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A world who would not purchase with a bruise,
Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th' account
Of my performance : what remains, ye Gods,
But up and enter now into full bliss ?

So having said, a while he stood, expecting
Their universal shout and high applause
To fill his ear, when contrary he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues
A dismal universal hiss, the sound
Of public scorn; he wonder'd, but not long
Had leisure, wond’ring at himself now more ;
His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
His arms clung to his ribs, his legs intwining
Each other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous serpent on his belly prone,

510

513. -lill supplanted down he describing Satan's transformation fell] We may observe here a into a serpent, had no doubt in singular beauty and elegance in mind the transformation of CadMilton's language, and that is mus in the fourth book of the his using words in their strict Metamorphosis, to which he had and literal sense, which are com- alluded before in book ix. 905. monly applied to a metaphorical And as several particulars are meaning, whereby he gives pe- alike in both, it may be agreeculiar force to his expressions, able to the reader to compare and the literal meaning appears both together. Ovid. Met. iv. more new and striking than the 575, &c. metaphor itself. We have an

Dixit, et ut serpens in longam teninstance of this in the word sup ditur alvum ; planted, which is derived from In pectusque cadit pronus ; commisthe Latin supplanto, to trip up

saque in unum one's heels or overthrow, a planta

Paulatim tereti sinuantur acumine pedis subtus emota : and there

Ille quidem vult plura loqui; sed are abundance of other examples lingua repente in several parts of this work, but In partes est sissa duas : nec verba let it suffice to have taken notice

volenti of it here once for all.

Sufficiunt; quotiesque aliquos parat

edere questus, 514. A monstrous serpent on Sibilat; hanc illi vocem Natura re. his belly prone,] Our author, in linquit. VOL. II.

Q

crura

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Reluctant, but in vain, a greater power
Now ruld him, punish'd' in the shape he sinn'd
According to his doom: he would have spoke,
But hiss for hiss return'd with forked tongue
To forked tongue, for now were all transform’d
Alike, to serpents all as accessories
To his bold riot: dreadful was the din
Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now
With complicated monsters head and tail,
Scorpion, and Asp, and Amphisbæna dire,
Cerastes horn’d, Hydrus, and Elops drear,
And Dipsas (not so thick swarm’d once the soil

525

524. -Amphisbæna dire, mentioned by Milton except the &c.] Amphisbæna said to have Elops. But what is the Elops ? a head at both ends, so named of. Dr. Bentley says that the editor au Qi and Boerew, because it went has here discovered himself to be forward either way. Cerastes an ignorant fellow, the Elops horned, of xigas a horn. Hydrus, being no serpent but a fish, and the water-snake, of údwe water. one of the most admired too, Elops drear, a dumb serpent that the Acipenser. But Pliny (from gives no notice by hissing to whom the Doctor learned this) avoid him, drear sad, dreadful. only says of the Acipenser, that Dipsas of defc thirst, because some people call it Elops ; quithose it stung were tormented dam eum Elopem vocant, ix. 17. with unquenchable thirst. Hume But might there not have been and Richardson.

a serpent of that name too? These and several verses which That there was, we have Pliny's follow Dr. Bentley throws quite own testimony in xxxii. 5. where away. He dislikes Milton's, he tells us of the remedies to be reckoning Scorpion, and Asp, used by those who were bit by among the serpents, and thinks the Elops and other serpents, a them rather insects : but Pliny Chalcide, Ceraste, aut quas Sepas viii. 23. numbers the Asp among vocant, aut Elope, Dipsadeve the serpents; (and Nicander in percussis. Nicander too, in his his Theriac, gives both the Scor- Theriac. mentions the Elops, T85 pion and Asp that title:) so does Edoras, sobvarts &c. Pearce. Lucan, from whom our poet

526.

-the soil seems to have taken his cata Bedropt with blood of Gorgon,] logue of serpents; for in book Lybia, which therefore abounded ix. of his Pharsalia, he gives us so with serpents, as Ovid says, the names of all these serpents Met. iv. 616.

Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the isle
Ophiusa) but still greatest he the midst,
Now Dragon grown, larger than whom the sun

rears,

Cumque super Libycas victor pen Where'er sublime in air the victor deret arenas,

fiew, Gorgonei capitis guttæ cecidere cru. The monster's head distilled a entæ ;

deadly dew; Quas humus exceplas varios ani. The earth receiv'd the seed, and mavit in angues;

pregnant grew. Unde frequens illa est infestaque Still as the putrid gore dropt on the terra colubris,

sand, The victor Perseus with the Gorgon

'Twas temper'd up by Nature's head,

forming hand; O'er Libyan sands his airy journey

The glowing climate makes the

work complete sped.

And broods upon the mass,

and The gory drops distill'd, as swift he

lends it genial heat. flew, And from each drop envenom'd ser.

