Imatges de pÓgina
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O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king *,
Yet every one shall make him underling;
And those, that cannot live from him asunder,
Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under':
In worth and excellence he shall outgo them;
Yet, being above them, he shall be below them ;
From others he shall stand in need of nothing
Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing":
To find a foe it shall not be his hap°,
And Peace shall lull him in her flowery lap;
Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door
Devouring War shall never cease to roar;
Yea, it shall be his natural property

To harbour those that are at enmity P.

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What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not

Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot?

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The next, QUANTITY and QUALITY, spake in prose; then RELATION was called by

his name.

Rivers, arise; whether thou be the son

Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Dun,

Or Trent, who, like some Earth-born giant, spreads

His thirty arms along the indented meads ;
Or sullen Mole, that runneth underneath ;
Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death *;

k O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king.

The Predicaments are his brethren; of or to which he is the Subjectum, although firs: in excellence and order.-T. WARTON.

1 Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under. They cannot exist, but as inherent in Substance.-T. WARTON. m From others he shall stand in need of nothing.

He is still Substance, with or without Accident.-T. WARTON.

n Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.

By whom he is clothed, superinduced, modified, &c.: but he is still the same.-T. WARTON. "Substantia substantiæ novæ contrariatur," is a school maxim.-T. WARTON.

P To harbour those that are at enmity.

His Accidents.-T. WARTON.

9 Rivers, arise, &c.

Milton is supposed, in the invocation and assemblage of these rivers, to have had an eye on Spenser's episode of the nuptials of Thames and Medway, "Faerie Queene," iv. xi. I rather think he consulted Drayton's "Polyolbion." It is hard to say, in what sense, or in what manner, this introduction of the rivers was to be applied to the subject.T. WARTON.

Or Trent, who, like some Earth-born giant, spreads

His thirty arms along the indented meads.

It is said that there were thirty sorts of fish in this river, and thirty religious houses on its banks. These traditions, on which Milton has raised a noble image, are a rebus on the name Trent.-T. WARTON.

8 Or sullen Mole, that runneth underneath.

At Mickleham, near Dorking in Surrey, the river Mole, during the summer, except in heavy rains, sinks through its sandy bed into a subterraneous and invisible channel. In winter it constantly keeps its current.-T. WARTON.

The maiden is Sabrina.

Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death.
Comus," v. 827.-T. WARTON.

See "

Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,

Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee";

Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name
Or Medway smooth, or royal-tower'd Thame ".

[The rest was prose.]

W

V

100

AN EPITAPH ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATIC POET WILLIAM SHAKSPEAREX.

WHAT needs my Shakspeare, for his honour'd bones,
The labour of an age in piled stones?

Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid ?

Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame,

What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou, in our wonder and astonishment,
Hast built thyself a live-long monument,

For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easy numbers flow; and that each heart
Hath, from the leaves of thy unvalued book 2,
Those Delphick lines with deep impression took :
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving.
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving ;
And, so sepulchred, in such pomp dost lie,
That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.

u Ancient hallow'd Dee.

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Dee's divinity was Druidical. From the same superstition, some rivers in Wales are still held to have the gift or virtue of prophecy. See note on "Lycidas," ver. 55.-T. WARTON. Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name.

Humber, a Scythian king, landed in Britain three hundred years before the Roman invasion, and was drowned in this river by Locrine, after conquering king Albanact.— T. WARTON.

Or Medway smooth, or royal-tower'd Thame.

The smoothness of the Medway is characterised in the "Mourning Muse of Thestylis." The royal towers of Thames imply Windsor castle, familiar to Milton's view, and to which I have already remarked his allusions.-T. WARTON.

This is but an ordinary poem to come from Milton, on such a subject: but he did not yet know his own strength, or was content to dissemble it, out of deference to the false taste of his time. The conceit of Shakspeare's "lying sepulchred in a tomb of his own making," is in Waller's manner, not his own. But he made Shakspeare amends in his "L'Allegro," v. 133.-HURD.

Birch, and from him Dr. Newton, asserts, that this copy of verses was written in the twenty-second year of Milton's age, and printed with the Poems of Shakspeare at London in 1640. This therefore is the first of Milton's pieces that was published. We have here restored the title from the second folio of Shakspeare, printed 1632.-T. WARTON. This epitaph is dated 1630, in Milton's own edition of his poems in 1673.-TODD. y Dear son of Memory.

He honours his favourite Shakspeare with the same relation as the Muses themselves : for the Muses are called, by the old poets, "the daughters of Memory." See Hesiod, Theog." v. 53.-NEWTON.

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2 The leaves of thy unvalued book.

"Thy invaluable book." So in Shakspeare, “Rich. III." a. i. s. 4 :

Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels.-TODD.

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From its ut 5 rea; Deai huch broke his girt,
AD HOT AR i hum in the dirt;

eR TE WE's beng foul, zwarty to one,
5: ± hen små 11 a singh, and zwerthrown.
ve sci i dhe an fruth were known,
Jean we me pad when he had got him down :
Fr te ha ay time the years full,
OMA VII in beri

Camicare and the Ball:

Ali siray Danh emit never have prevazi'd,
Sat nut is vesty course of carriage fail'd;

Fur mer fmäng im s lng a home,

And Tuning now his journey's ead was come,

BIM THAT IN DR ta en 13 his latest inn;

teknd office of a chamberlin *

Show ( NM IS You where he most lodge that night,
Pull i of us hous, mid took away the light:

Fury ask for Lm, zsha be sed,

Susm bus sing à, and s newly gone to bed.

