Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid Atreams.
He also' against the house of God was bold: 1 470
A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king,
Ahaz his fottish conqu’ror, whom he drew
God's altar to disparage and displace
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
His odious offerings, and adore the Gods 2475
Whom he had vanquish’d. After these appear'd
A crew who under names of old renown, Li
Ofiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,

With

of the Lord from its place, and set filed into Egypt, and there conup this new altar in its stead, and cealed themielves in the fhapes of offer'd thereon, 2 Kings XVI. 10. various animals; and the Egyp&c. and thenceforth gave himself tians afterwards out of gratitude up to idolatry, and initead of the worshipped the creatures, whose God of Israel be sacrific'd unto the shapes the Gods had assum'd. Ovid Gods of Damascus, 2 Chron.XXVIII. Met. V. 319. &c. where is an ac23. whom he had subdued.

count of their transformations: and 478. Osiris, Iris, Orus, and their therefore Milton here calls them

train, &c.] Ohris and Ilus Their wand'ring Gods difgais 2 in were the principal deities of the

brutish forms Egyptians, by which it is most pro

Rather than human. ! bable they originally meant the sun and moon. Orus was the son of 482. Nor did Irael 'scape Ofiris and Ifis, frequently con 1 b'infccion, &c.] The Ifraelites founded with Apollo: and these by dwelling so long in Egypt were and the other Gods of the Egyp- infected with the fuperftitions of , tians were worshipped in mon- the Egyptians, and in all probabi

ftrous shapes, balls, cats, dogs, &c. lity made the golden calf, or ox and the reason alleged for this (for so it is differently calld, Pfal. monstrous worship is deriv'd from CVI. 19, 20.) in imitation of that the fabulous tradition, that when which represented Osiris, and out the giants invaded Heaven, the of the golden earings, which it is Gods were fo affrighted that they most likely they borrow'd of the

Egyptians,

V1

480

With monstrous shapes and forceries abus'd
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek
Their wand'ring Gods disguis’d in brutish forms
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape
Th’infection, when their borrow'd gold composid
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
Doubled that fin in Bethel and in Dan, 485
Likening his Maker to the grazed ox,
Jehovah, who in one night when he pass’d
From Egypt marching, equal'd with one stroke

Both

Egyptians, Éxod. XII. 35. The that eateth grass : Jehovah, wbo in calf in Oreb, and so the Psalmist, one night when he pass’d from Egypt They made a calf in Horeb, Psal. marching, for the children of Israel CVI. 19. while Moses was upon not only pass'd from Egypt, but the mount with God. And the rebel march'd in a warlike manner, and king, Jeroboam made king by the the Lord brought them out, the Israelites who rebelled against Re- Lord went before them : equal'd hoboam, 1 Kings XII. doubled that with one froke both her firsi-born fin by making two golden calves, and all ber bleating Gods, for the probably in imitation of the Egyp- Lord New all the first-born in the tians with whom he had conversed, land of Egypt both man and beaft, who had a couple of oxen which and upon their Gods also the Lord they worshipped, one called Apis executed judgments. Exod. XII. 12. at Memphis the metropolis of the Numb. XXXIII. 4. and Milton upper Egypt, and the other Mnevis means all their Gods in general, at Hierapolis-the chief city of the tho' he says bleating Gods in partiJower Egypt: and he fet them up cular, borrowing the metaphor in Bethel and in Dan, the two ex. from sheep, and using it for the tremities of the kingdom of Ifrael, cry of any sort of beasts. Dr. Bentthe former in the south, the latter ley says indeed that the Egyptians in the north. Likening his Maker to did not worship sheep, they only the grazed ex, alluding to Psal. abstain'd from eating them: but (as CVI. 20. Thus they changed their Dr. Pearce replies) was not Jupiglory into the fimilitude of an ox ter Ammon worshipped under a

ram,

Both her first-born and all her bleating Gods.
Belial came laft, than whom a Spi'rit more lewd 490
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love,
Vice for itself: to him no temple stood:
Or altar smok’d; yet who more oft than ho
In temples and at altars, when the priest
Turns atheist, as did Eli's fons, who fill'd 495
With lust and violence the house of God?

