Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

895

Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd;
From his slack hand the garland wreath'd for Eve
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed :
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke.

O fairest of creation, last and best
Of all God's works, creature in whom excell’d
Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
Defac’d, deflour'd, and now to death devote ?

900

892. From his slack hand the of different words, as Hom. Iliad.

garland wreath'd for Eve, xxi. 407. Down dropt,]

“Εσσα δ επιoχι σιλιθρα τισωνThe beauty of the numbers, as

and Virg. Æn. iv. 238. well as of the image here, must strike every reader. There is

Dixerat: ille patris magni parere

parabat the same kind of beauty in the

Imperio. placing of the words Down dropt, as in this passage of Virgil

, Æn. Erythræus and some critics lay ii. 531.

great stress upon this, esteeming

it a singular beauty in writing, Ut tandem ante oculos evasit et ora

though it is probable that the parentum, Concidit,

ancients fell into it by chance as 901. Defac'd, deflour'd, and moderns have carried it to a

often as by design: but the now to death devote?] We have ridiculous degree of affectation, before taken some notice of what and Dryden particularly thought the critics call the ulliteration, it one of the greatest arts of or beginning of several words in

versification. As there is scarce the same verse with the same letter. There are instances of numbers, that is not to be found

any beauty in writing, or art in this in the oldest and best in Milton, so he has something writers, as in Homer, Iliad. iv. of this, but is more sparing in 526.

the use of it than several of the Χυντο χαμαι χολαδες

We produced and in Virgil, Æn. vi. 834. before an instance of the single

alliteration, vii. 471. Neu patriæ validas in viscera vertite vires.

Behemoth liggest burnSometimes two or more letters and here two or more letters are are repeated at the beginning repeated, vi. 840.

modern poets.

905

910

Rather how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred fruit forbidd’n ? some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguild thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee
Certain

my

resolution is to die ;
How can I live without thee, how forego
Thy sweet converse and love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn ?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart ; no no, I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

So having said, as one from sad dismay
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturb’d
Submitting to what seem'd remediless,

915

me.

us,

O’er shields and helms and helmed love of thee so dearly joined to heads he rode,

This is a common way of as well as in the instance before speaking in Milton, and the

reader may see more instances

of it in iv. 129. and viii. 423. Defac'd, deflour'd, and now to death The sense of this last verse is devote.

again found in ver. 970. And certainly now and then an

-link'd in love so dear. instance may have a very good 910. To live again in these effect; but the continued affec wild woods forlorn ?]

How tation of it is below a great vastly expressive

these genius, and must be offensive to words of Adam's tenderness and the ear instead of pleasing. affection for Eve, as they imply 908. How can I live without that the mere imagination of thee, how forego

losing her had already conThy sweet converse, and love so verted the sweets of Paradise dearly join'd,]

into the horrors of a desolate That is, the sweet converse and wilderness. Thyer.

are

920

925

Thus in calm mood his words to Eve he turu'd.

Bold deed thou hast presum’d, advent’rous Eve,
And peril great provok’d, who thus hast dar'd,
Had it been only coveting to eye
That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence,
Much more to taste it under ban to touch.
But past who can recall, or done undo?
Not God omnipotent, nor fate ; yet so
Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact
Is not so hainous now, foretasted fruit,
Profan'd first by the Serpent, by him first
Made common and unhallow'd ere our taste;
Nor yet on him found deadly, he yet lives,
Lives, as thou saidst, and gains to live as man

930

920. Thus in calm mood his yet drawn by his fondness for words to Eve he turn'd.] He her, immediately summons all had till now been speaking to the force of his reason to prove himself; now his speech turns what she had done to be right. to her, but not with violence, This may probably appear a not with noise and rage, it is fault to superficial readers, but a deep considerate melancholy. all intelligent ones will, I dare The line cannot be pronounced say, look upon it as a proof of but as it ought, slowly, gravely. our author's exquisite knowRichardson.

ledge of human nature. Reason 922. –who thus hast dard,] is but too often little better than So it is in the first edition, but a slave ready at the beck of the in the second by mistake it is will to dress up in plausible printed hath dared, and that is colours any opinions that our followed in some others.

interest or resentment have made 928. Perhaps thou shalt not agreeable to us. Thyer. die, &c.] How just a picture 929. -hainous) So Milton does Milton here give us of the spells this word, which is right natural imbecility of the human and agreeable to its derivation mind, and its aptness to be from the French haineux. It is warped into false judgments wrong to write it, as it is comand reasonings by passion and monly written, heinous. We inclination? Adain bad but just take notice of these things, as condemned the action of Eve in instances of our author's exacteating the forbidden fruit, and

ness.

Higher degree of life, inducement strong
To us, as likely tasting to attain

935
Proportional ascent, which cannot be
But to be gods, or angels demi-gods.
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy
Us his prime creatures, dignified so high,

940 Set over all his works, which in our fall, For us created, needs with us must fail, Dependent made ; so God shall uncreate, Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose, Not well conceiv'd of God, who though his power 945 Creation could repeat, yet would be loath Us to abolish, lest the adversary Triumph and say ; Fickle their state whom God Most favours ; who can please him long? me first He rujn'd, now mankind; whom will he next?

950 Matter of scorn, not to be given the foe. However I with thee have fix'd my lot, Certain to undergo like doom; if death Consort with thee, death is to me as life; So forcible within my heart I feel

955 The bond of nature draw me to my own, My own in thee, for what thou art is mine ; Our state cannot be sever'd, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself. So Adam, and thus Eve to him replied.

960 O glorious trial of exceeding love,

947. -lest the adversary

Triumph and say, &c.] Compare the prayer of Moses,

Numbers xiv. 13-17. Then the
Egyptians shall hear it, &c. E.

Illustrious evidence, example high !
Engaging me to emulate, but short
Of thy perfection, how shall I attain,
Adam ? from whose dear side I boast me sprung, 965
And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
One heart, one soul in both ; whereof good proof
This day affords, declaring thee resolv’d,
Rather than death or ought than death more dread
Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear,

970
To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit,
Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which else

975 So eminently never had been known. Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue This my attempt, I would sustain alone The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact

980 Pernicious to thy peace, chiefly assur'd Remarkably so late of thy so true, So faithful love unequall'd; but I feel

978. -I would sustain alone the large sense of the Latin &c.] We have followed the word obligo, which signifies not punctuation of the first edition, only to bind, but to render as the sense requires, which is obnoxious to guilt or punishplainly this, If I thought the ment. We have in Cicero, Cum death that was threatened would populum Romanum scelere oblibe the consequence of this my gásses. Orat. pro Domo sua 8. attempt, I would suffer the Sæpe etiam legum judiciorumworst alone, and not endeavour que pænis obligantur. Fin i. 14. to persuade thee, I would ra and in Horace, Od. ii. viii. 5. ther die by myself forsaken of -Sed tu simul obligâsti thee, than oblige thee with a Perfidum votis caput. fact &c.

Oblige is used here in

« AnteriorContinuar »