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Pastoral, as an adjective, refers to the lifestyle of shepherds and pastoralists, moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability of water and pasturage. "Pastoral" also describes literature, art and music which depicts the life of shepherds, often in a highly idealized manner. It may also be used as a noun (a pastoral) to describe a single work of pastoral poetry, music or drama. An alternative name for the literary "pastoral" (both as an adjective and a noun) is bucolic, from the Greek βουκóλος, meaning a "cowherd".

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Pastoral literature

Pastoral literature in general

In literature, the adjective 'pastoral' refers to rural subjects and aspects of life in the countryside among shepherds, cowherds and other farm workers that are often romanticized and depicted in a highly unrealistic manner. Indeed, the pastoral life is sometimes depicted as being far closer to the Golden age than the rest of human life.[1] An intriguing example of the use of the genre is the short poem Robene and Makyne which also contains the conflicted emotions often present in the genre. A more tranquil mood is set by Christopher Marlowe's well known lines from The Passionate Shepherd to His Love:

Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

Pastoral shepherds and maidens usually have Greek names like Corydon or Philomela, reflecting the origin of the pastoral genre. Pastoral poems are set in beautiful rural landscapes, the literary term for which is "locus amoenus" (Latin for "beautiful place"), such as Arcadia, a rural region of Greece, mythological home of the god Pan, which was portrayed as a sort of Eden by the poets. The tasks of their employment with sheep and other rustic chores is held in the fantasy to be almost wholly undemanding and is left in the background, abandoning the shepherdesses and their swains in a state of almost perfect leisure. This makes them available for embodying perpetual erotic fantasies. The shepherds spend their time chasing pretty girls — or, at least in the Greek and Roman versions, pretty lads as well. The eroticism of Virgil's second eclogue, Formosum pastor Corydon ardebat Alexin ("The shepherd Corydon burned with passion for pretty Alexis") is entirely homosexual.

Pastoral poetry

Georgics Book III, Shepherd with Flocks, Vatican

Pastoral literature began with the poetry of the Hellenistic Greek Theocritus, several of whose Idylls are set in the countryside (probably reflecting the landscape of the island of Cos where the poet lived) and involve dialogues between herdsmen.[2] Theocritus may have drawn on authentic folk traditions of Sicilian shepherds. He wrote in the Doric dialect but the metre he chose was the dactylic hexameter associated with the most prestigious form of Greek poetry, epic. This blend of simplicity and sophistication would play a major part in later pastoral verse. Theocritus was imitated by the Greek poets Bion and Moschus. The Roman poet Virgil adapted the genre into Latin with his highly influential Eclogues. Virgil presented a more idealised vision of rural life than Theocritus and was the first to set his poems in Arcadia, the favourite location of subsequent pastoral literature. He also included elements of political allegory.[3]

Italian poets revived the pastoral from the 14th century onwards, first in Latin (examples include works by Petrarch, Pontano and Mantuan) then in the Italian vernacular (Boiardo). The fashion for pastoral spread throughout Renaissance Europe. In Spain, Garcilaso de la Vega was an important pioneer and his motifs find themselves renewed in the 20th Century Spanish language poet Giannina Braschi. Leading French pastoral poets include Marot and Ronsard.

The first pastorals in English were the Eclogues (c.1515) of Alexander Barclay, which were heavily influenced by Mantuan. A landmark in English pastoral poetry was Spenser’s The Shepheardes Calender, first published in 1579. Spenser's work consists of twelve eclogues, one for each month of the year, and is written in dialect. It contains elegies, fables and a discussion of the role of poetry in contemporary England. Spenser and his friends appear under various pseudonyms (Spenser himself is "Colin Clout"). Spenser's example was imitated by such poets as Michael Drayton (Idea, The Shepherd's Garland) and William Browne (Britannia's Pastorals). The most famous pastoral elegy in English is John Milton's Lycidas (1637), written on the death of Edward King, a fellow student at Cambridge University. Milton used the form both to explore his vocation as a writer and to attack what he saw as the abuses of the Church. The formal pastoral in English died out in the 18th century, one of the last notable examples being Alexander Pope's Pastorals (1709). The form was parodied by writers such as John Gay (in his Shepherd's Week), criticised for its artificiality by Doctor Johnson and attacked for its lack of realism by George Crabbe, who attempted to give a true picture of rural life in his poem The Village (1783). Pastoral nevertheless survived as a mood rather than a genre, as can be seen from such works as Matthew Arnold's Thyrsis (1867), a lament on the death of his fellow poet Arthur Hugh Clough.

