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Eat freely with glad heart ; fear here no dearth :
But of the tree whose operation brings
Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set
The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith,
Amid the garden by the tree of life,
Remember what I warn thee, shun to taste,
And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
The day thou eat’st thereof, my sole command
Transgress’d, inevitably thou shalt die,
From that day mortal, and this happy state
Shalt lose, expell’d from hence into a world
Of woe and sorrow. Sternly he pronounc'd
The rigid interdiction, which resounds
Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice
Not to incur ; but soon his clear aspect
Return'd, and gracious purpose thus renew'd.
Not only these fair bounds, but all the earth
To thee and to thy race I give; as lords
Possess it, and all things that therein live,
Or live in sea, or air, beast, fish, and fowl.
In sign whereof each bird and beast behold

335

340

323. But of the tree &c.] This from that day thou shalt become being the great hinge on which mortal, as our poet immediately the whole poem turns, Milton afterwards explains it. has marked it strongly. But of 335. Yet dreadful in mine ear,] the tree- Remember what I warn The impression, which the inthee~he dwell expatiates upon terdiction of the tree of life left it from ver. 323 to 336, repeats in the mind of our first parent, ing, enforcing, fixing every is described with great strength word; it is all nerve and ener and judgment; as the image of gy. Richardson.

the several beasts and birds 330. -inevitably thou shalt passing in review before him is die,] In the day that thou eatest very beautiful and lively. Adthereof thou shalt surely die, as it dison. is expressed Gen. ii. 17. that is,

345

After their kinds; I bring them to receive
From thee their names, and pay thee feälty
With low subjection ; understand the same
Of fish within their wat’ry residence,
Not hither summon’d, since they cannot change
Their element to draw the thinner air.
As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold
Approaching two and two, these cow'ring low
With blandishment, each bird stoop'd on his wing.
I nam’d them, as they pass’d, and understood
Their nature, with such knowledge God indued
My sudden apprehension : but in these
I found not what methought I wanted still ;
And to the heav'nly vision thus presum'd.

O by what name, for thou above all these,

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355

353. —with such knowledge gave names to all cattle, and to God indued &c.] Wonderful the fowl of the air, and to every was the knowledge God be- beast of the field : but for Adam stowed on Adam, nor that part there was not found an help meet of it least, which concerned the for him. And from this short naming things aright; as Cicero account our author has raised agrees with Pythagoras; Qui what a noble episode! and what primus, quod summæ sapientiæ a divine dialogue from the latter Pythagore visum est, omnibus part only! rebus nomina imposuit. Tusc. 357. O by what name, &c.] Disp. lib. i. sect. 25. Hume. · Adam in the next place describes 354. -but in these

a conference which he held with I found not what methought I his Maker upon the subject of wanted still ;]

solitude. The poet here repreThe account given by Moses is sents the Supreine Being, as very short here, as in all the making an essay of his own rest. Gen. ji. 19, 20. And out of work, and putting to the trial the ground the Lord God formed that reasoning faculty, with every beast of the field, and every which he had indued his creafowl of the air, and brought them ture. Adam urges in this divine unto Adam to see what he would colloquy the impossibility of his call them : and whatsoever Adam being happy, though he was the called every living creature, that inhabitant of Paradise, and lord was the name thereof. And Adam of the whole creation, without VOL. II.

G

360

Above mankind, or ought than mankind higher,
Surpassest far my naming, how may I
Adore thee, Author of this universe,
And all this good to inan? for whose well being
So amply, and with hands so liberal
Thou hast provided all things : but with me
I see not who partakes. In solitude
What happiness, who can enjoy alone,
Or all enjoying, what contentment find?
Thus I presumptuous ; and the vision bright,
As with a smile more brighten'd, thus replied.

