Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

350

355

All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,

,
All intellect, all sense ; and as they please,
They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.

Mean while in other parts like deeds deserv'd
Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought
And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array
Of Moloch furious king ; who him defied,
And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound
Threaten’d, nor from the Holy One of heaven
Refrain'd his tongue blasphēmous; but anon
Down cloven to the waste, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each wing

.

360

1

350. All heart they live, all presented as retiring out of the
head, all eye, all eur,

fight, and making an outcry
All intellect, all sense;]

louder than that of a whole army This is expressed very much when it begins the charge. like Pliny's account of God. Homer adds, that the Greeks Nat. Hist. I. i. c. 7. Quisquis and Trojans, who were engaged est Deus, si modo est alius, et in a general battle, were terriquacunque in parte, totus est fied on each side with the belsensus, totus visus, totus auditus, lowing of this wounded deity. totus animæ, totus animi, totus The reader will easily observe, sui.

how Milton has kept all the hor355. —the might of Gabriel] tor of this image, without runA manner of expression like the ning into the ridicule of it. Igrapcolo Bomu and 'Extogos pesvos of Addison. Homer, as quoted before in a With uncouth pain fled bellowing. note of Mr. Hume's upon v.

Uncouth is a word very common 371. We have the like again in with Spenser ; but Milton, no ver. 371. the violence of Ramiel. doubt, in this particular appli

362. And uncouth pain fled cation of it, had in view the folbellowing.] I question not but lowing lines, Faery Queen, b. i. Milton in his description of his cant. xi. st. 20. furious Moloch flying from the battle, and bellowing with the

The piercing steel there wrought a

wound full wide, wound he had received, had bis That with the uncouth pain the eye on Mars in the Iliad ; who

monster loudly cried. upon his being wounded is re

CC 4

Thyer.

a

365

Uriel and Raphaël his vaunting foe,
Though huge, and in a rock of diamond arm’d,
Vanquish'd Adramelech, and Asmadai,
Two potent thrones, that to be less than gods
Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learn’d in their flight,
Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and mail.
Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy
The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow

370
Ariel and Arioch, and the violence
Of Ramiel scorch'd and blasted overthrew.
I might relate of thousands, and their names

name.

363. Uriel and Raphaël] The brew word signifying to destroy. speaker here is Raphael; and it Hume. had been improper to mention 368. --plate and mail.] Plate himself as a third person, and is the broad solid armour. Mail tell his own exploits; but that is that composed of small pieces Adam knew not his

like shells, or scales of fish laid Had he known it, he must have one over the other; or somesaid Uriel and I; which he thing resembling the feathers as cared not to do. Bentley. they lie on the bodies of fowl,

363. Uriel and Raphaël his v. 284. Richardson. vaunting foe,] Dr. Bentley and 371. Ariel and Arioch,] Two Mr. Thyer are of opinion, that fierce spirits, as their names dea word is left out in this line, note. Ariel Hebrew, the lion of and that the sense and the God, or a strong lion. Arioch of measure would be improved by the like signification, a fierce and reading it thus,

terrible lion. Ramiel Hebrew, Uriel and Raphael, each his vaunting God. Hume.

one that exalts himself against foe.

373. I might relate of thou365. Adramelech,] Hebrew, sands, &c.] The poet here puts Mighty magnificent king, one of into the mouth of the angel an the idols of Sepharvaim, wor- excellent reason for not relating shipped by them in Samaria, more particulars of this first when transplanted thither by battle." It would have been Shalmaneser. And the Sephar. improper on all accounts to have vites burnt their children in the enlarged much more upon it, fire to Adramelech, 2 Kings xvii. but it was proper that the angel 31. Asmadai, the lustful and de- should appear to know more than stroying angel Asmodeus, men- he chose to relate, or than the tioned Tobit iii. 8. of a He- poet was able to make him relate.

380

Eternize here on earth; but those elect
Angels, contented with their fame in heaven,

375
Seek not the praise of men : the other sort,
In might though wondrous and in acts of war,
Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom
Cancell'd from heav'n and sacred memory,
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell.
For strength from truth divided and from just,
Illaudable, nought merits but dispraise
And ignominy, yet to glory' aspires
Vain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame:
Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

And now their mightiest quelld, the battle swerv’d, With many an inroad gor’d; deformed rout Enter'd, and foul disorder ; all the ground With shiver'd armour strown, and on a heap Chariot and charioteer lay overturn'd,

390 And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoil'd

385

382. Illaudable,] Is used here some places it had a particularly much in the same manner as good effect. Dunster. illaudatus in Virgil,

386. —the battle swerv'd,) Is -Quis aut Eurysthea durum,

not this the same with Hesiod's Aut illaudali nescit Busiridis aras ? ExNovon de recepcn. Theog. v. 711?

Georg. iii. 3. Thyer. And the learned reader may, if

Sweru'd from the Saxon swerhe pleases, see a dissertation ven, to wander out of its place; upon that verse of Virgil in the here by analogy to bend, to ply; second book of Aulus Gellius.

for in that case an army in 383. —to glory aspires battle properly swerves. RichardVain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame :)

The word is used in the same Possibly this passage stood wellin sense by Spenser, Faery Queen, Milton's opinion. It is an instance b. v. cant. X. st. 35. of that pluy upon words, in which, Who from his saddle swerved nought as Dr. Johnson justly observes, aside, he “ delighted too often." He 391. —what slood, recoild, seems to have fancied that in &c.] The construction has oc

son.

395

O’er-wearied, through the faint Satanic host
Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surpris'd,
Then first with fear surpris'd and sense of pain
Fled ignominious, to such evil brought
By sin of disobedience, till that hour
Not liable to fear or flight or pain.
Far otherwise th' inviolable saints
In cubic phalanx firm advanc'd entire,
Invulnerable, impenetrably arm'd ;
Such high advantages their innocence
Gave them above their foes ; not to have sinn'd,

400

casioned some difficulty here, 399. In cubic phalanx firm) In but it may be thus explicated. strictness of speech, to have been What stood is the nominative cubic, it must have been as high, case in the sentence, and the as it is broad, as Dr. Bentley verbs are recoiled and fled. It justly observes. But why must would indeed be a contradiction a poet's mind, sublimed as Mil. to say that what stood their ton's was on this occasion, be ground, fed ; but that is not the expected to attend to every cirmeaning of it, whai stood is put in cumstance of an epithet made opposition to what lay overturned use of? He meant four square in the preceding line. Part of only, having that property of a the Satanic host lay overturned; cube to be equal in length on all and that part which was not over- sides. And so he expresses himturned, but kept on their feet, self in his tract called The reason and stood, either gave way and of Church Government &c. p. 215. recoiled o'er-wearied, or with pale Edit. Toland. As those smaller fear surprised fled ignominious. squares in battle unite in one great

396. —till that hour &c.] It cube, the main phalanx, an emblem seems a very extraordinary cir- of truth and stedfastness. To be cumstance attending a battle, sure Milton's cubic, though not that not only none of the war- strictly proper, is better than riors on either side were capable the epithet martial, (which the of death by wound, but on one Doctor would give us in the side none were capable of wound room of it,) because a phalanx or even of pain. This was a in battle could not be otherwise very great advantage on the side than martial; and so closely of the good angels; but we united an idea could not have must suppose that the rebel any beauty or force here. angels did not know their own Pearce. weakness till this hour.

Not to have disobey'd ; in fight they stood
Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd
By wound, though from their place by violence mov'd.

Now night her course began, and over heaven 406
Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos’d,
And silence on the odious din of war:
Under her cloudy covert both retir'd,
Victor and vanquish'd : on the foughten field 410
Michaël and his angels prevalent
Incamping, plac'd in guard their watches round,
Cherubic waving fires : on th' other part
Satan with his rebellious disappear’d,
Far in the dark dislodg'd: and void of rest, 415
His potentates to council call’d by night ;
And in the midst thus undismay'd began.

O now in danger tried, now known in arms 405. —though from their place like fires waving; the cherubim by violence mov’d.] This cir- being described by our author, cumstance is judiciously added agreeably to Scripture, as of a to prepare the reader for what fiery substance and nature. happens in the next fight.

418. O now in danger tried, 406. Now night her course be- &c.] This speech of Satan is gan, and over heaven

very artful. He flatters their Inducing darkness, grateful pride and vanity, and avails himtruce impos'd,]

self of the only comfort that The same with Tasso on a like could be drawn from this day's occasion, G. L. cant. xi. st. 18. engagement, (though it was a

false comfort,) that God was Sin che fe nuova tregua à la fatica La cheta notte, e del riposo amica.

neither so powerful nor wise as

Thyer. he was taken to be. He was 407. Inducing darkness,) Ho- had suffered some loss and pain,

forced to acknowledge that they race, sat. i. v. 9.

but endeavours to lessen it as Jam nor inducere terris much as he can, and attributes Umbras, et cælo diffundere signa it not to the true cause, but to parabat.

their want of better arms and 413. Cherubic waving fires :] armour, which he therefore proTheir watches were cherubic poses that they should provide waving fires, that is, cherubim themselves withal, to defend

« AnteriorContinuar »