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8. speaches rare;—thin-sounding voice from within the tree; 'rare' used in its Latin sense. See Orl. Fur. 6. 27.
33, 3. Fradubio ;—the name indicating the character, as of one who halted between two opinions, the truly fair (his proper love), and the falsely fair (Duessa). Spenser wishes to point in his case to the fate of those who did not know their own minds on the great questions of the day, but went from side to side, wavering between the old faith and the new.
34, 5. double griefs afflict concealing harts, &c.;—the pain which is suppressed increases, is redoubled, just as the heat of raging fire increases, if one tries to smother it.
35, 9. did fowle Duessa byde ;-elliptical; but [the fair lady] did hide (cover) the person of foul Duessa.'
36, 1. be did take in hand, &c.;—' he asserted (ready to fight for it) that her forged beauty far exceeded that of all other dames. "To take in hand' is to affirm in knightly fashion—a Latinised construction of the infinitive.
37, 4. Whether ;- :—which of the two.'
38, 2. The doubtfull ballaunce equally to sway; - the balance swayed equal distances on either side;' there was no discernible difference between them.
3. What not by right;-elliptical; “what (she could not win) by right,' &c.
9. in place ;-either in the place,' on the spot, or in place of her,' instead of her, as rival to her.
39, 9. treen mould ;—form of trees; adj. formed from subst. “tree.'
40, 4. every prime ;—Prime here must mean spring-time; it would scarcely suit Spenser's meaning to say that witches must bathe themselves daily. It rather signifies that day comes every spring. Milton, P. L. 10. 572, applies this tradition to the Devils :
Yeerly enjoyned, they say, to undergo
This annual humbling certain number'd days." It was a popular belief that witches must undergo this yearly cleansing. See Gloss. Prime.
7. origane and thyme ;-see Girard's Herball: “Organie healeth scabs, itchings, and scurvinesse, being used in bathes.” Origane, Lat. origanum, Gr. opiyavov, an acrid herb like marjoram.
42, 1. by chaunges of my cheare ; — by the change of my countenance, or manner towards her.'
2. drownd in sleepie night ;-governed by “my body,' &c. in line 4; or a kind of nom. absolute, 'I being drowned,' &c.; or a dat. absolute, as in A.S.
4. My body all, through, &c.;—so edd. 1590 and 1596 punctuate it; shewing that Spenser meant that the witch anointed his whole body.
43. 4. a living well ;—in the allegory this must mean a renewed spiritual life: in the story it does not appear what the interpretation is. 7. your wonted well ;—your accustomed weal or wellbeing.
suffised fates to former kynd Shall us restore ;the fates, satisfied, shall restore us to our former human shape and condition.'
45, 2. As all unweeting of that well she knew ;-'as if she were altogether
ignorant of that which she knew well;' i. e. she pretended to be utterly frightened by the strange portent, while she well knew what it meant.
6. she gan up lift;—she began to uplift. This is the figure called Tmesis, by which the preposition is separated from the verb to which it belongs. It is common in English, except that the prep. usually comes after the verb, as 'to rise up,' for 'to uprise.'
Una, still seeking her lost Knight, is guarded by a Lion, who serves ber faith
fully: she seeks refuge in the bouse of blind Devotion, who unwillingly receives ber. There the Lion slays Kirkrapine, the robber of churches. Next day, she is joined by Archimago, disguised as the Red Cross Knight. He is challenged and unborsed by the Paynim Sansloy, who slays the faithful Lion, and drags away Una as his captive.
1, 1. Nought, &c.;—these moral reflections placed as headings to the cantos, are fashioned upon the opening stanzas of the cantos of the Italians, Ariosto and Berni.
5. I, whether lately, &c. ;-this probably refers to his gracious reception at court. See Introduction, p. vii.
7. Which I do owe ;-in Spenser's case this “ fealty to womankind" was no mere affectation of romance, but the real sentiment of a gentle nature.
9. all ;-altogether. 2, 5. true as touch ;-true as touchstone, which discerns the genuine from the counterfeit; or, true as the sense of touch—as true as if I touched,' – with, it may be, a bye-reference to St. Thomas.
4, 7. the great eye of beaven ;—thus the sun is described by Ovid, Met. 4. 228, and by Milton, P. L. 5. 171:
“ Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul.” In Icelandic poetry also the sun is called • Dagsauga,' day's eye.
5, 2. a ramping lyon ;-the lion is the emblem of natural honour, paying the tribute of instinctive reverence to Truth. It is one of the beliefs of romance that no lion will offer injury to a true virgin or to a royal personage, such as Una was. Cp. Sidney's Arcadia, “ The unnatural beast, which contrary to his own kind, would have wronged Prince's blood.” And Shakespeare, i. Hen. IV. 2. 4: “The lion will not touch the true prince &c." Hence the lion is found on royal coats of arms. So also in the Seven Champions two lions fawn on Sabra. Warton's Observ. 2. p. 128. In Sir Bevis of Hampton we have a similar scene.
