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In rhombs and wedges, and half-moons, and wings.

He look'd, and saw what numbers numberless The city gates out-pour’d, light armed troops 311 In coats of mail and military pride ; In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong, Prauncing their riders bore, the flow'r and choice Of many provinces from bound to bound;

315 From Arachofia, from Candaor east,


309. In rhombs and wedges, utrumque toto corpore tegunt : Rhombs is a word formed from the and from Appian De Bell. Parth. Greek goreca or Latin rhombus, a οι 9' ιπποι καταπεφραγμενοι χαλκους figure of four fides, which being xan Codegois Crete Coucou, converted into one of three makes a wedge. In re militari etiam tranf

315. Of many provinces from bound formatum in triquetrum, cuneum to bound ;] He had mention'd feu rostrum vocamus. Rob. Ste- before the principal cities of the phens. In Greek it was called Parthians, and now he recounts ρομοϊδης φαλαγξ. .

several of their provinces ; Araco-.

fia near the river Indus, fexft 310. - what numbers numberless] T8 Indy Wolamo Tilapisin, Strabo A manner of expression this, tho' Lib. 11. p. 516. Candaor not Ganmuch censur'd in our author, very daor as in some editions, I suppose familiar with the best Greek poets. the Candari a people of India menÆschyl. Prom. 904.

tion'd by Pliny. Lib. 6. Sect. 18.

who are different Father Harduin Απολεμος δδε γ ο πολεμο», απορά fays from the Gandari. These Περιμε». .

were provinces to the eaji, and to Persæ 682.

the north Margiana and Hyrcania,

αυται προσεχεις μεν ναες ανακες αναες-ωολις απολις.


τη βορεια πλευρα το Ταυρο'.

Strabo Lib. 2. p. 72, and mount 313. In mail their horfes clad,] Caucasus, and Iberia, which is callThat this was the practice among ed dark, as the country abounded the Parthians we learn from Justin with forests, Iberi faltuosos locos XLI. 2. Munimentum ipfis equif- incolentes. Tacitus Annal. Lib. 6. que loricæ plumatæ funt, quæ Atropatia lay west of Media, in

άπασαι γαρ



And Margiana to the Hyrcanian cliffs
Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales,
From Atropatia and the neighb’ring plains
Of Adiabene, Media, and the south
Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven.
He saw them in their forms of battle rang’d.
How quick they wheel’d, and flying behind them shot
Sharp fleet of arrowy show'rs against the face


δε μεγαλη Μηδια προς δυσιν. Strabo is follow'd in all the editions fince. Lib. 11. p. 523. Adiabene was Sharp fleet &c is a metaphor, as the western part of Babylonia, Mr. Richardson has noted, not unano de ducews Adicorun, and Strabo like that in Virgil Æn. XI. 610. says was a plain country, Tn5 fuer -- fundunt fimul undique tela εν Αδιαβηνης η πλειση σεδιας εσι, , Strabo Lib, 16. p. 745. Sufianą

Crebra nivis ritu. was on the south, extending to And the custom of the Parthians the Persian gulf, de xwzee Tns of shooting their arrows behind Darating xabnxet, Strabo Lib. 15. them and overcoming by flight is p. 728. where was also Balsara's so celebrated by historians and haven, the same as Teredon before-, poets, and is so well known to mention’d. And thus he surveys every one of the least reading, that their provinces from bound to bound. it is almost needless to bring any And the reader cannot but remark authorities to prove it. Deuryou with pleafure how very exact he γαρ αμα βαλλονλες οι Παρθοιis in his account of cities and coun και οφωλαίον εν, αμυνόμενος tries, and how well he mu{t have CW Stofzo, και της φυγης αφαιρειν το remember'd, and how faithfully : 210xşov. Appian de Bel, Parth, he has copied the ancient geogra- Virg. Georg. III. 31. phers and historians.

Fidentemque fugâ Parthum ver

fisque sagittis, 323. — and flying behind them foot

Sharp fleet of arrowy show'rs] In Hor. Od. I. XIX. II. the first edition it was printed jhow'r by mistake, and is corrected Et versis animosum equis show'rs among the Errata, but this Parthum dicere. notwithstanding the faulty reading


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326. The


Of their pursuers, and overcame by flight;
The field all iron cast a gleaming brown:
Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn
Cuirassiers all in steel for standing fight,
Chariots or elephants indors'd with towers
Of archers, nor of lab’ring pioneers
A multitude with spades and axes arm’d



326. The field all iron cajt a nor with what follows to the same

gleaming brown :) One cannot purpose ver. 344. pass over this line without taking notice of the particular beauty and

Such and so numerous was their expressiveness of it. The sense

chivalry. contained in it would have served 328. Cuiraffiers all in fteel] By a common romance writer to have cuirasiers are to be understood spun out into a paragraph of half horsemen armed with cuirasses, a page length.

