From the INTRODUCTION.
TO show the scope of this book, and what the reader may expect to find novel in it, the shortest way will be to tell how it grew in the author's hands, and how the discoveries which it contains came to be made one after another. Four years ago the late Mr. Samuel Butler was
From the INTRODUCTION.
TO show the scope of this book, and what the reader may expect to find novel in it, the shortest way will be to tell how it grew in the author's hands, and how the discoveries which it contains came to be made one after another. Four years ago the late Mr. Samuel Butler was good enough to give me a copy of his book on Shakespeare's Sonnets (1899), as he had given me other of his writings which I prized. I read it, at first merely with the view of forming an opinion which I might express to the author; but soon became interested, indeed fascinated, by the problem of the Sonnets, which I had paid no attention to before, having been always too much repelled by the obscurity of the poems to read any but a few of them. After reading Butler's twelve chapters, from which I gained for the first time a general view of the several theories, including his own, I proceeded, according to his advice, to study the Sonnets themselves, using the original text, which he had conveniently appended to his volume in a facsimile of the precious quarto of 1609. I came soon to agree with my guide that "a story of some sort is staring us in the face"; but it was not long before I saw that Butler's story of an unscrupulous young fellow named Hews or Hughes would never do, if only for the reason that the youth addressed in the Sonnets was not a scamp, whatever else he was. On turning to the essay of James Boaden (1832), I found that some evidence had already been put together, supporting an earlier guess of Hey wood Bright (1818), that the youth addressed was William Herbert, afterwards third Earl of Pembroke, "the most universally loved and esteemed of any man of that age" (Clarendon). But Boaden's proof was far from positive, so that no one had been able to press the identification home with confidence, not even the late Mr. Tyler with all his new matter touching the lady in the case. At length I discovered that the proper name "Hews" in the allusive line of S. 20 -
A man in hew, all "Hews" in his controlling -
which was a stumbling-block to some and a stepping- stone to others (Byron, for example), was really inserted by Shakespeare as a punning clue to the identity of Lord Herbert, one of whose courtesy titles was Lord Fitzhew. This use of one of the Pembroke baronies to pun upon was confirmed by the next discovery, that the frequent use of Rose (as in the opening couplet of the opening sonnet) was also playfully meant in allusion to another of Lord Herbert's titles, Lord Ros of Kendal, which made a good pet name as my lord Rose. Thirdly, I found that the mock-sublime 19th Sonnet, "Devouring Time, blunt thou the Lion's paws," was a witty exercise upon the Pembroke heraldry; and that the famous " Fair, kind, and true "Sonnet was a series of variations, no less ingenious than elegant, upon two of the Pembroke mottoes - the first half of the sonnet upon the principal motto of the family, "Ung je servirai," "I shall keep one"; the next lines upon the motto of the Parrs (the maternal ancestry), "Amour avec loyaute"; whilst the envoi united the two in a climax of witty compliment:
Fair, kind, and true have often lived alone,
Which three till now never kept seat in one.
By these new proofs I became so confident that Lord Herbert was the man, that I looked for and soon found several sonnets corresponding with known dates in his biography, and with historical events in his youth, such as the death of Spenser on 8th January 1599, and the rebellion of Lord Essex on 8th February 1601; so that it became easy to fix the three years' period over which the Sonnets avowedly ranged as the years from 1598 to 1601. In this time-scheme the series of nine sonnets on the Rival Poet fell in the early summer of 1599, and the real occasion of them, I saw, was the vacancy in the office and pension of the Poet Laureate on the death of Spenser.
- الفئات: السير الذاتية و المذكرات
- غلاف الكتاب: غلاف عادي
- لغة الكتاب: الانجليزية
- الكاتب: C. Creighton
- الناشر: Createspace
- رقم ال ISBN: 9781503353992
- عدد الصفحات: 462
- لأبعاد (الارتفاع*العرض*العمق): 9 x 6 x 0.93 inches