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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,
To the Lady Margaret Ley.
Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
And left them both, more in himself content,
13. Passes to blijs at the mid bour of night, ] true that the parlament was diffolved the moth Instead of this line he had written at first, of March 1628-9, and he died on the 14th
of the fame month. He left several fons and Opens the door of bliss that hour of night :
daughters ; and the Lady Margaret was marbut he rightly alter'd it, the better to accom- ried to Captain Hobson of the Ile of Wight. modate it to the parable to which he is alluding. It appears from the accounts of Milton's life, See Mat. XXV.
that in the year 1643 he used frequently to * We have given the title which is in Mil- visit this lady and her husband, and about that ton's Manuscript, To the Lady Margaret Ley. time we may suppose that this sonnet was comShe was the daughter of Sir James Ley, whose pos'd. singular learning and abilities raised him 6. as that dishoneft victory &c] This through all the great posts of the law, till he victory was gain’d by Philip of Macedon over came to be made Earl of Marlborough, and the Athenians and their allies; and the news Lord High Treasurer, and Lord President of being brought to Athens, that old man eloquent, the Council to King James I. He died in an Isocrates, who was near a hundred years old, advanc'd age, and Milton attributes his death died within a few days, being determin'd not to the breaking of the parlament; and it is to survive the liberties of his country.
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,
Kill'd with report that old man eloquent. Though later born than to have known the days
Wherein your father florifh'd, yet by you,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet;
That all both judge you to relate them true,
XI. + On the detraction which followed upon my writing
certain treatises. A book was writ of late callid Tetrachordon,
&TeddTa Tov Brov &T1 Xoxpwvid's op zov?@, ohio nullities in marriage, in 1645; and soon after γαις ημεραις υστερον της εν Χαιρωνεια μαχης, δυσιν we may suppose he composed these two fonnets, Θεουλα βεβιωκως έκατον ετη, γνωμη χρησαμενΘ, which were firft printed in the edition of 1673, αμα τοις αγαθσις της πολεως συκαταλυσαν τον and to which we have prefixed the title that he SOUTOU Brov. Dionysius Halicarnaff. de Isocrate himself has in the Manuscript. Vol. 2. p. 150. Edit. Hudson. Plutarch says 1. A book was writ of late &c] In the Mze that he abstain'd from food for four days, and nuscript he had written at first, ko put a period to his life, having liv'd 98,
I writ a book of late call'd Tetrachordon, or as fome fay 100 years.
And weav'd in close, both matter, form and Lives of the ten Orators. Vol. 2. p. 837. Edit. Paris. 1624.
It went off well about the town a while, + When Milton publish'd his books of Di.
Numb’ring good wits, but now is felloni vorce, he was greatly condemn’d by the Pre
por'd on. byterian clergy, whose advocate and champion he had been before. He publith'd his Tetra- The reader will readily agree, that it was alchordon or Expositions upon the four chief ter'd for the better. places in Scripture, which treat of marriage or
And woven close, both matter, form and stile;
Numb’ring good intellects ; now seldom por'd on. Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on
A title page is this! and some in file
End Green. Why is it harder Sirs than Gordon,
Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek, 19
That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp. Thy age, like ours, O Soul of Sir John Cheek,
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, [Greek. When thou taught'st Cambridge, and king Edward
On the same,
9. Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?] We 12. Sir John Cheek] Or Cheke. He was the may suppose that these were persons of note first Professor of the Greek tongue in the uniand eminence amongst the Scotch ministers versity of Cambridge, and was highly inftruwho were for pressing and enforcing the Co- mental in bringing that language into repute, venant. Galasp we know was one of the Scotch and restoring the original pronunciation of it, ministers and commissioners from the Kirk to tho' with great opposition from the patrons of the Parlament. See the verses on the forcers of ignorance and popery, and especially from conscience.
Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, and chan10. Those rugged names] He had written at cellor of the university. He was afterwards first barbarous, and then rough bewn, and then made one of the tutors to Edward VI. See rugged.
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
Of owls and cuccoos, 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 ;
But from that mark how far they rove we see
First his life by Strype, or in Biographia Bri- Which after held the sun and moon in fee,
intimates the good hopes which he had of him4. Of owls and cuccoos,] In Milton's Manu- self, and his expectations of making a consiscript it stands,
derable figure in the world.
by casting pearl to hogs ;] Mat. VII.
6. neither cast ye your pearl before swine 5. As when those binds &c] The fable of the
10. And still revolt &c] He had written at first, Lycian clowns changed into frogs is related
And bate the truth whereby they should be free, by Ovid, Met. VI. Fab. 4. and the poet in saying
* This sonnet was also first added in the edi
Of owls and buzzards
First taught our English music how to span
With Midas ears, committing short and long;
With praise enough for envy to look wan ;
That with smooth air could'It humourbestourtongue. Thou honor'st verse, and verfe must lend her wing
To honor thee, the priest of Phoebus quire,
tion of 1673, and in Milton's Manuscript it is With Midas ears, misjoining short and long. dated Febr. 9. 1645. and said to be wrote to
But committing, as Mr. Richardson remarks, Mr. Lawes on the publishing of bis airs. This Mr. Henry Lawes was a gentleman of his Ma- conveys with it the idea of offending against
quantity and harmony. jesty's chapel, and one of his band of music, and an intimate friend of Milton, as appears 5. exempts thee from the throng] Horace by his first publishing the Mask in 1637, the Od. I. I. 32. airs of which he set to music, and probably Secernunt populo Richardson. too those of his Arcades. He was educated under Signor Coperario, and introduced a 6. With praise enough &c ) Instead of this fofter mixture of Italian airs, than had been line was the following at first in the Manuscript, practic'd before in our nation; as Mr. Fenton And gives thee praise above the pipe of Pan. says in his notes upon Waller, who has also honor'd him with a copy of verses inscribid To
7. -thou shalt be writ the man, &c) This Mr. Henry Lawes who bad tben newly set a song too in the stile of Horace, Od. I. VI. 1. of mine in the year 1635.
Scriberis Vario fortis, et hoftium
Victor. 3. Words with just note &c] These two lines were once thus in the Manuscript, And in the Manuscript it was thus at firft, Words with just notes, which till then us’d to scan
thou shalt be writ a man or -- when most were us'd te fcan That didft reform tby art, the chief among.