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And bad me keep it as of sovereign use
'Gainst all inchantments, mildew, blast, or damp, 640
Or ghastly furies’ apparition.
I purs'd it up, but little reck’ning made,
Till now that this extremity compelld:
But now I find it true; for by this means
I knew the foul inchanter though disguis’d,
Enter'd the very lime-twigs of his spells,
And yet came off: if you have this about you,


be admitted, his subsequent rea- 642. I purs'd it up,] It was soning is very ingenious. It is customary in families to have no unusual thing, says he, to herbs in store not only for medifind in the old writers upon the cal and culinary, but for supernature of herbs this virtue at- stitious, purposes. In some tributed to certain plants; but I houses, rue and rosemary were can meet with no authority for constantly kept for good luck. Milton's imputing it to hæmony See the Winter's Tale, act iv. s. or spleenwort. Perhaps it may 3; and Hamlet, act iv. s. 5; and be thought refining too much to Greene's Quip for an upstart conjecture, that he meant to hint, Courtier. T. Warton. that, as this root was esteemed 642. -but little reck’ning a sovereign remedy against the made,] I thought but little of it.

I spleen, it must consequently be So Lycidas, 116. a preservative against inchant

Of other care they little reck’ning ments, apparitions, &c. which are make. generally nothing else but the

And Daniel, Civil Warres, b.i. 92. sickly fancies and imaginations of vaporish and splenetic com

Yet hereof no important reck’ning

makes. plexions. 641. Or ghastly furies' appa

T. Warton. rition.] Peck supposes that the 647. —if you have this about furies were never believed to you, &c.] in the Manuscript appear, and proposes to read the following lines were thus

faery's apparition.” But Mil- written at first, and afterwards ton means any frightful appear- corrected. ance raised by magic. Among

(As I will give you as we go (or on the spectres, which the fiend had

the way]) you may raised around our Saviour in the

Boldly assault the necromantic hall; wilderness, were furies. See P. Where if he be, with sudden violence R. iv. 422. The furies, which

And brandish'd blades rush on him,

break his glass, are classical, often enter into the

And pour the luscious potion on the incantations of the later Gothic

ground, romance, T. Warton.

And seize his wand.

(As I will give you when we go) you may Boldly assault the necromancer's hall; Where if he be, with dauntless hardihood,

650 And brandish'd blade rush on him, break his glass, And shed the luscious liquor on the ground, But seize his wand; though he and his curs'd crew

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647. The notion of facing 651. -break his glass danger, and conquering an ene- And shed the luscious liquor on my, by carrying a charm, which

the ground, was often an herb, is not un- But seize his wand;] common. See Samson Agonistes, This is in imitation of Spenser, 1130, and the notes on v. 1132. Faery Queen, b. ii. cant. xii. st. Milton, in furnishing the Elder 49. where Sir Guyon serves Brother with the plant hæmony Pleasure's porter in the same when like a knight he is to attack manner. the necromancer Comus, and

But he his idle courtesy defied, even to assail his hall, notwith

And overthrew his bowl disdainfully, standing that the idea is origi- And broke his staff, with which he nally founded in Homer's moly,

charmed semblants sly. certainly alluded to the charming 651. But he also copies Spenherb of the romantic combat. ser, and more closely, where Sir The assault on the necromancer's Guyon breaks the golden cup of hall is also an idea of romance. the enchantress Excesse, ii. xii. See the adventure of the Black

57. Castle in the Seven Champions

So she to Guyon offred it to taste: of Christendom, where the busi

Who taking it out of her tender ness is finally achieved by an hand, attack on the hall of the Necro- The cup to ground did violently cast, mancer Leoger, p. ii. ch. 9.

That all to pieces it was broken fond, T. Warton.

And with the liquor stained all the

lond. 651. And brandish'd blade rush

T. Warton, on him.] Thus Ulysses assaults Circe offering her cup, with a

653. But seize his wand.] In drawn sword. Ovid, Metam. xiii. the Tempest, in the intended 293.

attack upon the magician Pros-Intrat

pero, Caliban gives Stephano Ille domum Circes, et ad insidiosa another sort of necessary pre

caution without which nothing Pocula, conantem virga mulcere ca- else could be done, a. iii. s. 2.

pillos Reppulit, et stricto pavidam deterruit


First to possess his books. See Homer, Odyss. X. 294, 321. But Prospero has also a staff as But Milton in his allusions to well as book, a. v. s. 1. Armida Circe's story has followed Ovid in Tasso has both a book and more than Homer. T. Warton. wand. Gier. Lib. T. Warton.




Fierce sign of battle make, and menace high,
Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoke,

655 Yet will they soon retire, if he but shrink.

Thyrsis, lead on apace, I'll follow thee,
And some good Angel bear a shield before us.

The Scene changes to a stately palace, set out with all manner of deliciousness: soft music, tables spread with all dainties. Comus appears with his rabble, and the Lady set in an inchanted chair, to whom he offers his glass, which she puts by, and goes about to rise.

Nay, lady, sit; if I but wave this wand


the stage

657. -I'll follow thee, &c.] Of thy conception, and be now a shield In the Manuscript it is I follow

Of fire.

