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In the bosom of bliss, and light of light
610 In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke: For though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd, A fairer Paradise is founded now For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou A Saviour art come down to re-install
615 Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be,
strong way of expressing the Omnis Aristippum decuit color, et sentiment in ep. lxxiii. and in status, et res. other parts of his writings, Nulla 604. And thief of Paradise ;] sine Deo mens bona. Dunster. Thus, Par. Lost. iv. 192. where
The expression is much the Satan first enters Paradise; same, but far less dignified, in Il Penseroso, 91.
'So clomb this first grand thief into
God's fold; Th’immortal mind, that hath forsook Her mansion in this fleshly nook. supplanted, v. 607. is in the sense Spenser calls the body the soul's of supplantatus in Latin, overcome “fleshly form." F. Q. iii. v. 23. in wrestling, or having his heels T. Warton.
tripped up, as in Seneca, epist. 600. — whatever place, xiii. Dúnster.
Habit, or state, or motion, 605. Thou didst debel] Debela Probably not without allusion to lare superbos. Virg. Æn. vi. Horace, ep. i. xvii. 23.
Of Tempter and temptation without fear.
-semper me reppulit ipse, Or lightning)
Non armis ullis fretus, non viribus The poet does here, as in other places, imitate profane authors But all unarmed seems here to and Scripture both together. Like be an intended contrast to the an autumnal star, Agrig' ofwgryqs fine description of the Messiah syaAbyxiov. Iliad. v. 5. Or like driving the rebel angels out of lightning fall from heaven, Luke heaven, Par. Lost, vi. 76. x. 18. I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
He in celestial panoply all arm'd
Of radiant Urim, &c. 619. Par. Lost, iv. 556.
- swift as a shooting star In Autunun thwarts the night
628. From thy demoniac holds, trod down under his feet; so possession foul,] The duifionissa Romans xvi. 20. And the God usvos, or demoniacs of the Gospel, of peace shall bruise Satan under are constantly rendered in our your feet. The marginal reading version possessed with a detil. for bruise is tread. —In all her And Rev. xviii. 2. Babylon is gates— Matt. xvi. 18. The gates called, the habitation of devils, and of hell shall not prevail against it. the hold of every foul spirit. -yellDunster.
ing they shall fly, and beg to hide 624. Abaddon] The name of them in a herd of swine, &c. from the angel of the bottomless pit. Matt. viii. 28–32. and Rev. xx. Rev. ix. 11. Here applied to the 1–3. -Our Saviour meek, Matt. bottomless pit itself.
xi. 29. Learn of me, for I am 626. —all unarm’d.] So in meek, and lowly of heart. Dun. Vida's Christiad, i. 192. Satan ster. says of our Saviour,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,
Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek
638. — he unobserv'd
some pains, to shew the fitness Home to his mother's house pri- and propriety of giving the name vate return'd.]
of Paradise Regained to so conA striking contrast in the deli- fined a subject, as our Saviour's neation of circumstances in a temptation. Confined as the subcertain degree similar by great ject was, I make no question poets, strongly points out to us that he thought the Paradise their recollection of the prior Regained an epic poem as well description, for the purpose of as the Paradise Lost. For in adopting a manner totally differ- his invocation he undertakes ent, but calculated to produce
to tell of deeds no less effect sui generis. See the
Above heroic: note on v. 626. Another instance is the brief relation of the refresh- and he had no notion that an ment ministered to our Lord by epic poem must of necessity be angels, v. 587. compared with the formed after the example of Hocopious and embellished descrip- mer, and according to the pretion of the banquet in b. ii. And cepts of Aristotle. In the introthis very unadorned account of duction to the second book of our Lord's return from his pre- his Reason of Church-Government sent victory recals, in this re- he thus delivers his sentiments. spect, to our minds the sublime “ Time serves not now, and perpassage in the Paradise Lost, “haps I might seem too profuse where
“ to give any certain account of Sole victor from the expulsion of his
“ what the mind at home, in foes
“ the spacious circuits of her Messiah his triumphant chariot “ musing, hath liberty to proturn'd, &c.
“ pose to herself, though of highSee Par. Lost, vi. 880–892. " est hope, and hardest attemptDunster.
