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1

J




THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

RIVERSIDE



EDMUND SPENSER AND THE
IMPERSONATIONS OF FRANCIS BACON



EDMUND SPENSER



AND



THE IMPERSONATIONS OF
FRANCIS BACON



BY

EDWARD GEORGE HARMAN, C.B.



LONDON
CONSTABLE AND COMPANY Ltd.

1914



1 ^.f , _w^ U



Ii3p



Since tiatures workes be good, and death doth serue
As natures 'vorke : ivhy should we feare to dye ?
Since feare is vaine, hut when it may preseriie.
Why should we feare, that which we cannot flye ?

Feare is tnore paitie, then is the paine itfeares.
Disarming humane mindes of natitie might :
While each conceate an ouglie figure beares.
Which were not euill, well vew'd in reasons light.

Our owly eyes, which dimmed with passions bee.

And scarce discerne the dawne of comming day.

Let them be clearde, and now begin to see.

Our life is but a step, in dustie way.

Then let vs holde the blisse of peaceful I miijde,
Since this ive feele, great losse ive cannot finde.^

^ The song of Musidorus in prison : an addition to the Arcadia, 2nd edition,
1593. See p. 504.



■VJ



CONTENTS



CHAPTER I



THE SHEPHEARDS CALENDER



Spenser and " Immerito "

"E. K." ....

Sidney and Spenser

The author's habit of self-appreciation

And of writing under " impersonations '

William Webbe .

Gabriel Harvey .
The "Glosse"



PAGE
I

3
4
7
9
9
II

13



CHAPTER n



SPENSER S LIFE



Information from external sources

Appointment under Lord Grey .

Spenser's monument

Lord Grey's administration

Grant of land to Spenser in Munster

Rising in Munster

Spenser's petition to the Queen .

Alleged intimacy with Essex

Pension granted to Spenser

Spenser's alleged visits to London from Munster

Rivalry of Essex and Ralegh

Bacon's practice of writing for Essex

Spenser's funeral
Motives for secrecy .

Character of the English

The " new poetry "

The Court

Illustrations from contemporary writings

Censorship of the press .

Social considerations

Sensitiveness of genius .
Absence of Spenser manuscripts
Length of the Faerie Queeue .



30
32
34
35
36
38
39
40
40
41
44

45
46
46
46
47
47
48
51
52
53
53
53



Vll



viii SPENSER AND THE BACON IMPERSONATIONS



CHAPTER III



"the faerie queene

Imagination and experience . . . .

General intention of the Faerie Queene

Considered in relation to Spenser's circumstances

The author as revealed in the work .

His attitude towards the Queen

His method ; the Queen, Prince Arthur

The identity of the principal characters

The Redcrosse Knight .

Sir Guyon ....

Arthegal ....

Scudamore ....

Anioret .....

Irish allusions ....

The " Mutabilitie " cantos

Marinell and Florimell .

The " Rich strond " .

The trial of Mary, Queen of Scots

Blandamour and Paridell

Some minor characters .



PACE

54
55
55
57
58
59
60
60
61
62

73

74
76

79
82

89
90
92
95



CHAPTER IV



SPENSER, SHAKESPEARE AND LACON



Their attitude towards the "crowd" .

Bacon's emotional side deficient .

His passion for order and completeness

And for distinction and magnificence

His spiritual feelings primitive

"Invention" in English poetry .

Tolstoi's hatred of Shakespeare .
Bacon's ideas as to the nature of the soul

His purpose in writing .

Aristotle's argument, De Anima

Bacon's alleged materialism

His attitude towards metaphysics

And towards the Christian revelation
Bacon's theory of " spirits " .

His disparagement of philosophers

Scheme for the "interpretation of Nature "
The Tempest, explained in the light of this theory
The term "spirits," as used hy all three writers

And by the author of the Arte 0/ Euglish Poesie



lOI

104
104
104
105

loS
106

107

108

109

1 1 1

1 12

1 1.3

114
119
120
121
133
137



CONTENTS



IX



CHAPTER V



SPENSER, SHAKESPEARE AND BACON (continued)



Their use of the words " simple " and " simplicity " .
Their " inaccuracy " .

Shakespeare's anachronisms

Bacon's "inaccuracy" ....

The effect on character of "imitation," Plato's view

The " impersonality " of Shakespeare

Bacon's theory of the poetic art, illustrated from —

Sidney's Apologie for Poetrie .

The Advancement of Learning

The De Augmentis . . . •

An address to Lord Mountjoy .

The Arte of English Poesie

That work briefly noticed





PAGE


. 138




142




143




145




146




147




148




151




153




156




• 157




157



CHAPTER VI
Spenser's minor poems



The publication of the Comflaints

The Rtiines of Time ....

Attack on Burghley

Leicester, the poet's early patron

Loss of favour ....
The Teares of the Muses

" Our pleasant Willy," " that same gentle Spirit

Bacon's dislike of practice at the Bar

Tarlton .....
Virgils Gnat ....

Offence given to Leicester

Complaints of neglect and non-preferment
Prothalamion ....

Mother Huhherds Tale

Attack on Burghley

And on the Court

Contrasted with the flattery in Colin Clout
Mtiiopotmos, or the Fate of the B^ittetfiie







159






160






161






163






164






164


>)




166

167

168
172
172

173
173

174
174
177
178

179



CHAPTER Vn



SIR PHILIP SIDNEY : " LEICESTER S COMMONWEALTH



Authorship of writings attributed to Sidney

Letter to the Queen on the French marriage
Sidney's correspondence .



1S5
185
iSS



SPENSEK AND THE BACON IMPERSONATIONS





PAGE


His character


1S9


Instructions for Travellers


. 191


Leicester's Coi)uiio>nucalth


. 192


Leicester's Ghost


. 196


Squire's conspiracy


. 198


The affair of Lopez


• 199


Bacon's craving for power


• 199



CHAPTER VIII

Spenser's juvenile poems : bacon and gascoigne



Visions of Bellay and Visions of Petrarch

A ThecUre for Worldlings

The precocity of genius .

The juvenile poems of Chatterion

And of Pope ....

The "Visions "in Spenser's Works compared
version ....

Religious influence of Bacon's mother
The Gascoigne " impersonation "
Facts about Gascoigne's life .
The publication of the Posies .
" Certayne notes of Instruction "
The Glasse of Goz'ei-nemettt



with the earlier



201
202
204
204
206

207
209
21 1
21 1
212
224
229



CHAPTER IX

BACON AND GASCOIGNE {coil/lliucd)



The Steele Glas

The Fruites of IVarre

"Walter Rawely of the Middle Temple'
The Princely Pleasures at Kenelworth Castle

Robert Laneham

The device which was not presented

The "Farewell"



242
242

243
24S
249

255
258



CHAPTER X



" Laneham's Letter "



161



CHAPTER XI

BACON AND GASCOIGNE {continued)

The Tale of Ilemetcs the Ilcreniytc
" A Paradoxe of lialdnesse "
The Queenes Maiesties entertainment at Woodstock



279
279
2S0



CONTENTS



XI



The Grief of Joye ....
A delicate Diet for daitttiemouthde Droonkardes

The Spoyle of Antwerpe .
The Droomme of Doomsday .
Prefatory epistle to Gilbert's "Discourse"



PAGE

281

282
282

292

293



CHAPTER XII



SIR HUMPHREY GILBERTS VOYAGE



The " Discourse" of 1576 .....
Gilbert and the North-West Passage ....
" How Her Majesty might annoy the King of Spain"
Gilbert's expedition to Newfoundland
His "Queene Elizabethes Achademy"
The cause of sea currents and Bacon's theory of the tides
The Report of Gilbert's Voyage to Newfoundland, attributed to Sir
George Peckham .....

Ten appeals for recruits in verse ....
The Report by Hayes .....

The account in both Reports of Gilbert's death at sea examined
Summary of the " Peckham " Report . .



299
300
302
304
305
306

312
312
320
320

324



CHAPTER XIII

Spenser's minor poems {continued')



Gabriel Harvey's " Letter-book " ....


