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Perceiuing Eve his flattooing gloze digest
Sylvestra's Du BARTAs, Edit. 1621. pp. 192,193.
As Milton has been supposed to have been much obliged to other poets in describing 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, and 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 abalio, though not in alio; and that he, that gaue 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 coelum empyrium, and there liue 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 discoverie
342 TODD'S ORIGIN OF PARADISE LOST.
will probably arise from the pursuits of those, who are devoted to patient and liberal investigation. Videlicet hoc illudest praecipue studiorum genus, quod
vigiliis augescat; ut cui subinde ceu fluminibus ex decursu, sic accedit ex lectione
minutatim quo fiat uberius". To such persons may be recommended the master
ly 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 criticism 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 dug 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 invigorated 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.
* * Politian. Miscellaneorum Praef.
* 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. * See Boswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I, p. 199.
1x PARADisUM AMIssam summ1 PoETE, Johanxis Milton1".
Qui legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis? Rescunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum, Et fata, et fines, continet iste liber. Intima pandumtur magni penetralia mundi, Scribiturettoto quicquid in orbe latet: Terraeque, tractúsque maris, coelūmque profundum, Sulphureamque Erebi, flamuivomämque specus: Quoeque colunt terras, pontamgue, et Tartara Caeca, Quaeque colunt summi lucida regna poli: Et quodcunque ullis conclusum est finibus usquam, Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus; Et sine fine magis, si quid magis est sine fine, In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor. Haec quisperaret quis crederet esse futurum ? Ettamen haechodie terra Britanna legit. O quantos in bella duces ! quie protulit armal Quae canit, et quantá praelia dira tubă Coelestes acies! atque in certamine coelum ! Et quae coelestes pugna deceret agros I Quantus in aethereis tollit se Lucifer armis! Atque ipso graditur vix Michaële minor | Quantis, et quâmfunestis concurritur iris, Dum ferus hic stellas protegit, ille rapit! Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,
*This poem by Dr. Barrow, and the next by Milton's friend Andrew Marvel, have been usually published in the editions of Paradise Lost, since the edition of 1674, to which they are both prefixed. TODD,
Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt: Stat dubius cuise parti concedat Olympus, Et metuit pugnac non superesse suae. At simul in coelis Messiae insignia fulgent, Et currus animes, armáque digna Deo, Horrendümque rotae strident, et sava rotarum Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus, Et flammae vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco Admistis flammis insonuere polo : Excidit attonitis mens omnis, et impetus omnis, Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt; Ad poenas fugiunt; et, ceu foret Orcus asylum, Infernis certant condere se tenebris, Cedite, Romani scriptores; cedite, Graii; Et quos fama recens vel celebravit annus. Haec quicumque leget tantúm cecinisse putabit Maeonidem ranas, Virgilium culices. SAMUEL BARRow, M.D.”,
on pa Radise Lost.
When I beheld the poet blind, yet bold,
* Of Dr. Samuel Barrow, the author of these verses, no account has been given by the editors of Milton. Toland only calls him a doctor of physic. Perhaps he was the physician to the army of general Monk. TODD.
Yet as I read, still growing less severe, I lik'd his project, the success did fear; Through '. wild field how he his way should find, O'er which lame Faith leads Understanding blind; Lest he'd perplex the things he would explain, And what was easy he should render vain. Or if a work so infinite he spann'd, Jealous I was that some less skilful hand (Such as disquiet always what is well, And, by ill imitating, would excell) Might hence presume the whole creation's day To change in scenes, and show it in a play. Pardon me, mighty poet, nor despise My causeless, yet not impious, surmise. But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare Within thy labours to pretend a share. Thou * miss'd one thought that could be t, 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, Draws the devout, deterring the profane. And things divine thou treat'st of in such state As them preserves, and thee, inviolate. At once delight and horrour on us seize, Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease; And above human flight dost soar aloft With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft. The bird, nam'd from that Paradise you sing, So never flags, but always keeps on wing. Where couldst thou words of such a compass find 2 Whence furnish such a vast expense of mind? Just Heaven thee, like Tiresias, to requite, Rewards with prophecy thy loss of sight. Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells, And, like a pack-horse, tires without his bells: Their fancies like our bushy points appear; The poets tag them, we for fashion wear. I too, transported by the mode, offend, And, while I meant to praise thee, must commend. Thy verse created, like thy theme, sublime, In number weight,and measure, needs not rhyme. anDrew martver, L.
To M.R. John MILTON, on his poem ENTIrLED PARADISE Lost 3.
O Thou ! the wonder of the presentage,
* These verses by F. C. are prefixed to Milton's poetical works in the edition of the English poets, 1779. They had before appeared in Fawkes and Woty’s Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. 69. But we are not told who F. C. was. As I have not yet met with these verses in any other publication, I may be permitted to offer a conjec
How couldst thou hope to please this timsel
Three poets, in three distant ages born,
from an account of the createst exclish Pozo
But Milton next, with high and haughty stalks
ture that Francis Cradock,a member of the RotaClub to which Milton belonged, might be the author of them. See Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. ii. 531. TODI).
4 The expressions, in this line, occur in one of Constable's Sonnets.
The pen wherewith thow dost so heauenly singe
Made of a quill pluckt from an angell's winge. So, in Davies's Bien Venu, 1606. But poet's pens pluckt from archangels' wins.
5 This celebrated epigram on Milton appears under the well-engraved head of the poet by R. white, prefixed to the folio edition of Paradise Lost in ió88. It has been thus published in many succeeding editions of the same poem. Dryden, I should add, is a subscriber to the edition offee TOD D,
appress to Great shitain.
- For lofty sense, Creative fancy, and inspection keen Through the deep windings of the human heart, Is not wild Shakspeare thine and Nature's boast Is not each great, each amiable Muse Of classic ages in thy Milton met? A genius, universal as his theme; Astonishing as Chaos; as the bloom Of blowing Eden fair; as Heaven sublime! Thomsox's summer.
ope to the Muse.
Sav, goddess, can the festal board, Or young Olympia's form ador'd; Say, can the pomp of promis'd fame Relume thy faint, thy dying, flame? Or have melodious airs the power To give one free poetic hour? Or, from amid the Elysian train, The soul of Milton shall I gain, To win thee back with some celestial strain? O powerful strain! O sacred soul! His numbers every sense control: And now again my bosom burns; The Muse, the Muse herself, returns! akensinfe.
Our stedfast bard, to his own genius true,
Ye patriot, crowds, who burn for England's fame,
Ye nymphs, whose bosoms beat at Milton's name,
Whose generous zeal, unbought by flattering
Non second he that rode sublime
one ox The poetical chartacter.
High on some cliff, to Heaven up-pil'd,