Guide Bewere of Faeries: Jonah

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The description that follows in stanzas 28—34 closely imitates the descrip2 tion of the garden of Armida in Tasso, Gerusalemme Liberata, Canto Circe in Homer, Odyssey, Book 10, who changes men to pigs. The tree sacred to him is the oak. Usually he is associated not with the oak, but with the poplar tree. Belphoebe at iii. But the end of her is bitter as worme wood. Or where hath he hong up his mortall blade, That hath so many haughty conquests wonne? Is all his force forlorne,5 and all his glory donne? As one affright With hellish feends, or Furies12 mad uprore, He then uprose, inflamd with fell despight, And called for his armes; for he would algates fight.

The idea expressed in this stanza, that impetuous incontinence is more easily reformed than weak self-indulgence, is found in Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, a. The reference was removed in and subsequent editions. So easie was to quench his flamed minde With one sweete drop of sensuall delight.


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But the name has dark connotations because of Phaedra, wife of Theseus, whose uncontrolled passion for her stepson Hippolytus led to tragedy. Their way they forward take Into the land, that lay them faire before, Whose pleasaunce she him shewd, and plentifull great store. Carelesse the man soone woxe, and his weake witt Was overcome of thing, that did him please; So pleased, did his wrathfull purpose faire appease.

Learne, how the lilies of the field do growe: they labour not, nether spinne: Yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glorie was not arayed like one of these. What bootes it al to have, and nothing use? Who shall him rew, that swimming in the maine,4 Will die for thrist, and water doth refuse? Refuse such fruitlesse toile, and present pleasures chuse.

But here a while ye may in safety rest, Till season serve new passage to assay; Better safe port, then be in seas distrest.

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She list not heare, but her disports1 poursewd, And ever bad him stay, till time the tide renewd. Tho up he started, stird with shame extreme, Ne staied for his Damsell to inquire, But marched to the Strond, their passage to require. Menelaus in Homer, Iliad, 4. Titan: the sun. They though full bent,7 To prove extremities8 of bloody fight, Yet at her speach their rages gan relent, 1 this grace. Now after all was ceast, the Faery knight Besought that Damzell suffer him depart, And yield him ready passage to that other part.

He turning taile, Backe to the strond retyrd, and there still stayd, Awaiting passage, which him late did faile; The whiles Cymochles with that wanton mayd The hasty heat of his avowd revenge delayd. He never stood,6 But bent his hastie course towardes the ydle flood. But more happy1 he, then wise Of that seas nature did him not avise.

The waves thereof so slow and sluggish were, Engrost with mud, which did them fowle agrise,2 That every weighty thing they did upbeare, Ne ought mote ever sinck downe to the bottom there. What hellish fury hath at earst8 thee hent? Furious ever I thee knew to bee, Yet never in this straunge astonishment. So long he yode,8 yet no adventure found, 1 delve: hollow, pit. But Guyon lightly to him leaping, stayd His hand, that trembled, as one terrifyde; And though him selfe were at the sight dismayd, Yet him perforce restraynd, and to him doubtfull 1 sayd. Sheilds, steeds, and armes, and all things for thee meet It can purvay in twinckling of an eye;7 And crownes and kingdomes to thee multiply.

Doe not I kings create, and throw the crowne Sometimes to him, that low in dust doth ly? And him that raignd, into his rowme8 thrust downe, And whom I lust,9 do heape with glory and renowne? Luke 4. Therein he fownd Fountaines of gold and silver to abownd, Of which the matter of his huge desire And pompous pride eftsoones he did compownd; Then avarice gan through his veines inspire10 His greedy flames, and kindled life-devouring fire.

Or where hast thou thy wonne,8 that so much gold Thou canst preserve from wrong and robbery? Pluto is the classical god of the underworld and of riches. And shame his ugly face did hide from living eye. At last him to a litle dore he brought, That to the gate of Hell, which gaped wide, Was next adjoyning, ne them parted nought:7 Betwixt them both was but a litle stride, That did the house of Richesse from hellmouth divide. Celeno is one of the harpies, a group of violent bird-women; according to Virgil, she is a prophetess of doom see Aeneid, 3. Soone as he entred was, the dore streight way Did shutt, and from behind it forth there lept An ugly feend, more fowle then dismall day,5 The which with monstrous stalke6 behind him stept, And ever as he went, dew watch upon him kept.

And therefore still on hye He over him did hold his cruell clawes, Threatning with greedy gripe8 to doe him dye And rend in peeces with his ravenous pawes, If ever he transgrest the fatall Stygian9 lawes. But all the grownd with sculs was scattered, And dead mens bones, which round about were flong, Whose lives, it seemed, whilome there were shed,7 And their vile carcases now left unburied. Arachne: the spider; see xii.

JOHN D. BATTEN

To them, that list, these base regardes I lend:3 But I in armes, and in atchievements brave, Do rather choose my flitting4 houres to spend, And to be Lord of those, that riches have, Then them to have my selfe, and be their servile sclave. But whenas Mammon saw his purpose mist, Him to entrap unwares another way he wist.

Culver: dove; fist: talon. Some stird the molten owre with ladles great; And every one did swincke, and every one did sweat. Their staring eyes sparckling with fervent6 fyre, And ugly shapes did nigh the man dismay, That were it not for shame, he would retyre,7 Till that him thus bespake their soveraine Lord and syre. Here is the fountaine of the worldes good: Now therefore, if thou wilt enriched bee, Avise thee well, and chaunge thy wilfull mood, Least thou perhaps hereafter wish, and be withstood. Milton, Paradise Lost, 1.

All that I need I have; what needeth mee To covet more, then I have cause to use? With such vaine shewes thy worldlinges vyle abuse: But give me leave to follow mine emprise. The rowme was large and wyde, As it some Gyeld3 or solemne Temple weare: Many great golden pillours did upbeare The massy4 roofe, and riches huge sustayne, And every pillour decked was full deare5 With crownes and Diademes, and titles6 vaine, Which mortall Princes wore, whiles they on earth did rayne.

Those that were up themselves, kept others low, Those that were low themselves, held others hard, Ne suffred them to ryse or greater grow, But every one did strive his fellow downe to throw. Gramercy: thank you. On the cypress, see i. Clothed with leaves, that none the wood mote see And loaden all with fruit as thick as it might bee.


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  • These plants are helpfully identified by both Kitchin and Hamilton. Since Critias was, in fact, an enemy of Socrates, either Spenser is being ironic, or more likely he has made a mistake. She is particularly relevant here because she was condemned to stay in the underworld after eating some of its fruit.

    The garden with its tempting fruit also recalls the Garden of Eden in Genesis, chapters 2—3. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, It is not clear why Pilate belongs in the cave of Mam- mon, since his sin does not seem to have been one of excess, although some medieval commentaries accused him of ambition or of misuse of public funds. For now three dayes of men were full outwrought,4 Since he this hardy enterprize began: For thy5 great Mammon fayrely he besought, Into the world to guyde him backe, as he him brought.

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    But all so soone as his enfeebled spright, Gan sucke this vitall ayre into his brest, As overcome with too exceeding might, The life did flit away out of her nest, And all his sences were with deadly fit opprest. Guyler: beguiler, deceiver. It may serve as a reminder of his phys2 ical limitations——Guyon is only human after all. There is: else much more wretched were the cace Of men then beasts.

    He is a British prince we learn his whole ancestry in Canto Ten ; in Book One, he relates how he had a vision of the Faerie Queen and is now traveling through Faerie Land in search of her I. A paraphrase of Ps.

    He by and by4 His feeble feet directed to the cry; Which to that shady delve5 him brought at last, Where Mammon earst did sunne his threasury: There the good Guyon he found slumbring fast In senceles dreame; which sight at first him sore aghast. Phoebus: god of the sun. They appear in the poem at VI. Paynim: see above, Arg. But well I wote, That of his puissaunce tryall made extreeme; Yet gold al is not, that doth golden seeme, Ne all good knights, that shake3 well speare and shield: The worth of all men by their end esteeme; And then dew praise, or dew reproch them yield; Bad therefore I him deeme, that thus lies dead on field.

    Yet since no way is lefte to wreake my spight, I will him reave of armes, the victors hire,5 And of that shield, more worthy of good knight; For why should a dead dog be deckt in armour bright? To spoile the dead of weed8 1 I. The metall first he mixt with Medaewart,3 That no enchauntment from his dint4 might save; Then it in flames of Aetna5 wrought apart, And seven times dipped in the bitter wave Of hellish Styx, which hidden vertue to it gave.

    Wherefore Morddure8 it rightfully is hight. In vaine therefore, Pyrhochles, should I lend The same to thee, against his lord to fight, For sure yt would deceive9 thy labor, and thy might. His crafting of the sword is described at I. Hamilton compares the biblical Naaman, who dipped himself seven times in the Jordan to be cleansed 2 Kings 5.

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    Or did his life her fatall date expyre,5 Or did he fall by treason, or by fight? How ever, sure I rew his piteous plight. But you, faire Sir, whose honourable sight6 Doth promise hope of helpe, and timely grace, Mote I beseech to succour his sad plight, And by your powre protect his feeble cace. May bee, that better reason will aswage, The rash revengers heat.