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221. The repetition so near," is ex- or quoad, understood) as to “which ?” tremely beautiful, as being the great ob- Then is “m's-thought" a substantive, stacle to their working together to any misconception, in apposition to thoughts ; purpose, for her object is to persuade or a participle, erroneously conceived Adam to let her go from him.- (Stil.) about her, &c. ? 228.“ Beyond compare."
There is 292. “ Entire" here is used, as integer no occasion for supposing here, as New- in Latin sometimes is, to signify pure, ton thinks, that Milton converts, by a free from, not contaminated by. Integer poetic license, a verb into a substantive, is rarely found with the preposition. Ter. for, as Todd shows, “ compare" is often Hecyr. I. ii. 70:used by the old English poets for com
Virgo ab se integra etiam tum siet." parison.
Tacit. An. xv. 52, “ inter a conjura239. So great an indication of reason
tione." is smiling, that some philosophers have
310. “ Access" here means accession, altered the definition of man from ani
increase. So in Latin accessus is somemal rationale, to animal risible; from the rational to the risible animal.—( H.)
times used, as Cic. de Div. ii. 14,“ 249. This was the well-known saying
cessus et recessus lunæ," the increase of Scipio. “ Never less alone than when
and wane of the moon, “ maris accessus," alone.”- (N.)
the rising of the tide. 250. Retirement though but short,
314. “ Unite,” i. e. concentrate, or knit makes the return sweet.
together, all the “vigour.” This is the urges" is to be referred to
evident meaning of the word; all other ment” only, and not to the epithet, which
opinions are idle. he seems to annex to it only because he
318.“ Domestic," i.e. having a careful could not bear to think of a long one.
regard to the good of his family.-It (P.)
seems to refer to 232, &c.—(P.) 270. “ The virgin majesty of Eve.”
320. “ Less attributed," i. e, too little Virgin" here is classically used to de
attributed ; an elegant Latinism.-(R.)
328. See i. 391. note purity, modesty, sweetness, &c.
335. What merit is there in any virtue Pasiphae is called “ Virgin" by Virgil, (Ecl. vi. 47,) after she has three children.
till it has stood the test alone, and with
out other assistance ? Hor. iv. Od. ix. So Ovid, (Epist. Hypsip. Tas. 133,) calls Medea “adultera virgis,” the adulterous maid or virgin.-(R.) Virgin" is often
“ Paulum sepultæ distat inertiæ used adjectively in English to signify
Celata virtus."-(R.) virginlike, modest, &c.
339. As not to be secure to us single 278. “ At shut of evening flowers." or together.-(N.) A beautiful epithet of evening, accord- 343. What Eve had just said having ing to the occupation of Adam and Eve. required some remonstrance or repriThe Greek husbandmen termed the even
mand from Adam, he is here with great ing Βουλυτον, Or, unyoking time of jud,ment represented as changing his oxen." Flowers become contracted in the former endearing epithets for the more evening, and expand with the rising sun. authoritative one, "O Woman!” Turn As various epithets have been applied to among the Greeks was a term of great the evening by people of all nations, ac- respect. The superior excellency of cording to their several pursuits (in man's understanding, the sketches of the some of the pastoral parts of Ireland the defects peculiar in general to the female evening is called “milking time"), this mind, and the reasons why Adam at last epithet of “shut of evening flowers" is yields contrary to his better judginent, admirably descriptive of the occupation are drawn with admirable art.-(Th.) of Adam and Eve.
353. “ Ware." An old adjective, the 289. i.e. If I am so dear to you as
-(N.) you said (227,) how can you thus think 359. “ Firm we subsist.” By a firm amiss of me?-(P.) The main difficulty resistance against temptation we here, the Syntax of “which” and “mis. maintain our present state of existence. thought," I do not find explained. Is 367. “ Approve" is here used in the " which" the nominative to
sense of probare, to render approved, or thought,” or is it, as I rather think, to tried; hence, to show a thing faultless. be taken elliptically (as the relative often 386, &c. As this is the last description is in Greek and Latin, governed by katu of Eve in a state of innocence, Milton has
same as atvare.
bestowed on her the richest colours of his poetry drawn from the ancient classics. She was likened to the Wood Nymphs, and Delia (or Diana) in respect to her gait. But now that Milton had mentioned her being “armed with garden tools,” he beautifully compares her to the graceful rural goddesses, Pales, Pomona, and Ceres- to Pomona in all the perfection of her beauty (not in reference to the precise hour of her fight, but at her time of life) when she fled from the courtship of Vertumnus,(see Ov. Met. xiv. 628); to * Ceres in her prime ;" the old poets ascribe to the gods certain stages of beauty, and gradations of age. Juvenal, Sat. vi. 15 : “Jove nondum barbato." So Æn. vii. 180: “ Saturnus Sener."_“Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove;" by an uncommon and bold mode of speaking to express “when Ceres was a virgin before she bore Proserpine to Jupiter.”—(P., Monbod.)
