BARNET — BARNFIELD 149 essentially English in character; no other writer has the bright glimmering of the starry light, to catch thegiven quite so simple and sincere a picture of the homely long-bill’d woodcock.” Two months later, in January life and labour of rural England. His work is full of 1595, Barnfield published his second volume, Cynthia, humour and the clean, manly joy of life ; and its rusticity with certain Sonnets, and this time signed the preface, is singularly allied to a literary sense and to high which was dedicated, in terms which imply close personal technical finish. He is indeed the Victorian Theocritus ; relations, to William Stanley, the new Earl of Derby. and, as English country life is slowly swept away before This is a book of extreme interest; it exemplifies the the advance of the railway and the telegraph, he will be earliest study both of Spenser and Shakespeare. “ Cynthia” more and more read for his warm-hearted and fragrant itself, a panegyric on Queen Elizabeth, is written in the record of rustic love and piety. (a. wa.) Spenserian stanza, of which it is probably the earliest Barnet.—Three English towns in the St Alba,ns example extant outside The Faerie Queene. This is followed parliamentary division of Hertfordshire bear this name : by a sequence of twenty sonnets, which have the extra(1) Chipping or High Barnet, a market town 11 miles ordinary interest that, while preceding the publication of north of London by rail; population of parish (1881), Shakespeare’s sonnets by fourteen years, they are closer to 4283; (1891), 4563. (2) East Barnet, a village 2 them in manner than are any others of the Elizabethan age. miles south of the above ; population of East Barnet Valley They celebrate, with extravagant ardour, the charms of a. urban district (1891), 7715; (1901), 10,094. (3) New young man whose initials seem to have been J. U. or J. V., Barnet, a town formed by portions of the two preceding and of whom nothing else seems known. These sonnets,, parishes, with a station 9 miles north of London. The which preceded even the Amoretti of Spenser, are of unusual urban district of Barnet has an area of about 690 square merit as poetry, and would rank as high in quality as in miles, and had a population of 6437 in 1891 and 7876 in date of publication if their subject-matter were not so^ 1901. preposterous. They show the influence of Drayton’s Idea, Barnfield, Richard (1574-1627), an English which had appeared a few months before ; in that collecpoet, whose obscure though close relationship with Shake- tion also, it is to be observed, there had appeared amatory speare has long made him interesting to students, has sonnets addressed to a young man. If editors would attracted of late years further attention from the circum- courageously alter the sex of the pronouns, several of stance that important discoveries regarding his life have Barnfield’s glowing sonnets might take their place at once been made. Until recently nothing whatever was known in our anthologies. Before the publication of his volume,, about the facts of Barnfield’s career, whose very existence had however, he had repented of his heresies, and had become been doubted. It was, however, discovered by the late Dr enamoured of a “lass” named Eliza (or Elizabeth), whom Grosart that the poet was the son of Richard Barnfield (or he celebrates with effusion in an “ Ode.” This is probably Barnefield) and Maria Skrymsher, his wife, who were married the lady whom he presently married, and as we find him in April 1572. They resided in the parish of Norbury, in a grandfather in 1626, it is unlikely that the wedding was Staffordshire, on the borders of Salop, where the poet was long delayed. In 1598 Barnfield published his third baptized on the 13th of June 1574. The mother died in volume, The Encomion of Lady Pecunia, a poem in praise giving birth to a daughter early in 1581, and her unmarried of money, followed by a sort of continuation, in the sister, Elizabeth Skrymsher, seems to have devoted herself same six-line stanza, called “The Complaint of Poetry to the care of the children. In November 1589 Barnfield for the Death of Liberality.” In this volume there matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and took his is already a decline in poetic quality. But an appendix degree in February 1592. He “performed the exercise of “Poems in diverse Humours” to this volume of 1598 for his master’s gown,” but seems to have left the university presents some very interesting features. Here appears abruptly, without proceeding to the M. A. It is conjectured what seems to be the absolutely earliest praise of Shakethat he came up to London in 1593, and became acquainted speare in a piece entitled “A Remembrance of some with Watson, Drayton, and perhaps with Spenser. The English Poets,” in which the still unrecognized author of death of Sir Philip Sidney had occurred while Barnfield was Venus and Adonis is celebrated by the side of Spenser, still a school-boy, but it seems to have strongly affected Daniel, and Drayton. Here also are the sonnet, “ If his imagination, and to have inspired some of his earliest Music and sweet Poetry agree,” and the beautiful ode verses. In November 1594, in his twenty-first year, Barn- beginning, “As it fell upon a day,” which were until field published anonymously his first work, The Affectionate recently attributed to Shakespeare himself. In the next Shepherd, dedicated with familiar devotion to Lady Penelope year, 1599, The Passionate Pilgrim was published, with Rich. This was a sort of florid romance, in two books of the words “By W. Shakespeare” on the title-page. It six-line stanza, in the manner of Lodge and Shakespeare, was long supposed that this attribution was correct, but dealing at large with “ the complaint of Daphnis for the Barnfield claimed one of the two pieces just mentioned, love of Ganymede.” As the author expressly admitted not only in 1598, but again in 1605. It is certain that later, it was an expansion or paraphrase of Virgil’s second both are his, and possibly other things in The Passionate Pilgrim also; Shakespeare’s share in the twenty poems of eclogue— that miscellany being doubtless confined to the five short “ Formosum pastor Corydon ardebat Alexin.” pieces which have been definitely identified as his. In the This poem of Barnfield’s was the most extraordinary opinion of the present writer, the sonnet beginning “Sweet specimen hitherto produced in England of the license Cytherea ” has unmistakably the stamp of Barnfield, and introduced from Italy at the Renaissance. Although the is probably a gloss on the first rapturous perusal of Venus poem was successful, it did not pass without censure from and Adonis; the same is to be said of “ Scarce had the the moral point of view. Into the conventional outlines sun,” which is aut Barnfield, aut diabolus. One or two of The Affectionate Shepherd the young poet has poured other contributions to The Passionate Pilgrim may be all his fancy, all his epithets, and all his coloured touches conjectured, with less confidence, to be Barnfield’s. It has of nature. If we are not repelled by the absurd subject, been stated that the poet was now studying the law at we have to admit that none of the immediate imitators of Gray’s Inn, but for this the writer is unable to discover Venus and Adonis has equalled the juvenile Barnfield in the authority, except that several members of that society the picturesqueness of his “ fine ruff-footed doves,” his are mentioned in the course of the volume of 1598. ‘speckled flower call’d sops-in-wine,” or his desire “by In all probability Barnfield now married and with-
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