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He is abashed by Zephon. He is in some nameless way quelled or controlled by Ithuriel-like a proud steed! Being ready to fight with Gabriel and all his angelical band, he is put to fight by an ill sign in the sky, which is, at the best, defeat. The detecting as a toad, and being compelled by the touch of Ithuriel's falsehood-detecting spear is a great dishonour-to spring up in his own ugly shape—for he is getting ugly fast. The Son of the Morning is losing his good looks! He would be black-balled at the “Face!"
And the simile to a heap of gunpowder is not at all enchanting.
The dialogue between Gabriel and him in Paradise seems really not very creditable to either of them. As far as Milton's intention is inquired after, it is evidently against Satan. Upon the whole, even thus far it is evident that Milton means to load shame on his head, and that he does bring him down in your esteem. But I see plainly that this way of taking it out is confused and undemonstrative. There should be regular heads of the degradation. We must discuss the matter more deeply and truly another day.
I never can help fancying that the sublime of the Paradise Lost—on the infernal side-is most felt when Satan is most alone. If you want epic magnitude in the ordinary sense, you have it, when a "third part of Heaven's host" are in motion or prostrate before you. But the true sublime is inward, and that sublime is most perceived when “He who seemed alone the antagonist of Heaven," stands or moves alone.
“ Meantime the adversary of God and man
Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of Hell
Explores his solitary flight." I suppose, sir, there may be several reasons. One is, that it is the business of Poetry to find representative Unities. Our affection, sympathy, admiration -whatsoever emotion is to be raised - concentrates itself upon the One, being so strengthened ; diffuses itself upon the many, being so weakened. The multitude-all the others—are there to support Satan, and not one of them for himself, and with right; for He is the Soul of Evil! And howsoever the theologico-ethical reason of the Poem may be wrapped up and hidden in persons, the intellectual basis is the conflict of Moral Good and Evil. Strongly and effectually as the personal interests are presented, this grounding signification predominates, taking the Poem into a separate spliere from all others, and entitling it to be judged by its own laws. It is the greatest of all conflicts, involving all our interests, and all our destiniez ; is for us the fight of the universe, our fight. The muster of the "third part of heaven's host," in Pandemonium, ends in this
“ With full assent
They cote ; " And then what follows ?
“ This enterprise
None shall partake with me!” The enterprise, too, which we know that He has imagined. And He gocs, alone, to wage the renewed warfare.
And let us for a few hours go along with him.
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The influence of a great national faculty-exercised a power over the poet on the national character, is a minds of others which, we apprehend, subject which might engage the no modern dramatist, even with the subtlest analyst, and the most philo- aid of a Kean or a Talma, could rival. sophical historian. It is not to be But, under the forms of our present forgotten that the poet himself is the civilisation, the influence of a single product of his own times and country. mind can nowhere be so great, so But this only explains—it does not permanent, so extensive, as when it contradict, or detract from his influ calls to its assistance the recitation, ence. In every society, or condition and the vivid representations of the of mankind, there are conflicting ele stage. ments of thought; those which have If the stage bas ceased, or is graduentered largest into the composition ally ceasing, to be the popular amuseof the poet are those which his genius ment of civilised Europe, the vocation renders predominant. He could not of the dramatist, like that of the minoperate on other minds, unless they, strel bard of old, is gone. The book in some measure, sympathise already becomes the sole magician of the with his own; he finds in each citadel scene. We have a strong suspicion, a faction, at least, that wear his when we pronounce the names of colours, and to them he gives over Corneille and Shakspeare, that we the command of the fortress.
are speaking of men whose peculiar When the national poet is also the influence as dramatists belongs already favourite dramatist, and his verses to the past. What they possess as are recited before multitudes, and poets they still retain ; and in the with all the illusions of the theatre, case of one of them (perhaps of both) this influence reaches the highest will retain as long as books are read. point which,
in modern society, is Even if the drama should still conattainable. The bard who sang his tinue popular amongst us—even if a own strains, or the compositions le taste for tragedy should revive-the had learned, to a simple, passionate stage, as a means of instructing and audience, who gave themselves up to impressing the minds of numbers, is the charm, without a single critical so completely ontrivalled and overquestion, without a distraction-from powered by the press, that the drathe side, at least, of the reflective matist can no longer bave any very
Corneille and his Times. By M. Guizot.
Shakspeare and his Times. By M. Guizot, VOL. LXXII. NO. CCCCXLIV.
peculiar influence on the national tone as well prepared to take part in the
It is matter of common remark