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V. Da Creação et Compolicao do Homem, Cantos tres por Luis de Camoens, em Verso Portagues. 4to. em Lisboa 1615. Rimas 2da. Parte.--Paris, 12mo. 1759.
The first of these poems is noticed by Baretti in his Italian Library, p. 58 ; who also mentions an epic poem, first printed in Sicily, and since at Milan, of which he had forgot the dates, entitled, “L' Adamo del Campailla. It is a philosophical poem, much admired by the followers of the Cartesian system, who were very numerous when the author wrote it.” Ib. p. 66. Baretti also mentions another epic poem
6 Le sei Giornate, di Sebastiano Erizzo. The six Days, that is, the Creation performed in six days, &c." Ib. p. 64. But this is a mistake. Le sei Giornate of Erizzo is neither a poem, nor at all connected with the history of the Creation. It is a series of novels : Le sei giornate, nelle quali sotto diuersi fortunati & infelici auenimenti, da sci giouani raccontati, si contengono ammaestramenti nobili & utili di morale Filosofia 6.
The second of the before-mentioned poems is in my possession ; and I have given some account of it in the notes on B. iv. 753, and B. v. 689, of Paradise Lost.
The three next are mentioned by Mr. Bowle, together with the preceding poem; as also with the Adamos of Andreni, Soranzo, and Serafino della Salandra, and with the Angeleida of Valvasone ; in his manuscript notes' on Lauder's Essay. He has added a reference to the following work, which might not be unknown to Milton, VI. Il Caso di Lucifero, di Amico Aguifilo. Crescimbeni, 4. 126.
To which may be subjoined another poem that might have attracted the great poet's notice, as it is pronounced by Baretti to be little inferior to Dante himself.
VII. Il Quadriregio,sopra i regni d'Amore, di Satanasso, dei vizi, e delle virtu, di Mons. F. Frezzi Vescovo di Foligno. fol. Perug. 1481. I may venture also to point out
VIII. La Vita & Passione di Christo, &c. composta per Antonio Cornozano, in terza rima. Venet. 1518. 12mo. In which the second chapter of the first book is entitled De la creatione del mondo.
IX. La Humanita del Figlivolo di Dio, in ottaua rima, per Theofilo Folengo, Mantoano. Venegia. 1533. 410. In ten books : in the second of which Adam and Eve are particularly noticed. Dr. Burney has considered the sacred drama of Il Gran Natale di Christo by the clder Cicognini, as subservient to Milton's plan. See the note on Par. Lost, B. X. 249. There is also a poem of P. Antonio Glielmo, Milton's contemporary, entitled Il Diluvio del Mondo ; and there are the Mondo Desolato of the “ shepherd-boy,” G. D. Peri, (the author also of the epic poem, Fiesole Distrutta,)
6 Proemio. p, 1.-This work of Sebastián Erizzo was printed at Venice in quarto, by Giovan Varisco &c. in 1507
7 Now the property of Richard Gough, Esq. to whom I am much indebted for the use of the book.
8 He dier in 1644. See Elogii d'Huomini Letterati, scritti da Lorenzo Crasso, parte sec. Venet. 1606. p. 287.
and the Giudicio Estremo of Toldo Costantini ; both published 9 before Milton perhaps had determined the subject of his song. The writer of the article Pona (François) in the Nouveau Dict. Hist. à Caen, edit. 1786, says that Pona pub. lished L’Adamo, poema, 1664. The Adamo by this writer, (of which I am possessed) is not however a poem, although abounding with poetical expressions, but a history, in three books, of the creation and of our first parents. I have made extracts from it in the notes on Par. Lost, B. ix. 704, 897, &c. Pona was an author not a little admired in Italy : he died in 1652. Loredano, in a letter to him, says L'ingegno di V. S. è un giardino di Paradiso, ove non nascono che fiori immortali. Tale hò riconosciuto langelico ·. Loredano himself has also written an Italian Life of Adam ; which is mentioned in the notes on Par. Lost, B. ix. 529, 1009. It is probable that Pona and Loredano were acquainted with Milton: that they were among those discerning persons, who, “ in the private academies of Italy, whither," the poet tells us, “ he was favoured to resort ,' fostered his blooming genius by their approbation and encouragement. Loredano was the founder of the Accademia degli Incogniti. His house at Venice was the constant resort of learned men. Gaddi, an Italian friend whom Milton
names, and who has celebrated the foundation of the academy, would hardly fail to in. troduce the young Englishman to the founder of it, if by no other means he had become known to him.
Italy, then, may perhaps be thought to have confirmed, if not to have excited, the design of Milton to sing " Man's disobedience, and the mortal taste of the forbidden fruit."
Mr. Bowle, in his catalogue of poets who have treated Milton's subject before him, mentions Alcimus Avitus, archbishop of Vienna, who wrote a poem, in Latin hexameters, De Origine Mundi. Phillips, in his account of this author 4 adds the pame of Claudius Marius Victor, a rhetorician of Marseilles, who wrote upon Genesis in hexameters also ; which are said to be extant. Pantaleon Candidus, a German poet, has a copy of verses, I find, in his Loci communes theologici, &c. Basil. 1570, p. 24–27, entitled Lapsus Adæ; and in a nuptial hymn, in the same volume,p. 110, he has painted the creation of Eve in lines not unworthy the attention of Milton.
Ergo, novum molitus opus, pater ipse profundum
, The former in 1637; and I believe there is an earlier edition : the latter in 1648.
