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guage, all its turns, breaks, and varieties, all its flows and harmonies, and all its learned allusions, were his. In Pope there is a monotony and technical mellifluence: in Milton there is strength with harmony, and simplicity with elevation. He is never stilted, never gilded with tinsel; never more cramped than if he were writing in prose: and, while he has all the elevation, he has all the freedom of unshackled language. render metre during a long poem unfatiguing, there must be an infinite diversity of combinations of sound and position of words, which no English bard but Milton has reached. Johnson, assuming that the English heroic line ought to consist of iambics, has tried it by false tests: it admits as many varied feet as Horace's Odes; and so scanned, all Milton's lines are accented right.

If we consider the "Paradise Lost" with respect to instruction, it is the deepest and the wisest of all the uninspired poems which ever were written and what poem can be good, which does not satisfy the understanding?

Of almost all other poems it may be said, that they are intended more for delight than instruction; and instruction in poetry will not do without delight: yet when to the highest delight is added the most profound instruction, what fame can equal the value of the composition? Such unquestionably is the compound merit of the "Paradise Lost." It is a duty imperious on him who has an intellect capable of receiving this instruction, not to neglect the cultivation of it: in him who understands the English language, the neglect to study this poem is the neglect of a positive duty here is to be found in combination what can be learned no where else.

There is a mode of presenting objects to the imagination, which purifies, sharpens, and exalts the mind: there may be mere sports of the imagination, which may be innocent, but fruitless. Such is never Milton's produce; he never indulges in mere ornament or display; his light is fire, and nutriment, and guidance: like the dawn of returning day to the vegetation of the earth, which dispels the noxious vapours of night, and pierces the incumbent weight of the air; it withdraws the mantle of dim shadows from common minds, and irradiates them with a shining lamp. As to what are called the figures of poetry, in which Pope deals so much, they are never admitted by the solid and stern richness of Milton. The generality even of the better classes of poetry is not the food of the mind, but its mere luxury; Milton's is its substance, its life, its essence he introduces the gravest, the most abstruse, the most learned topics into his poetry; and by a spiritual process, which he only possesses, converts them into the very essence of poetical inspiration. I assert, in defiance of Dryden, that there are no flats in Milton: inequalities there are; but they are not flats in Dryden's sense of the word. Dryden was a man of vigorous talent, but he was an artist in poetry: if active and powerful talent is genius, then he had genius; otherwise not: a clear perception and vigorous expression is not genius. Dryden had not a creative mind; Milton was all creation: we want new ideas, not old ones better dressed. Dryden thought that what was not worked up into a pointed iambic couplet was flat: he valued not the ore; he deemed that the whole merit lay in the use of the tool, and the skill of its application. Milton said, "I am content to draw the pure golden ore from the mine, and I will not weaken it by over polish."

The merit of Milton was, that he used his gigantic imagination to bring into play his immense knowledge. Heaven, Hell, Chaos, and the Earth, are stupendous subjects of contemplation: three of them we can conceive only by the strength of imagination; the fourth is partly exposed to our senses, but can be only dimly and partially viewed except through the same power. Who then shall dare to say, that the genius inost fitted to delineate and illustrate these shadowy and evanescent wonders, and who has executed this work in a manner exceeding all human

hope, has not performed the most instructive, as well as the most delightful of tasks? and who shall dare to deny that such a production ought to be made the universal study of the nation which brought it forth?

Before such a performance all technical beauties sink to nothing. The question is,-are the ideas mighty, and just, and authorized; and are they adequately expressed? If this is admitted, then ought not every one to read this poem next to the Bible? So thought Bishop Newton. But Johnson had the effrontery to assert, that though it may be read as a duty, it can give no pleasure: for this, Newton seems to have pronounced by anticipation the stigma due to him. Is any intellectual delight equal to that, which a high and sensitive mind derives from the perusal of innumerable passages in every book of this inimitable work of poetical fiction?-The very story never relaxes: it is thick-wove with inci. dent, as well as sentiment and argumentative grandeur: and how it closes, when the archangel waves the "flaming brand" over the eastern gate of Paradise; and, on looking back, Adam and Eve saw the "dreadful faces" and "fiery arms" that "throng'd" round it!-In what other poem is any passage so heart-rending and so terrible as this?-SIR EGERTON BRYDGES.

In Dante, and even more universally in Tasso, the terror of the sublimity is of the physical kind, and the impression is produced upon the imagination of the reader by the dread fidelity with which the picture is copied from some known or fancied reality: their demons have colossal size indeed, but they are furnished with the horns, the hoofs, the tails, and the talons of the monkish demonology of the Middle Ages: Milton's sublimest pictures, on the contrary, have none of this material or earthly horror about them, but are terrible thoughts, grim abstractions, whose lineaments are veiled and undefined, and which are only the more irresistible in the solemn dread they inspire, as they address themselves, so to say, not to the eye, but to the imagination: they are fragments of the primeval dark, passionless, formless, terrible. Speaking of Death, he says,

The other Shape,

If shape it might be call'd, that shape had none
Distinguishable, in member, form, or limb:

and again, in the same passage, which all the critics have agreed in calling one of the most wonderful embodiments of supernatural terror which ever was conceived by poet,

What seem'd his head

The likeness of a kingly crown had on.

In these and many other passages the poet seems perpetually on the point of giving way to that tendency so natural in the human mind, to describe; but his genius puts a bridle upon the realizing power, and the dread image is left in the awful vagueness of its mystery, becoming, like the veiled Isis, a thousand times more august and terrible from the cloud that shuts it from our eyes. The greatest of all poets, Homer, Eschylus, Shakspeare, not to mention the Hebrew Scriptures, are full of this kind of reticence, by which the grandeur of the object is rendered more terrible by the gloom and indefiniteness which surround it.

