Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Where a life dies, death fires, and nature breeus,
Perverse, al monstrous, all prodigious things 625
Abomiastle, inutterable, and wone
Than febles yet here feign'd, or fear concid,
Gorgons, ad Hydra's, and Chimara's dire.

Mean while the Adverfary' of God and Man,
Satan with thoughts inflam’d of higheft defign, 630
Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of Hell
Explores his solitary flight; sometimes
He fcours the right hand coast, sometimes the left,
Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars
Up to the fiery concave towring high. 635
As when far off at sea a fleet descry'd

Hangs

[ocr errors]

There were Celæno's foul and 636. As wbon far off at fea &c.] loathsome rout,

Satan rowring bigb is here comThere Sphinges, Centaurs, there par'd to a feet of Indiamen discowere Gorgons fell,

ver'd at a distance, as it were, There howling Scylla's, yawling hanging in the clouds, as a fleet at a round about,

distance seems to do. This is the There serpents hiss, there sev'n- whole of the comparison; but (as

mouth'd Hydra's yell, Dr. Pearce observes) Milton in his Chimæra there fpues fire and fimilitudes (as is the practice of

brimstone out. Fairfax. Homer and Virgil too) after he has But how much better has Milton

how Min Ahow'd the common resemblance, comprehended them in one line?

" often takes the liberty of wand'ring

into some unresembling circum634. Now faves with level wing Atances; which have no other rela

the deep,] Virg. Æn. V. 217. tion to the comparison, than that Radit iter liquidum, ccleres neque it gave him the bint, and as it commovet alas.

were set fire to the train of his

imagination

[ocr errors]

Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds
Close failing from Bengala, or the iles
Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring
Their spicy drugs: they on the trading flood 640
Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape
Ply stemming nightly tow'ard the pole. So seem'd

Far

imagination. But Dr. Bentley aks, that is by night they fail northwhy a feet when a firit rate man ward, and yet as Dr. Pearce says) of war woulu do? And Dr. Pearce by day their feet may be defry'á answers, Because a feet gives a hanging in the clouds. So feem'd far nobler image than a single ship. of the fying Fiend: Dr. Bentley And it is a feet of Indiamen, be- alks, whom Satan appear'd 'to far cause coming from so long a off, in this his solitary flight? But voyage it is the fitter to be com- what a cold phlegmatic piece of pard to Satan in this expedition; criticism is this? It may be anand these exotic names (as Dr. Bent- swer'd, that he was seen by the ley calls them) give a less vulgar Muse, and would have seem'd so cast to the similitude than places in to any one who had seen him." our own channel and in our own Poets often speak in this manner, seas would have done. This feet and make themselves and their is describ'd, by equinoctial winds, readers present to the most retir'd the trade-winds blowing about the scenes of action.' equinoctial, close failing, and therefore more proper to be compar'd

645. And thrice threefold the to a single person, from Bengala, a gates;] The gates had nine kingdom and city in the East Indies folds, nine plates, nine linings ; as subject to the great Mogul, or the Homer and the other poets make iles of Ternate and Tidore, two of their heroes Thields, to have several the Molucca ilands in the East In- coverings of various materials for dian sea, whence merchants bring the greater strength : Ovid. Met. their spicy drugs, the most famous Xlli. 2. spices are brought from thence by clypei dominus septemplicis the Dutch into Europe: they on the trading flood, as the winds are callid

Ajax. Bertley. trade-winds, so he calls the flood 647. impal d with circling fire,] trading, through the wide Ethiopian Inclosed, paled in as it were. So sea to the Cape of Good Hope, ply the word is used in Spenser's Muisfemming nightly toward the pole, potmos,

And

Far off the flying Fiend: at last appear
Hell bounds high reaching to the horrid roof,

And thrice threefold the gates ; three folds were brass, * Three iron, three of adamantin rock, 646

Impenetrable, impal’d with circling fire, . Yet unconsum’d. Before the gates there fat

On

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

And round about, her work the of the allegory says only, that Sa. did impale

tan's intended voyage was dangeWith a fair border wrought of rous to his being, and that he resundry flowers.

folved however to venture.

Richardfun. H is commonly applied to that kind of execution, when a pale or itake The flight of Satan to the gates of is drove through a malefactor's Hell is finely imaged. I have albody. And perhaps Milton (as ready declared my opinion of the Mr. Thyer adds) might take the allegory concerning Sin and Death, hint of this circumstance from his which is however a very finish'd favorite romances, where one fre- piece in its kind, when it is not quently meets with the gates of considered as a part of an epic inchanted castles thus impal'd with poem. The genealogy of the fecircling fire. Spenser also in his veral persons is contrived with description of the house of Busy- great delicacy; Sin is the daughter rane. Fairy Queen, B. 3. Cant. II. of Satan, and Death the ofspring St. 21.

of Sin. The incestuous mixture

· between Sin and Death produces But in the porch that did them those monsters and Hell-hounds, fore amate.

which from tiine to time enter into A flaming fire, ymixt with smoul- their mother, and tear the bowels dry smoke &c.

of her who gave them birth.

