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of the words, intermixed also with Saxon letters, and distine guished by other marks of his own invention. To enumerate all the forms, under which he has ingeniously placed passages from Spenser, the Antonomasa, the Metalephis, the Onomatopæia, the Barbaralexis, &c. &c. would fill many pages, and might not, I fear, completely gratify the curiosity which these highYounding pames excite. The following examples are from the Figures in found, cap. xxi. p. 108, &c.
“Etilaužus, five Subiun&tio. “ Unam gemines vocem Subiunctio fiet :
“ His lady sad to see his fore constraint,
F. Q. i. i. 19. “ Conuerfio, Artispoon ul. Erispoon. “ Pluria membra fono Conuerfo claudit eodem. .. " For truth is one, and right is euer one.”
F. Q. v. ii. 48. • " Emavánatos.. ** Incipit $finit verbo Epanalepfis eodem : “ Bold was the chalenge, as himselfe was bold."
F. Q. iv. ii. 39. The following is an example, taken from the critick’s Figures of sentence, p. 128.
" Etávodos, Regresio.
L" All that pleasing is to living eare
“ Was there conforted in one harmonee;
“ The ioyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
* Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call;
F. Q. ii. xii. 70. A writer, subsequent to Gill, has concisely and very properly noticed a peculiarity sometimes observable in Spenser's versification. " His. making the end of one verse to be the frequent beginning of the other (besides the art of the Trope) was the labour and delight of Mr. Edmund Spencer, whom Sir Walt. Raleigh and Sir Kenelm Digby were used to call the English
Virgil.” Preface to the Reader, in The Chast and Lost Lovers, &c. Digested into three poems, by Will. Bosworth, Gent. 1651, 8vo. Lond. About twenty years after, a work was published, entitled “ Anglice Speculum Morale : The Moral State of England, &c. 8vo. Lond. 1670." In which, the confideration of the poetry of this country forms a chapter, p. 65. &c. The remarks on Spenser's imagery and LANGUAGE may here be properly introduced, as they serve to how the estimation in which the moral poet was held at that period : “ The Bards and Chroniclers, in the Ines of Britain and Ire. land, have been in former times even ador'd for the ballads in which they extoll'd the deeds of their forefathers; and since the ages have been refined, doubtless, England hath produced those, who in this way have equall'd most of the Ancients, and exceeded all the Moderns. CHAUCER rose like the morning starr of Wit, out of those black mists of ignorance; since hiin, SPENCER MAY DESERVEDLY CHALLENGE THE CROWN : for though he may seem blameable in not observing decorum in some places enough, and in too much (in the whole) countenancing Knight-errantry; yet the easie fimilitudes, the natural pourtraiets, the so refined and sublimated fancies, with which he hath bestudded every Canto of his subject, will easily reach him the guerdon : and though some may object to hin that his language is harsh and antiquated; yet his design was noble; to fhew us that our language was expressive enough of our own sentiments, and to upbraid those who have indenizon'd fuch numbers of forreign words.” Compare this with E. K.'s criticism, before cited, p. cxxxv.
Respecting the Alexandrine verse, which closes every stanza with greater dignity than an heroick line, and which Dryden profeffedly used in imitation of Spenser; it must be remarked that Spenser was not the inventor of this sonorous termination, as Mr. Upton seems to have imagined. For I find, in Puttenham's Arte of English Poefie, 1580, p. 60, that “Sir Thos. Wiat the elder was the first who used the Alexandrine verse in the English tongue." DID SEASOL S L en
It remains only to call the reader's attention to the beautiful construction of Spenser's numbers, and to the forcible expreffion of his ideas, in the happy description of the poet given by that judicious critick, the late Dr. Joseph Warton; “The characteristicks of this sweet and allegorical poet are not only strong and circumftantial imagery, but tender and pathetick feeling, a moft melodious flow of versification, and a certain pleasing melancholy in his sentiments, the constant companion of an elegant tafte, that cafts a delicacy and grace over all his compofitions." TODD.
