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On the same.
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
Of owls and cuckows, asses, apes, and dogs:
Raild at Latona's twin-born progeny,
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
And still revolt when truth would set them free. 10 Licence they mean when they cry Liberty;
Strype, or in Biographia Britan- pectations of making a considernica.
able figure in the world. 13. Hated not learning worse 8. --by casting pearl to hogs ;] than toad or asp,] Mr. Bowle Matt. vii. 6. neither cast ye your quotes Halle, Rich. II. f. 34. pearls before swine. • Diverse noble personages hated 10. And still revolt &c.] He
Kinge Richard worse than a had written at first, “ toade or a serpent." T. Warton.
And hate the truth whereby they should This Sonnet was written evi
be free. dently in a sportive struggle to bend knotty words into rhyme. 11. Licence they mean when Symmons.
they cry Liberty.]
6. The hypo
crisy of some shames not to 4. Of owls and cuckows,] In s take offence at this doctrine Milton's Manuscript it stands, [the liberty of Divorce] for
“ Licence; whereas indeed, they Of owls and buzzards.
“ fear it would remove Licence, 5. As when those hinds &c.]
o and leave them but few comThe fable of the Lycian clowns "panions." Tetrachord. vol. i. changed into frogs is related by 4to. p. 319. He further explains Ovid, Met. vi. Fab. 4. and the himself at the bottom of the poet in saying
same page :
" This one virtue
“ incomparable it [the prohibiWhich after held the sun and moon
“tion of divorce] hath, to fill in fee,
“ all christendom with whoreintimates the good hopes which “doms and adulteries, beyond he had of himself, and his ex- “ the art of Balaams or of devils."
For who loves that, must first be wise and good;
But from that mark how far they rove we see
To Mr. H. LAWES on his Airs. *
HARRY, whose tuneful and well measur'd song
First taught our English music how to span
With Midas' ears, committing short and long;
With praise enough for envy to look wan;
Again, in his Tenure of Kings notes upon Waller, who has also and Magistrates, p. 341. “ In- honoured him with a copy of
deed, none can love freedom verses inscribed To Mr. Henry “ heartily but good men:' the Lawes, who had then newly set a
rest love not Freedom, but Li- song of mine in the year 1635. cence ;
which never hath more See Prelim. note to Comus. scope or more indulgence than 3. Words with just note &c.] “ under tyrants.” Hurd.
These two lines were once thus
in the Manuscript, * This Sonnet was also first Words with just notes, which till then added in the edition of 1673,
us'd to scan and in Milton's Manuscript it is
-when most were us'd to scan
With Midas' ears, misjoining short dated Feb. 9, 1645, and said to
and long. be wrote to Mr. Lawes, on the publishing of his Airs. This Mr.
But committing conveys with it Henry
Lawes was a gentleman the idea of offending against of his Majesty's chapel, and one quantity and harmony. of his band of music, and an
4. Committing is a Latinism.
T. Warton. intimate friend of Milton, as appears by his first publishing
5. -exempts thee from the the Mask in 1637, the airs of throng] Horace, Od. i. i. 32. which he set to music, and pro
Secernunt populo. bably too those of his Arcades.
Richardson. He was educated under Signor 6. With praise enough &c.] Coperario, and introduced a softer Instead of this line was the folmixture of Italian airs, than had lowing at first in the Manuscript, been practised before in our na
And gives thee praise above the pipe tion; as Mr Fenton says in his of Pan.
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
tongue. Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing
To honour thee, the priest of Phæbus' quire, 10
That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
7. — thou shalt be writ the man, Than his Caselle, whom Dante woo'd &c.] This too in the style of to sing &c. Horace, Od. i. vi. 1.
13. Than his Casella, whom he Scriberis Vario fortis, et hostium woo'd to sing &c.] This refers Victor.
to the second Canto of Dante's And in the Manuscript it was Purgatorio, where the poet rethus at first,
lates his meeting with Casella -thou shalt be writ a man
in purgatory, and wooing him That didst reform thy art, the chief to sing in these terms, among
-se nuoua legge non ti toglie 9. -and verse must lend her Memoria, o uso à l'amoroso canto, wing] There are three manu
Che mi solea quetar tutte mie voglie ; script copies of this sonnet, two
Di cid ti piaccia consolar alquanto
L'anima mia. by Milton, the second corrected, and the third by another hand;
Thyer. and in all of them we read must See Dante's Purgator. c. ii. v. lend her wing, which we prefer 111. The Italian commentators to must send her wing, as it is in on the passage say, that Casella, the printed copies.
