網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Forth rup'd with Whirlwind found
The Chariot of paternal Deity,
Flashing thick flames, Wheel zwithin Wheel undrawn,
It self instinkt with Spirita-

I question not but Bossu, and the two Daciers, who are for vindicating every thing that is censured in Homer, by something parallel in Holy Writ, would have been very well pleased had they thought of confronting Vulcan's Tripodes with Ezekiel's Wheels.

RAPHA E L's Descent to the Earth, with the Figure of his Person, is represented in very lively Colours. °Several of the French, Italian and English Poets have given a loose to their Imaginations in the Description of Angels: But I do not remember to have met with any so finely drawn, and so conformable to the Notions which are given of them in Scripture, as this in Milton. After having set him forth in all his Heavenly Plumage, and represented him as alighting upon the Earth, the Poet concludes his Description with a Circumstance, which is altogether new, and imagined with the greatest Strength of Fancy.

Like Maia's Son he food,
And sook his Plumes, that Heav'nly Fragrance fill'd
The Circuit wide-

RAPHA E L's Reception by the Guardian Angels; his passing through the Wilderness of Sweets ; his ditant Appearance to Adam, have all the Graces that Poetry is capable of bestowing. The Author afterwards gives us a particular Description of Eve in her Domestick Employ, ments.

· So saying, with dispatchful Looks in hafte

She turns, on hospitable Thoughts intent,
What Choice to choose for Delicacy best,
What Order, fo contrivd, as not to mix
Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring
Taste after Taste, upheld with kindliest Change;
Beftirs her then, &c.-

THOUGH in this, and other parts of the fame Book, thé Subject is only the Housewifry of our first Parent, it

B 3

is fet off with so many pleasing Images and strong Expreffions, as make it none of the least agreeable Parts in this Divine Work.

THE natural Majesty of Adam, and at the same time his submissive Behaviour to the Superior Being, who had vouchsafed to be his Guest; the solemn Hail which the Angel bestows upon the Mother of Mankind, with the Figure of Eve ministring at the Table, are Circumstances which deserve to be admired.

RAPHA E L's Behaviour is every way suitable to the Dignity of his Nature, and to that Character of a sociable Spirit, with which the Author has fo judiciously introduced him. He had received Instructions to converse with Adam, as one Friend converses with another, and to warn him of the Enemy, who was contriving his Destruction: Accordingly he is represented as fitting down at Table with Adam, and eating of the Fruits of Paradise. The Occafion naturally leads him to his Discourse on the Food of Angels. After having thus entered into Conversation with Man upon more indifferent Subjects, he warns him of his Obedience, and makes a natural Transition to the History of that fallen Angel, who was employ'd in the Circumvention of our first Parents.

HAD I followed Monsieur Bolu's Method in my firit Paper on Milion, I should have dated the Action of Paradise Lost froin the Beginning of Raphael's Speech in this Book, as he supposes the Action of the Æneid to begin in the second Book of that Poem. I could alledge many Reasons for iny drawing the Action of the Æneid rather from its immediate Beginning in the first Book, than from its remote Beginning in the second; and Thew why I have considered the facking of Troy as an Episode, according to the common Acceptation of that Word. But as this would be a dry unentertaining Piece of Criticism, and perhaps unnecessary to those who have read my first Paper, I shall not enlarge upon it. Which ever of the Notions be true, the Unity of Milton's Action is preserved according to either of them; whether we consider the Fall of Man in its immediate Beginning, or proceeding from the Refolutions taken in the infernal Council, or in its more remote Beginning, or proceeding from the first Revolt of the Angels in Heaven. The Occasion which Milton

asigns assigns for this Revolt, as it is founded on Hints in Holy Writ, and on the Opinion of some great Writers, so it was the most proper that the Poet could have made use of.

THE Revolt in Heaven is described with great Force of Indignation and a fine Variety of Circumstances. The learned Reader cannot but be pleased with the Poet's Imitation of Homer in the last of the following Lines.

At length into the Limits of the North
They came, and Satan took bis Royal Seat
High on a Hill, far blazing, as a Mount
Rais'd on a Mount, with Pyramids and Tow'rs
From Diamond Quarries hewn, and Rocks of Gold,
The Palace of great Lucifer, (so call
That Structure in the Dialect of Men
Interpreted)

HOMER mentions Persons and Things, which he tells us in the Language of the Gods are called by different Names from those they go by in the Language of Men. Milton has imitated him with his usual Judgment in this particular Place, wherein he has likewise the Authority of Scripture to justify him. The Part of Abdiel, who was the only Spirit that in this infinite Host of Angels preserved his Allegiance to his Maker, exhibits to us a noble Moral of religious Singularity. The Zeal of the Seraphim breaks forth in a becoming Warmth of Sentiments and Exprerfions, as the Character which is given us of him denotes that generous Scorn and Intrepidity which attends heroick Virtue. The Author doubtless designed it as a Pattern to those who live among Mankind in their present State of Degeneracy and Corruption.

So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithfui only he i
Among innumerable false, unmov'd,
Unhaken, unseduc'd, unterrify'd;
His Loyalty he kept, his Love, his Zeal:
Nor Number, nor Example with him wrought
To fwerve from Truth, or change his constant Mind,
Though single. From amidst them forth he pass'd,
Long way through hoftile Scorn, which he fuftain'd
в 4

Superior,

Superior, nor of Violence fear'd ought;
And, with retorted Scorn, his Back he turn'd
On those proud Tow'rs to swift Destruction deomd. L

N° 328. Monday, March 17.

Nullum me à labore reclinat otium. - Hor. Mr. SPECTATOR, • A S I believe this is the first Complaint that ever " A was made to you of this nature, so you are the

first Person I ever could prevail upon my self ' to lay it before. When I tell you I have a healthy vigo.. 'rous Constitution, a plentiful Eftate, no inordinate De• fires, and am married to a virtuous lovely Woman, who

neither wants Wit nor Good-nature, and by whom I ' have a numerous Offspring to perpetuate my Family, ' you will naturally conclude me a happy Man. But, • notwithstanding these promising Appearances, I am so • far from it, that the Prospect of being ruin'd and un* done, by a sort of Extravagance which of late Years is • in a less degree crept into every fashionable Family, de• prives me of all the Comforts of my Life, and renders • me the most anxious miserable Man on Earth. My Wife, • who was the only Child and darling Care of an indul. • gent Mother, employ'd her early Years in learning all • those Accomplishments we generally understand by " Good-breeding and polite Education. She sings, dances, • plays on the Lute and Harpficord, paints prettily, is a • perfect Mistress of the French Tongue, and has made a • considerable Progress in Italian. She is besides excel• lently skill'd in all domestick Sciences, as Preserving, • Pickling, Pastry, making Wines of Fruits of our own Growth, Embroidering,and Needleworks of every Kind. • Hitherto you will be apt to think there is very little • Cause of Complaint; but suspend your Opinion till I • have further explain'd my felf, and then I make no • question you will come over to mine. You are not • to imagine I find fault that she either poffeffes or cakes

delight

6 delight in the Exercise of those Qualifications I just

now mention'd; 'tis the immoderate Fondness she has • to them that I lament, and that what is only design'd • for the innocent Amusement and Recreation of Life. 6 is become the whole Business and Study of hers. The « fix Months we are in Town (for the Year is equally « divided between that and the Country) from almost • Break of Day till Noon, the whole Morning is laid out . in practising with her several Masters; and to make up • the Loffes occafion'd by her Absence in Summer, every « Day in the Week their Attendance is requir'd; and as

they are all People eminent in their Professions, their • Skill and Time must be recompensed accordingly: So • how far these Articles extend, I leave you to judge. • Limning, one would think, is no expensive Diversion, • but as she manages the Matter, 'tis a very considerable - Addition to her Disbursements; which you will easily • believe, when you know the paints Fans for all her « Female Acquaintance, and draws all her Relations • Pictures in Miniature; the first must be mounted by • no body but Colmar, and the other set by no body but « Charles Mather. What follows, is still much worse than • the former; for as I told you, she is a great Artist at • her Needle, 'tis incredible what Sums she expends in • Embroidery ; For besides, what is appropriated to her 6 personal Use, as Mantua's, Petticoats,Stomachers, Hands kerchiefs, Purses, Pin-cushions, and Working-Aprons, • she keeps four French Protestants continually employ'd « in making divers Pieces of superfluous Furniture, as • Quilts, Toilets, Hangings for Closets, Beds, Window« Curtains, Easy-Chairs, and Tabourets: Nor have I any • hopes of ever reclaiming her from this Extravagance, • while he obstinately persists in thinking it a notable • piece of good Housewifry, because they are made at • home, and she has had some share in the Performance. • There would be no end of relating to you the Parti• culars of the annual Charge, in furnishing her Store6. Room with a Profusion of Pickles and Preserves; for • she is not contented with having every thing, unless it • be done every way, in which the consults an Heredi• tary Book of Receipts; for her female Ancestors have & been always fam'd for good Housewifry, one of whom

6.is

B 5

« 上一頁繼續 »