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AEschilus, Euripides, and even Vossius, in his own Art of Poetry. Some make it a Question, whether it be lawful to found a dramatic Poem on any sacred subject, and some people of tender consciences have murmured against this Play, and another of the same cast called Christ's Passion; but let us hear the opinion of Vossius himself, prefixed to this Play. "I am of opinion, (says he) it is better to chuse another argument than sacred. For it agrees not with the majesty of sacred things, to be made a play and a fable. It is also a work of very dangerous consequence, to mingle human inventions with things sacred; because the poet adds uncertainties of his own, sometimes falsities; which is not only to play with holy things, but also to graft in men's minds opinions, now and then false. These things have place, especially when we bring in God, or Christ speaking, or treating of the mysteries of religion. I will allow more where the history is taken out of the sacred scriptures; but yet in the nature of the argument is civil, as the action of David flying from his son Absolom; or of Joseph sold by his brethren, advanced by Pharaoh to the government of Egypt, and that dignity adored by, and made known unto his brethren. Of which argument is Sophompaneas, written by Hugo Grotius, embassador from the Queen of Sweden to the King of France; which tragedy, I suppose, may be set for a pattern to him, that would handle an argument from the holy scriptures." This is the opinion of Vossius, and with him all must agree who admire the truly admirable Samson Agonistes of Milton. As we have frequently mentioned Grotius, the short account of so great a man, which is inserted in Langbaine, will not be unpleasing to the reader. "Hugo Grotius, says he, was an honour to his country: he was born in the year 1583, and will be famous to posterity, in regard of those many excellent pieces he has published. In some of his writings he defended Arminianism, for which he suffered imprisonment in the castle of Louverstein, in the year 1618; at which time his associate Barnevelt lost his head on the same account. Afterwards Grotius escaped out of prison, by means of Maria Reigersberg his wife, and fled into Flanders; and thence into France, where he was kindly received by Lewis XIII. He died at Rostock in Mecclebourg, Sept. 1, 1645. His life is written at large by Melchoir Adamus, in Latin." As to our outhor's [sic] translation, which is in heroic v
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