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arguing that, as the serpent had been but recently created, he was an obscure brute as yet, and nobody knew anything of his character.

87, 88. irresolute of thoughts revolved: i.e. not bringing to a solution the thoughts which he was revolving.

89. imp of fraud." Imp meant originally a graft or shoot (A.-S. impan, "to graft"), and the poet may have had this meaning in his mind.

93. Whatever sleights: i.e. "whatever sleights might be seen.”

99. O Earth, how like to Heaven," &c. See Book V. 574-576. There is a fine propriety in introducing here this apostrophe to the .Earth. We are to fancy that, independently of his searching for some instrument whereby to tempt Man, Satan had been interested in the appearances of things all round the Earth in his seven days of exploration. It was not only a new creation and of interest to him as such, but it was the globe which he hoped to make peculiarly his own by overmastering its human owners. He had been surveying therefore what he hoped to make his property.

113. "growth, sense, reas: gradation of existence is here indicated, “gradual life," as it has just been na

130. him destroyed"; an imitation of the Latin ablative absolute, as at VII. 142.

155-157. Subjected,&c. Psalm civ. 4 (Hume), and Psalm xci. Il (Todd).

166. “incarnate and imbrute." Todd compares Comus, 467.

167. highth ; " spelt "Iright" in the First and Second Editionsa deviation from Milton's practice, and perhaps a misprint.

176. son of despite: a Hebraism, as Hume noted, after the analogy of “sons of courage” for courageous men, “sons of pride" for proud

men, &c.


178. spite then with spite is best repaid.Richardson quotes Æschylus, Prom. Vinc. 944 %

Ούτως υβρίζειν τους υβρίζοντας χρεών. 186. “ Nor nocent." So in the Second Edition ; but in the First the reading was “ Not nocent.”

210.Lop overgrown, or prune": “A hypercritic might ask how they could lop or prune without edged tools" (Keightley).

213 Or hear.So in the First Edition ; but in the Second “bear," which is possibly a misprint.

218. “spring of roses": i.e. growth or thicket of roses. Mr. Keightley cites instances to prove that spring originally meant a single shoot (a sprig), but came to be used by the old poets for a grove or coppice.


wilderness: i.e. wildness. Todd quotes a similar instance from Shakespeare, Meas. for Meas. III. i. :

“ For such a warped slip of wilderness

Ne'er issued from his blood.”




For solitude,&c. A line hypermetrical by two syllables, or a whole foot. Mr. Browne compares Par. Reg. I. 302.

Hume quotes Cicero's phrase, “ Nunquam minus solus quam quum solus.”

289. misthought: to be construed along with the noun "thoughts” preceding ;-" to thee so dear: referring to what Adam had himself said line 228.

314. “and raised unite": 1.1. “and knit together when raised.” 320.

"attributed;" accented on the first syllable. See VIII. 12 and Par. Reg. III. 69.

330. on our front.Having already used the word “affront,” Eve pursues the image which its literal meaning (“to meet face to face") suggests. 335, 336. "unassaved to

fage : i.e. "if at has not been assayed alone and unsustained by external help.”

339. “ As not secure": i.e. as not to be secure.-" to single or combinet"; i.e. to us singly or together. 341.

Eden were no Eden: i.e. would not answer to its name, which means deliciousness."

347. aught ; " spelt “ought” in the original text.

353. crect: i.e. standing on her feet (Lat. erectus), watchful. To this note of Hume's Mr. Keightley adds the observation that the word alert is the same (Ital. all'erta, for all'ereta).

365. and most likely: i.e. “to avoid temptation would be most likely.”

370. trial unsought": i.e. trial, if not voluntarily sought and met.

387. “Oread" (nymph of the mountains), Dryad (nymph of the oak-groves); Delia's, Diana's. 391, 392. "Such gardening tools," &c. See note, line 210.

393-395. “ Pales . .

Pomona Ceres." Milton, having mentioned Eve's gardening tools, aptly compares her to Pales the goddess of pastures, Pomona the goddess of orchards, or Ceres the goddess of husbandry. For the story of Pomona and Vertumnus, the god of changing seasons, Hume refers to Ovid, Met. xiv. 623 et seq.

394. Likest.So in the First Edition ; erroneously changed into " likeliest" in the Second.


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396. “ Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove": i.e. before she became the mother of Proserpina by Jupiter. A great deal of unnecessary astonishment has been expressed over this line by the commentators. Bentley sees in it a flagrant instance of the ignorant clumsiness of that false friend or editor to whom he supposes that Milton, in his blindness, was obliged to intrust the business of seeing his poem through the press. “What a Monster of a Phrase,” he exclaims, “is that, Virgin of Proserpina, Virgin of her Daughter! Anyone else that was minded to speak Human Language would have said

“Like Ceres in her prime

Not Mother yet of Proserpin by Jove." Subsequent editors, defending the phrase, have yet found no precedent for it, classical or English. “The expression virgin of Proserpina," says Lord Monboddo, “is certainly not common English, and many will deny it to be English at all ; but let any man try to express the same thought otherwise, and he will be convinced how much Milton has raised and ennobled his style by an idiom so uncommon.” In this, as in other instances, the commentators seem to have omitted an element of some importance in the criticism of poetry—the power of genius to invent idioms and constructions of words as well as other things. Mr. Keightley, however, has pointed out that Milton may have derived the idiom from the French or the Italian. He quotes from Montaigne such expressions as “ vierge de querelles," and from Italian writers such expressions as vergine di servo encomio.”

405. “Of thy presumed return." To be connected with the word failing,” thus : “ much failing or falling short, of—thy presumed "

— return.'

410. or.” Bentley proposed to read “and."

426. "bushing;erroneously printed "blushing” in most of the editions.

