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the amplification of the similitude presents a new landscape. It has been urged by some critics that, as in Vallombrosa, (quasi vallis umbrosa, or shady vale,) in Tuscany, the trees are mostly evergreen, and therefore do not shed their leaves all at once in the autumn, Milton is botanically wrong; still it is asserted that the leaves drop off by degrees (as the same leaves do not always continue), and accumulate continually; and this circumstance is a sufficient justification of Milton, (see Todd.) I may observe, that Milton must have seen this famous valley; and, as being a botanist, must have been aware of the nature of evergreens, and of the autumnal state of the foliage there, and therefore made the comparison knowingly. Besides, "autumnal," (the word on which the objection has been mainly hung,) independently of its poetical fitness, is materially right, as the accumulation of leaves in autumn, after the dry seasons, must be greater than that in spring, after the wet and rotting seasons. In addition, I may state that, besides evergreens, there are many other kinds of trees there whose leaves drop off autumnally.

304. Orion is a constellation represented in the figure of an armed man, and supposed to be attended with stormy weather. Æn. i. 539: "Assurgens fluctu nimbosus Orion."

306. Some learned travellers object to the accuracy of this simile, on the ground of their having seen no sedge flung by storms on the shores of the Red Sea. But Milton's full justification, I think, is, that, from the real or supposed quantity of sedge thrown on the shore, that sea was, in Hebrew, called "the sedgy sea," and he had, therefore, not merely historical but sacred authority for the assertion. Besides, it may be urged, that this want of knowledge on the part of sojourners, during a certain time, cannot be considered as a disproof of a circumstance that the name sedgy sea" did establish, at one period, as a credited fact. Vexed here is used in the sense of vexare.

309-311. Goshen was the district allotted to the Israelites in the kingdom of Egypt. The commentators remark, that Milton (in imitation of Homer and Virgil) goes off here from the main purpose of the similitude, and, by the introduction of the floating carcases, introduces an additional beauty and a new

image. Milton does not use a poetic license in making this Pharaoh, Busiris, as he has the authority of some previous writers for it." Chivalry" means all those who fought on horseback, and from chariots. So 765; so Par. Reg. i. 343.— Pharaoh's pursuit is called "perfidious," because he previously agreed to allow the Israelites to depart unmolested.-(P. H.) 314. See Note 540.

317. "If" depends on "lost," in the preceding line.

318 & 322. "Or.... or." This passage, obscure to many readers, has not been explained by the commentators. This structure of sentences is strictly on ancient classical principles: the first conjunction "or" does not join the clause which it commences with the preceding, but is an inceptive, and referring to the latter "or," (322.) It begins the first clause of a logical disjunctive proposition, and means "either" or "whether.' So in Latin, "," "Seu... seu," "An... an," &c. are used as reciprocally referential. Satan ironically asks his followers whether, in consequence of the ease they experienced on the burning lake, they chose it as a restingplace, as comfortable as they found heaven to be; or, not so choosing it, but finding it full of horrors, they basely swore to adore the conqueror by remaining in that abject posture in which he placed them.

320. "Virtue," in the original sense of virtus, or upern, personal prowess and courage. In the progress of civilisation, when the regulation of human conduct became of more value than bodily courage or power, the word was taken in a moral sense.

328, 329. Virgil, Æn. i. 44, gives somewhat a similar representation of Ajax Oïleus :

"Illum expirantem transfixo pectore flammas Turbine corripuit, scopuloque infixit acuto."

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"Lo! now the heavens obey to me alone." "Yet." I have often known readers feel a difficulty here. If the angels so well knew the evil plight and the fierce pains in which they were, and which were attributable to their former submission to Satan's orders and counsels, why should they now start up so promptly at his call? The explanation is to be found in the word " dread," in the preceding simile, which, though one of the most homely, is one of the most beautifully expressive in the whole poem. So strong was their esteem and awe, and so rooted their feeling of obedience to their chief, that, though still stupified with the effects of their defeat, and racked with pain, they rose up at his command, as it were involuntarily and by impulse.

