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The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds
Atteft their joy, that hill and valley rings. 495
O fhame to men! Devil with Devil damn'd
Firm concord holds; men only difagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of heavenly grace: and, God proclaiming peace,
Yet live in hatred, enmity, and ftrife,


Among themfelves, and levy cruel wars,
Wafting the earth, cach other to destroy:
As if (which might induce us to accord)
Man had not hellifh foes enow befides,
That, day and night, for his deftruction wait. 505
The Stygian council thus diffolv'd; and forth
In order came the grand infernal Peers:
Midft came their mighty Paramount, and feem'd
Alone the Antagonist of Heaven, nor less
Than Hell's dread Emperour, with pomp fupreme,
And God-like imitated state: him round
A globe of fiery Seraphim enclos'd


can be produced. There is a pretty thought in Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis, where the rifing fun "takes his laft leave of the weeping morn;" but how much more natural is the farewell of the fun going down, accompanied alfo with the variegated fcenery of Milton. TODD.

Ver. 496. O fhame to men! &c.] This reflection will appear the more pertinent and natural, when one confiders the contentious age in which Milton lived and wrote. THYER.

See a reflection of the fame kind, which Mr, Boyd also notices, in Dante, Purgat. C. vi. 76, &c. TODD.

Ver. 512. A globe of fiery Seraphim] A globe fignifies here a battalion in circle furrounding him, as Virgil fays, En. x. 373. "quà globus ille virum denfiffimus urget." NEWTON.

With bright imblazonry, and horrent arms.
Then of their feffion ended they bid cry
With trumpets regal found the great refult: 515
Towards the four winds four fpeedy Cherubim
Put to their mouths the founding alchemy,
By herald's voice explain'd; the hollow abyss
Heard far and wide, and all the hoft of Hell 519
With deafening fhout return'd them loud acclaim.
Thence more at ease their minds, and fomewhat


By falfe prefumptuous hope, the ranged Powers
Disband; and, wandering, each his feveral way
Purfues, as inclination or fad choice
Leads him perplex'd, where he may likelieft find
Truce to his reftlefs thoughts, and entertain
The irkfome hours, till his great Chief return.
Part on the plain, or in the air fublime,
Upon the wing, or in fwift race contend,
As at the Olympian games or Pythian fields; 530

So, in Par. Reg. B. iv. 581, "a fiery globe of angels," where fee the note. TODD.

Ver. 513.

horrent] Horrent includes the idea both of terrible and prickly; fet up, like the bristles of a wild boar. Virgil, Æn. i. “Horrentia Martis arma." And En. . 178. "Horrentibus haftis." NEWTON.

Ver. 517.

the founding alchemy,] Alchemy here means any mixed metal, as in P. Fletcher's Purple Island, C. vii. ft. 39. "Such were his arms, falfe gold, true alchymie." Todd.

Ver. 527.

till his &c.] So it is in the first edition: In the fecond, and fome others, it is "till this great chief &c." which is manifeftly an errour of the prefs. NEWTON.

Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigads form.
As when, to warn proud cities, war appears
Waged in the troubled sky, and armies rush
To battle in the clouds, before each van
Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their



Till thickeft legions clofe; with feats of arms From either end of Heaven the welkin burns. Others, with vaft Typhœan rage more fell,

Ver. 531. Part curb their fiery feeds, &c.] These warlike diverfions of the fallen Angels, during the absence of Satan, feem to be copied from the military exercifes of the Myrmidons, during the abfence of their chief from the war, Homer, Il. ¡¡. 774; only the images are raised in proportion to the nature of the Beings who are here defcribed. We may fuppofe too, that Milton had an eye to the diverfions and entertainments of the departed heroes in Virgil's Elyfium. NEWTON.

Ibid. or fhun the goal &c.] Plainly taken from Horace, Od. I. i. 4. "Metáque fervidis evitatą rotis." But with good judgement he fays rapid, not fervid: bccaufe in thefe Hell-games both the wheels, and the burning marle they drove on, were fervid even before the race. BENTLEY.

