페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

occult reference perhaps to the conduct of those in power in England after Cromwell's death, when Milton still argued against the restoration of the King.

247. "Used no ambition": "ambition" here in its literal sense of "going about" or "canvassing."

268-276. "But what more oft," etc. A plain reference to the state of England, and to Milton's own position there, after the Restoration.

278-281. "How Succoth," etc. Judges viii. 5 et seq. 282-289. "And how ingrateful Ephraim," etc. Judges xii. I et seq.

297, 298. "for of such doctrine," etc. Psalm xiv. I. Observe the peculiar effect of contempt given to the passage by the rapid rhythm and the sudden introduction of a rhyme. 300-306." Yet more there be," etc. Again observe the effect from the peculiar versification and the rhymes.

318, 319. "this heroic Nazarite." Numb. vi. 1-21.
453.
"idolists": idolaters. See Par. Reg., IV. 234.
496, 497. "The mark of fool set on his front!

But I God's secret have not kept, his holy secret." So printed in the original edition, and also in the Second, only eight syllables in the first line, while there are thirteen in the second.

499-501. "a sin that Gentiles in their parables condemn,"

An allusion to such stories as that of Tantalus.

etc.

516. "what offered means who knows but," etc.: "that offered means which who knows but," etc.—a peculiar Miltonic syntax.

66

66

531. 'affront": meeting face-to-face.

551. refreshed," i.e. refreshed myself.

557. "Whose drink," etc. Samson was a Nazarite (Judges xiii. 7), and therefore under the vow of the Nazarites (Numb. vi. 2-5).

569. "Robustious": full of force. Shakespeare has the word," a robustious periwig-pated fellow." Ham. III. 2. 581-583. "caused a fountain to spring," etc. Judges xv. 18, 19. In our version of this passage it is said that "God clave a hollow space " in the jaw-bone with which Samson had fought; but Newton points out that another interpretation, which Milton follows here, supposed that the hollow space was cloven in a piece of ground (or rock) called Lehi, or "The Jaw."

590-598. "All otherwise," etc. Note the peculiar melancholy that breathes through this speech of Samson's, the singularly sorrowful cadence of the last five lines. In reading two of these, one feels as if Milton were remembering Hamlet's soliloquy

"How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world."

610-616. "But must," etc. Note the sudden rhymes See previous notes,

in lines 610, 611, and lines 615, 616. lines 297, 298, and 300-306.

612. "accidents": attributes, properties. 658, 659. "with studied," etc. See previous note, 610-616.

Observe the rhyme.

667-686. Again note the rhymes introduced,-lines 668, 669, 672, 673, and 674, 675.

674-704. "Nor do I name of men the common rout," etc. It is impossible to read this passage without seeing in it a veiled reference to the trials and executions of the Regicides, and the degradation of the other chiefs of the Commonwealth, after the Restoration; and the description of Milton's own case is exact, even to the surprise that at the end of his temperate life his disease should have been gout.

688-691. "To life obscured," etc. These four lines form a peculiar rhymed stanza. See previous note, lines 300-306.

715, 716. "Tarsus," in Cilicia; "the isles of Javan," those of Greece and Ionia; "Gadire," Gades in Spain.

720. "amber scent," i.e. the fragrance of grey amber or ambergris. See note, Par. Reg., 11. 344.

759-762. "That wisest and best men," etc., Milton himself among them; whose reconciliation with his first wife, in July or August 1645, after her desertion of him for about two years, is thus described by his nephew Phillips : "One time above the rest, he making his usual visit [at the house of a relative, named Blackborough, living in St. Martin's-le-Grand], the wife was ready in another room, and on a sudden he was surprised to see one whom he thought to have never seen more, making submission, and begging pardon on her knees before him. He might probably at first make some show of aversion and rejection; but partly his own generous nature, more inclinable to reconciliation than

to perseverance in anger and revenge, and partly the strong intercession of friends on both sides, soon brought him to an act of oblivion and firm league of peace for the future." The wife returned to her husband's house, and lived with him about seven years, bearing him three daughters before her death in 1652. Whether the reunion was as irksome as that described in the text can also be inferred: too probably it was.

778-789. "Was it not weakness also," etc. The strain here much resembles that of Eve's speech to Adam, Par. Lost, IX. 1155 et seq. 840. "Knowing. Par. Lost, IX. 792.

by thee betrayed." See same idiom,

936. "adder's wisdom." Ps. lviii. 4, 5.

971-974. "Fame... is double-mouthed." In Chaucer's House of Fame, and elsewhere, the fickle goddess is represented as having at her command two trumpets, one of gold and one of black brass. A blast from the first secures good renown for persons or deeds, a blast from the other ensures infamy; and no one ever knows on any particular occasion which will be blown.

973, 974. "On both his wings," etc. The rhyme in these lines is probably intentional.

