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Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
117. Their wines of Setia, Cales, Murrhæque in Parthis pocula cocta and Falerne,
focis, Chios and Crete,]
that they were like our porceThe three former were Italian, lain: but if they were so very and the two latter were Greek fragile as they are represented to wines, much admired and com- be, it is not easy to conceive how mended by the ancients.
they could be imbossed with gems 117. Campania was famous for and studs of pearl. I suppose the wines of Setia, Cales, and our author asserted it from the Falerne. See Plin. Hist. Nat. iii. words immediately following in 5. The Falernian was commonly Pliny. Nec hoc fuit satis: turba considered as the best. See Virg. gemmarum potamus, et smaragGeorg. ii. 96. Tibullus, 1. i. el. 9. dis teximus calices: ac temuand Varro de R. R. i. 2. Setine lentiæ causa tenere Indiam juvat: wine, according to Pliny, xiv. 6. et aurum jam accessio est. Or was the favourite wine of Augus- perhaps the words imbossed with tus. Horace speaks of the Cale- gems, &c. refer only to gold first nian wine as a luxury of the mentioned, which is no unusual highest kind, I. i. od. xxxi. 9. construction. They quaff in gold Horace also praises the Chian imbossed with gems and studs of wine, 2 sat. ii. 115. and 1. iii. pearl. od. xix. 5. as Cretan wine is 119. That the ancients quaffed celebrated by Martial, l. xiii. in gold embossed with gems, &c. ep. 106. and Juvenal, xiv. 270. appears from numberless pas. Dunster.
sages of their writers. See Cic. · 119. Crystal and myrrhine cups in Verrem, iv. 27. Virgil, Æn. i.
imboss'd with gems 728. Sil. Ital. xiv. 661. Juvenal, And studs of pearl,]
S. X. 27. v. 39. Juvenal also, StaCrystal and myrrhine cups are tius, and Martial mention crystal often joined together by ancient and myrrbine cups together. For authors. Murrhina et crystallina the great price given for these ex eadem terra effodimus, quibus cups, see Meursius de luxu Roprecium faceret ipsa fragilitas. manorum, c. 8. The myrrhine Hoc argumentum opum, hæc cups seem sometimes to have vera luxuriæ gloria existimata est, been considered as gems, see habere quod posset statim totum Seneca, De Benefic. vii.9. Many perire. Plin. lib. xxxiii. sect. 2. suppose the large vases shewn We see that Pliny reckons myr- in Italy, as being onyx, agate, thine cups among fossils; Sca- &c. to be of this myrrhine kind. liger, Salmasius, and others, con- See Mr. Holdsworth on Virg. tend from this verse of Proper. Georg. ii. 506. Dunster. tius iv. v. 26.
And hunger still; then embassies thou show'st
124. So many hollow complie decline of the Roman empire, in ments and lies
this and the following ten lines, Outlandish flatteries ?]
is at once concisely fine, and Possibly not without an allusion accurately just. The expression to the congratulatory embassies peeling their provinces (might be on the Restoration. Dunster. suggested by the answer of Ti
. 130. Let his tormentor con- berius to some provincial govern. science find him out ;] Milton had ors, who urged him to require an in view what Tacitus and Sue increase of tribute, boni pastoris tonius have related. Tacitus, Ann. esse tondere pecus, non deglubere. vi. 6. Insigne visum est earum Sueton. Tiber. 32. xsigeclas pov sa Cæsaris litterarum initium ; nam #po@ata, ada' ovx umožuperbai, Bov his verbis exorsus est: Quid scri- ropell. Dion Cassius, lvii. As to bam vobis P. C. aut quoniodo scri- their provinces being exhausted bam, aut quid omnino non scribam by lust and rapine it is notorious. hoc tempore, Dii me Deæque pejus Some idea of iheir exactions and perdant quam perire quotidie sentio, oppressions may be gained from si scio. Adeo facinora atque fla- Cicero's Orations, In Verrem, and gitia sua ipsi quoque in suppli. In L. Pisonem, c. 35, 40. See cium verterant. Suetonius, Tiber. also his oration De Provinciis 67. Postremo semet ipse pertæ- Consularibus, c. 3, 4, 6. and Jussus talis epistolæ principio tan- tin, 1. xxxviii. c. 7. Aulus Geltum non summam malorum suo- lius, l. xv. C. 12. and Livy, l. rum professus est: Quid scribam xxix. 17. See also Cic. In Piso&c. where perhaps it should be, nem, c. 25. for a description of tali epistolæ principio. Jortin that insulting vanity, a Roman
132. That people victor once, triumph. As to that connexion now vile and base, &e.) This between luxury, cruelty, and efdescription of the corruption and feminacy, which the poet de
Deservedly made vassal, who once just,
135 Peeling their provinces, exhausted all By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown Of triumph, that insulting vanity; Then cruel, by their sports to blood inur'd Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts expos’d, 140 Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still, And from the daily scene effeminate. What wise and valiant man would seek to free These thus degenerate, by themselves inslav’d, Or could of inward slayes make outward free? 145 scribes, v. 139–142. it has been who might have been introduced often remarked in all ages. See so naturally, and easily here, Athenæus, p. 525. ed. Casaub. only by putting the word gladiaand p. 625, and Tacit. Hist. ii. 31. tors in place of the other two, Columella, 1. i. miramur gestus that one may very well be sureffæminatorum &c. and Seneca, prised at the poei's omitting Procem. Controvers. Torpent ecce them. See Seneca's seventh episingenia desidiosæ juventutis, &c. tle. Calton. mark the effeminacy of the Ro- 141. Luxurious by their wealth, mans in their time. In their and greedier still,] So Manilius, cruel beast-fights there was a iv. 10. great variety. Sometimes, by Luxuriamque lucris emimus, luxuque bringing water into the amphi rapinas. theatre, even sea-monsters were
Dunster. introduced to combat with wild 145. Or could of inward slaves beasts. So Calphurnius, ecl. vii. make outward free?] This noble
sentiment Milton explains more Nec nobis tantum sylvestria cernere
fully, and expresses more diffumonstra
sively in his Paradise Lost, xii. Contigit, æquoreos ego eum certan- 90. tibus ursis
--Therefore since he permits Spectavi vitulos.
