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1. 24. prevent, anticipate, forestall; as in the Collect, ‘Prevent us, O Lord.' Cp. Comus 285.
1. 28. Isaiah vi. 6. Cp. the passage in Reason of Church Government at opening of Bk. ii, quoted in p. lxvi of Introduction.
1. 29. Contrast with Milton's graceful fancies the practical and benevolent thought, with a beauty of its own, of Sir Roger de Coverley, . It happens very well that Christmas should fall out in the middle of winter,' &c. (Spectator, 269).
1. 33. gaudy (from Lat. gaudium), holiday. “A gaudy day' Dr. Johnson gives as a 'University phrase,' and as such it is still used. Cp. quotation from Phillips, p. xvii of Life.
1. 45. To cease, here=to cause to cease. So Cornelius, in Cymbeline, v. 5, speaks of
A certain stuff, which being ta'en would cease
The present power of life.' 1. 49. harbinger, one who prepares a “harbour' for another. (Macbeth, i. 4; Hamlet, i. 1.) Both words are derived from A.S. here, an army, and beorgan, to protect; berebeorgan= to lodge. (Morris, Specimens, p. 394.) Cp. May Morning 1. Randolph (Epithalamion) calls the morning-star the harbinger of day.'
1. 52. strikes, as with an enchanter's rod.
"Our bruised arms hung up for monuments.” 1. 56. The Soldan's chariot in Spenser (Faery Queene, v. 8. 28) is
• With yron wheeles and hookes armed dreadfully.' 1. 59. awful, fearful, awestruck. So awless is used for fearless, (* the awless lion,') in King John, i. 1.
1. 60. sovran, from It. sovrano, Lat. supra. (Wedgwood.)
1. 64. whist, whisted, hushed; participle of the verb to whist or bist (Keightley). From the interjection commanding silence the verb was formed, as chuchotter from chut! (Wedgwood.) “The wild waves whist' (Song in Tempest, i. 2). Cp. Il Penseroso 55. 1. 66. Ocean is trisyllabic, as in Merchant of Venice, i. 1,
• Your mind is tossing on the ocean.' 1. 68. Halcyone was the daughter of Æolus. She and her husband, having called themselves Hera and Zeus, were for their presumption transformed into kingfishers. It was fabled that for seven days before and after the shortest day, while the kingfishers were breeding, the sea was calm. Keightley reminds the reader that the halcyon days were in midwinter.
1. 71. pretious, from Lat. pretium, and so spelt here, ed. 1645. The usual spelling precious is from the Fr. précieux.
influence. Whenever this word occurs in our poetry, down to comparatively a modern day, it refers to invisible illapses of power, skyey planetary effects, supposed to be exercised by the heavenly luminaries upon the lives of men (Trench). Hakewill affirms that the influence of the stars produces the metals and minerals in the bowels of the earth. “As heat pierces where light cannot, so the influence pierces where heat cannot.' Cp. note on L'Allegro 122.
1. 73. for all, notwithstanding. Balthazar (Romeo and Juliet, v. 3) says
*For all this same, I will watch here about.' 1. 75. orb, here for orbit. Cp. “Venus in her glimmering sphere' (Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2).
1. 76. In the few places in Milton where bespake occurs, it is emphatic; the prefix be- giving a slightly intensive force.
1. 78. room; as we use place. So in last line of Vacation Exercise, and Richard II, v. 5, the king's last speech. In the concluding scene of the same play it signifies 'office,' another meaning of place.'
1. 81. as, for as if,' a frequent usage in Spenser (Faery Queene, i. 3. 6) and Shakespeare. • As she had studied to misuse me so.'
(Taming of the Shrew, ii. 1.) 1. 85. lawn, open space between woods. So Scotch loan, loaning, an opening between fields left uncultivated for the sake of driving the cattle homewards. Welsh llan, a clear space. (Wedgwood.)
1. 88. than; old form for then, retained for rhyme's sake; as sed is used in the Hobson Epitaph i. and Lycidas 129.
1. 89. In Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar (May and July), God and our Lord are called Pan, a poetical rendering of John X. II.
1. 97. noise was formerly used for a band of music. Falstaff employed the services of Sneak's noise.' Noise is used as = music in Solemn Music 18, and Comus 227. Cp. Psalm xlvii. 5 (Prayer-book Version), and Faery Queene, i. 12. 39.
