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And disinherit Chaos, that reigns here
In double night of darkness and of shades;
Or, if your influence be quite damm'd up
With black usurping mists, some gentle taper,
Though a rush-candle from the wicker hole
Of some clay habitation, visit us h
With thy long-level'd rule of streaming light';
And thou shalt be our star of Arcady,
Or Tyrian cynosure
Sec. Br.

Or, if our eyes
Be barr'd that happiness, might we but hear
The folded flocksk penn'd in their wattled cotes,
Or sound of pastoral reed with oaten stops,
Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock
Count the night watches to his feathery dames,
'Twould be some solace yet, some little cheering,
In this close dungeon of innumerous' boughs.
But, O, that hapless virgin, our lost sister!
Where may she wander now, whither betake her
From the chill dew, among rude burs and thistles ?
Perhaps some cold bank is her bolster now,
Or 'gainst the rugged bark of some broad elm
Leans her unpillow'd head, fraught with sad fears.
What, if in wild amazement and affright;
Or, while we speak, within the direful grasp
Of savage hunger, or of savage heat ?
El. Br. Peace, brother; be not over-exquisite

& Disinherit Chaos. This expression should be animadverted upon, as hyperbolical and bombast, and akin to that in Scriblerus, “ Mow my beard.”—Jos. WARTON.

h Visit us, &c. See “ Par. Lost," b. ii. 398. “ Not unvisited of heaven's fair light:" and St. Luke, i. 78. “The day-spring from on high hath visited us.”—T. WARTON.

| Long-leveld rule of streaming light. The sun is said to “ level his evening rays,

," “ Par. Lost," b. iv. 543.-T. Warton.

i Our star of Arcady,

Or Tyrian cynosure. Our greater or lesser bear-star. Calisto, the daughter of Lycaon, king of Arcadia, was changed into the greater bear, called also Helice, and her son Arcas into the lesser, called also Cynosura, by observing of which the Tyrians and Sidonians steered their course, as the Grecian mariners did by the other. See Ovid, “ Fast.” iii. 107. and Val. Flaccus, " Argon." i. 17.-Newton.

k The folded Rocks, &c. Compare, as Mr. Warton directs, “Par. Lost," b. iv. 185. And see the notes on Milton's “Epitaphium Damonis," ver. 140.-Todd.

1 Innumerous. Innumerous " is uncommon.

“Par. Lost,” b. vii. 455. “ Innumerous living creatures." The expression, "innumerous boughs,” has been adopted in Pope's Odyssey.-T. Warton.

m Exquisite. " Exquisite” was not now uncommon in its more original signification. Beaumont and Fletcher, “ Little Fr. Law.” 4. v. s. I.

They are exquisite in mischief.-T WARTON.

m

But see

To cast the fashion of uncertain evils :
For grant they be so, while they rest unknown",
What need a man forestall his date of grief,
And run to meet what he would most avoid ?
Or if they be but false alarms of fear,
How bitter is such self-delusion!
I do not think my sister so to seek,
Or so unprincipled in Virtue's book,
And the sweet peace that goodness bosoms ever,
As that the single want of light and noise
(Not being in danger, as I trust she is not P)
Could stir the constant mood of her calm thoughts,
And put them into misbecoming plight.
Virtue could see to do what Virtue would
By her own radiant light 9, though sun and moon
Were in the flat sea sunk; and Wisdom's self
Oft seeks to sweet retired solitude";
Where, with her best nurse, Contemplation,
She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings,

To cast the fashion of uncertain crils.
A metaphor taken from the founder's art.-WARBURTON.

Rather from astrology, as “ to cast a nativity." The meaning is to predict, prefigure, compute, &c.-T. WARTON.

• This line obscures the thought, and loads the expression. It had been better out, as any one may see by reading the passage without it.- WARBURTON.

P As that the single want of light and noise

(Not being in danger, as I trust she is not). A profound critic cites the entire context, as containing a beautiful example of Milton's using the parenthesis, a figure which he has frequently used with great effect.—* Orpa and Prog. of Language,'' b. iv. p. ii. vol. iii. p. 76. Some perhaps may think this beauty quite accidental and undesigned. A parenthesis is often thrown in for the sake of coplanation, after a passage is written.-T. WARTON.