In

ram, hence corniger Ammon ? Cle- ends the passage as he began it mens Alexandrinus tells us that with the Gods of Egypt. the people of Sais and Thebes worshipped sheep; and R. Jarchi

490. Belial came laft, &c.] The upon Gen. XLVI. 34. says that a characters of Molach and Belial shepherd was therefore an abo- prepare the reader's mind for their

, mination to the Egyptians, because respective speeches and behaviour the Egyptians worshipped sheep as in the second and fixth book. Gods. We may farther add, that

Addison, Onkelos, Jonathan, and several And they are very properly made, others are of the same opinion, one the first, and the other the last, and say that shepherds were an in this catalogue, as they both abomination to the Egyptians, be- make so great a figure afterwards in cause they had no greater regard the poem. Moloch the firk, as he to those creatures which the Egyp- was the fiercest Spirit that fought in tians worshipped, than to breed Heaven, II. 44. and Beliał the laft them up to be eaten. These au- as he is represented as the most tim, thorities are sufficient to justify our morous and fiothful, II. 147. It doth; poet for calling them bleating not appear that he was ever worGods; he might make use of that shipped; but lewd profligate fel epithet as one of the most insigni- lows, such as regard neither God ficant and contemptible, with the nor Man, are called in Scripture fame air of disdain as Virgil says the children of Belial, Deut. XIII Æn. VIII. 698.

13. So the tons of Eli are callid Omnigenûmque deûm monstra &

i Sam. II. 12. Now the fons of Ele latrator Anubis;

were fors of Biliet, they knew not

the Lord. So the men of Gibeah, and fo returns to his subject, and who abus d the Levite's wife, ľudg.

[ocr errors]

In courts and palaces he also reigns
And in luxurious cities, where the noise
Of ri'ot ascends above their loftieft towers,
And injury and outrage : And when night

500 Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Of Belial, flown with infolence and wine. Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night In Gibeah, when the hospitable door :

Expos’d XIX: 22. are called likewise fons of 504. - when the hospitable door Belial; which are the particular in Expos'd a matron to avoid worfe Aances here given by our author.

rape.) So Milton caus'd it 502. - flown with infolence and to be printed in the second edition;

wine.] I have heard a con- the first ran thus, je&ture of some body propofing to

when hospitable doors read blown instead of flown, blown Yielded their matrons to prevent with infolence and wine, as there is in Virgil inflatus laccho, Ecl.

And Milton did well in altering the Inflatum hefterno venas, at semper, passage : for it was not true of solacche

dom, that any matron was yielded

there; the women had not known But flown I conceive is a participle man, Gen. XIX. 8. and as they were from the verb fly, and the meaning only offer'd not accepted, it is not is that they were raised and high- proper to say that they were yielded. end with infolence and wine, info- But observe that Milton in the sea leace and wine made them fly out cond edition changed yielded into into thefe extravagances. Or as expos'd, because in what was done others think, - it may be a parti- at Gibeah, Judg. XIX. 25. the ciple from the verb flow, as over. Levite's wife was not only yielded, flown is sometimes used for over- but put out of doors and expos’d Rowd. And the meaning is the to the mens lewdness. Why then

fame as flufb'd with insolence and does Dr. Bentley prefer Milton's ! wine. An expreshon very common first reading to his second, when he ! from the verb fuo. In the same alter'd the passage to make it more fenfe we ufe flujbd with success, as agreeable to the

Scriptural story? Mr. Thyer obferves:

Pearce VOL. I.

N

506. These

worse rape.

VI. 15.

Expos'd a matron to avoid worse

rape.

505 These were the prime in order and in might; The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd, Th’Ionian Gods, of Javan's issue held Gods, yet confess'd later than Heav'n and Earth, Their boasted parents : Titan Heav'n's first-born, sro With his enormous brood, and birthright seis'd By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove His own and Rhea's son like measure found; So Jove ufurping reign'd: these first in Crete And Ida known, thence on the snowy top 515

Of 506. These were the prime] It is manders; and as it was not poffible observed by Macrobius and others, or indeed proper, so neither was it in commendation of Homer's cata. at all his intention. He propos'd logue of ships and warriors, that only to mention the chief, and he hath therein mention'd every such who were known in Palestine body who doth, and no body who and the neighbouring countries,

doth not afterwards make his ap- and had encroach'd upon the wor• pearance in the poem : whereas it ship of the God of Israel: and

is otherwise in Virgil; some have what he propos'd he hath executed a place in the list, who are never with wonderful learning and judgheard of in the battels, and others ment. He hath inlarg'd very much - make a figure in the battels, who upon each of these idols, as he are not taken notice of in the list. drew moft of his materials from Neither hath Milton in this respect Scripture: The rest were long to tell, áttain'd Homer's excellence and the rest he flightly pasfes over, as 'beauty; but then it should be con- our knowledge of them is deriv'd fider'd what was his intent and only from fabulous antiquity. purpose in this catalogue. It was not poflible for him to exhibit as 508. Th' Ionian Gods, of Javan's complete a catalogue of the fallen

ifjue beld Angels, as Homer hath given us Gods, &c.] Javan, the fourth of the Grecian, and Trojan com- for of Japhety and grandson of

Noah,

« EdellinenJatka »