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Rose like a steam of rich distill'd perfumes,
And stole upon the air, that even Silence
Was took ere she was ware, and wish'd she might
Deny her nature, and be never more
Still to be so displac'd. I was all ear,
And took in strains that might create a soul

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560

And in Shakespeare, but dif-
Winter's
ferently expressed.
Tale, act iv. s. S. Of hearing a
song. "All their other senses
"stuck in their ears." And in
the Tempest, Prospero says, "No
" tongues, all eyes." Compare
also Herrick's Hesperides, p. 21.
edit. 1648. 8vo.

When I thy singing next shall heare Ile wish I might turne ALL to eare. This thought, and expression, occurs first in Drummond's Sonnets, 1616. Signat. D. 2. To the nightingale.

Such sad lamenting straines, that
Night attends,
Become all care, starres stay to heare
thy plight, &c.

T. Warton. 561.-that might create a soul Under the ribs of death :] The general image of creating a soul by harmony is again from Shakespeare. But the particular one of a soul under the ribs of death, which is extremely grotesque, is taken from a picture in Alciat's emblems, where a soul in the figure of an infant is represented within the ribs of a skeleton, as in its prison. This curious picture is presented by Quarles. Warburton.

That might create a soul, that is, says Mr. Sympson, recreate, avaYuxu: and Mr. Theobald proposed to read recreate,

And took in strains might recreate à soul:

Under the ribs of death: but O ere long
Too well I did perceive it was the voice
Of my most honour'd Lady, your dear Sister.
Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear,
And O poor hapless nightingale thought I,
How sweet thou sing'st, how near the deadly snare!
Then down the lawns I ran with headlong haste,
Through paths and turnings often trod by day,
Till guided by mine ear I found the place,
Where that damn'd wizard hid in sly disguise
(For so by certain signs I knew) had met
Already, ere my best speed could prevent,
The aidless innocent Lady his wish'd prey,
Who gently ask'd if he had seen such two,
Supposing him some neighbour villager.
Longer I durst not stay, but soon I guess'd
Ye were the two she meant; with that I sprung
Into swift flight, till I had found you here,
But further know I not.

2. BROTHER.

O night and shades, How are ye join❜d with hell in triple knot, Against th' unarmed weakness of one virgin

but I presume they knew not of the allusion just mentioned.

563. Too well I did perceive] In the Manuscript it is.

Too well I might perceive. 565.-harrow'd with grief and fear,] So in Shakespeare, Hamlet, act i. s. 1. Horatio of the Ghost, -it harrows me with fear and

wonder.

565

570

575

580

And s. 8. the Ghost to Hamlet,

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest
word
Would harrow up thy soul.

574. The aidless innocent Lady] At first he had written helpless, but altered it, that word occurring again within a few lines afterwards.

Alone, and helpless! Is this the confidence
You gave me, Brother?

ELDER BROTHER.

Yes, and keep it still,

Lean on it safely; not a period
Shall be unsaid for me: against the threats
Of malice or of sorcery, or that power
Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm,
Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt,
Surpris'd by unjust force, but not inthrall'd;
Yea even that which mischief meant most harm,
Shall in the happy trial prove most glory:
But evil on itself shall back recoil,
And mix no more with goodness, when at last
Gather'd like scum, and settled to itself,
It shall be in eternal restless change
Self-fed, and self-consum'd; if this fail,
The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,

584. Yes, and keep it still, &c.] This confidence of the Elder Brother in favour of the final efficacy of virtue holds forth a very high strain of philosophy, delivered in as high strains of eloquence and poetry. T. War

ton.

589. Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt,] Milton seems in this line to allude to the famous answer of the philosopher to a tyrant, who threatened him with death, Thou may'st kill me, but thou canst not hurt me. And it may be observed, that not only in this speech, but also in many others of this poem, our author has made great use of the noble

585

590

595

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And earth's base built on stubble. But come let's on.
Against th' opposing will and arm of heaven 600
May never this just sword be lifted up;
But for that damn'd magician, let him be girt
With all the grisly legions that troop
Under the sooty flag of Acheron,

Harpies and Hydras, or all the monstrous forms
'Twixt Africa and Ind, I'll find him out,
And force him to restore his purchase back,
Or drag him by the curls to a foul death,
Curs'd as his life.

