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· Pronounc'd and in his volumes taught our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
In mirth, that after no repenting draws;
an ingenious young gentleman, "merchant's son in Mark-Lane. and scholar to John Milton. " Mem. There was one Mr. Athen. Ox. vol. ii. p. 591. No “ Skinner of the Jerker's office wonder then that Milton was so “ up two pair of stayres at the intimate with him, and has ad. • Custom-house." MS. Ashmol. dressed two Sonnets to him, this ut infr. Milton's pamphlet was first of which was printed in the also answered in the “ Dignity edition of 1673. Newton.
“ of Kingship asserted: in anI find one Cyriac Skinner, “swer to Mr. Milton's Ready I know not if the same, a mem “ and Easie way &c. by G. S. ber of Trinity College, Oxford, “a lover of Loyalty. London, in 1640. In 1659-60, Milton “ Pr. by E. C. for H. Saile, &c. published “A ready and easy " 1660.” 12ino. It is a weak “ way to establish a free Com performance. In the Dedication « monwealth, &c.” This was to Charles the Second, the ausoon afterwards attacked in a thor says, “ the King's murther, burlesque pamphlet, pretended “and all its concomitant inito be written by Harrington's " quities, were extenuated, exclub, under the title of - The “ tolled, and justified, by one “ censure of the Rota upon Mr. “Mr. John Milton.” I have “ Milton's book entitled The also a pamphlet before me, “ A " Ready and easy way, &c. Lond. « Letter to Mr. Evelyn on the “ Printed by Paul Giddy, printer“ Constitution of the House of " to the Rota, at the signe of “ Cominons." G. S. is written “ the Windmill in Turne againe into the title as the author's “ Lane, 1660." But Harring. name, who is called an ejected ton's club, which encouraged all member of the House of Comproposals for new models of go. mons. I think he is not the vernment, was very unlikely to same. T. Warton. have made such an attack; and 6. In mirth, that after no reMilton's very familiar intimacy penting draws.] This is the de. with Skinner, to whom he ade cent mirth of Martial, dresses two Somnets, full of con. Nox non ebris, sed soluta curis. fidence and affection, was alone
T. Warlon. sufficient to have prevented any remonstrance from that quarter. 8. And what the Swede intends,] Aubrey says, that Milton's Idea We have printed it as it is in the Theologiæ in manuscript is “ in Manuscript. In the first edition “ the hands of Mr. Skinner, a it was, And what the Swede intend,
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
To the same.*
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
which in others is altered to And to General Fairfax, Cromwell, what the Swedes intend. Charles and Sir Henry Vane: and though Gustavus, king of Sweden, was the person, to whom it is adat this time waging war with dressed, was not so obnoxious as Poland, and the French with the any of those before mentioned, Spaniards in the Netherlands: yet it might not have been safe and what Milton says is some for Milton to have published what in the spirit and manner of such a commendation of his Horace. Od. ii. xi. 1.
Defence of the people, which Quid bellicosus Cantaber, et Scythes the government had ordered to Hirpine Quinti, cogitet, Hadria be burnt by the hands of the Divisus objecto, remittas
common hangman. In the printed Quærere : &c.
editions this Sonnet likewise is * The two Sonnets to Cyriac very incorrect, but we shall Skinner we have printed in the restore it by the assistance of same order as they are numbered the Manuscript. in the Manuscript. This latter 7. Against heav'n's hand &c.] was never printed in Milton's It was at first in the Manuscript lifetime, but was first published God's hand : and one jot in the several years after his death at printed copies is a jot in the " the same time and in the same Manuscript. manner with the foregoing ones 8. - but still bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
The conscience, Friend, to' have lost them overplied In liberty's defence, my noble task,
11 Of which all Europe talks from side to side,
Right onward.] In the Manu- « ferred to my eyes.” T. Warlon. script it was at first,
10. See note on Comus, 309.
10. --my noble task.] In -but still attend to steer
Letter to Oldenburgh he says,
“ Ad alia ut me parem, nescio 8. One of Milton's character.
“ sane an nobilioru et utiliora. istics was a singular fortitude of
“ Quid enim in rebus humanis mind, arising from a conscious
“ asserenda Libertate nobilius aut ness of superior abilities, and a cup
ana' a utilius esse potest ?" But he conviction that his cause was
adds, with less triumph than in just. See Sonn. vi. 4 where he
this Sonnet, about his blindness, describes the heart which he pre
“ siquidem per valetudinem, et sents to Leonora,
“ hanc luminem Orbitatem liculo certo a prove tante
“ erit." Pr. W. ii. 574. This L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante, Sonnet was not written before &c.