392. “Guiltless" implies unpolluted; thus the best writers represent the effect of art as pollution. See Exod. xx. 25 ; Virg. Geor. ii. 466.-(Stil.)
400, &c. “ She to him engaged to be returned by noon amid the bower, and all things in best order to invite noontide repast.” Here seems to be a want of a verb before "all things,” &c. Dr. Bentley therefore reads, " and at the bower have all things,” &c. But if it be necessary to insert the word have, I would read thus with less alteration, "in best order have to invite."-(P.) There seems no necessity for any alteration. If “the bower" had been mentioned alone, he would hardly have said “ amid the bower," but rather “at the bower," or, " in the bower;" but “ amid the bower and all things" is-right.—(N.) Stillingfleet thinks that “to be” from the preceding verse is understood after “ all things." Dunster believes there is a bold ellipsis intended of have ; “and have all things." I see no necessity here for making correction, or supposing an ellipsis.
This mode of expression is not only classical, but in ordinary use in our language. "Engaged" here means, solemnly promised. It is not uncommon to find in the ancient classics the infinitive mood and a noun coupled together, and both depending on one verb, participle, or even adjective. So here; she promised to return by noon, and promised every thing in the best order. Of this kind of construction there are many instances in this poem. So 164, “ I am
now constrained into a beast, and to incarnate this essence," is somewhat analogous. “ Amid the bower" means within the bower. “ Amid," like inter in Latin, is elsewhere used for in, as iv. 186, " Amid the field;" 578, “ Amid the sun's bright circle;" so also, “ Amid the air." So inter is sometimes used, Gell. b. i. c. 11, “tibicines inter erercitum positi;" b. ix. c. 4, "inter diem;" h. xiii. c. 7, "inter omnem vitam." Cels. b. iii. c. 8, “ inter initia sanguis mitti debet." The quotation in the following note furnishes a construction of phrase similar to this.
404–406. i.e. Deceived and failing in thy presumed return. These beautiful apostrophes and anticipations are frequent in the poets, who affect to speak as men inspired with the knowledge of futurity. Thus Virgil to Turnus, Æn. x. 501:“Nescia mens hominum fati sortisque futuræ'
Et servare modum rebus sublata secundis. Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaverit
emptum Intactum Pallanta, et cum spolia ista diem
que Oderit." So Homer, Il. xvii. 497 :Νηπιοι, ουδ' αρ' εμελλον αναιμωτει γε νεεσθαι.
(N.) 425. Il. xv. 153:Αμφι δε μιν θυοεν νεφος εστεφανωτο.-(Τ.)
432. This thought and manner of speaking must have pleased our author, as they are here a repetition of iv. 269.—(N.)
434. The many pleasing images of nature which are intermixed in this part of the story with the several wiles which are put in practice by the tempter, and the gradual and regular progress to the catastrophe, are so very obvious, that it would be superfluous to point out their respective beauties. (Ad.)
438.“ Imbordered on each bank, the hand of Eve," i.e. set as a border. The banks were bordered with the flowers. “ The hand of Eve;" the handiwork of Eve, as we say of a picture that it is the hand of such or such a master; and thus Virgil, Æn. i. 455 :“ Artificumque manus inter se operumque
labores Miratur."-(N.) As Milton is comparing this particular spot to the garden of Alcinous, he uses " imbordered" as illustrating a word of similar meaning in Homer's charming description of that celebrated garden, Odyss. vii. 127:Ενθα δε κοσμηται πρασιαι παρα νειάτον ορχον Παντοιαι πεφυασιν, επηετανον γανοωσαι.-Τ.)
