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first thoughts and subsequent corrections of so great a poet as Milton; but it is remarkable that, in these manuscript poems, he doth not often make bis stops, or begin his lines with great letters. There are likewise in his own hand-writing, different plans of Paradise Lost, in the form of a tragedy; and it is an agreeable amusement to trace the gradual progress and improvement of such a work from its first dawnings in the plan of a tragedy to its full lustre in an epic poem. Together with the plans of Paradise Lost, there are the plans or subjects of several other intended tragedies, some taken from the Scripture, others from the British or Scottish histories; and of the latter, the last mentioned is Macbeth, as if he had an inclination to try his strength with Shakespear; and to reduce the play more to the unities,
beginning at the arrival of Malcolm at Macduff®; the matter of Duncan may be expressed by the appearing of his ghost."
These manuscripts of Milton were found by the learned Mr. Professor Mason, among some other old papers, which, he says, belonged to Sir Henry Newton Puckering, who was a considerable benefactor to the library; and for the better preservation of such truly valuable reliques, they were collected together, and handsomely bound in a thin folio, by the care, and at the charge, of a person who is now very
eminent in his profession, and was always a lover of the Muses, and at that time a Fellow of Trinity College, Mr. Clarke, one of his Majesty's counsel.
Qui legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni
Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis ?
Et fata, & fines continet iste liber.
Scribitur & toto quicquid in orbe latet :
Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivonrumque specus : Quæque colunt terras, pontumque, & Tartara cæca,
Quæque colunt summi lucida regna poli :
Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus;
In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
Quce çunit, & quanta prielia dira tuba!
Cælestes acies; atque in certamine colum!
Et quæ cælestes pugna deceret agros ! Quantus in æthereis tollit se Lucifer armis!
Atque ipso graditur vix Michaele ininor! Quantis, & quam funestis concurritur iris,
Dum ferus hic stellas protegit, ille rapit !
Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt :
Et metuit pugnæ non superesse suz.
Et currus aniines, armaque digna Deo, Horrendumque rotæ strident, et sæva rotarum
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Et quos fama recens rel celebravit anus.
Mæonidem runas, Virgilium culices.
SAMUEL BARROW, M. D.
WHEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
Yet as I read, soon growing less severe,
Or if a work so infinite he spann'd, Jealous I was that some less skilful hand (such as disquiet always what is well, And by ill imitating would excel)
Might hence presume the whole creation's day
Pardon me, mighty Poet, nor despise
That majesty which through thy work doth reign, Draws the devout, deterring the profane. And things divine thou treat’st of in such state As them preserves, and thee, inviolate. At once delight and horror on us seise, Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease; And above human flight dost soar aloft With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft. The bird nan'd from that Paradise you sing So never fiags, but always keeps on wing.
Where couldst thou words of such a compass find ? Whence furnish such a vast expanse of mind? Just Heav'n'thee like Tiresias to 'requite Rewards with propliecy thy loss of sight.
Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure ; While the Town-Bays writes all the while and
spells, And like a pack horse tires without his bells;