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89

BOOK II.

HO

IGH on the throne of royal state, which far

Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, Or where the gorgeous east with richest hand

Show'rs

2.

1. High on a tbrone &c.] I have fubmiffion even to omnipotence. before observed in general, that The fame boldness and intrepidity the persons whom Milton intro- of behaviour discovers itself in the duces into his poem, always dif- several adventures which he meets cover such sentiments and beha- with during his passage through the viour, as are in a peculiar manner regions of unformed matter, and conformable to their respective cha- particularly in his address to those racters. Every circumstance in their tremendous Powers who are despeeches and actions is with great scribed as presiding over it. juftness and delicacy adapied to the

Addison. persons who speak and act. As the -the wealth of Ormus and of poet very much excels in this con Ind,] That is diamonds, a sistency of his characters, I shall principal part of the wealth of Inbeg leave to consider several pal- dia where thcy are found, and of sages of the second book in this the iland Ormus (in the Persian light. That superior greatness and gulf) which is the mart for them. mock-majely, which is afcribed to

Pearce. the prince of the fallen Angels, is 3. Or where the gorgeous eaft &c.] admirably preferved in the begin- Not that Ormus and Ind were in ning of this book. His opening the west, but the sense is that the and closing the debate; his taking throne of Satan outthone diamonds, on himself that great enterprise at or pearl and gold, the choicest the thought of which the whole in- whereof are produced in the east. fernal affembly trembled; his en- Spenser expresses the same thought countering the hideous phantom, thus, Faery Queen, B. 3. C. 4. who guarded the gates of Hell and St. 23. appeared to him in all his terrors,

that it did pass are instances of that proud and

Th' wealth of th'east, and pomp daring mind, which could not brook of Persian kings.

10

Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted fat, by merit rais’d

5
To that bad eminence; and from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heav'n, and by success untaught
His proud imaginations thus display'd.

Pow'rs and Dominions, Deities of Heaven,
For since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigor, though oppress’d and fall’n, ,
I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent
Celestial virtues rising, will appear

15 More glorious and more dread than from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no second fate.

Mc

And the east is said to foow'r them Rich pearls upon thee. with richest hand by an excellent metaphor to express the great And this pearl and gold is called plenty and abundance of them, barbaric pearl and gold, after the and to show'r them on her kings, manner of the Greeks and Robecause there the kings have the mans, who accounted all other na.. principal share of property; or this tions barbarous; as Virgil faid, might be said, as Dr. Pearce con Æn. II.

504 ceives, in allusion to the custom us'd at the coronation of some Barbarico postes auro fpoliisque sukings in the east, of show'ring perbi. gold and precious stones upon their heads. And the same fort and Æn. VIII. 685. ef metaphor is used in Shakespear,

Hinc ope barbarica variisque Anto. Ant. and Cleopat, Act II.

nius armis I'll set thee in a fow's of gold,

Victor ab auroræ populis and hail

Taffo allo (as Mr. Thyer farther

adds)

Me though just right, and the fix'd laws of Heaven
Did first create your leader, next free choice, ,
With what besides, in counsel or in fight, 20
Hath been achiev'd of merit, yet this loss
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Establish'd in a safe unenyied throne
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thund'rer's aim
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain ? where there is then no good 30
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there

From

25

adds) adopts this word into the Ita- leader, yet this loss hath much lian language in a description simi- more establish'd in a safe unenvied lar to this, Cant. 17. St. 10. throne. E ricco di barbarico ornamento, In habito regal splender fi vede.

21, achiev'd] We spell it as

we pronounce it atchiev'd; but 11. Porv'rs and Dominions,] As Milton writes it achiev'd, like the St. Paul calls the Angels, Tbrones French achever, from whence it is or Dominions or Principalities or

deriv'd. Powers, Col. I. 16.

24.

The happier fate 18. Me though juft right, &c.] In Heav'n, which follows dignity, Me is rightly placed ferit in the sen- &c.] He means that the higher in tence, being the emphatical word dignity any being was in Heaven, and the accusative case govern'd the happier his state was ; and that by the two verbs which follow, therefore inferiors might there envy create and establisbd. Me though superiors, because they were hapJut right, &c. did first create your pies too,

Pearce.

33•

no

From faction ; for none sure will clame in Hell
Precedence, none, whose portion is so small
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more. With this advantage then 35
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heav'n, we now return
To clame our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity
Could have assur’d us; and by what best way, 40
Whether of open war or covert guile,
We now debate; who can advise, may speak.
He ceas'd, and next him Moloch, scepter'd king,

Stood

33. -- none, whose portion &c] circumstances full of that fire and Here seems to be some obscurity fury which distinguish this Spirit and difficulty in the syntax. Dr. from the rest of the fallen Angels, Bentley and Dr. Heylin would read He is describ'd in the firit book, as and point the parrage thus : besmeared wich the blood of hu

man sacrifices, and delighted with --for none sure will clame in Hell the tears of parents and the cries Precedence, none. Whose portion of children. "In the second book is so small

he is marked out as the fiercelt SpiOf prefert pain, that with ambi- rit that fought in Heaven : and if tious mind

we consider the figure he makes He'll covet more?

in the sixth book, where the battel

of Angels is described, we find it 40. and by what best way, every way answerable to the same Smoother and

more emphatical furious enraged character. It may thus,

be worth while to observe, that

Milton has represented this violent and by rehat way best.

impetuous Spirit, who is hurried on

Bentley. by such precipitate paffions, as the 43.

next bim Moloch,] The first that rises in that affemsiy, to part of Melech is likewife in all its give his opinion upon their present part of Molech is likewise in all its polture of affairs. “Accordingly he

declares

Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heav'n, now fiercer by despair : 45
His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd
Equal in strength, and rather than be less
Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost
Went all his fear : of God, or Hell, or worse
He reck'd not, and these words thereafter spake. '50

My sentence is for open war: of wiles,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.
For while they fit contriving, shall the rest,
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait 55

The

declares himself abruptly for war, 47:- and rather than be l.fi and appears incensed at his com Card not to be at all;] Dr. Bente panions, for losing so much time as ley reads He rather than &c. beeven to deliberate upon it. All his cause at present the construction is sentiments are raih, audacious and and his truit car'd 197 &c. But such · desperate. Such is that of arming small faults are not only to be parthemselves with their tortures, and don'd but overlook'd in great geturning their punithments upon hin niuses. Fabius VIII. 3. fays of Ciwho inflicted them. His preferring cero, In vitium fæpe incidit fecurus annihilation to shame or milery is tam parvæ observationis : and in also highly suitable to his character; X. 1. Neque id fta'im legenti peras the comfort he draws from their fuasum sit omnia, quæ magni auce disturbing the peace of Heaven, tores dixerint, effe perfecta ; nam that if it be not victory it is re et labuntur aliquando, et oneri cevenge, is a sentiment truly diabo- dunt &c. Pearce. Tcal, and becoming the bitterness 50. He reck’d 101,] He made no of this implacable Spirit. Addifon. account of. To reck much the

fame as to reckon, and spake there43. fcepter'd king,] As Ho- efter, that is accordingly, as one mer lays 5x7,71cy. Baciasus. Iliad. who made no account of God or

Hiell or any thing.

56.-fit

1. 279

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