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The irksome hours, till his great chief return. ..
Part on the plain, or in the air sublime, ..if
Upon the wing, or in swift race contend, i s
As at th' Olympian games or Pythian fields ; 530
Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigads form.
As when to warn proud cities war appears,.
Wag'd in the troubled sky, and armies rush

To battel in the clouds, before each van 535 .. Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their spears "

Till

the images are rais'd in proportion With rapid wheels, ) Plainly taken
to the nature of the beings who are from Horace, Od. I. I. 4.. '.
here described. We may suppose
too that the author had an eye to Metaquc fervidis evitata robis.
the diversions and entertainments
of the departed heroes in Virgil's

But with good judgment he says

rapid not fervid: because in these Elyfium, Æn. VI. 642.

Hell-games both the wheels and Pars in gramineis exercent mem- the burning marle they drove on bra palæstris,

were fervid even before the race. Contendunt ludo, et fulvâ luctan. .

· Bentley tur arena :

534. Wag'd in the troubled ky, I Pars pedibus plaudunt chorcas, et So Shakespear in 1 Hen IV. Kal.

carmina dicunt, &c. calls these appearances Their aery limbs in sports they -the meteors of a troubled Heaven.

exercise, And on the green contend the : 536. and couch their pears) wrestler's prize.

Fix them in their rests. Couch from Some in heroic verse divinely fing;

coucher (French) to place. A rest Others in artful measures lead the

was made in the breast of the arring. &c. Dryden.

mour, and was call'd a rest from

arrefter (French) to stay. Richardson. 53!. : or foun the goal.

539. Others

Till thickest legions close; with feats of arms. .
From either end of Heav'n the welkin burns.
Others with vast Typhæan rage more fell
Rend up both cocks and hills, and ride the air 549
In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wild uproar.
As when Alcides, from Oechalia crown'd
With conqueft, felt th' envenom'd robe, and tore
Through pain up by the foots Theffalian pines,
And Lichas from the top of Deta threw 545

Into

: $39. Others with vaft Typhæan the king's daughter, felt th' crve

rage &c.] Others with rage nom'd robe, which was sent him by likç that of Typhæus or Typhon, Deianira in jealousy of his new one of the giants who warred mistress, and stuck so close to his against Heaven, of whom see be- fkin that he could not pull off the fore I. 199. The contrast here is one without pulling off the other, very remarkable. Some are em- and tore through pain up by the roots ploy'd in sportive games and ex- Theffalian pines, and Licbas who had ercises, while others rend up both brought him the poison'd robe, Tocks and hills, and make wild up- from the top of Oeta, a mountain in foar. Some again are linging in a thc borders of Theffaly, threw ima valley, while others are discourf- to tb'Euboic fea, the sea near Eu. ing and arguing on a hill; and bea an iland in the Archipelago. these are represented as fitting, The madness of Hercules was a while others march different ways fubject for tragedy among the Anto discover that infernal world. cients (Honvang walvout by Every company is drawn in con- Euripides, Hercules furens by Setrast both to that which goes be- neca) but our author has comprised fore, and that which follows the principal circumstances in this

542. As when Alcides, &c.] As fimilitude, and seems more partiwhen Hercules named Alcides from cularly to have copied Ovid, Met. his grandfather Alcæus, from Oe- IX. 136. chalia crown'd with conqueft, after Vitor ab Oechalia

Victor ab, Oechalia- &c.

&c. his return from the conqueft of Oechalia a city of Baotia, having But as Mr. Thyer rightly observes, brought with him from thence lole Milton in this simile falls vastly

short

Into th’Euboic. sean Others more mild,
Retreated in a filent valley, sing
With notes angelical to many a harp
Their own heroic deeds, and hapless fall
By doom of battel; and complain that fate 550
Free virtue Tould inthrall to force, or chance.
Their song was partial, but the harmony
(What could it less when Spirits immortal fing?)
Suspended Hell, and took with ravilhment

The hort of his usual. sublimity and 5:54. Suspended Hell] The effe& propriety. How much does the of their singing is somewhat like image of Alcides tearing up Ther- that of Orpheus in Hell, Virg. falian pines &c sink below that of Georg. IV. 481. the Angels rending up both rocks and hills, and riding the air in Quin ipfæ ftupuere domus, atque whirlwind! and how faintly and intima lethi infignificantly does the allusion end Tartara, ceruleosque implexæ criwith the low circumstance of Li, nibus angues chas being thrown into the Euboic Eumenides, tenuitque inhians tria sea!

