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Who is Colin Clout?
Lyrical Variations on the Epic Theme
of Making a Name for Oneself

Who Knows not Colin Clout?


      During his pastoral sojourn in the Sixth Book of The Faerie Queene, Calidore wanders, in Canto 10, onto Mount Acidale, where he spies the spectacle of a wheeling inflorescence made up of "An hundred naked maidens lilly white, / All raunged in a ring, and dauncing in delight" (6.10.11). [1] The elaborate outer ring revolves around an inner trio--the Three Graces--in whose midst is placed "Another Damzell, as a precious gemme" (6.10.12). This mysterious central figure is in turn given her immediate narrative situation in a peculiarly deccentering series of shifts:


                               But that faire one,
That in the midst was placed parauaunt,
Was she to whom that shepheard pypt alone,
That made him pipe so merrily, as neuer none.

She was to weete that iolly Shepheards lasse,
Which piped there vnto that merry rout,
That iolly shepheard, which there piped, was
Poore Colin Clout (who knowes not Colin Clout?)
He pypt apace, whilest they him daunst about.
Pype iolly shepheard, pype thou now apace
Vnto thy loue, that made thee low to lout. (6.10.15-16)


      The effect of the deferent anadiploses is, through suspense, to redirect our attention to the shepherd who was introduced as a reference point for the damsel but who ultimately becomes the center from which meanings will henceforth unfold. Whatever relief there is of readerly suspense in being able to place the gemlike damsel as the "iolly Shepheards lasse" may be blocked by a still more profound perplex, and not merely because of the potential tension generated through the apposition of the demeaning "Poore Colin Clout" and the aggrandizing "who knowes not Colin Clout?" However conventionally rhetorical the latter turn, one has difficulty not seeing this as what is called a "trick question." For, if we have been paying any attention, we must recognize the name at least from the passing acquaintance made with it in the previous canto. The assumed banality of the name dropped ("who knowes not Colin Clout?") thus on the one hand plays off on a currency already established in the text, a currency rigged up through the pointed omission of any contextualizing qualifications (Colin is simply mentioned in Canto 9, without even the paraliptic introduction of "a man who needs no introduction"). But the evocation of this figure in both cantos is of course a flagrant indulgence in "homotextuality," for Colin Clout was a name certainly known to most of the implied audience of the second instalment of The Faerie Queene.
      Likewise, the figure of the gemlike damsel may have seemed somehow familiar to Spenser's reader, especially once the narrator had situated her in his address to Colin: "Thy loue is present there with thee in place, / Thy loue is there aduaunst to be another Grace" (st. 16). As Colin's love she might bring to mind the equally mysterious "Rosalind" from the earlier Shepheardes Calender and Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, while as "another Grace" she could suggest to the more erudite reader the variable fourth Grace which perhaps figured the encyclopedic infolding of the other three in a Neoplatonic tradition. [2] Even less recondite readers might recall the episode in "April" of the Calender where Queen Elizabeth is promoted to "fyll the fourth place" (l. 16) that seems to be wanted to make the dance of the Graces there "euen." Previous commentators have argued that the enigmatic dancer here in Book Six is Venus, the "fourth Grace," the Poetic Muse, the Queen, "Rosalind," Spenser's wife--and she has even been taken as an analogy for the poem itself. [3] But undecidability is affirmed in the text; Colin himself is unable to provide a positive identification of his love, but can only muse in a neat parallel of his own rhetorically questionable narrative situation:
[...] that fourth Mayd, which there amidst them traced,
Who can aread, what creature mote she bee,
Whether a creature, or a goddesse graced
With heauvenly gifts from heuen first enraced? (6.10.25)
If he cannot "aread" the identity of his mistress we would seem to be justified in our own attempts at reading to demand: who can? Critics who attempt to identify her positively with some figure from the poet's biography ignore the conventional nature of her emblematic function as a fourth Grace and her possible "implication" as nodal infolding of the "graces" fragmented throughout the book. But critics who opt for explanations based entirely on arcane Neoplatonic doctrines and Renaissance iconography have not been entirely successful in explaining her problematical relationship to Colin or her positive identification by him as "a countrey lasse" (6.10.25). When confronted with these figures, more naive modern readers may quite impertinently want, like Calidore, to know them. But when the figures are approached, one will recall, the dancers vanish, leaving only Colin to be interrogated. It thus makes more sense to approach the mysterious dancer through him than vice-versa, for there is a considerable body of evidence surrounding the former figure, and at least Colin Clout does not seem to vanish into thin air when we attempt to take a closer look at that body. We have here at any rate a name to go on, and Roland Barthes was right, I think, in suggesting that the proper name seems inevitably to be "filled with a person." [4] With that name comes a personality and a history.
      What I want to do is bring together a body of evidence which would be relevant to the critically heterodox question: who (as opposed to what) is Colin Clout? Such a question may ultimately be as hopeless or impertinent, but is also, I believe, as important and as difficult to resist or repress, as that Calidorean desire that breaks up the dance on Mount Acidale. Personality, I want to suggest, remains one of the nominal connotations of the figure of Colin Clout, and the question of knowing him cannot be decided solely by recourse to emblematic traditions or abstract poetical theories or any of the other accepted techniques by which "[e]nthusiastic brushwork transforms human beings into Elizabethans." [5] But I must admit that in broaching the subject of Colin Clout's identity from this perspective, I have not been attempting to answer questions so much as to question the answers with which one is habitually supplied--answers, as I see them, in their own way often as ambivalent and aporiac as the most problematical of what follows.

A Name Not Greatly Used


      The cultural connotations on which Spenser must have been depending when he introduced his quasi-authorial figure into The Shepheardes Calender (published semi-anonymously, with a dedicatory verse signed "Immeritô") are succinctly alluded to in the dual derivation provided by the enigmatic glossator E.K. in the note to "January":

COLIN Cloute) is a name not greatly vsed, and yet haue I sene a Poesie of M. Skeltons vnder that title. But indeede the word Colin is Frenche, and vsed of the French Poete Marot (if he be worthy the name of a Poete) in a certeine |glogue. Vnder which name this Poete secretly shadoweth himself, as sometime did Virgil vnder the name Tityrus, thinking it much fitter, then such Latine names, for the great vnlikelyhoode of the language. (Jan.Glos.)

      The two lineages, represented by Skelton and Marot, and conveniently labelled the English and French lines, represent radically different cultural values, class affiliations and moral freight. Skelton's Clout is the eponymous satirical persona of a string of anticlerical harangues directed especially against the powerful Wolsey. The attacks are framed and vitiated in a number of ways; mainly, they are represented as hearsay--Colyn Cloute merely repeats what he has heard, "Semper protestando / De non impugnando." [6] Robert Kinsman once suggested that Colyn functions as a medium for the "vox populi," [7] but he later argued that the poem as whole represents a subtle orchestration of dissonant voices: poet, layman, heretic, priest, Wolsey, and the refractory Colyn himself, self-avowed champion of the clergy, but open channel for the broadcast of a vox populi proofing of clerical errors. [8] If such orchestration does exist in the poem, however, it amounts to little more than a bit of ripieno bridgework for the swollen cadenza of the anti-prelatic voice dominating three-fourths of the poem's text, and often difficult to distinguish from Colyn's own discourse.
      The likelihood of Skelton's Clout being associated with a dangerously demotic satirical figure is reinforced by the general connotations the name is already likely to have had before Skelton. "Colin" or "Coll" seem to have been names carrying low, countrified overtones, and Kinsman believes that
[t]he coupling of "Colyn" (rustic) with "clout" (rag) may have been a colloquial one, as is generally believed. At any rate, Skelton had already used "Clout" in the name Christian Clowte to designate a rustic in the earlier poem Manerly Margery Mylke and Ale. Even in the poem Colyn Cloute, he applies the name Christian Clowte to a yokel. [9]
Skelton's editor, John Scattergood, has additionally suggested that the name Colin may derive from Latin colonus (farmer), although it is more usually supposed to have crystallized in Britain in independent but geminate forms from Scots and French elements. [10]
      If the native tradition suggested a figure frank, base, coarse, and possibly satirical, the name in French may have been common enough among the upper classes. Colin Maillard, for example, who gives his name to the game of blindman's buff in French, was a legendary knight. Certainly the "shepherd" in Clément Marot's "eglogue" on the death of Louise de Savoie, mother of François I, is in no way intended to be mean or plainspoken. The earliest surviving printing of this poem was published in L'adolescence clementine (Paris: P. Roffet, 1532) with a heading which described the "eglogue" as one in which "sont introduictz deux Pasteurs. Cest asavoir Colin Daniou & Thenot de Poictou. Poetes contemporains de Lautheur ." [11] Marot's "pasteurs" Colin and Thenot have been variously identified. Colin is usually supposed to be Germain Colin, a contemporary of Marot's condemned for heresy about whom little else is known. [12] In subsequent printings, the indication that the shepherds were meant to represent contemporary poets was dropped from the heading, and a number of Spenser scholars have consequently assumed that "Colin" is a front for the poet Marot himself. [13] Spenser may also have believed this, and it is difficult to determine the referent of the equivocal demonstrative in the last line of E. K.'s gloss: "[...] the word Colin is Frenche, and vsed of the French Poete Marot. [...] Vnder which name this Poete secretly shadoweth himself" (Jan.Glos.; my emphasis). It is not entirely clear whether "this Poete" means Spenser or Marot, and some critics still seem to assume the latter. [14] The status of Marot's Colin can be approached through the relationship the poetic factotum enters into with "Pan," a name which here figures the Theocritean divinity of nature and song (ll. 5, 11), but elsewhere (and even here, according to some readings [15] .ct ), shadows the patron and real-life "King of poets" of Marot's own experience, François I. According to Thenot, Colin is essentially the equal of Pan; indeed, the latter might even learn a thing or two by associating with the former: "Il t'apprendroit & tu l'enseigneroys " (l. 8). The king may in fact be glanced at in Pan here, hinting at the commensal rapport of poet and prince, but when he is unequivocally referred to it is as the "grand Berger d'ici" (l. 58) and the "grand Pasteur" (ll. 61, 105), epithets which rather earthily harp upon the sublunary and societal limits of the monarch's dominion. However conventional the association of poet and god, resonating as it does with the agrestic portrayal of the king, the identification gives some sense of the poet going over the head of the prince, and this has in fact been identified as the characteristic gesture of the Marotian "poetics of the eclogue." [16] If the very title of the later Eclogue de Marot au Roy, soubz les noms de Robin & Pan tends to suggest "an equality in fiction of sender and receiver," [17] in the earlier eclogue the pastoral poet is not merely on a par with "Pan," but would seem through the power of the poetic to transcend the earthly authority figured in the "grand Berger" whose textual fate is in his hands. Poetry, as Boudou argues, seems to be the central concern of Marotian pastoral; a "conventional genre" is to some extent proto-romantically transformed into a "personal" poem, [18] and Marot's Colin is an incarnation of the poetic personality just as he is the central figure in the dramatic empowering of poetic authority.

Colin Clout is Not Everybody


      The initial inheritance of Spenser's crossbred figure thus involves a basic tension between sociopolitical lowness and aesthetic highness which Spenser was immediately to relegate into the uncertain middle ground of the private and the craftsmanlike. In The Shepheardes Calender, the true clout of the native low is diffused and defused in the veiled highness of the conventional pastoral disclaimer of humility, while the French high courtly ambitions are continually denied by the persona. Yet Spenser must have known and meant people to recognize the resonances of the name.
      Critics have made little of either tradition, but this is perhaps not surprising since, as I will be arguing, Spenser operates a wholesale expurgation of most of the relevant connotations in the gradual elaboration of his new persona. Though almost no attention has been drawn to the truly disruptive low elements of the Skeltonic aspect, the possibly subversive Marotian implications have even been more extensively played down. Critics have perhaps rightly recognized that the situation by E. K. of Colin Clout in this dually audacious tradition is essentially belied by the figure's antisocial, apolitical pose in the poems themselves.
      This may at first seem a remarkable characterization to be making, since The Calender is remembered for incorporating at least a certain amount of anti-clerical critique and at the same time setting Spenser up as premier courtly poet of the age. And attempts have been made to link Spenser's persona to the native pastoral tradition, notably by Paul McLane who concludes that from Skelton's earlier Colin are emitted "both the voice of the poet and the voice of the common man" and that he is "the symbol of the people of England." [19] As McLane sees it, "in both Colyn Cloute and the Calender, Colin the main character represents the common man, and the poet." [20] The view of Colin as a type of the commoner squares with McLane's cosset theory [21] that Rosalind, the figure beloved of Colin in the Calender, stands for Queen Elizabeth (partially anagramatizing "Eliza R[egina] Eng" [22]) and that Colin is thus the spokesman for the devoted Elizabethan subject. In his booklength study McLane concluded that Colin figures at least the English people, Spenser, and Everyman. [23] The first obejction that one can make to this vision of Rosalind-Elizabeth's lover as a Clouted concretion of delegated populism is that the more "Skeltonic" passages in the Calender (the anti-clerical satire of what E. K. calls the "moral" eclogues) are in fact never voiced by Colin Clout; he is not even present in them. Nor, do I think, are we encouraged to take Colin's calendrical experience to be as universal as all that.
      I think careful reading of the Calender leads to a sense of the development of a non-populist "personality," owing at least something to the Marotian Colin, but eventually nothing to the Skeltonic Clout, and indeed that along with that development there is in fact a concomitant covering up of the figure's commoner roots. Against a view such as McLane's, I would argue that the figure is devoid of Cloutish character practically from the start. I take my cue in this rarification from an equivocal passage where Gabriel Harvey, in one of the "proper and wittie" letters from the exchange published shortly after the Calender, follows up an allusion to "Cuddie's" complaint ("October") over the bootlessness of his metrical feats with the following discrimination:


      But Master Collin Cloute is not euery body, and albeit his olde Companions, Master Cuddy, and Master Hobbinoll be as little beholding to their Mistresse Poetrie, as euer you wist; yet he peraduenture, by the meanes of hir speciall fauour, and some personall priueledge, may happely liue by dying Pellicanes, and purchase great landes, and Lordshippes, with the money, which his Calender and Dreames haue, and will afforde him. [24]

      It is the Colin of "personall priueledge" whose evolution will henceforth be traced, and the survey of the whole of his holdings, held out so tantalizingly in Harvey's hand. This is to insist that Colin becomes "a figure, even a name to be reckoned with, in Elizabethan culture" [25] only insofar as he has, or is, a personality, and one whose development is somehow "collinear" with that of his creator. It is now generally recognized, of course, that any account of the relationship between Colin Clout and the poet charts the alignment and discrepancy of a "biographical fiction" [26] and a figure that is central to that fiction's "imaginative life." [27] One could perhaps open such an account with the by no means anodyne observation that the poet, in "making a name for himself," created an alter ego who became, rather more than Spenser himself, a major Elizabethan literary personality.
      Colin would seem from E.K.'s comments to have been devised as a quasi-corporate entity "vnder whose person," as E.K. puts it, "the Authour selfe is shadowed" (Ded. Ep.). As a front, whether for poetical ambitions or for religious and political commentary, "Colin Clout" would have seemed to offer Spenser a uniquely multifaceted human buckler, apt to shield ("shadow") him from "univocation" (a single poetical as well as political career): overtly humble, covertly courtly, it is a cryptonym which confronts the reader with the double authority of native common sense and continental precedence and presidence (Theocritus and Virgil via Marot).
      But, as I have suggested, the Petrarchan desperado to whom we are introduced in the "January" eclogue of the Calender does not initially seem to partake of the character of either his Skeltonic or his Marotian namesake, nor to reproduce, "mis en abyme," the poet responsible for the Calender. Instead, we encounter a "shepheardes boy" pining over his unrequited love for "a countrie lasse called Rosalinde" (Jan.Arg.), whom he has seen on a trip to a nearby town, but who "laughes the songes, that Colin Clout doth make" (Jan.66). He concludes by spitefully rejecting "both pype and Muse," the former because it cannot win him the object of his desire, the latter because she cannot ease his suffering. Conventional act of aggravated despond, he breaks his instrument, and a not entirely un-Freudian ex-bagpipe lolls glumly at the shepherd's feet in the woodcut before the eclogue.
      It is from this private manifold of art and desire that the new character can most easily be traced, even as his personality-status is established through the "public" discourse of other figures, frequently in eclogues from which he is himself absent. We do not hear of him again after "January" until "April," where Hobbinol complains of his friend's dejection. Colin now refuses to sing his habitual songs "wherein he all outwent" (Apr.16). Here begins the intra-calendrical development of the poetical personality and the establishment of the poet's reputation, not yet alluded to in "January," as premier piper among the shepherds of the eclogues.
      Colin's "personal development" meanwhile flits mothlike around his unfulfilled desire, an intrigue which in its flat, deadend conventionality, biographical incommutability, and bald misogyny [28] has tended to prove increasingly unpalatable to modern critics. [29] Punctuating and interfering with this romantic degeneration whenever Colin is out of the picture is the mounting recurrence to his poetic authority in the second half of the book and the expansion of his fame, which, as Isabel G. MacCaffrey has noted, "is signified [...] by the presence of three of his songs, performed by his friends and betokening the true power of art." [30] In the first half of the year he is a shepherd boy, whose lovelorn state is repined by his admiring friend Hobbinol. In the second half, with the continued atrophy of his erotic self, Colin's poetic personality takes on an ever more pronounced, if equally undynamic, prominence. Mediating between these two Colins is the poet's own pastoral practice, perhaps not so very far removed from the opportunistic Valérian poetics paraphrased by Gérard Genette as "I have nothing further to do with literature: here's one more proof of the fact." [31]
      Colin Clout thus tends to become the "curiously static and ambiguous protagonist" [32] of an imaginative biography of poet and lover. The passing of the seasons does indeed correspond to the stages of a life, but it is not the life of Everyman, rather a poet's life. Already in "June" the "shepheardes boy" of "January" is a fond former self reproved by a "ryper age" (June.36) which can no longer produce the ingenuous songs of youth, now passed into an almost heroico-mythic memory in Hobbinol's recollection:
I sawe Calliope wyth Muses moe,
Soone as thy oaten pype began to sound,
Theyr yuory Luyts and Tamburins forgoe:
And from the fountaine, where they sat around,
Renne after hastely thy siluer sound.
But when they came, where thou thy skill didst showe,
They drewe abacke, as halfe with shame confound,
Shepheard to see, them in theyr art outgoe. (June.57-64)

      To outdo the Muses seems to have been an early promise on which, nel mezzo del cammin, Colin defaults, as he explains, because of the example of Pan's ill-fated contention with Apollo, "Which him to much rebuke and Daunger droue" (69). Since hearing of this, Colin avers: "I neuer lyst presume to Parnasse hyll" (68-70). Hindsight has allowed critics to draw the obvious contrast between Colin's refusal here and the poet's eventual (and perhaps already settled) acceptance:
The poet like Spenser who writes of pastoral does so through the inspiration of the Muses, and he may eventually "presume to Parnasse hyll" regardless of "rebuke and Daunger." But when he does so he will be leaving the pastoral itself behind, something the shepherd-poet in pastoral obviously can never do. [33]
With the tonalities of a kind of jaded Ueberweltschmerz, the shepherd-poet Colin insists that the internecine company of the mighty is not for him; he will be content "pyping lowe in shade of lowly groue" and playing "to please my selfe, all be it ill" (71-72). He seems to protest in "June" a midlife privatization of his poetry, no longer singing to win either his love or renown: "Enough is me to paint out my vnrest" (79). That unrest includes the passing of his one time tutor "Tityrus" (identified as Chaucer by E.K.), who formerly brought such joy with his songs, but now lies "wrapt in lead,"
And all hys passing skil with him is fledde,
The fame whereof doth dayly greater growe.
But if on me some little drops would flowe,
Of that the spring was in his lerned hedde,
I soone would learne these woods, to wayle my woe,
And teache the trees, their trickling teares to shedde. (91-96)
The influence of Tityrus is appropriately figured in liquefaction: tears from the wellspring of the Muses with which the precursor could "lightly slake / The flames, which loue within his heart had bredd" (85-86), and which, if they rained over Colin Clout could be recycled through him back into nature and grant Colin's private plaints their dew. At the same time, if Colin had Tityrian firepower at his disposal, his sorrows would fly to the object of his desire and "pierce her heart" with recognition and love even as they slew her in requittal for her insensitivity. But Cupid's arrow seems to point irreversibly for the shepherd's boy from love to poetry. His continued failure in romance is the condition of his continued production of poetry in the Calender. Colin's inability to match the seductive powers of Tityrus has been seen as the first clear sign of his poetic impotence and an element in his fall away from the personal myth of the poet's generic rise; but the morbid allusion seems at the same time to be an imaginative prolepsis in which the poet experiments with an extra-calendrical after-fame; and indeed the late Tityrus in a certain sense figures Colin's quasi-posthumous existence even in the subsequent eclogues in the Calender, where, dead to the world, his fame condignly increases. He makes no apprearance from "July" to "October," but we hear about him in the latter three of the intervening months. In August he has become the insuperable singer, foregone standard of poetic comparison, who had bested Perigot and cost him a lamb (Aug.40-42): "Sike a song neuer heardest thou, but Colin sing" (49-50). And in Cuddie's presentation, he is now the well-known lover of an equally famous beloved, whose celebrity is abruptly established in a strikingly reminiscent rhetorical gesture:
But tell me shepherds, should it not yshend
Your roundels fresh, to heare a doolefull verse
Of Rosalend (who knowes not Rosalend?)
That Colin made, ylke can I you rehearse. (139-42)
The third shepherd present, Willy, makes it unanimous, talking of Colin as though he were an established laureate, whose bays Cuddie may locus tenens inherit by reciting one of his masterpieces. The song proves an undertaking that is lachrymose with a Tityrian vengeance, designed to drown the addressse in murky nightmares. Eager for an end to his own notte bianche, as sepulchral but not as silent as the tomb, Colin's persona vows to take part "with the Nightingale" and to call to his love from a Keatsian death-wood ("gastfull groue") until, as he darkly puts it, she "home returne" (181): "let streames of teares supply the place of sleep" (163). (Music is that Tityrian flood: -- but do I slake or merely weep?) As the cimmerian sestina closes, Perigot pipes in with parallel praise for songwriter Colin and singer Cuddie. "Again," as David Shore points out, "despair in love is linked with excellence in poetry." [34] The highness of the praise corresponds to the lowness of the despond, and as we know, the true Tityrian heights will be reached only when the poet is six feet under.
O Colin, Colin, the shepheards ioye,