IT is not my intention to enter into a particular criticism of any of our poet's writings, excepting the FAERIE QUEENE; which poem seems to have been hitherto very little understood; notwithstanding he has opened, in a great measure, his design and plan in a letter to his honoured friend Sir Walter Raleigh. How readily has every one acquiefced in Dryden's opinion ? " That the action of this Poem is not one; that, there is no uniformity of design; and that he aims at the accomplishment of no action.” See his dedications of the translation of Virgil's Æneid, and of the translation of Juvenal. It might have been expected that Hughes, who printed Spenser's works, should not have joined fo freely in the same censure: and yet he tells us, “ that the several Books appear rather like so many several poems, than one entire fable: each of them having its peculiar knight, and being independant of the rest."
Just in the same manner did the criticks and commentators formerly abofe old Homer; his Iliad, they said, was nothing else, but a parcel of loose fongs and rhapsodies concerning the Trojan war, which he sung at festivals; and these loose ballads were first collected, and stitched, as it were, together by Pififtratus; being parts without any coherence, or relation to a whole, and unity of
As this subject requires a particular consideration; I defire the reader will attend to the following vindication of Homer and Spenser, as they have both fallen under one common censure.
In every poem there ought to be fimplicity and unity; and in the epick poem the unity of the action fhould never be violated by introducing any ill-joined or heterogeneous parts. This effential rule Spenser seems to me a strictly to have followed : for what story can well be shorter, or more simple, than the subject of his poem ?-A British Prince fees in a vifion the Faerie Queene; he falls in love, and goes in search after this unknown fair; and at length finds her.—This fable has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is, the British Prince faw in a vision the Faerie Queene, and fell in love with her: the middle, his search after her, with the adventures that he underwent: the end, his finding whom he fought. . But here our curiosity is raised, and we want a more circumstantial information of many things.“ Who is this British Prince ? what adventures did he undergo? who was the Faerie Queene where, when, and how, did he find her? Thus many quertions arise, that require many folutions.
The action of this Poem has not only fimplicity and unity, but it is great and important. The hero is no less than the British Prince, Prince Arthur: (who knows not Prince Arthur)? The time when this hero commenced his adventures, is marked very exactly. In the reign of Uther Pendragon, father of Prince Arthúr, Octa the son of Hengift, and his kinsinan Eosa, thinking themselves not bound by the treaties which they had made with
.ftri&tly to have followed';] See, however, Dr. Hurd's Remarks on the Gothick system of this poem, and his successful objections to Mr. Upton's assertion, p. clx. TODD.
Aurelius Ambrofius, began to raise disturbances, and infest his dominions. This is the hiftorical, period of time, which Spenfer has chosen, F. Q. iii. iii. 52.
“ Ye see that good King Uther now doth makė .
“ Beside Cayo Verolame" Could any epick poet desire a better historical foundation to build his poem on? Hear likewise what he himself says on this subject, “I chose the history of King Arthur, as most fit for the excellency of his person, being made famous by many mens former works, and also furthest from the danger of envy and suspicion of present time." I much question if Virgil's Æneid is grounded on facts so well supported. Beside a poet is a maker; nor does he compose a poem for the sake of any one hero, but rather he makes a hero for the sake of his poem: and if he follows fame, whether from the more authentick relation of bold chronicles, or from the legendary tales of old romances, yet still he is at liberty to add, or to diminish: in short, to : speak out, he is at liberty to lie, as much as he pleases, provided his lies are consistent, and he makes his tale hang well together. : Prince Arthur saw in a vision, and seeing fell in love with, the Faerie Queene ; just about the time that she held her annual festival, when her knights hąd their various adventures afligned them. From either of these periods an historian might begin his.
.Our poet follows Geoffry of Monmouth, the British historian; and the old Romance entitled, The History of Prince Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, or. La Morte d'Arthure, as entitled at the end, and fo cited by Afcham in his School-Master, pag. 87. who mentions it as a favourite author in his time. UPTON.