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35

Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears
To rapture, till the savage clamour drown'd
Both harp and voice ; nor could the Muse defend

So fail not thou, who thee implores :
For thou art heav'nly, she an empty dream.

Say Goddess, what ensued when Raphaël,

Her son.

40

fered him to live and die unmo- those in the former book, they lested.

abound with as magnificent 35. —where woods and rocks ideas. The sixth book, like a had ears] So in his verses ad troubled ocean, represents greatPartem, 1. 53. of Orpheus, ness in confusion; the seventh Qui tenuit Auvios, et quercubus ad

affects the imagination like the didit aures

ocean in a calm, and fills the Carmine

mind of the reader, without proT. Warton.

ducing in it any thing like 40. —what ensued when Ra- tumult or agitation. The critic phaël, &c.] Longinus has ob- above mentioned, among the served, that there may be a rules which he lays down for loftiness in sentiments, where succeeding in the sublime way there is no passion, and brings of writing, proposes to his instances out of ancient authors reader, that he should imitate to support this his opinion. the most celebrated authors who The pathetic, as that great critic have gone before him, and been observes, may animate and in- engaged in works of the same flame the sublime, but is not nature; as in particular, that if essential to it. Accordingly as he writes on a poetical subject, he further remarks, we very he should consider how Homer often find that those who excel would have spoken on such an most in stirring up the passions, occasion. By this means one very often want the talent of great genius often catches the writing in the great and sublime Hame from another, and writes manner, and so on the contrary. in his spirit, without copying Milton has shewn himself a servilely after him. There are a master in both these ways of thousand shining passages in writing. The seventh book, Virgil, which have been lighted which we now entering up by Homer. Milton, though upon, is an instance of that sub- his own natural strength of gelime, which is not mixed and nius was capable of furnishing worked up with passion. The out a perfect work, has doubtauthor appears

in a kind of less very much raised and encomposed and sedate majesty; nobled his conceptions, by such and though the sentiments do an imitation as that which Lonnot give so great an emotion, as gius has recommended. In this

are

The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn'd
Adam by dire example to beware
Apostasy, by what befel in heaven
To those apostates, lest the like befal
In Paradise to Adam or his race,

45
Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,
If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
So easily obey'd amid the choice
Of all tastes else to please their appetite,
Though wand'ring. He with his consorted Eve
The story heard attentive, and was fill'd
With admiration and deep muse, to hear
Of things so high and strange, things to their thought
So unimaginable as hate in heaven,
And war so near the peace of God in bliss
With such confusion : but the evil soon
Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those

50

55

were

book, which gives us an account subject is touched upon. Milof the six days' works, the poet ton has shewn his judgment received very few assistances very remarkably, in making use from heathen writers, who were

of such of these as were proper strangers to the wonders of for his poem, and in duly quacreation. But as there are many lifying those high strains of glorious strokes of poetry upon eastern poetry, which this subject in holy writ, the suited to readers, whose imaginauthor has numberless allusions ations were set to a higher to them through the whole pitch than those of colder clicourse of this book. The great mates. Addison. critic I have before mentioned, 47. If they transgress, &c.] though an heathen, has taken We should observe the connotice of the sublime manner in nexion; Lest the like befal to which the lawgiver of the Jews Adam or his race, if they transhas described the creation in gress, &c. the first chapter of Genesis; 50. He with his consorted and there are many other pas. Eve] Consorted from consort, sages in Scripture which rise up Cum consorte tori, as Ovid says, to the same majesty, where this Met. i. 319.

60

65

From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose : and now
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him, how this world
Of heav'n and earth conspicuous first began,
When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within Eden or without was done
Before his memory, as one whose drought
Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heav'nly guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our ears,
Far differing from this world, thou hast reveald,
Divine interpreter, by favour sent
Down from the empyréan to forewarn

70

59,-Whence Adam soon re- desire to know &c. proceeded thus pealed

to ask his heavenly guest. The doubts that in his heart

70. Great things, &c.] Adam's arose :)

speech to the Angel, wherein he Dr. Bentley would read dispelld; desires an account of what had but if an alteration were ne- passed within the regions of nacessary, I should rather read ture before the creation, is very repelld, as in ver. 610. we have great and solemn. The follow

- their counsels vain Thou hast ing lines, in which he tells him, repell d. But in the same sense that the day is not too far spent as a law is said to be repealed, for him to enter

upon

such when an end is put to all the , subject, are exquisite in their force and effect of it; so, when kind. doubts are at an end, they may be said to be repealed. Pearce.

