페이지 이미지



Concocted and adusted they reduc'd
To blackest grain, and into store convey’d;
Part hidden veins digg’d up (nor hath this earth
Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,
Whereof to found their engines and their balls
Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed
Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire.
So all ere day-spring, under conscious night,
Secret they finish’d, and in order set,
With silent circumspection unespied.

Now when fair morn orient in heav'n appear’d,
Up rose the victor angels, and to arms
The matin trumpet sung: in arms they stood
Of golden panoply, refulgent host,
Soon banded; others from the dawning hills


516. Part hidden veins digg'd and balls do no mischief till

up (nor hath this earth touched by that; but probably Entrails unlike) of mineral and pernicious is not to be understood stone,]

here in the common acceptation, Dr. Bentley has carried on the but in the sense of the Latin mark of parenthesis to the end pernix, quick, speedy, &c. of the verse ; but it should be 521. —under conscious night,] placed after unlike: and the Ovid. Met. xiii. 15. stone may have been mentioned

-quorum nox conscia sola est. here as what they used for balls.

Hume. That stone-bullets have been in

525. -lo arms use, see Chambers's Univ. Dict.

The matin trumpet sung :] in Cannon. Or Milton by the

So Tasso, word stone here would express more distinctly that the metal, Quando à cantar la matutina tromba

Comincia à l'arme. of which they made their engines

Gici. Lib. cant, xi. st. 19. and balls, was inclosed in and mixed with a stony substance in 527. Of golden panoply,) With the mine. See Furetiere's French golden armour from head to foot Dictionary upon the word mi- completely'arm'd. Panoply, lærneral. Pearce.

ondic, Greek, armour at all 520. -pernicious with one touch points. Hume. to fire.] The incentive reed is 528. -others from the dawnindeed pernicious as the engines ing hills] This epithet is usu



Look'd round, and scouts each coast light-armed scour, Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,

Where lodg’d, or whither fled, or if for fight,
In motion or in halt: him soon they met
Under spread ensigns moving nigh, in slow
But firm battalion ; back with speediest sail
Zophiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing,
Came fly'ing, and in mid air aloud thus cried.

Arm, warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand,
Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit
This day ; fear not his flight; so thick a cloud
He comes, and settled in his face I see
Sad resolution and secure : let each



ally applied to the light, but here 1. Seeing we also are compassed very poetically to the hills, the about with so great a cloud of dawn first appearing over them, witnesses &c. We have WOO and they seeming to bring the wel w in Homer, Iliad. iv. 247 : rising day; as the evening star nimbus peditum in Virgil, Æn. is said likewise first to appear vii. 793. and clouds of foot in on his hill-top, viii. 520.

Paradise Regained, iii. 327. We 532. -halt:] Milton spells have peditum equitumque nubes in it as the Italians do alto, but we Livy, lib. v. and even nubem belli commonly write it with an h like in Virgil, Æn.x. 809. and armothe French and Germans.

rum nubem in Statius, Theb. ir. 533. — in slow

839. But firm battalion ;]

541. Sad resolution and see The reason of their being both cure:] By sad here is meant a slow and firm battalion is sug- sour and sullen, as tristis in gested a little afterwards. They Latin and tristo in Italian sig. were slow in drawing their can- nify. Pearce. non, and firm in order to conceal Or possibly it means no more it, ver. 551.

than serious or in earnest, a 535. Zophiel,] In Hebrew, the sense frequent in all our old spy of God. Hume.

authors. And I remember a 539. -so thick a cloud

remarkable instance of the use He comes ]

of the word in Lord Bacon's This metaphor is usual in all Advice to Villiers Duke of languages, and in almot all Buckingham; “But if it were authors, to express a great®mul- “ an embassy of weight, con titude. We have it in Heb. xii. “cerning affairs of state, choice


His adamantine coat gird well, and each
Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield,
Borne ev'n or high ; for this day will pour down,
If I conjecture ought, no drizzling shower,
But rattling storm of arrows barb'd with fire.

So warn'd he them aware themselves, and soon
In order, quit of all impediment ;
Instant without disturb they took alarm,
And onward mov'd imbatteld: when behold
Not distant far with heavy 'pace the foe
Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube
Training his devilish enginery, impal'd

every side with shadowing squadrons deep,
To hide the fraud. At interview both stood
A while ; but suddenly at head appear'd
Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

was made of some sad person His sharpen'd spear let every Gre. " of known judgment, wisdom,

cian wield, “ and experience, and not of a

And every Grecian fix his brazen shield, &c.

Pupe. young man, not weighed in “ state matters, fc.” If sad there 546. barbid with fire.) be not false printed for staid Bearded, headed, with fire. Of or sage.

So it is used in Spen- the French barbe, and the Latin ser for sober, grave, sedate. barba a beard. Hume. Faery Queen, b. ii. cant. ii. st. 548. quit of all impediment ;] 14.

The carriages and baggage of an A sober sad, and comely courteous army were called in Latin imdame,

pedimenta : and the good angels and in other places.

are said to be quit of all impedi541. let each

ment, in opposition to the others His adamantine coat gird well, encumbered with their heavy arand each

tillery. Fit well his helm, gripe fast his

552. —in hollow cube] Dr. orbed shield,)

Bentley reads square, but see my This is plainly copied from Aga- note on ver. 399. Pearce. memnon's directions in Homer, 553. Training] Drawing in Iliad, ii. 382.

train, from the term, train of arΕν μεν τις δορυ θηξασθω, ιν ' ασπιδα tillery. Osriw, &c.

Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold ; That all may see who hate us, how we seek Peace and composure, and with open


560 Stand ready to receive them, if they like Our overture, and turn not back perverse ; But that I doubt; however witness Heaven, Heav'n witness thou anon, while we discharge Freely our part; ye who appointed stand,

565 Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch What we propound, and loud that all may hear.

So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce

568. So scoffing in ambiguous admiration of Homer. For this words, &c.] We cannot pretend account of the angels jesting entirely to justify this punning and insulting one another is scene: but we should consider not unlike some passages in the that there is very little of this sixteenth book of the Iliad. kind of wit any where in the Æneas throws a spear at Meriopoem but in this place, and in nes; and he artfully avoiding it, this we may suppose Milton to Æneas jests upon his dancing, have sacrificed to the taste of his the Cretans (the countrymen of times, when puns were better Meriones) being famous dancers. relished than they are at present A little afterwards in the same in the learned world; and I know book, Patroclus kills Hector's not whether we are not grown charioteer, who falls headlong too delicate and fastidious in this from the chariot, upon which particular. It is certain the an- Patroclus insults him for several cients practised them more both lines together upon his skill in in their conversation and in their diving, and says that if he was at writings; and Aristotle recom- sea, he might catch excellent mends them in his book of Rhe- oysters. Milton's jests cannot toric, and likewise Cicero in his be lower and more trivial than treatise of Oratory; and if we these; but if he is like Homer should condemn them absolutely, in his faults, let it be rememwe must condemn half of the bered that he is like him in his good sayings of the greatest wits beauties too. And Mr. Thyer of Greece and Rome. They are farther observes, that Milton is less proper indeed in serious the less to be blamed for this works, and not at all becoming punning scene, when one conthe majesty of an epic poem; siders the characters of the but our author seems to have speakers, such kind of insulting been betrayed into this excess in wit being most peculiar to proud great measure by his love and contemptuous spirits.

Had ended : when to right and left the front
Divided, and to either flank retir'd :

Which to our eyes discover'd, new and strange,
A triple mounted row of pillars laid
On wheels, (for like to pillars most they seem'd,
Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir,
With branches lopt, in wood or mountain felld,) 575
Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths
With hideous orifice gap'd on us wide,
Portending hollow truce: at each behind
A seraph stood, and in his hand a reed
Stood waving tipp'd with fire ; while we suspense 580

574. Or hollow'd bodies &c.] tioned: but it is probable that We must carefully preserve the Milton, by seeing such stone canparenthesis here, as Milton him- non in foreign countries, was led self has put it. The construction to mention them here as part of then will be, Which to our eyes Satan's artillery. Pearce. discovered a triple row of pillars We read before that these anlaid on wheels, of brass, iron, gels digged up veins of mineral stony mould, or substance, had and stone, ver. 517. and that may not their mouths gaped wide, and account for the brass, iron, stony shewed that they were not pil. substance here. lars; the intermediate words 578. Portending hollow truce:] containing a reason why he Here Raphael himself cannot called them pillars (for like to help continuing the pun. pillars most they seemed or hol- 580. Stood waving] This must lowed bodies &c.) being included certainly be an error of the in a parenthesis.

press, occasioned by stood in the 576. Brass, iron, stony mould,) line before or in the line followMould here signifies substance, ing;

but then it is a wonder but Dr. Bentley by reading cast that Milton did not correct it in in mould changes the sense of it bis second edition. Dr. Bentley to one of a very different na- reads, ture. By this emendation (he

Land in his hand a reed says) he has rid the poem of

Held waving tipp'd with fire ; stone cannon : but such cannon have been heard of elsewhere, and we should substitute some and are now to be seen (I think) such word as this, as it makes at Delft in Holland. Whether better sense, as well as avoids they ever were, or could have the repetition of stood three times been used in war, may be ques. so near together.

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »