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In Vallombrofa, where the Etrurian fhades, High over-arch'd, imbower; or scatter'd fedge Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd 305
"Come d'Autunno fi levan le foglie,
“L' una appreffa dell' altra, infin che 'l ramo
Here the leaves lie in heaps upon the ground; but, in Milton, they ftrow the brooks, as his angels covered the burning lake. There is alfo a beautiful fimile, which Milton might have in view, in Ariofto, Orl. Fur. C. xiv. ft. 75.
"Poi fon le genti fenza nome tante,
"Che del lor fangue oggi faranno un lago,
"Quando l'Autunno gli arbori ne fpoglia." TODD. Ver. 303. In Vallombrofa,] This vale, celebrated for its piety and fituation, is about eighteen miles from Florence. It is thus fweetly defcribed by Ariofto, Orl. Fur. c. xxii. ft. 36. "Così fu nominata una badia
"Ricca, e bella, nè men religiofa,
Milton, no doubt, had visited this delightful spot. His accu-
with fierce winds Orion arm'd] Orion is a conftellation reprefented in the figure of an armed man, and fuppofed to be attended with ftormy weather: "affurgens fluctu nimbofus Orion." Virg. Æn. i. 539. NEWTON.
In Petrarch's Son. xxxiii, parte prima, the combination of "Orione armato" occurs. In the Ion of Euripides, Orion is called ξιφήρης. TODD.
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coaft, whofe waves
Bufiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
Ver. 306. Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coaft,] The Red-Sea abounds fo much with fedge, that in the Hebrew Scriptures it is called "The Sedgy Sea." And Milton fays "hath vex'd the Red-Sea coaft" particularly, because the wind ufually drives the fedge in great quantities towards the fhore. NEWTON.
Ver. 307. Bufiris and his Memphian chivalry,] Pharaoh has been called by fome writers Bufiris, as Dr. Pearce and Hume have noted. And chivalry fignifies not only knighthood, but perfons who ufe horfes in fight; both such as ride on horfes, and fuch as ride in chariots drawn by them; as Dr. Pearce illuftrates by v. 765, by Par. Reg. B. iii. 344, and by feveral references to Fairfax's Taffo. It may be added, that cavalleria, in Italian, has a fignification equally extenfive; being ufed "per ogni genere di milizie, così cavaliere fi diffe per foldato." Della Crufca. So Milton, in his Hift. of Eng. B. iii. "Arthur with all his chivalry." Or, as Mr. Dunster obferves, chivalry may be used for chariots, as in are by Homer, Il. v. 328. Where fee the fcholiaft. TODD.
Ver. 308. perfidious hatred] Becaufe Pharaoh, after leave given to the Ifraclites to depart, followed after them as fugitives. HUME.
Ver. 310. From the safe shore &c.] Much has been said of the long fimilitudes of Homer, Virgil, and Milton, wherein they fetch a compafs as it were to draw in new images, befides those in which the direct point of likeness confifts. I think they have been fufficiently juftified in the general: But, in this before us, while the poet is digreffing, he raifes a new fimilitude from the floating carcafles of the Egyptians. HEYLIN.
Under amazement of their hideous change.
If fuch astonishment as this can feife
Eternal Spirits; or have ye chofen this place
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find 320
all the hollow deep
Of Hell refounded!] So, at the blast of the In
fernal Trumpet, in Taffo, Gier. Lib. C. iv. 3. "Treman le fpatiofe atre caverne,
"Et l'aer cicco à quel romor rimbomba."
And fee Marino, Strage degl' Innocenti, 1633, 1. i. ft. 38. "Vlularo trè volte i caui spechi,
"Trè volte rimbombar l'ombre profonde, &c."
Compare alfo 1. i. ft. 19.
66 e fciolfe
"Ruggito, che 'ntrono l'atre cauerne." TODD.
with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.] This alludes
to the fate of Ajax Oileus, Virg. Æn. i. 44.
Awake, arife, or be for ever fallen!
They heard, and were abafh'd, and up they
Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch
Of Amram's fon, in Egypt's evil day,
"Illum expirantem transfixo pectore flammas
Compare the devil's fpeech to his damned affembly, in Taffo, canto the fourth, from ftanza 9 to ftanza 18, which Milton had feen, but has borrowed little of. HUME.
Ver. 337. Yet to their General's voice they foon obey'd] Thus Chaucer, in his Legend of women,
"That as an harp obeyeth to the hand."
And Spenfer, Faer. Qu. iii. xi. 35.
"Lo, now the heavens obey to me alone." BENTLEY.
warping] Working themfelves forward; a
darken'd all the land of Nile:] The devils, at the command of their infernal monarch, flying abroad over the world to injure the Christian cause, are fimilarly compared by Taffo to black ftorms obfcuring the face of day, Gier.
So numberless were thofe bad Angels feen
Lib. C. iv. 18. And, where they are all driven back by Michael, it is faid, C. ix. 66.
"Liberato di lor quella fi negra
"Faccia depone il mondo." DUNSTER.
Ver. 351. A multitude, like which the populous North
Pour'd never] This comparifon doth not fall below the reft, as fome have imagined. They were thick as the leaves, and numberless as the locufts; but fuch a multitude the North never poured forth: The fubject of this comparison rifes very much above the others; the leaves and locufts. The Northern parts of the world are obferved to be more fruitful of people, than the hotter countries: hence," the populous North," which Sir William Temple calls, "the Northern hive." NEWTON.
Dr. Newton does not feem to be aware that the three comparifons, which he refers to, relate to the three different states in which thefe fallen Angels are reprefented. When, abject, they lie fupine on the lake, they are in this fituation compared, in point of number, to vaft heaps of leaves which in Autumn the poct his felf had obferved to beftrew the water-courfes and bottoms of Vallom rofa.—When roufed by their great leader's objurgatory fummons, and on wing, they are in this fecond fituation again compared, in point of number, to the locufts which were fent as a divine vengeance or plague on the land of Egypt, when Pharaoh refufed to let the Ifraelites depart.-Thefe two fimilies are admirable, and in their place could not, I believe, well be furpafled. That of the locufts, independently of its