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Now cease your worke, and at your pleasure yet found worthy of her: Have patience; our play ;
poet has found a magnificent hero worthy of Now case your work, to-morrow is an holy Gloriana, or Belphoebe, or this his Fairy day.
Queen, (for these names figure to us the same
person) and GLORY will be allied to MAGSUPPOSE we take a review of this Third NIFICENCE, compleated in all the virtues. Book ; and, as from the summit of a hill, cast As Homer often mentions his chief hero our eve backward on the Fairy ground, which Achilles, to show that he has this unrelenting we have travelled over in company with Bric hero's resentment still in view; so likewile tomartis, the British heroine, and representa- does Spenser keep still in view the magtive of chast affection. But remember that nificent Prince Arthur, who is in pursuit of Spenser never sets up for imitation any such Gloriana. [B. iii. C. 5. St. 2.] There are character, either in men or women, as haters many historical allusions in this book-the poet of matrimony: affection and love to one, and himself hints as much in many places : See only to one, is the chast affection, which he the Introduct. St. iv, and v. "That gracious holds up to your view, and to your imitation. fervaunt there mentioned, is his honoured friend Such is Britomartis; who is in love with an Timias : we shall see hereafter the fatal effects unknown Hero, and yet not so unknown, but of the wound which Luft inficted on him her passion is justifiable : Such is the love be- in B. üi. C. 5. St. 20. Queen Elizabeth we tween Sir Scudamore and Amoret: And who may fee ' in mirrours more than one' even can but pity the distressed Florimel, for casting in Britomartis, though covertly; in Belphoebe her affections on one, who for a time difre more apparently. The whole irid Canto regards her!
lates to the English history : Queen Elizabeth What a variety of chast females, and yet is as elegantly complemented by Spenser, as with different characters, has our poet brought Augustus Cæsar was by Virgil, or Cardinal together into Fairy land ? Britomartis the he- Hippolito by Ariosto : and though Britomartis roine ; the persecuted Florimel; the two sisters is Thown her progeny by narration only, yet Belphoebe and Amoret ; Belphoebe nurtured the poetry is so animated, as to vie with the by Diana in the perfection of maidenhead; vith Æneid, or to rival the irid Canto of Ariand Amoret brought up by Venus in goodly ofto; where the heroes themselves, or their idols womanhood, to be the ensample of true love. and images pass in review. How nervous are How miraculously, and yet speciously, is the the following verses, where the son of Arthebirth, nurture, and education of Amoret de- gal and Britomartis is described ? scribed in the gardens of Adonis ? our poet
Like as a lion, that in drowsy cave
imagined, as expressed :
Horu like a giant in each manly part,
Beares he himself with portly majesty
The pathos is very remarkable, where he de-
Then wol, and woe, and everlasting woe.
This is truly Spenserian both passion and ex-
pression. Presently after how poetically and I answer, that every reader of Spenser knows prophetically are kingdoms represented by their
arms and enligns !
There jball a Lion from the sea-born wood
The restoration of the British blood and the deities introduced as Fairy beings ; Cymoente glories of Queen Elizabeth's reign must in a or Cymodoce the Nereid; (for by both these historical view close the narration. But how names she is called) Proteus, Diana, Venus finely has the poet contrived to make Merlin and Cupid.—But this is not peculiar to this break off?
book alone : nor the introducing of characBut yet the end is not
ters, which have power to controul the laws
of Nature. We have heard of Merlin before, Intimating there shall be no end of the British
but here we visit him in his own cave. The glory. I take it for granted that Spenser in
Witch is a tended these historical facts as so many openings Acrafia are witches of another mould: go and
new character, for Duefla and and hints to the reader, that his poem
see her pelting habitation, C. 7. St. 6, 7. one tinued allegory' should sometimes be con would think the poet was painting fome poor fidered in a historical, as well as in a moral
hovel of a pitiful Irish wretch, whom the rude view. And the various historical allufions are in the preface and in the notes accordingly her poverty and frowardness
. The inchanted
vulgar stigmatized for a witch on account of pointed out : though the reader may posibly house of Brufirane is a new piece of machiimagine that in some particulars I have refined too much.