440. The numerous disputes about this passage, and its defence, may be thus summed up. Although the gardens of Adonis, κηποι Αδωνιδος, may have been nothing else (as Dr. Bentley says) than portable earthern pots filled with lettuce or fennel, and used at the yearly festival of Adonis, because Venus once laid him on a lettuce bed ; still the reason why these little gardens were carried about in honour of him was, that the Greeks had a tradition (as Pearce shows) that when alive, he had a magnificent garden in which he delighted. Pliny mentions the gardens of Alcinous and Adonis together, as Milton does (b. xix. c. 4): "Antiquity has admired nothing more than the gardens of the Hesperides, and of kings Adonis and Alcinous." So that this was sufficient ground for the poet to refer to them. But he had high poetic authority as well. Marino, in his L'Adone (c. 6), Spenser in his Fairy Queen (III. 6), and Shakspeare (K. H. VI. act i. sc. 6), refer to them in terms of high encomium. Besides all this, Milton fortifies himself against all cavil by calling these gardens “ feigned.” The gardens of Alcinous, king of Phæacia (now Corfu), who entertained Ulysses, are celebrated in the Seventh Book of the Odyssey.
442. Or the gardens of Solomon, which were not imaginary but real, where he was wont to enjoy himself with his beautiful wife, daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. See the book of Canticles; and also the description of them in Cotovicus of Utrecht, in his Itinerarium Hierosolymatanum.—(N., T.)
450. “ Tedded grass." Grass just mowed, and spread for drying.-(R.)
453. See Fairy Queen, II. vi. 24.-( Th.)
457. Compare this scene with that between the Saracen king Aladin, and the Italian virgin Sophronia, in the second canto of Tasso's Jerusalem, in which, however, the Englishman far surpasses the Italian.-(Th.)
462. “ Et nostro sæpe doluisti dolore." These repetitions are common in the best poets.-(N.)
Though in mid heaven;" i, e. even were he in the midst of heaven; or it may refer to Job ii. 1: "There was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord : and Satan also came among them to present himself." So Satan speaks, Par. Reg. i. 366:
496. “ Indented." Notched, going in and out, like the teeth of a saw.
So Shakspeare, As You Like It, act iv. sc. 3:" And with indented glides did slip away.".
(N.) 498. As the dragon, or serpent, is described by Orpheus, de Lap. Arg. 44:
- ειλυτο δε πυκνως, Γναμπτων ενκυκλως ταναην ραχιν, ανταρ επ'
αλλα Αλλος, έπειτα δ' επ' αλλος έλισσομενου τροχος.
(T.) 499. Milton has not only imitated Ovid, Met. iii. 32, in this description, but has ransacked all the good poets who ever made a remarkable description of a serpent.
" nor from the heaven of heavens Hath he excluded my resort sometimes."-(N.)
"cristis præsignis et auro; Igne micant oculiIlle volubilibus squamosos nexibus orbes Torquet, et immensos saltu sinuatur in arcus; Ac media plus parte leves erectus in auras Despicit omne nemus."—N.) " Carbuncle his eyes.” So Shakspeare in Hamlet's speech to the players:“ With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Old grandsire Priam seeks."-(Stevens.) " Carbuncle." A jewel resembling in its colour a burning coal.
505—510. Satan here is compared and preferred to the most memorable of those serpents into which persons were transformed. Cadmus, together with his wife Hermione, or Harmonia, leaving Thebes in Bæotia, which he had founded, and for divers misfortunes quitted, went to Illyria, and were there turned into serpents for having slain one sacred to Mars. (See Ov. Met. iv. 562, &c.) Æsculapius, the god of physic, who was worshipped at Epidaurus, having been supplicated by a deputation from Rome to allay a pestilence raging there, was said to have gone to Rome for the purpose in the form of a serpent. See Livy, b. xi. ; Ov. Met. xv. Jupiter Ammon was said to have had intercourse in the form of a serpent with Olympias, and thus to have begotten Alexander the Great. In like manner Jupiter Capitolinus was said to have begotten Scipio Africanus, who raised his country to the highest pitch of glory.—(N.) The critics have observed a difficulty in the construction of the word “changed” here. Pearce says it may be excused as a poetic liberty of expression, much the same as critics have observed in Ovid, Met. i. :
“ Formas mutatas in nova corpora ;" i. e. corpora mutata in novas formas. So Horace, ii. Sat. 8:
529. All the commentators agree in extolling this description of the serpent, and the masterly adulation by which Eve is thrown off her guard; and the ability with which Milton removes the common objections to the Mosaic history of the temptation.
