Page images
PDF
EPUB

105

110

My heart hath been a storehouse long of things
And say’ings laid up, portending strange events.

Thus Mary pond'ring oft, and oft to mind
Recalling what remarkably had pass'd
Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts
Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling :
The while her son tracing the desert wild, .
Sole but with holiest meditations fed,
Into himself descended, and at once
All his great work to come before him set ;
How to begin, how to accomplish best
His end of being on earth, and mission high :
For Satan with sly preface to return
Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone
Up to the middle region of thick air,
Where all his potentates in council sat ;
There without sign of boast, or sign of joy,

115

103. My heart hath been a

-permit me storehouse long of things

To hear thee when I come, &c. And say'ings laid up,

Satan's concluding speech at Thus Mary pond'ring oft,] their first meeting was a preface Luke ii. 19. But Mary kept all to their meeting again. these things, and pondered them 119. There without sign of in her heart : and again, ver. 51. boast, &c.] In contrast to the but his mother kept all these say- boasting manner in which Satan ings in her heart.

had related his success against 110. —with holiest meditations man, on his return to Pandæmofed,] An expression very signi- nium. P. L. x. 460. Solicitous. ficant, and the same with that in This word seems here used unParadise Lost, iii. 37.

der a recollection of Cicero's deThen fecd on thoughts &c.

finition of Solicitudo, ægritudo

Thyer. cum cogitatione. Tusc. Quæst. 111. Into himself descended,] iv. 8. Solicitous and blank. Thus, In sese descendere. Persius, sat. P. L. ix. 888. iv. 23.

115. —with sly preface to re- Astonied stood and blank, turn] Alluding to what Satan

Dunster. had said i. 483.

Adam

Solicitous and blank he thus began.

Princes, heav'n's ancient sons, ethereal ihrones, Demonian spirits now from th’ element

122. from th' element fugous: to dianugov, to aiglov, to Each of his reign allotted, righi. Edoyloy, TO udgalloy Te roll Evansov, TO lier callid

υποχθόνιον, το μισοφαες και δυσαισθηPow'rs of fire, air, wuter, and tov. p. 45. Edit. Lutet. Paris, earth beneath,]

1615. But the Demons not only It was a notion among the an- resided in the elements, and parcients, especially among the Pla- took of their nature, but also tonists, that there were Demons presided and ruled over them, in each element, some visible, as Jupiter in the air, Vulcan in others invisible, in the æther, the fire, Neptune in the water, and fire, and air, and water, so Cybele in the earth, and Pluto that no part of the world was under the earth. devoid of soul: 8196 de xakt odot 122. Thus in Il Penseroso, 93. δαιμονες, ούς και καλοιη αν τις γεννητους θεους, καθ' έκαστον των στοιχείων,

And of those Demons that are found οι μεν ορατοι, οι δε αορατοι, εν τε

In fire, air, food, or under ground,

Whose power hath a true consent cibego, xai augi, cego te, xols üdati, as With planet, or with element. unday xoopov Migos toxins auongor Hve, as Alcinous in his summary Undoubtedly these notions are of the Platonic doctrine says, from Plato's Timæus and Phæcap. 5. Michael Psellus, in his don, and the reveries of his old dialogue concerning the opera- commentators; yet with some tion of Demons, from whence reference to the Gothic system Milton borrowed some of his of Demons, which is a mixture notions of spirits, (as we ob- of Platonism, school-divinity, served in a note upon the Para- and Christian superstition. See dise Lost, i. 423.) speaks to the “ the six sorts of spirits between same purpose, that there are heaven and hell,” their control many kinds of Demons, and of over the elements in which they all sorts of forms and bodies, so respectively resided, &c. dethat the air above us and around scribed in the Spanish Mandevile us is full, the earth and the sea of Myracles &c. a translation from are full, and the inmost and the Spanish, Lond. 1618. disc. iii. deepest recesses: monde doslovno p. 126. 4to. It is one of the γενη, και παντοδαπά τας ιδεας και τα visions of Thomas Aquinas, that wata as suvæn wanen HLEV Toy aega, God permitted some of the fallen TON T8 Únsgdev muw xal toy isge impeces' angels, less guilty than the rest, Ihnen de palcev nan banattav, xat in their descent from heaven, to Tous deuxQITETOUS XALU Budrous (Budsovs] remain in the air, fire, water, TOTOUS, p. 41. and he divides and earth till the day of judgthem into six kinds, the fiery, ment. Drayton has the same the airy, the earthy, the watery, doctrine, Polyolb. s. v. vol. ii. p. the subterraneous, and the luci. 757. And Milton conforms to

125

Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'd
Pow'rs of fire, air, water, and earth beneath,
So may we hold our place, and these mild seats
Without new trouble; such an enemy
Is risen to invade us, who no less
Threatens than our expulsion down to hell ;
I, as I undertook, and with the vote
Consenting in full frequence was impowerd,
Have found him, view'd him, tasted hiin, but find

130

air,

this theory in this passage, and he promises to assist the Saracens in b. i. 39, 44. b. iv. 201. are fallen angels. See also Tetrarchs of fire, air, food, and on

Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, the earth, &c.

a. iv. s. 1. and Fair Maid of the In Andreini's Adamo, written in Inn, a. iv. s. 1. I must add, 1617. we have a chorus “ di that the notion of the fallen Spiriti ignei, aerei, acquatici, ed angels having a control of the infernali, &c.' being the exiled elements, seems to have sugangels. These are the Demons gested to Milton the idea in Par. to which Shakespeare alludes. Lost, vi. 221. that angels in their Hamlet, a. i. s. 1.

