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Not once perceive their foul disfigure
< And they, so perfect is the
Not once perceive their for
In chaines of lust and lewde des
d But boast themselo He certainly alludes to that fine satire, in a dialogue companions, disgusted with the vices and vanities of Circe into the shape of men.-Jos. WARTON.
Or, perhaps, to J. Baptista Gelli's Italian Dialog tarch's plan.-T. WARTON.
Dr. Newton observes, that there is a remarkal wrought by Circe, and those by her son Comus : changed, their mind alone remaining as it was befo their head or countenance is changed, and for a ver appear upon the stage, which they might do in mas the exchange, v. 241; but here, the allegory is fine of their distigurement. This improvement upon Hon who ascribes much the same effect to the herb Lo tasted, “forgot his friends and native home." At Plato, where he alludes to the intoxicating power of t of the Lotophagi, in that striking description of proflig: not only refuse to hear the advice of friends, before." De Repub. lib. viii.-Topp,
e To roll with pleasure in a Milton applies the same fable, in the same language
-Expel this monster fror
Now made a stye.--T. WAR Thercfore, when any, favour'de
Chances to pass through this adı The Spirit in “Comus" is the Satyr in Fletcher's by Pan to guide shepherds passing through a forest by in distress, a. iii. s. 1.-T. WARTON.
& Swift as the sparkle of a gl There are few finer comparisons that lie in so sin the thought in “ Par. Lost," b. iv. 555.
Thither came Uriel, gliding thro
Impress the air, &c.
h Spun out of Iris'' So our author of the archangel's military robe, “ Pa
And take the weeds and likeness of a swaini
[Comus enters with a charming rod in one hand, bis glass in the other ; with him a
rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise like men
Com. The star, that bids the shepherd fold',
Pacing toward the other goal the woof.” Milton has frequent allusions to the colours of the rainbow. Truth and Justice are not only orbed in a rainbow, but are appareled in its colours, “ Ode on Nativ." st. xv.-T. Warton.
And take the weeds and likeness of a swain, &c. Henry Lawes, the musician, who acted the part of the Spirit. — Todd.
1 Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar,
And hush the waving woods.
Weep, shepherd swaines !
He could appease
The sullen seas,
k I must be viewless now.
But who comes here? I am invisible,
1 The star that bids the shepherd fold. Collins, in his beautiful “ Ode to Evening,” introduces this pastoral notation of time, accompanied with the most romantic and delightful imagery :
-When thy folding-star arising shows
Of his chamber in the East".
m Pacing toward the other g
Of his chamber in the East În allusion to the same metaphors employed by the as a bridegroom cometh out of his chamber, and rejoit -Newton.
n Rigour now is gone to Much in the strain of Sidney, “ England's Helicon,
Night hath closed all in her cloake;
o And Advice with scrupul The manuscript reading, “ And quick Law," is the bute of advice to be scrupulous; but it is of quic! WARBURTON.
It was, however, in character for Comus to call business to depreciate, or ridicule, advice, at the T. WARTON.
P Severity. There is an earlier use of this word in the same s Rosam.” st. 39, edit. 1601, fol.
Titles that cold seueritie hath four
9 Saws. “Saws,” sayings, maxims. Shakspeare, “ As you
Full of wise saw5.--NEWT
r Watchful spheres So, in the “ Ode Nativ." v. 21. “And all the ! bright." See also“ Vac. Exercise," v. 40. “The : Baruch, iii. 34. “ The stars shined in their watches.
In wavering morrice The morrice, or Moorish dance, was first brought in III.'s time, when John of Gaunt returned from Spe father-in-law, Peter king of Castile, against Henry the
And, on the tawny sands and sh
Trip the pert faeries and the daj Fairies and elves are common to our national poetry among the pastoral inhabitants of the lonesome hills:
By dimpled brook" and fountain-brim",
That ne'er art call'd but when the dragon woom Y strong. How they were imported, and from what land, has been and perhaps will continue a matter of conjecture : no one has had the boldness to believe that they are of British growth, though there are people still living who imagine they have seen them, and heard the sound of their elfin minstrelsy. The fairies
, according to popular testimony, are an elegant and accomplished race : they dwell in palaces under secluded bills ; they frequent, when the summer moon up, the lonely stream banks ; they spread tables sometimes in desert places, and astonish and refresh the benighted and hungry traveller with spiced cakes and perfumed wine ; nor do they hesitate to mount their steeds—an elfin race; and, accompanied by music from invisible instruments, ride through the lonely villages at midnight, less to the alarm than the delight of the inhabitants. The last time they were seen in the south of Scotland was some five-and-forty years ago :-“When I was a boy of fifteen,'' said my informant, “ I saw on a summer eve, just after sunset, what seemed a long line of little children running down the summit of a decayed turf fence, which bound as with a vertical belt a hill about half a mile distant : they were very little; they seemed clothed, but bare-headed ; and, what was odd, they seemed to sink into the hill when they reached a gap in the ridge down which they were running. There were hundreds of them, but one was twice as tall as the rest : we saw him thrice disappear on our side of the hill and thrice appear at the top again, as if he had passed through below the solid hill. I said we, because though I saw the 'pert fairies and the dapper elves' first, all the inhabitants of the village, some fifteen or so, saw them also." This is the latest account on record of the fairy.folk.-C.
u By dimpled brook.
Forego a court's alluring pale
Sporting with Hebe by a fountaine brim. Topd.
W 'Tis only day light that makes sin. Mr. Bowle supposes that Milton had his eye on these gallant lyrics of a song in Jonson's “Fox," a. ii. s. 7:
'Tis no sinne love's fruit to steale,
» Dark-veil'd Cotytto. The goddess of wantonness.—Topd.
The dragon woom. Popular belief in some districts bestows on British witches the power of turning light into darkuess, given by Milton and others to “ dark-veil'd Cotytto.” In one of the vales of the north dwelt in other days three witches: the first could milk the cows at the same moment for ten miles around her; the second could turn her slipper into a sea-worthy
Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest g
Break off, break off, I feel the different
Run to your shroudsd, within these bral ship, and make a voyage to Lapland ; while the third ha only when she twirled it round, against the course of natu
Made one blot of all the air; but whatever she wished for when the cloud descended, si it pasked away and light returned. A dame so gifted ci comfort ; and yet, if tradition is not in error, her life wa her house was mean ; her dress was sordid ; her meals moved abroad, she was pursued by the hue and cry of an and her transformations-how she could turn a fox int hill and dale,-how she could become a hare, and set pat at defiance, together with many matters more marvellous that large and unfinished volume of traditionary belief peasantry ?-C.
· Ere the blabbing eastern sco Shakspeare, “K. Hen. Vi." P. ii. a. iv. s. 1 :The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful di
& Nice. A finely-chosen epithet, expressing at once curious ani
b Come, knit hands, and beat the gi
In a light fantastick round.
Arm in arm
c Break off. A dance is here begun, called the measure : which the off, on perceiving the approach of “ some chaste footing,' his character.-T. WARTON.
A measure is said to have been a court dance of a stately pressed dances in general. A round is thus defined " When men daunce and sing, taking hands round." BU description of the measure and the round, is given in a se ** Britannia's Pastorals,” b. i. s. 3.-Todd.
d Shrouds. To your recesses, harbours, hiding-places, &c. So i Naught but profoundest hell can be his shroud.” An