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Happiest both to thyself and all the world,
That thou who worthiest art should'st be their king?
Perhaps thou linger’st in deep thoughts detain'd
Of th' enterprise so hazardous and high;
No wonder, for though in thee be united
What of perfection can in man be found, 230
Or human nature can receive, consider
Thy life hath yet been private, most part spent
At home, scarce view'd the Galilean towns,
And once a year Jerusalem, few days

Short fojourn; and what thence couldīt thou observe?
The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory,
Empires, and monarchs, and their radiant courts,
Best school of best experience, quickest insight
In all things that to greatest actions lead.


234. And once a year Jerusalem, fer the emendation, which Mr. &c.] At the feast of the paísover. Theobald, Mr. Meadowcourt, and Luke II. 41.

Mr. Thyer have, unknown to each 238.

--- quickest infight other, propos'd, In all things that to greatest actions lead.] In all the editions,

quickest infight &c: and indeed in Milton's own, it is and it was easy for Milton's amaprinted

nuenfis (his wife most probably) or quickest in fight

his printer to mistake the one for

the other. Those are the best and In all things &c;

most probable emendations, which but we cannot but think it an error confiit in such small alterations. of the writer or printer, and pre. When other words are substituted,


The wisest, unexperienc'd, will be ever

240 Timorous and loath, with novice modesty, (As he who seeking affes found a kingdom) Irresolute, unhardy, unadventrous : But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit Those rudiments, and see before thine


The monarchies of th' earth, their pomp and state,
Sufficient introduction to inform
Thee, of thyself fo apt, in regal arts,
And regal mysteries, that thou may'st know
How best their opposition to withstand. 250

With that (such pow'r was giv’n him then) he took
The Son of God up to a mountain high.
It was a mountain at whose verdant feet
A spacious plain out-stretch'd in circuit wide


we ought to have some better au- and commentators generally supthority than conjecture.

pose it to be one of the mountains 242. As he who seeking affes found in the neighbourhood of Jerusa.

a kingdom] Saul, who seeking lem, Jerusalem being surrounded his father's lost asses, came to Sa- by mountains, or some mountain muel, and by him was anointed near the wilderness, near the place king. The story is related in where our Saviour was tempted. I Sam. IX.

The Ancients speak little concern253. It was a mountain &c.] All ing it, but the Moderns conceive that the Scripture faith, is that the it to be the mountain Quarantania, Devil took our Saviour up into a as it is now callid. That ingehigh mountain, Luke IV. 5. an ex nious traveller, Mr. Maundrel, in feeding high mountain, Mat. IV, 8. his Journey from Aleppo to Jeru



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Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers Aow'd,

255 Th’one winding, th' other strait, and left between Fair champain with less rivers intervein’d, Then meeting join'd their tribute to the sea : Fertil of corn the glebe, of oil and wine ;

259 With herds the pastures throng’d, with flocks the hills; Huge cities and high towr'd, that well might seem The seats of mightiest monarchs, and so large



falem, mentioning the plain of Je- league up to a high mountain, of richo, says that (Mar. 29.) which he forbears to mention the " descended into it, after about name out of reverence to the Scrip“ five hours march from Jerufa- ture, which hath likewise men“ lem. As soon as we enter'd the tion'd no name; but by his deas

plain, we turned up on the left scription of it he muf mean mount

hand, and going about one hour Taurus, as Mr. Thyer and Mr. " that way, came to the foot of Calton have concurred with me in " the Quarantania; which they observing; for he describes it ex

fay is the mountain into which actly in the fame manner as Strabo " the Devil took our blessed Sa- has described that part of mount 66 viour, when he tempted him Taurus, which divides the greater with that visionary scene of all Armenia from Mesopotamia, and “ the kingdoms and glories of the contains the sources of the two “ world. It is, as St. Matthew rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Stra“ ftiles it, an 'exceeding high bo Lib. XI. p. 521. Edit. Amstel. so mountain, and in its ascent not Το δ' αν νοτιωτατον (βυρειοτατον) μα“ only difficult but dangerous.” Nosa esu • Taupos opíswv Thu Appenlar But this is all conjecture, for the απο της Μεσοποταμίας. Εντευθεν δ' Scripture has not fpecified any par- αμφοτεροι ρωσιν οι της Μεσοποταμιαν ticular place, and the Scripture είκυκλεμενοι ποταμοι, και συναπιονίες having not afcertain'd the place, αλληλους εξγυς κατα την Βαβυλωνιαν, the poet was at liberty to choose ειτα εκδιδοντες εις την κατα Περσας , any mountain, that best suited his, Janatlar, ó ts Evopaons, xan Tiypas. fancy, for the scene of this vision. And the course of the riveșs is And accordingly he supposes the described in the same manner by Devil (such pow'r was giv'n bim Strabo, the Euphrates winding, then) to carry

and the Tigris Ärait and swift as

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Saviour many


The prospect was, that here and there was room For barren desert fountainless and dry. 264 To this high mountain top the Tempter brought Our Saviour, and new train of words began.

