Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Began to parch that temperate clime; whereat
In either hand the hastening Angel caught
Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast
To the subjected plain-then disappeared.
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,

Waved over by that flaming brand; the gate
With dreadful faces thronged and fiery arms.
Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon ;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.

THE END.

640

PARADISE REGAINED.

[ocr errors]

66

Paradise Regained seems to have been complete in manuscript before the publication of Paradise Lost. This we infer from an interesting passage in the Autobiography of the Quaker, Thomas Ellwood, in which he gives an account of the origin of Paradise Regained, and claims the credit of having suggested the subject to Milton. We have already seen (Introduction to Paradise Lost, p. 15) how young Ellwood, visiting Milton, in 1665, at the cottage in Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, where he was then residing to avoid the Great Plague in London, had a manuscript given him by the poet, with a request to read it at his leisure, and return it with his judgment thereon. On taking this manuscript home with him, Ellwood tells us, he found it to be Paradise Lost. He then proceeds as follows:-"After I had, "with the best attention, read it through, I made him another visit, and returned

66

66

66

him his book, with due acknowledgment of the favour he had done me in communicating it to me. He asked how I liked and what I thought of it; which I modestly, but freely, told him: and, after some further discourse about it, I pleasantly said to him, 'Thou hast said much here of "Paradise Lost; but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found?' He made

me no answer, but sate some time in a muse, then brake off that discourse "and fell upon another subject. After the sickness was over, and the city well "cleansed and become safely habitable again, he returned thither. And when,

afterwards, I went to wait on him there (which I seldom failed of doing, "whenever my occasions drew me to London), he showed me his second poem, called Paradise Regained, and in a pleasant tone said to me, ‘This is owing to you; for you put it into my head by the question you put to me at "Chalfont, which before I had not thought of.'"* The inference from this passage may certainly be that the poem was at least begun in the cottage at Chalfont St. Giles (say in the winter of 1665-6), and that, if not finished there, it was finished in Milton's house in Artillery Walk, shortly after his return to town in 1666. When Paradise Lost, therefore, was published in the autumn of 1667, its sequel, though kept back, was ready.

*The History of the Life of Thomas Ellwood, Second Edition (1714), pp. 246, 247.

[ocr errors]

INTRODUCTION

66

66

ΤΟ

PARADISE REGAINED.

« ZurückWeiter »