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Soft she withdrew, and like a wood-nymph light,
When in the dance the graceful god- rejects, as the editor's manufacdess leads
ture. He objects that Eve, who The quire of nymphs, and overtops was before like the wood-nymphs
their heads. Known by her quiver, and her lofty
and Delia, is here likest to Pales mien,
or Pomona, or Ceres; all unlike She walks majestic, and she looks one another, and yet Eve is like their queen :
them all. But Eve is here comLatona sees her shine above the rest, And feeds with secret joy her silent
pared to the latter three, upon a breast.
different account, than she was Such Dido was ; with such becoming compared to the former. She state,
was likened to the wood-nymphs Amidst the crowd, she walks serenely
and Delia in regard to her gate ; great.
but now that Milton had menThe others are like Diana in tioned her being armed with their gait, but Eve surpasses garden tools, he beautifully comher, only she wears different en- pares her to Pales, Pomona, and signs, not a bow and quiver, but Ceres, all three goddesses like to such gardening tools as are yet each other in these circumstances, rude, guiltless of fire, had formed, that they were handsome, that before fire was as yet stolen from they presided over gardening heaven by Prometheus as the and cultivation of ground, and ancients fabled, or such tools as that they are usually described angels brought
by the ancient poets, as carrying 386. — like a wood-nymph tools of gardening or husbandry light] Light refers to Eve's in their hands: thus Ovid, in graceful, goddess-like, motion; Met. xiv. 628. says of Pomona, and it is added that she
Nec jaculo gravis est, sed adunca -Delia's self
dextera falce. In gait surpass'd, and goddess-like deport.
The Doctor objects again, that Dunster.
Eve is not here said to be like 393. To Pales, or Pomona, Pomona always, but when she thus adorn'd,
But Milton's Likest she seem'd, &c.]
meaning is, that she was like These four verses Dr. Bentley Pomona, not precisely at the
Likest she seem'd, Pomona when she fled
395 Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove. Her long with ardent look his eye pursu'd hour when she fled Vertumnus, thought that the last of these but at that time of her life when verses ought to be read thus, Vertumnus made his addresses
-or to Ceres in her prime to her, that is when she was in
Yet virgin, or Proserpina from Jove. all her perfection of beauty, as described by Ovid in the place And this reading at first sight is above cited. But the Doctor's very apt to please and persuade greatest quarrel is with the lat- one of its genuineness, because ter part of these four verses : frees the text from that hard Ceres in her prime, says he? expression, virgin of Proserpina: What? have goddesses the de- but when we consider the matcays of old age, and do they ter farther, it will be found that grow past their prime? And yet Milton could never have intended it is very frequent with the old to compare Eve with Proserpina, poets to describe their gods as because she had nothing to do passing from youth to old age. with husbandry or gardening, Juvenal
in Sat. vi. 15. on account of which only this -sed Jove nondum
comparison is introduced. Pearce. Barbato.
394. Likest she seem'd,] So it Virgil describes Charon thus, the second edition by mistake it
is in Milton's first edition ; in Æn. vi. 304.
is printed likeliest, and this has Jam senior ; sed cruda Deo viridisque been followed in all the editions
since, at least in all that I have And again we have in Æn. vii. 180. Saturnusque senex. But 395. -Ceres in her prime, what monster of a phrase (says Yet virgin of Proserpina from the Doctor) is that virgin of Jove.] Proserpina ? And I confess that This seems to be a Grecism, and it is one of the most forced ex- translated from Theocritus, (Idyl. pressions in this whole poem: ii. 136.) who says tagbevor ex probably our poet was led into Banos for virginem innuptam. it, by imitating the like phrase It is the same turn of expression of some Italian poet. But the in both. So that Dr. Bentley sense is plain enough, viz. that was strangely mistaken in callshe had not yet borne Proserpina, ing it a monster of an expression, who derived her birth from and not human language; it havJove : for the like use of the ing an elegance superior in my word from, when other words opinion to the English phrase are to be supplied in the sense, La virgin, not having yet see ii. 542. and viii. 213. I have conceived Proserpina who was met with some gentlemen, who begot by Jove." "Warburton.
Delighted, but desiring more her stay.
401. To be return'd by noon Nescia mens hominum fati sortisque amid the bower,
Et servare modum rebus sublata seAnd all things in best order to
cundis. invite &c.]
Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaHere seems to be a want of a verit emptum verb before all things &c. Dr. Intactum Pallanta, et cum spolia ista
diemque Bentley therefore reads
Oderit. To be return'd by noon, and at the
O mortals ! blind in fate, who never bower
know Have all things in best order to in. vite.
To bear high fortune, or endure the
low. But if it be necessary to insert The time shall come, when Turnus,
but in vain, the word have, I would read thus
Shall wish untouch'd the trophies with less alteration,
of the slain ; And all things in best order have to' Shall wish the fatal belt were far invite.
And curse the dire remembrance of the day.
Dryden. 404. O much deceiv'd, much And Homer, Iliad. xvii. 497. failing, hapless Eve,
Νησιοι, ουδ' αρ' εμελλον αναιμωσει γε Of thy presumed return!]
yscola.. That is, much failing of thy presumed return. These beautiful There is something very moving apostrophes and anticipations are in such reflections concerning frequent in the poets, who affect the vanity of all human hopes, to speak in the character of pro- and how little events answer our phets, and like men inspired expectations. with the knowledge of futurity. 408. Such ambush hid] So it Thus Virgil to Turnus, Æn. X. is in Milton's own editions, and 501.
I know not how it comes to be
Waited with hellish rancour imminent
and since first break of dawn, the Fiend,
forth was come,
where Proserpine gathering
printed Such ambush laid, but so both Dr. Bentley and Mr. Fenton have printed it.
427. -oft stooping to support Euch flow'r of tender stalk,
mindless the while Herself, though fairest, unsup
ported flower,] We have the same manner of speaking in iv. 269.
A thought that must have pleased
From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh.
434. Nearer he drew, &c.] The such or such a master. And several wiles which are put in thus Virgil, Æn. i. 455. practice by the tempter, when
Artificumque manus inter se operumhe found Eve separated from her
que laborem husband, the many pleasing Miratur. images of nature which are in
438. So in Par. Reg. iv. 59. termixed in this part of the story, with its gradual and regular pro
Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd arti.
ficers. gress to the fatal catastrophe, are so very remarkable, that it We find the same figure of speech would be superfluous, to point in Petronius Arbiter, Zeuxidog out their respective beauties. manus vidi, nondum vetustatis Aldison.
injuriâ victas. Satyric. p. 311. 438. Imborder'd on each bank,] Ed. Hadrian. Thus also Silius Dr. Bentley believes that Milton Italicus, xiv. 653. gave it Imbroidered, proper to
hic sancta vetustas thick-woven. But imbordered is Artificum manibus,the right word according to Bp. And Statius, 1 Sylv. iii. 47. Kennet, who in his glossary to his Parochial Antiquities in the
Vidi artes, veterumque manus
Dunster. word Bordarii says, Some derive it from the old Gallic bords, the 439. Spot more delicious, &c.] limits or ertremes of any extent: He is not speaking here of Paraas the borders of a county and the dise in general, but of this parborderers or inhabitants in those ticular spot, the handywork of parts. Whence the bordure of a Eve; and he says it was more garment, and to imborder which delicious than the gardens of we corrupt to imbroider. See Adonis or Alcinous are feigned to also Furetiere's French Diction- be. Of revived Adonis; for after ary on the words Brodeur and he was killed by the wild boar, Embordurer. Pearce.
it is said that at Venus's request Imbordered on each bank, the he was restored to life. And we banks were bordered with the learn from St. Jerom, Cyril, and flowers, the hand of Eve, the other writers, that his anniver. handywork of Eve, as we say of sary festival was opened with a picture that it is the hand of sorrow and mourning for his