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refuted by the Son of God with strong unaffected eloquence, is the peculiar excellence of this Poem. Satan here defends a bad cause with great skill and subtilty, as one thoroughly versed in that Craft,
Qui facere affúerat
Ovid, Met. XI.
314. His character is well drawn. In his speeches we may observe the following Particulars.
1. His pretended frankness and ingenuity, in confeffing who he was, when he found he was difcovered : B. I. 358.
'Tis true, I am that Spirit unfortunate, Who, leagu’d with millions more in rash revolt, Kept not my happy station.
II. His plea for himself, that he was not a creature quite lost to all good : B. I. 377:
For what he bids 1 do: though I have lost
Sharply thoạ haft insisted on rebuke,
Easily canst thou find one miserable,
And tuneable as silvan pipe or fong, &c.
V. His strong and lively description of his own wretched state. Chrift says to him, B. III. 198, &c.
But what concerns it thee, when I begin
To whom the Tempter, inly rack’d, reply'd: Let that come when it comes; all hope is loft Of my reception into grace; what worse? For where no hope is left, is left no fear : If there be worse, the expectation more Of worse torments me than the feeling can. I would be at the worst: worst is iny port, My harbour, and my ultimate repose; The end I would attain, my final good.
VI. His artful flattery to Christ, B. III. 214.
Isaiah, xviji. 4. Like a cloud of dew in the heat of barvest. xxv. 4. · Alhadow from the heat. xxxii. 2. As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
VII. His submissive and cunning reply, taught him by his fear, after he had endeavoured to persuade Christ to worship him, and had received a fevere reprimand : B. IV. 196.
Be not so fore offended, Son of God,
The tryal hath endamag'd thee no way, Rather inore honour left, and more esteem; Me nought advantag'd, missing what I aim'd.
Milton lays the accent on the last syllable of vanquish here, as elsewhere in triumph: and in many places, in my opinion, he imitates the Latin and Greek prosody, and makes a vowel long before two consonants.
Milton seems to allude to Callimachus, who says elegantly of young Jupiter. Hymn in Jov. 56.
Οξυ δ' αναβησας, ταχινοι δε τοι ηλθον τελοι.
Αλλ' ετι παιδος εων εφρασσαο παύλα τελεια. . Swift was thy growth, and early was thy bloom; But earlier wisdom crown'd thy infant days.
By winning words to conquer willing hearts. Virgil, Georg. IV. 561.
Victorque volentes Per populos dat jura. Whịch expression of Virgil's, by the way, seems to be taken from Xenophon, Oeconom. XXI. 12. Ου γαρ πανυ μοι δοκει όλον τελι το αγαθον ανθρωπινου ειναι, αλλα θειου, το εθελουλων αρχειν. I could add other passages of Xenophon, which Virgil has manifestly copied,
These growing though er foon perceiving,
Latona tacitum pertentant „auaia peatus.
Read, “ some cave."