« 上一頁繼續 »
and such violence as no heart could resist. And it seems that
A DESCRIPTION OF A STAG-HUNT.
Then would he tell them stories of such gallants as he had known;
it seems that 1 so bashful, as he was aware: ance; in short, good manners. h not knowing ellencies to be ility, but (if I
perceive therein some kind of proportion, but the skilful woodmen did find a music. Then delight and variety of opinion årew the horsemen sundry ways, yet cheering their hounds with voice and horn, kept still, as it were, together. The wood seemed to conspire with them against his own citizens, dispersing their noise through all his quarters; and even the nymph Echo left to bewail the loss of Narcissus, and became a hunter. But the stag was in the end so hotly pursued, that, leaving his flight, he was driven to make courage of despair; and so turning his head, made the hounds, with change of speech, to testify that he was at a bay: as if from hot pursuit of their enemy, they were suddenly come to a parley.
After passing through many severe trials of their love, the two princesses are married to Musidorus and Pyrocles, and so ends the “ Arcadia."
The other great work of Sir Philip Sidney is his “Defence of Poesy," which may be truly pronounced to be the most beautiful as well as the most trathful essay upon the subject in our language, and one from which many have borrowed, without acknowledging their obligations. It may be regarded as a logical discourse, from beginning to end, interspersed here and there with a few of the more flowery parts of eloquence, but everywhere keeping in view the main objects, indeed, of all logic and eloquence-proof and persuasion. It is evidently the result of deep conviction in the mind of the writer, and a strong desire to impress that conviction upon others: to impress it, however, in a manner that shall render it not merely a sentiment of the heart, but a settled belief of the reason and judgment.” ? In what a skillful and highly eloquent manner does he contrast “ Poesy" wi:h all the other arts and sciences, in his
der entertainved the sport in the com
that the sun Lever prevent countenance, -ers' feeding. u keep your fulness; too lls out, that, Jo the effect
how much Food fellowout, accord
and worse. nad known;
haste, and f the wood,
g, but with
color and sind. The as though nds to beat , and with
CHARACTER OF THE POET. There is no art delivered to mankind, that hath not the works of nature for its principal object, without which they could not consist, and on which they so depend, as they become actors and players, as it were, of what nature will have set forth. So doth the astronomer look upon the stars, and by that he seeth, set down what order nature hath taken therein. So doth the geometrician and arithmetician, in their divers sorts of quantities. So doth the musician, in tunes tell you which by nature agree, which not. The natural philosopher thereon hath his name, and the moral philosopher standeth upon the natural virtues, vices, or passions of man: And follow nature, saith he, therein, and you shall not err. The lawyer saith what men have determined: the historian, what men have done. The grammarian speaketh only of the rules of speech, and the rhetorician and logician, considering
ag thought he slender
him; for, ves to the and somene view of puths then Their cry an would
1 "The great praise of Sidney In this treatise is, that he has shown the capacity of the Englsh lan. Fuage for spirit, variety, gracious idiom, and masculine firmness." Read-Hallam's "Introduction to the Literature of Europe."
9 Retrospective Revie*, X. 45.
what in nature will soonest prove and persuade, thereon give artificial rules, which are still compassed within the circle of a question, according to the proposed matter. The physician weigheth the nature of man's body, and the nature of things hurtful or helpful to it. And the metaphysic, though it be in the second and abstract notions, and therefore be counted supernatural, yet doth he indeed build upon the depth of nature.
Only the poet, disdaining to be tied to any such subjection, lifted up with the vigor of his own invention, doth grow, in effect, into another nature; in making things either better than nature bringeth forth, or quite anew, forms such as never were in nature, as the heroes, demigods, cyclops, chimeras, furies, and such like, so as he goeth hand in hand with nature, not enclosed within the narrow warrant of her gifts, but freely ranging within the zodiac of his own wit. Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as divers poets have done; neither with so pleasant rivers, fruitful trees, sweet-smelling flowers, nor whatsoever else may make the too-much-loved earth more lovely : her world is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden. Neither let it be deemed too saucy a comparison, to balance the highest point of man's wit with the cfficacy of nature; but rather give right honor to the HEAVENLY MAKER of that maker," who, having made man to his own likeness, set him beyond and over all the works of that second nature, which in nothing he showed so much as in poetry-when, with he force of a divine breath, he bringeth things forth surpassing her doings; with no sinall arguments to the incredulous of that first accursed fall of Adam.—Since our erect wit maketh us know what perfection is, and yet our infected will keepeth us from reaching unto it. Again, he contrasteth the Philosopher, the Historian, and the Poet:
The philosopher, therefore, and the historian are they which would win the goal, the one by precept, the other by example ; but both, not having both, do both halt. For the philosopher, sitting down with the thorny arguments, the bare rule is so hard of utterance, and so misty to be conceived, that one that hath no other guide but him shall wade in him until he be old, before he shall find sufficient cause to be honest. For his knowledge stand
1 The word poet means maker, being from the Greek onths, (poietes) “a maker," "a poet." Hence Warton remarks, "The man of rhymes may be easily found; but the genuine poet, of a lively, plastic Imagination, the true MAKER OR CREATOR, is so uncommon a prodigy, that one is almost tempted to subscribe to the opinion of Sir William Temple, who says, that of all the numbers of mankind that live within the compass of a thousand years, for one man that is born capable of making a great poet, there may be a thousand porn capable of making as great generals, or ministers of state, as The most renowned in story."--Essay on Pope, i. 111.
