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Title: A History of English Poetry: an Unpublished Continuation

Author: Thomas Warton

Editor: Rodney M. Baine

Release date: September 6, 2010 [eBook #33658]
Most recently updated: January 6, 2021

Language: English

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A History of English Poetry: an Unpublished Continuation

Edited, with an Introduction, by Rodney M. Baine

Publication Number 39

Los Angeles
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
University of California


H. Richard Archer, Clark Memorial Library
Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan
Ralph Cohen, University of California, Los Angeles
Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles


W. Earl Britton, University of Michigan


Emmett L. Avery, State College of Washington
Benjamin Boyce, Duke University
Louis Bredvold, University of Michigan
John Butt, King's College, University of Durham
James L. Clifford, Columbia University
Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago
Edward Niles Hooker, University of California, Los Angeles
Louis A. Landa, Princeton University
Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota
Earnest Mossner, University of Texas
James Sutherland, University College, London
H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles


Edna C. Davis, Clark Memorial Library

[Pg i]


Among the unpublished papers of Thomas and Joseph Warton at Winchester College the most interesting and important item is undoubtedly a continuation of Thomas Warton's History of English Poetry. This continuation completes briefly the analysis of Elizabethan satire and discusses the Elizabethan sonnet. The discussion offers material of interest particularly for the bibliographer and the literary historian. The bibliographer, for example, will be intrigued by a statement of Thomas Warton that he had examined a copy of the Sonnets published in 1599—a decade before the accepted date of the first edition. The literary historian will be interested in, inter alia, unpublished information concerning the university career of Samuel Daniel and in the theory that Shakespeare's sonnets should be interpreted as if addressed by a woman to her lover.

Critically appraised, Warton's treatment of the Elizabethan sonnet seems skimpy. To dismiss the sonnet in one third the amount of space devoted to Joseph Hall's Virgidemiarum seems to betray a want of proportion. Perhaps even more damaging may seem the fact that Warton failed to mention more sonnet collections than he discussed. About twenty years later, in 1802, Joseph Ritson listed in his Bibliographia Poetica the sonnet collections of Barnaby Barnes, Thomas Lodge, William Percy, and John Soowthern—all evidently unknown to Warton. But Warton was not particularly slipshod in his researches. In his immediately preceding section, on Elizabethan satire, he had stopped at 1600; and in the continuation he deliberately omitted the sonnet collections published after that date. Thus, though he had earlier in the History (III, 264, n.) promised a discussion of Drayton, he omitted him here because his sonnets were continually being augmented[Pg ii] until 1619. Two sixteenth century collections which Warton had mentioned earlier in the History (III, 402, n.) he failed to discuss here, William Smith's Chloris (1596) and Henry Lock's Sundry Christian Passions, contayned in two hundred Sonnets (1593). Concerning Lock he had quoted significantly (IV, 8-9) from The Return from Parnassus: "'Locke and Hudson, sleep you quiet shavers among the shavings of the press, and let your books lie in some old nook amongst old boots and shoes, so you may avoid my censure.'" A collection which certainly did not need to avoid censure was Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella; and for Warton's total neglect of Sidney's sonnets it seems difficult to account, for in this section on the sonnet Sidney as a poet would have been most aptly discussed. The Astrophel and Stella was easily available in eighteenth-century editions of Sidney's works, and Warton admired the author. Both Thomas and Joseph Warton, however, venerated Sidney mainly for his Arcadia and his Apology for Poetry. For Joseph Warton, Sidney was the prime English exhibit of great writers who have not, he thought, "been able to express themselves with beauty and propriety in the fetters of verse."[1] And Thomas Warton quoted evidently only once from Sidney's verse, [1] and then only by way of England's Helicon.[2] The omission of Sidney, then, is the glaring defect; of the dozen or so other Elizabethan sonnet collections which escaped Warton, most were absolutely or practically unknown, and none seem to have been available to him in the Bodleian or the British Museum.

At the time of his death, on 21 May 1790, there were in print only eleven sheets,[3] or eighty-eight pages, of the fourth and final volume, which was scheduled to bring the history of English poetry down to the close of the seventeenth century. For four years after the publication of the third volume in 1781 Warton repeatedly promised to complete the work,[4] and a[Pg iii] notice at the end of his edition of Milton's Minor Poems advertised in 1785 the "speedy publication" of the fourth volume. But to his printer Warton evidently sent nothing beyond Section XLVIII. The present continuation was probably written during or shortly after 1782: it contains no reference to any publication after William Hayley's Essay on Epic Poetry, which appeared in 1782; and according to Thomas Caldecott, Warton for the last seven years of his life discontinued work upon the History.[5]

The notes which Thomas Warton had made for the completion of the History were upon his death commandeered by his brother, Joseph, at that time headmaster of Winchester College. Joseph Warton made some halfhearted efforts to get on with the volume,[6] but neither Winchester nor Wickham, whither he retired in 1793, was a proper place in which to carry on the necessary research. Moreover he was much more interested in editing Pope and Dryden; and securing advantageous contracts to edit these poets whom he knew well, he let the History slide.

Joseph Warton appears, however, to have touched up the present continuation, for a few expansions seem to be in his script rather than in his brother's. It is difficult to be positive in the discrimination of hands here, as Thomas Warton's hand in this manuscript is quite irregular. Pens of varying thicknesses were used; black ink was used for the text and red ink for footnotes, and one note (16) was pencilled. Moreover, certain passages appear to have been written during periods of marked infirmity or haste and are legible only with difficulty if at all. In any case, those additions which were presumably made by Joseph Warton merely expand the original version; they do not alter or modify any of Thomas Warton's statements.

In the text of the present edition the expansions which appear to be in Joseph Warton's hand are placed within parentheses, which were not[Pg iv] used for punctuation in the text of the manuscript itself. Because of the difficulties of reproduction, all small capitals have been translated into lover case italics.

