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PARADISE LOST.

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IX.

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O more of talk where God or Angel guest
With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd

To

!. No more of talk &c.] These But as Mr. Thyer adds, however prologues or prefaces of Milton to some critics and Monsieur Voltaire Come of his books, speaking of his may condemn a poet's sometimes diowe person, lamenting his blindness, grefling from his subject to speak of and preferring his subject to those of himself, it is very certain that MilHomer and Virgil and the greatest ton was of a very different opinion poets before him, are condemn'd by long before he thought of writing fome critics: and it must be allow'd this poem. For in his discourse of that we find no such digression in the Reason of Church-Government the Iliad or Æneid; it is a liberty &c. apologizing for saying so much that can be taken only by such a of himself as he there does, he adds, genius as Milton, and I question “ For although a poet, soaring in the

a whether it would have succeeded in

" high region of his fancies, with any hands but his. As Monfieur Vol. “ bis garland and finging robes about taire says upon the occasion, I can- bim, might, without apology, Speak not but own that an author is gene- more of himself than I mean to do ; rally guilty of an unpardonable self-“ yet for me fitting here below in love, when he lays afide his subject “ the cool element of prose, a mora to descant upon his own person: “ tal thing among many readers of but that human frailty is to be for. “ no empyreal conceit, to venture given in Milton; nay I am pleased “ and divulge unusual things of mywhit. He gratifies the curiosity“ self, I Mall petition to the gentler he has raised in me about his person;

fort, it

may not be envy to me." wben I admire the author, Í desire Vol. 1. p. 59. Edit. 1738. to know something of the man; and

where God or Angel guest] he whom all readers would be glad Dr. Bentley says that God did not to know, is allow'd to speak of him- partake rural repast with Adam, and 11F Bat this however is a very dan- therefore he thinks that the author perous example for a genius of an gave it where facial Angel guest &c. cferior order, and is only to be jufti- But social is useless here, because fated by success. See Voltaire's Élay miliar follows in the next verse. The ça epic poetry, p. 111.

sense seems to be this ; Where God,

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To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam’d: I now must change 5
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience; on the part of Heaven

Now or rather the Angel sent by him and di&tion. But why God or Angel gueft? acting as his proxy, us'd to fit fami- Read that chapter, and twill be liarly with Man as with his friend &c. seen that this remarkable expreffion Hence Raphael is called Adam's is taken from the ambiguity there. Godlike Guest, V.351. Pearce. The Lord and the Young Men (always Milton, who knew and fudy'd the understood to be Angels) are used Scripture thoroughly, and continu- as words of the fame signification, ally profits himself of its valt fubli. denoting that the divine presence mity, as well as of the more noble was so effectually with his messen. treasures it contains, and to which gers, that Himself was also there ; his poem owes its greatest lustre, has Such privilege barb omnipresence; He done it here very remarkably. The went, yet stay'd, as in VII. 589. The episode, which has employ'd almost fame Milton intimates in the passage a third part of the work, and is a before us; and 'tis a master stroke discourse betwixt the Angel Raphael of sublimity Richardson. and Adam, is plainly copy'd from Mr. Richardson, in saying The Lord the XVIIIth Chapter of Genesis, and the Young Men ( always under food which (by the way) bas a sublimity to be Angels) are used as words of the and air of antiquity to which Homer same signification, does not seem to himself is flat and modern : Here be appris'd, that it was an ancient God or Angel guest holds discourse opinion, and believed too by many with Abraham as friend with friend, of the more modern scholars, that fits indulgent, partakes rural repast, the Lord in this passage was God permitting him the while discourse in the Son, and the two others only his turn. No more must now be Angels.

Thyer. fung of such a heavenly conversation. Besides it may be question’d, wheGod himself indeed is not properly ther Milton refind in this manner; a speaker in it, though Adam in his and it seems to me as if a difficulty part of it relates his having been was made where no difficulty is. honor'd with the divine presence, The poet says, that he must now and a celesial colloquy, VIII. 455: treat no more of familiar discourse as several others, XI. 318, &c. All with either God or Angel. For hitheato is evident beyond contra. Adam had held discourse with God,

605

and guide;

Union of mind, or in us both one foul;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair
More grateful than harmonious sound to th' ear.
Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foild,
Who meet with various objects, from the sense
Variously representing ; yet still free

610 Approve the best, and follow what I

approve. To love thou blam'ft me not, for love thou fay'st Leads up to Heav'n, is both the

way Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask ; Love not the heav'nly Spi'rits, and how their love 615 Express they, by looks only', or do they mix

Irra595. To whom thus half abaß'd as it is in Milton does not better ex

Adam reply'd.] Adam's dif- press the shame and modest confucourse, which follows the gentle re- fion of Adam. i buke he received from the Angel, 598. Though higher of the genial

Thows that his love, however violent bed by far,] The genial bed, it might appear, was still founded in fo Horace, Ep. I. 187. let us geniareason, and consequently not impro- lis. And with mysterious reverence 1 per for Paradise.