Lettres de Loredano, edit. Bruxelles, 1708. p. 88. ? See the preface to his Church Government, B. II. and his Epitaph. Damon. v. 133, &c. a See Jacobi Gaddii Adlocutiones, et Elogia, &c. Florentiæ, 1636. 4to. p:38. • Theat. Poet. edit. 1675. Ancient Poets, p. 12,
Agnoscitque suo sumptum de corpore corpus,
Aspicio, accipióque libens tua maxima rerum
Offers, egregiâque thori me compare donas, &c. I must not omit to mention an English poem, relating to the state of innocence, entitled The Glasse of Time in the two first Ages, divinely handled by Thomas Peyton, of Lincolne's Inne, Gent. 4to. Lond. 1623; and to observe also that part of Du Bartas had been translated into verse, and published, before the first edition of Sylvester's, “ by William Lisle of Wilburgham, Esquier for the King's body," namely, in 1596 and 1598, and again iņ 1625, See the note on Milton's cxiyth Psalm, ver. 11. Lisle's compound epithets, in his translation, are very numerous, and sometimes extremely beautiful. Sylvester has often merit also of this kind: but it is my duty to observe, that Sylvester is not always original; his shining phrases may be frequently traced in contemporary or preceding poets. In the notes on Milton's poetical works, I have sometimes had occasion to exhibit the expressions of Sylvester in this point of view. In justice, however, to this laborious writer, I shall here close my remarks with a detached specimen of his poetry; to which, if Milton has been indebted, the temptation of the Serpent in Paradise Lost affords such a contrast, that the reader will be at no loss how to appreciate the improvement.
Eve, second honour of this vniverse !
With th' air of these sweet words, the wily snake
“ As a false louer, that thick snares hath laid
Perceiuing Eve his flattering gloze digest
“ No, fair,” (quoth he) " beleeue not that the care
his purest, fairest, rarest fruit's fruition :
SYLVESTER'S DU BARTAS, Edit. 1621. pp. 192, 193.
As Milton has been supposed to have been much obliged to other poets in de scribing the unsubdued spirit of Satan, especially where he says,
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven : I am tempted to make an extract or two from Stafford's Niobe, a prose-work already mentioned, in which Satan speaks the following words; not dissimilar to passages in Fletcher and Crashaw, which have been cited, on the same subject.
“They say forsooth, that pride was the cause of my fall; and that I dwell where there is nothing but weeping, howling, and gnashing of teeth ; of which that falsehood was the authour, I will make you plainelie perceiue. True it is, sir, that I (storming at the name of supremacie) sought to depose my Creatour ; which the watchful, all-seeing eye of Prouidence finding, degraded me of my angelicall dignitie, dispossessed me of all pleasures; and the Seraphin and Cherubin, Throni, Dominationes, Virtutes, Potestates, Principatus, Arch-angeli, Angeli, and all the celestiall Hierarchyes, with a shout of applause sung my departure out of Heaven : my Alleluia was turned into an Ehu; and too soone I found, that I was corruptibilis ab alio, though not in alio; and that he, that gaue me my being, could againe take it from mee.
Now for as much as I was once an angell of light, it was the will of Wisedome to confine me to darknes and to create mee prince thereof: that so I, who could not obey in Heauen, might commaund in Hell And, belieue mee, sir, I had rather controule within my dark diocese, than to reinhabite cælum empyrium, and there liue in subjection, vnder check.” Edit. 1611, pp. 16—18 part the second. Stafford calls Satan the “ grim visag'd Goblin,” ibid. p. 85. And, in the first part of the book, he describes the devil as having "committed incest with his daughter, the World.” p. 3. He also attributes the gunpowder plot to the devil, “ with his unhallowed senate of popes, the inuentors and fautours of this vnheard-of attempt in Hell.”' p. 149.
I have thus brought together opinions, delivered at different periods respecting the origin of Paradise Lost; and have humbly endeavoured to trace, in part, the reading of the great poet, subservient to his plan. More successful discoveries
s See the note p. 336.
TODD'S ORIGIN OF PARADISE LOST. will probably arise from the pursuits of those, who are devoted to patient and liberal investigation. Videlicet hoc illud est præcipuè studiorum genus, quod vigiliis augescat; ut cui subinde ceu fluminibus ex decursu, sic accedit ex lectione minutatim quo fiat uberius6. To such persons may be recommended the masterly observations of him, who was once so far imposed upon as to believe Lauder an honest man, and Milton a plagiary: but who expressed, when “ Douglas and Truth appeared,?" the strongest indignation against the envious impostor8 : for they are observations resulting from a wish not to depreciate, but zealously to praise, the Paradise Lost. “ Among the inquiries, to which this ardour of criticism has naturally given occasion, none is more obscure in itself, or more wor. thy of rational curiosity, than a retrospect of the progress of this mighty genius in the construction of his work; a view of the fabric gradually rising, perhaps, from small beginnings, till its foundation rests in the center, and its turrets sparkle in the skies; to trace back the structure, through all its varieties, to the simplicity of its first plan; to find what was first projected, whence the scheme was taken, how it was improved, by what assistance it was executed, and from what stores the materials were collected; whether its founder dug them from the quar. ries of Nature, or demolished other buildings to embellish his own.” I may venture to add that, in such inquiries, patience will be invigorated rather than dispirited; and every new discovery will teach us mure and more to admire the genius, the erudition, and the memory of the inimitabie Milton.
6 Politian. Miscellaneorum Præf. ? The Progress of Envý, an excellent poem occasioned by Lauder's attack on the character of Milton. See Lloyd's Poems, last line of Progress of Envy.
8 So bishop Douglas told the affectionate biographer of Dr. Johnson. See Loswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. p. 197, Edit. 1799.
9 See Boswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. p. 199.