338-341. This refers to one of the plagues brought on Egypt by Moses, (Exod. x. 13,) when he stretched forth his rod in consequence of Pharaoh's refusal to allow the Israelites to depart.-" Warping," a nautical term, i. e. working laboriously forward in a sort of sidelong motion. The rod of Moses was the staff generally used by him for driving his flocks. This God commanded him to take with him for working miracles before Pharaoh. Exod. iv.

348. "Sultan" was the title of chief ruler among the Turks and Arabians, and is selected here as the designation of Satan, because the Mahometan despots were the greatest enemies of Christianity.-(N.)

351, &c. He refers to the irruption of the Goths, Huns, Vandals, &c. from the north of Europe, which, from the immense numbers it sent on the south, barbarously destroying every vestige of art and learning, was called "the northern hive." He uses "Rhene" of the Latin, and "Danaw" of the German, in place of the common names, Rhine and Danube, as being more ancient and classical. "Beneath Gibraltar" means more southward (as they landed in Africa), the north being uppermost on the globe. — (N.) These three similes rise beautifully above each other, and do not merely give an illustration of the numbers of the fallen angels, but, as Dunster has well observed, of the different states in which they are represented. In the first, while lying supinely on the lake, they are compared to heaps of dead leaves strewing the brooks of Vallombrosa; in the second, when on the wing to obey their leader's

order, they are compared to the multitudes of locusts on their flight to Egypt; in the third, when lighting on the firm brimstone, and ranging themselves under their several chiefs for the purpose of projecting new hostilities, they are compared to the most numerous bodies of troops which all history records as engaged in military expedition. This succession of similes will recall to the classical reader's memory the succession of similes in the second and third books of the Iliad.

363. Several critics of high authority would read here "book" in place of "books," as more conformable to the style of the epic and of Scripture. Rev. iii. 5: "I will not blot his name out of the book of life."

367. I. e. by false idols belying, under a corporal representation, the true God. So Rom. i. 22, 23: "They changed the truth of God into a lie." Amos ii. 4: "Their lies caused them to err."—(Up.)

372. "Religions" here is used, like religiones sometimes in Livy and Cicero, to signify, religious rites.

376. Milton, in imitation of Homer (Il. ii.) in his catalogue of the ships, and of Virgil (Æn. viii.) in his catalogue of warriors, invokes his muse anew in his catalogue of the principal fallen angels. This catalogue has been much praised, as a most learned epitome of the whole system of the Syrian and Arabian idolatries; and is considered peculiarly appropriate here, as deducing the origin of superstition, without an explanation of which this religious poem would be imperfect. - "Whom first, whom last." So Homer, Il. v. 703 :

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Τινα πρωτον, τινα δ' ύστερον.

Virg. Æn. xi. 664:

"Quem telo primum, quem postremum." 380. Ovid, Met. xiii. 1:

vulgi stante corona."

384, &c. Consult Kings vi. 23; 2 Kings xix. 15; xxi. 4, 5; Exod. xxv. 22; Ezek. vii. 20; viii. 5, 6; xliii. 8; Jer. vii. 30.-(N.)

387. The ark, or chest, which contained the tables on which were written the Commandments, and was deposited in the Sanctuary or Holy of Holies, the inner part of the temple, to which none but the high priest had access, and this only once a year, was encircled by two golden figures of winged cherubim. It was here God is said to have been enthroned. The ark was two cubits and a half long,

a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. It was made of shittim wood, (which was whitish, hard, close, and incorruptible,) and covered with plates of gold. (See Exod. xxv. 10—22.) The blossoming rod of Aaron was also deposited there (Numb. xvii. 10), and the omer (a six-pint measure) of manna gathered in the wilderness (Exod. xvi. 33). It is generally believed to have been taken off to Babylon at the time of the captivity, and never restored. It was not in the second temple. It is remarkable that the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, imitating, but corrupting, this part of the Jewish religion, had their cista, containing their most sacred things, and deposited in the recesses of their temples. See Spencer de Legib. Hebræor.; Apuleius de Asino Aureo, ix. xi; Plutarch on Isis and Osiris; Euseb. Præpar. Evangel. ii. 5; and Calmet.