No language that we could use would be sufficiently strong to express the extent and exactness of this writer's learning; a word which we use in its largest and most comprehensive sense: no species of literature, no language, no book, no art or science seems to have escaped his curiosity, or resisted the combined ardour and patience of his industry. His works may be considered as a vast arsenal of ideas drawn from every region of human speculation, and either themselves the condensed quintessence of

knowledge and wisdom, or dressing and adorning the fairest and most majestic conceptions. If Shakspeare's immortal dramas are like the rich vegetation of a primeval paradise, in which all that is sweet, healing, and beautiful springs up uncultured from a virgin soil, the productions of Milton may justly be compared to one of those stately and magnificent gardens so much admired in a former age, in which the perceptible art and regularity rather sets off and adorns nature—a stately solitude perfumed by the breath of all home-born and exotic flowers, with lofty and airy music ever and anon floating through its moonlit solitudes, decorated by the divine forms of antique sculpture-now a Grace, a Cupid, or a NympŁ of Phidias; now a Prophet or a Sibyl of Michael Angelo.

In his delineation of what was perhaps the most difficult portion of his vast picture, the beauty, purity, and innocence of our first parents, he has shown not only a fertility of invention, but a severe and Scriptural purity of taste as surprising as it is rare. His Adam and Eve, without ceasing for a moment to be human, are beings worthy of the Paradise they inhabit.-SHAW.

Was there ever any thing so delightful as the music of the Paradise Lost? It is like that of a fine organ: it has the deepest tones of majesty, with all the softness and elegance of the Dorian flute; variety without end, and never equalled.-CowPER.

Among the victories gained by Milton, one of the most signal is that which he obtained over all the prejudices of Johnson, who was compelled to make a most vigorous, though evidently a reluctant effort, to do justice to the fame and genius of THE GREATEST OF ENGLISH POETS. SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH.

In Milton's mind there were purity and piety absolute: an imagination to which neither the past nor the present were interesting, except as far as they called forth and enlivened the great ideal in which and for which he lived; a keen love of truth, which, after many weary pursuits, found a harbour in a sublime listening to the still voice of his own spirit; and as keen a love of his country, which, after a disappointment still more depressive, expanded and soared into a love of man as a probationer of im mortality. These were, these alone could be the conditions under which such a work as the Paradise Lost could be conceived and accomplished. By a life-long study, Milton had known—

What was of use to know,
What best to say could say, to do had done;
His actions to his words agreed, his words
To his large heart gave utterance due; his heart
Contained of good, wise, fair, the perfect shape;

and he left the imperishable total, as a bequest to the ages coming, in the PARADISE LOST.-COLERIDge.

I wish the Paradise Lost were more carefully read and studied than I can see any ground for believing it is, especially those parts which, from the habit of always looking for a story in poetry, are scarcely read at all, -as, for example, Adam's vision of future events, in the 11th and 12th books. No one can rise from a perusal of this immortal poem, without a deep sense of the grandeur and purity of Milton's soul.-COLERIDGE.

No Poet, either ancient or modern, ever charmed me as Milton does; and frequently-nay, almost daily as I read him, it is always with increased delight. But it would require a tongue like his own to speak his praises. He invigorates our understanding, he purifies our affections, he lifts our hearts to God. His strains have never been equalled on Earth, and can only be excelled in Heaven.WILLIAM PETER.

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the nightly luminaries...... iv. 660
Viewing her sleeping...

Reply to him (accuses Eve)... x. 124
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him.

X. 197

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Reply to her (accusing herself

Guardians of mankind......... ix. 156

x. 1013

x. 1028

as the first in transgression) x. 947 Angels, fallen, their after-state i. 50, 239

Answer (to her reply, advising

to die by their own hands)..
Resolves the contrary (sub-

mission to God's will, and
repentance)

i. 331

Numbers....

V. 743

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Speech to Eve (on the efficacy
of prayer, &c.)...

iii. 678

xi. 141

Hails her the mother of man-
kind....

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/Discourse with Michael, dis-

covering to him in vision
what should happen in the

world till the flood..........xi. 450-867
Discourse with him, relating

what should happen to the

tion

Imbattelled against the An-
gels celestial..

Disposition to re-engage...

Their artillery-cannon, &c... vi. 572
Prevail

Entire defeat and expulsion

Transformed to serpents.......
Further punished with an il-

lusion of the forbidden fruit
Both annually continued......
Animals-See Creatures.

vi. 597

Apostles, their mission, &c....... xii. 439
Gift of the Holy Ghost.... xii. 497
Successors (wolves, false

teachers, &c. described)...... xii. 508

general resurrection.........xii. 13-551 Argument of the poem....

General reply to him (resolu-
tions of future obedience,
dependence on God's provi-
dence, &c.).

See Eve-Michael-Ra-

phael-Similes.

Adonis, a river in Syria.......
Adramelec and Asmadai, fallen
Angels, wounded and put
to flight....

Air first clouded on Adam's fall
Allusions-Sec Similes.

Amarant, a flower transplanted

Ariel, Arioc, and Ramiel van-
quished.....

xii. 552 Ark, its building described......

See Noah.

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from Paradise to Heaven... iii. 352
ii. 482
iv. 86

Ambition censured...

A cause of Satan's fall
Angels (celestial) obey God of

choice, not necessity
Imbattelled against Satan and
the fallen Angels......
Their signal, and march.
Signal to engage, and en-
gagement.

On Eve's parting with Adam
On their nakedness after the
fall

On his own blindness.
Azazel, Satan's standard-bearer
v. 535 Baalim and Ashtaroh
Babel, the city and tower, built
by Nimrod, &c.......

vi. 15
V. 56

vi. 202

Prevail

vi. 386

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The confusion of languages
there described..

xii. 53

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