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*On the late maffacre in Piemont.
Avenge, O Lord, thy flaughter'd faints, whofe bones
that being receiv'd into priftin "favor, they might be reftored to "the liberty granted them by your "predeceffors, a part of your army "fell upon them, most cruelly flew "feveral, put others in chains, and "compell'd the reft to fly into "defert places and to the moun"tains cover'd with fnow, where "fome hundreds of families are "reduced to fuch diftrefs, that it " is greatly to be feared, they will " in a fhort time all miferably pe"rish, thro' cold and hunger, &c." Thefe letters are dated in May 1655, and about the fame time it is probable this fonnet was compos'd, which was added in the edition of 1673.
Among our author's ftate-let-they apply'd themselves to your ters there are feveral in Cromwell's "Royal Highness in a moft fupname addrefs'd to the Duke of" pliant manner, imploring a reSavoy, and other potentates and "vocation of the faid edict, and ftates, complaining of this perfecution of the proteftants. His letter to the Duke of Savoy begins thus. "Redditæ funt nobis Ge"nevâ &c. Letters have been fent us from Geneva, as alfo from the Dauphinate, and many "other places bordering upon your territories, wherein we are given to understand, that fuch of your Royal Highness's fubjects as profefs the reform'd religion, are commanded by your "edict and by your authority, "within three days after the pro"mulgation of your edict, to de*part their native feats and habi"tations, upon pain of capital pu"nifhment, and forfeiture of all "their fortunes and eftates, unless "they will give fecurity to relinquith their religion within 20 days, and embrace the Roman catholic faith. And that when
1. Avenge, O Lord, &c] Nor was this prayer in behalf of the perfecuted proteftants entirely without effect. For Cromwell exerted
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piemontefe that roll'd Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans 'he vales redoubled to the hills, and they To Heav'n. Their martyr'd blood and ashes fow O'er all th' Italian fields, where ftill doth fway The triple Tyrant; that from these may grow.
So great was
imfelf in their favor, and his beaviour in this whole tranfaction is greatly to his honor, even as it is elated by an hiftorian, who was ar from being partial to his menory. "Nor would the Protector" be backward in fuch a work, which might give the world a particular opinion of his piety and zeal for the proteftant religion; but he proclam'd a fo"lemn fast, and caufed large contributions to be gather'd for them throughout the kingdom of Eng"land and Wales. Nor did he "rest here, but fent his agents to "the Duke of Savoy, a prince " with whom he had no cor"respondence or commerce, and the next year fo engag'd the "Cardinal of France, and even "terrify'd the Pope himself, without fo much as doing any favor "to the English Roman catholics, "that that Duke thought it necef"sary to restore all that he had taken from them, and renew'd all "those privileges they had forVOL. II.
3. Ev'n them who kept thy truth
his letter to the States of the Unitfo pure of old, &c] And fo in ed Provinces he calls them Alpinos incolas orthodoxam religionem antiquitus profitentes, the inhabitants at the feet of the Alps, ancient profeffors of the orthodox faith; and afterwards in the fame letter, opud quos noftra religio vel ab ipfis E-vangelii primis doctoribus tradita per manus
incorrupte fervata, vil multo ante quam apud cæteras gentes finciritati priftinæ refiituta eft, among whom our religion was either diffminated by the first doctors of the Gofpel, and preferv'd from the defilement of fuperftition, or elfe reftor'd to its priftin fincerity long
A hundred fold, who having learn'd thy way
On his blindness.
When I confider how my light is spent
My true account, left he returning chide; Doth God exact day-labor, light deny'd, I fondly ask: But patience to prevent That murmur, foon replies, God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts; who beft 10 Bear his mild yoke, they ferve him best: his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
talents, Mat. XXV. and he speaks with great modefty of himself, as if he had not five, or two, but only one talent.
This Mr. Lawrence was the fon of the President of Cromwell's council: and this fonnet was alfo in the edition of 1673.
And poft o'er land and ocean without reft;
* To Mr. LAWRENCE.
Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous fon,
On smoother, till Favonius re-infpire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire The lilly' and rofe, that neither fow'd nor fpun. What neat repast fhall feaft us, light and choice, Of Attic tafte, with wine, whence we may rife 10 To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
6. Favonius] The fame as Zephyrus, or the western wind that blows in the fpring. Plin. Lib. 16. Sect. 39. Hic eft genitalis fpiritus mundi, a fovendo dictus, ut quidam exiftimavere. Flat ab occafu æquinoctiali, ver inchoans. And fo Lucretius I. 10.
Nam fimul ac fpecies patefacta
Et referata viget genitabilis aura
8. that neither fow'd nor fun.]
He who of thofe delights can judge, and fpare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
+ To CYRIAC SKINNER,
Cyriac, whofe grandfire on the royal bench
Let Euclid reft and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French,
+ Cyriac Skinner was the fon of William Skinner Efq; and grandfon of Sir Vincent Skinner, and his mother was Bridget, one of the daughters of the famous Sir Edward Coke Lord Chief Juftice of the King's Bench. Mr. Wood informs us that he was one of Harrington's political club, and fometimes held the chair; and farther adds, that he was a merchant's fon of London, an ingenious young gentleman, and fcholar to John Milton. Athen. Ox. Vol. 2. P. 591. No wonder then that Milton was fo intimate with him, and has addrefs'd two fonnets to him, this first of which was printed in the edition of 1673.
8. And what the Swede intends,] We have printed it as it is in the Manufcript. In the first edition it was And what the Swede intend, which in others is alter'd to And what the Swedes intend. Charles Guftavus, king of Sweden, was at this time waging war with Poland, and the French with the Spaniards in the Netherlands: and what Milton fays is somewhat in the fpirit and manner of Horace. Od. II. XI. 1.
Quid bellicofus Cantaber, et