صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


Of rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
To set himself in glory' above his peers,
He trusted to have equall’d the Most High,
If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God
Rais'd impious war in heav'n and battle proud
With vain attempt. Him the almighty Power
Hurld headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky,



38. — by whose aid aspiring

aspiring To set himself in glory' above his

To place and glory above the Son of peers,] Here Dr. Bentley ob

Pearce. jects, that Satan's crime was not, his aiming above his peers : he Besides the other methods which was in place high above them be- Milton has employed to diverfore, as the Doctor proves from sify and improve his numbers, v. 812. But though this be be takes the same liberties as true, yet Milton may be right Shakespeare and others of our here; for the force of the words old poets, and in imitation of

the Greeks and Latins often seems, not that Satan aspired to

cuts off the vowel at the end of set himself above his peers, but that he aspired to set himself in

a word, when the next word glory, &c. That is in divine glory, begins with a vowel; though in such glory as God and his Son were set in. Here was his wholly drop the vowel, but still crime; and this is what God

retains it in writing like the

Latins. Another liberty, that charges him with in v. 725.

he takes likewise for the greater - wbo intends to' erect his improvement and variety of his throne

versification, is pronouncing the Equal to ours,

same word sometimes as two And in vi. 88. Milton says that syllables, and sometimes as only the rebel angels hoped

one syllable or two short ones.

We have frequent instances in To win the mount of God, and on spirit, ruin, riot, reason, highest, his throne

and several other words. We To set the envier of bis state, the shall take care throughout this

proud Aspirer.

edition to mark such vowels as

are to be cut off, and such as See also to the same purpose vii. are to be contracted and abbre140, &c. From these passages viated, thus'. it appears that there is no occa

45. Hurld headlong flaming sion for Dr. Bentley's alteration, from th' ethereal sky,] Hom. which is this,

Tiad. i. 591.

With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night 50
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish’d, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded though immortal : but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath ; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain

Torments him ; round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate :
At once, as far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild ;

60 A dungeon horrible on all sides round As one great furnace flam’d, yet from those flames “Ριψε, σοδος σιαγων, απο βηλου θεσσι 48. In adamantine chains)

Æschylus, Prometh. 6. Hurl's headlong downward from th'

Αδαμανμνων δεσμων εν αρρηκτοις σιδαις. . ethereal height. Pope.

50. Nine times, &c.] The nine

days' astonishment, in which the 46. With hideous ruin and com- angels lay intranced after their bustion,] Ruin is derived from dreadful overthrow and fall from ruo, and includes the idea of heaven before they could refalling with violence and pre- cover either the use of thought cipitation, and combustion is more or speech, is a noble circumthan flaming in the foregoing stance, and very finely imagined. verse, it is burning in a dreadful The division of hell into seas of manner. So that he was not fire, and into firm ground imonly hurld headlong flaming, but pregnant with the same furious he was hurled headlong flaming element, with that particular with hideous ruin and combustion; circumstance of the exclusion of and what occasion is there then hope from those infernal regions, for reading with Dr. Bentley are instances of the same great confusion instead of combustion ? and fruitful invention. Addison.



No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum’d:
Such place eternal Justice had prepar’d
For those rebellious, here their pris’on ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set



63. -darkness visible] Se- perhaps take the bint from himDeca has a like expression, speak- self in his Il Penseroso, ing of the Grotta of Pausilipo,

Where glowing embers through the Epist. lvii. Nihil illo carcere longius, nihil illis faucibus obscu. Teach light to counterfeit a gloom. rius, quæ nobis præstant, non ut

72. In utter darkness.] Dr. per tenebras videamus, sed ut ip- Bentley reads outer here and in sas. And, as Mons. Voltaire observes, Antonio de Solis, in his because it is in Scripture to PXOTOS

many other places of this poem, excellent history of Mexico, hath ventured on the same thought, tell me that utter and outer are

To sižetsgov: but my dictionaries when speaking of the place both the same word, differently wherein Montezuma was wont to consult his deities;

or 'Twas a

spelt and pronounced. Milton, " Jarge dark subterraneous vault,

in the argument of this book, says he, where some dismal says, in a place of utter darkness,

and no where throughout the tapers afforded just light e"nough to see the obscurity."


does the poet use outer.

Pearce. See bis Essay on Epic Poetry,

Spenser justifies the present p. 44. Euripides too expresses reading, by frequently using the himself in the same poetical word utter for outer ; as in Faery manner. Bac. 510.

