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Thy legions under darkness : but thou seest
Whom the grand foe with scornful eye askance Thus answer'd. Ill for thee, but in wish'd hour i50 Of my revenge, first sought for thou returu'st From flight, seditious Angel, to receive Thy merited reward, the first assay Of this right hand provok’d, since first that tongue Inspir'd with contradiction durst oppose
155 A third part of the gods, in synod met Their deities to assert, who while they feel Vigour divine within them, can allow Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st Before thy fellows, ambitious to win
160 From me some plume, that thy success may show
147. –my secl thou seest ; &c.] shew] Thy success, thy ill sucThe use of the word sect in this cess; the word success is used place seems a little forced and in the same sense, ii. 9. Richardsingular; and I cannot help son. thinking but Milton brought it 161. --that thy success may in in order to sneer the Loyalists
show of his time, who branded all Destruction to the rest :] dissenters, of whom he was one, Bentley says, a detestable fault : with the opprobious name of it should be instruction. Mr. Sectaries. This also accounts Pope says, success ironicé. I do for the word few in the next line, not know what this means. The inasmuch as it suited Milton's text is right, and the meaning particular view better to esta- is, that thy success may shew blish a general maxim than to thy fellows the road to destrucapply it merely to the single tion, or the way to destroy their case of Abdiel. Thyer.
enemies. Warburtor. 161. - that thy success moy
Destruction to the rest : this
To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied.
167. Minist'ring spi'rits,] So Tympana vos buxusque vocat Bethey are called Heb. i. 14. Are recynthia matris
Idææ: sinite arma viris, et cedite they not all ministring spirits ?
ferro, and Satan mentions it in derision. Compare this with that 172. Apostate, still thou err'st, of Virgil, n. ix. 614.
nor end wilt find
Of erring, from the path of Vobis picta croco et fulgenti murice
truth remote:] vestis: Desidiæ cordi: juvat indulgere cho. Something like this is what Juno reis:
says to Jupiter, Iliad. xix. 107. Et tunicæ manicas et habent redimi. cula mitræ.
Ψευστησεις, ουδ' αυτι σιλος μυθω επιO vere Phrygiæ, neque enim Phry.
Onosis. ges! ite per alta
Thyer. Dindyma, ubi assuetis biforem dat tibia cantum,
181. Thyself not free, but to
Yet lewdly dar’st our ministring upbraid.
So say’ing, a noble stroke he lifted high,
thyself inthralld;] So Horace, 187. From me return'd, as erst sat. ii. vii. 81.
thou saidst, from flight,
This greeting &c.] Tu mihi qui imperitas, aliis servis miser
So Ascanius in Virgil retorts his Quisnam igitur liber ? sapicns, sibi adversary's term of reproach, qui imperiosus.
Æn. ix. 635. And as to what is here said of
Bis capti Phryges hæc Rutulis re. servitude, see Aristotle's Politics,
sponsa remittunt, b. i. c. 3, and 4.
183. —in hell thy kingdom ;] alluding to ver. 599. Not that it was so at present. 189. So say'ing, &c.] Saying This is said by way of antici- is here contracted into one sylpation. God had ordered him lable, or is to be pronounced as to be cast out, ver. 52. and what two short ones, which very well the Almighty had pronounced, expresses the eagerness of the the good angel looks upon as angel. He struck at his fue done. And this sentiment,
before he had finished his speech,
while he was speaking, which is Reign thou in hell thy kingdom ; let much better than Dr. Bentley's In heav'n God ever blest,
reading So said, as if he had not
aimed his blow, till after he had is designed as a contrast to Sa
spoken. tan's vaunt in i. 263.
if on earth
Winds under ground, &c.] Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
Hesiod compares the fall of
Winds under ground, or waters forcing way
210 Cygnus to an oak or a rock Whose false foundation waves have falling, Scut. Herc. 421.
With dreadful poise is from the main Ηρισι δ', ώς ότι τις δρυς ηρισιν, η ότι
land rift, &c. RETON
Thyer. Ηλιβατος, πληγεισα Διος ψολοένσι κι
210. —and the madding wheels] gausa.
What strong and daring figures And similes of this kind are very are here! Every thing is alive frequent amongst the ancient and animated. The very chariot poets, but though our author wheels are mad and raging. And might take the hint of his from how rough and jarring are the thence, yet we must allow, that verses, and how admirably do he has with great art and judg- they bray the horrible discord they ment heightened it in proportion would describe! The word bray to the superior dignity of his (probably from the Greek Beaxa subject. But perhaps he might strepo) signifies to make any rather more probably allude to kind of noise. It is applied by Spenser's description of the fall Spenser to the sound of a trumof the old dragon, under which pet, Faery Queen, b. iii. cant. allegory he intended to represent xii. st. 6. a Christian's victory over the And when it ceas'd, shrill trumpets devil. Faery Queen, b. i. cant. loud did bray. xi. st. 54.
But it usually signifies any disSo down he fell, as an huge rocky agreeable noise, as b. i. cant. vi. clift,
Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
be fairly thought to have given it and b. i. cant. viii. st. 11.
-over head with dismal hiss He loudly bray'd with beastly yelling The fiery darts in flaming vollies flew. sound:
Bentley and sometimes it is used as a But if there be any place in this verb active, as here in Milton; poem, where the sublimity of Faery Queen, b. y. cant. xi. the thought will allow the accust. 20.
racy of expression to give way Even blasphemous words, which she
to the strength of it, it is here. doth bray:
There is a peculiar force someand in Shakespeare's Hamlet,
times in ascribing that to a ciract i.
cumstance of the thing, which
more properly. belongs to the The kettle drum and trumpet thus thing itself; to the hiss, which
bray out The triumph of his pledge.
belongs to the darts. See my
note on ii. 654. Pearce. 212. -over head the dismal
As the learned Mr. Upton rehiss
marks in his Critical ObservaOf fiery darts]
tions on Shakespeare, the subNow the author is come to that stantive is sometimes to be conpart of his poem, where he is strued adjectively when governmost to exert what faculty he ing a genitive case.
Aristophahas of infos, magniloquence of nes in Plut. 268. & xguro apyti style, and sublimity of thought, nas Twy, O thou who tellest me a Nunc, veneranda Pales, magno nunc gold of words, that is, golden ore sonandum,
words. Sir Philip Sidney's ArVirg. Georg. iii. 294. cadia, p. 2. opening the cherry of He has executed it to admira- her lips, that is, cherry lips. So tion: but the danger is, of being here the hiss of darts is hissing hurried away by his unbridled darts. steed; and of deserting pro 214. And flying vaulted either priety, while he is hunting after host with fire.] Our author has sound and tumor. And it is frequently had his eye upon Hehard to guess, what fault to siod's giant-war as well as upon charge on the printer, since Homer, and has imitated several poetic fury is commonly both passages; but commonly exthought and allowed to be re ceeds his original, as he has gardless of syntax. But here done in this particular. Hesiod in this sentence, which is cer says that the Titans were overtainly vicious, the hiss flew in shadowed with darts, Theog. vollies, and the hiss vaulted the 716.