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Who in the garden, with his lovely May,
Sore figh'd the Knight to hear his Lady's cry, 725
With all my foul, he thus reply'd again,
Now prove your patience, gentle Ladies all!
In that nice moment, lo! the wond'ring Knight Look'd out, and ftood reftor'd to fudden fight. Straight on the tree his eager eyes he bent, As one whofe thoughts were on his spouse intent; But when he faw his bofom-wife fo drefs'd, His rage was such as cannot be express'd: Not frantic mothers when their infants die, With louder clamours rend the vaulted sky: He cry'd, he roar'd, he ftorm'd, he tore his hair; Death! hell! and furies! what doft thou do there!
What ails my Lord? the trembling dame reply'd; I thought your patience had been better try'd; Is this your love, ungrateful and unkind, This my reward for having cur'd the blind? Why was I taught to make. my husband fee, By struggling with a man upon a Tree? Did I for this the pow'r of Magic prove? Unhappy wife, whofe crime was too much love!
If this be struggling, by this holy light, 'Tis ftruggling with a vengeance (quoth the Knight);
So Heav'n preserve the fight it has reftor'd,
Guard me, good angels! cry'd the gentle May, Pray Heav'n, this magic work the proper way! Alas, my love! 'tis certain, could you fee, You ne'er had us'd thefe killing words to me: So help me, fates, as 'tis no perfect fight, But fome faint glimm'ring of a doubtful light. What I have faid (quoth he) I must maintain, For by th' immortal pow'rs it seem'd too plain— By all those pow'rs, fome frenzy feiz'd your mind,
(Reply'd the dame) are these the thanks I find?
Ah, my lov'd lord! 'twas much unkind (fhe cry'd)
Then, Sir, be cautious, nor too rafhly deem;
With that she leap'd into her Lord's embrace 810 With well-diffembled virtue in her face.
He hugg'd her clofe, and kifs'd her o'er and o'er,
Thus ends our tale, whose moral next to make,
THE first dawnings of polite literature in Italy are found in tale-writing and fables.
To produce, and carry on with probability and decorum, a feries of events, is the most difficult work of invention; and if we were minutely to examine the popular stories of every nation, we fhould be amazed to find how few circumftances have been ever invented. Facts and events have been indeed varied and modified; but totally new facts have not been created. The writers of the old romances, from whom Ariofto and Spenfer have borrowed fo largely, are fuppofed to have had copious imaginations; but may they not be indebted, for their invulnerable heroes, their monsters, their enchantments, their gardens of pleasure, their winged steeds, and the like, to the Echidna, to the Circe, to the Medea, to the Achilles, to the Syrens, to the Harpies, to the Phryxus, and the Bellerophon, of the ancients? The cave of Polypheme might furnish out the ideas of their giants, and Andromeda might give occafion for ftories of diftreffed damfels on the point of being devoured by dragons, and delivered at fuch a critical feafon by their favourite Knights. Some faint traditions of the ancients might have been kept glimmering and alive during the whole barbarous ages, as they are called; and it is not impoffible but these have been the parents of the Genii in the Eastern and the Fairies in the Western world. To fay that Amadis and Sir Tristan have a claffical foundation, may, at firft fight, appear parodoxical; but if the subject were examined to the bottom, I am inclined to think, that the wildeft chimeras in those books of chivalry, with which Don Quixote's library was furnished, would be found to have a close connection with ancient mythology.
We of this nation have been remarkably barren in our inventions of facts; we have been chiefly borrowers in this species of compofition, as the plots of our most applauded tragedies and comedies may witness, which have generally been taken from the novels of the Italians and Spaniards. WARTON.
In the art of telling a story in verfe, Pope is peculiarly happy; we almoft forget the groffnefs of the fubject of this tale, while