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“ Hymns alternate." Sing hymns alternately, as in the choral service in cathedrals. Alternare, is to do a thing by turns.-( St., T.)—“ Waked," watched, remained awake. 673, 674. Il. ii. 23:
Evdeus Atpeus vie So Æn. iv. 560:*• Nate dea, potes hoc sub casu ducere somnos ?”'
-“ And remembrest," i.e. when thou remembrest. See note on ii. 730. Read a note of interrogation after “eyelids."
678. “How can thy sleep dissent." (A classical figure like that in 261: “As when the glass observes.") How can you by sleeping dissent ? 684. “ Chief."
An adjective, like “chief"' in ii. 469, used substantively for chiefs.—(P.)
685. “ By command" i. e. of the Almighty. Satan is made to begin his rebellion with a lie ; for “the devil is a liar and the father of lies," John viii. 44. -N.)
689. “ The quarters of the north.” Jer. xiv.: “I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction." St. Augustine, Ep. cxl. sec. 55, says, the devil and his angels are placed by a figure in the north, because, being arerse from the fervour of charity, they grew torpid with an icy hardness. Isa. xiv. : “How art thou fallen from heaven, o Lucifer, son of the morning! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north."-(N.) These passages were sufficient authority for Milton in placing the residence and rebellion of Satan in the north (see vi. 80), without taking the suggestion from the obscure poems of Sannazarius, Valmarana, or any other; or meaning any reflection on his enemies, the Scotch Presbyterians, as some critics fancy. It may be added, that Shakspeare calls Satan “ Monarch of the North," i Hen. VI. act v. :** And ye choice spirits, that admonish me,
And give me signs of future accidents,
702. “ Suggested cause." The cause suggested by Satan, i.e. to receive their new king and his laws.-“Casts between ambiguous words,” a phrase from Virgil, Æn. ii. 98:
"hinc spargere voces In vulgum ambiguas."-(N.)
708. So Virgil, Æn. viii. 589, como pares Pallas to the morning star :“Qualis ubi oceani perfusus Lucifer unda .
Extulit os sacrum cælo tenebrasque resolvit." But there is much greater propriety in comparing Satan to the morning star, as he was called Lucifer, son of the morning.-(N.) See note on 689.
710. “ Drew." So it is in Rev. xii. See note on iv. 1. He is understood before the verb. Nothing is more common with Milton than such ellipses. So, if we understand he before " said," line 718, the difficulty complained of by some commentators, as if “eternal eye,” line 711, were the nominative case to " said," will disappear. The liberties are not unusual in the best ancient poets, of saying a thing at first which refers only to a particular quality or part of a person, and then proceeding in the narration, by saying a thing which refers to the person himself; thus, “the eye saw, and (he) said.” So before, “his countenance allured them, and (he himself) drew after him." But it is questioned by some whether these nominatives, “ countenance," and "eternal eye,” are not used equivocally, to be construed as the sense requires. Spenser has a remarkable instance of this poetic license and irregularity in his Epithalamion, and it is repeated as here in Milton :" Her long loose yellow locks, like golden wire, Sprinkled with perle, and perling flow'rs
713. So Rev. iv. 5: " And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne."-(N.)
716, “Sons of the morn," either on account of their early creation, or of their angelic beauty and gladness, the morning being the most delightful season of the day.-(R.)
718. So Psalm ii. l: “ The Lord shall laugh ; the Lord shall hold them in dc. rision."
See 736, 737.-(N.)
721, &c. It is evident from God's smiling, 718, and the Son's words, 736, 737, that this speech is to be taken as ironv.-(Peck.)
723. “ Anciently,” (antiquitus,) of old, from a remote period.
739. “Illustrates,” (illustrat,) renders he assume from 794) to be our Lord." illustrious.
Richardson and Greenwood think this" 740. Read a semicolon after “pride." is spoken contemptuously, as Luke xix.