nery, and exceeds, in beauty of defcription,
all the fictions of romance writers that I ever But let us see how this üid book differs from the two former ; for in difference, opposition, is just hinted at in B. iii. C. 6. Si. 53, to
yet could meet with. The story of Busirane and contrast, as well as in agreement, we must look for what is beautiful. And here first keep up that kind of suspense which is so agree
raise the expectation of the reader, and to appears a woman-knight, armed with an in
able to Spenser's perpetual method and manner. chanted speare, like another Pallas,
We have seen Braggadochio and Trompart be-which in her curath o'erthrowes
fore, which are comic characters, or characters Heroes and hoffs of men.
of humour; such likewise are the Squire of There is likewise a most material difference Dames, and Malbecco. from the two former books in this respect, The variety of adventures are remarkably namely, that the two several knights, of Ho- adapted to the moral. Notwithstanding the liness and of Temperance succeed in their
diftreffes of all these faithful lovers, yet by adventures; but in this book, Sir Scuda constancy and perseverance they obtain their more, who at the court of the Fairy Queen desired ends : but not altogether in this book; undertook to deliver Amoret from the cruel
for the constant Florimel is fill left in doleinchanter Busirane, is forced to give over his full durance; Amoret is delivered from the attempt; when unexpectedly he is aflisted by cruel Inchanter, but finds not her lover ; Brithis emblem of chastity, Britomartis ; who re tomartis is still in pursuit of Arthegal: and the leases the fair captive from her cruel tormen- fuspence is kept up, that this book might contor: and thus LOVE is no longer under nect with the following, and that the various the cruel vaflallage of LUST.
parts might be so judiciously joined as to We have in this book many of the heathen make O'N E Poem.
Containing the Legend of Cambel and * Telamond, or of
['Tis printed * Telamond in all the editions ; but it should have been Triamond.
See B. iv. C. 2. St. 31, and 41. And C. 3. St,
more than in matter : and all the Stoicks HE rugged forehead, that with grave fore- looked up to Socrates as the father of true Sight-) In the letter which I printed philosophy. I will venture to say, Spenser
formerly to Mr. West, concerning a should have written, new edition of Spenser, I observed that the
The which those Cynicke censours cannot well deny. Lord Treasurer Burleigh was hinted at in
IV. thefe verses. And I find that Mr. Birch, in his life of Spenser, has been pleased to con
To such therefore~) I sing not to my Lord
Treasurer, but to Queen Elizabeth. cur likewise in the same observation.
Do thou, dred infant, Venus dearling dove,
From her high spirit chase imperious feare, ill judge of love, who cannot love, nor feel kindly flame, i. e. natural paffion-I should not
And use of awfull majestie remove.] The folio have interpreted this paffage, had I not found 1609 reads árad infant : he calls Cupid the it misunderstood, and wrongly printed in the dearling dove of Venus ; desiring him to chase edit. 1679, and in Hughes.
from 0. Elizabeth imperious feare, i. e. all that
which in her occasions fear. perhaps Fear III.
fhould have been printed as a person : imperious Witnejse the father of philosophy-] Socrates, Fear thus attending the throne of the Queen, aptly so called ; who oftentimes in the shady resembles Feare that usually attended on Mars. groves of Academus lectured his pupils on See Homer II. d'. 440. . 37. 6. 119. the divine subject of Love. His pupils were
Ibid. Alcibiades, Phædrus, Critias, &c. He mentions one for the rest. Critias was one of the thirty From thy sweet-fmyling inother.] Ady gonéovcxo Tyrants at Athens; and an apoftate, as well
dulce ridens : he calls her in B. iv. C. 10. St. as Alcibiades, from the doctrines of his di 47. Mother of lav ghter. Oinopeperdas Açgodith, Hom. vine master. See Xen. Atopo L. 1. C.2 .Sect. 12.
