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THE BRIDE AT THE ALTAR.
Character, Flushed yet Lady-like Beauty, with ecstatic Angels regard
ing her; Painter, the same.
Behold, while she before the altar stands,
Like crimson dyed in grain!
35 “ Oft peeping in her face,” &c.— I cannot think the words peeping and stare, the best which the poet could have used; but he is aggravating the beauties of his bride in a long epithalamium, and sacrificing everything to her superiority. The third line is felicitous.
A NYMPH BATHING.
Character, Ecstacy of Conscious and Luxurious Beauty ; Paintes
-Her fair locks which formerly were bound
So that fair spectacle was from him rest,
So hid in locks and waves from looker's theft,
Withal she laughed, and she blush'd withal,36
36 « Withal she laugh’d,” &c.—Perhaps this is the loveliest thing of the kind, mixing the sensual with the graceful, that ever was painted. The couplet, So hid in locks and waves, &c., would be an excessive instance of the sweets of alliteration, could we bear to miss a particle of it.
THE CAVE OF DESPAIR.
Character, Savage and Forlorn Scenery, occupied by Squalid Misery
Painter, Salvator Rosa.
Ere long they come where that same wicked wight
Far from that haunt all other cheerful fowl,
And all about old stocks and stubs of trees,
Would fain have fled, nor durst approachen near,
Look'd deadly duil, and stared as astound;
His raw-bone cheeks, through penury and pine,
That darksome cave they enter where they find
His garment naught but many ragged clouts,
In which a rusty knife fast fixed stood,
Still finer than this description are the morbid sophistry and the fascinations of terror that follow it in the original; but as they are less poetical or pictorial than argumentative, the extract is limited accordingly. There is a tradition that when Sir Philip Sidney read this part of the Faerie Queene, he fell into transports of admiration.
A KNIGHT IN BRIGHT ARMOR LOOKING INTO A CAVE.
Character, A deep effect of Chiaroscuro, making deformity risible
But full of fire and greedy hardiment,
But th’ other half did woman's shape retain,
37 « A little glooming light, much like a shade.”_Spenser is very fond of this effect, and has repeatedly painted it. I am not aware that anybody noticed it before him. It is evidently the original of the passage in Milton :
Where glowing embers through the room
Observe the pause at the words looked in.
MALBECCO SEES HELLENORE DANCING WITH THE SATYRS, Character, Luxurious Abandonment to Mirth ; Painter, Nicholas
--Afterwards, close creeping as he might,
And of their lovely fellowship full glad,
The silly man then in a thicket lay,
The whiles their goats upon the browses fed,
*“ That new honor which they redd.”—Areaded, awarded.
WITH DAMSELS CONVEYING A WOUNDED SQUIRE ON HIS HORSE.
Character, Select Southern Elegance, with an intimation of Ane Ar.
chitecture ; Painter, Claude. (Yet " mighty” woods hardly belong to him.)
Into that forest far they thence him led,
Amongst the pumy stones, which seem'd to plain
Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
THE NYMPHS AND GRACES DANCING TO A SHEPHERD'S
APOTHEOSIS OF A POET'S MISTRESS.
Character, Nakedness without Impudency: Multitudinous and Innocent
Delight; Exaltation of the principal Person from Circumstances, rather than her own Ideality ; Painter, Albano.
Unto this place whereas the elfin knight