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But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revelers, the race
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears 35
To rapture, till the savage clamor drown'd
Both harp and voice ; nor could the Muse defend
Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art heav'nly, she an empty

dream. : Say Goddess, what ensued when Raphaël, 40 The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn’d

Adam ble him to soar to such highths, as no 40. - what ensued when Raphaël, human genius ever reached before ? &c.] Longinus has observed, 31.— and fit audience find, though that there may be a loftiness in sen

few.) He had Horace in timents, where there is no paffion, mind, Sat. I. X. 73.

and brings instances out of ancient -neque te ut miretur turba, labores, The pathetic, as that great critic

authors to support this his opinion. Contentus paucis lectoribus.

observes, may animate and inflame 33. Of Bacchus and his revelers,] the sublime, but is not essential to it. It is not improbable that the poet Accordingly, as he further remarks, intended this as an oblique fatir upon we very often find that those who the diffoluteness of Charles the se- excel most in stirring up the passions, cond and his court; from whom he very often want the talent of writing seems to apprehend the fate of Or. in the great and sublime manner, pheus, a famous poet of Thrace, and so on the contrary. Milton has who tho' he is said to have charm'd shown himself a master in both these woods and rocks with his divine ways of writing. The seventh book, fongs, yet was torn to pieces by the which we are now entring upon, is Bacchanalian women on Rhodope a an instance of that sublime, which mountain of Thrace, nor could the is not mixed and worked up with Muse Calliope his mother defend passion. The author appears in a him. So fail not thou, wbo thee im- kind of composed and sedate maplores; nor was his wish ineffectual, jesty; and tho' the sentiments do for the government suffer'd him to not give so great an emotion, as those live and die unmolested.

in the former book, they abound

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Adam by dire example to beware
Apostasy, by what befel in Heaven
To those apoftates, left the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,

45
Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,
If they transgress, and light that fole command,
So easily obey'd amid the choice
Of all tastes else to please their appetite,
Though wand'ring. He with his conforted Eve 50
The story heard attentive, and was fillid
With admiration and deep muse, to hear
Of things so high and strange, things to their thought
So unimaginable as hate in Heaven,

And with as magnificent ideas. The fixth Aame from another, and writes in book, like a troubled ocean, repre- his spirit, without copying fervily sents greatness in confusion; the se- after him. There are a thousand venth affects the imagination like shining passages in Virgil, which the ocean in a calm, and fills the have been lighted up by Homer. mind of the reader, without pro. Milton, tho' his own natural strength ducing in it any thing like tumult of genius was capable of furnithing or agitation. The critic above men- out a perfect work, has doubtless tion'd, among the rules which he very much raised and ennobled bis lays down for succeeding in the sub- conceptions, by such an imitation as lime way of writing, proposes to his that which Longinus has recomreader, that he should imitate the mended. In this book, which gives most celebrated authors who have us an account of the six days works, gone before him, and been engaged the poet received very few assistances in works of the same nature; as in from Heathen writers, who were particular, that if he writes on a strangers to the wonders of creation. poetical subject, he should consider But as there are many glorious how Homer would have spoken on strokes of poetry upon this subject fuch an occasion. By this means in holy Writ, the author has numone great genius often catches the berless allusions to them through the

whole

55

65

And war fo near the peace of God in bliss
With such confusion: but the evil soon
Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam foon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose : and now 60
Led on, yet finless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him, how this world
Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous first began,
When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within Eden or without was done
Before his memory, as one whose drouth
Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream,

Whose whole course 'of this book. The the like befall to Adam or his race, if great critic I have before mention'd, they transgress, &c. though an Heathen, has taken notice of the sublime manner in which 50. - He with his conforted E-ve] the Lawgiver of the Jews has de. Conforted from Confort, Cum confcribed the creation in the first chap- forte tori, as Ovid says, Met. I. ter of Genesis; and there are many 319. other passages in Scripture which rise up to the fame majesty, where 59.-Whence Adam foon repeal'd this subject is touched upon, Milton The doubts that in his heart arose:] has shown his judgment very re. Dr. Bentley would read dispells: markably, in making use of such of but if an alteration were necessary, these as were proper for his poem, I lould rather read repellid, as in and in duly qualifying those high ver. 610. we have their counsels firains of eastern poetry, which were vain Thou hast repell’d. But in the suited to readers, whose imagina- same sense as a law is said to be retions were set to a higher pitch than peal'd, when an end is put to all the those of colder climates. Addison. force and effect of it ; so, when

47. If they transgress, &c.] We doubts are at an end, they may be mould observe the connexion ; Lejt said to be repealed. Pearce.

69. Pro

Whofe liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heav'nly guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our ears, 70
Far differing from this world, thou hast reveald,
Divine interpreter, by favor sent
Down from the empyréan to forewarn
Us timely' of what might else have been our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach:
For which to th' infinitely Good we owe

76 Immortal thanks, and his admonishment Receive with folemn purpose to observe Immutably his fovran will, the end Of what we are. But since thou haft vouchsaf'd 80 Gently for our instruction to impart

Things 69. Proceeded thus &c.] The con 72. Divine interpreter,] So Merstruction is, And led on with defire to cury is call'd in Virgil Interpres Diknow &c proceeded thus to ask bis vum, Æn. IV. 378. beav'nly gueft. 70. Great things, &c.] Adam's

79.

the end speech to the Angel, wherein he Of what we are.] The will of desires an account of what had pas. God is the end to which all we are; fed within the regions of nature be thou hast created all things, and for fore the creation, is very great and thy pleasure they are, and were created, folemn. The following lines, in Rev. IV. 11. which he tells him, that the day is not too far spent for him to enter 88. — and this which yields or fills upon fuch a subject, are exquisite in All space, the ambient air wide their kind.

interfüs’d] Yields space to all And the great light of day yet bodies, and again fills up the dewants to run

serted space so as to be fubfervient Much of his race &c. Addifon. to motion. Richardson. Ambient

interfusa

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90

Things above earthly thought, which yet concern'd
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seem’d,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less perhaps avail us known, 85
How first began this Heav'n which we behold
Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd
Innumerable, and this which yields or fills
All space, the ambient air wide interfus’d
Embracing round this florid earth, what cause
Mov’d the Creator in his holy rest
Through all eternity fo late to build
In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Absoly'd, if unforbid thou may'st unfold
What we, not to explore the secrets ask 95

Of infer fuid denotes the air not only And that can never be a just excepfurrounding the earth, but nowing tion against this time, which holds into and spun out betweeen all bo- equally against all time. It must be dies ; and is a fuller and finer nota- resolved into the good will and pleation of its liquid and spiritual tex- fure of almighty God; but there is ture, leaving no Vacuum in nature a farther reason according to Milthan that of Ovid,

ton's hypothefis, which is that God, Nec circumfuso pendebat in aere after the expelling of Satan and his tellus. Met. I. 12. Hume. Angels out of Heaven, declar'd his

pleasure to supply their place by 92. — lo late to build] It is a creating another world, and other question that has been often asked, creatures to dwell therein. Why God did not create the world fooner? but the fame question might 94. Abfolu'd,] FinishPd, combe asked, if the world had been pleted, perfected, from Abfolutus created at any time, for fill there (Latin.)" Richardson. were infinite ages before that time.

98. And

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