1. 98. took; cp. note on Vacation Exercise 20.
1. 100. The close or cadence at the end of a piece of music is here meant. The word occurs with like meaning in Shakespeare (Richard II, ii. I; Henry V, i. 2).
1. 103. Apollo and Artemis were called Cynthius and Cynthia, from Mount Cynthus, in the island of Delos, their birthplace.
thrilling, from A. S. þirlian, to pierce; whence also trill, drill, &c. Cp. Wordsworth,
• And the cuckoo's sovereign cry,
Fills all the hollow of the sky.' 1. 108. happier union, i. e. than that of Nature. Cp. Arcades 70. 1. 116. Cp. Lycidas 176, and Orlando's VOL. I.
*The fair, the chaste, the unexpressive she,' where unexpressive = inexpressible. (As You Like It, iii. 2.)
1. 119. Job xxxviii. 7. 1. 124. weltering, from A.S.waltan, to roll (Germ.wälzen). (Wedgwood.) 1. 125. Cp. In Memoriam, cv.
* Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky.' 1. 127. Cp. Lorenzo's speech, Merchant of Venice, v. 1. One of Milton's prolusions is on the Music of the Spheres, which he affirms that we should hear, were our hearts pure, and our minds not bowed down to earth -an idea continually recurring in the poetry of the time. See note on Arcades 69.
1. 128. Cp. Comus 1021. 1. 131. Cp. Arcades 64.
1. 132. consort, from Lat. consors, consortium. See Glossary to Faery Queene, Bk. ii. and note on Solemn Music 27.
1. 136. Cp. 'Spotted inconstant man' (Midsummer Night's Dream, i. 1), and the 'maculosum nefas' of Horace (Odes, iv. 5. 22).
1. 142. return, allusion to the legend of Astræa. 1. 143. orbed in, encircled in a double rainbow.
1. 145. sheen, brightness. “Moons with borrowed sheen.' (Hamlet iii. 2, Play.) Cp. On a Fair Infant 48, and last line of Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester. 1. 152. Cp. 'For our advantage on the bitter cross.'
(1 Henry IV, i. 1.) 1. 155. y-chain'd. Here y- is the prefix of the past participle; the geof Anglo-Saxon and modern German, and the i- in Old English, ibrent, &c. It is wrongly used by Milton in the lines on Shakespear-being there prefixed to a participle present. (Latham.) Vide Y in Glossary to Faery Queene, Bk. ii.
1. 164. i Thess. iv. 17.
* And stars still fall, and still the dragon's tail
(First Anniversary.) Cp. Rev. xii. 4, and Spenser's Great Dragon (Faery Queene, i. 11. 11.)
1. 173. Hooker (Ecclesiastical Polity, i. 4) expresses the doctrine that the angels, after their fall, were dispersed, some in the air, some on the earth, some in the water: some amongst the minerals, dens, and caves that are under the earth, they have, by all means, laboured to effect an universal rebellion against the laws, and as far as in them lieth, utter destruction of the works of God. These wicked spirits, the heathens honoured instead of gods, both generally under the name of Dii Inferi, gods infernal; and particularly, some in oracles, some in idols, some as household gods, some as nymphs: .... till such time as light appeared in the world, and dissolved the works of the devil. Sir Thomas Browne, though he ascribes oracles to diabolic agency, does not entirely agree with these last words of Hooker. “That oracles ceased, or grew mute at the coming of Christ, is best understood in a qualified sense and not without latitude, as though precisely there were none after, nor any decay before.' De Quincey has an essay on the subject. His conclusion is adverse to the hypothesis of the fathers as to the cess ion of the oracles. •Constantine's revolution was slow and simply local ; it took nearly five, not three centuries to Christianize even the entire Mediterranean empire of Rome. The fathers took the vulgar and superstitious course of explaining everything sagacious, everything true, everything that could by possibility seem to argue prophetic functions in the greater oracles, as the product indeed of inspiration, but of inspiration emanating from the Evil Spirit. See note on Hooker, Bk. I. iv, p. 115 of the edition in this series.
