Sound -- N. Silence -- N. Rossetti]; tacent satis laudant [Lat. Loudness -- N. Faintness -- N. Resonance -- N. Cry -- N. Concord -- N. Discord -- N. Music -- N. Musician [Performance of Music. Musical Instruments -- N. Deafness -- N. Light -- N. Darkness -- N. Dimness -- N. Shade -- N.
A Passion for the Planets
Transparency -- N. Opacity -- N. Turbidity -- N. Semitransparency -- N. Color -- N. Whiteness -- N. Blackness -- N. Gray -- N. Brown -- N. Redness -- N. Greenness -- N. Yellowness -- N. Purple -- N. Blueness -- N. Orange -- N. Variegation -- N. Vision -- N. Blindness -- N. O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon [Milton].
Spectator -- N. Optical Instruments -- N. X-ray diffractometer, goniometer. Visibility -- N. Invisibility -- N. Appearance -- N. Disappearance -- N. Intellect -- N. Absence or want of Intellect -- N. Thought -- N. Meredith]; go speed the stars of Thought [Emerson]; in maiden meditation fancy-free [M. Attention -- N. Now hear this!
Inattention -- N. Care [Vigilance. Golden care! Neglect -- N. Inquiry [Subject of Inquiry. Question] -- N. Answer -- N. Experiment -- N. Comparison -- N. Incomparability [Lack of comparison] -- N. Measurement -- N. Evidence [On one side. Qualification -- N. Degrees of Evidence. Possibility -- N. Taylor]; anything is possible; in theory possible, but in practise unlikely. Impossibility -- N.
Probability -- N. Improbability -- N. Certainty -- N. Uncertainty -- N. Heaven knows; who can tell? Reasoning, -- N. Demonstration -- N. Confutation -- N. Judgment [Conclusion. Misjudgment -- N. Overestimation -- N. Underestimation -- N. Belief -- N. Doubt -- N.
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Credulity -- N. Incredulity -- N. Assent -- N. OK, all right, might as well, why not? Dissent -- N. God forbid! Knowledge -- N. Ignorance -- N. God knows, Heaven knows, the Lord knows, who knows, nobody knows. Jonson]; that unlettered small-knowing soul [Love's Labor's Lost]; there is no darkness but ignorance [Twelfth Night]. Scholar -- N. Ignoramus -- N. Error -- N. Maxim -- N. Absurdity -- N. Intelligence, Wisdom -- N. Solomon-like wisdom. Folly -- N.
Davus sum non [Lat. Sage -- N. Fool -- N. Sanity -- N. Insanity -- N. Madman -- N. Memory -- N. Oblivion -- N. To the Future. Expectation -- N. Inexpectation -- N. Foresight -- N. Prediction -- N. Omen -- N. Oracle -- N. Supposition -- N. Analogy -- N. Imagination -- N. Intelligibility -- N. Unintelligibility -- N. Sphinx, Delphic oracle. Metaphor -- N.
Table of contents
Interpretation -- N. Misinterpretation -- N. Interpreter -- N. Manifestation -- N. Implication -- N. Information -- N. Correction [Correct an error of information; distinguish from correcting a flaw or misbehavior] -- N. I stand corrected. Concealment -- N. Disclosure -- N.
Ambush [Means of concealment]. Publication -- N. News -- N. Secret -- N. Messenger -- N. Affirmation -- N. Negation -- N. Teaching -- N. Misteaching -- N. Learning -- N. Teacher -- N. Learner -- N. School -- N. Veracity -- N. Falsehood -- N. Deception -- N. Untruth -- N. Dupe -- N. Deceiver -- N. Exaggeration -- N. Indication -- N. Record -- N. Recorder -- N. Representation -- N. Misrepresentation -- N. Painting -- N. Sculpture -- N. Engraving -- N. Artist -- N. Language -- N. Letter -- N.
