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Another plaintive and natural touch occurs where complains of her ill treatment: 43
To take me up (as this young man did see)
And again the love-sick youth:
evermore his speach he did apply
To th' heards, but meant it to the damzels fantazy."
The fourth type of realism containing homely touches introduced by a mere word or two occurs frequently both in the Minor Poems and in the Faerie Queene:
And were not hevenly grace, that him did blesse,
They hew'd their helmes, and plates asunder brake,
As they had potshares bene.“o
Such passages are also very frequent in some of the Minor Poems.50
48 F. Q., VI, 2, 12.
44 F. Q., VI, 2, 22.
45 F. Q., VI, 9, 12.
Other examples are:-1, 9, 21; v, 6, 11-14; VI, 8, 5,
37; VI, 9, 38-39; VII, 7, 34.
48 F. Q., I, 7, 12.
47 F. Q., II, 2, 34.
48 F. Q., III, 9, 5.
49 F. Q., VI, 1, 37. Other examples are:-1, 4, 21, 22, 28, 35; 1, 6, 11; 1, 9, 29; II, 1, 45; II, 4, 24; II, 5, 30; II, 7, 16; п, 9, 13; п, 11, 19; п, 12, 25; II, 1, 15; III, 5, 39; IV, 5, 45; rv, 10, 25; v, 5, 8; v, 7, 9; v, 8, 35; v, 9, 19; v, 11, 47; VI, 4, 14; VI, 7, 42; VI, 8, 16; VI, 10, 34; vi, 12, 26; VII, 6, 43; sixteenth century touches:—1, 11, 30; VI, 8, 9.
50 There are doubtless many more examples than these I have noted, but it will be very hard to distinguish the real from the traditional, until the material which is being drawn from the research in the fields of pastoral and historic tradition is more complete.
Take, for example, an effort at local color from the Shepheardes Calender:
Tho would I seeke for queene apples unrype
With bowe and bolts 2 in either hand
Thomalin goes a-hunting:
I shott at him with might and maine,
So long I shott that al was spent:
The colloquialisms which constitute another type of realism (type 5) are found practically only in the Shepheardes Calender, where the subject matter is suited to rustic conversations, for example:
I deeme thy braine emperished bee
Through rusty elde, that hath rotted thee;
Or sicker thy head veray tottie is,
So on thy corbe shoulder it leanes amisse.54
So longe have I listened to thy speche
And in the August Eclogue occurs the passage:
Herdgrome, I fear me thou have a squint eye,
51 June Ec., 1. 43 ff.
52 Bird-bolt, a blunt-headed arrow used for shooting birds in the time of Elizabeth.
53 March Ec., 11. 65, 85 ff. Other examples are:-Jan, Ec. 1. 58 ff.; March Ec., 1. 20; April Ec., 11. 132, 151 ff.; Aug. Ec., 11. 46 ff.; Nov. Ec., 11. 95 ff. 54 S. C., Feb. Ec., 1. 53 ff.
55 8. C., Feb. Ec., 1. 241 ff.
56 Aug. Ec., 11. 129 ff. Other examples are:-Feb. Ec., 1. 40 ff.; May Ec., 1. 35 ff.; Aug. Ec., 11. 2 ff.; Sept. Ec., 11. 164 ff.; C. C. C. H. A., 11. 291 ff. The elements of pure realism in the S. C., as opposed to mere archaicisms, tend to serve the same purpose. Cf. J. W. Draper, J. of E. and G. P., Dec.,
The last type of realism,-descriptions satiric in tone of court, clerical, and other walks in life, drawn, it might be supposed, from the personal experience 57 of Spenser, occur occasionally in the Faerie Queene, but are most numerous in some of the Minor Poems, particularly in Mother Hubberds Tale and Colin Clouts Come Home Againe. The passages might of course arise merely from satiric tradition, but there is a ring of sincerity in them which would lead one to believe them drawn from Spenser's personal experience such a satiric passage on court life as:
For, sooth to say it is no sort of life
For shepheard fit to lead in that same place
To which him needs a guilefull hollow hart,
A filed toung furnisht with tearmes of art,
In Mother Hubberds Tale, the satire is chiefly directed against church and court. The priest meeting the ape and the fox discourses on the joys and ease of clerical life:
It's now a dayes, ne halfe so streight and sore.
They whilome used duly everie day
Their service and their holie things to say.
He then tells them how to get a benefice by altering themselves handsomely and applying to some "one great in the worldes eye, and so on."
57 C. C. C. H. A., 11. 27 ff.
58 C. C. C. H. A., according to Dodge (Introd. to Cambridge Ed.) is "the record of the poet's expedition to England with Raleigh in 1589 and of what he found there at court."
o C. C. C. H. A., 11. 688-702. Other satiric passages in C. C. C. H. A., on the court are:-11. 680-688, 702-730, 735-775; on love:-11. 775-793.
6o M. H. T., 11. 448 ff. Other satiric passages in M. H. T. are:-on the clergy, 11. 337-550, particularly 11. 337-395, 451-478, 488-525. The strain
Court satire predominates when the mule meets them, telling them that to succeed at court, they must present
a good bold face
And with big words, and with a stately pace,
That men may thinke of you, in generall,
As thistle-downe in th'ayre doth flie
So vainly shalt thou too and fro be tost.
The passage on the despairing court suitor is perhaps the best:
So pitifull a thing is suters state.
Most miserable man, whom wicked fate
To loose good dayes, that might be better spent;
To speed to day, to be put back to morrow
To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow,
and so on. 61
The same tone is echoed in some passages of the Faerie Queene, and in some of the other Minor Poems. Satiric passages occur not only on court and church but also on other aspects of life.62 On the whole, this type of realism plays a very important part in Spenser's works.
In this study of these six types of realism there are several
of court satire runs of course through the clerical but predominates in such passages as 11. 612-616, 618-653, 695 ff., 801 ff. The satiric touches run in fact throughout this section.
61 M. H. T., 11. 645 ff., 634 f., 891 ff. Others are 11. 900-915.
62 There are somewhat similar passages in the S. C., Sept. Ec., 11. 79-95. Others on the church-on shepherds who do not watch their flocks. There is a more personal note in a couple of verses from the Prothalamion, 11. 5-10, on court disappointments. In the F. Q., the following satiric passages occur:-on gossip and slander in court and church, 1, 3, 40; VI, 8, 26; VI, 9, 3, 24-25; VI, 12, 23-24; on the "rascal many " 1, 12, 9-11; IV, 3, 41; v, 2, 33; v, 11, 47; on ambition, II, 7, 47; on cowards, П, 3, 19, 20. Also personal touches on the slanderers of his poetry:-1, 4, 32; vi, 12, 40, 41.
factors which stand out. In the first place it is noticeable that with the exception of the Shepheardes Calender, Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, and Mother Hubberds Tale, and a few touches in the Prothalamion, practically no realism appears in the Minor poems. The great majority of those poems containing practically no realism are written before 1580; but since the Shepheardes Calender and Mother Hubberds Tale, two of the most realistic, were also written before this time, the dating alone would not account for the fact. The explanation is probably rather the difference in the subject matter, and the probability that in his work of the idealised type before he became familiar with the wild life of Ireland, his attention was turned not toward realism, but away from it. The reverse is the case with the Faerie Queene. The entirely different subject matter of the Shepheardes Calender and Mother Hubberds Tale demands certain touches of realism in order to supply the conviction necessary to that type of poetry.
Another tendency which forces itself on the attention is that in types I, II and IV more than half the references are metaphors or similes-chiefly similes. In these types, of some 155 references which I have been able to find in the Faerie Queene about 100 are similes or metaphors. This fact suggests that as the subject matter becomes more or less idealised, the tendency toward the introduction of realism becomes stronger to vivify what would otherwise tend to be intangible and above comprehension or merely conventional and dead.
Yet another tendency is the comparatively steady increase in realism in the Faerie Queene. In the first Book I have been able to find nineteen realistic passages, in the second, twenty-two, in
63 The Amoretti, Dodge feels (see Introd. to his Ed. of Spenser) contain the picture of a real girl and the history of a genuine courtship. "We are constantly in sight of fact," he says, "however trivial." I have not been perfectly satisfied with Dodge's arguments, for, though there may be a biographical element in the sonnets, yet the treatment is fundamentally imaginative rather than realistic. Dodge points out as a realistic passage: One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away.-St. LXXV.
Again, "Her too constant stiffness doth constrayne" is an element of "her" reality for Dodge. Such passages seem to me rather conventional on the whole.