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Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama by Walter W. Greg

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hope, sufficiently emphasized my dissent from that school of criticism
which condemns a work of art for not conforming to one or another of a
series of fixed types. That _Comus_ lies, so to speak, midway between the
drama and the masque, and partakes of the nature of either, is not, by any
inherent law of literary aesthetics, a blemish; what in my view is a
blemish, and that a serions one, is that the means employed are not
calculated to the demands of the situation. The struggle of the Lady
against the subtle enchanter, the search of the brothers for their lost
sister, the safe event of their wanderings, are all points which, however
simple in themselves, yet excite our interest; however certain we may feel
that virtue in the person of the Lady will never fall to the allurements
of Comus, they neither of them become a mere abstraction. That is to say
that, little as there may be of plot, the interest is that of the drama,
an interest really felt in the fate of the characters; while the medium
adopted is that of the masque, with its spectacular machinery, even if not
in its regular and orthodox form. It follows that the dramatic interest is
a clog on the scenic elaboration of the form, while the form is
necessarily inadequate to the rendering of the content.

It is significant that in all the early editions the piece is merely
styled 'A Maske Presented At Ludlow Castle'; the title of _Comus_ was
first affixed by Warton. It was an obvious title for a critic to adopt; it
is probably the last that the author would himself have thought of
choosing. Had it been named contemporaneously, and after the fashion of
the masques at court, the title of the _Triumph of Virtue_ could not but
have suggested itself. This is indeed the very theme of the piece. Virtue
in the person of the Lady, guarded by her brothers, watched over by the
attendant Spirit, aided at need by the nymph Sabrina, triumphant over the
blandishments and temptations of fancy and of sense in the persons of
Comus and his followers; that is the subject of the masque. It is a
subject finely and suitably conceived for spectacular illustration, and
possesses a moral after Milton's own heart. The closing lines of the poem,
already quoted, give admirable expression to the motive. Were the subject,
on the other hand, to be treated dramatically, then the character of the
Lady, virtue at grip with evil, was worthy to exercise--had; indeed, in
varying forms long exercised--the highest dramatic genius. But in this
direction lay, consciously or unconsciously, one of Milton's most evident
limitations, and had he attempted to give full dramatic expression to the
idea it is not improbable that the experiment would have resulted in
undeniable failure. From such an attempt he was, however, debarred by the
terms of his commission, which demanded not a drama, but a spectacular
performance. Yet in spite of this Milton's conception of the piece is, as
we have seen, essentially dramatic, and consequently in so far as the
means prevented the due fulfilment of that conception in so far must the
Lady necessarily fall short of the adequate realization of her high rôle.
The action is too much abstracted, the characters too allegorical, to
satisfy in us the dramatic expectations which they nevertheless call
forth; while, on the other hand, they remain too concrete and individual
to be adequately rendered by purely spectacular means.

These considerations have an important bearing upon the other objection
which I ventured to bring forward, that of moralizing; for it cannot be
argued, I imagine, that the direct expression of philosophical or ethical
ideas is in any way illegitimate in the masque proper, any more than it is
in the choric ode. But, as I have said, Milton--no doubt intentionally,
though the point is irrelevant--has raised dramatic issues and dramatic
emotions, and consequently by the laws of the drama, that is, by his
success in satisfying those emotions, he must be judged. All speeches
therefore introduced with a directly moral and philosophical rather than a
dramatic end must be pronounced artistic solecisms. Whether Milton has
been guilty of such undramatic interpolations, such lapses from the one
end of art, may be left to the individual judgement of each reader to
determine; for my own part I cannot conceive that any doubt should exist.

But even if we pass over what some readers will be inclined to dismiss as
a mere theoretical objection, there are other charges which these same
passages will have to meet. Those who have borne with me in my remarks on
the _Aminta_ and the _Faithful Shepherdess_, will probably also agree with
me here, when I say that to me at least there is something not altogether
pleasing in Milton's presentment of virtue. I should add at once, that to
place Milton's poem on an ethical level with either of the above-mentioned
pieces would, of course, be preposterous. It is impossible to doubt the
severe chastity of Milton's own ideal, and to compare it for one moment to
the conventional _onestà_ which replaced virtue in Tasso's world, or with
the nauseous unreality of the puppet Fletcher sought to enthrone in its
place, would be to commit an uncritical outrage. Nevertheless, the
expression Milton chose to give to his ideal cannot, therefore, lay claim
to privilege. That expression had become intimately associated with
pastoral convention, and he accepted it along with much else from his
predecessors. I am not aware of any reason why spectators should have been
prejudiced otherwise than in favour of the Lady Alice Egerton; but she is,
nevertheless, careful to take the first opportunity of informing them,
with much earnest protestation, of her quite remarkable purity and virtue,
implying as it were a naïve surprise at having arrived unsullied at the
perilous age of thirteen. The stilted affectation of this self-conscious
innocence is perhaps less evident in the scene in which we should most
readily look for it--that, namely, in which the Lady defends herself from
the persuasions of the Sorcerer, where a certain fervour of feeling raises
her utterances above a merely colourless level--than in the long soliloquy
in which she indulges on first appearing on the stage. Something of the
same disagreeable quality is present in the rather mawkish discussion
between her two young brothers. Milton, who is entirely untouched, either
with the levity of Tasso or the cynicism of Fletcher, was undoubtedly
himself wholly unconscious that any such charge could be brought against
his work. It is the direct outcome of a certain obtuseness, a curious want
of delicacy, which in his later work results at times in passages of
offensively bad taste[356]. As yet it is hardly responsible for anything
worse than a confused conception in the poet's imagination. [Greek: Πάντα
καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς], and the allegory is an old one whereby virtue
appears as the tamer of the beasts of the wild. It is, however, to those
alone who are innocent of evil that belongs the faery talisman. The
virtue, knowing of itself and of the world, may be held a surer defence,
but it is by comparison a gross and earthly buckler, with less of the
glamour of romance reflected from its aegis-mirror. Somehow one feels
instinctively that Una did not, on meeting with the lion, launch forth
into a protestation of her chastity. Nothing, of course, would be easier
than by means of a little judicious misrepresentation to cast ridicule
upon the whole of Milton's conception of virtue in woman, and nowhere is
it more needful than in such a case as the present to remember the
fundamental maxim that bids one take the position one is attacking at its
strongest. Nevertheless, putting aside for the moment all questions of art
and all considerations of taste, there remains a question worthy of being
fully and carefully stated, and of being honestly entertained. Milton has
deliberately penned passages of smug self-conceit upon a subject whose
delicacy he was apparently incapable of appreciating, and these passages
he has placed, to be spoken in her own person, in the mouth of a child
just passing into the first dawn of adolescence, thereby outraging at once
the innocence of childhood and the reticence of youth. Is it possible to
pretend that this is an action upon which moral censure has no word to

It would hardly have been necessary to emphasize this point of view, or
to dwell upon objections which, when one surrenders to the magic of the
verse, can hardly appear other than carping, were it not for the somewhat
injudicious and undiscriminating praise which it has been the fashion of a
certain school of critics to lavish upon the piece. The exquisite quality
of the verse may be readily conceded, as may also the nobleness of
Milton's conception and the brilliance, within certain limits, of the
execution; but when we are further challenged to admire the 'moral
grandeur' of the figure in which virtue is honoured, there are some at
least who will feel tempted to reply in the significant words: 'Methinks
the lady doth protest too much!'

A word may be said finally as to the quality of the verse. I need not
repeat that it is exquisite, that the music of it is like a full stream
overflowing the rich pastures; what I am concerned to maintain is, that it
is not for the most part of Milton's best. In the first place, what, for
want of a better name, I have called Milton's moralizing is a blemish upon
the poetic as it is upon the dramatic merits of the piece. The muse of
poetry, like all her sisters, is not slow in avenging herself of a divided
allegiance. By the cynical irony of fortune already noticed, where Milton
would most impress us with his moral he becomes least poetical. There is,
it is true, hardly a speech or a song which does not contain lines worthy
to rank with any in the language, from the opening words:

Before the starry threshold of Joves Court,

to the final couplet:

Or if Virtue feeble were,
Heav'n it self would stoop to her.

But there are passages in which these memorable lines appear as so much
rich embroidery superimposed upon the baser fabric of the verse, not woven
of the woof. They are in their nature more easily detached, and often form
the best known and most often quoted passages of the work. Take the first
speech of the Lady, concerning which something has already been said. Here
we find the lines:

They left me then, when the gray-hooded Eev'n
Like a sad Votarist in Palmer's weed
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus wain;

or again:

A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory
Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,
And airy tongues, that syllable mens names
On Sands, and Shoars, and desert Wildernesses;

or yet again:

Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

We have the song:

Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseen
Within thy airy shell
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet imbroider'd vale
Where the love-lorn Nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.

Such lines would justly render famous any passage in any poem in which
they occurred. Nevertheless, remove them, which can be done without
material injury to the sequence of the thought, and see whether in its
warp and web the speech can for a moment stand comparison with that of
Comus, to which it stands in direct and dramatic contraposition.

But this drawback is only incidental; through nine-tenths of the piece,
perhaps, there is little or no moral preoccupation to disturb us. And
here, though no doubt the poetic beauty reaches a climax in the song to
Sabrina--a song for pure music certainly unsurpassed and probably
unequalled by anything else that Milton ever wrote--there are others, such
as 'By the rushy-fringed bank,' as well as less distinctively lyrical
passages, which come within measurable distance even of its perfection.
And yet, with certain noticeable exceptions, there are few passages in
which comparison with Milton's later works will not reveal technical
immaturity. This is no less true of the decasyllabic verse, when compared
with the full sonority of _Lycidas_, than of the shorter measures. Take,
for example, the invocation of Sabrina which follows the song previously
quoted--the speech beginning:

Listen and appear to us
In name of great Oceanus.

In spite of its very great beauty there is observable at the same time a
certain monotony of cadence, and an occasional want of success in the
attempts to relieve it, which place the passage distinctly below Milton's
best. And yet it seems almost ungenerous to place Milton even below
himself, particularly when in the very speech we are criticizing we are
brought face to face with two such flawless lines as those on 'fair
Ligea's golden comb',

Wherwith she sits on diamond rocks
Sleeking her soft alluring locks--

lines which anticipate and rival the perfection of rhythmic modulation in
_L'Allegro_ and _Il Penseroso_[358].


There remains to inquire what influence of pastoral tradition is traceable
in the wider field of the romantic drama, whether in individual scenes and
characters, or more vaguely in general tone and sentiment; and, finally,
to consider for a moment the critical expression given by writers of
various dates to the sentimental philosophy of life which went under the
name of pastoralism in fashionable circles.

The number of plays in which definite pastoral elements can be traced is
surprisingly small, even when every allowance has been made for the fact
that we have already included in our examination several pieces which come
but doubtfully within the fold. The spirit of the romantic drama, instinct
with sturdy life, had little in common with the artificial and unreal
sentiment of a tradition which had almost ceased to pretend to a basis in
the emotions of natural humanity. The result was, as might be expected,
that when the drama introduced characters of a nominally pastoral type,
they were either direct transcripts from actual life, deliberately
ignoring conventional tradition, or else specifie borrowings from that
tradition, introduced with full consciousness of its fashionable
unreality, and using that unreality for a definite dramatic purpose. Thus,
although the basis of pastoralism is found in non-traditional garb, and
though pastoralism itself is found as the subject of dramatic treatment,
yet, so far as the introduction of individual scenes and characters is
concerned, it is seldom possible to say that pastoral has influenced the
romantic drama in any sensible degree.

