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Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet;
That all both judge you to relate them true,
On the Detraction which followed upon the writing
A BOOK was writ of late callid Tetrachordon,
And woven close, both matter, form, and style ; The subject new : it walk'd the town awhile,
Numb'ring good intellects ; now seldom por'd on. Cries the stall reader, Bless us! what a word on :
A title page is this! and some in file
End Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than Gordon,
sleek, That would have made Quintillian stare and gasp; Thy age, like ours 0 soul of Sir John Cheek,
* When Milton published his book of Divorce, he was greatly condemned by the Presbyterian ministers, whose advocate and champion he had been before. He published his Tetrachordon, or Expositions upon the four chief places in Scripture, which treat of marriage, or nullities in marriage, in 1645.
t“ We may suppose, (says Dr. Newton,) that these were persons of note and eminence among the Scotch ministers who wero for pressing and enforcing the covenant." Mr. George Gillespie, here wrongously named Galasp, was one of the Scotch commis
ioners to the Westminister assembly.' But who the other persons were is not known. It appears from this sonnet, and the verses on the forcers of conscience, that Milton treats the Presbyterians with great contempt.
* This Gentleman was the first Professor of the Greek tongue in the university of Cambridge, and was highly instrumental in bringing that language into repute. He was afterwards made one of the tutors to Edward VI.
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
ON THE SAME.
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs; "
And still revolt when truth would set them free
License they mean when they cry Liberty;
But from that mark how far they rove we see,
TO MR. H. LAWES, ON HIS AIRS, 1645.*
HARRY, whose tuneful and well
measur'd song First taught our English music how to span Words with just note and accent not to scan With Midas' ears, committing short and long; Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng, With praise enough for Envy to look wan; To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
That with smooth air could humour best our tongue. Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing
This Mr. Henry Lawes was a gentleman of the king's chapel, and ono of his band of music, and an intimate friend of Milton.
To honour thee, the priest of Phæbus' choir,
That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story. I Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing,
On the religious memory of Mrs. Catharine Thomson. my Christian Friend, deceased 16th of December, 1646.*
WHEN faith and love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever. Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour,
Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod :
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Before the Judge : who thenceforth bid thee rest,
TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX.
FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings :
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise, *"Who this Mrs. Thomson was, (says Dr. Newton,) we can. not be certain ; but I find in the accounts of Milton's life, that when he was first made Latin Secretary, he lodged at one Thomson's, next door to the Bull-head tavern at Charing-cross. This Mrs. Thomson, therefore, was, in all probability, one of that family."
$ This sonnet appears, from the manuscript, to have been ad
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings;
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
(For what can war but endless war still breed ?)
Till truth and right from violence be freed,
Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,
TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL.*
CROMWELL, our chief of men who through a cloud
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast ploughed. And on the neck of crown'd fortune proud
Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his works pursued, While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots im.
brued, And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureate wreath. Yet much remains
To conquer still ; Peace hath her victories
No less renown'd than War: new foes arise Threat'ning to bind our souls with secular chains :
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw. . dressed to Gen. Fairfax at the seige of Colchester, which was carried on in the summer of 1648.
* In the Author's manuscript is this incription: To the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652. On the proposals of certain ministers at the committee for propagation of the Gospel.
TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER
Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
Than whom a better Senator ne'er held
The fierce Epirot, and th' African bold,
The drift of hollow states hard to be spellid :
Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
Both spiritual power and civil, what each means, What severs each, thou hast learn’d which few
have done :
Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN
AVENGE, O Lord thy slaughter'd
This persecution of the Protestants in Peidmont broke out in 1655. In May, that year, Cromwell wrote several letters to the Duke of Savoy, and other potentates and states complaining of that persecution. Echard tells us, that he proclaimed a fast, and caused large contributions to be gathered for them in Eng. land; that he sent his agents to the Duke of Savoy, a prince with whom he had no correspondence or commerce, and the next year, . so engaged Cardinal Mazarine, and even terrified the Pope himself, without so much as doing any favour to the English Roman Catholics, that the Duke thought it necessary to restore all that he had taken from them, and renewed all those privileges they had formerly enjoyed. “So great (adds Échard) was the terror of his name; nothing being more usual than his saying, that his ships in the Medditerranean should visit Civita Vecchia, and the sound of his cannon should be heard in Rome."