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Envy, and the like. Ariosto gives us but few fymbolical beings of this fort; for a picturesque invention was by no means his talent: while those few which we find in his poem, are feldom drawn with that cha. racteristical fullness, and fignificant expreffion, fo striking in the fantastic portraits of Spenfer. And that Spenser painted these figures in so distinct and animated a style, may we not partly account for it from this caufe ; That he had been long habituated to the fight of these emblematical personages, visibly decorated with their proper attributes, and actually endued with speech, motion, and life?

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As a more convincing argument in favour of this hypothesis, I shall remark, that Spenser expressly denominates his most exquisite groupe of allegorical figures, the Maske of CUPID* Thus, without

It is not improbable that Milton in Il Pexseroso, took his thought of hearing music from the earth, produced by some SPIRIT or GENIUS,

And as I wake, sweet mufic BREATH,

Above, about, or UNDERNEATH from fome machinery of Inigo Jones, in his MASQUES. Hollinshed mentions something like this, in a very curious DEVISE presented before queen Elizabeth, fpeaking of the music of some fictitious nymphs; he adds, “ which sure had been a noble hearing, and the more melodious “ for the variety thereof, because it should come secretlie and strangelie

out of the earth.” Ubi fupr. p. 1297. It may perhaps be readily admitted, that Milton drew the whole from what had been represented in a masque. This particular artifice, however, was not uncommon

recurring to conjecture, his own words * evidently demonstrate that he sometimes had representations of this fort in his eye. He tells us moreover, that these figures were,

A jolly company,
In manner of a make enranged orderly. 3. 12. 5.

In his introduction to this groupe, it is manifest that he drew frow another allegoric spectacle of that age, called the DUMB SHEW t, which was wont to be exhibited before every act of a tragedy. ft. 3.

1

And forth issewd, as on the ready flore
Of some theatre, a grave personage,
That in his hand a branch of laurel bore,

With comely haveour, and countnance sage,
Yclad in costly garments, fit for tragicke stage.

in an age which aimed to please by surprise. Sandys tells us,

" In the 6 garden of the Tuilleries, at Paris, by an artificial device under ground “ invented for Muficke, I have known an echo repeate a verse, &c."

Sassdys's Ovid. Notes, b. 3. fol. Oxon. 1632. pag. 103. * Thus also, in the Ruines of Time, he calls his noble allegoric representations of Empire, Pleasure, Strength, &c. TRAGICKE PAGEAUNTS.

Before mine eyes Arange figkts presented were

Likę TRAGICKE PAGE AUNTS seeming to appeare. This consisted of dumb actors, who by their dress and action prepared the

pectators for the matter and substance of each ensuing act respectively; as also of much hieroglyphical scenery calculated for the same purpose. See GORDOBUCKE, a tragedy, written by T. Sackville, 1561. lately reprinted by Mr, Spence : JOCASTA, a tragedie, written

by

iv.

Proceeding to the midst he still did ftand,
As if in mind he somewhat had to say;
And to the vulgar beckning with his hand,
In sign of filence, as to hear a play,
By lively actions he gan bewray
Some argument of matter passioned ;
Which doen, he backe retyred soft away;

And passing by, his name discovered,
Ease on his robe in golden letters cyphered.

He afterwards styles these figures MASKERS. ft. 6.

The while the MASKERS marched forth in trim array.

vii.

The first was Fancy, like a lovely boy,
Of rare aspect.

by G. Gascoyne and F. Kinwelmarshe, and acted at Graies Inn, 1566 : and the introduction to f. 7. act. 3. of Shakespeare's HAMLET.

Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Play, A Wife for a Montb, act. 2. f. ult, manifestly copy from Spenser's Masks of CUPID. A Maske of Cupid is there introduced, in which Cupid appears at the head of his fervants or attendants, Fancy, Defire, Delight, Hope, Fear, Diftruft, Jealousy, Care, Ire, Poverty, Despair. These are the Personages that attend Cupid in Spenser's Mask. Particularly Cupid says,

- Then clap high My coloured wings. So Spenser had represented him, And clapt on high his coloured winges twaine. 3. 12. 23.

From

From what has been said, I would not have it objected; that I have intended to arraign the powers of our author's invention; or infinuated, that he servilely copied such representations. All I have endeavoured to prove is, that Spenser was not only better qualified to delineate fictions of this fort, because they were the real objects of his fight; but, as all men are influ-enced by what they see, that he was prompted and induced to delineate them, because he saw them, especially as they were so much the delight of his age.

Instead of entering into a critical examination of Spenser's manner of allegorising, and of the poetical conduct of his allegories, which has been done with an equally judicious and ingenious discernment by Mr. Spence *, I shall observe, that our author frequently introduces an allegory, under which no meaning is couched; viz. 2. 9. 21. ALMA is the mind, and her Castle the body. The tongue is the porter of this castle, the nose the portcullis, and the mouth the porch, about the inside of which are placed twice fixteen warders clad in white, which are the teeth; these Alma passes by, who rise up, and do obeisance to her. st. 26. But how can the teeth be said to rise up and bow to the mind ? Spenser here forgot, that he

* Polymet. b. 10, d. 4.

was

was allegorifing, and speaks as if he was describing, without any latent meaning, a real queen, with twice sixteen real warders, who, as such, might, with no impropriety, be faid to rise and bow to their queen. Many instances of his confounding allegory with reality, occur through this whole canto, and the two next; particularly, where he is describing the kitchen of this castle, which is the belly, he gives us a formal description of such a kitchen, as was to be seen in his time in castles, and great houses, by no means expressive of the thing intended. Again, the occult meaning of his bringing Scudamore to the house of CARE, 4. 5. 32. clashes with what he had before told us. By this allegory of Scudamore coming to Care's house, it should be UNDERSTOOD, that “ Scudamore, from a happy, passed into a miserable “ state.” For we may reasonably suppose, that before he came to Care's house, he was unacquainted with CARE; whereas the poet had before represented him as involved in extreme misery. It would be tedious, by an allegation of particular examples, to demonstrate how frequently his allegories are mere descriptions; and that taken in their literal sense, they contain an improper, or no signification. I shall, however, mention one. The BLATANT BEAST is faid to break into the monasteries, to rob their chan

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