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Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hovering dreams
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus train. But hail thou goddess, sage and holy; 11 Hail divineșt Melancholy,
8. This line intimates that all the pictures in the moon are but images of those in the sun, as the two lines preceding have regard to the infinite variety of those pictures which the fancy of poets has conceived.
9. This and the vext line would seem to relate 'to the proper or middlemost of the three outlines of Hudibras, which has an appearance of sleepi. nesss about it, and which therefore Il Penseroso puts off, as adopting in preference the grave sedate character of countenance ascribed to him in the first note.
12. His Goddess Melancholy, I take to have the same prototype as the King (Hamlet's Father,) (fig. 60) and as Othello in the play of that name, (fig. 98) but now assigned to a female character.
Whose saintly visage is too bright
Her face is under a black ve , in Melancholy) from whence in line 31 she is called a Nun, and she is entirely clothed in a black flowing robe: Her prototype thus assigned has all the attributes mentioned in lines 32 and 38; while her eyes which are very bright (40) and seen through the veil, are fixed on the ground as noticed in 44. She is Il Penseroso's Goddess, as being made up of the same shadows that constitute his person.
Such mixture was not held a stain). Oft in glimmering bow’rs and glades He met her, and in secret shades Of woody Ida's inmost grove, While yet there was no fear of Jove. 30 Come pensive Nun, devout and pure, Sober, stedfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train, And sable stole of cypress lawn, Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, · With even step, and musing gait,
And looks commercing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes : There held in holy passion still, Forget thyself to marble, till With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast : And join with thee, calm Peace, and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with Gods doth diet, 46
And hears the Muses in a ring
45. By peace, quiet and fast, which she is to join with her, may be severally understood Hudibras's Orsin, (fig. 15) the prototype of Montano in Othello (fig. 101) and a figure lying between those two, with a hungry emaciated face, the eye of which is situate on the shoulder of the Ass, drawn in fig, 69, and the mouth at the inlet of Montano's eye. These three characters, thus pointed out, are made up of the same dark shadows as the Goddess Melancholy herself.
47. The ring regards the circumference of the moon.
49. Under the prototype of Montano (fig. 101) may be seen, in shadow, the likeness of a head with a long nose and chin, with a bandeau in light, on the forehead, and his conical cap formed out of Montano's chin. This I take to be the prototype of Leisure, the figure is stooping down over various spots of light which may be fancied to resemble the flowers of a garden, and he is retired, as being situate in the extreme margin of the moon,
But first, and chiefest, with thee bring,
51. The figure here alluded to I apprehend to be situate towards the bottom of Melancholy's robe, looking to the back of the head of the last figure, with a very bright eye and with two wings, the one formed out of the dog in fig. 13, and the other by Crowdero's right leg (fig. 14). This character, so pointed out, immediately precedes what I conceive to constitute the fiery-wheeled throne mentioned in line 53, as composed of those diverging rays of strong light (which in treating of Hudibras and the plays I have commonly called an explosion of light) and which constitutes the person of Fame in Hudibras (fig. 25); all these figures are composed of the same shadows of which the person of Melancholy herself is made up, and she may be said accordingly to bring them with her. The same may be said of Silence in respect of her position, but I take her to be composed of lights rather than shadows, namely, those that cross the person of Melancholy and which constitute the prototype of Hamlet's Ophelia (fig. 61).