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Just confidence, and native righteousness,
And honour from about them, naked left
To guilty shame; he cover'd, but his robe
Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong
Herculean Samson from the harlot-lap
Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'd


Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare
Of all their virtue: silent, and in face
Confounded long they sat, as strucken mute,
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd,
At length gave utterance to these words constrain'd.
O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear


-naked left

To guilty shame; &c.] This passage has occasioned much perplexity and confusion, by its having been wrong pointed in almost all the editions. After shame there is no stop even in Milton's own editions, and there should have been a semicolon at least. And then follows he covered, for shame (as Dr. Pearce observes) is here made a person (as again in ver. 1097.) and this shame is he who covered Adam and Eve with his robe; but this robe of his uncovered them more: that is, though they were clothed with shame, yet they thereby more discovered their nakedness. Milton speaks in the same manner in Samson Agon. 841, 842.

In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,

Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st


In the author's second edition after the words Uncovered more there is a full stop, and a new sentence beginning thus, So rose


the Danile strong &c. with the punctuation which we have followed; from whence it evidently appears, that this is the true construction, that As Samson waked shorn of his strength, They waked destitute and bare of all their virtue: and then begins another sentence, silent, and in face confounded long they sat. I suppose it need not be observed that Samson is called the Danite, as being of the tribe of Dan.

1067. O Eve, in evil hour &c.] As this whole transaction between Adam and Eve is manifestly copied from the episode of Jupiter and Juno on mount Ida, has many of the same circumstances, and often the very words translated, so it concludes exactly after the same manner in a quarrel. Adam awakes much in the same humour as Jupiter, and their cases are somewhat parallel; they are both overcome by their fondness for their wives, and are sensible of

To that false worm, of whomsoever taught
To counterfeit man's voice, true in our fall,
False in our promis'd rising; since our eyes
Open'd we find indeed, and find we know
Both good and ev'il, good lost, and evil got,
Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know,
Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void,
Of innocence, of faith, of purity,



Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd,
And in our faces evident the signs

Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store;
Ev'n shame, the last of evils; of the first

Be sure then. How shall I behold the face
Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy
And rapture so' oft beheld? those heav'nly shapes
Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze
Insufferably bright. O might I here
In solitude live savage, in some glade
Obscur'd, where highest woods impenetrable

their error too late, and then their love turns to resentment, and they grow angry with their wives, when they should rather have been angry with themselves for their weakness in hearkening to them.

1068. To that false worm,] That is, serpent. This is a general name for the reptile kind; as in vii. 476. And thus a serpent is called in Shakespeare the mortal worm, 2 Hen. VI. act iii.

1084. O might I here &c.Cover me ye pines, &c.] A wish more ardent and passionate than that of Virgil, Georg. ii. 488.



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To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad
And brown as evening: Cover me ye pines,
Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs

Hide me, where I may never see them more.
But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
What best may for the present serve to hide
The parts of each from other, that seem most
To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen;


Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd, And girded on our loins, may cover round


Those middle parts, that this new comer, shame,

There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.

So counsell'd he, and both together went Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose


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It may be observed too, that Milton here uses the word brown, as he had before done imbrowned in imitation of the Italians. Thyer.

1092. What best may for the

present serve to hide

The parts of each from other,] These lines are misprinted in the second edition. And as to the matter of printing, it must be said, that of Milton's two editions the first is in general more correct than the second, though Mr. Richardson and others have cried up the second as the only genuine and standard edition.

1100. Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose

The fig-tree, &c.]

So Homer's Ulysses covers his nakedness in the wood, Odyss. vi. 127.

Ως ειπων θαμνων ὑπεδνσετο διος Οδυσ


Εκ πυκίνης δ' ύλης παορθον κλασε χειρι waxsin

Φυλλων, ὡς φυσαιτο περί χροί μηδια φωτός.

Then where the grove with leaves umbrageous bends,

With forceful strength a branch the hero rends;

Around his loins the verdant cincture spreads,

A wreathy foliage and concealing shades. Broome.

The sacred text says, Gen. iii. 7. that they sewed fig-leaves toge ther; and Milton adheres to the Scripture expression, which has given occasion to the sneer,

The fig-tree, not that kind for fruit renown'd,
But such as at this day to Indians known
In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms

What could they do for needles and thread? But the original signifies no more than that they twisted the young twigs of the fig-tree round about their waists, in the manner of a Roman crown, for which purpose the fig-tree of all others, especially in those eastern countries, was the most serviceable; because it hath, as Pliny says, lib. xvi. cap. 26. folium maximum umbrosissimumque, the greatest and most shady leaf of all others. And our author follows the best commentators supposing that this was the Indian fig-tree, the account of which he borrows from Pliny, lib. xii. c. 5. as Pliny had done before from Theophrastus. It was not that kind for fruit renowned, and Pliny says that the largeness of the leaves hindered the fruit from growing; hâc causâ fructum integens, crescere prohibet; rarusque est. It branches so broad and long, that in the ground the bended twigs take root, and daughters grow about the mother tree, a pillared shade high overarched: as Pliny says, Ipsa se semper serens, vastis diffunditur ramis; quorum imi adeo in terram curvantur, ut annuo spatio infigantur, novamque sibi propaginem faciant circa parentem-quodam opere topiario-fornicato am. bitu. There oft the Indian herdsman shunning heat shelters in cool &c.: Intra sepem eam æstivant pastores &c. And its leaves are broad as Amazonian targe: Fo

liorum latitudo peltæ effigiem Amazonicæ habet. Sir Walter Raleigh, upon his own knowledge, gives very much the same account of this Ficus Indica in his History of the World. B. į. c. 4. s. 2.

1100. It is not observed by the commentators that this figtree, a good article for such a romantic history, is described by Quintus Curtius, Hist. Alexandr. 1. ix. c. 1. p. 679. 1. vi. c. 5. p. 395. ed. Amstel. 1684. I must add one or two more circumstances. Milton was a student in botany. He took his description of this multifarious tree from the account of it in Gerard's Herbal, many of whose expressions he literally repeats. See Gerard, lib. iii. c. 135. p. 1513. ed. 1635. Gerard's work was first published in 1597. Jonson however had been beforehand with Milton in introducing this tree into English poetry. Neptune's Triumph, first acted 1624. vol. vi. 159.

-The goodly bole being got To certaine cubits hight, from every side

The boughs decline, which taking
root afresh

Spring up new boles, and these
spring new, and newer;
Till the whole tree become a por-

Or arched arbour, able to receive
A numerous troop, &c.

T. Warton.

1103. In Malabar or Decan] Malabar is the western coast of the peninsula of Hindostan; the



Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade
High overarch'd, and echoing walks between ;
There oft the Indian herdsman shunning heat
Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds
At loopholes cut through thickest shade: those leaves
They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe,
And with what skill they had, together sew'd,
To gird their waist, vain covering if to hide
Their guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found th' American, so girt
With feather'd cincture, naked else and wild
Among the trees on isles and woody shores.


Thus fenc'd, and as they thought, their shame in part
Cover'd, but not at rest or ease of mind,

They sat them down to weep; nor only tears
Rain'd at their eyes, but high winds worse within
Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate,
Mistrust, suspicion, discord, and shook sore
Their inward state of mind, calm region once

Decan, that is, the south, is either
taken for the whole country
south of Hindostan proper, or
for the district lying between
Hindostan proper, and what is
usually termed the Peninsula of
Hindostan. P. Hume gave an
erroneous account of these coun-
tries. E.

And Arcades, lxxxvii.

Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-proof.





-such of late Columbus found th American,


Columbus, who made the first discovery of America about the

1104. Branching-] Par. Reg. year 1492, found the Americans

iv. 405.

Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd, &c.

so girt about the waist with feathers, as Adam and Eve were with fig-leaves.

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