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apple by a trick; and after all, as the same commentator observes, it was not with a golden apple but common mortal-looking fruit, though gathered in the garden of Venus. He wrote a promise upon it to marry him, and so his mistress read, and betrothed herself. The story is in Ovid: Heroides, Epist. xx. xxi.

19 For which the Idaan ladies disagreed.

"He calls the three goddesses that contended for the prize of beauty, boldly but elegantly enough, Idæan Ladies."-JORTIN. "He calls the Muses and the Graces likewise, Ladies."- CHURCH. "The ladies may be further gratified by Milton's adaptation of their title to the celebrated daughters of Hesperus, whom he calls Ladies of the Hesperides.” -TODD. The ladies of the present day, in which so much good poetry and reading have revived, will smile at the vindication of a word again become common, and so frequent in the old poets and


20 Which overhanging, they themselves did steep
In a black flood, which flow'd about it round, &c.

The tree, observe, grew in the middle of "this great garden," and yet overhung its utmost bounds, and steeped itself in the black river by which it was encircled. We are to imagine the branches with their fruit stretching over the garden like one enormous arbour or trellice, and mixing a certain

lustrous light with the gloom and the funereal flowers. You walk in the shadow of a golden death. What an excessive and gorgeous luxury beside the blackness of hell!

21 And, looking down, saw many damned wights
In those sad waves which direfull deadly stank,
Plunged continually of cruel sprites,

That with their piteous cries, &c.

Virgil appears to have been the first who ventured to find sublimity in a loathsome odour. I say "appears," because many Greek writers have perished whom he copied, and it is probable the invention was theirs. A greater genius, Dante, followed him in this, as in other respects; and, probably, would have set the example had it not been given him. Sackvile followed both; and the very excess of Spenser's sense of the beautiful and attractive would render him fully aware of the capabilities of this intensity of the repulsive. Burke notices the subject in his treatise On the Sublime and Beautiful. The following is the conclusion of his remarks:-"It is one of the tests by which the sublimity of an image is to be tried, not whether it becomes mean when associated with mean ideas, but whether, when united with images of an allowed grandeur, the whole composition is supported with dignity. Things which are terrible are always great; but when things possess disagreeable qualities, or such as have indeed some

degree of danger, but of a danger easily overcome, they are merely odious, as toads and spiders."-Part the second, Section the Twenty-first. Both points are easily illustrated. Passing by a foul ditch, you are simply disgusted, and turn aside: but imagine yourself crossing a mountain, and coming upon a hot and slimy valley in which a pestilential vapour ascends from a city, the inhabitants of which have died of the plague and been left unburied; or fancy the great basin of the Caspian Sea deprived of its waters, and the horror which their refuse would send up over the neighbouring regions.


22 He daily died, yet never thoroughly dyën couth.

Die could; he never could thoroughly die. Truly horrible; and, as Swift says of his hanging footman,

very satisfactory to the beholders." Yet Spenser's Tantalus, and his Pontius Pilate, and indeed the whole of this latter part of his hell, strike us with but a poor sort of cruelty compared with any like number of pages out of the tremendous volume of Dante. But the far greater part of our extract, the sooty golden cave of Mammon, and the mortal beauty of the garden of Proserpine, with its golden fruit hanging in the twilight; all, in short, in which Spenser combines his usual luxury with grandeur, are as fine as anything of the kind which Dante or any one else ever conceived.

23 “ I Pilate_am,” &c.-Let it not be supposed that

I intend the slightest glance of levity towards the divine name which has become identified with charity. But charity itself will allow us to imagine the astonishment of this Roman Governor of Jerusalem, could he have foreseen the destinies of his name. He doubtless thought, that if another age spoke of him at all, it would treat him as a good-natured man who had to rule over a barbarous people, and make a compromise between his better judgment and their laws and prejudices. No name, except Judas's, has received more execration from posterity. Our good-natured poet has here put him in the "loathly lakes" of Tartarus.



IT has been a whim of late years with some transcendental critics, in the excess of the reaction of what may be called spiritual poetry against material, to deny utterly the old family relationship between poetry and painting. They seem to think, that because Darwin absurdly pronounced nothing to be poetry which could not be painted, they had only to avail themselves of the spiritual superiority of the art of the poet, and assert the contrary extreme. Now, it is granted that the subtlest creations of poetry are neither effected by a painter-like process, nor limited to his powers of suggestion. The finest idea the poet gives you of anything is by what may be called sleight of mind, striking it without particular description on the mind of the reader, feeling and all, moral as well as physical, as a face is struck on a mirror. But to say, nevertheless, that the poet does not include the painter in his more visible creations, is to deprive him of half his privileges, nay, of half of his very poems. Thousands of images start out of the canvass of his pages to laugh at the assertion. Where did the great Italian painters get half of the most bodily details of their subjects but out of the poets? and

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