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My hopes all flat, nature within me seems
595 In all her functions weary of herself, , My race of glory run, and race of shame, And I shall shortly be with them that rest.
MANOAH. Believe not these suggestions which proceed From anguish of the mind and humours black, 600 That mingle with thy fancy. I however Must not omit a father's timely care To prosecute the means of thy deliverance By ransom, or how else: mean while be calm, And healing words from these thy friends admit. 605
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 but from his own feeling and
Or if, inspiring venom, be might taint
Th' animal spirits &c. 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 a 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
My griefs not only pain me
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 snowy 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
O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp. asswage,] Here medicinal is
pronounced with the accent upon Alp in the strict etymology of the last syllable but one, as in the word signifies à 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,
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 &c. 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 ognirfinna high mountains. to and repeats its source and
633. I was his nursling once object. Thyer.
No long petition, speedy death,
650 The close of all my miseries, and the balm.
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
But to th' afflicted &c. once made, it is sure to be perpetuated 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!
667. God of our fathers, what term for this lower class of moris man! &c.] This and the fol- tals. They style them are@nor lowing paragraph to ver. 705. or avaguntos, 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.
The feast and noon grew high.
my sphere. Prodesse bonis, nocuisse malis ?
&c. to the end. Compare P. L. v. 174. and Il Pens.
68. So in Harrison's Description
of Britaine, prefixed to Hollings677. Heads wilhout name no bead, “ The husbandmen dine more remember'd,] Milton here at high noone, as they call it." probably had in view the Greek T. Warton.