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Perceiuing Eve his flatte ing gloze digest
“No, fair,” (quoth he) “ beleeue not that the care
his purest, faii est, rarest fruit's fruition :
Sylvester's Du Bartas, Edit. 1621. pp. 192, 193. '
As Milton has been supposed to have been much obliged to other poets in de. scribing the unsubdued spirit of Satan, especially where he says,
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven : I am tempted to make an extract or two from Stafford's Niobe, a prose-work already mentioned', in which Satan speaks the following words; not dissimilar to passages in Fletcher and Crashaw, which have been cited, on the same subject.
“They say forsooth, that pride was the cause of my fall; and that I dwell where there is nothing but weeping, howling, and gnashing of teeth ; of which that falsehood was the authour, I will make you plainelie perceiue. True it is, sir, that I (storming at the name of supremacie) sought to depose my Creatour ; which the watchful, all-seeing eye of Prouidence finding, degraded me of my angelicall dignitie, dispossessed me of all pleasures; and the Seraphin and Cherubin, Throni, Dominationes, Virtutes, Potestates, Principatus, Arch-angeli, Angeli, ad all the celestiall Hierarchyes, with a shout of applause sung my departure out of Heauen : my Alleluia was turned into an Ehu; and too soone I found, that I was corruptibilis ab alio, though not in alio ; and that he, that gave me my being, could againe take it from mee. Now for as much as I was once an angell of light, it was the will of Wisedome to confine me to darknes and to create mee prince thereof: that so I, who could not obey in Heauen, might commaund in Hell. And, belieue mee, sir, I had rather controule within my dark diocese, than to reinhabite cælum empyrium, and there live in subjection, vnder check." Edit. 1611, pp. 16-18 part the second. Stafford calls Satan the “ grim visag'd Goblin,” ibid. p. 85. And, in the first part of the book, he describes the devil as having committed incest with his daughter, the World.” p. 3. He also attributes the gunpowder plot to the devil, “ with his unhallowed senate of popes, the inuentors and fautours of this vnheard-of attempt in Hell.” p. 149.
I have thus brought together opinions, delivered at different periods respecting the origin of Paradise Lost; and have humbly endeavoured to trace, in part, the reading of the great poet, subservient to his plan. More successful disco verie
See the note p. 336.
TODD'S ORIGIN OF PARADISE LOST. will probably arise from the pursuits of thase, who are devoted to patient and liberal investigation. Videlicet hoc illud est præcipuè studiorum genus, quod vigiliis augescat; ut cui subinde ceu fluminibus ex decursu, sic accedit ex lectione minutatìm quo fiat uberius. To such persons may be recommended the masterly observations of him, who was once so far imposed upon as to believe Lauder an honest man, and Milton a plagiary: but who expressed, when" Douglas and Truth appeared, "" the strongest indignation against the envious impostor: for they are observations resulting from a wish not to depreciate, but zealously to praise, the Paradise Lost. “ Among the inquiries, to which this ardour of cri. ticism has naturally given occasion, none is more obscure in itself, or more worthy of rational curiosity, than a retrospect of the progress of this mighty genius in the construction of his work; a view of the fabric gradually rising, perhaps, from small beginnings, till its foundation rests in the center, and its turrets sparkle in the skies; to trace back the structure, through all its varieties, to the simplicity of its first plan; to find what was first projected, whence the scheme was taken, how it was improved, by what assistance it was executed, and from what stores the materials were collected; whether its founder dag them from the quarries of Nature, or demolished other buildings to embellish his own.” I may venture to add that, in such inquiries, patience will be in vigorated rather than dispirited ; and every new discovery will teach us more and more to admire the genius, the erudition, and the memory of the inimitable Milton.
6 Politian. Miscellaneorum Præf. 7 The Progress of Envy, an excellent poem occasioned by Lauder's attack on the character of Milton. See Lloyd's Poems, last line of Progress of Envy.
So bishop Douglas told the affectionate biographer of Dr. Johnson. See Boswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. p. 197, Edit. 1799. 'g See Boswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. p. 199.
IN PARADISUM AMISSAM SUMMI POETA, JOHANNIS Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt :
Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,
Et metuit pugnæ non superesse suæ. Qui legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni At simul in cælis Messiæ insignia fulgent, Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis?
Et currus animes, armáque digna Deo, Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum,
Horrendúmque rotæ strident, et sæva rotarum Et fata, et fines, continet iste liber.
