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Machærus, and each town or city wall’d
On this side the broad lake Genezaret,
Or in Peræa; but return'd in vain.
Then on the bank of Jordan', by a creek,

Where winds with reeds and osiers whispering playk, author's calling it “Salem old," unless he takes it to be the same with the Shalem mentioned Gen, xxxüi. 18, or confounds it with the Salem where Melchizedek was king. Machærus was a castle in the mountainous part of Peræa or the country beyond Jordan, which river is well known to run through the lake of Genezareth, or the sea of Tiberias, or the sea of Galileo, as it is otherwise called : so that they searched in each place on this side Jordan, or in Perara, répay 'lopodvov, beyond it.-NEWTON.

By the expression, “ on this side the broad lake Genezareth," I would understand, not on the opposite side of the river to Peræa, but below the lake of Genezareth, or to the south of it, between that and the Asphaltic Lake, or the Dead Sea ; which is exactly the bitration of the places here mentioned, none of which could be properly said to have stood on tbis side, that is, on the western side of the lake of Genezareth, though three of them stood on the western side of the river Jordan. Or in Peræa, may be only understood to mean and in Peræa, or even in Peræa : such is often the conjunctive sense of vel, and sometimes of aut in Latin, and of 5 in Greek. It is probable that Milton had the same idea of the situation of Bethabara with that noticed in the preceding note, as admitted by Babop Pearce, and before suggested by Beza and Casaubon. This he may be supposed to have acquired from Beza, whose translation of the Greek Testament with notes, we may imagine, was in no small degree of repute at the time when our author visited Geneva. Accordingly, the first place where he makes the disciples scek Jesus is Jericho, on the same aide of the river as Bethabara, and the nearest place of any consequence to it; then Ænon and Salem, both likewise on the same side, but higher up towards the lake of Genezareth ; then he seems to make them cross the river and seck him in all the places in the opposite country of Perza, down to the town and strong fortress of Machærus, which is mentioned by Josephus, “ De Bello Jud.”' l. vii. c. 6. Milton had good authority for teruning Salem, "Salem old.” St. Jerom shows that the Salem, Gen. xxxii. 18, was not Jerusalem, “sed oppndum juxta Scythopolim, quod usque hodie appellatur Salem ; ubi ostenditur palatium

Melchizedee, ex magnitudine ruinarum veteris operis ostendens magnificentiam.” See | Hieronym. Epist . cxxvi. ad Evag.-DUNSTER.

i On the bank of Jordan. Mr. Dunster observes, that Maundrell, in his “ Journey to Jerusalem,” &c. describes the river Jordan as baving its banks in some parts covered so thick with bushes and trees, sich as tamarisks, oleanders, and willows, that they prevented the water from being seen till any one had made his way through them. In this thicket, he says, several sorts of wild beasts barbour, which are frequently washed out of their covert by the sudden overflowings of the river. Hence that allusion in Jeremiah, xlix. 19 : "Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan." The same critic also notices the reference made to the reedy banks of Jordan, in Giles Fletcher's “ Christ's Triumph over Death,”. at 2:

Or whistling reeds that rutty Jordan laves. Milton, by the distinction which he here makes, had perhaps noticed Sandys's account of Jordan, in his “ Travels;" who says, “ Passing along, it maketh two lakes; the one in the Vpper Galilec, named Samachontis (now Houle), in the summer for the most part dry, quergrowne with shrubs and reeds, which afford a shelter for bores and leopards; the other in the Inferior, called the Sea of Galilee, the lake of Genezareth, and of Tyberias,” &c. p. 141, edit. 1615.-Todd.

Is Whispering play. The whispering of the wind is an image that Milton is particularly fond of, and has introduced in many beautiful passages of his “ Paradise Lost.” Thus in the opening of the fifth book, where Adam wakens Eve :

then with voice Mild as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,

Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus. He also applies whispering to the flowing of a stream; to the air that plays upon the Fales, or by the side of it; and to the combined sounds of the breeze and the current. In


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the fourth book of this poein, he terms the river Ilyssus, a " whispering stream: " and in

See also “ Paradise Lost," b. iv. 158. viii. 516: “ The mild whisper of the refreshing breeze" be had before introduced in his Latin poem “In Adventum Veris," ver. 27, which

Plain fishermen, (no greater men them call')
Close in a cottage low together got,
Their unexpected loss and plaints out breathed :

Alas, from what high hope to what relapse
C'nlook'd for are we fallen! our eyes beheld
Messiah certainly now come, so long
Expected of our fathers; we have heard
His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth:
Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand;
The kingdom shall to Israel be restored :
Thus we rejoiced, but soon our joy is turn'd
Into perplexity and new amaze:
For whither is he gone? what accident
Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire
After appearance, and again prolong
Our expectation? God of Israel,
Send thy Messiah forth; the time is come!
Behold the kings of the earth, how they oppress
Thy chosen ; to what highth their power unjust
They have exalted, and behind them cast
All fear of thee : arise, and vindicate
Thy glory ; free thy people from their yoke!
But let us wait; thus far He hath perform d,
Sent his Anointed, and to us reveald him,
By his great prophet, pointed at and shown
In publick, and with him we have conversed :
Let us be glad of this, and all our fears
Lay on his Providence; He will not fail,
Nor will withdraw him now, nor will recall

Mock us with his blest sight, then snatch him hence:
Soon we shall see our Hope, our Joy, return.

Thus they, out of their plaints, new hope resume
To find whom at the first they found unsought :
But, to his mother Mary, when she saw

Others return'd from baptism, not her Son, Paradise Lost," b. iv. 325, he describes

a tuft of shade that on a green

Stood whispering soft by a fresh fountain side. In his “ Lycidas,” ver. 136, likewise he addresses the

valleys low, where the mild whispers use

Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks. might have been originally suggested to him by Virgil's “Culex,” v. 152 :

At circa passim fessæ cubuere capellæ,
Excelsisque super dumis; quos leniter adflans

Aura susurrantis possit confundere venti.-DUNSTER.
Thus Spenser, in the beginning of his “Shepherd's Calendar :"-

Plain fishermen, (no greater men them call).
A shepherd's boy, (no better do him call).—NEWTON.

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Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none;
Within her breast though calm, her breast though pure,
Motherly cares and fears got head, and raised
Some troubled thoughts, which she in sighs thus clad :

0, what avails me now that honour high
To have conceived of God, or that salute,-
Hail, highly favour’d, among women blest !
While I to sorrows am no less advanced,
And fears as eminent, above the lot
Of other women, by the birth I bore ;
In such a season born, when scarce a shed
Could be obtain's to shelter him or me
From the bleak air ; a stable was our warmth,
A manger his; yet soon enforced to fly"
Thence into Egypt, till the murderous king
Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fillid
With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem :
From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many yearso; his life
Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,

m 0, what avails me now that honour high, &c. In several parts of this speech Milton appears to have had Vida in his mind. In this opening of it, at verse 77, and from verse 87 to 92, we plainly trace him to Mary's lamentation under the cross, " Christ.” v. 870:

At non certe olim præpes demissus Olympo
Nuntius hæc pavidæ dederat promissa puellæ.
Sic una ante alias flix ego, sic ego cæli
Incedo regina? mea est hæc gloria magna,
Hic meus altus honos. Quo reges munera opima
Obtulerunt mihi post partus? Quo carmina læta
Cælestes cecinere chori, si me ista manebat
Sors tamen, et vitam, cladem hanc visura, trahebam ?
Felices illæ, natos quibus impius hausit
Insontes regis furor ipso in limine vitæ,
Dum tibi vana timens funus molitur acerbum.
Ut cuperem te diluvio cecidisse sub illo !
Hos, hos horribili monitu trepidantia corda
Terrificans senior luctus sperare jubebat,
Et cecinit fore, cum pectus mihi figeret ensis:
Nunc alte mucro, nunc alte vulnus adactum.-DUNSTER.

Yet soon enforced to fly, &c.
We may compare the following stanza of Giles Fletcher's “ Christ's Victory in

And yet but newly he was infanted,
And yet already he was sought to die;
Yet scarcely born, already banished;
Not able yet to go, and forced to fly;
But scarcely fled away, when by and by
The tyrant's sword with blood is all defiled, &c.-DUNSTER.

o In Nazareth

Hath been our dwelling many years. She mentions this as part of their distress; because the country of Galilee, whereof Nazareth was a city, was the most despised part of Palestine, despised by the Jews themselves : and therefore Nathaniel asketh Philip, John i. 46,—“Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?"-NEWTON.

