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Page 121, line 2, for “ Quie" read “Chie".
1, for “ Balduchino" read “ Balducchino"
22, for “could” read "would.”
2, line 31, for “ pavements” read “ fragments."
line 40, foi “ Captain Gaswyne" read “ Captain Gascoyne."
line 43, for “ The part” read “ The fact."
“ Strange to the ear the oriental name
SAİNTED AT THE HERALD ERROS
In verbis tenuis, cautusque serenlis,
Horat: De Arte Poetica, 45.
Would you to fame a promised work produce,
And choice of words.- Francis.
In discussing the character and merits of Paradise Regained, it is scarcely possible not to refer, and that frequently, to Paradise Tuosi. On this mighty producuon of genius the smaller, but not less perfect. poen may be said to be as an attendant slar; the moon upon the earth,_" which else
Night would inrade; bat there the neighbouring moon,
Par. Lost. III 726. Milton himself was apparently of this opinion after the produce tion of his greater poem of Paradise Lost. The origin, however, of Paradise Regained is attributed to the suggestion of Ellwood, the the quaker, to whom Milton lent his Paradise Lost in manuscript. "I pleasantly said to him," says Ellwood, Thou hast said much of Paradise Lost, but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found ?” "On this hint he spake." Paradise Regained was marvellously, and almost as it were instantaneously, produced.
) Nor is the fastre of Paradise Regained at all diminished by the superior splendor of the mightier orb of Milton's genins. The light of both is « light from heaven." “1 at a loss to guess, – says an admirable judge of the question, *
*- " what there is of excellence wanting in this poem,”. We have already examined its liigher claims to our admiration, and to that species of immortality mlich the lollier creations of genius demand from the successive generations of mankind. We will now descend to the peculiar beauty and propriety of the style.
As, we have seen, action and mystery are the elements of Paradise Lost, so moral wisdom,
“ With her best nurse, CONTEMPLATION,"is to be found, as in her " sweet retired solitude,” in the calm and heanzisul porm of Paradise Regained. There is a sublime dignity in profound contemplation. The ferulity and depth of thought, and the superi. or clevation of feeling denrand fewer words. But those words should be select and faultless. The nianner should be dignified to a degree of awe. It is so in Milton. What can be finer than the pregnant conciseness, which is truly sublime, of our Lord's replies to some of Satan's most elaborately artlol speeches ? What
dignified and mcre awful than the calm self possession of his answer to the taimt of Satan when he set him on “the highest pinnacle" of the lemple ?
* Also it is written “ Tempt not the Lord thy God he said ; and stond." . The remainder of this passage is so spirited ; it shers such exquisite art in the poet, hy the rapid transition from the nervous and compressed style in which he describes the sublime and composed atiirude of Jesus, to the violent fall of the arch-apostate spirit; and it exhibits so happy a specimen of the style of Paradise Lost, appropriate to the action of the scene, that I cannot better illustrate my theory than by a transcription of the following.
< But Satan smitten with amazement fell.
Fell whence he stood to see his victor fall,
And as that Theban monster that propos'd
• Sir Egerton Brydgos.
That once found out and solr'd, for grief and spite
Paradise Regained. B. 4. 560-595. The parallel passage of Paradise Lost, descriptive of the more terrible fall of Satan from heaven, noble as it is, is scarcely if at all finer, though the action is more dreadful and sublinie, ihau these magnificent lines.
“ Him the Almighty Power
Par : Lost B. 1. 44. Is the above cited passage from Paradise Regained “composed in a lower and less striking style” than any single passage of Paradise Lost ?-Surely not. Here is no decay of the poet's faculty divine," nor is there “wanting the accomplishment i verse," which were displayed in his best and most vigorous days. In barmony of numbers, in sublimity of thought, and in beaniy of diction, it stands unrivalled by,- at least not interior 1,--any breathing of bis own celestial lyre. His classical allusions to Anlæus and Hercules, and the Theban Splinx, whom we almost see
"Cast herself beadlong from the Ismeuian steep;"
and the splendid similes which are made of them, are in his rery highest, and the very highest style of poetry. Yet we are told that Paradise Regained is without “ allusion to poets either ancient or modern."* If the transition from the STANDING of Jesus to the Fall of Satan be, as by all it must be allowed to be, striking and admirable, --how exquisite is the, as immediate, change of the style, from the apostate's plung of
“'Rain and desperation and dismay," to the reception of Jesus by
“ A fiery globe
As on a floating coucb, through the blithe air." The verse itself moves as on angel-wings; and as the gates of heaven,
“ Harmonious sound, On golde» binges moving."
Par: Lost B. II1. 206. The conception of this entire passage is as just and noble as the execution is perfect. The analogy with the Paradise Lost seems never to be lost sight of. One circumstance is peculiarly striking, and has not, so far as I remember, been noticed. The Tree of Life was forfeited by Adam's non-resistance of the Devil's templa. tion, and his conquest by the Templer. But immediately after the • Victory" of the “ second Adam”
“ Over temptation and the Tempter proud," He is refresbed with
" A table of celestial food, divine
Ambrosial fruits, fetched from the TREE OF LIFE." There is an angelic feast, though served up by human hands, for the entertainment of the angel kaphael in Paradise Lost; of wbich an able critic, to whose edition of Miliou I have tre
• See the Supplement to Tood's Edition of this poem. ? t It may be remarked, on the subject of Milton's versification, (of which we may have occasion to say more hereafter) that this passage of the opening of the gates of heaven, is one among almost innumerable instances of the perfection of his taste and of his ear. To the Angel Raphael, in the fifth Book, Heureu's
gate self-opened wide
On golden hinges turning.” To the Messiah it is
“ On golden hinges moring." The change of the one word of“ turning” for “ moving," improves, the melody in the somewhat comparative degree to the relative importance of the persons of the Angel Rophael, and of MESSIAH. None but the greatest uzastors buvo such exquisite louches.