4 Virtue could see to do what Virtue would

By her own radiant light. It has been noticed by many critics, that this noble sentiment was inspired from Spenst, “ Faerie Qucene," i. i. 12 :

Vertue gives herselfe light through darknesse for to wade.
But may not Jonson here be also noticed, who, in his Mask, “ Pleasure reconciled to
Virtue," (to which I have ventured to assign other allusions in “Comus,") says of
Virtue;-

She, she it is in darknesse shines;
'Tis she that still herself refines,
By her own light to every eye.—Tord.

r oft seeks to sweet retired solitude.
For the same uncommon use of " seek," Mr. Bowle cites Bale's “ Examinacyon of
A. Askew," p. 24. " Hath not he moche nede of helpe who seeketh to soche a surgeon?"
So also in Isaiah, xi. 10.“ To it shall the Gentiles seek."-T. WARTON.

s ller best nurse, Contemplation. In Sidney's “ Arcadia," Solitude is the nurse of Contemplation, b. i. p. 31, ertit. 1674. “Such contemplation, or more excellent, I enjoy in solitariness; and my solitariness is perchance the nurse these contemplations." -- DUNSTER.

i She plumes her feathers. I believe the true reading to be " prunes," which Lawes ignorantly altered to ** plumes," afterwards imperceptibly continued in the poet's own edition. To "

prune wings," is to

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That in the various bustle of resort
Were all-to ruffled ", and sometimes impair'd.
He, that has light within his own clear breast,
May sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day":
But he, that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts,
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun;
Himself is his own dungeon ".
Sec. Br.

'Tis inost true,
That Musing Meditation most affects
The pensive secresy of desert cell,
Far from the cheerful haunt of men and herds,
And sits as safe as in a senate-house *;
For who would rob a hermit of his weeds,
His few books, or his beads, or maple dish,
Or do his gray

hairs
any

violence ?
But Beauty, like the fair Hesperian tree
Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard
Of dragon watch with unenchanted eye ?,

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The cor

smoothe, or set them in order, when ruffled: for this is the leading idea. Spenser,

“ Faer. Qu." ii, iii. 36:

She 'gins her feathers foule disfigured
Proudly to prune.-T. WARTON.

u Were all-to ruffled. So read as in editions 1637, 1645, and 1673. Not too, nimis. “ All-to," or "al-to,” is entirely. See Tyrwhitt's Glossary, Chaucer, v. To. And Upton's Glossary, Spenser, v. All.

Various instances occur in Chaucer and Spenser, and in later writers. ruption, supposed to be an emendation, “all too ruffled," began with Tickell, who had no knowledge of our old language, and has been continued by Fenton, and Dr. Newton. Tonson has the true reading, in 1695, and 1705.-T. Warton.

See Judges ix. 53:-“ And a certain woman cast a piece of a mill-stone upon Abimelech's head, and all-to brake his skull :" for so it should be printed. Some editions of the Bible corruptly read, “ all to break,” placing the verb improperly in the infinitive mood.Todd.

"He that has light within his own clear breast,

May sil in the centre, and enjoy bright day. So, in his “ Proso Works,” i. 217, edit. 1698 :~" The actions of just and pious men do not darken in their middle course ; but Solomon tells us, they are as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”—Todd.

w Himself is his own dungeon. In “Samson Agonistes," v. 155, the Chorus apply this solemn and forcible expression to the captive and afflicted hero :

Thou art become (0 worst imprisonment!)
The dungeon of thyself.-Tord.

* And sits as safe as in a senate-house. Not many years after this was written, Milton's friends showed that the safety of a senatehouse was not inviolable; but, when the people turn legislators, what place is safe from the tumults of innovation, and the insults of disobedience ?--T. Warton.

$ But beauty, &c.
These sentiments are heightened from the “Faithful Shepherdess,' a.

"a. i. s. 1:-
Can such beauty be
Safe in its own guard, and not drawe the eye
Of him that passeth on, to greedy gaze, &c.-T. WARTON.

z Tith unenchanted eye. That is, which cannot be enchanted. Here is more flattery ; but certainly such as was

To save her blossoms, and defend her fi
From the rash hand of bold Incontinen
You may as well spread out the unsuni
Of miser's treasure by an outlaw's den,
And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope
Danger will wink on opportunity,
And let a single helpless maiden pass &
Uninjured in this wild surrounding was
Of night, or loneliness, it recks me not
I fear the dread events that dog them !
Lest some ill-greeting touch attempt th
Of our unowned sister.
El. Br.

