Зображення сторінки

For this we may thank Adam ; but his thanks
Shall be the execration; so besides
Mine own that bide upon me, all from me
Shall with a fierce reflux on me redound,
On me as on their natural center light

Heavy, though in their place. O fleeting joys
Of Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes!
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mold me Man, did I folicit thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place 745
In this delicious garden? as my will
Concurr'd not to my bei'ng, it were but right
And equal to reduce me to my dust,
Desirous to resign and render back

All leaving his true topics, and catching be in their proper place. Is not he at trifles, quirks, jingles, and other forely afflicted (says the Doctor) that such prettinesses

. He censures him, as talks at this rate? And yet the worst Mr. Addison had done before,for using of it is, this notion is false, and long such low phrases, as For this we may fince exploded by the modern phithank Adam; and then for soaring losophy: water weighs in water, as so high inter nubes et inania ; refluxes much as it does out of it. And and natural centers; heavy, though in therefore the Doctor is for lopping their place. Adam, it seems, was off with a bold hand ten lines toalready a Peripatetic in his notions: gether: and we heartily with indeed he supposes here, that elementary that no such passages had been adbodies do not gravitate in their na- mitted into any part of the poem, tural places ; not air in air, not water and especially into fo fine a speech in water : from which he fetches a as this before us, and all that we can pretty lamentation, That contrary say for them is, to the course of nature, his afflictions will weigb beavy on him,

though they Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus.

753. Thou

All I receiv'd, unable to perform

750 Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold The good I sought not. To the loss of that, Sufficient penalty, why haft thou added The sense of endless woes ? inexplicable Thy justice seems; yet to say truth, too late

755 I thus contest; then should have been refus'd Those terms whatever, when they were propos’d: Thou didst accept them; wilt thou' enjoy the good, Then cavil the conditions ? and though God Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son 760 Prove disobedient, and reprov'd, retort, Wherefore didst thou beget me? I fought it not: Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee That proud excuse? yet him not thy election, But natural necessity begot.

765 God made thee' of choice his own, and of his own To serve him ; thy reward was of his grace,

Thy 758. Tbou did ft &c.] The change had said in the day that thou eated of persons, sometimes speaking of thereof, thou shalt surely die, Gen IÍ. himself in the first and sometimes to 17. But it may be question d whehimself in the second, is very re- ther it was now this day; for the markable in this speech, as well as night of this day is mention'd before the change of passions. And in like in ver. 342 and the sun's rifing is manner he speaks sometimes of God taken notice of in ver. 329: but and sometimes to God.

Milton is not always very exact in 773. Fix'd on tbis day?] For God marking the time; he neglects those

Thy punishment then justly' is at his will,
Be' it fo, for I submit ; his doom is fair,
That dust I am, and shall to dust return : 770
O welcome hour whenever! why delays
His hand to execute what his decree
Fix'd on this day? why do I overlive,
Why am I mock'd with death, and lengthen’d out
To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet 775
Mortality my sentence, and be earth
Insensible, how glad would lay me down
As in my mother's lap? there I should rest
And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
Would thunder in my ears, no fear of worse 780
To me and to my ofspring would torment me
With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die,
Left that


breath of life, the spi'rit of Man Which God inspir’d, cannot together perish 785

With little things for greater beauties. God formed man of the dust of the

783.left all I cannot die,] A ground, and breathed into bis nostrils like expresion in Horace. Od. III. the breath of life, and man became e XXX. 6.

living foul, Gen. II. 7. And a HeaNon omnis moriar.

then poet calls it divina particulam

aure: Hor. Sat. II. II. 79. and a 784. that pure breath of life, most memorable passage it is, and

the spirit of Man deserves to be quoted at length. Which God infpir’d,] For the Lord

Corpus onuftum


[ocr errors]

With this corporeal clod, then in the grave,
Or in some other dismal place, who knows
But I shall die a living death ? O thought
Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath
Of life that finn'd; what dies but what had life

And sin? the body properly hath neither.
All of me then shall die: let this appease
The doubt, since human reach no further knows.
For though the Lord of all be infinite,
Is his wrath also? be it, Man is not so,

795 But mortal doom’d. How can he exercise Wrath without end on Man whom death must end?

gravat una,

[ocr errors]

Can Hesternis vitiis animum quoque præ- 800. Imposible is held, as argument

Of weakness, not of pow'r.) This Atque affigit humo divinæ particu- is the doctrin of the Schoolmen : lam aura.

but as it is here spoken in the person

of Adam, we must suppose that it 789. it was but breath was held likewise by the Angels, of

Of life that finn'd;] Adam is here whom he might have learned it in endevoring to prove to himself that discourse. the breath of life (the spirit of Man 804. that were to extend which God inspir'd into him ver.784.) His sentence beyond duft and nature's was to die with his body; and his law,] Dr. Bentley proposes to argument here and in what follows read — beyond juft and nature's law; runs thus. Nothing but breath of but dust is the true reading. Part of life finn'd; nothing, but what had the sentence pronounced upon Adam, life and sin, dies; the body properly X. 208. was this. has neither of these, and therefore

For duft thou art, and foalt to duft he concludes that the breath of life

return. (or spirit of Man within him) was to die; and that all of him was to Hence Adam here argues, that for die, because the body he knew was God to punish him after death would mortal. Pearu. be to extend the sentence beyond duft,



But say

Can he make deathless death? that were to make
Strange contradiction, which to God himself
Impossible is held, as argument

Of weakness, not of pow'r. Will he draw out,
For anger's sake, finite to infinite
In punish'd Man, to satisfy his rigor
Satisfy'd never ? that were to extend
His sentence beyond dust and nature's law,
By which all causes else according still
To the reception of their matter act,
Not to th' extent of their own sphere.
That death be not one stroke, as I suppos’d,


Bea beyond what he thought imply'd in In quibbles Angel and Arch-Angel the words, thou shalt to dust return. join, See also ver. 748, 1085. where And God the Father turns a SchoolAdam speaks of being reduc'd to divine. dult, as the final end of him. Pearce.

But it should be consider'd that this 806. By which all causes else &c.] sort of divinity was much more in All other agents act in proportion fashion in Milton's days; and no to the reception or capacity of the wonder that he was a little oftentafabject matter, and not to the utmost tious of showing his reading in this, extent of their own power. An as well as in all other branches of allufion to another axiom of the learning. And for his creeping in fehools: Omne efficiens agit secun- prose, which Mr. Dryden has likedum vires recipientis, non fuas. But wise objected to our author in the this is not so bad as what Mr. Pope preface to his Juvenal, we are fatifhas objected to our author, fied that he is thought to do so the

more only because of his writing in Milton's strong pinion now not blank verse: And if those two poets Heav'n can bound,

themselves (excellent as they are) Nowserpent-like, in prose he sweeps were ftript and divested of their

sime, it would appear in several VOL. II.



the ground;

« НазадПродовжити »