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0. Eng.

adj. = adjective.

L. Gr. =Late Greek. adv. =adverb.

L. Lat. -Late Latin. A.S. = Anglo-Saxon.


= line. =canto.


= lines. Celt. =Celtic.

= literally. ch. =chapter.

= noun. cp =compare.

neg. = negative. comp. =comparative.

nom. = nominative. Dan. =Danish,

N. Eng. = North English. dat. dative.

N. Lat. =North Latitude. Dict. = Dictionary.

O. Du. Old Dutch. dimin. =diminutive.

Old English. Du. =Dutch.

O. Fr. Old French. ed. = edition.

0. H. Ger. =Old High German. edd. = editions.

0, N. =Old Norse. E. E. =Early English.

O. Norm. Fr.=Old Norman French. Eng. =English.


=page. Fr. =French.

part. = participle. Ger. =German.

p. p. = past participle. Gr. =Greek.


= plural. Gloss. =Glossary.

=preterite. Gloss. II. = Glossary to Book II. pron. =pronoun. Glossarium Mediae et

Scot. =Scottish.
Infimae Latinitatis st.

= stanza. et I. Lat.

(Du Cange). subst. =substantive. Goth. =Gothic.

superl. =superlative. Icel. = Icelandic.

Teut. =Teutonic. It. - Italian,





1, 1. Lo I the man ;-imitated from the lines placed at the beginning of Virgil's Aeneid:

“ Ille ego, qui quondam” &c. did maske in lowly Shepheards weeds ;-alludes to the Shepheards Calender, first published by Spenser A.D. 1579.

5. of knights and ladies gentle deeds ;—This is imitated from the opening lines of Ariosto's Orl. Fur. 1. I:

“ Le donne, i cavalier, l'arme, gli amori

Le cortesíe, l'audaci imprese io canto. 6. Whose praises having slept, &c.;-a very involved construction. In the natural order it would run thus : “And now that their praises have slept in long silence, the Muse areeds (commands) me, (though I be altogether too mean) to blazon [them] abroad amongst her learned throng (of poets, sages, &c.).' In this passage are still to be seen traces of the pedantic Latinisms, and involved uneasy English hexameters, for which Spenser in early life had shewn no little liking. 2, 1. O holy virgin, chiefe of nine ; — Clio, first of the nine Muses.

2. Thy weaker novice ; —thy too-weak novice,' a Latinism not uncommon in Spenser. He uses the comp. where we should use too' before the positive: 'too weak for such a task.'

5. Tanaquill ;-a British Princess, by whom Spenser means Queen Elizabeth, as appears from Bk. II. x. 76:

“ He dying, left the fairest Tanaquill,

Therefore they Glorian call that glorious flowre:

Long mayst thou, Glorian, live in glory and great powre.”. 6. Brilon prince ;-Prince Arthur.

7. and suffered so much ill ;-elliptical, for 'and [for whom he] suffered.'

3, 1. impe of highest Jove ;-Cupid, or Love; who in the mythologies is son of Jove and Venus. The appellative • impe' simply means child, and has nothing grotesque in it. See Gloss. Impe.

7. Mart;-Mars, god of war, So Chaucer writes the word with a t, in Troilus and Cresside, 2. 988, “ for the love of Marte.


4, 3. Great Lady, &c. ;-Queen Elizabeth; who in the year 1590, two years after the defeat of the Armada, certainly had a right to this title ; though scarcely (at the age of 56) to that of “ goddesse heavenly bright,” &c., save that such language was required by the degraded courtesy of the age.

5. eyne ;-—older pl. of 'eye.' Spenser also spells it 'eyen;' (as in C. X. 47. 3.) in which case it answers exactly to the old pl. -en, which still survives in brethren, children. (So Ger. Auge, pl. Augen; Dan. pl. oiene; A.S. eage, pl. eagan.) In East Anglia the people still say nesen, housen, &c. as pl. of nest, house, &c. 7. type of thine,

Una, or Truth. 8. The argument of mine' afflicted stile ;—the subject-matter of my lowly pen.'

9. O dearest dread ;-Spenser uses the same phrase of Una, as Queen Elizabeth's type, in c. ii. 2, “Una, his dear dread.” “ Most dread Prince" was formerly a common salutation of royalty.


The Red Cross Knight and Una on her milk-white ass are driven by storm

into the wood of Error. There they discover Error's cave, and the Knight slays the monster. Escaped thence, false Archimago beguiles them, and persuades the Knight, by his magical arts, that Una is false to bim.

