« AnteriorContinuar »
Not to be overpow'r'd, companions dear,
themselves and annoy their ene- So Prometheus ip like manner mies.
comforts and confirms himself 431. and pain,
against Jupiter's threats. Æschyl. Till now not known, but known Prom. Vinct. 932. as soon contemn'd;
T. & av poboljeni, a larut av peegripor ; Since now we find &c.]
Due search and consultation will disclose.
He sat; and in th' assembly next upstood Nisroch, of Principalities the prime; As one he stood escap'd from cruel fight, Sore toil, his riven arms to havoc hewn, And cloudy in aspect thus answ'ring spake. Deliverer from new lords, leader to free Enjoyment of our right as gods; yet hard For gods, and too unequal work we find, Against unequal arms to fight in pain, Against unpain’d, impassive; from which evil Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails Valour or strength, though matchless, quell’d with pain Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands Of mightiest? Sense of pleasure we may Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine,
460 But live content, which is the calmest life: But pain is perfect misery, the worst Of evils, and excessive, overturns All patience. He who therefore can invent With what more forcible we may offend
447. Nisroch,] A god of the Principalities the prime. Assyrians, in whose temple at 462. the worst Nineveh, Sennacherib was killed Of evils,] by his two sons, 2 Kings xix. 37. Nisroch is made to talk agreeand Isaiah xxxvii. 37. It is not ably to the sentiments of Hieroknown who this god Nisroch nymus and those philosophers,
The Seventy call him who maintained that pain was Meserach in Kings, and Nasarach the greatest of evils; there in Isaiah ; Josephus calls him might be a possibility of living Araskes. He must have been a without pleasure, but there was principal idol, being worshipped no living in pain. A notion suitby so great a prince, and at the able enough to a deity of the capital city Nineveh; which may effeminate Assyrians. justify Milton in calling him of
Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm
Whereto with look compos’d Satan replied.
467. -to me deserves with the accent upon the last No less than for deliverance syllable, and not as it is comwhat we owe.]
monly pronounced, for Milton Nisroch is speaking; he had would hardly use a trochaic foot complimented Satan (ver. 451.) at the end of the verse. Dr. with the title of Deliverer ; here Bentley reads likewise this ethehe ventures to say, that whoever real mould ; and it is true Milton could invent the new engine of commonly uses the word ethereal, war would be equal to him in but that is no reason why he his estimation. Milton has taken may not say likewise ethereous, care that this deliverer should which is nearer the Latin æthealso have this merit, and be reus. The construction of this without a competitor; Satan is sentence is, Which of us who both the one and the other as it beholds &c. so superficially surveys follows immediately. Richardson. these things: but as the nomi472. Which of us who beholds native case which of us is men
the bright surfáce tioned so many lines before the Of this ethereous mould &c.] verb surveys, he throws in anDr. Bentley, for the sake of other nominative case, a better accent, reads súrface
Whosc eye so superficially surveys bright; but surface is to be read &c.
These in their dark nativity the deep
482. —the deep] It is com
The bullet flies with such a furious monly useil for hell, but here is
As though from clouds a bolt of only opposed to surface, ver. 472.
thunder came : and is the same as deep under
And whatever in the way it find ground, ver. 478. which may It burns, it breaks, it tears, and likewise explain the word in- spoils the same.
No doubt some fiend of hell or fernal in the next line. Not but
devilish wight infernal flame may mean flame
Devised it to do mankind a spite. like that of hell, hell having been And again, st. 84. frequently mentioned before by the angels, and the idea being
O curst devise found out by some
foul fiend, very well known.
And fram'd below by Belzebub in 484. Which into hollow &c.]
hell gc. Which, that is, the materials, And Spenser has the same ver. 478. These ver. 482. the thought, Faery Queen, b. i. cant, deep shall yield, which into hol- vii. st. 13. low engines rammed, with touch
As when that devilish iron engine of fire shall send forth &c. Hol
wrought low engines, great guns, the first In deepest hell, and fram'd by furies' invention whereof is very pro
With windy nitre and quick sulphur perly ascribed to the author of
fraught, all evil. And Ariosto has de
And ramm'd with bullet round, orscribed them in the same man
dain'd to kill &c. ner in his Orlando Furioso, cant.
But though the poets have aix. st. 28, or 24 of Harrington's
greed to attribute the invention translation; and attributes the to the devil, from a notion of its invention to the devil.
being so destructive to mankind, Un ferro bugio, fic.
yet many authors have observed, A trunk of iron hollow made within, that since the use of artillery And there he puts powder and pellet there has less slaughter been in.
made in battles than was before, 25. All closed save a little hole behind,
when the engagements were Whereat no sooner taken is the fame, closer, and lasted longer.
The Thund'rer of his only dreaded bolt.
He ended, and his words their drooping cheer
502. In future days --Some one from the mouth of an angel. intent &c.] This speaking in 507. Forthwith from council to the spirit of prophecy adds great the work they flew ;] This and dignity to poetry. It is in the the two following lines are adsame spirit that Dido makes mirably contrived to express the the imprecation, Virg. Æn. iv. hurry of the angels; and con625.
sist therefore of short periods, Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus without any particles to connect ultor &c.
them. This here very properly comes