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Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons
And all the blest: stand fast; to stand or fall 640
So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
So parted they, the angel up to heaven From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.
637 admit] Used in the Latin sense, as in Ter. Heaut. act v. sc. ii. 'Quid ego tantum sceleris admisi miser?" Newton. 641 Free] See Dante Il Purgat. c. xxvii. v. 139. 'Non aspettar mio dir più, nè mio cenno.
Libero, dritto, e sano è tuo arbitrio;
E fallo fora non fare a suo senno.'
658 bower] Compare the parting of Jupiter and Thetis in Hom. Il. i. 531.
—ἡ μὲν ἔπειτα
Εις ἅλα άλτο βαθεῖαν ἀπ' αἰγλήεντος Ολύμπου,
Ζεὺς δὲ ἑὸν πρὸς δῶμα.
SATAN having compassed the earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by night into Paradise, and enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone: Eve loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength: Adam at last yields: the serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding, not till now; the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden; the serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat: she, pleased with the taste, deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam, or not; at last brings him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her, and extenuating the trespass eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both: they seek to cover their nakedness: then fall to variance and accusation of one another.
No more of talk where GOD or angel guest
Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
And disobedience: on the part of heaven
Anger, and just rebuke, and judgment given,
And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires
11 world] Atterbury proposed reading
'That brought into this world (a world of woe),'
but such is not Milton's manner.
11 a world of woe] See Davison's Poetical Rhapsody, ii. 178. ed. 1826.
' a private hell, a very world of woe.'
Easy my unpremeditated verse:
Since first this subject for heroic song
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroic deem'd, chief mastery to dissect
Not that which justly gives heroic name
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
The sun was sunk, and after him the star
41 of these] The construction adopted by Milton occurs in Harrington's Ariosto, c. iv. st. 42.
'As holy men of humane manners skill'd.' Todd. 45 years] Grief, want, wars, clime, or say, years. Bentl.
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On man's destruction, maugre what might hap
The space of seven continu'd nights he rode
He circled, four times cross'd the car of night 65
50 arbiter] Sydney, in his Arcadia, calls the sun, about the time of the Equinox,
'An indifferent arbiter between the night and the day.'
59 compassing] Sylv. Du Bartas, p. 896, of Satan,
'I come, said he, from walking in, and out,
66 colure] See Lisle's Du Bartas, p. 155.
'The second is, and call'd the nigh equall colure.'