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When Spenser saw the fame was spredd fo large,
And as Ulyfles brought faire Thetis fonne
Yet as Achilles, in those warlike frayes,
TO looke upon a worke of rare devise
Doth either prove the iudgement to he naught,
To labour to commend a peece of worke,
Would raise a jealous doubt, that there did lurke Some secret doubt whereto the prayse did tend :
For when men know the goodnes of the wyne, 'Tis needless for the Hoast to have a sygne.
Thus then, to thew my iudgement to be such
I here pronounce this workmanship is such
And thus I hang a garland at the dore;
And when your tast shall tell you this is trew,
ADDRESSED, BY THE AUTHOR OF THE FAERIE QUEENE,
TO SEVERAL NOBLEMEN &c.'
To the Right Honourable Sir Christopher Hatton, . Lord high Chauncelor of England &c.
THOSE prudent heads, that with their counsels
wife Whylom the pillours of thearth did sustaine, And taught ambitious Rome to tyrannise
And in the neck of all the world to rayne ; Oft from those grave affaires were wont abstaine,
With the sweet Lady Muses for to play:
So Maro oft did Cæsars cares allay.
Ver. 7. So Ennius &c.] The meaning is, “ So Ennius allayed the cares of Scipio Africanus, and fo Virgil &c." Claudian relates the same circumstance of Ennius; and possibly afforded it to Spenser. See Præf. in Lib. 3. Laud. Stilic.
“ Major Scipiades,” et seq. T. WARTON. Ver. 9. So you, great Lord, that &c.] The diligence and integrity, with which Sir Christopher Hatton executed his office of High-Chancellor, manifest themselves in many paffages of Queen Elizabeth's history. It is remarkable that, fince the exclusion of the ecclesiasticks from bearing this office, he was the first person preferred to it who was not a professed lawyer. He was made Chancellor in the year 1587 and died ju 1591. See Camden's Annals Eliz. T. WARTON.
The burdein of this kingdom mightily,
The rugged brow of carefull Policy; .
To the Right Honourable the Lord Burleigh, Lord
high Threasurer of England. TO you, Right Noble Lord, whose carefull
brest To menage of most grave affaires is bent; And on wh
shoulders most doth rest
- may eke delay The rugged brow of carefull Policy :) May Smooth or Soften. The word delay is used by Spenfer in the same sense, in his Prothalam. ver. 3, where modern editions improperly read allay. See the note on the passage. But Milton is the best commentator on the words now before us; for he describes the nightingale, in his Il Penseroso,
* In her sweetest faddest plight
“ SMOOTHING the rugged brow of night." TODD., Ver. 14. -- for their titles Sake] Their title being the Faerie Queene, who represented Queen Elizabeth. Camden relates, that Sir Christopher was a singular favourite of the Queen, long before his promotion to the Chancellornip. However, as that historian adds, he was not raised to it purely by her choice, but by the artifice of certain Courtiers who, envious of his growing interest, thought to diminish his favour with the Queen, by conferring a post upon him which necelsarily drew him from a constant attendance on the Court, and to which his ignorance of the law rendered him unequal. :
· · T. WARTON Ver. 1. To you, &c.] See the Life of Spenser. TODD,
The burdein of this kingdome's governement, (As the wide compasse of the firmament
On Atlas mightie shoulders is upstayd,) : Unfitly I these ydle rimes present,
The labor of lost time, and wit unstayd : Yet if their deeper fence be inly wayd, And the dim vele, with which from commune
vew . Their fairer parts are hid, afide be layd,
Perhaps not vaine they may appeare to You. Such as they be, vouchsafe them to receave, And wipe their faults out of your censure grave.
To the Right Honourable the Earle of Oxenford,
Lord high Chamberlayne of England 8c RECEIVE, most Noble Lord, in gentle gree,
The unripe fruit of an unready wit;
Sith th' antique glory of thine auncestry
And eke thine owne long living memory,
groe,] Favour. See the F. Q. i. V. 16, and the note there. TODA.