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tained by labour and study, is not only extremely proper to the subject of this Book, but admirable, if we consider it as the sense of that Princess, and as a short character of fo active and glorious a reign.
" Abroad in armes, at home in studious kynd, “ Who seekes with painfull toile, shall Honor soonest fynd: “ In woods, in waves, in warres, she wonts to dwell,
“ And will be found with perill and with paine ;
“ To Pleasure's pallace; it may soone be fpide, .. “ And day and night her dores to all itand open wide.” Such passages as these kindle in the mind a generous emulation, and are an honour to the art of poetry, which ought always to recommend worthy fentiments. The reader may fee in Canto VI. a character quite opposite to this, in that of Idleness, who draws Sir Guyon for a while from his guide, and lays him asleep in her island. Her song with which she charms him into a slumber, ? Behold, O Man! that toilesome paines doest take,
“ The flowrs, the fields, and all that pleasaunt growes, &c." is very artfully adapted to the occasion, and is a contraft to that speech of Belphebe I have just quoted. • The episode of Mammon, who in the palmer's absence leads Sir Guyon into his cave, and tempts him with a survey of his riches, very properly diverfifies the entertainment in this Book, and gives occafion to a noble speech against riches, and the mischievous effects of them. I have, in the Discourse on Allegory, taken notice of the fiends and spectres which are placed in crowds at the entrance to this place. The Author fupposes the House of Riches to lie almost contiguous to hell; and the guard he sets upon it.expresses a very just moral: .'" Before the dore fat felfe-consuming Care, .“ Day and night keeping wary watch and ward."
The light which is let into this place, " Such as a lamp, whose life does fade away; " Or as the moone cloathed with clowdy night :" The smokinets of it, and the Naves of Mammon working at an hundred furnaces, are all described in the most lively manner; as their ludden looking at Sir Guyon is a circumstance very naturally represented. The walks, through which Mammon afterwards leads the Knight, are agreeably varied. The defcription of Ambition, and of the Garden of Proferpine, are good Allegories; and Sir Guyon's falling into a swoon on his coming into the open air, gives occasion to a fine machine of the appearance of an heavenly spirit in the next Canto, by whose assistance he is restored to the Palmer.
I cannot think the poet fo fuccefsful in his description of the House of Temperance, in which the Allegory seems to be debased by a mixture of too many low images, as Diet, Concoction, Digestion, and the like, which are represented as persons: but the allegorical defcription of Memory, which follows soon after, is very good.,
The IXth Canto, in which the author has made an abridgement of the old British history, is a very amusing digression, but might have been more artfully introduced. Homer or Virgil would not have suffered the action of the poem to stand still whilst the hero had been reading over a book, but would have put the history into the mouth of some proper person to relate it. But I have already said that this Work is not to be examined by the strict rules of epick poetry. i .
Goned to show thends with the mor fancy of the
The last Canto of this Second Book being defigned to show the utmost trial of the Virtue of Temperance, abounds with the most pleasurable ideas and representations which the fancy of the Poet could affemble together;. but, from the 58th stanza to the end, it is for the most part copied, and many whole stanzas translated, from the famous episode of Armida in Taffo. The reader may obferve, that the Italian genius for luxury appears very much in the descriptions of the garden, the fountain, and the nymphs; which, however, are finely amplified and improved by our English poet. I shall give but one instance in the following celebrated stanza, which to gratify the curiosity of those who may be willing to compare the copy with the original, I shall let down in Italian.
“ Vezzosi augelli, infra le verdi fronde,
“ Mormora l'aura, e fà le foglie e l'onde
«. Sia caso od arte, hor accompagna, ed hora . « Alterna i verfi lor la Musica ora." Spenser has two stanzas on this thought, the last of which only is an imitation of Taffo, but with finer turns of the verse, which are so artificial, that he seems to make the musick he describes. .: « Eftsoones they heard a most melodious found
« Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,
« Was there conforted in one harmonee; « Birdes, voices, instruments, windes, waters, all agree:
s6 The ioyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
“ Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet ;
« The water's fall, with difference discreet, .6 Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call; “ The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.” Sir Guyon and the Palmer, rescuing the youth who was held captive by Acrasia in this delightful manfion, resembles that of the two warriours recovering Rinaldo from the charms of Armida in the Italian poem.
In the Third Book, the character of Britomartis, a lady-errant, who is the heroine, and performs the chief adventure, resembles Ariofto's Bradamante, and Taffo’s Clarinda; as they are all copies of the Camilla in Virgil.
Among the chief beauties in this book, we may reckon that episode in which Britomartis goes to the cave of Merlin, and is entertained with a prophetical account of her future marriage and offspring. This thought is remotely taken from Virgil, but more immediately froin Ariofto, who has represented Bradamante on the like occasion making a visit to the tomb of Merlin, which he is forced for that purpose to suppose to be in Gaul; where the sees, in like manner, in a vision, the heroes and captains who were to be her descendants.
The story of Marinell, and that of the birth of Belphebe and Amoret, in which the manner of Ovid is well imitated, are very amusing. That complaint against Night, at the end of Canto IV. " Night! thou foule mother of annoyaunce sad,
" Sister of heavie Death, and nourse of Woe, &c." though it were only confidered as detached from
the rest, might be esteemed a very fine piece of poetry. But there is nothing more entertaining in this whole Book than the prospect of the Gardens of Adonis, which is varied from the Bower of Bliss in the former Book, by an agreeable mixture of philofophical fable. The figure of Time, walking in this garden, spoiling th e beauty of it, and cutting down the flowers, is a very fine and fignificant Allegory.
I cannot so much commend the story of the Squire of Dames, and the intrigue between Paridell and Hellenore : these passages favour too much of the coarse and comick mixtures in Ariosto : but that image of Jealousy, at the end of Canto X. grown to a favage, throwing himself into a cave, and lying there without ever shutting one eye, under a craggy clift just threatening to fall, is strongly conceived, and very poetical. There is likewise a great variety of fancy in drawing up and distinguishing, by their proper emblems, the visionary persons in the Mask of Cupid, which is one of the chief embellishments of this Book:
In the story of Cambel and Canace, in Book IV. the Author has taken the rise of his invention from the Squire's Tale in Chaucer, the greatest part of which was lost. The battle of Cambel with the three brethren, and the sudden parting of it by that beautiful machine of the appearance of Concord, who by a touch of her wand charms down the fury of the warriours, and converts them into friends, is one of the most shining paffages in this Legend. We may add to this the fiction concerning the Girdle of Florimel, which is a good Allegory; as also the description of Atė, or Discord; that of Care, working like a smith, and living amidst the perpetual noise of hammers; and especially the Temple of Venus, which is adorned with a great variety of