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L'ALLEGRO-IL PENSEROSO—COMUS–LYCIDAS, &c. 83
The sampler, and to teize the huswifes wooll.
Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the Morn? (749.) 6. What is the story of Sabrina ? How, and why, is she introduced into “Comus”? 7. Explain clearly the following expressions : (a) And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantick stream. (95.) (6) Ere the blabbing eastern scout
The nice Morn, on the Indian steep,
From her cabin’d loop-hole peep. (138.)
Laden with blooming gold. (393.)
(434.) 8. In what sense does Milton—in “Comus"--employ the following words :-insphered (3)—saws (110)—ebon (134) --swilld insolence (178)—sweet queen of parly (241)--flowery-kirtled (254)
-swink'd hedger (293)-play in the plighted clouds (301)—bosky
I can fly, or I can run,
SONNETS-SAMSON AGONISTES. What do you understand to be the idea of the two poems L'Allegro and Il Penseroso ? Johnson says that there is 'perhaps some melancholy' in the 'mirth' of L'Allegro. Do you consider that this sarcasm is to the point?
Explain (a) 'thrice-great Hermes' (Il Pen. 88)—(6) 'the belman's drowsy charm' (Il Pen. 83)—c) 'the story of Cambuscan bold' (Il Pen. 110)-(d) Russet lawns and fallows grey' (L'All. 71) - shadows brown' (il Pen. 134). Discuss the epithets.
3. What was the essential literary difference between a masque and a drama ? Mention any masques by well-known writers of about the same date as Comus.
4. Point out the divisions or acts into which the plot of Comus naturally falls. On what real incident is the piece said to have been founded ?
5. Explain :
Their father's' state
6. How does Milton himself describe the subject of the poem Lycidas ? What is known of the man whose death it laments ? 7. Discuss the meaning of the lines :
But that two-handed engine at the door
(Lyc. 130.) 8. Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled,
And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth. (Lyc. 154.)
9. Who had been the chief English sonnet-writers before Milton, and what models had they followed ? What is the metrical form of Milton's Sonnets ?
Give the date and occasion of these Sonnets : (a) · When the Assault was intended to the City': (6) ‘To the Lord General Cromwell': (c) “On the late Massacre in Piemont.'
11. Explain the allusions in these places :
New foes arise,
(Son. xi.) (6) The bounds of either sword to thee we owe. (Son. xii.) (c)
The false North displays Her broken league to imp their serpent wings. (Son. x.) (d) The drift of hollow states,'hard to be spelled. (Son. xii.)
(c) A book was writ of late called Tetrachordon. (Son. vi.)
What was the date of the Sanson Agonistes ? Notice any passages in which Milton suggests the idea of a parallelism between Samson's history and his own.
13. Divide the drama into acts. It has been objected that the action makes no progress between the first scene and the last. Do you think this criticism just?
14. Explain the italicised words as used by Milton, and give the etymology where you can buxom (L'All. 24)—debonair (ibid.) -cypress lawn (Il Pen. 35)-garish (Il Pen. 141)-pestered in this pinfold here (Com. 7)---swink'd hedger (Com. 293)—to bolt arguments (Com. 76c)-rathe primrose (Lyc. 142)—to imp a wing. (Son. x.)
PARADISE LOST. BOOKS VIII. AND IX.
Trace as far as you can, from passages in Milton's writings and from any other sources, the growth of Milton's purpose to write a great poem and his changes of plan as to the form and subject.
Give an outline of the course of the action of Paradise Lost through the first nine books.
3. Sketch out Milton's conception of the character of Satan, and mention any points in which we can see traces of the author's own feelings. 4.
The less not bright nor Heav'n such journeys run
Or bright infers not excellence. (viii. 71-91.) Punctuate the above passage and paraphrase it in prose, so as to shew clearly the meaning.
Explain the terms eccentric and epicycle. To what system is reference made ?
5. Give the substance of Adam's account of his sensations when he first became conscious of existence, quoting from the poem where you can.
6. Give some account of the criticisms which have been passed on the way in which Milton represents Eve to have acted in Book IX., and discuss the justness of them.
7. Explain the following passages, and point out the sense in which Milton uses the words and phrases in italics. Illustrate the meaning by the derivation of the words, and by parallel passages. (a) A pomp of winning Graces waited still. (viii
. 61.) (6) Yet not to earth are those bright luminaries
Officious. (viii. 98.)
Can sort. (viii. 383.)
Which declare unfeigned
(viii. 603.) (e)
As from the hateful siege
Our joint hands
First thy obedience. (ix. 367.)
Thrice the equinoctial line
From pole to pole, traversing each colure. (ix. 64.)
. 230.) (2) Served up in Hall with sewers and seneshals. (ix. 38.) 8. Explain the geographical allusions in the following (a) Beyond the Earth's green cape and verdant isles
Hesperian. (viii. 631.)
(6) From Eden over Pontus, and the pool
Mæotis, up. beyond the river Ob;
Ganges and Indus. (ix. 77.) 9. What are the derivations and primary meanings of the following words:
imp (“imp of fraud,” ix. 89), wanton (ix. 211), demur (ix. 558), enamel (ix. 525), forlorn (ix. 910), harbinger (ix. 13), country?
“ That brought into this world a world of woe.” (ix. II.) Give other instances from Milton of a play on words. Whence may he have caught the manner?
[SEE ARBER'S ENGLISH REPRINTS.] I. At what time and under what circumstances was this speech written? Give some account of that Parliament and any members of it to which it is addressed, and of the relative strength of the leading political parties at the time of its composition. How long before it was Comus written ? how long after, Paradise Lost? What other work did the author write in the same year with it ? Explain the name of it.
What does Milton say is “the utmost bound of civill liberty that wise men looke for? (p. 31.) Give any other definitions of civil liberty, and briefly discuss them.
3. When was the freedom of the Press eventually established? State fully the arguments that may be urged in favour of imposing some restrictions upon it. Show how such restrictions when imposed have acted.
4. What method of treating his subject is adopted by Milton in this speech? What does he say of the literary freedom of Athens, of Rome, of the Italy of his day? What results does he declare sure to proceed from the appointment of licensers ? Give the substance of his remarks on the futility of them. On what prime consideration does he oppose them?
5. Explain fully these extracts :
(a) '...did they but know how much better I find ye esteem it to imitate the old and elegant humanity of Greece, then the barbarick pride of a Hunnish and Norwegian statelines.' (p. 33.)