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They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke

590 Hymen, then first to marriage rites invok's: 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, foon inclin'd t'admit delight, The bent of nature; which he thus express’d. True opener

of mine eyes, prime Angel bleft, Much better seems this vifion, 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, the oriental writers, and particularly And by Shakespear, Henry VIII. from the Annals of Eutychius. Act I. 582. A beror of fair women,] A

None here he hopes, bery is a company, of the Italian In all this noble bevy, has brought bewa (says Hume) a covey of par

with her tridges. It is a word used by Chaucer, One care abroad. and by Spenser likewise of a com- 586. till in the amorous net pany of women, Fairy Queen, B. 2. Fast caught, they lik'd] Dr. BentCant. 9. Stan. 34.

ley finding first in the later editions, A lovely bevy of fair ladies fat. says that Milton must have given it And B. 4. Cant. 10. St. 48.

fast: and so he did in both the edi

tions publish'd in his life-time. A bevy of fair damsels close did lie,

Pearce. And B. 5. Cant. 9. St. 31.

588. - till th' evening far, &c.] A bevy of fair virgins clad in white, See the note on VIII. 519.

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614. For 605

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 flew 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 ofspring shall beget;
For that fair female troop thou saw'st, that seem'd
Of Goddesses, so blithe, so sinooth, so

gay,

615 Yet empty of all good wherein consists Woman's domestic honor and chief praise ; Bred only and completed to the taste Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance,

То

614. For that fair female troop that this passage is to be underfood

thou saw'),] The construc of the sons of Seth, the worlhippers tion is not, as some may apprehend, of the true God, making matches For that fair female troop (which) with the idolatrous daughters thou fuw'A; but thou saw that wicked Cain ; and Milton very fair female troop, that seem'd &c. rightly puts this construction upon which is a sufficient proof of the it here, though elsewhere be seems pofterity of Cain begetting a beautcous to give into the old exploded conofspring

ceit of the Angels becoming ena621. To these that sober race of mour'd of the daughters of men.

men, &c.) As we read in See III. 463. and the note there, Gen. VI. 2. The Sons of God saw the and likewise V. 447. and Parad, daughters of men, that they were fair; Reg. II. 178 &c. and they took them wives of all which 627. The cuorld erelong a world of they chose. It is now generally agreed

tears mujt weep. } Dr. Bene

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ley

eye. 620

625

To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the
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,
Erelong to swim at large ; and laugh, for which
The world erelong a world of tears must weep

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

Said ley observes that this world and The world erelong a world of tears world is a jingle, and that a world of tears is a low expreflion. He For swimming in joy and fwimming would therefore read a flood of tears: as Milton speaks in ver. 757. But at large are oppos'd to each other, if this verse be blameable on this as are likewise laughing and weeping

a world of tears. Pearce. account, yet our poet has used the

As the sense is so much improv'd by fame way of speaking in IX. 11.

this pointing, we cannot but prefer That brought into this worlda world it to Milton's own, which was thus : I think that the foregoing part of

and now swim in joy this sentence should be pointed thus, (Erelong to swim at large) and

laugh ; for which and now swim in joy, The world erelong a world of tears Erelong to swim at large; and laugh, for which

639. He

muft weep.

of woe,

must weep.

ز

Said th’Angel, who should better hold his place 635
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, 640
Concourse in arms, fierce faces threatning war,
Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise ;
Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed,
Single or in array of battel 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 638. He look'd, and faw wide ter at the circumstances of the land.

ritory Spread &c.] The next army at that time. Warburtor. vifion is of a quite contrary nature, 651.-which makes a bloody fray;] and filled with the horrors of war. So it was alter'd for the better in Adam at the fight of it melts into the second edition ; it was tacks a tears, and breaks out in that pallio- bloody fray in the first edition; which nate speech,

is not so plain and intelligible. O what are these, Death's ministers, not men & c.

660. In other part the scepter'd be

ralds call &c.] It may be Addison.

noted here once for all, that in this 642. emprise;] An old word for visionary part Milton has frequently enterprise. Ic is used in the Mask. had his eye upon his matter Homer,

Alas! good ventrous Youth, and several of the images which are I love thy courage yet, and bold em- represented to Adam are copies of prise.

the descriptions on the shield of 645. - nor idly must'ring food;) Achilles, Iliad. XVIII. One can't perceive the pertinence of His eyes he open'd, and beheld a this without supposing that it hinted

field,

Part

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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
But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray ;
With cruel torneament the squadrons join;
Where cattel pastur’d late, now scatter'd lies
With carcasses and arms th’infanguin'd field
Deserted: Others to a city strong

655
Lay siege, incamp'd; by battery, scale, and mine,
Assaulting; others from the wall defend
With dart and javelin, stones and sulphurous fire;
On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.
In other part the scepter'd heralds call

660

Το Part arable and tilth, whereon were Here stretch'd in ranks the level'd theaves

swarths are found, New reap'd, the other part Theep Sheaves heap'd on theaves, here walks and folds.

thicken up the ground. Pope. Is not this Homer's description a

And ver. 587&c. little contracted ? ver.

Εν δε νομον ποιησε περικλύG 550

Αμφιγυνας Εν δ' επιθει τεμενα βαθυληϊον:

Ev xaan Bran Mey av olwy apyto ey had sector Ημων, οξεας δρεπανας εν χερσιν Σταθμεςτε, κλισιαςτε, κατηρεέχοντες.

osas ide onnas. Δραγματα αλλα μετ' ογμον Next this, the eye the art of Vulcan επητριμα τιπον εβαζε,

leads Αλλα δ' αμαλλοδετηρες εν ελλε- Deep thro' fair forests, and a length δανοισι δεονηο.

of meads; Another field rose high with waving And stalls, and folds, and scatter'd grain ;

cotts between, With bended fickles fand the And fleecy flocks that whiten all reaper-train.

the scene,

The

&c.

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