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All path of man or beast that pass’d that way:
of adventures, in which the poet Talibus Æneas ardentem et torva has engaged this artificer of fraud. tuentem
Addison. Lenibat di&tis animum, lacrimas177. All path of man or beaft . que ciebat.
" bat pass'd that way:] Satan Lenibat animum, did appeale her is now come to the ascent of the
mind, that is would have appeas'd hill of Paradise, which was so over
her mind, for what he said was grown with thicket and under
i without the desir'd effect. wood, that neither man nor beast
So Eu. could pass that way. That sali'd ripides in Ion. 1326. that way, that would have pass’d Hærs as ws li exlerer side liste that way, a remarkable manner xeraus; of speaking, somewhat like that Have you heard how the kill'd me, in II. 642. So seem'd far off the flythat is. would have kill'd me? ing Fiend, that is (speaking strictly) would have seem'd if any one had 183.- As when a prowling wolf,] been there to have seen him. And A wolf is often the subject of a the like manner of speaking we fimile in Homer and Virgil, but may observe in the belt claffic au- here is consider'd in a new light, thors, as in Virg. Æn. VI. 467, and perhaps never furnish'd out a
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial dóórs,
stronger resemblance ; and the hint 195. The middle tree and ligbeft of this and the additional simile of there that grew,] The tree of a thief seems to have been taken life also in the midst of the garden, from those words of our Saviour Gen. II. 9. In the midft is a He. in St. John's gospel, X. 1. He that brew phrase, expressing not only entereth not by the door into the peep- the local situation of this inlivening fold, but climbetb up fome other way, tree, but denoting its excellency, the fame is a thief and a robber. as being the most confiderable, the
tallest, goodliest, and most lovely 193. — lewd birelings] The tree in that beauteous gardea word lewd was formerly under- planted by God himself: So Scostood in a larger acceptation than tus, Duran, Valefius, &c. whom it is at present, and signified pro- our poet follows, affirming it the fane, impious, wicked, vicious, as highest there that grew. To bim that well as wanton: and in this larger overcometh will I give to eat of the sense it is employ'd by Milton in tree of life, which is in the midt the other places where he uses it, the Paradise of God, Rev. II. %. as well as here; I. 490. -than whom a Spirit morc lewd:
196. Sat like a cormorant;] The
a. thought 'of Satan's transformation and VI. 182.
into a cormorant, and placing him
self on the tree of life, feems raised Yet lewdly dar'it our ministring upon that passage in the Niad, upbraid.
where two deities are described, as
Of that life-giving plant, but only usd .
perching on the top of an oak in use, by using it only for prospect, the shape of vulturs. Addison. when he might have applied it to The poet had compared Satan to nobler purposes. But what use a vultur before, III. 431. and here then would our author have had again he is well likend to a cor. Satan to have made of the tree of morant, which being a very vora- life? Would eating of it have alcious sea-fowl, is a proper emblem ter'd his condition, or have renof this destroyer of mankind. der'd him more immortal than he
196. - yet not true life &c.] was already? What other use then The poet here moralizes, and re- could he have made of it, unless prehends Satan for making no bet- he had taken occasion from thence ter use of the tree of life. He sat to reflect duly on life and immorupon it, but did not thereby re- tality, and thereby had put himself gain true life to himself, but fat in a condition to regain true life devising death to others who were and a happy immortality? If the alive. Neither did he think at all poet had not some such meaning as on the virtues of the tree, but used this, it is not easy to say what is the it only for the convenience of sense of the passage. Mr. Thyer prospect, when it might have been thinks that the well us’d in this used so as to have been a pledge passage relates to our first parents, of immortality. And so he per- and not to Satan : but I conceive yerted the best of things to werft that well ui'd and only us'd must abuse, by fitting upon the tree of both refer to the same person; and life devising death, or to meanest what ill use did our first parents
Of God the garden was, by him in th'east
make of the tree of life? They says Chap. XXXVII. 12.) which did not use it ill before the fall, and Telassar or Talatha was a province after the fall they were not perand a city of the children of Eden, mitted to use or eat of it at all. placed by Ptolomy in Babylonia, 209. Of God the garden was, by upon the common stream of Tihim in th' east
gris and Euphrates. See Sir Ifaac Of Eden planted] So the sacred Newton's Chronol. p. 275. So that text, Gen. II. 8. And the Lord God our author places Eden, agreeably planted a garden eastward in Eden, to the accounts in Scripture, some. that is eastward of the place where where in Mesopotamia. Mofes writ his history, tho' Milton 215. His far more pleasant garden says in th'east of Eden; and then In the description of Paradite, the we have in a few lines our author's poet has observed Aristotle's rule topography of Eden. This pro- of lavishing all the ornaments of vince in which the terrestrial Pa- di&tion on the weak unactive parts radise was planted) extended from of the fable, which are not supAuran or Haran or Charran or ported by the beauty of sentiments Charræ, a city of Mefopotamia and characters. Accordingly the near the river Euphrates, extended, reader may observe, that the er. I say, from thence eastward to Se- pressions are more florid and elaleucia, a city built by Seleucus borate in these descriptions, than one of the successors of Alexander in moft other parts of the poem. I the great, upon the river Tigris. must farther add, that tho' the Or in other words, this province drawings of gardens, rivers, rainwas the same, where the children bows, and the like dead pieces of of Eden dwelt in Telafar (as Isaiah nature, are justly censured in an
And all amid them stood the tree of life,
heroic poem, when they run out walks of Paradise. In short, as into an unnecessary length; the de- the critics have remarked that in scription of Paradise would have those poems, wherein shepherds been faulty, had not the poet been are actors, the thoughts ought alvery particular in it, not only as it ways to take a tincture from the is the scene of the principal action, woods, fields, and rivers; so we but as it is requisite to give us an may observe, that our first parents idea of that happiness from which seldom lose fight of their happy our first parents fell. The plan of station in any thing they speak or it is wonderfully beautiful, and do; and, if the reader will give formed upon the short sketch me leave to use the expression, that which we have of it in holy Writ. their thoughts are always ParadiMilton's exuberance of imagina- fiacal. Addison. tion has poured forth such a redundancy of ornaments on this seat 223. Southward through Eden of happiness and innocence, that it went a river large,] This is would be endless to point out each most probably the river formed by particular. I must not quit this the junction of the Euphrates and head without further observing, Tigris, which flows fouibward, and that there is scarce a speech of muft needs be a river large by the Adam and Eve in the whole poem, joining of two fuch mighty rivers, wherein the sentiments and allu- Upon this river it is supposed by Fions are not taken from this their the best commentators that the terdelightful habitation. The reader, reftrial Paradise was situated. Milduring their whole course of ac- ton calls this river Tigris in IX. 71. tion, always finds himself in the