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draws out a piece by lot. Whoever draws mounted with the skull of a horse or cow, the black bit is the devoted person to be when it can be procured. Without these sacrificed to Baal, whose favour they the tire is incomplete. There is always mean to implore in making the year pro- music and dancing until a late hour,ductive of the sustenance of man and sometimes till the dawn. In some places beast. Now the devoted person, in place a long file of men bearing flambeaux of being sacrificed, is obliged to leap proceed from the fire a considerable three times through the flames. Mr. distance, until they meet parties bePennant, in his Tour through Scotland, longing to another fire, marching in gives some additional particulars :-On similar procession ; and then both parties, the 1st of May, after kindling a fire in an waving their torches in mutual salutaopen space, they dress a caudle of eggs, tion, return. These long rows of moving milk, butter, and meal, to which each light seen on the slopes of the hills, and must contribute something; they begin the columns of flame from the blazing with spilling a portion of the caudle on piles, exhibit a very imposing spectacle. the ground by way of libation ; then each In North Wales this fire is kindled on person takes a cake marked into a num- the 1st of November, when each person ber of divisions, each dedicated to some who runs through the fire casts a stone particular animal or being, either as the into it, and then runs off to escape from supposed preserver or destroyer of their the black short-tailed cow : if any perflocks and herds; and breaking them off son's stone is missing in the morning, it in succession, with his face towards the is a diastrous sign. The custom of snapfire, flings them over his shoulder, say- apple, and burning nuts on that night is ing at each fling, "This I give to thee- generally allowed to be a remnant of this preserve my sheep;"_"This I give to superstition, which still in various shapes thee-preserve my horses.” So in the exists in Norway, Denmark, and the same way to the noxious animals—“This north of Germany. The Druids kindled I give to thee, fox-spare my lambs," &c. two great fires in the year, both in the
In Ireland,—at least in the south- beginning of summer and of winter. western part,—the "Baal Thinnih,” called Hence the difference of the time of obin English “ Bonefire,” by the peasan- servance in different places. try, is celebrated on St. John's eve. 438. Astoreth, or Astarte, was the godIt is a day and night of great merry- dess of the Phænicians, the same as the making. I have myself joined, when a
Her image was represented with boy, in the amusement and the ceremony. horns—“Siderum regina bicornis." (Hor. Close by cach farm house a fire is kindled Carmin. sec. xxxv.) Groves were generally in the evening, and the cattle are brought her temples, where such obscenities were to it: if they cannot be driven through committed as rendered her worship infait, each interested person takes a burn
She was the same as the Syrian ing brand, a branch of a bush or tree, Venus, the Carthaginian Juno, and the and strives to strike the animals, who Egyptian Isis. Sometimes her worship is are frequently hemmed in by a circle of described by that of “the host of heaven;" men and women, to prevent their escape hence she is rightly said here to “come in their consternation. The affrighted in troop," as she was one of them. Her beasts running to and fro, and their fire- worship was frequently joined to that of the armed pursuers, present together a curi- sun; but while human victims and other ous and exciting scene, which spreads bloody sacrifices were offered to Baal, over the whole country. Some of the men cakes, precious liquors, and perfumes were and women leap through the fire. The offered to her: tables were prepared for cattle are supposed to be rendered fruit- her offerings on the first of every month, ful, and preserved from evil during the on the flat roofs of houses, near gates, ensuing seasons, by this contact with the and on the cross ways. This the Greek's holy fire. This ceremony ended, all the called “Hecate's Supper." Solomon people of a district, young and old, as. erected a grove and temple for her on semble at the general “bonefire,” for the Mount of Olives. See 1 Kings xi. 5 ; which great preparations have been made. 2 Kings xxiii. 13.-(N.C. Spencer, De It is generally an immense pile of turf, Orig. Idolat.) of a pyramidal shape, with the decayed 444. “ Heart" is used here for untrunk of a tree in the middle, and out- derstanding, as it is sometimes ; so is cor topping the lofty pile, decked round with in Latin, and keap in Greek. dry bones and green boughs, and sur- 446. “ Thammuz," was the god of the