Dante's friend, was a musician 11. -or story.] “The story of distinguished excellence. He o of Ariadne set by him to mu- must have died a little before « sic.” This a note in the mar- the
year 1300. In the Vatican gin of this sonnet, as it stands library is a Ballatella, or Madriprefixed to “ Choice Psalms pat gal, inscribed Lemmo da Pistoja, 56 into musick by Henry and e Casella diede il Suono. That is, “ William Lawes, Lond. for H. Lemmo da Pistoja wrote the “ Moseley, 1648. The inscrip- words, which were set to music tion is there, “ To my friend by Casella. Num. 3214. f. 149. " Mr. Henry Lawes." T. War- Crescimbeni mentions an ancient ton.
manuscript Ballatella, with Dan12. Dante shall give &c.] These te's words and his friend Scho. verses were thus at first,
chetti's music. Inscribed Parole Fame by the Tuscan's leave shall set
di Dante, e Suono di Schochetti. thee higher
Ist. Volg. Poes. p. 409. From
XIV. On the religious memory of Mrs. Catharine Thomson,
my Christian friend, deceased 16 Dec. 1646.* WHEN faith and love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripen’d thy just soul to dwell with God,
Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever. Thy works and alms and all thy good endeavour 5
Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple beams
many parts of his writings, Dante 3. Meekly thou didst resign &c.] appears to have been a judge In the Manuscript these lines and a lover of music. This is were thus at first, not the only circumstance in Meekly thou didst resign this earthly which Milton resembled Dante.
clod By milder shades, our author
Of flesh and sin, which man from
Heav'n doth sever. means, shades comparatively much less horrible than those 6. Stay'd not behind, &c.] Inwhich Dante describes in the stead of this lines were the fol. Inferno. T. Warton.
lowing at first in the Manuscript,
Strait follow'd thee the path that * To this Sonnet, which was
saints have trod, first printed in the edition of
Still as they journey'd from this dark
abode 1673, we have added the title which is in Milton's Manuscript.
Up to the realm of peace and joy for Who this Mrs. Thomson was, Faith shew'd the way, and she who we cannot be certain; but I
saw them best find in the accounts of Milton's
Thy hand-maids &c. life, that when he was first made 6. –
-nor in the grave were trod;} Latin secretary, he lodged at one This is a beautiful periphrasis Thomson's, next door to the Bull- for “ good deeds forgotten at her head tavern at Charing-Cross. “ death," and a happy improveThis Mrs. Thomson was in all ment of the original line in the probability one of that family. MS. T. Warion.
* Mr. Warton seems to have 10. -clad them o'er with pursupposed that Mrs. Thomson
ple beams was a Quaker. See Mr. Dun- And azure wings, that up they ster's note on P. R. iv. 288. E.
flew so drest, &c.]
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest
To the Lord General FAIRFAX.*
FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise,
Compare Par. Lost, xi. 14. of tion of Milton's poems in 1673, the personification and ascent of and the reason of omitting them the prayers of Adam and Eve. in the reign of Charles II. is And see the notes, P. L. xi. 19. too obvious to need explaining. T. Warton.
They were first printed at the 12. And spake the truth] There end of Philips's life of Milton, are also three manuscript copies prefixed to the English translaof this Sonnet, two by Milton, tion of his state-letters, in 1694, the second corrected, and the which was twenty years after third by another hand; and in his death; they were afterwards all of them we read And spake cited by Toland in his life of the truth, which is more agree- Milton, 1698; and as far as I able to syntax, and better than can perceive, they were not inAnd speak the truth, as it is in serted among his other poems the printed copies.
till the fifth edition in 1713. But 14. And drink thy fill of pure the printed copies, probably beimmortal streams.]' So in the ing taken at first from memory, Epitaph. Damonis, 306.
are wonderfully incorrect; whole Etherios haurit latices, et gaudia
are omitted, and the potat
beauty of these Sonnets is in Ore sacro.
great measure defaced and deCompare P. L. v. 632. seq. where stroyed. It is therefore a singuthe angels
lar piece of good fortune, that
they are still extant in Milton's Quaff immortality and joy, &c.
Manuscript, the first in his own The allusion is to the waters of hand-writing, and the others by life, and more particularly to another hand, as he had then Ps. xxxvi. 8, 9." Thou shalt lost his sight: and having such “ make them drink of the river an authentic
copy, we shall make “ of thy pleasures, for with thee it our standard, and thereby re" is the well of life.” T. Warton, store these Sonnets to their ori
ginal beauty. This to the Lord * This and the two following General Fairfax appears from Sonnets are not found in the edi- the Manuscript to have been ad