Imágenes de páginas

about to begin his dire attempt, horror and doubt distract him. The copulative " and " is suppressed before “begins by asyndeton.

16. Æn. xii. 666:* Turnus et obtutu tacito stetit: astuat ingens

Imo in corde pudor, mixtoque iusania luctu,
Et furiis agitatus amor.”

24, 25. “Memory" here is recordatio, the thinking or reflecting on any thing, as well present and future, as past. Thus the bees in Virgil (Geor. iv. 156) remember the approaching winter :" Venturæque hyemis memores, æstate laborem Experiuntur, et in medium quæsita repo.

nunt.”--(N., P.) 27. Hom. Odyss. xiii. 197 : Στη δ' αρ αναιξας, και ρ' εισιδε πατριδα γαιαν: Ωμωξεν τ' αρ' επειτ', ολοφυρομενος δ' επος

nuda.-(Slil.) 30. At noon the sun is lifted up as in a tower. The metaphor is used by Virgil, in his Culex 41:“ Igneus æthereas jam sol penetrårat in arces."

(R.) 32. When Milton designed to make only a tragedy of Paradise Lost, he intended to commence it with the first ten lines of this speech, which bears a general resemblance to the first speech of Prometheus, in the Prometh. Vinctus of Æschylus, and which is also indebted, as J. Warton remarks, to the opening of the Phænissæ of Euripides. The thought of addressing the sun, as being the most conspicuous part of the creation, like the god of this world, is very natural, when so many of the heathen nations worshipped it as such. The opening of it is incomparably bold and noble, as the conflict of passions in the subsequent part, is raised with great art.-(N.,1., Ad.)

40. “ Pride” here means the vice considered in itself, only as the tempter which raised him in his own opinion above what was just; and "ambition," that vicious excess and final aim of pride which carried him to aim at being equal to God. He lays the blame on bis ambition elsewhere. See 61--92.--(H., P.)

44. James i. 5 : “ God giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not."(T.)

50. “ 'Sdained,disdained. Spenser often uses the word.

55. “Understood.” So Cicero: “ Gratiam autem et qui retulerit, habere, et qui habeat, retulisse.”(Bent.)

77. Expunge the comma after “me.'

79. Newton thinks repent would be better here, as he uses “ repentance" and

“ repent” afterwards. Todd says, “relent” refers to Satan's fixed mind and unconquerable will (i. 97, 106). I think Todd right: relent, by its strict meaning, (to be less rigorous ; to relax from austerity, and doggedness of purpose,) is the proper word. An obdurate being, like Satan, should first relent, before he repented.

81, 82. i. e. Disdain forbids me that word submission. This is a classical idiom, but of an unusual kind ; prohibeo sometimes has two accusatives after it, as Plaut. Amp. IV. iii. 17, “Neque me Jupiter, neque Dii omnes id, prohibebunt, quin sic faciam." So Pseud. I. i. 11: "Id te Jupiter prohibessit.

101. The emphatic repetitions in this and the following lines are a high poetic beauty, of which Milton has not been sparing. Todd, by way of parallel, refers to the speech of Medea, in Apoll. Rhodius, Argon. iii. 785, eppetw aidws, eppetw aynuïn, &c.; and Fairy Queen, i. 5. 43 : but Shakspeare furnishes, I think, a far nobler parallel in Othello's speech, act iii.-the noblest passage of its kind in any language :

" O now for ever Farewell the tranquil mind !-farewell con

tent! Farewell the plumed troops, and the big war That make ambition virtue!-oh, farewell! Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill

trump, The spirit-stirring drum, th' ear-piercing fife, The royal banner, and all quality, Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious

war! And, oh, you mortal engines, whose rude

throats The immortal Jove's dread clamours coun

terfeitFarewell !-"

111. In allusion to the well-known lines, “Divisum imperium cum Jove Cæsar habet.”—(Gr.)

112. i.e. By gaining the empire of earth through man's fall, while he retains that of hell; the Almighty retaining the empire of heaven only. These emphatic repetitions are very expressive of his rancorous resolution.-(N.)

114. “ Each passion," i.e. ire, envy, and despair dimmed his countenance, which was thrice changed with pale through the successive agitations of these passions. Paleness is the proper hue of envy and despair, and is a sign of anger when most deadly and diabolical. It is remarkable that in the argument to this book, Milton wrote “fear," and not “ire.” As " fear" there may be justified by line 18, "horror and doubt distract," and

other places ; so is "ire" here warranted by line 9, and by his cursing God and himself, and by his menaces against man.“ Pale" for paleness, so x. 1009. See a similar description, Fairy Queen, I. x. 16. -(N., T.) Introduce a comma after


121. “ Artificer of fraud." So in Latin we find “ artifex sceleris, doli, morbi," &c. See Facciolati.

123.“ Couched," i.e. covered, together with revenge ; so that revenge should be hidden as well as malice.-(P.)

125. “ Warned" does not refer to any intimation Uriel got before Satan landed on Niphates, but to the suspicion his altered appearance and conduct there excited. See iii. 742.

132. It is unnecessary to call attention to this famous description, which contains more than the condensed beauties of Homer's description of the gardens of Alcinous, and the grotto of Circe; of Virgil's descriptions; of Ariosto's picture of the garden of Paradise; Tasso's garden of Armida; and Marino's garden of Venus; also Spenser's descriptions, Fairy Queen, II. xii. 42; VI. x. 6 ; Dante, Purg. xxviii. (See N., Th., H., T.) The Mount of Paradise was situated in a chainpaign coun. try on the top of a steep hill, whose sides were overgrown with impassable thickets at the foot, and above them with stately trees, rising row above row, like seats in an amphitheatre, hence forming a kind of natural theatre ; and above these was the wall of Paradise, like a bank set with a green hedge, which was low enough for Adam to look over it downwards on Eden; and above this hedge grew a row of the finest fruit trees; and the only entrance was a gate on the eastern side.-(N.)

147, 148. Bentley would read "fruits” in the first verse, because the word “ fruits" follows in the next. Pearce would prefer "fruit" in both, because the singular number is in several other passages of the poem applied to what is hanging on the trees. In my opinion there is no occasion for emendation. Milton, by "fruit," intended to express the produce generically, and in the next line the species of the genus, or the kinds of produce, i. e. blossoms and various fruits; and to show the uncommon fecundity of the trees, he says they bore blossoms and fruits at once, i. e. keeping up, as it were, a succession of productions. It is a remarkable fact, that a species of the Arbutus, which abounds near the lakes of Killarney, shooting out

of the bare solid rocks, produces blossom and fruit at once. I have often, when a school-boy, plucked blossom, green fruit, and ripe fruit from the same tree at the same time. Frur in Latin is sometimes used for produce generally, while fructus is sometimes applied to particular kinds of it. This is a sufficient defence of the text.

151. Here again the spirit of emendation is, I think, uselessly at work. There has been a question whether Bentley, Hume, or T. Warton deserves the credit of reading on here for "in;" as the effect of the sun on the evening cloud or rainbow is the thing to be attended to. Now Milton wrote “in," and in my opinion properly; as he wished to convey the idea of the sun's not only gilding the surface of the cloud, but penetrating it, and impregnating it with the irradiating influence of his beams. So he uses “on” in reference to the blossoms and fruits, which were substances impenetrable by light; and uses "in" with respect to the cloud and rainbow, which are permeable bodies.

158. This fine passage is a copy of a fine one in Shakspeare, Twelfth Night :

" like the sweet south, That breathes upon a bank of violets,

Stealing and giving odour;"but much improved, as Dr. Greenwood remarks, by the addition of that beautiful metaphor, included in the word "whisper." See Orl. Fur. xxxiv. 51.-(N., T.)

161. Diodorus Siculus, iii. 46, describes the aromatic plants of Sabæa, or Arabia Felix, as yielding "inexpressible fragrance to the senses, which is even enjoyed by the navigator, though he sails by at a great distance from the shore. For in spring, when the wind blows off land, the odour from the aromatic trees and plants diffuses itself over the neighbouring sea." Several other writers, including Sir W. Jones, speak of the air as being impregnated with perfume from the spice trees of Arabia. See Orl. Fur. xviii. 138.—(T.) Mozambic,” an island on the eastern coast of Africa.-—“Sabean odours," from Saba, a city and district of Arabia Felix. Virg. Georg. i. 57 :" India mittit ebur, molles sua thura Sabæi."

(N.) 168. “Asmodeüs." The name of an evil spirit, mentioned in Tobit, who being enamoured of Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, constantly beset her, and killed all her husbands before Tobias :

223. Most probably the united current of the Euphrates and Tigris, on which the best commentators think Paradise was situated.-(N.)

