Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

prevailed upon, you must excuse me if I lay the fault Canidia, a lady of this latter species, passed by me upon them, that their wisdom is not grown with their yesterday in a coach. Canidia was a haughty beauty years. My client, Mr. Strephon, whom you sum- of the last age, and was followed by crowds of adorers, moned to declare himself, gives you thanks however whose passions only pleased her, as they gave her for your warning, and begs the favour only to en. opportunities of playing the tyrant. She then conlarge his time for a week, or to the last day of the tracted that awful cast of the eye and forbidding term, and then he will appear gratis, and pray no frown, which she has not yet laid aside, and basstill day over. “'Yours,

all the insolence of beauty without its charms. If

PHILANTHROPOS." she now attracts the eyes of any beholders, it is only “MR. SPECTATOR,

by being remarkably ridiculous; even her own sex " I was last night to visit a lady whom I much laugh at her affectation; and the men, who always esteem, and always took for my friend; but met enjoy an ill-natured pleasure in seeing an imperious with so very different a reception from what I ex. | beauty humbled and neglected, regard her with the pected, that I cannot help applying myself to you same satisfaction that a free nation sees a tyrant in on this occasion. In the room of that civility and disgrace. familiarity I used to be treated with by her, an af. Will Honeycomb, who is a great admirer of the fected strangeness in her looks, and coldness in her gallantries in King Charles the Second's reign, behaviour, plainly told me I was not the welcome lately communicated to me a letter written by a wit guest which the regard and tenderness she has often of that age to his mistress, who it seems was a lady expressed for me gave me reason to flatter inyself to of Canidia's humour; and though I do not always think I was. Sir, this is certainly a great fault, and approve of my friend Will's taste, I liked this letter I assure you a very common one'; therefore I hope so well, that I took a copy of it, with which I shall you will think it a rit subject for some part of a

here

present my reader: Spectator. Be pleased to acquaint us how we must

“ To Cloe. behave ourselves towards this valetudinary friend.

* MADAM, ship, subject to so many heats and colds, and you will oblige, “Sir, your humble Servant,

“ Since my waking thoughts have never been “ MIRANDA."

able to influence you in my favour, I ain resolvert to try whether my dreams can make any impression

on you. To this end I shall give you an account of “I cannot forbear acknowledging the delight your a very odd one which my fancy presented to mo last late Spectators on Saturdays have given me; for night, within a few hours after I left you. they are writ in the honest spirit of criticism, and called to my mind the following four lines I had read the most delicious place nine eyes ever beheld : it

“ Methought I was unaccountably conveyed into long since in a prologue to a play called Julius was a large valley divided by a river of the pures, Cæsar, * which has deserved a better fate. The

water I had ever seen. The ground on each side of verses are addressed to the little critics :

it rose by an easy ascent, and was covered with Show your small talent, and let that suffice ye : Aowers of an infinite variety, which, as they were But grow not vain upon it, I advise ye.

reflected in the water, doubled the beauties of the For every pop can find out faults in plays : You'll ne'er arrive at knowing when to praise.

place, or rather formed an imaginary scene more beautiful than the real. On each side of the river

was a range of lofty trees, whose boughs were loaded T.

“ D. G."

with alınost as many birds as leaves. Every tree

was full of harmony. No. 301.] THURSDAY, FEB. 14, 1711-12. “I had not gone far in this pleasant valley, whev

I perceived that it was terminated by a most mag Possint ut juvenes visere fervidi

nificent temple. The structure was ancient and Dilapsam in cineres facem.-Hor. 4 Od. xiii. 26. regular. On the top of it was figured the god SaThat all may laugh to see that glaring light,

turn, in the same shape and dress as the poete Which lately shone so fierce and bright,

usually represent Time. End in a stink at last, and vanish into night-Anon.

As I was advancing to satisfy my curiosity by We are generally so much pleased with any little a nearer view, I was stopped by an object far more accomplishments, either of body or mind, which beautiful than any I had before discovered in the have once made us remarkable in the world, that we whole place. I fancy, Madam, you will easily guess endeavour to persuade ourselves it is not in the that this could hardly be any thing but yourself: in power of time to rob us of them. We are eternally reality it was so ; you lay extended on the flowers pursuing the same methods which first procured us by the side of the river, so that your bands, which the applauses of mankind. It is from this notion were thrown in a negligent posture, almost touched that an author writes on, though he is come to the water. Your eyes were closed; but if your dotage; without ever considering that his memory sleep deprived me of the satisfaction of seeing them, is impaired, and that he hath lost that life, and those it left me at leisure to contemplate several other spirits, which formerly raised his fancy, and fired charms which disappear when your eyes are open. I his imagination. The same folly hinders a man could not but admire the tranquillity you slept in, fronı submitting his behaviour to his age, and makes especially when I considered the uneasiness you Clodius, who was a celebrated dancer at five-and. produce in so many others. twenty, still love to hobble in a minuet, though he “ While I was wbolly taken up in these reflecis past threescore. It is this, in a word, which fills tions, the doors of the temple flew open, with a very the town with eiderly fops and superannuated co- great noise; and lifting up my eyes, I saw two quettes.

figures in human shape, coming into the valley. A tragedy by William Alexander, Eari of Stirling, fol. and Love. The first was encircled with a kind of

Upon a nearer survey, I found them to be Youth 1629, and much the most reg

purple light, that spread a glory over all the place :

“ Yours,

Multo non sine rigu,

and dramatic

ece of this

noble author.

the other held a flaming torch in his hand. I could it more proper for a correspondent than the Specobserve, that all the way as they came towards us tator himself to write, I submit it to your better the colours of the flowers appeared more lively, the judgment, to receive any other model you think fit. trees shot out in blossoms, the birds threw themselves

“ I am, Sir, into pairs, and serenaded them as they passed: the

Your very humble Servant." whole face of cature glowed with new beauties. They were no sooner arrived at the place where There is nothing which gives one so pleasing a you lay, than they seated themselves on each side prospect of human nature, as the contemplation of of you. On their approach methought I saw a new wisdom and beauty: the latter is the peculiar por. bloom arise in your face, and new charms diffuse tion of that sex which is therefore called fair; but themselves over your whole person. You appeared the happy concurrence of both these excellences in more than mortal; but, to my great surprise, con- the same person, is a character too celestial to be tinued fast asleep, though the two deities made se- frequently met with. Beauty is an over-weening veral gentle efforts to awaken you.

self-sufficient thing, careless of providing itself any “ After a short time, Youth" (displaying a pair of more substantial ornaments; nay, so little does it wings, which I had not before taken notice of) few consult its own interests, that it too often defeats off. Love still remained, and holding the torch itself, by betraying that innocence, which renders which he had in his hand before your face, you still it lovely and desirable. As therefore virtue makes appeared as beautiful as ever. The glaring of the a beautiful woman appear more beautiful, so beauty light in your eyes at length awakened you; when, makes a virtuous woman really more virtuous. to my great surprise, instead of acknowledging the Whilst I am considering these two perfections glofavour of the deity, you frowned upon him, and riously united in one person, I cannot help represtruck the torch out of his band into the river. The senting to my mind the image of Emilia. god, after having regarded you with a look that Who ever beheld the charming Emilia, without spoke at once bis pity and displeasure, few away. feeling in his breast at once the glow of love, and Immediately a kind of gloom overspread the whole the tenderness of virtuous friendship? The unplace. At the same time I saw a hideous spectre studied graces of her behaviour, and the pleasing enter at one end of the valley. His eyes were sunk accents of her tongue, insensibly draw you on to into his head, his face was pale and withered, and wish for a nearer enjoyment of them; but even her his skin puckered up in wrinkles. As he walked miles carry in them a silent reproof to the impulses on the sides of the bank the river froze, the lowers of licentious love. Thus, though the attractives of faded, the trees shed their blossoms, the birds her beauty play almost irresistibly upon you, and dropped from off the boughs, and fell dead at his create desire, you immediately stand corrected, not feet. By these marks I knew him to be Old Age. by the severity, but the decency, of her virtue. That You were seized with the utmost horror and amaze- sweetness and good-humour, which is so visible in ment at his approach. You endeavoured to have her face, naturally diffuses itself into every word and fled, but the phantom caught you in his arms. You action : a man must be a savage, who, at the sight may easily guess at the charge you suffered in this of Emilia, is not more inclined to do her good, than embrace. For my own part, though I am still too gratify himself. Her person as it is thus studiously full of the dreadful idea, I will not shock you with embellished by nature, thus adorned with unpremea description of it. I was so startled at the sight, ditated graces, is a fit lodging for a mind so fair and that my sleep immediately left me, and I found lovely; there dwell rational piety, modest hope, and myself awake, at leisure to consider of a dream cheerful resignation. which seems too extraordinary to be without a Many of the prevailing passions of mankind do meaning. I am, Madam, with the greatest passion, undeservedly pass under the name of religion ; “ Your most cbedient,

which is thus made to express itself in action, &cX most humble Servant," &c.