329


Daphndida ......


330


The complaints of Hamlet ....


330


Bacon on the " universal frame of nature "


331


Colin Clouts Come Home Again ....


332


Eulogy of the Queen .....


332


Meeting with Ralegh .....


333


"Action" ......


334


Samuel Daniel ......


335


His " Delia" sonnets ....


336


Other works .....


338


Funeral poem on the Earl of Devonshire


343


"Corydon" ......


348


The ladies of the Court .....


349


Sundry discrepancies .....


349


Astrophel .......


35°


" Stella," indicated as Sidney's widow


350


The additional P21egies —




" The Doleful Lay of Clorinda "


351


Two attributed to Lodowick Bryskett .


352


One by Matthew Roydon ....


352


One attributed to Ralegh ....


355


" Another of the same " ....


355



Xll



SPENSER AND THE BACON IMPERSONATIONS



"Stella" of the Sidney ("Astrophel and Stella") sonnets

Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich .

Frances Walsingham ....

The publication of the " Astrophel and Stella" sonnets

The character of the author of these sonnets

Spenser's " Rosalind " ....



PAGE

357
358
362

364



CHAPTER XIV



SPENSER AND RALEGH : THE "
" EPITHALAMION



AMORETTI

I)



AND



Verses prefixed to the Faerie Qiieotc .

How did Spenser become intimate with Ralegh ?

Ralegh's early history
Spenser's A/noretti ....

His marriage ; Elizabeth Boyle .

The "three Elizabeths" sonnet .

John Hooker's account of Ralegh's ancestry

Who is the subject of these sonnets ?

The "Angel" allusion

The last four sonnets
The Epithalaniiott

Its artificial tone

Royal allusions .
Theory for these poems suggested



367
37!
372
374
374
375
376

379
382
386
386

387
388

391



CHAPTER XV

A PAGE IN bacon's LIFE, 1592-1595, AET. 31-34

Bacon, Essex, Ralegh and Cecil ..... 395

Bacon's feelings towards Ralegh ..... 396

He offends the Queen ...... 397

His suit, through Essex, for the posts of Attorney and Solicitor 397

Bacon and Essex . . . . . .412

Bacon and Cecil . . . . .413

His conduct considered . . . .413



CHAPTER XVI



Ralegh's correspondence and poems



Ralegh's exclusion from the Court
His corresjxjndcnce examined
Contemporary accounts of Ralegh



414

415
418



CONTENTS



Xlll



His relations with the Queen .

Bacon on the Queen's "lighter qualities"

Her relations with Essex
The Madre de Dios ....
Rumours of marriage

The discovery of the intrigue with Elizabeth Throgmorton
Ralegh's letter from the Tower about the Queen
His relations with his wife
Letters about his Irish estates
On piracy ....
With Cecil at Dartmouth
Not naturally a writer
Letter to the Queen about the succession
Reference to Ricliard the Second
Date of the poem "To Cynthia"
The "Both well" letter
A letter to King James

The Poems examined

The verse-petition to the Queen

The Epitaph

The History of the World, and assistance rendered by otliers
The Report of the Guiana voyage, 1596
A paper written in support of it
Ralegh and Shakespeare's "Othello"
Ralegh and Spenser's " Scudamore " .



PAGE

421
422
422

424
425
426
427
429

432

433
434
436
438
438
441

442
454
457

458
460
462

465

468



CHAPTER XVII



THE " FAERIE QUEENE " RESUMED :

The Redcrosse Knight and Sir Guyon
Prince Arthur

Lilly's Endimion
Timias ....

Sundry other characters
Book L considered as a whole
The last " Mutabilitie " canto
Some parallels in Spenser and Shakespeare

The nurse in Komeo and Jiiliet .

Legal metaphors
The writer's impartiality ; the Queen
Descriptions of love in absence
The identity of " Rosalind " and of " Stella '
Further as to Marinell
The Fowre Hy nines .



