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Life was opened, through the Death and Resurrection of our Lord. Dr. Bentley's remark has not yet been controverted : See the note on Paradise Lost, B. x. 182. I do not, however, think, that Paradise Regained is without “ allusions to poets, either ancient or modern," as is insinuated in a preceding remark: It exhibits, on the contrary, several elegant imitations, interwoven with Milton's original graces, both of the classical and the romantick Muses. TODD.

THE END OF PARADISE REGAINED.

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SAMSON AGONISTES,

А

DRAMATICK POEM.

ARISTOT. Poet. Cap. 6.

Τραγωδία μίμησις πράξεως σπουδαίας, κ. τ. λ.

Tragoedia est imitatio actionis seriæ, &c. per misericordiam et

metum perficiens talium affectuum lustrationem.

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Of that sort of Dramatick Poem which is called

Tragedy.

TRAGEDY, as it was anciently composed, hath been ever held the gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other poems: therefore said by Aristotle to be of power by raising pity and fear, or terrour, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is, to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight, stirred up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is Nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion : for

1

Of that sort of dramatick poem, called Tragedy.] Milton, who was inclined to Puritanism, had good reason to think, that the publication of his Samson Agonistes would be very offensive to his brethren, who held poetry, and particularly that of the dramatick kind, in the greatest abhorrence. And, upon this account, it is probable, that, in order to excuse himself from having engaged in this proscribed and forbidden species of writing, he thought it expedient to prefix to his Play a formal Defence of Tragedy. T. Warton.

for so, in physick, &c.] These expressions of Milton may be supposed to refer to the doctrine of Signatures then in vogue; which had been introduced by Paracelsus between the years

1530 and 1540, and which inferred the propriety of the use of any vegetable, or mineral, in medicine from the similarity of colour, shape, or appearance, which these remedies might bear to the part affected.

Thus yellow things, as saffron, turmeric, &c. were given in liver complaints from their analogy of colour to the bile; and other remedies were given in nephritic disorders because the seed or leaf of the plant resembled the kidney. See

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