This continuation, discovered by the editor among the Warton papers in the Moberly Library at Winchester College, is here published with the kind permission of the Right Honorable Harold T. Baker and Sir George Henry Gates, retired and present Wardens of Winchester College, and of the Fellows of the College. The editor is indebted also to the Reverend Mr. J. d'E. Firth, Assistant Master and Chaplain; and Mr. C. E. R. Claribut and Mr. J. M. G. Blakiston, past and present Assistant Fellows' Librarians. The Richmond Area University Center contributed a generous grant-in-aid.

Rodney M. Baine

The University of Richmond

Richmond, Virginia

[Pg v]


[1] Joseph Warton, An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope (London, 1756-1782), I, 270-271.

[2] John Milton, Poems upon Several Occasions (London, 1785), ed. Thomas Warton, p. 331, n.

[3] Nineteenth-century editions of the History give the false impression that the eight sheets were prepared from manuscript material left at Thomas Warton's death, but these sheets were certainly printed before Thomas died, and probably in the early 1780's. See John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century (London, 1812-1816), III, 702-703. They contain no reference postdating that to Isaac Reed's revised edition of Robert Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, published in 1780.

[4] Thomas Warton to Richard Price, 13 October 1781, in Thomas Warton, Poetical Works, ed. Richard Mant (Oxford, 1802), I, lxxviii; Daniel Prince to Richard Gough, 4 August 1783, in Nichols, Literary Anecdotes, III, 702.

[5] Thomas Caldecott to Bishop Percy, 21 March 1803, in Nichols, Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century (London, 1817-1858), VIII, 372.

[6] Joseph Warton to William Hayley, 12 March 1792, in John Wooll, Biographical Memoirs of the late Revd. Joseph Warton (London, 1806), p. 404.

[Pg 1]


(In enumerating so many of these petty Epigrammatists, I may have been perhaps too prolix,—but I did it to shew the taste & turn of writing at this time; & now proceed to observe, that, in the year, 1614,)[1] the vogue which satire had acquired from Hall and Marston, probably encouraged Barten Holiday of Christ-Church in Oxford, to translate Persius, when he was scarcely twenty years of age. The first edition is dated 1616. This version had four editions from its publication to the year 1673 inclusive, notwithstanding the versification is uncommonly scabrous. The success of his Persius induced Holiday to translate Juvenal, a clearer & more translatable satirist. But both versions, as Dryden has justly observed,[2] were written for scholars, and not for the world: and by treading on the heels of his originals, he seems to have hurt them by too near an approach. He seized the meaning but not the spirit of his authors. Holiday, however, who was afterwards graduated in divinity and promoted to an archdeaconry, wrote a comedy called the Marriage of the Arts, acted before the court at Woodstock-palace, which was even too grave and scholastic for king James the first.

I close my prolix review of these pieces by remarking, that as our old plays have been assembled and exhibited to the public in one uniform view,[3] so a collection of our old satires and epigrams would be a curious and useful publication. Even the dull and inelegant productions, of a remote period which have real Life for their theme, become valuable and important by preserving authentic pictures of antient popular manners: by delineating the gradations of vice and folly, they furnish new speculation to the moral historian, and at least contribute to the illustration of writers of greater consequence.[Pg 2]

Sect. XLIX.

The Sonnet, together with the Ottava Rima, seems to have been the invention of the Provincial bards, but to have been reduced to its present rhythmical prosody by some of the earliest Italian poets. It is a short monody, or Ode of one stanza containing fourteen lines, with uncommonly frequent returns of rhymes more or less combined. But the disposition of the rhymes has been sometimes varied according to the caprice or the convenience of the writer. There is a sonnet of the regular construction in the Provincial dialect, written by Guglielmo de gli Amalricchi, on Robert king of Naples who died in 1321.[4] But the Italian language affords earlier examples. (The multitude of identical cadences renders it a more easy and proper metre to use in Italian than in English verse.)

No species of verse appears to have been more eagerly and universally cultivated by the Italian poets, from the fourteenth century to the present times. Even the gravest of their epic and tragic writers have occasionally sported In these lighter bays. (A long list of them is given in the beginning of the fourth Volume of Quadrios History of Italian Poetry.) But perhaps the most elegant Italian sonnets are yet to be found in Dante. Petrarch's sonnets are too learned (metaphysical) and refined. Of Dante's compositions in this style I cannot give a better idea, than in (the ingenious) Mr. Hayley's happy translation of Dante's beautiful sonnet to his friend Guido Calvacanti [sic], written in his youth, and probably before the year 1300.

Henry! I wish that you, and Charles, and I,
By some sweet spell within a bark were plac'd,
A gallant bark with magic virtue grac'd,
Swift at our will with every wind to fly:[Pg 3]
So that no changes of the shifting sky
No stormy terrors of the watery waste,
Might bar our course, but heighten still our taste
Of sprightly joy, and of our social tie:
Then, that my Lucy, Lucy fair and free,
With those soft nymphs on whom your souls are bent,
The kind magician might to us convey,
To talk of love throughout the livelong day:
And that each fair might be as well content
As I in truth believe our hearts would be.[5]

We have before seen, that the Sonnet was imported from Italy into English poetry, by lord Surrey and Wyat, about the middle of the sixteenth century. But it does not seem to have flourished in its legitimate form, till towards the close of the reign of queen Elisabeth. What I call the legitimate form, in which it now appeared, was not always free from licentious innovations in the rythmical arrangement.

