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the contending Armies, and lifts up his Voice in such a manner, that it is heard distinctly amidst all the Shouts and Consusion of the Fight. Jupiter at the fame time Thunders over their Heads; while Neptune raises such a Tempest, that the whole Field of Battel. and all the tops of the Mountains shake about them, The Poet tells us, that Pluto himself, whose Habitation was in the very Center of the Earth, was so a[f]frighted at the shock, that he leapt from his Throne. Homer afterwards describes Vulcan as pouring down a Storm of Fire upon the River Xanthus, and Minerva as throwing a Rock at Mars; who, he tells us, covtred seven Acres in his Fall

As Homer has introduced into his Battel of the Gods every thing that is great and terrible in Nature, Milton has filled his Fight of Good and Bad Angels with all the like Circumstances of Horrour. The Shout of Armies, the Rattling of Brazen Chariots, the Hurling of Rocks and Mountains, the Earthquake, the Fire, the Thunder, are all of them employed to lift up the Reader's Imagination, and give him a suitable Idea of so great an Action. With what Art has the Poet represented the whole Body of the Earth trembling, even before it was created.

All Heaven resounded, and had Earth been then
All Earth had to its Center shook

In how sublime and just a manner does he afterwards describe the whole Heaven shaking under the Wheels of the Messiah's Chariot, with that Exception to the Throne of God?

Under his burning Wheels

The steadfast Empyrean shook throughout,
All but the Throne it self os God

Notwithstanding the Messiah appears cloathed with so much Terrour and Majesty, the Poet has still found means to make his Readers conceive an Idea of him, beyond what he himself was able to describe.

Yet half his strength he put not forth, but checkt
His thunder in mid volley, for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven.

In a word, Milton's Genius which was so great in it self, and so strengthened by all the helps of Learning, appears in this Book every way Equal to his Subjects], which was the most Sublime that could enter into the Thoughts of a Poet. As he knew all the Arts of affecting the Mind, had he not given [he knew it was necessary to give] it certain resting places and Opportunities of recovering it self from time to time: He has [therefore] with great Address interspersed several Speeches, Reflections, Similitudes, and the like Reliess to diversifie his Narration, and ease the Attention of his [the] Reader, that he might come fresh to his great Action, and by such a Contrast of Ideas, have a more lively taste of the nobler parts of his Description.

Addison corrected and re-corrected this last sentence. The first and last readings, as in the original and second editions, are as above. The internediate reading, according to the Errata in No. 369, of the original issue, is is follows:

As he knew all the Arts of affecting the Mind, he has given it certain resting places and Opportunities of recovering it self from time to time : several Speeches, Reflections, Similitudes, and the like Reliefs being interspersed, to diversifie his Narration, and ease the attention of his Reader.



Vt his exordia primis

Omnia, &• ipfe tener Mundi concreverit orbis.
Tum durare solum, dr* difiludere Nerea ponto
Cœperit, &• rerum paullatim fumere formas. Virg.

{He fung the secret Seeds of Nature's Frame;
How Seas, and Earth, and Air, and ailive Flame,
Felt thro' the mighty Void, and in their Fall
Were blindly gather'd in this goodly Ball.
The tender Soil then slijfning by degrees
Shut from the bounded Earth the bounding Seas.
Then Earth and Ocean various Forms disclose,
And a new Sun to the new World arose. Dryden.}

Saturday, March 29, 1712.


ONGINUS has observed, that there may be a Loftiness in Sentiments, where there is no Passion, and brings Instances out of Ancient Authors tosupport this his Opinion. The Pathetick, as that great Critick observes, may animate and inflame the Sublime, but is not essential to it . Accordingly, as he surther remarks, we very often find that those, who excell most in stirring up the Passions, very often want the Talent of Writing in the Great and Sublime manner; and so on the contrary. Milton has shewn himself a Master in both these ways of Writing. The Seventh Book, which we are now entering upon, is an Instance of that Sublime, which is not mixt and work'd up with Passion. The Author appears in a kind of composed and sedate Majesty; and tho' the Sentiments do not give so great [an] Emotion as those in the former Book, they abound with as magnificent Ideas. The Sixth Book, like a troubled Ocean, represents Greatness in Consusion; the Seventh affects the Imagination like the Ocean in a Calm, and fills the Mind of the Reader without producing in it any thing like Tumult or Agitation.

The Critick abovementioned, among the Rules which he lays down for succeeding in the Sublime way of Writing, proposes to his Reader, that he should imitate the most celebrated Authors who have gone before him, and have been engaged in Works of the fame nature; as in particular that if he writes on a Poetical Subject, he should consider how Homerwould have spoken on such an Occasion. By this means one great Genius often catches the Flame from another, and writes in his Spirit, without copying servilely after him. There are a thousand Shining Passages in Virgil, which have been lighted up by Homer.

Milton, though his own natural Strength of Genius was capable of surnishing out a persect Work, has doubtless very much raised and ennobled his Conceptions, by such an Imitation as that which Longinits has recommended.

In this Book, which gives us an Account of the Six Days Works, the Poet received but very sew Assistances from Heathen Writers, who were Strangers to the Wonders of Creation. But as there are many Glorious Stroaks of Poetry upon this Subject in Holy Writ, the Author has numberless Allusions to them through the whole Course of this Book. The great Critick, I have before mentioned, tho' an Heathen, has taken notice of the Sublime manner in which the Law-giver of the Jews has described the Creation in the first Chapter of Genesis; and there are many other Passages in Scripture, which rife up to the fame Majesty, where this Subject is toucht upon. Milton has shewn his Judgment very remarkably, in making use of such of these as were proper for his Poem, and in duly qualifying those high Strains of Eastern Poetry, which were suited to Readers whose Imaginations were set to an higher pitch than those of colder Climates.

Adam's Speech to the Angel, wherein he desires an Account of what had passed within the Regions of Nature before his [the] Creation, is very great and solemn. The following Lines, in which he tells him that the Day is not too far spent for him to enter upon such a Subject, are exquisite in their kind. And the Great light of day yet wants to run Much of his race throughsteep, fufpens in Heatfn Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he hears, And longer will delay to hear thee tell His Generation, &c.

The Angel's encouragingourfirstParent[s] inamodest pursuitafter Knowledge, with the Causeswhich he assigns for the Creation of the World, are very just and beautiful. The Messiah, by whom, as we are told in Scripture, the Heavenswere made,goes [comes*] forth in the Power of his Father, surrounded with an Host of Angels, and cloathed with such a Majesty as becomes his entering upon a Work, which, according to our Conceptions, looks like [appears] the utmost exertion of Omnipotence. What a beautisul Description has our Author raised upon that Hint in one of the Prophets. And behold there came four Chariots out from between two Mountains,and the Mountains were Mountains of Brafs. About his Chariot numberlefs werepour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, And virtues, winged Spirits, and Chariots whtg'd, From the Armoury of God, where sland of old Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg'd Against a folemn day, harnesi at hand; Celestial Equipage; and now came forth Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd Attendant on their lord: Heav'n open'd wide Her ever-during Gates, Harmonious found

On golden Hinges moving

I have before taken notice of these Chariots of

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