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And hear the din; thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.

Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd.
O execrable son fo 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.


'Is idov Houus op Nice Sapato

62. and the work Confufior WOVUCT.

nam'd.] For Babel in Hebrew

fignifies Confufion. Therefore is the Vulcan with aukward grace his name of it called Babel, because the office plies,

Lord did there confound the language And unextinguish'd laughter shakes of all the earth. Gen. XI. 9. Ås the kies. Pope.

the poet represents this confufion

among the builders as an object of But as Mr. Thyer adds, it is rather ridicule, so he makes ufe of fome too comic for the grave character ridiculous words, such as are not of Milton's Gods to be represented very usual in poetry, to highten peeping down and laughing like a that ridicule, as jangling noise, hiparcel of mere mortals, to see the deous gabble, strange hublub. workmen puzled and squabbling 71.

human left from human about their work: tho' there are free.] Every reader must be such expressions even in Scripture, pleased with the spirit of liberty, Pfal. II. 4. He that fitteth in the that breathes in this speech of our Heavens ball laugh; the Lord shall first ancestor : And it is not improhave them in derision. See too Pfal. bable that the author had in mind XXXVII. 13. LIX. 8. Prov. I. 26. a paffage of St. Austin, as I find it I also will laugh at your calamity, I. quoted by Mr. Hume. Rationalem will mock when your fear cometh, factum ad imaginem fuam, noluit

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

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,




nifi irrationalibus dominari, non

- ere the tower hominem homini, fed hominem pe Obstruct Heav'n-tow'rs. cori. Aug. c. 15. 1. 19. de Civit. Dei. For Milton, tho' he speaks 81. Such trouble brought, ] Dr. contemptibly of the Fathers, yet Bentley reads brings, because this sometimes makes use of their senti- is not (he says) told here as a thing ments.

past. But Michael is not telling 73:--to God his tow'r intends &c.] any thing here: he is only making This being not asserted in Scripture, a reflection upon what he had been but only suppos'd by some writers, telling Adam just before in ver, is better put into the mouth of 27. and it having been already told, Adam, than of the Angel. I wish the reflection made upon it may the poet had taken the lame care in justly speak of it as a thing past. ver. 51.

Pearce. 83. Since


Immediately inordinate defires
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 inthrall
His outward freedom : tyranny must be,
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes nations will decline fo low
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annex’d
Deprives them of their outward liberty,
Their inward loft: Witness th' irreverent son

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83. Since thy original lapse,] Thus means twinn'd at a birth with right it is in Milton's own editions ; in reason. Liberty and virtue (which Dr. Bentley's, Mr. Fenton's, and is reason, ver. 98.) are twin-Sisters, . other editions it is Since by original and the one hath no being divided lapse, which makes hardly sense or from the other. syntax.

Witness thirreverent fon

Of him who built the ark, &c. ] 84. which always with right Witness Cham, the father of Careason dwells

naan, and shameful son of Noah, Trwinn'd, ] Some editions read who for the reproach done to his twin'd, and Mr. Hume explains it father, by discovering his nakedness, twifted together with upright reason; heard this heavy curse pronounced but in Milton's own editions it is by him on his wicked pofterity the printed twinn'd, and I presume he Canaanites; Cursed be Canaan; a Vol. II,

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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; IIO
And one peculiar nation to select
From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
A nation from one faithful man to spring:


servant of servants shall he be unto to the one peculiar nation of the race his brethren, Gen. IX. 22, 25. of Abraham, from whence the Mes.

Hume. fiah was to descend.

Does not Milton here forget, that 114. Him on this fide Euphrates yet the Angel had not before mention'd refiding,] That is Not yet, the story of Ham's uncovering his when Michael was speaking ; bat father's nakedness? The urging it yet when God resolv'd to select one by way of example seems to infer peculiar nation from all the reft, ver. its being known to Adam, which 111. No need therefore for Dr. yet it could not be. Tbyer. Bentley's word then, instead of yet.

Pearce. This heavy curse, so it is in Milton's own editions, but in others his 115. Bred up in idol-worskip; ] heavy curse.

We read in Joshua XXIV. 2. Pour

father's dwelt on the other fide of the 109. - resolving from thenceforth food in old time, even Terah the fa

To leave them &c.] And the An- ter of Abraham, and the father of gel leaves them in like manner, and Nachor, and they served other Gods. confines his narration henceforward Now as Terah Abraham's father


Him on this fide Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship; O that men

(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
To call by vision from his father's house,
His kindred and false Gods, into a land
Which he will show him, and from him will raise
A mighty nation, and


him shower His benediction so, that in his feed

125 All


I 20.

was an idolater, I think we may be tions we learn farther that Terah, certain that Abraham was bred up and Nachor his father, and Serug in the religion of his father, though his grandfather were statuaries and he renounc'd it afterwards, and in carvers of idols : and therefore idoall probability converted his father latry was set up in the world, while likewise, for Terah removed with yet the patriarch liv'd, who fcop'd Abraham to Haran, and there died. the flood. See Gen. XI, 31, 32.

Yet him God the most 117. While yet the patriarch liv'd, High &c.] The same him

who fcap d the flood,] It ap- repeated as in ver. 114. Now the pears from the computations given Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee by Moses, Gen. XI. that Terah the out of thy country, and from thy kinfather of Abraham was born 222 dred, and from thy father's house, years after the flood, but Noah unto a land that I will show thèe. lived after the fiood 350 years. Gen. And I will make of thee a great naIX. 28. and we have proved from tion, and I will bless thee and make Joshua, that Terah and the an- thy name great; and thou fhalt be a cestors of Abraham served other blessing. And I will bless them that Gods; and from the Jewish tradi- bless thee, and curfe him ibat curferb

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