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My best guide now; methought it was the sound
Of riot and ill manag'd merriment,
Such as the jocund flute, or gamesome pipe
Stirs up among the loose unletter'd hinds,
When for their teeming flocks, and granges full,
In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,
And thank the Gods amiss. I should be loath
To meet the rudeness, and swill'd insolence
Of such late wassailers; yet 0 where else
Shall I inform my unacquainted feet



173.-gamesome pipe) “ Game

amque vagante

discincto some mood." Par. L. vi. 620. gutlure was-heil, Drayton has the word, Ecl. ii.

Ingeminant wns-heil: labor est plus and Ecl. vii. T. Warton.

perdere vini

Quam sitis. 175. -granges full.] The Manuscript had at first garners, These words were afterwards corwhich was altered with judg. rupted into wassail and wassailer. ment. Two rural scenes of fes. See Miscellaneous Observations tivity are alluded to, the spring on Macbeth, p. 41. So Shake(teeming flocks), and the autumn speare in Hamlet, act i. sc. 7. (granges full], sheep-shearing and harvest-home. But the time

The king doth wake to night, and

takes his rouse, when the garners are full is

Keeps wassail, &c. in winter, when the corn is thrashed. Warburton.

179. In some parts of Eng179. Of such lale wassailers ;] land, especially in the west, it is An ingenious author, who should still customary for a company of best know the force of English mummers, in the evenings of the words, as he is employed in draw. Christmas-holidays, to go about ing up an English dictionary, carousing from house to house, gives this account of the origin who are called the wassailers. of the word wassailer. Hail or Compare Fletcher's Faithf. Shep. heil for health was in such con- act v. s. 1. Selden mentions the tinual use among the good-fel. “ yearly was-haile in the country, lows of ancient times, that a “on the vigil of the new year.” drinker was called a was-heiler Notes on Polyvlb. s. ix. vol. iii. or a wisher of health, and the p. 838. Compare Love's Lab. liquor was termed was-heil, be- Lost, act v. s. ii. and Jonson, cause health was so often wished Masques, vol. vi. 3. T. Warlon. over it. Thus in the lines of 180. Shall I inform my unac. Hanvil the monk,

quainted feet, &c.] The expres

In the blind mazes of this tangled wood ?
My brothers, when they saw me wearied out
With this long way, resolving here to lodge
Under the spreading favour of these pines,
Stépp'd, as they said, to the next thicket side
To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable woods provide.
They left me then, when the gray-hooded Even,


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sion unacquainted feet is a little My meat shall be what these wild hard. Hurd.

woods afford,

Berries, and chesnuts, plantanes on Compare Sams. Agon. 335.

whose cheeks - Hither hath inform'd

The sun sits smiling, and the lofty Your younger feet.

Pull'd from the fair head of the And with tangled wood, v. 181.

straight-grown-piné. compare Par. L. iv. 176. tangling bushes had perplex'd;" By laying the scene of his and Pr. W. i. 13. “the dark, the Mask in a wild forest, Milton “ bushy, the tangled forest.” T. secured to himself a perpetual Warton.

fund of picturesque description, . 181. In the blind mazes of this which, resulting from situation, tangled wood?] In the Manu was always at hand. He was script it was at first

not obliged to go out of his way In the blind alleys of this arched wood. for this striking embellishment:

it was suggested of necessity by 184. Under the spreading favour

present circumstances. The same of these pines.] This is like Virgil's - K

happy choice of scene supplied Hospitiis teneat frondentibus

Sophocles in Philoctetes, Shake“ arbos." Georg. iv. 24. An

speare in As you like it, and inversion of the same sort oc- Fletcher in the Faithful Shepcurs in Cicero, in a Latin version

herdess, with frequent and even from Sophocles's Trachinia, of

unavoidable opportunities of the shirt of Nessus. Tusc. Disp.

rural delineation, and that of the ii. 8.

most romantic kind. But Milton Ipse inligatus pesté interimor testili. has additional advantages : his

T. Warton.

forest is not only the residence 185. To bring me berries, or of a magician, but is exhibited such cooling fruit

under the glooi of midnight. As the kind hospitable woods Fletcher, however, to whom Milprovide.]

ton is confessedly indebted, So Fletcher, Faith. Shep. act i. s. avails himself of the latter cir1. vol. jii. p. 105. Where, says cumstance. T. Warlon. the virgin-shepherdess Clorin,

Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed,
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus' wain. 190
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labour of my thoughts; 'tis likeliest
They had engag'd their wand'ring steps too far,
And envious darkness, ere they could return,
Had stole them from me; else 0 thievish Night 195
Why should'st thou, but for some felonious end,

189. Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed,] A palmer is a pilgrim, bearing branches of palm from the Holy Land, whither he made a vow to go, and is therefore called votarist in

195. Had stole them from me ;] In the Manuscript, and in the first edition of 1637, it is stolne.

195. --else 0 thievish Night &c.] This is extremely low in the midst of a speech of so much

Faery Queen, b. ii. cant. i. st. candid reader will impute it, no 52.

doubt, to our poet's condescen- I wrap myself in palmer's weed.

sion to that prevailing fondness

for this kind of false wit about In Milton's Manuscript it is the time in which he wrote. weeds. Paradise Regained, iv. Thyer. 426.

