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A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom,
Real or allegoric I discern not,

Nor when, eternal fure, as without end,
Without beginning; for no date prefix'd
Directs me in the starry rubric set.


So fay'ing he took (for ftill he knew his power Not yet expir'd) and to the wilderness 395 Brought back the Son of God, and left him there, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, As day-light funk, and brought in louring night Her shadowy ofspring, unsubstantial both,


399. unfubftantial both,] His philofophy is here ill placed. It dafhes out the image he had just been painting. Warburton. 408. and foon with ugly dreams &c.] It is remarkable, that the poet made the Devil be gin his temptation of Eve by working on her imagination in dreams, and to end his temptation of Jefus in that manner, I leave it to the critics to find out the


'Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the clouds &c.

It thunder'd from both tropics, that is perhaps from the right and from the left. The Ancients had

the world.

very different opinions concerning the right and the left fide of Plutarch fays, that Ariftotle, Plato, and Pythagoras were of opinion, that the eaft is the right fide, and the weft the left; but that Empedocles held

reafon; for I will venture to fay that the right fide is towards the he had a very good one.


409. and either tropic now Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the clouds &c.] Place the flops thus:

and either tropic now

fummer tropic, and the left towards the winter tropic. Tulαγορας, Πλατων, Αρισοτέλης, δεξία το oμs ta avaτokina μspo, ap wv n αρχη της κινησεως agisiga di,


δυτικά. Εμπεδοκλης δεξία με την θερινου τροπικον

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Privatión mere of light and absent day.


Our Saviour meek and with untroubled mind
After his aery jaunt, though hurried fore,
Hungry and cold betook him to his rest,
Wherever, under fome concourfe of fhades,
Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd might


405 From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head, But shelter'd slept in vain, for at his head

The Tempter watch'd, and foon with ugly dreams
Disturb'd his fleep; and either tropic now

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δε τα κατα τον χειμερινον. 2158200 De Placit. Philof. II. 10. Αιγυπ τα μεν έωα, το κοσμα πρόσωπον είναι, τα δε προς βορέαν, δέξια, τα de Id. προς νότον αριτερα. de Ifid. p. 363. If by either tropic be meant the right fide and the left, by both ends of Heav'n may be understood, before and behind. I know it may be objected, that the tropics cannot be the one the right fide, and the other the left, to those who are placed without the tropics: but I do not think that objection to be very material. I have another expofition to offer, which is thus: It thundered all along the Heav'n, from the north pole to the tropic of Cancer, from thence to the tropic of Capricorn, from thence to the fouth pole.



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'Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the clouds
From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd
Fierce ran with lightning mix'd, water with fire
In ruin reconcil'd: nor flept the winds
Within their ftony caves, but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell
On the vex'd wilderness, whofe tallest pines,

ferving Milton's own punctuation, unless there be very good reafon for departing from it, and I underftand the paffage thus: and either tropic now 'gan thunder, it thundered from the north and from the fouth, for this I conceive to be Milton's meaning, tho' the expreffion is inaccurate, the fituation of our Saviour and Satan being not within the tropics: and both ends of Heav'n, that is, and from or at both ends of Heav'n, the præpofition being omitted, as is frequent in Milton, and feveral inftances were given in the notes on the Paradife Loft. See particularly Dr. Pearce's note on I. 282. and from both ends of Heav'n, the clouds &c. This ftorm is defcrib'd very much like one in Taffo, which was raifed in the fame manner by evil Spirits. See Canto 7. St. 114, 115. for I would not lengthen this note, .too long already with the quotation.

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Or perhaps it means only water and fire falling down both together, according to Milton's ufage of the word ruin in Paradife Loft, I. 46. VI. 868.

415. From the four hinges of the

world,] That is from the four cardinal points, the word cardines fignifying both the one and the other. This, as was obferved before, is a poetical tempeft like that in Virgil. Æn. I. 85.

Unà Eurufque Notufque ruunt,
creberque procellis

And as Mr. Thyer adds, tho' fuch

Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest oaks
Bow'd their stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts,
Or torn up sheer: ill waft thou shrouded then,
O patient Son of God, yet only stood'st


Unfhaken; nor yet ftay'd the terror there,
Infernal ghofts, and hellish furies, round [fhriek'd,
Environ'd thee, fome howl'd, fome yell'd, fome

ftorms are unknown to us in thefe parts of the world, yet the accounts we have of hurricanes in the Indies agree pretty much with


417. Though rooted deep as high,] Virgil Georg. II. 291. Æn. IV.


quantum vertice ad auras thereas, tantum radice in Tartara tendit. Richardfon.

420. - yet only food' ft Unphaken; &c. ] Milton feems to have raised this fcene out of what he found in Eufebius de Dem. Evan. Lib. 9. Vol. 2. p. 434. Ed. Col.] The learned father obferves, that Chrift was tempted forty days and the fame number of nights Kas sedne nepais τεσσαράκοντα, και ταις τοσαύταις

νυξιν επειράζετο. And to thefe night temptations he applies what is faid in the 91ft Pfalm, v. 5. and 6. Ου φοβηθηση απο φοβε νυκτερινε, Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night, añо @gayμат #2 OXOTEL SIATTORεvovou, nor for the

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danger that walketh in darkness. The firft is thus paraphras'd in the Targum, (tho' with a meaning very different from Eufebius's) Non timebis à timore Dæmonum qui ambulant in nocte. The Fiends furround our Redeemer with their threats and terrors; but they have no effect.

Infernal ghofts, and Hellish furies, round Environ'd thee, This too is from Eufebius, [ibid. p. 435.] Επειπες εν το πειράζειν δυναμεις ποιηςαι εκυκλων αυτόν. quoniam dum tentabatur, malignæ poteftates illum circumftabant. And their repulfe, it feems, is predicted in the 7th verfe of this Pfalm: A thousand shall fall befide thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Calton.

422. Infernal ghosts, &c.] This taken from the legend or the pictures of St. Anthony's temptation. Warburton.

This defcription is taken from a print which I have feen of the temptation of St. Anthony. Fortin.

426. - till


Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou
Satft unappall'd in calm and finless
Thus pafs'd the night so foul, till morning fair
Came forth with pilgrim steps in amice gray,
Who with her radiant finger ftill'd the roar

Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the winds,
And grifly spectres, which the Fiend had rais'd 430
To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
And now the fun with more effectual beams
Had chear'd the face of earth, and dry'd the wet
From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
After a night of storm so ruinous,


up their choiceft notes in bush and spray

426. till morning fair

Came forth &c] As there is a ftorm raised by evil Spirits in Taffo as well as in Milton, fo a fine morning fucceeds after the one as well as after the other. See Taffo Cant. 8. St. 1. But there the morning comes with a forehead of rofe, and with a foot of gold; con la fronte di rofe, e co' piè d'oro; here

with pilgrim fteps in amice gray, as Milton defcribes her progrefs more leifurely, firft the gray morning, and afterwards the fun rifing: with pilgrim fteps, with the flow folemn pace of a pilgrim on a journey of



devotion; in amice gray, in gray cloathing; amice, a proper and fignificant word, derived from the Latin amicio to clothe, and used by Spenfer, Faery Queen. B. 1. Cant. 4. St. 18.

Array'd in habit black, and amice thin,

Like to an holy monk, the service to begin.

428. Who with her radiant finger Still'd the roar

Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, &c] This is a very pretty imitation of a paffage in the firft Eneid of Vir

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