popular demands of the romantic stage, and was far too practical a
craftsman to be likely to add the dead-weight of a moral allegory to the
already dangerous form of the Arcadian pastoral. The theory does not in
reality bring the problem presented by Fletcher's play any nearer
solution; since, if the characters are regarded solely as representing
abstract ideas, such as chastity, desire, lust, they strip themselves of
every shred of dramatic interest, and could not, as Fletcher must have
known, stand the least chance upon the stage; while if they take to cover
their nakedness however diaphanous a veil of dramatic personality, the
absurdities of character and plot at once become apparent.

What truth there may be underlying this theory will, I think, be best
explained upon a different hypothesis. Let us in the first place
endeavour, so far as may be possible after the lapse of nearly three
centuries, to realize the mental attitude of the author in approaching the
composition of his play. In order to do this a closer analysis of the
piece will be necessary.

The first point of importance for the interpretation of Fletcher's
pastoralism is to be found in the quaintly self-confident preface which he
prefixed to the printed edition. Throughout our inquiry we have observed
two main types of pastoral, to one or other of which all work in this kind
approaches; that, namely, in which the interest depends upon some
allegorical or topical meaning lying beneath and beyond the apparent form,
and that in which it is confined to the actual and obvious presentment
itself. Of the former type Drayton wrote in the preface to his Pastorals:
'The subject of Pastorals, as the language of it, ought to be poor, silly,
and of the coursest Woofe in appearance. Neverthelesse, the most High and
most Noble Matters of the World may bee shaddowed in them, and for
certaine sometimes are[268]. In his preface to the _Faithful Shepherdess_
the author adopts the opposite position, as Daniel, in the prologue to the
_Queen's Arcadia_, and in spite of the strongly topical nature of that
piece, had done before him. Fletcher in an often-quoted passage writes:
'Understand, therefore, a pastoral to be a representation of shepherds and
shepherdesses with their actions and passions, which must be such as may
agree with their natures, at least not exceeding former fictions and
vulgar traditions; they are not to be adorned with any art, but such
improper [i.e. common] ones as nature is said to bestow, as singing and
poetry; or such as experience may teach them, as the virtues of herbs and
fountains, the ordinary course of the sun, moon, and stars, and such
like.' His interest would, then, appear to lie in a more or less realistic
representation, and he appears more concerned to enforce a reasonable
propriety of character than to discover deep matters of philosophy and
state. This passage alone would, therefore, make the theory we glanced at
above improbable. Fletcher next proceeds, in a passage of some interest in
the history of criticism: 'A tragi-comedy is not so called in respect of
mirth and killing, but in respect it wants deaths, which is enough to make
it no tragedy, yet brings some near it, which is enough to make it no
comedy, which must be a representation of familiar people, with such kind
of trouble as no life be questioned; so that a god is as lawful in this as
in a tragedy, and mean people as in a comedy.' One would hardly have
supposed it necessary to define tragi-comedy to the English public in
1610, and even had it been necessary, this could hardly be accepted as a
very satisfactory definition. The audience, 'having ever had a singular
gift in defining,' as the author sarcastically remarks, concluded a
pastoral tragi-comedy 'to be a play of country hired shepherds in gray
cloaks, with curtailed dogs in strings, sometimes laughing together, and
sometimes killing one another'; and after all, so far as tragi-comedy is
concerned, their belief was not unreasonable. Fletcher's definition is
obviously borrowed from the academic criticism of the renaissance, and
bears no relation to the living tradition of the English stage: since his
play suggests acquaintance with Guarini's _Pastor fido_, it is perhaps not
fantastic to imagine that in his preface he was indebted to the same
author's _Compendio della poesia tragicomica_. What is important to note
is Fletcher's concern at this point with critical theory.

Without seeking to dogmatize as to the exact extent of Fletcher's debt to
individual Italian sources, it may safely be maintained that he was
familiar with the writings of the masters of pastoral, and worked with his
eyes open: whatever modifications he introduced into traditional
characters were the result of deliberate intention. In general, two types
of love may be traced in the Italian pastoral, namely the honest human
desire of such characters as Mirtillo and Amarillis, Dorinda, Aminta, and
the more or less close approach to mere sensuality found in Corisca and
the satyrs. We nowhere find any approach to supersensuous passion,
indifferent to its own consummation; Silvia and Silvio are either entirely
careless, or else touched with a genuine human love. Nor are the more
tumultuous sides of human passion represented, for it is impossible so to
regard Corisca's love for Mirtillo, which is at bottom nothing but the
cynical caprice of the courtesan, who regards her lovers merely as so many
changes of garment--

    Molti averne, uno goderne, e cangiar spesso.

Fletcher appears to have thought that success might lie in extending and
refining upon the gamut of love. He possessed, when he set to work, no
plot ready to hand capable of determining his characters, but appears to
have selected what he considered a suitable variety of types to fill a
pastoral stage, not because he desired to be in any way allegorical, but
because in such a case it was the abstract relationship among the
characters which alone could determine his choice. Having selected his
characters, he further seems to have left them free to evolve a plot for
themselves, a thing they signally failed to do. Thus there may be a
certain truth underlying the theory with which we started, inasmuch as the
characters appear to have been chosen, not for any particular dramatic
business, but for certain abstract qualities, and some trace of their
origin may yet cling about them in the accomplished work; but that
Fletcher deliberately intended to illustrate a set of psychological
conditions, not by dramatic presentation, but by the use of types and
abstractions, is to my mind incredible. In the composition of his later
plays he had the necessities of a given plot, incidents, or other
fashioning cause, to determine the characters which it was in its turn to
illustrate, and here he showed resourceful craftsmanship. In the case of
the present play he had to fashion characters _in vacuo_ and then weave
them into such a plot as they might be capable of sustaining. In other
words, he reversed the formai order of artistic creation, and attempted to
make the abstract generate the concrete, instead of making the individual
example imply, while being informed by, the fundamental idea.

So much for the formal and theoretic side of the question. A few words as
to the general tone and purpose of the play. For some reason unexplained,
having selected his characters, which one may almost say exhibit every
form of love except a wholesome and a human one, the author deemed it
necessary that the whole should redound to the praise and credit of
cloistral virginity and glozing 'honour,' and whatever else of unreal
sentiment the cynicism of the renaissance had grafted on the superstition
of the middle age. Again comparing the _Faithful Shepherdess_ with
Fletcher's other work, we find that when he is dealing with actual men and
women in his romantic plays he troubles himself little concerning the
moral which it may be possible to extract from his plot; he is rightly
conscious that that at all events is not the business of art: but when he
comes to create _in vacuo_ he is at once obsessed by some Platonic theory
regarding the ethical aim of the poet. The victory, therefore, shall be
with the powers of good, purity and vestal maidenhood shall triumph and
undergo apotheosis at his hands, the world shall see how fair a monument
of stainless womanhood he can erect in melodious verse. Well and good; for
this is indeed an object to which no self-respecting person can take
exception. There was, however, one point the importance of which the
author failed to realize, namely, that this ideal which he sought to
honour was one with which he was himself wholly out of sympathy.
Consequently, in place of the supreme picture of womanly purity he
intended, he produced what is no better than a grotesque caricature. His
cynical indifference is not only evident from many of his other works, but
constantly forces itself upon our attention even in the present play. The
falsity of his whole position appears in the unconvincing conventionality
of the patterns of chastity themselves, and in the unreality of the
characters which serve them as foils--Cloe being utterly preposterous
except as a study in pathlogy, and Amarillis essentially a tragic figure
who can only be tolerated on condition of her real character being
carefully veiled. It appears again in the utterly irrational conversion
and purification of these characters, and we may further face it in the
profound cynicism, all the more terrible because apparently unconscious,
with which the author is content to dismiss Thenot, cured of his
altruistic devotion by the shattering at one blow of all that he held most
sacred in woman.

In this antagonism between Fletcher's own sympathies and the ideal he set
before him seems to me to lie the key to the enigma of his play. Only one
other rational solution is possible, namely that he intended the whole as
an elaborate satire on all ideas of chastity whatever. It is hardly
surprising, under the circumstances, that one of the most persistent false
notes in the piece is that indelicacy of self-conscious virtue which we
have before observed in the case of Tasso. If on the other hand we have to
pronounce Fletcher free of any taint of seductive sentiment, we must
nevertheless charge him with a considerable increase in that cynicism with
regard to womankind in general which had by now become characteristic of
the pastoral drama. We have already noticed it in the case of Tasso's 'Or,
non sai tu com' è fatta la donna?' and of the words in which Corisca
describes her changes of lovers, to say nothing of its appearance at the
close of the _Orfeo_. In English poetry we find Daniel writing:

    Light are their waving vailes, light their attires,
    Light are their heads, and lighter their desires;
                                    (_Queen's Arcadia_, II. iii.)

while with Fletcher the charge becomes yet more bitter. Thenot,
contemplating the constancy of Clorin, is amazed

         that such virtue can
    Be resident in lesser than a man, (II. ii. 83,)

or that any should be found capable of mastering the suggestions of

    And that great god of women, appetite. (ib. 146.)

Amarillis, courting Perigot, asks in scorn:

    Still think'st thou such a thing as chastity
    Is amongst women? (III. i. 297.)

The Sullen Shepherd declares of the wounded Amoret:

         Thou wert not meant,
    Sure, for a woman, thou art so innocent; (ib. 358.)

and sums up his opinion of the sex in the words:

    Women love only opportunity
    And not the man. (ib. 127.)

So Fletcher wrote, and in the same mood the arch-cynic of a later age

    ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake!

But it is high time to inquire how it is, supposing the objections we have
been considering to be justly chargeable against the _Faithful
Shepherdess_, that it should ever have come to be regarded as a classic of
the language, that it should be by far the most widely known of its
author's works, and that we should find ourselves turning to it again and
again with ever-fresh delight. The reader has doubtless already answered
the question. Fletcher brought to the composition of his play a gift of
easy lyric versification, a command of varied rhythm, and a felicity of
phrase, allusion, recollection, and echo, such as have seldom been
surpassed. The wealth of pure poetry overflowing in every scene is of
power to make us readily forget the host of objections which serious
criticism must raise, and revel with mere delight in the verbal melody.
The play is literally crowded with incidental sketches of exquisite beauty
which suggest comparison with the more set descriptions of Tasso, and
flash past on the speed of the verse as the flowers of the roadside and
glimpses of the distant landscape through breaks in the hedge flash for
an instant on the gaze of the rider[269].

Before passing on, and in spite of the fact that the play must be familiar
to most readers, I here transcribe a few of its most fascinating passages
as the best defence Fletcher has to oppose to the objections of his
critics. It is in truth no lame one[270].

In the opening scene Clorin, who has vowed herself to a life of chastity
at the grave of her lover, is met by the satyr, who at once bows in
worship of her beauty. He has been sent by Pan to fetch fruits for the
entertainment of 'His paramour the Syrinx bright.' 'But behold a fairer
sight!' he exclaims on seeing Clorin:

    By that heavenly form of thine,
    Brightest fair, thou art divine,
    Sprung from great immortal race
    Of the gods, for in thy face
    Shines more awful majesty
    Than dull weak mortality
    Dare with misty eyes behold
    And live. Therefore on this mould
    Lowly do I bend my knee
    In worship of thy deity.[271] (I. i. 58.)

The next scene takes place in the neighbourhood of the village. At the
conclusion of a festival we find the priest pronouncing blessing upon the
assembled people and purging them with holy water[272], after which they
disperse with a song. As they are going, Perigot stays Amoret, begging
her to lend an ear to his suit. He addresses her:

                    Oh you are fairer far
    Than the chaste blushing morn, or that fair star
    That guides the wandering seaman through the deep,
    Straighter than straightest pine upon the steep
    Head of an agèd mountain, and more white
    Than the new milk we strip before day-light
    From the full-freighted bags of our fair flocks,
    Your hair more beauteous than those hanging locks
    Of young Apollo! (I. ii. 60.)

They agree to meet by night in the neighbouring wood, there to bind their
love with mutual vows. The tryst is set where

           to that holy wood is consecrate
    A virtuous well, about whose flowery banks
    The nimble-footed fairies dance their rounds
    By the pale moonshine, dipping oftentimes
    Their stolen children, so to make them free
    From dying flesh and dull mortality.
    By this fair fount hath many a shepherd sworn,
    And given away his freedom, many a troth
    Been plight, which neither envy nor old time
    Could ever break, with many a chaste kiss given
    In hope of coming happiness.
    By this fresh fountain many a blushing maid
    Hath crown'd the head of her long-lovèd shepherd
    With gaudy flowers, whilst he happy sung
    Lays of his love and dear captivity. (I. ii. 99.)

Cloe, repulsed by Thenot, sings her roguishly wanton carol:

         Come, shepherds, come!
            Come away
            Without delay,
    Whilst the gentle time doth stay.
         Green woods are dumb,
    And will never tell to any
    Those dear kisses, and those many
    Sweet embraces, that are given;
    Dainty pleasures, that would even
    Raise in coldest age a fire
    And give virgin blood desire

    Then if ever,
       Now or never,
    Come and have it;
       Think not I
       Dare deny
    If you crave it. (I. iii. 71.)

Her fortune with the modest Daphnis is scarcely better, and she is just
lamenting the coldness of men when Alexis enters and forthwith accosts her
with his fervent suit. She agrees, with a pretty show of yielding modesty:

                        lend me all thy red,
    Thou shame-fac'd Morning, when from Tithon's bed
    Thou risest ever maiden! (ib. 176.)

The second act opens with the exquisite evensong of the priest:

    Shepherds all and maidens fair,
    Fold your flocks up, for the air
    'Gins to thicken, and the sun
    Already his great course hath run.
    See the dew-drops how they kiss
    Every little flower that is,
    Hanging on their velvet heads
    Like a rope of crystal beads;
    See the heavy clouds low falling,
    And bright Hesperus down calling
    The dead night from under ground,
    At whose rising mists unsound,
    Damps and vapours fly apace,
    Hovering o'er the wanton face
    Of these pastures, where they come
    Striking dead both bud and bloom. (II. i. 1.)

In the following scene Thenot declares to Clorin his singular passion,
founded upon admiration of her constancy to her dead lover. He too can
plead his love in verse of no ordinary strain:

                 'Tis not the white or red
    Inhabits in your cheek that thus can wed
    My mind to adoration, nor your eye,
    Though it be full and fair, your forehead high
    And smooth as Pelops' shoulder; not the smile
    Lies watching in those dimples to beguile
    The easy soul, your hands and fingers long
    With veins enamell'd richly, nor your tongue,
    Though it spoke sweeter than Arion's harp;
    Your hair woven in many a curious warp,
    Able in endless error to enfold
    The wandering soul; not the true perfect mould
    Of all your body, which as pure doth shew
    In maiden whiteness as the Alpen snow:
    All these, were but your constancy away,
    Would please me less than the black stormy day
    The wretched seaman toiling through the deep.
    But, whilst this honour'd strictness you do keep,
    Though all the plagues that e'er begotten were
    In the great womb of air were settled here,
    In opposition, I would, like the tree,
    Shake off those drops of weakness, and be free
    Even in the arm of danger. (II. ii. 116.)

The last lines, however fine in themselves, are utterly out of place in
the mouth of this morbid sentimentalist. They breath the brave spirit of
Chapman's outburst:

    Give me a spirit that on this life's rough sea
    Loves t'have his sails fill'd with a lusty wind,
    Even till his sail-yards tremble, his masts crack,
    And his rapt ship run on her side so low
    That she drinks water and her keel plows air.
                             (_Byron's Conspiracy_, III. i.)

Into the details of the night's adventures there is no call for us to
enter; it will be sufficient to detach a few passages from their setting,
which can usually be done without material injury. The whole scenery of
the wood, in the densest thicket of which Pan is feasting with his
mistress, while about their close retreat the satyr keeps watch and ward,
mingling now and again in the action of the mortals, is strongly
reminiscent of the _Midsummer Night's Dream_. The wild-wood minister thus
describes his charge in the octosyllabic couplets which constitute such a
characteristic of the play:

    Now, whilst the moon doth rule the sky,
    And the stars, whose feeble light
    Give a pale shadow to the night,
    Are up, great Pan commanded me
    To walk this grove about, whilst he,
    In a corner of the wood
    Where never mortal foot hath stood,
    Keeps dancing, music and a feast
    To entertain a lovely guest;
    Where he gives her many a rose
    Sweeter than the breath that blows
    The leaves, grapes, berries of the best;
    I never saw so great a feast.
    But to my charge. Here must I stay
    To see what mortals lose their way,
    And by a false fire, seeming-bright,
    Train them in and leave them right. (III. i. 167.)

Perigot's musing when he meets Amoret and supposes her to be the
transformed Amarillis is well conceived; he greets her:

             What art thou dare
    Tread these forbidden paths, where death and care
    Dwell on the face of darkness? (IV. iv. 15.)

while not less admirable is the pathos of Amoret's pleading; how she had

         lov'd thee dearer than mine eyes, or that
    Which we esteem our honour, virgin state;
    Dearer than swallows love the early morn,
    Or dogs of chase the sound of merry horn;
    Dearer than thou canst love thy new love, if thou hast
    Another, and far dearer than the last;
    Dearer than thou canst love thyself, though all
    The self-love were within thee that did fall
    With that coy swain that now is made a flower,
    For whose dear sake Echo weeps many a shower!...
    Come, thou forsaken willow, wind my head,
    And noise it to the world, my love is dead! (ib. 102.)

Then again we have the lines in which the satyr heralds the early dawn:

    See, the day begins to break,
    And the light shoots like a streak
    Of subtle fire; the wind blows cold
    Whilst the morning doth unfold.
    Now the birds begin to rouse,
    And the squirrel from the boughs
    Leaps to get him nuts and fruit;
    The early lark, that erst was mute,
    Carols to the rising day
    Many a note and many a lay. (ib. 165.)

The last act, with its obligation to wind up such loose threads of action
as have been spun in the course of the play, is perhaps somewhat lacking
in passages of particular beauty, but it yields us Amarillis' prayer as
she flies from the Sullen Shepherd, and the final speech of the satyr.
However out of keeping with character the former of these may be, it is in
itself unsurpassed:

      If there be
    Ever a neighbour-brook or hollow tree,
    Receive my body, close me up from lust
    That follows at my heels! Be ever just,
    Thou god of shepherds, Pan, for her dear sake
    That loves the rivers' brinks, and still doth shake
    In cold remembrance of thy quick pursuit;
    Let me be made a reed, and, ever mute,
    Nod to the waters' fall, whilst every blast
    Sings through my slender leaves that I was chaste!
                                          (V. iii. 79.)

Lastly, we have the satyr's farewell to Clorin:

      Thou divinest, fairest, brightest,
      Thou most powerful maid and whitest,
      Thou most virtuous and most blessèd,
      Eyes of stars, and golden-tressèd
      Like Apollo; tell me, sweetest,
      What new service now is meetest
      For the satyr? Shall I stray
      In the middle air, and stay
      The sailing rack, or nimbly take
      Hold by the moon, and gently make
      Suit to the pale queen of night
      For a beam to give thee light?
      Shall I dive into the sea
      And bring thee coral, making way
      Through the rising waves that fall
      In snowy fleeces? Dearest, shall
      I catch thee wanton fawns, or flies
      Whose woven wings the summer dyes
      Of many colours? get thee fruit,
      Or steal from heaven old Orpheus' lute?
      All these I'll venture for, and more,
    To do her service all these woods adore.

           *       *       *       *       *

      So I take my leave and pray
      All the comforts of the day,
      Such as Phoebus' heat doth send
      On the earth, may still befriend
      Thee and this arbour!
    _Clorin._         And to thee,
      All thy master's love be free! (V. v. 238 and 268.)

Such then is Fletcher's play. It is in the main original so far as its own
individuality is concerned, and apart from the general tradition which it
follows. Its direct debt to Guarini is confined to the title and certain
traits in the characters of Cloe and Amarillis. Further indebtedness has,
it is true, been found to Spenser, but some hint of the transformation of
Amarillis, a few names and an occasional reminiscence, make up the sum
total of specific obligations. Endowed with a poetic gift which far
surpassed the imitative facility of Guarini and approached the consummate
art of Tasso himself, Fletcher attempted to rival the Arcadian drama of
the Italians. Not content, as Daniel had been, merely to reproduce upon
accepted models, he realized that some fundamental innovation was
necessary. But while he adopted and justified the greater licence and
range of effect allowed upon the English stage, thereby altering the form
from pseudo-classical to wholly romantic, he failed in any way to touch or
vitalize the inner spirit of the kind, trusting merely to lively action
and lyrical jewellery to hold the attention of his audience. He failed,
and it was not till some years after his death that the play, having been
stamped with the approbation of the court, won a tardy recognition from
the general public; and even when, after the restoration, Pepys records a
successful revival in 1663, he adds that it was 'much thronged after for
the scene's sake[273].'


Randolph's play, entitled 'Amyntas, or the Impossible Dowry,' belongs no
doubt to the few years that intervened between the author's exchanging the
academic quiet of Cambridge and the courts of Trinity, of which college he
was a fellow, for the life and bustle of theatre and tavern in London
about 1632, and his premature death which took place in March, 1635,
before he had completed his thirtieth year. It is tempting to imagine that
the revival of Fletcher's play on Twelfth Night, 1633-4, may possibly have
occasioned Randolph's attempt, in which case the play must belong to the
very last year of his life; but though there is nothing to make this
supposition improbable, pastoral representations were far too general at
that date for it to be necessary to look for any specific suggestion. The
play first appeared in print in the collected edition of the author's
poems edited by his brother in 1638.

Like Fletcher's play, the _Amyntas_ is a conscious attempt at so altering
the accepted type of the Arcadian pastoral as to fit it for representation
on the popular stage, for though acted, as the title-page informs us,
before their Majesties at Whitehall, it was probably also performed and
intended by the author for performance on the public boards[274]. Yet the
two experiments differ widely. Fletcher, as we have seen, while completing
the romanticizing of the pastoral by employing the machinery and
conventions of the English instead of the classical stage, nevertheless
introduced into his play none of the diversity and breadth of interest
commonly found in the romantic drama proper, and indeed the _Faithful
Shepherdess_ lacks almost entirely even that elaboration and firmness of
plot which we find in the _Pastor fido_. Randolph, on the other hand,
chose a plot closely resembling Guarini's in structure, and even retained
much of the scenic arrangement of the Italian theatre. But in the
complexity of action and multiplicity of incident, in the comedy of
certain scenes and the substratum of pure farce in others, he introduced
elements of the popular drama of a nature powerfully to affect the essence
of his production. Where Fletcher substituted for a theoretic classicism
an academic romanticism, Randolph insisted on treating the venerable
proprieties of the pastoral according to the traditions of English

Like the _Pastor fido_[275], Randolph's _Amyntas_ is weighted with a
preliminary history. Philaebus, the son of the archiflamen Pilumnus, was
betrothed to the shepherdess Lalage, who, however, was captivated by the
greater wealth of the shepherd Claius, upon whom she bestowed her hand.
Moved by his son's grief, Pilumnus entreated Ceres' revenge on the
faithless nymph, and Lalage died in giving birth to the twins Amyntas and
Amarillis. This but added to Philaebus' despair, so that he died upon her
tomb, and the bereft father having once more sought the aid of the
goddess, the oracle pronounced the curse:

    Sicilian swaines, ill luck shall long betide
    To every bridegroome, and to every bride:
    No sacrifice, no vow shall still mine Ire,
    Till Claius blood both quench and kindle fire.
    The wise shall misconceive me, and the wit
    Scornd and neglected shall my meaning hit. (I. v.)

Upon this Claius fled, leaving his children in the care of his sister
Thestylis. Although Philaebus was dead, two younger children remained to
Pilumnus, Damon and Urania. In the course of years it fortuned that Urania
and Amyntas fell in love, and though misliking of the match, Pilumnus went
so far as to consult the oracle concerning his daughter's dowry. With the
uncalled-for perversity characteristic of oracles the 'ompha[276]'

    That which thou hast not, mayst not, canst not have
    Amyntas, is the Dowry that I crave:
    Rest hopelesse in thy love, or else divine
    To give Urania this, and she is thine.

Pondering whereon Amyntas lost his wits. In the meanwhile Amarillis had
conceived an unhappy passion for Damon, who in his turn sought the love
of the nymph Laurinda, having for rival Alexis.

This is the situation at the opening of the action. In the first act we
find Laurinda unable or unwilling to decide between her rival lovers, and
her endeavours to play them off one against the other afford some of the
most amusing scenes of the piece. Learning from Thestylis of Amarillis'
love for Damon, she determines on a trick whereby she hopes to make her
choice without appearing to slight either of her suitors. She bids them
abide by the award of the first nymph they meet at the temple in the
morning, and so arranges matters that that nymph shall be Amarillis, whose
love for Damon she supposes will move her to appoint Alexis for herself.
In the meanwhile the banished Claius has returned, in order, having heard
of Amyntas' madness, to apply such cures as he has learnt in the course of
his wanderings. He is successful in his attempt, and without revealing his
identity departs, having first privately obtained from Urania the promise
that she will vow virginity to Ceres, lest Amyntas by puzzling afresh over
the oracle should again lose his reason. The nymphs now appear at the
temple, and the foremost, who is veiled, is appealed to by Damon and
Alexis to give her decision. She reveals herself as Amarillis, and Damon,
fearing that she will decide against him, refuses to be bound by the award
of so partial an arbiter. Alexis thereupon goes off to fetch Laurinda, who
shall force him to abide by his oath, while Damon in a fit of rage seeks
to prevent Amarillis' verdict by slaying her. He wounds her with his spear
and leaves her for dead. She recovers consciousness, however, when he has
fled, and with her blood writes a letter to Laurinda bequeathing to her
all interest in Damon. At this point Claius returns upon the scene, and
finding her wounded applies remedies. Damon too is led back by an evil
conscience, and Pilumnus likewise appears. Claius, in his anxiety to make
Amarillis reveal her assassin, betrays his own identity, to the joy of his
old enemy Pilumnus. Alexis now returns with Laurinda, and upon hearing the
letter which Amarillis had written, Damon confesses his crime and declares
that henceforth his love is for none but her. His life, however, is
forfeit through his having shed blood in the holy vale, and he is led off
in company with Claius to die at the altar of Ceres. In the fifth act we
find all prepared for the double sacrifice, when Amyntas enters, and
bidding Pilumnus stay his hand, claims to expound the oracle. Claius'
blood, he argues, has been already shed in Amarillis, and has quenched the
fire of Damon's love for Laurinda, rekindling it again to Amarillis' self.
Moreover, had not the oracle warned them that the recognized guardians of
wisdom would fail to interpret truly, and that such a scorned wit as that
of the 'mad Amyntas' would discover the meaning? Furthermore, he argues
that since Amarillis was the victim the goddess aimed at, her blood might
without sin be shed even in the holy vale, while Damon is of the priestly
stock to which that office justly pertained. Thus Claius and Damon are
alike spoken free, and Sicily is relieved of the goddess' curse. While the
general rejoicing is at its height, Urania is brought in to take her
vestal vows at the altar. In spite of her lover's remonstrance she kneels
before the shrine and addresses her prayer to the goddess. At length the
appeased deity deigns to answer, and in a gracious echo reveals the
solution of the enigma of the dowry--a husband.

This plot is a mingling of comedy in the scenes of Laurinda's
'wavering'[277] and the 'humours' of Amyntas' madness, and of tragi-comedy
in the catastrophe. But besides this there is what may best be described
as an antiplot of pure farce, in which the main character is the roguish
page Dorylas, who in the guise of Oberon robs Jocastus' orchard, tricks
Thestylis into marrying the foolish augur, and gulls everybody all round.
The humour of this portion of the piece may be occasionally a trifle broad
and at the same time childish, but there is nevertheless no denying the
genuineness of the quality, while the verse is as a rule sparkling, and
the dialogue both racy and pointed, occasionally displaying qualities
hardly to be described as other than brilliant.

This comic subplot obviously owes nothing to Guarini, but is introduced
in accordance with the usage of the English popular drama, and is grafted
somewhat boldly on to the conventional stock. Dorylas is one of the most
inimitable and successful of the descendants of Lyly's pages; while the
characters of Mopsus and Jocastus, although the former no doubt owes his
conception to a hint in the _Aminta_, belong essentially to the English
romantic farce. The scenes in which the page appears as Oberon surrounded
by his court recall the introduction of the 'mortal fairies' of the _Merry
Wives,_ and that in which Amyntas' 'deluded fancy' takes the augur for a
hound of Actaeon's breed may owe something to a passage in _King Lear_.
But even apart from the elements of farce and comedy there are important
aspects in which the _Amyntas_ severs itself from the stricter tradition
of the Italian pastoral. Randolph, while adopting the machinery and much
of the scenic environment of Guarini's play, made certain not unimportant
alterations in the dramatic construction, tending towards greater variety
and complicity. In the _Pastor fido_ the four main characters, though they
ultimately resolve themselves into two pairs, are throughout
interdependent, and their story forms but a single plot. That the play
should have needed a double solution, the events that bring two couples
together having no connexion with one another, was a dramatic blunder but
imperfectly concealed by the fact that Silvio and Dorinda are purely
secondary, the whole interest being concentrated on the fortunes of
Mirtillo and Amarilli. In Randolph's play, on the other hand, there are no
less than six important characters. These are divided into two groups,
each with an independent plot, one of which contains a telling though
somewhat conventional περιπέτεια, while the other, though possessing
originality and pathos, is lacking in dramatic possibilities. Thus each
supplies the elements wanting in the other, and if woven together
harmoniously, should have been capable of forming the basis of a
well-constructed play. The first of these groups consists of Laurinda,
Alexis, Damon, and Amarillis, the last two being really the dramatically
important ones, though their fortunes are connected throughout. It is
Laurinda's choice of Alexis that leads to the union of Damon and
Amarillis, and it is not till Damon has unconsciously fulfilled the oracle
and been freed by its interpretation, that the loves of Laurinda and
Alexis can hope for a happy event. Thus Randolph has at least not fallen
into the error by which Guarini introduced a double catastrophe into a
single plot, though he has not altogether avoided a somewhat similar
danger. This is due to the other group above mentioned, consisting of
Amyntas and Urania, who, so far as the plot is concerned, are absolutely
independent of the other characters. Their own story is essentially
undramatic, although it possesses qualities which would make it effective
in narrative; and it is, moreover, wholly unaffected by the solution of
the other plot. This is obviously a weak place in the construction of the
play, but the author has shown great resource in meeting the difficulty.
First, by placing the interpretation of the oracle in the mouth of
Amyntas, who must yet himself remain hopeless amid the general rejoicing,
he has produced a figure of considerable dramatic effect, and so kept the
attention of the audience braced, and stayed the relaxing effect of the
anti-climax. Secondly, he has amused the spectators with some excellent
fooling until, while Io and Paean are yet resounding, it is possible to
crown the whole by the solution of the second oracle, and send the hero
and his love to join the others in the festive throng. The imperfection of
plot is there, but the author has been skilful in concealing it, and it
may well be that his success would appear all the greater were his play to
be put to the real test of dramatic composition by being actually placed
on the boards.

But there is yet another point in which the _Amyntas_ differs not only
from its Italian model but from its English predecessors likewise. This is
a certain genially humorous conception of the whole, quite apart from and
beyond the mere introduction of comedy and farce, which we have never
found so marked before, and which has indeed been painfully absent from
the pastoral since Tasso penned the final chorus of the _Aminta_. This
humorous tone is never harshly forced upon the attention, and consists, in
a measure, merely in the fact of the comic business constantly elbowing
the serious action, and thus saving the latter from the danger of becoming
stilted and pretentions--a fault not less commonly and quite as justly
charged against pastoral literature as that of artificiality. A leaven of
humour is the great safeguard against an author taking either himself or
his creations too seriously. Randolph's _Amyntas_, it is true, renounces
the high ideality of its predecessors, of the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor
fido_, of _Hymen's Triumph_ and the _Faithful Shepherdess_; but it makes
up for it by human sanity of feeling and expression, by good humour and by
wit. It is, moreover, genuinely diverting. Here at least we find no
endeavour to attain to the importance and solemnity of a classical tragedy
as with Guarini, nor a striving after an utterly unreal, unsympathetic and
impossible ideal as with Fletcher. It is, moreover, noticeable and
eminently to the credit of the author that the comic scenes, even when
somewhat extravagant alike in tone and proportion, seldom clash
unpleasantly with the more serious passages, nor derogate from the
interest and dignity of the whole.

The play has generally met with a far from deserved neglect, owing in part
no doubt to the singular failure on the part of most critics to apprehend
correctly the nature and conditions of pastoral poetry.[278] Mr. W. C.
Hazlitt, who edited Randolph's works in 1875, does not so much as mention
the play in the perfunctory introduction, in which he chiefly follows the
extravagant, pedantic, and utterly worthless article in the sixth volume
of the _Retrospective Review_.[279] The merits of the piece have been
somewhat more fully recognized by Dr. Ward and Mr. Homer Smith, but the
treatment accorded the play by the former is necessarily scanty, while
that of the latter is inaccurate. Throughout a tendency is manifest to
find fault with the artificiality of the piece, and to blame the author
for not representing the true 'simplicity' of pastoral life. That the
pastoral tradition was a wholly impossible, not to say an absurd one,
bearing no true relation to nature at all, may be admitted; and it may be
lamented by such as love to shed bitter tears because the sandy shore is
not a well-swept parquet, or because anything you please is not something
else to which it bears not the smallest resemblance. It may or may not be
unfortunate that Randolph should have elected to write _more pastorali_,
but to censure the individual work because it is not of a type to which
its author never had the remotest intention of making it conform, and to
which except for something like a miracle it was impossible that it should
even approach, is the acme of critical fatuity. Judged in accordance with
the intention of the author the _Amyntas_ is no inconsiderable achievement
for a young writer, and compared with other works belonging to the same
tradition it occupies a highly respectable place. With Tasso's _Aminta_
and Fletcher's _Faithful Shepherdess_ it cannot, in point of poetic merit,
for one moment compare, falling as far below them in this as it surpasses
them in complexity and general suitability of dramatic construction. A
fairer comparison may be made between it and the _Pastor fido_ in Italian
or _Hymen's Triumph_ in English, and here again, though certainly with
regard to the former and probably with regard to the latter it stands
second as poetry, as a play it is decidedly better suited than either for
representation on the stage--at least on a stage with the traditions and
conventions which prevailed in this country in the author's day.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is then in the matter of the poetical quality of the verse that
Randolph's play appears to least advantage. Living in a polished and
cultured literary circle at Cambridge, and enjoying after his remove to
London the congenial fellowship of the tribe of Ben, he naturally attained
the ease and skill necessary to maintain a respectable level of
composition, but he was sparing of the higher flights. He seldom strikes
the attention by those purple patches which make many of his
contemporaries so quotable, yet, while by no means monotonously correct,
it is equally seldom that he sinks much below his general level. The
dialogue is on the whole natural and easy, and at the same time crisp and
pointed. A few of the more distinctively poetic and imaginative passages
may be quoted, in order to give some idea of the style. Laurinda thus
appoints a choice to her brace of lovers:

    I have protested never to disclose
    Which 'tis that best I love: But the first Nymph,
    As soone as Titan guilds the Easterne hills,
    And chirping birds, the Saints-bell of the day,
    Ring in our eares a warning to devotion--
    That lucky damsell what so e're she be
    [That first shall meet you from the temple gate][280]
    Shall be the Goddesse to appoint my love,
    To say, 'Laurinda this shall be your choice':
    And both shall sweare to stand to her award! (III. i.)

Another passage of deliberate poetic elaboration is the monologue of
Claius on once again treading his native soil:

    I see the smoake steame from the Cottage tops,
    The fearfull huswife rakes the embers up,
    All hush to bed. Sure, no man will disturbe mee.
    O blessed vally! I the wretched Claius
    Salute thy happy soyle, I that have liv'd
    Pelted with angry curses in a place
    As horrid as my griefes, the Lylibaean mountaines,
    These sixteene frozen winters; there have I
    Beene with rude out-lawes, living by such sinnes
    As runne o' th' score with justice 'gainst my prayers and wishes:
    And when I would have tumbled down a rock,
    Some secret powre restrain'd me. (III. ii.)

By far the greater part of the play is in blank verse, but in a few
passages, particularly in certain dialogues tending to stichomythia, the
verse is pointed, so to speak, with rime. The following is a graceful
example in a somewhat conceited vein; the transition, moreover, from
blank to rimed measure has an appearance of natural ease. The rivals are
awaiting the arbitrement of their love:

    _Alexis._     How early, Damon,
    Doe lovers rise!...

    _Damon._       No Larkes so soon, Alexis.

    _Al._ He that of us shall have Laurinda, Damon,
    Will not be up so soone: ha! would you Damon?

    _Da._ Alexis, no; but if I misse Laurinda,
    My sleepe shall be eternall.

    _Al._ I much wonder the Sunne so soone can rise!

    _Da._ Did he lay his head in faire Laurinda's lap,
    We should have but short daies.

    _Al._                      No summer, Damon.

    _Da._ Thetis[281] to her is browne.

    _Al._                              And he doth rise
    From her to gaze on faire Laurinda's eyes....

    _Da._ I heare no noise of any yet that move.

    _Al._ Devotion's not so early up as love.

    _Da._ See how Aurora blushes! we suppose
    Where Tithon lay to night.

    _Al._                 That modest rose
    He grafted there.

    _Da._        O heaven, 'tis all I seeke,
    To make that colour in Laurinda's cheeke. (IV. iv.)

A more tragic note is struck in the speech in which Claius retorts on
Pilumnus after his discovery:

    I, glut your hate, Pilumnus; let your soule
    That has so long thirsted to drinke my blood,
    Swill till my veines are empty;... I have stood
    Long like a fatall oake, at which great Jove
    Levels his thunder; all my boughes long since
    Blasted and wither'd; now the trunke falls too.
    Heaven end thy wrath in mee! (IV. viii.)

In some of these 'high tragical endeavours,' and notably in Damon's
confession, we do indeed find a certain stiltedness, but even here there
rings a true note of pathos in the farewell:

    I goe to write my story of repentance
    With the same inke, wherewith thou wrotes before
    The legend of thy love. (IV. ix.)

These passages will serve to give a fair and not unfavourable impression
of the style, but I have reserved for separate consideration what I
consider to be the most striking portions of the play. The first of these
is the string of Latin songs in which the would-be elves comment on their
nefarious proceedings in Jocastus' orchard. I quote certain stanzas only:

    Nos beata Fauni Proles,
    Quibus non est magna moles,
    Quamvis Lunam incolamus,
    Hortos saepe frequentamus.

    Furto cuncta magis bella,
    Furto dulcior Puella,
    Furto omnia decora,
    Furto poma dulciora.

    Cum mortales lecto jacent,
    Nobis poma noctu placent;
    Illa tamen sunt ingrata,
    Nisi furto sint parata.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Oberon, descende citus,
    Ne cogaris hinc invitus;
    Canes audio latrantes,
    Et mortales vigilantes.

           *       *       *       *       *

    I domum, Oberon, ad illas
    Quae nos manent nunc ancillas,
    Quarum osculemur sinum,
    Inter poma, lac et vinum. (III. iv.)

To discuss verses such as these seriously is impossible. The dog-Latin of
the fellow of Trinity is inimitable, while there is a peculiarly roguish
delicacy about his humour. In the admirable ease with which the words are
adapted to the sense, the songs are unsurpassed except by the very best of
the _carmina vagorum_. Lastly, as undoubtedly the finest passage of the
play, and as one that must give us pause when we would deny to 'prince
Randolph' the gifts requisite for the higher imaginative drama, I must
quote the scene in which the distracted Amyntas fancies that in his
endless search for the 'impossible dowry' he has arrived on the shores of
Styx and boarded Charon's bark.

    _Amyntas._ Row me to hell!--no faster? I will have thee
    Chain'd unto Pluto's gallies!

    _Urania._                Why to hell,
    My deere Amyntas?

    _Amyntas._    Why? to borrow mony!

    _Amarillis._ Borrow there?

    _Amy._ I, there! they say there be more Usurers there
    Then all the world besides.--See how the windes
    Rise! Puffe, puffe Boreas.--What a cloud comes yonder!
    Take heed of that wave, Charon! ha? give mee
    The oares!--So, so: the boat is overthrown;
    Now Charons drown'd, but I will swim to shore....
    My armes are weary;--now I sinke, I sinke!
    Farewell Urania ... Styx, I thank thee! That curld wave
    Hath tos'd mee on the shore.--Come Sysiphus,
    I'll rowle thy stone a while: mee thinkes this labour
    Doth looke like Love! does it not so, Tysiphone?

    _Ama._ Mine is that restlesse toile.

    _Amy._                               Is't so, Erynnis?
    You are an idle huswife, goe and spin
    At poore Ixions wheele!

    _Ura._             Amyntas!

    _Amy._                      Ha?
    Am I known here?

    _Ura._       Amyntas, deere Amyntas--

    _Amy._ Who calls Amyntas? beauteous Proserpine?
    'Tis shee.--Fair Empresse of th' Elysian shades,
    Ceres bright daughter intercede for mee,
    To thy incensed mother: prithee bid her
    Leave talking riddles, wilt thou?... Queene of darknesse,
    Thou supreme Lady of eternall night,
    Grant my petitions! wilt thou beg of Ceres
    That I may have Urania?

    _Ura._             Tis my praier,
    And shall be ever, I will promise thee
    Shee shall have none but him.

    _Amy._                   Thankes Proserpine!

    _Ura._ Come sweet Amyntas, rest thy troubled head
    Here in my lap.--Now here I hold at once
    My sorrow and my comfort.--Nay, ly still.

    _Amy._ I will, but Proserpine--

    _Ura._                          Nay, good Amyntas--

    _Amy._ Should Pluto chance to spy me, would not hee
    Be jealous of me?

    _Ura._        No.

    _Amy._            Tysiphone,
    Tell not Urania of it, least she feare
    I am in love with Proserpine: doe not Fury!

    _Ama._ I will not.

    _Ura._             Pray ly still!

    _Amy._                            You Proserpine,
    There is in Sicilie the fairest Virgin
    That ever blest the land, that ever breath'd
    Sweeter than Zephyrus! didst thou never heare
    Of one Urania?

    _Ura._    Yes.

    _Amy._         This poore Urania
    Loves an unfortunate sheapheard, one that's mad, Tysiphone,
    Canst thou believe it? Elegant Urania--
    I cannot speak it without tears--still loves
    Amyntas, the distracted mad Amyntas.
    Is't not a constant Nymph?--But I will goe
    And carry all Elysium on my back,
    And that shall be her joynture.

    _Ura._                     Good Amyntas,
    Rest here a while!

    _Amy._        Why weepe you Proserpine?

    _Ura._ Because Urania weepes to see Amyntas
    So restlesse and unquiet.

    _Amy._               Does shee so?
    Then will I ly as calme as doth the sea,
    When all the winds are lock'd in Aeolus jayle;
    I will not move a haire, not let a nerve
    Or Pulse to beat, least I disturbe her! Hush,--
    Shee sleepes!

    _Ura._   And so doe you.

    _Amy._                   You talk too loud,
    You'l waken my Urania.

    _Ura._            If Amyntas,
    Her deere Amyntas would but take his rest,
    Urania could not want it.

    _Amy._               Not so loud! (II. iv.)

It was no ordinary imagination that conceived this example of the
grotesque in the service of the pathetic.

I have endeavoured in the above account to do a somewhat tardy justice to
the considerable and rather remarkably sustained qualities of Randolph's
play. I do not claim that as poetry it can be compared with the work of
Tasso, Fletcher, or Jonson, or that it even rivals that of Guarini or
Daniel, though had Randolph lived he might easily have surpassed the
latter. But I do claim that the _Amyntas_ is one of the most interesting
and important of the experiments which English writers made in the
pastoral drama, that it possesses dramatic qualities to which few of its
kind can pretend, and that pervading and transforming the whole is the
genial humour and the sparkling wit of its brilliant and short-lived
author. His pastoral muse was a hearty buxom lass, and kind withal, not
overburdened with modesty, yet wholesome and cleanly, and if at times her
laugh rings out where the subject passes the natural enjoyment of kind, it
is even then careless and merry, and there is often a ground of real fun
in the jest. Her finest qualities are a sharp and ready wit and a wealth
of imaginative pathos, alike pervaded by her bubbling humour; on the other
hand there are moments, if rare, when in an ill-considered attempt to
assume the buskin tread she reveals in her paste-board fustian somewhat of
the unregeneracy of the plebian trull. The time may yet come when
Randolph's reputation, based upon his other works--the _Jealous Lovers_, a
Plautine comedy, clever, but preposterous in more ways than one, the
_Muses' Looking Glass_, a perfectly undramatic morality of humours, and
the poems, generally witty, occasionally graceful, and more than
occasionally improper--will be enhanced by the recognition of the fact
that he came nearer than any other writer to reconciling a kind of
pastoral with the temper of the English stage. It was at least in part due
to a constitutional indifference on the part of the London public to the
loves and sorrows of imaginary swains and nymphs, that Randolph's play
failed to leave any appreciable mark upon our dramatic literature.[282]


In Jonson's _Sad Shepherd_ we find ourselves once again considering a work
which is not only one of very great interest in the history of pastoral,
but which at the same time raises important questions of literary
criticism. So far the most interesting compositions we have had to
consider--Daniel's _Hymen's Triumph_, Fletcher's _Faithful Shepherdess_,
Randolph's _Amyntas_--have been attempts either to transplant the Italian
pastoral as it stood, or else so to modify and adapt as to fit it to the
very different conditions of the English stage. Jonson, on the other hand,
aimed at nothing less than the creation of an English pastoral drama.
Except for such comparatively unimportant works as _Gallathea_ and the
_Converted Robber_,[283] the spectators found themselves, for the first
time, on English soil. In spite of the occasional reminiscences of
Theocritus and the Arcadian erudition concerning the 'Lovers Scriptures,'
the nature of the characters is largely English. The names are not those
of pastoral tradition, but rather of the popular romance, Aeglamour,
Lionel, Clarion, Mellifleur, Amie, or more homely, yet without Spenser's
rusticity, Alken; while the one name of learned origin is a coining of
Jonson's own, Earine, the spirit of the spring. The silvan element, which
had been variously present since Tasso styled his play _favola
boschereccia_, was used by Jonson to admirable purpose in the introduction
of Robin Hood and his crew. A new departure was made in the conjoining of
the rustic and burlesque elements with the supernatural, in the persons of
the witch Maudlin, her familiar Puck-hairy, her son the rude swineherd
Lorel, and her daughter Douce the proud. In every case Jonson appropriated
and adapted an already familiar element, but he did so in a manner to
fashion out of the thumbed conventions of a hackneyed tradition something
fresh and original and new.

Unfortunately the play is but half finished, or, at any rate, but half is
at present extant. The fragment, as we have it, was first published, some
years after the author's death, in the second volume of the folio of
1640, and the questions as to whether it was ever finished and to what
date the composition should be assigned are too intricate to be entered
upon here. Suffice it to say that no conclusive arguments exist for
supposing that more of the play ever existed than what we now possess, nor
that what exists was written very long before the author's death. It is
conceivable that the play may contain embedded in it fragments of earlier
pastoral work, but the attempt to identify it with the lost _May Lord_ has
little to recommend it.[284] Seeing that the play is far from being as
generally familiar as its poetic merit deserves, I may be allowed to give
a more or less detailed analysis of it in this place.[285]

After a prologue in which Jonson gives his views on pastoral with
characteristic self-confidence, the Sad Shepherd, Aeglamour, appears,
lamenting in a brief monologue the loss of his love Earine, who is
supposed to have been drowned in the Trent.

    Here she was wont to goe! and here! and here!
    Just where those Daisies, Pincks, and Violets grow:
    The world may find the Spring by following her;
    For other print her aerie steps neere left. (I. i.)

He retires at the approach of Marian and the huntsmen, who are about to
fetch of the king's venison for the feast at which Robin Hood is to
entertain the shepherds of the vale of Belvoir. When they have left the
stage Aeglamour comes forward and resumes his lament in a strain of
melancholic madness. He is again interrupted by the approach of Robin
Hood, who enters at the head of the assembled shepherds and country
maidens. Robin welcomes his guests, and his praise of rustic sports calls
forth from Friar Tuck the well-known diatribe against the 'sourer sort of
shepherds,' in which Jonson vented his bitterness against the hypocritical
pretensions of the puritan reformers--a passage which yields, in biting
satire, neither to his own presentation in the _Alchemist_ nor to Quarles'
scathing burlesque quoted on an earlier page. As they discourse they
become aware of Aeglamour sitting moodily apart, unheeding them. He talks
to himself like a madman.

              It will be rare, rare, rare!
    An exquisite revenge: but peace, no words!
    Not for the fairest fleece of all the Flock:
    If it be knowne afore, 'tis all worth nothing!
    Ile carve it on the trees, and in the turfe,
    On every greene sworth, and in every path,
    Just to the Margin of the cruell Trent;
    There will I knock the story in the ground,
    In smooth great peble, and mosse fill it round,
    Till the whole Countrey read how she was drown'd;
    And with the plenty of salt teares there shed,
    Quite alter the complexion of the Spring.
    Or I will get some old, old Grandam thither,
    Whose rigid foot but dip'd into the water,
    Shall strike that sharp and suddaine cold throughout,
    As it shall loose all vertue; and those Nimphs,
    Those treacherous Nimphs pull'd in Earine;
    Shall stand curl'd up, like Images of Ice;
    And never thaw! marke, never! a sharpe Justice.
    Or stay, a better! when the yeares at hottest,
    And that the Dog-starre fomes, and the streame boiles,
    And curles, and workes, and swells ready to sparkle;
    To fling a fellow with a Fever in,
    To set it all on fire, till it burne,
    Blew as Scamander, 'fore the walls of Troy,
    When Vulcan leap'd in to him, to consume him. (I. v.)

Robin now accosts him, hoping, since his vengeance is so complete, that
he will consent to join his fellows in honouring the spring. At this his
distracted fancy breaks out afresh:

    A Spring, now she is dead: of what, of thornes?
    Briars, and Brambles? Thistles? Burs, and Docks?
    Cold Hemlock? Yewgh? the Mandrake, or the Boxe?
    These may grow still; but what can spring betide?
    Did not the whole Earth sicken, when she died?
    As if there since did fall one drop of dew,
    But what was wept for her! or any stalke
    Did beare a Flower! or any branch a bloome,
    After her wreath was made. In faith, in faith,
    You doe not faire, to put these things upon me,
    Which can in no sort be: Earine,
    Who had her very being, and her name,
    With the first knots, or buddings of the Spring,
    Borne with the Primrose, and the Violet,
    Or earliest Roses blowne: when Cupid smil'd,
    And Venus led the Graces out to dance,
    And all the Flowers, and Sweets in Natures lap,
    Leap'd out, and made their solemne Conjuration,
    To last, but while shee liv'd. Doe not I know,
    How the Vale wither'd the same Day?... that since,
    No Sun, or Moone, or other cheerfull Starre
    Look'd out of heaven! but all the Cope was darke,
    As it were hung so for her Exequies!
    And not a voice or sound, to ring her knell,
    But of that dismall paire, the scritching Owle,
    And buzzing Hornet! harke, harke, harke, the foule
    Bird! how shee flutters with her wicker wings!
    Peace, you shall heare her scritch. (ib.)

To distract him Karoline sings a song. But after all he is but mad
north-north-west, and though he would study the singer's conceits 'as a
new philosophy,' he also thinks to pay the singer.

    Some of these Nimphs here will reward you; this,
    This pretty Maid, although but with a kisse;
                [_Forces Amie to kiss Karolin._
    Liv'd my Earine, you should have twenty,
    For every line here, one; I would allow 'hem
    From mine owne store, the treasure I had in her:
    Now I am poore as you. (ib.)

There follows a charming scene in which Marian, returning with the
quarry, relates the fortunes of the chase, and proceeds, amid Robin's
interruptions, to tell how 'at his fall there hapt a chance worth mark.'

    _Robin._ I! what was that, sweet Marian?     [_Kisses her._

    _Marian._             You'll not heare?

    _Rob._ I love these interruptions in a Story;  [_Kisses her
    They make it sweeter.

    _Mar._        You doe know, as soone
    As the Assay is taken--                     [_Kisses her again._

    _Rob._          On, my Marian.
    I did but take the Assay. (I. vi.)

To cut the story short, while the deer was breaking up, there

              sate a Raven
    On a sere bough! a growne great Bird! and Hoarse!

crying for its bone with such persistence that the superstitious huntsmen
swore it was none other than the witch, an opinion confirmed by
Scathlock's having since beheld old Maudlin in the chimney corner,
broiling the very piece that had been thrown to the raven. Marian now
proposes to the shepherdesses to go and view the deer, whereupon Amie
complains that she is not well, 'sick,' as her brother Lionel jestingly
explains, 'of the young shepherd that bekiss'd her.' They go off the
stage, and the huntsmen and shepherds still argue for a while of the
strange chance, when Marian reappears, seemingly in ill-humour, insults
Robin and his guests, orders Scathlock to carry the deer as a gift to
Mother Maudlin, and departs, leaving all in amazement. In the next act
Maudlin relates to her daughter Douce how it was she who, in the guise of
Marian, thus gulled Robin and his guests out of their venison and brought
discord into their feast. Douce is clad in the dress of Earine, who, it
now appears, was not drowned, but is imprisoned by the witch in a hollow
tree, and destined by her as her son Lorel's mistress. The swineherd now
enters with the object of wooing the imprisoned damsel, whom he releases
from the tree, Maudlin and Douce retiring the while to watch his success,
which is small. Baffled, he again shuts the girl up in her natural cell,
and his mother, coming forward, rates him soundly for his clownish ways,
reading him a lecture for his guidance in his intercourse with women, in
which she seems little concerned by the presence of her daughter. This
latter, so far as it is possible to judge from the few speeches assigned
to her in the fragment, appears to be of a more agreeable nature than one
might, under the circumstances, have expected. Jonson sought, it would
appear, to invest her with a certain pathos, presenting a character of
natural good feeling, but in which no moral instinct has ever been
awakened; and it is by no means improbable that he may have intended to
dissociate her from her surroundings in order to balance the numbers of
his nymphs and swains.[286] After Lorel has left them, Maudlin shows Douce
the magic girdle, by virtue of which she effects her transformations, and
by which she may always be recognized through her disguises. In the next
scene we find Amie suffering from the effect of Karol's kiss. She is ill
at ease, she knows not why, and the innocent description of her love-pain
possesses, in spite of its quaint artificiality, something of the
_naïveté_ of _Daphnis and Chloe_.

