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rather induce them to think he has given himself more trouble than was necessary, and afford them an opportunity of retorting on bim his own words, Critics muft shew their reading in quoting books.

As killing as the canker to the rose.] Shakespeare is fond of this image, who, from frequent repetition, seems to have suggested it to Milton. Sonn. Ixx.

For CANKER vice the swEETEST BUDS doth love. Again, ibid. xxxv.

And loathsom CANKER lives in swEETEST BUD. Again, ibid. xcv.

Which, like a CAnker in thy fragrant rose,

Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name. And of a rose again, which had feloniously stolen the boy's complexion and breath, ibid. xcix.

But for his theft, in pride of all his growth,

A vengefull CANKER eat him up to death.
And in the Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, A. i. S. i.

As in the swEETEST BUDS
The eating CANKER dwells, so eating love, &c.
Again, TEMPEST, A. i. S. ii.

- Something stain'd
With grief, that's beauty's CANKER. -
And in the First P. of Henr. VI. A. ii. S. iv.

Hath not thy ROSE A CANKER, Somerset ? And in HAMLET, A. i. S. iii.

The CANKER galls the INFANTS of the SPRING

Too oft before their buttons are disclos'd.
And in K. Richard II. A. ii. S.ji.

But now will CANKER forrow eat my BUD.
And in the RAPE of LUCRECE, SUPPL. Shakes. i. 52.

Why should the worm intrude the maiden BUD?
And in the Mids. N. DR. A. ii. S. iii. The fairies are employed,

Some to kill CANKERS in the MUSK-ROSE buds. Canker-Blooms are mentioned in Shakespeare's Sonn. liv.

The CANKER-Blooms have full as deep a dye

As the perfumed tincture of the roses. But there the CANKER-Bloom is the dog-rofe. As in Much Ado ABOUT NOTHING, A. i. S. ji. " I had rather be a CANKER in a hedge, than a role in his grace.” Shakespeare affords other inftances.'

This is given as a specimen of what is to be often met with. In L'ALLEGRO, we have a similar list of parallel places on the word triumphs; in IL PENSEROSO, another on arched walks ; in ARCADES, there is another on curl the grove; and in Comus we have a number of passages brought together from various authors

where

where the words trip, tripping and trippingly occur to illustrate the line,

• Other trippings to be trod.' Subjoined to LYCIDAS are notes to explain what the Author meant by beaked promontory;—they knew not of his story ;-reverend fore, and tender flops of various quills; but Mr. Warton offers not a syllable on the scrannel pipes, nor endeavours to point out the precise meaning of the word scrannel by the aid of one parallel passage. It is possible be might have searched for it (as Johnson dio) in vain; but this he thould have told us, as this would have ascertained it to be a word of Milton's invention; or at least first employed by him in poetry.

Inftances of the like kind are to be found in the notes affixed to the other poems. In L'ALLEGRO, nods and becks are favoured with an explanation; but the wreathed smiles are left to explain themselves. Day's garish eye, in IL PENSEROSO, furnishes an opportunity of exbibiting a string of quotations from Spenser, Joshua Silvefter, Browne, Sir J. Beaumont, Phineas Fletcher, Drayton, Shakespeare, and Gay, in which the word eye occurs; but the word garish, which is rather less common and not quite so well understood as the word eye, is found in neither of them. In Comus he condescends to inform his readers that quaint fignifies frange, odd, unusual; while on the phrase blear illufion he is filent: and (not to adduce other instances) on line 293, ' And the swinkt hedger at his supper fat,' it is observed that hedger is a paftoral word at once natural and new;' but on neither the meaning or merit of the adjective swinkt is any observation offered..

It is the professed business of this commentary to point out Milton's imitations; and this, in general, is happily executed, his Editor having carefully traced him among the older poets, and marked many pasiages in them which may reasonably be supposed to have furnished him with ideas, or affifted his conceptions. But this investigation, though it might prove fatal to an ordinary poet, serves only to increase the reputation of our sublime bard. To him we may better apply an observation which . we recollect Mr. Warton has made relative to Pope, 'he invades authors like a monarch, and what would be theft in other poets, is only victory in him. *' Places are taken notice of where he has even improved on Shakespeare : an instance may be seen in Comus, l. 22.

But Critics, when employed in detecting imitations, are very apt to pursue the matter too far. Later poets are generally reprefented by them as imitating their predecessors, in instances where it is more reasonable to conclude they alike copied from

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* See the Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope.
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Nature.

Nature. Milton at the beginning of Il Penseroso has theft lines,

" As thick and numberless

· As the gay motes that people the sun-beams.' Dr. Newton takes notice of this as a fimilitude copied from Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Tale, 868, As thik as motis in the funni beme;' Mr. W. thinks it full as probable to be caken from Drayton, or from Caxton's Golden Legend, where the same mention is made of these motes. Is it not, however, most probable that Milton was neither indebted to Chaucer, Drayton, nor Caxton for this allufion ; but to Phoebus himself? With equal reason may we charge every modern painter who introduces into his picture the riting or setting fun, with copying preceding artists who have drawn this common object, as accuse our Author in the above instance of copying older poets. Could a passage have been exhibited where the motes were described as gay, and peopling the solar beams, there would have been reason for concluding Milton had copied it; but, bis allufion to the numberless motes in the beams of the fun, was not perhaps suggested to him by reading, but by obiervation. Similes like this, so obviously presented by Nature, cannot be well produced as examples of imitation.