T. Warton. thee, and the next line was at first, And good heav'n cast his best regard

659. Here, as we see by the

stage-direction, Comus is introupon us.

duced with his apparatus of inAnd then in the Manuscript the cantation. And much after the stage direction is as follows. The

same manner, Circe enters upon scene changes to a stately palace her Charme of Ulysses in Browne's set out with all manner of delicious- Inner Temple Masque, p. 131. ness, tables spread with all dain- She

appears ties. Comus is discovered with his

quaintly attyred, her haire rabble: and the Lady set in an “ loose about her shoulders, an inchanted chair. She offers to rise. • anadem of flowers on her head,

658. And some good angel bear 6 with a wand in her hand, &c." a shield before us.] Our author See Note on Par. Reg. ii. 401. has nobly dilated this idea of a T. Warton. guardian-angel, yet not without

659. Nay, Lady, sit ; if I but some particular and express war- wave this wand, rant from Scripture, which he Your nerves are all bound up has also poetically heightened, in alabaster.] in Samson Agonistes, v. 1431. It is with the same magic, and Send me the angel of thy birth, to

in the same mode, that Prospero stand

threatens Ferdinand, in the TemFast by thy side, who from thy pest, for pretending to resist, father's field

a. i. s. 2. Rode up in flames, after his message told

Come from the ward ;

Your nerves are all chain'd up in alabaster,

660 And

you a statue, or as Daphne was Root-bound, that fled Apollo.


Fool, do not boast,
Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind
With all thy charms, although this corporal rind
Thou hast immanacld, while heav'n sees good. 665

Why are you vex'd, Lady? why do


frown? Here dwell no frowns, nor anger; from these gates Sorrow flies far: See here be all the pleasures

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For I can here disarm thee with this Virtue may be assaild, but never stick.

hurt, Come on, obey. [Else,] Surpris'd by unjust force, but not Thy nerves are in their infancy again,

inthrali'd. And have no vigour in them.

T. Warton. Milton here comments upon 665. -immanacled] See T. Shakespeare. T. Warton.

Warton's note on manacled, P. L. 661. And you a statue, &c.} i. 426. E. In the Manuscript it was at first, 668. See here be all the And you a statue fixt as Daphne was

pleasures Root-bound, that fled Apollo.

That fancy can beget on youthful 662. —Fool, do not boust,] He thoughts &c.] This is a thought had written thus at first, of Shakespeare's, but vastly imFool, thou art over-prond, do not

proved by our poet in the man. boast.

ner of expressing it. Romeo and

Juliet, act i. sc. 3. And this whole speech of the

Such comfort as do lusty young men Lady, and the first line of the

feel, next speech of Comus were

When well-apparell'd April on the added in the margin; for before, heel the first speech of Comus was Of limping winter treads. continued thus,

Thyer. Root-bound, that fed Apollo. Why

An echo to Fletcher, Faithf. N do you frown ? &c.

Sheph. a. i. s. 1. 663. Thou canst not touch the -Here be woods as green, &C. freedom of my mind

Here be all new delights, &c. With all thy charms.)

And again, p. 128. See v. 589. where this stoical

-Whose virtues do refine idea of the inviolability of virtue The blood of men, making it free is more fully expressed.

and fair,


That fancy can beget on youthful thoughts,
When the fresh blood grows lively, and returns
Brisk as the April buds in primrose-season.
And first behold this cordial julep here,
That flames, and dances in his crystal bounds,
With spi'rits of balm, and fragrant syrups mix’d.
Not that Nepenthes, which the wife of Thone


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As the first hour it breath'd, or the Mean time with genial joy to warm best air,

the soul, T. Warton. Bright Helen mix'd a mirth-inspiring

bowl : 673. That flames, and dances Temper'd with drugs of sov'reign in his crystal bounds,] This is an use t'assuage allusion to Prov. xxiii. 31. Look

The boiling bosom of tumultuous

rage : not thou upon the wine when it is

To clear the cloudy front of wrinkled red, when it giveth his colour in

the cup, when it moveth itself aright. And dry the tearful sluices of de-

Compare Sams. Agon. 543. spair :
Juvenal said much the same of

Charm'd with that virtuous draught,

:-th' exalted mind poison, recommended by the

All sense of woe delivers to the wind. same allurements, Sat. x. 27. Tho' on the blazing pile his parent -Tunc illa time, cum pocula sumes

lay, Gemmata, et lato Setinum ardebit in Or a lov'd brother groan'd his life

away, T. Warion Or darling son oppress'd by ruffian

force 675. Not that Nepenthes, &c.] Fell breathless at his feet, a man. This Nepenthes is first mentioned gled corse, and described by Homer, and we

From morn to eve, impassive 'and must fetch our account of it from


The man intranc'd would view the the original author, Odyss. iv. deathful scene. 219.

These drugs, so friendly to the joys Ενθ' αυτ’ αλλ' ενοησΕλενη Διος εκγε»

of life, γαυια.

Bright Helen learn'd from Thone's Aυσικ' αρ' εις οινον βαλε φαρμακον, ενθεν

imperial wife,

Who sway'd the sceptre, where proETINO,

lific Nile &c. Fenton.
Νηπενθες σ' αχολoντε, κακων επιληθον

“Ος το καταβροξειεν, επην κρητηρι μιγειη,

Notwithstanding the length of Ουκ αν εφημεριoς γε βαλοι κασα δακρυ this quotation, I cannot forbear πάρειών,

citing Spenser's description of Ουδ' ει οι κατατεθναιη μητης σε πασης τε, this cordial, and the moral imΟυδ' ει οι προπαροιθεν αδελφιον, η φιλον provement that he has made of it. vior,

Faery Queen, b. iv. c. iii. st. 43. Xahxou dniowey, o. 8 oppad polowy ogouto. Τοια Διος θυγατης εχε φαρμακα μητι- Nepenthe is a drink of sov'reign OSYTU,

grace, Εσθλα, τα οι Πολυδαμνα πορες Θωνος Devised by the Gods, for to assuage wapaKOITIS,

Heart's grief, and bitter gall away Αιγυπτιη.

to chace,

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