Word -- N. Neologism -- N. Nomenclature -- N. Misnomer -- N. Phrase -- N. Grammar -- N. Solecism -- N. Style -- N. Various Qualities of Style. Perspicuity -- N. Obscurity -- N. Conciseness -- N. Diffuseness -- N. Vigor -- N. Feebleness -- N. Plainness -- N. Ornament -- N. Elegance -- N. Inelegance -- N. Spoken Language. Voice -- N. Aphony -- N. Speech -- N. Eliot]; to try thy eloquence now 'tis time [Antony and Cleopatra]. Loquacity -- N. Taciturnity -- N. Allocution -- N. Conversation -- N. Soliloquy -- N. Soliloquize; say to oneself, talk to oneself; say aside, think aloud, apostrophize.
Written Language. Writing -- N. Printing -- N. Correspondence -- N. Book -- N. Browning]; craignez tout d'un auteur en courroux [Fr. Description -- N. Dissertation -- N. Compendium -- N. Poetry -- N. Smith]; Dichtung und Wahrheit [G. Prose -- N. The Drama -- N. Will -- N. Necessity -- N. Nor all thy piety nor wit shall draw it back to cancel half a [Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam]. Willingness -- N. Unwillingness -- N. Resolution -- N. Perseverance -- N. Irresolution -- N.
Obstinacy -- N. Tergiversation -- N. Caprice -- N. Choice -- N. Absence of Choice -- N. Rejection -- N.
Predetermination -- N. Habit [includes commonness due to frequency of occurrence] -- N. Desuetude -- N. Motive -- N. Absence of Motive -- N. Dissuasion -- N. Good -- N. Evil -- N. Intention -- N. The road to hell is paved with good intentions [Johnson]; sublimi feriam sidera vertice [Lat. The compelling text of A Passion for the Planets is enhanced by the specially commissioned planetary artwork of Julian Baum, himself son of a noted planetary observer and historian of planetary observers, and Randall Rosenfeld.
A Passion for the Planets will be of interest to all amateur astronomers; active planetary observers; armchair astronomers; those interested in the history of astronomy; the cultural history of science; and astronomical art. Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. Front Matter Pages i-xi. Pages By Passion Driven. The strong tendency of the multitude in all ages and nations to idolatry can be explained on no other principles. The first inhabitants of Greece, there is every reason to believe, worshipped one invisible Deity; but the necessity of having, omething more definite to adore produced, in a few centuries, the innumeralIle crowd of gods and goddesses.
In like manner the ancient Persians 1 lought it impious to exhibit the Creator under a human form. Yet even they transferred to the sun the worship which, speculatively, they considered due only to the supreme mind. The history of the Jews is the record of a continual struggle between pure Theism, supported by the most terrible sanctions, and the strangely fascinating desire of having some visible and tangible object of adoration.
Perhaps none of the secondary causes which Gibbon has assigned for the rapidity with which Christianity spread over the world, while Judaism scarcely ever acquired a proselyte, operated more powerfully than this feeling. God, the uncreated, the incomprehensible, the. A philosopher might admire so eption; but the crowd turned away in disgust from words which image to their minds.
It was before Deity embodied in a huH alking among men, partaking of their infirmities, leaning on tlntmR ims, weeping over their graves, slumbering in the manger, bleeding on the cross, that the prejudices of the synagogue, and the doubts of the Academy, and the pride of the Portico, and the forces of the lictor, and the swords of thirty legions, were humbled in the dust. Soon after Christianity had achieved its triumph, the principle which had assisted it began to corrupt it. It became a new Paganism. Patron saints assumed the offices of household gods. George took the place of Mars.
Elmo consoled the mariner for the loss of Castor and Pollux. The virgin Mary and Cecilia succeed to Venus and the Muses. The fascination of sex and loveliness was again joined to that of celestial dignity; and the homage of chivalry was blended with that of religion. Reformers have often made a stand against these feelings; but never with more than apparent and partial success. The men who demolished the images in cathedrals have not always been able to demolish those which were enshrined in their minds.
It would not be difficult to show that in politics the same rule holds good. Doctrines, we are afraid, must generally be embodied before they can excite strong public feeling. The multitude is more easily'interested for the most unmeaning badge, or the most insignificant name, than for the most important principle. From these considerations, we infer that no poet who should affect that metaphysical accuracy for the want of which Milton has been blamed, would escape a disgraceful failure, still, however, there was another extreme, which, though one less dangerous, was also to be avoided.
