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O sovran, virtuous, precious of all trees 795 In Paradise, of operation blest To fapience, hitherto obscurid, infam’d, And thy fair fruit let hang, as to no end Created; but henceforth my early care, Not without song, each morning, and due praise, 800 Shall tend thee, and the fertil burden ease Of thy full branches offer'd free to all; Till dieted by thee I In knowledge, as the Gods who all things know; Though others envy what they cannot give ;

For ficiently compensated by her outward experience her best guide : but how is charms, and were rather softnings it possible that she should in these than blemishes in her character, we rapturous acknowledgments forget see her now running into the greatest her guide and instructor the Serpent, absurdities, and indulging the wildest to whom in her then notion of things imaginations. It has been remark'd she must think herself the most inthat our poet in this work seems to debted ? I don't doubt but Milton court the favor of his female readers was senable of this, but had he made very much, yet I cannot help think. Eve mention the Serpent, he could ing, but that in this place he in- not have avoided too making her tended a satirical as well as a moral observe that he was sunk away, hint to the ladies, in making one of which might have given her some Eve's first thoughts after her fatal suspicions, and would consequently lapse to be, how to get the superio have much alter'd the scene which rity and mast'ry over her husband. follows betwixt Adam and her. There is however, I think, a defect in this speech of Eve's, that there is

795. precious of all trees] no notice taken of the Serpent in it. The positive for the superlative; the Our author very naturally represents most precious of all trees; as Virg. her in the first transports of delight En. IV. 576. Sequimur te Sančke expressing her gratitude to the fruit, Deorum, and Hom. Iliad. V. 381. which the fancied had wrought such Ara Joawy. &c. Richardon. a happy change in her, and next to 799. but henceforth my early care,

Not

Ther.

2

810

815

For had the gift been theirs, it had not here
Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe,
Best guide; not following thee I had remain'd
In ignorance; thou open'st wisdom's way,
And giv'st access, though secret she retire.
And I perhaps am secret; Heav'n is high,
High, and remote to see from thence distinct
Each thing on earth; and other care perhaps
May have diverted from continual watch
Our great forbidder, safe with all his spies
About him. But to Adam in what fort

Shall Not without song, each morning, and suggested, ver. 718. &c. such impresdue praise,

fion had his doctrins made upon her. Sball tend thee, &c.] I conceive 811. And I perhaps am fecret;] the construction to be, not My early She questions even God's omnicare and due praise pall tend thee, but science, and flatters herself that she My early care shall tend thee not with is still in secret, like other finners, out song and due praise; and therefore who say, The Lord shall not see, neihave added a comma after due praise ther small the God of Jacob regard it, to make the sense plainer.

Psal. XCIV. 7. 805. Though others envy what they 815. Our great forbidder, safe with cannot give;] She resolves

all bis spies to eat of the tree till the equals the About him.] Dr. Bentley declares Gods in knowledge, though others safe to be pure nonsense here, and envy; she means the Gods though therefore alters the verse thus, for decency's sake the names them not. She had said before, ver. 770,

Our great forbidder's eye, with all that the beast which first hath tasted

his spies &c. envies not &c but others envy. She But safe fignifies here as in the vul, is now arriv'd to that pitch of im- gar phrases, I have him safe, or he piety, that she attributes envy to the is safe asleep: where not the safety Gods, as Satan had taught her, ver. of the person lecur’d or asleep is -729. and questions whether this tree meant, but the safety of others with was their gift, as Satan had likewise respect to any danger from him.

Shall I appear? Mall I to him make known
As yet my change, and give him to partake
Full happiness with me, or rather not,
But keep the odds of knowledge in my power 820
Without copartner? so to add what wants
In female sex, the more to draw his love,
And render me more equal, and perhaps,

,
A thing not undesirable, sometime
Superior ; for inferior who is free ?
This may be well: but what if God have seen,
And death ensue? then I shall be no more,

And

825

num rex

This is indeed a sense of the word ver. 65. not usual in poetry; but common tibi Divum pater atque homispeech will justify it so far, as to make the Doctor's emendation un Et mulcere dedit fluctus et tollere necessary. Pearce.

vento. 818.—and give him to partake &c.] ver 79. An ingenious person and great admirer of Milton says, that to give to

- tu das epulis accumbere Divum. do a thing is in his opinion one of ver. 522. the most beautiful expressions in all O regina, novam cui condere Juthe poetical language, as in Hom.

piter urbem, Iliad. I. 18.

Juftitiaque dedit gentes frænare suΥμιν μεν θεοι δoιεν, ολυμπια

perbas. δωματ' εχοντες,

I wonder he did not farther take ExTepo au lipiduolo Wolv, gudo notice of the same expression in his odradimental.

favorite Milton, in this place and in

1. 736. Virgil was so sensible of this charming expression, that he has used

and gave to rule, it in the three following paffages. Each in his hierarchy, the orders and I believe in one or two others bright. in the very first Æneid,

823
and perhaps

A

830

And Adam wedded to another Eve,
Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;
A death to think. Confirm’d then I resolve,
Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe:
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could indure, without him live no life.

So saying, from the tree her step she turn’d,
But first low reverence done, as to the Power 835
That dwelt within, whose presence had infus’d
Into the plant sciential fap, deriv'd
From nectar, drink of Gods. Adam the while

Waiting

A thing not undefirable, sometime I could indure, without him live no Superior ; for inferior who is free?] life.] How much stronger There is a very humorous tale in and more pathetic is this than that Chaucer, which is also verfify'd by of Horace, Od. III. IX. 24. Dryden, wherein the question is pro- Tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam pos’d, what it is that women most

libens ! affect and defire? Some say wealth, fome beauty, fome Aattery, some in short one thing, and some àno

835. But first low reverence done,

as to the Power ther ; but the true answer is sovranty. And the thought of attaining the into idolatry upon the taste of the

That dwelt within,] Eve falling superiority over her husband is very forbidden tree, as the first fruit of artfully made one of the first, that disobedience, is finely imagin'd. Eve entertains after her eating of

Richardson. the forbidden fruit: but still her love of Adam and jealousy of another

838.

Adam the while &c.] Eve prevail even over that; so just Andromache is thus described as is the observation of Solomon, Cant. amusing herself, and preparing for

VIII. 6. Love is Arong as death, the return of Hector, not knowing jealousy is cruel as the grave. that he was already Nain by Achilles. 832. So dear I love him, that with Hom. Iliad. XXII. 440. Anary' him all deaths

ισον υφαιγε. &c. VOL. II,

N

845.- divine

As reapers

845

Waiting desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest flow'rs a garland to adorn

840 Her tresses, and her rural labors crown,

oft are wont their harvest queen.
Great joy he promis’d to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd;
Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill,
Misgave him ; he the faltring measure felt;
And forth to meet her went,

the
way

she took
That morn when first they parted; by the tree
Of knowledge he must pass, there he her met,
Scarce from the tree returning; in her hand

850 A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smild, New gather'd, and ambrosial smell diffusd. To him she hasted; in her face excuse Came prologue, and apology too prompt, Which with bland words at will she thus address'd.

Hast 845;, — divine of something ill] Sortilegis non discrepuit sententia Foreboding something ill; a Latin

Delphis. phrase, as in Hor. Od. III. XXVII.

846.— he the faltring measure felt;]

He found his heart kept not true Imbrium divina avis imminentum: time, he felt the false and intermic

ting measure; the natural description and again De Arte Poct. 218. of our minds foreboding ill, by the

unequal beatings of the heart and Utiliumque fagax rcrum, et divina pulse. Hume. futuri

- 855. A

854

10.

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