1, 1. A gentle Knight ;- The Red Cross Knight, by whom is meant reformed England, (see c. X. 61, where he is called “St. George of merry England,") has just been equipped with the “armour which Una brought (that is, the armour of a Christian man, specified by St. Paul, v. [vi.] Ephes.)” as Spenser tells Sir W. Raleigh in his Letter. The armour “wherein old dints &c.,” though new to the Knight, is old as Christendom. Thus equipped, and guided by truth, he goes forth to fight against error and temptation, and above all to combat that spirit of falsehood, concerning which the England of 1588 had learnt so much from Philip II of Spain and Alexander of Parma. The diplomatic lying which preceded the Armada contrasted with the simple truthfulness of the English and Dutch statesmen, and had taught Englishmen to couple the name of Spain with all that was false, as well as with all that was cruel. 2. silver shielde ;-Church quotes from Hardyng, very appositely:

A sbilde of silver wbite,
A crosse endlong and overthwart full perfecte;
These armes were used through all Britain
For a common signe eche man to know his nacion
From enemies; which now we call certain

Sainct Georges armes.” 5. Yet armes, &c.;-see Letter to Sir W. Raleigh. He had been hitherto but "a tall clownishe young man.”

2, 4. And dead, &c.;adored Him ho As) as being ever living. Some edd. punctuate •and, dead as living, ever him adore. But this misses the sense, and the obvious allusion to Rev, I. 18.

6. For soveraine hope, which, &c. ;—the shield was scored' with a cross, as a sign of the sovereign hope' which he had in the help to be given him by our Lord's death for him.

7. Right faithfull true ;-edd. 1590, 1596, have no commas, SO making 'right' an adv., and giving the meaning right faithfull and true.' The reading right, faithfull, true,' is unlike Spenser ; he would scarcely use * right' for righteous ;' and 'right' as an adv. common with him; as * right courteous,' .right jolly.' So he also uses “full,' • full soon,' &c. This form of the adverb (as in st. 4. 1. 1, below) comes from the Old Engl. adverbial form which ends in e-, 'faire,' righte,' the -e being dropped in modern spelling. See Morris, E. E. Specimens, Grammat. Introd. p. lv.

8. of his cheere, &c. ;-' in countenance and bearing seemed too solemnly grave.

9. ydrad ;—p.p. of to dread, as yclad of to clothe, &c. Spenser has been blamed for coining forms to suit his rhymes. But this is not so. He uses old, not new forms.

3, 2. greatest Gloriana ;—Queen Elizabeth. So in the Letter to Sir W, Raleigh we read, “ In that Faery Queene I mean Glory in my generall intention, but in my particular I conceive the most excellent and glorious person of our soveraine the Queene.” It was court fashion to address the Virgin Queen under such names as Gloriana, Oriana, Diana, &c. Spenser also calls her Belphoebe, and Britomart; Raleigh styled her his Cynthia.

9. his foe, a dragon ;—first the Devil, father of lies; then the powers of Spain and Rome, as the earthly exponents of falsehood.

4, 1. A lovely ladie ;—Una, or Truth. “ Truth is one, error manifold” must have been the thought in Spenser's mind when he fixed on this name.

Mr. Llwyd (in his Irish Dict.) says that Una is a Danish proper name of women; and that one of that name was daughter to a king of Denmark. He adds that Una is still a proper name in Ireland”—where probably Spenser first found it in use, and thence adopted it.

rode bim faire beside ;' rode fairly beside him.' For this adverbial form faire,' see above, note on st. 2. I. 7.

3. Yet she much whiter ;-Hallam, Lit. of Eur. II. v. § 88, objects to this as strained. The “asse more white than snow" is extravagant; but there is an excuse for Una's whiteness, because Spenser wished to give the impression of the surpassing purity and spotlessness of Truth.

4. Under a vele, that wimpled, &c. ;– Her veil was plaited in folds, falling so as to cover her face.' See Gloss. Wimple.

6. so was she sad ;—so grave she was.'

8. Seemed ;—impers. for it seemed.' Spenser very commonly omits the pronoun before impers. verbs.

9. lad ;- led. An old form. 5, 3. from royall lynage ;- allusion to Isaiah 49. 23. Spenser's meaning is that Una, Truth, or the Reformed Church, derives her lineage from the Church Universal, not from the Papacy.

6, 1. a dwarfe ;—the dwarf is probably intended to represent common sense, or common prudence of humble life. “ Such an one as might be attendant on Truth-cautious, nay timid, yet not afraid — feeble, but faithful,

Church says,

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