I suppose Dr. Dalton was of till morning fair

the same opinion, for he has Came forth with pilgrim steps in omitted these lines in Comus, as amice gray.

he adapted it for the stage. ' 190. -of Phoebus' wain.] In 195. Ph. Fletcher's Pisc. Ecl. the Manuscript it was at first

p. 34. ed. 1633.

- The thievish night of Phæbus' chair,

Steuls on the world, and robs our 192. -likeliesl] Milton is fond

eyes of light. of this superlative. See Par. L. In the present age, in which alvi. 688. ix. 414. ii. 525. ii. 659. most every common writer avoids Likest also occurs frequently. palpable absurdities, at least See below, v. 237. and Par. L. monstrous and unnatural conii. 756. iii. 572. vi. s01. ix. 394. ceits, would Milton have introT. Warton.

duced this passage? Certainly 193. They had engagd &c.]

not. But in the present age, These two lines ran thus at first correct and rational as it is, had in the Manuscript,

Comus been written, we should

not perhaps have had some of They had engag’d their youthly steps

the greatest beauties of its wild too far To the soun-parting light; and en.

and romantic imagery. T. Warvious darkness, &c.



In thy dark lanthorn thus close up the stars,
That nature hung in heav'n, and fill'd their lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveller?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Was rife, and perfect in my list’ning ear,
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies 205
Begin to throng into my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beck’ning shadows dire,
And airy tongues, that syllable men's names


199. --to give due light] He. 207. These superstitions, which had first written in the Manu. are here finely applied, may be script their light.

found in the ancient Voyages of 203. - rife,] See the note, Marco Paolo the Venetian. He Par. L. i. 650. E.

is speaking of the vast and peril. 205. -A thousand fantasies ous desert of Lop in Asia. De Begin to throng into my memory, Regionib. Oriental. lib. i. c. xliv. &c.]

These fancies, from Marco Paolo, Milton perhaps here remembered are adopted in Heylin's CosmoShaleespeare, K. John, act v. s. 7. graphie. See lib. iii. p. 201. ed. With many legions of strange fan

. 1652. fol. And froin Heylin

Milton seems to have gleaned Which in their throng and press to his intelligence in Par. L. iii. that last hold

437, (where see the note.) SylConfound themselves.

vester also has the tradition in

the text, in Du Barlas, ed. fol. 207. Of calling shapes, &c.] p. 274. This is perfectly agreeable to the And round about the desart Lop, superstitious notions of that age,

where oft and to the manner of his master By strange phantasmas passengers

are scoft. Shakespeare: and so Fletcher in

T. Warton. the Faithful Shepherdess, act i, speaks

208.--that syllable men's names)

The Manuscript had first that Of voices calling in the dead of night: Ture night-wanderers : the other is and Virgil, Æn. iv. 460.

the marginal reading. Hinc exaudiri voces et verba vocantis

208. Syllable, pronounce disVisa viri, nox cum terras obscura

tinctly. As in Ph. Fletcher's Poet. Miscel. Yet syllabled in

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On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound 210
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.---
O welcome pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering Angel girt with golden wings,
And thou unblemish'd form of Chastity;
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreine Good, whoin all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance;
Would send a glist’ring guardian if need were
To keep my life and honour unassail'd.

220 Was I deceiv’d, or did a sáble cloud



“ flesh-spellid characters." T. -Mosse Warton.

Con maggior fretta le dorate penne. 214. Thou hovering angel &c.) And we have that golden-winged In the edition of 1637 it was " host," in the Ode on the Death flitlering : and so was it at first of an Infunt, st. ix. T. Warton. in the Manuscript too, where the 215. And thou unblemish'd form following lines were thus writ- of Chastity, &c.] In the same ten at first, and afterwards cor-' strain, Fletcher's Shepherdess in rected.

the soliloquy just cited, ibid. p. And thou unspotted form of chastity; 109. I see ye visibly, and while I see ye

-Then, strongest Chastity, This dusky hollow is a Paradise,

Be thou my strongest guard, for here And heari'n gates o'er my head : Dow . i'll dwell. I believe &c.

In opposition against fate and hell. 214. Thus in Shakespeare's.

T. Warton. Lover's Complaint, Malone's Suppl. i. p. 759.

215. -unblemish'd form of

Chastity.] May, of Rosamond in Which like a cherubim above them hove'd.

her virgin state, Henr. Sec. lib. v.

edit. Lond. 1633. 12mo. But horering is here applied with

When that unblemisk'd forme, so peculiar propriety to the angel Hope. In sight, on the wing; a

T. Warton. and if not approaching, yet not Alying away. Still appearing. 219. Would send a glist'ring Contemplation soars on golden guardian] In the Manuscript it wing, Il Pens. v. 52. Mr. Bowle was at first cherub. directs us to Ariosto, Orl. Fur. 221. Was I deceiv'd, or did a c. xiv. 80.

sable cloud &c.] This presents us

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