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salvation, was there ever any mention made saving only in that law which God himself hath from heaven revealed ? There is not in the world a syllable muttered with certain truth concerning any of these three, more than hath been supernaturally received from the mouth of the eternal God.
Laws therefore concerning these things are supernatural, both in respect of the manner of delivering them, which is divine; and also in regard of the things delivered, which are such as have not in nature any cause from which they flow, but were by the voluntary appointment of God ordained besides the course of nature, to rectify nature's obliquity withal.
TOUCHING musical harmony whether by instrument or by voice, it being but of high and low in sounds a due proportionable disposition, such notwithstanding is the force thereof, and so pleasing effects it hath in that very part of man which is most divine, that some have been thereby induced to think that the soul itself by nature is or hath in it harmony. A thing which delighteth all ages and beseemeth all states; a thing as seasonable in grief as in joy; as decent being added unto actions of greatest weight and solemnity, as being used when men most sequester themselves from action. The reason hereof is an admirable facility which music hath to express and represent to the mind, more inwardly than any other sensible mean, the very standing, rising, and falling, the very steps and inflections every way, the turns and varieties of all passions whereunto the mind is subject; yea so to imitate them, that whether it resemble unto us the same state wherein our minds already are, or a clean contrary, we are not
more contentedly by the one confirmed, than changed and led away by the other. In harmony the very image and character even of virtue and vice is perceived, the mind delighted with their resemblances, and brought by having them often iterated into a love of the things themselves. For which cause there is nothing more contagious and pestilent than some kinds of harmony; than some nothing more strong and potent unto good. And that there is such a difference of one kind from another we need no proof but our own experience, inasmuch as we are at the hearing of some more inclined unto sorrow and heaviness; of some, more mollified and softened in mind; one kind apter to stay and settle us, another to move and stir our affections; there is that draweth to a marvellous grave and sober mediocrity, there is also that carrieth as it were into ecstacies, filling the mind with an heavenly joy and for the time in a manner severing it from the body. So that although we lay altogether aside the consideration of ditty or matter, the very harmony of sounds being framed in due sort and carried from the ear to the spiritual faculties of our souls, is by a native puissance and efficacy greatly available to bring to a perfect temper whatsoever is there troubled, apt as well to quicken the spirits as to allay that which is too eager, sovereign against melancholy and despair, forcible to draw forth tears of devotion if the mind be such as can yield them, able both to move and to moderate all affections.
THERE is crept into the minds of men at this day a secret pernicious and pestilent conceit that the greatest perfection of a Christian man doth consist in discovery of other men's faults, and in wit to discourse of our own profession. When the world most abounded with just, righteous, and perfect men, their chiefest study was the exercise of piety, wherein for their safest direction they reverently hearkened to the readings of the law of God, they kept in mind the oracles and aphorisms of wisdom which tended unto virtuous life, if any scruple of conscience did trouble them for matter of actions which they took in hand, nothing was attempted before counsel and advice were had, for fear lest rashly they might offend. We are now more confident, not that our knowledge and judgment is riper, but because our desires are another way. Their scope was obedience, ours is skill; their endeavour was reformation of life, our virtue nothing but to hear gladly the reproof of vice; they in the practice of their religion wearied chiefly their knees and hands, we especially our ears and tongues.
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY was born in 1554, at Penshurst, in Kent, of a noble family. His father was Sir Henry Sidney, Queen Elizabeth's Lord-Deputy in Ireland. His mother was Mary Dudley, the sister of the Earl of Leicester. His sister was the Countess of Pembroke : his wife was the daughter of Walsingham. He studied at both Universities, and afterwards travelled for three years on the Continent. In August, 1572, he was at Paris, and narrowly escaped death in the St. Bartholomew Massacre. After his return to the English Court, he discharged several diplomatic commissions with eminent ability. In 1585, he obtained the Governorship of Flushing; and in the October of the following year met with his death-wound on the field of Zutphen.
His Sonnets appeared in 1591, his Arcadia in 1593, and the Defence of Poesy in 1595. Of these, that which enlisted the largest share of favour in the age succeeding his death was the Arcadia, an eloquent romance of Castilian and Elizabethan chivalry thrown back into the time of the struggle of Sparta with her Helots. This work abounds in vivid descriptive and narrative passages, and though occasionally tainted with the pedantic euphuism of the sixteenth century, it is a storehouse of poetic prose inferior to none which had preceded it in our literature. Sidney's Defence of Poesy has had a longer, though a more restricted, popularity. It is the great source from which later advocates of imaginative composition in England have drawn their arguments.
1. After a Wreck. A LITTLE way off they saw the mast, whose proud height now lay along, like a widow having lost her mate of whom she held her honour: but upon the mast they saw a young man (at least if he were a man) bearing shew of about eighteen years of age, who sate (as on horseback) having nothing on him but his shirt, which, being wrought with blue silk and gold, had a kind of resemblance to the sea; on which the sun (then near his western home) did shoot some of his beams. His hair (which the young men of Greece used to wear very long) was stirred up and down with the wind, which seemed to have a sport to play with it, as the sea had to kiss his feet: himself full of admirable beauty, set forth by the strangeness both of his seat and gesture; for, holding his head up full of unmoved majesty, he held a sword aloft with his fair arm, which often he waved about his crown, as though he would threaten the world in that extremity.
2. Arcadia. The third day after, in the time that the morning did strow roses and violets in the heavenly floor against the coming of the sun, the nightingales (striving one with the other which could in most dainty variety recount their wrongcaused sorrow) made them put off their sleep, and rising from under a tree (which that night had been their pavilion) they went on their journey, which by and by welcomed Musidorus's eyes (wearied with the wasted soil of Laconia) with delightful prospects. There were hills which garnished their proud heights with stately trees; humble valleys, whose bare estate seemed comforted with the refreshing of silver rivers; meadows enamelled with all sorts of eye-pleasing