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Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas’d.
O execrable son so to aspire
Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Authority usurp’d, from God not given :
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over men
He made not lord ; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this usurper his encroachment proud
Stays not on man; to God his tow'r intends
Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food
Will he convey up thither to sustain
Himself and his rash army, where thin air
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
And famish him of breath, if not of bread?

To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorr'st
That son, who on the quiet state of men



earth. Gen. xi. 9. As the poet dominari, non hominem homini, represents this confusion among sed hominem pecori. Aug. c. the builders as an object of ridi- xv. l. 19. de Civit. Dei. For cule, so he makes use of some Milton, though he speaks conridiculous words, such as are not temptibly of the Fathers, yet very usual in poetry, to heighten sometimes makes use of their that ridicule, as jangling noise, sentiments. hideous gabble, strange hubbub. 73. -to God his tow'r intends

71. -human left from human &c.] This being not asserted free.] Every reader must be in Scripture, but only supposed pleased with the spirit of liberty by some writers, is better put that breathes in this speech of into the mouth of Adam, than our first ancestor: and it is not of the angel. I wish the poet improbable that the author had had taken the same care in ver. in mind a passage of St. Austin, 51. as I find it quoted by Mr. Hume.

-ere the tower Rationalem factum ad imaginem Obstruct heav'n-tow'rs.suam, noluit nisi irrationalibus



Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
Rational liberty; yet know withal,
Since thy original lapse, true liberty
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells
Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being :
Reason in man obscur'd, or not obey'd,
Immediately inordinate desires
And upstart passions catch the government
From reason, and to servitude reduce
Man till then free. Therefore since he permits
Within himself unworthy pow’rs to reign
Over free reason, God in judgment just
Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undeservedly inthral
His outward freedom : tyranny must be,
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annex'd
Deprives them of their outward liberty,



81. Such trouble brought,) Dr. Since by original lapse, which Bentley reads brings, because makes hardly sense or syntax. this is not (he says) told here as 84. --which always with right a thing past. But Michael is

reason dwells not telling any thing here: he

Twinn'd] is only making a reflection upon Some editions read twind, and what he had been telling Adam Mr. Hume explains it twisted just before in ver. 27. and it together with upright reason; but having been already told, the in Milton's own editions it is reflection made upon it may printed twinn'd, and I presume justly speak of it as a thing he means twinned at a birth

with right reason. Liberty and 83. Since thy original lapse,] virtue (which is reason, ver. 98.) Thus it is in Milton's own edi- are twin-sisters, and the one tions; in Dr. Bentley's, Mr. hath no being divided from the Fenton's, and other editions it is, other.

past. Pearce.


Their inward lost: Witness th' irreverent son
Of him who built the ark, who for the shame
Done to his father. heard this heavy curse,
Servant of servants, on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last
Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
His presence from among them, and avert
His holy eyes ; resolving from thenceforth
To leave them to their own polluted ways;
And one peculiar nation to select
From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
A nation from one faithful man to spring :
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship ; 0 that men



101. -Witness th' irreverent 109. -resolving from thenceson

forth Of him who built the ark, &c.] To leave them &c.] Witness Cham, the father of And the angel leaves them in Canaan, and shameful son of like manner, and confines his Noah, who for the reproach narration henceforward to the done to his father, by discovering one peculiar nation of the race of his nakedness, heard this heavy Abraham, from whence the Mescurse pronounced by him on his siah was to descend. wicked posterity the Canaanites; 114. Him on this side Euphrates Cursed be Canaan ; a servant of yet residing,] That is, Not yet, servants shall he be unto his bre- when Michael was speaking; thren, Gen. ix. 22, 25. Hume. but yet when God resolved to

Does not Milton here forget, select one peculiar nation from all that the angel had not before the rest, ver. 111. No need mentioned the story of Ham's therefore for Dr. Bentley's word uncovering his father's naked- then, instead of yet. Pearce. ness? The urging it by way of 115. Bred up in idol-worship ;] example seems to infer its being We read in Joshua xxiv. 2. Your known to Adam, which yet it fathers dwelt on the other side of could not be. Thyer.

