Page images



From the sun's axle, they with labour push'd
Oblique the centric globe: Some say the sun
Was bid turn reins from th’ equinoctial road
Like distant breadth to Taurus with the seven
Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins
Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amain
By Leo and the Virgin and the Scales,
As deep as Capricorn, to bring in change
Of seasons to each clime; else had the spring
Perpetual smild on earth with vernant flowers,
Equal in days and nights, except to thɔse
Beyond the polar circles ; to them day
Had unbenighted shone, while the low sun
To recompense his distance, in their sight
Had rounded still th' horizon, and not known
Or east or west, which had forbid the snow
From cold Estotiland, and south as far
Beneath Magellan. At that tasted fruit



673. -to Taurus] Dr. Bent- The sun, as from Thyestean ley reads through Taurus, through banquet, turn'd &c.] it' and Gemini, up to Cancer. Dr. Bentley says that Thyestean And Mr. Pope approves this for Thyestéan is intolerable: but emendation, and it seems pro- I have shewn that Milton used bable, through Taurus and By Ægean for Ægéan, in my note Leo afterwards answering to on i. 745. and so our po ir his each other.

Samson Agonistes, ver. 133. uses 686. Estotiland,] A great Chaly' bean for Chalybéan. Intract of land in the north of stances of such a poetical liberty America, towards the Arctic may be found in the best anCircle and Hudson's Bay; as cient poets as well as in the Magellan is a country in South modern ones. Pearce. America, which together with Thyestes and Atreus,brethren, its straits took their name of hated each other ourageously; Ferdinandus Magellanus a Por- the first in spite lay with the tuguese, who in the year 1520 wife of Atreus, but he having first discovered them. Hume. gotten his brother's children in

687. -At that tasted fruit his power pretended a desire of

The sun, as from Thyestean banquet, turn'd
His course intended; else how had the world
Inhabited, though sinless, more than now,

Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat ?
These changes in the heav'ns, though slow, produc'd
Like change on sea and land, sideral blast,
Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot,
Corrupt and pestilent: Now from the north

695 Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shore, Bursting their brazen dungeon, arm’d with ice And snow and hail and stormy gust and flaw,

[ocr errors]

reconciliation, and invited him rica. Samoieda, a province in to a banquet. Thyestes, that he the north-east of Muscovy, upon might see his children, dissem- the frozen sea. Hume. bling his augmented malice, 697. -arm’d with ice &c.] So came; the feast being over, his Claudian de Rapt. Pros. i. 69. brother let him know he had

eu turbine rauco been entertained with the flesh

Cum gravis armatur Boreas, glacie. of his sons, and their blood

que nivali &c. mixed with the wine, and shewed

Richardson. him the sad proof of what he had told him, their heads and

698. --and stormy gust and hands, which he had reserved flaw] Gust and flaw seem to

be words much of the same imfor that purpose. At this the sun is said to have turned away, derived (as Junius says) from the

port, only flare is the stronger, as Milton here


he did when the more dreadful banquet was

Greek praw, to break. Shake. made on the fruit of the forbid. speare uses both words in his den tree. Richardson.

Venus and Adonis, We may farther observe, that Like a red morn that ever yet be. it is called the Thyestean ban

token'd quet, though made not by him,

Gust and foul flaws to herdsmen and

to herds. but only for him: and Euripides in like manner calls it, dunya 698. Flaw is a sea term for a virtov. Orest. 1010. and Horace sudden storm and gust of wind. coena Thyestæ. De Art. Poet. 91. In Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince and Mr. Pope would read here of Tyre, act iii. s. 1. Pericles in Thyestes'.

a storm at sea says, 696. Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shore,] Norumbega, a

Courage enough ; I do not fear the

flaw, province of the northern Ame- It hath done to me the worstVOL. II.


[ocr errors]

Boreas and Cæcias and Argestes loud
And Thrascias rend the woods and seas upturn : 700
With adverse blast upturns them from the south
Notus and Afer black with thund'rous clouds
From Serraliona; thwart of these as fierce
Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent winds
Eurus and Zephyr with their lateral noise,

Sirocco, and Libecchio. Thus began
Outrage from lifeless things; but Discord first
Daughter of Sin, among th' irrational,
Death introduc'd through fierce antipathy:
Beast now with beast ’gan war, and fowl with fowl, 710
And fish with fish; to graze the herb all leaving,
And Hamlet, act v. s. l.

