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precife and fignificant expreffions of that delicate writer, do we mistake RESEMBLANCES for THEFTS? As this then is a bufinefs which does not always proceed on fure principles, often affording the amufement of conjecture, rather than the fatisfaction of demonftration, it will be perhaps a more useful design to give Spenfer's IMITATIONS OF HIMSELF, as I have fhewn Milton's in the preceding Section. This kind of criticism will prove of service in the three following refpects. It will discover and ascertain a poets FAVORITE IMAGES: It will teach us how VARIOUSLY he expreffes the fame thought; and will EXPLAIN DIFFICULT paffages and words.

B. i. Introduct. f. 3.

Fair Venus fonne that with thy cruell dart,
At that good knight so cunningly didst rove.


Like as Cupido on Idean hill,

When having laid his cruell bowe afide,

And mortall arrowes, wherewith he doth fill

The world with murd'rous fpoyles, and bloody pray,
With his fair mother he him dights to play,
And with his goodly fifters, &c.

2. 8. 6.


And in the following, fpeaking of Cupid in the gar

den of Adonis.

Who when he hath with spoyles and crueltie Ranfackt the world, and in the wofull hearts Of many wretches fett his triumphs hie, Thither reforts, and laying his fad darts Afide, with fair Adonis playes his wanton parts. 3. 6. 49.

Thus again,

And eke amongst them little Cupid plaid

His wanton sports, being returned late

From his fierce warres, and having from him layd

His cruell bowe, wherewith he thousands hath dismayd.

2. 9. 34.

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B. i, c. viii. f. xxix.

Prince Arthur enters Orgoglio's caftle.

Then gan he loudly through the house to call,
But no man car'd to answer to his cry,
There reign'd a folemne filence over all,

Nor voice was heard, nor wight was seen in bowre or hall.

This affecting image of filence and folitude occurs again, after Britomart had surveyed the rich furniture of Bufirane's house.


But more the marvail'd, that no footings trace,
Nor wight appear'd, but wasteful emptineffe,
And folemne filence over all that place. 3. 11. 53.

This in finely expreffed: but the circumftance is common in romance. Thus when Sir Thopas enters the

land of Fairie.

Wherein he fought both north and fouth,

And oft he fpirid [whistled] with his mouth,
In many a forest wild;

But in that countre was there none,

Ne neither wife ne childe *.

But more appofitely in the old metrical romance of Syr Degore.

He went aboute, and gan to calle

Bothe in the courte and eke in the halle;

Neither for love, nor yet for awe,
Living man there none he fawet..

This romance is in the Bodleian library t, among the following pieces; which I mention for the fake of those who are making researches in antient english literature. 1. Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Clowdeflie. These were three famous archers. The former, as I observed before [pag. 53.] is mentioned

3310. † Sign, C. iii.

C. 39. 4to. Art. Selden.


by Shakespeare*. 2. The Knight of Courtefy and the Lady of Faguel. This, I think, is the ftory of Coucy's heart, related in Fauchet, and Howell's letters; which, as they tell us, was reprefented in tapestry, in Coucy castle, in France. 3. Fyl [Jyllian or Julian] of Brentforde's Teftament. [4. Syr Degore.] 5. Syr Eglamoure of Artoys. This name occurs in the fourth act of Shakespeare's Gentlemen of Verona. 6. Syr Tryamure. These three laft are in fhort verses, as most of the old

metrical romances were. 7. Hiftorye of Kyng Richard Ceur de Lyon. [Impr. W. de Worde, 1528.] His exploits were a favorite fubject, and many legends were written about him, partly on account of his fondness for chivalry; for he was the first king of England that ever published a precept or permiffion for holding public turnaments in England. His firft inftrument of this kind I have + printed above, [pag. 29.] by which it appears, that these institutions brought in a confiderable revenue to the crown. 8. Syr Bevis of Southampton ; in the fame verfe as Syr Degore, &c. viz.

* Much ado about Nothing. act 1.

It is alfo printed in Selden's England's Epinomis. op. vol. iii. p. 35. fol. 1726. And Kennet's Paroch. Artiq. pag. 153. It is in MSS. Bib. Bodl. James. No. 27. But Gul. Neubrigienfis fays, that the first use, though not royal permision, of thefe exercifes, was in the reign of Stephen. Hift. Lib. 5. c. 4. See Matth. Par. 237. poft Hoveden. p. 434.

The french have also this romance, which they call Beuves de Hanton. He was earl of Southampton, about tbe norman invafion. His fword was kept in Arundel caftle.


Such a ftroke was not fene in no land
Sithens Oliver died and Rowland *.

But I have given a long paffage from it, above; [pag. 50. feq.vol. 1.] 9. The Battayl of Egyngcourte. [Agincourt.] 10. The Wyf lapped in Morells Skin, Or, The Taming of a Shrew. Hence we perceive, how Shakespeare adopted the titles of pieces which were popular and common in his time. This too fhews his track of reading. 11. Thirteen merry Fefts of the Wyddow Edyth. 12. The Temple of Glafs. [of Lydgate.] Spenfer, I believe, might have this piece in his eye, where he describes the lovers in the Temple of Venus. 4. 10. 43. &c. There are several other pieces of the fame fort in this collection.

* This metre came from the french; but they called the french language Romance. This is what Robert de Brunne means, in his tranf lation of Peter Langtoft's French Chronicle, published by Hearn,

Peres of Langtoft, a chanoun

Schaven in the houfe of Brydlyngtoune,

ON ROMAUNCE al thys ftory he wrote,
Of english kynges as well he wote.

i. e. he wrote it in french.

Pag. 36. v. 1. Pref.

See an account, and many specimens, of french Romans, in a curious Memoir, viz. “Discours fur quelques anciens Poetes, et fur quelques ROMANS Gaulois, peu connus; par M. Galland." Mem. de Lit. Amfterdam, 1719. 12mo. tom. iii. pag. 424. These are pieces not mentioned by La Croix du Maine and Fauchet. Among others there is the ROMAN of Troy, and the Roman of [Syr] Percivall, one of Spenser's knights. There is alfo, Le ROMAN de Fortune et de Felicitè, which is a translation of Boethius, De Confolatione, into verfe.




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