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Of wit, or arms, while both contend To win her grace, whom all commend. There let Hymen oft appear In saffron robe, with taper clear, And pomp, and feast, and revelry, With mask, and antique pageantry; . Such sights as youthful poets dream On summer eves by haunted stream. Then to the well-trod stage anon, If Jonson's learned sock be on, Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child, Warble his native wood-notes wild. And ever, against eating cares, Lap me in soft Lydian airs, Married to immortal verse; Such as the meeting soul may pierce, In notes, with many a winding bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out, With wanton heed and giddy cunning; The melting voiee through mazes running, Untwisting all the chains that tie The hidden soul of harmony; That Orpheus' self may heave his head From golden slumber on a bed Of heap'd Elysian flowers, and hear Such strains as would have won the ear Of Pluto, to have quite set free His half-regain’d Eurydice. These delights if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee I mean to live.
Hence, vain deluding Joys, The brood of Folly without father bred How little you bested, Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys! Dwell in some idle brain, And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless As the gay motes that people the sun-beams; Or likest hovering dreams, The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. Puthail, thou goddess, sage and holy, Hail, divinest Melancholy! Whose saintly visage is too bright To hit the sense of human sight, And therefore to our weaker view O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue; Black, but such as in esteem Prince Memnon's sister might beseem, Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove To set her beauty's praise above The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended: Yet thou art higher far descended: Thee bright-hair'd Vesta, long of yore, To solitary Saturn bore; His daughter she ; in Saturn's reign, Such mixture was not held a stain: Oft in glimmering bowers and glades He mether, and in secret shades Of woody Ida's innost grove, Whilst yet there was no fear of Jove. Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure, Sober, stedfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of Cyprus lawn, Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step, and musing gait; And looks commércing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes: There, held in holy passion still, Forget thyself to marble, till With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast: And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet, And hears the Muses in a ring Aye round about Jove's altar sing: " And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure: But first, and chiefest, with thee bring, Him that yon soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne, The cherub Contemplation; And the mute Silence hist along, 'Less Philomel will deign a song, In her sweetest saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of Night, While Cynthia checks her dragonyoke, Gently o'er the accustom'd oak: Sweetbird, that shunn'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy! Thee, chantress, oft, the woods among, I woo, to hearthy even-song; And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wandering Moon, Riding near her highest noon, Like one that had been led astray Through the Heaven's wide pathless way; And oft, as if her head she bow’d, Stooping through a fleecy cloud. Oft, on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off Curfeu sound, Over some wide-water'd shore, Swinging slow with sullen roar: Or, if the air will not permit, Some still removed place will fit, Where glowing embers through theroom Teach light to counterfeit a gloom; Far from all resort of mirth, Save the cricket on the hearth, Or the belman's drowsy charm, To bless the doors from nightly harm. Or let my lamp at midnight hour, Be seen in some high lonely tower, Where I may oft out-watch the Bear, With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere The spirit of Plato, to unfold What worlds or what vast regions hold The immortal mind, that hath forsook Her mansion in this fleshly nook: And of those demons that are found In fire, air, flood, or underground, Whose power hath a true consent With planet, or with element. Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy In scepter'd pall come sweeping by, Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line, Or the tale of Troy divine; Or what (though rare) of later age Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage. But, O sad virgin, that thy power Might raise Musaeus from his bower