To omit Googe, Tuberville [sic], Gascoigne, and some other petty writers who have interspersed their miscellanies with a few sonnets, and who will be considered under another class, our first professed author in this mode of composition, after Surrey and Wyat, is Samuel Daniel. His Sonnets called Delia, together with his Complaint of Rosamond, were printed for Simon Waterson, in 1591.[6] It was hence that the name of Delia, suggested to Daniel by Tibullus, has been perpetuated in the song of the lover as the name of a mistress. These pieces are dedicated to Sir Philip Sydney's sister, the general patroness, Mary countess of Pembroke. But Daniel had been her preceptor.[7] It is not said in Daniel's Life, that he travelled. His[Pg 4] forty-eighth sonnet is said to have been "made at the authors being in Italie."[8] Delia does not appear to have been transcendently cruel, nor were his sufferings attended with any very violent paroxysms of despair. His style and his expressions have a coldness proportioned to his passion. Yet as he does not weep seas of tears, nor utter sighs of fire, he has the merit of avoiding the affected allusions and hyperbolical exaggerations of his brethren. I cannot in the mean time, with all these concessions in his favour, give him the praise of elegant sentiment, true tenderness, and natural pathos. He has, however, a vigour of diction, and a volubility of verse, which cover many defects, and are not often equalled by his contemporaries. I suspect his sonnets were popular. They are commended, by the author of the Return from Parnassus, in a high strain of panegyric.

Sweet honey-dropping Daniel doth wage
War with the proudest big Italian
That melts his heart in sugar'd sonnetting.[9]

But I do not think they are either very sweet, or much tinctured with the Italian manner. The following is one of the best; which I the rather chuse to recite, as it exemplifies his mode of compliment, and contains the writer's opinion of Spenser's use of obsolete words.

Let others sing of knights & Paladines,
In aged accents, and untimely words,
Paint shadowes in imaginarie lines,
Which well the reach of their high wit records;
But I must sing of thee, and those faire eyes
Autentique shall my verse in time to come,
When yet th' vnborne shall say "Loe, where she lyes,
Whose beauty made Him speak that els was dombe."[Pg 5]
These are the arkes, the trophies I erect,
That fortifie thy name against old age,
And these thy sacred vertues must protect
Against the Darke, & Times consuming rage.
Though th' errour of my youth they shall discouer,
Suffise, they shew I liu'd, and was thy louer.[10]

But, to say nothing more, whatever wisdom there may be in allowing that love was the errour of his youth, there was no great gallantry in telling this melancholy truth to the lady.

Daniel is a multifarious writer, and will be mentioned again. I shall add nothing more of him here than the following anecdote. When he was a young student at Magdalen-Hall in Oxford, about the year 1580, notwithstanding the disproportion of his years, and his professed aversion to the severer acadamical [sic] studies, the Dean and Canons of Christchurch, by a public capitular act now remaining, gave Daniel a general invitation to their table at dinner, merely on account of the liveliness of his conversation.[11]

About the same time, Thomas Watson published his Hecatompathia, Or the passionate century of love, a hundred sonnets.[12] I have not been able to discover the date of this publication:[13] but his First set of Italian Madrigals appeared at London, in 1590.[14] I have called them sonnets: but they often wander beyond the limits, nor do they always preserve the conformation [or] constraint,[15] of the just Italian Sonetto.[16] Watson is more brilliant than Daniel: but he is encumbered with conceit and the trappings of affectation. In the love-songs of this age, a lady with all her load of panegyric, resembles one of the unnatural factitious figures which we sometimes see among the female portraits at full length of the[Pg 6] same age, consisting only of pearls, gems, necklaces, earings, embroidery, point-lace, farthingale, fur, and feathers. The blooming nymph is lost in her decorations. Watson, however, has sometimes uncommon vigour and elegance. As in the following description.

Her yellow locks exceed the beaten gold,
Her sparkling eyes in heau'n a place deserue;
Her forehead high and faire, of comelie mould,
Her wordes are musical, of syluer sound, &c.
Her eye-browe hangs like Iris in the skies,
Her eagle's nose is straite, of stately frame;
On either cheeke a rose and lillie lyes;
Her breathe is sweet perfvme, or holie flame:
Her lippes more red than any coral-stone, &c.
Her breast transparent is, like cristal rock,
Her fingers long, fit for Apollo's lute,
Her slipper such, as Momus dare not mock,
Her virtues are so great, as make me mute, &c.[17]

Spenser's Sonnets were printed with his Epithalamium. They are entered, in the year 1593, under this title to William Ponsonby, "Amoretti, and Epithalamium, written not long since by Edmond Spencer."[18] In a recommendatory sonnet prefixed, by G. W. senior, it appears that Spenser was now in Ireland. Considered under the idea which their title suggests, undoubtedly these pieces are too classical, abstracted, and even philosophical. But they have many strokes of imagination and invention, a strength of expression, and a stream of versification, not unworthy of the genius of the author of the Faerie Queene.[19] On the whole however, with the same metaphysical flame which Petrarch felt for the accomplished Laura, with more panegyric[Pg 7] than passion, Spenser in his sonnets seldom appeals to the heart, and too frequently shews more of the poet and the scholar than of the lover. The following, may be selected in illustration of this opinion.

When those renowned noble peers of Greece,
Through stubborne pride among themselues did iar,
Forgetful of the famous golden fleece,
Then Orpheus with his harp their strife did bar.
But this continual, cruel, civil war,
The which myselfe against myselfe doe make,
Whilst my weake powres of passions warried arre,
No skill can stint, nor reason can aslake.
But when in hand my tunelesse harpe I take,
Then doe I more augment my foes despight,
And grief renew, and passion doe awake
To battaile fresh against myselfe to fight.
Mongst whom, the more I seeke to settle peace,
The more I find their malice to increase.[20]

But the following is in a more intelligible and easy strain, and has lent some of its graces to the storehouse of modern compliment. The thought on which the whole turns is, I believe, original, for I do not recollect it in the Italian poets.

