that prompted study and deepened meditation, while it enabled him to converse with his genius disengaged from those worldly influences which would have disenchanted it of its mystic enthusiasm, if they did not muddle it ingloriously away.
Surely this sequestered nest was more congenial to the brooding of those ethereal visions of the ‘Faery Queen
’ and to giving his ‘soul a loose’ than
The smoke, the wealth, and noise of Rome,
And all the busy pageantry
That wise men scorn and fools adore.
Yet he longed for London
, if not with the homesickness of Bussy
-Rabutin in exile from the Parisian sun, yet enough to make him joyfully accompany Raleigh
thither in the early winter of 1589, carrying with him the first three books of the great poem begun ten years before.
Horace's nonum premature in annum
had been more than complied with, and the success was answerable to the well-seasoned material and conscientious faithfulness of the work.
did not stay long in London
to enjoy his fame.
Seen close at hand, with its jealousies, intrigues, and selfish basenesses, the court had lost the enchantment lent by the distance of Kilcolman.
A nature so prone to ideal contemplation as Spenser
's would be profoundly shocked by seeing too closely the ignoble springs of contemporaneous policy, and learning by what paltry personal motives the noble opportunities of the world are at any given moment endangered.
It is a sad discovery that history is so mainly made by ignoble men.
Vide questo globo
Tal ch'ei sorrise del suo vil sembiante.
In his ‘Colin Clout,’ written just after his return to Ireland
, he speaks of the Court
in a tone of contemptuous bitterness, in which, as it seems to me, there is