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23. 69. Comp. Lovelace's
“When I lie tangled in her hair,
And fetter'd to her eye,
Know no such liberty.”
70. “Reward is the spur of virtue in all good acts, all laudable attempts; and emulation, which is the other spur, will never be wanting when particular rewards are proposed.” (Dryden.)
71. Comp. Tac. Hist. iv. 6: “Erant quibus adpetentior famæ videretur quando etiam sapientibus cupido gloriæ novissima exuitur.”
74. See the discussion on “glory” in Paradise Regained, iii. 21-150 ; esp. 11. 47–70.
blaze. “ For what is glory but the blaze of fame?” (Paradise Regained, iii. 47.)
75. Fury. It was one of the Fates or Moīpac or Parcæ, viz. Atropos, not one of the Furies, who was fabled to cut one's thread of life. Shakspere speaks of “the shears of Destiny.” (King John, IV. ii. 91.) Perhaps Milton uses the word Fury here not in its special, but a general sense. 76. thin-spun life. See Tibull. Eleg. I. vii. 1, 2:
“ Parcæ fatalia nentes
Stamina, non ulli dissoluenda deo.”
“ Cynthius aurem
Vellit, et admonuit,” &c. Georg. iv. 6, 7.
79. foil. French feuille, Latin folium. See Spenser's Faerie Queene, I. iv. 4:
“Whose sa stately palace's) wals were high, but nothing strong or thick,
And golden foile all over them displaied.'
Warton quotes Shakspere, 1 Henry IV. I. ï. 239 ; but the sense there is different.
Perhaps it is better to connect in the glistering foil, &c., with lies. 24. 81. [What is the force of by here ?]
82. perfet. This is from the French form parfait. So feat and fact.
“ Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluice
Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse." Shelley's “ Arethuse arose," &c. Virg. Ecl. x. 1:
“Extremum hunc, Arethusa, mihi concede laborem.”
Æn. iii. 694, &c. Mosch. Fr. v. 1-8, Ed. Ahrens.
[Why honour'd? See Class. Dict. See also Virg. Georg. iii. 13-15.) 86. reeds. See l. 33.
88. My oat proceeds, And listens, &c. There is a carelessness of style here. Comp. L'Allegro, 121–2; Il Penseroso, 155-7.
90. [What is meant by in Neptune's plea ?]
24. 93. Every-each. Milton often uses both these words in the same sentence, merely, it would seem, for the sake of variety. Com. 19:
“Of every salt flood and each ebbing stream." Ib. 311 :
“I know each lane and every alley green.”
Etymologically, every = ever each. [What difference is there between the usages of each and every ?)
96. Hippotades. See Homer's Odyss. X. 2; Ov. Met. xiv. 85.
was strayed. So “was dropt,” l. 191 ; “is run,” Julius Cæsar, V. iii. 25, &c. See Abbott's Shakesp. Gr. $ 158. This older usage is more strictly correct than our present one, which admits the transitive auxiliary “have” with these participles of intransitive verbs. The French still say " Je suis arrivé.” On German usage see Wittich's G. Gr. § 120.
99. Panope. Virgil calls her Panopea, Æn. v. 240. [Who were her sisters ? See Georg. i. 437. Hesiod gives their names in his Theogony, 240 et seq. See also Faerie Queene, IV. xi. 49.) · 101. th' eclipse. [What is the force of the here?] : with may = along with, in the midst of; or, better, by a bold poetical figure, it may be instrumental.
Eclipses were believed, both by the ancients and in later ages, to be times of evil omen, and to bring a curse upon everything done during them. Thus Gloucester, in King Lear, I. ii. 112 et seq. : “These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us,” &c. As to the distress with which these “swoonings” of the greater lights were regarded, see Ellis's Brand's Popular Antiquities. Comp. Paradise Lost, i. 596–9, of the sun when
" from behind the moon
See Macbeth, IV. i. 28. They were supposed to be caused by the spiteful power of witches. See Paradise Lost, ii. 665.
Comp. Hor. Od. II. xiii. and Epod. x. I. 103. went. In our present usage go is opposed to come, and went to came; but that opposition is not radical. The old verb wend is connected radicaily with wind, and means merely to wind or turn. The original sense, therefore, would be to move in a serpentine manner. Comp. the use of wind, as in Paradise Lost, iii. 563-4:
“and winds with ease Through the pure marble air his oblique way , Amongst innumerable stars."
Here went = simply "passed along." Wend and yode having fallen out of use, go and went serve respectively as present and perfect to each other. Comp. am and was, Latin fero and tuli, tollo and sustuli, Greek pépw, éveyka, évývoxa, &c.
footing. See Pilgrim's Progress : “I warrant you he footed it right merrily.” To insert the "it" would not suit the gravity of the present passage. See note on “trip it," L'All. 33.