state of bliss had the same power. -At his warning,

T. Warton. Whether in sca, or fre, in carth, or

129. -and with the vote

Consenting, &c.7 Th’extravagant and erring spirit hies In reference to what was said, To his confine.

b. i. 111. When formally invoked by a

Unanimous they all commit &c. magician, they were supposed to

Dunster. produce tempests, conflagrations, foods, and earthquakes. Of this 130. --in full frequence] Milschool was therefore Prospero in ton, in his History of England, the Tempest, a. iv. s. 1. Shake has said, The assembly was full speare has other instances, King and frequent : and in Paradise John, a. iii. s. 2. First part of Hen. Lost, i. 797. the council of devils VI. a. v. s. 4. See also Boyardo's was frequent and full. Here the Orlando Inamorato, 1. i. c. i. 51. adjective is converted into a subAnd Tasso's Gier. Lib. c. xiii. 7, stantive, and in i. 128: and 11. The spirits which the ne- Shakespeare uses it in the same cromancer Ismeno invokes to manner, Timon, act v. sc. 3. take possession of the enchanted Tell Athens in the frequence of deforest, are fallen angels, who gree. now control the different ele From high to low throughout. ments which they inhabit. And, 131. tasted him,] A Græcism. c. ii. 4. the demons with which revoltai signifies not only gusto,

135

Far other labour to be undergone
Than when I dealt with Adamn first of men,
Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,
However to this man inferior far,
If he be man by mother's side at least,
With more than human gifts from heav'n adorn’d,
Perfections absolute, graces divine,
And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.

but likewise experior, periculum I must think with great justice, facio. Dunster.

that this sense is brought forward 136. If he be man by mother's with additional beauty and clearside at least,) The Tempter had ness by pointing the passage thus: no doubt of Christ's being a man However to this man inferior far; by the mother's side: but the want If he be man by mother's side, at of a comma in its due place after

least

With more than human gifts adorn'd, man, hath puzzled both the sense

Perfections absolute, &c. and the construction. He is must

E. be understood at the end of the

139. And amplitude of mind to verse, to support the syntax.

greutest deeds.] There is a great If he be man, by mother's side at deal of dignity as well as signifileast (he is.) Calton.

cancy in this expression, and We have still preserved the none certainly could have been pointing of Milton's own edi. better selected to express the tion; for some perhaps may idea which the poet intended to choose to join the whole toge convey. He borrowed it very ther, and understand it thus. probably from the following pasSatan had heard him declared sage in Tully's Tusc. Disp. ii. from heaven, and knew him to 25. Hoc igitur tibi propone, be the Son of God; and now amplitudinem et quasi quandam after the trial that he had made exaggerationem quam altissimam of him, he questions whether he animi, quæ maxime eminet conbe man even by the mother's temnendis et despiciendis dolo

ribus, unam esse omnium rem If he be man by mother's side at least.

pulcherrimam. Milton had a

very happy talent in the choice And it is the purport of Satan in of words, and indeed it is a very this speech not to say any thing considerable part of the poet's to the evil spirits that may lessen, art. Let the reader but try to but every thing that may raise substitute any other word of the their idea of his antagonist same signification in the place of

136. Mr. Dunster agrees with amplitude in this verse, and he Dr. Newton as to the sense of will soon be convinced, that the passage; but conceives and none can be found to fill it up

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Therefore I am return’d, lest confidence
Of my success with Eve in Paradise
Deceive ye to persuasion over-sure
Of like succeeding here ; I summon, all
Rather to be in readiness, with hand
Or council to assist ; lest I who erst
Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd.

So spake th' old Serpent doubting, and from all
With clamour was assur'd their utmost aid
At his command; when from amidst them rose
Belial, the dissolutest spirit that fell,
The sensuallest, and after Asmodai
The fleshliest Incubus, and thus advis’d.

Set women in his eye, and in his walk,

150

Thyer.

with equal beauty and propriety. true, they do not run very

smoothly off the tongue, but 140. -lest confidence

then they are with much better Of my success with Eve in Pajudgment so contrived, that the radise

reader is obliged to lay a parDeceive ye &c.]

ticular emphasis, and to dwell as As Satan himself, b. i. 100, had it were for some time upon that augured well of his present en word in each verse which most terprise from his former success strongly expresses the character against man:

described, viz. dissolutest, sensu1, when no other durst, sole under

allest, fleshliest. This has a very took, &c.

good effect by impressing the - and the way, found prosperous idea more strongly upon the once,

mind, and contributes even in Induces best to hope of like success.

some measure to increase our

Dunster. aversion to the odious character 147. the old Serpent] Rev. of Belial by giving an air of dexii.9. and xx.2. That old serpent, testation to the very tone of called the Devil, and Satan. voice with which these verses Dunster.

must necessarily be read. Thyer. 150. Belial, the dissolutest &c.] 153. Set women in his eye, &c.] I have heard these three lines As this temptation is not menobjected to as harsh and inhar- tioned, nor any hint given of it monious, but in my opinion the in the Gospels, it could not so very objection points out a re- well have been proposed to our markable beauty in them. It is Saviour, it is much more fitly

« PreviousContinue »