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Wherein all things created first he weigh’d,
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,


is one of the twelve signs of the kingdom, and finish'd it, theu art
zodiac, as SArea (or Virgo the weighed in the balances. So tirely
Virgin) and Scorpio also are. This hath Milton improv'd upon the
does as it were realize the fiction, fictions of the poets by the eternal
and gives consequently a greater truths of holy Scripture.
force to it.

This allusion to the fign Libra in 1003. The sequel each of parting
the Heavens is a beauty that is not and of fight;} Dr. Bentley reads
in Homer or Virgil, and gives this The higral each &c. To understand
paffage a manifest advantage over which of theic two readings suits
both their descriptions.

the place beít, let us consider the

poet's thought, which was this: 999. Wherein all things created. God put in the golden scales two

firji be weigh'd, &c.] This weights: in the one scale, he put of weighing the creation at first the weight, which was the fiquel and of all events since gives us a (that is represented the coniefublime idea of providence, and is quence) of Satan's parting from conformable to the stile of Scrip-' them; in the other {cale he put ture, Job XXVIII. 25. To make i he the weight, which was the sequel weight for the winds, and he weigh. of Satan's fighting: neither of the rih the rate:s by measure. Chap. fcales had any thing in it immeXXXVII. 16. Do thout kroz the diately relating to Gabriel: and brilancing of ike clouds ? Ifaiah XL. therefore Dr. Bentley mistakes (I. 12. IV %0 weighed the 'mountains in think) when hc lays, that the scales, and the bills in a balance ? ascending weight, Satan's, was the And then for weighing particular signal to him of defeat; the decvents fince fee 1 Sam. II. 3. By scending, Gabriel's, the signal to bim a&lions are weig'd. Prov. XVI. him of victory: they were both 2. The Lord weigbeth the spirits. I fignals (if signals) to Satan only, do not recolect an inflance of for he only was weigh’d, Ver. 1012; cucigning barrels particularly, but or rather they fhow'd him what there is foundation enough for that would be the consequence both of in Hom.r and Virgil as we have his fighting and of his retreating. fcen; and then for weighing king. The icale, in which lay the weight, dins wcfe an infance in Beishaz- that was the sequel of his fighting, yar, and it is said expressly, Dan. by ascending mowd him that he , 26, 27. Godt buih number'dlthy was light in arms, and could not

Battels and realms: in these he put two weights
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;


It may


very different

μεσσα λαβων, ,

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obtain victory; whereas the other

proper, before we co!iscale, in which was the sequel of clude, to produce the passages out his parting or retreating, having de- of Homer and Virgil, whereof fo scended it was a sign that his go- much has been said, that the reader ing off quietly would be his wiseft may have the satisiaction of c mand weightielt attempt. The reader paring them with our author, Iliad. will excuse my having been so long VIII. 69. in this note, when he considers that Dr. Bentley and probably many Και τοτε δε χρυσεια πατηρ ετιταινε other's have misunderstood Milton's Tanasla thought about the scales, judging

Εν δ' ετιθει δυο κηρε τανηλιγεος θαof it by what they read of Jupiter's fcales in Homer and Virgil;, the

Υατοιο, account of which is

Τρωων θ' , ιπποδαμων, και Αχαιων from this of Milton ; for in them χαλκοχιτωνων the fates of the two combatants Ελκε δε

SETTE are weigh'd one against the other,

por noap Axxov. and the descent of one of the scales foreshow'd the death of him whose

Αι μεν Αχαιων κηγες επι χθονι τεfate lay in that scale, quo vergat

λυεοτειρη pondere letbum: whereas in Miion Elec Imui Tpwwo de apos sparou aupun nothing is weigh'd but what relates

atpêss. to Satan only, and in the two scales are weigh'd the two different events The Sire of Gods his golden scales of his retreating and his fighting. fufpends, From what has been said it may With equal hand : in these exappear pretty plainly, that Milton plor'd the fate by jeçue', meant the consequence or Of Greece and Troy, and poisid event, as it is express’d in ver, the mighty weight. 1001. and then there will be no Press'd with its load the Grecian occasion for Dr. Bentley's signal:

balance lies both because it is a very improper

Low funk on earth, the Trojan word in this place, and because a strikes the kies. Pope. fignal of pariing and of fight, can be nothing else than a lignal when The fame lines, mutatis mutandis, to part and when to fight; which are applied to lector and Achilles he will

not pretend to be the in the 22d book, and there are thus poet's meaning. Pearce. translated,


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Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend. 1005

Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine, Neither our own but giv'n ; what folly then To boast what arms can do? since thine no more Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,



Æn. XII. 725

Jove lifts the golden balances, that passages with our author, must see Thow

plainly that tho' there is some reThe fates of mortal men, and semblance, yet there is also great things below :

difference. There are golden scales Here each contending hero's lot in Homer as well as in Milton ; he tries,

but Milron in some measure auAnd weighs with equal hand their thorizes the fiction by making his destinies.

scales the balance in the Heavens. Low sinks the scale surcharg'd with In Homer and Virgil the combaHector's fate;

tants are weigh'd one againit anoHeavy with death it sinks, and ther; but here only Satan is weigh’d, Hell receives the weight. in one scale the consequence of his

retreating, and of his fighting in The passage in Virgil is shorter, the other. And there is this far

ther improvement, that in Homer

and Virgil the fates are weigh'd to Jupiter ipse duas æquato examine satisfy Jupiter himself, but here it lances

is done only to satisfy the conSuftinet, et fata inponit diversa tending parties, for Satan to read duorum;

his own deitiny. So that when Quem damnet labor, et quo vergat Milton imitates a fine passage, he pondere lethum.

does not imitate it servilely, but

makes it as I may say an original Jove sets the beam ; in either scale of his own by his manner of vary

ing and improving it. The champion's fate, and each exactly weighs.

1008. -- fince thine no more On this side lite, and lucky chance Iban Heav'n permits, nor mine,] ascends :

Thinc and mine refer to strength, ver. Loaded with death, that other 1006. not to arms the substanscale descends. Dryden. tive preceding. Dr. Bentley reads

prength initead of arms. Every reader, who compares these

1012. W'bere

he lays

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And read thy lot in yon

celestial sign,
Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, how

If thou resist. The Fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more ; but fled
Murm'ring, andwith him fled the shades of night. 1015

1012. Where thou art weigh’d, and Belshazzar, Dan. V. 27. Thou art

Jhown how light, how weak,] weigh'd in the balances, and art found He does not make the ascending wanting. So true it is, that Milton scale the sign of victory as in Ho- oftner imitates Scripture than Homer and Virgil, but of lightness mer and Virgil, even where he is and weakness according to that of thought to imitate them moste

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