    How often, when the Sun, heavens brightest birth,
    Hath with his burning fervour cleft the earth,
    Under a spreading Elme, or Oake, hard by
    A coole cleare fountaine, could I sleeping lie,
    Safe from the heate? but now, no shadie tree,
    Nor purling brook, can my refreshing bee?
    Oft when the medowes were growne rough with frost,
    The rivers ice-bound, and their currents lost,
    My thick warme fleece, I wore, was my defence,
    Or large good fires, I made, drave winter thence.
    But now, my whole flocks fells, nor this thick grove,
    Enflam'd to ashes, can my cold remove;
    It is a cold and heat, that doth out-goe
    All sense of Winters, and of Summers so. (II. iv.)

To the shepherdesses enters Robin, who upbraids Marian for her late
conduct towards him and his guests. She of course protests ignorance of
the whole affair, bids Scathlock fetch again the venison, and remains
unconvinced of Robin's being in earnest, till Maudlin herself comes to
thank her for the gift. Marian endeavours to treat with the witch, and
begs her to return the venison sent through some mistake, but Maudlin
declares that she has already departed it among her poor neighbours. At
this moment, however, Scathlock returns with the deer on his shoulders, to
the discomfiture of the witch, who curses the feast, and after tormenting
poor Amie, who between sleeping and waking betrays the origin of her
disease, departs in an evil humour. The scene is noteworthy for its
delicate comedy and pathos.

    _Amie_ [_asleep_]. O Karol, Karol, call him back againe ...
    O', ô.

    _Marian._ How is't Amie?

    _Melifleur._       Wherefore start you?

    _Amie._ O' Karol, he is faire, and sweet.

    _Maud._             What then?
    Are there not flowers as sweet, and faire, as men?
    The Lillie is faire! and Rose is sweet!

    _Amie._               I', so!
    Let all the Roses, and the Lillies goe:
    Karol is only faire to mee!

    _Mar._          And why?

    _Amie._ Alas, for Karol, Marian, I could die.
    Karol he singeth sweetly too!

    _Maud._          What then?
    Are there not Birds sing sweeter farre, then Men?

    _Amie._ I grant the Linet, Larke, and Bul-finch sing,
    But best, the deare, good Angell of the Spring,
    The Nightingale.

    _Maud._      Then why? then why, alone,
    Should his notes please you? ...

    _Amie._ This verie morning, but--I did bestow--
    It was a little 'gainst my will, I know--
    A single kisse, upon the seelie Swaine,
    And now I wish that verie kisse againe.
    His lip is softer, sweeter then the Rose,
    His mouth, and tongue with dropping honey flowes;
    The relish of it was a pleasing thing.

    _Maud._ Yet like the Bees it had a little sting.

    _Amie._ And sunke, and sticks yet in my marrow deepe
    And what doth hurt me, I now wish to keepe. (II. vi.)

After this exhibition of her malice the shepherds and huntsmen no longer
doubt that it was Maudlin herself who deceived them in the shape of
Marian, and they determine to pursue her through the forest. The wise
shepherd, Alken, undertakes the direction of this novel 'blast of
venerie,' and thus discourses of her unhallowed haunts: /p Within a
gloomie dimble shee doth dwell, Downe in a pitt, ore-growne with brakes
and briars, Close by the ruines of a shaken Abbey Torne, with an
Earth-quake, down unto the ground; 'Mongst graves, and grotts, neare an
old Charnell house, Where you shall find her sitting in her fourme, As
fearfull, and melancholique, as that Shee is about; with Caterpillers
kells, And knottie Cobwebs, rounded in with spells. Thence shee steales
forth to releif, in the foggs, And rotten Mistes, upon the fens, and
boggs, Downe to the drowned Lands of Lincolneshire. .....[There] the sad
Mandrake growes, Whose grones are deathfull! the dead-numming Night-shade!
The stupifying Hemlock! Adders tongue! And Martagan! the shreikes of
lucklesse Owles, Wee heare! and croaking Night-Crowes in the aire!
Greene-bellied Snakes! blew fire-drakes in the skie! And giddie
Flitter-mice, with lether wings! The scalie Beetles, with their
habergeons, That make a humming Murmur as they flie! There, in the stocks
of trees, white Faies doe dwell, And span-long Elves, that dance about a
poole, With each a little Changeling, in their armes! The airie spirits
play with falling starres, And mount the Sphere of fire, to kisse the
Moone! While, shee sitts reading by the Glow-wormes light, Or rotten wood,
o're which the worme hath crept, The banefull scedule of her nocent
charmes. (II. viii.)

In the third act we are introduced to Puck-hairy, who laments his lot as
the familiar of the malignant witch in whose service he has now to 'firk
it like a goblin' about the woods. Meanwhile Karol meets Douce in the
dress of Earine, who, however, runs off on the approach of Aeglamour. The
latter fancies she is the ghost of his drowned love, and falls into a
'superstitious commendation' of her. His delusions are conceived in a vein
no less happy and more distinctly poetical than those of Amyntas.

    But shee, as chaste as was her name, Earine,
    Dy'd undeflowr'd: and now her sweet soule hovers,
    Here, in the Aire, above us; and doth haste
    To get up to the Moone, and Mercury;
    And whisper Venus in her Orbe; then spring
    Up to old Saturne, and come downe by Mars,
    Consulting Jupiter; and seate her selfe
    Just in the midst with Phoebus, tempring all
    The jarring Spheeres, and giving to the World
    Againe, his first and tunefull planetting!
    O' what an age will here be of new concords!
    Delightfull harmonie! to rock old Sages,
    Twice infants, in the Cradle o' Speculation,
    And throw a silence upon all the creatures!...
    The loudest Seas, and most enraged Windes
    Shall lose their clangor; Tempest shall grow hoarse;
    Loud Thunder dumbe; and every speece of storme
    Laid in the lap of listning Nature, husht,
    To heare the changed chime of this eighth spheere! (III. ii.)

After this Lionel appears in search of Karol, who is in requisition for
the distressed Amie. They are about to go off together when Maudlin again
appears in the shape of Marian, with the news that Amie is recovered and
their presence no longer required. At this moment, however, Robin appears,
and suspecting the witch, who tries to escape, seizes her by the girdle
and runs off the stage with her. The girdle breaks, and Robin returns with
it in his hand, followed by the witch in her own shape. Robin and the
shepherds go off with the prize, while Maudlin summons Puck to her aid and
sets to plotting revenge. Lorel also appears for the purpose of again
addressing himself to his imprisoned mistress, and, if necessary, putting
his mother's precepts into practice. With the words of the witch:

              Gang thy gait, and try
    Thy turnes with better luck, or hang thy sel';

the fragment breaks off abruptly. From the Argument prefixed to Act III we
know that Lorel's purpose with Earine was interrupted by the entrance of
Clarion and Aeglamour, and her discovery was only prevented by a sudden
mist called up by Maudlin. The witch then set about the recovery of her
girdle, was tracked by the huntsmen as she wove her spells, but escaped
by the help of her goblin and through the over-eagerness of her pursuers.

Strangely different estimates have been formed of the merits of Jonson's
pastoral, alike in itself and in contrast with Fletcher's play. Gifford,
who, in spite of his vast erudition, seldom soared in his critical
judgements above the more obvious and conventional considerations of
propriety and style, praised the work as 'natural and elegant' in thought,
and in language 'inexpressibly beautiful,' while at the same time with the
petty insolence which habitually marked his utterances concerning any who
stood in rivalry with his hero, he referred to the _Faithful Shepherdess_
as being 'insufferably tedious' as a poem, and held that as a drama 'its
heaviness can only be equalled by its want of art.' Gifford's spleen,
however, had evidently been aroused by Weber, who had declared the _Sad
Shepherd_ to be written 'in emulation of Fletcher's poem, but far short of
it,' and his remarks must not be taken too seriously. Two quotations will
serve to illustrate the diversity of opinion among modern critics. They
display alike more condescension to particulars and greater weight of
judgement. Thus we find Mr. Swinburne, in his very able study of Ben
Jonson, not a little disgusted at the introduction of the broader humour
and burlesque of the dialect-speaking characters, Maudlin, Lorel,
Scathlock, in conjunction with the greater refinement of Robin, Marian,
and the shepherds. 'A masque including an antimasque, in which the serious
part is relieved and set off by the introduction of parody or burlesque,
was a form of art or artificial fashion in which incongruity was a merit;
the grosser the burlesque, the broader the parody, the greater was the
success and the more effective was the result: but in a dramatic attempt
of higher pretention than such as might be looked for in the literary
groundwork or raw material for a pageant, this intrusion of incongruous
contrast is a pure barbarism--a positive solecism in composition.... On
the other hand, even Gifford's editorial enthusiasm could not overestimate
the ingenious excellence of construction, the masterly harmony of
composition, which every reader of the argument must have observed with
such admiration as can but intensify his regret that scarcely half of the
projected poem has come down to us. No work of Ben Jonson's is more
amusing and agreeable to read, as none is more graceful in expression or
more excellent in simplicity of style.' This last is high meed of praise,
but it is the question raised in the earlier portion of the criticism that
now particularly concerns us. His love of strong contrasts has no doubt
influenced Mr. Swinburne to express at any rate not less than he felt, but
he has raised a perfectly clear and evident issue, and one which it is
impossible for the critic to neglect. Although had the play undergone
final revision, it is possible that Jonson, whose literary judgement was
of no mean order, would have softened some of the harsher contrasts in his
work, it is evident that they were in the main intentional and
deliberately calculated. This appears alike from the prologue, in which he
denounces the heresy

    That mirth by no meanes fits a Pastorall,

as also from what we gather concerning an earlier work, in which he
introduced 'clownes making mirth and foolish sports,' as recorded by
Drummond. As against Mr. Swinburne's view may be set that of Dr. Ward. 'In
_The Sad Shepherd_ [Jonson] has with singular freshness caught the spirit
of the greenwood. If this pastoral is more realistic in texture than
either Spenser's or Milton's efforts in the same direction, the result is
due, partly to the character of the writer, partly to the circumstance
that Jonson's "shepherds" are beings of a definite age and country. It
must, however, be observed that the personages in this pastoral are in
part not shepherds at all, but Robin Hood and his merry men. We may admit
that the lucky combination thus hit upon could probably not easily be
repeated; but this is merely to acknowledge the felicity of the author's
invention.' Allowing for the difference of temper in the two writers, it
will be seen that the view taken of certain essentials of the piece is as
favourable in the one case as it is unfavourable in the other. Both alike
are critics of recognized standing, so that whichever position one may
feel disposed to adopt, ample authority may be quoted in support. There
are unfortunate occasions on which one's favourite oracle perversely
refuses to accommodate himself to one's own view. Mr. Swinburne is a
writer from whom on points of aesthetic judgement I for one differ, but
with the greatest reluctance. Nevertheless in the present case I feel
bound to record my dissent.

Jonson's play was, as I have already said, an attempt to create a new and
genuinely English form of pastoral drama. How far did he succeed? Mr.
Homer Smith charitably hints that it was owing to the 'exquisite poetry'
in which Jonson's design was clothed 'that many critics do not perceive
that he failed in the task he set himself.' This is, however, but to
repeat in cruder form Mr. Swinburne's contention.[287] That Jonson did not
fail in the task he set himself it would be difficult to maintain--only,
however, I believe, because he faiîed to carry it to completion. Had he
lived to finish the remaining portion of the play in a manner consonant
with that which he has left us, there would probably have been no question
as to the propriety of the means he used. I am fully aware how difficult
and often dangerous it is in these matters to argue from a mere fragment,
especially in view of the breakdown of so many plays when they come to the
unravelling, but it should be borne in mind that in the matter of dramatic
construction Jonson stood head and shoulders above all the other writers
with whom we have been concerned, Fletcher not excepted.

Before, however, proceeding to discuss the issue raised by Mr. Swinburne,
it will be well to clear up certain minor misapprehensions. In the first
place Mr. Homer Smith states that Jonson 'wove together the two threads,
pastoral and forest, apparently regarding them of equal importance and
seeing no incongruity in the combination.' In so far as this may be taken
to imply a necessary incompatibility of the traditions of field and
forest, it is of course utterly opposed to the whole history of pastoral
tradition. Tasso's Silvia and Guarini's Silvio alike are silvan not in
name only, but are truly figures of the woods, hunters of the wolf and
boar; while the same distinction survives in a modified form in Daniel's
_Hymen's Triumph_, in which the ruder characters, Montanus and the rest,
are described as foresters. The contrast appears sharply in the _Maid's
Metamorphosis_ in the characters of Silvio and Gemulo; more faintly
indicated by Randolph in Laurinda's lovers, of whom one frequents the
woods and one the plains. The pastoral and forest traditions are in their
essence and history indistinguishable.[288] Probably, however, what the
writer had in view was some supposed incongruity between the characters of
popular romance, such as Robin and his crew, and the shepherds whom he
regards as pure Arcadians. This is the same objection as that raised by
Mr. Swinburne, to which I shall return.

Another point which has been somewhat obscured by previous writers is the
comparative importance of the two threads. Thus, again to quote Mr. Homer
Smith, it has been held that 'In general the pastoral incidents serve as
an underplot, utterly foreign in spirit to the main plot.' Against this
view that the pastoral is, intentionally at least, the subsidiary element,
the title itself is a strong argument--'The Sad Shepherd: A Tale of Robin
Hood.' Clearly the first title would naturally indicate the main subject
of the plot, and the vague addition suggest, the surroundings amid which
the action is laid. This is a consideration which no amount of
stichometrical argument can seriously discount, especially in the case of
a fragment. The same view is borne out by the plot itself so far as it is
known to us. In Aeglamour's despair at the supposed loss of his love we
have a situation already familiar from at least two English pastorals,
_Hymen's Triumph_ and Rutter's _Shepherds' Holiday_; while in the
detention of Earine in the power of the witch we have the material for an
exciting and touching development. Where else can we look for the elements
of a plot? The only possible alternative lies in the dissensions sown by
Maudlin between Robin and his love Maid Marian. Here indeed we find the
materials for some excellent comedy, and the instinctive sympathy excited
by the characters in the breast of every Englishman, as well as the
exquisite charm and grace imparted to the forest scenes by Jonson's verse,
have undoubtedly combined to obscure the real action in the earlier part
of the fragment. But since Lord Fitzwater's daughter is doomed by an
unkind tradition to remain Maid Marian still, no fortunate solution of the
_imbroglio_ can do more than restore the harmony which had been before,
and the plot would therefore be open to the precise objection from the
dramatic point of view which we found in the case of the _Faithful
Shepherdess_. Moreover, the complication is completely solved by the end
of the second act, and it was obviously introduced for no other purpose
than to bring about a general crusade against the wise woman and her
confederate powers, which should be the means of restoring Earine to her
Sad Shepherd. Thus the story of these lovers alone can supply the
materials for the main, or indeed for any real plot at all; and the fact
that, as Mr. Homer Smith informs us, out of some thousand lines less than
half are devoted to strictly pastoral interests, is but evidence of the
felicity of construction, by which Jonson, while keeping the pastoral plot
as the mainspring of the piece, nevertheless avoided the tediousness
almost inseparable from pastoral action and atmosphere, and threw the
burden of stage business upon the more congenial personages of Maid
Marian, Robin Hood and his merry men, the Witch of Paplewich, and Robin
Goodfellow. It remains for us to consider the fundamental question which
arises in connexion with Mr. Swinburne's criticism. Are the various
threads of which Jonson wove his plot in themselves incompatible and
incongruous? Is it correct to describe the parts played by the more rustic
characters as a grotesque antimasque to the action of the polished
shepherds? Or is Dr. Ward right in considering the combination a happy
one, and the characters harmonious? Now any one who wishes to defend Mr.
Swinburne's view must do so on one of two ground: either he must maintain
the general proposition that various degrees of idealization are
essentially incompatible within the limits of a single artistic
composition, or else he must hold that the contrast between the two sets
of characters in the actual play is itself of a grossness to offend the
sense of literary propriety in an audience. If any one is prepared without
qualification to maintain the former of these two propositions, he is
welcome to do so, and he will be perfectly entitled to condemn Jonson's
pastoral on the strength of it; but I doubt whether this was the intention
of the critic himself. Although as a general rule the English drama found
its romance rather in what it imagined to be realism than in conscious
idealization, yet the contrast between the imaginative and refined
creations of the fancy and the often coarse and gross transcripts from
common life are too frequent even to require specific mention, and many
shades even of imaginative painting, many degrees of idealism, may
frequently be met with in the course of a single play. What of Rosalind,
Phoebe, and Audrey in _As You Like It_? But that is a question to which we
shall have to return. It will, however, be contended that in the _Sad
Shepherd_ we are introduced to a wholly idealized and artificially refined
atmosphere surrounding the shepherds and their hosts, which is yet
constantly liable to be broken in upon by beings of the outer world, rude
unchastened mortals compounded of our common clay, whose entrance dispels
at a stroke the delicate, refined atmosphere of pastoral convention. This
brings us to the second alternative mentioned above, to meet which we
shall have to condescend to particulars, and consider the real natures of
the various groups of personages with which Jonson crowds his stage.

The question of the incongruity of the various characters in Jonson's
pastoral is one which every reader of taste must decide for himself. All
that the critic can hope to do is to point out how the figures on the
stage compare with previous tradition and convention on the one hand, and
with the characters of actual life on the other. But in doing this I hope
to be able to vindicate Jonson's taste, for I believe Mr. Swinburne to be
in error in regarding the shepherds of the play as more, and the rustic
characters as less, idealized than Jonson intended them, and than they in
reality are. Were the shepherds the pure Arcadians Mr. Homer Smith asserts
them to be, and were it necessary with Mr. Swinburne to regard Scathlock
and Maudlin as mere parody and burlesque, then indeed Jonson's taste, as
exhibited in the _Sad Shepherd_, would not be worth defending. But it is
not so.

It is necessary in the first place, however, to make certain admissions.
It is true that in the fragment as we possess it there are certain
passages which pass beyond any legitimate idealization of the actual world
in which Jonson chose to lay his scene, and which contrast jarringly and
irreconcilably with the coarser threads of homespun. Thus Aeglamour, in so
far as it is possible to form an opinion, keeps too much of the artificial
Arcadianism of the Italians about him, and is hardly of a piece with the
rest of the personae. The same may be said of the name at least of Earine;
of her character it is impossible to judge--in one passage indeed we find
her talking broad dialect, but that doubtless only through an oversight of
the author. Much the same may be censured of individual passages: the
singularly out-of-place catalogue of 'Lovers Scriptures' put into the
mouth of Clarion, and, in a speech of Aeglamour's, the collocation of Dean
and Erwash, Idle, Snite, and Soar, with the nymphs and Graces that come
dancing out of the fourth ode of Horace. Some have been inclined to add an
occasional reminiscence of Sappho or so; but critics appear somewhat dense
at understanding that when Amie, for instance, speaks of 'the dear good
angel of the spring,' it is not she but her creator who is exhibiting a
familiarity with the classics. In this and similar cases the fact of
borrowing in no wise affects the question of dramatic propriety. Certain
incongruities must then be admitted, but they lie rather in casual
passages than in any necessary portion of the play; while in so far as
they appear in the presentation of any character, the contrast seems to
lie rather between Aeglamour and the rest of the shepherds than between
these and the less polished huntsmen. It should furthermore be
remembered--though the remark is perhaps strictly beside, or rather
beyond, the point--that where the incongruous elements are not
fundamental, it is always possible that they might have been removed had
the play undergone revision.

Subject to these reservations it appears to me that the characters and
general tone of Jonson's pastoral are perfectly harmonious and congruent.
The shepherds are far removed from the types of Arcadian convention, and
may more properly be regarded as idealizations from the actual country
lads and lasses of merry England. Their names are borrowed from popular
romance, which, if somewhat French in its tone, was certainly in no way
antagonistic to the legends of Sherwood nor to the agency of witchcraft
and fairy lore[289]. Even Alken, in spite of his didactic bent, is as far
as possible from being the conventional 'wise shepherd,' and certainly no
Arcadian ever displayed such knowledge as he of the noble art, while his
lecture on the blast of hag-hunting, though savouring somewhat of
burlesque, contains perhaps the most thoroughly charming and romantic
lines that ever flowed from the pen of the great exponent of classical
tradition. That the characters owe nothing to Arcadian tradition is not
contended, nor do I know that it would be desirable that they should not,
since that tradition forms at least a convenient, if not an altogether
necessary, precedent for such pastoral idealization; but even if it is
going rather far to say that they 'belong to a definite age and country,'
they have yet sufficient individuality and community of human nature to be
wholly fitting companions for the gallant Robin and his fair lady. Jonson,
it would appear, consciously adopted the pastoral method, if hardly the
pastoral mood, of Theocritus, in contradistinction to that of the courtly
poets in Italy. It will be noticed that he has not forborne to introduce
references to sheepcraft, but the fact that these enter more or less
naturally into the discourse, and are not, as in Fletcher's pastoral,
introduced in the vain hope of giving local colour to wholly uncolourable
characters, saves them from having the same stilted effect, and is at the
same time evidence of the greater reality of Jonson's personae. It is also
noteworthy that Jonson has even ventured upon allegorical matter in one
passage at least, but has succeeded in doing so in a manner in no wise
incongruous with the nature of actual rustics, though the collocation of
Robin Hood and the rise of Puritanism must be admitted to be historically
something of an anachronism.

Robin and Maid Marian are, of course, characters no whit less idealized
than the shepherds, though the process was largely effected by popular
tradition instead of by the author. But this being so, such characters as
Much and Scathlock must be no less incongruous with Robin and Marian than
with Karol and Amie--a proportion which those who love the old Sherwood
tradition would be loath to admit. In any case the incongruity, if it
exists, is not of Jonson's devising, but consecrated for ages in the
popular mind. The truth is, however, that Much and Little John, Scathlock
and Scarlet are, in spite of their more homely speech and humour, scarcely
less idealized than any of the other characters I have mentioned. That
Jonson has even sought to tone down such harshness of contrast as he found
is noticeable in his treatment of a recognized figure of burlesque like
Friar Tuck, who is throughout portrayed with decorum and respect.

Lastly, to come to the third group of characters. If it was impossible for
an English audience to regard as burlesque such popular and sympathetic
characters as Robin and his merry men, so a malignant witch and a
mischievous elf were far too serious agents of ill to be treated in this
light either. Characters whose unholy powers would have fitted them for
death at the stake can scarcely have been regarded even by the rude
audiences of pre-restoration London as fitting subjects of farce, while
there is nothing to lead us to suppose that Jonson, whatever his private
opinion on the subject may have been, sought in the present instance to
cast ridicule upon the belief in witches, but rather it is evident that he
laid hands upon everything that could give colour to their sinister
reputation. On the other hand, he has treated the whole subject with an
imaginative touch which relieves us of all tragic or moral apprehension,
removes all the squalid and unblessed surroundings into the region of
romantic art, and makes it impossible to regard the characters as less
idealized than those of the shepherds and huntsmen. I cannot myself but
regard the elements of witchcraft and fairy employed by Jonson as far more
in harmony not only with Robin Hood and his men, but also with the
shepherds of Belvoir vale, than would have been the oracles, satyrs, and
other outworn machinery of regular pastoral tradition.

There remains the rusticity of language which distinguishes some of the
ruder characters from others more refined. That some contrast between the
groups was intended is indisputable, that the contrast is rather harsher
than the author intended may be plausibly maintained. There is, on the
whole, a lack of graduation. Into the question of dialectism in general it
is needless to enter. The speech employed would be inoffensive, were it
not that it is, and is felt to be, no genuine dialect at all, but a mere
literary convention, a mixture of broad Yorkshire and Lothian Scots, not
only utterly out of place in Sherwood forest, but such as can never have
been spoken by any sane rustic. Still more than of Spenser is Ben's dictum
true of himself, that where he departed from the cultivated English of his
day, whether in imitation of the ancients or of provincial dialect matters
not, he failed to write any language at all. Yet here, if anywhere, we
should be justified in arguing that it is unfair to judge an unrevised
fragment as if it were a completed work in the form in which the author
decided to give it to the world. Jonson, as his _English Grammar_ shows,
was not without a knowledge of the antiquities at least of our tongue, and
it is reasonable to suppose that, had he lived to publish his pastoral
himself, he would have removed some of the more glaring enormities of
language, along with certain other improprieties which could hardly have
escaped his critical eye.

Jonson then, as it seems to me, setting aside a few points of minor
importance, successfully combined what he found suited to his purpose in
previous pastoral tradition, with what was most romantic and attractive in
popular legend and a genuine idealization from actual types, to produce a
veritable English pastoral, which failed of success only in that it
remained unfinished at the death of its author.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1783 F. G. Waldron published his continuation of Jonson's fragment.
This work, while betraying throughout the date of its composition, and
falling in every respect short of the original, yet catches some measure
of its glamour and charm, and has received deserved, if somewhat
qualified, praise at the hands of Jonson's critics. The chief faults of
the piece are the writer's anxiety to marry every good character and
convert every bad one, and the manner in which the dramatic climax by
which Aeglamour and Earine should be brought together is frittered away.
The shepherdess is duly released from the hands of the lewd Lorel, but
only to find that her lover has drowned himself. The hermit is, of course,
introduced to revive the Sad Shepherd and restore his wits, and so all
ends happily. The only original passage of any particular merit is the
hunter's dirge over the drowned Aeglamour, which is perhaps worth

    The chase is o'er, the hart is slain!
    The gentlest hart that grac'd the plain;
    With breath of bugles sound his knell,
    Then lay him low in Death's drear dell!

    Nor beauteous form, nor dappled hide,
    Nor branchy head will long abide;
    Nor fleetest foot that scuds the heath,
    Can 'scape the fleeter huntsman, Death.

    The hart is slain! his faithful deer,
    In spite of hounds or huntsman near,
    Despising Death, and all his train,
    Laments her hart untimely slain!

    The chase is o'er, the hart is slain!
    The gentlest hart that grac'd the plain;
    Blow soft your bugles, sound his knell,
    Then lay him low in Death's drear dell!

    (Act IV.)

Chapter VI.

The English Pastoral Drama


We have seen in an earlier chapter what had been achieved within the
limits of the mythological drama proper, and also how it had fared with
the attempts to introduce the Italian pastoral into England either by way
of translation or of direct imitation. We have also seen how, in three
notable compositions, three different and variously gifted artists had
endeavoured to produce a form of pastoral drama suited to the requirements
of the English stage, and how they had each in turn fallen short of
complete success. We have now to consider a series of plays, less
distinguished on the whole, though varying greatly in individual merit,
which, amid the luxuriant growth of the romantic drama, tended, in a more
spontaneous and less purposeful manner, towards the creation of something
of a pastoral tradition. We shall find in thèse plays a considerable
traditional influence, a groundwork, as it were, borrowed from the
Arcadian drama of Italy, together with frequent elements owing their
origin to plays of the mythological type. But in the great majority of
cases we shall also find another influence, which will serve to
differentiate these plays from those we have been hitherto concerned with.
This is the influence of the so-called pastoral romances of the Spanish
type, which manifests itself in the introduction of characters and
incidents, warlike, courtly, or adventurous, borrowed more or less
directly from the works of writers such as Sidney, Greene, and Lodge.
Their influence was extended and enduring, and survived until, towards the
middle of the seventeenth century, the fashionable tradition of the
_Astrée_ was introduced from France[291]. It was evinced both in a general
manner and likewise in direct dramatic adaptation. Since the romances
thus dramatized lay claim to a pastoral character, it will be necessary
for us to examine as briefly as may be these stage versions, however
little of the pastoral element may survive, as a preliminary to
considering other plays in which the debt is less specific.

There are extant at least seven plays founded upon Sidney's
_Arcadia_.[292] Since these appear to be wholly independent of one
another, it will be convenient to disregard chronology, and to consider
first those which have for subject the main story of the romance, four in
number, and then the remaining three founded upon various incidents.
First, then, and most important, Shirley's play bearing the same title as
the romance will claim our attention as the most full and faithful
stage-rendering of Sidney's work. Although not printed till 1640 the play
was, according to Mr. Fleay's plausible conjecture, performed on the
king's birthdayas early as 1632. It cannot exactly be pronounced a good
play, but the dramatization is effected in a manner which does justice to
the very great abilities of the author, and the same measure of success
would probably not have been attained by any other dramatist of the time.

At the opening of the play we find that Basilius, king of Arcadia, has, in
consequence of a threatening oracle, committed the government of his
kingdom into the hands of a nobleman Philanax, and retired into a rural
'desert' along with his wife Gynecia and his daughters Philoclea and
Pamela. Here they live in company with the 'most arrant dotish clowne'
Dametas, his wife Miso and daughter Mopsa, rustic characters which supply
a coarsely farcical element in the plot, certainly no less out of place
and inharmonious in the play than in the romance. There are also the
cousins Pyrocles and Musidorus, son and nephew respectively to Euarchus,
king of Thessaly, who have arrived in quest of the princesses' loves, and
have obtained positions near the objects of their affection, the one
disguised as an Amazon under the name of Zelmane, the other seeking
service under Dametas and assuming the name of Dorus. Complications,
moreover, have already arisen, Basilius falling in love with the supposed
Amazon, while Gynecia sees through the disguise and falls in love with the
concealed Pyrocles. The disguised lover, in order to allay suspicion, has
to feign a return of love to the queen and also to humour the dotage of
the king, in the meanwhile revealing himself and his love to Philoclea,
whom her father employs to court the affections of the Amazon. Musidorus,
on his part, while pretending to court Mopsa, takes the opportunity of
addressing his suit to Pamela. At length all is arranged, the princesses
consenting to accompany their lovers in flight, and the various guardians
being cleverly duped. Pyrocles gives rendezvous both to Basilius and
Gynecia in a dark and lonely cave, Dametas is sent to dig for hidden
treasure, Miso to seek her maligned husband in the house of one of her
female neighbours, and Mopsa to await the coming of Apollo in the
wishing-tree. Musidorus and Pamela make for the coast, while Pyrocles goes
to fetch his mistress Philoclea. While, however, he is endeavouring to
persuade her to take the final and irrevocable step, they are both
overcome by a strange drowsiness and are discovered by Dametas, who,
disappointed of his treasure, has missed his charge Pamela and comes to
give the alarm. Musidorus and his mistress on their side have been
captured by outlaws, who, discovering their identity, bring them back,
hoping thereby to secure their own pardons. In the meantime, in the cave
Gynecia has given Basilius by mistake for Zelmane a love potion, which
turns out apparently to be a strong narcotic, for the king at once falls
into a death-like trance, and the queen, discovering her mistake and
overcome by shame and remorse, accuses herself publicly of having poisoned
her husband, and is consequently put under guard. At this juncture
Euarchus happens to arrive in search of his son and nephew, and consents
to act as judge in the case. The princes, who for no apparent reason
assume false names, are brought up for judgement and sentenced to death by
Euarchus, whom, unaccountably enough, they fail to recognize. They are
about to be led off to execution when Basilius, who is lying on a bier in
the judgement hall, suddenly rises, the potion having spent its force.
Explanations and recognitions of course follow, the oracle is
satisfactorily expounded, and all ends to the sound of marriage bells.

It will be seen that in spite of the description 'pastoral' which appears
on the title-page of the play, there is little or nothing of this nature
to be found in the plot, and in this it is typical of all the plays
founded upon Sidney's romance. The only pastoral element indeed is a sort
of show or masque, presented by the rustic characters in company with
certain shepherds, and even here little of a pastoral nature is visible
beyond the characters of the performers. As a play, the _Arcadia_ is
distinctly pleasing; the action is bright and easy, the gulling scenes are
very entertaining, and some of the love scenes, notably that in which
Pyrocles endeavours to persuade Philoclea to escape with him, are
charmingly written. Take for instance the following passage, in which the
princess confesses her love:[293]

                            such a truth
    Shines in your language, and such innocence
    In what you call affection, I must
    Declare you have not plac'd one good thought here,
    Which is not answer'd with my heart. The fire
    Which sparkled in your bosom, long since leap'd
    Into my breast, and there burns modestly:
    It would have spread into a greater flame,
    But still I curb'd it with my tears. Oh, Pyrocles,
    I would thou wert Zelmane again! and yet,
    I must confess I lov'd thee then; I know not
    With what prophetick soul, but I did wish
    Often, thou were a man, or I no woman.

    _Pyrocles._ Thou wert the comfort of my sleeps.

    _Philoclea._              And you
    The object of my watches, when the night
    Wanted a spell to cast me into slumber;
    Yet when the weight of my own thoughts grew heavy
    For my tear dropping eyes, and drew these curtains,
    My dreams were still of thee--forgive my blushes--
    And in imagination thou wert then
    My harmless bedfellow.

    _Pyr._          I arrive too soon
    At my desires. Gently, oh gently, drop
    These joys into me! lest, at once let fall,
    I sink beneath the tempest of my blessings. (III. iv.)

Or again when he urges her to escape:

                I could content myself
    To look on Pyrocles, and think it happiness
    Enough; or, if my soul affect variety
    Of pleasure, every accent of thy voice
    Shall court me with new rapture; and if these
    Delights be narrow for us, there is left
    A modest kiss, where every touch conveys
    Our melting souls into each other's lips.
    Why should not you be pleas'd to look on me?
    To hear, and sometimes kiss, Philoclea?
    Indeed you make me blush.       [_Draws a veil over her face_.]

    _Pyr._            What an eclipse
    Hath that veil made! it was not night till now.
    Look if the stars have not withdrawn themselves,
    As they had waited on her richer brightness,
    And missing of her eyes are stolen to bed. (ib.)

These passages display the tenderer side of Shirley's gift at its best,
and prove that, had he but set himself the task, he possessed the very
style needed for a successful imitation of the Italian pastoral adapted to
the temper of the English romantic drama.

But Shirley's, though the most complete, was not the earliest attempt at
placing Sir Philip's romance upon the boards. As long before as 1605 was
acted Day's _Isle of Gulls_, a farcical and no doubt highly topical play,
which is equally founded on the _Arcadia_, though it follows the story far
less closely. Day's title was probably suggested by Nashe's _Isle of
Dogs_, a satirical play performed in 1597, which brought its author into
trouble, but if it deserves Mr. Bullen's epithet of 'attractive,' it must
be admitted that it is almost the only part of the play to which that
epithet can be applied. Day was in no wise concerned to maintain the
polished and artificial dignity of the original; his satiric purpose
indeed called for a very different treatment. The _Isle of Gulls_ is a
comedy of the broadest and lowest description, almost uniformly lacking in
charm, notwithstanding a certain skill of dramatization, and the
occurrence of passages which are good enough of their kind. It will easily
be conceived that a highly ideal and romantic plot treated in the manner
of the realistic farce of low life may offer great opportunities of
satiric effect; but it must have made the courtly Sidney turn in his grave
to see his gracious puppets debased into the vulgar rogues and trulls of
the lower-class London drama. Day in no wise sought to hide his
indebtedness, but on the contrary acknowledged in the Induction that his
argument is but 'a little string or Rivolet, drawne from the full streine
of the right worthy Gentleman, Sir Phillip Sydneys well knowne Archadea.'
The chief differences between the play and its source are as follows.
Basilius and Gynetia--as Day writes the name--are duke and duchess of
Arcadia[294]--near which, apparently, the island is situated--Philoclea
and Pamela become Violetta and Hipolita, Pyrocles and Musidorus appear as
Lisander and Demetrius, Philanax and Calander from being lords of the
court become captains of the castles guarding the island, and Dametas
comes practically to occupy the post of Lord Chamberlain. Among the more
important characters Euarchus disappears and Aminter and Julio, rivals of
the princes in the ladies' loves, are added, as also Manasses,
'scribe-major' to Dametas. When the princes have at last prevailed upon
their loves to elope with them, and tricked as before their various
guardians into leaving the coast clear, they are in their turn persuaded
to leave the ladies in the charge of their disguised rivals, who, of
course, secure them as their prizes. Thus the gulling is singularly
complete all round, not least among the gulled being the audience, whose
sympathy has been carefully enlisted on the princes' behalf. The last
scene, in which all the characters forgather from their various ludicrous
occupations, is, as might be expected, one of considerable confusion,
which is rendered all the more confounded by frequent errors in the
speakers' names, which remain in spite of the labours of Day's

If we approach the play with Sir Philip's romance in our mind, the
characters cannot but appear one and all offensive. In every case Day has
indulged in brutal caricature. The courtly characters are represented from
the point of view of a prurient-minded bourgeoisie; the rustic figures are
equally gross in their vulgarity; while the traitor Dametas, who serves as
a link between the two classes, is an upstart parasite, described with a
satiric touch not unworthy of Webster as 'a little hillock made great with
others' ruines.' But if we are content to forget the source of the play,
we may take a rather more charitable view. Not all the characters are
consistently revolting, several, including the princesses, having at times
a fine flavour of piquant roguishness, at others a touch of easy
sentiment. For a contemporary audience, of course, there were other points
of attraction in the play, for the satirical intent is sufficiently
obvious, though it is needless for us here to inquire into the personages
adumbrated, that investigation belonging neither to pastoral nor to
literary history properly speaking. By far the cleverest as well as the
most pleasing scene in the play is that introducing a game of bowls,[296]
during which Lisander courts Violetta in long-drawn metaphor. Part at
least of this brilliant double-edged word-play must be quoted, even though
the verse-capping may at times pass the bounds of strict decorum:

    _Duke._ Doth our match hold?

    _Duchess._         Yes, whose part will you take?

    _Duke._ Zelmanes.

    _Duchess._    Soft, that match is still to make.

    _Violetta._ Lets cast a choice, the nearest two take one.

    _Lisander._ My choice is cast; help sweet occasion.

    _Viol._ Come, heere's agood.

    _Lis._         Well, betterd.

    _Duch._               Best of all:

    _Lis._ The Duke and I.

    _Duke._       The weakest goe to the wall.

    _Viol._ Ile lead.

    _Lis._     Ile follow.

    _Viol._        We have both one mind.

    _Lis._ In what?

    _Viol._    In leaving the old folke behinde.

    _Duke._ Well jested, daughter; and you lead not faire,
    The hindmost hound though old may catch the hare.

    _Duch._ Your last Boule come?

    _Viol._          By the faith a me well led.

    _Lis._ Would I might lead you.

    _Viol._          Whither?

    _Lis._              To my bed.

    _Viol._ I am sure you would not.

    _Lis._           By this aire I would.

    _Viol._ I hope you would not hurt me and you should.

    _Lis._ Ide love you, sweet ...

    _Duke._        Daughter, your bowle winnes one.

    _Viol._ None, of my Maidenhead, Father; I am gone:
    The Amazon hath wonne one.

    _Lis._            Yield to that.

    _Viol._ The cast I doe.

    _Lis._        Yourselfe?

    _Viol._           Nay scrape out that. (II. v.)[297]

The unprinted dramas founded on the _Arcadia_ need not detain us long.
One is preserved in a volume of manuscript plays in the British Museum,
and is entitled _Love's Changelings' Change_.[298] It is written in a hand
of the first half of the seventeenth century, small and neat, but, partly
on account of the porous nature of the paper, exceedingly hard to read.
The dramatis personae include a full cast from the _Arcadia_; and somewhat
more stress appears to be laid on the pastoral elements than is the case
in either of the printed plays. From what I have thought it necessary to
decipher, however, I see no reason to differ from Mr. Bullen, who
dismisses it as 'a dull play.'[299] The prologue may serve as a specimen
of the style of the piece.

    This Scaene's prepar'd for those that longe to see
    The crosse Meanders in Loves destinie;
    To see the changes in a shatterd wit
    Proove a man Changlinge in attemptinge it;
    To change a noble minde t'a gloz'd intent
    Beefore such change will let um see th' event.
    This change our Famous Princes had, beefore
    Their borrowed shape could speake um any more,
    And nought but this our Poet feares will seize
    Your liking fancies with that new disease.
    Wee hope the best: all wee can say tis strange
    To heare with patient eares Loves changelinges Change

--which, if this is a fair sample, is very likely true. Below the prologue
the writer has added the couplet:

    Th' old wits are gone: looke for noe new thing by us,
    For _nullum est jam Dictum quod non sit dictum prius_.

The other play is preserved in a Bodleian manuscript,[300] and is entitled
'The Arcadian Lovers, or the Metamorphosis of Princes.' 'The name of the
author,' writes Mr. Hazlitt following Halliwell, 'was probably Moore, for
in the volume, written by the same hand as the play, is a dedication to
Madam Honoria Lee from the "meanest of her kinsmen," Thomas Moore. A
person of this name wrote _A Brief Discourse about Baptism_, 1649.' Mr.
Falconer Madan, however, in his catalogue ascribes the manuscript to the
early eighteenth century, a date certainly more in accordance with the
character of the handwriting. If, therefore, the conjecture concerning the
author's name is correct, he may be plausibly identified with the Sir
Thomas Moore whose tragedy _Mangora_ was acted in 1717. The manuscript,
which contains various poetical essays, includes not only the complete
play, which is in prose, but also a verse paraphrase of a large portion of
the same. Neither prose nor verse possesses the least merit.[301]

The earliest of the plays founded upon episodes in the _Arcadia_ is
Beaumont and Fletcher's _Cupid's Revenge_, which was acted by the children
of the Queen's Revels, and published in 1615.[302] A revision, possibly by
another hand, has introduced considerable confusion into the titles of the
personae, but need not otherwise concern us.[303] The plot of the play is
based on two episodes in the romance, one relating to the vengeance
exacted by Cupid on the princess Erona of Lycia for an insult offered to
his worship, the other to the intrigue of prince Plangus of Iberia with
the wife of a citizen, and the tragic complications arising therefrom.
These two stories are combined by the dramatists, with no very conspicuous
skill, into one plot. Plangus and Erona, under the names of Leucippus and
Hidaspes, are represented as brother and sister, children of the old
widowed duke of Lysia. They make common cause in seeking to abolish the
worship of Cupid, and their tragedies are represented as alike due to his
offended deity. No sooner has the old duke, yielding to his daughter's
prayers, prohibited the worship of the god, than Hidaspes falls
desperately in love with the deformed dwarf Zoilus, and begs him in
marriage of her father. The duke, infuriated at such an exhibition of
unnatural and disordered affection in his daughter, causes the dwarf to be
beheaded, whereupon the princess languishes and dies.[304] In the
meanwhile Leucippus has fallen in love with Bacha, the widow of a citizen,
and frequents her house secretly, where being surprised by his father, he
protests so strongly of her chastity--hoping thereby to save her credit
and his own--that the old duke falls in love with her himself, and shortly
afterwards marries her. Having now become duchess she seeks to renew her
intercourse with the prince, and being repulsed resolves upon revenge. She
makes the duke believe that his son is plotting against him, and so
secures his arrest and condemnation, hoping thereby to obtain the crown
for Urania, her daughter by a previous marriage. The citizens, however,
rise in revolt and rescue Leucippus, who thereupon goes into voluntary
exile. He is followed by Urania, a simple and innocent girl, who, knowing
her mother's designs upon his life, hopes to counteract her malice by
attending on the prince in the disguise of a page. The duchess in fact
sends a man to murder the prince, the attempt being frustrated by Urania,
who herself receives the blow and dies, the murderer being then slain by
Leucippus. In the meanwhile the duke dies, and the friends of the prince
hasten to him, bringing with them the duchess as a prisoner. She however,
seeing her schemes doomed to failure, nurses revenge, and succeeds in
stabbing Leucippus, then turning the dagger into her own heart.[305]

More ink than was necessary has been spilt over the motive of this wildly
melodramatic play. Seward expressed an opinion that there was nothing in
the action of the brother and sister deserving such severe retribution. To
him Mason retorted, with somewhat childish seriousness, that, the
characters being supposed pagan, the speech of the princess must be held
a sacrilegious blasphemy. So Sidney no doubt intended it, and so Beaumont,
who was evidently the author of the scene in question, intended it too,
and he would possibly, if left to himself, have executed the rest in a
manner consonant with this intention. But his collaborator took the
opportunity of adding a scene between certain of the lords of the court,
in which, with characteristic coarseness, he represented the condemned
worship in the light of mere vulgar licence. The fact is that not only the
playwrights, but, no doubt, the majority of the audience as well, were
interested chiefly in the extravagance of the plot, and cared little or
nothing for the adequacy of the motive. As a drama the piece is decidedly
poor, and the construction which ends the sister's part of the tragedy in
the second act leaves much to be desired. There is, moreover, something
particularly and unnecessarily revolting in Hidaspes' passion for the
deformed dwarf, and something forced in the contrast between Leucippus'
licentious relations with Bacha at the beginning of the play and the
self-righteousness of his later attitude. Both faults are unfortunately
rather typical, one of the extravagant colouring affected by the
dramatists, the other of the coarse and hasty characterization to which
Fletcher in particular is apt to condescend. There are, however, some good
passages in the play, though it is not always easy to assign them to their
author. The scenes in which Urania appears are pretty, though inferior to
the very similar ones in the nearly contemporary _Philaster_. The song of
the maidens as they watch by their dying mistress, palinode and dirge in
one, is striking in the blending of diverse modes:

    Cupid, pardon what is past,
    And forgive our sins at last!
    Then we will be coy no more,
    But thy deity adore;
    Troths at fifteen we will plight,
    And will tread a dance each night,
    In the fields or by the fire,
    With the youths that have desire.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Thus I shut thy faded light,
    And put it in eternal night.
    Where is she can boldly say,
    Though she be as fresh as May,
    She shall not by this corpse be laid,
    Ere to-morrow's light do fade? (II. v.)

There is a suggestion of better things, too, in the lines:

                            he is like
    Nothing that we have seen, yet doth resemble
    Apollo, as I oft have fancied him,
    When rising from his bed he stirs himself,
    And shakes day from his hair. (I. iii.)

The authors, or one of them, had also learned something of Shakespeare's
quaint humour, as appears in the remark:

    What should he be beheaded? we shall have it grow so base shortly,
    gentlemen will be out of love with it. (II. iii.)

The main plot of the above reappears in _Andromana_, a play which was
published in 1660 as 'By J. S.' It had probably never been performed when
it was printed, and though the initials were possibly intended to suggest
Shirley's authorship, there can be little doubt that he was wholly
innocent of its parentage. An allusion to Denham's _Sophy_ places the date
of composition after 1642.[306] The plot is taken direct from the
_Arcadia_, the names being retained, and there is nothing to show that the
author, whoever he may have been, knew anything of _Cupid's Revenge_. The
story, however, is practically the same except for the addition of the
episode of Plangus defeating the Argive rebels, and the omission of the
character which appears as Urania in Beaumont and Fletcher's play and as
Palladius in the original romance. The end is also slightly different.
After the prince has been rescued by the citizens, Andromana, the queen,
plots a general massacre. Plangus overhears her conversation with her
instrument and confidant, and runs him through with his sword on the spot.
At Andromana's cries the king enters, and she forthwith accuses the
prince of attempting violence towards her; the king stabs his son,
Andromana stabs the king, next the prince's friend Inophilus, and finally
herself. She seems on the whole satisfied with this performance, and with
her last breath exclaims:

    I have lived long enough to boast an act,
    After which no mischief shall be new.

Little need be said of this play. It is wholly lacking in distinction of
any sort or kind, and the last act with the catastrophe is a mere piece of
extravagant botching. There are, however, here and there passages which
are worth rescuing from the general wreck. One of these is the opening of
the first scene between Plangus and Andromana:

    _Plangus._ It cannot be so late.

    _Andromana._        Believe 't, the sun
    Is set, my dear, and candles have usurp'd
    The office of the day.

    _Plan._         Indeed, methinks
    A certain mist, like darkness, hangs on my eye-lids.
    But too great lustre may undo the sight:
    A man may stare so long upon the sun
    That he may look his eyes out; and certainly
    'Tis so with me: I have so greedily
    Swallow'd thy light that I have spoil'd my own.

    _And._ Why shouldst thou tempt me to my ruin thus?
    As if thy presence were less welcome to me
    Than day to one who, 'tis so long ago
    He saw the sun, hath forgot what light is. (I. v.)

Occasional touches, too, are not without flavour:

    You can create me great, I know, sir,
    But good you cannot. You might compel,
    Entice me too, perhaps, to sin. But
    Can you allay a gnawing conscience,
    Or bind up bleeding reputation? (II. v. end.)

or, again:

              Shall I believe a dream?
    Which is a vapour borne along the stream
    Of fancy. (V. iii.)

The last in this somewhat dreary catalogue is Glapthorne's _Argalus and
Parthenia_, published in 1639 and acted probably the previous year. It is
founded on the episode related in Books I and III of the _Arcadia_,[307]
and possibly on Quarles' poem already noticed. The story is briefly as
follows. Demagoras, finding his suit to Parthenia rejected in favour of
Argalus, robs her of her beauty by means of a poisonous herb, an outrage
for which he is slain by his rival. After a while Parthenia regains her
beauty through the care and skill of the queen of Corinth, and returns to
her lover. During the marriage festivities the king sends for Argalus to
act as champion against a knight who has carried off his daughter, and
Argalus, obeying the summons, finds himself opposed to his friend
Amphialus. They fight, and Argalus is slain. Parthenia then appears
disguised as a warrior in armour, challenges Amphialus, and suffers a like
fate. With this inconsequent and unmotived tragedy is interwoven a slight
and incongruous underplot of rustic buffoonery. As a whole Glapthorne's
play is of inconsiderable merit. Here and there, however, we come upon a
passage which might make us hope better things of the author.[308] Of
Argalus it is said that

    His gracions merit challenges a wife,
    Faire as Parthenia, did she staine the East,
    When the bright morne hangs day upon her cheeks
    In chaines of liquid pearle. (I. i.)

Demagoras is a glorious warrior who would compel love as he has done fame.
Though Parthenia reminds him that

    Mars did not wooe the Queen of Love in Armes,

his fierce soul yet dwells on deeds of force:

                       I'll bring on
    Well-manag'd troops of Souldiers to the fight,
    Draw big battaliaes, like a moving field
    Of standing Corne, blown one way by the wind
    Against the frighted enemy; (ib.)

and, remembering former conquests:

                             This brave resolve
    Vanquish'd my steele wing'd Goddesse, and ingag'd
    Peneian Daphne, who did fly the Sun,
    Give up to willing ravishment, her boughes
    T' invest my awfull front. (ib.)

Parthenia, healed from the poison, returns

                       her right
    Beauty new shining like the Queen of night,
    Appearing fresher after she did shroud
    Her gawdy forehead in a pitchy cloud:
    Love triumphs in her eyes; (III, end.)

and the pastoral poetess Sapho promises an 'epithalamy' for the bridal

    Till I sing day from Tethis armes, and fire
    With ayry raptures the whole morning quire,
    Till the small birds their Silvan notes display
    And sing with us, 'Joy to Parthenia!' (ib.)

Into her mouth, too, is put the following picture of the bride which has
some kinship with contemporary baroque in Italian architecture and
painting, and also occasionally anticipates in a remarkable manner the
diction of the following century.

    The holy Priest had joyn'd their hands, and now
    Night grew propitious to their Bridall vow,
    Majestick Juno, and young Hymen flies
    To light their Pines at faire Parthenia's eyes;
    The little Graces amourously did skip,
    With the small Cupids, from each lip to lip;
    Venus her selfe was present, and untide
    Her virgine Zone;[309] when loe, on either side
    Stood as her handmaids, Chastity and Truth,
    With that immaculate guider of her youth
    Rose-colour'd Modestie: These did undresse
    The beauteous maid, who now in readinesse,
    The Nuptiall tapers waving 'bout her head,
    Made poore her garments, and enrich'd her bed. (IV. i.)

So again we find single expressions which are striking, as when Parthenia
bids Amphialus, sooner than appease her wrath, to hope

    To charme the Genius of the world to peace; (V.)

or when, dying, she commends herself to her dead lover:

                                 take my breath
    That flies to thee on the pale wings of death. (ib.)

And yet it would be scarcely unfair to describe these as for the most part
the beauties of decay; they are as rich embroidery upon rotten cloth, and
are achieved by careful elaboration of sensuous imagination, and the art
of arresting the attention upon a commonplace thought by the use of some
striking epithet or novel and daring turn of expression. For the wider and
more essential beauties of conception, character, and construction we look
in vain in Glapthorne's play.

