SPLENDIDIS LONGUM VALEDICO NUGIS

上一章:POEM: THE SEVEN WONDERS OF ENGLAND

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{24} The Poets Work and Parts. Part 1. WORK: What Poetry does for us.

{38} Quintus Curtius, a Roman historian of uncertain date, who wrote the history of Alexander the Great in ten books, of which two are lost and others defective.

{82} HIS for "its" here as throughout; the word "its" not being yet introduced into English writing.

"Fly from the inquisitive man, for he is a babbler." The second, "While each pleases himself we are a credulous crowd," seems to be varied from Ovid (Fasti, iv. 311):- "Conscia mens recti famae mendacia risit: Sed nos in vitium credula turba sumus."

They change their skies but not their mind who run across the seas; We toil in laboured idleness, and seek to live at ease With force of ships and four horse teams. That which you seek is here, At Ulubrae, unless your mind fail to be calm and clear.

{33} Horaces "Ars Poetica," lines 372-3. But Horace wrote "Non homines, non Di"--"Neither men, gods, nor lettered columns have admitted mediocrity in poets."

{59} Objections stated and met.

{27} Its advantage herein over Moral Philosophy.

{20} Poetry proper. {21} Part 3. Subdivisions of Poetry proper.

"Of all the griefs that harass the distrest, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest."

{22} Its essence is in the thought, not in apparelling of verse.

{51} From the end of the eleventh of Horaces epistles (Lib. 1):

{65} Beg the question.

{30} "Witness of the times, light of truth, life of memory, mistress of life, messenger of antiquity."--Cicero, "De Oratore."

Fool! the Ideal is in thyself, the impediment too is in thyself. Thy condition is but the stuff thou art to shape that same Ideal out of. What matter whether such stuff be of this sort or that, so the form thou give it be heroic, be poetic? O thou that pinest in the imprisonment of the actual, and criest bitterly to the gods for a kingdom wherein to rule and create, know this of a truth, the thing thou seekest is already with thee, here or nowhere, couldest thou only see."

"Coelum non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt, Strenua nos exercet inertia; navibus atque Quadrigis petimus bene vivere. Quod petis, hic est, Est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit aequus."

{9} Part 4. Honoured by the Romans as Sacred and Prophetic.

"Some sons, indeed, some very few, we see Who keep themselves from this infection free, Whom gracious Heaven for nobler ends designed, Their looks erected, and their clay refined."

{25} Their clay lodgings - "Such harmony is in immortal souls; But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it." (Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice," act v., sc. 1) {26} Poetry best advances the end of all earthly learning, virtuous action.

{32} He is beyond the Philosopher.

{96} Metre and Rhyme.

{34} The moral common-places. Common Place, "Locus communis," was a term used in old rhetoric to represent testimonies or pithy sentences of good authors which might be used for strengthening or adorning a discourse; but said Keckermann, whose Rhetoric was a text- book in the days of James I. and Charles I., "Because it is impossible thus to read through all authors, there are books that give students of eloquence what they need in the succinct form of books of Common Places, like that collected by Stobaeus out of Cicero, Seneca, Terence, Aristotle; but especially the book entitled Polyanthea, provides short and effective sentences apt to any matter." Frequent resort to the Polyanthea caused many a good quotation to be hackneyed; the term of rhetoric, "a common- place," came then to mean a good saying made familiar by incessant quoting, and then in common speech, any trite saying good or bad, but commonly without wit in it.

{52} Or Comic?

{60} Cornelius Agrippas book, "De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum et Artium," was first published in 1532; Erasmuss "Moriae Encomium" was written in a week, in 1510, and went in a few months through seven editions.

{76} From the invocation at the opening of Virgils AEneid (line 12), "Muse, bring to my mind the causes of these things: what divinity was injured . . . that one famous for piety should suffer thus."

{36} Justinus, who lived in the second century, made an epitome of the history of the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, Macedonian, and Roman Empires, from Trogus Pompeius, who lived in the time of Augustus.

{58} Summary of the argument thus far.

{81} "Whatever I shall try to write will be verse." Sidney quotes from memory, and adapts to his context, Tristium IV. x. 26.

"Sponte sua carmen numeros veniebat ad aptos, Et quod temptabam dicere, versus erat."

{74} The Second Summary.

{91} Defects in Diction. This being written only a year or two after the publication of "Euphues," represents that style of the day which was not created but represented by the book from which it took the name of "Euphuism."

{46} Can Pastoral be condemned?

Footnote:

{77} The Chancellor, Michel de lHopital, born in 1505, who joined to his great political services (which included the keeping of the Inquisition out of France, and long labour to repress civil war) great skill in verse. He died in 1573.

{28} Its advantage herein over History.

"Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico Tangit, et admissus circum praecordia ludit," c.

{8} Part 3. Borrowed from by Historians.

{93} "He lives and wins, nay, comes to the Senate, nay, comes to the Senate," c.

{54} Or Tragic?

{35} Thus far Aristotle. The whole passage in the "Poetics" runs:

{61} The objection to rhyme and metre.

Observe the playfulness in Sidneys opening and close of a treatise written throughout in plain, manly English without Euphuism, and strictly reasoned.

{79} The orator is made, the poet born.

{16} Part 1. Poetry defined.

{63} The chief objections.

{31} In what manner the Poet goes beyond Philosopher, Historian, and all others (bating comparison with the Divine).

"May we not say that the hour of spiritual enfranchisement is even this?

{78} Whose heart-strings the Titan (Prometheus) fastened with a better clay. (Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 35). Dryden translated the line, with its context -

When your ideal world, wherein the whole man has been dimly struggling and inexpressibly languishing to work, becomes revealed and thrown open, and you discover with amazement enough, like the Lothario in Wilhelm Meister, that your America is here or nowhere. The situation that has not its duty, its ideal, was never occupied by man. Yes, here, in this poor, miserable hampered actual wherein thou even now standest, here or nowhere, is thy Ideal: work it out therefrom, believe, live, and be free.

{6} Timaeus, the Pythagorean philosopher of Locri, and the Athenian Critias are represented by Plato as having listened to the discourse of Socrates on a Republic. Socrates calls on them to show such a state in action. Critias will tell of the rescue of Europe by the ancient citizens of Attica, 10,000 years before, from an inroad of countless invaders who came from the vast island of Atlantis, in the Western Ocean; a struggle of which record was preserved in the temple of Naith or Athene at Sais, in Egypt, and handed down, through Solon, by family tradition to Critias. But first Timaeus agrees to expound the structure of the universe; then Critias, in a piece left unfinished by Plato, proceeds to show an ideal society in action against pressure of a danger that seems irresistible.

{3} A fable from the "Hetamythium" of Laurentius Abstemius, Professor of Belles Lettres at Urbino, and Librarian to Duke Guido Ubaldo under the Pontificate of Alexander VI. (1492-1503).

{69} "I give him free leave to be foolish." A variation from the line (Sat. I. i. 63), "Quid facias illi? jubeas miserum esse libenter."

{48} Or Elegiac?

{11} Part 6. By the Greeks, Poets were honoured with the name of Makers.

{84} There was no scenery on the Elizabethan stage.

{75} Causes of Defect in English Poetry.

{1} Edward Wotton, elder brother of Sir Henry Wotton. He was knighted by Elizabeth in 1592, and made Comptroller of her Household.

{14} And idealize man.

{67} That poetry is the nurse of abuse, infecting us with wanton and pestilent desires.

{13} Poets improve Nature.

A mind conscious of right laughs at the falsehoods of fame but towards vice we are a credulous crowd.

{41} In "Loves Labours Lost" a resemblance has been fancied between this passage and Rosalinds description of Biron, and the jest:- "Which his fair tongue--conceits expositor - Delivers in such apt and gracious words, That aged ears play truant at his tables, And younger hearings are quite ravished, So sweet and voluble is his discourse."

{2} Here the introduction ends, and the argument begins with its Part 1. Poetry the first Light-giver.

{64} That time might be better spent.

{18} Philosophical, which is perhaps too imitative.

{57} Epistles I. ii. 4. Better than Chrysippus and Crantor. They were both philosophers, Chrysippus a subtle stoic, Crantor the first commentator upon Plato.

{19} Marcus Manilius wrote under Tiberius a metrical treatise on Astronomy, of which five books on the fixed stars remain.

{39} Not knowledge but practice.

{23} Heliodorus was Bishop of Tricca, in Thessaly, and lived in the fourth century. His story of Theagenes and Chariclea, called the "AEthiopica," was a romantic tale in Greek which was, in Elizabeths reign, translated into English.

{49} Or Iambic? or Satiric?

{50} From the first Satire of Persius, line 116, in a description of Homers satire:

{80} What you will; the first that comes.

{71} Which authority certain barbarous and insipid writers would wrest into meaning that poets were to be thrust out of a state.

{17} Part 2. Its kinds. a. Divine.

"At Ulubrae" was equivalent to saying in the dullest corner of the world, or anywhere. Ulubrae was a little town probably in Campania, a Roman Little Pedlington. Thomas Carlyle may have had this passage in mind when he gave to the same thought a grander form in Sartor Resartus:

{47} The close of Virgils seventh Eclogue--Thyrsis was vanquished, and Corydon crowned with lasting glory.

{42} Virgils "AEneid," Book xii.:- "And shall this ground fainthearted dastard Turnus flying view? Is it so vile a thing to die?" (Phaers Translation [1573].) {43} Instances of the power of the Poets work.

{40} The Poet Monarch of all Human Sciences.

{94} Pounded. Put in the pound, when found astray.

{4} Pliny says ("Nat. Hist.," lib. xi., cap. 62) that the young vipers, impatient to be born, break through the side of their mother, and so kill her.

{55} The old song of Percy and Douglas, Chevy Chase in its first form.

{88} Juvenal, Sat. iii., lines 152-3. Which Samuel Johnson finely paraphrased in his "London:"

{15} Here a Second Part of the Essay begins.

{37} Dares Phrygius was supposed to have been a priest of Vulcan, who was in Troy during the siege, and the Phrygian Iliad ascribed to him as early as the time of AElian, A.D. 230, was supposed, therefore, to be older than Homers.

{72} Ion is a rhapsodist, in dialogue with Socrates, who cannot understand why it is that his thoughts flow abundantly when he talks of Homer. "I can explain," says Socrates; "your talent in expounding Homer is not an art acquired by system and method, otherwise it would have been applicable to other poets besides. It is a special gift, imparted to you by Divine power and inspiration. The like is true of the poet you expound. His genius does not spring from art, system, or method: it is a special gift emanating from the inspiration of the Muses. A poet is light, airy, holy person, who cannot compose verses at all so long as his reason remains within him. The Muses take away his reason, substituting in place of it their own divine inspiration and special impulse . . . Like prophets and deliverers of oracles, these poets have their reason taken away, and become the servants of the gods. It is not they who, bereft of their reason, speak in such sublime strains, it is the god who speaks to us, and speaks through them." George Grote, from whose volumes on Plato I quote this translation of the passage, placed "Ion" among the genuine dialogues of Plato.

{85} Messenger.

{62} The first of these sentences is from Horace (Epistle I. xviii. 69):

{12} Poetry is the one creative art. Astronomers and others repeat what they find.

Shrewd Flaccus touches each vice in his laughing friend. Dryden thus translated the whole passage:- "Unlike in method, with concealed design Did crafty Horace his low numbers join; And, with a sly insinuating grace Laughed at his friend, and looked him in the face: Would raise a blush where secret vice he found; And tickle, while he gently probed the wound; With seeming innocence the crowd beguiled, But made the desperate passes while he smiled."

{66} That poetry is the mother of lies.

{89} George Bachanan (who died in 1582, aged seventy-six) had written in earlier life four Latin tragedies, when Professor of Humanities at Bordeaux, with Montaigne in his class.

{45} Part II. The PARTS of Poetry.

{92} Nizolian paper-books, are commonplace books of quotable passages, so called because an Italian grammarian, Marius Nizolius, born at Bersello in the fifteenth century, and one of the scholars of the Renaissance in the sixteenth, was one of the first producers of such volumes. His contribution was an alphabetical folio dictionary of phrases from Cicero: "Thesaurus Ciceronianus, sive Apparatus Linguae Latinae e scriptis Tullii Ciceronis collectus."

{73} Guards, trimmings or facings.

{68} Rampire, rampart, the Old French form of "rempart," was "rempar," from "remparer," to fortify.

{90} Defects in Lyric Poetry.

{53} In pistrinum. In the pounding-mill (usually worked by horses or asses).

{70} That Plato banished poets from his ideal Republic.

{56} Or the Heroic?

{29} "All men make faults, and even I in this, Authorising thy trespass with compare." Shakespeare, "Sonnet" 35.

{5} Part 2. Borrowed from by Philosophers.

{87} Bias, slope; French "biais."

{86} From the egg.

{10} Part 5. And really sacred and prophetic in the Psalms of David.

{95} Capacities of the English Language.

{97} Last Summary and playful peroration

{7} Platos "Republic," book ii.

{83} Defects in the Drama. It should be remembered that this was written when the English drama was but twenty years old, and Shakespeare, aged about seventeen, had not yet come to London. The strongest of Shakespeares precursors had not yet begun to write for the stage. Marlowe had not yet written; and the strength that was to come of the freedom of the English drama had yet to be shown.

{44} Defectuous. This word, from the French "defectueux," is used twice in the "Apologie for Poetrie."

"It is not by writing in verse or prose that the Historian and Poet are distinguished. The work of Herodotus might be versified; but it would still be a species of History, no less with metre than without. They are distinguished by this, that the one relates what has been, the other what might be. On this account Poetry is more philosophical, and a more excellent thing than History, for Poetry is chiefly conversant about general truth; History about particular. In what manner, for example, any person of a certain character would speak or act, probably or necessarily, this is general; and this is the object of Poetry, even while it makes use of particular names. But what Alcibiades did, or what happened to him, this is particular truth."

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