rbid the soul of Orpheus sing ach notes, as, warbled to the string, rewiron tears down Pluto's cheek, nd made Hell grant what love did seek! reall up him that left half-told he story of Cambuscan bold, f0amball, and of Algarsife, nd who had Canace to wife, hatown'd the virtuous ring and glass; nd of the wonderous horse of brass. n which the Tartar king did ride: nd if aught else great bards beside sage and solemn tunes have sung, fturneys, and of trophies hung, f forests, and enchantments drear, There more is meant than meets the ear. Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career, ill civil-suited Morn appear, ot trick'd and frounc'd as she was wont fith the Attic boy to hunt, utkercheft in a comely cloud, shile rocking winds are piping loud, rusher'd with a shower still, Then the gust hath blown his fill, nding on the russling leaves, sith minute drops from off the eaves, nd, when the Sun begins to fling is flaring beams, me, goddess, bring parched walks of twilight groves, nd shadows brown, that Sylvan loves, fpine, or monumental oak, There the rude axe, with heaved stroke, as never heard the nymphs to daunt, rfight them from their hallow'd haunt. here in close covert by some brook, There no profaner eye may look, ide me from day's garish eye, shile the bee with honied thigh, hat at her flowery work doth sing, nd the waters murmuring, With such consort as they keep, ntice the dewy feather'd Sleep; nd let some strange mysterious dream Wave at his wings in aery stream flively portraiture display’d, oftly on my eye-lids laid. nd, as Iwake, sweet music breathe bove, about, or undermeath, ent by some spirit to mortal good, r the unseen genius of the wood. Butlet my due feetnever fail o walk the studious cloysters pale, nd love the high-embowed roof, With antic pillars massy proof, nd storied windows richly dight, asting a dim religious light: here let the pealing organ blow, o the full-voic’d quire below, a service high and anthems clear, smay with sweetness, through mine ear, hissolve me into ecstasies, nd bring all Heaven before mine eyes. And may at last my weary age ind out the peaceful hermitage, he hairy gown and mossy cell, Where I may sit and rightly spell of every star that Heaven doth shew, ind every herb that sips the dew; ill old experience do attain o something like prophetic strain.
[UNQuestionably this mask was a much longer rformance. 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 Jonson's masques, the poet but rarely appears, amidst a cumbersome exhibition of heathen gods and mythology.
Alice, countess dowager of Derby, married Ferdinando lord Strange; who on the death of his father Henry, in 1594, became earl of Derby, but died the next year. She was the sixth daughter of sir John Spenser of Althorpe in Northamptonshire. She was afterwards married (in 1600) to lord chancellor Egerton, who died in 1617. She died Jan. 26, 1635-6, and was buried at Harefield.]
Look, nymphs, and shepherds, look,
Fame, that, her high worth to raise,
Mark, what radiant state she spreads,
Might she the wise Latona be, 2.)
As they come forward the Genius of the wood appears, and turning towards them speaks. Genius. Stay, gentle swains; for, though in this disguise, Isee bright honour sparkle through your eyes ;
of famous Arcardy yeare, and sprung of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alphéus, who by secretsluce Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; Andye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskin’d nymphs, as great and good; Iknow, this quest of yours, and free intent, was all in honour and devotion meant To the great mistress of yon princely shrine, whom with low reverence I adore as mine; 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 ; Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone, Have sat 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, To nurse the sapplingstall, and curl the grove with ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove. Andall my plants Isave from nightly ill of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill: And from the boughs brush off the evil dew, 50 And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites. when Evening grey doth rise, I fetch my round over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground; And early, ere the odorous breath of Moon Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassel’d horn shakes the high thicket, haste I all about, Number my ranks, and visit every sprout with puissant words, and murmurs made to bless. But else in deep of night, when drowsiness 61 Hathlock'd up mortal sense, then listen I To the celestial Syrens' harmony, that sit upon the nine infolded spheres, And sing to those that hold the vital shears, And turn the adamantine spindle round, on which the fate of gods and men is wound. such sweet compulsion doth in music lie, To lull the daughters of Necessity, And keep unsteady Nature to her law, And theiow world in measur'd motion draw After the heavenly tune, which none can hear, of human mould, with gross unpurged ear; And yet such music worthiest were to blaze the peerless height of her immortal praise, whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit, If my inferior hand or voice could hit Inimitable sounds: yet, as we go, whate'er the skill of lesser gods can show, I will assay, her worth to celebrate, And so attend ye toward her glittering state; where ye may all, that are of noble stem, Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture'shem.
O'er the smooth enamell'd green Where no print of step hath been, Follow me, as I sing And touch the warbled string, Under the shady roof Of branching elm star-proof.
Follow me; -
Nymphs and shepherds, dance nomo" By sandy Ladon's lilied banks; On old Lycaeus, or Cyllene boar, Trip no more in twilight ranks; Though Erymanth your loss deplore."
