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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 uberiusó. 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 inimitable Milton.
6 Politian. Miscellaneorum Præf.
7 The Progress of Envy, 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 Boswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. p. 197, Edit. 1799.
9 See Boswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. p. 199.
IN PARADISUM AMISSAM SUMMI POETÆ, JOHANNIS Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt:
Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,
Et metuit pugnæ non superesse suæ. Qui legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni
At simul in cælis Messiæ insignia fulgent, Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis?
Et currus animes, armáque digna Deo, Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum,
Horrendúmque rotæ strident, et sæva rotarum Et fata, et fines, continet iste liber.
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus, Inti ma panduntur magni penetralia mundi,
Et flammæ vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet:
Admistis flammis insonuere polo: Terræque, tractúsque maris, ccelúmque profun-Excidit attonitis mens omnis, et impetus omnis. dum,
Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt; Sulpbureúmque Erebi, flammivomúmque spe
Ad pænas fugiunt; et, ceu foret Orcus asylum, cus:
Infernis certant condere se tenebris, " . Quæque colunt terras, pontúmque, et Tartara
Cedite, Romani scriptores ; cedite, Graji; cæca,
Et quos fama recens vel celebravit annus. Quæque colunt summi lucida regna poli:
Hæc quicunque leget tantùm cecinisse putabit Et quodcunque ullis conclusum est finibus us Mæunidem ramas, Virgilium culices,
Samuel Barrow, m.D. quam, Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus; Et sine fine magis, si quid magis est sine fine, In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
ON PARADISE LOST. Hæc qui speraret quis crederet esse futurum?
Et tamen hæc hodiè terra Britanna legit. When I beheld the poet blind, yet bold, O quantos in bella duces ! que protulit arma ! In slender book-his vast design unfold,
Quæ canit, et quantâ prælia dira tuba!, Messiah crown'd, God's reconcil'd decree, Celestes acies ! atque in certamine cælum ! Rebelling angels, the forbidden tree,
Et quæ cælestes pugna deceret agros ! Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument Quantus in æthereis tollit se Lucifer armis! Held me a while misdoubting his intent,
Atque ipso graditur vix Michaële minor ! That he would ruin (for I saw him strong) Quantis, et quàm furiestis concurritur iris, The sacred truths to fable and old song ;
Dum ferus hic stellas protegit, ille rapit ! (So Sampson grop'd the temple's posts in spight) Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent, l'he world o'erwhelming to revenge his sight.
i This poem by Dr. Barrow, and the next by 2 Of Dr. Samuel Barrow, the author of these Milton's friend Andrew Marvel, have been usual. | verses, no account has been given by the editors ly published in the editions of Paradise Lost, of Milton. Toland only calls him a doctor of since the edition of 1674, to which they are both physic. Perhaps he was the physician to the prefixed. TODD
army of general Monk. TODD.
Yet as I read, still growing less severe, How couldst thou hope to please this tinsel I lik'd his project, the success did fear;
race? Through that wild field how he his way should | Though blind, yet, with the penetrating eye find,
Of intellectual light, thou dost survey O’er which lame Faith leads Understanding The labyrinth perplex'd of Heaven's decrees; blind;
And with a quill, pluck'd from an angel's wing“, Lest he'd perplex the things he would explain, Dipt in the fount that laves the eternal throne, And what was easy he should render vain. Trace the dark paths of Providence Divine, Or if a work so infinite he spann'd,
“And justify the ways of God to man.” Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
F. C. 1680. (Such as disquiet always what is well, And, by ill imitating, would excell) Might hence presume the whole creation's day To change in scenes, and show it in a play.
THREE poets, in three distant ages born, Pardon me, mighty poet, nor despise
Greece, Italy, and England, did adorn. My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
The first in loftiness of thought surpass'd; But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
The next, in majesty; in both, the last. Within thy labours to pretend a share.
The force of Nature could no farther go: Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be
To make a third, she join'd the former two 5. fit,
DRYDEN. And all that was improper dost omit : So that no room is here for writers left, But to detect their ignorance or theft. That majesty, which through thy work doth reign,
FROM AN ACCOUNT OF THE GREATEST ENGLISH POET Draws the devout, deterring the profane. And things divine thou treat'st of in such state But Milton next, with high and haughty stalks As them preserves, and thee, inviolaie.
Unfetter'd, in majestic numbers, walks: At once delight and horrour on us seize,
No vulgar hero can his Muse engage, Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease; Nor Earth's wide scene confine his hallow'd rage. And above human flight dost soar aloft
See! see! he upward springs, and, towering bigh, With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft. Spurns the dull province of mortality; The bird, nam'd from that Paradise you sing, Shakes Heaven's eternal throne with dire alarms, So never flags, but always keeps on wing. And sets the Almighty Thunderer in arms! Where couldst thou words of such a compass Whate'er his pen describes I more than see, find?
Whilst every verse array'd in majesty, Whence furnish such a vast expense of mind? Bold and sublime, my whole intention draws, Just Heaven thee, like Tiresias, to requite, And seems above the critic's nicer laws. Rewards with prophecy thy loss of sight. How are you struck with terrour and delight,
Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure When angel with archangel copes in fight! With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; When great Messiah's outspread banner shines, While the Town-Bays writes all the while and How does the chariot rattle in his lines ! spells,
What sound of brazen wheels, with thunder, scare And, like a pack-horse, tires without his bells: And stun the reader with the din of war! Their fancies like our bushy points appear; With fear my spirits and my blood retire, The poets tag them, we for fashion wear. To see the seraphs sunk in clouds of fire : I too, transported by the mode, oflend,
But when, with eager steps, from hence I rise, And, while I meant to praise thee, must com- And view the first gay scene of Paradise; mend.
