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320

Why should'st not thou like sense within thee feel 315
When I am present, and thy trial choose
With me, best witness of thy virtue tried ?

So spake domestic Adam in his care
And matrimonial love; but Eve, who thought
Less attributed to her faith sincere,
Thus her reply with accent sweet renew'd.

If this be our condition, thus to dwell
In narrow circuit straiten’d by a foe,
Subtle or violent, we not endued
Single with like defence, wherever met,
How are we happy, still in fear of harm?
But harm precedes not sin : only our foe
Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem
Of our integrity: his foul esteem
Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns

325

330

unite and collect it all when our front,] Here is such a raised.

jingle and turn of the words, 318. —domestic Adam] This as we sometimes meet with in epithet seems to allude to what our author; he affronts us with Adam had said in ver. 232. his foul esteem, but his foul

esteem sticks no dishonour on our -nothing lovelier can be found In woman than to study household front : but our author alludes good,

to the etymology of the word And good works in her husband to offront: adfrontare, i. e. fronpromote.

tem fronti committere, as SkinDomestic in his care, may signify ner says. And I find Shakehere one who has a careful re.

speare using the word in its gard to the good of his family; original signification. Cymbeand all this speech of Adam's line, act iv. was intended for the security of

-good my liege, his wife. Pearce.

Your preparation can offront no less 318. See note Comus. Than what you hear of. 177. E.

And afterwards, act v. 320. Less attributed] That is, too little; an elegant Latinism.

There was a fourth man Richardson.

That gave th' affront with them. 330. Sticks no dishonour on And in Hamlet, act iii.

on

335

Foul on himself; then wherefore shunn'd or fear'd
By us? who rather double honour gain
From his surmise prov'd false, find peace within,
Favour from heav'n, our witness from th' event.
And what is faith, love, virtue unassay’d
Alone, without exterior help sustain'd?
Let us not then suspect our happy state
Left so imperfect by the Maker wise,
As not secure to single or combin’d.
Frail is our happiness, if this be so,
And Eden were no Eden thus expos’d.

To whom thus Adam fervently replied.

310

That he, as 'twere by accident, may describe him as in some degree here

displeased; but what extreme Afront Ophelia.

delicacy has our author shewn 334. -our witness from th' in choosing the word fervently erent.] The Spirit bearing wit- to express it by? a term which ness with our spirit, Rom. viii. though it implies some emotion, 16.

yet carries nothing in its idea 335. And what is faith, love, inconsistent with that subservirtue unassay'd

viency of the passions, which Alone, without exterior help subsisted before the fall. In sustain'd ?]

the two foregoing speeches he What merit is there in any had made Adam address himvirtue till it has stood the test self to her in the affectionate alone, and without other assist- terms of Sole Eve, associate sole, ance ?

and Daughter of God and man,

immortal Eve; but here with Paulum sepultæ distat inertiæ Celata virtus. Hor. od. iv. ix. 29.

great judgment he changes those Richardson. endearing words for these more

authoritative, O woman. I should 339. As not secure to single or think that Milton in this excombin'd.). As not to be secure pression alluded to what our to us single or together.

Saviour said to the Virgin Mary, 342. To whom thus Adam fer- Woman, what have I to do with vently replied.

thee, was not I satisfied, that he O Woman,]

could not with his learning What Eve had just now said take these words in the vulgar required some reprimand from mistaken sense, which our transAdam, and it was necessary to lation naturally leads ignorant

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350

O Woman, best are all things as the will
Of God ordain’d them ; his creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left
Of all that he created, much less Man,
Or ought that might his happy state secure,
Secure from outward force; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his

power:
Against his will he can receive no harm.
But God left free the will, for what obeys
Reason, is free, and reason he made right,
But bid her well be ware, and still erect,
Lest by some fair appearing good surpris’d
She dictate false, and misinform the will
To do what God expressly hath forbid.
Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoins,
That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.

355

readers into, and must very well cestor a little before observe to know that run amongst the the angel? viii. 546. &c. Thyer. Greeks is a term of great re

353. But bid her well be ware, spect. Indeed throughout this and still erect,] It is very true, whole conver

versation, which the as Dr. Bentley observes, that poet has in every respect worked erect requires the preceding up to a faultless perfection, there word to be adjective like itself: is the most exact observance of but so is ware or wary, and so it justness and propriety of cha- is used, Matth. xxiv. 50. The racter. With what strength is Lord of that servant shall come in the superior excellency of man's a day when he looketh not for understanding here pointed out, him, and in an hour that he is not and how nicely does our author ware of; and 2 Tim. iv. 15. Of here sketch out the defects pe- whom be thou ware also ; and by culiar in general to the female our author himself in the Mask, mind? and after all what great Silence was took ere she was ware. art has he shewn in making And therefore be ware should Adam, contrary to his better not have been printed as one reason, grant his spouse's re- word, but as two; and then quest, beautifully verifying what there could have been no mis. he had made our general an- take about it.

Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve,
Since reason not impossibly may meet

360
Some specious object by the foe suborn'd,
And fall into deception unaware,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warn'd.
Seek not temptation then, which to avoid
Were better, and most likely if from me

365 Thou sever not: trial will come unsought. Would'st thou approve thy constancy, approve First thy obedience; th’ other who can know, Not seeing thee attempted, who attest? But if thou think, trial unsought may find

370 Us both securer than thus warn’d thou seem'st, Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more; Go in thy native innocence, rely On what thou hast of virtue, summon all, For God tow’ards thee hath done his part, do thine, 375

So spake the patriarch of mankind; but Eve Persisted, yet submiss, though last, replied.

With thy permission then, and thus forewarn'd

372. Go; for thy stay, not versation was somewhat of the free, absents thee more ;] It is same nature as Adam and Eve's; related in the Life of Milton, and it was upon some such conthat he went into the country siderations as this, that after in the Whitsuntide vacation, much solicitation he permitted and married his first wife Mary, her to go, the daughter of Justice Powell,

Go; for thy stay, not free, absents of Oxfordshire. She had not

thee more. cohabited with him above a It is the more probable that he month, before she was very alluded to his own case in this desirous of returning to her account of Adam and Eve's friends in the country, there to parting, as in the account of spend the remainder of the sum- their reconciliation mer. We may suppose, that pear that he copied exactly what upon this occasion their con- happened to himself.

will ap

380

Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words
Touch'd only, that our trial, when least sought,
May find us both perhaps far less prepar'd,
The willinger I go, nor much expect
A foe so proud will first the weaker seek ;
So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.

Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand 385

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385. Thus saying, from her

husband's hand her hand Soft she withdrew, &c.] The reader cannot but be pleased with this image. Notwithstanding this difference of judgment, while Adam is reasoning and arguing with her, he still holds her by the hand, which she gently withdraws, a little impatient to be gone, even while she is speaking. And then like a wood-nymph light, Oread nymph of the mountains, or Dryad a nymph of the groves, of the oaks particularly, or of Delia's truin, the train of Diana, who is called Delia as she was born in the island Delos, she betook her to the groves ; but she surpassed not only Diana's nymphs, but Diana herself. But as this beautiful similitude is formed

very
much

upon one in Homer, and its parallel in Virgil, it may be proper to quote them both in order to make the beauties of this better apprehended. Hom. Odyss. vi. 102.

Οίη δ' Αρτεμις εισι κατ' ερεος ιοχεαιρα,
Η κατα Τηυγετον περιμηκισον, η Ερυ.

μανθον,
Τερπομενη καπροισι και ωκεμης ελαφοισι '
Τη δε θ' άμα Νυμφαι, κεραι Διος Αι-

γιoχoιο, , Αγρονομοι παιζεσι: γεγηθε δε το φρενα Πασαων δ' υπερ ηγε καρη εχει ηδε μετ.

As when o'er Erymanth Diana roves
Or wide Taygetus' resounding

groves ;
A sylvan train the huntress queen

surrounds, Her rattling quiver from her shoul

der sounds; Fierce in the sport, along the moun.

tain brow They bay the boar, or chase the

bounding roe : High o'er the lawn, with more ma

jestic pace, Above the nymphs she treads with

stately grace; Distinguish'd excellence the Goddess

proves ; Exults Latona as the virgin moves. With equal grace Nausicaa trod the

plain, And shone transcendent o'er the

beauteous train. Broome. Qualis in Eurotæ ripis, aut per juga

Cynthi
Exercet Diana choros; quam mille

secutæ
Hinc atque hinc glomerantur Ore-

ades : illa pharetram Fert humero, gradiensque Deas su

pereminet oinnes : Latonæ tacitum pertentant gaudia

pectus. Talis erat Dido: talem se læta fere.

bat Per medios. Virg. Æn. i. 498. Such on Eurotas' banks, or Cynthus'

hight, Diana seems; and so she charms the

sight,

Λητω. .

w7V,

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