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AD CAROLUM DEODATUM.a
Pertulit, et voces nuncia charta tuas :
Vergivium prono qua petit amne salum.
Pectus amans nostri, tamque fidele caput,
Debet, at unde brevi reddere jussa velit.
Meque nec invitum patria dulcis habet.
Nec dudum vetiti me laris angit amor.
Quam male Phoebicolis convenit ille locus !
Cæteraque ingenio non subeunda meo.
Et vacuum curis otia grata sequi,
Lætus et exilii conditione fruor.
a Charles Deodate was one of Milton's most intimate friends: he was an excellent scholar, and practised physic in Cheshire. He was educated with our anthor at St. Paul's school, and from thence was sent to Trinity college, Oxford, where he was entered February 7, 1621, at thirteen years of age. He was a fellow-collegian there with Alexander Gill, another of Milton's intimate friends, who was successively usher and master of St. Paul's school. Deodate has a copy of Alcaics extant in an Oxford collection on the death of Camden, called “ Camdeni Insignia." He left the college, when he was a gentleman-commoner, in 1628, having taken the degree of master of arts. Toland says, that he had in his possession two Greek letters, very well written, from Deodate to Milton. Two of Milton's familiar Latin letters, in the utmost freedom of friendship, are to Deodate : both dated from London, 1637. But the best, certainly the most pleasing evidences of their intimacy, and of Deodate's admirable character, are our author's first and sixth Elegies, the fourth Sonnet, and the “Epitaphium Damonis :" and it is highly probable, that Deodate is the "simple shepherd lad,” in “Comus," who is skilled in plants, and loved to hear Thyrsis sing, v. 619, seq. He died in the year 1638. This Elegy was written about the year 1627, in answer to a letter out of Cheshire from Deodate.-T. WARTON.
b Vergivium. The Irish Sea.-T. WARTON.
c Me tenet urbs reflua quam Thamesis alluit unda. To have pointed out London, by only calling it the city washed by the Thames, would have been a general and á trite allusion : but this allusion being combined with the peculiar circumstance of the reflux of the tide, becomes new, poetical, and appropriate. The adjective reflua is at once descriptive and distinctive. Ovid has “refluum mare," " " Metam." yii. 267.-T. WARTON.
0, utinam vates nunquam graviora tulisset
Ille Tomitano flebilis exul agro;
Neve foret victo laus tibi prima, Maro.
Et totum rapiunt me, mea vita, libri :
Et vocat ad plausus garrula scena suos.
Seu procus, aut posita casside miles adest,
Detonat inculto barbara verba foro;
Èt nasum rigidi fallit ubique patris;
Quid sit amor nescit; dum quoque nescit, amat.
Quassat, et effusis crinibus ora rotat,
Interdum et lacrymis dulcis amaror inest :
Gaudia, et abrupto flendus amore cadit;
Conscia funereo pectora torre movens :
Aut luit incestos aula Creontis ayos.
Irrita nec nobis tempora veris eunt.
Atque suburbani nobilis umbra loci.s
Virgineos videas præteriisse choros.
Quæ possit senium vel reparare Jovis !
Atque faces, quotquot volvit uterque polus !
d Excipit hinc fessum sinuosi pompa theatri, &o. The theatre, as Mr. Warton observes, seems to have been a favourite amusement of Milton's youth. See “L’Allegro," v. 131.-TODD.
. Sive decennali foecundus lite patronus
Detonat inculto barbara verba foro.
i By the youth in the first couplet, he perhaps intends Shakspeare's “Romeo;" in the second, either “Hamlet,” or “Richard III." "He then draws his illustrations from the ancient tragedians. The allusions, however, to Shakspeare's incidents do not exactly correspond. In the first instance, Romeo was not torn from joys "untasted:" although “puer" and "abrupto amore" are much in point. The allusions are loose, or resulting from memory, or not intended to tally minutely.-T. Warton,
8 Atque suburbani nobilis umbra loci. Some country-house of Milton's father very near London is here intended, of which we have now no notices.-T. WARTON.
Collaque bis vivi Pelopis quæ brachia vincant,
Quæque fluit puro nectare tincta via !
Aurea quæ fallax retia tendit Amor!
Purpura, et ipse tui floris, Adoni, rubor!
quæcunque vagum cepit amica Jovem.
Et quot Susa colunt, Memnoniamque Ninon ;
Et vos, Iliacæ, Romuleæque nurus:
Jactet, et Ausoniis plena theatra stolis.
Extera, sat tibi sit, fæmina, posse sequi.
Turrigerum late conspicienda caput,
Quicquid formosi pendulus orbis habet.
Endymioneæ turba ministra deæ,
Per medias radiant turba videnda vias.
Alma pharetrigero milite cincta Venus;
Huic Paphon, et roseam posthabitura Cypron.
