Page:Lives of Poets-Laureate.djvu/49

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Spenser was sent to Cambridge, and entered at Pembroke Hall as a sizar, 20th of May, 1569. He there contracted a friendship with Gabriel Harvey, of Christ's College, or, according to another account, of Pembroke Hall, afterwards fellow of Trinity Hall, who, like himself, was in reduced circumstances, with powerful connections, and became afterwards eminent as a poet and scholar. This friendship endured through life, and Harvey figures as Hobbinol in his friend's "Eclogues."

Spenser is recorded to have taken his B.A. degree in January, 1573, and his M.A. in June, 1576, and he then finally quitted the University. There is some obscurity hanging over this part of his career, but the prevailing impression is that he left in chagrin, being disappointed in his expectations of a fellowship. This probably prevented him from taking orders. He always remembered the University with gratitude, and frequently mentions it with honour; but it is a singular fact that Pembroke Hall is never once referred to through the voluminous range of his compositions, strewed as they are with allusions to his personal history.

On retiring from the University, he went to live with his relatives in the north of England. Here the sensitive poet fell a victim to the arts of a country girl, whom he has immortalised under the name of Rosalind, but whose actual name is still a mystery. An ingenious writer has attempted a solution by resolving the anagram into "Rose Linde," averring that "Linde" is a common surname in Kent, and "Rose" a frequent feminine appellation everywhere. He himself calls her "the widow's daughter of the glen," and writes as though she were of low degree, though in the gloss on the poems, written, probably, by Harvey, we are told she was of gentle blood. The wily maid encouraged his advances, and then left him, to give her hand to another. The heart-broken poet turned the

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