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persons passing through the town. The volume itself, rich with signa

, tures and inscriptions and scraps of verse in all languages, is still extant. It was purchased in Geneva for a few shillings in 1834, brought to England, sold once or twice by auction, and at last taken to America, where it was in the possession of the Hon. Charles Sumner. Among the autographs in it are those of not a few eminent Englishmen of Milton's time, including Thomas Wentworth, afterwards the famous Earl of Strafford; but the most valued autograph is Milton's. It is as follows (all in Milton's hand except the date) :

- if Vertue feeble were
Heaven it selse would stoope to her.
Cælum non animum muto dum trans mare curro.

Junii 1o, 1639.

Anglus. Milton, taken perhaps by Dr. Diodati of Geneva, the uncle of his friend Charles, to see the Cardouins, had been asked to comply with the family weakness for autographs; and, when the pen was in his hand, the above is what occurred to him. If we combine the English lines with the Latin addition, it is as if he said “The closing words of my own Comus are a permanent maxim with me.”


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The text of Comus as published by Milton himself in the editions of 1645 and 1673 supersedes, of course, the text of Lawes's printed edition of 1637, and also the two MS. texts mentioned in our Introduction to the poem (Vol. II. p. 227). It is interesting, however, to note the variations from the present text furnished by these earlier and less perfect texts. The following is an arranged digest of Todd's information on that subject :

I. VARIATIONS IN THE STAGE-DIRECTIONS.—For the present opening stage-direction—The first Scene discovers a wild wood. The ATTENDANT Spirit descends or enters —the original Milton draft at Cambridge has “ The first Scene discovers a wild wood. A Guardian Spirit or Duemon ;” and the Bridgewater MS. has “ The first Scene discovers a wild wood: then a Guardian Spirit or Dumon descends or enters."---For the second stage-direction (after line 92) the Cambridge draft has : " Goes out.-COMUS enters, with a charming-rod and glass of liquour, with his rout all headed like some wild beasts, their garments some like men's and some like women's. They come on in a wild and antic fashion. Intrant koopá šouteç.Intrant kupa CONTEÇ." The Bridgewater MS. has “ COMUS

Comus enters, with a charming-rod in one hand and a glass of liquour in the other ; with him a rout of monsters, like men and women, but headed like wild beasts,&c.—For the present simple stage direction after line 144, The Measure," the Cambridge draft gives " The Measure, in a wild, ,


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rude, and wanton Antic," and the Bridgewater MS. retains the same. After line 147, where there is no stage-direction now, both the Cambridge draft and the Bridgewater Ms. give the direction, “ They all scatter.”—Before line 244, where there is no stage-direction now, both the Cambridge draft and the Bridgewater MS. give the direction “ Comus looks in and speaks.”—After line 330, instead of the present direction " The Two BROTHERS," the Cambridge draft gives the fuller direction Exeunt.The Two BROTHERS enter.—For the present stage direction after line 489, “ The ATTENDANT SPIRIT, habited like a shepherd,” the Cambridge draft gives " He hallos: the GUARDIAN DÆMON hallos again, and enters in the habit of a shepherd," and the Bridgewater MS. gives He hallos and is answered : the GUARDIAN DÆMON comes in, habited like a shepherd.”—The phrase “ Soft musicin the first sentence of the present stage-direction after line 658 does not occur in either the Cambridge draft or the Bridgewater MS.; and for the second sentence as it now stands the Cambridge draft has Co US is discovered with his rabble, and the LADY set in an enchanted chair : she offers to rise.”— For the present stage-direction after line 813 the Cambridge draft has The BROTHERS rush in, strike his glass down : the Shapes make as though they would resist, but are all driven in. DÆMON enters with them.The Bridgewater MS. has the present stage-direction, save that the words “ of liquourfollow the word “glass,” and that the last sentence runs thus: The DÆMON is to come in with the BROTHERS."—After line 866 (i.e. between the words “Listen, and save !” and the words “ Listen, and appear to us”), where there is no stage-direction now, the Cambridge draft has the direction “ To be said,showing that Milton meant the singing to cease at this point, and the sequel, as far as to line 889, to be recited only; but in the Bridgewater MS. the direction is changed into The verse to sing or not,” as if, before the actual performance at Ludlow, it had occurred to Lawes that the twenty-three lines from 867 to 889 might be sung, as well as the preceding eight from 859 to 866. On this supposition, the Bridgewater MS., or stage-copy, goes on to indicate, by marginal notes, how the twenty-three lines might be distributed in the singing. Lawes himself, as the Attendant Spirit, was to continue singing in solo as far as to line 870; but prefixed to line 871 is the direction “ El. B.,” showing that here the Elder Brother was to supersede Lawes. Then, prefixed to line 873 is the direction 2 Bro.," calling on the Younger Brother to be the singer of the next two lines ; after which El. B.comes in again for lines 875, 876, 2 Bro." for lines 877, 878, and “ El. B.” again for the four lines 879—882 : at which point “ Dem.i.e. Lawes, resumes in solo and brings the song on to its second close, “Listen, and save!" Whether this arrangement was carried out in the performance at Ludlow, or the twenty-three lines were given in mere recitative by Lawes, as Milton had originally intended, must be left to conjecture.--After line 937 both the MSS. have the direction “ Song ends ;” and, whereas in the

