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PARADISE REGAIN'D.

Β Ο Ο Κ

I.

I

Who ere while the happy garden sung,

By one man's disobedience lost, now sing Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,

By

man,

Milton's Paradise Regain'd has ere while &c. is plainly an allusion not met with the approbation that to the Ille ego qui quondam &c. atit deserves. It has not the har- tributed to Virgil: but it doth not mony of numbers, the sublimity therefore follow that Milton had of thought, and the beauties of no better taste than to conceive diction, which are in Paradise these lines to be genuin. Their Loft. It is composed in a lower being so well known to all the and less striking itile, a stile suited learned was reason sufficient for his to the subject. Artful fophiftry, imitation of them, as it was for false reasoning, set off in the most Spenser's before him : specious manner, and refuted by

Lo, I the the Son of God with strong un

whose Muse

whileom did malk, affected eloquence, is the peculiar excellence of this poem.

As time her taught, in lowly

Satan there defends a bad cause with

shepherds weeds,

Am now enforc'd a far unfitter great skill and subtlety, as one thoroughly versed in that craft;

For trumpets ftern to change Qui facere assuerat

mine oaten reeds &c. Candida de nigris, et de candentibus atra.

2. By one man's disobedience] The

opposition of one man's disobedience His character is well drawn. Jortin. in this verse to one man's obedience in

ver, 4. is somewhat in the stile and 1. I who ere while &c.] Milton manner of St. Paul. Rom. V. 19. begins his Paradise Regain'd in For as by one man's disobedience the same manner as the Paradise many were made finners ; so by the Loft; first proposes his subject, and obedience of one shall many be made then invokes the assistance of the righteous. Holy Spirit. The beginning I who 3. Recover'd Paradise] It may

seein

talk,

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By one man's firm obedience fully try'd
Through all temptation, and the tempter foil'd 5
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls’d,
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.

Thou Spi'rit who ledst this glorious eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field,
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence

By

seem a little odd at first, that Mil- to this defective plan; or his fondton should impute the recovery of nefs for the plan influenced those Paradise to this short scene of our notions. That is whether he inSaviour's life upon earth, and not deed supposed the redemption of rather extend it to his agony, cru- mankind (as he here represents it) cifixion &c, but the reason no doubt was procured by Chrift's triumph was, that Paradise regain’d by our over the Devil in the wilderness ; Saviour's resifting the temptations or whether he thought that the of Satan might be a better con- scene of the desert opposed to that trast to Paradise loft by our first pa- of Paradise, and the action of a rents too easily yielding to the same temptation withstood to a tempseducing Spirit. Besides he might tation fallen under, made Paradise very probably, and i::deed very Regain'd a more regular fequel to reasonably, be apprehensive, that a Paradise Loft. Or if neither this subject so extensive as well as sub- nor that, whether it was his being lime might be too great a burden tired out with the labor of comfor his declining conftitution, and a posing Paradise Loft made him talk too long for the short term of averse to another work of length years he could then hope for. Even (and then he would never be at a in his Paradise Loft he expresses his lofs for fanciful reasons to deterfears, left he had begun too late, min him in the choice of his plan) and left an age too late, or cold cli- iş very uncertain. All that we can mate, or years frould have damp'd his be sure of is, that the plan is a intended wing ; and surely he had very unhappy one, and defective much greater cause to dread the even in that narrow view of a fesame now, and be very cautious of quel, for it affords the poet no oplanching out too far. Thyer. portunity of driving the Devil back; It is hard to say whether Milton's again to Hell from his new conwrong notions in divinity led him quests in the air. In the mean time

nothing

II

i

By proof th’undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted song else mute,
And bear through highth or depth of nature's bounds
With prosp'rous wing full summ’d, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,

15 And unrecorded left through many an age, Worthy t' have not remain'd so long unsung.

Now

nothing was easier than to have in- eremite, which was used before by vented a good one, which thould Milton in his Paradise Loft III. end with the resurrection, and com- 474• prise these four books, somewhat

Embryo's and idiots, eremites and contracted, in an episode, for which

friers : only the subject of them is fit.

Warburton.

and by Fairfax in his translation of 7. And Eden rais’d in the waste Tasso, Cant. 11. St. 4.

wilderness. There is, I think, Next morn the bishops twain, the a particular beauty in this line, eremite : when one considers the fine allu- and in Italian as well as in Latin fion in it to the curse brought upon there is eremita, which the French, the Paradisiacal earth by the fall of and we after them, contract into Adam, -Cursed is the ground for hermite, hermit, thy fake-Thorns also and thistles fall it bring forth. Thyer.

13. of nature's bounds] To 8. Thou Spi'rit who ledji this glo- which he confines himself in this

rious eremite] The invocation poem, not, as in Paradise Lolt, is properly address’d to the Holy where he soars above and without Spirit, not only as the inspirer of the bounds of nature. VII. 21. every good work, but as the leader

Richardson. of our Saviour upon this occasion

14. With prosp'rous wing full into the wilderness. For it is said

Jumm’d,] We had the like exMat

. IV. 1. Then was Jefus led up pression in Paradise Lost VII. 421. of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be i empted of the Devil. And from the They summ'd their pens--Greek original epnu@ the desert, and it was noted there that it is a and popustins an inhabitant of the

term in falconry. A hawk is said defert, is rightly formed the word to be full

summ'd, when all his fea

thers

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Now had the great Proclamer, with a voice More awful than the sound of trumpet, cry'd Repentance, and Heav'n's kingdom nigh at hand 20 To all baptis’d: to his great baptism flock'd With awe the regions round, and with them came From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd To the flood Jordan, came as then obscure, Unmark’d, unknown ; but him the Baptist soon 25 Descry’d, divinely warn’d, and witness bore

As

thers are grown, when he wants preached ? and that none could be nothing of the sum of his feathers, admitted to hear him without this cui nihil de fumma pennarum deeft, previous immersion ? Whereas in as Skinner says. There was there- the nature of things as well as the fore no occasion for reading as Gospel history, his preaching must some body proposed,

be, and was preparatory to his With prosp'rous wing full plum'd. baptism. 'One might read 14 to tell of deeds

nigh at hand, Above heroic,] Alluding perhaps

Baptizing all : in the turn of expression to the first But this may be thought too distant verse of Lucan,

from the common lection; and a Bella per Emathios plusquam ci

less change will effect the cure.

Read therefore Jufque datum sceler canimus.

And all baptiz’d:

Thyer. The prophet preached repentance 19. cry'd

and the approach of Christ's kingRepentance, and Heav'n's kingdom dom, and baptized all, that is, nigh at band

multitudes of people, who were To all baptiz'd:] John preached disposed by his preaching to prerepentance and the approach of pare their hearts for that great Chriít's kingdom. Ak-to whom? event. .

Calton. and the answer is to all baptiz'd. There is something plaufible and Doth not this seem to imply, that ingenious in this emendation : but the great prophet baptized before he i conceive the construction to be

vilia campos,

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