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scarce at a period which produced a legion of lying pamphlets? Was there no special motive to such an effort of micrographic ingenuity? I am persuaded that the poem refers to some person dear to Milton himself. The conclusion is inevitable. I can also believe that a noted writer of occasional verses-the presumed eulogist of Shakspere, the eulogist of Donne in 1633, of Ben. Jonson in 1638, of lord Bayning in 1638, and of sir Bevil Grenvill in 1643-I can believe that the energetic and fluent penman who in the course of 1647, besides four publications in prose, commemorated the popular dramatists Beaumont and Fletcher, the accomplished lord Falkland, and the angelic lady Letice, might be heartily disposed albeit, as an ardent royalist, he had never named the author of Comus-to eulogise the father of the poet, who had been a member of his own college at Oxford! This notable circumstance, with its wonted influence, united to the admiration which our royalist must have felt for the poems of Milton, but could not venture to express, was a sufficient motive to the noble out-burst-noble in spite of its defects-which has called forth so much animated controversy.
It is now the fit time to renounce mystery. The noted writer of occasional verses, the ardent royalist, the energetic and fluent penman, the generous eulogist whose claims to the authorship of the epitaph I presume to advance, is JASPER MAYNE, S.T.P. Student of Christ-church, Oxford.
Mayne and Milton must have been well-acquainted with the career of each other. Mayne was born in 1604: Milton, in 1608. Mayne entered himself at Oxford in 1623: Milton, at Cambridge in 1625. The first printed poem of Mayne appeared in 1631-that of Milton, in 1632-and they both became famous as prosewriters, as poets, and as dramatists. Mayne died in 1672, and Milton in 1674.
On other points, the parallelism quite fails. Mayne was a royalist and a churchman: Milton was a republican and a puritan. Nevertheless, the handsome terms in which Philips, the nephew of Milton, has noticed Mayne, is very forcible evidence that he was not held to entertain any other than friendly feelings for the Miltons.
I shall conclude this section with some general reflections, which would admit of much extension. The insertion of the epitaph in the Poems of Milton, in combination with its date, leaves but scant room to doubt that it relates to the father of the poet; and its internal evidence, not seen by the verbal critics, is of the same tendency. We are assured that the subject of it sported with the
but as his vocation was that of a scrivener, he must have pursued his favourite studies early in the day, or late. Aubrey assures us that the son an early riser, sc. at 4 o'clock manè, yea, after he lost his sight." It is easy to believe that such was the custom of the family.
If Milton had written the epitaph, would he have concealed his name? It is not very credible. Assume that Mayne wrote it, and the very circumstance tends to confirm the assumption. In 1643 Mayne contributed one hundred and twenty lines to a collection of Oxford verses. He signed I. M. Other students, twelve in number, adopted the same precaution. In 1647 the affairs of the royalists were in a worse state; and a word from Mayne in favour of a Milton might have raised suspicions of his fidelity.
I have chiefly relied on external evidence, because it is the true basis of such arguments; and if no further evidence turns up, I shall confidently ascribe the epitaph to Mayne, but not as written with a view to publication.
6. Sampson Low & Co. and professor Morley.In The king and the commons we are favoured with a very handsome volume at a very moderate price, but the editor should have omitted the controversial portion of it, or-but perhaps the circumstances were unfavourable to impartiality. Moreover, the publishers and the editor do not trumpet in unison, witness what follows:
"The whole of the evidence pro and con, will be given in the prefatory matter, so that the scholar can form his own conclusion."-S. Low & Co., 1 Aug.
"And whoever may be the transcriber of this Epitaph, the author of it is John Milton."-Henry Morley, 4 Aug'.
Professor Morley must permit me to remind him that the announcement of a mere opinion as an established fact is inconsistent with the rules of criticism and controversy.
Barnes, S.W., 29 August.
The similitude to this poem of the epigrams of Thomas May, cited by MR. W. D. CHRISTIE, is doubtless the closest that has been as yet discovered; and had they been May's own ideas, and not translations from Martial, the identity would have been almost resistless: as it is, the presumption is very strong, far greater than that presented by certain extracts from Crashaw cited by Mr. G. Massey in the Pall Mall Gazette of the 11th August, and assumed to be so conclusive by the editor of that journal that he declares:
"We have waived our decision not to insert any more correspondence on this subject in favour of Mr. Massey's letter, in the hope that it may remove any lingering doubts of the real character of the epitaphs so absurdly ascribed to Milton, and put an end to a childish controversy."
Notwithstanding this, the similitude was very flimsy, consisting of a few words in common, and
even these requiring as much straining to fit as Fluellen's "comparisons between Macedon and Monmouth."
But why should MR. CHRISTIE be so sarcastic upon poor Thomas May as to write :
"The scholar-poet who has turned Phaetontis into Phaeton would very likely have made Helicon a fountain."
