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That draw the litter of close-curtain’d sleep;
At last a soft and solemn breathing sound

555

cursu.

N

And as Mr. Thyer farther ob- Sleep. And so has Claudian,
serves, the epithet also of close- Bell. Gild. 213.
curtain'd sleep was perhaps bor-

Humentes jam Noctis equos ; Letherowed from Shakespeare, Mac

aque somnus beth, act ii. s. 2.

Frena regens, tacito volvebat sydera and wicked dreams abuse The curtain'd sleep.

And Statius, Theb. ii. 59. 553. But he makes the horses

Sopor obvius illi
of Night headlong in their course,

Noctis agebat equos.
In Quint. Novembr. v. 70.

T. Warton.
Præcipitesque impellit equos.

555. At last a soft and solenin It must be allowed, that drowsy- breathing sound &c.] No doubt but flighted is a very harsh combi- that our poet in these charming nation. Notwithstanding the lines imitated his favourite ShakeCambridge manuscript exhibits speare, Twelfth Night at the drousie-fighted, yet drousie fright- beginning. ed without a composition, is a That strain again, it had a dying fall; more rational and easy reading, 0, it came o'er my ear, like the sweet and invariably occurs in the edi

south,

That breathes upon a bank of violets, tions 1637, 1645, and 1673.

Stealing and giving odour.
That is, " The drowsy steeds of

Thyer.
“ Night, who were affrighted on .
" this occasion, at the barbarous 555. The idea is strongly im-
dissonance of Comus's nocturnal plied in these lines of Jonson's

revelry.” Milton made the Vision of Delight, a Masque
emendation after he had forgot presented at Court in the Christ-
his first idea. Compare Browne, mas of 1617, vol. vi. 21.
Brit. Past. b. ii. s. i. p. 21.

Yet let it like an odour rise
All-drowsie Night, who in a carre of

To all the senses here;
jet

And fall like sleep upon their eyes, By steedes of iron-gray drawne

Or musicke in their eare. through the sky.

But the thought appeared before, And Silvester, of Sleep, Du Bart. where it is.exquisitely expressed, p. 316. edit. fol. ut supr. in Bacon's Essays. “ And because And in a noysless coach, all darkly

6 the breath of flowers is farre dight,

" sweeter in the aire, where it Takes with him silence, drousinesse,

goes

like the warbling and night.

“ of musicke" Of Gardens, Ess. Mr. Bowle conjectures drowsie. xlvi. Milton means the gradual freighted, that is, charged or increase and diffusion of odour loaded with drowsiness.

in the process of distilling perWe are to recollect, that Mil- fumes; for he had at first written 'ton has here transferred the “ slow-distillid.” horses and chariot of Night to In the edition of 1673, we VOL. IV.

G

comes and

Rose like a steam of rich distillid perfumes,
And stole upon the air, that even Silence
Was took ere she was ware, and wish'd she might
Deny her nature, and be never more
Still to be so displac'd. I was all ear,

560
And took in strains that might create a soul
have stream for steam. A manifest And in Shakespeare, but dif-
oversight of the compositor. ferently expressed. Winter's

Solemn is used to characterize Tale, act iv. 8. S. Of hearing a the music of the nightingale, song.

- All their other senses Par. L. iv. 648.“ Night's solemn “ stuck in their ears.And in « bird.”

And she is called “ the the Tempest, Prospero says, “No " solemn nightingale,” vii. 435. “ tongues, all eyes." Compare T. Warton.

also Herrick's Hesperides, p. 21. Before these two lines were edit. 1648. 8vo. corrected as they are at present, When I thy singing next shall heare the author had written them thus, Ile wish I might turne ALL to eare. At last a sweet and solemn breathing This thought, and expression, sound

occurs first in Drummond's SonRose like a steam of slow distilld per. nets, 1616. Signat. D. 2. To the fumes.

nightingale. 557.that even Silence &c.] We Such sad lamenting straines, that see in these three lines the luxuri.. Night attends,

Become all care, starres stay to heare ancy of a juvenile poet's fancy;

thy plight, &c. there is something more correct

T. Warton. and manly in three words upon a like occasion in the Paradise

561.that might create a soul Lost, iv. 604.

Under the ribs of death :)

The general image of creating a Silence was pleas'd

soul by harmony is again from Butin a young genius there should Shakespeare. But the particular always be something to lop and

one of a soul under the ribs of prune away. As Cicero says, De death, which is extremely groOrat. ii. 21. volo esse in adole- tesque, is taken from a picture scente, unde aliquid amputem. in Alciat's emblems, where a soul If there is not something re

in the figure of an infant is redundant in youth, there will be presented within the ribs of a something deficient in age. skeleton, as in its prison. This 560.

--I was all ear.] So curious picture is presented by Catullus, of a rich perfume, Quarles." Warburton. carm. xiii. 13.

