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thoughts, after she was corrupted, and fell, was to act independently of her husband.-( Th.)
795. “Precious of all trees." A Greek idiom adopted by the Latins, the positive for the superlative; " most precious of all trees," as Hom. II. v. 381, dia Deawy. Virg. Æn. iv. 576, “Sequimur te, sancte deorum."-(R.)
797, 798. “ Infamed.” An unusual word, froni the unusual Latin infamatus, defamed, represented to disadvantage.“ Thy fair fruit let hang,” the interjectional case; thy fair fruit left to hang, as if created for no end or object !" Of operation blest to sapience,” blest with the power of working wisdom.
805, 806. She has now arrived at that pitch of impiety that she attributes envy to the gods (though she forbears directly naming them) as Satan taught her (729), and questions whether this tree was their gift, as he also suggested (719).—(N.)
811. She questions even God's omni. science, and flatters herself that she is in secret, like other sinners, who say, “ The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.” Psalm xciv. 7.—(N.)
815. “Safe with all his spies." The word "safe" here has perplexed the commentators. Bentley, in his usual sweeping animadversion, declares it to be pure nonsense, and proposes to read forbidder's eye. Dr. Johnson quotes this passage, and the following, from Shakspeare's Macbeth,
The least a death to nature," to show that “ safe" sometimes means “ no longer dangerous, reposited out of the power of doing harm." I cannot see the appropriateness of this ex on. As he had all his spies about him, that was a good reason why he ought to have more power to do her harm by ascertaining her offence. “ Safe" is the English of tutus, and securus; now tutus sometimes signifies, qui tutos facit, conferring security, Cic. pro Lege Manil. c. xi. ; Cæsar, Bel. Civil. i. 46, “ locus tutus; tutiorem receptum." So Milton uses the words “safe shore,” i. 310, “safe guide," "safe path of righteousness," xi. 814, and elsewhere. Securus means having no uneasiness or concern about a thing, negligent, remiss, at ease. In either sense "safe" is, I think, intelligible and proper here. So salvus is sometimes used as securus, Ter. Andr. v. vi. 9. Eve appre
hended no danger from God, because he had so many spies about him which rendered him free from all thought or apprehension, and careless, as she imagined, of Satan's entrance into paradise to work annoyance to him, or danger to man.
818. “Give him to partake." To give to do a thing, is a beautiful expression in poetic language ; Homer, Il. i. 18:
Υμιν μεν θεοι δoιεν Ολυμπια δωματ εχοντες
Εκπερσαι Πριαμοιο πολιν, ει δ' οίκαδ' ικεσθαι. So Virg. Æn. i. 65:
“Tibi Divum pater et hominum rex Et mulcere dedit fluctus, et tollere vento." 79:
“ Tu das epulis accumbere Divum." 522:
“ Justitiaque dedit gentes frænare superbas." So i. 736.-(N.)
823. “The Wife of Bath's Tale," one of Chaucer's most huinorous tales, versified by Dryden, is to show that sovereignty is what women most desire.-(N.)
832. Hor. iii. Od. ix. 24:" Tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam libens." So just is the observation of Solomon, Cant. viii. 6:-“Love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave.”—(N.)
835. Eve falling into idolatry upon the taste of the forbidden tree, as the first fruit of disobedience, is finely imagined. -(R.)
838, &c. So Andromache is described as preparing for the return of Hector, little fancying that he was slain by Achilles, Il. xxii. 440.-(N.)
845. " Yet oft bis heart divine of something ill," a Latinism, divine, divinus, divining, or foreboding. So Hor. ij. Od. xxvii. 10:
“ Imbrium divina avis imminentum."-(N.) * Præsaga mali mens,” Æn. x. 843, and αι, αι προμαντις θυμος ώς τι προσδοκα, Eurip. Androm. 1075.—( 7.) Mpopartis θυμος here is, « My prophetic soul!" Hamlet's exclamation.
846. i. e. His heart beat irregularly and falteringly.
851, 852. Virgil, Georg. iv. 415, “Et liquidum ambrosiæ diffudit odorem.” Ecl. ii. 51:-" Ipse ego cana legam tenerâ lanugine mala."
