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and compleat Relation of what the other is only an Epitome. I have insisted the longer on this Consideration, as I look upon the Disposition and Contrivance of the Fable to be the Principal Beauty of the Ninth Book, which has more Story in it, and is fuller of Incidents, than any other in the whole Poem. Satan's traverfing the Globe, and still keeping within the Shadow of the Night, as fearing to be discovered by the Angel of the Sun, who had before detected him, is one of those beautiful Imaginations [with] which [he] introduces this his second Series of Adventures. Having examined the Nature of every Creature, and found out one which was the most proper for his Purpose, he again returns to Paradise; and, to avoid Discovery, finks by Night with a River that ran under the Garden, and rises up again through a Fountain that issued from it by the Tree of Life. The Poet, who, as we have before taken notice, speaks as little , as possible in his own Person, and, after the example of Homer, fills every Part of his Work with Manners and Charaćters, introduces a Soliloquy of this Infernal Agent, who was thus restless in the Destruction of Man. He is then describ'd as gliding through the Garden under the resemblance of a Mist, in order to find out that Creature in which he design'd to tempt our first Parents. This Description has something in it very Poetical and Surprizing.
Adam the zohile
The beginning of this Speech, and the Preparation to it, are animated with the same Spirit as the Conclusion, which I have here quoted.
The several Wiles which are put in Pračtice by the Tempter, when he found Eve separated from her Husband, the many pleasing Images of Nature, which are intermixt in this part of the Story, with its gradual and regular Progress to the fatal Catastrophe, are so very remarkable, that it would be superfluous to point out their several [respective] Beauties.
I have avoided mentioning any particular Similitudes in my Remarks on this great Work, because I have given a general account of them in my Paper on the First Book. There is one, however, in this part of the Poem which I shall here quote, as it is not only wery beautiful, but the closest of any in the whole Poem ; I mean that where the Serpent is describ’d as rolling forward in all his Pride, animated by the evil
But fondly overcome with Female charm.
As all Nature suffer'd by the guilt of our first Parents, these Symptoms of Trouble and Consternation are wonderfully imagin'd, not only as Prodigies, but as Marks of her Sympathizing in the Fall of Man.
Adam's Converse with Eve, after having eaten the forbidden Fruit, is an exact Copy of that between Jupiter and Juno, in the Fourteenth Iliad. Juno there approaches Jupiter with the Girdle which she had received from Venus, upon which he tells her, that she appeared more charming and desirable than she ever had done before, even when their Loves were at the highest. The Poet afterwards describes them as repos. ing on a Summet of Mount Ida, which produced under them a Bed of Flowers, the Lotus, the Crocus, and the Ayacinth, and concludes his Description with their falling a-sleep.
Let the Reader compare this with the following Passage in Milton, which begins with Adam's Speech to Eve.