What call'st thou solitude? is not the earth
With various living creatures, and the air
Replenish'd, and all these at thy command
To come and play before thee? know'st thou not

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570

the conversation and society of gical supposition, that God gave some rational creature, who man the inspired knowledge of should partake those blessings the natures of his fellow-creawith him. This dialogue, which tures before the nature of his is supported chiefly by the beauty Creator; yet this our poet supof the thoughts, without other poses. What seems to have poetical ornaments, is as fine a misled him was, that in the orpart as any in the whole poem. dinary way of acquiring knowThe more the reader examines ledge we rise from the creature the justness and delicacy of its to the Creator. Warburton. sentiments, the more he will 372. -knoni'st thou not find himself pleased with it. Their language and their The poet has wonderfully pre

ways ?] served the character of majesty That brutes have a kind of lanand condescension in the Cre- guage among themselves is eviator, and at the same time that dent and undeniable. There is of humility and adoration in the a treatise in French of the lancreature. Addison.

guage of brutes : and our author O by what name,

supposes that Adam understood

this language, and was of knowO quam te meinorem ?

ledge superior to any of his Virg. Æn. i. 327. descendants, and besides was 357. O by &c.] It is an un assisted by inspiration, with such reasonable as well as untheolo- knowledge God indued his sudden

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380

Their language and their ways ? they also know,
And reason not contemptibly; with these
Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large.
So spake the universal Lord, and seem'd
So ord'ring. I with leave of speech implor’d,
And humble deprecation thus replied.

Let not my words offend thee, heav'nly Power,
My Maker, be propitious while I speak.
Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,
And these inferior far beneath me set ?
Among unequals what society
Can sort, what harmony or true delight?
Which must be mutual, in proportion due
Giv'n and receiv'd; but in disparity
The one intense, the other still remiss
Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove
Tedious alike: of fellowship I speak
Such as I seek, fit to participate
All rational delight, wherein the brute
Cannot be human consort; they rejoice
Each with their kind, lion with lioness ;
So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin'd;

385

390

apprehension. He is said by the one intense, man high, wound School divines to have exceeded up, and strained to nobler unSolomon himself in knowledge. derstanding, and of' more lofty

379. Let not my words offend faculty; the other still remiss, thee,] Abraham thus implores the animal let down, and slacker, leave to speak, and makes in- grovelling in more low and mean tercession for Sodom with the perceptions; can never suit tolike humble deprecation, Gen. gether. A musical metaphor, xvii. 30. Oh let not the Lord be from strings, of which the angry, and I will speak.

stretched and highest give a 386. —but in disparity &c.] smart and sharp sound, the But in inequality, such as is slack a Alat and heavy one. between brute and rational; the Hume.

400

Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl 395
So well converse, nor with the ox the ape ;
Worse then can man with beast, and least of all.

Whereto th’ Almighty answer'd not displeas’d.
A nice and subtle happiness I see
Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice
Of thy associates, Adam, and wilt taste
No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary.
What think'st thou then of me, and this my state?
Seem I to thee sufficiently possess'd
Of happiness, or not? who am alone
From all eternity, for none I know

405

verse,

395. Much less can bird with be removed by considering the

beast, or fish with fowl sense of the whole passage, So well converse, nor with the which the Doctor seems not to ox the ape;

have considered aright. The Worse then can man with beast, brute (says Milton, ver. 391.) &c.]

cannot be human consort in ra. Dr. Bentley would have us read tional delight, i. e. cannot conthus,

verse with man in that way: But ox with ape cannot so well con

and then he adds here, Much

less can bird well converse so with Much less can bird with beast, or beast, &c. i. e. less still can one fish with fowl ;

irrational animal converse in Worse then, &c.

this
way

with another irrational But this reading is faulty in the animal; not only if they be of diction; for it names or and ape a different species, as bird and without the article the before beast, fish and fowl are; but them. When Milton speaks of even if they be of the same spegeneral things, as bird, beast, and cies, as the ox and ape are; the fish, he drops the article; but he most widely different creatures always uses it when particular of any which are of the same kinds are mentioned;

and this species. But least of all can grammar requires. Well, but man converse in a rational way what is the fault of the common with any of the beasts or irrareading ? The Doctor says that tional creatures. Is not here a the or is nearer to the ape than very proper gradation ? Pearce. bird is to beast, &c. so that the 406.

none I know disharmony diminishes by the Second to me or like,] order of the phrase, instead of Nec viget quicquam simile aut increasing. This objection will secundum. Hor. Od. i. xii, 18.

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