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in 1805, has furnished the materials for a large part of tl annotations. This is what is technically called a varioru edition, containing a reprint of all the labors of the previo editors, Hughes, Upton, and Church, and of the obse vations of Warton. The merits of this edition are n commensurate with Spenser's rank in English literatur There is a great deal of learned rubbish in it; much tro ble is often wasted in elucidating what is plain, and real difficult points are frequently passed by in silence.*
This edition, it may be remarked, has been heretofo the only one to be procured with notes and explanatio of the text; and the price of this has put it quite out < the reach of a large majority of readers.
In the performance of his task, which has formed ti agreeable employment of such leisure hours as could I snatched from an engrossing profession, the editor has fe a painful sense of his own incompetency, and claims me for little more than a most conscientious desire to be faithf to his trust, and to do justice to his author. The amou of labor, which it has required, is much more considerab than is obvious at first blush, and will only be correct estimated by such as have themselves undertaken a simil task. His work has been, however, a labor of love, ar has brought its own reward; and he will have nothing regret should he have succeeded in awakening and grai fying a taste for the poetry of Spenser in his countrymen.
* For an estimate of the value of this edition, see a review of it, wr ten by Sir Walter Scott, in the thirteenth number of the Edinburg Review, for October, 1805.
AN ESSAY ON THE LIFE AND WRIT
n 1805, has furnished the materials for a large part of the nnotations. This is what is technically called a variorum dition, containing a reprint of all the labors of the previous ditors, Hughes, Upton, and Church, and of the obserations of Warton. The merits of this edition are not ommensurate with Spenser's rank in English literature. 'here is a great deal of learned rubbish in it; much troue is often wasted in elucidating what is plain, and really fficult points are frequently passed by in silence.* This edition, it may be remarked, has been heretofore 3 only one to be procured with notes and explanations the text; and the price of this has put it quite out of 4 reach of a large majority of readers. In the performance of his task, which has formed the eeable employment of such leisure hours as could be tched from an engrossing profession, the editor has felt ainful sense of his own incompetency, and claims merit little more than a most conscientious desire to be faithful is trust, and to do justice to his author. The amount abor, which it has required, is much more considerable
is obvious at first blush, and will only be correctly ated by such as have themselves undertaken a similar
His work has been, however, a labor of love, and brought its own reward; and he will have nothing to
should he have succeeded in awakening and gratia taste for the poetry of Spenser in his countrymen.
INTRODUCTORY OBSERVATIONS ON T
A Letter of the Author's..
BOOK THE LEGEND OF THE KNIGHT OF I
r an estimate of the value of this edition, see a review of it, writSir Walter Scott, in the thirteenth number of the Edinburgli , for October, 1805.
THE LEGEND OF Sir Guyon, OR OF TEMPERAUNCE.
Canto I. ...
25 26 2€ 30 31 33 35
THE LEGEND OF Sir Guyon, OR OF TEMPERAUNCE..
Canto I. .....
EDMUND SPENSER was born in Ea the year 1553. In what situation of appear; but he was probably not ve in 1569, admitted a sizer in Pembroke however, in different parts of his wo Spencers of Althorpe, in Northan seems to have been allowed by tha his bachelor's degree in January, of arts in 1578. At Cambridge Gabriel Harvey, with whom he during the rest of his life. The biographers, that he was an unsuco ship in Pembroke Hall, is now con Cambridge it is supposed he went in the north ; but whether merely of filling some situation, is not k= however, was not of long durat
appears, for him to fall in love. Harvey, he was induced, “ for spe and for his more preferment,” as leave his residence in the non event which took place, it is su
In the following year, he published his “Shepheards Calender," a series of twelve eclogues, appropriated to, or rather named after, the twelve months of the year, and written in such antiquated diction that it was thought necessary, even at that time, to add an explanation of the obsolete words at the end of each eclogue. This pastoral is not confined to scenes of rural life, to sketches of rustic manners, and to descriptions of the beauties or peculiarities of natural scenery or of particu lar seasons; indeed, they form but a small part of it. Instead of them, Spenser has introduced his shepherds discussing the comparative merits of the Protestant and Romish churches disquisitions little favorable to the development of poetical genius, and, in a pastoral, not only out of place, but absurd. He has also made this, as well as almost every other of his productions, the vehicle of panegyric on his sovereign. « The Shepheards Calender," in fact, is very moral, and, for the most part, very dull; possessing little that is tender or beautiful, and affording few indications of that excellence which the author afterwards attained. There are, however, some passages not deficient in accurate and forcible description. Sir Philip Sidney, to whom it was dedicated, speaks of it in measured terms of praise: '66 The Shepheards Calender, says he, “has much poetry in he Eclogues indeed worth the reading, if I be not deceived." It obtained some reputation for the author: Abraham Fraunce, a lawyer, a poet, and a friend of Sidney, drew from it part of his illustrations in The Logick of the Law, and it passed through five editions in Spenser's lifetime.
Some curiosity has been excited respecting Spenser's friend and commentator, E. K. That he was not the poet himself, as has been lately suggested, we are bound to believe, from the high strain of eulogium in which he indulges when speaking of Spenser; although the latter evidently thought highly of his own genius. From the circumstance of the name of Mrs. Kerke occurring in one of Spenser's letters to Harvey, in which E. K. is mentioned as desiring his hearty commendations to Harvey, some have conjectured that his name was Kerke. This friend, who says he was made privy to his counsel and secret meaning in these eclogues," informs us that “Rosalind is a feigned name, which being well ordered, will bewray the very name of his