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Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
that Milton chiefly alludes, ver. had this passage at the begin200. &c.
ning of the seventh as now. Αλλ' ότι δη κακινος απηχθετο σασι
The episode has two principal 01010 iv,
parts, the war in heaven, and Ητοι και κατσεδιον το Αληρον οιος αλατο, the new creation; the one was “Ο» θυμον κατιδων, τατον ανθρωπων sung, but the other remained
unsung, and he is now entering But when at last, distracted in his upon it—but narrower bound, mind,
Bound here seems to be a parForsook by heav'n, forsaking human
ticiple as well as unsung. Half kind, Wide o'er the Aleian field he chose yet remains unsung; but this to stray,
other half is not rapt so much A long, forlorn, uncomfortable way into the invisible world as the
former, it is confined in narIt is thus translated by Cicero in rower compass, and bound his third book of Tusculan Dis- within the visible sphere of putations.
day. Qui miser in campis mærens errabat
21. It is however half of the Aleis,
whole work which has been Ipse suum cor edens, hominum ve- treated, as well as half of the stigia vitans.
Episode. It is equally true with The plain truth of the story respect to the whole subject that seems to be, that in his latter the latter half of it is much more days he grew mad with his bound within the visible diurnal poetry, which Milton begs may sphere than the former portion; never be his own case: Lest and in point of actual length from this flying steed &c. He half still remained, when the says this to distinguish his from poem was divided into ten the common Pegasus, above the books, as well as now that it is flight of whose wing he soared, distributed into twelve. It is as he speaks, ver. 4.
remarkable too that he invokes 21. Half yet remains unsung,] the Muse only in this place and I understand this with Mr. at the beginning of the Poem. Richardson, that it is the half There appears to be therefore a of the episode, not of the whole considerable probability, that work, that is here meant; for Milton meant that half of his when the poem was divided whole subject remained unsung, into but ten books, that edition E.
More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchang’d
slumbers nightly, or when morn
25.--though fall'n on evil 32. But drive far off the bardays,] The repetition and turn barous dissonance of the words is very beautiful, Of Bacchus and his revelers,
&c.] though fall’n on evil days, On evil days though fall'n, and evil Compare Comus, 550. where the tongues ; &c.
Spirit is describing the Son of
Bacchus and his “ monstrous A lively picture this in a few
rout:" lines of the Poet's wretched condition. In darkness, though
The wonted roar was up amidst the
woods is still understood; he was not And fill'd the air with barbarous dis. become hoarse or mute though in darkness, though he was blind,
T. Warton. and with dangers compass'd 33. Of Bacchus and his reround, and solitude, obnoxious relers,] 'It is not improbable to the government, and having that the poet intended this as an a world of enemies among the oblique satire upon the dissoluteroyal party, and therefore
ness of Charles the Second and obliged to live very uch in his court; from whom he seems privacy and alone. And what to apprehend the fate of Orstrength of mind was it, that pheus, a famous poet of Thrace, could not only support him who though he is said to have under the weight of these mis- charmed woods and rocks with fortunes, but enable him to soar his divine songs, yet was torn to such heights, as no human to pieces by the Bacchanalian genius ever reached before? 31. -and fit audience find, of Thrace, nor could the Muse
women on Rhodope, a mountain though few. He had Horace in Calliope his mother defend him. mind, Sat. i. x. 73.
So fail nwt thou, who thee im--neque te ut miretur turba, labores, plores ; nor was his wish inefContentus paucis lectoribus, fectual, for the government suf
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
So fail not thou, who thee implores :
Say Goddess, what ensued when Raphaël,
fered him to live and die unmo- those in the former book, they lested.
abound with as magnificent 35. where woods and rocks ideas. The sixth book, like a had ears] So in his verses ad troubled ocean, represents greatPartem, 1. 53. of Orpheus, ness in confusion; the seventh Qui tenuit Auvios, et quercubus ad- affects the imagination like the didit aures
ocean in a calm, and fills the Carmine
mind of the reader, without proT. Warton.
ducing in it any thing like 40. —what_ensued when Ra- tumult or agitation. The critic phaël, &c.] Longinus has ob- above mentioned, among the served, that there may be a rules which he lays down for loftiness in sentiments, where succeeding in the sublime way there is no passion, and brings of writing, proposes to his instances out of ancient authors reader, that he should imitate · to support this his opinion. the most celebrated authors who The pathetic, as that great critic have gone before him, and been observes, may animate and in- engaged in works of the same flame the sublime, but is not nature; as in particular, that if essential to it. Accordingly as he writes on a poetical subject, he further remarks, we very he should consider how Homer often find that those who excel would have spoken on such an most in stirring up the passions, occasion. By this means one very often want the talent of great genius often catches the writing in the great and sublime flame from another, and writes manner, and so on the contrary. in his spirit, without copying Milton has shewn himself a servilely after him. There are a master in both these ways of thousand shining passages in writing. The seventh book, Virgil, which have been lighted which we now entering up by Horner. Milton, though upon, is an instance of that sub- his own natural strength of gelime, which is not mixed and nius was capable of furnishing worked up with passion. The out a perfect work, has doubtauthor appears in a kind of less very much raised and encomposed and sedate majesty; nobled his conceptions, by such and though the sentiments do an imitation as that which Lonnot give so great an emotion, as gius has recommended. In this
The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn’d
book, which gives us an account subject is touched upon. Milof the six days' works, the poet ton has shewn his judgment received very few assistances very remarkably, in making use from heathen writers, who were
of such of these as were proper strangers to the wonders of for his poem, and in duly quacreation. But as there are many lifying those high strains of glorious strokes of poetry upon eastern poetry, which were this subject in holy writ, the suited to readers, whose imaginauthor has numberless allusions ations were set to a higher to them through the whole pitch than those of colder clicourse of this book. The great mates. Addison. critic I have before mentioned, 47. If they transgress, &c.] though an heathen, has taken We should observe the connotice of the sublime manner in nexion; Lest the like befalto which the lawgiver of the Jews Adam or his race, if they transhas described the creation in gress, &c. the first chapter of Genesis; 50. -He with his consorted and there are many other pas- Ere] Consorted from consort, sages in Scripture which rise up Cum consorte tori, as Ovid says, to the same majesty, where this Met. i. 319.
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
Great things, and full of wonder in our ears,
59,-Whence Adam soon rea desire to know &c. proceeded thus peul'a
to ask his heavenly guest. The doubts that in his heart 70. Great things, &c.] Adam's arose :]
speech to the Angel, wherein he Dr. Bentley would read dispelld; desires an account of what had but if an alteration were ne- passed within the regions of nacessary, I should rather read ture before the creation, is
very repelld, as in ver. 610. we have great and solemn. The follow
- their counsels vain Thou hast ing lines, in which he tells him, repelld. But in the same sense that the day is not too far spent as a law is said to be repealed, for him to enter upon such a when an end is put to all the subject, are exquisite in their force and effect of it; so, when kind. doubts are at an end, they may be said to be repealed. Pearce.
And the great light of day yet wants 61. yet sinless,] Desiring knowledge indeed, (led on with Much of his race &c.
Addison. desire to know, fc.) but not the forbidden knowledge of good and evil. E.
72. Divine interpreter,] So 69. Proceeded thus &c.] The Mercury is called in Virgil Inconstruction is, And led on with terpres Divam, Æn. iv. 378.