Errors and omiffions in such a body of criticism will almost necessarily occur; for where is the man whose vigilant enquiry nothing can elude; whole recollection nothing escapes, and whose decisions are always governed by unerring judgment? It is, therefore, some compliment to our Editor's abilities and industry to observe, that these are comparatively few. His pere formance has lustre, and will shine notwithstanding those spots which the eye of criticism may discern on its surface. Haftily correcting the press, he has suffered errors to appear, p. 3, where Pueda u quadat is translated nigra filia, instead of nigra folia, and dziai, myrti, instead of lauri.

We conceive Mr. W. mistaken in his note on this couplet in Lycidas, V. 130. But that the two-handed engine at the door

Stands ready to smite once and smite no more, when he observes, that our Author here anticipates the execution of Archbishop Laud by a two-handed engine or ax.' Milton being only a poet, and not a propbet, it is not probable he referred to this particular event; but meant only in general to affert that the great executioner, Death, ftood ready at the door with his two-handed engine or scythe to cut off the dilipated clergy. The very argument of the poem expreffes this. The Author bewails a learned friendand by occasion foretels the ruin of our corrupted clergy then in their heighth.

To the quotation from the poem prefixed to Burton's Anatomie of Melancholy, at the end of li Penferoso, he thould have added

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the beautiful song in the Nice Valour, or Passionate Madman of Beaumont and Fletcher, which was evidentiy well known to Milton.

Arcades, l. 97, by lillied banks, says the Editor, perhaps we are to understand water-lillies.' Perhaps not, as these do not grow on banks but at the bottom of rivers, and have their leaves and flowers floating on the surface.

The phrase, in the postscript of Sir H. Wotton's letter prefixed to Comus, Our friendship too foon interrupted in the cradle, Mr. W. interprets 'when you was but a child;' but surely it means no more than that it was interrupted almost as soon as it commenced.

Will not the objection made by Mr: W. to the propriety of the Spirit's first speech in Comus, be removed by considering it as a soliloquy?

When he represents the word vitwless (note to Comus, l. 91.) as almoft peculiar to Milton, he must have forgotten a beautiful passage in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure; where is this line,

"To be imprisond in the viewless winds.' He confounds the Mummers with the W'assailers (note v. 178.), and at v. 375. (not with his usual judgment) wilhes to alter • Were in the flat sea sunk,' into, Were in the sea flat sunk.' But were there no impropriety in describing the sun and moon as sinking Aat, we should prefer the present reading, as it accords with the author's level brine in Lycidas.

V. 760. I hate when Vice can bolt her arguments. This verse he explains as having a reíerence to a bolting- mill, or boltinghutch used for separating the four froin the bran. But here the word bolt is borrowed from archery. The bolt is the arrow of the cross-bow, and to belt is the act of Mooting it. Hence it came to be used in general to figniły to shoot, dart, or throw out.

Sonnet viii. line 13. Of fad Electra's poet By the epithet sad, Milton denominaies the pachetic character of Euripides.' To us, fad, in this place, appears rather to belong to Electra than to Euripides

These imperfe&tions are trilling, and venial; but our duty to the Public obliges us to take notice of some which will not be thought to come altogether under this defcription.

Mr. Warton merits some little reprehension for the unfairness with which, in an inftance or two, he has treated Dr. Newton, his predeceffor ; but we think him moft censurable for the violent party prejudices which he gives vent to, on all occafions, again his AuThor. Though lavih in his praises of Milion the Port, he con give no quarter to Milton the Purilan. Here his obiervaticos hive offended us; not because we have cipoured the principles of M Iton, and are partial to puritanical polemics, but because

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we think them improper in a work of polite criticism, illiberal, and such as his text by no means justifies.-Why these repeated attacks on his author ? Des the Laureat esteem it impolitic Rege fub Augufto-laudare Catonem ? or has he so cordial an averfion to Puritanism, that the very lhadow of its shade ro discomposes him, that he cannot refrain from thrusting his critical rapier into every hole and crevice, where he suspects it to be lurking? Without investigating the motive of his enmity, it is fufficient for us to observe, that he appears to be so blinded by zeal or paffion in pursuing it, as sometimes to draw his sword when no enemy is near, and aim a dreadful blow at Puritanism, when this spiritual monster is to all but himself invisible. 6. g. The following passage in Comus, v. 178.

In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,

And thank the gods amiss is taken notice of as an early symptom of Milton's propensity to Puritanism, and condemned as containing an indirect satire on the festivals established by the church, and a censure of the book of sports, which Mr W. appears to have no objection to revive, thinking it would remove what he contemptuously, but at the same time improperly, calls the Calvinism of an English Sunday.

We leave ecclefiaftics to debate with him about the manner in which Sunday should be observed, and thall only comment on the note as far as it relates to the text. Here we would ask him wherein the passage savours in particular of Puritanism? Do not all se&s agree in this, that to praise God with wantonness and indecency, is to praise him amiss

. Milton, no doubt, with many others, disapproved of those recreations and sports which Charles II. (that elegant and liberal monarch, as Mr. W. calls him) encouraged by his Declaration, on the Lord's Day; but if this passage, which has provoked his Editor's animadversions, be descriptive of these sports, it ought to be represented, not as a symptom of Milton's propenfily to Puritanism, but to Christianity. Surely he does not mean to consider these as the same. But why these remarks about Puritanism, when the Editor, in a preceding note (p. 137.), tells us that his Author was not yet a Puritan, being only 26 years old; and that Comus was written before he had been deeply tinc. tured with the fudy of the Bible * ?

With as little reason is Milton accused, line 808, of 'ridiculing establishments'

Against the canon laws of our foundation. We took off our spectacles, wiped the glasses as clean as we could, replaced them, looked, and looked again, considered every word, revolved and re-revolved the whole passage in our minds, but we could perceive not an atom of ridicule in it. To

* This expression for a divine is not the most decent.

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