Pastoral romances

Italian writers invented a new genre, the pastoral romance, which mixed pastoral poems with a fictional narrative in prose. Although there was no classical precedent for the form, it drew some inspiration from ancient Greek novels set in the countryside, such as Daphnis and Chloe . The most influential Italian example of the form was Sannazzaro's Arcadia (1504). The vogue for the pastoral romance spread throughout Europe producing such notable works as Montemayor's Diana (1559) in Spain, Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia (1590) in England, and Honoré d'Urfé's Astrée (1607-27) in France.

Pastoral plays

Pastoral drama also emerged in Renaissance Italy. Again, there was little Classical precedent, with the possible exception of Greek satyr plays. Poliziano's Orfeo (1480) shows the beginnings of the new form, but it reached its zenith in the late 16th century with Tasso's Aminta (1573), Isabella Andreini's Mirtilla (1588), and Guarini's Il pastor fido (1590). John Lyly's Endimion (1579) brought the Italian-style pastoral play to England. John Fletcher's The Faithful Shepherdess, Ben Jonson's The Sad Shepherd and Sidney's The Lady of May are later examples. Some of Shakespeare's plays contain pastoral elements, most notably As You Like It (whose plot was derived from Thomas Lodge's pastoral romance Rosalynde) and The Winter's Tale, of which Act 4 Scene 4 is a lengthy pastoral digression.

Pastoral music

Theocritus's Idylls include strophic songs and musical laments, and, as in Homer, his shepherds often play the syrinx, or Pan flute, considered a quintessentially pastoral instrument. Virgil's Eclogues were performed as sung mime in the 1st century, and there is evidence of the pastoral song as a legitimate genre of classical times.

The pastoral genre was a significant influence in the development of opera. After settings of pastoral poetry in the pastourelle genre by the troubadours, Italian poets and composers became increasingly drawn to the pastoral. Musical settings of pastoral poetry became increasingly common in first polyphonic and then monodic madrigals: these later led to the cantata and the serenata, in which pastoral themes remained on a consistent basis. Partial musical settings of Giovanni Battista Guarini's Il pastor fido were highly popular: the texts of over 500 madrigals were taken from this one play alone. Tasso's Aminta was also a favourite. As opera developed, the dramatic pastoral came to the fore with such works as Jacopo Peri's Dafne and, most notably, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo. Pastoral opera remained popular throughout the 17th-century, and not just in Italy, as is shown by the French genre of pastorale héroïque, Englishman Henry Lawes's music for Milton's Comus (not to mention John Blow's Venus and Adonis), and Spanish zarzuela. At the same time, Italian and German composers developed a genre of vocal and instrumental pastorals, distinguished by certain stylistic features, associated with Christmas Eve.

The pastoral, and parodies of the pastoral, continued to play an important role in musical history throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. John Gay may have satirized the pastoral in The Beggar's Opera, but also wrote an entirely sincere libretto for Handel's Acis and Galatea. Rousseau's Le Devin du village draws on pastoral roots, and Metastasio's libretto Il re pastore was set over 30 times, most famously by Mozart. Rameau was an outstanding exponent of French pastoral opera.[4] Beethoven also wrote his famous Pastoral Symphony, avoiding his usual musical dynamism in favour of relatively slow rhythms. More concerned with psychology than description, he labelled the work "more the expression of feeling than [realistic] painting". The pastoral also appeared as a feature of grand opera, most particularly in Meyerbeer's operas: often composers would develop a pastoral-themed "oasis", usually in the centre of their work. Notable examples include the shepherd's "alte Weise" from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, or the pastoral ballet occupying the middle of Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades. The 20th-century continued to bring new pastoral interpretations, particularly in ballet, such as Ravel's Daphis and Chloe, Nijinsky's use of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, and Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps and Les Noces.[5]

The Pastorale is a form of Italian folk song still played in the regions of Southern Italy where the zampogna continues to thrive. They generally sound like a slowed down version of a tarantella, as they encompass many of the same melodic phrases. The pastorale on the zampogna can be played by a solo zampogna player, or in some regions can be accompanied by the piffero (also commonly called a ciaramella, pipita, or bifera), which is a primitive key-less double reed oboe type instrument.

