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What can be then less in me than desire
To see thee and approach thee, whom I know.
Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent 385
Thy wisdom, and behold thy Godlike deeds?
Men generally think me much a foe
To all mankind : why should I? they to me
Never did wrong or violence; by them
I lost not what I lost, rather by them

I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell
Copartner in these regions of the world,
If not disposer ; lend them oft my aid,
Oft my advice by presages and signs,


and signs,

Whilst thus he talk’d, the knight duration of the war they were with greedy ear

going upon, is called by Homer Hung Itill upon his melting jaya orphez, a great fign, Iliad II. mouth attent. Thyer. 308. What were the Lacedæmo

nians profited before (faith Cicero 394. Oft my advice by presages De Div. II. 25.) or our own coun

trymen lately by the ofients and And answers, oracles, portents and their interpreters ? which, if we

dreams,] 1. Portents are but must believe them to be figns sent odly thrown in here betwixt oracles by the Gods, why were they so oband dreams ; besides that the mean scure? Quid igitur aut oftenta, aut ing of the word had been fully ex eorum interpretes, vel Lacedæmopressed before by presages and signs. nios olim, vel nuper noftros adju These comprehend all the imagined verunt ? quæ fi figna Deorum punotes of futurity in auguries, in fa- tanda funt, cur tam obscura fuecrifices, in lightnings, and in all the runt? This passage of Cicero will varieties of portents, oftents, prodi- lead us to the sense of the next gies. That portent at Aulis, which word, which very naturally folihowed the Greeks the success and lows presages and signs, and is con


D 3

And answers, oracles, portents and dreams,

395 Whereby they may direct their future life. Envy they say excites me, thus to gain Companions of my misery and woe. At first it may be; but long since with woe


neced with them. In Cicero we fomnia; and why might not Milton have signs and their interpreters, join them with oracles and dreams ? and here signs and their interpreta- In answer to this I observe, that tions; for this I take to be the the word portents in our poet is not meaning of answers. The harul- only irregularly inserted, but expicum responsa amongst the Romans cludes another species of divinaare obvious authorities. 2. There tion out of a place, where the auare three species of divination dif- thority of Cicero himself, and in tinguished from the former by Signs, this very passage too, would make in Cicero's first book on that sub one expect to find it; which canject, viz. dreams, vaticinations or not be said of portentis. And now prophecies, and oracles. Carent au- perhaps a conjecture may appear tem arte ii, qui non ratione, aut not void of probability, that the conjectura, observatis ac notatis poet dictated, fignis, fed concitatione quadam ani

And answers, oracles, prophets, mi, aut foluto liberoque motu fu

and dreams. , Calton. tura præfentiunt ;. quod & fomniantibus fæpe contingit, & nonnun. I have given this learned note at quam vaticinantibus per furorem, length, though I can by no means &c. Cujus generis oracula etiam agree to the proposed alteration. habenda funt. De Div. I. 18. Thefe My greatest objection to it is, that three frequently occur together; I conceive Milton would not have as again in this first book. 51. Item inserted prophets between oracles igitur fomniis, vaticinationibus, ora and dreams, any more than Cicero culis, &c. And again in de Nat. would have inserted vates between Deor. II. 65. Multa cernunt ha- oracula and somnia. Cicero has said rufpices: multa augures provident: oraculd, vaticinationes, fomnia; and multa oraculis declarantur, multa Milton in like manner would have vaticinationibus, multa fomniis (and said by presages and signs, and anI will fairly add, tho' it may be swers, oracles, prophecies, not prothought to make against me) multa phets, and dreams. But I suppose portentis. Here portents are joined ihe poet was not willing to ascribe with cracula, vaticinationes, and prophecy to the Devil; he might

Nearer acquainted, now I feel by proof, 400
That fellowship in pain divides not smart,
Nor lightens ought each man's peculiar load.
Sinall consolation then, were man adjoin'd:
This wounds me molt (what can it less?) that man,


think, and very justly think, that That fellowship in pain divides not it lay not within his sphere and ca Smart,] Our author here had pacity: and by portents he plainly in his eye this line of the poet, understands something more than

