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Mean, or in her fumm'd up, in her contain'd,
And in her looks, which from that time infus'd
Sweetnefs into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her air infpir'd
The spirit of love and amorous delight.

After receiving fome admonitions from the angel, Adam explains himself on the subject of his love for Eve, in order to prove that his paffion was founded on reason, and therefore, though violent, not improper for Paradise.

Neither her outfide form fo fair, nor ought
In procreation common to all kinds
(Though higher of the genial bed by far,
And with myfterious reverence I deem)
So much delights me as thofe graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions mixt with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one foul.

The force of Adam's love, which we have already been defcribing, is exemplify'd towards the latter end of the work in many beautiful paffages; and the difpute that arifes between our two first parents, proceeds, as Mr. Addison justly .obferves, from a difference of judgment, not of passion; it is managed with reafon, not with heat; and is fuch a difpute as we may fuppofe might have happened in Paradife, when man was happy and innocent. His parting with Eve is remarkably natural and affectionate.

Her long with ardent look his eye purfued
Delighted, but defiring more her stay.
Oft he to her his charge of quick return
Repeated; fhe to him as oft engag'd
To be return'd by noon amid the bow'r.

His impatience for her return, and his employment during her abfence, are moft beautifully expreffed.

-Adam the while

Waiting defirous her return, had wove
Of choiceft flowers a garland to adorn
Her treffes, and her royal labours crown,
As reapers oft are wont their harvest queen.

Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, fo long delay'd.

But his affection is more particularly and emphatically expreffed in the fpeech he makes on feeing her irrecoverably loft.

-Some cursed fraud

Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee
Certain my refolution is to die;
How can I live without thee, how forego
'Thy sweet converfe, and love fo dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn ?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart: no, no, I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy ftate
Mine never shall be parted, blifs or woe.

After this determination, Adam is reprefented as partaking of the forbidden fruit, the effects of which rash action are thus defcribed; though rather in the sublime than the agreeable.

-He fcrupled not to eat

Against his better knowledge, not deceiv'd,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again
In pangs, and nature gave a second groan,
Sky lour'd, and muttering thunder, fome fat drops
Wept at compleating of the mortal fin.

Adam, whofe paffions had now gained the dominion over him, is reprefented as upbraiding Eve for the lofs of Paradife, whom he fpurns from him with indignation. This paffage, in which the renews her addreffes to him, is, in the opinion of the best judges, extremely pathetic and affecting.

He added not, and from her turn'd; but Eve
Not fo repuls'd, with tears that ceas'd not flowing,
And trefles all diforder'd, at his feet
Fell humble; and embracing them, befought
His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.

Forfake me not thus, Adam! Witness heav'n

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What love fincere and reverence in my heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceiv'd! Thy fuppliant
I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not
(Whereon I live) thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counsel in this uttermoft distress,
My only ftrength and ftay: Forlorn of thee
Whither fhall I betake me, where subsist?
While yet we live (fcarce one short hour perhaps)
Between us two let there be peace.

The complaint which Eve makes, on hearing that they were to be driven out of Paradife, is not only beautiful, but foft and fuitable to the fex.

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Muft I then leave thee, Paradife? thus leave
Thee, native foil, thefe happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend
Quiet, though fad, the refpite of that day
That must be mortal to us both. O flow'rs
That never will in other climate grow,
My early vifitation and my last
Atev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave you names;
Who now fhall rear ye to th' fun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrofial fount ?
Thee laftly, nuptial bower, by me adorn'd
With what to fight or fmell was fweet; from thee
How fhall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obfcure

And wild
Lefs pure,

how fhall we breathe in other air
accuftom'd to immortal fruits ?

The fpeech which Adam makes upon the fame occafion, is equally affecting, but is conceived and expreffed in a manner more elevated and mafculine: the following part of it especially.

This most afflicts me, that departing hence
As from his face I fhall be hid, depriv'd

His bleffed countenance; here I could frequent,
With worship, place by place where he vouchfaf'd
Prefence divine, and to my fons relate

On this mount he appear'd, under this tree

Stood vifible, among these pines his voice
I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd;
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of graffy turf, and pile up every stone
Of luftre from the brook, in memory
Or monument to ages, and thereon

Offer sweet-smelling gums and fruits and flowers.
In yonder nether world where fhall I feek
His bright appearances, or footsteps trace ?
For though I fled him angry, yet recall'd
To life prolong'd and promis'd race I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his fteps adore.

Agreeable and well conceived fictions have also a good effect either in profe or verfe, and always please readers of tafte and judgement. Pliny the younger, in order to engage Cornelius Tacitus to follow his example, and study even when hunting, tells him, that the exercife of the body exalts the mind; and that if he took his tablets with him, he would find that Minerva delighted as much in the forefts and mountains as Diana. A fiction prettily conceived, and in few words. A kin to this is the image (or fiction of a perfon) which Milton has given us in what he calls his fong of the May morning; which is extremely beautiful, efpecially that part of it defcribing May led in by the morning ftar, and throwing from her green lap the flowers of the feafon.

Now the bright morning ftar, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flow'ry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowflip, and the pale primrofe.
Hail bounteous May that doft inspire
Mirth and youth and warm defire;
Woods and groves are of thy dreffing,
Hill and dale doth boaft thy bleffing.
Thus we falute thee with our early fong,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

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But the agreeable often arifes from an oppofition, efpecially in thoughts which have two meanings; or when a perfon agitated by paffion affers and contradicts himself almoft in the fame breath, as in the fcene of Shakespear's

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Romeo and Juliet, where fhe, to induce her lover to stay, cries,

Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly fhe fings on yon pomgranate tree :
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

But after a moment's reflection, fhe corrects herself, and replies,

It is, it is, hie hence, begone, away;

It is the lark that fings fo out of tune,
Straining harsh difcords, and unpleafing sharps.

That figure which feems to deny what it advances, and in appearance contradicts itself, is, when properly applied, extremely elegant.

Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never tafte of death but once. SHAKE.

But these thoughts are to be admitted with great caution and judgment; for the partition here between wit and nonfenfe is so very flender, that many writers have broken through it, and converted what they intended for a beauty into a blot, by presenting their readers not with a feeming contradiction, but a real one. Nor are we to fuppofe that a thought cannot be agreeable or beautiful, unless it glitters with ingenious conceits, or a play of words; for in fome cafes, beauty may confift in fimplicity alone, and be, in its place, like a plain pillar in fome building, the only proper, and therefore the best ornament. Befides, it is impoffible for a writer to be upon the fublime and the beautiful from one end of his piece to the other, nor will any fubject admit of it; fome things muft occur that require common thoughts and a common ftile; but if they did not, and it was poffible for a poet to keep up to the fame elevated ftrain, yet would he mifs of his aim, and rather difguft than please; for the mind would be deprived of the refreshment and recreation it takes in paffing from things that are excellent to those that are common, and of the delight which fprings from furprife; neither of which it can obtain, where all things appear with undiftinguished

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