Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

in her kind :

Let th' earth bring forth soul living in her kind,
Cattle and creeping things, and beast of th' earth,
Each in their kind. The earth obey'd, and straight
Opening her fertile womb teem'd at a birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms, 455
Limb’d and full grown : out of the ground up rose
As from his lair the wild beast where he wons
In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den ;
Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walk’d:
The cattle in the fields and meadows green:

460 Those rare and solitary, these in flocks and soul it should be here as in than things, because it is more ver. 318. living soul, and 392. conformable to the text of Scripsoul living. It is indeed fowl in ture. all the printed copies.

Cattle and creeping thing, and beast

of th' earth. Let th' earth bring forth fowl living

455. Innumerous living crea

tures-] Innumerous is uncombut Dr. Bentley, Dr. Pearce,

He has the expression Mr. Richardson, and common sense, all condemn this reading; which Pope has adopted into

innumerous boughs, Comus, 349. it is manifestly nothing but an error of the press that has run

his Odyssey. T. Warton.

456.'-out of the ground up through all the editions ; for fowl were all created the day

As from his lair the wild beast before, and not on this day.

where he wons We have therefore restored the true genuine reading.

In forest wild,]

Lair, or luyer, an old Saxon Let th’earth bring forth soul living word signifying a bed. The use

of this word is still kept up We are very cautious in admit- among us, as when we call the ting any alterations into the text different strata or beds of earth, of Milton; but in correcting some of clay, some of chalk, such mistakes as this we con- some of stone, &c. lairs. Wons ceive we do no more than Mil- is an old Saxon word signifying ton himself would have us do; to dwell or inhabit. Dr. Bentwho, after the table of errata in ley reads In forest wide, instead the first edition, says, Other of wild, wild beast going before ; literal faults the reader of himself but Milton does not dislike such may correct. And for the same a repetition of the same word. reason we agree with Dr. Bent- 461. Those rare and solitary, ley, that in the next verse it these in flocks] Those, that is, should be creeping thing rather the wild beasts mentioned in

mon.

rose

in her kind.

Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung,
The grassy clods now calv'd, now half appear's
The tawny lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds, 465
And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the ounce,
The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole
Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw
In hillocs: the swift stag from under ground
Bore up his branching head: scarce from his mould 470

ver. 457. these the tame, the of the beasts rising out of the cattle; and it is a very signal earth, though Dr. Bentley conact of Providence that there are demns it as an insertion of the so few of the former sort, and editor's, is certainly not only so many of the latter, for the worthy of the genius of Milton, use and service of man.

but may be esteemed a shining 462. broud herds] This will part of the poem. He supposes sound a little strange to the ear the beasts to rise out of the of an English reader, who must earth, in perfect forms, limbed therefore be told that he follows and full grown, as Raphael had Homer literally. Iliad. xi. 678. painted this subject before in -αισολια πλασέ αιγω».

the Vatican; and he describes Virgil hath a long herd, Æn. i. and attitudes, and in numbers

their manner of rising in figures 186.

too, suited to their various na-et longum per valles pascitur tures. agmenRichardson.

467. The libbard,] The same

as the leopard ; a word used by 463. The grassy clods now Spenser and the old poets, Faery calu’d,) Dr. Bentley quarrels Queen, b. i. cant. vi. st. 25. with this expression, and says, 470.

ce from his mould that calred is a metaphor very Behemoth biggest born of earth heroical, especially for wild upheuv'd beasts. But, as Dr. Pearce His vastness :) justly observes, to calve (from The numbers are excellent, and the Belgic word Kalren) signi- admirably express the heaviness fies to bring forth: it is a ge- and unwieldiness of the elephant, neral word, and does not relate for it is plainly the elephant to cows only; for hinds are said that Milton means. Behemoth to calve in Job xxxix. 1. and and leviathan are two creatures, Psalm xxix. 9. Mr. Addison par- described in the book of Job, ticularly commends this meta- and formerly the generality of phor: and the whole description interpreters understood by them

-scarce

[ocr errors][merged small]

Behemoth biggest born of earth upheav'd
His vastness : fleec'd the flocks and bleating rose,
As plants : ambiguous between sea and land
The river horse and scaly crocodile.
At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,
Insect or worm : those wav'd their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liveries deck'd of summer's pride
With spots of gold and purple', azure and green:
These as a line their long dimension drew,
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,

480

the elephant and the whale : but It is the same style of sound, and
the learned Bochart and other the verse labours as much with
later critics have endeavoured to broad bare backs and behemoth
shew, that behemoth is the river biggest born as with metuens,
horse, and leviathan the crocodile. molem, montes. And the labour
It seems as if Milton was of the of these lines appears greater in
former opinion, by mentioning contrast with the ease of the
leviathan among the fishes, and following measures, which de-
the river horse and scaly crocodile, scribe the lesser animals spring-
ver. 474. as distinct from behe- ing up as lightly and as thick as
moth and leviathan; and there plants ;
is surely authority sufficient to
justify a poet in that opinion. -fleec'd the flocks and bleating rose,
Behemoth biggest born. The al-

As plants.
literation, as the critics call it,
is very remarkable, all the words here and not a participle—and

478. deckod] It is a verb beginning with b. We had another instance a little before in

decked their smallest lineaments the production of the mountains, exact in all the liveries &c. ver. 286.