Within himself unworthy pow'rs to Dunster.
Over free reason, God in judgment 140. Of fighting beasts, and
just men to beasts expos'd,] The fight Subjects him from without to violent ing beasts are a poor instance of lords; &c. to ver. 101. the Roman cruelty in their sports, So also again in his twelfth in comparison of the gladiators, Sonnet,
Know therefore when my season comes to sit
Licence they mean when they cry delusive hopes of a safety purLiberty ;
... chased by submission and fear.” For who loves that must first be wise
se Dunster. and good.
146. Know therefore when my No one had ever more refined season comes to sit &c.] A parnotions of true liberty than Mil. ticular manner of expression, but ton, and I have often thought frequent in Milton; as if he had that there never was a greater said, Know therefore when the proof of the weakness of human season comes for me to sit on nature, than that he with a head David's throne, it shall be like a so clear, and a heart I really tree, &c. It refers to throne. believe perfectly honest and dis. The throne of David shall then interested, should concur in sup- be like a tree, &c; alluding to porting such a tyrant and pro- the parable of the mustard-seed fessed trampler upon the liberties grown into a tree, so that the of his country as Cromwell was. birds lodge in the branches thereof, Thyer.
Matt. xiii. 32. and to (what that There is a passage in a truly parable also respects) Nebuchad. philosophical work, (Ferguson nezzar's dream of the great tree on Civil Society, P. 6. 8. 5.) whose height reached unto heaven, which is a good comment on and the sight thereof to the end of this and the two preceding lines; all the earth, Dan. iv. 11. Ter“the project of bestowing liberty tullian also compares the kingon a people who are actually ser- dom of Christ to that of Nebu. vile, is perhaps of all others the chadnezzar. See Grotius in Matt. most difficult. Men are quali. Or as a stone, &c; alluding to the fied to receive this blessing, only stone in another of Nebuchadin proportion as they are made nezzar's dreams, which brake the to apprehend their own rights, image in pieces, and so this kingand to respect the just preten- dom shall break in pieces, and sions of mankind; in proportion consume all these kingdoms, and as they are willing to sustain in it shall stand for ever. Dan. ii. 44. their own persons the burthen And of my kingdom there shall be of government and of national no end: the very words of Luke defence, and to prefer the en- i. 33. with only the necessary gagements of a liberal mind to change of the person; and of his the enjoyments of sloth, and the kingdom there shall be no end.
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell.
To whom the Tempter impudent replied.
162. All these, which in a mo- the condition at the same time ment thou behold'st,
that he offered the gifts; as he The kingdoms of the world &c.] doth likewise in Scripture: but And the devil, taking him up into after his gifts had been absoa high mountain, shewed unto him lutely refused, to what purpose all the kingdoms of the world in a was it to propose the impious moment of time. And the devil condition ? Could he imagine that said unto him, All this power will our Saviour would accept the I give unto thee, and the glory of kingdoms of the world upon the them : for that is delivered unto abominable terms of falling down me; and unto whomsoever I will, and worshipping him, just after I give it. If thou therefore wilt he had rejected them unclogged worship me, all shall be thine. with any terms at all? Well Luke iv. 5, 6, 7. Dunster. might the author say that Satan
166. On this condition, if thou impudent replied: but I think wilt fall down, &c.] In my opi- that doth not entirely solve the nion (and Mr. Thyer concurs objection. with me in the same observa. 166. I conceive this passage tion) there is not any thing in to be, on the contrary, a strikthe disposition and conduct of ing instance of the great judgthe whole poem so justly liable ment of the poet, in arranging to censure as the aukward and his work, as well as of his great preposterous introduction of this skill in decorating it. The conincident in this place. The duct of Satan had hitherto been Tempter should have proposed artfully plausible, and such as