« AnteriorContinuar »
Figat Apollinea pharetra,
Quin tu, libelle, nuntii licet mala
46. -remige penna :) See the temple at Delphi, are often ponote on a kindred allusion in etically described in the lon. See Paradise Lost, “ his sail-broad particularly, v. 185. seq. v. 1146. “vans," b. ii. 927. See Observat. seq. Its images of gold are menSpenser's F. Q. ii. 207. And note tioned in the Phænissæ, v. 228. on v. 208. Quint. Novembr. The riches of the treasures of
55. The paintings, statues, this celebrated shrine were protapestry, tripods, and other in- verbial even in the days of Hoestimable furniture of Apollo's mer, Il. b. ix. 404. All these
Quam cui præfuit lön,
Ergo, tu visere lucos
65 Bifidoque Parnassi jugo : Ibis honestus, Postquam egregiam tu quoque sortem Nactus abis, dextri prece sollicitatus amici. Illic legeris inter alta nomina were offerings, Arubnpecta, Dona ' left'' his library to the British Delphica, made by eminent per- Museum. It has Milton's name, sonages who visited the temple. with the price of the book, viz. A curious Memoir has been writ. 12s.6d. Also the date 1634, ten by Mons. Valois, De richesses (the year in which Comus was du Temple des Delphes, et des dif- written,) all in his own hand. ferens pillages qui en ont elè faits. Some of the marginal notes have
Milton was a reader of Eu- been adopted by Joshua Barnes, ripides, not only with the taste in his Euripides. Others have of a poet, but with the minute- been lately printed by Mr. Jodness of a Greek critic. His Eu- rell. Milton's daughter Deborah, ripides in two volumes, Paul who used to read to him, related, Stephens's quarto edition, 1602, that he was most delighted with with many marginal emenda Homer, whom he could almost tions in his own hand, is now entirely repeat; and next, with the property of Mr. Cradock, of Ovid's Metamorphoses and EuGumly in Leicestershire. From ripides. See note on the Nathe library of the learned Bishop tivity, v. 180. Hare, who died in 1740, it passed 56. Quam cui præfuit lön, &c.] into the shop of John Whiston Ion the treasurer of the Delphic the bookseller ; whence it was temple, abounding in riches. Eupurchased by Doctor Birch, the ripides's tragedy of lon evidently publisher of Milton's Prose occasioned this allusion. EuripiWorks, April 12, 1754. Birch des calls fon, Xquoopudaxa, v. 54.
Authorum, Graiæ simul et Latinæ
Vos tandem haud vacui mei labores,
Ode tribus constat Strophis, totidemque Antistrophis, una demum Epodo clausis, quas tametsi omnes nec versuum numero, nec certis ubique colis eracte respondeant, ita tamen secuimus, commode legendi potius, quam ad antiquos concinendi modos rationem spectantes. Alioquin hoc genus rectius fortasse dici monostrophicum debuerat. Metra partim sunt mata oxéos, partim árole uuéva. Phaleucia quæ sunt, Spondæum tertio loco bis admittunt, quod idem in secundo loco Catullus ad libitum feoit.
78. If he meant this verse for Life of Milton, p. 281–284. ed. an hendecasyllable, there is a 2d. E. false quantity in solers. The first 86. The reader will recollect, syllable is notoriously long. that this Ode was written and
78. See a long and learned sent in 1646. Milton here alludes criticism upon the measures of to the severe censures which he this Ode in note (r), Syınmons's had lately suffered, not only from the episcopal but even froin the And the preceding, Sonnet on presbyterian party. About the the same subject is thus entitled, year 1641, our author, well “ On the Detraction which folknowing how much the puritans“ lowed upon my writing cerwanted the assistance of abilities “ tain Treatises." and learning, attacked the order But these were only the of bishops and the intire constitu- beginnings of obloquy. He was tion of the Church of England, again to appeal to posterity for in three or four large and indulgence. Evil Tongues, tolaboured treatises. One of these, gether with many Evil Days, his Reply to Bishop Hall's Re. were still in reserve.
