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sickness, March 23: 1630[-1],"* and died on the last day of that month :-Sir Philip Sidney, after he was wounded, “ was able to amuse his sick-bed by composing an ode, unfortunately now lost, on the nature of his wound, which he caused to be sung to solemn music, as an entertainment that might soothe and divert his mind from his torments." +

In cases where a tradition of this kind must be rejected, it may often happen, that the author's name rests on far better testimony. This has been sometimes overlooked ; and the falsehood of an unauthorized legend has been held to involve the denial of a writer's claim. But it does not follow that a person never wrote a poem at all, because it can be proved that he did not write it at a particular time. A well-known passage in Gascoigne's “ Epistle” prefixed to his collected Works (1575) will assist us in establishing this distinction. When he ridiculed those who thought that Lord Vaux's Verses, beginning “I lothe that I did love,” were written on his death-bed, and that Edwards's “ Soulknil" was written extremity of sickness, he did not mean to deny that Vaux and Edwards really wrote the poems; and he has been followed by our various antiqua


See Walton's Lives, p. 83, ed. 1796. + Gray's Life of Sidney, p. 56. —An imperfect copy of some commonplace verses, said to have been written by Sidney "a little before his Death," is found in Winstanley's Poets, 1687, p. 86. I subjoin a better version of them, not because they are genuine,- for as Sidney's parents died a short time before him, the fifth line contains a plain proof of forgery,--but because they form an apt illustration of these traditions in geDeral, and because I cannot find that they are mentioned by Zouch or Gray:


" It is not I that dy; I do but leaue an Inne
Where barboured was with me all filthy kinde of sinne:
It is not I that dy; I do but now begin
Into eternall ioyes by faith to enter in.

Why mourne ye then, my Parents, friends, and kin?
Lament ye when I lose : why weepe ye when I win?

(MS. Chetb. 8012, p. 86; and MS. Asbm. 781, p. 150.)

ries in his recognition of their claims.* The appended stories, indeed, are asserted (and believed) to be false; but their falsehood has no malign influence on the rights of the two authors in question.

These two traditions seem precisely parallel to that annexed to the poem called “ The Lie;" or, if there is any difference at all, Raleigh's execution makes his case the stronger. For though they had no lack, in that day, of common Malefactors' Ballads, sung to the tune of “ Fortune my Foe,” or printed on broadsheets, with a hideous “ effigies” of the criminal, and a red-letter description of his crime,+ something of a higher strain was looked for at the hands of remarkable state-victims; and if no parting-poem was forthcoming, a ready substitute was found in the first suitable copy of verses which came to hand. Thus, to say

• Lord Vaux's Ballad, which was first printed in Tuttell's Miscellany, and which is quoted, with singular propriety, by the Grave-viggers in Ham. lei, is still a tolerably familiar piece, and may be found in most Collections. It is curious that another of his pieces, which is inserted in the Paradyse of Daynty Devises, is beaded " In his extreame syekuesse."— Edwards's “ Soulknil” is mentioned below íp. 90). I suppose tbat it is not known to exist; but there is not a shadow of reason for confounding it with “The Soul's Errand." The title would lead us to expect a burthen, something like those of the songs in the Tempest and the Merchant of Venice, or in “ Corydon's Dolefull Knell" (Perey, ii. 263, ed, 1767). It has been ac. cordingly conjectured, that it may have been the poem, “O death, rocke me on sleepe," the beginning of which is parodied in 2 Hen. IV.(A. ii. Sc. iv.) and which has been ascribed boil to Lord Rochford and his sister, bat to neither on good evideuce. See Blackwood's Magazine for Oct. 1838,

p. 466.

+ Of course these were never meant to deceive any one. Such Ballads as those ascribed to Like Hutton (Collier's Old Ballads, p. 117), Mannington (Ritson's Anc. Songs,ii. 47, ed. 1629), &c., were no doubt produced by scribes of the same kind. It seems to be in reference to this custom that Row. lands makes his pirate speak of coming to the gallows,

“There, like a swan, to sing my dying hower,
That liv'd a raven, onely to devoure."

(Knaves of Spades and Diamonds, p. 86, Percy Soc. repr.) See also Chappell's Nat. Engl. Airs, ii. 141-2, 191; Motherwell's Minstresy, p. xxvi.-As Molops remarks,“ These fetter'd Swans chant it most melodiously before their deaths.” (Cartwright's Royall Slave.)