(H.) 860. “ What rash untried I sought." i. e. What (the pain of absence from you) was untried and new to me I rashly ought.
887. He before described her as if she were heightened with wine, 793.—(T.)
888–890. In order to give full effect to this incomparable description, and conceive Adain's astonishment and horror, there must be several breaks and pauses in these lines when read.
Virgil says, (ii. 120)—but how inferior to Milton! "Obstupnere animi, gelidusque per ima cucurOssa tremor."-(D., H.)
908. Like the affectionate words of Admetus to Alcestis, Eurip. Alcest. 277:
Σου γαρ φθιμενης, ουκ ετ' αν ειην,
Εν σοι δ' εσμεν και ζην και μη. -(Τ.) 910. He says paradise would be a wil. derness without her.—(Th.)
923. I have given the punctuation of the old and best modern editions ; but, according to it, the passage is scarcely intelligible. It would seem that “ coveta ing" governs
“ to eye;" then there is nothing to which the comparative“ much more can refer. By placing a comma after “coveting,” or reading, "had it been only coveting,” as a parenthesis, the whole would be plain. It was a great peril incurred to dare eye the fruit (even though she only coveted or longed for it, without ever intending to go farther); much greater peril, then, was it to dare taste it. The commentators have not noticed this difficulty in their own reading.
928. Adam, as Thyer observes, had just before condemned Eve; but he now exerts all his reason to find excuses for her, and looks favourably towards the result, from the overpowering influence of his love for her. Such a thorough insight had Milton into human nature !
936. i.e. Which must end in our being gods. This is a Latinism.
965. Dunster says that the note of interrogation which is found here in all editions, should be removed to the end of 976, so as not to interrupt the turbulent rapidity of her thoughts. Milton often opens his speeches with a long succession of ideas arising rapidly out of the first address, and precluding for a time any thing positive being said about the point intended to be spoken to.
980. “ Oblige thee with a fact pernicious.” “Oblige" in the sense of obligare, not only to bind, but to render obnoxious to guilt or punishment. So Cicero, Orat. pro Domo : “ Cum populum Romanum scelere obligasses.” Finib. i. 14: “Sæpe etiam legum judiciorumque penis obligantur.” Hor. ii. Od. viii. 5:
“ Sed tu simul obligasti
Perfidum votis caput."-(N.)
989. “ And fear of death deliver to the winds." To deliver to the winds, was a sort of proverbial classic phrase. Hor. i. Od. xxvi. 1:
“ Tristitiam et metus Tradam protervis in mare Creticum
Portare ventis."--(N.) 998. Here may the words be well applied, according to Virgil, Æn. iv. 412:" Improbe amor, quid non mortalia pectora
cogis."-(H) 1000. See note on 782. Beattie oh. serves, “Here are two sources of the sublime; the prodigy strikes with horror, the vastness of the idea overwhelms with astonishment. In this place an inferior poet would have introduced an earthquake, thunder and lightning ; but Milton, with better judgment, makes the alarm of that deep and awful kind which cannot express itself in any other way than by an inward and universal trembling.”
1002. Newton thinks that “ muttering thunder" is the absolute case here; but Dunster, I think, more properly conceives that it is-sky lowered, and muttering or grumbling forth thunder, wept, &c.
1010, 1111.“ Wings wherewith to scorn the earth.” “ Spernit humum fugiente penna." Hor, iii. Od. 2.
1019. Since we use the word “savour" in both senses, and apply it to the under. standing as well as to the palate. So Cic. de Finib. ii. 8, “ Nec enim sequitur, ut cui cor sapiat, ei non sapiat palatum.(N.)
1023. For “ know,” read “known.”
1029. Milton had in mind the conversation between Paris and Helen in the third Iliad, and especially that between Jupiter and Juno on mount Ida, in the fourteenth Iliad. And, as Pope observes, it is with wonderful judgment and delicacy Milton has used that exceptionable passage of the dalliance, ardour, and enjoyment of Jupiter and Juno. That which seems in Homer an impious fiction, becomes in Milton a moral lesson, since he makes that lascivious rage of the passions the immediate effect of the sin of our first parents.-(N.) See note on viii. 513.