Ye tradeful Merchants, that with weary toyle,
Doe seek most precious things, to make your gaine,
And both the Indias of their treasure spoile;
What needeth you to seeke so farre in vaine?
For lo, my Love doth in herselfe containe[Pg 8]
All this worlds riches that may farre be found:
If saphyres, loe, her eyes be saphyres plaine;
If rubies, loe, her lips be rubies sound;
If pearles, her teeth be pearles both pure & round;
If iuorie, her forehead iuorie were [wene];
If gold, her locks are finest gold on ground;
If siluer, her faire hands are siluer sheene:
But that which fairest is, but few behold,
Her mind adornd with vertues manifold.[21]

The last couplet is platonic, but deduced with great address and elegance from the leading idea, which Gay has apparently borrowed in his beautiful ballad of Black-eyed Susan.

Among the sonnet-writers of this period, next to Spenser I place Shakespeare. Perhaps in brilliancy of imagery, quickness of thought, variety and fertility of allusion, and particularly in touches of pastoral painting, Shakespeare is superiour. But he is more incorrect, indigested, and redundant: and if Spenser has too much learning, Shakespeare has too much conceit. It may be necessary however to read the first one hundred & twenty six sonnets of our divine dramatist as written by a lady:[22] for they are addressed with great fervency yet delicacy of passion, and with more of fondness than friendship, to a beautiful youth.[23] Only twenty six, the last bearing but a small proportion to the whole number, and too manifestly of a subordinate cast, have a female for their object. But under the palliative I have suggested, many descriptions or illustrations of juvenile beauty, pathetic endearments, and sentimental declarations of hope or disappointment, which occur in the former part of this collection, will lose their impropriety and give pleasure without disgust. The following, a few lines omitted, is[Pg 9] unperplexed and elegant.

How like a winter has my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness every where!
And yet this time, remov'd,[24] was summer's time;
The teeming autumn big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime, &c.
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute:
Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a chear,
That leaues look pale, dreading the winter's near.[25]

In the next, he pursues the same argument in the same strain.

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim,
Has put a sprite of youth in euery thing;
That heauy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet not the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion of the rose:
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after thee, thou pattern of all those![26]
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow, I with these did play.[27]
[Pg 10]

Here are strong marks of Shakespeare's hand and manner. In the next, he continues his play with the flowers. He chides the forward violet, a sweet thief, for stealing the fragrance of the boy's breath, and for having died his veins with too rich a purple. The lilly is condemned for presuming to emulate the whiteness of his hand, and buds of marjoram for stealing the ringlets of his hair. Our lover is then seduced into some violent fictions of the same kind; and after much ingenious absurdity concludes more rationally,

More flowres I noted, yet I none could see,
But sweet or colour it had stolne from thee.[28]

Shakespeare's Sonnets were published in the year 1599.[29] I remember to have seen this edition, I think with Venus and Adonis and the rape of Lucrece, a very small book, in the possession of the late Mr Thomson of Queen's College Oxford, a very curious and intelligent collector of this kind of literature.[30] But they were circulated in manuscript before the year 1598. For in that year, they are mentioned by Meres. "Witness his [Shakespeare's] Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece, his sugred Sonnets among his priuate friends, &c."[31] They were reprinted in the year 1609; one hundred & fifty four in number. They were first printed under Shakespeares name, among his Poems, in the year 1717, by Sewel, who had no other authority than tradition.[32] But that they were undoubtedly written by Shakespeare, the frequent intermixture of thoughts and expressions which now appear in his plays, and, what is more, the general complexion of their phraseology & sentiment, abundantly demonstrate, Shakespeare cannot be concealed. Their late ingenious editor is of opinion, that Daniel was Shakespeare's model.[33]

I have before incidentally mentioned Barnefield's Sonnets,[34] which, like Shakespeare's, are adressed [sic] to a boy. They are flowery and easy. Meres recites Barnefelde among the pastoral writers.[35] These sonnets,[Pg 11] twenty in number, are written in the character of a shepherd: and there are other pieces by Barnefield which have a pastoral turn, in Englands Helicon. Sir Philip Sydney had made every thing Arcadian. I will cite four of this authors best lines, and such as will be least offensive.

Some talk of Ganymede th' Idalian boy,
And some of faire Adonis make their boast;
Some talke of him whom louely Leda lost
And some of Echo's loue that was so coy, &c.[36]

Afterwards, falling in love with a lady, he closes these sonnets with a palinode.[37]

I have before found occasion to cite the Sonnets of H. C. called Diana printed in 1592.[38] As also Dieella [sic], or Sonnets by R. L. printed in 1596.[39] With these may be mentioned a set of Sonnets, entitled Fidessa more chaste than kinde. By B. Griffin, Gent. At London. Printed by the Widow Orwin for Matthew Lownes, 1596.[40] They are dedicated to Mr William Essex of Lambourne in Berkshire. Then follows a deprecatory address to the gentlemen of the Inns of Court, who are earnestly requested to protect at least to approve this first attempt of a stranger; and who promises, if now successful, to publish a pastoral the next time. It is possible that some other writers of this class may have escaped my searches. I do not wish to disturb their repose, which is likely to be lasting.

[Pg 13]


Warton's notes, which in the manuscript are designated by letters or symbols, have been numbered. Brackets enclose all the editor's corrections, expansions, and comments. The parentheses are Warton's.

[1] [Thomas Warton's original version began "The temporary vogue which ..." The final version, here parenthesized in the text, represents, it seems fairly certain, Joseph Warton's expansion. Although this deprecatory comment seems rather abrupt coming after five sections devoted to the Elizabethan satirists, Joseph Warton is not disparaging where his brother praised. Thomas Warton had already (IV, 69) belittled the "innumerable crop of satirists, and of a set of writers differing but little more than in name, and now properly belonging to the same species, Epigrammatists."]

[2] [Warton here combined several remarks in Dryden's essay "The Original and Progress of Satire." See John Dryden, Essays, ed. W. P. Ker (Oxford, 1900), II, 111-112. There were six, not four editions of Holiday's Persius.]

[3] [Warton refers presumably to Isaac Reed's Collection of Old Plays (London, 1780).]

[4] [Jehan de] Nostredam [e]. [Les] Vies des [...] Poet[es] Provens[aux]. [Lyon, 1575] n. 59. pag. 199.