These are the terrors of an evil 648. — Before the gates there fat conscience, and the proper fruits &c.] Here begins the famous al- of Sin, which naturally rise from tegory of Milton, which is a fort the apprehensions of Death. This of paraphrase on that text of the last beautiful moral is, I think, Apostle St. James, I. 15. Then clearly intimated in the speech of when Luft bath conceived it bringeth Şin, where complaining of this her fortb Sin, and Sin when it is finished dreadful issue, the adds, bringeth forth Death. The first part

S 3

Before

[ocr errors]

On either side a formidable Shape ;
The one seem’d woman to the waste, and fair, 650
But ended foul in many a scaly fold
Voluminous and vast, a serpent arm’d
With mortal sting: about her middle round

А

Before mine eyes in opposition sits revolt of Satan, that Death apGrim Death my son and foe, who pear'd soon after he was cast into ? fets them on,

Hell, and that the terrors of conAnd me his parent would full soon science were conceived at the gate !' devour

of this place of torments. The For want of other prey, but that description of the gates is very poehe knows

tical, as the opening of them is full His end with mine involv'd. of Milton's spirit. : Addifon.

But tho' Mr. Addison çensures this I need not mention to the reader famous allegory, as improper for the beautiful circumstance in the an epic poem; yet Bishop Atter last part of this quotation. He bury, whose taste in polite littera. will likewise observe how naturally ture was never question'd, seems the three persons concerned in this to be much more affe&ted with this allegory are tempted by one com- than any part of the poem, as I mon interest to enter into a confe. think we may collect from one of deracy together, and how properly his letters to Mr. Pope. " I re. Sin is made the portress of Hell, “ turn you your Milton, says He, and the only being that can open " and I proteft to you, this the gates to that world of tortures. « last perusal of him has given The descriptive part of this alle “ me such new degrees, I will gory is likewise very strong, and « not say of pleafure, but of ad. full of sublime ideas. The figure “ miration and astonishment, that of Death, the regal crown upon « I look upon the sublimity of his head, his menace of Satan, his “ Homer and the majesty of Vis. advancing to the combat, the out- “ gil with somewhat lefs reverence cry at his birth, are circumstances « than I us'd to do. I challenge too noble to be paft over in silence, " you, with all your partiality, and extremely suitable to this king " to show me in the firit of thelc of terrors. I need not mention the “ any thing equal to the allegory julness of thought which is ob- “ of Sin and Death, either as to served in the generation of these « the greatness and juftness of the several symbolical persons ; that “ invention, or the highth and Sin was produced upon the first “ beauty of the coloring. What I

Por looked

A cry of Hell hounds never ceasing bark’d .
With wide Cerberean mouths full loud and rung 655
A hideous peal; yet, when they list, would creep,
If ought disturb’d their noise, into her womb, i :
And kennel there, yet there still bark'd and howld,

Within

[merged small][ocr errors]

298.

« looked upon as å rant of Bar Yet did her face, and former

row's, I now begin to think a parts profess: . “ serious truth, and could almost A fair young maiden, full of « venture to set my hand to it,

comely glee;

But all her hinder parts did Hæc quícunque leget, tantum ceo

plain express cinisse patabit,

A monstrous dragon, full of fearMeonidem ranas, Virgilium cu. ful ugliness. lices.

The addition of the Hell hounds 649. Or either fide a formidable

about her middle is plainly copied hape; ] The figure of Death

from Scylla, as appears from the is pretty well fix'd and agreed upon

following simile. I had almoft by poets and painters : but the de.

forgot that Hefiod's Echidna is deScription of Sin seems to be an im.

< scribed half-woman and half-lerprovement upon that thought in

in pent as well as Spenser's. Theog. Horace, De Art. Poet. 4. .

Hurru jer rulonu, exixatida, Definit in piscem mulier formosa

xannot a poor, superne.

Huiou d'aute menweg opel, s 6And it is not improbable, that the

· Nov 78 Megale. author might have in mind too 654. A cry of Hell-bounds never Spenser's description of Error in: ceasing bark'd] Dr. Bentley the mix'd shape of a woman and reads A true of Hell-hounds, &c. a serpent, Fairy Queen, B. 1. C. 1,

bat Mikon's cry of Hell-hounds is St. 14.

of much the same poetical ftamp as

Virgil's ruunt equites et odora canum Half like a serpent horribly dif- vis, Æn. IV. 132. where what is play'd,

proper to the canes is said of the But th other half did woman's vis; as here what is proper to the shape retain, &c.

Hell-bounds is said of the cry. We

have the same way of speaking in And also the image of Echidna, VI. 212. VII, 66. and elsewhere. B. 6. C. 6, St. 10.

· Pearce. 660. Vexid

[ocr errors]

SA

« AnteriorContinuar »