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And bound him fast; without his rod revers'd,
And backward mutters of dissevering power,
We cannot free the Lady that sits here
In stony fetters fix'd, and motionless :
Yet stay, be not disturb’d; now I bethink me,
Some other means I have which may be us’d,

820

where the companions of Ulys. The circumstance in the text, of ses are restored to their human the Brothers forgetting to seize shapes. Metam. xiv. 300. and reverse the magician's rod, Percutimurque caput conversæ ver.

while by contrast it heightens bere virgæ,

the superior intelligence of the Verbaque dicuntur dictis contraria attendant Spirit, affords the opverbis.

portunity of introducing the ficThis Sandys translates, “ Her tion of raising Sabrina; which, “ wand reverst, &c." Transl. p. exclusive of its poetical orna462. edit. 1632. And in his very ments, is recommended by a lolearned Notes he says, As cal propriety, and was peculiarly Circe's rod, waved over their interesting to the audience, as “heads from the right side to the the Severn is the famous river of “ left, presents those false and the neighbourhood. T. Warlon. “ sinister persuasions to pleasure, 816. -without his rod re“ which so much deformes them: vers’d,] It was at first “ so the reversion thereof, by dis

witbout his art revers'd. “ cipline and a view of their “ owne deformitie, restores them 818. --the Lady that sits “ to their former beauties," p.

here) in the Manuscript it was 481. By backward mutters, the at first that remains, and is that “ verba dictis contraria verbis,"

here sits.

821. Some other means I have we are to understand, that the charming words, or verses, at which &c.] He had written at first used, were to be all repeated first There is another way that &c. backwards, to destroy what had

821. Doctor Johnson reprobeen done.

bates this long narration, as he The most striking representa- styles it, about Sabrina; which, tion of the reversal of a charm he says, " is of no use because it that I remember, and Milton “ is false, and therefore unmight here have partly had it in

“ suitable to a good being.”. By his eye, is in Spenser's descrip- the poetical reader, this fiction is tion of the deliverance of Amoret, considered as true. In common by Britomart, from the inchant- sense, the relator is not true : ment of Busyrane, Faery Q. iï. and why may not an imaginary xii. 36.

being, even of a good character,

deliver an imaginary tale? In And rising up, gan streight to overlooke

poetry false narrations are often Those cursed leaves, his charmes

more useful than true. Someback to reverse ; &c.

thing, and something preter

Which once of Melibæus old I learnt,
The soothest shepherd that e'er pip'd on plains.

There is a gentle nymph not far from hence,
That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure;

natural, and consequently false, the river Sture; wherein Lobut therefore more poetical, was

crine shot with an arrow ends necessary for the present distress. his life. But not so ends the T. Warton.

fury of Guendolen, for Estrildis 823. The soothest] The truest, and her daughter Sabra she faithfullest. Sooth is truth. In throws into a river; and to leave sooth is indeed. Soothsayer one

a monument of revenge, prothat foretells the truth, divinus, claims that the stream be thenceveridicus. And therefore what forth called after the damsel's this soothest shepherd teaches name, which by length of time may be depended upon.

is changed now to Sabrina or 823. Spenser thus character Severn. This is the account izes Amyntas in Colin Clouts given by Milton himself in the come home again.

first book of his History of EngHe, whilst he lived, was the noblest land: but here he takes a liberty swaine,

very allowable to poets, (as Mr. That ever piped on an oaten quill. Thyer expresses it,) and varies

Bowle. the original story of this event, 826. Sabrina is her name, a

in order to heighten the character virgin pure ;] In the Manuscript introduce as the patroness and

of Sabrina, whom he is about to it was at first a virgin goddess, then a virgin chaste,

and at last protector of chastity. See Spen

ser's account of the same event, a virgin pure. Locrine, king of the Britons, married Guendolen

in the Faery Queen, b. ii. cant. the daughter of Corineus, Duke 10. st. 17, 18, 19. of Cornwall: but in secret, for