104. See description of Thamis in Faerie Queene, IV. xi. 27, 28: he was
“ All decked in a robe of watchet (pale blue) hew,
On which the waves, glittering like christall glas,
So cunningly enwoven were, that few
24. 104. bonnet, in older English, as in Scotch still, denoted a man's head-covering. See Richard II, I. iv. 31 ; Hamlet, V. ii. 95; Coriolanus, III. ii. 74. Comp. French bonnet-àpoil, bonnet-de-police.
sedge. See Tempest, IV. i. 130 :
“You nymphs, callid Naiads, of the windring brooks,
With your sedged crowns and ever-harmless looks, &c." 105. What figures are here meant, has not yet been satisfactorily explained. Warburton says allusion is made “to the fabulous traditions of the high antiquity of Cambridge ;” others think, to certain natural streaks on sedge-leaves or flags “when dried, or even beginning to wither."
106. that sanguine flower, &c. = the hyacinth. See Ovid, Met. x. 215. Phoebus, mourning for Hyacinthus dead, is not content that he should be metamorphosed into a flower:
“ Ipse suos gemitus foliis inscribit, et ai ai
Flos habet inscriptum, funestaque littera ducta est.”
quoth he. So “says he," "said he.” The position of the pronoun in these cases serves to illustrate the meaning discovered by philology of the various endings of verbs in the numbers of each tense. These endings are, in fact, but personal signs, which have become amalgamated with the verb. “Quoth he," and such phrases, show the tendency there is to place the pronoun after the verb. 109. = St. Peter.
Archbishop Laud was at this time at the height of his power. The policy of “thorough” was being vigorously pursued in the state ; a kindred policy was being carried out with no less vigour in the Church. A Ritualistic reform was in course of enforcement both in England and Scotland. Against this and against all Laud's proceedings the Puritanism of this country was vehemently opposed; and this Puritanism was the great growing, nearly fullgrown, power of the day. Milton here for the first time speaks out his sympathy with that party with which he was afterwards to be so conspicuously associated.
110. twain. In the Elizabethan writers twain is used (1) predicatively ; (2) when the substantive is placed first ; (3) substantively.
111. amain. See Paradise Lost, ii. 165, 1024, &c. Shakspere, Tempest, IV. i. 75, &c. Spenser has the form “mainly." [What is the force of the word ?]
112. bespake. See Hymn Nat. l. 76.
114. anow = enow. Paradise Lost, ii. 504: “hellish foes enow.” This form is generally said to be the plural of enough. See quotations from Sidney, Hooker, and Dryden, Addison apud Johnson.
115. Comp. Paradise Lost, iv. 192. Sonnet to Cromwell. St. John X. 12, 13. One of Milton's pamphlets was entitled, The likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. See also his Of Reformation.
116. Of other care. What should we say in our present English ?]
119. Blind mouthes, &c. Comp. I. 88. Paradise Lost, v. 711, 718. Milton is indifferent to the verbal incongruity ; there is none in sense. Mouths = gluttons. Comp. gula in Latin. See Hor. Sat. II. ii. 40.
24. 119. know how to hold. In l. 10 we have “knew to sing.”
120. the least. (In what two ways may this phrase be parsed? Which is the better?]
121. faithfull. In Elizabethan writers full in composition retains all its letters ; its independent force was still fresh.
heardsman “has a general sense in our older writers, and often occurs in Sydney's Arcadia, a book well known to Milton. In our old Pastorals heard-groome sometimes occurs for shephera.” (Warton.)
122. sped. See Merchant of Venice, II. ix. 72: “So be gone ; you are sped.” Romeo and Juliet, III. i. 95. Knolles apud Johnson : “ Barbarossa, sped of all he desired, staid not long at Constantinople.” As a preterite the word occurs in Shakspere, Merry Wives of Windsor, III. v. 67, &c. In Measure for Measure, IV. v. 10, and Paradise Regained, il 267, there is the longer form of the participle, viz. speeded. So “lift" has two participial forms, lift and lifted. [Mention other verbs that have two.) Speed was used much more frequently and more variously in older English than it is now. Comp. “God speed the Parliament" in Shakspere, i Henry VI. III. ii. 60 ; "an honest tale speeds best,” Richard 111. IV. iv. 358, &c.
25. 123. list is akin to German and Old English lust = pleasure. It survives in listless, as reck in reckless. It was originally used impersonally: thus, “if the list,” Chancer, Canterbury Tales, 1185; “what them listeth,” Hooker, &c. So please, reck, &c. were originally impersonal.
flashy. “Distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things." (Bacon's Essays.) (What does the word mean?) 124. grate. So blow, Il Penseroso, 161. Comp. Virg. Ecl. iii. 26:
“Non tu in triviis, indocte, solebas,
Stridenti miserum stipula disperdere carmen ?” scrannel is used in Lancashire for “a lean person ” (Halliwell). “Scranny” is a common provincial word for “lean.” The metaphor, therefore, is the same as in "lean and flashy songs.” Comp. Cicero's “ tenuis exsanguisque sermo” (De Or. I. xiii. 57).