cording to the nature of the constitution in which it resides; so that were we to make a judgment from

appearances, one would imagine religion in some is No. 302.] FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1711-12. little better than sallenness and reserve, in many

fear, in others the despondings of a melancholy comLachrymæque decora, Gratior et pulchro veniens in corpore virtus.

plexion, in others the formality of insignificant un

affecting observances, in others severity, in others Becoming sorrows, and a virtuous mind

ostentation. In Emilia it is a principle founded in More lovely in a beauteous form inshrin'd.

reason, and enlivened with hope ; it does not break I READ what I give for the entertainment of this forth into irregular fits and sallies of devotion, but day with a great deal of pleasure, and publish it it is a uniform and consistent tenour of action; it just as it came to my hands. I shall be very glad is strict without severity, compassionate without to find there are many guessed at for Emilia. weakness; it is the perfection of that good-humour "MR. SPECTATOR,

which proceeds from the understanding, not the effect

of an easy constitution. “ If this paper has the good fortune to be ho- By a generous sympathy in nature, we feel our. Roured with a place in your writings, I shall be selves disposed to inourn when any of our fellowthe more pleased, because the character of Emilia creatures are afflicted; but injured innocence and is not an imaginary but a real one. I have indus- beauty in distress is an object that carries in it triously obscured the whole by the addition of one something inexpressibly moving; it softens the most or two circumstances of no consequence, that the manly heart with the tenderest sensations of love person it is drawn from might still be concealed; and compassion, until at length it confesses its huand that the writer of it might not be in the least manity, and flows out into tears. suspected, and for some other reasons, I choose not Were I to relate that part of Emilia’s life which to give it in the form of a letter : but if, besides has given her an opportunity of exerting the heroism be faults of the composition, there be any thing in of Christianity, it would make too sad, too tender a

VIRG. Æn. v. 343.

story; but when I consider her alone in the midst having at first brought him not to dislike, and at of her distresses, looking beyond this gloomy vale length to be pleased with that which otherwise be of affliction and sorrow, into the joys of heaven and would not have bore to hear of, she then knew how immortality, and when I see her in conversation to press and secure this advantage, by approving it thoughtless and easy, as if she were the most happy as his thought, and seconding it as his proposal, creature in the world, I am transported with admi. By this means she has gained an interest in somo ration. Surely never did such a philosophic soul of his leading passions, and made them accessary inhabit such a beanteous form! For beauty is often to his reformation. made a privilege against thought and reflection; it There is another particular of Emilia's conduct laughs at wisdom, and will not abide the gravity of which I cannot forbear mentioning: to some, perits instructions.

haps, it may at first sight appear but a trifling inWere I able to represent Emilia’s virtues in their considerable circumstance; but, for my pari

, i proper colours, and their due proportions, love or think it highly worthy of observation, and to be reHattery might perhaps be thought to bave drawn the commended to the consideration of the fair sex. I picture larger ihan lie; but as this is but an imper- have often thought wrapping-gowns and dirty linen, fect draught of so excellent a character, and as I with all that huddled economy of dress which passes cannot, I will not, hope to have any interest in her under the name of " a mob,” the bane of conjugal person, all that I can say of her is but impartial love, and one of the readiest means imaginable to praise extorted from me by the prevailing brightness alienate the affection of a husband, especially a fond of her virtues. So rare a pattern of female excel- one. I have heard some ladies who have been sur. lence ought not to be concealed, but should be set prised by company in such a dishabille, apologize out to the vicw and imitation of the world; for how for it after this manner : “ Truly, I am ashamed to amiable does virtue appear thus, as it were, made be caught in this pickle: but my husband and I visible to us, in so fair an example !

were sitting all alone by ourselves, and I did not Honoria's disposition is of a very different turn : expect to see such good company.' This, by the her thoughts are wholly bent upon conquest and ar- way, is a fine compliment to the good man, which it bitrary power. That she has some wit and beauty is ten to one but he returns in dogged answers and nobody denies, and therefore has the esteem of all a churlish behaviour, without knowing what it is her acquaintance as a woman of an agreeable per. that puts him out of humour. son and conversation ; but (whatever her husband Emilia’s observation teaches her, that as little inmay think of it) that is not sufficient for Honoria: advertencies and neglects cast a blemish upon a she waves that title to respect as a mean acquisi- great character; so the neglect of apparel, even tion, and demands veneration in the right of an among the most intimate friends, does insensibly idol; for this reason, her natural desire of life is lessen their regards to each other, by creating a facontinually checked with an inconstant fear of miliarity too low and contemptible. She under. wrinkles and old age.

stands the importance of those things which the geEmilia cannot be supposed ignorant of her per. nerality account trifles; and considers every thing sonal charms, though she seems to be so; but she as a matter of consequence that has the least tenwill not hold her happiness upon so precarious a dency towards keeping up or abating the affection tenure, whilst her mind is adorned with beauties of of her husband: him she esteems as a fit object to a more exalted and lasting nature. When in the employ her ingenuity in pleasing, because he is to full bloom of youth and beauty we saw her sur- be pleased for life. rounded with a crowd of adorers, she took no plea- By the help of these, and a thousand other name. sure in slaughter and destruction, gave no false less arts, which it is easier for her to practise than deluding hopes which might increase the torments for another to express, by the obstinacy of her goodof her disappointed lovers; but having for some ness and unprovoked submission, in spite of all her time given to the decency of a virgin coyness, and afflictions and ill usage, Bromius is become a man examined the merit of their several pretensions, of sense and a kind husband, and Emilia a happy she at length gratified her own, by resigning her- wife. self to the ardent passion of Bromius. Bromius Ye guardian angels, to whose care Heaven has was then master of many good qualities and a mo- intrusted its dear Emilia, guide her still forward in derate fortune, which was soon after unexpectedly the paths of virtue, defend her from the insolence increased to a plentiful estate. This for a good and wrongs of this undiscerning world : at length, while proved his misfortunes, as it furnished his when we must no more converse with such purity unexperienced age with the opportunities of evil on earth, lead her gently hence, innocent and uncompany, and a sensual life. He might have longer reprovable, to a better place, where, by an easy wandered in the labyrinths of vice and folly, had transition from what she now is, she may sbine not Emilia's prudent conduct won him over to the forth an angel of light-T. government of his reason. Her ingenuity has been constantly employed in humanizing his passions, and refining his pleasures. She has showed him, No. 303.] SATURDAY, FEB. 16, 1711-12. by her own example, that virtue is consistent with

Volet hæc sub luce videri, decent freedoms, and good-bumour, or rather that Judicis argutum quæ non formidat acumen, it cannot subsist without them. Her good sense

Hor. Ars Poet, ver. 363 deadily instructed her, that a silent example, and

Some choose the clearest light, an easy unrepining behaviour, will always be more

And boldly challenge the most piercing eye. persuasive than the severity of lectures and adınonitions; and that there is so much pride interwoven I have seen, in the works of a modern philosointo the make of human nature, that an obstinate pher, a map of the spots in the sun. My last paper map must only take the hint from another, and then of the faults and blemishes in Milton's Paradise be left to advise and correct himself. Thus by an Lost may be considered as a piece of the same na. artful train of management, and unseen persuasions, ture. To pursue the illusion : as it is observed,

RoscowUUN

that among the bright parts of the luminous body To which we may add his call to the fallen angels above mentioned, there are some which glow more that lay plunged and stupified in the sea of fire: intensely, and dart a stronger light than others; so, He called so loud, that all the hollow deep potwithstanding I have already shown Milton's Of hell resounded. poem to be very beautiful in general, I shall now

But there is no single passage in the whole poem proceed to take notice of such beauties as appear to worked up to a greater sublimity, than that wherein fue more exquisite than the rest. Milton has pro- his person is described in those celebrated lines : posed the subject of his poem in the following verses:

He, above the rest of man's first disobedience, and the fruit

In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

Stood like a tower, &c.
Brought death into the world and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater man

His sentiments are every way answerable to his
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

character, and suitable to a created being of the Sing, heavenly Muse !

most exalted and most depraved nature. Such is These lines are, perhaps, as plain, simple, and that in which he takes possession of his place of unadorned, as any of the whole poem, in which par. torments: ticular the author has conformed himself to the ex

Hail, horrors ! hail, ample of Homer, and the precept of Horace.

Infernal world! and thou, profoundest hell, His invocation to a work which turns in a great Receive thy new possessor, one who brings measure upon the creation of the world, is very A mind not to be chang'd by place or time. properly made to the Muse who inspired Moses in And afterward : those books from whence our author drew his sub

Here at least ject, and to the Holy Spirit, who is therein repre

We shall be free! tho Almighty hath not built sented as operating after a particular manner in the Here for his envy: will not drive us hence: first production of nature. This whole exordium Here we may reign secure; and in my choice rises very happily into noble language and senti.

To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:

Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n. ments, as I think the transition to the fable is exquisitely beautiful and patural.

Amidst those impieties which this enraged spirit The nine days' astonishment, in which the angels utters in other places of the poem, the author has lay entranced after their dreadful overthrow and fall taken care to introduce none that is not big with from heaven, before they could recover either the absurdity, and incapable of shocking a religious use of thought or speech, is a noble circumstance, reader ; his words, as the poet himself describes an't very finely imagined. The division of hell into them, bearing only a " semblance of worth, not seas of fire, and into firm ground impregnated with substance.” He is likewise with great art described the same furious element, with that particular cir- as owning bis adversary to be Almighty. Whatever cumstance of the exclusion of Hope from those in perverse interpretation he puts on the justice, fernal regions, are instances of the same great and mercy, and other attributes of the Supreme Being, fruitful invention,

he frequently confesses his omnipotence, that being The thoughts in the first speech and description the perfection he was forced to allow him, and the of Sa:an, who is one of the principal actors in this only consideration which could support his pride poem, are wonderfully proper to give us a full idea under the shame of his defeat. of him. His pride, envy, and revenge, obstinacy,

Nor must I here omit that beautiful circumstance despair, and impenitence, are all of them very art of his bursting out into tears, upon his survey of fully interwoven. In short, his first speech' is a those innumerable spirits whom he had involved in complication of all those passions which discover the same guilt and ruin with himself: themselves separately in several other of his speeches

He now prepar'd in the poem. The whole part of this great enemy To speak: whereat their doubled ranks they bend of mankind is filled with such incidents, as are very

From wing to wing, and half inclose him round

With all his peers: Attention held them mute. apt to raise and terrify the reader's imagination. Of

Thrice he assay d, and thrice, in spite of scorn, this nature, in the book now before us, is his being Tears, such as angels weep, burst forththe first that awakens out of the general trance, with his posture on the burning lake, his rising from it, learning in it, and a very agreeable turn of poetry,

The catalogue of evil spirits has abundance of and the description of his shield and spear :

which rises in a great measure from its describing Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate, With head up-list above the wave, and eyes

the places where they were worshipped, by those That sparkling blaz'd, bis other parts beside

beautiful marks of rivers so frequent among the Prone on the flood extended long and large,

ancient poets. The author had doubtless in this Lay floating many a rood

place Homer's catalogue of ships, and Virgil's list Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool His mighty stature ; on each hand the flames

of warriors, in his view. The characters of Mo Drivin backward slope their pointing spires, and, rollid loch and Belial prepare the reader's mind for them In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid vale.

respective speeches and behaviour in the second and Then with expanded wings he steers his flight

sixth books. The account of Thammuz is finely Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air That felt unusual weight

romantic, and suitable to what we read among, the His pond'rous shield,

ancients of the worship which was paid to that idol; Ethereal temper, masky, large, and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference

Thammuz came next behind,

Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artists view

The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
At ev'ning from the top of Fesole,

In am'rous ditties all a summer's day; Or in Valdarnu, to descry new lands,

While smooth Adonis from his native rock Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.

Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood
His spear (tu equal which the tallest pine

Or Thammuz yearly wounded: the love tale
Hewn on Norwegian bills to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand)

* This quotation from Milton, and the paragraph immodi. He walkd with. to support uneasy steps

ately following it, were not in the first publication of this Over the burawy marl

paper in folio.

Glories

Iolected Sion's daughter with lite beat,

The review, which the leader makes of bis inWhire wanton pass.sox in the sacred porch Ezeksel saw : when, by the vision led,

fernal army: His eyes survey'd the dark doiatries

He through the armed files Of alienated Judah

Darts his experiene d eye, and son traverse The reader will pardon me if I insert as a note on

The whole batizia news, their order dae,

Their visages and stature as of gods, this beautiful passage, the account given us by the Their number last he suns: and now his beart late ingenious Mr. Maundrell of this ancient piece Distends with pride, and hard ning in his strength of worship, and probably the first occasion of such a superstition. * We came to a fair large river; The dash of light wbich appeared upon the draw. doubtless the ancient river Adonis, as famous for the ing of their swords : idolatrous rites performed here in lamentation of

