Daniel, Samuel (DNB00)
DANIEL, SAMUEL (1562–1619), poet, was born, in all probability near Taunton, in 1562. He afterwards owned a farm at Beckington, near Phipps Norton, Somersetshire, and was buried at Beckington. Hence Langbaine suggests that Beckington was his birthplace, but the parish register disproves the suggestion. Fuller was ‘certified by some of his acquaintance’ that Daniel was born ‘not far from Taunton.’ His father, John Daniel, was a music master, whose ‘harmonious mind made an impression on his son's genius, who proved an exquisite poet’ (Fuller). A brother, another John Daniel, was a musician of some note; he proceeded bachelor of music at Christ Church, Oxford, 14 July 1604, and published ‘Songs for the Lute, Viol, and Voice’ in 1606. In 1618 he succeeded his brother Samuel (see below) as inspector of the children of the queen's revels, and he was a member of the royal company of ‘the musicians for the lutes and voices’ in December 1625. A third John Daniel was in 1600 in the service of the Earl of Essex, and was fined and imprisoned for having embezzled certain of the earl's letters to his wife, and conspiring with Peter Bales [q. v.] to levy blackmail on the countess in 1601 (Egerton Papers, Camd. Soc. 321, 357–8).
Samuel went as a commoner to Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1579, when he was seventeen. ‘He continued [there] about three years, and improved himself much in academical learning by the benefit of an excellent tutor. But his glory being more prone to easier and smoother studies than in pecking and hewing at logic, he left the university without the honour of a degree, and exercised it much in English history and poetry, of which he then gave several ingenious specimens’ (Wood). In 1585 he published his first book—a translation of a tract on devices or crests, called ‘Imprese,’ by Paulus Jovius (Paolo Giovio), bishop of Nocera. He described himself on the title-page as ‘late student in Oxenforde,’ and dedicated the book to ‘Sir Edward Dimmock, Champion to her majestie.’ A writer signing himself ‘N. W.’ and dating 22 Nov. from Oxford, prefixed a complimentary letter; the publisher was Simon Waterson of St. Paul's Churchyard, who afterwards undertook almost all Daniel's publications and became an intimate friend. In 1586 a Samuell Daniell was ‘servante unto my Lorde Stafford, her Majesties ambassadour in France,’ and was at Rye in September 1586 in the company of an Italian doctor, Julio Marino (Wright, Elizabeth and her Times, ii. 315). It is possible that Lord Stafford's attendant was the poet. In the 1594 edition of Daniel's well-known collection of sonnets, entitled ‘Delia,’ those numbered xlvii and xlviii are headed respectively ‘At the Author's going into Italy,’ and ‘This sonnet was made at the Author's being in Italie.’ When this visit to Italy was paid is uncertain, but it was probably undertaken before 1590. Soon after that date the poet became tutor to William Herbert, afterwards well known as Shakespeare's patron, and resided at Wilton, near Salisbury, the seat of his pupil's father, the second Earl of Pembroke. With Mary, countess of Pembroke, Sir Philip Sidney's sister and young Herbert's mother, Daniel naturally found much in common, and received generous encouragement from her in his literary projects. In 1591 he appeared before the world as a poet against his will. At the end of the 1591 edition of Sir Philip Sidney's ‘Astrophel and Stella,’ twenty-seven of his sonnets were printed. Daniel asserted that he was taken by surprise, and attributed his betrayal to ‘the indiscretion of a greedie printer,’ although his friend Nashe, the satirist, was concerned in editing the book. The sonnets appeared, as he frequently complained, ‘uncorrected,’ and no poet was more sensitive to typographical errors or more fastidious as a corrector of proof-sheets. To anticipate, therefore, the surreptitious publication of more of his ‘uncorrected’ sonnets, all of which, he assures us, were originally ‘consecrated to silence,’ he himself issued in 1592, with Simon Waterson, a volume (entered on Stationers' Registers, 4 Feb. 1591–2) entitled ‘Delia. Contayning certaine  sonnets.’ The book opened with a prose dedication to his patroness, Lady Pembroke, and ended with an ode. Nine of the previously published sonnets were omitted; the rest appeared here duly corrected. The whole relates a love adventure of the poet's youth, but it seems hopeless to attempt an identification of Delia, the poet's ladylove. She would seem to have been a lady of the west of England, for in the ‘Complaynt of Rosamond’ Daniel refers to ‘Delia left to adorn the West,’ and in sonnet xlviii of the collection writes:—
Avon rich in fame though poore in waters
Shall have my song, where Delia hath her seate.
