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hell, till time come, that I must go to M. Elmer, 8 honoured: because time was, when Italy and who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with Rome have been, to the great good of us that such fair allurements to learning, that I think now live, the best breeders and bringers up of all the time nothing, whiles I am with him. the worthiest men, not only for wise speaking And when I am called from him, I fall on 5 but also for well doing, in all Civil affairs, that weeping, because, whatsoever I do else but ever was in the world. But now, that the time learning, is full of grief, trouble, fear, and is gone, and though the place remain, yet the whole misliking unto me: and thus my book old and present manners do differ as far, as hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth black and white, as virtue and vice. Virtue daily to me more pleasure and more, that in 10 once made that country mistress over all the respect of it, all other pleasures, in very deed, be world. Vice now maketh that country slave to but trifles and troubles unto me. I remember them that before were glad to serve it. All this talk gladly, both because it is so worthy of men seeth it: they themselves confess it, memory, and because also, it was the last talk namely such as be best and wisest amongst that ever I had, and the last time that ever I 15 them. For sin, by lust and vanity, hath and saw that noble and worthy Lady.

doth breed up everywhere common contempt of God's word, private contention in many

families, open factions in every city: and so, THE EVIL ENCHANTMENT OF ITALY

making themselves bond to vanity and vice at (From the same)

20 home, they are content to bear the yoke of

serving strangers abroad. Italy now, is not Sir Richard Sackville," that worthy gentle- that Italy that it was wont to be and therefore man of worthy memory, as I said in the begin- now not so fit a place, as some do count it, for ning, in the Queen's privy Chamber at Windsor, young men to fetch either wisdom or honesty after he had talked with me for the right choice 25 from thence. For surely they will make other of a good wit in a child for learning, and of the but bad scholars, that be so ill masters to themtrue difference betwixt quick and hard wits, of selves. Yet, if a gentleman will needs travel alluring young children by gentleness to love into Italy, he shall do well to look on the life learning, and of the special care that was to be of the wisest traveller that ever travelled thither, had to keep young men from licentious living, 30 set out by the wisest writer that ever spake with he was most earnest with me to have me say tongue, God's doctrine only excepted: and that my mind also, what I thought concerning the is Ulysses in Homer. Ulysses and his travel I fancy that many young gentlemen of England wish our travelers to look upon, not so much to have to travel abroad, and namely to lead a fear them with the great dangers that he many long life in Italy. His request, both for his 35 times suffered, as to instruct them with his authority and good will toward me, was a excellent wisdom which he always and everysufficient commandment unto me to satisfy his where used. Yea even those that be learned pleasure with uttering plainly my opinion in and witty travellers, when they be disposed to that matter. Sir, quoth I, I take going thither praise travelling, as a great commendation and living there, for a young gentleman, that 40 and the best Scripture they have for it, they doth not go under the keep and guard of such a gladly recite the third verse of Homer in his man as both by wisdom can and authority dare first book of Odyssey, containing a great praise rule him, to be marvelous dangerous. And of Ulysses for the wit he gathered and wisdom why I said so then, I will declare at large now, he used in travelling. which I said then privately and write now 45 openly, not because I do contemn, either the knowledge of strange and diverse tongues, and

John Fore namely the Italian tongue, which next the Greek and Latin tongue I like and love above

1516-1587 all other: or else because I do despise the learn- 50 ing that is gotten, or the experience that is

THE EXECUTION OF LADY JANE GREY1 gathered in strange countries: or for any private

(From Book of Martyrs, 1563) malice that I bear to Italy: which country and in it namely Rome, I have always specially When she first mounted the scaffold, she * John Aylmer (1521-1594), was a tutor to Lady Jane

55 spake to the spectators in this manner: Good Grey.

people, I am come hither to die, and by a law 1 Under treasurer of the Exchequer, and who occupied I am condemned to the same.

The fact many high places, was a most influential man of his time. It was he who encouraged Ascham to write The School

against the queen's highness was unlawful, and master,

1 Şee p. 134, note 4.



the consenting thereunto by me: but, touching day the Lord Guildford, her husband, one of the procurement and desire thereof by me, or the Duke of Northumberland's sons, was likeon my behalf, I do wash my hands thereof in wise beheaded, two innocents in comparison innocency before God, and the face of you, of them that sat upon them. For they were good christian people, this day: and therewith 5 both very young, and ignorantly accepted that she wrung her hands, wherein she had her which others had contrived, and by open procbook. Then she said, I pray you all, good lamation consented to take from others, and christian people, to bear me witness that I die a give to them. good christian woman, and that I do look to be Touching the condemnation of this pious saved by no other means, but only by the 10 lady, it is to be noted, that Judge Morgan? who mercy of God in the blood of his only Son gave sentence against her, soon after he had Jesus Christ: and I confess, that when I did condemned her, fell mad, and in his raving know the word of God, I neglected the same, cried out continually, to have the lady Jane loved myself and the world, and therefore this taken away from him, and so he ended his life. plague and punishment is happily and worthily 15 happened unto me for my sins: and yet I thank God, that of his goodness he hath thus THE AGE OF ELIZABETH given me a time and a respite to repent: and now, good people, while I am alive, I pray you

c. 1579–1637 assist me with your prayers. And then, 20 kneeling down, she turned to Feckenham,

