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[176] bright-colored fancies, he so often filled whole pages and crowded the text hard in others with the gay frolics of his pencil, that, as in the Grimani missal, the holy function of the book is forgotten in the ecstasy of its adornment. Worse than all, does not his brush linger more lovingly along the rosy contours of his sirens than on the modest wimples of the Wise Virgins ‘The general end of the book,’ he tells us in his Dedication to Sir Walter Raleigh, ‘is to fashion a gentleman of noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.’ But a little further on he evidently has a qualm, as he thinks how generously he had interpreted his promise of cuts: ‘To some I know this method will seem displeasant, which had rather have good discipline delivered plainly in way of precepts or sermoned at large,1 as they use, than thus cloudily enwrapped in allegorical devices.’ Lord Burleigh was of this way of thinking, undoubtedly, but how could poor Clarion help it? Has he not said,

And whatso else, of virtue good or ill,
     Grew in that garden, fetcht from far away,
Of every one he takes and tastes at will,
     And on their pleasures greedily doth prey’?

One sometimes feels in reading him as if he were the pure sense of the beautiful incarnated to the one end that he might interpret it to our duller perceptions. So exquisite was his sensibility,2 that with him sensation and intellection seem identical, and we ‘can almost say his body thought.’ This subtle interfusion of sense with spirit it is that gives his poetry a crystalline purity

1 We can fancy how he would have done this by Jeremy Taylor, who was a kind of Spenser in a cassock.

2 Of this he himself gives a striking hint, where speaking in his own person he suddenly breaks in on his narrative with the passionate cry,

Ah, dearest God, me grant I dead be not defouled.

Faery Queen, B. I. c x. 43.

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