432. Herself, though fairest," &c. Compare IV. 269, 270.
436. "voluble": rolling on as serpents do (volubilis).
438. "hand": i.e. handiwork.

: 439-443. "those gardens feigned ... of revived Adonis, or renowned Alcinous . or that, not mystic, where,&c. A passage has been cited by Pearce from Pliny's Natural History which Milton may have had in view : “Antiquitas nihil prius mirata est quam Hesperidum hortos, ac regum Adonidis et Alcinoi.” Otherwise the “gardens of Adonis" in the ancient writers are only the earthenware pots, with lettuce growing in them, which were carried by the women in the yearly festivals in honour of the restoration of Adonis to life by Proserpina after his death by the wound from the wild boar. But Spenser describes the gardens of Adonis (Faery Queene, Ill. vi.), and Shakespeare mentions them (Henry VI. Part I., Act 1. Sc. vi). See also Comus, 998 et seq. The gardens of

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Alcinöus, King of the Phæacians, who received and entertained Ulysses, the son of Laertes, are described in Homer (Odyss. vii.).“ Not mystic" : i.e. not mythical, like those gardens, were, says the poet, the gardens of Solomon (Song of Solomon, vi. 2), where he dallied with bis Egyptian wife, Pharaoh's daughter.

445–454. “As one who," &c. Mr. Keightley suggests that here Milton may have recollected actual walks of his own out of London into the country.

450. "teddet grass": i.e. cut and spread out to dry.
491. "not approacheid": i.e. if not approached (Keightley).

505–510. "Not those that in Illyria changed Hermione and Cadmus,'' &c. : i.e. that became the substitutes for Hermione, &c. Bentley finds another error of his supposed original editor of Milton in this passage. “The ignorant mistakes," he says, Hermione, the daughter of Menelaus and Helena, for Harmonia the daughter of Mars and Venus, wife to Cadmus.” But, as the wife of Cadmus is still called indifferently Harmonia or Hermione in some classical dictionaries, so it may have been in Milton's time. The story is that Cadmus and his wife, in their old age, grieving for the fates of their children, prayed the gods to relieve them from the miseries of life, and were changed into serpents.or the god in Epidaurus: i.e. Æsculapius, who, being sent for to Rome in the time of the plague, accompanied the ambassadors thither from Epidaurus in the shape of a serpent.—"nor to which transformed Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline," &c. The construction is : “Nor those serpents into which Jupiter Ammon and Jupiter Capitolinus were respectively seen transformed—the first with Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great; the other with the mother of Scipio.” Alexander was said to be the son of Jupiter Ammon or Libyan Jove ; and Scipio Africanus, whom Milton calls the “highth” or highest man of Rome, was similarly fabled to be the son of Jupiter Capitolinus. 522.

Than at Circean call," &c. Hume quotes Ovid, Met. xiv.

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45, 46.

529, 530. with serpent-tongue organic, or,&c. : i.e. “either actually with the tongue of the serpent or by striking a sound into the air.”

558, 559. The latter I demur" (remain in doubt about: Fr. demeurer, Lat. demorari, to delay, to linger): i e. Eve was not sure whether some portion of human sense did not exist in brutes, though speechless. Milton seems to have held the opinion that brutes had a higher intelligence than was usually accorded to them. “They also know and reason not contemptibly," he had sa'd, Book VIII. 373, 374.

581, 582. "smell of sweetest fennel, or the teats of ewe or goat,&c. Allusions, as Bishop Newton pointed out, to the supposed habits o. serpents. Pliny, in his Natural History, speaks of fennel as "anguibus


gratissimum," and they were said to suck ewes and goats for their milk.

612. Dame: i.e. Domina or Lady. The word "Dame" has sunk in meaning since Milton's time.

613. “spirited: i.e. animated with a spirit.

624. "bearth.So in the original. Birth has been substituted in all the modern editions; but improperly. When Milton means birth, he uses that word and spells it so (as, for example, in line in in this Book); but here he intends a different form-bearth, for “produce."

634-640. “a wandering fire,&c. : ignis fatuus, or Will of the Wisp. In his account of this phenomenon Milton follows the physics of his time; but, if we understand “unctuous vapour” to mean phosphoretted hydrogen gas evolved from decaying animal matter in a marsh, the language might stand as a poetical expression of one of the modern hypotheses as to the cause of the ignis fatuus.

640. “ Misleads the amazed night-wanderer from his way”: a recollection surely, as Todd observed, of Shakespeare's line in Mid. Night's Dream, II. i.

“Misleads night-wanderers, laughing at their harm.”

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653. “ Sole daughter of his voice.A Hebraism, as Hume notes; and he adds, “So arrows are called the sons of the quiver ( iii. 13) and corn the son of the threshing-floor (Is. xxi. 10).”the rest: i.e. the rest ;” a Latinism. 656—663. Indeed !" &c.

Gen. ii. 1-3. 673. “ Stood in himself collected": "stood silent as yet, and summed up in himself” (Hume).

675, 676. "Sometimes in highth began, as no delay of preface brooking.' It was suggested by Thyer that Milton may here have had in mind the opening of Cicero's first oration against Catiline, Quousque tander, Catilina," &c.

685. “Ye shall not die." Gen. iii. 4.

702. Your fear itself of death removes the fear: i.e. "If God is to be feared, he is not just; and, if he is not just, he is not a god whom it is necessary to fear.”

710. shwuld: so in Milton's own editions; changed into shall in modern ones.

713, 714. "by putting off human, to put on Gods.Hume refers to I Cor. xv. 53. 729, 730. can envy dwell in Heavenly breasts ?" Æn. i. u.:

Tantæne animis cælestibus iræ ?” (Hume.)

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