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« Spot more delicious than those gardens feign'd " Or of 9 reviv'd Adonis, or renown'd “ Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son.
If this place of Milton is not understood with great latitude, there will be a confusion of the poetical defcriptions of Adonis' gardens, with those little portable gardens in earthen pots which they exhibited at the festival of revived Adonis. Arsinoe in Theocritus Idyl. XV. in honour of Adonis has these gardens in silver baskets ; but this festival was celebrated by a queen.
ΠΑΡ Δ' ΑΠΑΛΟΙ ΚΑΠΟΙ ΠΕΦΥΛΑΓΜΕΝΟΙ ΕΝ
TAΛAΡΙΣΚΟΙΣ ΑΡΓΥΡΕΟΙΣ. .
However the gardens of revived Adonis became a proverb for things of shęw without substance, as well as for what was of little value and perish
10 The story is frequently alluded to. See Sandy's trą. vels p. 209. Maundrell p. 34, 35. Milton himself I, 446. &c. Dr. Bentley has taken notice of this seeming] mistake of Milton ; but never gave himself
any trouble to examine into the meaning of it. Those gardens feign’d, i.e. by the poets : so that he distinguishes them from those earthen pots planted with herbs and flowers, and exhibited at his feftival
able. 10 In the Caesars of Julian, Constantine, having spoken his speech, is thus taken
short by Silenus, “ But would you then, Constantine,
put off your gardens of Adonis upon us for “ things of worth and substance ?" « What,
replys Constantine, do you mean by Adonis' " gardens ?” “ Those (says Silenus) which “ the women plant with herbs in honour of that “ minion of Venus in little earthen pots filled 6c with dirt, which as soon almost as they begin “ to flourish immediately wither and decay “ away." These are properly the gardens of revived Adonis ; Milton therefore might have avoided this ambiguity by leaving out revived as thus.
Spot more delicious than those gardens feign'd " Or of Adonis, or Alcinous “ Renowned host of old Laertes' son."
Our Shakespeare's expression is beyond all ex; ception and censure.
1o Και ο Σειληνός, 'Αλλ' ή τες 'Αδώνιδά κήπος ως έργα muñv, Kwosarīve, iauri argoo pictus ; [lege cum Voff. cod. στροφέρεις ;] τί δε, είπεν, εισίν ες λέξεις 'Αδώνιδο- κήπος ; [ούς repone, abforpt à prior. Syllab.] ai yugi, n, Tỳ Tag 'Αφροδίτης ανδρι φυλεύεσιν, ουρακίοις έπαμησάμενοι γην λαχανίαν. χλωρήσαία δε ταύτα προς όλίξον αυτίκα απομαgabiles.
In Macbeth Act III. Macbeth having murdered Duncan, resolves now not to stop short, but to destroy, root and branch, all those whom he imagined to stand in his way, or his pofterity's to the crown.
“ We have " scorch'd the snake, not kill'd it, " She'll close and be herself."
The allusion is to the story of the Hydra. We have scorch'd the snake, we have indeed Herculeslike cut off one of it's heads, and scorcb'd it, as it were, as he did affisted by lolaus, hindering that one head thus scorch'd from sprouting again : but such a wound will close and cure ; our Hydra-Snake has other heads still, which to me are as dangerons as Duncan's; particularly that of Banquo, Fleance, &c. The allusion is learned and elegant.
u Mr. Theobald changed this reading into, fcotch'd the snake. And if the reader likes not my apology for the other reading, he is at liberty to espouse Mr. Th. alteration. 'Tis very certain that scorcht is wrongly printed, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the burning Pestle, instead of scotch'd. Act III.
Dwarf. Puissant Knight of th’ burning pefle hight, “ See here another wretch, whom this foul beast “ Hath scorch'd [r. fcotch'd] and scord in this inhuman wife.”
In Macbeth Act IV.
" 1. Witch. Thrice the brinded Cat has mew'd.
2. Witch. Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin'd. " 3. Witch. “Harper cryes 'tis time, 'tis time. " 1. Witch. Round about the cauldron go, r. In the poison’d entrails throw.
Thrice 12 Harper, a dog's name ; one of their familiars. So one of Acteon's hounds was named. Ovid. Met. III, 222. Harpalos, ab agráfw rapio. Our poet shews his great knowledge in antiquity in making the dog give the fignal. Hecate's dogs are mention'd in all the poets almot. Virg. Aen. VI, 257.
Vifaeque canes ululare per umbram
Theoc. II, 35
Θέσυλι, ται κύνες άμμιν ανα πιόλιν ωρύονται,
Hecaten vocat altera, saevam
Hor. f. 1. 8.
INFERNAS errare CANES.
Apollon. I. 3. 1216.
“Οξεία υλακή ΧΘΟΝΙΟΙ ΚΥΝΕΣ έφθέγονο.
It should be geórnar xúves, in the feminine gender, agreeable to the above cited passages from Horace and Virgil: and fo Homer, when speaking of any thing infamous, illominous, or contemptible. Hence Ovid. Met. XV, 797. Thrice the cat-four times the hedge-hog, &c. have given signals for us to begin our incanta
tions. Thrice and four times, i. e. frequently ; terque quaterque. As yet no incantation is begun ; nor is there any reason to alter the context into twice and once, (which some have done,) tho’three be a magical number, as Virgil says,
" 13 Numero deus impare gaudet.
But suppose the incantation was begun, the numbers three and nine are not always used. The witch Circe, in Ovid, in her magical operations is thus described, 6614 Tum bis ad occasum, bis se convertit ad
Theb. IV, 545
“ Lacte quater sparsas.
is to be corrected : he is speaking of the prodigies that happened at Cæsar's death.
Inque foro, circumque domos, et templa deorum, “ Nocturnos ululasse canes.
We should correct, Naturnas.
13 Virg. ecl. VIII. 75. 14 Ovid. Met. XIV, 386.