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Turba b frequens, facieque simillima turba dearum,
Splendida per medias itque reditque vias ; Auctaque luce dies gemino fulgore coruscat :
Fallor? An et radios hinc quoque Phæbus habet ? Hæc ego non fugi spectacula grata severus ;
Impetus et quo me fert juvenilis, agor ; Lumina luminibus male providus obvia misi,
Neve oculos potui continuisse meos. Unam forte aliis supereminuisse notabam :
Principium nostri lux erat illa mali.
Sic regina deum conspicienda fuit.
Solus et hos nobis texuit ante dolos :
Et facis a tergo grande pependit onus :
Insilit hinc labiis, insidet inde genis :
Hei mihi! mille locis pectus inerme ferit.
Uror amans intus, flammaque totus eram.
Ablata est oculis, non reditura , meis.
Et dubius volui sæpe referre pedem.
Raptaque tam subito gaudia flere juvat.
Inter Lemniacos præcipitata focos:
Vectus ab attonitis Amphiaraus equis.
Nec licet inceptos ponere, neve sequi.
Vultus, et coram tristia verba loqui !
Forte nec ad nostras surdeat illa preces ! Crede mihi, nullus sic infeliciter arsit;
Ponar in exemplo primus et unus ego.
Pugnent officio nec tua facta tuo.
b Turba, &c. In Milton's youth, the fashionable places of walking in London were Hyde-Park, and Gray's-Inn Walks.-T. WARTON.
¢ Non reditura. He saw the unknown lady, who had thus won his heart, but once. his love is inimitably expressed in the following lines.—TODD.
The fervour of
Jam tuus, O! certe est mihi formidabilis arcus,
Nate dea, jaculis, nec minus igne, potens :
Solus et in superis tu mihi summus eris.
Nescio cur, miser est suaviter omnis amans d.
Cuspis amaturos figat ut una duos.
Hæc ego e, mente olim læva, studioque supino,
Nequitiæ posui vana tropæa meæ.
Indocilisque ætas prava magistra fuit;
Præbuit, admissum dedocuitque jugum.
Cincta rigent multo pectora nostra gelu :
Et Diomedeam vim timet ipsa Venus.
1.-IN PRODITIONEM BOMBARDICAM.
Ausus es infandum, perfide Fauxe, nefas,
Et pensare mala cum pietate scelus ?
Sulphureo curru, flammivolisque rotis :
Liquit Iordanios turbine raptus agros.
d Deme meos tandem, verum nec deme, furores ;
Nescio cur, miser est suaviter omnis amans. There never was a more beautiful description of the irresolution of love. He wishes to have his woe removed, but recals his wish ; preferring the sweet misery of those who love. Thus Eloisa wavers, in Pope's fine poem :
Unequal task! a passion to resign
e Hoec ego, &c. These lines are an epilogistic palinode to the last Elegy. The Socratic doctrines of the shady Academe soon broke the bonds of beauty : in other words, his return to the university. They were probably written when the Latin poems were prepared for the press in 1645.-T. WARTON.
SICCINE tentasti celo donasse läcobum,
Quæ septemgemino, Bellua, a monte lates ?
Parce, precor, donis insidiosa tuis.
Astra, nec inferni pulveris usus ope.
Et quot habet brutos Roma profana deos :
Crede mihi, cæli vix bene scandet iter.
PURGATOREM animæ derisit läcobus ignem,
Et sine quo superum non adeunda domus. Frenduit hoc trina monstrum Latiale corona,
Movit et horrificum cornua dena minax.
Supplicium, spreta relligione, dabis :
Non nisi per flammas triste patebit iter.' 0, quam funesto cecinisti proxima vero,
Verbaque ponderibus vix caritura suis ! Nam
prope Tartareo sublime rotatus ab igni, Ibat ad æthereas, umbra perusta, plagas.
QUEM modo Roma suis devoverat impia diris,
Et Styge damnarat, Tænarioque sinu ;
Qui tulit ætheream solis ab axe facem ;
VI.-AD LEONORAM ROMÆ CANENTEM b.
Obtigit æthereis ales ab ordinibus.
