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Loredano was the founder of the Accademia degli Incogniti. His houfe at Venice was the conftant refort of learned men. Gaddi, an Italian friend whom Milton names, and who has celebrated the foundation of the academy, would hardly fail to introduce the young Englishman to the founder of it, if by no other means he had become known to him.

Italy then, will probably be thought to have confirmed, if not to have excited, the defign of Milton to fing "Man's difobedience, and the

mortal taste of the forbidden fruit."

Yet a very learned and interefting writer has queftioned the propriety of afcribing fuch honour to Italy. "If we are to refer Milton's work," fays Mr. Turner, "to any other fuggeftion than to his own picty and to the Scriptures, there feems much more reafon to give the honour to our venerable Cedmon, than to the heterogeneous comedy of Andreini, which there is no proof that Milton ever read, and the beginning of which could only difguft his correct tafte. Indeed, if we recollect our old myfteries on the fame fubjects, there appears ftill lefs occafion to go to Italy in fearch of that which we may find at home.” Whether the reader will fubfcribe entirely to this opinion, I greatly doubt; but I am certain he will be highly gratified by the extracts drawn with tafte and ingenuity, by Mr. Turner, from the venerable Anglo-Saxon poetical narration. "Various fpe

P See Jacobi Gaddii Adlocutiones, et Elogia &c. Florentiæ, 1636. 4to, p. 58.

Hift. of the Anglo-Saxons, 2d edit. 4to. 1807. Preface, and Vol. ii. 309, feq.

culations," he obferves, "have been made on the fources to which Milton has been indebted for the fubject of his great poem. The extracts, cited from our Cedmon, fhew that this ancient poet has anticipated fomewhat of the Miltonick character and agency of Satan. It is alfo remarkable that both Cedmon and Milton begin their poems with ftating the fall of Satan, and his expulfion from Heaven. Cedmon's paraphrase was printed by Junius, who lived much in England in 1655. Milton is faid by Aubrey to have begun his Paradife Loft two years before the restoration, or in 1658. It is prefumed to have been finished in 1665, and its first edition appeared in 1667. As our immortal poet wrote the history of the Anglo-Saxon times, and in that quotes a Saxon document, the Saxon Chronicle, we may believe him to have been interefted by fuch an important part of their literature as Cedmon's paraphrase, which, though printed at Amsterdam, muft, from the connections of Junius, who had the MSS. from Archbishop Ufher, have been much known in England. Cedmon's poem is, in the first part, a Paradife Loft, in rude miniature. It contains the fall of the angels, the creation, the temptation of Eve, and the expulfion from Paradise. In its firft topick, the fall of the angels, it exhibits much of a Miltonick spirit; and if it were clear that our illuftrious bard had been familiar with Saxon, we should be induced to think that he owed fomething to the paraphrafe of Cedmon. No one at least can read Cedmon without feeling the idea intruding upon his mind. As the fubject is curious, S


I fhall make no apology for very copious extracts from Cedmon, tranflated as literally as poffible:

"On the Fall of the Angels.

"To us it is much right that we the Ruler of the firma


the Glory-King of Hofts, with words fhould praise, with minds fhould love. He is in power abundant, High Head of all creatures, Almighty Lord!

they obeyed his domination. with virtues.

They were very happy; fins they knew not;

nor to frame crimes:
but they in peace lived
with their Eternal Elder.
Otherwife they began not
to rear in the sky,

There was not to him ever be- except right and truth,


nor origin made;

nor now end cometh.

Eternal Lord!

But he will be always powerful over heaven's ftools ', in high majefty,

truth-faft and very strenuous, Ruler of the bofoms of the sky! Then were they fet

wide and ample,

thro' God's power,

for the children of glory, for the guardians of fpirits.

They had joy and splendor,

and their beginning-origin,

the hofts of angels;

before the Ruler of the angels, for pride divided them in error.

They would not prolong council for themselves!

but they from felf-love
throw off God's.

They had much pride
that they against the Lord
would divide

the glory-faft place,

the majefty of their hofts, the wide and bright sky.

To him there grief happened, envy, and pride;

to that angel's mind.

that this ill counfel

began firft to frame,

bright blifs was their great to weave and wake.


The glory-faft thegns

praifed the King:

they faid willingly praise

to their Life-Lord;

Then he words faid, darkened with iniquity, that he in the north part

a home and high feat

of heaven's kingdom

I use the term in the original, becaufe fuch expreffions as have any allufion to ancient manners fhould always be preferved.

would poffefs.

Then was God angry,

and with the hoft wrath
that he before esteemed
illuftrious and glorious.
He made for those perfidious
an exiled home,

a work of retribution,
Hell's groans and hard hatreds.
Our Lord commanded the pu-

for the exiles to abide,
deep, joyless,

the rulers of spirits.

When he it ready knew
with perpetual night foul,
fulphur including,
over it full fire

and extenfive cold,
with fmoke and red flame,
he commanded them over
the manfion, void of council,
to increase the terror-punish-


They had provoked accufation;

grim against God gathered together,

to them was grim retribution


vile against their Maker,
enjoy might.

Their loftinefs of mind departed,
their pride was diminished.
Then was he angry;

he ftruck his enemies
with victory and power,
with judgement and virtue,
and took away joy :
peace from his enemies,
and all pleasure:
Illuftrious Lord!
and his anger wreaked
on the enemies greatly,
in their own power
deprived of strength.

He had a ftern mind,
grimly provoked;

he feized in his wrath
on the limbs of his enemies,
and them in pieces broke,
wrathful in mind.
He deprived of their country
his adverfaries,

from the stations of glory
he made and cut off,
our Creator!

the proud race of angels from

the faithlefs hoft.

They faid, that they the king- The Governor fent the hated army


with fierce mind would poffefs, on a long journey,

and fo eafily might.

Them the hope deceived,

after the Governor,

the high King of Heaven, his hands upreared.

He purfued againft the crowd nor might the void of mind,

with mourning speech.
To them was glory loft,
their threats broken,
their majefty curtailed,
ftained in fplendor;
they in exile afterwards
preffed on their black way.

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"But that part of Cedmon which is the most original product of his own fancy, is his account of Satan's hoftility. To us, the Paradife Loft of Milton has made this fubject peculiarly interefting; and as it will be curious to fee how an old Saxon poet has previously treated it, we shall give another copious extract. Some of the touches bring to mind a few of Milton's conceptions. But in Cedmon the finest thoughts are abruptly introduced, and very roughly and imperfectly expreffed. In Milton the fame ideas are detailed in all the majesty of his diction, and are fully displayed with that vigour of intellect in which he has no fuperior.

"The univerfal Ruler had of the angelic race, through his hand-power, the holy Lord!

a fortress established.

To them he well trusted

that they his fervice

would follow,

would do his will.

fo mighty

in his mind's thought;

he let him rule fo much;
the highest in heaven's king-

he had made him

fo fplendid;

fo beautiful

was his fruit in heaven,

For this he gave them under- which to him came


from the Lord of Hofts;

and with his hands made them. that he was like

The Holy Lord

had ftationed them

fo happily.

One he had fo

ftrongly made,

the brilliant stars.

Praise ought he

to have made to his Lord;
he should have valued dear

his joys in heaven;

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