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Wide hovering, all the clouds together drove
wherein our poet has visibly the with so many surprising inci. advantage. The sky's being dents and pleasing episodes, that overcharged with clouds, the de- these two last books can by no scending of the rains, the rising means be looked upon as unof the seas, and the appearance equal parts of this divine poem. of the rainbow, are such descrip- I must farther add, that had not tions as every one must take Milton represented our first panotice of. The circumstance re- rents as driven out of Paradise, lating to Paradise is so finely his fall of man would not have imagined, and suitable to the been complete, and consequently opinions of many learned au- his action would have been imthors, that I cannot forbear giving perfect. Addison. it a place in this paper;
The reader may farther com-then shall this mount pare the following passages
with Of Paradise by might of waves be Milton, and he will easily see mov'd &c.
the superiority of the English The transition which the poet poet.
Ovid. Met. i. 264. makes from the vision of the
-Madidis notus evolat alis, deluge, to the concern it occa- Terribilem piceâ tectus caligine vul. sioned in Adam, is exquisitely graceful, and copied after Virgil, Utque manu latà pendentia nubila though the first thought it in
Fit fragor ; hinc densi funduntur ab troduces is rather in the spirit of æthere nimbi. Ovid,
Nuncia Junonis varios induta colores How didst thou grieve then, Adam,
Concipit Iris aquas, alimentaque nu
bibus adfert, to behold &c.
Expatiata ruunt per apertos Aumina I have been the more particular
Cumque satis arbusta simul, pecu• in my quotations out of the
desque, virosque, eleventh book of Paradise Lost,
Tectaque, cumque suis rapiunt pene. because it is not generally tralia sacris. reckoned among the most shin
The south he loos’d, who night and ing books of this poem; for horror brings; which reason the reader might And fogs are shaken from his flaggy be apt to overlook those many wings; passages in it which deserve our Still as he swept along, with his
clench'd fist admiration. The eleventh and
He squeez'd th' clouds, th' imprison'd twelfth are indeed built upon cluuds resist : that single circumstance of the The skies from pole to pole with removal of our first parents from peals resound; Paradise; but though this is not
And show'rs enlarg'd come pouring
on the ground. in itself so great a subject as that
Then, clad in colours of a various in most of the foregoing books, dye, it is extonded and diversified Junonian Iris breeds a new supply
Vapour, and exhalation dusk and moist,
To feed the clouds: impetuous rain all dwellings, and them with all descends
their pomp deep under pater Th' expanded waters gather on the plain :
rolled, than in mentioning so They float the fields, and overtop the particularly and minutely the grain ;
flood sweeping away corn, and Then rushing onwards with a sweepy trees, and cattle, and men, und
sway, Bear flocks and folds, and lab'ring houses, with their household gods ? hinds away,
and yet these are none of the Nor safe their dwellings were, for least shining passages in the sapp'd by floods,
Latin poet. Their houses fell upon their house
743. Like a dark ceiling stood ?] hold gods.
Ceiling may be thought too mean
a word in poetry, but Milton Is it not juster and better to had a view to its derivation from say, that the south-wind drove cælum (Latin,) cielo (Italian) ali the clouds together from under heaven. Richardson. heaven, than that he squeezed the
752. of mankind, so nuclouds with his broad hand? and
merous late, is it not a more philosophical
All left, in one small bottom account, that the hills sent up
swum imbark'd.] vapour and exhalation to their See Vida's Chris. I. i. supply, than that the rainbow
Omnibus hic pauci extinctis more supplied them with nourishment ?
talibus ibant and is there not more majesty Inclusi ligno summas impune per in this short and full descrip- undas. tion, that the floods overwhelmed
How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
O visions ill foreseen! better had I Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne My part of evil only, each day's lot
765 Enough to bear ; those now, that were dispens'd The burd’n of many ages, on me light At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth Abortive, to torment me ere their being, With thought that they must be. Let no man seek 770 Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall Him or his children ; evil he
may Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,
765. each day's lot
The word is used with Enough to bear ;]
great propriety, and in the true Matth. vi. 34. Sufficient unto the antique sense. See also iïi. 579. day is the evil thereof.
Richardson. 766. -dispens'd
770. Let no man seek &c.] The burd'n of many ages,]
This monition was not imperDistributed, dealt out in par- tinent at a time when the folly cels, to be a sufficient burden, of casting nativities was still in the load of many ages. Dis- Warburton. pensare from penso to weigh; 773. Which neither his forethence comes the word pensum, knowing can prevent,] Dr. Bentthe quantity of wool that was ley says, that nothing follows as weighed out to the maids to sequel to neither, and supposes spin, thence it means a task in he gave general, and to dispense is to Which never his foreknowing can distribute these tasks to every prevent.
And he the future evil shall no less
780 All would have then gone well, peace would have crown'd With length of happy days the race of man ; But I was far deceiv'd; for now I see Peace to corrupt no less than war to waste. How comes it thus? unfold celestial Guide, And whether here the race of man will end. To whom thus Michael. Those whom last thou
saw'st In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they First seen in acts of prowess eminent And great exploits, but of true virtue void; Who having spilt much blood, and done much waste Subduing nations, and achiev'd thereby Fame in the world, high titles, and rich prey, , Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth, Surfeit, and lust, till wantonness and pride
But neither is not always followed by not,
but sometimes by and; and I wonder the Doctor should object to this manner of speaking, when it is so frequent and so elegant in Latin. Vide quid agas, ne neque illi prosis, et tu pereas. Terence Eun. Homo neque meo judicio stultus, et suo valde sapiens. Cicero de Oratore.
777. - those few escap'd Famine and anguish will at
last consume] Maxima pars undâ rapitur; quibus
unda pepercit, Illos longa domant inopi jejunia
victu. Ovid. Met. i. 311.
The most of mortals perish in the
food, The small remainder dies for want of food.
Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace.
798. Shall with their freedom and religion. There are such lost all virtue lose) Milton every sentiments in several parts of where shews his love of liberty; his prose works, as well as in and here he observes very rightly, Aristotle and other masters of that the loss of liberty is soon politics. followed by the loss of all virtue 821. A world devote to unie