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Samuel Daniel (1562 – 14 October 1619) was an English poet and historian.

Contents

Early Life

Daniel was born near Taunton in Somerset, the son of a music-master. He was the brother of John Daniel. Their sister Rosa was Edmund Spenser's model for Rosalind in his The Shepherd's Calendar; she eventually married John Florio. In 1579, Daniel was admitted to Magdalen Hall (now known as Hertford College) at Oxford University, where he remained for about three years and afterwards devoted himself to the study of poetry and philosophy. A "Samuel Daniel" is recorded in 1586 as being the servant of Edward Stafford, the Baron of Stafford and the English ambassador in France. This is probably the same person as the poet.

Later Life

He was first encouraged and, if we may believe him, taught in verse, by the famous Countess of Pembroke, whose honour he was never weary of proclaiming. He had entered her household as tutor to her son, Lord Herbert. His first known work, a translation of Paulus Jovius, to which some original matter is appended, was printed in 1585.

His first known volume of verse is dated 1592; it contains the cycle of sonnets to Delia and the romance called The Complaint of Rosamond. Twenty-seven of the sonnets had already been printed at the end of Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella without the author's consent. Several editions of Delia appeared in 1592, and they were very frequently reprinted during Daniel's lifetime. We learn that Delia lived on the banks of Shakespeare's river, the Avon, and that the sonnets to her were inspired by her memory when the poet was in Italy. To an edition of Delia and Rosamond, in 1594, was added the tragedy of Cleopatra, written in classical style, in alternately rhyming heroic verse, with choral interludes. The First Four Books of the Civil Wars, an historical poem on the subject of the Wars of the Roses, in ottava rima, appeared in 1595.

As far as is known, it was not until 1599 that there was published a volume entitled Poetical Essays, which contained, besides the "Civil Wars," "Musophilus" and "A letter from Octavia to Marcus Antonius," poems in Daniel's finest and most mature manner. About this time he became tutor to Lady Anne Clifford, daughter of the Countess of Cumberland. On the death of Edmund Spenser, in the same year, Daniel received the somewhat vague office of Poet Laureate, which he seems, however to have shortly resigned in favour of Ben Jonson. Whether it was on this occasion is not known, but about this time, and at the recommendation of his brother-in-law, Giovanni Florio, he was taken into favour at court, and wrote a Panegyricke Congratulatorie offered to the King at Burleigh Harrington in Rutland, in ottava rima.

In 1601 the Panegyricke was published in a presentation folio, the first folio volume of collected works by a living English poet (a distinction usually mistakenly awarded to Ben Jonson's 1616 folio Works). Many later editions contained in addition his Poetical Epistles to his patrons and an elegant prose essay called A Defence of Rime (originally printed in 1602) in answer to Thomas Campion's Observations on the Art of English Poesie, which argued that rhyme was unsuited to the genius of the English language.

In 1603, Daniel was appointed master of the queen's revels. In this capacity he brought out a series of masques and pastoral tragi-comedies—of which were printed The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses (1604); The Queen's Arcadia, an adaptation of Guarini's Pastor Fido (1606); Tethys' Festival or the Queenes Wake, written on the occasion of Prince Henry's becoming a Knight of the Bath (1610); and Hymen's Triumph, in honour of Lord Roxburghe's marriage (1615).

(As a dramatist, Daniel maintained a traditional relationship with Court and University, and had little to do with the popular drama that was such a striking development of his culture in his era. As a result, he was largely insulated from the turmoil that sometimes enveloped the popular drama—though not totally: a 1604 performance of his play Philotas led to his being called before the Privy Council. The hero of the play was perceived to resemble Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex—a troubling connection, given the Earl's 1601 execution for treason.)[1]

In 1605, Certain Small Poems appeared, with the tragedy of Philotas. Certaine small Workes heretofore divulged by Samuel Daniel (1607) was a revised version of all his works except Delia and the Civil Wars. In 1609 the Civil Wars had been completed in eight books. In 1612 Daniel published a prose History of England, from the earliest times down to the end of the reign of Edward III. This popular work was continued and published in 1617. The section dealing with William the Conqueror was published in 1692 as being the work of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Daniel was made a gentleman-extraordinary and groom of the chamber to Queen Anne, sinecure offices which did not interfere with his literary career. He was acknowledged as a leading writer of the time. Shakespeare, Selden and Chapman were among the few friends allowed to visit his secluded home in Old Street, St Luke's, where, Fuller tells us, he would "lie hid for some months together, the more retiredly to enjoy the company of the Muses, and then would appear in public to converse with his friends." Late in life Daniel threw up his titular posts at court and retired to a farm called "The Ridge," (in the hamlet now known as "Rudge") near Beckington, near Wiltshire. Here he died on 14 October 1619.

Works

Daniel's poetic works are numerous, but were long neglected. This is more surprising since, during the 18th century, when so little Elizabethan literature was read, Daniel retained his prestige. Later, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb and others praised this poet. Of his works the sonnets are now, perhaps, most read. They depart from the Italian sonnet form in closing with a couplet, as is the case with most of the sonnets of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyat, but they have a grace and tenderness all their own.