A better soil shall give ye thanksFrom the stony Maenalus Bring your flocks, and live with us; Here ye shall have greater grace, To serve the lady of this place. Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were, Yetsyrinx well might wait on her. Such a rural queen All Arcadia hath not seen.
ORIGINAL VARIous READINGs of Ascapes. From Milton's MS, in his own hand.
Ver. 81. And so attend you toward &c. Ver, 91 I will bring ye where she sits
This poem, which received its first occasion of birth from yourself and others of your noble family, and much honour from your own person in the performance, now returns again to make a final dedication of itself to you. Although not openly acknowledged by the authors, yet it is a legitimate off-spring, so lovely, and so much desired, that the often copying of it hath tired my pen to give my severall friends satisfaction, and brought me to a necessity of producing it to the publike view; and now to offer it up in all rightful devotion to those fair hopes, and rare endowments of your much promising youth, which give a full assurance to all that know you, of a future excellence. Live, sweet lord, to be the honour of your name, and receive this as your own, from the hands of him, who hath by many favours been long obliged to your most honoured parents, and as in this representation your attendant Thyrsis, so now in all reall
Your faithfull and most humble servant,
The copy of a Letter written by sir Henry
sir, It was a special favour, when you lately be
* This is the dedication to Lawes's edition of the Mask, 1637, to which the following motto was prefixed, from Virgil's second Eclogue,
Eheu o quid volui misero mihi 1 floribus
This motto is omitted by Milton himself in the
* The First Brother in the Mask. WARTON.
* It never appeared under Milton's name, till the year 1645. WARTON.
* This dedication does not appear in the edition of Milton's Poems, printed under his own inspection, 1673, when lord Brackley, under the title of earl Bridgwater, was still living. Milton was perhaps unwilling to own his early connections with a family, conspicuous for its unshaken loyalty, and now highly patronised by king Charles the Second. WARTON.
* April, 1638.] Milton had communicated to sir Henry his design of seeing foreign countries, and had sent him his Mask. He set out on his travels soon after the receipt of this o;
stowed upon me here the first taste of your ac-
* Mr. H.] Mr. Warton in his first edition of Comus says, that Mr. H. was “perhaps Milton's friend, Samuel Hartlib, whom I have seen mentioned in some of the pamphlets of this period, as well acquainted with sir Henry Wotton:” but this is omitted in his second edition. Mr. Warton perhaps doubted his conjecture of the rson. I venture to state from a copy of the Reliquiae Wottonianae in my possession, in which a few notes are written (probably soon after the publication of the book, 3d edit. in 1672) that the person intended was the “ever-memorable” John Hales. This information will be supported by the reader's recollecting sir Henry's intimacy with Mr. Hales; of whom sir Henry says, in one of his letters, that he gave to his learned friend the title of Bibliotheca ambulans, the walking Library. See Reliq. Wotton. 3d edit, p. 475. TODD. 7 Mr. R.] Ibelieve “Mr. R.” to be John Rouse, Bodley's librarian. “The late R.” is unquestionably Thomas Randolph, the poet. WARTON. * Mr. M. B.] Mr. Michael Branthwait, as I suppose; of whom sir Henry thus speaks in one of his Letters, Reliq, Wotton. 3d edit. p. 546. “Mr. Michael Branthwait, heretofore his majestie's agent in Venice, a gentleman of approved confidence and sincerity.” TODL).
