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476

Which of us who beholds the bright surface
Of this ethereous mold whereon we stand,
This continent of spacious Heav'n, adorn'd
With plant, fruit, flow'r ambrofial, gems and gold;
Whose

eye so superficially surveys
These things, as not to mind from whence they grow
Deep under ground, materials dark and crude,
Of spiritous and fiery spume, till touch'd
With Heaven's ray, and temper'd they shoot forth
So beauteous, opening to the ambient light ? 481
These in their dark nativity the deep
Shall yield us pregnant with infernal flame;
Which into hollow engins long and round
Thick-ramm’d, at th’other bore with touch of fire 485

Dilated

not as it is commonly pronounc'd, W'hose eye fo superficially surveys for Milton would hardly use a tro Es'ci chaic foot at the end of the verse. Dr. Bentley reads likewise this ethe

482.

the deep ] It is comreal mold; and it is true Milton monly used for Hell, but here is commonly uses the word ethereal, only oppos’d to surface, ver. 472. but that is no reason why he may and is the same as deep under ground, not say likewise 'ethereous which is ver. 478. which may likewise exnearer the Latin athereus. The plain the word infernal in the next construction of this sentence is, line. Not but infernal fiome may Which of us who beholds &c so su- mean flame like that of Hell, Hell perficially surveys these things : but having been frequently mention'd as the nominative case which of us before by the Angels, and the idea is mention'd so many lines before being very well known.. the verb surveys, he throws in ano 484. Which into hollow &c. ] ther nominative care,

Which that is the materials, ver,

473. Tbele

Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth
From far with thund'ring noise among our foes
Such implements of mischief, as shall dash
To pieces, and o’erwhelm whatever stands
Adverse, that they shall fear we have difarm'd

496
The Thund'rer of his only dreaded bolt.
Nor long shall be our labor; yet ere dawn,
Effect shall end our wish. Mean while revive;
Abandon fear; to strength and counsel join'd
Think nothing hard, much less to be despair’d. 495

He ended, and his words their drooping chear Inlighten’d, and their languish'd hope reviv'd.

Th'in

478. These ver. 482. the deep shall Whereat no sooner taken is the yield, which into hollow engins flame, ramm'd, with touch of fire shall The bullet Aies with such a fu. fend forth &c. Hollow engins, great rious wind, guns, the first invention whereof As tho' from clouds á bólt of thunis very properly ascribed to the

der came : author of all evil. And Ariosto And whatsoever in the way it find has described them in the same It burns, it breaks, it tears, and manner in his Orlando Furioso, spoils the same. Cant. 9. St. 28. or 24. of Harring. No doubt some fiend of Hell or ton's translation; and attributes the devilish wight invention to the Devil.

Devised it to do mankind a spite. Un ferro bugio, &c.

And again, St. 84. A trunk of iron hollow made within,

O curst devise found out by fome And there he puts powder and

foul fiend pellet in.

And fram'd below by Belzebub in 25.

Hell 6. All closed save a little hole behind,

And

Th’invention all admir'd, and each, how he
To be th’inventor miss’d; so easy' it seem'd
Once found, which yet unfound most would have
thought

500
Impossible: yet haply of thy race
In future days, if malice should abound,
Some one intent on mischief, or inspir'd
With devilish machination, might devise
Like instrument to plague the sons of men 505
For fin, on war and mutual Naughter bent.
Forthwith from council to the work they flew;
None arguing stood; innumerable hands

Were

1

And Spenser has the same thought, 502. In future days -- Some one in-
Fairy Queen, B. 1. Cant. 7. St. 13. tent, &c.] This speaking
As when that devilifh iron engin in the spirit of prophecy adds
wrought

great dignity to poetry. It is in In deepest Hell, and fram’d by the fame spirit that Dido makes Furies skill,

the imprecation, Virg. Æn. IV. With windy nitre and quick sul. 625. phur fraught,

Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus And ramm'd with bullet round, ultor & c. ordain'd to kill & c.

This here very properly comes But tho' the poets have agreed to from the mouth of an Angel. attribute the invention to the Devil 507. Forthwith from council to from a notion of its being so de the work they few ; &c.] structive to mankind, yet many This and the two following lines authors have observed, that since are admirably contriv'd to express the use of artillery there has less the hurry of the Angels; and conflaughter been made in battels than fist therefore of short periods, withwas before, when the engagements Qut any particles to connect them. 'Yere closer and lasted longer.

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Were ready; in a moment up they turn'd
Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath
Th’originals of nature in their crude
Conception ; sulphurous and nitrous foam
They found, they mingled, and with subtle art,
Concocted and adufted they reduc'd

To

footy chark

512. —- fulphurous and nitrous degree? If the word will fignify

foam &c.] Dr. Bentley would parch'd or dry'd any way in such have us read as follows,

a manner as things commonly are

by fire, it will be a very proper - fulphurous and nitrous foam expression here : for by being reThey pound, they mingle, and with duc'd to grain they were concocted,

and by being reduc'd to the blackej Concocted and adufted, they re- grain they were sufficiently adufted. duce

Again, the Doctor observes that To blackest grain, and into store only two materials are here menConvey :

tion'd, and these without char. Part hidden veins dig up. coal can never make gunpowder.

This is true; but is it neceffary To justify this great alteration of that a poet should be as exact as the text, the Doctor premises one a writer about arts and sciences ? poftulatum (tho' it is properly two) If so, not only Milton but Spenthat Milton is here describing the ser must be blam'd, who has done making of gunpowder, and that the same thing as Milton has done; he was not ignorant how it was for in his Fairy Queen, Book 1. inade. Agreed. Let us now ex- Cant. 7. St. 13. describing a canamin the Doctor's objections par- non charg'd with gunpowder, he ticularly. Sulphurous and nitrous says, fam adufted? (says he) why at the

With windy nitre and quick sule least approach of heat they will fly

pour fraught, away in exhalations. I think that this is not true: tho' these ingre. where it is observable that he takes dients be heated to some degree, no notice of charcoal, tho' gun. yet they will not fly away in ex- powder can't be without it. But halations unless some spark of fire what is the Doctor's word chark? gets to them. But why must adusied it is the workman's language, he fignify burnt or heated to a great says; if it be, it is spoken con

tractedly

To blackest grain, and into store convey'd: 515
Part hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this earth
Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,
Whereof to found their engins and their balls
Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed
Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire.

520
So

tractedly for charcoal; and is but sometimes he has even coupled una cant word fit only for the powder- like tenses. Pearce. mill, not for a poem : for charcoal 516. Part hidden veins digg'd up is, in its etymology, what is chark'd (nor het's this earth or rather charr'd to a coal, that is, Entrails unlike) of mineral and burnt tho' not alhes. Sooty coal, fone,] Dr. Bentley has carV. 440. is right: but when the ried on the mark of parenthefs to word chark, or charcoal at length, the end of the verle ; but it should is used, footy seems a superfluous be plac'd after unlike: and the fione epithet, because it is implied in the may have been mention'd here as word charr'd. In the common what they used for balls. That reading the Doctor misses the word stone-bullets have been in use, see pound; a necessary word, because Chambers's Univ. Dic. in Cannon. without long pounding the three in- Or Milton by the word jłone here gredients together, no powder can would express more distinctly that be made. But is not the sense of the metal, of which they made the word pound sufficiently imply'd their engins and bulls, was inclos'd in reluc'd to grain ? The words in and mix'd with a llony fubftance found, mingled, reduc'd, convey'd, in the mine. See Furetiere's French digg’d, were chang'd (says the Dictionary upon the word Mineral. Doctor) from the present to the

Pearce. perfect tense : for the present tense 520. pernicious with one touch provide in ver. 520. demonstrates to fire.] The incentive reed that all the foregoing verbs were is indeed pernicious as the engins of the same manner. "If there were and balls do no mischief till touch'd any demonftration to be drawn from by that: but probably pernicious is hence, one would think rather that not to be understood here in the it would fall against the present common acceptation, but in the tense provide. But there is hardly sense of the Latin pernix, quick, a page where Milion has not run fpeedy, Sc. from one tense to another, and Vol. I.

09

521: - under

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