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She bath'd with roses red and violets blew, the Graces ; where Adonis, “ lapped in
selected her to be the most faithful of Upon her fell all naked bare displayd." *
loves, and after long trials, gave her The beams played upon her body, and hand to the good knight Sir Scudz - fructified” her. The months rolled
Troubled and ashamed she went That is the kind of thing we meet into the “wildernesse," and sat down, with in the wondrous forest. Are you
every sence with sorrow sore op- ill at ease there, and do you wish to prest. Meanwhile Venus, searching leave it because it is wondrous ? At bor her boy Cupid, who had mutinied every bend in the alley, at every change and fled from her, wandered in the of the light, a stanza, a word, reveals worl1.” She had sought him in courts, a landscape or an apparition. It is cities, cottages, promising “kisses morning, the white dawn gleams faintly sweet, and sweeter things, unto the through the trees; bluish vapors veil man that of him tydings to her brings." the horizon, and vanish in the smiling
Shortly unto the wastefull woods she camt, air ; the springs tremble and murmur Whereas she found the goddesse (Diana) faintly amongst the mosses, and on
with her crew. After late chace of their embrewed game,
high the poplar leaves begin to stir and Sitting beside a fountaine in a rew;
flutter like the wings of butterflies. A Some of them washing with the liquid dew knight alights from his horse, a valiant From off their dainty limbs the dusty sweat knight, who has unhorsed many a Sar. And soyle, which did deforme their lively acen, and experienced many an adven.
hew; Others lay shaded from the scorching heat
ture. He unlaces his helmet, and on a The rest upon her person gave attendance sudden you perceive the cheeks of a
great. She, having hong upon a bough on high
young girl ; Her bow and painted quiver, had unlaste " Which doft, her golden lockes, that were upHer silver buskins from her nimble thigh,
bound And her lanck loynes ungirt, and brests un- Still in a knot, unto her heeles downe traced, braste,
And like a silken veile in compasse round After her heat the breathing cold to taste; About her backe and all her bodie wound; Her golden lockes, that late in tresses bright Like as the shining skie in simmers night, Embreaded were for hindring of her haste, What time the dayes with scorching heas Now loose about her shoulders hong undight, abound, And were with sweet Ambrosia all be- Is creasted all with lines of firie light, sprinckled light." +
That it prodigious seemes in common peu pies
sight." + Diana, surprised thus, repulses Venus, "and gan to smile, in scorne of her It is Britomart, a virgin and a heroine. vaine playnt," swearing that if she like Clorinda or Marfisa,ť but how should catch Cupid, she would clip his much more ideal ! The deep senti. wanton wings. Then she took pity on ment of nature, the sincerity of reverie, the afflicted goddess, and set herself the ever-flowing fertility of inspiration, with her to look for the fugitive. They the German seriousness, reanimate it came to the "shady covert” where this poem classical or chivalrous con. Chrysogone, in her sleep, had given ceptions, even when they are the oldest birth“ unawares,” to two lovely girls, or the most trite. The train of splen.
as faire as springing day.” Diana dors and of scenery never ends. Deso took one, and made her the purest of late promontories, cleft with gaping all virgins. Venus carried off the other chasms; thunder-stricken and black to the Garden of Adonis, “the first ened masses of rocks, against which seminary of all things, that are borne the hoarse breakers dash; palaces to live and dye;" where Psyche, the • Ibid. iv. c. 1, st. 13. bride of Love, disports herself ; where # Clorinda, the heroine of the infidel army in Pleasure, their daughter, wantons with Tasso's epic poem Jerusalem Delivered,
Marfisa, an Indian Queen, who figures in Ara • The Fairie Queene, üi 6. 6, st. 6 and 7. osto's Orlando Furioso, and also in Boyardo's Ibid. st. 17 and 8.