2 One cannot fail to see many of these same ideas in the first lecture of that most instructive hook, Bishop Lowth's "Lectures on Hebrew Poetry.”
eth so upon the abstract and general, that happy is that man who may understand him, and more happy that can apply what he doth understand. On the other side, the historian, wanting the precept, is so tied, not to what should be, but to what is—to the particular truth of things, and not the general reason of thingsthat his example draweth not necessary consequence, and therefore a less fruitful doctrine. Now doth the peerless poet perform both; for whatsoever the philosopher saith should be done, he giveth a perfect picture of it, by some one by whom he pre-supposeth it was done ; so as he coupleth the general notion with the particular example. A perfect picture, I say,—for he yieldeth to the powers of the mind an image of that whereof the philosopher bestoweth but a wordish description, which doth neither strike, pierce, nor possess the sight of the soul, so much as that other doth.--So, no doubt, the philosopher with his learned definitions, be it of virtues or vices, matters of public policy or private government, replenisheth the memory with many infallible grounds of wisdom, which, notwithstanding, lie dark before the imaginative and judging power, if they be not illuminated and figured forth by the speaking picture of poesy. Tully taketh much pains, and many times not without poetical helps, to make us know what force the love of our country hath in us : let us but hear old Anchises, speaking in the midst of Troy's flames; or see Ulysses, in the fulness of all Calypso's delights, bewailing his absence from barren and beggarly Ithaca! Anger, the Stoics said, was a short madness; let but Sophocles bring you Ajax on a stage, killing or whipping sheep and oxen, thinking them the army of the Greeks, with their chieftains Agamemnon and Menelaus; and tell me if you have not a more familiar insight into anger than finding in the „Schoolmen its genus and difference? The philosopher teacheth, but he teacheth obscurely, so as the learned only can understand him; that is to say, he teacheth them that are already taught, But the poet is the food for tender stomachs; the poet is indeed the right popular philosopher.
After having gone through many particular comparisons, he thus comes out with a fine burst of enthusiasm
IN PRAISE OF POETRY. Now therein that is to say, the power of at once teaching and enticing to do well)- now therein, of all sciencesI speak still of human and according to human conceit-is our poet the monarch. For he doth not only show the way, but giveth so sweet a prospect into the way, as will entice any man to enter into it. Nay, he doth, as if your journey should lie through a fair vineyard, at the very first give you a cluster of grapes, thai, full of that taste, you may long to pass further. He beginneth
know s from
plaste mpted to ind that
A TCH state, a
not with obscure definitions, which must blur the margent with interpretations, and load the memory with doubtfulness; but he cometh to you with words set in delightful proportion, either accompanied with, or prepared for, the well-enchanting skill of music; and with a tale, forsooth, he cometh unto you with a tale which holdeth children from play, and old men from the chimneycorner;? and pretending no more, doth intend the winning of the mind from wickedness to virtue, even as the child is often brought to take most wholesome things, by hiding them in such other as have a pleasant taste. For even those hard-hearted evil men, who think virtue a school name, and know no other good but indulgere genio, and therefore despise the austere admonitions of the philosopher, and feel not the inward reason they stand upon, yet will be content to be delighted; which is all the good-fellow poet seems to promise ; and so steal to see the form of goodness—which, seen, they cannot but love ere themselves be aware, as if they had taken a medicine of cherries. By these, therefore, examples and reasons, I think it may be manifest that the poet, with that same hand of delight, doth draw the mind more effectually than any other art doth. And so a conclusion not unfitly ensues, that as virtue is the most excellent resting-place for all worldly learning to make an end of, so poetry, being the most familiar to teach it, and most princely to move towards it, in the most excellent work is the most excellent workman.
Since, then, poetry is of all human learning the most ancient, and of most fatherly antiquity, as from whence other learnings have taken their beginnings ;-Since it is so universal that no learned nation doth despise it, no barbarous nation is without it ;Since both Roman and Greek gave such divine names unto it, the one of prophesying, the other of making; and that, indeed, that name of making is fit for it, considering that whereas all other arts retain themselves within their subject, and receive, as it were, their being from it,—the poet, only, bringeth his own stuff, and doth not learn a conceit out of the matter, but maketh matter for a conceit; Since, neither his description nor end containing any evil, the thing described cannot be evil ;-Since his effects be so good as to teach goodness and delight the learners of it ;Since therein (namely, in moral doctrine, the chief of all knowledge) he doth not only far pass the historian, but, for instructing, is well nigh comparable to the philosopher, and for moving, leav
1 We have ere, undoubtedly, the origin of Shakspeare's
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
Love's Labor Lost, Act 11. Scene 1 3 [o indulge one's appetite.