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Above all cattel, each beast of the field;
So spake this oracle, then verify'd
lates it, fo he shows afterwards how cramp'd down by a wrong choice, it was fulfill'd.
without the expected applause. 182. oracle, then verify'd
Bentliga When Jesus Son of Mary, &c] Here 184. Saw Satan fall like lightning is a manifest indication, That, down from Heaven, &c.] when Milton wrote this passage, he Here are several allusions to Scripthought Paradise was chiefly re- ture; as particularly to Luke X. 18. gair'd at our Saviour's resurrection. I beheld Satan as lightning fall from This would have been a copious Heaven. Prince of the air, so he is and sublime subject for a second callid Eph. II. 2. the prince of the poem. The wonders then to be power of the air. Spoild Principadescribed would have erected even lities and Pow’rs, triumph'd in of in an ordinary poet's genius; and in show, according to Col. II. 15. And episodes he might have introduc'd having spoiled Principalities and his conception, birth, miracles, and Powers, he made a floorw of them all the history of his administration, openly, triumphing over them in il. while on earth. And I much And with ascension bright captivity grieve, that instead of this he led captive, led captive those who ñould choose for the argument of had led us captive. Plal. LXVIII. his Paradise Regain’d the fourth 18. Thou hast ascended on high, thou chapter of Luke, the temptation in baft led captivity captive, applied to the wilderness; a dry, barren, and our Saviour by St. Paul, Eph. IV.8. narrow ground, to build an epic The air the realm of Satan, who is poem on.
In that work he has therefore call'd the prince of the amplified his fcanty materials to a power of the air, as we quoted besurprising dignity; but yet, being fore. Whom he fuell triad at last
Prince of the air ; then rising from his grave 185
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd.
Curs'd under our feet: Rom. XVI. 20. And 197. On Adam last thus judgment the God of peace ball bruise Satan be pronounc'd. &c. Ac is under your feet. We see by these equally exact in reporting the feninstances what use our author had tence pronounc'd upon Adam, Gen. made of reading the Scriptures. III. 17, 18, 19. And unto Adam be 192. And to tbe Woman thus bis said, Because thou hafi hearker'd un
fentence turn'd. &c. ] Gen. to the voice of tby wife, and haft III. 16. Urto the Woman be said, I eaten of the tree of which I com. will greatly multiply thy sorrow and manded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat tby conception; in forrow thou shalt of it: cursed is the ground for the bring forth childreæ ; and tby de fire sake; in forrow foalt thou eat of it fall be to tby busband; and be shall all the days of thy life: Thorns also rule over there
and tbifles hall it bring forth to
Curs’d is the ground for thy fake; thou in sorrow
So judg’d he Man, both judge and saviour sent,
215 As father of his family he clad
thee; and thou balt eat the berb of of a servant. As when be wab'd the field: In the sweat of thy face bis servants feet, John XIII. Joale tbou eat bread, till ihou return
be clad unto the ground, for out of it was
Their nakedness with skins of beasts,] thou taken; for duft thou art, and Gen. III. 21. Unto Adam also, and unte duf falt thou return. We quote to his wife did the Lord God make these passages at length, that with- coats of skins, and clothed them. And out any trouble they may be com- our author, we see, understands it par'd with the poem.
litterally, though it is sufficient if it 214.
the form of servant to was done by the divine providence assume, &c.] Alluding to and direction. But some commenPhil. II. 7. But made himself of no tators torment themselves and the reputation, and took upon bim the forme text by asking how Adam and Eve
Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or sain,
came by the skins of beasts; and 'for it shows more goodness in a therefore our author adds they were man to clothe his enemy, than only either pain, but he does not say one of his family. Milton seems to whether by one another, or for fa- have had in his thoughts what crifice, or for food; or they feed St. Paul says, Rom. V. 10. When their coat's like snakes and were re we were enemies, we were reconciled paid with new ones, a notion which to God through the death of his Son. we may presume he borrow'd from Milton again had much the same some commentator rather than ad- sentiment, when he makes Adam vanc'd of himself. It seems too odd say in ver. 1059. Cloth'd us une and extravagant to be a fancy of worthy. Pearce. his own, but he might introduce it
with his robe of righteout of vanity to show his reading. ousness, ) Isa. LXI. 10. He hath Pliny indeed mentions some lesser clothed me with the garments of fakcreatures shedding their skins in the vation, he hath covered me with the manner of snakes, but that is hardly robe of righteousness. authority fufficient for such a notion 229. Mean while ere thus was as this.
finn'd and judg'd on earth,] 219. And thought not much to Two impersonals : Before Man had
clothe bis enemies :) Dr. Bent- thus finn'd, and God had judged ley says that this line is certainly of him, Sin and Death sat in counterthe editor's manufacture, and quite view within the gates of Hell; but fuperfluous; because it divides what now upon Man's transgression and is naturally connected, and changes God's judgment Sin thus began and the sentiments, from a family under address’d herself to Death. a gracious father, to the condition 230. - fat Sin and Death,] We of enemies. But I don't see that it are now to consider the imaginary divides any natural connexion: and persons, or Sin and Death, who act as for changing the sentiments, it a large part in this book. Such does it to a beauty, not to a fault : beautiful extended allegories are
To him with swift ascent he
Mean while ere thus was sinn'd and judg'd on Earth, Within the gates of Hell fat Sin and Death, 230
certainly fome of the finest compo- very beautiful in poetry, when they fitions of genius: but, as I have be- are just town, without being enfore observed, are not agreeable to gaged in any series of action. Hothe nature of an heroic poem. This mer indeed represents Sleep as a of Sir and Death is very exquisite person, and ascribes a short part to in its kind, if not consider'd as a him in his Iliad; but we must conpart of such a work. The truths sider that tho' we now regard such contained in it are so clear and a person as entirely thadowy and open, that I shall not lose time in unlubftantial, the Heathens made explaining them; but shall only ob. ftatues of him, placed him in their serve, that a reader, who knows temples, and looked upon him as the strength of the English tongue, a real deity. When Homer makes will be amazed to think how the use of other such allegorical perpoet could find such apt words and fons, it is only in fort expressions, phrases to describe the actions of which convey an ordinary thought those two imaginary persons, and to the mind in the most pleasing particularly in that part where manner, and may rather be looked Death is exhibited as forming a upon as poetical phrases than allebridge over the Chaos ; a work suit- gorical descriptions. Instead of telable to the genius of Milton. Since ling us, that men naturally Ay the subject I am upon, gives me an when they are terrified, he introopportunity of speaking more at duces the persons of Flight and large of such shadowy and imagi- Fear, who, he tells us, are insepanary persons as may be introduced rable companions. Inftead of layinto heroic poems, I shall beg leave ing that the time was come when to explain myself in a matter which Apollo ought to have received his is curious in its kind, and which recompense, he tells us, that the none of the critics have treated of. Hours brought him his reward. InIt is certain Homer and Virgil are stead of describing the effects which full of imaginary persons, who are Minerva's Ægis produced in battel,