Ver. 534. Waged in the troubled ky,] So Shakspeare in 1 Hen. iv. A. i. calls thefe appearances

"the meteors of a troubled Heaven." NEWTON.

Ver. 536. Prick forth] Prick forward, on the fpur, in full carcer; as in Fairfax's Tao, B. ix. ft. 22.

"Before the reft forth prickt the Soldan faft." TODD.

Ibid. and couch their Spears] Fix them in their refts. Couch from coucher (French) to place. A reft was made in the breaft of the armour, and was called a reft from arrefter (French) to ftay. RICHARDSON.


Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air 540
In whirlwind; Hell fcarce holds the wild uproar.
As when Alcides, from Oechalia crown'd
With conqueft, felt the envenom'd robe, and tore
Through pain up by the roots Theffalian pines,
And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw
Into the Euboick fea. Others more mild,
Retreated in a filent valley, fing
With notes angelical to many a harp
Their own heroick deeds and hapless fall
By doom of battle; and complain that fate 550
Free virtue fhould enthrall to force or chance.

Ver. 540.

and ride the air] Thus, of the witches of Shakspeare, Macbeth, A. iv. S. i.

"Infected be the air whereon they ride." Todd.

Ver. 542. As when Alcides, &c.] This madnefs of Hercules was a fubject for tragedy among the ancients; but Milton has comprised the principal circumftances in this fimilitude, and feems to have copied Ovid, Met. ix. 136, &c. But, as Mr. Thyer rightly obferves, Milton in this fimile falls vaftly short of his ufual fublimity and propriety. How much does the image of Alcides tearing up Theffalian pines fink below that of the Angels rending up both rocks and winds, and riding the air in whirlwind!. And how faintly and infignificantly does the allusion end with the low circumftance of Lichas being thrown into the Euboick fea! NEWTON.

Ver. 548. With notes angelical &c.] Hom. Il. ix. 186.
Τὸν δ ̓ εὗρον φρένα τερπόμενον φόρμιγγι λιγείῃ.


and complain that fate

Free virtue fhould enthrall to force or chance.] This is taken from the famous diftich of Euripides, which Brutus ufed, when he flew himself:

Ver. 550.

Their fong was partial; but the harmony
(What could it lefs when Spirits immortal fing?)
Sufpended Hell, and took with ravishment 554
The thronging audience. In difcourfe more sweet,
(For eloquence the foul, fong charms the fenfe,)
Others apart fat on a hill retir'd,

In thoughts more elevate, and reafon'd high

Ω τλῆμον ̓Αρετὴ, λόγος ἆρ ̓ ἦσθ ̓, ἐγὼ δὲ σε
Ὣς ἔργον ἤσκεν· σὺ δ ̓ ἂς ἐδέλευσας βίᾳ.

In fome places, for Big force, it is quoted rux? fortune. Milton has well comprehended both, "enthrall to force or chance.” BENTLEY.

Ver. 554. Sufpended Hell,] The effect of their finging is fomewhat like that of Orpheus in Hell, Virgil, Georg. iv. 481. "The harmony fufpended Hell;" but is it not much better with the parenthesis coming between? which fufpends, as it were, the event, raises the reader's attention, and gives a greater force to the fentence. NEWTON.


and took with ravishment &c.] He feems to have remembered that charming paffage, in his own Comus, of the Lady's finging:

"Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould
"Breathe fuck divine enchanting ravishment?"

And of the Sirens, in the fame poem:

"Who, as they fung, would take the prifon'd foul,
"And lap it in Elyfium."

And in his Hymn on the Nativity, of the musick of the angels,
"As all their fouls in blissful rapture took." TODD.

Ver. 556. (For eloquence the foul, fong charms the sense,)] So, in Sylvefter's Du Bart. 1621, p. 263.

"The foule-charm image of fweet cloquence."

Thus Mercury is called, in the Coblers Prophecie, 4to. 1594.
Sign. A. 3.

"Herrald of heauen, foule-charming Mercurie." TODD.

L'una athahe l'intellello, e l'alta il senso. Masino, L'adone, C. VII, II. 66.

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