THE



" FOWRE HYMNES "



470
473
477

483
486

488
492
494
494
499
501

SOI
502

505

507



CHAPTER XVIII

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF BACON



Fondness for colour and display
Verulam House



509
509



XIV



SPENSER AND THE BACON IMPERSONATIONS



Gardens ....
In his dealings with men of afiairs
As a speaker in Parliament

Ben Jonson's testimony .
In conversation
His relations with Ben Jonson
His sanguine temperament
Imprudence in action ; ill reports
Accused of inordinate ambition and pride
Self-idealisation
His dislike of detail .
His friend Bettenham
His health ....
Alleged fainting fits .
Activity of his imagination
Ideas for the prolongation of life
Fondness for flowers and music
" Irrigation in the spring showres"



lAGE

510

511
513

513

516
516

518

519
520
520

521

523
524
525
525

526
526

527



CHAPTER XIX



SPENSER S



" VIEW OF THE PRESENT ST.\TE OF IRELAND ''



Purpose of the treatise

Bacon's views on the subject of Ireland

Compared generally with Spenser's

The treatise examined .

The wisli that Ireland were a " sea-poole "'

Men attributing their own errors to the stars

The common law of England in Ireland

Description of the north of Ireland

The common law, further as to

The uses of the Irish mantle .

The Irish horse soldier

" Galloglass and kearne "

The Irish bards

The slate of religion .

Ofificial corruption

The date of the treatise from internal evidence

The allusions to Essex

Bacon and the Irish appointment of Essex

The description of famine in Munster .

Water-cresses and shamrocks
Lord Grey and .Smerwick
Proposals for a military occupation

Ralegh's views .
Summary justice
Establishment of towns
A State paper in dialogue form, for which the names

are used
Spenser's jjctition to the (^ueen
Spenser as secretary to the Bishop of kochesier



of Spenser's sons



528
528
532
534
535
535
536
538
539
541
542
543
543
546

549
550
550
555
556
55S
559
563
563
565
565

566
569

572



CONTENTS



XV



CHAPTER XX



A DISCOURSE OF CIVILL LIFE, EY LODOWICK BRYSKETT



Facts about Bryskett .

The Discourse examined

Eiyskett and Spenser

Date of the treatise .

The author an Englishman

A student of physic .

Criticises Aristotle

The allusion to the Faerie Qiteenc

Describes his early education .

On the nature of the soul

Denounces contemporary rhymers

Views as to the myths

Mentions Sir Philip Sidney .

Men attributing their own errors to the stars

The cause of blushing and pallor

" Magnanimity " .

On the nature and limits of the human understanding



I'AGE

573
575
577
578
579
579
5S1
582

585
58S
5S9
590
590
590
591
591
592



TABLE OF DATES
INDEX



593
597



CHAPTER I

"THE SHEPHEARDS CALENDER"

The life of Spenser, like that of his younger contemporary,
Shakespeare, is involved in much obscurity. " No poet
ever kept a mask over his own features so long and so
closely as Spenser." ^ The accounts of him are mainly
derived from inferences from his works. Painstaking
research, however, appears to have brought to light a few
items of information from external sources, but, so far
from throwing light on the subject, they only add to its
obscurity, as they stand in no natural relation to any
impression of the author and his circumstances which can
be derived from his works.

The accepted facts as to Spenser's life before he
settled in Ireland may be briefly stated. Edmund
Spenser is supposed to have been born in London in, or
about, the year 1552. Nothing for certain is known
about his parents, but it has been conjectured that his
father was a journeyman clothmaker, residing in East
Smithfield. In his poems he claims affinity with the
family of the Spencers of Althorpe, and he dedicates
several poems to the daughters of Sir John Spencer, the
then head of that family. It is supposed that he was
educated at Merchant Taylors' School, where he received
assistance as a " poor scholler," and that he was admitted
as a "sizar" to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, in 1569,
where he is again reported as in receipt of relief" It is

* Courthope, cited by Grosart, Works of Edmund Spenser, i. 241.

