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In ample space under the broadest shade
was no dream as before ver. 264. All dainties made by art, and at but a reality. And the ban
the table quet here furnish'd by Satan is An hundred virgins serv'd, for like that prepared by Armida for husbands able. Fairfax. her lovers. Tasso Cant. 10. St. 64.
340. A table richly Spread, &c.]
This temptation is not recorded in Appreftar sù l'herbetta, ou' è Scripture, but is however invented più densa
with great consistency, and very L'ombra, e vicino al suon de aptly fitted to the present condition l'acque chiare
of our Saviour, This
of enFece disculti vasi altera mensa, bellishing his subject is a privilege E ricca di vivande elette, e which every poet has a just right
to, provided he observes harmony Era qui ciò, ch'ogni stagion and decorum in his hero's characdispensa;
ter; and one may further add, that Ciò che dona la terra, ò manda Milton had in this particular place il mare :
still a stronger claim to an indulCiò che l'arte condisce, e cento gence
of this kind, since it was a belle
pretty general opinion among the Servivano al convito
Fathers, that our Saviour underancelle.
went many more temptations than
those which are mentioned by the Under the curtain of the green- Evangelists; nay, Origen goes fo wood shade,
far as to say, that he was every day, Beside the brook, upon the vel- whilf he continued in the wildervet grafs
ness, attacked by a fresh one. The In massy vessel of pure silver beauties of this description are too made,
obvious to escape any reader of A banquet rich and costly fur- taite. It is copious, and yet exnish'd was;
preiled with a very elegant conciseAll beasts, all birds beguild by ness. Every proper circumstance fowler's trade,
is mentioned, and yet it is not at All fish were there in foods or all clogged or incumbered, as is ofseas that pass. ten the case, with too tedious a de
In pastry built, or from the spit, or boil'd,
345 And exquisitest name, for which was drain’d
tail of particulars. It was a scene rs which last I have eat of at an entirely fresh to our author's ima " old courtier's table. And I regination, and nothing like it had “ member, in an old chronicle before occurred in his Paradise " there is much complaint of the Loft, for which reason he has been " nobilities being made fick ať the more diffuse, and labored it “ Cardinal Wolsey's banquets, with: with greater care, with the same “ rich fented cakes and dishes most good judgment that makes him in coitly dressed with ambergris. I other places avoid expatiating on “6 also recolleet I once saw a little scenes which he had before de “ book writ by a gentlewoman of fcribed. See the note on his short " Queen Elizabeth's court, where description of night at the end of “ambergris is mentioned as the the first book. In a word, it is in haut-gout of that age. I fancy my opinion worked up with great “ Milton transposed the word for art and beauty, and plainly shows "s the fake of his verse ; to make it the crudity of that notion which so or read more poetically.” So far much prevails among fuperficial this curious Lady. And Beaumont readers, that Milton's genius was and Fletcher in the Custom of the upon the decay when he wrote his Country.
Act III. Scene 2. Paradise Regain'd. Tbyer.
Be sure 344. Gris-amber-fteam'd,] Am
The wines be lufty, high, and bergris or grey amber is esteemed
full of spirit, the best, and used in perfumes and
And amber'd all. cordials. A curious lady communicated the following remarks upon 346. And exquisitest name,] He this passage to Mr. Peck, which we. alludes here to that ipecies of Rowill here transcribe. Grey am man luxury, which gave exquisite " ber is the amber our author here names to fish of exquisite taste, such “ speaks of, and melts like butter. as that they called cerebrum Jovis. “ It was formerly a main ingre, They extended this even to a very “ dient in every concert for a ban capacious dish as that they called
quet; viz. to fume the meat clypeum Minerud. The modern " with, and that whether boiled, Italians fall into the same wanton" roasted, or baked ; laid often on ness of luxurious impiety, as when « she top of a baked pudding ; they call their exquisite wines by
Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast.
the names of lacrymæ Chrifti and well known, a great part of the lac Virginis.
Warburton. pomp and splendor of their feafts 347, Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and confifts in their having a great
Afric coaft.) The fish are number of beautiful flaves of both brought to furnish this banquet sexes to attend and divert the guests from all the different parts of the with music and singing. T byer. world then known; from Pontus
of fairer hue or the Euxine sea in Afia, from Than Ganymed or Hylas ;] These the Lucrine bay in Europe in Italy, were two most beautiful youths, and from the coast of Africa. And and beloved the one by Jupiter, all these places are .celebrated for and the other by Hercules. Gadifferent kinds of fish by the au- nymed was cup-bearer to Jupiter, chors of antiquity. It would be and Hylas drew water for Heralmost endless to quote the pas-cules, and therefore they are both sages. Of the Lucrine lake in par- properly mentioned upon this octicular many derive the name à casion. lucro, from the abundance of fish
355. and Naiades] Milton there taken.
is not to be blamed for writing as 349. that diverted Eve!) others did in his time. But since It is used, as he uses many words the critics have determined to write according to their proper fignifica- Naïdes in three fyllables, or Naïades tion in Latin. Diverto, to turn in four, it is time for the English afide. We should rather say per- poets to call these nymphs Naids, verted.
and not Naiads. Jortin. 350. And at a flately fide-board 356. -- from Amalthea's horn, ] &c.] As the scene of this entertain. The same as the cornu copiæ; the ment lay in the east, Milton has horn of plenty. Amalthea was, as with great judgment thrown in this fome say, a Naid, the nurse of Juand the following particulars to piter, who nourished him with the give it an air of eastern grandeur, milk of a goat, whose horn was afin which part of the world, it is terwards made the horn of plenty ;
Than Ganymed or Hylas ; distant more
others say, that Amalthea was the This is very good sense, but it may name of the goat.
be questioned whether that seem'd 357. And ladies of tb' Hesperides,] may be referred so far back as to If we compare this with what the nymphs of Diana's train; and if these Devil says a little lower, ver. 374. Spirits were some nymphs of Diana's All these are fpirits of air and train, and some Naiades, others woods and springs,
might as well be said to be ladies of
th' Hesperides; and then that seem's we shall find that they do not tally will be joined in construction as it each to the other, for the Hespe- is placed, with what follows. rides were neither ladies of woods nor springs.
Fairer than feign'd of old, or
fabled since What are the Hesperides famous for but the gardens and orchards
Of faery damsels &c. which they had bearing golden But here seems to be some defect fruit in the western iles of Africa? in the syntax, as if the poet had They may therefore not impro- meant to say Fairer than feignid of perly be ranked, they and their old, or what has been fabled fince of ladies, with the Spirits of woods faery damsels met in forest wide by and springs.
knights, &c. of whom he had read 357. And ladies of th' Hesperides, in his romances, where it is not so
that seem'd &c.] This is the easy to trace him, but the name of pointing of the first, and all the Sir Pelleas occurs in the Faery editions; but I take it to be wrongQueen B. 6. Cant. 12. St. 39. The Demons seem'd (or were like) 358. - or fabled fince &c.] nymphs of Diana's train, &c. but Some readers may perhaps in this they were really fairer than those, passage think our author a little too nymphs, &c. were feigned to be. fond of showing his great reading, This I take to be the poet's thought; a fault which he is indeed some and therefore the comma should be times guilty of: but those who are put after feem'd. Calton. conversant in romance writers, and
Of faery damsels met in forest wide
What doubts the Son of God to fit and eat ? These are not fruits forbidden; no interdict Defends the touching of these viands pure; 370
know how lavish they are in the fion to the eastern custom of using praises of their beauties, will I perfumes at their entertainments, doubt not discover great propriety for the reason alledged in the note in this allusion. Thyer.
on ver. 350,
He has expressed the
fame idea in the Paradise Loft 363. Of.chiming strings, or charm- in the following lines IV. 156.
ing pipes,] So Spenser hath vsed the verb charms. Faery Queen,
now gentle gales B. 4. Cant. 9.
Fanning their odoriferous wings Like as the fowler on his guile
Native perfumes, and whisper Charms to the birds full inany a
whence they stole
Those balmy spoils : pleasant lay. Calton. 363 and wind's
and by this little specimen one may Of gentlest gale Arabian odors fee, as I observed before, that our frin'd
poet's imagination did not flag in From their soft wings, and Flora's the latter part of his life, and that
earliest smells. ] Milton, I fancy, there is no difference in the Paraintroduc'd this circumstance in allu- dise Lost and Paradise Regain'd,