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chair into the throne,” was to patronise, the literature of the times. In a more enlightened age, the fame attention to letters, and love of scholars, might have produced proportionable effects on sciences of real utility. This caft of mind in the king, however indulged in some cases to an oftentatious affectation, was at least innocenti . Allegory, notwithftanding, unexpectedly rekindled · foņie faint sparks of its native splendour, in the purple Island of Phineas Fletcher, with whom it almost as foon disappeared : when a poetry succeeded, in which imagination gave way to correcinets, sublimity of description to delicacy of sentiment, and majestick imagery to conceit and epigram. Poets began now to be more attentive to words, than to things and objects. The nicer beauties of happy expreffion were preferred to the daring ftrokes of great conception. Satire, that bane of the sublime, was imported from France. The Muses were debauched at court; and polite life, and familiar man
< Printed in the year 1633. The principal fault of this, poem is, that the author has discovered too much of the anatomist. The Purple Isand, is the Ife of Man, whose parts and construction the poet has described in an allegorical manner, viz. the bones are the foundation of it, the veins its brooks, &c. Afterwards the intellectual faculties are represented as persons; but he principally shines where he personifies the paffions and evil concupiscencies of the heart, who attack the good qualities of the heart alike personified, which, under the conduct of their leader Intellect, rout the former. In this poem there is also somewhat of a metaphysical tury. As the whole is supposed to be sung by two shepherds, the poet has found an opportunity of adorning the beginnings and endings of his. cantos with some very pleasing pastoral touches. . This poem seems to bear some resemblance to the Psycomachią of Prudentius. T. WARTON.
. See more concerning the Purple Thand, and works of similar defcription, in my concluding note on these Remarks relating to Spenser's allegorical charačter. Todd.
ners, became their only themes. The fimple dignity of Milton was either entirely neglected, or
Thus 'when Voltaire read his Henriade to Malezieuz, that learned man assured him, his work would not be tasted; for, says he, “ Les François n'ont pas le tete epique." In other words, “The French have no idea of solemn and sublime poetry ; of fi&tion and fable : the Satires of Boileau will be preferred to the best Epick poem.", T. WARTON.
e Even Dryden, blinded by the beauties of versification only, seems not to have had a jult idea of Milton's greatness. It is odd, that in praising Milton, he should insist on these circumftances. “ No man has so copiously translated Homer's Grecisms, and the Latin elegancies of Virgil.” By what follows it appears, that he had no notion of Milton's fimplicity. “He runs into a flat thought sometimes for a hundred lines together, bụt 'tis when he is got into a track of scripture.” He afterwards strangely misrepresents Milton's reason for writing in blank verse. « Neither will I juftifie Milton for his writing in blank verse; for, whatever causes he alleges for the abolishing of rhime, (which I have not now the leisure to examine,) his own particular reason is plainly this, that Rhime wus not his talent." Whether rhyme was Milton's talent or not, I Mall not enquire, but thall infer, from this reason alligned by Dryden, that had Dryden composed the Paradise Lost he would have written it in rhyme, and that consequently, with Burnet, he judged the want of it an imperfection in Milton's poem. See dedication to Dryden's Juvenal. T. WARTON. · Swift, in his Advice to a Young Poet, admirably ridicules a design, then publickly announced, he says, of turning the PARADISE Lost into rhyme. The attempts have thown the impotence of the Reformers. Even Dryden's Fall of Man is disa gufting, when we think on the unthackled lines of Milton. Other rhymers have pretended to improve the fame of the blind bard. Their jingle' has excited only ridicule or contempt. One of these worthies mentions that he was induced to put Milton into rhyme, partly for the sake of obliging the ladies ! See the edition of Milton, 1801. vol. i. p. ccvii. In the Royal Grammar, published in 1715, Milton's blank verse is not altogether relised; and the self-complacent author adds, “ It is not impossible, but the Paradise may admit a second cultivation, and perhaps receive new beauties from another dress; at leaft be generally read with more pleasure; and, which is no fmall benefit of rhyme, be retained with more ease; of which take this short Etay upon that passage, B. ii. p. 42, ediț, 1674.
