« AnteriorContinuar »
Days months and years, towards his all-chearing lamp
Compar'd X. 675, the north being uppermost thing from the penetration before in our globes,
mention'd, and which might have hic vertex nobis femper fub- be
femper fub been visible, though the other was
not so. But the Doctor says that limis : Virg. Georg. 1. 242. invisible spoils the measure of the or whether it was by center, or ec- verlę. Milton seems to have thought centric, towards the center, or from this no blemish to his poem, for he the center, it not being determin'd frequently in the beginning of a whether the sun is the center of verse chooses this artificial neglithe world or not; or whether it gence of measure ; So in II. 302, was by longitude, that is in length, 880. III. 358. XI. 79, 377. There caft or weit, as appears from IV. is no need therefore of reading 539. and VII. 373.
with Dr. Bentley Shaots vital viro 580. — in numbers] That is in tue, &c.
Pearce. measures. Richardson.
The number of syllables in this 586. Shoots invisible virtue eu'n verse seems not ill contriv'd to ex
to the deep; ] Dr. Bentley press the depth to which the sun's says invisible makes mere tautology beams penetrated. with though unseen; but I think 590. Through his glaz'd optic tube] got ; the words shough unseen relate The spots in the sun are visible to penetration, and invisible is the with a telescope: but astronomer epithet to virtue, which is a difinct perhaps never yet saw through bis
Compard with ought on carth, metal or stone;
glaz'd optic tube, that is his tele- thing to Satan who was come Scope, such a spot as Satan now he from the hotter region of Hell; was in the sun's orb. The poet and therefore Milton judicioufly mentions this glass the oftner in ho- omits it, and inlarges upon the nor of Galileo, whom he means riches of the place, the gold and here by the astronomer.
filver and precious stones which 592. metal or stone ;) In the abounded therein, and by these first editions it is medal or Alone, and means exhibits a pleafing picture Mr. Richardson justifies it, as the re- instead of a disagreeable one. petition of the same word immediately after is avoided : but for that 597, — to the twelve that bene very reason it appears that this is &c.] A friend of Dr. Pearce's oban error of the press, and that it serving that carbuncle and topaz ought to be read metal or pone, as were two of the twelve Atones both metal and stone are repeated placed in Aaron's breast-plate, thinks afterwards; ver. 595. If metal, so that Milton wrote and so; and ver. 596. If stone, Ruby or topaz, sowe orb' twelve fo and so.
that shone, &C. 593. Not all parts like, &c.] Ovid has given us a description of o'tl' for of the is not unfrequent in the palace of the fun, but few have Milton : in XI. 432. we read ith described the sun himself: and I midt, and in the Mask Queen o'tb know not whether our author has wood. But it is not very likely shown more fancy or more judg- that the poet should say two oth ment in the description. An or- twelve, and not intend the two laft dinary poet would in all probabi- mention'd of the four, but the firft lity have infifted chiefly upon its and the last. And there is very excessive heat; but that was no- good reason to think that not two
That stone, or like to that which here below 600
Potable only, but four of the twelve stones 602. -- thougly by their pow'rful in Aaron's breastplate are here art they bind &c.] Tho' by mention'd. For what we translate their pow'rful art they bind and fix the fardius, Exod. XXVIII. 17. quicksilver, and change their mat. is render'd in the margin of our ter, unbound, unfix'd, into as many Bibles the ruby: and what we various shapes as Proteus, till it be call the beryl, Exod. XXVIII. 20. reduced at last to its first original the Seventy, the Vulgate, and form. Hermes, another word for most of the verfions, and Josephus, Mercury or quicksilver, which is and many others take for a chryfo- very fluid, and volatil, and hard lite. This alteration therefore of to be fixed. Proteus, a Sea-God, Dr. Pearce's friend cannot be ad. who could transform himself into mitted, and Mr. Fenton's reading various shapes, till being closely is much worse, or the twelve, which press'd he return'd to his own cannot be said after some of the proper form. By this the Ancients twelve have been already men- understood the first principle of tion'd. The paffage may be un. things and the subject matter of derstood thus without any altera- nature; and our poet therefore tion, Ruby or topaz to the twelve, very fitly employs this metaphor that is, and all the rest reckoning to or similitude to express the matter, the twelve, that shone in Aaron's which the chemists make experi. breaft-plate. The poet had parti. ments upon thro' all its mutations, 'cularly mention'd some of the ftones and which they drain thro' their in Aaron's breast-plate, and now limbecs or stills, till it resume its he includes all the rest to the number native and original form. twelve. Such a concise manner 606. What wonder then &c.] of speaking is not unusual with And if chemists can do fo much, our author,
what wonder then if in the sun it.
Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch
Shadow self is the true philosopher's stone, and two others which follow in the grand Elixir, and rivers of li- the next page : but is. it likely quid gold; when the sun, the chief that the same mistake should creep of chemists, cho' at so great a into three different places? Is it distance, can perform such won- not more probable that Milton ders upon earth, and produce so speaking of the sun said bere, bemany precious things ? The thought cause he was then describing it, of making the sun the chief che. and exprelling its nature! This is mist or alchemist seems to be ta- poetical and common with Milton, ken fram Shakespear, King John, as may be seen in many instances. A& III.
See my note on II. 362. where I To solemnize this day, the gł
show that Milton frequently uses rious sun
the word bere, not meaning there. Stays in his course, and plays the by a place prelent to him when alchemist,
" he is speaking, but that place only · Turning with splendor of his pre- which he is then speaking of. cious eye
Pearu, The meager cloddy earth to glit
616. - as when bis beams at nog tering gold.
Culminate from th' equator, as tbey
now 606. ~ and regions here] Dr. Shot upward fill dirett, ] The Bentley reads there in this place firft es is used by way of fimilitude,
Shadow from body' opaque can fall; and th'air,
in the sense of like as ; There was hinder his lovely locks, that húng no fhadow but all sun-fhine, like behind over his shoulders adorn' as when bis beams at noon culminate with wings, from waving themfrom th' equator, that is are vertical felves into curls and rings. Tiar and shoot directly from the equa- of Tiara, the Persian word for a tor, which is the reason why those round cap, high and ending in a who live under the equator, under point, the usual covering and ornathe line, are called Ascii, and at ment the eastern princes wore on poon caft no shadows. The other their heads. Hume. as is used by way of reason, in the 627, - fledge with wings] We sense of for as much as; There was now commonly say fledg’d, but our no shadow but all sun-shine, for author uses fledge again in VII: as much as his beams foot now di. 420. but feather'd soon and fledge &c, reatly upward.
He prefers it doubtless as of a softer
found ; and there are several such 623. The fame whom John faw
words that want mollifying in our also in the fun:] And I saw
W language. an Angel standing in the sun. Rev. XIX. 17.
628. — employd] Milton con
stantly spells this word imploy'd, but 625._ a golden tiar] A gol. the French word from whence it den coronet of Thining rays circled is deriv'd is employer. his head, yet nevertheless did not