The imaginations of men are in a great measure under the control of their opinions. The most exquisite art of a poetical coloring can produce no illusion when it is employed to represent that which is at once perceived to be incongruous and absurd. Milton wrote in an age of philosophers and theologians. It was necessary therefore for him to abstain from giving such a shock to their understandings, as might break the charm which it was his object to throw Sover their imaginations.
This is the real explanation of the indistinctness and inconsistency with which he has often been reproached. Johnson acknowledges that it was absolutely necessary for him to clothe his spirits with material forms. What if the contrary opinion had taken so full a possession of the minds of men, as to leave no room even for the quasi-belief which poetry requires?
Such we suspect to have been the case. It was impossible for the poet to adopt altogether the material or the immaterial system. He therefore took his stand on the debateable ground. He left the whole in ambiguity.
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He has doubtless, by. But, tl. F losophically in the wrong, we cannot but believe that he was the right. This task, which almost any other writer would havw e practicable, was easy to him. The peculiar art which he possessed municating his meaning circuitously, through a long succession of associated ideas, and of intimating more than he expressed, enabled him to disguise those incongruities which he could not avoid.
The spirits of Milton are unlike those of almost all other writers. His fiends, in particular, are wonderful creations. They are not metaphysical abstractions. They are not xwicked men. They are not ugly beasts. They have no horns, no tails. They have just enough in common with human nature to be intelligible to human beings. Their characters are.
OF man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, 5 Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top 1. As in the commencement of the Iliad, of the Odyssey, and of the jEneid, so here the subject of the poem is the first announcement that is made, and precedes the verb with which it stands connected, thus giving it due prominence. Besides the plainness and simplicity of the exordium, there is as Newton has observed a further beauty in the variety of the numbers, which of themselves charm every reader without any sublimity of thought or pomp of expression; and this variety of the numbers consists chiefly in the pause being so artfully varied that it falls upon a different syllable in almost every line.
Thus, in the successive lines it occurs after the words disobedience, tree, world, Eden, us, Muse. In Milton's verse the pause is continually varied according to the sense through all the ten syllables of which it is composed; and to this peculiarity is to be ascribed the surpassing harmony of his numbers. Eden: Here the whole is put for a part. It was the loss of Paradise only, the garden, the most beautiful part of Eden; for after the expulsion of our first parents from Paradise we read of their pursuing their solitary way in Eden, which was an extensive region.
Regain, -'c. Muse: One of those nine imaginary heathen divinities, that were. Secret top: set apart, interdicted. The Israelites, during the delivery of the law, were not allowed to ascend that mountain. Horeb and Sinai were the names of two contiguous eminences of the same chain of mountains. Compare Exod. Shepherd: Moses.
Oracle: God's temple; so called from the divine communications which were there granted to men. The J. Virgil's Eclog.
Things unattempted: There were but few circumstances upon which Milton could raise his poem, and in everything which he added out of his own invention he was obliged, from the nature of the subject, to proceed with the greatest caution; yet he has filled his story with a surprising number of incidents, which bear so close an analogy with what is delivered in holy writ that it is capable of pleasing the most delicate reader without giving offence to the most scrupulous. Chiefly Thou, 0 Spirit: Invoking the Muse is commonly a matter of mere form, wherein the modern poets neither mean, nor desire to be thought to mean, anything seriously.
But the Holy Spirit, here invoked, is too solemn a name to be used insignificantly: and besides, our author, in the i ing of his next work, 'Paradise Regained,' scruples not to say to the sa Divine Person" Inspire As Thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute. I is thought by Bp. Newton that the poet is liable to the charge of enthusism; having expected from the Divine Spirit a kind and degree of inspiratio similar to that which the writers of the sacred scriptures enjoyed.
The 2. Say irst, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view, Nor 4he deep tract of Hell; say first what cause Moved our grand parents, in that happy state, Favor'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off 30 widow of Milton was accustomed to affirm that he considered himself as inspired; and this report is confirmed by a passage in his Second Book on Church Government, already quoted in our preliminary observations. The height of the argument is precisely what distinguishes this poem of Milton fot 1r--a'l others.
