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Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right

Well managed; of that skill the more thou know'st,

The more she will acknowledge thee her head,
And to realities yield all her shows:

Made so adorn for thy delight the more,

So awful, that with honour thou mayst love

Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise.
But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind
Is propagated, seem such dear delight
Beyond all other; think the same vouchsafed
To cattle and each beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulged, if aught
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue
The soul of man, or passion in him move.
What higher in her society thou find'st
Attractive, human, rational, love still;
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true love consists not: love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges ; hath his seat
In reason, and is judicious; is the scale
By which to heavenly love thou mayst ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause,
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.

To whom thus, half abash'd, Adam replied;
Neither her outside form'd so fair, nor aught
In procreation common to all kinds,
(Though higher of the genial bed by far,
And with mysterious reverence I deem)
So much delights me, as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies, that daily flow

From all her words and actions, mix'd with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind", or in us both one soul;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair

More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear.
Yet these subject not: I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd;
Who meet with various objects, from the sense
Variously representing; yet, still free,

8 Love refines.

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Milton, in his Apology for Smectymnuns,' speaks thus :-" Thus, from the laureatfraternity of poets, riper years and the ceaseless round of study and reading led me to the shady spaces of philosophy; but chiefly to the divine volumes of Plato, and his equal Xenophon where if I should tell ye what I learned of chastity and love, I mean that which is truly so,' &c.-THYER.

h Union of mind.

So in his 'Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce,' b. i. c. 2 :-" And indeed it is a greater blessing from God, more worthy so excellent a creature as man is, and a higher end to honour and sanctifie the league of marriage, when as the solace and satisfaction of the mind regarded and provided for before the sensitive pleasing of the body."-TODD.

Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
To love, thou blamest me not; for love, thou sayst
Leads up to heaven, is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask :

Love not the heavenly spirits, and how their love
Express they? by looks only? or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the angel, with a smile that glow'd
Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,

Answer'd Let it suffice thee that thou know'st
Us happy; and without love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st,
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence; and obstacle find none

Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars :
Easier than air with air, if spirits embrace
Total they mix, union of pure with pure"
Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need,
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
But I can now no more; the parting sun,
Beyond the earth's green cape and verdant isles
Hesperian, sets; my signal to depart.

Be strong, live happy, and love! but, first of all,
Him, whom to love is to obeys, and keep

i Union of pure with pure.

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Raphael had said that spirits " mix total;" that is one circumstance in which they differ from men; viz. they are so unrestrained, that they need no conveyance; that is, need not move to meet one another, as our flesh does to meet with other flesh, and one soul with another soul, mediante corpore.—PEARCE,

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i But I can now no more.

The conversation had now become of such a nature, that it was proper to put an end to it. And now the "parting sun beyond the earth's green cape," beyond Cape de Verd, the most western point of Africa; "and verdant isles," the islands of Cape de Verd; 'Hesperian sets," sets westward, from Hesperus the evening star appearing there; “my signal to depart," for he was only to stay till the evening. See b. v. 376. And he very properly closes his discourse with those moral instructions, which should make the most lasting impression on the mind of Adam, and to deliver which was the principal end and design of the angel's coming.-NEWTON.

k Him, whom to love is to obey.

"For this is the love of God,that we keep his commandments," 1 John v. 3. His "great command" every body will understand to be the trial of Adam's obedience.-NEWTON.

The eighth book opens with a beautiful description of the impression which the discourse of the archangel Raphael made on our first parents. Adam afterwards, by a very natural curiosity, inquires concerning the motions of those celestial bodies which make the most glorious appearance among the six days' works. The poet here, with a great deal of art, represents Eve as withdrawing from this part of their conversation, to amusements much more suitable to her sex he well knew that the episode in this book, which is filled with Adam's account of his passion and esteem for Eve, would have been improper for her hearing; and has therefore devised very just and beautiful reasons for her retiring.

The angel's returning a doubtful answer to Adam's inquiries was not only proper for the moral reason which the poet assigns; but because it would have been highly absurd to have given the sanction of an archangel to any particular system of philosophy: the chief

His great command: take heed, lest passion sway
Thy judgment to do aught, which else free will
Would not admit: thine, and of all thy sons,
The weal or woe in thee is placed; beware!
I in thy persevering shall rejoice,

And all the blest: stand fast; to stand or fall
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.
Perfect within, no outward aid require :
And all temptation to transgress repel.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Follow'd with benediction :-Since to part,
Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger,
Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore !
Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever
With grateful memory: thou to mankind
Be good and friendly still, and oft return!
So parted they; the angel up to heaven
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.

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points in the Ptolemaic and Copernican hypotheses are described with great conciseness and perspicuity, and at the same time dressed in very pleasing and poetical images.

Adam, to detain the angel, enters afterwards upon his own history, and relates to him the circumstances in which he found himself upon his creation, as also his conversation with his Maker, and his first meeting with Eve. There is no part of the poem more apt to raise the attention of the reader than this discourse of our great ancestor; as nothing can be more surprising and delightful to us than to hear the sentiments that arose in the first man, while he was yet new and fresh from the hands of his Creator. The poet has interwoven everything which is delivered upon this subject in Holy Writ with so many beautiful imaginations of his own, that nothing can be conceived more just and natural than this whole episode: as our author knew this subject could not but be agreeable to his reader, he would not throw it into the relation of the six days' works, but reserved it for a distinct episode, that he might have an opportunity of expatiating upon it more at large. 1 Before I enter on this part of the poem, I cannot but take notice of two shining passages in the dialogue between Adam and the angel: the first is that wherein our ancestor gives an account of the pleasure he took in conversing with him, which contains a very noble moral, v. 210, &c.: the other I shall mention is that in which the angel gives a reason why he should be glad to hear the story Adam was about to relate, v. 229, &c. There is no question but our poet drew the image in what follows from that of Virgil's sixth book, where Æneas and the Sibyl stand before the adamantine gates, which are described as shut upon the place of torments; and listen to the groans, the clank of chains, and the noise of iron whips, that were heard in those regions of pain and sorrow.

Adam then proceeds to give an account of his condition and sentiments immediately after his creation. How agreeably does he represent the posture in which he found himself, the delightful landscape that surrounded him, and the gladness of heart which grew up in him on that occasion! He is afterwards described as surprised at his own existence, and taking a survey of himself, and of all the works of nature he also is represented as discovering by the light of reason, that he, and everything about him, must have been the effect of some Being infinitely good and powerful; and that this Being had a right to his worship and adoration. His first address to the sun, and to those parts of the creation which made the most distinguished figure, is very natural and amusing to the imagination: his next sentiment, when upon his first going to sleep he fancies himself losing his existence, and falling away into nothing, can never be sufficiently admired his dream, in which he still preserves the consciousness of his existence, and his removal into the garden which was prepared for his reception, are also circumstances finely imagined, and grounded upon what is delivered in sacred story.

These, and the like wonderful incidents in this part of the work, have in them all the beauties of novelty, at the same time that they have all the graces of nature: they are such as none but a great genius could have thought of; though, upon the perusal of them, they seem to rise of themselves from the subject of which he treats. In a word, though they are natural they are not obvious; which is the true character of all fine writing.

The impression which the introduction of the Tree of Life left in the mind of our first parent is described with great strength and judgment; as the image of the several beasts and birds passing in review before him is very beautiful and lively.

Adam, in the next place, describes a conference which he held with his Maker upon the subject of solitude. The poet here represents the Supreme Being as making an essay of his own work, and putting to the trial that reasoning faculty with which he had endued his creature. Adam urges, in this divine colloquy, the impossibility of his being happy, though he was the inhabitant of Paradise, and lord of the whole creation, without the conversation and society of some rational creature, who should partake those blessings with him this dialogue, which is supported chiefly by the beauty of the thoughts, without other poetical ornaments, is as fine a part as any in the whole poem: the more the reader examines the justness and delicacy of the sentiments, the more he will find himself pleased with it. The poet has wonderfully preserved the character of majesty and condescension in the Creator, and at the same time that of humility and adoration in the creature, in v. 367, &c.

Adam then proceeds to give an account of his second sleep, and of the dream in which he beheld the formation of Eve: the new passion that was awakened in him at the sight of her is touched very finely :

Under his forming hands a creature grew,

Man-like, but different sex; so lovely fair,

That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now

Mean, or in her summ'd up, &c.

