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which had been deemed barren, and left to rust on the upper or lower shelves of libraries, are summoned, by this mighty Poet, to his aid, and they cannot but come, and come, too, in dance and music. His catalogue of the Devils, his geographical excursions, his mythological fables, are among the most interesting and poetical parts of his poem. We are astonished to find Hallam objecting to them, in company with others who have stated, but can scarcely have felt, their faultiness. To those possessed of historical lore, these names, as Macaulay remarks, are charmed names—to others they are like a foreign language spoken by Gavazzi, or sung by Jenny Lind—their music affects them almost as deeply as their meaning could. If jargon, they are at least the potent jargon of a magician opening doors in rocks, rooting up pines, and making palaces and mountains come and go at his pleasure. And it is remarkable that this power—a power springing from a profound knowledge of the associations which words can awaken, and of the exquisite harmony which certain combinations of them can produce—a power first displayed by Homer, and which, in Milton, came to a climax—seems to have now vanished from literature. The only good specimens of it, since Milton, we remember, are in Thomson's picture of the Torrid Zone, and in the last chapter of Thomas Aird's Religious Characteristics. Even Pollok, in his description of the nations which embrace the Gospel at the Millennium, fails in this Ideal Geography. He selects the names at haphazard, and does not seem to have weighed them in the trembling scales of an ear at once musical and poetic, ere committing them to his page. Much that is true, and much that is false—much sense, and much nonsense—has been written about the faults of Milton. His puns, bulls, conceits, and quibbles, we surrender at once to his severer critics. They are not very numerous, and only a vulture nostril, like that of Warburton, can smell in them a sweet savour, and delight in such a petty sacrifice. A good deal of lumbering prose there is, unquestionably, in all his later works, but it serves to relieve and balance his nobler passages, and ever and anon, amid the dull level, a fine line occurs, proving that the author is a “god of the plain” as well as of the “mountain,” and that his flatness is not

that of weakness, but of recumbent strength. He has been charged, by Johnson, with using a “ Babylonish dialect, " but the Doctor had forgot his own style, and his own adage, “ Big thinkers require big words.”

Milton was a big and a learned thinker, and he required large and learned words. Even his astronomy and cosmogony, which were those of his age, have been made matter of accusation against him, as if a poet in any age were bound by the laws of strict scientific truth any more than by those of general experience, as if he might not, if he chose, find his astronomy in astrology, his cosmogony in the reveries of the Brahmins, and his chemistry in the dreams of the alchymists--and as if there were not a magnificent poetry, deducible, and by Dante and Milton actually deduced, from the Ptolemaic system of the universe. With greater force he has been accused of harsh inversions, ellipses, and frequent obscurity; but his darkness, we must remember, is never deliberate, and seldom very dense; he never, like many in modern days, sets himself on purpose " to darken counsel by words without knowledge;" and while the edges of his thought sometimes dip into clouds, the centre is always as the “ body of heaven in its clearness.” The question as to who is the hero of the Paradise Lost, has elicited much controversy, and led to divers unfounded charges against its author. Adam, Satan, and the Messiah have their respective partisans. It is a question of little consequence. Yet let us look at it for a moment. If a hero mean the most interesting and impressive character in an Epos, then Dryden is right, and Satan is the hero. If a hero mean the being you most sympathise with, then Adam is the hero. If a hero mean the personage who turns the tide of the plot, and gathers the greatest glory around him from the issue, then the Messiah is the hero. So that, while thus there are three candidates in Milton for the honour, in Homer there are only two, namely, Hector the most interesting character in the Niad, and with whom, too, you most warmly sympathise; and Achilles, the most powerful, and whose avatar is attended with the most triumphant results. We do not attempt to decide the question, except by saying that, in our notion, technically Messiah is the hero-really Satan. Messiah has

the most success, Satan impresses most deeply. Yet we are far from agreeing with the following extraordinary statement of Hallam's :—“The first two books confirm the sneer of Dryden, that Satan is Milton's hero, since they develop a plan of action which is ultimately successful; the triumph which he and his host must experience in the fall of man being hardly compensated by their temporary conversion into serpents.” As if that were the only compensation; as if the tenor of the whole argument were not to shew that the second Adam was to bruise the serpent's head by recovering the majority of the race from Satan's grasp, and by at last consuming Satan and his perverted world ! The object of Satan was not only to ruin man, but to rob God of glory; and one purpose of the poet is to shew how neither part of the plan was successful, but that it all redounded to the devil's misery and disgrace, and to the triumph of God and of the Messiah. With a like carelessness does this critic add—“ Eccept one circumstance which seems rather physical intoxication than anything else, we do not find any sign of depravity superinduced upon the transgression of our first parents.” Has Mr Hallam forgotten that fine and most Shaksperean scene of their mutual recrimination, and of the gross injustice Adam does to Eve by calling her that “bad woman,” that “serpent,” &c.? Was there no sign of depravity there? And was even “physical intoxication” possible to undepraved beings? We refer our readers to Macaulay, Channing, and others, for a defence of our poet against other charges, such as the confusion he is said to make between matter and spirit in his angels—his digressions—his episode of Sin and Death, and many more, all of which are more or less founded on truth, but which have been all more or less exaggerated. We pass to a rapid review of his poetic works, beginning in an inverted climax with his largest, and descending to his less. We think that Paradise Lost may be analysed into the following elements—the sublime, the beautiful, the pathetic, the didactic, the picturesque, the grotesque, and the prosaic. This, if not a thoroughly exhaustive division, will serve to open up its principal features. The Sublime of this poem is chiefly found in the 1st, and

partly in the 2d, and in the 5th, 6th, and 7th books. Of these the 1st book is unquestionably the loftiest not only in this poem but in poetry. It is the highest mountain in all Milton's Himalayan range. It soars easily, proudly, consciously,“ above all Greek, all Roman fame.” We find in it-and it is the only book of this or any poem where we do—the element of sublimity existing undiluted and alone. Not a page, not a line, not a word detracts from the general sense of the vast, the gloomy, the terrible, the distant, the solitary, and the infinite. Satan—the scene around his followers and their actions, combine to form a whole inexpressibly and overwhelmingly grand. In the 2d book sublimity clings principally to the character of Satan, and is mixed up with the elements of the dramatic and the grotesque. In the 3d and 4th books, it is still more strictly confined to that tremendous Apparition, who has left hell, cleft chaos, and is hovering, like an eclipse, between earth and heaven. In the 5th book, this Apparition for a season fades away, and you see sublimity in its native seat-Heaven now described as preparing for war. In the 6th book, the principal grandeur is at first attached to Abdiel returning through night, dreadless and unpursued; it then lights on the crest of Satan, and at last sits down beside “ victory eagle-winged,” above the chariot of the Son. That description is certainly the sublimest single passage in the poem. It is copied partly indeed from Hesiod's War of the Giants, but is superior to it, or even to Achilles coming forth against the Trojans. As the Messiah in his progress snatched up his fallen foes, and drove them before him like leaves on the blast, Milton, in the whirlwind of his inspiration, snatches up words, allusions, images from Homer, Hesiod, and the Word of God, and bears them in triumph and in terror on -and as soon call a tornado a plagiarist of the forests it tears up in the fury of its power, as the poet. Much has been said of Milton's plagiarism, and the notes to many editions of his poem are disgraced by attempts to trace, often on the weakest evidence, almost all his fine things to others. Milton, however, was too rich to require to steal,--and although he often imitates, he always improves, and never commits base and palpable theft. If, indeed, to follow faithfully in one's own

way a signal given by another, to finish in an unexpected and independent style the torso of another artist,--to deliver, by a masterly stroke, the Minerva struggling in the brain of another god, to light a torch fairly and openly at the sun, —to change a mass of dead fuel into quick flame, to snatch in the keen and desperate melée an axe from the next yeoman, and deal blows therewith, to draw from other wells with a golden pitcher which shall hallow and beautify whatever it brings up;-if this be a thief, then let us call Milton one, nay, the prince—the god—the Mercury of thieves. And nowhere do we find this divine theft more conspicuous than in the 7th book, where he fills up the colossal skeleton of the Scripture history of the creation as only a man of kindred genius and power to Moses could have done. Of the Beautiful, we find little in the Paradise Lost till we reach the 4th book. But there the author of Lycidas and Comus exerts all his powers to lavish a tropical wealth of loveliness on our First Parents and their happy dwelling. Paradise is no nook of beauty: it is a large place, with mountains, and forests, and rivers, as well as flowers, and streams, and vales in it. But the bower in the midst is its centre, and sheds a softness and rosy lustre over the whole. Our First Parents, too, are more distinguished by their symmetry and beauty, than by their majesty and power. Beautiful beyond desire; simple beyond disguise; graceful without consciousness; naked without shame; innocent, but not insipid; dignified, but not proud;—they are, at the same time, frail as tenderest plants, and must, like them, be constantly guarded; you from the first tremble for them, and objects or beings for whom you tremble cannot be sublime. Nor do we think that either Uriel or Raphael, as persons, overpass the limit of the Beautiful—although nothing can be grander than the position of the former, in the Sun—or more magnificent than the discourse of the other. The Pathos of the Poem is chiefly found in some of Satan's softer soliloquies and in the lamentations of the hapless pair after their fall. It is calmer and less subtle than the pathos of Shakspere, and we are not sure if any one scene equals that of Hector and Andromache in Homer; but it is extremely

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