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and ruined man, to die in sorrow and distress in London. In his offices of Clerk of the Council, and afterwards of Sheriff of Cork, Spenser had probably given but too much grounds for the accusation of injustice and oppression brought against him by the Irish, and exaggerated by the natural indignation of a proud and savage people uneasy under a recent yoke. In October, 1598, the Castle of Kilcolman was attacked and burned by the insurgents, and Spenser, with difficulty saving himself and his wife from the fury of the victors, escaped to England. In the hurry of leaving his blazing residence, however, either from the imminence of personal danger or from one of those frightful mistakes so likely to happen at such terrific moments, the poet's infant child was left behind, and perished with the house. Spenser reached London, ruined, heartbroken, and despairing, and, after lingering for three months, he died, in King Street, Westminster, on the 16th of January, 1599.
He was buried in Westminster Abbey, near the tomb of Chaucer.
The following is an account of the principal poems of Spenser, at least of such as are not alluded to in the foregoing pages :- The Tears of the Muses,' and 'Mother Hubbard's Tale, published in 1591; 'Daphnaida,' 1592; The 'Amoretti' and Epithalamium' two works descriptive of his courtship and marriage, the latter one of the noblest hymeneal songs in any language-in 1595; and the ` Elegy on Astrophil,' a lament on the death of the illustrious Sidney, at the same period. We have hinted that the 'Fairy Queen' was given to the world in detached portions and at long intervals of time : the dates of these various publications are nearly as follows:-Books I., II., and III. appeared together in January 1589–90; IV., V., and VI. in 1596.
The design of the whole poem, if completed, would have given us one of the most splendid works of romantic fiction in which Chivalry ever pronounced the oracles of Wisdom: and we may judge, by the unfinished portion of this Palace of Honour, what would have been the gorgeous effect of the whole majestic structure. Spenser supposed the Fairy Queen to appear in a vision to Prince Arthur, who, awaking deeply enamoured, resolves on seeking his unearthly mistress in Faery Land. The poet then represents the Fairy Queen as holding her solemn and annual feast during twelve days, on each of which a perilous adventure is undertaken by some particular knight; each of the twelve knights typifying some moral virtue. * The first,” to use the words of Chambers's abridgment of the plan, " is the Redcross Knight, expressing Holiness; the second, Sir Guyon, or Temperance; and the third, Britomartis, ' a lady knight, representing Chastity. There was thus a blending of chivalry and religion in the design of the · Faery Queen.' Besides his personification of
the abstract virtues, the poet made his allegorical personages and their adventures represent historical characters and events. The queen, Gloriana, and the huntress, Belphæbe, are both symbolical of Queen Elizabeth ; the-adventures of the Redcross Knight shadow forth the history of the Church of England ; and the distressed knight is Henry IV. The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Books contain the legend of Cambel and Triamond, or Friendship; Artegal, or Justice ; and Sir Calidore, or Courtesy. A double allegory is contained in these cantos, as in the previous ones : Artegal is the poet's friend and patron, Lord Grey ; and various historical events are related in the knight's adventures. Half of the original design was thus finished ; six of the twelve adventures and moral virtues were produced: but unfortunately the world saw only some fragments more of the work.”
Even were we not fully aware of the great general influence exerted on the age of Elizabeth by the taste for Italian poetry, we should be easily enabled to trace its effect in modifying the genius of Spenser. The 'Faery Queen' is written in a peculiar versification to which we have given the name of the “ Spenserian stanza.” It is really nothing more than the Italian ottava rima," or eight-lined stanza, to which Spenser, in order to give to the English the “linked sweetness long drawn out” of the “favella Toscana," most wisely added a ninth line, whose billowy flow admirably winds up the swelling and varying music of each stanza. This measure is as difficult to write with effect in English as it is easy in Italian, a language in which the rhymes are so abundant, and the rhythmic cadence so inherent, that it requires almost an effort to avoid giving a metrical form even to prose: and Spenser has wielded this complicated instrument with such consummate mastery and grace, that the rich abundant melody of his versification almost oppresses the ear with its overwhelming sweetness. Like the soft undulation of a Tropic sea, it bears us onward dreamily with easy swell and falls, by wizard islands of sunshine and of rest, by bright phantom-peopled realms and old enchanted cities.
The genius of Spenser is essentially pictorial. There are no scenes, soft or terrible, which ever glowed before the intellectual gaze of the great painters which have more reality than his; like the gallery so exquisitely described by Byron :
"There rose a Carlo Dolce, or a Titian,
Or wilder group of savage Salvatores;
With Vernet's ocean lights; and there the stories
There sweetly spread a landscape of Lorraine ;
There Rembrandt made his darkness equal light;
Bronzed o’er some lean and stoic anchorite.” “His command of imagery," says Campbell, the truth and beauty of whose criticisms will form our best apology for adopting them instead of our own, "is wide, easy, and luxuriant. He threw the soul of harmony into our verse, and made it more warmly, tenderly, and magnificently descriptive than it ever was before, or, with a few exceptions, than it has ever been since. It must certainly be owned that in description he exhibits nothing of the brief strokes and robust power which characterize the very greatest poets; but we shall nowhere find more airy and expansive images of visionary things, a sweeter tone of sentiment, or a finer flush in the colours of language, than in this Rubens of English poetry.”
But perhaps the best and most comprehensive criticism upon Spenser's merit is that recorded by Pope in one of his letters to Spence :- -“ After my reading a canto of Spenser two or three days ago to an old lady between seventy and eighty, she said that I had been showing her a collection of pictures. She said very right.”
The chief defect of this admirable poet is one almost inseparable from allegory in general, and particularly allegory so complicated as that of Spenser, where the seigned resemblance often represents several distinct and different types or objects. It cannot be denied that there is a great want of human interest in the ‘Faery Queen,' and that the events of his drama have frequently no perceptible connection with each other or bearing upon the supposed catastrophe. Moreover, there is no bond of interest uniting the several cantos of the poem, for they are separate and detached adventures, performed by different and unconnected characters, and very feebly linked together by their being supposed to be undertaken at the command of Gloriana. Arthur is, it is true, the nominal hero, but he is soon forgotten by the reader; and his reappearance at the end of the poem would hardly suffice to incorporate into one living body the "disjecta membra poeta" scattered through the various exploits of the twelve knights. In fact, criticism can only enlarge here the definition of Pope's old lady, and say that the cantos of Spenser, admirably beautiful as they are, glowing with the most varied colours of fancy and imagination, want, like the pictures in a gallery, a mutual dependence and connection.
Exquisitely diversified, too, as is the melody of Spenser's verse and manner of treatment, we cannot disguise from ourselves a feeling that it is injured by some tinge of that lusciousness and
dilatation perceptible in the style of Tasso and Ariosto, whose writings it so much resembles. This over-sweetness and luxuriance seems inseparable from the genius of the Italian language, but harmonizes less naturally with the less sensuous character of our Northern poesy.
In the innumerable allegories which people the enchanted scenery of Spenser, we are sometimes shocked with those incongruous details which make us laugh in the engravings of the emblematic Otto Venius, where either the attribute distinguishing the moral quality to be personified is so dark and far-fetched as to be absolutely unintelligible without explanation, or where it is of a nature unfit for the purposes of art. Those who are acquainted with the works of Rubens (the pupil of Venius), to whom Spenser has been so well compared by Campbell, will be at no loss to understand our meaning.
Like many great poets of ancient and modern times, Spenser sought to give vigour and solemnity to his language by a plentiful adoption of archaisms, words, and expressions consecrated by their having been employed by older authors. Virgil gave an air of antiquity and simplicity to the Eneid by using multitudes of venerable words employed by Ennius. Spenser imitated Chaucer; just as La Fontaine gave naïveté and edge to his sly satire by an infusion of the admirable expressions of Villon and Rabelais; and we hardly agree with those critics who have complained of our poet's freedom in this respect. If the rough but timehonoured stones taken from the Cyclopean walls of old Ennius be allowed to give dignity to the graceful Ionic edifice of Virgil, we do not see why the simple diction of Chaucer should not harmonize well with the rich elegance of the 'Faery Queen'—the rather that the latter work is, after all, a Tale of Chivalry—a Romance.
His Birth and Education—View of the State of Europe'-His Career-Im
peached for Corruption--Death--His Character-State of Philosophy in the Sixteenth Century-Its Corruptions and Defects--Bacon's System--Not a Discoverer--The New Philosophy--Analysis of the Instauratio : I. De Augmentis; II. Novum Organum; III. Sylva Sylvarum ; IV. Scala Intellectûs; V. Prodromi ; VI. Philosophia Secunda--The Baconian Logic--Style--His Minor Works.
Francis Bacon, the Luther of Philosophy, was born in London on the 22d of January, 1561. He was the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, a distinguished lawyer and Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The subject of our present remarks was sent, while yet a boy of thirteen, to the University of Cambridge; and though it appears to have been customary at this period to begin the public part of education much earlier than is now usual, we can hardly be wrong in deeming that Bacon must have given proofs of a most precocious intellect, when we learn that when hardly sixteen he had formed distinct notions respecting the defects of the Aristotelian system of philosophy, and had no doubt already conceived the outline of that gigantic plan of destruction and innovation which has made his name immortal. After remaining four years at Cambridge he went abroad, and travelled in France, probably intending to pass several years in acquiring practical experience in the various courts of the continent; but the death of his father, in 1579, suddenly recalled him to England; not however before he had given proof of the success with which he had employed his time in foreign countries, by the production of a most sagacious and valuable essay. On the State of Europe.' The political knowledge exhibited in this little treatise, and the profound wisdom and acuteness displayed in it, would astonish us, as the work of one hardly entered upon the period of adolescence, if any manifestation of intellect could surprise us on the part of this astonishing person. It is obvious that he had already felt the mysterious vocation of genius—that secret oracle which points out to the highest order of minds the true path which Providence intended them to pursue, a path from which they never deviate with impunity. Bacon so strongly felt that the true bent of his character would lead him to consecrate his future life to