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And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,
The same notion of body's work
Spirits of purest light, ing up to spirit Milton afterwards Purest at first, now gross by sinning introduced into his Paradise Lost,
T. Warton. v. 469, &c. which is there, I think, liable to some objection, 467. The soul grows clotted &c.] as he was entirely at liberty to Our author has here improved have chosen a more rational his poetry by philosophy. These system, and as it is also put into notions are borrowed from Plathe mouth of an archangel. to's Phædon. See Plato's Works, But in this place it falls in so vol. i. p. 81. and 83. edit. Henr. well with the poet's design, gives Steph. And when the other brosuch force and strength to this ther replies encomium on chastity, and carrics in it such a dignity of sen
How charming is divine philosophy! timent, that however repugnant he means the philosophy of Plato, it may be to our philosophic who was distinguished among ideas, it cannot miss striking and the ancients by the name of the delighting every virtuous and divine.' intelligent reader. Thyer.
467. I cannot resist the plea464. By unchaste looks,] “He sure of translating a passage “ [Christ) censures an unchaste in Plato's Phædon, which Mil“ look to be an adultery already ton here evidently copies. “A “ committed." Divorce, b. ii. c. “ soul with such affections, does 1. Pr. W. i. 184. Milton there. “ it not fly away to something fore in this expression alludes to “ divine and resembling itself? S. Matt. v. 28. mas • BaSn wy gure “ To something divine, immorαικα προς το επιθυμηται αυτης, κ.τ.λ. “ tal, and wise? Whither when T. Warton.
“ it arrives, it becomes happy; 4:65. But most by lewd and lavish
“ being freed from error, ignoact of sin,j In the Manuscript it “rance, fear, love, and other is And most &c. and instead of “ human evils. But if it delewd and lavish he had written at
“ parts from the body polluted first,
“ and impure, with which it has And most by the lascivious act of sin. rfon
“ been long linked in a state of
“ familiarity and friendship, and 465. It is the same idea, yet “ from whose pleasures and apwhere it is very commodiously “ petites it has been bewitched, applied, in Par. L. vi, 660. “ so as to think nothing else true,
Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite lose
" but what is corporeal, and “the sensualities of corporeal or which may be touched, seen, “nature, they are again clothed « drank, and used for the grati- « with a body, &c." Phæd. Opp. “ fications of lust: at the same Platon. p. 386. b.1. edit. Lugdun. “ time, if it has been accustomed 1590. fol. An admirable writer, “ to hate, fear, or shun, whatever the present Bishop of Worcester, “ is dark and invisible to the has justly remarked, that “ this « human eye, yet discerned and “ poetical philosophy nourished “ approved by philosophy: I “ the fine spirits of Milton's time, “ ask, if a soul so disposed, will “ though it corrupted some." It “ go sincere and disincumbered is highly probable, that Henry “ from the body? By no means. More, the great Platonist, who “ And will it not be, as I have was Milton's contemporary at “ supposed, infected and in- Christ's college, might have given “ volved with corporeal con- his mind an early bias to the “ tagion, which an acquaintance study of Plato. But although « and converse with the body, Milton was confessedly a great “ from a perpetual association, reader of Plato, yet all this whole “ has made congenial ? So I system had been lately brought “ think. But, my friend, we forward by May, in his Continu. “ must pronounce that substance ation of Lucan's Historicall Poem, “ to be ponderous, depressive, Lond. 1630. 12mo. See b. iv. “ and earthy, which such a soul signat. T. 4. where there are
draws with it: and therefore many lines bearing a strong re“ it is burthened by such a clog, semblance to some of Milton's. “ and again is dragged off to But in this book May has trans“ some visible place, for fear of lated almost the whole of Plato's " that which is hidden and un- Phædon, which he puts into the “ seen; and, as they report, mouth of Cato. T. Wurton. “ retires to tombs and sepul- 468. Imbodies, and imbrutes,] “ chres, among which the sha Thus alsó Satan speaks of the “ dowy phantasms of these brutal debasement and corruption of “ souls, being loaded with some. his original divine essence, Par. “ what visible, have often actually L. ix. 165. “ appeared. Probably, O Socra - Mix'd with bestial slime, “ tes. And it is equally probable, This essence to incarnate and imbrule, “ () Cebes, that these are the
That to the height of deity aspir'd. “ souls of wicked not virtuous Our author, with these Platonic “ men, which are forced to refinements in his head, supposes “wander amidst burial-places, that the human soul was for a “ suffering the punishment of an long time embodied and imbruted " impious life. And they so long with the carnal ceremonies of “are seen hovering about the popery, just as she is sensualised “ monuments of the dead, till and degraded by a participation " from the accompaniment of of the vicious habits of the body.
Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp 470
475 2. BROTHER. How charming is divine philosophy! Not harsh, and crabbed, as dull fools suppose, But musical as is Apollo's lute, And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets, Where no crude surfeit reigns.
List, list, I hear 480 Some far off halloo break the silent air.
2. BROTHER. Methought so too; what should it be?
Of Reformation, &c. Prose W. lute,] Milton probably took this vol. i. 1. Imbrute, or embrute, comparison from Shakespeare's occurs in G. Fletcher, p. 38. Love's Labour's Lost, act iv. s. 4. T. Warton.
though there it is applied upon 472. Ling'ring and sitling by a another occasion. new made grave,] In the Manu- -as sweet and musical script, and in the edition of 1637, As bright Apollo's lute, strung with it is
his hair. Hovering, and sitting, &c. He has something of the same 476. How charming is divine
thought again in Paradise Rephilosophy!] This is an im. gained, i. 479. mediate reference to the fore- Smooth on the tongue discours'd, going speech, in which the divine pleasing to th' car, philosophy of Plato, concerning
And tuneable as sylvan pipe or song. the nature and condition of the 480. -List, list, I hear &c.] human soul after death, is so He had written at first, largely and so nobly displayed. See Note on Par. Reg. i. 478.
a List, list, methought I heard &c. T. Warton.
and in the Manuscript is a mar478. But musical as is Apollo's ginal direction, halloo far off.
485 2. BROTHER. Heav'n keep my Sister. Again, again, and near; Best draw, and stand upon our guard. ELDER BROTHER.
I'll halloo; If he be friendly, he comes well; if not, Defence is a good cause, and heav'n be for us.
The attendant Spirit, habited like a shepherd. That halloo I should know, what are you? speak; 490 Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else.
SPIRIT. What voice is that? my young Lord ? speak again.
2. BROTHER. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure.
485. Some roving robber calling the court. Warburton. to his fellows.] The Trinity Ma 4 89. Defence is a good cause, nuscript had at first,
and heav'n be for us.] This verse Some curl'd man of the sword calling
was well substituted in the room
of that just quoted, which alluded to the fashion of Had best look to his forehead, here be the Court Gallants of that time:
brambles. and what follows continues the And then follows in the Manuallusion,
script, He halloos, the guardian Had best look to his forehead, here be Dæmon halloos again, and enters brambles.
in the habit of a shepherd. But I suppose he thought it might 491. -iron stakes] It was at give offence: and he was not yet first in the Manuscript, pointed come to an open defiance with stakes.
494. Thyrsis? whose arlful The madrigal was a species of strains &c.] This no doubt was musical composition now actually intended as a compliment to Mr. in practice, and in high vogue. Lawes upon his musical com-. Lawes, here intended, had compositions; and a very fine one it posed madrigals. So had Milton's is, and more genteel than that father, as we shall see hereafter. which we took notice of before, The word is not here thrown out as that was put into his own at random. T. Warton. mouth, but this is spoken by 496. And sweeten'd erery &c.] another.
In poetical and picturesque cir494. The spirit appears habited cumstances, in wildness of fancy like a shepherd; and the poet and imagery, and in weight of has here caught a fit of rhyming sentiment and moral, how greatfrom Fletcher's pastoral comedy. ly does Comus excel the Aminta
Milton's eagerness to praise his of Tasso, and the Pastor Fido of friend Lawes, makes him here Guarini, which Milton, from his forget the circumstances of the love of Italian poetry, must have fable: he is more intent on the frequently read! Comus, like musician than the shepherd, who these two, is a pastoral Drama, comes at a critical season, and and I have often wondered it is whose assistance in the present not mentioned as such. Dr. J. difficulty should have hastily Warion. been asked. But time is lost in a 496. -of the dale.] In the needless encomium, and in idle Manuscript it was at first enquiries how the shepherd could possibly find out this solitary
of the valley. part of the forest. The youth, 497. How cam'st thou here, good however, seems to be ashamed Swain ? &c.] In the Manuscript or unwilling to tell the unlucky it is good shepherd: but that accident that had befallen his agrees not so well with the measister. Perhaps the real boyism sure of the verse. And in the of the Brother, which yet should next verse the Manuscript had have been forgotten by the poet, at first Leap'd o'er the pen, which is to be taken into the account. was corrected into Slipt from his T. Warton.
fold, as it is in the Manuscript, 495. — To hear his madrigal.] or the fold, as in all the editions.