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Charles, and was more despotic. Georg. i. 464:“ Sol tibi signa dabit, solem quis dicere falsum
Audeat? ille etiam cæcos instare tumultus Sæpe monet, fraudemque et operta tumescere
bella." Milton had perhaps also in view the following beautiful simile in Shakspeare, (Rich. II. iii. 3,) where Richard is compared, in his discontent and indignation, to
“ the blushing discontented sun From out the fiery portals of the east, When he perceives the envious clouds are
bent To dim his glory.
Yet looks ho like a king." Thus he embodies the two similes; indicating the prognostics by the one, and the dimmed lustre by the other.
His judgment in these similes has been much admired. As he only meant to convey the ideas of loftiness and firmness, which are inseparable from a tower, he does not describe it; but, as the diminution of the sun's light is an occasional effect, he does give a description. Burke says, “ These great images produce their powerful effect because they are crowded and confused.”
“Disastrous,” is here classically used in its original signification of an evil conjunction of stars-Dus aotpov.—(See N., Warb., D.)
601. “Intrenched,” furrowed. So Shakspeare (All's Well),
“This very sword intrench'd it." 608. Read a semicolon after “pain."
αν δ' Αγαμεμνων ίστατο δακρυχεων. This Achilles in the first Iliad, 349 : array Αχιλλευς δακρυσας: Pope,
* Such as angels weep;" i. e. of a different kind from the tears of mortals. So vi. 332, when Satan is wounded by Michael, from the wound"A stream of nectarous humour issuing floved
Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed." So in Homer, Il. v. 340, the wounded divinity does not yield blood, but a thinner substance, called 1xwp. When the soldier pierced the side of our crucified Saviour with a spear,
forth with came thereout blood and water." John xix. 34.
622. The irregular structure of sentences in this speech represents Satan's perturbation of mind, is in accordance with his position, and resembles that in the speech, 315. 624. Ovid. Met. ix. 6:
"nec tam Turpe fuit vinci, quam contendisse decorum One of the most beautiful passages in that most perfect of all ancient or modern orations, the speech of Demosthenes “On the Crown," is where he consoles the Athenians on their defeat; that they only obeyed the irresistible call of honour and duty in engaging in the war, leaving the issue to fortune. I may here observe, that the speeches in Milton, especially in the first and second books, are very much in the spirit, style, and manner of Demosthenes. 630. Hor. iii. Od. ii. 17:
609. “ Amerced” here means, deprived, from the Greek αμερδω, αμερσω. Odys. viii. 64. Οφθαλμων μεν αμερσε, διδου δ' ήδειαν αοιδην.
(H.) 611. The construction depends on “ behold,” 605; yet to behold how they stood faithful.
612. There is a peculiar propriety in this splendid comparison, as “heaven's fire" and thunder produced the same effect on the angels, as on the oaks and pines, the stateliest of all trees.-" The blasted heath' corresponds with “ the burning soil" on which the angels stood. -(N.)
618. Homer frequently represents his warriors as mute with silent attention, ακην εγένοντο σιωπη. .
620, 621. Ovid. Met. xi. 419:“Ter conata loqui, ter fletibus ora rogavit." Homer represents his heroes, Achilles and Agamemnon, shedding tears, not from pusillanimity, but from grief mingled with indignation and rage. Il. ix. 13:
“Virtus repulsæ nescia sordidæ." 633. Though, ii.692, v. 710, and vi. 156, it is said that only one-third of the angels fell; and this is the number mentioned in the Apocalypse xii. 44"And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven after it, and cast them to the earth ;" yet Satan artfully, by way of vaunt, and to encourage his followers, speaks of having emptied heaven.-(N.)
636. “ Different," i. e. different from those of his followers.
647. “No less." Nevertheless. He says the Almighty deceived them by concealing his strength at first, and so effected their fall. But, nevertheless, he will find himself matched by their artifice, though not by their might.--(R.)
651, 652. This is a very important part of the poem, as showing the design of man's creation to be antecedent to the revolt. See Note on ii. 346. Read > comma after “create."