the flood in old time, even Terah This heavy curse, so it is in the father of Abraham, and the Milton's own editions, but in father of Nachor, and they served. others his heavy curse.

other gods. Now as Terah Abra

(Canst thou believe ?) should be so stupid grown, While

yet the patriarch liv’d, who scap'd the flood, As to forsake the living God, and fall To worship their own work in wood and stone For Gods ! yet him God the Most High vouchsafes 120 To call by vision from his father's house, His kindred and false Gods, into a land Which he will shew him, and from him will raise A mighty nation, and upon him shower His benediction so, that in his seed All nations shall be blest; he straight obeys, Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes :



ham's father was an idolater, I up in the world, while yet the think we may be certain that patriarch lived, who scaped the Abraham was bred up in the flood. religion of his father, though he 120. yet him God the Most renounced it afterwards, and in High &c.] The same him reall probability converted his fa- peated as in ver. 114. Now the ther likewise, for Terah removed Lord had said unto Abram, Get with Abraham to Haran, and thee out of thy country, and from there died. See Genesis xi. 31, thy kindred, and from thy father's 32.

house, unto a lund that I will 117. While yet the patriarch show thee. And I will make of liv'd, who scap'd the flood,) It thee a great nation, and I will appears from the computations bless thee, and make thy name given by Moses, Gen. xi. that great ; and thou shalt be a blessTerah the father of Abraham ing. And I will bless them that was born two hundred and bless thee, and curse him that twenty-two years after the flood, curseth thee ; and in thee shall all but Noah lived after the flood families of the earth be blessed, three hundred and fifty years. Gen. xii. 1, 2, 3. Gen. ix. 28. and we have proved 126. -he straight obeys, from Joshua, that Terah and the Not knowing to what land, yet ancestors of Abraham served other firm believes :) gods; and from the Jewish tra- Hebrews xi. 8. By faith Abraditions we learn farther, that ham, when he was called to go out Terah, and Nachor his father, into a place which he should after and Serug his grandfather, were receive for an inheritance, obeyed; statuaries and carvers of idols: and he went out, not knowing and therefore idolatry was set whither he went.


I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith
He leaves his Gods, his friends, and native soil
Ur of Chaldæa, passing now the ford
To Haran, after him a cumbrous train
Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude;
Not wand'ring poor, but trusting all his wealth
With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.


i28. I see him, but thou canst a province of Asia, lying east of not, &c.] As the principal de- the Euphrates and west of the sign of this episode was to give Tigris. Ut, a city of Chaldæa, Adam an idea of the holy Per- the country of Terah and Abrason who was to reinstate human ham. The word Ur in Hebrew nature in that happiness and signifies light or fire; and this perfection from which it bad name was given to the city, fallen, the poet confines himself because the sun and its symbol, to the line of Abraham, from fire, was worshipped therein. whence the Messiah was to de- Passing now the ford, passing scend. The angel is described over the river Euphrates where as seeing the patriarch actually it was fordable, to Haran : by travelling towards the land of this it should seem, that our promise, which gives a particular author conceived Harun to lie liveliness to this part of the nar- west of the river Euphrates; and 'ration. Addison.

I find M. Basnage in his AntiOur poet, sensible that this quities of the Jews maintains, long historical description might that Haran was a town, at pregrow irksome, has varied the sent unknown, out of the limits manner of representing it as of Mesopotamia, in Syria of Shomuch as possible, beginning first bah, in the way towards the land with supposing Adam to have of Canaan. a prospect of it before his eyes, 132. -and numerous servinext by making the angel the tude ;) Many servants; the abrelator of it, and lastly by unit- stract for the concrete. ing the two former methods, 133. Not wand'ring poor, but and making Michael see it as in trusting all his wealth) For Abram vision, and give a rapturous en- took Sarai his wife, and Lot his livened account of it to Adam. brother's son, and all their subThis gives great ease to the stance that they had gathered, and languishing attention of the the souls that they had gotten in reader. Thyer.

Haran : and they went forth to 130. Ur of Chaldæa,] Gen. go into the land of Canaan, and xi. 31. And they went forth from into the land of Canaan they came. Ur of the Chaldees, to go into Gen. xii. 5. the land of Canaan. Chaldæa,

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