A certain number of plays, presumably of a more or less pastoral nature,
have perished. Thus no trace remains of the _Lusus Pastorales_ licensed to
Richard Jones in 1565, the nature of which can be only vaguely
conjectured. The early date of the entry renders it important, and it is
much to be regretted that the work should have perished, since it might
have thrown very interesting light upon the condition of pastoralism in
England previous to the appearance of the _Shepherd's Calender_. Most
probably, however, the piece, whatever it may have been, was composed in
Latin. We also have to lament the non-survival of a _Phillida and Corin_,
which, we learn from the Revels' accounts, was acted by the Queen's men
before the court, at Greenwich, on St. Stephen's day, 1584. This again
would be an interesting piece to possess, since the title suggests a
purely pastoral composition contemporary with Peele's mythological play.
On February 28, 1592, Lord Strange's men performed a piece at the Rose,
the title of which is given by Henslowe as 'clorys & orgasto,' presumably
_Chloris and Ergasto_. It was an old play, probably dating from some years
earlier. Whether 'a pastorall plesant Commedie of Robin Hood and little
John,' entered to Edward White in the Stationers' Register, on May 14,
1594, could have justified its title may be questioned, but it is curious
as suggesting an anticipation of Jonson's experiment. Again, on July 17,
1599, George Chapman received of Philip Henslowe forty shillings, in
earnest of a 'Pastorall ending in a Tragydye,' which, however, was
apparently never finished. Possibly our loss is not great, for Chapman's
talents hardly lay in this line; but a tragical ending to a play of the
pure pastoral type would have been something of a novelty, and the early
date would also have lent it some interest. Yet another play known to us
solely from Henslowe's accounts is the _Arcadian Virgin_, on which Chettle
and Haughton were at work for the Admiral's men in December, 1599, and for
which they received sums amounting in all to fifteen shillings. The title
suggests that the play may have been founded on the story of Atalanta, but
it was probably not completed. Ben Jonson's _May Lord_, which we know only
through the notes left by Drummond of his conversations, was almost
certainly not dramatic, though critics have always accepted it as such;
but the same authority records that Jonson at the time of his visit to
Hawthornden was contemplating a fisher-play, the scene to be laid on the
shores of Loch Lomond. There is no evidence that the scheme ever reached a
more mature stage. Finally, I may mention a play entitled _Alba_, a Latin
pastoral, which incurred the royal displeasure when performed before James
and his consort in the hall of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1605. The
historian of the visit, quoted by Nichols, says that 'It was a pastoral,
much like one which I have seen in King's College, Cambridge, but acted
far worse.' The allusion is presumably to the Latin translation of the
_Pastor fido_. The cause of offence was the appearance of 'five or six men
almost naked,' who no doubt represented satyrs.

To what extent these plays were of a pastoral character must, of course,
be matter of conjecture. They may have been pastoral plays of a more or
less regular type, they may have been mythological dramas, or they may
have been distinguished from the ordinary run of romantic compositions by
a few incidental traits of pastoralism only. Not a few pieces of the
latter description have been preserved, pieces in which definite traces
of pastoral are to be found, but which cannot as a whole be included in
the kind.

We have already had occasion to note the very slight pastoral influence
which exists in the short masques or dialogues of Thomas Heywood, in spite
of the opportunity afforded by their mythological character. The same may
be noticed in the plays in which he drew his subject from classical
legend. _Love's Mistress_ is the appropriate and attractive title of a
dramatization of the last-born fancy of the mythopoeic spirit of Greece,
Apuleius' tale of Cupid and Psyche. The early editions add to the title
the further designation of 'The Queen's Masque.' The work is indeed a
composite piece, a masque grown into a play through the accretion of
foreign matter, and was probably in its original state a far simpler
composition than it now appears. The writing is in a dainty vein, and had
the piece been completed in a manner consonant with the simple and idyllic
grace of the earlier scenes, it would have been no such unequal companion
to Peele's _Arraignment of Paris_. What the play contains of pastoral
belongs to one of the accretions. It is a rustic element in the
interludes, satiric and farcical, supplied by a country clown, some
shepherds, and 'a shee Swaine,' Amarillis. In his _Ages_ the pastoral
element shrinks to an occasional dance and song. Thus in the _Golden Age_
the satyrs and nymphs sing a song in honour of Diana, which introduces the
disguised Jupiter in his courtship of Calisto. In the _Silver Age_, again,
the rape of Proserpine by Pluto is preluded by a song of 'a company of
Swaines, and country Wenches' in honour of Ceres.

An unkind and quite worthless tradition, based on a manuscript note in an
old copy, has connected Peele's name with the lengthy and tedious drama of
_Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes_. It was admitted into the canon of Peele's
works by Dyce, and though Mr. Bullen differed from his predecessor as to
the justness of the ascription, he retained it in his edition. We find in
it a coarse, dialect-speaking rustic, named Corin, who at one point
succours Clyomon, and with whom Neronis, daughter of the King and Queen of
the Strange Marshes, seeks service in the disguise of a boy. Apart from
his name and the profession of shepherd he is a mere countryman, with
nothing to connect him with pastoral tradition, though the princess'
action finds, of course, abundant parallels therein. The _Old Wives'
Tale_, printed as 'by G. P.,' and of which there is no reason to question
Peele's authorship, connects itself with pastoral chiefly through the
already mentioned parallel which it affords to _Comus_. It also
anticipates, in a song of harvesters, the introduction of the 'sunburnt
sicklemen' of the _Tempest_ masque.

At a later date we find Shirley in his _Love Tricks_ introducing two
sisters who leave their home and, taking the disguise of shepherd and
shepherdess, dwell among the country folk in the fields and pastures,
whither they are followed by their lovers. There are passages which reveal
a genuine pastoral tone, such as Shirley could readily adopt when it
suited his purpose, and it is not only in the measure that the tradition
reveals itself in such lines as:

A shepherd is a king whose throne
Is a mossy mountain, on
Whose top we sit, our crook in hand,
Like a sceptre of command,
Our subjects, sheep grazing below,
Wanton, frisking to and fro. (IV. ii.)

Again, in the _Grateful Servant_ we have a show of 'Satyres pursuing
Nymphes; they dance together. Exeunt Satyres; three Nymphes seem to
intreat [Lodowick] to goe with them,' accompanied by a song of Silvanus.

Yet slighter traces of pastoral are to be occasionally found in other
plays of the period. Thus in Brome's _Love-Sick Court_ the swains and
nymphs are led in the dance by characters who have sought and found a cure
for love among the country folk. In John Jones' _Adrasta_, the scene of
which is laid at Florence, several of the characters disguise themselves
in pastoral attire, and there is one definitely pastoral scene in which
they appear in the midst of real shepherds and shepherdesses. The play was
printed in 1635, and it is noticeable as containing, in the pastoral
scene, satire on the Puritans resembling that introduced by Jonson in the
_Sad Shepherd_. So again, similar disguisings, though of a less
pronouncedly pastoral character, occur in the anonymous _Knave in Grain_,
in which the scene is Venice. Satyrs and nymphs, clowns and maids, join in
a song in Nashe's curious allegorical show entitled _Summer's Last Will
and Testament_; nymphs and satyrs appear in the interludes of Dekker's
_Old Fortunatus_; Silvanus, with nymphs and satyrs, perform a sort of
interlude with song in the anonymous _Wily Beguiled_; and, lastly, we have
the morris danced by the countrymen and wenches who accompany the jailor's
daughter in the _Two Noble Kinsmen_.

* * * * *

The wider influence of tone and spirit is, in the nature of the case, far
more difficult to determine. It is possible that some court-plays may show
the influence of the artificial arrangement of characters and the
conventional play of motives characteristic of the pastoral drama. But it
is a matter of the greatest difficulty to analyse with certainty such
structural peculiarities as these, still more so to assign them with
confidence to their proper origin. Many characteristics which one might at
first sight put down to the influence of the pastoral drama are, in
reality, far more likely to be due to that of the comic stage of Italy in
general. But while it would be rash to assert that the pastoral plays in
this country exercised any wide influence over the regular drama, there
can be no question such an influence was exercised to a very appreciable
degree by pastoral poetry in general. I am not thinking of the romances at
this moment, for as we have already seen it was the non-pastoral elements
in the pastoral novel that exerted such influence as can be traced over
the drama, but rather of the pastoral ideal and the pastoral mode in
general, as expressed either in the lyric, the eclogue, or the drama. In
this the drama shared an influence which was also exercised on other
departments of literature. Numerous songs might be quoted from the scenes
of the Elizabethan dramatists in support of this contention; while, on the
other hand, we also find dramatic and descriptive passages the idyllic
quality of which may not unreasonably be referred to a pastoral source.

This tendency of the drama to absorb pastoral elements rather from the
lyric and the idyll than from regular plays in that kind is significant.
It is the acknowledgement of an important fact, which pastoralism failed
to recognize; namely, that as the expression of the pastoral idea gained
in complexity of artistic structure it lost in vitality. The pastoral
drama, born late in time, was the outcome of very especial circumstances,
emphatically the child of its age, and little calculated to serve the
artistic requirements of any other. Once the creative impulse that gave it
life was withdrawn the falsity of the kind as a form of art became
manifest; and though it lingered on for many years its life was but that
of a fashionable toy, with little or no hold over the vital literature of
its day. The popularity of the pastoral eclogue or idyll was of far longer
duration. Though the form was more or less definitely conditioned, it had
less of the structural rigidity of the drama, it brought its subject less
into contact with the hard limitations of reality, and, which may also
have been important, brought it less into comparison with other
subject-matter employing the same or a closely analogous form. Thus it was
better able to adapt itself to the tastes and requirements of various
ages, and found favour in such vastly different societies as those for
which Theocritus, Mantuan, Spenser, and Pope produced their works in this
kind. Even here, however, the simple sensuous ideal was too much hampered
by the ungenuine paraphernalia which the conventions of these various
societies had gathered round it to take rank among the permanent and
inevitable forms of literary art. This was granted to the lyric alone. It
was through the lyric that the pastoral ideal and pastoral colouring most
deeply penetrated and influenced existing forms; for the lyric, the freest
and most unconditioned of all poetical kinds, the least tied to the
circumstances and limitations of the actual world, was particularly fitted
to extract the fragrance from the pastoral ideal without raising any
unseasonable questions as to its rational or actual possibility.

It was a lover and his lass
That o'er the green cornfield did pass--

this is the essential; and we ask no more if we are wise. The very
essence, be it remembered, of the pastoral ideal is no more than 'love
_in vacuo_.' And this the lyric alone can give us.

* * * * *

But there is one play which more than any other illustrates the nature of
the influence exerted by pastoral tradition over the romantic drama and
the relation subsisting between the two. This is _As You Like It_; for if
in one sense Shakespeare was but following Lodge in the traditional
blending of pastoral elements with those of court and chivalry, in another
sense he has in this play revealed his opinion of, and passed judgement
upon, the whole pastoral ideal. This must necessarily happen whenever a
great creative artist adopts, for reasons of his own, and takes into his
work any merely outward and formal convention. It was rarely that in his
plays Shakespeare showed any inclination to connect himself even remotely
with pastoral tradition. The _Two Gentlemen of Verona_ traces its origin,
indeed, to the _Diana_ of Montemayor; but all vestige of pastoral
colouring has vanished, and Shakespeare may even have been himself
ignorant of the parentage of the story he treated. A more apparent element
of pastoral found its way many years later into the _Winters Tale_; but it
is characteristic of the shepherd scenes of that play, written in the full
maturity of Shakespeare's genius, that, in spite of their origin in
Greene's romance of _Pandosto_, they owe nothing of their treatment to
pastoral tradition, nothing to convention, nothing to aught save life as
it mirrored itself in the magic glass of the poet's imagination. They
represent solely the idealization of Shakespeare's own observation, and in
spite of the marvellous and subtle glamour of golden sunlight that
overspreads the whole, we may yet recognize in them the consummation
towards which many sketches of natural man and woman, as he found them in
the English fields and lanes, seem in a less certain and conscious manner
to be striving in plays of an earlier date. It was characteristic of
Shakespeare, as it has been of other great artists, to introduce into his
early writings incidental sketches which serve as studies for further work
of a later period. In much the same manner the varied, but at times
uncertain, melody of the early love comedies seems to aspire towards the
full sonority and magic of lyric feeling and utterance in _Romeo and

Thus it is neither to the mellow autumn of his art, when he had cast aside
as unworthy all the trivialities of convention, nor yet to the storm and
stress of adolescence, the immaturity of pettiness and exaggeration, that
we must look if we would discover Shakespeare's attitude towards pastoral
tradition. _As You Like It_ belongs to his middle period. It will be
remembered, from what has been said on an earlier page, that in this play
Shakespeare substantially followed the story of Rosalind as narrated by
Lodge, to whom we owe the introduction of a pastoral element into the old
tale of Gamelyn. The pastoral characters of the play may be roughly
analysed as follows. Celia and Rosalind, the latter disguised as a youth,
are courtly characters; Phebe and Silvius represent the polished Arcadians
of pastoral tradition; while Audrey and William combine the character of
farcical rustics with the inimitable humanity which distinguishes
Shakespeare's creations. It is noteworthy that this last pair is the
dramatist's own addition to the cast. Thus we have all the various
types--all the degrees or variations of idealization--brought side by side
and co-existent in the fairyland of the poet's fancy. The details of the
play are too well known for there to be any call to outrage the delicate
interweaving of character and incident by translating the perfect scenes
into clumsy prose. Nor would such analysis throw any light upon
Shakespeare's attitude towards pastoral. That must be sought elsewhere. We
may seek it in the fanciful mingling of ideals and idealizations--of
courtly masking, of the conventional naturalism of polished dreamers, and
of a rusticity more genuine at once and more sympathetic than that of
Lorenzo, all of which act by their very natures as touchstones to one
another. We may seek it in the uncertainty and hovering between belief and
scepticism, earnest and play, reality and imagination--such as can only
exist in art, or in life when life approaches to the condition of an
art--which we find in the scenes where Orlando courts his mistress in the
person of the youth who is but his mistress in disguise. We may seek it
lastly in the manner in which the firm structure of the piece is
fashioned of the non-pastoral elements; in the happiness of the art by
which the pastoral incidents and business appear but as so much fair and
graceful ornament upon this structure, bringing with them a smack of the
free, rude, countryside, or a faint perfume of the polished Utopia of
courtly makers. It is here that we may trace Shakespeare's appreciation of
pastoral, as a delicate colouring, an old-world fragrance, a flower from
wild hedgerows or cultured garden, a thing of grace and beauty, to be
gathered, enjoyed, and forgotten, unsuited in its evanescent charm to be
the serious business of art or life.

