Imágenes de páginas

Went to the ground: And the repeated air

Of fad Electra's poet had the pow'r
To save th' Athenian walls from ruin bare.

To a virtuous young Lady.
Lady that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely haft shunn'd the broad

and the

green, And with those few art eminently seen, That labor


the hill of heav'nly truth, The better part with Mary and with Ruth 5

Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,


12. — And the repeated air &c] Your absence the forfaken groves I suppose this refers to a paffage in And desert palace seem to mourn. Plutarch's Life of Lysander. When that general had taken Athens, he This struck them, and


them proposed to change the govern- occasion to reflect, how barbarous ment.

Some say he moved in it would appear to lay that city in council that the Athenians might ruin, which had been renown'd for be reduced to slavery, when at the the birth and education of so many same time Erianthus the Theban famous men, eta hilu Tol owroids propofed wholly to deftroy the city, ουομένης των ηγεμονων παρα ποand leave the country desolate : τον, και τινα Φωκρως ασαν but a little afterwards at an en εκ της Ευριπιδα Ηλεκeας τω tertainment of the captains, one wagodov, sis jj apxn, of them repeated some verses out of Euripides's Electra, beginning

Ayoueuroro w xoeg., naubor

Ηλεκτές. thus,


Ποτι σαν αγegreegν αυλαν Electra, Oh unhappy queen, Πανας επικλαβωαι, και φανηγαι Whither wou'd you Hy Preturn; χετλιον εργον,τω έτως κλέα και

No anger

find in thee, but pity' and ruth. Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends

To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, IÒ

And hope that reapš not shame. Therefore be sure Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends

Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Haft gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

* To the Lady Margaret Ley.
Daughter to that good Earl, once President

Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
Who liv'd in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,


τολετες ανδρας φερεσαν ανελεν και that the fame word fhould rime to drepyar dola tlw woni. Vol. i. . itself though in different senses : p. 441. Edit. Paris. 1624. but our old poets were not so very

5. - with Mary and with Ruth] delicate, and the reader may fee So it is in Milton's Manuscript, parallel instances in Spenser's Faery and in the edition of 1673. In Queen, B. 1. Cant. 6. St. 39. and the first edition of 1645 it was B. 7. Cant. 6. St. 38. fallly printed

13. Passes to bliss at the mid hour with Mary and the Ruth.

of night,] Instead of this line

he had written at first, 7. And at thy growing virtues] In

Opens the door of bliss that hour the Manuscript it was at first,

of night : And at thy blooming virtue or but he rightly alter'd it, the better prospering.

to accommodate it to the parable 8. but pity and ruth.] Here to which he is alluding. See Mat. Ruth and ruth are made to rime to XXV. each other, and it may perhaps of * We have given the title which fend the niceness of modern ears is in Milton's Manuscript, To the



And left them both, more in himself content, Till sad the breaking of that Parlament

5 Broke him, as that dishonest victory At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,

Kill'd with report that old man eloquent. Though later born than to have known the days

Wherein your father florish'd, yet by you,

Madam, methinks I see him living yet ;
So well your words his noble virtues praise,

That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honor’d Margaret.



[ocr errors]

Lady Margaret Ley. She was the to visit this lady and her husband, daughter of Sir James Ley, whose and about that time we may supfingular learning and abilities raised pose that this sonnet was comhim through all the great posts pos'd. of the the law, till he came to be made Earl of Marlborough, and 6. as that dishoneft victory Lord High Treasurer, and Lord &c] This victory was gain'd by President of the Council to King Philip of Macedon over the AtheJames I. He died in an advanc'd nians and their allies; and the age, and Milton attributes his news being brought to Athens, death to the breaking of the par- that old man eloquent, Isocrates, lament ; and it is true that the who was near a hundred years parlament was dissolved the 10th old, died within a few days, being of March 1628-9, and he died on determin'd not to survive the lithe 14th of the same month. He berties of his country. T€. left feveral fons and daughters και λατα τον βιον επι Χαιρωνιδα αρand the Lady Margaret was mar- xac, onigaus riusegas ustern ried to Captain Hobfon of the le της εν Χαιρώνεια μαχης, δυουν of Wight. It appears from the decyle B&G.Wxws xatov Ern, 700 accounts of Milton's life, that in un apno apelo, due tous ayathe year 1643 he ufed frequently θους της πόλεως συγκαταλύσαι τον


XI. * On the detraction which followed upon my

writing certain treatises. A book was writ of late call'd Tetrachordon,

And woven close, both matter, form and stile; The subject new: it walk’d the town a while,

Numb'ring good intellects ; now seldom por'd on. Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on 5

A title page is this! and some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-
End Green. Why is it harder Sirs than Gordon,


ļauty Blor. Dionyfius Halicar. sonnets, which were first printed in naff. de Isocrate Vol. 2. p. 150.- the edition of 1673, and to which Edit. Hudson. Plutarch says that we have prefixed the title that he he abstain'd from food for four himself has in the Manuscript. days, and so put a period to his life, having liv?d 98, or as some 1. A book was writ of late &c ] say 100 years. See Plutarch's Lives In the Manuscript he had written of the ten Orators. Vol. 2. p. 837. at first, Edit. Paris. 1624.

I writ a book of late call'd Tea * When Milton publish'd his trachordon, books of Divorce, he was greatly And weav'd in close, both matcondemn'd by the Presbyterian ter, form and stile ; clergy, whose advocate and cham. It went off well about the town pion he had been before. He

a while, publish'd his Tetrachordon or Ex Numb'ring good wits, but now positions upon the four chief

is feldom por'd on. places in Scripture, which treat of marriage or nullities in marriage, The reader will readily agree, that in 1645; and soon after we may it was alter'd for the better. suppose he composed these two

R 3

9. Colkitto,

like ours,

Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?

9 Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,

That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp. Thy age,

O Soul of Sir John Cheek, Hated not learning worse than toad or afp, When thou taught'st Cambridge, and king Edward Greek.


On the fame.
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs

By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When strait a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuccoos, affes, apes and dogs :


9. Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Ga- Cambridge, and was highly inftru

lasp?] We may suppose that mental in bringing that language these were persons of note and into repute, and restoring the orieminence amongst the Scotch mi- ginal pronunciation of it, tho? nisters who were for pressing and with great opposition from the pa. enforcing the Covenant. Galasp trons of ignorance and popery, we know was one of the Scotch and especially from Gardiner, biministers and commisioners from top of Winchester, and chancelthe Kirk to the Parlament. See lor of the university. He was afthe verses on the forcers of con- terwards made one of the tutors science.

to Edward VI. See his life by 10. Those rugged names] He had Strype, or in Biographia Britanwritten at first barbarous, and then nica. rough hewn, and then rugged. 12. Sir John Check ) Or Cheke. Milton's Manuscript it stands,

4. Of owls and cuccoos, ] In He was the first Professor of the Greek tongue in the university of Of owls and buzzards

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »