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And hope that reaps not fhame. Therefore be fure Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends Paffes to blifs at the mid hour of night,
Haft gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.
* To the Lady Margaret Ley.
Daughter to that good Earl, once President
13. Paffes to blifs at the mid hour of night,] Inftead of this line he had written at first,
Opens the door of bliss that hour of night: but he rightly alter'd it, the better to accommodate it to the parable to which he is alluding. See Mat. XXV.
* We have given the title which is in Milton's Manufcript, To the Lady Margaret Ley. She was the daughter of Sir James Ley, whofe fingular learning and abilities raifed him through all the great pofts of the law, till he came to be made Earl of Marlborough, and Lord High Treafurer, and Lord Prefident of the Council to King James I. He died in an advanc'd age, and Milton attributes his death to the breaking of the parlament; and it is
true that the parlament was diffolved the 10th of March 1628-9, and he died on the 14th of the fame month. He left feveral fons and daughters; and the Lady Margaret was married to Captain Hobfon of the Ile of Wight. It appears from the accounts of Milton's life, that in the year 1643 he used frequently to vifit this lady and her husband, and about that time we may suppose that this fonnet was compos'd.
6. as that dishonest victory &c] This victory was gain'd by Philip of Macedon over the Athenians and their allies; and the news being brought to Athens, that old man eloquent, Ifocrates, who was near a hundred years old, died within a few days, being determin'd not to furvive the liberties of his country.
At Charonea, fatal to liberty,
Kill'd with report that old man eloquent.
+ On the detraction which followed upon my writing certain treatises.
A book was writ of late call'd Tetrachordon,
stendra tov Biov eπi Xoupwvid's appor©, o γαις ἡμεραις ύστερον της εν Χαιρωνεια μάχης, δυοιν δεοντα βεβιωκως ἑκατον έτη, γνώμη χρησαμεν@, άμα τοις αγαθοις της πόλεως συΓκαταλυσαι τον OUTOU Biov. Dionyfius Halicarnaff. de Ifocrate Vol. 2. p. 150. Edit. Hudfon. Plutarch fays that he abstain'd from food for four days, and fo put a period to his life, having liv'd 98, or as fome fay 100 years. See Plutarch's Lives of the ten Orators. Vol. 2. p. 837. Edit. Paris. 1624.
+ When Milton publifh'd his books of Divorce, he was greatly condemn'd by the Pref byterian clergy, whofe advocate and champion he had been before. He publish'd his Tetra chordon or Expofitions upon the four chief places in Scripture, which treat of marriage or
nullities in marriage, in 1645; and foon after we may fuppofe he compofed thefe two fonnets, which were frft printed in the edition of 1673, and to which we have prefixed the title that he himself has in the Manufcript.
1. A book was writ of late &c] In the Manufcript he had written at first,
I writ a book of late call'd Tetrachordon, And weav'd in clofe, both matter, form and ftile;
It went off well about the town a while, Numb'ring good wits, but now is feldom por❜d on.
The reader will readily agree, that it was alter'd for the better.
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. Cries the ftall-reader, Blefs us! what a word on A title page is this! and some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to MileEnd Green. Why is it harder Sirs than Gordon, Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?
Thofe rugged names to our like mouths grow fleek, 10 That would have made Quintilian ftare and gasp. Thy age, like ours, O Soul of Sir John Cheek, Hated not learning worse than toad or afp, [Greek. When thou taught'ft Cambridge, and king Edward XII.
On the fame,
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When strait a barbarous noife environs me
Of owls and cuccoos, affes, apes and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transform'd to frogs 5
Which after held the fun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
That bawl for freedom in their fenfeless mood,
And ftill revolt when truth would fet them free. 10
For who loves that, must first be wife and good;
To Mr. H. LAWES on his Airs.
Harry, whose tuneful and well meafur'd song
his life by Strype, or in Biographia Britannica.
Which after held the fun and moon in fee, intimates the good hopes which he had of him4. Of owls and cuccoos,] In Milton's Manu- felf, and his expectations of making a confiscript it stands,
Of owls and buzzards
5. As when thofe binds &c] The fable of the Lycian clowns changed into frogs is related by Ovid, Met. VI. Fab. 4. and the poet in faying
derable figure in the world.
by cafting pearl to hogs ;] Mat. VII.
* This fonnet was also first added in the edi-
First taught our English music how to span
With Midas ears, committing fhort and long;
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng, 5 With praise enough for envy to look wan ;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
That with smooth air could'ft humour beft our tongue. Thou honor'ft verfe, and verfe muft lend her wing To honor thee, the prieft of Phoebus quire, That tun'ft their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Dante
tion of 1673, and in Milton's Manufcript it is dated Febr. 9. 1645. and faid to be wrote to Mr. Lawes on the publishing of his airs. This Mr. Henry Lawes was a gentleman of his Majefty's chapel, and one of his band of mufic, and an intimate friend of Milton, as appears by his first publishing the Mask in 1637, the airs of which he fet to mufic, and probably too those of his Arcades. He was educated under Signor Coperario, and introduced a fofter mixture of Italian airs, than had been practic'd before in our nation; as Mr. Fenton fays in his notes upon Waller, who has also honor'd him with a copy of verfes infcrib'd To Mr. Henry Lawes who had then newly fet a fong of mine in the year 1635.
3. Words with just note &c] These two lines were once thus in the Manufcript, Words with just notes, which till then us'd to fcan or when most were us'd to fcan