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Kindled through agitation to a flame,
Which oft, they say, some evil spi'rit attends,
Hovering and blazing with delusive light,
Misleads th' amazed night-wand'rer from his way 640
To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or pool,
There swallow'd up and lost, from succour far,
So glister'd the dire snake, and into fraud
Led Eve our credulous mother, to the tree
Of prohibition, root of all our woe;

645 Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake.

Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming hither, Fruitless to me, though fruit be here to excess, The credit of whose virtue rest with thee, Wondrous indeed, if cause of such effects.

650 But of this tree we may not taste nor touch ; God so commanded, and left that command Sole daughter of his voice; the rest, we live

643. and into fraud ]

648. Fruitless to me, though Fraud signifies hurt and da- fruit be here to excess,] Besides mage, as well as deceit and de- the jingle, the same word is lusion. Virg. Æn. x. 72.

used in a literal and metaphoQuis Deus in fraudem, quæ dura

rical sense, as in Bion, Idyl. i. potentia nostra

16, 17. Egit?

Αγριων αγριον έλκος εχει κατα μη And Milton often uses English Αδωνις, words in the Latin signification. Μειζον δ' & Κυθερεια φερει ποτι καρδιαν 643. Fraud is used in the

έλκος. same sense in Par. Reg. i 372. And not unlike is that in Vir

—when to all his angels he propos'd gil, Æn. vii. 295. To draw the proud king Ahab into

Num capti potuere capi ?fraud, That he might fall in Ramoth

653. Sole daughter of his

Another Hebraism. 644. -the tree

Bath Koi, The daughter of a Of prohibition]

voice, is a noted phrase among An Hebraism for the prohibited the Jews, and they understand or forbidden tree.

by it a voice from heaven; and

E. coice ;!

655

Law to ourselves, our reason is our law.

To whom the Tempter guilefully replied.
Indeed? hath God then said that of the fruit
Of all these garden trees ye shall not eat,
Yet lords declar'd of all in earth or air ?

To whom thus Eve yet sinless. Of the fruit
Of each tree in the garden we may eat,
But of the fruit of this fair tree amidst
The garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat
Thereof, nor shall

ye

touch it, lest ye die.

660

this command is called the sole brew particle, Indeed. Is it daughter, as it is the only com true that God has forbid you mand that we read of, that was to eat of the fruits of Paradise ? given to our first parents in as if he had forbidden them to Paradise. Thus Adam says, iv. taste, not of one, but of all the 426.

trees; another of Satan's sly insinuations.

The Hebrew parfor well thou know'st

ticle, Yea or Indeed, plainly God hath pronounc'd it death to

shews that the short and sumtaste that tree, The only sign of our obedience left mary account that Moses gives &c.

of the Serpent's temptation, has -Then let us not think hard

respect to some previous disOne easy prohibition.

course, which could in all pro653. -the rest, we live bability be no other than what Law to ourselves,)

our poet has pitched upon. The rest, as for what remains, Hume. in all things else. A Grecism, 659. Of the fruit &c.] and common in Latin. So Vir- This is exactly the answer of gil, Æn. iii. 594. cælera Graius. Eve in Genesis iii. 2, 3. put into We live law to ourselves. Rom. ii. verse. We may eat of the fruit of 14. These having not the law, are the trees of the garden : but of a law unto themselves. Richard- the fruit of the tree which is in

the midst of the garden, God hath 656. Indeed ? hath God then said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither said that of the fruit

shall

ye touch it, lest ye die. And Of all these garden trees ye it shews great art and judgment shall not eat,]

in our author, in knowing so Gen. iii. 1. Yea, hath God said, well when to adhere to the Ye shall not eat of every tree of words of Scripture, and when the garden ?

In which our au to amplify and enlarge upon thor has followed the Chaldee them, as he does in Satan's paraphrase interpreting the He- reply to Eve.

son.

She scarce had said, though brief, when now more bold The Tempter, but with shew of zeal and love 665 To Man, and indignation at his wrong, New part puts on, and as to passion mov’d, Fluctuates disturb’d, yet comely and in act Rais', as of some great matter to begin. As when of old some orator renown'd

670 In Athens or free Rome, where eloquence Flourish’d, since mute, to some great cause address'd Stood in himself collected, while each part,

673. Stood in himself col

-in act lected] This beautiful and

Rais'd, as of sonie great matter to

begin. nervous expression, which Milton has used in several places, But I cannot so easily answer was, I fancy, adopted from the the Doctor's objection to moItalian in se raccolto. I do not tion's being destitute of each ; remember to have met with it nor do I understand how any in any English writer before part of the orator, considered by his time. Thyer.

itself and merely as a part, could 673. Stood in himself collected, win audience. I suspect therewhile each part,

fore that an s in the copy was Motion, each act won audience mistaken for a comma, and that ere the tongue,]

Milton gave it, Dr. Bentley says that this pas

-while each part's sage has not Milton's character

Motion, each act won audience ere nor turn. Motion, he thinks,

the tongue. should have each before it as well as part and act : and he It was the graceful motion of

each part of him, and not the asks, What is each part and each

parts themselves, that won auact, before he had spoke a

dience and attention. Pearce. word ? He therefore would have it,

Or suppose we should read

with less alteration than Dr. Stood in himself collected whole, Bentley proposes,

while each Motion, each air won audience ere Stood in himself collected whole, the tongue.

while each But act is right, and is explained

Motion, each act won audience ere

the tongue. by Milton himself in ver. 668. to be what an orator puts him. But Dr. Greenwood says, there self into, before he begins to is great beauty in the pause being speak;

upon collected, and besides the

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Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue,
Sometimes in highth began, as no delay
Of preface brooking through his zeal of right:
So standing, moving, or to highth up grown,
The Tempter all impassion'd thus began.

O sacred, wise, and wisdom-giving plant,
Mother of science, now I feel thy power
Within me clear, not only to discern
Things in their causes, but to trace the ways
Of highest agents, deem'd however wise.
Queen of this universe, do not believe
Those rigid threats of death ; ye shall not die:
How should you ? by the fruit?
? by the fruit ? it gives you

life
To knowledge; by the threat'ner ? look on me,
Me who have touch'd and tasted, yet both live,
And life more perfect have attain’d than fate

685

ear would be offended by the Thus Cicero in his first oration harshness of whole and while against Catiline, Quousque tancoming together. So that not dem abutere, Catilina, patientia withstanding these objections, nostra ? &c. Thyer. he prefers the common reading 685.

—ye

shall not die:] to any of the emendations pro- Gen. iii. 4. And the serpent said posed; and would only offer this unto the woman, Ye shall not small alteration,

surely die. And it is very artwhile each part,

fully contrived by our author to Motion, and act

make the Serpent give an in673. There seems to be no stance in himself. necessity for any alteration; the 686. How should ye? by the expression may be somewhat fruit? it gives you life unusual, but it is easy to under To knowledge; by the threai’ner? stand each before motion : each

look on me,] part, each motion, each act won So the passage should evidently audience; and each succeeding be pointed. It was printed very word is more expressive, and wrong in Milton's own editions more definite, than the one which thus: precedes it. E. 675. Sometimes in highth began,

How should ye? by the fruit ? it

gives you life as no delay

To knowledge ? By the threat'ner, Of preface brooking through his look on me.

zeal of righi:]

690

695

700

Meant me, by vent'ring higher than my lot.
Shall that be shut to Man, which to the beast
Is open ? or will God incense his ire
For such a petty trespass, and not praise
Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain
Of death denounc'd, whatever thing death be,
Deterr'd not from achieving what might lead
To happier life, knowledge of good and evil ;
Of good, how just ? of evil, if what is evil
Be real, why not known, since easier shunnid ?
God therefore cannot hurt you, and be just ;
Not just, not God; not fear'd then, nor obey'd :
Your fear itself of death removes the fear.
Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe,
Why but to keep ye low and ignorant,
His worshippers ; he knows that in the day
Ye eat thereof, your eyes that seem so clear,
Yet are but dim, shall perfectly be then
Open'd and clear'd, and ye shall be as Gods,
Knowing both good and evil as they know.
That

ye

shall be as Gods, since I as man, Internal man, is but proportion meet ;

705

710

702. Your fear itself of death 705. che knows that in the removes the fear.] Justice is in- day &c.] Gen. iii. 5. For God separable from the very being doth know, that in the day ye and essence of God, so that eat thereof, then your eyes shall could he be unjust, he would be be opened ; and ye shall be as no longer God, and then neither Gods, knowing good and evil. to be obeyed nor feared; so that so that where the author comthe fear of death, which does ments and enlarges upon Scripimply injustice in God, destroys ture, he still preserves as much itself, because God can as well as may be the very words of cease to be, as to be just. A Scripture. Satanic syllogism. Hume.

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