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Your stubborne hart t’affect with fraile infirmity:

XXIX. “ To which when she your courage hath inclind

Through foolish pitty, then her guilefull bayt
She will embofome deeper in your mind,
And for your ruine at the latt awayt.”.
The Knight was ruled, and the Boteman

ftrayt Held on his course with stayed stedfastneffe, Ne ever shroncke, ne ever fought to bayt His tyred armes for toylesome wearinefle; But with his oares did sweepe the watry wilders. neffe.

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 :

XXIX. 7. - - 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 obferves, in a note on that passage, that a hawk is said to bate when be 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 usd to bath themselves in that deceiptfull shade.

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. “ Canst thou number the months that they fulfill ?i. e. compleat. Upton. i XXXI: 1. They were faire Ladies, &c.] It is plain by this

and by what follows, that Spenser 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 some relate. "We learn from the enıperor 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, Epift. xli. JORTIN.

By the Sirens are imaged sensual 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. Od ver. 39; to Hyginus in Præfat. Ex Acheloo et Melpomene Sirenes, fc. 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. Deurum, Lib. vii. Cap. 20. Let me add our old poets, as Gower, Fol. x. 2, and Chaucer, Rom. of the Rose, ver. 680. Voffius has followed it too, “ Sirenes dicebantur tria marina monftra, quorum unumquodque, ut Horatii verbis utar, Definit in piscem mulier formofa superne.” See Voflius, Etymolog, in V. Sirenes.


Of their proud beautie, and th' one moyity: Transform’d to fish for their bold furquedry; But th’ upper halfe their hew retayned still, And their sweet skill in wonted melody;.

Which ever after they abufd to ill, Tallure weake traveillers, whom gotten they did kill.

XXXII. So now to Guyon, as he pafled by, Their pleasaunt tunes they sweetly thus ap

plyde ; “ O thou fayre fonne of gentle Faëry, That art in mightie armes most magnifyde Above all Knights that ever batteill tryde, O turne thy rudder betherward awhile : Here may thy storme-bett veffell fafely ryde; This is the Port of rest from troublous toyle,

XXXI. 5.

their bold furquedry;] Pride. See the note on surquedry, F.Q. v. ii. 30. TODD. XXXI. 6. But thupper halfe their hew retayned still,

. And their sweet skill] That is, And they retained their sweet tkill : They is often omitted in Spenser: 'tis elliptically expressed. . See Ovid, Met. v. 563.

Virginei vultus et vox humana remanfit." Upton. XXXII. 3. O thou fayre funne &c.] This song of the Mermaids is copied from llomer, Od. r'. 184. where the Sirens say to Ulysses :

Asūp? ön iww.worúas odvosiū, péya xüdos Ayasão,
Νήα κατάνησον, ίνα νωϊτερην όπ’ ακέσης.

yao aw tos rñde x. 7. A. Jortin. XXXII. 8. This is the Port of rest &c.]. Perhaps he bor. rowed this from 'Tallo, C. xv. 63.

“ Questo è il porto del mondo, e qui il ristoro
." De le sue voie, e quel piacer si sente --" Upton,

· The worldes sweet In from paine and wearisome turmoyle.”

With that the rolling sea, resounding soft,

In his big base them fitly answered ; .
And on the rocke the waves breaking aloft
A solemne meane unto them measured ;
The whiles sweet zephyrus lowd whifteled

His treble, a straunge kinde of harmony; - Which Guyons fenses softly tickeled,

That he the Boteman bad row easily, And let him heare some part of their rare me-, lody

XXXIV. But him the Palmer from that vanity i : With temperate advice discounselled,

That they it.past, and shortly gan descry

The land to which their course they levelled; · When suddeinly a groffe fog over spred

- XXXIII. ]. With that &c.] This is very beautiful, and is Spenser's own invention, as far as I know. JORTIN.

A similar idea occurs in a fubfequent work, viz. Partheneia Sacra; printed in 1633. See p. 8. “ Those water-works, conduits, and aquaducts, which yet you might heare to make a gentle murmur throughout, affording an apt BASE for the birds to descant on. TODD.

XXXIV. 5. When suddeinly a grose fog orer Spred &c.] "Tis plain that during the whole voyage of this Knight, and his fober conductor, our poet had in view the voyage of Ulysses; especially the xiith book of Homer's Odulley, where the wife hero meets with the adventures of the Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis ; foon after follows his Mipwreck, and his arrival at the island of Calypso. Compare Virgil, Æn. 1892. Upton.

With his dull vapour all that defert has, · And heavens chearefull face enveloped,

That all things one, and one as nothing was, And this great universe seemd one confused mas.

Thereat they greatly were dismayd, ne wist

How to direct theyr way in darkenes wide,
But feard to wander in that wastefull mist,
For tombling into mischiefe unespyde:
Worse is the daunger hidden then defcride.
Suddeinly an innumerable flight
Of harmefull fowles about them fluttering

cride, * And with their wicked wings them ofte did

fmight, And fore annoyed, groping in that griefly night.

Even all the nation of unfortunate

And fatall birds about them flocked were,
Such as by nature men abhorre and hate ;
The ill-faste owle, deaths dreadfull meflengere;
The hoars night-raven, trump of dolefulldrcre;

XXXV. 4. For tombling &c.] That is, Left they should tumble, or, that they might not tumble. See F. Q. 111. vi. 18, vi. x. 11. So, in Nöther Hubberds Tale, when the Ape goes to Heal the crown &c. from the Neeping Lion :

“ Upon his tiptoes nicely he upwent

For making noyse"
This is after Chaucer, p. 146. edit. Urr.

“ And ovir that an habergeon
““ For percing of his herte.” CHURCH,

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