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Innumerable are the beauties of this agreeable kind that might be drawn from the poets, both ancient and modern. Those who would see more of thefe descriptive beauties, may abundantly gratify their curiosity in our volume of Rhetoric, where many are inferted to illustrate the figures in that science. It is to be observed, however, that those where the tender pastions are concern'd, are not only more affecting, but often more pleasing than others, as may be feen by this speech of Eve to Adam, in Milton's Paradise Lost ; and by other passages which we shall infert from that ever to be admired poem.
With thee converfing, I forget all time,
All feasons and their change, all please alike:
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rifing sweet
With charm of earlieft birds, pleasant the fun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After foft showers, and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild : then filent night
With this her folemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train.
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds ; nor rifing fun
On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flow'r,
Glift'ring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
Nor grateful evening mild, nor filent night
With this her folemn bird ; nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet.
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
With treffes difcompos'd, and glowing cheek
As though unquiet rest: he on his fide
Leaning half-rais'd, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
Beauty, which whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces: then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand foft touching, whisper'd thus; awake
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight,
Awake; the morning fhines, and the fresh field
Calls us, we lose the prime to mark how spring
Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrtle, what the balmy reed ;
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom, extraćting liquid sweet.
Such whisp’ring wak'd her, but with startled eye •
On Adam, whom embracing, thus fhe fpoke-
O sole, in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfećtion, glad I fee
Thy face, and morn return’d
The passage relating to Eve's dream, where she fancies herself awakened by Adam, is extremely beautiful ; and will appear the more fo, when we confider that it was a dream in which the devil is supposed to have tainted her imagination by instilling into her mind those high conceits engendering pride.
Clofe at mine ear, one call'd me forth to walk
With gentle voice, I thought it thine ; it faid,
Why sleep’ft thou Eve ? now is the pleasant time,
The coọl, the filent, fave where filence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd fong : now reigns
Full orb'd the moon, and with more pleafing light
Shadowy fets off the face of things; in vain,
If none regard; heav'n wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, nature's defire ?
In whose fight all things joy, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze !
That part of the narration, where Adam is faid to have
In that part of the Episode where Adam relates to the angel the circumstances he found himself in upon his creation, the author has raised our curiofity, and he has abundantly gratified it ; for nothing could on that occafion have been better conceived, or better exprefied, especially the account Adam gives of the posture he found himself in, the landfcape round him, his address to the fun, and of the dream in which he beheld the formation of Eve.
As new wak’d from foundest fleep,
Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the fun
Soon dry'd, and on the reaking moisture fed.
Strait toward heav'n my wand'ring eyes I turn'd,
And gaz'd a while the ample sky, till rais'd
By quick instinćtive motion up I sprung,
As thitherward endeavouring, and upright
Stood on my feet : about me round I faw
Hill, dale, and shady woods, and funny plains,
And liquid lapse of murm'ring streams ; by thefe,
Creatures that liv'd, and mov'd, and walk’d, or flew,
Birds on the branches warbling ; all things smil'd :
With fragrance and with joy my heart o’erflow'd.
–Thou fun, faid I, fair light,
And thou enlighten’d earth, fo fresh and gay,
Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains,
And ye that live and move, fair creatures tell,
Tell if you faw, how came I thus, how here ?
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Man like, but different fex : So lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her fumm’d up, in her contain'd,
And in her looks, which from that time infus’d
Sweetnefs into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her air inspir’d
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
After receiving fome admonitions from the angel, Adam explains himself on the subjećt of his love for Eve, in order to prove that his paffion was founded on reason, and therefore, though violent, not improper for Paradise.
Neither her outfide form fo fair, nor ought
In procreation common to all kinds
(Though higher of the genial bed by far,
And with mysterious reverence Ideem)
So much delights me as those graceful aćts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and aćtions mixt with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one foul.
The force of Adam's love, which we have already been describing, is exemplify'd towards the latter end of the work
observes, from a difference of judgment, not of paffion ; it is
Her long with ardent look his eye purfued
Delighted, but defiring more her stay.
Oft he to her his charge of quick return
Repeated ; she to him as oft engag'd
To be return’d by noon amid the bow’r.
. His impatience for her return, and his employment dur. ing her absence, are most beautifully expressed. ,
Adam the while
Waiting defirous her return, had wove
Of choicest flow’rs a garland to adorn
Her trestes, and her royal labours crown,
As reapers oft are wont their harvest queen.
Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, fo long delay'd.
But his affection is more particularly and emphatically expressed in the speech he makes on seeing her irrecoverably loft. Some cursed fraud | Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown, And me with thee hath ruin’d, for with thee Certain my resolution is to die; How can I live without thee, how forego | Thy sweet converse, and love fo dearly join'd, ! | To live again in these wild woods forlorn ? it';
Should God create another Eve, and I :
Another rib afford, yet lofs of thee -
Would never from my heart : no, no, I feel
The link of nature draw me : flesh of flesh, *
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, blifs or woe.
After this determination, Adam is represented as partaking of the forbidden fruit, the effećts of which rash action are thus defcribed; though rather in the sublime than the agreeable. He fcrupled not to eat Against his better knowledge, not deceiv'd, But fondly overcome with female charm. Earth trembled from her entrails, as again In pangs, and nature gave a fecond groan, Sky lour'd, and muttering thunder, fome fad drops Wept at compleating of the mortal fin.
Adam, whose paffions had now gained the dominion over him, is represented as upbraiding Eve for the lofs of Paradife, whom he spurns from him with indignation. This paffage, in which she renews her addresies to him, is, in the opinion of the best judges, extremely pathetic and affecting.
He added not, and from her turn’d ; but Eve -
Not fo repuls'd, with tears that ceas'd not flowing,
And trefies all diforder’d, at his feet
Fell humble ; and embracing them, befought
His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.
Forsake me not thus, Adam ! Witness heav'n