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She hears the sound of rustling leaves, but heeds not, because she is used to it. Bolder now, he presents himself:

*But as in gaze admiring, oft he bow'd
His turret crest and sleek enameld neck,
Fawning, and lick d the ground whereon she trod,
His gentle dumb expression turn'd at length

The eye of Eve to mark his play.' Having her attention, the next point is to excite the ruling passion - curiosity, which he does by the most delicate of compliments. Amazed to hear a brute articulate, she wants to know what it can mean, and he explains:

• Empress of this fair world, resplendent Eve,
Easy to me it is to tell thee all
What thou command'st; and right thou should'st be obey'd.
I was at first as other beasts that graze
The trodden herb, of abject thoughts and low,
As was my food: nor aught but food discernd,
Or sex, and apprehended nothing high;
Till on a day roving the field, I chanced
A goodly tree far distant to behold,
Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mix'd,
Ruddy and gold. ... To pluck and eat my fill
I spared not; for such pleasure till that hour
At feed or fountain never had I found."

With many wiles and arguments he overcomes her scruples, and induces her to eat.

She says:

*In the day we eat
of this fair fruit, our doom is, we shall die.
How dies the serpent? he hath eaten and lives,
And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns,
Irrational till then.'

True and conclusive:

"So saying, her rash hand, in evil hour,
Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat!
Earth felt the wound; and Nature from her seat
Sighing, through all her works gave signs of woe,
That all was lost.'

Satan, triumphant, arrives at Pandemonium, and exultingly relates his success. He awaits their shout of applause, but hears instead, on all sides, only a dismal hiss:

He wondered, but not long
Had leisure, wond'ring at himself now more:
His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
His arms clung to his ribs, his legs intwining
Each other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous serpent on his belly prone,
Reluctant, but in vain; a greater Pow'r

Now ruled him, punish'd in the shape he sinn'd
According to his doom. He would have spoke,
But hiss for hiss return'd with forked tongue

To forked tongue.' Solaced by the promise of redemption, the fallen pair are led forth from Paradise, casting back one fond lingering look upon their happy seat,

Waved over by that flaming brand, the gate
With dreadful faces throng'd and fiery arms.

Some natural tcars they dropt, but wiped them soon.' Style.-The difficulties of his prose — the heaviness of its logie, the clumsiness of its discussions, the involution of its sentences — have almost sealed it to common readers; but if it lacks simplicity and perspicuity, it has what is nobler — breadth of eloquence, wealth of imagery, sublimity of diction.

His poetical manner, with more of richness and inversion, is essentially the same -- ample, measured, and organ-like; not impulsive and abrupt, but solid and regular, as of one who writes from a superb self-command. All languages, ancient and modern, contributed something of splendor, of energy, of music; but no exotic is so largely and conspicuously helpful as the stately Latin, as none is so valuable for the purposes of harmony. Many of his grandest lines consist chiefly of this element, as,

* The palpable obscure.'
*Ruin mpon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded.'

• Deep on hin front engraven
Deliberation sat, and public care,'
Sonorous metal blowing martirl sounds.'

*Thrones, dominations, princedome, virtues, power8.' His fondness for Latinisms is perceptible in every

such

arrangement as

'Ifim the Almighty power

Hurled headlong, flaming down the ethereal heights,' and in that strictly periodic structure, of which finer examples can nowhere be found than those already given. A few of his epithets, taken at random, will suggest his ruling characteristics, -hideous ruin and combustion '; 'wasteful deep'; 'gentle gales, fanning their odoriferous wings”; “gay-enamelled colors'; “ponderous shield, ethereal temper, massy, large, and round.'

His rhythm beats with no intermittent pulse. He is unerr

ingly harmonious. To specify but two or three of the modes by which from the iambic blank he obtains the most felicitous effects:

1. By the interchange of feet,-
Trochee.......

High on a throne of royal state.'
Anapæst... Created hugest that swim the ocean stream.'
Spondee .. • The force of those dire arms.'
2. By a perpetual change of the cesural pause, -

At once,

as far an angel's ken he vicw's
The dismal situation, waste and wild ;
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace flamed, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible,
Served to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow,

doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all, but torture without end
Still urges,

and a fiery deluge fed With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed. 3. By an unequalled skill in the management of sound. How expressive of harshness,

On a sudden open fly,
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound,
The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsh thunder."

How expressive of peace,

• Heaven opened wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound,

On golden hinges turning.'
Or of the uproar of contending hosts,-

Arms on armor clashing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels

of brazen chariots raged.' Or of the virgin charms of Eden,

Airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the graces and the hours in dance,

Led on the eternal spring.' His natural movement is majestic, as of a full deep stream; but not, as we have seen, without its phases. In his masterpieces, we may see, in the order of their execution, what might be expected a priori,- the intellectual gaining upon the sensual qualities of art: the youthful freshness of Comus, passages of

which might have been written by Fletcher or Shakespeare; the grave full-toned harmonies of Paradise Lost; the rugged eccentricities and harsh inversions of Paradise Regained; and the cold, uncompromising severity of Samson Agonistes.

Rank.--As a poet, he was little regarded by his contemporaries. “The old blind poet,' says Waller, ‘hath published a tedious poem on the Fall of Man. If its length be not considered as a merit, it hath no other.' To be neglected by them was the penalty paid for surpassing them. The fame of a great man needs time to give it due perspective. He was esteemed and feared, however, as a learned and powerful disputant. His prose writings, in his own day, seem to have been read with avidity; but the interests which inspired them were accidental, while in argument they have the rambling course of indignation, and their cloth of gold is disfigured with the mud of invective.

The poet of revealed religion under its Puritanic type. Paradise Lost is the epic of a fallen cause, the embodiment of Puritan England - its grand ambitions, its colossal energies, its strenuous struggles, its broken hope, its proud and sombre horizon. It has the distinguishing inerit and signal defect of the Puritan temper,—the equable realization of a great purpose, and the painful want of a large, genial humanity.

The last of the Elizabethans; holding his place on the borders of the Renaissance, which was setting, and of the Doctrinal Age, which was rising; between the epoch of natural belief, of unbiased fancy, and the epoch of severe religion, of narrow opinions; displaying, under limitations, the old creativeness in new subjects; concentrating the literary past and future; and when his proper era had passed by, looming in solitary greatness at a moment when imagination was extinct and taste was depraved.

By the purity of his sentiments and the sustained fulness of his style, he holds affinity with Spenser, who calmly dreams; by his theme and majesty, with Dante, who is fervid and rapt; by his profundity and learning, with Bacon, who is more comprehensive; by his inspiration, with Shakespeare, who is freer and more varied: but in sublimity he excels them all, even Homer. The first two books of Paradise Lost are continued instances of the sublime.

Its height is what distinguishes the entire poem from every

other. Its central figure, the ruined arch-angel,' is the most tremendous conception in the compass of poetry; no longer the petty mischief-maker, the horned enchanter, of the middle-age, but a giant and a hero, whose eyes are like eclipsed suns, whose cheeks are thunder-scarred, whose wings are as two black forests; armed with a shield whose circumference is the orb of the moon, with a spear in comparison with which the tallest pine were but a wand; doubly armed by pride, fury, and despair; brave and faithful to his troops, touched with pity for his innocent victims, pleading necessity for his design, actuated less by pure malice than by ambition and resentment.

Burns resolved to buy a pocket-copy of Milton, and study that noble (?) character, Satan; not that his interest fastened upon the evil, but

upon the miraculous manifestation of energy,– the vehement will, the spiritual might, which could overpower racking pains, and, in the midst of desolation, cry:

'Hail, horrors! hail Infernal world! and thou, profoundest hell,

Receive thy new possessor!' But stoical self-repression limits the imagination. If he was the loftiest of great poets, none ever had less of that dramatic sensibility which creates and differentiates souls, endowing each with its appropriate act and word. He can neither forget nor conceal himself. The most affecting passages in his great epic are personal allusions, as when he reverts to the scenes which exist no longer to him:

Thus with the year
Seasons return, bnt not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark

Surrounds me." His individuality is always present. Adam and Eve are often difficult to be separated. They pay each other philosophical compliments, and converse in dissertations. She is too serious. If you are mortal, you will sooner love the laughing Rosalind, with her bird-like petulance and volubility:

O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know how many fathoms deep I am in love'i

Why, how now, Orlando, where have you been all this while! You a lover!.9

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