Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/327

This page needs to be proofread.


9*8. XI. APRIL 18, 1903.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


319


our own, since we acknowledge the absolute im- possibility of condensing into a reasonable space what is urged by the editor. Concerning that every man will judge for himself, and it is not im- possible that the bone thrown down will be gnawed at and mumbled over by many readers of different and conflicting tastes and judgments. Let us pre- mise that, so far as regards the story, the influence of the Greek romancer is to be felt. We have applied no test of comparison, and speak only from vague memories. We seem to trace, moreover, in addition to Heliodorus and Longus, some sugges- tions of Apuleius and even of Petronius. The teaching, of course, is directly opposite to that of these amorists. Much nearer to the philosophical dreams of More and Bacon is our author, but the adventures with brigands and the tragic love story of Philippina as narrated by Galatea belong to old- fashioned romance. Mr. Begley accounts as best he may for the non-existence of the classical allusions which Milton uses with exquisite felicity ; but their absence is remarkable, we may not say suspicious. We must leave the story as strictly alone as the editor's arguments. The profound influence exer- cised over the book by Virgil all will recognize as a support to the theory that it is Milton's. In some cases resemblances are indicated, as in vol. i. p. 85, that to Barclay's ' Argenis,' where the primary source of obligation is Horace. Physical education for the young, with attention to which Mr. Begley credits Elyot, Mulcaster, and Locke, as well as Milton, was advocated much earlier by Rabelais. When, i. 102, the hymn of Auximus to spring has the phrase "in gladsome livery dight," the resem- blance to "the clouds in thousand liveries dight" is inevitable; but is not the expression intention- ally copied ? Many eminently Miltonic phrases occur in the translations from the poems. How far imitations of the kind are inevitable is a matter to be investigated at leisure. When, p. 169, the author speaks of the stars " that never fail," we recall in ' Comus ' how Milton dealt with the stars That Nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps With everlasting oil. Earlier passages in the same portion concerning the riches in the earth and the sea recall the same poeni. Joseph's lamp is placed, after Milton's own aspiration, in a high lonely tower. "Can such an utterance come from mortal man ? " recalls

Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould? Much value must be attached to the passage, i. 279, where the gods of the heathen are declared to be devils, the same view being carried out fully in ' Paradise Lost,' book i. In book iv., vol. ii. p. 24, are verses recalling slightly the famous description of flowers in ' Lycidas.' In Cain's soliloquy, ii. 54, we find

And still live on an awful living death Where saddest thing of all ! nor hope nor end Can ever come, which suggests, from ' Samson Agonistes,'

To live a life half dead, a living death, and, from ' Paradise Lost,'

Hope never comes.

What is said, p. 58, concerning the inducement o our first parents to revolt, and the influence o ambition, also recalls ' Paradise Lost.' The form " Many are the curious conjectures of the learned is that exactly of


Many are the words of the wise n 'Samson Agonistes.' "Chained on the burning ake," p. 94, is from 'Paradise Lost.' "Pollute with shame" is

Naked shame

Pollute with sinful blame,

which occurs in ' On the Nativity.' The lines that close ' Cupid's Cradle ' convey exactly the idea, and almost the words, of the elder brother in 'Comus,' descriptive of the effects of yielding to lewd thoughts. Here we stop ; not that the resem- olances we note are exhausted, but because our space is filled. Many of the Latin poems are of extreme beauty, and the closing poem ' The Bridal Song' is exquisite. It is, indeed, a thing that the world, having once got it, "will not willingly let die."

Mr. Begley's task is well discharged. We wish that he had not attributed, almost on the first page, to Thomas Wharton, instead of Thomas Warton, the edition of Milton's ' Minor Poems ' in 1791, which is a chief delight of lovers of the poet, the more so since he knows better, and subsequently writes Warton. He might with advantage have said that the 'Comus' of Erycius Puteanus, on Milton's knowledge of which he insists, is by Henri Dupuy (born at Gueldres, 1574, died at Louvain, 1640), whose pseudonym the name was.

The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple. Newly edited from the Original MSS. by Israel Gollancz. (Alexander Moring.) To the " King's Classics," which, issued under the general editorship of Mr. Gollancz, promise to be a most desirable series of reprints, has been added, as the second issue, the love letters of Dorothy Osborne, now, we are told, for the first time com- pletely and accurately rendered. Since we first made the acquaintance of this divine heroine in the edition of Judge Parry, we have been wildly in love with her. Those interested enough may refer to our raptures (see 7 th S. v. 499). Since that time we have not wavered in affection or in faith, but are as much devoted to her as ever. This edition, beautifully printed in a type at once legible and elegant, and carefully edited with a few helpful notes and a facsimile of Dorothy's hand- writing, is warmly welcome, the more so since it is exactly the size to be slipped into the pocket, and will not weigh too much on the next excursion. In the full sense Dorothy's letters constitute a classic, though we have known them only a little more than a dozen years. Though proud and content in our intimacy with Lady Temple, we almost envy those who have her acquaintance to make. Not often in a lifetime does the most fortunate of men obtain such an introduction. In appearance, and, indeed, in all respects, this dainty volume is worthy to bear her name. In consequence of legal proceedings by Judge Parry, it seems likely that the sale of the volume will be discontinued.

THE lines of the Scottish Antiquary and Historical Review are henceforward to be widened, and the magazine, long recognized as the leading quarterly of Scottish history, archaeology, genealogy, and heraldry, will, under the admirably competent editorship of Mr. Stevenson, take a still higher position. Promise of support has been obtained from most of the principal writers on these and cognate subjects. The publishers remain Messrs. James MacLehose & Sons, of Glasgow.