Edmund Spenser saying, Shall I say this psalm? and he said, Yea. Then she said the Psalm of Miserere mei

1552-1599 Deus,' in English, in a most devout manner

THE FAERIE QUEENE throughout to the end; and then she stood up, 25 and gave to her maid, Mrs. Ellen, her gloves

(1590) and handkerchief, and her book to Mr. Bruges; and then she untied her gown, and the execu

BOOK I tioner pressed upon her to help her off with it: but she, desiring him to let her alone, turned 30 toward her two gentlewomen, who helped her

Lo! I, the man whose Muse whylome did

maske, off therewith, and also with her frowes,' paste," As time her taught, in lowly Shephards and neckerchief, giving to her a fair handker

weeds, chief to put about her eyes.

Am now enforst, a farre unfitter taske, Then the executioner kneeled down, and 35 For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine oaten asked her forgiveness, whom she forgave most reeds, willingly. Then he desired her to stand upon

And sing of knights and ladies gentle deeds; 5 the straw; which doing, she saw the block.

Whose praises having slept in silence long, Then she said, I pray you despatch me quickly.

Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds

To blazon broade emongst her learned Then she kneeled down, saying, Will you take it 40

throng: off before I lay me down? And the executioner

Fierce warres and faithfull loves shall moralize said, No, madam. Then she tied the handker

my song chief about her eyes, and feeling for the block, she said, What shall I do? Where is it? Where is it? One of the standers-by guiding her 45

Helpe then, O holy virgin,' chiefe of nyne, 10 thereunto, she laid her head down upon the

Thy weaker novice to performe thy will; block, and then stretched forth her body, and

Lay forth out of thine everlasting scryne said, Lord, into thy hands I commend my

The antique rolles, which there lye hidden

still, spirit: and so finished her life, in the year of our Of Faerie knights, and fayrest Tanaquill, Lord 1554, the 12th day of February, about 50 the seventeenth year of her age.

6 The fourth son of the Duke of Northumberland. He

was executed immediately after his wife. Thus died the Lady Jane: and on the same 7 Sir Richard Morgan (d. 1556) was a member of the

commission for the trial of Lady Jane Grey, and was the ? John of Feckenbam (1518?-1585), private Chaplain

one to pass sentence upon her. and Confessor to Queen Mary. He was sent to Lady 1 An allusion to Spenser's first important work. The Jane Grey before her execution, to attempt her conver- Shepherd's Calendar, a pastoral, 1579. sion to the Romish faith. He acknowledged he felt him- * Directs, counsels.

3 The muse Clio. self fitter to be her disciple than her teacher.

4 A box for keeping books. See Lat. scrinium. * Psalm 51, "Have mercy upon me, () God."

Spenser evidently refers to Queen Elizabeth under • Possibly a false wig.

this naine. Kitchin and others assert that Tanaquill Some kind of headdress apparently made on a paste- was a British princess. Spenser may have had Tanaquill, board foundation.

the wife of Tarquinius Priscus, in mind.


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A lovely Ladiele rode him faire beside,
Upon a lowly asse more white then snow;
Yet she much whiter; but the same did hide
Under a vele, that wimpled was full low;
And over all á blacke stole shee did throw:
As one that inly mournd, so was she sad,
And heavie sate upon her palfry slow; 70

Seemed in heart some hidden care she had; And by her in a line a milke-white lambe she


And with them eke, O Goddesse heavenly

bright, Mirrour of grace, and maiestie divine, Great ladie of the greatest Isle, whose light 30 Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world

doth shine. Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne, And raise my thoughtes, too humble and too

To thinke of that true glorious type of thine, 9
The argument of mine afflicted stile:
The which to heare youchsafe, O dearest
Dread, a while.

Canto I
The patron of true Holinesse,

Foule Errour doth defeate;
Hypocrisie, him to entrappe,

Doth to his home entreate.


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So pure and innocent, as that same lambe,
She was in life and every vertuous lore;
And by descent from royall lynage came 75
Of ancient kinges and queenes, that had of

yore Their scepters stretcht from east to westerne

shore, And all the world in their subiection held; Till that infernall feend with foule uprore

Forwasted all their land, and them expeld; Whom to avenge she had this Knight from far compeld.

