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Curs'd is the ground for thy fake; thou in sorrow
So judg'd he Man, both judge and saviour sent,
211 Before him naked to the air, that now Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin Thenceforth the form of servant to assume, As when he wash'd his servants feet, so now
215 As father of his family he clad
Their thee ; and tbou falt eat the berb of of a servant. As when he wal'd the field: In the sweat of thy face bis servants feet, John XIII. falt thou eat bread, till ihou return 216.
he clad unto the ground, for out of it was Their nakedness with skins of beafts,] tbou taken; for duft thou art, and Gen. III. 21. Unto Adam also, and unto duft salt sbou return. We quote to his wife did the Lord God make these passages at length, that with- coats of skins, and clothed them. And out any trouble they may be com- our author, we see, understands it par'd with the poem.
litterally, though it is sufficient if it 214. the form of serwant to was done by the divine providence
affume, &c.] Alluding to and direction. But some commenPhil. 11. 7. But made himself of no tators torment themselves and the reputation, and took upon bim ibe form text by asking how Adam and Eve
Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or llain,
came by the skins of beasts; and for it shows more goodness in a therefore our author adds they were man to clothe his enemy, than only either pain, but he does not say one of his family. Milton feers (o whether by one another, or for sa. have had in his thoughts wha
: crifice, or for food; or they fed St. Paul says, Rom. V. 10. Wher their coats like snakes and were re we were enemies, we were reconciled paid with new ones
, a notion which to God through the death of his Sa. we may presume he borrow'd from Milton again had much the same some commentator rather than ad. sentiment, when he makes Adan vanc'd of himself. It seems too odd say in ver. 1059. Cloth'd us 2: and extravagant to be a fancy of worthy. Pearce. his own, but he might intraduce it
with his robe of right? out of vanity to show his reading. ousness,] Isa. LXI. 10. He berib Pliny indeed mentions some lesier clothed me with the garments of sc! creatures shedding their skins in the vation, he hath covered me witb zbe manner of snakes, but that is hardly robe of righteousness. authority fufficient for such a notion
229. Mean while ere thus sou
finn'd and judg'd on eartb.) 219. And thought not much to Two impersonals : Before Man had
clothe his enemies :) Dr. Bent- thus finn'd, and God had judged ley says that this line is certainly of him, Sin and Death fat in counter: the editor's marufacture, and quite view within the gates of Hell; be fuperfluous; because it divides what mw upon Man's tranfgreffion and is naturaily connected, and changes God's judgment Sin thus begar and the sentiments, from a family under address’d herself to Death. a gracious father, to the condition of enemies. But I don't see that it are now to consider the imaginary
230. — sat Sin and Deatb] We divides any natural connexion : and persons, or Sin and Deatb, who at as for changing the sentiments, it a large part in this book. Such does it to a beauty, not to a fault : beautiful extended allegories are
To him with swift ascent he
up return'd, Into his blissful bofom reaffum'd
225 In glory as of old; to him appeas'd All, tho' all-knowing, what had pass’d with Man Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Meanwhile ere thus was sinn'd and judg’d on Earth, Within the gates of Hell fat Sin and Death, 230
certainly some of the finest compo- very beautiful in poetry, when they sitions of genius: but, as I have be- are just fhown, without being enfore observed, are not agreeable to gaged in any series of action. Hothe nature of an heroic poem. This mer indeed represents Sleep as a of Sin and Death is very exquisite person, and ascribes a short part to in its kind, if not consider'd as a him in his Iliad; but we must conpart of such a work. The truths fider that tho' we now regard such contained in it are so clear and a person as entirely Sadowy and open, that I shall not lose time in unsubstantial, the Heathens made explaining them; but shall only ob- statues of him, placed him in their serve, that a reader, who knows temples, and looked upon him as the strength of the Englith tongue, a real deity. When Homer makes will be amazed to think how the use of other such allegorical perpoet could find such apt words and fons, it is only in hort expressions, phrases to describe the actions of which convey an ordinary thought those two imaginary persons, and to the mind in the most pleasing particularly in that part where manner, and may rather be looked Death is exhibited as forming a upon as poetical phrases than allebridge over the Chaos; a work suit- gorical descriptions. Instead of telable to the genius of Milton. Since ling us, that men naturally Ay the subject I am upon, gives me an when they are terrified, he introopportunity of speaking more at duces the persons of Flight and large of such shadowy and imagi. Fear, who, he tells us, are insepanary persons as may be introduced rable companions. Instead of lay. into heroic poems, 'I shall beg leave ing that the time was come when to explain myielf in a matter which Apollo ought to have received his is curious in its kind, and which recompense, he tells us, that the none of the critics have treated of, Hours brought him his reward. InIt is certain Homer and Virgil are stead of describing the effects which full of imaginary perlons, who are Minerva's Ægis produced in battel,