482. Minims of nature ;] This

word minims is formed from the and their broad bare backs up- adjective minima, and in allusion

heave Into the clouds.

to the Vulgar Latin of Prov. It is the same kind of beauty

xxx. 24. Quatuor ista sunt minithat is admired in Virgil, Æn. i.

ma terræ. The word was in use 61.

before for an order of friars, Hoc metuens, molcmque et montes in.

Minim, minimi, so called from

affected humility. super altos Imposuit.

485

Wondrous in length and corpulence, involv’d
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident
Of future, in small room large heart inclos’d,
Pattern of just equality perhaps
Hereafter, joined in her popular tribes
Of commonalty: swarming next appear'd
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone

490

485. - provident

"amples to imprudent and unOf future,]

“ governed men, of a frugal As Horace says, Sat. i. i. 35. and self-governing democracy Haud ignara ac non incauta futuri.

or commonwealth; safer and

“ more thriving in the joint in small room large heart in

“providence and counsel of closed, Georg. iv. 83.

“ many industrious equals, than Ingentes animos angusto in pectore " under the single domination versant.

of one imperious lord.” See It is there said of the bee, and his Ready and easy way to estahere applied to the ant.

blish a free commonwealth, p. 591. 487. Pattern of just equality] Edit. 1738. He adds perhaps We see that our author upon hereafter, as he had no hopes of occasion discovers his principles it at that time. He commends of government. He enlarges the ants or emmets for living in upon the same thought in an- a republic, as the bees are said other part of his works. Go to to do under a monarchy; and the 'ant, thou sluggard, saith therefore Mr. Pope says, Essay “ Solomon; consider her ways on Man, ii. 186. and be wise; which having no The ants' republic, and the realm

prince, ruler, or lord, provides her meat in the summer, and 490. The female bee, that feeds "gathers her food in the harvest : her husband drone “ which evidently shews us, Deliciously, and builds her “ that they who think the na- waren cells] “tion undone without a king, Dr. Bentley would throw out “ though they look grave or part of these verses. The drone " haughty, have not so much (says he) is not the bee's hus“true spirit and understanding band ; and that bees are all fe“in them as a pismire: neither males, seems an idle and idiot“are these diligent creatures ical notion, against the course “ hence concluded to live in and rule of nature.

But (how“ lawless anarchy, or that com- ever that be) both those opi“mended, but are set the ex- nions had been strenuously

of bees.

Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stor’d: the rest are numberless,
And thou their natures know'st, and gav'st them names,
Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The serpent subtlest beast of all the field,

495
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

Now heav'n in all her glory shone, and rollid Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand First wheel'd their course; earth in her rich attire Consummate lovely smild; air, water, earth, By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was walk'd Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remaind; There wanted yet the master work, the end

500

505

maintained by Mr. Charles But- other from thirty to forty thouler in the fourth chapter of his sand bees. The drones or huscurious treatise upon bees, en- bands of this queen, except when titled The Feminine Monarchie, they are paying their duty to printed in 1634. and it seems to her, live idly and luxuriously have been the prevailing doc- upon the finest honey, whereas trine in Milton's days. Pearce. the common bees live in great

There has been lately pub- measure upon wax; and the lished in French a natural his- queen herself will condescend tory of bees, Histoire naturelle to wait upon the drones, and des abeilles, &c. Paris 1744. bring them honey; and so, as wherein the curious author has Milton expresses it, feeds her huscollected all that Swammerdam band drone deliciously. and others have written upon 497. And hairy mane lerrific,] the subject. He says that in a Virgil in like manner attributes hive there is commonly one

a mane to serpents, Æn. ii. 206. queen, and perhaps a thousand

jubeque males called drones, and near

Sanguineæ exuperant undas. twenty thousand working bees of no sex that can be distin- 505. There wanted yet the masguished. The queen or mother ter work, &c.] The author here bee is longer than the rest, and remembered and copied Ovid, will produce one year with an- Met. i. 76.

« AnteriorContinuar »