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Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
choice, without the expected ap- and then invokes the assistance plause.” To the same purpose of the Holy Spirit. The beginare the observations of Bp. New- ning I who ere while &c. is plainly ton, in his Life of Milton, (see an allusion to the Ille ego qui the Life, pp. lxi. lxii. for the quondam &c. attributed to Virgil: origin and character of Paradise but it doth not therefore follow, Regained ;) of Mr. Thyer, (see that Milton had no better taste his note on Par. Reg. ii. 1.) and than to conceive these lines to of Bp. Warburton, (see his note be genuine. Their being so well on ver. 3.) But we may collect known to all the learned was from the author himself, that he reason sufficient for his imitation designed this poem for, what he of them, as it was for Spenser's terms, the brief epic, which he before him : particularly distinguishes from
Lo, I the man, whose Muse whileom the great and diffuse epic, of which did mask, kind are the great poems of Ho
As time her taught, in lowly shepmer and Virgil, and his own
herd's weeds, Paradise Lost. [See a passage
Am now enforc'd a far unfitter task,
For trumpets stern to change mine in the introduction to the second
oaten reeds &c. book of his Reason of Church Government, cited by Bp. Newton Somewhat in the style and man
2. By one man's disobedience] in his concluding note, b. iv. 639. E.] His model then we may
ner of St. Paul, Rom. v. 19. For suppose to have been in a great
as by one man's disobedience measure the book of Job; and many were made sinners; so by however the subject which he be made righteous.
the obedience of one shall many selected may have been considered as narrow ground, and one
2. The argument of Paradise
Lost was that cramped his genius, there is
Man's first disobedienceno reason to imagine that it was chosen hastily or in considerately. Giles Fletcher has expressed the It was peculiarly adapted to the same contrast in Christ's Triumph species of poem he meant to pro- over Death, stanz. xv. Dunster. duce, namely, the brief or didactic 3. Recover'd Paradise] It may epic. The basis he thought per
seem a little odd at first, that fectly adequate to the superstruc- Milton should impute the reture which he meant to raise;
covery of Paradise to this short to the merit of which the lapse scene of our Saviour's life upon of time bears the material tes- earth, and not rather extend it timony of a gradually increasing to his agony, crucifixion, &c.; admiration. Dunster.
but the reason no doubt was, that 1. I who ere while &c.] Milton Paradise regained by our Saviour's begins his Paradise Regained in resisting the temptations of Sathe same manner as the Paradise tan might be a better contrast
proposes his subject, to Paradise Lost by our first pa
Through all temptation, and the l'empter foil'd
rents too easily yielding to the of his plan,) is very uncertain. saine seducing spirit.
Besides All that we can be sure of is, he might very probably, and in- that the plan is a very unhappy dleed very reasonably, be appre
one, and defective even in that hensive, that a subject so exten- narrow view of a sequel, for it sive as well as sublime might be affords the poet no opportunity too great a burden for his de- of driving the Devil back again .clining constitution, and a task to hell from his new conquests too long for the short term of in the air. In the mean time years he could then hope for. nothing was easier than to have Even in his Paradise Lost he ex- invented a good one, which presses his fears, lest he had be- should end with the resurrection, gun too late, and lest an age too and comprise these four books, late, or cold climate, or years somewhat contracted, in an epishould have damped his intended sode, for which only the subject wing; and surely he had much of thein is fit. Warburton. greater cause to dread the same If Milton thought the tempter now, and be very cautious of foiled in all his wiles, defeated, and launching out too far. Thyer. repulsed, he did not however con
It is hard to say whether Mil- ceive the redemption of mankind tou's wrong notions in divinity (as I before remarked, Par. Lost, led him to this defective plan ; or x. 182,) so soon effected. See his fundoess for the plan influ- the address of the Angels to our enced those notions. That is, Lord, at the conclusion of this whether he indeed supposed the poem, b. iv. 634. redemption of mankind (as he
on thy glorious work here represents it) was procured Now enter, and begin to save man. by Christ's triumph over the
kind. Devil in the wilderness; or whe- Compare b. i. 155-167, and b. ther he thought that the scene iv. 608. See also Mr. Dunster's of the desert opposed to that of note on ver. 174 of this book. E. Paradise, and the action of a 7. And Eden rais'd in the waste temptation withstood to a tempt. wilderness.] There is, I think, a ation fallen under, made Paradise particular beauty in this line, Regained a more regular sequel when one considers the fine alto Paradise Lost. Or if neither lusion in it to the curse brought this nor that, whether it was his upon the Paradisiacal earth by being tired out with the labour the fall of Adam,–Cursed is the of composing Paradise Lost made ground for thy sake-Thorns also him averse to another work of and, thistles shall it bring forth. length, (and then he would never Thyer. be at a loss for fanciful reasons So in his translation of the to determine him in the choice 135th Psalm, written when he
Thou Spi'rit who ledd'st this glorious eremite Into the desert, his victorious field, Against the spiritual foe, and brought’st him thence 10 By proof th' undoubted Son of God, inspire, As thou art wont, my prompted song else mute, And bear through height or depth of nature's bounds With prosp’rous wing full summ’d, to tell of deeds
was only fifteen, Milton has is eremita, which the French, and His chosen people he did bless
we after them, contract into herIn the wasteful wilderness.
