Imatges de pàgina
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end of every line ; 'twas the example of our best ENGLISH TRAGEDIES bere be followed ; HIS HONOURED SHAKESPEARE.]

'Tis hardly possible, but that a reader of Shakefpeare and Milton muft have observed a great resemblance both of stile and sentiment in these two poets : see above page 217, 218, what is cited from them concerning the variety of the punishments of the damned : other passages may be easily pointed out ; as for example.

O for a faulkner's voice
- To lure this taffel gentle back again."

Sh. Romeo and Juliet, AA II.
O for that warning voice, which he who faw
“ Th' Apocalyps, heard cry in heav'n aloud."

Milton, IV, I. « The heavenly-harness'd team “ Begins his golden progress in the east."

K. Henry IV, A& III. • The Morn-begins “ Her rofy progress smiling." “ As easy may't thou the intrenchant air “ With thy keen sword imprefs." Macbeth, AA IV. When vapours fir'd impress the air.

Milt. IV, 558. * And with indented glides did flip away."

As you Like it, A& IV.

Not with indented wave 5 Prone on the ground. &c.

Milt. IX, 496. • But now fits EXPECTATION in the air."

K. Henry V. AS I.

Milt. XI, 175

In the same sublime manner EXPECTATION is personalized in Milton. VI, 306.

While EXPECTATION stood * In horror.” So VICTORY is personalized, In K. Richard III. A& V.

" VICTORY fits on our helms.e'

Again, In Antony and Cleopatra, Ac I.

-“ On your sword r. Sit lawrell'd VICTORY."

Hence Milton. VI, 762.

At his right hand VICTORY “ Sat eage-wing'd." In the IVth book, where Satan falls into those doubts with himself, and passions of fear and despair, Milton uses the fame image, as Shakespeare in describing the perturbed and distracted state of Macbeth. " And like a devilish engine back recoils Upon

himself : horror and doubt distract " His troubled soul.” B.IV, 16.

“ Who then shall blame “ His pefter'd senses to recoyl and start • When all that is within him does condemn

“ Itself for being there?" Macbeth, Ac V. Milton, in the description of Eve's bower (B. IV, 703.] says,

is Other creatures here “ Beast, bird, insect or worm, durft enter none ; « Such was their awe of Man."

So in the song, inserted in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, Insects and worms are forbid to approach the

Bower

Bower of the Queen of Fairies. Callimachus has a thought not unlike, speaking of the place where Rhea brought forth Jove.

*Ένθεν ο χώρος Ιερός έδε τί μιν κεχρημένον Ειλειθυίης

Ερπετόν, έδε γυνή επινίσσεται. Hym. I, 11. Inde locus eft facer : neque prægnans aliquod animal, neque mulier eum adit ulla. Eparelèy, is whatever walks or creeps, bird, beaft, infeet or worm, as Milton expresses it ; who doubtless had both Callimachus and Shakespeare in his mind. And this is very usual for Milton, in the compass of a few lines to rifle the beauties of various authors, and hence to make them his own by his properly applying and improving them as his divine subject required. This having not been, as I know of, sufficiently attended to, I will instance in one or two passages.

“ Like that Pygmean race “ Beyond the Indian mount ; or Fairy elyes, “ Whose midnight revels by a forest fide, " Or fountain, some belated peasant fees “ Or dreams he sees; while over-head the moon

“ Sits arbitress, &c.”' Milton is speaking of the fallen Angels, who had reduced their immense shapes-firft he says they resembled the Pyg

Şee Homer Il. 7. 6. and Eufath, fol. 281.

Or Fairy elves « Whose midnight revels by a foreft side « Or fountain, &c.''

mean race.

Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II.

“ And never since that middle Summer's spring “ That we, on hill, in dale, forest or mead,

I

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“ By paved fountain, or by rushy brook, « Or on the beached margent of the fea

“ To dance our ringlets to the whisling wind, &e."" Again, the following in Milton. Some belated peasant fees or dreams he sees : is literally from Virgil, Aen. VI, 454. Aut videt aut vidiffe putat. And, --'While over head the Moon fots arbitrefs : from Horace. L I. Od. IV.

Jom Cytherea Choros ducit Venus, IMMINENTE LUNA. Milton, B. V. 5.5.

" Which th' only found “ Of leaves, and fuming rills, (Aurora's fan) “ Lightly dispers'd, and the thrill matin fong

“ Of birds on every bough. This is partly Virgil. VIII, 456..

Evandrum ex humili tecto lux fufcitat alma,

Et MATUTINI VOLUCRUM fub' culmine CANTUS. And partly Taffo [B. VII. ft. 5. ] thus rendered by Fairfax, " The birds awake her with their morning song, « Their warbling muficke pierft her tender eare, The murmuring brooks, and whiffling winds among The ratling boughes and leaves their parts did beare, &c." From Virgil Milton has literally the matin fong of birds, from Taffo, tbe found of leaves and rills : his own addition is, Aurora's fan: a pretty poetical image applied to the fanning winds among the leaves of the trees, and the cooling fumes arifing from the rills. I will add but one passage more which has already been cited.

“ Heav'n open'd wide “ Her ever during gates, harmonious sound “ On golden hinges moving!" B. VII, 205.

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This, by way of contrast, should be compar'd with B. II,
881.

« On a sudden open fly
“ With impetuous recoil and jarring found
• Th'infernal doors, and on their hinges grate

6. Harsh thunder."
The reader, if he has any ear, will plainly perceive how
the sound of these verses corresponds to the sense ; and how
finely they are improved from Virgil. Aen. VI, 573.

Tum demum horrisono ftridentes cardine sacrae -- Panduntur portae.Hell gates grate harsh thunder ; the gates of Heaven open with harmonious sound. This' (to omit Homer and the Psalmist mentioned already) he had from Amadis de Gaul, B. IV. Ch. XI. where he describes the palace of Apolidon. And the Witty Rabelais (B. V. Ch. 37.] has the self-fame image. - In these two last instances here brought no mention is made of Shakespeare, but this small digreffion, perhaps, the reader will excuse as it shews in a new light some fine passages of our epic poet.

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