       Howe I admire ech turning of thy verse:
And Cuddie, fresh Cuddie the liefest boye,

       Howe dolefully his doole thou dost rehearse. (190-93)

      But Colin's dying for love is the constant price of the reburgeoning of his song in the fresh cut leaves of a new regeneration. Fresh Cuddie is hinted at for Colin's potential young successor who, in the harped upon characterization, can only "re-hearse" in funereal procession the "doole" of the forlorn Colin Clout. Not himself apt for such spriritual solace, in "October" fresh Cuddie complains that he cannot soar into the loftiest realms of poesy, as Colin could "were he not with loue so ill bedight" (Oct.89). Piers corrects him, introducing into Colin's woebegone romanticism the Platonic doctrine of Love which will become one of his trademarks:
Ah fon, for loue does teach him climbe so hie,
And lyftes him vp out of the loathsome myre:
Such immortall mirrhor, as he doth admire,
Would rayse ones mynd aboue the starry skie. (91-94)
Cuddie cavils, but the situation dramatized in the latter months of the Calender half bears Piers out, and Colin up. When we find him once more among the living in "November," naturally, he is still "down," but the lament of Dido, taking its cues from Marot, allows him once more to rise to the occasion without transgressing the lowly lyrical bounds of homage and eulogistic nature-manipulation. The eclogue opens with Thenot and Colin bidding one another to sing. Thenot wants a merry song, but Colin objects that such ill accords with the season; if Thenot wants light fare, he will have to sing it himself. The latter homilizes to the effect that the chirpy titmouse keeps quiet when the sovereign nightingale sings, and goes on to place himself in relation to Colin in precisely the wished-for position of Colin with regard to the aspergent Tityrus of "June":
Nay, better learne of hem, that learned bee,
And han be watered at the Muses well:
The kindlye dewe drops from the higher tree,
And wets the little plants that lowly dwell. (29-32)
The inverse or chiasmal ratio in the fiscal economy of the Calender year between what Walter Benjamin once called "Untermut" and "Uebermut" [35] is here made perfectly plain: the low-spirited Nightingale has higher currency than the high-spirited Titmouse. Never one to underestimate the value of that almighty dolor, Colin responds with the quasi-Marotian tour de force which in E.K.'s opinion outreaches "all other the Eglogues of this booke" (Nov.Arg.). This, like the "laye" of "fayre Elisa" in "April," represents the second poetic by-product of unrequited desire (the first of course being melancholia)--that sublimation apt to "rayse one's mynd aboue the starry skie." Melancholia and sublimation are the cause and effect of the poetic collaboration of form and discontent, and serve to balance the central poetic bonus (fame) of the frustration of a "motive that can be identified variously as desire, ambition, or aspiration." [36] From unsatisfaction comes melancholy, from which comes poetry, from which comes sublimation. From poetic endeavor may also come fame, but the price of that fame is the continued bafflement of living gratification. Cupid's dart thus points for the poet back to poetry and for the lover straight up into the air. Such would seem to be the outline of the romantic biography of Colin Clout, a lowly poet-lover with no place to go but up.
      The final eclogue presents us with the poet's retrospective of that biography from the vantage point of a moribund dotage. His song is addressed to "Pan," now identified, in the Christological reading that has been hinted at all along, as good shepherd and savior. Modelling his complaint on Marot's Eclogue au roy, where Pan is François I and the poet speaks authentically from at least the "autumn" of his life, Colin reviews and revamps the seasons of his brief book-bounded biography, beginning with a Spring that was happy and carefree, when all nature seemed to be there for Colin and, with trivial tutoring, he sang so well that if
                Hobbinol right iudgement bare,
To Pan his owne selfe pype I need not yield.
For if the flocking Nymphes did folow Pan,
The wiser Muses after Colin ranne. (45-48)
The upset of this gay youth is adumbrated in the dissociation of that other Pan in the final couplet. Spring gave way to hot summer and Love entered the poetic economy. The early polymorphous perversity was channeled into a straightforward path toward the unattainable object of desire.
Forth was I ledde, not as I wont afore,
When choise I had to choose my wandering waye. (61-62)
Age brought a further modification of the poetical drive, when the original brisk and amorous materials were converted into defensive structures and moralizing alibis, as Colin "learned of lighter timber my cotes to frame" to "saue my sheepe and me fro shame" (77-78). But if Colin can see his poetry as having found some slight personal and social usefulness as defense and doctrine, it has had none of the erotic efficacity once hoped for, and, as he insists, all his "hoped gaine is turnd to scathe" (100). This bitter harvest has left him senescent and near death, having lost his youthful delight without gaining in exchange the woman who, more "literally" than Ronsard's Cassandre, "l'a fait vieillir." In this retrospective autobiography Colin shuffles through the not always consistent myths of the poet-lover he has been or might have been, ultimately delineating a "tragic" figure whose demise seems to seal the continued vitality of the poet as such.
      The mythic character of this final figure is most easily located by triangulating with two other figures. The first is Pan, who, apart from Christ, represents, as in Marot, both the secular authority (in "April," Henry VIII) and the Parnassian poetic contender (with Apollo in "June" [68]) and thus perhaps their intersection in courtly heroic verse. [37] The other figure is Tityrus, who figures the height of the low, the poetic power of pastoral elegy, satire, song-contest, summery love and lover's persuasive lament. At the same time, these two figures seem to emblematize opposed myths of the relationship between poetry and desire: Pan in the Ovidian account alluded to in "April" is left, when he attempts to embrace Syrinx, the object of his desire, with a gowpenful of hollow reeds, on which his palpitant lips will make art, not love. In Spenser's account, of course, Pan is "K. Henry the eyght" (Apr.Glos.), making Elizabeth "Syrinx daughter without spotte" (Apr.50), a figure of "the immaculate conception of poetry." [38] Against this myth of sterilizing sublimation, the Tityrian figure describes a "downward" movement from reed back to woman, from poetic power to gratified desire. Colin grounds his praxis in the Tityrian myth only to float up with the passing months to become the frustrated pastoral-master of syrinxian song.
      Colin Clout has now come to be seen as a figure of failure, a demonic double whose compulsive course into poetry for the sake of love provides "a negative Bildungsroman from which Spenser dissociates himself emphatically." [39] David Miller argues that Colin, like Palinode in "May," is ultimately an image of the "worldes childe," whose failure "is precisely a failure to reenact Pan's sublimation of natural desire in the making of harmony." [40] Similarly, Louis Adrian Montrose speaks of
Colin's failure to accomplish a critical transition from the pastoral already mastered and outgrown to the higher poetic calling which remains above his reach. Colin's Apollonian aspirations are frustrated, and this frustration is beyond the powers of Pan to sublimate into recreative pastoral art. [41]

      The "Apollonian aspiration" of which Montrose speaks refers to the poet's supposed Virgilian objective of leaving the low leas to mount "Parnasse hyll" (June.70), symbol, according to H. G. Lotspeich, of heroic as opposed to pastoral poetry. [42] Colin's necessary distance from the poet is thus summed up even as it is blurred in Montrose's conception of the Calender as "the vehicle of a young man's poetic and social ambitions that incorporates within itself a projection of the possibility of its own failure." [43]
      Such views, focussed as they are on the poet's will to Parnassian power, may err in reading back into the Calender the dynamics of a poetic history which is perhaps not even hinted at in the imaginary career of Colin Clout. But I am more concerned with how they risk a falsification of the complicated relationship in which Spenser remains with his pastoral self even as the poet's progress does depart radically from the Calender's projected agenda. Nor am I so sure that the Calender ends up showing a glaring poetic deficit in the account of Colin Clout. Perhaps, instead, it explores the morbid side of "success," a vision in which profit is always posthumous, the beloved's attitude is commodified without being modified, pleasure is the poetic dividend of those other people who invest in the poet, and frustrated worldly desire is just one more "pretext," one more means by which the text accrues interest. Harry Berger, Jr. has glanced at this darker aspect of the text, in a discussion which interrogates the love/poetry dyad: "Spenser depicts the two terms of this relationship as bound together in a conjuction that could ideally be symbiotic but that under the influence of the paradise principle is parasitic, with love suffering the role or function of the host." [44] The "paradise principle" involves the collusion of impulses which E.K. called "recreative" and "plaintive," and which Berger had previously associated with wish-fulfillment and a rejection of reality respectively. [45] Colin's demise at the end of "December" does not perhaps so much fabulate the failure of the aspiring poet qua poet as the miscarriage of the Tityrian myth of the ultimate fulfillment of non-poetic desire through poetry: the alteration of an unsatisfactory reality. Berger's "paradise principle" embroils the poetic principle and the pleasure principle into an unregenerate or inertial death drive that recalls Ernst Bloch's panic exegesis of Et in Arcadia ego: "in fact, the ego of the prophetic device signifies mors, so that even in Arcadia death can be seen to be inscribed." [46] In this case, Colin Clout would certainly not be everybody, no body at all, but a very specific poetic ego operating according to a Bergeresque "paradise principle" in flight from living reality and ultimately finding its satisfaction in poetic death. And the poet may well have shared, if not this id-psychology suspicion of sublimation, at least the moralizing consternation with which an earlier Berger responded to the "pastoral retreat from life": "Morality needs more articulate advocates, and this means that rhetorical skill such as Colin Clout commands must be brought to bear on social problems. Colin must therefore be drawn out of himself, made to face life and place his art in the service of the public good." [47]
      But if The Shepheardes Calender is a "negative Bildungsroman" it would seem to be a nightmare vision less of desire surrendered to, than of the dead-end of desire for poetry's sake, or of poetry for poetry's sake. Perhaps the poet realized that pastoral poetic self-consciousness was bound to lead to a degenerative repetition compulsion rehearsing the action of, to play on words, Empson's famous formulation of pastoral as "putting the complex into the simple," [48] complicating the univocal poet away from both personal and public engagement and spiritual health. But the "Colin Clout Complex" was not so easily to be buried by a Spenserian superego. After the first three books of The Faerie Queene had come out and established Spenser as the epic poet of Elizabeth's England, the character abruptly resurfaced in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, a text whose title is infinitely equivocal in its reference to the restorational or recidivist movements of both Colin and the poet, each of whom is back: back to England, back to Ireland, back to poetry, back to pastoral, and most importantly back among the living who have been as dead in his absence. In the opening lines of the poem, Hobbinol welcomes him as one much missed:
      Colin my liefe, my life, how great a losse
Had all the shepheards nation by thy lack?
[...] Whilest thou was hence, all dead in dole did lie:
The woods were heard to waile full many a sythe,
And all their birds with silence to complaine:
The fields with faded flowers did seem to mourne,
And all their flocks from feeding to refraine:
The running waters wept for thy returne,
And all their fish with langour did lament:
But now both woods and fields, and floods reviue,
Sith thou are come, their cause of meriment,
That vs late dead, hast made againe aliue: (16-17; 22-31)
This Orphic comeback seems to bespeak the reanimation of the dormant pastoral landscape, but if this is in some sense a return of the repressed it is not without that repetitive difference which Kierkegaard fingered and Freud toyed with, but which only took on the full gleam of second coming's sheepish grin when clothed in Thomas Wolfe's infamous demur.