S.9 as his govermour; and you may surely receive from him good directions for the shaping of your farther journey into Italy, where he did reside by my choice som time for the king, after mine own recess from Venice. I should think that your best line will be thorow the whole length of France to Marseilles, and thence by sea to Genoa, whence the passage into Tuscany is as diurnal as a Gravesend barge: I'hasten, as you do, to Florence, or Siena, the rather to tell you a short story from the interest you have given me in your safety. At Siena I was tabled in the house of one Alberto Scipioni, an old Roman courtier in dangerous times, having bin steward to the duca di Pagliano, who with all his family were strangled, save this onely man that escaped by foresight of the tempest: with him I had often much chat of those affairs; into which he took pleasure to look back from his native harbour; and at my departure toward Rome (which had been the center of his experience) I had wonn confidence enough to beg his advice, how I might carry myself securely there, without offence to others, or of mine own conscience. Signor Arrigo mio, (sayes he) l pensieri stretti, etil viso sciolto, will go safely over the whole world; Of which Delphian oracle (for so I have found it) your judgement doth need no commentary; and therefore (sir) I will commit you with it to tile best of all securities, God's dear love, remaining Your friend as much at command as any of longer date HENRY WOOTTON,
I have expressly sent this my foot-boy to prevent your departure without som acknowledgement from me of the receipt of your obliging letter,having myselfthrough som business, Iknow not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. In any part where I shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad, and diligent, to entertain you with home-novelties; even for some fomentation of our friendship, too soon interrupted in the
LUDLow Castle. By Ma. Todd.
SOME idea of this venerable and magnificent pile, in which Comus was played with great splendour, at a period when masks were the most fashionable entertainment of our nobility, will probably gratify those, who read Milton with that curiosity which results from taste and imagination. Mr. Warton, the learned author of this elegant remark, declines entering into the
* Lord S.] Theson of lord viscount Scudamore, then the English ambassador at Paris, by whose notice Milton was honoured, and by whom he was introduced to Grotius, then residing at Paris, also as the minister of Sweden. TODD.
more obscure and early annals of the castle; to which therefore I will briefly refer, trusting that the methodical account of an edifice, more particularly ennobled by the representation of Comus within its walls, may not be improper, or uninteresting. It was built by Roger de Montgomery, who was related to William the Conqueror. The date of its erection is fixed by Mr. Warton in theyear 1112. By others it is said to have been erected before the Conquest, and its founder to have been Edric Sylvaticus, carlof Shrewsbury, whom Roger de Montgomery was sent by the Conqueror into the marshes of Wales to subdue, and with those estates in Salop he was afterwards rewarded. But the testimonies of various writers assign the foundation of this structure to Roger de Montgomery, soon after the Conquest. The son of this noblemandid not long enjoy it, as he died in the prime of life. The grandson, Robert de Belesme, earl of Shrewsbury, forfeited it to Henry I. by having joined the party of Robert duke of Normandy against that king. It became now a princely residence, and was guarded by a numerous garrison. Soon after the accession of Stephen, however, the governor betrayed his trust, in joining the empress Maud. Stephen besieged it; in which endeavour to regain the possession of his fortress some writers assert that he succeeded, others that he failed. The most generally received opinion is, that the governor, repenting of his baseness, and wishing to obtain the king's forgiveness, proposed a capitulation advantageous to the garrison, to which Stephen, despairing of winning the castle by arms, readily acceded. Henry II. presented it to his favourite, Fulk Fitz-Warine,or de Dinan, to whom succeeded Joccas de Dinam; between whom and Hugh de Mortimer lord of wigmore such dissensions arose, as at length occasioned the seizure of Mortimer, and his confinement in one of the towers of the castle, which to this day is called Mortimer's Tower; from which he was not liberated, till he had paid an immense ransom. This tower is now inhabited, and used as a fives-court. It was again belonging to the crown in the 8th year of king John, who bestowed it on Philip de Albani,from whom it descended to the Lacies of Ireland,the lastof which family, Walter de Lacy, dying withoutissue male, left the castle to his grand daughter Maud, the wife of Peter de Geneva, or Jeneville, a Poictevin, of the house of Lorrain, from whose posterity it passed by a daughter to the Mortimers, and from them hereditarily to the crown. In the reign of Henry III. it was taken by Simon de Montfortearl of Leicester, the ambitious leader of the confederate barons, who, about the year 1263 are said to have taken pos. session of all the royal castles and fortresses. of Ludlow Castle in almost two succeeding centuries nothing is recorded. In the thirteenth year of Henry VI.it was in the possession of Richard duke of York, who there drew up his declaration of affected allegiancete the king, pretending that the army of ten thousand men, which he had raised in the marshes of Wales, was “ for the public weale of the realme.” The event of this commotion between