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must weep.

Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given, IO
That brought into this world a'world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery
Death's harbinger: Sad task, yet argument
Not less but more heroic than the wrath

Of as we read in the preceding book, That brought into this world (a , and the whole foregoing episode is world of woe) a conversation with the Angel, and Sin and her shadow Death, the poem, this is particularly de but I fancy the other will be found fcribd and insisted upon here. The

more agreeable to Milton's stile and

manner. We have a fimilar inftance Lord God and the Angel Michael

in XI. 627 both indeed afterwards discourse with Adam in the following books, but

The world ere long a world of tears those discourses are not familiar conversation as with a friend, they are But in these instances Milton was of a different strain, the one coming corrupted by the bad taste of the to judge, and the other to expel him times, and by reading the Italian from Paradise.

poets, who abound with such verbal I now must change


12. Those notes to tragic;} As the au

Death's harbinger :) Dr. Bentley thor is now changing his subject, he profeffes likewise to change his file reads Malady; because, as there is agreeably to it. The reader there. Mifery after death,

so there is Misery,

which does not usher in death, but fore malt not expect such lofty images invoke it in vain. But by Misery and descriptions, as before. What here, Milton means fickness, disease, follows is more of the tragic itrain

and all sorts of mortal pains. So than of the epic. Which may serve

when in XI. Michael is going to as an answer to those critics, who censure the latter books of the Pa- house represented to Adam in a vi

name the several diseases in the lazarradife Loft as falling below the

fion, he says ver. 475. former.

that thou may't know
11. That brought into this world a
world of woe,] The pun or

What misery th’inabstinence of Eve
Shall bring on men.

Pearce. what shall I call it in this line may be avoided, as a great man observed


Sad task, yet argument] to me, by distinguishing thus, The Paradise Loft, even in this latter


and Misery

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Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd

Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd,
Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that fo long
Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea’s Son
If answerable ftile I can obtain

Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor’d,

And part of it, concerning God's anger he boasts of her nightly visitation, as and Adam's diftrefs, is a more heroic he was not unaccustom'd to study subject than the wrath of Achilles on and compofe his verses by night; as his for, Hector whom he pursued he intimates himself at the beginning three times round the walls of Troy of book the third, according to Homer, or than the

but chief rage of Turnus for Lavinia disespous’d, Thee, Sion, and the flow'ry brooks having been first betroth'd to him,

beneath, and afterwards promis’d to Æneas That wash thy hallow'd feet, and according to Virgil, or Neptune's ire

warbling flow, that so long perplex'd the Greek, Ulysses

Nightly I visit. as we read in the Odyssey, or y uno's ire that for so many years perplex'd And it is probable that in both these Cytherea's son. Æneas as we read at passages he alludes to the beginning large in the Æneid. The anger that of Hefiod's Theogony, where he he is about to fing is an argument mentions likewise the Muses walking more heroic not only than the an- by night, ver. 1'o. ger of men, of Achilles and Turnus, Erroxloe sergov, torenteated or but than that even of the Gods, of

GAY ledai. Neptune and Juno. The anger of the true God is a more noble subject 23.

or inspires than of the false Gods. In this re Eah my unpremeditated verse:] spect he has the advantage of Homer Here is the same kind of beauty that and Virgil

, his argument is more we observed before in III. 37. The heroic as he says, if he can but make verfe flows so easy, that it feems to his file answerable.

have been made without premedi. 21. - my celestial patrone/s,] His tation. beav'nly Mufe, his Urania, whom he 26. - long choosing, and beginning had invak'd I. 6. VII. 1, 31. And larz ; Our author intended



And dictates to me Numb'ring, or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse:
Since first this subject for heroic fong

Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;
Not fedulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroic deem'd, chief mastry to diffect
With long and tedious havoc fabled knights


In pretty early to write an epic poem, It is indeed, as Mr. Warburton moft and proposed the story of king Ar: excellently obferves in his Divine thus for the fubje&t of it: but that Legation of Mofes, Book 2. Sect. 4. was laid aside probably for the rea- the third species of epic poetry. For fons here intimated. The Paradise just as Virgil rivaled Homer, so Loft he designed at first as a tragedy; Milton emulated both. He found it was not till long after that he be- Homer possessed of the province of gan to form it into an epic poem: morality, Virgil of politics, and noand indeed for several years he was thing left for him but that of religion. fo hotly engaged in the controversies This he seised, as aspiring to share of the times, that he was not at with them in the government of the leisure to think of a work of this poetic world; and by means of the nature, and did not begin to falhion fuperior dignity of his subject, got it in its present form till after the to the head of that triumvirate which Salmafian controversy which ended took so many ages in forming. in 1655, and probably did not set These are the three species of the about the work in earnest till after epic poem; for its largest province the Restoration, so that he was long is human action, which can be concboofing and beginning late.

