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1. 964. Orcus and Ades are Latin and Greek names for Pluto. Spenser makes the dwelling of the Fates to be in the realm of Chaos, which Demogorgon rules. (Faery Queene, IV. ii. 47.) Ades ('Alons) is the older and Homeric form of the Attic Hades ("Alons, aons).
name of Demogorgon ;-Demogorgon himself. So Virgil has · Albanum nomen' (Aeneid, vi. 763) for a man of Alba. Cf. Revelation xi. 13 for the same usage. The expression cannot be justified by rules of reason, but it is nevertheless as magnificent as words can make it.' (Moir.) Milton e'sewhere conjectures that Demogorgon, oldest of the gods, is identical with Chaos. Spenser speaks of this dreaded name (Faery Queene, I. i. 37)
• At which Cocytus quakes, and Styx is put to fight.' l. 972. secrets here = secret places, as secreta,' in Georgics, iv. 403, and Aeneid, vi. 478.
by constraint ;-cf. Aeneid, vi. 461. 1. 977. confine ;-border on.
1. 1001. Todd, following Bishop Pearce, changes the original our of this line into your.'
1. 1005. Cf. Iliad, viii. 19 et seq.
He look't like to a pyramid on fire.'
1. 1017. It was after passing the Bosporus and emerging from it into the Euxine, that Jason's ship Argo had to pass the Symplegades. (Keightley.)
justling rocks ;-the concurrentia saxa' of Juvenal, xv. 19, from their appearing to open and shut again as the ship changes its course.
1. 1020. Virgil speaks of Scylla as a whirlpool (Aeneid, iii. 425). It is a rock at the farther end of a small bay, into which the tide runs strongly, and the water beating against it is driven back and forms an eddy.
1. 1042. These lines are supposed to be imitated from Seneca's description of the passage of Hercules out of Hell (Hercules Furens 668).
wafts ; — At the fall of Wolsey, as Cavendish relates, there were thousands of boats 'waffeting up and down in Thames' in expectation that the Cardinal would be sent by water to the Tower.
1. 1043. bolds the port is a classic phrase (Horace, Odes, i. 142; Aeneid, i. 399).
1. 1043. weigbs here = balances. The expression is Tasso's. 1. 1049. Cf. Faery Queene, I. x. 55, and note on iii. 506.
1. 1052. This pendent world ;-Claudio (Measure for Measure, iii. 1) fears lest after death he should be
• Imprisoned in the viewless winds,
1. 1. Parallels have been found for this address to Light in Tasso and Du Bartas. The latter invokes Light as 'God's e!dest daughter.'
1. 2. Cf. Samson Agonistes 83.
1. 3. i John i. 5; 1 Timothy vi. 16.
1. 6. Wisdom is said (Wisdom of Solomon vii. 25) to be a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty, the brightness of the everlasting light.'
1. 7. bear'st thou ?-a Latinism, meaning, art thou called ? Milton uses the same expression in his Areopagitica, 'For which Britain hears ill (is evil spoken of) abroad. Cf. Horace, Satires, ii. 6. 20; and Spenser, Faery Queene, I. v. 23.
1. 8. Job xxxviii. 19.
1. 17. Alluding to the Hymn to Night attributed to Orpheus, who was inspired by his mother Calliope, and sung with other notes than these sacred strains of Milton.
1. 19. Aeneid, vi. 367.
1. 25. Alluding to two kinds of blindness arising from gutta serena and suffusio. Landor remarks, “The fantastical Latin expression gutla serena was never received in any form into our language, and a thick drop serene would be nonsense in any.' Bohn says: 'gutta serena=amaurosis, a disease of the optic nerve, and suffusio = cataract.'
1. 26. yet not the more, &c. ;-i.e. nevertheless I still wander.
1. 33. Thamyris was a Thracian, who, according to Pliny (vii. 57), invented the Dorian mode. He is mentioned by Homer (Iliad ii. 595), who relates his presumption in challenging the Muses to a singing contest, and his punishment in being deprived by them of sight, voice, and skill in music. Plato also alludes to him (De Legibus viii. and Republic x. ad fin.). Plutarch, in his treatise of Music, says that he had the finest voice of any of his time, and wrote a poem of the War of the Titans with the Gods. Suidas mentions his poem on the Generation of the World. Maeonides, Homer, supposed to be a native of Maeonia, the ancient name of Lydia.
