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The griefly wasserman, that makes his
game The flying ships with swiftnes to pursew; The horrible sea-fatyre, that doth shew His fearefull face in time of greatest storme; Huge ziffius, whom mariners eschew
No leffe then rockes, as travellers informe; And greedy rosmarines with visages deforme :
XXV. All these, and thousand thousands many more,
And more deformed monsters thousand fold,
XXIV. 3. The griefly wasserman, &c.] Waffernix, dæmon aquaticus. Wacht. See Gefner, p. 439, &c. “ Eft inter beluas marinas bomo inarinus, eft et Triton, &c.” and p. 1000. “ Tri. tonem Germani vocare poterant ein waferman, ein sceman, i. e. aquatilem vel niarinum hominem." Upton.
XXIV.5. The horrible sea-Satyre,] See Gefner, p. 1001. “ Pan, vel Satyrus marinus." Upton.
XXIV. 7. Huge zifius.] Dr. Jortin fancies that the poet meant Xiphias, which, Mr. Church adds, is the sword-fish. But the huge Xiphias, fuppofing Spenser to have intended this spelling, is a very different fith from the common fword-fijh, which is so named from a long blade of an horned substance proceeding from his upper jaw, with which he kills his prey: See the Catalogue of Oppian's Fishes, already cited. The huge Ziffius is thus defcribed, Olai Magni Epit. L. xxi. C. x. “ Eft enim Xiphias animal nulli alteri fimile, nisi in aliqua proporțione ceti. Caput habet horridum, ut bubo: os profundum talde, veluti baratbrum immensum, quo terret et fugat inspicientes: oculos horribiles, dorsum cuneatum, vel ad gladii formam elevatum, roftrum mucronatum. TODD.
XXIV. 9. And greedy rosmarines] The rosmarine is denominated also by Olaus Magnus the Norwegian mors. See Olai . Nagni Epit. L. xxi. C. xix. “ Rosmari itaque hi pifces, five morh dicuntur, caput habentes bovinæ figuræ, hirsutam pellem, pilofque fpiffitudine veluti culmos vel calamos frumenti, late diffluentes. Dentibus fefe ad rupium cacumina usque tanquam per scalas elevant, ut rorulento dulcis aquæ gramine vefcantur, &c." TODD.
With dreadfull noise and hollow rombling
rore Came rushing, in the fomy waves enrold, Which seem'd to fly for feare them to be
hold: Ne wonder, if these did the Knight appall; For all that here on earth we dreadfull hold,
Be but as bugs to fearen babes withall, Compared to the creatures in the seas entráll.
XXVI. “ Feare nought," then faide the Palmer well
aviz'd, “ For these same monsters are not these in
deed, But are into these fearefull shapes disguiz'd By that same wicked Witch, to worke us
dreed, And draw from on this iourney to proceed.” Tho, lifting up his vertuous staffe on hye, He smote the sea, which calmed was with
speed, And all that dreadfull armie fast gan flye Into great Tethys bosome, where they hidden
lye. XXV. 8. Be but as bugs to fearen babes] The like expreffon occurs in F. Q. iii. iv. 15. And in F. Q. ii. iii. 20, where see the note. TODD.
XXVI. 4. By that same wicked Witch,] Acrafia. CHURCH.
XXVI. 5. And draw from on this iourney to proceed.] And to draw us from proceeding on this journey; a Grecisin, from to proceed, árò tê welavai. See also it. 64. UPTON.
Quit from that danger forth their course they
And as they went they heard a ruefull cry
At last they in an Inand did efpy
Seemed some great misfortune to deplore, And lowd to them for succour called evermore.
XXVIII. Which Guyon hearing, streight his Palmer bad
To stere the bote towards that, dolefull Mayd, That he might know and ease her sorrow fad: Who, him avizing better, to him fayd; “ Faire Sir, be not displeafd if disobayd : For ill it were to hearken to her cry; , For she is inly nothing ill apayd ; But onely womanish fine forgery, XXVII. 4. That through the sea th' resounding &c.] Every edition, except both the poet's own, read “ That through the fea resounding &c." Spenser's two editions read “ the refounding &c.” Mr. Upton therefore, in his note, agrees to the elision which I have admitted; and adds that, though he had followed the first folio in rejecting the, he questioned its authority in this place, and wished that he had printed it other wile. TODD.
XXVIII. 7. For she is inly nothing ill apayd ;) So Chaucer, in the Merchants Tale :
“ I pray you that you be not ill apaid?" That is, disutisfied., Upton.
Your stubborne hart t'affeet with fraile infirmity :
XXIX. “ To which when she your courage hath inclind
Through foolish pitty, then her guilefull bayt
ftrayt Held on his course with stayed sted fastnesse, Ne ever shroncke, ne ever fought to bayt
His tyred armes for toylesome wearinefle; But with his oares did sweepe the watry
XXX And now they nigh approched to the sted Whereas those Mermayds dwelt: It was a
still And calmy bay, on th’ one side sheltered With the brode shadow of an hoarie hill; On th' other side an high rocke toured still, That twixt them both a pleafaunt port they
made, And did like an halfe theatre fulfill :
ne ever fought to bayt His tyred armes] To bayt here fignifies to rest, So Milton uses the word, Par. L. B. xii. 1. And Mr. Richardfon observes, in a note on that passage, that a hawk is said to bate when he stoops in the midst of his flight. Bate, Fr. butre, s'abatre, to stoop.' CHURCH.. XXX. 7. And did like an halfe theatre fulfill.] That is,
There those five Sisters had continuall trade, And ufd to bath themselves in that deceiptfull
They were faire Ladies, till they fondly striv'd
With th' Heliconian Maides for maystery; Of whom they over-comen were depriv'd
And did fulfill, or compleat, the whole, like to an amphitheatie. This is taken from the famous bay of Naples, described by Virgil, Æn. i. 163. imitated by Taffo, C. xv. 42. Fulfill is not to be altered, but explained. Job xxxix. 2.“ Canft thou number the months that they fulfill ?" i. e, compleat. Upton.
XXXI: 1. They were faire Ladies, &c.] It is plain by this and by what follows, that Spenfer designed here to describe the Mermaids as Sirens. He has done it contrary to mythology: for the Sirens were not part women and part fishes, as Spenser and other moderns have imagined, but part women and part birds. They were the daughters of one of the Muses, as fome relate." We learn from the emperor Julian that they contended with the Mutes, but that the Muses overcame them, took their wings away, and adorned themselves with them as with trophies, and in token of their victory, Epist. xli. JORTIN.
By the Sirens are imaged fensual pleasures; hence Spenser makes their number five : but the poets and mythologists as to their number vary. I refer the curious reader to the Schol. on Hom. Odi sé ver. 39; to Hyginus in Præfat. Ex Acheloo et Melpomene Sirenes, &c. and Fab. cxli; to Natalis Comes, Lib. vii. Cap. xiii; and to Barnes, Eurip. Helen. ver. 166. But should you ask, why did not Spenser follow rather the ancient poets and mythologists, than the moderns in making them Mermaids ? My answer is, Spenser has a mythology of his own : nor would he leave his brethren the romance-writers, where merely authority is to be put against authority. Boccace has given a fanction to this description, Geneal. Deorum, Lib. vii. Cap. 20. Let me add our old poets, as Gower, Fol. x. 2, and Chaucer, Rom. of the Rose, ver. 680. Vossius has followed it too, “ Sirenes dicebantur tria marina monftra, quorum unumquodque, ut Horatii verbis utar, Definit in pifcem mulier formosa superne.” See Vossius, Etymolog, in V. Sirenes.