530. Milton, without giving his own opi. nion, states in general the disputed que stion whether the devil moved the serpent's tongue, and used that instrument to ma ke the speech; or formed a voice by impression of the sounding air distant from the serpent.—(H.)
549. “ His proem tuned.” Proem, itponua, is the first essay of the musician, to set voice or instrument in order. The character and wiles of the enchanter in Comus bear a strong resemblance to the conduct of Satan in all this scene, 732, &c.
556. See Gen. ii. 4.-(N.)
563. “ Speakable of mute." Able to speak, from being mute. The word
speakable," like comfortable, &c. is here active; sometimes it is passive, “ what can be spoken.” Many verbal adjectives in English ending in ble, as in Latin verbal adjectives ending in bilis, have an active and passive signification.
581, 582. The commentators say that serpents are fond of fennel (Pliny, Nat. Hist. b. xix. c. 9, sect. 56); and that they were supposed to suck the teats of ewes and goats.—(T.)
605. “ Middle." In medio, in the air, which lies between heaven and earth. See vii. 241.-(H.)
612. “ Dame," (French, dame, and Latin, domina,) was an appellation of honour used by the poets to signify lady or mistress.—(N.) So we say “madam."
613. “ Spirited;" from the Italian spiritare, to be possessed with the devil.(T.)
631. Compare Tasso's description of the rolling of a serpent. Gier. Lib. xv. 48.—(Th.)
643. “ Fraud.” See note on vii. 143.
644. “ The tree of prohibition.” Hebraism for the prohibited tree.-(N.)
"aceto Quod Methymnæam vitio mutaverat uvam;" i.e. in quod vitio mutatata est uva Methymnæa. Newton thinks the meaning is, that the serpents changed only the form of Cadmus and Hermione, for they still retained their sense and memory; just as Æsculapius was still a god, though so disguised (Ovid states these facts, Met. iv, and xv.), so was Satan Satan still. The alleged difficulty of the word “changed" will be removed, say Dunster and Todd, by placing a comma after it, and considering it as a neuter verb, in its usual signification of underwent a change or transformation.-" The height of Rome,” Pearce observes, is an expression of the same nature with Ovid's “ Summa ducum Atrides." Amor. i. El. ix. 37. Agamemnon, the sum of chiefs. Todd quotes as parallel, “ those the top of eloquence," Par. Reg. iv. 353 ; and Shakspeare, Meas. for Meas. act ii. sc. 2:
“how should you be, If he, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are.' There is a passage in Lucian's Timon, when the hatterer calls him τα πρωτα των AOnyarcv, which I think is most analogous.
513. Todd quotes a beautiful passage from Apollonius Rhodius, in whose works Milton manifestly delighted, when the progress of the ship Argo is compared to the motion and workings of a serpent; (and Milton particularly mentions this ship, ii. 1017;) Argon. iv. 1541. Meen says the simile may be traced to Nicander, (Ther. 266,) where the oblique movements of a particular species of serpent are compared to those of a ship rolling from side to side, as sudden gusts impel it, and marking by its keel the sinuosity of its track. The passages are these :“Ως δε δρακων σκολιην ειλιγμενος ερχεται oιμον, Ευτε μιν οξυτατον θαλπει σελας ηελιοιο: Σπινθαρυγεσσι πυρος εναλιγκια μαιμωοντι Λαμπεται, όφρα μυχονδε δια ρωχμοιο δυηται: Ως Αργω λιμνης στομα ναυπoρoν εξερεουσα, Αμφεπολει δηναιον επι χρονον.-(Apot.) Αυταρ σγε σκαιος μεσατω επαλινδεται ολκω Oιμον οδοιπλανεων σκολιην τετρηχοτι νατο, Τραμπιος όλκαιης ακατω ισος, ήτε δι' αλμης Πλευρον όλον βαπτουσα, κακοσταθεοντος αητου, Εις ανεμον βεβιηται αποκρουστος λιβος ουρω. .
(Nicander.) 522. Alluding to the men turned into beasts by the sorceress Circe, and fawning before her. Ov. Met. xiv. 45.
“per que ferarum Agmen adulantum media procedit ab aula."