Sidney's _Arcadia_, however, though the most important, was not the only
so-called pastoral romance which left dramatic progeny. It has been
customary to describe the _Thracian Wonder_, a play of uncertain
authorship, as founded upon the story of Curan and Argentile in Warner's
_Albion's England_, a metrical emporium of historical legend very popular
at the close of the sixteenth century. The narrative in question was later
expanded into a separate work by one William Webster, and published in
1617.[310] That Collier should have given a quite erroneous abstract of
Warner's tale, and should then have proceeded to claim it as the source of
the play in question, is perhaps no great matter for astonishment, nor
need it particularly surprise us to find certain modern critics swallowing
the whole fiction on Collier's authority. What is extraordinary is that a
scholar of Dyce's ability and learning should have been misled. For it is
quite evident that the _Thracian Wonder_ is based, though hardly closely,
on no less famous a work than Greene's _Menaphon_.[311] This should of
course have been apparent to critics even without the hint supplied by
Antimon in the second scene of Act IV: 'She cannot choose but love me now;
I'm sure old Menaphon ne'er courted in such clothes.' The dramatist,
however, has not followed his source slavishly; the pastoral element is
largely suppressed or at least subordinated, and the catastrophe somewhat
altered. Instead of the siege of the castle by the shepherds when the
heroine is carried off by her own son, we have the following ending. The
king himself carries off his daughter, and her son and husband, ignorant
of course of their mutual relationship, put themselves at the head of the
shepherds in pursuit. At this moment the country is invaded by the king of
Sicily, who comes to seek his son, the husband of the heroine, and by the
king of Africa, who comes to avenge the banished brother of the king of
Thrace. After much fighting it is resolved to decide the issue by single
combat, in the course of which explanations ensue which lead to a general
recognition and reconciliation. The pastoral element is represented by old
Antimon an antic shepherd, a clown his son, his daughter a careless
shepherdess and her despised lover, and a careless shepherd.

The play was printed in 1661 by Francis Kirkman, who ascribed it on the
title-page to John Webster and William Rowley. All critics are agreed that
the former at least had nothing to do with the composition; but beyond
that it is difficult to go. Perhaps the mention of 'old Menaphon' might be
taken to indicate that the romance was at least not new at the time of the
composition of the play, for Menaphon himself was not an old man. In spite
of the small merit of the play from a poetical point of view, and of
occasional extraordinary oversights in the plot--for instance, we are
never told how the infant who is shipwrecked on the shore, presumably of
Arcadia, comes to be a young man in the service of the king of Africa--its
badness has perhaps been exaggerated, and it is undoubtedly from the pen
of an experienced stage-hack. I do not know, however, that any passage is
worth quotation.[312]

Any argument in favour of an early date for the _Thracian Wonder_, based
on its being founded on Greene's romance, is sufficiently answered by
Thomas Forde's _Love's Labyrinth_, which is a much closer dramatization of
the same story, retaining the names and characters almost unchanged, but
which cannot have been written very long before its publication in 1660.
One episode, the death of Sephistia's mother, a character unknown to
Greene, is apparently borrowed from Gomersall's _Lodovick Sforza_.[313]
The play, which lies somewhat beyond our limits, represents in its worst
form the _débâcle_ of the old dramatic tradition, continued past its date
by writers who had no technical familiarity with the stage. It is equally
without poetic merit, except in a few incidental songs. Of these, some are
borrowed from Greene, one is a translation from Anacreon also printed in
the author's _Poetical Diversions_, some are original. Of the last, one
may be worth quoting.[314]

    Fond love, no more
    Will I adore
      Thy feigned Deity;
    Go throw thy darts
    At simple hearts
      And prove thy victory.

    Whilst I do keep
    My harmless sheep
      Love hath no power on me;
    'Tis idle soules
    Which he controules,
      The busy man is free.

    (II. i.)

Readers of Suckling will recognize the inspiration of the following lines:

    Why so nice and coy, fair Lady,
      Prithee why so coy?
    If you deny your hand and lip
      Can I your heart enjoy?
      Prithee why so coy?

    (IV. iii.)

There is one obvious omission from the above list of plays founded on
pastoral romances, but it has been made intentionally. The interest which
from our present point of view attaches to _As You Like It_ lies less in
the relation of that play to its source in Lodge's romance than to the
fact that in it Shakespeare summed up to a great extent, and by
implication passed judgement upon, pastoral tradition as a whole. It will
therefore be more convenient and more appropriate to postpone
consideration of the piece until we have followed out the influence of
that tradition, and watched its effect in the wide field of the romantic
drama, and come at the end ourselves to face the question of the meaning
and the merits of pastoralism as a literary creed.

Looking back for a moment over the plays just passed in review, it is
impossible not to be struck by the fact that they present in themselves
but the slightest traces of pastoral. It is evident that it was not there
that lay the dramatists' interest in the romances. This observation is
important, for the tendency is not confined to those plays which are
directly founded on works of the sort. The idea of pastoral current among
the playwrights, and no doubt among the audience too, was largely derived
from novels such as the _Arcadia_, and, as we have seen, the tradition of
these works was one rather of polite chivalry and courtly adventure than
of pastoralism proper. Had no other forces been at work the tradition of
the stage influenced by the romances would have probably shown no trace of
pastoral at all. As it was, something of a genuinely pastoral tradition
arose out of the mythological plays and the attempts at imitating the
Italian drama, and this combined with the more popular but less genuine
pastoralism of the romances to produce the peculiar hybrid which we
commonly find passing under the name of pastoral in this country.


The pastoral tradition, such as it was, that thus formed itself on the
English stage remained to the end hesitating, tentative, and undefined. At
no time did it become an enveloping atmosphere of artistic creation.
Authors approached it as it were from the outside, from no sense of inner
compulsion, but experimentally from the broader standpoint of the romantic
drama, and with the air of pioneers and innovators, as if ignorant of what
had been already achieved in the same line by their predecessors.
Consequently, in spite of the considerable following it enjoyed, this
romantic-pastoral tradition lacked vitality, and failed as a rule to
attract authors of more pre-eminent powers. We have already seen how the
three chief English experiments stand apart from it, and we shall find as
we proceed that there are other plays as well which it is difficult to
bring strictly into line, though they are not in themselves of sufficient
importance to claim separate consideration. In some measure, indeed, it
may be truly said that, like the history of the Senecan drama or of
classical versification, the history of the dramatic pastoral in England
is that of a long series of incoherent and more or less fruitless
experiments. There is, however, an important difference between the two
cases, for in the pastoral we are at least aware of a striving towards
some new and but dimly apprehended form of artistic expression. It is true
that this was never attained; and looking back from the vantage-ground of
time we may doubt whether after all it was worth attaining, but it serves
to differentiate the pastoral experiment from those others whose object
was but the revival of a past for ever vanished. The English pastoral
drama had one advantage at least over many other literary fopperies, in
that it obeyed the fundamental law of literary progress, which is one with
artistic evolution.

A chronological survey of the regular plays to be classed as pastorals
will best serve the needs of our present inquiry, and for this purpose it
is fortunate that in nearly all cases we possess evidence which enables us
to date the work with tolerable accuracy, while the few which yet remain
doubtful are themselves unimportant, and probably fall near the limit of
our period. Even, however, were this not so, the singular independence of
most of the pieces and the absence of any visible line of development
would make uncertainty as to their order of far less consequence here than
in many departments of literary history in which similar evidence is
unhappily wanting.

In substance, then, the romantic pastoral in England was a combination of
the Arcadian drama of Italy with the chivalric romance of Spain, as
familiarized through the medium of Sidney's work, and also, though less
consistently, with the never very fully developed tradition of the
mythological play. In form, again, it may be said to represent the
mingling of the conventions of the Italian drama with the freer action and
more direct and dramatic presentation of the romantic stage. The earliest
play in which these characteristics are found is the anonymous _Maid's
Metamorphosis_, printed and probably acted 'by the Children of Powles' in
1600.[315] The plot, which from the blending of different elements it
presents is of considerable historical interest, is briefly as follows.
Eurymine, of whose connexions we hear nothing but that she is supposed to
be lowly born, and Ascanio, the duke's son, are in love. The duke,
discovering this, orders two of his retainers to lead Eurymine secretly
into the forest and there slay her. Her youth and beauty, however, touch
their hearts, and they agree to spare her on condition that she shall live
among the country folk, and never return to court. They have no sooner
left her than she meets with a shepherd and a hunter, who both fall in
love on the spot, and whose rivalry supplies her with the means of
livelihood. Ascanio now appears in search of his love, and is directed by
Morpheus, at the hest of Juno, to seek out a certain hermit, who will be
able to advise him. In the meantime, however, an unexpected complication
has arisen. Apollo, meeting Eurymine in her shepherdess' disguise, has
fallen violently in love, and threatens mischief. To escape from his
pursuit she craves a boon, and having extorted a promise from the
infatuated god, demands that he shall change her into a man. Much
regretting his rash promise, Apollo complies. The next thing that happens
is that the lovers meet. This is distinctly unsatisfactory, but at the
suggestion of the hermit 'three or four Muses' and the 'Charities' or
Graces are called in to help, and by their prayers at length induce Apollo
to relent and restore Eurymine to her original sex. No sooner is this
performed than she is discovered to be the daughter of the hermit, and he
the exiled prince of Lesbos. At this juncture arrives a messenger from the
duke, begging Ascanio to return to court, and adding casually, as it
seems, that should Eurymine happen to be still alive she too will be

Thus we see the threefold weft, Arcadian, courtly, and mythological,
weaving the fantastic web of the earliest of the romantic pastorals. Of
the influence of the drama of Tasso and Guarini there is, indeed, but
little, the plot being in no wise that of orthodox tradition; but shepherd
and ranger are true Arcadians, neither disguised courtiers nor rustic
clowns, as in the Sidneian romance. The author, whoever he was, may have
drawn a hint for his plot from Lyly's _Gallathea_, in which, it will be
remembered, Venus promises to change one of the enamoured maidens into a
man, or else, maybe, direct from the tale of Iphis in Ovid.[316] As to the
sources of the other elements, it will be sufficient for our purpose to
note that the verse portions of the play are rimed throughout in couplets,
a fact that carries them back towards Peele's _Arraignment_ and the days
previous to Marlowe. The slight comic business is in prose, and the
characters of the three young rogues are directly traceable to the waggish
pages of Lyly.[317]

The piece has the appearance of being a youthful work; the verse is often
irregular and clumsy, and the rimes uncertain. On the whole, however, it
contains not a little that is graceful and pleasing to the ear, while in
description the unknown author shows himself a faithful and not
unsuccessful disciple of Spenser in his idyllic mood. Here, for instance,
are two passages which have been thought to reveal a study of the

    Within this ore-growne Forrest, there is found
    A duskie Cave, thrust lowe into the ground:
    So ugly darke, so dampie and so steepe,
    As for his life the sunne durst never peepe
    Into the entrance: which doth so afright
    The very day, that halfe the world is night.
    Where fennish fogges, and vapours do abound:
    There Morpheus doth dwell within the ground,
    No crowing Cocke, nor waking bell doth call,
    Nor watchfull dogge disturbeth sleepe at all.
    No sound is heard in compasse of the hill,
    But every thing is quiet, whisht, and still.
    Amid this Cave, upon the ground doth lie,
    A hollow plancher, all of Ebonie
    Cover'd with blacke, whereon the drowsie God,
    Drowned in sleepe, continually doth nod. (II. i. 112.)

And again:

    Then in these verdant fields al richly dide,
    With natures gifts, and Floras painted pride:
    There is a goodly spring whose christal streames
    Beset with myrtles, keepe backe Phoebus beames:
    There in rich seates all wrought of Ivory,
    The Graces sit, listening the melodye:
    The warbling Birds doo from their prettie billes
    Unite in concord, as the brooke distilles,
    Whose gentle murmure with his buzzing noates
    Is as a base unto their hollow throates.
    Garlands beside they weare upon their browes,
    Made of all sorts of flowers earth allowes:
    From whence such fragrant sweet perfumes arise,
    As you would sweare that place is Paradise. (V. i. 104.)

The same influence may perhaps be traced in slighter sketches, such as the

                                grassie bed
    With sommers gawdie dyaper bespred. (II. i. 55.)

Here is a passage in another strain, which culminates in a touch of
haunting melody that Spenser himself might have envied:

    I marvell that a rusticke shepheard dare
    With woodmen thus audaciously compare?
    Why, hunting is a pleasure for a King,
    And Gods themselves sometime frequent the thing.
    Diana with her bowe and arrowes keene,
    Did often use the Chace, in Forrests greene.
    And so alas, the good Athenian knight,
    And swift Acteon herein tooke delight:
    And Atalanta the Arcadian dame,
    Conceiv'd such wondrous pleasure in the game,
    That with her traine of Nymphs attending on,
    She came to hunt the Bore of Calydon. (I. i. 318.)

We have also the introduction of an Echo scene--the earliest, I suppose,
in English. A notable feature of the play, on the other hand, are the
songs, which are in some cases of rare excellence, and certain of which
bear a resemblance to those found in Lyly's plays. In the lines sung by

    Ye sacred Fyres, and powers above,
    Forge of desires working love,
    Cast downe your eye, cast downe your eye
    Upon a Mayde in miserie--(I. i. 131.)

there is a subtlety of sound rare even in the work of lyrists of
acknowledged merit. Again, there is a fine swing in the song:

    Round about, round about, in a fine Ring a:
    Thus we daunce, thus we daunce, and thus we sing a.
    Trip and go, too and fro[319], over this Greene a:
    All about, in and out, for our brave Queene a. (II. ii. 105.)

The best of these songs, however, and indeed the gem of the whole play, is
undoubtedly the duet of the shepherd and the ranger, as they call upon
Eurymine, with its striking crescendo of antiphonal effect:

    _Gemulo._ As little Lambes lift up their snowie sides,
    When mounting Larke salutes the gray-eyed morne--

    _Silvio._ As from the Oaken leaves the honie glides,
    Where Nightingales record upon the thorne--

    _Ge._ So rise my thoughts--

    _Sil._                      So all my sences cheere--

    _Ge._ When she surveyes my flocks--

    _Sil._                             And she my Deare.

    _Ge._ Eurymine!

    _Sil._      Eurymine!

    _Ge._            Come foorth!

    _Sil._              Come foorth!

    _Ge._                  Come foorth and cheere these plaines!

    _Both._ Eurymine, come foorth and cheere these plaines--

    _Sil._ The Wood-mans Love--

    _Ge._                 And Lady of the Swaynes[320] (IV. ii. 39.)

Not long after the appearance of the _Maid's Metamorphosis_ there was
written a play entitled _The Fairy Pastoral, or the Forest of Elves_,
which is preserved in a manuscript belonging to the Duke of Devonshire,
and was printed as long ago as 1824 by Joseph Haslewood, for the Roxburghe
Club. The author was William Percy, third son of Henry, eighth Earl of
Northumberland, and the friend of Barnabe Barnes at Oxford, but of whose
life, beyond the facts of its obscurity and seeming misery, little or
nothing is known. He left several manuscript plays, of which the present
at least, dated 1603[321] at 'Wolves Hill, my Parnassus,' possesses
neither interest nor merit. It is an amateurish performance, partly in
prose, partly in verse, either blank or rimed in couplets. Where the
author adopts verse as a vehicle, his language becomes crabbed and
ungrammatical in its endeavour to accommodate itself to the unwonted
restraint of metre, which it nevertheless fails to do. It is also apt to
be laden to the point of obscurity with strange verbal mintage of the
author's own. The plot is not strictly pastoral at all, the only
characters that supply anything traditional in this line being the fairy
hunters and huntresses. Oberon, having heard that Hypsiphyle, the princess
of Elvida or the Forest of Elves, neglects her charge and suffers the
woods and quarry to decay, sends Orion to take over the government and
reform the abuses. The princess refuses to resign her authority, and a
hunting contest ensues, in which, though she is vanquished, she in her
turn overcomes her victor, and finally shares with him the fairy throne.
While this plot is in action three careless huntresses play tricks on
their enamoured hunters, and, being fooled in their turn, at last consent
to reward the service of their lovers. The scenes are spun out by a thread
of broad farce, supported by the fairy children, their schoolmaster, and
his wench. Some of the obscenity of this part may be elaborated from
passages in the _Maid's Metamorphosis_. The piece has a prologue for
representation at court, but it is most unlikely that it ever had that
honour. It is from beginning to end a graceless and mirthless composition.

Passing over the _Faithful Shepherdess_ in 1609, we come to a play of a
very different order from the last, namely, Phineas Fletcher's
_Sicelides_, a piscatorial, written for presentation before King James at
Cambridge in 1614-5, though he left without seeing it. It was acted before
the University at King's College, on March 13, and printed,
surreptitiously it would appear, in 1631[322]. It is not easy to account
for the neglect which has usually fallen to the lot of this play at the
hands of critics[323]. No doubt among writers generally it has shared the
neglect commonly bestowed on pastorals, while among those more
particularly concerned with our present subject it has possibly been
overlooked as being piscatory. The fisher-poem, however, as we have
already seen, is merely a variant of the pastoral, and must be included
under the same general heading, while the play itself has no less poetic
merit, and is certainly far more entertaining than the piscatory eclogues
of the same author. The scene, as the title implies, is laid in Sicily,
which was natural enough, or indeed inevitable, in the case of a writer
who would himself in all confidence have pointed to Theocritus as the
fountain-head of his inspiration.

Perindus loves Glaucilla, the daughter of Glaucus and Circe, and his
affection is returned. In consequence, however, of an oracle he feigns
indifference towards her, and though heart-sick when alone, meets her with
mockery when she pleads her love. Meanwhile Perindus' sister, Olinda, is
courted by Glaucilla's brother, Thalander, to whose suit, however, she
turns a deaf ear, and at last bids him leave the country. He does so, but
soon returns in disguise, resolved on winning her. She in the meantime has
relented of her coldness, and is pining for his love. An opportunity soon
offers itself for his purpose. By mistake or through ignorance she plucks
the Hesperian apples in the sacred grove, an offence for which she is
condemned to be offered as a sacrifice to a monster who inhabits a cave on
the shore, and is known by the name of Maleorchus. Andromeda-like, she is
bound to a rock, and the orc is in the very act of rushing upon its prey,
when Thalander interposes and succeeds in slaying the monster. Meanwhile
Cosma--'a light nymph of Messina,' who replaces the 'wanton nymph of
Corinth' of the Arcadian cast--has fallen in love with Perindus, and,
determining to get rid at a stroke both of his sister Olinda and his
mistress Glaucilla, gives the former a poison under pretence of a
love-cure. Glaucilla hearing of this, and suspecting the supposed philtre,
mingles with it an antidote, so that when Olinda drinks it she only falls
into a death-like trance. Hereupon Cosma accuses Glaucilla of substituting
a poison for the philtre. She is condemned to be cast from the cliffs, but
Perindus comes forward and claims to die in her place. He is actually cast
from the rocks, but falling into the sea is rescued by two fishermen.
These, we may notice, are borrowed from the twenty-first idyl of
Theocritus, and supply, together with Cosma's page and lovers, a comic
under-plot to the play. Olinda now revives, Thalander discovering her love
for him reveals himself, and Perindus' oracle being fulfilled, all ends
happily, the festivities being crowned by the entirely unexpected and
uncalled-for return of Tyrinthus, the father of Perindus and Olinda, who
had been carried off long before by pirates.

This somewhat complex plot, the dependence of which on the Italian
pastoral is evident, is padded with a good deal of farce, but though the
construction never evinces any great power on the part of the author, it
is not on the whole inadequate. The verse is in great part rimed in
couplets, and there are frequent attempts at epigrammatic effect, which at
times lead to some obscurity. The language betrays, as in the case of the
author's eclogues, a pseudo-archaism, which points, particularly in such
phrases as 'doe ycleape,' to a perhaps unfortunate study of Spenser.
Occasionally we meet with topical allusions, for instance the thrust at
Taylor put into the mouth of the rude Cancrone:

    Farewell ye rockes and seas, I thinke yee'l shew it
    That Sicelie affords a water-Poet. (II. vi.)

The stealing of the Hesperian apples, and the penalty entailed, appear to
be imitated from the breaking of Pan's tree in Browne's _Britannia's
Pastorals_, as does also the devotion and rescue of Perindus[324]. The orc
probably owes its origin, directly or indirectly, to Ariosto, and the
influence of the _Metamorphoses_ is likewise, as so often, present. The
following is perhaps a rather favourable specimen of the verse, but many
short passages and phrases of merit might be quoted:

    The Oxe now feeles no yoke, all labour sleepes,
    The soule unbent, this as her play-time keepes,
    And sports it selfe in fancies winding streames,
    Bathing his thoughts in thousand winged dreames ...
    Only love waking rests and sleepe despises,
    Sets later then the sunne, and sooner rises.
    With him the day as night, the night as day,
    All care, no rest, all worke, no holy-day.
    How different from love is lovers guise!
    He never opes, they never shut their eyes. (III. vi.)

Ten years at least, and probably more, intervened before the next pastoral
that has survived appeared on the stage. This is a somewhat wild
production, of small merit, though of some historical interest, entitled
_The Careless Shepherdess._ It was printed many years after its original
production, namely in 1656, and then purported to be written by 'T. G. Mr.
of Arts,' who was identified with Thomas Goffe by Kirkman; nor has this
ascription ever been challenged. Goffe was resident till 1620 at Oxford,
where his classical tragedies were performed, after which he held the
living of East Clandon in Surrey till his death in July, 1629. It is
probably to these later years that his attempt at pastoral belongs, but
the actual date of composition must rest upon conjecture. It was, we are
informed on the title-page, performed before their majesties (at
Whitehall, the prologue adds), and also publicly at Salisbury Court, the
playhouse in the Strand, opened in 1629. Consequently the 'praeludium,'
the scene of which is laid in the new theatre, must belong to the last
months of the author's life[325]. The question of the date is interesting
principally on account of certain lines which bear a somewhat striking
resemblance to those which stand at the opening of Jonson's _Sad

    This was her wonted place, on these green banks
    She sate her down, when first I heard her play
    Unto her lisning sheep; nor can she be
    Far from the spring she's left behinde. That Rose
    I saw not yesterday, nor did that Pinke
    Then court my eye; She must be here, or else
    That gracefull Marygold wo'd shure have clos'd
    Its beauty in her withered leaves, and that
    Violet too wo'd hang its velvet head
    To mourn the absence of her eyes[326]. (V. vii.)

The general poetic merit of the piece is, except for these lines, slight,
while the songs and lyrical passages, which are rather freely
interspersed, are almost all wooden and unmusical. Such interest as the
play possesses is dependent on the plot. We have the conventional four
characters: Arismena, the careless shepherdess, her lover Philaritus, and
Castarina, whose affections lean towards the last, though she does not
object to hold out some hope to her lover Lariscus. Philaritus is the son
of Cleobulus, who is described as 'a gentleman of Arcadia,' and opposes
his son's marriage with the daughter of a mere shepherd to the point of
disowning him, whereupon the lover dons the pastoral garb, and so
continues his suit to his unresponsive mistress. Castarina meanwhile
informs her lover that she will show no favour to any suitor until the
return of her banished father, Paromet. Both swains are of course in
despair at the cruelty of their loves, but the behaviour of the nymphs is
throughout marked by a certain sanity of feeling, which contrasts with the
exaggerated devotions, and yet more exaggerated iciness, of their Italian
predecessors. Philaritus, in the hope of rousing Arismena to jealousy,
feigns love to Castarina, who readily meets his advances. He is so far
successful that he awakes his mistress to the fact that she really loves
him, but she determines to play the same trick upon him by feigning in her
turn to love Lariscus. This has the immediate effect of making Philaritus
challenge his supposed rival, who, having witnessed his pretended advances
to Castarina, eagerly responds. Their meeting is, however, interrupted, in
the one tolerably good scene in the play, by the appearance of the two
shepherdesses, who threaten to slay one another unless their lovers
desist. Arismena's coldness, it may be mentioned, has been shaken by
Philaritus having rescued her from the pursuit of a satyr, and the two
maidens now consent to make return for the long suit of their lovers.
While, however, they are yet in the first transport of joy, a troop of
satyrs appear, and carry off the girls by force, leaving the lovers to a
despair rendered all the more bitter for Philaritus by the announcement
that his father relents of his anger, and is willing to countenance his
marriage with Arismena. After a vain search for traces of their loves the
swains return home, where they are met by the same satyrs, still guarding
their captives. They offer to run at them, when the two leaders discover
themselves as the fathers respectively of Philaritus and Arismena. No
satisfactory account of their motive for this outrage is offered, for
while they are disputing of the matter the other satyrs, supposed to be
their servants in disguise, suddenly disappear with the girls.
Consternation follows, and great preparations are made for pursuit.
Arismena and Castarina, however, apparently escape from their captors, for
we next find them sleeping quietly in an arbour. Again a satyr enters, and
carries off Arismena, whom Castarina on waking follows to the dwelling of
the satyrs, where she finds her friend being courted by her captor.
Meanwhile the rash pursuers have fallen into the hands of the pursued, and
are brought in bound. Matters appear desperate, and the nymphs are
actually brought on the stage apparently dead and lying in their coffins.
They soon, however, show themselves to be alive, and the chief satyr
reveals himself as the banished Paromet, who has been endeavouring to
induce Arismena to marry him, in the hope thereby to get his sentence of
banishment revoked. This, it appears, has already been done, and all now
ends happily.

In this chaotic medley it will be observed that the plot is twice ravelled
and loosed before the final solution. In the frequent _enlèvements_ by the
satyrs, as in the manner in which these deceive their employer, the story
distantly recalls Ingegneri's _Danza di Venere_. One feature of importance
is the comic character Graculus, who is well fooled by the pretended
satyrs, and has an amusing though coarse part in prose. He seems to owe
his origin to the broad humours of the vulgar stage, though he may be in a
measure imitated from the roguish pages of Lyly, and so be the forerunner
of Randolph's Dorylas. The tradition of the comic scenes, usually written
in prose, was in process of crystallization, and from the _Maid's
Metamorphosis_ we can trace it onwards through the present piece, and such
slighter compositions as the _Converted Robber_ and Tatham's _Love Crowns
the End_, to Randolph and even later writers. In the present case it was
no innovation, nor is there any reason to suppose that it was unpopular
with the audience.[327] What was an innovation was the 'gentleman of
Arcadia,' a character for which the Spanish romance was without doubt
responsible. In the Italian pastoral proper the shepherds are themselves
the aristocracy of Arcadia, the introduction of such social hierarchy as
is implied in the phrase being a point of chivalric and courtly tradition.
Cleobulus, however, as well as his son Philaritus, is in fact purely
Arcadian in character. Among other personae we find Apollo and the Sibyls,
introduced for the sake of an oracle; Silvia, who more or less fills the
office of priestess of Pan, and leads the shepherds to his shrine in a
sort of masque; and a very superfluous 'Bonus Genius' of Castarina. This
mythological element, however, though suggested, is not, any more than the
courtly, put to the fore. I quote Silvia's song as the best example of the
lyrical verse of the play:

    Come Shepherds come, impale your brows
    With Garlands of the choicest flowers
                     The time allows.
    Come Nymphs deckt in your dangling hair,
    And unto Sylvia's shady Bowers
                     With hast repair:
    Where you shall see chast Turtles play,
    And Nightingales make lasting May,
    As if old Time his youthfull minde,
    To one delightful season had confin'd. (II. i.)

There is one thing that can be said in favour of the pastoral written by
Ralph Knevet for the Society of Florists at Norwich, namely, that while
adhering mainly to tradition, it is not indebted to any individual works.
Of the author of _Rhodon and Iris_, as the play was called, little is
known beyond the dates of his birth and death, 1600 and 1671, and the bare
facts that he was at one time connected in the capacity of tutor or
chaplain with the family of Sir William Paston of Oxmead, and after the
restoration held the living of Lyng in Norfolk. The play appears to have
been performed at the Florists' feast on May 3, 1631, and was printed the
same year. The object the author had in view was the characterization of
certain flowers in the persons of nymphs and shepherds; other characters
are allegorical personifications, while Flora herself plays the part of
the pastoral god from the machine. The weakness of the plot, as in so many
cases, lies in the existence of two main threads of interest, whose
connexion is wholly fortuitous, and neither of which is clearly
subordinated to the other. In the present case no attempt is made to
interweave the chivalric motive, in which Rhodon stands as champion of the
oppressed Violetta, with the pastoral motive of his love for Iris. It is,
moreover, hardly possible to credit the play with a plot at all, since one
thread is cut short by a _dea ex machina_ of the most mechanical sort,
while in the other there is never any complication at all. The following
is the outline of the action. The proud shepherd Martagan has encroached
on and wasted the lands of Violetta, the sister of Rhodon, to whom she
appeals for protection. The latter determines to demand reparation of
Martagan, and, in case of his refusal, to offer battle on his sister's
behalf. In the meantime, warned, as we are told, by the stars, he has
abandoned his love Eglantine, and incontinently fallen in love with Iris.
The forsaken nymph seeks the aid of a witch, Poneria (Wickedness), who
with her associate Agnostus (Ignorance) is supporting the pretensions of
Martagan. Poneria supplies Eglantine with a poison under pretence of a
love-philtre, with instructions to administer it to Rhodon disguised as
his love Iris, which she succeeds in doing. Meanwhile Martagan has refused
to come to terms, and either side prepares for war. Violetta and Iris send
Rhodon charms and salves for wounds by the hand of their servant Panace
(All-heal), who happily arrives just as he has drunk the poison, and is in
time to cure him. Rhodon now prepares for battle under the belief that
Iris has sought his death, but being assured of her faith, he vows a
double vengeance on his foes, to whose deceit he next attributes the
attempt. The forces are about to join battle when, in response to the
prayers of the nymphs, Flora appears and bids the warriors hold. Martagan
she commands to refrain from the usurped territory, and charges his
followers to keep the peace and abide by her award. Poneria and Agnostus
she banishes from the land, and Eglantine for seeking unlawful means to
her love is condemned to ten years' penance in a 'vestal Temple.' Thus
Rhodon is free to celebrate his nuptials with Iris, though the matter is
only referred to in the epilogue.

The plot, it will be seen, is anything but that of a pure pastoral. The
large chivalric or at least martial element belongs less to the courtly
and Spanish type than to that of works like _Menaphon_, or even _Daphnis
and Chloe_. There is also a comic motive between Clematis and her fellow
servant Gladiolus, which turns on the wardrobe and cosmetics of Eglantine
and Poneria, and belongs to the tradition of court and city. The
allegorical characters find their nearest parallel in those of the
_Queen's Arcadia_.[328]

This amateurish effort is composed for the most part in a strangely
unmetrical attempt at blank verse. It differs from the doggerel of the
_Fairy Pastoral_ in making no apparent attempt at scansion at all, and so
at least escapes the crabbedness of Percy's language. It is not easy to
see how the author came to write in this curious compromise between verse
and prose, since it is more or less freely interspersed with passages both
in blank verse and in couplets, which, while exhibiting no conspicuous
poetical qualities, are both metrical and pleasing enough. Take, for
example, the lines from Eglantine's lament:

    Since that the gods will not my woe redresse,
    Since men are altogether pittilesse,
    Ye silent ghosts unto my plaints give eare;
    Give ear, I say, ye ghosts, if ghosts can heare,
    And listen to my plaints that doe excell
    The dol'rous tune of ravish'd Philomel.
    Now let Ixions wheele stand still a while,
    Let Danaus daughters now surcease their toyle,
    Let Sisyphus rest on his restlesse stone,
    Let not the Apples flye from Plotas sonne,
    And let the full gorg'd Vultur cease to teare
    The growing liver of the ravisher;
    Let these behold my sorrows and confesse
    Their paines doe farre come short of my distresse. (II. iii.)

Or take Clematis' prayer for her mistress Eglantine:

    Thou gentle goddesse of the woods and mountains,
    That in the woods and mountains art ador'd,
    The Maiden patronesse of chaste desires,
    Who art for chastity renouned most,
    Tresgrand Diana, who hast power to cure
    The rankling wounds of Cupids golden arrowes,
    Thy precious balsome deigne thou to apply
    Unto the heart of wofull Eglantine. (I. iii.)

Or yet again, in lighter mood, Acanthus' boast:

    When Sol shall make the Easterne Seas his bed,
    When Wolves and Sheepe shall be together fed,...
    When Venus shal turn Chast, and Bacchus become sober,
    When fruit in April's ripe, that blossom'd in October,...
    When Art shal be esteem'd, and golden pelfe laid down,
    When Fame shal tel all truth, and Fortune cease to frown,
    To Cupids yoke then I my necke will bow;
    Till then, I will not feare loves fatall blow. (I. ii.)

Yet the author of the above passages--for there is no reason to suppose a
second hand, and the play was published under his own direction--chose to
write the main portion of his poem in a measure of this sort:

    Oh impotent desires, allay the sad consort
    Of a sublime Fortune, whose most ambitious flames
    Disdaine to burne in simple Cottages,
    Loathing a hard unpolish'd bed;
    But Coveting to shine beneath a Canopy
    Of rich Sydonian purple, all imbroider'd
    With purest gold, and orientall Pearles. (I. iii.)

Why he should have so chosen I cannot presume to say; whether from haste
and carelessness, or from a deliberate intention of writing a sort of
measured prose; but it was certainly from no inability to be metrical. The
occasional lyrics, moreover, are not without merit; the following lines,
sung by Eglantine, are perhaps the most pleasing in the play:

    Upon the blacke Rocke of despaire
      My youthfull joyes are perish'd quite;
    My hopes are vanish'd into ayre,
      My day is turn'd to gloomy night;
    For since my Rhodon deare is gone,
      Hope, light, nor comfort, have I none.
    A Cell where griefe the Landlord is
      Shall be my palace of delight,
    Where I will wooe with votes and sighes
      Sweet death to end my sorrowes quite;
    Since I have lost my Rhodon deare,
      Deaths fleshlesse armes why should I feare? (I. iii.)

To treat of Walter Montagu's _Shepherds' Paradise_ at a length at all
commensurate with its own were to set a premium on dull prolixity; there
are, however, in spite of its restricted merits, a few points which give
it a claim upon our attention. A brief analysis will suffice. The King of
Castile negotiates a marriage between his son and the princess of Navarre.
The former, however, is in love with a lady of the court named Fidamira,
who repulses his advances in favour of Agenor, a friend of the prince's.
The prince therefore resolves to leave the court and seek the Shepherds'
Paradise, a sequestered vale inhabited by a select and courtly company,
and induces Agenor to accompany him on his expedition. In their absence
the king himself makes love to Fidamira, who, however, escapes, and
likewise makes her way to the Shepherds' Paradise in disguise. Meanwhile,
Belesa, the princess of Navarre, misliking of the proposed match with a
man she has never seen, has withdrawn from her father's court to the same
pastoral retreat, where she has at once been elected queen of the courtly
company. On the arrival of the prince and his friend they both fall in
love with her, but the prince's suit is seconded by the disguised
Fidamira, and soon takes a favourable turn. At this point the King of
Castile arrives in pursuit, together with an old councillor, who proceeds
to reveal the relationship of the various characters. Fidamira and Belesa,
it appears, are sisters, and Agenor their brother. The marriage of the
prince and Belesa is of course solemnized; the king renews his suit to
Fidamira, but she prefers to remain in Paradise, where she is chosen
perpetual queen[329].

The plot, it will be observed, belongs entirely to the school of the
Hispano-French romance, and the style, intricate, involved, and conceited,
in which this prose pastoral is written betrays the same origin. Moreover,
as Euphuism, objectionable enough in the romance, becomes ten times more
intolerable on the stage, so too with the language of the pastoral-amorous
tale of courtly chivalry. There are, however, incidental passages of
verse which in their own rather intricate and ergotic style are of greater
merit than the prose, though that is not saying much. The close dependence
of the piece upon the chivalric tradition serves to differentiate it from
the majority of those we have to consider; while certain external
circumstances have combined to give it a fortuitous reputation.

One of Montagu's passports to fame is an allusion in Suckling's _Session
of the Poets_, from which it is evident that the style of the play
attracted notice of an uncomplimentary character even among the writer's

    Wat Montagu now stood forth to his trial,
    And did not so much as suspect a denial;
    But witty Apollo asked him first of all,
    If he understood his own pastoral!

The _Shepherds' Paradise_ is, however, best remembered on account of
circumstances attending its performance. It was acted, as we learn from a
letter of John Chamberlain's, on January 8, 1632-3, by the queen and her
ladies, who filled male and female parts alike. Almost simultaneously
appeared Prynne's famous attack on all things connected with the stage, in
which was one particularly scurrilous passage concerning women who
appeared on the boards. As this, of course, was not the practice of the
public stage, it was evident that the author must have had some specific
instance in mind, and though it is not certain whether there was any
personal intention in the allusion, the cap was made to fit, and for the
supposed insult to the queen Prynne lost his ears.

It is presumably at this point that Randolph's _Amyntas_ should appear in
a chronological survey of English pastoralism.

Of the 'Pastoral of Florimene,' presented at the queen's command before
the king at Whitehall, on December 21, 1635, we possess the plot only, and
it is even doubtful in what language the piece was composed[330]. The
songs in the introduction and the _intermedî_ were undoubtedly in French,
and the prologue by Fame in English; the rest is uncertain, but the French
forms of the names, and the fact that it was represented by 'les filles
françaises de la Reine' point in the same direction. The plot, which
belongs entirely to the court-pastoral type of the French romances, only
influenced in the _dénoûment_ by mythological tradition, appears to be
original in the same degree as most other pastoral inventions, that is, to
exhibit fresh variations on stock situations.[331] The relation of the
characters is involved, and not easily made out from the printed account
of the piece, but the outline of the plot is as follows. The shepherdess
Florimene is loved by the Delian shepherd Anfrize, who has long been her
servant, and the Arcadian stranger Filene, who in order to gain access to
the object of his devotion has disguised himself in female attire, and
passes under the name of Dorine. In this disguise he is courted by
Florimene's brother, Aristee. Filene, however, was loved in Arcadia by the
nymph Licoris, who has followed him disguised in shepherd's weeds.
Aristee, in order to sound the mind of his love, the supposed Dorine (i.e.
Filene), disguises himself in his sister Florimene's dress, and in this
garb receives to his astonishment the declaration of Filene's love.
Aristee immediately leaves him, and turns his affections towards the
faithful Lucinde, who has long pined for his love. She, however, has now
fallen in love with Lycoris in her male attire, and rejects the advances
of the penitent Aristee, continuing to do so even after she has discovered
her mistake. Lycoris, hearing of the disguise of Filene, seeks Florimene
at the moment when she is most incensed on discovering the deception, and
begs her good offices with Filene, which are readily promised. Florimene
accordingly rejects Filene when he presents himself, but he refuses to
show any favour to Lycoris until she shall have obtained his pardon from
Florimene. The latter is really in love with Filene all the time, and when
Lycoris comes to plead his cause, she readily grants her audience. Filene
now enters, and is about to pass his vows to Florimene when they are
interrupted by Anfrize, who in a fit of jealousy offers to kill Filene.
This attempt Florimene prevents with her sheep-hook, and declares that
they must all seek the award of Diana, by whose decision she promises to
abide. The goddess then appears. Lucinde she decrees shall restore her
love to Aristee; Lycoris, she informs the company, is own sister to
Filene, whose love she must therefore renounce. She then bids Anfrize and
Filene plead their cause, which they do, and she declares in favour of the
latter's suit, commanding at the same time that the unsuccessful Anfrize
shall wed the forlorn Lycoris. Thus all are happy, so far as having their
love affairs arranged by a third party can be supposed to make them.
Florimene, who had retired, perhaps to don her bridal robes, now returns
to complete the _tableau_. 'Here the Heavens open, and there appeare many
deities, who in their songs expresse their agreements to these
marriages'--which was, no doubt, thought very satisfactory by the

The _Shepherds' Holiday_ is the most typical, as it is on the whole the
most successful, of those pastorals which exhibit the blending of the
Arcadian and courtly elements. It was printed in 1635, and the title-page
informs us that it was 'Written by J. R.,' initials which there is
satisfactory evidence for regarding as those of Joseph Rutter, the
translater of Corneille's _Cid_, who appears to have been in some way
attached to the households both of Sir Kenelm Digby and the Earl of
Dorset. The play was acted before Charles and his queen at Whitehall. The
following analysis will sufficiently express its nature.

At the opening of the play we find Thirsis grieving for the loss of
Silvia, a strange shepherdess who appeared amongst the pastoral
inhabitants of Arcadia some while previously, and has recently vanished,
carried off, as her lover supposes, by a satyr. Leaving him to his lament,
the play introduces us to the huntress Nerina, courted by the rich
shepherd Daphnis, whose suit is favoured by her father, and the poor swain
Hylas. Daphnis is in his turn loved by the nymph Dorinda. In a scene
between Hylas and Nerina she upbraids him with having once stolen a kiss
of her, and dismisses him in seeming anger; immediately he is gone,
however, delivering herself of a soliloquy in which she confesses her
love for him, which her father's commands forbid her to reveal. Daphnis,
finding her cold to his suit, seeks the help of Alcon, who supplies him
with a magic glass, in which whoso looks shall not choose but love the
giver. In reality it is poisoned, and upon his giving it to Nerina she
faints, and in appearance dies, after obtaining as her last request her
father's favour to her love for Hylas. The scene now shifts to court.
Silvia, who it appears is none other than the daughter of King Euarchus,
recounts how she had fled owing to the unwelcome suit of Cleander, the son
of the old councillor Eubulus, and on account of her love of the shepherd
Thirsis, whom she had seen and heard at the annual show which the country
folk were wont to perform at court. After a while, however, Cleander had
discovered her retreat and forced her to return. The shepherds are now
again about to present their rustic pageant, and she takes the opportunity
of sending a private message, seeking an interview with Thirsis. Meanwhile
Eubulus has explained to his son Cleander how Silvia is really his own
daughter, and consequently Cleander's sister. An oracle had led the king
to believe that if a son were born to him harm would ensue, and therefore
commanded that in that case the child should be destroyed. A son was born,
but Eubulus substituted his own daughter, whom he feigned dead, and
carried away the king's son with a necklace round his neck, intending to
commit him to the care of some shepherds, but being surprised by robbers
fled leaving the child to its fate. Returning now to the shepherds, the
play shows us Daphnis and Alcon seeking the tomb of Nerina with a
restorative. The glass, it seems, was intentionally poisoned by Alcon, who
adopted this elaborate device for placing the nymph in the power of her
lover should she continue obdurate. They restore her, and finding her
still unmoved by his suit Daphnis threatens her with violence. Her cries,
however, attract the swains, who arrive with Hylas at their head. Daphnis,
overcome with shame at the exposure of his villany, is glad to find a
friend in the despised Dorinda, while Nerina rewards her faithful Hylas in
accordance with her father's promise. Meanwhile at court Silvia and
Thirsis have been surprised in their secret interview, and both doomed to
die by the anger of the king. The necklace on Thirsis' neck, however,
leads to the discovery of his identity as the king's son, and all ends

In point of dramatic construction the first three acts leave little to be
desired; as is so often the case, the weakness of the plot appears in the
unravelling. The double solution of the two threads, neither of which is
properly subordinated, and which are wholly independent, is a serious blot
on the dramatic merit of the play. The courtly element, moreover, is but
clumsily grafted on to the pastoral stock. Throughout the debts to
predecessors, whether of language or incident, are fairly obvious. The
verse in which the play is written is adequate and well sustained, and if
its dependence on Daniel is evident, no less so is the advance in
flexibility and expression which the language, as handled by the lesser
poets, has made in the course of the twenty years or so that separate the
_Shepherds' Holiday_ from _Hymen's Triumph_. Rutter's verse also displays
a certain nervousness of its own which is wanting in the model, though it
preserves the intermixture of blank verse with irregular rimes which
Daniel affected. These peculiarities may be illustrated in a passage which
opens with a reminiscence of Spenser:

    All as the shepherd is, such be his flocks,
    So pine and languish they, as in despair
    He pines and languishes; their fleecy locks
    Let hang disorder'd, as their master's hair,
    Since she is gone that deck'd both him and them.
    And now what beauty can there be to live,
    When she is lost that did all beauty give? (I. i.)

Again the opening situation recalls that of _Hymen's Triumph_, a
resemblance rendered all the more striking by the retention of the actual
names, Silvia and Thirsis. In like manner the name and character of
Dorinda are taken from the _Pastor fido_. From the _Aminta_, of course,
comes Nerina's description of how her lover stole a kiss, though little of
the sensuous charm of the original survives; from the _Pastor fido_ her
confession of love as soon as she finds herself alone. The opening lines
of this speech are, indeed, a direct translation:

    Alas! my Hylas, my beloved soul,
    Durst she whom thou hast call'd cruel Nerina
    But speak her thoughts, thou wouldst not think her so;
    To thee she is not cruel, but to herself.[333] (II. iii.)

But these borrowings are by no means unskilful, so far at least as the
construction is concerned. The discovery by Cleander that Silvia is his
own sister, and the instant effect of the discovery in destroying his
love, are of course commonplaces of the minor pastoral drama of Italy, and
also occur in some of the plays we have been examining in this chapter.
Verbal reminiscences of the _Aminta_ also are scattered through the play,
for instance, the lines in which Nerina protests her hatred of all who
seek to win her from her state of unfettered virginity, protestations
particularly fatuous, seeing that she is in love with Hylas throughout.
Her father not unreasonably retorts:

    Yes, you have made a vow, I know, which is,
    Whilst you are young, you will have all the youth
    To follow you with lies and flatteries.
    Fool, they'll deceive you; when this colour fades,
    Which will not always last, and you go crooked,
    As if you sought your beauty, lost i' th' ground,
    Then they will laugh at you! (II. v.)

With which he goes off to attend to the shearing of his sheep, one of
those wholly unnecessary operations which the less skilful pastoralists
make it a virtue to thrust upon our attention. The scene between Nerina,
Daphnis, and Dorinda, a sort of three-cornered love-suit, may possibly
have suggested to Cowley the best scene in the play which next claims our

Cowley's _Love's Riddle_, published in 1638, but written two or three
years earlier, is the work of a boy of sixteen, and though it serves amply
to prove the precocity of its author, it does not therefore follow that it
is itself possessed of any conspicuous merit. To find in it passages of
genuine observation and love of nature, as one of Cowley's critics
professes to do, is unpardonably partial; to grumble with another at not
finding them is futile; even with a third to see in the piece 'a boy's
conception of Sicilian life' is, to say the least, unnecessary. Cowley
had, indeed, a great deal too much of 'the precocious humour of the
world-wise boy' to put forward his play as anything of the kind; he was
perfectly aware that it was an absolutely unreal fantasy, based entirely
on convention and imitation, the sole merit of which was the more or less
clever manner in which borrowing, reminiscence, and tradition were
interwoven and combined. The plot is a mixture of the pastoral and
courtly, or at least aristocratic, types, not uninfluenced by the rustic
or comic, which, like the chivalric, is no doubt of Sidneian origin.

Calidora, the daughter of noble parents in Sicily, retires among the
shepherd folk disguised in man's apparel, in order, as we only learn at
the end of the play, to escape from the violence of Aphron, one of her
suitors. Her other suitor, Philistus, as well as her brother Florellus and
Philistus' sister Clariana, all set off in search of her, while Aphron,
finding her fled from his pursuit, wanders aimlessly about, having lost
his reason. Thus the courtly characters are all brought in contact with
the country swains, among whom Palaemon courts the disdainful Hylace,
daughter of the crabbed Melarnus and the old hag Truga. Other pastoral
characters are old Aegon and his supposed daughter Bellula, and Alupis,
who fills at once the rôles of the 'merry' shepherd and the 'wise.' On
Callidora's appearance in boy's attire among the shepherd folk Hylace and
Bellula alike fall in love with her, while in his search for his sister
Florellus falls in love with Bellula. This gives occasion for a scene of
some merit between Callidora, Bellula, and Florellus, in which, after
vainly disputing of their loves, they form a sort of triple alliance under
the name of Love's Riddle. A similar scene could obviously be worked with
Callidora, Hylace, and Palaemon, and it is perhaps to Cowley's credit that
he has avoided the obvious parallelism. Meanwhile Clariana has met the mad
Aphron without recognizing him, and taking pity on his state brings him
home to cure him, an attempt in which she is successful. He rewards her by
transferring to her his somewhat questionable attentions. Also Alupis,
working on Truga, has tricked her into seeking the marriage of Hylace and
Palaemon; a plan, however, which is upset by Hylace and Melarnus.
Florellus in the meantime becomes impatient at finding a rival in
Bellula's love, and seeks a duel with Callidora. She apparently fails to
recognize her brother, and is forced to fight. They are separated by
Philistus and Bellula. The two girls faint, and are carried by their
lovers into the house where Clariana is nursing Aphron. Callidora's
identity is discovered, and her parents arrive upon the scene. Bellula is
found to be, not, as was supposed, Aegon's daughter, but sister to Aphron,
stolen by pirates in childhood. Aegon makes Palaemon his heir, thereby
removing Melarnus' objection to his suit to Hylace, while the latter and
Bellula, discovering the hopelessness of their love for Callidora, consent
to reward their respective lovers. Aphron, cured and forgiven, is accepted
by Clariana, and thus, all bars removed, the happiness of the four pairs
is secured.

There has been a tendency to exaggerate the merits of this plot. Cowley
shows, indeed, some skill in the ravelling and in the handling of
individual scenes, but in the unravelling he is far from happy, and there
is often an utter lack of motive about his characters. Where the whole
construction, indeed, depends upon no inner necessity, the various
threads, as soon as their interweaving ceases to be necessary to the plot,
fall apart of themselves, without any _dénoûment_, strictly speaking, at
all. Thus Cowley's play has the characteristic faults of immature work,
absence of rational characterization, and want of logical construction.

The verse, though well sustained, is on a singularly tedious level of
mediocrity, while the lyrics introduced are all alike considerably below
the general level. There are seldom more than a few lines together which
possess any distinguishing merit, such as an indulgent editor has found
in Bellula's exclamation when she first falls in love with Callidora:

    How red his cheekes are! so our garden apples
    Looke on that side where the hot Sun salutes them; (I. ii.)

or in the lines with which Callidora prepares to meet death from her
brother's sword:

    As sick men doe their beds, so have I yet
    Injoy'd my selfe, with little rest, much trouble:
    I have beene made the Ball of Love and Fortune,
    And am almost worne out with often playing;
    And therefore I would entertaine my death
    As some good friend whose comming I expected. (V. iii.)

Mr. Gosse once expressed the opinion that Cowley's play is 'a distinct
following without imitation of _The Jealous Lovers_ of Thomas Randolph.'
Exactly what was meant by this phrase it is difficult to tell, but if it
was intended to imply any resemblance between the two pieces its
application is confined to the character of a woman to whom age has not
taught continence, and an incidental hit at the jargon of
astrologers.[334] That Cowley had read _The Jealous Lovers_, published in
1633, is by no means unlikely, for he was certainly acquainted with the
yet unpublished _Amyntas_. This he may perhaps have seen when it was
performed at Whitehall, and he imitated several passages of it in his own
Westminster play. The most important point of connexion is the madness of
Aphron, which is modelled with some closeness on that of Amyntas. Actual
verbal reminiscences are not common, but there can, I think, be little
doubt that the schoolboy has been imitating the half-grotesque,
half-poetic fantasies of the university wit, though he has wholly failed
to achieve his pathos. Again, the speech of Florellus at the opening of
Act III recalls the return both of Corymbus and of Claius in _Amyntas_,
while Cowley is much more likely to have been influenced to lay the scene
of his play in Sicily by Randolph's example than by his reading of
Theocritus, whose influence, if it exists, is of the slightest. Emulation,
rather than imitation, was Cowley's attitude towards his predecessor, and
his means are not always happy. Thus, though the humours of Truga may have
been suggested by the character of Dipsa in the _Jealous Lovers_, she is
probably introduced into Cowley's play as the counterpart of Dorylas in
_Amyntas_. Randolph trod on thin ice in some of the speeches of the
liquorish wag, whose 'years are yet uncapable of love,' but censure will
not stick to the witty knave. On the other hand, Cowley's portrait of
incontinent age in Truga fails wholly of being comic, and appears all the
loathlier for the fact that the author himself was still a mere
schoolboy--though this is, indeed, his best excuse. Other parallels could
be pointed out, but it would be superfluous; convention and petty theft
are the warp and woof of the piece. The satire, which has met with some
praise, is, of course, staled by a hundred poets of the pastoral vein. The
position of Callidora, loved in her disguise by the two girls, recalls
that of many pastoral heroines before and since Daniel's Silvia,
particularly perhaps of the courtly Rosalind loved by the Arcadian Phoebe.
The chivalric admixture is, as usual, traceable to Sidney, and the duel
finds of course an obvious parallel in _Twelfth Night_. The discovery of
Bellula's identity recalls more particularly, perhaps, that of Chloe's in
Longus' romance, or may possibly indicate an acquaintance with Bonarelli's
_Filli di Sciro_, which might also be traced in the attribution to
centaurs of the character long identified with satyrs in pastoral

It is a coincidence, but one significant of the nature of the pastoral
tradition, if such it can be called, that had sprung up on the English
stage, that the next play to claim our notice is again the work of a
schoolboy. _Love in its Extasy_, described on the title-page as 'a kind of
Royall Pastorall,' was written, at the age of seventeen, by a student of
Eton College, whom it has been customary to identify with one William
Peaps.[335] The date of composition is said in the stationer's preface to
have preceded by many years that of publication, 1649, we may perhaps
regard the piece as more or less contemporary with Cowley's juvenile
effort. There is, it is true, one passage,[336] treating of tyrants and
revolutions, which is such as a moderate supporter of 'divine right' might
have been expected to pen in the later days of the civil war; the
publisher's words, however, are unequivocal, and can hardly refer to a
period after 1642.

