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Circumstances to a great Length, and by that means have weakned, instead of illustrated, the principal Fable. The Flight of Satanto the Gates of Hellis finely imaged. I have already declared my Opinion of the Allegory concerning Sin and Death, which is however a very finished Piece in its kind, when it is not considered as a Part of an Epic Poem. The Genealogy of the several Persons is contrived with great Delicacy. Sin is the Daughter of Satan, and Death the Offspring of Sin. The incestuous Mixture between Sin and Death produces those Monsters and Hell-hounds which from time to time enter into their Mother, and tear the Bowels of her who gave them Birth. These are the Terrors of an evil Conscience, and the proper Fruits of Sin, which naturally rise from the Apprehensions of Peath. This last beautiful Moral is, I think, clearly intimated in the Speech of Sin, where complaining of this her dreadful Issue, she adds,
I need not mention to the Reader the beautiful Circumstance in the last Part of this Quotation. He will likewise observe how naturally the three Persons concerned in this Allegory are tempted by one common Interest to enter into a Confederacy together, and how properly Sin is made the Portress of Hell, and the only Being that can open the Gates to that World of Tortures. The descriptive Part of this Allegory is likewise very strong, and full of Sublime Ideas. The Figure of Death, [the Regal Crown upon his Head, his Menace to Satan, his advancing to the Combat, the Outcry at his Birth, are Circumstances too noble to be past over in Silence, and extreamly suitable to this King of Terrors. I need not mention the Justness of Thought which is observed in the Generation of these E
several Symbolical Persons; that Sin was produced upon the first Revolt of Satan, that Death appeared soon after he was cast into Hell, and that the Terrors of Conscience were conceived at the Gate of this Place of Torments. The Description of the Gates, is very poetical, as the opening of them is full of Milton's Spirit.
Satan's Approach to the Confines of the Creation, is finely imaged in the beginning of the Speech, which immediately follows. The Effects of this Speech in the blessed Spirits, and in the Divine Person, to whom it was addressed, cannot but fill the Mind of the Reader with a secret Pleasure and Complacency.