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Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest
* To the Lord General FAIRFAX.
Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Victory home, though new rebellions taffe
And fills all mouths &c: but it is better to avoid the beginning of fo with and. many lines together
4. that daunt remotest kings, ] How much better is, this than moft of the printed copies,
I can perceive, they were not in 2. Filling each mouth] In the ferted among his other poems till printed copies it is, the fifth edition in 1713. But the printed copies, probably being taken at first from memory, are wonderfully incorrect; whole verfes are omitted, and the beauty of thefe -fonnets is in great measure defac'd and deftroy'd. It is therefore fingular piece of good fortune, that they are fill extant in Milton's Manufcript, the first in his own hand-writing, and the others by another hand, as he had then loft his fight: and having fuch an authentic copy, we shall make it our fandard, and thereby reftore thefe fonnets to their original beauty. This to the Lord General Fairfax appears from the Manufcript to have been addrefs'd to him at the fiege of Colchester, which was carried on in the fummer of 1648.
-which daunt remoteft things! 5. Thy firm unfhaken virtue] In the printed copies it is,
but valer occurs again in the fonnet. Thy firm unfhaken valor
6. though new rebellions raife &c] At this time there were feveral infurrections of the royalists, and the Scotch army was marching into England under the command
Their Hydra heads, and the falfe North difplays Her broken league to imp their serpent wings. O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,
(For what can war, but endless war still breed?), Till truth and right from violence be freed, And public faith clear'd from the shameful brand Of public fraud. In vain doth valor bleed, While avarice and rapin share the land.
*To the Lord General C R OM WELL.
Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
of Duke Hamilton. In the printed Thefe lines are thus in the printed copies we have
who through a cloud &c]
as if the whole intent of the folemn In the printed copies it ftands thus, league and covenant had been to
10. For what can war, &ç]
that through a crowd Not of war only, but diffractions
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way haft plough'd, and on the neck of crowned fortune proud
Haft rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued, And Dunbar field refounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains To conquer ftill; peace hath her victories
No lefs renown'd than war: new foes arise Threatning to bind our fouls with fecular chains:
7. While Darwen ftream &c] In. the printed copies it is
While Darwent freams &c The Darwen or Derwen is a small river near Preston in Lancashire, mentioned by Camden; and there Cromwell routed the Scotch army under Duke Hamilton in Auguft 1648. The battels of Dunbar and Worcester are too well known to be particulariz'd, both fought on the memorable 3d of September, the one in 1650, and the other in 1651.
9. And Worcester's laureat wreath.] It was fo corrected, very much for the better, from what was before in the Manuscript,
And twenty battels more
Help us to fave free confcience from the paw Of hireling wolves, whofe gofpel is their maw.
* To Sir HENRY VANE the younger.
Vane, young in years, but in fage counsel old,
The helm of Rome, when gowns not arms repell'd
The fierce Epirot and the African bold,
No lefs renown'd than war:] In the printed copies it is
peace has her victories No less than thofe of war:
1. but in fage counfel ok," This is much better than the printed copies
in fage councils old,
7. Then to advife &c] In the
and afterwards in fecular chains for Manufcript there was at first d with fecular chains.
*There is no knowing for certain when this fonnet was compos'd; but we follow the order wherein they ftand and are number'd in Milton's Manufcript, and probably it was compos'd foon after the foregoing one to Cromwell, and upon the fame occafion of the minifters proposals relating, I fuppofe, to their maintenance, which was then under confideration.
inftead of Then: but afterwards it was corrected as it ftands in the printed copies. But in the remainder of these two verfes, as they ftand in the printed copies, the meter is fpoil'd in one, and the fenfe in the other."
Then to advise how war may be best upheld,
Mann'd by her two main nerves,
Move by was at first in the Manu-
Vhether to settle peace, or to unfold
Both fpiritual pow'r and civil, what each means, What fevers each, thou haft learn'd, which few have done:
The bounds of either fword to thee we owe:
9. befides to know &c] In the printed editions this third ftanza wants one whole line, and gives us another line fo much corrupted as to be utter nonsense:
befides to know What ferves each, thou haft learn'd,
which few have done.
The Manufcript fupplies the one, and corrects the other. In the Manufcript it was originally thus,
befides to know What pow'r the Church, and what the Civil means,
Thou teacheft beft, which few have ever done.
befides to know
Both fpiritual pow'r and civil, what each means
Thou haft learn'd well, a praise which few have won.
At laft it was corrected, as we have caused it to be printed.
13. Therefore on thy firm hand better in the Manufcript than in &c] Thefe two lines are infinitely the printed editions;
Therefore on thy right hand religion leans,
And reckons thee in chief her eldest fon.
It was at firft in the Manuscript right hand, but alter'd to firm band.