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Know therefore when my season comes to sit
On David's throne, it shall be like a tree
Spreading and overshadowing all the earth,
Or as a stone that shall to pieces dash
All monarchies besides throughout the world,
And of my kingdom there shall be no end :
Means there shall be to this, but what the means,

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Licence they mean when they cry delusive hopes of a safety purLiberty ;

chased by submission and fear." For who loves that must first be wise and good

Dunster.

146. Know therefore when my No one had ever more refined season comes to sit &c.] A parnotions of true liberty than Mil- ticular manner of expression, but ton, and I have often thought frequent in Milton; as if he had that there never was a greater said, Know therefore when the proof of the weakness of human season comes for me to sit on nature, than that he with a head David's throne, it shall be like a so clear, and a heart I really tree, &c. It refers to throne. believe perfectly honest and dis- The throne of David shall then interested, should concur in sup- be like a tree, &c; alluding to porting such a tyrant and pro- the parable of the mustard-seed fessed trampler upon the liberties grown into a tree, so that the of his country as Cromwell was. birds lodge in the branches thereof, Thyer.

Matt. xiii. 32. and to (what that There is a passage in a truly parable also respects) Nebuchadphilosophical work, (Ferguson nezzar's dream of the great tree on Civil Society, p. 6. 8. 5.) whose height reached unto heaven, which is a good comment on and the sight thereof to the end of this and the two preceding lines; all the earth, Dan. iv. 11. Ter“the project of bestowing liberty tullian also compares the kingon a people who are actually ser- dom of Christ to that of Nebuvile, is perhaps of all others the chadnezzar. See Grotius in Matt. most difficult. Men are quali- Or as a stone, &c; alluding to the fied to receive this blessing; only stone in another of Nebuchadin proportion as they are made nezzar's dreams, which brake the to apprehend their own rights, image in pieces, and so this kingand to respect the just preten- dom shall break in pieces, and sions of mankind; in proportion consume all these kingdoms, and as they are willing to sustain in it shall stand for ever. Dan. ii. 44. their own persons the burthen And of my kingdom there shall be of government and of national no end : the very words of Luke defence, and to prefer the en- i. 33. with only the necessary gagements of a liberal mind to change of the person; and of his the enjoyments of sloth, and the kingdom there shall be no end.

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Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell.

To whom the Tempter impudent replied.
I see all offers made by me how slight
Thou valuest, because offer'd, and reject'st:
Nothing will please the difficult and nice,
Or nothing more than still to contradict :
On th' other side know also thou, that I
On what I offer set as high esteem,
Nor what I part with mean to give for nought ;
All these which in a moment thou behold'st,
The kingdoms of the world to thee I give ;
For giv'n to me, I give to whom I please,
No trifle ; yet with this reserve, not else,
On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,

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me;

162. All these, which in a mo- the condition at the same time

ment thou behold'st, that he offered the gifts; as he The kingdoms of the world &c.] doth likewise in Scripture: but And the devil, taking him up into after his gifts had been absoa high mountain, shewed unto him lutely refused, to what purpose all the kingdoms of the world in a was it to propose the impious moment of time. And the devil condition ? Could he imagine that said unto him, All this power will our Saviour would accept the I give unto thee, and the glory of kingdoms of the world upon the them : for that is delivered unto abominable terms of falling down

and unto whomsoever I will, and worshipping him, just after I give it. If thou therefore wilt he had rejected them unclogged worship me, all shall be thine. with any terms at all? Well Luke iv. 5, 6, 7. Dunster. might the author say that Satan

166. On this condition, if thou impudent replied: but I think wilt fall down, &c.] In my opi- that doth not entirely solve the nion (and Mr. Thyer concurs objection. with me in the same observa

166. I conceive this passage tion) there is not any thing in to be, on the contrary, a strikthe disposition and conduct of ing instance of the great judgthe whole poem so justly liable ment of the poet, in arranging to censure as the aukward and his work, as well as of his great preposterous introduction of this skill in decorating it. The conincident in this place. The duct of Satan had hitherto been Tempter should have proposed artfully plausible, and such as VOL. III.

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And worship me as thy superior lord,
Easily done, and hold them all of me;
For what can less so great a gift deserve ?