The author self


      The "vulgar psychologizing" of the previous section may seem needlessly to personalize and biographize a figure who is easily enough understood as the evolutionary outcome of "purely textual" pressures selecting for this peculiar amalgamation of traditional pastoral and lyric roles, and whose sentimentalized death could as well be put down to one more premeditated textual gesture among the many by which "the Calender" attempts "to create the space it seeks to occupy," [49] by introducing itself as an "instant classic," [50] a finished product sealed within an elaborate apparatus of introduction and gloss which, along with the archaisms of diction, give it some of the feel of the mature and closed production of a re-edited ancient. I do not, however, think that even the most fiercely textualist critics will deny that, if Colin does indeed become more of an Elizabethan personality than Spenser himself, neither his character nor his function can be accurately described without some reference to the author. Even those who wish to disentangle his identity maximally from the author's self may resort to modernist arguments of narratorial irony and impersonalism, reading into Elizabethan textual production an existentialist element that has every likelihood of being as essentially post-romantic as the naturalistic biographizing they repugn. A Kierkegaardian pseudonym may indeed, as Louis Mackey insists, be "a persona, an imaginary person created by the author for artistic purposes," not a nom de plume, a fictitious name used to protect his personal identity from the threats and embarrassments of publicity." [51] Or such pseudonyms may, as Theodor Adorno has it, not even be "personas , in whose matchless being intentionality is tightly wound up ," but rather "abstractly representative figures from top to toe." [52] Such cavils are probably pertinent enough to the pseudonymous production of a nineteenth-century master-ironist (although even here one might not so glibly accept the ironist on his own (?) terms), but to adopt attitudes of this sort toward the Elizabethan quasi-authorial persona must entail a certain disregard for the essentially social modes whereby the person of the author became implicated in the presentation of the poetic alter ego. This is not to say that the persona might not be both patch and immortal diamond. The persona in question is undoubtedly a "man of clouts" fadged up, on the one hand, out of the unwhole cloth of tradition, and at the same time the "clout" to be hit or misssed, an idealized essence in the poet's self-crystallization (whether as positive ego-ideal of true perfect pattern of a poet, contrasted with the ironically proposed venality of a Cuddie, or as negative ideal embodying all that must be avoided). But this should not lead one to ignore an association between author and persona which was socio-textually conditioned and which could work to the author's advantage, shadowing that author from the "threats and embarrassments of publicity" and mediating between author and public through its quasi-magical status of name to be conjured with. For the persona is not merely a device for dramatizing and distancing, but also one for "approximating" and appropriating one's textual activity. In any case, it is obviously not in "distancing" one's discourse that one guarentees one's "authenticity." So-called "ironical" distancing of discourse through quasi-authorial personas doubtless developed originally not so much as a defense against individual spiritual determination or existential univocality as against extratextual authority, and medieval allegorical practices must be supposed to have survived into the Renaissance as much for political as for epistemological reasons. Those authors who used dramatized mouthpieces for their discourse were perhaps the "genuine hypocrites" for whom Nietzsche sought in vain in his own day, figures less interested in the cognitive or creative bonuses of self-subversion than in saving themselves through duplicity from the "threats and embarrassments of publicity." As David Miller points out,

[d]uring the 1580s, while Spenser preserved a strategic anonymity, the identity of "Colin"--or simply "that Gentleman who wrate the late Shepheardes Calender"--was thus created by the text as a public entity distinct from Spenser himself. Instead of deriving its authority from him, in other words, the Calender created an authority which he could later assume with ease, almost with nonchalance: "who knowes not Colin Clout?" [53]
"Distancing" the persona created a second and "seconding" authority that could then be reappropriated. But I think it was an authority which the author might then be expected to re-approximate.
      Whatever potentials there may have been or may now be for a complex response to cryptonymic representation, it is fairly clear that the typical enlightened reader of the day did not have the sensitivity to a discrimination of textual levels and "agencies" which modern narratological hygiene demands, and had no qualms about using the names of personas to refer to "real authors," or at least to those "implied authors" who, as Gérard Genette has demonstrated, are as about as "real" as authors can get. [54] In fact, far from always respecting the de-centering, parodic or ironic potential of allegorical overdetermination and onomastic polysemy, the literati were given to making pointed references to individuals under the aspects of their authored personas. Thus, "Astrophel" was another name for Sidney, Lodge came forth as "Golde," and Nashe barely kept himself from being turned into "Pierce Penniless" by the constant characterization of his person as such. (He does of course frequently turn Pierce Penniless into himself.) In the opening volley of the Nashe-Harvey quarrel alone, what most of us now--even if we are not "naive"--would consider to be one and the same author, at least for juridical purposes, and to whom we would apply the single "true" name, Edmund Spenser, is referred to not only as "Colin Clout" and "Immerito," but even under the sufficiently incongruous cognomen of the framework narrator of Prosopopeia, "Mother Hubbard." [55] Making a name for oneself meant creating textual personas which, nominally separate from one's public and private selves, frequently became one's most compelling and hence most demanded roles, for which one could indeed be held at least textually responsible. However metaphysically complicated the questions of reference here, one can be sure that any physical consequences, pleasant or otherwise, of the activities or reception of Colin Clout would fall upon the author. For Colin named that author to many of his contemporaries. This can be illustrated by a brief survey of his textual appearances after the Calender had come out. [56] Indeed, the two seem to have been so closely associated in the minds of the author's contemporaries that neither one seems to have had much of an identity without the other; it might be said that together they make up a personality.
      The first person to make the identification of Colin and the author was, of course, "E.K.," in the enigmatic formulation already quoted: "Colin, vnder whose person the Authour selfe is shadowed" (Ded. Ep.). This statement is not without certain tensions, since even as they are equated the agencies are dissociated through Colin's having or being a "person" and through the doubling of the figure in an author and his shadow. E.K. repeats the identification of Colin and author, though again in peculiarly equivocal terms, in the gloss to "January" previously discussed, and in a note to "September" where he finesses: "Nowe I thinke no man doubteth but by Colin is euer meante the Authour selfe." [57]
      The identification is next made by Spenser's colleague Gabriel Harvey, a person who in contrast to the author of the Calender is openly named both there and in the letters between them published in 1580. In his letter to "Immerito" of 23 April occurs the passage about Colin Clout not being everybody which has already been cited. This passage too is not unequivocal, typically talking to "Immerito" about "Colin Clout" in the third person, but also alluding to "his Calender and Dreames," [58] and so strictly identifying Colin and the author. At the end of the letter, Harvey also addresses "Immerito" in a Latin passage where he promises to reply to a letter from the addressee's sweetheart, whom he playfully designates "mea Domina Immerito, mea bellissima Collina Clouta." [59] Thus Harvey would seem indescriminately to refer to the author of the Calender sometimes as "Immerito," sometimes as "Colin Clout."
      In the decade that followed the Calender's appearance there are three other known allusions to Colin. Abraham Fraunce quotes extensively from the Calender, with frequent mention of the speaker Colin Clout, in a work entitled The Shepheardes Logike, apparently written in the early or mid-1580s, [60] but published only in 1588 in an expanded and revised form as The Lawiers Logike. William Webbe, in his Discourse of Englishe Poetrie (1586), also mentions the character ("the rufull song of Colin sung by Cuddie"). [61] And there is the well-known scene in George Peele's Araygnement of Paris, published in 1584, but acted earlier, where "Colin the enamoured sheepeherd singeth his passion of love." At the end of said song Colin seems bent on suicide; in the following scene three acquaintances--"Hobinol, Digon, Thenot"--discuss Colin's plight, and Digon testifies that the obect of desire, here called "Thestilis," will have "her disdainefull fault" avenged upon her. [62] Peele's adoption of the Spenserian character anticipates the pastoral boom of the 1590s, opening a period that will be heavily punctuated with Colins and semi-Colins. These isolated allusions to Colin in the 1580s already exemplify the triplex person of the Cloutish trinity to come: author, character, and wholly ghost. But it is in an uneasy mix of the first and last that he tends to make his reappearances, a kind of extant patron saint of upwardly mobile pastoralists subject to endless revision as the attributes of the historical Spenser that are inconsistent with the closed myth of the calendrical Colin get anachronistically attached to him. It is once more Harvey who sets the tenor for the expansion of Colin's image in the 1590s, inaugurating the vocative address of the author under Colin's name in "Hobynoll's" commendatory verse "To the learned Shepheard" published at the end of the first three books of The Faerie Queene in 1590.
Collyn I see by thy new taken taske,

       some sacred fury hath enricht thy braynes,
That leades thy muse in haughtie verse to maske,

       and loath the layes that longs to lowly swaynes.
That lifts thy notes from Shepheardes vnto kings,
So like the liuely Larke that mounting sings.

Thy louely Rosolinde seems now forlorne,

       and all thy gentle flockes forgotten quight,
Thy chaunged hart now holdes thy pipes in scorne,

       those prety pipes that did thy mates delight.
Those trustie mates, that loued thee so well,
Whom thou gau'st mirth: as they gaue thee the bell. [63]


      The oxymoronic "learned Shepheard" neatly signifies the impossible figure of Colin's extra-calendrical afterlife. He is the same person whose erotic frustration conditioned the sublimation in art which was the delight of the male-bonded pastoral society of versifying and otium, but as Harvey somewhat grudgingly admits--Rosalind "now forlorne"--a feminine more eterne in her mutabilitie has drawn the author upward: "that Faerie Queene of thine" has edified and raised up "our Collyns flowing quill." [64] Harvey, who is generally supposed to have been insufficiently enthusiastic about Spenser's epic, does not celebrate the new Colin without a tinge of nostalgia for the former boyish days marked in the pages of the Calender, and while Colin will tend to take on the published aspects of the author as they develop he remains a somewhat plangent focus of pastoral desire for those who emulate and enlarge him, a figure of the rather collegiate lost world of camaraderie, ease, and by-productive or by-play poetizing as an end in itself.
      Thus, in the third eclogue of Michael Drayton's Idea (1593), a work heavily influenced by the Calender, Perkin prods Rowland-Drayton in his pastoral undertaking:
For learned Collin laies his pipes to gage,
And is to fayrie gone a Pilgrimage:

                     the more our mone. [65]
"Learned Colin," as he is also called by Thomas Lodge, [66] is both the example of poets who would become as "great" [67] and "mighty" [68] as his new "heroike stile" [69] has made him, and also the sorely missed "great chiefe of sheepheards all," [70] who, in the overworked and underpaid etymology, has been e-ducated, led away from the sweet especial rural scene of the "cabinet vers." Epic clout has left Colin the immaterial patron of poets like Drayton and Barnfield, and the sponsor, to brush lips with a pun, of William Smith, who dedicated his sonnet sequence Chloris (1596) "to the most excellent and learned Shepheard Collin Cloute" with the request that he shelter the author's poems "vnderneath the shadow of thy wings," and grateful acknowledgment "that it pleased thy graue shepherdhood / The patron of my maiden verse to bee." [71] John Marston may have had Smith in mind, or any number of others, when he wrote of the mid-decade escalation in the production of coy mistresspieces,
Another yet dares tremblingly come out,
But first he must invoke good Colyn Clout. [72]

