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39, 4. Or thine, &c.;—' is the fault thine or mine?'
8. Which doen away ;—when this swoon had passed away. Archimago afterwards recovered from this “cloude of death.”
40, 3. has the guerdon of his guile ;-'is repaid for his deceit.'
41, 5. did weene the same Have reft away ;-—' thought (to) have,' &c. The sign of the infinitive omitted.
43, 4. save or spill ;—this is Chaucer's phrase, “ye may save or spille.”— Clerkes Tale, 3. 55.
7. will or nill ; — will he or ne-will he,' now shortened usually to willy nilly.” So note=ne-wote. An A.S. contraction, as seen in the verb nabban = not to have (ne babban), næs=ne wæs, was not, &c.
44, 9. in beastly kind ;-in his natural place and condition as a beast. The word .beast' used to have no bad sense. So it is used in the English Bible, for the living creatures' of the Apocalypse.
Duessa guides the knight to the house of Pride, wbere he sees Lucifera,
Queen of Pride, with her six bateful counsellors. Thither also comes Sansjoy, who, seeing his brother's shield in the possession of the Red Cross Knight, challenges him to do battle for it.
1, 1. Notice the dignified opening of this canto. 2, 6. A goodly building ;- the house of Pride.
8. a broad high way ;-cp. Matth. 7. 13.
9. All bare through peoples feet;—this seems to shew, as is doubtless true, that in Spenser's day the English highroads were all grass-grown, not paved or gravelled. 3, 2. of each degree and place ;—' of all orders and ranks of society.'
3. scaped bard ;-' hardly escaped,' with difficulty and great loss.
6. Like loathsome lazars ;—leprosy was still common in England in the sixteenth century. 7. bend bis pace ;
-bend his steps ;' 'pace' used like the Italian passo. 5, i. a goodly heape ;-' a goodly pile.' See Gloss. Heape.
3. full great pittie ;— very great pity (it was).' Spenser desires to point out the false bravery of Pride, its tinsel front, its shifting foundations, and squalid “hinder partes,” in comparison with the solidity of true dignity and worth. The Red Cross Knight, falling from one error to another, having taken Duessa (falsehood) for Una (truth), now finds himself in a wrong position at the house of Pride: here, however, he bears himself nobly, and escapes at last with difficulty from it and from Duessa.
6, 1. they passed in forth right ;-' forth right' (=straight on) is formed like · forthwith.'
4. Malvenù ;- ;- ill-come,' opposite to 'welcome.'
6. array .... arras ;-Spenser delights in these · half rhymes,' which are grateful to all the northern languages.
7, 1. them .. , them ;—first = the crowd, second=the Knight and Duessa.
8, 5. A mayden Queene ;-this description is intended to set forth the rival to the Faery. Queene, not without reference to Mary Queen of Scots.
as Titans ray ;— like sunlight.'
9. As envying her selfe, &c.;—' her beauty tried to dim the brightness of her glorious throne, which in its turn envied, or emulated her, who shone so exceeding brightly.'
9, 1. Phoebus fairest childe ;-Phaethon, who tried to drive the steeds of Helios : failing, and endangering the earth, he was killed by a flash of lightning, sent from the hand of Zeus.
7. the welkin way most beaten plaine ;- the established path of the sun through the heavens.
10, 4. was layne ;—p.p. of 'to lie;' we should have expected. was laid.' 11, I.
Of griesly Pluto, &c.;—this mythological genealogy is a piece of Spenser's own imagery, and is not derived from classical sources.
5. thundring Jove ;-Jupiter Tonans, the lord of the thunderbolt. 12, 1. proud Lucifera ;—what is the connection between the classical Lucifer (Phosphorus) and the Lucifer of mediæval theology? In the classics Lucifer is simply the Morning Star, and Lucifera an epithet or title of Artemis ; nor is there any trace of a bad sense attributed to these
But early in Christian times a connection was established through Isaiah 14. 12,
“ How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the Morning !" (In the Vulgate, “ Quomodo cecidisti de caelo, Lucifer.") Now the Hebrew word Hillel, here rendered • Lucifer,' means (as also does Lucifer) the Morning Star (from the verb to shine, Pi. 557 to give lustre). But this verb also means to be haughty, proud, arrogant;' and so the fall of Hillel was taken to refer to the fall of the proud Star of the Morning, the downfall of some proud angel. Again, Isaiah is speaking of the fall of Babylon, and as, throughout Scripture, Babylon stands for tyranny and the power of man set against God, it was natural that the fall of Babylon under the name of Lucifer should, from Jerome downwards, have been held to typify the fall of Satan and his kingdom : and thence the name Lucifer came to be applied to Satan or one of his chief angels. Spenser, however, takes only the attribute of pride, which we have shown to have come from the second sense of Hillel, and creates for himself a splendid mythological figure, with a genealogy connected with the infernal regions, in their classical, not their mediæval form.
5. usurpe ... upon ;-here used as equivalent to seize.'
pollicie ;-notice the strong English sense of the rule of law, as opposed to the rule of policy' or statescraft, as exemplified in Spain.
8. six wizards old ;—who with her made up the seven deadly sins. 14, 7. Some frounce, &c. ;-compare the fashions of the court of Elizabeth with those of the days of Victoria !
9. each others, &c. ;-' each spites the greater pride of the others.' 16, 4. As faire Aurora ;—she is named Lucifera, light of the morning; hence she is fitly likened to Aurora.
9. Her glorious glitterand light;—so ed. 1590; the ordinary reading is 'glitter and light,' the printers not recognising the old participial form (as again used, vii. 29, “His glitterand armour;" so also he writes trenchand'). 17, 3. Flora in ber prime ;—Flora (goddess of flowers) in the spring-tide, her best time.
5. Great Junoes golden chaire ;—described as golden by Homer (Il. 5. 727). But in his description it is drawn not by peacocks but by horses. The peacock was considered sacred to Hera, and in representations of her stands by her side, but is not supposed to draw her chariot.
7. To Joves high house through heavens bras-paved way ;-Homer uses the epithet. brass-paved' (II. 14. 173) of the house of Jove.
9. Argus eyes ;-the mythical Argus, surnamed Panoptes (the allseer), had a hundred eyes, some or other of which were always awake. At his death Hera transplanted his eyes into the peacock's tail.
18, 4. With like conditions to their kinds applyde ;—the six beasts were taught to obey the “ bestiall beheasts” of the six deadly sins, which behests were applied with like conditions'-i.e. were of a nature analogous tom their kinds (or proper natures). Spenser means to say that the Counsellors and the beasts they rode were of like character—Idleness and the ass, Gluttony and the swine, &c.
19, 7. May seeme;– for it may seem ;' so we say maybe' for 'it
20, 3. he chalenged essoyne ;—he claimed exemption. See Gloss. Essoyne.
7. through evill guise ;-through bad manner of living.' 21, 4. swollen were his eyne ;-cp. Ps. 73. 7, “their eyes swell with fatness."
5. like a crane bis neck was long :—Spenser has in mind the tale told by Aristotle of the glutton who wished his neck were as long as that of a crane, that he might the longer enjoy his food. (Eth. N. 3. 10. 10.)
27, 2. Upon a camell ;-Spenser may allude to the story given by Herodotus about the quest for gold in India. It was with camels that the Indians succeeded in carrying off the gold from the “ants as big as foxes." (Hdt. 3. 102.)
9. And right and wrong, &c. ;—that is, he counted right and wrong to be exactly the same thing.
28, 9. unto him selfe unknowne ;- he knew not the wretchedness of his
30, 2. still did chaw, &c.;-So Ovid, Met. 2. 76, makes Envy eat the flesh of vipers.
7. death it was, when any good he saw ;— it was death to him to see the prosperity of others.' This malignity, which pines at the well-being of the deserving, and rejoices at their misfortunes, is described by Aristotle, Eth. N. 2. 7. 15.
32, 2. And him no lesse ;—he hated not only good works themselves, but those also who did them.
4. His almes for want of faith he doth accuse ;~' he finds fault with that man's alms as being devoid of faith. Perhaps a side stroke at the Antinomians.
9. fifte ;-edd. 1590, 1596, read 'first :' but it is corrected in the Faults Escaped of 1590 to 'fifte.' 33, 7. seeming ded ;
;-so pale in face that he looked like a corpse.
35, 3. unthrifty scath ;-mischief, damage which recks not what destruction it works; or • unthrifty' may here mean' wicked;' or it may be simply • mischief that never thrives.'
7. swelling splene ;—the physicians believed that a swollen spleen was a symptom and cause of anger. So we still use the word “splenetic' of a hot-tempered man.
8. Saint Fraunces fire ;-St. Anthony's fire, or erysipelas. 38, 2. the breathing fields ;- either the fields full of fresh air,' or 'full of sweet-breathing odours.'
39, 1, 2. Wbo... He;-one of these nominatives is superfluous. “Who when' must be taken as equivalent to “and when,' or 'but when.!
7. which ought that warlike wage ; – to whom that gage of warlike prowess belonged.' See Gloss. Ougbt.
