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.. Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,
Rivers, or Mountains, on her spotted Globe. His Spear (to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian Hills to be the Maft Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand) He walk'd with, to support uneasy Steps Over the burning Marl TO which we may add his Call to the fallen Angels that lay plunged and stupified in the Sea of Fire.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep · Of Hell refounded.
BUT there is no single Passage in the whole Poem worked up to a greater Sublimity, than that wherein his Person is described in those celebrated Lines :
- He, above the rest
Stood like a Tower, &c. HIS Sentiments are every way answerable to his Character, and suitable to a created Being of the moft exalted and most depraved Nature. Such is that in which he takes Possession of his Place of Torments.
- Hail Horrors ! hail
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
Here at least
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n. AMIDST those Impieties which this Enraged Spirit utters in other places of the Poem, the Author has taken care to introduce none that is not big with absurdity, and incapable of shocking a Religious Reader ; his Words, as the Poet himself describes them, bearing only a Semblance
of Worth, not Substance. He is likewise with great Art de-
He now prepared
Tears such as Angels weep, burji forth "THE Catalogue of Evil Spirits has abundance of Learning in it, and a very agreeable turn of Poetry, which rises in a great measure from its describing the Places where they were worshiped, by those beautiful Marks of Rivers so frequent among the Ancient Poets. The Author. had doubtless in this place Homer's Catalogue of Ships, and Virgil's List of Warriors, in his View. The Charaềters of Moloch and Belial prepare the Reader's Mind for their res spective Speeches and Behaviour in the second and fixth Book. The Account of Thammuz is finely Romantick, and suitable to what we read among the Ancients of the Worship which was paid to that Idol.
Thammuz came next behind,
His Eye furvey'd the dark Idolatries.
THE Reader will Pardon me if I insert às a Note on this beautiful Passage, the Account given us by the late ingenious Mr. Maundrell of this Ancient Piece of Wor. ship, and probably the first Occafion of such a Superftition. - We came to a fair large River - doubtless the • Ancient River Adonis, so famous for the Idolatrous • Rites performed here in Lamentation of Adonis. We • had the Fortune to see what may be supposed to be the • Occasion of that Opinion which Lucian relates concern«ing this River, viz. That this Stream, at certain Sea• fons of the Year, especially about the Feast of Adonis, « is of a bloody Colour ; which the Heathens looked upon • as proceeding from a kind of Sympathy in the River • for the Death of Adonis, who was kili'd by a wild • Boar in the Mountains, 'out of which this Stream rises. • Something like this we saw actually come to pass ; • for the Water was stain'd to a surprising Redness; and, • as we observ'd in Travelling, had discolour'd the Sea a • great way into a reddish. Hue, occafion'd doubtless by a « fort of Minium, or red Earth, washed into the River « by the Violence of the Rain, and not by any Stain from • Adonis's Blood. .
THE Passage in the Catalogue, explaining the manner how Spirits transform themselves by Contraction or Enlargement of their Dimensions, is introduced with great Judgment, to make way for several surprizing Accidents in the Sequel of the Poem. There follows one, at the very End of the first Book, which is what the French Criticks call Marvellous, but at the same time probable by reason of the Passage last mentioned. As soon as the Infernal Palace is finished, we are told the Multitude and Rabble of Spirits immediately shrunk themselves into a small Com pass, that there might be Room for such a numberless Assembly in this capacious Hall. But it is the Poei's Refinement upon this Thought which I most admire, and which is indeed very noble in it self. For he tells us, that notwithstanding the vulgar, among the fallen Spirits, contracted their Forms, those of the firit Rank and Dignity still preserved their natural Dimensions.
Thus incorporeal Spirits to Smalléft Forms
Frequent and full THE Character of Mammon, and the Description of the Pandæmonium, are full of Beauties.
THERE are several other Strokes in the firit Book wonderfully poetical, and Instances of that Subliine Genius fo peculiar to the Author. Such is the Description: of Azazel's Stature, and of the Infernal Standard, which he unfurls; as also of that ghastly Light, by which the Feinds appear to one another in their Place of Torments.
The Seat of Defolation, void of Light,
Caffs pale and dreadful THE Shout of the whole Host of fallen Angels when drawn up in Battle Array :
- The universal Hojt up sent
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. THE Review, which the Leader makes of his In fernal Army.
He throʻ the armed files
He spake ; and to confirm his words out flew
The sudden Production of the Pandemonium; · Anon out of the Earth a Fabrick huge
Rore like an Exhalation, with the Sound
Of dulcet Symphonies aud Voices fweet.
From the arched Roof .
As from a Sky THERE are also several noble Similes and Allusions in the first Book of Paradise Lost. And here I must observe, that when Milton alludes either to Things or Persons, he never quits his Simile till it rises to some very great Idea, which is often foreign to the Occasion that gave. Birth to it. The Resemblance does not, perhaps, last above a Line or two, but the Poet runs on with the Hint till he has raised out of it some glorious Image or Sentiment, proper to inflame the Mind of the Reader, and to give it that sublime kind of Entertainment, which is suitable to the Nature of an Heroick Poem. Those, who are acquainted with Homer's and Virgil's way of Writing, cannot but be pleased with this kind of Structure in Milton's Similitudes. I am the more particular on this Head, because ignorant Readers, who have formed their Taste upon the quaint Similes, and little Turns of Wit, which are so much in Vogue among Modern Poets, cannot relish these Beauties which are of a much higher Nature, and are therefore apt to censure Milton's Comparisons in which they do not see any surprizing Points of Likeness. Monsieur Perrault was a Man of this vitiated Relish, and for that very Reason has endeavoured to turn into Ridicule several of Homer's Similitudes, which he calls Comparaisons à longue queue, Long-tail'd Comparisons. I shall conclude this paper on the First Book of Milton with the Answer which Monsieur Boileau makes to Perrault on this Occasion, • Comparisons, says he, in • Odes and Epic Poems, are not introduced only to illu• strate and embellish the Discourse, but to amuse and re• lax the Mind of the Reader, by frequently disengaging