1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

Hester Mulso Chapone, in Letters on the Improvement of the Mind (1773, 1774) 129-30.



Our great English poet, Milton, is as far above my praise as his Paradise Lost is above anything which I am able to read, except the sacred writers. The sublimity of his subject sometimes leads him into abstruseness; but many parts of his great poem are easy to all comprehensions, and must find their way directly into every heart by the tenderness and delicacy of his sentiments, in which he is not less strikingly excellent than in the richness and sublimity of his imagination. Addison's criticism in the Spectators, written with beauty, elegance, and judgment, which distinguish all his writings, will assist you to understand and to relish his poem.