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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VIII.

THE ARGUMENT.

ADAM enquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to seareh rather things more worthy of knowledge: Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society, his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with the Angel thereupon; who after admonitions repeated departs.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VIII.

THE angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice, that he a while
Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear ;
Then as new wak’d thus gratefully replied.

OPTIS

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1. The angel ended, &c.] In says the poet, intent and bendthe first edition of this poem in ing towards him, still listened ten books here was only this and imagined him still speakline,

ing. To whom thus Adam gratefully re- H, xas o psy poglesyga ovo ape@gorin plied.

σχεθεν αυδη

Τοιδ' αμoτον ληξαντος και προυχοντο This would have been too abrupt

rapniva a beginning for a new book; Παντες όμως ορθοισιν επ' ουασιν ημιμι. and therefore in the second edition of the poem in twelve

Κηληθμα" τοιον σφιν ανελλιπι θελκτιν books, when the seventh book was divided into two, the author The thought was originally Hochanged this line, and changed mer's, Iliad. ii. 41. it very

much for the better, into the four first lines as they stand

-θεμη δε μιν αμφιχυσ' ομφη. at present, only preserving part Lucian Somn. Óto your- -η φωνη of this verse in the last of the

των ακουσθεντων εναυλος. And Sofour,

crates in Plato's Crito. Kelt av Then as new wak'd thus gratefully εμοι αυτη η ηχη τουτων των λογων replied.

βομβει, και ποιει μη δυνασθαι των 2. So charming left his voice, ale axovev.

Jortin. &c.] Imitated probably from 3. still stood fix'd to hear ;) Apollonius i. 512. who elegantly Slood from Stava (Italian) redescribes the effect which the mained, continned. It is not harp and voice of Orpheus had his attitude which is here deupon the Argonauts. When Or- scribed, but his great attention. pheus had ended his song, they, Richardson,

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What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
Equal have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsaf'd
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator ? something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this world

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son.

on

5. What thanks sufficient, &c.] devised very just and beautiful The accounts which Raphael reasons for her retiring. Addigives of the battle of angels and the creation of the world, have 15. When I behold this goodly in them those qualifications, frame, this world &c.] Milton, which the critics judge requisite after having given so noble an to an episode. They are nearly idea of the creation of this new related to the principal action, world, takes a most proper ocand have a just connexion with casion to shew the two great the fable. The eighth book systems, usually called the Ptoopens with a beautiful descrip- lemaic and the Copernican, one tion of the impression which this making the earth, the other the discourse of the archangel made sun, to be the centre; and this

our first parents. Adam he does by introducing Adam afterwards, by a very natural proposing very judiciously the curiosity, enquires concerning difficulties that occur in the first, the motions of those celestial and which was the system most bodies which make the most glo- obvious to him. The reply of rious appearance among the six the angel touches on the expedays' works. The poet herę, dients the Ptolemaics invented with a great deal of art, repre- to solve those difficulties, and to sents Eve as withdrawing from patch up their system, and then this part of their conversation to intimates that perhaps the sun is amusements more suitable to her the centre, and so opens that

He well knew, that the system, and withal the noble episode in this book, which is improvements of the new phifilled with Adam's account of losophy; not however deterhis passion and esteem for Eve, mining for one or the other: on would have been improper for the contrary, he exhorts our proher hearing, and has therefore genitor to apply his thoughts

sex.

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Of heav'n and earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth, a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such
Their distance

argues

and their swift return
Diurnal) merely to officiate light
Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides ; reasoning I oft admire,
How nature wise and frugal could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So
many

nobler bodies to create, Greater so manifold to this one use,

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rather to what more nearly con- these circumstances considered cerns him, and is within his together argue that it rolls reach. Richardson.

through spaces incomprehensi19. And all her number'd stars,] ble. Pearce. Numbered by whom? by the 23. —this punctual spot,] He Lord their Creator, and by him had called this earth a spot, in alone, Ps. cxlvii. 4. He telleth ver. 17. he calls it here this

рипсthe number of the stars, he calleth tual spot, a spot no bigger than them all by their names. Astro- a point, compared with the firnomers also tell their number, mament and fixed stars: puncbut it is of that small part only tual is derived from punctum a which they see and give names point. to. But neither is this the num- 28. So many nobler bodies to bered meant in this place. Adam create, only would say they are not a

Greater so manifold] few, but a vast number, nume

As if he had said, So many norous. Richardson.

bler, so many greater ; but he Numbered is the same here as turns the words, So many nobler, numerous in vii. 621.

Greater so many, manifold for 19. --that seem to roll the sake of the verse. Spaces incomprehensible]

29. Manifold is probably used That is, roll through spaces in- for the adverb manifoldly; so comprehensible: when a body many nobler, so many times greater is at a vast distance and per- than the earth. Ė. forms its circuit in a day, both

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