« PreviousContinue »
“ So far the happier lot, enjoying thee “ Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou “ Like confort to thyself canst no where find, &c."
The remaining part of Eve's fpeech; in which she gives an account of herself upon her first creation, and the manner in which he was brought to Adam, is, I think, as beautiful a passage as any in Milton, or perhaps in any other poet whatsoever. These passages are all worked off with fo much art, that they are capable of pleafing the most delicate reader, without offending the most fevere:
“ That day I oft remember, when from sleep, &c.”
A poet of less judgment and invention than this great: author, would have found it very difficult to have filled these tender parts of the poem with sentiments proper for a state of innocence"; to have described the warmth of love, and the professions of it, without artifice or hyperbole ; to have made the man speak the most endearing things, without descending from his natural dignity, and the woman receiving them without departing from the modesty of her character ; in a word, to adjust the prerogatives of wisdom and beauty, and make each appear to the other in its proper force and lovelinefs. This mutual subordination of the two sexes is wonderfully kept up in the whole poem, as particularly in the speech of Eve I have before mentioned, and upon the conclufion of it in the following lines.
“ So spake our general mother, and with eyes
The poet adds, that the devil turned away with envy at the fight of so much happiness.
We have another view of our first parents in their evering discourses, which is full of pleasing images and fentiments suitable to their condition and characters. The
speech of Eve, in particular, is dressed up in fuck a fost and natural turn of words and sentiments, as cannot be sufficiently admired.
I shall close my reflexions upon this book, with observing the masterly tranfition which the poet makes to their evening worship in the following lines.
" Thus at their shady lodge arriv’d, both ftood, “ Both turn’d, and under open sky, ador'd “ 'The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heav'n, “ Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, “ And starry pole: thou also mad's the night, " Maker omnipotents and thou the day, &c."
Most of the modern heroic poets have imitated the anicients in beginning a speech without premising, that the person said thus or thus; but as it is easy to imitate the ancients in the omission of two or three words, it requires judgment to do it in such a manner as they shall not be miffed, and that the speech may begin naturally without them. There is a fie instance of this kind out of Homer, in the twenty-third chapter of Longinus.
, Number 305. The regulations -
youth, N. 260.
The effects of. it in the mind, N. 256.
try, N. 267. His sense of the greatness of the action
An observation of that critic's, ibid. One
Another of his obfervations,
Calamities, the merit of suffering patiently under
tion, N. 307 Censor of marriages, N. 30.8. Charity-schools, great initances of a public spirit, N.
294. Clavius, proving incapable of any other studies, became
a celebrated mathematician, N. 307. Comparisons in Homer and Milton, defended by Monsieur
Boileau against Monsieur Perrault, N. 303. Coquette's heart dissected, N. 281. Coverley (Sir Roger de) his return to town, and conver
sation with the Spectator in Gray's-Inn walks, N. 269.
His intended generosity to his widow, N. 295. Courtship, the pleasantest part of a man's life, N. 261. Credit undone with a whisper, N. 320. Criminal love, some account of the itate of it, N. 274. Critic, the qualities requisite to a good one, N. 291.
ing passages in history, N. 289.
cacy, N. 286. The standard of it, ibid. Dependents, objects of compassion, N. 282. Distreft Mother, a new tragedy, recommended by the Spectator, N. 290.
E. E Ating, drinking, and sleeping, with the generality of
people, the three important articles of life, N. 317: Education ; whether the education at a public school, or
under a private tutor, be to be preferred, N. 313. The advantage of a public education, ibid.
Elizabeth, (Queen) her medal on the defeat of the Spanish
Armada, N. 293.
302. Envy; the abhorrence of envy, a certain note of a great
mind, N. 253; Eyes; the prevailing influence of the eye instanced in
feveral particulars, N. 252.
Fame, the difficulty of obtaining and preserving it, N. 255. The inconveniencies attending the desire of
it, ibid. Fop, what sort of perfons deserve that character, N. 280. Fortune often unjustly complained of, N. 282. To be
controlled by nothing but infinite wisdom, N. 293. Fortune-stealers, who they are that set up for fuch,
N. 311. Distinguished from fortune-hunters, ibid. Fribblers, who, N. 288.
Government, what form of it the most reasonable, N. 287. Gracefulness of action, the excellency of it, N. 292. Greeks and Romans, the different methods observed by them in the education of their children, N. 313.
H. Homer's excellence in the multitude and variety of
his characters, N. 273. He degnerates sometimes into burlesque, N. 279. Honeycomb (Will) his great insight into gallantry, N.
265. His application to rich widow's, N. 311. Hoods, coloured, a new invention, N. 265.
ANE (Mrs.) a great pickthank, N. 272.
Idlenefs, a great distemper, 316. Jesuits their great fagacity in discovering the talent of a
young ftudent, N. 307. Indolence an enemy to virtue, N. 306.