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tributed much to the painting of that pathetic scene in PARADISE Lost, in which Eve addresseth herself to Adam for pardon and peace. At the intercession of his friends who were present, after a short reluctance, he generously sacrificed all his resentment to her tears :

- soon his heart relented
Tow'rds her, his life so late and sole delight,

Now at his feet submissive in diftress. Mr. Thyer thus farther enlarges upon the same subject. “ This picture of Eve's distress, her submissive tender address to her husbard, and his generous reconcilement to her, are extremely beautiful, I had almost said beyond any thing in the whole Poem ; and that reader must have a very sour and unfriendly turn of mind, whose heart does not relent with Adam's, and melt into a sympathizing commiseration towards the mother of mankind : so well has our Author here followed Horace's advice,

Si vis me here, dolendum est
Primum ipsi tibi

Art. Poet. 102 Milton, with great depth of judgment, observes in his “ Apology for Smectymnuus,” that "he who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well in Jaudable things, ought himself to be a true poem ; that is, a composition of the best and honourablest things, and have in himself the experience and practice of all that which is praise-worthy. Of the truth of which observation, he himself is, I think, a shining instance in this charming scene now before us, since there is little room to doubt but that the particular beauties of it are owing to an interview of the same nature, which he had with his own wife, and that he is only here describing those tender and generous sentiments which he then felt and experienced.”



1. Thus they in lowliest plight, &c.] Milton has shown a wonderful art in describing that variety of passions which arise in our first parents upon the breach of the commandment that had been given them. We see them gradually passing from the triumph of their guilt through remorse, shame, despair, contrition, prayer, and hope, to a perfect and complete repentance. At the end of the tenth book, they are represented as prostrating themselves

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the ground, and watering the earth with their tears : to which the Poet joins this beautiful circumstance, that they offered up their penitential prayers on the very place where their Judge appeared to them when he pronounced their sentence. There is a beauty of the same kind in a tragedy of Sophocles, where OEdipus, after having put out his own eyes, instead of breaking his neck from the palace-battlements (which furnishes so elegant an entertainment for our English audience) desires that he may be conducted to mount Cithæron, in order to end his life in that very place where he was exposed in his infancy, and where he should then have died, had. the will of his parents been executed. As the Author never fails to give a poetical turn to his sentiments, he describes in the beginning of this book, the acceptance which these their prayers met with, in a short allegory formed upon that beautiful passage in holy writ (Rev. viii. 3, 4.): “ And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer ; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne : and the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God." We have the same thought expressed a second time in the intercession of the Messiah; which is conceived in very emphatic sentiments and expressions.


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11. Henceforth what is to come I will relate,] Milton, after having represented in vision the history of mankind, to the first great period of nature, dispatches the remaining part of it in narration. He has devised a very handsome reason for the Angel's proceeding with Adam after this manner; though doubtless the true reason was, the difficulty which the Poet would have found to have shadowed out so mixed and complicated a story in visible objects. I could wish, however, that the Author had done it, whatever pains it might have cost him. To give my opinion freely, I think that the exhibiting part of the history of mankind in vision, and part in tiarrative, is as if an history-painter should put in colours one half of his subject, and write down the remaining part of it. If Milo ton's Poem flags anywhere, it is in this narration, where in some places the Author has been so attentive to his divinity, that he has

neglected his poetry. The narration, however, rises very happily on several occasions, where the subject is capable of poetical ornaments; as particularly in the confusion which he describes among the builders of Babel, and in his short sketch of the plagues of Egypt.

Addison. Mr. Addison observes, that“ if Milton's Poem flags anywhere, it is in this narration;" and to be sure, if we have an eye only to poetic decoration, his remark is just ; but if we view it in another light, and consider in how short a compass he has comprized, and with what strength and clearness he has expressed the various actings of God towards mankind, and the most sublime and deep truths, both of the Jewish and Christian theology, it must excite no less admiration in the mind of an attentive reader, than the more sprightly scenes of love and innocence in Eden, or the more turbulent ones of angelic war in Heaven. This contrivance of Milton, to introduce into his Poem so many things posterior to the time of action fixed in his first plan, by a visionary prophetic relation of them, is, it must be allowed, common with our Author, to Virgil, and most epic poets since his time; but there is one thing to be observed singular in our English Poct, which is, that whereas they have all done it principally, if not wholly, to have an oppor. tunity of complimenting their own country and friends, he has not the least mention of, or friendly allusion to his. The reformation of our church from the errors and tyranny of popery, which corruptions he so well describes and pathetically laments, afforded him occasion fair enough, and no doubt his not doing it must be imputed to his mind's being so unhappily imbittered, at the time of his writing, against our government both in church and state ; so that to the many other mischiefs, flowing from the grand rebellion, we may add this of its depriving Britain of the best panegyric it is ever likely to have.

Thyer. 648. They hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and slow,

Through Eden took their solitary way.) If I might pre. sume to offer at the smallest alteration in this divine work, I should think the Poem would end better with the foregoing passage than with the two verses here quoted. These two verses, though they have their beauty, fall very much below the foregoing passage, and renew in the mind of the reader, that anguish which was pretty well laid by that consideration,


The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their Guide.

Addison. The reader probably may have observed, that the two last books fall short of the sublimity and majesty of the rest: and so likewise do the two last books of the Iliad, and for the same reasən, because the subject is of a different kind from that of the foregoing ones. The subject of the two last books of the PARADISE Lost, is history rather than poetry. However, we may still discover the same great genius ; and there are intermixed as many ornaments and graces of poetry as the nature of the subject and the Author's fidelity and strict attachment to the truth of Scripture-history, and the reduction of so many and such various events into so narrow a compass, would admit. It is the same ocean, but not at its highest tide ; it is now ebbing and retreating. It is the same sun, but not in its full blaze of meridian glory; it now shines with a gentler ray as it is setting. Throughout the whole, the Author appears to have been a most critical reader, and a most passionate admirer of holy Scripture. He is indebted to Scripture infinitely more than to Homer and Virgil, and all other books whatever. Not only his principal fable, but all his episodes are founded upon Scripture. The Scripture hath not only furnished him with the noblest hints, raised his thoughts, and fired his imagination; but hath also very much enriched his language, given a certain solemnity and majesty to his diction, and supplied him with many of his choicest, happiest expressions. Let men therefore learn from this instance, to reverence those sacred writings. If any man can pretend to deride or despise them, it must be said of him at least, that he has a taste and genius the most different from Milton's that can be imagined. Whoever has any true taste and genius, we are confident will esteem this Poem the best of modern productions, and the Scriptures the best of all ancient ones.


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ARON and Moses, their mission to Egypt, xii. 170.

Abdiel (a Seraph) opposes Satan promoting the Angels revolt,
&c. v. 803. Reply to his answer, v. 877. His fidelity, &c. ce-
lebrated, v. 896. Retreat from Satan's party, vi. 1. Soliloquy
on view of him at their head, vi. 114. Speech to him thereon,
vi. 130. Reply to his answer, vi. 171. Encounters him in
the battle, vi. 189. Vanquishes Ariel, Arioch, and Ramiel (fal.

len Angels) vi. 369.
Abel and Cain, their story related, xi. 429.
Abraham's and the patriarchs, xii. 113. All nations his sons by

faith, xii. 446.
Acheron, a river of hell, ii. 570.
Adam and Eve described generally, iv. 288. Particularly, iv. 295.

Their state of innocence, iv. 312, 492, 738. v. 211, 303. viii.
510. See Innocence. Night-orison, iv. 720. Morning-orison,
V. 153. Preparations to entertain the Angel Raphael, v. 313.
The table and entertainment described, v. 391. Their nuptial
bed, iv. 708. Nuptials celebrated, viii. 510. Parting preceding
the temptation, ix. 385. Behaviour after their fall, ix. 1004.
Find themselves naked, ix. 1051. Make themselves breeches of
fig-leaves, ix, 1099. Recriminate on, and reproach each other,
ix. 1187. Hide themselves from God (the Son) x. 97. Appear-
ance before him, x. 109. Repentance, X. 1098. Expulsion

from Paradise, xii. 625. See Similies.
Adam, his discourse with Eve on the prohibition of the tree of know-

ledge, iv. 411. To her at night, iv. 610. Answer to her ques-
tion about the nightly luminaries, iv. 660. Viewing her sleeping,
v.8. Answer to her relating her dream (the subject of Satan's

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