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The less by night altern; and made the stars,
porous to receive
Of light by far the greater part he took,
And Cernere feminibus denfis, totisque quently repeated, than to vary it by micare
phrases and circumlocutions. Floribus :
364. Hither as to their fountain where Milton seems to have read other fars] So the fun is conserta, which is much more beauti- called by Lucretius, V. 282. the ful;, and his reading seems to be fountain of light, of liquid light. proved by the word denfis, which would be unnecesiary, and even
Largus item liquidi fons luminis,
æthereus fol bad with the word conferta.
Richardson. Irrigat aslidue cælum candore re
and by other stars are meant the retain
planets, as appears by mentioning Her gather'd beams,] Porous yet particularly the morning planet Venus. firm. Milton seems to have taken And hence the morning planet gilds this thought from what is said of the
her horns ; Bologna itone, which being plac'd In the first edition it was his horns, in the light will imbibe, and for but the author in the second edition some time retain it so as to inlighten foften'd it into her horns, which is cera dark place. Richardson. tainly properer for the planet Venus, 362. And drink the liquid light, have still printed' it bis berns.
tho' Dr. Bentley and Mr. Fenton Dr Bentley finds fault with the word light being repeated fo often, and 370. Firf in his eaft the glorious in two places substitutes some other lamp was feen,] It is indeed expreffion in the room of it; but a little inaccurate to make this as when Milton was describing the well as the former verse conclude creation of light, it was better (as with the word seen; but this is not Dr. Pearce judiciouily observes) to to bad as when both verses rime tokeep strictly to the word, tho fre- gether, as in II. 220.
And hence the morning planet gilds her horns ;
His This horror will grow mild, this However it would have been more darkness light;
artificial, if the structure had been Besides what hope the never-ending different. We know very well that fight:
there are parallel instances even in and in VI. 34.
Homer and Virgil; but tho' fome
may think them beauties in Greek far worse to bear
and Latin, we think them none in Than violence; for this was all an Englih poem profeffedly written thy care:
in blank verse. In all such cases
we must say with Horace, De Arte By facred unction, thy deserved Poet. 351. right.
Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, Go then thou mightiest in thy Fa non ego paucis ther's might:
Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria and in XI. 230.
Aut humana parum cavit natura. One of the heav'nly hoft, and by
jocond to run None of the meanes, some great His longitude through ficav’n's lich potentate :
road;] Dr. Bentley calls longitude here mere nonsense; and there
fore reads His long carreer through &c. The bent of nature ; which he thus But we must not part with longitude express’d.
so easily: it signifies the sun's course True opener of mine eyes, prime from east to west in a strait and diAngel bleit.
rect line: aid we find Milton using There are perhaps two or three other the word after much the same maninstances in the poem: but the jingle ner in III. 576. This Paffage alludes of the rime is pretty well avoided to Pfal. XIX. 5. where it is said of by the pause in the verses, or by the sun, that he rejoiceth as a giant io their running into one another, run bis course. Pearce.
His longitude through Heav'n's high road ; the
fun at his creation, intimates very Dawn, and the Pleiades before him plainly that the creation was in the danc'd
spring according to the common Shedding fweet influence :] These opinion. Virg. Georg. II. 338, &c. are beautiful images, and very much Ver illud erat; ver magnus resemble the famous picture of the
agebat morning by Guido, where the fun
Orbis, et hibernis parcebant flatibus is represented in his chariot, with
Euri, the Aurora flying before him shed
Cum primæ lucem pecudes hauding flowers, and seven beautiful
sere, &c. nymph-like figures dancing before and about his chariot, which are And when he farther adds shedding commonly taken for the Hours, but fweet influence, it is in allusion to posibly may be the Pleiades, as they Job XXXVIII. 31. Canft thou bind are seven in number, and it is not the sweet influences of Pleiades ? easy to assign a reason why the Hours should be signified by that number 387. And God said, &c.] This particularly. The picture is on a and eleven verses following are alcieling at Rome; but there are copies most word for word from Genesis I. of it in England, and an excellent 20, 21, 22. And God said, Let the print by Jac. Frey: The Pleiades waters bring forth abundantly the are seven stars in the neck of the moving creature that hath life, and constellation Taurus, which rising fowl ihat may fly above the earth in about the time of the vernal equi- the open firmament of Heaven. And nox, are called by the Latins Ver- God created great whales, and every giliæ. Oar poet therefore in faying living creature that moveth, which that the Pleiades danc'd before the the waters brought forth abundantly,
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
And God said, Let the waters generate
after their kind, and every winged creatures as move in the waters, fowl after bis kind: and God saw (see Le Clerc's note on Gen. I. 20.) that it was good. And God blessed and by creeping thing mention'd in them, saying, Be fruit ful and multi- the fixth day's creation he means phy, and fill the waters in the seas, creeping things of the earth; for so and let fowl multiply in the earth. both in Milton's account, ver. 452. This is the general account of the and in Gen. I. 24. the words of the fifth day's creation, and the poet earth are to be join'd in construction afterwards branches it out into the to creeping thing. Hence the Doctor's several particulars.
objection is answer'd by saying that
they were not the same creeping 388. Reptil with Spawn abundant, things which Milton mentions in the
living soul:] By reptil is two places. But let us hear how meant creeping thing; and according the Doctor proposes to mend the to the marginal reading of our Eng passage, lith version, Gen. I. 20. (which fol
Let the waters generate, lows the LXX version here) creeping Replete with spawn abundant, living tbings are said to have been created
soul : on this fifth day. Le Clerc too with the generality of interpreters renders This reading cannot possibly be adthe Hebrew word by reptil. To this mitted, without making Milton's Dr. Bentley objects that creeping words imply (contrary to the fact) things were created on the fixth that the spawn was præexistent to day, according to the account given this fifth day's creation, and the us both by Moses and by Milton waters were replete with it, before himself
. But by reptil or creeping God said Let the waters generate &c. ibing herę Milton means all such