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The learned Dr Maginn learnedly Where he substitutes Taurus in the maintains that the
text, unwisely changed in a note, for “ Nepenthes which the wife of Thon
Tauris. The Prendevillian reading In Esypt gave to Jove-born Helena," suggests a pleasant association with
the horns of a line or two before, and The
a bull should be always uppermost in Νηπενθες τ' αχολον, το κακων the head of an Irishman. ληθον απαντων, ,
These are among the most original
passages which we can find in Mr is nothing but Sanscrit for punch, Prendeville's volume, almost every which he proves by cutting off Nn at thing else in his commentary being the beginning, and throwing away's
conveyed cleanly from former editors. at the end, changing s into u, and
He gives the following account of his into ch; which, it must be admitted,
own labours. _ After having noticed is very much in the approved fashion Newton and Todd, he goes on to say, of etymologists in general. Perhaps
"As I wished to consult not alone that Nepenthes might have been the fragrant flower which so much plea- utility but brevity, all through this comsed the nostril, and composed and mentary, I have often given the substance invigorated, in the Ambrosian nights’ merely (faithfully however) of a note of a entertainments. The great Oriental commentator, especially if a long one ;
and often when two or more commentators traveller Mr Wise, we remark in
have given in different words the same passing, settles for ever, in a paren- explanation of a passage, or have severally thesis, the long-vexed question as to
expounded several parts of a passage, I the birthplace of Homer, with a
have fused all these together, so as to give, slapdash nonchalance which is high- for the sake of perspicuity, a consecutive ly edifying. After these displays of and even exposition of the whole, affixing attention to the land of his birth, it is to the note the initials of their names. perfectly correct to find Mr Prende Whenever I found the commentator's ville maintaining its character for the words brief and explicit enough, I have illustrious figure of speech for which given them. Whenever there have been it is so famous—as for instance, when many conflicting opinions, I have given he tells us in a note on
the main points, and compared them, " The dreaded name
so as to enable, the reader to form his Of Demogorgon."
judgment, while I express my own. I P. L. B. ii. 965_
often, too, intersperse in the notes as
cribed to others, remarks of my own, in that “ Demogorgon” was a fright- order to render the explanation more comful nameless deity, which the ancients plete. Without swelling out the work by thought capable of producing the most giving many objections, I have so shaped terrible effects, and whose name they the answers as to let the reader 'know dreaded to pronounce; or maintains
what these objections are, while they are that when the sun is
The notes to which no initial is affixed, I " Jocund to run
hold myself responsible for ; of these many His longitude through heaven's high have been derived from various sources, road."
and many are exclusively my own. Of P. L. B. vii. 372.3.
my own potes it is enough for me to say, • Longitude here means the sun's
that they have been only given to rectify the course from east to west in a straight misinterpretation, or supply the omissions line,” which is something like his
of former commentators; or to explain difcountryman's purchase of a gun to
ficult passages which these commentators shoot straight round a corner. We
did not explain. My own notes can be find him indulging in many other easily distinguished, for I speak in the first
person; so that I alone am entitled to blame tropes of the same kind; but we are
or praise for them. In unravelling the really sorry that he has disturbed a
structure of many of Milton's sentences, I various reading of his own in the pas have often found it necessary to analyse sage,
them on classical principles, differently “ Or Bactrian Sophi, from the horns from those who judge of them according Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste to the rules of English composition. The beyond
fact is, his style is peculiar to himself, The realm of Aladule, in his retreat embodying all the graces and peculiarities To Taurus or Casbeen.”
of the ancient tongues."
Of those graces and peculiarities commas—a plan which, though novel in
very few fresh specimens indeed have the printing of this poem, I imagine the PL been pointed out by the present edi.
reader will find convenient. I have also occasionally used the dash (thus —) be
tween members of a sentence, to mark “ Dissertations on Milton's taste, cha apposition, and the absence of the copularacter, beauties, imperfections, &c., I have tive conjunction, especially when the ordinot thought it necessary to introdu
nary punctuation would be insufficient to is better the reader should form his own determine the necessary pause.
In the judgment of all this from an examination
first portion of the poem, I have marked of the original passages and their explana many elisions and contractions, to serve tions. I have also excluded an immense the inexperienced reader as a guide during
mass of quotations from obscure English the remainder. The text is now pretty ... and Italian authors, in which similitudes well established, (the punctuation of MilAfter have been attempted to be shown by men ton's editions having been, in consequence I cook more ambitious of character for learning of his blindness, very incorrect,) and I med to make and research, than for useful and appro have generally followed that of Todd's edi. eing priate commentary; i.e. I have discarded
tion, which is the best. There may be what is called the treasures of the Gothic
discovered some typographical mistakes in library, just because I have found them use this edition, but they cannot be very imJess. Todd's edition is full of this curious portant. I have noticed in the notes errors though idle learning (yet he has some good (chiefly of punctuation in this text and
original notes). All these references to such others. I cannot claim a peculiar exempen we passages I have unscrupulously swept away. tion from verbal errors-no work is free
To no reader could they be instructive ; from them. In the Index I have contrived
He has discarded what is called the
treasures of the Gothic library. Has between the original passages and most of
he ? Are the English authors, conthe passages often quoted as parallel. It temporary with Shakspeare and Mil. is doubtful to me, if Milton, allowing that ton himself? Are the Italian contemhe read most of these productions, (in- poraries of Dante, Tasso, Ariosto, cluding sonnets, madrigals, low comedies, Gothic ? If they be, we do not underromances, and fairy tales, &c.) ever thought stand the word, whether taken literally of them, when composing Paradise Lost. or metaphorically. A very few inI have confined myself to comparisons stances, and we shall not travel further with passages of the greatest authors, than the first book, will show how which he is known to have constantly judiciously Mr Prendeville has acted read and admired—Shakspeare, Spenser, in discarding these Gothic treasures. Dante, Ariosto, and Tasso ; and the most approved of the Greek and Latin authors;
1. “ Hurl'd headlong flaming from the adding, of course, the scriptural writers.
ethereal sky.”—L. 45. Whenever I found only a gleam of like Prendeville is content to refer us to ness, I have barely given a' reference to
Jupiter flinging Vulcan out of heas the passage referred to : but when I find
ven a coincidence in sentiment or style, I quote the original passage, not alone for 'Pote, wodos TETYO, ano Endov gecws. the sake of elucidation, but for an exercise to the classical reader's mind and memory. I have observed the same rule, in a great which bears but a slight resemblance degree, as to the scriptural authorities.
to Milton. Boyd refers, and he is Translations of the passages quoted from followed by Todd, to Dante. the classics I have also omitted, because • Vedea colui, che fu nobil creato to the learned reader they are unnecessary ; Piu d' altra creatura, giù dal cielo and to the unclassical, delusive. Poetic Folgoreggiando, scender da un lato." translations (especially if in rhyme) of the
Purgat. c. xii. 25. ancient authors are never faithful; they are decorative paraphrases at best, if not
And the passage quoted from Hey. mutilations carried on with great nicety of
wood's Hierarchy of Angels, by Todd, dissection.
is so similar to Milton's as almost to I have divided the text into paragraphs, for a more proper distinction
seem to have suggested it. of the several parts of the subject; and 2.“ Better to reign in hell than serve in have marked the speeches by inverted heaven.”-L. 263.
Prendeville notices the remarkable 7. « Pandemonium." This he saying of Jalius Cæsar, that he would tells us is from ray and Easpovoy—the rather be the first man in a country dwelling of all the devils. How does town than the second in Rome; and he make that out? Pandemonium is observes, after Newton, that Milton formed on the same analogy as Pan. has improved upon Prometheus's ionion, Nauwnion, the assembly of all
to Mercury in Æschylus. the Ionians mentioned by Herodotus. Todd would have supplied him with But one of the Gothic authors, Henry a passage from Phineas Fletcher's More, in his Song of the Soul," had Locusts : when speaking of the Prince already called the castle strong on of darkness, he says:
Ida hill, resorted to by a rascal rabble "To be in heaven the second he disdains, throng of miscreant wights, PandeSo now the first in hell and flames he moniathen, as Todd might have in
formed him. raignes
8. The passage quoted by the same and if he had read Giles Fletcher's
commentator from Phineas Fletcher's Christ's Victory over Death, he would Locusts, describing the meeting of there have found a still closer resem.
the devils in conclave in hell's palace, blance, not noticed by the commenta
is too long to extract for such a tri. tors.
fling purpose as that on which we are 3. “He called so loud, that all the hol- engaged; but it was evidently in Millow deeps
ton's mind when he wrote the concluOf hell resounded:L. 315.
ding lines of the first book of " ParaOn this Prendeville has no note. dise Lost." Todd quotes the celebrated lines of It is needless to go through all the Tasso—
books in this manner : it is sufficient “ Tremar le spaziose atre caverne," &c.
to say that Mr Prendeville has omitted and two from Marino, “ Strage degl' at least two hundred strikingly illusInnocenti," one of which is
trative passages, on the absurd prin.
ciple of discarding what is called the “ Ulularo tre volte i cavi spechi,
treasures of the Gothic library. It Trè volte rimbombor l'ombre profonde."
may be answered, that we ought not 4. “ Fair Damascus," L. 468.-is to expect him to squeeze into one the bel Damasco of the Jerusalem volume what occupiestwoin the edition Delivered.-C. iv. 43.
