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Had long beheld, herselfe uppon the land She did proftráte, and with right humble hart Unto herfelfe her filent prayers did impart.


To which the Idoll as it were inclining

Her wand did move with amiable looke,
By outward fhew her inward fence defining:
Who well perceiving how her wand she shooke,
It as a token of good fortune tooke.

By this the day with dampe was overcast, And ioyous light the house of love forfooke: Which when the faw, her helmet fhe unlafte, And by the altars fide herfelfe to flumber plaste.


For other beds the priests there used none,

But on their mother Earths deare lap did lie, And bake their fides uppon the cold hard ftone,

T'enure themselves to fufferaunce thereby, And proud rebellious flesh to mortify:

VIII. 3. defining:] So fpelt for the fake of the rhyme. Tonfon's edition in 1758 gives it defigning. Spenfer here uses the word in the Latin fenfe, fignifying, from defigno, as Mr. Church has obferved. Some editions read defining. TODD.

VIII. 5. It as a token of good fortune tooke.] "Accepit omen," Virgil, En. xii, 260. "Tis frequently mentioned that the idols, by fome fign or other, gave tokens of their favouring or disfavouring the request of their votaries. UPTON. bake] Quære, harden their fides as a thing baked? Unless we might read bare, i. e. did make bare their fides &c. CHURCH.

IX. 3.



For, by the vow of their religion, They tied were to stedfast chastity And continence of life; that, all forgon, They mote the better tend to their devotion.


Therefore they mote not taste of fleshly food, Ne feed on ought the which doth bloud containe,

Ne drinke of wine; for wine they fay is blood, Even the bloud of gyants, which were flaine By thundring Iove in the Phlegrean plaine : For which the Earth (as they the story tell) Wroth with the gods, which to perpetuall paine Had damn'd her fonnes which gainst them did rebell,

With inward griefe and malice did against them fwell :

X. 1. Therefore they mote not tafte &c.] temperance requifite in the priests of Ifis, fee p. 353. Ηρξαντο δὲ τίνειν ἀπὸ Ψαμμητίχε, κ. τ. λ. For wine they fay is blood,

X. 3. Even the bloud of gyants,] "The Egyptian priests were next in dignity to the king: they drank no wine until the time of Pfammeticus, the last of the Pharaoes, esteeming it to have sprung from the blood of the giants, &c." Sandys Travels, p. 103. From Plut. De Ifid, et Ofir. The following Epigram is worth reading, viz. Cælii Calcagnini Ferrarienfis, de vini origine:


Concerning the Plutarch De Ifid. JORTIN.

"Terrigenæ victi; victor Saturnius; actis
Undique Phlegræis molibus horror erat.
Mæfta parens Tellus in vites offa redegit
"Cæforum, et vinum eft qui modo fanguis erat.
"Ah ne quis mala vina bibat! de fanguine nata
"Qui biberit, cædes exitiumque bibet." UPTON.


And of their vitall bloud, the which was fhed Into her pregnant bofome, forth fhe brought The fruitfull vine; whofe liquor blouddy red, Having the mindes of men with fury fraught, Mote in them stirre up old rebellious thought To make new warre against the gods againe : Such is the powre of that fame fruit, that nought

The fell contagion may thereof restraine, Ne within reasons rule her madding mood containe.


There did the warlike Maide herselfe repose, Under the wings of Ifis all that night;

XII. 1. There did the warlike Maide herfelfe repofe, Under the wings &c.] That is, under the protection of Ifis. 'Tis a Hebrew phrafe; and frequently used by the Pfalmift. Our poet certainly had in view the story told by Geoff. of Monmouth, that Brutus had a vision in the temple of Diana, and that the goddess foretold his fuccefs. Geoffry fays, Brutus laid himself down "upon a harts fkin, which he had spread before the altar:" this was according to ancient fuperflition; fee the commentators on Virgil, vii. 88. “Pellibus incubuit ftratis." In like manner Britomart has a vision figuring the future glory of Britain, ft. 13. The Scarlet robe, and crown of gold, are the dress of the British Kings and Queens, ft. 14. The tempeft, and outrageous flames, image her troubles; which are put an end to by the crocodile, (ft. 15.) imaging Arthegal. The crocodile is the guardian Genius of the place, and among the Ægyptians, according to their facred emblems, reprefented Providence. Then follows,

"That of his game the foone enwombed grew
66 And forth did bring a lion :"

meaning a British King. See ft. 23. This is no new invention

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And with sweete reft her heavy eyes did


After that long daies toile and weary plight: Where whileft her earthly parts with foft delight

Of fenceleffe fleepe did deeply drowned lie, There did appeare unto her heavenly spright A wondrous vifion, which did close implie The courfe of all her fortune and posteritie.


Her feem'd, as she was doing facrifize
To Ifis, deckt with mitre on her hed
And linnen ftole after those priestës guize,
All fodainely fhe faw transfigured

Her linnen ftole to robe of scarlet red,
And moone-like mitre to a crowne of gold;
That even the herfelfe much wondered

of our poet; for the mothers of Alexander the Great, and of Auguftus Cæfar, were both enwombed of a dragon; so likewise the mother of Scipio: fee Milton, Par. L. ix. 509. UPTON. XII. 8. implie] Wrap up.

CHURCH. XIII. 5. to robe] The second and third folios, and Hughes's first edition, read "to be." CHURCH. Ibid. fcarlet red,] See F. Q. i. ii. 13. "A goodly Lady clad in scarlot red;" but the allufion there is to the Scarlet Whore mentioned in the Revelations. Compare Napier's Notes on the Revelations of St. John, 4to. 1593, p. 209. "As al red coullours betoken bloudshead in the Scriptures, and SKARLET is a more glorious red than fimple red: So betokeneth it this Romaine kingdom not onely fimplie to be bloodthirstie, but euen to glorie in their bloodthead and murthers." TODD.

At fuch a chaunge, and ioyed to behold Herfelfe adorn'd with gems and iewels manifold.


And, in the midft of her felicity,

An hideous tempeft feemed from below To rife through all the Temple fodainely, That from the altar all about did blow The holy fire, and all the embers ftrow Uppon the ground; which, kindled privily, Into outragious flames unwares did grow, That all the Temple put in ieopardy Of flaming, and herselfe in great perplexity.


With that the crocodile, which fleeping lay
Under the Idols feete in feareleffe bowre,
Seem'd to awake in horrible dismay,
As being troubled with that ftormy ftowre;
And gaping greedy wide did ftreight devoure
Both flames and tempeft; with which


And fwolne with pride of his owne peereleffe


He gan to threaten her likewise to eat; But that the goddeffe with her rod him backe did beat.


Tho, turning all his pride to humbleffe meeke, Himfelfe before her feete he lowly threw, And gan for grace and love of her to feeke:

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