81 VI Behind her farre away a Dwarfels did lag, That lasie seemd, in being ever last, Or wearied with bearing of her bag Of needments at his backe. Thus as they

past, The day with cloudes was suddeine over

cast, And angry Iove an hideous storme of raine Did poure into his lemans lap so fast,

That everie wight to shrowd it did constrain; And this faire couple eke to shroud themselves were fain,

90 10 Dreaded. 11 Queen Elizabeth. 12 Yearn.

13 Error, or more particularly the false doctrines of the Romish church, which the Red Crong Knight, or Reformed England, must combat.

1* Una, or Truth, which is one, in contrast to Duessa, Falsehood, or Doubleness. Una is also, in a more definite sense, Truth as embodied in the true Church.

15 Supposed by some to represent Common sense, or Prudence,




And on his brest a bloodie crosse he bore,
The deare remembrance of his dying Lord,
For whose sweete sake that glorious badge he

wore, And dead, as living ever, bim ador'd: * Cupid or Eros. Imp was formerly used in a good sense, and meant simply child, or scion. 1 Ebony

9 Mars. • Una, the type of his "Goddess heavenly bright," Queen Elizabeth, as well as of Truth.

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The laurell, meed of mightie conquerours
And poets sage; the firre that weepeth still;
The willow, worne of forlorne paramours; 111
The eugh, obedient to the benders will;
The birch for shaftes; the sallow for the

mill;!? The mirrhe sweete-bleeding in the bitter

wound; The warlike beech; the ash for nothing ill; 115

The fruitfull olive; and the platane round; The carver holme;18 'the maple seeldom inward


“Yea, but," quoth she, “the perill of this

place I better wot then you: though nowe too late To wish you backe returne with foule dis

grace, Yet wisedome warnes, whilst foot is in the

gate, To stay the steppe, ere forced to retrate. This is the wandring wood, this Errours den, A monster vile, whom God and man does

hate: Therefore I read 19 beware.” “Fly, fly,"

quoth then The fearful Dwarfe; “This is no place for living







Led with delight, they thus beguile the way, Untill the blustring storme is overblowne; When, weening to returne whence they did

stray, They cannot finde that path, which first was

showne But wander too and fro in waies unknowne, Furthest from end then, when they neerest

weene, That makes them doubt their wits be not

their owne; So many pathes, so many turnings seene, 125 That which of them to take, in diverse doubt

they been.

But, full of fire and greedy hardiment,
The youthfull Knight could not for ought be

But forth unto the darksom hole he went,
And looked in: his glistring armor made
A litle glooming light, much like a shade;
By which he saw the ugly monster plaine,
Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide,
But th'other halfe did womans shape re-

taine, Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile




At last resolving forward still to fare,
Till that some end they finde, or in or out,
That path they take, that beaten seemd most

bare, And like to lead the labyrinth about; 130

(The Red Cross Knight, assisted by Una, does battle with the dragon, Error. As the combat progresses, the hideous serpent-brood of Error, “deformed monsters, foul and black as ink," swarming about the Knight sorely encumber him. The poet thus compares them to a cloud of gnats.)

14 The thick wood of Error, into which the heavenly light of the stars cannot penetrate.

17 The wood of the sallow, or willow, made the best charcoal for the manufacture of Gunpowder; the bark of the willow is also used for tanning.

18 Holly, which is especially fit for carving.

13 Counsel

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His Lady seeing all that chaunst, from farre,
Approcht in hast to greet his victorie;
And saide, “Faire Knight, borne under

happie starre,
Who see your vanquisht foes before you lye;
Well worthie be you of that armory,
Wherein ye have great glory wonne this

day, And proov'd your strength on a strong enimie;

Your first adventure: Many such I pray, 296 And henceforth ever wish that like succeed it

may!” (Having re-mounted his steed, the RedCross Knight and Una at length meet in the forest an "aged sire" clad in black, having a gray beard and a sober aspect. The Knight, having saluted him, is conducted to a hermitage on the skirts of the forest, where the old man tells him in pleasing words about Saints and popes: so they pass the evening in discourse.)

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The drouping night thus creepeth on them

fast; And the sad humor loading their eyeliddes, As messenger of Morpheus, on them cast 381 Sweet slombring deaw, the which to sleep

them biddes. Unto their lodgings then his guestes he riddes Where when all drownd in deadly sleepe he

findes, He to his studie goes; and there amiddes His magick bookes, and artes of sundrie

kindes, He seeks out mighty charmes to trouble sleepy


minds. 90 To fade.

21 Cease.

22 Proserpina had both a creative and a destroying power. As the daughter of Demeter we think of her in the first, and as the wife of Pluto and queen of Erebus, in the second capacity. She is here called griesly. or terrible, because the poet has the dark and deathdealing side of her function in mind.

23 Demogorgon, a mysterious divinity, associated with darkness and the underworld.

24 Spenser here follows Homer and Vergil. According to these poets, true dreams were supposed to pass through a gate of horn, false dreams through one of ivory. The second gate is here spoken of as "overcast" with silver.

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