Author: John Harington
Publisher: Forgotten Books
Excerpt from The Letters and Epigrams of Sir John Harington: Together With the Prayse of Private Life IR john harington is remembered in the books for his translation of ariosto's Orlando Fnrioro, for his fine defence of poetry in the introduction to that work, for his many witty epigrams, for his gossipy letters, and for the scan dal, even in his own time, attending a book of his with an atro cions punmng title in which he honestly advocated the introduc tion of a simple mechanical device, since universally adopted, but in which he set forth his argument in terms so ingeniously gross, if at times perversely learned, that he has deserved the consequent neglect, if not altogether the obloquy, into which his name has fallen. With The Metamorp/oosis of Ajax we have happily nothing to do. In 1926 the Epigrnnzr were edited in a scholarly and definitive edition by Professor mcclure, and it is gratifying here to record that the demand for that edition jusri fies the inclusion of the E pi grants in the present volume. In both these works of Harington an incurably robust Rabe laisianism has obscured only too often their veritable wit. In deed, we owe even the translation of the Orlando to the same recurrent perversity. According to an often-told tale, Queen Elizabeth, observing trttenng and, let us hope, some confusion blushing in a bevy of her maids of honor who were gathered about the gay young courtier, John Harington, in quired into the matter to find that the rascal was reading to the girls certain improprieties Which he had translated into ready Laverse out of Ariosto. Suiting the penalty perfectly to the offence, the Queen ordered John into retirement, not to show his face in Court until he had completed the translation of ariosto's 0r larida. Harington was soon back in attendance, his task com pleted, and shortly after, in 1591, the work was handsomely published with a dedication to Elizabeth. Let us hope that the Queen remembered that there are better things in Ariosto. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.