Puslapio vaizdai
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Fall’n Cherub, to be weak is miserable
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
To do ought good never will be our talk,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As bei'ng the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,

160

Our

157

to be weak is miferable intended to vary the accent of never Doing or suffering :) Satan having and ever in the next verse. in his speech boasted that the

169. But see the angry vi&tor batb Arength of Gods could not fail, ver. 116. and Beëlzebub having said, hath really made a very material

recall d &c. ) Dr. Bentley ver. 146. if God has left us this our

objection to this and some other strength entire

, to suffer pain ftrongly: passages of the poem, wherein the or to do him mightier service as bis thralls, what then can our strength pursuing the rebel host with fire

good Angels are represented, as avail us ? Satan here replies very and thunderbolts down through properly, whether we are to suffer Chaos even to the gates of Hell; or to work, yet still it is some comfort to have our strength undimi- which the

Angel Raphael gives to

as being contrary to the account, nithd; for it is a miserable thing, Adam in the 6th book. And it (says he) to be weak and without

is certain that there the good Anftrength, whether we are doing or fuffering. This is the sense of the gels are order'd to stand Aill only

and behold, and the Messiah alone place; and this is farther confirm'd by what Belial says in II. 199.

expels them out of Heaven, and

after he has expelled them, and To suffer as to do Hell has clos'd upon them, VI. 880. Our ftrength is equal — Pearce.

Sole victor from th'expulsion of 159. To do ought good never will his foes

be our task, ) Dr. Bentley Melliah his triumphal chariot would read it thus,

turn'd :

To meet him all his Saints, who To do ought good will never be

filent stood our tak,

Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts, as of a smoother and stronger ac With jubilee advanc'd. cent; but I conceive that Milton

These

165

Our labor must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil;
Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destin'd aim.
But see the angry victor hath recallid
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

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be

These accounts are plainly con- hoft; and perhaps they might think trary the one to the other : but the that a numerous host were really zuthor doth not therefore contra- pursuing. In one place indeed dict himself, nor is one part of his we have Chaos speaking thus, scheme inconsistent with another. II. 996. For it should be considered, who are the persons that give these dif

and Heav'n gates ferent accounts. In book the 6th

Pour'd out by millions her victothe Angel Raphael is the speaker,

rious bands and therefore his account may

Pursuing; depended upon as the genuin and exact truth of the matter. But in But what a condition was Chaos in the other passages Satan himself or during the fall of the rebel Angels ? some of his Angels are the speak- See VI. 871. ers; and they were too proud and

Nine days they fell ; confounded obftinate ever to acknowledge the Chaos roar'd, Mefliah for their conqueror; as And felt tenfold confusion in their their rebellion was rais'd on his ac

fall count, they would never own his Through his wild anarchy, so fuperiority; they would rather

huge a rout ascribe their defeat to the whole

Incumber'd him with ruin. hoft of Heaven than to him alone; or if they did indeed imagin their We must suppose him therefore to pursuers to be so many in num- speak according to his own frighted ber, their fears multiplied them, and disturb'd imagination; he might and it serves admirably to express conceive that so much how much they were terrified and confounded. In book the 6th, 830. Ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, the noise of his chariot is com Confusion worse confounded pard to the found of a numerous VOL. I.

L

could

Back to the gates of Heav'n: the fulphurous hail
Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid
The fiery surge, that from the precipice
Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling; and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, 175
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not slip th'occasion, whether scorn,
Or satiate fury yield it from our foe.
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, 180
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid Aames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
From off the toffing of these fiery waves,

There

could not all be effected by a fingle 191. If not what refolution) What hand : and what a sublime idea reinforcement; to which is remuft it give us of the terrors of turn d If not: a vicious fyntax; the Meffiah, that he alone should but the poet gave it If none. be as formidable as if the whole

Bentley. host of Heaven were pursuing! So that this seeming contradiction, 193. With bead up-lift above the upon examination, proves rather a wave, and eyes beauty than any blenish to the poem. That sparkling blaz'd, his other

186. – --our afflicted Pow'rs, ] The parts bt fides word afflicted here is intended to Prone on the flood,] Somewhat be understood in the Latin sense, like those lines in Virgil

: of two routed, ruin'd, utterly broken. monstrous serpents, Ær. II. 206. Richardson,

Pectora,

There rest, if any rest can harbour there, 185
And re-assembling our afflicted Powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy, our own loss how repair,
How overcome this dire calamity,
What reinforcement we may gain from hope, 199
If not what resolution from despair.

Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz’d, his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large 195
Lay floting many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monftrous size,
Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,

Briareos

Pectora quorum inter Auctus ar Per tota novem cui jugera corpus recta, jubæque

Porrigitur. : Sanguineæ exuperant undas; pars And also that of the old dragon cætera pontum

in Spenser. Fairy Queen B. 1. Pone legit.

Cant. 11. St. 8.

That with his largeness measured 196. Lay floting many a rood,} much land. A rood is the fourth part of an acre, so that the bulk of Sa

· 198. Titanian, or Earth-born, ] : tan 'is expressd by the fame fort of measure, as that of one of Genus antiquum terræ, Titania the giants in Virgil, Æn. VI. pubes. Æn. VI. 580. 596.

L 2

199. Bria

Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast 200
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th' ocean stream:

. Him haply Numb’ring on the Norway foam The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff

Deeming 199. Briareos] So Milton writes beast, and attributes fcales to it: it, that it may be pronounced as and yet by some things one would four syllables; and not Briareus, think that he took it rather for which is pronounced as three. a whale (as was the general opiEt centumgeminus Briareus.

nion) 'there being no crocodiles Virg. Æn. VI. 287. upon the coasts of Norway, and And Briareus with all

his hundred what follows being related of the hands. Dryden.

whale, but never, as I have heard,

of the crocodile. 1.99. - or Typhon, whom the den 202. Created bugest &c.] This

By ancient Tarsus held,] Typhon verse is found fault with as being is the same with Typhoëus. That too rough and absonous, but that the den of 'Typhoëus was in Cilic is not a fault but a beauty here, as cia, of which Tarsus was a cele- it better expresses the hugeness brated city, we are told by Pindar and unwieldiness of the creature, and Pomponius Mela. I am much and no doubt was design'd by the mistaken, if Milton did not make author. use of Farnaby's note on Ovid 204. -night-founder'd skif] Met. V. 347. to which I refer the Some little boat, whose pilot dares reader. He took ancient Tarsus not proceed in his course for fear perhaps from Nonnus:

of the dark night; a metaphor

taken from a founder'd horse that Ταρσό αιδομένη πρωτοπολις

can go no farther.

Hume. which is quoted in Lloyd's Dictio- Dr. Bentley reads nigh-founder'd; nary. Fortin.

but the common reading is better, 200. that fea-beast because if (as the Doctor says)

Leviathan,] The best critics seem foundering is finking by a leaking now to be agreed, that the author in the ship, it would be of little of the book of Job by the levia- use to the pilot to fix his anchor on than meant the crocodile; and Mil- an iland, the skiff would fink notton describes it in the same man- withstanding, if leaky. By nighener partly as a fish and partly, as a founder'd Milton means overtaken

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