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Carmina sacrificus soliennes pangit ad aras,
it more commodious to sing in oracular tripod, who immedithe specious obscurity of the ately clothed the answer in a Pindaric measure. Homer is metrical form, which was almost said to have borrowed
lines as soon conveyed to the priestess from the responses of the priestess in waiting. Phæbas is a word in Daphne, daughter of Tiresias. Ovid. See our author, above, It was suspected, that persons El. vi. 73. of distinguished abilities in poe- 37. Immortale melos, &c.] See try were secretly placed near the Lycidas, v. 176.
Verborum sensusque vacans, numerique loquacis ?
Nec tu perge, precor, sacras contemnere Musas,
52. He alludes to the Song of Here we have, Orpheus, in Apollonius Rhodius,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek. i. 277. He « sung of Chaos to
See above, at v. 22. “ the Orphean lyre,” Par. Lost, b. iii. 17. See also Onomacritus, 66. Dividuumque Deum, geni. Argon. v. 438.
torque puerque, tenemus.] The 53. -quercubus addidit aures,] topic of persuasion is happily So also of Orpheus, Par. Lost, selected. Dividuus our author b. vii. 35.
has twice Anglicised in Paradise
Lost, b. vii. 382. Where see' the -Where woods and rocks had ears To rapture.
note. And again, b. xii. 85.
Milton's father was well skilled 54. --simulachraque functa] So in music. Philips says, that he of Orpheus, going down to hell, composed an 'In nomine of forty Ovid, Metam. x. 14.
parts, for which he was honoured
with a gold chain and medal by Perque leves populos, simulacraque
a Polish prince, to whom he prefuncta sepulcris, &c.
sented it. He is mentioned by Our author adds, Compulit in Wood in his manuscript History lacrymas.” So Ovid, continu' of English Musicians.
as John ing the same story, ibid. 45. “ Milton, a musician livinge in Tuin primum lacrymis victarum car
" the reigne of Queene Elizabeth, mine fama est
- James I. Charles I. We have Eumenidum maduisse genas est, &c. “ some of his compositions in the
Tu tamen ut simules teneras odisse Camænas,
publick Musicke Schoole at gave for a prize-subject to the • Oxford.” MSS. Mus. Ashm. best poets and musicians, whom D. 19. 4to. Among the psalm he liberally rewarded, the beauty tunes, published by Thomas Ra- and accomplishments of his royal venscroft in 1633, are many with mistress, now a decrepit virgin the name of John Milton; more on the brink of seventy. - But particularly, that common one maiden queens are in perpetual called York tune, the tenor part bloom. of which was such a favourite, Our author's father seems also as to be used by nurses for a lul- to have been a writer. For in laby, and as a chime-tune for the Register of the Stationers, churches. He has several songs John Busby enters on Dec. 15, for five voices, in “ The Tears or 1608, “ A Sixe fold Politician by “ lamentations of a sorrowfull “ John Milton." A copy of this “ soule, composed with musical book is in the Bodleian library, “ayres and songs both for voices which appears to have belonged or and divers instruments,” con- to Burton, who wrote on Melantaining also compositions by Bird, choly. Bull, Orlando Gibbons, Dowland 66. The “ Six-fold Politician" the lutanist, Ferabosco, Copera- ought probably to be ascribed to rio, Weelks, Wilbye, and others John Milton, author of the As. the most celebrated masters of trologaster. Hayley. the times, written and published 71. He had Ovid in his head. by Sir William Leighton, knight, Amor. i. xv. 5. a gentleman-pensioner, and a
Non me verbosas leges ediscere, nec good musician, in 1614. He has a madrigal for five voices, among Ingrato vocem prostituisse foro, &c. the numerous contributions of He speaks with a like contempt the most capital performers, in for the study of the Law to the Triumphs of Oriana, pub- Hartlib, Tract. Educat. “ Some, lished by Morley in 1601. (See “ allured to the Trade of Law, note on Comus, v. 495.) This grounding their purposes not collection is said to have been “on the prudent and heavenly planned by the Earl of Notting- "contemplation of justice and ham, Lord High Admiral; who,“ equity which was never taught with a view to sooth Queen Eli- “ them, but on the promising zabeth's despair for the recent “ and pleasing thoughts of litiexecution of Lord Essex by flat- gious terms, fat contentions, tering her preposterous vanity, "and flowing fees."
Sed magis excultam cupiens ditescere mentem,
75. Aubrey, in Milton's manu- and that Athens with its pellucid script Life, says, that he " Ilissus, and Rome with its banks “ ten yeares old by his picture, of the Tiber, could not detain “ and then a poet.
The picture him from the Arno of Florence, is that by Corrielius Jansen. and the hills of Fesole. Prose
83. --novus Italus, &c.] Mil- Works, ii. 570. See also Franton was so well skilled in Italian, cini's panegyric. His Italian that at Florence, the Crusca, an Sonnets shew that he was a masacademy instituted for recovering ter of the language. Dr. Johnand preserving the purity of the son is of opinion, that Milton's Florentine language, often con- acquaintance with the Italian sulted him on the critical niceties writers may be discovered in his of that language. He tells Bene- Lycidas, by the mixture of longer detto Buonmatteo, who was writ- and shorter verses, according to ing an Italian grammar, in a the rules of the Tuscan poetry. Latin Letter dated at Florence, 84. --barbaricos testatus voce 1638, that although he had in- tumultus ;] The pure Roman landulged in copious draughts of guage was corrupted by barbaric, Roman and Grecian literature, or Gothic, invaders. He adopts yet that he came with a fresh Barbaricus, used by Virgil more eagerness and delight to the than once, into English. Par. luxuries of Dante and Petrarch, Lost, b. ii. 4.:“ Barbaric pearl and the rest of the Italian poets; “ and gold."
Per te nosse licet, per te, si nosse libebit :
90 Nudaque conspicuos inclinat ad oscula vultus, Ni fugisse velim, ni sit libasse molestum.
I nunc, confer opes, quisquis malesanus avitas
tque Hyperionios currus, et fræna diei,
At tibi, chare pater, postquam non æqua merenti
93. I nunc, confer opes, &c.] 107. Anguiferos rictus is cerOvid, Epist. Heroid. xii. 204. tainly an inaccurate expression. I nunc, Sisyphias, improbe, confer opes. Calumniu is, I fear, the
property 106. Invidiæque acies transverso
of prose rather than of poetry. tortilis hirquo,] The best com
Many of Milton's expressions in ment on this line is the following
his Latin poems are not supdescription of envy, raised to ported by high classical authority. the highest pitch, in Par. Lost, Symmons. iv. 502.
109. Perhaps Milton might be -Aside the Devil turn'ı
justified in lengthening the last For envy, yet with jealous leer walign syllable of egu, as the ictus of Ey'd them askance.
the verse falls on it. Symmons.