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beribus. Neque eo contenta, etiam fuste in illum sævire conabatur, nisi bonus ille socius in horreum confugisset, super struicem quandam, jactuque se vindicasset cæspitum. Huic spectaculo son defuit ingens spectatorum numerus, qui ex vicinia passim eo confluxerant, vides quam omnes in iis ædibus sunt γυναικοκρατούμενοι, facile hinc possis conjicere, falsos fuisse rumores qui de Subacta Britannia' passim fuere sparsi, cum illa potius Maurum subegerit, vel, si verus sit rumor, adparet non satis fuisse subactam.

P. 662. Salmasius totus est in responso ad Miltonum. Coeptus est jam excudi, qui mole non erit minor priori. Miltonum passim Catamitum vocat, aitque cum in Italia vilissimum fuisse scortum, et passim nummis nates prostituisse, examinat quoque passim Carmina ejus Latina. Dissidium vero quod exercet cum Moro, indies crescit, presertim postquam in jus vocavit Anglicam, infensus quoque est alio nomine, nempe quod ipsum Morus Cornigerum vocarit.

P. 669. Miltonum mortuum credideram, sic certe nunciaras, sed præstat in vivis illum esse, ut Sycophantæ cum Sycophantis committantur. Poemata ejus mihi ostendit Holstenius, nihil illa ad elegantiam apologia. In prosodiam peccavit frequenter. Magnus igitur Salmasianæ crisi campus hic est assertus, sed quâ fronte alienos iste versus notabit, cujus musis nihil est cacatius? quod ait adversarium (Miltonum) nates Italis vendidisse, mira est calumnia. Utinam ejus malæ tam tutæ fuissent a pugnis uxoriis, quam posticum Miltoni os a sicariis Hetruscis! Imo invisus est Italis Anglus iste, inter quos multo vixit tempore, ob mores nimium severos, cum et de religione liberte disputaret, ac multa in Pontificem Romanum acerbe effutiret, quavis occasione.


P. xxxvi. for 'wavering alienated' read 'wavering or alienated.



Qui legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni
Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis?
Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum,
Et fata, et fines continet iste liber.
Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi;
Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet;
Terræque, tractusque maris, cœlumque profundum
Sulphureumque Erebi flammivomumque specus;
Quæque colunt terras, portumque et Tartara cæca,
Quæque colunt summi lucida regna poli;
Et quodcunque ullis conclusum est finibus usquam,
Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus;
Et sine fine magis, si quid magis est sine fine,
In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Hæc qui speraret quis crederet esse futurum?
Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quæ protulit arma!
Quæ canit, et quanta, prælia dira tuba.
Coelestes acies! atque in certamine cœlum !
Et quæ cœlestes pugna deceret agros !
Quantus in ætheriis tollit se Lucifer armis,
Atque ipso graditur vix Michaele minor!
Quantis, et quam funestis concurritur iris

Dum ferus hic stellas protegit, ille rapit!
Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,
Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt:
Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,
Et metuit pugnæ non superesse suæ,
At simul in cœlis Messiæ insignia fulgent,
Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotæ strident, et sæva rotarum
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flammæ vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco
Admistis flammis insonuere Polo,

Excidit attonitis meus omnis, et impetus omnis
Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt.

Ad poenas fugiunt, et ceu foret Orcus asylum
Infernis certant condere se tenebris.
Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Graii

Et quos fama recens vel celebravit anus.
Hæc quicunque leget tantum cecinisse putabit
Mæonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.



WHEN I beheld the poet blind, yet bold,
In slender book his vast design unfold,
Messiah crown'd, God's reconcil'd decree,
Rebelling angels, the forbidden tree,
Heav'n, hell, earth, chaos, all; the argument
Held me awhile misdoubting his intent,
That he would ruine (for I saw him strong)
The sacred truths to Fable and old song
(So Sampson grop'd the temple's posts in spite)
The world o'erwhelming to revenge his sight.
Yet as I read, soon growing less severe,

I lik'd his project, the success did fear;

Through that wide field how he his way should find
O'er which lame faith leads understanding blind;
Lest he perplex'd the things he would explain,
And what was easy he should render vain,
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
To change in scenes, and show it in a play.
Pardon me, mighty poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy labours to pretend a share.

Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit :
So that no room is here for writers left,
But to detect their ignorance or theft.

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 seize, 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 nam'd from that paradise you sing So never flags, but always keeps on wing. Where could'st 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 prophecy thy loss of sight.

Well mightest thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; While the town-bayes writes all the while and spells, And like a pack-horse tires without his bells: Their fancies like our bushy points appear, The poets tag them, we for fashion wear.

I too transported by the mode offend,

And while I meant to praise thee must commend.'
Thy verse created like thy theme sublime,

In number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.


1 See note in Life, p. lxxvi.


"THE measure is English Heroic Verse without Rime, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter; grac't indeed since by the use of some famous modern Poets, carried away by Custom, but much to thir own vexation, hindrance, and constraint, to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse, then else they would have exprest them. Not without cause, therefore, some both Italian and Spanish Poets of prime note, have rejected Rime both in longer and shorter Works, as have also, long since, our best English Tragedies, as a thing of itself, to all judicious eares, triveal and of no true musical delight; which consists only in apt Numbers, fit quantity of Syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoyded by the learned Ancients both in Poetry and all good Oratory. This neglect then of Rime, so little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be esteem'd an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem from the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing."

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