1645 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Phineas Fletcher

James Howell to Edward Benlowes, 15 August 1645; in Familiar Letters (1737) 392.



I much thank you for your visits, and other fair respects you shew me; 'specially that you have enlarged my quarters among these melancholy walls by sending me a whole Isle to walk in, I mean that delicate purple island I receiv'd from you, where I met with Apollo himself and all his daughters, with other excellent society. I stumble also there often upon my self, and grow better acquainted with what I have within me and without me: Insomuch that you could not make choice of a fitter ground for a Prisoner, as I am, to pass over, than of that purple isle, that Isle of Man you sent me; which, as the ingenious Author hath made it, is a far more dainty soil than that Scarlet Island which lies near the Baltick Sea.