1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Fletcher

Nathan Drake, in "On Pastorals" Literary Hours (1799; 1800) 1:333-34.



After the example of Tasso and Guarini, whose Aminta and Pastor Fido were highly distinguished in the literary world, FLETCHER wrote his Faithful Shepherdess, a piece that rivals, and, perhaps, excels the boasted productions of the Italian muse. Equally possessing the elegant simplicity which characterises the Aminta, it was at the same time a richer vein of wild and romantic imagery, and disdain those affected prettinesses which deform the drama of Guarini. This Arcadian Comedy of Fletcher's was held in high estimation by Milton; its frequent allusion, and with the finest effect, to the popular superstitions, caught the congenial spirit of our enthusiastic bard.