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upon where one is as upon how far one has come, and Young had covered no small distance. Remote from Paradise Lost as is much of his lugubrious preachment, it is leagues away from his previous poems and from his blank-verse dramas.

Furthermore, although the passages which do not recall Milton constitute the larger part of the Night Thoughts, they are by no means the whole of it. Indeed, it would be as difficult to find ten consecutive lines in the poem that have no echo of Paradise Lost as not to find the hundreds of places where that echo is unmistakable. Yet even in these last the resemblance soon fades or disappears, for not many passages of any length are dominated by the Miltonic style and diction. That is, although many passages show the influence of Paradise Lost as plainly as this one, few show it for so many lines:

In grandeur terrible, all heaven descends!
And gods, ambitious, triumph in his train.
A swift archangel, with his golden wing,

As blots and clouds, that darken and disgrace
The scene divine, sweeps stars and suns aside.
And now, all dross remov'd, heaven's own pure day,
Full on the confines of our ether, flames.
While (dreadful contrast!) far, how far beneath!
Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing seas,
And storms sulphureous; her voracious jaws
Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey.1

Here are obvious Miltonisms and plenty of them, but they come out more clearly in contrast with what we may assume to have been Young's natural, uncontaminated blank verse, — the colorless, rhetorical prose which he cut up into five-foot lengths for his tragedies:

He can't persuade his heart to wed the maid,
Without your leave; and that he fears to ask
In perfect tenderness: I urg'd him to it,
Knowing the deadly sickness of his heart,
Your overflowing goodness to your friend,
Your wisdom, and despair yourself to wed her;
I wrung a promise from him he would try;
And now I come a mutual friend to both.2

A comparison of these two quotations shows that the differences between them are due mainly to the presence, in the first passage, of many characteristics distinctive of Paradise Lost. The most obvious of these, inversion, though common throughout the Night Thoughts, is less frequent and much less noticeable than in most blank verse of the time, for the sentences are so short and so broken 2 The Revenge (1721), II. i (Works, 1762, ii. 131).

1 Page 230.

that elaborate inversion is impossible. But Young seldom writes many lines without involving his words in some kind of knot, to the confusion of the reader. Next to inversion, the most fruitful source of difficulties is the omission of words that are usually expressed. He says, for example, "Enthusiastic this?" instead of "Is this enthusiastic?", and "All exerts, in effort, all," which seems to mean "Everything exerts itself." How frequent such omissions are at times, and how much obscurity they cause, may be seen from this passage:

Because, in man, the glorious dreadful power,
Extremely to be pain'd, or blest, for ever.

Duration gives importance; swells the price.
An angel, if a creature of a day,

What would he be? A trifle of no weight;

Or stand, or fall; no matter which; he's gone.2

Very often it is parenthetical expressions that impede the reader's progress. Such phrases, whether within marks of parenthesis or not, have an unmistakably Miltonic effect, although they are far more common with Young than with Milton:

Or, spider-like, spin out our precious all,
Our more than vitals spin (if no regard
To great futurity) in curious webs

Of subtle thought, and exquisite design;
(Fine net-work of the brain!) to catch a fly!

The momentary buzz of vain renown!

A name! a mortal immortality!


Or (meaner still!) instead of grasping air. . . .3

Two stylistic features of the Night Thoughts have less significance because they also occur in the work of Milton's predecessors. One is the use of a series of words in the same construction:

War, famine, pest, volcano, storm, and fire.

Rocks, desarts, frozen seas, and burning sands:
Wild haunts of monsters, poisons, stings, and death.
Unraptur'd, unexalted, uninflam'd.

Triune, unutterable, unconceiv'd.

All regions, revolutions, fortunes, fates.

1 It is rare, for example, to find an inversion so long and elaborate as that in the fourth and fifth lines of the first extract, — “As blots . . . divine," which belongs after "aside."

2 Page 170.

* Page 117. On page 27 there are three in six lines, and on page 212 two in three. • Pages 8, 10 (cf. 252, “Seas, rivers, mountains," etc., and P. L., ii. 621–2), 129,

293, 293.