Well have we fpeeded, and o'er hill and dale, Forest and field and flood, temples and towers, Cut shorter many a league ; here thou behold'st Affyria and her empire's ancient bounds, , 270


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μεν υλης

an arrow, Ετι δε μειζων ο Ευφρατης that afterwards they unite their και τελειω διεξεισι χωραν, Cκολιω τω streams, and fall together into the ρειθρο. κ. τ. λ. Dionyfius, and Perfian gulf. And as to the fertiother ancient Geographers give us lity of the country, Milton copies much the same description : of the after Dionysius, but contracts his Euphrates, he fays ver. 797. Edit. defcription. Wells. .

Ου μεν του κεινης γε τομές ωνοσσαίο ‘ος δητοι πρωτG- μεν

απ' '

βυτης, Αρμενιοιο

Ουδ' οις Cυρι/γι κερωνυχα Πανα ΜακρG- επι νοτον εισι, σαλιν δ'

γεραίρων, αγκωνας ελιξας

Μηλοις αγραυλοισιν εφεσπεται εδε Ανην ηελιοιο, κ. τ. λ. and for the same reason, as Lloyd

Πανλοιην φυλοεργος ανήρ αθερισσαίο has remarked in his Dictionary,


Τονη επι κεινης αφοσις σελεί, εν με it is called vagus Euphrates by Stacius, and flexuosus by Martianus

Ποιην, εν δε νομος ευανθεας, κ. τ. λ. Capella. Of the Tigris Dionyfius says

261. Huge cities and high towr'd,]

So also in the L'Allegro, Τον δε μετ' εις αυγας, ποταμων ωκισG- απανταν

Towred cities please us then. Τεχρις εύρρειτης φερέλαι, κ. τ. λ.

Turrit urbes is very common aAnd indeed we need only look in- mongst the Latin poets. Thyer. to the map to be satisfied, that the 269. here thou behold '/ course of these rivers answers to Alyria and her empire's ancient the description here given, and bounds,] A fitter spot could



Araxes and the Caspian lake, thence on
As far as Indus east, Euphrates west,
And oft beyond; to south the Persian bay,
And inaccessible th’ Arabian drouth :
Here Nineveh, of length within her wall
Several days journey, built by Ninus old,
Of that first golden monarchy the seat,
And seat of Salmanaffar, whose success



not have been chosen to take a the image in Nebuchadnezzar's view of the Assyrian empire and dream of the four empires; and its ancient bounds, the river Araxes seat of Salmanassar, who in the and the Caspian lake to the north, reign of Hezekiah king of Judah the river Indus to the east, the river carried the ten tribes captive into Euphrates to the west, and oft be- Affyria 721 years before Christ, so yond, as far as to the Mediterranean, that it might now be properly calland to the south the Persian bay, ed a long captivity. and the deserts of Arabia.

280. There Babylon, &c.] As Ni275. Here Nineveh, &c.] This neveh was situated on the river city was fituated on the Tigris, of Tigris, so was Babylon on the river length, as Mr. Sympson says he Euphrates; the wonder of all tongues, means of circuit, within her wall for it is reckon'd among the seven several days journey, and according wonders of the world, as ancient to Diodorus Siculus Lib. II. its cir as Nineveh, for some say it was cuit was 60. of our miles, and in built by Belus, and others by SeJonah III. 3. it is said to be an ex miramis, the one the father, and ceeding great city of three days jour- the other the wife, of Ninus who ney, 20 miles being the common built Nineveh ; but rebuilt by him, computation of a day's journey for whoever built it, it was rebuilt, and a foot-traveler : built by Ninus old, inlarged, and beautify'd, and made and after him the city is faid to be one of the wonders of the world called Nineveh ; of that first golden by Nebuchadnezzar, (Is not this monarchy the feat, a capital city of great Babylon that I have built &c. the Affyrian empire, which the Dan. IV. 30.) who twice Judab led poet ftiles golden monarchy, proba- captive, in the reign of Jehoiachin bly in allusion to the golden head of 2 Kings XXIV. and eleven years


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