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only a little on that day, and not protracted over the whole of it, occupies only about the last third of Book IV. One sees, at the close of the poem, why Milton preferred Luke's arrangement of the three acts of the Temptation to Matthew's. The reservation of the incident on the pinnacle of the Temple to the last enables the poet to close with that fine visual effect of Christ standing alone on the pinnacle, after Satan's inglorious fall, till the fiery globe. of ministering Angels surround him, and bear him in safety to earth on their wings as on a floating couch. Down they bear him to a flowery valley, and to the celestial food spread out for him there; he refreshes himself therewith while the Angels above sing a hymn of his victory and its consequences; thenļ rising, he finds his way unobserved to his mother's house.
Speaking of Paradise Regained, Milton's nephew, Phillips, says (Life of Milton, 1694): "It is generally censured to be much "inferior to the other (i.e. to Paradise Lost), though, he (Milton)
could not hear with patience any such thing when related to him." Tradition, as usual, has exaggerated this statement, until now the current assertion is that Milton preferred Paradise Regained to Paradise Lost. We may safely say that he knew better than to do any such thing. But, probably, in that "general censure" of the inferiority of the smaller poem, which had begun, according to Phillips, even during the three years that were spared Milton to note its reception, he discovered critical misconceptions which have transmitted themselves to our time. "Is Paradise Regained complete or not?" is a question on which a good deal has been written by Peck, Warburton, Newton, and others. The sole reason for thinking that it is incomplete, and that possibly the four books of the Poem as it now stands were originally intended only as part of a much larger poem, is founded on the smallness of that portion of Christ's life which is embraced in the poem, and on the stopping short of that consummation which would have completed the antithesis to Paradise Lost-i.e. the expulsion of Satan and his crew out of the human World altogether back to Hell. This objection has already been discussed, and found invalid. By no protraction of the poem over the rest of Christ's life, we may also remark, could Milton have brought the story to the consummation thought desirable. The virtual deliverance of the World from the power of Satan and his crew may be represented as achieved in
Christ's life on earth, and Milton represents it as achieved in Christ's first encounter with Satan at the outset of his ministry; but the actual or physical expulsion of the Evil Spirits out of their usurped world into their own nether realm was left a matter of prophecy or promise, and was certainly not regarded by Milton as having accomplished even at the time when he wrote. Such completion of the poem, therefore, as could be given to it by working it on to this historical consummation, was impossible. But, in short, by publishing the poem as it stands, Milton certified its completeness according to his own idea of the theme." Well, then," some of the critics continue, raising a second question, “can the poem properly be called an epic ?" They have in view the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Æneid, as the types of epics; and, allowing that Paradise Lost may rank as also an epic, they think Paradise Regained too short and too simple for such a name. But Milton had anticipated the objection as early as 1641, when, in his Reason of Church-Government, speaking of his literary schemes, he had discriminated two kinds of epics, of which he might have the option if he should ultimately determine on the epic form of composition as the best for his genius. "That epick form,” he had said, "whereof the two poems of Homer, and those other two of "Virgil and Tasso are a diffuse, and the Book of Job a brief model.” May we not say that, whereas in Paradise Lost he had adopted the larger or more diffuse of the two models of epic here described, so in Paradise Regained he had in view rather the smaller or briefer model? This would put the matter on its right footing. Paradise Regained is a different poem from Paradise Lost—not so great, because not admitting of being so great; but it is as good in its different kind. The difference of kinds between the two poems is even signalized in certain differences in the language and versification. Paradise Regained seems written more hurriedly than Paradise Lost, and, though with passages of great beauty, with less avoidance of plain historical phrases, and less care to give to all the effect of continued song.
THE FIRST BOOK.
I WHO erewhile the happy Garden sung
Thou Spirit, who led'st this glorious Eremite Into the desert, his victorious field
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence
As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute,
And unrecorded left through many an age:
Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice