[Milton-L] swerving

John Rumrich rumrich at mail.utexas.edu
Mon Sep 24 15:10:53 EDT 2007

My suspicion is that, "swerve" here deliberately recalls Lucretius's  
notion of clinamen in a context where the indeterminacy of animate  
matter in motion is a function of free will rather than of an  
inexplicable fact of nature.

Someone else may have already said as much and I missed it.  If so,  
apologies for the repetition.

By the way, the OED lists numerous instances from the sixteenth and  
seventeenth centuries of "secure" being used as an adverb: from  
Marlow, Shakespeare, the AV, and Massinger among others.

On Sep 24, 2007, at 1:38 PM, James Rovira wrote:

> "Swerve" as a "metaphor for movement" could encompass the idea of
> "turning aside" as well as other kinds of movement--because to "turn
> aside" is to "move."  But I'm not too sure I understand Michael
> Gillum's reading.  When God says that Adam should be warned that he
> "swerve not too secure" is he saying Adam shouldn't be too secure in
> his swerving or turning aside from...obedience?  That would almost
> sound as if the God of PL were encouraging Adam to sin carefully or
> not too recklessly or not with too great a sense of security.
> Interesting that any reading offered so far needs to add something--an
> "ly" to transform "secure" into a clear adverb, or a comma, or a great
> many words.  Might be interesting to look up other uses of the word
> "swerve" in PL as well.
> Jim R
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