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E'l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero
E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran fuoco
,2. —— Non fian lo mio solt
Si mi fercaoton forte. ] So Ariosto, Orl. Fur. C. viii. 20.
Percote il Sole ardente il vicin colic
Again, Cat. 35.
Percote il Sol nel colle e fa ritorno.
• Where the morning fun first warmly Smote
The open field. ——
So also Shakespeare, Love's Lab. Lost, A.iv. S. iii.
As thy eyebeams when their frefli Rays have Smote
Virgil fays of light, ÆK.viii. 25.
—— Summiquc Ferit laquearia tecti. And V. Flaccus, Argon, i. 496.
Percussaque sole iequuntur
Scuta vitum. ■
And Statius, Theb. vi. 666.
Qualis Bistoniis clypeus Mavortis in agris
I will add a parallel from Prudentius, as it illustrates another passage of Milton, Hymn. ii. 6.
Caligo terræ fciqditur
Mentre un caldo vapor (ne sentì pria) 5
Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela
Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco io
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco
Giovane piano, e semplicetto amante
L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,
De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,
Di timori, e speranze al popol use IO
Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago,
So in Par Ad. L. B. vi. 15. Of morning.
From before her vanisiYd Night
Shot Throuch with orient beami.'
Uu E di
E di cetta sonora, e delle muse:
On his being arrived to the age of 23.
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
* Milton had a natural severity of mind. For love-verses, his Italian Sonnets have a remarkable air of-gravity and dignity. They are free from the metaphysics of Petrarch, and are more in the manner of Dante. Yet he calls his seventh Sonnet, in a Letter printed from the Cambridge manuscript by Birch, a composition in the Petrarchiak stanza.
In 1762, the late Mr. Thomas Hall is examined the Laurentian library at Florence, for six Italian Sonnets of Milton, addressed to his friend Chimentelli; and, for other Italian and Latin compositions and various original letters, said to be remaining in manuscript at Florence. He searched also for an original bust in marble of Milton, supposed to be somewhere in that city. But he was unsuccessful in his curious inquiries. .
3. Stein en bis King my tbrtt and twentieth yar^\ Mr. Bowie here cites All's Well That Ends Well, A.v. S. iii. ■ — On our quick'st decrees The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time Steals, e'er we can effect them.
But the application of Steal is different. In Shakespeare, Time comes imperceptibly upon, so as to prevent, our purposes. In Milton, Time, as imperceptibly and silently, brings on his wing, in his flight, the poet's twenty third year. Juvenal mould not here be forgotten, in a passage of consummate elegance. 'sat. ix. 129. Durn serta, unguenta, puellas,
PoseimUS, OBKEPIT NON INTELLECT A senectuS.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, 5
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even 10
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of
When the ajsauk was intended to the City.
Captain or Colonel, or Knight in arms,
He can requite thee, for he knows the charms 5
1. Captain er Colonel, or Knight in arms.] So Shakespeare, K. RiChard ii. A. i. S. iii. Where Bolingbroke enters " appellant in ar•* pour."
K,Ricb. Marshal, ask yonder Knight In Arms.
U u 2 Lift
Lift not thy spear against the Muses bow'r:
Went to the ground: And the repeated air
10. The great Emathian conqueror did spare
The bouse of Pindarut. —] As a poet, Milton had as good right to expect this favour as Pindar. Nor was the English monarch less a protector of the arts, and a lover of poetry, than Alexander. As a subject, Milton was too conscious that his situation was precarious, and that his seditious tracts had forfeited all pretensions to his sovereign's mercy.
Mr. Bowie here refers us to Pliny, L. vii. c. 29. "Alexander Mag*' nus Pindari vatis familiæ penatibusque juffit parci, cum Thebas "caperet." And to the old commentator on Spenser's Pastorals, who relates this incident more at large, and where it might have first struck Milton as a great reader of Spenser.
11. — When temple and torv'r
Went to the ground.——] Temple and Tower is a frequent combination in the old metrical romances. See Sece of Jerusalem, MSS. Cott. Cal. A. 2. f.122. And Davie's Alexander, Bibl.Bodl. f. 112. Our author has it again, Parad. Reg. B. iii. 268.
O'er hill and dale,
Forest, and field, and flood, Temples And Towers.
And again, in the description of the buildings of Rome, ibjd. B.iv.34.
An imperial city stood
With Towres and Temples proudly elevate.
13. Of sad Eleilra's poa, Sec. ] Plutarch relates, that when the Lacedemonian general Lyfander took Athens, it was proposed in a council of war intirely to rase the city, and convert its site into a desert. But during the debate, at a banquet of the chief officers, a certain Phocian fung some fine anastrophics from a chorus of the Electra of Euripjdes j which so affected the hearers, that they declared it an unworthy act, to reduce a place, so celebrated for the production of illustrious men, to total ruin and desolation. The lines of Euripides are at v. 168.
'Ayctuifiiovsi u if et, xSvbtt H-