      In the course of the 1590s Colin thus became an image of poetic power and ascendancy, but there is generally a certain nostalgia for the former pastoralist attached to the fetishized figure. In Spenser's own works the invocations of Colin do not designate the present author without projecting him into a kind of nagging simulacrum of Colin past. Indeed, the name seems to be produced by the author's guilty conscience in his initial direct reference to himself as Colin, found in the morosely symptomatic first of his rather hypochondriacal Complaints (collected 1591), The Ruines of Time, which decathects the realm of evanescent worldly fame and admiration even as it sets up a "moniment" (monument cum admonition) that lays down the material base of any posthumous Elysian perpetuation of "Poets and Heroes strong" (l. 341).
      The narrator tells how sitting on the banks of the Thames one day he beheld the spirit of Verulam, ruined Rome of England, bewailing the decay of worldly glory and admiration from the other side. This goes on for some time, interspersed with excerpts from "Colinshed's Chronicle," to recall Harvey's pun, [73] until the spirit comes to the fall of Leicester, Spenser's ill-fated employer at the time of the Calender's appearance. Once admired and beloved of all, the earl died ignobly and now "all his greatnes vapoured to nought," his name is "worne alreadie out of thought." No poet any longer celebrates him, though "manie Poets honourd him aliue":
Ne doth his Colin, carelesse Colin Cloute,
Care now his idle bagpipe vp to raise,
Ne tell his sorrow to the listning rout
Of shepherd groomes, which wont his songs to praise:
Praise who so list, yet I will him dispraise,
Vntill he quite him of this guiltie blame:
Wake shepheards boy, at length awake for shame.

                                               (ll. 219, 222, 225-31)

      Colin again comes up in a text written about the same time but only published for general circulation in 1596, Daphnaïda, a pastoral elegy on Lady Douglas Howard. Here the narrator wanders dreamily out of town, and before he can even decently drop into the sweven of his Chaucerian precursor, he has encountered the disconsolate shepherd Alcyon [74] (Lady Howard's bereaved widower, Arthur Gorges) mourning the loss of his regally leonine "Daphne." When his praises of the departed have reached a particularly hyperbolic pitch, he breaks off to cast a sidelong textual glance at the queen in a solicitous subjunctive:
Ne let Elisa royall Shepheardesse
The praises of my parted loue enuy,
For she hath praises in all plenteousnesse,
Powr'd vpon her, like showers of Castaly
By her owne Shepheard, Colin her own Shepherd,
That her with heauenly hymnes doth deifie,
Of rustike muse full hardly to be betterd. (ll. 225-31)
Again Spenser uses a dramatized speaker to allude to himself under his pastoral persona. If the reference in The Ruines of Time recalls a Colin who was Leicester's shepherd, the reference in Daphnaïda recalls Colin's role as Elizabeth's shepherd, her pastoral poet (i.e., in "April's" lay of "fayre Elisa"). Interestingly, shepherd Colin is presented as occupying the laudatory position with regard to the queen which Gorges holds in relation to his own ex-wife, and Colin drenches Elisa with his liquid praises as Alcyon does Daphne with his tears. The Ruines of Time and Daphnaïda are the only poems by Spenser in which Colin is mentioned without appearing as a character, and in both cases it is clear that the author self is implicated and that some impetus is generated toward a reconciliation of that self with its phantomatic double. [75]
      The most comprehensive picture of the author called Colin Clout as we find him around the middle of the decade, disclosing as it does the figure's precarious multiple personality, is perhaps provided by G. W. Junior's commendatory verse to the Amoretti and Epithalamion, published in 1595:
Ah Colin, whether on the lowly plaine,
       pyping to shepherds thy sweete roundelaies:
       or whether singing in some lofty vaine,
       heroick deedes, of past, or present daies: Or whether in thy louely mistris praise,
       thou list to exercise thy learned quill,
       thy muse hath got such grace, and power to please,
       with rare inuention bewtified by skill, As who therein can euer ioy their fill.
       O therefore let that happy muse proceede
       to clime the height of vertues sacred hill,
       where endles honor shall be made thy meede.
Because no malice of succeeding daies,
       can rase these records of they lasting praise. [76]
But the mounting of that hill seems always to have held out a certain sisyphean potential for the author called Colin Clout, and when he suddenly reappears in the Spenserian text we are not surprised to find him back where he started, though perhaps it can be said that he knows the place for the first time.

Best known of that name

The shepheards boy (best knowen of that name)
That after Tityrus first sung his lay,
Laies of sweet loue, without rebuke or blame,
Sate (as his custome was) vpon a day,
Charming his oaten pipe vnto his peres,
The shepherd swaines that did about him play:
Who all the while with greedie listfull eares,
Did stand astonisht at his curious skill,
Like hartlesse deare, dismayd with thunders sound.

      The opening nine lines of Colin Clouts Come Home Againe enact in an abrupt tableau the author's shifty relationship to the introjected audience or implied readership which was provided for him by the more "poetic" faction of the intelligentsia. The scene of shepherd's boy crouched low and piping "without rebuke or blame" to peers who sport about him (note how potentially paternal coevals ["peres"] are portrayed rather as frolicking offspring) recomposes in the flash of an inverted epic metaphor (cf. Aeneid, 1.152) into an admiring and desirous entourage hushed and tense to hear what the thunder will say. The word which perhaps most neatly collects the sense of transfixed awe and auricular appetite is adoration ("et ad orationis et ad vitae," to stitch in a tag no doubt illegally removed in good Elizabethan fashion from its Ciceronian context). Discussing the informing simile of the shifted scene, Sam Meyer has pointed out that "[t]he comparison is also intended to convey empathically to the reader the attitude that he himself should adopt towards Colin's words, in somewhat the same way that the chorus in a Greek play conveys the response appropriate to the audience." [77] I assume that according to this reading, the "dear reader" will hopefully identify with the "hartlesse deare"--unmated, doe-eyed darlings--into which the "shepheard swaines" are metamorphosed as they become frozen in the dreadful rapt desire of an audience. Such trancelike states are induced, in Meyer's view, through the covert discourse of a narrator similar to the "Chaucerian" one in the Calender later unmasked by Alice E. Lasater, whereby "the poet calls attention to himself through conscious humility and by praising himself through others." [78] The mimetic desire which Come Home Againe would engender in the dear reader relies on a delitescent mise-en-scene which is presumably styled after the Calender's crafty utilization of a "hidden narrator":

      The contribution of the narrator to the orectic climate of the poem is most influential in the opening and closing passages [...] because these set the mood of the whole by establishing a control to moderate the writer-reader relationship. [...] In the introductory passage, words strongly suggestive of pleasantness aid in setting up a euphoristic relationship between the writer and the reader or listener. [...] The voice of the narrator is thus seen to be important in creating the overall "atnosphere" that is to obtain between writer and reader and in assisting the reader to respond appropriately to Colin's speeches by reference to their effect upon the immediate audience of shepherds. [79]

      These critics have recognized the would-be hypnotism of the disembodied voice of the authorial narration and how it helps bring off a Spenserian illusion that is wish fulfillment in the fullest sense. The split of "agencies" allows the author to praise the persona or have him praised, a form of "self"-congratulation impossible in the overt self-characterizations of both author (cf. the unflagging apologistics of humility and unworthiness in The Faerie Queene) and--with few exceptions--persona. But in the Calender, Colin's narrative situation had played out poetic fantasies of authorial ascendancy and personal petrification whose self-aggrandizement could be retold in Come home Againe with the magical dividend of a self-fulfilled prophecy,
For a good passed newly to discus,
By dubble vsurie doth twise renew it. (38-39)
The author obligingly disposed what the narrator proposed, but perhaps too much emphasis can be put on the role of this excluded narratorial middleman in Colin's characterization. [PASSAGE DELETED FROM FINAL DRAFT: Most of Colin's reputational inflation in the text actually comes from the words crammed into those engorged balloons protuding from the orificies of the intradiagetic entourage, effectively blocking out the better part of their own faces and flattening them against the edges of the frame. Even so, some of the figures are identificable as the author's poetic cohort, suggesting the now rather unpalatable ventriloquism whereby he put words of self-praise into the mouths of his caricatured friends and colleagues.] Like so many Elizabethan writers, Spenser was addicted to an exploitation of the readerly potential to blur the intradiegetic audience into the agency of the extradiegetic narratee, an agency, in turn, as Genette sees it, equivalent to that of the "implied reader," which inheres in the text not as a voice or a mouthpiece but more as "an ear, one drawn at times quite precisely and obligingly." [80] The "hungrie eares" (l. 53) thus lent to, or perhaps "borrowed" by the poet serve to transmit what Meyer calls the "orectic climate" or "the 'atmosphere' that is to obtain between writer and reader" even as they provide empty media waiting to be glutted with what Derrida would call the poet's "otobiography." [81] Spenser, to paraphrase W. L. Renwick's remark, was never one to rate Colin's performances too cheaply, [82] but Colin did not require large figures to underwrite his own occasional self-advertisements, and he could usually make ends meet with the mere loan of an ear, whether it be that of Ralegh, the "shepheard of the Ocean," who found the poet in his Irish hideaway, perhaps "allured with my pipes delight, / Whose pleasing sound yshrilled far about" (61-62), or that of Queen Elizabeth, to whom the "Shepheard of the Ocean" introduced him,
And to mine oaten pipe enclin'd her eare,
That she thenceforth therein gan take delight,
And it desir'd at timely houres to heare. (360-62)
The last instance is introduced by "Alexis," who points out the mechanism apparently by way of exemplar response rather than exposure, and then immediately reverts to the mass aural fixation:

                By wondring at thy Cynthiaes praise, Colin,
thy selfe thou mak'st vs more to wonder,
And her vpraising, doest thy selfe vpraise.
But let vs heare what grace she shewed thee. (353-56)

      The prick-eared emptiness of the entourage, referred to at one point in flat synecdoche as "eares [...] / Who all that Colin makes, do couet faine" (98-99), can be filled only by the voice of authority or by the plenitude of the shepherd's pipe, the syrinxian hollow phallus of consolation, relying for its substantiality on the airborne aural gratification of the acoustic. [PASSAGE DELETED FROM FINAL DRAFT: And magically, as if endorsing the derridean otomania, the accolades did eventually begin to drop of their own accord from the gaping mouths of the real-life fellows and followers of a new generation.      At one time there had been only Harvey to enact publicly a version of his adulatory role as Hobbinol. Indeed, the entire manifold of self-presentational gimmicks may have been suggested to the poet by his "sinister" advisor. A figure of incalculable premeditation, and in more than one way the would-be Gertrude Stein of his day, Harvey in his notebooks presents us with countless reworkings of pseudo-allographical congratualtory and affectionate self-characterizations made up to be the discourse of others. (See The Letter-Book of Gabriel Harvey, ed. Edward John Long Scott [London: Camden Society, 1884], 101-36, etc.)] The dramatization, both here and in the Calender, of shepherds responding with aching admiration and audience to the sublimity of Colin and his pipe was ostensibly designed to provide an intradiegetic point of view, or poste d'écoute, whereby readers could orient themselves with regard to the discursive position of the poet, "but I am not sure," as Genette once more wearily intones, "that such effects do not at times backfire: the reader is not so dense as to 'adopt' unconditionally 'points of view' that are so obvious in their partiality, and indeed openly presented as such." [83]
      And even if the self-prophecy of pastoral pre-eminence in the Calender had indeed been fulfilled by the time the later poem came out, the dramatization of the figure of Colin Clout did not fail to go on diverging in doubling fantasy from the living author's actuality. Though the admiring awe of the intradiegetic audience winds up mirrored in the textual attitudes of the author's real-life literary audience, the Lazarian miracle of revivication which Hobbinol reads over Colin's return to the pastoral setting was not actually reflected in the publicational milieu at the time the poem was finally brought out, at the height of a mid-decade renascence of pastoral for which it was too late for the author to be taking credit or exacting "dubble vsurie" in 1595. The past-oral elements in fact ring somewhat false with the fulminous authority attributed to the poet as epic voice of England, and with the awe-struck silence and the breakdown of the dialogical manifold of truly pastoral voices into the monologue of epic narrativity in Come Home Againe. Yet I can ratify Meyer's view only if emphasis is put on the final line:
In view of the fact, then, that the poem exists mainly to embody a sequence of reflections and attitudes uttered by Colin, it is feasible to consider these utterances in the same way that one might examine the statements in a poem containing only one speaker--the poet himself, speaking either in his own person, or under a mask, or in a combination of the two. [84]

      The dominant voice does not enter into dialogic conversation with the other pastoral figures, but this is not, as it sometimes was in the Calender, because he is by himself, or present in society only as an absent authority. He has now assumed his authority publicly, and accordingly all discourse in the text essentially either originates with him or is directed back to that source of experience. But the origin and destination of this authority is still being dissimulated and distorted in the doubling décalage of authorial and persona-generated narration.
      The dissonance unheard in the "harmonic" channeled through those "hungrie eares" can perhaps be discerned if one amplifies the "orectic" ambience of Colin's "coming home." To begin with, Spenser has projected onto the figures of Irish yokels some of the cyptonyms and arguably even some of the personalities of his former fellow English literati. This allows him to play up the oracular extraterritoriality of Colin on two fronts. The pastoral entourage hangs upon his words because he has seen "the other side," but the location of this other side is relative to a shifting sense of "home" which creates an uncertainty that could legitimately be called "unheimlich." The coming home again has been the author's visit to England and courtly highness, but also the poet's return to the serene lowness of Ireland and of pastoral. The modality of the audible so harped upon renders uncertain the sense of direction and the location of origins, setting up a disorientation whose unheimlich atmosphere could nicely be played up in the otosis of "eariness." The auditive ardor of the shepherds figures both the curiosity of the provincial toward the court and the fascination of the English poetic hayseeds who would sprout syrinxian pipes like those which the author had successfully traded for "trumpets sterne" (Faerie Queene, 1.Pr.1) for his foray into the Elysian field of heroic verse. The disorientation cannot be resolved by analyzing allegiances into an opposition between England-court-epic-Heaven and Ireland-country-pastoral-Earth because while Colin's home may, at least in this poem, appear in all cases to be the latter, the author's were in some sense always more the former. Part of the reason he has become so difficult to trace, of course, is that the letter of the text provides no space for any "return address." The poet is the source as well as the destination of a chain letter in which he plays both ends against the middle.
      In spite of this discursive disorientation--which is more simply put down to a chicane (as insipid to a modern taste as that practised upon Francis the tapster's boy by Poins and the Prince)--and the antiphonal interplay of author and Colin Clout calling out in insistent counterpoint, it is in the Irish pastoral setting that our hero is last seen in the poem, and that his character somehow seems most at home, in a contention-free environment of pre-eminence and pure poetry. Here Pan does not contend with Apollo, and there is instead a comfy sense of humanist comity and community. No envy arises between the powerful "shepheard of the Ocean" and the masterful Colin in that bucolic setting:
He pip'd, I sung; and when he sung, I piped,
By chaunge of turnes, each making other mery,
Neither enuying other, nor enuied,
So piped we, vntill we both were weary. (76-79)
The Elysian court which Colin describes to his captivated audience is, like "Parnasse hyll," too dangerous a place, "Where each one seeks with malice and with strife, / To thrust down other into foule disgrace, / Himselfe to raise" (690-92), and Colin protests that the pastoral landscape is once more to be his final resting place, come home from England and the court. Come home too--"Rosalind" having suddenly re-entered the picture--from an extrojected desire that could not be satisfied "over there," having failed perhaps in an Orphic mission to lead her back with him to pastoral Earth from the Elysian overworld. And so, verging on the precariously extenuated deathbed discourses of a Robert Greene, we find Colin at the end of Come Home Againe come home yet again to snug poetry, renown and an imminent demise, pouring into the eager ears which the text will always lend the hollow notes of his resignation:
And ye my fellow shepheards which do see
And heare the langours of my too long dying,
Vnto the world for euer witnesse bee,
That hers I die, nought to the world denying,
The simple trophe of her great conquest. (947-51)
No one, however, who has become acquainted with Colin and with the poet best known of that name will be surprised by the lines which with inevitable conventionality follow up this envoy:

       So hauing ended, he from the ground did rise,
And after him vprose eke all the rest:
All loth to part, but that the glooming skies
Warnd them to draw their bleating flocks to rest. (952-55)
Loth to depart, he nevertheless rises, having once again left himself with nowhere to go but up. If Colin Clout would not go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Colin Clout; and the heavens once more threaten the heartless dears "with thunders sound."

Uncouth, unkissed


      The end of Colin Clouts Come Home Againe seems to hold out faint hope that Colin will rise anew in the Spenserian text. If this ascension were to take place one would expect it to be via the ethereal Platonic doctrine of Love which Piers had originally assigned to Colin in the Calender (Oct.91-96) and which was the subject of an extended disquisition at the end of the later poem, whereby the exalted Priest of Love (cf. Come Home Againe, 832) seemed once more ready to renounce his desire for Rosalind and to console himself with the uplifting reflection that "such immortall mirrhor, as he doth admire, / Would rayse ones mynd aboue the starry skie" (Oct. 93). [DELETED: even in a watered-down version not so terribly far from Oscar Wilde's minimalist cold comfort: "we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."]
      But the pastoral self could no longer be kept entirely remote from the epic personality that the author called Colin Clout had now become, and ultimately, on the heights of Mount Acidale, Colin had to be as good, at last, as his name. Kenneth Borris has recently suggested that Spenser's Colin "alludes to Latin collinus, 'pertaining to a hill'; the poet's vatic role is thus implied, because an elevated place was a visionary symbol." [85] Indeed, as Borris points out, our first encounter with the shepherd's boy found him bringing out his "long ypent" herd:

Tho to a hill his faynting flocke he ledde,
And thus him playnd, the while his shepe there fedde. (Jan.11-12)

      It may be significant that he is not said to climb the hill, a pastoral commonplace whereby the piper-shepherd may "overlook" his flock while engaging in song (cf. The Faerie Queene 1.1.23). The ambivalence of this topos became prominent during "June," in which Hobbinol begins by imploring Colin to leave "those hilles, where harbrough nis to see" (19) and join him and the others in the pleasant communal dales. The "wastfull hylls" (50) are the conventional haunts of poetic solitude and inspiration, whence once, according to Hobbinol, echoed the Colin-songs that first enticed and then took aback the Muses (57-64). It is in panic response to the suggestion of envy that Colin hastily insists upon the scorn in which his "homely shepheards quill" is held by the Muses (67), denying any intention of mounting "Parnasse hyll," and apparently forswearing all heights:
Nought weigh I, who my song doth prayse or blame,
Ne striue to winne renowne, or passe the rest:
With shepheard sittes not, follow flying fame:
But feede his flocke in fields, where falls hem best. (73-76)

      The question of climbing was debated in the Mantuan-modelled moral eclogue of "July," where the goatherd Morrell is discovered on a rise, and invites the shepherd Thomalin to come up and join him. The latter declines with the reflection "that oftentime / great clymbers fall vnsoft" (July.11-12). Morrell counters with numerous examples of the spiritual salubrity of the heights, concluding that hilltops are generally "nigher heuen," but Thomalin derides that pathway to preferment and cites the example of proud "Algrin," who, sitting one day atop a hill, was mistaken for a rock, and became the target of an eagle eager to smash open a shellfish on his "bared scalpe."
      In Spenserian pastoral the hill can figure possibilities of poetic solitude and vision, pre-eminence, even virtue and divinity, as well as the heroico-courtly milieu of Parnassus. But at the same time, and more certainly, I think, it betokens hubris, the dangers of earthly aspiration and of the poetic pretension which leads to Pan's contention with Apollo. Colin's being averse to heights would seem to be entailed by his perennial protestations of lowness. At the end of the Calender, although he is conventionally pictured on the most modest of monticles in the woodcut before "December," he is said to be "in secreate shade alone" (Dec.5). And indeed, when the courtly "shepheard of the Ocean" discovers him in Come Home Againe he is "Vnder the foote of Mole that mountaine hore" (l. 57).
      "Mole" is part of a shifting imaginative topography, corresponding perhaps to a cognitive map of the author's purview of the then-present state of Ireland--a map that warps and weaves rather like the skewed geography of Nabokov's "Terra" in Ada. The distorted perspective becomes finally like some "Texan's View of America" in the first of the Two Cantos of Mutabilitie, when the poet wields that parenthetical query for the final and most improbable time as the gods convene to decide the validity of Mutabilitie's pretensions

                           vpon the highest hights
       Of Arlo-hill (who knowes not Arlo-hill?)