He spake ; and to confirm his words out flew Adonis. We had the fortune to see what may be Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs supposed to be the occasion of that opinion which Of mighty cherubim : the sudden blaze Lucian relates concerniog this river, viz. That this

Far round illamin d hell. stream, at certain seasons of the year, especially The sudden production of the Pandæmonium : about the feast of Adonis, is of a bloody colour; which the heathens looked upon as proceeding from

Anon out of the earth a fabric huge

Rose like an exhalation, with the sound a kind of sympathy in the river for the death of Of dulcel symphonies and voices sweet Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar in the moun. tains, out of which this stream rises. Something

The artificial illuminations made in it: like this we saw actually come to pass; for the water

From the arch'd roof was stained to a surprising redness : and, as we ob

Pendent by subtle magic, many a row served in travelling, had discoloured the sea a great

or starry lamps and blazing cressels, fed

With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light way into a reddisha hue, occasioned doubtless by a

As from a sky. sort of minium, or red earth, washed into the river by the violence of the rain, and not by any stain in the first book of Paradise Lost. And here I must

There are also several noble similes and allusions from Adonis's blood.”

The passage in the catalogue, explaining the observe, that when Milton alludes either to things manner how spirits transform themselves by con

or persons, he never quits his simile until it rises to traction or enlargement of their dimensions, 'is in- some very great idea, which is often foreign to the troduced with great judgment, to make way for does not, perhaps, last above a line or two, but the

occasion that gave birth to it. The resemblance several surprising accidents in the sequel of the poem. There follows one at the very end of the poet runs on with the hint until he has raised out of first book, which is what the French critics call it some glorious image or sentiment, proper to in. marvellous, but at the same time probable, by rea

flame the mind of the reader, and to give it that son of the passage last mentioned. As soon as the sublime kind of entertainment wbich is suitable to the infernal palace is tinished, we are told the multitude nature of an heroic poem. Those who are acquainted and rabble of spirits immediately shrunk themselves with Homer's and Virgil's way of writing, cannot but into a sınall compass, that there might be room for be pleased with this kind of structure in Milton's such a numberless assembly in this capacious hall. similitudes. I am the more particular on this head, But it is the poet's refinement upon this thought taste upon the quaint similes and little turns of wit,

because ignorant readers, who have formed their which I most admire, and which indeed is very which are so much in vogue among modern poets, noble in itself. For he tells us, that notwithstanding cannot relish these beauties, which are of a much the vulgar among the fallen spirits contracted their forms, those of the first rank and dignity still pre- Milton's comparisons, in which they do not see any

higher nature, and are therefore, apt to censure served their natural dimensions :

surprising points of likeness. Monsieur Perrault Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms

was a man of this vitiated relish, and for that very Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large, reason has endeavoured to turn into ridicule several Though without number, still amidst the hall Of that infernal court. But far within,

of Homer's similitudes, which he calls " comparaiAnd in their own dimensions like themselves,

sons à longue queue," long-tailed comparisons." The great seraphic lords and cherubim

I shall conclude this paper on the first book of Mil. In close recess and secret conclave sat,

ton with the answer which Monsieur Boileau makes A thousand demi-gods on golden seats, Frequent and full

to Perrault on this occasion: “ Comparisons," says

he,“ in odes and epic poems, are not introduced The character of Mammon, and the description of only to illustrate and embellish the discourse, but the Pandæmonium, are full of beauties.

to amuse and relax the mind of the reader, by freThere are several other strokes in the first book quently disengaging him from too painful an attenwonderfully poetical, and instances of that sublime tion to the principal subject, and by leading him genius so peculiar to the author. Such is the de, into other agrecable images. Homer, says he, ex, scription of Azazel's stature, and the infernal celled in this particular, whose comparisons abound standard which he unfurls; as also of that ghastly with such images of pature as are proper to relieve light by which the fiends appear to one another in and diversify his subjects. He continually instructs their place of torments:

the reader, and makes him take notice, even in ob. The seat of desolation, void of light,

jects which are every day before his eyes, of such Save what the gluinmʻring of those livid fames circumstances as he should not otherwise bave obCasts pale and dreadful

served. To this he adds, as a maxim universally The shout of the whole host of fallen angels when acknowledged, " that it is not necessary in poetry drawn up in battle array :

for the points of the comparison to correspond with 'The universal host up sent

• Cresset, i. e. a blazing light set on a beacon, in French A shout that tore hell's concuve, and beyoud

* croisette," because beacons formerly had crosses ou their Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night

tops --JOHNSON.

« PredošláPokračovať »