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To dread the Son of God: he all unarm'd
dences of great geniuses writing “ Goths, or Charlemain against upon similar subjects. Admitting “ the Lombards." This would them to be such only, no tolerable naturally lead him to a frequent reason can be assign'd why the same perusal of the choicest wits of that should not occur in the same man- country; and altho’ he dropt his ner in the Paradise Regain’d: first scheme, and was some confiwhereas upon the other supposition derable time before he executed of their being real, the difference the present work, yet still the imof the two poems in this respect is preslions he had first receiv'd would easily accounted for. It is very be fresh in his imagination, and he certain, that Milton form’d his first would of course be drawn to imidesign of writing an epic poem tate their particular beauties, tho' very soon after his return from he avoided following them in his Italy, if not before, and highly general plan. The case was far probable that he then intended it otherwise when the Paradise Reafter the Italian model, as he says, gain'd was compos'd. As Mr. Elspeaking of this design in his Rea- wood informs us, Milton did not so fon of Church Government, that “ he much as think of it till he was ad« apply'd himself to that resolu- vanced in years, and it is not very “ tion which Ariosto follow'd a- likely, considering the troubles and
gainst the persuasions of Bembo, infirmities he had long labor'd un“ to fix all the art and industry he der, that his studies had been much “ could unite to the adorning of employ'd about that time among “ his native tongue”- and again the sprightly Italians, or indeed any that he was then meditating “what writers of that turn. Consistent
king or knight before the Con- with this fuppofition we find it of a “ quest might be chosen in whom quite different stamp, and instead “ to lay the
pattern of a Christian of allusions to poets either ancient hero, as Taffo gave to a prince or modern, it is full of moral and “ of Italy his choice, whether he philosophical reasonings, to which “ would command him to write of fort of thoughts an afflicted old " Godfrey's expedition against the age must have turned our author's " Infidels, cr Bellisarius against the mind.
Left he command them down into the deep
Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek