In our defense, left unawares we lose
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill.

To whom the Son with calm aspect and clear,
Lightning divine, ineffable, serene,
Made answer. Mighty Father, thou thy foes 735
Justly hast in derision, and secure
Laugh'st at their vain designs and tumults vain,
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates, when they see all regal power
Giv'n me to quell their pride, and in event
Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in Heaven.

So spake the Son; but Satan with his Powers Far was advanc'd on winged speed, an host Innumerable as the stars of night,

745 Or stars of morning, dew-drops, which the sun


734. Lightning divine,] If light- the stars of morning, dew-drops, ning is a participle, the adjective seems as new as it is beautiful: divine is to be taken adverbially, And the sun impearls them, turns as if he had said Lightning divincly: them by his reflected beams to but it is rather a substantive, and seeming pearls ; as the morn was in Scripture the Angel's counte- said before to sow the earth with nance is said to have been like light orient pearl, ver. 2. ning, Dan. X. 6. Mat. XXVIII. 3. 750. In their triple degrees;] This

notion of triples in all the oeco746. Or stars of morning, dew- nomy of Angels is started by Tafto,

drops,] Innumerable as the Cant. 18. St. 96. Kars is an old fimile, but this of

Impearls on every leaf and every flower.'
Regions they pass’d, the mighty regencies
Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones
In their triple degrees; regions to which 750
All thy dominion, Adam, is no more
Than what this garden is to all the earth,
And all the sea, from one entire globosc
Stretch'd into longitude; which having passid
At length into the limits of the north 755
They came, and Satan to his royal seat
High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount
Rais’d on a mount, with pyramids and towers
From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold;
The palace of great Lucifer, (so call 760
That structure in the dialect of men
Interpreted) which not long after, he

Affecting In battel round of squadrons tbree The fancy was borrow'd from the they stood,


Bentley. And all by threes those squadrons Spenser has again the same notion, ranged were:

and uses the same exprefion in his

Hymn of heavenly love, and by Spenser, Fairy Queen, B. 1. There they in their trinal tripliCant. 12. St. 39.


About him wait, and on his will Like as it had been many an

depend. Angel's voice Singing before th'eternal Majesty, 761. — in the dialeet of men ] In their trinal triplicities on high. The learned reader cannot but be


Mm 3

Affecting all equality with God,
In imitation of that mount whereon
Messiah was declar'd in fight of Heaven, 765

The Mountain of the Congregation call'd;
For thither he assembled all his train,
Pretending so commanded to consult
About the great reception of their king
Thither to come, and with calumnious art 770
Of counterfeited truth thus held their cars.

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now hath to himself ingross'd 775
All pow'r, and us eclips d under the name


pleased with the poet's imitation which are in use only among the of Homer in this line. Homer learned to the Gods, and those mentions persons and things, which which are in vulgar use to men. he tells us in the language of the However that be, this manner of Gods are call'd by different names speaking certainly gives a dignity from those they go by in the lan- to the poem, and looks as if the guage of men. Milton has imitated poets had conversed with the Gods him with his usual judgment in this themselves. particular place, wherein he has 766. The Mountain of the Congrelikewise the authority of Scripture " gation call d; ] Alluding ta to justify him.

Addison. what we quoted before from Ifa. The scholiasts and commentators XIV, 13. I will exalt my tbront upon Homer endevor to account above the ftars of God; I will fit for this manner of speaking several alfa upon the mount of the congreways; but the most probable is, gation, in the fides of the north. that he attributes chose names

772, Tiranes

Of King anointed, for whom all this haste i
Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here,
This only to consult how we may beft
With what may be devis’d of honors new 780
Receive him coming to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, proftration vile,
Too much to one, but double how indur'd,
To one and to his image now proclam'd?
But what if better counsels might erect 785
Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke?
Will ye submit your necks, and choose to bend
The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust
To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves
Natives and Tons of Heav'n poffefs'd before 790


• 772. Thrones, Dominations, Prince - Crown'd them with glory, and to

doms, Virtues, Powers,] The their glory nam'd use of the word Virtues in this line Thrones, Dominations, Princeclearly explains what Milton meant doms, Virtues, Powers. by th' angelic Virtue in ver. 371.

Thyer. Whom thus th' angelic Virtue an. 790. Natives and fons of Heav'r fwerd mild.

pollesi'd before

By none,] Dr. Bentley's false It was an order of Angels diftin- pointing of this passage has led guith'd by chat name. This is the others to mistake the Tense of it, more evidently his meaning by as well as himself. He refers the chese lines after, ver. 837. word pollefs'd to natives and fons, and all the Spirits of Heaven

but should it not rather be referred

to Heav'n the word immediately · By him created in their bright de. preceding, there being no comma - grees,

between them in Milton's own edi


Mm 4

By none, and if not equal all; yet free,
Equally free; for orders and degrees
Jar not with liberty, but well confift.
Who can in reason then or right affume
Monarchy over such as live by right .
His equals, if in pow'r and splendor less,
In freedom equal? or can introduce
Law and edict on us, who without law
Err not? much less for this to be our Lord, .


... And

tions, as there is in Dr. Bentley's ? For government, though high, And is not the passage to be under and low, and lower, ftood thus, that No one pollesi'd Hea- Put into parts, doth keep in one ven before them, they were a sort of consent ; Aborigines ? which notion Satan Congreeing in a full and natural explains more at large in his fol- close, lowing speech, ver. 859.

Like music: * We know no time when we were and in Trine and Craffida. AAL. not as now;

e and in Troilus and Creslida, A& I. Know none before us, felf-begot, Take but degree away, untune self-rais'd

that ftring, · By our own quick’ning pow'r, And hark what discord follows. when fatal course

· 799. - much less for This to be Had circled his full orb, the birth our Lord, ] This paffage mature

seems to me as inexplicable almost Of this our native Heav'n, ethe- as any in Milton.' Dr. Bentley real fons.

thinks it hard to find what for this 792. - for orders and degrees relates to; and therefore reads ferte · Jar not with liberty, but well think, or if we have no regard to

confift.] Jar, a metaphor the likeness of the letters, afpire, taken from music, to which both presume, or other such word. Then the philosophers and poets have al- the series (he says) will be this, ways loved to compare govern. Who can introduce law and edia en ment. So Shakespear, Henry V. its? much less can he forethink, take A& I.

it in his scheme or view, to become

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