The Wiltshire Avon is apparently intended. The form of the volume irresistibly recalls Henry Constable's ‘Diana,’ which was not printed before 1592, although written earlier and circulated in manuscript. Daniel's poems were well received, and in the year of their first issue another edition appeared, together with four new sonnets and a long narrative poem, ‘The Complaynt of Rosamond,’ imitated from the ‘Mirror for Magistrates,’ in 106 seven-line stanzas. Two years later a third edition was called for (‘Delia and Rosamond augmented,’ 1594). Daniel took advantage of this opportunity to make a number of minute revisions in the text. He also displaced the prose dedication to Lady Pembroke with a sonnet, withdrew a few of the previously printed sonnets in favour of new ones, and added twenty-three stanzas to ‘Rosamond.’ Here, too, he printed for the first time a tragedy of ‘Cleopatra,’ modelled after Seneca. The latter, which was entered on the Stationers' Registers as early as 19 Oct. 1593, he dedicated separately to Lady Pembroke and stated that he wrote it at her request as a companion to her ‘Tragedy of Antonie,’ printed in 1592.
Before 1595 Daniel's reputation was assured. Edmund Spenser in his ‘Colin Clouts come home againe,’ which was then first published, described him as
a new shepheard late up sprong,
The which doth all afore him far surpasse;
Appearing well in that well tuned song,
Which late he sung unto a scornfull lasse.
Spenser then addressing the poet by name, advises him to attempt tragedy. If Spenser thought well of ‘Delia,’ Nashe, who was readier to blame than praise, was an admirer of ‘Rosamond.’ As early as 1592 he wrote in his ‘Piers Pennilesse’: ‘You shall find there goes more exquisite paynes and puritie of wit to the writing of one such rare poem as Rosamond than to a hundred of your dimistical sermons.’
Daniel did not take Spenser's advice very literally. His next book was his ‘First Fowre Bookes of the Civile Wars between the two Houses of Lancaster and Yorke,’ 1595—a long historical poem, written in imitation of Lucan's ‘Pharsalia.’ It was entered on the Stationers' Registers in October 1594. In the same year another edition appeared with the same title, but containing a fifth book, bringing the narrative down to the death of Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset [q. v.] in 1455. At the end of the second book the writer eulogised the Earl of Essex and Lord Mountjoy, and it is clear that Daniel's acquaintance embraced almost all the cultured noblemen of the day. With Mountjoy he was henceforward especially intimate, and at the end of Elizabeth's reign was a frequent visitor at Wanstead.
Between 1595 and 1599 Daniel published nothing. Towards the end of the period he became tutor at Skipton, in Yorkshire, to Anne, daughter of Margaret, countess of Cumberland [see Clifford, Anne; Clifford, Margaret]. The girl was only in her eleventh year. Daniel had shown some interest in the history of the Clifford family when he wrote the ‘Complaynte of Rosamond’ (ll. 335–6) [see Clifford, Rosamond]. The poet's intercourse with the Countess of Cumberland and her daughter seems to have been thoroughly congenial. He addressed each of them in poetical epistles which were published in 1603, but the work of tuition was irksome to him. ‘Such hath been my misery,’ he wrote to Sir Thomas Egerton in 1601 when presenting him with a copy of his works, ‘that whilst I should have written the actions of men I have been constrayned to bide with children, and, contrary to myne owne spirit, putt out of that sence which nature had made my parte.’ He was longing to complete his historical poem on the wars of York and Lancaster, and had a notion that men were more influenced by epic narrative than by any other form of literature. While in Yorkshire in 1599 he published a new poem, which ranks with his ‘Delia,’ ‘Musophilus, or a General Defence of Learning,’ with a separate dedication to his friend, Fulke Greville, and ‘A Letter [in verse] from Octavia to Marcus Antonius,’ with another dedication to the Countess of Cumberland. In the same year he brought out the first collected edition of his works, which he entitled ‘The Poeticall Essayes of Sam. Danyel. Newly corrected and augmented,’ with a dedicatory sonnet to Lord Mountjoy. Here he reissued, besides his two latest pieces, his ‘Civill Warres,’ ‘Cleopatra,’ and ‘Rosamond.’ The continued popularity of Daniel's poetry encouraged the publisher Waterson to produce a completer collection of his works in 1601 in folio. The book was merely entitled ‘The Works of Samuel Daniell, newly augmented.’ The chief increase consisted of a sixth book added to the ‘Civill Warres’ and a pastoral to the ‘Delia’ sonnets, but many textual alterations were made, after Daniel's invariable custom. A few large paper copies of this edition are extant, and they seem to have been prepared for presentation to the author's distinguished friends. In 1602 the unsold copies were reissued with a new title-page.
In 1602 Daniel engaged in literary controversy. Thomas Campion had brought out ‘Observations in the Art of English Poesie,’ in which, following Sidney's example, he argued that the English language was not well fitted for rhyme. Daniel took the opposite view, and wrote a reply for his old pupil, now Earl of Pembroke, entitled, ‘The Defence of Ryme.’ Ben Jonson declared that he contemplated confuting both Campion and Daniel, but Daniel's criticism is very reasonable, and adequately exposed Campion's absurd argument.
There is a tradition that in 1599, on Spenser's death, Daniel succeeded him as poet laureate. There is no official evidence for this statement, but there is no doubt that early in James I's reign he was often at court, and well received by his friends there. Resolving to be one of the first to congratulate James on his arrival in England, he sent the king ‘A Panegyricke Congratulatorie’ while he was staying, on his way to London, with Sir John Harington at Burley, Rutland. Already in 1602 (see Workes of S. D.) he had dedicated a sonnet to ‘Her Sacred Majestie’ Queen Anne. When the poem to James was published in 1603, Daniel bound up with many copies of it a number of ‘Poetical Epistles’ to his titled friends (Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Henry Howard, the Countess of Cumberland, the Countess of Bedford, Lady Anne Clifford, and the Earl of Southampton) as well as his ‘Defence of Ryme.’ A few copies were again printed in folio for presentation to his patrons at court, and they differ from the octavo edition in introducing into the body of the book a dedicatory address to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford. Both the octavo and folio copies of this volume were issued by Edward Blount [q. v.], and not by Daniel's ordinary publisher, Waterson.
Daniel had meanwhile been anxious to make a second attempt in tragedy. As early as 1599 he writes: ‘Meeting with my deare friend, D. Lateware (whose memory I reverence), in his lord's chamber and mine, I told him the purpose I had for “Philotas;” who sayd that himself had written the same argument, and caused it to be presented in St. John's Colledge, in Oxford, where, as I after heard, it was worthily and with great applause performed’ (Apology in Daniel, Philotas, 1607). In the summer of 1600 Daniel wrote three acts of a tragedy on the story of Philotas, drawn from Quintus Curtius, Justin, and Plutarch's ‘Life of Alexander.’ He hoped to have it acted ‘by certain gentlemen's sons’ at Bath at the following Christmas, but his printers had soon afterwards urged him to reissue and revise his former works, and the play was laid aside till 1605, when it was completed and published. It was dedicated to Prince Henry, and the poet deplored that the public favour extended to him in Elizabeth's reign had not been continued in James I's. After his usual custom Daniel and his publisher, Waterson, took advantage of the completion of a new work to issue it not only separately, but also as part of a volume of older pieces, and ‘Philotas’ and ‘Vlisses and the Syren,’ another new poem, were bound up with ‘Cleopatra,’ ‘Letter to Octavia,’ ‘Rosamond,’ and other pieces. The book was called ‘Certaine small Poems lately printed’ (1605). The play excited groundless suspicions at court. Philotas suffered for a treasonable conspiracy against Alexander the Great, and Daniel showed some sympathy for him. Court quidnuncs suggested that the late Earl of Essex was represented under the disguise of Philotas, and that the writer apologised for his rebellion. He was apparently summoned before the lords in council to explain his meaning. Daniel reasonably urged that the first three acts had been read by the master of the revels and Lord Mountjoy before Essex was in trouble. This defence satisfied the minister, Cecil. But Lord Mountjoy, now earl of Devonshire, who was very sensitive about any reference to his complicated relations with Essex, reprimanded Daniel for bringing his name into the business, and Daniel apologised for his imprudence in a long letter (still preserved at the Record Office). In 1607 Daniel republished ‘Philotas,’ with an apology, in which he denied at length the imputations which had been cast upon the book. Daniel apparently made up his quarrel with Lord Devonshire. When the earl died in 1606, Daniel published in a thin quarto (without printer's name, place, or date) ‘A Funerall Poeme’ upon him, which is for the greater part unmeasured eulogy.