On this note, the realization at once of the delicate loveliness and of
the unsubstantiality of the pastoral ideal, we may close our survey of its
growth and blossoming in our dramatic literature, and before finally
turning from the tradition which fascinated so many generations of
European artists, pause for one moment to inquire of the critical
expression it has received at the hands of more philosophical writers.

We have already seen how in the early days of modern pastoral composition
Boccaccio, summing up the previous history of the kind, found in allegory
and topical allusion its _raison d'être_. We have seen how in our own
tongue Drayton expressed a similar view, and how Fletcher adopted in
theory at least a more naturalistic position. This antagonism which runs
through the whole of pastoral theory is really dependent upon two
questions which have not always been clearly distinguished. There is,
namely, the question of the allegorical or topical interpretation of the
poems, and there is the question of the rusticity or at least simplicity
of the form and language. It is possible to advocate the introduction of
Boccaccio's 'nonnulli sensus' and yet demand that, whatever the esoteric
interpretation of which the poem may be capable, the outward expression
shall be appropriate to the apparent condition of the speakers; while on
the other hand it is possible to confine the meaning to the evident and
unsophisticated sense of the poem, while allowing such a degree of
idealization in the language and sentiments of the characters as to
differentiate them widely from the actual rustics of real life. The former
of these positions is that assumed by Spenser in the _Shepherd's
Calender_, however much he may have failed in logical consistency; the
second is that which, in spite of much incidental matter of a topical
nature, underlies Tasso's masterpiece in the kind. It is with the second
of the above questions that critics have in the main been concerned. They
have, namely, as a rule, tacitly though not explicitly recognized the fact
that a poem whose value depends exclusively upon an esoteric
interpretation has no meaning whatever as a work of art, while if artistic
value can be assigned to the primary meaning of the work, it is a matter
of indifference aesthetically whether there be an esoteric interpretation
or not.

Every writer, I think, who comes within the limits of pastoral as usually
understood, has found a certain idealization and a certain refinement
necessary in bringing rustic swains into the domain of art. That any such
process is inherently necessary to produce an artistic result there is no
reason whatever to suppose; it may even be rationally questioned whether
it is necessary to ensure the result falling within the recognizable field
of pastoral; but neither of these considerations affects the historical
fact. It is commonly admitted that among pastoral writers Theocritus
adhered most closely to nature; yet no one has been found to describe him
as a realist, whether in method or intention. But though this process of
idealization is practically universal, few poets have confessed to it.
Only occasionally an author, writing according to the demands of his age
or of his individual taste, has been alive to what appeared to be a
contradiction between his creations and what he mistook for the
fundamental conditions of the kind in which he created. This was the case
with Tasso, and he sought to reconcile the two by making Amore in the
prologue declare:

Spirerò nobil sensi a' rozzi petti,
Raddolcirò nelle lor lingue il suono,
Perche, ovunque i' mi sia, io sono Amore,
Ne' pastori non men, che negli eroi;
E la disagguaglianza de' soggetti,
Come a me piace, agguaglio.

This served, of course, no other purpose than to salve the author's
artistic conscience, since it is perfectly evident that the polished
civility of his characters belongs to them by nature, and is not in any
way an external importation. The remark, however, is interesting in
respect of the philosophy of love as a civilizing power, which we have
seen constantly recurring from the days of Boccaccio onward. Ben Jonson
expressed himself sharply on this subject, with respect to Guarini and
Sidney, in his conversations with Drummond. 'That Guarini, in his Pastor
Fido, keept not decorum, in making Shepherds speek as well as himself
could.... That Sidney did not keep a decorum in making everyone speak as
well as himself.'[359] The critical foundation of these censures in an _a
priori_ definition of pastoral is obvious, and they are more interesting
for their authorship than for their intrinsic merit. It would be curious
to know how Jonson defended such a character as his Sad Shepherd--but his
views had time to alter.

It is to the critics of the late years of the seventeenth century and
early ones of the eighteenth that we owe the attempt to formulate a theory
of pastoral composition. The attempt has not for us any great importance.
All the work we have been considering had appeared, and the vast majority
of it had passed into oblivion, before the French critics first engaged
upon the task. Nor has the attempt much intrinsic interest. The theories
of individual writers such as those already mentioned are of value, as
showing the critical mood in which they themselves created; but these, and
still more the theories of pure critics, are of no importance, either in
the field of abstract critical theory or of historical inquiry.
Fontenelle, offended at the odour of Theocritus' hines, Rapin, with his
Jesuitical prudicity and ethico-literary theories of propriety, are not
the kind of thinkers to advance critical and historical science. Yet it
was to their school that the far greater English critics of the early
eighteenth century belonged. Their work consists for the most part of
various combinations of _a priori_ definition and arbitrary rules, based
on the notion of propriety. Thus Pope in the _Discourse on Pastoral_,
prefixed to his eclogues in 1717, writes: 'A pastoral is an imitation of
the action of a shepherd, or one considered under that character.... If we
would copy nature, it may be useful to take this idea along with us, that
pastoral is an image of what they call the golden age. So that we are not
to describe our shepherds as shepherds at this day really are, but as they
may be conceived then to have been, when the best of men followed the
employment.' Shallow formalism this; but what else was to be expected from
Alexander Pope at the age of sixteen? His contemporaries, however, and
successors down to Johnson, took his solemn vacuity in all seriousness.
Steele, writing in the _Guardian_ in 1713 (Nos. 22, &c.), follows much the
same lines. He speaks of 'Innocence, Simplicity, and whatever else has
been laid down as distinguishing Marks of Pastoral.' Again, the reader is
informed that 'Whoever can bear these'--namely, certain _concetti_ from
Tasso and Guarini--'may be assured he hath no Taste for Pastoral.' We find
the same pedantic and ignorant objections to Sannazzaro's piscatorials as
were later advanced by Johnson: 'who can pardon him,' loftily queries the
censor, 'for his Arbitrary Change of the sweet Manners and pleasing
objects of the Country, for what in their own Nature are uncomfortable and
dreadful?' An afternoon's idling along the cliffs of Sorento or the shore
of Posilipo will supply a sufficient answer to such ignorant conceit as
this. Lastly, in the same familiar strain, but with all the pompous weight
of undisputed dictatorship, we find Dr. Johnson a generation later laying
down in the _Rambler_ that a pastoral is 'a Poem in which any action or
Passion is represented by its Effects upon a Country Life.... In Pastoral,
as in other Writings, Chastity of sentiment ought doubtless to be
observed, and Purity of Manners to be represented; not because the Poet is
confined to the Images of the golden Age'--this is a rap at Pope--'but
because, having the subject in his own Choice, he ought always to consult
the Interest of Virtue.' The one fixed idea which runs throughout these
criticisms is that pastoral in its nature somehow is, or should be, other
than what it is in fact[360].

This is a view which very rightly meets with small mercy at the hands of
the modern historical school of criticism. A last fragment of the hoary
fallacy may be traced in Dr. Sommer's remark: 'Die Theorie des
Hirtengedichtes ist kurz in folgenden Worten ausgedrückt: schlichte und
ungekünstelte Darstellung des Hirtenlebens und wahre Naturschilderung.' It
cannot be too emphatically laid down that there is and can be no such
thing as a 'theory' of pastoral, or, indeed, of any other artistic form
dependent, like it, upon what are merely accidental conditions.[361] As I
started by pointing out at the beginning of this work, pastoral is not
capable of definition by reference to any essential quality; whence it
follows that any theory of pastoral is not a theory of pastoral as it
exists, but as the critic imagines that it ought to exist. 'Everything is
what it is, and not another thing,' and pastoral is what the writers of
pastoral have made it.

It may be convenient before closing this chapter to summarize briefly the
results of our inquiry into the history of pastoral tradition on the
pre-restoration stage in England, without the elaboration of detail and
the many necessary though minor distinctions unavoidable in the foregoing
account. We saw, in the first place, that the idea of a literature dealing
with the humours and romance of farm and sheepcot was not wholly alien to
national English literature; but, on the contrary, that the shepherd plays
of the religions cycles, the popular ballads, and a few of the Scots poets
of the time of Henryson, all alike furnish verse which may be regarded as
the index of the readiness of the popular mind to receive the
introduction of a formal pastoral tradition. Next, preceding, as in Italy,
the introduction or evolution of a regular pastoral drama, we find a
series of mythological plays embodying incidentally elements of pastoral,
written for the amusement of court circles, and founded on the
_Metamorphoses_ of Ovid. In these the nature of the pastoral scenes appear
to be conditioned, in so far as they are independent of their classical
source, partly by the already existing eclogue, and partly perhaps by the
native impulse mentioned above[362]. All this anticipates the rise of the
pastoral drama proper. The foreign pastoral tradition reached England
through three main channels. The earliest of these, the eclogue, was
imitated by Spenser from Marot, who, while depending somewhat more
closely, perhaps, than was usual upon the ancients, and adding to his work
a certain original flavour, yet belonged essentially to the tradition of
the allegorical pastoral which took its fashion from the works of Petrarch
and Mantuan. The second, and for the English drama vastly the more
important channel, was the pastoral-chivalric romance borrowed by Sidney
from Montemayor, the great exponent of the Spanish school, which was,
however, based upon the Italian work of Sannazzaro. The third was the
Arcadian drama of the Ferrarese court, which was imitated, chiefly from
Guarini, by Samuel Daniel. Thus, of the three forms, verse, prose, and
drama, adopted by England from Italy, the first came by way of France, the
second by way of Spain, while the third alone was taken direct[363]. These
three blended with the pre-existing mythological play, and with the
traditions of the romantic drama generally, to produce the pastoral drama
of the English stage. The influence ot the eclogue was on the whole
slight, but to it we may reasonably ascribe a share of the topical and
allusive elements, when these do not appear assignable either to the
Arcadian drama or to masque literature generally.[364] The influence of
the mythological drama, again, is not of the first importance, and is also
very restricted in its occurrence; the _Maid's Metamorphosis_ is the most
striking example. The three main influences at work in fashioning the
pastoral drama upon the English stage were, therefore, the Arcadian drama
of Italy, the Sidneian romance borrowed from Spain, and the native
tradition of the romantic drama.[365] But we have seen that the most
important examples of dramatic pastoral in this country, though to some
extent conditioned like the rest by the above-mentioned influences, were
the outcome of direct and conscious experiment. In part, at least, the
earliest, and by far the most simple, was the work of Samuel Daniel
himself, which aimed at nothing beyond the mere transference of the
Italian tradition unaltered on to the English stage. A different aim
underlay the attempts alike of Fletcher and Randolph; the combination,
namely, of the traditions of the Arcadian and romantic dramas. This common
end they sought, however, by very diverse means. Fletcher, while adopting
the machinery and methods of the popular drama, left the ideal and
imaginary content practically untouched, and even chose a plot which in
its structure resembled those familiar in the romantic drama even less
than did Guarini's own. Randolph, on the other hand, while preserving much
of the classical mechanism as he found it in Guarini, altered the whole
tone and character of the piece to correspond to the greater complexity of
interest, more genial humour, and more genuine romanticism of the English
stage. Lastly, we found Jonson cutting himself almost entirely adrift from
the tradition of Italian Arcadianism, and seeking to create an essentially
national pastoral by the combination of shepherd lads and girls,
transmuted from actuality by a natural process of refinement akin to that
of Theocritus, with the magic and fairy lore of popular fancy, and with
the characters of Robin and Marian and all the essentially English
tradition of Sherwood. These three chief experiments in the production of
an English pastoral drama which should rival that of Italy stand, together
with Daniel's two plays, apart from the general run of pieces of the kind.
It is also worth notice that they are all alike unaffected by the Sidneian
romance. The remaining plays which form the great bulk of the contribution
made by English drama to pastoral, and among which we must look for such
dramatic pastoral tradition as existed, are almost all characterized by a
more or less prevalent court atmosphere, disguisings and adventures in
shepherd's garb forming the mainstay of the plot, while the genuine
pastoral elements supply little beyond the background of the action.

