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Excels his mother at her mighty art,
Offering to every weary traveller
His orient liquor in a crystal glass,

65 To quench the drought of Phæbus, which as they taste, (For most do taste through fond intemp’rate thirst) Soon as the potion works, their human count'nance, Th’express resemblance of the Gods, is chang’d Into some brutish form of wolf, or bear,

70 Or ounce, or tiger, hog, or bearded goat, All other parts remaining as they were ; it is shade : and covert was written calls the human face divine, iii: first, then shelter.

44. Thyer. 63. Excels his mother at her 72. All other parts remaining mighty art,] In the Trinity Ma- as they were ;] It was at first in nuscript he had first written the Manuscript, as before. There potent art, which are Shake- is a remarkable difference in the speare's words, and better. War- transformations wrought by Circe burton.

and those by her son Comus. In 65. His orient liquor] That is, Homer the persons are entirely of an extreme bright and vivid changed, their mind only remaincolour. Warburton.

ing as it was before, Odyss. x. See the note, P. L. i. 546. E. 239. 67. -through fond) So altered

οι δε συων μεν εχων κεφαλας, φωνην σε, in the Manuscript from through

δεμας τε, , weak intemperate thirst.

Και τριχας: αυταρ νους ην εμπεδος, ως 68. -their human count'nance,

To wagos aillo Thi express resemblance of the but here only their head or counGods,]

tenance is changed, The same thought is again very

All other parts remaining as they were ; finely expressed in the following and for a very good reason, belines of this poem, where the at- cause they were to appear upon tendant Spirit is describing to the the stage, which they might do two brothers the effects of this in masks. In Homer too they charmed cup

are sorry for the exchange, ver.

241. -whose pleasing poison The visage quite transforms of him Ως οι μεν κλαιοντες εργατοthat drinks,

but here the allegory is finely And the inglorious likeness of a beast improved, and they have no noFixes instead, unmoulding reason's

tion of their disfigurement, mintage Character'd in the face.

But boast themseluca more comely than

before, He gives us much the same idea

And all their friends and native home in his Paradise Lost, where he forget.


And they, so perfect is their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
But boast themselves more comely than before,
And all their friends and native home forget,
To roll with pleasure in a sensual stye.
Therefore when any favour'd of high Jove
Chances to pass through this advent’rous glade,

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This improvement upon Homer satire in a dialogue of Plutarch, might still be copied from Homer, Opp. tom. ii. Francof. fol. 1620. who ascribes much the same p. 985. where some of Ulysses's effect to the Lutos, Odyss. ix. 94. companions, disgusted with the Τονδ' όστις λωτοιο φαγοι μελιηδεα καρσον,

vices and vanities of human life, Ουκ εσ' απαγγείλαι παλιν ηθελεν, ουδε refuse to be restored by Circe

into the shape of men. Dr. J. Αλλ' αυτου βουλoντo μεσ' ανδρασι Λωτο- Warton. φαγοισι

Or, perhaps, to J. Baptista Λωτον ερεσσομενοι μενεμεν, νοστoυσι λα. dolas.

Gelli's Italian Dialogues, called The trees around them all their food

Circe, formed on Plutarch's plan. produce,

T. Warton. Lotos the name, divine, nectareous 78. —when any favour'd of high juice!

Jove] Virgil, Æn. vi. 129.
(Thence call'd Lotophagi) which
whoso tastes,

-Pauci quos aquus amavit
Insatiate riots in the sweet repasts, Jupiter-
Nor other home, nor other care in-

78. The Spirit in Comus is the But quits his house, his country, and Satyre in Fletcher's Faithful his friends.

Pope. Shepherdess. He is sent by Or as Mr. Thyer conceives, it Pan to guide shepherds passing might possibly be suggested to through a forest by moonlight, Milton by Spenser in his bower and to protect innocence in disof bliss, where relating how the

tress. A. iii. s. 1. vol. iii. p. 145. Palmer restored to human shape But to my charge. Here must I stay those whom Acrasia had changed To see what mortals lose their way, into beasts, he says, b. ii. cant. And by a false fire, seeming bright, xii, st. 86.

Train them in, and set them right:

Then must I watch if any be
But one above the rest in special, Forcing of a chastity;
That had an hog been late (height If I find it, then in hast
Grill by name)

I give my wreathed horn a blast,
Repined greatly, and did him mis. And the Faeries all will run, &c.

call, That had from hoggish im See also above, v. 18. Where brought to natural,

our Spirit says, 75. But boast themselves] He But to my task. certainly alludes to that fine

T. Warton.

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Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star
I shoot from heav'n, to give him safe convoy,
As now I do: but first I must put off

my sky robes spun out of Iris' woof,

80. Swift as the sparkle of a quential circumstances heighten glancing star] Minerva in her and illustrate the shooting star, descent in the fourth Iliad ap- and therefore contribute to con-' peared to the Grecian host like vey a stronger image of the one of those glancing stars which descent of Uriel. But the poet Homer hath distinguished by its there speaks: and in this address emitting sparkles in its flight, ver. of the Spirit, any adjunctive di-) 75.

gressions of that kind, would Οιον δ αστερα ήκι Κρονου σαις αγκυλο

have been improper and without fentio,

effect. I know not, that the idea Η ναυτησι τιρας, ης στρατο ευρεϊ λαων, of the rapid and duzzling descent Λαμπρον του δε σε πολλοι απο σπινθηρες» of a celestial being is intended

iserar Το εικυι ηιξεν επι χθονα Παλλας Αθηνη. .

