[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The quarters of the north; there to prepare
Fit entertainment to receive our king
The great Messiah, and his new commands,
Who speedily through all the hierarchies
Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.

So spake the false Arch-Angel, and infus’d

[ocr errors]


north, Jer. VI. 1. St. Auftin says tione. This poem is longer than
that the Devil and his Angels, be. the Iliad, for it consists of five and
ing averse from the light and fervor twenty books; but it equals the
of charity, grew torpid as it were Iliad in nothing but in length, for
with an icy hardness; and are the poetry is very indifferent.
therefore by a figure placed in the However in some particulars the
north. Diabolus igitur et Angeli plan of this poem is very like Pa.
ejus a luce atque fervore caritatis radise Lost. It opens with the ex-
aversi, et nimis in superbiam in- altation of the Son of God, and
vidiamque progresii, velut glaciali thereupon Lucifer revolts, and
duritia torpuerunt. Et ideo per draws a third part of the Angels
figuram tanquam in aquilone po- after him into the quarters of the
nuntur. Epift. 140. Sect. 55. And north.
Shakespear in like manner calls
Satan the monarch of the north, - pars tertia lævam
i Henry VI. Act. V.

Hoc duce persequitur, gelidoque

aquilone locatur.
And ye choice Spirits, that ad.
monish me,

It is more probable, that Milton And give me signs of future acci- had seen this poem than some dents,

others, from which he is charged You speedy helpers, that are sub- with borrowing largely. He was stitutes

indeed an universal scholar, and Under the lordly monarch of the read all sorts of authors, and took north.

hints from the Moderns as well as

the Ancients. He was a great geI have seen too a Latin poem by nius, but a great genius form’d by Odoricus Valmarana, printed at reading; and as it was said of VirVienna in 1627, and intitled De- gil, he collected gold out of the monomachiæ five De Bello Intelligen- dung of other authors, tiarum super Divini Verbi incarna

702. Tell's

Bad influence into th’unwary breast 695
Of his associate: he together calls,
Or several one by one, the regent Powers,
Under him regent; tells, as he was taught,
That the most High commanding, now'ere night,
Now ere dim night had disincumber'd Heaven, 700
The great hierarchal standard was to move ;
Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
Ambiguous words and jealousies, to found


702. Tells the fuggested cause, ] Shakes from his rosy locks the The cause that Satan had suggest pearly dews, ed, namely to prepare entertain- Dispels the darkness, and the day ment for their new king and receive renews. Dryden. his laws: and casts between ambi. But there is a much greater proguous words, imitated from Virg. priety in Milton's comparing Satan Æn. II. 98.

to the morning star, as he is often hinc fpargere voces spoken of under the name of LuIn vulgum ambiguas.

cifer, as well as denominated in 708. His count'nance, as the morn- Isaiah XIV. 12.

Scripture, Lucifer for of the morning. ing star that guides &c.] This fimilitude is not so new as poetical. 709. and with lies &c.] Virgil in like manner compares the Dr. Bentley says that the author beautiful young Pallas to the morn- gave it and bis lies &c. but by the ing star, Æn. VIII. 589.

expression bis countenance is meant Qualis, ubi oceani perfusus Luci

he himself, a part being put for fer unda,

the whole, as in II. 683. we have Quem Venus ante alios altrorum front put for the whole person: it diligit ignes,

' is very frequent in Scripture to use Extulit os facrum cælo, tenebras-,

the word face or countenance in this cælo, tenebrale sense: as in Luke IX. 53. we read que resolvit.

of our Saviour, that the Samaritans So from the seas exerts his radiant did not receive him, because his face head .

was as tho he (Greek, it) would go The star, by whom the lights of to Jerusalem. See also Levit. XIX. Heav'n are led ;

32. But if this will not be allowd

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Or taint integrity: but all obey'd ...
The wonted signal, and superior voice 705
Of their great potentate; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in Heaven;
His count'nance, as the morning star that guides
The starry flock, allur'd them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's host. 710
Mean while th’eternal eye, whose sight discerns
Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy mount


to be Milton's meaning, yet it may Drew after him the third part of be said that Satan's countenance, fe- Heav'n's hoft. . ducing his followers by disguising the foul intentions of his heart, 711. Mean while th' eternal eye, may be very properly said to fe

whole fight discerns &c.) Dr. duce with lies.' We'read in Ći. Bentley seems very sure that Milcero's Epiftles to his brother, frons, ton's text is wrong here, because in oculi, vultus perlabe mentiuntur. Lib. the course of the conitruction it is 1, Ep. 1. c. 5. Pearce. .

