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its full luftre in an epic poem. And together with the plans of Paradife Loft there are the plans or fubjects of feveral other intended tragedies, fome taken from the Scripture, others from the British or Scotish hiftories: and of the latter the last mentioned is Macbeth, as if he had an inclination to try his ftrength with Shakespear; and to reduce the play more to the unities, he propofes "beginning at the arrival of "Malcolm at Macduff; the matter of Duncan may "be expreffed by the appearing of his ghoft." Thefe manufcripts of Milton were found by the learned Mr. Profeffor Mason among fome other old papers, which, he fays, belonged to Sir Henry Newton Puckering, who was a confiderable benefactor to the library: and for the better preservation of fuch truly valuable reliques, they were collected together, and handsomely bound in a thin folio by the care and at the charge of a person, who is now very eminent in his profeffion, and was always a lover of the Mufes, and at that time a fellow of Trinity College, Mr. Clarke, one of his Majefty's counsel.






UI legis Amiffam Paradifum, grandia magni

Q Carmina Miltoni, quid nifi cuncta legis?

Res cunctas, & cunctarum primordia rerum,
Et fata, & fines continet ifte liber.
Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,
Scribitur & toto quicquid in orbe latet:
Terræque, tractufque maris, cœlumque profundum,
Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque fpecus:
Quæque colunt terras, pontumque, & Tartara cæca,
Quæque colunt fummi lucida regna poli:

Et quodcunque ullis conclufum eft finibus ufquam,
Et fine fine Chaos, & fine fine Deus:
Et fine fine magis, fi quid magis eft sine fine,
In Chrifto erga homines conciliatus amor.
Hæc qui fperaret quis crederet effe futura?

Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quæ protulit arma !
Quæ canit, & quanta prælia dira tuba!
Cœleftes acies! atque in certamine cœlum!
quæ cœleftes pugna deceret agros!



Quantus in æthereis tollit fe Lucifer armis !
Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaele minor !

Quantis, &

quam funeftis concurritur iris,

Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit!

Dum vulfos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,

Et non mortali defuper igne pluunt:
Stat dubius cui fe parti concedat Olympus,
Et metuit pugnæ non fupereffe fuæ.
At fimul in cœlis Meffiæ infignia fulgent,
Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotæ ftrident, & fæva rotarum
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,

Et flammæ vibrant, & vera tonitrua rauco
Admiftis flammis infonuere polo:

Excidit attonitis mens omnis, & impetus omnis,
Et caffis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad pœnas fugiunt, & ceu foret Orcus afylum,
Infernis certant condere fe tenebris.

Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graii,
Et quos fama recens vel celebravit anus.
Hæc quicunque leget tantùm ceciniffe putabit
Mæonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.



HEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,

In flender book his vast design unfold, Meffiah crown'd, God's reconcil'd decree, Rebelling Angels, the forbidden tree,


Heav'n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the
Held me a while mifdoubting his intent,
That he would ruin (for I saw him strong)
The facred truths to fable and old song,
(So Sampfon grop'd the temple's posts in spite)
The world o'erwhelming to revenge his fight.
Yet as I read, foon growing lefs fevere,

I lik'd his project, the success did fear;
Through that wide field how he his way should find,
O'er which lame faith leads understanding blind;
Lest he perplex'd the things he would explain,
And what was easy he should render vain.
Or if a work fo infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as difquiet always what is well,
And by ill imitating would excel)

Might hence presume the whole creation's day
To change in scenes, and fhow it in a play.


Pardon me, mighty Poet, nor defpife
My causeless, yet not impious, furmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy labors to pretend a fhare.

Thou haft not mifs'd one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper doft omit:

So that no room is here for writers left,

But to detect their ignorance or theft.

That majefty which through thy work doth reign, Draws the devout, deterring the profane. And things divine thou treat'ft of in such state As them preferves, and thee, inviolate. At once delight and horror on us feise, Thou fing'ft with fo much gravity and ease; And above human flight dost foar aloft With plume so strong, fo equal, and so soft. The bird nam'd from that Paradise you fing So never flags, but always keeps on wing.

Where couldst thou words of fuch a compass find? Whence furnish fuch a vast expense of mind? Just Heav'n thee like Tirefias to requite Rewards with prophecy thy lofs of fight. Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rime, of thy own sense secure;




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