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Expos'd a matron, to avoid worfe rape.
"when hofpitable doors
"Yielded their matrons to prevent worse rape."
Milton did well in altering the paffage; for it was not true of Sodom, that any matron was yielded there; fee Gen. xix. 8: And, as the women were only offered, not accepted, it is not proper to fay that they were yielded. But obferve that Milton, in the fecond edition changed yielded into exposed; because, in what was done at Gibeah, Judges xix. 25, the Levite's wife was not. only yielded, but put out of doors, and expos'd to the men's lewdnefs. PEARCE.
Ver. 506. These were the prime] Because these are the idols who are mentioned in the moft ancient records, viz. by the facred The Grecian and Roman deities are much later, as we have no account of them for feveral ages after Mofes; wherefore Milton confiders them as of an inferiour order and degree: and it is known too that thefe Greek and Roman deities were derived from the Gods of this country. CALLAN Der.
Ver. 508. The Ionian Gods, &c.] Javan, the fourth fon of Japhet, is fuppofed to have fettled in the fouth-weft part of Afia Minor, about Ionia, which contains the radical letters of his name. His defcendants were the Ionians and Grecians; and the principal of their Gods were Heaven and Earth; Titan, the father of the giants, was their eldeft fon, and his empire was feifed by his younger brother Saturn, as Saturn's was by Jupiter. These were first known in the ifland Crete, now Candia, in which is mount Ida, where Jupiter is faid to have been born; thence paffed over into Greece, and refided on mount Olympus in Theffaly. NEWTON.
So Jove ufurping reign'd: thefe first in Créte
Down-caft and damp; yet fuch wherein appear'd Obfcure fome glimpse of joy, to have found their Chief
Iliad i. 420, Ολυμπον
Not in despair, to have found themselves not loft In lofs itself; which on his countenance caft 526 Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride
the fnowy top] So Homer calls it, ̓ΑΓΑΝΝΙΦΟΝ, Again, Il. xviii. 615. NEWTON.
Ver. 517. the Delphian cliff,] A tranflation of SCOTITIA Aixpis wirpa, Ed. Tyr, 471. Every one knows, this to be the famous oracle of Apollo at Delphos ; and Dodona to be the oracle of Jupiter. CALLANDER,
Ver, 519. Dorick land; &c.] That is, Greece, Doris being a part of Greece; or fled over Adria, the Adriatick, to the Hefperian fields, Italy; and o'er the Celtick, France and the other countries over-run by the Celtes. NEWTON.
By roam'd the utmost ifles, Milton means the idols which we had from the continent. Our Saxon ancestors, coming over into England, while they were yet Pagans, brought over the worthip of their idols with them. The utmost ifles mean Britain, Ireland, and the adjacent iflands, which by the Ancients were thought the utmoft boundaries of the world. CALLANDER,
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not fubftance, gently rais'd Their fainting courage, and difpell'd their fears. Then straight commands, that at the warlike found
Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd
Ver. 529. Semblance of worth, not fubftance,] Spenfer, Faer. Qu. ii. ix. 2.
"Full lively is the fembluunt, though the fubftance dead." THYER.
Ver. 530. Their fainting courage,] In the firft edition it is, "Their fainted courage; which Dr. Newton fufpects to be an errour of the prefs: Mr. Lofft, in his edition of this Book in 1792, has, however, followed the first edition, which he thinks the best reading; and which, I may add, can be fupported by a paffage in Sylvester's Du Bart. 4to. edit. p. 5.
"Let other-fome (whofe fainted spirits do droop)
that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right; &c.] Dr. Spencer fhows that this name is used for fome demon or devil by feveral ancient authors, Jewish and Christian; and derives it from two Hebrew words, Az and Azel, fignifying brave in retreating; a proper appellation for the ftandard-bearer to the fallen angels. We fee, Milton gives Azazel a right to be standard-bearer on account of his ftature: He had no notion of a dapper enfign who can hardly carry his colours. NEwton.
In the Vifion of Pierce Plowman, which Milton may be fupposed to have read with attention, the claim of one of the allegorical perfonages to the right of the diftinction which Azazel here afferts, requires to be noticed:
"Age the hoar, he was in the va-ward,
"And bare the banner before Death; by right he it claimed.”
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd
This occurs in the part of the Vision referred to by Mr. Warton, See the note on Par. Loft, B. xi. 489. Mr. Dunster agrees with me in regard to the prefent citation. TODD.
"Loose his beard and hoary hair
"Stream'd like a meteor to the troubled air."
Ver. 537. Shone like a meteor ftreaming to the wind,] This brilliant expreffion, applied to the beard and hair of the Welsh Bard by Gray, has been deemed rather ludicrous:
Yet Gray may be defended by a paffage in the Perfian Tales of Inatulla, vol. ii. p. 41. "The circumference of his fnowy beard, like the ftreaming rays of a meteor, appear'd." TODD.
Ver. 543. reign] Reign is ufed, like the Latin regnum, for kingdom. So Spenfer, Faer. Qu. ii. vii. 21. "That ftreight did lead to Plutoes griefly rayne." NEWTON.
Ver. 545. Ten thoufand banners rife into the air &c.] See Taffo's defcription of the Chriftian and Pagan armies preparing to engage, Gier. Lib. c. xx. ft. 28, 29. THYER.
See alfo the Adamo of Andreini, where Satan is defcribing the exultation of the devils at the fall of man, A. iii. S. iv.
"Ecco di nouo ventilar ne l'aura
"Ecco i fuoni festanti,
"Ecco le voci tante
"Che inalzandofi al ciel gridan Vittoria." TODD.
With orient colours waving: with them rose
Ver. 546. With orient colours waving:] So, in Comus, v. 65. "His orient liquour in a crystal glafs:" Where Mr. Warton has obferved, that orient means richly bright from the radiance of the Eaft; that it was a very common defcription of colour, and had long ago become literal even in the plaineft profe; and that in old agreements of glafs-painters for churches, they bargain to execute their work in orient colours. Bentley had objected to the phrafe. TODD.
Ver. 547. A foreft huge of fpears ;] Taffo, Gier. Lib. C. viii. f. 17. "E intorno un bosco habbian d' hafte." TODD.
ferried] Locked one within another, linked and clasped together, from the French ferrer, to lock, to fhut close. HUME.
to the Dorian mood
Of flutes and foft recorders;] Milton, in his Areopagitica, ufes grace and Dorick almost as fynonymous terms. "No mufick must be heard, no fong be fet or fung, but what is grave and Dorick." This therefore was the measure best adapted to the fallen Angels at this juncture: And their inftruments were flutes and foft recorders, for the fame reafon that Thucydides and other ancient hiftorians affign for the Lacedæmonians making use of thefe inftruments; becaufe they infpired them with a more cool and deliberate courage, whereas trumpets and other martial mufick incited and inflamed them more to rage. See Aulus Gellius, lib. i. cap. 11, and Thucyd. lib. v. NEWTON.
Hence is to be obferved the exactnefs of Milton's judgement in appropriating the feveral inftruments to the feveral purposes which they were to ferve, and the different effects which they produced. Thus, when a doubtful hue was caft upon the countenance of Satan and his associates, and they were but little above defpair; in order to raise their fainting courage and dispel their