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To thee, dear lady, with an humble sigh,

Let me devote my heart, which I have found
By certain proofs, not few, intrepid, sound,

Good, and addicted to conceptions high:
When tempeft shakes the world, and fires the sky,

It rests in adamant, self wrapt around,
As fafe from envy.and from outrage rude,

From hopes and fears that vulgar minds abuse,

As fond of genius, and fixt folitude,
Of the resounding lyre, and every muse:

Weak you will find it in one only part,
Now pierc'd by love's immedicable dart.


It was at Rome that Milton was complimented, in Latin verse, by Selvaggi and Salfilli: his reply to the latter, then suffering from a severe malady, is so remarkable for its elegance, tenderness, and spirit, that Mr. Warton praises it as one of the finest lyrical compositions, which the Latin poetry of modern times can exhibit.

The circumstances that happened to our author in his travels, and indeed, the most striking particulars of his life, are related by himself, in his “ Second Defence.” He there tells us, that in passing from Rome to Naples his fellow-traveller was a hermit, who introduced him to Baptista Manso, Marquis of Villa, an accomplished nobleman, and fingularly distinguished as the friend and the biographer of two eminent poets, Taffo and Marini ; they have both left poetical memorials of their esteem for the Marquis, who acquired his title as a soldier in the service of Spain, but retiring early, with considerable wealth, to Naples, his native city, he founded


there a literary academy, and lived in splendor as its president.

This graceful and venerable hero, whose politeness and learning had been fondly celebrated by Tasso, in a dialogue on friendship, that bears the name of Manso, was near eighty when Milton became his guest : he seems to have been endeared to the imagination of our poet by the liberal and affectionate tribute he had paid to the memory of his illustrious poetical friends; a a tribute very feelingly described by Milton in the following lines, addressed to the noble and generous biographer--they speak first of Marini :

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Ille itidem moriens tibi foli debita vates
Offa, tibi soli, supremaque vota reliquit :
Nec manes pietas tua chara fefellit amici;
Vidimus arridentem operofo ex ære poetam :
Nec fatis hoc visum est in utrumque; et nec pia ceffant
Officia in tumulo; cupis integros rapere orco,
Qua potes, atque avidas Parcarum eludere leges :
Amborum genus, et varia sub forte peractum,
Describis vitam, moresque, et dona Minerva,
Æmulus illius, Mycalen qui natus ad altam,
Rettulit Æolij vitam facundus Homeri.

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To thee alone the poet would entrust
His latest vows, to thee alone his dust:
And thou with punctual piety halt paid,
In labour'd brass, thy tribute to his fhade ;
Nor this contented thee; thy zeal would save
Thy bards uninjur'd from the whelming grave;
In more induring history to live
An endless life is also thine to give ;

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And thou hast given it them; and deigned to teach
The manners, fortunes, lives, and gifts of each,
Rival to him, whose pen, to nature true,
The life of Homer eloquently drew!

If the two Latin verses, in which this amiable old man expressed his admiration of the young English bard, deserve the name of a “ sorry distich,” which Johnson bestows upon them, they still present Milton to our fancy in a most favourable light. A traveller, fo little distinguished by birth or opulence, would hardly have, obtained such a compliment from a nobleman of Manso's experience, age, and dig. nity, had he not been peculiarly formed to engage the good opinion and courtesy of strangers, by the expressive comeliness of his person, the elegance of his manners, and the charm of his conversation.

In Manso, says Milton, I found a most friendly guide, who shewed me himself the curiosities of Naples, and the palace of the Viceroy. He came more than once to visit me, while I continued in that city; and when I left it, he earnestly excused himself, that although he greatly wished to render me more good offices, he was unable to do so in Naples, because in my religion I had disdained all disguise *.



* Neapolim perrexi: illic per eremitam quendam, quicum Roma iter feceram, ad Joannem Baptiftam Manfum, Marchionem Villenfem, virum nobiliffimum atque graviffimum (ad quem Torquatus Tallus, infignis poeta Italus, de amicitia fcripfit) fum introdu&tus ; eodemque ufus, quamdiu illic fui, fane amiciffimo; qui et ipse me per urbis loca et proregis aulam circumduxit, et vi.


Pleasing and honourable as the civilities were that our young countryman received from this Nestor of Italy, he has amply repaid them in a poem, which, , to the honour of English gratitude and English genius, we may justly pronounce superior to the compliments bestowed on this engaging character by the two celebrated poets, who wrote in his own language, and were peculiarly attached to him.

Of the five sonnets, indeed, that Tasso addressed to his courteous and liberal friend, two are very beautiful; but even these are furpassed, both in energy and tenderness, by the following conclusion

inscribed to Manso, by Milton.

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of a poem,

Diis delecte senex, te Jupiter æquus oportet
Nascentem, et miti luftrarit lumine Phoebus,
Atlantisque nepos ; neque enim, nisi charus ab ortu
Diis fuperis, poterit magno faville poetæ :
Hinc longæva tibi lento sub flore senectus
Vernat, et Æfonios lucratur vivida fusos ;
Nondum deciduos fervans tibi frontis honores,
Ingeniumque vigens, et adultum mentis acumen.
O mihi fic mea sors talem concedat amicum,
Phoebæos decoraffe viros qui tam bene norit,
Siquando indigenas revocabo in carmina reges,
Arturumque etiam fub terris bella moventem !
Aut dicam invictz sociali foedere mensæ
Magnanimos heroas; et O modo fpiritus adfit,
Frangam Saxonicas Britonum fub marte phalanges !
Tandem ubi non tacitæ permeníus tempora vite,


sendi gratiâ haud femel ipfe ad hofpitium venit : discendenti feriò excufavit fe, tametfi multò plura detuliffe mihi oiicia maxime cupiebat, non potuiffe illâ in urbe, propterca quod nolebam in religione efie tectior.--Defentio Secunda.


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Annorumque satur, cineri sua jura relinquam,
Ille mihi lecto madidis astaret ocellis,
Aftanti fat erit fi dicam lim tibi curæ :
Ille meos artus, liventi morte folutos,
Curaret parva componi molliter urna ;
Forsitan et noftros ducat de marmore vultus,
Nectens aut Paphia myrti aut Parnasside lauri
Fronde comas; at ego fecura pace quiescam.
Tum quoque, si qua fides, fi præmia certa bonorum,
Ipfe ego coelicolum femotus in æthera divum,
Quo labor et mens pura vehunt, atque ignea virtus,
Secreti hæc aliquâ mundi de parte videbo,
Quantum fata finunt: et tota mente serenum
Ridens, purpureo fuffundar lumine vultus,
Et simul ætherio plaudam mihi lætus olympo.


Well may we think, O dear to all above,
Thy birth distinguish'd by the smile of Jove,
And that Apollo shed his kindliest power,
And Maia's son, on that propitious hour;
Since only minds so born can comprehend
A poet's worth, or yield that worth a friend :
Hence on thy yet 'unfaded cheek appears
The lingering freshness of thy greener years ;
Hence in thy front and features we admire
Nature unwither'd, and a mind entire.
O might so true a friend to me, belong,
So skill'd to grace the votaries of song,
Should I recall hereafter into rhyme
The kings and heroes of my native clime,
Arthur the chief, who even now prepares
In fubterraneous being future wars,
With all his martial knights to be restor'd,
Each to his feat around the fed'ral board ;
And O! if fpirit fail me not, disperse
Our Saxon plunderers in triumphant verse;


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