Obrazy na stronie
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][graphic]

Under this Head may be reckoned the placing the 'Adjective after the Substantive, the transpofition of Words, the turning the Adjective into a Substantive, with several other Foreign Modes of Speech, which this Poet has naturalized to give his Verse the greater Sound, and throw it out of Prose.

The third Method mentioned by A rgslotle, is that which [what] agrees with the Genius of the Greek Language more than with that of any other Tongue, and is therefore more used by Homer than by any other Poet. I mean the lengthning of a Phrase by the Addition of Words, which may either be inserted or omitted, as also by the extending or contracting of particular Words by the Insertion or Omission of certain Syllables. Milton has put in practice this Method of raifing his Language, as far as the nature of our Tongue will permit, as in the Passage above-mentioned, Ere-mite, [for] what is Hermit[e], in common Discourse. If you observe the Measure of his Verse, he has with great Judgment suppressed a Syllable in several Words, and fliortned those of two Syllables into one, by which Method, befides the abovementioned Advantage, he has given a greater Variety to his Numbers. But this Practice is more particularly remarkable in the Names of Persons and of Countries, as Bezilzebubfsgfit-bon, and in many other Particulars, wherein he has either changed the Name, or made use of that which is not the most commonly known, that he might the better deviate from the Language of the Vulgar.

The same Reason recommended to him several old Words, which also makes his Poem appear the more venerable, and gives it a greater Air of Antiquity.

I must likewise take notice, that there are in Milton

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][graphic]

U bi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucif Oji-ndor maculis, quas aut Incuria fzcdit, A ut Humana parum czwit Natura I-Ior.

[ocr errors][graphic][merged small][graphic]

Have now cons1der'd Milton's Parazlije Losl under those four great Heads of the Fable, the Characters, the Sentiments, and the Language ; and have shewn that he excels, in general, under each of these Heads. I hope that I have made several Discoveries that [which] may appear new, even to those who are versed in Critical Learning. Were I indeed to chuse my Readers, by whose Judgment I would stand or fall, they should not be such as are acquainted only with the French and Italian Criticks, but alsowith the Ancient and Moderns who have written in either of the learned Languages. Above all, I would have them well versed in the Greek and Latin Poets, without which a Man very often fancies that he understands a Critick, when in reality he does not comprehend his Meaning.

It is in Criticism, as in all other Sciences and Speculations; one who brings with him any implicit Notions and Observations which he has made in his reading of the Poets, will find his own Reflections methodized and explained, and perhaps several little Hints that had passed in his Mind, perfected and im

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »