Milton's Comus

Milton's Comus

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Milton's Comus by John Milton

Published:

1890

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Milton's Comus

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Book Excerpt

, the Countess's second husband, and had himself married Lady Frances Stanley, a daughter of the Countess by her first husband, the fifth Earl of Derby. Amongst the children of the Earl of Bridgewater were three who took important parts in the representation of _Comus_--Alice, the youngest daughter, then about fourteen years of age, who appeared as _The Lady_; John, Viscount Brackley, who took the part of the _Elder Brother_, and Thomas Egerton, who appeared as the _Second Brother_. We do not know who acted the parts of _Comus_ and _Sabrina_, but the part of the _Attendant Spirit_ was taken by Henry Lawes, "gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and one of His Majesty's private musicians." The Earl's children were his pupils, and the mask was naturally produced under his direction. Milton's friendship with Lawes is shown by the sonnet which the poet addressed to the musician:

Harry, whose tuneful and well measur'd song
First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to s

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