746. This simile of the stars of morn- 14: ου θελομεν τουτον (this person) ing, “dew-drops," is as new as it is beau- βασιλευσαι εφ' ημας:
-“Much less can he tiful. The sun impearls" them, turns introduce a law for this " (this being; this them by his reflected beams to seeming other, 775; this king anointed, 777) " to pearls. So verse 2.-(N.)
be our Lord.” Warburton understands 750. This notion of triples in all the it thus :—“. Who can introduce law upon economy of angels was taken from the us who conduct our actions rightly withschoolmen, and is adopted by Tasso, xviii. out law ? much less for this introduction 96, and by Spenser, Fairy Queen, I. xii. of law claim the right of dominion ;' for 39:
he thought the bare giving of civil laws “Like as it had been many an angel's voice
did not introduce dominion, which conSinging before the Eternal Majesty
sists in dispensing them.” These are the In their trinal triplicilies on high."—(B.) most probable of the many explanations 753. “Globose.” The adjective clas
given; but still there is a difficulty atsically used for a substantive. Globosus,
tending each of them. It appears rather as always conveying the idea of solidity,
strained to understand (as Newton does)
“ assume" differs from rotundus, which is sometimes
from 794, when another applied to a mere surface--as, to a circle.
verb, “ introduce," intervenes. AccordCic. in Somn. Scip. iii. : “stellæ globosæ
ing to Richardson's explanation, et rotundæ."
can assume," who “can introduce,” are 760. Here Milton describes Satan's
to be applied to the Almighty; whereas, it palace in the style of the palace of the
is clear, these words, and the whole sensun in Ovid, Met. ii. 1:
tence, have reference to the Son, now
appointed vicegerent: and it appears “ Regia solis erat sublimibus alta columnis,
over-refinement to suppose with WarburClara micante auro, flammasque imitante
ton that the introduction of law over them pyropo; Cujus ebur nitidum fastigia summa tegebat : would give less claim to the right of Argenti bifores radiabant lumine valvæ."
dominion. Why give laws, if not dis761. Homer mentions persons and pense and enforce them ?— May I venture things, which, he says, are called in the to suggest another explanation, which is language of the gods by different names very simple, that there is here an ellipsis from those they go by in the language of of the substantive verb is, which is very men: which the commentators endeavour common in Milton, (as of eoti and est in to explain ; but the most probable of their Greek and Latin,) and that “this" is explanations is, that he attributes to the spoken contemptuously? (So he applies gods those names which are used only by in the 1st and 2d book the personal prothe learned, and to men those which are noun contemptuously to the Almighty, in vulgar use. Milton here imitates him without mentioning his name.) It apwith his usual judgment, wherein he has pears from 603-610, that Christ was also the authority of Scripture.-(N.) begotten, and appointed by the Father 766. See note on 689.
vicegerent, the day before (see note 603); 790. See 860.
and from 856-860, that Satan considered 793. “ Jar.” A metaphor taken from himself and his followers were natives of music. Shakspeare uses a similar com- heaven from all eternity-self created, and parison, Hen. V. act i. :
therefore independent of Messiah; the " For government, though high, and low, and meaning then being, according to this lower,
suggestion—"Much less is it (est, EOTI, Put into parts doth keep with one consent, is it just or expedient, for so the words Congruing in a full and natural close,
are sometimes used ; see the Lexicons of Like music."
Facciolati and Stephanus) for this (this And in Troilus and Cressida, act i.:
new functionary) to exercise dominion " Take but degree away, untune that string, over us, to the abuse and disparagement And hark, what discord follows."—(N.)
of our inherent right to govern." Thus 797. Read a semicolon after “equal." the sentence, which constitutes a climax,
799. “ Much less for this to be our consists of three arguments against this Lord.” This passage has occasioned transfer of sovereignty to the Son : first, much perplexity to the commentators. they were equally free with himself; seNewton explains it--"Much less (can condly, they did not require the check of
law to keep them in a right course of conduct: thirdly, they were, according to the nature of their existence, ordained to govern-not to serve; and it was not for this newly elected being to reduce them from the condition of rulers to that of servants.
