Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

350

And reverence thee their great progenitor.
But this preeminence thou' hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons :
Yet doubt not but in valley and in plain
God is as here, and will be found alike
Present, and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine.
Which that thou may'st believe, and be confirm’d 355
Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
To show thee what shall come in future days
To thee and to thy offspring ; good with bad
Expect to hear, supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men ; thereby to learn

360
True patience, and to temper joy with fear
And pious sorrow, equally inur'd
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse : so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepar'd indure

365 Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend

366. -Ascend

poems, is entertained with a This hill ;)

sight of all those who are to The angel afterwards leads Adam descend from him; but though to the highest mount of Para- that episode is justly admired dise, and lays before him a as one of the noblest designs in whole hemisphere, as a proper the whole Æneid, every one stage for those visions which must allow that this of Milton were to be represented on it. is of a much higher nature. I have before observed how the Adam's vision is not confined plan of Milton's poem is in to any particular tribe of manmany particulars greater than kind, but extends to the whole that of the Iliad or Æneid. species.

Æneid. species. Addison. Virgil's hero, in the last of these

This hill ; let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes)
Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak'st ;
As once thou slept'st, while she to life was form’d.
To whom thus Adam gratefully replied.

370
Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path
Thou lead'st me', and to the hand of Heav'n submit,
However chast’ning, to the evil turn
My obvious breast, arming to overcome
By suffering, and earn rest from labour won, 375
If so I may attain. So both ascend
In the visions of God: It was a hill
Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
The hemisphere of earth in clearest ken
Stretch'd out to th’amplest reach of prospect lay. 380

[ocr errors]

367. -let Eve (for I have Quicquid erit, superanda omnis for.

tuna ferendo est. drench'd her eyes) Here sleep below,]

377. In the visions of God:} It may be asked, why Eve was A Scripture expression, Ezek. not permitted to see this vision, viii. 3. And the Spirit lífled me as she had no less occasion than up between the earth and the heuAdam thereby to learn true pa- ven, and brought me in the visions tience : but Milton here only of God to Jerusalem. And again, continues the same decorum

Ezek. xl. 2. In the visions of God which he had before observed,

brought he me into the land of when he made Eve retire upon Israel, and set me upon a very Raphael's beginning his con- high mountain. And these may ference with Adam, Book viii.

very properly be called the ciBesides, the tenderness of the sions of God, not only for disfemale mind could not be sup

covering things future, but likeposed able to bear the shocking wise for the extensiveness of the scenes which were going to be

prospect, such as no human eye represented. Thyer.

could reach. For upon the 367. Drenched with the dews highest mountain the eye can of sleep. Compare Comus, 996. command only a small part of -drenches with Elysian dew. the hemisphere by reason of

T. Warton. the roundness of the earth; but 374. to overcome

here a whole hemisphere lay By suffering ]

stretched out to view at once Virg. Æn. v. 710.

like a plain.

Not high'er that hill nor wider looking round,
Whereon for different cause the Tempter set
Our second Adam in the wilderness,
To shew him all earth's kingdoms and their glory.
His eye might there command wherever stood
City of old or modern fame, the seat
Of mightiest empire, from the destin'd walls

385

381. Not high’er that hill lemy, and thence to Agra and &c.] That hill was not higher, Lahor, two great cities in the whereon the devil set our Sa- empire of the great Mogul, down viour (the second man, 1 Cor. xv. to the golden Chersonese, that is, 47. the last Adum, ver. 45.) to Malacca, the most southern proshow him all the kingdoms of the montory of the East-Indies, so world, and the glory of them, called on account of its riches, Matth. iv. 8. The prospects to distinguish it from the other are well compared together, and Chersoneses or peninsulas, or the first thought of the one where the Persian in Ecbatan might probably be taken from sat, Ecbatana, formerly the cathe other: and as the one makes pital city of Persia, or since in part of the subject of Paradise Hispahan, the capital city at Lost, so doth the other of Para- present, or where the Russian dise Regained.

Ksar, the Czar of Muscovy, in 387. —from the destin'd walls Moscow, the metropolis of all Of Cambalu, &c.]

