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Adam by dire example to beware
Apostasy, by what befel in Heaven
To those apostates, left the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,

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Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,
If they transgress, and light that sole command,
So easily obey'd amid the choice
Of all tastes else to please their appetite,
Though wand'ring. He with his consorted Evė

50 The story heard attentive, and was fillid With admiration and deep muse, to hear Of things fo high and strange, things to their thought So unimaginable as hate in Heaven,

And with as magnificent ideas. The fixth flame from another, and writes in book, like a troubled ocean, repre- his spirit, without copying fervily sents greatness in confufion; the fe- after him. There are a thousand venth affects the imagination like shining passages in Virgil, which the ocean in a calm, and fills the have been lighted up by Homer. mind of the reader, without pro- Milton, tho' his own natural strength ducing in it any thing like tumult of genius was capable of furnishing or agitation. The critic above men. out a perfect work, has doubtless tion'd, among the rules which he very much raised and ennobled his lays down for succeeding in the sub-conceptions, by such an imitation as lime way of writing, proposes to his that which Longinus has recomreader, that he frould imitate the mended. In this book, which gives most celebrated authors who have us an account of the six days works, gone before him, and been engaged the poet received very few asistances in works of the same nature; as in from Heathen writers, who were particular, that if he writes on a strangers to the wonders of creation. poetical subject, he should consider But as there are many glorious how Homer would have spoken on strokes of poetry upon this subject fach an occasion. By this means in holy Writ

, the author has numone great genius often catches the berless allusions to them through the

whole

55

J

And war so near the peace of God in bliss
With such confusion : but the evil soon
Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam foon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose : and now 60
Led on, yet finless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him, how this world
Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous first began,
When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within Eden or without was done

65 Before his memory, as one whose drouth Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream,

Whose whole course of this book. The the like befall to Adam or his race, if great critic I have before mention'd, they transgress, &c. though an Heathen, has taken notice of the sublime manner in which

50.

He with his conforted Eve] the Lawgiver of the Jews has de. Conforted from Confort, Cum conscribed the creation in the first chap- forte tori, as Ovid says, Met. I. ter of Genesis; and there are many 319. other passages in Scripture which rise up to the same majesty, where 59.- Whence Adam foon repeald this subject is touched upon. Milton The doubts that in his heart arose:] has fhown his judgment very re. Dr. Bentley would read difpeild: markably, in making use of such of but if an alteration were neceffary, these as were proper for his poem, I should rather read repell’d, as in and in duly qualifying those high ver. 610. we have

their counsels f.rains of eastern poetry, which were vain Thou haft repelld. But in the fuited to readers, whose imagina- fame fenfe as a law is said to be retions were set to a higher pitch than peal'd, when an end is put to all the those of colder climates. Addison. force and effect of it ; fo, when

47. If they transgress, &c.] We doubts are at an end, they may be fhould oblerve the connexion ; Left said to be repeald. Pearce.

69. Pro

Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heav'nly guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our ears, 70
Far differing from this world, thou hast revealid,
Divine interpreter, by favor sent
Down from the empyréan to forewarn
Us timely' of what might else have been our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach:
For which to th’infinitely Good we owe

76 Immortal thanks, and his admonishment Receive with solemn purpose to observe Immutably his sovran will, the end Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsaf'd 8. Gently for our instruction to impart

Things 69. Proceeded thus &c.] The con- 72. Divine interpreter,] So Mer. Aruction is, And led on with defire to cury is call'd in Virgil Interpres Diknow &c proceeded thus to ask his vum, Æn. IV. 378. beav'nly guest. 70. Great things, &c.] Adam's

79.

the end speech to the Angel, wherein he Of what we are.] The will of defires an account of what had pas- God is the end to which all we are ; sed within the regions of nature be- thou hast created all things, and for fore the creation, is very great and thy pleasure they are, and were created, folemn. The following lines, in Rev. IV. 11. which he tells him, that the day is not too far spent for him to enter 88. - and this which yields or fills upon such a subject, are exquisite in All space, the ambient air wide their kind.

interfus'd] Yields space to all And the great light of day yet bodies, and again fills up the de. wants to run

serted space so as to be subservient Much of his race &c. Addison. to motion. Richardson. Ambient 90

interfus'd 98. And

Things above earthly thought, which yet concern'd
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seem’d,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less perhaps avail us known, 85
How first began this Heav'n which we behold
Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd
Innumerable, and this which yields or fills
All space, the ambient air wide interfus’d
Embracing round this florid earth, what cause
Mov'd the Creator in his holy rest
Through all eternity so late to build
In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Absolv'd, if unforbid thou may'st unfold
What we, not to explore the secrets ask 95

Of interfus'd' denotes the air not only And that can never be a just excepsurrounding the earth, but flowing tion against this time, which holds into and spun out betweeen all bo- equally against all time. It must be dies; and is a fuller and finer nota- resolved into the good will and pleation of its liquid and spiritual tex- fure of almighty God; but there is ture, leaving no Vacuum in nature a farther reason according to Mil. than that of Ovid,

ton's hypothesis, which is that God, Nec circumfuso pendebat in aere after the expelling of Satan and his tellus. Met. I. 12. Hume.

Angels out of Heaven, declar'd his

pleasure to supply their place by - late to build] It is a creating another world, and other question that has been often asked, creatures to dwell therein. Why God did not create the world sooner ? but the same question might 94. Absolw'd,] Finish'd, combe asked, if the world had been pleted, perfected, from Abfolutus created at any time, for ftill there (Latin.) Richardson. were infinite ages before that time.

92.

To glorify the Maker, and infer
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Thy hearing, such commission from above
I have receiv'd, to answer thy desire
Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain 120
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,
Only omniscient, hath suppress'd in night,
To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:
Enough is left besides to search and know.

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But knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her temp’rance over appetite, to know
In measure what the mind

may

well contain ; Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns

Wisdom the crcation of the world, are very ture use of this term, to which, ! just and beautiful. Addison. make no doubt, Milton alluded.

Thus they provoked him to anger with 116.

their own inventions, Psal. CVI. 29. Thee happier,] And by inference And went a whoring with their own make thee happier.

inventions, ver. 38. The two folnor let thine own inven- lowing lines are almost a litteral

tions hope) Milton seems here translation of these two in Horace. to allude to Eccles. VII. 29. they Od. III. XXIX. 29. have fought out many inventions ;

Prudens futuri temporis exitum which commentators explain by rea-. Caliginosa nocte premit Deus, Sonings. No need then for Dr. Bent

Tbyer. ley's conceptions. Pearce. Dr. Bentley misiking the word in- 122. - ib' invisible King,] As ventions changes it for conceptions, God is stiled in Scripture the invihwhich, I fancy, he would not have ble King, , Tim. I. 17. so this is the done, had he considered the Scrip. propereft epithet that could have

been

and infer

121.

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