Of a higher order is The Complaint of Rosamond, a soliloquy in which the ghost of the murdered woman appears and bewails her fate in stanzas of exquisite pathos. Among the Epistles to Distinguished Persons will be found some of Daniel's noblest stanzas and most polished verse. The epistle to Lucy, Countess of Bedford, is remarkable among those as being composed in genuine terza rima, till then not used in English. Daniel was particularly fond of a four-lined stanza of solemn alternately rhyming iambics, a form of verse distinctly misplaced in his dramas. These, inspired by the Countess of Pembroke, are less successful than his pastorals; and Hymen's Triumph is considered the best of his dramatic writing. An extract from this masque is given in Lamb's Dramatic Poets, and was highly praised by Coleridge.

Daniel was a great innovator in verse. His style is full, easy and stately, without being very animated or splendid; it is content with level flights. As a gnomic writer Daniel approaches Chapman, but is more musical and coherent. He lacks fire and passion, but he has scholarly grace and tender, mournful reverie.

Daniel has been suggested as a possible author of the anonymous play The Maid's Metamorphosis (1600), though no consensus on the argument has been achieved. Daniel's works were edited by AB Grosart from 1885 to 1896. Projected scholarly editions of the complete works, including that planned by the Oxford University Press, have not yet been published. A recent edition of his major poetry, with explanatory notes, is Samuel Daniel: Selected Poetry and A Defence of Rhyme (Asheville, NC: Pegasus Press, 1998), by Geoffrey Hiller and Peter Groves.

Note

  1. ^ Curiously and rather amazingly, Daniel served as a sort of assistant censor for the Master of the Revels around this time, with specific responsibility for the Children of the Chapel company—in precisely the years when that company was performing its most scandalous productions, Eastward Hoe and The Isle of Gulls. Grace Ioppolo, Dramatists and Their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and Heywood, London, Routledge, 2006; p. 129.

References

External links

Preceded by
Edmund Spenser
British Poet Laureate
1599–1619
Succeeded by
Ben Jonson
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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Samuel Daniel (1562October 14, 1619) was an English poet and historian.

Sourced

  • The greatest works of admiration,
    And all the fair examples of renown.
    Out of distress and misery are grown.
    • Earl of Southampton.
  • As that the walls worn thin, permit the mind
    To look out thorough, and his frailty find. 1
    • History of the Civil War (1595), Book iv, Stanza 84, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd, Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made", Edmund Waller, Verses upon his Divine Poesy.
  • Sacred religion! mother of form and fear.
    • Musophilus (1599), Stanza 57, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • And for the few that only lend their ear,

That few is all the world.

    • Musophilus (1599), Stanza 97, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • This is the thing that I was born to do.
    • Musophilus (1599), Stanza 100, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • And who (in time) knows whither we may vent
    The treasure of our tongue? To what strange shores
    This gain of our best glory shall be sent
    T' enrich unknowing nations with our stores?
    What worlds in the yet unformed Occident
    May come refin'd with th' accents that are ours?
    • Musophilus (1599), Stanza 163, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "Westward the course of empire takes its way", George Berkeley, On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America
  • Unless above himself he can
    Erect himself, how poor a thing is man!
    • To the Countess of Cumberland. Stanza 12, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Care-Charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
    Brother to Death, in silent darkness born,
    Relieve my languish, and restore the light;
    With dark forgetting of my care return.
    And let the day be time enough to mourn
    The shipwreck of my ill adventured youth
    • Delia (1592), Sonnet XLV.

External links

Wikipedia
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SAMUEL DANIEL (1562-1619), English poet and historian, was the son of a music-master, and was born near Taunton, in Somersetshire, in 1562. Another son, John Daniel, was a musician, who held some offices at court, and was the author of Songs for the Lute, Viol and Voice (1606). In 1579 Samuel was admitted a commoner of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, where he remained for about three years, and then gave himself up to the unrestrained study of poetry and philosophy. The name of Samuel Daniel is given as the servant of Lord Stafford, ambassador in France, in 1586, and probably refers to the poet. He was first encouraged and, if we may believe him, taught in verse, by the famous countess of Pembroke, whose honour he was never weary of proclaiming. He had entered her household as tutor to her son, William Herbert. His first known work, a translation of Paulus Jovius, to which some original matter is appended, was printed in 1585. His first known volume of verse is dated 1592; it contains the cycle of sonnets to Delia and the romance called The Complaint of Rosamond. Twenty-seven of the sonnets had already been printed at the end of Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella without the author's consent. Several editions of Delia appeared in 1592, and they were very frequently reprinted during Daniel's lifetime. We learn by internal evidence that Delia lived on the banks of Shakespeare's river, the Avon, and that the sonnets to her were inspired by her memory when the poet was in Italy. To an edition of Delia and Rosamond, in 1594, was added the tragedy of Cleopatra, a severe study in the manner of the ancients, in alternately rhyming heroic verse, diversified by stiff choral interludes. The First Four Books of the Civil Wars, an historical poem in ottava rima, appeared in 1595 The bibliography of Daniel's works is attended with great difficulty, but as far as is known it was not until 1599 that there was published a volume entitled Poetical Essays, which contained, besides the "Civil Wars," "Musophilus," and "A letter from Octavia to Marcus Antonius," poems in Daniel's finest and most mature manner. About this time he became tutor to Anne Clifford, daughter of the countess of Cumberland. On the death of Spenser, in the same year, Daniel received the somewhat vague office of poet-laureate, which he seems, however, to have shortly resigned in favour of Ben Jonson. Whether it was on this occasion is not known, but about this time, and at the recommendation of his brother-in-law, Giovanni Florio, he was taken into favour at court, and wrote a Panegyric Congratulatorie offered to the King at Burleigh Harrington in Rutlandshire, in ottava rima. In 1603 this poem was published, and in many cases copies contained in addition his Poetical Epistles to his patrons and an elegant prose essay called A Defence of (originally printed in 1602) in answer to Thomas Campion's Observations on the Art of English Poesie, in which it was contended that rhyme was unsuited to the genius of the English language. In 1603, moreover, Daniel was appointed master of the queen's revels. In this capacity he brought out a series of masques and pastoral tragi-comedies, - of which were printed A Vision of the Twelve Goddesses, in 1604; The Queen's Arcadia, an adaptation of Guarini's Pastor Fido, in 1606; Tethys Festival or the Queenes Wake, written on the occasion of Prince Henry's becoming a Knight of the Bath, in 1610; and Hymen's Triumph, in honour of Lord Roxburgh's marriage in 1615. Meanwhile had appeared, in 1605, Certain Small Poems, with the tragedy of Philotas; the latter was a study, in the same style as Cleopatra, written some five years earlier. This drama brought its author into difficulties, as Philotas, with whom he expressed some sympathy, was taken to represent Essex. In 1607, under the title of Certaine small Workes heretofore divulged by Samuel Daniel, the poet issued a revised version of all his works except Delia and the Civil Wars. In 1609 the Civil Wars had been completed in eight books. In 1612 Daniel published a prose History of England, from the earliest times down to the end of the reign of Edward III. This work afterwards continued, and published in 1617, was very popular with Drayton's contemporaries. The section dealing with William the Conqueror was published in 1692 as being the work of Sir Walter Raleigh, apparently without sufficient grounds.

Daniel was made a gentleman-extraordinary and groom of the chamber to Queen Anne, sinecure offices which offered no hindrance to an active literary career. He was now acknowledged as one of the first writers of the time. Shakespeare, Selden and Chapman are named among the few intimates who were permitted to intrude upon the seclusion of a garden-house in Old Street, St Luke's, where, Fuller tells us, he would "lie hid for some months together, the more retiredly to enjoy the company of the Muses, and then would appear in public to converse with his friends." Late in life Daniel threw up his titular posts at court and retired to a farm called "The Ridge," which he rented at Beckington, near Devizes in Wiltshire. Here he died on the 14th of October 1619.

The poetical writings of Daniel are very numerous, but in spite of the eulogies of all the best critics, they were long neglected. This is the more singular since, during the 18th century, when so little Elizabethan literature was read, Daniel retained his poetical prestige. In later times Coleridge, Charles Lamb and others expended some of their most genial criticisms on this poet. Of his multifarious works the sonnets are now, perhaps, most read. They depart from the Italian sonnet form in closing with a couplet, as is the case with most of the sonnets of Surrey and Wyat, but they have a grace and tenderness all their own. Of a higher order is The Complaint of Rosamond, a soliloquy in which the ghost of the murdered woman appears and bewails her fate in stanzas of exquisite pathos. Among the Epistles to Distinguished Persons will be found some of Daniel's noblest stanzas and most polished verse. The epistle to Lucy, countess of Bedford, is remarkable among those as being composed in genuine terza rima, till then not used in English. Daniel was particularly fond of a four-lined stanza of solemn alternately rhyming iambics, a form of verse distinctly misplaced in his dramas. These, inspired it would seem by like attempts of the countess of Pembroke's, are hard and frigid; his pastorals are far more pleasing; and Hymen's Triumph is perhaps the best of all his dramatic writing. An extract from this masque is given in Lamb's Dramatic Poets, and it was highly praised by Coleridge. In elegiac verse he always excelled, but most of all in his touching address To the Angel Spirit of the Most Excellent Sir Philip Sidney. We must not neglect to quote Musophilus among the most characteristic writings of Daniel. It is a dialogue between a courtier and a man of letters, and is a general defence of learning, and in particular of poetic learning as an instrument in the education of the perfect courtier or man of action. It is addressed to Fulke Greville, and written, with much sententious melody, in a sort of terza rima, or, more properly, ottava rima with the couplet omitted. Daniel was a great reformer in verse, and the introducer of several valuable novelties. It may be broadly said of his style that it is full, easy and stately, without being very animated or splendid. It attains a high average of general excellence, and is content with level flights. As a gnomic writer Daniel approaches Chapman, but is far more musical and coherent. He is wanting in fire and passion, but he is preeminent in scholarly grace and tender, mournful reverie.

Daniel's works were edited by A. B. Grosart in 1885-1896.

(E. G.)


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