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392-405. Consult 1 Kings xi. 7; 2 Kings xxiii. 10; Deut. xviii. 10; Levit. xviii. 21; xx. 2; Jer. xxxii. 35; Amos xxv.; 2 Sam. xii. 27.-" Moloch" means king; and horrid" refers to the sacrifices offered to him. He was the chief divinity of the Ammonites, whose capital city was Rabba, and the southern boundary of whose country was the river Arnon. The rites observed in his worship varied according to place and circumstances; sometimes children and grown-up persons were obliged to pass only through the fire kindled in his honour by way of purification, or charm against disease or evil; this was also the mode, it is said, of consecrating persons to the ministry of his priesthood. It is not certain whether the votaries actually passed over the fire, and through the blaze; or only between two large fires kindled close to one another: the former is more probable. Human victims were also sacrificed to him; sometimes by being burned on a pile before his image; sometimes they were shut up within the idol, which was made of brass, and heated to such a pitch that the wretched victim was consumed. It is said to have contained seven apartments for the different sorts of victims, human and brute animals. Sometimes the image was wicker, or wooden, and set on fire, together with the victims enclosed in it, until both were destroyed. Julius Cæsar, in his account of the Druidism of Gaul, says, that numbers of human victims were periodically sacrificed in this way. The Rabbins describe the idol of Moloch

as of brass, sitting on a throne, and wearing a crown; having the head of a calf, with open blood-stained mouth, and his arms extended to receive the miserable victims. In Sonnerat's Travels, there is a curious account of the custom of passing through the fire, even now existing in a part of India, at the annual feast of Dermah Rajah:-" For eighteen days the votaries sleep on the ground, fast, and observe the strictest chastity; at the expiration of that time, an intense fire, forty feet long, is kindled, round which the images of Dermah and his wife are carried with great pomp, amidst the sound of musical instruments and the prayers of the multitude. Then the votaries, their heads covered with garlands of flowers, and their bodies anointed with saffron oil, and their foreheads rubbed with the ashes of the holy fire, proceed naked through the blazing element, while the musical instruments continue playing. Some carry children in their arms; some spears, targets, &c.; and some, other objects of their affection. It often happens that several perish in the flame; those who survive the operation are much caressed, and relics of what they bore with them are coveted and preserved by the spectators." The drums and musical instruments were, it is said, used in the rites of Moloch to drown the cries of the sufferers. I do not see why they should not have been considered as having been also used in honour of the divinity and of the rite. Many commentators of high authority say, that Saturn of the Carthaginians, the descendants of the Phoenicians, to whom, it is notorious, human sacrifices were offered, was the eastern Moloch; some think him to be the Mars of European and more modern Paganism.

406. "Chemos" is derived by the best antiquaries from an Arabic root which signifies to hasten, and is supposed by them to be the same as the sun, the speed of whose course and light may well procure it the name of swift. Strabo, b. xv. and Ammianus Marcellinus, xxiii. when they mention Apollo Chomeus, are supposed to allude to the same deity as Chemos of the Moabites. Others say that Chemos was the same as Ammon. Now Macrobius shows that Ammon was the sun, and that the horns with which he is represented denote his rays Lucan, Pharsal. ix. says that Ammon was the divinity worshipped by the Ethiopians, Arabians, and Indians:

