« PreviousContinue »
Dismay'd, and thus in haste to th’ Angel cried.
O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n
To whom Michael thus, he also mov'd, replied.
Alas, both for the deed and for the cause !
To whom thus Michaël. Death thou hast seen
458. -and th' other's faith ape mouth of Eve in the preceding prov'd] It was, according to the book, ver. 1001. author of the Epistle to the He
Let us seek Death, or he not found, brews, who bears this testimony
supply to it, xi. 4. By faith Abel of- With our own hands his office on fered unto God a more excellent ourselves : sacrifice than Cain, by which he Why stand we longer shivering under
fears obtained witness that he was righ
That show no end but death, and teous, God testifying of his gifts ;
have the power, and by it he being dead, yet Of many ways to die the shortest speaketh.
choosing, 462. But have I now
Destruction with destruction to deseen
stroy ? Death ? Is this the way &c.] Our
Thyer. author, in making Adam so ig, norant of what death was and 467. -but many shapes the way to it, seems to have Of Death, and many are the forgot what he had put in the VOL. II.
ways that lead
Of Death, and many are the ways that lead
To his grim cave,]
δικαςαι, και τυραννοι, c. 17. DunSenec. Phænissæ, act i. 151, ster. 153.
477. - Immediately a place Ubique mors est
&c.] The second vision sets mille ad hanc aditus patent. before him the image of death 467. Milton in this passage in a great variety of appearances. seems to have had in his mind The angel, to give him a general that part of the Charon, or Eri- idea of those effects which his OXOTOVITES of Lucian, in which guilt had brought upon his posMercury having noticed to Cha- terity, places before him a large ron, conqueror Denth, (Ó BERTISOs hospital or lazar-house, filled bevatos,) putting a sudden stop with persons lying under all to the ardent hopes and vain kinds of mortal diseases. How schemes of man, proceeds to finely has the poet told us, that point out and describe the satel- the sick persons languished under lites or ministers of this great lingering and incurable distempower, in the many and various pers, by an apt and judicious modes of death. He specifies use of such imaginary beings first diseases dire; Αγγελοι δε αυτο as those I mentioned in my last rau vangstæt para todos, as ogas, paper! The passion, which likeηπιαλοι, και πυρετοι, και φθοαι, και wise rises in Adam on this occaTigituuuonias to which he hu- sion, is very natural. The dismorously adds, suicide, robbers, course between the angel and public executions, and tyrants, Adam which follows, abounds ξιφη, και ληστηρια, και κωνεια, with noble morals. Addison.
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
487. Marasmus) The word By that way's side there sat infernal is Greek, and it signifies a kind
Pain, &c. of consumption, accompanied
Thyer. with a fever wasting the body The breaks and pauses in this by degrees; but we should ob
verse are admirable; and this serve that these verses,
beauty is improved by each Demoniac phrenzy, moping melan- period's beginning with the choly,
same letter d. And moon-struck madness, pining
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans ; atrophy, Marasmus, and wide-wasting pesti
other word in were not in the first, but were the room of dire . or deep, and added by the author in the se- you will perceive the difference. cond edition, to swell the hor- And then follows ror of the description. Dr. Bent- And over them triumphant death his ley is for striking them out again, but Mr. Pope says they Shook, but delay'd to strike. are three admirable lines. As the image is wonderfully
489. Dire was the tossing, deep fine, so it is excellently expressed the groans ; Despair &c.] This with the pause upon the first is entirely in the picturesque syllable of the verse, shook. One manner of Spenser, and seems thinks one almost sees the dart to allude particularly to that shaking. How much better is beautiful passage, where describ- this than Virgil's, Æn. xi. 767. ing the way to Pluto's grisly
-et certam quatit improbus hareign, he represents Pain, Strife,
stam! Revenge, &c. as so many persons assembled, and over them If the line was to be altered, as sat Horror soaring with grim
thus, hue, and beating his iron wings.
And o'er them death triumphant
shook his dart, Faery Queen, book ii. cant. vii. st. 21. to st. 24.
much of the fire and spirit
Tended the sick busiest from couch to couch;
till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess ; And scarce recovering words his plaint renew'd.
O miserable mankind, to what fall
would be lost. The reader may His best of man, and gave him see other beauties of the same
up to tears] kind in the note upon iv. 351. This thought (as Mr. Whalley And there are several examples observes) is certainly from Shake of it in Homer, but the Latin speare, whose words Milton has language seems hardly capable preserved at the close of the senof it; at least I cannot recollect tence. an instance in Virgil, who is the great master of versification. I had not so much of man about me, 495.
But all my mother came into my
eyes, Though not of woman born ;
And gave me up to tears, compassion quell'd
Henry V. act ir.
Retaining still divine similitude
Their Maker's image, answer'd Michael, then
I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
There is, said Michael, if thou well observe
517. To serve ungovernd ap- image, when (as we read in iv. petite,] Appetite here is made 291.) a person: and took his image
in their looks divine whom they served, that is, un
The image of their glorious Maker governed appetite's, a brulish shone, vice, that was the principal occa- Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe sion of the sin of Eve, inductive
and pure! mainly to the sin of Eve. How 531. The rule of not too much,] different is this image from God's Ne quid nimis.