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Tyll at the last, amonge the bowès glade,
Of adventure, I caught a plesaunt shade;
Ful fmothe, and playn, and lusty for to sene,
And fofte as velvette was the yongè grene :
Where from my hors I did alight as fast,
And on a bowe aloft his reynè cast.
So faynte and mate of werynesse I was,
That I me layd adowne upon the gras,
Upon a brincke, shortly for to telle,
Belyde the river, of a cristall welle ;
And the water, as I rehersè can,
Like quickè-sylver in his streames yran,
Of which the gravell and the bryghtè stone,
As any golde, agaynst the sun yshone ?.

The circumstance of the pebbles and gravel of a transparent stream glittering against the sun, which is uncommon, has much of the brilliancy of the Italian poetry. It recalls to my memory a passage in Theocritus, which has been lately restored to its pristine beauty.

Εύρον αεανναον κραναν υπο λισσαδι πειρη,
Υδαιι πεπληθυαν ακηραιω· αι δ' υπενερθεν
Λαλλαι κρυσαλλω ηδη agrupas ινδαλλούλα
Εκ βυθό. .

They found a perpetual spring, under a high rock,
Filled with pure water : but underneath
The pebbles sparkled as with crystal and silver
From the bottom".

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There is much elegance of sentiment and expression in the portrait of Creseide weeping when she parts with Troilus.

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. B. ii. cap. xii.

Alosxovg. Idyll. xxii. v. 37.

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And from her eyn the teare's round drops tryll,
That al fordewed have her blackè wede;
And eke untrussd her haire abrode gan sprede,
Lyke golden wyre, forrent and alto torn.-
And over this, her freshe and rosey hewe,
Whylom ymeynt 'with white lylyes newe,
Wyth wofull wepyng pyteously disteynd;
And lyke the herbes in April all bereynd,
Or floures freshè with the dewès swete,

Ryght so her chekès moystè were and wete'.
The following verses are worthy of attention in another
style of writing, and have great strength and spirit. A
knight brings a steed to Hector in the midst of the battle.

And brought to Hector. Sothly there he stoode
Among the Grekes, al bathed in their bloode :
The which in haste ful knightly he bestrode,
And them amonge like Mars himselfe he rode'.

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The strokes on the helmets are thus expressed, striking fire amid the plumes.

But strokys felle, that men might herden rynge,
On bassenetts, the fieldès rounde aboute,
So cruelly, that the fyrè sprange oute
Amonge the tuftès brodè, bright and shene,

Of foyle of golde, of fethers white and grene ".
The touches of feudal manners, which our author affords,
are innumerable: for the Trojan story, and with no great dif-
ficulty, is here entirely accommodated to the ideas of romance.
Hardly any adventure of the champions of the round table

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was more chimerical and unmeaning than this of our
Grecian chiefs : and the cause of their expedition to Troy
was quite in the spirit of chivalry, as it was occafioned by
a lady. When Jason arrives at Cholcos, he is entertained
by king Oetes in a Gothic castle, Amadis or Lancelot were
never conducted to their fairy chambers with more ceremony
and folemnity. He is led through many a hall and many a
tower, by many a stair, to a sumptuous apartment, whose
walls, richly painted with the histories of antient heroes, glit-
tered with gold and azure.

Through many a halle, and many a riche toure,
By many a tourne, and


By many a gree *ymade of marbyll graye.-
And in his chambre', englosed' bright and cleare,
That shone ful fhene with gold and with afùre;
Of many image that ther was in picture,
He hath commaunded to his offycers,
Only' in honoùr of them that were straungers,

Spyces and wyne'.
The siege of Troy, the grand object of the poem, is not
conducted according to the classical art of war. All the
military machines, invented and used in the crusades, are
assembled to demolish the bulwarks of that city, with the
addition of great guns. Among other implements of de-
struction borrowed from the holy war, the Greek fire, first
discovered at Conftantinople, with which the Saracens fa
greatly annoyed the Christian armies, is thrown from the
walls of the besieged'.


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* Greece. Degree. Step. Stair. Gradus. z B. i. c. v. See Colonna, Signat. b. y Painted. Or r. Englased. Skelton's

. B. ii. c. xviii. See supr, vol. i. p. 157. Crowne op LAWRELL, P. 24. edit. 1736.

In Caxton's TROY-Book, Hercules is Wher the postis wer en bulioned with fa said to make the fire artificiall as well as phir's indy blewe

Cacus, &c. ii. 24-
Englased glitteringe, &c.
Vol. II.


Nor are we only presented in this piece with the habits of feudal life, and the practices of chivalry. The

poem is enriched with a multitude of oriental fictions, and Arabian traditions. Medea gives to Jason, when he is going to combat the brazen bulls, and to lull the dragon who guarded the golden fleece asleep, a marvellous ring; in which was a gem whose virtue could destroy the efficacy of poison, and render the wearer invisible. It was the same fort of

precious stone, adds our author, which Virgil celebrates, and which Venus sent her son Eneas that he might enter Carthage unseen. Another of Medea's presents to Jason, to assist him in this perilous atchievement, is a silver image, or talisman, which defeated all the powers of incantation, and was framed according to principles of astronomy". The hall of king Priam is illuminated at night by a prodigious carbuncle, placed among saphires, rubies, and pearls, on the crown of a golden statue of Jupiter, fifteen cubits high o. In the court of the palace, was a tree made by magic, whose trunk was twelve cubits high; the branches, which overshadowed distant plains, were alternately of solid gold and silver, blossomed with gems of various hues, which were renewed every day. Most of these extravagancies, and a thousand more, are in Guido de Colonna, who lived when this mode of fabling was at its height. But in the fourth book, Dares Phrigius is particularly cited for a description of Priam's palace, which seemed to be founded by FAYRIE, or enchantment; and was paved with crystal, built of diamonds, saphires, and emeralds, and supported by ivory pillars, surmounted with golden images'. This is not, however, in Dares. The warriors who came to the assistance of the Trojans, afford an ample field for invention. One of them belongs to a region of forests; amid the gloom of which wander many monstrous beasts, not real, but ap

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pearances or illusive images, formed by the deceptions of necromancy, to terrify the traveller. King Epistrophus brings from the land beyond the Amazonș, a thousand knights ; among which is a terrible archer, half man and half beast, who neighs like a horse, whose eyes sparkle like a furnace, and strike dead like lightening". This is Shakespeare's DREADFUL SAGITTARY'. The Trojan horse, in the genuine spirit of Arabian philosophy, is formed of brass* ; of such immense size, as to contain a thousand soldiers.

Colonna, I believe, gave the Trojan story its romantic additions. It had long before been falsified by Dictys and Dares; but those writers, misrepresenting or enlarging Homer, only invented plain and credible facts. They were the basis of Colonna: who first filled the faint outlines of their fabulous history with the colourings of eastern fancy, and adorned their scanty forgeries with the gorgeous trappings of Gothic chivalry. Or, as our author expresses himself in his Prologue, speaking of Colonna's improvements on his originals.

For he ENLUMINETH, by crafte and cadence,
This noble story with many a FRESHE COLOURE
Of rhetorike, and many a RycHE FLOURE

Of eloquence, to make it sound the bett'. Cloathed with these new inventions, this favourite tale defcended to later times. Yet it appears, not only with these, but with an infinite variety of other embellishments, not fabricated by the fertile genius of Colonna, but

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