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The signal to ascend, fit ling’ring here
Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of fhame,
The prison of his tyranny who reigns
By our delay? no, let us rather choose,

60
Arm’d with Hell fames and fury, all at once
O’er Heav’n’s high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer; when to meet the noise
Of his almighty engin he shall hear

65 Infernal thunder, and for lightning sec Black fire and horror shot with equal rage Among his Angels, and his throne itself Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire, His own invented torments. But perhaps 70 The way seems difficult and steep to scale With upright wing against a higher foe.

Let

56. - fit ling'ring bere] Dr. Bent- were repentant ; for a little before ley reads stay lingring here, be- it is said that they prostrate fell. cause we have before stand in arms: That fit is right here, may appear but fand does not always fignify from ver. 164, 420, 475. Pearce. the posture; see an instance of this Sit lingring to answer fit contriving in John I. 26. To fland in arms is before. While they fit contriving, no more than to be in arms, So in shall the rest sit ling’ring? XI. 1. it is said of Adam and Eve. that they food repentant, that is 69. Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur,}

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75

Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumm not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend !
Up to our native feat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and purfued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight 80
We sunk thus low? Th’ascent is easy then;
Th'event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction; if there be in Hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse 85
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn’d
In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end

The

Mix'd fignifies filld with; it is an the word like the Latin exegra imitation of what Virgil says in ceo, which fignifies 'to vex and Æn. II. 487.

trouble as well as to practice and

employ: as in Virg. Georg. IV. At domus interior gemitu mise- 453.

roque tumultu Mifcetur. ' Pearce.

Non te nullius exercent numinis

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The vaffals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour 1 .
Calls us to penance? More destroy'd than thus
We should be quite abolish'd and expire. its
What fear we then what doubt we to incenfe ;*
His utmost ire? which to the highth enrag?d, 95
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this effential, happier far
Than-miserable to have eternal being :
Or if our fubstance be indeed diviney : . is

And 1790. The waffals of bis anger]. The the scourge inexorable or inerDevils are the vafials of the Al- prably calls. mighty, thence Mammon says, II. . 92. Calls us to penance ?] To pu. 252, Our state of Splendid vasalage. nishment. . Our poet here supposes And the vasols of anger is an ex the sufferings of the damned Spirits preffion confirm'd by Spenser in his not to be always alike intense, but

Tears of the Muses, ronge r that they have some intermissions. ** Ah: wretched world, and all that * 67.

happier far &... are therein,

Than miferable to have eternal ” The vafals of God's wrath, and

being :) That it is better not flaves of fin. ' je

to be than to be eternally miseBut yet when I remember St. Paul's Table; our Saviour himself hath dewords, Rom. IX. 23. The vessels of

· termin'd, Matth. XXVI. 24. Mark

en

XIV. 21. ., wrarb fitted to destruction, Eneun opy ns, I suspect that Milton here, . 100. — we are at wor/] We are

in the worst condition we can be. * as perpetually, kept close to the Scripture stile, and leave it to the

104. – his fatal throne :] That reader's choice, vasals or vessels.

is upheld by fate, as he ellewhere

S
lev expreffes it, 1, 133.

dy v 108. To less than Gods.) He gave el. Inexorably,] In the first edi. it To less than God. For it was dantions it is Inexorably, in others In- gerous to the Angels. Bentley. "exorable: and it may be either, This emendation appears. Yery pro

bable

Hume.

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And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this fide nothing; and by proof we feel
Our pow'r fufficient to disturb his Heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,!!,:
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:
Which if not victory is yet revenge.

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
Desprate revenge, and battel dangerous
To less than Gods. On th' other side up rose
Belial, in act more graceful and humane;

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bable at firft view: but the Angels and therefore the present reading though often called Gods, yet some- To less than Gods may be justify'd. times are only compar'd or faid to ' 109. Belial, in áit more graceful be like the Gods, as in I. 570.

and bumane ;] Belial is de. Their visages and ftature as of of the lewd and luxurious. He is

ut scribed in the first book as the idol Gods: ,

; . in the second book, pursuant to and of the two chief, Michael and that description, characterized as Satan. it is said VI. 201, that timorous and lothful ; and if we

look into the fixth book, we find likeft Gods they seem'd:

him celebrated in the battel of and of two others we read, VI. Angels for nothing but that fcof366.

** fing speech which he makes to Sa. ma i . '' tan, on their supposed advantage Two potent Thrones, that to be over the enemy. As his appear: lefi tban Gods som

cance is uniform and of a piece in Disdain'd: : !!! !!! these three several views, we find - and in another place a manifest di

och s his sentiments in the infernal ass ftin&tion is made between Gods and

sembly eyery way conformable to

his character. Such are his appre

is, henfions of a second battel, his IX. 937 vai ser det ? horrors of annihilation; his prefer

But to be Gods, or Angels Demi. Ting to be miferable rather than · Gods "

, &$T not to be.
of A TO
I need not observe, that

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A fairer person loft not Heav'n; he seem'd 110
For dignity compos’d and high exploit:
But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Dropt Manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low; 115
To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Timorous and nothful: yet he pleas'd the ear,
And with persuasive accent thus began.

I should be much for open war, O Peers, is
As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd 120
Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to caft
Ominous conjecture on the whole success:
When he who moft excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels and in what excels 125

Miftruftful, the contrast of thought in this 113. Dropt Manna,] The same speech, and that which precedes, expression, but apply'd differently, gives an agreeable variety to the in Shakespear. Merchant of Vedebate.

Addison. nice, Act V. The fine contrast, which Mr. Addison observes there is betwixt the Fair ladies, you drop Manna in the characters of Moloch and Belial, might probably be first suggested to Of farved people. our poet by a contrast of the fame kind betwixt Argantes and Aletes 113. - and could make the worfe in the second Canto of Taffo's Je

appear rusalem, Thyer,

The better reafon,] Word for word,

way

from

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