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How could'st thou find this dark sequester'd nook ? 500
SPIRIT. O my
lov'd master's heir, and his next joy,
SPIRIT. I'll tell ye; 'tis not vain or fabulous (Though so esteem’d by shallow ignorance) What the sage poets, taught by th' heav'nly Muse, 515
500.-sequester'd nook ?) Com- herd,] Sadly, soberly, seriously, pare P. L. iv. 789.
as the word is frequently used Search thro' this garden, leave un.
by our old authors, and in Parasearch'd no nook.
dise Lost, vi. 541. where see the
note. Again, ix. 277.
512. What fears, good Thyrsis) As in a shady nook I stood behind. He had written at first good ShepAnd sequestered occurs in the herd, but this was altered to good same application, P. L. iv. 706.
Thyrsis for variety, as he had just
before addressed him by the name In shadier bower, more sacred and of Shepherd. sequester'd. T. Warton,
513. I'll tell ye ;] In the Manu
script and edition of 1637 it is, 509. To tell thee sadly, Shep- r'll tell you.
Storied of old in high immortal verse,
Within the navel of this hideous wood,
516. —dire chimeras] P. L. ii. And writing strange characters in the 628.
ground. Gorgons, and hydras, and chimeras
So Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen dire.
of Verona, act ii. s. 10. 520. Within the navel] That is,
Who art the table wherein all my
thoughts in the midst, a phrase borrowed Are visibly character'd and ingravid. from the Greeks and Latins.
523. Deep skill'd] He had writ. And 2 Henry VI. act iii. s. 4. ten at first Inur'd.
Show me one scar charácter'd on thy 526. With many murmurs mixd,] skin. That is, in preparing this inchanted cup, the charm of many 530. So in his Divorce, b. i. barbarous unintelligible words Pref. “A law not only written was intermixed, to quicken and “ by Moses, but charactered in strengthen its operation. War- us by nature." Pr. W. i. 167. burton.
See Observat. Spenser's F. Q. ü. 530. Charácter'd in the face;} 162. T. Warton. The word is often pronounced 531. —i th' hilly crofts,] He with this accent by our old had written at first i' th pastur'd writers. So Spenser, Faery lawns, which agrees not so well Queen, b. iii. cant. 3. st. 14. with what follows.
That brow this bottom glade, whence night by night
532. --this bottom glade,] So As gentle shepherd in sweet eventide Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, When ruddy Phebus gins to welke in ed. 1596.
High on a hill his flock to viewen Sweet bottom-grasse, and high de
wide lightfull plaine.
Marks which do bite their hasty T. Warton.
T. Warton. 534. Like stabled wolves, or ti.
542. Of knol-grass dew-begers at their prey,] This compari. sprent,] This species of grass is son in all probability was formed mentioned in Shakespeare's Midfrom what Virgil says of Circe's
summer Night's Dream, act iii. island, Æn. vii. 15.
s. 7. And dew-besprent is sprinkled Hinc exaudiri gemitus, iræque leo. with dew. Spenser's Shepherd's
Calendar, December, ac formæ magnorum ululare lupo
My head besprent with hoary frost I
find. Quos hominum ex facie Dea sæva potentibus herbis
Fairfax, cant. 12. st. 101. Induerat Circe in vultus ac terga fe.
His silver locks with dust he foul be
sprent 540. -by then the chewing 544. With ivy canopied, and flocks
interwove Had ta’en their supper on the With flaunting honey-suckle,] savoury herb)
Perhaps from Shakespeare, Mids. The supper of the sheep is from N. Dr. act ii. s. 2. a beautiful comparison in Spen- Quite over canopied with luscious ser, F. Q. i. i. 23.
