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Stood to entertain her guest from Heaven ;) no veil

She needed, virtue proof ; no thought infirm 385 Altered her cheek. On whom the angel “ Hail !”

Bestowed ; the holy salutation used
Long after to blest Mary, second Eve :

“ Hail, mother of mankind ! whose fruitful womb

Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons, 390 Than with these various fruits the trees of God Have heaped this table !”–Raised of grassy

Their table was, and mossy seats had round ;
And on her ample square from side to side

All autumn piled ; though spring and autumn here 395 Danced hand in hand. A while discourse they hold ;

No fear lest dinner cool ; when thus began
Our author : “ Heavenly stranger ! please to taste
These bounties, which our Nourisher,—from whom

All perfect good, unmeasured out, descends,400 To us for food and for delight hath caused

The earth to yield ; unsavoury food, perhaps,
To spiritual natures ; only this I know,
That one celestial Father gives to all.”

To whom the angel : “ Therefore what he gives 405 (Whose praise be ever sung !) to Man, in part

Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found
No ingrateful food : and food alike those pure

384. Virtue proof.-Strong in virtue; the other compounds, such as fireproof, waterproof, mean proof against.

393. Her-Table is used as of the Fem. Gend. Supply the Pred. had.

394. Though spring, &c, i.e., though in reality there was here no difference between spring and autuinn.

396. No fear lest dinner cool.-Low and trivial.

399. Unmeasured out. -We cannot put the negative prefix un to Verbs compounded with Prepositions, unless Verb and Prep. are inseparable. We can say unforgiven, uninformed, unoverthrown, unuprooted,

unoverlooked, but not unbuilt up, unbroken in, unlooked over. The expression unmeasured out must therefore be put down as a poetical license. In v. 351, (without) is a similar deviation from the correct mode of forming the negative.

402. Spiritual is to be contracted into two syllables.

403. The object to gives is left out, (see l. 259). What is to be supplied ? If the word food, or it, then Adam has already anticipated the whole of Raphael's subsequent information,

405. Op purest spirits, means here by purest spirits.

Intelligential substances require,

As doth your rational ; and both contain 410 Within them every lower faculty

Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste,
Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,
And corporeal to incorporeal turn.

For know, whatever was created needs 415 To be sustained and fed : of elements

The grosser feeds the purer ; earth the sea ;
Earth and the sea feed air ; the air those fires
Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon;

Whence, in her visage round, those spots, unpurged 420 Vapours, not yet into her substance turned.

Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale
From her moist continent to higher orbs.
The Sun, that light imparts to all, receives

From all his alimental recompense 425 In humid exhalations, and at even

Sups with the Ocean. Though in Heaven the trees
Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines
Yield nectar ; though from off the boughs each morn

We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground 430 Covered with pearly grain ; yet God hath here

Varied his bounty so with new delights,
As may compare with Heaven; and to taste)
Think not] I shall be nice.") So down they sat,
And to their viands fell ;] nor seemingly

408. Intelligence and reason are here respectively the higher and lower faculty, contrary to their use lower down, 485 and 487, and contrary to our present practice, as established since Kant.

412. TastingThe Part. Pres, stands for the Part. Past, having tasted.

412. To concoct is the same as to digest.

415. The following passage is strongly objected to by every sensible critic and commentator. “ Our author," says Bentley, “should have taken great care, what notions,

what points of philosophy he put into the mouth of an archangel." Nobody, of course, will find fault with Milton for errors in natural philosophy. Homer is full of them. His notions of geography and astronomy a child may now smile at. But he never inculcates them theoretically as a professor from his chair.

421. The double negative for the affirmative is a Latinism. Compare v. 548, Nor know I not, &c.

431. Taried.-See note on v. 184.

435 The angel, nor in mist,]—the common gloss

Of theologians ; but with keen despatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat
To transubstantiate ;] what redounds, transpires

Through spirits with ease ;] nor wonder,] if, by fire 440 Of sooty coal, the empiric alchemist

Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,
As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve

Ministered naked, and their flowing cups
445 With pleasant liquors crowned. [O innocence

Deserving Paradise !] if ever, then,
Then had the sons of God excuse to have been
Enamoured at that sight ;| but in those hearts

Love unlibidinous reigned, nor jealousy 450 Was understood, the injured lover's Hell.

Thus when with meats and drinks they had sufficed,
Not burdened nature, sudden mind arose
In Adam, not to let the occasion pass,

Given him by this great conference, to know 455 Of things above this world, and of their being

Who dwell in Heaven, whose excellence he saw

435. Gloss, interpretation.

" The common gloss of theologians” is not in Apposition, but it is an ellipse, which requires the addition of which is.

