Imagens das páginas



compound of ill-reputed features which belong to a score of the lower animals. My general form I get from the pagan satyr; whence also come my hoofs and my shagginess; while the goat supplies my horns and the bull and the ass my tail. The principle of ugliness presided at my birth, and had much to do in my bringing up. Hence my ordinary portraits are very unsightly. When, however, a great genius takes the pallet and the brush to paint my person, he produces something which, amidst all its deformities, is grand and imposing. Transcribe into your manuscript, my dear young friend, the likeness of me painted by the great creative poets, Dante and Milton.


"The emperor of the kingdom dolorous."


"Vexilla Regis prodeunt Inferni

Towards us; therefore look in front of thee,"
My master said, "if thou discernest him."
As, when there breathes a heavy fog, or when
Our hemisphere is darkening into night,
Appears far off a mill the wind is turning,
Methought that such a building then I saw ;
And for the wind, I drew myself behind
My guide, because there was no other shelter.
Now was I, and with fear in verse I put it,

There where the shades were wholly covered up,
And glimmered through like unto straws in glass.
Some prone are lying, others stand erect,

This with the head, and that one with the soles;
Another, bow-like, face to feet inverts.

When in advance so far we had proceeded,

That it my master pleased to shew to me

The creature who once had the beauteous semblance,
He from before me moved and made me stop,
Saying, 'BEHOLD DIS, and behold the place
Where thou with fortitude must arm thyself.'
How frozen I became and powerless then,
Ask it not, reader, for I write it not,
Because all language would be insufficient.
I did not die, and I alive remained not;




Think for thyself now, hast thou aught of wit,
What I became, being of both deprived.

The emperor of the kingdom dolorous

From his mid-breast forth issued from the ice;
And better with a giant I compare

Than do the giants with those arms of his ;
Consider now how great must be that whole,
Which unto such a part conforms itself.
Were he as fair once, as he now is foul,

And lifted up his brow against his Maker;
Well may proceed from him all tribulation.
O, what a marvel it appeared to me,

When I beheld three faces on his head!

The one in front, and that vermilion was;
Two were the others, that were joined with this
Above the middle part of either shoulder,

And they were joined together at the crest;
And the right-hand one seemed 'twixt white and yellow;
The left was such to look upon as those

Who came from where the Nile falls valley-ward.
Underneath each came forth two mighty wings,

Such as befitting were so great a bird;
Sails of the sea I never saw so large.

No feathers had they, but as of a bat

Their fashion was; and he was waving them,
So that three winds proceeded forth therefrom.
Thereby Cocytus wholly was congealed.

With six eyes did he weep, and down three chins
Trickled the tear-drops and the bloody drivel.
At every mouth he with his teeth was crunching
A sinner, in the manner of a brake,

So that he three of them tormented thus.
To him in front the biting was as naught
Unto the clawing, for sometimes the spine
Utterly stripped of all the skin remained.
That soul up there which has the greatest pain,'
The master said, 'is Judas Iscariot;
With head inside, he plies his legs without.

Of the two others, who head downwards are,

The one who hangs from the black jowl is Brutus ;
See how he writhes himself, and speaks no word.
And the other, who so stalwart seems, is Cassius.
But night is re-ascending, and 'tis time
That we depart, for we have seen the whole.""

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This portrait of a drivelling devil is disgusting rather than formidable. Yet incisive is it enough to cut and leave an image of itself on the popular imagination. Whatever human feature is presented, if only it is human, stamps itself on the mind, and tends to make me a personal reality. It is, however, to Milton's spirit of fire and plastie hand that I am most indebted. His Satan stands supreme. Specially is he the creative power and the solid support of the demonology of modern popular churches. Yet even this gigantic figure begins to pale and wane.



"O thou, that, with surpassing glory crowned,
Lookest from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice; and add thy name,
O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once-above thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King.
Ah! wherefore? He deserved no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks?
How due! yet all his good proved ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high,
I'sdained subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome; still paying, still to owe;
Forgetful what from him I still received;
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burden then?
O had his powerful destiny ordained
Me some inferior angel, I had stood

Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised

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Ambition! Yet why not? Some other power

As great might have aspired, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations armed.

Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?

Thou hadst whom hast thou then or what to accuse

But heaven's free love dealt equally to all?

Be then his love accursed; since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe :

Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide;
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath; whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit; boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Ah me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain ;
Under what torments inwardly I groan ;
While they adore me on the throne of hell :
With diadem and sceptre high advanced,
The lower still I fall; only supreme
In misery such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain

By act of grace my former state; how soon

Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay

What feigned ambition swore! Ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.

For never can true reconcilement grow

Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep;
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my Punisher; therefore as far


From granting he, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus; behold instead
Of us outcast, exiled, his new delight,
Mankind, created, and for him this world.
So, farewell hope, and with hope, farewell fear;
Farewell remorse all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with heaven's King I hold,

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long and this new world shall know.

Thus while he spake, each passion dimmed his face,
Thrice changed with pale ire, envy, and despair;
Which marred his borrowed visage, and betrayed
Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld :



Whereof he soon aware,

Each perturbation smoothed with outward calm,
Artificer of fraud; and was the first

That practised falsehood under saintly show,

Deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge."


What is this but man-man from first to last? A noble

if a ruined man; such a man as only the grand soul of Milton could have drawn. Those strong, deep, violent and rapidly interchanging passions are strictly human. Human too is the touch of tenderness, the starting tear, the momentarily yielding soul you find here. Emphatically human is the intimately connected chain of reasoning that runs through all and incessantly leading wrong, closing the avenues of instinctive feeling. Then how fine the contrast between the master passion, ambition, and nascent submission, the sole road open to returning peace!

There is, however, one phrase which stamps the whole with the true features of humanity, "myself am hell." Yes, the only true hell is the wicked man himself. And thus it is seen that I am no proper devil, but human sin and human suffering personified. Thus can you explain how it is that in this sublime portrait qualities so great are interwoven with passions so diabolical? And so we may be justified in declaring Milton's Paradise Lost a spiritual allegory, painting to the eye, the

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