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happen'd, according to the received Opinions of Mankind. Milton's Fable is a Master-piece of this Nature; as the War in Heaven, the Condition of the fallen Angels, the State of Innocence, the Temptation of the Serpent, and the Fall of Man, though they are very astonishing in themselves, are not only credible, but actual Points of Faith. The next Method of reconciling Miracles with Credibility, is by a happy Invention of the Poet; as in particular, when he introduces Agents of a superior Nature, who are capable of effecting what is wonderful, and what is not to be met with in the ordinary course of things. Ulysses's Ship being turned into a Rock, and A neas's Fleet into a Shoal of Water Nymphs, though they are very surprizing Accidents, are nevertheless probable, when we are told that they were the Gods who thus transformed them. It is this kind of Machinery which fills the Poems both of Homer and Virgil with such Circumstances as are wonderful, but not impossible, and so frequently produce in the Reader the most pleasing Passion that can rise in the Mind of Man, which is Admiration. If there be any Instance in the Æneid liable to Exception upon this Account, it is in the beginning of the third Book, where Æneas is represented as tearing up the Myrtle that dropped Blood. To qualifie this wonderful Circumstance, Polydorus tells a Story from the Root of the Myrtle, that the barbarous inhabitants of the Country having pierced him with Spears and Arrows, the Wood which was left in his Body took Root in his Wounds, and gave birth to that bleeding Tree. This Circumstance seems to have the Marvellous without the Probable, because it is represented as proceeding from Natural Causes, without the Interposition of any God, or rather Supernatural Power capable of producing it. The Spears and Arrows grow of themselves, without so much as the Modern help of an Enchantment. If we look into the Fićtion of Milton's Fable, though we find it full of surprizing Incidents,

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