This passage does not strike me exactly in the same light as it does Dr. Newton. All


Little suspicious to any kingP; but now,
Full grown to man, acknowledged, as I hear,
By John the Baptist, and in publick shown,
Son own'd from heaven by his Father's voice,
I look'd for some great change ; to honour ? no;
But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Israel, and to a sign
Spoken against, that through my very soul
A sword shall pierce : this is my favour'd lot,
My exaltation to afflictions high :
Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest";
I will not argue that, nor will repine.
But where delays he now? some great intent
Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had seen,
I lost him, but so found, as well I saw
He could not lose himselfs, but went about
His Father's business! : what he meant I mused,

Since understand ; much more his absence now this description of the early private life of our Saviour seems rather designed to contrast and to give more effect to the expectations of Mary, where she says,

but now
Full grown to man, acknowledged, as I hear,
By John the Baptist, and in publiek shown,
Son own'd from heaven by his Father's voice,
I look'd for some great change.-DUNSTER.

P His life
Prirate, unactive, calm, contemplative,

Little suspicious to any king.
Very possibly not without an iuteuded reference to Milton's own way of life after the

9 That to the fall and rising he should be

Os many in Israel, &c. Sce St. Luke ii. 34, 35. These are the aMictions that Mary notices : not the circumstances of dwelling in a disreputable place ; but her anxiety about her son, and what she then suffered, and was still to suffer, upon his account.—DUNSTER.

Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest. How charmingly does Milton here verify the character he had before given of the blessed! Virgin in the lines above!

Within her breast though calm, her breast though pure,

Motherly cares and fears got head. We see at one view the piety of the saint, and the tenderness of the mother; and I think ! nothing can be conceived more beautiful and moving than the sudden start of fond impatience in the third line, “but where delays be now?" breaking in so abruptly upon the composed resignation expressed in the two preceding ones. The same beauty is continued in her suddenly checking herself, and resuining ber calm and resigned character again in these words:-“ Some great intent conceals him.”—THYER.

s He could not lose himself. A conceit and jingle unworthy of our author.—Jos. WARTON. What jingle exists between found and lose I know not; but these are the associations of language, not conceits : contrariety is one of the principles of association.

t But went about

His father's business. “ And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business ?” Luke üi. 49.-DUNSTER.




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Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
But I to wait with patience am inured ;
My heart hath been a storehouse long of things
And sayings laid up, portending strange events".

Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind
Recalling what remarkably had pass'd
Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts
Meekly composed awaited the fulfilling":
The while her Son, tracing the desert wild,
Sole, but with holiest meditations fed,
Into himself descended", and at once
All his great work to come before him set;
How to begin, how to accomplish best
His end of being on earth, and mission high :
For Satan, with sly preface to return,
Had left him vacant; and with speed was gone
Up to the middle region of thick air,
Where all his potentates in council sat :
There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy*,
Solicitous and blank, he thus began :

Princes, Heaven's ancient sons, ethereal thrones;
Demonian spirits now, from the element
Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'a
Powers of fire, air, water, and earth beneath»!

u My heart hath been a storehouse long of things

And sayings laid up, portending strange events. Alluding to what is said of her, Luke ii. 19. “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart : " and see also ver. 51. So consistent is the part that she acts here with her character in Scripture.- Newton.

By recurring to what passed at the river Jordan among Jesus's new disciples and followers upon his absence, and by making Mary express her maternal feelings upon it, the poet has given an extent and variety to bis subject. It might perhaps be wished that all which he has put into the mouth of the Virgin respecting the early life of her son, had been confined solely to this place, instead of a part being incorporated in our Lord's soliloquy in the first book. There it seems awkwardly introduced; but here I conceive her speech might have been extended with good effect. --Dunster.

With thoughts

Meekly composed awaited the fulfilling. This is beautifully expressed. There is a passage somewhat similar, in “ Paradise Lost," b. xii. 596, where Michael

, having concluded what he had to show Adam from the mountain, and what he had farther to inform him of in narration there, says they must now descend from this “ top of speculation ;” and bidding Adam “ go waken Eve,” adds,

Her also I with gentle dreams have calm'd
Portending good, and all her spirits composed

To meek submission.-DUNSTER.
Pers. Sat. iv. 23,-

w Into himself descended.
Ut nemo in sese tentat descendere!-NEWTON.

* There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy. In contrast to the boasting manner in which Satan had related his success against man, og bis return to Pandæmonium, “ Paradise Lost,” b. x. 460.—DUNSTER.

5 Demonian spirits now, from the element

Each of his reign allotted, righllier call'd

Powers of fire, air, water, and earth beneath! It was a notion among the ancients, especially among the Platonists, that there were

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