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Of Tempter and temptation without fear. Con T
But thou, infernal Serpent, shalt not long
Rule in the clouds; like an autumnal star :
Or lightning thou shalt fall from Heav'n, trod down
Under his feet: for proof, ere this thou feel'st 621
Thy wound, yet not thy last and deadliest wound,
By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
No triumph; in all her

gates
Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awes

To

Abaddon rues

625

that he looked upon the book of and this is the reason, why in the Job, as a brief model of an epic Paradise Regain'd there are much poem : and the subject of Paradise fewer imitations of, and allusions Regain'd is much the fame as that to other authors, than in the Pa. of the book of Job, a good man radise Loft. The Paradise Loft he triumphing over temptation : and was long in meditating, and had the greatelt part of it is in dia- laid in a large stock of materials, logue as well as the book of Job, which he had collected from ali and abounds with moral argu- authors ancient and modern : but ments and reflections, which were in the Paradise Regain'd he commore natural to that season of life, posed more from memory, and and better suited Milton's age and with no other help from books, infirmities than gay Aorid descrip- than such as naturally occurr'd to tions. For by Mr. Elwood's ac- a mind so thoroughly tinetur'd and count, he had not thought of the season'd, as his was, with all kinds Paradise Regain'd, till after he had of learning. Mr. Thyer makes finish'd the Paradise Loft: (See the the same. observation particularly, Life of Milton) the first hint of it with regard to the Italian poets. was suggested by Elwood, while From the very few allusions, says Milton resided at St. Giles Chal- he, to the Italian poets in this font in Buckinghamshire during poem one may draw, I think, a the plague in London; and after- pretty conclusive argument for the wards when Elwood visited him in reality of those pointed out in the London, he show'd him the poem notes upon Paradise Loft, and show finish’d, so that he was not long in that they are not, as some may conceiving, or long in writing it: imagin, mere accidental coinci

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To dread the Son of God: hé all unarm'd
Shall chace thee with the terror of his voice
From thy demoniac holds, possession foul,
Thee and thy legions; yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,

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dences of great geniuses writing " Goths, or Charlemain against upon similar subjects. Admitting “ the Lombards.” This would na. them to be such only, no tolerable turally lead him to a frequent pereason can be assign'd why the same rural of the choicest wits of that should not occur in the same man- country; and altho' he dropt his ner in the Paradise regain’d: where- first scheme, and was some confias upon the other supposition of derable time before he executed the their being real, the difference of present work, yet still the impresthe two poems in this respect is lions he had firft receiv'd would be easily accounted for. It is very fresh in his imagination, and he certain, that Milton formed his first would of course be drawn to imidesign of writing an epic poem tate their particular beauties, tho' very soon after his return from he avoided following them in his Italy, if not before, and highly general plan. The case was far probable that he then intended it otherways when the Paradise Reafter the Italian model, as he says, gain’d was compos’d. As Mr. El. i speaking of this design in his Rea- wood informs us, Milton did not fo 1 fon of Church-Government, that “he much as think of it, till he was ad

apply'd himself to that resolu- vanced in years, and it is not very « tion which Ariofto follow'd a- likely, considering the troubles and

gainst the persuasions of Bembo, infirmities he had long labor’d un

to fix all the art and industry he der, that his studies had been much “ could unite to the adorning of employ'd about that time among “ his native tongue" and again the sprightly Italians, or indeed any that he was then meditating “what writers of that turn. Consistent “ king or knight before the Con- with this supposition we find it of a “ quest might be chosen in whom quite different stamp, and instead

to lay the pattern of a christian of allufions to poets either ancient “ hero, as Talso gave to a prince or modern, it is full of moral and “ of Italy his choice, whether he philosophical reasonings, to which “ would command him to write of sort of thoughts an afflicted old age

Godfrey's expedition against the must have turned our author's mind. “ Infidels, or Belisarius against the

eft he command them down into the deep
lound, and to torment sent before their time.
Iail Son of the most high, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work
Now enter, and begin to save mankind.

Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek
Sung victor, and from heav'nly feast refresh'd
Brought on his way with joy; he unobserv'd
Home to his mother's house private return'd.

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SAMSON AGONISTES,

А

DRAMATIC POE M.

The AUTHOR

3ο Η Ν Μ Ι Σ Τ Ο Ν.

Aristot. Poet. Cap. 6. Τραγωδια μιμησις πραξεως φαδαμας, &c. Tragedia est imitatio actionis feriæ, &c. per miseri

cordiam et metum perficiens talium affectuum lu. Itrationem.

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