sparkling with gold, wherein ladies, they have chosen for "May-lady, beauteous as angels, reclining care. “ daunst lively ” also, laughing, and lessly on purple cushions, listen with " with girlonds all bespredd.”. The sweet smiles to the harmony of music wood re-echoes the sound of their played by unseen hands; lofty silent merry pypes.” “Their horned feet walks, where avenues of oaks spread the greene gras wore.” “ All day they their motionless shadows over clusters daunced with great lustyhedd," with of virgin violets, and turf which never sudden motions and alluring looks, mortal foot has trod;—to all these while about them their flock feed on beauties of art and nature he adds the “the brouzes," at their pleasure." In marvels of mythology, and describes every book we see strange processions them with as much of love and sin- pass by, allegorical and picturesque cerity as a painter of the Renaissance shows, like those which were then dis or an ancient poet Here approach on played at the courts of princes ; niw a chariots of shell Cymoënt and her masquerade of Cupid, now of the aymphs :
Rivers, now of the Months, now of " A teme of dolphins raunged in aray
the Vices. Imagination was Drew the smooth charett of sad Cymoënt;
more prodigal or inventive. Proud LuThey were all taught by Triton to obay cifera advances in a chariot “adorned To the long raynes at her commaundëinent: As swifte as swallowes on the waves they ing like the dawn, surrounded by a
all with gold and girlonds gay,” beamwent, That their brode flaggy finnes no fome did crowd of courtiers whom she dazzles
with her glory and splendor : “six Ne bubling rowndell they behinde them sent; unequall beasts” draw her along, and The rest, of other fishes drawen weare ; Which with their finny oars the swelling sea
each of these is ridden by a Vice. Idleness “ upon a slouthfull asse :
in habit blacke . like to an holy Nothing, again, can be sweeter or calm. monck,” sick for very laziness, lets his er than the description of the palace of heavy head droop, and holds in his Morpheus :
hand a breviary which he does not "He, making speedy way through spersed ayre, read; gluttony, on “a filthie swyne,' And through the world of waters wide and crawls by in his deformity, “his belly
deepe, To Morpheus house doth hastily repaire.
upblowne with luxury, and eke Amid the bowels of the earth full steepe,
with fatnesse swollen were his eyne , And low, where dawning day doth never and like a crane his necke was long
and fyne,” drest in vine-leaves, throngh His dwelling is; there Tethys his wet bed Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth which one can see his body eaten by
ulcers, and vomiting along the road the In silver deaw his ever-drouping hed, wine and flesh with which he is glutted Whiles sad Night over him her mantle black Avarice seated between “two iron cof
doth spred. And, more to lulle him in his slumber soft,
fers, upon a camell loaden all with A trickling streame from high rock tumbling gold,” is handling a heap of coin, with
threadbare coat, hollow cheeks, ard And ever-drizzling raine upon the loft,, Mixt with a murmuring winde, much like the feet stiff with gout. Envy“ upon a
ravenous wolfe still did chaw between Of swarming bees, did cast him in a swowne.
his cankred teeth a venemous tode, No other noyse, nor peoples troublous cryes, that all the poison ran about his chaw,'. As still are wont t' annoy the walled towne, Might there be heard: but careless Quiet full of eies,” conceals a 'snake wound
and his discolored garment “ypainted lyes, Wrapt is, eternall silence farre from eni- about his body. Wrath, covered with myes.” 1
a torn and bloody robe, comes riding Observe also in a corner of this forest, on a lion, brandishing about his head a band of satyrs dancing under the a burning brond,” his eyes sparkling, green leaves. They come leaping like his face pale as ashes, grasping in his wanton kids, as gay as birds of joyous feverish hand the haft of his dagger
Tho spring. The fait Hellenore, whom
strange and terrible procession
passos on, led by the solemn harinony • The Fajric Queene, iii. c. 4, st. 33.
* Ibid. iii. c. 10, st. 43-45. Ibid. i. c. ; it. 39 and 41.
of the stanzas ; and the grand music
; of oft-repeated rhymes sustains the imagination in this fantastic world, which, with its mingled horrors and splendors, has just been opened to its flight
Yet all this is little. However much jaythology and chivalry can supply, they do not suffice for the needs of this poetical fancy. Spenser's characteristic is the vastness and overflow of his picturesque invention. Like Rubens, whatever he creates is beyond the region of all traditions, but compiete in all parts, and expresses distinct ideas. As with Rubens, his allegory swells its proportions beyond all rule, and withdraws fancy from all law, except in so far as it is necessary to harmonize forms and colors. For, if ordinary minds receive from allegory a certain weight which oppresses them, lofty imaginations receive from it wings which carry them aloft. Freed by it from the common conditions of life, they can dare all things, beyond imitation, apart from probability, with no other guides but their inborn energy and their shadowy instincts. For three days Sir Guyon is led by the cursed spirit, the tempter Mammon, in the subterranean realm, across wonderful gardens, trees laden with golden fruits, glittering palaces, and a confusion of all worldly treasures. They have de. scended into the bowels of the earth, and pass through caverns, unknown abysses, silent depths.