Pastoral art

Idealised pastoral landscapes appear in Hellenistic and Roman wall paintings. Interest in the pastoral as a subject for art revived in Renaissance Italy, partly inspired by the descriptions of pictures Sannazzaro included in his Arcadia. The Fête champêtre (Pastoral Concert) attributed to Giorgione is perhaps the most famous painting in this style. Later, French artists were also attracted to the pastoral, notably Claude, Poussin (e.g. Et in Arcadia ego) and Watteau (in his Fêtes galantes).[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ Bridget Ann Henish, The Medieval Calendar Year, p96, ISBN 0-271-01904-2
  2. ^ Introduction (p.14) to Virgil: The Eclogues trans. Guy Lee (Penguin Classics)
  3. ^ Article on "Bucolic poetry" in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (1989)
  4. ^ See Cuthbert Girdlestone Jean-Philippe Rameau: His Life and Work, particularly p.377 ff.
  5. ^ General reference for this section: Geoffrey Chew and Owen Chander. "Pastoral", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed 11 August 2007), grovemusic.com (subscription access).
  6. ^ Article on "Pastoral" in The Oxford Companion to Art (ed. H. Osborne)

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Pastoral
by William Carlos Williams
from Al Que Quiere! (1917)

When I was younger
it was plain to me
I must make something of myself.
Older now
I walk back streets
admiring the houses
of the very poor:
roof out of line with sides
the yards cluttered
with old chicken wire, ashes,
furniture gone wrong;
the fences and outhouses
built of barrel-staves
and parts of boxes, all,
if I am fortunate,
smeared a bluish green
that properly weathered
pleases me best
of all colors.

              No one
will believe this
of vast import to the nation.

Notes and references

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain). Flag of the United States.svg

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PASTORAL (from Lat. pastor, a shepherd), the name given to a certain class of modern literature in which the "idyll" of the Greeks and the "eclogue" of the Latins are imitated. It was a growth of humanism at the Renaissance, and its first home was Italy. Virgil had been imitated, even in the middle ages, but it was the example of Theocritus that was originally followed in pastoral. Pastoral, as it appeared in Tuscany in the 16th century, was really a developed eclogue, an idyll which had been expanded from a single scene into a drama. The first dramatic pastoral which is known to exist is the Favola di Orfeo of Politian, which was represented at Mantua in 1472. This poem, which has been elegantly translated by J. A. Symonds, was a tragedy, with choral passages, on an idyllic theme, and is perhaps too grave in tone to be considered as a pure piece of pastoral. It led the way more directly to tragedy than to pastoral, and it is the Il Sagrifizio of Agostino Beccari, which was played at the court of Ferrara in 1554, that is always quoted as the first complete and actual dramatic pastoral in European literature.

In the west of Europe there were various efforts made in the direction of non-dramatic pastoral, which it is hard to classify. Early in the 16th century Alexander Barclay, in England, translated the Latin eclogues of Mantuanus, a scholastic writer of the preceding age. Barnabe Googe, a generation later, in 1563, published his Eglogs, Epytaphes and Sonnettes, a deliberate but not very successful attempt to introduce pastoral into English literature. In France it is difficult to deny the title of pastoral to various productions of the poets of the Pleiade, but especially to Remy Belleau's pretty miscellany of prose and verse in praise of a country life, called La Bergerie (1565). But the final impulse was given to non-dramatic pastoral by the publication, in 1504, of the famous Arcadia of J. Sannazaro, a work which passed through sixty editions before the close of the 16th century, and which was abundantly copied. Torquato Tasso followed Beccari after an interval of twenty years, and by the success of his Aminta, which was performed before the court of Ferrara in 1573, secured the popularity of dramatic pastoral. Most of the existing works in this class may be traced back to the influence either of the Arcadia or of the Aminta. Tasso was immediately succeeded by Alvisio Pasqualigo, who gave a comic turn to pastoral drama, and by Cristoforo Castelletti, in whose hands it grew heroic and romantic, while, finally, Guarini produced in 1590 his famous Pastor Fido, and Ongaro his fishermen's pastoral of Alceo in 1591. During the last quarter of the 16th century pastoral drama was really a power in Italy. Some of the best poetry of the age was written in this form, to be acted privately on the stages of the little court theatres, that were everywhere springing up. In a short time music was introduced, and rapidly predominated, until the little forms of tragedy, and pastoral altogether, were merged in opera.

