Surprised by Delight
Divine Love & the Love of Man & Woman Surpass Mere Consent
by Anthony Esolen
When in Milton's Paradise Lost Adam beholds Eve for the first time—and "behold" is the correct word, since he is in the presence of a consummate work of divine art—he is already delighted even before he says a word. God had put his taste, intelligence, and boldness to a bit of a friendly test, asking Adam why the beasts were not sufficient company for him, or why solitariness was not a great blessing. When Adam held his ground, God cast a sleep over him, formed Eve from his rib, and brought her to him. The first Man, the man who is . . .
Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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more on marriage from the online archives
more from the online archives