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My hopes all flat, nature within me seems
- 600 That mingle with thy fancy. I however Must not omit a father's timely care
To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
SAMSON. O that torment should not be confin'd To the body's wounds and sores, With maladies innumerable In heart, head, breast, and reins ; felt, and what he thought in duces Satan in the shape of a some of his melancholy hours. toad at the ear of Eve. iv. 804. He could not have wrote so well Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint but from his own feeling and Th' animal spirits fic. experience, and the very flow of the verses is melancholy' and ex. So again in the Mask. cellently adapted to the subject.
'tis but the lees As Mr. Thyer expresses it, there
And settlings of a melancholy blood. is à remarkable solemnity and
Thyer. air of melancholy in the very 606. O that torment should not sound of these verses, and the be confin'd &c.] Milton, no doubt, reader will find it very difficult was apprehensive that this long to pronounce them without that description of Samson's grief and grave and serious tone of voice misery might grow tedious to which is proper for the occasion. the reader, and therefore here 600. —and humours black, with great judgment varies both
That mingle with thy fancy.] his manner of expressing it and This very just notion of the the versification. These sudden mind or fancy's being affected, starts of impatience are very naand as it were tainted, with the tural to persons in such circumvitiated humours of the body, stances, and this rough and unMilton had before adopted in his equal measure of the verses is Paradise Lost, where he intro- very well suited to it. Thyer.
But must secret passage find
610 To th' inmost mind, There exercise all his fierce accidents, And on her purest spirits prey, As on entrails, joints, and limbs, With answerable pains, but more intense,
615 Though void of corporal sense.
My griefs not only pain me
625 Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb Or medicinal liquor can asswage, Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.
623. Thoughts my tormentors than as we commonly pronounce
arm'd with deadly stings it medicinal with the accent upon Mangle &c.]
the last syllable but two, or This descriptive imagery is fine med'cinal as Milton has used it and well pursued. The idea is in the Mask. The same musical taken from the effects of poison pronunciation occurs in Shakeous salts in the stomach and speare. Othello, act v. sc. 10. bowels, which stimulate, tear,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian inflame, and exulcerate the tender fibres, and end in a mortification, Their medicinal gum. which he calls death's benumbing
628. —from snovy Alp.] He opium, as in that stage the pain
uses Alp for mountain in general, is over. Warburton.
as in the Paradise Lost, ii. 620. 627. Or medicinal liquor can asswage,] Here medicinal is pro- O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp. nounced with the accent upon Alp in the strict etymology of the last syllable but one, as in the word signifies a mountain Latin: which is more musical white with snow. We have in.
Sleep hath forsook and gir'n me o'er
I was his nursling once, and choice delight,
640 But now hath cast me off as never known, And to those cruel enemies, Whom I by his appointment had provok’d, Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
645 The subject of their cruelty or scorn. Nor am I in the list of them that hope ; Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless; This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
deed appropriated the name to &c.] This part of Samson's the high mountains which sepa- speech is little more than a reperate Italy from France and Ger- tition of what he had said before, many; but any high mountain ver. 23. may be so called, and so Sido O wherefore was my birth from nius Apollinaris calls mount heav'n foretold Athos, speaking of Xerxes cut- Twice by an angel fc. ting through it, Carmen ii. 510. But yet it cannot justly be im
-cui ruptus Athos, cui remige Medo puted as a fault to our author. Turgida sylvosam currebant vela per Grief though eloquent is not tied Alpem.
to forms, and is besides apt in And the old Glossary interprets its own nature frequently to recur Alps by ogni mna high mountains. to and repeats its source and
633. I was his nursling once object. Thyer.
No long petition, speedy death,
656. All chances incident to pressed from what we quoted man's frail life, &c.] There is before from Horace, epist. i. i. a full stop at the end of this line 34. in all the editions, but there Sunt verba et voces quibus hunc should be only a comma, as the
lenire dolorem sense evinces, the construction Possis. being And consolatories writ with 660. But with th' afflicted &c.) &c. to the bearing well &c. Milton Here was another error perpehimself corrected it in the first tuated through all the editions, edition; but when an error is once made, it is sure to be per
But to th' afflicted &c. petuated through all the editions. Milton himself corrected it, and
658. -and much persuasion certainly their sound prevails with sought] I suppose an error of th' afflicted is better than prevails the press for fraught. Warbur- to th' afflicted. ton.
661. -—or rather seems a tune I conceive the construction to Harsh, and of dissonant mood be, consolatories are writ with
&c.] studied argument, and much per- Alluding to Ecclus. xxii. 6. A suasion is sought &c.
tale out of season is as music in 659. Lenient of grief] Ex- mourning. Thyer.
And fainting spirits uphold.
God of our fathers, what is man! That thou tow'ards him with hand so various, Or might I say contrarious, Temper'st thy providence through his short course, 670 Not ev'nly, as thou rul'st Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute, Irrational and brute. Nor do I name of men the common rout, That wand'ring loose about
675 Grow up and perish, as the summer fly, Heads without name no more remember'd, But such as thou hast solemnly elected, With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd To some great work, thy glory, And people's safety, which in part they effect : Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft Amidst their height of noon
667. God of our fathers, what term for this lower class of moris man! &c.] This and the foltals. They style them avaibless lowing paragraph to ver. 705. or avagabuntor, men not numbered, seems to be an imitation of the or not worth the numbering. Chorus in Seneca's Hippolytus, Thyer. where the immature and unde- 683. Amidst their height of served fate of that young hero is noon] Milton is accustomed to this lamented. Act iv. 971.
expression. See below, v. 1612. sed cur idem,
The feast and noon grew high. Qui tanta regis, sub quo vasti So in P. L. iv. 564. Pondera mundi librata suos Ducunt orbes, hominum nimium This day at height of noon came to Securus abes; non sollicitus
my sphere. Prodesse bonis, nocuisse malis ?
Compare P. L. v. 174. and Il Pens. &c. to the end. Thyer.
• 68. So in Harrison's Description
• of Britaine, prefixed to Hollings677. Heads without name no head, “ The husbandmen dine more remember'd,] Milton here at high noone, as they call it.” probably had in view the Greek T. Warlon..