Solamen miseris focios habuiffe presages and signs, as portenta are

doloris. ranked with monstra and prodigia

T byer. in the best Latin authors. The

402. Nor lightens aught each man's gentleman seems apprehensive that peculiar load.] I think it will his last quotation from Cicero may not be cavilling to say, that each be turned against him : and indeed man's peculiar load should not be that passage and chis reflects fo put in the mouth of Satan, who much light on each other, as would was no man, who had confefied to incline one to believe that Milton Christ that he was the unfortunate had it in mind as he was com Arch-Fiend, and who speaks of posing. Multa cernunt haruspices: himself. If Milton had been a muita augures provident: 'these ware of it, he would have correctare the presages and fi3125 and an ed it thus, swers : multa oraculis declarantur, multa vaticinationibus, multa

Nor lightens aught each one's

peculiar load, somniis, multa portentis : here portents are annumerated with ora or in some other manner. Besides, cles and dreams: quibus cognitis, the word man is repeated here too multæ fæpe res hominum fententia often. atque utilitate partæ (or as Lambin reads, ex animi fententia atque utili

Nor lightens aught each man's

peculiar load. trate parte) multa etiam pericula

Small consolation then, were man depulía sunt: the sense of which

adjoin’d: is very well expressed by the following line in Milton,

This wounds me most (what can

ic less?) that man, Whereby they may direct their Man fall’n shall be restor’d, I future life.

Fortin. 400. - now I feel by proof, 404

This wounds me most &c.]


never more.


Man fall’n shall be restor’d, I never more. 405

To whom our Saviour sternly thus reply'd. Deservedly thou gricv'st, compos’d of lies From the beginning, and in lies wilt end; Who boast'st releale from Hell, and leave to come Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns : thou com'st indeed, 410 As a poor miserable captive thrall Comes to the place where he before had fat Among the prime in splendor, now depos’d, Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shunn'd, A spectacle of ruin or of scorn

415 To all the host of Heav'n : the happy place Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy, Rather inflames thy torment, representing Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable,


Very artful. As he could not ac one great part of his design, that quit himself of envy and mischief he might be able, if possible, to he endeavours to soften his crimes counterplot and prevent it. With by afligning this cause of them. no less judgment is our Saviour re

Warburton. presented in the following answer, This wounds me most (what can taking no other notice of it than by it less ?') that man,

replying Deservedly thou griev'f &c. Man fall'n fhall be restor’d, I


416. -the happy place &c.] The The poet very judiciously makes fame noble sentiment we find also the Tempter conclude with these in Paradise Loit. IX. 467. lines concerning the restoration of But the hot Hell that always in fallen man, in order to lead our Sa him burns, viour to say something about the Though in mid Heav'n, &c. manner of it, to know which was

never more.


417. Im.

So never more in Hell than when in Heaven.

420 But thou art serviceable to Heav'n's King. Wilt thou impute to' obedience what thy fear Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ? What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem Of righteous Job, then cruelly to’afflict him 425 With all inflictions ? but his patience won. The other service was thy chosen task, To be a liar in four hundred mouths For lying is thy sustenance, thy food. Yet thou pretend'st to truth; all oracles 430 By thee are giv'n, and what confess'd more true Among the nations ? that hath been thy craft, By mixing somewhat true to vent more lies. But what have been thy answers, what but dark,


417. Imparts to thee] In all the 426. With all infiftions? but his editions it is printed Imports to thee, patience won.) So Mr. Fenton but in the Errata of the first edition points this paffage in his edition, we are desired to read Imparts to and so it should be pointed. And thee. It is no wonder that the er the verb won I think is not often rors of the first edition are conti- used as a verb neuter, but I find nued in the subsequent ones, when it fo in Spenser's Faery Queen, those errors do not much disturb the B. I. Cant. 6. St. 39. sense: but even where they make downright nonsense of the passage,

And he the stouteit knight thať they are still continued; and we had a most remarkable instance a little 434. But what have been thy an. before in ver. 400. Never acquaint wers, what but dark,] The ed for Nearer acquainted,

oracles were often ro obscure and


ever won.

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