« AnteriorContinuar »
or refined sentiment; and, for images and descriptions, Satyrs and Fauns, and Naiads and Dryads, were always within call, and woods and meadows, and hills and rivers, supplied variety of matter, which, having a natural power to sooth the mind, did not quickly cloy it.
Petrarch entertained the learned men of his age with the 14 novelty of modern Pastorals in Latin. Being not ignorant of Greek, and finding nothing in the word Eclogue of rural meaning, he supposed it to be corrupted by the copiers, and therefore called his own productions Æglogues, by which he meant to express the talk of goatherds, though it will mean only the talk of goats. This new name was adopted by subsequent writers, and amongst others by our Spenser 3.
More than a century afterwards (1498) Mantuan published his 15 Bucolicks with such success that they were soon dignified by Badius with a comment, and, as Scaliger complained, received into schools and taught as classical * ; his complaint was vain,
For pastoral poetry see ante, quotes from Warburton a note of La MILTON, 181. Burns, in his lines Monnaye's:-'Il désigne le Carme On Pastoral Poetry, shows how Allan de Baptiste Mantuan, dont au comRamsay succeeded in it where modern mencement du 16 me siècle on lisait
publiquement à Paris les Poésies, si 2 'As Petrarch advanced in life the célèbres alors que, comme dit plaiattainment of the Greek language samment Farnabe dans sa préface sur was the object of his wishes rather Martial, les Pédans ne faisaient nulle than of his hopes. . . . Boccace com difficulté de préférer à l'Arma virposed and transcribed a literal prose umque cano le Fauste, precor, gelida, version of the Iliad and Odyssey, c'est-à-dire à l'Enéide de Virgile les which satisfied the thirst of his friend Eglogues de Mantuan.' Petrarch.' GIBBON, The Decline and Mantuan was included by Colet in Fall, vii. 119, 121.
the list of Christian authors' to be Johnson, in 1754, wrote to T. War taught in St. Paul's School. Masson's ton:--There is an old English and Milton, i. 76. Latin book of poems by Barclay, [These are Bucolica F. Baptistae called The Ship of Fools; at the end [Spugnuoli] Mantuani ... in Aeof which are a number of Eglogues; glogas divisa : Mantuae, 1498. The so he writes it, from Egloga, which are reference is to the elder Scaliger, who, probably the first in our language. after praising Baptista Fiera, also of Boswell's Johnson, i. 277.
Mantua, as doctus valde, valde ac4 'HOLOFERNES. Fauste, precor, curatus sed durus,' continues, 'Eius gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra popularis Carmelita (his fellow townsRuminat, -and so forth. Ah,good old man the Carmelite) longe diversisMantuan! I may speak of thee as simus, mollis, languidus, fluxus, inthe traveller doth of Venice;
compositus. . . . Hoc propterea dico Venetia, Venetia,
quia in nostro tyrocinio literarum Chi non ti vede non ti pretia. triviales quidam paedagogi etiam Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! who Virgilianis pastoribus huius hircos understandeth thee not, loves thee praetulere. Adeo sui quisque sequitur not.' Love's Labour's Lost, iv. 2. 90. Ideam ingenii.' Iul. Caesaris ScaliJohnson in his Shakespeare, ii. 160, geri Poetices, 1561, libr. vi. p. 304 D.
and the practice, however injudicious, spread far and continued long. Mantuan was read, at least in some of the inferior schools of this kingdom, to the beginning of the present century'. The speakers of Mantuan carried their disquisitions beyond the country, to censure the corruptions of the Church”; and from him Spenser
learned to employ his swains on topicks of controversy. 16
The Italians soon transferred Pastoral Poetry into their own language: Sannazaro wrote Arcadia in prose and verse 3 ; Tasso and Guarini wrote Favole Boscareccie, or Sylvan Dramas“; and all nations of Europe filled volumes with Thyrsis and Damon,
and Thestylis and Phyllis. 17 Philips thinks it somewhat strange to conceive how, in an age
so addicted to the Muses, Pastoral Poetry never comes to be so much as thought upon $.' His wonder seems very unseasonable ; there had never, from the time of Spenser, wanted writers to talk occasionally of Arcadia and Strephon, and half the book in which he first tried his powers consists of dialogues on queen Mary's death, between Tityrus and Corydon or Mopsus and Menalcas . A series or book of Pastorals, however, I know not that any one had then lately published'.
There are in the British Museum that the Italians invented and refined five English editions of Mantuan's the pastoral comedy, a romantic Bucolics printed in the sixteenth and Arcadia which violates the truth of seventeenth centuries, and they were manners and the simplicity of nature, translated into English verse by but which commands our indulgence George Turbervile in 1567 and by by the elaborate luxury of eloquence Thomas Harvey in 1656.]
and wit. The Aminta of Tasso was • Casimir's Latin poems were re
written for the amusement of Alprinted at Staraviesia' in 1892 (624 phonso II.... Of the numerous imitapages) ad usum alumnorum s. 1. tions the Pastor Fido of Guarini, A copy is in the British Museum, which alone can vie with the fame For Casimir see ante, COWLEY, 137. and merit of the original, is the work
. So did Milton in Lycidas. of the Duke's Secretary of State.'
3 Sannazaro introduces sea-calves GIBBON, Misc. Works, iii. 456. in the room of kids and lambs, and For Guarini see ante, WALLER, 153. presents his mistress with oysters 5 Johnson quotes Philips's Preface. instead 'of fruits and flowers. The Eng. Poets, lvii. 5. Addison wrote Guardian, No. 28. See also No. 32; of it to Philips :-'I am wonderfully The Rambler, No.36; ante, COWLEY, pleased with your little essay of 121 n. 6.
Pastoral in your last, and think you 'The Bachelor bid Don Quixote be very just in the theory as well as in of good courage, and rouse himself the practical part. Our poetry in to enter upon his pastoral exercise; England at present runs all into telling him he had already composed lampoon, which has seldom anything an eclogue for the occasion not in of true satire in it besides rhyme and ferior to any written by Sannazarius.' ill-nature.' Works, v. 381. Jervas's Don Quixote, iv. 411.
6 Ante, PHILIPS, I. "It was in the Court of Ferrara ? For interesting remarks on pasto
Not long afterwards Pope made the first display of his powers 18 in four Pastorals, written in a very different form. Philips had taken Spenser, and Pope took Virgil for his pattern. Philips endeavoured to be natural, Pope laboured to be elegant'.
Philips was now favoured by Addison, and by Addison's com- 19 panions, who were very willing to push him into reputation? The Guardians gave an account of Pastoral, partly critical and partly historical, in which, when the merit of the moderns is compared, Tasso and Guarini are censured for remote thoughts and unnatural refinements; and, upon the whole, the Italians and French are all excluded from rural poetry, and the pipe of the Pastoral Muse is transmitted by lawful inheritance from Theocritus to Virgil, from Virgil to Spenser, and from Spenser to Philips 6.
With this inauguration of Philips, his rival Pope was not much 20 delighted; he therefore drew a comparison of Philips's performance with his own, in which, with an unexampled and unequalled artifice of irony, though he has himself always the advantage, he gives the preference to Philips 5. The design of aggrandising himself he disguised with such dexterity that, though Addison discovered it, Steele was deceived, and was afraid of displeasing Pope by publishing his paper 6. Published, however, it was (Guard. 40), and from that time Pope and Philips lived in a perpetual reciprocation of malevolence 7.
ral poetry see Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), v. 28.
Ante, GAY, 4; POPE, 68, 314. • Addison in The Spectator, No. 523, praises Philips for having given a new life and a more natural beauty to this way of writing.... Virgil and Homer might compliment their heroes by interweaving the actions of deities with their achievements; but for a Christian author to write in the Pagan creed ... would be downright puerility, and unpardonable in a poet that is past sixteen. In this last line a stroke seems aimed at Pope, who gave out that his Pastorals were written at the age of sixteen. Addison praises Philips's Pastorals also in The Guardian, No. 119, and Steele quotes them in The Spectator, No. 400.
3 Nos. 15, 22, 23, 28, 30, 32, March and April, 1713.
'Our countrymen, Spenser and
Philips, have improved the beauties of the ancients. No. 30. (In this number Pope is quoted.)
'Theocritus left his dominions to Virgil, Virgil left his to his son Spenser, and Spenser was succeeded by his eldest-born Philips.' No. 32.
Tickell, in The Prospect of Peace, says: "With Philips shall the peaceful vallies
sing. Eng. Poets, xxxix. 171.
Heyne mistook this irony, as appears by p. 202, vol. i of his Virgil (ed. 1767, Preface, p. 202).' Warton's Pope's Works, iv. 28. See also Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), i. 251.
* Johnson's authority is a note by Warburton in his Pope's Works, vii. 203
Post, PHILIPS, 35. Pope, in The
21 In poetical powers, of either praise or satire, there was no pro
portion between the combatants; but Philips, though he could not prevail by wit, hoped to hurt Pope with another weapon, and charged him, as Pope thought, with Addison's approbation, as
disaffected to the government'. 22 Even with this he was not satisfied; for, indeed, there is no
appearance that any regard was paid to his clamours. He proceeded to grosser insults, and hung up a rod at Button's, with which he threatened to chastise Pope', who appears to have been extremely exasperated, for in the first edition of his Letters he calls Philips 'rascal, and in the last still charges him with detaining in his hands the subscriptions for Homer delivered to him by
the Hanover Club 3. 23 I suppose it was never suspected that he meant to appropriate
the money; he only delayed, and with sufficient meanness, the
gratification of him by whose prosperity he was pained. 24 Men sometimes suffer by injudicious kindness; Philips became
ridiculous, without his own fault, by the absurd admiration of his
Art of Sinking, ch. vi, places Philips not thrashed; but his littleness is his among the Tortoises, who “are slow protection; no man shoots a wren. and chill, and, like pastoral writers, He should rather be whipped ; and delight much in gardens: they have it was pleasant enough in Mr. Amfor the most part a fine embroidered brose Philips to hang up a rod at shell, and underneath it a heavy Button's in terrorem, which scared lump. Pope's Works (Elwin and away the little bard.' 16. viii. 147. Courthope), x 362. He attacks him Pope had this report in mind when, also in A Farewell to London; The in the letter quoted in the last note, Dunciad, i. 105, 258, iii. 326; The he wrote:– Though I was almost Three Gentle Shepherds; Macer; every night in the same room with Prol. Sat. 11. 100, 179; Imit. Hor., Mr. Philips he never offered me any Epis. ii. 1. 417.
