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This drama is mentioned by Davies of Hereford in an epigram already cited, vol. I. p. 199; and The Scourge of Folly, which contains that epigram, is supposed to have been published about 1611. The Faithful Shepherdess, says Gifford,

was brought out in 1610, perhaps before.” Note on Jonson's Works, vi. 305. The first edition is printed without a date ; but Sir William Skipwith, one of the three friends to whom the author dedicates it, died on the third of May, 1610,

This pastoral was wholly from the pen of Fletcher. That in composing it he had an eye to the Aminta of Tasso and to the Pastor Fido of Guarini, is, I think, quite evident. A Satyr, whose character became so refined and poetical in Fletcher's hands, is found in both those dramas; while the latter suggested the title of The Faithful Shepherdess, and unfortunately afforded in Corisca a model for the wanton Cloe. A version of the Aminta (“ somewhat altered “”) into English hexameters had already appeared in the First Part of The Countesse of Pembrokes Yuychurch, &c., by Abraham Fraunce, in 1591 ; and an English translation of the Pastor Fido by Dymock (which, in spite of Daniel's commendatory sonnet, is a very bad one) had been published in 1602. But, though in all probability the poor attempts of Fraunce and Dymock were not unknown to Fletcher, there can be no doubt that the Italian text of those celebrated pieces was perfectly familiar to him.

Mr. Darley, however, (Introd. to the Works of Beaumont and Fletcher, p. xii.), is willing to trace the origin of the Faithful Shepherdess to Spenser. - Various thoughts,” he says, descriptions, &c., are taken or imitated from the Shepherd's Calendar; some peculiar words, as “dell,' leese,' are common to both productions; and so likewise are some proper names, as Thenot, Periyot, which do not exist in Fletcher's supposed prototypes, the Aminta and the Pastor Fido.He then gives two specimens of the former coincidences, wh vill be found among Seward's

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2 " I haue somewhat altered S.[ignor) Tassoes Italian and M.(aster] Watsons Latine Amyntas, to make them both one English." Dedic. Epistic to the Countess of Pembroke.


notes in this edition. That Fletcher has occasionally imitated Spenser, is unquestionable ; and indeed the very subject on which he was employed would naturally call to his recollection the well-known Eclogues of that mighty poet; but I must still continue to believe that if the pastoral dramas of Tasso and Guarini had never been written, we should never have possessed The Faithful Shepherdess. As to “dell” and “leese,”they occur more frequently in the works of Fletcher's contemporaries than Mr. Darley seems to be aware ; the latter word is used eleven times by Dymock in his translation of the Pastor Fido.

With all its poetic beauty, The Faithful Shepherdess is but little fitted for the stage ; and on its first representation it was decidedly condemned by the audience. The various addresses to and by the author, which, in consequence of its failure at the theatre, were prefixed to the first 4to., have been retained in the present edition.

Several years after the decease of Fletcher, this long-neglected pastoral was exhibited at court. Its revival is thus noticed in the MSS. of Sir Henry Herbert :-“ On Monday night the sixth of January (1633-4] and the Twelfe Night was presented at Denmark-house , before the King and Queene, Fletchers pastorall called The Faithfull Shepheardesse, in the clothes the Queene had given Taylor the year before of her owne pastorall. The scenes were fitted to the pastorall, and made, by Mr. Inigo Jones, in the great chamber, 1633." Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 234. Garrard, the gossiping correspondent of Lord Strafford, has a passage to the same effect in a letter dated January 9th, 1633 :-“I never knew a duller Christmas than we had at Court this Year, but one Play all the time at Whitehall, and no dancing at all. The Queen had some little Infirmity, a Bile, or some such Thing, which made her keep in, only on Twelfth-night she feasted the King at Somerset-house, and presented him with a Play, newly studied, long since printed, The Faithful Shepherdess, which the King's Players acted in the Robes she and her Ladies acted their Pastoral in the last Year.” The Earl of Strafforde's Letters and Dispatches, i. 177.

6 Instead of a Prologue, there was a Song in Dialogue, sung between a Priest and a Nymph, which was writ by Sir William D'Avenant; and an Epilogue was spoken by the Lady Mary Mordant, which the Reader may read in CoventGarden Drollery, p. 86.” Langbaine's Account of Engl. Dram. Poets, p. 208. In consequence, we may presume, of the favour which it had experienced at court, The Faithful Shepherdess was again brought out at a

b Denmark-Ulouse was the later name of Somerset-House,


regular theatre; from the third quarto we learn that, soon after its revival before the King and Queen, it was acted “divers times with great applause at the Private House in Black-Friars.”

In 1637, Milton testified to the world his admiration of this drama by the various passages of Comus which are closely imitated from it.