to be impressed in Homer's com

parison of the descent of Mi. These lights were accounted in

nerva, applied by the commenthe Pagan theology the nimbus tators to this passage of Comus. or glory of some deity descend. See II. iv. 74. The star to ing. Servius on Virgil, Æn. x which Minerva is compared, emits 693.


sparkles, but is stationary; it -et de cælo lapsa per umbras does not fall from its place. It Stella facem ducens multa cum luce is a bright portentous meteor, cucurrit.

alarming the world. And its Nunc theologicam rationem se- sparkles, which are only accomquitur, [Poeta scil.] quæ adserit paniments, are not so introduced fiammarum quos cernimus tra- as to form the ground of a similictus, nimbum esse descendentis tude. Shakespeare has the same numinis. Calton.

thought, but with a more comThere are few finer compari- plicated allusion, in Venus and sons that lie in so small a com- Adonis, edit. 1596. Signat. C. iiij. pass. The angel Michael thus It is where Adonis suddenly descends in Tasso, Stella cader, starts from Venus in the night. &c. ix. 62. Milton has repeated

Looke how a bright star shooteth from the thought in P. L. iv. 555. Thither came Uriel, gliding through So glides he in the night from Venus' the even

eye. On a sun-beam, swift, as a shooting

T. Warton. star In autumn thwarts the night, when

83 — spun out of Iris' woof,] vapours fir'd

See Paradise Lost, xi. 244.
Impress the air, &c.
Where the additional or conse- -Iris had dipp'd the woof.

the skie,


And take the weeds and likeness of a swain,
That to the service of this house belongs,
Who with his soft pipe, and smooth-dittied song,
Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar,
And hush the waving woods, nor of less faith,
And in this office of his mountain watch,
Likeliest, and nearest to the present aid
Of this occasion. But I hear the tread
Of hateful steps, I must be viewless now.


Comus enters with a charming rod in one hand, his glass in

the other; with him a rout of monsters, headed like sundry
sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise like men and women,
their apparel glistering; they come in making a riotous
and unruly noise, with torches in their hands.

The star that bids the shepherd fold,
Now the top of heav'n doth hold,


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86. Who with his soft pipe, &c.] mentioned Lawes's verses preThese three lines were designed fixed to Cartwright's Poems. And as a compliment to Mr. H. Lawes, he wrote a poem also in praise who acted the attendant Spirit of Dr. Wilson, King Charles's himself. Warburton.

favourite lutenist, prefixed to
See the Preliminary Notes. Wilson's Psalterium Carolinum,
Lawes himself, no bad poet, in &c. fol. 1657. T. Wurton.
A pastorall Elegie to the me- 90. Likeliest, and nearest to
“ morie of his brother William," the present aid] In Milton's Ma-
applies the same compliment to nuscript it stands Nearest and
his brother's musical skill. likeliest to &c. It was at first, to
-He could allay the murinures of give present aid; and virgin steps,

which was altered to hateful steps.
the wind;
He could appease

Then follows in the Manuscript
The sullen seas,

Goes out. And the title of the
And calme the fury of the winds.

following scene runs thus. CoSecChoice Psalins put into mus enters with a charming rod musick, &c. By H. and W. and glass of liquor, with his rout Lawes, &c. Lond. 1648." To all headed like some wild beasts, this book is prefixed Milton's their garments some like men's and Sonnet to H. Lawes. I have some like women's; they come on



And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth-allay
In the steep Atlantic stream,
And the slope sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky pole,
Pacing toward the other goal
Of his chamber in the east.
Meanwhile welcome Joy, and Feast,
Midnight Shout and Revelry,
Tipsy Dance and Jollity,
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.
Rigour now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head,


in a wild and antic fashion. In: In allusion to the same kind of trant καμαζοντες.

metaphors employed by the 93. T'he star that bids the shep. Psalmist, xix. 5. The sun as a herd fold,). A pastoral way of bridegroom cometh out of his chumcounting time. So Virgil, Ecl. ber, and rejuiceth as a strong man vi. 85.

to run a race. Cogere dovec oves stabulis numerum.

105. Braid your

locks with rosy que referre

twine, Jussit, et invito processit Vesper Dropping odours, dropping Olympo.

wine.] and Georg. iv. 434.

This is perfectly in the spirit Vesper ubi e pastu vitulos ad tecta

and manner of Anacreon, who

used to be crowned with roses, reducit,

and anointed with sweet oint93. Shakespeare calls the morn- ments, while he was drinking. ing-star, the unfolding star. Meas. Od. 6. for Meas. a. iv. s. 3. T. Warton. 97. In the steep Atlantic stream]

Το ροδον το καλλίφυλλον

Κροταφοισιν αρμοσαντες So altered in the Manuscript Πινομεν άβρα γελωντες. . from Tarlarean stream.

And again Od. 15. and in other 99. -the dusky pole,] In the

places. Manuscript it is northern : dusky

Εμοι μιλει μυροισι is the marginal reading.

Καταβρεχειν υπημην 100. Pacing toward the other Εμοι μελει ροδοισι goal


. Of his chamber in the east.] 108. And Advice with scrupua

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