Syrians, the same as the river god pulled down, burying himself and all the Adonis, who was said to have been slain assembled princes of the land in its ruins. by a wild boar in the mountains of Liba- See Milton's Samson Agonistes, and nus, from which the river Adonis flows. the Book of Judges, xvi. and xxiii. &c. At certain seasons this river became of a He is identified by different authors with ruddy hue, which the inhabitants sup- different divinities, such as Neptune, posed to proceed from the blood of Ado- Jupiter, Venus, Ceres. From the various, nis rising and mixing with it. This was the almost contradictory accounts that the signal for celebrating the feasts of have been given by a host of learned men Adonis, when the women made loud la- of his attributes and powers, the simple mentations, inflicted stripes on them- inference to be drawn is, that as they selves, and performed all the ceremonies were a maritime people, they naturally reof frantic grief, as if for a dead relation presented their tutelar god as half marine, or protector. Then they performed fu- half terrestrial, exhibiting the benefits to neral obsequies in honour of him. On the be derived from the cultivation of the next day it was reported that he revived ground (meant by Ceres), and the naviand ascended to heaven. The discolour- gation of the sea (meant by Neptune); ation of the water Maundrel, who saw it Jupiter, or the ruling power of the sky in that state, says is produced by a sort and seasons, exercising an influence over of red earth, washed by the rain from the both; and Venus promoting propagaadjacent heights into the river. Tamuz tion; so that he was in reality the type means secret; hence Adonis was so called of the great ruling power of the world. from the mystery observed in some of his Some say he was emblematic of the trarites, which were of a gross and impious dition of Noah and his wife issuing from kind. These were transferred to Jeru- the sea, and then peopling and cultivating salem--even to the very temple on Mount the earth. Sion, to which Milton refers here. Eze- 471. Naaman, general of the armies kiel (viii. 13, &c.) says that he witnessed of Benhadad, king of Syria, being afflicted these abominations in the temple, where with the leprosy, was cured by the prohe "saw between the porch and the altar phet Elisha, who recommended him to twenty-five men with their faces towards bathe seven times in the Jordan. Naathe east, worshipping the sun.” He also man offered him presents, which Elisha “saw at the door of the gate towards the refused. Then he requested of him to north, women weeping for Thamuz.” allow him to take home two mule loads
458. “Who mourned in earnest." of the earth of the country, promising The following explanation of Newton has ever after to renounce the worship of been adopted by the modern commenta- Rimmon. Elisha consented. Ahaz, king tors:- "The lamentations for Adonis of Judah, introduced the worship of Rimwere without reason ; but there was real mon into Jerusalem after he bribed the occasion for Dagon's mourning, when king of Assyria with all the gold and the ark of the Lord was taken by the Phi- silver found in the treasuries of the temple listines, and being placed in the temple and the palace, to invade Syria and take of Dagon, the next morning the statue of Damascus. It is thus he is called * conDagon was found stretched on the ground queror," for he was himself before this near the threshold, or grunsel, with its defeated by the king of Syria. (2 Kings v. head and hands lopped off.” See 1 Sam. v. and xvi.) But it is clear to me that as Dagon is
Apis." This was the name of said to weep in earnest, it must be in a consecrated bull maintained with great opposition to some act of Adonis him- reverence and pomp at Memphis, sup. self, and not of his votaries. The ex- posed to be the earthly personification of planation, I think, is to be found in a part Osiris. It was all black, except a cresof the ceremonial worship of Adonis at cent-like white spot on its forehead, and the annual feast. The priests contrived to had the figure of a beetle under its tongue. heat his brazen image, which had eyes of During its life it was worshipped as the brightened lead: the lead accordingly ran representative of the divinity, and at its down, and conveyed to the spectators the death was buried with great solemnity and belief of his shedding tears. (See Calmet.) mourning. Then there was the most
462. “ Dagon." This was the great diligent search made, which sometimes divinity of the Philistines, whose temple occupied a long time, to find a successor at Gaza, the southern boundary of the with similar holy signs; and when he was promised land towards Egypt, Samson found the people indulged in every ex
