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Over some wide-water'd shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar;
Or if the air will not permit,'
Some still removed place will fit, ..
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom, .
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,

Chaucer. And the two follow- again, Meas. for Meas.“ How ing lines, with the frequent al. " have I ever loved the life literation of the letter s, inimit. “ remov'd, &c.” and in other ably express the motion and places of Shakespeare, as well as sound of a great heavy bell. We of Jonson. T. Warton. almost think we hear it.

80. Teach light to counterfeit a Over some wide-water'd shore. gloom,] Statius, Theb. iv. 424.

Swinging slow with sullen roar. pallet mala lucis imago. Compare The poet no doubt remembered

Shakespeare, Mids. N. D1. a. v.

s. 2. Shakespeare's passing-bell, but I think he has exceeded his origi

Through this house give glimmering

light nal. Sonnet 71.

By the dead and drowsy fire. No longer mourn for me when I am And Spenser, F. Q. i. i. 14.

dead, Then you shall hear the surly sullen A little glooming light much like a bell

shade. Give warning to the world that 1 am

T. Warton. fled From this vile world, with vilest

82. Save the cricket on the worms lo dwell.

hearth.] Shakespeare, the uni78. Some still removed place

versal and accurate observer of will fit.] That is, “ some quiet,

real nature, was the first who “ remote, or unfrequented place

introduced the crying of the “ will suit my purpose." Re

cricket, and with the finest effect, moved is the ancient English

into our poetry. - Or the bellparticiple passive for the Latin

man's drowsy charm, &c. Compare

Chaucer, Cant. T. v. 3479. ed. remote. So Shakespeare, Haml.

Tyrwh. See also Cartwright's a. iv. S. 4.

Ordinary, a. iii. s. 1. Works, p. It waves you to a more removed

36, 1651. And Shakespeare, Cymground.

beline, a. ii. s. 2. and Merr. W. Again, Mids. N. Dr. a. i. s. 1.

a. v. s. 5. In Robert Herrick's From Athens is her house remou'd Hesperides, is a little poem called seven leagues.

the Bellman, which contains this For so remote is printed in the charm, p. 139. ed. 1647. It folios 1623, 1632, and 1683. And begins thus,

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Or the bellman’s drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm:
Or let my lamp at midnight hour,
Be seen in some high lonely tow'r,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook:

From noise of scare-fires rest ye free, The spirit of Plato is rightly sum-
From murder, Benedicito!
From all mischances, that may fright notions, for he has treated more

moned to unfold these particular Your pleasing slumbers in the night, Mercie secure ye all, and keep largely than any of the philoso

The goblin from ye while ye sleep, &c. phers, concerning the separate Anciently the watchman, who state of the soul after death, and cried the hours, used these or concerning demons residing in the like benedictions. T. Warton. the elements, and influencing the 85. Or let my lamp at midnight planets, and directing the course hour

of nature. The English reader Be seen in some high lonely

may see a summary of his doctow'r.]

trines at the end of Stanley's The extraneous circumstance be

Life of that philosopher. And seen gives poetry to the passage;

as Mr. Thyer observes, the word and thus a picture is created unsphere alludes to the Platonic which fills the imagination. T.

notion of different spheres or Warton.

regions being assigned to spirits 87. Where I may oft outwatch of different degrees of perfection the Bear.) The constellation so or impurity. The same term is called. that never sets. Virg. used in the Mask, ver. 2. Georg. i. 246.

-where those immortal shapes Arctos oceani metuentes æquore tingi.

Of bright aerial spirits live inspher'd

In regions mild of calm and serene air. 88. With thrice great Hermes,] Hermes Trismegistus, the Egyp 89. This shews what sort of tian philosopher, flourished a contemplation he was fond of. little after Moses. He main- Milton's imagination made him tained the truth of one God as much a mystic as his good against the idolatry and poly sense would give leave. Hurd. theism of his countrymen. Peck. 91. The immortal mind that 88. — or unsphere

hath forsook] Compare P.R. iv. The spirit of Platoto unfold &c.] 598. and see the note on the

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 sceptred pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,


Demons of the Elements, P. R. These four Latin verses form ii. 122. E.

the context now before us. 98. In sceptred pall] The Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy same that Horace calls palla In sceptred pall come sweeping by; honesta. De Arte Poet. 278. Presenting 'Thebes, or Pelops' line,

Or the Tale of Troy divine. Post hunc personæ pallaque repertor honeste

In Paradise Regained, he partiÆschylus

cularises the lofty grave tragedians 98. But Horace, I humbly ap- of Athens. B. iv. 266. And these prehend, only means, that Æs are they, who display the vicischylus introduced masks and situdes of human life by examples better dresses. Palla honesta is of Great Misfortune, simply a decent robe. Milton High actions and high passions best means something more. By

describing. clothing Tragedy in her scep- In the Tractate of Education, he tred pall, he intended. specie recommends “ Attic Tragedies of fically to point out regal stories stateliest and most regal arguthe proper arguments of the “ment.” Edit. 1673. p. 109. higher drama. And this more Ovid, whom Milton in some of expressly appears, from the sub- his prose pieces prefers to all the jects immediately mentioned in Roman poets besides, has also the subsequent couplet. Our marked the true, at least original, author has also personified Tra province of Tragedy, by giving gedy, in the same meaning, her a sceptre. Amor. 1. lii. i. 11. where he gives her a bloody And we there trace Milton's pall sceptre, implying the distresses also. of kings, El. i. 37.

