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Wide hovering, all the clouds together drove
From under heav'n ; the hills to their




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,
Sent up amain ; and now the thicken'd sky
Like a dark ceiling stood ; down rush'd the rain
Impetuous, and continued till the earth
No more was seen ; the floating vessel swum
Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow
Rode tilting o'er the waves ; all dwellings else
Flood overwhelm’d, and them with all their pomp
Deep under water rollid ; sea cover'd sea,
Sea without shore ; and in their palaces
Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd
And stabled; of mankind, so numerous late,
All left, in one small bottom swum imbark'd.


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
The end of all thy offspring, end so sad,

Depopulation ! thee another flood,
Of tears and sorrow' a flood thee also drown'd,
And sunk thee as thy sons; till gently rear'd
By th’ Angel, on thy feet thou stood’st at last,
Though comfortless, as when a father mourns
His children, all in view destroy'd at once ;
And scarce to th’ Angel utter'dst thus thy plaint.

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,

be sure,


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
In apprehension than in substance feel

Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,
Man is not whom to warn : those few escap'd
Famine and anguish will at last consume
Wand'ring that wat’ry desert: I had hope
When violence was ceas'd, and war on earth,

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.
The conquer'd also, and inslav'd by war
Shall with their freedom lost all virtue lose
And fear of God, from whom their piety feign'd
In sharp contest of battle found no aid

Against invaders ; therefore cool'd in zeal
Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure,
Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords
Shall leave them to enjoy ; for th' earth shall bear
More than enough, that temp’rance may be tried : 805
So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav’d,
Justice and temp’rance, truth and faith forgot;
One man except, the only son of light
In a dárk age, against example good,
Against allurement, custom, and a world
Offended ; fearless of reproach and scorn,
Or violence, he of their wicked ways
Shall them admonish, and before them set
The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,
And full of peace, denouncing wrath to come,
On their impenitence; and shall return
Of them derided, but of God observ'd
The one just man alive; by his command
Shall build a wondrous ark, as thou beheld'st,
To save himself and household from amidst
A world devote to universal wrack.




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

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