« VorigeDoorgaan »
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend. 1005
Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine, Neither our own but giv’n; what folly then To boast what arms can do? since thine no more Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now
in the 22d book, and there are thus Every reader, who compares these translated.
passages with our author, muit see
plainly that tho' there is some reJove lifts the golden balances, that semblance, yet there is also great show
difference. There are goiden kales The fates of mortal men, and in Homer as well as in Milton; things below:
but Milton in some measure anHere each contending hero's lot thorizes the fiction by making his he tries,
scales the balance in the Heavens. And weighs with equal hand their In Homer and Virgil the combadeftinies.
tants are weigh'd one against anoLow sinks the scale surcharg'd ther; but here only Satan is weigh'd, with Hector's fate;
in one scale the consequence of his Heavy with death it sinks, and retreating, and of his fighting in Hell receives the weight. the other. And there is this far.
ther improvement, that in Homer The passage in Virgil is shorter, and Virgil the fates are weigh'd to Æn. XII. 725.
satisfy Jupiter himself, but here it Tupiter ipse duas æquato examine is done only to satisfy the conlances
tending parties, for Satan to read Sustinet, et fata imponit diversa his own destiny. So that when duorum;
Milton imitates a fine passage, he Quem damnet labor, et quo vergat
does not imitate it fervily, but pondere lethum.
makes it as I may say an original
of his own by his manner of vary. Jove sets the beam; in either scale ing and improving it.
he lays The champion's fate, and each 1008. — . fince thine no more exactly weighs.
Than Heav'n permits, rer mine,] On this fide life, and lucky chance Thine and mine refer to strength, ver, ascends:
1006. not to arms the fubitan. Loaded with death, that other tive preceding. Dr. Bentley reads scale descends. Dryden. strength instead of arms.
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, 1010
1012. Where thou art weigh’d, and Belshazzar, Dan. V. 27. Tkou art
pown how light, how weak,] weigh'd in the balances, and art found He does not make the ascending wanting. So true it is, that Milion scale the sign of vi&ory as in Ho- oftner imitates Scripture than Homer and Virgil, but of lightness mer and Virgil, even where he is and weakness according to that of thought to imitate them mort.
The end of the Fourth Book.
Morning approach’d, Eve relates to Adam her tro
blesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts ber: They come forth to their day labors: Their mouring hymn at the door of their bower. God to render man inexcusable sends Raphael to admoni. him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why hi enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam know. Raphael comes down to Paradise, his ? pearance describ'd, his coming discern'd by Ader afar off fitting at the door of his bower; he gee out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, ents: tains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise şux together by Eve; their discourse at table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his ftare and of his enemy; relates at Adam's request wt that enemy is, and how he came to be so, bege ning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the cafion thereof; how he drew his legions after his to the parts of the north, and there incited then to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdel a Seraph, who in argument diffuades and oppotti him, then forsakes him.