648. Besides the jingle, the same word is used in a literal and metaphorical sense, as in Bion, Idyll. i, 16:Αγριον αγριον έλκος έχει κατα μηρον Αδωνις, , Μειζον δ' α Κυθερεια φερει ποτικαρδιον έλκο And not unlike is that in Virgil, Æn. vii. 295:
“ Num capli potuere capi."--(N.) 653. “ Daughter of his voice," another
Hebraism; bath kol, the daughter of a voice, for a voice from heaven. -(N.) “ The rest,'' a Græcism, and common in Latin, as to the rest. So Virg. Æn. iii. 594, “Cætera Graius." “ We live law to ourselves ;" so Rom. ii. 14: “These having not the law, are a law unto themselves.”—(R.)
673, 674. "Stood in himself collected; while each part, Motion, each act won audience, ere the
tongue." This is the reading of Milton's editions, and has been retained in all the best editions since his time; yet the commentators object to the words and their arrangement. Bentley proposes to read,
“ Collected whole, while each Motion, each air won audience," &c. Pearce would retain "act,” which he says is explained by Milton himself in 668, to be what an orator puts himself into before he begins to speak; and proposes to read,
- " while each part's Motion, each act won audience,” &c. Newton, as the words, “in himself collected whole,” is a manner of expression not unlike that in Horace, (ii. Sat. vii. 86,)“ in seipso totus teres atque rotundus," proposes to read,
" collected whole, while each Motion, each act won audience,” &c. Greenwood says there is a great beauty and nervousness in having the pause on “ collected," and therefore proposes to read,
" while each part, Motion, and act," &c. Todd says, “I wish to defend the whole passage, and not to alter a letter of the poet's word. “Part, motion, act,' are three distinct things. * Part' here signifies the position or station of the orator, that attention to the 'parts' of the body, which Cicero calls 'oratorius status,' De Orator. lib. i. sect. 59. "Motion, the commanding gesture of the speaker, which Cicero calls oratorius motus ;' and act' means the manner or sign, such as the waving of the hand, by which the orator wins attention before he speaks. See 677, and x. 458." I think Todd's view the most correct of all. But without altering a letter of the text, I have proposed the simplest of all emendations, the transposition of a word, which would obviate all cavil, and render the verse more expressive and smooth ; thus,"Stood in himself collected; while each partEach motion-act won audience, ere the
675. “ Sometimes in height began;" i. e, at the highest pitch, as Cicero, in the beginning of his first Oration against Catiline, “Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra ?"-( Th.)
685. Gen. iii. 4, " And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." -(N.)
700—702. Thyer well observes that this is a truly satanic species of logic: God cannot hurt ye consistently with his attri. bute of justice; for to hurt ye, he would be unjust, and then he is no God, and is not to be feared or obeyed; therefore, your fear of death, which supposes him to be unjust, is nonsense; it destroys itself, because God cannot possibly be unjust.
714. “ To put on gods." 1 Cor. xv. 53, “ This incorruptible must put on incorruption."-(N.)
720. Compare the Cyclops of Euripides, 331:'H
αναγκη, καν θελη, καν μη θελη, Τικτουσα ποιαν, ταμα πιαινει βοτα, Α' γω τινι θυω, πλην εμοι, θεοισι δ' ου.
(Stil.) 771. “ Author unsuspect."
“ Author" here is used in the sense in which auctor (Lat.) sometimes is, that of an announcer, an informant. “ Unsuspect," unsuspected.
782. It has been often remarked, that there is nothing within the whole range of poetry at all comparable to this description, and that of ver. 1000 (see note there). How poor is Virgil's description, Æn. iv. of the earth trembling, the heavens flashing, and the nymphs howling on the mountain tops, on the ruin of Dido, compared with them! Æn. iv. 166.
-"Prima et Tellus et pronuba Juno, Dant signum: fulsere ignes, et conscius
æther, Connubiis; summoque
ulularunt vertice Nymphæ; Ille primus dies leti, primusque malorum."
792. And knew not eating death." i.e. That they were eating death, by eating the fruit which brought death. It is a Greek mode of expression, often used by the Latins too. Oppian Halieut. ii. 106:Ουδ' ενοησαν τον σπεύδοντες ολεθρον.- (R.)
794. Milton having heretofore described Eve as full of modesty, and conscious of her inferiority to her husband, now, with great judgment, adapts her sentiments to her altered state, and represents her as filled with bold aspirings and indulging in the wildest and even impious imaginations. One of her first