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Disfurnish'd wholly of heroical spirits, , That learning should with glorious hands uphold, (For who should learning underbear, but he That knows thereof the precious worthiness, And sees true science from base vanity?) Hast in regard the true Philosophy, That in pure wisdom seats her happiness. And you the Muses, and the Graces three, You I invoke from heaven and Helicon, For other patrons have poor poets none, But Muses and the Graces, to implore. Augustus long ago hath left the world, And liberal Sidney, famous for the love He bare to learning and to chivalry, And virtuous Walsingham are fled to heaven. Why thither speed not Hobbin and his feres, Great Hobbinol,” on whom our shepherds gaze, * Hobbinol] Old copy “Hobbinall.”—Hobbinol, as most readers are aware, was the poetic name of Gabriel Harvey, and Colin Clout that of Spenser: but that Spenser is meant here I have no doubt: in England's Helicon, 1600, is a poem attributed to Spenser called Hobbinol's Dittie in praise of Eliza, Queene of the Shepheards. Mr. J. P. Collier observes to me; “Hobbinol may mean G. Harvey, on whom Spenser, one of the shepherds ‘gazed.” Peele is not abused by Harvey, although he fell foul of Greene and Nash; perhaps they were on terms, or that Peele flattered him (Harvey) into good humour. ‘ Shepherd,” as Malone has shown with needless labour, was an ordinary term for poet, almost synonymous.” But in the Old Wives Tale, 1595, (which Mr. C. had not seen when he made the preceding observation) Peele ridicules Harvey's Hexameters: yet in 1593, the date of the present poem, they might have been on terms.
And Harington,” well letter'd and discreet,
* Harington] Sir John Harington's Orlando Furioso was first printed in 1591.
t Rosamond's trumpeter] Samuel Daniel : his Delia : contayning certaine sonnets; with The Complaint of Rosamond appeared in 1592.
# Campion, accompanied with our English Fraunce] Thomas Campion wrote several poems and masques, which excited no slight contemporary admiration. For the best notice of him and his writings, I refer the reader to Haslewood's Ancient Critical Essays, vol. ii. p. 6. Abraham Fraunce, poured forth English hexameters with great facility. His poems, chiefly translations, are not undeservedly forgotten: see a list of them in Ritson's Bibl. Poet. p. 211. Some account of his life is given by Malone, Shakespeare (by Boswell), vol. ii. p. 239.
To Watson, worthy many epitaphs
* To Watson, worthy many epitaphs
The pieces of Watson here alluded to are the following. First, Amyntas Thoma Watsoni Londinensis J. V. studiosi. Nemini datur amare simul et sapere. Ercudebat Henricus Marsh ex assignatione Thoma, Marsh, 1585, duod. its subject the lamentations of Amyntas for the death of Phyllis: this rare poem I have read at the British Museum, (where is the only copy Malone had ever seen,) and it is not unworthy of perusal; but I cannot subscribe to the opinion of Nash, who, in his Address prefixed to R. Greene's Arcadia or Menaphon, calls it the “sugred Amintas,” and says “it may march in equipage of honour with any of your ancient poets.” (In the Phaenir Nest, 1593, is a copy of verses by Watson, printed also in England's Helicon, 1600, entitled Amintas for his Phillis.) Secondly, Aminta Gaudia, Authore Thoma Watsono Londinensi, juris studioso. Londini, Impensis Gulihelmi Ponsonbei 1592, 4to.: in the dedication to this piece by C. M., Watson is spoken of as dead. Dr. Drake has fallen into an error when he says that Watson “is supposed to have died about the year 1595,” (Shakespeare and his Times, vol. I. p. 663.) and appears never to have heard of the first-mentioned Amyntas.
# Marley] One of the various ways in which the name of the great dramatist, Christopher Marlowe, was spelt: he was killed by Francis Archer at Deptford, and buried there 1st June 1593.
Fit to write passions for the souls below,
Your Honour's in all humble service,