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P. 10. Europa floating through th' Argolic floods. Zeus, assuming
the form of a bull, carried Europa over the sea to Crete.
The twins of Leda. Castor and Pollux.
Which feigns demurest grace; bowing and retiring
obsequiously. The beast that whilom did forray the Nemean forest. The
lion slain by Heracles, the son of Amphitryon, Amphi
tryonide is a patronymic. P. 12. Assoil, to weigh or determine: also to absolve or set free.
Orion. The hunter of Boeotia, slain by Diana for an offence
against chastity, or by Earth for the slaughter of her
animals. Centaur, in ancient mythology, was a creature half man,
half horse. P. 14. Mochel. Compare the Scotch muckle. P. 16. With painted words, as we say, “ in highly coloured
language." Primrose. · Notice the use of this word in its strict sense,
6 the rose of spring.” P. 17. Enuunter, like “peradventure,” from the French.
And often crossed with the priestes crew. Referring to the
Druidical rites of the ancient Britons. Priestes is the
old genitive case. HOOKER. P. 19. Lively. Here as an adverb; but later used only as an
adjective. Which one in Sophocles. The chorus in the Edipus
Tyrannus. The passage is thus rendered by Mr. Arnold:
Compare in this play, “ With the most boldest and best
larger list of sceptres.” P. 30. This many summers. Many is he a noun substantive,
and “of” has to be supplied before summers. Compare “A many merry men,” As You Like It; “A many
thousand warlike French," King John. P. 31. And their ruin, i.e., the ruin which the loss of their
favour brings. P. 32. The voice goes, i.e., the rumour runs thus. P. 33. Give me leave to speak him. Shakespeare sometimes
omits the preposition after “speak :" as here, where it means “speak of him ;” and in Romeo and Juliet,“ speak
him fair," where it means “to him.” Stomach pride. Pitiful here “ feeling pity,” but in modern usage generally
worthy of pity or contempt.” P. 34. Ipswich and Oxford. Besides the school at Ipswich, the
foundation of Cardinal College (now Christ Church)
attests Wolsey's interest in education. P. 35. All which it inherit = All those who inherit it (the globe). Rack :
= wreck. Show likest God's. For this use of show, comparo “Which
shows like grief itself,” Richard II. P. 36. She determines herself the glory of a creditor, i.e., makes
the glory of a creditor centre in herself. TAYLOR. P. 41, His motion made irregular * than it could recover.
Notice the change from masculine to neuter, which is
characteristic of the careless ease of Taylor's prose. MILTON. P. 45. Mewing, from the Latin muto, referring to the casting or
changing of the feathers. Compare “moulting.” P. 46. Engrossers. The persons appointed to license all publica
tions. Or hear'st thou rather. A classical idiom,“ Dost thou choso
rather to be called ?” The Stygian pool hell. From Styx, the river of the infernal
regions in classical mythology. Middle darkness = the gulf between hell and heaven. With other nutes than to the Orphean lyre. A hymn to Night
was attributed to Orpheus, in a strain different from the
sacred one of Milton. P. 47. So thick a drop serene * ** or dim suffusion, alluding
to the blindness produced, according to medical language,
by the.gutta serena (drop serene) or by suffusio (suffusion). P. 47. Yet not the more cease I to wander = yet I still wander as
Muses, and by them was blinded for his pre ption.
that voluntary (= of themselves, without effort) flow into
poetry. Sings darkling sings in the gloom. Darkling is not a
participle, but an adverbial form. Compare in Johnson's
“Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly ways of men ?” where kindly may bear its original meaning of " natural.”
For the book of knowledge. For = instead of. Lycidas. The following descriptive title was added in 1645, when the
retribution threatened by Milton had actually come, and the nation was plunged in civil war.
“In this monody the author bewails a learned friend, unfortunately drowned in his passage from Chester, on the Irish seas, 1637. And by occasion foretells the ruin
of our corrupted clergy, then in their height."
Sad occasion dear. Dear passes from its meaning of
loved," to that which excites any strong emotion. Compare in Julius Cæsar, “ Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death ?”
P.48. To disturb your season due = to disturb you before the duo
Build the lofty rhyme. Build is here a translation from the
Latin idiom, as in Horace,“ Condis amabile carmen.”
when I am in my grave.
ship. P. 49. Gray-fly is the same as the trumpet-fly, whose noontide
hum is here called her sultry-horn.”
of expressing their companionship in studies and in
youthful poetical efforts. Old Damatas. A name taken from the pastoral poetry of
the ancients, and here referring to their college tutor. Desert caves = the caves that miss thy presence. Gadding rine. Wandering about or straying in luxuriant
growth. On the steep. Perhaps Penmaenmawr, which overhangs
the coast between the mouth of the Dee and Anglesea.
Mona Anglesea. P. 50. Deva = the Dee, whose wizard stream seems to have been
traditionally held as specially weird and strange. What could the Muse herself, i.e., “What could she do or
avail.” The Muse that Orpheus bore = Calliope. When, by the rout, &c. Orpheus, lamenting for his wife,
was torn to pieces by the Thracian women in their
playing on the oaten pipe. As others use, i.e., are wont to do. This verb is now only
used in the past tense. That last infirmity of noble mind. So Tacitus says, “ Even step. That sanguine flower, &c. = the hyacinth. My dearest pledge. Pledge is used (like the Latin word
by the wise, desire of glory is the last to be stript off,"
which explains the sense in which last is used by Milton. P.50. The blind Fury with the abhorred shears. In Greek mytho
logy the goddess that cut the thread of life was a Fate,
Glistering foil = bright gilding.
invoked as recalling Theocritus, the bucolic poet of
was born at Mantua.
to hold a trial. Hippotades. A patronymic for Æolus. The ruler of the
at a time of ill-luck.
ship. Camus the river Cam. Footing = stepping. To foot is to move with any peculiar
motion; here a slow and halting one, but usually, as in the phrase "footing it,” with a light and dancing
pignus, which has a similar meaning) of a loved object.
Amain with force.
thin or meagre.
a general denunciation of coming retribution : “ The strong hand of heaven's vengeance stands ready to smite once for all."