1. 36. Bentley rejected this verse. Pearce proposed to read · And Phineus and Tiresias.' Keightley attributes the difficulty to the sb sound being given to the first s in Tiresias, which, pronounced in the proper manner, would, he thinks, render the line harmonious.
propbets ;-used, like 'vates,' to designate the prophetic as well as poetic character of the bards. 1. 37. Cf. •Chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy'
(As You Like It, iv. 3), i. e. ruminating; and Paradise Regained, ii. 258. Milton, speaking of his polemical writings, laments that they oblige him to leave a calm and pleasing solitariness, fed with cheerful and confident thoughts.' volun!ary move ;-cf. Pope :
'I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.' 1:39. darkling :- This is no participle of a verb 'darkle,' but an adverb of derivation, like A.S. handlunga, and the forms “darklins,' 'middlins,' * scantlins,' &c. in Lowland Scotch. (Latham.) It is used in Lear, i. 4.
1. 49. expung'd and ras'd ;-as from a waxen tablet, by the use of the blunt end of the stylus.
1. 56. Cf. Aeneid, i. 224.
his sight ;-the sight of him, the beatific vision. Cf. On Time 18. 1. 63. Hebrews i. 3. Some hints in this description were afforded by Tasso (Gierusalemme Liberata, i. 7; ix. 55-57).
1.75. The universe appeared to Satan a solid globe encompassed on all sides by either water or air ; but without firmament over it, as over the earth. The sphere of fixed stars was itself comprehended in, and made part of, this globe. (Newton.) 1. 77. Cf. Tennyson, In Memoriam xxvi.,
Oh, if indeed that eye foresee,
Or see (in Him is no before).' 1. fo. “The habit of contemplating the fall of Adam as the starting-point of divinity, or if not the starting-point, as only subsequent to a divine arrangement which provided a means for curing the effects of it, necessarily put Milton out of sympathy with the old creeds of the Church, which do not allude to the Fall, but which at once set forth the only-begotten Son, who was one with his Father before all worlds, as the perfect manifestation of God, and as the object of faith and trust to all men. Arianism was the natural outcome to an honest and brave mind, which could look its own conclusions in the face, of this mode of contemplating the world and the course of human life. By adopting that habit of thought, he obliged himself oftentimes to outrage the conscience of human beings in a way in which the creeds, taken according to their natural sense, would not have outraged it. Those divine arguments in the Third Book which most devout readers, most serious divines, tremble to read, while yet they cannot refuse to recognise the reverence of the writer, were inevitable if his primary conception were a right one.' (Maurice, Modern Philosophy, p. 341.)
1. 92. 1 Kings xxii. 22.
1. 108. Cf. Areopagitica : Many there be that complain of Providence for suffering Adam to transgress. Foolish tongues! When God gave him reason he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing : he had been else a mere artificial Adam.
1. 129. suggestion ; — temptation. Suggest ' = tempt, in Shakespeare (Othello, ii. 3; Love's Labour's Lost, v. 3).
1. 137. Instead of the terror and trembling of heaven and earth, which follow the utterances of the Olympian Jove, Ariosto makes air and ocean serene and tranquil while God speaks (Orlando Furioso, xxix. 30). (Todd.) 1. 139. Full of his Father shines his glorious face.'
(Fletcher, Purple Island, xii. 81.) 1. 140. Hebrews i. 3.
1. 147. innumerable, though joined to 'sound,' refers to songs.' Or perhaps it means 'not expressible in (earthly) numbers.' Cf. 1. 38 of this Book.
1. 153. Genesis xviii. 25. 1. 168. Matthew iii. 17.
1. 169. John i. 18; Aeneid, i. 664.
1. 217. Cf. Revelation viii. 1, and Bk. ii. 420, where, in the infernal parallel to this scene, all sat mute.'
1. 219. patron ;-alluding to the advocacy of our Lord. See Isaiah lix, 16. 1. 225. Colossians ii. 9. 1. 236. The repetition here finds a parallel in Aeneid, ix. 427. 1. 244. John v. 26. 1. 249. Psalm xvi. 10. 1. 252. Donne had written
• Death thou shalt be no more; death, thou shalt die.' 1. 254. Psalm lxviii. 18; Colossians ii. 15. 1. 259. I Corinthians xv. 26. 1. 265. Psalm xvi. 11; Isaiah xxxv. 10. 1. 269. Psalm xl. 7. 1. 274. Ephesians ii. 14.
