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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/33

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Howard
Howard
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scribes his own affectionate relations with his wife. Thomas Nashe, in his ‘Unfortunate Traveller, or the Adventures of Jack Wilton’ (1594), supplied an imaginary account of Surrey's association with Geraldine, and told how he went to Italy while under her spell; consulted at Venice Cornelius Agrippa, who showed him her image in a magic mirror; and at Florence challenged all who disputed her supreme beauty. Drayton utilised Nashe's incidents in his epistles of ‘The Lady Geraldine’ and the Earl of Surrey, which appear in the ‘Heroical Epistles’ (1598). But Surrey, although he read and imitated the Italian poets, never was in Italy, and Nashe's whole tale is pure fiction.

Surrey circulated much verse in manuscript in his lifetime. But it was not published till 1557, ten years after his death. On 5 June in that year (according to the colophon) Richard Tottel published, ‘cum privilegio,’ in black letter (107 leaves), ‘Songes and Sonettes written by the ryght honorable Lorde Henry Haward, late Earle of Surrey and other.’ On 21 June following (according to the colophon) Tottel issued in another volume ‘Certain Bokes [i.e. the second and fourth] of Virgiles Aenæis turned into English Meter’ (26 leaves in black letter); ‘The fourth boke of Virgill … drawn into a straunge meter by Henry Earle of Surrey’ was again printed by John Day without date, and a reprint of the two books of Virgil was issued by the Roxburghe Club in 1814.

The ‘Songes and Sonettes,’ known later as ‘Totters Miscellany,’ contained 271 poems, of which only forty were by Surrey —thirty-six at the beginning and four towards the end of the volume. Ninety-six were by his friend Wyatt, forty were by Nicholas Grimald [q.v.], and ninety-five were by ‘uncertain authors,’ who are known to have included Thomas Churchyard, Thomas, lord Vaux, Edward Somerset, John Heywood, and Sir Francis Bryan [q.v.] According to Puttenham, one of the poems ascribed to Surrey—‘When Cupid scaled first the fort’—was by Lord Vaux, and Surrey's responsibility for some others assigned to him by Tottel may be doubted. Of the first edition, Malone's copy in the Bodleian Library is the only one known; it was reprinted by J. P. Collier in his ‘Seven English Poetical Miscellanies,’ 1867, and by Professor Arber in 1870. A second edition (120 leaves in black letter), in which, among many other changes, Surrey's forty poems, with some slight verbal alterations, are printed consecutively at the beginning of the volume, appeared (according to the colophon) on 31 July 1557. Of this two copies are extant—one in the British Museum and the other in the Capel Collection at Trinity College, Cambridge. A third edition was issued in 1559; a fourth in 1565; a fifth in 1567; a sixth in 1574 (the last printed by Tottel); a seventh in 1585 (printed by John Windet), and an eighth in 1587 (printed by Robert Robinson, and disfigured by gross misprints). Surrey's ‘Paraphrase on the Book of Ecclesiastes,’ and his verse rendering of a few psalms, although well known in manuscript to sixteenth-century readers, were first printed by Thomas Park in his edition of ‘Nugæ Antiquæ’ (1804) from manuscripts formerly belonging to Sir John Harington. Two lines of the ‘Ecclesiastes’ were prefixed to Archbishop Parker's translation of the Psalms (1569), and one line appears in Puttenham's ‘Arte of Poesie’ (1589).

The number of sixteenth-century editions of the ‘Songs and Sonettes’ attests the popularity of the poems, and they were well appreciated by the critics of the time. George Turberville includes in his ‘Epitaphs’ (1565), p.9, high-sounding verses in Surrey's praise. Ascham, a rigorous censor, associates Surrey with Chaucer as a passable translator, and commends his judgment in that he, ‘the first of all Englishmen in translating the fourth booke of Virgill,’ should have avoided rhyme, although in Acsham's opinion he failed to ‘fully hit perfect and true versifying’ (Schole-master, ed. Mayor, pp.177,181). Churchyard, when dedicating ‘Churchyard's Charge,’ 1580, to Surrey's grandson, describes him as a ‘noble warrior, an eloquent oratour, and a second Petrarch.’ Sir Philip Sidney, with whom Surrey's career has something in common, wrote that many of Surrey's lyrics ‘taste of a noble birth and are worthy of a noble mind’ (Apologie for Poetrie, ed. 1867, p. 62). Puttenham devoted much space in his ‘Arte of Poesie,’ 1589, to the artistic advance in English literature initiated by Wyatt and Surrey. In 1627 Drayton, in his verses of ‘Poets and Poesie,’ mentions ‘princely Surrey’ with Wyatt and Sir Francis Bryan as the ‘best makers’ of their day; and Pope, in his ‘Windsor Forest’ (1713), ll. 290-8, devoted eight lines to ‘noble Surrey … the Granville of a former age,’ which revived public interest in his career and his works, and led Curll to reprint the ‘Songes and Sonettes’ in 1717 (reissued in 1728), and Dr. T. Sewell to edit a very poor edition of Howard's and Wyatt's poems (1717). Bishop Percy and Steevens included Surrey's verse in an elaborate miscellany of English blank-verse poetry, prior to Milton, which was printed in two volumes, dated respectively 1795 and 1807, but the whole impression except four copies, one of which is now in the British Museum, was