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Am. I a debtor ? Hast thou ever heard
At full my huge Leviathan shall rise,
* This alludes to a custom of this creature, which is, when fated with fish, to come ashore and sleep among the reeds.
+ The crocodile's mouth is exceeding wide. When he gapes, says Pliny, fit totum os. Martial says to his old woman,
Cùm comparata riktibus tuis ora
Niliacus babet crocodilus angufta. So that the expression there is barely jufl.
Mete with thy lance, and with thy plummet sound,
His bulk is charg'd with such a furious soul,
When, late awak'd, he rears him from the floods,
eyes Lift their broad: lids, the morning seems to rise.
* This too is nearer truth than at first view may be imagined. The crocodile, say the naturalists, lying long under water, and being there forced to hold its breath, when it emerges, the breath long represt is hot, and bursts out so violently, that it resembles fire and smoke. The horse suppresses not his breath by any means so long, neither is he fo fierce and animated ; yet the most correct of poets ventures to use the same metaphor concerning him.
Colle&tumque premens volvit fub naribus ignem. By this and the foregoing note I would caution against a false opinion of the eastern boldness, from passages in them ill understood.
+ His eyes are like the eye-lids of the morring. I think this gives us as great an image of the thing it would express, as can enter the
thought thought of man. It is not improbable that the Egyptians stole their hieroglyphic for the morning, which is the crocodile's eye, from this paisage, though no commentator, I have seen, mentions it. It is easy to conceive how the Egyptians should be both readers and admirers of the writings of Moses, whom I suppose the author of this poem.
In vain may death in various shapes invade,
His pastimes like a cauldron boil the flood,
I have observed already that three or four of the creatures here described are Egyptian ; the two last are notoriously so, they are the river-horse and the crocodile, those celebrated inhabitants of the Nile; and on these two it is that our author chiefly dwells. It would have been expected from an author more remote from that river than Moses, in a catalogue of creatures produced to magnify their Creator, to have dwelt on the two largest works of his hand, viz. the elephant and the whale. This is so natural an expectation, that some commentators have rendered behemoth and liviathan, the elephant and whale, though the descriptions in our author will not admit of it; but Mofes being, as we may well suppose, under an immediate terror of the bippopotamos and crocodile, from their daily mischiefs and ravages around him, it is very accountable why he Mould permit them to take place.
His like earth bears not on her spacious face:
around : Makes ev'ry swoln, disdainful heart, subside, And holds dominion o'er the fons of pride.
Then the Chaldean eas'd his lab'ring breaft, With full conviction of his crime oppreft.
« Thou can't accomplish All things, Lord of Might: « And ev'ry thought is naked to Thy fight. “ But, oh! Thy ways are wonderful, and lie
Beyond the deepest reach of mortal eye.
anger more : “ Man is not made to question, but adore.”