Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

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

1060
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, 1065
At length gave utterance to these words constrain’d.

O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear

1057. -naked left

the Danile strong &c. with the To guilty shame; &c.] punctuation which we have folThis passage has occasioned much lowed; from whence it evidently perplexity and confusion, by its appears, that this is the true having been wrong pointed in construction, that As Samson almost all the editions. After waked shorn of his strength, shame there is no stop even in They waked destitute and bare Milton's own editions, and there of all their virtue: and then should have been a semicolon at begins another sentence, silent, least. And then follows he co and in face confounded long they vered, for shame (as Dr. Pearce sat. I suppose it need not be observes) is here made a person observed that Samson is called (as again in ver. 1097.) and this the Danite, as being of the tribe shame is he who covered Adam of Dan. and Eve with his robe; but this 1067. O Eve, in evil hour &c.] robe of his uncovered them more : As this whole transaction bethat is, though they were clothed tween Adam and Eve is mani. with shame, yet they thereby festly copied from the episode more discovered their nakedness. of Jupiter and Juno on mount Milton speaks in the same man Ida, has many of the same cirner in Samson Agon. 841, 842. cumstances, and often the very In vain thou striv'st to cover shame words translated, so it concludes with shame,

exactly after the same manner Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st in a quarrel. Adam awakes

much in the same humour as In the author's second edition Jupiter, and their cases are someafter the words Uncovered more what parallel; they are both there is a full stop, and a new overcome by their fondness for sentence beginning thus, So rose their wives, and are sensible of

more.

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 1070
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,

1075
Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain's,
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

1090

1085

their error too late, and then 0, qui me gelidis in vallibus Hæmi their love turns to resentment,

Sistat, et ingenti ramorum protegat

umbra! and they grow angry with their wives, when they should rather And the expression of woods inhave been angry with themselves penetrable to star seems to be for their weakness in hearkening copied from Statius, Thebaid. x. to them.

85. 1068. To that false worm,] That is, serpent. This is a gene

-nulli penetrabilis astro

Lucus iners. ral name for the reptile kind; as in vii. 476. And thus a serpent 1086. -where highest woods is called in Shakespeare the mor impenetrable tal worm, 2 Hen. VI. act iii.

To star or sun-light, spread 1084. O might I here &c.

their umbrage broad Cover me ye pines, &c.] A wish And brown as evening :) more ardent and passionate than Spenser, Faery Queen, b. i. cant. that of Virgil, Georg. ii. 488. 1. st. 7.

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. 1090
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 1096
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 1100

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Whose lofty trees, yclad with sum 1100. Into the thickest wood; mer's pride,

there soon they chose Did spread so wide, they heaven's

The fig-tree, &c.] light did hide Not pearceable with pow'r of any

So Homer's Ulysses covers his star.

nakedness in the wood, Odyss. It may be observed too, that vi. 127. Milton here uses the word brown, “Ως εισων θαμνων υπεδνσετο διoς Οδυσas he had before done imbrowned in imitation of the Italians.

Εκ πυκινης δ' ύλης ατορθoν κλασι χιοι Thyer.

Φυλλων, ως δυσαιτο περι χροί μηδια 1092. What best may for the QWTO.. present serve to hide

Then where the grove with leaves The parts of each from other,] umbrageous bends, These lines are misprinted in

With forceful strength a branch the

hero rends; the second edition. And as to

Around his loins the verdant cinc. the matter of printing, it must ture spreads, be said, that of Milton's two A wreathy foliage and concealing editions the first is in general

shades,

Broome, more correct than the second, The sacred text says, Gen. iii. 7. though Mr. Richardson and that they sewed fig-leaves togeothers have cried up the second ther; and Milton adheres to the as the only genuine and stand. Scripture expression, which has ard edition.

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 Jiorum latitudo peltæ effigiem and thread? But the original Amazonicæ habet. Sir Walter signifies no more than that they Raleigh, upon his own knowtwisted the young twigs of the ledge, gives very much the same fig-tree round about their waists, account of this Ficus Indica in in the manner of a Roman crown, his History of the World. B. į: for which purpose the fig-tree c. 4. s. 2. of all others, especially in those 1100. It is not observed by eastern countries, was the most the commentators that this figserviceable; because it hath, as tree, a good article for such a Pliny says, lib. xvi. cap. 26. romantic history, is described folium maximum umbrosissi- by Quintus Curtius, Hist. Alexmumque, the greatest and most andr. 1. ix. c. 1: p. 679. 1. vi. c. shady leaf of all others. And 5. p. 395. ed. Amstel. 1684. ! our author follows the best com must add one or two more cir, mentators supposing that this cumstances. Milton was a stuwas the Indian fig-tree, the ac- dent in botany. He took his count of which he borrows from description of this multifarious Pliny, lib. xii. c. 5. as Pliny had tree from the account of it in done before from Theophrastus. Gerard's Herbal, many of whose It was not that kind for fruit expressions he literally repeats. renowned, and Pliny says that See Gerard, lib. iij. c. 135. p. the largeness of the leaves hin- 1513. ed. 1635. Gerard's work dered the fruit from growing; was first published in 1597. hâc causâ fructum integens, Jonson however had been becrescere prohibet; rarusque est. forehand with Milton in introIt branches so broad and long, ducing this tree into English that in the ground the bended poetry. Neptune's Triumph, twigs take root, and daughters first acted 1624. vol. vi. 159. grow about the mother tree, a

- The goodly bole bei got pillared shade high overarched :

To certaine cubits hight, from every as Pliny says, Ipsa se semper side serens, vastis diffunditur ramis; The boughs decline, which taking

root afresh quorum imi adeo in terram curvantur, ut annuo spatio infigan

Spring up new boles, and these

spring new, and newer ; tur, novamque sibi propaginem Till the whole tree become a porfaciant circa parentem-quodam ticus, opere topiario-furnicato am. Or arched arbour, able to receive bitu. There oft the Indian herds

A numerous troop, &c.

T. Warton. man shunning heat shelters in cool &c.: Intra sepem eam æstivant 1103. In Malabar or Decan] pastores &c. And its leaves are Malabar is the western coast of broad as Amazonian targe: Fo- the peninsula of Hindostan; the

1105

1111

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

1015

1120

1125

Decan, that is, the south, is either And Arcades, lxxxvii. taken for the whole country Under the shady roof south of Hindostan proper, or Of branching elm star-proof. for the district lying between

Dunster. Hindostan proper, and what is

1115. -such of late usually termed the Peninsula of

Columbus found the American, Hindostan. P. Hume gave an

&c.] erroneous account of these coun- Columbus, who made the first tries. E.

discovery of America about the 1104. Branching—] Par. Reg. year 1492, found the Americans iv. 405.

so girt about the waist with Whose branching arms thick inter- feathers, as Adam and Eve were lwin'd, &c.

with fig-leaves.

« AnteriorContinuar »