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the day, for example, with a repetition of the hunger-temptation of the previous day, and then passes on to subtle appeals to the higher appetites of wealth and power, so as to prepare the way for the vision of the Kingdoms of the Earth from the mountain-top. Milton's management of this vision (which begins at line 251 of Book III. and extends to line 393 of Book IV.) has hardly met with sufficient admiration. He contrives to make it not only a splendid, but also a most accurate, general view of the political condition of the earth at the time referred to, when the Parthians in the East and the Romans in the West were the great rival powers that had swamped all others; and by thus supposing Satan to have based his temptation on the actual state of the world, and a calculation of what might be done by the genius of a bold adventurer striking in, at that particular juncture, between the Romans and the Parthians, he imparts to it a character of high Machiavellian ability. But the Temptation passes into still a new vein at the close, where, the direct appeal to political ambition having failed, Satan, with Athens in view instead of Rome, tries to work on the passion for purely intellectual distinction. This too failing, the second day's temptation is at an end, and there is the return from the mountaintop to the wilderness, where Christ is left alone during a night of storm and ghastliness. There remains then only the final act of the Temptation, reserved for the third day-the temptation on the pinnacle of the Temple. Although Milton has also put his own interpretation on this portion of the Temptation, working up to the actual transportation of Christ to the pinnacle, and the challenge of his power there, by previous questionings of Satan whether, after all, he is the "Son of God" in any very extraordinary sense, yet a comparatively brief space suffices both for the discourse leading up to the incident and for the incident itself. The third day's temptation, indeed, encroaching 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; then, 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 been 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 ChurchGovernment, 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 Lostnot 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.
WHO erewhile the happy Garden sung
I, By one man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recovered Paradise to all mankind,
By one man's firm obedience fully tried
And Eden raised in the waste Wilderness.
Thou Spirit, who led'st this glorious Eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence
And unrecorded left through many an age:
Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice