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Of lawes, of iudgementes, and of décretals,

All artes, all science, all philosophy,
And all that in the world was ay thought wittily.

Of those that rowme was full; and them among
There sate a Man of ripe and perfect age,
Who did them meditate all his life long,
That through continuall practise and usage
He now was growne right wise and wondrous sage:
Great plesure had those straunger Knightes to see
His goodly reason and grave personage,

That his disciples both desyrd to bee :
But Alma thence them led to th’ hindmost rowme of three.

That chamber seemed ruinous and old,
And therefore was removed far behind,
Yet were the wals, that did the same uphold,
Right firme and strong, though somewhat they declind;
And therein sat an Old old Man, halfe blind,
And all decrepit in his feeble corse, 2
Yet lively vigour rested in his mind,

And recompenst them with a better scorse 3:
Weake body well is chang'd for minds redoubled forse.

This man of infinite remembraunce was,
And things forgone 4 through many ages held,

i Wittily, wisely. 2 Corse, body.

3 Scorse, exchange.
4 Forgone, gone by.

LIV. 2.- A Man.] This is the Judgment.
LV. 4.- Declind,] i. e. from a perpendicular position.
LV.5.- An Old old Man.] This is the Memory.

Which he recorded still as they did

they did pas, Ne suffred them to perish through long eld, As all things els the which this world doth weld; But laid them up in his immortall scrine, Where they for ever incorrupted dweld:

The warres he well remembred of king Nine, of old Assaracus, and Inachus divine.

The yeares of Nestor nothing were to his,
Ne yet Mathusalem, though longest liv’d;
For he remembred both their infancis :
Ne wonder then if that he were depriv'd
Of native strength now that he them surviv'd.
His chamber all was hangd about with rolls
And old records from auncient times derivd,

Some made in books, some in long parchment scrolls, That were all worm-eaten and full of canker holes.

Amidst them all he in a chaire was sett,
Tossing and turning them withouten end;
But for 4 he was unhable them to fett,5
A litle Boy did on him still attend
To reach, whenever he for ought did send:
And oft when thinges were lost, or laid amis,
That Boy them sought and unto him did lend:

Therefore he Anamnestes cleped 6 is ;
And that Old Man Eumnestes, by their propertis.



1 Eld, age.

? Weld, wield, or use.
3 Scrine, desk.

4 But for, but because.
5 Fett, fetch.
0 Cleped, called.

LVIII. 4. A litle Boy, &c.] The Boy sustains to the Old Man the relation of Recollection to Memory.- Eumnestes means a person of


The Knightes there entring did him reverence dew,
And wondred at his endlesse exercise.
Then as they gan his library to vew,
And antique regesters for to avise,
There chaunced to the Princes hand to rize
An auncient booke, hight ? Briton Moniments,
That of this lands first conquest did devize,

And old division into regiments
Till it reduced was to one mans governements.

Sir Guyon chaunst eke on another booke,
That hight? Antiquitee of Faery Lond:
In which whenas he greedily did looke,
Th' ofspring of Elves and Faryes there he fond,
As it delivered was from hond to hond:
Whereat they, burning both with fervent fire
Their Countreys Auncestry to understond,

Crav'd leave of Alma and that aged Sire
To read those bookes; who gladly graunted their desire.

· Arise, examine.

· Hight, called.


Regiments, governments.

good memory; Anamnestes, one who puts in mind of something which has been forgotten.


A Chronicle of Briton Kings,*

From Brute to Uthers rayne;
And Rolls of Elfin Emperours,

Till time of Gloriane.

Who now shall give unto me words and sound
Equall unto this haughty enterprise ?
Or who shall lend me wings, with which from ground
My lowly verse may loftily arise,
And list itselfe unto the highest skyes ?
More ample spirit than hetherto was wount?
Here needes me, whiles the famous Auncestryes

Of my most dreaded Soveraigne I recount,
By which all earthly Princes she doth far surmount.

Ne under sunne that shines so wide and faire,
Whence all that lives does borrow life and light,
Lives ought that to her Linage may compaire;
Haughty, high, bold.

. Wount, wont.


* A Chronicle of Briton Kings.] As this Chronicle is purely fabulous, it has not been deemed worth while to explain it by annotations, except to point out what portions conform to sober history. It is taken from Geoffrey of Monmouth, and an abstract of it may be found in the first book of Milton's History of England. A Summary of Geoffrey of Monmouth is also contained in the first volume of Ellis's Specimens of Ancient English Metrical Romances. Hughes calls this canto “a very amusing digression ". - an opinion in which, probably, few will coincide.


Which though from earth it be derived right,
Yet doth itselfe stretch forth to hevens hight,
And all the world with wonder overspred;
A labor huge, exceeding far my might!

How shall fraile pen, with fear disparaged,
Conceive such soveraine glory and great bountyhed !

Argument worthy of Mæonian quill ;
Or rather worthy of great Phoebus rote,
Whereon the ruines of great Ossa bill,
And triumphes of Phlegræan love, he wrote,
That all the gods admird his lofty note.
But, if some relish of that hevenly lay
His learned daughters would to me report

To decke my song withall, I would assay
Thy name, O soveraine Queene, to blazon far away.

Thy name, O soveraine Queene, thy realme, and race,

From this renowmed Prince derived arre,
Who mightily upheld that royall mace?
Which now thou bear'st, to thee descended farte
From mighty kings and conquerours in warre,
Thy fathers and great-grandfathers of old,
Whose noble deeds above the northern starre

Immortall Fame for ever hath enrold;
As in that Old Mans booke they were in order told.

The Land which warlike Britons now possesse,

Rote, musical instrument.

· Mace, sceptre.

III. 1.- Argument, &c.] • An argument worthy of Homer's pen, or the harp of Apollo, upon which he sung the triumphs of Jupiter over the giants on the Phlegræan plains.'

V. 1. — The Land, &c.] “ The fabulous colonies of Egyptians and

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