« PreviousContinue »
37 « A little glooming light, much like a shade.”_Spenser is very fond of this effect, and has repeatedly painted it. I am not aware that anybody noticed it before him. It is evidently the original of the passage in Milton :
Where glowing embers through the room
Observe the pause at the words looked in.
MALBECCO SEES HELLENORE DANCING WITH THE SATYRS.
Character, Luxurious Abandonment to Mirth ; Painter, Nicholas
„Afterwards, close creeping as he might,
And of their lovely fellowship full glad,
The silly man then in a thicket lay,
The whiles their goats upon the browses fed,
*“ That new honor which they redd.”—Areaded, awarded.
WITH DAMSELS CONVEYING A WOUNDED SQUIRE ON HIS HORSE.
Character, Select Southern Elegance, with an intimation of fine Ar.
chitecture; Painter, Claude. (Yet “mighty” woods hardly belong to him.)
Into that forest far they thence him led,
Amongst the pumy stones, which seem'd to plain
Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
THE NYMPHS AND GRACES DANCING TO A SHEPHERD'S
APOTHEOSIS OF A POET'S MISTRESS.
Character, Nakedness without Impudency: Multitudinous and Innocent
Delight; Exaltation of the principal Person from Circumstances, rather than her own Ideality ; Painter, Albano.
Unto this place whereas the elfin knight
Of a shrill pipe he playing heard on height,
He durst not enter into the open green,
All they without were ranged in a ring
Amidst a ring most richly well enchaced,
Those were the Graces, daughters of delight,
She was, to weet, that jolly shepherd's lass
38 “ Thy love is there advanc’d,” &c.—And there she remains, dancing in the midst of the Graces for ever, herself a Grace, made one by the ordinance of the poor but great poet who here addresses himself under his pastoral title, and justly prides himself on the power of conferring immortality on his love. The apostrophe is as affecting as it is elevating, and the whole scene conceived in the highest possible spirit of mixed wildness and delicacy.
A PLUME OF FEATHERS AND AN ALMOND TREE.
In this instance, which is the one he adduces in proof of his remark on the picturesque, the reader must agree with Cole. ridge, that the description (I mean of the almond tree), however charming, is not fit for a picture: it wants accessories; to say nothing of the reference to the image illustrated, and the feeling of too much minuteness and closeness in the very distance. Who is to paint the tender locks “every one,” and the whisper of “every little breath ?”
Upon the top of all his lofty crest
Whose tender locks do tremble every one,
What an exquisite last line! but the whole stanza is perfection. The word jollity seems to show the plumpness of the plume; what the fop in Molière calls its embonpoint.
Holà, porteurs, holà ! Là, là, là, là, là, là. Je pense que ces maraudslà ont dessein de me briser à force de heurter contre les murailles et les pavés. * 1 Porteur. Dame, c'est que la porte est étroite. Vous avez voulu aussi que nous soyons entrés jusqu'ici.
Mascarille. Je le crois bien. Voudriez-vous, faquins, que j'exposasse l'embonpoint de mes plumes aux inclémences de la saison pluvieuse, et que j'allasse imprimer mes souliers en boue?-Les Precieuses Ridicules, sc. 7. · [Mascarille (to the sedan chairmen). Stop, stop! What the devil is all this ? Am I to be beaten to pieces against the walls and pavement?
Chairman. Why you see the passage is narrow. You told us to bring you right in.
Mascarille. Unquestionably. Would you have me expose the embonpoint of my feathers to the inclemency of the rainy season, and leave the impression of my pumps in the mud ?]
Our gallery shall close with a piece of
Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound
The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade
39 « The gentle warbling wind,” &c. This exquisite stanza is a specimen of perfect modulation, upon the principles noticed in the description of Archimago's Hermitage. The reader may, perhaps, try it upon them. “Compare it,” says Upton, “ with Tasso's Gierusalemme Liberata, canto 16, st. 12.” Readers who understand Italian will gladly compare it, and see how far their countryman has surpassed the sweet poet of the south.