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As Milton, no doubt following the authority of Jerom and others, takes Chemos for Baal Peor, (though the best supported opinions identify Baal Peor with Thamuz or Adonis,) I will in this place mention the principal circumstances connected with the worship of Baal Peor in particular, and of Baal in general; for there were many deities under the general name of Baal, according to the place and circumstances of the peculiar worship, and the attributes of the particular divinity. Baal is Lord or Master; and Peor, aperture: Baal Peor is the Lord of opening, and the title is generally believed to refer to him as the deity who presided over the formation and production of animal matter; and was, according to Origen and St. Jerom, the same as Priapus of the Romans, and Bacchus of the Greeks, the worship of whom was attended with some grossly obscene circumstances. He was the chief divinity of the Moabites, who generally appointed women to officiate at the religious rites. These rites were of the most licentious kind; though the people did not think them revolting to decency, but expressive of meritorious homage to the great generative and producing power. The image of the god was naked, somewhat resembling the Phallic image of the Grecian Bacchus. Herodotus says that the Greeks themselves could give no explanation of the cause of the Phallic worship of Bacchus, or of the time and circumstances of its introduction, though it was to him clear that it came from the East. I think there can be little doubt that it followed in the train of Cadmus, the Phoenician, who introduced so many important changes in the language, institutions, and customs of Greece. The votaries, while paying Peor worship, were naked. The Egyptians, in the worship of Orus and Osiris, observed rites and adored a power similar to those of Peor. The festival of Saktipujah, observed by the Hindoos to this day, resembles that of Chemos. See Fr. Paolino, Voyage to East Indies.-"Orgies," from opyn, furor, were properly the wild, licentious rites of Bacchus, and correctly referred here to the rites of Chemos.

Some authors imagine that Baal Peor means the "Lord of Mount Peor," where this deity was worshipped with peculiar honour, as Jupiter was called Olympius;

Apollo, Clarius; Mercury, Cyllenius, &c. from the places where they were worshipped. When the Israelites were encamped in the vicinity of Moab, Balak, the king, fearing such an immense multitude would attack, perhaps overrun, his country, consulted Balaam, a native of Pethor, on the Euphrates, famous in all those regions as a diviner and a prophet. Balaam advised that the Moabite women should form sexual connexion with the Israelites, and thus lure them by the attractions of their religious ceremonies, to idolatry, which would deprive them of the protection of God, gradually destroy their peculiarity as a separate people, incorporate them with the Moabites, and eventually enfeeble, if not destroy them. This counsel was acted on, and the Israelites were seduced to carnal intercourse and idolatry. This so exasperated Moses that he ordered one thousand of the principal delinquents to be slain; twenty-three thousand more perished by plague, as a visitation from God. Solomon erected a sacred grove and statue for this divinity on the Mount of Olives, as he did for Moloch, (hence the words "opprobrious hill," and "hill of scandal,") when he lapsed in his old age into idolatry, at the instigation of his heathen concubines. But king Josiah, who lived in the time of the prophets Jeremiah, Baruch, Joel, and Zephaniah, cut down the heathen groves, and broke the images to pieces, there and all over Judea; the images he ordered to be reduced to powder, and scattered over the graves (which among the Jews were always considered polluted places not to be touched) to prevent any the smallest part of them from being preserved as relics and to prevent the places of the groves and images from being ever after used as places of worship, he ordered the bones of the most eminent persons who were engaged in the idolatry, to be dug out of their graves and scattered over them, so as to render them as polluted and odious as possible. (See Calmet, and Selden de Diis Syriis.)

"Aroer was a city on the Arnon, the northern boundary of Moab; Nebo was a city towards the east; and Abarim was a ridge of mountains, the boundary to the south. Seon or Sihon king of the Ammonites, took Hesebon or Heshbon, and Horonaim from the Moabites. Eleäle was another city near Heshbon; the Asphaltic Pool was their boundary to the west." As the Moabites and Ammonites were neighbours, Chemos and

Moloch are properly mentioned in succession.-(N.)

"The Asphaltic Pool," sometimes called the Lake of Sodom," as standing on the site of the ancient Sodom, derives its name from the quantity of asphaltus, a species of bitumen, which floats in masses on its surface. This asphaltus is thought to be superior in quality to any other, and is much used by the Arabians for medicinal purposes. It is shining, dark, heavy, and of a strong smell when burnt.