Daniel's chief literary work in his later years comprised the thorough revision of his earlier work, a history of England in prose, and some courtly masques. In 1607 there was published ‘Certaine small Workes heretofore divulged by Samuel Daniel, one of the Groomes of the Queenes Maiesties Priuie Chamber, and now againe by him corrected and augmented.’ This contained the finally revised versions of all Daniel's poetic work excepting the ‘Civill Wars’ and ‘Delia.’ In a prefatory poem he confesses unreservedly his disappointment at the small regard paid him by his contemporaries:—
But yeeres hath done this wrong,
To make me write too much and live too long.
He apologises for his practice of constantly altering his poems, and confidently asserts that posterity will do him the justice that his own age denied him:—
I know I shall be read among the rest
So long as men speak Englishe, and so long
As verse and vertue shall be in request,
Or grace to honest industry belong.
The same collection was reissued in 1611. In 1609 he sent forth a new edition of the ‘Civill Warres,’ extended to eight books, and ending with the marriage of Edward IV to Elizabeth Wydvil. Throughout very interesting textual changes are made. The dedication to the poet's old friend the Countess of Pembroke (now dowager countess) states that Daniel still hoped ‘to continue the same unto the glorious Vnion of Hen. 7,’ and adds that he was contemplating an elaborate history of England, ‘being encouraged thereunto by many noble and worthy spirits.’
The ‘Civill Warres’ was never completed, but the prose history was begun. The first part, bringing the work down to the end of Stephen's reign, was issued by Nicholas Okes in 1612 and republished in 1613. The biography of William the Conqueror was ascribed in the latter part of the century to Sir Walter Raleigh, and published separately under his name (1692), but no valid plea has been advanced to deprive Daniel of the authorship (Edwards, Life of Raleigh, i. 512–15). The history, which was dedicated to the queen and undertaken under her patronage, was continued to the end of Edward III's reign in 1617, when Nicholas Okes published the whole under the title of ‘The Collection of the Historie of England.’ Since there seemed some doubt as to the share of the profits due to Daniel (11 March 1617–18), orders were issued at the queen's request vesting in the author the sole copyright for ten years (Rymer, Fœdera, xvii. 72). Daniel describes the history as a mere compilation: ‘For the work itself I can challenge nothing therein, but only the sewing and the observation of those necessary circumstances and inferences which the History naturally ministers.’ ‘It was penn'd,’ according to contemporary criticism, ‘in so accurate and copious a style that it took mightily, and was read with so much applause that it quickly had several impressions’ (Nicolson, Hist. Library, i. 193). Modern criticism fails to detect much that is notable in it. A continuation of the book by J. Trussell was issued in 1636.
