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Stoln on his wing my three and twentieth year!
markable air of gravity and dig. " as yet obscure and unservicenity. They are free from the “ able to mankind) and that the metaphysics of Petrarch, and day is at hand, wherein Christ are more in the manner of Dante. commands all to labour while Yet he calls his seventh Sonnet, " there is light: which because in a Letter printed from the “ I am persuaded you do to no Cambridge manuscript by Birch, “ other purpose than out of a a composition in the Petrarchian “ true desire that God should be stanza.
" honoured in every one, In 1762, the late Mr. Thomas “ ever ready, you know, when Hollis examined the Laurentian
" occasion is, to give you aclibrary at Florence, for six Ita- count, as I ought, though unlian Sonnets of Milton, addressed “ asked, of my tardy moving to his friend Chimentelli; and,
“ according to the precept of my for other Italian and Latin com
“ conscience, which I firmly positions and various original 6 trust is not without God. Yet letters, said to be remaining in
I will not strain for any manuscript at Florence. He “set apology, but only refer searched also for an original “ myself to what my mind shall bust in marble of Milton, sup- “ have at any time to declare posed to be somewhere in that “ herself at her best ease. Yet city. But he was unsuccessful “ if you think, as you said, that in his curious enquiries. T. “ too much love of learning is Warton.
“ in fault, and that I have given
up myself to dream away my * This Sonnet was made in years in the arms of studious 1631, and was sent in a letter to “ retirement, like Endymion a friend, who had importuned “ with the moon on Latmus hill; the author to take orders; of yet consider, that if it were no which letter there two
“ more but this, to overcome draughts in his own Manuscript, this, there is on the other side and the former runs thus. “ both ill more bewitchful to
and natural years more swaying,
and good more • Besides that in sundry re- " available to withdraw to that “ spects I must acknowledge me 66 which
wish “ to profit by you whenever we “ all the fond hopes which for
meet, you are often to me, and “ ward youth and vanity are “ were yesterday especially, as “ fledged with, none of which
a good watchman to admonish can sort with this Pluto's hel. “ that the hours of the night met, as Homer calls it, of obpass on (for so I call
my scurity, and would soon cause
me; as first
My hasting days fly on with full career,
my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
“me to throw it off, if there good, and more prone affec
were nothing else in it but an « tions of nature to incline and « affected and fruitless curiosity dispose, not counting outward “ of knowing; and then a na- “ causes, as expectations and " tural desire of honour and re- murmurs of friends, scandals
nown, which I think possesses “ taken, and such like, than the “ the breast of every scholar, as « bare love of notions could re66 well of him that shall, as of o sist. So that if it be that « him that never shall obtain it, “ which you suppose, it had by
(if this be altogether bad,) " this been round about begirt “ which would quickly oversway " and overmastered, whether it " this phlegm and melancholy of “had proceeded from virtue,
“ " bashfulness, or that other hu- vice, or nature in me. Yet
mour, and prevail with me to " that you may see that I am prefer a life, that had at least some time suspicious of mysome credit in it, some place “ self, and do take notice of a given it, before a manner of “ certain belatedness in me, I living much disregarded and am the bolder to send you
discountenanced. There is be- some of my nightward thoughts “ sides this, as all well know, some while since, since they
about this time of a man's life, come in fitly, in a Petrarchian a strong inclination, be it good or no, to build up a house and
" How soon hath Time, &c." family of his own in the best manner he may; to which no- The latter draught is as follows. thing is more helpful than the
early entering into some cre“ dible employment, and no- “ Besides that in sundry other
thing more cross than my.“ respects I must acknowledge “ way, which my wasting youth me to profit by you whenever we “ would presently bethink her meet, you are often to me, and
of, and kill one love with an- were yesterday especially, as a
other, if that were all. But good watchman to admonish “ what delight or what peculiar " that the hours of the night
conceit, may you in charity pass on, (for so I call my life
think, could hold out against as yet obscure and unservice“the long knowledge of a con- “able to mankind,) and that the
trary command from above, day with me is at hand, wherein
and the terrible seisure of him “ Christ commands all to labour " that hid his talent? Therefore “ while there is light: which “ commit grace to grace, or na
because I am persuaded you ture to nature, there will be “ do to no other
than “ found on the other way more " out of a true desire that God
obvious temptations to bad, o should be honoured in every as gain, preferment, ambition, one, I therefore think myself more winning presentments of “bound, though unasked, to
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arriv'd so near,
« But if
give you account, as oft as " that a much more potent in« occasion is, of this my tardy “ clination inbred, which about
moving, according to the pre- - this time of life solicits most,
cept of my conscience, which - the desire of house and family "I firmly trust is not without “ of his own, to which nothing “ God. Yet now I will not “ is esteemed more helpful than “ strain for any set apology, but “the early entering into credible
“ only refer myself to what my employment, and nothing more “mind shall have at any time to hindering than this affected “ declare herself at her best ease. “ solitariness. And though this
