Edmund Spenser, the Critical Heritage

By R. M.Cummings | Go to book overview
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144.

John Bodenham

1600

John Bodenham (flor. 1600) was, as it were, a great planner of projects and organized the production among other things of Wits Commonwealth and Englands Helicon. Bel-vedere or The Garden of the Muses has much in common as regards its broad intentions and, in particular, as regards its extensive use of Spenserian material, with Englands Parnassus compiled by Bodenham's friend Robert Allott. For details see Charles Crawford, 'Belvedere, or The Garden of the Muses', Englische Studien, XLIII (1911), 207.

From Bel-vedere or The Garden of the Muses (1600), sigs. A3v-A6; repr. Spenser Society (1875), sigs. A3v-A6:

Concerning the nature and qualitie of these excellent flowres, thou seest that they are most learned, graue, and wittie sentences; each line being a seuerall sentence, and none exceeding two lines at the uttermost. All which, being subiected vnder apt and proper heads, as arguments what is then dilated and spoken of: euen so each head hath first his definition in a couplet sentence; then the single and double sentences by variation of letter do follow: and lastly Similies and Examples in the same nature likewise, to conclude euery Head or Argument handled… I haue set down both how, whence, and where these flowres had their first springing, till thus they were drawne togither into the Muses Garden, that euery ground may challenge his owne, each plant his particular, and no one be iniured in the iustice of his merit…

From diuers essayes of their Poetrie; some extent among other Honourable personages writings; some from priuate labours and translations.

Edmund Spencer
Henry Constable Esquier
Samuel Daniel…

-290-

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