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Munere, mille fonos numeros componis ad aptos,
Millibus et vocem modulis variare canoram
Doctus, Arionii merito fis nominis hæres.
Nunc tibi quid mirum, si me genuiffe poetam
Contigerit, charo si tam prope sanguine juncti,
Cognatas artes, ftudiumque affine sequamur ?
Ipfe volens Phoebus se dispertire duobus,
Altera dona mihi, dedit altera dona parenti ;
Dividuumque deum, genitorque puerque, tenemus.
Tu tamen ut fimules teneras odiffe camænas,
Non odiffe reor ; neque enim, pater, ire jubebas
Qua via lata patet, qua pronior area lucri,
Certaque condendi fulget spes aurea nummi:
Nec rapis ad leges, male custoditaque gentis
Jura, nec insulsis damnas clamoribus aures;
Sed magis excultam cupiens ditefcere mentem,
Me procul urbano strepitu, feceflivus altis
Abductum, Aoniæ jucunda per otia ripe,
Phæbæo lateri comitem finis ire tcatum.

Nor thou persist, I pray thee, still to flight

The sacred Nine, and to imagine vain
And useless, powers, by whom inspir’d, thyself,
Art skilful to affociate verse with airs
Harmonious, and to give the human voice
A thousand modulations! Heir by right
Indisputable of Arion's fame!
Now fay! What wonder is it if a fon
Of thine delight in verse; if, so conjoin'd
In close asfinity, we sympathise
In social arts, and kindred studies sweet:
Such diftribution of himself to us
Was Phoebus' choice; thou hast thy gist, and I
Mine also, and between us we receive,
Father and son, the whole inspiring God,
No! whofoe'er the semblance thou afiume

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Of hate, thou hatest 'not the gentle muse,

father! for thou never bad'st me tread
The beaten path and broad, that leads right on
To opulence; nor didft condemn thy son
To the insipid clamours of the bar,
To laws voluminous and ill observ'd;
But wishing to enrich me more, to fill
My mind with treasure, ledit me far away
From civic din to deep retreats, to banks
And streams Aonian, and with free consent
Didst place me happy at Apollo's side.

The poet seems to have had a prophetic view of the fingular calumnies, that awaited his reputation, and to have anticipated his triumph, over all his adversaries, in the following magnanimous exclamation:

Este procul vigiles curæ! procul este querelæ !
Invidiæque acies transverso tortilis hirquo!
Sæva nec anguiferos extende calumnia rictus :
In me triste nihil, fædissima turba, potestis,
Nec vestri sum juris ego ; securaque tutus
Pectora, viperio gradiar sublimis ab ictu.

Away then, sleepless care! complaint away!
And envy “ with thy jealous leer malign;"

Nor let the monster calumny fhoot forth
Her venom'd tongue at me! Detested foes !
Ye all are impotent against my peace ;
For I am privileged, and bear my breast
Safe, and too high for your viperian wound:

After this high-toned burst of confidence and indignation, how sweetly the poet finks again into the tender notes of gratitude, in the close of this truly filial composition!


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At tibi, chare pater, postquam non æqua merenti
Poffe referre datur, nec dona rependere factis,
Sit memorasle fatis, repetitaque munere grato
Percenfere animo, fidæque reponere menti.
Et vos, O nostri juvenilia carmina, lusus,
Si modo perpetuos fperare audebitis annos,
Et domini fupereffe rogo, lucemque tueri,
Nec fpisso rapient oblivia nigra sub orco ;
Forfitan has laudes, decantatumque parentis
Nomen, ad exemplum, fero fervabitis ævo.

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But thou, my father, since to render thanks
Equivalent, and to requite by deeds
Thy liberality, exceeds my power,
Suffice it that I thus record thy gifts,
And bear them treasur’d in a grateful mind.
Ye too, the favourite paftime of my youth,
My voluntary numbers, if ye dare
To hope longevity, and to survive
Your master's funeral, not foon abforb'd
In the oblivious Lethæan gulph,
Shall to futurity perhaps 'convey
This theme, and by these praises of my fire
Improve the fathers of a diftant age.


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" He began now,

," says. Johnson, “ to grow weary of the country, and had some purpose of " taking chambers in the inns of court."

This weariness appears to have existed only in the fancy of his biographer. During the five years that Milton resided with his parents, in Buckinghamshire, he had occasional lodgings in London, which he visited, as he informs us himself, for the purpose of buying books, and improving himselt in mathematics and in music, at that time his fa


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vourite amusements. The letter, which intimates his intention of taking chambers in the inns of court, was not written from the country, as his biographer seems to have supposed; it is dated from London, and only expresses, that his quarters there appeared to him awkward and inconvenient*.

On the death of his mother, who died in April, 1637, and is buried in the chancel of Horton church, he obtained his father's permission to gratify his eager defire of visiting the continent, a permission the more readily granted, perhaps, as one of his motives for visiting Italy was to form a collection of Italian music.

Having received fome directions for his travels from the celebrated Sir Henry Wotton, he went, with a single servant, to Paris, in 1638 ; he was there honoured by the notice of Lord Scudamore, the English ambassador, who, at his earnest desire, gave him an introduction to Grotius, then residing at Paris as the minister of Sweden.

Curiofity is naturally excited by the idea of a conference between two persons fo eminent and accomplished. It has been conjectured, that Milton might conceive his first design of writing a tragedy on the banishment of Adam from this interview with Grotius; but if the Adamus Exsul of the Swedish ambassador were a subject of their discourse, it is

* Dicam jam nunc ferio quid cogitem, in hofpitium juridicorum aliquod immigrare, ficubi amena et umbrosa ambulatio eft, quod et inter aliquot sodales, commodior illic habitatio, fi domi manere, et ofuentngrov EU TOGETTES egou quocunque libitum erit excurrere : ubi nunc fum, ut nofti, obfcurè et anguftè fum.


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probable its author must have spoken of it but slightly, as a juvenile composition, since he does so in a letter to his friend Voffius, in 1616, concerning a new edition of his poetry, from which he particularly excluded this sacred drama, as too puerile, in his own judgment, to be republished *.

The letters of Grotius, voluminous and circumftantial as they are, afford no traces of this interesting visit; but they lead me to imagine, that the point, which the learned ambassador most warmly recoinmended to Milton, on his departure for Italy, was to pay the kindest attention in his power to the sufferings of Galileo, then persecuted as a prisoner by the inquisition in Florence. In a letter to Vossius, dated in the very month

a when Milton was probably introduced to Grotius, that liberal friend to fcience and humanity speaks thus of Galileo : “ This old man, to whom the universe is so deeply indebted, worn out with maladies, and still more with anguish of mind, give us little reason to hope, that his life can be long ; common pru. dence, therefore, suggests to us to make the utmost of the time, while we can yet avail ourselves of such an instructor t.” Milton was, of all travellers, the

* Chriftum patientem recudendum judico, ideoque velim aliquod ejus exemplum ad me mitti, ut errata typographica corrigam, quando ipfe nullum habeo. Adami Exulis poema juvenilius est quam ut aufim addere. Grotii Epift. 77.

+ Senex is, optime de universo meritus, morbo fractus, insuper et animi ægritudine, haud multum nobis vitæ fuæ promittit ; quare prudentiæ erit arripere tempus, dum tanto doctore uti licet. Grotii Epift. 964.


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