^ This identification is an inference from a contemporar)- document entitled
The Spetiding of the Money of Robert Notvell, which was privately printed by
R. B. Knowles in 1877. Mr. Knowles "found three Spensers in the books

I B



2 SPENSER AND THE BACON IMPERSONATIONS chap.

also supposed that he had begun authorship when he went
up to Cambridge, as a work which appeared in 1569
(Vander Noodt's Theatre for Worldlings) contains the
Visions of Petrarch and the original material of the Visions
of Bellay which are included in Spenser's works.

Poor as he was, he is said to have remained at
Cambridge till 1576, and from the so-called "Letter-
book " of Gabriel Harvey (in which the poet is referred
to under the names of "Benevolo" and " Immerito") it
would appear that he contracted an intimacy with Gabriel
Harvey, who had become a fellow of Pembroke Hall in
1570, the year after Spenser went to that College,
Harvey is believed to have introduced Spenser to Sir
Philip Sidney, by whom it is conjectured that he was
made acquainted with Sidney's uncle, Robert Dudley,
Earl of Leicester, the favourite of the Queen. Under the
signature of " Immerito " a letter (or what appears to be
a letter) to Harvey is dated from Leicester House in the
Strand in October 1579. In the interval between that
time and the date of his leaving Cambridge Spenser is
believed to have spent some time in Lancashire, the
supposed scene of his love for " Rosalind." It is not
related how he supported himself there. It has also been
suggested that he may have been employed during that
period in carrying despatches for the Earl of Leicester to
correspondents in Ireland and abroad,^

The sudden promotion of Spenser from the humble
position of a * sizar " ^ to the intimacy of Sir Philip
Sidney and the Earl of Leicester, though accepted
apparently as a matter of course by modern writers, is

of the Merchant Taylors', and concluded that the poorest of them, ' a free
journeyman ' in the ' art or mystery of clothmaking,' might be the poet's father,
but he afterwards abandoned the theory. Dr. Grosart, however, adhered to
it." — Ency. Brit., art. " Edmund Spenser."

' In some playful Latin verses in the letter which purports to have been
addressed to Harvey from Leicester House, " Immerito" professes to bid him
farewell on setting out for P' ranee and the Continent. Harvey in his reply ex-
presses doubts about his going. I\vo other very cointncudable letters, etc. , 1 580.

2 "Sizars" or "serving clerks": certain poor scholars at Cambridge,
annually elected, who in return for manual services in the college were given
meals without charge and paid fees on a lower scale than the ordinary students.
They corresponded to "battlers" or "servitors" at Oxford.



THE SHEPHEARDS CALENDER



one of the most unintelligible things in the annals of
letters. They were both " men of the sword," and by
such men in those days a professional writer would be
regarded in the same light as a player or clerk, to be
accepted according as he was amusing or serviceable.
The story of Spenser, in the language of modern literary
biography, " mixing with the most brilliant intellectual
society of his time," is, I believe, a fable. Whatever there
may have been in that way since, I feel quite certain that
in those days there was no such society, and the only
authority for the picture are some letters which are sup-
posed to have passed between Spenser and Gabriel Harvey,
but which, as I believe, and shall endeavour to show,
are fictitious. Moreover, Spenser, at the time he entered
Leicester's household, was unknown as a writer, though he
was then (on the accepted facts) about twenty-seven years
old, a much more seasoned age for a man in those times
than it is now. Shakespeare's " lago," for instance, is
represented as twenty-eight.^ I am aware that it may be
said Sidney discovered Spenser's promise, but there is no
allusion to him in Sidney's correspondence, or anything
in it, so far as has been discovered, to show that Sidney
was interested in letters apart from the practical object
(in the early stage of his life) of training himself for a
public career.^

The Lancashire story has been built up on a " glosse "
to the Shepheards Calender by one " E. K.," who has been
identified, on the strength of the correspondence of the
initials, with Edward Kirke, also a sizar of Pembroke
Hall, and a contemporary of Spenser. It has, however,

1 "I have looked upon the world for four times seven years." — Othello, i. 3.

