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The waters underneath from those above
The but because it is a bound or term be- sembling water. Who layeth the beams tween the upper and nether waters; of his chambers in the waters. Psal. a partition firm and immoveable, not CIV. 3. Praise him ye Heavens of upon account of its station, but of its Heavens, and ye waters above the firmness and intransgresibility. Heavens. Pfal. CXLVIII. 4. To Hume and Richardson. this sense our poet agrees, and thus
infers, that as God built the earth, 268. The waters underneath from and founded it on waters (fretched those above
out the earth above the waters. Psal. Dividing :] They who understand CXXXVI. 6. By the word of God the firmament to be the vast air, ex- the Heavens were of old, and the earth panded and stretch'd out on all confifing out of the water and in the lides to the starry Heavens, esteem water. 2 Pet. III. 5.) so also he the waters above it to be those ge- establish'd the whole frame of the nerated, in the middle region of heavenly orbs, in a calm crystallin the air, of vapors exhaled and drawn sea surrounding it, left the neighup thither from the steaming earth bourhood of the unruly Chaos thou!d and nether waters; which descend difturb it. But all search in works again in such vast showers and mighty so wonderful, fo difiant and undif foods of rain, that not only rivers, cernable, as well as undemcifireble, but seas may be imaginable above, is quite confounded. Hume. as appeared when the cataraEts came down in a deluge, and the flood gales 274. And Hrau'n he non'd the of Heaven were open'd. Gen. VII.11. firmament:] So Gen. 1. 8. Others, and those many, by these And God called thr firmament Heaven. waters above understand the crystal. But it may seem ftrange if the firlin Heaven (by Gassendus made mament means the air and armosphere, double) by our author better named that the air fhould be called Heaven: cryftallin ocean, by its clearness re. but so it is frequently in the lan
The earth was form’d; but in the womb as yet
Into guage of the Hebrews and in the Be gather'd now ge waters under file of Scripture. In this very chap
Heaven ter; ver. 20. it is said fowl that may Into one place, and let dry land apfiy above the earth in the open firma. pear.] This is again exactly ment of Heaven. So in Psal. CIV. copied from Moses ; And God said, 12. By them all the fowls of the Let the waters under the Heaven be Heaven bave their habitation, which gathered together into one place, and fing among the branches. And Mat. let the dry land appear: and it was VI. 26. what we translate the fowls fo. Gen. I. 9. And it was so is very of the air is in the original the fowls Thort in Moses; Milton inlarges upon of Heaven, TL FETEIVA TOU spore. it, as the subject will admit some So again, Rev. XIX. 17. the fowls fine strokes of poetry, and seems to that fiy in the midt of Heaven. And have had his eye upon the CIVth we read often in Scripture of the Psalm, which is likewise a divine rain of Heaven, and the clouds of hymn in praise of the creation, 6th Heaven. The truth is there were and following verses. Thou covered three Heavens in the account of the the earth with the deep; the waters Hebrews. Mention is made of the stood above the mountains. At thy third Heaven. 2 Cor. XII. 2. The rebuke they fled, at the voice of thy firft Heaven is the air, as we have thunder they based away. They go shown, wherein the clouds move up by the mountains, they go down by and the birds fly; the second is the the valleys unto the place which thou ftarry Heaven, and the third Heaven haft founded for them, &c. We supis the habitation of the Angels and pose that we need not defire the the seat of God's glory. Milton reader to remark the beautiful numis speaking here of the first Heaven, bers in the following verses of the as he mentions the others in other poem, how they seem to rise with places.
the rising mountains, and to fink 282. God said
again with the falling waters.
Into one place, and let dry land appear.
channels wore ; which is filled with all the graces Easy, ere God had bid the ground that other poets have lavish'd on be dry, &c.] The earth was their description of the spring, and just now emerg'd from the waters leads the reader's imagination into a in which it had been wrapt; 'twas theatre equally surprising and beau- therefore all one great walhy oose, tiful. Addison.
slime and mud. In this soft earth deep 299. If steep, with torrent rapture,] channels were easily worn by the I have seen a marginal reading with streaming water, 'till 'twas dry every
If steep, with torrent rapture, if through plain, 'c i
Desert where but within the banks, the to be found in our author and all bounds set to the rivers, where they good poets. Richardson. now perpetually draw along after 307. The dry land, earth, &c.1 them their moitt train. The rivers These are again the words of Geare imagin'd as persons of great nesis form'd into verse. Gen. I. 10, quality, the length of their robe 11. And God called the dry land earth, training after them;
and the gathering together of the waters where rivers now
called he feas: and God saw that it Stream, and perpetual draw their was good. And God said, Let the earth Stream, and perpetual draw their bring forth grass, the herb yielding feed, . humid train.
and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after You cannot read it otherwise than his kind, whale feed is in itself upon flowly, and so as to give your mind the earth. But when he comes to the a piấure of the thing describd. descriptive part, be then opens a finer Many examples of the like kind are vein of poetry. VOL. II.
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn’d,
Their 321. The smelling gourd,] A mere Dr. Bentley very justly reads here mistake of the printer: the author The swelling gourd: and to the reagave it The swelling gourd; as Pro- fons which he gives, may be added, pertius, IV. II. 43.
that Milton here assigns to each of the Cæruleus cucumis tumideque cucur- which suits with all of the same species:
other tribes or species, an epithet bita ventre.
but smelling, tho' it suits with some Those, that stifly maintain that smel- kinds of the gourd, does not suit with ling was Milton's word and interpret all the particulars of that tribe, as fwel it the inelon, feem not to attend, that ling does. Pearce. The mistake was he had the word smelling two lines ealy of w for m: and Dr. Bentley's before, and would not have doubled emendation is certainly right; and to it fo toon again : and that he does the authority which he has brought not name here any particular plant, from Propertius we may add another but whole tribes and species; the from Virgil, Georg. IV. 121. vine, the gourd, the reed, the shrub, the bush, the tree. Gourds are as nu
tortusque per herbam merous a family, as most of the
Cresceret in ventrem cucumis. other, and include the melon within But we have not alter'd the text, as the general name; which tho it the common reading makes sense, smelis, it swells likewise. Binsley. tho' not such good sente as the other.
321, - the