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fication. He concludes : 'If the poetry of Milton be examined with regard to the pauses, and flow of his verses into each other, it will appear, that he has performed all that our language would admit; and the comparison of his numbers with those who have cultivated the same manner of writing, will show that he excelled as much in the lower as the higher parts of his art, and that his skill in harmony was not less than his invention or his learning.' (Rambler, No. 90.)
P. 82, 1. 1. 'I am aware that Johnson has said, after some hesitation, that he could not "prevail on himself to wish that Milton had been a rhymer.” The opinions of that truly great man, whom it is also the present fashion to decry, will ever be received by me with that deference which time will restore to him from all ; but with all humility I am not persuaded that the “Paradise Lost” would not have been more nobly conveyed to posterity, not perhaps in heroic couplets, although even they could sustain the subject if well balanced, but in the stanza of Spenser or of Tasso, or in the terza rima of Dante, which the powers of Milton could easily have grafted on our own language. (Byron, Letter to D'Israeli, quoted by Cunningham, i. 165.)
1. 22. ‘But I wonder not so much at the poem itself, though worthy of all wonder; as that the author could so abstract his thoughts from his own troubles, as to be able to make it; that confined in a narrow and to him a dark chamber, surrounded with cares and fears, he could spatiate at large through the compass of the whole universe, and through all heaven beyond it; could survey all periods of time from before the creation to the consummation of all things. This theory, no doubt, was a great solace to him in his affliction ; but it shews in him a greater strength of spirit, that made him capable of such a solace.' (Bentley, Preface to Paradise Lost; 1732.)
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