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With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
O myriads of immortal spirits! O powers
633. Hath emptied hearen. “It is con- xii. 4; but Satan here talks big, nug ceived that a third part of the angels magnifies their number."-NEWTON. fell with Satan, according to Revelations
He spake; and, to confirm his words, outflew
There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top
674. The work of Sulphur. Sulphur | 690. Admire, used in the sense of the was anciently thought the generator of Latin admiror, “to wonder at." Kold.-678. Mammon is Syriac, and sig- 703. Founded, that is melted. nifies riches."
Rose, like an exhalation, with the sound
Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command
711. This sudden rising of Pandemo 740. And how he fell. Observe how mium is supposed to be taken from some Milton lengthens out the time of Vulof the moving stage-scenes in the time of can's fall. It was not only all day long, Charles the First.
but we are led through the parts of the 728. Cressets, beacon lights, which had day,--from morn to noon, then from a cross on their top, and hence called noon to dewy eve; and, to add to the Toisettes.
effect, it was a summer's day.
At Pandæmonium, the high capital
785 Wheels her pale course: they, on their mirth and dance Intent, with jocund music charm his ear: At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large, 790 Though without number still, amidst the hall Of that infernal court. But far within, And in their own dimensions, like themselves, The great seraphic lords and cherubim In close recess and secret conclave sat;
795 A thousand demi-gods on golden seats, Frequent and full. After short silence then, And summons read, the great consult began.
764. Saldan's chair. “ Soldan is an old | upon the poetry of this beautiful pas. English word for Sultan. Ile here al sage."- BRYDES. lucles to those accounts of the ringle 774. Er patiate, used in its Latin sense, ccabats between the Saracens and Chris "to walk abroad." tians in Spain and Palestine, of which 1 783. Arbitress: witness, spectatress, the old romances are fuil. Panim, an | Nearer to the earth, is said in allusion to other word found in ancient poetry, for the popular superstition that witobes and Pagan,"_TODD.
fairies have great power over the moon. 771. “It is not necessary to enlarge 797. Frequent, in the Latin gelige of
REMARKS ON BOOK II.
In tracing the progress of this poem by deliberate and minute steps, our wonder and admiration increase. The inexhaustible invention cuntinues to grow upon us: each page, each line, is pregnant with something new, picturesque, and great: the condensity of the matter is without any parallel: the imagiuntion often contained in a single passage is more than equal to all that secondary poets have produced: the fable of the voyage through Chaos is alone a sublime poem. Milton's descriptions of materiality have always touches of the spiritual, the lofty, and the empyreal.
Milton has too much condensation to be fluent: a line or two often conveys a world of images and ideas : he expatiates over all time, all space, all possibilities: he unites earth with heaven, with hell, with all intermediate existences, animate and inanimate; and his illustrations are drawn from all learning, historical, natural, and speculative. In him, almost always, "more is meant than meets the ear." An image, an epithet, conveys a rich picture.
What is the subject of observation may be told without genius; but the wonder and the greatness lie in invention, if the invention be noble, and according to the principles of possibility.
Who could have conceived, --or, if conceived, who could have expressed, the voyage of Satan through Chaos, but Milton? Who could
picturesque, all poetical, and all the topics of intellectual meditation and reflection, or of spiritual sentiment?
All the faculties of the mind are exercised, stretched, and elevated at once by every page of “Paradise Lost."
Invention is the first and most indispensable essential of true poetry; but not the only one: the invention must have certain high, moral, sound, wise qualities: and, in addition to these, such as are picturesque or spiritual. It is easy to invent what is improbable or unnatural. Nothing will do which cannot command our belief. Inventions either of character, imagery, or sentiment, taken sepa
small fragments, may still have force and merit; but when they form an integral and appropriate part of a long whole, how infinitely their power, depth, and bearings, are increased!
In poetry, we must consider both the original conceptions and the illustrations: each derives interest and strength from the other: a mere copy of an image drawn from nature may have some beauty; but the invention and the essential poetry lie in their complex use, when applied as an embodiment to something intellectual. Imagery is almost always so used by Milton; and so it was used by Homer and Virgil. This gives a new light to the mind of the reader, and creates combinations which perhaps did not before exist: the poet thus spiritualises matter, and materialises spirit. When what is presented is merely such scenery of nature as the painter can give by lines and colours, it falls far short of the poet's power and charm. Poetry, purely descriptive, is not of the first order.
There are lines in the “ Paradise Lost," which would seem to be mere abstract opinions; but they are not so; inset as they are into the course