Into the post-restoration pastorals it is no part of my present scheme to
enter. They flourished for a while under the wing of the fashionable
romance of France, but were almost more than their predecessors the things
of artificial convention, having their form and being in a world whose
only pre-occupations were the pangs and transports of sensibility. They
occupy by right a small corner in the _Carte du Tendre_. Nor do I propose
to do more than allude in passing to Allan Ramsay's _Gentle Shepherd_. In
spite of the almost unvarying praise which has been lavished upon this
'Scots pastoral,' and even though the characters may have some points of
humanity in common with actual Lothian rustics, the whole composition of
the piece can scarcely be pronounced less artificial than that of the
Arcadian drama itself, and the play has undoubtedly shared in the
exaggerated esteem which has fallen to the lot of dialectal literature
generally. The tradition lingered on throughout the eighteenth and into
the nineteenth century. Goethe in his youth, while under the French
influence, composed the _Laune des Verliebten_, and in his later days at
Weimar the _Fischerin_, a piscatorial adapted for representation on an
open-air stage, in which the interest was purely spectacular. As a general
rule, however, pastoral inanity seldom strayed beyond the limits of the

That the pastoral should flourish by the side of the romantic drama was
not to be expected. It was impossible in England, as it was impossible in
Spain. In either case it might now and again achieve a mild success at
court, or under some exceptional conditions of representation; it never
held the popular stage. No literature based on the accidents of a special
form of civilization, or upon a set of artificially imagined conditions,
can ever hope to outlive the civilization or the fashion that gave it
birth. 'Love _in vacuo_' failed to arouse the interest of general mankind.
Every literature of course wears the livery of its age, but where the body
beneath is instinct with human life it can change its dress and pass
unchanged itself from one order of things to another; where the livery is
all, the form cannot a second time be galvanized into life. Pastoral,
relying for its distinctive features upon the accidents rather than the
essentials of life, failed to justify its pretentions as a serious and
independent form of art. The trivial toy of a courtly coterie, it
attempted to arrogate to itself the position of a philosophy, and in so
doing exposed itself to the ridicule of succeeding ages. Men with a stern
purpose in life turned wearily from the sickly amours of romantic poets
who dreamed that human happiness found its place in the economy of the
world. They left it to a rout of melodious idlers to imagine unto
themselves a state in which serious importance should attach to the
gracious things of sentiment and the loves of youth and maiden.


Page 19.--Even apart from the evidence of the _Bucolica Quirinalium_, it
is, of course, clear that Vergil's eclogues were familiar to the writers
of the early middle ages. How far their interest in them was literary, and
how far, like that of the mystery-writers, it was theological, may,
however, be questioned. It is worth noticing in this connexion that a
German translation was projected by no less a person than Notker, and
since they are coupled by him with the _Andria_, we may reasonably infer
that in this case at least the writer's concern, if not distinctively
literary, was at any rate educational. (See W. P. Ker, _The Dark Ages_, p.

Page 112, note 2.--There is an error here. _The Passionate Pilgrim_
version of 'As it fell upon a day' does not contain the couplet found in
_England's Helicon_. I was misled by its being supplied from the latter by
the Cambridge editors. Another poem of the same description appears in
Francis Sabie's _Pan's Pipe_. (See Sidney Lee's introduction to the Oxford
Press facsimile of the _Passionate Pilgrim_, p. 31.)

Page 204.--It is perhaps hardly surprising to find Tasso's 'S' ei piace,
ei lice' quoted by English writers as summing up the cynical philosophy of
those whom they not unaptly styled 'politicians.' In Marston's tragedy on
the story of Sophonisba, for instance, the villain Syphax concludes a
'Machiavellian' speech with the words:

For we hold firm, that 's lawful which doth please.
(_Wonder of Women_, IV. i. 191.)

Appendix I

On the Origin and Development of the Italian Pastoral Drama

The chapter in the history of Italian literature which shall deal with the
evolution of the Arcadian drama still remains to be written. The treatment
of it in Symonds' _Renaissance_ is decidedly inadequate, and even as far
as it goes not altogether satisfactory. The explanation of this is, that
the most important works fall outside his period; the _Aminta_ and the
_Pastor fido_ are admirably treated in the volumes dealing with the
counter-reformation, but these are of the nature of an appendix, and
formed no part of his original plan. Tiraboschi's account is also meagre.
A long discussion of the subject will be found in the fifth volume of J.
L. Klein's _Geschichte des Dramas_ (Leipzig, 1867), but the bewildering
irrelevancy of much of the matter introduced by that eccentric writer
seriously impairs the critical value of his work. An excellent sketch of
the early history as far as Beccari, with full references, is given in
Vittorio Rossi's valuable monograph, _Battista Guarini ed il Pastor Fido_
(Torino, 1886), pt. ii. ch. i. This has the immense advantage of
conciseness, and of a clear and scholarly style. An important review of
Rossi's book, concerning itself particularly with the chapter in question,
appeared in the _Literaturblatt für germanische und romanische Philologie_
for 1891 (col. 376), from the pen of A. L. Stiefel, who incidentally
announced that he was himself engaged on a comprehensive history of the
pastoral drama. Of this work I have been unable to obtain any further
information. Next an elaborate essay by the veteran Giosuè Carducci,
largely combatting Rossi's conclusions as to the literary evolution of the
form, and bringing forward a good deal of fresh evidence, appeared in the
_Nuova Antologia_ for September, 1894, and was reprinted with additions
and corrections as the second of three papers in the author's pamphlet _Su
l'Aminta di T. Tasso_ (Firenze, 1896). To this Rossi rejoined, effectively
as it seems to me, in the _Giornale storico della letteratura italiana_
(1898, xxxi. p. 108). The treatment in W. Creizenach's _Geschichte des
neueren Dramas_ (Halle, 1901, ii. p. 359) is unfortunately not yet

The theory of development which I have adopted is substantially that
elaborated by Rossi. To him belongs the honour of having been the first
clearly to indicate the historical steps by which the eclogue passes into
the drama. The idea, however, was not original; it underlies the accounts
given by Egidio Menagio in the notes to his edition of the _Aminta_
(Paris, 1655), by G. Fontanini (_Aminta difeso_, Roma, 1700, and Venezia,
1730), by P. L. Ginguené (_Histoire littéraire d'Italie,_ vol. vi, Paris,
1813), and by Klein. It was also virtually accepted by Stiefel in his
review of Rossi, since he confined his criticism to pointing out and
attempting to fill occasional gaps in the sequence of development, and to
insisting on the influence of the regular drama, and more particularly of
the Intronati comedy. The incomplete state of Creizenach's work, and the
caution with which he expresses himself on the subject, preclude our
reckoning him among the declared supporters of the theory; but there can
be little doubt, I think, as to the tendency of his remarks. This may then
be regarded as the orthodox view. It has not, however, received the
exclusive adherence of scholars, and it may therefore be thought right
that I should both give in detail the arguments by which it is supported
and my reasons for accepting it, and likewise state the grounds on which I
reject the rival theories that have been propounded.

Two of these latter may be quickly dismissed. These are the views put
forward respectively by Gustav Weinberg, _Das französische Schäferspiel in
der ersten Hälfte des XVIIten Jahrhunderts_ (Frankfurt, 1884), and by J.
G. Schönherr in his _Jorge de Montemayor_ (Halle, 1886). Weinberg finds
the origin of the Italian pastoral drama in the 'Éclogas' of Juan del
Encina. With regard to this theory it may be sufficient to observe that,
at the time Encina wrote, the _ecloga rappresentativa_, or dramatic
eclogue, was already familiar in the Italian courts, and that, so far from
his writings being the source of any pastoral tradition even in his own
country, what subsequent dramatic work of the kind is to be found in Spain
merely represents a further borrowing from Italy. Schönherr, on the other
hand, regards the _Jus Robins et Marion_ as the source of the Arcadian
drama. Not only, however, did Adan de le Hale's play fail to originale any
dramatic tradition in its own country, but it is itself nothing but an
amplified _pastourelle_, a form which, in spite of marked Provençal
influence, never obtained to any extent in Italy. It need hardly be said
that there is not a vestige of historical evidence to support either of
these theories[366].

It is different with the theory advanced by Carducci in the essay already
mentioned. The reputation of the great Italian critic would alone entitle
any view he advanced to the most respectful consideration. In the present
case, however, there is more than this, for his essay is a monument of
deep and loving scholarship, and whether we agree or not with its
conclusions, it adds greatly to our knowledge of the subject. Briefly and
baldly stated, his contention is as follows. The Arcadian drama was a
creation of the literary and courtly circles of Ferrara, and so far as
Italy is concerned the precursors of the _Aminta_ are to be sought in
Beccari's _Sacrifizio_ and Giraldi Cintio's _Egle_ alone, with a
connecting link as it were supplied by the pastoral fragment of the latter
author, first printed as an appendix to the essay in question. Beyond
these compositions no influence can be traced, except that of a study of
the classics in general, and of Theocritus in particular. It is certainly
remarkable that the important texts mentioned above, as well as Argenti's
_Sfortunato_ and the _Aminta_ itself, should all alike have been written
for and produced at the court of the Estensi at Ferrara. The selection,
however, I regard as somewhat arbitrary. The _Egle_ appears to lie
entirely off the road of pastoral development, and I cannot help thinking
that Carducci falls into the not unnatural error of exaggerating the
importance of the interesting document he was the first to publish. The
primitive dramatic eclogue was not altogether unknown at Ferrara, nor do
the pastoral shows elsewhere appear to have been always as remote from the
courtly grace of the Arcadian tradition as the critic is at pains to
demonstrate. In view therefore of the practically unbroken line of formal
development, and the consistency of artistic aim observable from
Sannazzaro in the last quarter of the fifteenth to Guarini in the last
quarter of the sixteenth century, I find it impossible to accept
Carducci's conclusions.

The advocates of the orthodox theory, however, must be prepared to meet
and combat the objections which Carducci has raised, and which, in his
opinion, necessitate the adoption of a different explanation. The
evolution of the pastoral drama from the eclogue he declares to be
impossible, in the first place, on historical grounds. This objection
relates to the evidence as to a continuous development traceable in the
accessible texts, and to it the account given in the following pages
will--or will not--be found a sufficient answer. In the second place, he
declares it to be impossible on aesthetic grounds. These are three in
number, and may be briefly considered here. (_a_) 'Idealization cannot
develop out of caricature.' Here, I presume, he is using 'caricature' in
its technical sense of what Aristotle calls 'imitation worse than nature,'
not merely for the resuit of an inadequate command over the medium of
artistic μίμησις. The remark, therefore, can only apply to the 'rustic'
productions. But, as Aristotle's phrase suggests, burlesque, or
caricature, is only idealization in a different direction, so that there
appears to be less antagonism between the two tendencies than might at
first be supposed. Moreover, no one has suggested that the rustic shows
were the origin of the Arcadian drama, so that it is to be presumed that
Carducci had in mind the more or less frequent but still sporadic elements
borrowed by the eclogues from the popular drama. These, however, are found
in conjunction with idealized elements of courtly tradition, both in the
dramatic eclogues themselves and more especially in the _ecloghe
maggiaiuole_ or May-day shows of the Congrega dei Rozzi. Thus, although it
is true that we should not expect idealization to be evolved out of
caricature, there is no reason to deny its evolution from a form in which
burlesque and romance subsisted side by side. (_b_) 'Those eclogues that
are not burlesque are occasional compositions equally incapable of
developing into the Arcadian drama.' Though, no doubt, usually written for
presentation upon some particular occasion, several of the dramatic
eclogues present no topical features. Nor does it appear why a form of
composition, the type of which was fairly constant although the individual
examples might be ephemeral enough, should not develop into something of a
more permanent nature. Moreover, the topical allusions scattered
throughout the _Aminta_, as well as the highly occasional character of the
prologue to the _Pastor fido_, serve to connect these plays directly with
the 'occasional' eclogue. (_c_) The metrical form of the recognized
dramatic pastorals differs from that of the eclogues.' While beginning,
however, with simple _terza_ or _ottava rima_, the dramatic eclogue
gradually became highly polymetric in structure, though it is true that it
seldom affected the free measures peculiar to the Arcadian drama. These,
however, were no more suited to short compositions than the stiff terzines
and octaves to more complicated dramatic works. The prevalent metre, as
indeed many other points, might well be borrowed by the dramatic pastoral
from the practice of the regular stage without it thereby ceasing to be
the formal descendant of the eclogue.

