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Following, as seem'd, the quest of some stray ewe, 315
Or wither'd sticks to gather, which might serve
Against a winter's day when winds blow keen,
To warm him wet return'd from field at eve,
He saw approach, who first with curious eye
Perus'd him, then with words thus utter'd spake. 320

Sir, what ill chance hath brought thee to this place
So far from path or road of men, who pass
In troop or caravan ? for single none
Durst ever, who return'd, and dropt not here

Thus in the Faery Queen, b. i. safest way of travelling in Turkey c. i. 29. Una and the Red-cross and Persia with the caravan, Knight are met by the enchanter though it goes indeed slower Archimago, disguised under the than in less company, or with a appearance of an old hermit, guide alone, as some will do. At length they chanc'd to meet upon

See Travels into Persia in Harris, their way

vol. ii. b. ii. ch. 2. An aged man in long black weeds 323. Milton seems here to yoclad.

have had in his mind the sandy So the Spirit in Comus, 84, says

deserts of Africa, as they are he must

described by Diodorus Siculus,

full of wild beasts, of a vast ex-take the weeds and likeness of a

tent, and, from the want of waswain.

: ter and of all kind of food, not Compare below, v. 337. Dunster. only difficult, but absolutely dan

319. — with curious eye gerous to pass over. Perus'd him,]

Indeed the wilderness of Judea See Mr. Dunster's note on Par. itself (and it was not necessary Lost, viii. 267, for examples of to confine these descriptions peruse used in this sense. E. merely to that part of it, into

323. In troop or caravan?] A which our Lord was just entercaravan, as Tavernier says, is a ing) was of a great length, the great convoy of merchants, which most habitable part being northmeet at certain times and places, ward towards the river Jordan; to put themselves into a condition southward it extended into vast of defence from thieves, who ride and uninhabited deserts, termed in troops in several desert places in Reland's Palæstina, vastissimæ upon the road. A caravan is like solitudines. And to describe these an army, consisting ordinarily of in such a manner as might exfive or six hundred camels, and cite a lively idea of danger, was near as many horses, and some. perfectly consistent with the times more. This makes it the Tempter's purpose. Dunster.

His carcase, pin’d with hunger and with drought. 825
I ask the rather, and the more admire,
For that to me thou seem'st the man, whom late
Our new baptizing Prophet at the ford
Of Jordan honour'd so, and call’d thee Son
Of God; I saw and heard, for we sometimes 330
Who dwell this wild, constrain’d by want, come forth
To town or village nigh (nighest is far)
Where ought we hear, and curious are to hear,
What happens new ; fame also finds us out. -

To whom the Son of God. Who brought me hither, Will bring me hence; no other guide I seek. 336

By miracle he may, replied the swain,
What other way I see not, for we here
Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd
More than the camel, and to drink go far,

340

339. —-tough roots and stubs,] as food, which seems impossible, This must certainly be a mistake and therefore I embrace the forof the printer, and instead of mer ingenious conjecture. stubs it ought to be read shrubs. 339. Yet, in the Tempest, It is no uncommon thing to read Prospero threatens Ferdinand of hermits and ascetics living in with nearly as hard fare, Act i. deserts upon roots and shrubs, sc. 3. but I never heard of stubs being

thy food shall be used for food, nor indeed is it

The fresh brook mussels, wither's

roots, and husks reconcileable to common sense.

Wherein the acorn cradled. Some have thought that the amere des, which the Scripture says Stubs are in fact only broken were the meat of the Baptist, ends of the larger withered roots. were the tops of plants or shrubs. Thyer.

340. More than the camel,] It is I find the word stubs used in commonly said, that camels will Spenser. Faerý Queen, b. i. go without water three or four cant. ix. st. 34.

days. Sitim et quatriduo tole

rant. Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. viii. sect. And all about old stocks and stubs of 26. But Tavernier says, that they trees :

will ordinarily live without drink but this only proves the use of eight or nine days. See Harris, the word, and not of the thing ibid. And therefore, as Dr. Shaw

345

Men to much misery and hardship born;
But if thou be the Son of God, command
That out of these hard stones be made thee bread,
So shalt thou save thyself and us relieve i
With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste.

He ended, and the Son of God replied. .
Think'st thou such force in bread ? is it not written
(For I discern thee other than thou seem'st)
Man lives not by bread only, but each word
Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed
Our fathers here with manna? in the mount
Moses was forty days, nor eat nor drank ;
And forty days Elijah without food
Wander'd this barren waste ; the same I now :
Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust,

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justly observes in his physical original passage in the Old Tesobservations on Arabia Petræa, tament, as it affords him such an p. 389, we cannot sufficiently ad- apposite transition to the miramire the great care and wisdom culous feeding the children of of God in providing the camel Israel, their great lawgiver, and for the traffic and commerce of afterwards Elijah, in the wilderthese and such like desolate ness. Exod. xxxiv. 28. Deut. ix. countries.

9. and i Kings xix. 8. Dunster. 340. An Arabian author, cited S50. Proceeding from the mouth by Bochart, (Hierozoicon, part i. of God, who fed b. ii. c. 2.) says, “ the camel can Our fathers here with manna ?] not only go without water for The seventh and perhaps some ten days, but will eat such things other editions have pointed it as grow in the deserts, which no thus, other beasts of burthen will eat.” Proceeding from the mouth of God ? Dunster.

who fed 349. Man lives not by bread Our fathers here with manna ; only, &c.] St. Matt. iv. 44. He In the first and second editions answered and said, It is written, there is a semicolon in both Man shall not live by bread alone, places, which is still worse. A but by every word that proceedeth comma would be sufficient after out of the mouth of God. This God, and the mark of interrogarefers to Deut. viii. 3, and the tion should close the period after Poet has availed himself of the munna, Calton.

Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art?

Whom thus answer'd th' arch-fiend now undisguis'd. 'Tis true, I am that spirit unfortunate,

356. Knowing who I am,] This Upon which she assures him, is not to be understood of Christ's from an omen which appeared divine nature. The Tempter knew to them, that his ships were safe, him to be the person declared the bids him expect a kind reception Son of God by a voice from hea- from the queen; and then turnven, ver. 385. and that was all ing to go away, Æneas discovers that he knew of him. Calton. her to be his mother, the Goddess

358. 'Tis true, I am that Spirit of Love. If Virgil had not inunfortunate, &c.] Satan's frank- formed us of her being Venus, ness in confessing who he was, till this time, and in this manner, when he found himself disco- it would have had an agreeable vered, is remarkable. Hitherto effect in surprising the reader, as he has been called an aged man, much as she did Æneas: but his and the swain ; and we have no conduct has been quite the reintimation from the poet, that verse, for in the beginning of the Satan was concealed under this story, he lets the reader into the appearance, which adds to our secret, and takes care every now pleasure by an agreeable surprise and then to remind him, upon the discovery. In the first Cui mater media sese tulit obvia book of the Æneid, Æneas being

sylva, &c. driven by a storm upon an un- See An Essay upon Milton's imiknown coast, and going in com

1 tations of the Ancients, p. 60. pany with Achates to take a sur

359. Satan's instantaneous avey of the country, is met in a

vowal of himself here has a thick wood by a lady, in the ha

great and fine effect. It is conbit of a huntress. She enquires of

sistent with a certain dignity of them if they had seen two sisters

character which is given him in of hers in a like dress, employed

general, through the whole of in the chace. Æneas addresses

the Paradise Lost. The rest her as Diana, or one of her

of his speech is artfully subnymphs, and begs she would

missive. He returns only apotell him the name and state of

logies and flattery to the stern the country the tempest had

rebukes of our Saviour, notwiththrown him upon. She declines his compliment, informs him she

standing that he was was no goddess, but only a Ty.

-inly stung with anger and disdain. rian maid, gives an account of The arch-fiend's demeanour here the place, and a full relation of should be compared with his Dido's history and settlement scornful and indignant answers there. In return, Æneas ac- to Ithuriel and Zephon, and to quaints her with his story, and Gabriel, after the somewhat siparticularly the loss of great part milar discovery of himself on of his fleet in the late storm. the touch of Ithuriel's spear, in

NE

360

Who leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt
Kept not my happy station, but was driven
With them from bliss to the bottomless deep,
Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd
By rigour unconniving, but that oft
Leaving my dolorous prison I enjoy
Large liberty to round this globe of earth,

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the Paradise Lost, b. iv. 827, et phon, on Satan's resuming his seq. The conduct of our author proper form, knew him not; and on both these occasions is highly even Gabriel only says, that he proper. Satan in the one case

-by his gait, finds himself in the presence of And fierce demeanour, seems the those, who had formerly been

Prince of hell. his compeers or inferiors; and, Satan also, under disguise, had on their attempting to restrain deceived Uriel, who was held to him, breaks forth, as might be be expected from his haughty and

The sharpest sighted spirit of all in violent character, into sentiments

heaven. of rage and indignation, and The poet says indeed, P. L. iii. prepares for the most determined 68 resistance. On the present occasion, “awe from above had

-neither man nor angel can discern

Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks quelled his heart." He knew

Invisible, except only to God alone.

in the superiority of the Son of But our Lord is here acquainted God;

with all the wiles and intentions But thou art plac'd above me, thou of his adversary, and knows him art Lord, &c.

475. under all his disguise, and at And Milton might intend to elu- his first approach. Dunster. cidate this superiority in the 300. Kept not my happy station, character of our Lord. whom A manner of speaking borrowed the Almighty had before directed

from the Scripture, Jude 6. And all the angels of heaven to adore the angels which kept not their first and honour as himself,

estate.

363. -unconniving] Thus in -all ye gods

the speech of the Deity in the Adore the Son, and honour him as Por Lost x 620 where he

P. L. üi. 343.

notices the entrance of Sin and And even the infernal spirits are Death into the world, they, as involuntarily led to pay him the well as “the Prince of hell,” same homage. And the marked are considered as supposing the superiority of our Lord's charac- Almighty to connive at their proter is pointed out by a further ceedings. Dunster. circumstance, Ithuriel and Ze 3 65. --to round this globe of

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