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often obferved, with a fecret admiration, that the longeft reflection in the Æneid is in that paffage of the tenth book, where Turnus is reprefented as dreffing himself in the fpoils of Pallas, whom he had flain. Virgil here lets his fable ftand ftill for the fake of the following remark. "How is the mind of man ignorant of futurity, and "unable to bear profperous for❝ tune with moderation? The time "will come when Turnus fhall "wish that he had left the body of "Pallas untouched, and curfe the "day on which he dreffed himself " in thefe fpoils." As the great event of the Eneid, and the death of Turnus, whom Æneas flew, because he faw him adorned with the fpoils of Pallas, turns upon this incident, Virgil went out of his way to make this reflection upon it, without which fo fmall a circumstance might poflibly have flipped out of his reader's memory. Lucan, who was an injudicious poet, lets drop his ftory very frequently for the fake of his unneceffary digreffions, or his diverticula, as Scaliger calls them. If he gives us an account of the prodigies which preceded the civil war, he declames upon the occafion, and fhows how much happier it would be for man, if he did not feel his evil fortune before it comes to pass, and fuffer not only by its real weight, but by the apprehenfion of it. Milton's complaint of his blindness, his panegyric on marriage, his reflections on Adam and Eve's going naked, of the Angels eating, and feveral other paffages in his poem, are liable to the fame exception, tho' I must confefs there is fo great a

beauty in these very digreffions that I would not wish them out of his poem.

I have, in a former paper, fpsken of the characters of Milton's Paradife Loft, and declared my opinion, as to the allegorical perfons who are introduced in it.

If we look into the fentiments, I think they are fometimes defective under the following heads; Firft, as there are feveral of them too much pointed, and fome that degenerate even into punns. Of this laft kind, I am afraid is that in the firft book, where fpeaking of the pigmies, he calls them

the small infantry

Warr'd on by cranes —

Another blemish that appears in fome of his thoughts, is his frequent allufion to heathen fables, which are not certainly of a piece with the divine fubject, of which he treats. I do not find fault with these allufions, where the poet himfelf reprefents them as fabulous, as he does in fome places, but where he mentions them as truths and matters of fact. The limits of my paper will not give me leave to be particular in inftances of this kind: The reader will eafily remark them in his perufal of the poem.

A third fault in his fentiments, is an unneceffary oftentation of learning, which likewife occurs very frequently. It is certain, that both Homer and Virgil were mafters of all the learning of their times, but it shows itself in their works, after an indirect and concealed manner. Milton feems ambitious of letting us know, by his excurfions on free-will and predeftination,

deftination, and his many glances upon hiftory, aftronomy, geography, and the like, as well as by the terms and phrafes he fometimes makes ufe of, that he was acquainted with the whole circle of arts and sciences.

of it, and that Ariftotle himself has given it a place in his Rhetoric among the beauties of that art. But as it is in itself poor and trifling, it is I think at prefent univerfally exploded by all the mafters of polite writing.

If, in the last place, we confider. the language of this great poet, we muft allow what I have hinted in a former paper, that it is often too much labored, and sometimes obfcured by old words, tranfpofitions, and foreign idioms. Seneca's objection to the ftile of a great author, Riget ejus oratio, nihil in ea placidum, nihil lene, is what many critics make to Milton: As I cannot wholly refute it, fo I have already apologized for it in another paper; to which I may further add, that Milton's fentiments and ideas were fo wonderfully fublime, that it would have been impoffible for him to have reprefented them in their full ftrength and beauty, without having recourse to these foreign affiftances. Our language funk under him, and was unequal to that greatnefs of foul, which furnished him with fuch glorious conceptions.

A fecond fault in his language is, that he often affects a kind of jingle in his words, as in the following paffages, and many others: That brought into this world a

world of woe.

-Begirt th' almighty throne
Befeeching or befieging-
This tempted our attempt -
At one flight bound high over-leapt
all bound.

I know there are figures for this kind of fpeech, that fome of the greatest Ancients have been guilty

The laft fault which I fhall take notice of in Milton's ftile, is the frequent ufe of what the learned call technical words, or terms of art. It is one of the great beauties of poetry, to make hard things intelligible, and to deliver what is abftruse of itself in such easy language as may be understood by ordinary readers: Befides that the knowledge of a poet should rather feem born with him, or infpired, than drawn from books and systems. I have often wondered, how Mr. Dryden could tranflate a paffage out of Virgil, after the following manner,

Tack to the larboard, and stand off to fea,

Veer ftar-board fea and land.

Milton makes ufe of larboard in the fame manner. When he is upon building, he mentions Doric pillars, pilafters, cornice, freeze, architrave. When he talks of heavenly bodies, you meet with ecliptic, and eccentric, the trepidation, fars dropping from the zenith, rays culminating from the equator. To which might be added many inftances of the like kind in feveral other arts and sciences.

I shall in my next papers give an account of the many particular beauties in Milton, which would have been too long to infert under thofe general heads I have already treated of, and with which

I intend to conclude this piece of parts of the luminous body above


I HAVE feen in the works of a modern philofopher, a map of the spots in the fun. My laft paper of the faults and blemishes in Milton's Paradise Loft, may be confidered as a piece of the fame na ture. To pursue the allufion: As it is obferved, that among the bright

mentioned, there are fome which glow more intenfely, and dart a ftronger light than others; fo, notwithstanding I have already fhown Milton's poem to be very beautiful in general, I fhall now proceed to take notice of such beauties as appear to me more exquifite than the reft.







This first book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, Man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradife wherein he was plac'd: Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the ferpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his fide many legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of Heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action pass'd haftes into the midft of things, prethe poem fenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell, defcrib'd here, not in the center (for Heaven and Earth may be fuppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurs'd) but in a place of utter darkness, fitlieft call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning lake, thunder-ftruck and aftonish'd, after a certain fpace recovers, as from confufion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him; they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the fame manner confounded; They rife, their numbers, array of battel, their chief leaders nam'd, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his fpeech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them laftly of a new world and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy or report in Heaven; for that Angels were long before this vifible creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determin thereon he refers to a full council. What his affociates thence attempt. Pandemonium the palace of Satan rifes, fuddenly built out of the deep: The infernal peers there fit in council.

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