Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Philip, was a fact quite new to me. Nor is it, I believe, noticed by Serassi, or any of the other biographers of Tasso. On reading the passage, it struck me that Sir Philip might also have known Guarini, who had been a student at Padua. He might, it is true, have met with him at Venice, or at the splendid court of Ferrara ; but he had, I find, retired from Padua when Sir Philip was a student in the University of that city.-I think with Dr. Zouch, that the Arcadia of Sannazaro was, probably, the archetype of the English Arcadia. In referring (p. 141.) the first edition of the Italian Pastoral to 1504, Dr. Zouch follows Fontanini; but it appears, from a note in a little work published by Longman and Rees (see Hist. Essay on the Revival of the Drama in Italy, p. 64.) that there was an earlier edition. Dr. Zouch need not be reminded, that an interesting account of the Stephenses may be found in Dr. Irving's Memoirs of Buchanan.

But it probably escaped his recollection that Mr. Todd, in the account of Spenser prefixed to his edition of his works, does not think with Warton that he died in Dublin. These are the few very unimportant remarks, that occurred in the perusal of your Uncle's book. In communicating them, I am only performing my promise to you, dear Sir, to whom I feel so much obliged.

I have the honour to be, &c.

J. C. W.

P. S. My edition of the Arcadia (London, 1655, fol.) contains · The Life and Death of Sir Philip Sidney, with the Letter to the Countess of Pembroke so justly praised by Mr. Hayley, &c. &c. Mr. Hayley, in his Epistle to Romney,' recommends the death of Sidney as a fine subject for the pencil.

My late accomplished friend, the Earl of Charlemont, was a warm admirer of the Arcadia, and left, I believe, an Essay on it, which will probably be mentioned in his Lordship’s Memoirs now in the press.

As the splendour of the Court of Ferrara would be likely to attract the notice of a young traveller, I hope your Uncle will be able to ascertain whether or not Sir Philip visited that Court.

2.

- I HAVE read Dr. Zouch's Life of Sir Philip Sidney with very great pleasure, and admire the historian for feeling indignant at Lord Oxford's impertinent treatment of so noble and virtuous a character as Sir Philip's. I long for Dr. Zouch to take up the defence of Bruno, who I am persuaded was most unjustly accused of atheism. There is a Paper in the Tatler (said to be written by Mr. Eustace Budgell) which admits the charge, and gives a short account of the book on which the charge is grounded, but treats the work as a very futile performance; and so it might be: but the title of the work, ' Il Spaccio della Bestia trionfante,the Overthrow (or Destruction) of the triumphant Beast,' appears to me to predict the decline of the Church of Rome, which all Protestants have hitherto supposed, by that opprobrious name fixed on it in the Revelation. If so, the dismissal by Jupiter of the inferior deities or planets, and substituting the moral duties in their room, accords exactly with the putting down of the idolatrous worship of Saints and Angels, but may not mean the abolishing of all Revealed Religion, and certainly cannot consist with a disbelief of a deity ; for Jupiter is introduced as a wise and governing intelligence. If you are intimate enough with Dr. Zouch to ask, whether this sketch of a defence of Bruno is not quite absurd, I should be glad to know his opinion: I don't like to have it believed, that Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Fulke Grevile attended Bruno's Philosophical Lectures and honoured him with their friendship, if his discourses tended to establish any atheistical opinions. I give you leave to laugh at my troubling you with this disquisition. will hardly have had time to read the work which has interested me so much, you may not see the propriety of defending Bruno for Sir Philip's sake : but I hope, Dr. Zouch will find himself inclined

As you

to take up his pen again; and the public, I am sure, will find instruction in what he writes on the subject.

3.

Dr. Zouch had, also, procured from Cambridge,

as a specimen of Sir Philip Sidney's sacred poetry, the Versions of the Psalms 93, 100, and 127, which are here subjoined.

I.

Psalme, 93. Dominus regnavit.

Cloath'd in state, and girt with might

Monarch like, Jehova raignes :
He who earthe's foundation pight

Pight at first and yet sustaines.
He whose stable throne disdaines

Motions short, and ages flight
He who endles one remaines

One the same, in chaungeles plight.

Rivers, yea though rivers roare

Roaring tho' sea billowes rise,
Vexe the deepe, and breake the shore,

Stronger art thou Lord of skies.

Firme, and true thy promise ties
Now, and still as heretofore

Holie worship never dies
In thy howse where wee adore.

II.

Psalme 100. Jubilate Deo.

O all ye lands, the treasures of your joye

In merrie shoute upon the Lord bestow Your service cheerfully on him employe

With triumph song into his presence goe; Knowe first that he is God, and after knowe

This God did us (not wee ourselves) create, Wee are his flock for us his feedings growe,

We are his folke, and he uphoulds our state:

With thankfullnes, O enter then his gate,

Make through each Porch of his your praises ring : All good, all grace of his high name relate,

He of all grace, all goodnes, is the spring. Time in no termes, his mercy comprehends, From age to age, his truth itself extends.

III.

Psalme 127. Nisi Dominus.

Except the Lord himself, the house doth build,

The builders labour's lost, and all theire paines; Except the Lord from harme the Cittie shield,

The carefull watchmen watcheth but in vaine.

So is theire toile, who earlie doth arise,

And late sitts up with ernest restles care To eate theire bread, yet all will not suffize

With anguish mixed is theire daiely fare.

« AnteriorContinuar »