But the sad virgin innocent of all, fear of Corineus, he loved Estril

Adown the rolling river she did pour,

Which of her name now Severn men dis, a fair captive whom he had

do call : taken in a battle with Humber Such was the end that to disloyal love king of the Huns, and had by

did fall. her a daughter equally fair, 826. Sabrina's fabulous history whose name was Sabra. But

may be seen in the Mirrour of when once his fear was off by the Magistrates under the legend of death of Corineus, not content the Lady Sabrine, in the sixth with secret enjoyment, divorcing Song of Drayton's Polyolbion, Guendolen, he makes Estrildis the tenth canto and second book now his queen. Guendolen all of Spenser's Faerie Queene, the in rage departs into Cornwall — third book of Albion's England, and gathering an army of her the first book of our author's father's friends and subjects, History of England, in Hargives battle to her husband by dyng's Chronicle, and in an old

830

Whilome she was the daughter of Locrine,
That had the sceptre from his father Brute.
She guiltless damsel flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course.
The water nymphs that in the bottom play'd,
Held up their pearled wrists and took her in,

English Ballad on the subject. the tip of the lady's finger and See note on Epitaph. Dam. v. 176. thrice her ruby lip, with chaste

The part of the fable of Co- palms moist and cold; as also the mus, which may be called the envenomed chair, smeared with Disin chantment, is evidently tenacious gums. The charm is founded on Fletcher's Faithful dissolved: and the nymph deShepherdess. The moral of both parts to the bower of Amphitrite. dramas is the triumph of chas- But I am anticipating, by a getity. This in both is finally neral exhibition, such particular brought about by the same sort passages of Fletcher's play, as of machinery. Sabrina, a virgin will hereafter be cited in their and a king's daughter, was con- proper places; and which, like verted into a river-nymph, that others already cited, will appear her honour might be preserved to have been enriched by our inviolate. Still she preserves author with a variety of new alher maiden-gentleness ; and every lusions, original fictions, and the evening visits the cattle among beauties of unborrowed poetry. her twilight meadows, to heal T. Warton. the mischiefs inflicted by elfish 829. She guiltless damsel] We magic. For this she was praised prefer the reading of the Manuby the shepherds.

script and the editions of 1637 -She can unlock

and 1645: that of 1673 has The The clasping charm, and thaw the guiltless damsel &c. which is folnumbing spell,

lowed by some others. If she be right invok'd in warbled

831. -o the flood,] So he sorg.

wrote at first, and then to the She protects virgins in distress. stream, and then to the flood She is now solemnly called, to again; and rightly, as stream is deliver a virgin imprisoned in the last word of a verse a little the spell of a detestable sorcerer. before and a little after. She rises at the invocation, and 834. Held up their pearled leaving her car on an osiered wrists &c.] In the Manuscript rushy bank, hastens to help in- these verses were thus at first, snared chastity. She sprinkles on the breast of the captive maid,

Held up their white wrists to receive

her in, precious drops selected from her

And bore her straight to aged Nereus' pure fountain. She touches thrice hall.

835

Bearing her strait to aged Nereus' hall,
Who piteous of her woes, rear’d her lank head,
And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
In nectar'd lavers strow'd with asphodil,
And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropt in ambrosial oils till she reviv'd,
And underwent a quick immortal change,
Made Goddess of the river ; still she retains
Her maiden gentleness, and oft at eve
Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,

840

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834. Drayton gives the Severn The process which follows, of pearls. He says of Sabrina, Po- dropping ambrosial oils “ into lyolb. s. V. vol. ii. p. 752. “the porch and inlet of each Where she meant to go

sense” of the drowned Sabrina, The path was strew'd with pearl. is originally from Homer, where He speaks also of “ The pearly Patroclus with rosy ambrosial

Venus anoints the dead body of « Conway's head," a neighbour- oil. II. b. xxiii. 186. ing river. Ibid. s. ix. vol. iii. p. 827. And of the “precious ori

-Ροδοενσι δε

Xeres

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ΑΜΒΡΟΣΙΩι. ent pearl that breedeth in her « sand." Ibid. s. x. vol. iii.

