Слике страница
PDF
ePub

as well as in that moral allegory, which is more obvious. In the last verse of this book, the Paliner says,

“ But let us hence depart whilti weather serves and wind.” Sir Guyon and the Palmer leave the INand of Acralia, taking the Enchantress along with them, whom they immediately send to the Queen of Fairy land: they then repair to the house of Alma, and join the Briton Prince. UPTON.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

IT falls me here to write of Chastity,

That fayrest vertue, far above the rest :

* The Legend of Britomartis,] Britomartis, among the Cretans, was another name for Diana, the goddess of Chastity. I think she is so called in Claudian. It is not improbable, as our author has copied the greatett part of the second canto of this book from the Ceiris of Virgil, that he found, from the fame poem, that Britomartis was a name for Diana, viz.

Dycinnam direre tuo de nomine Lunam.She was a Cretan nymph, and the daughter of Jupiter and Charme, whom Virgil has introduced, in his Ceiris, as the nurse of Scylla, and from whom our author has copied his Glauce, Britomart's nurse, in the Canto mentioned above. She was called Dietynna, because the invented nets for hunting, which being also one of Diana's names, Britonartis and Diana were looked upon as the fame. Callimachus speaks of her as one of the nymphs of Diana's train, but adds, that the was called by the Cydonians, Dictynna. He has left the history of Britomartis in his hymn to Diana, ver. 189.

Εξοχα και αλλαων Γορ!υνιδα φιλαο νυμφην

Ελλoφoνoν BPITOMAΡΤΙΝ, ενσκοπον κ. τ. λ. We may read nearly the same account of this nymph in the METAMOPONEEIE of Antoninus Liberalis, Fab. 40. p. 50. Bafil, 1568. Upon the word Bpilou zplos, says the scholiaft on Callimachus, BPITOMAΡΤΙΣ ονομα το κυριο» της νυμφης" αφ' ης και η ΑΡΤΕΜΙΣ εν Κρήτη BPITOMAΡΤΙΣ τιμαλαι, ως Διογενιανό. And Solinus speaks to the same effe&t. “ Cretes Dianam religiofiffime venerantur, Bpilouaşlı gentiliter nominantes ; quod fer

For which what needes me fetch from Faëry Forreine eņsamples it to have exprest?

mone noftro fonat virginem dulcem." Polyhist. c. 17. But although Spenser in Britomartis had fome reference to Diana, yet at the same time he intended to denote, by that name, the martial BRITON ESSE.

The reader is desired to take notice, that the paffage which Spenser has copied from the Ceiris of Virgil, begins at this verse of that poem,

" Quam fimul Ogygii Phænicis filia CHARME;" — And ends at, Defpue ter, virgo : numero deus impare gaudet.”

T. WARTON. I. 1. It falls me here to write of Chastity, &c.] Our poet addresses the Fairy Queen in bis Introduction to every

book ; and here his subject led him more particularly to fuch an address; which explains what he fays below, st. 3.

“ Yet now my luckleffe lott doth me conftrayne

“ Hereto perforce :" He calls it luckleje lott, because, apprentice only of the poetical art, he fears to inar fo divine a subject, though “ Thadowing his Virgin Queen in coloured Mewes” and now necessarily led to treat of her by the nature of his subject. Queen Elizabeth was pleased with this appellation of Virgin: When the Commons of England petitioned her to marry, she told them that She should be well contented if her marble told pofterity, Here fies a Queene who reigned so long, and lived and died a Virgin. Hence you will see the force and elegance of what he says, F. Q. iii. v. 50, 51. Upton.

1. 2. That fayret]. The first edition reads, The faireft,” to which the editions of 1751 and Mr. Church adhere. All the rest read, " That fairest,” which is more emphatick. Todd. Ibid.

far above the rest ;] In whatever style or manner Spenser chose to pay his court to Queen Elizabeth, he never would pay it at the expence of truth: when he took up the poet, he did not lay down the philosopher, in a philosophical poem too: nor would he say, that Chastity was far above Justice; much less that Chastity was far above all the Virtues: doubtless it would be an address fufficient to his Virgin Queen, if he said of Chastity,

“That fayrest virtue, FAYRE above the rest:” Nay, the very turn of the verse, and the address, require this reading; and I only want authority to print it fo. Urton.

Sith it is shrined in

my

Soveraines brest, And formd so lively in each perfect part, That to all Ladies, which have it profest,

Need but behold the pourtraiet of her hart ; If pourtrayd it might bee by any living art:

II.

But living art may not least part expreffe,

Nor life-resembling pencill it can paynt:
All were it Zeuxis or Praxiteles,
His dædale hand would faile and greatly faynt,

II. 3. All were it] Although it were. So he uses all for although, C. i. ft. 21. CHURCII. Ibid.

Zeuris or Praxiteles,] Praxiteles was no painter. Jortin. Spenfer follows his old master, p. 128. edit. Urr.

“ Lo! I Nature
" Thus can yforme and paintin a creture,
“ Whan that me liste; who can me counterfete?
“ Pigmaleon ? not though he forge and bete,
" Or grave, or painte : for I dare well ysaine,

Apelles or Xeuxis thould werche in vaine
To grave or painte, or for to forge or bete,

“ If they prefumid me to counterfete.” CHURCH. Zeuxis was a famous painter, and Praxiteles a statuary : fo that the life-resembling pencill may refer to Zeuxis, and the living art to Praxiteles ; " Ipirantia figna," Virg. Georg. iii. 36. Viros ducent de marmore vultus,” Æn. vi. 848. Nor is it contrary to Spenser's manner to make, in construction, his dædale hand refer to living art, that is, to the artist's ingenious hand. Upton.

The punctuation of Mr. Church, which I have adopted, gives a greater perspicuity to this passage. He places a colon after paynt, and a comma only after Praxitcles. Most editions place a colon or semicolon after the latter word, and a comma after the former; by which pointing the sense has appeared to be embaraffed. TODD.

II. 4. His dædale hand] Dædale hand, i. e. ingenious, cunning hand, árò tõ dandártev, artificiofe fingere. See Hom. II. 1. 60.

[blocks in formation]
« ПретходнаНастави »