Why doest thou still give way to such dispair?


Thirsis persuades Amintor not to dispair, upon the Predictions of Mopsus, discovering him to be an Impostor

Primary Text:

MS Folger, 62-5*.

Secondary Ed:

1713 Misc, 193-8; rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 115-8.


TIRSIS. Pourquoy desesperer?", Tasso, Aminta, de Torches, 44-51; I, ii, 547-652


Brilliant glittering metamorphoses, sense of continual transformation from normal to enchantment used morally to condemn court; she identifies with Tasso who is here speaking of himself as one who renewed his moral strength from coarse shepherds in pastoral realm, e.g.,
. . . there shalt thou meet
Of soft Enchantresses th'Enchantments sweet,
Who subtlly will thy solid Sense bereave,
And a false Gloss to ev'ry Object give.
Brass to thy Sight as polishld Gold shall seem,
And Glass thou as the Diamond shalt esteem.
Huge Heaps of Silver to thee shall appear,
Which if approached, will prove but shining Air.
The very Walls by Magick Art are wrought,
And Repetition to all Speakers taught:
Not such, as from our Ecchoes we obtain,
Which only our last Words return again;
But Speech for Speech entirely there they give,
And often add, beyond what they receive

Much of this last of the extant translations from Aminta is influenced by Milton, particularly Comus. For a full analysis and comparison of the original Italian with Finch's translation, click here. Memories of her time at the Stuart court evoked from her nightmarish phantasmagorias of treachery. See the later free adaptation/translations from La Fontaine: "WHY was that baleful Creature made", and "THE Queen of Birds, t'encrease the Regal Stock".

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