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natural English words, as have been long time out of use, and almost cleane difherited; which is the only cause that our mother-tongue, which truly of itselfe is both full enough for profe, and stately enough for verse, hath long time beene counted most bare and barren of both; which default, when as some have endeavoured to salve and recure, they patched up the holes with peeces and ragges of other languages; borrowing here of the French, there of the Italian, and every where of the Latine; not weighing how ill those tongues accord with themfelves, but much worse with ours; fo now they have made our Englishe tongue a gallimaufrey, or hodge-podge of all other speeches.” Thus that, which induced Spenser to adopt so much obsolete language in the Pastorals, induced him likewise to do the same in the. Faerie Queene. Hence too it appears, that he was disgusted with the practice of his contemporary writers, who had adulterated, according to his judgement, the purity of the English tongue, by various innovations from the Spanish, French, Latin, and Italian. And, that this was a prevailing affectation in the age of queen Elizabeth, may be concluded from the following passages.; Thus Marston in his Satires, Proem. b. 2. .
“ I cannot quote a motte Italianate ;
“ Or brand my Satires with a Spanish terme." Bishop Hall in his Satires, published in 1597.
“ There if he can with termes Italianate,
“ Big-founding sentences, &c.” And Camden, having given us a specimen of the Lord's prayer in old English, has these words: “ Hitherto will our sparkfull youth laugh at their great grand-fathers English, who had more care to do well, than to speak minion-like; and left more glory to us by their exploiting great actes, than we
mhus Marston in his motte Italianate in terme.”
shall by our forging new words, and uncouth phrases.” Remains, Artic. Languages. A learned gentleman, one R. C. [Carew] who has addressed a letter to Camden, inserted in that author's Remains, thus speaks. “So have our Italian travellers brought us acquainted of their sweet-relished phrases; even we feeke to make our good of our late Spanish enemie, and fear as little the hurt of his tongue, as the dint of his sword.” Again, “We within these fixty years have incorporated so many Latin and French words, as the third part of our tongue consisteth now in them.” And Ascham, in his Schole-Master, informs us, that not only the language, but the manners, of Italy had totally infected his country-men, where he is describing the ITALIANIZED ENGLISHMAN.
Qur author's disapprobation of this practice appears more fully from his own words, where he expressly hints that Chaucer's language, which he so closely copied, was the pure English, F. Q. iv. ji. 32.
“ Dan Chaucer well of ENGLISH UNDEFILDE." · But although Spenser disapproved of this corrupt adulteration of style, fo fashionable in his age, yet we find him notwithstanding frequently introducing
& The same author acquaints us, that about this time an infinite number of Italian books were translated into English: among the rest, were many Italian novels; the translations of whịch, Shakspeare manifestly made use of for some of his plots.
T. WARTON. Þ A learned and fagacious lexicographer gives a very different account of the purity of Chaucer's style. ."Chaucerus, pesfimo exemplo, integris vocum plauftris ex eadem Gallia in noftram linguam invectis; eam, nimis antea à Normannorum victoria adulteratam, omyi fere nativa gratia et nitore fpoliavit, pro genuinis coloribus fucum illinens, pro vera facie larvam indu. ens." Skinner, Præfat. ad Etymolog. Ling. Anglic. T. WARTON, words from a foreign tongue, such as, visnomie", amenance, arret, mesprise, Jovenance, affrap, aguisé, amenage, abase, and the like; but these words the frequent return of his rhyme obliged him to introduce, and accordingly they will generally be found at the end of his lines. The poverty of our tongue, or rather the unfrequency of its identical terminations, compelled him likewise, for the sake of rhyme, perpetually to coin new English words,' such as damnify'd, unmercify'd, wonderment, warriment, unruliment, habitaunce, hazardrie, &c. To this cause his many Latinisms also may be attributed, which, like all the rest, are substituted to make out the neceffary jingle.
