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the difficulties of this little enigmatical ode, which had been before either neglected and unattempted as inexplicable, or rendered more unintelligible by false conjectures. I readily adopt Mr. Walpole's key to the genealogy of the matchless Geraldine.

Her poetical appellation is almost her real name. Gerald Fitzgerald, above mentioned, earl of Kildare in the reign of Henry the Eighth, married a second wife, Margaret daughter of Thomas Gray, marquis of Dorset: by whom he had three daughters, Margaret, Elisabeth, and Cicely. Margaret was born deaf and dumb; and a lady who could neither hear nor answer her lover, and who wanted the means of contributing to the most endearing reciprocations, can hardly be supposed to have been the cause of any vehement effusions of amorous panegyric. We may therefore safely pronounce Elisabeth or Cicely to have been Surrey's favorite. It was probably Elisabeth, as she seems always to have lived in England.

Every circumstance of the sonnet evidently coincides with this state of the case. But, to begin with the first line, it will naturally be asked, what was lady Elisabeth Gerald's connection with Tuscany? The beginnings of noble families, like those of nations, often owe somewhat to fictitious embellishment: and our genealogists uniformly assert, that the family of Fitzgerald derives its origin from Otho, a descendant of the dukes of Tuscany: that they migrated into England under the reign of king Alfred, whose annals are luckily too scanty to contradict such an account; and were from England speedily transplanted into Ireland. Her father was an Irish earl, resident at his earldom of Kildare; and she was consequently born and nursed in Ireland. Her mother, adds the sonnet, was of princely parentage. Here is a no less exact correspondence with the line of the lady's pedigree: for Thomas, marquis of Dorset, was son of queen Elizabeth Gray, daughter of the duchess of Bedford, descended from the royal house of Luxemburgh. The poet acquaints us, that he first saw her at Hunsdon. This notice, which seems of an indifferent nature and quite extraneous to the question, abundantly corroborates our conjecture. Hundsdon-house in Hertfordshire was a new palace built by Henry the Eighth, and chiefly for the purpose of educating his children. The lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald was second cousin to Henry's daughters the princesses Mary and Elisabeth, who were both educated at Hunsdon'. At this royal nursery she therefore tasted of costly foode with kinges childe, that is, lived while a girl with the young princesses her relations, as a companion in their education. At the same time, and on the same plan, our earl of Surrey resided at Windsor-castle, as I have already remarked, with the young duke of Richmond. It is natural to suppose, that he sometimes visited the princesses at Hunsdon, in company with the young duke their brother, where he must have also seen the fair Geraldine: yet by the

e Catal. Roy. and Noble Authors, vol. i. p. 105. edit. 1759.

f Strype, Eccl. Mem. vol. i. Append.

Numb. 71.

nature of his situation at Windsor, which implied a degree of confinement, he was hindered from visiting her at Hunsdon so often as he wished. He therefore pathetically laments.

Windsor, alas, doth chase me from her sight!

But although the earl first beheld this lady at the palace of Hunsdon, yet, as we further learn from the sonnet, he was first struck with her incomparable beauty, and his passion commenced, at Hampton-court. Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine!

That is, and perhaps on occasion of some splendid masque or carousal, when the lady Elisabeth Fitzgerald, with the princesses Mary and Elisabeth, and their brother Richmond, with the young lord Surrey, were invited by the king to Hampton-court.

In the mean time we must remember, that the lord Leonard Gray, uncle to lord Gerald Fitzgerald, was deputy of Ireland for the young duke of Richmond: a connection, exclusive of all that has been said, which would alone account for Surrey's acquaintance at least with this lady. It is also a reason, to say no more, why the earl should have regarded her from the first with a particular attention, which afterwards grew into the most passionate attachment. She is supposed to have been maid of honour to queen Catharine. But there are three of Henry's queens of that name. For obvious reasons, however, we may venture to say, that queen Catharine Howard was Geraldine's queen.

It is not precisely known at what period the earl of Surrey began his travels. They have the air of a romance. He made the tour of Europe in the true spirit of chivalry, and with the ideas of an Amadis; proclaiming the unparalleled charms of his mistress, and prepared to defend the cause of her beauty with the weapons of knight-errantry. Nor was this adventurous journey performed without the intervention of an enchanter. The first city in Italy which he proposed to visit was Florence, the capital of Tuscany, and the original seat of the ancestors of his Geraldine. In his way thither, he passed a few days at the emperor's court; where he became acquainted with Cornelius Agrippa, a celebrated adept in natural magic. This visionary philosopher showed our hero, in a mirror of glass, a living image of Geraldine, reclining on a couch, sick, and reading one of his most tender sonnets by a waxen tapers. His imagination, which wanted not the

Drayton, Her. Epist.-Howard to Geraldine, v. 57.

[Mr. Warton certainly seems to speak as though this visionary display of the fair Geraldine had been an actual exhibition; whereas it was the romantic invention of Tom Nash in his fanciful Life of Jacke Wilton, printed in 1594. Nash under the character of his hero professes to have travelled in company with Lord Henry How

ard, earl of Surrey, as his page. On proceeding to the Emperor's court it was agreed between them to change names and characters, that the earl might take more liberty of behaviour; and becoming familiarly acquainted with Cornelius Agrippa, "I, (says Nash,) because I was his suborned Lorde and Master, desired him to see the lively image of Geraldine, his love, in the glasse, and what at that

flattering representations and artificial incentives of illusion, was heated anew by this interesting and affecting spectacle. Inflamed with every enthusiasm of the most romantic passion, he hastened to Florence: and, on his arrival, immediately published a defiance against any person who could handle a lance and was in love, whether Christian, Jew, Turk, Saracen, or Canibal, who should presume to dispute the superiority of Geraldine's beauty. As the lady was pretended to be of Tuscan extraction, the pride of the Florentines was flattered on this occasion: and the grand duke of Tuscany permitted a general and unmolested ingress into his dominions of the combatants of all countries, till this important trial should be decided. The challenge was accepted, and the earl victorious. The shield which he presented to the duke before the tournament began, is exhibited in Vertue's valuable plate of the Arundel family, and was actually in the possession of the late duke of Norfolk'.

These heroic vanities did not, however, so totally engross the time which Surrey spent in Italy, as to alienate his mind from letters: he studied with the greatest success a critical knowledge of the Italian tongue, and that he might give new lustre to the name of Geraldine, attained a just taste for the peculiar graces of the Italian poetry.

He was recalled to England for some idle reason by the king, much sooner than he expected: and he returned home, the most elegant traveller, the most polite lover, the most learned nobleman, and the most accomplished gentleman, of his age. Dexterity in tilting, and gracefulness in managing a horse under arms, were excellencies now viewed with a critical eye, and practised with a high degree of emulation. In 1540, at a tournament held in the presence of the court at Westminster, and in which the principal of the nobility were engaged, Surrey was distinguished above the rest for his address in the use and exercise of But his martial skill was not solely displayed in the parade and ostentation of these domestic combats. In 1542, he marched into Scotland, as a chief commander in his father's army: and was conspicuous

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for his conduct and bravery at the memorable battle of Flodden-field, where James the Fourth of Scotland was killed. The next year, we find the career of his victories impeded by an obstacle which no valour could resist. The censures of the church have humiliated the greatest heroes: and he was imprisoned in Windsor-castle for eating flesh in Lent. The prohibition had been renewed or strengthened by a recent proclamation of the king. I mention this circumstance, not only as it marks his character, impatient of any controul, and careless of very serious consequences which often arise from a contempt of petty formalities, but as it gave occasion to one of his most sentimental and pathetic sonnets. In 1544, he was field-marshal of the English army in the expedition to Bologne, which he took. In that age, love and arms constantly went together: and it was amid the fatigues of this protracted campaign, that he composed his last sonnet called the FANSIE of a wearied Lover'.