faid of this sternal eye that it smiling

Said, ver. 718. He would there710. Drew after him the third part fore persuade us that Milton gave it

of Heav'n's hoft.] Behold a Mean while th'Eternal, He whose great red dragon - and his tail drew fight discerns &c. sbe third part of the fars of Heaven, and did cast them to the earth. Rev. But would not He in this place thus, XII. 3, 4. Dr. Bentley finds fault following th' Eternal be a botch in with this verse as very bad mea- poetry? Milton frequently takes fure : but as a person of much a liberty, allowable in a poet, of better taste observes, there is a expressing only some part or qua-, great beauty in the fall of the lity of a person, when he icins numbers in this line after the ma- the person himself, and goes on to. jesty of those before and after it, say things which (properly speak-, occafion'd principally by the change ing) are applicable only to the perof the fourth foot from an iambic son himself. And Milton had good into a trochaic; an artifice often authority for doing so: in Pfal.. made use of by Milton to vary his LIV.7. the eye is made a person, numbers by those discords.

mine eye shall see his defire upon mine VOL. Í.

. Min

enemies :

And from within the golden lamps that burn
Nightly before him, faw without their light
Rebellion rising, saw in whom, how spread 715
Among the sons of morn, what multitudes
Were banded to oppose his high decree; :
And smiling to his only Son thus faid.

Son, thou in whom my glory I behold
In full refplendence, Heir of all my might, 720
Nearly it now concerns us to be sure

enemies: so in Mat. XX. 15. the Her long loose yellow lacks like eye is put for the whole man, Is golden wire, thine eye evil, because I am good? Sprinkled with pearl, and perling See also Prov.XXX. 17. Pearce. flow'rs atween, His count'nance allur'd, and with lies Do like a golden mantle ber at drew after him &c. The eternal eye tire: few &c. and smiling said — give And being crowned with a girland great offence to Dr. Bentley, and green, Dr. Pearce says, bis countenance and seem like some maiden queen. the eternal eye are the part for the Her modeft eyes abashed to behold whole or the person. But a very So many gazers, as on her do learned and ingenious friend que. stare, stions, whether they are not here Upon the lowly ground affixed used equivocally, and to be con are; strued either as one or the other Ne dare lift up her countenance according as the sense requires. 'Tis too bold, Satan's countenance that allures But bluff to hear her praises sung so them like the morning star, but loud, 'tis Satan himself that draws them "So far from being proud. after him with lies; fo the eternal eye fees, but the smiling faid must 713. And from within abe goldes relate to the Eternal himfelf. Spen lamps] Alluding to the lamps ser has a stronger instance of the before the throne of God, which impropriety here taken notice of St. John saw in his vifion, Rev.IV. by the critics, and it is repeated s. And there were forven lamps of as here in Milcon. Spenser's Epi- fire burning before the thraxe. thalamion.

716. Armory

Of our omnipotence, and with what arms
We mean to hold what anciently we clame
Of deity or empire; fuch a foe
Is rising, who intends to' erect his throne
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north;
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
In battel, what our pow'r is, or our right.
Let us advife, and to this hazard draw
With speed what force is left, and all employ




716. Among the sons of morn, ] and evil. There are several in The Angels are here callid fons of stances of the like manner of speakthe morning, as Lucifer is in Ifa. ing in the prophets. But this is XIV. 12. probably upon account particularly grounded upon Psal. of their early creation; or to ex. II. 1. &c. Why do the Heathen rage, press the angelic beauty and glad. and the people imagin a vain thing? ness, the morning being the moft against the Lord and against bis delightful season of the day. Job. Anointed He that fitteth in the XI. 17. Thine age Mall be clearer Heavens fall laugh, the Lord fall than the noon-day; thou shalt shine have them in derifior. It appears forth, thou shalt be as the morning. that our author had this passage in XXXVIII. 7. When the morning view, by his making the Son alfars fang together, and the fons of lude so plainly to it in his answer. God sbouted for jay. See also Cant. VI. 10. Isa. LVIII. 8. Richardson. - Mighty Father, thou thy foes

Juftly haft in derifion, and secure 718. And smiling ] Let not the Laugh'it at their vain defigns and pious reader be offended, because tumults vain. the supreme Being is represented as smiling and speaking ironically of 719. – in whom my glory 1 behold his foes; for such figures of speech In full resplendence, Heir of all my are not unusual in the Scripture it might,] For he is the brightfelf. Iminediately after the fall of nefs of bis Father's glory, and ap. Man we read, Gen. III. 22. And pointed heir of all things, Heb. I. the Lord God said, Behold the Man 2, 3. is become as one of us, to know good

M m 2

734. Lightning

« VorigeDoorgaan »