With the reign of Elizabeth a certain tendency to pastoral was introduced in England. In Gascoigne and in Whetstone traces have been observed of a tendency towards the form and spirit of eclogue. It has been conjectured that this tendency, combined with the study of the few extant eclogues of Clemont Marot, led Spenser to the composition of what is the finest example of pastoral in the English language, the Shepherd's Calendar, printed in 1579. This famous work is divided into twelve eclogues, and it is remarkable because of the constancy with which Spenser turns in it from the artificial Latin style of pastoral then popular in Italy, and takes his inspiration direct from Theocritus. It is important to note that this is the first effort made in European literature to bring upon a pastoral stage the actual rustics of a modern country, using their own peasant dialect. That Spenser's attempt was very imperfectly carried out does not militate against the genuineness of the effort, which the very adoption of such names as Willie and Cuddie, instead of the customary Damon and Daphnis, is enough to prove. Having led up to this work, the influence of which was to be confined to England, we return to Sannazaro's Arcadia, which left its mark upon every literature in Europe. This remarkable romance, which was the type and the original of so many succeeding pastorals, is written in rich but not laborious periods of musical prose, into which are inserted at frequent intervals passages of verse, contests between shepherds on the "humile fistula di Coridone," or laments for the death of some beautiful virgin. The characters move in a world of supernatural and brilliant beings; they commune without surprise with "i gloriosi spiriti degli boschi," and reflect with singular completeness their author's longing for an innocent voluptuous existence, with no hell or heaven in the background.

It was in Spain that the influence of the Arcadia made itself most rapidly felt outside Italy. The earliest Spanish eclogues had been those of Juan de Encina, acted in 1492. Gil Vicente, who was also a Portuguese writer, had written Spanish religious pastorals early in the 16th century. But Garcilaso de la Vega is the founder of Spanish pastoral. His first eclogue, El Dulce lamentar de los pastores, is considered one of the finest poems of its kind in ancient or in modern literature. He wrote little, and died early, in 1536. Two Portuguese poets followed him, and composed pastorals in Spanish, Francisco de Sit de Miranda, who imitated Theocritus, and the famous Jorge de Montemayor, whose Diana (1524) was founded on Sannazaro's Arcadia. Gaspar Gil Polo, after the death of Montemayor in 1561, completed his romance, and published in 1564 a Diana enamorada. It will be recollected that both these works are mentioned with respect, in their kind, by Cervantes. The author of Don Quixote himself published an admirable pastoral romance, Galatea, in 1584.

In France there has always been so strong a tendency towards a graceful sort of bucolic literature that it is hard to decide what should and what should not be mentioned here. The charming pastourelles of the 13th century, with their knight on horseback and shepherdess by the roadside, need not detain us further than to hint that when the influence of Italian pastoral began to be felt in France these earlier lyrics gave it a national inclination. We have mentioned the Bergerie of Remy Belleau, in which the art of Sannazaro seems to join hands with the simple sweetness of the medieval pastourelle. But there was nothing in France that cculd compare with the school of Spanish pastoral writers which we have just noticed. Even the typical French pastoral, the Astree of Honore d'Urfe (1610), has almost more connexion with the knightly romances which Cervantes laughed at than with the pastorals which he praised. The famous Astree was the result of the study of Tasso's Aminta on the one hand and Montemayor's Diana on the other, with a strong flavouring of the romantic spirit of the Amadis. To remedy the pagan tendency of the Astree a priest, Camus de Pontcarre, wrote a series of Christian pastorals. Racon produced in 1625 a pastoral drama, Les Bergeries, founded on the Astree of D'Urfe.

