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THE PERSONS. THE ATTENDANT SPIRIT, afterwards in FIRST BROTHER. the habit of THYRSIS.
SECOND BROTHER. Com us, with his Crew.
SABRINA, the Nymph. THE LADY.
The chief Persons, who presented, were
The Lord Brackley.
The first Scene discovers a wild Wood.
The ATTENDANT Spirit descends or enters.
But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway
3. Isphered. In “Il Penseroso" (line 16. I would not soil, &c. That is, this 88) the spirit of Plato was to be un- Guardian Spirit would not have soiled sphered, that is, to be called down from the purity of his ambrosial robes with the sphere to which it had been allotted, the noisome exhalations of this sin-corwhere it had been insphered.-T. WARTON. rupted earth. (this sin-worn mould,) but
7. Pinfold is now provincial, and signi- to assist those distinguished mortals, who, fies sometimes a sheepfold, but most com| by a due progress in virtue, aspire to iponly a pound.-T. WARTOx. Pester'd: reach the golden key which opens beacrowded; Ital, pesta, a crowd.
ven,-the palace of Elernity.
Imperial rule of all the sea-girt isles,
Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
20. High and nether, i. e. the upper and bly, by singing or reciting tales. -T lower dominions of Jove.-27. This isle: , WARTON.
48. Tuscan mariners. This story al. "Albion, Prince of all the isles."-JONSON.
ludes to the punishments inflicted by 29. He quarters, that is, Neptune. Ilomer (in his Hymn to Bacchus) on the
33. An old and haughty nation. That Tyrrhene pirates, by transforming them is, the Cambro-Britains, who were to be into various animals.-Jos. WARTON. governed by respect mixed with awe. 50. Circe, is the celebrated enchantress, The Earl of Bridgewater, the noble Peer whose story as related by Homer is doubt. of mickle trust and power, was now go- less intended as an allegorical representavernour of the Welsh, as lord-president tion of the brutalizing effects of the of the principality.-T. WARTON.
intoxicating cup. 44. What nerer yet, &c. The poet here 58. Comus. Newton observes, that Coinsinuates that the story or fable of his mus is a deity of Milton's own making; Mask was new and unborrowed, although but Warton shows that he had before distantly founded on ancient poetical been a dramatic personage in one of Ben history. The allusion is to the ancient Johnson's Masks. An immense cup is mode of entertaining a splendid assom- carried before him, and he is crowned with roses and other flowers. His at that lie in so small a compass.-T. WARtendants carry javelins wreathed with | . iry; and he enters, riding in triumph 83. Iris' wonf. Milton has frequent from a grove of ivy, to the wild music allusion to the colours of the rainbow. of flutes, tal ors, and cymbals. At length in the “Odle on the Nativity,” (stanza the grove of ivy is destroyed,
Who, ripe and frolick of his full-grown age,
xv.,) Truth and Justice are not only And the voluptuous Comus, god of cheer, orled in a rainbow, but are apparellel in Beat from his grove.
its colours, But how many would have known any 84. Likeness of a swain. This refers to thing of this god of revellings and drunk- Henry Lawer, the musician, who perenness from the neglected and almost formed the combined characters of the forgotten Masks of Johnson, had not the Spirit and Thursis, in this drama. lle genius of Milton, by drawing such a was the son of Thomas Lawes, a vicarmoral from his story, and clothing it in choral of Salisbury cathedral, ard was such exquisite poetry, given hiin an un- perhaps, at first, choir-boy of that church. dying celebrity.
lle afterwards rose to great distinction as 60. Cutick and Iberian: France and a composer of music, but his name would Spain.
have been buried in oblivion had he not, 61. Ominous: Dangerous, inauspicious. by setting to music the songs of Comus,
65. Orient: Richly bright, from the associated his name for ever with this imradiance of the East.
mortal poem. He was also no mean poet 80. Swift as the sparkle of a glancing hinself, as Milton's commendation of star. There are few finer comparisons / him, in his connet, clearly shows.
Comus enters with a charming rod in one hand, his glass in the other;
with bim a rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise like men and women, their apparel glistering: they come in, making a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in their hands.
Com. The star, that bids the shepherd fold,
108. Advice. It was in character for 126. 'Tis only day-light that makes sin. Comus to call Advice scrupulous: to de- A sentiment worthy of Comus; meaning, preciate and ridicule it at the expense of that sin consists not in the act, but in truth and propriety.-T. WARTON.
the discovery of it. 110. Suws: Sayings, maxiins.
129. Citytto: The goddess of Licen116. Morrice, The Morrice or Moorish tiousness, celebrated with great inde dance was first brought into England in cency in private at Athens, at midnight, Edward Third's time, when Jobu of Gaunt and hence called dark-reild, returned from Spain.-PECK.
| 132. Spets: Used by the old writers for 119. Fountain-brim: The edge or brink | spits. of a fountain.
And makes one blot of all the air;
The Lady enters.
138. Blabbing. So Shakspeare, King, “The Measure") has just been legun, Hen. VI. p. 2, Act iv. Scene 1:
which the Magician almost as soon breaks The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day. off, on perceiving the approach of some Comus is describing the morning con chaste footing, from a sagacity appropritemptuously, as unfriendly to his secret ate to his character.-T. WARTOX. revels,
147. Shrouds : Recesses, harbours, hid139. Nice. A finely-chosen epithet, ex. ing-places. pressing at once the curious and squeam 157. Quaint: That is, strange habits. ish.-HURD.
161. Glozing: Flattering, deceitful. 145. Break off. A dance (here called | 168. Fuirly: That is, softly.