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Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt
Could Time, his flight revers'd, restore the hours, When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers, The violet, the pink, and jessamine, I prick'd them into paper with a pin, (And thou wast happier than myself the while, Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile,) Could those few pleasant days again appear, Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here? I would not trust my heart;—the dear delight Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.But no
—what here we call our life is such, So little to be loved, and thou so much, That I should ill requite thee to constrain Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
182.-THE LIBERTY OF UNLICENSED PRINTING.
MILTON. [It is not creditable to the present age that Milton is neglected as a poet, and that many persons approach the Paradise Lost' and the · Paradise Regained,' as if they were entering upon a hard and disagreeable task. This is one of the caprices of fashion which will not last. There is nothing in our language, with the exception perhaps of Shakspere, Spenser, and Wordsworth, that can so fill and satisfy the mind which conceives of poetry as possessing higher capacities than that of mere entertainment, as the poetry of Milton.
We cannot expect that his prose works should be equally read, nor have they any just claim to the pre-eminence of his poems. They are formed upon
Latin models; and, however eloquent and grand in occasional passages, are necessarily constrained and artificial. The extract which we give is from one of the most famous of his prose compositions, · Areopagitica, a Speech for the Liberty of unlicensed Printing.' John Milton was the son of John and Sarah Milton. · He was born on the 9th of December, 1608, in London. He was educated at St. Paul's School, and at Christ's College, Cambridge. seven years in the university, and afterwards resided for five years in his father's house, during which time it is supposed he wrote Comus,' and his other minor poems. In 1637 he travelled into Italy; he returned after an absence of fifteen months, and, whilst devoting himself to the education of his nephews, became deeply interested in the great political questions of his day. In 1641 he published his first political tract on Reformation.' In 1643 he married Mary Powell; but repudiated her shortly afterwards, and in consequence published his four * Treatises on Divorce.' Milton and his wife became reunited after a brief separation. In 1644 he published his · Tractate on Education,' and his . Areopagitica.' After the execution of Charles I., appeared
• the Tenure of Kings and Magistrates ;' and after his appointment as Latin secretary to Cromwell in 1649, his · Eiconoolastes,' and other tracts. In 1654 he became blind, after his second marriage. He married for the third time in 1660. He published Paradise Lost'in
1667, and · Paradise Regained' and Samson Ago. nistes' in 1671. He died on the 8th of November, 1674, and was buried in St. Giles's, Cripplegate.]
his tract on
Lords and Commons of England ! consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors ; a nation not slow and