Adam's distress upon losing sight of this beautiful phantom, with his exclamations of joy and gratitude at the discovery of a real creature who resembled the apparition which had been presented to him in his dream; the approaches he makes to her, and his manner of courtship; are all laid together in a most exquisite propriety of sentiments. Though this part of the poem is worked up with great warmth and spirit, the love which he describes in it is in every way suitable to a state of innocence. If the reader compares the description which Adam here gives of his leading Eve to the nuptial bower, with that which Mr. Dryden has made on the same occasion in a scene of his Fall of Man;' he will be sensible of the great care which Milton took to avoid all thoughts on so delicate a subject that might be offensive to religion or good manners. The sentiments are chaste, but not cold; and convey to the mind ideas of the most transporting passion and of the greatest purity. What a noble mixture of rapture and innocence has the author joined together in the reflection which Adam makes on the pleasures of love, compared to those of sense!

These sentiments of love in our first parent give the angel such an insight into human nature, that he seems apprehensive of the evils which might befall the species in general from the excess of this passion; he therefore fortifies him against it by timely admonitions, which very artfully prepare the mind of the reader for the occurrences of the next book; where the weakness of which Adam here gives such distant discoveries, brings about that fatal event which is the subject of the poem: his discourse, which follows the gentle rebuke he received from the angel, shows that his love, however violent it might appear, was still founded in reason, and consequently not improper for Paradise.

Adam's speech at parting from the angel has in it a deference and gratitude agreeable to an inferior nature; and at the same time a certain dignity and greatness suitable to the father of mankind in his state of innocence.-ADDISON.

BOOK IX.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

THE most extraordinary part of this story is Eve's perverse resolve to separate herself from Adam in her morning cultivation of the garden, contrary to Adam's remonstrances; and her so soon falling into the serpent's snares, though so very strongly warned: this is not consistent with the goodness which the poet before ascribed to her. To me it appears that there is a good deal of concealed satire in this: it was open to the poet to have represented her making a longer struggle ; and not having before exposed herself, almost as if voluntarily, to the temptation. Eve ought to have been too happy in her favoured state to be seduced by the serpent's arguments, which were only calculated to mislead those who were oppressed, and saw pleasures around them, all of which they were restrained from tasting. The moment Eve partook of the poison, it produced an intoxication, which made it frightfully sensual; and I must confess, I think that Milton is not blameless, and has not his usual sanctity of strain, in the pictures he consequently draws: as poetry, it is exquisite ; as morality, it is dangerous,—almost disgusting. Allow the story to take this turn, and the bard almost exceeds himself in richness: the remorse, sickness, and despondence which follow, are nobly exhibited; and here, perhaps, it will be contended, lies the moral: but the parties have deserved their fate; and this lessens our pity for them: for Adam ought not so easily to have yielded to Eve's persuasions,-fully aware as he was of the consequences. All this, I must venture to say, is an outrage upon the probable. The mutual crimination and recrimination is drawn with perfect mastery; but Eve's reproach to Adam, as being the more offending person because he had indulged her, is a little too provoking.

The descriptive parts glow with a uniform freshness, splendour, and nature; with a compactness of imagery, and a simple and naked force of language, which make all pictures of other poets fade away before them. There never appears a superfluous word, or one which is not pregnant with thought and matter.

The sentiments have a weight and a profundity of wisdom which seem like inspiration out of every incident arises such reflections as have the spell of oracles. As Milton lived in visions, all his dialogues were pertinent to his characters; and it is by these dialogues that the imagery, as connected with them, is made to have a double force. The inanimate material world derives almost all its interest from its connexion with human intellectuality: for this reason Gray expressed an opinion that a merely descriptive poem was an imperfect work. The charm of Gray's Elegy' is, that all his imagery has a moral adjunct; but the moral of Milton is deeper, more extended, and more reflective, than of others: his illustrations are drawn from all the founts of knowledge, learning, and wisdom, sacred and profane: he has the art of making us see features and colours in the forms of nature, which we did not see before.

The ninth book is that on which the whole fate and fall of man turns; and so far is the most important. It is called the most tender. If the submission to sensual human passions be tenderness, it is so; taking the resistance to those passions to be loftiness. The serpent himself appears to have been enamoured of Eve's beauty and loveliness of mien, and for a moment to have repented of the evil he was plotting to bring upon her.

All that we know from the Mosaic history is, that the serpent tempted Eve, and Eve tempted Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit; but we do not know by what wiles this sin was brought about. We may suppose that by the serpent the opera

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