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'' From the arched Roof
Pendent by subtle Magick, many a Row
Of Starry Lamps and blazing Crescets, sed
With Naptha and Asphaltus yielded Light
As from a Sky

There are also several noble Similies and Allusions in the first Book of Paradise Lost. And here I must observe, that when Milton alludes either to Things or Persons, he never quits his Simile till it rises to some very great Idea, which is often foreign to the Occasion which [that] gave Birth to it. The Resemblance does not, perhaps, last above a Line or two, but the Poet runs on with the Hint, till he has raised out of it some glorious Image or Sentiment, proper to inflame the Mind of the Reader, and to give it that sublime kind of Entertainment, which is suitable to the Nature of an Heroic Poem. Those, who are acquainted with Homer's and Virgil's way of Writing, cannot but be pleased with this kind of Structure in Milton's Similitudes. I am the more particular on this Head, because ignorant Readers, who have formed their Taste upon the quaint Similies, and little Turns of Wit, which are so much in Vogue among Modern Poets, cannot relish these Beauties which are of a much higher nature, and are therefore apt to censure Milton's Comparisons, in which they do not fee any surprizing Points of Likeness. Monsieur Perrault was a Man of this viciated Relish, and for that very Reason has endeavoured to turn into Ridicule several of Homer's Similitudes, which he calls Comparaisons a longue queue, Long-tail'd Comparisons. I shall conclude this Paper on the First Book of Milton with the Answer which Monsieur Boileau makes to Perrault on this Occasion; 'Com'parisons, says he, in Odes and Epic Poems are not 'introduced only to illustrate and embellish the Dif'course, but to amuse and relax the Mind of the 1 Reader, by frequently disengaging' him from too 'painsul an Attention to the principal Subject, and

'by leading him into other agreeable Images. Ho'mer, fays he, excelled in this Particular, whose Com'parisons abound with such Images of Nature as are 'proper to relieve and diversifie his Subjects. He 'continually instructs the Reader, and makes him 'take notice, even in Objects which are every Day 'before our Eyes, of such Circumstances as we should 'not otherwise have observed. To this he adds, as a 'Maxim universally acknowledged, that it is not necef'sary in Poetry for the Points of the Comparison to 'correspond with one another exactly, but that a 'general Resemblance is sufficient, and that too much 'nicety in this Particular savours of the Rhetorician 'and Epigrammatist.'

In short, if we look into the Conduct of Homer, Virgil and Milton, as the great Fable is the Soul of each Poem, so to give their Works an agreeable Variety, their Episodes are so many short Fables, and their Similies so many short Episodes; to which you may add, if you please, that their Metaphors are so many short SimiliesV If the Reader considers the Comparisons in the First Book of Milton, of the Sun in an Eclipse, of the Sleeping Leviathan, of the Bees swarming about their Hive, of the Fairy Dance, in the view wherein I have here placed them, he will easily discover the great Beauties that are in each of those Passages.



Di, quibus imperium es' animarum, umbrœquefilentes,
Et Chaos, &• Phlegethon, loca nocle filentia late;
Sit mihifas audita loqui : fit numine vestro
Pandere res alta terra caligine merfas. Virg.

{ Ye Realms, yet unreveal'd to human Sight,

Ye Gods who rule the Regions of the Night,

Ye gliding Ghosts, permit me to relate

The mystic Wonders of your filent State. Dryden.}

Saturday, February 23. 1712.

Have besore observed in general, that the Persons whom Milton introduces into his Poem always discover such Sentiments and Behaviour, as are in a peculiar manrfer consormable to their respective Characters. Every Circumstance in their Speeches and Actions, is with great justness and delicacy adapted to the Persons who speak and act. As the Poet very much excels in this Consistency os his Characters, I shall beg leave to consider several Passages os the Second Book in this Light. That superior Greatness and Mock-Majesty, which is ascribed to the Prince os the sallen Angels, is admirably preserved in the beginning os this Book. His opening and closing the Debate; his taking on himsels that great Enterprize at the Thought os which the whole Insernal Assembly trembled; his encountring the hideous Phantom who guarded the Gates os Hell, and appeared to him in all his Terrors, are Instances os that proud and daring Mind which could not brook Submission even to Omnipotence.

Satan was now at hand, and from his Seat
The Monsttr moving onward came as fast


With horrid strides, Hell trembled as he strode,
TK undaunted Fiend what this might be admir'd,
Admir'd, not fear'd

The same Boldness and Intrepidity of Behaviour discovers it self in the several Adventures which he meets with during his Passage through the Regionsof unform'd Matter, and particularly in his Address to those tremendous Powers who are described as presiding over it.

The Part of Moloch is likewise in all its Circumstances sull of that Fire and Fury, which distinguish this Spirit from the rest of the fallen Angels. He is described in the first Book as besmear'd with the Blood of Human Sacrifices, and delighted with the Tears of Parents, and the Cries of Children. In the second Book he is marked out as the fiercest Spirit that fought in Heaven; and if we consider the Figure which he makes in the Sixth Book, where the Battel of the Angels is described, we find it every way answerable to the same surious enraged Character.

Where the might of Gabriel/ought,

And with fierce Ensigns pierc'd the deep array
Of M.oloc, furious King, who him defiy'd,
And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound
Threaten'd, nor from the Holy one ofHeav'n
Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon
Down cloven to the waste, with shatter 'd arms

And uncouth pain fled bellowing.

It may be worth while to observe, that Milton has represented this violent impetuous Spirit, who is hurried on by such precipitate Passions, as the first that rises in the Assembly, to give his Opinion upon their present Posture os Affairs. Accordingly he declares himself abruptly for War, and appears incensed at his Companions, for losing so much time as even to deliberate upon it. All his Sentiments are Rash, Audacious and Desperate. Such is that of arming themselves with their Tortures, and turning their Punishments upon him who inflicted them.

-No, let us rather chuje,

Arm'd with Hell flames and fury, all at once
O'er Heavens high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer; when to meet the Noise
Of his almighty Engine he shall hear
Infernal Thunder, and for Lightning see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels; and his throne it self
Mixt with Tartarean Sulphur, andfilrange fire,
His own invented Tooments——

His preferring Annihilation to Shame or Misery, is also highly suitable to his Character, as the Comfort he draws from their disturbing the Peace of Heaven, namely, that if it be not Victory it is Revenge, is a Sentiment truly Diabolical, and becoming the Bitterness of this implacable Spirit.

Belial is described, in the First Book, as the Idol of the Lewd and Luxurious. He is in the Second Book, pursuant to that Description, characterized as timorous and slothsul; and if we look into the Sixth Book, we find him celebrated in the Battel of Angels for nothing but that Scoffing Speech which he makes to Satan, on their supposed Advantage over the Enemy. As his Appearance is uniform, and of a Piece, in these three several Views, we find his Sentiments in the Infernal Assembly every way conformable to his Character. Such are his Apprehensions of a second Battel, his Horrors of Annihilation, his preferring to be miserable rather than not to be. I need not observe, that the Contrast of Thought in this Speech, and that which precedes it, gives an agreeable Variety to the Debate.

Mammon's Character is so fully drawn in the First Book, that the Poet adds nothing to it in the Second. We were before told, that he was the first who taught Mankind to ransack the Earth for Gold and Silver, and that he was the Architect of Pandæmonium, or the Infernal Palace, where the Evil Spirits were to

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