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signs : just as Herodotus, but with less affectation and incon. sistency, marked the nine books or divisions of his history with the names of the nine Muses. Yet so strange and pedantic a title is not totally without a conceit, as the author was born at Stellada, or Stellata, a province of Ferrara, and from whence he calls himself Marcellus Palingenius Stellatus . This

poem is a general satire on life, yet without peevishness or malevolence; and with more of the folemnity of the censor, than the petulance of the satirist. Much of the morality is couched under allegorical personages and adventures. The Latinity is tolerably pure, but there is a mediocrity in the versification. Palingenius's transitions often discover more quickness of imagination, and fertility of reflection, than solidity of judge ment. Having started a topic, he pursues it through all its possible affinities, and deviates into the most distant and unnecessary digressions. Yet there is a facility in his manner, which is not always unpleasing: nor is the general conduct of the work void of art and method. He moralises with a boldness and a liberality of sentiment, which were then unusual; and his maxims and strictures are sometimes tinctured with a fpirit of libertinism, which, without exposing the opinions, must have offended the gravity, of the more orthodox ecclesiastics. He fancies that a confident philosopher, who rafhly, presumes to scrutinise the remote mysteries of nature, is thewn in heaven like an ape, for the public diversion of the gods. · A thought evidently borrowed by Popes. Although he submits his performance to the sentence of the church, he treats the authority of the popes, and the voluptuous lives of the monks, with the severest acrimony. It was the last circumstance that chiefly contributed to give this poem almost the rank of a classic in the reformed countries, and probably produced an early English tranflation. After his death, he was pronounced an heretic ; and his body was taken up, and committed to the flames. A measure which only contributed to spread his book, and disseminate his doctrines.

f It should have been STELLATENSIS.

& See Essay On POPE, p. 94.

Googe seems chiefly to have excelled in rendering the descriptive and flowery passages of this moral ZODIAC. He thus describes the Spring.

The earth againe doth florifhe greene,

The trees repaire their springe ;
With pleasaunt notes the nightingale

Beginneth new to sing.
With flowers fresh their heads bedeckt,

The Fairies dance in fielde :
And wanton songes in moffye dennes

The Drids and Satirs yielde.
The wynged Cupide fast doth cast

His dartes of gold yframed, &ch.

There is some poetic imagination in SAGITTARIUS, or the ninth book, where a divine mystagogue opens to the poet's eyes an unknown region of infernal kings and inhabitants. But this is an imitation of Dante. As a specimen of the translation, and of the author's fancy, I will transcribe some of this imagery.

"Now open wyde your springs, and playne

Your caues abrode displaye,
You fifters of Parnassus hyll:

Beset about with baye !
And vnto me, for neede it is,

A hundred tongues in verse
Sende out, that I these ayrie kings

And people may rehearse.
Here fyrst, whereas in chariot red

Aurora fayre doth ryse,
And bright from out the ocean seas
Appeares to mortal eyes,
B. ii. TAURUS. Signat. B iij.


And chaseth hence the hellish night

With blushing beauty fayre,
A mighty King I might discerne,

Placde hie in lofty chayre :
Hys haire with fyry garland deckt

Puft vp in fiendish wife ;
Wyth browes full broade, and threatning loke,

And fyry-flaming eyes.
Two monstrous hornes and large he had,

And nostrils wide in fight;
Al black himself, (for bodies black

To euery euyll fpright,
And ugly shape, hath nature dealt,)

Yet white his teeth did fhowe;
And white his grenning tuskes ftode,

Large winges on him did growe,
Framde like the wings of Aindermice ;

His fete of largest sise,
In fashion as the wilde-duck beares,

Or goose that creaking cries :
His tayle such one as lions haue:

All naked fate he there,
But bodies couered round about

Wyth lothrome Shagged haire,

A number great about him stoode, &c. After viewing the wonders of heaven, his guide Timalphes, the son of Jupiter and Arete, shews him the moon, whose gates are half of gold and half of filver. They enter a city of the moon.

The loftie walles of diamonde strong

Were raysed high and framde;
The bulwarks built of carbuncle

That all as fyer yflamde,

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And wondred at the number great

That through the city fo,
Al clad in whyte, by thousands thick,
Amyd the streates did

Their heads beset with garlands fayre :

In hand the lillies white
They ioyfull beare,

to be

Then follows a mixture of claffical and christian history and mythology. This poem has many symptoms of the wildness and wanderings of Italian fiction.

It must be confessed, that there is a perfpicuity and a freedom in Googe's versification. But this metre of Sternhold and Hopkins impoverished three parts of the poetry of

queen Elisabeth's reign. A hermit is thus described, who afterwards proves fir EPICURE, in a part of the poem which has been copied by fir David Lyndesey.

His hoary beard with filuer heares

His middle fully rought';
His skin was white, and ioyfull face :

Of diuers colours wrought,
A flowry garland gay he ware

About his femely hcare, &c.

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The seventh book, in which the poet looks down upon the world, with its various occupations, follies, and vices, is opened with these nervous and elegant stanzas.

My Muse aloft ! raise vp thyself,

And vse a better flite :
Mount vp on hie, and think it scorn

Of bafe affayres to write.

** Ibid. Signat. G G iiij.

1 Reached.

m Lib. iii. E j.


More great renoune, and glory more,

In hautye matter lyes:
View thou the gods, and take thy course

Aboue the starrye skies :
Where spring-tyme lasts for euermore,


doth neuer quayle ;
Where Sunne doth shyne continuallye,

Where light doth neuer fayle.
Clowd-causer fouthwinde none there is,

No boystrous Boreas blowes;
But mylder breathes the western breeze

: Where sweet ambrofia growes.
Take thou this


Downe falling fast from hye,
Nowe vp, nowe downe, with fundry fort

Of gates" aloft go flye.
And as some hawty place he seekes.

That couets farre to fee,
So vp to Joue, pasto starres to clyme,

Is nedefull nowe for thee.
There shalt thou, from the towry top

Of crystall-colour'd skie,
The plot of all the world beholde

With yiewe of perfit eye ?.

way, and

One cannot but remark, that the conduct and machinery of the old visionary poems is commonly the same. A rural scene, generally a wilderness, is supposed. An imaginary being of consummate wisdom, a hermit, a goddess, or an angel, appears ; and having purged the poet's eye with a few drops of some celestial elixir, conducts him to the top of an inaccessible mountain, which commands an unbounded plain filled with all nations. A cavern opens, and displays the torments of the damned: he next is introduced into heaven, by way of the moon, the


• Beyond.

Signat. Nj.


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