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Strict Age, and sour Severity
With their grave saws in slumber lie.
We that are of purer fire
Imitate the starry quire,
Who in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move;
And on the tawny sands and shelves
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves.
By dimpled brook, and fountain brim,
The wood-nymphs deck'd with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
What hath night to do with sleep?


lous head,] It was at first in the move ;] The morrice or Moorish Manuscript,

dance was first brought into And quick Law with her scrupulous

England, as I take it, in Edward head,

the Third's time, when John of 108. The MS. reading is the

Gaunt returned from Spain, best. It is not the essential attri- where he had been to assist his bute of Advice to be scrupulous; father-in-law, Peter king of Casbut it is of quick law, or watchful tile, against Henry the Bastard. law, to be so. Warburton.

Peck, It was however in character In the Morgante Maggiore of for Comus to call advice, scrupu

Pulci, we have “ Balli alla molous. It was his business to de- resea,” which he gives to the preciate advice at the expense of age of Charlemagne. Cant. iv. 92. truth. T. Warton.

T. Warlon. 110. With their grave saws] 117. And on the tawny sands] Saws, sayings, maxims. So Shake. So altered in the Manuscript speare, As you like it, act ii. sc. 9. from yellow sands. Full of wise saws.

118. Trip the pert faeries] See

the note, Comus, 961. E. Hamlet, act i. sc. 8.

119. -fountain brim] This I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, was the pastoral language of All saws of books.

Milton's age. So Drayton, Bar. 114. Lead in swift round] It W. vi. 36. and Warner's Albion's was first written, Lead with swift England, b. ix. 46. We have round.

ocean-brim in P. L. y. 140. T. 116. --in wavering morrice Warton,


Night hath better sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wakens Love.
Come let us our rites begin,
'Tis only day-light that inakes sin,
Which these dun shades will ne'er report.
Hail Goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veil'd Cotytto, t whom the secret flame
Of midnight torches burns; mysterious dame,
That ne'er art call'd, but when the dragon womb
Of Stygian darkness spits her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the air,
Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,
Wherein thou rid'st with Hecat', and befriend
Us thy vow'd priests, till utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out,



123. Night hath better] In the Spelteth his lightning forth. Manuscript Night has better.

And Spenser has, fire-spetting 129. Dark-veil'd Cotytto,ị The forge, F.Q. ii. viii. 3. T. Warton. Goddess of impudence, originally

133. And mukes one blot of all a strumpet, had midnight sacri- the air,] In the Manuscript he fices at Athens. She is here there had first written And makes a fore very properly, said to be blot of nature, and afterwards dark-veild. Her dues or rites And throws a llot o'er all the air, were called Cotytlia, and her and then corrected it as it stands priests Baptæ ; because they, at present. who were initiated into her mys

134. Stay thy cloudy ebon chair, teries, were sprinkled with warm water. See Peck, and Juvenal lines at first run thus,

See Peck, and Juvenal &c.] In the Manuscript these ii. 91. Talia secreta coluerunt orgia tæda

Stay thy polish'd ebon chair,

Tiù all thy dues be done, and nought Cecropiam soliti Baptæ lassare Co.

left out. tytto. 131. —the dragon womb] Al- Afterwards these lines luding to the dragons of the added in the margin, night. See Il Penseroso 59.

Wherein thou rid'st with Hecate, 132. --spits her thickest gloom,)

And favour our close jocondrie, So Drayton of an exhalation or cloud. "Bar. W. ï. 35. without and then altered to what they a familiar or low sense.

are at present. VOL. IV.


were 140

Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
The nice morn on th' Indian steep
From her cabin'd loophole peep,
And to the tell-tale sun descry
Our conceald solemnity.
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
In a light fantastic round.

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139. —nice morn] A finely This sufficiently explains what chosen epithet, expressing at once is meant by the measure followcurious and squeamish. Hurd. ing; which, says Mr. Peck, is

140. From her cabin'd loophole an old way of expression for the peep,] So appearing to them dance, as in Shakespeare, King who see the morning break from Henry VIII. act i. sc. 7. the midst of a wood, at loopholes cut through thickest shade. Para

Good, my Lord Cardinal, I have half

a dozen healths dise Lost, ix. 1110. Cantic. vi.