9. forgat ;-subject “ he' omitted ; or it may depend on “his bloudy rage." 6, 3. As;- as though,' as if.'
6. Whose yielded pride, &c.;-'when she had long marked, though she still dreaded death, his pride that had yielde and his noble submission.'
9. did shed ;-—again the subject she' omitted, or, rather, involved in her hart.
7,8, 9. ber... my;--notice the change of pronoun from third person to first.
9, 5. both watch and ward ;-that is, both waking and guarding, for this is the distinction. •Watch' (A.S. wæcce) is 'wake' (and a watch is an instrument which is awake all night), and to ward' (A.S. weardian) is to guard, or look after anything carefully.
11, 9. ber cast in deadly bew;—made her seem like one dead :'.hew' is appearance or shape, not colour, in Spenser.
12, 2. upon the wager lay ;-we now say was at stake.' Cp. Chaucer's lith in wedde" (pledge), is in jeopardy.
3. home sbe came, &c.;-Una and the lion at the low door of blind Devotion' indicate the horror and unwillingness with which Truth is met, if it tries to penetrate haunts of darkness. By the hut of Corceca, where superstition, church-robbery, and flagrant sin all meet under the shadow of Devotion, Spenser draws the condition of benighted country places (the *Pagani of the age) and their dislike of the new light of Truth.
13, 3. of his cruell rage ;-is a genitive after “fear.' And the whole sentence is ‘she found them in a corner nearly dead with fear of his rage.'
14, 4. thrise three times ;—that is, three days a-week, three meals a-day.
15, 9. All night she thinks too long ;-'all night she thinks (the night) too long.'
16, 1. Aldeboran;—a star of first magnitude, called in England the 'Bull's Eye,' as being the eye of the constellation Taurus.
2. Casseiopeias chaire ;-a constellation in the northern hemisphere.
4. One knocked ;-Kirkrapine,' bringing his load of robbery to Devotion, is an allusion to the Church rights of sanctuary, whereby religion sheltered and abetted crime.
9. purchase criminall ;— criminal chasing or catching, as of one who hunts by night for the property of others. See Gloss. Purchase.
17, 1. to weete ;—so we now say “to be sure,' and (sometimes) 'to wit,' as in law phrases. 18, 4. Abessa ;-It. abietta (Lat. abjecta), abject, castaway.
Corceca ;-It. cuore ceco, blind-hearted, dull old woman, symbolizing fanatical and benighted Superstition. The lion is said to represent Henry VIII, overthrowing the monasteries, destroying church-robbers, disturbing the dark haunts of idleness, ignorance, and superstition.
6. fed her fat ;-—possibly an allusion to 1 Sam. 2. 22, where a parallel corruption of the Church of God is described.
19, 4. him to advize ;—to bethink himself, s'aviser : “him' here= himself,' as in such phrases as he got him into a boat.'
7. Encountring fierce ;-sc. " him,' supplied from the other clause of the sentence.
20, 1. Him bootelb not ;— (it) avails him not (to) resist.' In O. Eng. impersonals are used with a dat. of the personal pron. So 'him list,' = illi placuit. We still retain this usage in the words ‘methinks,”.methought.'
2. in the vengers hand ;-so Dan. 6. 27, “ delivered Daniel from the band of the lions."
5. left on the strand;— (is) left,' elliptical. 21, 2. Up Una rose, &c.;-imitated from Chaucer, Knightes Tale, 1415:
“Up roos the sonne, and up roos Enelye.”
3. their former journey ;—they had deviated from their path into Devotion's cottage.
-5. that long wandring Greeke ;—Ulysses (Odysseus) who wandered for ten years after the fall of Troy before he succeeded in reaching Ithaca, his home.
6. That for his love refused deitye ;—Ulysses refused to receive the boon of immortality from Calypso, preferring to return home to Penelope. Bacon is more contemptuous towards Ulysses, “ qui vetulam praetulit immortalitati.”
23, 6. she did pray;—she=Corceca. It would have been more clear had Spenser written their rayling—they did pray.'
26, 4. turned wyde ;-'gave them a wide berth,' as sailors say.
5. unto my deare heart light;—that should settle like death upon my heart.' The epithet · dear,' of the heart, is imitated from the Greek.
6. your joyous sight;—the joyous sight of you. 28, 5. of meere goodwill ;—the Red Cross Knight had entered unknown and unarmed into the court of the Faery Queene, and had been accepted without proof by Una. See Letter to Sir W. Raleigh, p. xxvii.
7. ber kindly skill ;—that is, the skill which is naturally (according to kind) her own.
9. my liefe ;-my beloved one. See Gloss. Liefe. 29, 6. Good cause, &c.;—'ye might (or may) well be pleased to accept that (the quest of the "felon strong ") as good cause why I should be excused.'
30, 7. true is ;-it is true,' •è vero.' Spenser here follows either Latin or Italian models.
31, 3. Tetbys saltish teare;- salt water. Tethys, daughter of Heaven (Uranus) and Earth (Gaea), was held to be the wife of Oceanus.
6. fierce Orions bound ;-Sirius, the dogstar. Orion was a mighty hunter (in the oldest Greek mythology), beloved of Morning (Eos), but slain by Artemis (the moon-goddess), and Sirius was his dog. Cp. Hom.
9. Nereus crownes with cups ; — honours with bumpers.' The classical phrase, which Spenser imitates, (Hom. II. I. 470, Kontspas ÉTTEOTÉYavto totoo, and Virgil's "vina coronant,”) signified the filling the cups brimfull, the notion of fulness being the first meaning of the verb OTÉDw; as is plainly seen in Athenaeus, Deipn. 1. II: ČLOTépovTai dè notolo οι κρητήρες, ήτοι υπερχειλείς οι κρητηρες ποιούνται, ώστε διά του ποτού ÉMOTepavoûobal. Nares says, “ It was also a custom with the ancients literally to crown their cups with garlands.” To this Virgil alludes (Aen. 3. 525), magnum cratera corona Induit." See Nares' Gloss. v. Crowned cup. Nereus was an ancient sea-god, who, under Poseidon, ruled the Mediterranean. 32, 3. from ground ;—from the shore.'
9. Who told her all that fell in journey ;—she told (him) all that befell her in the journey ;' fell=befell, or as in “it fell out,' it fell upon a day.' 34, 6. th' untryed dint ;—'untried,' that is, hitherto unfelt by him.
II. 22. 29.
9. spurd ;-0 ed. 1590. Ed. 1596, spurnd.' 35, 1. that proud Paynim, &c. ;—the Pope (Archimago) is encountered and overthrown by the Moslem (Sansloy). It must be remembered that this was a source of anxiety throughout the sixteenth century. The fear of it formed the chief bond of union between Pope and Emperor ;the latter being the defensor fidei' against the formidable attacks of the Sultan.
3. vainly crossed shield ;—the feigned red cross on his shield had in it no charm to defend him. The true red cross shield is charmed, and cannot be pierced through. Eph. 6. 16.
5. be should bim beare;—for "he (Sansloy) would have borne him (made his way) through shield and body.'
36, 1. Notice how Spenser mixes the Pagan with the Saracen. Lethe and the Furies are scarcely fit company for a Mussulman.
2. reave his life ;-an older construction, answering to the Latin vitam rapere;' our present use being bereave him of his life.' So Chaucer, Frankeleynes Tale, 289:
“For thorisonte had raft the sonne his light." 6. Lethe lake ;—Lucian, in his Dialogues of the Dead, speaks of the water (or lake) of Lethe, Anons ödop. (Dial. Mort. 13. 6.) The word Lethe simply signifies oblivion or forgetfulness; and the Lethean lake or river is a river in Hades which causes all who drink of it to forget their past lives. Milton speaks of “ The sleepy drench of that forgetful lake.”
P. L. 2. 75; cp. 2. 582. Spenser makes it the pool (the Lethea stagna of the Latins) by the side of which the ghosts of those whose Manes are unappeased wander miserably.
7. When mourning altars, &c. ;-he means, when altars of mourning, which I will build, and purge with your blood, shall appease the dark Furies that dwell in shades below.' Ed. 1596 reads ' morning.'
8. black infernall Furies ;—they were thought to dwell in Erebus, and the epithet : black' refers to their gloomy character and home. They are also drawn as robed in black. The notion of sacrificing a human life to the Furies for the sake of another life is not classically correct.
The Gauls did this, but not the Latins; the latter erected altars to the Manes of the dead, but not for human sacrifice: Spenser combines the two, substituting, however, the Furies for the Manes.
9. Life from Sansfoy, &c. ;—in the natural order, · Sansloy shall take from thee that life which thou tookest from Sansfoy ;' or it may be thus, * Thou tookest life from Sansfoy, --Sansloy shall take (thy life) from thee.'
37, 5. Mercy not withstand ;-bim not deprive ;-the classical, not the natural, order of words.
6. he is one the truest knight ;-— he is one (who is) the truest.'
7. Lye on lowly land ;—' lie low upon the ground.' Land' is here used for “ground' by poetic usage. 38, 9. Ne ever wont ;- nor was ever accustomed.'
round lists ; – champ clos,' the lists of a tournament; here 'round' = surrounded by an enclosure: in field,' is in open battle abroad. See Gloss. II. Lists.