Another point in debate is the view taken of the question by contemporary
critics--that is, by Guarini and his adversaries. Rossi pointed out a
passage in Guarini's _Veraio_ of 1588[367] which he held to support his
theory of development. Translated, the passage runs: 'And why should it
not be thought lawful for the eclogue to grow out of its infancy and
arrive at mature years, if this has been possible in the case of tragedy?
... Even as the Muses grafted tragedy upon the dithyrambic stock, and
comedy upon the phallic, so in their ever-fertile garden they set the
eclogue as a tiny cutting, whence sprang in later years the stately growth
of the pastoral,' that is, of the _favola di pastori_, or dramatic
pastoral, as he elsewhere explains. 'But in thèse words,' objects
Carducci, 'the writer is in no way referring to the Italian eclogues of
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The eclogue had passed out of its
infancy in the work of Theocritus.' Here, however, Carducci appears to me
to misinterpret Guarini's meaning in an almost perverse manner. The
metaphoric 'infancy' of which Guarini speaks is the pre-dramatic period of
pastoral growth. No one will deny that the Theocritean idyl had attained
full and perfect development in its own kind; but from the dramatic point
of view, and granted that it contained the germ of the later pastoral
drama, it belonged to a period of infancy, or, to adopt a more strictly
accurate metaphor, of gestation. Were further evidence needed to show that
the allusion is to the Italian rather than to the classical eclogue, it
might be found in the fact that the passage in question was Guarini's
answer to the following criticism of De Nores, as to the meaning of which
there can be no two opinions. Attacking the pastoral tragi-comedy, the
critic remarks: 'Until the other day similar compositions were represented
under the name of eclogues at festivals and banquets, ... but now of a
sudden they have been fashioned of the extension of comedies and tragedies
in five acts[368].' It will be noticed that in his reply Guarini makes no
attempt to question the underlying identity of the pastoral tragi-comedy
with the dramatic eclogue, but contents himself with very justly asserting
the right of the latter to develop into a mature literary form. Two other
passages from Guarini have been quoted as germane to the discussion. They
occur in the _Verato secondo_, written as a counterblast to De Nores'
_Apologia_,[369]. One may be rendered thus: 'Although the dramatic
pastoral, in respect of the characters introduced, recognizes its ultimate
origin in the eclogue and in the satire [i. e. the satyric drama] of the
ancients, nevertheless, in respect of its form and ordinance it may be
said to be a modern kind of poetry, seeing that no example of such
dramatic composition, whether Greek or Latin, is to be found in ancient
times.' The other runs: 'having regard to the fact that Theocritus stepped
beyond the number of persons usual in similar poems, and composed one [the
_Feast of Adonis_] which not only contains many interlocutors, but is of a
more dramatic character than usual, and remarkable also for its greater
length; it seemed to him [Beccari] that he might with great honour supply
that kind neglected by the Greek and Latin authors[370].' In the former of
these passages Guarini, while recognizing the community of subject-matter
between the classical eclogue and the renaissance pastoral drama, claims
that as an artistic form the latter is independent of the former. Nor is
this inconsistent with what he says in the subsequent passage, for it is
perfectly true that it was with Beccari that the pastoral first attained
its full complexity of dramatic structure, and his allusion to Theocritus
means, not that he regarded him as the father of the form, but that, after
the manner of a _cinquecento_ critic, he is seeking for authority at least
among the ancients where direct precedent is not to be found. His
reference to the evolution of classical tragedy and comedy in the passage
cited from his first essay shows clearly that he had in mind a process of
gradual and natural development, not one of definite borrowing or
artificial creation.

It appears to me, therefore, that Carducci has erred in not taking a
sufficiently broad view of the lines on which literary development
proceeds; and also, more specifically, in failing to recognize the
importance of the distinction between the ordinary and the dramatic
eclogue. This distinction, though on the scanty evidence extant it is
extremely hard to draw it with any degree of certainty, appears to me a
vital point in the history of the species. The value of Carducci's work
lies in his insistence on the influence of the regular drama, to which,
perhaps on account of its very obviousness, Rossi had failed to attach
sufficient importance; in his directing attention to the local Ferrarese
tradition; in the admirable energy and patience with which he has
collected all available evidence; and in his reprinting the interesting
pastoral fragment of Giraldi Cintio. For these he deserves the warmest
thanks of all students of Italian literature; for my own part I need only
refer the reader to the footnotes to the following pages as indicating in
some measure the extent of my indebtedness[371].

The theatrical tendency first exhibited itself in the mere recitation of
a dialogue in character, and the earliest examples of these _ecloghe
rappresentative_ are identical in form with those written merely for
literary circulation. For the dates of these external evidence
unfortunately fails us almost entirely, but a fairly well-marked sequence
may be established on the grounds of internal development. Roughly, they
must fall within a few years of the close of the fifteenth century, say
between 1480 and 1510. They are commonly of an allegorical nature,
containing allusions to real persons, and are for the most part composed
in _terza rima_, diversified in the more complex examples by the
introduction of octaves and lyrical measures[372]. Of this primitive form
is a poem by the Genoese Baldassare Taccone, bearing the superscription
'Ecloga pastorale rapresentata nel Convivio dell' III. Sig'r. Io. Adorno,
nella quale si celebra l' amor del Co. di Cayace [Francesco Sanseverino] e
di M. Chiara di Marino nuncupata la Castagnini[373].' This piece, in which
the characters represent real persons, is a mere dialogue without any
semblance of action. Aminta questions his fellow-shepherd Fileno as to the
cause of his melancholy, and learns that it arises from his hopeless
passion for a certain cruel nymph. His offer to undertake his friend's
cure is met with the declaration, that of the two death were preferable.
Similar in simplicity of construction is another poem, the work of
Serafino Aquilano, which deals with the corruption of the Church, and was
performed at Rome during the carnival of 1490[374]. An advance in
dramatization is made by an eclogue of Galeotto Del Carretto's, written in
1492, in honour of the newly elected Alexander VI, in that one character
enters upon the scene after the other has been discoursing for some time;
while another, the work of Gualtiero Sanvitale, contains three speakers,
of whom one enters towards the close, and is called upon to decide between
the other two. This arbiter is none other than Lodovico Sforza
himself[375]. So far the eclogues have all been in Sannazzaro's _terza
rima_. A wider range of metrical effect, including not only terzines both
_sdrucciole_ and _piane_, but also hendecasyllables with internal rime and
a _canzone_, and at the same time a more dramatic treatment, is found in
another eclogue of Aquilano's[376]. In this Palemone sends his herdsman
Silvano to inspect his flocks after a stormy night. The herdsman meets
Ircano in a melancholy mood, who when questioned endeavours to hide the
nature of his grief by feigning that he has lost his flock in the storm.
At that moment, however, the real cause of his sorrow enters in the shape
of a nymph, and Ircano leaves Silvano in order to follow her with prayers
and supplications. Silvano endeavours to dissuade him from his love, but
meets with the usual want of success. In the case of this piece, as also
of the two preceding ones, we have no direct evidence of any
representation, but all three, and especially the last, have the
appearance of being composed for recitation. Another piece, exhibiting an
advance in complexity of dramatic structure, is an 'ecloga overo
pasturale,' a disputation on love by Bernardo Bellincioni[377], apparently
in some way connected with Genoa, in the course of which five characters,
probably representing actual personages, though we lack external evidence,
forgather upon the stage. The versification again exhibits novel features,
the piece being for the most part in _ottava rima_ with the introduction
of _settenarî_ couplets. In the former we may perhaps see the influence of
the _Orfeo_, or possibly of the old _sacre rappresentationi_ themselves.
In 1506 the court of Urbino witnessed the eclogue composed and recited by
Baldassare Castiglione and Cesare Gonzaga[378]. It also belongs to the
octave group, and is diversified with a canzonet. Dramatically the piece
is somewhat of a retrogression, but it is interesting from the characters
introduced in pastoral guise. Thus in Iola and Dameta we may see
Castiglione and his fellow author; Tirsi, who gives his name to the poem,
is a stranger shepherd attracted by reports of the court; while among the
characters mentioned are discernible Bembo and the Duchess Elizabeth. At
this point may be mentioned a somewhat similar eclogue found in a Spanish
romance of about 1512, entitled _Cuestion de amor_, descriptive of the
Hispano-Neapolitan society of the time. The eclogue, which is clearly
modelled on the Italian examples, contains five characters, and is
supposed to represent the love affairs of real personages[379]. Two
so-called 'commedie pastorali,' from which Stiefel hoped for useful
evidence, prove on inspection to be medleys of pastoral amours exhibiting
little advance in dramatization, though interesting as showing traces of
the influence of the not yet fully developed 'rustic' eclogue. They are
composed throughout in _terza rima_ without any division into acts or
scenes, and are the work of one Alessandro Caperano of Faenza, thus
hailing, like the later _Amaranta_, from the Romagna[380]. In 1517 we find
a fantastic pastoral entitled _Pulicane,_ written in octaves by Piero
Antonio Legacci dello Stricca, a Sienese, who was also the author of
several rustic pieces, in which is introduced a monster half dog and half
man. Another work by the same, again in octaves, and entitled _Cicro_,
appeared in 1538. Another piece mentioned by Stiefel as likely to throw
light on the development of the dramatic pastoral is the 'Ecloga di
amicizia' of Bastiano di Francesco, or Bastiano 'the
flax-dresser'(_linaiuolo_), also of Siena, which was first printed in
1523. It turns out, however, to be a decidedly primitive composition in
_terza rima_, with a certain slightly satirical colouring[381].

If the texts that have survived are somewhat scanty, there is good reason
to believe that they form but a small portion of the eclogues actually
represented at the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth
centuries. Thus we find a show, of the nature of which it is not
altogether easy to judge, recorded in a letter by a certain Floriano
Dulfo, written from Bologna in July, 1496[382]. It appears to have been a
composition of some length, pastoral only in part, supernatural in others,
but belonging on the whole rather to the cycle of chivalresque romance
than of classical mythology. In Act I an astrologer announces the birth of
a giant, who in Act II is represented as persecuting the shepherds. Acts
III and IV are occupied by various complaints on his account In Act V,
called by Dulfo 'la ultima comedia, overo egloga,' the giant carries off a
nymph while she is gathering flowers; the shepherds, however, come to her
rescue and restore her to her lover. This incident, reminiscent possibly
of the rape of Proserpine, tends to connect the piece with the
mythological tradition. So far as can be gathered, the verse appears to
have been _ottava rima_ with the introduction of lyrical passages. Again,
we know that the representation of eclogues formed part of the festivities
at the marriage of Lucrezia Borgia with Giovanni Sforza in 1493, and again
in 1502, when she espoused Alfonzo d' Este. In 1508 the carnival shows at
Ferrara included three eclogues, the work respectively of Ercolo Pio,
Antonio dall' Ongano. and Antonio Tebaldeo[383]. At Venice we have note of
similar performances, and even find _ecloghe_ mentioned among the forms of
dramatic spectacle recognized by the laws of the state. I may also call
attention in this connexion, and as illustrating the habituai introduction
of acted eclogues in all forms of festival, to the occurrence of such a
performance in a chivalrous romance by Cassio da Narni, entitled _La morte
del Danese_[384]. The piece is, however, of the most primitive form, and
must not be taken as typical of its date, just as the masques introduced
into the plays of the Elizabethan drama are commonly of a far simpler
order than actually represented at court. It may also not improbably have
been influenced by the more popular form of rustic shows, as its
description as a 'festa in atti rusticali' would seem to indicate.

