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430

She may pass on with unblench'd majesty,
Be it not done in pride, or in presumption.
Some say no evil thing that walks by night,

verse Mr. Pope has adopted in English poets; and he was here his Eloisa to Abelard.

pilfering from obsolete English Ye grots, and caverns shagg'd with poetry, without the least fear or horrid thorn.

danger of being detected. T. 429. Again, in the same poem, Warton. v. 24.

430. She may pass on with unI have not yet forgot myself to stone.

blench'd majesty,] So Hamlet,

speaking of the king, at the conAlmost as evidently from our clusion of act the second. author's Il. Pens. V. 42.

-I'll observe his looks, There held in holy passion still, I'll tent him to the quick; if he but Forget thyself to marble.

Blench,

I know my course. Pope again, ibid. v. 244.

Thyer. And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps.

430. unblench'd] Unblinded,

unconfounded. See Steevens's From Il. Pens. v. 244.

note on blench, in Hamlet, at the There under ebon shades, and low.

close of the second act. And brow'd rocks.

Upton's Gloss. Spenser, v. Blend. And in the Messiah, v. 6.

And Tyrwhitt's Gloss. Ch. V. -Touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with Blent. 'In B. and Fletcher's Pilfire.

grim, act iv. s. 3. vol. v. p. 516. So in the Ode, Nativ, v. 28. .

_ Men that will not totter Touch'd with hallow'd fire. Nor b'ench much at a bullet. See supr. at v. 26. 380. And infr.

T. Warton. at v. 861. And Essay on Pope, Unblenched, not disgraced, not p. 307. s. vi. edit. 2.

injured by any soil. Johnson. This is the first instance of 432. Some say no evil thing that any degree even of the slightest walks by night, &c.] There are attention being paid to Milton's several such beautiful allusions smaller poems by a writer of to the vulgar superstitions in note since their first publication. Shakespeare; but here Milton Milton was never mentioned or had his eye particularly on acknowledged as an English Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, poet till after the appearance of act i. He has borrowed the Paradise Lost: and long after sentiment, but raised and imthat time these pieces were to proved the diction. tally forgotten and overlooked. Yet I have heard, my mother told it It is strange that Pope, by no means of a congenial spirit,

And now I do believe it, if I keep should be the first who copied

My virgin flow'r uncropp'd, pure;

chaste, and fair, Comus or Il Penseroso. But

No goblin, wood-god, fairy, elf, or Pope was a gleaner of the old

fiend,

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In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen,
Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost,
That breaks his magic chains at curfew time,
No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine,

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Satyr, or other pow'r that haunts the

groves, Shall hurt my body, or by vain illu.

sion Draw me to wander after idle fires :

&c. 432. Milton had Shakespeare in his head, Hamlet, act i. s. 1. Some say, that ever 'gainst that sea.

son comes Wherein our Saviour's birth is cele

brated, &c.

434. stubborn unlaid ghost, That breaks his magic chains at

curfew time.)
An unlaid ghost was among the
most vexatious plagues of the
world of spirits. It is one of
the evils deprecated at Fidele's
grave, in Cymbeline, act iv. s. 2.

No exorciser harm thee,
Nor no witchcraft charm thee,
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!

abroad, &c.

beautiful, of breaking his magic But the imitation is more imme. chains, for “ being suffered to diately from the speech of the “ wander abroad.” And here too virgin shepherdess in Fletcher, the superstition is froin Shakejust quoted. Ibid. p. 108. speare, K. Lear, act iii. s. 4. Yet I have heard, &c.

• This is the foul Flibertigibbet:

"he begins at curfew, and walks Another superstition is ushered

“ till the first cock." Compare in with the same form, in Par.

also Cartwright, in his play of L. X. 575.

the Ordinary, where Moth the Yearly enjoin'd, some sny, to undergo

antiquary sings an old song, act This annual humbling, certain num.

ii. s. 1. p. 36. edit. 1651. He ber'd days.

wishes, that the house may reAnd the same form occurs in the main

main free from wicked spirits, description of the physical effects

From curfew time of Adam's fall. Ibid. x. 668.

To the next prime, Some say, he bid his angels turn

Compare note on Il Pens, 82. askance The poles of earth twice ten degrees, and the Tempest, act v. s. 1.

where Prospero invokes the elves T. Warton.

that rejoice 433. or moorish fen,] The To hear the solemn curfew. Manuscript has moory fen: and That is, they rejoice because they in the next line for meagre hag are then allowed to be at large was at first wrinkled hag. till the cock-crowing. See Mac

434. Blue meagre hag,' &c.] beth, act ii. s. 3. T. Warlon. Perhaps from Shakespeare's 436. —swart fairy of the mine,) “ Blue-eyed hag." Temp. act i. Swart or swarthy. See the note s. 2.

on Paradise Lost, i. 684.

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Hath hurtful pow'r o'er true virginity.
Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call
Antiquity from the old schools of Greece
To testify the arms of chastity?
Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow.
Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste,

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436. In the Gothic system of killed twelve miners with his pneumatology, mines were sup- pestilential breath. Ad calc. De posed to be inhabited by various Re Metall. p. 538. Basil. 1621.

nus's Chapter de Metallicis Dæ. in Derbyshire, which he makes monibus, Hist. Gent. Septen- a witch skilful in metallurgy. trional, vi. x. In an old trans- Polyolb. s. xxvi. vol. iii. p. 1176. lation of Lavaterus de Spectris The sprites that haunt the mines she et Lemuribus, is the following could correct and tame, passage. “ Pioners or diggers And bind them as she list in Saturne's is for metall do affirme, that in

dreaded name. “ many mines there appeare Compare Heywood's Hierarchie “ straunge shapes and spirites, of Angels, b. ix. p. 568. edit. “ who are apparelled like unto 1635. fol. “ the laborers in the pit. These This passage of G. Agricola is “ wander up and downe in caves quoted by Hales of Eton, in a “ and underminings, and seeme Sermon on Rom. xiv. 1. And to besturre themselves in all by Bishop Taylor, in his second “ kinde of labor; as, to digge Sermon on Tit. ii. 7. By both, after the veine, to carrie to with the same humorous appli. “ gether the oare, to put into cation to theological controvert“ basketts, and to turne the ists. And in the quarto edition “ winding wheele to draw it up, of Hales's Golden Remains, pub“ when in very deed they do lished by Bishop Pearson, there “ nothing lesse, &c."- " Of is a frontispiece in three divighostes and spirites walking by sions: in the lowest, a represent“ night, &c." Lond. 1572. bl. ation of Agricola's mine, with a lett. ch. xvi. p. 73. And hence reference to the citation, and this we see why Milton gives this explanation, Controversers of the species of fairy a swarthy or times, like spirits in the mineralls, dark complexion. Georgius with all their labor, nothing is Agricola, in his tract De Sub- done. T. Warton. terraneis Animantibus, relates 441. Hence had the huntress among other wonders of the

Dian her dread bow, same sort, that these spirits some- Fair silver-shafted queen, for times assume the most terrible

erer chaste. shapes; and that one of them, So Jonson to Diana. Cynth. Rev. in a cave or pit in Germany, act v. s. 6.

Wherewith she tam'd the brinded lioness
And spotted mountain pard, and set at nought
The frivolous bolt of Cupid; Gods and men 445
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen o’th' woods.
What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield,
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin,
Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,

450 And noble grace that dash'd brute violence With sudden adoration, and blank awe? So dear to heav'n is saintly chastity, Queene, and huntresse, chaste and This reminds one of the “dribfaire.

“ bling dart of love," in M. for

T. Warton. Measure. Bolt, I believe, is Milton, I fancy, took the hint properly the arrow of a crossof this beautiful mythological in- bow. Fletcher, Faithf, Sheph. terpretation from a dialogue of act ii. s. 1. p. 134. Lucian's betwixt Venus and Cu,

With bow and bolt, pid, where the mother asking

To shoot at nimble squirrels in the her son how, after having attacked all the other deities, he

T. Warton. came to spare Minerva and Diana, Cupid replies, that the

448. —-unconquer'd virgin,] He

wrote at first eternal, then unformer looked so fiercely at him,

vanquish'd, at last unconquerd; and frightened him so with the

and with great propriety, for in Gorgon head which she wore

Greek authors Minerva is often upon her breast, that he durst not meddle with her - kell óga

called adapаotos Osce, and rupbevos

adung. δε δριμυ, και επι του στηθους εχει προσ.

450, 451. Rigid looks refer to WTOY TI poßigor, Xidrets KATAxopoy, the snaky locks, and noble grace ονπερ εγω μαλιστα διδια μορμολυτ

to the beautiful face, as gorgon τεται γαρ με, και φευγω οταν ιδω

is represented on ancient gems. AUTO. p. 34. ed. Bourdelot- and

Warburton. that as to Diana she was always so employed in hunting, that he

452. With sudden adoration, and could not catch her - ovde xuta

blank awe?] It was at first, λαβειν αντην οιoντε, φευγουσαν αει δια

With sudden adoration of her pure.

ness: TW ogwe. Ibid. Thyer.

445. The frivolous bolt of Cu- this he altered to of bright rays, pid ;] Bolt was anciently a very and then to and blank awe. common term for arrow. Wit- 453, So dear to heav'n is saintly ness the old proverb, The fool's chastity, &c.] So Spenser, relatbolt is soon shot. Peck.

ing how Florimel, in danger of

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That when a soul is found sincerely so,
A thousand liveried angels lacky her
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
And in clear dream, and solemn vision,
Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear,
Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants
Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape,
The unpolluted temple of the mind,

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being ravished, was delivered by mon apprehension, and the comProteus, breaks out into a reflec- mon appearances of things; the tion of the same kind. Faery elder from a profounder knowQueen, b. iii. cant. 8. st. 29. ledge, and abstracted principles.

Here the difference of their ages See how the heav'ns of voluntary grace,

is properly made subservient to And sovereign favour towards chas. a contrast of character. But this tity,

slight variety must have been inDo succour send to her distressed sufficient to keep so prolix and case:

learned a disputation, however So much high God doth innocence

adorned with the fairest flowers embrace.

Thyer.

of eloquence, alive upon the

stage. T'he whole dialogue much 454. That when a soul is found sincerely so,] It was at first in thor's Latin Prolusions at Camthe Manuscript,

bridge, where philosophy is inThat when it finds a soul sincerely so.forced by pagan fable and po

etical allusion. T. Warton. The alteration makes the sense

461. The unpolluted temple of rather plainer.

the mind,] For this beautiful me455. A thousand liveried angels

angels taphor he was probably indebted lacky her.] The idea, without the lowness of allusion and expres

to Scripture. John ii. 21. He

spake of the temple of his body. sion, is repeated in Par. L. viii.

And Shakespeare has the same. 359.

Tempest, act i. s. 6. About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.

T. Warton.

There's nothing ill can dwell in such

a temple. 458. Tell her of things that no

If the ill spirit have so fair an house, gross ear can hear,] See note on

Good things will strive to dwell with't. Arcades, 72.

462. And turns it by degrees to This dialogue between the two the soul's essence,] This is agreebrothers is an amicable contest able to the system of the matebetween fact and philosophy. rialists, of which Milton was one. The younger argues from com- Warburton.

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