662. “ Understood," i. e. implied, though not expressed.-(P.)
664. Drawing the sword from the thigh is a phrase often used by Homer. Il. i. 194, et alibi:Η όγε φασγανον οξυ ερυσσαμενος παρα μηρού. .
668. Milton here alludes to the custom of the ancient soldiers signifying their approbation of their leader's address by shouting, and striking their spears or swords on their shields. (See my Note on Livy, i. 50.) Tacitus, Germania, c. 2: * Si placuit sententia frameas concutiunt: honoratissimum consensus genus armis laudari."
I have often heard a pugnacious Irish. man say, in his native language, “I strike the shield and call for battle;” a phrase, no doubt, derived from the custom of the Celtic tribes. See Fairy Queen, i. 4, 40.
671. Æn. iii. 576:* Interdum scopulos eruptaque viscera montis
673. His womb." Womb is here used, as uterus sometimes is in Virgil, to signify the belly of a male animal. See En. vii. 499, xi. 809.-(N.)
674. In Milton's time, metals were thought to consist of mercury as the basis, and sulphur as the binder.-(N.)
678. “Mammon," in Syriac, means “ riches." Read a semicolon after “on."
682. 1. iv. 2: χρυσεω εν δαπεδω. Rev. xxi. 21.-(N.)
685. “By him and his suggestion." Bentley says there was but one cause, and that is improperly divided into two. Warburton defends the division by referring to a superstition among miners, that there are a sort of devils who are very busy in the various operations of mining, some digging, some cleansing, some smelting. &c. So the devils may be said to teach the art by example as well as by precept. But in all likelihood the words are to be taken as a poetical amplification, (by the figure hendyad, év dia duo.v,) of dividing a proposition into parts.
688. Hor. iii. Od. iii. 49:
694. Diodorus Siculus, i. and Pliny, xxxvi. 12, say, that 360,000 men were employed for twenty years on one of the pyramids of Egypt, which were near Memphis, the capital.—(N.)
697. “And." Is outdone, must be supplied ; thus, “ And what they in an age scarce perform, is outdone in an hour."
702—704. “Sluiced," conveyed in sluices.—“Founded,” melted, from fundo.
-“Severing,” separating the sulphur, earth, &c. from the metal. -“ Bullion” is an adjective, referring not to the metal in a purified state, but in a crude, while under the smelting process.—" Dross," what floated on the boiling metal.-(P., R.)
711. Some commentators imagine that Milton borrowed this conception from the stage machinery and scenes, which suddenly appeared as if they started out of the ground, designed by Inigo Jones for the masks of Charles I. But how did Inigo Jones himself get the thought ? I think both may have borrowed from the magical creations so often described in the stories of romance.
712. Read a comma after “sweet."
713—717. “ Pilasters," ornamental pillars set in a wall, with about one-fourth of their thickness outside. — “ Architrave," the lower division of an entablature, or that part which rests on the capital or upper part of the column.“ Cornice," the uppermost member of the entablature, or the highest projection; it crowns the order.-"Frieze," that flat part between the architrave and cornice, generally ornamented with figures. — “ Fretted," ornamented with fretwork or fillets interwoven at parallel distances.(N., Johnson.)
718. Milton has been censured by Bentley for substituting Cairo here, which was long subsequent to the existence of Memphis; but as it was built near the site of Memphis, and as it is said by some learned writers to signify " the City,” by way of eminence, (see Calmet) Milton may be justified for using the word.
720. “ Serapis," the same as Apis, or Osiris. The word was generally pronounced Serápis; but Milton has the authority of Prudentius and Capella, independently of the privilege of poetry, for writing it Serăpis.-(P.)
723. See Note on i. 282.
725, 726. Æn. ii. 483:"Apparet domus intus et atria longa patescunt." Æn. i. 726 :
"dependent lychni laquearibus aureis Incensi, et noctem flammis funalia vincunt."
