The Sonnet-Series (Cont.)

In this same year [1595] appeared Sir John Davies' Gulling Sonnets, nine quatorzains in ridicule of the more affected styles of popular sonneteers.1

1Complete Poems, A. B. Grosart, ii, p. 51 sq.

The eighth sonnet has been identified as a parody of the affectation of legal knowledge in Zepheria, but the others are easily recognized, at least in the spirit of their parody. The method of all of them is to develop a trite theme laboriously through twelve lines, and then in the concluding couplet, where normally the climax should be, to descend deliberately into bathos. A good illustration is the ninth:--

"To Love my God I doe knightes service owe

And therefore now he hath my witt in warde,

But while it is in his tuition soe,

Methinks he doth intreat it passinge hard

For thoughe he hathe it marryed longe agoe

To Vanytie, a wenche of no regarde,

And now to full and perfect age doth growe,

Yet nowe of freedome it is most debarde.

But why should love after rninoritye

When I am past my one and twentieth yeare

Perclude my witt of his sweet libertye,

And make it still the yoake of wardshippe beare.

I feare he hath an other title gott

And holds my witt now for an Ideott."1

1Complete Poems, ii. p. 62.