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PARADISE LOS T.
B 0:0 K
For that warning voice, which he who saw
Those, who know how many though they agree in their opinions volumes have been written on the of the great beauties in those poems of Homer and Virgil, will poems, they have nevertheless each easily pardon the length of my dif. of them discovered several mastercourse upon Milton. The Paradise strokes, which have escaped the Loft is looked upon, by the best observation of the rest. In the judges, as the greatest production, same manner, I question not, but or at least the noblest work of ge- any writer who fall treat of this nius in our language, and there. subject after me, may find several fore deserves to be fet before an beauties in Milton, which I have English reader in its full beauty. not taken notice of. I must likeFor this reason, tho’I have ende- wise observe, that as the greatert vor'd to give a general idea of its masters of critical learning differ graces and imperfections in my fix among one another, as to some first papers, I thought myself ob- particular points in an epic poem, liged to bestow one upon every I have not bound myself scrupubook in particular. The three lously to the rules which any one first books I have already dispatch- of them has laid down upon that ed, and am now entring upon the art, but have taken the liberty fourth. I need not acquaint my sometimes to join with one, and reader that there are multitudes of sometimes with another, and somebeauties in this great author, espe- times to differ from all of thein, cially in the descriptive parts of his when I have thought that the reapoem, which I have not touched son of the thing was on my side. upon, it being my intention to
Astdi(51. point out those only, which appear 1. O for that warning voicr, &c.) to me the most exquisite, or those The poet opens this book with a which are not so obvious to ordi- wish in the manner of Shakespcar, nary readers. Every one that has O for a Muse of fire &c. Prolog to read the critics who have written Henry V. O for a fulkner's skice upon the Odyssey, the Iliad, and' &c. Romeo and Juliet, Ad Il. and the Æneid, knows very well, that in order to raise the horror and af
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
S While time was, our first parents had been warn'd The coming of their secret foe, and scap'd, Haply so fcap'd his mortal snare; for now Satan, now first inflam’d with rage, came down, The tempter ere th’accuser of man-kind,
IO To wreck on innocent frail man his loss Of that first battel, and his flight to Hell : Yet not rejoicing in his speed, though bold Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast, Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birth
15 Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And tention of his reader, introduces As he is represented in that fame his relation of Satan's adventures chapter of the Revelation, which upon earth by wishing that the the poet is still alluding to. For the fame warning voice had been ut- accuser of our brethren is cast down, ter'd now at Satan's first coming, which accused them before our God that St. John, who in a vision saw day and night, ver. 10. the Apocalyps or Revelation of the 13. Yet not rejoicing in his speed,] most remarkable events which were Does not this confirm what I have to befall the Christian Church to observed of ver. 741. of the prethe end of the world, heard when ceding book, and prove that Milthe Dragon (that old Serpent, called ton did not intend by it to attrithe Devil and Satan) was put to se- bute any sportive motion to Satan cond rout. Rev. XII. 12. Woe to for joy that he was so near his the inhabiters of the earth and of the journey's end ?
Thyer. sea, for the Devil is comme down unto No more than II. 1011. But glad jou, having great wrath.
that now his sea pould find a fhore, 10. —th'accufer of man-kind,] and III. 740. Sped with bop'd fuccefs,
And like a devilish engin back recoils
Then prove the contrary. Satan was muft die, we may keep the word bold far off and fearless, and as he memory here, and prefer it to his drew nearer, was pleas’d with bop'd theory. Memory is recordatio, or success ; but now he is come to earth the thinking or reflecting upon any to begin his dire attempt, he does thing, as well present and future not rejoice in it, his heart misgives as pait.
Pearce. him, horror and doubt distract him. Thus Virgil says of his bees, that This is all
remembring the winter coming on 24
they lay by provisions in the sumOf what he was, what is, and mer, Georg. IV. 156.
what must be] Dr. Bentley Venturæque hyemis memores æstate reads theory instead of memory: be laborem cause he does not understand what
Experiuntur, et in medium quæis the memory of a thing present or
fita reponunt. future. But if the Docior will allow that it is sense to say peronto 30. meridion torer : ] At by Ofw7 O wi, or remember that you noon the sun is lifted up as in a
Then much revolving, thus in sighs began.
O thou that with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy fole dominion like the God Of this new world; at whose fight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
35 But with no friendly voice, and add thy name O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down
40 Warring in Heav'n against Heav'n's matchless king:
tower. The metaphor is used by from whence he fell, and breaks Virgil in his Culex, ver. 41. forth into a speech that is soften'd Igneus æthereas jam sol penetrâ- remorse and felf-accusation: but at
with several transient touches of rat in arces.
length he confirms himself in imSpenser in his admirable translation penitence, and in his design of of that poem has follow'd him drawing Man into his own state of punctually.
guilt and misery. This conflict of The fiery sun was mounted now of art, as the
opening of his speech
passions is raised with a great deal on hight
to the sun is very bold and noble. Up to the heav'nly tow'rs.
This speech is, I think, the finest
that is ascribed to Satan in the 32. O thou &c. ) Satan being whole poem.
Addison. now within prospect of Eden, and When Milton design'd to have looking round upon the glories of made only a tragedy of the Parathe creation, is filled with senti- dise Loft, it was his intention to ments different from those which have begun it with the first ten he discover'd while he was in lines of the following speech, Hell. The place inspires him with which he show'd to his nephew thoughts more adapted to it: He Edward Philips and others, as Phi. seficets upon the happy condition lips informs us in his account of
Ah wherefore! he deserv'd no such return
the life of his uncle. And what a inordinate desires that break forth noble opening of a play would into the most execrable acts to acthis have been! The lines were complich their haughty designs ; certainly too good to be loft, and which makes our author stigmatize the author has done well to em- ambition as a worse sin than pride. ploy them here, they could not
Hume. have been better employd any Dr. Bentley reads and curs'd ambia where. Satan is made to address tion, because he thinks it hard to the sun, as it was the most conspi- say whether pride or ambition is cuous part of the creation; and worse: but Milton seems to mean the thought is very natural of ad- by pride the vice consider'd in itself, dressing it like the God of this and only as it is the temper of the world, when so many of the Hea- proud man; and by ambition the then nations have worshipped and vice that carry'd him to aim at beadored it as such.
ing equal with God: and was not 40. Till pride and worse ambition) this vice the worst of the two ? I Pride is a kind of excessive and vi- observe that Satan always lays the cious self-esteem, that raises men blame on his ambition, as in ver. in their own opinions above what 61 and 92. Pearce. is just and right: but ambition is 50. I fdeind) For disdain'd; an that which adds fuel to this flame, imitation of the Italian fdegnare. and claps spurs to these furious and