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Again, F. Q. iii. iii. 48.
• Then shall a spark of fire, which hath long while
• Bene in his ashes raked up and bid.' Again, F. Q. iii. iv. 42.
" Then all the rest into their coches CLIM,
Upon great Neptunes necke they softly swim.' Again, F. Q. iv. iii. 26.
- Mightily amate, "As fast as forward erst, now backward to RETRATE.' Again, F. Q. iv. ii. 27.
Shall have that golden girdle for reward, And of, &c.
• Shall to the fairest ladie be prefAR'D.' And, to be short, we meet with YcLED for yclad, DARRE for dare, PREJUDIZE for prejudice, sam for same, LAm for lamb, DENAY for deny, PERVART for pervert, HEARE for hair, and numberless other instances of orthography destroyed for the sake of rhyme. This was a liberty which Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate, frequently made use of; and it may not be improper, in this place, to exbibit the sentiments of a critick in queen Elizabeth's
• Now there cannot be in a MAKER a fowler fault than to falsifie his accent to serve his cadence; or, by untrue orthography, to wrench his words to help his rhyme; for it is a • sign that such a maker is not copious in his own • language.' However, he seems afterwards to allow the deviation from true spelling, in some
age upon it.
. It is somewhat more tollerable to help the rhyme by false orthographie, than to leave
an unpleasant dissonance to the eare, by keep' ing trewe orthographie and losing the rime; as • for example, it is better to rime dore with restore, than in his true orthographie which is • doore.--Such men were in effect the most part of • all your old rimers, and specially Gower, who, to
make up his rime, would for the most part • write his terminant syllable with false orthogra• pbie; and many times not sticke to put a plaine • French word for an English; and so by your • leave do many of our common rimers at this
day.' Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, B. 2. c. 8.
We find in many passages of our author the orthography violated, when the rhyme without such an expedient would be very exact; thus BITE, when made to rhyme with delight, is some times spelt BIGHT, as if the eye could be satisfied in this case as well as the ear. Instances of this sort occur often in Harington's Ariosto, and more particularly of the word said, which is often occasionally written sen, This practice was continued as far down as the age of Milton. See Ly. cidas, ver. 128.
• Bəsides what the grim wolf with privy paw • Daily devours apace, and nothing sed.
• Said is thus printed sed in the edition of • 1645, that it might appear to rhyme, with
greater propriety, to the preceding spread. · Later editors, not knowing the fasbion of writ• ing said, upon some occasions, sed, altered it to fed, which utterly destroyed the sense. The
same spelling is found again in the same edi• tion, and for the same reason, in L'Allegro :
• She was pincht and pull'd she sed,
Hughes, not considering our author's common practice of misspelling a word for the convenience of his rhyme, makes him guilty of many dissonant rhymes: for that editor, among other examples of his exactness, has reduced Spenser's text to modern orthography with great accuracy:
It is indeed surprising, upon the whole, that Spenser should execute a poem of uncommon length, with so much spirit and ease, laden as he was with so many shackles, and embarrassed with so complicated a BONDAGE OF RIMING. Nor can I recollect, that he has been so careless as to suffer the same word to be repeated as a rhyme to itself, in more than four or five instances ; a fault which, if he had more frequently committed, his manifold beauties of versification would have obliged us to overlook : and which Harington
should have avoided more scrupulously, to compensate, in some degree, for the tameness and prosaick mediocrity of his numbers.
Notwithstanding our author's frequent and affected usage of obsolete words and phrases * , yet it may be affirmed, that his style, in general, has great perspicuity and facility. It is also remarkable, that his lines are seldom broken by transpositions, antitheses, or parentheses. His sense and sound are equally flowing and uninterrupted. From this single consideration, an internal argument arises, which plainly demonstrates that Britaines Ida is not'written by Spen
Let the reader judge from the following specimen.
Among the rest, that all the rest exceld,
* The author of The Arte of English Poesie seems to blame Spenser for this. . 'Our MAKER therefore, at these dayes, shall not follow Piers Plowman, nor Gower, nor Lydgate, nor yet Chaucer; for their language is now lout of use with us.' B. 3. c. 1. The Faerie Queene was not published when this critick wrote, so that this censure is levelled at the Pastorals, which, however, in another place he commends. For eg.logue and pastoral poesie, Sir Philip Sydney, and Maister Chål. lener, and that other gentleman who wrote the late Shepherds Kalender,' B. I. c. 31. Spenser had published his Pastorals about ten years before ; to which he did not prefix his name, One of Spenser's contemporary poets has ridiculed the obsolete language of the Faerie Queene, viz. Daniel, in his 52d Sonnet:
Let others sing of Knights and Palladincs, * In aged accents, and untimely words.' T. WARTON,
• His nimph-like face ne'er felt the nimble sheeres, • Youth's" downie blossome through his cheeke
appeares : • His lovely limbes (but love he quite discarded)
• Were made for play, (but he' no play regarded;) · And fit love to reward, and be with love rewarded. High was his forehead, arch't with silver mould,
(Where never anger churlish wrinkle dighted,) • His auburne lockes hung like darke threds of gold, • That wanton aires(with their faire length incited) • To play among their wanton curles delighted. · His smiling eyes with simple truth were stord,
Ah! how should truth in those thiefe eyes be stord, " Which thousand loves had stoln, and never once
restord! • His cheerfull lookes, and merry face would proove * (If eyes the index be where thoughts are read) ' A dainty play-fellow for naked Love. • Of all the other parts enough &c.'
But there are other arguments which prove this poem to be the work of a different hand. It has a vein of pleasing description ; but is, at the same time, filled with conceits and witticisms, of which Spenser has much fewer, than might be expected from the taste of his age. Its manner is like that of Fletcher's Purple Island.
I suspect it to have been written in imitation of Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis *. The author, whoever he was, certainly lived about the latter end of Elizabeth, or the beginning of James I.
* The first edition of which was printed in London, for William Leake, 1602, 12mo. T. WARTON.