In other works of imagination the difficulty lie in giving sufficient elevation to the subject; here it lies in raising the imagination up to the grandeur of the subject, in adequate conception of its mightiness, and in finding language of such majes'y as will not degrade it. A genius less gigantic and less holy than Milton's would have shrunk from the attempt.
Milton not only does not lower; but he illumines the bright, and enlarges the great: he expands his wings, and " sails with supreme dominion" up to the heavens, parts the clouds, and communes with angels and unembodied spirits. The poets attribute a kind of omniscience to the Muse, as it enables them to speak of things which could not otherwise be supposed to come to their knowledge. Thus Homer, Iliad ii. Milton's Muse, being the Holy Spirit, must of course be omniscient. Greatness, is an important requisite in the action or subject of an epic poem; and Milton here surpasses both Homer and Virgil.
The an. Milton's subject do' determine the fate merely of single persons, or of a nation, but o- A. The united powers of Hell are joined together for the d :tion of mankind, which they effected in part and would have completed, eI not Omnipotence itself interposed. The principal actors are man in his gr:atest perfection, and woman in her highest beauty. Their enemies are the fllen angels; the Meslih their friend, and the Almighty their Protector.
From their Creator, and trangress his will For one restraint, lords of the world besides? Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? Him the Almighty Power Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky, 45 With hideous ruin and combustion down To bottomless perdition; there to dell In adamantine chains and penal fire, short, everything that is great in the whole circle of being, whether within the range of nature or beyond it, finds a place in this admirable poem.
But he who addresses himself to the perusal of this work with a mind entirely unaccustome ious and spiritual contemplation, unacquainted with the word of G prejudiced against it, is ill qualified to appreciate the value of a poem bu t upon it, or to taste its beauties. One restraint: one subject of restraint-the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Compare Gen. John viii. Aspiring: 1 Tim. In glory: a divine glory, such as God himself possessed. This charge is brought against him, V. Ruin is derived from ruo, and includes the idea of falling with violence and precipitation: combustion is more than flaming in the foregoing line; it is burning in a dreadful manner. Compare with Epistle of Jude v. Eschylus Prometh. Nine times the space, c. Propriety sometimes requires the use of circumlocution, as in this case.
To have said nine days and nights would not have been proper when talking of a period before the crealion of the sun, and consequently before time was portioned out-uy being in that manner. The nine days' astonishment, in whic tie angels lay entranced after their dreadful overthrow and fall from heaven, before they could recover the use either of thought or speech, is a noble circumstance and very finely imagined.
The division of hell into seas of fire, and into firm ground impregnated with the same furious element, with that particular circumstance of the exclusion of hope from those infernal regions, are instances of the same great and fruitful invention. Darkness visible: gloom. Absolute darkness is, strictly speaking, invisible; but where there is a gloom only, there is so much light remaining as serves to show that there are objects, and yet those objects cannot be discanctly seen. Compare with the Penseroso, 79, ' Where glowing embers through the room Teach light to counterfeit a gloom.
Utter, has the same meaning as the word outer, which is applied to darkness in the Scriptures. Spenser uses utter in this sense. Thrice as far as it is from the centre of the earth which is the centre of the world, universe, according to Miltons s stem, IX. It is observable that Homer makes the seat of hell as far beneath the deepest pit of earth as the heaven is above the earth, Iliad viii. The language of the inspired writings says Dugald Stewart is on this as on other occasions, beautifully accommodated to the irresistible impressions of nature; availing itself of such popular and familiar words as upwards and downwards, above and below, in condescension to the frailty of the human mind, governed so much by sense and imagination, and so little by the abstractions of philosophy.
Hence the expression of fallen angels, which, by recalling to us the eminence from which they fell, communicates, in a single word, a character of sublimity to the bottomless abyss. Compare with Mark ix. Compare with Mat. The word means god offlies. Here he is made second to Satan. Many other names are assigned, to this arch enemy of God and man, in the sacred scriptures. Abaddon, Belial, Beelzebub. Milton, it will be seen, applies some of these terms to other evil angels. Breaking the horrid silence thus began: li If thou beest he; but 0 how fallen!
If he whom mutual league, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise, Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd 90 In equal ruin: into what pit thou seest From what height fall'n, so much the stronger proved He with his thunder: and till then who knew The force of those dire arms? Upon the character of Satan as. The confusion of mind felt by Satan is happily shown by the abrupt and halting manner in which he commences this speech.
Fallen; see Isaiah xiv. Changed: see Virg. Quantum mutatus ab illo! He with his thunder. There is an uncommon beauty in this expression. Satan disdains to utter the name of God, though he cannot but acknowledge his superiority. So again, line Those: compare Azsch. Amidst those impieties which this enraged spirit utters in various parts of the poem, the author has taken care to introduce none that is not big with absurdity, and incapable of shocking a religious reader; his words, as the poet himself describes them, bearing only a " semblance of worth, not substance.
Whatever perverse interpretation he puts on the justice, mercy, and other attributes of the Supreme Being, he frequently confesses his omnipotence, that being the perfection he was forced to allow, and the only consideration which could support his pride under the shame of his defeat. Upon this important point Dr. Channing has made the following observations: " Some have doubted whether the moral effect of such delineations as Milton has given of the stormy and terrible workings of the soul is good; whether the interest felt in a spirit so transcendently evil as Satan favors our sympathies with virtue.
But our interest fastens, in this and like cases, on what is not evil. We gaze on Satan with an awe not unmixed. That were an ignominy and shame beneath This downfall: since by fate the strength of Gods And this empyreal substance cannot fail, ost? What chains us, as with a resistless spell, in such a character, is spiritual might might of soul , made visible by the racking pains which it overpowers. There is something kindling and ennobling in the consciousness, however awakened, of the energy which resides in mind; and many a virtuous man has borrowed new strength from the force, constancy, and dauntless courage of evil agents.
Overcome: in some editions an interrogation point is placed after this word, but improperly; for, as Pearce remarks, the line means, 'and if there be anything else besides the particulars mentioned which is not to be overcome. That glory: referring to the possession of an unconquerable will, and the other particulars mentioned Doubted his empire: that is, doubted the stability of it. Satan supposes the angels to subsist by necessity, and repre. Sthem of an empyreal, that is, fiery substance, as the Scripture does, Ps.
Satan disdains to submit, since the angels as he says are - immortal and cannot be destroyed, and since too they are now experience. Since through experience of this great event In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, We may with more successful hope resolve To wage by force or guile eternal war, Irreconcileable to our grand foe, Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy, -ole reigning holds the tyranny of heav'n. So spake th' apostate Angel, though in pain, Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deepgdespair: And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.
Compare with Isaiah vi. An order of ar the throne of God. Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being To undergo eternal punishment? If then his providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labor must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil; Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and distitrb His inmost counsels fiom their destined aim.
But see, the angry victor hath recall'd His ministers of vengeance and pursuit Back to the gates of Heav'n; the sulph'rous hail Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid The fiery surge, that from the precipice Of Heav'n received us falling; and the thunder, Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now To bellow through the vast and boundless deep, Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn One of an order of angels next in rank to a seraph.
Compare with Gen. The account here given by Satan differs materially from that whib, Raphael gives, book vi. RaphaePs account may be considered as the true one; but, as Newton remarks. In book vi. And what a slublime idea does it give us of the terrors of the Messiah, that he alone should be a- formidable, as if the whole host of Heaven were in pursuit of them. Or satiate fury yield it from our foe. Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, The seat of desolation, void of light, Save what the glimm'ring of these livid flames Casts pale and dreadful?
Thither let us tend From off the tossing of these fiery waves, There rest, if any rest can harbor there, And reassembling our afflicted powers, Consult how we may henceforth most offend Our enemy, our own loss how repair, How overcome this dire calamity, What reinforcement we may gain from hope, If not, what resolution from despair. The incidents, in the passage that follows, to which Addison calls attention, are, Satan's being the first that wakens out of the general trance, his posture on the burning lake, his rising from it.
Prone on the flood, somewhat like those two monstrous serpents described by Virgil ii. Rood, 4c. And also that of the old dragon in Spenser's Fairy Queen, book i. Titanian, or Earth-born: Genus antiquum terra, Titania pubes 2En. I Briareos, or Typhon, whom the den By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast 2'0 Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim the ocean stream; Him haply slumb'ring on the Norway foaml The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell, With fixed anchor in his scaly rind Moors by his side under the lea, while night Invests the sea and wish d morn delays: Here Milton comme ces that tin of learntd allusions which was among his peculiarities, and which he always makes poetical by some picturesque epithet, or simile.
