Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 648 pages of information about Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama.
simple folk; and lastly Pistophanax, who seeks to undermine the worship of Pan.  Colax has, it appears, already abused the love of Daphne, and won that of Dorinda from her swain Mirtillus; Techne has sown jealousy between the lovers Palaemon and Silvia; while Lincus has set Montanus and Acrysius by the ears over the possession of a bit of land.  Ail the plotting is overheard by the two concealed shepherds, who when the crisis is reached come forward, call together the Arcadians, expose the machinations of the evil-doers, and procure their banishment from the country.  Such an automatic solution is obviously incompatible with the smallest dramatic interest in the plot; it is not a denoument at all, properly speaking, but a severing of the skein after Alexander’s manner, and it is impossible to feel any emotion at the tragic complications when all the while the sword lies ready for the operation.

The main amorous action centres round Cloris, beloved of Amyntas and Carinus, the latter of whom is in his turn loved by Amarillis.  Carinus’ hopes are founded on the fact that, in imitation of Tasso’s Aminta, he has rescued Cloris from the hands of a satyr, while Amyntas bases his upon certain signs of favour shown him.  Colax, however, also falls in love with the nymph, and induces Techne to give her tryst in a cave, where he may then have an opportunity of finding her alone.  Techne, hereupon, in the hope of winning Amyntas’ affection for herself if she can make him think Cloris unworthy, directs him to the spot where she has promised to meet the unsuspecting maiden.  This is obviously borrowed from the Pastor fido; indeed, Techne is none other than Corisca under a new name, and it was no doubt she who suggested to Daniel the introduction of the other agents of civilization.  Amyntas, on seeing Cloris emerge from the cave in company with Colax, at once concludes her guilt, and in spite of all Techne’s efforts to restrain him rushes off with the intention of putting an end to his life.  Techne, perceiving the ill-success of her plot, tells Cloris of Amyntas’ resolve.  We here return to the imitation of Tasso:  Cloris, like that poet’s Silvia, begins by pretending incredulity and indifference, but being at length convinced agrees to accompany Techne in search of the desperate swain.  Daniel has produced what is little better than a parody of the scene in his model.  Not content with placing in the girl’s mouth the preposterous excuse: 

    If it be done my help will come too late,
    And I may stay, and save that labour here, (IV. iv.[251])

he has spun out the dialogue, already over-long in the original, to an altogether inordinate and ludicrous extent.  When the pair at last come upon the unhappy lover they find him lying insensible, a horn of poison by him.  The necessary sequel is reported by Mirtillus: 

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Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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