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Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan",
Satyr, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts
Delight not all : among the sons of men,
How many have with a smile made small account
Of beauty and her lures, easily scorn'd
All her assaults, on worthier things intent!
Remember that Pellean conquerour',
A youth, how all the beauties of the East
He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass'a';
How he, surnamed of Africa, dismiss'd,
In his prime youth, the fair Iberian maid ".
For Solomon, he lived at ease; and, full
Of honour, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond
Higher design than to enjoy his state ;
Thence to the bait of women olay exposed :
But he, whom we attempt, is wiser far
Than Solomon, of more exalted mind,

4 Thy scapes.
This is a Gallicism, échappée, a prank or frolic.-DUNSTER.

"Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan. , Calisto, Semele, and Antiopa, were mistresses to Jupiter ; Clymene and Daphne, to Apollo ;

and Syrinx, to Pan. Both here and elsewhere, Milton considers the gods of the heathens as demons or devils. Thus, in the Septuagint version of the Psalms, Náutes oi Beol Twv dOvæv õatuóvia, Psalm xcvi. 5, and likewise in the Vulgate Latin, “ Quoniam ouinea Dii gentium dæmonia." And the notion of the demons having commerce with women in the shape of heathen gods is very ancient, and is expressly asserted by Justin Martyr, “ Apol." i. p. 10, and 33, edit. Thirlbii.-Newton.

· Remember that Pellean conquerour, &c. Alexander the Great was born at Pella in Macedonia : his continence and clemency to Darius's queen and daughters, and the other Persian ladies whom he took captive after the battle of Issus, are commended by the historians : “Tum quidem ita se gessit, ut omnes

ante cum reges et continentia et clementia vincerentur: virgines enim regias excellentis I forme tam sancte habuit, quam si eodem quo ipse parente genitæ forent : conjugem ejus

dem, quam nulla ætatis suæ pulchritudine corporis vicit, adeo ipse non violavit, ut summam adhibuerit curam, ne quis captivo corpori illuderet," &c., Quint. Curt. lib. iii. cap. 9. He was tben a young conqueror, of about twenty-three years of age ; " a youth,” as Milton expresses it.-NEWTON. Sce Juvenal, sat, x. 168:

Unus Pellæo juveni non sufficit orbis.-DUNSTER.

! Horo all the beauties of the East

He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass'd. Alexander, we know from history, did not “ slightly overpass all the beauties of the Fast."-DUNSTER.

u How he, surnamed of Africa, dismiss'd,

In his prime youth, the fair Iberian maid. The continence of Scipio Africanus at the age of twenty-four, and his generosity in restoring a beautiful Spanish lady to her husband and friends, are celebrated by Polybius, Livy, Valerius Maxious, and various other authors.-NEWTON.

Thence to the bait of women, &c. This remark, applied by Satan to Solomon, the example cited by Belial, induces me to notice the description of Belial by Wierus, “Pseudomonarchia Dæmonum," edit. Basil. 1582, p. 919. “Sunt quidam necromantici, qui asserunt ipsum Salomonem, quodam die astutia cujusdam mulieris seductum, orando se inclinasse versus simulacrum Belial nomine,”' &c. Wierus doubts this particular circumstance. But see | Kings, xi, 1–8. and “ Par. Lost," b. i. 401, and the present book, ver. 169.-Todd.

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| Stadius ter. These words look as if the poe: had forgo: bizsef, asi spike in his own person rather than in the character of Satan.-Xestos.

* One look from his majestick brow,

Seated as on the top v Pirtu's , 158. Here is the construction that we so often meet with in Milton: "from his majestick brow," that is, from the majestic brow of him seated as on the top of Virtue's bill: and the expression of * Virtue's hill," was probably in allusion to the rocky eminence on which the Virtues are placed in the Table of Cebes; or the arduous ascent up the hill, to which Virtue is represented pointing in the best designs of the judgment of Hercules.NEWTON.

Milton's meaning here is best illustrated by a passaze in Shakspeare, which most probs. bly he had in his mind. Hamlet, in the scene with his mother, pointing to the picture of his father, says,

See what a grace was seated on this brow!
Hyperion's curls ; the front of Jove himself ;

An eye like Mars to threaten or command, &c.
See also “Love's Labour's Lost," a. iji. 8. 4. “Greatness, nobleness, authority, and
awe,” says Bentley, “arc by all Greek and Latin poets placed in the forehead." See * Par.
Lont," b. vii, 509, ix. 538.
And Spenser's Belphæbe :-

Her ivory forehead, full of bounty brave,
Like a broad table did itself dispread :
All good and honour might therein be read,
And there their dwelling was.-DUNSTER.

225

Led captive & ; cease to admire, and all her plumes
Fall flat, and shrink into a trivial toy,
At every sudden slighting quite abash’d.
Therefore with manlier objects we must try
His constancy; with such as have more show
Of worth, of honour, glory, and popular praise ;
Rocks, whereon greatest men have oftest wreck’d;
Or that which only seems to satisfy
Lawful desires of nature, not beyond :
And now I know he hungers, where no food
Is to be found, in the wide wilderness :
The rest commit to me; I shall let pass
No advantage, and his strength as oft assay.