Briareos, a fabled giant one of the Titans possessed of a hundred hands. Leviathan, a marine animal finely described in the book of Job, ch. It is supposed by some to be the whale; by others, the crocodile, with less probability. See Brande's Cyc. Swim the ocean-stream: What a force of imagination is there in this last expression! What an idea it conveys of the size of that largest of created beings, as if it shrunk up the ocean to a stream, and took up the sea in its nostrils as a very little thing! Force of style is one of Milton's great excellencies. Hence, perhaps, he stimulates us more in the reading, and less afterwards.
The way to defend Milton against all impugners is to take down the book and read it. This line is by some found fault with as inharmonious; but good taste approves its structure, as being on this account better suited to convey a just idea of the size of this monster. Night-foundered: overtaken by the night, and thus arrested in its course. The metaphor, as Hume observes, is taken from a foundered horse that can go no further. Under the lee: in a place defended from the wind. Invests the sea: an allusion to the figurative description of Night given by Spenser: " By this the drooping daylight 'gan to fate.
And yield his room to sad succeeding night, Who with her sable mantle 'gan to shade The face of Earth. Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air, There are many examples in Milton of musical expression, or of an adaptation of the sound and movement of the verse to the meaning of the passage. This line is an instance. By its great length, and pectliar structure, being composed of monosyllables, it is admirably adapted to convey the idea of immense size.
Chained on the burning lake: There seems to be an allusion here to the legend of Prometheus, one of the Titans, who was exposed to the wrath of Jupiter on account of his having taught mortals the arts. According to another story he was actually the creator of men, or at least inspired them with thought and sense. His punishment was to be chained to a rock on Caucasus, where a vulture perpetually gnawed his liver from which he was finally rescued by Hercnles.
This legend has formed the subject of the grandest of all the poetical illustrations of Greek supernatural belief, the Prometheus Bound of,'schylus. Many have recognized in the indomitable resolution of this sa fuiring Titan, and his stern endurance of the evils inflicted on him by a power with which he had vainly warred for supremacy, the prototype of the arch-fiend of Milton.
That felt unusual weight: This conceit as Thyer remarks is borrowed fromn Spenser, who thus describes the old dragon, book i. Etna, whose combustible And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire, And with strong flight did forcibly divide The yielding air, which nigh too feeble found Her flitting parts, and element unsound, To bear so great a weight. Liquid fire. There are several noble similies and allusions in the first book of Paradise Lost. And here it must be observed that when Milton alludes either to things or persons he never quits his simile until it rises to some very great idea, which is often foreign to the occasion that gave birth to it.
The simile does not perhaps occupy above a line or two, but the poet runs on with the hint until he has raised out of it some brilliant image or sentiment adapted to inflame the mind of the reader and to give it that sublime kind of entertainment which is suitable to the nature of an heroic poem. In short, if we look into the poems of Homer, Virgil, and Milton, we must observe, that as the great fable is the soul of each poem, so, to give their works the greater variety, the episodes employed by these authors may be regarded as so many short fables, their similies as so many short episodes, and their metaphors as so many short similies.
If the comparisons in the first book of Milton, of the sun in an eclipse, of the sleeping leviathan, of: bees swarming about their hive, of the fairy dance, be regarded in this light the great beauties existing in each of these passages will readily be discovered. Wind: this should be altered to winds, to agree with the reading in line ; or that should be altered to agree with this.
Pelorus: the eastern promontory of Sicily. Thence conceiving fire: the combustible and fuelled entrails, or interior contents, of the mountain, are here represented as takingfire, as the result of the action of the subterranean wind, in removing the side of the mountain. The fire thus kindled was sublimed with mineral fury, that is, was heightened by the rapid combustion of mineral substances of a bituminous nature.
The poet seems to have in his mind the description of JEtna by Virgil book iii , Sed horrificis juxta tonat JEtna ruinis, Interdumque atram prorumpit ad athera nubem, Turbine fumantem piceo, et candente favilla; Attollitque globos flammarlum, et sidera lambit:. Him follow'd his next mate, Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, Not by the sufPrance of Supernal Power.
