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2120 33: lut:
til; dator, *
Lemne de mi
to tande vit'in
wi, .i. N
.نر باف مانگنا نا ۔
I once thought that this name was designed for the celebrated Numantia, and that Milton
Look homeward, angel, now; and melt with ruth:
Weep no more y, woful shepherds, weep no more;
In solemn troops, and sweet societies b, had adopted the spelling from some romance. In the Monthly Magazine for June 1800, it is observed that “ Namancos” must have been intended for the ancient Numantia near Tarragona, on the coast of Catalonia, and that Milton has given a Spanish termination to the word. The observer adds, “I am aware that this place was on the opposite side to Bayona ; but let it be remembered, that they are no common eyes which look upon the scene ; that they are no less than those of an archangel.” Mr. Dunster, noticing the preceding criticism, observes, that “Milton scarcely meant to make his archangel look two ways at once. Acceding,” he says, “ to Namancos being the ancient Numantia, I shall not hesitate to consider"Bayona's hold' as the French Bayonne with its citadel, a very strong fortress. To this, Mount's-bay, or the guarded mount, looks I believe more directly than to the Spanish Bayona : and the line of vision directed to it would pass at no great distance from that part of the Spanish coast, which lies nearest to the site of the ancient Numantia.'
It will however appear that the ancient Numantia, and the French Bayonne, were not the present objects of Milton's consideration. I have been directed by a literary friend to Mercator's “Atlas," edit. fol. Amst. 1623, and again in 1636; and in the map of Galicia, near the point Cape Finisterre, the desired place occurs thus written, “Namancos T.” In this map the castle of Bayona makes a very conspicuous figure. Milton most probably recollected this geographical description of the Spanish province. -TODD.
y Weep no more, &c. Milton, in this sudden and beautiful transition from the gloomy and mournful strain into that of hope and comfort, imitates Spenser in his eleventh Eclogue, where, bewailing the death of some maiden of great blood in terms of the utmost grief and dejection, he breaks out all at once in the same manner.—THYER.
· Through the dear might, &c. Of Him, over whom the waves of the sea had no power. It is a designation of our Saviour, by a miracle which bears an immediate reference to the subject of the poem.-T. Warton.
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love. Even here, after Lycidas is received into heaven, Milton does not make him an angel : he makes him, indeed, a being of a higher order, the Genius of the shore, as at v. 183. If the poet, in finally disclosing this great change of circumstances, and in this prolix and solemn description of his friend's new situation in the realms of bliss after so disastrous a death, had exalted him into an angel, he would not have forestalled that idea, according to Thyer's interpretation, at v. 163.-T. WARTON.
b In solemn troops, and sweet societies. Milton's angelic system, containing many whimsical notions of the associations and subordinations of these sons of light, is to be seen at large in Thomas Aquinas and Peter Lombard : but it was not yet worn out in the common theology of his own times. The
That sing, and singing, in their glory move,
Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills,
To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new h. same system, which afforded so commodious a machinery for modern christian poetry, is frequent in the Italian poets.-T. WARTON.
. And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes. From Scripture : Isaiah, xxv. 8. Rev. vii. 17.-TODD.
d And shalt be good, &c.
Deus, Deus ille, Menalca !
• The still morn went out with sandals gray, &c. “The gray dawn,"_“Par. Lost,” b. vii. 373. “Still,” because all is silent at daybreak. But though he began to sing at daybreak, he was so eager, so intent on his song, that he continued till the evening.-T. WARTON.
He touch'd the tender stops of various quills. Some readers are here puzzled with the idea of such stops as belong to the organ. By “stops” he here literally means what we now call the holes of a flute or any species of pipe. He mentions the stops of an organ, but in another manner, in “Par. Lost," b. xi. 561. See also b. vii. 596.-T. WARTON.
6 With eager thought warbling his Dorick lay. This is a Doric lay, because Theocritus and Moschus had respectively written a bucolic on the deaths of Daphnis and Bion : and the name of “Lycidas,” now first imported into English pastoral, was adopted, not from Virgil, but from Theocritus, “Idyll.” vii. 27.
Mr. Warton is mistaken in asserting that the name of “Lycidas” was first imported into English pastoral by Milton : for Lisle, in his “Pastorall dedication to the King” of his translation of “Du Bartas,” 1625, 4to, says,
My former shepheard's song deuised was
To please great Scotus and his Lycidas. –TODD.
h To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new. So Ph. Fletcher, “Purp. Isl.” c. vi. st. 77, edit. 1633. “To-morrow shall ye feast in pastures new.”—T. WARTON.
I will conclude my remarks on this poem with the just observation of Mr. Thyer :“The particular beauties of this charming pastoral are too striking to need much descanting upon; but what gives the greatest grace to the whole, is that natural and agreeable wildness and irregularity which run quite through it, than which nothing could be better suited to express the warm affection which Milton had for his friend, and the extreme grief he was in for the loss of him. Grief is eloquent, but not formal.”—NEWTON.
I see no extraordinary wildness and irregularity, according to Dr. Newton, [Mr. Thyer,] in the conduct of this little poem. It is true, there is a very original air in it, although it be full of classical imitations : but this, I think, is owing, not to any disorder in the plan, nor entirely to the vigour and lustre of the expression ; but, in a good degree, to the looseness and variety of the metre. Milton's ear was a good second to his imagination.-HURD.