[5] [William Hayley. An] Ess[ay] on Epic Poetry. [London, 1782] Notes, Ess. iii. v. 81. p. 171.

[6] They are entered to him, feb. 4, under that year [1591/92]. Registr. Station. B. fol. 284. a. In sixteens. I have a copy. Wh[ite] Lett[er i. e., roman]. With vignettes.

[7] [Daniel was tutor to her son William Herbert and preceptor to Ann Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, but Sidney's sister seems to have been the patroness rather than the pupil of Daniel.][Pg 14]

[8] His sister married John Florio, author of a famous Italian dictionary, and tutor to queen Anne, consort of James the first, in Italian, under whom Daniel was groom of the Privy-Chamber. [Anthoney a] Wood, Ath[enae] Oxon[ienses]. [London, 1691-92.] i. 379. col. 1. [Warton's mention of "Daniel's Life" refers presumably to the brief biography by Wood, here cited.]

[9] A. i. Sc. i[i]. Warton was evidently quoting from the edition prepared by Thomas Hawkins and sold by his own printer, Prince—The Origin of the English Drama (Oxford, 1773), III, 213.

[10] Sonn. 50. [To show how "One of Spenser's cotemporary poets has ridiculed the obsolete language of The Fairy Queen" Warton had already quoted the first two lines of this sonnet in the second edition of his Observations on the Faerie Queene (London, 1762), I, 122, n.]

[11] From a manuscript note by bishop Tanner inserted in Wood's Athen. Oxon. i. 379. Bibl. Bodl. ["Aug. 9. Jac. 1. The Dean and Chapter of Cht. Ch. by grant under their Common Seal out of regard for the learning wit and good conversation of Sam. Daniel gent. gave him leave to eat and drink at the Canons Table whenever he thought fit to come."—Tanner's marginal note (I, col. 447) in his copy (Bodleian MS. Top. Oxon. b. 8) of the second, 1721, edition of Wood. Although Philip Bliss in his edition of Athenae Oxonienses (London, 1813) incorporated many of the marginalia inserted by Tanner in his copy of Wood, Bliss evidently overlooked this particular note. The editor is grateful to the Bodleian Library for a photostat and for permission to quote. According to Mr. W. G. Hiscock, Deputy Librarian at Christ Church, no mention of the "act" concerning Daniel is now to be found in the records under his care.]

[12] See supr. iii. [433]. Warton used Greek capitals in his title.

[13] At London in quarto [1582]. There is a fine manuscript copy, at present, in the British Museum. Watson has many pieces in Englands Helicon, 1600.[Pg 15]

[14] In quarto.

[15] [Above the word "conformation" Warton added "constraint." It is not clear whether he intended both to stand.]

[16] I have discovered, says Mr Steevens, in a Letter to me, that Watson's Sonnets, which were printed without date, were entered on the books of the Stationer's Company, in 1581: under the Title of, "Watsons Passions, manifesting the true frenzy of Love". The Entry is to Gabriel Cawood, who afterwards published them. [See A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, ed. Edward Arber (London, 1875-1894), II, 409.] Ad Lectorem Hexasticon is prefixed "Green's Tullie's Love", & subscribed "Tho. Watson. Oxon."—[Robert Greene, Ciceronis Amor. Tullies Love (London, 1601), Sig. A3 verso.]

I find in [Joseph] Ames' Typographical Antiquities. [London, 1749] page 423. Amintae Gaudiā. Authore Tho. Watsono. Londinensi. Juris studiosi [sic]. 1592 [This unique pencilled annotation seems to be in Joseph Warton's hand.]

[17] [A note to accompany this Sonnet No. VII has been almost completely destroyed by the excision, unique in the notebook, of what was originally folio 17. The mutilated line ends of the note read thus: "... nd/ ... on/... omas/... s Tr." This note presumably referred to Thomas Watson and cited Section XI of "A Comparative Discourse of our English Poets," in Francis Meres's Palladis Tamia: Wit's Treasury (London, 1598, fol. 280), where among those praised for their Latin verse are Christopher Ocland, Thomas Watson, Thomas Campion, Walter Haddon, and "Thomas Newton with his Leyland."]

[18] Novemb. 19. [1594, not 1595.] Registr. Station. B. fol. 315. a.[Pg 16]

[19] There is [a] Sonnet by Spenser, never printed with his works, prefixed to Gabriel Harveys "Foure Letters, &c. Lond. 1592." I have much pleasure in drawing this little piece from obscurity, not only as it bears the name of Spenser, but as it is at the same time a natural unaffected effusion of friendship ... [four words illegible]. (See Observations on Spenser's Fair. Qu. [II]. [245-247?].)

"Harvey, the happy aboue happiest men,
I read: that sitting like a looker-on
of this worldes stage, doest note with critique pen
The sharpe dislikes of each condition;
And, as one carelesse of suspition,
Ne fawnest for the favour of the great,
Ne fearest foolish reprehension
of faulty men, which daunger to thee threat;
But freely doest, of what thee list, entreat,
Like a great lord of peerlesse liberty:
Lifting the good vp to high honours seat,
And th' euil damning euermore to dy.
For life and death is in thy doomefull writing,
So thy renowme liues euer by endighting.

Dublin this 18 of July, 1586. Your devoted Friend during life, Edmund Spencer."

