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Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher

Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
Met in the milder shades of purgatory.

XIV. *On the religious memory of Mrs. Catharine Thomson, my

christian friend, deceas'd 16 Decem. 1646. When faith and love, which parted from thee never,

Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthy load
Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever.


9. and verse must lend her wing] There Che mi folea quetar tutte mie voglie ; are three manuscript copies of this sonnet, two Di ciò ti piaccia consolar alquanto by Milton, the second corrected, and the third L'anima mia - Thyer. by another hand, and in all of them we read must lend her wing, which we prefer to must send

* To this sonnet, which was first printed her wing, as it is in the printed copies.

in the edition of 1673, we have added the

title which is in Milton's Manuscript. Who 12. Dante shall give &c] These verses were

this Mrs. Thomson was, we cannot be certain ; thus at first,

but I find in the accounts of Milton's life, Fame by the Tuscan's leave shall set thee that when he was first made Latin secretary, he higher

lodged at one Thomson's next door to the Than his Caselle, whom Dante woo'd to sing Bull-head tavern at Charing - Cross. This &c.

Mrs. Thomson was in all probability one of

that family. 13. Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to fing &c] This refers to the second Canto of Dante's 3. Meekly thou didst resign &c] In the ManuPurgatorio, where the poet relates his meeting script these lines were thus at first, with Casella in purgatory, and wooing him to

Meekly thou didst resign this earthy clod sing in these terms,

Of flesh and fin, which man from Heav’n doth se nuoua legge non ti toglie

sever. Memoria, o uso à l'amoroso canto,


6. Stay'd they were not inserted among his other best

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Thy works and alms and all thy good endevor

Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But as faith pointed with her golden rod,

Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Love led them on, and faith who knew them beft

Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple beams

And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes

Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.




6. Stay'd not bebind, &c] Instead of these 1673, and the reason of omitting them in the lines were the following at first in the Ma- reign of Charles II is too obvious to need exnuscript,

plaining. They were first printed at the end Strait follow'd thee the path that faints have of Philips's life of Milton, prefixed to the

English translation of his state-letters, in 1694, trod, Still as they journey'd from this dark abode

which was twenty years after his death ; they

were afterwards cited by Toland in his life of Up to the realm of peace and joy for ever.

Milton 1698; and as far as I can perceive, Faith show'd the way, and she who saw them

poems till the fifth edition in 1713.

But the printed Thy hand-maids &c.

copies, probably being taken at first from me12. And spake the truth} There are also three mory, are wonderfully incorrect; whole verses manuscript copies of this sonnet, two by Mil- are omitted, and the beauty of these fonnets is ton, the second corrected, and the third by in great measure defac'd and destroy'd. It is another hand, and in all of them we read And therefore a singular piece of good fortune, that fpake the truth, which is more agreeable to they are still extant in Milton's Manuscript, syntax, and better than And Speak the truth, as the first in his own hand-writing, and the others it is in the printed copies.

by another hand, as he had then lost his sight :

and having such an authentic copy, we shall * This and the two following fonnets are not make it our standard, and thereby restore these found in the edition of Milton's poems in fonnets to their original beauty. This to the



* To the Lord General FAIR FA X.
Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings,

Filling cach mouth with envy or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze

And rumors loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings

Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays
Her broken league to imp their serpent wings.





Lord General Fairfax appears from the Manu- this time there were several insurrections of the script to have been address’d to him at the siege royalists, and the Scotch army was marching of Colchester, which was carried on in the into England under the command of Duke Hasummer of 1648.

milton. In the printed copies we have
2. Filling each mouth] In the printed copies

while new rebellions raise &c.
it is,
And fills all mouths &c:

8. Her broken league to imp their serpent wings.]

In the printed copies it is
but it is better to avoid the beginning of so
many lines together with and.

to imp her serpent wings :
that daunt remotest kings;] How much but ferpent wings refers to the same as Hydra
better is this than most of the printed copies, beads; and the insurrections in England were :

which daunt remotest things ! to have been supported by the Scotch army 5. Thy firm unsþeken virtue] In the printed marching into it at the same time. I know


an ingenious person who proposes to read Thy firm unshaken valor

Her broking league but valor occurs again in the sonnet.

as if the whole intent of the folemn league and 6.. - - though new rebellions raise &c] At covenant had been to get money,

10. For

copies it is


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O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,

(For what can war, but endless war still breed?) 10

Till truth and right from violence be freed,
And public faith clear’d from the shameful brand

Of public fraud. In vain doth valor bleed,
While avarice and rapin share the land.

* To the Lord General CROMWELL.
Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud

Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,

To peace and truth thy glorious way haft plough’d,
And on the neck of crowned fortune proud



10. For what can war, &c] These lines are


and trutb] With an allusion perthus in the printed copies,

haps to some of the silver coins of the Com-
For what can war, but acts of war still breed, monwealth, which have this inscription round

Till injur'd truth from violence be freed, the edges, Truth and Peace. 1651.
And public faith be rescued from the brand &c.

5. And on the neck of crowned fortune proud
* In the Manuscript was this infcription, but

Haft rear'd God's trophies, and his work pur-
blotted out again, I know not for what reason.
To the Lord General Cromwell, May 2652. On lines there is this single one in the printed

sued, ] Instead of these two glorious
the proposals of certain ministers at the committee

copies, for propagation of the gospel.

1. — who through a cloud &c] In the printed And fought God's battels, and his works pursued :
copies it stands thus,

and this defect in the number of verses utterly
that through a crowd
Not of war only, but distractions rude :

spoils the harmony of the stanza.
but a cloud of war is a classical expression, and 7. While Darwen stream &c] In the printed
we have nubem belli in Virgil Æn. X. 809. copies it is While Darwent streams &c The


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Haft rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued,

And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains

To conquer still; peace hath her victories

No less renown'd than war: new foes arise
Threatning to bind our souls with secular chains:

Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.

+ To Sir HENRY VANE the younger.
Vane, young in years, but in fage counsel old,
Than whom a better senator ne'er held


Darwen or Derwen is a small river near Preston

peace bas her victories in Lancashire, mentioned by Camden; and No less than those of war : there Cromwell routed the Scotch army under and afterwards in fecular chains for with fecular Duke Hamilton in August 1648. The battels chains. of Dunbar and Worcester are too well known + There is no knowing for certain when this to be particulariz’d, both fought on the me- fonnet was compos'd; but we follow the order morable 3d of September, the one in 1650, wherein they stand and are number'd in Miland the other in 1651.

ton's Manuscript, and probably it was com9. And Worcester's laureat wreath. ] It was pos’d soon after the foregoing one to Cromfo corrected, very much for the better, from well, and upon the fame occasion of the miwhat was before in the Manuscript,

nisters proposals relating, I suppose, to their And twenty battels more

maintenance, which was then under considera

tion. peace bath ber vitories

but in fage counsel old, ] This is much No less renown'd than war : ] In the printed better than the printed copies copies it is



o in fage councils old,

7. They

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