Addison.
deem. He had applied this epithec

743 To whom thus half abask'd Adam to marriage before in IV.

Nor Eve the rites

Mysterious of connubial love refus d: This verse might have been turn'd otherwise,

And again, ver 750. To whom thus Adam half abalh'd Hail wedded love, mysterious law. reply'd,

He means by it something that was and many perhaps will think that it not proper to be divulg’d, but ought runs smoother thus. But let the rea- to be kept in religious filence and der consider again, whether the verse rever'd like the myfteries.

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618. To

reply'd.

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Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd

IS Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage

;
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous’d,
Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's Son;
If answerable stile I can obtain
Of

my celestial patroness, who deigns Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,

And part of it, concerning God's anger he boasts of her nightly visitation, as and Adam's distress, is a more heroic he was not unaccustom'd to study subject than the wrath of Achilles on and compose his verses by night; as his foe, Hector whom he pursued he intimates himself at the beginning three times round the walls of Troy of book the third, according to Homer, or than the

but chief rage of Turnus for Lavinia dise/pous'd, Thee, Sion, and the Aow'ry brooks having been first betroth'd to him,

beneath, and afterwards promis’d to Æneas That wash thy hallow'd feet, and according to Virgil, or Neptune's ire

warbling flow, that so long perplex'd the Greek, Ulysses

Nightly I visit. as we read in the Odyssey, or Juno's ire that for so many years perplex'd And it is probable that in both these Cytherea's son, Æneas as we read at passages he alludes to the beginning large in the Æneid. The anger that of Hefiod's Theogony, where he he is about to sing is an argument mentions likewise the Muses walking more heroic not only than the an- by night, ver. 10. ger of men, of Achilles and Turnus, Eyruxelos serxor, neeixadasd 059 but than that even of the Gods, of Neptune and Juno. The anger of the true God is a more noble subject

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or inspires than of the false Gods. In this re- Ealy my unpremeditated verfe:] spect he has the advantage of Homer Here is the same kind of beauty that and Virgil, his argument is more we observed before in III. 37. The heroic as he says, if he can but make verse flows so easy, that it seems to his ftile answerable.

have been made without premedi: 21. - my celestial patrone/s,] His tation. heav'nly Muse, his Urania, whom he 26. - long choosing, and begiming had invok'd 1. 6. VII. 1, 31. And late;] Our author intended

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As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul. But I can now no more; the parting sun 630 · Beyond the earth's green Cape and verdant Iles

Hesperian sets, my signal to depart.
Be strong, live happy', and love, but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep
His great command'; take heed lest paflion sway 635
Thy judgment to do ought, which else free will
Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons
The weal or woe in thee is plac’d; beware.
I in thy persevering shall rejoice,
And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall 640

Free very eafy to be underfood. Pearce. which should make the most lasting 630. But I can now no more; the impression on the mind of Adam,

parting fun &c.) The con. and to deliver which was the prinversation was now become of such a cipal end and design of the Angel's nature that it was proper to put an coming. end to it: And now the parting fun 634. Him whom to love is to obey, ] beyond the earth's green Cape, beyond For this is the love of God, that we Cape de Verd the most western point keep bis commandments. 1 John V.3. of Africa, and verdant Iles, the ilands His great command every body will of Cape de Verd, a knot of small readily understand to be the comilands lying off Cape de Verd, sub- mand' not to eat of the forbidden ject to the Portuguese, Hefperian sets, tree, which was to be the trial of fets westward, from Hesperus the Adam's obedience. evening far appearing there, my fig- 637. Would not admit;] Admit is nal to depart, for he was only to stay used in the Latin sense, as in Terence, till the evening, V. 376.

Heaut. V. II. 3. Quid ego tantum — for these mid hours, till evening sceleris admisi miser? What great rise,

wickedness have I committed ? I have at will.

637. -- thine and of all thy fons &c.} And he very properly closes his dif. In te omnis domus inclinata recumcourse with thofe moral infructions, bit. Virg. An Xil. 59.

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