The centure of Ben Jonson, in his Discoveries, upon our author's style, is perhaps unreasonable : “ Spenser, in affecting the ancients, writ no language." The ground-work and substance of his ftyle is the language of his age. This indeed is seasoned with various expressions, adopted from the elder poets; but in such a manner, that the language of his age was rather strengthened and dignified, than debated or disguised, by such a practice. In truth, the affectation of Spenser in this point, is by no means to striking and visible, as Jonson has infinuated ; nor is his phraseology to difficult and obsolete, as it is generally supposed to be. For many stanzas together, we may frequently read him with as much facility, as we can the same number of lines in Shakspeare.
i such as, visnomie, &c.] He was probably led to this practice, in many instances, by preceding writers. In the very first word here cited by Mr. Warton, visnomie, he is authorised by Hawes, Hift. of Graunde Amoure, &c. edit. 1554. Sign. Q. ii. 6. • 66 And, when that he vnto vs drewe nye,
5.6 I beheld his body and his visenamye.” We are therefore not to condemn the poet too bastily. See also these words noticed in their respective places, TODD.
But although I cannot subscribe to Jonson's opinion concerning Spenser's language, I must confer's that the following sentiments of that critick, concerning the use of old words in poetry, are admirable. “Words borrowed of antiquity, do lend a kind of majesty to style, and are not without their delight sometimes. For they have the authority of yeares, and out of their intermiffion do lend a kind of grace-like newneffe. But the eldest of the present, and the newest of the past language is the best.” But Jonson has literally translated the latter part of the paragraph, from Quintilian, without acknowledgment, Inft. Or. I. i. cap. 6. " Ergo ut novorum optima erunt maxime vetera, ita veterum maxime
I conclude these Remarks with a passage from the nervous, poetical, and witty satires of bilhop Hall; who, having censured the petty poets of his age for their various corruptions, and licentious abuses, of the English language, makes this compliment to Spenser:
“ But lett no rebel satyr dare traduce
“ And lett all others willows wear with mee, " Or lett their undeserving temples bared beek.”
* B. i. f. 4. These fatires [the three first books] were first printed by T. Creede, for R. Dexter, Lond. 1597. 12mo. The three last books appeared in an edition entitled, “ Virgidemiarum, The three last bookes of byting Satyres, Anon. Lond. printed by R. Bradocke, for R. Dexter, &c. 1598.” 12mo. It begins with fat. 1. of lih. 4. The next edition [of the whole] is, “ Virgidemiarum, The three last [in reality all the fix] bookes of the byting Satyres, corrected and amended, with some
additions, by J. H. Lond. for R. Dexter, &c. 1599.” 12mo. In a copy I have seen of this last edition, at the end are bound up, “ Certaine worthye manuscript poems of great antiquitie, reserved long in the studie of a Northfolke Gentleman, now first published by J. S. Lond. R. D. 1597.” 12mo. The poems are, “ The stately Tragedy of Guiscard and Sismond :". In two books, in the seven-lined stanza. It is Dryden's story, and seems about the age of Henry VII. “ The Northern Mother's Blessing, written nine yeares before the death of G. Chaucer." 16 The Way to Thrift.”—They are dedicated to the worthiest poet Maister Ed. Spenser. T. WARTON.
A few additions may be made to the preceding REMARKS ON SPENSER's LANGUAGE AND VERSIFICATION.
Indeed it is proper to inform the reader that, in consequence of the poet's frequently converting words of one syllable into two, words of two syllables into three, &c. and in consequence also of his reinarkable accentuation of words; the several words, so employed, will be found thus distinguished, armës, safëty, inchantëment, infamous, prostráte, courage, &c. In pronunciations of this kind likewise, Spenser follows his old master. See Tyrwhitt's Efsay on the Language and Versification of Chaucer, prefixed to the Canterb, Tales, 4to. edit, Oxford, 1798, p. 61. Nor will the reader omit to observe that Spenfer, like Chaucer and all our elder writers, uses no apostrophe in his genitive cases. By elifions intended in the pronunciation, however, he sometimes reduces words of two syllables into one, as iron, which must be read ir’n ; and cruelly, which must be read cru'lly, &c. This practice has been abundantly imitated by Milton.
Alexander Gill, master of St. Paul's school, London, (under whom Milton was educated,) published in 1621 a treatise in quarto, entitled LOGONOMIA ANGLICA,quá Gentis fermo faciliùs addifcitur :" His numerous examples, under the various figures of Syntar, are principally drawn from the FAERIE QUEENE; and I am surprised that the work should have escaped the notice of the commentators, especially Mr. Upton, who delighted so much in accommodating old English expressions to learned rules and construction. Take an example or two from Mr. Gill's illuftration of Figures in found : I must previously observe, however, that the spelling adopted by the critick would hardly be legible; as he was an advocate for a new Euglish orthgraphy, formed partly in fubferviency to the pronunciation