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OBSCURE, JINGLING, AND TECHNICAL. 49

drawn from Books and Systems. I have often wondered how Mr. Dryden could translate a Passage of Virgil after the following manner.

Tack to the Larboard, and sland off to Sea,
Veer Star-board Sea and Land.

Milton makes use of Larboard in the fame manner. When he is upon Building he mentions Doric Pillars, Pilasters, Cornice, Freeze, Architrave. When he talks of Heavenly Bodies, you meet with Eccliptick, and Eccentric, the trepidation, Stars dropping from the Zenith, 'Rays culminating from tEe Equator. To which might he "added many Instances of the like kind in several other Arts and Sciences.

I shall in my next Saturday's* Paper [Papers] give an Account of the many particular Beauties in Milton, which would have been too long to insert under those general Heads I have already treated of, and with which I intend to conclude this Piece of Criticism.

The SPECTATOR.

volet hœc sub luce videri,

Judicis argutum quœ non formidat acumen. Hor.

{ Some choose the clearest Light,

And boldly challenge the most piercing Eye. Roscommon.}

Saturday, February 16. 1712.

Have seen in the Works of a Modern Philosopher, a Map of the Spots in the Sun. My last Paper of the Faults and Blemishes in Milton's Paradise Lost, may be consider'd as a Piece of the same Nature. To pursue the Allusion: As it is observ'd, that among the bright parts of the Luminous Body above-mentioned, there are some which glow more intensely, and dart a stronger Light than others; so, notwithstanding I have already shewn Milton's Poem to be very beautisul in general, I shall now proceed to take notice of such Beauties as appear to me more exquisite than the rest. Milton has proposed the Subject of his Poem in the following Verses.

Of Mans first disobedience, and the fruit
Os that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the World and all our woe,
With loss ^Eden, 'till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse

These Lines are perhaps as plain, simple and unadorned as any of the whole Poem, in which particular the Author has conform'd himself to the Example of Homer, and the Precept of Horace.

His Invocation to a Work which turns in a great measure upon the Creation of the World, is very properly made to the Muse who inspired Moses in those Books from whence our Author drew his Subject, and to the Holy Spirit who is therein represented as operating after a particular manner in the first Production of Nature. This whole Exordium rises very happily into noble Language and Sentiment, as I think the Transition to the Fable is exquisitely beautisul and natural.

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The nine Days Astonishment, in which the Angels lay entranced after their dreadsul Overthrow and Fall from Heaven, before they could recover either the use of Thought or Speech, is a noble Circumstatict, and very finely imagined. The Division of Hell into Seas of Fire, and into firm Ground impregnated with the same surious Element, with that particular Circumstance of the exclusion of Hope from those Insernal Regions, are Instances of the same great and fruitsul Invention.

The Thoughts in the first Speech and Description of Satan, who is one of the principal Actors in this Poem, are wondersully proper to give us a sull Idea of him. His Pride, Envy and Revenge, Obstinacy, Despair and Impenitence, are all of them very artsully interwoven. In short, his first Speech is a Complication of all those Passions which discover themselves separately in several other of his Speeches in the Poem. The whole part of this great Enemy of Mankind is filled with such Incidents as are very apt to raise and terrifie the Reader's Imagination. Of this Nature, in the Book now before us, is his being the first that awakens out of the general Trance, with his Posture on the burning Lake, his rising from it, and the Description of his Shield and Spear.

Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate,
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed, his other parts beside
Prone on the Flood, extended long and large,

Lay floating many a rood

Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames
Driv'n backwardflope their pointingSpires, and' rowl"A
In Billows, leave ? th' midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air

That felt unusual weight

His pondrous Shield

Ethereal temper, maffie, large and round
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his Shoulders like the Moon, whose orb
Thro' Optick Glass the Tuscan Artists view
At Ev'ning from the top ^"Fesole,
Or in Valdarno to descry new Lands,
Rivers or Mountains on her spotty Globe.
His Spear to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian Hills to be the Mast
Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand
He walk'd with to support uneafie Steps
Over the burning Marl

To which we may add his Call to the fallen Angels that lay plunged and stupified in the Sea of Fire.

He call'dfo '"ud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded

But there is no single Passage in the whole Poem worked up to a greater Sublimity, than that wherein his Person is described in those celebrated Lines:

He, above the rest

In shape and gesture proudly eminent
Stood like a Tower, &c.

His Sentiments are every way answerable to his Character, and are* suitable to a created Being of the most exalted and most depraved Nature. Such is that in which he takes Possession of his Place of Torments.

Hail Horrors, hail

Infernal World, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new Poffeffor, one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.

And afterwards, Here at least

We shall be free; tK Almighty hath not built
Mere for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Mere we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, tho' in Hell:
£etter to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.

Amidst those Impieties which this Enraged Spirit utters in other Places of the Poem, the Author has taken care to introduce none that is not big with absurdity, and incapable of shocking a Religious Reader; his Words, as the Poet himself describes them, bearing only a semblance of Worth, not Substance. He is likewise with great Art described as owning his Adversary to be Almighty. Whatever perverse Interpretation he puts on the Justice, Mercy, and other Attributes of the Supreme Being, he frequently consesses his Omnipotence, that being the Persection he was forced to allow him, and the only Consideration which could support his Pride under the Shame of his Deseat.

Nor must I here omit that beautisul Circumstance of his bursting out in Tears, upon his Survey of those innumerable Spirits whom he had involved in the fame Guilt and Ruin with himself.

He now prepared

To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
T<rom wing to wing, and half enclose him round
With all his Peers: Attention held them mute.
Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spite of Scorn
Tear3 such as Angels weep, burst sorth

The Catalogue of Evil Spirits has a great deal [Abundance] of Learning in it, and a very agreeable turn of

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