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thence that the Titans were Hecate's parents; although this, I presume, is the best argument our author could have offered for his gènealogy In this stanza, Bellona is likewise feigned to be the offspring of the Titans ; but Bellona was the sister of Mars, who was son of Jupiter and Juno; or, as Ovid reports, of Juno alone.

A classical reader of the Fairy Queen may discover many more examples which properly belong to this section. But my prin- \ cipal design was to select those allusions which best shewed how such an invention as Spenser's acted on the fictions of others. / Hence it was necessary sometimes to enter into a minute detail of the fables of antiquity, not out of an ostentation of erudition, but that it might appear, what belonged to the poet, and what to ancient story. Those examples which are here omitted, have been

collected by the author of Remarks on Spenser's Poems, with all the learning and sagacity for which that critic is so remarkable, and which are so peculiarly requisite for such a research.

1

SECT. IV.

Of Spenser Stanza, Versification, and Language.

ALTHOUGH Spenser's favourite Chaucer had made use of the ottava rima*, or stanza of eight lines; yet it seems probable that Spenser was principally induced to adopt it, with the addition of one line, from the practice of Ariosto and Tasso, the most fashionable poets of his

poets of his age. But Spenser, in chusing this stanza, did not sufficiently consider the genius of the English language, which does not easily fall into a frequent repetition of the same termination; a circum

/

* Chaucer's stanza is not strictly so.

Betussi, in his Life of Boccace, acquaints us, that Boccace was the inventor of the ottava rima, and that the Theseide of that author was the first poem in which it was ever applied.

stance natural to the Italian, which deals largely in identical cadences.

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Besides, it is to be remembered, that Tasso and Ariosto did not embarrass themselves with the necessity of finding out so many și'milar terminations as Spenser. Their ottava rima has only three similar endings, alternately rhyming. The two last lines formed a distinct rhyme. But in Spenser, the second rhyme is repeated four times, and the third three*.

This constraint led our author into many absurdities; the most striking and obvious of which seem to be the following.

I. It obliged him to dilate the thing to be expressed, however unimportant, with trifling and tedious circumlocutions, viz.

* See examples of the measures of the Provencial poets in Petrarch. Spenser forms a compound of many of these.

Now, hath fair Phæbe, with her silver face,
Thrice seen the shadows of this nether world,
Sith last I left that honourable place,
In which her royal presence is enroll'd.

2. 3. 44.

- That is, “it is three months since I left her palace.'

H. It necessitated him, when matter failed towards the close of a stanza, to run into a ridiculous redundancy and repetition of words, viz.

In which was nothing pourtrahed nor wrought,
Nor wrought nor pourtrahed, but easie to be thought.

2. 9. 33.

III. It forced him, that he might make out < his complement of rhymes, to introduce a puerile or impertinent idea, viz.

Not that proud towre of Troy, though richly gilt.

2. 9. 45.

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