       That is the highest head (in all mens sights)

       Of my old father Mole,
whom Shepheards quill Renowmed hath with hymnes fit for a rurall skill. (7.6.36)

      In contrast to the situations in the previous occurrences of this rhetorical turn, there has been no foregoing intratextual allusion to "Arlo-hill"--indeed, it is not even mentioned in the passage from Come Home Againe to which the rest of the stanza alludes. The name seems only to make much sense--like some idiosyncratic allusion of Ezra Pound's--if we know about the vale of Aherlow, in Tipperary, overlooked by Mount Galtymore, "highest head" in the mountain range (originating around the poet's habitation of Kilcolman) which he is supposed to have allegorized as "my old father Mole," since he describes "himself" [86] (i.e. Colin) as living at its foot in Come Home Againe. The landscape around Spenser's estate is there transformed into an Ovidian myth of adultery "That Shepheard Colin dearely did condole" (7.6.40). C. G. Osgood has suggested that "Arlo-hill" appears "a third time" (?; perhaps he is including the brief mention of the vale in Astrophel, l. 96) "as the original of Mount Acidale." [87] This can be argued because of the topological similarities between the real Galtymore and the profile of Acidale in Book Six, and becomes more plausible if one accepts Osgood's "shocking" alternative etymology of "Acidale" as deriving from Latin "acies" ["keen" (vision), "penetrating" (glance)] and "dale," so that "Acidale" = "Valley View." [88] The making of an Acidalian mountain out of an Aherlowian Mole-hill could be seen as part of the continental shift whereby epic English Faery and the pastoral Irish landscape become continuous in the cartography of a United Kingdom of poetry symbolized in the Legend of Sir Calidore.
      Pastoral is of course put on the Spenserian epic map when Calidore, in Canto 9, drives the Blatant Beast "into the open fields" (6.9.4). This may be heard as heralding the collapse of a long-preserved Spenserian disjunction--the breakdown of the boundaries between epic action and pastoral contemplation, and perhaps even between life and art, in an acknowledgment of the discursive continuity of the two worlds. Colin had been loth to raise his voice in the pastoral world for fear of incurring envy and violence, but their incursion into pastoral was foredoomed once even the possibility of permeability was recognized. The pastoral might claim to be sealed off within a closed "ego-system" where discursive influence could be figured intrapoetically as cyclical rains, but the falling tears and the longing ears were bound at last to be disrupted by the timpanic thunderclaps which friction, even in the airiest spheres, will naturally bring about. Since pastoral was always in fact part of the landscape of discursive action it could not be kept proof from the verbal influx of Envy, that "eke the verse of famous Poets witt" backbites, "and spightfull poison spues / From leprous mouth on all, that euer writt" (1.4.32). Once it was acknowledged that the Blatant Beast "Ne spareth [...] the gentle Poets rime" (6.12.40), Colin's low profile was no longer an effective defense. With the Beast loose in the pastoral landscape, there was indeed no place for Colin to go but up that hill. Calidore, who may partially figure Sir Philip Sidney in his semi-successful maneuvering between the courtly and the poetic world, seems to be responsible for the risk of contamination of the pastoral landscape into which he chases the Beast. His foray into the pastoral domain implies the annexation of that domain by the imperial world of courtliness, but this does not, of course, eventually take place in the Spenserian text without a "counter-Colinization" of Faery by the subjected realm of the pastoral.
      When the two spheres are levelled out onto a shared plain, the prominence of the poet's vocation is thus expressly realized for the first time. There may be something of a scene of recognition on Mount Acidale as the poet at last acknowledges the "trinal triplicities" (Hymne of Heauenly Loue, 64) of his high Colin. The materialistic notion of the hill being "nigher heuen" and the dubious confusion of the Mount of Olives and Parnassus in the hircine Morrell's sophistries of "July" had meanwhile been purified in the attempt to approximate the Mount of Contemplation in Book One. It is like Mount Sinai, Mosaic resort of lawful thunder,
Or like that sacred hill, whose head full hie,
       Adornd with fruitfull Oliues all arownd,
       Is, as it were for endlesse memory
       Of that deare Lord, who oft thereon was fownd,
       For euer with a flowring girlond crownd:
       Or like that pleasaunt Mount, that is for ay
       Through famous Poets verse each where renownd,
       On which the thrise three learned Ladies play
Their heauenly notes, and make full many a louely lay. (1.10.54)

      That hill is a site of vision for Redcrosse in Book One, but in Book Six Calidore on Acidale is not content with seeing; scopophilia turns compulsively to epistemophilia, and he futilely tries to grasp a group of figures that can only be seen, never known. In the center of them is Colin, piping to his colleen--for he has her there at last, even if she still cannot be "known," even by him--and to those three graces who "to men all gifts of grace do graunt" (6.10.15) into whom "the thrise three learned Ladies" of Book One seem to have collapsed. But this is not the Mount of Contemplation, and the Parnassian Olivet of Acidale is also a place of "delight" (6.10.8.2; 11.9; 15.1), a mons veneris, albeit not one where "franckly each paramour his leman knowes" (3.6.41). The misknowable knoll seems to take its name from one of the surnames of Venus, or from a fountain devoted to her and to the graces, [89] and the name additionally suggests not only Greek akedes, "free from care" [90] but also Latin accidia, the sin of sloth. [91]
      James Nohrnberg has paralleled the three Graces on Acidale with the three goddesses among whom Paris must choose on Mount Ida:
In Calidore's sojourn among the shepherds, the necessity is felt of the hero's choosing between the active and the contemplative life [...]. The courting of Pastorella argues for the presence of a third alternative, a life of pleasure. According to a tradition deriving from Fulgentius, Paris, in choosing between the beauties of the three goddesses, passed judgment on the same three lives. The goddesses' favors show this: Venus offered Helen, or any woman, i.e., sensual gratification; Juno offered power, or wealth in the medieval tradition; Minerva offered prowess, or, in the medieval tradition, wisdom. In the seventy-fourth Amoretti sonnet Spenser ascribes his life to three women: his mother, his sovereign, and his wife. They have given him "guifts of body, fortune and of mind." These ought to be the gifts of the three goddesses, but in fact Spenser calls his benefactors the three graces. Conversely, Colin called the Graces "goddesses all three" [6.10.22] [...]. [92]
Calidore makes his choice, but for Colin no choice is required, just as he need not choose between the rival mistresses of poetry, Venus and living woman, or between the homonymous Elizabeth-an trinity of mother, queen, and wife. His position on top of Mount Acidale and his poetic vocation entail not only action and contemplation, but also pleasure. It may be that in climbing "vertues sacred hill" he wishes at last to identify himself with that Pan the god of shepherds all who strove with Apollo in the confrontation between Christian and Classical values in Elizabethan England, but there is still another "god of shepherds" with whom Colin Clout was associated by E.K. the very first time he was mentioned in the Spenserian text:
VNCOUTHE, VNKISTE, Sayde the olde famous Poete Chaucer [...] whom our Colin clout in his |glogue calleth Tityrus the God of shepheards, comparing hym to the worthines of the Roman Tityrus Virgile. Which prouerbe, myne owne good friend Ma. Haruey, as in that good old Poete it serued well Pandares purpose, for the bolstering of his baudy brocage, so very well taketh place in this our new Poete, who for that he is vncouthe (as said Chaucer) is vnkist, and vnknowen to most men, is regarded but of few. But I dout not, so soone as his name shall come into the knowledg of men, and his worthines be sounded in the tromp of fame, but that he shall be not onely kiste, but also beloued of all, embraced of the most, and wondred at of the best. (Ded. Ep.)
The two "gods" might well come together on Mount Acidale, Colin recognizing himself at last, perhaps, as the successful embodiment of the myth that comes of the conflation of the Panic and Tityrian responses to "poetic desire," the myth eventually euhemerized in the daydream of the Freudian creative writer: "he has thus achieved through his phantasy what originally he had achieved only in his phantasy--honour, power and the love of women." [93]
      But perhaps, after all, these is no such moment of self-recognition on Acidale. The poetic refusal to know and tell all which is figured in Colin's declining to let Calidore have knowledge of his mistress may help certify the self's inability to situate itself, and to close itself down or finally cohere in univocation, so that there is at least one sure answer to that nagging dilemma, "who knowes not Colin Clout?" Colin may after all or in the end have been an attempt by the poet to name himself and in naming himself to know himself and re-appropriate that self in the text. Unknown, unkissed, as the Pandare of Chaucer had pointed out; but the project of knowing oneself may be as problematic precisely as that of kissing oneself.
      Mikhail Bakhtin has written of the cognitive necessity of a position of "outsideness." To know someone one must be located outside of that person. No attempt to split oneself into a subject and object or an author and a character can grant one the relationship of genuine alterity with regard to oneself that belongs to another. Bakhtin talks of "rhythm," that heartbeat of life that makes the contours of each of our selves unique but whose cadence we cannot ourselves hear. Only an other can embrace us and make us whole and known by enveloping us in his or her own rhythm. "Personality" is perhaps the resulting syncopation: "Rhythm is an embrace and kiss of value given to the condensed temporality of the mortal life of another." [94]
      Only another can know who I am, as only another can kiss me. But as Bakhtin himself failed to recognize, this gesture can be the tender embrace which leads to having knowledge of the other or the kiss which betrays who we take that other to be. So if I leave "Poore Colin Clout" as I found him, still "uncouth" and "unkissed" midst those dancers on Mount Acidale, I do not necessarily betray him. He does not necessarily wish to be known, but perhaps only to be seen, suddenly jutting up, as in the most likely etymology of "Acidale." [95] For knowledge here is an impertinence, the more so because there is, of course, no shepherd-piper, no gracious fourth dancer, and thus no place even for the posing of that other twice-strained rhetorical question: how can we know the dancer from the dance?
1. All references to Spenser's works will follow the readings and lineation adopted in Works: A Variorum Edition, ed. E. A. Greenlaw et al., 11 vols. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1932-1957). Poetical works will be cited parenthetically within the text.

2. Cf. Gerald Snare, "Spenser's Fourth Grace," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 34 (1971), 350-55; "The Poetics of Vision: Patterns of Grace and Courtesy in The Faerie Queene, VI," Renaissance Papers 1974, 1-8.

3. See James Nohrnberg, The Analogy of The Faerie Queene (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), xi.

4. S/Z (Paris: Seuil, 1970), 102.

5. Alfred Harbage, "Shakespeare's Audience: Modern Appraisals," Shakespeare: Modern Essays in Criticism, ed. L. F. Dean (New York: Oxford, 1967), 3.

6. John Skelton, The Complete English Poems, ed. John Scattergood (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), 267.

7. Robert Kinsman, "Skelton's Colyn Clout: the Mask of Vox Populi," University of California Publications, English Studies I (1950), 17-26.

8. "The Voices of Dissonance: Pattern in Skelton's Colyn Cloute," Huntington Library Quarterly 26 (1963), 291-313.

9. Kinsman, "Voices of Dissonance," 21; cf. Skelton, Poems, 35-36; 268. Kinsman might have noted a further occurrence of the name Colin Clout, coming between Skelton and Spenser, and apparently not previously noticed or considered of interest by the students of either poet, in an opuscule entitled The treatyse answerynge the boke of the berdes, compyled by Collyn Clowte, dedicated to Barnard barber dwellynge in Banbery. This is a short pamphlet, mostly in verse, that was printed by Robert Wyer sometime in the 1540s, and purports to be a rejoinder or supplement to a (now lost) "treatyse of doctor Borde vpon Berdes." Andrew Boorde was a noted "Doctor of Physic" and the cosmopolitan author or "compiler" of numerous works combining practical advice on medecine and hygiene, travelogue aperçus, and a fair helping of jollity. The nature of his book on beards can only be conjectured from the answers which have survived: that of "Collyn Clowte" (which from the back page seems actually to have been by someone called Barnes) and John Byrch Clerke, to the ryght excellent Doctor in Phisike Andrewe Borde (J. Redman for R. Bankes, ca. 1540), a fragment of which survives as a pastedown in a volume held by All Soul's College, Oxford. Both answers are rather raucous, but Collyn Clowte's is particularly nasty, accusing Boorde of having written against beards because he had vomitted into his own when drunk, and generally chiding with crudity and jocularity and none of the moral stridency of Skelton's figure. Spenser obviously knew Skelton's work, and seems to have been more conversant with lively lowbrow literature than a reading of his published works (or those of his critics) might suggest. One may recall the note made in a copy of Howleglas (1567) where his sometime friend and correspondent, Gabriel Harvey records having received that book along "with Skoggin, Skelton, & Lazarillo" from "Mr Spensar xx. Decembris, 1578" (see Virginia F. Stern, Gabriel Harvey: His Life, Library and Marginalia , 49; 228).

10. Skelton, Works, 466; E. G. Withycombe, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Names, 3rd. ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), 71; Helen Cooper, Pastoral: Mediaeval into Renaissance (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1977), 230, n. 27.

11. See Clément Marot, Oeuvres lyriques, ed. C. A. Mayer (London: Athlone Press, 1964), 322 n.

12. See Alice Hulubei, L'Eglogue en France au XVIe siècle (Paris: Droz, 1938), 211; C. A. Mayer, Clément Marot (Paris: A.-G. Nizet, 1972), 200.

13. E.g. C. H. Herford, ed., The Shepheardes Calender (London: MacMillan & Co., 1907), 92; W. L. Renwick, ed., The Shepherd's Calendar, (London: Scholartis Press, 1930), 221.

14. E.g. Annabel Patterson, "Re-opening the Green Cabinet: Clément Marot and Edmund Spenser," English Literary Renaissance 16 (1986), 50.

15. E.g. Renwick, Shepherd's Calendar, 192. The unequivocal locus is the Eclogue de Marot au Roy, soubz les noms de Pan & Robin (1539), the model for Spenser's "December." But as Mayer points out (Clément Marot, 343 n. 1), François I had already been figured as Pan before Marot wrote this first eclogue, not only by Guillaume Crétin in a verse epistle from 1515, but even by the poet's own father, Jean Marot, as is suggested in Robin-Marot's reminiscences in the Eclogue de Marot au Roy.

16. Bénédicte Boudou, "Poétique de l'églogue chez Marot," Nouvelle revue de XVIe siècle, 5 (1987), 79-93.

17. Boudou, 83.

18. Boudou, 93.

19. Paul McLane, "Skelton's Colyn Cloute and Spenser's Shepheardes Calender," Studies in Philology 70 (1973), 143.

20. Ibid., 146.

21. Spenser's Shepheardes Calender: A Study in Elizabethan Allegory (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1961), passim.

22. McLane's anagram will be seen actually to resolve back into "Resalinge," though by taking the "land" rather than the "Eng" out of England one might at least arrive at "Resallinda." Could one get better results from Puttenham's much-fiddled "Elissabet Anglorum Regina" (The Arte of English Poesie, ed. Gladys Dodge Willock and Alice Walker [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1936], 110)? The partial anagram was, of course, (unless our delusion is complete) the darling of Elizabethan veiled reference, but one cannot help feeling that the young Leopold Bloom could have provided other, more elegant, solutions to the puzzle--a roster topped by "Nora! 'Slid!" and perhaps bottomed by "Dr. Alon(zo), S. J."

23. McLane, Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, 322.

24. Harvey, Three proper...Letters, in Spenser, Works, Variorum, vol. 10, 471.

25. Paul Alpers, "Pastoral and the Domain of Lyric in Spenser's Shepheardes Calender," Representations 12 (1985), 97.

26. Donald Cheney, "Spenser's Fortieth Birthday and Related Fictions," Spenser Studies 4 (1983).

27. Sam Meyer, An Interpretation of Spenser's "Colin Clout" (Cork: Cork University Press, 1969), 6.

28. Harry Berger, Jr., "Orpheus, Pan, and the Poetics of Misogyny: Spenser's Critique of Pastoral Love and Art," ELH 50 (1983).

29. Cf. David Shore, "Colin and Rosalind: Love and Poetry in the Shepheardes Calender," Studies in Philology 73 (1976), 176; this is the only serious recent account apart from Steven F. Walker, "'Poetry is/in not a cure for love': The Conflict of Theocritean and Petrarchan Topoi in The Shepheardes Calender," Studies in Philology 76 (1979).

30. Isabel G. MacCaffrey, "Allegory and Pastoral in The Shepheardes Calender," ELH 36 (1969), 103.

31. Figures I (Paris: Seuil, 1966), 254.

32. Walker, "'Poetry is/is not a cure for love,'" 353.

33. Shore, "Colin and Rosalind," 184.

34. "Colin and Rosalind," 184.

35. Walter Benjamin, "Der Erzähler," Gesammelte Schriften, II.2, ed. Rolf Tiedemann and Hermann Scweppenhäuser (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1977), 458.

36. Louis Adrian Montrose, "'The perfecte paterne of a Poete': The Poetics of Courtship in The Shepheardes Calender," Texas Studies in Literature and Language 21 (1979), 55.

37. Cf. Montrose, "'The perfecte paterne of a Poete,'" 39ff.

38. David L. Miller, "Authorship, Anonymity and The Shepheardes Calender," Studies in Philology 70 (1979), 230; cf. Patrick Cullen, Spenser, Marvell, and Renaissance Pastoral (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), 114.

39. Miller, "Authorship," 233.

40. Ibid., 234.

41. Montrose, "'The perfecte paterne of a Poete,'" 39.

42. Classical Mythology in the Poetry of Edmund Spenser (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1932), 97.

43. Montrose, "'The perfecte paterne of a Poete,'" 62.

44. Berger, "Orpheus," 27.

45. Berger, "Mode and Diction in The Shepheardes Calender," Modern Philology 67 (1966).

46. Ernst Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985), 1382.

47. Berger, "Mode and Diction," 140; 142.

48. Cf. Some Versions of Pastoral (London: Chatto & Windus, 1935), 23.

49. Miller, "Authorship," 221.

50. Thomas H. Cain, "Spenser and the Renaissance Orpheus," University of Toronto Quarterly 41 (1971), 30.

51. Louis A. Mackey, Kierkegaard: A Kind of Poet (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971), 247.

52. Theodor Adorno, Kierkegaard: Konstruktion des Aesthetischen (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1962), 23.

53. Miller, "Authorship," 220.

54. Cf. Nouveau discours du récit (Paris: Seuil, 1983), 93ff.

55. Immerito: Harvey, Foure Letters, Works, ed. Alexander B. Grosart (London: Huth Library, 1884), 1:180; Nashe, Strange Newes, Works, ed. R. B. McKerrow, rev. ed. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958), 1:295; Colin Clout: Nashe, Ibid., 1:283; Mother Hubbard: Harvey, Foure Letters, 1:164, 205?; Nashe, Strange Newes, 1:281-82, 321.

56. It would take a prohibitive amount of space to document the assertion, but perhaps I can simply be permitted to make a deposition to the effect that of the 28 mentions of Colin (of which I am aware) by writers other than Spenser between the publication of the Calender and the poet's death I consider only five to refer to the character or persona without also referring to the author, and 19, in my view, refer primarily to the author.

57. Variorum, vol. 7, 10; 93.

58. Variorum, vol. 10, 471; the latter of the works mentioned is a lost text also mentioned in E.K.'s dedicatory epistle and in the gloss to "November."

59. Ibid., 476.

60. Cf. C. R. Baskervill, "The Early Fame of The Shepheardes Calender," PMLA 28 (1913), 309.

61. See Elizabethan Critical Essays, ed. G. Gregory Smith (Oxford: Clarendon Pres, 1904), 1:276; 286.

62. The Araygnement of Paris, ed. R. Mark Benbow, The Dramatic Works of George Peele, (New Haven: Yale, 1970), 85; 86.

63. Variorum, vol. 3, 186.

64. Ibid.

65. The Works of Michael Drayton, ed. J. W. Hebel (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1961), 1:55.

66. Phillis (1593), The Complete Works of Thomas Lodge, ed. Edmund Gosse (Glasgow: Huntlerian Club, 1883), vol. 2, no. 5, p. 6.

67. Richard Barnfield, The Affectionate Shepherd (1595), Some Longer Elizabethan Poems, ed. A. H. Bullen (Westminster: Archibald Constable, 1903), 177.

68. Thomas Edwards, Cephalus and Procris (London: J. Wolfe, 1595), D2v.; H3v..

69. Sir John Davies, Orchestra, or a Poem of Dauncing (1596), The Poems of Sir John Davies, ed. Robert Krueger (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), 124.

70. Richard Barnfield, Cynthia (1595), Some Longer Elizabethan Poems, 209.

71. The Poems of William Smith, ed. Lawrence A. Sasek (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1970), 35; 87.

72. The Scourge of Villainy (1598), The Poems of John Marston, ed. A. Davenport (Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 1961), 106.

73. Variorum, vol. 10, 470.

74. A name possibly picked up from the Ovidian story of Ceyx and Alcyone retold in the early part of Spenser's Chaucerian model, The Boke of the Duchess. But it might be noted how close "Alcyon" is to an anagram of "Colyn." Cf. "Alcon" in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe (l. 394), and the dialgoue by Bryskett published with the latter poem in which "Astrophel's" death is lamented by "Colin" and "Lycon." But then such quasi-anagrams are no doubt merely fortuitous. Indeed, it would not take much to turn "Alcon" into "McLane."

75. Curiously, both poems are in the same metre, the relevant passages open with parallel constructions, and--most fantastically--each mention of Colin comes in the thirty-third stanza of the poem in question (ll. 225-31 in both cases), a correlation with which an Alastair Fowler might possibly be able to do something.

76. Variorum, vol. 8, 194.

77. An Interpretation of Spenser's "Colin Clout," 86.

78. "The Chaucerian Narrator in Spenser's Shepheardes Calender," Southern Quarterly 12 (1974), 192.

79. Meyer, An Interpretation of Spenser's "Colin Clout," 118; 119.

80. Genette, Nouveau discours du récit, 95.

81. Cf. Otobiographies: L'enseignement de Nietzsche et la politique du nom propre (Paris: Galilée, 1984), 56-57; 107-08; etc.

82. Cf. Daphnaïda and Other Poems, ed. W. L. Renwick (London: Scholartis Press, 1929), 177.

83. Nouveau discours du récit, 106.

84. An Interpretation of Spenser's "Colin Clout," 127; my emphasis.

85. A Commentary on Book Six of Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Ph.D. dissertation, Edinburgh, 1986, 270.

86. P. W. Joyce, cited in the Variorum, vol. 6, 284.

87. Variorum, vol. 6, 285.

88. Ibid., 247.

89. Cf. The Faerie Queene, ed. A. C. Hamilton (London: Longman, 1977), 689.

90. Spenser Selections, ed. W. L. Renwick (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1923), 202.

91. William Nelson, The Poetry of Edmund Spenser: A Study (New York: Columbia University Press, 1962), 293.

92. The Analogy of The Faerie Queene, 722-23.

93. Introductory Lectures in Psychoanalysis, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, tr. and ed. by James Strachey et al. (London: Hogarth Press, 1963), 16:367-68.

94. Estetika slovesnogo tvorchestva (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1979), 106.

95. Hamilton, Faerie Queene, 689.




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