To drink to these fair ladies, and a 10. Who is she that lookeih forth as the morning ? Richardson. To lead them once again; and then Milton here perhaps imitated

let's dream

Who's best in favour.
Fletcher's beginning of his fifth
act of the Faithful Shepherdess. In Milton's Manuscript the last
See the blushing morn doth peep

line was thus at first, Through the window, while the sun,

With a light and frolic round. &c. 140. —-cabin'd] Rather cabin's. And then follows, The measure Comus is describing the morning in a wild, rude, and wanton antic. contemptuously, as it was un- 143. Compare Fletcher, Faithwelcome and unfriendly to his ful Shepherdess, a. i. s. 1. secret revels. Compare also

Arm in arm Drayton, Mus. Elyz. ed. 1630. Tread we softly in a round,

While the hollow neighbouring The sun out of the east doth peepe, &c.

ground, &c. T. Warton. And Jonson, in his Masques. 141. -the tell-lale sun] This In motions swift and meet epithet alludes to the fable of The happy ground to beat. the sun's discovering Mars and And Shakespeare, Mids. N. Dr. Venus together, and telling tales

a. iv, s. 1. to Vulcan. Odyss. viii. 302. Ηελιος γαρ οι σκοπιην εχε», εισε τα μυθον.

Sound music, Come, my queen, take

hand with me, 143. Come, knit hands, and

And rock the ground whereon these beat the ground

sleepers be. In a light funtastic round.]

T. Warton.

p. 22.

The Measure.


Break off, break off, I feel the different pace 145
Of some chaste footing near about this ground. .
Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and trees;
Our number may affright: some virgin sure
(For so I can distinguish by mine art)
Benighted in these woods. Now to my charms,
And to my wily trains ; I shall ere long
Be well-stock'd with as fair a herd as graz'd


mother Circe. Thus I hurl
My dazzling spells into the spungy air,
Of pow'r to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
And give it false presentments, lest the place
And my quaint habits breed astonishment,
And put the damsel to suspicious flight,
Which must not be for that's against my course;


145. -I feel the different pace 153. Thus I hurl &c.] The &c.] The following lines be- lines following were thus in the fore they were altered in the Manuscript at first. Manuscript run thus,

My powder'd spells into the spungy -I hear the different pace

air Of some chaste footing near about Of pow'r to cheat the eye with sleight this ground.

(or blind) illusion, Some virgin sure benighted in these And give it false presentments, else woods;

the place &c. For so I can distinguish by mide art. Run to your shrouds within these 153.

Thus I hurl brakes and trees;

My dazzling spells into the Our number may affright.

spungy air.] And in the margin is written, B. Fletcher, Faith. Shep. act iii. They all scatter.

S. 1. 151. --wily trains ;) Rightly

I strew these herbs to purge the air : altered from what he had first

Let your odour drive from hence written in his Manuscript,

All mists that dazzle sense, &c.
-Now to my trains,

Compare Par. L. viii. 457. T. And to my mother's charms,

Warlon. for the charms described are not 157. - quaint] See notes, from the classical pharmacopæa, Sams. Agon. 1303. and Arcades, but the Gothic. Warburton. 47. T. Warton.


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I under fair pretence of friendly ends,
And well plac'd words of glozing courtesy
Baited with reasons not unplausible,
Wind me into the easy-hearted man,
And hug him into snares.

When once her eye
Hath met the virtue of this magic dust,
I shall appear some harmless villager,
Whom thrift keeps up.about his country gear.
But here she comes, I fairly step aside,
And hearken, if I may, her business here.

The Lady enters.
This way the noise was, if mine ear be true,


161. — words of glozing cout- And hearken, if I may, her business

here. tesy]

But here she comes, I fairly step Flattering, deceitful; as in Par.

aside. L. iii. 95. glozing lies." iv. 549 so gloz'd the tempter."

We have restored the true read. The word occurs in Spenser, ing according to the author's Marlow, Lilly, Shakespeare. 1. Manuscript, and according to Wartun.

the first edition of the Mask in 164. And hug him into snares.] 1637, and according to the first So corrected in the Manuscript edition of the Poems in 1645. from

The last line in some editions

is varied thus, And hug him into nets. 164. -when once her eye

And hearken, if I may, her business

hear. Hath met the virtue of this magic dust,]

But Milton's own is much proThis refers to the MS.

reading perer

and better, of v. 154. my powdered spells. And hearken, if I may, her business T. Warton.

here. 167. Whom thrift keeps up 168. -fairly] That is, softly. about his country gear.] Here is Hurd. « Fair and softly” were a strange mistake in the edition two words which went together, of the poems printed in 1673, signifying gently. The corpse of which has implicitly been fol. Richard II. was conveyed in a lowed in some other editions. litter through London, “ faire This whole verse is omitted, and “ and softly." Froissart, p. ii. the two following are transposed ch. 249. İ. Warton. thus,

170.-if mine ear] Manuscript, I shall appear some harmless villager, if my ear.

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