233. See Gen. ii. 10.

236. There has been a great deal of hypercriticism wasted on this word “art.” It does not refer to the art of poetry, or the art of gardening, or both; but simply means human power, skill, or learning. Ars, in Latin, is used in this general


but was expelled by the fume arising from the gall of a fish burned by Tobias, and was bound by the angel Raphael in the deserts of Upper Egypt. See Calmet.

177. “That passed that way,i.e. that would have passed that way. So ii. 6+2 : “ So seemed far off the fiend," i. e. would have seemed, if any one had been there to have seen him. Thus Euripides, Ιon. 1326: Ηκουσας ως μ' εκτεινεν ηδε unxavais ; “Did you hear how she killed me" i. e. would have killed me “by her stratagems ?"-(N.) Milton often uses verbs, like the Greeks, in the aorist, or indefinite sense, as to mood, as well as tense.

181. Shakspeare has a similar play on the same word, Romeo and Juliet, i. 4 :“ I am too sore enpierced with his shaft

To soar with his light feathers; and so bound, I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe."—(T.)

183. A “wolf" is often the subject of a simile in Homer and Virgil ; but is here considered in a new light, and perhaps never furnished out a stronger resemblance.-(N.)

193. “Lewd" here is taken in its original sense, to signify gross, ignorant, corrupt. So i. 490; vi. 182.-(N.)

195. So Gen. ii. 9.

196. A “cormorant” being a very voracious sea fowl, is a proper emblem of the destroyer of mankind. Homer represents Sleep in the likeness of a bird sitting on a tall fir tree on Mount Ida. Il. xiv.(-N.)

201. Compare the beginning of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal.

210. Milton, agreeably to the accounts of Scripture, places Eden in Mesopotamia. Auran or Charræ was a city on the Euphrates, as Seleucia was on the Tigris. He gives another description of its locality, by saying it was the original site of Telassar, or Talatha, (a city and province on the common streams, according to Ptolemy, of the Euphrates and Tigris,) in which the children of Eden dwelt, as Isaiah says, xxxvii. 12.-(N.,C.) Mesopotamia means the land between the rivers, (εν μεσσω ποταμων) Euphrates and Tigris.

215. Addison has observed, that Milton has, by his gorgeous and elaborate description of Paradise, observed Aristotle's rule of lavishing all the ornaments of diction on the inactive parts of a fable, which are not supported by the beauty of sentiments and character.

218. “ All amid," omnino medius, quite in the middle.

238. See Gen. ii. 12. Many rivers are described by the ancient poets as having sands of gold, such as the Pactolus, Hermus, Tagus, &c.

246. “ Imbrowned.” This word, and “brown ” in other passages of his poems, Milton uses to describe any thing shaded; from the Italian imbrunir, by the Italian poets often used, say the commentators, to express the approach of evening.-(N., T.)

248.“ Wept." By the same beautiful metaphor as Ovid uses about the myrrh tree, Met. x. 500:Flet tamen; et tepidæ manant ex arbore

guttæ ; Est honos et lachrymis." So Pope, Temple of Fame :“And trees weep amber on the banks of Po."

(T.) 250.“ Fables," in the original sense of fabula, a circumstance generally talked of, whether true or false; so that the proposed substitution of apples for fables is unnecessary.-(P.)

255. “ Irriguous," watered. In Latin, irriguus is sometimes passive.

256. As it was a part of the curse denounced on the earth, that it should bring forth thorns and thistles, Milton here properly represents the rose having no thorns. - (N.)

263. Milton here personifies the lake, as the old poets personified ruins. So, iii. 359, he personifies the river of bliss.

266, 267. "Pan" is universal nature; the “ Graces," the beautiful seasons; and the “ Hours," the time requisite for the production and perfection of things : these danced a perpetual round, and throughout the earth, yet unpolluted, led eternal spring. That the Graces were taken for the beautiful seasons, in which all things seem to dance in universal joy, is plain from Horace iv. Od. vii. 5 :“ Gratia cum nymphis geminisque sororibus

audet Ducere nuda choros."


Homer, in his hymn to Apollo, joins the the Fall, and before he became subject to Graces and Hours hand in hand with death, was supposed to be in a state of Harmony, Youth, and Venus.

