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And the mute Silence hist along, 55
'Less Philomel will deign a song,
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke,
Gently o’er th’accustom'd oak. 60
Sweet bird, that shunn’st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy !
Thee chauntress oft the woods among
I woo to hear thy even-song ;
And, inissing thee, I walk unseen

65 On the dry smooth-shaven green,


56. I apprehend Philomel, or the nightingale, (here) to allude to the same prototype as that of the lark in l’Allegro, mentioned in the note on line 45 there, as being composed of Hudibras's hand. Vide that note.

59. Cynthia, or the moon, alludes I imagine' to the crescent-shape of the bird on Ralph's person (fig. 12) which is situate directly fronting the view of Il Penseroso.

65. Walk, as of the planetary wandering of


To behold the wand'ring moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the Heav'n's wide pathless way,
And oft, as if her head she bow'd,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft on a plat of rising ground,
I hear the far off curfew sound,
Over some wide-water'd shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar;
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will fit, .

the moon; unscen, as of that part of the moon. where Il Penseroso is situate, being obscured.

67. The moon here mentioned I conceive to allude to what was just now noticed as the explo. sion of light; in the center of which is a round spot of strong light which may be fancied to be the moon itself, and around it, numerous streaks and spaces of somewhat paler light, which may be the fleecy cloud of line 72.

74. The Curfew is referable to the shape of a Bell on the person of Talgol (fig. 17).

78. It is not difficult to conceive Il Penseroso

Where glowing embers through the room .
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom, 80
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the bellman's drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm ;
Or let my lamp at midnight hour,

rides 85
Be seen in some high lonely tow'r,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere ..

in a sitting posture with embers of a fire at his feet, formed out of the resemblance of a “smoking faggot” which is mentioned in Hudibras's Epistle to the Widow, as the device of his seal. The cricket (82) may be referable to the shadow which formed Shylock's shoe: and the bellman (83) tó the prototype of Polonius in Hamlet (fig. 56). with the bell (visible on Talgol's person) in his hand.

85. The Lamp is to be considered as formed out of the streaks of light on Talgol's person just

to: and the Bear (872 is the Bear of Hudibras, fig. 13. 27. Tragedy. This is no unfit occasion to

VOL. IV. : DD.

The spirit of Plato to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions hold 90

offer a few short remarks on the ancient tragedy and comedy. The latter, as devoted to mirth and gaiety, seems to have had for a sort of presiding deity the prototype of Ralph or l’Allegro in the moon, and its name with relation to that prototype is derivable from Maidaw, to smile, (there being more of light on that side of the moon than on the other) and it has a further reference perhaps to the conical shape of the prototype; while the distinctive symbol of comedy, the sock, is clearly referable to the plain resemblance of a slipper or sock (namely, the shadow that formed the foot of @dipus and the shoe of Shylock) situate on that side of the moon. Tragedy, on the other hand, is ascribable in the same way to the prototype of Hudibras or Il Penseroso, whose figure is made up entirely of dark shadows, and who has a goat's head (TPayos, tragedy; vide fig. 103,) immediately behind his back; while the distinctive symbol of tragedy, the buskin, is made up, as I apprehend. of the whole of the shadows that constitute the person of Il Penseroso or Hudibras ; the leg or ankle-part being at the top of his head, and the shoe, extending from the goat's head as its heel, to the

The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook :
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element,
Sometime let gorgeous tragedy
In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age a
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.


belly of Hudibras as its toe ; the cross-lacings of the buskin being formed of the streaks of light that cross Hudibras's breast. Under this view of those subjects, we may understand the contrast which Horace seems to raise between the largeness of the buskin when compared with the size of the sock, Hunc socci cepere pedem, grandesque cothurni.

Aro, Poet, 80.

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