Meanwhile Daniel had become reluctantly (according to his own account) a prominent figure in court festivities. On 8 Jan. 1603–4 there was performed at Hampton Court by the queen's most excellent majesty and her ladies ‘The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses presented in a maske … by Samuel Daniel.’ This was published in 1604 by Waterson, with a dedication to Lucy, countess of Bedford, and there is a unique copy at the Bodleian. In the following year (1605) there appeared Daniel's ‘The Queenes Arcadia. A Pastorall Tragi-Comedie presented to her Maiestie and her Ladies by the Vniversitie of Oxford in Christs Church in August last,’ dedicated to the queen. It was adapted from Guarini's ‘Pastor Fido;’ was represented on the last day of a visit paid by the royal family to Oxford, and was ‘indeed very excellent and some parts exactly acted’ (Chamberlain to Winwood, 12 Oct. 1605, Winwood, Memorials, ii. 140). In 1610 Daniel prepared another entertainment to celebrate Prince Henry's creation as knight of the Bath, entitled ‘Tethys Festival; or the Queenes Wake, celebrated at Whitehall the fifth day of June 1610.’ This was published not only separately, but also with a long tract detailing ‘The Order and Solemnitie of the Creation’ (London, by John Budge, 1610). All the best known ladies at court took part in the representation. In a preface to the reader Daniel protests that he did not willingly allow this publication, that he did not covet the distinction of being ‘seene in pamphlets,’ and that the scenery, on which the success of such performances entirely depends, was due to the ingenuity of Inigo Jones. This piece, unlike Daniel's other pieces, was never republished, and is the rarest of all his works. A copy is in the British Museum. A fourth masque by Daniel, with another dedication to Queen Anne, was issued in 1615. It was entitled, ‘Hymens Triumph. A pastorall Tragicomædie. Presented at the Queenes Court in the Strand, at her Maiesties magnificent intertainement of the Kings most excellent Maiestie, being at the Nuptials of the Lord Roxborough’ (London, by Francis Constable). This was played at Somerset House on 3 Feb. 1613–14, when Sir Robert Ker, lord Roxburgh, married Jane, third daughter of Patrick, lord Drummond. John Chamberlain, writing to Sir Dudley Carleton, says: ‘The entertainment was great and cost the queen, they say, above 3,000l.; the pastoral by Samuel Daniel was solemn and dull, but perhaps better to be read than represented.’ On 7 June 1621 Drummond of Hawthornden, one of Daniel's many literary admirers, wrote to Sir Robert Ker, then Earl of Ancrum, that he had a manuscript of the masque which he intended to publish (see Hist. MSS. Comm. 1st Rep. 116). This manuscript is now among Drummond's books at the University Library, Edinburgh. That the piece attracted attention, although not always of the most complimentary kind, is proved by the remark of a character in ‘The Hog hath lost his Pearl’ (1614), that ‘Hymen's holidays or nuptial ceremonious rites’ is, ‘as the learned historiographer writes,’ a useful synonym for a marriage (Dodsley, Plays, ed. Hazlitt, xi. 449). It is by an extract from this masque that Daniel is represented in Lamb's ‘Dramatic Poets,’ and Coleridge often insisted that it displayed most effectively the qualities of Daniel's genius.
For these courtly services Daniel received some reward. On 31 Jan. 1603–4, when Kirkham and others were licensed to form a company of ‘children of the reuels to the queen,’ ‘all plays’ were ‘to be allowed by Sam. Danyell,’ and on 10 July 1615 George Buck, master of the revels, wrote that ‘the king has been pleased at the mediation of the queen on behalf of Sam. Danyell to appoint a company of youths to perform comedies and tragedies at Bristol under the name of the Youths of Her Majesty's Royal Chamber of Bristol.’ Daniel was then living in the neighbourhood of Bristol. In 1618 the same post was conferred on John Daniel, whence it appears that Samuel Daniel resigned it to his brother. From 1607 onwards the poet also held the office of ‘one of the groomes of the Queenes Maiesties priuie chamber,’ and he is so styled on all the title-pages of works published in that and subsequent years. In 1613 he signs himself at the end of a poem prefixed to Florio's ‘Montaigne’ ‘one of the Gentlemen Extraordinarie of hir Maiesties most royall priuate chamber.’ As groom he received an annual salary of 60l.
Writing in 1607 (Apology in Philotas) Daniel speaks of himself as ‘liuing in the country about foure yeares since.’ It may thence be inferred that Daniel removed from London about 1603, and afterwards only visited it occasionally. The house and garden which he had occupied in London were, according to Langbaine, in Old Street. ‘In his old age,’ writes Fuller, ‘he turned husbandman and rented a farm in Wiltshire near to Devizes.’ This farm was called ‘Ridge,’ and was situated near Beckington. There his latest literary work was accomplished, and there he died in October 1619. Wood repeats some worthless gossip that he was for the most part ‘in animo catholicus.’ His will, dated 4 Sept. 1619, leaves to his sister, Susan Bowre, most of his household furniture, and to her children some pecuniary legacies. John Daniel, his brother, was the sole executor, and his ‘loving friend Mr. Simon Waterson’ (his publisher) and his ‘brother-in-lawe John Phillipps’ were nominated overseers. His old pupil, Lady Anne Clifford, ‘in gratitude to him’ erected a monument above his grave in Beckington church ‘in his memory a long time after [his death], when she was Countesse Dowager of Pembroke, Dorset, and Montgomery.’ His brother and executor, John Daniel, brought out in 1623 ‘The Whole Workes of Samuel Daniel, Esquire, in Poetrie,’ dedicated to Prince Charles. A few poems never published before were here inserted, of which the chief are ‘A Description of Beauty translated out of Marino,’ ‘An Epistle to James Montague, bishop of Winchester,’ and ‘A Letter written to a worthy Countesse,’ in prose.
