Imágenes de páginas

Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and torneament; then marshall’d feast


in hall with sewers, and seneschals ;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name

person or to poem. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains, sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold



shield, the motto imported that of spelling obliges us to print it the wearer would win by his in both places alike ; and we valour wherewith to adorn it. prefer torneament, because we Bases from bas (French) they suppose the Italian to have been fall low to the ground; they are the original word; as we write also called the housing from impresses according to the Latin, houssé, bedaggled. Seners from because that word is originally asseoir (French) to set down; derived from the Latin. Shakefor those officers set the dishes speare too uses the word impress on the table; in old French as a substantive in the same

Seneschals from two sense, Richard II. act ii. German words signifying a ser

From mine own windows torn my vant of a family, and was ap- household coat, plied by way of eminence to the Ras'd out my impress. principal servant, the steward. And Fairfax in Tasso, cant. xx. Richardson.

st. 28. We may observe that Milton spells the word impreses after Their arms, impresses, colours, gold the Italian impresa, and not as we commonly do impresses, as if 41.

-me of these it was of Latin extraction: but Nor skilld nor studious, higher as he has used the words im

argument pressed, ii. 388. and in other Remains,] places, and impress, iv. 558. See Mr. Dunster's note, b. ii. we have caused it to be printed 443. on the Latinism me higher impresses out of regard to the argument remains. E. uniformity of spelling. And so 44. —unless an age too late or torneanient he spells here after

cold the Italian torneamento, though Climate,] in xi. 652. he writes it tourna. He has a thought of the same ment, which seems to be after kind in his Prose Works. The the French tournoy: but the Reason of Church Government, same regard to the uniformity Book the second, p. 60. Edit.

and stone.


Climate, or years damp my intended wing
Depress’d, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers who brings it nightly to my ear.

The sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter
'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night's hemisphere had veil'd th' horizon round:
When Satan who late fled before the threats


suppose, that


1739.“ As Tasso gave to a prince 53. When Satan who late fled “ of Italy his choice, whether &c.] If we look into the three “ he would command him to great heroic poems which have “ write of Godfrey's expedition appeared in the world, we may

against the infidels, or Beli- observe that they are built upon “ sarius against the Goths, or very slight foundations. Homer “ Charlemagne against the Lom- lived near three hundred years “ bards; if to the instinct of after the Trojan war; and, as “ nature and the imboldening the writing of history was not “ of art ought may be trusted, then in use among the Greeks, " and that there be nothing ad- we may very

well verse in our climate, or the fate the tradition of Achilles and of this age, it haply would be Ulysses had brought down but

rashness from an equal di- very few particulars to his knowligence and inclination to pre- ledge; though there is no ques“ sent the like offer in our own tion but he has wrought into his " ancient stories." Or

years two poems such of their remarkdamp &c. for he was near sixty able adventures, as

were still when this poem was published. talked of among his contempoAnd it is surprising, that at that raries. The story of Æneas, on time of life, and after such trou- which Virgil founded his poem, blesome days as he had passed was likewise very bare of cirthrough, he should have so cumstances, and by that means much poetical fire remaining. afforded him an opportunity of 50. -short arbiter

embellishing it with fiction, and 'Twixt day and night,] giving a full range to his own This expression was probably invention. We find however borrowed from the beginning that he has interwoven in the of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, course of bis fable the principal where, speaking of the sun particulars which were generally about the time of the equinox, believed among the Romans of he calls him an indifferent arbiter Æneas's voyage and settlement between the night and the day. in Italy. The reader may find

Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
In meditated fraud and malice, bent


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an abridgment of the whole phetess had foretold Æneas, that story as collected out of the an- he should take his voyage westcient historians, and as it was re- ward, till his companions should ceived among the Romans, in eat their tables; and that acDionysius Halicarnasseus. Since cordingly, upon his landing in none of the critics have con- Italy, as they were eating their sidered Virgil's fable, with re- flesh upon cakes of bread, for lation to this history of Æneas; want of other conveniences, they it may not perhaps be amiss to afterwards fed on the cakes them. examine it in this light, so far as selves ; upon which one of the regards my present purpose. company said merrily, We are Whoever looks into the abridg- eating our tables. They immement above mentioned, will find diately took the hint, says the that the character of Æneas is historian, and concluded the filled with piety to the gods, prophecy to be fulfilled. As and a superstitious observation Virgil did not think it proper to of prodigies, oracles, and predic- omit so material a particular in tions. Virgil has not only pre- the history of Æneas, it may be served this character in the per- worth while to consider with son of Æneas, but has given a how much judgment he has place in his poem to those par- qualified it, and takes off every ticular prophecies, which he thing that might have appeared found recorded of him in his- improper for a passage in an tory and tradition. The poet heroic poem. The prophetess

