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sented as fitting down at Table with Adam, and eating of the Fruits of Paradzje. The Occafion naturally leads him to his Discourse on the Food of Angels. After having thus entered into Conversation with Man upon more indifferent Subjects, he warns him of his Obedience, and makes a natural Tranfition to the History of that fallen Angel, who was employed in the Circumvention of our First Parents.
Had I followed Monfieur Boflu's Method in my First Paper on slsilton, I should have dated the Action of Paradzfe Losl from the Beginning of Raphael's Speech in this Book, as he supposes the Action of the .-Eneid to begin in the second Book of that Poem. I could alledge many Reasons for my drawing the Action of the .-Eneid, rather from its immediate Beginning in the first Book, than from its remote Beginning in the Second, and shew why I have confidered the Sacking of Troy as an Epifizde, according to the, common Acceptation of that Word. But as this would be a dry un-entertaining Piece of Criticism, and perhaps unnecessary to those who have read my First Paper, I shall not enlarge upon it. Which-ever of the Notions be true, the Unity of sl[ilton's Action is preserved according to either of them ; whether we confider the Fall of Man in its immediate Beginning, as proceeding from the Resolutions taken in the Infernal Council, or in its more remote Beginning, as proceeding from the First Revolt of the Angels in Heaven. The Occafion which llsilton assigns for this Revolt, as it is founded on Hints in Holy Writ, and on the Opinion of some great Writers, so it was the most proper that the Poet could have made use of.
The Revolt in Heaven is described with great Force of Imagination [Indignation], and a fine Variety of Circumstances. The Learned Reader cannot but be pleased with the Poet's Imitation of Homer in the last of the following Lines.
At length into the limits of the 1Vorth
Homer mentions Persons' and Things, which he tells us in the Language of the Gods are call'd by different Names from those they go by in the Language of Men. sldilton has imitated him with his usual Judgment in this particular place, wherein he has likewise the Authority of Scripture to justify him. The part of Abdiel, who was the only Spirit that in this Infinite Host of Angels preserved his Allegiance to his Maker, exhibits to us a noble Moral of religious Singularity. The zeal of the Seraphim breaks forth in a becoming Warmth of Sentiments and Expresfions, as the Character which is given us of him denotes that generous Scorn and Intrepidity which attends Heroic Virtue. The Author, doubtless, defigned it as a Pattern to those who live among Mankind in their present State of Degeneracy and Corruption.
vocat in Certamina Divos. Virg. -[fie calls embattled Deities to A rms.]
We have likewise several noble Hints of it in the Infernal Conference.