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Heav'n's highth, and with the centre mix the pole. 215
Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, peace,
214. Spenser has the word surg- giving the greater force and ing. Faery Queen, b. ii. c. xii. 21. emphasis to both! And how
nobly has he concluded the Sudden they see, from midst of all verse with a spondee or foot of the main,
two long syllables, which is not The surging waters like a mountain
a common measure in this place, rise,
but when it is used, it necessa
rily occasions a slower pronunAnd our author in Par. Reg. iv. ciation, and thereby fixes more 18. Dunster.
the attention of the reader! It 215. and with the centre is a beauty of the same kind as mix the pole.] It is certain that the spondee in the fifth place in in chaos was neither centre nor
Greek or Latin verses, of which pole; so neither were there any there are some memorable exmountains as in the preceding amples in Virgil, as when he line; the angel does not say speaks of low valleys, Georg. iii. there were: he tells Adam there
276. was such confusion in chaos, as if on earth the sea in moun
Saxa per et scopulos et depressas
convalles : tainous waves should rise from
or when he would describe the its very bottom to assault heaven, and mix the centre of the majesty of the gods, Ecl. iv. 49. globe with the extremities of it.
Cara Deum soboles, magnum Jovis
incrementum: The aptest illustration he could possibly have thought of to
Æn. viii, 679. have given
Adam some idea of -Penatibus, et inagnis Diis: the thing. Richardson. 216. Silence, ye troubled waves, spection, Æn. ii. 68.
or great caution and circumand thou deep, peace,] How much does the brevity of the
Constitit, atque oculis Phrygia ag.
mina circumspexit : command add to the sublimity and majesty of it! It is the same
or a great interval between two kind of beauty that Longinus men running, Æn. v. 320. admires in the Mosaic history of
Proximus huic, longo sed proximus
intervallo. the creation. It is of the same strain with the same omnific The learned and ingenious Mr. Word's calming the tempest in Upton, in his Critical Observathe Gospel, when he said to the tions, hath given us a parallel raging sea, Peace, be still, Mark instance out of Shakespeare, and iv. 39. And how elegantly has says that no poet did ever equal he turned the commanding words this beauty but Shakespeare. In silence and peace, making one Macbeth, act II. the first and the other the last What hath quench'd them hath in the sentence, and thereby giv'n me fire. Hark, peace.
Said then th' omnific Word, your discord end :
224. the servid wheels,] Minerva's Ægis or buckler in Horace's epithet, Od. i. i. 4. the fifth book, with her spear Metaque fervidis evitata rotis.
which would overturn whole Hume. squadrons, and her helmet that
was sufficient to cover an army 225. He took the golden com
drawn out of a hundred cities. passes,] Prov. viii. 27. When he prepared the heavens I was there;
The golden compasses in the
above-mentioned when he set a compass upon
passage appear face of the deep. Dionys. Perieg. hand of him, whom Plato some
a very natural instrument in the ad finem.
where calls the divine geomeΑντοι γαρ τα πρωτα θεμειλια τορνω- trician. As poetry delights in Kes Buburospor edučav apestenrous boco clothing abstracted ideas in alleλασσης.
gories and sensible images, we They round the chaos, round the find a magnificent description world unborn
of the creation formed after the First deign'd their golden compasses same manner in one of the proto turn;
phets, wherein he describes the They thro' the deep chalk'd out our
almighty Architect as measurample road, And broke the lawless empire of the ing the waters in the hollow of food.
his hand, meting out the heaKennet's Life of Dionysins. vens with his span, compre
Richardson. hending the dust of the earth in The thought of the golden com- a measure, weighing the moun. passes is conceived altogether in tains in scales, and the bills in a Homer's spirit, and is a very balance. Another of them denoble incident in this wonderful scribing the Supreme Being in description. Homer, when he this great work of creation respeaks of the gods, ascribes to presents him as laying the founthem several arms and instru- dations of the earth, and stretchments with the same greatness ing a line upon it: and in anof imagination. Let the reader other place as garnishing the only peruse the description of heavens, stretching out the north
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
over the empty place, and hang- of the deep; and the Spirit of ing the earth upon nothing. God moved upon the face of the This last noble thought Milton waters. Gen. i. 1, 2. The poet has expressed in the following says watery calm, as the Messiah verse,
had before calmed the deep, And earth self-balanc'd on her centre ver. 216. and says, outspread his hung.
brooding wings instead of moved, Addison.
following the original råther 232. Thus God the heav'n cre- than our translation. ated, &c.] The reader will na- 239. then founded, then turally remark how exactly Mil- conglob'd &c.] Milton had said ton copies Moses in his account that Messiah first purged downof the creation. This seventh ward the infernal dregs which book of Paradise Lost may be were adverse to life; and that called a larger sort of paraphrase then of things friendly to life he upon the first chapter of Ge- founded and conglobed like to nesis. Milton not only observes like, that is he caused them to the same series and order, but assemble and associate together : preserves the very words as the rest, that is, such things as much as he can, as we may see were not of the same nature and in this and other instances. In fit for composing the earth, went the beginning God created the off to other places, perhaps to heaven and the earth; and the form the planets and fixed stars. earth was without form and void, This seems to be Milton's meanand darkness was upon the face ing. Pearce.
Like things to like, the rest to several place
Let there be light, said God, and forthwith light
Here it will be of use to recur This is the passage that Longito the account in iii. 708. The nus particularly admires; and earthy, watery, airy, and fiery no doubt its sublimity is greatly particles, which before were owing to its conciseness; but blended promiscuously, were our poet enlarges upon it, ennow combined and fixed as a deavouring to give some account foundation; for founded does how light was created the first either signify that from fundare, day, when the sun was not or to melt from fundere; this lat- formed till the fourth day. He ter it cannot mean, it was already says, that it was sphered in a rafluid. Thus Psalm lxxxix. ii. diant cloud, and so journeyed As for the world and the fulness round the earth in a cloudy thereof, thou hast founded them. tabernacle ; and herein he is So Prov. iii. 19. The Lord by justified by the authority of wisdom hath founded the earth.
commentators; though The rest must be something dif- others think this light was the ferent from the now elementary light of the sun, which shone bodies, and that (iii. 716.) is de- as yet very imperfectly, and did termined to be the ethereal quint- not appear in full lustre till the essence of which the heavenly fourth day. It is most probaluminous bodies were formed. ble, that by light (as it was proRichardson.
duced the first day) we must
not understand the darting of Diffugere inde loci partes cæpere,
rays from a luminous body, paresque Cam paribus jungi res &c.
such as do now proceed from
Lucret. v. 438. the sun, but those particles of 241. -—and between spun out the matter which we call fire, (whose air,
properties we know are light And earth self-balanc'd on her and heat,) which the Almighty centre hung.]
produced, as a proper instruFrom Ovid, Met. i. 12. but
ment for the preparation and
very much improved;
digestion of other matter. So
Bp. Patrick upon the text. circumfuso pendebat in aëre However it be, Milton's actellus
count is certainly very poetical, Ponderibus librata suis.
though you may not allow it to 243. Let there be light, said be the most philosophical, and God, and forthwith light &c.] is agreeable to the description Gen. i. 3. And God said, Let there before quoted from Vida. See be light; and there was light. Mr. Thyer's note upon ver. 211.
Sprung from the deep, and from her native east
247. Spher'd in radiant evening and the morning were the cloud,] So Shakespeare, Troil. first day. Gen. i. 4, 5. Cress. a. i. sc. 3.
253. Nor past uncelebrated,
&c.] The beauties of description -The glorious planet Sol In noble eminence enthron'd, and
lie so very thick, that it is almost sphir'd
impossible to enumerate them. Amidst the ether.
The poet has employed on them
T. Warton. the whole energy of our tongue. 248. a cloudy tabernacle]
The several great scenes of the Alluding to the glory of the creation rise up to view one Lord sojourning in the taber after another, in such a manner, nacle, before a more glorious
that the reader seems present temple was built for its fixed at this wonderful work, and to residence and habitation. Green- assist among the quires of anwood.
gels, who are the spectators of 249. -God saw the light
it. How glorious is the concluwas good; &c.] What follows sion of the first day! Addison.
256. is little more than the words of
-with joy and shout Moses versified. And God saw
The hollow universal orb they the light that it was good, and
filled,] God divided the light from the Job xxxviii
. 4, 7. Where wast darkness : Milton adds how it
thou when I laid the foundations was divided, by the hemisphere.
of the earth; when the morning
stars sang together, and all the And light from darkness by the
sons of God shouted for joy? And hemisphere
with this joy and shout they Divided.
filled the hollow universal orb, the And God called the light day, and great round (as it is called ver. darkness he called night; and the 267.) of the universe.