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Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,
In fix thou seest, and what if sev’nth to these
The planet earth, so stedfast though she seem,
Insensibly three different motions move ? 130
Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe,
Mov'd contrary with thwart obliquities,
Or save the sun his labor, and that swift
Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb suppos’d,
Invisible else above all stars, the wheel

Of day and night; which needs not thy belief,
If earth industrious of herself fetch day
Traveling east, and with her part averse
From the sun's beam meet night, her other part
Still luminous by his ray. What if that light 140
Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air,
To the terrestrial moon be as a star


observed in the note on VII. 619. and to carry all the lower spheres that when Milton uses a Greek word, round along with it; by its rapidity he frequently subjoins the English of communicating to them a motion it, as he does here, the wheel of day whereby they revolved in twentyand night. So he calls the primum four hours. Which needs not thy belief, mobile : and this primum mobile in if earth &c. But there is no need to the ancient astronomy was an ima- believe this, if the earth by revolvginary sphere above those of the ing round on her own axis from west planets and fixed stars; and there to east in twenty-four hours (travel. fore said by our author to be suppos'd ing eaff) enjoys day in that half of and invisible above all stars. This her globe which is turn'd towards was conceived to be the firft mover, the fun, and is cover'd with night

Inlightning her by day, as she by night
This earth? reciprocal, if land be there,
Fields and inhabitants : Her spots thou seest 145
As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
Fruits in her soften’d foil, for some to eat
Allotted there; and other suns perhaps
With their attendent moons thou wilt descry
Communicating male and female light, 150
Which two great sexes animate the world,
Stor’d in each orb perhaps with some that live.

For in the other half which is turn'd 150. Communicating male and fraway from the sun.

male light,] The suns com145. Her Spots thou feeff municate male, and the moons fe

As clouds,] It seems by this and male light. And thus Pliny mentions by another passage V. 419. as if it as a tradition, that the sun is a our author thought that the spots in masculine star, drying all things: the moon were clouds and vapors : on the contrary the moon is a soft but the most probable opinion is, and feminine ftar, diffolving humors: that they are her seas and waters, and so the balance of nature is prewhich reflect only part of the sun's served, some of the stars binding the says, and absorb the rest. They elements, and others loosing them. cannot posibly be clouds and va- Plin. Nat. Hist. Lib. 2. C. 100. Solis pors, because they are observed to ardore ficcatur liquor ; et hoc esse be fix'd and permanent. But (as masculum sidus accepimus, torrens Dr. Pearce observes) Mr. Auzout in cuncta sorbensque. E contrario the Philosophical Transactions for ferunt lunæ femineum ac molle fi. the year 1666 thought that he had dus, atque nocturnum folvere humoobserved some difference between rem. Ita penfari naturæ vices, the spots of the moon as they then femperque sufficere, aliis fiderum ele. appear’d, and as they are described menta cogentibus, aliis vero fundento have appear'd long before: and tibus. Milton, who wrote this poem about 155. Only to shine, get scarce to conthat time, might approve of Au

tribúte) The accent here zout's observation, though others upon contribute is the same as upon do not.

attribute in ver. 107.


For such vast room in nature unpofsefs’d
By living soul, desert and desolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribúte

Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far
Down to this habitable, which returns
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
But whether thus these things, or whether not,
Whether the sun predominant in Heaven

160 Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun, He from the east his flaming road begin,

Or The swiftness of those circles attri- Raphael's mouth: for it is intimated búte:

in ver. 140. that our earth does fend and upon attributed in ver. 12. out light from her; and if so, then With glory attributed to the high. back to the fix'd stars. Suppose we

some of her light might be return'd But now a days we generally lay hould read Like back to ibem &c. the accent differently.

i. e. only a glimpse of light, just as

much and no more than the receives. 157. - this babitable,) An ad

Pearce. jective used substantively: earth is

159. But whether thus these things, or understood; as in VI. 78. this ter whether not, &c.] The Angel rene. This habitable is pure Greek, is now recapitulating the whole. He Oinxugon, the inhabited, the earth had argued upon the fuppofition of

Richardson. the truth of the Ptolemaic system to 158. Light back to them,] I think ver. 122. Then he proposes the Cothat Dr. Bentley very justly objects pernican system, and argues upon to the word Light here: for if the that suppolition. Now he sums up fix'd stars convey only a glimpse of the whole, But whether thus these light to our earth, it is too much to things, or whether not, whether the say that the returns back to them one system or the other be true, light in general, which implies more whether Heaven move or Earth, than a glimpse of it. The Doctor solicit not thyself about these mattherefore would read Nought back to ters, fear God and do thy duty. them : But this is not agreeable to


bis flaming road] Elethe philosophy which Milton puts in gantly applying to the road what


Or she from west her filent course advance
With inoffensive


that spinning sleeps On her soft axle, while the paces even, maar 165 And bears thee soft with the smooth air along, Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid, Leave them to God above, him serve and fear ; Of other creatures, as him pleases best, Wherever plac'd, let him dispose: joy thou 170 In what he gives to thee, this Paradise And thy fair Eve; Heav'n is for thee too high To know what passes there; be lowly wise: Think only what concerns thee and thy being ; Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there 175 Live, in what state, condition or degree, Contented that thus far hath been reveal'd Not of Earth only but of highest Heaven.


belongs to the fun. So I. 786. he says therefore to obviate this objection it the moon wheels her pale course. is not only said that the advances

Richardson. her filent course with inoffenfive pace

that spinning sleeps on her soft axle, 164: that spinning sleeps but it is farther added to explain it

On her soft axle, ] Metaphors taken ftill more, while foe paces even, and from a top, of which Virgil makes bears thee foft with the smooth air a whole fimile, Æn. VII. 378. It along : for the air, the atmosphere is an objection to the Copernican moves as well as the earth. system, that if the earth mov'd round on her axle in twenty-four hours, 173, be lowly wife :) Noli we should be sensible of the rapidity altum fapere. Hume, and violence of the motion ; and

193. That


To whom thus Adam, clear'd of doubt, reply'd.
How fully hast thou satisfy'd me, pure
Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene,
And freed from intricacies, taught to live,
The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts
To interrupt the sweet of life, from which
God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares, 185
And not moleft us, unless we ourselves
Seek them with wand'ring thoughts, and notions vain.

the mind or fancy is to rove
Uncheck’d, and of her roving is no end ;
Till warn’d, or by experience taught, she learn, 190
That not to know at large of things remote
From use, obscure and subtle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom; what is more, is fume,


But apt

193. That which before us lies in whose folly is truly represented in

daily life,] Shadow'd from the story of the philosopher, who a verse of Homer, so much admir'd while he was gazing at the stars feli and recommended by Socrates,

into the ditch. Our author in these

lines, as Mr. Thyer imagins, might οτι τοι εν μεγαροισι κακον τ' α- probably have in his eye the chagalcule Tetuxla.. Bentley. racter of Socrates, who first attempted

to divert his countrymen from their 194. Is the prime wisdom; what aery and chimerical notions about

is more, is fume, &c.) An the origin of things, and turn their excellent piece of fatir this, and a attention to that prime wisdom, the hne reproof of those men who have confideration of moral duties, and all sense buc common sense, and their conduct in social life. Vol. II.



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