Mænia quam subito linquere fausta paro;
Atria, divini Molyos usus ope.
Atque iterum raucæ murmur adire scholæ.
Paucaque in alternos verba coacta modos.
Et quot Susa colunt, Memnoniamque Ninon. Susa, anciently a capital city of Susiana in Persia, conquered by Cyrus. Xerxes marched from this city, to enslave Greece. It is now called Souster. Ninos is a city of Assyria, built by Ninus; Memnon, a hero of the Iliad, had a place there, and was the builder of Susa. Milton is alluding to oriental beauty. In the next couplet, he challenges the ladies of ancient Greece, Troy, and Romo.-T. WARTON.
i Nec Pompeianas Tarpëia Musa, &c. The poet has a retrospect to a long passage in Ovid, who is here called "Tarpēia Musa," either because he had a house
adjoining to the Capitol, or by way of distinction, that he was the Tarpeian, the general Roman Muse.—I. WARTON.
The learned Lord Monboddo pronounces this Elegy to be equal to anything of the elegiac kind, to be found in Ovid, or even in Tibullus.”—T. WARTON.
ANNO ÆTATIS 17.
Palladium toties ore ciere gregem ;k
Mors rapit, officio nec favet ipsa suo.
Sub quibus accipimus delituisse Jovem;
Dignus in Æsonios vivere posse dies;
Arte Coronides, sæpe rogante dea.
Et celer a Phæbo nuntius ire tuo;
Alipes, ætherea missus ab arce Patris :
Rettulit Atridæ jussa severa ducis.
Sæva nimis Musis, Palladi sæva nimis,
Turba quidem est telis ista petenda tuis :
Et madeant lacrymis nigra feretra tuis.'
Personet et totis nænia mesta scholis.
3 The person here commemorated is Richard Ridding, one of the university-beadles, and a master of arts of St. John's college, Cambridge. He signed a testamentary codicil, September 23, 1626, proved the eighth of November following.-T. WARTON.
k It was a custom at Cambridge, lately disused, for one of the beadles to make proclamation of convocations in every college. This is still in use at Oxford.-T. WARTON.
I Talis, &c. These allusions are proofs of our author's early familiarity with Homer.-T. WARTON.
Magna sepulcrorum regina. A sublime poetical appellation for Death; and much in the manner of his English poetry.--T. WARTON.
n Pondus inutile terræ. Homer, “Il.” xviii. 104.-Jos. WARTON.
• Et madeant lacrymis nigra feretra tuis. Here seems to be an allusion to the custom of affixing verses on the pall, formerly perhaps more generally observed at Cambridge. “Lacrymis tuis” are the funeral poems, as “tear" is in “Lycidas," v. 14.-TODD.
This Elegy, with the next on the death of bishop Andrewes, the Odes on the death of professor Goslyn and bishop Felton, and the poem on the fifth of November, are very correct and manly performances for a boy of seventeen. This was our author's first year at Cambridge. They discover a great fund and command of ancient literature.-T. WARTON.
Hærebantque animo tristia plura meo :
Fecit in Angliaco quam Libitina solo;
Dira sepulcrali Mors metuenda face;
Nec metuit satrapum sternere falce greges.
Intempestivis ossa cremata rogis :
Flevit et amissos Belgia tota duces.
Wintoniæque olim gloria magna tuæ;
“Mors fera, Tartareo diva secunda Jovi,
? Quodque afilata tuo marcescant lilia tabo,
et pulchræ Cypridi sacra rosa ?
Miretur lapsus prætereuntis aquæ ?
Evehitur pennis, quamlibet augur, avis;
Et quot alunt mutum Proteos antra pecus.
Quid juvat humana tingere cæde manus;
Semideamque animam sede fugasse sua ?”
Roscidus occiduis Hesperus exit aquis,
Phoebus, ab Eoo littore mensus iter : p Lancelot Andrewes, bishop of Winchester, had been originally master of Pembrokehall in Cambridge ; but long before Milton's time. He died at Winchester-house in Southwark, Sept. 21, 1626.— T. WARTON.
9 Fecit in Angliaco quam Libitina solo. A very severe plaguo now raged in London and the neighbourhood, of which 35,417 persons are said to have died.--T. WARTON.
r Tunc memini clarique ducis, &c. I am kindly informed by Sir David Dalrymple,-" The two generals here mentioned, who died in 1626, were the two champions of the Queen of Bohemia; the Duke of Brunswick, and Count Mansfelt: 'Frater' means a sworn brother in arms, according to the military cant of those days. The next couplet respects the death of Henry Earl of Oxford, who died not long before.” Henry, Earl of Oxford, Sbakspeare's patron, died at the siege of Breda in 1625.-T. WARTON.
s Et Tartessiaco, &c. Ovid, “Metam.” xiv. 416 :-"Presserat occiduus Tartessia littora Phæbus.” “Tar.