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360

And lovers of their country, as may seem ;
But herein to our prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government
In their majestic unaffected style
Than all th' oratory of Greece and Rome.
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy', and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
These only with our law best form a king.

So spake the Son of God; but Satan now
Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent,
Thus to our Saviour with stern brow replied.

Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms nor arts,
Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor ought
By me propos’d in life contemplative,
Or active, tended on by glory', or fame,

365

370

354. Milton has statists for civilization, and knowledge; the statesmen in his Areopagitica.

several claims of which are fully Prose works, p. 424. ed. Amst. stated, with much ornament of 1698. Dunster.

language, and poetic decoration. 362. -makes happy, and keeps It is observed indeed by Mr. so] Hor. Epist. i. vi. 2. Hayley, that was in the Paradise

Lost the poet seems to emulate -facere et servare beatum,

Richardson.

the sublimity of Moses and the

Prophets, it appears to have S62. Prov. xiv. 34. Righteous- been his wish in the Paradise ness exalteth a nation, but sin is at Regained to copy the sweetness reproach to any people. Dunster. and simplicity of the Evan

365. So spake the Son of God ;) gelists." "Life of Milton, p. 125. From the beginning of the third And certainly the great object book to this place practical of this second poem seems to be Christianity, personified as it the exemplification of true evanwere in the character of Jesus, gelical virtue, in the person

and is contrasted with the boasted sentiments of our blessed Lord. pretensions of the heathen world, Dunster. in its zenith of power, splendour,

What dost thou in this world! the wilderness
For thee is fittest place; I found thee there,
And thither will return thee; yet remember
What I foretel thee, soon thou shalt have cause - 375
To wish thou never hadst rejected thus
Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid,
Which would have set thee in short time with ease
On David's throne, or throne of all the world,
Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season, 380
When prophecies of thee are best fulfill'd.
Now contrary, if I read ought in heaven,
Or heav'n write ought of fate, by what the stars
Voluminous, or single characters,
In their conjunction met, give me to spell,

385

380. -fulness of time,] Gal. vil, without shewing at the same iv. 4. When the fulness of the time the absurdity of it. He has time was come, God sent forth his therefore very judiciously made Son.

him blunder in the expression, 382. —if I read ought in hea- of portending a kingdom which was ven, &c.] A satire on Cardan, without beginning. This destroys who with the boldness and im- all he would insinuate. The piety of an atheist and a mad- poet's conduct is fine and inman, both of which he was, cast genious. See Warburton's Shakethe nativity of Jesus Christ, and speare, vol. vi. Lear, act i. sc. 8. found by the great and illustrious 382. The poet certainly never concourse of stars at his birth, meant to make the Tempter a that he must needs have the for- blunderer. The language is here tune which befel him, and be- intended to be highly sarcastic come the author of a religion, on the eternity of Christ's kingwhich should spread itself far dom, which, the Tempter says, and near for many ages. The will have one of the properties great Milton, with a just indig- of eternity, that of never beginnation of this impiety, hath sa- ning. This is that species of intirized it in a very beautiful suliing wit which Mr. Thyer says, manner, by putting these revé- when he defends the introducries into the mouth of the Devil: tion of it into the sixth book of where it is to be observed, that Par. Lost, “is most peculiar to the poet thought it not enough proud contemptuous spirits." to discredit judicial astrology by Dunster. making it patronised by the De

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Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate
Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death;
A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom,
Real or allegoric I discérn not,

390
Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,
Without beginning; for no date prefix'd
Directs me in the starry rubric set.

So say'ing he took (for still he knew his power Not yet expir'd) and to the wilderness Brought back the Son of God, and left him there, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, As day-light sunk, and brought in low'ring night Her shadowy offspring, unsubstantial both, Privation mere of light and absent day. Our Saviour meek and with untroubled mind After his aery jaunt, though hurried sore, Hungry and cold betook him to his rest, Wherever, under some concourse of shades, Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd might shield From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head, 406 But shelter'd slept in vain, for at his head The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams

400

386. Sorrows, and labours, op- tortured, bound, - at length, position, hate

having suffered every species of Attends thee, &c.]

barbarous treatment, he shall be Compare the very remarkable crucified." Dunster. description of the fate which 399. —ünsubstantial both,] His Plato says it is easy to foresee philosophy is here ill placed. It will attend the Just Man. De dashes out the image he had just Repub. lib. ii. pi 361. ed. Serran. been painting. Warburton. ο δικαίος μαστιγωσεται, στρεβλώσεται, 408. Cand soon with ugly δεδησεται

dreams &c.] It is remarkable, παθων ανασχινδιλευθησεται. . “The that the poet made the Devil beJust Man shall be scourged, gin his temptation of Eve by

τελευτων παντα κακά

Disturb’d his sleep; and either tropic now 'Gan thunder, and both ends of heav'n, the clouds 410

one.