cess of pleasure,— feasting, dancing, and singing out, “We have found him; let us rejoice.” He was then led to the temple of Osiris, and installed in all the dignity of his predecessors. At Heliopolis there was a bullock consecrated to the sun, and called “Mnevis.” The worship of Apis is still observed in India. Fr. Paolino (Voyage to East India, c. ii. p. 21, English Edition,) says, that at Pondicherry he “saw the god Apis led out in procession on one of the solemn occasions. He was a beautiful red-coloured ox, of a middle size, preceded by a band of musicians, the brahmins and the people following. Every door was open as he passed, and rice, cakes, fruit, &c. spread before him to tempt his appetite; and wherever he tasted a morsel, a blessing was supposed to alight." In Egypt and India a good or bad omen was drawn from his tasting or rejecting food when offered to him. It appears that the Indian Apis, which is red, remains only three years in his holy office ; whereas the Egyptian, which was black, remained twenty-five, according to Plutarch, after which it was drowned, embalmed, and buried in a subterranean vault, at Busiris, now Abusir, near Memphis. If the Indian Apis die during the three years of his representation of the divinity, he is buried with great funeral pomp. The utility of the ox in husbandry is supposed to be the cause of his deification. This idolatry the Jews fell into when they made the golden calf, at the time they were encamped near Mount Oreb (Exod. xii. 35 ; xxxii. 4); and Jeroboam, whom the Israelites, when they rebelled against Rehoboam the son and successor of Solomon, elected king, made two golden calves. (1 Kings xii.)
Isis was the wife of Osiris, and supposed to represent the moon; and Orus, their
idol of unmitigated and unrestrained licentiousness—the god of reckless dissipation—the concentration of Bacchus and Venus. Belial means, without a yoke or restraint. (See 1 Sam. ii. 3, 4.)
502. “ Flown," inflated. Virg. Ecl. vi. 15:-"Inflatum hesterno venas ut semper laccho."
503. See Gen. xix. Judges xix.
504. “ Gibeah,” a city of the tribe of Benjamin, on the highest hump of a ridge of hills, was about two leagues north of Jerusalem, and was the birth-place of Saul, the first king of Judea. Milton here refers to the outrage on thc Levite's wife (Judges xix.) The story is this :A Levite of Mount Ephraim, in the land of Benjamin, in this chapter called Jemini, while bringing home his wife from her father's house at Bethlehem in Judah, was benighted at Gibeah, or Gabaa, and obtained a lodging at the house of a countryman of his. The townsmen (who are called sons of Belial) knocked at the door during the night, and obstreperously demanded that the stranger be sent out, “that they may abuse him.” The old man implored of them “not to commit this crime against nature on the man:" they would not be satisfied with his words, which the man (the Levite) seeing, brought out his concubine (as he called his wife) to them and abandoned her to their wickedness; and when they had abused her all night, they let her go in the morning. But the woman at the dawning of the day returned to the house where her lord lodged, and there “fell down” dead. The Levite took her to his own home, and then “took a sword and divided the body of his wife, with her bones, into twelve parts, and sent the pieces into all the borders of Israel. And when every one had seen this, they all cried out, " There was never such a thing done in Israel from the day that our fathers came up out of Egypt until this day; give sentence and decree in common what ought to be done." Then all the tribes of Israel leagued together, and demanded the surrender of the Gabaaites for punishment: but the Benjamites refused, and made common cause with the offenders. The result was a desolating war, at the close of which only six hundred Benjamites, who fled to the rocky wilderness of Remon, survived, all the towns having been burned to the ground. Then, to save the tribe from utter extinction, the Israelites provided these six hundred with wives from Jabesh of Gilead, beyond the
The Egyptians worshipped several animals as types of the divinity. Æn. viii. 698: “Omnigenumque Deum monstra et latrator Anubis.” (See Juv. Sat. 15.)
489. “ Bleating" may be used in general to express the cry of any animal, as
bleating herds,” ii. 494 ; or it may be used as an epithet of contempt, a sheep being a stupid animal; or it may refer to the worship of Jupiter Ammon, under the figure of a ram.
490. “ Belial." I find but little about this divinity in mythology. From numerous passages of Scripture, where he is called the Devil, it appears he was the
Jordan, which had not furnished troops. to the confederate army.
