Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Both more and lesse, where it in doubt did

stand, And equall gave to each as Iustice duly scann'd.

XXXIX.
Then came October full of merry glee ;

For yet his noule was totty of the must,
Which he was treading in the wine-fats see,
And of the ioyous oyle, whose gentle gust
Made him so frollick and so full of lust:-
Upon a dreadfull Scorpion he did ride,
The fame which by Dianaes doom uniust

XXXIX. 2.

noule] Noddle. Germ. nol, nal, caput, ihe crown or top of the head. Hereof nol in jobbernol or gabbernol. Upton. Ibid.

totty) Wavering. So, ju the Shep. Cal. Feb.

“ Or liker thy head very TOTTIE is,

" So on thy corbe shoulder it lies amiffe.” CHURCH. There is an apposite illustration of this expression in Chaucer, Reves Tale, edit. Tyrwhitt, v. 4251.

My hed is Tottie of my lwink to night, That maketh me that I go nat aright." TODD. XXXIX. 3.

in the wine-fats see.] See, or sea, is, by a kind of a catachrelis, used for the liquour in the vats. UPTON. XXXIX. 7.

by Dianaes doom uniuft &c.] Why unjuft ? fince Orion had provoked her by attempting to ravith her. But, according to fome authors, he did nothing that deserved punishment. Jortin.

Dacier says (Horace, B. III. Ode IV.) that some are of opinion that Diana New Orion because he would force her to play with bim at quoits; and others, because he attempted to ravish the Nymph Opis. Be that as it may; I am fully perswaded that our poet, who never gives the least countenance to an immorality which is universally condemned throughout his whole Poem, and more particularly in the Legend of Britomartis, did not believe that Orion made any attempt upon

Slew great Orion; and eeke by his side He had his ploughing-share and coulter ready tyde.

XL. Next was November; he full grosse and fat As fed with lard, and that right well might

seeme; For he had been a fatting hogs of late, That

yet his browes with sweat did reek and

stee:n, And yet the season was full sharp and

breem; In planting eeke he took no small delight: Whereon he rode, not easie was to deeme; For it a dreadfull Centaure was in fight,

the person of Diana; and that be thought Orion did nothing that deserved punishment. CHURCH.

Orion was a famous hunter, in love with Aurora ; or the morning, as hunters generally are: Diana, out of a fit of womanish jealousy because she was not the fole object of his care and love, sent a scorpion that killed him. Her doom therefore was unjust. Upton. XL. 1. Next was November ; he full große and fat

As fed with lard, and that right well might seeme ;
For he had been a fatting hogs of late-
And after him came next the chill December ;

Yet he through merry feasting which he made, &c.] In describing these figures, Spenser seems to have remembered some circumstances in Chaucer's picture of Janus, or JANUARY, Frank. Tale, v. 2808. edit. Urr.

" Janus fit by the fire with double berde,
" And drinketh of his bugle horne the wine;
“ Before him ftant brawn of the tuskid swine,
“ And nowil [i. e. Christmas] fingeth every luftie man."

T. WARTON.

The feed of Saturne and faire Nais, Chiron hight.

XLI. And after him came next the chill December:

Yet he, through merry feasting which he made And great bonfires, did not the cold re

member; His Saviours birth his mind so much did glad: Upon a shaggy-bearded Goat he rode, The fame wherewith Dan Iove in tender

yeares, They say, was nourisht by th' læan Mayd ; And in his hand a broad deepe bowle he

beares, Of which he freely drinks an health to all his

peeres.

XLII.

Then came old Ianuary, wrapped well

XL. 9. The seed of Saturne &c.] He was son of Saturn and Philyra, daughter of Oceanus. Jortin.

See my note, F.Q. iii. xi. 43. CHURCH.
XLI. 7.

by the læan Mayd ;] What does he mean by the Iæan Mayd? The mythologists (Hyginus and Eratosthenes) inform us that Capricornus was made a constellation, because he was educated with Jupiter : and, when Jupiter assumed the throne of heaven, he placed Capri. corn and the goat his foster-mother among the stars. Capricorn is called Caper in the verses describing the names of the Zodiack: hence perhaps Spenser, in the hurry of a poet, took the goat that nourished Jupiter for the goat that was nourished with Jupiter :

" Naïs Amalthea, Cretæâ nobilis Idå.

“ Dicitur in filvis occuluisse Jovem." So that “ Iaean Mayd” is probably an errour of the press for Idean Mayd.” UPTON.

In many weeds to keep the cold away; ;
Yet did he quake and quiver like to quell,
And blowe his nayles to warme them if he

may;
For they were numbd with holding all the day
An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood
And from the trees did lop the needlefse spray:
Upon an huge great Earth-pot Steane he

stood, From whose wide mouth there flowed forth the

Romane Flood.

XLIII.

And lastly came cold February, fitting

In an old wagon, for he could not ride, Drawne of two Fishes for the feason fitting, Which through the flood before did softly

slyde And swim away; yet had he by his side His plough and harnesse fit to till the ground,

XLII. 3.

like to quell,] Like to die; or to be starved. ... UPTON. XLI. 8. Upon en huge great Earth-pot Steane he food,

From whoje wide mouth there flowed forth the Romane Flood.] Earth-pot Steane, viz. Amphora : fo the constellation is 'named in the well-known verses that mention the twelve ligns of the Zodiack : by Eratosthenes called osvogcón, by Ovid and Manilius, Urua. Spenser's spelling steane is agreeable to the Belgic word steen, a feen-put. - Aquarius is painted pouring out from his steen-pot or urn, a flood, xúoss idátwv, effufo aqua, which Spenser calls the Roman Flood : not to be confounded with the constellation called by various na mes, viz. • Totapos, Fluvius, Oceanus, Nilus, Eridanus, Padus, &c.' Upton.

And tooles to prune the trees, before the pride Of hasting Prime did make them burgein

round. So past the Twelve Months forth, and their dew

places found.

XLIV.

And after these there came the Day and Night,

Riding together both with equall pase; Th’one on a palfrey blacke, the other white: But Night had covered her uncomely face With a blacke veile, and held in hand a mace, On top whereof the moon and stars were

pight, And Sleep and Darknesse round about did

trace: But Day did beare

upon

his scepters hight The goodly fun encompast all with beamës

bright.

XLV.

Then came the Howres, faire daughters of high

love

XLII. 7.

the pride Of hasting Prime &c.] Hence perhaps the expression in a very beautiful paffage in Beaumont and Fletcher's. Lover's Progress, A. iv. S. i. “ I'll gather all the pride of Spring to deck him, &c."

TODD. XLIII. 8.

burgein] Fr. bourgeonner, to burgeon, spring forth, or bud. Upton, XLV. I.

the Howres,] Spenser says they were daughters of Jupiter and Night, i. e. of day and night. Our poet has a mythology of his own : Hesiod says, of Jupiter and Themis, Theog. ver. 900, “ They were porters of Heaven's

« AnteriorContinuar »