網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

And snatches this again, and pauses there. She measures every measure, every where Meets art with art; sometimes as if in doubt Not perfect yet, and fearing to be out, Trails her plain ditty in one long-spun note, Through the sleek passage of her open throat, A clear unwrinkled song; then doth she point it With tender accents, and severely joynt it By short diminitives, that being rear'd In controverting warbles evenly shar'd, With her sweet self she wrangles; he amaz'd, That from so small a channel should be rais'd The torrent of a voice, whose melody Could melt into such sweet variety, Strains higher yet, that tickled with rare art The tatling strings, each breathing in his part, Most kindly do fall out; the grumbling base In surly groans disdains the treble's grace; The high-perch't treble chirps at this, and chides, Until his finger (moderator) hides And closes the sweet quarrel, rousing all Hoarse, shrill at once; as when the trumpets call Hot Mars to th' harvest of death's field, and woo Men's hearts into their hands: this lesson too She gives them back; her supple breast thrills out Sharp airs, and staggers in a warbling doubt Of dallying sweetness, hovers o'er her skill, And folds in wav'd notes, with a trembling bill, The ply ant series of her slippery song; Then starts she suddenly into a throng Of short thick sobs, whose thund'ring volleys float, And roll themselves over her lubrick throat In panting murmurs, still'd out of her breast; That ever-bubling spring, the sugred nest Of her delicious soul, that there does lye Bathing in streams of liquid melodie; Musick's best seed-plot; when in ripen'd airs A golden-headed harvest fairly rears His honey-dropping tops, plough'd by her breath Which there reciprocally laboureth. In that sweet soyl it seems a holy quire, Sounded to th' name of great Apollo's lyre; Whose silver-roof rings with the sprightly notes ,. Of sweet-lip'd angel-imps, that swill their throats Vol. i. Part n. S

In cream of morning Helicon, and then
Prefer soft anthems to the ears of men,
To woo them from their beds, still murmuring
That men can sleep while they their mattens sing:
(Most divine service) whose so early lay
Prevents the eye-lids of the blushing day.
There might you hear her kindle her soft voice,
In the close murmur of a sparkling noise;
And lay the ground-work of her hopeful song,
Still keeping in the forward stream, so long
Till a sweet whirlwind (striving to get out)
Heaves her soft bosome, wanders round about,
t And makes a pretty earthquake in her brest,

Till the fledg'd notes at length forsake their nest;

Fluttering in wanton shoals, and to the sky

Wing'd with their own wild eccho's pratling fly.

She opes the floodgate, and lets loose a tide

Of streaming sweetness, which in state doth ride

On the wav'd back of every swelling strain,

Rising and falling in a pompous train;

And while she thus discharges a shrill peal

Of flashing airs, she qualifies their zeal

With the cool epode of a graver note.

Thus high, thus low, as if her silver throat

Would reach the brazen voice of war's hoarse bird;

Her little soul is ravisht: and so pour'd

Into loose extasies, that she is plac't

Above herself, musick's enthusiast.

Shame now and anger mixt a double stain
In the musician's face; yet, once again,
Mistress, I come; now reach a strain, my lute,
Above her mock, or be for ever mute.
Or tune a song of victory to me,
Or to thyself sing thine own obsequie;
So said, his hands sprightly as fire he flings,
And with a quavering coyness tastes the strings:
The sweet-lip'd sisters musically frighted,
Singing their fears, are fearfully delighted:
Trembling as when Apollo's golden hairs
Are fan'd and frizled in the wanton airs
Of his own breath, which, married to his lyre,
Doth tune the sphears, and make heaven's self look higher;
From this to that, from that to this he flies,
Feels musick's pulse in all her arteries;

Caught in a net which there Apollo spreads,

His fingers struggle with the vocal threads,

Following those little rills, he sinks into

A sea of Helicon; his hand does go

Those parts of sweetness, which with nectar drop,

Softer than that which pants in Hebe's cup:

The humourous strings expound his learned touch

By various glosses; now they seem to grutch,

And murmure in a buzzing dinne, then gingle

In shrill-tongued accents, striving to be single;

Every smooth turn, every delicious stroke

Gives life to some new grace; thus doth h' invoke

Sweetness by all her names; thus, bravely thus

(Fraught with a fury so harmonious)

The lute's light genius now does proudly rise,

Heav'd on the surges of swoln rapsodies;

Whose flourish (meteor-like) doth curie the air

With flash of high-born fancies, here and there

Dancing in lofty measures, and anon

Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone,

Whose trembling murmurs melting in wilde airs

Runs to and fro, complaining his sweet cares;

Because those precious mysteries that dwell

In musick's ravish't soul he dare not tell,

But whisper to the world: thus do they vary,

Each string his note, as if they meant to carry

Their master's blest soul, (snatcht out at his ears

By a strong extasy) through all the sphears

Of musick's heaven; and seat it there on high

In th' empyrseum of pure harmony.

