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And the swink'd hedger at his supper sat;
I saw them under a green mantling vine
That crawls along the side of yon small hill, 295
Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots;
Their port was more than human, as they stood:
I took it for a faëry vision
Of some gay creatures of the element,
That in the colours of the rainbow live,
And play i'th' plighted clouds. I was awe-struck,

300

the next line, is from nature;

“ and slood, and said unto me, and hedger, a word new in po

6 &c." etry, although of common use, Comus thus describes to the has a good effect. T. Warton. Lady the striking appearance of

293. And the swink'd hedger] her Brothers; and after the same The swink'd hedger is the same manner, in the Iphigenia in Tauas the labour'd ox, tired, fatigued. ris of Milton's favourite Greek To swink is to work, to labour, tragedian Euripides, a shepherd as in Spenser's Faery Queen, b. describes Pylades and Orestes to ii. cant. vii. st. 8.

Iphigenia the sister of the latter, For which men swink and sweat in

as preternatural beings and obcessantly,

jects of adoration, v. 246. 297. Their port was more than Ενταύθα δισσους ειδε τις νεανιας human, as they stood :) We have Βουφορβος ημων, καπεχώρησεν παλιν, followed the pointing of Milton's

Ακροισι δακτυλοισι πορθμευων ιχνος". two editions in 1645 and 1673,

Ελεξε δ'. Ουκ ορασε και δαίμονες σινες

Θασσουσιν οιδε. Θεοσεβης δ' ημων τις ων which indeed we generally fol- Ανεσχε χειρα, και προσευξατ' εισιδων: low. The edition of 1637 points Ω ποντιας και Λευκοθέας, νεων φυλαξ, it otherwise,

Δεσποτα Παλαιμων,

Εισ' ουν επ' ακταις βασσίτον Διοσκορω, more than human;

&c. as they stood, &c. and this is followed by Dr. Dal. Compare note on v. 265. T.

Warton. ton. Milton's Manuscript has no pointing here to direct us.

299. Of some gay creatures of 297. We have much the same

the element,] In the north of form of expression in the Epitaph England

this term is still made on the Marchioness of Winchester,

use of for the sky. Thyer.

301. And play ith plighted v. 21.

clouds.] By using plighted here, And in his garland, as he stood, instead of the more common Ye might discern a cypress bud.

word plaited, an unpleasant conSee Acts Apost. xxii. 13, 14. sonance was avoided—and play “ One Ananias came unto me, i'th' plaited clouds. Spenser

Their port

And as I past, I worshipp'd; if those you

seek, It were a journey like the path to heaven, To help you find them.

LADY.

Gentle villager,
What readiest way would bring me to that place? 305

COMUS.
Due west it rises from this shrubby point.

LADY.
To find out that, good shepherd, I suppose,
In such a scant allowance of star-light,
Would overtask the best land-pilot's art,

sun,

hath plight for plait or plaight. Chaucer, in the Testament of Love, Faery Queen, b. ii. cant. iii. st. has plites for folds. And plite, 26.

a verb to fold, Tr. Cr. ii. 1204.

From this verb plight, immeAll in a silken camus lilly white, Purfled upon with many a foldcd diately came Milton's plighted, plight:

which I do not remember in any and again, cant. vi. st. 7. plight other writer. The modern word is a participle for plaighted or

is plaited. Of the same family platted.

is pleached, in Much ado about

Nothing, act iii. s. 1. With gaudy garlands, or fresh flowrets dight

And bid her steal into the pleached About her neck, or rings of rushes

bower, plight.

Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the Calton.

Forbid the sun to enter. The lustre' of Milton's brilliant imagery is half obscured, And in Antony and Cleopatra. while plight remains

And he has impleached, impliplained. We are to understand cated, in his Lover's Complaint. the braided embroidered Mal. Suppl. Sh. i. 752. T.' Warclouds: in which certain airy

ton. elemental beings are most poeti- In the Manuscript he had written

v 304. To help you find them.] cally supposed to sport, thus producing a variety of transient and at first, find them out. dazzling colours, as our author 309. -overtask] So Sonn. says of the sun, Par. L. iv. 586.

xxii. 10. “overply'd in liberty's

" defence." Milton is fond of Arraying with reflected purple and the compound with over.

Vagold The clouds that on his western throne rious instances occur in Par. attend.

Lost; many, as here, of his own

unex

or

310

Without the suré guess of well-practis'd feet.

Comus.
I know each láne, and every alley green,
Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood,
And every bosky bourn from side to side,

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coinage. See over-multitude, be- Fell headlong into a dell. low, v. 731. and Sonn. ix. 6. It plainly signifies a steep place over-ween. Where see the note.

or valley, and is much the same T. Warton.

as dale. And every bosky bourn. 310. Without the sureguess of -] Bosky is woody, from the Belgian He altered the Manuscript, but bosche and the Italian bosco a he had written at first

wood, says Skinner. It is used Without sure stcerage of

by Shakespeare, Tempest, act iv.

s. 3. 312. Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood, &c.] It was at first

My bosky acres, and my unshrubh'd

down: in the Manuscript wide wood. Here Mr. Seward imagines that and i Hen. IV. act v. s. 1. Milton imitated Fletcher, Faith- How bloodily the sun begins to peer ful Shepherdess, act iv.

