« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
THE ARGUMEN T.
Satan now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the Place where
he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise whose outward prospect and situation is described, overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden describ'd; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve ; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death ; and thereon intends to found his temptation by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them a while, to know further of their state by some other means. Mean while Uriel descending on a funbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil Spirit had escap'd the deep, and pass’d at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good An. gel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adain and Eve difcourse of going to their rest : their bower describ'd ; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the found of Paradise, appoints two 1trong Angels to Adam's bower, left the evil Spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve Neeping ; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempeing her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel ; by whom question’d, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hinder'd by a sign from Heaven, fies out of Paradise.
For that warning voice, which he who faw
Those who know how many though they agree in their opivolumes have been written on the nions of the great beauties in those poems of Homer and Virgil, will poems, they have nevertheless each easily pardon the length of my dif- of them discovered several master
Milton. The Paradise strokes, which have escaped the Loft is looked upon, by the best observation of the rest. “In the judges, as the greatest production, fame manner, I question not, but or at least the nobleft work of ge- any writer who Thall treat of this nius in our language, and there- subject after me, may find several fore deserves to be set before an beauties in Milton, which I have English reader in its full beauty. not taken notice of. I must likeFor this reason, tho' I have ende- wise observe, that as the greatest vor'd to give a general idea of its masters of critical learning differ graces and imperfections in my fix among one another, as to some first papers, I thought myself ob- particular points in an epic poem, liged to bestow one upon every I have not bound myself scrupubook in particular. The three lously to the rules which any one first books I have already dispatch- of them has laid down upon that ed, and am now entering upon the art, but have taken the liberty fourth. I need not acquaint my sometimes to join with one, and reader that there are multitudes of sometimes with another, and somebeauties in this great author, espe- times to differ from all of them, cially in the descriptive parts of his when I have thought that the reapoem, which I have not touched son of the thing was on my side. upon, it being my intention to
Addison. point out those only, which appear 1. O for that warning voice, &c.] to me the moft exquifite, or those The poet opens this book with a which are not so obvious to ordi- with in the manner of Shakespear, nary readers. Every one that has O for a mufe of fire &c. Prolog. to read the critics who have written Henry V. o for a falkner's voice upon the Odyssey, the Iliad, and &c. Romeo and Juliet, Aa II. and the Eneid, knows very well, that in order to raise the horror and at
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
tention of his reader, introduces As he is represented in that same his relation of Satan's adventures chapter of the Revelation, which upon earth by wishing that the the poet is still alluding to. For the same warning voice had been ut- accuser of our brethren is cast down, ter'd now at Satan's first coming, which accused them before our God that St. John, who in a vision law day and night, ver. 10. the Apocalyps or Revelation of the 13. Yet not rejoicing in bis specil,] moit remarkable events which were Does not this confirm what I have to befall the Christian Church to observed of ver. 741. of the prethe end of the world, heard when ceding book, and prove that Milthe Dragon (that old Serpent, called ton did not intend by it to attrithe Devil and Satan) was put to bute any sportive motion to Satan second rout. Rev. XII. 12. Woe to for joy that he was so near his the inhabiters of the earth and of the journey's end ? Thyer. fea, for the Devil is come down unto No more than II. 1011. Put glad you, baving great wrath,
that now his fea fhould find a short, 10. - ib'acculer of mankind) and III. 740. sped with hop'd success,