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May with their wholesome and preventive shears 16 Clip your phylacteries, though bauk your ears,
And succour our just fears, When they shall read this clearly in your charge, New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ large. 20
worse than those of Trent,] The 17. Clip your phylacteries, famous Council of Trent. T. though bauk your ears,] That is, Warton.
although your ears cry out that 17. Clip your phylacteries, they need clipping, yet the mild though bauk your ears,] So we and gentle Parliament will conread as it is corrected in the tent itself with only clipping table of errata in the edition of away your Jewish and persecut 1673: in all the editions it is ing principles. Warburton. falsely printed bank your eurs. The meaning is, “check your This line in the Manuscript was “insolence, without proceeding thus at first,
“to cruel punishments.” To
balk is to spare. T. Warton. Crop ye as close as marginal P
20. New Presbyter is but Old
Priest] He expresses the same He means Prynne, who had been sentiment in other parts of his sentenced to lose his ears, and works. Bishops and presbyters afterwards was sentenced to lose are the same to us both name and the remainder of them, so that thing, &c. See his Speech for he was cropt close indeed: and the liberty of unlicensed printthe reason of his calling him ing, vol. i. p. 153. and the conmarginal is expressed in his trea- clusion of his treatise, entitled, tise of the likeliest Means to re- The Tenure of Kings and Mamove hirelings out of the Church. gistrates. “ And yet a late hot querist for 20. — writ large.] That is, “ tithes, whom ye may know by more domineering and tyran“ his wit's lying ever beside him nical. Warburton. “ in the margin, to be ever be- This is the sense implied, but " side his wits in the text; a certainly with the allusion, inti. s fierce reformer once, now mated by Dr. Newton, to the "rankled with a contrary heat, derivation of the word Priest by "&c." Vol. i. p. 569. edit. 1738. contraction from Presbyter. E.
To the Nightingale.
The Sonnet is a species of to any number of stanzas or poetry of Italian extraction, and verses. [See note *, p. 182. Canthe famous Petrarch bath gained zone.] It is certainly one of the reputation of being the first the most difficult of all the lesser author and inventor of it. He kinds of poetry, such simplicity wrote a great number in com- and such correctness being remendation of his mistress Laura, quired in the composition: and with whom he was in love for I have often wondered that the twenty years together, and whose quaintness and exactness of the death he lamented with the same rhymes alone did not deter Milton zeal for ten years afterwards: from attempting it, but he was and for the tenderness and de- carried on by his love of the Italicacy of his passion, as well as lians and Italian poetry: and for the beauty and elegance of other celebrated writers have his sentiments and language, he been equally fond of copying is esteemed the great master of Petrarch, as Bellay, Ronsard, love-poetry among the moderns, Malherb, &c. among the French; and his Sonnets are universally Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, allowed to be the standard and &c. among the English ; but perfection of that kind of writing. none of them have conformed so The Sonnet, I think, consists exactly to the Italian model as generally of one thought, and Milton: and he is the last who that always turned in fourteen excelled in this species of poetry, verses of the length of our be- which was almost extinct among roics, two stanzas or measures of us, till it was revived of late four verses each, and two of with good success by an ingenithree, the first eight verses hav- ous gentleman in Dodsley's Mising no more than two rhymes: cellanies. and herein it differs from the 1. Guitone d Arezzo, who flouCanzone, which is not confined rished about the year 1250,
While the jolly hours lead on propitious May.
First heard before the shallow cuckow's bill,
many years before Petrarch was vii. 435. how fond our poet was born, first used the measure ob- of the nightingale, and this adserved in the Sonnet; a measure, dress to her is founded upon the which the great number of simi- same notion or tradition as Chaular terminations renders easy in cer's verses of the cuckow and the Italian, but difficult in our the nightingale. language. Dr. J. Warlon.
But as I lay this other night waking, Dr. Johnson reinarks, that, for I thought howe lovirs had a tokining, this reason, the fabric of the re
And amonge 'hem it was a com. gular Sonnet has never succeeded
That it were gode to here the in English. But surely Milton
nightingale, and others have shewn that 'Moche rathir than the leude cuccoo this inconvenience may be sur sing &c. mounted, and excellence results
4. While the jolly hours lead on from difficulty. T. Warton.
propitious May.] Because the Of the two stanzas, into which the first eight lines of the Sonnet
nightingale is supposed to begin
singing in April. So Sydney, are to be distributed, the first in England's Helicon, Signat. O. verse chimes with the last, and
edit. 1614. the two intermediate ones with each other. The six concluding
The nightingale, so soone as Aprill
bringeth lines may either be confined
Unto her rested sense a perfect wakwithin terminations of two simi.
ing, lar sounds alternately arranged, While late bare earth proud of new or may be disposed, with two clothing springeth, additional rhymes, into a qua
Singes out her woes, &c. train and a couplet.
7. Warton. Milton has not always ob- 6. First heard before] Virgil, served this arrangement of the Æn. iv. 24. terminations in the six conclud
Sed mihi vel tellus obtem prius ima ing lines. See the Sonnets to dehiscat, Fairfax and to Cromwell. He Anle pudor quam te violo, aut tua seems to have regarded the order jura resolvo. of this part of the sonnet as sub- See Cerda. Richardson. mitted in a great degree to his 6. First heard before the shaldiscretion. In the construction low cuckow's bill, &c.] That is, of the Sonnet Drummond seems if they happen to be heard beto have been the peculiar object fore the cuckow, it is lucky for of Milton's applause and imita- the lover. But Spenser calls the tion. Symmons.
cuckow the messenger of spring, 1. We have observed, P. L. and supposes that his trumpet 10
Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate
Foretel my hopeless doom in some grove nigh;
As thou from year to year hast sung too late .
Whether the Muse, or Love call thee his mate,
Donna leggiadra il cui bel nome honora
L'herbosa val di Rheno, e il nobil varco,
Qual tuo spirto gentil non innamora,
De sui atti soavi giamai parco,
La onde l' alta tua virtu s'infiora.
Che mover possa duro alpestre legno
Gratia sola di su gli vaglia, inanti
shrill warns all lovers to wait literally from a fragment of Sapupon Cupid, Sonn. xix. Jonson pho, preserved by the scholiast gives this appellation to the on Sophocles, Electr. v. 148. nightingale, in the Sad Shep- HPOS A' ARTEAoz, iuspofuros andwe. herd, a. ii. s. 6.
Milton laments afterwards, that Bat best, the dear good angel of the hitherto the nightingale had not spring,
preceded the cuckow as she The nightingale.
ought: had always sung too Angel is messenger. And the late, that is, after the cuckow. whole expression seems to be T. Warton.