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to be relieved of duties at Court, Leicester endeavoured to obtain the appointment of Essex to his place of Master of the Horse, the duties of which office required close attendance on the Queen. It was said that Leicester's object was to win Elizabeth's affection for Essex as a counterpoise to Sir Walter Ralegh, who was then, and since the beginning of 1582, in high favour. In this he partially succeeded, for we read :
“When she is abroad, nobody near her but my L. of Essex; and, at night, my Lord is at cards, or one game or another with her, that he cometh not to his own lodging till birds sing in the morning. Sir Walter Ralegh is the hated man of the world, in court, city and country."1
In December 1587, at the age of twenty, Essex received the appointment of Master of the Horse, and became the recognised favourite.
The Earl of Leicester died in the following year.
In the first part of the Faerie Queene (Books I.-III.) which was published in 1590, Timias appears in Book I. as the Squire of Prince Arthur, and again in Book II., though he is not mentioned by name, nor is he given an adventure till Book III., which was no doubt written much later. I suspect the reason for this was that in 1579, when I suppose Book I. to have been written, the author had not decided on the character which was to be shadowed under the form of the Squire. In any case it was too early for the part to be assigned to Essex. The language under which he is first introduced, though it might, so far as the language goes, apply to the romantic disposition of the young Earl, is the ordinary language of romance :
A gentle youth his dearely loved Squire,
I. vii. 37
So with his squire, th'admirer of his might,
1 Blithfield MSS., cited in Devereux's Lives of the Earls of Essex, i. 186.
: Prince Arthur is referred to, who, as I explained in my book, was in its first intention, intended for Leicester, but also has another significance, and in it the author finds an idealised presentment of himself.
Whose gates he fownd fast shutt, ne living wight
Was never wight that heard that shrilling sownd,
I. viii. 3, 4.
The first mention of Timias by name is in Book III., the legend of Britomart or Chastity, who is explained by the author in the introduction to be an alternative designation for Belphoebe and to mean the Queen. Even if this explanation were not given, the fact would be obvious.
The name Timias is evidently taken from the Greek word ripios which means “worthy of honour,” and it is to be noted that it is under that term-“ Liberall honor "—that Essex is described in the allegory in Loves Martyr discussed in Chapter V. Prince Arthur's Squire is referred to in Book III. under that name without further explanation : But after the foule foster Timias did strive.
III. i. 18. The episode of the slaying of the three “ fosters ” (foresters) by Timias is one of the most difficult in the Faerie Queene, but that it has a political significance is rendered almost certain by the stanza :
With that he would have fled into the wood;
So mischiefe fell upon the meaners crowne.
III. v. 25.
I suggested in my book on Spenser that the allusion is to the courtship of Elizabeth by the three French princes The proposal of Anjou in 1571 was soon broken off, as he withdrew in disgust at the Queen's delays. But the youngest brother, Alençon (the "frog ''), was content to pay court to her for over ten years, till at last she announced, in 1581, to the dismay of the English people, that she intended to marry him. This decision was probably brought about by the marriage of the Earl of Leicester in 1578 to the widow of Walter, Earl of Essex, of which Simier, the French ambassador, informed the Queen in 1579. Her anger was great, because there is no doubt that she long contemplated the possibility of marrying him. The national opposition to the French marriage, however, probably influenced the Queen's mind, and at the last moment she drew back. Alençon left England for the States, where he had been elected Governor by the inhabitants. But he was soon expelled by them and returned to France, where he died in 1584.
My suggestion was that Ralegh's advent at the Court had helped, by engaging the Queen's affections, in diverting her from this marriage ; but this would involve an anachronism (in relation, at any rate, to the Squire of Book I.), though that fact would not weigh much with the author of the Faerie Queene. There is, however, a more serious objection to a Ralegh interpretation that Timias is consistently described as a “boy,” whereas Ralegh, when he won the Queen's favour about 1582, was a man of thirty, with a hard experience behind him. But Essex was still a youth when this Book was composed and, as we have seen, had attracted the attention of the Queen before the departure of Alençon. Moreover at the time when the Book was probably written he was actually
1 See pp. 83, 846. and Chapter VII.
• Ralegh is believed to have been born in 1552, but the exact date is not known.
the Queen's favourite, and there was propriety therefore in making him the subject of the allegory.
The expression the meaners crowne suggests to me that the crown of the youngest of the three brothers is intended. If, on the other hand, it is conceivable, in view of the language, that some private incident is being alluded to, then we may give up hope of any solution.
We come to the Timias-Belphoebe episodes in Books III. and VI., in which the evidence for the Essex interpretation becomes so strong as almost to amount to certainty. And one of the greatest points of interest in it is, as I said in the chapter to which this Appendix relates, that if the Timias of these episodes is Essex, they carry the inference that Ralegh was not the author of the “ Cynthia ” poem.
Timias, who has received a severe wound in his fight with the “ three fosters," is found by Belphoebe in the wood (III. v. 27);
Shortly she came whereas that wofull Squire,
Into the woods thenceforth in haste shee went,
By this he had sweet life recur'd agayne,
Therewith he sigh'd; and, turning him aside,
Mercy, deare Lord !' (said he) 'what grace is this
29, 32, 34, 35.
It will be seen that Timias is described as in his first youth. In Stanza 38 he is described as “that goodly boy." The reference to “tobacco” I have explained in the text as applying more probably to Essex than to Ralegh. The
angel ” allusion (35) would indicate the Queen,' even if the author had not stated, in the introductory letter to Ralegh, and in the introduction to the Book, that Belphoebe stood for her.
Belphoebe, with the help of her Nymphs, carries Timias to her retreat in the woods, described as an “ earthly Paradize" (40). He falls in love with her, but, for fear of seeming disloyal and presumptious, will not confess his love, but determines to serve her in silence. She attributes his continued sickness to his wound.
She, gracious Lady, yet no paines did spare
1 See Edmund Spenser, etc.