In counterview within the gates, that now
O Son, why fit we here cach other viewing
he tells us, that the brims of it plain that these I have mention's were incompassed by Terror, Rout, in which persons of an imaginary Discord, Fury, Pursuit, Mafsacre nature are introduced, are fach and Death. In the same figure of short allegories as are not designed speaking, he represents Victory as to be taken in the litteral fenfe, following Diomedes; Discord as the but only to convey particular cirmother of funerals and mourning; cumstances to the reader after an Venus as dressed by the Graces; unusual and entertaining manner. Bellona as wearing Terror and Con- But when such perfons are introfternation like a garment. I might duced as principal actors, and en give several other initances out of gaged in a series of adventures Homer, as well as a great many they take too much upon them, out of Virgil. Milton has like and are by no means proper for an wise very often made use of the heroic poem, which ought to apfame
way of speaking, as where he pear credible in its principal para. tells us, that Victory fat on the I cannot forbear therefore thinking right hand of the Meslah when he that Sin and Death are as improper marched forth against the rebel agents in a work of this nature, as Angels; that at the rising of the Strength and Necessity in one of the fun the Hours unbarr'd the gates tragedies of Æschylus, who repreof light; that Discord was the sented those two persons nailing daughter of Sin. Of the same na- down Prometheus to a rock, for ture are those expressions, where which he has been justy censur'd describing the finging of the night- by the greatest critics. I do not ingale, he adds, Silence was pleas'd; know any imaginary person made and upon the Messiah's bidding use of in a more sublime manner peace to the Chaos, Confufion beard of thinking than that in one of his voice. I might add innume. the prophecs
, who describing God rable instances of our poet's writ- as descending from Heaven, and ing in this beautiful figure. It is visiting the sins of mankind, adds
For us his ofspring dear? It cannot be
that dreadful circumstance, Before fieur Voltaire and other critics, him went tbe Peflilence. It is cer. wherein likewise the characters and tain this imaginary person might actions of Sin and Death are vindihave been described in all her pur- cated in answer to Mr. Addison. It ple spots. The Fever might have is hoped that fome skilful hand or marched before her, Pain might other will translate this piece for have stood at her right hand, Pbren- the benefit of the English reader. zy on her left, and Death in her Milton may rather be justified for rear. She might have been intro- introducing such imaginary beings duced as gliding down from the as Sin and Death, because a great tail of a comet, or darted upon the part of his poem lies in the invisible earth in a fath of lightning : She world, and such fictitious beings might have tainted the atmosphere may better have a place there ; and with her breath; the very glaring the actions of Sin and Death are at of her eyes might have scatter'd in- least as probable as those ascribed fection. But I believe every reader to the good or evil Angels. Besides will think, that in such sublime writ. as Milton's subject necessarily adings the mentioning of her as it is mitted so few real persons, he was done in Scripture, has something in a manner obliged to supply that in it more just, as well as great, defect by introducing imaginary than all that the most fanciful poet ones: and the characters of Sin and could have bestowed upon her in the Death are perfectly agreeable to the richness of his imagination. Addifon. hints and sketches, which are given I have been inform'd, that there of them in Scripture. The Scriphas lately been publish'd in High ture had made persons of them beDutch a 'Critical Differtation on the fore in several places; only the marvelous in poetry, and its con- Scripture has represented them as I nexion with the probable, in a de- may say in miniature, and he has fense of Milton's Paradise Loft drawn them in their full length and againk several objections of Mon proportions.
245. — what