May's expression is not Phaeton, but Phaeton's (in the possessive case), and it would be rather difficult to find any possible translation of Phaetontis more literal than that.
But it so happens that Phaetontis is not the original word of Martial at all-it is Phaetontea umbra, which is freely translated by May " Phaeton's branches"; and as the meaning of Phaetontea is "ad Phaetontem pertinens," there is surely nothing to cavil at.
This "Helicon a fountain" has been made a stalking-horse by both sides: even Spenser has been called up for reprimand respecting it. A writer in The Times, W. V. H., says of him :"When Spenser wrote-,
'And eke yon virgins that on Parnasse dwell,
it is useless to pretend that he was not guilty of a blunder," &c.
But it was no blunder: right or wrong, Spenser appears to have written it designedly, and not
will explain many things hitherto unnoticed. I refer to the lines of the Aldine edition, ed. Morris, 1866.
On Friday, May 4, before 1 A.M., Palamon breaks out of prison. For (1. 605) it was during the "third night of May, but (1. 609) a little after midnight." That it was Friday is evident also, from observing that Palamon hides himself at day's approach, whilst Arcite rises "for to doon his observance to May, remembryng of the poynt of his desire." To do this best, he would go into the fields at sunrise (1. 633), during the hour dedicated to Venus, i. e. during the hour after sunrise on a Friday. If however this seem for a moment doubtful, all doubt is removed by the following lines:
"Right as the Friday, sothly for to telle,
All this is very little to the point unless we suppose Friday to be the day. Or, if the reader have still any doubt about this, let him observe the curious accumulation of evidence which is to follow.
Palamon and Arcite meet, and a duel is arranged for an early hour on the day following. That is, they meet on Saturday, May 5. But, as It is strange that no one should have referred Saturday is presided over by the inauspicious to the glosse of Spenser's text, wherein this pre-planet Saturn, it is no wonder that they are both sumed blunder occurs. That glosse was contemporary with the text itself, and was written by E. K., who was either an intimate confidant of Spenser, or, as some have supposed, actually Spenser himself. Here, then, is the glosse to
"Helicon is both the name of a fountaine at the foot of Parnassus, and also of a mountaine in Boatia, out of which floweth the famous spring Castalius dedicate to the Muses."
And then follows a further description, which
shows that the writer, whoever he was, was well acquainted with the whole myth.
Now what the authority may have been, or whether there was any for this glosse, is quite a different question from the present concern, which is to show that "Helicon a fountain" was gravely and publicly asserted long before the now notorious "Epitaph ascribed to Milton" was ostensibly written. OLIM.
CHRONOLOGY OF CHAUCER'S "KNIGHTES
After some little trouble, I have arrived at the conclusion that Chaucer has given us sufficient data for ascertaining both the days of the month and of the week of many of the principal events of the "Knightes Tale.' The following scheme
unfortunate enough to have their duel interrupted by Theseus, and to find themselves threatened with death. Still, at the intercession of the queen and Emily, a day of assembly for a tournament is fixed for "this day fyfty wekes" (1. 992). Now we must understand "fyfty wekes" to be a poetical expression for a year. This is not mere supposition, however, but a certainty; because the appointed day was in the month of May, whereas fifty weeks and no more would land us in April. Then "this day fyfty wekes" means "this day " viz. on May 5.
leap-year), the 5th of May would be Sunday. But Now, in the year following (supposed not a noted, however, that this is not the day of the this we are expressly told in 1. 1330. It must be tournament, but of the muster for it, as may be gleaned from 11. 992-995 and 1238. The tenth hour" inequal" of Sunday night, or the second hour before sunrise of Monday, is dedicated to Venus, as explained by Tyrwhitt (1. 1359); and therefore Palamon then goes to the temple of Venus. The third hour after this, the first after sunrise on Monday, is dedicated to Luna or Diana, and during this Emily goes to Diana's temple. The third hour after this again, the fourth after sunrise, is dedicated to Mars, and therefore Arcite then goes to the temple of Mars. But the
rest of the day is spent merely in jousting and after the feast of St. Dunstan the bishop (18th May), in preparations
It is clear that Chaucer would have been assisted in arranging all these matters thus exactly, if he had chosen to calculate them according to the year then current. Now the years (not bissextile) in which May 5 is on a Sunday, during the last half of the fourteenth century, are these: 1359, 1370, 1381, 1387, 1398. Of these five, it is at least curious that the date 1387 exactly coincides with this sentence in Sir H. Nicolas's Life of Chaucer:-"From internal evidence it appears that the "Canterbury Pilgrimage was written after the year 1386." WALTER W. SKEAT.
1, Cintra Terrace, Cambridge.
"A.D. 1307.-Curiâ de afforciamentis tentâ apud Leck die Lunæ proximâ post festum Sancti Dunstani Episcopi, Anno Regis Edwardi xxxvo Ricardus de Wollop, de com' Southampton, captus cum manu opere, et detentus apud Leck, ad sectam Adæ de Prestwode, qui appellat dictum Ricardum quod ipse contra pacem Domini Regis, ut latro catalla sua ad valenciam unius marca, viz. unum equum faleratum, de hospicio suo die Veneris ante festum prox' Sancti Dunstani apud Prestwode, felonicè furatus fuit. Plegii de prosecutione, Adm° Bate, Hugo Ball. Et dictus Ricardus requisitus qualiter velit se acquietar', dicit quod non est in aliquo culpabilis de dictâ feloniâ, et ponit se super patriam de bono et malo. Ideo fiat inquisitio. Jurati, Johannes del Wal, Henricus de Heton, Radulphus Pistor, Henricus del Heth, Radulphus Browne, Johannes de Schirley, Henricus Bal, Adms del Hey, Johannes de Merbroke, Adm le Harper, Thomas Swift et Henricus del Hegg. Qui dicunt super sacramentum suum quod dictus Ricardus est culpabilis de dictâ feloniâ. Ideo consideratum est quod suspendatur. Requisiti de catallis, dicunt quod nulla habet infra libertatem de Leck. Super hoc venit Vicarius ecclesiæ de Leke, Thomas del Hal nomine, et tulit commissionem a domino Episcopo Lichfieldiensi ei commissam, et petit dictum Ricardum de Wollop ut clericum et membrum ecclesiæ; et inventus est clericus. Ideo liberatus est dicto Vicario et ad gaolam Episcopi."
At a court of afforcements held at Leek on Monday next
the 35th year of the reign of King Edward, Richard de Wollop, of the co. of South-Hamps, taken in the mainour and detained at Leek, at the suit of Adam de Prestwode, who charges the said Richard, that he against the peace of the Lord our King as a thief feloniously stole his chatcaparisons from his inn, on Wednesday before the last tels to the value of one mark, viz. one horse with its
feast of St. Dunstan, at Prestwode. Pledges for the prosecution, Adam Bate and Hugh Ball.
And the said Richard being asked how he will acquit himself thereof, says that he is nowise guilty of the said felony, and puts himself on his country for good and evil. Therefore let an inquisition be taken. (Whereupon) were sworn, John del Wal, Henry de Heton, Ralph Pistor, Henry del Heth, Ralph Brown, John de Schirley, HenryBal, Adam del Hay, John de Merbroke, Adam le Harper, Thomas Swift, and Henry del Hegg. Who say on their oath that the said Richard is guilty of the said felony. Therefore it is considered that he be hanged. The jurors being asked concerning his chattels, say that he hath
none within the liberty of Leek.
Whereupon came the vicar of the church of Leke, Thomas del Hal by name, and brought a commission claimed the said Richard de Wollop as a clerk and memfrom the lord bishop of Lichfield, committed to him, and ber of the church; and he is found to be a clerk. Therefore he is delivered to the said vicar and to the gaol of the Bishop.
PRESENTATION BY CHARLES I. TO EDWARD MILLAR IN 1633.
musician" in Edinburgh of the name of Millar is worth preserving. It is a presentation by Charles I. in the year 1634, before the extinction of episcopacy in Scotland, which was the result of the injudicious attempt of Archbishop Laud to introduce the Service Book there, contrary to the wishes of the people, whose horror at anything like popery was very different from what it is at present.
The following notice of the existence of a "skilled
Not unfrequently interesting literary information may be gleaned from deeds produced before the Court of Session in law suits, and the document which we give may be taken as one instance of the verity of our assertion. The original is in the Register of Presentations to Benefices, and of Acts of Caution for Presentees, vol. vii. folio 24, 1633:
"OUR SOVERANE Lord, Ordainis ane letter to be maid vnder his hienes Privie Seall in dew forme makand mention That his Majesty being crediblie informed of the qualificatiounes and abilitie of Maister Edward Millar musitiane induellar in Edinburgh To vndergoe the functioune and chairge of ane Prebendar within his hienes Chappell royall of Stirling and of the said Maister Edward his experience and skill in the airt of musick Theirfor nominating and presenting Lykas be the tennor heirof nominatis and presentis the said Maister Edward Millar dureing all the days of his lyftime In and to the personage and viccarage of the Kirk and parochine of Sanct Maries Kirk of the Lowis lyand in Atrik Forrest quhole fruittis, rentis, emoluments, and deuties of the same, as being ane of the Kirkes belonging to his hienes said Chappell royall of Striviling, and prebendaries of the samyn now vacant in his Majestys handis and at his hienes presentatioune, be
deprivatioune of Edward Kellie last prebendar thairof, or be demissioune, deprivatioune, inhabilite, non residence, or ony other caus done or committit be any prebandar provydit to the said prebandarie of befoir, And hes maid constitute and ordainit the said Maister Edward Millar vndoubted prebendare of the said prebendarie; Gevand and grantand to him the haill personage and vicarage teyndis, fruittis, rentis and emoluments of the said Kirk and parochine, called St Marie Kirk of the Lowis, dureing all the dayes of his lyftyme, with all power casualties, proffeittis, deuties, dignities and commodities belonging to the samyn prebendarie, sicklyk and als frilie in all respictis as euer any prebendar heirtofoir bruiked and possessed the samyn."
