« AnteriorContinuar »
However, and to 'scape his punishment !
930 Argue thy inexperience what behoves From hard
and ill successes past
927. thy fiercest, enemy, opponent.
Better abode, and my afflicted powers
To whom the warrior-angel soon replied:
955 Allegiance to the acknowledged Power Supreme? And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem Patron of liberty, who more than thou Once fawn'd, and cringed, and servily adored Heaven's awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hope 960 To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
942. dare against (possession) or against (me).
945. to cringe : (with) practised distances: studied, accustomed homage, respect : there appears to be a play on the word distance, which also signifies the space kept between two antagonists in fencing.
959. servily: Todd retains this reading in his edition of Milton, but bas not supplied its omission in Johnson's Dict. The more usual form is servilely.
But mark what I aread thee now, Avaunt!
So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats
• Then when I am thy captive talk of chains, 970 Proud limitary cherub ! but ere then Far heavier load thyself expect to feel From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's King Ride on thy wings, and thou, with thy compeers, Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels 975 In progress through the road of heaven star-paved.'
While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright Turn'd fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns Their phalanx, and began to hem him round With ported spears, as thick as when a field 980 Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
962. aread: or areed, or arreed: I advise, direct, order.
971. limitary: set to guard the bounds, as l. 878. a taunt, insulting the good angel as one employed on a little, mean office. RICHARDSON.
974. • This seems to allude to Ezekiel's vision, where four Cherubims are appointed to the four wheels: “And the Cherubims did lift up their wings, and the wheels besides them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.' See ch. i, x. xi. 22.” N.
980. ported spears: carried in a direction towards the enemy; held in a posture ready for attack.
981. Homer has a simile much of the same nature, comparing
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
the motion of the army after Agamemnon's speech to the waving of the ears of corn : Il. B. 147.
Ως δ' ότε κινήσει Ζέφυρος βαθύ λήίον ελθών,
ως των πασ’ αγορά κινήθη.’ Ν. 987. · Virgil has applied the same comparison to his hero, Æn. xii, 701.
Quantus Athos, aut quantus Eryx, aut ipse coruscis
Vertice se attollens pater Apenninus ad auras.' N. The Peak of Teneriffe is on an island of the same name, the largest of the Canaries. Atlas is a long chain of mountains in Mauritania.
unremoved: for immovable : as unreproved, 1. 492. 988. Thus Homer says of Discord, 11. A. 443.
ουρανώ έστήριξε κάρη, και επί χθονί βαίνει : and Virgil of Fame, Æn. iv. 177.
Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubila cundit.' N. 989. plumed : placed as a plume. 994. wrack or wreck are used indifferently by old writers.
Hung forth in heaven his golden scales, yet seen
Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st
mine; Neither our own, but given : what folly then
997. golden scales: as in Hom. Il. riii. 69. kal Tote on xpúoela πατήρ ετίταινε τάλαντα. Compare also Virg. En. xii. 725.
998. Libra or the Scales is one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, between Astrea, or Virgo, and the Scorpion.
999. “This weighing the creation at first and all events since gives us a sublime idea of Providence, and is conformable to the style of Scripture : Job xxviii. 25. •To make the weight for the winds, and he weigheth the waters by measure :' xxxvii. 16.
Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds ?' Isaiah xl. 12. 'Who weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?' 1 Sam. ii. 3. • By bim actions are weighed.' Prov. xvi. 2. The Lord weigheth the spirits.' Dan. v. 26. God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; thou art weighed in the balances.” N.
1001. (And in which he) now ponders all events, (chiefly the events of) battles and realms.
1003. 'God put in the golden scales two weights ; in the one scale he put the weight, which was the sequel (represented the consequence) of Satan's parting from them; in the other scale he put the weight, which was the sequel of Satan's fighting. The latter scale, by ascending, showed him that he was light in arms, and could not obtain victory; the other, having descended, was a sign that his going off quietly would be his wisest and weightiest attempt.' Pearce.