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Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Which others at their bar fo often wrench;
In mirth, that after no repenting draws ;
And what the Swede intends, and what the French. 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,
XXII. * To the same.
Milton was so intimate with him, and has ad- what in the spirit and manner of Horace. Od. drefs'd two sonnets to him, this first of which II. XI. 1. was printed in the edition of 1673. 8. And what the Swede intends, ] We have
Quid bellicofus Cantaber, et Scythes, printed it as it is in the Manuscript. In the
Hirpine Quinti, cogitet, Hadria first edition it was And what the Swede intend,
Divisus objecto, remittas which in others is alter'd to And what the
Quærere: &c. Swedes intend. Charles Gustavus, king of * The two sonnets to Cyriac Skinner we Sweden, was at this time waging war with Po- have printed in the same order as they are land, and the French with the Spaniards in the number'd in the Manufcript. This latter was Netherlands : and what Milton says is some- never printed in Milton's life-time, but was
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
The conscience, Friend, to' have lost them overply'd
In liberty's defense, my noble task,
[mask This thought might lead me through the world's yain Content though blind, had I no better guide.
On first publish'd several years after his death at
4. Nor to their idle orbs dotb fight appear the same time and in the same manner with the Of fun, or moon, &c.] In the printed ediforegoing ones to General Fairfax, Cromwell, tions it is, and Sir Henry Vane : and tho' the person, to Nor to their idle orbs doth day appear, whom it is address’d, was not so obnoxious as
Or sun, or moon, &c. any of those before mention'd, yet it might not have been safe for Milton to have publish'd 7. Against Heav'n's band &c] It was at first such a commendation of his Defense of the in the Manuscript God's band : and one jot in people, which the government had order'd to the printed copies is a jot in the Manuscript, be burnt by the hands of the common hang
8. but still bear up and steer man. In the printed editions this sonnet like
Right onward.] In the Manuscript it was at wise is very incorrect, but we shall restore it by the assistance of the Manuscript. 3. Bereft of light their seeing have forgot,] In
but still attend to steer the printed copies it is absurdly,
Uphillward. Bereft of fight their seeing have forgot.
* On his deceased WIFE. Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave, Whom Jove’s great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint. 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 Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person thin'd
So 12. Of which all Europe talks from side to side. Horace, and in his Satires intitled from the &c] In the printed copies these lines are thus, year 1738.
This was his second wife, Catharine the Whereof all Europe rings from side to side. This thought might lead me through this who lived with him not above a year after their Content though blind, had I no other guide. marriage, and died in childbed of a daughter.
2. like Alcestis from the grave, &c] AlThe Manuscript has the advantage over the cestis was the wife of Admetus king of Thesprinted editions, unless rings may be thought faly, who being dangerously ill obtain’d by the better than talks, from side to side. There is means of Apollo, that he should recover, if something very pleasing, as well as very noble, any body else would die in his stead. His wife in this conscious virtue and magnanimity of a voluntarily offer'd herself, but Hercules intergreat poet : and for the same reason no part of vening reseued her from death, and brought Mr. Pope's works affords greater pleasure than her back again to her husband. what he says of himself and his writings, espe- borrows the allusion from a play of Euripides cially in his imitation of the first Satire of called Alcestis.
world's vain mask
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O as to' embrace me she inclin’d,
Bless’d is the man who hath not walk'd astray
In counsel of the wicked, and i'th'way
For the Lord knows th’upright way of the just,
PSAL. II. done Aug. 8. 1653. Terzette. WHY do the Gentiles tumult, and the nations
, Muse a vain thing, the kings of th’earth upstand With pow'r, and princes in their congregations Lay deep their plots together through each land
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?
Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,
Their twisted cords: He who in Heav'n doth dwell
Shall laugh, the Lord shall scoff them, then severe Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
And fierce ire trouble them; but I, faith he,
Anointed have my King (though ye rebel) On Sion my holy' hill. A firm decree
I will declare; the Lord to me hath said
Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee This day; ask, of me, and the grant is made ; As thy possession I on thee bestow
Z Z Z