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HE Prejudice of the World, in contemning this Poem, is yet lefs excufeable, than the Partiality of the Author, in preferring it to the Paradife Loft. 'Tis indeed. far inferior to that noble Poem; but yet as far beyond any other Composition fince the Times of VIRGIL. The Moral of it is a fit Sequel to that of the Paradife Loft: In that we had an Example of Difobedience, and the ill Effects of it; and here an illustrious Pattern of the contrary. We fee a fucceffive Triumph over all the Temptations of Luxury, Wealth, Glory and Power, tho' enforced


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forced in the strongest Manner. If we were. to compare it to the Odyfey, in the Refpect of its being a fecond Production; we, fhall find it entirely free of those Kind of Faults, which Longinus lays to the Charge of that Poem. And if the Reader can be prevailed upon to go through this Piece, notwithstanding what has been faid of it, we fhall affure him, that he'll neither find barren Wilds, nor meet with Monsters or Giants: And that he may not have barely our Word to rely on, we fhall lay before him, as a Specimen of the Soil, fome of those fine rich Grapes and Fruits it produces.

THE firft Lines allude to thofe four Verfes which fhould begin the ÆNEID, but have been rejected as fpurious by the Generality.

Ille ego, qui quondam gracili modulatus avena
Carmen, &c.

I who ere while the happy Garden fung,
By one Man's Difobedience loft, now fing
Recover'd Paradife to all Mankind,

By one Man's firm Obedience fully try'd
Through all Temptation, and the Tempter foil'd,
In all his Wiles, defeated and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the wafte Wilderness.


THESE give us MILTON'S Opinion about the Ille ego of VIRGIL; for he would never have imitated them, if he had not thought them genuine. The above Quotation deferves a better Commendation, than that it far excels its Original. The last Line may very well defcribe this whole Poem, if we confider its noble Beauties, and what barren Subject, as to a Production of this Kind, the Poet had to work upon.

LORD Shaftsbury ingeniously observes, how unnatural and aukward the Invocation of a Muse appears in the Works of a modern Christian Poet; and, on the contrary, how graceful in an Ancient, and what Influence the Belief of fuch a Prefence would have, in elevating his Thoughts. This may ferve as a Commentary upon our Poet's Address in this Poem, and his Paradise Loft.

Thou Spirit, who ledft this glorious Eremite
Into the Defart, his victorious Field,

Against the fpiritual Foe, and brought'ft him thence,
By Proof the undoubted Son of GOD; inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted Song, else mute,
And bear, &c.

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THE Departure of Satan, to go about his Enterprize, is poetically related.

So to the Coaft of Jordan he directs
His eafy Steps; girded with fnaky Wiles,
Where he might likelieft find this new-declar'd,
This Man of Men, attefted SON of GOD.

In the fame Spirit is this Passage,

So fpake the Eternal Father, and all Heaven
Admiring food a Space; then into Hymns
Burft forth, and in Cæleftial Measures mov'd,
Circling the Throne and finging, while the Hand
Sung with the Voice, and this the Argument.

The Afcent of our Saviour into the Wildernefs, is accounted in a beautiful and natural Manner.

One Day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading;
And his deep Thoughts, the better to converse
With Solitude, till far from Track of Men,

Thought following Thought, and Step by Step led on,
He entred now the bordering Defart wild,

And, with dark Shades and Rocks environ'd round,

His holy Meditation thus pursued.

WHAT a Number of Beauties in the fol


-hunger'd then at last

Among wild Beafts: They, at his Sight, grew mild,

Nor fleeping him nor waking harm'd, his Walk,

The fiery Serpent fled, and noxious Worm,


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