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rather the parapet or ridge of the roof, spires and pinnacles in our sense hardly belonging to ancient architecture. Clearly, however, what Milton imagines is the very point of a spire: hence he makes it an equal miracle to stand there or to escape thence unhurt.

554. " progeny: descent, pedigree.
556. it is written," etc. Ps. xci. Il, 12.
560, 561. “Also it is written," etc. Deut. vi. 16.

561. and stood: thus proving his divine power. Stood is emphatic, as also fell in the next line.

563. “As when Earth's son, Antæus (to compare small things with greatest)," etc. Twice in Par. Lost (II. 921, and X. 306) Milton has used this phrase from Virgil in introducing comparisons ; and it occurs also in his Latin poems. Two comparisons are here brought in to illustrate Satan's fall from the pinnacle : that of the great Antæus, the son of Terra and Neptune, who, wrestling with Hercules (Alcides) in Irassa (a city in North Africa, where Pindar places the conflict), and always recovering from his falls by touching his mother Earth, was at length carried up into the air by the hero and there throttled ; and that of the Theban Sphinx, who, when dipus solved her riddle, flung herself headlong from the Cadmeia, or citadel of Thebes (called here “the Ismenian steep” as being on the river Ismenus). 576. “So, strook." See note, Par, Lost, II. 165.

581. “So Satan fell.Observe that this is the fifth time that the word fell is introduced in the description. The poet dwells on the contrast between Satan's falling from the pinnacle and Christ's standing

581, 582. a fiery globe of Angels”: literally a sphere or globular body. See note, Par. Lost, II. 512. 591, 592. “repaired ... impaired.

impaired.See note ante, II. 61, 62. Besides the rhyme there is word-play.

598, 599. enshrined,etc. John i. 14; 2 Cor. v. 1. (Dunster.)
600. "whatever place: i.e. in whatever place.
604. thief of Paradise." See Par. Lost, IV. 192.

605. debel: war down, from the Latin debellare. Richardson in his Dict. gives an instance of the word from Warner's Albion's England, and instances of debellate and debellation from Bacon and Sir Thomas More.

611. his snares are broke.Ps. cxxiv. 7. (Dunster.)
612, be failed": has disappeared, -in allusion to the notion,

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628. 66

assumed in Par. Lost (see XI. 829 et seq. and note), that after the Fall, or at least at the Deluge, the site of Paradise was obliterated.

619. an autumnal star”: a meteor or falling star. These are frequent in August.

620, 621. “or lightning,” etc. Luke x. 18 (Newton), and Rom. xvi. 20 (Dunster).

624. Abaddon.In Rev. ix. 11, Abaddon or Apollyon is the name of the Angel of the bottomless pit; but in the Old Testament, as Mr. Keightley remarks, the word Abaddon (Destruction) is used for the pit itself, or as equivalent to Hell or Erebos.

thy demoniac holds: i.e. the terrestrial elements and all other haunts in our Universe,—the expulsion of the Devils from which back to Hell was to be, according to the poem, the true consummation of Christ's victory. But there is a reference to demoniac possession of the human body, as is shown by what follows. See Matt. viii. 28–32, and Rev. xviii. 2.

633. “ both Worlds”: Heaven, or the Empyreal World, to which the Angels who are singing belong; and the Universe, or Man's World.

634. Queller of Satan.Compare Par. Lost, XII. 311.

636-639. Thus they," etc. Warton thinks these four lines a rather feeble ending for the poem, and regrets that it did not end at line 635. Few will agree with him. On the contrary, the quiet ending of the poem by the private or unmarked return of Christ to his mother's house, thence to begin his mission, is particularly fine.

NOTES TO SAMSON AGONISTES

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. AUTHOR'S PREFACE. Of that sort of Dramatic Poem,” etc. In connexion generally with this Preface, see Introduction to the Poem. The following points may be noted here :—The verse of Euripides' which St. Paul is said to have inserted into the text of Holy Scripture consists of the words “Evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Cor. xv. 33). In the original Greek the phrase is poelpovo u on Xprotd óuedíai kakal, which is an Iambic verse, attributed by some to Euripides, and by others to the comic poet Menander, and found in the printed fragments of both.—The “Paræus ” whose opinion as to the construction of the Apocalypse Milton cites, both here and in his Reason of Church Government (see the passage from that pamphlet in the Introduction, II. pp. 577-8), was David Paræus, a German theologian and commentator on the Scriptures of high note among the Calvinists (1548—1622). There is an article on him in Bayle's Dictionary. -When Milton says “Though the Ancient Tragedy use no Prologue,” he uses “Prologue” in its modern sense, as a kind of Preface to the Play, detached from the Play itself, and intended to put the audience in good humour with it beforehand. Though the Comedians Plautus and Terence had Prologues of this kind, the ancient Tragedians had none. But, according to Aristotle (Poetics, chap. XII.), the Prologue in another sense was a regular part of every Tragedy, and consisted of all that part of the Tragedy which preceded the entrance of the Chorus.—In the phrase "that which Martial calls an Epistle” there is an allusion to the Epistola ad Lectoremprefixed by Martial, by way of apology, to the First Book of his Epigrams. -The three terms of Greek Prosody introduced by Milton in his Preface, and printed in Italics,—viz. Monostrophic, Apolelymenon, and Allæostrophic,—in their present connexion may be translated “Single-stanzaed,” “Released from the restraint of any particular measure,” and “Divers-stanzaed.” Milton's purpose is to explain to prosodians the metrical structure of his choruses in Samson. These choruses, he says, may be called Monostrophic, inasmuch as they run on without division into stanzas, or into the