988-990. "in Mount Ephraim Jael," etc. Judges iv. and v.

1010-1061. "It is not," etc. Again notice, throughout this chorus, the art of the versification, and the peculiar introduction of rhymes.

1020. Thy paranymph," i.e. bridesman. 1034-1045. "Whate'er it be," etc.

Compare with this passage, so full of reference to Milton's own experience, the following from his first pamphlet on divorce: "The soberest and best-governed men are least practised in these affairs; and who knows not that the bashful muteness of a virgin may oft-times hide all the unliveliness and natural sloth which is really unfit for conversation?"

1038, 1039. "far within defensive arms a cleaving mischief," i.e. a mischief cleaving or sticking to one far inside the armour which might defend one against ordinary mischiefs. There is an allusion to the poisoned shirt sent to Hercules by his wife Dejanira.

1048. "combines": agrees with him.

[ocr errors]

1053-1060. "Therefore God's universal law," etc. A very decisive expression of one of Milton's doctrines, expressed several times elsewhere. Compare Par. Lost, X. 144 et seq. Once (in his Tetrachordon) he admits this limitation: "Not but that particular exceptions may have place, if she exceed her husband in prudence and dexterity, and he contentedly yield; for then a superior and more natural law comes in, that the wiser should govern the less wise whether male or female."

1075. "fraught": freight, burden.

1079. "Men call me Harapha." No such individual giant is mentioned in Scripture; but see 2 Sam. xxi. 15-22. The Philistine giants mentioned there are said to be sons of a certain well-known giant in Gath called "the giant," and the Hebrew word for "the giant " there is rapha or harapha. Milton has appropriated the name to his fictitious giant, whom he makes out in the sequel (1248, 1249) to be the actual father of that brood of giants.

·

1080, 1081. "Og. . . Anak the Emims Kiriathaim." Deut. iii. 11, ii. 10, 11; Gen. xiv. 5.

66

1120, 1121. "brigandine," coat of mail; habergeon," mail for the neck and shoulders; "vant-brace," mail for the arms; "greaves," leg-armour ; "gauntlet," glove of mail. II22. "A weaver's beam": Goliath's weapon, whose armour also Milton had just remembered. I Sam. xvii. 5-7.

[ocr errors]

1162. "comrades," accented on the second syllable.

1195-1200. "your ill-meaning politician lords," etc. Judges xiv. 10-18. Milton follows Jewish tradition in supposing the thirty bridal friends there mentioned to have been spies appointed by the Philistines.

1220. "appellant": challenger.

1222. "thrice": for the third time, as was the custom in challenges.

1224-1226. "With thee," etc.

Criminals and persons

of servile condition were disqualified for "the proof of arms," or trial by combat.

1231. "O Baal-zebub!" Harapha fitly swears by this God, "the God of Ekron" (2 Kings i. 16); and again (1242) by the Phoenician goddess Astaroth.

1235. "My heels are fettered," etc. Throughout the greater part of the play Samson is to be conceived, as this

VOL. III.

2 E

line informs us, chained or fettered at the ankles, though still so that he could walk slowly; but not handcuffed.

1238. "bulk without spirit vast," i.e. vast bulk without spirit: the first three words almost forming one compound

noun.

1248, 1249. See previous note, line 1079, and see again 2 Sam. xxi. 15-22, for the fates of four of the five giants whom Milton takes the liberty of making sons of his Harapha. Their brother Goliath had previously been killed by David. As Samson's death, in the Biblical chronology, was eighty years before David's accession, Milton must have taken poetic licence in making the five giants killed in David's time full-grown in Samson's.

1308. "Ebrews." So spelt in the original edition. The word occurs three times in Sams. Ag., and each time so; it occurs but twice besides in the poetry (Far. Reg., IV. 336, and Ps. cxxxvi. 50), both times as an adjective, and both times with the H.

1461-1471. "Some much averse," etc. One may detect here a glance at the different degrees of vengefulness among the Royalists after the Restoration, and so a peculiar significance in the hint that the most vengeful of all were those that "most reverenced Dagon and his priests."

1512. "inhabitation": community or inhabitants. So Shakespeare (Macb. IV. 1) :

:-

"Though the yesty waves Confound and swallow navigation up."

1525, 1526. "The sufferers," etc. Is the rhyme here intentional?

1527-1535. "What if... and tempts belief." These nine lines are omitted in their proper place in the original edition, but printed on a page at the end, with a direction where to insert them.

1529. "dole." The word has two meanings,--a portion dealt out (as in "a beggar's dole"), and sorrow or grief (Lat. doleo). The two are combined here.

66

1537. Of good or bad," etc. This line also is not in its proper place in the original edition, but comes as an omission at the end. It seems to me that it may have been an afterthought with Milton to break up what was at first a continuous speech of the Chorus, by inserting ten additional lines,

« 이전계속 »