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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 Angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest: their bower describ'd; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong 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, tempting 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, fiies out of Paradise.
: BOOK IV.
For that warning voice, which he who saw
Those, who know how many though they agree in their opinions volumes have been written on the of the great beauties in those poems of Homer and Virgil, will poems, they have nevertheless each eafily pardon the length of my dif- of them discovered several malter-, course upon 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 gueltion not, but or at least the noblest work of ge- any writer who fall 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 like. For 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 loufly to the rules which any one first books I have already dispatch- of them has laid down upon that ed, and am now entring 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 lide. upon, it being my intention to
Addison. point out those only, which appear 1. O for that warning voice, &c.] to me the most exquisite, or those The poet opens this book with a which are not so obvious to ordi. wish in the manner of Shakespear, nary readers. Every one that has for a Mufe of fire &c. Prolog. ta read the critics who have written Henry V. O for a falkrer's caice upon the Odyssey, the Iliad, and &c. Romeo and Juliet, Ad II, anci the Æneid, knows very well, that in order to raise ile horror and 26
B b 3
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
tention of his reader, introduces As he is represented in that fame 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 fame warning voice had been ut- accuser of our brethren is caft down, ter'd now at Satan's first coming, which accused them before tar Gris that St. John, who in a vision saw day and night, ver. 10. , the Apocalyps or Revelation of the 13. Yet not rejoicing ir bis fper most remarkable events which were Does not this confirm what I have to befall the Christian Church to observed of ver. 741. of the pic the end of the world, heard when ceding book, and prove that M the Dragon (that old Serpent, called ton did not intend by it to att the Devil and Satan) was put to se- bute any sportive motion to Sata? cond rout. Rev. XII. 12. Woe to for joy that he was so near 15 the inhabiters of the earth and of the journey's end ?
I byer fea, for the Devil is come down unto No more than II. 1011. But quas you, having great wrath.
that now his fea fhould find a fheri 10. — th'accufer af man-kind,] and III. 740. Sped with bop'd juicis,
And like a devilish engin back recoils .
Of what he was, what is, and what must be 25 · Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes tow’ards Eden, which now in his view Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes fad; Sometimes tow’ards Heav'n and the full-blazing fun, Which now fat high in his meridian tower : 30
Then - prove the contrary. Satan was mus die, we may keep the word
bold far off and fearless, and as he memory here, and prefer it to his drew nearer, was pleas'd with bop'd theory. Memory is recordatio, or success ; but now he is come to earth the thinking or reflecting upon any, to begin his dire attempt, he does thing, as well present and future not rejoice in it, his heart misgives as past.
Pearce., him, horror and doubt distract him. Thus Virgil says of his bees, that This is all very natural.
remembring the winter coming on 24 - the memory they lay by provisions in the sum- ; of what he was, what is, and mer, Georg. IV. 156.
what must be] Dr. Bentley Ventur eque hyemis memores æstate reads theory instead of memory: be- laborem cause he does not understand what Experiuntur, et in medium quæ- ; is the memory of a thing present or " future. But if the Doctor will al
fita reponunt. low that it is sense to say usuendo 30. — meridion tower : 1 At avOpwr O wi, or remember that you noon the sun is lifted up as in a
Then. much revolving, thus in fighs began.
O thou that with surpaffing glory crown’d, Look’st from thy sole dominion like the God Of this new world; at whose fight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, 35 But with no friendly voice, and add thy name O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down 40 Warring in Heav'n against Heav'n's matchless king:
tower. The metaphor is used by from whence he fell, and breaks Virgil in his Culex, ver. 41. forth into a speech that is softend Igneus æthereas jam fol penetra- wi
nenetrh with several transient touches of
remorse and self-accufation: but at rat in arces.
length he confirms himself in imSpenser in his admirable translation penitence, and in his design of of that poem has follow'd him drawing Man into his own state of punctually.
guilt and misery. This conflict of
W The fiery sun was mounted now
passions is raised with a great deal
of art, as the opening of his speech on hight
to the sun is very bold and noble. Up to the heav'nly tow'rs.
This speech is, I think, the finest Richardson.
" that is ascribed to Satan in the 32. O thou &c.] Satan being whole poem.
Addison. now within prospect of Eden, and When Milton designid to have looking round upon the glories of made only a tragedy of the Para. the creation, is filled with senti- dise Loft, it was his intention to ments different from those which have begun it with the first ten he discover'd while he was in lines of the following speech, Hell. The place inspires him with which he show'd to his nephew thoughts more adapted to it: He Edward Philips and others, as Phireflects upon the happy condition lips informs us in his account of