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The Son of God, and added thus in scorn.
There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright Will ask thee skill; I to thy Father's house Have brought thee', and highest plac'd, highest is best, Now show thy progeny; if not to stand,
introduced it in the middle, it is alleged only as a reason why would have broke that fine Christ (whose divinity is conthread of moral reasoning, which cealed there) must not throw is observed in the course of the himself down from the top of other temptations. Thyer. the temple, because this would
In the Gospel account of the have been tempting God. But temptation no discovery is made in the poem it is applied to the of the incarnation; and this grand demon, and his attempt upon mystery is as little known to the Christ; who is thereby declared Tempter at the end, as at the to be the Lord his God. Calton. beginning. But now, according Bp. Pearce supposes what is to Milton's scheme, the poem in the Gospels called Tiguynov, was to be closed with a full dis- and translated pinnacle, to have covery of it: there are three cir- been rather a wing of the temple, cumstances, therefore, in which a flat part of the roof of one of the poet, to serve his plan, hath its courts; probably on that side varied from the accounts in the where the royal portico was, and Gospels. 1. The critics have not where the valley on the outside been able to ascertain what the was deepest. Josephus (Antiq. Fregugloy or pinnacle (as we trans- xv. 11. 5.) says,
6 whereas the late it) was, on which Christ was valley was so deep that a man set by the demon: but whatever “could scarcely see the bottom it was, the Evangelists make no “ of it, Herod built a portico of difficulty of his standing there. so vast a height, that if a man This the poet (following the “ looked from the roof of it, his common use of the word pinna- “ head would grow giddy, and cle in our own language) sup- “ his sight not be able to reach poseth to be something like “ from that height to the bottom those on the battlements of our " of the valley.” Eusebius (Hist. churches, a pointed spire, on Eccles. ii. 23.) cites the account which Christ could not stand given by Hegesippus of the death without a miracle. 2. In the of St. James, in which it is said poem, the Tempter bids Christ that the Scribes and Pharisees give proof of his pretensions by brought him, επι το πτερυγιον του standing on the pinnacle, or by vwov, up to this elevated point of casting himself down. In the the temple, and cast him down Gospels, the last only is or could from thence. Dunster: be suggested. 3. In the Gospel 554. Now shew thy progeny; account the prohibition Thou &c.] The general tenor of the shalt not tempt the Lord thy God thought is from St. Matth. xxvii.
Cast thyself down; safely, if Son of God :
To whom thus Jesus.; Also it is written,
39, 40. And they that passed had said. Now the prohibition, by reviled him, &c. saying, If Tempt not the Lord thy God, as thou be the Son of God, come alleged in the Gospels from the down from the cross.
1,He will give Old Testament, was in no want command concerning thee, &c. this of such an attestation: but a mirefers, according to St. Matthew racle was wanting to justify the and St. Luke, to Psalm xci. 11, application of it to the Tempter's 12. For he shall give his angels
attack upon Christ; it was for charge over thee, to keep thee in this end therefore that he stood. all thy ways; they shall bear thee Calton. up in their hands, lest thou dash I cannot entirely approve this thy foot against a stone. --Also it learned Gentleman's exposition, is written, Tempt not, &c. Deut. for I am for understanding the vi. 16. Ye shall not tempt the Lord
words. Also it is written, Tempt your God. Dunster.
not the Lord thy God, in the 561. Tempt not the Lord thy same sense in which they were God: he said and stood :) Here spoken in the Gospels; because is what we may call after Ari. I would not make the poem to stotle the averagsors, or the dis
differ from the Gospel account, covery. Christ declares himself farther than necessity compels, to be the God and Lord of the or more than the poet himself Tempter; and to prove it, stands has made it. The Tempter set upon the pinnacle. This was our Saviour on a pinnacle of the evidently the poet's meaning. temple, and there required of him
, 1. The miracle shews it to be so; a proof of his divinity, either by which is otherwise impertinently standing, or by casting himself introduced, and against the rule, down as he might safely do, if
he was the Son of God, accordNec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vin- ing to the quotation from the
Psalmist. To this our Saviour Inciderit.
answers, as he answers in the It proves nothing but what the Gospels, It is written again, Thou Tempter knew, and allowed be- shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, fore. 2. There is a connection be- tacitly inferring that his casting tween Christ's saying and stand- himself down would be tempting ing, which demonstrates that he of God. He said, he gave this stood, in proof of something he reason for not casting himself
But Satan smitten with amazement fell.
down, and stood. His standing has imitated Virgil's - sic parvis properly makes the discoverycomponere magna solebam. Ecl. and is the principal proof of his i. 24. See Par. Lost, ii. 921. x. progeny that the Tempter re- 306. Some such mode of
quaquired: Now shew thy progeny. lifying common similies is necesHis standing convinces Satan. sary to a poet writing on divine His standing is considered as the subjects. Dunster.
" display of his divinity, and the 564.
in Irassa strove immediate cause of Satan's fall ; With Jove's Alcides,] and the grand contrast is formed Irassa is a place in Libya, menbetween the standing of the one tioned by Herodotus, iv. 158. and the fall of the other. έστι δε του χωρω τουτω ουνομα Ιρασα,
and from him by Stephanus By-He said, and stood : But Satan smitten with amazement zant, who says, 'Igaoo, TOTOS A.fell.
Guns, us óv perngayoy Buttov oi Abves, And afterwards, ver. 571.
ως Ηροδοτος- where Berkelius
notes, Hujus urbis quoque meFell whence he stood to see his victor
minit Pindarus Pyth. ix. sed due fall.
plicis (read duplici s) scribitur: And ver. 576.
Οιοι Λιβυσσας αμSo struck with dread and anguish
φι γυναικος εξαν fell the Fiend.
Ιρασσαν προς πολιν Ανται.