1. 277. 'Last not least' occurs in Lear's speech to Cordelia (i. 1), and in that of Antony to Trebonius (Julius Caesar, iii. I).
1. 287. Stillingfleet points out the imitation of the style of St. Paul, i Corinthians xv. 22.
1. 294. Romans viii. 30; X. 14.
1. 322. This placing hell in the centre of the earth was probably a slip of memory on the part of Milton. Cf. i. 73. (Keightley.)
1. 323. 1 Thessalonians iv. 16.
11. 339-341. i Corinthians xv. 25-28. gods =angels. Cf. Psalm xcviii. 7; Hebrews i. 6.
1. 343. John v. 23.
1. 348. So Dante (Paradiso, xxviii. 94) heard the choirs of angels singing Hosanna to the fixed point (God) that held them in their station.
1. 351. Revelation iv. 10.
1. 353. amarant ;—(åpápavtos) unfading. Pliny asserts of this flower that, though gathered it keeps its beauty, and when all other flowers fade, it recovers its beauty by being sprinkled with water. I Peter i. 4 and v. 4. (Hume.) Hume forgot that Milton says it is no longer on earth. Keightley.)
1. 359. amber stream ;- from its clearness. So Virgil, Georgics, iii. 522. Cf. Paradise Regained, iii. 288.
1. 363. Revelation xxi. 11-18. A sea of jasper' occurs in Faery Queene, II. xii. 62.
1. 372. This hymn recalls that to Hercules in Aeneid viii. ending at l. 302.
1. 377. Exodus xxxiii. 18; Job xxvi.9. In Ovid, Metamorphoses, ii.39, Phoebus lays aside his dazzling radiance before he bids his son Phaethon approach.
1. 380. Spenser (Hymn to Heavenly Beauty) says of the throne of God that it is 'hid in his own brightness.'
1. 382. Isaiah vi. 2.
(Dante, Paradiso, i, 12.) Spenser called Elizabeth the matter of his song' (Faery Queene, III. iv. 3).
1. 431. Imaus ;—the western part of the Himalaya range. Pliny asserts that the name means 'snowy.' It is from bima, Sanscrit for • snow.' (Keightley.)
1. 438. Sericana ;—the region between China to east, and Imaus to west. The .cany waggons' here spoken of were seen by Sir George Staunton in 1797, and Mr. Oxenham, in his report quoted in the Times of Aug. 9, 1869, after describing the hard smooth roads of the country, proceeds: Over these downs came trundling along a large number of wheelbarrows, and where the country was high and open, and a strong wind blowing in their favour, the driver eased his labour by setting up a sail on two upright bamboos. The usual day's journey is about twenty miles, or with a fair wind, thirty-five.'
1. 444. store ;—plenty, as in L'Allegro 121.
1. +56. unkindly ;-contrary to kind, or nature. So kindly'= natural (Litany).
1. 459. Milton here imitates and corrects Ariosto (Orlando Furioso, xxxiv. 5,0), who makes Astolfo ascend, under St. John's guidance, to the moon. Pope also describes the · lunar sphere'as the repository of things lost on earth (Rape of the Lock, canto v.).
1. 463. Genesis vi. 4. Cf. note on Paradise Lost, xi. 622.
1. 467. Sennaar. Milton follows the Vulgate here, to avoid the sb sound in “Shinar,' as Keightley supposes.
1. 471. Empedocles ; — a Sicilian philosopher, who flourished b.c. 444. The volcano having thrown out one of his sandals, revealed the manner of his death. Dante places him in Limbo with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and other philosophers (Inferno, iv. 138).
1. 473. Cleombrotus was an Academic philosopher of Ambracia in Epirus. After reading the Phaedon of Plato he killed himself. too long ;-cf. “Illa deos omnes (longum enumerare) creavit.'
(Ovid, Fasti, iv. 95.) I. 475. white, black, and grey ;-Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans.
1. 480. Alluding to the old superstition that if a man were buried in a friar's habit, he never came into hell.' Dante (Inferno xxvii.) hears the confession of Count Guido de Montefeltro, who had thought thus 'to pass disguised.' But the Count had given (under promise of absolution) to Boniface VIII the counsel to use treachery in his contest with the Colonna family, and not having repented the giving this advice, he was claimed on his death by one of the black cherubim,' although his body wore St. Francis' cord.