Daniel seems to have been married, but Ben Jonson tells us that he had no children. John Florio [q. v.] has been claimed as his brother-in-law. In 1603 Daniel contributed a poem to Florio's translation of Montaigne which is superscribed ‘To my deere friend M. Iohn Florio.’ In 1611 he prefaced Florio's ‘New World of Words’ with a poem, ‘To my deare friend and brother M. Iohn Florio, one of the Gentlemen of hir Maiesties Royall Priuy Chamber.’ A similar inscription appears at the head of verses prefixed by Daniel to the 1613 edition of Florio's ‘Montaigne.’ As Mr. Bolton Corney pointed out, the fact that Daniel twice spoke of Florio as his ‘brother’ is the sole evidence in favour of the suggested relationship of brother-in-law. There can be no doubt that ‘brother’ was largely used for friend or companion at that date, and it is more than accounted for in this case by the fact that Daniel and Florio were fellow-officers in the queen's household. We are therefore justified in rejecting the relationship. Besides the verses in Florio's books, Daniel contributed complimentary poems to William Jones's ‘Nennio,’ 1595; to Peter Colse's ‘Penelopes Complaint,’ 1596 (Latin verse); to the translation of Guarini's ‘Pastor Fido’ of 1602; to Sylvester's translation of Du Bartas, 1605; and to Clement Edmondes's ‘Obseruations upon Cæsar's Commentarie,’ 1609.
Daniel was highly praised by his contemporaries. Meres in 1598 writes (Palladis Tamia, 1598): ‘Daniel hath divinely sonnetted the matchless beauty of Delia;’ … ‘everyone passionateth when he readeth the afflicted death of Daniel's distressed Rosamond;’ and Meres compares his ‘Civil Wars’ with Lucan's ‘Pharsalia.’ Lodge describes him ‘as choice in word and invention;’ Carew as the English Lucan. Drummond of Hawthornden speaks of him ‘for sweetness of ryming second to none.’ Charles FitzGeffrey, in his ‘Affaniæ,’ 1601; Sir John Harington, in his ‘Epigrams;’ Bastard, in his ‘Chrestoleros,’ 1598; and Barnfield, Freeman, and Hayman all praise him as ‘well-languaged,’ ‘sharp conceited,’ and a master of pure English. But that Daniel's complaint of detractors was justified is shown by Marston's remark in his ‘Satires’ as early as 1598, that ‘Rosamond’ cannot open ‘her lips without detraction.’ The author of the ‘Returne from Parnassus,’ 1601, while admitting that
honey-dropping Daniel doth wage
War with the proudest big Italian
That melts his heart in sugar'd sonnetting,
warns him against plagiarism—a warning which is not unwarranted. Drayton, in his ‘Epistle of Poets and Poesie,’ says that some wise men call Daniel ‘too much Historian in verse,’ and adds on his own account the opinion that ‘his manner better fitted prose.’ Edmund Bolton, in his ‘Hypercritica,’ wrote similarly that his English was ‘flat,’ though ‘very pure and copious … and fitter perhaps for prose than measure.’ Jonson was more explicit, and told Drummond that Samuel Daniel was ‘a good honest man, had no children, but no poet, and that he wrote Civil Wars and yet had not one battle in all his book.’ Jonson also mentioned that ‘Daniel was at jealousies with him;’ and he wrote to the Countess of Rutland that the poet ‘envied him, although he bore no ill-will on his part.’ In modern times Hazlitt, Lamb, and Coleridge have all written enthusiastically of Daniel. ‘Read Daniel—the admirable Daniel,’ said Coleridge, ‘in his “Civil Wars” and “Triumphs of Hymen.” The style and language are just such as any very pure and manly writer of the present day—Wordsworth, for example—would use: it seems quite modern in comparison with the style of Shakspeare’ (Table Talk). Elsewhere Coleridge admits that Daniel is prosaic, and that his style often occupies ‘the neutral ground of prose and verse,’ and incorporates characteristics ‘common to both’ (Biog. Lit. ii. 82). Some of Daniel's sonnets, all of which are formed by three elegiac verses of alternate rhyme concluding with a couplet, are notable for sweetness of rhythm and purity of language, but much is borrowed from French and Italian effort. Daniel's corrections are usually for the better, and show him to have been an exceptionally slow and conscientious writer. His epic on the civil wars is a failure as a poem. It is merely historical narrative, very rarely relieved by imaginative episode. Some alterations made in the 1609 edition were obviously suggested by a perusal of Shakespeare's ‘Richard II.’ His two tragedies are interesting as effective English representatives of the Seneca model of drama. Mr. George Saintsbury compares them with Garnier's and Jodrelle's plays, and calls attention to the sustained solemnity of the language. Daniel's masques were undertaken in too serious a spirit to be quite successful, but poetic passages occur in all of them.
Thomas Cockson [q. v.] engraved Daniel's portrait for the 1609 edition of Daniel's ‘Civile Wares,’ and this was reproduced in the collected edition of 1623.
An autograph letter from Daniel to Sir Robert Cecil, dated about 31 Dec. 1605, is at Hatfield, and another to Mr. Kirton, the Earl of Hertford's steward, dated in 1608, is at Longleat (Hist. MSS. Comm. 3rd Rep. 163, 202). A manuscript of the ‘Letter to Montague,’ in Daniel's own handwriting, is in the Public Record Office, and a manuscript copy of the ‘Panegyricke Congratulatorie’ is in the British Museum (Royal MS. A. 18, 72). The Sloane MS. 3943 contains an early transcript of forty-six of Daniel's sonnets.
Daniel's mode of publishing and republishing his writings gives the bibliographer much difficulty. He apparently printed each work separately, and if, on its first issue, it did not sell quickly, he bound it up with older works and gave the whole a collective title. All of the separate issues and many of the collected editions are very rare indeed. The following is a chronological list of his works: 1. The translation from P. Jovius, 1585. 2. The twenty-seven sonnets appended to Sidney's ‘Astrophel and Stella,’ 1591. 3. ‘Delia,’ 1592. 4. ‘The Complaynt of Rosamonde,’ 1592. 5. ‘Cleopatra,’ 1594. 6. ‘First Fowre Bookes of the Civile Wars,’ 1595; the fifth book, 1595; sixth book, 1601; seventh and eighth books, 1609. 7. ‘Musophilus,’ 1599. 8. ‘Letters from Octauia,’ 1599. 9. ‘Defence of Ryme,’ 1602. 10. ‘A Panegyricke Congratulatorie,’ 1603. 11. ‘Poetical Epistles,’ 1603. 12. ‘The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses,’ 1604. 13. ‘The Queenes Arcadia,’ 1605. 14. ‘Philotas,’ 1605. 15. ‘Vlisses and the Syren,’ 1605. 16. ‘Tethys Festival,’ 1610. 17. ‘The History of England,’ pt. i. 1612, pt. ii. 1617. 18. ‘Hymens Trivmph,’ 1615. The collected editions are: 1. ‘Delia and Rosamond augmented,’ 1594. 2. ‘The Poeticall Essayes of Sam. Danyel. Newly corrected and augmented,’ 1599. 3. ‘The Works of Samuel Daniel,’ 1601, 1602. 4. ‘Certaine small Poems lately printed,’ 1605. 5. ‘Certaine small Workes heretofore divulged,’ 1607, 1611. 6. ‘The Whole Workes of Samuel Daniel,’ 1623. A later collection was issued in 1718 with the ‘Defence of Ryme.’ Dr. Grosart is now engaged on a complete edition.[Corser's Collectanea Anglo-poetica, iv. passim; Hunter's MS. Chorus Vatum, in Addit. MS. 24489, ff. 223–45; Dr. Grosart's reprint of Daniel's Works in the Huth Library (Mr. George Saintsbury contributes a valuable notice of Daniel's tragedies to the third volume); Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 268–74; Langbaine's Poets; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. vii. 344, 3rd ser. viii. 4, 35, 40, 52, 97; Collier's Bridgwater Catalogue; Fuller's Worthies; Elizabethan Sonnets, ed. Lee. i. xlix–lxi.]