« AnteriorContinuar »
Mean while the winged haralds by command Of sov'reign power, with awful ceremony And trumpets' sound, throughout the host proclaim A solemn council forthwith to be held At Pandæmonium, the high capital Of Satan and his peers: their summons callid From every band and squared regiment By place or choice the worthiest; they anon With hundreds and with thousands trooping came Attended : all access was throng'd, the gates And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall, Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold Wont ride in arm’d, and at the Soldan's chair Defi'd the best of Panim chivalry To mortal combat or career with lance, Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air, Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides, Pour forth their populous youth about the hive In clusters; they among fresh dews and flower Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, The suburb of their straw-built citadel, New rubb'd with balm, expatiate, and confer
752 Haralds] Par. Lost, 1st ed. Steevens' Shakesp. (Pericles) ed. 1793, vol. xiii.
489. 769 Taurus) v. Virg. Georg. i. 217. • Candidus auratis aperit cum cornibus annum Taurus.' Hume.
774 expatiate] i. e. walk abroad. v. Virg. Æn. iv. 62. Cic. Orat. iii. "Ut palæstrice spatiari.' Todd.
Their state affairs : So thick the aery crowd
784 dreams] See Ap. Rhod. Arg. iv. 1479. Virg. Æn. vi.
785 arbitress] v. Hor. Ep. v. 49.
· Non infideles arbitræ Nox et Diana.' Heylin.
THE consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery of heaven: some advise it, others dissuade. A third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature, equal, or not much inferior, to themselves, about this time to be created: their doubt who shall be sent on this difficult search: Satan their chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey to hell gates, finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them, by whom at length they are opened, and discover to him the great gulf between hell and heaven: with what difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the sight of this new world which he sought.
High on a throne of royal state, which far
1 High] Compare with this the opening of the second book of Ovid's Metam.
Regia solis erat,' &c. 2 Ormus] See View of Ormus, in Buckingham's Travels in Assyria, p. 428, 4to.
Showers on her kings Barbaric pearl and gold,
Powers and Dominions, Deities of heaven,
4 Barbaric] Lucret, lib. ii. 500. “Barbaricæ vestes.' Euripid. Iph. Aul. 73. de Paride:
χρυσώ τε λάμπρος, βαρβάρω χλιδήματι. and Virg. Æn. ii. 504.
Of endless pain ? Where there is then no good 30
way, Whether of open war or covert guile, We now debate; who can advise, may speak.
He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king, Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit That fought in heaven, now fiercer by despair: 45 His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd Equal in strength, and rather than be less Car'd not to be at all ;' with that care lost
38 our just inheritance] See Crashaw's Steps to the Temple, p. 64. (1646.)
" And for the never fading fields of light,
My fair inheritance, he confines me here: ' and Beaumont's Psyche, c. i. st. 24. • Was't not enough against the righteous law Of primogeniture to throw us down, From that bright home which all the world does know Was by confest inheritance our own.'
40 best way] Compare Spenser's F. Queen, vii. vi. 21. and ii. xi. 7. Todd.