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of paper by himself, or by some one else, in an Italian hand, he causes to be inserted in the second copy, between the English and the Latin contents of the volume. Accordingly, there are now in the Bodleian two volumes of Milton's writings, his own gift to the Library. One is the volume of the eleven collected Prose-pamphlets, with an inscription in Milton's undoubted autograph; the other is the supplementary volume of his Poems, sent to Rous, “ut cum aliis nostris reponeret" (“that he might replace it beside our other things”), and containing the Ode to Rous on an inserted sheet of MS., generally supposed to be also Milton's autograph, in an unusual form of laboured elegance, but probably, I think, a transcript by some caligraphist whom he employed.
The Ode is a curious one, in respect of both its form and its matter.—The form, as Milton takes care to explain in a note (appended in his edition, though now more conveniently prefixed), is peculiarly arbitrary. It is a kind of experiment in Latin, after a few classical precedents in that language, of the mixed verse, or verse of various metres, common in the Greek choral odes. Even within that range Milton has taken liberties at the bidding of his own ear, paying regard, as he says, rather to facility of reading than to ancient rule. Altogether, the experiment was very daring.—The matter of the ode is simple enough. It is addressed not directly to Rous, but to the little volume itself. The double contents of the volume, Latin and English, are spoken of in modest terms ; the loss of the first copy, mysteriously abstracted from the bundle of its brothers, when they were on their way from London to Oxford, is playfully mentioned, with wonder what had become of it and into what rough hands it may have fallen ; Rous's friendly interest, both in having repeatedly applied at first for the whole set of writings and in having applied again for the missing volume, is acknowledged ; and there are the due applauses of Oxford and her great Library. In this last connection there is an amplification of what had been hinted in the inscription in the volume of the Prosepamphlets. The time would come, he had there hoped, when even his Prose-pamphlets, now procuring him nothing but ill-will and calumny, might be better appreciated. This hope he now repeats more strongly with reference to his Poems. The following is Cowper's translation of the epode or closing strain :
“Ye, then, my works, no longer vain
And worthless deemed by me,
An unmolested, happy home,
Shall entrance find,
Shall babble far remote.
Shall furnish minds of power
To judge more equally.
Cooler heads and sounder hearts,
Thanks to Rous, if aught of praise
EPIGRAMS ON SALMASIUS.
Salmasius is a great name in the Biography of Milton. The person called by it, according to the custom, then common in the scholarly world of Europe, of Latinizing the names of its important members, was Claude de Saumaise, a Frenchman, born in 1588, and therefore Milton's senior by about twenty years. From his earliest youth he had been a prodigious reader; and by a series of publications, partly in France and partly in Germany, some against the Papal power, but others more purely historical and antiquarian, he had acquired the fame of being perhaps the most learned European scholar of his generation. Princes and States contended for the honour of possessing and pensioning him ; but, after various travels, he had taken up his residence chiefly at Leyden, in Holland. Thus brought into contact with Charles II. and the English Royalist exiles after the execution of Charles I., he had been employed or induced, in an evil hour for himself, to write a defence of the late King and an attack on the English Commonwealth. It appeared in Holland in 1649, under the title of Defensio Regia pro Carolo I. A book of the kind by a man of his fame was felt in England to be a serious matter ; and Milton, then Latin Secretary to the Council of State, was requested to answer it. He did so in his famous Defensio pro Populo Anglicano contra Claudii Salmasii Defensionem Regiam, published in the end of 1650, or beginning of 1651. Soon all Europe rang from side to side with the power of this pamphlet; and the legend is that Salmasius, who had recently gone to reside at the Court of Sweden on the pressing invitation of the eccentric Queen Christina, was so chagrined at the applause with which the pamphlet was everywhere received, and especially by Christina's consequent coldness to himself, that he soon afterwards died. At all events, he did quit Sweden, and return to Holland ; and he died Sept. 3, 1653, leaving an unfinished reply to Milton, and the task of continuing the controversy to other persons. Among these was the Gallo-Scot, Alexander More or Morus, already mentioned in the introduction to the brief epigram De Moro among the Latin Elegies. Milton's Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano, published in 1654, was in reply to a treatise of the year 1652, which More was supposed to have written, but which he had only prefaced and seen through the press, entitled Regiï Sanguinis Clamor adversus Parricidas Anglicanos. In this “Second Defence,” though More was the person directly attacked, Milton went back upon his dead opponent Salmasius. Hence, while the first of the two Epigrams against Salmasius now under notice is from the original pamphlet against the living Salmasius (called now, generally, the Defensio Prima), the second is from the Defensio Secunda, in which More receives the direct attack and Salmasius is only recollected for posthumous chastisement.
IN SALMASII HUNDREDAM.—This Epigram occurs in the 8th chapter of the Defensio Prima, and is a rough jest against Salmasius for his parade of his knowledge of a few English law-terms, or terms of public custom, such as Court,” and “Hundred” or “Hundreda,” in the sense of a division of a shire or an aggregation of parishes. " Where did Salmasius, that magpie, get his scraps of bad English, and especially his Hundreda ?” asks the Epigram. “Why, he got a hundred Jacobuses, the last in the pouch of the poor exiled King, for writing his pamphlet! The prospect of more cash would make him write up the very Pope, and sing the Song of the Cardinals, though he once demonstrated the Papacy to be Antichrist.” Such is the substance of the Epigram : a poor thing after all, and a mere momentary parody
“ County of the last seven lines of the Prologue to the Satires of Persius.
IN SALMASIUM.—This is from the Defensio Secunda, where it is introduced in a passage in reply to an immense eulogy on Salmasius occurring in the Sanguinis Clamor. The of that book, assumed by Milton to be Alexander More, had anticipated the tremendous castigation that would be given to Milton in the forthcoming “impression” of the answer to the Defensio Prima that had been written by the divine Salmasius himself, that prodigy of erudition and of genius. Milton professes to be very easy under the expectation of this posthumous reply, which he knew Salmasius had been busy with at the time of his death. People know that he has his own opinion of the genius and erudition of the famous deceased ! “ You, therefore, it seems,” he says, addressing More, “ are like the little client-fish in advance of Whale Salmasius, who is threatening 'impressions' on these shores : we are sharpening our irons so as to be ready to squeeze out whatever may be in the 'impressions' and
castigations,' whether of oil or pickle. Meanwhile we shall admire the more than Pythagorean goodness of the great man, who, in his pity for the animals, and especially for the fishes, which are not spared even in Lent, poor things, has provided so many volumes for decently wrapping them up in, and has bequeathed by will, I may say, to so many thousands of poor sprats and herrings paper coats individually.” After this ponderous piece of Latin prose-fun comes the Epigram. It simply prolongs the joke, in verse which is a cross between Catullus and Martial, by calling on all the herrings and other fishes to rejoice in their prospect of abundant paper wrappages from the books of Salmasius. The reply to Milton on which Salmasius had been engaged before his death, and of which Milton makes such fun by anticipation in this Epigram, did not appear till the end of 1660, when it was published, in London and on the Continent simultaneously, under the title Claudii Salmasii ad Johannem Miltonum Responsio : opus posthumum. Though filling a volume of close print, it is but a fragment of the work which Salmasius had projected, consisting only of a preface, two chapters, and a portion of a third chapter,which were all that Salmasius had left at his death. It is interesting chiefly as a feeble attempt to retaliate on Milton by personal invectives and scurrilities fouler than those that had provoked it, including attacks on Milton's Latinity and the prosody of his Latin poems. Milton, under the ban of the Restoration when the book appeared, durst make no reply, and submitted in silence.