_Love in its Extasy_ itself cannot, without some straining of the term, be
called a pastoral, though there are certain links serving to connect it
with pastoral tradition. The only excuse, beyond that afforded by the
title-page, for including it in the present category is that several of
the characters, finding it for various reasons inconvenient to appear in
their own shapes, take upon themselves a pastoral disguise; but there is
no hint of any pastoral background to the action, not even the atmosphere
of a rural academy as in Montagu's play. The whole piece, however, is in
the style of the Hispano-French romance, in which pastoral or
pseudo-pastoral plays so large a part. To enter into the plot in detail is
for our present purpose unnecessary. It is apparently original, and,
considered as a romance, would do no small credit to its youthful author.
An exiled king and his lady-love assume the sheep-hook, as do also two
princes and the mistress of one of them, the mistress of the other
appearing in the disguise of a boy. Disguisings, potions, feigned deaths,
and recognitions, or rather revelations of identity, form the staple
elements of the plot. The play is long, the stage crowded, the plot
intricate and elaborated with a superabundance of incident; but it must be
admitted that the attention is held and the interest sustained, even to a
wearisome degree, throughout; that the characters are individualized, and
the action clear. These are no small merits, as any one whose fortune it
has been to wade through any considerable portion of the minor drama will
be ready to acknowledge; while the defects of the piece are those commonly
incident to immature work. The most conspicuous are the want of one
prominent interest, and the lack of definite climax; at least four equally
important threads are kept running through the play, and the dramatic
tension is at an almost constant pitch throughout. These characteristics
are those of the narrative romance and of the novel of adventure
respectively, and are fatal to the success of the dramatic form.

The verse is in a way peculiar. It is intended as blank verse, and it is
true that the licences taken do not exceed those commonly allowed by the
practice of dramatists such as Fletcher, but here they are wholly
unregulated by any natural feeling for metre or rhythm, and the resuit can
hardly be called pleasing. On the other hand, there are a few happy lines,
as where a lover bids his penitent mistress

    Knock at Repentance gate, one tear of thine
    Will easily compell an entrance. (V. ii.)

There are also some passages of forcible vigour, not always subject to
dramatic propriety. Nevertheless, the qualities of life and brightness
displayed are sufficient to induce a belief that had the author begun
writing at a moment more propitious than the eve of the civil war, and
pursued his career on the practical London stage, our drama might have
been the richer by, say, a second Shirley, an addition which those who
know that writer best will probably rate most highly. In any case the
composition must, I think, be held to surpass in genuine qualities
Cowley's flashy precocity.

This will be the most convenient place to mention an anonymous and undated
play entitled _Love's Victory_, extracts from a manuscript of which were
printed in 1853.[337] The style of the piece is not much guide as to the
date, but the play does not appear to be early, in spite of the somewhat
archaic spelling. It is in rime; mostly decasyllabic couplets, but with
free intermixture of alternative rime and frequent lyrical passages. It is
of course difficult to gather much of the plot from the printed extracts,
but so far as it is possible to judge the play appears to have been a
pure pastoral, with Venus and Cupid introduced in the _finale_, while the
situations and characters are those habitual to pastorals, including the
quite superfluous protesting of a not very prepossessing chastity. The
only more original trait is the scene in which the nymphs meet and relate
their love adventures, a rather awkward device for carrying on the
involution of the plot. There is a certain ease in the verse, but on the
whole the poetic merit is small.[338]

We have now passed in review all the regular pastoral plays lying within
our scope. There remain a number of shorter compositions of a similar or
at least analogous nature, as well as a good many masques and other pieces
in which the pastoral element is more or less dominant. These it will for
our present purpose be convenient to consider in connexion with each
other, and without troubling ourselves too much concerning such nice
differences of form as may be found to exist among them.

Chapter VII.

Masques and General Influence


The history of the English masque offers a very interesting study in what
may be called literary morphology. Under the influence of the stage the
early disguisings and spectacular dances developed into a semi-dramatic
kind, intermediate between the literary drama and mere scenic displays,
and recognized as possessing a definite nature and proper limitations of
its own. To this highly individualized form of art the term masque may
often with convenience and propriety be restricted, but all such rigid and
exclusive definitions have this disadvantage, that they tend to make lines
of division appear clearer and more logically convincing than they in fact
usually are, and further that they tempt us to neglect the often numerous
and closely allied specimens which cannot be brought to accommodate
themselves to the abstract type. Those writers who deny that _Comus_ is a
masque are entirely justified from their point of view; it is a question
of classification, and the classification which it is convenient to adopt
may vary according to the nature of the investigation in hand. It must
not, therefore, be thought that I place myself in antagonism to critics
such as Dr. Brotanek for example, if I give to the term masque its widest
possible signification as including not only the regular and highly
developed compositions of the Jonsonian type, but also mere pageants on
the one hand, and what may be called miniature plays on the other; all
dramatic or semi-dramatic pieces, in short, which it is undesirable or
inconvenient to treat along with the regular productions. Approaching the
question as we do, not from the point of view of the evolution of a
particular literary form, but from that of a persistent ideal and
quasi-philosophical tradition, which manifests itself in all manner of
forms and fashions, we have a perfect right to adopt whatever
classification suits our purpose best, provided always that we have a
clear notion what it is we are discussing. I propose, therefore, to treat
in chronological order all those pieces which, owing to their less fully
developed dramatic form, were omitted from the previous chapter. Something
no doubt has been sacrificed by thus separating the regular dramas from
the slighter and more occasional compositions, for in the earlier times
especially these latter serve to fill considerable gaps in the sequence,
and must have had a powerful influence in fashioning that pastoral
tradition to which the pieces we have already considered belong.

The connexion of the pastoral with the masque began very early, and may
well have been more constant than we should be tempted to suppose from the
isolated examples that remain. The union was a natural one, for the
pastoral, whether in its Arcadian or chivalric guise, was well suited to
supply the framework for graceful poetry and elaborate dances alike, while
the rustic and burlesque elements were equally capable of furnishing
matter for the antimasque, when the form had reached that stage of
structural elaboration. The allusive and allegorical features which had
long been traditional in the pastoral likewise suited the topical and
occasional nature of the masque. The connexion, however, with the stricter
forms at least, was never very close, the tendency on the part of the
pastoral to confine itself to a mere external formalism being even more
noticeable here than in the case of the regular drama.

The earliest instance of this connexion of which we have notice is one of
interest in English history. It is none other than the masquerade in which
Henry appeared disguised as a shepherd at Wolsey's feast, which, according
to Shakespeare, was the occasion of his first meeting with Anne Boleyn.
The disguising is attested by the authority of Cavendish and Hall, but it
is clear that the pastoral element was confined to the garb, there being
no indication of anything of the nature of a literary presentation.

The first literary specimen of the kind does not appear till near the
middle of Elizabeth's reign, and even then there is barely an excuse for
classing it as pastoral. The composition in question is the slight
entertainment, to which the name of _The Lady of May_ has been given by
modern critics, composed by Sidney for presentation before Elizabeth
during her visit to Leicester at Wanstead, in May, 1578. It appears to
have been his earliest work. Though not itself a masque in the strict
sense of the word in which we have learnt to use it, the piece contains
the undeveloped germs of most of the later characteristics of the kind.
The Queen in her walks through the grounds came to a spot where the
May-Lady was being courted by a shepherd and a 'foster,' hotly contending
for the prize. The strife was stayed, and, the deserts of either party
being duly set forth, the Lady referred the choice to the Queen, who
decided in favour of the pastoral suitor. A song and music ended the show.
A strongly rustic element is sustained by the Lady's mother and the old
shepherd Dorcas, while a touch of broad burlesque is introduced in the
character of the pedagogue Rombus, who speaks in a style really little
more extravagant than that of Sidney's own _Arcadia_. As in the romance,
at the end of which the piece was first printed in 1598, the occasional
songs are of small merit.

The spring-like freshness that characterizes so much of Peele's best work
breathes deliciously through the polite convention of the _Descensus
Astraeae_, the 'Pageant, borne before M. William Web, Lord Maior of the
Citie of London on the day he tooke his oath; beeing the 29. of October.
1591.' The conceit is graceful in itself, and significant of the sentiment
of contemporary London. Astraea, bearing her sheep-hook as a sort of
pastoral sceptre, typified the Queen, and passed on in her triumphal car
with the words:

    Feed on, my flock, among the gladsome green,
      Where heavenly nectar flows above the banks;
    Such pastures are not common to be seen:
      Pay to immortal Jove immortal thanks,
    For what is good fro heaven's high throne doth fall;
    And heaven's great architect be praised for all[339].

In her praise the graces, the virtues, and a champion utter appropriate
speeches, whilst Superstition, a friar, and Ignorance, a priest, together
with other malcontents, shrink back abashed before her onward march.

The following year appeared the anonymous 'Speeches delivered to her
Majestie this last progresse, at the Right Honorable the Lady Russels, at
Bissam, the Right Honorable the Lorde Chandos, at Sudley, at the Right
Honorable the Lord Norris, at Ricorte.' This piece being very
characteristic of a certain sort of courtly shows, and itself possessing
rather greater intrinsic interest than is to be found in most of the
compositions we shall have to examine, may lay claim to a somewhat more
detailed discussion. As the Queen approached through the woods towards
Bisham, cornets were heard to sound, and presently there appeared a wild
man who began his speech thus:

  I followed this sounde, as enchanted; neither knowing the reason why,
  nor how to bee ridde of it: unusuall to these Woods, and, I feare, to
  our gods prodigious. Sylvanus whom I honour, is runne into a Cave: Pan,
  whom I envye, courting of the Shepheardesse. Envie I thee Pan? No, pitty
  thee; an eie-sore to chast Nymphes, yet still importunate. Honour thee
  Sylvanus? No, contemne thee; fearefull of Musicke in the Woods, yet
  counted the god of the Woods.

He then proceeds to welcome the royal visitor. Further on 'At the middle
of the Hill sate Pan, and two Virgins keeping sheepe, and sowing in their
Samplers.' Pan courts the shepherdesses, who mock him, and finally all
join in welcome of the Queen. 'At the bottome of the hill,' we read
further, 'entring into the hous, Ceres with her Nymphes in an harvest
Cart, meete her Majesty, having a Crowne of wheat-ears with a Jewell.'
Ceres sings:

    Swel Ceres now, for other Gods are shrinking;
         Pomona pineth,
             Fruitlesse her tree;
         Fair Phoebus shineth
             Onely on mee.
    Conceit doth make me smile whilst I am thinking,...
    All other Gods of power bereven,
    Ceres only Queene of heaven.

    With Robes and flowers let me be dressed;
            Cynthia that shineth
              Is not so cleare,
            Cynthia declineth
              When I appeere,
    Yet in this Ile shee raignes as blessed, ...
         And in my eares still fonde Fame whispers,
         Cynthia shalbe Ceres Mistres.

She then proceeds to welcome the Queen as 'Greater then Ceres.' At Sudely
Castle her Majesty was received by an old shepherd with a long speech;
whereafter we read: 'Sunday, Apollo running after Daphne,' a show
accompanied by a speech from another shepherd, at the end whereof, the
metamorphosis safely accomplished, 'her Majesty sawe Apollo with the tree,
having on one side one that sung, on the other one that plaide.'

    Sing you, plaie you, but sing and play my truth,
    This tree my Lute, these sighes my notes of ruth:
    The Lawrell leafe for ever shall bee greene,
    And chastety shalbe Apolloes Queene.
    If gods maye dye, here shall my tombe be plaste,
    And this engraven, 'Fonde Phoebus, Daphne chaste.'

'The song ended, the tree rived, and Daphne issued out, Apollo ranne
after, with these words:'

    Faire Daphne staye, too chaste because too faire,
      Yet fairer in mine eies, because so chaste,
    And yet because so chaste, must I despaire?
      And to despaire, I yeelded have at last.

'Daphne running to her Majestie uttered this:'

    I stay, for whether should chastety fly for succour, but to the Queene
    of chastety, &c.

a speech which can without loss be left to the imagination of the reader.
The third day's show was prevented by bad weather: it was designed thus.
Summoned by one clad in sheep-skins, the Queen was to be led to where the
shepherds of Cotswold were engaged in choosing a king and queen of the
feast by the simple divination of a bean and a pea concealed in a cake.
After a while spying her Majesty, the whole company should have joined in
a welcome. The rest of the show is in no wise pastoral. The very marked
Euphuism of the prose portions, combined with some lyrical merit, makes
the composition worth notice, and has led to its ascription to the pen of
Lyly himself. It was, of course, composed and presented for her Majesty's
delectation at a time when Lyly's plays were the delight of the court; but
however grateful we may feel to Mr. Bond for having made this and other
similar pieces accessible in his edition of the poet, we need not
necessarily accept his view of the authorship.[340]

To the end of the sixteenth century belong undoubtedly many of the pieces
printed for the first time in 1637 in Thomas Heywood's volume of
_Dialogues and Dramas_.[341] The only one of these that can really be
styled pastoral is a slight composition entitled _Amphrissa, or the
Forsaken Shepherdess_. Two shepherdesses, Pelopaea and Alope, meet and
fall to discoursing of love and inconstancy, and cite incidentally the
unhappy case of Amphrissa, who at that moment appears in person and joins
in the conversation. The nymphs undertake her cure, and give her much wise
counsel while they crown her with willow. Then there appears upon the
scene the huntress queen of Arcadia herself, attended by her nymphs,
virgin Diana, before whom the country maidens bow in awe. She graciously
raises them, and the slight piece ends with dance and song.

In this drama or dialogue or masque, or whatever it may be most
appropriately called, we see all plot disappear, and the interest
concentrate itself in the dialogue, which, for all that it is written in
blank verse of some rhythmical merit, reveals a strong inclination towards
Euphuism. Thus we read of men how

      like as the Chamelions change themselves
    Into all perfect colours saving white;
    So they can to all humors frame their speech,
    Save only to prove honest;

or else how

      light minds are catcht with little things,
    And Phancie smels to Fennell.

Nor are other and more marked traces of Lyly's influence wanting: witness
the following passage, which is a mere metrical paraphrase of a speech in
the _Gallathea_ already quoted (p. 227):

    You have an heate, on which a coldnesse waits,
    A paine that is endur'd with pleasantnesse,
    And makes those sweets you eat have bitter taste:
    It puts eies in your thoughts, eares in your heart:
    'Twas by desire first bred, by delight nurst,
    And hath of late been wean'd by jelousie.

Certain speeches of a sententious nature, on the other hand, remind us
rather of Daniel and the sonneteers:

    To wish the best, to thinke upon the worst,
    And all contingents brooke with patience,
    Is a most soveraigne medicine.

All these characteristics point to an early date, and Mr. Fleay, who
regards the piece as forming part of the _Five Plays in One_, acted at the
Rose in April, 1597, may very likely be right. Of the other pieces printed
in the same volume, a few only show any trace of pastoral blending with
the general mythological colouring. Perhaps the most that can be said is
that the nymphs are already familiar to us from the pastoral tradition,
and must have been scarcely less so to a contemporary audience, fresh from
the work of Peele and Lyly. In _Jupiter and Io_, which perhaps made part
of the same performance as _Amphrissa_, Mercury disguises himself as a
shepherd, in order to cut off the head of Argus. This he did to such good
purpose that record of the trunkless member remains unto this day in the
inventories of the Lord Admiral's company. Another of these pieces, the
character of which can be easily imagined from its title, _Apollo and
Daphne_, ends with a song, which may owe something to the traditions of
the mythological pastoral:

      Howsoe're the Minutes go,
      Run the heures or swift or slow:
      Seem the Months or short or long,
      Passe the seasons right or wrong:
    All we sing that Phoebus follow,
    _Semel in anno ridet Apollo_.

      Early fall the Spring or not,
      Prove the Summer cold or hot:
      Autumne be it faire or foule,
      Let the Winter smile or skowle:
    Still we sing, that Phoebus follow,
    _Semel in anno ridet Apollo_.

Passing on to the seventeenth century, the first piece that demands
attention is the St. John's Twelfth Night entertainment, _Narcissus_,
performed at Oxford in 1602. If its pastoral quality is somewhat
evanescent, there is another point of view from which the piece has a good
deal of interest. It is, namely, a burlesque production of the nature of
the Pyramus and Thisbe interlude in the _Midsummer Night's Dream_, and
flavoured with something of the comic rusticity of Greene's Carmela
eclogue in _Menaphon_. It is needless here to summarize the plot of the
'merriment' which the ingenious author, no doubt a student of St. John's,
evolved from Ovid's account in the third book of the _Metamorphoses_, and
which runs to the respectable length of some eight hundred lines.[342] I
may be allowed, however, to note that echo verses, suggested by Ovid, are
introduced and handled with more than usual ingenuity; and further to
quote two characteristic passages. In one of these the nymphs Florida and
Clois court the affections of the loveless hero.

    _Florida._ Shine thou on mee, sweet plannet, bee soe good
    As with thy fiery beames to warme my bloud ...

    _Narcissus._ To speak the truth, faire maid, if you will have us,
    O Oedipus I am not, I am Davus.

    _Clois._ Good Master Davis, bee not so discourteous
    As not to heare a maidens plaint for vertuous.

    _Nar._ Speake on a Gods name, so love bee not the theame.

    _Flo._ O, whiter then a dish of clowted creame,
    Speake not of love? How can I overskippe
    To speake of love to such a cherrye lippe?

    _Nar._ It would beseeme a maidens slender vastitye
    Never to speake of any thinge but chastitye.

    _Flo._ As true as Helen was to Menela
    So true to thee will be thy Florida.

    _Clo._ As was to trusty Pyramus truest Thisbee
    So true to you will ever thy sweete Clois bee.

    _Flo._ O doe not stay a moment nor a minute,
    Love is a puddle, I am ore shooes in it.

    _Clo._ Doe not delay us halfe a minutes mountenance
    That ar in love, in love with thy sweet countenance.

    _Nar._ Then take my dole although I deale my alms ill,
    Narcissus cannot love with any damzell;
    Although, for most part, men to love encline all,
    I will not, I, this is your answere finall.

We are here, it is true, as far as ever from the delicate rusticity of
Lorenzo de' Medici, and not particularly near to the humour of the
Athenian rustics, but for burlesque it is passably amusing. The _Midsummer
Night's Dream_ had appeared possibly a decade earlier, and the audience in
the college hall at Oxford can hardly but have been reminded of Wall and
Moonshine as they listened to the speech by one who enters carrying 'a
buckett and boughes and grasse.'

    A well there was withouten mudd,
    Of silver hue, with waters cleare,
    Whome neither sheep that chawe the cudd,
    Shepheards nor goates came ever neare;
    Whome, truth to say, nor beast nor bird,
    Nor windfalls yet from trees had stirrde.
                        [_He strawes the grasse about the buckett._
    And round about it there was grasse,
    As learned lines of poets showe,
    Which next by water nourisht was;            [_Sprinkle water._
    Neere to it too a wood did growe,       _[Sets down the bowes._
    To keep the place, as well I wott,
    With too much sunne from being hott.
    And thus least you should have mistooke it,
    The truth of all I to you tell:
    Suppose you the well had a buckett,
    And so the buckett stands for the well;
    And 'tis, least you should counte mee for a sot O,
    A very pretty figure cald _pars pro toto_.

The first strict masque of a pastoral character that we meet with is that
of Juno and Iris, with the dance of nymphs and the 'sunburnt sicklemen, of
August weary,' introduced by Shakespeare into the _Tempest_; but this must
not be taken as altogether typical of the independent productions of the
time. The masques introduced into plays were necessarily, for the most
part, of a slighter and less elaborate character than those performed at
court, or for the entertainment of persons of rank. This is more
particularly the case with the serions portions of the masques, since the
actors, who were engaged for the performance of the antimasques in court
revels, frequently transferred their parts bodily on to the public boards.
Thus, in the entertainment in the _Winters Tale_, in which shepherds also
appear, the main feature was a dance of satyrs, which was no doubt
borrowed from Jonson's _Masque of Oberon_.[343] The _Tempest_ masque,
however, is of the simpler type, without antimasque. At Juno's command
Iris summons Ceres, and the goddesses together bestow their blessing on
the young lovers. Then at Iris' call come the naiads and the reapers for
the dance. The date of the play may be taken as late in 1610, or early the
next year, a time at which the popularity of the masque was reaching its

Although the mythological element is everywhere prominent, the pastoral is
comparatively of rare occurrence in the regular masque literature of the
seventeenth century. This, considering the adaptability and natural
suitability of the form, is rather surprising. Probably the masque as it
evolved itself at the court of James needed a subject possessing a
traditional story, or at least fixed and known conditions of a kind which
the pastoral was unable to supply. Be this as it may, on one occasion
only did Jonson make extended use of the kind, namely, in the masque which
in the folio of 1640 appears with the heading 'Pans Anniversarie; or, The
Shepherds Holy-day. The Scene Arcadia. As it was presented at Court before
King James. 1625. The Inventors, Inigo Jones, Ben. Johnson[344].' Even
here, however, we learn little concerning the condition of pastoralism in
general, from the highly specialized form employed to a specific purpose.
As in all the regular masques of the Jonsonian type the characters and
situations exist solely for the opportunities they afford for dance and
song. Shepherds and nymphs constitute the personae of the masque proper,
while those of the antimasque are supplied by a band of Bocotian clowns,
who come to challenge the Arcadians to the dance. Some of the songs are
very graceful, suggesting at times reminiscences of Spenser, at others
parallels to Ben's own _Sad Shepherd_, but the piece does not possess
either sufficient importance or interest to justify our lingering over it.
Outside this piece the nearest approach to pastoral characters to be found
in Jonson's masques are, perhaps, the satyr and Queen Mab in the fairy
entertainment at Althorp in 1603, Silenus and the satyrs in _Oberon_ in
1611, and Zephyrus, Spring, and the Fountains and Rivers in _Chloridia_ in

During James I's reign pastoral shows of a sort no doubt became frequent.
While in some cases which remain to be noticed they reached the
elaboration of small plays, in others they probably remained simple
affairs enough. We get an interesting glimpse of the conditions of
production in a note of John Aubrey's.[345] 'In tempore Jacobi,' he
writes, 'one Mr. George Ferraby was parson of Bishops Cannings in Wilts:
an excellent musitian, and no ill poet. When queen Anne came to Bathe, her
way lay to traverse the famous Wensdyke, which runnes through his parish.
He made severall of his neighbours, good musitians, to play with him in
consort, and to sing. Against her majestie's comeing, he made a pleasant
pastorall, and gave her an entertaynment with his fellow songsters in
shepherds' weeds and bagpipes, he himself like an old bard. After that
wind musique was over, they sang their pastorall eglogues.' This was in
1613; Ferraby or Ferebe later became chaplain to the king.

The more elaborate pieces were usually written for performance at schools
or colleges. Such a piece is Tatham's _Love Crowns the End_, composed for
the scholars of Bingham in Nottinghamshire in 1633, and printed in his
_Fancy's Theatre_ in 1640. Small literary interest attaches to the play,
which is equally slight and ill constructed, but is perhaps not
unrepresentative of its class. In spite of its very modest dimensions it
possesses a full romantic-pastoral plot, with the resuit that it is at
times almost unintelligible, owing to the want of space in which to
develop in an adequate and dramatic manner the motives and situations. The
bewildering rapidity with which character succeeds character upon the
stage must have made the representation almost impossible to follow, while
the reading of the piece is not a little complicated by the confusion in
which the stage directions remain in the only modern edition.[346] Some
notion of the complexity of the plot may be gathered from the following
account. Cliton, having in a fit of jealousy sought to kill his love
Florida, is found wandering in the woods by Alexis, who receives his
confession and shows him the way to repentance. Florida, moreover, has
been found and healed by the wise shepherdess Claudia, and is living in
retirement. Meanwhile Cloe (a name which it appears from the rimes that
the author pronounced Cloi) is saved by Lysander from the pursuit of a
Lustful Shepherd, in consequence of which she transfers to him the
affection she previously bore to her lover Daphnes. Next Leon and his
daughter Gloriana appear, together with the swain Francisco, to whom
against her will the maiden is apparently betrothed. They all go off to
view the games in which Lysander, whose heart is also fixed on Gloriana,
proves victor. His refusal to entertain the affection of Cloe drives her
to a state of distraction, in which the nymphs of the woods take pity on
her and bring her to Claudia to be cured. Gloriana in the meantime returns
the affections of Lysander, but the meeting of the lovers is interrupted
by the jealous Francisco and a gang who wound Lysander and carry off
Gloriana. She escapes from her captors, but only after she has lost her
reason, and wanders about until she meets with Cliton, who has turned
hermit and who now undertakes her cure. Throughout the play we find comic
interludes by Scrub, a page or attendant in search of his master, who also
has some farcical business with the Lustful Shepherd, who after being
disappointed of Cloe disguises himself as a satyr, apparently deeming that
rôle suited to his taste. In the end all the characters are brought
together. Francisco, found contrite, is forgiven by Lysander and Gloriana;
Cliton and Florida love once more; so do Daphnes and Cloe, appropriately
enough. Scrub announces the death of the usurping duke, 'who banished good
old Leon;' Francisco and Lysander reveal themselves as princes who left
the court to win his daughter's love, when he was driven from his land,
and so--love crowns the end.

Through this medley it is not hard to see the various debts the author has
incurred towards his predecessors. The verse, in rimed couplets, whether
deca- or octo-syllabic, ultimately depends on Fletcher; of the comic prose
scenes I have already spoken in dealing with Goffe's _Careless
Shepherdess_, a play the influence of which may perhaps be specifically
traced in the satyr-disguise, the gang who carry off Gloriana, her
unexplained escape, and the songs of the 'Destinies' and a 'Heavenly
Messenger,' who in their inconsequence recall the 'Bonus Genius' of
Goffe's play. Scrub may owe his origin to the same source, though he is
rather more like the page in the _Maid's Metamorphosis_. The usurping duke
recalls _As You Like It_; the princes seeking their love-fortunes among
the shepherd folk suggest the _Arcadia_; while the influence of the
_Faithful Shepherdess_ is not only traceable in the character of the
Lustful Shepherd, but also in certain specific parallels, as where the
wounded Lysander, seeing his love carried off, exclaims:

    Stay, stay! let me but breathe my last
    Upon her lips, and I'll forgive what's past; (p. 24)

a reminiscence of the lines spoken by Alexis in a similar situation:

                 Oh, yet forbear
    To take her from me! give me leave to die
    By her! (_Faithful Shepherdess_, III. i. 165[347].)

The general level of the verse is not high, but we now and again light on
some pleasing lines such as the following:

    My dearest love, fair as the eastern morn
    As it breaks o'er the plains when summer's born,
    Hanging bright liquid pearls on every tree,
    New life and hope imparting, as to me
    Thy presence brings delight, so fresh and rare
    As May's first breath, dispensing such sweet air
    The Phoenix does expire in; sit, while I play
    The cunning thief, and steal thy heart away,
    And thou shalt stand as judge to censure me. (p. 18.)

So again there is some grace in a song which catches perhaps a distant
echo of Peele's gem:

    _Gloriana._ Sit, while I do gather flowers
    And depopulate the bowers.
    Here's a kiss will come to thee!

    _Lysander._ Give me one, I'll give thee three!

    _Both._ Thus in harmless sport we may
    Pass the idle hours away.

    _Gloriana._   Hark! hark, how fine
    The birds do chime!
    And pretty Philomel
    Her moan doth tell. (p. 22.)

Another of these miniature pastorals is preserved in a British Museum
manuscript, where it bears the title of _The Converted Robber_.[348] No
author's name appears, but a plausible conjecture may be advanced. The
scene of the piece, namely, is Stonehenge, and it is evident that the
occasion on which it was first performed had some connexion with
Salisbury, for there is obviously a topical allusion in the final words:

    Lett us that do noe envy beare um
    Wish all felicity to Sarum.

Now in 1636,[349] according to Anthony à Wood, there was acted at St.
John's College, Oxford, a play by John Speed, entitled _Stonehenge_, the
occasion being the return of Dr. Richard Baylie after his installation as
Dean of Salisbury. We can hardly be far wrong in identifying the two
pieces. The only difficulty is that in the manuscript the play is dated
1637. This, however, may either be a mere slip of the scribe, or may
possibly imply that the piece was produced in 1636-7, the scribe adopting
the popular and modern, whereas Wood always adhered to the old or legal

The piece possesses a certain interest from the fact of its forming, in a
stricter sense than any of the other pieces we have examined, a link
between the drama and the masque. In this it somewhat resembles _Comus_,
employing a more or less dramatic plot as the setting for the formai
dances of the masque.[350]

The story is simple enough. A band of robbers and a company of shepherds
and shepherdesses keep on Salisbury Plain in the neighbourhood of
Stonehenge--'stoy[=n]age y^{e} wonder y^{t} is vpon that Playne of
Sarum'--which forms the background of the scene. It chanced that the
shepherdess Clarinda, falling into the hands of the robbers, was saved
from dishonour by their chief Alcinous, an action which won for him her
love, and having escaped, she returned dressed as a boy in order to serve
him. Meanwhile the robbers have decided to make a raid upon the shepherd
folk, and Alcinous, disguising himself as a stranger shepherd, mixes among
them, while his companions Autolicus and Conto lie in wait hard by. During
a festival Alcinous seeks the love of Castina, Clarinda's sister, and
finding her unmoved by entreaty threatens force. At this she attempts to
stab herself, and the robber chief is so struck that he vows to reform and
is converted to the pastoral life. His companions, left in the lurch, fall
upon the shepherds of their own accord, but are soon brought to see reason
by the hand and tongue of their chief, and are content to follow him in
his conversion. Clarinda now discovers herself and marries Alcinous, while
Castina and her fellow shepherdess Avonia consent to reward their faithful
swains, Palaemon and Dorus.

In this piece there is a rather conspicuous absence of motive and dramatic
construction, the author claiming apparently the freedom of the masque.
The verse is mainly octosyllabic, sometimes blank, but the rough accentual
'rime' is also used. Decasyllabics are rare. There is also some prose in
the comic part sustained by Autolicus and Conto and the aged clown Jarbus,
as well as a certain amount of Spenserian archaism, and a good deal of
dialect. Whether comic or romantic, the characters are singularly out of
keeping with their surroundings, while the conceit of paganizing the
Christian worship appears to be carried to ludicrous lengths, until one
recollects that it depends almost entirely upon the substitution of the
name of Pan for that of the Deity--a process no doubt facilitated by false
etymology. Thus Christ, who is spoken of by name, is called 'Pannes blest
babe.' After describing the foundation of Salisbury Cathedral, the old
shepherd proceeds:

    But sturdy shepherds brought all the other stones,
    And reard up that great Munster all at once,
    Wher shepherds each one, both woman and man,
    Do come to worship theyr great God Pann.

A rustic show formed the first part of an entertainment witnessed by
Charles and Henrietta Maria at Richmond, after their return from a visit
to Oxford in 1636. A clown named Tom comes in bearing a present for the
queen, and is on the point of being unceremoniously removed by the usher,
when he espies Mr. Edward Sackville, to whom he appeals, and a dialogue
ensues between the two. After he has offered his present, Madge, Doll, and
Richard come in, and the four perform a country dance. They are all plain
Wiltshire rustics who talk a broad vernacular, but at the end a shepherd
and shepherdess enter and sing a duet in a more courtly strain. The author
of this slight production is not known, but it is regarded by the latest
authority on masques as an imitation, in the looseness of its
construction, of Davenant's _Prince d'Amour_.[351]

Little poetic ability was displayed by Heywood on the only occasion on
which he introduced pastoral tradition into a Lord Mayor's pageant. The
'first show by land' of the _Porta Pietatis_, presented by the drapers in
1638 on the occasion of Sir Maurice Abbot's mayoralty, consisted of a
speech by a shepherd, which is preceded in the printed copy by a short
account of the properties, natural history, and general usefulness of
sheep, as well as of their peculiar importance in relation to the craft
honoured in the person of the newly appointed Lieutenant of the city of
London. Heywood was famous for his wide, miscellaneous, and often
startling information.

We have already seen how, in the first blush and budding of the
Elizabethan spring, George Peele treated the tale of the judgement of
Paris; on the same legend Heywood based one of his semi-dramatic
dialogues; it remains to be seen how, in the late autumn of the great age
of our dramatic literature, Shirley returned to the same theme in his
_Triumph of Beauty_, privately produced about 1640. It is a regular
masque, for which the familiar story serves as a thread; the goddesses and
their symbolical attendants, or else the Graces and the Hours with Hymen
and Delight, performing the dances, while a company of rustic swains of
Ida, who come to relieve the melancholy of the princely shepherd, form a
comic antimasque. It has, however, grown to the proportions of a small
play. The comic characters also study a piece on the subject of the golden
fleece, reminiscent, like _Narcissus_, of the _Midsummer Night's Dream_.
This, as Mr. Fleay supposes, may well be satirical of some of the city
pageants, though it is best to be cautious in discovering definite
allusions. But the success of such a piece as the present, in so far as it
was dependent on the _libretto_, demanded a power of light and graceful
lyric versification which was not conspicuous among the many gifts of the
author. The comic business is frankly amusing, but the long speeches of
the goddesses can hardly have appeared less tedious to a contemporary
audience than they do to the reader to-day.

I may also notice here a regular short pastoral in three acts, inserted by
Robert Baron in his romance Ἐροτοπαίγνιον, _or the Cyprian Academy_,
printed in 1647. It is entitled _Gripus and Hegio, or the Passionate
Lovers_, and relates the loves of these characters for Mira and Daris;
while we also find the familiar roguish boy, less amusing and of stricter
propriety than usual; a chorus of fairies who discourse classical myth;
Venus, Cupid, Hymen, and Echo; and the habitual concomitants of pastoral
commonplace. The romance also contains a masque entitled _Deorum Dona_, in
which figure allegorical abstractions such as Fame, Fortune, and the like.
It is in no wise pastoral.

Another pastoral show of some elaboration, and of a higher order of poetry
than most of those we have been considering, is Sir William Denny's
_Shepherds' Holiday_, printed from manuscript in the _Inedited Poetical
Miscellany_ of 1870. The piece appears to date from 1653, and is only
slightly dramatic so far as plot is concerned. It is of an allegorical
cast, the various characters typifying certain virtues, or rather
temperaments--virginity, love and so forth--as is elaborately expounded in
the preface.

A few slight pieces by the quondam actor Robert Cox, partaking more or
less of the character of masques, possess a certain pastoral colouring.
This is the case, for instance, in the _Acteon and Diana_, published in
1656.[352] The piece opens with the humours of the would-be lover Bumpkin,
a huntsman, and the dance of the country lasses round the May-pole. Then
enters Acteon with his huntsmen, who is followed by Diana and her nymphs.
Upon the dance of these last Acteon, returning, breaks in unawares, and is
rebuked by the goddess, who then retires with her nymphs to a glade in the
forest. They are in the act of despoiling themselves for the bath when
they are again surprised by Acteon. Incensed, the goddess turns upon him,
and he flees before her anger, only to return once more upon the dance of
the bathers in the shape of a hart, and fall at their feet a prey to his
own hounds. The verse, whether lyric or dramatic, is of a mediocre
description, and the piece, if it was ever actually performed, no doubt
depended for success upon the music, dancing, and scenery. It is a curious
fact, to which Davenant's work among others is witness, that the nominally
private representation of this kind of musical ballet was permitted, while
the regular drama was under strict inhibition. At any time, however, it
must have been difficult to represent such a piece as the present without
sacrificing either propriety or tradition.

Another similar composition, headed 'The Rural Sports on the Birthday of
the Nymph Oenone,' is printed together with the above. In it the strains
of the polished pastoral are varied by the humours of the clown Hobbinall,
the whole ending with a speech by Pan and a dance of satyrs.

One obvions omission from the above catalogue will have been noticed. The
reason thereof is sufficiently obvious; and the following section will
endeavour to repair it.


In Milton's contribution to the fashionable masque literature of his day
we approach work the poetic supremacy of which has never been called in
question, and whose other qualities, lying properly beyond the strict
application of that term, critics have habitually vied with one another to
extol. No one, indeed, for whom poetry has any meaning whatever, can turn
from the work of Peele, Heywood, and Shirley, of Ben Jonson even, to the
early works of Milton, to such comparatively immature works as _Arcades_
and _Comus_, without being conscious that they belong to an altogether
different level of poetical production. It was no mere conventional
commendation, such as we may find prefixed to the works of any poetaster
of the time, that Sir Henry Wotton addressed to the author of the Ludlow
masque: 'I should much commend the Tragical [i.e. dramatic] part, if the
Lyrical did not ravish me with a certain Dorique delicacy in your Songs
and Odes, wherunto I must plainly confess to have seen yet nothing
parallel in our Language[353].'

The two poems we have now to consider were, in all probability, written
within a short while of one another, and the second anticipated by more
than three years the composition of _Lycidas_. But the connexion between
the two is not one of date only, nor even of the spectacular demand it was
the end of either to meet. It may, namely, in the absence of any definite
evidence, be with much plausibility presumed that the impulse to the
entertainment, of which as we are told _Arcades_ formed a part, originated
with that very Lady Alice Egerton and her two young brothers who, the
following year probably, bore the chief parts in _Comus_. The
entertainment was presented at Harefield in honour of their grandmother,
the Countess Dowager of Derby. This lady, probably somewhat over seventy
at the time, was the honoured head of a large family. The daughter of Sir
John Spencer of Althorpe, born about 1560, she married first Ferdinando
Stanley, Lord Strange, afterwards Earl of Derby, patron of the company of
actors with whom Shakespeare's name is associated; and secondly, after
his early death in 1594, the Lord Keeper, Sir Thomas Egerton, who rose by
rapid steps to be Viscount Brackley shortly before his death in 1617. The
span of a human life appears strange when measured by the rapidly moving
events of the English renaissance. The wife of Shakespeare's patron, who
may have witnessed the early ventures of the Stratford lad at the time of
his first appearance on the London stage--the 'Amarillis' of _Colin
Clout_, with whom, and with her sisters 'Phillis' and 'Charillis,' Spenser
claimed kinship, and to whom he dedicated his _Tears of the Muses_ in
1591--lived to see her grandchildren perform for her amusement in the
reign of the first Charles an entertainment for which their music-master
Lawes had requisitioned the pen of the future author of _Paradise Lost_.

_Arcades_, or 'the Arcadians,' can hardly be dignified by the name of a
masque; it is the mere embryo of the elaborate compositions which were at
the time fashionable under that name, and of which Milton was to rival the
constructional elaboration in his pastoral entertainment of the following
year. It rather resembles such amoebean productions as we find introduced
into the stage plays of the time; and was, no doubt, as the superscription
explicitly informs us, but 'Part of an entertainment presented to the
Countess Dowager of Darby.' Nevertheless it is complete and
self-contained, and to speak of it, as Professer Masson does, as 'part,
and part only, of a masque,' is to give a wholly false impression; for,
whatever the rest of the entertainment may have been, there is not the
least reason to suppose that it had any connexion or relation with the
portion that has survived. This runs to a little over one hundred lines. A
group of nymphs and shepherds, coming from among the trees of the garden,
approach the 'seat of State' where sits the venerable Countess, whom they
address in a song. As this ends their progress is barred by the Genius of
the Wood, who delivers a long speech.[354] This is followed by a song
introducing the dance, after which a third song brings the performance to
a close. It cannot be honestly said that the bulk of this slender poem is
of any very transcendent merit; but the final song stands apart from the
rest, and deserves notice both on its own account and for the sake of that
to which it served as herald:

    Nymphs and Shepherds dance no more
      By sandy Ladons Lillied banks;
    On old Lycaeus or Cyllene hoar
      Trip no more in twilight ranks;
    Though Erymanth your loss deplore
      A better soyl shall give ye thanks.
    From the stony Maenalus
    Bring your Flocks, and live with us;
    Here ye shall have greater grace
    To serve the Lady of this place,
      Though Syrinx your Pans Mistres were,
      Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.
        Such a rural Queen
    All Arcadia hath not seen.

Here we have, if nothing else, promise at least of the melodies to be, as
also of that harmonious interweaving of classical names which long years
after was to lend weight and dignity to the 'full and heightened style' of
the epic. One other point in connexion with the poem is noteworthy, the
quality, namely, in virtue of which it claims our attention here. It is,
indeed, not a little curious that on the only two occasions on which
Milton was called upon to produce something of the order of the masque, he
cast his work into a more or less pastoral form; and this in spite of the
fact that, as we have seen, the form was by no means a prevalent one among
the more popular and experienced writers. It would appear as though his
mind turned, through some natural bent or early association, to the
employment of this form; an idea which suggests itself all the more
forcibly when we find him, a few years later, setting about the
composition of a conventional lament in this mode on a young college
acquaintance, and producing, through his power of alchemical
transmutation, one of the greatest works of art in the English language.

It was, no doubt, in the earlier months of 1634, while his friend Lawes
was engaged on the gorgeous and complicated staging and orchestration of
the _Triumph of Peace_ and the _Coelum Britannicum_, that Milton composed
the poem which perhaps more than any other has made readers of to-day
familiar with the term 'masque.' In the second of the elaborate
productions just named--a poem, be it incidentally remarked, which does no
particular credit to the pen of its sometimes unsurpassed author, Tom
Carew, but in the presentation of which the king and many of his chief
nobles deigned to bear a part--minor rôles had been assigned to the two
sons of the Earl of Bridgewater, namely, the Viscount Brackley and Master
Thomas Egerton. When the earl shortly afterwards went to assume the
Presidency of the Welsh Marches, it was these two who, together with their
sister the Lady Alice, bore the central parts in the masque performed
before the assembled worthies of the West in the great hall of Ludlow
Castle. The ages of the three performers ranged from eleven to thirteen,
the girl, who was the eighth daughter of the marriage, being the eldest.

It must have been a gay and imposing sight that greeted the spectators in
the grim old border fortress, the gaunt ruins of which may yet be seen,
but which had at that date already rubbed off some of its medieval
ruggedness as a place of defence. Though necessarily less elaborate and
costly than the performances in London, no pains were spared to make the
spectacle worthy of the occasion, and it must have appeared all the more
splendid in contrast to its surroundings, presented as it was in the great
hall in which met the Council of the Western Marches in the distant town
upon the Welsh border. Nor did the occasion lack the heightening glamour
and dramatic contrast of historical association, for in this very hall
just a century and a half before, if tradition is to be credited, the
unfortunate Prince Edward, son of Edward IV, was crowned before setting
out with his young brother on the fatal journey which was to terminate
under a forgotten flagstone in the Tower of London.

I do not propose to enter into any detailed account of the manner in which
we may suppose the masque to have been performed, nor into the literary
history of the poem itself; to do so would be a work of supererogation in
view of the able discussion of the whole subject from the pen of Professor
Masson. The debts Milton owed to the _Somnium_ of Puteanus, to Peele's
_Old Wives' Tale_ and to Fletcher's _Faithful Shepherdess_, are now all
more or less recognized. From the first he probably borrowed the name and
character of Comus himself, as well as a few incidental expressions. The
second contains a remarkable parallel to the search of the two brothers
for their lost sister, which it is difficult to suppose fortuitous; while
many passages might be cited to prove Milton's close acquaintance with
Fletcher's poem[355].

The masque as performed at Ludlow Castle probably differed in one
important particular from the form in which we know it, and which is that
in which it left Milton's hand. This form is attested by the original
quarto edition, by the texts of the Poems of 1645 and 1673, and by
Milton's manuscript draft in the volume preserved at Trinity College,
Cambridge. The variant form is found in the manuscript at Bridgewater
House, reputed to be in Lawes' handwriting, which seemingly represents the
acting version. In Milton's text the scene discovered is a wild wood; the
attendant Spirit descends, or enters, and at once launches out into a long
speech in blank verse. Lawes seems to have thought that it would be more
appropriate for the Spirit--that is, for himself, for it appears that he
took the part--to open the performance with a song, and consequently
transferred to this place the first thirty-six lines of the final lyrical
speech of the Spirit, substituting the words 'From the heavens' for
Milton's 'To the ocean.' The change was doubtless effective, and was
skilfully made; yet one cannot help feeling that some of the magic of the
poem has evaporated in the process. However, Lawes was loyal to his
friend, and whatever alterations his wider knowledge of the requirements
of stage production may have led him to introduce into the masque as
performed at Ludlow, he never sought to foist any changes of his own into
the published poem, when, having tired himself with making copies for his
friends, he at length decided, with Milton's consent, to send it forth
into the world in its slender quarto garb.

A brief analysis will serve to reveal the lines upon which the piece is
constructed, and to show how far it follows the traditions respectively of
the drama and the masque. The introductory speech puts the audience in
possession of the situation, and informs them how the wood is haunted by
Comus and his crew, himself the son of Bacchus and Circe, and how they
seek to trick unwary passengers into drinking of the fateful cup which
shall transform them to the likeness of beasts and, driving all
remembrance of home and friends from their imaginations, leave them
content 'to roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.' Wherefore the Spirit is
sent to guide the steps of those 'favoured of high Jove,' and save them
from the wiles of the fleshly god. Announcing that he goes to assume 'the
weeds and likeness of a swain,' so as to perform his charge unknown, the
Spirit leaves the stage, which is at once invaded by Comus and his rout. A
brilliant speech by the god, preceding the first measure, illustrates the
strange but yet not infrequent irony of fate by which it has happened that
the most puritanical of poets have thrown the full weight of their best
work into the opposing scale, and clothed vice in magic colours to outdo
the richest fancies of the libertine. No doubt this reckless adorning of
sin was intentional on Milton's part; he painted the pleasures of κῶμος in
their most seductive colours, that the triumph of virtue might appear by
so much the greater, fancying that it was enough to assert that final
victory, and failing, like most preachers, to perceive that unless it was
made psychologically and artistically convincing the total effect would be
the very reverse of that which he intended. If we compare the speech of
Comus with that of the Lady on her first appearance, we shall hardly
escape the conclusion that then, as indeed always, Milton had a mere
schoolboy's idea of 'plot,' as of some combination of events to be infused
with the breath of life at his own will, and from without, not such as
should spring from the fundamental elements of the characters themselves.
In the midst of dance and revel Comus interrupts his followers:

    Break off, break off, I feel the different pace
    Of some chast footing neer about this ground;

and the crew vanishes among the trees as the Lady enters alone and
narrates how she lost her brothers at nightfall in the wood, and attracted
by the sounds of mirth has bent hither her steps in the hope of finding
some one to direct her. She then sings a song by way of attracting her
brothers' attention, should they chance to be near. As she ends Comus
re-enters in guise of a shepherd, and offers to escort her to his hut
where she may rest until her companions are found. She has no sooner left
the stage than these enter in search of her, and while away the time with
a long discussion on the dangers of the wood and the protective power of
virtue. To them at length enters the attendant Spirit, who has certainly
been so far very remiss in his duties, in the habit of their father's
shepherd Thirsis; and on hearing how they have parted company with their
sister, tells of Comus and his enchantments, and arming his hearers with
hemony, powerful against all spells, guides them to the hall of the
sorcerer. The scene now changes to the interior of the palace of Comus,
'set out with all manner of deliciousness,' where the god and his rabble
are feasting. On one side we may imagine an open arcade giving on to the
banks of the Severn, silvery in the moonlight, the cool purity of its
waters contrasting with the rich jewelled light and perfumed air within.
We see the Lady seated in an enchanted chair, while before her stands the
magician, wand in hand, offering her wine in a crystal goblet. Then
follows the dialogue in which the Lady defends her virtue against the
blandishments of Comus, till at last her brothers, followed by the
spirit-shepherd, rush in and disperse the revellers. The Lady is now found
to be fixed like marble in the chair of enchantment, but the attendant
Spirit shows his resource by calling to their help the virgin goddess of
the stream:

    Sabrina fair
      Listen where thou art sitting
    Under the glassie, cool, translucent wave,
      In twisted braids of Lillies knitting
    The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair,
      Listen for dear honour's sake,
      Goddess of the silver lake,
                    Listen and save.

Thus conjured in some of the most perfectly musical lines in the language
the daughter of Locrine rises from her waves, and enters the hall with a
song, attended by her obedient nymphs. Having broken the spell and freed
the captive Lady, she at once departs with her train, and after another
speech by the Spirit, the scene changes to the town and castle of Ludlow,
a bevy of shepherds dancing in the foreground. After these have concluded
their measure, the wanderers enter, still guided by the spirit-shepherd,
who presents them safe and sound to their parents. Then follows another
dance, and the Spirit, throwing off, we may presume, his pastoral
disguise, launches into his final speech:

    To the Ocean now I fly,
    And those happy climes that ly
    Where day never shuts his eye;


    Mortals that would follow me,
    Love vertue, she alone is free,
    She can teach ye how to clime
    Higher than the Spheary chime;
    Or if Vertue feeble were,
    Heav'n it self would stoop to her.

Such is the bare outline, the skeleton of the piece; what, we cannot help
wondering, was it like when it first appeared clothed in the beauty of the
flesh and inspired with the spirit of song? Its fashion and its form we
have indeed yet before us, though nothing can again quicken it into the
life it enjoyed for one brief hour nearly three hundred years ago. We must
be thankful that we count the poem itself among our treasures, and be
content to confine our inquiry to it. It is, after all, to the accidents
of its production as the body to the robes that adorn it.

It must be confessed that outwardly at least _Comus_ has but little
connexion with pastoral. The habit of the Spirit, the disguise of the
magician, the dance in the third scene, these are the only points serving
to connect the poem with pastoral tradition in any formal manner. It is
not, however, on account of these that _Comus_ has been commonly assigned
to the same category as the _Faithful Shepherdess_ and _Lycidas_, but
rather because its whole tone, its mode, one might almost say, is
essentially pastoral, and because it is directly dependent upon previous
pastoral work.

It has been the fashion to praise _Comus_ above all other masques
whatever, and from the point of view of the poetry it contains it would be
idle to dispute its supremacy. But there are other considerations. As a
masque proper, and from the point of view of what had come to be expected
of such compositions, how does it stand? I am not here concerned to
inquire how far the term can with strict propriety be applied to the
piece, a question which may be left to the somewhat arid region of the
formal classification of literature. The points in which it resembles the
regular spectacular masques, as well as those in which it differs from
them, will be alike evident from the analysis given above. It may,
however, be well to put in a caution against the manner in which some
writers on the masque seek to make their distinctions appear more clearly
defined than they in reality are by declaring _Comus_ to be not a masque
at all but a play. It is no more a regular play than it is a strict
masque, but a dramatic composition containing elements of both in almost
equal proportions.

That the songs are for the most part exquisite, that they were worthily
set to music and adequately rendered; that the measures, the dance of the
revellers in their half-brutish disguises, the antimasque of country folk,
and the final or main dance of the wanderers, were effective; that the
whole was graceful, complete and polished, is either self-evident to-day,
or may with reason be inferred. The scenery, too, must have been striking;
the dreary forest, its darkness just relieved by the half-seen
'glistering' forms; the heavy drug-like splendour of the enchanted palace
and the cold moonlight outside; the bright, fresh sunshine, lastly,
dew-washed, of the early morning; there were here a series of pictures the
contrasts of which must have added to their individual effect. The scene,
the song and the measure, these form, indeed, the very stuff that masques
are made of. But Milton's poem offered more than this; and it may well be
questioned how far this more was of a nature to recommend it to the tastes
of his audience, or indeed to heighten rather than to diminish its merits
as a work of literature and art. There was, in the first place, a
philosophical and moral intention, which, however veiled in fanciful
imagery and clothed in limpid verse, is yet not content to be an inspiring
principle and artistic occasion of the poem, but obtrudes itself directly
in the length of some of the speeches; refuses, that is, to subserve the
aesthetic purpose, and endeavours to divert the poetic beauty to its own
non-aesthetic ends. In the second place, and probably of greater
importance as regards the actual success of the piece on the stage, it
contained somewhat of dramatic emotion, of incident which depended for its
value upon its effect on the characters involved, which was ill served by
the spectacular machinery and necessary limitations of the composition,
while at the same time it must have interfered with the opportunity for
mere sensuous effect which it was the main business of the masque to
afford. The weight which different persons will attach to these objections
will no doubt vary with their individual temperaments, their
susceptibility to the magical charm of the verse, their sense of artistic
propriety, and the degree to which they are able to recall in imagination
the conditions of a bygone form of artistic presentation. I speak for
myself when I say that, in fitness for the particular end it had to serve,
Milton's poem appears to me to be surpassed, for instance, by the best of
Jonson's masques, no less than it surpasses them, and all others of their
kind, in the poetical beauty of the verse, whether of the 'tragical' or
lyrical portions.

Since I have ventured to formulate certain objections against an
acknowledged masterpiece, it will be well that I should define as clearly
as possible the ground upon which those objections are based. I have, I
hope, sufficiently emphasized my dissent from that school of criticism
which condemns a work of art for not conforming to one or another of a
series of fixed types. That _Comus_ lies, so to speak, midway between the
drama and the masque, and partakes of the nature of either, is not, by any
inherent law of literary aesthetics, a blemish; what in my view is a
blemish, and that a serions one, is that the means employed are not
calculated to the demands of the situation. The struggle of the Lady
against the subtle enchanter, the search of the brothers for their lost
sister, the safe event of their wanderings, are all points which, however
simple in themselves, yet excite our interest; however certain we may feel
that virtue in the person of the Lady will never fall to the allurements
of Comus, they neither of them become a mere abstraction. That is to say
that, little as there may be of plot, the interest is that of the drama,
an interest really felt in the fate of the characters; while the medium
adopted is that of the masque, with its spectacular machinery, even if not
in its regular and orthodox form. It follows that the dramatic interest is
a clog on the scenic elaboration of the form, while the form is
necessarily inadequate to the rendering of the content.

It is significant that in all the early editions the piece is merely
styled 'A Maske Presented At Ludlow Castle'; the title of _Comus_ was
first affixed by Warton. It was an obvious title for a critic to adopt; it
is probably the last that the author would himself have thought of
choosing. Had it been named contemporaneously, and after the fashion of
the masques at court, the title of the _Triumph of Virtue_ could not but
have suggested itself. This is indeed the very theme of the piece. Virtue
in the person of the Lady, guarded by her brothers, watched over by the
attendant Spirit, aided at need by the nymph Sabrina, triumphant over the
blandishments and temptations of fancy and of sense in the persons of
Comus and his followers; that is the subject of the masque. It is a
subject finely and suitably conceived for spectacular illustration, and
possesses a moral after Milton's own heart. The closing lines of the poem,
already quoted, give admirable expression to the motive. Were the subject,
on the other hand, to be treated dramatically, then the character of the
Lady, virtue at grip with evil, was worthy to exercise--had; indeed, in
varying forms long exercised--the highest dramatic genius. But in this
direction lay, consciously or unconsciously, one of Milton's most evident
limitations, and had he attempted to give full dramatic expression to the
idea it is not improbable that the experiment would have resulted in
undeniable failure. From such an attempt he was, however, debarred by the
terms of his commission, which demanded not a drama, but a spectacular
performance. Yet in spite of this Milton's conception of the piece is, as
we have seen, essentially dramatic, and consequently in so far as the
means prevented the due fulfilment of that conception in so far must the
Lady necessarily fall short of the adequate realization of her high rôle.
The action is too much abstracted, the characters too allegorical, to
satisfy in us the dramatic expectations which they nevertheless call
forth; while, on the other hand, they remain too concrete and individual
to be adequately rendered by purely spectacular means.

These considerations have an important bearing upon the other objection
which I ventured to bring forward, that of moralizing; for it cannot be
argued, I imagine, that the direct expression of philosophical or ethical
ideas is in any way illegitimate in the masque proper, any more than it is
in the choric ode. But, as I have said, Milton--no doubt intentionally,
though the point is irrelevant--has raised dramatic issues and dramatic
emotions, and consequently by the laws of the drama, that is, by his
success in satisfying those emotions, he must be judged. All speeches
therefore introduced with a directly moral and philosophical rather than a
dramatic end must be pronounced artistic solecisms. Whether Milton has
been guilty of such undramatic interpolations, such lapses from the one
end of art, may be left to the individual judgement of each reader to
determine; for my own part I cannot conceive that any doubt should exist.

But even if we pass over what some readers will be inclined to dismiss as
a mere theoretical objection, there are other charges which these same
passages will have to meet. Those who have borne with me in my remarks on
the _Aminta_ and the _Faithful Shepherdess_, will probably also agree with
me here, when I say that to me at least there is something not altogether
pleasing in Milton's presentment of virtue. I should add at once, that to
place Milton's poem on an ethical level with either of the above-mentioned
pieces would, of course, be preposterous. It is impossible to doubt the
severe chastity of Milton's own ideal, and to compare it for one moment to
the conventional _onestà_ which replaced virtue in Tasso's world, or with
the nauseous unreality of the puppet Fletcher sought to enthrone in its
place, would be to commit an uncritical outrage. Nevertheless, the
expression Milton chose to give to his ideal cannot, therefore, lay claim
to privilege. That expression had become intimately associated with
pastoral convention, and he accepted it along with much else from his
predecessors. I am not aware of any reason why spectators should have been
prejudiced otherwise than in favour of the Lady Alice Egerton; but she is,
nevertheless, careful to take the first opportunity of informing them,
with much earnest protestation, of her quite remarkable purity and virtue,
implying as it were a naïve surprise at having arrived unsullied at the
perilous age of thirteen. The stilted affectation of this self-conscious
innocence is perhaps less evident in the scene in which we should most
readily look for it--that, namely, in which the Lady defends herself from
the persuasions of the Sorcerer, where a certain fervour of feeling raises
her utterances above a merely colourless level--than in the long soliloquy
in which she indulges on first appearing on the stage. Something of the
same disagreeable quality is present in the rather mawkish discussion
between her two young brothers. Milton, who is entirely untouched, either
with the levity of Tasso or the cynicism of Fletcher, was undoubtedly
himself wholly unconscious that any such charge could be brought against
his work. It is the direct outcome of a certain obtuseness, a curious want
of delicacy, which in his later work results at times in passages of
offensively bad taste[356]. As yet it is hardly responsible for anything
worse than a confused conception in the poet's imagination. [Greek: Πάντα
καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς], and the allegory is an old one whereby virtue
appears as the tamer of the beasts of the wild. It is, however, to those
alone who are innocent of evil that belongs the faery talisman. The
virtue, knowing of itself and of the world, may be held a surer defence,
but it is by comparison a gross and earthly buckler, with less of the
glamour of romance reflected from its aegis-mirror. Somehow one feels
instinctively that Una did not, on meeting with the lion, launch forth
into a protestation of her chastity. Nothing, of course, would be easier
than by means of a little judicious misrepresentation to cast ridicule
upon the whole of Milton's conception of virtue in woman, and nowhere is
it more needful than in such a case as the present to remember the
fundamental maxim that bids one take the position one is attacking at its
strongest. Nevertheless, putting aside for the moment all questions of art
and all considerations of taste, there remains a question worthy of being
fully and carefully stated, and of being honestly entertained. Milton has
deliberately penned passages of smug self-conceit upon a subject whose
delicacy he was apparently incapable of appreciating, and these passages
he has placed, to be spoken in her own person, in the mouth of a child
just passing into the first dawn of adolescence, thereby outraging at once
the innocence of childhood and the reticence of youth. Is it possible to
pretend that this is an action upon which moral censure has no word to

It would hardly have been necessary to emphasize this point of view, or
to dwell upon objections which, when one surrenders to the magic of the
verse, can hardly appear other than carping, were it not for the somewhat
injudicious and undiscriminating praise which it has been the fashion of a
certain school of critics to lavish upon the piece. The exquisite quality
of the verse may be readily conceded, as may also the nobleness of
Milton's conception and the brilliance, within certain limits, of the
execution; but when we are further challenged to admire the 'moral
grandeur' of the figure in which virtue is honoured, there are some at
least who will feel tempted to reply in the significant words: 'Methinks
the lady doth protest too much!'

A word may be said finally as to the quality of the verse. I need not
repeat that it is exquisite, that the music of it is like a full stream
overflowing the rich pastures; what I am concerned to maintain is, that it
is not for the most part of Milton's best. In the first place, what, for
want of a better name, I have called Milton's moralizing is a blemish upon
the poetic as it is upon the dramatic merits of the piece. The muse of
poetry, like all her sisters, is not slow in avenging herself of a divided
allegiance. By the cynical irony of fortune already noticed, where Milton
would most impress us with his moral he becomes least poetical. There is,
it is true, hardly a speech or a song which does not contain lines worthy
to rank with any in the language, from the opening words:

    Before the starry threshold of Joves Court,

to the final couplet:

    Or if Virtue feeble were,
    Heav'n it self would stoop to her.

But there are passages in which these memorable lines appear as so much
rich embroidery superimposed upon the baser fabric of the verse, not woven
of the woof. They are in their nature more easily detached, and often form
the best known and most often quoted passages of the work. Take the first
speech of the Lady, concerning which something has already been said. Here
we find the lines:

    They left me then, when the gray-hooded Eev'n
    Like a sad Votarist in Palmer's weed
    Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus wain;

or again:

             A thousand fantasies
    Begin to throng into my memory
    Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,
    And airy tongues, that syllable mens names
    On Sands, and Shoars, and desert Wildernesses;

or yet again:

    Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
    Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

We have the song:

    Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseen
                Within thy airy shell
      By slow Meander's margent green,
    And in the violet imbroider'd vale
      Where the love-lorn Nightingale
    Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.

Such lines would justly render famous any passage in any poem in which
they occurred. Nevertheless, remove them, which can be done without
material injury to the sequence of the thought, and see whether in its
warp and web the speech can for a moment stand comparison with that of
Comus, to which it stands in direct and dramatic contraposition.

But this drawback is only incidental; through nine-tenths of the piece,
perhaps, there is little or no moral preoccupation to disturb us. And
here, though no doubt the poetic beauty reaches a climax in the song to
Sabrina--a song for pure music certainly unsurpassed and probably
unequalled by anything else that Milton ever wrote--there are others, such
as 'By the rushy-fringed bank,' as well as less distinctively lyrical
passages, which come within measurable distance even of its perfection.
And yet, with certain noticeable exceptions, there are few passages in
which comparison with Milton's later works will not reveal technical
immaturity. This is no less true of the decasyllabic verse, when compared
with the full sonority of _Lycidas_, than of the shorter measures. Take,
for example, the invocation of Sabrina which follows the song previously
quoted--the speech beginning:

    Listen and appear to us
    In name of great Oceanus.

In spite of its very great beauty there is observable at the same time a
certain monotony of cadence, and an occasional want of success in the
attempts to relieve it, which place the passage distinctly below Milton's
best. And yet it seems almost ungenerous to place Milton even below
himself, particularly when in the very speech we are criticizing we are
brought face to face with two such flawless lines as those on 'fair
Ligea's golden comb',

    Wherwith she sits on diamond rocks
    Sleeking her soft alluring locks--

lines which anticipate and rival the perfection of rhythmic modulation in
_L'Allegro_ and _Il Penseroso_[358].


There remains to inquire what influence of pastoral tradition is traceable
in the wider field of the romantic drama, whether in individual scenes and
characters, or more vaguely in general tone and sentiment; and, finally,
to consider for a moment the critical expression given by writers of
various dates to the sentimental philosophy of life which went under the
name of pastoralism in fashionable circles.

The number of plays in which definite pastoral elements can be traced is
surprisingly small, even when every allowance has been made for the fact
that we have already included in our examination several pieces which come
but doubtfully within the fold. The spirit of the romantic drama, instinct
with sturdy life, had little in common with the artificial and unreal
sentiment of a tradition which had almost ceased to pretend to a basis in
the emotions of natural humanity. The result was, as might be expected,
that when the drama introduced characters of a nominally pastoral type,
they were either direct transcripts from actual life, deliberately
ignoring conventional tradition, or else specifie borrowings from that
tradition, introduced with full consciousness of its fashionable
unreality, and using that unreality for a definite dramatic purpose. Thus,
although the basis of pastoralism is found in non-traditional garb, and
though pastoralism itself is found as the subject of dramatic treatment,
yet, so far as the introduction of individual scenes and characters is
concerned, it is seldom possible to say that pastoral has influenced the
romantic drama in any sensible degree.

A certain number of plays, presumably of a more or less pastoral nature,
have perished. Thus no trace remains of the _Lusus Pastorales_ licensed to
Richard Jones in 1565, the nature of which can be only vaguely
conjectured. The early date of the entry renders it important, and it is
much to be regretted that the work should have perished, since it might
have thrown very interesting light upon the condition of pastoralism in
England previous to the appearance of the _Shepherd's Calender_. Most
probably, however, the piece, whatever it may have been, was composed in
Latin. We also have to lament the non-survival of a _Phillida and Corin_,
which, we learn from the Revels' accounts, was acted by the Queen's men
before the court, at Greenwich, on St. Stephen's day, 1584. This again
would be an interesting piece to possess, since the title suggests a
purely pastoral composition contemporary with Peele's mythological play.
On February 28, 1592, Lord Strange's men performed a piece at the Rose,
the title of which is given by Henslowe as 'clorys & orgasto,' presumably
_Chloris and Ergasto_. It was an old play, probably dating from some years
earlier. Whether 'a pastorall plesant Commedie of Robin Hood and little
John,' entered to Edward White in the Stationers' Register, on May 14,
1594, could have justified its title may be questioned, but it is curious
as suggesting an anticipation of Jonson's experiment. Again, on July 17,
1599, George Chapman received of Philip Henslowe forty shillings, in
earnest of a 'Pastorall ending in a Tragydye,' which, however, was
apparently never finished. Possibly our loss is not great, for Chapman's
talents hardly lay in this line; but a tragical ending to a play of the
pure pastoral type would have been something of a novelty, and the early
date would also have lent it some interest. Yet another play known to us
solely from Henslowe's accounts is the _Arcadian Virgin_, on which Chettle
and Haughton were at work for the Admiral's men in December, 1599, and for
which they received sums amounting in all to fifteen shillings. The title
suggests that the play may have been founded on the story of Atalanta, but
it was probably not completed. Ben Jonson's _May Lord_, which we know only
through the notes left by Drummond of his conversations, was almost
certainly not dramatic, though critics have always accepted it as such;
but the same authority records that Jonson at the time of his visit to
Hawthornden was contemplating a fisher-play, the scene to be laid on the
shores of Loch Lomond. There is no evidence that the scheme ever reached a
more mature stage. Finally, I may mention a play entitled _Alba_, a Latin
pastoral, which incurred the royal displeasure when performed before James
and his consort in the hall of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1605. The
historian of the visit, quoted by Nichols, says that 'It was a pastoral,
much like one which I have seen in King's College, Cambridge, but acted
far worse.' The allusion is presumably to the Latin translation of the
_Pastor fido_. The cause of offence was the appearance of 'five or six men
almost naked,' who no doubt represented satyrs.

To what extent these plays were of a pastoral character must, of course,
be matter of conjecture. They may have been pastoral plays of a more or
less regular type, they may have been mythological dramas, or they may
have been distinguished from the ordinary run of romantic compositions by
a few incidental traits of pastoralism only. Not a few pieces of the
latter description have been preserved, pieces in which definite traces
of pastoral are to be found, but which cannot as a whole be included in
the kind.

We have already had occasion to note the very slight pastoral influence
which exists in the short masques or dialogues of Thomas Heywood, in spite
of the opportunity afforded by their mythological character. The same may
be noticed in the plays in which he drew his subject from classical
legend. _Love's Mistress_ is the appropriate and attractive title of a
dramatization of the last-born fancy of the mythopoeic spirit of Greece,
Apuleius' tale of Cupid and Psyche. The early editions add to the title
the further designation of 'The Queen's Masque.' The work is indeed a
composite piece, a masque grown into a play through the accretion of
foreign matter, and was probably in its original state a far simpler
composition than it now appears. The writing is in a dainty vein, and had
the piece been completed in a manner consonant with the simple and idyllic
grace of the earlier scenes, it would have been no such unequal companion
to Peele's _Arraignment of Paris_. What the play contains of pastoral
belongs to one of the accretions. It is a rustic element in the
interludes, satiric and farcical, supplied by a country clown, some
shepherds, and 'a shee Swaine,' Amarillis. In his _Ages_ the pastoral
element shrinks to an occasional dance and song. Thus in the _Golden Age_
the satyrs and nymphs sing a song in honour of Diana, which introduces the
disguised Jupiter in his courtship of Calisto. In the _Silver Age_, again,
the rape of Proserpine by Pluto is preluded by a song of 'a company of
Swaines, and country Wenches' in honour of Ceres.

An unkind and quite worthless tradition, based on a manuscript note in an
old copy, has connected Peele's name with the lengthy and tedious drama of
_Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes_. It was admitted into the canon of Peele's
works by Dyce, and though Mr. Bullen differed from his predecessor as to
the justness of the ascription, he retained it in his edition. We find in
it a coarse, dialect-speaking rustic, named Corin, who at one point
succours Clyomon, and with whom Neronis, daughter of the King and Queen of
the Strange Marshes, seeks service in the disguise of a boy. Apart from
his name and the profession of shepherd he is a mere countryman, with
nothing to connect him with pastoral tradition, though the princess'
action finds, of course, abundant parallels therein. The _Old Wives'
Tale_, printed as 'by G. P.,' and of which there is no reason to question
Peele's authorship, connects itself with pastoral chiefly through the
already mentioned parallel which it affords to _Comus_. It also
anticipates, in a song of harvesters, the introduction of the 'sunburnt
sicklemen' of the _Tempest_ masque.

At a later date we find Shirley in his _Love Tricks_ introducing two
sisters who leave their home and, taking the disguise of shepherd and
shepherdess, dwell among the country folk in the fields and pastures,
whither they are followed by their lovers. There are passages which reveal
a genuine pastoral tone, such as Shirley could readily adopt when it
suited his purpose, and it is not only in the measure that the tradition
reveals itself in such lines as:

    A shepherd is a king whose throne
    Is a mossy mountain, on
    Whose top we sit, our crook in hand,
    Like a sceptre of command,
    Our subjects, sheep grazing below,
    Wanton, frisking to and fro. (IV. ii.)

Again, in the _Grateful Servant_ we have a show of 'Satyres pursuing
Nymphes; they dance together. Exeunt Satyres; three Nymphes seem to
intreat [Lodowick] to goe with them,' accompanied by a song of Silvanus.

Yet slighter traces of pastoral are to be occasionally found in other
plays of the period. Thus in Brome's _Love-Sick Court_ the swains and
nymphs are led in the dance by characters who have sought and found a cure
for love among the country folk. In John Jones' _Adrasta_, the scene of
which is laid at Florence, several of the characters disguise themselves
in pastoral attire, and there is one definitely pastoral scene in which
they appear in the midst of real shepherds and shepherdesses. The play was
printed in 1635, and it is noticeable as containing, in the pastoral
scene, satire on the Puritans resembling that introduced by Jonson in the
_Sad Shepherd_. So again, similar disguisings, though of a less
pronouncedly pastoral character, occur in the anonymous _Knave in Grain_,
in which the scene is Venice. Satyrs and nymphs, clowns and maids, join in
a song in Nashe's curious allegorical show entitled _Summer's Last Will
and Testament_; nymphs and satyrs appear in the interludes of Dekker's
_Old Fortunatus_; Silvanus, with nymphs and satyrs, perform a sort of
interlude with song in the anonymous _Wily Beguiled_; and, lastly, we have
the morris danced by the countrymen and wenches who accompany the jailor's
daughter in the _Two Noble Kinsmen_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The wider influence of tone and spirit is, in the nature of the case, far
more difficult to determine. It is possible that some court-plays may show
the influence of the artificial arrangement of characters and the
conventional play of motives characteristic of the pastoral drama. But it
is a matter of the greatest difficulty to analyse with certainty such
structural peculiarities as these, still more so to assign them with
confidence to their proper origin. Many characteristics which one might at
first sight put down to the influence of the pastoral drama are, in
reality, far more likely to be due to that of the comic stage of Italy in
general. But while it would be rash to assert that the pastoral plays in
this country exercised any wide influence over the regular drama, there
can be no question such an influence was exercised to a very appreciable
degree by pastoral poetry in general. I am not thinking of the romances at
this moment, for as we have already seen it was the non-pastoral elements
in the pastoral novel that exerted such influence as can be traced over
the drama, but rather of the pastoral ideal and the pastoral mode in
general, as expressed either in the lyric, the eclogue, or the drama. In
this the drama shared an influence which was also exercised on other
departments of literature. Numerous songs might be quoted from the scenes
of the Elizabethan dramatists in support of this contention; while, on the
other hand, we also find dramatic and descriptive passages the idyllic
quality of which may not unreasonably be referred to a pastoral source.

This tendency of the drama to absorb pastoral elements rather from the
lyric and the idyll than from regular plays in that kind is significant.
It is the acknowledgement of an important fact, which pastoralism failed
to recognize; namely, that as the expression of the pastoral idea gained
in complexity of artistic structure it lost in vitality. The pastoral
drama, born late in time, was the outcome of very especial circumstances,
emphatically the child of its age, and little calculated to serve the
artistic requirements of any other. Once the creative impulse that gave it
life was withdrawn the falsity of the kind as a form of art became
manifest; and though it lingered on for many years its life was but that
of a fashionable toy, with little or no hold over the vital literature of
its day. The popularity of the pastoral eclogue or idyll was of far longer
duration. Though the form was more or less definitely conditioned, it had
less of the structural rigidity of the drama, it brought its subject less
into contact with the hard limitations of reality, and, which may also
have been important, brought it less into comparison with other
subject-matter employing the same or a closely analogous form. Thus it was
better able to adapt itself to the tastes and requirements of various
ages, and found favour in such vastly different societies as those for
which Theocritus, Mantuan, Spenser, and Pope produced their works in this
kind. Even here, however, the simple sensuous ideal was too much hampered
by the ungenuine paraphernalia which the conventions of these various
societies had gathered round it to take rank among the permanent and
inevitable forms of literary art. This was granted to the lyric alone. It
was through the lyric that the pastoral ideal and pastoral colouring most
deeply penetrated and influenced existing forms; for the lyric, the freest
and most unconditioned of all poetical kinds, the least tied to the
circumstances and limitations of the actual world, was particularly fitted
to extract the fragrance from the pastoral ideal without raising any
unseasonable questions as to its rational or actual possibility.

    It was a lover and his lass
    That o'er the green cornfield did pass--

this is the essential; and we ask no more if we are wise. The very
essence, be it remembered, of the pastoral ideal is no more than 'love
_in vacuo_.' And this the lyric alone can give us.

       *       *       *       *       *

But there is one play which more than any other illustrates the nature of
the influence exerted by pastoral tradition over the romantic drama and
the relation subsisting between the two. This is _As You Like It_; for if
in one sense Shakespeare was but following Lodge in the traditional
blending of pastoral elements with those of court and chivalry, in another
sense he has in this play revealed his opinion of, and passed judgement
upon, the whole pastoral ideal. This must necessarily happen whenever a
great creative artist adopts, for reasons of his own, and takes into his
work any merely outward and formal convention. It was rarely that in his
plays Shakespeare showed any inclination to connect himself even remotely
with pastoral tradition. The _Two Gentlemen of Verona_ traces its origin,
indeed, to the _Diana_ of Montemayor; but all vestige of pastoral
colouring has vanished, and Shakespeare may even have been himself
ignorant of the parentage of the story he treated. A more apparent element
of pastoral found its way many years later into the _Winters Tale_; but it
is characteristic of the shepherd scenes of that play, written in the full
maturity of Shakespeare's genius, that, in spite of their origin in
Greene's romance of _Pandosto_, they owe nothing of their treatment to
pastoral tradition, nothing to convention, nothing to aught save life as
it mirrored itself in the magic glass of the poet's imagination. They
represent solely the idealization of Shakespeare's own observation, and in
spite of the marvellous and subtle glamour of golden sunlight that
overspreads the whole, we may yet recognize in them the consummation
towards which many sketches of natural man and woman, as he found them in
the English fields and lanes, seem in a less certain and conscious manner
to be striving in plays of an earlier date. It was characteristic of
Shakespeare, as it has been of other great artists, to introduce into his
early writings incidental sketches which serve as studies for further work
of a later period. In much the same manner the varied, but at times
uncertain, melody of the early love comedies seems to aspire towards the
full sonority and magic of lyric feeling and utterance in _Romeo and

Thus it is neither to the mellow autumn of his art, when he had cast aside
as unworthy all the trivialities of convention, nor yet to the storm and
stress of adolescence, the immaturity of pettiness and exaggeration, that
we must look if we would discover Shakespeare's attitude towards pastoral
tradition. _As You Like It_ belongs to his middle period. It will be
remembered, from what has been said on an earlier page, that in this play
Shakespeare substantially followed the story of Rosalind as narrated by
Lodge, to whom we owe the introduction of a pastoral element into the old
tale of Gamelyn. The pastoral characters of the play may be roughly
analysed as follows. Celia and Rosalind, the latter disguised as a youth,
are courtly characters; Phebe and Silvius represent the polished Arcadians
of pastoral tradition; while Audrey and William combine the character of
farcical rustics with the inimitable humanity which distinguishes
Shakespeare's creations. It is noteworthy that this last pair is the
dramatist's own addition to the cast. Thus we have all the various
types--all the degrees or variations of idealization--brought side by side
and co-existent in the fairyland of the poet's fancy. The details of the
play are too well known for there to be any call to outrage the delicate
interweaving of character and incident by translating the perfect scenes
into clumsy prose. Nor would such analysis throw any light upon
Shakespeare's attitude towards pastoral. That must be sought elsewhere. We
may seek it in the fanciful mingling of ideals and idealizations--of
courtly masking, of the conventional naturalism of polished dreamers, and
of a rusticity more genuine at once and more sympathetic than that of
Lorenzo, all of which act by their very natures as touchstones to one
another. We may seek it in the uncertainty and hovering between belief and
scepticism, earnest and play, reality and imagination--such as can only
exist in art, or in life when life approaches to the condition of an
art--which we find in the scenes where Orlando courts his mistress in the
person of the youth who is but his mistress in disguise. We may seek it
lastly in the manner in which the firm structure of the piece is
fashioned of the non-pastoral elements; in the happiness of the art by
which the pastoral incidents and business appear but as so much fair and
graceful ornament upon this structure, bringing with them a smack of the
free, rude, countryside, or a faint perfume of the polished Utopia of
courtly makers. It is here that we may trace Shakespeare's appreciation of
pastoral, as a delicate colouring, an old-world fragrance, a flower from
wild hedgerows or cultured garden, a thing of grace and beauty, to be
gathered, enjoyed, and forgotten, unsuited in its evanescent charm to be
the serious business of art or life.

On this note, the realization at once of the delicate loveliness and of
the unsubstantiality of the pastoral ideal, we may close our survey of its
growth and blossoming in our dramatic literature, and before finally
turning from the tradition which fascinated so many generations of
European artists, pause for one moment to inquire of the critical
expression it has received at the hands of more philosophical writers.

We have already seen how in the early days of modern pastoral composition
Boccaccio, summing up the previous history of the kind, found in allegory
and topical allusion its _raison d'être_. We have seen how in our own
tongue Drayton expressed a similar view, and how Fletcher adopted in
theory at least a more naturalistic position. This antagonism which runs
through the whole of pastoral theory is really dependent upon two
questions which have not always been clearly distinguished. There is,
namely, the question of the allegorical or topical interpretation of the
poems, and there is the question of the rusticity or at least simplicity
of the form and language. It is possible to advocate the introduction of
Boccaccio's 'nonnulli sensus' and yet demand that, whatever the esoteric
interpretation of which the poem may be capable, the outward expression
shall be appropriate to the apparent condition of the speakers; while on
the other hand it is possible to confine the meaning to the evident and
unsophisticated sense of the poem, while allowing such a degree of
idealization in the language and sentiments of the characters as to
differentiate them widely from the actual rustics of real life. The former
of these positions is that assumed by Spenser in the _Shepherd's
Calender_, however much he may have failed in logical consistency; the
second is that which, in spite of much incidental matter of a topical
nature, underlies Tasso's masterpiece in the kind. It is with the second
of the above questions that critics have in the main been concerned. They
have, namely, as a rule, tacitly though not explicitly recognized the fact
that a poem whose value depends exclusively upon an esoteric
interpretation has no meaning whatever as a work of art, while if artistic
value can be assigned to the primary meaning of the work, it is a matter
of indifference aesthetically whether there be an esoteric interpretation
or not.

Every writer, I think, who comes within the limits of pastoral as usually
understood, has found a certain idealization and a certain refinement
necessary in bringing rustic swains into the domain of art. That any such
process is inherently necessary to produce an artistic result there is no
reason whatever to suppose; it may even be rationally questioned whether
it is necessary to ensure the result falling within the recognizable field
of pastoral; but neither of these considerations affects the historical
fact. It is commonly admitted that among pastoral writers Theocritus
adhered most closely to nature; yet no one has been found to describe him
as a realist, whether in method or intention. But though this process of
idealization is practically universal, few poets have confessed to it.
Only occasionally an author, writing according to the demands of his age
or of his individual taste, has been alive to what appeared to be a
contradiction between his creations and what he mistook for the
fundamental conditions of the kind in which he created. This was the case
with Tasso, and he sought to reconcile the two by making Amore in the
prologue declare:

    Spirerò nobil sensi a' rozzi petti,
    Raddolcirò nelle lor lingue il suono,
    Perche, ovunque i' mi sia, io sono Amore,
    Ne' pastori non men, che negli eroi;
    E la disagguaglianza de' soggetti,
    Come a me piace, agguaglio.

This served, of course, no other purpose than to salve the author's
artistic conscience, since it is perfectly evident that the polished
civility of his characters belongs to them by nature, and is not in any
way an external importation. The remark, however, is interesting in
respect of the philosophy of love as a civilizing power, which we have
seen constantly recurring from the days of Boccaccio onward. Ben Jonson
expressed himself sharply on this subject, with respect to Guarini and
Sidney, in his conversations with Drummond. 'That Guarini, in his Pastor
Fido, keept not decorum, in making Shepherds speek as well as himself
could.... That Sidney did not keep a decorum in making everyone speak as
well as himself.'[359] The critical foundation of these censures in an _a
priori_ definition of pastoral is obvious, and they are more interesting
for their authorship than for their intrinsic merit. It would be curious
to know how Jonson defended such a character as his Sad Shepherd--but his
views had time to alter.

It is to the critics of the late years of the seventeenth century and
early ones of the eighteenth that we owe the attempt to formulate a theory
of pastoral composition. The attempt has not for us any great importance.
All the work we have been considering had appeared, and the vast majority
of it had passed into oblivion, before the French critics first engaged
upon the task. Nor has the attempt much intrinsic interest. The theories
of individual writers such as those already mentioned are of value, as
showing the critical mood in which they themselves created; but these, and
still more the theories of pure critics, are of no importance, either in
the field of abstract critical theory or of historical inquiry.
Fontenelle, offended at the odour of Theocritus' hines, Rapin, with his
Jesuitical prudicity and ethico-literary theories of propriety, are not
the kind of thinkers to advance critical and historical science. Yet it
was to their school that the far greater English critics of the early
eighteenth century belonged. Their work consists for the most part of
various combinations of _a priori_ definition and arbitrary rules, based
on the notion of propriety. Thus Pope in the _Discourse on Pastoral_,
prefixed to his eclogues in 1717, writes: 'A pastoral is an imitation of
the action of a shepherd, or one considered under that character.... If we
would copy nature, it may be useful to take this idea along with us, that
pastoral is an image of what they call the golden age. So that we are not
to describe our shepherds as shepherds at this day really are, but as they
may be conceived then to have been, when the best of men followed the
employment.' Shallow formalism this; but what else was to be expected from
Alexander Pope at the age of sixteen? His contemporaries, however, and
successors down to Johnson, took his solemn vacuity in all seriousness.
Steele, writing in the _Guardian_ in 1713 (Nos. 22, &c.), follows much the
same lines. He speaks of 'Innocence, Simplicity, and whatever else has
been laid down as distinguishing Marks of Pastoral.' Again, the reader is
informed that 'Whoever can bear these'--namely, certain _concetti_ from
Tasso and Guarini--'may be assured he hath no Taste for Pastoral.' We find
the same pedantic and ignorant objections to Sannazzaro's piscatorials as
were later advanced by Johnson: 'who can pardon him,' loftily queries the
censor, 'for his Arbitrary Change of the sweet Manners and pleasing
objects of the Country, for what in their own Nature are uncomfortable and
dreadful?' An afternoon's idling along the cliffs of Sorento or the shore
of Posilipo will supply a sufficient answer to such ignorant conceit as
this. Lastly, in the same familiar strain, but with all the pompous weight
of undisputed dictatorship, we find Dr. Johnson a generation later laying
down in the _Rambler_ that a pastoral is 'a Poem in which any action or
Passion is represented by its Effects upon a Country Life.... In Pastoral,
as in other Writings, Chastity of sentiment ought doubtless to be
observed, and Purity of Manners to be represented; not because the Poet is
confined to the Images of the golden Age'--this is a rap at Pope--'but
because, having the subject in his own Choice, he ought always to consult
the Interest of Virtue.' The one fixed idea which runs throughout these
criticisms is that pastoral in its nature somehow is, or should be, other
than what it is in fact[360].

This is a view which very rightly meets with small mercy at the hands of
the modern historical school of criticism. A last fragment of the hoary
fallacy may be traced in Dr. Sommer's remark: 'Die Theorie des
Hirtengedichtes ist kurz in folgenden Worten ausgedrückt: schlichte und
ungekünstelte Darstellung des Hirtenlebens und wahre Naturschilderung.' It
cannot be too emphatically laid down that there is and can be no such
thing as a 'theory' of pastoral, or, indeed, of any other artistic form
dependent, like it, upon what are merely accidental conditions.[361] As I
started by pointing out at the beginning of this work, pastoral is not
capable of definition by reference to any essential quality; whence it
follows that any theory of pastoral is not a theory of pastoral as it
exists, but as the critic imagines that it ought to exist. 'Everything is
what it is, and not another thing,' and pastoral is what the writers of
pastoral have made it.

It may be convenient before closing this chapter to summarize briefly the
results of our inquiry into the history of pastoral tradition on the
pre-restoration stage in England, without the elaboration of detail and
the many necessary though minor distinctions unavoidable in the foregoing
account. We saw, in the first place, that the idea of a literature dealing
with the humours and romance of farm and sheepcot was not wholly alien to
national English literature; but, on the contrary, that the shepherd plays
of the religions cycles, the popular ballads, and a few of the Scots poets
of the time of Henryson, all alike furnish verse which may be regarded as
the index of the readiness of the popular mind to receive the
introduction of a formal pastoral tradition. Next, preceding, as in Italy,
the introduction or evolution of a regular pastoral drama, we find a
series of mythological plays embodying incidentally elements of pastoral,
written for the amusement of court circles, and founded on the
_Metamorphoses_ of Ovid. In these the nature of the pastoral scenes appear
to be conditioned, in so far as they are independent of their classical
source, partly by the already existing eclogue, and partly perhaps by the
native impulse mentioned above[362]. All this anticipates the rise of the
pastoral drama proper. The foreign pastoral tradition reached England
through three main channels. The earliest of these, the eclogue, was
imitated by Spenser from Marot, who, while depending somewhat more
closely, perhaps, than was usual upon the ancients, and adding to his work
a certain original flavour, yet belonged essentially to the tradition of
the allegorical pastoral which took its fashion from the works of Petrarch
and Mantuan. The second, and for the English drama vastly the more
important channel, was the pastoral-chivalric romance borrowed by Sidney
from Montemayor, the great exponent of the Spanish school, which was,
however, based upon the Italian work of Sannazzaro. The third was the
Arcadian drama of the Ferrarese court, which was imitated, chiefly from
Guarini, by Samuel Daniel. Thus, of the three forms, verse, prose, and
drama, adopted by England from Italy, the first came by way of France, the
second by way of Spain, while the third alone was taken direct[363]. These
three blended with the pre-existing mythological play, and with the
traditions of the romantic drama generally, to produce the pastoral drama
of the English stage. The influence ot the eclogue was on the whole
slight, but to it we may reasonably ascribe a share of the topical and
allusive elements, when these do not appear assignable either to the
Arcadian drama or to masque literature generally.[364] The influence of
the mythological drama, again, is not of the first importance, and is also
very restricted in its occurrence; the _Maid's Metamorphosis_ is the most
striking example. The three main influences at work in fashioning the
pastoral drama upon the English stage were, therefore, the Arcadian drama
of Italy, the Sidneian romance borrowed from Spain, and the native
tradition of the romantic drama.[365] But we have seen that the most
important examples of dramatic pastoral in this country, though to some
extent conditioned like the rest by the above-mentioned influences, were
the outcome of direct and conscious experiment. In part, at least, the
earliest, and by far the most simple, was the work of Samuel Daniel
himself, which aimed at nothing beyond the mere transference of the
Italian tradition unaltered on to the English stage. A different aim
underlay the attempts alike of Fletcher and Randolph; the combination,
namely, of the traditions of the Arcadian and romantic dramas. This common
end they sought, however, by very diverse means. Fletcher, while adopting
the machinery and methods of the popular drama, left the ideal and
imaginary content practically untouched, and even chose a plot which in
its structure resembled those familiar in the romantic drama even less
than did Guarini's own. Randolph, on the other hand, while preserving much
of the classical mechanism as he found it in Guarini, altered the whole
tone and character of the piece to correspond to the greater complexity of
interest, more genial humour, and more genuine romanticism of the English
stage. Lastly, we found Jonson cutting himself almost entirely adrift from
the tradition of Italian Arcadianism, and seeking to create an essentially
national pastoral by the combination of shepherd lads and girls,
transmuted from actuality by a natural process of refinement akin to that
of Theocritus, with the magic and fairy lore of popular fancy, and with
the characters of Robin and Marian and all the essentially English
tradition of Sherwood. These three chief experiments in the production of
an English pastoral drama which should rival that of Italy stand, together
with Daniel's two plays, apart from the general run of pieces of the kind.
It is also worth notice that they are all alike unaffected by the Sidneian
romance. The remaining plays which form the great bulk of the contribution
made by English drama to pastoral, and among which we must look for such
dramatic pastoral tradition as existed, are almost all characterized by a
more or less prevalent court atmosphere, disguisings and adventures in
shepherd's garb forming the mainstay of the plot, while the genuine
pastoral elements supply little beyond the background of the action.

Into the post-restoration pastorals it is no part of my present scheme to
enter. They flourished for a while under the wing of the fashionable
romance of France, but were almost more than their predecessors the things
of artificial convention, having their form and being in a world whose
only pre-occupations were the pangs and transports of sensibility. They
occupy by right a small corner in the _Carte du Tendre_. Nor do I propose
to do more than allude in passing to Allan Ramsay's _Gentle Shepherd_. In
spite of the almost unvarying praise which has been lavished upon this
'Scots pastoral,' and even though the characters may have some points of
humanity in common with actual Lothian rustics, the whole composition of
the piece can scarcely be pronounced less artificial than that of the
Arcadian drama itself, and the play has undoubtedly shared in the
exaggerated esteem which has fallen to the lot of dialectal literature
generally. The tradition lingered on throughout the eighteenth and into
the nineteenth century. Goethe in his youth, while under the French
influence, composed the _Laune des Verliebten_, and in his later days at
Weimar the _Fischerin_, a piscatorial adapted for representation on an
open-air stage, in which the interest was purely spectacular. As a general
rule, however, pastoral inanity seldom strayed beyond the limits of the

That the pastoral should flourish by the side of the romantic drama was
not to be expected. It was impossible in England, as it was impossible in
Spain. In either case it might now and again achieve a mild success at
court, or under some exceptional conditions of representation; it never
held the popular stage. No literature based on the accidents of a special
form of civilization, or upon a set of artificially imagined conditions,
can ever hope to outlive the civilization or the fashion that gave it
birth. 'Love _in vacuo_' failed to arouse the interest of general mankind.
Every literature of course wears the livery of its age, but where the body
beneath is instinct with human life it can change its dress and pass
unchanged itself from one order of things to another; where the livery is
all, the form cannot a second time be galvanized into life. Pastoral,
relying for its distinctive features upon the accidents rather than the
essentials of life, failed to justify its pretentions as a serious and
independent form of art. The trivial toy of a courtly coterie, it
attempted to arrogate to itself the position of a philosophy, and in so
doing exposed itself to the ridicule of succeeding ages. Men with a stern
purpose in life turned wearily from the sickly amours of romantic poets
who dreamed that human happiness found its place in the economy of the
world. They left it to a rout of melodious idlers to imagine unto
themselves a state in which serious importance should attach to the
gracious things of sentiment and the loves of youth and maiden.


Page 19.--Even apart from the evidence of the _Bucolica Quirinalium_, it
is, of course, clear that Vergil's eclogues were familiar to the writers
of the early middle ages. How far their interest in them was literary, and
how far, like that of the mystery-writers, it was theological, may,
however, be questioned. It is worth noticing in this connexion that a
German translation was projected by no less a person than Notker, and
since they are coupled by him with the _Andria_, we may reasonably infer
that in this case at least the writer's concern, if not distinctively
literary, was at any rate educational. (See W. P. Ker, _The Dark Ages_, p.

Page 112, note 2.--There is an error here. _The Passionate Pilgrim_
version of 'As it fell upon a day' does not contain the couplet found in
_England's Helicon_. I was misled by its being supplied from the latter by
the Cambridge editors. Another poem of the same description appears in
Francis Sabie's _Pan's Pipe_. (See Sidney Lee's introduction to the Oxford
Press facsimile of the _Passionate Pilgrim_, p. 31.)

Page 204.--It is perhaps hardly surprising to find Tasso's 'S' ei piace,
ei lice' quoted by English writers as summing up the cynical philosophy of
those whom they not unaptly styled 'politicians.' In Marston's tragedy on
the story of Sophonisba, for instance, the villain Syphax concludes a
'Machiavellian' speech with the words:

    For we hold firm, that 's lawful which doth please.
                    (_Wonder of Women_, IV. i. 191.)

Appendix I

On the Origin and Development of the Italian Pastoral Drama

The chapter in the history of Italian literature which shall deal with the
evolution of the Arcadian drama still remains to be written. The treatment
of it in Symonds' _Renaissance_ is decidedly inadequate, and even as far
as it goes not altogether satisfactory. The explanation of this is, that
the most important works fall outside his period; the _Aminta_ and the
_Pastor fido_ are admirably treated in the volumes dealing with the
counter-reformation, but these are of the nature of an appendix, and
formed no part of his original plan. Tiraboschi's account is also meagre.
A long discussion of the subject will be found in the fifth volume of J.
L. Klein's _Geschichte des Dramas_ (Leipzig, 1867), but the bewildering
irrelevancy of much of the matter introduced by that eccentric writer
seriously impairs the critical value of his work. An excellent sketch of
the early history as far as Beccari, with full references, is given in
Vittorio Rossi's valuable monograph, _Battista Guarini ed il Pastor Fido_
(Torino, 1886), pt. ii. ch. i. This has the immense advantage of
conciseness, and of a clear and scholarly style. An important review of
Rossi's book, concerning itself particularly with the chapter in question,
appeared in the _Literaturblatt für germanische und romanische Philologie_
for 1891 (col. 376), from the pen of A. L. Stiefel, who incidentally
announced that he was himself engaged on a comprehensive history of the
pastoral drama. Of this work I have been unable to obtain any further
information. Next an elaborate essay by the veteran Giosuè Carducci,
largely combatting Rossi's conclusions as to the literary evolution of the
form, and bringing forward a good deal of fresh evidence, appeared in the
_Nuova Antologia_ for September, 1894, and was reprinted with additions
and corrections as the second of three papers in the author's pamphlet _Su
l'Aminta di T. Tasso_ (Firenze, 1896). To this Rossi rejoined, effectively
as it seems to me, in the _Giornale storico della letteratura italiana_
(1898, xxxi. p. 108). The treatment in W. Creizenach's _Geschichte des
neueren Dramas_ (Halle, 1901, ii. p. 359) is unfortunately not yet

The theory of development which I have adopted is substantially that
elaborated by Rossi. To him belongs the honour of having been the first
clearly to indicate the historical steps by which the eclogue passes into
the drama. The idea, however, was not original; it underlies the accounts
given by Egidio Menagio in the notes to his edition of the _Aminta_
(Paris, 1655), by G. Fontanini (_Aminta difeso_, Roma, 1700, and Venezia,
1730), by P. L. Ginguené (_Histoire littéraire d'Italie,_ vol. vi, Paris,
1813), and by Klein. It was also virtually accepted by Stiefel in his
review of Rossi, since he confined his criticism to pointing out and
attempting to fill occasional gaps in the sequence of development, and to
insisting on the influence of the regular drama, and more particularly of
the Intronati comedy. The incomplete state of Creizenach's work, and the
caution with which he expresses himself on the subject, preclude our
reckoning him among the declared supporters of the theory; but there can
be little doubt, I think, as to the tendency of his remarks. This may then
be regarded as the orthodox view. It has not, however, received the
exclusive adherence of scholars, and it may therefore be thought right
that I should both give in detail the arguments by which it is supported
and my reasons for accepting it, and likewise state the grounds on which I
reject the rival theories that have been propounded.

Two of these latter may be quickly dismissed. These are the views put
forward respectively by Gustav Weinberg, _Das französische Schäferspiel in
der ersten Hälfte des XVIIten Jahrhunderts_ (Frankfurt, 1884), and by J.
G. Schönherr in his _Jorge de Montemayor_ (Halle, 1886). Weinberg finds
the origin of the Italian pastoral drama in the 'Éclogas' of Juan del
Encina. With regard to this theory it may be sufficient to observe that,
at the time Encina wrote, the _ecloga rappresentativa_, or dramatic
eclogue, was already familiar in the Italian courts, and that, so far from
his writings being the source of any pastoral tradition even in his own
country, what subsequent dramatic work of the kind is to be found in Spain
merely represents a further borrowing from Italy. Schönherr, on the other
hand, regards the _Jus Robins et Marion_ as the source of the Arcadian
drama. Not only, however, did Adan de le Hale's play fail to originale any
dramatic tradition in its own country, but it is itself nothing but an
amplified _pastourelle_, a form which, in spite of marked Provençal
influence, never obtained to any extent in Italy. It need hardly be said
that there is not a vestige of historical evidence to support either of
these theories[366].

It is different with the theory advanced by Carducci in the essay already
mentioned. The reputation of the great Italian critic would alone entitle
any view he advanced to the most respectful consideration. In the present
case, however, there is more than this, for his essay is a monument of
deep and loving scholarship, and whether we agree or not with its
conclusions, it adds greatly to our knowledge of the subject. Briefly and
baldly stated, his contention is as follows. The Arcadian drama was a
creation of the literary and courtly circles of Ferrara, and so far as
Italy is concerned the precursors of the _Aminta_ are to be sought in
Beccari's _Sacrifizio_ and Giraldi Cintio's _Egle_ alone, with a
connecting link as it were supplied by the pastoral fragment of the latter
author, first printed as an appendix to the essay in question. Beyond
these compositions no influence can be traced, except that of a study of
the classics in general, and of Theocritus in particular. It is certainly
remarkable that the important texts mentioned above, as well as Argenti's
_Sfortunato_ and the _Aminta_ itself, should all alike have been written
for and produced at the court of the Estensi at Ferrara. The selection,
however, I regard as somewhat arbitrary. The _Egle_ appears to lie
entirely off the road of pastoral development, and I cannot help thinking
that Carducci falls into the not unnatural error of exaggerating the
importance of the interesting document he was the first to publish. The
primitive dramatic eclogue was not altogether unknown at Ferrara, nor do
the pastoral shows elsewhere appear to have been always as remote from the
courtly grace of the Arcadian tradition as the critic is at pains to
demonstrate. In view therefore of the practically unbroken line of formal
development, and the consistency of artistic aim observable from
Sannazzaro in the last quarter of the fifteenth to Guarini in the last
quarter of the sixteenth century, I find it impossible to accept
Carducci's conclusions.

The advocates of the orthodox theory, however, must be prepared to meet
and combat the objections which Carducci has raised, and which, in his
opinion, necessitate the adoption of a different explanation. The
evolution of the pastoral drama from the eclogue he declares to be
impossible, in the first place, on historical grounds. This objection
relates to the evidence as to a continuous development traceable in the
accessible texts, and to it the account given in the following pages
will--or will not--be found a sufficient answer. In the second place, he
declares it to be impossible on aesthetic grounds. These are three in
number, and may be briefly considered here. (_a_) 'Idealization cannot
develop out of caricature.' Here, I presume, he is using 'caricature' in
its technical sense of what Aristotle calls 'imitation worse than nature,'
not merely for the resuit of an inadequate command over the medium of
artistic μίμησις. The remark, therefore, can only apply to the 'rustic'
productions. But, as Aristotle's phrase suggests, burlesque, or
caricature, is only idealization in a different direction, so that there
appears to be less antagonism between the two tendencies than might at
first be supposed. Moreover, no one has suggested that the rustic shows
were the origin of the Arcadian drama, so that it is to be presumed that
Carducci had in mind the more or less frequent but still sporadic elements
borrowed by the eclogues from the popular drama. These, however, are found
in conjunction with idealized elements of courtly tradition, both in the
dramatic eclogues themselves and more especially in the _ecloghe
maggiaiuole_ or May-day shows of the Congrega dei Rozzi. Thus, although it
is true that we should not expect idealization to be evolved out of
caricature, there is no reason to deny its evolution from a form in which
burlesque and romance subsisted side by side. (_b_) 'Those eclogues that
are not burlesque are occasional compositions equally incapable of
developing into the Arcadian drama.' Though, no doubt, usually written for
presentation upon some particular occasion, several of the dramatic
eclogues present no topical features. Nor does it appear why a form of
composition, the type of which was fairly constant although the individual
examples might be ephemeral enough, should not develop into something of a
more permanent nature. Moreover, the topical allusions scattered
throughout the _Aminta_, as well as the highly occasional character of the
prologue to the _Pastor fido_, serve to connect these plays directly with
the 'occasional' eclogue. (_c_) The metrical form of the recognized
dramatic pastorals differs from that of the eclogues.' While beginning,
however, with simple _terza_ or _ottava rima_, the dramatic eclogue
gradually became highly polymetric in structure, though it is true that it
seldom affected the free measures peculiar to the Arcadian drama. These,
however, were no more suited to short compositions than the stiff terzines
and octaves to more complicated dramatic works. The prevalent metre, as
indeed many other points, might well be borrowed by the dramatic pastoral
from the practice of the regular stage without it thereby ceasing to be
the formal descendant of the eclogue.

Another point in debate is the view taken of the question by contemporary
critics--that is, by Guarini and his adversaries. Rossi pointed out a
passage in Guarini's _Veraio_ of 1588[367] which he held to support his
theory of development. Translated, the passage runs: 'And why should it
not be thought lawful for the eclogue to grow out of its infancy and
arrive at mature years, if this has been possible in the case of tragedy?
... Even as the Muses grafted tragedy upon the dithyrambic stock, and
comedy upon the phallic, so in their ever-fertile garden they set the
eclogue as a tiny cutting, whence sprang in later years the stately growth
of the pastoral,' that is, of the _favola di pastori_, or dramatic
pastoral, as he elsewhere explains. 'But in thèse words,' objects
Carducci, 'the writer is in no way referring to the Italian eclogues of
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The eclogue had passed out of its
infancy in the work of Theocritus.' Here, however, Carducci appears to me
to misinterpret Guarini's meaning in an almost perverse manner. The
metaphoric 'infancy' of which Guarini speaks is the pre-dramatic period of
pastoral growth. No one will deny that the Theocritean idyl had attained
full and perfect development in its own kind; but from the dramatic point
of view, and granted that it contained the germ of the later pastoral
drama, it belonged to a period of infancy, or, to adopt a more strictly
accurate metaphor, of gestation. Were further evidence needed to show that
the allusion is to the Italian rather than to the classical eclogue, it
might be found in the fact that the passage in question was Guarini's
answer to the following criticism of De Nores, as to the meaning of which
there can be no two opinions. Attacking the pastoral tragi-comedy, the
critic remarks: 'Until the other day similar compositions were represented
under the name of eclogues at festivals and banquets, ... but now of a
sudden they have been fashioned of the extension of comedies and tragedies
in five acts[368].' It will be noticed that in his reply Guarini makes no
attempt to question the underlying identity of the pastoral tragi-comedy
with the dramatic eclogue, but contents himself with very justly asserting
the right of the latter to develop into a mature literary form. Two other
passages from Guarini have been quoted as germane to the discussion. They
occur in the _Verato secondo_, written as a counterblast to De Nores'
_Apologia_,[369]. One may be rendered thus: 'Although the dramatic
pastoral, in respect of the characters introduced, recognizes its ultimate
origin in the eclogue and in the satire [i. e. the satyric drama] of the
ancients, nevertheless, in respect of its form and ordinance it may be
said to be a modern kind of poetry, seeing that no example of such
dramatic composition, whether Greek or Latin, is to be found in ancient
times.' The other runs: 'having regard to the fact that Theocritus stepped
beyond the number of persons usual in similar poems, and composed one [the
_Feast of Adonis_] which not only contains many interlocutors, but is of a
more dramatic character than usual, and remarkable also for its greater
length; it seemed to him [Beccari] that he might with great honour supply
that kind neglected by the Greek and Latin authors[370].' In the former of
these passages Guarini, while recognizing the community of subject-matter
between the classical eclogue and the renaissance pastoral drama, claims
that as an artistic form the latter is independent of the former. Nor is
this inconsistent with what he says in the subsequent passage, for it is
perfectly true that it was with Beccari that the pastoral first attained
its full complexity of dramatic structure, and his allusion to Theocritus
means, not that he regarded him as the father of the form, but that, after
the manner of a _cinquecento_ critic, he is seeking for authority at least
among the ancients where direct precedent is not to be found. His
reference to the evolution of classical tragedy and comedy in the passage
cited from his first essay shows clearly that he had in mind a process of
gradual and natural development, not one of definite borrowing or
artificial creation.

It appears to me, therefore, that Carducci has erred in not taking a
sufficiently broad view of the lines on which literary development
proceeds; and also, more specifically, in failing to recognize the
importance of the distinction between the ordinary and the dramatic
eclogue. This distinction, though on the scanty evidence extant it is
extremely hard to draw it with any degree of certainty, appears to me a
vital point in the history of the species. The value of Carducci's work
lies in his insistence on the influence of the regular drama, to which,
perhaps on account of its very obviousness, Rossi had failed to attach
sufficient importance; in his directing attention to the local Ferrarese
tradition; in the admirable energy and patience with which he has
collected all available evidence; and in his reprinting the interesting
pastoral fragment of Giraldi Cintio. For these he deserves the warmest
thanks of all students of Italian literature; for my own part I need only
refer the reader to the footnotes to the following pages as indicating in
some measure the extent of my indebtedness[371].