of Todd; but we think he might safely 5. That proud honour claimed Azazel have discarded the treasures of the as his right.”-L. 534.
schoolboy library, the mere common. Warton and others after him refer to
places which every well educated lad
has by heart, to make room for matter “ Age, the hoar, he was in the vaward,
more difficult of access. For instance, And bare the banner before death, by
we have, B. i. 1. 84_“0, how fallen!" right he it claimed”
paralleled with Virgil's “ Hei mihi, from the Vision of Perse Ploughman, qualis erat-quantum mutatus ab illo" which Milton had undoubtedly read. -208. The ocean stream," wxizvoy We may remark by-and-by, that Mr
Totapov, which is not the thing: it is Prendeville has no notion of the rea
poos wréavos-376. “Whom first, whom son why Azazel is the standard-bearer last," with Homer's tiva rewtoy Tivao of hell.
Ürtator—B. ii. "Sceptred king," with 6. “ Thrice he assay'd, and thrice- σκηπτεχος βασιλευς -174. « His red Tears-burst forth-interwove with right hand,” with Horace's “ Rubente sighs.- L. 619.
Dexterâ"_588. “ Dire hail," with his Prendeville quotes Ovid's
“ Diræ grandinis "_" The gods who "Ter conata loqui, ter iletibus ora rigavit” live at ease," with Homer's Seou peup
CODYTES, &c. &c. Trivialities like after Bentley—and then adds some
these are to be found in scores, and trifling remarks of his own. Might they are not much more than waste of he not have taken from Bowles the paper. Equally useless are such pieces lines of Sackville, in the Mirror for of information as those by which we Magistrates ?
learn that Moses is called " That Thryse he began to tell his doleful tale, Shepherd," i. 8, because he tended And thryse the sighs did swallow up the flocks of his father-in-law Jethro; his voice,
that Satan means “enemy," and Mo
loch "king,” in Hebrew; that Naaman cornice, generally ornamented with figures. was cured of the leprosy by Elisha, * Fretted,' ornamented with fretwork or (i. 471;) that a Levite of Mount Ben. fillets interwoven at parallel distances.jamin was brutally used by the men of (N., Johnson.). Gibeah, (i. 509,) which story is told
66 • Cressets,' any great light set on at so much length as to occupy half a
high, from the French croissette, because page of close type, (our crítical editor beacons had anciently crosses on their has not, however, condescended to in tops.”—(Johnson.) form us that this is one of the very
That 'sdeined is disdained, 'plained few passages which Milton altered complained ; that Gabriel, or Michael, 1 in his second edition ;) or the five or Raphael, is in some particular place
hundred other things of the same to be pronounced as a dissyllable, elsekind, which any decently catechised where as a trisyllable; that opal is a
child could tell. And again, as value sort of pale bluish stone; that maugre · less are the bits of classical and geo is despite of; that Asmodai is Asmographical lore with which the notes deus, and so on, things to be found in
We are told where Parnas. the most ordinary dictionary, or dise sus, Olympus, Dodona, &c., are to be covered by the most ordinary ear. - found; we are assured that Argo was And what shall we think of this, the first long ship that sailed from
“ But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus Greece; the history of Bellerophon
call.”_B. xii. 307. is detailed to us at great length; we
Jesus is called Joshua, Acts vii. 45, receive considerable information as to
and Heb. iv. 8. The names are the Bengal being in India, and the isth.
same in Hebrew and Greek.” He mus of Darien lying between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with
means to say that Joshua is called
Jesus. much more of the same kind. For
How the names are the same in the what class of readers of Paradise Lost
Hebrew and the Greek, it would be can such schoolboy rubbish be needed ? In the midst of this hornbook annota
hard to conceive. We might as well tion, we stumble every now and then
say that Diego and James, or Hans
and Jack, or Guglielmo and Will, are upon something amusing. For exam. ple, when upon
the same in English and Spanish, or
German or Italian. Inrous is the Greek " Or whom Biserta sent from Afric manner of expressing the Hebrew shore,
name Joshua, as we see in the SepWhen Charlemain with all his peerage tuagint, and every other Greek book fell
in which Joshua's name occurs. By Fontarabia.”_B. i. 585-7.