The commonstrance, was answered the monwealth was to be disannulled, same year by an anonymous and monarchy to be restored. antagonist, supposed to be the The Defence of the King's bishop's son; who calls Milton Murder was not yet burnt by a blasphemer, a drunkard, a the common hangman. In the profane swearer, and a frequenter year 1676, his official Latin of brothels, asserting at the same Letters were printed. In the time, that he was expelled the Preface, the editor says of the University of Cambridge for a author, “ Est forsan dignissimus perpetual course of riot and qui ab omnibus legeretur Mildebauchery. About the year tonus, nisi styli sui facundiam 1644, Milton published his tracts "et puritatem turpissimis moribus on Divorce. Here he quarrelled " inquinasset." Winstanly thus with his own friends. These characterises our author.
“ He pieces were instantly anathema- « is one whose natural parts tised by the thunder of the “ might deservedly give him presbyterian clergy, from the “a place among the principal of pulpit, the press, and the tribunal our English poets. But his of the Assembly of Divines at “ fame is gone out like à candle Westminster. By the leaders of “in a snuff, and his memory that persuasion, who were now “ will always stink, which might predominant, and who began in “ have ever lived in honourable their turn to find that novelties repute, had he not been a were dangerous, he was even “ notorious traytor, &c." Lives summoned before the House of of the Poets, p. 175. edit. 1687. Lords. It is in reference to the I mention these descriptions rough and perhaps undeserved of Milton, among many others treatment which he received, in of a like kind which appeared consequence of the publication soon after his death, because of these dissertations in defence they probably contain the tone of domestic liberty, that he com- of the public opinion, and seem plains in his twelfth Sonnet. to represent the general and I did but prompt the age to quit their established estimation of his clogs
character at that time; and as By the known rules of ancient they are here delivered dispasliberty,
sionately, and not thrown out in When strait a barbarous noise en.
the heat of controversy and cavircns me Of owls and cuckows, asses, apes,
lumniation. and dogs, &c.
Upon the whole, and with regard to his political writing of the republican usurper Oliver at large, even after the pre- Cromwell. Their style is perjudices of party have subsided, plexed, pedantic, poetical, and Milton, I believe, has found unnatural: abounding in enthuno great share of favour, of siastic effusions, which have applause, or even of candour, been mistaken for eloquence and from distant generations. His imagination. In the midst of Si quid meremur, in the sense the most solemn rhapsodies, here belonging to the words, which would have shone in a has been too fully ascertained fast-sermon before Cromwell, he by the mature determination of sometimes indulges a vein of time. Toland, about thirty years jocularity; but his witticisms after the Restoration, thought are as aukward as they are Milton's Prose Works of sufficient unsuitable, and Milton never excellence and importance to be more misunderstands the nature collected and printed in one and bias of his genius, than body. But they were neglected when he affects to be arch either and soon forgotten. Of late in prose or verse. His want of years, some attempts have been deference to superiors teaches made to revive them, with as him to write without good little success.
At present, they manners: and when we consider are almost unknown. If they his familiar acquaintance with the are ever inspected, it is perhaps elegancies of antiquity, with the occasionally by the commentator orators and historians of Greece on Milton's verse as affording and Rome, few writers will be materials for comparative criti- found to have made so slender a cism, or from motives of curiosity sacrifice to the Graces. From only as the productions of the some of these strictures, I must writer of Comus and Paradise except the Tractate on EducaLost, and not so much for any tion, and the Areopagitica, which independent value of their own. written with a tolerable In point of doctrine, they are degree of facility, simplicity, calculated to annihilate the very purity, and perspicuity; and the foundations of our civil and latter, some tedious historical religious establishment, as it digressions, and
little now subsists: they are subver- sophistry excepted, is the most sive of our legislature, and our close, conclusive comprehensive, species of government. In con- and decisive vindication of the demning tyranny, he strikes at liberty of the press that has yet the bare existence of kings; in appeared, on a subject on which combating superstition, he de- it is difficult to decide, between cries all public religion. These the licentiousness of scepticism discourses hold forth a system of and sedition, and the arbitrary politics, at present as
exertions of authority. In the stitutional, and almost as obso- mean time, Milton's Prose Works, lete, as the nonsense of passive I suspect, were never popular: obedience; and in this view, we he deeply engaged in most of might just as well think of re- the ecclesiastical disputes of his publishing the pernicious theories times, yet he is seldom quoted of the kingly bigot James, as or mentioned by his contempora