The lake, which is about seventy miles long by about twenty broad, though receiving the large river Jordan, and several others, yet has no visible outlet, and does not overflow, which is supposed to arise from the evaporation of the inflowing fresh water. It is called "the Dead Sea," because it was believed that fish could not live in it, or even birds fly over it with safety. It may be well called the Avernus of the Eastern world. But admitting that it is not so utterly destructive of animal life, (and indeed Chateaubriand, Maundrel, and other travellers doubt the fact,) the gloom and stagnation of the water, the sterility of its high and rocky shores, the paucity of animals seen about it, and the horrid desolation that reigns upon it and all around, would well entitle it to that name. From the concurrent representations of all authors, the place appears as if the malediction of Heaven had lighted upon it. It is also called the "Salt Sea" by the Hebrews, who call nitre and bitumen "salt." But the celebrated Galen says that it is really impregnated with salt, and to such an excess that if salt be thrown into it, it will scarcely be dissolved. Madden, a late traveller, and a physician, says that, so thick and strong was the water, he found it difficult to sink in it when he went to bathe there; and so virulent its quality, that having cut his feet on the sharp flint stones before getting in, he was, on his return to Jerusalem, confined for a fortnight with gangrened sores.

419, 420. The Euphrates was the utmost border eastward of the promised land, (Gen. xv. 18.) Newton thinks it is called "old," because mentioned by the oldest historian, Moses; but I think rather because it is the oldest river mentioned in history; for Pison and Gihon are names now extinct, and merged in the Euphrates, of which they were but branches. (See Gen. ii.)

422. I. e. Baals, or Ashtoreths or Astartes, pl. "Baal," or "Bel," i. e. "Lord,"

in the generic sense of the word, was the principal divinity of the Phoenicians, Syrians, Persians, and Chaldeans, and perhaps the most ancient of the East. From his primitive worship, various species of idolatry spread over the East, whence they were imported into Europe, under different guises and denominations, according to the several epithets and attributes given him in the East, or to the fancies and desires of his new votaries. There were many Baals in the East, such as Baal-Peor, Baal-Zebub, Baal-Gad, Baal-Zephon, Baal-Berith, &c. It is generally allowed that he was the deified sun, which was not only the most amazing of the heavenly bodies, but that which contributed most in giving light, life, heat, and all animal and vegetable existence. The moon, too, (Astarte,) contributing her fair share in the diffusion of these blessings, was honoured under various names, and in various modes of worship, after mankind fell from a true knowledge of the "great Author." I shall here confine myself to Baal, the sun, or fire. His temples were generally on eminences, (or, if not so, were raised high,) and circular, wherein a perpetual fire was kept. The Greeks therefore called them "Pyreia," and "Pyratheia." Sometimes he was worshipped at stated times on high places, where there were no temples, but always with the accompaniment of fire. This kind of worship extended over all Asia and Europe, as the existing names of places and relics of it attest. M. Sonnerat (Voyag. vol. i. p. 140,) says that in November the Hindoos light up vast fires, and illuminate their houses at night, in compliance with the institutions of Bali. In the British Isles strong remnants of this worship, which was introduced by the Druids, still exist. The first of May is called "BaalThinnih," or "Thinnih dagh," i. e. "the Day of the God of Fire;" the entire month is called, in Ireland, "Baal Thinnih." Human victims were doubtedly offered to Baal. In the Statistical Accounts of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 621, it is stated that on the 1st of May all the boys of a township or hamlet meet, and enclosing with a trench a round space, in which they assemble, kindle a fire there, at which they dress an egg custard and an oaten cake. After eating the custard, they divide the cake into as many pieces as there are individuals, and having blackened one with charcoal or soot, fling them all into a bonnet or other receptacle; then each person, blindfolded,


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