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Frifum, verbi ministrum in Manflacht Fripa Orientalis. Anno
“ Ipsa satellitio ftipatur utrinque frequenti :
“ Impiaque ignitis Truculentia fpectat ocellis, &c." I know not whether The VOYAGE OF THE WANDRING Knight, a French fpiritual romance, was published in its own language before the FAERIE QueenE. But the English translation of it was dedicated to Sir Francis Drake, Spenser's cotemporary, who died in 1597. This work has also been unnoticed by the commentators. The following edition of it is in Sion College Library, London. “THE VOYAGE OF THE WANDRING KNIGHT. Shewing the whole course of Mans Life, how apt he is to follow Vanity, and how hard it is for him to attayn to Vertue. Devised by John Cartheny, a Frenchman ; and translated out of French into English, by IV. G. of Southampton, Merchant. A work worthy the reading; and dedicated to the Right Worshipfull Sir Francis Drake, Knight. Lond. 1650.” 4to. bl. 1. The dedication contains many allusions to Sir Francis's acquaintance with the sea. The work is divided into three parts. In the first part, “ Folly apparelleth and armeth the Wandring Knight, Ch. iv. The Wandring Knight, finding two wayes and doubtfull whether of them to take, there chaunced to come to him Vertue and Voluptuousnefle, either of them offering to conduct and guide him on the way, Ch. vi. How the Wandring Knight was received and welcomed to the pallace of worldly Felicity, Ch. viii.” In the second part, ão Gods-Grace Theweth Hell unto the knight, with all the voluptuous company that hee saw in the pallace of worldly Felicity, Ch. ii.” In the third part, Faith, Hope, and Charity are described, Ch. ii, iii. iv, &c. As are the four Moral Virtues, Ch. vii. And, in the eighih Chapter, Faith, like Spenser's hermit, “from the top of the tower of the pallace of Lady Vertue Theweth unto the Knight the City of Heaven.” De Bure makes no mention of this fpiritual romance. And Du Fresnoy only gives an account of an edition of it, not dated, but placed between two modern books of 1681 and 1729, in his Bibliotheque des Romans, tom. ii. 172. “Le voyage du Chevalier errant, par Jean de Carthemi, Dominicain, in 8vo."
Spiritual allegories of this kind, I may add, became frequent in this country, and were read with avidity. Witness “The Isle of Man: or, The Legall Proceeding in Man-fhire against Sinne. Wherein, by way of a continued Allegorie, the chiefo Malefactors disturbing both Church and Commonwealth are den tected and attached; with their Arraignment, and Judiciall Trial, according to the Lawes of England. The Spirituall vse thereof, with an apologie for the manner of handling, most ne. cellary to be first read, for direction in the right vse of the Allegory thorowout, is added in the end. By Rich. Bernard, Rector of Batcomb, Somerset. 1628.” 12mo. The fifth edition of this work, is that which now lies before me. To this work I am of opinion we may attribute John Bunyan's PILGRIM's PROGRESS; and also Benjamin Keach's TRAVELS OF TRUE Gode Liness, and his PROGRESS OF SIN. Perhaps P. Fletcher had also in mind the ISLE of Man, when he denominated his allegorical poem The Purple ISLAND. There is, however, an elder work, entitled “ ROOME FOR A MESSE OF KNAVES," 4to. 1610, in which is “A narration of a strange but true battell fought in the little The (or worlde) of Mun.” Man is represented as a “ castle beleaguer'd by two huge armies;" the Virtues, and the Vices. And the author seems to have had his eye on the foes of Alina in the FAERIE QUEEN E.
Neither Mr. Spence nor Mr. Warton have made the least mention of Henry More's PLATONICK SONG OF THE SOUL; a poem written avowedly in imitation of Spenser, and often presenting as just an allegory and as sweet a itanza as the original which it professes to follow. This poem, in three Books, was firft printed in 1642, and again in 1647. Milton, I think, appears to have read it with attention. More indeed was his fellow-collegian, and friend. The criticks have also neglected to notice the PsyCHE, OR Love's MYSTERIE, by Jof. Beaumont, fol. 1651.
