« 上一頁繼續 »
That when a soul is found sincerely so,
mon apprehension, and the com-
If the ill spirit have so fair an house,
462. And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,) This is agreeable to the system of the materialists, of which Milton was one. Warburton.
And turns it by degrees to the soul’s essence,
Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
• The same notion of body's working up to spirit Milton afterwards introduced into his Paradise Lost, v. 469, &c. which is there, I think, liable to some objection, as he was entirely at liberty to have chosen a more rational system, and as it is also put into the mouth of an archangel. But in this place it falls in so well with the poet's design, gives such force and strength to this encomium on chastity, and carries in it such a dignity of sentiment, that however repugnant it may be to our philosophic ideas, it cannot miss striking and delighting every virtuous and intelligent reader. Thyer. 464. By unchaste looks,j “He “[Christ] censures an unchaste “ look to be an adultery already “committed.” Divorce, b. ii. c. 1. Pr. W. i. 184. Milton therefore in this expression alludes to S. Matt. v. 28. was 3 8xiway yovwiza, reo; to orovkara, avrns, x. r. A. T. Warton. 465. But most by lewd and lavish
act of sin, In the Manuscript it is And most &c. and instead of lewd and lavish he had written at first,
he means the philosophy of Plato, who was distinguished among the ancients by the name of the divine. 467. I cannot resist the pleasure of translating a passage in Plato's Phaedon, which Milton here evidently copies. “A “soul with such affections, does “it not fly away to something “ divine and resembling itself? “To something divine, immor“tal, and wise? Whither when “it arrives, it becomes happy; “being freed from error, igno“ rance, fear, love, and other “ human evils. But if it de“ parts from the body polluted “ and impure, with which it has “ been long linked in a state of “familiarity and friendship, and “from whose pleasures and ap“ petites it has been bewitched, “so as to think nothing else true, “but what is corporeal, and “which may be touched, seen, “drank, and used for the grati“fications of lust: at the same “ time, if it has been accustomed “to hate, fear, or shun, whatever “ is dark and invisible to the “human eye, yet discerned and “approved by philosophy: I “ ask, if a soul so disposed, will “go sincere and disincumbered “ from the body? By no means. “And will it not be, as I have “ supposed, infected and in“volved with corporeal con“ tagion, which an acquaintance “ and converse with the body, “from a perpetual association, “has made congenial So I “think. But, my friend, we “must pronounce that substance “to be ponderous, depressive, “ and earthy, which such a soul “ draws with it: and therefore “it is burthened by such a clog, “ and again is dragged off to “some visible place, for fear of “ that which is hidden and un“seen; and, as they report, * retires to tombs and sepul“chres, among which the sha“dowyphantasms of these brutal “souls, being loaded with some“what visible, have often actually “appeared. Probably, O Socra“tes. And it is equally probable, “O Cebes, that these are the “souls of wicked not virtuous “ men, which are forced to “wander amidst burial-places, “suffering the punishment of an “impious life. And they so long “are seen hovering about the “ monuments of the dead, till “from the accompaniment of
Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite lose The divine property of her first being.
“ the sensualities of corporeal “nature, they are again j. “with a body, &c.” Phaed. Opp. Platon. p. 386. b.1. edit. Lugdun. 1590. fol. An admirable writer, the present Bishop of Worcester, has justly remarked, that “this “poetical philosophy nourished “ the fine spirits of Milton's time, “ though it corrupted some.” It is highly probable, that Henry More, the great Platonist, who was Milton's contemporary at Christ's college, might have given his mind an early bias to the study of Plato. But although Milton was confessedly a great reader of Plato, yet all this whole system had been lately brought forward by May, in his Continuation of Lucan's Historicall Poem, Lond. 1630. 12mo. See b. iv. signat. T. 4. where there are many lines bearing a strong resemblance to some of Milton's. But in this book May has translated almost the whole of Plato's Phaedon, which he puts into the mouth of Cato. T. Warton. 468. Imbodies, and imbrutes,) Thus also Satan speaks of the debasement and corruption of his original divine essence, Par. L. ix. 165. Mix’d with bestial slime, This essence to incarnate and imbrute, That to the height of deity aspir’d. Our author, with these Platonic refinements in his head, supposes that the human soul was for a long time embodied and imbruted with the carnal ceremonies of popery, just as she is sensualised and degraded by a participation of the vicious habits of the body.
Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp
Oft seen in charnel vaults, and sepulchres,
To a degenerate and degraded state.
List, list, I hear 480
Some far off halloo break the silent air.
Either some one like us night-founder'd here,
If he be friendly, he comes well; if not,
The attendant Spirit, habited like a shepherd. That halloo I should know, what are you? speak; 490 Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else. SPIRIT. What voice is that? my young Lord? speak again. 2. BROTHER. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure.