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565

Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue.
In other part stood one who at the forge
Lab'ring, two massy clods of iron and brass
Had melted, (whether found where casual fire
Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale,
Down to the veins of earth, thence gliding hot
To some cave's mouth, or whether wash'd by stream
From underground,) the liquid ore he drain'd 570
Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he form'd
First his own tools; then, what might else be wrought
Fusil or grav’n in metal. After these,

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

and peace

sense.

580

But on the hither side, a different sort
From the high neighb’ring hills, which was their seat,
Down to the plain descended : by their guise 576
Just men they seem'd, and all their study bent
To worship God aright, and know his works
Not hid, nor those things last which might preserve
Freedom and peace to men: they on the plain
Long had not walk’d, when from the tents behold
A bevy of fair women, richly gay
In gems and wanton dress; to th' harp they sung
Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on:
The men though grave, ey'd them, and let their eyes 585
Rove without rein, till in the amorous net
Fast caught, they lik’d, and each his liking chose ;
And now of love they treat, till th' evening star,
Love's harbinger, appear'd; then all in heat
They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke

590

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 :
With feast and music all the tents resound.
Such happy interview and fair event
Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands, flowers,
And charming symphonies attach'd the heart 595
Of Adam, soon inclin'd † admit delight,
The bent of nature ; which he thus express’d.
True
opener
of mine

eyes, prime Angel blest,
Much better seems this vision, and more hope
Of peaceful days portends, than those two past ; 600
Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse,
Here nature seems fulfill'd in all her ends.

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 ;

605

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

620

Bred only and completed to the taste
Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance,
To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye.
To these that sober race of men, whose lives
Religious titled them the sons of God,
Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame
Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles
Of these fair atheists, and now swim in joy,
Ere long to swim at large; and laugh, for which
The world ere long a world of tears must weep.

To whom thus Adam of short joy bereft.
O pity' and shame, that they who to live well

625

must weep.

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

must weep.

655

Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread

630
Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint !
But still I see the tenor of Man's woe
Holds on the same, from Woman to begin.

From Man's effeminate slackness it begins,
Said th’ Angel, who should better hold his place
By wisdom and superior gifts receiv'd.
But now prepare thee for another scene.

He look'd, and saw wide territory spread
Before him, towns, and rural works between,
Cities of men with lofty gates and towers,
Concourse in arms, fierce faces threat’ning war,
Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise ;
Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed,
Single or in array of battle rang'd
Both horse and foot, nor idly must'ring stood;

645
One way a band select from forage drives
A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine
From a fat meadow ground; or fleecy flock,
Ewes and their bleating lambs over the plain,
Their booty ; scarce with life the shepherds fly, 650

640

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.

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