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Lucretius, the warmest of the roman poets, has given us this metaphor.
RECREANT knight, is a term of romance. Thus in MORTE ARTHUR. Then said the knight to " the king, thou art in my daunger whether me lyst " to save thee or to sley thee; and but thou yeeld " thee as overcome and RECREANT, thou shalt dye. “ As for death, faid king Arthur, welcome be it “ when it cometh ; but as to yeeld me to thee as " RECREANT, &c t."
B. ii. c. vii. s. iii.
In smith's fire-fpetting forge. Spett seems antiently to have more simply signified DISPERSE, without the low idea which we at present affix to it. Thus Milton, in Comus,
When the dragon woom
And Drayton, in the Barons Wars, of an exhalation,
Spetteth his lightening forth
B. i. c. viii. s. v.
A description of an angel.
Beside his head there fate a faire young man
Decked with diverse plumes like painted jayes,
Milton t, in his description of Satan under the form of a stripling-cherub, has highly improved upon Spenser's angel, and Tasso's Gabriel I, both which he seems to have had in his eye, as well as in his Raphael g. Many authors, before Milton, have defcribed angels, in which they have insisted only upon the graces of youth and beauty. But it must be grant
ed, that our great countryman was the first that ever attempted to give, with becoming majesty, the idea of an ARMED ANGEL. He, probably, received fome hints, in this respect, from paintings, which he had seen in Italy; particularly from one by GUIDO, where Michael, clad in celestial panoply, triumphs over Satan chained.
B. ii. c. x, f. vii.
Speaking of Albion,
But farre in land a salvage nation dwelt
66 Erat tunc
This puts me in mind of Geoffry of Monmouth's account of the original state of Albion. 56 nomen infula Albion, quæ a nemine nisi a PAUCIS « GIGANTIBUS inhabitabatur.”
A few giants in that historian's opinion were but of little confideration.
B. ii. c. xi. s. xviii.
Their fluttring arrows thick as flakes of snow.
Fundunt fimul undique tela
* Æn. 11. ver, 610,
For on his shield as thick as stormy show'r
2. 8. 35.
Which two last instances are more like Virgil's fer
B. ï. c. xi. f. xxxv.
Thereby there lay
The same he snatcht, and with exceeding sway
Among other instances of the extraordinary strength exerted by antient heroes in lifting huge stones, as described by the antient poets, I think the following in Apollonius has never been alleged by the commentators. Jason crushes the growing warriors with a prodigious stone.
Λαζέλο δ'εκ πεδιοιο μεγαν περιηγεα σερον,
Arripit e campo magnum et rotundum faxum,
But the more delicate critics ought to remember, that Jason was aslisted in this miraculous effort by the enchantments of Medea.
B. ï. c. xii. s. lx.
And in the midst of all a fountaine stood.
Hardly any thing is described with greater pomp and magnificence than artificial fountains in romance. See a glorious one in Ariosto, 42, 91.
Fountains were a common ornament of gardens in Spenser's age; and were often finely decorated with statues, devices, and other costly furniture, like this in the Bowre of Blise. I think, they are mentioned,
Agyox. b. 3. 1364.