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From what highth fallen; fo much the stronger
prov'd He with his thunder: and till then who knew The force of those dire arms ? Yet not for those, Nor what the potent victor in his rage 95 Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
“ O foror, O conjux, O fæmina fola superstes,
“ Deinde torus junxit, nunc ipfa pericula jungunt.” In equal ruin cannot answer to in the glorious enterprise, becaufe Milton places a comma after enterprise, and in construction it follows after hazard, not after join'd. Newton.
Ver. 93. He with his thunder :) There is an uncommon beauty in this expression. Satan disdains to utter the name of
. also v. 257. Newton.
Yet not for those,
Can else inflict, do I repent or change, &c.] Milton, in this and other paiia, es where he describes the fierce and unrelenting fpirit of Satan, seems very plainly to have copied after the picture that Æschylus gives of Prometheus. . Thus Prometheus, speaking of Jupiter, Prom. Vinet. 991.
-- διαλέσθω μεν αιθάλεσα φλόξ, Λευκοπτέρω δε νιφάδι, και βρονήμασι Χθονίοις κυκάτω σάλα, και ταρασσίτω"
Trépfar gag oder tūv de je's Wise xad opáscs, x. T. . Thyer. Possibly Milton might recollect the unsubdued fpirit of Cipaneus in Dante, Inferno xiv. 52.
“ Se Giove stanchi il suo fabbro, da cui
“ Crucciato prese la folgore acuta,
Though chang’d in outward lustre, that fix’d
mind, And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit, That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend, And to the fierce contention brought along 100 Innumerable force of Spirits arm’d, That durft dislike his reign, and, me preferring, His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
105 All is not lott; the unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield,
“ Sì com'e'fece alla pugna di Flegra,
" E me factti di tutta fua forza,
“ Non ne potrebbe aver vendetta allegra." TODD. Ver. 98. And high disdain] Thus Spenfer, Faer. Qu. i. i. 19.
“ His gall did grate for grief and high disdain.” This, as Mr. Thyer citing the passage from Spenfer has observed, is the alto sdegno of the Italians. Our old poets, I may add, were fond of the expression. P. Fletcher has adopted it. See the note on ver. 48 of the present Book. And Sir J. Harington, Orl. Fur. 1607, B. xiv. It. 20.
" they took this thing in high disdaine.” And Sylvester, Du Bart. 1621, p. 1129.
" Yet out of high disdain, &c.” Todd, Ver. 105.
What though the field he lost ?
All is not loft ; &c.] This pallage is an excellent improvement upon Satan's speech to the infernal spirits in 'Tasso, c. iv. st. 15; but feems to be expressed from Fairfax's transation, rather than from the original :
“ We lost the field, yet loft we not our heart." NEWTON,
And what is else not to be overcome;
Ver. 109. And what is else not to be overcome ;] Milton's own, as well as all subsequent, editions, till Dr. Newton's appeared, read this line with a note of interrogation. But Dr. Pearce observed, there should be only a semicolon; as the words signify, And if there be any thing else, besides the particulars mentioned, which is not to be overcome. A literary friend, peculiarly distinguished by his dramatick taste and judgement, prefers the original punctuation as being more animated, more suitable to the impetuofity and indignation of the speaker. The late Mr. Reed communicated to me his agreement in opinion with Dr. Pearce. Todd.
Ver. 110. That glory &c.] That refers to what went before; to his unconquerable will, and study of revenge, his immortal hate, and courage never to submit or yield, and what besides is not to be overcome ; thefe Satan esteems his glory, and that glory he fays God should never extort from him. Then begins a new sentence, according to all the best editions, To bow and sue for grace, &c., that were low indeed, &c.; that still referring to what went before: And, hy observing this punctuation, this whole passage, which has perplexed and confounded many readers and writers, is rendered plain and easy to be understood. Newton. Ver. 111.
To bow and fue for grace
Εισελθέτω σε μήπoθ', ως εγω Διός
That were an ignominy, and shame beneath 115
So fpake the apostate Angel, though in pain, Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair:
Ver. 116. - fince, by fate, &c.] For Satan supposes the Angels to subsist by fate and neceflity; and he represents them of an empyreul, that is a fiery, substance, as the Scripture itself does, Psalm civ. 4. “ lle maketh his Angels fpirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” Newton. Ver. 124.
the tyranny of Heaven.] The poet, speaking in his own person at v. 42, of the supremacy of the Deity, calls it “ the throne and monarchy of God; but here very artfully alters it to the tyranny of Heaven. Thyer.
Tyranny vulgarly signifies the art of tyrannising ; here it signifies the power, as in Greek. See Euripid. Phoeniji; v. 509. ed. P. Steph. 1602. STILLING FLEET. Ver. 126. Vaunting aloud, &c.] Thus Virgil, Æn. i. 212.
“ Talia voce refert, curífque ingentibus æger
“ Spem vultu fimulat, premit altum corde dolorem.” Theocritus has expresied this in a more simple manner, as better fuited to the paftoral ftile, Idyll. i. 95.
- & Kümpus yenáova, Λαθρα μεν γελάοισα, βαρύν δ' άνα θυμόν έχoισα. Homer's defcription of Juno in the same circumstances is more majefiick:
And him thus answer'd foon his bold compeer.
O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers, That led the embattled Seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds 130 Fearless, endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king, And put to proof his high supremacy, Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate; Too well I fee and rue the dire event, That with fad overthrow, and foul defeat, 135 Hath loft us Ileaven, and all this mighty hoft In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as Gods and heavenly effences Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour foon returns,
-------- de yémacoor
Járon One needs not be afraid to pronounce Milton's verse superiour to any of these above-quoted, both in thc brevity and energy of expression, and justness of the thought, arising from the nature of the foregoing speech, and Satan's present misery
CALLANDER. Ver. 131. - endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king,] The reader should remark here the propriety of the word perpetual. Beëlzebub does not say eternal king, for then he could not have boasted of endangering his kingdom: but he endeavours to detract as much as he can from God's everlasting dominion, and calls him only perpetual king, king from time immemorial or without interruption, as Ovid uses perpetuum, Met. j. 4.
- “ primáque ab origine mundi
“ Ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora carinen." What Beelzebub means here, is expressed more at large afterwards by Satan, v. 637, &c. NEWTON,