The theatrical tendency first exhibited itself in the mere recitation of
a dialogue in character, and the earliest examples of these _ecloghe
rappresentative_ are identical in form with those written merely for
literary circulation. For the dates of these external evidence
unfortunately fails us almost entirely, but a fairly well-marked sequence
may be established on the grounds of internal development. Roughly, they
must fall within a few years of the close of the fifteenth century, say
between 1480 and 1510. They are commonly of an allegorical nature,
containing allusions to real persons, and are for the most part composed
in _terza rima_, diversified in the more complex examples by the
introduction of octaves and lyrical measures[372]. Of this primitive form
is a poem by the Genoese Baldassare Taccone, bearing the superscription
'Ecloga pastorale rapresentata nel Convivio dell' III. Sig'r. Io. Adorno,
nella quale si celebra l' amor del Co. di Cayace [Francesco Sanseverino] e
di M. Chiara di Marino nuncupata la Castagnini[373].' This piece, in which
the characters represent real persons, is a mere dialogue without any
semblance of action. Aminta questions his fellow-shepherd Fileno as to the
cause of his melancholy, and learns that it arises from his hopeless
passion for a certain cruel nymph. His offer to undertake his friend's
cure is met with the declaration, that of the two death were preferable.
Similar in simplicity of construction is another poem, the work of
Serafino Aquilano, which deals with the corruption of the Church, and was
performed at Rome during the carnival of 1490[374]. An advance in
dramatization is made by an eclogue of Galeotto Del Carretto's, written in
1492, in honour of the newly elected Alexander VI, in that one character
enters upon the scene after the other has been discoursing for some time;
while another, the work of Gualtiero Sanvitale, contains three speakers,
of whom one enters towards the close, and is called upon to decide between
the other two. This arbiter is none other than Lodovico Sforza
himself[375]. So far the eclogues have all been in Sannazzaro's _terza
rima_. A wider range of metrical effect, including not only terzines both
_sdrucciole_ and _piane_, but also hendecasyllables with internal rime and
a _canzone_, and at the same time a more dramatic treatment, is found in
another eclogue of Aquilano's[376]. In this Palemone sends his herdsman
Silvano to inspect his flocks after a stormy night. The herdsman meets
Ircano in a melancholy mood, who when questioned endeavours to hide the
nature of his grief by feigning that he has lost his flock in the storm.
At that moment, however, the real cause of his sorrow enters in the shape
of a nymph, and Ircano leaves Silvano in order to follow her with prayers
and supplications. Silvano endeavours to dissuade him from his love, but
meets with the usual want of success. In the case of this piece, as also
of the two preceding ones, we have no direct evidence of any
representation, but all three, and especially the last, have the
appearance of being composed for recitation. Another piece, exhibiting an
advance in complexity of dramatic structure, is an 'ecloga overo
pasturale,' a disputation on love by Bernardo Bellincioni[377], apparently
in some way connected with Genoa, in the course of which five characters,
probably representing actual personages, though we lack external evidence,
forgather upon the stage. The versification again exhibits novel features,
the piece being for the most part in _ottava rima_ with the introduction
of _settenarî_ couplets. In the former we may perhaps see the influence of
the _Orfeo_, or possibly of the old _sacre rappresentationi_ themselves.
In 1506 the court of Urbino witnessed the eclogue composed and recited by
Baldassare Castiglione and Cesare Gonzaga[378]. It also belongs to the
octave group, and is diversified with a canzonet. Dramatically the piece
is somewhat of a retrogression, but it is interesting from the characters
introduced in pastoral guise. Thus in Iola and Dameta we may see
Castiglione and his fellow author; Tirsi, who gives his name to the poem,
is a stranger shepherd attracted by reports of the court; while among the
characters mentioned are discernible Bembo and the Duchess Elizabeth. At
this point may be mentioned a somewhat similar eclogue found in a Spanish
romance of about 1512, entitled _Cuestion de amor_, descriptive of the
Hispano-Neapolitan society of the time. The eclogue, which is clearly
modelled on the Italian examples, contains five characters, and is
supposed to represent the love affairs of real personages[379]. Two
so-called 'commedie pastorali,' from which Stiefel hoped for useful
evidence, prove on inspection to be medleys of pastoral amours exhibiting
little advance in dramatization, though interesting as showing traces of
the influence of the not yet fully developed 'rustic' eclogue. They are
composed throughout in _terza rima_ without any division into acts or
scenes, and are the work of one Alessandro Caperano of Faenza, thus
hailing, like the later _Amaranta_, from the Romagna[380]. In 1517 we find
a fantastic pastoral entitled _Pulicane,_ written in octaves by Piero
Antonio Legacci dello Stricca, a Sienese, who was also the author of
several rustic pieces, in which is introduced a monster half dog and half
man. Another work by the same, again in octaves, and entitled _Cicro_,
appeared in 1538. Another piece mentioned by Stiefel as likely to throw
light on the development of the dramatic pastoral is the 'Ecloga di
amicizia' of Bastiano di Francesco, or Bastiano 'the
flax-dresser'(_linaiuolo_), also of Siena, which was first printed in
1523. It turns out, however, to be a decidedly primitive composition in
_terza rima_, with a certain slightly satirical colouring[381].

If the texts that have survived are somewhat scanty, there is good reason
to believe that they form but a small portion of the eclogues actually
represented at the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth
centuries. Thus we find a show, of the nature of which it is not
altogether easy to judge, recorded in a letter by a certain Floriano
Dulfo, written from Bologna in July, 1496[382]. It appears to have been a
composition of some length, pastoral only in part, supernatural in others,
but belonging on the whole rather to the cycle of chivalresque romance
than of classical mythology. In Act I an astrologer announces the birth of
a giant, who in Act II is represented as persecuting the shepherds. Acts
III and IV are occupied by various complaints on his account In Act V,
called by Dulfo 'la ultima comedia, overo egloga,' the giant carries off a
nymph while she is gathering flowers; the shepherds, however, come to her
rescue and restore her to her lover. This incident, reminiscent possibly
of the rape of Proserpine, tends to connect the piece with the
mythological tradition. So far as can be gathered, the verse appears to
have been _ottava rima_ with the introduction of lyrical passages. Again,
we know that the representation of eclogues formed part of the festivities
at the marriage of Lucrezia Borgia with Giovanni Sforza in 1493, and again
in 1502, when she espoused Alfonzo d' Este. In 1508 the carnival shows at
Ferrara included three eclogues, the work respectively of Ercolo Pio,
Antonio dall' Ongano. and Antonio Tebaldeo[383]. At Venice we have note of
similar performances, and even find _ecloghe_ mentioned among the forms of
dramatic spectacle recognized by the laws of the state. I may also call
attention in this connexion, and as illustrating the habituai introduction
of acted eclogues in all forms of festival, to the occurrence of such a
performance in a chivalrous romance by Cassio da Narni, entitled _La morte
del Danese_[384]. The piece is, however, of the most primitive form, and
must not be taken as typical of its date, just as the masques introduced
into the plays of the Elizabethan drama are commonly of a far simpler
order than actually represented at court. It may also not improbably have
been influenced by the more popular form of rustic shows, as its
description as a 'festa in atti rusticali' would seem to indicate.

Meanwhile the rustic eclogue was developing upon lines of its own, though
rather in arrear of the courtly variety. In 1508 we find a piece in _terza
rima_, exhibiting traces of Paduan dialect, composed or transcribed by one
Cesare Nappi of Bologna, in which no less than fourteen 'villani' appear
with their sweethearts to honour the feast of San Pancrazio[385]. Eating
and dancing form the mainstay of the composition, and since the female
characters are described but do not speak, it may be questioned whether
the piece was intended for representation. Not till five years later have
we any evidence of a rustic eclogue forming part of an actual show. In
1513, Giuliano de' Medici was at Rome, and in the entertainment provided
at the Capitol on the occasion of his receiving the freedom of the city
was included an eclogue by a certain 'Blosio,' otherwise Biagio Pallai
delia Sabina, of the Roman Academy. The argument alone has come down to
us. A rustic, who has first suffered at the hands of the foreign soldiers
then overrunning Italy, and has afterwards been plundered by the sharper
citizens of Rome, meets a friend with whom it has fared similarly, and the
two determine to seek justice of the Conservators, as a last chance before
retiring to live among the Turks, since a man may not abide in peace in a
Christian land. They find the Capitol _en fête_, and the piece ends with a
song in praise of Giuliano and Leo X[386]. Of the same year is the 'Egloga
pastorale di Justitia,' the earliest extant specimen of the rustic
dramatic eclogue proper. It is a satirical piece concerning a countryman,
who fails to obtain justice because he is poor. He at last appeals to the
king himself, but is again repulsed because he is accompanied by Truth in
place of Adulation[387]. This form of composition, recalling as it does
the allegories of Langland and other satirists of the middle ages, differs
widely from that usually found in the courtly eclogues, nor is it typical
of rustic representations. Again, to the same year, 1513, belongs an
eclogue in rustic speech and Bellunese dialect, by Bartolommeo Cavassico,
which like the Roman show turns upon the horrors of the war which had been
devastating the country since 1508. Recollections of the 'tagliata di
Cadore[388]' blend incongruously with fauns, nymphs, bears, pelicans, and
wild men of the woods, to form a whole which appears to be of a decidedly
burlesque character. The distribution, however, of these rustic eclogues
never appears to have been very wide, and in later times they were chiefly
confined to the representations of the famous Congrega dei Rozzi at Siena,
though the activity of this society extended, it is true, far beyond the
limits of its Tuscan home. Most of these representations, at any rate in
the earlier years with which we are concerned, were short realistic farces
of low life composed in dialectal verse. Some of the cleverest are by
Francesco Berni, better known for his obscene _capitoli_ and his
_rifacimento_ of Boiardo's _Orlando_, and appeared between 1537 and 1567;
while in later days the kind attained its highest perfection in the work
of Michelangelo Buonarroti the younger, whose _Tancia_ originally appeared
in 1612[389].

It may be questioned to what extent these rustic shows influenced the
development of the pastoral eclogue. Their recognition as a dramatic form
was subsequent to that of the _ecloga rappresentativa_, and no element
traceable to their influence can be shown to exist in the dramatic
pastoral as finally evolved. On the other hand, we do undoubtedly meet
with incidents and characters in the courtly shows which appear to belong
to the style of the popular burlesque. A point of contact between the two
traditions may be found in the _commedie maggiaiuole_, a sort of May-day
shows also represented by the Rozzi, but of a more idealized character
than the rustic drama proper. They may, indeed, be regarded as to some
extent at least a parody of the two kinds--the courtly and the popular
pastoral--since by combining the two each was made the foil and criticism
of the other. Nymphs and shepherds appear as in the pastoral eclogues, but
their loves are interrupted by the incursion of boisterous rustics, who
substitute the unchastened instincts and brute force of half-savage boors
for the delicate wooing and sentimentality of their rivals.

       *       *       *       *       *

We return to the development of the dramatic eclogue in a work of some
importance as marking an advance both in dramatic construction and
versification. _I due pellegrini[390]_, written not later than 1528, when
the author, Luigi Tansillo, was a youth of sixteen or seventeen, was
doubtless produced on some occasion before the court of the Orsini, at
Nola, near Naples. It was revived with great pomp ten years later at
Messina, when Don Garcia de Toledo, commander of the Neapolitan fleet,
entertained Antonia Cardona, daughter of the Count of Colisano, for whose
hand he was a suitor[391]. Two shepherds, pilgrims of love, bereft of the
objects of their affection, the one through death, the other through
inconstancy, meet in a forest and reason of the comparative hardness of
their lots. Unable to decide the question, they each resolve to bear the
strongest possible witness to the depth of their affliction by putting an
end to their lives. At this moment, however, the voice of the dead
mistress is heard from a neighbouring tree, persuading them to relinquish
their intentions, reconciling them once more with the world and life, and
directing them to join the festivities in the city of Nola. Here for the
first time we meet with a pastoral composition of some length pretending
to a dramatic solution, and contrasting with the stationary character of
most of the eclogues we have been examining in that the change of purpose
among the actors constitutes a sort of περιπέτεια, or _rivolgimento_. The
piece is likewise important from a metrical point of view, since it not
only contains a free intermixture of _ottava_ and _terza rima_, and
hendecasyllables with _rimalmezzo_, a favourite verse form in certain
kinds of composition[392], but likewise foreshadows, in its mingling of
freely riming hendecasyllables with _settenarî_, the peculiar measures of
the pastoral drama proper. _I due pellegrini_ was not, however, an
altogether original composition. In 1525 had appeared a work by the
Neapolitan Marco Antonio Epicuro de' Marsi, styled in the original edition
'dialogo di tre ciechi,' and in later reprints 'tragi-commedia intitulata
_Cecaria_[393].' In this three blind men, one blind with love, another
with jealousy, the third with gazing too intently on the sun-like beauty
of his mistress, meet and determine to die together. They fall in,
however, with a priest of Amor, who sends them back to their respective
loves to be cured. It was this theme that Tansillo arranged in pastoral
form, borrowing even the metres of the original, but it was just the
element which justifies our including it here that he added, and it is
useless to seek in Epicuro's work the origin of the form with which it was
thus only accidentally associated.

A composition of some importance, dating from a period about two years
later than Tansillo's piece, is an 'ecloga pastorale' by the 'mestissimo
giovane' Luca di Lorenzo of Siena.[394] Two nymphs, by name Euridice and
Diversa, respectively seek and shun the delights of love. They meet a
_citto_--that is a _bambino_ in Sienese dialect--who proves to be none
other than Cupid himself, and rewards them according to their deserts,
Euridice obtaining the love of the courtly shepherd Orindio, while Diversa
is condemned to follow the rude and loveless Fantasia. The piece is
written in a mixture of _ottava_ and _terza rima_, with a variety of
lyrics introduced. The contrast between the loving and the careless
nymphs, and the episode of the latter being bound to a tree, appear to
anticipate the later pastoral; while the introduction of Cupid as a
dramatis persona carries one back to the mythological drama, and the
rustic characters connect the piece with the plays of the Rozzi. Another
composition of Tuscan origin is the _Lilia_, first printed in 1538, and
composed throughout in polished octaves.[395] It merely relates how the
shepherd Fileno courted the fair Lilia, a certain rustic element being
introduced in the persons of the herdsmen Crotolo and Tirso.

With the _Amaranta_ of Casalio we have been sufficiently concerned in the
text (p. 172). It was printed at Venice in 1538,[396] having probably been
written some years earlier. It is composed in _ottava_ and _terza rima_,
with the introduction of a canzonet, and marks an important advance on
previous work, not only in the nature of the plot, but in being divided
into acts and scenes. Sixteen years elapsed between the publication of
_Amaranta_ and the appearance of the regular pastoral drama in Beccari's
_Sacrifizio_. Some time ago Stiefel pointed out a considerable hiatus at
this point in Rossi's account, and mentioned certain works which might be
expected to fill it. These and others have since been examined by
Carducci, with the result that it is possible, at least partially, to
bridge the gap. The period proves to be one less of gradual evolution than
of conscious experiment. At least this is how I read the available

Besides the _Cecaria_, mentioned above, Epicuro de' Marsi also left a
manuscript play entitled _Mirzia_, which he describes as a 'favola
boschereccia,' being thus the first to make use of the term later adopted
by Tasso.[397] The piece, which was written some ten years before the
author's death in 1555, leads us off into one of the numerous by-paths
into which the pastorals of this period were for ever wandering. Two
despised lovers, together with their friend Ottimo, witness unseen the
dances of Diana and the nymphs, on which occasion Ottimo falls in love
with the goddess herself. After passing through various plights, into
which they are led by their love of the careless nymphs, they all have
recourse to an oracle, whose predictions are fulfilled through a series of
violent metamorphoses. This mixture of mythology and magic is wholly
foreign to the spirit of the Arcadian drama, and the _Mirzia_ cannot any
more than the _Cecaria_ be regarded as the progenitor of that form. I may
mention incidentally that among the characters is a good-natured satyr,
who consoles Ottimo in his hopeless passion for Diana.

Another attempt at mingling the pastoral with the mythological drama, and
one which likewise exhibits a tendency to borrow from the rustic
compositions, is the Florentine 'commedia pastorale' first printed in 1545
under the title of _Silvia_.[398] The author calls himself Fileno
Addiacciato, from which it would appear that he was a member of the
pastoral academy of the Addiaccio, founded at Prato in 1539 by Agnolo
Firenzuola. The prologue relates how the first _archimandrita_ of the
academy, the title assumed by the president, here called Silvano, was
driven out by his followers because of certain innovations he made,
'Alzando i Rozzi e deprimendo i buoni.' This would seem to imply that the
head of the Addiacciati was expelled for evincing too particular an
interest in the Sienese society, a piece of literary gossip fairly borne
out by the little we know of the events which led up to Firenzuola's
departure from Prato. The prologue, indeed, speaks of Silvano as already
dead, which would appear to necessitate the placing of Firenzuola's death
earlier by three years than the accepted date. The inference, however, is
not necessary, since the expelled president might in his pastoral
character be represented as dead though still alive in the flesh. The play
itself, which is in five acts, and contains characters alike Olympian,
Arcadian, and rustic, besides a hermit and a slave, is composed in a
variety of metres--_terza rima_, octaves both _sdrucciole_ and _piane_,
and in the style alike of Poliziano and Lorenzo, hendecasyllables both
blank and with _rimalmezzo_, and lyrical stanzas. The plot itself is of
the simplest, and resembles that of the _Amaranta_. Through the sovereign
will of Venus and Cupid, Silvia and Panfilo love. A temporary
estrangement, brought about by the mischievous rustic Murrone and his
burlesque courting of Silvia, is set right by an opportune appearance of
Cupid just as the girl has determined on suicide, and the lovers are
united according to the Christian rite by the hermit, in the presence of
Cupid and Venus. What could be more complete?

The following year, 1546, saw the appearance in type of two eclogues,
_Erbusto_ and _Filena_, by a certain Giovanni Agostino Cazza or Caccia,
the founder of a pastoral academy at Novara, for whose diversion the
pieces were presumably composed.[399] The first of these, _Erbusto_, is in
three acts, and _terza rima_. The elderly Erbusto is the rival of Ameto in
the love of a shepherdess named Flora. The girl's affections are set on
the younger suitor, and after some complications she is discovered to be
Erbusto's own daughter, stolen as a baby during the war in Piedmont.
Similar recognitions, imitated from the Roman comedy, are of frequent
occurrence in the regular Italian drama, and are not uncommonly connected,
as here, with some actual event in contemporary history. The second piece,
_Filena_, runs to four acts, and has lyrical songs introduced into the
_terza rima_. It appears to be a sufficiently shameless and somewhat
formless farce, which, being quite alien from the spirit of the regular
pastoral, need not be examined in detail.

To the next few years belong a series of 'giocose moderne e facetissime
ecloghe pastorali,' by the Venetian Andrea Calmo, composed in
_endecasillabi sdruccioli sciolti_, and published in 1553.[400] They
introduce a number of dialects, suited to various personages; Arcadian
shepherds like Lucido, Silvano, and the rest; rustics with names such as
Grítolo di Burano, mythological figures, and a _satiro villan_ who speaks
Dalmatian. An advance in dramatization may perhaps be seen in the
introduction of a second pair of lovers, while the writer goes even
further than Beccari in the introduction of oracles (a point in which,
however, he had been anticipated by the author of _Mirzia_), and an echo
scene, a device of which Calmo's example is certainly of an elementary

The most important, however, of the writers between Casalio and Beccari is
the well-known Ferrarese novelist Giovanbattista Giraldi, surnamed Cintio,
the author of the _Ecatommiti_, and of a number of tragedies on the
classical model. The first piece of his which claims our attention is a
_satira_ entitled _Egle_, which was privately performed at the author's
house in February, 1545, and again the following month in the presence of
Duke Ercole and his brother, the Cardinal Ippolito d' Este.[401] The play
is an avowed and solitary attempt to revive the 'satyric' drama of the
Greeks, a kind of which the _Cyclops_ of Euripides is the only extant
example. The action is simple. The rural demigods, fauns, satyrs, and the
like, having long sought the love of the nymphs of Diana in vain, enter,
at the suggestion of Egle the mistress of Silenus, upon a plan whereby
they may have the careless maidens in their power. They make a show of
leaving Arcadia in high dudgeon, abandoning their families of little fauns
and satyrs. On these the unwary maids take pity, and begin forthwith to
dance and play with them in the woods. The deceitful divinities, however,
have only hidden for a while, and when opportunity serves are placed by
Egle where they may surprise the nymphs at sport. They suddenly break
cover, follow and seize the flying girls, and are on the point of enjoying
the success of their plot when Diana intervenes, transforming her outraged
followers into trees, streams, and so forth. The metamorphosis is related
by Pan himself, who returns bearing in his hand a reed, all that is left
of his beloved Syrinx. Thus the piece may be regarded as a dramatization
of Sannazzaro's _Salices_, expanded by the free introduction of
mythological characters, and bears no connexion with the real nature of
pastoral, the life-blood of which, whether in the idyls of Theocritus, the
_Arcadia_ of Sannazzaro, or the _Aminta_ of Tasso, is primarily and
essentially human.

The other work of Cintio with which we are here concerned, a fragment
which remained in MS. till published by Carducci in 1896 as an appendix to
his essays on the _Aminta_, may be at once pronounced the most important
attempt at writing a really pastoral drama previous to Beccari's
_Sacrifizio_. It is found with the heading 'Favola pastorale' in an
autograph MS., along with several other works of the author, including
_Egle_, but with no indication of the date of composition. The author
survived till 1573, but we may reasonably suppose that the piece was
written before his departure from Ferrara in 1558. It consists of what are
apparently intended for two acts, headed respectively _Parte prima_ and
_Parte quinta_, each consisting of several scenes, though these are not
distinguished. The first two form a sort of introduction, in which Cupid
and Diana mutually defy one another on account of the nymph Irinda, whom
the boy-god has wounded with love for Filicio. The shepherd returns her
love, but finds a rival in Viaste, whose blind passion, though unreturned,
will admit no discourse of reason. It is, however, ultimately discovered
that Irinda and Viaste are cousins, a fact which is regarded as a
sufficient reason for the infatuated swain to free himself wholly and
immediately from his passion, and accept the love of the faithful
Frodignisa, who has followed him throughout.[402] The story, which
resembles that of Cazza's _Erlusto_, is thus of a simple order, and it is
chiefly in the composition that the likeness of the play to the regular
pastoral is seen. What the author intended for the middle three acts it is
hard to say, since the action at the opening of the fifth is precisely at
the point at which the first left it. Probably they were never written,
and the author may even have abandoned his work owing to the difficulty of
filling the hiatus. In both Cintio's pieces the metre is blank verse
(hendecasyllabic), diversified in the case of the _Egle_ with a rimed

One point becomes, I think, apparent from the foregoing examination;
namely, that while the fully developed pastoral owes its origin to the
evolution of the eclogue as a dramatic kind, its final form was arrived
at, not merely by a natural and inevitable process of growth, but as the
result of direct experimenting on certain lines. The evolution, that is,
was at the last conscious, not spontaneous. While up to a certain point
the dramatic germs latent in the eclogue develop upon a natural line of
growth, each advance being the reasonable resuit of the action of
surrounding conditions upon a previous stage of evolution, there comes a
time when authors seem to have felt that the form was in a state of
unstable equilibrium, that it was advancing towards a final expression,
which it had so far failed to find, but which each individual writer
sought to realize in his work. The supposition of a theoretic
preoccupation on the part of these writers is reasonable enough,
considering the critical atmosphere in which the pastoral developed, and
the heated controversy which soon centred round the accomplished form; and
it serves at the same time to explain the liabilities of writers before
Tasso to run metaphorically into blind alleys. The conscious endeavour
after a stable and adequate form appears to me a determining factor in the
work of Casalio, Cintio, and finally Beccari.

Of the _Sacrifizio_ of Agostino Beccari[404] have already spoken at some
length in the text (p. 174). From the account there given it will be seen
that the plot, though from its threefold character it attains a certain
degree of complexity, is in reality little more than the scenic
combination of three distinct stories, each of which might well have
formed the subject of an eclogue, and the whole play is thus closely
connected with the dramatic simplicity of its origin.[405] The verse,
which is blank, interspersed with lyrical passages, shows, like Cintio's,
the influence of the regular drama. For the satyr we need seek no
individual source; he was already as much a recognized character of the
Italian pastoral as the Vice was of the English interlude. The magical
element is doubtless ultimately traceable to a romantic source; it is one
which almost entirely drops out of the later pastoral drama, in which the
more distinctively classical oracle gradually won for itself a place.
Finally, I may remark that Beccari's claim to be considered the originator
of the pastoral drama was made in spite of his being perfectly well
acquainted with Cintio's _Egle_, as a passage in the first scene of Act
III testifies. There is, indeed, no reason to suppose that any writer
before Carducci ever considered Cintio's play as belonging to the realm of

Beccari's immediate successors were of no great interest in themselves,
and contributed little to the development of the form. In 1556 appeared a
'comedia pastorale,' by the Piedmontese Bartolommeo Braida, a hybrid
composition in octave rime, written possibly for representation at the
court of Claudio of Savoy, governor of Provence and Marseilles, to whose
wife it is dedicated.[406] This piece resembles Poliziano's play, not only
in metrical structure, but in having a prologue spoken by Mercury, while
by its general character it connects itself with such old-fashioned
productions as Cavassico's Bellunese eclogue of 1513, and the
representation reported from Bologna by Dulfo in 1496. On the other hand,
the introduction of three pairs of lovers, and the incident of the nymph
being bound to a tree, suggest that Braida may at least have heard of the
Ferrarese _Sacrifizio_. The whole is a strange medley of various and
incongruous elements--mythological in Mercury and Somnus; pastoral in the
shepherds, Tindaro, Ruffo, Alpardo, and their loves; rustic in the clown
Basso, who speaks Piedmontese in shorter measure; satirical in the wanton
hermit; allegorical in the figure of Disdain; romantic in the wild man of
the woods and the magic herb. Thus on the whole Braida's work represents a
decided retrogression in the development of pastoral; or perhaps it may be
more accurate to say that it renects the tradition of an outlying district
in which that development had been retarded.

To this period likewise, if we are to believe the author, belongs a 'nova
favola pastorale' entitled _Calisto_, by Luigi Groto, the blind
littérateur of Adria, whose preposterous pastoral, _Il pentimento
amoroso_, was produced between the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor fido_.
According to a note in the original edition, the piece was first
represented at Adria in 1561, revived and rewritten in 1582, and first
printed the following year.[407] It is founded on the well-known tale of
the love of Zeus for Calisto, a nymph of Artemis, who by him became the
mother of the Arcadians, as related by Ovid in the second book of the
_Metamorphoses_ (ll. 401, &c.). It may, therefore, so far as the subject
is concerned, be classed among the mythological plays, but the author has
mingled with his main theme much of the vulgar indecency of the Latin
comedy as adopted in the _cinquecento_ on to the Italian stage. The piece
is composed in _sdrucciolo_ blank verse.

With our next author, the orator Alberto Lollio, we return once more to
Ferrara. In 1563 a play entitled _Aretusa_[408] was presented before
Alfonso II and his brother the cardinal, by the students of law at
Ferrara, at the command, it is said, of Laura Eustoccia d' Este. The verse
is blank, diversified by a single sonnet, but the piece is again a hybrid
of an earlier type--a love-knot solved by the discovery of
consanguinity--with certain elements of Plautine comedy added. There is
also extant in MS. the plot, or prose sketch, of another comedy by Lollio,
entitled _Galatea_, on the same model as the _Aretusa_, but with somewhat
greater complexity of construction.[409]

It is evident that, though in the _Sacrifizio_ the final form of the
pastoral drama had been attained, the fact was not immediately recognized.
Indeed, until the seal had been set upon that form by the genius of Tasso,
it must have been difficult for any one to realize what had been achieved.
The form had been discovered, but it remained to prove that it was the
right form, and to show its capabilities. In 1567 a return was made to the
tradition of Beccari in Agostino Argenti's play _Lo Sfortunato_.[410] With
this piece also, composed in blank verse with a couple of lyric songs, we
have already been sufficiently concerned (p. 175). I only wish to draw
attention to one point here, namely, that if Guarini's Silvio is a
companion portrait to Tasso's Silvia, she in her turn is but the feminine
counterpart of Argenti's Silvio. The _Sfortunato_ stands on the threshold
of the _Aminta_, and its performance may have suggested to Tasso the
composition of his pastoral masterpiece, but it contributed little either
to the evolution of the form, or to the poetic supremacy of its successor.

We have arrived at the end of the catalogue, and it is for the reader to
decide whether or not I have succeeded in establishing a formal continuity
between the eclogue and the pastoral drama, and so answering the most
serious of Carducci's objections.

Appendix II


Any attempt at an adequate bibliography of pastoral literature would
require space far greater than that at present at my disposal. In the case
of all the more important works considered in the foregoing inquiry, I
have been careful to mention the edition from which my quotations are
taken whenever this was not the original. Nor do I propose to mention in
this place every book or article which I have consulted in the course of
my study. Where some particular authority has been followed on some
particular point the reference has been given in the form of a footnote.
There are, however, two classes of books which require special mention.
The first of these consists of those works to which I have had cause
constantly to refer, and which I have therefore quoted by abbreviated
titles; and second, of certain works which I have constantly consulted and
followed, but to which I have had no occasion to make specific reference
in the notes. A list of the works coming under one or other of these heads
will give a very fair survey of the critical literature of the subject,
and may therefore not only be convenient to readers of my work, but may
prove useful as a guide to any who may wish to make an independent study.
I have, of course, derived much help from the critical apparatus
accompanying many of the texts cited, but these I have not, as a rule,
thought it necessary to recapitulate here. Where, however, I have used
critical matter in editions other than those quoted for the text, they
have been duly recorded. Ordinary works of reference need no specific

A. General.

(α) Works on General Literature. These chiefly refer to Italian and
English literature.

(i) _Italian._ J. A. Symonds. _Renaissance in Italy. Vols. IV and V.
Italian Literature._ To the whole of this work, but especially to the
section dealing with literature and to that on the Catholic reaction
mentioned below (B. vi), my indebtedness is far more than any specific
acknowledgement can express. My references are to the new edition (7
vols., London, 1897-8), which has the advantages of being obtainable, and
of having a full though not very accurate index to the whole work, but
which is unfortunately very carelessly printed.

B. Weise and E. Pèrcopo. _Geschichte der italienischen Litteratur von den
ältesten Zeiten bis zur Gegenwart._ Leipzig und Wien, 1899. I have often
found this of considerable use as summarizing the latest work on the
subject. It is, however, not invariably accurate, and the literary
appreciations, whether original or borrowed, are seldom enlightening. Had
the space occupied by these been devoted to giving references to special
works, the value of the book would have been enormously increased.

A. D'Ancona and O. Bacci. _Manuale della letteratura italiana._ 5 vols.
Firenze, 1897-1900. I have fonnd the biographical and bibliographical
notes to this collection of the greatest use.

(ii) _English._ W. J. Courthope. _A History of English Poetry._ 5 vols,
published. London, 1895-1905. Vols, ii and iii contain accounts of English
poets of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

A. W. Ward. _A History of English Dramatic Literature to the Death of
Queen Anne._ New and revised edition. 3 vols. London, 1899.

F. G. Fleay. _A Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama._ 2 vols.
London, 1891.

(β) General Works on Pastoral. Of these some refer chiefly to pastoral
poetry, some mainly to the English drama.

(i) _Poetry._ E. W. Gosse. _An Essay on English Pastoral Poetry._ A. B.
Grosart, _Rider on Mr. Gosse's Essay._ In Grosart's edition of Spenser,
vol. iii, 1882, pp. ix-lxxi.

H. O. Sommer. _Erster Versuch über die englische Hirtendichtung._ Marburg,
1888. A useful sketch of the eclogue in English literature from 1510 to
1805, though superficial and not always accurate.

Katharina Windscheid. _Die englische Hirtendichtung von._1579-1625. Halle,
1895. This contains a good deal of original investigation, and I have
found it of considerable use. In questions of literary judgement, however,
the author is not always happy.

C. H. Herford. _Spenser. Shepheards Calender, edited with introduction and
notes._ London, 1897. The Introduction contains an admirable sketch of
pastoral poetry in general.

E. K. Chambers. _English Pastorals, with an introduction._ London, 1895. A
collection of lyrics, eclogues, and scenes, with a useful introduction.

(ii) _English Drama._ Homer Smith. _Pastoral Influence in the English
Drama._ Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, vol.
xii (1897), pp. 355-460. This has been constantly cited in my notes. As
the first serious attempt to investigate the English pastoral drama it
deserves credit; but in detail it is often inaccurate, while I generally
disagree with the author on all matters on which divergence of opinion is

Josephine Laidler. _A History of Pastoral Drama in England until 1700._
Englische Studien, July, 1905, xxxv (2). pp. 193-259. This appeared while
my work vas passing through the press, and though I have read it
carefully, I think that the reference to Mahaffy's not very accurate
account of Arcadia (see p. 51, note) is the total extent of my
indebtedness. The article adds little to Homer Smith's work for the period
with which we are concerned, while it is at the same time both incomplete
and inaccurate.

A. H. Thorndike. _The Pastoral Element in the English Drama before 1605._
Modern Language Notes, vol. xiv. cols. 228-246 (1899). A careful and
interesting article, which I also only read while my book was in the
press. Though it did not contain much that was new, I was particularly
glad to find myself in agreement with the author as regards the importance
of the pre-Italian tradition in English pastoral.

(γ) I ought also to mention: J. C. Dunlop. _History of Prose Fiction. A
new edition by H. Wilson.._2 vols. London, 1888. The fact that this work
consists chiefly of summaries of plots and stories makes it of great value
for tracing sources.

B. Special.

(i) Classical (Chap. I, sect. ii). J. A. Symonds. _Studies of the Greek
Poets. Third edition._ 2 vols. London, 1893. Chap. XXI deals with 'The

Andrew Lang. _Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus rendered info English Prose,
with an introductory essay._ London, 1889. The introduction contains a
very interesting account of the conditions of Alexandrian poetry.

Joseph Jacobs. _Daphnis and Chloe: the Elizabethan version from Amyot's
Translation by Angel Day._ London, 1890. The introduction contains an
account of Longus and his translators.

(ii) Medieval and Humanistic (Chap. I, sect. iv). F. Macrì-Leone. _La
Bucolica latina nella letteratura italiana del secolo XIV, con una
introduzione sulla bucolica latina nel medioevo._ Parte I (all published).
Torino, 1889.

P. H. Wicksteed and E. G. Gardner. _Dante and Giovanni del Virgilio,
including a critical edition of the text of Dante's 'Eclogae Latinae' and
of the poelic remains of Giovanni del Virgilio._ Westminster, 1902.

Attilio Hortis, _Scritti inediti di Francesco Petrarca pubblicati ed
illustrati.._Trieste, 1874.

Luigi Ruberto. _Le Egloghe del Petrarca._ Il Propugnatore, xi (2). p.
244, xii (1). p. 83, (2). p. 153. Bologna, 1878-9.

Attilio Hortis. _Studl sulle opere latine del Boccaccio con particolare
riguardo alla storia delia erudizione nel medio evo e alle letterature
straniere._ Trieste, 1879.

Marcus Landau. _Giovanni Boccaccio, sua vita e sue opere. Traduzione di
Camillo Antona-Traversi approvata e ampliata dall' autore._ Napoli, 1881.
Greatly enlarged from the original German edition. Stuttgart, 1877.

[Bucolic Collections.] (a) _Eclogae Vergilii. Calphurnii. Nemesiani.
Frcisci. Pe. Ioannis Boc. Ioanbap Mā. Pomponii Gaurici.._Florentiae.
Philippus de Giunta. 1504. Decimo quinto. Calendas Octobris. Contains the
_editio princeps._of Boccaccio's eclogues.

(β) _En habes Lector Bucolicorum Autores XXXVIII. quot quot uidelicet à
Vergilij ætate ad nostra usque tempora, eo poëmatis genere usos, sedulò
inquirentes nancisci in præsentia licuit: farrago quidem Eclogarum CLVI.
mira cùm elegantia tum uarietate referta, nuncque primum in studiosorum
iuuenum gratiam atque usum collecta._ Basel. Ioannes Oporinus. 1546. Mense

[Sannazzaro.] I may note here, what I was unaware of when writing my
account of Sannazzaro's Latin poems, that the _Salices._was translated
into English under the title of _The Osiers._ by Beaupré Bell, about 1724.
The MS. is in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge; see M. R. James'
Catalogue of the Western MSS., ii. p. 102.

(iii) Spanish (Chap. I, sect. vii). George Ticknor. _History of Spanish
Literature. Sixth American edition._ 3 vols. Cambridge (Mass.), 1888.

J. Fitzmaurice-Kelly, _A History of Spanish Literature._ London, 1898.

H. A. Rennert. _The Spanish Pastoral Romances._ Publications of the Modern
Language Association of America, vol. vii (3). pp. 1-119, (1892). An
elaborate study, which, however, I only discovered when my work was in the

Francesco Torraca. _Gl' imitatori stranieri di Jacopo Sannazaro. Seconda
edizione accresciuta._ Roma, 1882. A study which I have found very useful
both in relation to Spanish and French pastoralism.

(iv) French (Chap. I, sect. viii). L. Petit de Julleville. _Histoire de la
Langue et de la Littérature française._ 8 vols. Paris, 1896-1899.

(v) English Poetry (Chap. II). J. G. Underhill. _Spanish Literature in the
England of the Tudors._ New York (Columbia University Studies in
Literature), 1899. A valuable study, particularly in connexion with
Montemayor, with useful bibliography.

A. W. Pollard. _The Castell of Labour, translated from the French of
Pierre Gringore by Alexander Barclay._ Edinburgh (Roxburghe Club), 1905.
Whatever can be said for Barclay as a poet is admirably said in the
Introduction to this work.

F. W. Moorman. _William, Browne. His Britannia's Pastorals and the
pastoral poetry of the Elizabethan age._ Strassburg (Quellen und
Forschungen), 1897.

Walter Raleigh. _The English Novel. Second edition._ London, 1895. To this
brilliant study, and in particular to the treatment of Euphuism and
Arcadianism, I am deeply indebted.

J. J. Jusserand. _The English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare, translated
from the French by Elisabeth Lee. Revised and enlarged by the author._
London, 1890.

K. Brunhuber. _Sir Philip Sidneys Arcadia und ihre Nachläufer._ Nürnberg,
1903. Though not always accurate, the first part, dealing chiefly with the
sources, possesses original value; the same cannot be said of the second,
dealing with the dramatizations, which is superficial.

(vi) Italian Drama (Chap. III). J. L. Klein. _Geschichte des Dramas. Vol.
V. Das italienische Drama. Zweiter Band._ Leipzig, 1867.

Wilhelm Creizenach. _Geschichte des neueren Dramas. Zweiter Band.
Renaissance und Reformation. Erster Theil._ Halle, 1901.

Alessandro D'Ancona. _Origini del teatro italiano._ 2 vols. Torino, 1891.
Very much enlarged from the original edition, 2 vols., Firenze, 1877.

Curzio Mazzi. _La Congrega dei Rozzi di Siena nel secolo XVI._ 2 vols.
Firenze, 1882.

Vittorio Rossi. _Battista Guarini ed il Pastor Fido. Studio
biografico-critico con documenti inediti._ Torino, 1886.

Giosuè Carducci. _Su l'Aminta di T. Tassa, saggi tre. Con una pastorale
inedita di G. B. Giraldi Cinthio._ Firenze, 1899.

J. A. Symonds. _Renaissance in Italy. Vols. VI and VII. The Catholic
Reaction._ (See above, A. a. i.) Chapters VII and XI contain admirable
criticisms of the pastoral work of Tasso and Guarini.

(vii) English Masques (Chap. VII). Rudolf Brotanek. _Die englischen
Maskenspiele._ Wien und Leipzig (Wiener Beiträge), 1902.

David Masson. _The Poetical Works of John Milton, edited with memoir,
introduction, notes, and an essay on Milton's English and versification._
3 vols. London, 1890.

M. W. Sampson. _The Lyric and Dramatic Poems of John Milton, edited, with
an introduction and notes._ New York, 1901.


[In cases where a name occurs several times, the main reference or
references, if any, are distinguished by bold-face type.]

Abbot, Sir Maurice, _Lord Mayor_
Abbruzzese, A.
_Abuses Stript and Whipt_
_Accademia tusculana_
Achelly, Thomas
Achilles Tatius
_Actaeon and Diana_
àdan de le Hale, _or_ le Bochu
Addiaccio, academy at Prato
Admiral, Lord (Charles, Lord Howard)
Aeneas Silvius, _see_ Pius II.
_Affectionate Shepherd_
Affò, Ireneo
Alberti, Leo Battista
_Albion's England_
Aldus Manutius, the elder
Aldus Manutius, the younger
Alexander VI, _Pope_
Alexander, Sir William (Earl of Stirling)
Allacci, Leone
Almerici, Tiburio
Alva, Duke of
_Amadis of Gaul_
_Ambra_ (Lorenzo de' Medici)
_Ambra_ (Poliziano)
Ambrogini, Angelo, _see_ Poliziano.
_Aminta_ (Tasso), English translations:
  Oldmixon, du Bois, Ayre, Stoekdale, Leigh Hunt, anon.
_Aminta bagnato_
_Aminta difeso_
_Amintae Gaudia_
_Amore cortese_
_Amore fuggitivo_
_Amores_ (Ovid)
_Amorosi sospiri_
_Amorous War_
_Amyntas_ (Randolph)
_Amyntas_ (Watson)
Amyot, Jacques
Ancona, Alessandro D'
Angeli, Nicolò degli
Anne of Denmark
Annunzio, Gabriele d'
_Anthology_ (Greek)
Antona-Traversi, Camillo
_Apollo and Daphne_
_Apologia contre l'autor del Verato_
_Apology for Poetry_
Aquilano, Serafino
Arber, Edward
Arcadia, Academy of the
_Arcadia_ (Sannazzaro)
_Arcadia_ (Shirley)
_Arcadia_ (Sidney)
_Arcadia_ (Vega, drama)
_Arcadia_ (Vega, romance)
_Arcadia in Brenta_
_Arcadia Reformed_
_Arcadian Lovers_
_Arcadian Princess_
_Arcadian Virgin_
Archer, Edward
_Archivio storico per le provincie napolitane_
_Argalus and Parthenia_ (Glapthorne)
_Argalus and Parthenia_ (Quarles)
Argenti, Agostino
Ariosto, Lodovico
Arnold, Matthew
_Arraignment of Paris_
Arsocchi, Francesco
_Art of English Poesy_
_As You Like It_
_Astrological Discourse_
_Astrophel and Stella_
Atchelow, Thomas
_Athenae Oxonienses_
Aubrey, John
_Aucassin et Nicolette_
_Auto pastoril castelhano_
Averara, Niccolò
Ayre, William

B., I. D.
_Bacchus and Ariadne_
Bacci, Orazio
Baglione family
Balbuenas, Bernardo de
Baldi, Bernardino
Baldini, Vittorio
Baldinucci, Filippo
Baldovini, Francesco
Ballad Society
Bandello, Matteo
Bang, W.
Barclay, Alexander
Barclay, John
Bariola, Felice
Barksted, William
Barnes, Barnabe
Barnfield, Richard
Baron, Robert
Bartoli, Adolfo
Bartoli, Clementi
Basse, William
Bastiano di Francesco (linaiuolo)
Bathurst, Theodore
Baylie, Richard
Beaumont, Francis
_Beautiful Shepherdess of Arcadia_
_Beca di Dicomano_
Beccari, Agostino
Beeching, H. C.
Belcari, Feo
Beling, Richard
Bell, Beaupré
Bellarmino, Roberto, _Cardinal_
Bellay, Joachim du
Belleau, Remi
_Bellessa, the Shepherd's Queen_
Bellincione, Bernardo
Bembo, Pietro
Bendidio, Lucrezia
Beni, Paolo
Benivieni, Girolamo
Bentivogli, Annibale
Benvoglienti, Uberto
_Bergerie_ (Belleau)
_Bergerie de Juliette_
Berni, Francesco
Bertini, Romolo
_Biographia Dramatica_
Blake, William
Blosio, _see_ Pallai delia Sabina, Biagio.
Boccaccio, Giovanni
Bodoni, Giambattista
Boiardo, Matteo Maria
Bois, P. B. Du
Boleyn, Anne
Bonarelli della Rovere, Guidubaldo
Bond, R. W.
Bonfadino, Giovanbattista
Boni, Giovanni de
Bonifacia, Carmosina
Boninsegni, Fiorino
Bonnivard, François de
_Bonny Hynd_
_Bonny May_
Bono de Monteferrato, Manfrido
Borgia, Lucrezia
Boscán Almogaver, Juan
Botticelli, Alessandro
Brabine, Thomas
Brackley, Viscount, _see_ Egerton
Braga, Teofilo
Braida, Bartolommeo
Brandt, Sebastian.
Brathwaite, Richard
Breton, Nicholas
Bridgewater, Earl of, _see_ Egerton.
_Brief Discourse about Baptism_
_Britannia's Pastorals_
Brome, Richard
Brooke, Dr.
Brooke, Christopher
Brooke, Samuel
Brookes, Mr.
_Broom of Cowdenknows_
Brotanek, Rudolf
Browne, William
Brunhuber, K.
Bruni, Lionardo
Bryskett, Lodovic
Buc, Sir George
Buck, George, _Gent._
_Bucolica Quirinalium_
_Bucolicorum Autores XXXVIII_
_Bucolics_ (Vergil)
Bulifon, Antonio
Bullen, A. H.
Buonarroti, Michelangelo, the younger
_Burd Helen_
Byse, Fanny

C., H.
Caccia, G. A., _see_ Cazza, G. A.
_Caccia col falcone_
_Caccia d' amore_
Calderon de la Barca, Pedro
_Calendar of Shepherds_
Calmo, Andrea
Calvin, Jean
Campori, G.
Canello, Ugo Angelo
_Canterbury Tales_
_Canzoniere_ (Petrarca)
Camoens, Luis de
Caperano, Alessandro
_Capitolo pastorale_ (Machiavelli)
Cardona, Antonia
Carducci, Giosuè
_Careless Shepherdess_
Carew, Thomas
Carlton, Sir Dudley
Carlo emanuele, _Duke of Savoy_
_Carmen bucolicum_ (Endelechius)
Caro, Annibale
Carretto, Galeotto Del
_Carte du Tendre_
Casalio, Giambattista
Cassio da Narni
Castelletti, Cristoforo
Castelvetri, Giacopo
Castiglione, Baldassarre
_Castle of Labour_
Catharine of Austria
Catherine of Siena, _Saint_
Cavassico, Bartolommeo
Cavendish, George
Cazza, Giovanni Agostino
Cecco di Mileto
_Cefalo y Pocris_
_Celos aun del aire matan_
_Cent Nouvelles nouvelles_
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de
Cesana, Gasparo
Chaloner, Thomas
Chamberlain, John
Chambers, E. K.
Chandos, Lord
Chapman, George
Charles I
Charles II
Châteillon, Sébastien
Chaucer, Geoffrey
_Chester mysteries_
Chettle, Henry
Chetwood, W. R.
Child, F. J.
_Child Waters_
_Chloris and Ergasto_
Ciotti, Giovanbattista
Claudio of Savoy
_Clorys and Orgasto_
Ciacco dell'Anguillaja
_Citizen and Uplondishman_
Clement VI, _Pope_
Coello, Antonio
_Coelum Britannicum_
Coleridge, S. T.
_Colin Clout's come home again_
Colisano, Count of
Colleoni, Bartolommeo
Collier, J. P.
Colonna, Giovanni, _Cardinal_ (at Avignon)
Colonna, Giovanni, _Cardinal_ (at Rome)
_Columbia University Studies in Literature_
Compani, A.
_Compendio della poesia tragicomica_
_Complete Angler_
_Conflictus veris et hiemis_
Conington, John
Constable, Henry
Contarini, Francisco
_Converted Robber_
_Coplas de Mingo Revulgo_
Corazzini, Francesco
Corneille, Pierre
_Cornhill Magazine_
Corrado, Gregorio
Correggio, Niccolò da
Count Palatine (Frederick V, Elector Palatine)
Courthope, W. J.
_Coventry mysteries_
_Cowdenknows,_ see _Broom of Cowdenknows._
Cowley, Abraham
Cox, Robert
Coxeter, Thomas
Creizenach, Wilhelm
Cresci, Pietro
Crescimbeni, G. M.
Croce, B.
Crusca, Accademia della
Cuchetti, Giovanni Donato
_Cuestion de amor_
Cunningham, Peter
_Cupid and Psyche_
_Cupid's Revenge_
_Cynthia_ (Barnfield)
_Cynthia_ (Dyer)

D., D.
D., E.
Dancer, John
Daniel, Samuel
Dante Alighieri
_Danza di Venere_
_Daphnis and Chloe_
Δάφνις Πολυστέφανος
Davenant, Sir William
Davies, Sir John
Davison, Francis
Day, Angel
Day, John
_Défense de la langue française_
_Defence of Poesy_
_Defence of Rime_
Deighton, Kenneth
Dekker, Thomas
Delaval, Lady Elizabeth
Denny, Sir William
Denham, Sir John
Denores, Giasone, _see_ Nores, Giasone de.
_Deorum Dona_
_De Remedio Amoris_
Derby, Countess Dowager of
Dering, Sir E.
_Descensus Astraeae_
Devonshire, Duke of
_De Vulgari Eloquio_
_Dialogo di tre ciechi_
_Dialogue at Wilton_
_Dialogue in Praise of Astrea_
_Dialogues and Dramas_
Diane de Poitiers
Dickenson, John
_Dictionary of National Biography_
Digby, Sir Kenelm
Digby, Lady Venetia
Dionisio, Alessandro
Dionisio, Scipione
_Discorso intorno alla commedia_
_Discourse of English Poetry_
_Discourse on Pastoral_
_Dispraise of a Courtly Life_
_Divina Commedia_
_Dodsley's Old Plays_
Dolce, Lodovico
_Donald of the Isles_
Donati, Alesso
Donne, John
_Don Quixote_
_Dorastus and Fawnia_
Dorset, Earl of
Dossi, Dosso
Dove, John
Drake, Sir Francis
Drayton, Michael
_Driadeo d'amore_
Drummond, Jean
Drummond, William
Dryden, John
Du Bartas, Seigneur (Guillaume de Salluste)
_Due pellegrini_
Dunlop, J. C.
Dulfo, Floriano
Dyce, Alexander
Dyer, Sir Edward
Dymocke, Mr.
Dymocke, Charles
Dymocke, Sir Edward
Dymocke, John

_Earl Lithgow_
_Earl Richard_
Early English Text Society
Ebsworth, J. W.
_Ecloga di amicizia_
_Ecloga di justizia_
_Ecloga duarum sanctimonialium_
_Ecloga Theoduli_
_Éclogas_ (Encina)
_Éclogue au Roi_ (Marot)
_Éclogue Gratulatory_ (Peele)
_Éclogue, ou Chant pastoral_(I. D. B.)
_Éclogues sacrées_ (Belleau)
Edward IV, _King of England_
Edward V, _King of England_
Edward VI, _King of England_
Egerton, Lady Alice
Egerton, John (first Earl of Bridgewater)
Egerton, John (third Viscount Brackley and second Earl of Bridgewater)
Egerton, Sir Thomas (Baron Ellesmere and first Viscount Brackley)
Egerton, Thomas (son of John, first Earl of Bridgewater)
Elizabeth, _Queen of England_
Elizabeth, _Duchess of Urbino, see_ Gonzaga, Elizabeta.
Encina, Juan del
Encinas, Pedro de
Endelechius, Severus Sanctus
_England's Helicon_
_England's Mourning Garment_
_England's Parnassus_
_Englische Studien_
_English Grammar_ (Jonson)
_English Miscellany_
Enrique IV, _King of Spain_
_Entertainment at Althorp_
_Entertainment at Elvetham_
_Entertainment at Kenilworth_
_Entertainment at Richmond_
Epicuro de' Marsi
_Epithalamium_ (Spenser)
Erasmus, Desiderius
Erythraeus, Janus Nicius
Essex, Earl of
Este, House of (Estensi)
Este, Alfonso d' (Alfonso I), _Duke of Ferrara_
Este, Alfonso d' (Alfonso II), _Duke of Ferrara_
Este, Ercole d' (Ercole I), _Duke of Ferrara_
Este, Ercole d'(Ercole II), _Duke of Ferrara_
Este, Francesco d'
Este, Ippolito d', _Cardinal_
Este, Laura Eustoccia d'
Este, Leonora d'
Este, Lucrezia d' (wife of Annibale Bentivogli)
Este, Lucrezia d' (daughter of Ercole II)
Este, Luigi d', _Cardinal_ (son of Ercole II)
Este, Renata d' (wife of Ercole II, and daughter of Louis XII of France)

_Faery Queen_
Fairfax, Edward
_Fairy Pastoral_
_Faithful Shepherdess_
Falkland, Viscount
_Fancy's Theatre_
Fanfani, P.
Fanshawe, Sir Richard
_Faustus, Dr_.
_Feast of Adonis_
Ferdinand I, _King of Naples_
Ferrario, Giulio
Ferraby, George
FF. Anglo-Britannus (_pseud._)
_Fickle Shepherdess_
_Fida Armilla_
_Fida ninfa_
_Fida pastora_
_Fidus Pastor_
Field, Nathan
_Fig for Momus_
_Figlia di Iorio_
_Figliuoli di Aminta e Silvia e di Mirtillo ed Amarilli_
Figueroa, Cristóbal Suárez de
Figueroa, Francisco de
Fileno Addiacciato
Filleul, Nicolas
_Filli di Sciro_
_Filli di Sciro_ (Bonarelli), English translations:
  [Latin] _(Scyros)_
_Finta Fiammetta_
Firenzuola, Agnolo
_Fisherman's Tale_
Fitzmaurice-Kelly, James
_Five Plays in One_
Flamini, F.
Fleay, F. G.
Fleming, Abraham
Fletcher, Giles, the elder
Fletcher, John
Fletcher, Phineas
_Flower of Fidelity_
Folengo, Teofilo
Fontanini, Giusto
Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de
_Forbonius and Prisceria_
Forde, Thomas
Fortini, Pietro
François I, _King of France_.
Frati, L.
Fratti, Giovanni
Fraunce, Abraham
Frederick of Aragon, _King of Naples_
Frezzi, Frederigo
_Frutti d'amore_
Furness, H. H.

