« PreviousContinue »
Her riddle', and him who folv'd it not, devour'd,
that the Scholiaft says, Anteus being resolved by Oedipus, she dwelt at Irasa, not he who wrestled threw herself into the sea. Statius with Hercules, but one later than Theb, I, 66. him; which, if true, makes against
Si Sphingos iniquæ Milton : that he afterwards adds,
Callidus ambages te præmonthat according to the opinion of
ftrante resolvi. some, the Antæus whom Hercules overcame was Ιρασσευς, απο Ιρασ- 581. - and strait a fiery globe owy, which Berkelius takes to be Of Angels &c] There is a pethe genitive of ta 'Igwood, though culiar foftness and delicacy in it may be of as 'lgaocar. Jortin. this description, and neither cirAntæus dwelt at the city Irasa, cumstances nor words could be according to Pindar. But it was better selected to give the reader not there that he wrestled with an idea of the easy and gentle deHercules, but at Lixos, according scent of our Saviour, and to take to Pliny. Lixos vel fabulofiffime from the imagination that horror antiquis narrata. Ibi regia Antæi, and uneasiness which it is natucertamentque cum Hercule. Nat. rally filld with in contemplating Hift. Lib. 5. cap. 1. Meadowcourt. the dangerous and uneasy situation 572. And as that Theban monster he was left in,
Thyer. &c] The Sphinx, whose riddle So Psyche was carried down from
From his uneasy station, and upbore
the rock by zephyrs, and laid I make no doubt of the certainty lightly on a green and flowry of this conjecture, Sympson. bank, and there entertain'd with I question whether others will have invisible music. See Apuleius. fo good an opinion of this emenLib. IV.
Richardson. dation, as the Gentleman seems to 585. As on a floting couch through entertain of it himself. I conceive
the blithe air,] Which way through the blithe air to be much soever I turn this term blithe, it the same as if he had said through conveys no idea to me fuitable to
the glad air, and the propriety of the place it upies : nor do my such metaphor wants no juftifidictionaries and me in the least, cation or explanation. The place is certainly corrupted, and ought to run so,
angelic quires -- through the litbe air.
Sung beav'nly anthems of his vic
tory] As Milton in his ParaOur author uses the word in his dife Loit had represented the Angels Paradise Lost in the sense requir'd singing triumph upon the Messiah's hie,
victory over the rebel Angels; fo and wreath'd here again with the same propriety His litbe proboscis. IV. 347. they are described celebrating his
True image of the Father, whether thron'd In the bofom of bliss, and light of light Conceiving, or remote from Heav'n, inshrin'd In fleshly tabernacle, and human form, Wand'ring the wilderness, whatever place, 600 Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing The Son of God, with God-like force indued Against th' attempter of thy Father's throne, And thief of Paradise; him long of old Thou didst debel, and down from Heaven cast
605 With all his army, now thou hast aveng'd Supplanted Adam, and by vanquishing
success against temptation, and to of God, whose thunder forced him be sure he could not have possibly out of Heaven. The blessed An. concluded his work with greater gels receive new knowledge. They dignity and folemnity, or more behold a sublime truth establish'd, agreeably to the rules of poetic which was a secret to them at the decorum. Thyer.
beginning of the temptation ; and 596. True image of the Father, the great discovery gives a proper &c]
opening to their hymn on the vic
tory of Christ, and the defeat of Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite the Tempter.
whatever place, All the poems that ever were writ- Habit, cr state, or motion,] Proten, mult yield, even Paradise Loft bably not without allusion to Homuft yield to Regain'd in the gran- race Ep. I. XVII. 23, deur of its close. Christ stands
Omnis Aristippum decuit color, triumphant on the pointed emi
et status, et res. nence. The Demon falls with amazement and terror, on this full 605. Thou didst debel ] Debellare proof of his being that very Son fuperbos. Virg. Æn. VI. 853.
Temptation, hast regain'd loft Paradise ;
619 like an autumnal far and he had no notion that an epic
Or lightning ] The poet does poem mult of neceflity be formed here, as in other places, imitate after the example of Homer, and profane authors and Scripture both according to the precepts of Aritogether. Like an autumnal star, stotle. In the introduction to the Ασερ οπωρώ,
Evarisxocy. Iliad. v. second book of his Reason of Church5: Or like lightning fall from Hea- Government he thus delivers his senven, Luke X. 18. I bebeld Satan. timents.
6. Time serves not now, as lightning fall from Heaven. os and perhaps į might seem too
624. Abaddon] The name of the “ profuse to give any certain acAngel of the bottomless pit. Rev. ! count of what the mind at home, ix. 11. Here applied to the bot- “ in the spacious circuits of her tomless pit itself. In this conclud- musing, hath liberty to propose ing hymn of the Angels, the poet
“ to herself, though of highest has taken some pains, to show the " hope, and hardeit attempting; fitness and propriety of giving the “ whether that epic form whereof name of Paradise Regain’d to so " the two poems of Homer, and confin'd a subject, as our Saviour's “ those other two of Virgil and temptation. Confin'd as the subject “ Taffo are a diffuse, and the book was, I make no question that he “ of Job a brief model: or whethought the Paradise Regain'd an " ther the rules of Aristotle hereepic poein as well as the Paradise «« in are strictly to be kept, or naLoit. For in, bis invocation he ture to be followed, which in undertakes
" them that know art, and use to tell of deeds
judgment, is no transgression, but Above heroic :
“ an enriching of art." We see
Of Tempter and temptation without fear.
rues Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe
that he look'd upon the book of and this is the reason why in the Job, as a brief model of an epic Paradise Regain'd there are much poem : and the subject of Paradise fewer imitations of, and allusions Regain'd is much the same as that to other authors, than in the Paof the book of Job, a good man
radise Lost. The Paradise Loft he triumphing over temptation : and was long in meditating, and had the greatest part of it is in dia- laid in a large stock of materials, logue as well as the book of Job, which he had collected from all and abounds with moral argu- authors ancient and modern : but ments and reflections, which were in the Paradise Regain’d he commore natural to that season of life, posed more from memory,
and and better suited Milton's age and with no other help from books, infirmities than gay florid descrip- than such as naturally occurred to tions. For by Mr. Elwood's a mind so thoroughly tinctur'd and count, he had not thought of the season'd, as his was, with all kinds Paradise Regain’d, till atter he had of learning. Mr. Thyer makes finish'd the Paradise Loft : (See the the same observation, particularly Life of Milton) the first hint of it with regard to the Italian poets. was suggested by Elwood, while From the very few allusions, says Milton resided at St. Giles Chal- he, to the lialian poets, in this font in Buckinghamshire during poem one may draw, I think, a the plague in London ; and after- pretty conclusive argument for the wards when Elwood visited him in reality of those pointed out in the London, he show'd him the poem notes upon Paradise Loft, and show finish’d, so that he was not long in that they are not, as some may conceiving, or long in writing it: imagine, mere accidental coinci