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present text the following twenty lines (938—957) are all spoken by the Attendant Spirit, the Bridgewater MS. directs the first six of them to be spoken by the Elder Brother (the word “ Sister” taking the place of the present word Lady in line 938), the next twelve by the Attendant Spirit, and the last two by the Elder Brother again.-For the present stage-direction after line 957 the Cambridge draft gives Exeunt. The Scene changes, and then is presented Ludlow town, and the President's Castle; then enter Country Dances and such like gambols, Exc. At these sports the DÆMON, with the Two BROTHERS and THE LADY, enter. The Demon sings.The Bridgewater MS. gives The Scene changes ; then is presented Ludlow town, and the President's Castle; then come in Country Dances and the like, &c. Towards the end of these sports the Damon with the two Brothers and the Lady come in. The Spirit sings.After line 965 the Cambridge MS. has no stage direction beyond the words “ 2 Song"; but the Bridgewater MS. gives it nearly as now : “ 2 Song presents them to their Father and Mother."-After line 975 the stage direction in the Cambridge draft is The DÆMON sings or says ;” in the Bridgewater MS. it is They dance: the dances all ended, the DÆMON sings or says.” What he does sing or say in this MS., however, is not the whole of the present Epilogue, from line 976 to line 1023, but only the two concluding stanzas of it (1012—1023). Twenty of the omitted lines had already been used in the MS. as part of the Prologue to the Masque. In what manner and for what purpose they were used have been explained in the Introduction (II. 235).

II. CANCELLED PASSAGES AND LINES OF THE ORIGINAL DRAFT :These are of two classes-(1) Passages and Lines rejected and scored through by Milton, either during the process of the composition, or on first revision, but which may be still read in the Cambridge draft; and (2) Passages and Lines which he left standing in that draft, but afterwards rejected. We shall give the passages of both sets indiscriminately, as Todd has noted them, in the order of their occurrence.

After the present line 4. the Cambridge draft exhibits these fourteen lines, rejected by Milton in the act of composing, and crossed out by Then what is now line 5 ran on thus : The smoke and stir of this dim narrow spot.” When Milton had rejected the lines he adapted line 5 to the omission by prefixing the word “Above,” and erasing “narrow." It is worth observing that, though his taste rejected so many lines here, he afterwards used some of the ideas and expressions L“ Hesperian," "dragon, " " unenchanted eye ”—at lines 393-395. After line 7 the Cambridge draft shows this line, erased by Milton's

his pen :

“ Amidst the Hesperian gardens, on whose banks,

Bedewed with nectar and celestial songs,
Eternal roses grow, and hyacinths,
And fruits of golden rind, on whose fair tree
The scaly-harnessed dragon ever keeps
His unenchanted eye, around the verge
And sacred limits of this blissful Isle
The jealous Ocean, that old river, winds
His far-extended arms, till with steep fall
Half his waste flood the wild Atlantic fills,
And half the slow unfathomed Stygian pool.
But soft! I was not sent to court your wonder
With distant worlds and strange removed climes.
Yet thence I come, and oft from thence behold."


pen :


Beyond the written date of mortal change.”
He reserves the phrase “mortal change,” however, for line 10.
Lines 134-137 ran thus in the Cambridge draft :-

Stay thy polished ebon chair
Wherein thou rid'st with Hecate,
And favour our close jocondry,

Till all thy dues,” &c. The third of these lines was rejected, and the passage otherwise improved.

Instead of the present line 216," I see ye visibly and now believe," the Cambridge draft had three lines, thus :

“I see ye visibly ; and, while I see ye,

This dusky hollow is a Paradise,

And Heaven gates o'er my head : now I believe."
For the present lines 355-366 the Cambridge draft had---

“ She leans her thoughtful head, musing at our unkindness;

Or, lost in wild amazement and affright,
So fares as did forsaken Proserpine,
When the big rolling flakes of pitchy clouds
And darkness wound her in.

i Br. Peace, brother, peace ! I do not think my sister,” &c. The passage remains so in the Bridgewater MS., with but the substitution of “else” for lostin the second line. Milton's subsequent improvements, it will be seen, consisted partly in the addition of seven new lines at the beginning of the Elder Brother's speech ; but he also rejected nearly three whole lines of the above, substituting for them the two present lines 357, 358. For lines 384, 385, the Cambridge draft had

" Walks in black vapours, though the noon-tide brand

Blaze in the summer solstice.' This is retained in the Bridgewater MS. The substitution of the present lines was caused, probably, by a wish to reject these.

For the present two lines 409, 410 the Cambridge draft and the Bridgewater MS. both give us these seven :

“ Secure without all doubt or question. No:

I could be willing, though now the dark, to try
A tough encounter with the shaggiest ruffian
That lurks by hedge or lane of this dead circuit,
To have her by my side, though I were sure
She might be free from peril where she is ;

But, where an equal poise,” &c. For the present two lines 422, 423 the Cambridge draft had these three :

“ And may, on every needful accident,

Be it not done in pride or wilful tempting,

Walk through huge forests,” &c. Here the improvement consisted partly in addition, but chiefly in rejection. After line 429 the Cambridge draft has this line, scored for erasure:

“And yawning dens, where glaring monsters house." As the line occurs in the Bridgewater MS., the erasure must have been an afterthought.

The present line 490 is a substitute for the following in the Cambridge draft >

“ Had best look to his forehead : here be brambles." Lines 607-609 stood thus in the Cambridge draft:

“ And force him to release his new-got prey,

Or drag him by the curls, and cleave his scalp

Down to the hips" ; and the Bridgewater MS. keeps the two last lines so. Lawes's printed text, while altering the passage nearly to its present form, retains “Or cleave his scalp down to the hips.” Line 658 stood thus in the Cambridge draft :

“ And good Heaven cast his hest regard upon us." Between line 678 and line 679 the Cambridge draft had

“ Poor Lady, thou hast need of some refreshing." This is retained in the Bridgewater MS. ; where, however, the passage is otherwise contracted considerably. Between line 713 and line 714 the Cambridge draft had

“ The fields with cattle, and the air with fowl." Between line 846 and line 847 the Cambridge draft has

And often takes our cattle with strange pinches."

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