He ceased", and heard their grant in loud acclaim ;

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# For beauty stands In the admiration only of weak minds

Led captive. Among Milton's early Latin Elegies, we find one, the seventh, of the amatory kind : but when he published his Latin poems, eighteen years afterwards, he thought it necessary to add to it ten lines, apologising for the puerile weakness, or rather vacancy, of his mind, that could admit such an impression.— DUNSTER.

b Cease to admire, and all her plumes
Fall flat, and shrink into a trivial toy,

Al every sudden slighting quite abash'd.
This is a very beautiful and apposite allusion to the peacock ; speaking of which bird,
Pliny notices the circumstance of its spreading its tail under a sense of admiration :-
"Gernmantes laudatus expandit colores, adverso maxime sole, quia sic fulgentius radiant.”
Nat

. Hist. I. x. c. 20. Tasso compares Armida, in all the pride and vanity of her beauty and ornaments, to a peacock with its tail spread, c. xvi. st. 24. But Milton had here in his mind Ovid, “ De Arte Am." i. 627.

Laudatas ostentat avis Junonia pennas;
Si tacitus spectes, illa recondit opes.-DUNSTER.

c He ceased,
Our Lord (ver. 110) is, in a brief but appropriate description, again presented to us in
the wilderness. The poet, in the mean time, makes Satan return to his infernal council,
to report the had success of his first attempt, and to demand their counsel and assistance in
an enterprise of so much difficulty. This he does in a brief and energetic speech. Hence
arises a debate; or at least a proposition on the part of Belial, and a rejection of it by
Satan, of which I cannot sufficiently express my admiration. The language of Belial is
exquisitely descriptive of the power of beauty; without a single word introduced, or even
a thought conveyed, that is unbecoming its place in this divine poem. Satan's reply is
eminently fine : his imputing to Belial, as the most dissolute of the fallen angels, the
amoura attributed by the poets and mythologists to the heathen gods; while it is replete
with classic beauty, furnishes an excellent moral to those extravagant fictions ; and his
description of the little effect which the most powerful enticements can produce on the
resolute mind of the virtuous, while it is heightened with many beautiful turns of language,
is, in its general tenor, of the most superior and dignified kind. Indeed, all this part of his
speech (from ver. 191 to ver. 225) seems to breathe such a sincere and deep sense of the
charma of real goodness, that we almost forget who is the speaker: at least, we readily sub-
scribe to what he bad said of himself in the first book:

I have not lost
To love, at least contemplate, and admire,
What I see excellent in good, or fair,

Or virtuous.
After such sentiments so expressed, it might have been thought difficult for the poet to
return to his subject, by making the arch-fiend resume his attempts against the Divine Person,

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Nor tastes, sit bad sppetize As to the time necessary for coarenica the internal case, there is :be space of twenty. four hours taken for the devil to no cp to be region of mid air," wbere his council was nitting, and where we are told be went with soti:" (ver. 117 of this book) and for him to debate the matter with his eonteil and retain rit his chosen band of spirits :" for it was the commencement of night then be left our Saviour at the end of the first book; and it is now “ the hour of night," (rer. 260) when he is returned. But it must also be considered that spiritual beiss are not supposed to require, for their actions, the time necessary to human ones; otherwise we might proceed to calculate the time requisite for the dercent of Michael, or Raphael, to P:radise, and criticise the - Paradise Lost "accordingly. Bit Raphael, in the eighth book of that poem, says to Adam, inquiring concerning celestial motions ;

The swiftness of those circles attribute,
Though numberless, to his Omnipotence,
That to corporeal substances would add
Speed almost spiritual : me thou think'st not slow,
Who since the morning hour set out from heaven
Where God resides, and ere mid-day arrived
In Eden ; distance ipexpressible

By numbers that have name.
We are also expressly told by St. Luke, when the devil took our Lord up into a high
mountnin, that " le showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,”
Luke iv. 5. DUNSTER.

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Wandering this woody maze, and human food
Nor tasted, nor had appetite ; that fast
To virtue I impute not, or count part
Of what I suffer here; if nature need not,
Or God support nature without repast
Though needing, what praise is it to endure ?
But now I feel I hunger, which declares
Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God
Can satisfy that need some other way,
Though hunger still remain : so it remain
Without this body's wasting, I content me,
And from the sting of famine fear no harm;
Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts, that feed
Me hungering more to do my Father's will'.

It was the hour of night, when thus the Son
Communed in silent walk, then laid him down 8
Under the hospitable covert nigh
Of trees thick interwoven"; there he slept,
And dream'd, as appetite is wont to dream,
Of meats and drinks, nature's refreshment sweet:
Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood',
And saw the ravens with their horny beaks
Food to Elijah bringing, even and morn,
Though ravenous, taught to abstain from what they brought :

f Me hungering more to do my Father's will. In allusion to our Saviour's words, John iv. 34 :~"My meat is to do the will of him

and to finish his work."-NEWTON. But with reference also to,“ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness," Matt. v. 6.-DUNSTER.

& Communed in silent walk, then laid him down. Agreeable to what we find in the Psalms, iv. 4:—“Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still."'- Newton,

h The hospitable covert nigh

Of trees thick interwoven.
Thus Horace, Od. 11. iii. 9 :

Qua pinus ingens albaque populus
Umbram hospitalem consociare amant

Ramis.
And Virgil, “Georg." iv. 24 :-

Obviaque hospitiis teneat frondentibus arbos.
Milton also, in “ Comus,'' ver. 186:-

Such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable woods provide.—DUNSTER.

i He by the brook of Cherilh stood, &c. Alluding to the account of Elijah, 1 Kings xvii. 5, 6; and xix. 4. And Daniel's living upon pulse and water, rather than the portion of the king's meat and drink, is celebrated, Dan. i. So that as our dreams are often composed of the matter of our waking thoughts, pur Saviour is with great propriety supposed to dream of sacred persons and subjects. Lucretius, iv. 960 :

Et quoi quisque fere studio devinctus adhæret,
Aut quibus in rebus multum sumus ante morati,
Atque in qua ratione fuit contenta magis mens,
In somnis eadem plerumque videmur obire.-NEWTON.

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