ventus Lybicus, the south-west: Should patch a wall to expel the

Italian terms used by seamen of winter's flaw

the Mediterranean. Hume and

Dunster. Richardson. 699. Boreas) The north wind,

In this account of the winds is Cæcias the north-west. Argestes

a needless ostentation of learnthe north-east. Thrascias blow- ing, and a strange mixture of ing from Thrace northward of ancient and modern Latin and Greece. Notus the south wind. Italian names together. These Afer or Africus, the south-west

are the foibles and weak parts from Africa,

of our author, and of these it

may too truly be said, Notusque ruunt creberque procellis Africus. Virg. Æn. i. 85. Such labour'd nothings, in so strange

a style, From Serraliona or Lion Moun

Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the tains; a range of mountains so

learned smile. called because of the perpetual storms there roaring like a lion. 711. -to graze the herb all These are to the south-west of leaving, &c.] The word all here Africa, within a few leagues of makes strange sense of this pasCape Verd, the western point. sage, since according to common Eurus and Zephyr the east and construction it implies that beasts, west, called also Levant and Po. fowl, and fish, all grazed before nent winds, (rising and setting) the fall, and immediately after the one blowing from whence it began all to prey upon each the sun rises, the other whence other, neither of which could it sets. Sirocco ventus Syrus, possibly be Milton's meaning. the south-east; and Libecchio How to restore the true reading I

[ocr errors]


Devour'd each other; nor stood much in awe
Of Man, but fled him, or with count'nance grim
Glar'd on him passing. These were from without
The growing miseries which Adam saw
Already' in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,
To sorrow' abandon’d, but worse felt within,
And in a troubled sea of passion tost,


[ocr errors]

do not pretend to determine, but And therefore according to this the following lines seem to con- notion it may be said of fowl fine the devouring to the beasts, and fish as well as beasts; and might not therefore the

to graze the herb all leaving, word those be substituted in the Devour'd each other place of all? Thyer.

But all here is not all and every Whether Milton's notion was one in particular, but only all in right or not is another question, general. Fowl prey upon fowl, but certainly it was his notion and fish upon fish, as much as that beast, fowl, and fish grazed beast upon beast. Beast, fowl, and the herb before the fall. Of the fish, all the three kinds, though beasts there can be no doubt; not all of the three kinds, devour and the fowl have the green herb each other. given them for meat as well as 7 13. -or with count'nance the beasts. Gen. i. 30. And to

grim every beast of the earth, and to

Glard on him passing.) every fowl of the air, I have given Palpably taken from Shakeevery green herb for meat. And speare, Julius Cæsar, act i. s. 4. the goose particularly is by the

-I met a lion poet who has best imitated Mil- Who glar'd upon me, and went surly by, ton called close-grazer. Philips's Without annoying meCyder, b. i.


714. - These were from withOn the barren heath The shepherd tends his flock, that

out &c.] The transition to Adam daily crop

here is very easy and natural, Their verdant dinner from the mossy and cannot fail of pleasing the turf

reader. We have seen great Sufficient ; after them the cackling alterations produced in nature,

goose, Close-grazer, finds wherewith to ease

and it is now time to see how her want.

Adam is affected with them, and

whether the disorders within are The greatest difficulty is with

not even worse than those without. regard to the fish, but of these

718. And in a troubled sea of Milton says expressly, vii. 404. that they

passion tost,

Thus to disburden sought with Graze the sea weed their pasture

sad complaint.)

Thus to disburden sought with sad complaint.

O miserable of happy! is this the end


A metaphor taken from a ship with such sentiments, as do not in a tempest, unlading, disburden- only interest the reader in their ing to preserve itself

from sink- afflictions, but raise in him the ing by its weight. Richardson. most melting passions of huma

The wicked ure like the trou- nity and commiseration. When bled sea, Isa. lvii. 20. Green- Adam sees the several changes wood.

in nature produced about him, 720. O miserable of happy! he appears in a disorder of mind &c.] The parts of Adam and suitable to one who had forEve, or the human persons, come

feited both his innocence and next under our consideration. his happiness; he is filled with Milton's art is no where more horror, remorse, despair; in the shown than in his conducting anguish of his heart he expostuthe parts of these our first pa- lates with his Creator for having rents. The representation he given him an unasked existence. gives of them, without falsifying

Did I request thee, Maker, from any the story, is wonderfully con

clay trived to influence the reader To muuld me Map ? &c. with pity and compassion to

He immediately after recovers wards them. Though Adam in

from his presumption, owns his volves the whole species in mi

doom to be just, and begs that sery, his crime proceeds from a

the death which is threatened weakness which every man is

him inclined to pardon and com

may be inflicted on him, miserate, as it seems rather the

-why delays frailty of human nature, than of

His hand to execute what his decree the person who offended. Every

Fix'd on this day ? &c. one is apt to excuse a fault which This whole speech is full of the he himself might have fallen like emotion, and varied with into. It was the excess of love all those sentiments which we for Eve that ruined Adam and may suppose natural to a mind his posterity. I need not add, so broken and disturbed. I that the author is justified in must not omit that generous this particular by many of the concern which our first father fathers, and the most orthodox shews in it for his posterity, and writers. Milton has by this which is so proper to affect the means filled a great part of his reader. Who can afterwards poem with that kind of writing behold the father of mankind which the French critics call the extended upon the earth, uttertender, and which is in a par- ing his midnight complaints. ticular manner engaging to all bewailing his existence, and sorts of readers. Adam and Eve, wishing for death, without symin the book we are now con- pathizing with him in his dissidering, are likewise drawn tress? Addison.

« PreviousContinue »