That might create a soul, that is,

says Mr. Sympson, recreate, avaQuod tu cum elfacies, deos rogabis Totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.

tevrey: and Mr. Theobald pro

posed to read recreate, There is the same thought, in

And took in strains might recreate a Jonson's Underw. vol. vi. 451.

soul:

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Under the ribs of death: but o ere long
Too well I did perceive it was the voice
Of my most honour'd Lady, your dear Sister.
Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear, 565
And O poor hapless nightingale thought I,
How sweet thou sing'st, how near the deadly snare!
Then down the lawns I ran with headlong haste,
Through paths and turnings often trod by day,
Till guided by mine ear I found the place,

570
Where that damn'd wizard hid in sly disguise
(For so by certain signs I knew) had met
Already, ere my best speed could prevent,
The aidless innocent Lady his wish'd prey,
Who gently ask'd if he had seen such two, 575
Supposing him some neighbour villager.
Longer I durst not stay, but soon I guess'd
Ye were the two she meant; with that I sprung
Into swift flight, till I had found you here,
But further know I not.

2. BROTHER.

O night and shades, How are ye join'd with hell in triple knot, Against th' unarmed weakness of one virgin

580

but I presume they knew not of And s. 8. the Ghost to Hamlet, the allusion just mentioned.

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest 563. Too well I did perceive] word In the Manuscript it is

Would harrow up thy soul.
Too well I might perceive.

574. The aidless innocent Lady] 565. -harrow'd with grief and At first he had written helpless, fear,] So in Shakespeare, Hamlet, but altered it, that word occuract i. s. 1. Horatio of the Ghost, ring again within a few lines it harrows me with fear and

afterwards. wonder.

585

Alone, and helpless! Is this the confidence
You gave me, Brother?

ELDER BROTHER.

Yes, and keep it still,
Lean on it safely; not a period
Shall be unsaid for me: against the threats
Of malice or of sorcery, or that power
Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm,
Virtue

may

be assaild, but never hurt,
Surpris’d by unjust force, but not inthrall'd;
Yea even that which mischief meant most harm,
Shall in the happy trial prove most glory:
But evil on itself shall back recoil,
And mix no more with goodness, when at last
Gather'd like scum, and settled to itself,
It shall be in eternal restless change
Self-fed, and self-consum'd: if this fail,
The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,

590

595

584. Yes, and keep it still, &c.] and exalted sentiments of the This confidence of the Elder Stoics concerning the power of Brother in favour of the final virtue. Thyer. efficacy of virtue holds forth :a 597. Self-fed, and self-convery high strain of philosophy, sum'd:) This image is wonderdelivered in as high strains of fully fine. It is taken from the eloquence and poetry. T. War- conjectures of astronomers conton.

cerning the dark spots, which 589. Virtue may be assaild, but from time to time appear on the never hurt,] Milton seems in this surface of the sun's body, and line to allude to the famous after a while disappear again, answer of the philosopher to a ty- which they suppose to be the rant, who threatened him with scum of that fiery matter, which death, Thou may'st kill me, but first breeds it, and then breaks thou canst not hurt me. And it thro' and consumes it. Warburmay be observed, that not only ton. in this speech, but also in many

598. The pillar'd firmament] i others of this poem, our author See Paradise Regained, iv. 455. has made great use of the noble and the note there.

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And earth's base built on stubble. But come let's on.
Against th’ opposing will and arm of heaven 600
May never this just sword be lifted up;
But for that damn'd magician, let him be girt
With all the grisly legions that troop
Under the sooty flag of Acheron,
Harpies and Hydras, or all the monstrous forms 605
"Twixt Africa and Ind, I'll find him out,
And force him to restore his purchase back,
Or drag him by the curls to a foul death,
Curs’d as his life.

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602. But for that damn'd Such as those which Carlo and magician, let him be girt, &c.] Ubaldo meet, in going to Compare P. R. iv. 626. et seq. Armida's enchanted mountain, T. Warton.

in Fairfax's Tasso, c. xv. 51.. 605. Harpies and hydras, or

All monsters which hot Africke forth all the monstrous forms.] Or spoils doth send the metre. Yet an anapæst may 'Twixt Nilus, Atlas, and the southern be admitted in the third part, cape,

Where all there met. see v. 636. 682. Although this last is not an anapæst. But any Milton often copies Fairfax, and foot of three syllables may be not his original. T. Warton. admitted in this place of an 607. -to restore his purchase iambic verse, if the licence be back,] He had written at first not taken too frequently. Hurd.

to release his new got prey. Harpies and hydras are combination in an enumeration 608. -to a foul death, of monsters, in Sylvester's Du Curs'd as his life.] Bartas, p. 206. fol. ut supr. In the Manuscript, and in the And th’ugly Gorgons, and the edition of 1637, it is Sphinxes fell,

and cleave his scalp Hydraes and harpies gan to yawne

Down to the hips : T. Warton. and he has preserved the same -or all the monstrous image in his Paradise Lost, forms] In Milton's Manuscript, speaking of Moloch, vi. 361. and the edition of 1637 it is, Down cloven to the waist, with shat.

ter'd arms or all the monstrous bugs ; which word was in more familiar use

And uncouth pain fled bellowing: formerly, and hence bugbear. and no wonder he was led to it

605. all the monstrous forms by his favourite romances, and 'Twixt Africa and Ind, ] his favourite plays. Jonson has

and yel.

605.

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