It remains, that I should mention the allegorical design of one of Spenfer's cotemporaries, viz. John Day, whom I suppose to be the dramatick writer of that name, and who was a member of Caius College, Cambridge. The work, of which I am to give an account, is in manuscript; and is one of the many literary curiosities which belonged to the late Duke of Bridges water, and now belong to his Grace's nephew, Earl Gower. It is entitled, PEREGRINATIO SCHOLASTICA, or, Learninges Pillgrimadge. Containeinge the straunge Aduentures, and various Entertainements, he founde in his trauailes towardes the Shrine of Latria. Composede, and deuided into seuerall Morrall Traclates, by John Daye, Cantabr.” It is not dated. In his dedication to Mr. 'l'homas Dowton, gentleman, he calls his composition “ a morall poeme;" but he could not mean a metrical composition, for the whole is in profe. The Tractates are twenty in number. The first contains “ Learninges parentage, his occasion of Trauaile, his attendants, and entertainement amongft the Cosmophili, or world. louers.” The second... “ An inuitation froin Poneria; his purposle to visit her, with : the losse of Time, &c.” The fifth, “ what masques and dances.. Ponerias 7 champeons entertaine him withall; at which he fell in loue with Poneria.” The fixth, “ Alethe incastrata, . or Truthe in prisoun, discouering Poneria to be a strumpett; and her seyen champeons, the 7 deadlie fins." The characters of the seven deadly. fins are drawn with reference to Gower, Chaucer, Lydgate, &c. In the last Tractate, “ Ext perience directs Learning the next and onelie way to the thrine of Latria.” This account may serve to show the fonduess for • allegory in Spenfer's days. TODD.
ALTHOUGH Spenser's favourite Chaucer had made use of the ottava rima', or ftanza of eight lines; yet it seems probable, that Spenser was principally induced to adopt it, with the addition of one line, from the practice of Ariosto and Taffo,
a Chaucer's stanza is not strictly fo. Betusli, in his life of Boccace, acquaints us, that Boccace was the inventor of the ottava rima, and that the Theseide of that author was the first poem in which it was ever applied. T, WARTON.
the most fashionable poets of his age. But Spenser, in choosing this stanza, did not sufficiently confider the genius of the English language, which does not easily fall into a frequent repetition of the same termination; a circumstance natural to the Italian, which deals largely in identical cadences.
Besides, it is to be remembered, that Taffo and Ariosto did not embarrass themselves with the necessity of finding out fo many similar terminations as Spenser. Their ottava rima has only three fimilar endings, alternately rhyming. The two last lines formed a distinct rhyme. But, in Spenser, the second rhyme is repeated four times, and the third three. This constraint led our author into many absurdities; the most striking and obvious of which seem to be the following.
1. It obliged him to dilate the thing to be expreffed, however unimportant, with trilling and tedious circumlocutions, viz. F. Q. ii. ii. 44.
6 Now hath fair Phicebe with her silver face . . . .
i " In which her roiall presence is enrold.” That is, It is three months Gnce I left her palace.
II. It neceffitated him, when matter failed towards the close of a stanza, to run into a ridiculous redundancy and repetition of words, as in F. Q: ii. ix. 33. . .
.' .“ In' which was nothing pourtrahed nor wrought, it “ Nor wrought nor pourtraked, but easie to be thought.''
III. It forced him, that he might make out his complement of rhymes, to introduce a puerile or impertinent idea, as in F. Q. ii. ix. 45. .
See examples of the measures of the Provencial poets, in Petrarch. Spenser forms a compound of many of these,
“ Nor that proud towre of Troy, though richly GUILT." Being here laid under the compulfion of producing a confonant word to spilt and built, which are preceding rhymes, he has mechanically given us an image at once little and improper.
To the difficulty of a stanza to injudiciously chosen, I think we may properly impute the great number of his elleipses; and it may be easily conceived, how that constraint, which occafioned fuperfluity, should at the same time be the cause of omiffion.
Notwithstanding these inconveniencies flow from Spenser's measure, it must yet be owned, that fome advantages arise from it; and we may venture to affirm, that the fullness and fignificancy of Spenser's defcriptions, is often owing to the prolixity of his stanza, and the multitude of his rhymes. The difcerning reader is desired to consider the following ftanza, as an instance of what is here advanced. Guyon is binding FUROR, F. Q. ii. iv. 15. 66 With hundred yron chaines he did him bind, *".
" And hundred knots, that did him fore constraine:
“ Shakt his long locks colourd like copper-wyre, 6 And bit his tawny beard to Thew his raging yře.”'
In the subsequent ftanzá there are some images, which perhaps were produced by a multiplicity of rhymes. F. Q. iv. v. 45. ins.“ He all that night, that too long night, did passe :: i 66 And now the day out of the ocean-mayne
6 Began to peepe above this earthly masle, ." With pearly dew sprinkling the morning grasse :
“ Then up he rose like heavie lump of lead,
"" That in his face, as in a looking glasse, .. “ The ligns of anguish one might plainely read."