What tongue, that words of rapture, can express Thy verse created, like thy theme, sublime,
A vision so profuse of pleasantness! In number weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.
ADDISON. ANDREW MARVELL.
ture that Francis Cradock,a member of the RotaClub to which Milton belonged, might be the
author of them. See Woud's Ath. Ox. vol. ii. TO MR. JOHN MILION, ON HIS POEM ENTITLED PA
531. TODD. RADISE LOST 3.
4 The expressions, in this line, occur in one of O THOU ! the wonder of the present age,
Constable's Sonnets. An age immers'd in luxury and vice;
l'he pen wherewith thow dost so beauenly singe A race of trifers; who can relish nought
Made of a quill pluckt from an angell's winge. But the gay issue of an idle brain :
So, in Davies's Bien Venu, 1606.
But pet's pens pluckt from archangels' wings. 3 These verses by F. C. are prefixed, to Mil- S This celebrated epigram on Milton appears ton's poetical works in the edition of the English | under the well-engraved head of the poet by R. poets, 1779. They had before appeared in White, prefixed to the folio edition of Paradise Fawkes and Woty's Poetical Calendar, 1769, vol. | Lost in 1699. It has been thus published in many viji. 69. But we are not told who F. C. was. As succeeiling editions of the same poem. Dryden, I have not yet met with these verses in any other | I should add, is a subscriber to the edition of 1688. publication, I may be permitted to offer a conjec-| TODD.
Whose generous zeal, unbought by 'flattering ADDRESS TO GREAT BRITAIN.
Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times;
For lofty sense, | Immortal patrons of succeeding days,
Attend this prelude of perpetual praise !
Let Study, worn with Virtue's fruitless lore,
Behold this theatre, and grieve no more. A genius, universal as his theme;
This night, distinguish'd by your smiles, shall Astonishing as Chaos; as the bloco
tell, Of blowing Eden fair; as Heaven sublime ! That never Britain can in vain excel;
THOMSON'S SUMMER. The slighted arts futurity shall trust,
And rising ages hasten to be just.
At length our mighty bard's victorious lays
Fill the loud voice of universal praise;
And baffled Spite, with hopeless anguish dumb,
Yields to renown the centuries to come; Say, goddess, can the festal board,
With ardent haste each candidate of fame, Or young Olympia's form ador'd;
Ambitious, catches at his towering name: Say, can the pomp of promis'd fame
He sees, and pitying sees, vain wealth bestow Relame thy faint, thy dying, flame?
Those pageant honours which he scorn'd below, Or have melodious airs the power
While crowds aloft the laureat bust behold, To give one free poetic hour?
Or trace his form on circulating gold.
Unknown --unbeeded, long his offspring lay, Or, from amid the Elysian train, The soul of Milton shall I gain,
And want hung threatening o'er her slow decay.
What though she shine with no Miltonian fire, To win thee back with some celestial strain ?
No favouring Muse her morning dreams inspire; O powerful strain ! O sacred soul !
Yet softer claims the melting heart engage, His numbers every sense control:
Her youth laborious, and her blameless age; And now again my bosom burns;
Hers the mild merits of domestic life, The Muse, the Muse herself, returns !
The patient sufferer, and the faithful wife. AKENSIDE. Thus grac'd with humble Virtue's native charms,
Her grandsire leaves her in Britannia's arms;
Secure with peace, with competence, to dwell, Our stedfast bard, to bis own genius true, While tutelary nations guard her cell. Still bade his Muse, “fit audience find, though Yours is the charge, ye fair, ye wise, ye brave ! “ few."
'Tis yours to crown desert-beyond the grave. Scorning the judgement of a trifling age,
Dr. Johnson's Prologue to the Mask of Comus, To choicer spirits he bequeath'd his page.
acted at Drury-Lane Theatre, April 5, 1750, He too was scorn'd; and, to Britannia's shame, I for the Benefit of Milton's Grand-daughShe scarce for half an age knew Milton's name. But now, his fame by every trumpet blown, We on his deathless trophies raise our own. Nor art nor nature did his genius bound; Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, he survey'd around;
| Nor second he that rode sublime All things his eye, through wit's bright empire
Upon the seraph-wings of ecstasy;
The secrets of the abyss to spy, Beheld; and made, what it beheld, his own.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time: Such Milton was: 'tis ours to bring him forth;
The living throne, the sapphire blaze, And yours to vindicate neglected worth.
Where angels tremble while they gaze, Such Heaven-taught numbers should be more
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night. than read, More wide the manna through the nation spread.
GRAY'S PROGRESS OF POESY.
ODE ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER.
Of rude access, of prospect wild,
And holy Genii guard the rock,
While on its rich ambitious head Ye patriot crowds, who burn for England's An Eden, like his own, ljes spread; fame,
I view that oak the fancied glades among, Ye nymphs, whose bosoms beat. at Milton's By which as Milton lay, his evening ear, name,
From many a cloud that dropp'd ethereal dew,