508. Javan, fourth son of Japhet son of Noah, was the progenitor of the Ionians and Greeks. Ionia was the ancient name of Attica.
516. ΙΙ. i. 420: Ολυμπον αγαννιφoν. Χν. 192: Ζευς δ ελαχ' ουρανον ευρυν εν αιθερι και νεφελησι.
517, 518. He alludes to the oracles of Apollo at Delphi, and of Jupiter at Dodona, a city and wood in Epirus.
520, 521. I. e. over the Adriatic sea to Hesperia or Italy, thence to Gaul and the places possessed by the Celtic tribes, and thence to the remote British Islands.
523. “Damp” means here dispirited. He also uses the word elsewhere, to express a similar idea. So xi. 544 ; v. 65; ix. 45.
526,527. “ Which” refers, in my opinion, not, as some commentators think, to “looks downcast and damp” alone, but to the words “wherein appeared some glimpse of joy" as well; as both together produced among the angels a look of doubt, and cast a similar hue of doubt on his countenance; but as it may mar his hope to exhibit this, he quickly assumed a courageous air and vaunting tone.
529. Fairy Queen, II. ix. 2 :-“ Full lively is the semblaunt though the substance dead.”—(Th.)
532. A “clarion” is a small shrill treble trumpet. Hume. Spenser uses them together: "With shawms (hautboys) and trumpets, and with clarions sweet.”
533. “Azazel," from the Hebrew Az and Azel, signifies, brave in retreating ; a proper appellation for the standardbearer of the fallen angels.
537. The following passage of Gray has been quoted as an imitation of this : “ Loose his beard, and hoary hair,
Streamed like a meteor to the troubled air." I think the following passage in Campbell's
“Pleasures of Hope" is much more appropriate :" Where Andes, giant of the western star,
With meteor standard to the wind unfurled,
here means kingdom. So Spenser, Fairy Queen, II. vii. 21, has " Plutoe's griesly rayne;" and Pope, Il. i. has “Pluto's gloomy reign."-(N.; T.)
540-543. It is evident to me that Milton, in these noble descriptions, must have recollected the following passages. Virgil, Æn. ix, 504:
Æn. iii. 673:“Clamorem immensum tollit quo pontus et
undæ, Intremuere omnes, penitusque exterrita tellus
Italiæ, incurvisque immugiit Ætna cavernis." So Discord, in the beginning of the 11th book of the Iliad, when sent down from heaven “holding between her hands the portentous sign of war," when she lights at the Grecian encampment, sends forth a shout that resounds from shore to shore. So Il. ii. 334.
“Ως εφατ', Αργειοι δε μεγ' ιαχον, αμφί δε τηει Σμερδαλεον καναβησαν.
546, 547. “ Orient,” beaming, as the rising sun. (See Gier. Liber. xx. 28, 29.) Æn. xi. 600:
tum late ferreus hastis Horret ager, campique armis sublimibus ar
dent.” Il. iv. 447:Συν ρ' εβαλον ρινους, συν δ' εγχεα, και μετ'
ανόρων Χαλχεοθωρηκων αταρ ασπιδες ομφαλοεσσαι Eπληντ’ αλληλησι.
550. Homer describes his warriors moving on in close phalanx, horrent with spear and shield. Il. iv. 281:Δηϊον ες πολεμον πυκιναι κινυντο φαλαγγες Κυαν€αι, σακεσιν τε και εγχεσι δεφρε: (See after, of this book, 563—565.) The phalanx was a compact square body of infantry, used in the armies of Macedon, so close as to present one solid mass, and very formidable on even ground, but inferior to the Roman legion on uneven ground, where it was comparatively incapable of quick evolutions or steady action. The soldiers used immensely long spears, whence the name, some think (as Homer calls long poles or pikes phalanges), and held their shields closely locked and clasped together, or serried," from the French serrer, to lock: some again derive phalana from TemaŠELV ayxh, to approach closely. -The Doric measure of music was of a grave, majestic character. The judgment of Milton, says Greenwood, is very great here. When Satan's associates were bordering on despair, he commanded his standard to be at once upreared, and the clarions and trumpets to sound, in order to raise their courage ; at which they sent up a tremendous shout of joy. But when it was necessary to mitigate this ardour, and they were to march steadily on, the musical instruments are changed for flutes and soft recorders to the Dorian mood, which
composed them to a more cool and deli- romance. He was often in alliance with berate valour, so that they marched on the king of Armorica, since called Brein silence and firm union. Thucyd. v. tagne, or Brittany, in France.--(N.) 70, and Aul. Gel. i. 11, represent the
583. The names of these places are Lacedæmonians, a Doric people, using written as they were in the stories of these instruments as calculated to in- romance. Aspramont is said to be a spire them with a greater coolness of town of the Netherlands, in the duchy of courage and steadiness of action. The Limburg, south of Liege; Montalban, Lydian measure was of a softening and on the borders of Languedoc; Trebisond melancholy character. So Dryden, Alex- was a city of Cappadocia, in the lesser ander's Feast :
Asia: all these places are famous in " Softly sweet in Lydian measure
romance for joustings, or single comSoon he sooth'd his soul to pleasure."
