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etiam fpirans; ferociamque animi, quam habuerat vivus, in vultu retinens." Nor muft I omit that affecting image in Spenfer, who ever excels in the pathetic,
And him befides there lay upon the grafs
And made an open paffage for the gushing flood *.
When Palamon perceived his rival had escaped,
He ftares, he stamps the ground;
The hollow tow'r with clamour rings around:
Nor are the feelings of Palamon lefs ftrongly impreffed on the reader, where he fays,
The rage of Jealousy then fir'd his foul,
* Fairy Queen, Book I. Canto 9. Stanza 36.
Now cold defpair'fucceeding in her ftead,
If we pass on from defcriptions of perfons to those of things, we shall find this poem equally excellent. The temple of Mars, is fituated with propriety, in a country defolate and joylefs; all around it,
The landscape was a foreft wide and bare;
The temple itself is nobly and magnificently ftudied; and, at the fame time, adapted to the furious nature of the God to whom it belonged; and carries with it a barbarous and tremendous idea.
*These paffages are chiefly of the pathetic fort; for which Dryden in his tragedies is far from being remarkable. But it is not unusual for the fame person to fucceed in defcribing externally a diftressful character, who may miferably fail in putting proper words in the mouth of fuch a character. In a word, fo much more difficult is DRAMATIC than DESCRIPTIVE poetry!
The frame of burnish'd steel that cast a glare
Blind with high walls and horror over-head:
Which hew'd by Mars himself from Indian quarries
This scene of terror is judiciously contrafted by the pleafing and joyous imagery of the temples of Venus and Diana. The figure of the last goddess, is a defign fit for GUIDO to execute..
The graceful Goddess was array'd in green;
That watch'd with UPWARD eyes the motions of
But above all, the whole defcription of the entering the lifts *, and of the ensuing
* The reader is defired all along to remember, that the firft delineation of all these images is in Chaucer, or Boccace, and it might be worth examining how much Dryden has added purely from his own stock.
combat, which is told at length, in the middle of the third book, is marvellously fpirited; and fo lively, as to make us fpectators of that interefting and magnificent tournament. Even the abfurdity of feigning ancient heroes, fuch as Thefeus and Lycurgus, prefent at the lifts and a modern combat, is overwhelmed and obliterated amidst the blaze, the pomp, and the profufion of fuch animated poetry. Frigid and phlegmatic must be the critic, who could have leifure dully and foberly to attend to the anachronism on fo striking an occafion. The mind is whirled away by a torrent of rapid imagery, and propriety is forgot.
THE tale of Sigifinonda and Guifcardo is heightened with many new and affecting touches by Dryden. I shall select only the following picture of Sigifmonda, as it has the same attitude in which she appears in a famous piece of CORREGGIO.
Mute, folemn forrow, free from female noife,
For bending o'er the cup, the tears she shed
There is an incomparable wildness in the vifion of Theodore and Honoria*, that represents the furious fpectre of the horfeman ghost that came thundering for his prey," and of the gaunt mastiffs that tore the fides of the fhrieking damfel he purfued; which is a fubject worthy the pencil of Spagnoletti, as it partakes of that favageness which is so striking to the imagination. I fhall confine myself to point out only two paffages, which relate the two appearances of this formidable figure:
*This is one of Boccace's moft ferious stories. a curious thing to fee at the head of an edition of Boccace's tales, printed at Florence in 1573, a privilege of Gregory XIII. who fays, that in this he follows the fteps of Pius V. his predeceffor, of blessed memory, and which threatens with severe punishments all thofe, who fhall dare to give any disturbance to those bookfellers to whom this privilege is granted. There is also a decree of the inquifition in favour of this edition, in which the holy father caufed fome alterations to be made." LONGUERUANA, Tom. II. p. 62. a Berlin, 1754