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El. B. By hoarie Nereus wrinoled looke,
And her sonne that rules the strands,
Wherewith she sitts on diamond rocks,
The invocations, assigned to the Brothers in the preceding lines, are recited by the Spirit alone in all other copies of the poem. It is probable, that at Ludlow Castle, this part of the poem was sung; the four first lines perhaps as a trio; the rest by each performer separately.
Ver. 893. Thick set with agate, and the azur'd sheene.
Shakespeare has the "azur'd vault," Tempest, A. v. S. i. And Greene, the "azur'd skye.' Never too late, 1616, P. ii. p. 46. But Milton's own word is azurn. See the Note on Com. v. 893.
Ver. 897. Thus I rest my printles feete
Let vs fly this cursed place, &c.
With jiggs and rural daunce resorte;
El. B. Come, let vs hast, the starrs are high,
The Spirit again is the sole speaker of the nine-
come in." Then
"The Spirit! singes,"
Back, shepheards, back, &c.
Then "2 Songe presents them to their father and mother."
Noble Lord, and Lady bright, &c. STAGE-DIRECTION after v. 975. "They dance, the daunces al ended, the Damon singes or sayes,"
Now my taske is smoothly done,
Mortalls, that would follow me,
The Epilogue, in this manuscript, has not the thirty-six preceding lines, which are in the printed copies. Twenty of them, however, as we have seen, open the drama. Like the Cambridge manuscript, this manuscript does not exhibit what, in the printed copies, relates to Adonis, and to Cupid and Psyche. The four charming verses also, which follow v. 983 in the printed copy, are not in the manuscript. TODD.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,
First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill, Portend success in love; O, if Jove's will Have link'd that amorous power to thy soft lay, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate
Foretel my hopeless doom in some grove nigh;
Whether the Muse, or Love,call thee his mate,
Faor di sua natia alma primavera,
Cosi Amor meco insù la lingua snella Desta il fior novo di strania favella, Mentre io di te, vezzosamente altera, Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso
El bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno.
Deh! foss'il mio cuor lento e'l duro seno
RIDONSI donné e giovani amorosi
M' accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
DIODATI, e te'l dirò con maraviglia,
Quel ritroso io ch'amor spreggiar soléa E de suoi lacci spesso mi ridéa Gia caddi, ov'huom dabben talhor s'impiglia. e treccie d'oro, ne guancia vermiglia M'abbaglian sì, ma sotto nova idea Pellegrina bellezza che'l cuor bea, Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,
Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una, E'l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,
E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran fuoco Che l'incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.
ER certo i bei vostr'occhi, Donna mia
Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco
OVANE piano, e semplicette amante
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth [green,
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween, And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, 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, And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be [friends Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night, Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and
A BOOK was writ of late called Tetrachordon,
Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on
Those rugged names to our like mouths grow
ON THE SAME.
I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee. That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood, But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
And still revolt when truth would set them free.
Licence they mean when they cry Liberty; For who loves that, must first be wise and good; But from that mark how far they rove we see, For all this waste of wealth, and loos of blood.
TO MR. H. LAWES ON THE PUBLISHING HIS
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Ver. 1. Daughter to that good earl,] She was the daughter of sir James Ley, whose singular learning and abilities raised him through all the great posts of the law, till he came to be made earl of Malborough, and lord high treasurer, and lord president of the council to king James WHEN Faith and Love, which parted from thee
I. He died in an advanced age; and Milton attributes his death to the breaking of the parliament; and it is true that the parliament was dissolved the 10th of March 1628-9, and he died on the 14th of the same month. He left several sons and daughters; and the lady Margaret was married to captain Hobson of the Isle of Wight. It appears from the accounts of Milton's life, that in 1643 he used frequently to visit this lady and her husband; about which time we may suppose this sonnet to have been composed.
Ver. 1. A book was writ of late call'd Tetrachordon,] This elaborate discussion, unworthy in many respects of Milton, and in which much acuteness of argument, and comprehension of reading, were idly thrown away, was received with contempt, or rather ridicule, as we learn from Howel's Letters. A better proof that it was treated with neglect, is, that it was attacked by two nameless and obscure writers only; one
ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHERINE THOMSON', my Christian friend, deceased 16 Decemb. 1646.
Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
of whom Milton calls,a Serving-man turned Sollicitor! Our author's divorce was on Platonic principles. He held, that disagreement of mind was a better cause of separation than adultery or frigidity. Here was a fair opening for the laughThis and the following Sonnet were written soon after 1645. For this doctrine Milton was summoned before the Lords. But they not approving his accusers, the presbyterian clergy, or thinking the business too speculative, he was quickly dismissed. On this occasion Milton commenced hostilities against the Presbyterians.
'Mrs. Catherine Thomson,] I find in the accounts of Milton's life, that, when he was first
Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endea- | Whether to settle peace, or to unfold
The drift of hollow states hard to be spell'd; Then to advise how war may, best upheld, Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold, In all her equipage: besides to know
Both spiritual power and civil, what each
What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few have done:
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe: Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.
liament which began in 1653, and was active in settling the protectorate of Cromwell. In consequence of his services, he was made president of Cromwell's council; where he appears to have signed many severe and arbitrary decrees, not only against the royalists, but the Brownists, fifth-monarchy men, and other sectarists. He continued high in favour with Richard Cromwell. Henry Lawrence, the virtuous son, is the author of a work entitled Of our Communion and Warre with Angels, &c. Printed Anno Dom. 1646. 4o, 139 pages. The dedication is "To my Most deare and Most honoured Mother, the lady Lawrence." He is perhaps the same Henry Lawrence, who printed A Vindication of the Scriptures and Christian Ordinances, 1649. Lond. 4o.
Son of William Skinner, esq. and grandson of sir Vincent Skinner; and his mother was Bridget, one of the daughters of the famous sir Edward Coke, lord chief justice of the King's Bench.
ORIGINAL VARIOUS READINGS OF THE SONNETS,
FROM THE CAMBRIDGE MS.
assault." Then, as at present; with an addition Title. "On his dore when the Citty expected an of the date 1642, afterwards expunged.
Ver. 3. If ever deed of honour did thee please. As in the edit. 1645. The present reading occurs first in the edit. 1673.
This sonnet is written in a female hand. Only the title, now prefix'd to it, is written by Milton,