Meanwhile the rustic eclogue was developing upon lines of its own, though
rather in arrear of the courtly variety. In 1508 we find a piece in _terza
rima_, exhibiting traces of Paduan dialect, composed or transcribed by one
Cesare Nappi of Bologna, in which no less than fourteen 'villani' appear
with their sweethearts to honour the feast of San Pancrazio[385]. Eating
and dancing form the mainstay of the composition, and since the female
characters are described but do not speak, it may be questioned whether
the piece was intended for representation. Not till five years later have
we any evidence of a rustic eclogue forming part of an actual show. In
1513, Giuliano de' Medici was at Rome, and in the entertainment provided
at the Capitol on the occasion of his receiving the freedom of the city
was included an eclogue by a certain 'Blosio,' otherwise Biagio Pallai
delia Sabina, of the Roman Academy. The argument alone has come down to
us. A rustic, who has first suffered at the hands of the foreign soldiers
then overrunning Italy, and has afterwards been plundered by the sharper
citizens of Rome, meets a friend with whom it has fared similarly, and the
two determine to seek justice of the Conservators, as a last chance before
retiring to live among the Turks, since a man may not abide in peace in a
Christian land. They find the Capitol _en fête_, and the piece ends with a
song in praise of Giuliano and Leo X[386]. Of the same year is the 'Egloga
pastorale di Justitia,' the earliest extant specimen of the rustic
dramatic eclogue proper. It is a satirical piece concerning a countryman,
who fails to obtain justice because he is poor. He at last appeals to the
king himself, but is again repulsed because he is accompanied by Truth in
place of Adulation[387]. This form of composition, recalling as it does
the allegories of Langland and other satirists of the middle ages, differs
widely from that usually found in the courtly eclogues, nor is it typical
of rustic representations. Again, to the same year, 1513, belongs an
eclogue in rustic speech and Bellunese dialect, by Bartolommeo Cavassico,
which like the Roman show turns upon the horrors of the war which had been
devastating the country since 1508. Recollections of the 'tagliata di
Cadore[388]' blend incongruously with fauns, nymphs, bears, pelicans, and
wild men of the woods, to form a whole which appears to be of a decidedly
burlesque character. The distribution, however, of these rustic eclogues
never appears to have been very wide, and in later times they were chiefly
confined to the representations of the famous Congrega dei Rozzi at Siena,
though the activity of this society extended, it is true, far beyond the
limits of its Tuscan home. Most of these representations, at any rate in
the earlier years with which we are concerned, were short realistic farces
of low life composed in dialectal verse. Some of the cleverest are by
Francesco Berni, better known for his obscene _capitoli_ and his
_rifacimento_ of Boiardo's _Orlando_, and appeared between 1537 and 1567;
while in later days the kind attained its highest perfection in the work
of Michelangelo Buonarroti the younger, whose _Tancia_ originally appeared
in 1612[389].

It may be questioned to what extent these rustic shows influenced the
development of the pastoral eclogue. Their recognition as a dramatic form
was subsequent to that of the _ecloga rappresentativa_, and no element
traceable to their influence can be shown to exist in the dramatic
pastoral as finally evolved. On the other hand, we do undoubtedly meet
with incidents and characters in the courtly shows which appear to belong
to the style of the popular burlesque. A point of contact between the two
traditions may be found in the _commedie maggiaiuole_, a sort of May-day
shows also represented by the Rozzi, but of a more idealized character
than the rustic drama proper. They may, indeed, be regarded as to some
extent at least a parody of the two kinds--the courtly and the popular
pastoral--since by combining the two each was made the foil and criticism
of the other. Nymphs and shepherds appear as in the pastoral eclogues, but
their loves are interrupted by the incursion of boisterous rustics, who
substitute the unchastened instincts and brute force of half-savage boors
for the delicate wooing and sentimentality of their rivals.

* * * * *

We return to the development of the dramatic eclogue in a work of some
importance as marking an advance both in dramatic construction and
versification. _I due pellegrini[390]_, written not later than 1528, when
the author, Luigi Tansillo, was a youth of sixteen or seventeen, was
doubtless produced on some occasion before the court of the Orsini, at
Nola, near Naples. It was revived with great pomp ten years later at
Messina, when Don Garcia de Toledo, commander of the Neapolitan fleet,
entertained Antonia Cardona, daughter of the Count of Colisano, for whose
hand he was a suitor[391]. Two shepherds, pilgrims of love, bereft of the
objects of their affection, the one through death, the other through
inconstancy, meet in a forest and reason of the comparative hardness of
their lots. Unable to decide the question, they each resolve to bear the
strongest possible witness to the depth of their affliction by putting an
end to their lives. At this moment, however, the voice of the dead
mistress is heard from a neighbouring tree, persuading them to relinquish
their intentions, reconciling them once more with the world and life, and
directing them to join the festivities in the city of Nola. Here for the
first time we meet with a pastoral composition of some length pretending
to a dramatic solution, and contrasting with the stationary character of
most of the eclogues we have been examining in that the change of purpose
among the actors constitutes a sort of περιπέτεια, or _rivolgimento_. The
piece is likewise important from a metrical point of view, since it not
only contains a free intermixture of _ottava_ and _terza rima_, and
hendecasyllables with _rimalmezzo_, a favourite verse form in certain
kinds of composition[392], but likewise foreshadows, in its mingling of
freely riming hendecasyllables with _settenarî_, the peculiar measures of
the pastoral drama proper. _I due pellegrini_ was not, however, an
altogether original composition. In 1525 had appeared a work by the
Neapolitan Marco Antonio Epicuro de' Marsi, styled in the original edition
'dialogo di tre ciechi,' and in later reprints 'tragi-commedia intitulata
_Cecaria_[393].' In this three blind men, one blind with love, another
with jealousy, the third with gazing too intently on the sun-like beauty
of his mistress, meet and determine to die together. They fall in,
however, with a priest of Amor, who sends them back to their respective
loves to be cured. It was this theme that Tansillo arranged in pastoral
form, borrowing even the metres of the original, but it was just the
element which justifies our including it here that he added, and it is
useless to seek in Epicuro's work the origin of the form with which it was
thus only accidentally associated.

A composition of some importance, dating from a period about two years
later than Tansillo's piece, is an 'ecloga pastorale' by the 'mestissimo
giovane' Luca di Lorenzo of Siena.[394] Two nymphs, by name Euridice and
Diversa, respectively seek and shun the delights of love. They meet a
_citto_--that is a _bambino_ in Sienese dialect--who proves to be none
other than Cupid himself, and rewards them according to their deserts,
Euridice obtaining the love of the courtly shepherd Orindio, while Diversa
is condemned to follow the rude and loveless Fantasia. The piece is
written in a mixture of _ottava_ and _terza rima_, with a variety of
lyrics introduced. The contrast between the loving and the careless
nymphs, and the episode of the latter being bound to a tree, appear to
anticipate the later pastoral; while the introduction of Cupid as a
dramatis persona carries one back to the mythological drama, and the
rustic characters connect the piece with the plays of the Rozzi. Another
composition of Tuscan origin is the _Lilia_, first printed in 1538, and
composed throughout in polished octaves.[395] It merely relates how the
shepherd Fileno courted the fair Lilia, a certain rustic element being
introduced in the persons of the herdsmen Crotolo and Tirso.

With the _Amaranta_ of Casalio we have been sufficiently concerned in the
text (p. 172). It was printed at Venice in 1538,[396] having probably been
written some years earlier. It is composed in _ottava_ and _terza rima_,
with the introduction of a canzonet, and marks an important advance on
previous work, not only in the nature of the plot, but in being divided
into acts and scenes. Sixteen years elapsed between the publication of
_Amaranta_ and the appearance of the regular pastoral drama in Beccari's
_Sacrifizio_. Some time ago Stiefel pointed out a considerable hiatus at
this point in Rossi's account, and mentioned certain works which might be
expected to fill it. These and others have since been examined by
Carducci, with the result that it is possible, at least partially, to
bridge the gap. The period proves to be one less of gradual evolution than
of conscious experiment. At least this is how I read the available

Besides the _Cecaria_, mentioned above, Epicuro de' Marsi also left a
manuscript play entitled _Mirzia_, which he describes as a 'favola
boschereccia,' being thus the first to make use of the term later adopted
by Tasso.[397] The piece, which was written some ten years before the
author's death in 1555, leads us off into one of the numerous by-paths
into which the pastorals of this period were for ever wandering. Two
despised lovers, together with their friend Ottimo, witness unseen the
dances of Diana and the nymphs, on which occasion Ottimo falls in love
with the goddess herself. After passing through various plights, into
which they are led by their love of the careless nymphs, they all have
recourse to an oracle, whose predictions are fulfilled through a series of
violent metamorphoses. This mixture of mythology and magic is wholly
foreign to the spirit of the Arcadian drama, and the _Mirzia_ cannot any
more than the _Cecaria_ be regarded as the progenitor of that form. I may
mention incidentally that among the characters is a good-natured satyr,
who consoles Ottimo in his hopeless passion for Diana.

Another attempt at mingling the pastoral with the mythological drama, and
one which likewise exhibits a tendency to borrow from the rustic
compositions, is the Florentine 'commedia pastorale' first printed in 1545
under the title of _Silvia_.[398] The author calls himself Fileno
Addiacciato, from which it would appear that he was a member of the
pastoral academy of the Addiaccio, founded at Prato in 1539 by Agnolo
Firenzuola. The prologue relates how the first _archimandrita_ of the
academy, the title assumed by the president, here called Silvano, was
driven out by his followers because of certain innovations he made,
'Alzando i Rozzi e deprimendo i buoni.' This would seem to imply that the
head of the Addiacciati was expelled for evincing too particular an
interest in the Sienese society, a piece of literary gossip fairly borne
out by the little we know of the events which led up to Firenzuola's
departure from Prato. The prologue, indeed, speaks of Silvano as already
dead, which would appear to necessitate the placing of Firenzuola's death
earlier by three years than the accepted date. The inference, however, is
not necessary, since the expelled president might in his pastoral
character be represented as dead though still alive in the flesh. The play
itself, which is in five acts, and contains characters alike Olympian,
Arcadian, and rustic, besides a hermit and a slave, is composed in a
variety of metres--_terza rima_, octaves both _sdrucciole_ and _piane_,
and in the style alike of Poliziano and Lorenzo, hendecasyllables both
blank and with _rimalmezzo_, and lyrical stanzas. The plot itself is of
the simplest, and resembles that of the _Amaranta_. Through the sovereign
will of Venus and Cupid, Silvia and Panfilo love. A temporary
estrangement, brought about by the mischievous rustic Murrone and his
burlesque courting of Silvia, is set right by an opportune appearance of
Cupid just as the girl has determined on suicide, and the lovers are
united according to the Christian rite by the hermit, in the presence of
Cupid and Venus. What could be more complete?

The following year, 1546, saw the appearance in type of two eclogues,
_Erbusto_ and _Filena_, by a certain Giovanni Agostino Cazza or Caccia,
the founder of a pastoral academy at Novara, for whose diversion the
pieces were presumably composed.[399] The first of these, _Erbusto_, is in
three acts, and _terza rima_. The elderly Erbusto is the rival of Ameto in
the love of a shepherdess named Flora. The girl's affections are set on
the younger suitor, and after some complications she is discovered to be
Erbusto's own daughter, stolen as a baby during the war in Piedmont.
Similar recognitions, imitated from the Roman comedy, are of frequent
occurrence in the regular Italian drama, and are not uncommonly connected,
as here, with some actual event in contemporary history. The second piece,
_Filena_, runs to four acts, and has lyrical songs introduced into the
_terza rima_. It appears to be a sufficiently shameless and somewhat
formless farce, which, being quite alien from the spirit of the regular
pastoral, need not be examined in detail.

