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415

Second to me or like, equal much less.
How have I then with whom to hold converse
Save with the creatures which I made, and those
To me inferior, infinite descents

410 Beneath what other creatures are to thee?

He ceas’d, I lowly answer'd. To attain The highth and depth of thy eternal ways All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things; Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee Is no deficience found ; not so is man, But in degree, the cause of his desire By conversation with his like to help, Or solace his defects. No need that thou Should'st propagate, already infinite, And through all numbers absolute, though one ; But man by number is to manifest His single imperfection, and beget Like of his like, his image multiplied, In unity defective, which requires Collateral love, and dearest amity. Thou in thy secresy although alone, Best with thyself accompanied, seek’st not

420

425

413. The highth and depth of every thing ; quod expletum sit thy eternal ways &c.] Rom. xi

. omnibus suis numeris et parti33. O the depth of the riches both bus, as Cicero elsewhere exof the w. dom and knowledge of presses it: but there seems to be God! how unsearchable are his a low conceit in the expression, judgments, and his ways past find

And through all numbers absolute, ing out!

though one. 421. And through all numbers absolute,] A Latin expression, 423. His single imperfection,] omnibus numeris absolutus, as Ci. That is, the imperfection of him cero says, and means perfect in single. A frequent way of speakall its parts, and complete in ing in Milton. Pearce.

430

4.33

Social communication, yet so pleas’d,
Canst raise thy creature to what highth thou wilt
Of union or communion, deified ;
I by conversing cannot these erect
From prone, nor in their ways complacence find.
Thus I imbolden'd spake, and freedom us'd
Permissive, and acceptance found, which gain'd
This answer from the gracious voice divine.

Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas'd,
And find thee knowing not of beasts alone,
Which thou hast rightly nam’d, but of thyself,
Expressing well the spi'rit within thee free,
My image, not imparted to the brute,
Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee
Good reason was thou freely should'st dislike,
And be so minded still ; I, ere thou spak'st,

440

440. Expressing well the spi'rit peculiar to Milton; for I find within thee free,

Clarius, in his remark upon this My image.]

passage of Scripture, referring Milton is upon all occasions a to St. Basil the Great for the strenuous advocate for the free same interpretation. See Cladom of the human mind against rius amongst the Critici Sacri. the narrow and rigid notions of Thyer. the Calvinists of that age, and 444. -1, ere thou spak'st, here in the same spirit supposes

Knew it not good for man to be the very image of God in which alone,] man was made to consist in this For we read, Gen. ii. 18. And the liberty. The sentiment is very Lord God said, It is not good thut grand, and this sense of the the man should be alone ; I will words is, in my opinion, full as make him an help meet for him : and probable as any of those many then ver. 19 and 20. God brings which the commentators have the beasts and birds before Adam, put upon them, in as much as and Adom gives them names, no property of the soul of man but for Adam there was not found distinguishes him better from

an help meet for him; as if Adam the brutes, or assimilates him had now discovered it himself more to his Creator. This no- likewise: and from this little hiot tion, though uncommon, is not our author has raised this dia

445

450

Knew it not good for man to be alone,
And no such company as then thou saw'st
Intended thee, for trial only brought,
To see how thou could'st judge of fit and meet :
What next I bring shall please thee, be assur’d,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.

He ended, or I heard no more, for now
My earthly by his heav'nly overpower'd,
Which it had long stood under, strain’d to th' highth
In that celestial colloquy sublime,
As with an object that excels the sense
Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair
Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd
By nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes.
Mine eyes he clos’d, but open left the cell

460

455

logue between Adam and his son, as the ancient poets often Maker. And then follows both do. in Moses and in Milton the ac 460. Mine eyes he clos'd, &c.] count of the formation of Eve Adam then proceeds to give an and institution of marriage. acconint of his second sleep, and

453. My earthly by his heav'nly of the dream in which he beheld overpower'd,] The Scripture says the formation of Eve. The new only, that the Lord God caused a passion that was awakened in deep sleep to fall upon Adam, Gen. him at the sight of her is touched ii. 21. and our author endeavours very finely. Adam's distress to give some account how it upon losing sight of this beautiful was effected: Adam was over- phantom, with his exclamations powered by conversing with so of joy and gratitude at the dissuperior a Being, his faculties covery of a real creature, who having been all strained and ex- resembled the apparition which erted to the highth, and now he had been presented to him in sunk down quite dazzled and his dream; the approaches he spent, and sought repair of sleep, makes to her, and his manner which instantly fell on him, and of courtship, are all laid together closed his eyes. Mine eyes he in a most exquisite propriety of closed, says he again, turning the sentiments. Though this part words, and making sleep a per- of the poem is worked up with

