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wished to emphasize the sanctity of 10% still more, by showing that there is a place for it among the gods. “ Comus,” says Masson, “had misapprehended Love, knew nothing of it except its vile counterfeit...had been outwitted and defeated. But there is true Love, and it is to be found in Heaven.” The idea is well illustrated by Par. Lost, VIII. 615—629, where Adam questions the archangel Raphael—“Love not the Heavenly Spirits?”— and receives the reply—“without Love no happiness.”
No doubt Milton was influenced by that conception of Divine Love of which Plato treats in the P/ladru: and elsewhere. The story of Cupid and Psyche is applied in much the same way by Spenser, T he Faerie Queene, III. 6. 49, 50. See also Keats’s Ode to Frye/re.
1003. Cf. Mdrummer-Nzignt’r Dream, 11. 1. 29, “By f0un~ tain clear or spangled starlight sheen." sheen; akin to Germ. sefio'n, beautiful.
1004.. advanced, raised aloft.
1011. You}; and 70]. Later in life Milton made Virtue and Knowledge the offspring of pure Love; see note on 784 ‘ ' ~—787. “ Editors find a reason for this in the greater gravity of l ‘ spirit which eight years had brought upon Milton”-—Marron.
ll ‘ 10m. A series of reminiscences of Shakespeare; cf. A Midd‘ summer-MIg/lt’: Dream, 1v. L 102, 103, where Oberon says: “We the globe can compass soon;” and IX. 1. I75, Puck’s words, “I’ll put a girdle round about the earth,” i.e. make the circuit of the universe; and Marieth, III. 5. '23, 24:
l “ Upon the corner of the moon
l There hangs a vaporous drop profound.”
There and here (1017) o0rner=‘horn’ (Lat. eornu), as in cornua land; of. Vergil’s third Georgia, 433.
‘11 1014. the green earl/H: end; meaning probably the Cape 'Verd Islands—Sympson. Cf. Par. .Lort, vru. 631, “ Beyond the Earth’s green Cape and verdant Isles.” They or the Canaries v' were commonly identified by the Elizabethans with the classical Harper-Mum Insula
. Ior5. ooze/ed, because in any landscape the horizon appears to come down to the earth. welléz'n; see G. slow, i.e. gradually.
1018—1023. These lines are particularly notable as summing up the whole teaching of the poem. The special aspect of virtue which it has depicted is, of course, “saintly chastity” (453). And chastity (the Lady) has triumphed over the temptations of intemperance (Comus), through its own “hidden strength” (418), and through supernatural aid (the Attendant Spirit and Sabrina) such as the Elder Brother spoke of (45 5, 456) and the last line of the Masque promises.
1019. Ben Jonson’s PleasureRecanrz'led to Virtue (the Masque in which Comus appears) ends with a similar song in praise of Virtue. .
1021. spirery dime. An allusion to the notion, said to have originated with Pythagoras and described by Plato in the Republic (X. 616, 617), of the “music of the spheres.” As popularly understood and refen'ed to, it was that the rapid revolution of each planet in its “sphere” or orbit (i.e. a circular space round the central earth) produced a sound, and the combination of the sounds a harmony. Poetry is full of allusions to “the great sphere-music of stars and constellations” (Tennyson, Parnassus). It WaS a favourite idea with Milton, who studied the Ptolemaic theory of the “spheres” deeply, and adopted it for the astronomical system of Par. Lost. Cf. The Naliw'ly Ode, 125—132, Ode At a S0lznm Marie, and Arcades, 62—73. Perhaps Echo was called “Daughter of the sphere” (241) in allusion to the music of the spheres, i.e. as though she had her origin in it and were part of it.
:plzery, belonging to the spheres.
1023, 1024. Masson notes that an interesting personal anecdote is associated with these lines, viz. that Milton wrote them, and his name, in the autograph-book (still preserved) of a foreigner whom he visited in june 1639 at Geneva, on the way home from his travels in Italy.