Russia, or the Sultan in Bizance, He first takes a view of Asia, the Grand Signior in Constanand there of the northern parts, tinople, formerly Byzantium, the destined walls, not yet in Turchestan-born, as the Turks being, but designed to be, (which came from Turchestan, a prois to be understood of all the vince of Tartary; he reckons rest,) of Cambalu, seat of Ca- these to Asia, as they are adthaian Can, the principal city of joining, and great part of their Cathay, a province of Tartary, territories lie in Asia. He passes the ancient seat of the Chams, now into Africa; nor could his and Samarchand by Oxus, the eye not ken th' empire of Negus, chief city of Zagathaian Tartary, the Upper Ethiopia, or the land near the river Oxis, Temir's of the Abyssinians, subject to throne, the birth-place and royal one sovereign, styled in their ' residence of Tamerlane; and own language Negus or king, from the northern he passes to and by the Europeans Prestor the eastern and southern parts John, to his utmost port Ercoco, of Asia, to Paquin or Pekin of or Erquico on the Red Sea, the Sincan kings, the royal city of north-east boundary of the AbysChina, the country of the an- sinian empire, and the less macient Sinæ mentioned by Pto- ritime kings, the lesser kingdoms

390

Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can,
And Samarchand by Oxus, Temir's throne,
To Paquin of Sinæan kings, and thence
To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul
Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since
In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar
In Moscow, or the Sultan in Bizance,

395

on the sea coast, Mombaza, and side of the globe, rich Mexico Quilon, and Melind, all near the in North America the seat of line in Zanguebar, a great re- Montezume, who was subdued gion of the lower Ethiopia, on by the Spanish general Cortes, the eastern or Indian sea, and and Cusco in Peru in South subject to the Portuguese, and America, the richer seat of AtaSofala thought Ophir, another balipa, the last emperor, subkingdom and city on the same dued by the Spanish general sea, mistaken by Purchas and Pizarro, and yet unspoiled Guiothers for Ophir, whence So- ana, another country of South lomon brought gold, to the realm America not then invaded and of Congo, a kingdom in the spoiled, whose great city, namely, lower Ethiopia on the western Manhoa, Geryon's sons, the Spashore, as the others were on niards from Geryon, an ancient the eastern, and Angola farthest king of Spain, call El Dorado or south, another kingdom south of the golden city, on account of Congo; Or thence from Niger its richness and extent. And flood, the river Niger that di- thus he surveys the four difvides Negroland into two parts, ferent parts of the world, but it to Allas mount, in the most must be confessed, more with western parts of Africa, the an ostentation of learning, than kingdoms of Almansor, the coun- with any additional beauty to tries over which Almansor was the poem. But Mr. Thyer is of king, namely, Fez, and Sus, opinion, that such little sallies Morocco, und Algiers, and Tre- of the muse agreeably enough misen, all kingdoms in Barbary. diversify the scene, and observes After Africa he comes to Eu- that Tasso, whose Godfrey is rope, On Europe thence, and

no very imperfect model of a where Rome was

the regular epic poem, has in his world : the less is said of Eu- fifteenth Canto employed thirty rope as it is so well known. In or forty stanzas together in a spirit perhaps he also saw, he description of this sort, which could not see it otherwise, as had

no necessary connection America was on the opposite with his general plan.

to sway

400

Turchestan-born ; nor could his eye not ken
Th'empire of Negus to his utmost port
Ercoco, and the less maritime kings
Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
And Sofala thought Ophir, to the realm
Of Congo, and Angola farthest south ;
Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas mount
The kingdoms of Almansor, Fez and Sus,
Marocco and Algiers, and Tremisen ;
On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway 405
The world : in spi'rit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico the seat of Montezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoild
Guiana, whose great city Geryon' sons
Call El Dorado : but to nobler sights

410

Αχλον δ' αυ του ατ' οφθαλμων ελον, η

Tere 9/99,
ΟΦρ' ευ γινωσκης ημεν θεον, ηδε και ανδρα.

Yet more, from mortal mists I purge

thy eyes, And set to view the warring deities.

Pope.

And as Venus did likewise from those of Æneas, Æn. ii. 604.

409. -and yet unspoild

Guiana. I suppose Milton alluded to the many frustrated voyages, which had been made in search of this golden country. This was the famous place that Sir Walter Raleigh was to have brought such treasures from. Thyer.

411. —but to nobler sights Michael from Adam's eyes the

film remov'd] These which follow are nobler sights, being not only of cities and kingdoms, but of the principal actions of men to the final consummation of things. And to prepare Adam for these sights the angel removed the film from his eyes, as Pallas removed the mists from Diomedes' eyes, Iliad. v. 127.

Aspice, namque omnem, quæ nunc

obducta tuenti Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et hu.

mida circum Caligat, nubem eripiam.

Now cast your eyes around; while

I dissolve The mists and films that mortal eyes

involve, Purge from your sight the dross, and

make you see The shape of each avenging deity.

Dryden.

« AnteriorContinuar »