Of fancy my internal sight, by which
Abstract as in a trance methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood :
Who stooping open'd my left side, and took 465
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh ; wide was the wound,
But suddenly with flesh fill’d up and heal’d:
The rib he form’d and fashon’d with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew,

470

manners.

great warmth and spirit, the love 465. - open'd my left side, and which is described in it is every

took way suitable to a state of inno From thence a rib,wide was cence. If the reader compares the wound, the description which Adam here But suddenly with flesh fill'd up gives of his leading Eve to the and heald :) nuptial bower, with that which Gen. ii. 21. And he took one of Mr. Dryden has made on the his ribs, anıl closed up the flesh same occasion in a scene of his instead thereof. The Scripture Fall of Man, he will be sensible says only one of his ribs, but Milof the great care which Milton ton follows those interpreters took to avoid all thoughts on so who

suppose this rib was taken delicate a subject, that might be from the left side, as being offensive to religion or good nearer to the heart.

The sentiments are 469. --fashon’d] Spelt after chaste, but not cold; and convey the French façon. to the mind ideas of the most 470. Under his forming hands transporting passion, and of the a creature grew, &c.] This greatest purity. Addison. whole account of the formation

462. Abstract as in a trance] of Eve, and of the first meeting For the word, that we translate and nuptials of Adam and Eve, a deep sleep, Gen. ii. 21. The is delivered in the most natural Lord God caused a deep sleep to and easy language, and calls to fall upon Adam, the Greek inter- mind an observation of Mr. preters render by trance or ec- Pope upon Milton's style, in his stasy, in which the person is ab- Postscript to the Odyssey. “The stract, is withdrawn as it were “ imitators of Milton, like most from himself, and still “ other imitators, are not copies things, though his senses are all “ but caricatures of their origilocked up. So that Adam sees nal; they are a hundred times his wife, as he did Paradise, first “ more obsolete and cramp than in vision.

“he, and equally so in all places:

sees

Manlike, but different sex, so lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her summ’d up, in her contain'd

or

“ whereas it should have been “ be discovered without a second “ observed of Milton, that he is third reading : and in this • not lavish of his exotic words “ certainly he ought to be no “ and phrases every where alike, “example.” “ but employs them much more 471. — so lovely fair, “ where the subject is marvel. That what seem'd fair in all

lous, vast, and strange, as in the the world, seem'd now

scenes of heaven, hell, chaos, Mean] &c. than where it is turned to The position of the words, with " the natural and agreeable, as the pause in the first syllable of “ in the pictures of Paradise, the the verse upon the adjective “ loves of our first parents, the mean, has a wonderful effect, “ entertainments of angels, and and gives great force to the sen“ the like. In general, this un tence. No collocation of words “ usual style better serves to can exceed this in beauty. I “ awaken our ideas in the de- remember an adjective placed “ scriptions and in the imaging much in the same manner in and picturesque parts, than it Virgil, Georg. i. 476. “ agrees with the lower sort of

Vox quoque per lucos vulgd exaudita narrations, the character of

silentes “ which is simplicity and purity. Ingens" Milton has several of the latter, where we find not an anti- The placing of the word ingens “ quated, affected, or uncouth is admirable, and makes one al“ word, for some hundred lines most hear the loud dismal voice “ together; as in his fifth book, groaning through the groves. “ the latter part of the eighth,

471. -so lovely fair, “ the former of the tenth and

That what seem'd fair in all the “ eleventh books, and in the

world, seem'd now "« narration of Michael in the

Mean, or in her summ'd up, in “ twelfth. I wonder indeed that

her contain'd « he, who ventured (contrary

And in her looks,] to the practice of all other This is the same with that which “ epic poets) to imitate Homer's

Marino makes Venus say to “ lownesses in the narrative, Paris in the picture she is giv“ should not also have copied ing him of Helen. Adon. cant. “his plainness and perspicuity ii. st. 173.

. " in the dramatic parts: since in Si ben d'ogni bellezza in quel bel “ his speeches (where clearness volto “ above all is necessary) there

Epilogato il cumulo si unisce, “ is frequently such transposi

E sì perfettamente insieme accolto

Quanto ha di bel la terra, in lei fio"- tion and forced construction, risce. " that the very sense is not to

Thyer.

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