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their clothes fit them too well; they are too ready for prompt and energetic action. We might make of them strong soldiers or superb courtesans, admirable in a pageant or at a ball. So, all that the spectator accords to their halo of glory is a bow or a sign of the cross; after which his eyes find pleasure in them; hey are there simply for the enjoyment of the eyes. What the spectator feels at the sight of a Florentine Madonna is the splendid creature, whose powerful body and fine growth bespeak her race and her vigor; the artist did not paint moral expression as nowadays, the depth of a soul tortured and refined by three centuries of culture. They confine themselves to the body, to the extent even of speaking enthusiastically of the spinal column itself, “which is magnificent;" of the shoulder-blades, which in the movements of the arm produce an admirable effect.“You will next draw the bone which is situated between the hips. It is very fine, and is called the sacrum.

The important point with them is to represent the nude well. Beauty with them is that of the complete skeleton, sinews which are linked together and tightened, the thighs which support the trunk, the strong chest breathing freely, the pliant neck. What a pleasure to be naked! How good it is in the full light to rejoice in a strong body, well-formed muscles, a spirited and bold soul! The splendid goddesses reappear in their primitive nudity, not dreaming that they are nude; you see from the tranquillity of their look, the simplicity of their expression, that they have always been thus, and that shame has not yet reached them. The soul's life is not here contrasted, as amongst us, with the body's life; the one is not so lowered and degraded that we dare not show its actions and functions; they do not hide them; man does not dream of being all spirit. They rise, as of old, from the luminous sea, with their rearing steeds tossing up their manes, champing the bit, inhaling the briny savor, whilst their companions wind the sounding-shell; and the spectators, ac

i Benvenuto Cellini, Principles of the Art of Design. 2 Life of Cellini. Compare also these exercises which Castiglione prescribes for a welleducated man, in his Cortegiano, ed. 1585, P. 55:—“Peró voglio che il nostro cortegiano sia perfetto cavaliere d'ogni sella. Et perchè degli Italiani è peculiar laude il cavalcare benè alla brida, il maneggiar con raggione massimamente cavalli aspri, il corre lance, il giostare, sia in questo de meglior Italiani. Nel torneare, tener un passo, combattere una sbarra, sia buono tra il miglior francesi. Nel giocare a canne, correr torri, lanciar haste e dardi, sia tra Spagnuoli eccelente. . Conveniente è ancor sapere saltare, é correre; ...

ancor nobile exercitio il gioco di palla. . Non di minor laude estimo il voltegiar a cavallo.”

customed to handle the sword, to combat naked with the dagger or double-handled blade, to ride on perilous roads, sympathize with the proud shape of the bended back, the effort of the arm about to strike, the long quiver of the muscles which, from neck to heel, swell out, to brace a man, or to throw him.

§ 2. POETRY.

I. Transplanted into different races and climates, this paganism receives from each, distinct features and a distinct character. In England it becomes English; the English Renaissance is the Renaissance of the Saxon genius. Invention recommences; and to invent is to express one's genius. A Latin race can only invent by expressing Latin ideas; a Saxon race by expressing Saxon ideas; and we shall find in the new civilization and poetry, descendants of Cædmon and Adhelm, of Piers Plowman, and Robin Hood.

II. Old Puttenham says:

“In the latter end of the same king (Henry the eighth) reigne, sprong up a new company of courtly makers, of whom Sir Thomas Wyat th' elder and Henry Earle of Surrey were the two chieftaines, who having travailed into Italie, and there tasted the sweete and stately measures and stile of the Italian Poesie, as novices newly crept out of the schooles of Dante, Arioste, and Petrarch, they greatly pollished our rude and homely maner of vulgar Poesie, from that it had bene before, and for that cause may justly be sayd the first reformers of our English meetre and stile.”


Not that their style was very original, or openly exhibits the new spirit: the middle age is nearly ended, but not quite. By their side Andrew Borde, John Bale, John Heywood, Skelton himself, repeat the platitudes of the old poetry and the coarseness of the old style. Their manners, hardly refined, were still half feudal; on the field, before Landrecies, the English commander wrote a friendly letter to the French governor of Térouanne, to ask him “if he had not some gentlemen disposed to break a lance in honour of the ladies," and promised to send six champions to meet them. Parades, combats, wounds, challenges, love,

1 Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie, ed. Arber, 1869, book i. ch. 31, p. 74.

appeals to the judgment of God, penances,—all these are found in the life of Surrey as in a chivalric romance. A great lord, an earl, a relative of the king, who had figured in processions and ceremonies, had made war, commanded fortresses, ravaged countries, mounted to the assault, fallen in the breach, had been saved by his servant, magnificent, sumptuous, irritable, ambitious, four times imprisoned, finally beheaded. At the coronation of Anne Boleyn he wore the fourth sword; at the marriage of Anne of Cleves he was one of the challengers at the jousts. Denounced and placed in durance, he offered to fight in his shirt against an armed adversary. Another time he was put in prison for having eaten flesh in Lent. No wonder if this prolongation of chivalric manners brought with it a prolongation of chivalric poetry; if in an age which had known Petrarch, poets displayed the sentiments of Petrarch. Lord Berners, Sackville, Sir Thomas Wyatt, and Surrey in the first rank, were like Petrarch, plaintive and platonic lovers.

It was pure love to which Surrey gave expression; for his lady, the beautiful Geraldine, like Beatrice and Laura, was an ideal personage, and a child of thirteen years.

And yet, amid this languor of mystical tradition, a personal feeling had sway. In this spirit which imitated, and that badly at times, which still groped for an outlet and now and then admitted into its polished stanzas the old, simple expressions and stale metaphors of heralds of arms and trouvères, there was already visible the Northern melancholy, the inner and gloomy emotion. This feature, which presently, at the finest moment of its richest blossom, in the splendid expansiveness of natural life, spreads a sombre tint over the poetry of Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, already in the first poet separates this pagan yet Teutonic world from the other, wholly voluptuous, which in Italy, with lively and refined irony, had no taste, except for art and pleasure. Surrey translated the Ecclesiastes into verse. Is it not singular, at this early hour, in this rising dawn, to find such a book in his hand ? A disenchantment, a sad or bitter dreaminess, an innate consciousness of the vanity of human things, are never lacking in this country and in this race; the inhabitants support life with difficulty, and know how to speak of death. Surrey's finest verses bear witness thus soon to his serious bent, this instinctive and grave philosophy. He records his griefs, regretting his beloved Wyatt, his friend Clère, his companion the

young Duke of Richmond, all dead in their prime. Alone, a prisoner at Windsor, he recalls the happy days they have passed together :

“So cruel prison how could betide, alas,

As proud Windsor, where I in lust and joy,
With a Kinges son, my




In greater seast than Priam's son of Troy.
Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour,

The large green courts, where we were wont to hove,
With eyes cast up into the Maiden's tower,

And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love.
“ The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue,

The dances short, long tales of great delight,
With words and looks, that tigers could but rue ;

Where each of us did plead the other's right.
“The palme-play, where, despoiled for the game,

With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love
Have miss’d the ball, and got sight of our dame,

To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.
“The secret thoughts, imparted with such trust;

The wanton talk, the divers change of play;
The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just,

Wherewith we past the winter night away.
“And with his thought the blood forsakes the face;

The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue:
The which, as soon as sobbing sighs, alas !

Up-supped have, thus I my plaint renew :
“O place of bliss! renewer of my woes!

Give me account, where is my noble fere ?
Whom in thy walls thou dost each night enclose;

To other lief; but unto me most dear.

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“Echo, alas! that doth my sorrow rue,

Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.” 1

So in love, it is the sinking of a weary soul, to which he gives vent:

“For all things having life, sometime hath quiet rest;
The bearing ass, the drawing ox, and every other beast;
The peasant, and the post, that serves at all assays;
The ship-boy, and the galley-slave, have time to take their ease;

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Save I, alas ! whom care of force doth so constrain,
To wail the day, and wake the night, continually in pain,
From pensiveness to plaint, from plaint to bitter tears,

From tears to painful plaint again ; and thus my life it wears.
That which brings joy to others brings him grief:

“The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill, and eke the vale.
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her mate hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs;
The hart has hung his old head on the pale ;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes flete with new repaired scale ;
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale ;
The busy bee her honey now she mings;
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.
And thus I see among these pleasant things

Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs !” 2
For all that, he will love on to his last sigh.

“Yea, rather die a thousand times, than once to false my faith;
And if my feeble corpse, through weight of woful smart
Do fail, or faint, my will it is that still she keep my heart.
And when this carcass here to earth shall be refar'd,

I do bequeath my wearied ghost to serve her afterward.” 3 An infinite love, and pure as Petrarch's; and she is worthy of it. In the midst of all these studied or imitated verses, an admirable portrait stands out, the simplest and truest we can imagine, a work of the heart now, and not of the memory, which behind the Madonna of chivalry shows the English wife, and beyond feudal gallantry domestic bliss. Surrey alone, restless, hears within him the firm tones of a good friend, a sincere counselor, Hope, who speaks to him thus:

“For I assure thee, even by oath,

And thereon take my hand and troth,
That she is one of the worthiest,
The truest, and the faithfullest;
The gentlest and the meekest of mind
That here on earth a man may find :
And if that love and truth were gone,
In her it might be found alone.

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i Surrey's Poems. “The faithful lover declareth his pains and his uncertain joys, and with only hope recomforteth his woful heart,” p. 53.

2 Ibid. Description of Spring, wherein everything renews, save only the lover,” p. 3.

3 Ibid. p. 56.

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