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"Why slee pest thou, Eve'? Now is the pleasant time,
And o'n (metho'ught) alon'e I passed, through wa'ys/
And, "O fair pl'ant," (said he,) "with fruit surch'arged, Deigns non'e to ease thy loa'd, and tas'te thy swe'et, "Nor Go'd, nor m'an? Is know'ledge so desp ́ised? "Or en^vy, or whaˇt-reserve/ forbi'ds to taste? "Forbi'd who wi'll, non'e/ shall from m^e withh'old "Longer thy offered g'ood; why el'se set here?" This s'aid, he pa'used not, but/ with venturous ar'm/ He plucked, he ta^sted: me^/ damp horror chilled At such bold wor'ds, (vou'ched with a deed so b'old.) But he thus overjoy'ed: "O fruit divi'ne,
"Sweet of thyself, but much mor'e-sweet/ thus cropped; "Forbidden her'e, it seems, as only fit
"For go'ds, yet able to make go`ds of m'en:
"And why not go'ds of men, since good, (the more "Communicated,) more abu'ndant grows,
"The author not imp'aired, but honoured mo`re? He're, happy-creature, fa'ir/ angelic E've,
"Partake thoˇu al'so; happy though thou a'rt,
H'appier thou mayst be, wor thier/ can'st-not-be: "Taste thi's, and be/ hencefor'th/ among the g'ods "Thy self a god'dess; not to earth confi'ned, "But sometimes in the ai'r, as w^e; sometimes
"Ascend to h ́eaven, (by merit th ́ine,) and see
(Even to my mouth) of that same fruit held pa'rt/
The earth outstretched i'mmense, a prospect wi'de
My gu'ide was go`ne, and I' (metho'ught) sunk do'wn,
MILTON'S INTELLECTUAL POWERS.
IN speaking of the intellectual qualities of M'ilton,* we may begin with observing, that the very splendour of his poetic fam'e has tended to obsc'ure or conceal the extent of his mi'nd, and the variety of its e'nergies and attainments. To ma'ny/ he seems only a po'et, when/ in truth/ he was a profound sch^olar, a man of vast compass of thought, imb'ued th`oroughly/ with all an'cient and modern-learning, and able to master, to mo'uld, to impregnate/ with his own intellectual po'wer, his great and various-acquisitions. He had not learned the superficial doctrine of a la'ter d'ay, -that p'oetry/ flourishes mo`st/ in an uncu^ltivated s'oil, and that ima'gination/ shapes its brightest-visions/ from the mists of a superstitious a'ge; and he had no dread of accumulating knowledge, lest it should oppr'ess and smo'ther his ge'nius. He was conscious of th`at/†
* It may be considered as a general rule that the concluding word of a portion of a sentence commencing with a preposition, “in, on, of," &c., (as in the case of the adverb and conjunction) requires the rising inflection.
+ When "that" occurs as a demonstrative pronoun (as in this instance,) it uniformly requires accentual force; when as a conjunction or relative, it requires no force,-the "a" being merged almost into the sound of u :-Example, "I recollect that (1) the same circumstance that(1) occurred to me, occurred also to that individual."
(1) Pronounced nearly as if spelt thut.
with'in him/ which could quicken a'll kno'wledge, and wie ́ld-it with ease and might; which could give freshness to old tru'ths, and harmony to discordant thoughts; which could bind together (by living ties and mysterious affi'nities*) the most remote discoveries; and rear fabrics of glo`ry and beauty/ from the rude materials/ which other minds/ had collected. Milton had that universality/ which marks the highest-order of intellect. Though accu'stomed (almost from infancy) to drink at the fountains of classical literature, he had nothing of the p'edantry and fastidiousness/ which disda'in all other dra'ughts. His healthy mi'nd/ delighted in ge'nius, on whatever so'il or in whatever a'ge-it-burst-forth/ and poured out its fu'lness. He' understood/ too well/ the rights and dignity, and pride of creative imagin'ation, to lay on it the laws of the Greek or Roman-school. Parnassus/ was not to hi^m/ the o'nly/ ho`ly ground of genius. He felt that poetry/ was as a universal presence. Great minds were everywhere/ hi's kindred. He felt the ench'antment of Oriental fic'tion, surrendered himself to the strange creations of "Araby the Ble'st," and delighted still more in the romantic spirit of chivalry, and in the tales of wo ́nder/ in which it was embodied. Accordingly/ hi's poetry/ reminds us of the o'cean, which a'dds/ to its own boundlessness contributions from all regions/ under heaven. was it only in the department of imagination/ that his acquisitions were v'ast. He travelled over the whole-field of knowledge, (as far as it had then been expl'ored). His various philological attainments/ were used to put him in possession of the wisdom/ sto`red in all countries where the intellect/ had been cultivated. The natural philo'sophy, metaphysics, e'thics, history, theo'logy, and political s'cience of his/ ow'n and fo'rmer-times, were familiar-to-him. Never was there
a more unconfined mi'nd, and we could cite Milton/ as a practical example of the benefits of that universal culture of in'tellect, which forms on'e distinction of our times, but which so'me dread/ as unfriendly to original thought. Let such remember, that MIND is in its own n'ature/ diffu'sive. Its
* Let me here repeat, for the subject is of paramount importance, that every portion of a sentence in the form of a simile or comparison,-every illustrative adverbial phrase, and every clause directly or collaterally descriptive, or explanatory, may be read parenthetically with great advantage.