2 Compare the following remarks of Dr. Grosart on the subject of Spenser's
friendship with Sidney, of which he finds strong evidence in the poems : " That
Sir Philip Sidney has left behind him no slightest scrap evidential of all this
is not peculiar to the ' friendship ' with Spenser. I have read — at Hatfield
and elsewhere — sheafs of his letters, but have never come upon a single line
on literary matters, or even on Stella. I am not aware that his Sonnets, or
Arcadia, or Defence, are mentioned once in all the vast Sidneian correspond-
ence." — Works of Edmund Spenser, i. 455. I do not profess to understand
this reference to unpublished correspondence. Sir Philip Sidney's published
correspondence, far from being " vast," is singularly meagre. Presumably Sir
Henry Sidney's letters are also referred to.



4 SPENSER AND THE BACON IMPERSONATIONS chap.

been suggested that Spenser and " E. K." are one and the
same person. I have no doubt that this is so, for reasons
which I shall give, and I shall bring forward evidence to
show that "Spenser" the poet, and Spenser the Irish
official and settler, were different rnen.

To begin with the problem of the " glosses " and " E. K."
The Shepheards Calender was published in the winter of
1579-80. The letter which precedes it, addressed by
" E. K." to Gabriel Harvey, is dated " from my lodging at
London thys 10 of Aprill, i 579." It is surprising that the
first published work of so facile and prolific a genius should
not have appeared till Spenser was about twenty-eight years
old, and still more surprising, in view of the evidence we have
of his poverty, that it should have appeared anonymously.
The work was, indeed, attributed by a contemporary poet
(George Whetstone), as late as 1587, to Sidney,^ and the

1 On the subject of Whetstone's ignorance of the authorship, J, Payne Collier
{^Life of Spenser, 1873) writes as follows : "One of Spenser's contemporaries,
a poet of much and not unmerited celebrity, even as late as 1587, when the
Shepheardes Calender had gone through three or four separate editions, was
so ill-informed upon the subject that, when writing in lamentation of the
untimely death of Sidney, he actually imputed to him the authorship of the
Shepheardes Calender. We refer to George Whetstone, and to his poem,
entitled Sir Philip Sidney, his honourable Life, his valiant Death, and true
Virtues, which was published immediately after the funeral. Then, after
noticing Sidney's ' Arcadia,' and describing it as ' a book most excellently
written,' he proceeds as follows :

" 'What else he wrote his will was to supprcsse,
But yet the dark a dyamond cannot drowne :
What be his workes the finest wittes doe gesse ;
The Shepheard's notes that have so sweete a sound.
With lawrell bowghes his heal me long since have crownd.
And not alone in poesie he did passe,
But every way a learned knight he was.'

"The terms 'Shepheard's notes' if they stood alone might very fairly l)C
deemed equivocal, because ' Shepherd ' was, at that date and long afterwards,
the usual designation of a poet, so that 'Shepherd's notes' might only mean
poet''s notes ; but, as if to make his want of knowledge on such a topic indis-
putable, Whetstone added the subsequent marginal memorandum, just opposite
the stanza we have cited :

"'The last Sheppards Calender, the reputed work of
S. Phil. Sydney — a work of decpe learning, judgment and
witte, disguised in Shep. Rules.'

"It is therefore evident that, in 1587, Whetstone not only did not know
that the Shepheardes Calender was by Sjxrnser, but Ijelievcd that it was the
work of Sidney, to whom, he adds, it was assigned by general reputation."



THE SHEPHEARDS CALENDER "



doubt there was about the authorship is shown by the
following reference to it in 1586 by William Webbe in
his Discourse of English Poetrie : " This place haue I
purposely reserued for one who if not only, yet in my
judgment principally deserueth the tytle of the rightest
English Poet, that euer I read : that is the Author of the
Sheepeheardes Kalender, intituled to the woorthy gentle-
man Master Phillip Sydney^ whether it was Master Sp. or
what rare Scholler in Pembrooke Hall soeuer, because
himself and his freendes, for what respect I knowe not,
would not reueale it, I force not greatly to sette downe."
At the time when this was written no poem had appeared
under the name of Spenser. The first poem which so
appeared was the first portion of the Faerie Queene,



Online LibraryEdward George HarmanEdmund Spenser and the impersonations of Francis Bacon → online text (page 1 of 55)