« AnteriorContinuar »
Milton's Blindness.-His Despatches
Richard Cromwell.-Milton's Opinions concerning the
Commonwealth, Tithes, and Parliamentary Reform
The Restoration.- Milton arrested, and set at liberty-
The Poet's Fidelity to Cromwell.
New Works of Milton.-His Latin Dictionary-His
Muscovy. His History of England.
The Poetical Works of Milton.-Plot of Paradise Lost 90
Further Particulars concerning Milton .
Samson Agonistes.-Paradise Regained.-New Logic.-
True Religion.-Death of Milton
Of the Imperfections of Paradise Lost
Characters of the Persons in Paradise Lost
Milton's Demons and Allegorical Personages
The People of both Nations at the Revolutionary Epoch.
-Royalist Peasantry of England
Lovelace.-My Detention at the Prefecture of the Police.
Poetry. Dryden-Prior-Waller - Buckingham-Ros-
Effect of Criticism on Languages.-Criticism in France.
-Our Vanities.-Death of Languages
There will be no more Universal Literary Reputations.
Other Causes which tend to destroy Universal Reputation 236
William and Mary.-Queen Anne.--Classic School 242
Periodical Literature.- Addison-Pope-Swift-Steele 245
Transition from Classic Literature to Didactic, Descrip-
tive, and Sentimental Literature.-Poems of different
Literary Transformation (continued).
Change in English Manners.- Gentlemen Farmers.-
Clergy-Fashionable World-George III. .
Travels.-Captain Ross-Jacquemont - Lamartine
Novels.-Sad Truths arising from long Correspondences.
The Lake School.-Poets among the Working Classes
The two new Literary Schools.-Some Resemblances of
ABOVE a multitude of prose writers and poets during the stormy times of Charles I. and the Protector, towers the majestic form of Milton. Where are the contemporaries of that genius, the Cowleys, the Wallers, the Denhams, the Sucklings, the Marvels, the Crashaws, the Lovelaces, the Davenants, the Withers, the Habingtons, the Herberts, the Carews, the Stanleys? What French reader ever heard of any of these names, excepting two or three! The "Spirit of Christianity" has done justice to the "Paradise Lost." I had to retract some of my opinions respecting Shakspeare and Dante; but I have no reparation to make to him whose poem was the occasion of this work on English literature; I have therefore merely to
explain the motives of an admiration, which a closer examination of his master-piece served only to heighten. Being obliged to pause at beauties which I was striving to transfuse into our language, I learned to appreciate them better, at the same time that I despaired of rendering them with all the force with which I felt them.
Milton was no more; he was unknown; his genius, rising like a spirit from the tomb, came to inquire the cause of this ignorance. People gazed upon it in astonishment; they asked if the author of twelve thousand forgotten verses was really immortal. The majestic and dazzling vision first made them cast down their eyes; presently, they fell prostrate and adored it They then set about inquiring who this secretary of Cromwell's, this pamphleteer champion of regicide, detested by some, despised by others, really was. Bayle commenced by searching after facts touching the person and look of Milton; that look was bold, and not inferior in majesty to the look of a king.
A malediction rested on the respectable family of Milton, which had been stripped of its property during the civil wars of the Red and White Roses. Milton's father was a Protestant, his grandfather a Catholic: the latter disinherited his son. The curse of the grandfather, overleaping one generation, alighted on the head of the grandson.
Milton's father settled in London, where he