indecorum.' 1 'His constant cry was that Mr. P. Philips, as Pope says, was Secrewas an Enemy to the Government. tary to the Club. For a note of The Dunciad, iii. 326 n.; Ruffhead's excuse of Addison's to Philips, bePope, p. 186.
ginning 'Dear Mr. Secretary,' see Pope in a letter (probably spurious, Addison's Works, v. 428. It was not ante, POPE, 106 n. 3) dated June 8, rascal but scoundrel that Pope called 1714, wrote that Philips 'one evening him. He wrote:-'Upon the terms at Button's, as I was told, said that I ought to be with a man whom I I was entered into a cabal with Dean think a scoundrel I would not ask Swift and others to write against the him for this money, but commissioned Whig interest. . . . Mr. Addison ... one of the players, his equals, to reassured me of his disbelief of what ceive it.' Pope's Works (Elwin and had been said.' Pope's Works (Elwin Courthope), vi. 210. In the reprint and Courthope), vi. 209. Pope says of the letter in Warburton's Pope, vii. nothing here of ' Addison's approba 203, the passage runs:— Upon the tion' of Philips's charge.
terms I ought to be with such a · Broome wrote of Pope to Fenton
man,' &c. on May 3, 1728:-'I wonder he is
friends, who decorated him with honorary garlands which the first breath of contradiction blasted".
When upon the succession of the House of Hanover every 25 Whig expected to be happy, Philips seems to have obtained too little notice: he caught few drops of the golden shower, though he did not omit what flattery could perform? He was only made a Commissioner of the Lottery (1717) ?, and, what did not much elevate his character, a Justice of the Peace *.
The success of his first play must naturally dispose him to turn 26 his hopes towards the stage: he did not, however, soon commit himself to the mercy of an audience, but contented himself with the fame already acquired, till after nine years he produced (1721) The Briton, a tragedy which, whatever was its reception, is now neglected, though one of the scenes, between Vanoc the British Prince and Valens the Roman General, is confessed to be written with great dramatick skill, animated by spirit truly poeticals.
He had not been idle though he had been silent, for he exhibited 27 another tragedy the same year, on the story of Humphry. Duke of Gloucester. This tragedy is only remembered by its title 6.
son, iv. 81.
Johnson said to Mrs. Thrale :'I know nobody who blasts by praise as you do; for whenever there is exaggerated praise everybody is set against a character. Boswell's John
• He flattered Halifax, Craggs, Carteret, and Walpole. Eng. Poets, Ivii. 48, 50, 56, 75.
3 He was made Paymaster of the Lottery in Jan. 1714-15 with a salary of £500, for the service of himself, clerks and others.' Cunningham's Lives of the Poets, iii. 265.
4. Paul Whitehead relates that when Addison became Secretary of State, Philips applied to him for some preferment, but was coolly answered that it was thought he was already provided for, by being made a Justice for Westminster. To this Philips replied :-“Though poetry was a trade he could not live by, yet he scorned to owe subsistence to another which he ought not to live by."' Addison's Works, v. 428 n.
Fielding, who would not, as Justice for Westminster, like his predecessor plunder the poor, writes :- I had re
duced an income of about £500 a year of the dirtiest money upon earth to little more than £300; a considerable proportion of which remained with my clerk.' Voyage to Lisbon, Introduction.
Whitehead's anecdote is perhaps not true. In 1710 Addison told Philips he had recommended him to Somers; he ended his letter :-Farewell, dear Philips, and believe me to be, more than I am able to express, Your most affectionate ... servant.' Addison's Works, v. 384.
Swift ridiculed Philips in Sandys's Ghost (Works, xiii. 295) :• If Justice Philips' costive head
Some frigid rhymes disburses; They shall like Persian tales be read,
And glad both babes and nurses. 5 Act iii. sc. 8. There is not a quotable line in it.
• It was produced on Feb. 15, 1722–3, and ran nine nights. Cunningham's Lives of the Poets, iii. 266.
It met with great applause.' Biog. Dram. ii. 314. A third edition appeared in 1725. [The Briton had been
produced the previous year.] Y
LIVES OF POETS. I