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A world who would not purchase with a bruise,
So having said, a while he stood, expecting
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.
Reluctant, but in vain, a greater power
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
-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
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.
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
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,
Ingender'd in the Pythian vale on slime,
grove hard by, sprung up with this their change, His will who reigns above, to aggravate Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that
that was ingendered of the slime So monstrous was his bulk, so large after the Deucalion deluge in
Did his vast body and long train the Pythian vale, near Pythia, a
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
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.
grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve
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.