G., T.
_Galatea_ (Cervantes)
_Galatea_ (Lollio)
_Gammer Gurton's Needle_
Garcia de Toledo
Garcilaso de la Vega
Gardner, E. G.
Gascoigne, George
Gauricus, Pomponius
_Gentle Shepherd_
_Gerusalemme liberata_
_Gesta Romanorum_
Gifford, William
Ginguené, P. L.
_Giornale storico della letteratura italiana_
Giovanni del Virgilio
Giraldi _Cintio_, Giovanni Battista
Giunta, Filippo di
Glapthorne, Henry
_Glasgow Peggie_
_God's Revenge against Murder_
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
Goffe, Thomas
_Golden Age_ (Graham)
_Golden Age_ (Heywood)
_Golden Fleece_
Golding, Arthur
Gollancz, Israel
Gomersall, Robert
Gonzaga, Cesare
Gonzaga, Elisabetta (wife of Guidubaldo II of Urbino)
Gonzaga, Francesco
Gonzaga, Gianvincenzo, _Cardinal_
Gonzaga, Isabella
Gonzaga, Scipione
Gonzaga, Vincenzo
Goodere, Anne
Goodwin, Gordon
Googe, Barnabe
Gosse, E. W.
Gosson, Stephen
Gower, Lady
Gower, John
Gozze, Gauges de
Graham, Kenneth
_Grateful Servant_
Gravina, Gian Vincenzo
_Great Plantagenet_
Greene, Robert
Gregory XI, _Pope_
Greville, Dorothy
Greville, Fulke (Lord Brooke)
Grimaldi, Bartolommeo Ceva, _Duke of Telese_
Grimani, Marin, _Doge_
Gringore, Pierre
_Gripus and Hegio_
Grosart, A. B.
Groto, Luigi
Guarini, Alessandro
Guarini, Battista
Guerrini, O.
Guidubaldo I, _see_ Montefeltro, G.
Guidubaldo II, _see_ Rovere, G. della.
Gustavus Adolphus, _King of Sweden_

H., I.
Hall, Edward
Hall, Joseph
Halliwell-Phillipps, J. O.
Hardy, Thomas
_Harmony of the Church_
_Harpelus' Complaint_
Harvey, Gabriel
Harvey, Richard
Harvey, Thomas
_Havelok the Dane_
Hawes, Stephen
Hazlewood, Joseph
Hazlitt, W. C
Heber, Richard
Henneman, J. B.
Henrietta Maria
_Henry VI_
Henry VIII, _King of England_
Henryson, Robert
Henslowe, Philip
Herbert, Sir Henry
Herd, David
Herford, C. H.
Herrick, Robert
Hewlett, Maurice
Heywood, John
Heywood, Thomas
Hiero of Syracuse
_Histoire des satyres et nymphes de Diane_
_Honour's Academy_
Hortis, Attilio
_Hospital of Lovers_
_House of Fame_
Howard, Douglas
Howard, Sir Edward
Hunt, Leigh
_Hunting of Cupid_
_Hymen's Triumph_
_Hymn to Pan_
_Hymns in honour of Love and Beauty_

_Idyllia_ (Ausonius)
_Idyls_ (Theocritus)
Immerito (_pseud._)
Index, Congregation of the
_Index Expurgatorius_
_Index Librorum Prohibitorum_
_Inedited Poetical Miscellany_
Ingegneri, Angelo
_Inner Temple Masque_
Innocent VIII, _Pope_
_Intrichi d' amore_
Intronati, academy at Siena
_Iphis and Ianthe_
Isauro, Fileno di (_pseud._)
_Isle of Dogs_
_Isle of Gulls_

Jackson, Henry
Jacobs, James
James I, _King of England_
James, M. R.
James, William
Jauregui, Juan de
_Jealous Lovers_
Jeanne de Laval
Jennaro, Pietro Jacopo de
_John, King_
John of Bologna, _see_ Giovanni del Virgilio.
_Johnie Faa_
Johnson, Samuel
Jones, Inigo
Jones, John
Jones, Richard
Jones, Stephen
Jonson, Benjamin
_Jonsonus Verbius_
Julius Caesar
_Jupiter and Io_
Jusserand, J. J.
Juvenal, 6.

K., E.
Ker, Robert (Earl of Roxburgh)
Ker, W. P.
King, Edward
Kipling, Rudyard
Kirke, Edward
Kirkman, Francis
Klein, J. L.
Kluge, Friedrich
_Knave in Grain_
Knevet, Ralph
_Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter_
_Knight of the Burning Pestle_
Koeppel, Emil
Kynder, Philip

_Lady of May_
_Lady Pecunia_
La Fayette, Comtesse de
_Lagrime di San Pietro_
Laidler, Josephine
Lamb, Charles
_Lamentations of Amyntas_
_Lamenta di Cecco da Varlungo_
Landau, Marcus
Lang, Andrew
Langland, William
Languet, Hubert
Laud, William
_Laune des Verliebten_
Lauro, Cristoforo
Lawes, Henry
_Lawyer's Logic_
_Lear, King_
Lee, Elizabeth
Lee, Honoria
Lee, Margaret L.
Lee, S. L.
Lee, William
Lee Priory Press
Legacci dello Stricca, Piero Antonio
Legge, Cantrell
Leicester, Earl of
_Leir, King_
Leo X, _Pope_
L'Estrange, Sir Roger
_Lettere memorabili_
_Literaturblatt für germanische und romanische Philologie_
_Lizie Baillie_
_Lizie Lindsay_
Lodge, Thomas
_Lodovick Sforza_
Logan, W. H.
Lollio, Alberto
_Love Crowns the End_
_Love in its Ecstasy_
_Love-Sick Court_
_Love Tricks_
_Love's Changelings' Change_
_Love's Labour's Lost_
_Love's Labyrinth_
_Love's Metamorphosis_
_Love's Mistress_, 407.
_Love's Riddle_
_Loves Victory_
Loyse de Savoye
Luca di Lorenzo
Lungo, Isidore del
_Lusus Pastorales_
Luther, Martin
Lydgate, John
Lyly, John

Macaulay, Lord
Machiavelli, Niccolo
Machiavelli, Paolo
Machin, Lewis
Macrì-Leone, F.
Madan, Falconer
Mahaffy, J. P.
Maidment, James
_Maid's Metamorphosis_
_Maid's Revenge_
Malacreta, Giovan Pietro
_Man in the Moon_
Mancina, Faustina
Manso, Giovanni Battista
Mantegna, Andrea
Manuscripts quoted:--
    Rawl. Poet.
  British Museum:--
    Addit. 10,444
      "    11,743
      "    14,047
      "    18,638
      "    29,493
    Egerton, 1994
    Harl. 6924
      "   7044
    Lansd. 1171
    Sloane, 836
      "     857
  Caius College, Cambridge
  Cambridge University Library
  Emmanuel College, Cambridge
  Trinity College, Cambridge
Manwood, Sir Peter
Manwood, Thomas
Marchesa, Cassandra
Margaret of Navarre
Marini, Giovanbattista
Marlowe, Christopher
Marot, Clement
Marsi, E., _see_ Epicuro de' Marsi.
Marston, John
Martin Mar-prelate (_pseud._)
Martino da Signa
Mason, I. M.
Masson, David
_Materialien zur Kunde des alteren Englischen Dramas_
_May Lord_
Mazzi, Curzio
Mazzoni, G.
McKerrow, R. B.
Medici, Eleonora de'
Medici, Ferdinando de' (Ferdinando I), _Grand Duke of Florence_
Medici, Giuliano de' (brother of Lorenzo)
Medici, Giuliano de' (son of Lorenzo)
Medici, Lorenzo de', _Il Magnifico_
Menagio, Egidio
Mendoza, Iñigo de
_Menina e moça_
Menzini, Benedetto
Meres, Francis
_Merry Wives of Windsor_
Meung, Jean de
Meyers, Ernest
_Midsummer Night's Dream_
Milton, John
Mirari, Alessandro
_Mirror for Magistrates_
_Modern Language Association of America, Publications of the_
_Modern Language Notes_
_Modern Language Quarterly_
_Modern Language Review_
Molza, Francesco Maria
Montagu, Walter
Montefeltro, Guidubaldo (Guidubaldo I), _Duke of Urbino_
Montemayor, Jorge de
Moore, Thomas
Moore, Sir Thomas
Moorman, F. W.
Moraldi, Giannantonio
_Morte del Danese_
_Morte della Nencia_
_Mother Bombie_
_Mother Hubberd's Tale_
_Mourning Garment_
Munday, Anthony
_Muses' Elizium_
_Muses' Looking Glass_
Mussato, Albertino

Nappi, Cesare
_Narcissus' Change_
Nashe, Thomas
_Nencia da Barberino_
Nettleship, Henry
_Never too Late_
_New English Dictionary_
Nichols, John
Nicolas de Montreux
_Ninfa tiberina_
_Ninfale fiesolano_
Noci, Carlo
Nores, Giasone de
Norris of Rycote, Baron
Northampton, Earl of
Northumberland, Earl of
Notker the German
_Novelle de Novizi_
_Nuova Antologia_
_Nut-brown Maid_

Occleve, Thomas
_Old-fashioned Love_
_Old Fortunatus_
_Old Law_
Oldmixon, John
_Old Wives' Tale_
Ollenix du Mont-Sacré
Ongaro, Antonio
Oporinus, Joannes
_Orlando furioso_
_Orlando innamorato_
_Orphei Tragoedia_
Orsini family
_Otranto, Castle of_

P., G.
Paglia, Francesco Baldassare
_Palladis Tamia_
Pallai delia Sabina, Biagio
_Palmers Ode_
Palmerini, I.
_Pan his Syrinx_
_Pan's Anniversary_
_Pan's Pipe_
_Paradise Lost_
Parsons, Philip
_Parthenophil and Parthenope_
Pasqualigo, Luigi (Alvisi)
_Passionate Pilgrim_
_Passionate Shepherd_
_Passionate Shepherd to his Love_
Paston, Edward
Paston, Sir William
_Pastor fido_
_Pastor fido_ (Guarini), English translations:
  Grove, Clapperton
_Pastor lobo_
_Pastor vedovo_
_Pastoral ending in a Tragedy_
_Pastores de Balue_
_Pastoureau crestien_
Patrizi, Francesco
_Paul et Virginie_
Peaps, William
Pearson, John
Peele, George
Pelliciari, Ercole
Pembroke, Countess of
_Pembroke's Arcadia, Countess of_, see _Arcadia_ (Sidney).
_Pembroke's Ivychurch, Countess of_, see _Ivychurch_.
_Pentimento amoroso_
Pepys, Samuel
Pèrcopo, Erasmo
Percy Society
Percy, Thomas
Percy, William
Pérez, Alonzo
_Perimedes the Blacksmith_
Perth, Earl of
Perugino (Pietro Vespucci)
_Pescatoria amorosa_
Pescetti, Orlando
Petit de Julleville, L.
Petowe, Henry
Petrarca, Francesco
Petrarca, Gherardo
_Phillida and Corin_
_Phillida and Corydon_
_Phillida flouts me_
Phillips, Edward
_Phillis of Scyros_, see _Filli di Sciro_.
Piccolomini, Aeneas Silvius, _see_ Pius II.
Pico delia Mirandola, Giovanni
_Piers Plowman_
Pigna, Giovanbattista
Pinturicchio, Bernardo
Pio, Ercole
Pius II, _Pope_
_Poems Lyric and Pastoral_
_Poetical Diversions_
_Poetical Rhapsody_
_Poetics_ (Aristotle)
_Poet's Willow_
Poliziano (Angelo Ambrogini)
Pollard, A. W.
Polo, Gaspar Gil
Ponce, Bartolomé
Ponsonby, William
Pontana, Accademia
Pope, Alexander
Porcacchi, Tommaso
_Porta Pietatis_
_Prince d'Amour_
_Princesse de Clèves_
_Prova amorosa_
Prynne, William
Ptolemy Philadelphus
Pulci, Bernardo
Pulci, Luca
Pulci, Luigi
_Purple Island_
Puteanus (Hendrik van der Putten)
Puttenham, (George?)
Pynson, Richard
Pyper, John

Quaritch, Bernard
Quarles, Francis
_Queen's Arcadia_
_Quetten und Forschungen_

R., J.
Raleigh, Walter
Raleigh, Sir Walter
Ramsay, Allan
Randolph, Thomas
Rapin, René
Reid, J. S.
Reinolds, _see_ Reynolds.
Reissert, Oswald
_Reliques of Ancient English Poetry_
René of Anjou
Renier, R.
Rennert, H. A.
_Retrospective Review_
Reynolds, Henry
Reynolds, John:
  Fellow of New College
  of Exeter
  author of _God's Revenge_
Reynolds, Sir John, Colonel
_Rhodon and Iris_
Ribeiro, Bernardim
_Risposta al Malacreta_
_Robene and Makyne_
Robert of Sicily
_Robin Hood and Little John_
_Robins et Marion_
Rodrígues de Lobo, Francisco
Rollinson, Anthony
_Roman de la Rose_
_Romeo and Juliet_
Rondinelli, Dionisio
Ronsard, Pierre de
Rossi, Bartolommeo
Rossi, Giovanni Vittorio
Rossi, Vittorio
Rota, Bernardino
Rovere, Francesco Maria delia
Rovere, Guidubaldo delia (Guidubaldo II), _Duke of Urbino_
Rowley, William
Roxburghe Club
Royden, Matthew
_Royster Doyster_
Rozzi, Congrega dei
Ruberto, Luigi
_Rural Sports of the Nymph Oenone_
Russell, Lady
Rutter, Joseph

S., E.
S., H.
J. (translater of the _Filli di Sciro_)
S., J. (author of _Andromana_)
Sâ de Miranda, Francisco de
Sabie, Francis
Sacchetti, Franco
Sackville, Edward
_Sacrifizio_ (Beccari)
_Sacrifizio_ (Intronati masque)
_Sacrifizio pastorale_
_Sad Shepherd_
Sagredo, Giovanni
Saint-Pierre, Jacques Henri Bernardin de
Saintsbury, George
Salviati, Lionardo
Samson, M. W.
Sand, George
Sandys, J. E.
Sannazzaro, Jacopo
Sansovino, F.
San vitale, Gualtiero
_Saturday Review_
Savio, Giovanni
Schlegel, A. W. von
Schönherr, J. G.
Schucking, L. L.
_Scilla's Metamorphosis_
Scott, Mary A.
Scott, Sir Walter
_Scyros_, see _Filli di Sciro_
_Selva d' amore_
_Selva sin amor_
Serassi, Pierantonio
Serono, Orazio
_Session of the Poets_
Settle, Elkanah
Seward, Thomas
Seyffert, Oskar
Sforza, Giovanni
Sforza, Lodovico
_Shadow of Sannazar_
Shakespeare, William
Shakespeare Society
Shepherd Tony _(pseud.)_
_Shepherd's Calendar_
_Shepherd's Complaint_
_Shepherd's Content_
_Shepherds' Holiday_ (Angel Day)
_Shepherds' Holiday_ (Denny)
_Shepherds' Holiday_ (Rutter)
_Shepherd's Hunting_
_Shepherds' Masque_
_Shepherd's Ode_
_Shepherd's Oracle_
_Shepherd's Oracles_
_Shepherds' Paradise_
_Shepherd's Pipe_
_Shepherds' Sirena_
_Shepherd's Taies_
_Shepherd's Wife's Song_
Sherburne, Sir Edward
Sherley, James
_Ship of Fools_
Shuckburgh, E. S.
Sidnam, Jonathan
Sidney, Lady
Sidney, Sir Philip
_Siglo de Oro_
Signorelli, Luca
Silesio, Mariano
_Silver Age_
_Silvia_ (Fileno)
_Silvia_ (Kynder)
Sincerus, Actius, _see_ Sannazzaro, Jacopo.
_Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes_
_Sirena_, see _Shepherds' Sirena._
Skeat, W. W.
Skelton, John
Smith, G. C. M.
Smith, Homer
Smith, William, 124.
Solerti, Angelo
Solisy Rivadeneira, Antonio de
Sommer, H. O.
_Somnium Puteani (Cornus, sive Phagesiposia Cimeria)_
_Song of Solomon_
Southampton, Earl of
_Speeches at Bisham, &c._
Speed, John
Spencer, Sir John
Spenser, Edmund
Speroni, Sperone
Spinelli, A. G.
Stanley, Ferdinando (Lord Strange)
_Steel Glass_
Steele, Sir Richard
Stevenson, R. L.
Stiefel, A. L.
Stockdale, Percival
Strange, Lord, _see_ Stanley, F.
_Stultifera Navis_
Suckling, Sir Thomas
_Summer's Last Will and Testament_
Summo, Faustino
Surrey, Earl of (Henry Howard)
_Sweet Sobs and Amorous Complaints_
Swinburne, A. C.
Symonds, J. A.

T., I.
Taccone, Baldassare
Talbot, Sir George
_Tale of Troy_
Tansillo, Luigi
_Tarlton's News out of Purgatory_
Tasso, Torquato
Tatham, John
Taylor, John
_Taylor's Pastoral_
_Tears of the Muses_
Tebaldeo, Antonio
Texeda, Jerónimo de
_Theatrum Poetarum_
Thomason, George
Thorndike, A. H.
_Thracian Wonder_
Thynne, William
Ticknor, George
Tiraboschi, Girolamo
_Titirus and Galathea_
Tofte, Robert
_Tottel's Miscellany_
_Townley mysteries_
_Triumph of Beauty_
_Triumph of Peace_
_Triumph of Virtue_
Torraca, Francesco
Turberville, George
Turnbull, W. B.
_Twelfth Night_
_Tivo Gentlemen of Verona_
_Two Noble Kinsmen_

Ugolino, Braccio
Ulloa, Alonzo de
_Under der linden_
Underhill, J. G.
Uniti, Accademia degli
Urfe, Honoré d'

_Valle tenebrosa_ (_Vallis Opaca_)
Valle, Cesare della
Valois, House of
Vega, Lope de
_Venus and Adonis_
_Verato secondo_
Vergna, Maria della, _see_ La Fayette, Comtesse de
Vicente, Gil
Vida, Marco Girolamo
Villon, François
_Vuelta de Egypto_

W., A.
Waldron, F. G.
Walsingham, Sir Francis
Walther von der Vogelweide
Walton, Isaac
_War without Blows and Love without Suit (? Strife)_
Ward, A. W.
Warner, William
Warton, Thomas
Waterson, Simon
Watson, Thomas, III
Web, William, _Lord Mayor_
Webbe, William
Weber, H. W.
Webster, John
Webster, William
Weinberg, Gustav
Weise, Berthold
White, Edward
Wicksteed, P. H.
Wilcox, Thomas
Wilde, George
Wilson, H.
Wilson, Thomas
_Wily Beguiled_
Windscheid, Katharina
Winstanley, William
_Winter's Tale_
Wither, George
Wolfe, John
Wolsey, Thomas, _Cardinal_
_Woman in the Moon_
_Wonder of Women_
Wood, Anthony à
Wotton, Sir John
Wotton, Sir Henry
Wyatt, Sir Thomas, the elder
Wynkyn de Worde

Yong (or Young), Bartholomew

Zinano, Gabriele
Zola, Emil
Zurla, Lodovico

Oxford: Horace Hart, Printer to the University.


[1] The often cited pastoralism of the _Song of Solomon_ resolves itself
on investigation into an occasional simile. These argue familiarity with
the scenes of pastoral life, but equally reveal the existence of the
contrast in the mind of the writer. It was on the orthodox interpretation
of this love-song that Remi Belleau founded his _Éclogues sacrées_, but
they contain little or nothing of a pastoral nature. The same may be said
of Drayton's paraphrase, included in his _Harmony of the Church_ in 1591,
which is chiefly remarkable for the evident and honest pleasure with which
he rendered the unsophisticated meaning of the original. It is, however,
just possible that the Hebrew poem may have had some influence on pastoral
poetry in Italy. There is a monograph on the subject by A. Abbruzzese, _Il
Cantico dei Cantici in alcune parafrasi poetiche italiane: contributo alla
storia del dramma pastorale_, which, however, I have not seen. With regard
to possible Greek predecessors of Theocritus, it must be borne in mind
that there were singing contests between shepherds at the Sicilian
festival of Artemis, and it is possible that the competitors may have been
sufficiently influenced by other orders of civilization to have given a
definitely pastoral colouring to their songs. Little is known of their
nature beyond the fact that they probably contained the motive of the
lament for Daphnis, which appears to be as old as Stesichorus. They have
perished all but two lines which are found prefixed by way of motto to the

  [Greek: δέξαι τὰν ἀγαθὰν τύχαν, δέξαι τὰν ὑγίειαν,
  ἃν φέρομεν παρὰ τᾶσ θεοῦ, ἃν ἐκαλέσσατο τήνα.]

What I have wished to emphasize above is the fact that because shepherds
sang songs we have no reason to assume that these were distinctively
pastoral. In later times the pastoral generally acknowledged a theoretical
dependence on rustic song, and the popular compositions did actually now
and again affect literary tradition. But this was rare.

[2] Details concerning the conception of the golden age will be found in
Moorman's _William Browne_, p. 59.

[3] The tendency to form an ideal picture of his own youth is common both
to mankind and man. The romance of childhood is the dream with which age
consoles itself for the disillusionments of life. This it is that gives a
peculiar appropriateness to the title of Mr. Graham's pictures of
childhood in _The Golden Age_, a work of the profoundest insight and
genius, as delightful as it is unique. I am not aware that there has ever
been another author in English who could have written thus intimately of
children without once striking a false note.

[4] There is some truth in the charge. Even Symonds wrote of Theocritus,
possibly with Fontenelle's words in his mind: 'As it is, we find enough of
rustic grossness on his pages, and may even complain that his cowherds and
goatherds savour too strongly of their stables.' (_Greek Poets_, ii. p.

[5] Landscapes as decoration may be seen on the walls of the so-called
Casa Nuova at Pompeii. It should be remarked that one idyl is addressed to
Hiero, ruler of Syracuse, and it is quite possible that Theocritus may
have been a frequent visitor there.

[6] Theocritus flourished in the first half of the third century B.C. Some
authorities place the younger poets more than a hundred years later.

[7] Familiar to English readers through Matthew Arnold's translation.

[8] Suidas says that Moschus came from Sicily, and some authorities speak
of him as a Syracusan. But in his 'Lament' he alludes to his 'Ausonian'
song, apparently as distinguished from that of Theocritus 'of Syracuse.'
The passage, however, is rendered obscure by an hiatus. Another tradition
made Theocritus a native of the island of Cos. More probably it was
between the time of his leaving Syracuse and that of his settling at
Alexandria that he was the pupil of the Coan poet and critic, Philetas.

[9] Ernest Myers' version from Andrew Lang's delightful volume in the
Golden Treasury Series.

[10] Placing the romance, that is, in the third century A.D. Authorities
assign it to various dates from the second to the sixth centuries,
according as they regard it as a model or an imitation of Heliodorus'

[11] A similar use of ἀναγνώρισις is very frequent in the Italian pastoral
drama, where, however, it is more probably derived from Latin comedy.

[12] This was not the first Italian version of Longus. _Daphnis and Chloe_
had been translated directly from the Greek by Annibale Caro in the
previous century.

[13] Two poems, written in close imitation of Theocritus' natural manner,
and entitled respectively _Moretum_ and _Copa_, have sometimes, but
wrongly, been attributed to Vergil.

[14] _Greek Poets_, ii. p. 265.

[15] Symonds speaks strongly on the point. 'Virgil not only lacks his
[Theocritus'] vigour and enthusiasm for the open-air life of the country,
but, with Roman bad taste, he commits the capital crime of allegorising.'
(_Greek Poets_, ii. p. 247.)

[16] Seyffert's classical dictionary, as revised by Nettleship and Sandys
(1899), definitely assigns Calpurnius to the middle of the first century.
In that case the amphitheatre mentioned was no doubt the wooden structure
that preceded the Colosseum.

[17] See, in Conington and Nettleship's _Virgil_, 1881, the essay on 'The
Later Bucolic Poets of Rome,' in which will be found a detailed account of
this very intricate controversy.

[18] It would appear that the two founders of the renaissance eclogue
deliberately chose the Vergilian form as that best suited to their
purpose. Petrarch calls attention to the advantages offered by the
pastoral for covert reference to men and events of the day, since it is
characteristic of the form to let its meaning only partially appear. He
was therefore perfectly aware of the allegorical nature of the Vergilian
eclogue, and adopted it for definite purposes of utility. Boccaccio is
even more explicit, and I cannot do better than transcribe the very
interesting summary of the history of pastoral verse down to his day,
given in a letter addressed by him to Martino da Signa, which I shall
again have occasion to mention in dealing with his own contributions to
the kind. He writes: 'Theocritus Syracusanus Poeta, ut ab antiquis
accepimus, primus fuit, qui Graeco Carmine Buccolicum escogitavit stylum,
verum nil sensit, praeter quod cortex verborum demonstrat. Post hunc
Latine scripsit Virgilius, sed sub cortice nonnullos abscondit sensus,
esto non semper voluerit sub nominibus colloquentium aliquid sentiremus.
Post hunc autem scripserunt et alii, sed ignobiles, de quibus nil curandum
est, excepto inclyto Praeceptore meo Francisco Petrarca qui stylum praeter
solitum paululum sublimavit et secundum Eclogarum suarum materias continue
collocutorum nomina aliquid significantia posuit. Ex his ego Virgilium
secutus sum quapropter non curavi in omnibus colloquentium nominibus
sensum abscondere.' _Lettere di G. Boccaccio_, ed. Corazzini, 1877, p.

[19] Line 1228. See Skeat's note in the _Athenæum_, March 1, 1902.

[20] On all points connected with these compositions see the elaborate
monograph by Wicksteed and Gardner.

[21] Dante's poems do not stand altogether isolated in this respect. It
would be possible to cite eclogues formerly ascribed to Mussato, as also
some from the pens of Giovanni de Boni of Arezzo and Cecco di Mileto, in
support of the above remarks. It is significant of their independence of
medieval pastoralism, that Giovanni del Virgilio repeatedly speaks of
Dante as the first to write bucolic poetry since Vergil, thus ignoring the
whole production from Calpurnius to Metellus.

[22] Boccaccio was of course acquainted with Dante's eclogues, and in his
life of the poet he allows them considerable beauty. It seems never to
have occurred to him, however, to regard them as serious contributions to
pastoral literature, for, as we have already seen, he stigmatizes all
bucolic writers between Vergil and Petrarch as _ignobiles_. I do not think
this attitude was due to the influence of Petrarch having lessened his
admiration of Dante, as maintained by Wicksteed and Gardner, but simply to
his recognition of the absolute unimportance of the poems in question from
the historical point of view.

[23] In this connexion it will be remembered that Dante places Brutus and
Cassius, the betrayers of Julius, in company with Judas, the betrayer of
Christ, as arch-traitors in the innermost circle of hell (_Inferno_,
xxxiv). He was no doubt influenced in this by his philosophical Ghibelline

[24] The evolution of this idea, suggested of course by John X. II, can be
clearly traced in the mosaics at Ravenna.

[25] So Hortis (_Scritti inediti di F. Petrarca_, pp. 221, &c.), who
combats A. W. von Schlegel's view that the Epy of Eclogue VII stands for

[26] This spelling was current for some centuries, Spenser among others
adopting it. Indeed, _egloghe_ is still the prevalent form among Italian

[27] One other was discovered and published from MS. by Hortis, in his
_Studi sulle opere latini_, p. 351.

[28] It is not impossible that Boccaccio may have begun composing eclogues
before his acquaintance with Petrarch, since the influence of the poems
sent by Dante to Giovanni del Virgilio has been traced in the eclogue
printed by Hortis, and in an early version of the _Faunus_, as well as in
the work of Boccaccio's correspondent, Cecco di Mileto.

[29] So Aeneas Sylvius, in his _De Remedio Amoris_, after a particularly
virulent tirade against women, explained: 'De his loquor mulieribus quae
turpes admittunt amores.'

[30] 'Syncerius' is the form used, but there can be little doubt who was

[31] In the days when it was fashionable for men of learning to discuss
the laws of pastoral composition, a certain northern giant fell foul of
the Neapolitan's piscatory eclogues on somewhat theoretical grounds.
Having never seen the blue smile of the bay of Naples, he suggested that
the sea was an object of terror; forgetful of the monotonous setting of
pastoral verse, he complained that the piscatory life offered little
variety; finally, he contended that the technicalities of the craft were
unfamiliar to readers--but are we to suppose that the learned author of
the _Rambler_ was competent to tend a flock?

[32] They were at least the first to appear in print. The contributors
were Girolamo Benivieni, of Florence, and Francesco Arsocchi and Fiorino
Boninsegni, of Siena. The first possibly deserves mention as having
introduced Pico della Mirandola as a character in his eclogues: some of
the poems of the last are noteworthy as having been composed as early as
1468. There exists a poem by Luca Pulci on the story of Polyphemus and
Galatea in the form of an eclogue. Luca died in 1470. Leo Battista
Alberti, the famous architect, who died in 1472, also left a poem, which
was published from MS. in 1850, with the heading 'Egloga.' This, however,
proves not to be strictly pastoral. Among other early ventures were ten
Italian eclogues in _terza rima_, by Boiardo. These, and also his ten
Latin eclogues, will be found printed from MS. in his _Poesie volgari e
latine_ (ed. A. Solerti, Bologna, 1894), while full accounts of both will
be found in the essays contributed by G. Mazzoni and A. Campani to the
_Studi su M. M. Boiardo_, edited by N. Campanini (Bologna, 1894). There
can be no doubt that the court of Lorenzo was full of pastoral experiments
in the vernacular for some time before the publication mentioned above.

[33] Having regard to the general character of the _Ameto_, I am not sure
that it might not be possible to find some hidden meaning in the poem in
question, if one were challenged to do so. The allegory is, however,
mostly of the abstract kind, and the eclogue can hardly conceal allusions
to any actual events.

[34] A very useful and representative, though of course by no means
complete, collection is that by G. Ferrario, in the 'Classici italiani.'

[35] Castiglione also figured among the Latin eclogists of his day, and
the influence of his _Alcon_ is even traced by Saintsbury in _Lycidas_
(_Earlier Renaissance_, p. 34).

[36] It is said to have been by way of penance for having written the
_Vendemmiatore_ that he later undertook the composition of the _Lagrime di
San Pietro_, a lengthy religious poem, which remained unfinished at his
death in 1568.

[37] _La Beca_ is ascribed by mistake to Luca Pulci in the first edition
of Symonds' _Renaissance_.

[38] The best imitation is said to be the _Lamento di Cecco da Varlungo_
by Francesco Baldovini (1643-1700), which is graceful, though rather more
satiric in tone than its model.

[39] It differs, however, from most poems of the sort, in that the
langnage of the fisher craft in Italy was capable of the same wantonly
double meaning as was suggested to English writers by the name and terms
of the noble art of venery. This serves to differentiate it from the style
of pastoral, and suggests that we should rather class it along with such
works as Berni's _Caccia d'amore._

[40] It is occasionally traceable in the French _pastourelles_, but that
form of courtly composition never became popular south of the Alps. Its
vogue passed completely with the decline of Provençal tradition. D'Ancona
quotes one Italian example of the thirteenth century, the work of a
Florentine, Ciacco dell' Anguillaja. It begins gracefully enough:

  O gemma leziosa,
    Adorna villanella,
    Che se' più virtudiosa
    Che non se ne favella,
    Per la virtude ch' hai
    Per grazia del Signore,
    Aiutami, che sai
    Che son tuo servo, amore.

[41] Further evidence of the popularity of this poem will be found in the
existence of a religious parody beginning:

  O vaghe di Gesù, o verginelle,
    Dove n' andate si leggiadre e belle?

(_Laude spirituali di Feo Belcari_, &c., Firenze, 1863, p. 105.) It is
founded on the fourteenth ceutury, not on the popular, version.

[42] The foregoing remarks follow very closely Symonds' treatment in the
third chapter of his _Italian Literature_. In point of fact, I lit on
Donati's poem quite accidentally, before reading the chapter in question,
but I have made no scruple of availing myself of his guidance wherever it
was to be had.

[43] Symonds has some very severe strictures on these songs from the moral
point of view. Judging from the actual songs themselves his remarks would
appear somewhat exaggerated, but if we take into consideration the
historical circumstances they are probably amply justified.

[44] It is perhaps worth putting in a word of warning against the possible
confusion of this poem with Politian's Latin composition bearing the same
title. Ambra was a rustic resort in the neighbourhood of Florence, to
which Lorenzo was much attached. By the lover Lauro the author seems to
have meant himself. At least this is rendered probable by some lines near
the end of Politian's poem, in which the villa is again personified as a

  Et nos ergo illi grata pietate dicamus
  Hanc de Pierio contextam flore coronam,
  Quam mihi Caianas inter pulcherrima nymphas
  Ambra dedit patriae lectam de gramine ripae:
  Ambra mei Laurentis amor, quam corniger Vmbro,
  Vmbro senex genuit domino gratissimus Arno:
  Vmbro suo tandem non erupturus ab alneo.
    (_Opera,_ Basel, 1553, p. 581.)

[45] He was born at Montepulciano in 1454, and died, at the age of forty,
two years after Lorenzo.

[46] Symonds, _Renaissance_, iv. p. 232, note 3.

[47] It has been sometimes thought that the description of Mars in the lap
of Venus, in stanzas 122-3, suggested Botticelli's picture in the National
Gallery; but, though the lines are worthy of having inspired even a more
successful example of the painter's art, the resemblance is in this case
too general to warrant any such conclusion.

[48] A favourite phrase of his. 'What has been well called _la voluttà
idillica_--the sensuous sensibility to beauty, finding fit expression in
the Idyll--formed a marked characteristic of Renaissance art and
literature.' _Renaissance_, v. p. 170.

[49] The similar alternation of verse and prose found in the French and
Provençal _cante-fables,_ notably in _Aucassin et Nicolette,_ is of a
different nature, for in them the prose served properly to explain and
connect the verse-passages which contained the actual story, and it
probably formed no part of the original composition.

[50] I quote from the handy edition of Boccaccio's _Opere minori_ in the
'Biblioteca classica economica.' The passages cited above will be found on
pp. 246 and 250, or in the _Opere volgari_, 1827-34. xv. pp. 186 and 194.

[51] It is probably no accident that, like Dante's poem, Boccaccio's
romance is styled a 'comedy.' Both represent, in allegorical form, the
ascent of the human soul from sin, through purgation, to the presence of

[52] It has been suggested that there is a gradual spiritualization in the
motives of the tales; but this would appear to be a somewhat fanciful

[53] Proemio, _Opere minori_, p. 145; _Opere volgari_, xv. p. 4.

[54] _Opere minori_, p. 176, _Opere volgari_, xv. p. 60.

[55] While greatly shortening the passage, and taking considerable
liberties in the way of paraphrase, I have endeavoured, as far as
possible, to preserve the style and diction of the original. This will be
found in the _Opere minori_, pp. 213, &c., _Opere volgari_, xv. pp. 126,

[56] The description of the spring is from Ovid, _Metamorphoses_, III,
407, &c. No doubt a great deal more could be traced to Latin sources.

[57] For details concerning tree-lists see Moorman's _William Brown_, p.

[58] Dunlop's notion of the verse being the important part, and the prose
only written to connect the varions eclogues, is clearly wrong. Verse
started by being subordinate in Boccaccio's romance, and remained so in
all subsequent examples.

[59] _Prosa_ VIII. The whole passage was versified in Spanish by
Garcilaso, whence a portion found its way into Googe's eclogues. Among
other ingenions devices Sannazzaro mentions that of pinning down a crow by
the extremity of its wings and waiting for it to entangle its fellows in
its claws. If any reader should be tempted to imagine that the author has
been drawing on a fertile imagination, let him turn to the adventures of
one Morrowbie Jukes, as related by Mr. Rudyard Kipling, for a description
of this identical method of crow-catching as practised on the banks of an
Indian stream.

[60] It may be well to point out that at times, as in Carino's invocation
to the Dryads, Symonds has infused into his version a beauty of diction of
which Sannazzaro appears to be innocent.

[61] The _Arcadia_ must have been extant in its original form as early as
1481, when it served as model for the eclogues of Pietro Jacopo de
Jennaro. The earliest known MS. dates from 1489, and contains the first
ten _Prose_ and _Ecloghe_. In this form it was surreptitiously printed in
1502; the complete work first appeared in 1504. The earliest commentary,
that of Tommaso Porcacchi, appeared in 1558, and went through several
editions. An elaborate variorum edition was printed at Padua in 1723. I
have followed the text in the 'Classici italiani.'

[62] Arcadia had been called 'the mother of flocks' in the Homeric _Hymn
to Pan_, and Polybius had described the softening effects of music upon
its rude inhabitants. See some interesting remarks on the snbject by J. E.
Sandys, in his lectures on the _Revival of Learning_, Cambridge, 1905;
also J. P. Mahaffy, _Rambles and Studies_, ch. xii.

[63] Having had occasion in the course of the following pages to call
attention to certain inaccuracies of Ticknor's, I should like in this
place to record my indebtedness to what still remains the standard history
of Spanish literature. I have likewise made free use of
Fitzmaurice-Kelly's admirable monograph.

[64] _Don Quixote_, pt. ii. ch. 62.

[65] Calderon wrote an early play on the tale of Cephalus and Procris,
which met, it is said, with success. It was entitled _Celos aun del aire
matan_, and was styled a 'fiesta cantada.' Later in life he parodied it in
the 'comedia burlesca' entitled _Cefalo y Pocris_ (sic). Neither play
appears to have any connexion with the _Cefalo_ of Niccolò da Correggio
(_v. post_, ch. iii). Both are printed in the third volume of Calderon's
comedies in the 'Biblioteca de autores españoles,' 1848-50. The _Pastor
fido_ will be found in vol. iv.

[66] Mr. Gosse has protested against the use of such terms as 'exotic' in
connexion with products of literary art, and no doubt the word has been
not a little abused. I employ it in its strict sense of 'introduced from
abroad, not indigenons,' and without implying any critical censure.

[67] Though a Portuguese, and one of the most notable poets in his own
dialect, much of his poetical work is in Castillan.

[68] So, at least, Theophilo Braga interprets what he calls 'o drama
amoroso das Eclogas,' in his monograph on _Bernardim Ribeiro e o
bucolismo_. Porto, 1897.

[69] Ticknor is responsible for an unfortunate error, and much consequent
confusion, respecting this date. Some one had cited an imaginary edition
of 1545. Of this Ticknor confessed ignorance, but stated that he had in
his possession a copy consisting of 112 quarto leaves, printed at Valencia
in 1542. This description applies exactly to the earliest edition extant
in the British Museum, except in the matter of the date. There can be no
doubt that this is a mistake. The date 1542 is intrinsically impossible.
Fitzmaurice-Kelly, who himself dates the work 1558-9, points out that one
of the songs refers to events which took place in 1554. The sudden crop of
reprints, dated 1561 and 1562, proves the _Diana_ to have been then a new
book, and inclines me to place the actual publication somewhat after the
date suggested by Kelly. I may mention that Ticknor is also in error over
the date of Ribeiro's work, which he assigns to 1557.

[70] See the collection of Latin student songs, _Gaudeamus! Carmina
uagorum selecta in usum laetitiae_, Leipzig, 1879, p. 124.

[71] The novels alluded to will be found in the _Ecatommiti_, I. i, _Cent
Nouvelles nouvelles_, No. 82, and _Novelle de' Novizi_, No. 12.

[72] _Knight of the Burning Pestle_, II. viii. (Dyce, ii. p. 172), and
_The Pilgrim_, IV. ii. (Dyce, viii. p. 66).

[73] B. M., Roxburghe, III. 160, also II. 30.

[74] References are best given to F. J. Child's monumental collection, in
five volumes, where all variants are printed. _Cowdenknows_ and the _Bonny
May_ are No. 217; _The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter_ 110, the _Bonny
Ilynd_ 50, _Child Waters_ 63, _The Laird of Drum_ 236, _Lizie Lindsay_
226, _Lizie Baillie_ 227, _Glasgow Peggie_ 228, and _Johnie Faa_ 200. No
doubt further examples might be collected.

[75] Similar shepherd-scenes are found not only in French but even in
Italian miracle plays. The tendency they indicate, however, is not
traceable in later pastoral, as it is with us. That such representations
as those of the Sienese 'Rozzi' formed no exception to this general
statement I shall have to show later.

[76] For the literary history of the Wakefield cycle, see A. W. Pollard's
admirable introduction to the edition published by the Early English Text

[77] They also criticize the angels' singing in curiously technical

[78] Towneley Plays, XII. l. 377, &c., and l. 386, &c., cf. Vergil,
_Bucolics_, IV. 6.

[79] It is perhaps necessary to define the above use of 'idealization' as
that modification of photographie reality observable in all true art. It
is only when the methods of art have become self-conscious that realism
can become an end in itself.

[80] _An English Garner_: Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse, ed. A. W.
Pollard, 1903, p. 87. The carol is from a MS. at Balliol College.

[81] The poem will be found in Arber's edition of the 'Miscellany,' p.
138, and in A. H. Bullen's reprint of _England's Helicon_, p. 56. In
dealing with isolated poems I have quoted, wherever possible, from
Bullen's reprints of the song books, &c.

[82] Forst = cared for.

[83] It first appeared as 'The Ploughman's Song' in the 'Entertainment at
Elvetham' in 1591. This has been recently claimed for Lyly. Without
expressing any opinion in this place as to the likelihood of such an
ascription for the bulk of the piece, it may be remarked that the song in
question is as like the rest of Breton's work in style as it is unlike
anything to be found in Lyly's writings.

[84] Of all pedestrian, not to say reptilian, metres, this is perhaps the
most intolerable; indeed, it was not until touched to new life by the
genius of Blake that it deserved to be called a metre at all.

[85] See R. B. McKerrow's articles on the Elizabethan 'classical metres' in
the _Modern Language Quarterly_ for December, 1901, and April, 1902, iv.
p. 172, and v. p. 6.

[86] Eclogues i-iv were printed by Pynson, and the fifth by Wynkyn de
Worde early in the century; i-iii were twice reprinted about 1550. Barclay
died in 1552.

[87] Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius II. I suppose that
it is on account of this statement of Barclay's that English critics have
constantly referred to the work as pastoral. It is nothing but a prose
invective against court life.

[88] See Dyce's _Skelton_, Introduction, p. xxxvi.

[89] 'Eglogs Epytaphes, and Sonettes. Newly written by Barnabe Googe:
1563. 15. Marche.' Reprinted by Professer Arber from the Huth copy.

[90] The title of the collection as originally published is obviously
ambiguous--is Shepheardes' to be considered as singular or plural? There
is a tendency among modern critics to evade the difficulty in such cases
by quoting titles in the original spelling. I confess that this practice
seems to me both clumsy and pedantic. In the present case there can be
little doubt that the title of Spenser's work was suggested by the
_Calender of Shepherds_. On the other hand, I think it is likewise clear
that the poet, in adopting it, was thinking particularly of Colin
Clout--that he intended, that is, to call his poems 'the calender of the
shepherd' (see first line of postscript), rather than 'the calender for
shepherds.' I have therefore adopted the singular form. 'Calender' is, I
think, a defensible spelling.

[91] The alternative view, which would make Spenser his own commentator,
is not without supporters both in Germany and in this country. Even were
the question, however, one of greater importance from our point of view,
the 'proofs' so far adduced do not constitute sufficient of an _a priori_
case to justify discussion here.

[92] _Anglia_, iii. p. 266, and ix. p. 205.

[93] At the end of the _Calender_ Spenser placed as his motto 'Merce non
mercede'--as merchandise, not for reward.

[94] On all questions relating to the _Shepherd's Calender_ see C. H.
Herford's edition, to which I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness. So
far as I am aware, we possess no more admirable edition of any monument of
English literature.

[95] Cf. the titles of Drayton's _Idea_ and Basse's MS. eclogues, _infra_.

[96] _Discoveries_, 1640 (-41), p. 116 (Gifford, 1875; § cxxv). The
'ancients,' as appears from the context, are Chaucer and Gower.

[97] _Apology for Poetry_, 1595; Arber's edition, p. 63.

[98] Even Sidney's authorities break down to some extent. Theocritus
certainly modified the literary dialect in his pastoral idyls, and we may
recall that when Vergil began his third eclogue with the line--

  Die mihi, Damoeta, cuium pecus? an Meliboei?

a wit of Rome retorted:

  Die mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus?' anne Latinum?

Or again it may be asked whether Lorenzo de' Medici is not as good a name
to conjure by as Jacopo Sannazzaro.

[99] Some of the eclogues are mucn more pronouncedly dialectal than
others, but even within the limits of a single one, literary and dialectal
forms may often be found used indiscriminately. See Herford's remarks on
the subject.

[100] 'February,' l. 33, &c. Lines 35-6 contain one of the few direct
reminiscences of Chaucer. Cf. _House of Fame_, II. 1225-6. Spenser
repeated the imitation, _Faery Queen_, VI. ix. 43-5, and was followed by
Fletcher, _Faithful Shepherdess_, V. v. 183-4.

[101] _Pastime of Pleasure_, xxxv. 6, from the edition of 1555 (Percy
Soc., 1845, p. 113).

[102] In the above instance the rime is sacrificed, and I do not mean that
all anomalous lines in Spenser's measure become strict decasyllables when
done into ME.; indeed, they do so of course only by accident. My point is
that Chaucer's verse as read by the sixteenth-century editors must have
often contained just such unmetrical lines as Spenser's. The view I have
indicated above is that accepted by W. J. Courthope (_History of English
Poetry_, ii. p. 253). Herford, on the other hand, while having recourse to
Chancer's influence to explain Spenser's anomalies, regards the metre in
question as derived from the old alliterative line. From this view I am
reluctantly forced to dissent. The alliterative line may be readily traced
in the mystery cycles, and later influenced the verse of the interludes
and such comedies as _Royster Doyster_; and this tradition may have
affected the verse of the later poets of the school of Lydgate, and even
the popular ideas concerning Chaucer's metre. But as to the actual origin
of Spenser's four-beat line there can surely be no doubt.

[103] The late A. B. Grosart, in a passage which is a masterpiece of
literary casuistry _(Spenser_, iii. p. lii.), put forward the truly
astounding theory that the discussions on the evils of the clergy and
similar subjects, put into the mouths of shepherds in the _Calender_ and
elsewhere, are 'in nicest keeping with character.' Such a theory ignores
the essence of the question, for, even supposing that shepherds had done
nothing else but discuss the corruption of the Curia since there was a
Curia to be corrupted, it is still utterly beside the mark. Apart from his
own observation of ecclesiastical manners, Spenser's compositions have for
their sole origin the similar discussions of the humanistic eclogues,
while these in their turn did but cast the individual opinions of their
authors into a conventional mould inherited from the classical poets.
Thus, so far as actual shepherds are connected with Spenser's eclogues at
all, they belong to an age when the Curia and all its sins were happily

[104] The MS. is now in the library of Caius College, Cambridge, and is
contained in the volume numbered 595 in the catalogue. It is entitled
_Poimenologia_. The dedication to William James, Dean of Christ Church,
fixes the date as between 1584 and 1596. Dove became Master of Arts in
1586, and since he does not describe himself as such, the translation
probably belongs to an earlier date. I am indebted for knowledge of and
information concerning this MS. to the kindness of Prof. Moore Smith, and
of Dr. J. S. Reid, Librarian of Caius College.

[105] Winstanley (_Lives of the English Poets_, 1687, p. 196) ascribes it
to Sir Richard Fanshawe; but he was no doubt confusing it with the Latin
version of the _Faithful Shepherdess_.

[106] _Faery Queen_, VII. vi. 349, &c.

[107] Somewhat similar episodes occur both in the _Orlando_ and the
_Gerusalemme_, to the imitation of which, indeed, certain passages in
Spenser can be directly referred.

[108] See A. H. Bullen's edition, two vols., 1890-91. The poems in question
will be fonnd in vol. i, pp. 48, 58, 63 and 76.

[109] It is worth noting that in the last stanza all the early editions
read 'Thenot' instead of 'Wrenock'; Thenot being the corresponding
character in Spenser.

[110] Perhaps Anne Goodere: but the question is alien to our present
discussion. Some of the allusions in the eclogues are obvious, and
probably all the names, except perhaps the speaker's, conceal real
personalities. In the _Muses' Elizium_, on the other hand, most of the
names and characters appear to me fictitious. In connexion with the name
'Idea,' in which certain critics have wished to see a deep philosophical
meaning, I would suggest that it may be nothing but the feminine of
'Idaeus,' that is, a shepherd of Mount Ida, a name found in the second
eclogue of Petrarch. It is, however, true that the word 'idea' bore the
meaning of 'an ideal,' in which sense, no doubt, we occasionally find it
applied to England.

[111] Concerning translations of Watson's Latin poems, I may be allowed to
refer to a paper contributed to the _Modern Language Quarterly_, February,
1904, vi. p. 125.

[112] Cf. the passage from Spenser's October eclogue, quoted on p. 88.

[113] A certain similarity between this poem and the song in _Love's
Labour's Lost_, beginning:

  On a day--alack the day!--
  Love, whose month was ever May;

has caused them to be at times ascribed to Shakespeare. They are
subscribed 'Ignoto' in _England's Helicon_, but appeared among the poems
published with Barnfield's _Lady Pecunia_ in 1598, a tail of thirty lines
of very inferior quality being substituted for the singularly perfect and
effective final couplet. The poem appeared again in the following year in
the _Passionate Pilgrim_, this time with both the couplet and the
addition. The _Helicon_ version is certainly by far the best, and not
improbably represents the poem as originally written in imitation of
Shakespeare's. See J. B. Henneman's paper in _An English Miscellany_,
Oxford, 1901.

[114] Gascoigne's _Steel Glass_ is far rather medieval in conception.

[115] Compare with the lines in _Rosalynd_, beginning 'Phoebe sat, sweet
she sat,' those in _Tarlton's News out of Purgatory_, beginning, 'Down I
sat, I sat down,' and see A. H. Bullen's _Poems from Elizabethan Romances_,
1890, p. xi.

[116] The copy of _Pan's Pipe_ in the British Museum wants the _Tale_, but
this will be found by itself marked C. 40. e. 68 (2, 3).

[117] Collier and Hazlitt supposed two William Basses, but the balance of
evidence seems against the theory. See S. L. Lee in _Dic. Nat. Biog_., and
the edition by R. W. Bond, 1893.

[118] Fleay (_Biographical Chronicle_, i. p. 67) identifies Musidore with
Lodge, and 'Hero's last Musaeus' with H. Petowe. The latter
identification, which had already been proposed by Collier
(_Bibliographical Account_, i. p. 130), is in all probability correct.

[119] Printed by me in the _Modern Language Quarterly_, July, 1901, iv. p.

[120] These are missing in most copies of the book; the only one I know
containing them is in the Bodleian.

[121] I do not know who started the idea. It was mentioned in the
_Retrospective Review_ (ii. p. 180) in 1820, accepted by Sommer, and
elaborated with small success by K. Windscheid. Masson makes no mention of
it in his edition of Milton's poetical works. The author of _Lycidas_ was
probably a reader and admirer of Browne's poems, but of _Britannia's
Pastorals_ rather than of the decidedly inferior eclogues.

[122] The _Arcadian Princess_, translated by Brathwaite from Mariano
Silesio, a kind of metaphorical manual of judicial polity, is in no way
pastoral. It may be remarked that in 1627 there appeared as the work of
one I. D. B. an 'Eclogue, ou Chant Pastoral,' on the marriage (1625) of
Charles and Henrietta Maria, in which two Scotch Shepherds, Robin and
Jacquet, discourse in French Alexandrines. _Taylor's Pastoral_ of 1624
again, a fanciful treatise of religious and secular history, does not
properly belong to pastoral tradition.

[123] One of these appeared two years previously, entitled _The Shepherd's

[124] Appended to the third edition of the _Arcadia_, 1598.

[125] Appended to the _Arcadia_ in 1613.

[126] _Arcadia_, 1590, fol. 237 verso.

[127] _Opera_, Basel, 1553, p. 622.

[128] The song is said to be between 'two nymphs, each answering other
line for line'; but the simple alternation adopted by Spenser makes
nonsense of the present poem. The above arrangement seems to distribute
the lines best; viz. the first quatrain to Phillis, with interposition of
lines 2 and 4 by Amaryllis, the second quatrain to Amaryllis, with
interposition of line 2 only by Phillis.

[129] Others in the _Passionate Pilgrim_, 1599, and Walton's _Complete
Angler_, 1653.

[130] So, rather than 'Fair-lined,' as Bullen prints; but query

[131] This is the text of _England's Helicon_, which is superior to that
in the play, except for the omission of the couplet in brackets, and
possibly in the reading 'hath sworn' for 'is sworn,' in l. 11.

[132] From E. K. Chambers' _English Pastorals_, p. 113. The date is
uncertain, but a tune of the name was extant in 1603. The earliest
recorded text is a broadside, of about 1650, in the Roxburghe collection
(III. 142). The conjecture of an 'original issue, _circa_ 1600,' is on the
whole plausible. In that case there was, somewhere, a poet capable of
anticipating the particular cadences of _Sirena_ and _Agincourt_, and that
poet is more likely to have been Drayton than another. See Ebsworth's
edition for the Ballad Society (_Roxburghe Ballads_, vi. p. 460).