The other trait, repetition of a word or a phrase, is much more frequent in Young than in Milton, and, as will be seen from these instances, is often more elaborate:

What pleads Lorenzo for his high-priz'd sports?
He pleads time's num'rous blanks; he loudly pleads.

For why should souls immortal, made for bliss,
E'er wish (and wish in vain!) that souls could die?
What ne'er can die, Oh! grant to live; and crown
The wish.1

The respects in which the language of the Night Thoughts departs from ordinary usage are noted in M. Thomas's admirable study of the poet. It may be interesting, as an illustration of how much Young's diction owes to Milton's, to know that every one of these differences is included in the list of characteristics of Paradise Lost which I had compiled before making any study of Young, and before even knowing of the existence of the French work. The similarity in language cannot be accidental, for the resemblance does not exist in the poet's earlier writings. "Tant qu'il se rattacha à l'école néoclassique anglaise," writes M. Thomas, "Young suivit l'exemple des chefs de cette école, ainsi que le prouve une étude attentive de ses premières oeuvres. Comme Dryden et Pope, il redoute le néologisme ou du moins en use peu. . . . Mais quand on passe aux Nuits, les conditions changent sensiblement . . . il s'octroie une liberté de plus en plus grande à mesure qu'il avance dans son travail.”

The language of the Night Thoughts diverges most strikingly from that of the poetry of the day in employing unusual words from the Greek and Latin, many of which Young borrowed directly." "He seems to think with apothecaries," remarked Pope, "that Album Graecum is better than an ordinary stool." M. Thomas gives "terraqueous," "optics" (eyes), "defecate," "feculence," "manumit," "indagators," "conglobed," "fucus," "concertion"; I have noticed "fuliginous," "gnomons," "plausive," "obliquities,” “ebullient," " 'elance," "tenebrious,' 'tenebrious," "turbant," "intervolv'd."



1 Pages 17, 179.

2 Le Poète Edward Young, Etude sur sa Vie et ses Oeuvres (Paris, 1901).

See above, chapter iv.

Pages 390-91.

Some of them he may have taken from Milton, as "ethereal," "nectareous," "oozy," "magnific": pp. 173 (also 198, 222, 225, 247, etc.), 206, 229, 250.

• Quoted by Thomas, p. 391, n. 5.

'Thomas, pp. 391-2; Young, pp. 10, 19, 30 (cf. 261, "defecate from sense"), 32 (and 69), 72, 100, 166 (cf. P. L. vii. 239), 196, 267.

8 Pages 25, 28, 62, 191, 221, 244, 254, 261, 264 (cf. P. L., v. 623).

also follows Thomson and Milton in using some words in their original but obsolete meanings: "flow redundant, like Meander," "incumbent weight,' ," "each option" in the human heart, "obnoxious" to storm, an "animal ovation" (animal joy), “eliminate my spirit, give it range," "ardours" of soul, "ardent with gems," planets "without error rove," the "tacit doctrine" of God's works, "erect thine eye," "night's radiant scale" (ladder).1 Like them, too, he makes new words out of those in common use, as "entenders," "bestorms," "re-thundered," "resorbed," "necromantics," "uncoift," "rationality," "displosion," and "prelibation." 2 M. Thomas calls attention to Young's habit of manufacturing negative words, like "uncreate" and "disinvolve," and especially negative adjectives, like "unabsurd," "unadept," "insuppressive;3 I have noticed "unrefunding," "unprecarious," "unbottomed," "insalubrious," "unanxious," "unarrived," "unupbraided," "unlost," "unmysterious," "un-terrestrial," 4 and a dozen similar formations. Another characteristic of Paradise Lost frequently met with is what appears to be a clipt form of the participle, particularly from verbs in -ate: "souls elevate," "satiate of his journey," the mind's "corrugate, expansive make," God's works "how complicate," Scripture 66. uncorrupt by man." 5


99 66

nature ...

