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I shoot from heaven to give him safe convoy,
Comus enters with a charming-rod in one hand, his glass in the other;
with him 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.
Comus. The star that bids the shepherd fold
83. Spun out of Iris' woof.] 93. The star that bids, fc.] Spun from material which Iris, The evening star. So Shakspeare the goddess of the rainbow, had (Meas. for Meas. iv. 3) says of the dyed. So in Par. Lost, xi. 244, morning star-Look, the unIris had dipt the woof.
folding star calls up the shep86. Smooth-dittied.] Smoothly herd.' worded or adapted to words. 97. The steep Atlantic stream.] Ital. detti, words.
The word stream here simply 88. Nor of less faith, &c.) and means flood. So, Par. Lost, i. who is no less faithful; and from 202, the ocean stream ;' and his business being to keep watch Shakspeare, Merch. of Venice, i. over the flocks upon the hills, may 1, speaks of the wreck of a ship be supposed most likely to be out scattering all her spices on the at this time, and nearest for the stream.' immediate aid required.
Shoots against the dusky pole,
101. His chamber in the east.] dancing. 'Splendet tremulo sub Psalm xix. 5, .The sun as á lumine pontus. Virg. Æn. vii. bridegroom cometh out of his 9. The morris dance, i. e. the chamber.'
Morisco or Moorish dance, said 112. The starry quire.] So to have been introduced into Engcalled because of the supposed land, in the reign of Edward III., music of the spheres.' In line by John of Gaunt on his return 1021 we have higher than the from Spain, is probably of later sphery chime.
introduction. The hobby-horse, so 113. Nightly watchful.] Sleep- often referred to by the old draless during night. See the Note matists, was long one of the chief on l. 84 of n Penseroso.
characters in this festive dance. 116. In wavering morrice move.] 119. Fountain brim.] Fountain Quiver in the moonlight as if edge cr border.
. Mai dent Mistress nih mouchs reouo. Atalanta
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep;
122. What hath night to do.] Night is supposed to pass over the The infinitive is here used adjec- earth in a dragon car shedding tively, describing the objective darkness all around her. pronoun what. "In the next line Swift, swift, you dragons of the night. the infinitive to prove is adverbial
Shaksp. Cymb. ii. 2.
The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the to hath and governs which understood.
Shaksp. Troit. and Cress. v. 9. 125. Rights.] That is, rites. So,
133. Makes one blot of all the in Spenser's Faërie Queene, I. vi. air.), Compare what Shakspeare 15, "Cybele's frantic rights.'
(Macb. ii. 2) says of blood that 129. Cotytto.] The goddess of
would licentiousness. The festival of
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green--one [i. e. a universal] this Thracian divinity resembled that of the Phrygian Cybele. Her 135. Hecate.] The goddess or rites, and rites similar to hers, patroness of magic, who was supwere called Cotyttia ; and her posed to wander over the earth at worshippers were called Baptæ, night. She is here appropriately because when initiated into her referred to by the licentious magimysteries they were sprinkled cian Comus, as riding with Cotytto with warm water. See Juvenal, in an ebon chair or car. Compare ii. 91; Horace, Epod. xvii. 56. Par. Lost, ii. 930, 'As in a cloudy
131. The dragon womb, &c.] chair ascending rides.' Massinger Night is here represented as à in The City Madam, v. 1, speaks Stygian or Tartarean monster of an oblation unto Hecate, and producing darkness. Sometimes wanton Lust, her favourite.'
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out;
THE MEASURE. (conce
Shrouds within these brakes and trees;
mother Circe. Thus I hurl
Run to your
139. The nice morn, &c.] The Compare L'Allegro, 33, prudish or fastidious morn on the Come, and trip it as you go, eastern horizon.
On the light fantastic toe. 140. Cabined loop-hole.] The At this part of the Masque was epithet cabined here seems to introduced a dance; a measure as mean confined or contracted like it is called, because dancing mea
sures time with the music. 141. Descry.] Here employed 146. Near about.] The word in the unusual sense of give notice near is adverbial to about this of; discover. Milton_had in ground, which is adverbial to mind that passage in Fletcher's footing. Faithful Shepherdess, iii. 1. 147. Shrouds.] Retreats, shel
The sooner we begin, ters. The longer ere the day descry our sin.
149. So I can distinguish.] 143. Beat the ground, &c.] So The magician has the sagacity to Horace speaks of beating the distinguish..chaste footing' from ground with light and playful the lascivious dancing of his foot: I. XX
My dazzling spells into the spungy air,
The Lady enters.
That he began to doubt his dazzled sight.
154. Dazzling.] Beguiling, 161. Glozing.] Feigning, preillusive. The air is called tending, insinuating. spungy, because as a sponge 167. Keeps up, &c.] Keeps holds water so the air held in up to this late hour minding his
suspension the magic dust which rustic business. X Comus threw into it.
168. Fairly.] Gently, softly. His wonder far exceeded reason's reach, So Fletcher, The Chances, iii. 4, Spenser, F. Q. II. xi. 40.
171. Methought.] It thought 155. Blear.] Dim, or rather
me, i.e. I thought. In Chaucer dimming. 156. Presentments.] Repre
and other old writers we fre
quently meet with such expressentations. So in Shakspeare's
sions as it thinketh me, it thought Hamlet, iii. 4, “The counterfeit
me, or me thinketh, me thought. [i.e. copied] presentment of two brothers.'
Madame, quoth he, how thinké you 157. Quaint habits.] Curious How that me thinketh ? quoth she. dress.
Chaucer's Clerk's Tale.