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390

Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can,
And Samarchand by Oxus, Temir's throne,
To Paquin of Sinæan kings, and thence
To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul
Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since
In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar
In Moscow, or the Sultan in Bizance,

395

on the sea coast, Mombaza, and side of the globe, rich Mexico Quilon, and Melind, all near the in North America the seat of line in Zanguebar, a great re- Montezume, who was subdued gion of the lower Ethiopia, on by the Spanish general Cortes, the eastern or Indian sea, and and Cusco in Peru in South subject to the Portuguese, and America, the richer seat of AtoSofala thought Ophir, another balipa, the last emperor, subkingdom and city on the same dued by the Spanish general sea, mistaken by Purchas and Pizarro, and yet unspoiled Guiothers for Ophir, whence So- ana, another country of South lomon brought gold, to the realm America not then invaded and of Congo, a kingdom in the spoiled, whose great city, namely, lower Ethiopia on the western Manhoa, Geryon's sons, the Spashore, as the others were on niards from Geryon, an ancient the eastern, and Angola farthest king of Spain, call El Dorado or south, another kingdom south of the golden city, on account of Congo; Or thence from Niger its richness and extent. And flood, the river Niger that di- thus he surveys the four difvides Negroland into two parts, ferent parts of the world, but it to Allas mount, in the most must be confessed, more with western parts of Africa, the an ostentation of learning, than kingdoms of Almansor, the coun- with any additional beauty to tries over which Almansor was the poem. But Mr. Thyer is of king, namely, Fez, and Sus, opinion, that such little sallies Morocco, und Algiers, and Tre- of the muse agreeably enough misen, all kingdoms in Barbary. diversify the scene, and observes After Africa he comes to Eu- that Tasso, whose Godfrey is rope, On Europe thence, and no very imperfect model of a where Rome was to sway the regular epic poem, has in his world: the less is said of Eu- fifteenth Canto employed thirty rope as it is so well known. In

or forty stanzas together in a spirit perhaps he also saw, he description of this sort, which could not see it otherwise, as had

no necessary connection America was on the opposite with his general plan.

eye not ken

400

Turchestan-born ; nor could his
Th’empire of Negus to his utmost port
Ercoco, and the less maritime kings
Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
And Sofala thought Ophir, to the realm
Of Congo, and Angola farthest south ;
Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas mount
The kingdoms of Almansor, Fez and Sus,
Marocco and Algiers, and Tremisen ;
On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway 405
The world : in spi'rit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico the seat of Montezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil'd
Guiana, whose great city Geryon' sons
Call El Dorado: but to nobler sights

410

Αχλον δ' αν τοι απ' οφθαλμων ελ», και

revenner, ΟΦρ' υ γινωσκης ημεν θεον, ηδε και ανδρα.

Yet more, from mortal mists I purge

thy eyes, And set to view the warring deities.

Pope.

And as Venus did likewise from those of Æneas, Æn. ii. 604.

409. -and yet unspoild

Guiana.] I suppose Milton alluded to the many frustrated voyages, which had been made in search of this golden country. This was the famous place that Sir Walter Raleigh was to have brought such treasures from. Thyer.

411..--but to nobler sights Michael from Adam's eyes the

film remov'd, ] These which follow are nobler sights, being not only of cities and kingdoms, but of the principal actions of men to the final consummation of things. And to prepare Adam for these sights the angel removed the film from his eyes, as Pallas removed the mists from Diomedes' eyes, Iliad. v. 127.

Aspice, namque omnem, quæ nunc

obducta tuenti Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et hu

mida circum Caligat, nubem eripiam.

Now cast your eyes around; while

I dissolve The mists and films tbat mortal eyes

involve, Purge from your sight the dross, and

make you see The shape of each avenging deity.

Dryden. grace. Shakespeare, Richard IŤ. And for a little space right well sustain

415

Michael from Adam's eyes the film remov'd,
Which that false fruit that promis'd clearer sight
Had bred; then purg'd with euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see ;
And from the well of life three drops instilld.
So deep the pow'r of these ingredients pierc’d,
E’en to th' inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam now enforc'd to close his

eyes,
Sunk down, and all his spirits become intranc'd ;
But him the gentle Angel by the hand
Soon rais’d, and his attention thus recall’d.

Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold

420

menso

And as the same angel (Mi. These passages the poet has imichael) did also from those of tated and improved ; as in what Godfrey, Tasso, cant. xviii. st. 93. follows of Adam's sinking down Drizza pur gli occhi à riguardar l'im. overpowered, and then being

raised again by the hand gently Essercito immortal, ch'è in aria ac. by the angel, he has copied from colto:

Daniel, x. 8, &c. I saw this great Ch' io dinanzi torrotti il nuuol denso vision, and there remained no Di vostra humanità, ch' intorno au. uolto

strength in me~I was in u deep Adombrando t appanna il mortal sleep on my face, and my face senso,

toward the ground. And behold Si che vedrai gli ignudi spirti in a hand touched me, which set me volto:

upon my knees : or from Rev. i. E sostener per breue spalio i rai De l'angelichc forme anco potrai.

17. And when I saw him, I fell

at his feet as dead; and he laid Lift up thine eyes, and in the air

his right hand upon me, saying behold The sacred armies, how they mus.

unto me, Fear not. t'red be,

414. -purg'd with enphrasy That cloud of lesh in which for times and rue] Cleared the organs of of old

his sight with rue and euphrasy All mankind wrapped is, I take from thee,

or eye-bright, so named of its And from thy senses their thick mist clearing virtue.

Hume. unfold,

Rue was used in exorcisms, That face to face thou may'st these and is therefore called herb of spirits see,

act iii. sc. 7. See too Hamlet, Their glorious light, and view thuse act iv. sc. 7.

angels plain. Fuirfur.

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Th’ effects which thy original crime hath wrought
In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd
Th’excepted tree, nor with the snake conspir'd,
Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive
Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.
His
eyes

he open'd, and beheld a field,
Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves
New reap'd, the other part sheep-walks and folds ;
I'th' midst an altar as the land-mark stood,
Rustic, of grassy sord; thither anon
A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought

430

427. Nor sinn'd thy sin,] So commonly pronounced in greenin Exod. xxxii. 30. Ye have sord and sord of bacon, which sinned a great sin. 1 John v. 16. may justify Milton in spelling it If any man see his brother sin a sord. Some think it is missin. And the same manner of printed for sod, turf, of the Belspeaking has prevailed among gic sode, Italian terra soda of the best classic authors as well solidum or solum: and Mr. Fenas in Scripture. Yet from that ton has caused it to be printed sin derive. The word sin is by sod, as Dr. Bentley has very

afmistake omitted in Milton's se- fectedly swers. cond edition, by which the verse 434. A sweaty reaper from his becomes lame and defective. tillage brought &c.] It may be

429. His eyes he open'd, and proper to compare this account beheld a field, &c.] In this great with the sacred history, to which review which Adam takes of all it alludes, Gen. iv. 2, &c. And bis sons and daughters, the first Abel was a keeper of sheep, but objects he is presented with ex- Cain was a tiller of the ground. hibit to him the story of Cain And in process of time it came to and Abel, which is drawn toge- pass, that Cain brought of the ther with much closeness and fruit of the ground an offering propriety of expression. That unto the Lord. And Abel, he curiosity and natural horror, also brought of the firstlings of his which arises in Adam at the flock, and of the fat thereof. The sight of the first dying man, is poet adds, that Cain took the touched with great beauty. Ad- fruits unculled, as came to hand, dison.

whereas Abel selected the choicest 433. -of grassy sord;] That and best of his flock; and in this is, of turf. The proper word some interpreters have conseems to be swerd, but to be cor- ceived the guilt of Cain to conrupted into sword or sord as it is sist. The poet too makes them

435

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First fruits, the green ear, and the yellow sheaf,
Uncull'd, as came to hand; a shepherd next
More meek came with the firstlings of his flock
Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid
The inwards and their fat, with incense strow'd,
On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform’d
His offering soon propitious fire from heaven
Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steam ;
The other's not, for his was not sincere ;
Whereat he inly rag'd, and as they talk',
Smote him into the midriff with a stone
That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
Groan' out his soul with gushing blood effus’d.
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart

445

offer both upon the same altar, talked with Abel his brother : and for the word brought in Scrip- il came to pass, when they were in ture (which Milton likewise re- the field, that Cain rose up against tains) is understood of their Abel his brother, and slew him. bringing their offerings to some The poet makes Cain to smite common place of worship: and him into the midriff or diaphragm, this altar he makes of turf, of a nervous muscle separating the grassy sord, as the first altars are

breast from the belly, with a stone, represented to be, and describes supposing it the most natural the sacrifice somewhat in the and the most ready instrument manner of Homer. The Scrip- at hand; and so Cowley, David ture says only, that the Lord had i. and in his note 16: but howrespect unto Abel, and to his offer- ever he makes his blood to be ing; but unto Cain and to his spilled, as the Scripture partioffering he had not respect : the cularly mentions the blood of poet makes this respect unto Abel. Abel's offering to be a fire from

Groan'd out his soul with gushing heaven consuming it; and herein

blood effus'd. he is justified by the authority of the best commentators Jewish

Undantique animam diffundit in and Christian; and there are

Virg. Æn, x. 908. several instances of such accept- This is very properly made the ance in Scripture. Cain's was first vision, and is so much ennot so accepted, for (says the larged upon, as it is of Adam's poet) his was not sincere. And immediate descendants. Cain was very wroth And Cain

arma cruore.

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