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[177] without lack of warmth. He is full of feeling, and yet of such a kind that we can neither say it is mere intellectual perception of what is fair and good, nor yet associate it with that throbbing fervor which leads us to call sensibility by the physical name of heart.

Charles Lamb made the most pithy criticism of Spenser when he called him the poets' poet. We may fairly leave the allegory on one side, for perhaps, after all, he adopted it only for the reason that it was in fashion, and put it on as he did his ruff, not because it was becoming, but because it was the only wear. The true use of him is as a gallery of pictures which we visit as the mood takes us, and where we spend an hour or two at a time, long enough to sweeten our perceptions, not so long as to cloy them. He makes one think always of Venice; for not only is his style Venetian,1 but as the gallery there is housed in the shell of an abandoned convent, so his in that of a deserted allegory. And again, as at Venice you swim in a gondola from Gian Bellini to Titian, and from Titian to Tintoret, so in him, where other cheer is wanting, the gentle sway of his

1 Was not this picture painted by Paul Veronese, for example?

Arachne figured how Jove did abuse
Europa like a bull, and on his back
Her through the sea did bear:. . . .
She seemed still back unto the land to look,
And her playfellows' aid to call, and fear
The dashing of the waves, that up she took
Her dainty feet, and garments gathered near. . . . .
Before tile bull she pictured winged Love,
With his young brother Sport,. . . .
And many nymphs about them flocking round,
And many Tritons which their horns did sound.

Muiopotmos, 281-296.

Spenser begins a complimentary sonnet prefixed to the ‘Commonwealth and Government of Venice’ (1599) with this beautiful verse,

Fair Venice, flower of the last world's delight.

Perhaps we should read ‘lost’?

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