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Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
SWEET Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv’st unseen 230
Within thy airy shell,
with one of the noblest images benighted also and alone in a in nature, and as beautifully wood, whose character affords expressed. The author seems to one of the finest female mad have been sensible of its charms, scenes in our language. Two and has therefore contrived to noble Kinsm. act iii. s. 2. vol. x. p. repeat it; and so artfully, that 55. She is in search of Palamon, the repetition adds a new grace
I cannot halloo, &c. to it. Warburton.
I have heard These lines are turned like Strange howls this live long night &c. that verse of Ovid, Fast. lib. v.
T. Warton, 545.
229.-are not far off.] In Fallor? An arma sonant ? Non fal.
the Manuscript it is limur: arma sonabant.
are not far hence. The repetition, arising from 231. Within thy airy shell,] the conviction and confidence of The horizon. Warburion. an unaccusing conscience, is in- The edition of this Mask with imitably beautiful. See note on alterations for the stage hath cell El. v. 5.
instead of shell: but the comWhen all succour seems to be mon reading is much the best. lost, heaven unexpectedly pre- The nymph is seated in a convex sents the silver lining of a sable vehicle of air, which on account cloud to the virtuous. T. War- of its form is called a testudo or ton.
shell. And as all sound is com226. I cannot halloo to my municated by the air, the poet brothers, &c.] So the jailor's hath very naturally assigned her daughter in B. and Fletcher, this airy vehicle, whereby to By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well; Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are?
receive and return its various many others, equally happy and impulses. Testudo or shell being significant: such as love-darting a name also for a musical instru- eyes, amber-dropping, flowery-kirment, a lyre, which could give tled, low-roosted, snaky-headed, no sound but when it was struck fiery-wheeled, white-handed, sinupon, the word beautifully al-worn, home-felt, rushy-fringed, ludes to the nature of this vocal pure-eyed, tinsel-slippered. Dr. J. nymph;
See Peck for more instances, quæ nec reticere loquenti, Nec prior ipsa loqui poterat resonabi.
in Mem. Milt. p. 117. and comlis Echo.
pare P. L. iv. 700. And Browne's
Sheph. Pipe, Egl. iv. Signat. D. Ovid. Met. iii. 357. Calton.
4. edit. 1614. I cannot but think shell the beta ter word for the reasons assigned:
Methiokes no April showre
Embroider should the ground, &c. but yet it may be said to justify Dr. Dalton's alteration, that Mil. The allusion is the same in ton hath also written cell in the Lycidas, v. 148. margin of his manuscript.
And every flower that sad emiroidery 231. Certainly the true reading is shell, the horizon, which in
T. Warton. another place he calls the hollow round of Cynthia's seat, Ode Nativ.
234. Where the love-lorn night
ingale] Deprived of her mate. st. X.
As lass-lorn in the Tempest, act Nature that heard such sound
iv. s. 2. T. Warton. Beneath the hollow round
236. Canst thou not tell me of Of Cynthia's seat the airy region
a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are] That is, “ such sound, piercing So Fletcher, Faith. Shep. act i. " the airy region beneath the
1. p. 117. " hollow
circumference of the “ heavens." Hurd.
-A gentle pair
Have promis'd equal love. 233. —riolet-embroider'd vale,) This is a beautiful compound Other petty borrowings of the epithet, and the combination of same kind might be pointed out, the two words that compose it, which prove Milton's intimate natural and easy. Our poet has, familiarity with Fletcher's play, in these his early poems, coined T. Warton.
O if thou have
Tell me but where,
So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
mortal mixture of earth's mould
238. O, if thou have
owe her first existence to the Hid them in some flow'ry cave.] reverberation of the music of Here is a seeming inaccuracy for the spheres; in consequence of the sake of the rhyme. But the which he had just before called sense being hypothetical and the horizon her airy shell. And contingent, we will suppose an from the Gods (like other celestial ellipsis of shouldest before have beings of the classical order) she A verse in Saint John affords an came down to men. Warburton. apposite illustration. “ If thou 243. And give resounding grace “ have born him hence, tell me to all heuv'n's harmonies.] That “ where thou hast laid him." xx. is, “ The grace of their being 15. We find another instance accompanied with an echo.” below, v. 887.
The goddess Echo was of peAnd bridle in thy headlong wave,
culiar service in the machinery Till thou our summons answer'd have. of a Mask, and therefore often In the mean time it must be al- introduced. Milton has here used lowed, that thou and you are ab- her much more rationally than solutely synonimous. And see most of his brother mask-writers. Bishop Lowth's Grammar, pp. She is invoked in a song, but not 67, 68. edit. 1775. Mr. Steevens without the usual tricks of sursuggests, that part of the Address prising the audience by strange to the Sun which Southerne has and unexpected repetitions of put into the mouth of Oroonoko, sound, in Browne's Inner Temple is evidently copied from this pas- Masque, to which I have supposed sage.
our author might have had an Or if thy sister goddess has preferr'd
eye, p. 136. She often appears Her beauty to the skies to be a star, in Jonson's masks. This frequent Oh! tell me where she shines. introduction, however, of Echo
T. Warion. in the masks of his time, seems 241. -daughter of the sphere,] to be ridiculed even by Jonson Milton has given her a much himself in Cynthia's Revells, act nobler and more poetical original i. s. 1. This play was first acted than any of the ancient mytho- in 1600. T. Wartun. logists. He supposes her to 244. Can any morlul mixture
Breathe such divine inchanting ravishment?
&c.] Before these words there 249. How sweetly did they float is in the manuscript, Comus looks upon the wings in and speaks.
Of Silence,] 244. Can any mortal mixture This is extremely poetical, and of earth's mould
insinuates this sublime idea and Breathe such divine inchanling imagery, that even Silence herravishment?]
self was content to convey her This was plainly personal. The mortal enemy, Sound, on her poet availed himself of an op- wings, so greatly was she portunity of paying a just com- charmed with its harmony. pliment to the voice and skill of Warburton. a real songstress. So the boys 251. At every fall smoothing are complimented for their beauty the raren down and elegance of figure. And, Of darkness till it smild!] afterwards, the strains that The poetical essence of darkness “might create a soul under the is' to frown.- -But what we « ribs of death," are found to be are to suppose afforded this fine the voice of my most honour'd image to Comus, is that sable “ Lady," v. 564. T. Warton. cloud, which the Lady says just 246. Sure something holy lodges at that time turn'd forih her silver in that breast,
lining on the night. Warburton. And with these raptures moves In the Manuscript, and in the the vocal air
edition of 1637, we read, To testify his hidden residence:]
Of darkness till she smil'd. That is, "Something holy inha" biting that breast, courts the 252. -I oft have heard “ air, the vehicle of sound, to My mother Circe, with the Sirens “ give it utterance, to discover
three, “ the latent source of its resi- Amidst the flow'ry-kirtled Nai“dence, by means of these ra
ades, vishing notes." T. Wurton. Culling their potent herbs and
249. How sweetly did they float] baleful drugs, That is, “ these raptures. The Who, as they sung, would take effect for the cause. T. Warton.
the prison'd soul, &c.]
My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
Originally from Ovid, Metam. To fitte their welcome, and shew
Circe's powre. xiv. 264. Of Circe. Nereides, Nymphæque simul, quæ Again, p. 13. vellera mnotis
Syrens, ynough, cease : Circe has Nulla trahunt digitis, nec fila se
prevailed. quentia ducunt, Gramina disponunt: sparsosque sine A single line of Horace perhaps ordine flores
occasioned this confusion of two Secernunt calathis, variasque colo
distinct fables. Epist. i. ii. 23. ribus herbas. Ipsa, quod hæ faciunt, opus exigit : Sirenum voces et Circes pocula nosti. ipsa quid usus
T. Warton. Quoque sit in folio, quæ sit concordia mistis,
254. Amidst the flow'ry-kirtled Novit; et advertens pensas examinat Naiades &c.] It appears by the herbas.
Manuscript that this and the See also ibid. v. 22, 34. Milton verse following were added after calls the Naiades flowery-kirtled, the rest in the margin. A kirtle because they were employed in is a woman's gown; a word used collecting flowers. But William by Chaucer and Spenser, and Browne had just before preceded Shakespeare in 2 Hen. IV. act ii. our author in this imitation from s. 11. And in one of his Son. Ovid, in his Inner Temple Masque nets, on the story of Circe,
A cap of flowers, and a kirlle Call to a dance the fair Nereides, Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtie. With other nymphs, which do in every creeke,
254. In the pastoral writers of In woods, on plains, on mountains, Milton's age and before, kirtle is a simples, seeke,
woman's gown; but it originally For powerfull Cirçe, and lot in a
signified a man's garment, and,
anciently, was most commonly so Here, in simples, we have our used. See Spenser, F.Q. i. iv. author's “potent herbs and 32. It was the name for the "" drugs.” But see note on ver. surcoat at the creation of Knights 50. It is remarkable, that Mil- of the Garter. See Anstis, Ord. ton bas intermixed the Sirens Gart. i. 317. In an original roll with Circe's nymphs. Circe in- of the household expenses of deed is a songstress in the Odys- Wykeham, Bp. of Winchester, sey: but she has nothing to do dated 1394, is this entry. with the Sirens. Perhaps Mil-“furrura duarum curtellarum pro ton had this also from Browne's “ Domino cum furrura agnina, Masque, where Circe uses the “X. 8.” That is, for furring or music of the Sirens in the pro- facing two kirtles for my Lord cess of her incantation, p. 134. with lambs' skin, 10s. T. WarThen, Sirens, quickly wend me to ton.