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Hosanna to the High’est: nor stood at gaze
The adverse legions, nor less hideous join'd
The horrid shock: now storming fury rose,
And clamor such as heard in Heav'n till now
Was never; arms on armour clashing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss .

210

Of

and fometimes it is used as a verb And 'tis hard to guess, what fault active, as here in Milton; Fairy to charge on the printer, since Queen, B. 5. Cant. 11. St. 20. poetic fury is commonly both Even blasphemous words, which

thought and allow'd to be regardhe doth bray:

less of syntax. But here in this

sentence, which is certainly viand in Shakespear's Hamlet, A& I. cious, the hiss flew in volies, and The kettle drum and trumpet thus

the hiss vaulted the hosts with fire : bray out

the author may be fairly thought The triumph of his pledge.

to have given it

- over head with dismal hiss 212. — over head the dismal hiss The fiery darts in flaming volies

Of fiery darts ] Now the author flew. Bentley is come to that part of his poem, where he is most to exert what fa. But if there be any place in this culty he has of 'to, magnilo. poem, where the sublimity of the quence of file, and sublimity of thought will allow the accuracy of thought,

expression to give way to the strength

of it, it is here. There is a pecuNunc, veneranda Pales, magno liar force sometimes in ascribing nunc ore sonandum.

that to a circumstance of the thing, Virg. Georg. III. 294. which more properly belongs to He has executed it to admiration: the thing itself; to the hiss, which but the danger is, of being hurried belongs to the darts. See my note away by his unbridled steed; and on II. 654.

Pearce. of deserting propriety, while he's As the learned Mr. Upton remarks hunting after sound and tumor, in his Critical Observations on

Shakespear,

003

Of fiery dirts in flaming volies flew,
And flying vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rulh'd

215
Both battels main, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage; all Heaven
Resounded, and had Earth been then, all Earth
Had to her center shook. What wonder? when
Millions of fierce encountring Angels fought 220
On either side, the least of whom could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions: how much more of power
Army' against army numberless to raise
Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, 225
Though not destroy, their happy native seat;

Had

Shakespear, the substantive is some- his original, as he has done in this times to be construed adjectively particular. Hesiod says that the when governing a genitive case. Titans were overshadowed with Aristophanes in Plut. 268. 22 x puo darts, Theog. 716. cov 2symias Tuv. Othou who

xata contar av Beageni tellest me a gold of words, that is

Titnvas, golden words. Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, p. 2. Opening the cherry of but Milton has improved the hor. her lips, that is cherry lips. So here ror of the description, and a fhade the hiss of darts is hilling darts. of darts is not near so great and 214. And Aging vaulted either hoft dreadful an image as a fiery cope or

with fire] Our author has vault of faming darts. frequently had his eye upon Hefiod's giant-war as well as upon 229. – though number'd such &c.] Homer, and has imitated several Each legion was in number like an passages; but commonly exceeds army, each fingle warrior was in

Itrength

Had not th'eternal King omnipotent
From his strong hold of Heav'n high over-ruld
And limited their might; though number'd such
As each divided legion might have seem'd 230
A numerous host, in strength each armed hand
A legion, led in fight yet leader seem'd
Each warrior single as in chief, expert
When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway
Of battel, open when, and when to close 235

The ridges of grim war: no thought of flight,
None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
That argued fear; each on himself rely’d,
As only in his arm the moment lay
Of victory: deeds of eternal fame

240 Were

strength like a legion, and though from the left to the right; the files led in fight was as expert as a com- are from front to rear. Richardson. mander in chief. So that the An- 236. - no thought of flight,] So gels are celebrated first for their Homer, Iliad. XI. 71. number, then for their strength, and Oudersell wwort 29.10 mobiele. lastly for their expertness in war.