In 1658, Sir Richard Fanshaw published a translation of The Faithful Shepherdess into Latin verse,—La Fida Pastora". Comædia Pastoralis. Autore F. F. Anglo-Britanno. Adduntur nonnulla varii argumenti Carmina ab eodem. 8vo.,-a performance of considerable merit on the whole, though containing not a little to which the critical scholar might object. I subjoin two specimens of it. The speech of Cloe,

Shepherd, I pray thee stay. Where hast thou been,” &c.—Act i. sc. 3. is rendered as follows:

“ Pastor, non abeas, non, quæsumus. Unde venis nunc ?

Aut quo vadis? Ubi viret hac magis horrida silva ?
Spirat et hic qua nec melior nec mollior aura est,
Lævis ubi Zephyrus faciem lascivus oberrat
Crispatam labentis aquæ ; floresque quot ulla
Vere novo producit humus, totidemque colorum.
Quod placet hic omne est ; gelidi fontesque lacusque,
Arboreæque domus plumatis flore corymbis,
Antra, lacunosique apices. Horum elige quid vis.
Ipsa tuo cantans lateri concreta sedebo ;
Hosve legam juncos (digitis tibi vincula longis);
Crebraque amoris erit pro te mihi fabula ; pallens
Ut primum vidit silvis venando Diana
Endymiona, bibens oculis labefacta puelli
Æternos ignes et non medicabile vulnus ;
Molliter ut conduxit eum, gremioque refusum,
Atque soporifero redimitum tempora flore,
Ad Latmi caput antiqui, quo devolat illa
Omni nocte, aurans fraterno lumine montem,

Basia mille datura genis quas deperit.”
The concluding portion of the play, from the speech of the Satyr,

“ Thou divinest, fairest, brightest,” &c. is translated thus :

Sat. Terræ pulchrior incolis, beata,

Perquam candida virgo præpotensque,
Dilectissima Dis et absque fraude,

< " Ilane tibi appellationem (non cgo) celata imposuit autoritas, a qua recedere neutiquam debeo. Casu an consilio id egerit, non constat; nec quam illa dictabat Anglice, succurrit mihi ab antiquis vocabulum quo reddam Latine. Hinc necessitas." Author ad Opusculum.

Stellatis oculis, pari capillo
Phæbeis radiis ; mihi explicato
Quid digni super arduique quid sit
Quod præstet tibi Satyrus : volabo
Per regnum celer aëris secundum,
Et nimbi (potis) impetum rotantis
Sistam ! fortiter occupabo lunam,
Et blande dominam rogabo noctis
Pallentem tibi mutuum det astrum ?
Immergar penetralibus profundi,
Ut rubrum tibi colligam corallum,
Discludens tumidas viam per undas
Tanquam velleribus nivis cadentes ?
Vis, carissima, capreas fugaces,
Aut muscas capiam quibus per alas
Estas texuit Iridis colores ?
Aut pina alta legam ? polove furer
Vatis Threicii lyram vetusti ?

Cuncta hæc plusque tui probabo causa, Quam cunctæ hæ flexo venerantur vertice silvæ. Clor. Satyre, prospicias tantum (nihil amplius oro) Hos circum lucos, ne gens innoxia noxam

Aut damnum capiat. Sat. Puella sancta,
Per totum nemus hoc tripudiabo,
Surgentis celer ut jubar diei,
Saltus perque ferar per atque valles,
Alis ventimolæ magis citatus.
Tu nunc ut valeas precor, simulque
Quod solaminis uspiam invenitur,
Phæbi quale solet creare lumen,

Et te prosperet et tuum viretum !
Clor. Et tu sis domini tui voluptas !”



Can my approvement, sir, be worth your thanks,
Whose unknown name, and Muse in swathing clouts,
Is not yet grown to strength, among these ranks
To have a room, and bear off the sharp flouts
Of this our pregnant age, that does despise
All innocent verse that lets alone her vice ?

But I must justify what privately
I censur'dd to you: my ambition is
(Even by my hopes and love to poesy)
To live to perfect such a work as this,
Clad in such elegant propriety
Of words, including a morality,

So sweet and profitable; though each man that hears,
And learning has enough to clap and hiss,
Arrives not to’t, so misty it appears,
And to their filmèd reasons so amiss :
But let Art look in Truth, she, like a mirror,
Reflects her comfort e; Ignorance's terror

Sits in her own brow, being made afraid
Of her unnatural complexion,
As ugly women, when they are array'd
By glasses, loathe their true reflection.
Then how can such opinions injure thee,
That tremble at their own deformity?

To my loved friend &c.] These recommendatory poems by Field, Beaumont, Jonson, and Chapman are found in all the 4tos. The folio of 1679 gives only those by Beaumont and Jonson.

d I censur'd] i. e. I gave as my opinion.

e comfort] The three latest 4tos. have “consort :" the meaning of this passage is far from clear.

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