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and prowesse farre vnder them bothe, little of stature, ill fetured of limmes, croke backed, his left shoulder much higher than his right. He was malicious, wrathfull, envious, and euer frowarde.
None evil captaine was he in the warre, as to whiche his disposicion was more metely than for peace. Sundrye victories hadde he, and sometime overthrowes, but never in defaulte as for his owne persone, either of hardinesse or polytike order. Free was hee called of dyspence, and sommewhat aboue his power liberall. With large giftes hee get him vnstedfaste frendeschippe, for which we was fain to pil and spoyle in other places, and get him stedfast hatred. He was close and secrete, a deepe dissimuler lowlye of counteynaunce, arrogant of heart, outwardly coumpinable where he inwardely hated, not letting to kisse whom he thought to kyll: dispitious and cruell, not for cruell will alway, but after for ambicion, and either for the suretie or encrease of his estate. He spared no mans deathe, whose life withstoode his purpose.”
ROGER ASCHAM (6. 1515, d. 1568) was the first English writer on the subject of education. He was tutor to Queen Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey, and taught them to read Greek and Latin with ease. also public orator of the University of Cambridge. His great work was the Schoolmaster, in which he gives many excellent hints as to the best manner of teaching. The Toxophilus—another of his works—discourses about archery; but it is mainly intended to show that good open-air exercise is absolutely necessary for the health of the diligent student. Ascham's style is simple, vigorous, and dignified
LADY JANE GREY ACCOUNTS FOR HER LOVE OF LEARNING.
(Modernized.) “One of the greatest benefits that ever God gave me, is, that he sent me so sharp and severe parents, and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways, which I will not name for the honour I bear them, so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come that I must go to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing, whiles I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fail on weeping, because, whatever I do else, but learning, is full of grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more pleasure and more, that, in respect of it, all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles and troubles unto me.”-From Schoolmaster.”
Other Prose Authors. The principal writers deserving of mention, are TYNDALE, the translator of The New Testament; COVERDALE, who published a translation of the whole Bible; LATIMER, notable for his clever Sermons ; Fox, the author of the well known Book of Martyrs; and LORD BERNERS, the translator of Froissart's Chronicle-a book full of lively interest, relating to the times of chivalry.
THE POETS-FROM THE ACCESSION OF ELIZABETH TILL
THE RESTORATION. A.D. 1558-1660.
Causes for the Rapid Progress of Literature at this time, and
Classification of the Poets of the period. SPENSERIAN OR
MODERN ENGLISH. The age we are now to consider far surpasses any previous period in the number and greatness of its authors. The art of printing had produced many writers and many readers; the translation of the Bible, and of Greek, Latin, and Italian works, had refined the taste and stored the minds of authors with ideas the most elegant and
beautiful; and the language itself had become full and rich, and well fitted to express the splendid thoughts of such poets as Spenser and Shakespeare. The encouragement given to eminent authors by Queen Elizabeth and her successors, is also of great importance in accounting for the literary greatness of England at this time. In the present chapter we treat of the various schools or classes of poets :-I. The Spenserian or Allegorical School; II. The “Metaphysical" School; III. The Lyrical School; and IV. Other Classes of Poets; reserving the Drama and Shakespeare for succeeding chapters.
1.—THE SPENSERIAN OR ALLEGORICAL SCHOOL.
EDMUND SPENSER (6. 1553, d. 1599) is the greatest allegorical poet of England. He was born in London, and is supposed to have belonged to an illustrious house of that name.
His own parents, however, seem to have been poor, for we find him entered at the University of Cambridge as a sizar—that is, a student who received his education for a smaller sum than usual, and who had to serve as a waiter on the wealthier students at meal times. While at college he got intimate with an eccentric but learned man, called Gabriel Harvey, who introduced him to the famous Sir Philip Sydney. At Penshurst, Sydney's estate, Spenser and Sir Philip became excellent friends, and the poet was soon recommended to the illustrious courtier, the Earl of Leicester, who in turn introduced him to the notice of the great Elizabeth herself. The result of royal favour was his appointment as secretary to Lord Grey de Wilton, the new lieutenant of Ireland, to which country the poet now proceeded. Afterwards he received from the Queen a grant of the lands of Kilcolman, near Cork, on condition that he should live there. These lands, and the castle in which Spenser resided, had once been the property of the rebel Desmonds, and had been confiscated or taken possession of by the Government. Here the poet remained for twelve years, and here he wrote his greatest poem
The Faerie Queen. Unfortunately for himself, he did not try to be friendly to the wild natives among whom he lived; and, when the next rebellion took place, the insurgents attacked Kilcolman Castle so suddenly and so furiously that he and his wife had to flee for their lives from the blazing ruin, leaving behind them their youngest child, who was burnt to death. Broken-hearted and almost in poverty, the poet returned to London, where, three months afterwards, he died.
Spenser's greatest work, as above stated, is The Faerie Queen. The hero of the poem is Prince Arthur, who sees in a dream the Fairy Queen; and, being charmed with her beauty, he visits fairy-land, where he finds her holding a twelve days' festival. At her court is a beautiful lady with whom twelve gallant knights have fallen in love; and, in order to prove which of them is most worthy of the prize, the Queen gives each an adventure, with the promise that he who shall perform the bravest deed is to be the husband of the beautiful lady. The poem was to consist of twelve books, each of which was to contain an adventure; but of these we have only six, and it is very doubtful if the poet wrote any more.
The knights were intended to represent Virtues, and in their exploits they were to show how virtue always triumphs over vice. Nearly all the persons mentioned in the poem are strictly allegorical, except the Fairy Queen and one or two others, who also represent Queen Elizabeth, Lord Grey, and other historical personages.
A recent critic thus describes the kind of writing which is to be found in the first book :“A knight .pricks along the plaine,' among the trees, and at a crossing of the paths meets other knights, with whom he engages in combat; suddenly, from within a cave, appears a monster, half-woman and half-serpent, surrounded by hideous offspring; farther on, a giant with three bodies; then a dragon, great as a hill, with sharp talons and vast wings. For three days he fights him, and twice overthrown, he comes to himself only by aid of a gracious ointment. After that there are savage tribes to be conquered, castles surrounded by flames to be captured. Meanwhile,
ladies are wandering in the midst of forests on white palfreys, exposed to the attacks of wretches, now guarded by a lion which follows them, now delivered by a band of satyrs who adore them. Magicians work charms; palaces display their festivities; and sea gods, nymphs, fairies, and kings mingle together in feasts, surprises, and dangers.”
The most wonderful characteristic of Spenser's poetry is its richness of imagination. His knights and other characters in the poem, the lands they live in, and the heroic deeds they perform, are all the invention of the poet's fancy. The Faerie Queen is called chivalric, because it recounts the adventures of knights; allegorical, because its personages represent abstract qualities; narrative, because each book tells a story; and descriptive, because, besides telling us what the knights did, it describes their persons and characters, and shows us the giants, the dragons, the darksome caves, and the lovely islands so distinctly that we think them living beings and real places.
Spenser's verse is peculiar to himself. Imitating the Italian poets, he used the eight-line stanza, but added a ninth line two syllables longer than the others, called an Alexandrine. Here is an example of the Spenserian stanza
“A gentle knight was pricking on the plaine,
THE HOUSE OF SLEEP.
“ He making speedy way, through spersed ayre,
And through the world of waters, wide and deepe,
Amid the bowels of the earth, full steepe,