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PErplex'd and troubled at his bad success

The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply, Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric That fleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve, 5 So little here, nay loft; but Eve was Eve, This far his over-match, who felf-deceiv'd And rash, before-hand had no better weigh'd The strength he was to cope with, or his own: But as a man who had been matchless held



7. This far bis over-match, who self-deceiv'd he had weigh'd it, but should have weigh'd it &c.] An usual construction in Milton, This, better; if he had been fully appris'd whom he far an over-match for him, who self-deceiv'd was contending with, he would have ceased and rash, before-band had no better weigh'd &c. from the contention. Neither is this inconsistent, as Mr. Thyer con- 10. But as a man &c ] It is the method of ceives it to be, with what Satan had declar'd Homer to illustrate and adorn the same subject in Book II. 131.

with several similitudes, as the reader may see Have found him, view'd him, tasted him, particularly in the second book of the Iliad Have found him, view'd him, tasted him, before the catalogue of ships and warriors;

but find Far other labor to be undergone &c.

and our author here follows his example, and

presents us, as I may fay, with a string of fiHe had made some trials of his strength, but militudes together. This fecundity and variety had not sufficiently consider'd it before-band; of the two poets can never be sufficien.ly


admired :

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In cunning, over-reach'd where least he thought,
To falve his credit, and for very spite,
Still will be tempting him who foils him ftill,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;
Or as a swarm of Aies in vintage time,
About the wine-press where sweet must is pour’d,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
Or surging waves against a solid rock,
Though all to fhivers dafh'd, th'affault renew,
Vain batt'ry, and in froth or bubbles end;



admired : but Milton, I think, has the advan- . The comparison is very juft, and also in the tage

in this respect, that in Homer the lowest manner of Homer. Iliad. XVI. 641. comparison is sometimes the last, whereas here

Οι δ' αιει σερί νεκρών ομιλεον, ως οτε μυαι in Milton they rife in my opinion, and im

Σταθμω ενα βρομεώσι περιγλαγεας κατα σελ. prove one upon another. The first has too

• λας much fameness with the subject it would il

Ωρη εν εαρινη, ότε τε γλαγος αβγεα σάνει.

afrea abuer. lustrate, and gives us no new ideas. The fecond is low, but it is the lowness of Homer, Illi vero assidue circa mortuum versabantur, and at the same time is very natural. The ut quum muscæ third is free from the defects of the other two, In caula susurrant lacte plenas ad muletras and rises up to Milton's ufual dignity and ma- Tempore in verno, quando lac vasa rigat. jesty. Mr. Thyer, who has partly made the fame observations with me, says that Milcon, as if conscious of the defects of the two fore- Και οι μυης θαρσG ενι σηθεσιν ενηκεν, going comparisons, rises up here to his usual Ητε και εργομνη μαλα σερ χe9ος ανδρομεοιο, fublimity, and presents to the reader's mind Ιχαναα σακεειν. an image, which not only fills and satisfies

Et ei museæ audaciam pectoribus immifit, the imagination, but also perfectly expresies Quæ licet abacta crebro à corpore humano, both the unmov'd stedfastness of our Sa

Appetit mordere.

Fortin. viour, and the frustrated baffled attempts of Satan.

This fimile iş very much in the same taste with: 15. Or es a swerm of flies in vintage time, &c] one in the second Iliad of Homer, where he '


Iliad. XVII. 570.


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So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse
Met ever, and to shameful silence brought,
Yet gives not o'er though defp'rate of success;
And his vain importunity pursues.
He brought our Saviour to the western side
Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
Another plain, long but in breadth not wide,
Wash'd by the southern sea, and on the north
To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills,
That screen'd the fruits of th’earth and seats of men 30


compares the Greek army to (warms of fliessening the dignity of the description rather buzzing about the Mepherds milk-pail in the adds to it, by exciting in the reader's mind a Spring, and seems liable to the fame objection greater idea of the tremendous majesty of the which is made to that, of being too low for Son of God. This comparison of the fies the grandeur of the subject. It must however now before us would have answer'd his purbe allow'd, that nothing could better express pofe much better.

Thyer. the teazing ceaseless importunity of the Tempter I cannot entirely agree with my ingenious than this does. Mr. Pope in his note on this friend; for Mr. Pope is discoursing there of passage of Homer observes that Milton, who low images, which are preceded by others of was a close imitator of him, bas often copied bim a lofty strain, and on that account this comin these bumble comparisons, and instances those parison, however suitable in other respects, lines in the end of the sixth book of his Para- would not have been so proper for his purdise Lost, where the rebel Angels thunder- pose. struck by the Messiah are compared to a berd of goats or timorous flock toget ber throng'd. The 27. Another plain, &c] The learned reader observation is juft, but very far in my opinion need not be inform’d, that the country here from being verified by the passage produc'd. meant is Italy, which indeed is long but not No image of terror or confternation could be broad, and is wash'd by the Mediterranean on too low for that exhausted fpiritless condition, the fouth, and screen’d by the Alps on the in which those vanquish'd Angels must at that north, and divided in the midst by the river inftant be supposed to be, and that abject ti- Tiber. morousness imputed to them, instead of lef

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From cold Septentrion blasts, thence in the midst
Divided by a river, of whose banks
On each side an imperial city stood,
With tow’rs and temples proudly elevate
On sev’n small hills, with palaces adorn’d,
Porches and theatres, baths, aqueducts,
Statues and trophies, and triumphal arcs,
Gardens and groves presented to his eyes,
Above the highth of mountains interpos’d:
By what strange parallax or optic skill
Of vision multiply'd through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to inquire:
And now the Tempter thus his silence broke.
The city which thou feeft no other deem


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II. 535

35. On sevin small bills, ] Virgil Georg. here alludes to is a fanciful notion which I

find imputed to our famous countryman Hugh

Broughton. Cornelius a Lapide in fumming Septemque una fibi muro circumdedit arces.

up the various opinions upon this subject 40. By wbat Atrange parallax or optic skill gives it in these words : Alii subtiliter ima&c] The learned have been very idly busy in ginantur, quod Dæmon per multa fpecula sibi contriving the manner in which Satan showed invicem objecta species regaorum ex uno speto our Saviour all the kingdoms of the world. culo in aliud et aliud continuò reflexerit, idSome suppose it was done by vision; others by que fecerit usque ad oculos Christi. In loSatan's creating phantasıns or species of diffe- . cum Matthæi. For want of a proper inde rent kingdoms, and presenting them to our I could not find the place in Broughton's Saviour's sight, &c. &c. But what Milton works. But Wolfius in his Curæ philolo


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