There was, then, plenty of room for We find such a note as this,
other illustrations of Paradise Lost, “He alludes to the Saracens, who by merely striking out this paltry stuff
, crossed over from Biserta, the ancient
which once might have had its value, Utica in Africa, to Spain. The Spanish
but assuredly is of no value whathistorians, whom Milton here follows as
Patrick Hume, the first more romantic, say that Charlemagne,
commentator, honestly did his busiking of France, and emperor of Germany,
ness, of supplying, to the utmost of undertook, about the year 800, a war
his knowledge, wherewithal to make against the Saracens of Spain, but was the Scriptural and classical allusions routed and slain at Fontarabia, a strong of Milton intelligible to the general town in the provinee of Biscay. But the reader. Callander of Craigforth, who French writers say that he was victorious, is here (p. 324) puffed as an excellent and died at home in peace.”-(N.) critic, did nothing more than pillage
Or of what use are such notes as his countryman in a most shameless these to a reader of Milton ?
manner, as we proved in this Magazine “Pilasters," ornamental pillars set in a
of ours many a long year ago. But wall, with about one-fourth of their thick
since Hume's time, the schoolmaster ness outside." Architrave,” the lower has been most actively abroad; and division of an entablature, or that part
Milton himself, who was actually a which rests on the capital or upper part of schoolmaster when living in the the column.—“Cornice,” the uppermost body, has, since he has departed member of the entablature, or the highest from it, made, by means of this very projection; it crowns the order.-Frieze,' Paradise Lost, the ordinary read. that Alat part between the architrave and ing public familiarly acquainted with
many a matter which, in the days of self prudently anonymous, supplies Charles the Second, had not penc- the following sagacious sentences :trated very much deeper than the
“ Homer had certainly more invention upper circle of scholars.
than Virgil; and Virgil more judgment therefore, commendable in
than Homer. But Homer had more of Hume's time is contemptible now.
Virgil's talent than Virgil had of his; and, And then, during these last forty besides, possessed his own in a greater years, the popular study of our an
degree than Virgil did his own : in short, cient lore, which may be said to
Homer had more judgment than Virgil had have commenced with the publication invention, and more invention than Virgil of Percy's Reliques, has familiarized judgment. Yet the Æneid does not fall us with words deemed in Newton's 80 short of the Iliad, as Virgil's genius time, when an astonishing ignorance seems to do of Homer's; which no doubt, of our old language prevailed among in a great part, is owing to his skilful imi. the ordinary run of readers and tations. But Milton surpasses both; for writers, fit for a glossary. We need he was equal to Homer in invention, and not now be told that chivalry means superior to him and Virgil in judgment." people who ride on horses or drive in chariots. The reader of Hohenline tical criticism, which may be success.
This is a beautiful specimen of antitheden, no very recondite poem, under- fully applied to any thing. .“ Applestands
pies have certainly more fruit in them “ Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,
than apple-puddings, and apple-pudAnd charge with all thy chivalry !"
dings more flour than apple-pies; but
the pies have more of the pudding without a patronising note of expla- material than the puddings have of nation. It may once have been a mat the pie material, and besides possess ter of necessity to explain that a brand their own in a greater degree thau is a sword. Is it now requisite for the puddings do theirs : in short, the the merest lounger over a novel ? pies have more flour than the pudWhat proof-armour, plate, mail, tilt dings have fruit, and more fruit than ing, tournaments, blazonry, cressets, the puddings have flour.
But plumjousts, &c. &c., are, must be known to puddings surpass both, for they are even the frequenters of minor theatres ?. equal to apple-pies in fruit, and surSir Walter Scott has familiarized us pass them and apple-puddings in well to all these things, and yet they flour." Now, as the proof of the are here dully explained in formal pudding is in the eating of it, these notes. Now, really we might expect elaborately balanced assertions, de re that trivial classical quotations, chari. pistoriâ, will not be taken without ty-school Scriptural lore, and circu. being submitted to that decisive orlating library knowledge, are not any deal; and in like manner, we must longer to find a place in a critical be reluctant to admit, without some edition of Paradise Lost. Whatever satisfactory test of their truth, the purpose they were originally intended equally trim antitheses of the anonyto serve has been served long since, mous aphorist in re criticâ. There and they may now safely be discard. are people in the world who imagine ed. At least one half of Mr Pren: that Homer had not only more inven. deville's notes are, in the present tion, but more judgment than Virgil state of the most ordinary literature, and Milton put together, and who quite useless.
question whether the judgment of our In another department of his task, great English poet is exactly the Mr Prendeville throws down the point on which he is most deserving gauntlet of defiance against all other of approbation, in spite of such battleepic poets in behalf of Paradise Lost, dore and shuttlecock criticism as that as becomes a loyal editor. He copies, just quoted. Elsewhere he tells us, of course, Addison's laudatory re
that most of the eminent literati con. marks, which, however, will hardly tend for the supremacy of Paradise stand the test of rigid criticism, and Lost over any poem in any language boldly sets Milton
or age, (Editor's Preface, p. 1,) and
on all due occasions takes an opportu" Above all Greek, above all Roman fame."
nity of extolling it as superior to the
epics of Homer. These eminent liteSome gentleman, who keeps him. rati are, we believe, in a very respecto