In England the movement in favour of Theocritean simplicity which had been introduced by Spenser in the Shepherd's Calendar, was immediately defeated by the success ofSir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, a romance closely modelled on the masterpiece of Sannazaro. So far from attempting to sink to colloquial idiom, and adopt a realism in rustic dialect, the tenor of Sidney's narrative is even more grave and stately than it is conceivable that the conversation of the most serious nobles can have ever been. Henceforward, in England, pastoral took one or other of these forms. It very shortly appeared, however, that the Sannazarian form was more suited to the temper of the age, even in England, than the Theocritean. In 1583 a great impetus was given to the former by Robert Greene, who was composing his Morando, and still more in 1584 by the publication of two pastoral dramas, the Gallathea of Lyly and the Arraignment of Paris of Peele. It is doubtful whether either of these writers knew anything about the Arcadia of Sidney, which was posthumously published, but Greene, at all events, became more and more imbued with the Italian spirit of pastoral. His Menaphon and his Never too Late are pure bucolic romances. While in the general form of his stories, however, he follows Sidney, the verse which he introduces is often, especially in the Menaphon, extremely rustic and colloquial. In 1589 Lodge appended some eclogues to his Scilla's Metamorphosis, but in his Rosalynde (1590) he made a much more important contribution' to English literature in general, and to Arcadian poetry in particular. This beautiful and fantastic book is modelled more exactly upon the masterpiece of Sannazaro than any other in our language. The Sixe Idillia of 1588, paraphrases of Theocritus, are anonymous, but conjecture has attributed them to Sir Edward Dyer. In 1598 Bartholomew Young published an English version of the Diana of Montemayor.

In 1585 Watson published his collection of Latin elegiacal eclogues, entitled Amyntas, which was translated into English by Abraham Fraunce in 1587. Watson is also the author of two frigid pastorals, Meliboeus (1590) and Amyntae gaudia (1592). John Dickenson printed at a date unstated, but probably not later than 1592, a "passionate eclogue" called The Shepherd's Complaint, which begins with a harsh burst of hexameters, but which soon settles down into a harmonious prose story, with lyrical interludes. In 1594 the same writer published the romance of Arisbas. Drayton is the next pastoral poet in date of publication. His Idea: Shepherd's Garland bears the date 1593, but was probably written much earlier. In 1595 the same poet produced an Endimion and Phoebe, which was the least happy of his works. He then turned his fluent pen to the other branches of poetic literature; but after more than thirty years, at the very close of his life, he returned to this early love, and published in 1627 two pastorals, The Quest of Cynthia and The Shepherd's Sirena. The general character of all these pieces is rich, but vague and unimpassioned. The Queen's Arcadia of Daniel must be allowed to lie open to the same charge, and to have been written rather in accordance with a fashion than in following of the author's predominant impulse. The singular eclogue by Barnfield, The Affectionate Shepherd, printed in 1594, is an exercise on the theme "0 crudelis Alexi, nihil mea carmina curas," and, in spite of its juvenility and indiscretion, takes rank as the first really poetical following of Spenser and Virgil, in distinction to Sidney and Sannazaro. Marlowe's pastoral lyric Come live with Me, although not printed until 1599, has been attributed to 1589. In 1600 was printed the anonymous pastoral comedy in rhyme, The Maid's Metamorphosis, long attributed to Lyly.