41, 4. to see ;-=at seeing; shewing that the Engl. infinitive is in reality a verbal substantive, as also in such phrases as · for to go,'' from to proceed.' See note to Bk. II. xii. 26. 5.
7. field did fight;— fought in battle-field.'
9. renverst;— the reversed shield was the sign of disgrace. 42, 7. So be ;- if so be.'
9. He never meant with words, &c.; -following Ariosto, Orl. Fur. 9. 57.
44, 6. Morpheus bad with leaden mace ;-Morpheus, the god of sleep, is represented as carrying a leaden wand, which weighs down the eyelids of So Shakespeare, Jul. Caes. iv. 3:
“O murderous sleep! Lay'st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy?” 46, 5. launcht with lovely dart;--lanced (pricked) with the dart of love.
6. joyed bowre ;-either = rejoiced for an hour, or to joy=to enjoy. 47, 4. who unworthy, &c.;— who, being unworthy of it, wore the shield of him (Sansfoy) whom he slew, having entrapped him.'
48, 9. wandring Stygian shores ;-the shore of the infernal river Styx, on which the ghosts wander. The epithet 'wandering,' here applied to the shore, really refers to the ghosts thereon.
49, 4. did never vantage none ;-'did never advantage (profit) any one;' the double negative, still the common idiom of the people.
5. helplesse bap;luck which cannot be helped (avoided 01 remedied).'
8. shall him pay his dewties last ;-'shall perform his last obsequies ;' i. e. shall slay the Red Cross Knight as a propitiatory sacrifice to his ghost.
50, 2. oddes of armes ;— disparity of chances in war,' the probabilities of mishap in arms.
51, 5. Sans foyes dead dowry;—'the dowry of dead Sansfoy.'
The Red Cross Knight fights with Sansjoy, and subdues him; but Duessa
spreads a mist over his senseless form, so that the Knight may not find him to slay him. Afterwards she descends to Hell and brings back Night, who in her chariot conveys the stricken Paynim to Aesculapius, who, though unwillingly, undertakes to heal him. Duessa returning to the house of Pride, finds that the elfin Knight and his dwarf have fled
In this canto the notable stanzas are those which describe the descent of Duessa to Hell, and her return thence with Night.
2, 3. fresh as bridegrome ;—an allusion to Ps. 19. 5, though Spenser has somewhat wrested the place. 4. Came dauncing forth ;--so Milton's May-Day Song:
“ Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East.” 3, 4, 6. minstrales...bardes ;—the minstrels were musicians (ministri, rather than minne-sänger); the bards were singers, especially of songs of war; to the chroniclers fell the part of the troubadours—love and gentle deeds.
maken ;-the old pl. in -en, which did not go out till Henry the Seventh's reign.
7. timely voices ;--voices singing in time with their harps. 4, 2. woven maile ;—the coat of mail is rightly woven,' for mail (Ital. maglia, a mesh of a net) properly signifies chain-armour.
5. wines of Greece and Araby ;-the Greek wines were always famous, but those of Araby are a poetic fiction; while the “ spices fetcht from furthest Ynd” would have suited Arabia better than India.
7. beat of corage privily;—this pocket-courage' was kindled 'privily,' that is, within their hearts.
5, 3. unto a paled greene ;—a green field surrounded with a paling-lists for tournament. See Gloss. Paled.
8. Sans foy bis shield ;- this pedantic method of forming the genitive case clearly arose from a misapprehension of the older form of the English genitive which ended in -is, though it is possible that this later form in s may originally be connected with the possessive pronoun. Marsh, Lectures, p. 280, definitely calls it a 'misapprehension.' It occurs very early in the English language (as early as Lazamon's Brut). In the Auth. Vers. of the Bible, at the heading of Ruth 3, we have, “ By Naomi her instruction Ruth lieth at Boaz his feet,” which carries the misapprehension out to its fullest extent.
9. Both those, &c.;-Duessa and the shield are to be the two “lawrell girlonds," the prizes for the victor.
8, 2. As when a gryfon, &c.;—'as when a gryfon that has seized on his prey, meets in his flight with a dragon making idle (? clear, or unencumbered) way, which (dragon) would snatch away the gryfon's rightful ravine, and they rush together...
...so the one strives,' &c. Cp. Milton, P. L. 2. 943. A griffin is a vulture or eagle. Mediæval mythology made it a chimæra with an eagle's head and fore part, and a lion's hind quarters and tail.
10, 1. At last tbe Paynim, &c.;-cp. Virg. Aen. 12. 940.