The Lowis is a continuation of St. Mary's Loch in the county of Selkirk, now belonging to Lord Napier of Merchieston. The remains of the church still exist. As episcopacy was in a manner abolished by the celebrated Glasgow Assembly of 1638, it is not likely that the beneficiary would retain his "teinds" and "fruits" very long.
Archbishop Trench, in his recent Household Book of English Poetry, has (p. 399) noticed two cases of lines omitted in poems, by their authors, of which many more might probably be found. The one is by Gray in the Elegy, and for that he himself gave the reason, that it would make too long a parenthesis. The other is the sixteen lines omitted by Milton after the fourth line of Comus. The MS. of these is extant, and they are given in Dr. Newton's notes and elsewhere. The reason for their omission is not stated, but it seems clear from the lines themselves that they were left out as delaying too much the opening of the action of the drama. They are, however, as beautiful as any in the poem; and being thus reminded of them, I have attempted to complete my Greek version of Comus by translating them.
As the said version may probably never be reprinted, or not for a very long time, I will ask that these lines may be preserved, with other flies, in the amber of "N. & Q."
"Amidst th' Hesperian gardens, on whose banks,
δίας τε μολπής, πνεῖ ῥύδων ἀειθαλή ὑακινθίνων τ' ἀίματ ̓ ὀρχάτων· ἐκεῖ κάρποισι χρυσοφεγγὲς ἔρνος εὔχαρι, ὁ καὶ δράκοντος ὄμμα τραχυοστράκου τηρεῖ δόλων ἄαπτον· ἀμφὶ δ ̓ ὀλβίας εὔσεπτα νήσου τέρματ', ὠλένων δίκην τείνει τὸ ναμ' 'Ωκέανος, ἀρχαῖος φύλαξ πλατύῤῥους • πρηνεῖ δὲ διαχυθεὶς ῥοπῇ, μέρος μὲν ̓Ατλάντειον οἴχεται σάλον πληρῶν, μέρος δὲ νωθρὸν ἄγνωτον βάθος τὸ Στύγιον· ἀλλὰ τῶνδε παύσασθαί με οὐ γὰρ πρὸς ὑμᾶς θαύματ ̓ ἔρχομαι λέγων ἐθνῶν τ ̓ ἀηθῶν χωρίων τ' ἀπροσβάτων, ἐν οἷσι ναίω, πολλάκις θεώμενος
πολὺν σκοτεινοῦ τοῦδε τοῦ στένου τόπου θόρυβον καπνόν θ', κ.τ.λ.
P.S.-Dr. Newton well quotes the lines of Waller :
"Poets lose half the praise they should have got, Were it but known what they discreetly blot." The word "discreetly" seems ironical.
CHAUCER'S "CANTERBURY TALES":
This second Table contains a sketch of the
Oxford MSS., the Additional 5140 in the British oversight from the first Table,-Lord Leicester's Museum, Tyrwhitt's Askew 2, omitted by an MS. at Holkham-sent by the Rev. Robert Collyer of Warham St. Mary's, and the printed editions of Caxton, of 1542, 1561 (Ihon Kyngston), 1598 (Speght), 1721 (Urry). To these I hope to be able to add in a future Table sketches of Lord Ashburnham's three MSS., of the best of which the late Mr. Garnett gave a good character; Sir Thomas Phillipps's MS. at Middlehill; Sir Morton Peto's at Chipstead Place; the Lincoln Cathedral MS.; and the Litchfield Cathedral one, which the Chancellor and Librarian, Mr. J. G. Lonsdale, has promised me. Of the MSS. mentioned by Tyrwhitt (i. xxiii.), the following are still to seek:Askew 1, the Haistwell-both classed by Tyrwhitt among those to which "the most credit is certainly due"-the MS. belonging to Charles Cholmondeley, Esq., of Vale Royal in Cheshire, and the other to Mr. Norton of Southwick in Hampshire. The two latter are, I suppose, the same two as Todd says are 66 now (1810) in the collection of John P. Kemble, Esq., and in that belonging to the late Duke of Roxburghe, the latter of which is remarkably beautiful."(Illustrations, p. 127.) Tidings of some of these I trust that some readers of "N. & Q." will be able to send