Venit et ingenti violenta Tragedia Sive cruentatum furiosa Tragoedia scep. passu,

Fronte come torva, Palla jacebat Quassat, et effusis crinibus , ora


Læva manus Sceptrum late regale teHe then illustrates or exemplifies

nebat, &c.

T. Warlon. his personification. Seu mæret Pelopea domus, seu no.

99. Presenting Thebes, or Pebilis Ili,

lops' line,
Seu luit incestos aula Creuntis avos. Or the tale of Troy divine,]



Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.
But, O sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as warbled to the string.
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what love did seek.


These were the principal subjects a power to excite pain or pleaof the ancient tragedies; and he sure, as the state is in which it seems to allude particularly to finds the hearer. Hence Milton the Septem contra Thebas 'of makes the self-same strains of Æschylus, and the Phænissæ of Orpheus proper to excite both Euripides, and the Antigone of the affections of mirth and meSophocles, and the Thebais of lancholy, just as the mind is then Seneca, which present Thebes ; disposed. If to mirth, he calls and to the Thyestes of Seneca, for such music, and the Agamemnon of Æschylus, which present Pelops' line ; and

That Orpheus' self may heave his

head &c. to the Troades of Euripides and If to melancholy of Seneca, and other tragedies Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing &c. which present the tale of Troy divine, therefore called divine be. See Warburton's Shakespeare, cause built by the gods : for I vol. ill. p. 118. think with Mr. Thyer, that di- 105. To Orpheus or his harp vine is not to be joined with tale. Milton has frequent allusions in as many understand it: and as other places. As in P. L. ill. 17. Mr. Jortin notes, it is called in

and in the Tractate on Education, Homer Iacos ign.

“ Melodious sounds on every side 100.--though rare] Just glanc

" that the harp of Orpheus was ing at Shakespeare. Hurd. “ not more charming." We

104. Mighi raise Museus from have the same allusion in the his bowers The poet Museus Preface to Philips's Theatrum makes the most distinguished Poetarum, in which are more figure in Virgil's Elysium. An. manifest marks of Milton's hand. vi. 667.

than in the book itself. EducaMusæum ante omnes, medium nam

tion is that harp of Orpheus, &c. plurima turba

p. 3. T. Warton. Hunc habet, atque humeris extantem 107. Drew iron tears down suspicit altis.

Pluto's cheek,] Our author here 105. Or bid the soul of Orpheus very strongly expresses the sense sing &c.] It is a property of of the following line of Seneca's music, that the same strains have upon the same occasion, which I

Or call up him that left half told
The story of Cambuscan bold,

Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,
That own'd the virtuous ring and glass,
And of the wondrous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride;

115 And if ought else great bards beside suppose he had in view. Herc. Tale. It best suited our author's Fur. 578.

predilection for romantic poetry. Deflent et lacrymis difficiles Dei. Chaucer is here ranked with the

Thyer. sublime poets: his comic vein 109. Or call up him that left

of Tere is forgotten and overlooked. See half told

Hist. Eng. Poetr. i. 398. The The story of Cambuscan bold,

virtuous ring and glass. So Boi

ardo, Orl. Inam. 1. i. c. xiv. st. &c.] He means Chaucer and his 49. Of Angelica's magic ring. Squire's Tale, wherein Cambus In bocca avea quell anel virtuoso. can is king of Sarra in Tartary, And in the Faerie Queene, a sword and has two sons Algarsife and tempered by Merlin is called Camball, and a daughter named “the vertuous steele." And the Canace. This Tartar king re- Palmer has “a vertuous staffe." ceives a present from the king T. Warton. of Araby and Ind, of a wondrous 116. And if ought else great horse of brass that could transport bards beside &c.] Ariosto, and him through the air to any place, Spenser more particularly, of and a sword of rare qualities; whose allegorical poetry it may and at the same time his daugh- be said with great truth and ter Canace is presented with a propriety, that more is meant than virtuous ring and glass, a glass meets the ear. And thus in these by which she could discover two little poems Milton makes secrets and future events, and a his compliments to our greatring by which she could under- est English poets, Jonson and stand the language of birds. Shakespeare, Chaucer and SpenThis tale was either never finished ser. by Chaucer, or part of it is lost: 116. Tasso also pretends to an but Spenser has endeavoured to allegorical and mysterious meansupply the defect in his Faery ing. And his inchanted forest, Queen. See b. iv. cant. ii. s. 32. the most conspicuous fiction of &c.

the kind, might have been here . 109. Hence it appears that intended. Berni allows, that his Milton, among Chaucer's pieces, incantations, giants, magic garwas most struck with his Squier's dens, &c. may amuse the igno

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