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That labour up the hill of heav'nly truth, The better part with Mary and with Ruth
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween, And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, No anger find in thee, but pity' and ruth. Thy care is fix’d, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, 10
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
5. --with Mary and with Ruth] and the reader may see parallel So it is in Milton's Manuscript, instances in Spenser's Faery and in the edition of 1673. In Queen, b. i. cant. 6. st. 39. and the first edition of 1645 it was b. vii, cant. 6. st. 38. falsely printed
11. And hope that reaps not with Mary and the Ruth. shame.] ENTIS OV XATHIC Xuvu. Rom.
v. 5. Hurd. 6. _ overween,] Par. Lost, 12. Thou, when the bridegroom x. 878. “ Him overweening to with his feastful friends] Feast“ over-reach." See note on Co- ful is an epithet in Spenser. He mus, 309. T. Warton.
alludes to the midnight feasting 7. And at thy growing virtues] of the Jews before the consumIn the Manuscript it was at first, mation of marriage. T. Warton. And at thy blooning virtue or prosper. 13. Passes to bliss at the mid ing.
hour of night,) Instead of this 8. —but pity' and ruth] Here
line he had written at first, Ruth and ruth are made to rhyme
Opens the door of bliss that hour of to each other, and it may per.
night: haps offend the niceness of mo. but he rightly altered it, the betdern ears that the same word ter to accommodate it to the pashould rhyme to itself though in rable to which he is alluding. different senses: but our old See Matt. xxv. poets were not so very delicate,
Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
And left them both, more in himself content,
Broke him, as that dishonest victory
Killd with report that old man eloquent.
* We have given the title pose that this Sonnet was comwhich is in Milton's Manuscript, posed. To the Lady Margaret Ley. She 6. -as that dishonest victory was the daughter of Sir James &c.] This victory was gained Ley, whose singular learning by Philip of Macedon over the and abilities raised him through Athenians and their allies; and all the great posts of the law, till the news being brought to he came to be made Earl of Athens, that old man eloquent, Marlborough, and Lord High Isocrates, who was near a hunTreasurer, and Lord President dred years old, died within a of the Council to King James I. few days, being determined not He died in an advanced age, to survive the liberties of his and Milton attributes his death to country. --- ετελευτα τον βιον επι the breaking of the Parliament; Xasqwridov ae xortos, odeyards ispesquis and it is true that the Parlia- υστερον της εν Χαιρώνεια μαχης, δνουν ment was dissolved the 10th of δεοντα βεβιωκως εκατον έτη, γνωμη March, 1628-9, and he died on xenoareros, airco TOLS ayadors TYS the 14th of the same month. He Todos ouyxataduras Toy GAUTOV Biov. left several sons and daughters; Dionysius Halicarnass. de Isoand the Lady Margaret was crate, vol. ii. p. 150. edit. Hudmarried to Captain Hobson of son. Plutarch says, that he abthe Isle of Wight. It appears stained from food for four days, from the accounts of Milton's and so put a period to his life, life, that in the year 1643 he having lived 98, or as some say used frequently to visit this 100 years. See Plutarch's Lives lady and her husband, and of the ten Orators, vol. ii. p. about that time we may sup- 837. edit. Paris, 1624.
So well your words his noble virtues praise,
That all both judge you to relate them true,
XI. On the detraction which followed upon my writing
A BOOK was writ of late call’d Tetrachordon,
And woven close, both matter, form, and stile; The subject new: it walk'd the town a while, Numb’ring good intellects; now seldom por'd on.
* When Milton published his many respects of Milton, and in books of Divorce, he was greatly which much acuteness of argucondemned by the Presbyterian ment, and comprehension of clergy, whose advocate and reading, were idly thrown away, champion he had been before. was received with contempt, or He published his Tetrachordon rather ridicule, as we learn from or Expositions upon the four Howel's Letters. A better proof chief places in Scripture, which that it was treated with neglect treat of marriage or nullities in is, that it was attacked by two marriage, in 1645; and soon nameless and obscure writers after we may suppose he com- only; one of whom Milton calls, posed these two Sonnets, which a Serving-man turned Solicitor! were first printed in the edition Our author's divorce was on of 1673, and to which we have Platonic principles. He held, prefixed the title that he himself that disagreement of mind was has in the Manuscript.
