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Vsque quater denis jejunia longa diebus
interea [Satan] sese transformat in ora
Et frontem obscenam rugis arat.” « There is an Italian poem, which I have not seen, entitled Il Di. giuno di Christo nel Deserto by Giovanni Nizzoli, dated in 1611. And I observe also among the works of P. Antonio Glielmo (who died in 1644), enumerated by Crasso in his “ Elogii d'huomini letterati,"
Il Calvario Laureato, Poëma; a kindred subject perhaps with that of · Paradise Regained. Vol. iv. P. xvii.
We have omitted the concluding sentence: it is not the only instance in which we have thought Mr. Todd too liberal of praise. The editor of Milton should have acquired a severer taste. He who is working upon jewels can surely distinguish gems from paste.
The remarks upon the defects of the poem are just.
· Doubtless the Paradise Regained, like the mild and pleasing brightness of the lesser luminary, will ever obtain its comparative admiration. The fine sentiments which it breathes, the pure morality which it inculcates, and the striking imagery with which it is fre. quently embellished, must commend the poem, while taste and virtue are respected, to the grateful approbation of the world. The versification indeed wants the variety and animation which so eminently distinguish the numbers of Paradise Lost. And it cannot but be acknowledged that the plan is faulty : for, to attribute the redemption of mankind solely to Christ's triumph over the temptations in the wilderness is a notion not only contracted, but untrue. The gate of everlasting life was opened, through the death and resurrection of our Lord. Dr. Bentley's remark has not yet been controverted : see the note on Paradise Lost, b. X. 182. I do not, however, think that Paradise Regained is without “ allusions to poets either ancient or modern," as is insinuated in a preceding remark: it exhibits, on the contrary, several elegant imitations, interwoven with Milton's origi. nal graces, both of the classical and the romantic muses. Vol. iv. P. 335.
The preliminary observations on Samson Agonistes are from the Rambler, Nós 139 and 140, and from Mr. Cumberland's Observer, No111. To the list of poems upon the same character may be added a Spanish epic, the Sanson Nazareno of Antonio Henriquez Gomez, one of the worst poems in the language. This volume is concluded by the catalogue of plans of other subjects, intended for tragedies by Milton.
Poetical Works of Miltont. ; 391 The fifth volume contains Lycidas, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, and the Sonnets. Mr. Todd has given a curious epitaph on Mr. King, the subject of the monody written by a Mr. Booth of Corpus Christi.
“ Heere lies the love of gentle hearts,
Heere lies Gramar, out of which
Heere lies Rhetorick all undone,
Which makes the seas farre more profound, &c." • It concludes with this quaint couplet :
“ Thus whilst poore breathing mortalls weepe,
The wit, and mirth, lies in the deepe.” Vol. v. P. 6. To these minor poems little could be added after the learned and copious annotations of Warton. Mr. Todd's labours, however, have not been vain. He gives the following beautiful extracts from a masque by Marston, of which the manuscript is in the possession of the duke of Bridgewater.
Song by CYNTHIA.
From those who hate our chast delight;
From gallants who still court with oathes ;
From beardes, and greate tobecca-takers ;
Singe, that my charme may be more stronge;
“ The Songe.
Now all court chaster pleasure,
And tread the gracing measure.
So Cynthea sports, and so the godes may dalley, &c. “ During this songe the masquers presented theire sheelds, and tooke forth their ladyes to daunce.
“ After they hadd daunced many measures, galliards, corantos, and lavaltos, the night being much spent; whilst the masquers
prepared themselues for theire departing measure, Cynthca spake
« Now, pleasing, rest; for see the nighte
Then whilst we singe, though you departe,
Ile sweare y' heere you leaue yo harte. .“ After this a shepherd sings ' a passionate ditty att my lady's departure :' he then presents the countess with a scarf, and adds,
“ Farewell, farewell :
Joy, love, peace, health,
Wth our farewell, farewell.” Vol. v. P. 152. Mr. Todd has already published Comus * separately. It is elaborately edited. The various lections are more numerous than those appended to any of the other poems. Our readers will be pleased to see the following beautiful lines, which Milton erased from the opening speech. They originally followed the fourth line.
Beyond the starry threshold of Jove's court
See our 241h vol. New Arr. p. 356.
Halfe his wast food the wild Atlantique fills,
Vol. v. P. 418. The preliminary observations on the sonnets trace the history of the English sonnet from Surrey to Milton. By quoting miss Seward, it should appear that Mr. Todd agrees with her in preferring the Italian structure. It should be remembered that such a preference is contradicted as well by experience as theory. The sonnet has been revived by Charlotte Smith : her sonnets are assuredly the most popular in the language, and deservedly so; but they are almost all irregular. A Mr. White, quoted by the editor, says, 'it cannot be demonstrated that the regular sonnet suits not the nature or genius of our language. We would weigh against this the assertion that it cannot be denied,' if experience did not show us that there are people foolish enough and obstinate enough to deny any thing. Mr. Todd observes that some of Constable's sonnets are written in lines of six feet. This is not uncommon; frequent examples may be found in those of sir Philip Sidney.
The sixth and last volume contains the odes, miscellanies, translations, and Latin poems. The epitaph upon Shakspeare appears to have been suggested by the following upon sir Thomas Stanley, written, according to sir William Dugdale, by Shakspeare himself :
66 Aske who lies here, but do not weepe;
. Vol. vi. P. 85. This latter strikingly resembles the lines of Ben Jonson engraved upon Drayton's monument:
• And when thy ruines shall disclaim
An everlasting monument to thee.'
The erudite annotations of Dr. Burney are prefixed to the Greek verses : the comments upon the Latin poems are chiefly by Warton, who every where, in censuring Milton's opinions, has been too ostentatious of his own.-Mr. Todd, in liis concluding note; defends the prose of Milton..
There are various passages,' he says, in the English prose, besides the Tractate on Education and the Areopagitica, which seem entitled to the praise of the most impressive eloquence. Nor in his Latin performances are there wanting examples of pure as well as animated style. The accurate scholar seldom ceases to be visible either in the politician, in the controversialist, or in the secretary. Perhaps his English style is in general too learned. Of his History of England Warburton has said, that“ it is written with great simplicity, contrary to his custom in his prose works; and is the better for it. But he sometimes rises to a surprising grandeur in the sentiment and expression, as at the conclusion of the second book, Henceforth we are to steer, &c. I never saw any thing equal to this but the conclusion of sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World.” That Milton may be found virulent in these civil' and religious speculations will not perhaps be denied : his pen, dipped as it sometimes is in the gall of puritanism, hurries him into the violence of rage; and he then condemns without mercy, as he judges without candour. But, at other times, his pages breathe the sweetest language of sensibility; the abusive spirit, which the turbulence of the times excited, sinks into calmness; and, without subscribing to his political sentiments, we are led to admire the uncommon felicity of his expression.' Vol.vi. P. 396.
This is but cold approbation. As a prose-writer, Milton is only equalled by Jeremy Taylor among his contemporaries, and Burke among after-writers.
An Appendix concludes the work. In this, Lauder's interpolations are noticed, and Robert Baron's Imitations of Milton's early Poems. The villany of the modern Erostratüs needs not be mentioned here. Baron's plagiarisms are less generally known; they are wonderfully impudent;-witness what follows.
“ Ring out, yeè cristall spheares,