Which our Waller elegantly
translates, Laughter-loving dame: how much fuIbid,
perior to the translation of Horace, Erycina The which those Stoicke cenfours cannot well deny:) Ridens; but then he makes up for the defect These reflections caft on the Stoicks, as rigid in the following verse, and severe in their notions of love, are not true. Zeno differed from Plato in manner
Quam lacus circumvolat et Cupide. 5
-and read his lesson often. That he may heark to love, and read this lesson i. e. the lefion which Love dictates, as the adoften.]' Perhaps he gave it,
Ardet apex capiti, CRISTIS AC VERTIce flamma 'HEN that of Amorets hart-binding chaine.)
Funditur ; et veftos umbo vomit aureus ignes : Sce B. ii. C. 12. St. 30, and St. 37. The
Non fecus ac liquida si quando nocte cometae
Sanguinei luyubre rubent. poet speaks in his own person, how he himself is affected in the meer relation : fo Ariosto, while Crislis ac vertice, is the same as vertice criftato ; by he is relating the story of Angelica going to
the same figure as, aterâ libamus et auro, is used he devoured of the monster, turns to himself, though the scene of action lies in Fairy land,
for pateris aureis. - I formerly obferved that Canto viii. 66.
we must often transfer our thoughts to English Io no'l dirò, che si il dolor mi muove.
ground; and consider the various occurrences II.
which happened in Queen Eliz, reign, as alluded A perilous fight-] Spenser loves to anticipate to, and thadowed in this poem. If we turn to his tales, and to raise expectation and suspense. Cambden, anno 1574, he will tell us, that This is cleared up in B. iv. C. 10. St. 7.
(the clouds flamed with fire in the month of VI.
November, streaming from the north towards
' the south ; and the next night the heavens An is his juftly that all freely dealth] dealeth,
* seemed to burn, the flames arising from the dealth, gives, distributes.
horizon round about, and meeting in the XI.
vertical point.' This prodigy our poet brought Caft bow to salve.--] Caft in her mind how to into a simile : so he has likewise brought into a fave appearances.
fimile the comet or blazing star mentioned by XIII.
Cambden, anno 1582, in B. iii. C. 1. St. 16, With that her glifring helmet. ]— Compare B. iii.
'Tis very happy in a poet, whose subject is uni
versal and philosophical, sometimes if he can C. 9. St. 20, &c. and see the notes. Milton
become particular and historical. seems to have imitated this picturesque image,
Some that Bellona in that warlike wife Sbe, as a veil, down to the fender waist
To them appear'd] I have no authority here to Her unadorned golden trefjes wore
change Bellona into Minerva, as I had when I Disheveld; but in wanton ringlets wavid,
made the alteration in B. iii. C. 9. St. 22. As the vine curls ber tendrils.
where fee the note. Spenser distinguishes Eve's hair is compared to a veil, as a graceful between Minerva the goddess of war and wifcovering ; and to the curling tendrils of a vine, dom, and Bellona the Fury and companion of as waving in ringlets. Britomart's hair is Mars. See B. vii. C. 6. St. 3. But here percompared to a filken veil, and to those fiery haps our poet had Ariosto in view, xxvi. 24. meteors seen sometimes in the northern sky.
who compares the woman-knight Marfisa to Like as the shining fie in summer's night
-yet never met with none.) i. e. never Spenser says creafled, from the Latin cristatus, met with no one, so the old quarto edition. The tufted, plumed, &c. in allufion to the hairy Folio's, with one. Our old poets use two negabeames which those meteors fling out.
tives often to deny more strongly. See critical on B. iii. C. I. St. 16. And hence I will ex obfervations on Shakespeare. pag. 352. 353. plain and correct (from the Medicean copy)
XVIII. a passage in Virgil, x. 270.
The cne of them the false Duela] This lady
Which sent away
of doubleness and deceit is no new acquain
XXIII. tance : she will appear hereafter in a particular character ; but at present we must consider her So many Centaures drunken fouls to hell.] This is a in the general character of fraud. Her companion parody of Homer, Il. á 3. Ate is mentioned in Homer, with a kind of
Πολλάς δ' έφθίμες ψυχάς άιδι προΐαψιν play on the word, such as you'll find frcquently in Spenser.
For the at first was borne of bellish brood.-) Ate And all within the riven walls.--] This descrip- was originally in heaven, but Aung from thence tion seems imaged from the temple of Mars in by Jupiter : fo Homer tells the story. But Ate Statius, Theb. vii. 40, &c. And from the being the same as Discord, and Discord being fame temple described in Chaucer's Knight's of hellish brood, Spenser takes what mythoTale.
logy he likes beft; or sometimes varies from XXII.
all, as his subject or fancy leads him. Of Alexander, and his princes Five
Xxx. which hard to them the Spoiles that he had got alive.] And that great golden chaine quite to divide, i Maccabees, i. 7, 8. Šo Alexander reigned twelve With which it blessed concord hath together tide.) one in his place, and after his death they all put This golden chaine, which holds together ali crowns upon themselves
, Yo did their fons after them things, is taken from Homer : but see above many" years, and evils were multiplied in ihe eartb. the note on B. i. C. 9. St. 1, and below on Authors do not agree how the vast empires of B. iv. C. ro. St. 35, Alexander the Great after his death were di
XXXIV. vided ; nor particularly amongst whom. Dr. The HOT-SPURRE youth..-) So the famous young Prideaux, in his Connection of the History of Piercy, son of the Earl of Northumberland, the old and new Testament, vol. i. pag. 410. tells us, that the governments of tħe empire this saying as plain as the genius of this kind of
was called in the reign of Henry IV. Is not • being divided among the chief commanders of
the army, all went to take poffeffion of them, poetry admits, that by Blandamour, I covertly • leaving Perdiccas at Babylon, to take care of mean in the historical allusion, the unfortunate • Aridaeus. For some time they contented
I * themselves with the name of governors, but at formerly, and am still of the same opinion. • length took that of kings. As soon as they
XXXIX. • were fettled in their provinces, they all fell to To be Sir Scudamour, by that he bore • leaguing and making war against each other, The god of love, with wings displayed wide.] Hence o'till thereby they were, after fome years, all de- he is named Scudamour from bearing in his • stroyed to four; these were Casilander, Lyfi- Thield the god of love; as Spenser himself ex• machus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus ; and they di- plains it : scudo del amore. This was the shield vided the whole empire between them. And of Alcibiades : fo Plutarch in his life, His
hereby the prophecies of Daniel were exactly shield, which was richly gilded, had not the usual • fulfilled, which foretold that the great horn enfigns that the Athenians bore ; but a Cupid with a • of the Macedonian empire, that is Alexander, thunderbolt in bis band. See note on B. iii. C. 11. • being broken off, there should arise Four St. 7.
other horns, that is your kings of the same « nation, who should divide his empire be“tween them.' To those FOUR mentioned The left hand rubs the right.] This is a proverbi,, above, perhaps Spenser added Antigonus, used by Epicharmus, and cited' by Ėfchines which make up his number FIVE.
the Socratic in his dialogue Περί Θανάτε. . and his princes five
'Αδε χειρ τας χείρα ήζει, δός τι και λάβε τη.Which fhard to them the spoiles that he had get alive. .
Manus manum lavat, da quid et accipe quid. 'Tis. Concerning the divisions of Alexander's con a trochaic verse, not quite compleated. But quered kingdoms, fee Q. Curtius, Edit. Sna- Spenser did not read višer
, but xvito Manus manum kenb. vol. ii..pag. 814.
fricat. See Erasmus in his Adages.