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May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths,
Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds,
Where through the sacred rays of chastity,
No savage fierce, bandite, or mountaineer
Will dare to soil her virgin purity :
Yea there, where very desolation dwells
By grots, and caverns shagg'd with horrid shades,

423. May trace huge forests, Manners, nor smooth humanity, &c.] Shakespeare's Oberon would

whose heats breed his child-knight to " trace

Are rougher than himself, and more

misshapen, " the forests wild.” Mids. N.

Thus mildly kneel to me? Sure Dream, act ii. s. 3. In Jonson's

there's a power Masques, a fairy says, vol. v. 206. In that great name of Virgin, that

binds fast Only we are free to trace

All rude uncivil bloods, all appetites All his grounds, as he to chace.

That break their confines: then, T. Warton.

strong Chastity, &c.

T. Warton. 423. -huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths,

426.-bandite, or mountaineer] Infamous hills, and sandy peril- A mountaineer seems to have ous wilds, &c.]

conveyed the idea of something Perhaps there is more merit in very savage and ferocious. In Horace's particularizations, Od. the Tempest, act ii. s. 3. xxii. 5.

Who would believe that there were Sive per Syrtes iter æstuosas,

mountuineers Sive facturus per inhospitalem

Dewlapp'd like bulls, &c. Caucasum, &c.

T. Warton.

In Cymbeline, act iv. s. 2.

Yield, rustic mountaineer. 424. Infamous hills,] Expressed from Horace, Od. i. iii. 20.

Again, ibid.

Who call'd me traitor, mountaineer. Infames scopulos Acroceraunia. 425. Where through the sacred Again, act iv. 8. 2. rays of chastity,

That here by mountaineer lies slain. No savage fierce, bandite, or

In Drayton, Mus. Elys. vol. iv. mountaineer, Will dare to soil her virgin pu

This Cleon was a mountaineer, rity.]

And of the wilder kind. So Fletcher, Faith. Sheph, act i.

T. Warlon. s. 1. vol. iii. p. 109. A satyr kneels to a virgin-shepherdess in 428. Yea there,) In the Manuforest.

script it is, Yea ev'n where &c. -Why should this rough thing, who

429. By grots, 'and caverns never knew

shagg'd with horrid shades,] This

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may pass on with unblench'd majesty, Be it not done in pride, or in presumption. Some say no evil thing that walks by night,

verse Mr. Pope has adopted in English poets; and he was here his Eloisa to Abelard.

pilfering from obsolete English Ye grots, and caverns shagg'd with poetry, without the least fear or horrid thorn.

danger of being detected. T. 429. Again, in the same poem,

Warton. v. 24.

430. She may pass on with unI have not yet forgot myself to stone.

blench'd majesty,] So Hamlet,

speaking of the king, at the conAlmost as evidently from our clusion of act the second, author's Il. Pens. v. 42.

-I'll observe his looks, There held in holy passion still, I'll tent him to the quick; if he but Forget thyself to marble.


I know my course. Pope again, ibid. v. 244.

Thyer. And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps.

430. -unblench’d] Unblinded, From Il. Pens. y. 244.

unconfounded. See Steevens's

note on blench, in Hamlet, at the There under ebon shades, and low

close of the second act. And brow'd rocks. And in the Messiah, v.

Upton's Gloss. Spenser, v. Blend. 6.

And Tyrwhitt's Gloss. Ch. v. -Touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with Blent. In B. and Fletcher's Pil. fire.

grim, act iv. s. 3. vol. v. p. 516. So in the Ode, Nativ. v. 28.

-Men that will not totter
-Touch'd with hallow'd fire.

Nor blench much at a bullet.

