Milton - PR3550 D77 1777 M2

THE LIFE of MILTON. 427 authority is, that he could not indure to hear this poem cried down fo much as it was, in comparifon with the other. For certainly it is very worthy of the author, and contrary to what Mr. Toland relates, Milton may be feen in Paradife Regain'd as well as in Paradife Loft ; if it is inferior in poetry, I know not whether it is not fuperior in fentiment ; if it is lefs defcriptive, it is more argumentative ; if it Both not fometimes rife fo high, neither doth it ever fink fo low ; and it has not met with the approbation it deferves, only becaufe it has not been more read and confidered. His fubjea indeed is confined, and he has a narrow foundation to build upon ; but he has raifed as noble a fuperftruaure, as fuch little room, and fuch fcanty materials would allow. The great beautyof it is the contraft between the two chara&ers of the Tempter and our Saviour, the artful fophiftry and fpecious infinuations of the one refuted by the ftrong fenfe and manly eloquenceof the other. This poem has alfo been tranflated into French together with fome other pieces of Milton, Lycidas, L'Allegro, Il Penferofo, and the Ode on Chrift's nativity : and in 1732 was printed a Critical Differtation with notes upon Paradife Regain'd, pointing out the beauties of it, and written by Mr. Meadowcourt, Canon of Worceller : and the very learned and ingenious Mr. Jortin has added come obfervations upon this work at the end of his excellent Remarks upon Spenfer, publithed in 1734 ; and indeed this poem of Milton, to be more admired, needs only to be better known. His Samfon Agoniftes is the only tragedy that he has finifhed, tho' he has sketched out the plans of feveral, and propofed the fub- jeas of more, in his rnanufcript preferved in Trinity College library : and we may Cuppofe that he was determined to the choice of this particular fubjea by the fimilitude of his own circumftances to chore of Samfon blind and among the Philiftines. This I conceive to be the laft of his poetical pieces ; and it is written in the very fpirit of the Ancients, and equals, if not exceeds, any of the molt perfea tragedies, which were ever exhibited on the Athenian ftage, when Greece was in its glory. As this workwas never intended for the stage, the divifion into ads and (ones is omitted. Bifhop Atterbury had