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morphoses, to which, I believe, he will not think it inferiour. ...
The miraculous incident of a tree shedding drops of blood, and a voice speaking from the trunk of it, is borrowed from that of Polidorus, in Book III. of Virgil's Æneis. Ariosto and Taffo have both copied the same story, though in a different manner. It was impossible that the modern poets, who have run so much into the taste of romance, should let a fiction of this kind escape their imitation.
The adventures which befal Una, after she is forsaken by the Knight; her coming to the house of Abeffa, or Superftition; the consternation occasioned by that visit; her reception among the favages ; and her civilifing them; are all very fine emblems. The education of Satyrane, a young Satyr, is described on this occasion with an agreeable wildness of fancy.
But there is one episode in this Book which I cannot but particularly admire; I mean that in Canto V. where Duessa the witch seeks the assistance of Night to convey the body of the wounded Pagan to be cured by Efculapius in the regions below. The Author here rises above himself, and is got into a track of imitating the Ancients, different from the greatest part of his Poem. The speech in which Duessa addresses Night is wonderfully great, and stained with that impious flattery which is the character of Falsehood, who is the speaker : : "O thou, most auncient grandmother of all,
“ More old than love, whom thou at first didst breede,
“ 'And fawst the fecrets of the world unınade!” As Dueffa came away haftily on this expedition, and forgot to put off the shape of Truth, which she had affumed a little before, Night does not know her: this circumstance, and the discovery afterwards, . HUGHES'S REMARKS when she owns her for her daughter, are finely emblematical. The images of Horrour are raised in a very masterly manner; Night takes the witch into her chariot, and being arrived where the body lay, they alight. • And, all the while she stood upon the ground, .“ The wakefull-dogs did never cease to bay; “ As giving warning of th’ unwonted sound, “ With which her yron wheeles did them affray, ** And her darke griefly looke them inuch disinay. “ The messenger of death, the ghastly owle,
With drery Thriekes did also her bewray ; " And hungry wolves continually did howle " At her abhorred face, fo filthy and so fowle.” They steal away the body, and carry it down through the cave Avernus, to the realms of Pluto. What strength of painting is there in the following lines !
« On every side them stood “ The trembling ghosts, with fad amazed mood, .66 Chattring their iron teeth, and staring wide 6. With stonie eies; and all the hellish brood
“ Of feends infernall flockt on every fide, “ To gaze on erthly wight, that with the Night durft ride." Longinus, commending a description in Euripides of Phaëton's journey through the heavens, in which the turnings and windings are marked out in a very Lively manner, says, That the foul of the poet seems to mount the chariot with him, and to share all his dangers. The reader will find himself in a like manner transported throughout this whole episode, which shows that it has in it the force and spirit of the most sublime poetry.
The first appearance of Prince Arthur, in this Book, is represented to great advantage, and gives - occasion to a very finished description of a martial
figure. How sprightly is that image and fimile in the following lines !
. Upon the top of all his loftie crest,
“ Whose tender lockes do tremble every one
I must not omit mentioning the House of Pride, and that of Holiness, which are beautiful Allegories in different parts of this Book. In the former of these there is a minute circumstance which is very artificial; for the reader may observe, that the fix counsellors which attend Pride in her progress, and ride on the beasts which draw her chariot, are placed in that order in which the Vices they represent naturally produce and follow each other. In the dungeon among the captives of Pride, the poet has represented Nebuchadnezzar, Cræsus, Antiochus, Alexander, and several other eminent persons, in circumstances of the utmost ignominy. • The moral is truly noble; for upon the fight of so many illuftrious slaves, the Knight hastens from the place, and makes his escape.
The defcription of Despair in Canto IX. is that which is said to have been taken notice of by Sir Philip Sidney: but I think the speech of Despair, in which the distempered reasonings that are apt to agitate the heart of a man abandoned to this passion are so pathetically represented, is much superiour to the description.
Among the Allegories in Canto X. it is impoffible not to distinguish that venerable figure of Con: 0 The moral is truly noble, &c.] I agree with Mr. Hughes ; but I think Spenser was very injudicions in placing Scipio among them, which ever of the Scipios he meant. I take it for granted that he meant Scipio Africanus. JORTIN.
templation, in his hermitage on the top of a hill, represented as an old man almoft wasted away in study:
“ With snowy lockes adowne his shoulders shed, .“ As hoary frost with spangles doth attire
“ The mossy braunches of an oke halfe ded.”
5. Is not from hence the way that leadeth right
“ With burning starres and ever-living fire?” This is extremely noble, as well as the old man's showing him, from the top of the hill, the heavenly Jerusalem, which was proper to animate the hero against the combat in which he is presently after engaged: His success in that combat, and his marrying Una, are a very just conclusion of this Book, and of its chief Allegory.
It would be easy to point out many instances, besides those I have mentioned, of the beauties in this Book; yet these few will give the reader a taste of that poetical spirit and genius for Allegory which every where shine in this Author. It would be endless to take notice of the more minute beauties of his epithets, his figures, and his fimiles, which occur. in almost every page. I shall only mention one or two as a specimen. That image of Strength, in ftriking a club into the ground, which is illustrated by the following fimile, is very great: • As when almightie love, in wrathfull mood,
“ To wreake the guilt of mortall fins is bent,
" And all that might his angry passage stay; : ... And, shooting in the earth, castes up a mount of clay.
“ His boystrous club, so buried in the grownd,
“ He could not rearen up againe, &c.” As also that of a giant's fall;
“ That downe he tombled; as an aged tree,
“ The mightie trunck halfe rent with ragged rift . “ Doth roll adowne the rocks, and fall with fearfull drift." These are such paffages as we may imagine our excellent Milton to have studied in this Author. And here, by the way, it is remarkable that as Spenser abounds with such thoughts as are truly fublime, so he is almoft every where free from the mixture of little conceits, and that low affectation of wit which so much infected both our verfe and prose afterwards, and from which scarce any writer of his own time, besides himself, was free.
I shall shorten my Remarks on the following Books; yet the beauties in them rise fo thick, that I must not pass them by without mentioning fome.' The Second Legend is framed on the Virtue of Ternperance, which gives the Author opportunity to lay out in defcription all the most luxurious images of pleasure, riches, and riot, which are opposed to it, and consequently makes it one of the most poetical Books of this whole Work. Sir Guyon is the hero, and the poet has given him Sobriety, in the habit of a palmer, for his guide and counsellor; as Homer has supposed Minerva or Wisdom, in the shape of Mentor, to attend Telemachus in his travels, when he is feeking out his father Ulysses. That shining description of Belphoebe, as a huntrefs, like Venus in Virgil, appearing to her fon Æneas, is designed as a compliment on Queen Elizabeth, and is therefore wrought up with the most finished beauty. Her speech in praise of that true glory which is only at