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to the number of thirty; and form a singular medley of comedies and devout po. ems.” The writer of the article Andreini ( Isabelle) in the Nouveau Dict. Hist. à Caen, 1786, adds, to the account of her son's theatrical pieces, On a encore d'Andreini trois Traités en faveur de la Comédie & des Comédiens, publiés à Paris en 1625; ils sont fort rares.
II. The next remark respecting the Origin of Paradise Lost is that of Dr. Pearce, who, in the Preface to his Review of the Text of the twelve books, &c. published in 1733, says, “ It is probable that Milton took the first hint of the poem from an Italian tragedy, called Il Paradiso Perso; for I am informed that there is such an one extant, printed many years before Milton entered upon his design.” Mr. Hayley, in a very extensive research, has been able to discover no such per. formance. Nor have my inquiries been more successful.
III. We are next informed, in the Preface to the poetical works of the Rev. J. Sterling, printed at Dublin in 1734, that " The great Milton is said to have ingenuously confessed that he owed his immortal work of Paradise Lost to Mr. Fletcher's Locustæ.” The person here mentioned is Phineas Fletcher, better known by his poem, entitled the Purple Island; and the Loeustä is a spirited Latin poem, writen against the Jesuits', and published at Cambridge, while Milton was a student there, in 1627; as was also the same author's Locusts, or Apollyonists, an English poem, consisting of five cantos. That Milton had read both the Latin and English poem of Fletcher, I make no doubt. And I have accordingly offered, to the reader's observation, some passages from both in the Notes on his poetical works, with which Milton appears to have been pleased. But Milton's obligations to Fletcher are too confined to admit so extensive an acknowledgment, as that which is contained in Mr. Sterling's Preface; and indeed the authority of the anecdote has not been given. Mr. Sterling has translated with great spirit the speech of Lucifer to his Angels in the Locustæ, vel Pietas Jesuitica. See his poems, p. 43. As Fletcher's Latin poem is little known, it may be here proper to select, from this speech, the lines which seem to have influ. enced the imagination of Milton, and perhaps to have given rise to the preceding anecdote.
Nos contrà immemori per tuta silentia somno
acquistato molto credito sulle Scene Italiane porrossi in Francia, .ove si meritò la stima di Luigi XIII. Visse per lo meno sino al 1652. From the remarks mentioned in the notes, p. 318.It is not impossible, that Milton might have seen and conversed with Andreini, when he visited France and Italy.
· The Jesuits were called Locusts, in the theological language of this period. See Sundrie Sermons by bishop Lake, fol. 1629, p. 205. “There is a kind of metaphoricall Locusts and Caterpillers, Locusts that came out of the bottomlesse pit; I meane Popish Priests and lesuits ; the Catterpillars of the Commonweale, Proiectors and Inuentors of new tricks bow to exhaust the purses of the subiects, couering private ends with publicke pretences.”
Restituet, cælum nobis soliúmque relinquet,
Quò tanti cecidere animi?' Quò pristina virtus
Aequemus meritis pænas, atque ultima passis
Dixerat, insequitur fremitus, trepidantiáque inter
The simile, which here follows this speech, resembles, in some degree, that of Milton in his poem on the fifth of November. See In Quint. Nov. ver. 176, &c. See also Par. Lost, B. i. 768. To which we might add the assembly of devils, summoned before Lucifer in the old French morálity of The Assumption, 1527.
Ung grand tas de dyables plus drus
Milton's Latin poem is dated at the age of seventeen, namely in 1625. Fletcher's was published in 1627. The subjects of both are certainly similar. See the first Note on In Quint. Nov. vol. vi. p. 302. Fletcher, whose diction and imagery are often extremely beautiful, was educated at Eton, whence he was sent to King's College, Cambridge, in 1600; became B. A. in 1604, and M. A. in 1608.; was afterwards beneficed at Hilgay in Norfolk, and died in 1649.
IV. Hitherto what had been mentioned as bints, to which the active mind of Milton might not be insensible, had been mentioned without betraying a wish to tear the laurels from the brow of the great poet. Not such was the intelligence conveyed to the public by the malicious Lauder. He, unfortunate man, scrupled not to disgrace the considerable learning which he possessed, and to forfeit all pretensions to probity, by an audacious endeavour to prove that Milton was “ the worst and greatest of all plagiaries." He acquired, indeed, a temporary credit, and engaged a powerful advocate in his cause, by the speciousness of his charge. But he played most foully for it." He corrupted the text of those poets, whom he produced as evi. dences against the originality of Milton, by interpolating several verses either of his own fabrication, or from the Latin translation of Paradise Lost by William Hog. His enmity to Milton first discovered itself, on Dr. Newton's publishing his proposals for printing a new edition of the Paradise Lost with Notes of va. rious Authors; which appeared in 1749. He affirmed that “ he could prove," says Dr. Newton, (giving an account of his interview with Lauder,) « that Mil. ton had borrowed the substance of whole books together, and that there was scarcely a single thought or sentiment in his poem which he had not stolen from some author or other, notwithstanding his vain pretence to things unattempted yet in prose or rhime. And then, in confirmation of his charge he recited a long roll of Scotch, German, and Dutch poets, and affirmed that he had brought the books along with him which were his vouchers; and appealed particularly to Ramsay, a Scotch divine, and to Masenius, a German Jesuit: but, upon producing his au. thors, he could not find Masenius; he had dropped the book somewhere or other
* These interpolations are given in the Appendix to this edition, No. II.
in the way, and expressed much surprise and concern for the loss of it; Ramsay he left with me, and my opinion of Milton's imitations of that author I have giv. en in a note on B. ix. 513. I knew very well that Milton was an universal scholar, as famous for his great reading as for the extent of his genius; and I thought it not improbable, that Mr. Lauder, having the good fortune to meet with these German and Dutch poems, might have traced out there some of his imitations and illusions, which had escaped the researches of others : and it was my advice to him then, and as often as I had opportunities of seeing him afterwards, that if he had really made such notable discoveries as he boasted, he would do well to communicate them to the public; an ingenious countryman of his had published an Essay upon Milton's Imitations of the Ancients, and he would equal. ly deserve the thanks of the learned world by writing an Essay upon Milton's imitations of the moderns; but at the same time I recommended to him a little more modesty and decency, and urged all the arguments I could to persuade him to treat Milton's name with more respect, and not to write of him with the same acrimony and rancour with which he spoke of him; it would weaken his cause instead of strengthening it, and would hurt himself more than Milton in the opini. on of all candid readers. He began with publishing some specimens of his work in the Gentleman's Magazine: and I was sorry to find that he had no better re. garded my advice in his manner of writing; for his papers were much in the same strain and spirit as his conversation ; his assertions strong, and his proofs weak. However, to do him justice, several of the quotations which he had made from Adamus Exul, a tragedy of the famous Hugo Grotius, I thought so exactly par. allel to several passages in the Paradise Lost, that I readily adopted them, and inserted them without scruple in my Notes; esteeming it no reproach to Milton, but rather a commendation of his taste and judgment, to have gathered so many of the choicest flowers in the gardens of others, and to have transplanted them with improvements into his own. At length, after I had published my first edition of the Paradise Lost, came forth Nir. Lauder's Essay on Milton's Use and Imitation of the Moderns; but except the quotations from Grotius, which I had already inserted in my first edition, I found in Mr. Lauder's authors not above half a dozen passages, which I thought worth transferring into my second edition; not but he had produced more passages somewhat resembling others in Milton; but when a similitude of thought or expression, of sentiment or description, occurs in Scripture and we will say in Staphorstius, in Virgil and perhaps in Alexander Ross, in Ariosto and perhaps in Taubmannus, I should rather conclude that Milton had borrowed from the former whom he is certainly known to have read, than from the latter whom it is very uncertain whether he had ever read or not. We know that he had often drawn, and delighted to draw, from the pure foun. tain; and why then should we believe that he chose rather to drink of the stream after it was polluted by the trash and filth of others? We know that he had thoroughly studied, and was perfectly acquainted with, the graces and beauties of the great originals; and why then should we think that he was only the servile copier of perhaps a bad copy, which perhaps he had never seen ?”