you think, as you said, “ were enough, yet there is to that too much love of learning
“ this another act, if not of pure, “is in fault, and that I have “ yet of refined nature no less
given up inyself to dream available to dissuade prolonged away my years in the arms of obscurity, a desire of honour
studious retirement, like Endy- " and repute and immortal fame “ mion with the moon as the
or seated in the breast of every “ tale of Latmus goes; yet con- “ true scholar, which all make “ sider that if it were no more “ haste to by the readiest ways
but the mere love of learning, “ of publishing and divulging “ whether it proceed from a conceived merits, as well those “principle bad, good, or natural, “ that shall, as those that never
it could not have held out « shall obtain it. Nature there“thus long against so strong “fore would presently work the
opposition on the other side “ more prevalent way, if there " of every kind; for if it be bad, “ were nothing but this inferior
why should not all the fond « bent of herself to restrain her. hopes that forward youth and “ Lastly, the love of learning, as
vanity are fledge with, together “it is the pursuit of something “ with gain, pride, and ambi- good, it would sooner follow
tion, call me forward more “the more excellent and supreme
powerfully, than a poor re- “ good known and presented, "gardless and unprofitable sin “ and so be quickly diverted “of curiosity should be able to “ from the empty and fantastic “ withhold me, whereby a man - chase of shadows and notions " cuts himself off from all “ to the solid good flowing from
action, and becomes the most « due and timely obedience to “ helpless, pusillanimous, and - that command in the Gospel
unweaponed creature in the o set out by the terrible seizing
world, the most unfit and os of him that hid the talent. « unable to do that which all “ It is more probable therefore “ mortals most aspire to, either o that not the endless delight of “ to be useful to his friends, or “ speculation, but this very conor to offend his enemies. Or if sideration of that great com“ it be to be thought a natural - mandment,
does not press “proneness, there is against « forward, as soon as many do
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits indu’th.
It shall be still in strictest measure even
“ to undergo, but keeps off with me as I am, lest having thus
a sacred reverence and religi- “tired you singly, I should deal ous advisement how best to
worse with a whole
congrega" undergo ; not taking thought " tion, and spoil all the patience “ of being late, so it give advan- “ of a parish: for I myself do
tage to be more fit; for those “ not only see my own tedious" that were latest lost nothing, ness, but now grow offended " when the master of the vine- “ with it, that has hindered me
yard came to give each one “ thus long from coming to the « his hire. And here I am “ last and best period of my
letcome to a stream-head copious • ter, and that which must now
enough to disburthen itself chiefly work my pardon, that rs like Nilus at seven mouths “ I am your true and unfeigned into an ocean; but then I
“ friend.” o should also run into a recipro- cal contradiction of ebbing 2. Sioľn on his wing my three “ and flowing at once, and do and twentieth year!) Mr. Bowle " that which I excuse myself for cites Shakespeare, All's well that or not doing, preach and not ends well, act v. s. 2. “preach. Yet that you may see « that I am something suspicious
-On our quick'st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of “ of myself, and do take notice
Time o of a certain belatedness in me, Steals, ere we can effect them, "I am the bolder to send
And Mr. Warton, Juvenal, Sat. you of my nightward
ix. 128. thoughts some while since, o because they come in not -dum bibimus, dum serta, unguenta, " altogether unfitly, made up in puellas - a Petrarchian stanza, which I
Poscimus, obrepit non intellecta se. told you of.
But the application of steal in “ How soon hath Time, &c.
this sonnet, as Mr. Warton reBy this I believe you may marks, is different. In Shake“ well repent of having made speare and Juvenal, Time and ~ mention at all of this matter, Old Age come imperceptibly. - for if I have not all this while upon us and our purposes.
In “ won you to this, I have certain- Milton, Time as imperceptibly
ly wearied you of it. This and silently carries off on his os " therefore alone may be a suf- wing, in his flight, the poet's
ficient reason for me to keep twenty-third year. E.
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven;
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize,
Guard them, and him within protect from harms.
That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
* To this sonnet we have pre
K. Rich. Marshal, ask yonder knight fixed the title, which the author himself has in the Manuscript.
T. Warton. In the Manuscript this sonnet
3. If deed of honour did thee was written by another hand, ever please,] So this verse is and had this title, On his door printed in the second edition in when the City expected an assault: the year 1673. In the first edibut this he scratched out, and tion of 1645, and in the Manuwrote with his own hand, When script, it stands thus, the ussault was intended to the If ever deed of honour did thee please. City. The date was also added, 10. The great Emathian con1642, but blotted out again; and queror &c.] When Alexander the it was in November, 1642, that Great took Thebes, and entirely tlië King marched with his army rased the rest of the city, he oras near as Brentford, and put the dered the house of Pindar to be city in great consternation. Mil- preserved out of regard to his ton was then in his thirty-fourth memory: and the ruins of Pinyear.
dar's house were to be seen at 1. -Knight in arms] So Thebes, in Pausanias's time, who Shakespeare, K. Richard II. act lived under Antoninus the phii. s. 3. where Bolingbroke enters, losopher. See Pausan. Bæot. cap. appellant in armour.”
25. edit. Kuhnii.