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Full of great lumps of flesh and gobbets raw,
Which stunck fo vildly, that it forst him slacke
His grafping hold, and from her turne him
backe:

Her vomit full of bookes and papers was,
With loathly frogs and toades, which eyes did
lacke,

And creeping fought way in the weedy gras: Her filthie parbreake all the place defiled has.

XXI.

As when old father Nilus gins to fwell

XX. 4. Which ftunck fo vildly, &c.] So, in the Romance of Valentine and Orfon, the dragon and Valentine are thus defcribed: "The beast, not able any more to flye, beheld him with a cruel countenance, cafting out of her mouth nothing but ftinking vapours." Engl, edit, chap. 45. TopD,

XX. 9. Her filthie parbreake] Parbreake is vomit. Thus, in Skelton's poem against the Scots, Poems edit. 1736, p. 86. "And virulently dyfgorged,

"As though ye wold parbrake."

And, in the old tranflation of the Bible, edit. 1569. Prov. xxv. 16. "If thou findeft honey, eate fo much as is fufficient for thee, left thou be ouer full, and perbrake it out agayne."

TODD.

XXI. 1. As when old father Nilus &c.] Spenser rightly calls the Nile father. Pater is an appellation common to all rivers, but more particularly to the Nile, as Broukhufius has obferved on Tibullus, i. viii. 23, and many before him.

JORTIN.

Spenfer here plainly alludes to the etymology, which the Greek fcholiafts give of the Nile: he is called Nile, because his fattie waves doe fertile flime outwell, NEIAOE wapà vò NEAN, ἤτοι ἐνιαυσίαν, ἄγειν ΙΛΥΝ, fays Euftathius on Dionyf. Περιηγ. ye 228. To this etymology Nonnus alludes, Dionyf. L. iii. p. 100. And the fame allusion we have in Heliodorus, L. ix. I fancy Spenfer had him in his eye.-Hiftorians as well as poets relate, and both on equal credit, that, after the inundation of the Nile, various kinds of creatures are bred, by an equivocal generation, from the mud and heat of the fun. UPTON.

With timely pride above the Aegyptian vale, His fattie waves doe fertile flime outwell, And overflow each plaine and lowly dale: But, when his later fpring gins to avale, Huge heapes of mudd he leaves, wherin there breed

Ten thoufand kindes of creatures, partly male And partly femall, of his fruitful feed; Such ugly monftrous fhapes elfwhere may no

man reed.

XXII.

The fame fo fore annoyed has the Knight, That, wel-nigh choked with the deadly stinke, His forces faile, ne can no lenger fight. Whofe corage when the Feend perceivd to fhrinke,

She poured forth out of her hellish finke

Her fruitfull curfed fpawne of ferpents fmall, (Deformed monfters, fowle, and blacke as inke,)

Which fwarming all about his legs did crall, And him encombred fore, but could not hurt at all.

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t, when his later fpring gins to avale,] Spenfer rfe himfelf among the errata of the prefs. 'e, to fink down, Ital. avallare. Spenfer ufes Infern. C. xxxiv.

Te 'l Nilo s' avvalla."

e fpring tide at the turn begins

XXIII.

As gentle shepheard in fweete eventide,
When ruddy Phebus gins to welke in weft,
High on an hill, his flocke to vewen wide,
Markes which doe byte their hafty supper
beft;

A cloud of cumbrous gnattes doe him molest,
All striving to infixe their feeble ftinges,
That from their noyance he no where can rest;
But with his clownish hands their tender

wings

He brufheth oft, and oft doth mar their mur

murings.

XXIV.

Thus ill beftedd, and fearefull more of fhame Then of the certeine perill he ftood in, Halfe furious unto his foe he came,

XXIII. 1. As gentle Shepheard &c.] Vida in his art of poetry, Lib. ii. v. 282. allowes you to take your images from fmall and little things; he has no quarrel with you for comparing your heros to ants or bees; but gnats or flies offend him mightily. The truth is that both Vida and Scaliger wrongly thought to raise Virgil on the ruins of Homer. I think a fly or a gnat is as good in comparison or illustration as an ant: Our poet thinks fo, I am certain, and his fimile here is very picturefque. Compare this with that below in F. Q. ii. ix. 16, vi. i. 24, vi. xi. 48. See likewife Ariofto, Orl. Fur. xiv. ft. 109. Thefe fimilies are after the caft of Homer, Iliad B'. 469, m'. 641. p. 570. Milton likewise

had a better notion of these kind of comparisons than Vida. See Par. Reg. B. iv. 15. Thefe images from common life give variety to a poem, and a kind of relief to the reader, who is called off from the terrible and more glaring images.

UPTON.

Refolvd in minde all fuddenly to win,

Or foone to lofe, before he once would lin;
And stroke at her with more then manly force,
That from her body, full of filthie fin,

He raft her hatefull heade without remorse: A ftreame of cole-black blood forth gushed from her corse.

XXV.

Her scattred brood, foone as their parent deare
They faw fo rudely falling to the ground,
Groning full deadly all with troublous feare
Gathred themselves about her body round,
Weening their wonted entrance to have found
At her wide mouth; but, being there with-
ftood,

They flocked all about her bleeding wound,
And sucked up their dying mothers bloud;

XXV. 5. Weening their wonted entrance to have found

At her wide mouth;] See before, ft. 15. The circumftance, as Mr. Warton obferves, is not the poet's invention; it being reported of adders by many naturalists. The painting of Milton, I should add, is fomewhat fimilar, where he defcribes the barking hell-hounds about the middle of Sin, as creeping, if aught difturbed their noife, into her womb, and kennelling there. The brood of Sin, are represented in an old publication, confifting of nine quarto plates without date, to each of which fix verses are fubjoined, as numerous little Serpents creeping from the parent's belly; and the publication is entitled, The Ages of Sin, or Sinnes Birth and Groweth. Nor fhould I omit to mention that Bancroft, in his Second booke of Epigrammes, 1639, defcribes "Sinne, like a ferpent; bearing a fting behind." But Milton, as I have mentioned, in a note on Par. Loft, B. ii. 650, is indebted to P. Fletcher, rather than to Spenfer. TODD.

Making her death their life, and eke her hurt

their good.

XXVI.

That détestable fight him much amazde,

To fee th' unkindly impes, of heaven accurst, Devoure their dam; on whom while fo he gazd, Having all fatisfide their bloudy thurst,

Their bellies fwolne he faw with fulneffe burst, And bowels gufhing forth: Well worthy end Of fuch, as drunke her life, the which them nurft!

Now needeth him no lenger labour spend, His foes have flaine themselves, with whom he fhould contend.

XXVII.

His Lady feeing all, that chaunft, from farre, Approcht in haft to greet his victorie;

And faide," Faire Knight, borne under happie ftarre,

Who fee your vanquifht foes before

you lye;

XXVI. 1. That déteftable fight] The accent appears to have been usual on the first fyllable of deteftable. See F. Q. ii. xii. 8, and délectable, ii. xii. 12. See also Shakspeare, Rom, and Jul. A. v. S. iii.

"Thou détestable maw, thou womb of death." And Epigrams and Satyrs, entitled The Maftive, 4to. Lond. 1615. Signat. G. 4.

"Thus doth the dotard, dull and détestable,

"Make others doe what hee himfelfe's not able."

XXVI. 6. And bowels gushing forth:] Errour are a type of Judas, Acts i. 18. the midft, and all his bowels gushed out."

TODD.

These nurflings of "He burft afunder in UPTON.

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