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“There is, right at the west side of Itaille.” Here the first phonetic element is that represented by th in thine (No. 24, p. 60), a sonant. Its proper signification is demonstrative. [Give examples.] The next phonetic element is that represented by a in at (No. 6, p. 59), a vowel sound, shortened from the sound of a in arm. It is somewhat unpleasant to the car, suggesting the cries of infants and some animals. [Give examples.] The next phonetic element is that represented by r in run (No. 40, p. 61). It is a rough liquid sound, naturally symbolical of rattling noise and interrupted notions. [Give examples.]
The next phonetic element is that represented by i in wit (No. 2, p. 59), a vowel sound. Being, perhaps, the shortest and slightest in the language, its use is very extensive to express littleness and to form diminutives. [Give examples.] The next phonetic element is that represented by z in zeal (No. 32, p. 61), a sonant. This sound is largely onomatopoetic, or imitative. [Give examples.)
N. B.-Let the student complete this analysis, and take further exercises, until he becomes perfectly familiar with the sounds and their primary significance, so far as ascertained.
Note.-The teacher will do well to direct the student's attention at this stage to the different theories of the origin of language, and particularly to the interjectional and the onomato poetic. On this subject consult the lectures of Whitney, Max Müller, and G. P. Marsh, and the various treatises on Rhetoric. See Excursus in Prof. F. l.. 0. Roehrig's Shortest Road to German, pp. 217, 218, etc. Give examples of the power of sound to echo sense. carefully between what is satisfactorily established, and what is merely fanciful. Assign themes to be investigated and written upon. See Tylor on Primitive Culture, Wedgwood's Dictionary of English Etymology, Richardson's Dictionary, etc.
-Our sage and serious Spenser, whom I dare be known to think a better teacher than Scotos or Aquinus.-- MILTON.
Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget,
Of the childhood and youth of Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakespeare, the three great masters of English poetry previous to Milton, we know almost nothing. A few facts, however, in regard to Spenser's early life, have come down to us.
He was born in East Smithfield, hard by the Tower of London, about the year 1553. In his poems he repeatedly refers to his connection with the noble house of Spencer in Lancashire. Thus in his Prothalamium :
" At length they all to merry London came
To merry London, my most kindly nurse,
His parents were probably poor, for, in May, 1569, we find him a sizar, or “poor student,” in Pembroke Hall, Cambridge University. There he became intimate with Gabriel Harvey, a pedantic scholar, who afterwards introduced him to Sir Philip Sidney, and otherwise befriended hiin. Spenser received the degree of A. B. in 1573, and of A. M. in 1576.
Leaving the university, he went to the north of England, where he is supposed to have been employed as a teacher. There he fell in love. "Rosalind " did not reciprocate the attachment. Of course his sorrow found vent in poetry.
His first important production was The Shepherd's Calendar, published in 1579. The name suggests pastoral poetry; but a great part of the work is a discussion of ecclesiastical matters by shepherds, whom Campbell very appropriately calls “parsons in disguise," and who certainly ought to have confined their discourse to matters in which their four-footed sheep were more immediately interested. Passages of considerable beauty, however, abound in the poem. It is divided into twelve parts, or eclogues, each corresponding to some month and named after it. Five editions of the work, during his lifetime, attest its popularity.
Induced by Harvey, he had already come to London, and a warm friendship had sprung up between him and Sidney. Indeed, the Shepherd's Calendar is said to have been completed at Sidney's lordly mansion among the noble oaks of Penshurst, once the residence of the Saxon kinga of Kent. The work was dedicated to Sidney, who introduced the young poet to his uncle, the powerful Earl of Leicester. The latter, in 1580, employed Spenser to write out the Slemmata Dudleiana, a statement, probably in poetry, of the earl's genealogy and ties of kindred.
In August, 1580, Spenser was secretary to Arthur Grey de Wilton, Lord Deputy to Ireland. During two years of Grey's energetic administration of Irish affairs, Spenser was with him in that country. Fourteen years later, Spenser ably vindicated Lord Grey's course by his well-written treatise, the only prose work of the poet, entitled, A View of the State of Ireland.
For several years he now figured in the unenviable character of office-hunter and hanger-on at court, where he appears to have acquired that habit of gross flattery which is the greatest blemish in his writings. He made extraordinary efforts to secure the favor of Elizabeth's chief counsellor, Burleigli, who, with clogged obstinacy, sat on the lid of the treasury box whenever the queen was inclined to open it for the nice young man. It is related that she promised Spenser a hundred pounds, but that Burleigh pronounced the sum “beyond all reason.” “Give him reason, then," replied the queen. Spenser, in a moment of boldness, sharply reminded the queen
It pleased your grace, upon a time,
I've heard of neither rhyme nor reason. We pity the gentle poet for his ill success in obtaining position and pension; but doubtless it was best that the fulsome praise with which he larded the stingy treasurer and the conceited queen should meet with disappointment. Perhaps we owe The Faerie Qruene and some of his other poems to the stimulus of poverty. At all events, it is a satisfaction to know that he became thoroughly disgusted with the business of office-seeking. In Mother Hubbard's Tale, a poem of about 1,400 lines, composed soon afterwards, and containing some satire on the court and the clergy, lic speaks with warmth of this bitter experience:
Full little knowest thou, that hast not tried,
That doth his life in so long tendance spend. Through the influence of Grey, Leicester, and Sidney, he received in 1586, for his services as secretary, a grant of 3,028 acres in the county of Cork, it being a portion of the forfeited estate of the rebel earls of Desmond. As this grant was coupled with the condition that he should actually reside on the land and till it, there is reason to suspect that the shrewd lord-treasurer contrived, by this operation, to consign to honorable exile the protege of his rival Leicester, in order that the poet inight not become politically formidable with the pen.
Thenceforward Spenser lived, most of the time, on his estate in Ireland, making his home at Kilcolman Castle, two miles froin Doneraile. It is still a beautiful and romantic spot; and when the country abounded with woodland, it may well lave been a favorite residence for such a man. Looking southward from the ruined castle, one sees a lake like a mirror in a wide green frame of grassy land. On every side are distant mountains. The silver thread of the river Mulla winds through this region, which the poet's genius has made enchanted ground.
Hardly had it become his home, when a great sorrow befell him. His best friend and patron, the high-born Sidney, poet, scholar, warrior, prince of gentlemen,—"my Philip," as the queen loved to call liim,—was mortally wounded in fighting the Spaniards near Zutphen. Three weeks lie lingered, and then died. Spenser, who was alınost of the same age, bewails his untimely death in several elegaic poems, written to console the mourning relatives. These pieces are characterized by childish conceits, but they contain passages of exquisite melody. We may say of them as he says of Sidney
Did never love so sweetly breathe
In any mortal breast before ;
A poet's brain with finer store !
" When he descended from the mount,
His personage seemed most divine,
Upon his lovely cheerful «yne;
You were in Paradise the while !
A full assurance given by looks-
The lineaments of gospel books.
Was never ear did hear that tongue,
That ever thought the travel long;
Were with his sweet perfections caught."
But that immortal spirit, which was decked
With all the dowries of celestial grace,
And lineally deriv'd from angels' race,
But live aye, in blissful Paradise :
In bed of lilies wript in te!der wise,
To him do sweetly carol day and night;
Lull him asleep in angelic delight;
Or their divine aspects, appearing plain,
Sweet love, still joyone, never freling paip.
He may enjoy from jealous rancor free.
There liveth he in everlasting bliss,
Sweet spirit, never fearing more to die :
Ne fearing savage beasts' more cruelty;
But live thou there, still happy, happy spirit !
And give us leave thee here thus to lament,
But onr own selves, that here in dole are drent.
Soon Sir Walter Raleigh, who had received twelve thousand acres of the same forfeited estate, visited Spenser, and, “under the green alders by the Mulla's' shore,” heard from his lips portions of the first three books of The Fuerie Queene. Raleigh was charmed with the man and the poem, and seems to have thenceforward occupied the place which Sidney had filled, as the poet's most useful friend. He took Spenser to England to publish these three books. He also urged Spenser's claims upon Queen Elizabeth's bounty; not in vain, for, in February, 1591, she rewarded him with a pension of £50. He is styled poet-laureate, but was not officially appointed.
In December, 1591, after his return to Ireland, he dedicates, “To the Right Worthy and Noble Knight, Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain of Her Majesty's Guard,'' a poem of about a thousand lines, entitled Colin Clout's Come Home Again. It is a pastoral, in which he sings of “the Shepherd of the Ocean," as he styles Raleigh; of Queen Elizabeth, whom he calls “the Goddess Cyuthia;” of love, of beauty, and of the
Resuming his labor on bis great poem, he completed the fourth, fifth, and sixth books of The Faerie Qucene, the noblest allegorical poem in the English language. It was designed to consist of twelve books, each describing the adventures of a particular hero, who represents some one virtue. The first book relates the adventures of the Knight of the Red Cross, who typifies holiness. The second illustrates temperance, personified in Sir Guyon ; the third, chastity, represented by Britomartis, a lady knight; the fourth, friendship, seen in Cambell and Triamond ; the fifth, justice, embodied in Artegal; the sixth, courtesy, in Sir Calidore. It is doubtful whether Spenser developed the story beyond these six books. Perhaps it is well that the last half has not come down to us; for there is a decided falling off in power after the first book; and, although art is long,' as this poem in its present state abundantly testifies, yet life is short. In this busy age few have time to read more of Spenser than the 35,000 lines which it contains.
We may compare The Facrie Queene to the palace of the Vatican, with its thousands of apartments, its labyrinthian windings, its endless staircases and colonnades, its frescoes, statues, paintings, and beauties innumerable. The pure light of religion is over all,
I shall not exhibit a chip of marble from this vast structure, and call the frayment a specimen. But I may quote enough to give a faint glimpse of the spirit and genius of the poet. Take these two stanzas on the ministry of angels, as two strains from a graud symphony.
And is there care in heaven! And is there love