Not the least conspicuous of Young's Miltonisms is his interchange of the parts of speech. Sometimes he forces a verb into service as a noun, as “give thy thoughts a ply," "appall'd with one amaze," 'thy nocturnal rove,' an overwhelm Of wonderful,' gave A make to man . . . A make set upright," "the deep disclose Of... nature." Sometimes he reverses the process, as when he speaks of a night "that glooms us," of passions that "tempest human life," of "unprecarious flows of vital joy"; or when he says that "heaven's dark concave" shall "urn all human race," or the shades of night "antidote the pestilential earth." Participles from such noun-verbs appear in "this escutcheon'd world," "starr'd and plan

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1 Pages 63 (cf. 256, a garden "redundant" in fruit), 174 (cf. 259), 183 (and 184), 187 (cf. P. L., ix. 170, 1094), 220, 243, 244, 256, 258, 264, 267, 276. Cf. Thomas, pp. 392-3.

* Pages 31, 69, 170, 187, 192, 200, 203, 249, 296.

Thomas, p. 394; Young, pp. 174, 233, 153, 244, 149.

Pages 162, 202 (and 211), 206, 212, 217, 234, 246, 249, 250, 277. On one page I found four such adjectives in four lines.

Pages 25 (cf. 250, "things more elevate," 261, "minds elevate," 59, "minds create "), 240, 266, 267, 244.

Pages 27, 234 (cf. 167, "redouble this amaze"), 245, 245, 251 (cf. 27, “"Man's make incloses the sure seeds of death"), 272.

7 Pages 26, 140, 202, 162, 265.

eted inhabitants," "basin'd rivers."1 Occasionally an adjective is raised to the dignity of a verb, as when hope "serenes" man's heart, a face "consummates bliss," a thought "shallows thy profound," or footsteps are "foul'd in hell"; 2 and once in a while a noun sinks into an adjective, as when man is called "the tale of narrative old time." Adjectives sometimes serve as adverbs: "muffled deep,” "flow redundant," "spontaneous rise," "tumultuous rise," "impetuous pour," "let loose, alternate . . . rush Swift and tempestuous, "new awak'd," "deeply stamps . . . Indelible," "if man hears obedient," "refining gradual," "rich endow'd." 4


But it is by turning adjectives into nouns that Young most frequently 'confounds grammatical functions.' Almost every page has instances as ridiculous as these: "that awful independent on tomorrow, ""subtilize the gross into refin'd," "trifle with tremendous" and "yawn o'er the fate of infinite," "th' irrationals," "reason is man's peculiar," "much Of amiable,' ""the world's no neuter," "the moist of human frame," "the dark profound," "this obscure terrestrial," "the steep of heaven," "the more of wonderful," "the grand of nature," "mind, For which alone inanimate was made," "what of vast,” “the sublime of things," "deity breaks forth In inconceivables to men," "the dark of matter,"

Thy lofty sinks, and shallows thy profound,
And straitens thy diffusive.'

As to the compound epithets that are common in Paradise Lost but rare in Young's rimed pieces, "l'on remarque sans peine que notre auteur en est relativement prodigue dans ses Nuits." Here are a few that he uses: "hair-hung," "breeze-shaken," "dark-prison'd," "heart-buried," "high-flusht," "heaven-lighted," "soft-suspended," "heaven-labour'd," "heaven-assum'd," " "heaven-assum'd," "wide-consuming," "allprolific," "all-providential," "freighted-rich," "sure-returning,' "earth-created," "high-bloom'd," “hundredgated," "new-blazing."7



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2 Pages 181, 242, 248, 279 (cf. 266, "foul'd with self").

1 Pages 26, 248, 252. • Page 185.

Pages 41, 63, 83, 140 (cf. 165, "tumultuous driven"), 211, 229, 264, 282, 284, 288, 292.


Pages 25 (cf. 287, "all of awful, night presents . . . of awful much, to both"), 78, 98 (cf. 245, "that infinite of space, With infinite of lucid orbs replete"), 173, 180 (cf. P. L., vii. 368), 186, 193, 228, 235 (also 263, and cf. 267, "emerge from thy profound,' 280, "the more profound of God," and P. L., ii. 980), 243, 247, 250, 250, 251–2, 252 (cf. "the vast of being"), 255, 283, 292, 248.

• Thomas, p. 401.

7 Pages 24, 24, 25, 25, 27 (and 196), 36, 41, 42, 42, 42, 56, 130, 151, 161, 231, 230, 244,

252, 297.

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