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Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind ;
O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh, Which Heav'n by these mute signs in nature shows, Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn
He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly bands
204. Darkness ere day's mid- I would refer the curious reader course,]
to Marino's description of the Et noctis faciem nebulas fecisse descent of the three goddesses volucres
upon mount Ida, c. ii. st. 67. Sub nitido mirata die.
which is a scene of the same Ov. Met. i. 602.
sort with this, and painted, I Hunie.
think, even in livelier colours 204. —and morning light &c.] than this of Milton's. Thyer.
Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
213. Not that more glorious, the servant of the man of God was &c.] That was not a more glo- risen early, and gone forth, behold rious apparition of angels, which an host compassed the city, both appeared to Jacob in Mahanaim. . with horses and chariots : and his Gen. xxxii. 1, 2. And Jacob went servant said unto him, Alas, my on his way, and the angels of master, how shall we do? And he God met him: and when Jacob answered, Fear not: for they that saw them, he said, This is God's be with us are more than they that host; and he called the name of be with them. And Elisha prayed that place Mahanaim. Nor that and said, Lord, I pray thee, open which appeared on the flaming his eyes
that he may see.
And mount in Dothan against the the Lord opened the eyes of the king of Syria, when he levied young man, and he saw: and be war against a single man not hold, the mountain was full of like a generous enemy, but like horses and chariots of fire round a base assassin endeavoured to about Elisha. take him by surprise, namely 220. War unproclaim'd.] The Elisha, for having disclosed the
severe censure on this makes designs of the king of Syria to me fancy that Milton hinted at the king of Israel, 2 Kings vi. the war with Holland, which 13, &c. And it was told him, broke out in 1664, when we sursäying, Behold he is in Dothan. prised and took the Dutch BourTherefore sent he thither horses, deaux fleet, before war and chariots, and a great host : proclaimed, which the Whigs and they came by night, and com- much exclaimed against. Warpassed the city about. And when burton.
Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
He ended; and th' archangel soon drew nigh,
230. -by his gait
rank: the supremacy of majestic None of the meanest,]
grace was attributed to Juno; The deities of the heathen my- Athenæus has the phrase 'Heator thology had a peculiar species of BadoS«, and Propertius, 1. ii. el. motion ascribed to them by 2. says of his mistress, incedit vel the poets. Thus Virgil makes Jove digna soror. Æneas discover his mother by Milton in the same manner the single circumstance of her ascribes to the angels a gait progait: vera incessu patuit Dea. portioned to their rank. When Æn. i. 405. Juno likewise de- Satan, in the third book, asscribes herself, Ast ego quæ Di- sumes the form of a stripling vùm incedo regina. Æn. i. 46. cherub, previous to his conferAnd, Æn. v. 647, we find among ence with Uriel, he has decent, the distinguishing marks of di- that is graceful, steps. And so vinity, the gressus eunti:
here. divini signa decoris
I descry Ardentesque notate oculos; qui spi
One of the heavenly host, and by his ritus illi,
gait Qui vultus, vocisque sonus, vel grese None of the meanest, some great sus cunti.
potentate The most ancient statues repre
Or of the thrones above, such majesty
Invests him coming ;sent the Dii Majores with their
Dunster feet even; not as walking, but as smooth-sliding without step.
238. —th' archangel soon drew P. L. viii. 302. The graceful nigh, &c.] I need not obness of their motion was sup- serve how properly this author, posed proportionate to their who always suits his parts to the
Not in his shape celestial, but as man
actors whom he introduces, has Sarrano indormiat ostro. employed Michael in the expul
Hume. . sion of our first parents from
244. — Iris had dipt the woof;] Paradise. The archangel on this occasion neither appears in had said before, that it was
A most poetical expression. He his proper shape, nor in that livelier than the Melibean familiar manner with which Ra
grain, or than that of Sarra; phael the sociable spirit enter
it excelled the most precious tained the father of mankind
purple: but now he says that before the fall. His person,
Iris herself had given the colour, post, and behaviour are suitable the most beautiful colours being, to a spirit of the highest rank, in the rainbow; nay Iris had and exquisitely described in the dipt the very woofi Ke bad befollowing passage. Addison.
fore made use of a like expres242. Livelier than Melibaan,] sion in the Mask.
The attend Of a livelier colour and richer
ant spirit says, dye than any made at Meliboea, a city of Thessaly, famous for
-But I must first put off fish called ostrum, there caught
These my sky robes spun out of Iris'
woof. and used in dying the noblest purple.
248. -and in his hand the
spear.] The construction of this, -Quam plurima circum
and the former part of the pePurpura Mæandro duplici Meliba a cucurrit. Virg. Æn. v. 251. riod, is indeed thus: By his side
hung the sword, and the spear in Or the grain of Sarra, or the dye his hand. It is common with of Tyre, named Sarru of Sar, the ancients for the verb not to the Phænician name of a fish be applicable to all the members there taken, whose blood made of the period. So here hung the purple colour. Georg. ii. may be restrained to the sword 506.
only. There is another like in
Adam bow'd low; he kingly from his state
Adam, Heav'n's high behest no preface needs :
stance, iv. 509. pines agrees to mission to a dream, the dream desire only. Markland on Sta- delivers it exactly in the same tius's Sylv. i. i. 79. gives several words to Agamemnon, and Againstances of this in the ancients. memnon repeats it a third time Richardson.
to the council, though it be 'a 261. And send thee from the tautology of five or six verses
garden forth to till together. But in the passage The ground whence thou wast before us, here is all the beauty tuken, fitter soil.]
and simplicity of Homer, withIt is after the manner of Homer, out any of his faults. Here are that the angel is here made to only two lines repeated out of deliver the order he had received one speech, and a third out of in the very words he had re- another; ver. 48. and here again ceived it. Homer's exactness ver. 259. is so great in this kind, that sometimes I know not whether
But longer in this Paradise to dwell. it is not rather a fault. He ob. And it is a decree pronounced serves this method not only when solemnly by the Almighty, and orders are given by a superior certainly it would not have bepower, but also when messages come the angel, who was sent are sent between equals. Nay to put it in execution, to deliver in the heat and hurry of a battle it in any other words than those a man delivers a message word of the Almighty. And let me for word as he received it: and add, that it was the more proper sometimes a thing is repeated so and necessary to repeat the often that it becomes almost words in this place, as the catedious. Jupiter delivers a com- tastrophe of the poem depends