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Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue.
565. -no massy clods of ir'on 573. -After these,] As and brass
being the descendants of the Had melted, (whether found younger brother, but on the where casual fire
hither side, Cain having been Had wasted woods on moun. banished into a more distant tain or in vale,
country, a different sort, the Down to the veins of earth,-) posterity of Seth wholly difFrom Lucretius, v. 1240.
ferent from that of Cain, from Quod superest, æs atque aurum,
the high neighbouring hills, which ferrumque repertum est,
was their seat, having their haEt simul argenti pondus, plumbique bitation in the mountains near potestas;
Paradise, down to the plain deIgnis ubi ingentes silvas ardore
scended, where the Cainites cremârat Montibus in magnis,
dwelt; by their guise just mer
they seemed, and all their study But these verses want emenda
bent to worship God aright, the tion. Plumbi potestas is non- Scripture itself speaks of them
The stop should be placed thus :
as the worshippers of the true
God, and know his works not hid, El simul argenti pondus, plumbiand Josephus and other writers que, potestas
inform us that they were adIgnis ubi ingentes &c.
dicted to the study of natural Argenti pondus plumbique, as philosophy, and especially of in Virgil, argenti pondus et astronomy, (Joseph. Antiq. lib. i. auri. Potestas ignis expresses c. 2.) nor those things last (in the the consuming power of fire. first edition it is lost, but afterWe have potentia solis in Vir- wards corrected among the ergil, and potestates herbarum. rata) which might preserve, nor Jortin,
was it their last care and study 573. Fusil or gro'n] By to know those things which melting or carving, Hume. might preserve freedom
But on the hither side, a different sort
to men. Though this account A lovely bevy of fair ladies sat. of the Sethites be in the general And b. iv. cant. X. st. 48. agreeable to Scripture, yet the
A bevy of fair damsels close did lie. particulars of their living in the mountains near Paradise, and And b. V. cant. ix. st. SI. of their descending thence into A bevy of fair virgins clad in white. the plain, and their corrupt- And by Shakespeare, Henry ing themselves in that man- VIII. act i. ner with the daughters of Cain,
-none here he hoper, our author seems to have taken In all this noble bevy, has brought from the oriental writers, and with her particularly from the Annals of One care abroad. Eutychius.
586. -till in the amorous net 582. A bevy of fair women,] Fast caught, they lik'd,] A bevy is a company, of the Dr. Bentley finding first in the Italian beva, (says Hume,) a later editions, says that Milton covey of partridges. It is a must have given it frust: and so word used by Chaucer, and by he did in both the editions pubSpenser likewise of a company lished in his life time. Pearce. of women, Faery Queen, b. ii. 588. --till th' evening star, cant. ix. st. 34.
&c.] See the note on viii. 519.
Hymen, then first to marriage rites invok'd :
eyes, prime Angel blest,
To whom thus Michael. Judge not what is best By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet, Created, as thou art, to nobler end Holy and pure, conformity divine. Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant, were the tents Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race Who slew his brother ; studious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare,
610 Unmindful of their Maker, though his Spirit Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none. Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget; For that fair female troop thou saw'st, that seem'd Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
615 Yet empty of all good wherein consists Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ;
614. For that fair female troop fair female troop, that seemed thou saw'st,] The construction &c. which is a sufficient proof is not, as some may apprehend, of the posterity of Cain begetting For that fuir female troop (which) a beauteous offspring. thou sawest ; but thou sawest that
Bred only and completed to the taste
To whom thus Adam of short joy bereft.
621. To these that sober race speaks in ver. 757. But if this of men, &c.] As we read in verse be blameable on this acGen. vi. 2. The sons of God saw count, yet our poet has used the the daughters of men, that they same way of speaking in ix. 11. were fair ; and they took them
That brought into this world a wives of all which they chose. It. world of woe. is now generally agreed, that
I think that the foregoing part this passage is to be understood
of this sentence should be pointed of the sons of Seth, the wor
thus, shippers of the true God, mak. ing matches with the idolatrous
and now swim in joy, daughters of wicked Cain; and
Ere long to swim at large; and
laugh, for which Milton very rightly puts this
The world ere long a world of tears construction upon it here, though elsewhere he seems to give into For swimming in joy and swin. the old exploded conceit of the ming at large are opposed to each angels becoming enamoured of other, as are likewise laughing the daughters of men.
See iii; and weeping a world of tears. 463. and the note there, and
Pearce. likewise v. 447. and Par. Reg.
As the sense is so much im. ii. 178, fc. 627. The world ere long a
proved by this pointing, we
cannot but prefer it to Milton's world of tears must weep.] Dr.
own, which was thus : Bentley observes that this world and world is a jingle, and that
and now swim in joy a world of tears is a low ex
(Ere long to swim at large) and
laugh; for which pression. He would therefore
The world ere long a world of tears read a flood of tears: as Milton
Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread
From Man's effeminate slackness it begins,
He look'd, and saw wide territory spread
638. He look'd and saw wide for enterprise. It is used in the territory spread &c.] The next Mask. vision is of a quite contrary na- Alas! good vent'rous youth, ture, and filled with the horrors I love thy courage yet, and bold of war. Adam at the sight of cmprise. it melts into tears, and breaks 645. —nor idly must ring out in that passionate speech, stood ;] One cannot perceive O what are these,
the pertinence of this without Death's ministers, not men &c.
supposing that it hinted at the
Addison. circumstances of the land-army 642. -emprise ;] An old word at that time. Warburton.