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Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive
In offices of love, how we may lighten
Each other's burden, in our share of woe;
Since this day's death denounc'd, if ought I see,
Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac'd evil,
A long day's dying to augment our pain,
And to our seed (O hapless seed !) deriv'd.

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, replied,
Adam, by sad experiment I know
How little weight my words with thee can find,
Found so erroneous, thence by just event
Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,
Restor’d by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain
Thy love, the sole contentment of my heart
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide
What thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen,
Tending to some relief of our extremes,
Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,
As in our evils, and of easier choice.



Or end,]

976. Tending to some relief of and seed at once, they should our extremes,

make short and destroy them

selves. The former method she Adam had said before, that the considers as some relief of their death denouneed upon them, as extremes, the latter as the end. far as he could see, would prove And, as Dr. Greenwood obno sudden but a slow-paced evil, serves, Milton might possibly a long day's dying, and would take the hint of putting these likewise be derived to their pos- proposals into the mouth of terity. Eve therefore proposes, Eve, from Job's wife attemptto prevent its being derived ing to persuade her husband in to their posterity, that they his afflictions to curse God and should resolve to remain child die. Job ii. 9, 10, less; or if they found it difficult 978. As in our evils,] That to do so, that then, to prevent a is, considering the excess of evil long day's dying to themselves to which we are reduced ; an




If care of our descent perplex uś most,
Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd
By Death at last; and miserable it is
To be to others cause of misery,
Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring
Into this cursed world a woeful race,
That after wretched life must be at last
Food for so foul a monster ; in thy power
It lies, yet ere conception to prevent
The race unblest, to be'ing yet unbegot.
Childless thou art, childless remain: so Death
Shall be deceiv'd his glut, and with us two
Be forc'd to satisfy his ravenous maw.
But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
From love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet,
And with desire to languish without hope,
Before the present object languishing
With like desire, which would be misery
And torment less than none of what we dread;
Then both ourselves and seed at once to free
From what we fear for both, let us make short,
Let us seek Death, or he not found, supply
With our own hands his office on ourselves :



elegant Latin use of the word take in some editions, and espeAs. Cic. Epist. Fam. iv, 9. Nam cially in Milton's own, where adhuc, et factum tuum probatur, this imperfect verse is printed et, ut in tali re, etiam fortuna as a whole verse, and the words laudatur xii. 2. Non nihil, ut in so Death wanting to complete tantis malis, est profectum, that the line are added to the next is, considering our ill situation. line, which is thereby made as Richardson.

much too long as this is too 989. Childless thou art, child- short. So Death shall be deless remain :] It is a strange mis- ceived his glut, and with us two.



Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That show no end but death, and have the power,
Of many ways to die the shortest choosing,
Destruction with destruction to destroy ?

She ended here, or vehement despair
Broke off the rest; so much of death her thoughts
Had entertain'd, as dy'd her cheeks with pale.
But Adam with such counsel nothing sway'd
To better hopes his more attentive mind
Lab’ring had rais’d, and thus to Eve replied.

Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
To argue in thee something more sublime
And excellent than what thy mind contemns ;
But self-destruction therefore sought, refutes
That excellence thought in thee, and implies,
Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
For loss of life and pleasure overlov’d.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
Of misery, so thinking to evade
The penalty pronounc'd, doubt not but God



1004. -und have the power, Virg. Æn. iv. 499. Of many ways to die the short

Hæc effata silet: pallor simul occuest choosing,

pat ora. Destruction with destruction to

Jortir. destroy?]

-maculisque trementes So these verses are pointed in Interfusa genas, et pallida morte Milton's original editions; and futura.

Æn. iv. 64. the construction is this, and have

-Multorum palor in ore the power to destroy destruction Mortis venturæ est, faciesque simil. with destruction, choosing the

liina fato, Luc. vii. 130. shortest of many ways to die.

Hume. . 1007. She ended here

1011.-his more atlentive mind) ---so much of death her thoughts Attending more to what had Had entertain'd, as dy'd her passed, calling to mind with heed cheeks with pale.!

iheir sentence, as it is ver. 1030.

Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire than so
To be forestall’d; much more I fear lest death
So snatch'd will not exempt us from the pain 1025
We are by doom to pay; rather such acts
Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
To make death in us live: Then let us seek
Some safer resolution, which methinks
I have in view, calling to mind with heed

Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise
The Serpent's head; piteous amends, unless
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe
Satan, who in the serpent hath contriv'd
Against us this deceit: to crush his head

1035 Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost By death brought on ourselves, or childless days Resolv'd as thou proposest ; so our foe Shall ’scape his punishment ordain'd, and we Instead shall double ours upon our heads.

1040 No more be mention’d then of violence Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness, That cuts us off from hope, and savours only Rancour and pride, impatience and despite,

1024. To be forestall’d;} This rious and sublime poem than at word appears too low for heroic present. It occurs in Camus, poetry: it might not be so trite 285. and vulgar formerly; for Fair

Perhaps forestalling night prevented fax likewise uses it in his Jeru-, salem, cant. xv. st. 47.

And again, v. 362.
But forth there crept (from whence
I cannot say)

What need a man forestall his date of An ugly serpent, which forestalld grief, &c.

So also in Sylvester's Du Bartas, 1024. The word forestall was p. 88. ed. fol. and often in Spenformerly less offensive in a se- ser and Shakespeare. T. Warton.


their way.

Reluctance against God and his just yoke

1045 Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd Without wrath or reviling ; we expected Immediate dissolution, which we thought Was meant by death that day, when lo, to thee 1050 Pains only in child-bearing were foretold, And bringing forth, soon recompens'd with joy, Fruit of thy womb : on me the curse aslope Glanc'd on the ground; with labour I must earn My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse ; 1055 My labour will sustain me; and lest cold Or heat should injure us, his timely care Hath unbesought provided, and his hands Cloth'd us unworthy, pitying while he judg’d; How much more, if we pray him, will his ear 1060 Be open, and his heart to pity' incline, And teach us further by what means to shun Th' inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow? Which now the sky with various face begins To shew us in this mountain, while the winds Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks Of these fair spreading trees; which bids us seek


1054. Glanc'd on the ground ;] Schetteren. Our author had used The quibble here is insufferable. it before in his Lycidas, Warburton. 1066. -shattering the grace

Shatter your leaves before the mel.

lowing year. ful locks] This shattering is an excellent word, and very expres- And locks of trees is a Latinism : sive of the sense, shaking or Spissæ nemorum comæ, Hor. breaking to pieces; and etymo- Od. iv. iii. 11. Arboribusque logists derive it of the Belgic coma, iv. vii. 2.

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