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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.
P. 11. As bargemen wont to fare, i.e., in rowing.

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:
“ Laws that in the highest empyrean had their birth, of
which Heaven is the father alone, neither did the race of
mortal men beget them, nor shall oblivion ever put them
to sleep.”

P. 29. The most unkindest cut of all. A double superlative.

Compare in this play, “ With the most boldest and best
hearts of Rome.” So with the comparative, “a

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

Nor sometimes forget and at times recall.
Equalld with me in fate. Upon whom blindness fell, as on me.
Thamyris. A bard of Thrace, who contended with the

Muses, and by them was blinded for his pre ption.
Mæonides Homer.
Tiresias and Phineus. Blind soothsayers of Thebes, and of

Then feed on thoughts, &c., i.e., then (I) feed on thoughts

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
· Vanity of Human Wishes,' “Roll darkling down the
torrent of his fate :" and Keats,” “Darkling I listen :
and for many a time I have been half in love with easeful

Cheerful ways of men. Compare Tennyson's Tithonus :

“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."
The learned friend was Milton's fellow-collegian, Edward

P. 48. Bitter constraint=sad necessity.

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 ?”

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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.”
Melodious tear = an elegy. So Spencer, “ Tears of the

Sisters of the sacred well (the Pierian fountain) = the

Favour my destined urn=do the same kindly office for me

when I am in my grave.
Sable shroud my dark tomb or grave.
For we were nursed, &c. Referring to college companion-

ship. P. 49. Gray-fly is the same as the trumpet-fly, whose noontide

hum is here called her sultry-horn.”
Battening feeding
Westering.= going westwards.
Meanwhile the rural ditties, &c. This is an elaborate way

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

Bacchanalian orgies.
To tend the * * shepherd's trade. Here, the poet's calling.
Meditate. Suggested by the Latin word used by Virgil for

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

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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,
not a Fury, but the latter name is used to express greater

Phæbus replied, &c. Phoebus or Apollo, god of poetry.

Glistering foil = bright gilding.
P. 51. Fountain Arethuse. A fountain in Syracuse. It is here

invoked as recalling Theocritus, the bucolic poet of

Mincius. A river near Mantua : hence recalling Virgil, who

was born at Mantua.
That came in Neptune's plea = that came, sent by Neptune

to hold a trial. Hippotades. A patronymic for Æolus. The ruler of the

Not a blast was sirayed. We should now say“had

Sleek Panope with all her sisters the Nereids.
In the eclipse

at a time of ill-luck.
Rigged with curses dark. The curses are as sails to the

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.
The pilot of the Galilean lake · St. Peter.
Of metals twain = of gold and iron.

Amain with force.
P. 52. Blind mouths = mouths of men who are blind.

thin or meagre.
The grim wolf = the Church of Rome.
But that two-handed engine at the door, &c. Probably only

a general denunciation of coming retribution : “ The strong hand of heaven's vengeance stands ready to smite once for all."


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