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Who durft defy the Omnipotent to arms.
So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 1, "bound with adamantine chaines." And Drummond, in his Flowers of Sion, has "Death's adamantine chain:" whence perhaps Pope in his Meffiah:
"In adamantine chains fhall Death be bound."
Gray has finely adapted the phrafe in his hymn to Adverfity: "Bound in THY adamantine chain."
Milton also uses this expreffiou in his Latin Prolufions, and in his Doct. and Difcipl. of Divorce, B. i. ch. 13. TODD.
now the thought
Both of loft happiness, &c.] Milton here had in view, as Mr. Bowle alfo obferves, the Devil's fpeech in Marino's Strage de gli Innocenti, 1633. l. i. ft. 31.
"Laffo, ma che mi val fuor difperanza
"Raddoppia i ben paffato il mal prefente?" TonD.
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfaft hate:] Mr, Bowle refers to Taffo, Gier. Conq. L. iv. ft. 11.
"Alza gli occhi dolenti, e'ntorno gira." And Mr. Stillingfleet to Taffo, Gier. Lib. C. iv. 1. "Contra i Chriftiani i liuidi occhi torfe,"
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
A dungeon horrible on all fides round,
peace 65 But compare P. Fletcher, in his Locufts, 4°. 1627, of Satan; "his fiery eye,
"Much fwoln with pride, but more with rage and hate, "As cenfour, mufter'd all his company." TODD. Ver. 62. yet from thofe flames
No light;] See the Wifdom of Sol. Ch. xvii. 5, 6, "No power of the fire might give them light-only there appeared unto them a fire kindled of itself, very dreadful." TODD. Ver. 63. darkness vifible] Milton feems to have ufed these words to fignify gloom. Abfolute darkness is, strictly fpeaking, invifible; but where there is a gloom only, there is fo much light remaining, as ferves to fhow that there are objects, 'and yet that thofe objects cannot be diftinétly feen. PEARCE.
Seneca has a like expreffion, fpeaking of the grotto of Paufilipo, Epift. Ivii. "Nihil illo carcere longius, nihil illis faucibus obfcurius, quæ nobis præftant, non ut per tenebras videamus, fed ut ipfas." And, as Voltaire obferves, Antonio de Solis, in his hiftory of Mexico, fpeaking of the place wherein Montezuma confulted his deities, fays; "It was a large dark fubterranean vault, where fome difmal tapers afforded juft light enough to fee the obfcurity." So Euripides, Bacchæ, v. 510.
ὡς ἂν σκότιον εἰσορᾷ κνέφας,
There is much the fame image in Spenfer, but not fo bold, Faer. Qu. i. i. 14.
"A little glooming light, much like a fhade."
Or, after all, Milton might take the hint from his own Il Penf. "Where glowing embers through the room
"Teach light to counterfeit a gloom." NEWTON.
And reft can never dwell; hope never comes
hope never comes
That comes to all;] Dante's infcription over the gates of hell has been generally fuppofed to be here copied, Inferno, C. iii. 9.
"Lafciate ogni Speranza, voi che 'ntrate."
Dr. Hurd and Mr. Stillingfleet add, from Euripides, a similar expreffion, Troad. 676.
ἐδ ̓, ὃ πᾶσι λείπεται βροτοῖς, Ξύνεσιν ἐλπὶς.
Mr. Bowle cites alfo from Sidney's Arcadia, B. ii. p. 322, this obfervation: "He would not put himself into that hell to be hopeless." The following paffage from Dante's defcription of the damned may likewife be compared, Inferno, C. v. 44.
"Nulla speranza gli conforta mại,
"Non che di pofa, ma di minor pena." TODD. Ver. 71. their prifon ordain'd In utter darkness,] Wifdom, xviii. 4. "They were worthy to be deprived of light and imprisoned in darkness." TODD.
Ver. 74. As from the center thrice to the utmost pole.] Thrice as far as it is from the center of the earth, which is the center of the world according to Milton's fyftem, B. ix. 103, and B. x. 671, to the pole of the world; for it is the pole of the universe, far beyond the pole of the earth, which is here called the utmoft pole. Homer makes the feat of Hell as far beneath the deepest pit of earth, as the Heaven is above the earth, Iliad viii. 16. Virgil makes it twice as far, En. vi, 578. And Milton thrice as far.
O, how unlike the place from whence they fell! 75
Breaking the horrid filence, thus began.
As if these three great poets had ftretched their utmost genius, and vied with each other, who should extend his idea of the depth of Hell fartheft. But Milton's whole description of Hell as much exceeds theirs, as in this fingle circumstance of the depth of it. And how cool and unaffedting is the Τάρταρον ἠερόενλα, the σιδήρειαί te wúdai xai xáλneos dos, of Homer; the "lugentes campi," the 66 ferrea turris" and "horrifono ftridentes cardine porta," of Virgil; in comparifon with this defcription by Milton, concluding with that artful contraft, “O, how unlike the place from whence they fell!" NEWTON.
See alfo Milton's Profe-Works, i. 301. ed. 1698. "To banish for ever unto a local Hell, whether in the air or in the center, or in that uttermoft and bottomlefs gulph of Chaos, deeper from holy blifs than the world's diameter multiplied." TODD.
Ver. 77. tempeftuous fire,] Pfal. xi. 6. "Upon the wicked the Lord will rain fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempeft." DUNSTER.
Ver. 81. Beelzebub.] He is called Prince of the devils, Matt. xii. 24; therefore defervedly here made fecond to Satan himfelf. HUME.
Ver. 82. And thence in Heaven call'd Satan,] For the word Satan, in Hebrew, fignifies an enemy: He is THE ENEMY by way of eminence; the chief enemy of God and man. NEWTON.
Ver. 83. Breaking the horrid filence,] We may compare
If thou beeft he; but O, how fallen! how
From him, who, in the happy realms of light, 85 Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst outfhine
Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counfels, equal hope
Claudian, where he is fpeaking of the fame regions, Rapt. Prof.
"Infoliti rumpunt tenebrofa filentia cantus."
See alfo Virgil, En. ii. 755. And Statius, Theb. iv. 420.
but O, how fallen! how chang'd
He imitates Ifaiah and Virgil at the "How art thou fallen from heaven, 274. "Hei mihi, qualis erat! NEWTON.
From him,] fame time: Ifaiah xiv. 12. &c." And Virgil, Æn. ii. quantum mutatus ab illo !"
Ver. 86. Cloth'd with tranfcendent brightness, didst outshine Myriads though bright!] Imitated from Homer, Odyss. vi. 110, where Diana excels all her nymphs in beauty, though all of them be beautiful:
̔Ρεῖα δ ̓ ἀριγνώτη πέλεται, καλαὶ δὲ τε πᾶσαι, BENTLEY. Ver. 91. In equal ruin:] So it is in all the editions. equal ruin," is Dr. Bentley's emendation, which Dr. Pearce allows, and I believe every body muft allow, to be just and proper; it being very easy to mistake one of these words for the other; and other inftances perhaps may occur in the courfe of this work. Equal ruin hath joined now, as equal hope joined before; fomewhat like that in Ovid, Met. i. 351.