See also Bion's Hyacinth. “ Keter 842. We shall see, that Milton «δ' αμβροσιη και νεκταρι, &c." afterwards gives gems to the Idyll. ix. 3. Severn of a far brighter hue.

The word imbathe occurs in T. Warton.

our author's Reformation, “ Me836. -piteous of her woes.]

“ thinkes a sovereign and reviv. Under the same form, “ Retch

“ ing joy must needs rush into « lesse of their wrongs," that is,

“ the bosom of him that reads unpiteous, as in Drayton, Polyolb.

or hears; and the sweet odour 8. vii. See supr. at v. 404. T.

of the returning Gospel imWarton.

« bathe his soul with the fra837. And gave her to his daugh

grance

of heaven." Proseters to imbathe

works, vol. i. 2. What was enIn nectar'd lavers]

thusiasm in most of the puritanThis at least reminds us of Al- ical writers, was poetry in Milton. cæus's epigram or epitaph on

T. Warton. Homer, who died in the island

839. And through the porch

The of Io. The Nereids of the cir- and inlet of each sense] cumambient sea bathed his dead

same metaphor in Shakespeare, body with nectar. Antholog. lib. Hanlet, act i. sc. 8. iii. p. 386. edit. Brod. Francof. And in the porches of mine cars did 1600. fol. ΝΕΚΤΑΡΙ δ' αναλιαι Νηρηίδες οχρισαντο,

844. Visits the herds along the Και εκυς Ακταιη θηκαν υπο στιλάδι. .

twilight meadows,

pour &c.

548

Helping all urchin blasts, and ill-luck signs
That the shrewd meddling elf delights to make,
Which she with precious vial'd liquors heals.
For which the shepherds at their festivals
Carol her goodness loud in rustic lays,
And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream
Of pancies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils.

850

Helping all urchin blasts, and perly belonged. T. Warton. ill-luck signs

846. That the shrewd meddling That the shrewd meddling elf elf &c.]. That is Puck or Robin delights to make,]

Goodfellow, whose character and The virgin shepherdess Clorin, qualifications are described in in Fletcher's pastoral play so fre- Shakespeare's Mids. N. Dream, quently quoted, possesses the act ii. Delights to make, at first skill of Sabrina, act i. s. 1. p. he had written to leave ; and in 104.

the Manuscript is the following

verse, Of all green wounds I knowe the remedies

And often takes our cattle with strange In men or cattle; be they stung with

pinches, snakes,

Which she with precious &c. Or charm'd with powerful words of wicked art:

846. Shakespeare mentions a Or be they lovesick, &c.

spirit, who “ mildews the white These can I cure, such secret virtue «i wheat, and hurts the poor crealies

“ ture of the earth.” K. Lear, In herbs applied by a virgin's hand.

act i. s. 4. And he calls Robin

T. Warlon. Goodfellow “a shrewd and knav845. Helping all urchin blasts,] “ish sprite." Mids. N. Dream, The urchin, or hedge-hog, from act ii. s. 1. T. Warton. its solitariness, the ugliness of 849. —in rustic lays,] Rightly its appearance, and from a po- altered from lively or lovely pular opinion that it sucked or lays. poisoned the udders of cows, 850. And throw sweet garland was adopted into the demono- wreaths into her stream] Şee B. logic system: and its shape was and Fletcher's False One, act iii. sometimes supposed to be assumed by mischievous elves. See With incense let us bless the brim, the Tempest, act i. s. 2. act ii. s. And as the wanton fishes swim, 3. Macbeth, act iv. s. 1. And

Let us gums and garlands fling, &c. Titus Andronicus, at least cor

T. Warton. rected by Shakespeare, act ii. &. 851. Of pancies, pinks, and 2. There was a sort of subor- gaudy daffodils.] This line was dinate or pastoral system of at first, magic to which the urchin pro- Of pancies, and of bonny daffodils.

8. 3.

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