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Where with her best nurse Contemplation
She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings,
That in the various bustle of resort
Were all to ruffled, and sometimes impair’d.

380

Examynacyon of A. Askew, p. 24. 6. there plant." And in other “ Hath not he moche nede of places. Pope says, helpe who seketh to soche a

Contemplation prunes her ruflid surgeon ?” So also in Isaiah,

wings. ii. 10. "To it shall the Gentiles See On the Marks of Poetical Imi. seek.T. Warton.

377. She plumes her feathers,] tation, 12mo. 1757. p. 43. I find, I believe the true reading to be in a Garden, written 1704; Poems, prunes, which Lawes ignorantly edit. 1735. vol. i. 12mo. p. 171. altered to plumes, afterwards imperceptibly continued in the

Here Contemplation prunes her wings.

T. Warton. poet's own edition. To prune wings, is to smooth, or set them 380. Were all to ruffled,] So in order, when ruffled. For this read as in editions 1637, 1645, is the leading idea. Spenser, and 1673. Not too, nimis. AllF. Q. ii. iii. 36.

to, or al-to, is, intirely. See She gins her feathers foule disfigured Tyrwhitt's Gl. Chaucer, v. Too. Proudly to prune.

Various instances occur in ChauAnd in the M. M. of Thestylis,

cer and Spenser, and in later

writers. "10 how the coate of -At their brightest beams - Christ that was withoui seam Him proynd in lovley wise.

( is all to rent and torn." HomiThat is, he “pruned his wetted lies, b. i. i. See Hearne's Gl. “and disordered wings." Water- Langtoft, p. 663. Observat. on fowl, at this day, are said to Spenser's F. Q. ii. 225. and Uppreene, when they sleek or re- ton's Spenser, Notes, p. 391. 594. place their wet feathers in the 625. And the fifteenth general sun. See commentators on Shake- rule for understanding G. Douspeare, P. I. Henry IV. act i. glass's Virgil, prefixed to Ruddi

man's Glossary in the capital

edition of that translation. And Which makes him prune himself, &c.

Upton's Gloss. V. All. The corWhere Dr. Warburton and Han- ruption, supposed to be mer substituted plume. Upton emendation,"all too ruffled, " derives the word from the French began with Tickell, who had no brunir, to polish. Nolęs on Spen- knowledge of our old language, ser, p. 446. col. 2. Prune her and has been continued by Fentender wing is in Pope. Prune, ton, and Dr. Newton. . Tonson amputo, is sometimes written has the true reading, in 1695, proine, as in Drayton, Polyolb. and 1705.

and 1705. T. Warton. vol. ii. s. iii. p.714. [But see fol. I have restored the old readedit. 1613.] “ Here proine, and ing. E.

8. 1.

an

385

He that has light within his own clear breast
May sit i th' centre, and enjoy bright day:
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts,
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun;
Himself is his own dungeon.

2. BROTHER.

'Tis most true,
That musing meditation most affects
The pensive secrecy of desert cell,
Far from the cheerful haunt of men and herds,
And sits as safe as in a senate-house;
For who would rob a hermit of his weeds,
His few books, or his beads, or maple dish,
Or do his

gray
hairs
any

violence?
But beauty, like the fair Hesperian tree

390

381. He that has light &c.] This 388.of men and herds,] It whole speech is a remarkably fine was at first, men or herds. encomium on the force of virtue: 389. And sits as safe as in a but there is something so vastly senate house ;] Not many years afstriking and astonishing in these ter this was written, Milton's last five lines, that it is impossible friends shewed that the safety of to pass them over without stop- a senate-house was not invioping to admire and enjoy them. lable. But, when the people turn I do not know any place in the legislators, what place is safe whole circle of his poetical per- from the tumults of innovation, formances, where dignity of and the insults of disobedience? sentiment and sublimity of ex- T. Warton. pression are so happily united. 390. For who would rob &c.] Thyer.

These two lines at first stood 384. Benighted walks &c.] In- thus in the Manuscript. stead of these two lines the poet For who would rob a hermit of his had written at first,

beads, Walks in black vapours, though the

His books, his hairy gown, or maple

dish, noontide brand Blaze in the summer solstice.

393. But beauty, &c.] These Afterwards he blotted them out, sentiments are heightened from and made this alteration much the Faithful Shepherdess, act i. for the better.

s. 1.

395

Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard
Of dragon-watch with uninchanted eye,
To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit
From the rash hand of bold incontinence.
You may as well spread out the unsunn'd heaps
Of miser's treasure by an out-law's den,
And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope
Danger will wink on opportunity,
And let a single helpless maiden pass
Uninjur'd in this wild surrounding waste.
Of night, or loneliness it recks me not;
I fear the dread events that dog them both,

400

405

the eye

gaze, &c.

can such beauty be

Uninjur'd in this wide surrounding Safe in its own guard, and not drawe

waste: Of him that passeth on, to greedy and I know not whether wide is

not better than wild, which seems Compare also Shakespeare, As to be sufficiently implied in

waste. you like it, act i. s. 3. And see below, the note v. 982. T.

404. it recks] I care not for,

&c. So “ what recks it them?" Warton. 395. Of dragon-watch with un

Lycid. v. 122. and Par. L. ix. inchanted eye,] That is, which 173." Let it, I reek not.” And

ii. 50.“ Of god, or hell, or worse, cannot be inchanted. Here is

« he recked not.” See Note on v. more flattery; but certainly such

836. infr. From reck comes retchas no poet in similar circumstances could resist the oppor- Thirty-nine Articles, where the

lessness, or recklessness, in the tunity of paying. T. Warton. 400. -as bid me hope] The

common reading is, “ into wretchfirst reading was,

« lessness of most unclean living.

Artic. xvii. As if, yet with a -as bid me think.

manifest perversion of terms, a 403. Uninjur'd in this will wretched profligacy was intended. surrounding waste.] The verse was

The precise meaning is, a careat first,

lessness, a confident negligence, consisting

" of the most abanUninjur'd in this vast and hideous

“ doned course of life.” Reck, wild:

with its derivatives, is the lanand at present it stands in the guage of Chaucer and Spenser. Manuscript,

T. Warton.

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410

Lest some ill-greeting touch attempt the person
Of our unowned Sister.

ELDER BROTHER.

I do not, Brother,
Infer, as if I thought my Sister's state
Secure without all doubt, or controversy :
Yet where an equal poise of hope and fear
Does arbitrate th' event, my nature is
That I incline to hope, rather than fear,
And gladly banish squint suspicion.
My Sister is

Sister is not so defenceless left
As you imagine; she has a hidden strength
Which you remember not.

2. BROTHER.

What hidden strength,
Unless the strength of heav’n, if you mean that ?

Elder BROTHER.
I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength,
Which if heav'n gave it, may be term’d her own :

415

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409. Secure without all doubt, first passado, and for hope and or controversy :

fear, hopes and fears. Yet where an equal poise &c.] 413. ---squint suspicion.] AlInstead of these lines are the fol- luding probably in this epithet lowing in the Manuscript. to Spenser's description of SusSecure without all doubt or question; picion in his Mask of Cupid,

Faery Queen, b. iii. cant. 12. st. I could be willing though now i th' 15.

dark to try A tough encounter with the shaggicst

For he was foul, ill-favoured, and ruffian,

grim, That lurks by hedge or lane of this

Under his eye-brows looking still ao dead circuit,

scaunce &c. To have her by my side, though I were

Thyer.

415. As you imagine ; &c.] This She might be free from peril, where she is.

verse is redundant in the ManuBut where an equal poise of hope script, and fear &c.

As you imagine, Brother; she has a For encounter he had written at hidden strength.

sure

Hamlet ap

'Tis chastity, my Brother, chastity :

420 She that has that, is clad in complete steel, And like a quiver'd nymph with arrows keen” 420. 'Tis chastity, my Brother, Where through the sacred awe of chastity;

chastity, She that has that, is clad in

No savage fierce, bandite, or moun.

taineer complete steel,

Shall dare to soil her virgin purity. And like a quiver'd nymph with

421. The phrase " complete arrows keen, &c.] Perhaps Milton remembered a

steel” was, I rather think, a stanza in Fletcher's Purple 18

common expression for “armed

« from head to foot.” It occurs ceding year, b. x. st. 27. It is in Dekker's Untrussing of the in a personification of Virgin

Humorous Poet, which was acted chastitie.

by the Lord Chamberlain's ser

vants, and the choir-boys of St. With her, her sister went, a warlike Paul's, in 1602.

maid, Parthenia, all in steele and gilded peared at least before 1598. arms,

Again, in The weakest goeth - to In needle's stead, a mighty spear she the wall, of which the first edi. sway'd, &c.

tion was in 1600. Hence an ex. See El. iv. 109. T. Warton. pression in our author's Apology,

421. She that has that, is clad which also confirms what is here in complete steel, &c.] He has said, s. 1. “Zeal, whose subfinely improved here upon Ho- “ stance is ethereal, arming in race, Od. i. xxii. 1.

complete diamond, ascends his

“ fiery chariot, &c." Pr. W. i. Integer vitæ, scelerisque purus &c.

114. T. Warton. and the phrase of complete steel 422. And like a quiver'd nymph is borrowed from Shakespeare. with arrows keen] I make no · Hamlet speaking to the Ghost, doubt but Milton in this passage act i. sc. 7.

had his eye upon Spenser's Bel-What may this mean,

phabe, whose character, arms, That thou, dead corse, again in come and manner of life perfectly cor

plete steel Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the respond with this description.

it certain

is, that Spenser intended under And the lines following, before that personage to represent the they were corrected, were thus virtue of chastity. Thus in the in the Manuscript,

introduction to the third book of She that has that; is clad in complete his Faery Queen, complimentsteel,

ing his virgin sovereign Queen And may on every needful accident, Elizabeth, he says, Be it not done in pride or wilful tempting,

But either Gloriana let her choose, Walk through huge forests, and un

Or in Belphebe fashioned to be: harbour'd heaths,

In th' one her rule, in th' other her Infamous hills, and sandy perilous

rare chastity. wilds,

Thyer. VOL. IV.

F

moon ?

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