1. 180. cell. The cella was the most important part of a temple, where the statue of the deity was placed, and mysteries were celebrated. Thence oracles were given. It was only accessible to the priests and to the initiated. From the cave beneath the centre of the temple of Apollo at Delphi rose an intoxicating vapour. Over the chasm was placed a tripod, on which sat the Pythia, to wait for the inspiration conveyed in the ascending fumes.
1. 183. voice of weeping is a Scripture phrase (Isa. Ixv. 19).
1. 184. Cp.Paradise Lost, i. 783, iii. 27; L'Allegro 130; Il Penseroso 138. (Faery Queene, i. 3. 22), and in Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, ii. 7). The genii were the guardian spirits of persons and of places.
1. 187. Cp. Comus 862.
1. 188. parting, for departing, as elsewhere in Milton. (Paradise Lost, iv. 872, viii. 630, ix. 276, xii. 590). The usage occurs in Spenser.
1. 191. Keightley remarks that Milton is here in error, “lar and lemur being nearly the same, species and genus.' But in Milton's time, ·lares and lemures' were used in the sense of 'ghosts and goblins' generally, as in the appendix to Panthea, a work by Sylvester. 1. 194. flamen, for priest in general.
quaint, from French coint, and this again from Lat. cognitus, known, familiar, and therefore agreeable. So the Scotch couth, coutby, familiar, pleasant. Uncouth is the opposite of quaint; awkward, revolting. (Wedgwood.) Delicate is used synonymously with quaint by Prospero, speaking of Ariel (Tempest, i. 2, iv. I); and in Shakespeare's use of the word this sense is always present.
1. 195. Cp. Georgics, i. 480. 1. 196. Cp. Æneid, ii. 351.
1. 197. Num. xxv. 3. Baalim were Phænician deities : Peor was one of these. He is usually identified with Priapus, but by Selden with Pluto.
1. 200. Ashtaroth ; Hebrew name for Astarte, the Syrian Aphrodite. She loved Adonis (Thammuz) the son of a Syrian king. He dying of a wound received from a boar, was revived for six months of every year, a symbol of the revival of nature in summer. The worship of Adonis, of Phoenician origin, spread over nearly all the countries round the Mediterranean. The river Adonis rose in the range of Libanus. Cp. Paradise Lost, i. 450.
1. 203. Hammon (Amun) was an Egyptian deity. He was protector of flocks, and was represented with the horns of a ram. The seats of his worship were Meroë, Thebes, and the oasis of Ammonium. The lastnamed was visited by Alexander, and its oracle hailed him as the son of
1. 205. Cp. Paradise Lost, i. 392. Sandys in his Travels, a book popular in Milton's time, says of the valley of Tophet : • Therein the Hebrews sacrificed their children to Moloch, an idol of brass, having the head of a calf, the rest of a kingly figure with arms extended to receive the miserable sacrifice seared to death with his burning embracements. For the idol was hollow within, and filled with fire; and lest their lamentable shrieks should sad the heart of their parents, the priests of Moloch did deaf their ears with the continual clang of trumpets and timbrels.'
1. 211. Orus was the Egyptian sun-god, also the god of silence and mystery. Osiris was the Nile-god ; Isis was his wife, and the goddess of the earth. They were the only deities worshipped by all the Egyptians. (Herodotus, ii. 42.) In time they were considered as the divinities of the sun and moon. Osiris was said to have been king of Egypt, and to have reclaimed his subjects from barbarism. He travelled into foreign lands diffusing the blessings of civilisation, and on his return was murdered by his brother Typhon. His body was cut in pieces and flung into the Nile, but Isis found the fragments, and with the aid of her son Horus (the god of silence) defeated Typhon and recovered her sovereignty. Milton alludes to Typhon's conspiracy in his Defence of the People of England ; and in his Areopagitica makes a beautiful application of the quest of Isis to the gathering up of the scattered fragments of the virgin Truth, hewn to pieces by deceivers. . We have not yet found them all, Lords and Commons, nor ever shall do, till her Master's second coming.'
Anubis was the dog-, as Apis was the bull-god. But his worship afterwards assumed a symbolic or astronomical character.
1. 213. • Apis not Osiris was in the form of a bull. The chest, however, belongs to Osiris.' (Keightley.)