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For who loves that, must first be wise and good;
But from that mark how far they rove we see
First taught our English music how to span
With Midas' ears, committing short and long;
Again, in his Tenure of Kings notes upon Waller, who has also
in the Manuscript,
when most were us'd to scan
With Midas' ears, misjoining short dated Feb. 9, 1645, and said to
But committing conveys with it
the idea of offending against of his Majesty's chapel, and one
quantity and harmony.
9 of his band of music, and an _4. Committing is a Latinism. intimate friend of Milton, as
T. Warton. appears by his first publishing
5. -exempts thee from the the Mask in 1637 the airs of throng] Horace, Od. i. i. 32. which he set to music, and pro Secernunt populo. bably too those of his Arcades.
Richardson. , He was educated under Signor 6. With praise enough &c.]. Coperario, and introduced a softer Instead of this line was the folmixture of Italian airs, than had lowing at first in the Manuscript, been practised before in our na. And gives thee praise above the pipe tion; as Mr Fenton says in his
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
To honour thee, the priest of Phæbus' quire, 10
That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
7. -thou shalt be writ the man, Than his Caselle, whom Dante woo'd &c.] This too in the style of to sing &c. Horace, Od. i. vi. 1.
13. Than his Casella, whom he Scriberis Vario fortis, et hostium woo'd to sing &c.] This refers Victor.
to the second Canto of Dante's And in the Manuscript it was Purgatorio, where the poet rethus at first,
lates his meeting with Casella -thou shalt be writ a man
in purgatory, and wooing him That didst reform thy art, the chief to sing in these terms, among.
-se nuoua legge non ti toglie 9. —and verse must lend her Memoria, o uso à l'amoroso canto, wing] There are three manu Che mi solea quetar tutte mie voglie ; script copies of this sonnet, two
Di cid ti piaccia consolar alquanto by Milton, the second corrected,
L'anima mia. and the third by another hand;
Thyer. and in all of them we read must See Dante's Purgator. c. ii. v. lend her wing, which we prefer 111. The Italian commentators to must send her wing, as it is in on the passage say, that Casella, the printed copies.
Dante's friend, was a musician 11. -or story.] “ The story of distinguished excellence. He " of Ariadne set by him to mu- must have died a little before “ sic.” This a note in the mar the year 1300. In the Vatican gin of this sonnet, as it stands library is a Ballatella, or Madriprefixed to “ Choice Psalms put gal, inscribed Lemmo da Pistoja, á into musick by Henry and e Casella diede il Suono. That is, “ William Lawes, Lond. for H. Lemmo da Pistoja wrote the “ Moseley, 1648.” The inscrip- words, which were set to music tion is there, “ To my friend by Casella. Num. 3214. f. 149, “ Mr. Henry Lawes." T. War. Crescimbeni mentions an ancient ton.
manuscript Ballatella, with Dan12. Dante shall give &c.] These te's words and his friend Schoverses were thus at first,
chetti's music. Inscribed Parole Fame by the Tuscan's leave shall set di Dante, e Suono di Schochetti. the higher
Ist. Volg. Poes. p. 409. From
· XIV. On the religious memory of Mrs. Catharine Thomson,
my Christian friend, deceased 16 Dec. 1646.* When faith and love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
Of death, call’d life; which us from life doth sever. Thy works and alms and all thy good endeavour
Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple beams
many parts of his writings, Dante 3. Meekly thou didst resign &c.} appears to have been a judge In the Manuscript these lines and a lover of music. This is were thus at first, not the only circumstance in Meekly thou didst resign this earthly which Milton resembled Dante. By milder shades, our author
Of flesh and sin, which man from means, shades comparatively
Heav'n doth sever. much less horrible than those 6. Stay'd not behind, &c.] Inwhich Dante describes in the stead of this lines were the fol. Inferno. T. Warton.
lowing at first in the Manuscript,
Strait follow'd thee the path that * To this Sonnet, which was saints have trod, first printed in the edition of
Still as they journey'd from this dark
abode 1673, we have added the title
Up to the realm of peace and joy for which is in Milton's Manuscript.
ever. Who this Mrs. Thomson was, Faith shew'd the way, and she who we cannot be certain ; but I
saw them best find in the accounts of Milton's
Thy hand-maids &c. life, that when he was first made 6. --nor in the grave were trod ;] Latin secretary, he lodged at one This is a beautiful periphrasis Thomson's, next door to the Bull- for “ good deeds forgotten at her head tavern at Charing. Cross. “ death,", and a happy improveThis Mrs. Thomson was in all ment of the original line in the probability one of that family. MS. T. Warton.
