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This idea of God, with which man is impressed throughout the “ Paradise Lost,” is one of extraordinary sublimity. Eve, in waking to life, is occupied but with her own beauty, and sees God in Man. Adam, as soon as he is created, guessing that he could not have made himself, instantly seeks and calls upon his Maker.

Eve remains sleeping at the foot of the hill. Michael, from its summit, shows Adam, in a vision, his whole race. Thus the Bible is unfolded. First comes the story of Cain and Abel. When Adam sees Abel fall, he exclaims to the Angel,

Oh Teacher!

But have I now seen death? is this the way
I must return to native dust?

Observe that, in the Scriptures, nothing is said of Adam after his fall; silence spreads over the nine hundred and thirty years between his sin and his death. It would seem that the human race, his hapless posterity, durst not speak of him. Even Saint Paul names him not among the Patriarchs who lived by faith. The Apostle commences his list with Abel. Adam passes for the chief of the dead, because in him all mankind died; and yet for nine centuries he saw his sons travelling towards the grave, of which he was the inventor, and which he had opened for them.

After the murder of Abel, the Angel shows Adam a "lazar house,” and every different form of death ; this picture is full of power, in the style of Tintoretto. The poet says,

Adam could not but weep,
Tho' not of woman born.

A pathetic reflection, inspired by that passage in Job,

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”

The history of the Giants of the mountain, who seduce the females of the plain, is marvellously told. The Deluge offers another vast scene.

In this eleventh book, Milton imitates Dante in the form of speech—“Master," used in the dialogue. Dante would have invited Milton as a brother to enter with him the

group

of

great poets. The twelfth book is no longer a vision, but a narrative. The Tower of Babel, the call of Abraham, the advent of Christ, his incarnation, his resurrection, are replete with beauties of kind, This book concludes with the banishinent of Adam and Eve, and with lines so sad, that every body knows them by heart.

In these last two books, the poet's melancholy is increased ; he seems more than ever to feel the

every

He attributes to

weight of misfortune and age. Michael these words :

So mayst thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop
Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease
Gathered, not harshly pluck'd, for death mature:
This is old age; but then thou must outlive
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
To withered, weak, and grey; thy senses, then,
Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego
To what thou hast ; and for the air of youth,
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign
A melancholy damp of cold and dry
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume
The balm of life.

A commentator, speaking of Milton's genius, in these two last books of “ Paradise Lost,” says, “It is the same ocean, but at the ebb of tide; the same sun, but at the moment of its setting.” Be it so.

The sea appears most lovely to my eye when it permits me to wander over its deserted strand, while it retreats towards the horizon with the setting sun.

CHARACTERS OF THE PERSONS IN

PARADISE LOST.

ADAM AND EVE.

Milton has given, in the first Man and Woman, the original type of their sons and daughters upon earth.

In their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure;
(Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd,)
Whence true authority in men ; though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd;
For contemplation he and valour form'd;
For softness she and sweet attractive grace ;
He for God only, she for God in him :
His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad :
She as a veil down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Disheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd,

As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd
Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet reluctant amorous delay,

So pass’d they naked on. nor shunn'd the sight
Of God or angel, for they thought no ill ;
So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair
That ever since in love's embraces met;
Adam the goodliest man of men since born
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.

Adam, simple and sublime, instructed by Heaven, and drawing his experience from God, has but one weakness, and it is evident that this weakness will be his ruin. After having recounted his own creation to Raphael, and his conversations with God on solitude, he describes his transports at the first sight of his fair companion :

Methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
Who, stooping, opened my left side, and took
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh ; wide was the wound,
But suddenly with flesh filled up and heald:
The rib he form'd and fashion'd with his hands ;
Under his forming hands a creature grew
Man-like, but different sex, so lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her summ’d up, in her contain'd
And in her looks, which from that time infused

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