« AnteriorContinuar »
• Part os an entertainment presented to the countest tsDerby at Hare, Field, &c] We are told by Norden, an accurate topographer who wrote about the year 1590, in his Speculum Britannia:, under Harefikld in Middlesex, "There sir Edmond Anderson knight, "lord chief Justice of the cofrimon pleas, hath a faire house standing "on the edge of the hill. The riuer Colne pasting neerc the fame, "through the pleasant meddowes and sweet pastures, yealding both "delight and profit." Spec. Brit. P. i. pag. 21. I viewed thu house a few years ago, when it was for the most part remaining in its original state. It is near Uxbridge: and Milton, when he wrote ArCades, was still living with his father at Horton near Colnei>rook« in the fame neighbourhood. He mentions the singular felicity he had, in vain anticipated, in the society of his friend Deodatc, on the sliady banks of the river Colne. Epitaph. Damon, V. 149. Imus, et arguta paulum recubamus in umbra, Aut ad aquas Colni, &c.
Too divine to be mistook: ,..,.. , :.
This, this is she . .; c
Amidst the fruitful and delightful scenes of this river, the Nymphs and Shepherds had no reason to regret, as. in the Third Song, the Arcadian " La-ion's lillied shore."
Unquestionably this Mask was a much longer performance. Milton seems only to have written the poetical part, consisting of these three Songs and the recitative Soliloquy of the Genius The rest was probably prose and machinery. In many of Jonlbn's Masques, the poet but rarely appears, amidst a cumbersome exhibition of heathen gods and mythology.
Arcades was acted by persons of Lady Derby's own family. The Genius fays, v. 26.
Stay gentle swains, for though in this disguise,
That is, " Although ye are disguised like rustics, and wear the habit "of shepherds, I perceive that ye are of honourable birth, your no"bility cannot be concealed."
V. 1. Look Nympbs, and Shepherds look, &c] See the ninth division of Spenser's Epithalamion. And Spenser's Aprill, in praise of queen Elizabeth.
See, where she sits upon the graflic greene, Sec.: .
See also Fleteher's Faithful Shepherdess, A. i. S. i. vol. iii. p. 150. Where the Satyre stops, at seeing the shepherdess Clorin.
— The Syrinx bright:
But behold a fairer fight. ——
—- For in thy fight,
Shines more aweful majesty, &c.
5. This, this is Jbe.1 Our curiosity is gratified in discovering, even from flight and almost imperceptible traites, that Milton had here been looking back to Jonsen, the most eminent mask-writer that had yet appeared, and that he had fallen upon some of his formularies and modes of address. For thus Jonson, in an Entertainment at Altropt, 1603. Works, 1616. p. 874. This is fhec, This is slice, In whose world of grace, &c.
We shall find other petty imitations from Jonson. Milton fays, v.106.
To whom our vows and wishes bend j
Fame, that her high worth to raise,
Scem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse io
Of detraction from her praise;
Less than half we find exprest,
Envy bid conceal the rest.
Mark what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne, 15
Shooting her beams like silver threads;
This, this is she alone,
Sitting like a Goddess bright,
In the center of her light.
So Jonson, ibid. p. 871. Of the queen and young prince.
That is Cyparissus' face,
And the dame has Syrinx' grace;
O, that Pan were now in place, &c.
Again, Milton fays, v. 46.
And curl the grove
So Jonson, in a Masque at Welbeck, 1633. v. 15.
When was old Sherwood's head more Quaintly Curl'd?
But fee below, at v. 46. And Observat. on Spenser's F. Ck vol.ii. 256.
Might she the wise Latona be, 20
Or the towred Cybele,
Mother of a hundred Gods j
Juno dares not give her odds;
As they come forward, the Genius of the wood appears, and turning toward them, speaks.
OT AY gentle Swains, for though in this disguise,
Stole under seas to meet his Arethusc;
To the great mistress of yon princely stirine,
N 2 And And with all helpful service will comply
To further this night's glad solemnity;
And lead ye where ye' may more near behold 40
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold j
Which I full oft amidst these shades alone
Have fat to wonder at, and gaze upon:
For know, by lot from Jove I am the Power
Of this, fair wood, and live in oaken bower, 45
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
4.6. —-And curl the grove.] So Drayton, Polyolb. S.vii. vol.ii. p. 786. Of a grove on a hill.
Where she her Curled head unto the eye may shew.
Again, ibid. 0-7891:
. 1 Banks crown'd with Curled groves. Again, ibid. S.xii. vol. iii. p 905. , ...
Her Curled head so high, that forests fir and near, &c. Again, ibid. S. xv. vol. iii. p->948,
Greeting each Curled grove. —— And in a line which perhaps Jonfon remembered, ibid. S. xxxiii. vol. iii. p. mi. » r ,
Where Sherwood her Curl'd front into the cold doth shove.
Along'st the Curled woods, and painted meades,
And in his B. Pastorals, B. i. S.iv. p. 78.
And trees that, on the hill-side comely grew
And a tree has " spreading armes and Curled top," ibid. B. ii. S.lv, p. 106. Compare Note on Ii Pens. v. 50.