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To mark their doings, them beholding soon, 50
great laughter is in Heaven
şi. Comes down to see their city, has made some alterations here, &c.] Gen. XI. 5 &c. And the Lord and the context consider'd I know came down to see the city and the not whether they are not for the Power, which the children of rren better; builded &c. The Scripture speaketh here after the manner of men : And All looking down thus the Heathen Gods are often re- thus is the building left: presented as coming down to observe but afterwards I find the author of Lycaon, Baucis and Philemon&c. varying the
tense in several places
, 53. :
.- a various spirit] 2 Chron. XVIII. 22. 'Tis said the Lord had past, future with regard to the put a lying spirit in the mouth of but past with regard to the curre
time when the Angel is speaking the prophets ; here he puts a va- which he is speaking of
. Great rious spirit in the mouth of these laughter was in Heaven &c. builders, a spirit varying the sounds thus Homer represents the Gods as
cAnd by which they would express their thoughts one to another, and bring- carriage of Vulcan in waiting. liad.
laughing at the aukward limping ing confequently confusion, whence
I. the work is so callid. Ricbardfon.
599. 59. great laughter was in Arlert i ap' fympto 78485
Heaven &c.] Dr. Bentley
And hear the din; thus was the building left
Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas’d.
"Ως ιδον Ηφαισον δια δωματα 62.
and the work Confufion σοιπηυονία.
nam'd.] For Babel in Hebrero
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. As the skies. Pope.
the poet represents this confusion
among the builders as an object of But as Mr. Thyer adds, it is rather ridicule, fo he makes use of some 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, biparcel of mere mortals, to see the deous gabble, frange kubbub. workmen puzled and squabbling 71. human left from buman about their work: tho there are free.] Every reader must be such expressions even in Scripture, pleased with the spirit of liberty, Plal. II. 4. He that fitteth in the that breathes in this speech of our Heavens jhall laugh; the Lord shall first ancestor: And it is not improbave them in derifon. See too Pfal. bable that the author had in mind XXXVII. 13. LIX. 8. Prov. I. 26. a passage of St. Austin, as I find it I also will laugh at your calamity, I quoted by Mr. Hume. Rationaler will mock whep your fear cometh. factum ad imaginem fuam, noluit
But this usurper his encroachment proud
To whom thus Michael. Juftly thou abhorr'ít That fon, who on the quiet state of men
80 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: 85 Reason in man obscur’d, or not obey'd,
nifi irrationalibus dominari, non
ere the tower hominem homini, sed 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, ] Di. contemptibly of the Fathers, yet Bentley reads brings
, because this sometimes makes use of their senti- is not (he says) told here as a
past. But Michael is not telling 73; ---10 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 Tuppos'd by some writers, telling Adam just before in ver. is better put into the mouth of 27. and it having been already rold
, Adam, than of the Angel. I wish the reflection made upon it may the poet had taken the lame care in juftly speak of it as a ching past. ver. 51.
Immediately inordinate desires
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-fifters, 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 th' irreverent son
Of him who built the ark, &c. ] 84. - which always with right Witness Cham, the father of Ca. reason dwells.
naan, and shameful son of Noah, Twinn'd, ] Some editions read who for the reproach done to his twin'd, and Mr. Hume explains it father, by discovering bis nakedness, twisted 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; Curfed be Canaan; a VOL, II,
Of him who built the ark, who for the shame
fervant of servants frall he be unto to the one peculiar natim of the man kis brethren, Gen. IX. 22, 25.
of Abraham, from whence the Ma Hume. fiah was to descend.
Does not Milton here forget, that 114. Him on this fide Euphrator: the Angel had not before mention'd residing,] That is Not e. the story of Ham's uncovering his when Michael was speaking; father's nakedness? The urging it get when God resolv'd to feltet er by way of example seems to infer peculiar nation from all the reit, ve its being known to Adam, which 11. No need therefore for 1: yet it could not be. Thyer. Bentley's word then, instead of u
Peace This heariy curse, so it is in Milton's own editions, but in others his
115. Bred up in i'o!r27 beavy curse.
We read in Joshua XXIV... SE
fathers dwelt on the other fades 109. — resolving from thenceforth food in old time, even Terak ik:
To leave them &c.] And the An- ther of Abraham, and the faida. gel leaves them in like manner, and Nachor, and they served order to confines his narration henceforward Now as Terah Abraham's fans