bats, between the Christians and SaraThe character of the Phrygian was that 585, &c. He alludes to the Saracens, of sprightliness.
who crossed over from Biserta, the ancient 560, 1. This is quite Homeric. Il. iii. Utica, in Africa, to Spain. The Spanish 8:
historians, whom Milton here follows as Οι δ' αρισαν σιγη μενεα πνειoντες Αχαιοι.
more romantic, say that Charlemagne,
king of France, and emperor of Germany, 563. “Horrid,” the same as “horrent," undertook, about the year 800, a war ii . 513, bristled. — Æn. iii. 23, densis against the Saracens of Spain, but was hastilibus horrida myrtus.
routed and slain at Fontarabbia, a strong 565. “Ordered," i.e. borne regularly, town in the province of Biscay. But the according to military regulation, as on French writers say that he was victorious, parade.—(R.)
and died at home in peace.—(N.) It has 568. “ Traverse," i. e. transversely, been urged against Milton as a fault, across.
that he was too fond of allusions to the 571, 2. Dan. v. 20: “His heart was stories of romance. But it has been lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride." answered, I think successfully, that his (Gill.)
imagination was enlarged by this kind 575. All the heroes and armies that of reading, and his style and imagery ever assembled would, if mentioned in rendered inore striking by its applicacomparison with these angels, be no tion. The same objection may apply to more than pygmies. Pliny (Nat. Hist. his use of mythological tales. Besides, vii. 2,) places these pygmies beyond the he had the authority of Spenser, and the Indian mountains, and about the source
old Italian poets.
He drew, for illusof the Ganges.-(N.) He says they were tration, from every source, sacred, proonly three spans high, each span three fane, and romantic.—(P.) quarters of a foot, measuring from the top 587, 8. Though so immeasurably suof the thumb to that of the little finger. perior to all earthly heroes, yet they See Iliad üi. 6, for the simile of their obeyed their venerated commander. This disastrous battle with the cranes.
gives a lofty idea of Satan. Addison 577. “
Phlegra" was a city in Mace- says there is not a passage in the whole don, where the giants were defeated poem worked up to a greater pitch of through the aid of Hercules, when they sublimity, than the following description attacked the gods. Other accounts re- and comparisons. Homer compares Ajax present this defeat as having taken place to a tower; but that comparison wants at Cumæ, in Italy. —“ Thebes ;" this the imposing touches of this. refers to the famous war of the seven 596, &c. He compares him to the chiefs against Thebes, the capital of morning sun seen through a haze, or Bæotia, in the contest between Eteocles when eclipsed : in an eclipse of the sun, and Polynices, sons of (Edipus, for the the moon is between it and the earth. throne, in which, as in the Trojan war,
It is said that the book was near being the warriors on each side were aided by suppressed in consequence of this pastheir own tutelar deities.-(N.)
sage, which was interpreted as intimating 580. King Arthur, the Briton, the son new political convulsions, and the inseof Uther Pendragon, who flourished in curity of royal power.
But in truth, the beginning of the fifth century, was Virgil said nearly the same in the court celebrated for his exploits by Geoffrey of Augustus, whose government sucof Monmouth, and other writers of ceeded a commonwealth, as did that of