nothing of some vague traditions of the kind connected with the names of Queen Anne Boleyn and her brother, Lord Rochford; or of the four Latin lines said to have been written with a pin on the walls of her prison by Lady Jane Grey; we have many such pieces as those entitled “ Verses written by the Lord Admiral Seymour the week before he was beheaded, 1549;” and “ Verses made by [Robert] Earl of Essex in his trouble,” with others “composed in the Tower.” At a later period, we have “ Verses said to be made by Thomas, Earl of Strafford, not long before his death,” besides “ The Lieutenant's [Strafford's] Legend,” which are probably both spurious; and also “ Majesty in Misery,” which is reported, on very good authority, to be the genuine composition of King Charles.f In some of these cases, it is possible that both name and tradition are correct;—in others, it is nearly certain that both are alike fictitious;—but the existence of a double mis-statement in these latter cases will not prove that it exists in all; nor are we justified in inferring that a name is forged, because a legend is erroneous. In the case of a poem like“ The Lie,” so many things concurred to make it likely that the story would be connected with it,—the subject of the verses, the celebrity and fate of their reputed author, and the report of

• On a poem said to have been written by his father, Walter, Earl of Essex," the nighte before he died," see Park's Walpole, ii. 18-21. It is another of the many cases where the old MSS. and the printed copies are at variance.---Ritson records a great number of these so-called dying.verses, besides those which I have mentioned. See Bibl. Poet. pp. 22 (cf. p. 97), 117, 145, 174, 203, 209, 309, 334, &c.— They were sometimes actually nsed as Epitaphs. See, for example, those of Richard Carew of Anthony, in Lyson's Magn. Brit. iii. 17,

+ These pieces are all well-known.-A remarkable instance of donble forgery, differing from those named above, in that the actual death of another person is assumed as the occasion of a poem, and not the impending death of its author, is mentioned by Mr. Dyce, Life of Shirley, p. liii. li is the case of Shirley's Dirge, “ The glories of onr blood and state”—wbich was prin:ed in a vol. of Butler's Posthumous Works, as "a thought upon death, after hearing of the murder of Charles I."

the manner in which some of his latest moments were employed,—that we should have had no reason to be surprised at the tradition, could we prove still more conclusively that Raleigh wrote it, as we can prove that it was written,“ more than twenty years before his death.”

These general remarks will serve to explain the origin of those contradictory statements, which we find even in respect to some of the poems which Izaak Walton edited ; and their application to the poems reprinted in the Third Part of this volume, as well to those of which we have been speaking in this Introduction, is sufficiently obvious. They will also account for the long lists of various readings which I have appended to most of the separate poems;—and this is, I think, the last subject which seems to require notice here. When a writer has conducted his own compositions through the press, it is mere waste of labour to bring together all the trifling alterations which have been afterwards introduced by careless copyists; but the case is altogether different, when poems have come down to us in the very form which most exposed them to corruption. Even in the First Part, we cannot be certain how far the text preserves the very words which Wotton used; for though few men have been so richly endowed as Izaak Walton with the higher qualifications of a faithful and affectionate biographer, it is plain that, as an editor, he cannot always claim the merit of minute and scrupulous fidelity in transcription. Otherwise, we should not have found so many variations between the different copies of poems which he published in different places; nor would there have been so much agreement in rejected readings as we sometimes observe in copies obtained from other sources. It is scarcely necessary to remark, however, that the best reading (or what seems to be such) is not always the most genuine; and the advantages of an established standard are so obvious, that I have never disturbed his text, either in the First or Second Part, without great reluctance. The same plan has been followed in

the Third Part, in the treatment of the text which has been chosen in each particular case. As to those variations which are obviously erroneous, they have been preserved to supply evidence of the degree of credit which is due to the transcripts from which they were derived.

J. H.


Jan, 18: 1845 :

P.S. The 55th publication of the Percy Society, which was not delivered to the Members till after the preceding sheets were printed, furnishes us (at p. 14) with a different copy of the lines given on p. 114 in this volume, by which their real nature, as I had understood it, is proved beyond dispute.* Another libel on Raleigh, which is printed in the same tract (pp. 15-18), contains a curious parody on the Sonnet addressed to him by Spenser :

“I pitty that the sommers nightingale,

Immortall Cinthia's sometime deare delight,

That us'd to singe so sweete a madrigale," &c. Spenser's words are :

“ To thee, that art the Summer's nightingale,

Thy sovereign Goddess's most dear delight,

Why do I send this rustic madrigale," &c. The name “ Cynthia" was probably chosen with a reference to Raleigh's poem (now lost) which bore that title. See above, pp. xxiv, n. xxxvii, n.

March 6: 1845:

From the expressions used by the Editor, Mr. Halliwell, in his Preface, I believe he will not be surprised to learn that these lines (to which soine others are added in his copy) were printed in the Oxford ed. of Raleigh's Works.--" The Lots," which he gives on pp. 5-10, were written by Sir John Davies; and were printed in Davison's Poeticall Rhapsodie. The two copies, however, are by no means the same; and each supplies some omissions in the other. The poem which be quotes on p. 47, from the Phænix Nest, was printed also in England's Helicon and Davison; and is included in the moderu eds. of Raleigh. See above, on No. x.


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