1058, 1059. “He covered," i.e. shame (here personified as in 1097) covered them; though they were clothed with shame, yet they thereby the more discovered their nakedness (so Samson Agonist. 811, 842). Samson was of the tribe of Dan. “ Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame ; let them cover themselves with their own confusion as with a cloak.” Psalm cix. 28.-(N., Bo.)
1086. “ Woods impenetrable to star.” From Statius, Theb. X. 85:
"* Nulli penetrabilis astro, Lucus iners."-(N.) 1088, &c. The general idea of this beautifully poetic address may be traced to Rev. vi. 13–15, “ And they said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ?" See vi. 843.-(D.)
1101-1110. This “fig-tree” is described by Quintus Curtius, Hist. Alex. ix. 1; vi. 5; and by Jonson in Neptune's Triumph. Milton appears to have taken his description from Gerard's Herball. ïï. 135, who says,
" the ends of the branches hang down and touch the ground, where they take root, and grow in such sort, that those twigs become great trees; and these being grown up into the like greatness, do cast their branches or twiggy tendrils into the earth, where they likewise take hold and root; by means whereof it cometh to pass, that one tree is made a great wood, which the Indians do use for coverture against the extreme heat of the
Some likewise do use it for pleasure, cutting down by a direct line a long walk, or as it were a vault, through the thickest part, from which also they cut certain loopholes, or windows, in some places, to receive thereby the fresh cool air; also for light that they may see their cattle that feed thereby, &c. : from which vault or close walk doth rebound such an admirable echo or answering voice, &c. The first, or mother of this wood, is hard to be known from the children,” &c. Milton has availed himself of Gerard's reference to Pliny, who uses the word Amazonian targe.-(T., Wart.)
“ From the Portuguese name of the Bhur or Banian tree, to which this beautiful and most just description applies, Milton appears to have been led into a mistake, and to confound it with one species of the plantain, which, from the magnitude and flexibility of its leaves, was, in all probability, applied by our first parents to the same purpose as the Puliar caste now use it on the coast of Malabar. From the fruit, which resembles a fig in appearance, though not eatable, the first discoverers of India called the tree the Figo; as the service to which it is usually consecrated,
induced the English to give it the appellation of Banian, or Sacred. Its leaves are the smallest of the forest tribe, and not“ broad as Amazonian targe.”( Eyles Irwin.) See Todd.
1134, &c. We may compare Nestor's remarks to Agamemnon for neglecting his counsel, Il. ix. 108:Οντι καθ' ημετερον γ€ νοονμαλα γαρ τοι έγωγε Πολλ' απεμνθεομην" συόεAnd the poet's observations, also, on Patroclus, for having disregarded the advice of Achilles, Il. xvi. 686 :
--- Ει δε επος Πηληλαδαο φυλαξεν, Ητ' αν υπεκφυγε κηρα κακην μελανος θανατοιο.
(Stil.) 1144. Thus Homer, Il. xiv. 83:Ατρειδη, οιον σε επος φυγεν έρκος οδοντων.
1149. “ Or here the attempt,” or had the attempt been made here.
1163. As Adam is now, for the first time, angry, his speech is abrupt, and his sentences broken. Is the recompense of my love expressed as immutable?-(N.)
1166, 1167. Compare the conversation of Alcestis with Admetus, in which there is a similar sentiment applied by the affectionate wife, who resolves to die in order to save her husband. Euripides, Alcestis, 282:
Εγω σε πρεσβευουσα, καντι της εμης
(Stil.) 1169. “ Not enough severe.” This is a bitter repetition of Eve's accusation, 1155, &c. that he was not strict enough in restraining her.
1183, Women is the reading of the old editions; but it is obvious, as Bentley observes, that woman is the proper word, on account of what follows—" her will,” " she will not brook," " left to herself.” But “women” may be justified, says Newton, such a transition from the plural to the singular number being not uncommon in the best classical authors. Terence, Eunuch. ii. i. 10: “ Dii boni quid hoc morbi est? adeon' hominis
immutarier Ex amore, ut non cognoscas eundem esse ?"