Nam tua præsentem vox sonat ipsa Deum.
a Quæ septemgemino, Bellua, &c. The Pope, called, in the theological language of the times, “The Beast.”—T. WARTON.
b Adriana of Mantua, for her beauty surnamed the Fair, and her daughter Leonora Baroni, the lady whom Milton celebrates in these three Latin Epigrams, were esteemed by their contemporaries the finest singers in the world. When Milton was at Rome, he was introduced to the concerts of Cardinal Barberini, where he heard Leonora sing and her mother play. It was the fashion for all the ingenious strangers, who visited Rome, to leave some verses on Leonora. -T. WARTON.
Aut Deus, aut vacui certe mens tertia cæli,
Per tua secreto guttura serpit agens;
Sensim immortali assuescere posse sono.
In te una loquitur, cætera mutus habet.
Cujus ab insano cessit amore furens.
Perditus, et propter te, Leonora, foret !
Aurea maternæ filia movere lyrå!
Sævior, aut totus desipuisset iners,
Voce eadem poteras composuisse tua;
Flexanimo cantu restituisse sibi.
Claraque Parthenopes e fana Achelöiados;
Corpora Chalcidico sacra dedisse rogo?
Mutavit rauci murmura Pausilipi f.
Atque homines cantu detinet atque deos.
IX.-IN SALMASII HUNDREDAM 8.
• Altera Torquatum cepit Leonora. This allusion to Tasso's Leonora, and the turn which it takes, are inimitably beautiful.—T. WARTON.
d For the story of Pentheus, a king of Thebes, see Euripides' “Bacchæ,” where he sees two suns, &c., v. 916. But Milton, in “ torsisset lumina," alludes to the rage of Pentheus in Ovid, “Metam.” iii. 557 :
Aspicit hunc oculis Pentheus, quos ira tremendos
Fecerat.-T. WARTON. e Parthenope's tomb was at Naples : she was one of the sirens.-T. WARTON.
i Pausilipi. The grotto of Pausilipo, which Milton no doubt had visited with delight.—TODD.
8 This Epigram is in Milton's “Defensio" against Salmasius; in the translation of which by Richard Washington, published in 1692, the Epigram is thus anglicised, p. 187 :
Who taught Salmasius, that French chattering pye,
Magister artis venter, et Jacobæi
The starving rascal, flush'd with just a hundred
Who threaten'd once to stink the pope to death.-T. WARTON. h King Charles II., now in exile, and sheltered in Holland, gave Salmasius, who was a professor at Leyden, one hundred Jacobuses to write his defence, 1649. Wood asserts that Salmasius had no reward for his book : he says, that in Leyden, the king sent Dr. Morley, afterwards bishop, to the apologist, with his thanks, “but not with a purse of gold, as John Milton the impudent lyer reported.”—“Athen. Oxon.” ü. 770.-T. WARTON.
This Epigram, as Mr. Warton observes, is an imitation of part of the Prologue to Persius Satires. --TODD.
i This is in the “Defensio Secunda.” It is introduced with the following ridicule on Morus, the subject of the next Epigram, for having predicted the wonders to be worked by Salmasius's new edition, or rather reply :-“Tu igitur, ut pisciculus ille anteambulo, præcurris balænam Salmasium.” Mr. Steevens observes, that this is an idea analogous to Falstaff's—“Here do I walk before thee,” &c., although reversed as to the imagery.-T. Warton.
i Mr. Warton observes, that Milton here sneers at a circumstance which was true : Salmasius was really of an ancient and noble family.-TODD.
k “Cubito mungentium,” a cant appellation among the Romans for fishmongers. T. WARTON.
Christina, Queen of Sweden, among other learned men who fed her vanity, had invited Salmasius to her court, where he wrote his “Defensio.” She had pestered him with Latin letters seven pages long, and told him she would set out for Holland to fetch him if he did not come. When he arrived, he was often indisposed on account of the coldness of the climate ; and on these occasions, the queen would herself call on him in a morning : and locking the door of his apartment, used to light his fire, give him breakfast, and stay with him some hours. This behaviour gave rise to scandalous stories, and our critic's wife grew jealous. It is seemingly a slander, what was first thrown out in the “Mercurius Politicus," that Christina, when Salmasius had published this work, dismissed him with contempt, asa parasite and an advocate of tyranny: but the case was, to say nothing that Christina loved both to be flattered and to tyrannise, Salmasius had now been long preparing to return to Holland, to fulfil his engagements with the university of Leyden : she offered him large rewards and appointments to remain in Sweden, and greatly regretted his departure; and on his death, very shortly afterwards, she wrote his widow a letter in French, full of con