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Who since the morning hour set out from heaven
But this I urge,
115 Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov'd; Not that I so affirm, though so it seem To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth. God to remove his ways from human sense, Plac'd heav'n from earth so far, that earthly sight, 120 If it presume, might err in things too high, And no advantage gain. What if the sun Be centre to the world, and other stars By his attractive virtue and their own Incited, dance about him various rounds ? Their wand’ring course now high, now low, then hid, Progressive, retrogade, or standing still, In six thou seest, and what if sev’nth to these
128. In six thou seest, &c.] ascribe these motions to several In the moon, and the five other spheres crossing and thwarting wandering fires, as they are one another with crooked and called v. 177. Their motions indirect turnings and windings: are evident; and what if the or you must attribute them to earth should be a seventh planet, the earth, and save the sun his and move three different mo- labour and the primum mobile tions though to thee insensible? too, that swift nocturnal and The three different motions which diurnal rhomb. It was observed the Copernicans attribute to the in the note on vii. 619. that earth are the diurnal round her when Milton uses a Greek word, own axis, the annual round the he frequently subjoins the Engsun, and the motion of libration lish of it, as he does here, the as it is called, whereby the earth wheel of day and night. So he so proceeds in her orbit, as that calls the primum mobile: and her axis is constantly parallel to this primum mobile in the anthe axis of the world. Which cient astronomy was an imaelse to several spheres thou must ginary sphere above those of ascribe, &c. You must either the planets and fixed stars; and VOL, II.
The planet earth, so stedfast though she seem,
What if that light
therefore said by our author to 145. —Her spots thou seest be supposed and invisible above As clouds,] all stars. This was conceived It seems by this and by another to be the first mover, and to passage, v. 419. as if our author carry all the lower spheres round thought that the spots in the along with it; by its rapidity moon were clouds and vapours: communicating to them a mo- but the most probable opinion tion whereby they revolved in is, that they are her seas and twenty-four hours. Which needs waters, which reflect only part not thy belief, if earth &c. But of the sun's rays, and absorb the there is no need to believe this, rest. They cannot possibly be if the earth by revolving round clouds and vapours, because on her own axis from west to they are observed to be fixed east in twenty-four hours (tra- and permanent. But (as Dr. velling east) enjoys day in that Pearce observes) Mr. Auzout in half of her globe which is turned the Philosophical Transactions towards the sun, and is covered for the year 1666 thought that with night in the other half he had observed some difference which is turned away from the between the spots of the moon
as they then appeared, and as
As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
they are described to have ap- 155. Only to shine, yet scarce peared long before : and Milton, to contribute] The accent here who wrote this poem about that upon contribúte is the same as time, might approve of Auzout's upon attribute, in ver. 107. observation, though others do
The swiftness of those circles attrinot.
búte: 150. Communicating male and and upon attributed in ver. 12. female light] The suns municate male, and the moons
Wiih glory attributed to the high. female, light. And thus Pliny But now-a-days we generally lay mentions it as a tradition, that the accent differently. the sun is a masculine star, dry- 1:55. In each of these words ing all things: on the contrary, Mr. Todd throws back the acthe moon is a soft and feminine cent on the first syllable. Milstar, dissolving humours: and ton perhaps pronounced many so the balance of nature is pre- words in the foreign manner served, some of the stars binding without any very marked emthe elements, and others loosing phasis on either syllable: and if them. Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. we avoid the modern method of c. 100. Solis ardore siccatur li- placing the accent on the second quor; et hoc esse masculum syllable of contribute, attribute, sidus accepimus, torrens cuncta &c. a greater stress is necessarily sorbensque.-E contrario ferunt laid both on the first syllable, lunæ femineum ac molle sidus, where Mr. Todd would place atque nocturnum solvere humo-' the accent, and upon the third, rem.-Ita pensari naturæ vices, where it is placed by Newton. semperque sufficere, aliis side. E. rum elementa cogentibus, aliis 157. — this habitable,] An ad
jective used substantively: earth
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
is understood ; as in vi. 78. this that supposition. Now he sums terrene. This habitable is pure up the whole, But whether thus Greek, Oixguim, the inhabited, these things, or whether not, whethe earth. Richardson.
ther the one system or the other 158. Light back to them,] I be true, whether heaven move think that Dr. Bentley very or earth, solicit not thyself about justly objects to the word light these matters, fear God and do here: for if the fixed stars con. thy duty. vey only a glimpse of light to 162. his flaming road] our earth, it is too much to say Elegantly applying to the road that she returns back to them what belongs to the sun. So i. light in general, which implies 786. he says the moon wheels her more than a glimpse of it. He pale course. Richardson. therefore would read Nought back 164. — that spinning sleeps to them: but this is not agreeable On her soft axle,] to the philosophy which Milton Metaphors taken from a top, of puts in Raphael's mouth: for it which Virgil makes a whole siis intimated in ver. 140. that our mile, Æn. vii. 378. It is an earth does send out light from objection to the Copernican her; and if so, then some of her system, that if the earth moved light might be returned back to round on her axle in twentythe fixed stars. Suppose we four hours, we should be sensi. should read Like back to them ble of the rapidity and violence &c. i. e. only a glimpse of light, of the motion; and therefore to just as much and no more than obviate this objection it is not she receives. Peurce.
only said that she advances her 159. But whether thus these silent course with inoffensive pace things, or whether not, &c.] The that spinning sleeps on her soft angel is now recapitulating the axle, but it is farther added to whole. He had argued upon explain it still more, while she the supposition of the truth of paces even, and bears thee soft the Ptolemaic system to ver. 122. with the smooth air along : for Then he proposes the Coperni- the air, the atmosphere, moves as can system, and argues upon well as the earth.
And bears thee soft with the smooth air along,
To whom thus Adam, clear'd of doubt, replied.
173. be lowly wise :) Noli altuin sapere. Hume.
193. That which before us lies in daily life,] Shadowed from