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Amongst the enthron'a Gods on fainted feats.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key,
That

opes the palace of eternity:
To such my errand is; and but for such,
I would not foil thefe

pure
ambrofial weeds

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neceffary to the juftness of the 11. Amongst the enthron'd Gods on thought,

sainted feats. ) So this verse Beyond the written date of mor- well as in all his editions: and yet

ftands in Milton's Manuscript as tal change.

I cannot but prefer the reading of By the written date is meant Scrip- Mr. Fenton's edition, tare, in which is recorded the a

Amongst th' enthroned Gods on bridged date of mortal life.

sainted seats.

Warburton. I am ftill inclind to think that this line is better omitted. For though seems to be said in allusion to Pe

1 3. - that golden key, &c] This it may not be a fault in itself to

ter's golden key, mencion'd likewise Strive to keep up a frail and fe- in Lycidas 110. verifh being,

Two maffy keys he bore of meyet it certainly is fo to strive to

tals twain, keep it up

(The golden opes, the iron shuts a

main) Unmindful of the crown that virtue gives :

And this verse, which was first

written That foowi &c, afterwards and he could not have added

alter'a, the crown that virtue gives That opes the palace of eternity, After this mortal change

Mr. Pope has transferr'd with a If he had faid just before

little alteration into one of his SaBeyond the written date of more tirs, speaking of Virtue, tal change:

Her priestess Muse forbids the and therefore I cannot but think

good to die, that he blotted out this line not And opes the temple of eternity. without reason.

18. But 28. the

20

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With the rank vapors of this fin-worn mold.
But to my task.

task. Neptune besides the fway
Of
every

falt flood, and each ebbing stream,
Took in by lot 'twixt high and nether Jove
Imperial rule of all the sea-girt iles,
That like to rich and various gems inlay
The unadorned bosom of the deep,
Which he to grace

his tributary Gods
By course commits to several government, 25
And gives them leave to wear their saphir crowns,
And wield their little tridents: but this Ile,
The greatest and the best of all the main,
He quarters to his blue-hair'd deities ;
And all this tract that fronts the falling fun

A

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18. But to my task &c. ] These reason, no verb following the nofour lines were thus in the Manu- minative case, Neptune. script before they were alter'd. 22. That like to rich and various

gems inlay But to my business now. Neptune, The unadorned bofom of the deep, ] whose sway

The first hint of this beautiful palOf every falt flood, and each sage seems to have been taken from ebbing stream,

Shakespear's Rich. II. Act 2. Sc. 1. Took in by lot 'twixt high and where John of Gaunt calls this nether Jove

iland by the same sort of metaThe rule and title of each sea-girt phor, ile.

this little world,

This precious stone set in the filver And they were alter'd with great Jean

A noble Peer of mickle trust and

power
Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide
An old, and haughty nation proud in arms:
Where his fair ofspring nurs'd in princely lore
Are coming to attend their father's state,

35
And new-intrusted scepter; but their way
Lies through the perplex'd paths of this drear wood,
The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Threats the forlorn and wand'ring passenger ;
And here their tender age might suffer peril,
But that by quick command from sovran Jove
I was dispatch'd for their defense and guard;
And listen why, for I will tell you now
What never yet was heard in tale or song,

From

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28. the best of all the main,] Milton might justly enough fay So alter'd in the Manuscript from this, fince Comus is a deity of his - the best of all bis empire.

own making : but the fame alle

gory has been introduc'd by most 43. And liften why, for I will of the principal epic poets under tell you now

other personages. Such are HoWhat never yet was heard &c ] mer's Circe, Ariosto's Alcina, TafHorace Od. III. I. 2.

fo's Armida, and Spenser's Acrasia. Favete linguis: carmina non

From old or modern bard, in hall prius

or bower. Audita

Alluding to the ancient custom of Virginibus puerisque canto. poets repeating their own verses at

Richardson. public entertainments: Thyer.

45. From

From old or modern bard, in hall or bower. 45

Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
Crush'd the sweet poison of mif-used wine,
After the Tuscan mariners transform’d,
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds lifted,
On Circe's iland fell; (Who knows not Circe

50
The daughter of the fun? whose charmed cup
Whoever tasted, loft bis upright shape,
And downward fell into a groveling swine)
This Nymph that gaz'd upon his clustring locks :-
With ivy berries wreath'd, and his blithe youth, 55
Had by him, ere he parted thence, a son
Much like his father, but his mother more,

Whom

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45. From old or modern bard, ) It 53. And downward fell into a was at first in the Manuscript, groveling fwine] Pope's expres

fion is much fuperior, By old or modern bard

Not more amazement seisid on 46. Bacchus, that firft &c] Tho'

Circe's guefts he builds his fable on claffic mytho

To see themselves fall endlong logy, yet his materials of magic

into beafts. Warburton. have more the air of inchantments in the Gothic romances.

54. This Nymph that gaz'd upon Warburton. &c] Milton by his use of the word

in this place seems to favour the 48. After the Tuscan mariners trans- opinion of Minfhew and those. ety.

formid,] They were changed mologists, who derive to gaxe from by Bacchus into thips and dolphins, the Greek ayasoudt. the story of which metamorphofis the reader may fee in Ovid. Met. 57. Much like his father, but bis LII. Fab. S.

mother more,] This is said, be

cause 68. their human count 'nance, .62. And in thick paelter of black Tb' express resemblance of the Gods,] Joades ] In Milton's Ma. The same thought is again very

Whom therefore she brought up, and Comus nam'd,
Who ripe, and frolic of his full grown age,
Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields,

60
At last betakes him to this ominous wood,
And in thick shelter of black shades imbowe'd
Excels his mother at her mighty art,
Offering to every weary traveller
His orient liquor in a crystal glass,

65 To quench the drouth of Phæbus, which as they taste, (For most do taste through fond intemp’rate thirst) Soon as the potion works, their human count'nance, Th’express resemblance of the Gods, is chang'd Into some brutish form of wolf, or bear, 70

Or

cause Milton's Comus like Homer's nuscript it is soade : and covent was Circe represents all sensual plea- written first, then shelter. fures, and Bacchus in the Heathen 63. Excels bis motber at ber mighty mythology only prefides over that art,] In the Trinity Manuof drinking. Thyer.

fcript he had first written potent art, 58. Whom therefore be brought which are Shakespear's words and

up, and Comus nam’d, ] This better. Warburton. line was at first in the Manu- 65. His orient liquor] That is of fcript,

an extreme bright and vivid color, Which therefore the brought up,

Warburton. and nam'd him Comus.

67.- through fond —] So

alter'd in the Manuscript from 60.--the Celtic and Iberian fields,] through weak intemperate thirst. France and Spain. Thyer.

finely

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