[Milton-L] swerving

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Mon Sep 24 18:06:11 EDT 2007


As far as I can tell, the Latin construction supports the adverbial
application of "too secure" to "swerve." Thus my question.

Emendation hardly seems indicated. JDF 

On Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:09:01 -0600 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> This construction is common in Latin, both in prose and poetry.
> "Aeneas in pugnam cucurrit fidens " tranlates literarlly "Aeneas into
> battle 
> ran confident."
> Usually we translate the adjective as the adverb "confidently" and change 
> the word order for English.
> The simpler English rendering of the Milton line would probably be
> "he should beware lest he, being too secure, might swerve (from the true 
> path, etc.)"
> Rose Williams
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Michael Gillum" <mgillum at unca.edu>
> To: "milton-l" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Sent: Monday, September 24, 2007 11:38 AM
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] swerving
> 
> 
> > "Swerve" doesn't mean "move" or "travel." It means "turn aside,"
> implying 
> > in
> > this case error. Adam is to be warned not to slip up through
> complacency. 
> > So
> > unless someone can suggest a more plausible reading, there is a missing
> > comma: it should read "beware / He swerve not, too secure."
> >
> > Michael
> >
> >
> > On 9/24/07 8:09 AM, "James Rovira" <jamesrovira at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Of course, and figures of speech or idioms are one available means  of
> >> expression.  Is there a reason Milton couldn't have used these?  What
> >> he that committed to literal language at all times?  Is it possible
> >> that Milton's God wouldn't use figures of speech? (I think it is
> >> possible, but would like to know why).  The current construction (so
> >> understood) fits the context as part of God's warning to Adam and
> >> seems to fit the feel of the passage as well as its meter.
> >>
> >> Jim R
> >>
> >> On 9/24/07, jfleming at sfu.ca <jfleming at sfu.ca> wrote:
> >>> This construction, presumably, would have been within Milton's power
of
> >>> expression. It is not what he expresses, as far as I can tell, with 
> >>> "swerve
> >>> not too secure." JDF
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James Dougal Fleming
Department of English
Simon Fraser University
(778)-782-4713
cell: 778-865-0926

Nicht deines, einer Welt.


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