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the performance of this office. In his next image the natural history is better preserved, and as the thoughts are appropriate to the time of the day, we will venture to transcribe the passage, as a favourable specimen of the author's manner:

“While the cock with lively din

Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before ;
Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill."

Is it not lamentable that, after all, whether it is the cock or the poet that listens, should be left entirely to the reader's conjecture? Perhaps also his embarrassment may be increased by a slight resemblance of character in these two illustrious personages, at least as far as relates to the extent and numbers of their seraglio.

After a flaming description of sunrise, on which occasion the clouds attend in their very best liveries, the bill of fare for the day proceeds in the usual manner. Whistling ploughmen, singing milkmaids, and sentimental shepherds are always to be had at a moment's notice, and, if well grouped, serve to fill up the landscape agreeably enough. On this part of the poem we have only to remark, that if Mr. John Milton proposes to make himself merry with

“Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray ;

Mountains on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest ;
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide,
Towers and battlements, etc.,"

he will either find himself egregiously disappointed, or he must possess a disposition to merriment which even Democritus himself might envy. To such a pitch indeed does this solemn indication of joy sometimes rise, that we are inclined to give him credit for a literal adherence to the apostolic precept, “Is any merry, let him sing psalms."

At length, however, he hies away at the sound of bellringing, and seems for some time to enjoy the tippling and fiddling and dancing of a village wake. But his fancy is soon haunted again by spectres and goblins, a set of beings not in general esteemed the companions or inspirers of mirth:

“With stories told of many a feat,

How fairy Mab the junkets eat ;
She was pinched, and pulled, she said ;
And he, by friar's lanthorn led,
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat
To earn his cream-bowl duly set ;
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn,
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,
And, stretched out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And crop-full out of door he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings."

Mr. M. seems indeed to have a turn for this species of nursery tales and prattling lullabies; and if he will studiously cultivate his talent he need not despair of figuring in a conspicuous corner of Mr. Newbury's shop-window; unless, indeed, Mrs. Trimmer should think fit to proscribe those empty levities and idle superstitions by which the world has been too long abused.

From these rustic fictions we are transported to another species of hum:

“ Towered cities please us then,

And the busy hum of men,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold
In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
Of wit or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend."

To talk of the bright eyes of ladies judging the prize of wit is indeed with the poets a legitimate species of humming. But would not, we may ask, the rain from these ladies' bright eyes rather tend to dim their lustre? Or is there any quality in a shower of influence, which, instead of deadening, serves only to brighten and exhilarate? Whatever the case may be, we would advise Mr. M. by all means to keep out of the way of these knights and barons bold; for if he has nothing but his wit to trust to, we will venture to predict that, without a large share of most undue influence, he must be content to see the prize adjudged to his competitors.

Of the latter part of the poem little need be said. The author does seem somewhat more at home when he gets among the actors and musicians, though his head is still running upon Orpheus and Eurydice, and Pluto, and other sombre gentry, who are ever thrusting themselves in where we least expect them, and who chill every rising emotion of mirth and gaiety.

Upon the whole, Mr. Milton seems to be possessed of some fancy and talent for rhyming; two most dangerous endowments, which often unfit men for acting a useful part in life, without qualifying them for that which is great and brilliant. If it be true, as we have heard, that he has declined advantageous prospects in business for the sake of indulging his poetical humour, we hope it is not yet too late to prevail upon him to retract his resolution. With the help of Cocker and common industry he may become a respectable scrivener; but it is not all the Zephyrs, and Auroras, and Corydons, and Thyrsises, aye, nor his junketing Queen Mab and drudging goblins, that will ever make him a poet.

-"Advice to a Young Reviewer."

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