602. But for that damn'd magician, let him be girt, &c.] Compare P. R. iv. 626. et seq. T. Warton.

605. Harpies and hydras, or all the monstrous forms.] Or spoils the metre. Yet an anapæst may be admitted in the third part, see v. 636. 682. Although this last is not an anapæst. But any foot of three syllables may be admitted in this place of an iambic verse, if the licence be not taken too frequently. Hurd.

Harpies and hydras are a combination in an enumeration of monsters, in Sylvester's Du Bartas, p. 206. fol. ut supr.

Such as those which Carlo and
Ubaldo meet, in going to
Armida's enchanted mountain,
in Fairfax's Tasso, c. xv. 51.

605

All monsters which hot Africke forth
doth send
"Twixt Nilus, Atlas, and the southern
cape,
Where all there met.

Milton often copies Fairfax, and
not his original. T. Warton.
607.-to restore his purchase
back,] He had written at first
-to release his new got prey.
608. -to a foul death,
Curs'd as his life.]
In the Manuscript, and in the

And th' ugly Gorgons, and the edition of 1637, it is

Sphinxes fell,

Hydraes and harpies gan to yawne and yel. T. Warton. 605. -or all the monstrous forms] In Milton's Manuscript,

and the edition of 1637 it is, or all the monstrous bugs; which word was in more familiar use formerly, and hence bugbear.

605. —all the monstrous forms 'Twixt Africa and Ind,]

-and cleave his scalp Down to the hips:

and he has preserved the same image in his Paradise Lost, speaking of Moloch, vi. 361.

Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms

And uncouth pain fled bellowing: and no wonder he was led to it by his favourite romances, and his favourite plays. Jonson has

SPIRIT.

Alas! good vent'rous Youth,

I love thy courage yet, and bold emprise ;
But here thy sword can do thee little stead;
Far other arms, and other weapons must
Be those that quell the might of hellish charms:
He with his bare wand can unthread thy joints,
And crumble all thy sinews.

the same image in the Fox, act the same, Paradise Lost, xi. 642. iii. s. 8. Spenser uses the word, Faery Queen, b. ii. cant. 3. st. 35.

-O that his well driv'n sword
Had been so covetous to have cleft me

down

Unto the navel.

-whose warlike name

Is far renown'd through many a bold emprise.

And Shakespeare in Macbeth, And Fairfax, cant. ii. st. 77. act i. s. 2.

If you achieve renown by this emprise.

Till he unseam'd him from the nave to th' chops.

611. But here thy sword can do I know Mr. Warburton reads thee little stead; &c.] Virgil, Æn. here ii. 521.

-from the nape to th' chops, and supports it very ingeniously; but if any alteration were necessary, I should rather read

Till he unseam'd him from the chops to th' nave.

Nay Shakespeare carries it so far as to make Coriolanus cleave men down from head to foot. Coriolanus, act ii. s. 6.

610

But notwithstanding these instances, I believe every reader will agree that Milton altered the passage much for the better in the edition of 1645.

Or drag him by the curls to a foul death,

Curs'd as his life.

Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus
istis
Tempus eget:

See Æn. vi. 290. Tasso, cant. xv. st. 49. Richardson.

➡his sword, (death's stamp)

613. Be those that quell the might of hellish charms:] ComWhere it did mark, it took from face pare Shakespeare's K. Richard to foot.

III. act iii. s. 4.

Before the poet had corrected this line, he had written,

But here thy steel can do thee small avail.

-With devilish plots

Of damned witchcraft; and that have prevail'd

Upon my body with their hellish charms.

610. and bold emprise ;] See He had written at first,

T. Warton.

614. He with his bare wand can unthread thy joints, And crumble all thy sinews.]

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