ePub 版

VIII. 4. Pricked stung; agreeing with him in the preceding line. IX. 4. Drift

purpose or object aimed at. 6. Doth make doth devise or machinate. With the latter make is etymologically related.

X. 4. Proteus the “old man of the sea,” who tended the seal-flocks of Poseidon or Neptune. He had the gift of prophecy, and of endless transformation. Proteus was very unwilling to prophesy, and tried to escape by adopting all manner of shapes and disguises; but if he found his endeavors useless, he at length resumed his proper form and spoke unerringly of the future.

6. Fell fierce, cruel. A. S. fel, fierce, dire.

9. Might of magick spell. When Spenser wrote, the belief in magic was still strong, and the arts of Archimago were not regarded as impossible.

XI. I. But now seemde best but now it seemed best to him. 6. Discolourd diversly variously or diversely colored.

7. Jolly = handsome. Fr. joli, pretty. Addrest = prepared, dressed. Fr. adresser.

9. Saint George himselfe the patron of chivalry and the tutelary saint of England. His origin is obscure, though he was no doubt a real personage. At the council of Oxford in 1222, his feast was ordered to be kept as a national festival.

XII. 1. Semblaunt = semblance. Fr. sembler, to seem; from Lat. simulare, to assume the appearance of. 2. The true Saint George the Red Cross Knight. See introduction.

wilfulness; that is, he was governed by the will alone, and not, as when Una was with him, by truth. 8. Sans foy

without faith, or faithless. XIII. 2. A goodly lady = Duessa, representing Falsehood in general, and the Church of Rome in particular; for which reason she is described as “ clad in scarlet red,” referring to Rev. xvii. 4 a passage applied to the Papacy by many Protestant commentators.

3. Purfled embroidered on the edge. O. Fr. pourfiler, to trim a tinsel; from pour (Lat. pro) and filer, to twist threads; from fil, a thread.

4. Persian mitre = a lofty mitre or cap.
5. Owches

ouches or ornaments; also sockets, in which precious stones
See Ex. xxviii. II.
9. Bosses brave - fair ornaments. Boss

= a protuberant ornament on

4. Will

are set.

any work.

XIV. 5. Addresse

prepare. See stanza xi., line 7. XV. 2. Dispiteous pitiless, cruel. 3. Towards ride ride towards him. 8. Astonied - astonished, astounded, stunned. Astonish and astound, are corruptions of the older form astony, which is derived by Skeat from A. S. astunian, to stun or amaze completely, intimately confused with the O. Fr. estonner, to amaze. 9. Rebutte

: recoil. Fr. re, back, and bouter, to thrust. XVI. 6. Hanging = doubtful, undecided. 9. Broken reliques

Shattered spears. XVII. 1. Buffe = blow. O. Fr. bufe, a blow. 3. Quyteth = requiteth.

4. Each others equall, etc. = each envies the equal valor of the other, and seeks with cruel glances to pierce his side armed with iron. For this use of their,” compare Matt. xviii. 25: “If ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” XVIII. 2.

The bitter fitt the bitter throes of death. 3. Wote

know. A. S. wat, present tense of witan, to know. 5. Assured sitt = keep a firm seat in your saddle. 8. It the Saracen's sword.

preserved. XIX.

the Red Cross Knight. 3. Making mark taking aim.

7. Grudging ghost did strive his spirit, unwilling to depart, strove with " the fraile flesh.”

XX. 5. Who the Red Cross Knight. - Scowre ride rapidly. 0. Fr. escurer, to scour; from Lat. ex, used here as intensive prefix, and curare, to take care.

XXI. 3. Silly dame - simple, harmless dame. See Canto I., stanza


9. Blest

1. Who

XXX., line 6.

4. Her humblesse her humility.
7. And said and he said.
8. Rueth = grieveth, afflicteth.

XXII. 4. Before that angry heavens list to lowre before it pleased the angry heavens to lower. List is here impersonal with the dative. A. S. lystan, to please.

8. Daughter of an Emperour. - Duessa, representing the Papacy, here traces her descent from the Roman empire. “ The Popes at Rome looked on themselves (partially at least) as inheritors of the Imperial position."

XXIII. 2. Onely haire = only heir.

5. Debonaire = courteous, gracious. 0. Fr. de bon aire, of good mien or appearance.

8. Fone foes. Fone is an old plural. A. S. fan, plu. of fah, foe. XXIV. 5. Assaid affected. O. Fr. essaier, to judge of a thing. XXV. 7. Sans joy without joy, joyless. 8. Sans loy = without loy, lawless.

[ocr errors]

the sun.

XXVI. 2. Fidessa. --- Duessa assumes this name, which implies truth, in order to deceive the Red Cross Knight. 4. If please

if it please. XXVII. 4. Is said = it is said. 5. Chear = face, countenance. See Canto I., stanza ii., line 8. 6. Eien

eyes. Written also eyne and eyen ; both are old plural forms. A. S. eage, plu. eagen. Shamefast = shamefaced; an absurd modern spelling, as face has nothing to do with it. A. S. scam faest; from scamu, shame, and faest, fast, firm. 9. Dainty maketh derth Ecoyness creates desire.

Derth is literally dearness; from A. S. deore, dear, with the suffix th, as in heal-th, leng-th.

XXVIII. 8. Ve wont there sound = nor was wont there to sound.
XXIX. 1. Can spie = gan or began to see.
3. Phæbus

See stanza ii., line 7. 6. Mote : might. A. S. ic mot, I am able. 9. Tide = time, season. A. S. tid, time. XXX. 1. Faire seemely pleasa unce = pleasing and proper courtesy.

2. Goodly purposes agreeable conversation. Purposes, from 0. Fr. purpos, mod. Fr. propos, talk, discourse.

XXXI. 8. Astond = astonished. See stanza xv., line 8. — llis heare did hove his hair did rise. Hove heave.

XXXII. 1. Whenas = when. 4. Bespake = spoke. 5. Limbo = the borders of hell. Written also limbus. See Webster. 8. Speaches rare = thin-sounding discourse. Lat. rarus, thin, rare.

XXXIII. 3. Fradubio doubtful. Spenser indicates the fate of those who waver between truth and falsehood.

6. Plast = placed.
7. Boreas = the north wind.

XXXV. 9. Lyke a faire lady, but did, etc. like a fair lady, but she did hide or cover the foul Duessa.

XXXVI. 1. Forged beauty false or counterfeit beauty. - Did take in hand did undertake to maintain by the sword.

7. Dye of war die or chance of war. XXXVII. 3. I cast = I resolved or planned. 4. Whether

which of the two. A. S. hwather, which of two. Matt. xxvii. 21.

8. Frælissa fragile, frail.

XXXVIII. 5. A foggy mist. - The effect of slander in blasting a fair reputation is here depicted. The Jesuits slandered Queen Elizabeth for the purpose of injuring her influence with the English people.

9. In place in the place or on the spot.

Cf. 3. Wist

XXXIX. I. Wight

person, creature.

A. S. wiht, creature, person., Formerly both masculine and feminine; here it refers to Frælissa.

9. Treën mould form of a tree. Treën is an adj. with the suffix n or en, as in leathern, wooden. XL. 2. Unweeting = unknowing, unwitting. A. S. witan, to know.

knew. A. S. wiste, past tense of witan, to know. 4. Everie prime = every spring. It was commonly believed that witches had to do penance once a year in some unsightly form.

7. Origane =an herb used in baths for cutaneous diseases. XLII. I. Cheare

face, countenance; as usual in Spenser. 7. Pight = fixed, placed. Cf., pitch. XLIII. 7. Wonted well = wonted or accustomed weal.

8. Suffised fates, etc. = the fates satisfied shall restore us to our former shape and condition.

XLIV. 1. Hight = called. A. S. hatan, to be called. A most singular word, presenting the sole instance in English of a passive verb.” Skeat.

4. Dreriment = sorrow, dreariness. A. S. dreorig, sad. XLV. 2. Unweeting =unknowing. See stanza xl., line 2. 6. She up gan lift = she began to uplift.

[blocks in formation]

In this era of great writers, the name of Francis Bacon, after those of Shakespeare and Spenser, stands easily first. He was great as a lawyer, as a statesman, as a philosopher, as an author - great in everything, alas! but character. Though his position in philosophy is still a matter of dispute, there can be little doubt that he deserves to rank with Plato and Aristotle, who for two thousand years ruled the philosophic world.

It is claimed by some critics that Bacon's method of philosophizing is wanting in either novelty or value, and that no investigator follows his rules. There is much truth in this claim,

yet Bacon's influence in modern science is pre-eminent. That which has counted for most in his philosophical writings is his spirit. In proud recognition of modern ability and modern advantages, he threw off the tyranny of the ancients. “It would indeed be dishonorable,” he says, “to mankind if the regions of the material globe, the earth, the sea, the stars, should be so prodigiously developed and illustrated in our age, and yet the boundaries of the intellectual globe should be confined to the narrow discoveries of the ancients."

He looked upon knowledge, not as an end in itself, to be enjoyed as a luxury, but as a means of usefulness in the service of men. The mission of philosophy is to ameliorate man's condition to increase his power, to multiply his enjoyments, and to alleviate his sufferings. He discarded the speculative philosophy which seeks to build up a system from the inner resources of the mind. However admirable in logical acuteness and consistency, such systems are apt to be without truth or utility. “The wit and mind of man,” says Bacon, “if it work upon matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of

« 上一頁繼續 »