[133] _Lycidas_ is almost too familiar, one might suppose, to need
comment, but such irreconcilable views have been held by different
authorities, from Dr. Johnson onwards, that it may not be idle to attempt
to view the work critically in relation to pastoral tradition as a whole.

[134] When Johnson went on to describe the form of the poem as 'easy,
vulgar, and therefore disgusting,' he was but exhibiting a critical
incapacity which seriously impairs his authority in literary matters.

[135] For a detailed account of the poem, as well as for a number of
parallel passages--as well as some of doubtful relevance--the reader may
be referred to F. W. Moorman's monograph. I use the text of G. Goodwin's
edition of Browne's poems, with introduction by A. H. Bullen, 2 vols.,

[136] K. Windscheid professes to discover a different hand in the third
book, and is inclined to ascribe it to some imitator of Browne. Its merit
is certainly not high, but it is no worse than parts of the former books;
and Browne's work is so notoriously unequal that I can see no excuse for
depriving or relieving him of its authorship.


  The hatred which they bore was only this,
  That every one did hate to do amiss;
  Their fortune still was subject to their will;
  Their want--O happy!--was the want of ill. (II. iii. 447.)

Many readers may be inclined to pity poor men and women debarred from that

  First of all joys that unto sin belong--
  The sweet felicity of doing wrong.

[138] Pail.

[139] The translater was afterwards knighted. Who was the first person to
ascribe this translation to Thomas Wilcox, a certain 'very painful
minister of God's word,' I am not sure. The mistake has, however, been
constantly repeated, and led Underhill, in his able monograph on _Spanish
Literature in England_, to give a detailed account of Wilcox and his
wholly chimerical connexion with the spread of Spanish influence in this
country. The translation is preserved in the British Museum, Addit. MS.
18,638, and contains the translator's name perfectly clearly written, both
on the title-page and at the end of the dedicatory epistle to Fulke
Greville. This MS. is a copy of the original made by the translator
himself about 1617, and bears on the fly-leaf the name 'Dorothy Grevell.'
The title-page is worth transcribing: 'Diana de Monte mayor done out of
Spanish by Thomas Wilsõ Esquire, In the yeare 1596 & dedicated to the Erle
of Southamptõ who was then uppon y'e Spanish voiage w'th my Lord of
Essex--Wherein under the names and vailes of Sheppards and theire Lovers
are covertly discoursed manie noble actions & affections of the Spanish
nation, as is of y'e English of [_sic_] y't admirable & never enough
praised booke of S'r. Phil: Sidneyes Arcadia.'

[140] Arber's edition, p. 83.

[141] See the useful table of correspondences given by Homer Smith in his
paper on the _Pastoral Influence in the English Drama_. All needful
apparatus for the study of the story will of course be found in Furness'
'Variorum' edition of the play.

[142] Macaulay once remarked of the _Faery Queen_, that few and weary are
the readers who are in at the death of the Blatant Beast. It might with
equal or even greater force be contended that most readers are asleep ere
the Arcadian princesses in Sidney's romance are rescued from the power of

[143] Into purely bibliographical questions, such as the history of the
Edinburgh edition of 1599, it is of course impossible to enter here.

[144] Letter in the State Papers. See Introduction to Sommer's facsimile
of the first edition, 1891.

[145] Conversations with Drummond, X. Shakespeare Society, 1842, p. 10.

[146] K. Brunhuber, to whose work on the _Arcadia_ (_Sir Philip Sidneys
Arcadia und ihre Nachläufer_, 1903) I am in a measure indebted, failing to
find many specific borrowings, is inclined to make light of Montemayor's
influence. There can, however, be little question that, in general style
and conception, Sidney, while influenced by the Greek romance, yet
belonged essentially to the Spanish school.

[147] Analyses of the _Arcadia_ will be fouud in all works upon the novel
from Dunlop to J. J. Jusserand and W. Raleigh. Perhaps the fullest, which
is also provided with copious extracts, is that in the _Retrospective
Review_, 1820, ii. p. 1.

[148] An allegorical interpretation certainly found favour among the
critics of the time, and was advanced by Puttenham in his _Art of English
Poesy_ (1589), even before the publication of the romance. See also Thomas
Wilson's allusion on the title-page of his translation from the _Diana_,
given above (p. 141, note).

[149] A critical edition remains, however, a desideratum.

[150] See Jusserand's _English Novel in the time of Shakespeare_, 1890, p.

[151] The later fashionable pastoral of French origin, with the _Astrée_
as its type and chief representative, does not concern us, or at most
concerns us so indirectly as not to warrant our lingering over it here.

[152] I should at once say that the view of the development of the
pastoral drama adopted above is not endorsed by all scholars. To have set
forth at length the considerations upon which it is based would have
swollen beyond all bounds an introductory section of my work. Since,
however, the question is one of considerable interest, I have added what I
believe to be a fairly full and impartial discussion in the form of an

[153] 'Orfeo cantando giugne all' Inferno' is one of the stage directions.

[154] For an elaborate example (1547) of this kind of stage, on which
various localities were simultaneously represented, see Petit de
Julleville, _Histoire de la langue et de la littérature française_, ii.
pp. 416-7.

[155] Concerning the play see the account given by Symonds, together with
his admirable translation in _Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece_,
ii. p. 345, also an elaborate essay, 'L'Orfeo del Poliziano alla corte di
Mantova,' by Isidoro del Lungo, in the _Nuova antologia_ for August, 1881,
and A. D'Ancona, _Origini del teatro italiano_, ii. pp. 2 and 106. The
standard edition of Poliziano's Italian works, that by Carducci, is
unfortunately not in the British Museum.

[156] A note concerning the use of the term 'nymph' may save confusion.
Creizenach remarks that the introduction of a nymph as the beloved of a
shepherd is a peculiarity of the renaissance pastoral which manifestly
owes its origin to Boccaccio's _Ninfale fiesolano_ (_Geschichte des
neueren Dramas_, ii. p. 196). In so far as this view implies that the
'nymphs' of pastoral convention are the same order of beings as those
either of the _Ninfale_ or of classical myth, it appears to me utterly
erroneous. The 'nymphs' who love the shepherds in the renaissance
pastorals are nothing but shepherdesses. The confusion no doubt began with
Boccaccio. The nymph of Diana in the _Ninfale_ is, as we have already
seen, nothing but a nun in pagan disguise. The nymphs of the _Ameto_ are
represented as of the classical type, but their amorous confessions reveal
them as in nowise differing from mortal woman. The gradual change in the
connotation of the word is one of the results of the blending of Christian
and classical ideas. The original elemental or local spirits even in Greek
myth acquired some of the characteristics of votaries (as in the legeud of
Calisto), and these Christian tradition tended to accentuate, while
popular romance, and in many cases contemporary manners, facilitated the
connecting of such characters with tales of secret passion. Gradually,
however, the idea of illicit love gave place to one merely of unrestrained
natural desire, the religious elements of the character were forgotten as
the supernatural had been earlier, and 'nymph' came to be no more than the
feminine of 'shepherd' in an ideal society which by its freedom of
intercourse, as by its honesty of dealing, presented a complete contrast
to the polished circles of aristocratic Italy.

[157] A small circular picture in _chiaroscuro_ among the arabesques of
the _cappella nova_ in the cathedral at Orvieto. It represents the
youthful Orpheus crowned with the laureate wreath playing before Pluto and
Proserpine upon a fiddle or crowd of antique pattern. At his feet lies
Eurydice, while around are spirits of the other world.

[158] In some passages of this speech the resemblance with Ovid is very

  famaque si ueteris non est mentita rapinae,
  uos quoque iunxit Amor...
  omnia debentur nobis, paulumque morati
  serius aut citius sedem properamus ad unam...
  haec quoque, cum iustos matura peregerit annos,
  iuris erit uestri; pro munere poscimus usum.
  quod si fata negant ueniam pro coniuge, certum est
  nolle redire mihi: leto gaudete duorum. (_Met_. x. 28, &c.)

[159] Cf. _Amores_, II. xii, ll. 1, 2, 5, and 16.

[160] This interpretation of the passion of Orpheus, characteristic as it
is of renaissance thought, was not original. Though unknown in early
times, it is found in Phanocles, a poet probably of the third or fourth
century B. C.

[161] So original: revision 'oè oè.'

[162] The earliest edition I have seen is that contained in the 'Opere' of
June 10, 1507, where the heading runs: 'Fabula di Caephalo cõposta dal
Signor Nicolo da Correggia a lo Illustrissimo. D. Hercole & da lui
repsentata al suo florẽtissimo Populo di Ferrara nel. M. cccc. lxxxvi.
adi. xxi. Ianuarii.' In this edition, printed at Venice by Manfrido Bono
de Monteferrato, the works are said to be 'Stampate nouamente: & ben
corrette.' Bibliographers record no edition previous to 1510. The date in
the heading is either a misprint, or refers to the year 1486-7 according
to the Venetian reckoning. See D'Ancona, _Origini del teatro_, ii. p.
128-9. Symonds (_Renaissance_, v. p. 120) quotes some Latin lines as from
the prologue to this play. This is an error. He has misread D'Ancona, to
whom he refers (ed. 1877), and from whom he evidently copied the
quotation. The lines actually occur in the prologue to a Latin play on the
subject of the taking of Granada.

[163] Rossi, _Battista Guarini ed il Pastor Fido_, 1886, p. 171, note 2.

[164] I do not, of course, mean that no mythological plays were produced
between the days of Correggio and those of Beccari, but that they show no
signs of consistent development in a pastoral or indeed in any other

[165] _Il Verato secondo_, 1593, p. 206.

[166] _Compendio della poesia tragicomica, tratto dai duo Verati_, 1602,
pp. 49-50.

[167] In this and the following section I have used the texts of the
exceedingly useful collection of _Drammi de' boschi_ in the 'Biblioteca
classica economica,' which comprises the _Aminta, Pastor fido, Filli di
Sciro_, and _Alceo_.

[168] Symonds, in dealing with Tasso in the sixth volume of his _Italian
Renaissance_, lays, to my mind very justly, considerable stress upon this

[169] Quoted by Serassi, Tasso's biographer, in his preface to the Bodoni
edition of the play (Crisopoli, 1789), p. 8.

[170] See Angelo Solerti, _Vita di T. Tasso_, Torino, Loescher, 1895, i.
p. 181, &c. Carducci, 'Storia dell' _Aminta_,' the third of the _Saggi_,
80, 1st edition.

[171] Leigh Hunt pointed out, in some interesting if rather uncritical
remarks prefixed to his translation of the _Aminta_ (London, 1820), that
some at any rate of the regular choruses cannot have formed part of the
original composition. In fact the first edition (Aldus, 1581) contains
those to Acts I and V only; that to Act II appeared in the second edition
(Ferrara, 1581), and also in the collected _Rime_ (Aldus, 1581); the rest
were added in the Aldine quarto of 1590.

[172] Supposing always that this representation, of which Filippo
Baldinucci, in his _Notizie dei professori del disegno_ (sec. iv, dec.
vii; 1688, p. 102), has left a glowing account, was a representation of
the _Aminta_, and not, as some have maintained, of the _Intrichi d'
amore_, another play sometimes ascribed to Tasso.

[173] Amore had already spoken the prologue to Lodovico Dolce's _Dido_;
and a mythological play by Sannazzaro, of which the opening alone is
extant, introduces Venus in pursuit of her son, and warning the ladies of
the audience against his wiles (Creizenach, ii. p. 209). The prologue to
the _Pastor fido_ is put into the mouth of the river-god Alfeo, that of
Bonarelli's _Filli di Sciro_, which begins with another Ovidian
reminiscence (_Amores_, I. xiii. 40), and was written by Marino, is spoken
by a personification of night, that of Ongaro's _Alceo_ by Venus, of
Castelletti's _Amarilli_ by 'Apollo in habito pastorale,' of Cristoforo
Lauro's _Frutti d'amore_ by Janus in similar garb, of Cesana's _Prova
amoroso_, by Hercules. The list might be extended indefinitely. Contarini,
at the beginning of the next century, followed precedent less closely; his
_Finta Fiammetta_ has a dramatic prologue introducing Venus, Cupid,
Anteros (the avenger of slighted love), and a chorus of _amoretti_; that
of his _Fida ninfa_ is spoken by the shade of Petrarch.

[174] Most of the identifications made by Menagio in his edition, Paris,
1650, have generally been accepted since, except by Fontanini, who would
identify Pigna with Mopso. There seems, however, to be little doubt
possible on the point, though it is not to Tasso's credit. For an audience
conversant with the inner life of the court, the references to Elpino
contained whole volumes of contemporary scandal. In Licori we may see
Lucrezia Bendidio. This lady, the wife of Count Paolo Machiavelli, and
sister-in-law of Guarini, is said to have been the mistress of Cardinal
Luigi d' Este; but Pigna, too, courted her, and brooked no rivalry on the
part of fledgling poets. Tasso appears to have paid her imprudent
attention in the early days of his residence at Ferrara, and thus incurred
the secretary's wrath. The princess Leonora remonstrated with her poet on
his folly, and Tasso, by way of palinode, wrote a fulsome commentary on
three of Pigna's wooden _canzoni_, ranking them with Petrarch's. Tasso is
appareutly allnding to this incident when he puts into Elpino's mouth the

  Quivi con Tirsi ragionando andava
  Pur di colei che nell' istessa rete
  Lui prima e me dappoi ravvolse e strinse;
  E preponendo alla sua fuga, al suo
  Libero stato il mio dolce servigio. (V. i. 61.)

The origin of the name 'Licori' may possibly, as Carducci points out (p.
94), be sought in an epigram, _Ad Licorim_, found among Pigna's Latin
_Carmina_ (1553). The whole incident throws a curious light on the
pettiness of the Ferrarese Court, a characteristic in which it was,
however, not peculiar. (See Rossi, pp. 34, &c.) It is perhaps worth while
mentioning that by the _antro dell' Aurora_ was no doubt intended the room
in the castle, said to have formed part of the private apartments of
Leonora, still known as the _sala dell' Aurora_, from a wretched fresco on
the ceiling by the local artist Dosso Dossi.

[175] _Aminta_, I. i; _Canace_, IV. ii.

[176] _Lettere del Guarini_, Veneta, Ciotti, 1615, p. 92. See Rossi,

[177] I have already had occasion to point out that, from the time of
Boccaccio onwards, a nymph of Diana might represent a nun, but the whole
of Silvia's relations with Dafne make it plain that she is in no way vowed
to virginity. Her being represented as a follower of Diana implies no more
than that she is fancy-free, and so in a sense under the protection of the
virgin goddess. This use of the phrase is as old as Theocritus: 'Artemis,
be not wrathful, thy votary breaks her vow' (_Idyl_ 27). And it is so used
by Silvia herself in her proud and petulant retort to Aminta: 'Pastor, non
mi toccar; son di Diana' (III. i).

[178] The idea passed from Italian into English verse:

            tell me why
  This goblin 'honour,' by the world enshrined,
  Should make men atheists, and not women kind--

to improve upon the exceedingly neat bowdlerization which the Rev. J. W.
Ebsworth has sought to palm off as the genuine text of Tom Carew.

[179] We have, in the passages quoted, a foretaste of the priggish
extravagance of the _Faithful Shepherdess_. That there should have been
found critics to combine just but wholly otiose condemnation of Cloe with
reverential appreciation of the absurdities of Clorin and Thenot, and to
clap applause to the self-conscious virtue, little removed from smugness,
in which the 'moral grandeur' of the Lady of the Ludlow masque is clothed,
is indeed a striking witness to the tyranny of conventional morality. If
virginal purity were in fact the hypocritical convention which it is to
some extent possible to condone in the _Aminta_, but which becomes wholly
loathsome in the work of Fletcher, the sooner it disappeared from the
region of practical ethics the better for the moral health of humanity.

[180] Menagio's edition is said to have appeared in 1650, but I have only
seen the edition of 1655, which I also notice is the date given by Weise
and Pèrcopo (p. 319). The play is said to have been printed in Italy alone
some two hundred times; there are twenty French translations, five German,
at least nine English, several in Spanish and other languages. A version
in the Slavonic Illyrian dialect appeared in 1598; a Latin one in iambic
trimeters by Andrea Hiltebrando, a Pomeranian physician, in 1615; another
in modern Greek in 1745. See Carducci, p. 99.

[181] Published, together with Paglia's reply, by Antonio Bulifon in his
_Lettere memorabili_, Naples, 1698, iii. p. 307. The play had already been
adversely criticized by Francesco Patrizi and Gian Vincenzo Gravina.

[182] 'L'Aminta difeso e illustrato da G. Fontanini,' Roma, 1700. Another
edition appeared in 1730 at Venice, with further annotations by Uberto

[183] It is, however, perfectly true that the play, together with the
writings in its defence and the notes, to be considered later, occupied
the attention of the author for a period of fully twenty years, and it is
possibly thus that the tradition arose. I may say that throughout this
section I am under deep obligations to Rossi's monograph.

[184] Rossi, p. 183. I shall return to the point.

[185] In later days he was often called Giovanbattista, but the addition
is without authority, in spite of its appearance in the British Museum

[186] This preliminary history is drawn, as Guarini himself points out in
his notes of 1602, from Pausanias (VII. 21), though less closely than he
there implies. The rest of the plot he claimed as original, but it is to a
large extent merely a rehandling of the same motive.

[187] Carino is said to represent Guarini in the same manner as Tirsi does

[188] There is a legend that this scene was placed on the Index. This,
anyhow, cannot refer to the _Index Librorum Prohibitorum_, but only to the
_Index Expurgatorius_, which was at no time an officiai publication. But
the whole story appears to be without foundation.

[189] In comparing the two pieces, it is worth remembering that, whereas
the _Aminta_ contains about 2,000 lines, the _Pastor fido_ runs to close
upon 7,000.

[190] _Storia della letteratura italiana nel secolo XVI_, Milano, 1880,
pp. 244-7. See Rossi, p. 264. His argument is that it anticipated a revolt
against the conventional nature of domestic love, reflecting better than
any other dramatic work the ideas that towards the end of the
_cinquecento_ were, according to him, leading in the direction of a moral
regeneration of Italian Society. It is, however, difficult to reconcile
his theory with what we know of Italy in the days of the
counter-reformation; while it may at the same time be doubted whether a
tone of anaemic sentimentality is, in itself, preferable to one of cynical
convention. It should be added that there is little regeneration of
domestic love to be found in the partly pathetic and partly sordid tragedy
of Guarini's own family.

[191] The quotations are from the opening scene of either play. The
parallel is that selected by Symonds for quotation, and is among the most
striking examples of Guarini's method, but similar instances might be
collected from almost every scene.

[192] G. B. Manso, _Vita di T. Tasso_, Venezia, Denchino, 1621, p. 329.
Carducci, p. 99.

[193] 'Il Pastor Fido Tragicomedia Pastorale di Battista Guarini, Dedicata
al Ser'mo. D. Carlo Emanuele Duca di Sauoia, &c. Nelle Reali Nozze di S. A.
con la Ser'ma. Infante D. Caterina d'Austria.' The tradition of a
performance on this occasion dates from early in the seventeenth century,
and is endorsed by the poet's nephew and biographer, Alessandro Guarini.
It is in part due to a confusion of words: the play was _presentato_, but
not _rappresentato_.

[194] Guarini, _Lettere_, Venetia, Ciotti, 1615, p. 174. Rossi, 228^{7}.

[195] At least one of these, a worthless production by a certain Niccolo
Averara, is extant. That of 1598 was probably spoken by Hymen. Rossi, pp.

[196] It has sometimes been supposed that the Baldini edition, Ferrara,
1590, was the earlier, but Guarini's letter is conclusive.

[197] Of this edition the British Museum possesses a magnificent copy on
large and thick paper, bearing on the title-page the inscription: 'Al
Ser^{mo}. Principe di Vinegia Marin Grimani,' showing that it was the
presentation copy to the Doge at the time of publication. Another copy on
large but not on thick paper is in my own possession, and has on the
title-page the remains of a similar inscription beginning apparently 'All
Ill^{mo} et R^{mo}...' I rather suspect it of being the copy presented to
the ecclesiastic, whoever he was, who represented the Congregation of the
Index at Venice. Innumerable editions followed; I have notes of no less
than fifty during the half-century succeeding publication, i.e. 1590-1639.

[198] The authorship of the notes is placed beyond doubt by a letter of
Guarini's, otherwise it might have been doubted whether even he could have
been guilty of the fulsome self-laudation they contain. On the controversy
see Rossi, pp. 238-43.

[199] Certain modern writers have shown themselves worthy descendants of
the criticaster of Vicenza by insisting that the play should properly be
called the _Pastorella fida_. Guarini was weak enough to reply to
Malacreta's carpings in his notes, and thereby exposed himself to similar
attacks from posterity.

[200] The absurdity lies of course in the commanding merit ascribed to the
piece. As Saintsbury has pointed out in his _History of Criticism_, had
Aristotle known the romantic drama of the renaissance, the _Poetics_ would
have been largely another work.

[201] Summo evidently thought that Pescetti's defence at least was the
work of Guarini himself. There is no evidence that this was so, but Rossi
considers it not improbable that Guarini at least directed the labours of
his supporters.

[202] It is unnecessary to enter into any further discussion of these
plays. The following titles, however, quoted by Stiefel in his review of
Rossi, may be mentioned. Scipione Dionisio, _Amore cortese_, 1570 (?) (not
the Alessandro Dionisio whose _ecloga_, entitled _Amorosi sospiri_, with
intermezzos of a mythological character, was printed in 1599); Niccolò
degli Angeli, _Ligurino_, 1574 (so Allacci, _Drammaturgia_, 1755; the only
edition in the British Museum is dated 1594; Venus and Silenus are among
the characters, and the prologue is spoken by 'Tempo'); Cesare della
Valle, _Filide_, 1579; Giovanni Fratta, _La Nigella_, 1580; Cristoforo
Castelletti, _Amarilli_, 1580 (which edition, though given by Allacci,
appears to be now unknown, as is also the date of composition; a second
edition appeared in 1582; the prologue was spoken by 'Apollo in habito
pastorale,' and Ongaro contributed a commendatory sonnet); Giovanni Donato
Cuchetti, _La Pazzia_, 1581; Pietro Cresci, _Tirena_, 1584; Alessandro
Mirari, _Mauriziano_, 1584; Dionisio Rondinelli, _Galizia_, 1583 (his
_Pastor vedovo_ was printed in 1599, with a prologue spoken by
'Primavera,' and an echo scene).

[203] Preface to the Bodoni edition of the _Aminta_, p. 12.

[204] This episode of the double love of Celia formed the subject of an
attack on the play. The author wrote an elaborate defence which was
printed at Ancona in 1612. It runs to 221 quarto pages.

[205] I am aware that attempts have been made to find evidence of Italian
influence in Lyly, but of this later.

[206] The piece appeared anonymously, but the authorship is attested by
Nashe in his preface to Greene's _Menaphon_, 1589. Some songs from the
play also appear over Peele's signature in _England's Helicon_, 1600. I
have quoted from A. H. Bullen's edition of Peele's works, 2 vols. 1888.

[207] Fraunce's translation in his _Ivychurch_ (_vide post_), and J.
Wolfe's edition, together with the _Pastor fido_, both 1591.

[208] Like Dove. Cf. p. 98.

[209] i.e. coupled impartially with its reward.

[210] Umpire.

[211] Groves.

[212] The entry of the piece to R. Jones, on July 26, 1591, in the
Stationers' Register, coupled with the fact that _England's Parnassus_
quotes almost entirely from printed works, puts this practically beyond
doubt. It is of course possible that a copy may yet be discovered.

[213] Dr. Henry Jackson, than whom no classical scholar has devoted more
study to the Elizabethan drama, draws my attention to the fact that a
somewhat indelicate passage in the play, obscurely hinted at in Drummond's
notes (ed. Bullen, ii. p. 366), evidently forms the basis of that poet's
own epigram 'Of Nisa' (ed. Turnbull, p. 104).

[214] Two other plays of Lyly's appear at first sight to present pastoral
features. There are five 'shepherds' among the dramatis personae of
_Mydas_, but they appear in one scene only (IV. ii), and merely represent
the common people, introduced to comment on the actions of the king. The
names, as is usual with Lyly, except in the case of comic characters, are
classical. The other play is _Mother Bombie_, which, however, is nothing
but a comedy of low life, combining the tradition of the Latin comedy with
the native farce, which goes back through _Gammer Gurton_ to the old
interludes. It contains a good deal of honest fun and a notable lack of

[215] For many years, indeed, his romance continued to run through
ever-fresh editions, that of 1636 being the twelfth. It is clear, however,
that its public had changed.

[216] It is a curious fact that the authorship of these songs, though it
has never been seriously questioned, rests on very uncertain evidence. I
may refer to an article on the subject in the _Modern Language Review_ for
October, 1905, i. p. 43.

[217] A play entitled 'Iphis and Ianthe, or A marriage without a man,' was
entered on the Stationers' Register on June 29, 1660, as the work of

[218] Lyly may very possibly have known the story of Hesione cited by R. W.
Bond (ii. 421), but it presents no particular points of similarity, and the
outline of the legend was of course common property. A similar sacrifice
forms an episode in _Orlando furioso_, VIII. 52, &c.; the sacrifice of a
youth to an _orribile serpe_ also forms the central incident in Orazio
Serono's _Fida Armilla_, 1610; while the motive of the annual sacrifice
occurs of course in the _Pastor fido_.

[219] There can be little doubt as to the identity of the 'Commoedie of
Titirus and Galathea,' entered on the Stationers' Register under date
April 1, 1585; and now that, thanks to Bond's researches, it is evident
that the reference to _Octogesimus octavus mirabilis annus_ (see III. iii)
was no _ex post facto_ prophecy, but borrowed from Richard Harvey's
_Astrological Discourse_ of 1583, there is no reason to suppose a double

[220] Bond argues in favour of the extant text being mutilated, and
representing a late revival about 1600. I am not prepared, and in the
present place certainly not concerned, to dispute his hypothesis; whatever
the cause, the literary result is unsatisfactory, and from his remarks
concerning its dramatic merits I must emphatically dissent.

[221] Bond's emendation, undoubtedly correct, for _nip_ of the quarto.

[222] This story, strangely characterized as 'extremely attractive' by
Bond, is elaborated from that given by Ovid in the eighth book of the
_Metamorphoses_. I have elsewhere alluded to the theory of Italian
pastoral influence in Lyly. I had in mind L. L. Schiicking's monograph on
_Die stofflichen Beziehungen der englischen Komodie zur italienischen bis
Lilly_, Halle, 1901, but must here state that to my mind he has completely
failed to prove his thesis. I need not enter into details in this place,
but may refer to Bond's discussion in his 'Note on Italian influence in
Lyly's plays' (ii. p. 473). There is, however, one passage in _Love's
Metamorphosis_ (not mentioned by Schucking) which suggests a reminiscence
of the _Aminta_; Cupid, namely, describes himself (V. i.) as 'such a god
that maketh thunder fall out of Joves hand, by throwing thoughts into his
heart.' Compare the lines in Tasso's Prologue:

            un dio...
  Che fa spesso cader di mano a Marte
  La sanguinosa spada...
  E le folgori eterne al sommo Giove.

I give the parallel for what it is worth. So far as I am aware it is the
only one which can claim the least plausibility, and alone it is clearly
insufficient to prove any borrowing on the part of the English playwright.

[223] Bond adduces some fairly strong reasons for supposing it later than
1590. A. W. Ward was evidently unable to make up his mind upon the
question, and treats the play at the head of the list of Lyly's works, in
which it seems to me that he hardly does justice to his critical powers.

[224] A very similar reminiscence of Marlowe's rhythm: /p And think I wear
a rich imperial crowne, p/ occurs in the old play of _King Leir_, which
must belong to about the same date, _c._ 1592.

[225] It is possible, though of course by no means necessary, that we have
a specifie reminiscence of the lines in _Faustus_:

  More lovely than the monarch of the sky
  In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms. (Sc. xv.)

[226] I have of course not concerned myself with those mythological plays
which offer no pastoral features. Nor is it possible to go into the
question of the Latin plays performed at the Universities. I may, however,
mention the _Atalanta_ of Philip Parsons, a short piece preserved in the
British Museum, MS. Harl. 6924, and dedicated to no less a person than
Laud, when President of St. John's, Oxford, a position he held from 1611
to 1615. The play is founded upon the Boeotian legend of Atalanta, though
the laying of the scene in Arcadia would appear to indicate a confusion
with the other version. Pastoral characters and scenes are introduced.

[227] See the epistle dedicatory to the Countess of Pembroke, prefixed to
the _Ivychurch_, in which the translation appeared, 1591.

[228] The choruses to Acts III and IV are omitted, which proves that
Fraunce worked, as we should expect, from some edition previous to the
Aldine quarto of 1590. There are also certain unimportant alterations in
the translation from Watson. For a more detailed examination of Fraunce's
relation to his Italian original, see an article by E. Koeppel on 'Die
englischen Tasso-Übersetzungen des 16. Jahrhunderts,' in _Anglia_, vol. xi
(1889), p. 11.

[229] 'Phillis, alas, tho' thou live, another by this will be dying' would
be a more elegant as well as more correct rendering of 'Oimè! tu vivi;
Altri non già': it would, however, not scan according to Fraunce's rules.

[230] Numerous French translations were, moreover, available for such as
happened to be more familiar with that language.

[231] Though not a point of much importance, I may as well take the
opportunity of endeavouring to clear up the singular confusion which has
surrounded the authorship. The ascription to John Reynolds rests
ultimately upon the authority of Edward Phillips, in whose _Theatrum
Poetarum_, 1675, we find _s.v._ Torquato Tasso the note (pt. ii, p. 186):
'Amintas, a Pastoral, elegantly translated into English by John Reynolds.'
Who this John was is open to question. The _Dic. Nat. Biog._ recognizes
three John Reynolds in the first half of the seventeenth century: (1) John
Reynolds, or Reinolds (1584-1614), epigrammatist, fellow of New College,
Oxford; (2) John Reynolds, of Exeter, (_fl._ 1621-50), author of _God's
Revenge against Murder_, and of translations from French and Dutch; and
(3) Sir John Reynolds, colonel in the Parliamentary army. The British
Museum Catalogue, on the other hand, distinguishes between John Reynolds,
of Exeter, author of _God's Revenge_ and other works, and John Reynolds
the translator (to whom the _Aminta_ is tentatively ascribed). I am not
aware of any authority for this distinction, though there is nothing in
the composition of _God's Revenge_ to make one suppose the author capable
of producing the translation of the _Aminta_. On the other hand, it must
be admitted that the incidental verse in some of his other works, notably
in the _Flower of Fidelity_, a romance published in 1650, is distinctly on
a more respectable level than his prose. The ascription, however, to John
Reynolds has not very much to support it. Phillips' authority is
second-rate at best, and is not likely to be at its best in the present
case. It is indeed surprising that he should have been acquainted with
this early translation rather than with that by John Dancer, which
appeared in 1660, and must have been far more generally known at the end
of the seventeenth century. The first to identify the translator with
Henry Reynolds was, so far as I am aware, Mary A. Scott, in her valuable
series of papers on 'Elizabethan Translations from the Italian,' in the
Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (vol. xi. p.
112); and the same view was taken independently by the writer of a notice
in the _Dic. Nat. Biog._ This ascription is based upon the entry in the
Stationers' Register, which runs: '7º Novembris 1627. William Lee. Entred
for his Copye under the handes of Sir Henry Herbert and both the wardens A
booke called Torquato Tassos Aminta Englished by Henry Reynoldes ...
vj^{d}' (Arber, iv. p. 188). Several songs of his are extant, and an
epistle of Drayton's is dedicated to him. This appears to me the more
reasonable ascription of the two. The writer in the _Dic. Nat. Biog._
further claims that the identity of the translator with Henry Reynolds is
proved by internal evidence of style. I may add that Serassi, in his
remarks prefixed to the Bodoni edition of the _Aminta_ (Parma, 1789),
ascribed the present translation to Oldmixon through a confusion of the
dates 1628 and 1698.

[232] Streams or inlets.

[233] The unfortunate cacophony of the opening is the retribution on the
translator for not having the courage to begin with a hypermetrical line.

[234] Later translations of the _Aminta_ may be mentioned: John Oldmixon,
1698; P. B. Du Bois, in prose, with Italian, 1726; William Ayre [1737];
Percival Stockdale, 1770; and, lastly, the very graceful rendering by
Leigh Hunt, 1820. As lately as 1900 a gentleman who need not be named had
the impertinence to publish, in an American series, a mediocre version of
the _Aminta_ as being 'Now first rendered into English.' I may mention
that some confusion has been introduced into the question of the date of
Du Bois' translation by the wholly unwarranted opinion on the part of the
B. M. catalogue that the second (undated) edition appeared _c._ 1650. I
have compared the two editions at the Bodleian, and have no doubt that the
second belongs to _c._ 1730.

[235] The facts are as follow. The entry on the Stationers' Register is
dated September 16, 1601, and does not mention the translator's name. The
first edition, quarto, 1602, contains a sonnet by Daniel, addressed to Sir
Edward Dymocke, in which he refers to the translator as the knight's
'kinde Countryman.' This is followed by 'A Sonnet of the Translator,
dedicated to that honourable Knight his kinsman, Syr Edward Dymock.' After
this comes an epistle dedicatory addressed to Sir Edward, and signed by
Simon Waterson, the publisher, dated 'London this last of December. 1601.'
In it the writer speaks of Sir Edward's 'nearenesse of kinne to the
deceased Translator.' The play was reprinted in 1633, in 12mo, with an
epistle dedicatory by John Waterson to 'Charles Dymock, Esquire,'
beginning: 'That it may appeare unto the world, that you are Heire of what
ever else was your Fathers, as well as of his vertues, I heere restore
what formerly his gracious acceptance made onely his: Which as a
testimonie to all, that it received Life from none but him, was content to
loose its being with us, since he ceased to bee.' Through the hyperbolical
ambiguity of this passage it clearly appears that Charles was Sir Edward's
son, but not in the least that he was the translator as has been supposed,
still less that he was the son of the translator, as has also been
suggested. The play is first mentioned in the second edition (1782) of the
_Biographia Dramatica_, where the translator is said to be a 'Mr. Dymock,'
and Charles is identified as his son. This was copied in the 1812 edition,
and also by Halliwell, while Mr. Hazlitt has the astonishing statement
that the version was by 'Charles Dymock and a second person unknown.' The
_Dic. Nat. Biog._ does not recognize any of the persons concerned. There
is, however, one curious piece of evidence which has been so far
overlooked. In the list of plays, namely, appended by the publisher Edward
Archer to his edition of the _Old Law_ in 1656, occurs the entry:
'Faithfull Shepheardesse. C[omedy]. John Dymmocke.' The compiler has of
course confused the translation with Fletcher's play, but the ascription
is nevertheless interesting. If we insist on identifying the translator at
all, it must be with this John Dymocke. The entries in Archer's list,
however, are far too untrustworthy for their unsupported evidence to carry
much weight. A translation 'by D. D. Gent. 12mo. 1633,' recorded by
Halliwell and others, is evidently due to a series of blunders on the part
of bibliographers, though what the origin of the initials is I have been
unable to discover. They are probably due to Coxeter.

[236] MS. Addit. 29,493.

[237] I understand that an edition of Fanshawe's works is in preparation
for Mr. Bullen.

[238] Later translations of the _Pastor fido_ appeared in 1782 [by
William Grove], and in 1809 [by William Clapperton?].

[239] MS. Ff. ii. 9.

[240] The allusion, which has hitherto escaped notice, will be found
quoted below, p. 252 note.

[241] In this note the _Pastor fido_ is said to have been 'Translated by
some Author before this,' but the context makes it evident that 'some' is
a misprint for 'the same.'

[242] It might be objected that J. S. is called 'Gent,' while Sidnam is
termed esquire; but it should be remarked that in the MS. the 'Esq;' has
been added in a later hand.

[243] MS. Sloane 836, folio 76^{v}.

[244] MS. Sloane 857, folio 195^{v}.

[245] MS. Addit. 12,128. Another MS. in the Bodleian.

[246] No doubt the Samuel Brooke who became Master in 1629. He was the
brother of the Christopher Brooke who appears in Wither's eclogues under
the pastoral name of Cuddie. Cf. p. 116.

[247] There is something wrong with this date. The princes were at
Cambridge 2-4 March, 1612-13. (See Nichols' _James I_, iii. (iv.) p.
1086-7. The date 'March 6' in ii. p. 607 is an error.) Probably 'Martij
30º,' which appears in the University Library MS., as well as in several
MSS. at Trinity, is a slip of the transcriber for 'Martij 3º,' which would
set both day and year right. Nichols, indeed, gives the date as 'Martii
3º,' but he refers to the Emmanuel MS., which, like the others, reads

[248] MS. Ee. 5. 16.

[249] An anonymous writer in B. M. MS. Harl. 7044, quoted by Nichols
(_James I_, i. p. 553), has the following description: '_Veneris_, 30º
_Augusti_ [1605]. There was an English play acted in the same place before
the Queen and young Prince, with all the Ladies and Gallants attending the
Court. It was penned by Mr. Daniel, and drawn out of Fidus Pastor, which
was sometimes acted by King's College men in Cambridge. I was not there
present, but by report it was well acted and greatly applauded. It was
named "Arcadia Reformed."' This has led Fleay into a strange error. '_The
Queen's Arcadia_' he says _(Biog. Chron._ i. p. 110), 'although it is not
known to have been acted till 1605, Aug. 30, had been prepared earlier
(and perhaps acted at Herbert's marriage, 1604, Dec. 27), for it is called
"_Arcadia, reformed_."' Of course the allusion is to the reformation of
Arcadia, not the revision of the play. The play was printed the following

[250] For further details concerning the occasion of this piece, as also
for information on the state of the text, I may refer to an article of
mine in the _Modern Language Quarterly_ for August, 1903, vi. p. 59. The
first edition appeared in 1615.

[251] Grosart's edition, printed, not always very correctly, from the
collected works of 1623, offers too unsatisfactory a text for quotation. I
have therefore quoted from the edition of 1623 itself, corrected, where
necessary, by the separate editions, and, in the case of _Hymen's
Triumph_, by Drummond's MS.

[252] Dramatic prologues occur in some of the later Italian pastorals (see
p. 185, note). That to _Hymen's Triumph_ recalls the dialogue between
Comedy and Envy prefixed to _Mucedorus_.

[253] Alexis is one of those characters whose appearance, while not
essential to the plot, lends life to the romantic drama, and whose
conspicuous absence in the neo-classic type is ill compensated by the
prodigal introduction of superfluous confidants.

[254] It is just possible that Daniel took a hint for this episode from
Dickenson's romance, _Arisbas_ (1594), meutioned above, p. 147.

[255] The similarity between Silvia and Shakespeare's Viola and Beaumont's
Euphrasia-Bellario is too obvious to need comment. It may, however, be
remarked that in Noci's _Cintia_ (1594) the heroine returns home disguised
as a boy, to find her lover courting another nymph. See p. 212.

[256] This narrative has been much admired, notably by Lamb and Coleridge,
critics from whom it is not good to differ; but I must nevertheless
confess that, to my taste, Daniel's sentiment, here as elsewhere, is
inclined to verge upon the fulsome and the ludicrous.

[257] It is evident that this pompous inflation of style damaged the piece
upon the stage, for on Feb. 10, 1613-4, John Chamberlain, writing to Sir
Dudley Carleton, described the performance as 'solemn and dull.'

[258] The corresponding passage in the _Aminta_ (I. ii.) is marred by a
series of rather artificial conceits.

[259] Architecture or building. A very rare use not recognized by the New
English Dictionary, though it is also found in Browne's _Britannia's
Pastorals_ (I. iv. 405):

  To find an house ybuilt for holy deed,
  With goodly architect, and cloisters wide.

[260] Guarini had already called dreams (_Pastor fido_, I. iv):

  Immagini del dì, guaste e corrotte
  Dall' ombre della notte.

[261] Saintsbury, in his _Elizabethan Literature_, insists, not
unnaturally, on Daniel's lack of strength. Upon this Grosart commented in
his edition (iv. p. xliv.): 'This seems to me exceptionally uncritical....
One special quality of Samuel Daniel is the inevitableness with which he
rises when any "strong" appeal is made to ... his imagination.' The
partiality of an editor could surely go no further.

[262] The prodigality of _Oh's_ and _Ah's_ is an obvious characteristic of
his verse, which may possibly have been in Jonson's mind when, in the
prologue to the _Sad Shepherd_, he wrote:

  But that no stile for Pastorall should goe
  Current, but what is stamp'd with _Ah_, and _O_;
  Who judgeth so, may singularly erre.

[263] This could hardly be maintained as literally true were we to include
the Latin plays of the Universities. Of these, however, I propose to take
merely incidental notice. In no case do they appear to be of considerable
importance, and they are, as a rule, only preserved in MSS. which are
often difficult of access. I may here mention one which reached the
distinction of print, and is of a more regularly Italian structure than
most. The title-page reads: 'Melanthe Fabula pastoralis acta cum Iacobus
Magnae Brit. Franc. & Hiberniæ Rex, Cantabrigiam suam nuper inviseret,
ibidemq; Musarum, atque eius animi gratiâ dies quinque Commoraretur.
Egerunt alumni Coll. San. et Individuae Trinitatis. Cantabrigiae.
Excudebat Cantrellus Legge. Mart. 27. 1615.' The play was acted, according
to the invaluable John Chamberlain, on March 10, 1614-5, and appears to
have made a very favourable impression. It belongs to the series of
entertainments which included the representation of _Albumazar_, and was
to have included that of Phineas Fletcher's _Sicelides_, had the king
remained another night. The author of _Melanthe_ is said to have been 'Mr.
Brookes,' probably the Dr. Samuel Brooke who had produced the
already-mentioned translation of Bonarelli's _Filli di Sciro_ two years
before. See Nichols' _Progresses of James I_, iii. p. 55.

[264] Fleay considers the _Faithful Shepherdess_ a joint production of
Beaumont and Fletcher. The only external evidence in favour of this theory
is a remark of Jonson's reported by Drummond: 'Flesher and Beaumont, ten
yeers since, hath [_sic_] written the Faithfull Shipheardesse, a
Tragicomedie, well done.' Considering that the same authority makes Jonson
ascribe the _Inner Temple Masque_ to Fletcher, his statement as to the
_Faithful Shepherdess_ cannot be allowed much weight, while I hardly think
that the fact of Beaumont having prefixed commendatory verses to Fletcher
in the original edition can be set aside as lightly as Fleay appears to
think. He relies chiefly upon internal evidence, but in his _Biographical
Chronicle_, at any rate, does not venture upon a detailed division. For
myself, I can only discover one hand in the play, and that hand
Fletcher's. Fleay places the date of representation before July, 1608, on
account of an outbreak of the plague lasting from then to Nov. 1609, but
A. H. Thorndike (_The Influence of Beaumont and Fletcher on Shakspere_,
Worcester, Mass., 1901, p. 14) has shown good reason for believing that
dramatic performances were much less interfered with by the plague than
Fleay imagined.

[265] Most of these, it may be remarked, as well as the character of
Thenot and the unconventional rôle of the satyr, find parallels in the
earlier stages of the Italian pastoral. The transformation-well recalls
the enchanted lake of the _Sacrifizio_; the introduction of a supernatural
agent in the plot reminds us of the same play, as well as of Epicuro's
_Mirzia_; the friendly satyr, of this latter, which may be, in its turn,
indebted to the revised version of the _Orfeo_; the character of Thenot is
anticipated in the _Sfortunato_. I give the resemblances for what they are
worth, which is perhaps not much; it is unlikely that Fletcher should have
been acquainted with any of the plays in question, though of course not
impossible. The magic taper appears to be a native superstition, a
survival of the ordeal by fire.

[266] Certain critics have suggested that the _Pastor fido_ might more
appropriately have borne the title of Fletcher's play. This is absurd,
since it would mean giving the title-rôle to the wholly secondary Dorinda.
Perhaps they failed to perceive that Mirtillo and not Silvio is the hero.
With Fletcher's play the case stands otherwise. There is absolutely
nothing to show whether the title refers to the presiding genius of the
piece, Clorin, faithful to the memory of the dead, or to the central
character, Amoret, faithful in spite of himself to her beloved Perigot. I
incline to believe that it is the latter that is the 'faithful
shepherdess,' since it might be contended that, in the conventional
language of pastoral, Clorin would be more properly described as the
'constant shepherdess.' (Cf. II. ii. 130.)

[267] See Homer Smith's paper on _Pastoral Influence in the English
Drama_. His theory concerning the _Faithful Shepherdess_ will be found on
p. 407. Whatever plausibility there may be in the general idea, the
detailed application there put forward would appear to be a singular
instance of misapplied ingenuity in pursuance of a preconceived idea.

[268] 'Poems' [1619], p. 433. Compare Boccaccio's account of pastoral
poetry already quoted, p. 18, note.

[269] One fault, which even the beauty of the verse fails to conceal, is
the introduction of all sorts of stilted and otiose allusions to
sheepcraft, which only serve to render yet more apparent the inherent
absurdity of the artificial pastoral. These Tasso and Guarini had had the
good taste to avoid, but we have already had occasion to notice them in
the case of Bonarelli. Daniel is likewise open to censure on this score.

[270] I quote, of course, from Dyce's text, but have for convenience added
the line numbers from F. W. Moorman's edition in the 'Temple Dramatists.'

[271] The officious critic must be forgiven for remarking that the satyr
is not, as might be supposed from this speech, suddenly tamed by Clorin's
beauty and virtue, but shows himself throughout as of a naturally gentle
disposition. Consequently Clorin's argument that it is the mysterious
power of virginity that has guarded her from attack and subdued his savage
nature appears a little fatuous.

[272] Specifically from 'wanton quick desires' and 'lustful heat.' One is
almost tempted to imagine that the author is laughing in his sleeve when
we discover of what little avail the solemn ceremony has been.

[273] In 1658 there appeared a Latin translation, under the title of _La
Fida pastora,_ by 'FF. Anglo-Britannus,' namely, Sir Richard Fanshawe, as
appears from an engraved monogram on the title-page.

[274] As Fleay points out, the prologue and epilogue are not suited to
court representation.

[275] Randolph's familiarity with Guarini is evident throughout, and there
is at least one distinct reminiscence, namely Thestylis' humorous
expansion of Corisca's remark about changing her lovers like her clothes:

    Other Nymphs
  Have their varietie of loves, for every gowne,
  Nay, every petticote; I have only one,
  The poore foole Mopsus! (I. ii.)

[276] A word borrowed by Randolph from the Greek, ὀμφή, a divine voice or
prophecy. He may possibly have associated the word with the Delphic

[277] It is possible that Laurinda's indecision may owe something to the
_doppio amore_ of Celia in the _Filli di Sciro_. See especially III. i. of
that play.

[278] Homer Smith quotes as Halliwell's the description of the play as
'one of the finest specimens of pastoral poetry in our language, partaking
of the best properties of Guarini's and Tasso's poetry, without being a
servile imitation of either.' He has been misled into supposing that the
comments in the _Dictionary of Plays_ are original. The above first
appears in the _Biographia Dramatica_ of 1812, and may therefore be
ascribed to Stephen Jones. All Halliwell did was to omit the further
words, 'its style is at once simple and elevated, natural and dignified.'
The whole description is of course in the very worst style of critical
claptrap. Halliwell reprinted the 'fairy' scenes in his _Illustrations of
the Fairy Mythology of A Midsummer Night's Dream_ (Shakespeare Soc.,
1845), though how they were supposed to illustrate anything of the kind we
are not informed.

[279] 1822, p. 61. This, the only modern edition of Randolph, is one of
the worst edited books in the language, and no literary drubbing was ever
better deserved than that administered by the _Saturday Review_ on August
21, 1875. As the text is quite useless for purposes of quotation, I have
had recourse to the very correct first edition of the _Poems_, 1638,
checked by a collation of the numerous subsequent issues.

[280] The sense in the original is defective.

[281] i.e. Tethys, a very common confusion.

[282] The fact that the play was never published as a separate work makes
it difficult to estimate its popularity with the reading public. The whole
collection was freqnently reprinted, 1638, 1640, 1643, 1652, 1664 and 1668
twice. In 1703 appeared the _Fickle Shepherdess_, 'As it is Acted in the
New Theatre in Lincolns-Inn Fields. By Her Majesties Servants. Play'd all
by Women.' This piece is said in the epistle dedicatory to Lady Gower to
be 'abreviated from an Author famous in his Time.' It is in fact a prose
rendering, much compressed, of the main action of Randolph's play, the
language being for the most part just sufficiently altered to turn good
verse into bad prose.

[283] Vide post, p. 382.

[284] For a detailed discussion of the evidence I must refer the reader to
the Introduction to my reprint of the play in the _Materialien zur Kunde
des älteren Englischen Dramas_ (vol. xi, 1905). The following summary may
be quoted. '(i) There is no ground for supposing that there ever existed
more of the _Sad Shepherd_ than we at present possess. (ii) The theory of
the substantial identity of the _Sad Shepherd_ and the _May Lord_ must be
rejected, there being no reason to suppose that the latter was dramatic at
all. (iii) The two works may, however, have been to some extent connected
in subject, and fragments of the one may survive embedded in the other.
(iv) The _May Lord_ was most probably written in the autumn of 1613. (v)
The date of the _Sad Shepherd_ cannot be fixed with certainty; but there
is no definite evidence to oppose to the first line of the prologue and
the allusion in Falkland's elegy [in _Jonsonus Virbius_], which agree in
placing it in the few years preceding Jonson's death.'

[285] The play has no doubt been somewhat lost in the big collected
editions of the author's works, and has also suffered from its fragmentary
state. Previous to my own reprint it had only once been issued as a
separate publication, namely, by F. G. Waldrou, whose edition, with
continuation, appeared in 1783. One of the best passages, however (II.
viii), was given in Lamb's _Specimens_. In quoting from the play I have
preferred to follow the original of 1640, as in my own reprint, merely
correcting certain obvions errors, rather than Gifford's edition, in which
wholly unwarrantable liberties are taken with the text.

[286] Waldron, in his continuation, matches her with Clarion.

[287] It involves, moreover, the critical fallacy of supposing that poetry
is a sort of richly embroidered garment wherewith to clothe the nakedness
of the underlying substance. This may be so in certain cases in which the
poet is made and not born, or in which he forces himself to work at an
uncongenial theme. But in a genuine work of art the substance cannot so be
separated from the form without injury to both. The poetry in this case is
not an external adornment, but a necessary part of the structure, without
which it would be something else than what it is. Verse, when in organic
relation with the subject, modifies the character of that subject itself,
and the subject can only be rightly apprehended through the medium of the
verse. I contend that the _Sad Shepherd_ is a case in point, and Mr.
Swinburne's remarks, I conceive, bear out my view. I shall not, therefore,
seek to analyse the types represented by the characters--styling poor
little Amie a modification of the type of the 'forward shepherdess'!--nor
count the number of lines assigned respectively to the shepherds, to the
huntsmen, or to the witch; but shall endeavonr to ascertain the particular
object Jonson had in view in adopting a particular presentation of the
subject, the means he employed, and the measure of success he achieved.

[288] The distinction which appears to belong peculiarly to the drama is
most likely a survival of the influence of the mythological plays, in
which the huntress nymphs of Diana frequently appear. We find, however, a
tendency to a similar dualism in Mantuan's upland and lowland swains.

[289] It has recently been argued with much ingenuity that Marian is
originally none other than the familiar figure of French _pastourelles_.
However this may be, it is a question with which I am not here concerned.
It was the English Robin Hood tradition that formed part of Jonson's rough
material. See E. K. Chambers, _The Mediaeval Stage_, i. p. 175.

[290] The author, however, is at fault in his terms of art. If the quarry
to which he likens Aeglamour had a dappled hide, it was a fallow and not a
red deer. In this case it should have been called a buck, and not a hart.
Again, the female should have been a doe: deer is a generic name including
both sexes of red, fallow, and roe alike.

[291] A translation of the _Astrée_ appeared as early as 1620, but the
French fashion obtained no hold over the popular taste till the later days
of the Commonwealth.

[292] I may say that this section was written as it stands before K.
Brunhuber's essay on _Sidneys Arcadia und ihre Nachlaufer_ came into my
hands. He gives a superficial account of several printed plays, but was
unaware of the existence of those in MS.

[293] The quotations are from the Gifford-Dyce edition of Shirley's Works
(1833), the only collected edition that has appeared. The text stands
badly in need of revision, but I have had to content myself with a few
obvious corrections. For instance, in the passage quoted above, the
editors have followed the quarto in reducing l. 13 to nonsense, by reading
'no man,' and l. 20 by reading 'And the imagination.'

[294] So at least in the printed play. In the original draft, and probably
also in the acting version, as Fleay has pointed out, they were king and
queen, and of this traces remain. Thus we twice find Gynetia addressed as
'Queen,' while elsewhere 'Duke' rimes with 'spring,' and 'Duchess' with
'spleen.' The alteration was no doubt made from motives of prudence. Even
so the play was, according to Fleay, published surreptitiously, i.e. it
does not appear on the Stationers' Register.

[295] A. H. Bullen's reprint of Day's works was privately printed in 1881.
Though the text is not in all respects satisfactory, I have thought myself
justified in quoting from it as the only edition available.

[296] Not tennis, as Mr. Bullen states (Introd. p. 17), oblivious for the
moment of the impossibility of representing a tennis match on the stage,
as well as of the fact that the game was never, in Elizabethan times,
played by ladies.

[297] There is one printed play, the relation of which to the _Arcadia_ is
not very clear. The title, _Mucedorus_, at once suggests some connexion,
but it is difficult