á An ugly Feend with monstrous stalke behind him stept,” without Guyons' knowledge, ready to devour him on the least show of covetousness. The brilIancy of the gold lights up hideous figures, and the beaming metal shines with a beauty more seductive in the glocm of the infernal prison. *That Houses forme within was rude and
black than iett.
But overgrowne with dus
.nd old decay,
tame, Who, maystring them, renewd his former
heat: Some scumd the drosse that from the metal
came; Some stirs the molten owre with ladles great : And every one did swincke, and every one
did sweat ...
earth did rayne.
To th' up part, where was advaunced hye And over all of purest guld was spred
A trayle of yvie in his native hew
That wight, who did not well avis'd it vew, That never earthly prince in such aray
Would surely deeme it to bee yvie trew; His glory did enhaunce, and pompous pryde
Low his lascivious armes adowr. did creepe. display . .
That themselves dipping in the silver dew
Their fleecy flowres they fearfully did steepe There, as in glistring glory she did sitt,
Which drops of christall seemd for wantonen She held a great gold chaine ylincked well,
to weep. Whose upper end to highest heven was knitt, And lowe: part did reach to lowest hell." * Infinit streames continually did well
Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to kt N: artist's dream matches these vis- The which into an ample laver fell, wins: the glow of the furnaces beneath And shortly grew to so great quantitie, the vaults of the cavern, the lights
That like a little lake it seemd to bee ;
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits high flickering over the crowded figures, the
That through the waves one might the tot throne, and the strange glitter of the tom see, gold shining in every direction through All pav'd beneath with jaspar shining brighity the darkness. The allegory assumes
That seemd the fountaine in that sea did
sayle upright. .. gigantic proportions. When the object is to show temperance struggling
The ioyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull
shade, with temptations, Spenser deems it ne
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet ; cessary to mass all the temptations to
Th' angelicall soft trembling voyces made gether. He is treating of a general To th' instruments divine respondence meet virtue ; and as such a virtue is capable
The silver-sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmur of he waters fall; of every sort of resistance, he re
The waters fall with difference discree, quires from it every sort of resistance Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call, alike ;-after the test of gold, that of The gentle warbling wind low answered te
all. pleasure. Thus the grandest and the most exquisite spectacles follow and Upon a bed of roses she was layd, are contrasted with each other, and all
As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant are supernatural; the graceful and the
And was arayd, or rather disarayd, terrible are side by side,-the happy gar- All in a vele of silke and silver thin, dens close by with the cursed subter- That hid no whit her alabaster skin,
But rather shewd more white, if more migbi ranean cavern.
bee : " No gate, but like one, being goodly dight
More subtile web Arachne cannot spin; With bowes and braunches, which did broad
Nor the fine nets, which oft we woven see dilate
Of scorched deaw, do not in th' ayre mort Their clasping armes in wanton wreathings
lightly flee. intricate :
Her snowy brest was bare to ready spoyle So fashioned a porch with rare device,
Of hungry eies, which n' ote therewith be Archt over head with an embracing vine, Whose bounches hanging downe seemed to
And yet, through languour of her late sweet entice
toyle, All passers-by to taste their lushious wine,
Few drops, more cleare then nectar, forth And did themselves into their hands incline,
distild, As freely offering to be gathered ;
That like pure orient perles adowne it trild ; Some deepe empurpled as the hyacine,
And her faire eyes, sweet smyling in delight Some as the rubine laughing sweetely red,
Moystened their fierie beames, with which Some like faire emeraudes, not yet well ri
she thrild pened. ...
