« AnteriorContinuar »
Leisure or Opportunity to be Master of all the Sciences ? besides which it is necessary they should understand the Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic, Syriac, Phænician, and Egyptian, and all the dead Languages, with the living and modern ones, in all their different Diale&ts : So that it has been a frequent Complaint of the Readers of Milton, that he has not calculated his Poem for common Eyes, - who passing by the most instructive Pasages, or else uncertainly guessing at their Meaning and Reading altogether doubtfully, lofe the Pleasure and Benefit which might arise from the thorough Understanding of the improving Lečture, and the moral and philosophical Instručtions wbich are to be found in this inimitable Book ; of which may be affirmed, what cannot be said of any other Book in the World beside, that is, it never has been read and rightly understood by any, who have not given it the highest Encomiums.' Therefore, that all English Readers may have the like Pleasure, the following Work was taken in Hand; and to belp Foreigners, whose small Acquaintance with our Language, might otherwise prevent their Intelligence of the
finest Poem that ever was wrote.
ROPOSES the whole Subject, Man's
radise wherein he was placed. Then touches the prime Cause of his Fall, which was Satan in the Serpent ; who revolting from God, and drawing to his Side many Legions of Angels, was by the Command of God, driven out of Heaven with all bis Crew into the great Deep. Which Action passed over, the Author hastes into the midst of Things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell
, described, not in the Centre (for Heaven and Earth may be supposed as not yet made, certainly not yet accursed) but in a Place of utter Darkness, most fitly called Chaos : Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and astonished, after a certain Space recovers, as from Confufion, calls up
bim who next in Order and Dignity lay by bim ; they confer of their miserable Fall.' Satan awakens all bis Legions, wbo lay till then confounded; they rise, their Numbers, Array of Battle, their chief Leaders named, according to the Idols afterwards known in Canaan, and the Countries adjoining. Satan, though sensible of the Diminution of bis Glory directs his Speech to the Fallen Angels, comforts them with Hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them of a new World, and new Kind of Creature to be created ; according to an antient Prophecy or Report in Heaven, and threatens the Deity, which the rebellious Angels all assent to. The Asociates of Satan build Pandæmonium, and the Infernal Peers fit there in Council,
CH A P. I. The whole Subject is proposed, Man's Disobedience,
and the Loss thereupon of Paradise wherein be was placed. The prime Cause of his Fall. Satan with bis Angels now fallen into Hell described, lying on the burning Lake, After a certain Space Satan calls to him who next lay by him, They confer of their miserable Fall.
EAVENLY Spirit of Truth and Harmony, assist me to write of Man's first Disobedience, and of the Fruit of that forbidden Tree, the Tasting of which brought Death and all our Woe into the World, and occasioned
the Loss of Paradise, till JESUS CHRIST, a Man far greater than Adam, restore and redeem, and once more regain a Paradise for us.