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Lay floating many a rood——

Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames

Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and roll'd
In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air
That felt unusual weight

His pond'rous shield

Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,

Behind him cast; the broad circumference

Contrast this Satin

(language)

with harme

Satan

Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb with rule that

Thro' optic glass the Tuscan artists view

At ev'ning, from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.
His spear (to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast
Of some great Admiral, were but a wand)
He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle--"

Sentiments fit
Character

good - adds to
depth of prem.

To which we may add his call to the fallen angels that lay plunged and stupified in the sea of fire.

"He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep

Of hell resounded."

But there is no single passage in the whole Poem worked up to a greater sublimity, than that wherein his person is described in those celebrated lines:

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His sentiments are every way answerable to his character, and suitable to a created Being of the most exalted and most depraved nature. Such is that in which he takes possession of his place of torments.

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We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence :
Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth Ambition, tho' in hell:

Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n.”

Amidst those impieties which this enraged spirit utters in other places of the Poem, the author has taken care to introduce none that is not big with absurdity, and incapable of shocking a religious reader; his words, as the Poet himself describes them, bearing only a 66 semblance of worth, not substance." He is likewise with great art described as owning his adversary to be Al-, mighty. Whatever perverse interpretation he puts on the justice, mercy, and other attributes of the Supreme Being, he frequently confesses his Omnipotence, that being the perfection he was forced to allow him, and the only consideration which could support his pride under the shame of his defeat.

Nor must I here omit that beautiful circumstance of his bursting out into tears, upon his survey of those innumerable spirits whom he had involved in the same guilt and ruin with himself.

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To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half inclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth-

The catalogue of evil spirits has abundance of learning in it, and a very agreeable turn of poetry, which rises in a great measure from its describing the places where they were worshipped, by those beautiful marks of rivers

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Check why
Satan cries

so frequent among the ancient poets. The author had doubtless in this place HOMER's catalogue of ships, and VIRGIL'S list of warriors, in his view. The characters of MOLOCH and BELIAL prepare the reader's mind for their respective speeches and behaviour in the second and sixth book. The account of THAMMUZ is finely romantic, and suitable to what we read among the ancients of the worship which was paid to that idol.

66 THAMMUZ came next behind,
Whose annual wound in LEBANON allur'd
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate,
In am'rous ditties all a summer's day;
While smooth ADONIS from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood
Of THAMMUZ yearly wounded: the love tale
Infected SION's daughters with like heat,
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
EZEKIEL saw; when, by the vision led,
His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

Of alienated JUDAH

The reader will pardon me if I insert, as a note on this beautiful passage, the account given us by the late ingenious Mr. MAUNDRELL of this ancient piece of worship, and probably the first occasion of such a superstition. We came to a fair large river, doubtless the ancient river Adonis, so famous for the idolatrous rites performed here in lamentation of ADONIS. We had the fortune to see what may be supposed to be the occasion of that opinion which LUCIAN relates concerning this river, viz. That this stream, at certain seasons of the year, especially about the feast of ADONIS, is of a bloody colour, which the Heathens looked upon as proceeding from a kind of sympathy in the river for the death of ADONIS, who was killed by a wild boar in the mountains, out of which this stream rises. Something like this we saw actually come to pass; for the water was stained to a surprising redness; and, as we observed

VOL. V.

D

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observed in travelling, had discoloured the sea a great way into a reddish hue, occasioned doubtless by a sort of minium, or red earth, washed into the river by the violence of the rain, and not by any stain from ADONIS'S blood.'

The passage in the catalogue, explaining the manner how spirits transform themselves by contraction or enlargement of their dimensions, is introduced with great judgment, to make way for several surprising accidents in the sequel of the Poem. There follows one, at the very end of the first book, which is what the French critics call marvellous, but at the same time probable, by reason of the passage last mentioned. As soon as the infernal palace is finished, we are told the multitude and rabble of spirits immediately shrunk themselves into a small compass, that there might be room for such a numberless assembly in this capacious hall. But it is the poet's refinement upon this thought, which I most admire, and which is indeed very noble in itself. For he tells us, that notwithstanding the vulgar, among the fallen spirits, contracted their forms, those of the first rank and dignity still preserved their natural dimensions.

"Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large,
Though without number, still amidst the hall
Of that infernal court. But far within,
And in their own dimensions like themselves,
The great seraphic Lords and Cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave sat
A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full-

The character of MAMMON, and the description of the Pandemonium, are full of beauties.

There are several other strokes in the first book wonderfully poetical, and instances of that sublime genius so peculiar to the author. Such is the description of AZAZEL's stature, and the infernal standard which he

unfurls;

unfurls; as also of that ghastly light, by which the fiends appear to one another in their place of torments.

"The seat of desolation, void of light,

Save what the glimm'ring of those livid flames

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The shout of the whole host of Fallen Angels when drawn up in battle array:

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A shout that tore Hell's concave, and beyond

Frighted the reign of CHAOS and old NIGHT."

The review, which the leader makes of his infernal army;

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-He thro' the armed files

Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views, their order due,
Their visages and stature as of Gods,

Their number last he sums; and now his heart

Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength
Glories-

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The flash of light which appeared upon the drawing of their swords;

"He spake; and to confirm his words out flew
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze

Far round illumin'd hell.

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The sudden production of the Pandemonium ;

"Anon out of the earth a fabric huge
Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet.”

The artificial illumination made in its

From the arched roof

Pendent by subtle magic, many a row

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