mistaken for bombast and insipidity, by the refined readers of a diffolute age, whose taste and morals were equally vitiated. · From this detail it will appear, 'that allegorical poetry, through many gradations, at laft received its ultimate consummation in the Faerie Queene. Under this confideration therefore, I hope what I have here collected on this subject, will not seem too great a deviation from the main subject of the prefent remarks; which I conclude with the just and pertinent sentiments of the Abbé du Bos, on allegorical action, Reflexions, tom. i. c. 25. The pasfage, though properly respecting dramatick poets, is equally applicable to the action of the Faerie Queene. “ It is impossible for a piece, whose subject is an allegorical action, to intereft us.very inuch. Those, which writers of approved wit and talents have hazarded in this kind, have not succeeded so well as others, where they have been dir posed to be less ingenious, and to treat historically their subject.-Our heart requires truth even in fiction itself; and, when it is presented with an allegorical fiction, it cannot determine itself, if I may be allowed the expression, to enter into the sentiments of those chimerical personages. A theatrical piece, were it to speak only to the mind, would never be capable of engaging our attention
Omame to men ! Devil with devil damn'd, &c. “ O shame! O curse! O more than hellith spight! i " Damn'd Devils with each other never fight. i .
“ Tho' God bids peace with promises of life, . . « Men onely reason'arm for deadly strife; . “ By bloody wars earth making desolate,
“ And facrificing thousands to their hate, &c.” We shall be led to make the fame remark on such a refiner, as Sinith does on Bayes in the Rehearsal: “ I can hold no longer; I must gag this rogue; there's no enduring of him !"
through the whole performance. We may' therefore apply the words of Lactantius upon this occafion. Poetick licence has its bounds, beyond which you are not permitted to carry your fiction. A poet's art consists in making a good representation of things that might have really happened, and embellishing them with elegant images. Totum cutem, quod referas, fingere, id eft ineptum esse et mendacem, potius quam poetaın *.” T. WARTON.
* To Mr. Warton's REMARKS ON ALLEGORY I Mall venture to add fome circumstances, which may not be found uninteresting. iu.in
It has escaped the notice of the commentators, that a Latin poem was published many years before the FAERIE QUEENE, the subject of which might possibly give a hint to Spenser. This poem, representing Popery as a Cyclops, relates, in seven books, the tyranny and artifices of it; assuming classical names to de. scribe papal persons and things. The author, at the end of the poem, "explains his allegory, by the following lines, to which there is a marginal note, viz. Allegorica expofiio de Cyclopibus.
* Hactenus effictain tibi rem narramus, at ipfari
* Cortice fub tenui myftica fensa latent.. i
“ Temporibus noftris, temporibúfque fuis.' :
" In quoduis vitium, qui fine lege ruunt.
" Hoc et Cyclopes monstra cruenta volunt.
« Præterea quotquot non meminitle queam.” The poein itself is written in hexameters, and is thus entitled : 66 SEPTEM CYCLOPEIDON LIBRI, Originem, Ingenium, Inftitutionem, Leges, et Regnum fatale bis nati CYCLOPIS, iucundo Satyrici generis figmento repræsentantes, olim in gratiam INTERIM cæpti, nunc autem demum Heroico Carmine elaborati, recenfque editi, per Menfonem Poppium Eurothalafum alias Oferzeenfem,
Frifum, verbi ministrum in Mansacht Frihe Orientalis. Anno "1555.” The palace of Night, who represents the influence of
Popery, is described in the first Book with much fpirit; and
“ Ipsa satellitio ftipatur utrinque frequenti:
“ Inde Superstiho tetro fedet impia visu :
“ Impiaque ignitis Truculentia fpeétat ocellis, &c."rugog 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 Frenchmar; and transated out of French into English, by W. 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 Voluptuousnesse, either of them offering to conduct and guide him on the way, Cl. vi. How the Wandring Knight was received and welcomed to the pallace of worldly Felicity, Ch. viii.” In the second part, « Gods-Grace Meweth Hell unto the knight, with all the voluptuous company that hee saw in the pallace of worldly Felicity, Ch. ii." In tbe third part, Faith, Hope, and Charity are described, Ch. ii. iii. iv. &c. As are the four Moral Virtues, Ch. vii. And, in the eighth Chapter, Faith, like Spenfer's hermit, “from the top of the tower of the pallace of Lady Vertue shewetb unto the Knight the City of Heaven." De