ANOTHER ON THE SAME

Ema lech one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move;

St Lang his destiny, never to rot

While he might sjog on and keep his trot,
Made of sphere-mess never to decay
Until his rertintin was at stay.

Time numbers motion; yet, without a crime
Gainst aid truth, motion number'd out his time;

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And, like an engine moved with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceased, he ended straight.
Rest that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm,

Too long vacation hasten'd on his term.

Merely to drive the time away, he sicken'd,

Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd;

* In the kind office of a chamberlin, &c.

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I believe the chamberlain is an officer not yet discontinued in some of the old inns in the city.-T. WARTON.

Hobson's inn at London was the Bull in Bishopsgate-street, where his figure in fresco, with an inscription, was lately to be seen. Peck, at the end of his "Memoirs of Cromwell," has printed Hobson's will, which is dated at the close of the year 1630. He died Jan. 1, 1630, while the plague was in London. This piece was written that year. -T. WARTON.

Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch'd,
If I may n't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd;

But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
For one carrier put down to make six bearers.
Ease was his chief disease; and, to judge right,
He died for heaviness that his cart went light:
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
That ev'n to his last breath, there be that say't,
As he were press'd to death, he cried, More weight!
But, had his doings lasted as they were,

He had been an immortal carrier.
Obedient to the moon, he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate
Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas;

Yet, strange to think, his wain was his increase:
His letters are deliver'd all and gone ;

Only remains this superscription.

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ON THE NEW FORCERS OF CONSCIENCE UNDER THE LONG PARLIAMENT.

BECAUSE you have thrown off your prelate lord,
And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy,
To seize the widow'd whore Plurality

From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorr'd;

Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword

To force our consciences that Christ set free,
And ride us with a classic hierarchy e

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Because ye have thrown off your prelate lord, &c. In railing at establishments, Milton condemned not episcopacy only: he thought even the simple institutions of the new reformation too rigid and arbitrary for the natural freedom of conscience; he contended for that sort of individual or personal religion, by which every man is to be his own priest. When these verses were written, which form an irregular sonnet, presbyterianism was triumphant: and the independents and the churchmen joined in one common complaint against a want of toleration. The church of Calvin had now its heretics. Milton's haughty temper brooked no human control: even the parliamentary hierarchy was too coercive for one who acknowledged only King Jesus. His froward and refining philosophy was contented with no species of carnal policy: conformity of all sorts was slavery. He was persuaded that the modern presbyter was as much calculated for persecution and oppression as the ancient bishop.-T. WARTON.

d And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy.

The Directory was enforced under severe penalties in 1644. The legislature prohibited the use of the Book of Common Prayer, not only in places of public worship, but in private families.-T. WARTON.

e And ride us with a classic hierarchy.

In the presbyterian church now established by law, there were, among others, classical assemblies the kingdom of England, instead of so many dioceses, was now divided into a certain number of provinces, made up of representatives from the several classes within their respective boundaries: every parish had a congregational or parochial presbytery for the affairs of its own circle; these parochial presbyteries were combined into classes, which chose representatives for the provincial assembly, as did the provincial for the national. Thus, the city of London being distributed into twelve classes, each class chose two

Y Y

Gentle lady, may thy grave
Peace and quiet ever have ;
After this thy travel sore
Sweet rest seize thee evermore,
That, to give the world increase,
Shorten'd hast thy own life's lease.
Here, besides the sorrowing

That thy noble house doth bring,
Here be tears of perfect moan
Wept for thee in Helicon ;

And some flowers, and some bays,
For thy herse, to strow the ways,

Sent thee from the banks of Came ',
Devoted to thy virtuous name;

Whilst thou, bright saint, high sitt'st in glory,
Next her, much like to thee in story,

That fair Syrian shepherdess,

Who, after years of barrenness,

The highly-favour'd Joseph bore
To him that served for her before;

And at her next birth, much like thee,
Through pangs fled to felicity,
Far within the bosom bright
Of blazing Majesty and Light:
There with thee, new welcome saint,
Like fortunes may her soul acquaint,
With thee there clad in radiant sheen,
No marchioness, but now a queen.

Sent thee from the banks of Came.

70

I have been told that there was a Cambridge collection of verses on her death, among which Milton's elegiac ode first appeared: but I have never seen it, and I rather think this was not the case at least, we are sure that Milton was now a student at Cambridge. Our marchioness was the daughter of Thomas Lord Viscount Savage, of Rocksavage in Cheshire; and it is natural to suppose, that her family was well acquainted with the family of Lord Bridgewater, belonging to the same county, for whom Milton wrote the Mask of "Comus." It is therefore not improbable that Milton wrote this elegy, another poetical favour, in consequence of his acquaintance with the Egerton family. The accomplished lady, here celebrated, died in child-bed of a second son in her twenty-third year, and was the mother of Charles, the first Duke of Bolton.-T. WARTON.

s That fair Syrian shepherdess.

Rachel. See Gen. xxix. 9. xxxv. 18.-T. WARTON.

t Through pangs fled to felicity.

We cannot too much admire the beauty of this line: I wish it had closed the poem; which it would have done with singular effect. What follows serves only to weaken it; and the last verse is an eminent instance of the bathos, where the "saint clad in radiant sheen' sinks into a marchioness and a queen: but Milton seldom closes his little poems well.DUNSTER.

There is a pleasing vein of lyric sweetness and case in Milton's use of this metre, which is that of "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso:" he has used it with equal success in Comus's festive song, and the last speech of the Spirit, in "Comus," 93. 922. From these specimens we may justly wish that he had used it more frequently. Perhaps in Comus' song it has a peculiar propriety: it has certainly a happy effect.-T. WARTON.

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