With the close of the r6th century pastoral literature was not extinguished in England as suddenly or as completely as it was in Italy and Spain. Throughout the romantic Jacobean age the English love of country life asserted itself under the guise of pastoral sentiment, and the influence of Tasso and Guarini was felt in England just when it had ceased to be active in Italy. In England it became the fashion to publish lyrical eclogues, usually in short measure, a class of poetry peculiar to the nation and to that age. The lighter staves of The Shepherd's Calendar were the model after which all these graceful productions were drawn. We must confine ourselves to a brief enumeration of the principal among these Jacobean eclogues. Nicholas Breton came first with his Passionate Shepherd in 1604. Wither followed with The Shepherd's Hunting in 1615, and Braithwaite, an inferior writer, published The Poet's Willow in 1613 and Shepherd's Tales in 1621. The name of Wither must recall to our minds that of his friend William Browne, who published in1613-1616his beautiful collection of Devonshire idylls called Britannia's Pastorals. These were in heroic verse, and less distinctly Spenserian in character than those eclogues recently mentioned. In 1614 Browne, Wither, Christopher Brook and Davies of Hereford united in the composition of a little volume of pastorals entitled The Shepherd's Pipe. Meanwhile the composition of pastoral dramas was not entirely discontinued. In 1606 Day dramatized part of Sidney's Arcadia in his Isle of Gulls, and about 1625 the Rev. Thomas Goffe composed his Careless Shepherdess, which Ben Jonson deigned to imitate in the opening lines of his Sad Shepherd. In 1610 Fletcher produced his Faithful Shepherdess in emulation of the Aminta of Tasso. This is the principal pastoral play in the language, and, in spite of its faults in moral taste, it preserves a fascination which has evaporated from most of its fellows. The Arcades of Milton is scarcely dramatic; but it is a bucolic ode of great stateliness and beauty. In the Sad Shepherd, which was perhaps written about 1635, and in his pastoral masques, we see Ben Jonson not disdaining to follow along the track that Fletcher had pointed out in the Faithful Shepherdess. With the Piscatory Eclogues of Phineas Fletcher, in 1633, we may take leave of the more studied forms of pastoral in England early in the 17th century.

When pastoral had declined in all the other nations of Europe, it enjoyed a curious recrudescence in Holland. More than a century after date, the Arcadia of Sannazaro began to exercise an influence on Dutch literature. Johan van Heemskirk led the way with his popular Batavische Arcadia in 1637. In this curious romance the shepherds and shepherdesses move to and fro between Katwijk and the Hague, in a landscape unaffectedly Dutch. Heemskirk had a troop of imitators. Hendrik Zoeteboom published his Zaanlandsche Arcadia in 1658, and Lambertus Bos his Dordtsche Arcadia in 1662. These local imitations of the suave Italian pastoral were followed by still more crude romances, the Rotterdamsche Arcadia of Willem den Elger, the Walchersche Arcadia of Gargon, and the Noordwijker Arcadia of Jacobus van der Valk. Germany has nothing to offer us of this class, for the Diana of Werder (1644) and Die adriatische Rosamund of Zesen (1645) are scarcely pastorals even in form.

In England the writing of eclogues of the sub-Spenserian class of Breton and Wither led in another generation to a rich growth of lyrics which may be roughly called pastoral, but are not strictly bucolic. Carew, Lovelace, Suckling, Stanley and Cartwright are lyrists who all contributed to this harvest of country song, but by far the most copious and the most characteristic of the pastoral lyrists is Herrick. He has, perhaps, no rival in modern literature in this particular direction. His command of his resources, his deep originality and observation, his power of concentrating his genius on the details of rural beauty, his interest in recording homely facts of country life, combined with his extraordinary gift of song to place him in the very first rank among pastoral writers; and it is noticeable that in Herrick's hands, for the first time, the pastoral became a real and modern, instead of being an ideal and humanistic thing. From him we date the recognition in poetry of the humble beauty that lies about our doors. His genius and influence were almost instantly obscured by the Restoration. During the final decline of the Jacobean drama a certain number of pastorals were still produced. Of these the only ones which deserve xx. 29 mention are three dramatic adaptations, Shirley's Arcadia (1640), Fanshawe's Pastor Fido (1646), and Leonard Willan's Astraea (1651). The last pastoral drama in the 17th century was Settle's Pastor Fido (1677). The Restoration was extremely unfavourable to this species of literature. Sir Charles Sedley, Aphra Behn and Congreve published eclogues, and the Pastoral Dialogue between Thirsis and Strephon of the first-mentioned was much admired. All of these, however, are in the highest degree insipid and unreal, and partook of the extreme artificiality of the age.

