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How barren are the visionary scenes of Arcadia, compared to that period! Whatever, indeed, has been conceived, or expressed in poetry, comes extremely short of many passages and parts of the sacred writings, merely considering them as literary compositions, but when we add to their excellencies as pieces of writing, the reflection of their being the sacred credentials of religion, and the immortal volumes of salvation, how is our zeal and our admiration heightened! The sentence before us, brings to view the lovely times of undebauched idea, when error and affectation had no dominion, and when the fantastic passion for external finery had no sway,

even in the breast of woman. *

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The captivating character of Eve, just at this crisis of sacred history, as,

-On she came

Led4>y her heavenly Maker, and adorn'd
With all that earth, or heaven could bestow
To make her amiable

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surpasses any delineation of female grace
and attraction, which hath been since at-
tempted: to fay the truth, our beautiful
parent might well inspire the genius of
poetry, and she might very properly be
called the mother of the muses ; for the
incomparable simplicity which embellishes
her, even in the description of her person,
hath been copied by a thousand bards.
Shakespeare seems to have glanced towards
her in his Miranda, who reflects the image
and elegant innocency of Eve; and, yet,
when Eve viewed her own figure in the
lake, she beheld a more delicate resemblance
of herself than through the mirror of Mi-
randa. Milton hath here caught the hint,
and3touched it exquisitely:

Two of far nobler shapes, erect and tall,
God-like erect ! with native honour clad,
And naked majesty, sceWd lords of all,
And worthy feem'd, J
He for God only; she, for God and him.
—She, as a veil, down to her slender waist
Her unadorn'd, golden tresses wore
DistievePd, but in wanton ringlets wav'd.
So pasi'd they naked on, nor /bun V the light

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Os God, or angel, for they thought no ill;
So, hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair
That ever since, in Love's embraces met.

Beyond dispute, the above verses find their original in the sentiment of Moses*.—The first interview of Miranda, with the first man she ever saw, reaches, not by any means, Eve's first introduction to Adam. We now consider M ilton as a poetical commentator on the text of scripture: the beauty and sublimity of that, greatly assisting the sublimity and beauty of his own native genius. Let us then run the parallel of Miranda and Eve, somewhat critically together. There is fine fancy in the first, but the exquisitelypainted portrait of truth marks the last character. Upon viewing Ferdinand, for the first time, Miranda thus expresses the emotions of her surprise:

I might call him
A thing divine; for nothing natural
I ever saw so noble.

This

* And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed<

This is, undoubtedly, sweet and simple, but much inferior to the sensation and sentiment of,

The fairest of her daughters,

when she first beheld her lover and her lord in a state of innocence.

That day I oft remember, when from fleep
I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd
Under a shade, on flowers, much wondering where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
Not distant far from thence a murmuring found
Of waters issu'd from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd
Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went
With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite
A shape within the watry gleam appear'd
Bending to look on me; I started back,
It started back, but pleas'd I soon return'd,
Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answering looks
Of sympathy and love; there I had six'd
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warn'd me. What thou seest,
What there thou seest fair creature is thyself,
With thee it came and goes; but follow me,

And And I will bring thee where no shadow stays

Thy coming, and thy soft'embraces, he

Whose image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy

Inseparably thine, to him shall bear

Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd.

Mother of Human Race: What could I do,

But follow straight, invisibly thus led?

Till I efpy'd thee, fair indeed, and tall,

Under a plantain, yet methought less fair*

Less winning soft, less amiably mild,

Than that smooth watry image ; back I-re.tura'tfr

Thou following cryd'st aloud, Return fair Eve,

Whom fly'st thou ? whom thou fly'st, of him thou mt,

His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent

Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart

Substantial life, to have thee by my side

Henceforth an individual solace dear;

Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim

My other half: with that thy gentle hand

Seiz'd mine, I yielded, and from that time fee

How beauty isexcell'd by manly grace

And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So spake our general mother, and with eyes

Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,

And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd

On our first father, half her swelling breast

Naked met his under the flowing gold

Of her loose tresses hid: he, in delight

Both of her beauty and submissive charms,

Smil'd with superior love, as Jupiter

On

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