Whom thus our Saviour answer'd with disdain. 170
I never lik'd thy talk, thy offers less,
Now both abhor, since thou hast dar'd to utter
Th’ abominable terms,'impious condition ;
But I indure the time, till which expir’d,

? Thou hast permission on me. It is written 175 The first of all commandments, Thou shalt worship The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve ; And dar'st thou to the Son of God propound To worship thee accurs'd, now more accurs’d For this attempt bolder than that on Eve,... 180

seemed most likely to forward not be done without changing his designs. At the beginning the whole plan of the poem; as of this book, after repeated de- by pushing the question immefeats he is described as flung diately to a point, it must have from his hope ; but still he pro- precluded the gradually progresceeds. Upon his next attack sive temptations which the poet failing, the paroxysm of his des- so finely brings forward. It peration rises to such a height, might perhaps have been wished that, thrown off his guard, he that the circumstance of Satan's intemperately betrays himself thus betraying himself and his and his purpose by bringing purpose had been kept back till forward those abominable terms, the subsequent temptation had which, could it have been pos- been tried, and had also failed. sible for his temptations to have But the apologetic speech of Sasucceeded, we may imagine were tan, (v. 196.) in which he so far intended in the end to have been recovers himself, and repairs the proposed to our Lord. This then indiscretion of his present irriis the averowerous, or full

discovery tation, as to pave the for who Satan really was; for though another temptation, is not only Jesus in the first book (v. 356.) marked with such admirable art had declared that he knew the and address, but gives likewise Tempter through his disguise, such material variety and relief still the temptation proceeds as to this part of the poem, that I if he had not known him. As cannot wish it to have been in to proposing the condition together any respect different from what with the gifts, this I conceive could it is. Dunster.

way

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And more blasphemous ? which expect to rue.
The kingdoms of the world to thee were given,
Permitted rather, and by thee usurp'd ;
Other donation none thou canst produce :
If giv’n, by whom but by the King of kings,
God over all supreme? if giv'n to thee,
By thee how fairly is the giver now
Repaid ? But gratitude in thee is lost
Long since. Wert thou so void of fear or shame,
As offer them to me the Son of God,
To me my own, on such abhorred pact,
That I fall down and worship thee as God?
Get thee behind me; plain thou now appear’st
That evil one, Satan for ever damn’d.

To whom the Fiend with fear abash'd replied.
Be not so sore offended, Son of God,
Though sons of God both angels are and men,
If I to try whether in higher sort
Than these thou bear'st that title, have propos’d

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195

188. — But gratitude in thee is being the Son of God, he must lost

of course be like him whose son Long since.]

he is; and being like him, it Milton had made Satan declare necessarily follows, that he is long before, Par. Lost, iv. 109.

lord and king S. Athanas. Or.

3. contra Arianos. Op. vol. i. p. -all good to me is lost ;

387. edit. Col. Calton. Evil be thou my good!

Dunster.

191.

-abhorred pact,] He

uses the word pact, as it is the 191. To me my own,] The technical term for the contracts right, which the demon pre- of sorcerers with the devil. Wartends to, over the kingdoms of burton. the world, is by gift; but Christ 199. -have propos'd claims them as his own by na- What both froni men and angels ture, and by virtue of his Son

I receive, &c.] ship. Tios γας ων του Θεου, ομοιος The terms of worship and vasavtov av sina oleosos ds wv, FartWG salage. See v. 166. supra. Dunεστι και κυριος και βασιλευς. For ster.

What both from men and angels I receive,

200 Tetrarchs of fire, air, flood, and on the earth Nations besides from all the quarter'd winds, God of this world invok'd and world beneath ; Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold To me so fatal, me it most concerns.

205 The trial hath indamag'd thee no way, Rather more honour left and more esteem; Me nought advantag'd, missing what I aim'd. Therefore let pass, as they are transitory, The kingdoms of this world; I shall no more 210 Advise thee; gain them as thou canst, or not. And thou thyself seem’st otherwise inclin’d Than to a worldly crown, addicted more To contemplation and profound dispute, As by that early action may be judg’d,

215 When slipping from thy mother's eye thou wentst Alone into the temple, there wast found Amongst the gravest Rabbies disputant On points and questions fitting Moses' chair 201. Telrarchs of fire, air, flood, 213.

-addicted more and on the earth]

To contemplation] See Mr. Warton's note, Par. Reg. Milton, Par. Lost, iv. 297. deii. 122. E.

scribes Adam in his state of in203. God of this world invokod] nocence for contemplation formed. Milton pursues the same notion, Dunster. which he had adopted in his Pa- 217. —there wast found] In radise Lost, of the gods of the Milton's own edition, and in Gentiles being the fallen angels, most of the following ones, it and he is supported in it by the was printed by mistake was authority of the primitive fathers, found; but the syntax plainly who are very unanimous in ac- requires wast, as there is thou cusing the heathens of worship- went'st in the verse preceding. ping devils for deities. Thyer. 219. —-fitting Moses' chair,]

The devil, in Scripture, is Moses' chair was the chair in termed the god of this world, which the doctors sitting ex2 Cor. iv. 4. Dunster.

pounded the law either publicly

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