437. The logical order is, heat concoctive to transubstantiate, i.e., with a veritable digestive power.

438. The process of real eating and digestion upon which the poet so empbatically insists, suggests, of course, the process of secretion as equally natural. This conclusion, however, is rejected by the statement, that “what redounds transpires."

440. Empiric.-Experimental.

441. Or holds it possible to turn.-By this reservation Milton saves his reputation for soundness in philosophy, but he much weakens the stringency of his argument; for if the transformation of metals is only a

fancy of the alchemist, it will not prove nor even illustrate the chemical change of material food in spiritual beings.

445. Crowned.A classica expression, borrowed by the Latin poets from Homer, the more noticeable, as we fail to see its appropriateness ; for a liquid is not suitable for a crown. Such is the force of imitation, that it is pleased with and repeats words which it does not understand. It is true, that now the expression, “to crown cups," has been invested with the specific meaning “ to fill them brimful."

447. To have been.-See note on 1. 40.

449. Jealousy ... the injured Lover's hell. The qualification injured is not essential. Othello was not injured, but fancied himself to be so.

Transcend his own so far ; whose radiant forms—
Divine effulgence,—whose high power, so far

Exceeded human ; and his wary speech 460 Thus to the empyreal minister he framed :

[“ Inhabitant with God !] now know I well Thy favour, in this honour done to Man ;/ Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafed

To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste ; 465 Food not of angels, yet accepted so,

As that more willingly thou couldst not seem
At Heaven's high feasts to have fed ; , yet what compare !”]

To whom the winged Hierarch replied :

[“ O Adam !] one Almighty is, from whom 470 All things proceed, and up to him return,)

If not depraved from good,] created all
Such to perfection :) one first matter all
Endued with various forms, various degrees

Of substance, and, in things) that live, | of life ;) 475 But more refined, more spiritous, and pure,

As nearer to him placed, or nearer tending
Each in their several active spheres assigned,]
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds

Proportioned to each kind. So, from the root
480 Springs lighter the green stalk ; from thence the leaves

More aery ; last, the bright consummate flower
Spirits odorous breathes : flowers and their fruit,
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed,

458. Divine effulgence.--In Apposition to radiant forms.

464. Between and and these, the whole of the preceding line must be repeated.

470. And up to him return.- A pseudo adjective clause. If it were a proper adjective clause, the Relat. Pron. should be used, not the personal; it should be whom, not him.

471. Created all, i.e., all being created good. Nominative Absolute.

472. Such, i.e., good.
477. Each in their spheres.—The singular

each, and the plural their, jar against each

478. Till body up to spirit work." Our author should have considered things better; for by attributing his own false notions in philosophy to an archangel, he has really lessened the character wbich he intended to raise. He is as much mistaken here in bis metaphysics as he was before in his physics." -DR. NEWTON. See note on v. 415.

480. Lighter, scil. than the root. 481. More aery, scil. than the stalk.

To vital spirits aspire, to animal,
485 To intellectual; give both life and sense,

Fancy and understanding, whence the soul
Reason receives ; and reason is her being,
Discursive or intuitive : discourse

Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours; 490 Differing but in degree, of kind the same.

Wonder not then, what God for you saw good,
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,
To proper substance.

Time may come, when men With angels may participate, / and find 495 No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare :]

And from these corporal nutriments, perhaps,
Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,
Improved by tract of time, and, winged, ascend

Ethereal,] as we ;] or may, at choice, 500 Here, or in Heavenly Paradises, dwell,]

If ye be found obedient, and retain,
Unalterably firm, his love entire]
Whose progeny you are. Meanwhile, enjoy

Your fill] what happiness this happy state 505 Can comprehend, incapable of more."

To whom the patriarch of mankind replied : “ O favourable spirit, propitious guest ! Well hast thou taught the way that might direct

Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set 510 From centre to circumference ; whereon,

In contemplation of created things,
By steps we may ascend to God.
What meant that caution joined, “If ye be found

Obedient ?' Can we want obedience then 515 To him, or possibly his love desert,

Who formed us from the dust, and placed us here,

But say,

485. Intellectual --See note on v. 408. 437. Her being.--Her essence.

488. Discourse.—Logic, the process of arriving at truth by a mental effort.

491. The order is :- Wonder not then if I refuse Rot what God saw good for you, but convert it as you do to proper substance.

504. Your fill.-Adverbially used.

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