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His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
could not all be effected by a -wbere very desolation dwells. single hand : and what a sublime
T. Warlon. idea must it give us of the ter 186. —our afflicted Powers,] rors of the Messiah, that he The word afflicted here is intendalone should be as formidable as ed to be understood in the Latin if the whole host of heaven
sense, routed, ruined, utterly were pursuing! So that this broken. Richardson. seeming contradiction, upon ex 191. If not what resolution amination, proves rather a beauty 'What reinforcement; to which than any blemish to the poem. is returned If not: a vicious syn
181. The seat of desolation,] tax: but the poet gave it If none. As in Comus, 428.
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate With head up-lift above the wave,
193. With head up-lift above nounced as four syllables; and
not Briareus, which is proThat sparkling blaz'd, his other nounced as three. parts besides
Et centum geminus Briareus. Prone on the flood,]
Virg. An. vi. 287. Somewhat like those lines in
And Briareus with all his bundred Virgil of two monstrous ser
hands. Dryden. pents. Æn. ii. 206.
199.-or Typhon, whom the den Pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta, By ancient Tarsus held,]
jubæque Sanguineæ exuperant undas; pars
Typhon is the same with Typho
ëus. That the den of Typhoëus cætera pontum Pone legit.
was in Cilicia, of which Tarsus 196. Lay floating many a rood,] told by Pindar and Pomponius
was a celebrated city, we are A rood is the fourth part of an
Mela. I am much mistaken, if acre, so that the bulk of Satan
Milton did not make use of Faris expressed by the same sort of measure, as that of one of the naby's note on Ovid, Met. v. 347.
to which I refer the reader. He giants in Virgil, Æn. vi. 596.
took ancient Tarsus perhaps from Per tota novem cui jugera corpus
Ταρσος αειδομενη πρωτοστολις, , in Spenser. Faery Queen, b. i. which is quoted in Lloyd's Diccant. ii. st. 8.
tionary. Jortin. That with his largeness measured
θεων πολεμιος much Jand.
Τυφως εκατοντακαρανος· τον τοτε 198. Tilanian, or Earth-born,)
Κιλικιον θρεψεν πολυω-
Pind. Py. i. 30.
E. pubes. Æn. vi, 580.
a-beast 199. Briareos] So Milton Leviathan,] writes it, that it may be pro- The best critics seem now to be
Leviathan, which God of all his works
agreed, that the author of the Dr. Bentley reads nigh-founbook of Job by the leviathan der’d; but the common reading meant the crocodile; and Milton is better, because if (as the Docdescribes it in the same manner tor says) foundering is sinking partly as a fish and partly as a by a leaking in the ship, it beast, and attributes scales to it: would be of little use to the and yet by some things one pilot to fix his anchor on an would think that he took it island, the skiff would sink notrather for a whale, (as was the withstanding, if leaky. By nightgeneral opinion,) there being no founder'd Milton means overcrocodiles upon the coasts of taken by the night, and thence Norway, and what follows being at a loss which way to sail. That related of the whale, but never, the poet speaks of what befel as I have heard, of the crocodile. the pilot by night, appears from
202. Created hugest, &c.] This ver. 207. while night invests the verse is found fault with as being sen. Milton, in his poem called too rough and absonous, but the Mask, uses the same phrase: that is not a fault but a beauty the two brothers having lost here, as it better expresses the their way in the wood, one of hugeness and unwieldiness of them says, the creature, and no doubt was
-for certain designed by the author.
Either some one, like us, night. 202. -th'
stream:] founder'd, here, &c. The Greek and Latin poets fre
Pearce. quently turn substantives into
sea-men tell,] adjectives. So Juvenal xi. 94. Words well added to obviate the according to the best copies, incredibility of casting anchor
in this manner.
Hume. Qualis in oceano Auctu testudo na
That some fishes on the coast Littore ab oceano Gallis renientibus, of Norway have been taken for
Jortin. islands, I suppose Milton had
learned from Olaus Magnus and 204. — night-founder'd skif] other writers; and it is amply Some little boat, whose pilot confirmed by Pontoppidan's dedares not proceed in his course scription of the Kraken in his for fear of the dark night; a account of Norway, which are metaphor taken from a foundered authorities sufficient to justify a horse that can go no farther. poet, though perhaps not a naHume.
taret: ver. 113.
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind
207. Moors by his side under speaking of the moon, iv. 609. the lee,] Anchors by his side under wind. An instance this
And o'er the dark her silver mantle
threw. among others of our author's affectation in the use of technical
209. So stretch'd out huge in terms.
length the Ar'ch-Fiend lay] The 207. —while night
length of this verse, consisting Invests the sea,]
of so many monosyllables, and A much finer expression than pronounced so slowly, is excelumbris nox operit
terras of Virgil, lently adapted to the subject that Æn. iv. 352. But our author it would describe. The tone is in this (as Mr. Thyer remarks) upon the first syllable in this alludes to the figurative de- line, the Arʻch-Fiend lay; wherescription of night used by as it was upon the last syllable the poets, particularly Spenser. of the word in ver. 156. th ArchFaery Queen, b. i. cant. ii. st. 49. Fiend replied ; a liberty that MilBy this the drooping day-light 'gan ton sometimes takes to proto fade,
nounce the same word with a And yield bis room to sad succeeding different accent in different places.
night, Who with her sable mantle 'gan to
We shall mark such words as shade
are to be pronounced with an The face of earth.
accent different from the common Milton also in the same taste
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
221. Forthwith upright he rears, This conceit is borrowed from &c.] The whole part of this Spenser, who speaking of the great enemy of mankind is filled old dragon has these lines, b. i. with such incidents as are very cant. ii. st. 18. apt to raise and terrify the
Then with his waving wings displayed reader's imagination. Of this
wide, nature is his being the first that
Himself up high he lifted from the awakens out of the general ground, trance, with his posture on the And with strong Aight did forcibly
divide burning lake, his rising from it, and the description of his shield
The yielding air, which nigh too fee
ble found and spear. To which we may
Her fitting parts, and element un. add his call to the fallen angels, sound, that lay plunged and stupified To bear so great a weight. in the sea of fire.
Thyer. He call'd so loud that all the hollow
229. –liquid fire ;] Virg. Ecl. deep
vi. 33. Of bell resounded. But there is no single passage in Et liquidi simul ignis. the whole poem worked up to a greater sublimity, than that 231. Of subterranean wind] wherein his person is described Dr. Pearce conjectures that it in those celebrated lines,
should be read subterranean winds, -He above the rest
because it is said aid the winds In shape and gesture proudly eminent afterwards, and the conjecture Stood like a tow'r, &c.
seems probable and ingenious :
Addison. the fuelld entrails, sublim'd with 226. -incumbent on the dusky mineral fury, aid and increase the air
winds which first blew up the That fell unusual weight,]