But as Surrey's popularity increased, his interest declined with the king; whose caprices and jealousies grew more violent with his years and infirmities. The brilliancy of Surrey's character, his celebrity in the military science, his general abilities, his wit, learning, and affability, were viewed by Henry with disgust and suspicion. It was in vain that he possessed every advantageous qualification, which could adorn the scholar, the courtier, and the soldier. In proportion as he was amiable in the eyes of the people, he became formidable to the king. His rising reputation was misconstrued into a dangerous ambition, and gave birth to accusations equally groundless and frivolous. He was suspected of a design to marry the princess Mary; and, by that alliance, of approaching to a possibility of wearing the crown. It was insinuated, that he conversed with foreigners, and held a correspondence with cardinal Pole.

The addition of the escocheon of Edward the Confessor to his own, although used by the family of Norfolk for many years, and justified by the authority of the heralds, was a sufficient foundation for an impeachment of high treason. These motives were privately aggravated by those prejudices, with which Henry remembered the misbehaviour of Catharine Howard, and which were extended to all that lady's relations. At length, the earl of Surrey fell a sacrifice to the peevish injustice of a merciless and ungrateful master. Notwithstanding his eloquent and masculine defence, which even in the cause of guilt itself would have proved a powerful persuasive, he was condemned by the prepared suffrage of a servile and obsequious jury, and beheaded on Tower-hill in the year 1547m. In the mean time we should remember, that Surrey's

[The battle of Flodden-field was fought in 1513.-PRICE.] Fol. 6. 7. Fol. 18. See Dugd. Baron. ii. p.275. See Stowe, Chron. p. 592. Challoner, de Republ. Angl. instaurand. lib. ii. p. 15.

[The earl's body was conveyed to Framlingham in Suffolk, and a Latin epitaph placed on his tomb, which dates his immature decease in 1546. See Hist. Anecd. of the Howards, p. 28.-PARK.]

public conduct was not on all occasions quite unexceptionable. In the affair of Bologne he had made a false step. This had offended the king. But Henry, when once offended, could never forgive. And when Hertford was sent into France to take the command, he could not refrain from dropping some reproachful expressions against a measure which seemed to impeach his personal courage. Conscious of his high birth and capacity, he was above the little attentions of caution and reserve; and he too frequently neglected to consult his own situation, and the king's temper. It was his misfortune to serve a monarch, whose resentments, which were easily provoked, could only be satisfied by the most severe revenge. Henry brought those men to the block, which other monarchs would have only disgraced.

Among these anecdotes of Surrey's life, I had almost forgot to mention what became of his amour with the fair Geraldine. We lament to find that Surrey's devotion to this lady did not end in a wedding, and that all his gallantries and verses availed so little! No memoirs of that incurious age have informed us whether her beauty was equalled by her cruelty; or whether her ambition prevailed so far over her gratitude, as to tempt her to prefer the solid glories of a more splendid title and ample fortune, to the challenges and the compliments of so magna nimous, so faithful, and so eloquent a lover. She appears, however, to have been afterwards the third wife of Edward Clinton, earl of Lincoln. Such also is the power of time and accident over amorous vows, that even Surrey himself outlived the violence of his passion. He married Frances, daughter of John earl of Oxford, by whom he left several children. One of his daughters, Jane countess of Westmoreland, was among the learned ladies of that age, and became famous for her knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages".

Surrey's poems were in high reputation with his cotemporaries, and for many years afterwards. He is thus characterised by the author of the old ARTE OF ENGLISH POESIE, whose opinion remained long as a rule of criticism. "In the latter end of the same kinges [Henry] raigne, spronge up a new company of courtly makers, of whom sir Thomas Wyat the elder and Henry earle of Surrey were the two CHIEFTAINES, who having travailed into Italie, and there tasted the sweete and stately measures and stile of the Italian poesie, as novices newly crept out of the schooles of Dante, Ariosto, and Petrarch, they greatly polished our rude and homely manner of vulgar poesie from that it had bene before, and for that cause may justly be sayd the first reformers of our English meeter and stile"." And again, towards the close of the same chapter. "Henry carle of Surrey, and sir Thomas Wyat, between whom I finde very little difference, I repute them (as before) for the two chief lanternes of light to all others that have since employed their pennes upon English poesie: their conceits were loftie, their stiles stately, their con

Lib. i. ch. xxxi. p. 48. edit. 1589.


Dugd. Baron. i. 533. ii. 275.

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