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EW poets appear to have composed with greater rapidity than Spenser. Hurried away
by the impetuosity of imagination, he frequently cannot find time to attend to the niceties of construction; or to stand still and revise what he had before written, in order to prevent contradictions, inconsistencies, and repetitions. Hence it is, that he not only fails in the connection of single words, but of circumstances; not only violates the rules of grammar, but of probability, truth, and propriety.
A review of these faults, which flow perhaps from that cause which produced his greatest beauties, will
tend to explain many passages in particular, and to bring us acquainted with his manner in general.
I shall begin with his elleipses, in which the reader will find his omission of the relative to be frequent.
B. i. c. vi. f. x.
As when a greedy wolf through hunger fell,
He should have said, a greedy wolf who through hunger fell.
B. i. c. vii. f. xxxvii.
A gentle youth, his dearely loved squire,
Who is omitted before could menage faire.
B. i. c. X. f. xlii.
Whose face he made all beasts to feare, and gave
That is, into WHOSE hand he gave all.
B. i. c. xi. f. xxi.
He cryde as raging seas aro wont to roare,
Some such word as WHILE is to be understood before the roaring billowes.
B. i. c. a. f. . .
Whose staggering steps thy steadie hand doth lead
And shews the way, his sinfull soule to save. He should have said, and to WHICH IT Anews the way.
B. iii. c. ii. f. xlv,
Which lovst the shadow of a warlike knight,
No fhadow, but WHICH a body, &c.
B. ii. c. viii. f. xxxviii.
With that he strooke, and th' other strooke withall,
(6) The one upon his,. &c. That is, the stroke, or
ŚWORD of the
But thother, i. e. the STROKE of the otber, &c.
So forely he her strooke that thence it glaunct
4. 6. 13.
That is, the WEAPON glaunct, &c.
B. iv. c. vi. f. xxxvii.
Ne in his face, nor blood or life appear’d,
That is, he senselese stood.
B. iv. c. vii. f. vii.
But certes was with milke of wolves and tigers fed.
But certes He was, &c.
B. i. Introduct. f. ii.
Whom that most noble Briton prince so long
Sought through the world, and fuffred fo much ill. He fhould have said, and FOR WHOM he suffred, &c.