Obrazy na stronie

hanging out of the Golden Scales in Heaven, is a Refinement upon Homer's Thought, who tells us, that before the Battel between Hedor and Achilles, Jupiter weighed the Event of it in a pair of Scales. The Reader may see the whole Passage in the 22d Iliad. Virgil, before the last decisive Combat, describes Jupiter in the same manner, as weighing the Fates of Turnus and Æneas. Milton, though he fetched this beautiful Circumstance from the Iliad and Æneid, does not only insert it as a Poetical Embellishment, like the Authors above-mentioned ; but makes an artful use of it for the proper carrying on of his Fable, and for the breaking off the Combat between the two Warriors, who were upon the point of engaging. [To this we may further add, that Milton is the more justified in this Passage, as we find the same noble Allegory in Holy Writ, where a wicked Prince, {some few Hours before he was assaulted and slain,} is said to have been weigh’d in the Scales and to have been found wanting.] I must here take Notice under the Head of the Machines, that Uriel’s gliding down to the Earth upon a Sun-beam, with the Poet's Device to make him descend, as well in his return to the Sun, as in his coming from it, is a Prettiness that might have been admired in a little fanciful Poet, but seems below the Genius of Milton. The Description of the Host of armed Angels walking their nightly Round in Paradise, is of another Spirit.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Zhat day I of remember, when from Sleep, &c. A Poet of less Judgment and Invention than this great Author, would have found it very difficult to have filled those [these] tender parts of the Poem with Sentiments proper for a State of Innocence; to have described the warmth of Love, and the Professions of it, without Artifice or Hyperbole; to have made the Man speak the most endearing things, without descending from his natural Dignity, and the Woman receiving them without departing from the Modesty of her Charaćter; in a word, to adjust the Prerogatives of Wisdom and Beauty, and make each appear to the other in its proper Force and Loveliness. This mutual Subordination of the two Sexes is wonderfully kept up in the whole Poem, as particularly in the Speech of Eve I have before-mentioned, and upon the Conclusion of it in the following Lines:– So shake our general Mother, and with eyes Of Conjugal attradion unreprov’d,

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

* See Errata, at the end of No. 369, in the original issue,

« PoprzedniaDalej »