And the great light of day yet wants 61. yet sinless,] Desiring knowledge indeed, (led on with Much of his race &c.

Addison. desire to know, fc.) but not the forbidden knowledge of good and evil. E.

72. Divine interpreter,] So 69. Proceeded thus &c.] The Mercury is called in Virgil Inconstruction is, And led on with terpres Divam, Æn. iv. 378.

to run

80

Us timely' of what might else have been our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach : 75
For which to th’infinitely Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receive with solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sovran will, the end
Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsaf'd
Gently for our instruction to impart
Things above earthly thought, which yet concern'd
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seem'd,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less perhaps avail us known,
How first began this heav'n which we behold
Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd
Innumerable, and this which yields or fills
All space, the ambient air wide interfus'd
Embracing round this florid earth, what cause 90
Mov'd the Creator in his holy rest
Through all eternity so late to build

85

79. -the end

earth, but flowing into and spun of what we are.)

out between all bodies; and is a The will of God is the end to fuller and finer notation of its which all we are; thou hast liquid and spiritual texture, leavcreated all things, and for thy ing no vacuum in nature, than pleasure they are and were created, that of Ovid, Rev, iv. 11. 88. —and this which yields or

Nec circumfuso pendebat in aëre

tellus. Met, i. 12. fills

Hume. All space, the ambient air wide interfus'd)

92. -so late to build] It is Yields space to all bodies, and a question that has been often

up the deserted space asked, Why God did not create so as to be subservient to mo- the world sooner? but the same tion. Richardson.

question might be asked, if the Ambient interfus'd denotes the world had been created at any air not only surrounding the time, for still there were infinite

again fills

95

In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Absolv’d, if unforbid thou may’st unfold
What we, not to explore the secrets ask
Of his eternal empire, but the more
To magnify his works, the more we know.
And the great light of day yet wants to run
Much of his race though steep ; suspense in heaven,

ages

before that time. And that Thy tale with raptures I could hear can never be a just exception

thee tell,

Thy woes on earth, the wondrous against this time, which holds

scenes in hell, equally against all time. It

Till in the vault of heav'n the stars must be resolved into the good decay, will and pleasure of Almighty

And the sky reddens with the rising day.

Broome. God; but there is a farther reason according to Milton's hypothesis, which is that God, after Mr. Thyer is of opinion, that the expelling of Satan and his there is not a greater instance angels out of heaven, declared of our author's exquisite skill in his pleasure to supply their place the art of poetry, than this and by creating another world, and the following lines. There is other creatures to dwell therein. nothing more, really to be ex

94. Absolu'd,] Finished, com- pressed, than Adam's telling pleted, perfected, from Absolutus, Raphael his desire to hear the (Latin.) Richardson.

continuance of his relation, and 98. And the great light of day yet the poet by a series of strong yet wants to run &c.] Our au- and noble figures has worked it thor has improved upon Homer, up into half a score of as fine Odyss. xi. 372. where Alcinous lines as any in the whole poem. by the same sort of arguments Lord Shaftesbury has observed, endeavours to persuade Ulysses that Milton's beauties generally to continue his narration; only depend upon solid thought, there it was night, and here the strong reasoning, noble passion, scene is by day.

and a continued thread of moral

doctrine; but in this place he Not so nda pada pangn, absopatos vàs has shewn what an exalted fancy ru ign

and mere force of poetry can Εύδειν εν μεγαρο συ δε μου λιγε θισdo.

99.

suspense in heaven, Kui xiss 9 day ανασχυμη

Held by thy voice, thy potent

voice, he hears,] And lo! a length of night behind We have here altered the remains,

puncThe evening stars still mount th' tuation of the first editions, ethereal plains,

which was thus,

262.a igra.

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