11. -inspire, Perhaps he borrowed the expres- As thou art wont, my prompted sion from his favourite Spenser,
song else mute.] Faery Queen, b. i. c. i. 32.
See the very fine opening of the Far hence (quoth he) in wasteful wile ninth book of the Paradise Lost, derness
his invocation of Urania at the His dwelling is
beginning of the seventh book, But in this place he had evidently and the notes on Par. Lost, i. 17. Isaiih li. 3. in his recollection. ix, 21. Milton's invocations of “ The Lord shall comfort Zion, the Divine Spirit were not merely he will comfort all her waste exordia pro formd. Indeed his places, and he will make her wibo prose works are not without their derness like Eden, and her desert invocations. Dunster. like the garden of the Lord. 14. With prosp'rous wing full Dunster.
summ'd] We had the like ex8. Thou Spi'rit who ledd'st this pression in Paradise Lost, vii. glorious eremite] The in vocation 421. is properly addressed to the Holy They summ'd their pens Spirit, not only as the inspirer of and it was noted there that it is every good work, but as the
a term in falconry. A hawk is leader of our Saviour upon this said to be full summed, when all occasion into the wilderness. For his feathers are grown, when he it is said, Matt. iv. 1. Then was
wants nothing of the sum of his Jesus led up of the Spirit into feathers, cui nihil de summa penthe wilderness, to be tempted of the narum deest, as Skinner says. devil. And from the Greek ori.
14. to tell of deeds ginal senuos the desert, and senges- Above heroic,] sns an inhabitant of the desert, is Alluding perhaps in the turn of rightly formed the word eremite, expression to the first verse of which was used before hy Milton
Lucan, in his Paradise Lost, iji. 474. and
Bella per Emathios plusquam civilia by Fairfax in his translation of
campos, Tasso, cant. xi. st. 4. and in
Jusque datum sceleri canimus. Italian as well as in Latin there
Above heroic, though in secret done,
Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice
14. Milton, in the opening of 18. with a voice book ix. of the Par. Lost, notices More awful than the sound of warlike achievements as at that
trumpel] time the only subjects of heroic Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, song;
and shew my people their transWars hitherto the only argument
gressions. Isaiah lviii. 1. Heb. xii. Heroic deem'd
18, 19. Rev. i. 10. iv. 1. Dunster. the better fortitude 19.
cried Of patience and heroic martyrdom Repentance, and heav'n's kingUnsung.
dom nigh at hand
Dunster. To all baptiz’d:] 16. And unrecorded left through I conceive the construction to be many an age,
not that he cried to all baptized Worthy i have not remain'd so repentance, &c. but heaven's kinglong unsung.)
dom nigh at hand to all baptized. Milton had before noticed Vida's Heaven's kingdoin was nigh at Christiad, and had specified the hand to all such as were baptized temptations of Christ as making with John's baptism; they were a material part of the subject. thereby disposed and prepared Vida was a native of Cremona; for the reception of the Gospel. of which he was also elected bi. 19. In those days came John the shop.
Baptist preaching in the wilderHis godlike acts, and his temptations ness of Judea, and saying, Repent fierce,
ye, for the kingdom of heaven is And foriner sufferings otherwhere are
nigh at hand. Mati. iii. 1, 2. found; Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump
Dunster. doth sound.
21.--to his great baptism flock'd Ode on the Passion, st. 4. With awe the regions round,] Temptations indeed here only Then went out 10 him Jerusalem, mean trials; but of these the and all Judea, and all the region temptation in the wilderness made round about Jordan. Matt. iii. 5. a part. Vida's description of this Dunster. however is very short. Dunster.
To the flood Jordan, came as then obscure,
24. To the flood Jordan, came the Holy Ghost descended upon as then obscure,] In Mr. Fenton's him. Matt. iii. 14. I have need and most other editions it is to be baptized of thee, and comest pointed thus,
thou to me? To account for which To the flood Jordan came, as then
we must admit with Milton, that obscure,
another divine revelation was but we have followed the
made to him at this very time,
punctuation of Milton's own edition; signifying that this was the perfor there is very little force in
son, of whom he had had such the repetition, and with them
notice before. came, to the flood Jordan came;
26. -divinely warn’d] To combut to say that he came with them prehend thepropriety of this word to the flood Jordan, and came as
divinely the reader must have his then obscure, is very good sense, eye upon the Latin divinitus, from then obscure, is very good sense, heaven, since the word divinely and worthy of the repetition. 25. —but him the Baptist soon
in our language scarce Descried, divinely warn'd,]
comes up to this meaning. MilJohn the Baptist had notice given
ton uses it in much the same him fore, that he might cer
sense in Paradise Lost, viii. 500. tainly know the Messiah by the She heard me thus, and though diHoly Ghost descending and abid
vinely brought. ing upon him. And I knew him
Thyer. not, but he that sent me to baptize
33. --the Adversary,] Satan, in with water, the same said unto me, Hebrew, signifies the Adversary. Upon whom thou shalt see the Hence Par. Lost, i. 81. Spirit descending and remaining -to whom the arch-enemy, on him, the same is he which bap
And thence in heaven call'd Satan. tizeth with the Holy Ghost. John
Dunster. i. 33. But it appears from St. 33. -who roving still Matthew, that the Baptist knew About the world,] him and acknowledged him, be- And the Lord said unto Satan, fore he was baptized, and before Whence comest thou? Then Satan