1651, when the Defensio apBut he concludes, with great peared. T. Warton. elegance, writing to a lady, that 12. Of which all Europe. talks it was not proof against love. from side to side, &c.] In the T. Warton.
printed copies these lines are 9. Right onward.). On this ex- thus, pression Mr. Harris, in his notes on the Treatise on Happiness,
Whereof all Europe rings from side
to side. observes, p. 306. “ One would This thought might lead me through “ imagine that our great coun
this world's vain mask “ tryman Milton had the reason. Content though blind, had I no other “ing of Marcus Antoninus in
guide, “ view. L. v. s. 5. where in this The Manuscript has the advan“ Sonnet, speaking of his own tage over the printed editions, “ blindness, he says with a be- unless rings. may be thought “ coming magnanimity, yet I better than talks from side to side. “ argue not, &c. The whole There is something very pleas“ Sonnet is not unworthy of pe- ing, as well as very noble, in “ rusal, being both simple and this conscious virtue and mag“ sublime.” Dr. J. Warton. nanimity of a great poet'; and . 10. When he was employed for the same reason no part of to answer Salmasius, one of his Mr. Pope's works affords greater eyes was almost gone; and the pleasure than what he says of physicians predicted the loss of himself and his writings, especiboth if he proceeded. But he ally in his imitation of the first says, in answer to Du Moulin; Satire of Horace, and in his “ I did not long balance whe. Satires intitled from the year “ther my duty should be pre- 1738.
This thought might lead me through the world's vain
mask Content though blind, had I no better guide.
On his deceased WIFE.*
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
* This was his second wife poor sonnet. Perhaps he was not Catharine the daughter of Captain struck with this fine allusion to Woodcock of Hackney, who Euripides. T. Warton. lived with him not above a year The last scene of the Alcestis after their marriage, and died in of Euripides, our author's fachildbed of a daughter.
vourite writer, to which he al1. Methought I saw my late ludes in this passage, is remarkespoused saint, &c.] Raleigh's ably pathetic; particularly at v. elegant sonnet, called a “ Vision 1155. “ upon the conceipt of the Faerie “Queene," begins thus,
Ο φιλτατης γυναικος ομμα, &c. Methought I saw the grave where And all that follows on Ad. Laura lay.
metus's discovering that it was And hence perhaps the idea of a his wife whom Hercules had sonnet in the form of a' vision brought to hiun covered with a was suggested to Milton. veil. And equally tender and
This Sonnet was written about pathetic is the passage in the the year 1656. T. Warton. first Act, which describes Alcestis
2. -like Alcestis from the taking leave of her family and grave, &c.) Alcestis was the wife house, when she had resolved to of Admetus king of Thessaly, die to save her husband : parwho being dangerously ill ob- ticularly from v. 175. to v. 196. tained by the means of Apollo, Thompson closely copied this that he should recover, if any passage in his Edward and Elebody else would die in his stead. onora. I have wondered, that His wife voluntarily offered Addison, who has made so many herself, but Hercules intervening observations on the allegory of rescued her from death, and Sin and Death, in the Paradise brought her back again to her Lost, did not recollect, that the husband. Our author borrows person of Death was clearly and the allusion from a play of Eu- obviously taken from the OGVATOS ripides called Alcestis.
of Euripides in this Tragedy of 2. Dr. Johnson calls this a Alcestis. Dr. J. Warlon.
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint 5
Purification in the old Law did save,
Full sight of her in Heav'n without restraint,
Her face was veil’d, yet to my fancied sight 10
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
But O as to embrace me she inclin’d,
13. I wak’d, she fled, &c.] So Besides, his genius rises above, in Adam's dream, Par. Lost, viii. and, as we may say, overflows, 478.
the banks of this narrow con
fined poem, pontem indignatus and left me dar wak’d, &c.
Birch has printed a Sonnet This Sonnet therefore proves the
said to be written by Milton, in improbability of Bentley's cor
1665, wben he retired to Chalrection, who would substitute
font on account of the plague, straight instead of dark. But
and to have been lately perhaps Milton, in the text, yet
inscribed on the glass of a with a conceit, alludes to his
window in that place. Life, blindness, “ day brought back “my night." See much the same
p. xxxviii. It has the word
sheene as a substantive. But conceit in Sonn. xix. 7.
Milton was not likely to commit Doth God exact day-labour, light
a scriptural mistake. For the denied.
Sonnet improperly represents
David as punished by a pesti* These Sonnets are not with- lence for his adultery with Bathout their merit: yet, if we ex- sheba Birch, however, had cept two or three, there is nei- been informed by Vertue, that ther the grace nor exactness of he had seen a satirical medal, Milton's band in them. The sort struck upon Charles the Second, of composition in our language abroad, without any legend, is difficult to the best rhymist, having a correspondent device. and Milton was a very bad one. T. Warlon.