Thyer. which covered the body quite I believe the reader will agree with round from the neck to the waste. me that it greatly exceeds Fairfax. If what Chambers says in his Cant. 1. St. 64.

Dictionary be true, viz. that these

sort of troops were not introduc'd Imbatteled in walls of iron brown. till the year 1300, Milton has been

guilty of a great anachronism. and even Virgil, Æn. XI. 601.

Thyer. tum late ferreus hastis But it appears that the Parthians

had such troops, and particularly

from the quotation which we lately 327. Nor wanted clouds of foot,] made from Justin ; Munimentum So we have in Homer Iliad IV. ipfis equisque loricæ plumatæ sunt, 274. 2005 wew, and in Virgil quæ utrumque toto corpore tegunt. Æn. VII. 793. nimbus peditum : but XLI. 2. as Mr. Thyer observes with me, 329. - elephants indors'd with this verse is not very consistent with towers] That is with towers what goes before, ver. 307. upon their backs. The reader must

know very little of Milton's stile, All horsemen, in which fight they who knoweth not that it is his memoit excel;

thod to make use of words in their


Horret ager.

To lay hills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill,
Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay
With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke ;
Mules after these, camels and dromedaries,

And waggons fraught with utensils of war.
Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
When Agrican with all his northern powers


primary and original meaning, ra- credible, and extravagant even ther than according to their com- beyond the common extravagancy mon acceptation.

of romances. Agrican the Tartar 330. - nor of lab'ring pioneers king brings into the field no less

A multitude &c.] Nor wanted than two millions two hundred the verb in ver. 327, a multitude thousand; with Spades and axes arm’d, very

Ventidua centinaia di migliara like that in Paradise Loft, 1. 675.

Di caualier hauca quel Rè nel as when bands

campo, Of pioneers with spade and Cosa non mai udita pick-ax arm'd &C.

And Sacripante the king of Cir333 or overlay

cassia, who comes to the assistance With bridges rivers proud, as of Gallaphrone, three hundred and

with a yoke ;] Alluding pro- eighty-two thousand. It must be bably to Æschylus's description of acknowledged, I think, by the Xerxes's bridge over the Helle- greatest admirers of Milton, that fpont. Perfæ ver. 71.

the impression which romances had

made upon his imagination in his Πολυγομφον οδισμα Ζυγον αμφιβαλων αυχενι σουλα.

youth, has in this place led him

into a blameable excess. Not to Thyer.

mention the notorious fabulous337. Such forces met not, nor so ness of the fact alluded to, which wide a camp,

I doubt some people will censure When Agrican &c] What Milton in a poem of so grave a turn, the here alludes to is related in Boi- number of the troops of Agrican ardo's Orlando Inamorato L. 1. &c. is by far too much disproporCant. 10. The number of forces tion'd to any army, which the said to be there assembled is in- Parthian king by an historical


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Besieg'd Albracca, as romances tell,
The city of Gallaphrone, from whence to win

The fairest of her sex Angelica
His daughter, fought by many prowest knights,
Both Paynim, and the peers of Charlemain.
Such and so numerous was their chivalry ;
At sight whereof the Fiend yet more presum’d, 345
And to our Saviour thus his words renew'd.

That thou may'st know I seek not to engage Thy virtue, and not every way secure On no flight grounds thy safety; hear, and mark To what end I have brought thee hither and shown All this fair fight : thy kingdom though foretold

351 By prophet or by Angel, unless thou Erdevor, as thy father David did, Thou never shalt obtain ; prediction still In all things, and all men, supposes means, 355


evidence could be fupposed to gun. As Milton fetches his simile bring into the field.

Tbyer. from a

romance he adopts the 341. The fuirest of her sex Ange- terms used by these writers, viz.

lica &c] This is that Angeli- prowest and Paynim. Thyer. ca who afterwards made her ap 366. -- and captive lead away ber pearance in the same character'in kings Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, which Antigonus, and old Hyrcanus bound,] was intended as a continuation of Here Teems to be a slip of me the story, which Boiardo had be- mory in our author. The Par,

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