Pastoral came into fashion again early in the 18th century. The controversy in the Guardian, the famous critique on Ambrose Philips's Pastorals, the anger and rivalry of Pope, and the doubt which must always exist as to Steele's share in the mystification, give 1708 a considerable importance in the annals of bucolic writing. Pope had written his idylls first, and it was a source of infinite annoyance to him that Philips contrived to precede him in publication. He succeeded in throwing ridicule on Philips, however, and his own pastorals were greatly admired. Yet there was some nature in Philips, and, though Pope is more elegant and faultless, he is not one whit more genuinely bucolic than his rival. A far better writer of pastoral than either is Gay, whose Shepherd's Week was a serious attempt to throw to the winds the ridiculous Arcadian tradition of nymphs and swains, and to copy Theocritus in his simplicity. Gay was far more successful in executing this pleasing and natural cycle of poems than in writing his pastoral tragedy of Dione or his "tragi-comico pastoral farce" of The What d'ye call it? (1715). He deserves a very high place in the history of English pastoral on the score of his Shepherd's Week. Swift proposed to Gay that he should write a Newgate pastoral in which the swains and nymphs should talk and warble in slang. This Gay never did attempt; but a northern admirer of his and Pope's achieved a veritable and lasting success in Lowland Scotch, a dialect then considered no less beneath the dignity of verse. Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd, published in 1725, was the last, and remains the most vertebrate and interesting, bucolic drama produced in Great Britain. It remained a favourite, a hundred and fifty years after, among Lowland reapers and milkmaids.

With the Gentle Shepherd the chronicle of pastoral in England practically closes. This is at least the last performance which can be described as a developed eclogue of the school of Tasso and Guarini. It is in Switzerland that we find the next important revival of pastoral properly so-called. The taste of the 18th century was very agreeably tickled by the religious idylls of Salomon Gessner, who died in 1787. His Daphnis and Phillis and Der Tod Abels were read and imitated throughout Europe. In German literature they left but little mark, but in France they were cleverly copied by Arnaud Berquin. A much more important pastoral writer is Jean Pierre Clovis de Florian, who began by imitating the Galatea of Cervantes, and continued with an original bucolic romance entitled Estelle. It has always been noticeable that pastoral is a form of literature which disappears before a breath of ridicule. e Neither Gessner nor his follower Abbt were able to survive the laughter of Herder. Since Florian and Gessner there has been no reappearance of bucolic literature properly so-called. The whole spirit of romanticism was fatal to pastoral. Voss in his Luise and Goethe in Hermann and Dorothea replaced it by poetic scenes from homely and simple life.

Half a century later something like pastoral reappeared in a totally new form, in the fashion for Dorfgeschichten. About 1830 the Danish poet S. S. Blicher, whose work connects the grim studies of George Crabbe with the milder modern strain of pastoral, began to publish his studies of out-door romance among the poor in Jutland. Immermann followed in Germany with his novel Der Oberhof in 1839. Auerbach, who has given to the 19th-century idyll its peculiar character, began to publish his Schwarzwalder Dorfgeschichten in 1843. Meanwhile George Sand was writing Jeanne in 1844, which was followed by La Mare au Diable and Francois le Champi, and in England Clough produced in 1848 his remarkable long-vacation pastoral The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich. It seems almost certain that these writers followed a simultaneous but independent impulse in this curious return to bucolic life, in which, however, in every case, the old tiresome conventionality and affectation of lady-like airs and graces were entirely dropped. This school of writers was presently enriched in Norway by Bjornson, whose Synnove Solbakken was the first of an exquisite series of pastoral romances. But perhaps the best of all modern pastoral romances is Fritz Reuter's Ut mine Stromtid, written in the Mecklenburg dialect of German. In England the Dorsetshire poems of William Barnes and the Dorsetshire novels of Thomas Hardy belong to the same class. It will be noticed, of course, that all these recent productions have so much in common with the literature which is produced around them that they almost evade separate classification. It is conceivable that some poet, in following the antiquarian tendency of the age, may enshrine his fancy once more in the five acts of a pure pastoral drama of the school of Tasso and Fletcher, but any great vitality in pastoral is hardly to be looked for in the future. (E. G.)


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