1185. Juvenal Sat. vi. 283.
“Nihil est audacius illis Deprensis ; iram atque animos a crimine
The Tenth Book has a greater variety of persons in it than any other in the whole poem. The author, upon the winding up of his action, introduces all those who had any concern in it, and shows, with great beauty, the influence it had upon each of them. It is like the last act of a well-written tragedy, in which all who had a part in it are generally drawn up before the audience, and represented under those circumstances in which the determination of the action places them. -(Ad.) In the first edition the poem ended with this book.
19. “ 31. “
85, 86. So Shakspeare, All's Well that ends Well, act i. sc. 1 :* In his bright radiance and collateral ligh Must I be comforted, not in his sphere."
(Stevens.) 98, &c. See Gen. iii. 8, 9, &c.
153. Milton, in his Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, dwells on the propriety of making the wife subject to the husband.-(T.)
156. “ Person" is here used in the Latin sense of persona, or character, used in a theatrical sense ; hence, occupation. -(R.)
157. “In few," i. e. in few words. A common classical ellipsis.
157, &c. In this passage Milton, as usual, follows Scripture.
182. Here is a manifest indication that when Milton wrote this passage, he thought Paradise was chiefly regained at the resurrection of Christ.-(Bent.)
184, &c. The commentators say this speech refers to the following scriptural passages—Luke x, 18, in ver. 184; to 2 Eph. ii. in calling Satan prince of the air (it being a Jewish idea that the air was ruled by devils); to 2 Colos. xv. in ver. 186; to Psalm lxviii. 18, and Ephes. iv. 8, in the two following verses; and to Rom. xvi. 20 in verse 190.
192, &c. See Gen. iii. 16--19.
214, 215. See Philip. ii. 7 ; John xiii. 5.-(H.)
218, 219. See Gen. iii. 21 ; Rom. F. 10. Pliny mentions some lesser creatures shedding their skins in the manner of snakes. Though called his family, yet they deserve the epithet of enemies by their revolt.-(N., P.)
229. “Ere thus was sinned and judged," i.e. sinned by man, and judged by God; a Latinism ; two verbs being used as impersonals passive.
249. “My shade." In the rare sense of umbra, an attendant. Hor. ii. Sat. viji. 22:
"Quos Mæcenas adduxerat umbras." But the word has a farther propriety here, as Death seemed a “shadow," (ii. 669,) and was the inseparable companion, as well as offspring, of sin.-(N.) 256. “
Unagreeable," i. e. unsuitable. It is opposite to agreeable, which disagreeable is not.-(T.)
2. The despiteful act of Satan was only mentioned in general before ; and here the word “and" introduces two particulars of it.-(P.) 11. " Whatever wiles."
Any wiles whatever, a pure Latinism,“ quoscunque dolos.”
Manifold in sin.” Many divines reckon up several sins as included in this one of Adam, such as pride, curiosity, disobedience, &c.—(R.)
By this," i.e. by this time.
Approved.” In the occasional sense of the Latin probare, rendered it
45. “With lightest moment of impulse." See note on vi. 239.
48. " What rests ?" what remains ?
74. “When time shall be." like the Latin tempus, the fit time or opportunity. See üi. 236.
77. “ Derived,” derivatus, brought on me like a stream. 78. So Shakspeare,
Merchant of Venice, act iv. sc. 1:. And earthly power doth then show likest
God's, When mercy seasons justice."-(N.) “ Illustrate,” in the occasional sense of illustrare, to show clearly. Satisfied," from the Latin satisfacere,
“ them fully attoned for." He has previously used “ satisfaction" in this sense.
80. “ Attendance none shall need." Shall be needful or necessary, the verb being here used in a neuter sense. See ii. 341.-(N.)
260. “ Intercourse." Passing frequently backward and forward. “Transmigration." Removing from hell to settle in the new creation. They were uncertain which their lot should be.-(R.)
266. “ Err the way.” Mistake the way. Latin, errare viam.
267. Compare the Eumenides of Æschylus, 246 :
Ουδ' αιματηρών πνευμ' επουρισασα το
273-281. So Lucan (Pharsal. viii. 831,) describes ravenous birds following the Roman camp, and instinctively beforehand scenting the carnage at Phar. salia—" his nostrils wide." So Virg. Georg. i. 376:
“ Et patulis captavit naribus auras.” “ Murky," dark. Sagacious," quickscented. “ Sagire enim, sentire acute est; ex quo sagaces dicti canes.” Cic. de Divinat. Lib. iv.-(N., H., T.)
289-293. The Cronian sea is the northern frozen ocean. “A Thule unius diei navigatione mare concretum a nonnullis Cronium appellatur." Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. iv. c. 16. -“ The imagined way" is the north-east passage, which so many have attempted to discover.—“Petsora,” the most north-eastern province of Muscovy, to Cathay, the northern part of China.-(N.)
296_298. “Delos.” An island in the Archipelago, said to have floated about the sea, till it became the birthplace of Apollo. Callimachus, in his hymn called Delos, has given a most enchanting description of this matter.—(R.)
-" The rest,” means those substances that were not solid or soil, but were soft and "slimy," 286. And Death is here described as not binding fast the fabric (the foundation of that was yet but laying), but as hardening the soft and slimy substances, and fixing them (like the soil) for the foundation of the bridge. In the first editions there was only a comma after “move,” while there was a semicolon after “slime," thus connecting “slime" with “bound.” The evident absurdity of this is now removed by the present punctuation, according to which, “slime” depends on “fastened.” See Pearce.
304, 305. Perhaps alluding to the paths of wickedness, Hesiod, Op. et Dies, 285:Την μεν κακοτητα και ιλαδον εστιν ελεσθαι Ρηιδιως ολιγη μεν οδος, μαλα δ' εγγυθι ναιει. So Matt. vii. 13.- (Jortin.)
306, &c. Sin and Death built a bridge over Chaos to enslave mankind, as Xerxes
did over the Hellespont to enslave Greece. “ Susa,” called by Herodotus “ Memnonia," was the residence of the Persian monarchs. Scourged with many a stroke, the indignant waves”—This refers to the madness of Xerxes in ordering the sea to be scourged for the loss of some of his ships." Indignant” is in allusion to two passages in Virgil, Æn. viii. 728:
“ Pontem indignatus Araxes." Georg. ii. 162: "Atque indignatum magnis stridoribus æquor."
(N.) We may also refer to the Persæ of Æsschylus, 395:
Ευθυς δε κωπης ροθιαδος ξυνεμβολη
Επαισαν άλμην βρυχιον.-(D.) Juvenal and others say it was the winds he ordered to be scourged; but Milton here follows Herodotus, who says it was
Todd says the phrase, “the liberty of Greece to yoke,” also refers to another passage in the Persæ, 66, Šugov αμφιβαλειν δουλιον Ελλαδι.
313. “ Pontifical." Bridge-making; from pons, bridge, and facere, to build, (so
pontifice,” 348,) an unusual word. In Rome the first bridge, which was wooden, (large piles, sublice, having been driven down for pillars) called pons sublicius, was built under the superintendance of the priests, or pontiffs, who derived a revenue from keeping this in order. It has been remarked by Dr. Johnson and others (I think incorrectly), that the word is employed here as an equivocal satire on popery. I rather think it intended as a sort of Latinism.
317. In Milton's editions there was a comma after “Satan," and none after
Chaos,” by which an improper mode of expression, “landed safe to the outside bare," is used: it should be on “the outside.” Newton, therefore, transfers (I think properly) the comma from “Satan” to “Chaos," so as to make the words " to the outside” depend on “ brought" before. This punctuation is generally now approved of.
322. Read a comma after "and."
328, 329. Satan, to avoid being discovered (as he had been, iv. 569), by Uriel, keeps at as great a distance as possible, and therefore, “ while the sun rose in Aries,” he steers to “his zenith,” or directly upwards betwist the " Centaur" and the “Scorpion,” two constellations which lay in quite a different part of the heavens from “ Aries ;” and he steered, too, towards the outside of this round