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Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and confiderate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but caft
Signs of remorfe and paffion, to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
(Far other once beheld in blifs) condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain;
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc'd
Of Heaven, and from eternal fplendours flung 610
For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd: as when Heaven's fire
Hath fcath'd the foreft oaks, or mountain pines,.

fpeare, fpeaking of a fear, in this very fword intrench'd it."

All's Well that ends well, “It was

Ver. 609.

amerc'd] Amerc'd has here uspdw, to deprive, to take away;

a ftrange affinity with the Greek
as Homer has ufed it much to our purpofe, Ody. viii. 64.

Οφθαλμῶν μὲν ΑΜΕΡΣΕ, δίδυ δ ̓ ἡδεῖαν ἀοιδὴν,

"The Mufe amerced him of his eyes, but gave him the faculty of finging fweetly." HUME.

Amerce is an old English verb, and occurs in the drama of Tancred and Gifmund, 4to. 1591. fign. H. 3. b.

"Now, daughter, feest thou not how I amerce
My wrath, that thus bereft thee of my loue,
"Vpon my head ?" TODD.

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Ver. 611.yet faithful how they flood,] To see the true conftruction of this, we must go back to ver. 605 for the verb. The fenfe then is this, to behold the fellows of his crime condemn'd &c. yet how they stood faithful. RICHARDSON. as when Heaven's fire

Ver. 612.

Hath feath'd &c.] Hath hurt, hath damaged; a word frequently ufed in Chaucer, Spenfer, Shakspeare, and our old writers. This is a very beautiful and clofe fimile; it repre

With finged top their stately growth, though bare, Stands on the blafted heath. He now prepar'd 615 To fpeak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend From wing to wing, and half enclose him round With all his peers: Attention held them mute. Thrice he affay'd, and thrice, in spite of scorn, Tears, fuch as Angels weep, burft forth: at last

fents the majestick ftature, and withered glory, of the Angels: and the last with great propriety, fince their luftre was impaired by thunder, as well as that of the trees in the fimile: and befides, the blafted heath gives us fome idea of that finged burning foil, on which the Angels were ftanding. Homer and Virgil frequently ufe comparisons from trees, to exprefs the ftature or falling of a hero, but none of them are applied with fuch variety and propriety of circumstances as this of Milton. See An Efay upon Milton's imitations of the Ancients, p. 24. NEWTON.

Their ftately growth, though bare, will remind the reader of an elegant fimile in Lucan, Pharfal. i. 136.

"Qualis frugifero quercus fublimis in agro,
"Exuvias veteres populi, facratáque geftans
"Dona ducum, nec jam validis radicibus hærens,
"Pondere fixa fuo eft, nudófque per aëra ramos
"Effundens, trunco, non frondibus, efficit umbram."

The blafted heath, as Mr. Dunfter alfo notices, is an expreffion of Shakspeare, which gives, as here, additional intereft to the defcription. It is where Macbeth is accofted by the witches, "with prophetick greetings, upon the blafted heath." TODD.

Ver. 619. Thrice he affay'd, and thrice

Tears burst forth:] He had Ovid in his thought,

Met. xi. 419.

"Ter conata loqui, ter fletibus ora rigavit." BENTLEY. The turn of the words bears a near refemblance to Spenfer, Faer. Qu. i. xi. 41.

"Thrice he affaid it from his foote to draw,
"And thrice in vain to draw it did assay:"

Words, interwove with fighs, found out their way.
O Myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers
Matchlefs, but with the Almighty! and that ftrife
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire,
As this place teftifies, and this dire change 625
Hateful to utter: but what power of mind,
Foreseeing or prefaging, from the depth
Of knowledge paft or prefent, could have fear'd,
How fuch united force of Gods, how fuch
As ftood like thefe, could ever know repulfe? 630
For who can yet believe, though after lofs,
That all these puiffant legions, whofe exíle
Hath emptied Heaven, fhall fail to re-afcend

As alfo to Sackville, Induction Mir. for Magiftrates, ft. last, "Thryfe he began to tell his doleful tale, "And thryfe the fighs did fwallow up his voyce."


Milton perhaps had alfo in mind Agamemnon's addrefs to the Grecian leaders, Il. ix. 13.

ἂν δ ̓ ̓Αγαμέμνων

Ἴσατο δακρυχέων, κ. τ. λ.

Ὣς ὁ βαρυςενάχων ἔπε Αργείοσι μετηύδα, TopD.

Ver. 622. O Myriads &c.] Compare ver. 315, &c. And the Speech in Taffo, Gier. Lib. C. iv. ft. 9, 10. TODD.

Ver. 623.

and that ftrife
Was not inglorious,] Ovid, Met. ix. 6.
nec tàm

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"Turpe fuit vinci, quàm contendiffe decorum eft."


Ver. 633. Hath emptied Heaven,] It is conceived that a third part of the Angels fell with Satan, according to Rev. xii. 4. "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and caft them to the earth :" And this opinion Milton has again ex

Self-rais'd, and repoffefs their native seat?
For me, be witnefs all the hoft of Heaven, 635
If counfels different, or dangers fhunn'd
By me, have loft our hopes. But he, who reigns
Monarch in Heaven, till then as one fecure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Confent or custom; and his regal state
Put forth at full, but ftill his ftrength conceal'd,
Which tempted our attempt,and wrought our fall.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our



So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provok'd: our better part remains 645
To work in clofe defign, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not: that he no lefs
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe. 649
Space may produce new worlds; whereof fo rife
There went a fame in Heaven that he ere long

preffed, B. ii. 692, B. v. 710, B. vi. 156. But Satan here talks big, and magnifies their number, as if their " exile had emptied Heaven." NEWTON.

"Shee dar'd, and did attempt to tempt mee too; "But God forbad, &c." TODD. Ver. 646. See the note on Par. Reg. B. i. 97.

Ver. 642. Which tempted our attempt,] The jingle of the times: So Sylvefter, Du Bartas, ed. 1621. p. 827.

by fraud &c.] From Marino.


Ver. 651. There went a fame &c.] This is a neceffary circumftance, whereon to found the project on which the whole Poem turns; which project is with much judgement first flightly


A a

Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the fons of Heaven:
Thither, if but to pry, fhall be perhaps
Our firft eruption; thither or elsewhere:
For this infernal pit fhall never hold
Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor the abyfs
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature: Peace is defpair'd; 660
For who can think fubmiffion? War then, War,
Open or understood, must be refolv'd.

He fpake: and, to confirm his words, out-flew Millions of flaming fwords, drawn from the thighs


Of mighty Cherubim; the fudden blaze
Far round illumin'd Hell: Highly they rag'd

Quafi in quel punto mille Spade ardenti "Furon vedute fiammegiar infieme."

touched upon in this first book, and more fully developed in the fecond, previous to Satan's proceeding on his enterprise. See alfo the note on ver. 211. DUNSTER.

Ver. 664. Millions of flaming fwords,] Compare Taffo, Gier. Lib. c. v. ft, 28.


And Silius Italicus, L. i. v. 500.

"Mille fimul dextræ, densusque micare videtur
"Enfis." BOWLE.


Ibid. drawn from the thighs] It may be observed here, that Milton, to keep up the dignity of language, has purpofely avoided the trite phrafe drawn from the fides, and adopted the Greek way of expreffing it. Thus Homer, Il. i. 194.

Ἢ ὅγε φάσγανον ἐξὺ ἐρυσσάμενος παρὰ μηρᾶ. THYER. Ver. 665. the fudden blaze

Far round illumin'd] "Trait l'efpee hors de

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