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That detriinent, if such it be to lose
154. — and in a moment] 162. Mean while inhabit lax,] Our author seems to favour the Dwell more at large, there being opinion of some divines, that more room now than there was God's creation was instantane- before the rebel angels were exous, but the effects of it were pelled, or than there will be made visible and appeared in after men are translated to heasix days in condescension to the If this be the meaning, capacities of angels; and is so we cannot much commend the related by Moses in condescen- beauty of the sentiment, as it sion to the capacities of men.
intimates that the angels might 160. And earth be chang'd to be straitened for room in heaheav'n, and heav'n to earth,] Milton's meaning seems to have 165. My overshadowing Spi'rit] been this, that earth would be As God's Spirit is said to do, so happy in being inhabited by Luke i. 35. The Holy Ghost obedient creatures, that it would shall come upon thee, and the be changed to, i. e. resemble, power of the Highest shall overheaven; and heaven by receiv- shadow thee : and we read Gen. ing those creatures would in i. 2. that the Spirit of God moved, this resemble earth, that it would or rather brooded, upon the face be stocked with men for its in- of the waters. The Spirit of God habitants. Pearce.
co-operated in the creation, and Or thus in short, the angels therefore is said to be sent along frequently visiting earth, and with the Son. men being translated to heaven.
Within appointed bounds be heav'n and earth,
So spake th' Almighty, and to what he spahe
168. Boundless the deep, &c.] An expression borrowed from The sense is, the deep is bound- Tasso, where Satan, mimicking less, but the space contained in the Deity, says to his followers, it is not vacuous and empty,
Sia destin ciò, ch' io voglio because there is an infinitude
Gier. Lib. cant, iv, st. 17. and I fill it. Though I, who Or rather from Claudian, De am myself uncircumscribed, set bounds to my goodness, and do Rapt. Pros. ii. 306. not exert it every where, yet
Sit fatum quodcunque voles.neither necessity nor chance in
my actions, &c. Pearce. 182. Glory they sung to the 173. —and what I will is fate.} Most High, &c.] The angels From Lucan, v. 91.
are very properly made to sing Deus magnusque potensque
the same divine song to usher Sive canit fatum, seu quod jubet ipse in the creation, that they did to canendo
usher in the second creation by Fit fatum.
Jesus Christ, Luke ii. 14. And Bentley. we cannot but approve
Dr. Or from Statius, Theb. i. 212. Bentley's emendation, Glory
they sung to God most high, grave et immutabile sanctis Pondus adest verbis, et vocein fata
instead of to the Most High, as sequuntur.
it improves the measure of the Jortin. verse, is more opposed to men
To future men, and in their dwellings peace :
the Hierarchies : Mean while the Son
immediately following, and Ille, velut pelagi rupes immota, re
sistit ; agrees better with the words of
Ut pelagi rupes St. Luke, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good But Milton seldom repeats the will towards men.
words without the additional 186. to him
beauty of turning them too, as Glory and praise,)
in this place; and in this book It may be worth remarking how before, he turns the words, ver. 184. -though fall’n on evil days, Glory to him, &c. and here, to On evil days though fall'n and evil
tongues ; him glory and praise One would wonder how it could ever have and I know not whether the been objected to Milton that English verse has not in this there were
turns of the respect the advantage of the words in him, when there are
Greek and Latin. more beautiful repetitions and 192. - Mean while the Son, turns of the words in him than &c.] The Messiah, by whom, in almost any poet.
A bare as we are told in Scripture, the repetition of the words often worlds were made, comes forth gives great force and beauty to in the power of his Father, surthe sentence, as in Iliad. xx. 371. rounded with an host of angels,
and clothed with such a majesty Του δ' εγω αντιος ειμι, και as becomes his entering upon a
xupas soixiy, Es tupe zuugas sore, pesvos go all we work, which according to our σιδηρώ.
conceptions appears the utmost and Iliad. xü. 127.
exertion of Omnipotence. What
a beautiful description has our Τω οαριζιμεναι, ασε παρθενος ηίθεος τε, author raised upon that hint in Παρθενος ηλθεος, , οαριζετον αλλη.
one of the prophets! And behold
there came four chariots out from and Virg. Æn. vii. 586.
between two mountains, and the VOL. II.
On his great expedition now appear’d,
mountains were mountains of -and saw what numbers numbruss. (Zech. vi. 1.) I have before taken notice of these cha
The city gates oui pour'd. riots of God, and of the gates And so in Virg. Æn. i. 214. of heaven ; and shall here only Fusi per herbam, and vii. 812. add, that Homer gives us the agris effusa juventus, and fresame idea of the latter, as open- quently elsewhere. But the ing of themselves; though he word poured has still more proafterwards takes off from it by priety here, as it shews the reatelling us, that the hours first of diness and forwardness of the all removed those prodigious angels to attend the Messiah's heaps of clouds which lay as a expedition : they were so earbarrier before them. Addison. nest as not to stay to form them197. About his chariot num
selves into regular order, but berless were pour'd
were poured numberless about his Cherub and Seraph,]
chariot. Pearce. Dr. Bentley calls cherub pour'd
206. Her ever-during gates,] an awkward expression: but yet So in Par. Reg. i. 281. we read in ii. 997.
Heaven opened her eternal doors.
As in Psal. xxiv. 7, 9. everlasting -Heav'n gates
doors. Dunster. Pourd out by millions her victorious bands.
206. -harmonious sound
On golden hinges moving,] Par. Reg. iii. 310.
Gates moving sound on hinges.
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
So iï. 37. Thoughts move har- Prima videbatur moliri exordia remonious numbers. Horace ex
Ipse micans radiis, ac multâ luce presses it in the same manner,
coruscus. Ep. ii. ii. 86.
And that he had this in his eye Verba lyræ motura sonum conne- is I think the more probable, ctere digner ?
because his account of the creThe infernal doors had no such ation of light and its being afharmony; they grated harsh terwards transplanted into the thunder that shook Erebus, ii. sun's orb, which was not yet 881. Richardson.
created, carries a strong allusion 210. On heav'nly ground they to the succeeding lines, stood, &c.] I do not know any
Jamque videbatur fulvå de nube thing in the whole poem more sublime than the description Stelligeri convexa poli, terrasque, which follows, where the Mes- fretumque, siah is represented at the head
Et lucem simul undivagam, mox
unde micantes of his angels, as looking down
Et solis radios, et cæli accenderet into the chaos, calming its con
ignes. fusion, riding into the midst of
Thyer. it, and drawing the first outline of the creation. Addison,
214. And surging waves,] We 211. They view'd &c.] Mil- have already given some inton's description of God the Son stances where we thought that and his attendant angels viewand and in have been misprinted ing the vast unmeasurable abyss, the one for the other : and I &c. has a great resemblance to question whether in this place the following passage in Vida.
we should not read In surging Christ. lib. i.
Naves as mountains ; for it seems
better to say of the sea, Up from Hic superùm sator informem specu- the bottom turned in surging
latus acervum, Æternam noctemque, indigestumque waves, than Up from the bottom profundum,
turned by surging waves.