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and cursorily proposed by him in the following Lines No. 309. of the first Book,

Saturday,

Feb. 23,
Space may produce new Worlds, wbereof so rife

1712.
There weni a Fame in Hear'a, that he e'er long
latended to create, and therein plant
A Generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the Sons of Heav'o ,
Thither, if_but to pry, shall be perhaps
Our first Eruption, thither or elsewhere s
For this infernal Pit shall never hold
Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor th' Abyss
Long under Darkness cover. But these Though

Full Counsel must mature s-
It is on this Project that Beelzebub grounds his
Proposal

- What if we fiad
Some easier Enterprize? There is a Place
(If ancient and prophetic Fame in Heav'o
Err not) another World, the happy Seat
Of some new Race called Man, about this Time
To be created like to us, though less
lo Power and Excelleace, but favour'd more
Of him who rules above; so was his Will
Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an Oath,

That shook Heav'n's whole Circumference, confirm'd.
The Reader may observe how just it was, not to
omit in the first Book the Project upon which the
whole Poem turns: As also that the Prince of the
fall's Angels was the only proper Person to give it
Birth, and that the next to him in Dignity was the
fittest to second and support it.

There is besides, I think, something wonderfully beautiful, and very apt to affect the Reader's Imaginastion, in this antient Prophecy or Report in Heaven,

concerning the Creation of Man. Nothing could shew more the Dignity of the Species, than this Tradition which ran of them before their Existence. They are represented to have been the Talk of Heaven, before they were created. Virgil in compliment to the Roman Common-wealth, makes the Heroes of it appear in their State of Pre-existence; but Milton does a far greater Honour to Mankind in general, as he gives us a Glimpse of them even before they are in Being.

The

No. 309. The rising of this great Assembly is described in a
Saturday, very sublime and poetical Manner.
Feb. 23,
1712.

Their rísing all at once was as the sound

Of Thunder heard remote-
The Diversions of the fallen Angels, with the par
ticular Account of their Place of Habitation, are described
with great Pregnancy of Thought, and Copiousness of
Invention. The Diversions are every way suitable to
Beings who had Nothing left them but Strength and
Knowledge misapplied. Such are their contentions at
the Race, and in Feats of Arms, with their Enter
tainment in the following Lines.

Others with vast Typhæan Rage more fell
Rend up both Rocks and Hills and ride the Air

la Whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wild uproar.
Their Musick is employed in celebrating their own
criminal Exploits, and their_Discourse in founding the
unfathomable Depths of Fate, Free-will, and Fore
Knowledge.

The several Circumstances in the Description of
Hell are very finely imagined; as the four Rivers
which disgorge themselves into the Sea of Fire, the
Extreams of Cold and Heat, and the River of Oblivion.
The monstrous Animals produced in that infernal
World are represented by a single Line, which gives
us a more horrid Idea of them, than a much longer
Description would have done.

Nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious Things,
Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than Fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd,

Gorgons and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.
This Episode of the fallen Spirits, and their Place
of Habitation, comes in very happily to unbend the
Mind of the Reader from its Attention to the Debate.
An ordinary Poet would indeed have spun out so
many Circumstances to a great Length, and by that
Means have weakned, instead of illustrated, the prin
cipal Fable.

The

The Flight of Satan to the Gates of Hell is finely No. 309. imaged.

Saturday, I have already declared my Opinion of the Allegory Feb. 23,

1712. concerning Sin and Death, which is however a very finished Piece in its Kind, when it is not considered as Part of an Epic Poem. The Genealogy of the several Persons is contrived with great DelicacySin is the Daughter of Satan, and Death the Offspring of Sin. The incestuous Mixture between Sin and Death produces those Monsters and Hell-hounds which from

Time to Time enter into their Mother, and tear the
Bowels of her who gave them Birth. These are the
Terrors of an evil Conscience, and the proper Fruits
of Sin, which naturally rise from the Apprehensions
of Death. This last beautiful Moral is, I think, clearly
intimated in the Speech of Sin, where complaining of
this her dreadful Issue, she adds,

Before mine Eyes in Opposition sits
Grim Death thy Son and Foe, who sets them on
And me his Parent would full soon devour
For want of other Prey, but that he knows

His Eod with mine involv'd
I need not mention to the Reader the beautiful
Circumstance in the last part of this Quotation He
will likewise observe how naturally the three Persons
concerned in this Allegory are tempted by one
common Interest to enter into a Confederacy together,
and how properly Sin is made the Portress of Hell

, and the only Being that can open the Gates to that World of Tortures,

The descriptive Part of this Allegory is likewise very strong, and full of sublime Ideas. The Figure of Death, the Regal Crown upon his Head, his Menace to Satan, his advancing to the Combat, the Outcry at his Birth, are Circumstances too noble to be past over in Silence, and extreamly suitable to this King of Terrors. I need not Mention the Justness of Thought which is observed in the Generation of these several Symbolical Persons, that Sin was produced upon the first Revolt of Satan, that Death appeared soon after he was cast into Hell, and that the Terrors of Conscience

were

No. 309. were conceived at the Gate of this Place of Torments.'
Saturday, The Description of the Gates is very poetical, as the
Feb. 23, opening of them is full of Milton's Spirit

On a sudden open fly
With ímpetuous recoil and jarring sound
Th' infernal Doors, and on their Hinges grate
Harsh Thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut
Excell'd her Pow'r, the Gates wide open stood,
That with extended Wings a banner'd host
Under spread Ensigos marching might pass throuoh
With Horse and Chariots rank'd in loose array,
So wide they stood, and like a Furnace Mouth

Cast forth redounding Smoak and ruddy Flame,
In Satan's Voyage through the Chaos there are
several imaginary Persons described, as residing in
that immense Waste of Matter. This may perhaps be
conformable to the Taste of those Criticks who are
pleased with Nothing in a Poet which has not Life
and Manners ascribed to it, but for my own Part 1
am pleased most with those Passages in this Description
which carry in them a greater Measure of Probability,
and are such as might possibly have happened. Of
this kind is his first Mounting in the Smcak, that
rises from the infernal Pit, his falling into a Cloud of
Nitre, and the like combustible Materials, that by their
Explosion still hurried him forward in his Voyage; his
springing upward like a Pyramid of Fire, with his
laborious Passage through that Confusion of Elements,
which the Poet calls

The Womb of Nature, and perhaps her Grave. The Glimmering Light which shot into the Chaos from the utmost Verge_of the Creation, with the distant Discovery of the Earth that hung close by the Moon, are wonderfully Beautiful and Poetical, L

Monday

can do

No. 310. V

No. 310. [STEELE]

Monday, February 25. Monday,

Feb. 25, Connubio jungam stabili Virg.

1712. . Mr. SPECTATOR, I

AM a certain young Woman, that love a certain

young Man very heartily: and my Father and Mother were for it a great While, but now they say I better, but I think I cannot. They bid me love him, and I cannot unlove him. What must I do? Speak quickly.

Biddy Doughbake.' 'Dear SPEC

Feb. 19, 1712. I have lov'd a Lady entirely for this Year and Half, tho' for a great Part of the Time (which has con tributed not a little to my Pain) I have been debarred the Liberty of conversing with her. The Grounds of our Difference was this ; That when we had enquired into each other's Circumstances, we found that at our first setting out into the World we should owe five hundred Pounds more than her Fortune would pay off. My Estate is seven hundred Pounds a Year, besides the Benefit of Tin-Mines. Now, dear Spec upon this State of the Case, and the Lady's positive Declaration that there is still no other objection, I beg you'll not fail to insert this, with your Opinion, as soon as possibly, whether this ought to be esteemed a just Cause or Impediment why we should not be join'd, and you will for ever oblige

Yours sincerely,

Dick Lovesick P. S. Sir, if I marry this Lady by the Assistance of your Opinion, you may expect á Favour for it.'

* Mr. SPECTATOR, I have the Misfortune to be one of those unhappy Men who are distinguished by the Name of discarded Lovers, but I am the less mortified at my Disgrace, because the young Lady is one of those Creatures who set up for Negligence of Men, are forsooth the most

rigidly

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