« AnteriorContinuar »
Spangling the hemisphere: then first adorn'd
And God said, Let the waters generate
390 And God created the great whales, and each Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously The waters generated by their kinds, And
every bird of wing after his kind ; And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying, 395
387. And God said, &c.] This 20. (which follows the LXX verand eleven verses following are sion here,) creeping things are almost word for word from said to have been created on the Genesis i. 20, 21, 22. And God fifth day. Le Clerc too with said, Let the waters bring forth the generality of interpreters abundantly the moving creature renders the Hebrew word by that hath life, and fowl that may reptile. To this Dr. Bentley obAly above ihe earth in the open jects that creeping things were firmament of heaven. And God created on the sixth day, accreated great whales, and every cording to the account given us living creature that moveth, which by Moses and by Milton himthe waters brought forth abun- self. But by reptile or creeping dantly, after their kind, and everything here Milton means all such winged fowl after his kind : and creatures as move in the waters, God saw that it was good. And (see Le Clerc's note on Gen. i. God blessed them, saying, Be 20.) and by creeping thing menfruitful and multiply, and fill the tioned in the sixth day's creation waters in the seas, and let fowl he means creeping things of the multiply in the earth. This is earth; for so both in Milton's the general account of the fifth account, ver. 452. and in Gen. i. day's creation, and the poet 24. the words of the earth are to afterwards branches it out into be joined in construction to the several particulars.
creeping thing. Hence the ob388. Reptile with spawn abun- jection is answered by saying dant, living soul :] By reptile is that they were not the same meant creeping thing; and ac- creeping things which Milton cording to the marginal reading mentions in the two places. of our English version, Gen. i. Pearce.
Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas
400. With fry innumerable fish, of the Saxon sceole, an asswarm, &c.] One would won sembly. Hume. der how the poet could be so Shoals in sculls seems an odd concise in his description of the expression; would not shoals six days' works, as to compre- and sculls be better? hend them within the bounds 404. -and through groves of an episode, and at the same Of coral stray,] time so particular, as to give us Coral is a production of the sea. a lively idea of them. This is The learned Kircher supposes still more remarkable in his ac. entire forests of it to grow at the count of the fifth and sixth days, bottoin of the sea, which may in which he has drawn out to justify our author's expression our view the whole animal cre- of groves of coral. The ancients ation from the reptile to the believed that it was soft under behemoth. As the lion and the the water and hardened in the leviathan are two of the noblest air. Ovid has expressed this productions in the world of liv- notion very prettily in Met. iv. ing creatures, the reader will 750. find a most exquisite spirit of
Nunc quoque curaliis eadem natura poetry in the account which our
remansit, author gives us of them. The Duritiem tacto capiant ut ab aëre; sixth day concludes with the quodque formation of man, upon which
Vimen in æquore erat, fiat super
æquora saxum. the angel takes occasion, as he did after the battle in heaven,
The pliant sprays of coral yet de
clare to remind Adam of his obedi.
Their stiftning nature, when exence, which was the principal pos'd to air. design of this his visit. Addison. Those sprays, which did like bend402. -in sculls that oft
ing osiers move, Bank the mid sea :)
Snatch'd from their element, ob
durate prove, Shoals of fish so vast, that they And shrubs beneath the waves, appear like mighty banks in the
grow stones above. midst of the sea. Sculls and
Eusden. shoals are vast multitudes of 404. Coral is in reality pro
Of coral stray, or sporting with quick glance
duced by marine insects, and is tergo delphina recurvo. Fast. ii. equally hard, in the water, and 113. and his sportive nature is when taken out of it. See par. alluded to by Virgil, Æn. v. 594. ticularly the curious account of coral-reefs, in Captain Flinders's
Delphinum similes ; qui per maria
humida nando Voyage to Terra Australis, or
Carpathium Libycumque secant, lu• the Quarterly Review, vol. xii.
duntque per undas. art. 1. E.
409. In jointed armour] The And how smooth is the verse reader cannot but be pleased that describes the seal and dolwith the beauty of this meta- phin sporting upon the smooth phor. The shells of lobsters, water ! &c. and armour very much re
-on smooth the seal semble one another; and in the
And bended dolphins play: civil wars there was a regiment of horse so completely armed, as in the rough measures followthat they were called Sir Arthur ing one almost sees porpoises Haslerig's lobsters. Possibly and other unwieldy creatures Milton might be thinking of tumbling about in the ocean. them at this very time.
412. Tempest the ocean : ] Mil409. —on smooth the seal, ton has here with very great art
And bended dolphins play:] and propriety adopted the Italian The seal or sea-calf and the dol- verb tempestare. Thyer. phin are observed to sport on 412. —there leviathan,] The smooth seas in calm weather. best critics and commentators The dolphin is called bended, not upon Job by the leviathan unthat he really is so more than derstand the crocodile, and Milany other fish, but only appears ton in several particulars decrooked, as he forms an arch scribes the leviathan like the by leaping out of the water author of the book of Job, and and instantly dropping into it yet by others it seems as if he again with his head foremost. meant the whale. See the note Ovid therefore describes him upon book i. 200.
Stretch'd like a promontory sleeps or swims
416. -and at his trunk spouts of birds seemed as when a cloud oul a sea.]
passes over it. Richardson. --Et acceptum patulis mare naribus 423. --there the eagle and the efflant. Ovid. Met. iji. 686.
stork 421. They summ'd their pens,]
On cliffs and cedar tops their Pens from penna
eyries build :) Summed is a term in falconry; a
These birds build their eyries, hawk is said to be full summed, that is, their nests, in such high when his feathers are grown to places. In Job xxxix. 27, 28. their full strength. So Par. Reg. it is said particularly of the eagle, i. 14.
Doth the eagle mount up at thy
command, and make her nest on With prosp'rous wing full summ'd.
high? She dwelleth and abideth
on the rock, upon the crag of the 422. With clang despis'd the rock, and the strong place. And
ground, under a cloud. Pliny says of them, Nidificant In prospect ;]
in petris et arboribus. L. X. That is, the birds were sect. 4. many, that the ground, from 426. -rang'd in figure wedge whence they rose, would have their way,] Pliny has described appeared to be under a cloud, if certain birds of passage, flying one had seen it at a distance: in the form of a wedge, and in this sense we have ver. 555. spreading wider and wider. how it (the world) showed in Those behind rest upon those prospect from his throne. Pearce. before, till the leaders being
Under a cloud, the ground tired are in their turn received being shaded by the multitude into the rear. A tergo sensim
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
« ton says,
dilatante se cuneo porrigitur " column like an I, or in two agmen, largèque impellenti præ- "lines united in a point like a betur auræ. Colla imponunt “ V reversed." And so as Milpræcedentibus: fessos duces ad terga recipiunt. Nat. Hist. 1. x. sect. 32. But as this migration
" -rang'd in figure wedge their way. of birds is one of the most won- “ The duck or quail, who forms derful instincts of nature, it may “ the point, cuts the air, and be proper to add some better “ facilitates a passage to those authorities to explain and jus- “who follow; but he is charged tify our author than Pliny. Jer. “ with this commission only for viii. 7. takes notice of this re- a certain time, at the conclumarkable instinct; Yea the stork " sion of which he wheels into in the heaven knoweth her ap- “ the rear, and another takes pointed times, and the turtle, and “his post." And thus as Milthe crane, and the swallow, ob- ton says, serve the time of their coming,
--with mutual wing &c. So very intelligent are they
Easing their flights. of seasons. And as Milton in. stances in the crane particularly, 435. - nor then the solemn we will quote what the inge- nightingale &c.] If the reader nious author of Spectacle de la has not taken particular notice Nature says upon this occasion. of it, he will be surprised as well Dial. xi. “ As to wild ducks as pleased to see in how many " and cranes, both the one and passages and with what admi. “ the other at the approach of ration Milton speaks of this “ winter fly in quest of more charming songster. He com“ favourable climates. They all pares his own making verses “ assemble at a certain day like in his blindness to the nightin“ swallows and quails. They gale's singing in the dark. iii. 87. “ decamp at the same time, and
Then feed on thoughts, that volun“ it is very agreeable to observe
tary move “ their Alight. They generally Harmonious numbers; as the wake, range themselves in a long ful bird