a better cause of separation than 1. A book was writ of late &c.) adultery or frigidity. Here was In the Manuscript he had written a fair opening for the laughers. at first,
For this doctrine Milton was I writ a book of late call'd Tetrachor
summoned before the Lords. don,
But they not approving his acAnd weav'd in close, both matter, cusers, the presbyterian clergy, form, and stile;
or thinking the business too speIt went off well alout the town a while, culative, he was quickly disNumb'ring good wits, but now is sel.
missed. On this occasion Mi). dom por’d on.
ton commenced hostilities against The reader will readily agree, the Presbyterians. He illustrates that it was altered for the better. his own system in this line of
1. A book wus writ of late Par. Lost, ix. 372. calld Tetrachordon, ] This ela- Go, for thy stay, not frec, absents borate discussion, unworthy in
Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on 5
A title page is this ! and some in file
End Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than Gordon, Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?
Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,
That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp. 11 Thy age, like ours, O Soul of Sir John Cheek,
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
· Milton wished he had not 9. —or Galasp.] He is George written this work in English. Gilespie, one of the Scotch memSee the Defensio secunda. “Vel- bers of the Assembly of Divines, “ lem hoc tantum, sermone ver- as his name is subscribed to “ naculo me non scripsisse: non their letter to the Belgic, French, “ enim in vernas lectores inci. and Helvetian churches, dated " dissem, quibus solenne est sua 1643. There are two or more “ bona ignorare, aliorum mala Letters from Samuel Rutherford, “ irridere." Prose Works, ii. to Gilespie, in Joshua Redivivus, 331. T. Warton.
quoted above. See p. ii. epist. 5. Cries the stall-reader,] So 54, 55. p. 408. seq. p. i. epist. in Apol. Smectymn. sect. viii. 114. p. 165. epist. 77. p. 122. T. " In the language of stall-epistle Warton. "'nonsense." Pr. W. 122. T. 10. Those rugged names] He Warton.
had written at first barbarous, 9. Colkitto, Macdonnel, or and then rough hewn, and then Galasp?] Milton is here collect- rugged. ing, from his hatred to the Scots, 12. Sir John Cheek] Or Cheke. what he thinks Scottish names He was the first Professor of the of an ill sound. Colkitlo and Greek tongue in the university Macdonal, are one and the same of Cambridge, and was highly person; a brave officer on the instrumental in bringing that royal side, an Irish man of the language into repute, and reAntrim family, who served un- storing the original pronunciader Montrose. The Macdonals tion of it, though with great opof that family are styled, by way position from the patrons of igof distinction, Mac Collcitlok, norance and popery, and espethat is, descendants of lame cially from Gardiner, Bishop of Colin. Galasp is a Scottish writer Winchester, and Chancellor of against the Independents; for the University. He was afterwhom see verses on the Forcers wards made one of the tutors to of Conscience, &c. T. Warlon. Edward VI. See his life by
On the same.
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
Of owls and cuckows, asses, apes, and dogs:
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
And still revolt when truth would set them free... 10 Licence they mean when they cry Liberty ;
Strype, or in Biographia Britan- pectations of making a considernica.
able figure in the world. 13. Hated not learning worse 8. -by casting pearl to hogs;] than toad or asp,] Mr. Bowle Matt. vii. 6. neither cast ye your quotes Halle, Rich. II. f. 34. pearls before swine. « Diverse noble personages hated 10. And still revolt &c.] He “ Kinge Richard worse than a had written at first, “ toade or a serpent." T. Warton.
And hate the truth wehereby they should This Sonnet was written evi
be free. dently in a sportive struggle to bend knotty words into rhyme. 11. Licence they mean when Symmons.
they cry Liberty.] “ The hypo
“ crisy of some shames not to 4. Of orols and cuckows,] In “ take offence at this doctrine Milton's Manuscript it stands, “ [the liberty of Divorce for
“ Licence; whereas indeed, they of owls and buzzards.
“ fear it would remove Licence, 5. As when those hinds &c.] “ and leave them but few comThe fable of the Lycian clowns “panions." Tetrachord. vol. i. changed into frogs is related by 4to. p. 319. He further explains Ovid. Met. vi. Fab. 4. and the himself at the bottom of the poet in saying
same page: “ This one virtue Which after held the sun and moon
“ incomparable it (the prohibi
« tion of divorce] hath, to fill in fee,
“ all christendom with whoreintimates the good hopes which “doms and adulteries, beyond he had of himself, and his ex- “ the art of Balaams or of devils."