With flaunting honey-suckle, and began,
Canopied, in the same applica- sical close on his pipe. See the tion, occurs also in Drayton, note on the Ode on the Nativity, Phineas Fletcher, Carew, and 100. T. Warton. Browne. See the note on inter- 553. —the drowsy flighted steeds, wove, P. L. i. 621. T. Warton. That draw the litter of close 545. With flaunting honey
curlain'd sleep;] suckle,) It was at first spreading So I read drowsy-flighted acor blowing.
cording to Milton's Manuscript ; 545. Milton therefore changed and this genuine reading Dr. Dalthe epithets, which were simply ton has also preserved in Comus. descriptive, for one which ascrib- Drowsy-frighted is nonsense, and ed to the plant an attribute of an manifestly an error of the press animated, or even of a sentient, in all the editions. There can being. See note on P. R. i. 500. be no doubt that in this passage Mr. Warton refers to Lycidas Milton had his eye upon the fol146, “ well-attir'd woodbine," lowing description of night in and 40,“ the gadding vine." And Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI, act the same remark applies to these iv. s. 1. epithets, and to several others
And now loud howling wolves arouse near them, “ cowslips wan,"
the jades, “ joyous leaves," &c. E.
That drag the tragic melancholy night, 547. To meditate my rural min
Who with their drowsy, slow, and
flagging wings strelsy,] We have the expression Clip dead men's graves “ rural minstrelsy” in Browne's The idea and the expression of Pastorals, b. i. s. i. p. 2. and in the Eclogues of Brooke and drowsy-flighted in the one are Davies, Lond. 1614; but the plainly copied from their drowsy, whole context is Virgil's “ Syl- slow, and flagging wings in the
: in vestrem tenui musam meditaris arena," Bucol. i. 2.
Faithful Shepherdess has much
As in Lycidas, 66.
the same image, act iv.
Night, do not steal away: I woo meditate the thankless musc.
To hold a hard hand o'er the rusty bit Close, in the next line, is a mu- That guides thy lazy tean.
That draw the litter of close-curtain'd sleep;
And as Mr. Thyer farther ob- Sleep. And so has Claudian, serves, the epithet also of close- Bell. Gild. 213. curtain'd sleep was perhaps bor
Humentes jam Noctis equos ; Lethe. rowed from Shakespeare, Mac
aque somnus beth, act ü. s. 2.
Frena regens, tacito volvebat sydera and wicked dreams abuse The curtain'd sleep.
And Statius, Theb. ü. 59. 553. But he makes the horses
Sopor obvius illi. of Night headlong in their course,
Noctis agebat equos. In Quint. Novembr. v. 70.
T. Warton. Precipitesque impellit equos.
555. At last a soft and solemn It must be allowed, that drowsy- breathing sound &c.] No doubt but flighted is a very harsh combi- that our poet in these charming nation... Notwithstanding the lines imitated his favourite ShakeCambridge manuscript exhibits speare, Twelfth Night at the drousie-fighted, yet drousie fright- beginning. ed without a composition, is a That strain again, it had a dying fall; more rational and easy reading,
0, it came o'er my ear, like the sweet and invariably occurs in the edi
south, tions 1637, 1645, and 1673.
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour. That is, “ The drowsy steeds of
Thyer. Night, who were affrighted on “ this occasion, at the barbarous 555. The idea is strongly im“ dissonance of Comus's nocturnal plied in these lines of Jonson's “ revelry.” Milton made the Vision of Delight, a Masque emendation after he had forgot presented at Court in the Christhis first idea. Compare Browne, mas of 1617, vol. vi. 21. Brit. Past. b. ii. s. i.
Yet let it like an odour rise Al-drowsie Night, who in a carre of
To all the senses here; jet
And fall like sleep upon their eyes, By steedes of iron-gray drawne
Or musicke in their eare. through the sky.
But the thought appeared before, And Silvester, of Sleep, Du Bart. where it is exquisitely expressed, p. 316. edit. fol. ut supr. in Bacon's Essays." And because And in a noysless coach, all darkly
" the breath of flowers is farre dight,
“ sweeter in the aire, where it Takes with him silence, drousinesse,
goes like the warbling
“ of musicke," Of Gardens, Ess. Mr. Bowle conjectures drowsie. xlvi. Milton means the gradual freighted, that is, charged or increase and diffusion of odour loaded with drowsiness.
in the process of distilling perWe are to recollect, that Mil- fumes; for he had at first written ton has here transferred the “ slow-distillid." horses and chariot of Night to In the edition of 1673, we VOL. IV.