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The found of blustering winds, which all night
Had rous'd the fea, now with hoarfe cadence lull Sea-faring men o'er-watch'd, whofe bark by chance,
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay
Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, than whom
Pietas Jefuitica, and his Locufts or Apollyonifts, published at Cambridge in 1627, difplays fimilar fcenery. See note, B. i. 795. Of Fletcher's Latin poem fee further mention in the Inquiry into the Origin of Paradife Loft, in the notes on Paradife Regained, B. i. 42, and on the beautiful poem In Quintum Novembris. TODD.
Ver. 301. Afpéct] So Milton always accents this word, agreeably to the practice of our elder poets. It began to be accented, however, on the firft fyllable, in Milton's time. See Baron's Cyprian Academy, 1648. B. ii. 72.
"I' the comely afpect of the Paphian Queene." TODD. Ver. 302. A pillar of state;] The fame expreffion is in Shakfpeare, Hen. VI. P. ii. A. i. "Brave peers of England, pillars of the State!" NEWTON.
Deliberation fat, and publick care;
Ethereal Virtues! or thefe titles now
And in Gafcoigne's Poems, 1587. p. 116. Thus alfo Milton, in his Tractate on Education, recommends the study of Politicks to Youth, that they may become "stedfaft pillars of the ftate." TODD.
Ver. 305. Majestick, though in ruin:] Thefe words are to be joined in conftruction with his face, and not with princely counfel, as Dr. Bentley imagined. NEWTON.
Ver. 306. With Atlanteun fhoulders] A metaphor to exprefs his vaft capacity. Atlas was fo great an aftronomer, that he is faid to have borne Heaven on his fhoulders. The whole picture from ver. 299, to the end of the paragraph, is admirable!
Ver. 309. Or fummer's noon-tide air,] Noon-tide is the fame as noon-time, when in hot countries there is hardly a breath of wind stirring, and men and beafts, by reason of the intense heat, retire to fhade and reft. This is the custom of Italy particularly, where our author lived fome time. NEWTON.
This place our dungeon; not our fafe retreat
In highth or depth, still first and last will reign
Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.
To us enflav'd, but cuftody fevere,
and with iron fcepter rule
Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.] The iron fcepter is an allufion to Pfalm ii. 9, as the golden is to Efther v. 2.
for what peace will be given
To us enflav'd, but cuftody fevere,
and what peace can we return,
But to our power hoftility and hate,] In both thefe paffages there is an unufual conftruction of the particle but; it
Untam❜d reluctance, and revenge though flow,
In power and excellence, but favour'd more 350 Of Him who rules above; fo was his will Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an oath, That fhook Heaven's whole circumference, confirm'd.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
feems to put "cuftody fevere &c." in the one, and "hoftility and hate &c." in the other, on the foot of peace. There are fome very few inftances where the Latins have used nifi (except, or but) in a like conftruction. One is in Plautus's Menæchmi, Prol. v. 59. "Ei liberorum, niji divitiæ, nihil erat." Lambinus fays, this expreffion feems too unufual; for the particle nifi can except none but things like, or of a like kind.
and by an oath,
That hook Heaven's whole circumference, confirm'd.] "He confirmed it by an oath," are the very words of St. Paul,
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould, 355
Heb. vi. 17. And this oath is faid to shake Heaven's whole circumference, in allufion to Jupiter's oath in Virgil, En. ix. 104, &c.; as Virgil had imitated Homer, Iliad i. 528-530.
this place may lie expos'd, The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it :] It has been objected, that there is a contradiction between this part of Beelzebub'sfpeech, and what he fays afterwards, fpeaking of the fame thing. and of a meffenger proper to be fent in fearch of this new world, ver. 410.
"What strength, what art can then "Suffice, or what evafion bear him safe
Through the ftri&t fenteries and stations thick "Of Angels watching round?"
How can this earth be faid to lie expofed &c. and yet to be ftrictly guarded by ftationed Angels? The objection is very ingenious but it is not faid that the earth doth lie expofed, but only that it may lie expofed: and it may be confidered, that the defign of Beelzebub is different in thefe different fpeeches; in the former, where he is encouraging the affembly to undertake an expedition againft this world, he fays things to lefen the difficulty and danger; but in the latter, when they have determined upon the expedition, and are confulting of a proper perfon to employ in it, then he fays things to magnify the difficulty and danger, to make them more cautious in their choice.