Imágenes de páginas


After the Paynim brethren conquer'd were,

The Briton Prince recov’ring his stolne fword,
And Guyon his loft shield, they both yfere
Forth passed on their way in fayre accord,
Till him the Prince with gentle court did

“ Sir Knight, mote I of you this court'sy read,
To weet why on your shield, so goodly fcord,

Beare ye the picture of that Ladies head ? Full lively is the semblaunt, though the sub

stance dead." 6 Fayre Sir,” fayd he, “ if in that picture dead

Such life ye read, and vertue in vaine shew; What mote ye weene, if the trew lively-head Of that most glorious visage ye did vew! But yf the beauty of her mind ye knew, That is, her bounty, and imperiall powre, Thousand times fairer then her mortall hew, O ! how great wonder would your thoughts

devoure, And infinite desire into your fpirite poure !


II. 9. Full lively &c.] That is, the features are highly animated, though the substance of which the picture is made is inanimate. Mr. Hearne, in his Gloff. to Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, obferves, that the word semblant was very properly used of Ladies with very fine faces. Hence, says he, Robert of Brunne, in his Chronicle, speaking of king Arthur's queen ; .“ Of body was fcho avenant, (comely,]

“ Faire countenance with suete feniblant." Church,

IV. “ She is the mighty Queene of Faëry,

Whose faire retraitt I in my shield doe beare; Shee is the flowre of grace and chastity, Throughout the world renowned far and

neare, My Life, my Liege, my Soveraine, my

Deare, Whofe glory shineth as the morning starre, And with her light the earth enlumines cleare;

Far reach her mercies, and her praises farre, As well in state of peace, as puiffaunce in warre.”


“ Thrife happy man,” said then the Briton

Knight, 6 Whom gracious lott and thy great valiaunce Have made thee foldier of that Princesse

bright, Which with her bounty and glad countenaunce Doth blesse her servaunts, and them high

advaunce! How may straunge Knight hope ever to aspire, By faithfull service and meete amenaunce,


IV. 2. retraitt] Picture, portrait. Ital, ritratto.


- enlumines] Chaucer's word. See the note on enmoved, F. Q. i. ix. 48. TODD. .

V.3. Have made thee soldier] This is the more perspicuous reading of Spenser's own editions, which the folios have converted into “ a soldier ;” but have milled no subsequent editor, except Hughes. TODD.

[ocr errors]

Unto such bliffe ? fufficient were that hire
For losse of thousand lives, to die at her desire."

Said Guyon, “ Noble Lord, what meed fo


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Or grace of earthly Prince so foveraine,
But by your wondrous worth and warlike feat
Ye well may hope, and eafely attaine ?
But were your will her fold to entertaine,
And numbred be mongst Knights of May-
. denhed,
Great guerdon, well I wote, should you re-

And in her favor high bee reckoned,
As Arthegall and Sophy now beene honored.”

VII. “ Certes," then said the Prince, “I God avow, That fith I armes and knighthood first did

plight, My whole desire hath beene, and yet is now, . To serve that Queene with al my powre and


VI. 5. But were your will her fold to entertaine,] To receive her pay. Fr. Folde, a soldier's pay. CHURCH.

VI. 9. Arthegall and Sophy] Arthegall and Sophy are mentioned here, to raise a curiosity of further inquiry in the reader ; which curiosity the poet intended to answer hereafter: Arthegall we shall read of often ; and Sophy I make no doubt was intended to be the hero of some other book in this poem ; he was the son of king Gulicke of Northwales. See Draytou's Polyolbion, Song xxiv. Upton.

Now hath the funne with his lamp-burning

light - Walkt round about the world, and I no lesse,

Sith of that Goddeffe I have fought the sight, : Yet nowhere can her find : such happinesse Heven doth to me envý and fortune favourlesse.”

VIII. “ Fortune, the foe of famous chevifaunce,

' VII. 5. Now hath the sunne &c.] This is the reading of
Spenser's second edition, and of the folios. One year is paft,
says Prince Arthur, since I have been seeking the Faerie
Queene. That this is the true reading, appears plain from
F. Q. i. ix. 15. The poet's first edition reads,

Seven times the funne with his lamp-burning light
Hath walkt about the world, and I no leffe,

« Sith of that Goddeffe &c." Upton. The Prince is told afterwards, that he has been three years in pursuit of the Faerie Queene, ft. 38, according to the first edition; twelve months, according to the second. In the prefent passage, the reading of Spenser's second edition best agrees with what the Prince says, F. Q. i. ix. 15. Nyne months I seek in vaine &c.” But I cannot think the alteration was made by our poet. And I no lese seems improper, unless the sun had more revolutions than one. The reader will please to take notice, that Spenser always speaks of the heavenly bodies according to the system of Ptolomy, who supposed the sun to revolve round the earth in the space of year. CHURCH.

I think with Mr. Upton, that the second edition presents the true reading. Tonson's edition of 1758 also follows it. TODD.

VIII. 1. Fortune, the foe of famous chevilaunce,] CheviSaunce is enterprise, from the Fr. chevisjaunce. See note on F.Q. üi. xi. 24. The sentiment expressed in this line resembles the following passage, as Mr. Upton has poticed in Seneca's Herc. Fur. ver. 523.

O Fortuna, viris invidia fortibus,

“ Quàm non æqua bonis præmia dividis !” And in Statius, Theb. x. 384. . “ Invida Fata piis, et Fors ingentibus aups - “ Rara comes." And in Sidney's Arcadia, p. 102, “ Lady, how falls it out

“ Seldom,” said Guyon, “ yields to vertue

aide, But in her way throwes mischiefe and mis

chaunce, Whereby her course is stopt and paffage staid. But you, faire Sir, be not herewith dismaid, But constant keepe the way in which ye stand; Which were it not that I am els delaid

With hard adventure, which I have in hand, I labour would to guide you through al Fary land.”

IX. “ Gramercy Sir,” said he ; « but mote I weete

What straunge adventure doe ye now pursew? Perhaps my fuccour or advizement meete

that you, in whom all virtue shines, will take the patronage of Fortune, the only rebellious handmaid against virtue." Probably there may be here an allusion also to a popular ballad, entitled Fortune my foe; to which Shakspeare has certainly alluded in the Merry Wives of Windsor, and of which Mr. Malone has printed, in a note on the passage, the first stanza, A. iii. S. iii. This ballad is mentioned in Chettle's Kind harts dreame, 1592 ; and is hinted at in Gabriel Hervey's Foure Letters, of the same date. The old ballad of The most cruel Murther of Edw. V. &c. is directed to be sung to the tune of Fortune my foe. Sir Robert Naunton, in his Fragmenta Regalia, thus also affords a proper comment on Spenser's verse, where he speaks of the brave Raleigh : “ Those that he relyed on, began to take this his suddain favour for an allarum, and to be sensible of their own supplantation, and to project his, which made him shortly after fing, Fortune my foe, &c.” TODD. IX. 1.

but mote I weete] So the edition of 1751, Tonson's edition of 1758, and Upton's, rightly read. The rest follow Spenser's own editions, which, by a manifest errour of the press, give wote. TODD.

« AnteriorContinuar »