Fraile harts, yet quenched not, like stars
lights And in the midst of all a fountaine stood, Which sparckling on the silent waves door Of nichest substance that on earth might bee, seeme more bright." So pure and shiny that the silver flood Through every channell running one might
Do we find here nothing but fairy see ; Most goodly it with curious ymageree
land? Yes; here are finished pictures Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked true and complete, composed with a boyes,
painter's feeling, with choice of taste Of which some seemed with lively iollitee
and outlines ; our eyes are delighted To fly about, playing their wanton toyęs, Whylest others did themselves embay in by them. This reclining Acrasia has liquid ioyes.
the pose of a goddess, or of one of * The Früria Queen, ii. C. 7, st. 28-46
* Ibid. 12, st. 53-78.
Titian's courtesans An Italian artist (tain effect which is berg worked out might copy these gardens, these flowing Thus a beauty issues fix in this harmo waters, these sculptured loves, those ny,--the beauty in the poet's heart,wreaths of creeping ivy thick with which his whole work strives to ex: glossy leaves and feecy flowers. Just press; a noble and yet a cheerful teau. before, in the infernal depths, the ty, made up of moral elevation and lights, with their long streaming rays, sensuous seductions, English in sentiwere fine, half-smothered by the dark- ment, Italian in externals, chivalric in ness; the lofty throne in the vast hall, subject, modern in its perfection, repre between the pillars, in the midst of a senting a unique and wonderful epoch, swarming multitude, connected all the the appearance of paganism in a lurins around it by drawing all looks Christian race, and the worship of form towards one centre. The poet, here by an imagination of the North. and throughout, is a colorist and an architect. However fantastic his world
$ 3. PROSE may be, it is not factitious; if it does aot exist, it might have been ; indeed,
I. it should have been; it is the fault of
Such an epoch can scarcely last, and circumstances if they do not so group the poetic vitality wears itself oui by themselves as to bring it to pass ; taken its very efflorescence, so that its expanby itself, it possesses that internal har-sion leads to its decline. From the mony by which a real thing, even a beginning of the seventeenth century, still 'higher harmony, exists, inasmuch the subsidence of manners and genius as, without any regard to real things, it
grows apparent. Enthusiasm and reis altogether, and in its least detail, spect decline. The minions and courtconstructed with a view to beauty: Art fops intrigue and pilfer, amid pedantry, has made its appearance: this is the puerility, and show. The court plungreat characteristic of the age, which ders, and the nation murmurs. The distinguishes the Faërie Queene from all Commons begin to show a stern front, similar tales heaped up by the middle and the king, scolding them like a age. Incoherent, mutilated, they lie schoolmaster, gives way before them like rubbish, or roughhewn stones, like a little boy. This sorry monarch which the weak hands of the trouvères (James I.) suffers himself to be bullied could not build into a monument.
At by his favorites, writes to them like a last the poets and artists appear, and gossip, calls himself a Solomon, airs his with them the conception of beauty, to literary vanity, and in granting an wit, the idea of general effect. They audience to a courtier, recommends understand proportions, relations, con- him to become a scholar, and expects trasts ; they compose. In their hands to be complimented on his own schol. the blurred vague sketch becomes de
arly attainments. The dignity of the fined, complete, separate ; it assumes
government is weakened, and the peo color-is made a picture. Every object ple's loyalty is cooled. Royalty de thus conceived and imaged acquires a clines, and revolution is fostered. At definite existence as soon as it assumes the same time, the noble chivalric 1 true form; centuries after, it will be paganism degenerates into a base and acknowledged and admired, and men coarse sensuality. The king, we are will be touched by it; and more, they told, on one occasion, had got so drunk will be touched by its author; for, be with his royal brother Christian of sides the object which he paints, the Denmark, that they both had to be poet paints himself. His ruling idea is carried to bed. Sir John Harrir gton stamped upon the work which it pro- says: duces and controls. Spenser is supe
“ The ladies abandon their sobriety, and are rior to his subject, comprehends it fully,
seen to roll about in into rication. The frames it with a view to its end, in Lady who did play the green's part in the order to impress upon it the proper Masque of the Queen of Seba) did carry moet mark of his soul and his genius. Each precious gifts to both their Majesties; bat, for story is modulated with respect to set her caskets into his Danish Majestica lap
getting the steppes arising to the canopy, oper another, and all with respect to a cer- I and fell at his feet, tho I rather think it was in