* Mr. Warton seems to have 10. -clad them o'er with pursupposed that Mrs. Thomson
ple beams was a Quaker. See Mr. Dun. And azure wings, that up they ster's note on P. R. iv. 288. E. flew so drest, &c.]
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest
XV. To the Lord General Fairfax.* FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise,
Compare Par. Lost, xi. 14. of tion of Milton's poems in 1673, the personification and ascent of and the reason of omitting them the prayers of Adam and Eve. in the reign of Charles II. is And see the notes, P. L. xi. 19. too obvious to need explaining. T. Warton.
They were first printed at the 12. And spuke the truth] There end of Philips's life of Milton, are also three manuscript copies prefixed to the English translaof this Sonnet, two by Milton, tion of his state-letters, in 1694, the second corrected, and the which was twenty years after third by another hand; and in his death; they were afterwards all of them we read And spake cited by Toland in his life of the truth, which is more agree Milton, 1698; and as far as I able to syntax, and better than can perceive, they were not inAnd speak the truth, as it is in serted among his other poems the printed copies.
till the fifth edition in 1713. But 14. And drink thy fill of pure the printed copies, probably beimmortal streams.) So in the ing taken at first from memory, Epitaph. Damonis, 306. are wonderfully incorrect; whole Etherios haurit latices, ct gaudia
verses are omitted, and the potat
beauty of these Sonnets is in Ore sacro.
great measure defaced and deCompare P. L. v. 632. seq. where stroyed. It is
stroyed. It is therefore a singuthe angels
lar piece of good fortune, that Quaff immortality and joy, &c.
they are still extant in Milton's
Manuscript, the first in his own The allusion is to the waters of hand-writing, and the others by life, and more particularly to another hand, as he had then Ps. xxxvi. 8, 9. '“ Thou shalt lost his sight: and having such “ make them drink of the river an authentic copy, we shall make “ of thy pleasures, for with thee it our standard, and thereby re“ is the well of life.” T. Warlon. store these Sonnets to their ori
ginal beauty. This to the Lord * This and the two following General Fairfax appears from Sonnets are not found in the edi- the Manuscript to have been ad
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
dressed to him at the siege of the command of Duke HamilColchester, which was carried on ton. in the summer of 1648.
7. Their Hydra heads, and the * These Sonnets, and the two false North displays to Cyriac Skinner, were the Her broken league to imp their
serpent-wings.] long after the Restoration : it was Euripides, Milton's favourite, is some consolation to a ruined the only writer of antiquity that party to have such good poetry has given wings to the monster remaining on their side of the Hydra. Ion, v. 198. “ ITANON question. T. Warlon.
“ Tugu PXEXTOy. The word NTA1. -rings,] Milton is fond NON is controverted. But here of ring, for violence of sound; perhaps is Milton's authority for I mean in a good sense, and out the common reading. of its appropriated, literal appli- Our author seems to have cation. Sonn. xxii. 12. « Of taken this idea froin a passage “ which all Europe rings from in the Eikon, which he quotes “side to side.” Where see the in his Argus, sect. X. “ He [the note. Hymn. Nativ. v. “ Ring king] “ calls the parliament a "out ye crystal spheres." Par. “ many-headed Hydra of governLost, ii. 495. “ Hill and valley “ment, full of factions, distrac“ rings." Ib. iii. 347. “Heaven “ tions, &c.” Pr. W. i. 396. “ rung with jubilee." Ib. vi. 204. T. Warton. “ The faithful armies rung Ho- 8. Her broken league) Because “ sanna." Ib. vii. 562." All the English Parliament held, “ the constellations rung." Ib. that the Scotch had broken their vii. 633. “ The empyrean rung covenant, by Hamilton's march “ with hallelujahs." Ib. ix. 737. into England. Hurd. “ The sound yet rung of his 8. -toimp their serpent-wings.] “ persuasive words.” We may In falconry, to imp a feather in add, “ No more with cymbals a hawk's wing, is to add a new “ ring." H. Nativ. v. 208. But piece to a mutilated stump. From this is, perhaps, a literal use. T. the Saxon impan, to ingraft. So
Spenser, of a headless trunk, F. 6. -Though new rebellions raise Q. iv. ix. 4. &c.] At this time there were several insurrections of the roy
And having ympt the head to it alists, and the Scotch army was
agayne. marching into England under To imp wings is not uncommon