Be it so, since he Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid What shall be right: farthest from him is best, Whom reason hath equall'd, force hath made supreme Above his equals. Farewell happy fields, Where joy forever dwells: Hail horrors, hail Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell Receive thy new possessor; one who brings A mind not to be changed by place or time.
Stygian flood; an expression here of the same import with infernal flood, alluding to the fabulous river Styx of the lower world, which the poets represented as a broad, dull and sluggish stream. Sovran: from the Italian word sovrano. Channing, writing upon Satan's character as drawn by the po t observes: " Hell yields to the spirit which it imprisons. The intensity of its fires reveals the intense passion and more vehement will of Satan; and the ruined archangel gathers into himself the sublimity of the scene which surrounds him.
This forms the tremendous interest of these wonderful books. We see mind triumphant over the most terrible powers of natuire We see unutterable agony subdued by energy of soul. These are some of the extravagances of the Stoics, and could not. Here at least We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure, and in my choice,To reign is worth ambition, though in hell; Tetter to reign in hell than serve inheaven But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Th' associates and copartners of our loss, Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy mansion, or once more With rallied arms to try what may be yet Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?
Shakspeare, in Hamlet, says: There is nothing either good or bad, but Thinking makes it so. This sentiment is the great foundation on which the Stoics build, their whole system of ethics. Compare Virg. The lust of power and the hatred of moral excellence are Satan's prominent characteristics. Edge of battle: from the Latin word acies, which signifies both the edge of a weapon and also an army in battle array. See book VI. As we ere while, astounded and amazed, No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious height.
Homer and Ossian describe in a like splendid manner the shields of their heroes. Galileo: He was the first who applied the telescope to celestial observations, and was the discoverer of the satellites of Jupiter in , which, in honor of his patron, Cosmo Medici he called the Mediccan stars. Frc:n the tower of St. Mark he showed the Venetian senators not only the satellites of Jupiter but the crescent of Venus, the triple appearance of Saturn, and the inequalities on the Moon's surface.
At this conference he also endeavored to convince them of the truth of the Copernican system. Fesol: a city of Tuscany. The very sound of these names is charming. Ammiral: the obsolete form of admiral, the principal ship in a fleet. The idea contained in this passage, may, as Dr. Johnson suggests, be drawn from the following. Tasso, canto vi. Nathless: nevertheless. This is a favorite passage with all readers of descriptive poetry. Autumnal leaves. Compare Virgil's lines, JEn. But Milton's comparison is the more exact by far; it not only expresses a multitude but also the posture and situation of the angels.
Their lying confusedly in heaps covering the lake is finely represented by this image of the leaves in the brooks. Vallombrosa: a Tuscan valley: the name is composed of vallis and umbra, and thus denotes a shady valley. Orion arm'd: Orion is a constellation represented in the figure of an armed man, and supposed to be attended with stormy weather, assurgens fluctu nimbosus Orion, Virg. The wind usually drives the sedge in great quantities against the shore. Busiris: Bentley objects to Milton giving this name to Pharaoh since history does not support him in it.
But Milton uses the liberty of a poet in giving Pharaoh this name, because some had already attached it to him. Chivalry, denotes here those who use horses in fight, whether by riding on them, or riding in chariots drawn by them, See line Also Paradise Regained iii.
Perfidious: he permitted them to leave the country, but afterwards pursued them.
Of Hell resounded. Or in this abject posture have ye sworn T' adore the conqueror? Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. Nor did they not perceive the evil plight In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Yet to their gen'ral's voice they soon obey'd Innumerable. As when the potent rod Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day, Waved round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind, That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile: So numberless were those bad Angels seen This magnificent call of Satan to his prostrate host could have been written by nobody but Milton.
Anon: Soon. An allusion seems here to be made to the 2Eneid, book i. Illum, exspirantem transfixo pectore flammas, Tuibine corripuit. Amram's son: Moses. See Exod. Warping: Moving like waves; or, working themselves forward. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve Got them new names, till wand'ring o'er the earth, Cope: Roof. Frozen loins: In Scripture children are said to come out of the loins, Gen.