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mutually balanced parts called Strophe, Antistrophe, and Epodos in the regular musical chorus ; the verse in which they are written is Apolelymenon, inasmuch as no particular measure is adopted, but each line is of any metre that the poet likes; or, if the choruses do sometimes seem to divide themselves into stanzas or rhythmical segments, then Allæostropha would be the name for them, inasmuch as the stanzas are of different metrical patterns.

4. There I am wont to sit,” etc. One recollects here the description given by the painter Richardson of the blind Milton's own habits in his last years. See it quoted, Memoir, I. p. 61, and again in Introd. to Par. Lost, II. pp. 74, 75.

This day,” etc. Here Samson begins his soliloquy, the person who had guided him to the bank on which he was now sitting having left him to himself, as desired.

13. "Dagon, their sea-idol.Compare Par. Lost, I. 457-466, and note to that passage.

23-29. “Oh, wherefore," etc. See Judges, chap. xiii.

33. " captived,” with the accent apparently on the last syllable. Newton cites the word, so accented, from Spenser (F. Q. II. iv. 16) and from Fairfax's Tasso.

66—109. But, chief of all, O loss of sight,etc. The reference, in this noble lamentation, to Milton's own great calamity will strike the reader at once; but some parts of it receive painful illustration from the domestic circumstances of Milton in his old age and blindness. Thus, in connexion with the lines 75–78, it is impossible not to remember parts of the evidence given on the occasion of the lawsuit between Milton's third wife and his three daughters by the first as to the inheritance of his property. See the particulars, Introd. to Par. Lost, II. pp. 64–68.

87–89. silent as the Moon when,etc. The meaning is “as invisible as the Moon is when, from the fact that her dark side is turned to us, she seems to be out of the sky altogether, and lodged in some cave where she passes the time between the disappearance of one moon and the appearance of its successor. Luna silens, or “silent moon,” was a Latin phrase for absence of moonlight.

III. steering.Compare Ode on Nativity, 146, and Comus, 310.

118, 119. “carelessly diffused, with languished head," etc. Probably, as Thyer pointed out, a recollection from Ovid, Epist. III. iii. 8:

Fusaque erant toto languida membra toro.” 133. Chalybean-tempered." Chalybéan to be accented on the

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third syllable and not on the second, as some commentators suppose to be necessary. Chalybean-tempered is tempered like the Chalybean

. steel,—so called from the Chalybes or Calybes, a people of Asia Minor, possessing excellent iron-mines, and celebrated as ironworkers. 134.

Adamantean proof.It is doubtful whether this means “proof against adamantean weapons” or “proof as being itself adamantean.” The second meaning is the likelier. Adamant, literally “unsubduable,” usually meant steel.

138. Ascalonite: inhabitant of the Philistine city of Ascalon. See 1 Sam. vi. 17. (Newton.)

139. “ ramp: i.e. spring (Fr. ramper, to mount). We speak yet of a lion "rampant,” and we have the slang word “rampageous”; but “ramp,” both as verb and as noun, was common in old English. Spenser has it; and Milton in his Animadversions on the Remonstrant has the phrase, “Surely the prelates would have Saint Paul's words ramp one over another.”

144. "foreskins": i.e. uncircumcised Philistines.
145.

In Ramath-lechi: so called from “the casting away of the jaw-bone” there; the name implying the phrase. See Judges XV. 17 147. Azza,or Azzah; same as Gaza.

See Deut. ii. 23. 148. Hebron, seat of giants old.Hebron was the city of Arba, the father of Anak, whose children, the Anakim, were giants. See Numbers xiii. 33, and Josh. xv. 13, 14. (Newton.)

150. Like whom: i.e. like those giants whom, etc., to wit the Titans, and particularly Atlas. 165.

" Since man on earth: a classic idiom for “since man was on the earth.” See Essay on Milton's English, p. 77.

172. the sphere of fortune": i.e. the rotating globe on which Fortune was represented as standing. I hear the sound,etc.

The Chorus have been speaking hitherto at some distance from Samson.

181. From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful vale: i.e. from Samson's native district in the tribe of Dan. See Josh. xv. 33 and xix. 41, and Judges xiii. 2 and 25. (Newton.)

191–193. In prosperous days," etc. Perhaps from Milton's own experience after the Restoration, when, though distinguished foreigners would seek him out, his English friends were chiefly a few grave and little-known persons of his own way of thinking. After the publication of his Paradise Lost in 1667, this state of things was

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