« السابقةمتابعة »
Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
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,
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
Thy works and alms and all thy good endevor
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
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest
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
Filling cach mouth with envy or with praise,
And rumors loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
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
while new rebellions raise &c.
8. Her broken league to imp their serpent wings.]
In the printed copies it is
to imp her serpent wings :
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,
copies it is
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,
Of public fraud. In vain doth valor bleed,
To peace and truth thy glorious way haft plough’d,
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-
Till injur'd truth from violence be freed, the edges, Truth and Peace. 1651.
5. And on the neck of crowned fortune proud
Haft rear'd God's trophies, and his work pur-
sued, ] Instead of these two glorious
copies, for propagation of the gospel.
1. — who through a cloud &c] In the printed And fought God's battels, and his works pursued :
and this defect in the number of verses utterly
spoils the harmony of the stanza.
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
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
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,