Queen, b. ii. cant. ii. st. 34. -ώς αν σκοτιον εισορα κεφας. .

And inly grieve, as doth an hidden

moth There is much the same image

The inner garment fret, not th' utter in Spenser, but not

so bold.

touch. Faery Queen, b. i. cant. i. st. 14.

And again, b. iv. cant. 10. st. 11. A little glooming light, much like a

Till to the bridge's ulter gate I shade. Or, after all, the author might




As far remov'd from God and light of heav'n,
As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell !
There the companions of his fall, o’erwhelm’d
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and welt’ring by his side
One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam’d
Beëlzebub. To whom th' arch-enemy, ,
And thence in heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began.


74. As from the centre thrice to But Milton's whole description th utmost pole.] Thrice as far of hell as much exceeds theirs. as it is from the centre of the as in this single circumstance of earth (which is the centre of the the depth of it. And how cool world according to Milton's sys- and unaffecting is the tagtapos tem, ix. 103. and x. 671.) to the negoerta, the cidnes.auite sur rai pole of the world; for it is the xemx toy oudos of Homer, and the pole of the universe, far beyond lugentes campi, the ferrea turris, the pole of the earth, which is and horrisono stridentes cardine here called the utmost pole. It porta of Virgil, in comparison is observable that Homer makes with this description by Milton, the seat of hell as far beneath concluding with that artful conthe deepest pit of earth, as the trast, heaven is above the earth,

O bow unlike the place from wbeuce Τοσσον ενερθ αϊδεω, όσον ουρανος εξ' απο

they fell ! yains. Iliad. viii. 16.

81. Beëlzebub.] The lord of Virgil makes it twice as far,

flics, an idol worshipped at Ekron, Tum Tartarus ipse

a city of the Philistines, 2 Kings Bis patet in præceps tantum tendit. i. 2. He is called prince of the que sub umbras,

devils, Matt. xii. 24. Therefore deQuantus ad æthereum cæli suspectus servedly here made second to Olympum. Æn. vi. 577.

Satan himself. Hume. And Milton thrice as far,

82. And thence in hear'n called As far remov'd from God and light of Hebrew signifies an enenıy; he

Satan,] For the word Satan in bearen, As from the centre thrice to th' ut is the enemy by way of eminence, nost pole

the chief enemy of God and man.


If thou beest he; but O how fall’n ! how chang'd
From him, who in the happy realms of light
Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst outshine
Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ru’in: into what pit thou seest


84. If thou beest he; &c.] The proud unrelenting mind. Richardthoughts in the first speech and son. description of Satan, who is one 84. but O how fall’n ! how of the principal actors in this chang'd poem, are wonderfully proper to From him,) give us a full idea of him. His He imitates Isaiah and Virgil at pride, envy, and revenge, obsti- the same time. Isaiah xiv. 12. nacy, despair, and impenitence, How art thou fallen, &c. and Virare all of them very artfully in- gil's Æn. ii. 274. terwoven. In short, his first Hei mihi qualis erat ! quantum muspeech is a complication of all tatus ab illo ! those passions, which discover 86. Cloth'd with transcendent themselves separately in several brightness didst outshine other of his speeches in the Myriads though bright !] poem. Addison.

Imitated from Homer, Odyss. vi. The change and confusion of 110. where Diana excels all her these enemies of God is most nymphs in beauty, though all of artfully expressed in the abrupt- them be beautiful. ness of the beginning of this “Ρια δ' αριγνωτη σελιται, καλαι δε το speech : If thou art be, that Beëlzebub-He stops, and falls into

Bentley. a bitter reflection on their pre 91. In equal ruin :) So it is in sent condition, compared with all the editions. And equal ruin that in which they lately were. is Dr. Bentley's emendation, He attempts again to open his which Dr. Pearce allows (and I mind; cannot proceed on what believe every body must allow) be intends to say, but returns to to be just and proper; it being those sad thoughts; still doubt- very easy to mistake one of these ing whether it is really his asso words for the other; and other ciate in the revolt, as now in instances perhaps may occur in misery and ruin; by that time the course of this work. Equal he had expatiated on this (his ruin hath joined now, as equal heart was oppressed with it) he hope joined before ; somewhat is assured to whom he speaks, like that in Ovid's Metamorphoand goes on

to declare his sis, i. 351. VOL. I.



« السابقةمتابعة »