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• vided my self with a very convenient House in a good • Air, I'm not without Hope but that you will promote
this generous Design. I must farther tell you, Sir, that • all who shall be committed to my Conduct, beside the
usual Accomplishments of the Needle, Dancing, and the « French Tongue, shall not fail to be your constant Rea.
ders. It is therefore my humble Petition, that you will
entertain the Town in this important Subject, and so far • oblige a Stranger, as to raise a Curiosity and Inquiry in • my Behalf, by publishing the following Advertisement.
I am, S IR,
ADVERTISEMENT. THE Boarding-School for young Gentlewomen, which was formerly kept on Mile-End-Green, being laid down, there is now one set up almoft opposite to it at the true Golden Balls, and much more convenient in every Respect; where, befide the common Instructions given to young Gentlewomen, they will be taught the whole Art of PaAry and Preferving, with whatever may render them accomplished. Those who please to make Tryal of the Vigilance and Ability of the Persons concerned, may inquire at the two Golden-Balls on Mile-End-Green near Stepney, where they will receive further Satisfaction.
THIS is to give Notice, that the Spectator has ta. ken upon him to be Vifitant of all Boarding-Schools, where young Women are educated; and designs to proceed in the paid Office after the fame Manner that the Visitants of Colleges do in the two famous Universities of this Land.
ALL Lovers who write to the SPECTAror, are desir. ed to forbear one Expresfion which is in most of the Letters to him either out of Laziness, or want of Invention, and is true of not above two thousand Women in the whole World; viz. She has in her all that is valuable in Woman. T
Nec deus interfit, nisi dignus vindice nodus
I TORACE advises a Poet to consider thoroughly the 1 Nature and Force of his Genius. Milton leems to
have known perfectly well, wherein his Strength lay, and has therefore chosen a Subject entirely conformable to those Talents, of which he was Mafter. As his Genius was wonderfully turned to the Sublime, his Subject is the noblest that could have entered into the Thoughts of Man. Every thing that is truly great and astonishing, has a Place in it. The whole System of the intellectual World; the Chaos, and the Creation ; Heaven, Earth and Hell ; enter into the Constitution of his Poem
HAVING in the First and Second Books represented the Infernal World with all its Horrors, the Thread of his Fable naturally leads him into the opposite Regions of Bliss and Glory.
IF Milton's Majesty forsakes him any where, it is in those Parts of his Poem, where the Divine Persons are introduced as Speakers. One may, I think, observe, that the Author proceeds with a kind of Fear and Trembling, whilst he describes the Sentiments of the Almighty. He dares not give his Imagination its full Play, but chuses to confine himself to such Thoughts as are drawn from the Books of the most Orthodox Divines, and to such Expressions as may be met with in Scripture. The Beauties therefore, which we are to look for in these Speeches, are not of a Poetical Nature, nor fo proper to fill the Mind with Sentiments of Grandeur, as with Thoughts of Devotion. The Passions, which they are designed to raise, are a Divine Love and Religious Fear. The Particular Beauty of the Speeches in the Third Book, consists in that Shortness and Perspicuity of Style, in which the Poet has couched the greatest Mysteries of Christianity, and drawn together, in a regular Scheme, the whole Dispenfation of Providence, with respect to Man. He has represented all the abstruse Doctrines of Predestination, Free-Will and Grace, as also the great Points of Incarnation and Redemption, (which naturally grow up in a Poem that treats of the Fall of Man) with great Energy of Expression, and in a clearer and stronger Light than I ever met with in any other Writer. As these Points are dry in themselves to the Generality of Readers, the concise and clear manner in which he has treated them, is very much to be admired, as is likewise that particular Art which he has made use of in the intersperfing of all those Graces of Poetry, which the Subject was capable of receiving.
THE Survey of the whole Creation, and of every thing that is transacted in it is a Prospect worthy of Omniscience; and as much above that, in which Virgil has drawn his Jupiter, as the Christian Idea of the Supreme Being is more Rational and Sublime than that of the Heathens. The particular Objects on which he is described to have cast his Eye, are represented in the mos beautiful and lively Manncr.
Now had tħ' Almighty Father from above,
Firm land imbo fom'd without firmament;
Thus to his only Son foreseeing Spake. SATAN's Approach to the Confines of the Creation, is finely imaged in the Beginning of the Speech which immediately follows. The Effects of this Speech in the blessed Spirits, and in the Divine Person to whom it was addressed, cannot but fill the Mind of the Reader with a secret Pleasure and Complacency.
Thus while God jpake, ambrosial fragrance filld .
Love without end, and without measure Grace. " I need not point out the Beauty of that Circumstance, wherein the whole Hoft of Angels are represented as standing Mute ; nor shew how proper the Occasion was to produce such a Silence in Heaven. The Close of this Divine Colloquy, with the Hymn of Angels that follows upon it, are so wonderfully Beautiful and Poetical, that I should not forbear inserting the whole Passage, if the Bounds of my Paper would give me leave.
No sooner had th’ Almighty ceas'd, but all - The multitude of Angels with a Shout
(Loud as from numbers without number, foveer
Th' eternal regions ; &c. &c. SATAN's Walk upon the Outside of the Universe, which at a Distance appeared to him of a globular Form, but, upon his nearer Approach, looked like an unbounded Plain, is natural and noble: As his Roaming upon the Frontiers of the Creation between that Mass of Matter, which was wrought into a World, and that shapeless unformed Heap of Materials, which still lay in Chaos and
Confusion, strikes the Imagination with something aftonishingly great and wild. I have before spoken of the Limbo of Vanity, which the Poet places upon this outermoft Surface of the Universe, and fhall here explain my self more at large on that, and other parts of the Poem, which are of the fame Shadowy Nature.
ARISTOTLE observes, that the Fable of an Epic Poem should abound in Circumstances that are both cre. dible and astonishing; or as the French Criticks chuse to phrase it, the Fable should be filled with the Probable and the Marvellous. This Rule is as fine and just as any in Aristotle's whole Art of Poetry.
I F the Fable is only Probable, it differs nothing from a true History ; if it is only Marvellous, it is no better than a Romance. The great Secret therefore of Heroic Poetry is to relate such Circumstances as may produce in the Reader at the same time both Belief and Astonishment. This is brought to pass in a well-chosen Fable, by the Account of such things as have really happened, or at least of such things as have happened according to the received Opinions of Mankind. Milton's Fable is a Matter-piece of this Nature; as the War in Heaven, the Condition of the fallen Angels, the State of Innocence, the Temptation of the Serpent, and the fall of Man, though they are very astonishing in themselves, are not only credible, but actual Points of Faith.
THE next Method of reconciling Miracles with Cre. dibility, is by a happy Invention of the Poet ; as in particular, when he introduces Agents of a superior Nature, who are capable of effecting what is wonderful, and what is not to be met with in the ordinary course of things. Ulyffes's Ship being turned into a Rock, and Æneas's Fleet into a Shoal of Water-Nymphs, though they are very surprizing Accidents, are nevertheless probable when we are told that they were the Gods who thus transformed them. It is this kind of Machinery which fills the Poems both of Homer and Virgil with such Circumstances as are wonderful, but not impossible, and so frequently produce in the Reader the most pleasing Passion that can rise in the Mind of Man, which is Admiration. If there be any Instance in the Æneid liable to Exception upon this Account, it is in the Beginning of the Third Book, where