First of those plagues the drowsy

Asp appear'd, pents grew.

Then first her crest, and swelling The mischiefs brooded on the barren

neck she rear'dplains,

The Swimmer there the crystal And still th' unhappy fruitfulness remains. Eusden.

stream pollutes;

and there the Dipsas burns ; And Lucan gives the same ac

The Amphisbæna doubly arm'd apcount Phar. ix. 696. and there pears, mentions most of the serpents,

At either end a threat'ning head she

Rowe. which are here mentioned by Milton.

528. Ophiusa] A small island Illa tamen sterilis tellus, fecundaque in the Mediterranean, so called nulli

by the Greeks, and by the Arva bono, virus stillantis tabe Latins Colubraria; the inhabit

Medusa
Concipiunt, dirosque fero de san.

ants quitted it for fear of being guine rores,

devoured by serpents. Hume Quos calor adjuvit, putrique incoxit and Richardson.

529. Now Dragon grown,] Hic quæ prima caput movit de In the same place, where Lucan

pulvere tabes, Aspida somniferam tumida cervice gives an account of the various levavit:

serpents of Libya, he describes -spinaque vagi torquente Cee the Dragon as the greatest and rasta:

most terrible of them all: and -et torrida Dipsas : Et gravis in geminum surgens caput the rest, very rightly attributes

our author, who copies him in Amphisbæna: Et Natrix violator aquæ.

this form to Satan, and espeYet could this soil accurs'd, this cially since he is called in Scripbarren field,

ture the great Dragon, Rev. xii. Increase of death, and pois’nous 9. He may well be said to be harvests yield.

larger than the fabulous Python,

arenæ.

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Ingender'd in the Pythian vale on slime,
Huge Python, and his pow'r no less he seem'd
Above the rest still to retain ; they all
Him follow'd issuing forth to th' open field,
Where all yet left of that revolted rout
Heav'n-fall'n, in station stood or just array,
Sublime with expectation when to see
In triumph issuing forth their glorious chief;
They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd
Of ugly serpents ; horror on them fell,
And horrid sympathy; for what they saw,
They felt themselves now changing ; down their arms,
Down fell both spear and shield, down they as fast,
And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form
Catch'd by contagion, like in punishment,
As in their crime. Thus was th' applause they meant,
Turn’d to exploding hiss, triumph to shame 546
Cast on themselves from their own mouths. There stood

grove hard by, sprung up with this their change, His will who reigns above, to aggravate Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that

510

A

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that was ingendered of the slime So monstrous was his bulk, so large after the Deucalion deluge in

a space

Did his vast body and long train the Pythian vale, near Pythia, a

embrace.

Dryden. city of Greece. See the description of this monster, Ovid's 550. Their penance, laden with Metamorphosis, i. 438.

fair fruit, like thal] This is -Te quoque, maxime Python,

the verse in the first edition; in Tum genuit: populisque novis, in. the second fair was by mistake cognite serpens,

omitted, which left the verse Terror eras: tantum sptaii de monte imperfect. tenebas.

Nr. Fenton has patience in bis - And then she brought to light edition instead of

penance.

We Thee Python too, the wond'ring

have' continued Milton's own world to fright, And the new nations with so dire

reading a sight.

5.55

Which

grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve
Us’d by the Tempter ; on that prospect strange
Their earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining
For one forbidden tree a multitude
Now ris'n, to work them further woe or shame;
Yet parch'd with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
But on they rolld in heaps, and up the trees
Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks
That curld Megæra: greedily they pluck'd 560
The fruitage fair to sight, like that which

grew
Near that bituminous lake where Sodom flam’d;
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceiv'd; they fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit

565
Chew'd bitter ashes, which th' offended taste
With spattering noise rejected : oft they' assay’d,
Hunger and thirst constraining, drug'd as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish writh'd their jaws

She was

560. That curld Megæra :] rising out of the ashes, which

one of the Furies, at the first touch dissolved into whose hair was serpents, as

ashes and smoke. B. iv. of the Medusa's;

Wars of the Jews, c. 8. But -crinita draconibus ora.

this fair fruitage was more deOv. Met. iv. 771. ceitful than Sodom's cheating

Richardson. apples, which only deceived the 562. Near that bituminous lake touch, by dissolving into ashes; where Sodom flam'd;! The lake but this endured the handling, Asphaltites, near which Sodom the more to vex and disappiont and Gomorrah were situated their taste. Hume. Josephus affirms, the shapes and 568. -drug'd] Tormented fashions of them and three other with the hateful taste usually cities, called the cities of the found in drugs. Richardson. plain, were to be seen in his 569. With hatefullest disrelish days, and trees laden with fair writh'd their jaws] Virg. Georg. fruit (styled the apples of Sodov) ij. 246.

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