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Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
345 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires; Till, as a signal giv'n, th’up-lifted spear Of their
great Sultan waving to direct Their course, in even balance down they light On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain; 350
Stanza 18, will find our author has upon the land, and the east-wind feen him, tho' borrow'd little of brought the locufts: and the locufts him. Hume.
went up over all the land of Egypt
so that the land was darkened. 338. As when the potent rod &c.] See Exod. X. 13. Mojes stretched
341.--warping] Working them. forth his rod over the land of Egypt, selves forward, a sea term., and the Lord brought an caft-wind
Hume and Richardson.
A multitude, like which the populous north
360 Though of their names in heav'nly records now
351. A multitude, like which &c.] Rhene or the Danaw.
He might This comparison doth not fall be have faid consistently with his verse low the reit, as fome have imagin’d. The Rhine or Danube, but he chose They were thick as the leaves, and the more uncommon names Rhene numberle's as the locusts, but such a of the Latin, and Danaw of the multitude the north never pour'd German, both which words are forth; and we may observe that used too in Spenser. When her the subject of this comparison rises barbarous jons &c. They were truly very much above the others, leaves barbarous ; for besides exercising and locufts. The populus north, as several cruelties, they destroy'd all the northern parts of the world are the monuments of learning and poobserved to be more fruitful of peo- liteness wherever they came. Came ple, than the hotter countries : Sir like a deluge. Spenser describing William Temple calls it the northern the same people has the same fibive. Pour'd never, a very proper mile. Faery Queen. B. 2. Cant. word to express the inundations of 10. St. 15. these northern nations. From her frozen loins, it is the Scripture ex And overflow'd all countries far pression of children and defcendents
away, coming out of the loins, as Gen. Like Noye's great food with their XXXV. 11. Kings Mall come out of importune (way. thy loirs ; and these are called frozen loins only on account of the They were the Goths, and Huns, coldness of the clinate. To pass and Vandals, who overrun all the
Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd
370 Oft to the image of a brute, adorn’d With gay religions full of pomp
southern provinces of Europe, and idols, under a corporeal reprefencrossing the Mediterranean beneath tation, belying the true God. The Gibraltar landed in Africa, and poet plainly alludes to Rom. I. 22, spread themselves as far as the &c. When they knew God, they glofandy country of Libya. Beneath rified him not as God-and changed Gibraltar that is more southward, the glory of the uncorruptible God into the north being uppermoit in the an image
- who changed the truth globe.
of God into a lie. So Amos II. 4.
Their lies caused them to err, Jerem. 363. - the tooks of life,] Dr. Bentley reads the book of life, that inherited lies &
XVI. 19. Surely our fatbers have being the scripture expression. And Shakespear fays likewise blotted from 369. and th' invisible ibe book of life, Richard II. Act. 1. Glory of him that made ihem to
transform My name be blotted from the book
Oft to the image of a brute,] Alof life.
luding to Rom. I. 23. And changed But the author might write books in the glory of the uncorruptible God, the plural as well as records just be- into an image made like to corruptible fore; and the plural agrees better man, and to birds, and four-footed with the idea that he would give beasts, and creeping things. of the great number of Angels.
372. With gay religions full of 367. By falities and lies] That pomp and gold,] By religions is, as Mr. Úpton observes, by false Milton means religious rites, as Ci
And Devils to adore for Deities :
cero uses the word, when he joins advantage over the catalogues he religiones et ceremonias. De Legib. has imitated, for Milton's becomes lib. 1. c. 15. and elsewhere. thereby a neceffary part of the
Pearce. work, as the original of supersti. 376. Say, Muse, &c.]. The ca- tion, an essential part of a religious talogue of evil Spirits has abun- epic, could not have been shown dance of learning in it, and a very without it. Had Virgil's or Ho, agreeable turn of poetry, which mer's been omitted, their poems riles in a great measure from its would not have suffered materially, describing the places where they because in their relations of the folwere worthipped, by those beauti- lowing actions we find the soldiers, ful marks of rivers, fo frequent a- who were before catalogued; but mong the ancient poets. The au- by no following history of superstithor had doubtless in this place tion that Milton could have brought Homer's catalogue of ships, and in, could we find out these Devils Virgil's lift of warriors in his view.
agency, it was therefore necessary
Addison. he should inform us of the fact. Dr. Bentley says that this is not
Warburton. the finest part of the poem : but I Say, Muse, &c. Homer at the bethink it is, in the design and draw- ginning of his catalogue invokes ing, if not in the coloring ; for the his Mufe afresh in a very pompous Paradise Loft being a religious e manner. Virgil does the like, and pic, nothing could be more artful Milton follows both so far as to than thus deducing the original of make a fresh invocation, though fuperftition. This gives it a great short ; because he had already made
Their seats long after next the seat of God,
390 And with their darkness durst affront his light. First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood
a large and folemn address in this and 7. See also 2 Kings XIX. 15. very book, at the beginning of his O Lord God of Israel, which dwelle poem.
between the Cherubim. Hezekiah's
prayer. Hume, 376.their names then known,] When they had got
yea, often placid names. Milton finely confider'd Within bis sanctuary injilf their that the names he was obliged to
forines, apply to these evil Angels carry
Abominations ; ] This is coma bad fignification, and therefore plain’d of by the prophet Jerecould not be those they had in miah VII. 30. For i he children of their state of innocence and glory; Judah have done evil in my faghi, he has therefore said their former faith the Lord; they have set their names are now loit, ras'd from abominations in the house which is amongst those of their old affoci- called by my name, to pollute it. ates who retain their purity and And we read of Manaffeh, 2 Kings happiness. Richardson.
and 5. that He built altors
in the house of the Lord, of which 376.—who first, who laft,] the Lord said, In Jerufalem will I Que.n telo primum, quem postre. put my name : And be built altars for mum &c. Virg. Æn. XI.664.
all the host of Heaven, in the two
courts of the house of the Lord. See 386. tbron'd
also Ezek. VII. 20. and VIII. Between the Cherubim ;] This re- 5, 6. lates to the ark being placed between the two golden Cherubim, 392. First Moloch, borrid king, ] 1 Kings VI. 23. 1 Kings VIII. 6. First after Satan and Beëlzebub.