working on her imagination in de agos votov, agsotega. Id. de Isid. dreams, and to end his tempt. p. 363. If by either tropic be ation of Jesus in that manner. meant the right side and the left, I leave it to the critics to find by both ends of heaven may be out the reason; for I will ven- understood, before and behind. ture to say he had a very good I know it may be objected, that Warburton.

the tropics cannot be the one It may be observed, that the the right side, and the other the Tempter here tries only “to left, to those who are placed withdisturb our Lord with ugly out the tropics: but I do not dreams," and not to excite in think that objection to be very him, as in Eve,

material. I have another expoVain hopes, vain aims, inordinate sition to offer, which is thus: It desires.

thundered all along the heaven,

Dunster. from the north pole to the tropic 409. -and either tropic now

of Cancer, from thence to the 'Gan thunder, and both ends of tropic of Capricorn, from thence

heav'n, the clouds &c.] Place the

pole. The ends of heaven are the thus: stops

poles. This is a poetical tem-and either tropic now 'Gan thunder, and both ends of heav'n. pest, like that in Virgil

, Æn. i. The clouds &c.

Intonuere poli It thundered from both tropics, Id est extremæ partes cæli that is, perhaps, from the right a quibus totum cælum contonuand from the left. The ancients isse significat. Servius. Jortin. had very different opinions con- Mr. Sympson proposes to read cerning the right and the left and point the passage thus; side of the world. Plutarch says,

-and either tropic now that Aristotle, Plato, and Pytha- 'Gan thunder ; at both ends of hear'n goras were of opinion, that the the clouds &c. east is the right side, and the west the left; but that Empedo Mr. Meadowcourt points it thus; cles held that the right side is and either tropic now towards the summer tropic, and

'Gan thunder, and both ends of the left towards the winter tro

heav'n: the clouds &c. pic. Πυθαγορας, Πλατων, Αριστο- But after all I am still for preτελης, δεξια του κοσμου τα ανατολικα serving Milton's own punctuMien, cp" wv ij agxi tas xirnosas agua ation, unless there be

very good στερα δε, τα δυτικα. Εμπεδοκλης reason for departing from it, and δεξια μεν τα κατα τον θερινον τροπικών: I understand the

passage thus: agrotege de tu xata toy gespeiguvoy. and either tropic now 'gan thunder, De Placit. Philos. ii. 10. Ayu Tio it thundered from the north and OSOVTUI TA PLEV Ewc, TOU Xoomov a goow from the south, for this I conπον ειναι, τα δε προς βορραν, δεξια, τα ceive to be Milton's meaning, From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd Fierce rain with lightning mix'd, water with fire In ruin reconcild: nor slept the winds though the expression is inaccu- style. Neither are such storms rate, the situation of our Saviour confined, as Mr. Thyer supposes, and Satan being not within the to tropical regions. I was a wittropics: and both ends of heaven, ness of one

ness of one in the northern part that is, and from or at both ends of Germany, lat. 52. which was of heaven, the preposition being every thing the poet has here omitted, as is frequent in Milton,

described: the wind was to the and several instances were given full as tremendous as the thunin the notes on the Paradise Lost. der and lightning, and, like them, See particularly Dr. Pearce's note seemed to come from every point on i. 282. and from both ends of of the heavens at once. Dunster. heaven, the clouds &c. This storm 412.

-water with fire is described very much like one

In ruin reconcild:] in Tasso, which was raised in That is, joining together to do the same manner by evil spirits. hurt. Warburton. See Canto vii, st. 114, 115.

This bold figure our poet has 409. Most probably, as Mr. borrowed from Æschylus, where Dunster says, by either tropic he is describing the storm, which Milton meant the north and scattered the Grecian fleet. Agasouth, and by both ends heaven memnon. ver. 659. the east and west;

Ξυνωμοσαν γαρ, οντες εχθιστοι σοπριν, pose is to describe a general Πυρ και θαλασσα, και τα πιστεδειξα. storm coming from every point of the horizon at once." But I Φθειρονσε τον δυστηνον Aργειων στρατον. see no reason for supposing the

Thyer. preposition from or at omitted; Or perhaps it means only water the syntax is exact without it. and fire falling down both togeE.

ther, according to Milton's usage 410.

the clouds of the word ruin in Paradise From many a horrid rift, abor- Lost, i. 46. vi. 868. tive pour'd

413. -nor slept the winds Fierce rain with lightning mix’d, Within their stony caves,] &c.]

So Virgil describes the winds in Virgil, Æn. iii. 196.

" as his pur

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the prisons of Æolus, Æn. i. 52. Involvere diem nimbi, et nox hu And Lucan, v. 608. mida cælum

-non imbribus atrum Abstulit; ingeminant abruptis nuli.

Æolii jacuisse Notum sub carcere bus ignes. This storm of Milton will lose Crediderim. nothing by a comparison with And Lucretius, lib. vi. the celebrated ones of Homer in his fifth Odyssey, and of Virgil

Speluncasque velut saxis pendentibus

structas in his first Åneid. It is painted

Cernere, quas venti quem, tempestate from nature, and in the boldest

coorta,

saxi

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