728. “Cressets," any great light set on high, from the French croissette, because beacons had anciently crosses on their tops.-( Johnson.) 729. * Naphtha and Asphaltus," two
pitchy, inflammable substances, issuing, 764. “Soldan," the old English word the one from the ground in Babylonia for Sultan, as Paynim was for Pagar. See and Persia, the other from the bottom of Note on 318. He alludes to the single the Dead Sea, and found floating on the combats between the Christians and Sa. surface. (See xii. 41, &c., and note on racens, of which there were so many i. 411.)
descriptions in the books of romance. 736. A Latinism, " quibus dedit reg- He uses Paynim for infidel, for the Maere."
hometans were considered not better than 737. It is said that Milton has followed pagans, and were in fact more formidable the arrangement of the book περι ουραν. . enemies to the christian cause. Lord iepapx. c. vi. 7, ascribed to Dionysius Byron, in his “ Childe Harold," and other the Areopagite, of dividing the angelic poems, applies Paynim to the Mahometworld into three orders: first, seraphim, cherubim, and thrones ; secondly, do- 766. “Career with lance," alludes to minations (Suvapers), princedoms (KuPLO- those combats which were only for amuseTNTES), powers (etovoiau ;) third, princi- ment and to display address, in which the palities (apxa), virtues, archangels, points of the weapons were blunted beforeangels.-(Cal.)
hand.—( Cal.) “Career,” to run rapidly, 738. Milton selects out of Vulcan's to charge, or make an onset. many titles, the epithet“Mulciber," from 768. The bissing sound of this line, it mulcere, to soften, as that which ex- is said, beautifully expresses the sense. presses the founder's or smelter's art.- 769. The following similes from Homer (N.)
and Virgil resemble this. 11. ii. 87 :740, &c. This follows closely Homer's
Hύτε εθνεα εισι μελισσαων αδιναων description of his fall, as told by Vulcan Πετρης εκ γλαφυρης αιει νεον ερχομεναων, himself. 11. i. 590:
Βοτρυδον δε πετονται επ' ανθεσιν ειαρίνοισιν. .
Αί μεν τ' ενθα άλις πεποτηαται, αι δε τε ενα. “Ριψε ποδος τεταγων απο βηλου θεσπεσιοιο, "Ως των εθνεα πολλα νεων απο και κλισιαων Παν δ' ημαρ φερομην, άμα δ' ηε λιω καταδυντι Ηίονος προπαροιθε βαθειης εστιχοωντο Καππεσον εν Λημνω-ολιγος δ' ετι θυμος ενηεν. Ιλαδον εις αγορην.
. Milton beautifully represents the pro- Æn. i. 430:tracted duration of his fall, by dividing
“Qualis apes æstate nova per florea rura the day into three periods, and emphati- Exercet sub sole labor, cum gentis adultos cally calling it a summer's day. There Educunt fætus." is a similar division, and as it were pro
But Milton carries the similitude farther longation of time, in the seventh book of the Odyssey, 288, where Ulysses sleeps
than either, by mentioning the bees as
conferring on their state affairs, as he is all night long, and till the morning, and
going to give an account of the consultatill the middle of the day, and till the
tions of the devils.-(N.) setting of the sun :
Ovid, throughout the Fasti, describes Εύδον παννυχιος, και επ’ ηω, και μεσον ημαρ, the rising and setting of the signs of the Δνσετο τ' ηελιος, και με γλυκυς ύπνος ανηκεν.
zodiac, and expressly mentions the rising (See N., P.)
of Taurus, v. 603. So Milton (x. 663) 746. “Ægean” is here a dissyllable, speaks of the rising and setting of the and the emphasis is on the first syllable fixed stars.—(P.) in place of the second.' So x. 688, he 770. Geor. iv. 21:uses Thyēstian for Thyestēan. Il. v. 53—
-Quum prima novi ducent examina reges Αλλ' ου οι τοτε γε χραισμ’ Αρρεμις ιοχεαιρα
Vere suo, ludetque favis emissa juventus.** Ουδ' εκηβολιαι.
(N.) 750. “Engines" here means devices. 774. “Expatiate," from the verb er
752. He has given them wings not spatiator, which means, to range at large. only as angels, but to express their speed. So Ov. Met. “ equi exspatiantur ;" and -(H.) See ii. 518. 11. ix. 10.
“flumina exspatiantur." Spatior is used 756. “ Pandemonium,” from tav and in the same sense. datuorlov, the dwelling of all the devils. 777. Milton, in order as it were to
760. “Trooping," EOTIXOWTO. (See obviate any objection that may be made note on 769.)
to the various metamorphoses of his 763. “Covered field.” Covered here spirits in the progress of the poem, means enclosed, i. e. for martial exercises prepared the reader for a justification or single combat. — See Tasso, Gier. (423, &c.) When Satan harangued his Liber. iv. 3.-(R.)
spirits to sound their disposition, it was
(N.) BOOK II.
in an ample field, where they appeared very properly in their natural dimensions; but now, when a deliberative council was to be held, the proper place was his own palace; and, from its necessarily limited space, they very properly exercised their power of self-contraction; but though the main body so contracted themselves, the chiefs are represented as still retaining all their gigantic proportions.-( Add. N.) So Milton represents the bees conferring about their state affairs, not in the open fields, but at their hive.
785. Hor. Ep. v. 49:-“O rebus meis non infideles arbitra, nox, et Diana." “ Nearer to the earth," is in allusion to the superstitious notion of witches and fairies having great power over the moon
in bringing it nearer the earth. Virg. Ecl. viii. 69:“Carmina vel cælo possunt deducere lunam."
(N., H.) 790. “Were at large." i. e. had still room enough. Au large, French.(Rich.)
796, 797. Thus Homer, describing the meeting of the gods in council, Il. xx. 10:Ελθοντες δ' ες δωμα Διος νεφεληγερεταο Ξεστης αιθουσεσιν εφιζανoν. .
Frequent,” like frequens sometimes, as Cic. Fam. Ep. 12,“ Senatus frequens convenit," means “ in great numbers.”_ “Full," means that these numbers filled that part of the ball-as we say, there was "a numerous and full house;" so there is no tautology.
The persons whom Milton introduces always discover such sentiments as are in a peculiar manner conformable to their respective characters. Every circumstance in their speeches and actions is adapted with great delicacy and judgment to the persons who speak and act. Thus the mock majesty and superior greatness of Satan, his opening and closing the debate, his taking on himself the great enterprise at which the whole assembly trembled, and his boldness and address in the several perilous adventures, are quite in unison with his character.Ad.
1. Spenser, Fairy Queen, I. iv. 8:"High above all cloth of state was spread, And a rich throne, as bright as sunny day, On which there sat-"
(Stil.) Again, III. iv. 23:
" It did
passe The wealth of th' east and pomp of Persian kings."
(T.) 2. Ormus is a barren island in the Persian gulf, about 9 miles in circumference, which, while the Portuguese held it, was exceedingly rich, as it was the place where all the trade of India, the principal part of whose wealth was diamonds and precious stones, was then transacted. - P.)
3,4. “Showers" may be taken either as a metaphor to express great abundance of
them, because the eastern kings had the greatest share of property; or is in allusion to the custom at the coronation of many Eastern kings, especially Persian, of throwing gold-dust and seed pearl on their heads. There is a similar allusion to the custom in Shakspeare, Ant.&Cleop. act ii." I'll set thee in a show'r of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee." The pearl and gold are called barbaric, after the manner of the Greeks and Romans, who called all other nations barbarous. n. ii. 504 : “Barbarico postes auro spoliisque superbi."