125. See Spenser's Eclogue for May.
126. draw. So Paradise Lost, viii. 284: “From where I first drew air.” We still speak of a “ draught.” Comp. Latin haurio, haustus.
128. There were many perversions to the Church of Rome about this time. See Masson's Life of Milton, i. 638.
129. and nothing sed. (How would you parse this phrase ?)
130. Comp. St. Matth. ii. 10; St. Luke iji. 9. Raleigh apud Johnson: “The sword, the arrow, the gun, with many terrible engines of death, will be well employed.” The word engine is radically connected with “ingenious," "ingenuity," and means simply something clever. For two-handed Shakspere has “a two-hand sword,” 2 Henry VI. II. i. 49. (See a description of one in Scott's Monastery.) Comp. Paradise Lost, vi. 251.
He means to say, generally, that the time of retribution is at hand. Some commentators, unwisely in my opinion, take the words as a definite prophecy of Laud's execution (in 1645). Certainly they could never have been understood in that sense at the time of the poem's first publication, “under the sanction and from the press of one of our “when the proscriptions of the Star Chamber and the power of Laud were at their height.” In his Of Reformation in England he speaks of “the axe of God's reformation hewing at the old and hollow trunk of papacy."
132. Alpheus. See Class. Dict.
“Our common foes
25. 133. Sicilian Muse. See above, l. 85. Virg. Ecl. vi. 1; iv. I. Epitaph. Bion. attributed to Moschus.
Comp. Psalm civ. 7.
“The dread voice,” and another equally dreadful, afterwards “shrunk the streams” of poetry for Milton for nearly thirty years. After writing Lycidas, in 1637, Milton wrote scarcely any more poetry till after the Restoration. Paradise Lost was published in 1667. Between it and Lycidas he had produced in poetry only a few sonnets. During nearly all that interval he abandoned, at the call of duty, his proper vocation of poet, and gave all his energies to politics. See Reason for Church Government against Prelaty. 134. hither cast = come hither and cast. Comp. Soph. Ed. Col. 23 :
« έχεις διδάξαι δή μ' όποι καθέσταμεν;” Ib. 1253:
“ Tápeote deūpo Holuveinns öde.” Ant. 42:
“ ToT yvóuna tor' ei ;” 135. bels. See Tempest, V. i. 89:
“In a cowslip's bell I lie.” Comp. bel-flower, blue-bell.
of a thousand hues. So in l. 93, “Of rugged wings.”
[flowrets. Mention other substantives with this dimin. termination.) 136. use. See l. 67.
milde whispers. Comp. Theocritus' “ Vidípioua” (Id. i. 1). 138. fresh lap. See Richard II. V. ii. 47: “the green lap of the new-come spring.” Ib. III. iii. 47:
“The fresh green lap of fair King Richard's land.”
the swart star: i.e. swart-making (tanning, brown-dyeing) star. So “albus Notus” in Hor. Od. I. vii. 15 = white- or clear-making (conip. Od. III. xxvii. 19). Homer's “apyeoths,” II. xi. 306 ; Virgil's " clarus Aquilo,” Georg. i. 460. Comp. “dim " in Paradise Lost, iii. 26, &c. The star meant is, of course, Sirius or Canicula, a star just in the mouth of the constellation Canis (Orion's dog). It rose at Athens about the time of the greatest heat, and was therefore supposed to cause that heat. See Æschylus' Agam. 939–40 (Ed. Paley):
“ ρίζης γάρ ούσης φυλλάς ίκετ' ες δόμους
σκιάν υπερτείνασα Σειρίου κυνός.”
The Latins echo this theory. See Horace, passim. His “rubra Canicula,” in Sat. II. v. 39, probably = flagrans.
Comp. Hor. Od. III. xiii. 9.
sparely. Comp. Horace's “parcius,” Od. I. xxv. 1. 139. quaint. See Hymn Nat. 194.
enameld. “The materials of glass melted with calcined tin compose an undiaphanous body. This white amel is the basis of all those fine concretes that goldsmiths and artificers employ in the curious art of enamelling." (Boyle on Colours, apud Johnson.)
142–51. Comp. Shakspere, Cymbeline, IV. ii. 220–30. Comp. also Spenser's Ecl. April.
142. rathe. The root of this word yet appears in “rather" = earlier, sooner.' (Holofernes uses “ratherest” in Love's Labour Lost, IV. ii. 19.) Tennyson has revived the word itself. (In Mem. cix.)
Comp. Shakspere's “Primroses that die unmarried,” &c. (Winter's Tale, IV. iv. 122.)