object is the u'niverse, which is strictly o'ne, (or bound together by infinite conn'ections and correspondencies); and accordingly/ its natural progress is from o'ne/ to ano^ther-field of thought; and/ wherever original po'wer (creative genius) ex'ists, the mind (far from being distracted or oppressed by the variety of its acquisitions) will see more and more co'mmon be'arings/ and hidden and beautiful an'alogies in all the o'bjects of knowledge-will see mutual light/ shed from truth to truth, and will comp'el-us (with a kin'gly-power, whatever it understands,) to yield some tribute of pro'of, or illustration, or splendour, to whatever to'pic/ it would unfo`ld.
ESTIMATE OF POETRY-MILTON'S OPINION. DR. CHANNING.
Or a'll God's gifts of i'ntellect, Milton esteemed poˇeticalgenius the m'ost transcendent. He esteemed it in himself/ as a kind of inspir'ation, and wrote his great works with something of the conscious dig'nity of a prophet. We agree with M'ilton/ in his e'stimate of poetry. It seems to us the divi'nest of all a'rts, fo'r/ it is the brea'thing or expression-of that principle or se'ntiment, which is de'epest and sublimest in human n'ature; we me'an of that thi'rst or aspira'tion, to which no mind is who'lly a stra'nger, for something pu'rer and lo'velier, something more po'werful, lo'fty, and thr'illing, than ordinary and real-life affo'rds. No doctrine is more com ́mon/ among Christians/ than that of ma'n's immort'ality, but/ it is not so generally understood, that the ger'ms or principles of his whole f'uture-being/ are now' wrapped up in his s'oul, (as the ru'diments of the future plant in the se'ed.) As a necessary result of this constitution, the so'ul (possessed and moved by these mighty/ though i'nfant e'nergies) is perpetually stretching beyond/ what is present and v'isible, struggling against the bounds of its earthly prison-h'ouse, and seeking reli'ef and jo'y in imaginings of unse'en and ide'al-being. Thi'sview of our n'ature (which has never been fully developed, and which goes further/ towards explaining the contradictions of human life/ than all others) carries us to the very found'ation and so'urces-of-poetry. He who cannot interpret (by his own co'nsciousness) what we have now sa'id, wants the
tru'e key to wo'rks of ge'nius. He has not penetrated those sacred recesses of the soul, where poetry is bo'rn and no ́urished, and inhales immortal vigour, and wings herself for her ze'avenward-flight. In an intelle'ctual na'ture, (framed for rogress and for higher-modes of b'eing,) there must be creative e'nergies, powers of ori'ginal and e'ver-growing thought; and poetry is the fo'rm/ in which these e'nergies/ are chiefly ma'nifested. It is the glorious prerogative of this ar't, that it "makes all things ne'w," for the gratification of a di'vine instinct. It inde'ed finds its e'lements/ in what it actually se`es and experiences, (in the worlds of ma'tter and mind :) but/ it combines and blen'ds-these/ into new for'ms/ and according to n'ew a'ffinities; breaks down (if we may so s'ay) the distin'ctions and bou'nds of n'ature; imparts to material o'bjects life, and se'ntiment, and emo'tion, and invests the mind with the po'wers and splen'dours-of the outward cre'ation; describes the surrounding u'niverse in the colours/* which the passions throw o'ver it, and depicts the min`d/ in those modes of repo'se or agita'tion, of ten'derness or sublime em'otion, which manifests its thi`rst/ for a more po'werful and jo'yful existence. To a man of a li'teral and prosa'ic ch ́aracter, the mind may seem law'less/ in these wo'rkings; but/ it observes higher-laws/ than it transgresses, (the law's of the immortal intellect ;) it is trying and developing its best fa'culties; a'nd/ in the o'bjects/ which it descri'bes, or in the emo`tions/ which it awakens, anticipates those states of progressive po'wer, sple'ndour, bea'uty and ha'ppiness, for whi'ch/ it was crea'ted.
We accordingly believe that p'oetry (far from injuring soc'iety) is one of the great instruments of its refi'nement and exaltation. It lifts the mind above o'rdinary-life, gives it a respite from pressing ca'res, and awakens the consciousness of its affi'nity/ with what is p'ure and no'ble. In its legitimate and highest efforts, it has the same t'endency and ai'm/ with Christianity; tha't is, to spiritualize our na'ture. True; poetry has been made the in'strument of v'ice, the pan'der of ba'd-passions; b'ut/ when genius thus sto'ops/, it dim's its fi'res, and parts with mu'ch of its power; and/ even when poetry is enslaved to licentiousness or misanthropy, she cannot who'lly forget her
*The relative pronouns, in whatever case they occur, require a paus before them, except when preceded by of; as " of whom," " of which," &