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pietick account of the changes to happo in this world. Both are closely conrected with the great action; one was neceffa.y to Adam as a warning, the other as a confolation. - To the compleatness or integrity of the defiga nothing can be objected; it tas difsetly and clearly what Aristotle requires, a beginning, a middle, and an end. There is perhaps no poem, of the fame leng:h, from which so little can be taken without apparent mutilation. Here are no funeral games, nor is there any long description of a shield. The short digreffions at the beginning of the third, ferenth, and ninth books, might doubtless be spared; but superfluities so beautifu!, who would take
away? or who does not wish that the author of the Iliad had gratified succeeding ages with a little knowledge of himself? Perhaps no passages are more frequently or more attentively read than those extrinfick paragraphs; and, since the end of poetry is pleasure, that cannot be unpoetical with which all are pleased.
The questions, whether the action of the poem be strictly one, whether the poem can be properly termed heroick, and who is the hero, are raised by such readers as draw their principles of judgement rather from books than from reason. Milton, though he intituled Paradise Lost only a poem, yet calls it himself heroick song. Dryden, petun4
ory and indecentiv, denies the heroisin of Acid, became he was overcome; but there is no reaion why the hero How no: be uniortunate, except esta.
ed practice, force fucceís and virtue do not go peceriarily together. Cato is eine bero of Lucan; but Lucan's autorry til rot be il piered by QuintiIza to decide. However, if success be neceway, Aisra's deceiver was at last crud; Adam was restored to his Vaker's favour, and therefore may fe. curely reune his human rank.
After the scherne and fabrick of the poem, muit be considered its component parts, tbe sentiments and the diction.
The fentiments, as expressive of manners, or appropriated to characters, are, for the greater part, unexceptionably juft.
Splendid passages, containing leffons : of morality, or precepts of prudence, occur feldom. Such is the original formation of this poem, that, as it admits no human manners till the Fall, it can give little assistance to human conduct. Its end is to raise the thoughts above sublunary cares or plea":" fures. Yet the pra fe of that forti. tude, with which Abdiel maintained his fingularity of virtue against the scorn of multitudes, may be accommodated to all times; and Raphael's reproof of Adam's curiosity after the planetary motions,
with the answer returned by Adam, may be, confidently opposed to any rule of life which any poet has delivered, in The thoughts which are occasionally called forth in the progress, are such as could only be produced by an imagination in the highest degree fervid and active, to which materials were supplied by inceffant study and unlimited curiofity. The heat of Milton's mind might be said to sublimate his learning, to throw off into his work the spirit of fcience, unmingled with its grosser parts.
He had considered creation in its whole extent, and his descriptions are therefore learned. He had accustomed his imagination to unrestrained indulgence,