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and harmonious breath must in this instance to cuit the allegory, alhide to „those great abilities of genius and learning, which reddered Queen Mary „the most accomplished Princess of her age.“ This compliment could not fail of being highly agreeable to the „fair Vestal.“ „By the rude sea is meant Scotland incircled with the ocean, which Tose up in arms against the regent, while she [Mary) was in France. But her return home quieted these disorders :
and had not her strange ill conduct afterwards more violently inflamed them, she might have passed her whole life in peace.“ Dr. Warburton whose skill in geography,
to match his knowledge of history and acuteness in allegory, must be allowed the role merit of discovering Scotland to be an island. But, to the disorders of that country being quieted by the Qucen's return, it appears from history to be full as peaccable before as it is at any time after that event. Whether, in the revival or continuance of these disorders, she, or her ideot husband, or fanaụcal subjects were most to blame, is a point upon which doctors still differ; but, it is evident, that, if the enchanting song of the commentators mermaid civilized the rude sea for a time, is was only to render it, in an instant, more boisterous than ever : those great abilities of genius and learning, which rendered her the most accomplished Princess of her age, not availing her among a parcel of ferocious and enthusiastic barbarians, whom even the lyre of Orpheus had in vain warbled to humanize. Brantome, who accompanyed her, says she was welcomed home by a mob of five or fix hundred ragamuffins, who, in discord with the most execrable instruzments, sung psalms (which she was supposed to
310 NOTES TO THE MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DR.
Lislike) under her chamber window: „He! adds hc, quella musique et quel repos pour sa nuit ! s6 However, it seems „there is great justness and beauty in this image , as the vulgar opinion is, that the mermaid always sings in storms." „This vulgar opiniou ," I am persuaded, is peculiar to the ingenious commentator; as , if the mermaid is ever supposed to sing, it is in calms, which presage storms. I can perceive no propriety in calling the insurrection of the Northern Earls the quarrel of Queen Mary, unless in so far as it was that of the religion she professed. But this per. haps is the least objectionable part of a chimerical allegory of which the poet himself had no idea, and which the commentator, to whose creative fancy it owes its existence, seems to have very justly characterized in telling us it is nature; “ that is, as I conceive, perfectly groundless and unnatural. RITSON.
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END OF THE THIRD VOLUME.