(N., P., Warb.) 9. “Success" is here used in its pure and original signification, as, simply," the issue, or termination." Johnson defines the word, “the termination of any affair, happy or unhappy. Success without any epithet is commonly taken for good success." Here it is used for bad success. The termination of the last war, though disastrous to Satan, could not teach him. So line 123
12. “ For” refers to the preceding words, and gives the reason why he calls them deities of heaven, not of hell. “ Deities of heaven, for I give not heaven for lost,” (it is your proper place, and will be yours,) "since," &c. The most
important point which Satan wishes to that he retained the leadership with establish, is to impress on his followers unanimous approbation. The words the persuasion that they can recover hea- allude to what follows them. ven, of which they are deities; for on this 29. “Your bulwark.” So Il. iv. 299: all their approbation and cooperation ερκος εμεν πολεμοιο. . would depend. He therefore artfully 33. Some learned commentators imabegins with giving them this assurance, gine obscurity and difficulty in the syntax and giving it as a justification for the here. Dr. Bentley and Dr. Heylyn are title he bestows on them. This im- for reading the passage with a comma passioned mode of commencing a speech, the words “ will covet more" interof which there are instances in the best rogatively, changing "will" into he'll, ancient orators, is considered a great after “precedence," while they would rhetorical excellence. Milton represents have a period after “none;" and read Satan as commencing in this style, b. i. thus, "he'llcovet more?" Dunster, though 317, 318. When he there wishes at justly saying that Milton never wrote the once to rouse them up, he says, heaven passage thus, does not appear to me to is lost if they do not shake off their have cleared up the difficulty, by the stupefaction; and then with sarcastic following commentary :-“ For there is irony asks them, did they choose the none sure will claim precedence in hell: burning pool as a pleasant resting there is none whose portion is so small of place ? So in the next address, 622, 3, present pain, that with ambitious mind when they were fully collected, and he will court more.” Is must, according sensible of their terrible condition, he to this, be understood grammatically as commences by flattering them with a com- the verb to which none is the subject; pliment on their prowess, and on having then who must be understood as the nomigloriously done their duty; and here, native to will claim; and he must be when they are to deliberate on the plan understood as the nominative to will coret, of action, he commences by laying it while that is made a conjunction. In my down as a truth, that within hell they judgment the sentence is very plain : the cannot be confined. In each of these word none being, if not an emphatic repespeeches the closing part is in admirable tition of the first none, the nom. to is accordance with the beginning.
understood, while the word that is the Lord Monboddo, says from “for" down pronoun who,—"none will claim... there to must be taken as a paren
is none who will covet." thesis.
37. Because in heaven superiority of 16. i. e. they will be more glorious and station carrying with it superiority of formidable by rising after such a fall as happiness, may create jealousy against that, than if they had not fallen at all ; the possessor, and consequently disunion; and having once so risen, they will have -not so in hell. such confidence in themselves as not to 40, &c. Compare Jove's speech to the fear a second fate.
gods respecting the Titaness, Fairy 18. “ Me," as being the emphatic word Queen, VII. vi. 21:in the sentence, is placed first, and is
." It now behoves us to advise governed by the following verbs, create
What way is best to drive her to retire, and established. Lord Monboddo adduces
Whether by open force, or counsel wise :
Aread, ye sons of God! as best ye can derise." this passage as a perfect pattern, hardly
(T.) to be equalled in English, of artificial So also II. xi. 7:arrangement, and rhetorical composition,
“ To assayle with open force or hidden guile." many excellent specimens of which are to be found in the ancient classics. There 43. “ Sceptered king." Homer are two striking examples of it in Horace, σκηπτουχος βασιλευς. . iii. Od. iii. 1:
47. Bentley would read he for "and," “ Justum et tenacem propositi virum
as by the present reading “trust must Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
be the nominative to "cared."
50. “ Recked.” Cared, or made acDux inquieti turbidus Adria,
count; much the same as reckoned. Nec fulminantis magno Jovis manus. “Thereafter,” accordingly. See also Hor. i. Od. v.:-
52. i. e. less experienced in wiles than ** Me tabula sacer
in open war, I boast not of them. MoVotiva paries indicat uvida," &c.
loch, in his furious zeal for open war, 22. i. e. his loss so far recovered, as I think evidently glances at Satan's