If Lauder had traced the marks of imitation in Milton with truth and candour; if he had modestly noted images or sentiments apparently transferred from other writers, yet still perhaps fortuitous coincidences ; he would have gratified rational curiosity. But he was intent on blackening the fame of Milton. He published, besides his Essay, Delectus Auctorum Sacrorum Miltono Facem Prælucen. tium 3,” in two volumes; of which the first contained Andræx Ramsæi Poc. nata Sacra “, & Hugonis Grotii Adamus Exul, Tragædia 5: the second, Jacobi Masenii Sarcotidos Libri tres,”— Odɔrici Valmarana Dæmonomachiæ Liber unus, Casparis Barlæi Paradisus , & Frederici Taubmanni Bellum Ángelicum: Libri tres ?." But, as Mr. Hayley finely observes, Milton 56 by the force and opulence of his own fancy was exempted from the inclination, and the necessity, of borrowing and retailing the ideas of other poets; but, rich as he was in his own proper fund, he chose to be perfectly acquainted not only with the wealth, but even with the poverty of others.” Indeed 1 may venture to strengthen this observation by Milton's own words, in which he seems to promise the production of some great poetical work. 66 Neither do I think it shame to covenant with any knowing reader, that for some few years yet I may go on trust with him towards the payment of what I am now indebted, as being a work not to be rais'd from the heat of youth, or the vapours of wine ; like that which flows at waste from the pen of some vulgar amorist, or the trencher fury of some riming parasite ; nor to be obtain’d by the invocation of dame Memory and her Siren daughters, but by devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his Seraphim, with the hallow'd fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases; to this must be added industrious and select reading, steady observation, insight into all seemly and generous arts and affairs 1.” Mr. Hayley therefore may be justified in his opinion, that Milton read, in different languages, authors of every class; “ and I doubt not,” he adds, “ but he had perused every poem collected by Lauder, though some of them hardly afford ground enough for a conjecture, that he remembered any passage they contain, in the course of his nobler composition."
V. We are next presented with the following information of a learned and in. genious traveller, well known to the literary world by his eminent services in the cause of Christianity. “ During my short stay at Dusseldorf, I became acquainted with a baron de Harold, an Irishman, who is colonel of the regiment of Koningsfeld, &c.—But my reason for mentioning the baron, was to inform you, that he is now employed in translating, into English verse, a Latip poem, entitled
3 In 1752, and 1753.
6 From the edition of Cologne, 1644. The fourth and fifth books are printed in Barbou's edition of the Sarcotis, printed at Paris, in 1781: to which are prefixed two Letters Aux RR. PP. Jesuites Autuers des Memoires de Trevoux, Où l'on compare le Paradis Perdu de Milton avec le Poème intitulé Sarcotis du R. P. Jacques Masenius, Jésuite Allemand. The liberal writer of the article, Masenius, in the Nouveau Dict. Hist. à Caen, 1785, considers the pretended obligations of Milton to Masenius too trifling to be mentioned.
7 From the Vienna edit. 1627. See Dr. Newton's note on Par. Lost. B. v. 689.
8 This is a translation from the Paradise of Catsius, originally written in Dutch. It is an epi. thalamium on the nuptials of Adam and Eve : and Mr. Hayley pronounces it to be spirited and graceful. Many of Catsius's Dutch poems were translated into Latin verse à Caspare Barlæo, et Cornelio Boyo, and first published in their new dress at Dordrecht in 1643.
9 This poem, consisting of two books, and a fragment of a third, Mr. Hayley says, was originally printed in 1604.
Of Reformation, &c. B. ii, Prose-Works, vol. I. p. 223. edit. 16.9. This was first published in 1641.