Cerberus ora, 550. and complain that fate Atque Ixionii vento rota constitit Free virtue foould inthrall ta force

orbis. or chance. ] This is taken from the famous diftich of Euri. E'en from the depths of Hell the pides, which Brutus used, when he damn'd advance, lew bimself;

Th' infernal mansions nodding

feem to dance; 12 Tax uor dpety, aojo apinas',

The gaping three-mouth'd dog Ne spzou no Xxx° au d'ap ediyo forgets to snarl,

The Furies hearken, and their λευσας βια.

snakes uncurl ; In some places for Big force it is Ixion seems no more his pain to quoted zuxa fortune. Milton has feel, well comprehended both, inthrall But leans attentive on his standing to force of chance. Bentley. . , wheel. Dryden,

The

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The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet 555
(For eloquence the soul, fong charms the sense,)
Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,
In thoughts more elevate, and 'reason'd high
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate,
Fix'd fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, 560
And found no end, in wand'ring mazes loft.
Of good and evil much they argued then,
Of happiness and final misery, '
Paffion and apathy, and glory' and shame,
Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy:

The harmony suspended Hell; but is it Fix'd fate, free will, foreknownot much better, with the paren- ledge absolute,] The turn of the thesis coming between? which words here is admirable, and very fufpends as it were the event, well expresses the wand'rings and raises the reader's attention, and mazes of their discourse. And che gives a greater force to the sen- turn of the words is greatly imtence.

prov'd, and render'd ftill more

beautiful by the addition of an epiBut the harmony

thet to each of them. (What could it less when Spir

its . * immortal sing?)

i 565. Vain wisdom all, and falfa Suspended Hell, &c. ,

philosophy:] Good and evil, *555. — In discourse more frweet)

and de finibus bonorum et maloOur poet so jusly prefers discourse

rum, &c were more particularly to the highest harmony, that he in

the subjects of disputation among has feated his reasoning Angels on the philolophers and sophifts of old, a hill as high and elevated as their as providence, free will, &c. were thoughts, leaving the songiters in among the fchool-men and divines

*of later rimes, especially upon the their humble valley.' Hume.

introduction of the free nosions of 559. – forekrozuledge, will, and Arminius upon these subjects : and ... fate,

our author" hows herein what an

opinion

. Yet with a pleasing forcery could charm anda. I : Pain for a while or anguish, and excite

Fallacious hope, or arm th’ obdured breast
With stubborn patience as with triple steel.....
Another part in squadrons and gross bands,, : 579
On bold adventure to discover wide

.
That dismal world, if any clime perhaps t ad
Might yield them easier habitation, bend
Four ways their flying march, along the banks'.
Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge . 578
Into the burning lake their baleful streams ;

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lake their baleful ftreams: Abhorrea

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opinion he had of all books and 572. That dismal world, The learning of this kind.''

several circumftances in the descrip.

tion of Hell are finely imagind; a 868. – tb obdured breas] So we the four rivers which disgorge them. tead in Milton's own editions, and selves into the sea of fire, the exnot obdurate, as it is in Dr. Bent- tremes of cold and heat, and the ley's, Mr. Fenton's, and others : river of oblivion. The monftrous The fame word is ufed again in animals produced in that infernal VI. 785.

world are represented by a single This saw his hapless foes, but line, which gives us a more horrid stood obdur'd.

idea of them, than a much longer

i description of them would have 569. with triple feel.) An done. This episode of the fallen imitation of Horace, Od. I. III. Spirits and their place of habitation 9, 10.

comes in very happily to unbend

- the mind of the reader from its atIlli robur, et æs triplexi , tention to the debate. An ordi. Circa pectus erat, c. i nary poet would indeed have spun His breast was armed with the out so many circumstances to a great strength of threefold brass, only length, and by that means have our poet useth the hardest metal of weaken'd, instead of illultrated, the the iwo., Hume.

principal fable. Addifon.

577. Abborrel

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