“ ing; whether that epic form 639. In the concluding hymn “whereof the two poems of of the angels, the poet has taken “ Homer, and those other two
" of Virgil and Tasso are a dif- books, than such as naturally os fuse, and the book of Job a occurred to a mind so thoroughly " brief model: or whether the tinctured and seasoned, as his “ rules of Aristotle herein are was, with all kinds of learning. “ strictly to be kept, or nature Mr. Thyer makes the same ob" to be followed, which in them servation, particularly with re" that know art, and use judg- gard to the Italian poets. From “ ment, is no transgression, but the very few allusions, says he, " an enriching of art.” We see to the Italian poets in this poem that he looked upon the book of one may draw, I think, a pretty Job, as a brief model of an epic conclusive argument for the repoem: and the subject of Para- ality of those pointed out in the dise Regained is much the same notes upon Paradise Lost, and as that of the book of Job, shew that they are not, as some a good man triumphing over may imagine, mere accidental temptation: and the greatest part coincidences of great geniuses of it is in dialogue as well as the writing upon similar subjects. book of Job, and abounds with Admitting them to be such only, moral arguments and reflections, no tolerable reason can be aswhich were more natural to that signed why the same should not season of life, and better suited occur in the same manner in Milton's age and infirmities than the Paradise Regained: whereas gay florid descriptions. For by upon the other supposition of Mr. Elwood's account, he had their being real, the difference not thought of the Paradise Re- of the two poems in this respect gained, till after he had finished is easily accounted for. It is the Paradise Lost: (see the Life very certain, that Milton formed of Milton :) the first hint of it was his first design of writing an suggested by Elwood, while Mil- epic poem very soon after his ton resided at St. Giles Chalfont return from Italy, if not before, in Buckinghamshire during the and highly probable that be then plague in London; and after intended it after the Italian wards when Elwood visited him model, as he says, speaking of in London, he shewed him the this design in his. Reason of poem finished, so that he was Church-Government, that “he not long in conceiving, or long“ applied himself to that resoluin writing it: and this is the “tion which Ariosto followed reason why in the Paradise Re “ against the persuasions of Bemgained there are much fewer imi. “bo, to fix all the art and intations of, and allusions to, other “dustry he could unite to the authors, than in the Paradise “ adorning of his native tongue" Lost. The Paradise Lost he was and again that he was then long in meditating, and had laid meditating " what king or knight in a large stock of materials, « before the Conquest might be which he had collected from all “ chosen in whom to lay the authors ancient and modern: but “ pattern of a Christian hero, as in the Paradise Regained he « Tasso gave to a prince of Italy composed more from memory, « his choice, whether he would and with no other help from “ command him to write of God. “ frey's expedition against the serves Bp. Newton, do the two “ Infidels, or Belisarius against last books of the Iliad. “With “the Goths, or Charlemagne " the fall of our first parents," “ against the Lombards." This says Dr. Blair, “ Milton's genius would naturally lead him to a seems to decline;" and, though frequent perusal of the choicest he admits the angel's shewing wits of that country; and al. Adam the fate of his posterity to though he dropt his first scheme, be happily imagined, “ the exeand was some considerable time “cution," he adds," is languid." before he executed the present Mr. Addison observes, that though work, yet still the impressions the two last books of the Parahe had first received would be dise Lost were not looked upon fresh in his imagination, and he as the most shining books of the would of course be drawn to poem, they ought not to be conimitate their particular beauties, sidered as unequal parts of it. though he avoided following Perhaps they might be defended them in his general plan. The by other arguments, and justified case was far otherwise when the in a more effectual manner, than Paradise Regained was com- has been done by Mr. Addison ; posed. As Mr. Elwood informs but it is certainly fortunate when us, Milton did not so much as the subject and plan of an epic think of it till he was advanced poem are such, that in the con. in years, and it is not very likely, clusion it may rise in dignity considering the troubles and in- and sublimity, so as to excite to firmities he had long laboured the very last the attention and under, that his studies had been admiration of the reader. This much employed about that time last book of the Paradise Reamong the sprightly Italians, or gained is one of the finest conindeed any writers of that turn. clusions of a poem that can be Consistent with this supposition produced. The Book of Job. we find it of a quite different which has been supposed to have stamp, and instead of allusions been our author's model, mateto poets either ancient or mo- rially resembles it in this respect, dern, it is full of moral and phi- and is perhaps the only instance losophical reasonings, to which that can be put in competition sort of thoughts an afflicted old with it. It has been remarked, age must have turned our au- that there is not a single simile thor's mind.
in the First Iliad: neither do 639. It has been observed of we meet with one in the three almost all the great Epic poems, first books of the Paradise Rethat they fall off, and become gained. In the beginning of the languid, in the conclusion. The fourth book the poet introduces six last books of the Æneid, and an Homeric cluster of similies; the twelve last of the Odyssey, which seems to mark an intenare inferior to the preceding tion of bestowing more poetical parts of those poems. In the decoration on the conclusion of Paradise Lost the two last books the poem than on the preceding fall short of the majesty and sub- parts of it. They who talk of limity of the rest: and so, ob- our author's genius being on the