822. Rom. ix. 20.-(N.)
831. i.e. But suppose I grant to you that it is unjust, &c.; an unusual Græcism.
835. So Col. i. 16, 17: “ For by him were all things created that are in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers."-(N.)
861. “ Fatal course.' The course appointed by fate ; like fatalis, which sometimes has this meaning.
864. Virg. Æn. x. 773:" Dextra mihi Deus, et telum quod missile
libro." Shakspeare makes "puissance" sometimes a dissyllable, as 2 Hen. IV. act i. ;* Upon the pow'r and puissance of the king."
So does Spenser. Milton constantly makes it and“ puissant" so.-(N.)
868. “Address." To get ready; the sign of the infinitive mood being suppressed. 869. “ Beseeching
or besieging." There are examples of this jingle of words in the best authors. Ter. And. i. 3. 13:
" inceptio est amentium haud amantium," Shakspeare, Hamlet, act i.:"A little more than kin and less than kind."
(N.) 872. See Rev. xix. 6; see Il. ii. 209, 394. -(N., St.)
874. The first two feet are trochęes. So vi. 34.
887. Psalm ii, 9: “ Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron." See ii. 327, note.
890. See Numb. xvi. 26. See Æschyl. Prom. Vinct. 1051—1053; Il. xv. 137. There is here an ellipsis, but I Ay, lest, &c, See the same elliptical way of speaking, ii. 483.-(St., P., N.)
1. The grand feature of this book is the battle of angels, for which the poet raised the reader's expectation, and prepared him by several passages in the preceding books. So inflamed was his imagination with this great scene of action, that, wherever he speaks of it, he rises, if possible, above himself; as when he mentions Satan in the beginning of the poem, i. 44, &c.; also in the infernal council, i. 128, &c.; so ii. 165, &c. 988, &c. There are several other wonderfully sublime images on the same subject. In short the poet never mentions any thing of this battle but in such images of greatness and terror as are suitable to the subject. Those who examine Homer are surprised to find his battles still rising one above another, and improving in horror to the conclusion of the Iliad. Milton's fight of angels is wrought up with the same beauty. It is ushered in with such signs of wrath, as are suitable to Omnipotence incensed. The first engagement is carried on under a cope of fire occasioned by the flight of burning spears and arrows. The second is still
more terrible, as it is filled with those artificial thunders which seem to make the victory doubtful, and produce consternation even in the good angels. This is followed by the tearing up of mountains and promontories; till, in the last place, the Messiah comes forth in the fulness of majesty and terror. The pomp of his appearance amidst the roarings of his thunders, the flashes of his lightnings, and the rattling of his chariot wheels, is described with the utmost flights of human imagination.-(Ad.)
3. Homer, Il. v. 749, represents the Hours as guarding the gates of heaven :Αυτομαται δε πύλαι μυκον ουρανού, ας εχον Ωραι, Της επιτετραπται μεγας ουρανος, Ουλυμπος τε, Hμεν ανακλιναι πυκινον νεφος, ηδ' επιθειναι.
(N.) 6. This thought of making light and darkness lodge and dislodge by turns is in Hesiod, Theog. 748 :
– όθι νυξ τε και ημερα αμφις ιονσαι Αλληλας προσεειπον, αμειβομεναι μεγoν ουδον Χαλκεον ή μεν εσω καταβησεται, ή δε θυραζεν Ερχεται,ουδε ποτ' αμφοτερας δομος εντος εεργει.
15. " Night shot through with orient beams." This expression, which some have censured, is, says Seward, (Ed. of Beaumont and Fletcher) not only highly poetical but just; the rays of light do literally shoot through the darkness. So Prudentius, Hymn ii. 6:
“Caligo terræ scinditur
Solis percussa radiis." Thus, in Psalm xci. : “ The arrow that flieth by day," is the power of the sunbeams; a phrase employed by Lucretius, i. 148."Non radii solis, neque lucida tela diei."
(T., Wart.) 18. Thongh Homer and other poets have many passages descriptive of the splendour of arms, Todd thinks Milton had the following passage in view,(1 Maccabees vi. 39): “Now when the sun shone upon the shields of gold and brass, the mountains glistened therewith, and shined like lamps of fire.” This passage is not very apposite. I do not think he had any one passage particularly in view: but from the variety of objects, as well as the pomp of diction and the uncommon harmony of numbers, I imagine the following beautiful passage in Homer is more to the point, Il. xiii. 340:
οσσε δ' αμερδεν Αυγη χαλκει η κορυθων απο λαμπoμεναων, θωρηκων τε νεοσμηκτων, σακέων τε φα€ινων, Ερχομένων αμυδις.
19. “War in procinct.” The Roman soldiers were said to be in procinctu, when their loose garments were girded up in readiness for battle. “Procinct" is hence figuratively applied to a state of full readiness for action. See Facciolati.
26. “ They led and present.” This is a remarkable instance of a peculiarity of construction (the first of two verbs coupled by the conjunction being in the past time historically, and the second in the present, as if the narrator wished to bring before the reader's imagination the picture of an existing event) of which Homer and the best classic authors furnish parallels.
29. “ Well done." The translation of the Greek Evyn.
So in the Battle of the Giants, Bacchus, for his great services, was styled by Jupiter, evios, (hence Evius)—ev, vie. Abdiel, in Hebrew, means, “Servant of God." Dunster says, the poet had in recollection Matt. xxv. 21; Rom. i. 1 ; and I Tim. vi. 11.
34. This sentiment is so very natural, that every proud and honest person must
see its justice. Beaumont and Fletcher,
Than he would do an injury."—N)
49. As Satan seduced one-third of the angels, so God only sends another third against him, reserving the remaining third probably for duty about the sorereign throne. See v. 655.-(Gr.)
51–53. This passage has been pronounced by some learned commentators as the most indefensible in the whole poem. The commission of driving the rebels out of heaven is given, say they, on the authority of Scripture, (Rev. xi.) to Michael ; and yet Messiah is made to execute it. In iny judgment the passage is quite defensible. Milton assimilates, for our better comprehension, things in heaven to things on earth, and here represents God, like an earthly monarch, authorizing the commander of his armies to drive the enemy out of his dominions, furnishing him with all the means apparently necessary for the purpose. (God, be it remembered, though all-prescient, does not, through the poem, use his foreknowledge for the prevention of events. He lays down general laws, allowing particular events to take their course.) The general proceeds to battle, which lasts two days with various success. The Monarch allowed all this advisedly: at last, wishing to prevent the universal havoc that would ensue from this protracted warfare, and wishing to give his Son a signal triumph over those who rebelled against his authority (see 670, &c.), furnishes him with adequate power, and commands him to go and decide the conflict. The Almighty, as furnishing Michael with only half his forces, or a number equal to Satan's, wished to show Satan that these were enough to defeat his aim; and his words to Michael are to be taken in the ordinary way of giving a commander ample orders, or permission, and expressing a confidence in the faithful discharge of his duty. As Milton's hero is Christ, he is justified in using that vaguely-worded passage in Scripture, which does not contain an in. dispensable article of faith, to give him additional glory, i. e. the glory of defeating Satan in heaven, as he did afterwards
on earth. The passage is this : “There was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.” This passage states merely that Satan did not prevail against Michael. Milton shows that he did not (655, &c.) The passage does not state by whom he was driven out of heaven; Milton was therefore justified in supplying the omission and attributing this deed to his hero.
54, 55. “ Which.” In the old English authors which is as often applied to a person as who.—“Chaos," a place of confusion, or even, strictly speaking, hell. See note on i. 1002.-(P., N.)
56 —58. In this description the poet manifestly alludes to that of God descending upon Mount Sinai, Exod. xix. 16, &c. Newton says "reluctant" here means, slow and unwilling to break forth. This is not correct: it is used in the classical sense to signify the same as reluctans, violently struggling against, working to break through the smoke and gloom; reluctans signifying more than luctans.-(D.) I think Dunster right. See Senec. in Hercul. æt. 1728; Virg. Georg. iv. 300; Ovid, 2 Am. El. ix. 12. I have accordingly expunged, after “ wreaths,” the comma which is in all the editions, for “ flames" is not in apposition to "wreaths,” but governed by ît roll.”
60. “'Gan blow.” Began to blow. The omission of the sign of the infinitive mood is an ancient poetical license, and is frequent in Chaucer. So Par. Reg. iv. 410: “And either tropic now gan thunder.” So Fletcher, Purp. Isl. ix. 38: "His glittering arms, drest all with fierie hearts,
Seemed burn in chaste desire.”—(T.) This mode of construction is sometimes in familiar use, as, I saw, I knew a man do so and so.
62. “ Quadrate," square.
68. See Tasso,Gier. Liber. i. 75; Fairy Queen, IV. vii. 22.-(T).
71-73. Homer (II. v. 778) compares the smooth gliding motion of two goddesses through the air to the flight of doves:
“Αι δε βατην τρηρωσι πελειασιν ιθμαθ' όμοιαι. Homer has used the simile of a flight of certain fowls twice in the Kiad, to express the number and the motions, the order and the clamours of an army, Il. ii. 459 ;
iii. 2; as Virgil has done the same number of times in his Æneid, vii. 699; X. 264. But this simile exceeds any of those; first, as it rises so naturally out of the subject, and seems a comparison so familiar to Adam ; secondly, the “total kind" of birds much more properly expresses a prodigious number than any particular species or collection in any particular place; thirdly, and chiefly, the angels were marching through the air, and not on the ground.–(Essay on Milton.)
78. “ This terrene." This earth's surface. The adjective classically put for the substantive. There are some instances of terrenus being used substantively : Livy, xxiii. 19: Cum hostes obarassent quidquid herbidi terreni extra murum erat." Columella ii. 2: “ Ge. nera terreni tria, campestre, collinum, montanum."
79-82. At a great distance to the north appeared a fiery region, at first seen indistinctly ; but on a nearer view, on examination, as they came nearer, appeared the banded powers of Satan.(N.) The ellipsis of the preposition in Milton has been often noticed before.--“ Bristled." See note on ii. 513. 84.
“ With boastful argument pourtrayed." Argumentum, in Latin, sometimes means a curious device, or any thing curiously figured. So Virgil, En. vii. 789:" At levem clypeum sublatis cornibus lo
Auro insignibai, jam sætis obsita, jam bos,
Argumentum ingens." Cicero in Verrem: “Ex ebore diligentissime perfecta argumenta erant in valvis." -“Shields various." " Various" is used in the primary sense of the Latin varius, to express different colours and figures. This is the sense of ποικιλος ; s0 ποικιλα τεύχεα,
Hom. 91. Read a colon after “way." “Though” does not refer to the last line, but to the lines preceding it. Their thoughts proved foolish (the original meaning of " fond”) and empty between the commencement and the conclusion of the enterprise, in medio.
93. “ Wont." The verb was used by the old English poets sometimes as it is here; in modern style it would be were wont.-" Hosting,” military mustering, from host. See Johns. and Rich. Dict.
101. “ Idol.” Ex5wov, literally an image or resemblance; but, in reference to pagan idolatry, the word undoubtedly means here a false representation or counterfeit image of the Almighty; and is well