I avail myself of an opportunity of throwing together a few particulars of the life and writings of this very intimate friend of Spenser, more especially as they will throw general light on the present period. He was born at Saffron-Walden in Essex, [John] Strype's [Life of the Learned Sir Thomas] Smith. [London, 1698] p. 18. He was a fellow of Pembroke-Hall, Spenser's college: and was one of the proctors of the university of Cambridge, in 1583. [Thomas] Fuller's [History of the University of] Cambridge,[Pg 17] p. 146. [in his] Ch[urch] Hist[ory of Britain]. [London, 1655.] Wood says, he was first of Christ's college, and afterwards fellow of Trinity-Hall, Ath. Oxon. F[asti, I, col. 755]. But Wood must be mistaken, for in the Epilogus to his Smithus, addressed to John Wood Smith's amanuensis, Harvey dates from Pembroke-Hall. Smithus, Signat. G. iij. [G4 verso.] [Warton probably did not intend to deny that Harvey was a fellow of Trinity, but evidently felt that Wood was ignorant of the intermediate fellowship at Pembroke.] He was doctorated in jurisprudence at both universities. With his brother Henry, he was much addicted to Astrology. (See supr. [Vol. IV], p. 23.)

He seems to have been a reader in rhetoric at Cambridge from his Ciceronianus, vel Oratio post reditum habita Cantabrigiae ad suos auditores. Lond. 1577. 4to. It is dedicated to William Lewin, I suppose of Christ's college. (See Wood, ubi supr.) He published also Rhetor, vel duorum dierum oratio de natura arte et exercitatione rhetorica, Lond. 1577. 4o. It is dedicated to Bartholomew Clark, the elegant translator of Castilios Courtier, who has also prefixed an address to our author's Rhetor, dated at Mitcham in Surrey, Cal. Sept. 1577. He published in four books, a set of Latin poems called Gabrielis Harveii Gratulationum Valdinensium Libri quatuor, &c. Lond. 1578. 4to. This book he wrote in honour of queen Elisabeth, while she was on a progress at Audley-end in Essex, "afterwards presenting the same in print to her Highnesse at the worshipfull Maister Capels in Hertfordshire." Notes to Spenser's September. He mentions a most perfect and elegant delineation or engraving of all England, perartificiose expressa, procured by his friend M. Saccoford, to which the queen's effigy, accuratissime depicta, was prefixed. Lib. i. p. 13. In his character of an accomplished Maid of Honour of the queen's court, some curious qualifications are recited. One of the first, to make her truly amiable, is what he calls Affectatio.[Pg 18]

She is to understand painting her cheeks, to have a collection of good jokes, to dance, draw, write verses, sing, and play on the lute, and furnish her library with some approved recipt-books. She is to be completely skilled in cosmetics. "Deglabret, lavet, atque ungat, &c." Lib. iiii. p. 21. 22. (See supr. ii[i]. [426, n].) Another book of Harvey's Latin poetry is his Smithus, vel Musarum Lacrymae, on the death of Seceretary [sic] Sir Thomas Smith, Lond. 1578. 4to. The dedication is to Sir Walter Mildmay. When Smith died, he says, Lord Surrey broke his lyre. Cant. v. He wishes on this mournful occasion, that More, Surrey, and Gascoigne, would be silent. Cant. vi. Ascham, Carr, Tonge, Bill, Goldwell, Watson, and Wilson, are panegyrised as imitators of Smith. [Nicholas Carr, 1524-1568, was Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge. William Bill, d. 1561, was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Perhaps Tonge is the Barnaby Tonge who matriculated at Christ Church, Cambridge, in 1555. There were two John Goldwell's at Cambridge in Smith's day: one was a fellow at Queen's from 1538 to 1542; the other was named fellow of Trinity in 1546. For Wilson see Warton's discussion earlier in the History (III, 331-344), where this very praise in Harvey's Smithus is quoted.] Cant. vii. Signat. D. iij. See also, Sign. L. i. And C. ij. Wilson, the author of the Art of Rhetoric, is again commended. Ibid. Sign. E. ij. Again, Sign. F. i. F. ij. He thinks it of consequence to remember, that Smith gave a Globe, mira arte politum, to Queens College Library at Cambridge. Ibid, Sign. E. iij. [E4 verso.] He praises Lodovice Dolci's odes, and Ronsard. Cant. ii. Sign. C. i. His iambics are celebrated by his cotemporaries. See Meres, Wits Tr. fol. 280. 282. [283 verso.] (See supr. ii [i]. [401, n].) Nothing can be more unclassical than Harvey's Latin verse. He is Hobbinol in Spenser's Pastorals. Under that name, he has prefixed two recommendatory poems to the first and second parts of the Faerie queene. [There was only[Pg 19] one such poem, but in some folio editions it was inadvertently printed twice.] The old annotator on Spenser's Pastorals prefaces his commentary, with an address, dated 1579, "To the most excellent and learned both oratour and poet master Gabriel Harvey, &c." In the notes to September, he is said to have written many pieces, "partly vnder vnknowne titles, and partly vnder counterfeit names: as his Tyrannomastix, his old [ode] Natalitia, his Rameidos, and especially that part of Philomusus his divine Anticosmopolite, &c." He appears to have been an object of the petty wits & pamphlet-critics of his times. His chief antagonists were Nash and Greene. In the Foure Letters abovementioned, may be seen many anecdotes of his literary squabbles. To these controversies belong his Pierces supererogation, Lond. 1593. Sub-Joined, is a New Letter of notable contents with a strange sound sonnet called Gorgon. To this is sometimes added An Advertisement for Pap-Hatchet &c. Nash's Apology of Pierce Penniless, printed 1593, is well known. Nash also attacks Harvey, as a fortune-teller & ballad maker, in Have with you to Saffron-Walden. Nash also wrote a confutation of Harvey's Foure Letters, 1592. [Strange News, of the Intercepting Certaine Letters, to which Warton evidently refers, is actually the early title of the Apology.] I pass over other pieces of the kind. The origin of the dispute seems to have been, that Nash affirmed Harvey's father to have been a rope-maker at Saffron-Walden. Harvey died, aged about 90, at Saffron Walden, in 1630.

[20] Sonn. xliii.

[21] Sonn. xv.

