« PreviousContinue »
Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renown'd
were the next.
death, and concluded with sing- Queen, book iii. cant. 6. the title
The gardens of Adonis, fraught
With pleasures manifold; dens of Adonis, so frequently mentioned by Greek writers, Plato, where he likewise gives an acPlutarch, &c. were nothing but count of his death and revival. portable earthen pots with some Shakespeare too mentions the lettuce or fennel growing in garden of Adonis, 1 Part of them, and thrown away the next Henry VI. act i. The Dauphin day after the yearly festival of speaks to Pucelle, Adonis: whence the gardens of Thy promises are like Adonis' garAdonis grew to be a proverb den, of contempt for any fruitless, That one day bloom'd, and fruitful fading, perishable affair. But, as Dr. Pearce replies, Why did And Milton himself in the Mask the Grecians on Adonis's festival speaks of carry these small earthen gar Beds of hyacinth and ruses, dens about in honour of him? Where young Adonis oft reposes, was it not because they had a Waxing well of his deep wound
In slumber soft : tradition, that when he was alive he delighted in gardens, And in his Defensio Secunda he and had a magnificent one? mentions both the gardens of Pliny mentions the gardens of Alcinous and Adonis, and here Adonis and Alcinous together as calls them feigned, which suffiMilton does. There is nothing ciently distinguishes these garthat the ancients admired more dens of Adonis from those little than the gardens of the Hespe- earthen pots which were really rides, and those of the kings Ado- exhibited at his festival. And nis and Alcinous. Antiquitas ni- the gardens of Alcinous he has hil prius mirata est quàm Hes- alluded to before, v. 341. Alciperidum hortos, ac regum Ado- nous, host to old Laertes' son, nidis et Alcinoi. Plin. Nat. Hist. that is, to Ulysses, whom he lib. xix. cap. 4.
The Italian entertained in his return from poet Marino in his L'Adone, Troy, as Homer informs us, cant. vi. describes the gardens Odyssey, book vii. where he of Adonis at large: and Huetius gives us a charming descripin his Demonstr. Evangel. prop. tion of his gardens; which Mr. iv. cap. iii. sect. 3. says of the Pope selected from other parts Greeks, Regem Adonidem horto- of Homer's works, and transrum curæ impensè fuisse dedi- lated and published in the Guartum narrantes. Our country- dian before he attempted the man Spenser celebrates the gar- rest. Or that, not mystic, not dens of Adonis in his Faery fabulous as the rest, not alle
Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king
gorical as some have fancied, ingly natural and familiar simile but a real garden, which Solo- lead one to think, that Milton mon made for his wife, the took the hint of it from some daughter of Pharaoh, king of real scene of this sort, which Egypt. See Canticles. And had some time or other smit his
as the most beautiful fancy, I should be apt to think countries in the world, iv. 268 that he alluded to this same -285. could not vie with Pa- thought in Spenser, who, deradise, so neither could the most scribing his hero Guyon with delicious gardens equal this a fair lady upon a little island flowery plat, the sweet recess of adorned with all the beauties of Eve.
nature, adds, Faery Queen, b. ji. 450. –tedded grass,] Grass cant. vi. st. 24. just mowed and spread for drying. Richardson.
And all though pleasant, yet she
made much more. See likewise Lye's Junii Ety
Thyer. mologicum under the word Tede.
457. --her heav'nly form &c.] 453. What pleasing seem'd, for This is a scene of much the her now pleases more,] Did not same nature with that betwixt the beautiful assemblage of pro- the Saracen king Aladin and the per circumstances in this charm- Italian virgin Sophronia in the
Angelic, but more soft, and feminine,
2d canto of Tasso's Jerusalem: relapse into their first character. and though perhaps it would be Milton, going too far to say that Milton has borrowed from thence, yet Fierce hate he recollects,I think it must give the reader Tasso, some pleasure to see, how two
Qui comincia il tiranno a risdeg. great geniuses naturally fall into
narsi. the same thoughts upon similar subjects. Milton speaking of It must be owned, however, that
notwithstanding this similitude
of circumstances, the English _Her every air
poet vastly excels the Italian Of gesture or least action overaw'd
both in strength of sentiments His malice, &c.
and beauty of expression. It Tasso speaking of Sophronia's may be further observed, that addressing herself to the fierce there never was a finer or juster
compliment paid to beauty than
is here by Milton, as it is not A l'honesta baldanza, a l'improviso made up of rant and rhapsody Folgorar di bellezze altere, e sante,
as most of this kind are, but only Quasi confuso il re, quasi conquiso Frend lo sdegno, e placò il fier saying what one may easily sembiante.
imagine might have really hap
pened upon the sight of so deHow like again is what Milton lightful a scene. Thyer. says of Satan,
461. —with rapine sweet beThat space the evil-one abstracted reav’d, &c.] Compare Spenser,
Astrophel, st. vii. From his own ev'il, and for the
That all men's hearts with secret time remain'd
ravishment Stupidly good,
He stole away.
T. Warion. to what Tasso says of the state of Aladin's mind,
462. His fierceness of the fierce
intent Though Dr. Bentley Fù stupor, fù vaghezza, e fù diletto, thinks it jejune, yet such a reS'amor non fù, che mosse il cor villano !
petition is not uncommon in the They both also agree in making
Et nostro doluisti sæpe dolore. each of them immediately to
Virg. Æn, i. 669.
From his own ev'il, and for the time remain'd
Thoughts, whither have ye led me! with what sweet
468. Though in mid heav'n,] 468. Compare Comus, 382. That is, would do though he
-He that bides a dark soul, and were in heaven, or it may be
foul thoughts, understood as if he were some Benighted walks under the mid-day times in heaven, and justified by Job i. 6. ii. 1. There was a
Himself is his own dungeon.
E. day, when the sons of God came to present themselves before the
478. Lord, and Satan came also among
To me is lost.] them to present himself before the Lord. And Satan speaks to the How exactly does Milton make
the character he same purpose in Paradise Re
had assumed in the fourth book, gained, i. 366.
nor from the heav'n of heav'ns Hath he excluded my resort some
Evil be thou my good, &c. ! times, &c.
Satan keep up
where he says,
And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb
490 And beauty, not approach'd by stronger hate, Hate stronger, under show of love well feign’d, The way which to her ruin now I tend.
So spake the enemy of mankind, inclos'd In serpent, inmate bad, and toward Eve
495 Address’d his way, not with indented wave, Prone on the ground, as since, but on his rear, Circular base of rising folds, that tower'd Fold above fold a surging maze, his head
486. -exempt from wound,] “ beautiful woman is approached As Eve had said before that “ with terror, unless he who apthey were not capable of death proaches her has a stronger or pain, ver. 283. that is, as long “ hatred of her than her beauty as they continued innocent.
can beget love in him." 490. Not terrible, though ter Richardson. ror be in love
Something like this in ParaAnd beauty, not approach'd by dise Regained, ii. 159. stronger hate,]
-virgin majesty with mild Satan had been saying that he And sweet allay'd, yet terrible t'apdreaded Adam, such was his proach strength of body and mind, and
Thyer. his own so debased from what 496. - not with indented ware,] it was in heaven: but Eve (he Indented is of the saine derivagoes on to say) is lovely, not tion as indenture, notched and terrible, though terror be in going in and out like the teeth love and beauty, unless it is of a saw: and Shakespeare apapproached by a mind armed plies it likewise to the motions with hate as his is; a hate the of a snake in As you like it, greater, as it is disguised under act iv. dissembled love. An excellent And with indented glides did slip writer (Dr. Pearce) hath ob
away. served on this passage,
« that a
499. Fold above fold &c.] We