To the next few years belong a series of 'giocose moderne e facetissime
ecloghe pastorali,' by the Venetian Andrea Calmo, composed in
_endecasillabi sdruccioli sciolti_, and published in 1553.[400] They
introduce a number of dialects, suited to various personages; Arcadian
shepherds like Lucido, Silvano, and the rest; rustics with names such as
Grítolo di Burano, mythological figures, and a _satiro villan_ who speaks
Dalmatian. An advance in dramatization may perhaps be seen in the
introduction of a second pair of lovers, while the writer goes even
further than Beccari in the introduction of oracles (a point in which,
however, he had been anticipated by the author of _Mirzia_), and an echo
scene, a device of which Calmo's example is certainly of an elementary

The most important, however, of the writers between Casalio and Beccari is
the well-known Ferrarese novelist Giovanbattista Giraldi, surnamed Cintio,
the author of the _Ecatommiti_, and of a number of tragedies on the
classical model. The first piece of his which claims our attention is a
_satira_ entitled _Egle_, which was privately performed at the author's
house in February, 1545, and again the following month in the presence of
Duke Ercole and his brother, the Cardinal Ippolito d' Este.[401] The play
is an avowed and solitary attempt to revive the 'satyric' drama of the
Greeks, a kind of which the _Cyclops_ of Euripides is the only extant
example. The action is simple. The rural demigods, fauns, satyrs, and the
like, having long sought the love of the nymphs of Diana in vain, enter,
at the suggestion of Egle the mistress of Silenus, upon a plan whereby
they may have the careless maidens in their power. They make a show of
leaving Arcadia in high dudgeon, abandoning their families of little fauns
and satyrs. On these the unwary maids take pity, and begin forthwith to
dance and play with them in the woods. The deceitful divinities, however,
have only hidden for a while, and when opportunity serves are placed by
Egle where they may surprise the nymphs at sport. They suddenly break
cover, follow and seize the flying girls, and are on the point of enjoying
the success of their plot when Diana intervenes, transforming her outraged
followers into trees, streams, and so forth. The metamorphosis is related
by Pan himself, who returns bearing in his hand a reed, all that is left
of his beloved Syrinx. Thus the piece may be regarded as a dramatization
of Sannazzaro's _Salices_, expanded by the free introduction of
mythological characters, and bears no connexion with the real nature of
pastoral, the life-blood of which, whether in the idyls of Theocritus, the
_Arcadia_ of Sannazzaro, or the _Aminta_ of Tasso, is primarily and
essentially human.

The other work of Cintio with which we are here concerned, a fragment
which remained in MS. till published by Carducci in 1896 as an appendix to
his essays on the _Aminta_, may be at once pronounced the most important
attempt at writing a really pastoral drama previous to Beccari's
_Sacrifizio_. It is found with the heading 'Favola pastorale' in an
autograph MS., along with several other works of the author, including
_Egle_, but with no indication of the date of composition. The author
survived till 1573, but we may reasonably suppose that the piece was
written before his departure from Ferrara in 1558. It consists of what are
apparently intended for two acts, headed respectively _Parte prima_ and
_Parte quinta_, each consisting of several scenes, though these are not
distinguished. The first two form a sort of introduction, in which Cupid
and Diana mutually defy one another on account of the nymph Irinda, whom
the boy-god has wounded with love for Filicio. The shepherd returns her
love, but finds a rival in Viaste, whose blind passion, though unreturned,
will admit no discourse of reason. It is, however, ultimately discovered
that Irinda and Viaste are cousins, a fact which is regarded as a
sufficient reason for the infatuated swain to free himself wholly and
immediately from his passion, and accept the love of the faithful
Frodignisa, who has followed him throughout.[402] The story, which
resembles that of Cazza's _Erlusto_, is thus of a simple order, and it is
chiefly in the composition that the likeness of the play to the regular
pastoral is seen. What the author intended for the middle three acts it is
hard to say, since the action at the opening of the fifth is precisely at
the point at which the first left it. Probably they were never written,
and the author may even have abandoned his work owing to the difficulty of
filling the hiatus. In both Cintio's pieces the metre is blank verse
(hendecasyllabic), diversified in the case of the _Egle_ with a rimed

One point becomes, I think, apparent from the foregoing examination;
namely, that while the fully developed pastoral owes its origin to the
evolution of the eclogue as a dramatic kind, its final form was arrived
at, not merely by a natural and inevitable process of growth, but as the
result of direct experimenting on certain lines. The evolution, that is,
was at the last conscious, not spontaneous. While up to a certain point
the dramatic germs latent in the eclogue develop upon a natural line of
growth, each advance being the reasonable resuit of the action of
surrounding conditions upon a previous stage of evolution, there comes a
time when authors seem to have felt that the form was in a state of
unstable equilibrium, that it was advancing towards a final expression,
which it had so far failed to find, but which each individual writer
sought to realize in his work. The supposition of a theoretic
preoccupation on the part of these writers is reasonable enough,
considering the critical atmosphere in which the pastoral developed, and
the heated controversy which soon centred round the accomplished form; and
it serves at the same time to explain the liabilities of writers before
Tasso to run metaphorically into blind alleys. The conscious endeavour
after a stable and adequate form appears to me a determining factor in the
work of Casalio, Cintio, and finally Beccari.

Of the _Sacrifizio_ of Agostino Beccari[404] have already spoken at some
length in the text (p. 174). From the account there given it will be seen
that the plot, though from its threefold character it attains a certain
degree of complexity, is in reality little more than the scenic
combination of three distinct stories, each of which might well have
formed the subject of an eclogue, and the whole play is thus closely
connected with the dramatic simplicity of its origin.[405] The verse,
which is blank, interspersed with lyrical passages, shows, like Cintio's,
the influence of the regular drama. For the satyr we need seek no
individual source; he was already as much a recognized character of the
Italian pastoral as the Vice was of the English interlude. The magical
element is doubtless ultimately traceable to a romantic source; it is one
which almost entirely drops out of the later pastoral drama, in which the
more distinctively classical oracle gradually won for itself a place.
Finally, I may remark that Beccari's claim to be considered the originator
of the pastoral drama was made in spite of his being perfectly well
acquainted with Cintio's _Egle_, as a passage in the first scene of Act
III testifies. There is, indeed, no reason to suppose that any writer
before Carducci ever considered Cintio's play as belonging to the realm of

Beccari's immediate successors were of no great interest in themselves,
and contributed little to the development of the form. In 1556 appeared a
'comedia pastorale,' by the Piedmontese Bartolommeo Braida, a hybrid
composition in octave rime, written possibly for representation at the
court of Claudio of Savoy, governor of Provence and Marseilles, to whose
wife it is dedicated.[406] This piece resembles Poliziano's play, not only
in metrical structure, but in having a prologue spoken by Mercury, while
by its general character it connects itself with such old-fashioned
productions as Cavassico's Bellunese eclogue of 1513, and the
representation reported from Bologna by Dulfo in 1496. On the other hand,
the introduction of three pairs of lovers, and the incident of the nymph
being bound to a tree, suggest that Braida may at least have heard of the
Ferrarese _Sacrifizio_. The whole is a strange medley of various and
incongruous elements--mythological in Mercury and Somnus; pastoral in the
shepherds, Tindaro, Ruffo, Alpardo, and their loves; rustic in the clown
Basso, who speaks Piedmontese in shorter measure; satirical in the wanton
hermit; allegorical in the figure of Disdain; romantic in the wild man of
the woods and the magic herb. Thus on the whole Braida's work represents a
decided retrogression in the development of pastoral; or perhaps it may be
more accurate to say that it renects the tradition of an outlying district
in which that development had been retarded.

To this period likewise, if we are to believe the author, belongs a 'nova
favola pastorale' entitled _Calisto_, by Luigi Groto, the blind
littérateur of Adria, whose preposterous pastoral, _Il pentimento
amoroso_, was produced between the _Aminta_ and the _Pastor fido_.
According to a note in the original edition, the piece was first
represented at Adria in 1561, revived and rewritten in 1582, and first
printed the following year.[407] It is founded on the well-known tale of
the love of Zeus for Calisto, a nymph of Artemis, who by him became the
mother of the Arcadians, as related by Ovid in the second book of the
_Metamorphoses_ (ll. 401, &c.). It may, therefore, so far as the subject
is concerned, be classed among the mythological plays, but the author has
mingled with his main theme much of the vulgar indecency of the Latin
comedy as adopted in the _cinquecento_ on to the Italian stage. The piece
is composed in _sdrucciolo_ blank verse.

With our next author, the orator Alberto Lollio, we return once more to
Ferrara. In 1563 a play entitled _Aretusa_[408] was presented before
Alfonso II and his brother the cardinal, by the students of law at
Ferrara, at the command, it is said, of Laura Eustoccia d' Este. The verse
is blank, diversified by a single sonnet, but the piece is again a hybrid
of an earlier type--a love-knot solved by the discovery of
consanguinity--with certain elements of Plautine comedy added. There is
also extant in MS. the plot, or prose sketch, of another comedy by Lollio,
entitled _Galatea_, on the same model as the _Aretusa_, but with somewhat
greater complexity of construction.[409]

It is evident that, though in the _Sacrifizio_ the final form of the
pastoral drama had been attained, the fact was not immediately recognized.
Indeed, until the seal had been set upon that form by the genius of Tasso,
it must have been difficult for any one to realize what had been achieved.
The form had been discovered, but it remained to prove that it was the
right form, and to show its capabilities. In 1567 a return was made to the
tradition of Beccari in Agostino Argenti's play _Lo Sfortunato_.[410] With
this piece also, composed in blank verse with a couple of lyric songs, we
have already been sufficiently concerned (p. 175). I only wish to draw
attention to one point here, namely, that if Guarini's Silvio is a
companion portrait to Tasso's Silvia, she in her turn is but the feminine
counterpart of Argenti's Silvio. The _Sfortunato_ stands on the threshold
of the _Aminta_, and its performance may have suggested to Tasso the
composition of his pastoral masterpiece, but it contributed little either
to the evolution of the form, or to the poetic supremacy of its successor.

We have arrived at the end of the catalogue, and it is for the reader to
decide whether or not I have succeeded in establishing a formal continuity
between the eclogue and the pastoral drama, and so answering the most
serious of Carducci's objections.

Appendix II


Any attempt at an adequate bibliography of pastoral literature would
require space far greater than that at present at my disposal. In the case
of all the more important works considered in the foregoing inquiry, I
have been careful to mention the edition from which my quotations are
taken whenever this was not the original. Nor do I propose to mention in
this place every book or article which I have consulted in the course of
my study. Where some particular authority has been followed on some
particular point the reference has been given in the form of a footnote.
There are, however, two classes of books which require special mention.
The first of these consists of those works to which I have had cause
constantly to refer, and which I have therefore quoted by abbreviated
titles; and second, of certain works which I have constantly consulted and
followed, but to which I have had no occasion to make specific reference
in the notes. A list of the works coming under one or other of these heads
will give a very fair survey of the critical literature of the subject,
and may therefore not only be convenient to readers of my work, but may
prove useful as a guide to any who may wish to make an independent study.
I have, of course, derived much help from the critical apparatus
accompanying many of the texts cited, but these I have not, as a rule,
thought it necessary to recapitulate here. Where, however, I have used
critical matter in editions other than those quoted for the text, they
have been duly recorded. Ordinary works of reference need no specific

A. General.

(α) Works on General Literature. These chiefly refer to Italian and
English literature.

(i) _Italian._ J. A. Symonds. _Renaissance in Italy. Vols. IV and V.
Italian Literature._ To the whole of this work, but especially to the
section dealing with literature and to that on the Catholic reaction
mentioned below (B. vi), my indebtedness is far more than any specific
acknowledgement can express. My references are to the new edition (7
vols., London, 1897-8), which has the advantages of being obtainable, and
of having a full though not very accurate index to the whole work, but
which is unfortunately very carelessly printed.

B. Weise and E. Pèrcopo. _Geschichte der italienischen Litteratur von den
ältesten Zeiten bis zur Gegenwart._ Leipzig und Wien, 1899. I have often
found this of considerable use as summarizing the latest work on the
subject. It is, however, not invariably accurate, and the literary
appreciations, whether original or borrowed, are seldom enlightening. Had
the space occupied by these been devoted to giving references to special
works, the value of the book would have been enormously increased.

A. D'Ancona and O. Bacci. _Manuale della letteratura italiana._ 5 vols.
Firenze, 1897-1900. I have fonnd the biographical and bibliographical
notes to this collection of the greatest use.

(ii) _English._ W. J. Courthope. _A History of English Poetry._ 5 vols,
published. London, 1895-1905. Vols, ii and iii contain accounts of English
poets of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

A. W. Ward. _A History of English Dramatic Literature to the Death of
Queen Anne._ New and revised edition. 3 vols. London, 1899.

F. G. Fleay. _A Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama._ 2 vols.
London, 1891.

(β) General Works on Pastoral. Of these some refer chiefly to pastoral
poetry, some mainly to the English drama.

(i) _Poetry._ E. W. Gosse. _An Essay on English Pastoral Poetry._ A. B.
Grosart, _Rider on Mr. Gosse's Essay._ In Grosart's edition of Spenser,
vol. iii, 1882, pp. ix-lxxi.

H. O. Sommer. _Erster Versuch über die englische Hirtendichtung._ Marburg,
1888. A useful sketch of the eclogue in English literature from 1510 to
1805, though superficial and not always accurate.