The an

perpetual youth. Besides, Milton had cient poets favoured the idea of the scriptural authority (see 361 and note,) world's creation in spring. Virg. Georg. for considering him as a being barely inii. 338; Ovid. Met. i. 107.-(H., R.) ferior to angels, and these were never

269, &c. “ Enna” in Sicily, celebrated represented by good poet or painter as by Ovid and Claudian for its beauty, from having beard. whence Proserpine was carried off by 304. So Marino paints his Venus, Pluto.--The “Castalian spring” men (Adon. viii. 46.) Milton has with great tioned here, was that in the grove of taste and judgment avoided entering into Daphne, famous for its oracles, on the a particular description of Eve's beauty, banks of the Orontes, near Antioch in (though most great poets, especially the Syria. The Isle of Nysa was encom moderns, have given elaborate delineapassed by the river Triton in Africa. Mil tions of the beauties of their heroines, as ton, following the authority of Diodorus in Ariosto's Alcina, Tasso's Armida, and Siculus, calls Bacchus the son of Amal Spencer's Belphebe,) and directs the thæa, not of Symele.-"Mount Amara," reader's attention especially to the beauwhere the sons of the kings of Abyssinia ties of her mind.-(Th.) were kept for protection, was under the 305. The Greek poets represent yellow equinoctial line, and celebrated for its hair as a great accompaniment to female beauty.

beauty. Venus, Helen, and others are 294. Newton says this verse should be described as having golden or auburn used parenthetically; else “whence" locks; probably because, as the Greeks may refer to “ freedom," whereas it refers were a swarthy people with black hair to 293.

and eyes, it was novel, and indicated a fair 299. The commentators think that skin. Newton further remarks, that he for God and him” would be a better here refers to his wife, who had yellowish reading; as in iv. 440, and x. 150, Milton hair, as his description of Adam was a mentions Eve as made for Adam. But I picture of his own person. Todd thinks think Milton designedly wrote in, having that he had in view Spenser's description the following passage in view : “ The of Britomartis, Fairy Queen, IV. i. 3:-head of the woman is the man, the head

-" her golden locks that were upbound of the man is Christ, and the head of

Still in a knot, unto her heeles down traced Christ is God.” 1 Cor. xi.; thus creating And like a silken veile incompasse round an ascending scale, the woman being

About her back and all her bodie wonnd." created for God through man, man for

308-310. Newton thinks that Milton God through Christ, and Christ for God

had St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthrough God. 301. “ Hyacinthine.” Minerva, in

thians, xi. 14, 15, in view, and also Horace

ii. Od. xii. 26: Homer (Od. vi. 232), gives Ulysses hyacinthine locks-resenibling the hyacinth

"facili sævitia negat

Quæ poscente magis gaudeat eripi, fower, (ουλας ηκε κoμας υακινθινω ανθει

Interdum rapere occupat." quotas,) to make him look more beautiful. The hyacinth was of a dark brown colour. 310. i.e. Best received by him when By this word Milton distinguishes yielded by her with coy submission. Adam's hair from Eve's, in the colour, 314. He alludes to 1 Cor. xii. 23: as well as in other particulars.-(N.) “ And those members of the body which Milton may mean that Adam's locks were we think to be less honourable, upon these curled, like the blossoms of the hyacinth, we bestow more abundant honour.But without any reference to the colour.—(T.) that honour is really a dishonour; a token It really means both.

of our fall, and guilt. Innocent nature 303. Broad shoulders are always a3 made no such distinction.--(N.) signed to the ancient heroes by the poets. 315. Should we not read, “Sin bred Newton thinks that Milton, who fre how have you troubled," &c. for what is quently fetches his ideas from the works he speaking to besides shame? -(N.) of the greatest masters in painting, I see no'occasion for correction here. omitted any mention of Adam's beard, “ Ye” can refer to “ shame” twice debecause Raphael and the principal paint- signated; or to “shame” and “honour ers, represent him without one. But why dishonourable ;” or a semicolon being put did they? I think, because Adam, before

after 6

• dishonourable," may not "sin.

bred” be taken as the vocative, to mean, made him (man) a little lower than the Ye sin-bred notions, how have ye, &c. ? angels,” &c. So also Heb. ii. 7.-(N.)