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus, Inti ma panduntur magni penetralia mundi,
Et flammæ vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet:
Admistis flammis insonuere polo : Terræque, tractúsque maris, colúmque profun- Excidit attonitis mens omnis, et impetus omnis, dum,
Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt; Sulphureúmque Erebi, flammivomúmque spe- Ad poenas fugiunt; et, ceu foret Orcus asylum, cus:
Infernis certant condere se tenebris, Quæque colant terras, pontúmque, et Tartara Cedite, Romani scriptores; cedite, Graii; cæca,
Et quos fama recens vel celebravit annus. Quæque colunt summi lucida regna poli: Hæc quicunque leget tantùm cecinisse putabit Et quodcunque ullis conclusum est finibus us Mæonidem sanas, Virgilium culices. quam,
SAMUEL BARROW, M.D'.. Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus; Et sine fine magis, si quid magis est sine fine, In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
ON PARADISE LOST. Hæc qui speraret quis crederet esse futurum?
Et tamen hæc hodiè terra Britanna legit. When I beheld the poet blind, yet bold, O quantos in bella duces ! qure protulit arma ! In slender book his vast design unfold,
Quæ canit, et quantâ prælia dira tuba! Messiah crown'd, God's reconcil'd decree, Coelestes acies ! atque in certamine cælum ! Rebelling angels, the forbidden tree,
Et quæ cælestes pugna deceret agros ! Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument Quantus in æthereis tollit se Lucifer armis ! Held me a while misdoubting his intent,
Atque ipso graditur vix Michaële minor! That he would ruin (for I saw him strong) Quantis, et quàm funestis concurritur iris, The sacred truths to fable and old song ;
Dum ferus hic stellas protegit, ille rapit ! (So Sampson grop'd the temple's posts in spight) Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent, l'he world o'erwhelming to revenge his sight.
1 This poem by Dr. Barrow, and the next by 2 Of Dr. Samuel Barrow, the author of these Milton's friend Andrew Marvel, have been usual. verses, no account has been given by the editors ly published in the editions of Paradise Lost, of Milton. Toland only calls him a doctor of since the edition of 1674, to which they are both physie. Perhaps he was the physician to the prefixed. TODD.
army of general Monk. TODD.
Yet as I read, still growing less severe, How couldst thou hope to please this tinsel I lik'd his project, the success did fear;
race? Through that wild field how he his way should Though blind, yet, with the penetrating eye find,
Of intellectual light, thou dost survey O'er which lame Faith leads Understanding The labyrinth perplex'd of Heaven's decrees; blind;
And with a quill, pluck'd from an angel's wings Lest he'd perplex the things he would explain, Dipt in the fount that laves the eternal throne, And what was easy he should render vain. Trace the dark paths of Providence Divine, Or if a work so infinite he spann'd,
And justify the ways of God to man.” Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
F. C. 1680.
Three poets, in three distant ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England, did adorn.
The first in loftiness of thought surpass'd;
The next, in majesty; in both, the last
join'd the former tros.
The force of Nature could no farther go: fit, And all that was improper dost omit: So that no room is here for writers left, But to detect their ignorance or theft. That majesty, which through thy work doth reign,
FROM AN ACCOUNT OF THE GREATEST ENGLISH POET Draws the devout, deterring the profane. And things divine thou treat'st of in such state But Milton next, with high and haughty stalks As them preserves, and thee, inviolate.
Unfetter'd, in majestic numbers, walks: At once delight and horrour on us seize, No vulgar hero can his Muse engage, Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease; Nor Earth's wide scene confine his hallow'd rage. And above human flight dost soar aloft
See! see! he upward springs, and, towering bigh, With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft. Spurns the dull province of mortality; The bird, nam'd from that Paradise you sing, Shakes Heaven's eternal throne with dire alarms, So never flags, but always keeps on wing. And sets the Almighty Thunderer in arms! Where couldst thou words of such a compass Whate'er his pen describes I more than see, find?
Whilst every verse array'd in majesty, Whence furnish such a vast expense of mind? Bold and sublime, my whole intention draws, Just Heaven thee, like Tiresias, to requite, And seems above the critic's nicer laws. Rewards with prophecy thy loss of sight. How are you struck with terrour and delight,
Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure When angel with archangel copes in fight! With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; When great Messiah's outspread banner shines, While the Town-Bays writes all the while and How does the chariot rattle in bis lines ! spells,
What sound of brazen wheels, with thunder, scare And, like a pack-horse, tires without his bells: And stun the reader with the din of war! Their fancies like our bushy points appear; With fear my spirits and my blood retire, The poets tag them, we for fashion wear. To see the seraphs sunk in clouds of fire : I too, transported by the mode, offend,
But when, with eager steps, from hence I rise, And, while I meant to praise thee, must com- And view the first gay scene of Paradise ; mend.
What tongue, that words of rapture, can express Thy verse created, like thy theme, sublime, A vision so profuse of pleasantness! In number weight and measure, needs not rhyme.
ture that Francis Cradock,a member of the Rota
Club to which Milton belonged, might be the TO MR. JOHN MILTON, ON HIS POEM ENTITLED PA
author of them. See Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. ii. RADISE LOST 3.
4 The expressions, in this line, oecur in one of O THOU! the wonder of the present age, Constable's Sonnets. An age immers'd in luxury and vice;
The pen wherewith thow dost so heauenly singe A race of triflers; who can relish nought
Made of a quill pluckt from an angell's winge But the gay issae of an idle brain :
So, in Davies's Bien Venu, 1606.
But poet's pens pluckt from archangels' wings 3 These verses by F. C. are prefixed to Mil S This celebrated epigram on Milton appears ton's poetical works in the edition of the English under the well-engraved head of the poet by R. poets, 1779. They had before appeared in White, prefixed to the folio edition of Paradise Fawkes and Woty's Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. Lost in 1688. It has been thus published in many viii. 69. But we are not told who F. C. was. As succeeding editions of the same poem. Dryder, I have not yet met with these verses in any other I should add, is a subscriber to the edition of 1646 publication, I may be permitted to offer a conjec-TODD.
Whose generous zeal, unbought by flattering ADDRESS TO GREAT BRITAIN.
Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times;
For lofty sense, Immortal patrons of succeeding days, Creative fancy, and inspection keen
Attend this prelude of perpetual praise! Through the deep windings of the human heart, Let Wit, condemn'd the feeble war to wage Is not wild Shakspeare thine and Nature's boast? With close Malevolence, or public Rage; Is not each great, each amiable Muse
Let Study, worn with Virtue's fruitless lore, Of classic ages in thy Milton met?
Behold this theatre, and grieve no more. A genius, universal as his theme;
This night, distinguish'd by your smiles, shall Astonishing as Chaos; as the bloom
tell, Of blowing Eden fair; as Heaven sublime ! That never Britain can in vain excel;
THOMSON'S SUMMER. The slighted arts futurity shall trust,
And rising ages hasten to be just.
At length onr mighty bard's victorious lays
Fill the loud voice of universal praise ;
And baffled Spite, with hopeless anguish dumb,
Yields to renown the centuries to come; SAY, goddess, can the festal board,
With ardent haste each candidate of fame, Or young Olympia's form ador'd;
Ambitious, catches at his towering name: Say, can the pomp of promis'd fame
He sees, and pitying sees, vain wealth bestow Relume thy faint, thy dying, flame?
Tho:e pageant honours which he scorn'd below, Or have melodious airs the power
While crowds aloft the laureat bust behold, To give one free poetic hour?
Or trace his form on circulating gold. Or, from amid the Elysian train,
Unknown,---unbeeded, long his offspring lay, The soul of Milton shall I gain,
And want hung threatening o'er her slow decay. To win thee back with some celestial strain ?
What though she shine with no Miltonian fire,
No favouring Muse her morning dreams inspire; O powerful strain ! O sacred soul!
Yet softer claims the melting heart engage, His numbers every sense control:
Her youth laborious, and her blameless age ; And now again my bosom burns;
Hers the mild merits of domestic life, The Muse, the Muse herself, returns !
The patient sufferer, and the faithful wife. AKENSIDE. Thus grac'd with humble Virtue's native charms,
Her grandsire leaves her in Britannia's arms;
Secure with peace, with competence, to dwell, OUR stedfast bard, to his own genius true, While tutelary nations guard her cell. Still bade his Muse, “ fit audience find, though yours is the charge, ye fair, ye wise, ye brave ! « few.”
'Tis yours to crown desert--beyond the grave. Scoring the judgement of a trifling age,
Dr. Johnson's Prologue to the Mask of Comus, To choicer spirits he bequeath'd his page.
acted at Drury-Lane Theatre, April 5, 1750, He too was scorn'd; and, to Britannia's shame, for the Benefit of Milton's Grand-daugh. She scarce for balf an age knew Milton's name. ter. But now, his fame by every trumpet blown, We on his deathless trophies raise our own. Nor art nor nature did his genius bound; Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, he survey'd around;
Nor second he that rode sublime All things his eye, through wit's bright empire The secrets of the abyss to spy,
Upon the seraph-wings of ecstasy; thrown, Beheld; and made, what it beheld, his own.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time: Such Milton was: 'tis ours to bring him forth; Where angels tremble while they gaze,
The living throne, the sapphire blaze,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
GRAY'S PROGRESS OF POESY.
ODE ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER.
Of rude access, of prospect wild,
And holy Genii guard the rock,
While on its rich ambitious head Y, patriot crowds, who burn for England's An Eden, like his own, lies spread; fame,
I view that oak the fancied glades among, Ye nymphs, whose bosoms beat at Milton's By which as Milton lay, his evening ear, name,
From many a cloud that dropp'd ethereal dew,