Katharina Windscheid. _Die englische Hirtendichtung von._1579-1625. Halle,
1895. This contains a good deal of original investigation, and I have
found it of considerable use. In questions of literary judgement, however,
the author is not always happy.

C. H. Herford. _Spenser. Shepheards Calender, edited with introduction and
notes._ London, 1897. The Introduction contains an admirable sketch of
pastoral poetry in general.

E. K. Chambers. _English Pastorals, with an introduction._ London, 1895. A
collection of lyrics, eclogues, and scenes, with a useful introduction.

(ii) _English Drama._ Homer Smith. _Pastoral Influence in the English
Drama._ Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, vol.
xii (1897), pp. 355-460. This has been constantly cited in my notes. As
the first serious attempt to investigate the English pastoral drama it
deserves credit; but in detail it is often inaccurate, while I generally
disagree with the author on all matters on which divergence of opinion is

Josephine Laidler. _A History of Pastoral Drama in England until 1700._
Englische Studien, July, 1905, xxxv (2). pp. 193-259. This appeared while
my work vas passing through the press, and though I have read it
carefully, I think that the reference to Mahaffy's not very accurate
account of Arcadia (see p. 51, note) is the total extent of my
indebtedness. The article adds little to Homer Smith's work for the period
with which we are concerned, while it is at the same time both incomplete
and inaccurate.

A. H. Thorndike. _The Pastoral Element in the English Drama before 1605._
Modern Language Notes, vol. xiv. cols. 228-246 (1899). A careful and
interesting article, which I also only read while my book was in the
press. Though it did not contain much that was new, I was particularly
glad to find myself in agreement with the author as regards the importance
of the pre-Italian tradition in English pastoral.

(γ) I ought also to mention: J. C. Dunlop. _History of Prose Fiction. A
new edition by H. Wilson.._2 vols. London, 1888. The fact that this work
consists chiefly of summaries of plots and stories makes it of great value
for tracing sources.

B. Special.

(i) Classical (Chap. I, sect. ii). J. A. Symonds. _Studies of the Greek
Poets. Third edition._ 2 vols. London, 1893. Chap. XXI deals with 'The

Andrew Lang. _Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus rendered info English Prose,
with an introductory essay._ London, 1889. The introduction contains a
very interesting account of the conditions of Alexandrian poetry.

Joseph Jacobs. _Daphnis and Chloe: the Elizabethan version from Amyot's
Translation by Angel Day._ London, 1890. The introduction contains an
account of Longus and his translators.

(ii) Medieval and Humanistic (Chap. I, sect. iv). F. Macrì-Leone. _La
Bucolica latina nella letteratura italiana del secolo XIV, con una
introduzione sulla bucolica latina nel medioevo._ Parte I (all published).
Torino, 1889.

P. H. Wicksteed and E. G. Gardner. _Dante and Giovanni del Virgilio,
including a critical edition of the text of Dante's 'Eclogae Latinae' and
of the poelic remains of Giovanni del Virgilio._ Westminster, 1902.

Attilio Hortis, _Scritti inediti di Francesco Petrarca pubblicati ed
illustrati.._Trieste, 1874.

Luigi Ruberto. _Le Egloghe del Petrarca._ Il Propugnatore, xi (2). p.
244, xii (1). p. 83, (2). p. 153. Bologna, 1878-9.

Attilio Hortis. _Studl sulle opere latine del Boccaccio con particolare
riguardo alla storia delia erudizione nel medio evo e alle letterature
straniere._ Trieste, 1879.

Marcus Landau. _Giovanni Boccaccio, sua vita e sue opere. Traduzione di
Camillo Antona-Traversi approvata e ampliata dall' autore._ Napoli, 1881.
Greatly enlarged from the original German edition. Stuttgart, 1877.

[Bucolic Collections.] (a) _Eclogae Vergilii. Calphurnii. Nemesiani.
Frcisci. Pe. Ioannis Boc. Ioanbap Mā. Pomponii Gaurici.._Florentiae.
Philippus de Giunta. 1504. Decimo quinto. Calendas Octobris. Contains the
_editio princeps._of Boccaccio's eclogues.

(β) _En habes Lector Bucolicorum Autores XXXVIII. quot quot uidelicet à
Vergilij ætate ad nostra usque tempora, eo poëmatis genere usos, sedulò
inquirentes nancisci in præsentia licuit: farrago quidem Eclogarum CLVI.
mira cùm elegantia tum uarietate referta, nuncque primum in studiosorum
iuuenum gratiam atque usum collecta._ Basel. Ioannes Oporinus. 1546. Mense

[Sannazzaro.] I may note here, what I was unaware of when writing my
account of Sannazzaro's Latin poems, that the _Salices._was translated
into English under the title of _The Osiers._ by Beaupré Bell, about 1724.
The MS. is in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge; see M. R. James'
Catalogue of the Western MSS., ii. p. 102.

(iii) Spanish (Chap. I, sect. vii). George Ticknor. _History of Spanish
Literature. Sixth American edition._ 3 vols. Cambridge (Mass.), 1888.

J. Fitzmaurice-Kelly, _A History of Spanish Literature._ London, 1898.

H. A. Rennert. _The Spanish Pastoral Romances._ Publications of the Modern
Language Association of America, vol. vii (3). pp. 1-119, (1892). An
elaborate study, which, however, I only discovered when my work was in the

Francesco Torraca. _Gl' imitatori stranieri di Jacopo Sannazaro. Seconda
edizione accresciuta._ Roma, 1882. A study which I have found very useful
both in relation to Spanish and French pastoralism.

(iv) French (Chap. I, sect. viii). L. Petit de Julleville. _Histoire de la
Langue et de la Littérature française._ 8 vols. Paris, 1896-1899.

(v) English Poetry (Chap. II). J. G. Underhill. _Spanish Literature in the
England of the Tudors._ New York (Columbia University Studies in
Literature), 1899. A valuable study, particularly in connexion with
Montemayor, with useful bibliography.

A. W. Pollard. _The Castell of Labour, translated from the French of
Pierre Gringore by Alexander Barclay._ Edinburgh (Roxburghe Club), 1905.
Whatever can be said for Barclay as a poet is admirably said in the
Introduction to this work.

F. W. Moorman. _William, Browne. His Britannia's Pastorals and the
pastoral poetry of the Elizabethan age._ Strassburg (Quellen und
Forschungen), 1897.

Walter Raleigh. _The English Novel. Second edition._ London, 1895. To this
brilliant study, and in particular to the treatment of Euphuism and
Arcadianism, I am deeply indebted.

J. J. Jusserand. _The English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare, translated
from the French by Elisabeth Lee. Revised and enlarged by the author._
London, 1890.

K. Brunhuber. _Sir Philip Sidneys Arcadia und ihre Nachläufer._ Nürnberg,
1903. Though not always accurate, the first part, dealing chiefly with the
sources, possesses original value; the same cannot be said of the second,
dealing with the dramatizations, which is superficial.

(vi) Italian Drama (Chap. III). J. L. Klein. _Geschichte des Dramas. Vol.
V. Das italienische Drama. Zweiter Band._ Leipzig, 1867.

Wilhelm Creizenach. _Geschichte des neueren Dramas. Zweiter Band.
Renaissance und Reformation. Erster Theil._ Halle, 1901.

Alessandro D'Ancona. _Origini del teatro italiano._ 2 vols. Torino, 1891.
Very much enlarged from the original edition, 2 vols., Firenze, 1877.

Curzio Mazzi. _La Congrega dei Rozzi di Siena nel secolo XVI._ 2 vols.
Firenze, 1882.

Vittorio Rossi. _Battista Guarini ed il Pastor Fido. Studio
biografico-critico con documenti inediti._ Torino, 1886.

Giosuè Carducci. _Su l'Aminta di T. Tassa, saggi tre. Con una pastorale
inedita di G. B. Giraldi Cinthio._ Firenze, 1899.

J. A. Symonds. _Renaissance in Italy. Vols. VI and VII. The Catholic
Reaction._ (See above, A. a. i.) Chapters VII and XI contain admirable
criticisms of the pastoral work of Tasso and Guarini.

(vii) English Masques (Chap. VII). Rudolf Brotanek. _Die englischen
Maskenspiele._ Wien und Leipzig (Wiener Beiträge), 1902.

David Masson. _The Poetical Works of John Milton, edited with memoir,
introduction, notes, and an essay on Milton's English and versification._
3 vols. London, 1890.

M. W. Sampson. _The Lyric and Dramatic Poems of John Milton, edited, with
an introduction and notes._ New York, 1901.


[In cases where a name occurs several times, the main reference or
references, if any, are distinguished by bold-face type.]

Abbot, Sir Maurice, _Lord Mayor_
Abbruzzese, A.
_Abuses Stript and Whipt_
_Accademia tusculana_
Achelly, Thomas
Achilles Tatius
_Actaeon and Diana_
àdan de le Hale, _or_ le Bochu
Addiaccio, academy at Prato
Admiral, Lord (Charles, Lord Howard)
Aeneas Silvius, _see_ Pius II.
_Affectionate Shepherd_
Affò, Ireneo
Alberti, Leo Battista
_Albion's England_
Aldus Manutius, the elder
Aldus Manutius, the younger
Alexander VI, _Pope_
Alexander, Sir William (Earl of Stirling)
Allacci, Leone
Almerici, Tiburio
Alva, Duke of
_Amadis of Gaul_
_Ambra_ (Lorenzo de' Medici)
_Ambra_ (Poliziano)
Ambrogini, Angelo, _see_ Poliziano.
_Aminta_ (Tasso), English translations:
Oldmixon, du Bois, Ayre, Stoekdale, Leigh Hunt, anon.
_Aminta bagnato_
_Aminta difeso_
_Amintae Gaudia_
_Amore cortese_
_Amore fuggitivo_
_Amores_ (Ovid)
_Amorosi sospiri_
_Amorous War_
_Amyntas_ (Randolph)
_Amyntas_ (Watson)
Amyot, Jacques
Ancona, Alessandro D'
Angeli, Nicolò degli
Anne of Denmark
Annunzio, Gabriele d'
_Anthology_ (Greek)
Antona-Traversi, Camillo
_Apollo and Daphne_
_Apologia contre l'autor del Verato_
_Apology for Poetry_
Aquilano, Serafino
Arber, Edward
Arcadia, Academy of the
_Arcadia_ (Sannazzaro)
_Arcadia_ (Shirley)
_Arcadia_ (Sidney)
_Arcadia_ (Vega, drama)
_Arcadia_ (Vega, romance)
_Arcadia in Brenta_
_Arcadia Reformed_
_Arcadian Lovers_
_Arcadian Princess_
_Arcadian Virgin_
Archer, Edward
_Archivio storico per le provincie napolitane_
_Argalus and Parthenia_ (Glapthorne)
_Argalus and Parthenia_ (Quarles)
Argenti, Agostino
Ariosto, Lodovico
Arnold, Matthew
_Arraignment of Paris_
Arsocchi, Francesco
_Art of English Poesy_
_As You Like It_
_Astrological Discourse_
_Astrophel and Stella_
Atchelow, Thomas
_Athenae Oxonienses_
Aubrey, John
_Aucassin et Nicolette_
_Auto pastoril castelhano_
Averara, Niccolò
Ayre, William

B., I. D.
_Bacchus and Ariadne_
Bacci, Orazio
Baglione family
Balbuenas, Bernardo de
Baldi, Bernardino
Baldini, Vittorio
Baldinucci, Filippo
Baldovini, Francesco
Ballad Society
Bandello, Matteo
Bang, W.
Barclay, Alexander
Barclay, John
Bariola, Felice
Barksted, William
Barnes, Barnabe
Barnfield, Richard
Baron, Robert
Bartoli, Adolfo
Bartoli, Clementi
Basse, William
Bastiano di Francesco (linaiuolo)
Bathurst, Theodore
Baylie, Richard
Beaumont, Francis
_Beautiful Shepherdess of Arcadia_
_Beca di Dicomano_
Beccari, Agostino
Beeching, H. C.
Belcari, Feo
Beling, Richard
Bell, Beaupré
Bellarmino, Roberto, _Cardinal_
Bellay, Joachim du
Belleau, Remi
_Bellessa, the Shepherd's Queen_
Bellincione, Bernardo
Bembo, Pietro
Bendidio, Lucrezia
Beni, Paolo
Benivieni, Girolamo
Bentivogli, Annibale

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