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95

From what height fall’n, so much the stronger prov’d
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms ? yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits arm’d,
That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos’d
In dubious battle on the plains of heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?

100

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O soror, O conjux, O fæmina sola

sages, where he is describing the superstes,

fierce and unrelenting spirit of Quam commune mihi genus, et patruelis origo,

Satan, seems very plainly to Deinde torus junxit, nunc ipsa peri. have copied after the picture cula jungunt.

that Æschylus gives of PromeIn equal ruin cannot answer to in theus. Thus Prometheus speakthe glorious enterprise, because ing of Jupiter. Prom. Vinct. Milton places a comma after en

991, terprise, and in construction it

-ριστεσθω μεν αιθαλουσα φλεξ follows after hazard, and not

Λευκοστερω δε νιφαδι, και βροντημασι after join'd.

Χθονίοις κυκατω σαντα, και ταροσσεται 93. He with his thunder:] There

Γναμψει γαρ ουδεν των δε μ', ώσε και

Φρασαι. is an uncommon beauty in this

Thyer. expression. Satan disdains to utter the name of God, though

98. And high disdain] This is he cannot but acknowledge his ser's. Thus in the Faery Queen,

a favourite expression of Spen. superiority. So again ver. 257.

b. i. cant. i. st. 19. -all but less than be

His gall did grate for grief and high Whom thunder hath made greater.

disdain. 94. -yet not for those, This is the alto sdegno of the Nor what the potent victor in Italians, from whom no doubt

he had it.

Thyer. Can else inflict, do I repent or 105. What though the ficlul change, &c.]

be lost? Milton in this and other pas

All is not lost ; &c.]

his rage

106

110

All is not lost; th' unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me.

To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy' and shame beneath
This downfall; since by fate the strength of Gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,

115

This passage is an excellent im- And then begins a new sentence provement upon Satan's speech according to all the best editions, to the infernal Spirits in Tasso, To bow and sue for grace, &c.cant. iv. st. 15. but seems to be that were low indeed, &c. that expressed from Fairfax's trans- still referring to what went belation rather than from the ori- fore; and by observing this ginal.

punctuation, this whole passage,

which has perplexed and conWe lost the field, yet lost we not our heart.

founded so many readers and

writers, is rendered plain and 109. And what is else not to be easy to be understood. overcome;] Here should be no 116. since by fale, &c.] note of interrogation, but only For Satan supposes the angels a semi-colon. The words And to subsist by fate and necessity, what is else not to be overcome and he represents them of an signify Et si quid sit aliud quod empyreal, that is a fiery subsuperari nequeat, and if there be stance, as the Scripture itself any thing else (besides the par- doth; He maketh his angels ticulars mentioned) which is not spirits, and his ministers a flame of to be overcome. Pearce. fire. Psal. civ. 4. Heb. i. 7. Sa

110. That glory, &c.] That tan disdains to submit, since the refers to what went before ; his angels (as he says) are necessaunconquerable will and study of rily immortal and cannot be deTerenge, his inmortal hate, and stroyed, and since too they are courage never to submit or yield, now improved in experience, and what besides is not to be over and may hope to carry on the come; these Satan esteems his war more successfully, notwithglory, and that glory he says God standing the present triumph of never should extort from him. their adversary in heaven.

190

Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th’excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of heaven.

So spake th' apostate Angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair:
And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.

O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers,
That led th’embattled Seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd heav'n's perpetual king,

125

130

124. -the tyranny of hea Talia voce refert; cursque ingentibus ven.] The poet speaking in his æger own person at ver. 42. of the

Spem vultu simulat, prerit altum

corde dolorem, supremacy of the Deity calls it the throne and monarchy of God; but here very artfully alters it to

131. -endanger'd hear'n's the tyranny of hcaren. Thyer.

perpetual king, ] The reader

should remark here the pro125. So spake th' apostate Angel, though in pain,

priety of the word perpetual. Vaunting alvid, but rack'd with Beëlzebub doth not say eternal deep despair :)

king, for then he cculd not have The sense of the last verse rises

boasted of endangering his kingfinely above that of the former: dom: but he endeavours to dein the first verse it is only said, Gou's everlasting dominion, and

tract as much as he can from that he spake though in pain: in the last the poet expresses a

calls him only perpetual king, great deal more; for Satan not king from time immemorial or only spake, but he raunted aloud,

without interruption, as Ovid and yet at the same time he was says perpetuum carmen, Met. i. 4. not only in pain, but was rack'd teith deep despair. Pearce.

- primaque ab origine mundi

Ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora The poet had probably in view

carmen. this passage of Virgil, Æn. i. 212.

What Beëlzebub means here is

185

140

And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate;
Too well I see and rue the dire event,
That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
Hath lost us heav'n, and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as Gods and heav’nly essences
Can perish: for the mind and spi'rit remains
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory' extinct, and happy state
Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if be our conqu’ror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o'er-pow’rd such force as ours)
Have left us this our spi'rit and strength entire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be,

150

144

expressed more at large after

To tread the ooze wards by Satan, ver. 637.

Of the salt deep.

To do me business in the veins of But he who reigns

earth Monarch ia beav'n, till then as one

To dive into the fire. secure Sat on his throne, upheld by old re Errands, v. 152. is probably used

pute, Consent or custom, &c.

in a contemptuous sense. See

the note, b. iii. 652. T. Wurton. 149. Or do him

mightier service 150. —whate'er his business as his thralls] Thrall is an old be,] The business which God word for slave; frequently used hath appointed for us to do. So by Spenser. Dunster.

in ii. 70. His torments are the The nature and purport of the torments which he hath apservices of Satan's imaginary pointed for us to suffer. Many crew, precisely correspond with instances of this way of speakthose of Ariel in the Tempest, ing may be found in this poem.

Pearce.

a. i. sc. 2.

Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep;
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?

155 Whereto with speedy words th’ Arch-Fiend replied.

Fall'n Cherub, to be weak is miserable Doing or suffering: but of this be sure, To do ought good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight,

160 As be’ing the contrary to his high will Whom we resist. If then his providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour 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

165

156. Whereto-] To what he is some comfort to have our had said last, which had startled strength undiminished; for it is Satan, and to which he thinks it a miserable thing (says he) to be proper to make a speedy reply. weak and without strength, wheSpeedy words are better applied ther we are doing or suffering. here than 6T 7Tigosyta are al. This is the sense of the place; ways in Homer.

and this is farther confirmed by 157. —to be weak is mise- what Belial says in ii. 199. rable

-To suffer as to do Doing or suffering :)

Our strength is equal. Satan having in his speech boast

Pearce. ed that the strength of Gods 159. To do ought good neter could not fail, ver. 116. and Beël- will be our task,] Dr. Bentley zebub having said, ver. 146. if would read it thus, God has left us this our strength To do ought good will never be our entire to suffer pain strongly, or task, lo do him mightier service as his as of a smoother and stronger thralls, what then can our strength accent: but I conceive that Milavail us ? Satan here replies very ton intended to vary the accent properly, whether we are to of never and ever in the next suffer or to work, yet still it verse.

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