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have taken notice of several beauties do not find out the particular moral of this kind in the course of these which is inculcated in Paradise Loft. remarks, and particularly of the Though I can by no means think, varying of the pauses, which is the with the last mention'd French aulife' and soul of all versification in thor, that an epic writer first of all all languages. It is this chiefly pitches upon a certain moral, as the which makes Virgil's verle better ground-work and foundation of his than Ovid's, and Milton's superior poem, and afterwards finds out a to any other English poet's : and it story to it: I am however of opiis for want of this chiefly that the nion, that no just heroic poem ever French heroic verse has never, and was or can be made, from whence can never come up to the English. one great moral may not be deduced. There is no variety of numbers, but That which reigns in Milton, is the the same pause is preserved exactly mos universal and most useful that in the same place in every line for can be imagin'd; it is in short this, ten or ten thousand lines together : That obedience to the will of God and such a perpetual repetition of makes men happy, and that disobedience the same pause, such an eternal makes them miserable. This is visibly fameness of verse must make any the moral of the principal fable, poetry tedious, and either offend the which turns upon Adam and Eve, ear of the reader, or lull him asleep: who continued in Paradise, while and this in the opinion of several they kept the command that was French writers themselves. There given them, and were driven out of can be no good poetry without mu- it as soon as they had transgressed. fic, and there can be no music This is likewise the moral of the without variety.
principal episode, which shows us how an innumerable multitude of
Angels fell from their state of bliss, The number of books in Paradise and were cast into Hell upon their Loft is equal to those of the Æneid, disobedience. Belides this great moOus author in his first edition had ral, which may be looked upon as divided his poem into ten books, the foul of the fable, there are an but afterwards broke the seventh and infinity of under morals, which are the tenth each of them into two to be drawn from the several parts different books, by the help of some of the poem, and which make this small additions. This second divi. work more useful and instructive than fion was made with great judgment, any other poem in any language. as any one may see, who will be at Those who have criticized on the the pains of examining it. It was Odyssey, the Iliad, and Æneid, have not done for the sake of such a taken a great deal of pains to fix the
a chimerical beauty as that of relem- number of months and days conbling Virgil in this particular, but tained in the action of each of those for the more just and regular dispo- poems. If any one thinks it worth fation of this great work. Those his while to examin this particular who have read Bossu, and many of in Milton, he will find that from the critics who have written fince Adam's first appearance in the fourth his time, will not pardon me if I book, to bis expulsion from Paradise in the twelfth, the author reckons by a happy invention, a diftant alten days. As for that part of the lusion, or a judicious imitation; how action which is described in the three he has copied or improved Homer firft books, as it does not pass within or Virgil, and raised his own imathe regions of nature, I have before ginations by the use which he has observed that it is not subject to any inade of several poetical paffages in calculations of time. I have now Scripture. I might have inserted finished my observations on a work, also several passages of Taffo, which which does an honor to the English our author has imitated; but as I nation. I have taken a general view do not look upon Tasso to be a sufof it under these four heads, the ficient voucher, I would not perplex fable, the characters, the sentiments, my reader with such quotations, as · and the language, and made each might do more honor to the Italian of them the subject of a particular than the English poet. In short paper. I have in the next place have endevored to particularize those ipoken of the censures which our innumerable kinds of beauty, which author may incur under each of these it would be tedious to recapitulate, heads, which I have confined to two but which are essential to poetry, papers, though I might have in- and which may be met with in the larged the number, if I had been works of this great author. Had I disposed to dwell on so ungrateful a thought, at my first engaging in this subject. I believe however that the design, that it would have led me severelt reader will not find any little to lo great a length, I believe I fault in heroic poetry, which this should never have enter'd upon it; author has fallen into, that does not but the kind reception which it has come under one of those heads, met with among those whose judgamong which I have distributed his ments I have a value for, as well as feveral blemishes. After having thus the uncommon demands which my treated at large of Paradise Lost, I bookseller tells me have been made could not think it fufficient to have for these particular difcourses, give celebrated this poem in the whole, me no reason to repent of the pains without descending to particulars. Í I have been at in composing them. have therefore bellowed a paper
Addifon. upon each book, and endevored not And thus have we finish'd our colonly to prove that 'the poem is lections and remarks on this divine beautiful in general, but to point poem. The reader probably may out its particular beauties, and to have observed that these two last determin wherein they confift
. I books fall Niort of the fublimity and have endevored to show how some majesty of the reft: and fo likewise passages are beautiful by being sub- do the two lake books of the Iliad, lime, others by being soft, others by and for the fame reason, because the being natural; which of them are subject is of a different kind from recommended by the passion, which that of the foregoing ones. The by the moral, which by the fenti- fubje&t of these two lait books of the ment, and which by the exprefion. Paradise Loft is history rather than I have likewise endevored to show poetry. However we may still difhow the genius of the poet Mines cover the fame great genius, and
ere are intermix'd as many orna- fodes are founded upon Scripture. ents and graces of poetry, as the The Scripture hath not only furture of the subject, and the au- nifh'd him with the poblest hints, Or's fidelity and strict attachment rais'd his thoughts and fir'd his imathe truth of Scripture hiftory, and gination ; but hath also very much : reduction of so many and such enrich'd his language, given a cerious events into so narrow a com- tain solemnity and majesty to his s, would admit. It is the same diction, and supplied him with many an, but not at its highest tide; of his choicest happieft expressions. s now ebbing and retreating. It Let men therefore learn from this he same fun, but not in its full instance to reverence those facred ze of meridian glory; it now Writings. If any man can pretend les with a gentler ray as it is to deride or despise them, it must ing. Throughout the whole the be said of him at least, that he has hor appears to have been a most a taste and genius the most different ical reader and a most passionate from Milton's that can be imagin'd. nirer of holy Scripture. He is Whoever has any true taste and -bted to Scripture infinitely more genius, we are confident, will esteem a to Homer and Virgil and all this poem the best of modern proer books whatever. Not only ductions, and the Scriptures the best principal fable, but all his epic of all ancient ones.
THE EN D.
VERY extraordinary attempt having been lately made to undermine and destroy the re
putation of Milton as a poet, it may be proper or the sake of truth, and for the sake of a favorite athor, to give a short history of it, here in the conlusion of this work. Soon after I had published my roposals for printing a new edition of the Paradise oft with notes of various authors, Mr. William auder, a Scotchman, came to me, exclaming horbly of John Milton, and inveighing most bitterly gainst him for the worst and greatest of all plagiaes; he could prove that he had borrowed the subance of whole books together, and there was scarce
a single thought or sentiment in his poem which e had not stolen from some author or other, notwithanding his vain pretence to things unattempted yet in rose or rhime. And then in confirmation of his harge he recited a long roll of Scotch, German, and Dutch poets, and affirmed that he had brought the ooks along with him which were his vouchers, and ppealed particularly to Ramsay a Scotch Divine, nd to Masenius a German Jesuit: but upon proucing his authors he could not find Masenius, he ad dropt the book some where or other in the way, nd expressed much surprise and concern for the loss f it; Ramsay he left with me, and my opinion of lilton's imitations of that author I have given in a ote on IX. 513. I knew very well that Milton was n universal scholar, as famous for his great reading s for the extent of his genius; and I thought it not nprobable, that Mr. Lauder, having the good forVol. II,