236. The ridges of grim war:] None ftoop'd a thought to base inA metaphor taken from a plough'd glorious fight. Pope. field; the men answer to the ridges, And Iliad. XXIV. 216. between whom, the intervals of the ranks, the furrows are. The

OUTE 2068 uegera pelvor, x7' ridges of grim, fierce frightful look, adempnse ing, war ; that is the ranks of the 239. As only in bis arm the moarmy, the files are implied. The ment lay ranks are the rows of soldiers from Of victory: ] As if upon his flank to Aank, from side to side, single arm had depended the whole

004

weight

Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread
That war and various, sometimes on firm ground
A standing fight, then foaring on main wing
Tormented all the air; all air seem'd then
Conflicting fire: long time in even scale 245
The battel hung; till Satan, who that day

Pro

weight of the victory. The mo. But how much stronger is it in ment, the weight that turns the ba- Milton, that the war lance, as the word fignifies in Tormented all the air; all air Latin. Ter. Andr. I. V. 31. Dum seem'd then in dubio eft animus, paulo momento Conflicting fire! huc vel illuc impellitur : And as he has employ'd here the metaphor It wou

It would be entring into too mi. of the wright, so of the scale a nu

nute a detail of criticism to menlittle afterwards - long time in

i tion every little circumstance that

tion every little even scale The battel bung using is copied from Homer; and where as a metaphor what Homer makes

he does not directly copy from Hoa fimile of, Iliad. XII. 433.

mer, his stile and coloring is still

very much in Homer's manner; Αλλ' έχο', ώςε ταλανία γυνη and one may see plainly that he Ως μεν των επι ισα μαχη τετα has read him, even where he does το πολεμώ τε.

not imitate him. Wonderful as his

genius was, he could hardly have As when two scales are charg'd drawn the barrels of the Angels to · with doubtful loads -

well without first reading those in So stood the war, till Hector's the Iliad ; and Homer taught him matchless might

to excel Homer. With fates prevailing turn'd the scale of fight. Pope. 242. That war and various, fome

times on firm ground And in several particulars he has

Aftanding fight, then foaring &c.] had his eye upon Homer, and The syntax and sense is; The war commonly exceeds his master. Ho- was sometimes a standing fight on mer says that the Greeks and Tro- the ground, and sometimes the war jans fougbt like burning fire:

soaring on main wing tormented Ως οι μεν μαρναι 7ο, δεμας συ

all the air. Pearce. po woord Ol%.

244. Tormented all the air ;] Here Iliad. XIII. 673. Milton takes the same liberty of

applying

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: Prodigious pow'r had shown, and met in arms
1 No equal, ranging through the dire attack

Of fighting Seraphim confus’d, at length 249
Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and felld
Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed fway
Brandish'd aloft the horrid edge came down

Wide

applying the word torment, which 251. — with huge two-handed the Latin poets did before him in

fway &c.] It shows how using the term vexare. So Marino entirely the ideas of chivalry and describing Neptune raising a storm, romance had pofíefled him, to make Adon. Cant, i. St. 123.

Michael fight with a two-handed

sword. The same idea occafion'd e d'Aquiloni

his expressing himself very obscureCol fulmine dentato (emulo a ly in the following lines of his LyGioue)

cidas,
Tormentando la terra, il mar com-
moue. Thyer.

But that two-handed engin at the

door So Spenser in the Mourning Muse Stands ready to smite once, and of Theftylis, speaking of Æolus, smite no more.

Who letting loose the winds These are the last words of Peter
Toft and tormented th' air. predicting God's vengeance on his

church by his ministry. The mak247. — and met in arms ing him the minister is in imita

No equal,] The poet seems al- tion of the Italian poets, who in moft to have forgotten how Satan their fatiric pieces against the was foil'd by Abdiel in the begin- church always make Peter the mining of the action : but I suppose nister of vengeance. The twce the poet did not consider Abdiel as handed engin is the two-handed equal to Satan, tho' he gaind that Gothic sword, with which the accidental advantage over him. painters draw him. Stands ready Satan no doubt would have prov'd at the door was then a common an overmatch for Abdiel, only for phrase to fignify a thing immithe general engagement which en- nent. To smite once and smite re sued, and broke off the combat be. more signifies a final deitruction, tween them.

but alludes to Peter's single use of

his

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