I do not, bro
Infer as if I thought my sister's state
Secure, without all doubt or controvers
Yet, where an equal poise of hope and
Does arbitrate the event, my nature is
That I incline to hope, rather than fea
And gladly banish squint suspiciono.

My sister is not so defenceless left justly due, and which no poet in similar circumstance rather the temptation, of paying.-T. WARTON.

When the Christian religion supplanted the pagan even of zealous converts to the old-established days of gods and goddesses of Olympus, that it was found necess the Christian cause ; and accordingly a long line of saint: of the set times of heathen jubilee, and reigned in the st manner, the domestic mythology of the pagans yielded deeds which the infernal gods wrought of old were no Satan. Instead of a dragon being placed as a sentinel o one of the inferior fiends was reluctantly compelled to latter times carried this much farther, and, it is said, chest, and commanded his spirit to keep watch and w stormed and taken by Robert Bruce, Comyn, who was be sunk in one of the deepest pools of the Nith, which i walls. Times of peace returned, and a diver was empl when he descended to the bottom of the pool, he found of the treasure-chest, who not only seemed disposed version of the legend avers, actually held a human vic mouth gaped wistfully for a third. Two divers, it seen and failed; nor did the third and last succeed.-C.

* And let a single helpless maides Rosalind argues in the same manner, in “ As you Lil

Alas! what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gi

b Yet, where an equal poist “Boni animi proprium est in dubiis meliora suppone Mat. Paris, “ Hist.” p. 774._ BowlE.

c And gladly banish squint su Alluding probably, in the epithet, to Spenser's descrij Cupid, “Faery Queen," iï. xii. 15 :

For he was foul, ill-favoured, and grir
Under his eye-brows looking still asca

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As you imagine; she has a hidden strength,
Which you remember not.
Sec. Br.

What hidden strength,
Unless the strength of Heaven, if you mean that?

El. Br. I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength,
Which, if Heaven gave it, may be term’d her own :
'Tis Chastity, my brother, Chastity :
She, that has that, is clad in complete steel ;
And, like a quiver'd nymph with arrows keen",
May trace huge forests e, 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,
She 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 i
In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fenk,

d And, like a quiver'd nymph with arrous keen. I make no doubt but Milton in this passage had his eye upon Spenser's Belphæbe, whose character, arms, and manner of life perfectly correspond with this description.—Thyer.

e May trace huge foresls, &c. Shakspeare's Oberon, as Mr. Bowle observes, would breed his child-knight to trace the forests wild," “ Midsummer Night's Dream,” a. ii. s. 3. In Jonson's " Masques," a fairy says, vol. v. 206:

Only we are free to trace
All his grounds, as he to chage.-T. WARTON,

! Infamous hills. Horace, “ Od.” i. iii. 20 :-“Infames scopulos," as Dr. Newton observes. P. Fletcher, in his “Pisc. Ecl.” published in 1633, has “infamous woods and downs."— Todd.

& Where, through the sacred rays of Chastity, &c. See Fletcher, “ Faithful Shepherdess," a. i. s. 1.-T. Warton.

h Mountaineer. A mountaineer seems to have conveyed the idea of something very savage and ferocious. In the “ Tempest," a. iii. s. 3 :

Who would believe that there were mountaineers

Dewlapp'd like bulls ?
In “Cymbeline," a. iv. s. 2:-
Who call'd me traitor, mountaineer.—T. WARTON.

i Unblench'd. Unblinded, unconfounded.-- WARTON.

Some say, no evil thing that walks by night.
Milton had Shakspeare in his head, “ Hamlet,” a. i. s. 1:-

Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated-

But then, they say, no spirit walks abroad.
Another superstition is ushered in with the same form in “ Paradise Lost,'' b. x. 575.
And the same form occurs in the description of the physical effects of Adam's fall, b. x.
668.-T. WARTON.

k In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fen, &c. Milton here had his eye on the Faithful Shepherdess," a. i. He has borrowed the sentiment, but raised and improved the diction :

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