T. Warton. See supr. at v. 26.380. And infr. at v. 861. And Essay on Pope, Unblenched, not disgraced, not p. 307. s. vi. edit. 2.

injured by any soil. Johnson. This is the first instance of 432. Some say no evil thing that any degree even of the slightest walks by night, &c.] There are attention being paid to Milton's several such beautiful allusions smaller poems by a writer of to the vulgar superstitions in note since their first publication. Shakespeare; but here Milton Milton was never mentioned or had his eye particularly on acknowledged as an English Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, poet till after the appearance of act i. He has borrowed the Paradise Lost: and long after sentiment, but raised and imthat time these pieces were to- proved the diction. tally forgotten and overlooked.

Yet I have heard, my mother told it It is strange that Pope, by no me, means of a congenial spirit,

And now I do believe it, if I keep should be the first who copied

My virgin flow'r uncropp'd, pure,

chaste, and fair, Comus or Il Penseroso. But

No goblin, wood-god, fairy, elf, or Pope was a gleaner of the old fiend,

In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen,
Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost,
That breaks his magic chains at curfew time,
No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine,


son comes

Satyr, or other pow'r that haunts the 434. .-stubborn unlaid ghost, groves,

That breaks his magic chains at Shall hurt my body, or by vain illu.

curfew time.] sion

An unlaid ghost was among the Draw me to wander after idle fires : &c.

most vexatious plagues of the 482. Milton had Shakespeare the evils deprecated at Fidele's

world of spirits. It is one of in his head, Hamlet, act i. s. 1.

grave, in Cymbeline, act iv. s. 2. Some say, that ever 'gainst that sea.

No exorciser harm thee,

Nor no witchcraft charm thee, Wherein our Saviour's birth is cele.

Ghost unlaid forbear thee! brated, &c. But then they say no spirit walks The metaphorical expression is abroad, &c.

beautiful, of breaking his magic But the imitation is more imme. chains, for“ being suffered to diately from the speech of the 66 wander abroad.” And here too virgin shepherdess in Fletcher, the superstition is from Shakejust quoted. Ibid. p. 108.


K. Lear, act iii. s. 4.

« This is the foul Flibertigibbet: Yet I have heard, &c.

“he begins at curfew, and walks Another superstition is ushered

“ till the first cock.” Compare in with the same form, in Par. also Cartwright, in his play of L. X. 575.

the Ordinary, where Moth the Yearly enjoin'd, some-say, to undergo

antiquary sings an old song, act This annual humbling, certain num. ber'd days.

ii. s. 1. p. 36. edit. 1651. He

wishes, that the house may re-, And the same form occurs in the main free from wicked spirits, description of the physical effects

From curfew time of Adam's fall. Ibid. x. 668.

To the next prime. Some say, he bid his angels turn askance

Compare note on Il Pens. 82. The poles of earth twice ten degrees, and the Tempest, act v. s. 1. &c.

where Prospero invokes the elves T. Warion.

that rejoice 433.

To hear the solemn curfew. or moorish fen,] The Manuscript has moory fen: and That is, they rejoice because they in the next line for meagre hag are then allowed to be at large was at first wrinkled hag. till the cock-crowing. See Mac

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434. Blue meagre hag, &c.] beth, act ii. s. 3. T. Warton. Perhaps from Shakespeare's 436. --swart fairy of the mine,] Blue-eyed hag." Temp. act i. Swart or swarthy. See the note

on Paradise Lost, i. 684.

3. 2.

Hath hurtful pow'r o'er true virginity.

believe me yet, or shall I call
Antiquity from the old schools of Greece
To testify the arms of chastity ?
Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow,
Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste,


436. In the Gothic system of killed twelve miners with his pneumatology, mines were sup- pestilential breath. Ad calc. De posed to be inhabited by various Re Metall. p. 538. Basil. 1621. sorts of spirits. See Olaus Mag- fol. Drayton personifies the Peak nus's Chapter de Metallicis Dæ. in Derbyshire, which he makes monibus, Hist. Gent. Septen- a witch skilful in metallurgy. trional, vi. x. In an old trans- Polyolb. s. xxvi. vol. iii. p. 1176. lation of Lavaterus de Spectris

The sprites that haunt the mines she et Lemuribus, is the following could correct and tame, passage. « Pioners or diggers

And bind them as she list in Saturne's & for metall do affirme, that in

dreaded name. “ many mines there appeare Compare Heywood's Hierarchie “ straunge shapes and spirites, of Angels, b. ix. p. 568. edit. “ who are apparelled like unto 1635. fol. “ the laborers in the pit. These This passage of G. Agricola is “ wander up and downe in caves quoted by Hales of Eton, in a “ and underminings, and seeme Sermon on Rom. xiv. 1. And

to besturre themselves in all by Bishop Taylor, in his second “ kinde of labor; as, to digge Sermon on Tit. ii. 7. By both, after the veine, to carrie to- with the same humorous appli

gether the oare, to put into cation to theological controvertbasketts, and to turne the ists. And in the quarto edition

winding wheele to draw it up, of Hales's Golden Remains, pub“ when in very deed they do lished by Bishop Pearson, there “ nothing lesse, &c."- “ Of is a frontispiece in three divi.

ghostes and spirites walking by sions: in the lowest, a represent“ night, &c." Lond. 1572. bl. ation of Agricola's mine, with a lett. ch. xvi. p. 73. And hence reference to the citation, and this we see why Milton gives this explanation, Controversers of the species of fairy a swarthy or times, like spirits in the mineralls

, dark complexion. Georgius with all their labor, nothing is Agricola, in his tract De Sub- done. T. Warton. terraneis Animantibus, relates 441. Hence had the huntress among other wonders of the

Dian her dread bow, same sort, that these spirits some- Fair silver-shafted queen, for times assume the most terrible

ever chaste.] shapes; and that one of them, So Jonson to Diana. Cynth. Rev. in a cave or pit in Germany, act v. s. 6.

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• p. 134.

Wherewith she tam'd the brinded lioness
And spotted mountain pard, and set at nought
The frivolous bolt of Cupid; Gods and men 445
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen o’th' woods.
What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield,
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin,
Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,

450 And noble grace that dash'd brute violence With sudden adoration, and blank awe? So dear to heav'n is saintly chastity, Queene, and huntresse, chaste and This reminds one of the “ drib. to faire.

bling dart of love," in M. for T. Warton.

Measure. Bolt, I believe, is Milton, I fancy, took the hint properly the arrow of a crossof this beautiful mythological in- bow. Fletcher, Faithf. Sheph. terpretation from a dialogue of act ii. s. 1. Lucian's betwixt Venus and Cu

-With bow and bolt, pid, where the mother asking

mble squirrels in the her son how, after having attacked all the other deities, he

T. Warton. came to spare Minerva and

448.-unconquer'd virgin,] He Diana, Cupid replies, that the former looked so fiercely at him, vanquish'd, at last unconquer'd;

wrote at first eternal, then unand frightened him so with the and with great propriety, for in Gorgon head which she wore

Greek authors Minerva is often upon her breast, that he durst called αδαμαστος θεα, and παρθενος not meddle with her- και ορα

aduens. δε δριμυ, και επι του στηθους έχει προσαπον τι φοβερον, εχιδναις κατακομον, the snaky locks, and noble grace

450, 451. Rigid looks refer to ανπερ εγω μαλιστα δεδια μορμολντ

" TETO, yace jie, resto osvryw otay dw to the beautiful face, as gorgon

is represented on ancient gems. auto. p. 34. ed. Bourdelot-and

Warburton. that as to Diana she was always so employed in hunting, that he blank awe?] It was at first,

452. With sudden adoration, and could not catch her - oude

With sudden adoration of her pure. λαβειν αυτην οδοντο, φευγουσαν αει δια TWY opw. Ibid. Thyer.

ógwr 445. The frivolous bolt of Cu- this he altered to of bright rays, pid;] Bolt was anciently a very and then to and blank awe. common term for arrow. Wit- 453. So dear to heav'n is saintly ness the old proverb, The fool's chastity, &c.] So Spenser, relatbolt is soon shot. Peck.

ing how Florimel, in danger of

To shoot at


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