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In double night of darkness, and of fhades;
Or if your influence be quite damm'd up
Or Tyrian Cynosure. 2. BRO. Or if our eyes
With thy long levell'd rule] It was at firft The star of Arcady may be explain'd to signify in the Manufcript,
With a long levell'd rule341. ----- our star of Arcady,
Or Tyrian Cynofure.] Our greater or leffer bear-ftar. Califto the daughter of Lycaon king of Arcadia was changed into the greater bear called alfo Helice, and her fon Arcas into the leffer, cailed alfo Cynofura, by obferving of which the Tyrians and Sidonians steered their course, as the Grecian mariners did by the other. So Ovid. Faft. III. 107. Effe duas Arctos, quarum Cynofura petatur
Sidoniis, Helicen Graia carina notet. Valerius Flaccus 1. 17.
neque enim in Tyrias Cynofura carinas Certior, aut Graiis Helice fervanda.magiftris.
the leffer bear, and fo Mr. Peck understands it but Milton would hardly make use of two fuch different names for the fame thing, and diftinguish them by the disjunctive or between them. The star of Arcady, like Arcadium fidus, may be a general name for the greater and the leffer bear, as in Seneca, Oedip. 476.
Quafque defpectat vertice fummo
Sidus Arcadium, geminumque plauftrum: but the following words or Tyrian Cynosure show evidently, that by the former is meant the greater bear, as by the latter is plainly meant
344. The folded flocks penn'd in their watled cotes,] Folded flocks makes the other part of the line a mere expletive. Had Milton wrote bleating flacks, what followed had
Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock
Count the night watches to his feathery dames,
Or 'gainst the rugged bark of fome broad elm
Or, while we speak, within the direful grasp
been fine, and it had agreed better with what went before. Warburton.
349. In this clofe dungeon] So alter'd in the Manuscript from
In this fad dungeon
350. But O that hapless Virgin, &c] Inftead of the lines from this to ver. 366. the Manufcript had thefe following,
But oh that hapless Virgin, our loft Sifter, Where may fhe wander now, whither betake her
From the chill dew in this dead folitude? or furrounding wild?
Perhaps fome cold bank is her bolster now,
Or loft in wild amazement and affright
I do not think my Sifter &c.
Thefe lines were alter'd, and the others added afterwards on a separate scrap of paper.
358. Of favage hunger, or of savage heat. ] The hunger of favage beafts, or the luft of
ELD. BRO. Peace, Brother, be not over-exquifite To caft the fashion of uncertain evils;
For grant they be so, while they rest unknown,
What need a man forestall his date of grief,
And run to meet what he would moft avoid?
Or if they be but false alarms of fear,
How bitter is fuch felf-delusion ?
I do not think my Sifter so to seek,
Or fo unprincipled in virtue's book,
And the sweet peace that goodness bosoms ever,
and loads the expreffion. It had been better out, as any one may fee by reading the paffage. without it. Warburton.
362. - his date of grief,] The Manufcript had at firft --- the date of grief..
365.fuch felf-delufion ?] It was at first---this felf-delufion.
371. Could ftir the conftant mood] The Manufcript had stable, but Milton corrected it to conftant mood; for stable gives the idea of rest, when the poet was to give the idea of action or motion, which conftant does give..
And put them into mif-becoming plight.
By her own radiant light, though fun and moon
373. Virtue could fee to do what virtue would By her own radiant light, &c] This noble fentiment was infpir'd from Spenfer, as Mr. Richardfon and Mr. Thyer perceiv'd with me. Faery Queen, B. 1. Cant. 1. St. 12.
Virtue gives herself light through darkness
Where contemplation prunes her ruffled
And the free foul looks down to pity kings. Mr. Pope, I fay, has not only improved the harmony but the fenfe. In Milton, contemplation is called the murfe; in Pope, more properly folitude: in Milton wifdom is faid to prune her wings; in Pope, contemplation is faid to do it, and with much greater propriety, as fhe is of a foaring nature, and on that account is called by Milton himfelf the Cherub Contemplation. Warburton.
376. Oft feeks to fweet retired folitude, ] At first he had written the verfe thus,
2. BRO. 'Tis most true,'
That musing meditation most affects
The pensive secrecy of defert cell,
Far from the chearful haunt of men and herds,
And fits as fafe as in a senate house;
For who would rob a hermit of his weeds,
His few books, or his beads, or maple dish,
But beauty, like the fair Hefperian tree
Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard
You may as well spread out the unfunn'd heaps
Oft feeks to folitary fweet retire.
381. He that has light &c] This whole fpeech is a remarkably fine encomium on the force of virtue: but there is something fo vastly striking and astonishing in these last five lines, that it is impoffible to pafs them over without stopping to admire and enjoy them. I don't know any place in the whole circle of his poetical performances, where dignity of fentiment and fublimity of expreffion are so happily united.
Thyer. 384. Benighted walks &c] Inftead of these two lines the poet had written at first,