1622 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Peregrinatio Scholastica.

Works. 2 Vols. [A. H. Bullen, ed.]

John Day


John Day's Spenserian prose allegory was first published 1881. Compare the Spenserian court satires by Drayton and Niccols, or, in prose, the better-known Bentivolio and Urania, in Four Bookes (1660) by Nathaniel Ingelo.

Samuel Austin Allibone: "John Day, of Caius College Cambridge.... 'A flourishing poet and comedian of his time' — Wood" Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1858-71; 1882) 1:486.

David Norbrook: "The satirist John Day — an enemy of Jonson's — combined apocalyptic symbolism with 'faerie' legend in a satire written in the latter part of James's reign, describing how Error seduces Philosophos and his page Alethe with an enchanted cup and proceeds to entertain her captives with masques and antemasques. Time and Truth, Day implied, could not be found at court; lost time must be recovered elsewhere, with the aid of Industry" Poetry and Politics (1984) 252.




Longe had he not wanderd in this earthly parradice, for so (being led by Error) it appeared to him, but he espied Poneria (as before described) leaneing her left elbowe out of the roote of Dianaes tree (for so Error cald it): a goodlie plante and worthie noatinge, not much unlike the description which Revernde Sibell made of it. For the rootes, which ware lardge and deepe-fastend in the grounde, semde to be knotts of pure golde, the barke was twisted about with small wrethes of silver, curiouslie woven with lockes of Apolloes haire: the waveing leaves spangled and enameld with pearle, the slender twigs like so manie Hermes chareing wandes. Insteade of fruite it was hung with silver tables full of golden verses of the Muses owne makeing and dedicated to her deitie. And here a little observe the pollecie of sinn or Poneria that like a coninge fisher throwes out baites fitting the disposition of the fish she angles for. To a curious and covetous Danae she baits her hooke with a shower of golde; to an aspiring Agathocles she throws a clowde of honour; to an adventurous Jason a golden ffleece; and to learned Philosophos schollarship and poetrie. Noe soner was our schollasticall pilgrim ffalne in her eye but with a somewhat more than mortall state, in this, or the like languadge she salutes him: "We think it a favour somwhat above usuall that we, ladie and mistresse of these groves (to whome Ganges, Tagus, and the Americke mynes pay the tenth part as tribute) voutchsafe to invite and bid you wellcome? This spoke she tooke him by the hand and ledd him to the topp of a riseing hill (that like a great man seemd to stand above and overlooke the bending plaines and humble vallies) and shewd him the full plesure and beauty of her continent; the excellency whereof, had I as many hands as Bryareus had fingers and as many pens as those fingers had joints, to them the invention of Ovid, the rethoricke of Tulli and deliverie of Demosthenes, I were not able to better the self describing plesures of them. In one place stoode a grove of yong mirtles, pavd with musk roses and lillies, and in that her white turtles and tame nitingales builded and bred: upon the side of that leand a medowe full of cowslipps and primeroses where foxes and lambes, shepe and beares fed of the same turfe and dranke of one fountaine without ether act or thought of violence; and this grove Erour cald "grove of union." Other groves bore all kinds of fruite.

What recreations he saw there are (to humaine thought) incredible. For first she brought him into a lardge paline, where he sawe (at least Errour perswaded him that he sawe) the winds mounted upon clowdes shapt in the fashion of ayrey jennets run a tilt with starrs which, broke or shiverd, semd to fall to the ground in a thousand little sparks and lie glimmering at the rootes of brambles and other lowe shrubbs. That done Prometheus threw up a fierworke or Ignis Fatuus, which a thousand fayries (there hands glovd with Sallamanders skins) bandied and tost one to another and, weary with bownding of it, stuck it up burneing in the roofe of heaven; and this Errour calld a comet or blazing star. In contemplation of thes and the like imaginarie pastimes was Philosophos so taken as Poneria (by the help of Errour), stole the hart out of Philosophos bosome and imbreasted it in her owne. And by this time the day groweing old they finisht their sports and returnd homward to the Castle, where against there comeinge seven valeant knights, all neare allied to Poneria, had prepared sumptuous and costlie revells with maskes and dances to entertaine Philosophos.


["The fourth tractate"; Bullen (1881) 2:49-51]