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Thee lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorned
How shall we breathe2 in other air
Adam by this from the cold sudden damp
"Celestial!3 whether among the thrones, or named
Of sorrow and dejection, and despair,
Familiar to our eyes; all places else
Nor knowing us, nor known: and, if by prayer
To this-i. e. compared to this.
2 How shall we breathe, &c.-The antithesis between "air" and "fruits" does not appear very apt, but there is an evident ellipsis, the sense of which may perhaps be thus given:-how shall we breathe the gross air [which nourishes only mortal fruits] after being accustomed, &c.
3 Celestial, &c.-" Adam's speech," says Addison, "abounds with thoughts which are equally moving [with those in Eve's complaint,] but of a more masculine and elevated turn. Nothing can be conceived more sublime and poetical than the following passage in it. "This most afflicts me, &c." 4 Such of shape, &c.-Such in appearance may he be who is a prince over princes.
5 What besides, &c.-i. e. thou hast executed thy mission gently, and in so doing, thou hast foreborne to wound or kill us-but setting this aside, ("besides,") thy tidings involve the extreme of sorrow, dejection, &c.
weary him with my assiduous cries:
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers.
To their fixed station,3 all in bright array,
1 In memory, &c.-As a memorial to himself; or as a monument to others, for
The lines which conclude the poem, rise in a most glorious blaze of poetical expressions:" Addison.
3 Their fixed station-i e. to the position Michael had ordered them to occupy. 4 Meteorous-like meteors, seeming as it were noiselessly to sweep the ground.
5 Marish-an old word for, marsh.
Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon:
Adust-from the Latin adustus, burnt up-parched, scorching.
2 Subjected plain-a Latinism-the plain below.
3 With dreadful, &c.-a very magnificent line.
4 They, hand in hand, &c.-The poem closes with a simplicity worthy of its greatness; the conception, expression, and versification, all eminently conducing to the effect.
The following remarks upon the moral of "Paradise Lost," may not unsuitably close the notes upon that poem. "The moral which reigns in Milton is the most universal and most useful that can be imagined. It is in short this, that obedience to the will of God makes men happy, and that disobedience makes them miserable. This is visibly the moral of the principal fable, which turns upon Adam and Eve, who continued in Paradise, while they kept the command that was given them, and were driven out of it as soon as they had transgressed. This is likewise the moral of the principal episode, which shows us how an innumerable multitude of angels fell from their state of bliss, and were cast into hell upon their disobedience. Besides this great moral, which may be looked upon as the soul of the fable, there are an infinity of under morals, which are to be drawn from the several parts of the poem, and which make this work more useful and instructive than any other poem in any language:" Addison.
EXTRACTS FROM PARADISE REGAINED.1
He spake no dream; for as his words had end,
"Paradise Regained" was published in 1671, and was, singularly enough, preferred by its author to "Paradise Lost," "a prejudice which," says Dr. Johnson, "Milton had to himself." The great critic afterwards remarks :"Had this poem been written not by Milton, but by some imitator, it would have claimed and received universal praise."-One of the main hindrances, it may be suggested, to its popularity, is its obvious theological deficiency. According to Milton, Paradise is regained by the Saviour's triumph over the temptation of Satan, as recited in the first eleven verses of the fourth chapter of Matthew, while no reference whatever is made throughout the poem to the death of Christ, as an atonement for sin.
2 "Our Lord is an hungered,' and through that appetite tempted of the devil. Narrow as this ground is, for Milton it is enough; and he forthwith raises a table in the wilderness, furnished from Pontus and Lucrine lake and Attic coast;' and the charming pipes are heard to play, and Arabian odours and early flowers breathe around, and nymphs and naiads of Diana's train are summoned forth to dance beneath the shade; and the whole is combined into one of those splendid banquets with which nothing but a most perfect knowledge of antiquity could have supplied him:"-Qaarterly Review, vol. xxxvi, p. 55.
3 Gris-amber-steamed-seasoned or flavoured with ambergris, which is said to have been formerly much employed in culinary operations.
4 Freshet-a stream of fresh water.
5 Lucrine bay-this Italian bay was famous for its oysters.
Diverted—“ is here used," says Dr. Newton, " in the Latin signification of divertor, to turn aside.""
Than Ganymed or Hylas; distant more
With fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn,1
And all the while harmonious airs were heard
From their soft wings, and Flora's earliest smells.
FOR what is glory but the blaze of fame,
A miscellaneous rabble, who extol
Things vulgar, and, well weighed, scarce worth the
They praise and they admire they know not what,
To live upon their tongues and be their talk,
The intelligent among them and the wise
2 Ladies of the Hesperides--the Hesperides were fabulous islands, where fruittrees bore golden apples, and where the nymphs called Hesperides lived. See also note 1, p. 334.
3 Logres, Lyones-the former an ancient name of England generally; the latter of Cornwall.
4 Lancelot, &c.—the names of persons famous in the old romance of " Morte d'Arthur."
5 This fine discourse is put into the mouth of our Saviour, in answer to Satan's temptation to the pursuit of glory.
"How admirably," remarks Thyer, "does Milton in this speech expose the emptiness and uncertainty of a popular character, and found true glory upon its only basis, the approbation of the God of Truth"