. took the matters of fact as they who foretells it is an hungry came down to him, and circum- Harpy, as the person who disstanced them after his own man

covers it is

young Ascanius: ner, to make thein appear the

Heus etiam mensas consumimus, in more natural, agreeable, or sur

quit Iülus. prising. I believe very many readers have been shocked at Such an observation, which is that ludicrous prophecy which beautiful in the mouth of a boy, one of the Harpies pronounces would have been ridiculous from to the Trojans in the third any other of the company. I book, namely, that before they am apt to think that the changhad built their intended city, ing of the Trojan fleet into waterthey should be reduced by hun. nymphs, which is the most vioger to eat their very tables. But lent machine in the whole Æneid, when they hear that this was one and has given offence to several of the circumstances that had been critics, may be accounted for the transmitted to the Romans in the same way. Virgil himself, behistory of Æneas, they will think fore he begins that relation, prethe poet did very well in taking mises, that what he was going notice of it. The historian above to tell appeared incredible, but mentioned acquaints us, a pro- that it was justified by tradition.

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On man's destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.

What farther confirms me that tion of what the other is only an this change of the fleet was a epitome. I have insisted the celebrated circumstance in the longer on this consideration, as history of Æneas is, that Ovid I look upon the disposition and has given a place to the same contrivance of the fable to be metamorphosis in his account of the principal beauty of the ninth the heathen mythology. None book, which has more story in of the critics I have met with it, and is fuller of incidents, than having considered the fable of any other in the whole poem. the Æneid in this light, and Satan's traversing the globe, and taken notice how the tradition, still keeping within the shadow of on which it was founded, au- the night, as fearing to be disthorizes those parts in it which covered by the angel of the sun, appear most exceptionable; I who had before detected him, is hope the length of this reflection one of those beautiful imaginawill not make it unacceptable to tions, with which he introduces the curious part of my readers. this his second series of adven

The history, which was the basis tures. Having examined the of Milton's poem, is still shorter nature of every creature, and than either that of the Iliad or found out one which was the Æneid. The poet has likewise most proper for his purpose, he taken care to insert every cir- again returns to Paradise; and cumstance of it in the body of to avoid discovery, sinks by his fable. The ninth book, night with a river that ran under which we are here to consider, the garden, and rises up again is raised upon that brief account through a fountain that issued in Scripture, wherein we are from it by the tree of life. The told that the serpent was more poet, who, as we have before subtle than any beast of the taken notice, speaks as little as field, that he tempted the woman possible in his own person, and to eat of the forbidden fruit, that after the example of Homer fills she was overcome by this tempt- every part of his work with ation, and that Adam followed manners and characters, introher example. From these few duces a soliloquy of this infernal particulars, Milton has formed agent, who was thus restless in one of the most entertaining the destruction of man. He is fables that invention ever pro- then described as gliding through duced. He has disposed of these the garden, under the resemseveral circumstances among so blance of a mist, in order to find many beautiful and natural fic. out that creature in which he tions of his own, that his whole designed to tempt our first pastory looks only like a comment rents. This description has upon sacred writ, or rather seems something in it very poetical and to be a full and complete rela- surprising. Addison. VOL. II.


By night he fled, and at midnight return'd
From compassing the earth, cautious of day,
Since Uriel regent of the sun descried

His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim
That kept their watch ; thence full of anguish driven,
The space of sev’n continued nights he rode
With darkness, thrice the equinoctial line
He circled, four times cross'd the car of night
From pole to pole, traversing each colure
On th’ eighth return’d, and on the coast averse
From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth
Found unsuspected way. There was a place,


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63. The space of sev’n continued again ; so the colures are two nights he rode

great circles, intersecting each With darkness, &c.]

other at right angles in the poles It was about noon that Satan of the world, and encompassing came to the earth, and having the earth from north to south, been discovered by Uriel, he and from south to north again : was driven out of Paradise the and therefore as Satan was movsame night, as we read in book ing from pole to pole, at the the fourth. From that time he same time the car of night was was a whole week in continual moving from east to west, if he darkness for fear of another would keep still in the shade of discovery. Thrice the equinoctial night as he desired, he could line he circled; he travelled on not move in a straight line, but with the night three times round must move obliquely, and therethe equator; he was three days by cross the two colures. We moving round from east to west have expressed ourselves as the sun does, but always on plainly as we can for the sake of the opposite side of the globe in those readers, who are not acdarkness. Four times crossed the quainted with these astronomical car of night from pole to pole; terms; and the fact in short is, did not move directly on with that Satan was three days comthe night as before, but crossed passing the earth from east to over from the northern to the west, and four days from north southern, and from the southern to south, but still kept always in to the northern pole. Traversing the shade of night; and after a euch colure. As the equinoctial whole week's peregrination in line or equator is a great circle this manner, on the eighth night encompassing the earth from east returned by stealth into Parato west and from west to eaet dise.


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