ου, μέσα καλλικoμoν And ver. 581.
μναστηρες αγακλεα 8ουραν. So Satan fell.
locum sic scribit Scho. 563. As when earth's son An- liastes : Ιρασσα πολις Λιβυης, ην tæus] This simile in the person σκησεν Ανταιος, ουχ ο παλαισας of the poet is amazingly fine. Ηρακλει, εκεινος γας. Warburton.
χρονοις, αν και ανειλεν Ηρακλης. PinAntæus was supposed to be darus nomen urbis genere fæm. the son of Neptune and Tellus. protulit, quod Schol. alio loco Thus Statius, Thebaid. vi. 893. numero multitudinis et genere
neut. efert: Ειοι γαρ φασιν, ότι Herculeis pressum sic fama lacertis
Terrigenam sudasse Libyn. και απο Ηρακλεους καταγονισθεις ΑνAnd Silius Italicus, iii. 40.
ταιος, Ιρασσους ην, απο Ιρασσων των
εν τη Τριτωνιδι λιμνη, ώς φησι ΦερεNec levior vinci Libycæ Telluris
xudns. From whence we may alumnus
observe, that in Herodotus and Matre super,
Stephanus, Irasa is the name of
a place, in Pindar and his Scho563.
-(to compare liast, the name of a town: that Small things with greatest)] the name is Irasa in Herodotus, This is the third time Milton Hirasa in Stephanus, (though
διαλλάσσει τους 565
With Jove's Alcides, and oft foil'd still rose,
perhaps it should be Irasa, not lem colamus, scire sane velim; ‘lgard, there,) Irassa in Pindar plures enim nobis tradunt ii, qui and his Scholiast: that the Scho interiores scrutantur et recondi. liast says, Antæus dwelt at Irassa, tas literas; antiquissimum Jove not he who wrestled with Her- natum. Varro says there were cules, but one later than him; forty-three Hercules. The son which, if true, makes against of Jupiter however by Alcmena Milton: that he afterwards adds, ought not to be called Alcides, that according to the opinion of the proper name of the son of some, the Antæus whom Hercules Amphitryon, whose father was overcame was 'lgacosus, atoʻlgæoAlcæus. Yet Virgil also refers ow, which Berkelius takes to be to Alcides as the son of Jove, the genitive of ta'lquoru, though Æn. vi. 123. and the name may it may be of ai ‘lgarrul. Jortin. be derived from annen robur ; in
Antæus dwelt at the city Irassa, which sense it was also applied according to Pindar. But it was to Minerva, Liv. xlii. 51. oft not there that he wrestled with foiled, still rose. Thus in Tasso, Hercules, but at Lixos, according 1. xx. st. 100. to Pliny. Lixos vel fabulosis
Poi che 'l Soldan, che spesso in lunga sime antiquis narrata. Ibi regia guerra, Antæi, certamenque cum Her- Quasi noyello Anteo, cadde e risorse cule. Nat. Hist, lib. 1. cap. 1.
Piu fero ogn' hora, al fin calco la terra
Per giacer sempre, Meadowcourt.
Now when the Soldan in these battles 564. strove
past, With Jove's Alcides, &c.]
Who, Antheus like, oft fell, rose oft To strive is a frequent scriptural again term for any violent personal
Ever more fierce, more fell, fell down contest: see Gen. xxvi. 20. Exod.
To lie for ever.
Fairfax. ii. 13. Acts vii. 26. With Jove's Alcides—for there were so many Receiving from his mother earth Hercules in the Grecian Mytho- new strength. So Lucan, iv. 598. logy, that it was necessary to Hoc quoque tam vastas cumulavit specify when the principal Her- munere vircs cules, the son of Jove and Alc
Terra sui fætus, quod, cum tetigere
parentem, mena, was meant. Thus Cicero,
Jam defuncta vigent renovato robore de Nat. Deor. jii. 16. Quan
membra. quam quem potissimum Hercu.
And as that Theban monster that propos'd
572. And as that Theban mon- Presumption is personified, and ster &c.] The Sphinx, whose represented, as in vain temptriddle being resolved by Edipus, ing our blessed Lord; (stanza she threw herself into the sea. xxxviii.) Statius, Theb. i. 66.
But, when she saw her speech preSi Sphingos iniquæ
vailed naught, Callidus ambages te præmonstrante
Herself she tumbled headlong to the resolvi,
But him the angels on their feathers 572. Statius also refers to the
caught, falling of the Sphinx from the
And to an airy mountain nimbly bore. Ismenian steep, (Theb. xi. 490.)
Dunster. when her riddle had been solved.
581. -and straight a fiery globe -dum Cadmus arat? dum victa
of angels &c.] cadit Sphynx ?
There is a peculiar softness and The Ismenian steep may either delicacy in this description, and be the mountain Phicius, the neither circumstances nor words usual haunt of the Sphinx, at could be better selected to give no great distance from Thebes, the reader an idea of the easy or the Cadmea, i. e. the citadel and gentle descent of our Saof Thebes, according to Apollo- viour, and to take from the imadorus, so termed from the river gination that horror and uneasiIsmenus, which ran by Thebes. ness which it is naturally filled See Pausanias, ix. 26. and Apollo- with in contemplating the dandorus, l. iii. c. v. 8. whose ac- gerous and uneasy situation he count of the Sphinx indeed, from was left in. Thyer. the coincidence of expression in So Psyche was carried down the Mythologist and the poet, from the rock by zephyrs, and Milton seems here to have had laid lightly on a green and flowery in his mind. Dunster.
bank, and there entertained with 581. So Satan fell; and straight invisible music. See Apuleius, &c.] Thus in G. Fletcher's lib. iv. Richardson. Christ's Triumph on Earth, where Psyche was also entertained