Above yon busky (bosky) hill !
Land since have crost

Bourn is bound or limit, from the All these woods over, ne'er a nook or French borner, and is thus used dell,

by Shakespeare, Tempest, act Where any little bird or beast doth

ii. s. 1. dwell, But I have sought him, ne'er a bend. Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard,

ing brow of any hill, or glade the wind sings Antony and Cleopatra, act i. s. 1. through &c.

I'll set a bourn how far to be heloy'd. Dingle, according to Baily, is a narrow valley between two steep Hamlet, act iii. s. 2. hills: Mr. Thyer of Manchester

That undiscover'd country, from says, that the word is very com

whose bourn monly used in that part of the No traveller returns kingdom, and Ben Jonson has And in Lear, Dover cliff is called the word dimble in the same sense. Dell is used by Fletcher at the chalky bourn, act iv. s. 6. beginning of the Faithful Shep

From the dread summit of this chalky

bourn. herdess, besides in the passage above quoted,

312. Drayton has dingle in his Nor the shrill pleasing sound of merry

Muses Elys. Nymph. ii. vol. iv. p.

1455. pipes Under some shady dell:

In ding'es deep, and mountains hore.

T. Warton. And by Spenser in his Shepherd's Calendar, March, speaking of a 313. And every bosky bourn sheep,

from side to side,] A bourn, the

none,

315

My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood;
And if your stray-attendants be yet lodg’d,
Or shroud within these limits, I shall know
Ere morrow wake, or the low-roosted lark
From her thatch'd pallat rouse; if otherwise
I can conduct you, Lady, to a low
But loyal cottage, where you may be safe
Till further quest.

LADY.

Shepherd, I take thy word, And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy, Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds

320

а

sense of which in this passage aboriginal separations or divisions has never been explained with of property, might not the Saxon precision, properly signifies here, word gives rise to the French a winding, deep, and narrow borne ? There is a passage in the valley, with a rivulet at the bot. Faerie Queene, where a river, or tom. In the present instance, the rather strait, is called a bourne, ii. declivities are interspersed with vi. 10. trees and bushes. This sort of

My little boate can safely passe this valley Comus knew from side to

perilous bourne. side. He knew both the opposite

But seemingly also with the sense sides or ridges, and had conse.

of division or separation. For quently traversed the inter- afterwards this bourn is styled a mediate space. Such situations

shard. have no other name in the west

-When late he far'd of England at this day. In the

In Phedria's Aitt barck over the perwaste and open countries, bourns lous shard. are the grand separations or di

T. Warton. visions of one part of the country

316. Or shroud within these from another, and are natural limits,] He had written at first limits of districts and parishes.

Within these shroudie limits For bourn is simply nothing more than a boundary. As in the 321. Till further quest.] He instances cited by Dr. Newton. had added in the Manuscript be

See Furetiere in borne, and Du made, but afterwards blotted it Cange in borna, Lat. Gloss. In out, Saxon, burn, or burna, is a stream

Till further quest be made. of water, as is bourn at present in some counties: and as rivers 321. See note on Arcades, 34. were the most distinguishable T. Warlon.

а

325

With smoky rafters, than in tap’stry halls
And courts of princes, where it first was nam'd,
And yet is most pretended: in a place
Less warranted than this, or less secure,
I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.
Eye me, blest Providence, and square my trial
To my proportion'd strength. Shepherd, lead on. 330

THE Two BROTHERS.

ELDER BROTHER. Unmuffle

ye

faint stars, and thou fair moon,

324. With smoky rafters,] It To the false forest of a well-hung room was at first And smoky rafters.

For honour and preferment come. The sentiment here is the same That is,

a room in the houses as in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, “ of the great, hung with tapecant. 14. st. 62. of the original, “stry, the subject of which is and 52 of Harrington's trans- some romantic story, and the lation,

scene a forest." And ShakeAs courtesy ofttimes in simple bow’rs speare in Cymbel. act iii. s. 4. Is found as great as in the stately -I am richer than to hang by the tow'rs.

walls. 324. --in tap'stry halls] The And B. and Fletcher, Sea-voyage, mode of furnishing halls or state

act i. s. 1. apartments with tapestry, had not You must not look for down beds ceased in Milton's time. Palaces, here, nor hangings. as adorned with tapestry, are here

T. Warton. contrasted with lowly sheds, and 325. And courts of princes, smoky rafters. A modern poet where it first was nam’d,] This is would have written stuccoed plainly taken from Spenser, Faery halls. Shakespeare says of Lord Queen, b. vi. cant. I. st. 1. Salisbury, Second P. K. Henry

Of court, it seems, men courtesy do VI. act v. s. 3.

call,

Por that it there most useth to abound, And like rich hangings in a homely house,

329. -and square my trial] km So was his will in his old feeble body. The Manuscript had at first Compare Browne Brit. Past. b. i.

--and square this trial: s. ii. p. 60.

and at the end of the speech is Their homely cotes deck'd trim in low Exeunt, and at the begining of degree,

the next scene, The two brothers As now the court with richest tapes. enter: and in the Manuscript try.

the two brothers are all along Hence Cowley may be illustrated, distinguished by 1 Bro. and 2 Bro. Ode to Liberty, st. iii.

331. Unmuffie ye fuint stars,]

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