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If this be struggling, by this holy light,
'Tis struggling with a vengeance (quoth the Knight;) So heav'n preserve the fight it has restor❜d,
As with these eyes I plainly faw thee whor'd; Whor'd by my flave-perfidious wretch! may hell As furely feize thee, as I faw too well.
She faid; a rifing figh exprefs'd her woe,
And as they fell fhe wip'd from either eye
The drops (for women, when they lift, can cry.)
The Knight was touch'd; and in his looks appear'd Signs of remorfe, while thus his spouse he chear'd: Madam, 'tis past, and my fhort anger o'er ! Come down, and vex your tender heart no more; Excufe me, dear, if aught amifs was faid, For, on my foul, amends fhall foon be made: Let my repentance your forgiveness draw,
By heaven, I fwore but what I thought I faw.
Ah my lov'd lord! 'twas much unkind (fhe cry'd) On bare fufpicion thus to treat your bride. But till your fight's establish'd, for a while, Imperfect objects may your fenfe beguile. Thus when from fleep we first our eyes display, The balls are wounded with the piercing ray, And dufky vapours rife, and intercept the day: 800 So juft recov'ring from the fhades of night,
Your fwimming eyes are drunk with fudden light, Strange phantoms dance around, and skim before your fight.
Then, Sir, be cautious, nor too rashly deem;
Heav'n knows how feldom things are what they feem;
With that fhe leap'd into her Lord's embrace 810 With well-diffembled virtue in her face.
He hugg'd her clofe, and kifs'd her o'er and o'er,
Thus ends our tale, whofe moral next to make,
Let all wife husbands hence example take;
To be fo well deluded by their wives.
THE firft dawnings of polite literature in Italy are found in tale-writing and fables.
To produce, and carry on with probability and decorum, a feries of events, is the most difficult work of invention; and if we were minutely to examine the popular ftories of every nation, we fhould be amazed to find how few circumftances have been ever invented. Facts and events have been indeed varied and modified; but totally new facts have not been created. The writers of the old romances, from whom Ariofto and Spencer have borrowed fo largely, are fuppofed to have had copious imaginations; but may they not be indebted, for their invulnerable heroes, their monsters, their enchantments, their gardens of pleafure, their winged steeds, and the like, to the Echidna, to the Circe, to the Medea, to the Achilles, to the Syrens, to the Harpies, to the Phryxus, and the Bellerophon, of the ancients? The cave of Polypheme might furnish out the ideas of their giants, and Andromeda might give occafion for stories of diftreffed damfels on the point of being devoured by dragons, and delivered at fuch a critical season by their favourite Knights. Some faint traditions of the ancients might have been kept glimmering and alive during the whole barbarous ages, as they are called; and it is not impoffible but these have been the parents of the Genii in the Eaftern and the Fairies in the Weftern world. To fay that Amadis and Sir Tristan have a claffical foundation, may, at firft fight, appear paradoxical; but if the fubject were. examined to the bottom, I am inclined to think, that the wildest chimeras in those books of chivalry, with which Don Quixote's library was furnished, would be found to have a clofe connection with ancient mythology.
We of this nation have been remarkably barren in our invention; of facts; we have been chiefly borrowers in this fpecies of compofition, as the plots of our moft applauded tragedies and comedies may witnefs, which have generally been taken from the novels of the Italians and Spaniards.