[22] Except in in [sic] such a passage as when he calls this favourite by "The master-mistress of my passion," Sonn. 20. And in a few others, where the expressions literally shew the writer to be a man. [Warton of course wanted to preserve Shakespeare's sonnets from the charge of homosexuality. In the eighteenth century the distaste for conceits and an acute sensitivity to[Pg 20] the suspicion of homosexuality made the Sonnets so unpopular that they were omitted from the editions of Shakespeare by, among others, Rowe, Pope, Theobald, Warburton, Capell, and Johnson.]

[23] The last of these is that which begins, "O thou, my lovely Boy." Sonn. 126.

[24] "When absent from thee".

[25] Sonn. 97.

[26] They were sweet indeed, but they wanted animation; and, in appearance, they were nothing more than beautiful resemblances or copies of you.

[27] Sonn. 98.

[28] Sonn. 99.

[29] [Warton originally wrote "1609," but immediately scored it out and replaced it with "1599."]

[30] In 16mo. With vignettes. Never entered in the Register of the Stationers. [Possibly Warton saw a volume registered by Eleazer Edgar on 3 January 1599/1600 as "A booke called Amours by J. D. with certen oyr sonnetes by W. S. vjd" (Arber's Stationers Register, III, 153). This entry may indicate that Edgar held manuscripts of some of Shakespeare's sonnets, and some copies of the book so registered may have been published. However, if Warton had seen this hypothetical volume he should have correctly identified it: he had already (III, 402, n.) printed the Edgar entry from the Stationers Register.

If this volume which Warton mentions ever actually existed, it cannot now be located. Concerning Warton's statement Mr. G. B. Oldham, Principal Keeper of Printed Books, British Museum, wrote as follows: "I have examined the sale catalogue which contains books from the library of the Reverend William Thomson of Queens College, Oxford, but have failed to find anything at all corresponding with the volume which Warton describes. There[Pg 21] are not, in fact, many really scarce books in this catalogue and it rather looks as though the rarer items in Thomson's collection were otherwise disposed of. In any case I think there is a strong presumption that Warton's memory betrayed him."

Thus, in the absence of any evidence concerning a 1599 edition of the Sonnets and in the light of Thorpe's claim in 1609 that they were "Never before Imprinted," it seems probable that what Warton was vaguely recalling was actually a copy of Shakespeare's Passionate Pilgrim. This book, printed for Jaggard in 1599, my have misled Warton by its separate title page, Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Musicke. Such a volume as Warton describes was, it seems evident from surviving copies, frequently bound up to contain The Passionate Pilgrim, Venus and Adonis, and other small collections of poetry. The fact that Warton recollected the book as a l6mo. does not argue much against this identification. Though The Passionate Pilgrim is actually an octavo, surviving copies measure about 4-1/2 by 3-1/4 inches, and as late as 1911 William Jaggard, in his Shakespeare Bibliography (p. 429), described it as a 16mo.

In explanation of Warton's probable error two extenuating facts should be remembered. First, since Thomson died about 1766, Warton's recollection was at least fifteen years old; and second, only in 1780 did Edmond Malone edit the Sonnets and The Passionate Pilgrim as discriminate texts comprising Shakespeare's lyrics. Even then Malone omitted without comment the separate title page Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Musicke. Previously, except in George Steevens's edition of the Sonnets, Shakespeare's poems were lumped together, with lyrics of several other Elizabethan poets, and printed as Shakespeare's Poems on Several Occasions. Moreover, Warton was not the first to write of a 1599 edition of the Sonnets. His friend Bishop Percy may have helped to create this false impression in Warton's memory. In his[Pg 22] interleaved copy of Langbaine's Account of the English Dramatick Poets, immediately after Oldys's statement that Shakespeare's Sonnets were not printed until 1609, Percy commented, "But this is a mistake. Lintot republished Shakespeare's Sonnets from an edition in 1599." Malone, in his transcript of Steevens's transcript of Percy, corrected Percy's mistake: "This is a mistake of Dr. Percy's. Lintot republished from old eds but not from any ed. of 1599, except a very few sonnets called the Passionate Pilgrim printed in that year." (Photostat of Bergen Evans's transcript of Bodleian Malone 129-132.) Warton, however, may well have been misled by Percy's comment, for in the winter of 1769 he had borrowed and used Percy's annotated copy of Langbaine. (The Percy Letters, The Correspondence of Thomas Percy and Thomas Warton, ed. M. G. Robinson and Leah Dennis [Baton Rouge, 1951], pp. 135, 137.) It is unfortunate that the matter was not cleared up in discussion with Malone, whom at some time during the 1780's Warton furnished with a copy of the 1596 Venus and Adonis and with whom he corresponded around 1785 concerning sonnets in general and Shakespeare in particular. (William Shakespeare, Plays and Poems, ed. Edmond Malone [London, 1790] X, 13, n. 1; and James Prior, The Life of Edmond Malone [London, 1860], pp. 122-123.)]

[31] Wits Tr. fol. 281. b. [The brackets in the text are Warton's.]

[32] [Warton was of course much mistaken. Following the 1640 edition of Benson, Gildon had reprinted them under Shakespeare's name in 1709 (dated 1710) and again in 1714. The two Sewell editions appeared in 1725 and 1728. Invariably the poems seem to have been printed under Shakespeare's name, though perhaps not always in a collected edition of his complete poems. See Hyder Rollins's New Variorum edition of the Sonnets (Philadelphia, 1944).]

[33] [See Malone's Supplement to the Edition of Shakespeare's Plays (London, 1780), I, 581.]

[34] See supr. vol. iii. [p. 405].[Pg 23]

[35] Wits Tr. fol. 284. a. He is again mentioned by Meres for his distich on king James's Furies & Lepanto. fol. 284. b. [The distich, printed by Meres, is the final couplet of Barnfield's Sonnet II.]

[36] Sonn. xii.

[37] It begins thus.

Nights were short, and daies were long,
Blossoms on the hauthorns hong;
Philomel, night-musickes kinge,
Tolde the comming of the springe, &c.

He does not scruple to insert these lines,

Loue I did the fairest boy,
That these fields did ere enioy.
Loue I did faire Ganymed,
Venus darling, beauties bed, &c.

This piece was afterwards inserted in Englands Helicon.

[38] See supr. vol. iii. p. [292, n.] I [am] now most inclined to think, that these initials mean Henry Constable, and not Henry Chettle. The Sonnets do not justify the applauses paid to Constable, by his contemporaries, Edmond Bolton, Meres, the author of the Return from Parnassus, and many others. Some of his sonnets are prefixed to Sydney's Apology for Poetry. The initials H. C. often occur in Englands Helicon. I take this opportunity of saying that some pieces of Chettle were among Mr. Beauclerc's books. (See supr. iii. [291-292, n.?]) [Indeed the annotations in the Harvard Library copy of the Bibliotheca Beauclerkiana (p. 102) suggest that either Thomas Warton or, more probably, his brother may have purchased the copy of Chettle's Englands Mourning Garment owned by Thomas Warton's former[Pg 24] student. It was sold to "Dr. W."]

[39] See supr. iii. [480.] [R. L. was Richard Lynch.]

[40] In 16mo. With vignettes. They are sixty two in number. The best is that which begins,

Venus, and yong Adonis sitting by her,
Vnder a myrtle shade began to woe him
She told the yongling, &c. Sonn. iii.

He calls Sleep, "Balme of the brused heart." Sonn. xv.


First Year (1946-47)

Numbers 1-6 out of print.

Second Year (1947-1948)

7. John Gay's The Present State of Wit (1711); and a section on Wit from The English Theophrastus (1702).

8. Rapin's De Carmine Pastorali, translated by Creech (1684).

9. T. Hanmer's (?) Some Remarks on the Tragedy of Hamlet (1736).

10. Corbyn Morris' Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, etc. (1744).

11. Thomas Purney's Discourse on the Pastoral (1717).

12. Essays on the Stage, selected, with an Introduction by Joseph Wood Krutch.

Third Year (1948-1949)

13. Sir John Falstaff (pseud.), The Theatre (1720).

14. Edward Moore's The Gamester (1753).

15. John Oldmixon's Reflections on Dr. Swift's Letter to Harley (1712); and Arthur Mainwaring's The British Academy (1712).

16. Nevil Payne's Fatal Jealousy (1673).

17. Nicholas Rowe's Some Account of the Life of Mr. William Shakespeare (1709).

18. "Of Genius," in The Occasional Paper, Vol. III, No. 10 (1719); and Aaron Hill's Preface to The Creation (1720).

Fourth Year (1949-1950)

19. Susanna Centlivre's The Busie Body (1709).

20. Lewis Theobold's Preface to The Works of Shakespeare (1734).

21. Critical Remarks on Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa, and Pamela (1754).

22. Samuel Johnson's The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749) and Two Rambler papers (1750).

23. John Dryden's His Majesties Declaration Defended (1681).

24. Pierre Nicole's An Essay on True and Apparent Beauty in Which from Settled Principles is Rendered the Grounds for Choosing and Rejecting Epigrams, translated by J. V. Cunningham.

Fifth Year (1950-51)

25. Thomas Baker's The Fine Lady's Airs (1709).

26. Charles Macklin's The Man of the World (1792).

27. Frances Reynolds' An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Taste, and of the Origin of Our Ideas of Beauty, etc. (1785).

28. John Evelyn's An Apologie for the Royal Party (1659); and A Panegyric to Charles the Second (1661).

29. Daniel Defoe's A Vindication of the Press (1718).

30. Essays on Taste from John Gilbert Cooper's Letters Concerning Taste, 3rd edition (1757), & John Armstrong's Miscellanies (1770).

Sixth Year (1951-1952)

31. Thomas Gray's An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751); and The Eton College Manuscript.

32. Prefaces to Fiction; Georges de Scudéry's Preface to Ibrahim (1674), etc.

33. Henry Gally's A Critical Essay on Characteristic-Writings (1725).

34. Thomas Tyers' A Biographical Sketch of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1785).

35. James Boswell, Andrew Erskine, and George Dempster. Critical Strictures on the New Tragedy of Elvira, Written by Mr. David Malloch (1763).

36. Joseph Harris's The City Bride (1696).

37. Thomas Morrison's A Pindarick Ode on Painting (1767).

38. John Phillips' A Satyr Against Hypocrites.

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: University of California

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General Editors

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Wm. Andrews Clark Memorial Library
R. C. Boys
University of Michigan
Ralph Cohen
University of California, Los Angeles
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University of California, Los Angeles

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The Society exists to make available inexpensive reprints (usually facsimile reproductions) of rare seventeenth and eighteenth century works. The editorial policy of the Society remains unchanged. As in the past, the editors welcome suggestions concerning publications. All income of the Society is devoted to defraying cost of publication and mailing.

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Publications for the seventh year [1952-1953]

(At least six items, most of them from the following list, will be reprinted.)

Selections from the Tatler, the Spectator, the Guardian. Introduction
by Donald F. Bond.
Bernard Mandeville: A Letter to Dion (1732). Introduction by
Jacob Viner.
M. C. Sarbiewski: The Odes of Casimire (1646), Introduction
by Maren-Sofie Rœstvig.
An Essay on the New Species of Writing Founded by Mr. Fielding (1751).
Introduction by James A. Work.
[Thomas Morrison]: A Pindarick Ode on Painting (1767).
Introduction by Frederick W. Hilles.
[John Phillips]: Satyr Against Hypocrits (1655). Introduction
by Leon Howard.
Prefaces to Fiction. Second series. Selected with an introduction by
Charles Davies.
Thomas Warton: A History of English Poetry: An Unpublished
Continuation. Introduction by Rodney M. Baine.

Publications for the first six years (with the exception of nos. 1-6, which are out of print) are available at the rate of $3.00 a year. Prices for individual numbers may be obtained by writing to the Society.



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