The peaceful close of Camus is characteristic of Milton. All a his long poems end quietly. Indeed, the end of Paradise Lost is so simple that some critics proposed, wrongly, to omit the last (,1 couplet as unauthentic because tame and less impressive than g the two previous lines. But it is just like the gentle ending of l Paradz'r: Regainad. Shakespeare’s tragedies usually close on a quiet note.
A.S.=Anglo-Saxon, i.e. English down to about the Conquest.
Middle E.=Middle English, i.e. English from about the Conquest to about t 500.
Elizabethan E-=the English of Shakespeare and his contemporaries (down to about [650).
Germ. = modern German. Gk. = Greek.
NOTE: In using the Glossary the student should pay very careful attention to the context in which each word occurs.
alabaster, Com. 66o, sulphate of lime; Gk. dhdflaa'fpos, said to be derived from the name of a town, Alaéasiron, in Egypt. Misspelt alafilaster in the on'ginal editions, as commonly in Elizabethan writers.
alley, ‘a path, walk,’ especially one with trees overhead (Com. 3n), as in a garden (990). Cf. Much Ado Aéaut Not/ling, I- 2. lo, “a thick-pleached alley,” i.e. thickly interwoven overhead; and Tennyson, Ode to Memory, “plaited alleys of the trailing rose.” F. alle'e.
ambrosial; used by Milton of that which delights the sense of smell (Cam. :6, 84.0) or taste. Strictly, amtrou'a=the food of the gods, as nectar=their drink.
aspect, Cam. 694.. Shakespeare always accents arplrt. Many words now accented on the first syllable were in
Elizabethan E. accented on the second syllable, i.e. they retained the French accent, which (roughly speaking) was that of the original Latin words. By “accent” one means, of course, the stress laid by the voice on any syllable in pronouncing it. Thus Milton wrote “By policy and long prorés: of time” (Par. Lost,11. 297); cf. French from, Lat. proce’ssus. So Shakespeare scans acréss, zommlrre, edict, when it suits him.
asphodfl, Com. 838; Gk. imam“, a kind of lily supposed to flourish especially in the Elysian fields. Dafl‘odil (Com. 851) is a. corruption of dd¢66ehos through Low Lat. afiodillus; now used of a ditferent flower, viz. the proudo-narcz'rrus. Skeat thinks that the d may represent F. do in fleur d’afradille.
assay, Com. 977., ‘trial, test.’ The form always used by Milton. To assay metals is to test them. Cf. O.F. essai and the variant form arrai; Lat. exagium, ‘a weighing, trial of weight.’
ay me, Com. 511, ‘alas.’ O.F. aymi, ‘alas for me!’ cf. Gk. nip-0L.
azurn, Com. 893; perhaps formed from the noun azure, like silvern from silver, where -n=the suffix -en, as in wooden, woollen. Some think that Milton, with his fondness for Italian, coined azum from Ital. azzurn’no. Instances of his leaning towards half Italian forms are rdzin (Ital. srfegvzare), sermate(Ital.:ermala), sowvm, fiarala’ (Ital. aral'do). See Par. Lost, I. 752, It. 518, IV. 50. 769
balm; properly the aromatic oily resin of the oalram-tree: then any fragrant oil or ointment for anointing, soothing pain, and so any fragrant or soothing liquid (as in Com. 674.). Hence balmy: ‘ fragrant’ (Com. 991).
be. The root be was conjugated in the present tense indicative, singular and plural, up till about the middle of the r7th century. The singular, indeed, was almost limited in Elizabethan E. to the phrase “if thou beast,” where the indicative beast has the force of the subjunctive; cf. The Tempest, v. 134, “ if thou be’st Prospero.” For the plural cf. szrz‘r xlii. 31, “We be twelve brethren,” and Matthew xv. 14, “they be blind leaders of the blind.”
blank, Com. 45¢, ‘dismayed.’ Cf. the verb blank=‘to confound’ in Samson Agonirtlr, 4.71, literally ‘ to make to Ham/l or Hench, i.e. become white ’ (F. blanc).