fidered but in a moral, a political, 28. hitherto the only argument or religious view; and these the three

Heroic deem'd,] By the Modern's great creators of them; for each of as well as by the Ancients; wars these poems was ftruck out at an being the principal subject of all the heat, and came to perfection from heroic poems from Homer down its first essay. Here then the grand to this time. But Milton's subject scene is closed, and all farther imwas different, and whatever others provements of the epic at an end. may call it, we see he reckons it 29. - chief mastry to diffet &c.] himself anberoic poem, tho'he names As the admir'd subjects for an heroic is only A poem in his title page. poem were mistaken, so those were


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In battels feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds ;

Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and torneament; then marshal'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with fewers, and seneshals;

The wrong who thought the diffecting of names of warriors, and descriptions knights was a principal part of the of the devices and impresses which skill of a poet, describing wounds they bore in their arms. See Boiaras a surgeon. He doubtless here do's Orland. Inam. B. 2. C. 29. glanc'd at Homer's perpetual affec

Thyer. tation of this sort of knowledge, which certainly debases his poetry.

35. Impreses quaint, &c.] UnRichardson.

common witty devices or emblems,

painted on their shields usually with 33. or to describe races and a motto. We remember one which

games,] As the ancient poets was not painted; 'twas a blank have done; Homer in the twenty- shield, the motto imported that the third book of the Iliad, Virgil in wearer would win by his valor the fifth book of the Æneid, and wherewith to adorn it. Bases from Statius in the sixth book of his The- Bas (French) they fall low to the baid : Or tilts and torneaments, which ground; they are also call'd the are often the subject of the modern housing from boufé, bedaggled. Sewpoets, as Ariosto, Spenser, and the ers from aleoir (French) to set down; like.

for those officers set the dishes on 34.

the table ; in old French affeours. imblazon'd

bields,] The Italian poets in general are much Senebals from two German

words too circumftantial about these trifling and was apply'd by way of emi

fignifying a servant of a family ; particulars. But I can't help thinking that our author had principally

nence to the principal servant, the

fteward, in view Boiardo, who in his cata.

Richardson. logue of Agramante's troops gives us We may observe that Milton fpells a most faftidious detail of imblazonry, the word impreses after the Italian having for above a hundred verses impresa, and not as we commonly together nothing else scarcely but do impreffis, as if it was of Latin


The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name
To person or to poem. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains, fufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years damp my intended wing 45
Depress’d, and much they may, if all be mine,

Not extraction: but as he has used the


unless an age too late, or words impresi'd III. 388. and in cold other places, and impress IV. 558. Climate,] He has a thought of we have caused it to be printed im- the same kind in his prose works. presses out of regard to the unifor- The Reason of Church government. mity of spelling. And fo torneament Book the second, p. 60. Edit. 1738. he spells here after the Italian tor. As Tafio gave to a prince of neamento, though in XI. 652. he“ Italy his choice, whether he writes it tournament, which seems to “ would command him to write of be after the French tournoy: but the “ Godfrey's expedition against the fame regard to the uniformity of “ infidels, or Belisarius against the {pelling obliges us to print it in both “ Goths, or Charlemain against the places alike; and we prefer tornea- Lombards ; if to the instinct of ment, because we suppose the Italian nature and the imboldning of art to have been the original word; as ought may be trufted, and that we write impreljes according to the “ there be nothing adverse in our Latin, because that word is origi climate. or the fate of this age, nally derived from the Latin. Shake" it haply would be no ralhness spear too uses the word impress as from an equal diligence and ina substantive in the same lense, “ clination to present the like offer Richard 11. AA III.

own ancient stories.” From mine own windows torn my fixty when this poem was publish’d.

Or years damp &c. for he was near houshold coat, Ras'd out my impress.

And it is surprising, that at that

time of life, and after such troubleAnd Fairfax in Tasso, Cant. 20. fome days as he had passed thro' gh, St. 28.

he should have so much poetical Their arms, impreses, colors, gold fire remaining.

and stone. VOL. II.


50.- four!

“ in our

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