323, 324. These two lines are censured 381. See Isaiah xiv. 9.--( Gil.) by some critics, as implying that Adam 390. This line is to be taken in appo. was one of his sons, and Eve one of her sition with “public reason just,” before, daughters : but Newton shows that it is a which means, state policy, and constituted inanner of expression borrowed from the the tyrant's plea, “necessity.” It is a Greeks and adopted by the Latins, in curious historical fact, that when the which the superlative is sometimes used corpse of Charles I. lay in one of the for the comparative degree. So a freed rooms at Whitehall, Cromwell walked up woman is called in Horace i. Sat. i. 100, and down the room where it lay, wrapped fortissima Tyndaridarum, the bravest of in a long black cloak, muttering to himthe Tyndarida, i.e. braver than any of self, “ Terrible necessity !"-(1.) the daughters of Tyndarus, for she was 402. The transformation of Bacchus not in reality one of them; and Pearce (Eurip. Bacchæ. 1014) somewhat reobserves, that Diana is said by one of the sembles this: poets to have been comitum pulcherrima,

Φανηθι ταυρος, η πολυκρανος γ' ιδειν the most beautiful of her attendants, i. e.

Δρακων, η πυριφλεγων

Opagbai lewv.--(7'.) more beautiful than any of them, as she

408, 410. “When Adam .... turned was not one of her own attendants.

him.” Dunster says (and his explana332. The following passage of Theocritus (Idyll. vii.) is somewhat analogous :

tion has been copied by Todd and other

commentators) that the words “ Adam Οχναι μεν παρ ποσσι, παρα πλευρησι δε μαλα

moving," &c. are to be taken as the case Δαφιλεως αμμιν εκυλινδετο τοι δ' εκεχυντο Ορπακες βραβυλoισι καταβριθοντες ερασοε. . absolute, parenthetically; and that“turned 333. “ Recline,reclining, adjective

him,” being the same as turned himsell, an unusual word, from the Latin reclinis.

is elliptical, he (i. e. Satan) being under337. Fairy Queen, III. viii. 14: stood as the subject to the verb. This, " He'gan make gentle purpose to his dame."

in my opinion, is throwing ingenuity (Th.)

away. The explanation of the passage is 348. “ Insinuating.”

Coiling himself

simply this : “When Adam, moving speech as it were into his own bosom ; from

(a Greek phrase, κινησας μυθον or λογον, sinus, bosom. Sinuare and sinuosus are

or making the first motion of an address), used by Virgil and the Latin poets to ex

turned him (directed Satan) all ear (all

attention, as if all his faculties were for press the rolling and twisting of the snake. See Æn. xi. 753.-“ Gordian

the time absorbed in the sense of hearing) twine," in allusion to the famous Gordian

to hear new utterance flow," or the lanknot which could not be untied.

guage of earthly beings, which was strange

These “Braided train,” twisted tail.

to him. motions of the serpent were a type of his

411. “Sole part," i. e. of all these fraud, but they were not then regarded. —

earthly joys ;-thou the only part coming (H., R.)

from myself; alluding to her creation

from his rib.—“Of,” i. e. among.-(P.) 352. "Bedward ruminating." Chew

421. Gen. ii. 16, 17; i. 28. ing the cud before going to rest; ruminating, from the Latin ruminare. Com

449. It appears from this and other pare Orl. Fur. vi. 22.--(T.)

passages, (iv. 680, 712; v. 31, and other 353. “ Declined,” fallen low; from the

passages,) that Milton supposed Adam Latin declinare, which is rarely taken

and Eve existed in Paradise a long time

before this event. (N.) passively. 354. Newton thinks the metaphor of

460. Milton has here embodied whatthe scales of heaven weighing day and

ever is beautiful and appropriate in the night, the one descending as the other

story of Narcissus, Ovid. Met. iii. 457:ascends, is taken from the sign Libra or

" Spem mihi, nescio quam, vultu promittis

amico; the balance, when the sun is in that sign,

Cumque ego porrexi tibi brachia, porrigis at the autumnal equinox, and day and


Cum risi, arrides; lachrymas quoque sæpe night are in even balance, or of equal

notavi length.

Me lachrymante, tuas.... 358. This protracted emotion of Satan, “ Ista repercussæ, quam cernis, imaginis umwhich deprived him at first of the power

bra est : of utterance, is nobly conceived.--(Ad.)

Xil habet ista sui; tecum venitque, manet

que; 361 So Psalm viii. 5 : “ Thou hast Tecum discedet, si tu discedere possis."-(N.)

« AnteriorContinuar »