At length (after so long, so loud a strife

Of all the strings, still breathing the best life

Of blest variety, attending on

His fingers' fairest revolution,

In many a sweet rise, many as sweet a fall)

A full-mouth'd diapason swallows all.

This done, he lists what she would say to this, And she, although her breath's late exercise Had dealt too roughly with her tender throat, Yet summons all her sweet powers for a note; Alas! in vain! for while (sweet soul) she tries To measure all those wild diversities Of chatt'ring strings, by the small size of one Poor simple voice, rais'd in a natural tone;

She fails, and failing grieves, and grieving dies;
She dies, and leaves her life the victor's prize,
Falling upon his lute; O fit to have
(That liv'd so sweetly) dead, so sweet a grave!"

Art. V. The Voyage of the Wandering Knight, shewing the whole course of a Man's Life, hozo apt he is to follow Vanitie, and how hard it is for him to attaine to Virtue; devised by John Carthemy, a Frenchman, and translated out of French into English, by W. G. [Goodyeare] of Southampton, merchant: a worke worthy of reading, and dedicated to the R. W. Sir Francis Drake; black letter, quarto. Lond. pr: by W. Stansby, n. d.

The only notice which we find of this curious and very rare work, is a very slight one in Dunlop's History of Fiction. He there says, speaking of the origin of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, "that by some it has been attributed to Barnard's Religious Allegory, while others have traced it to the Story of the Wandering Knight, translated from the French by Will. Goodyeare, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth ;" but of the original work, we find not the slightest mention, except in an enumeration of Romans de spiritualite et de morale, in the Bibliotheque of Gordon de Percel, where he quotes the title, Le Voyage du Chevalier .Errant, par Jean de Carthemi, Dominicain, in 8; and drily adds, C'est un Roman ou l'on fait entrer jusqu' aux Sept Pseaumes de la Penitence.* There were two, if not more, editions of the translation about the end of the sixteenth century, and another in the seventeenth, not many years before the appearance of Bunyan's deservedly popular work, and this strengthens the conjecture, that he might have been possessed of a copy, and that to the meditations, arising from the perusal of it during his imprisonment, we are indebted for the Pilgrim's Progress. It is by no means the wish of the writer to detract from the merit, or claims of Bunyan's work to originality, but merely to shew how far the original work, brooding over a warm and somewhat fervid imagination, may have furnished some of the materials, if not the basis, of Bunyan's admirable superstructure. We have had many successful instances of late of this having been done, without either lessening the merit or the popularity of the work

Percel Bibliotheque des Romans, p. 172.

so examined; such, for instance, as Dunster's Milton and Ferriar's Sterne, as well as many others; and we must acknowledge that we are much indebted to these curious and interesting researches, for their having pointed out to our notice many valuable works, which but for these fortunate circumstances would probably have fallen into total oblivion; or would only have been known to the curious book collector. Upon a careful collation of the two early editions, we have discovered no variations, except a trifling change in the initials subscribed to the dedication, which in the first edition are R: N: probably Rob. Norman, the author of many valuable hydrographical works about the period, [see Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, vol. vi.] but in the second edition these are reversed; but this is of too trifling an interest to merit farther investigation. We shall now, therefore, proceed to give an analysis of the work, and such occasional extracts as may enable the reader to judge for himself of the main question, upon which it is entitled to his notice; as also of the nature, aim, and merit of the original work; and which, if it has no other claim to our admiration, must certainly be allowed to exhibit a very curious picture of the manners, customs, and religious opinions, of the times in which it was written.

The Contents of the first part of the Voyage of the Wandering Knight.

Chap. I. The Wandering Knight declareth his intent and foolish enterprise, wishing and supposing in this world to find true felicitie.

Chap. II. The Wandering Knight declareth unto Dame Folly, his governess, what is his intent.

Chap. III. Folly and Evill-will provide the Knight apparel, armour, and horse; Folly apparalleth and armeth the Wandering Knight.

Chap. IV. Folly, upon the way, sheweth the Knight many of her ancient proceedings, and how many great and notable personages she had governed.

Chap. V. The Wandering Knight finding two ways, and doubtful whether of them to take, there chanced to come to him Virtue and Voluptuousness, eyther of them offering to guide and conduct the Knight on the way.

Chap. VI. The Wandering Knight, by the counsaile of Folly, left Ladie Virtue and followeth Voluptuousness, which led him to the palace of Worldly Felicitie.

Chap. VII. How the Wandering Knight was received and welcomed to the palace of Worldly Felicitie.

Chap. VIII. Voluptuousness sheweth the Wandering Knight some part of the palace of Worldly Felicitie, and after brought him some dinner.

Chap. IX. Dinner being done, Voluptuousness sheweth the Wandering Knight the rest of the palace of Worldly Felicitie, with the su

« 上一頁繼續 »