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gerit, Condit aromatica prohibetaue puts are laude. Again, where Aliquid is personified, Monogramma exordia mund."
It may be said, that Cowley is here translating from his own English DaviDEIs. But I will bring examples from his original Latin poems. In praise of the spring.
And in the same poem in a party worthy of the pastoral pencil of Watteau.
Hauserunt avide Chocolatam Flora venuflue: Of the Fraxinella.
Tu tres metropoles humani corporis armis Propugnas, uterum, cor, cerebrumque, tuis.”
He calls the Lychnis, Candelabrum ingens, Cupid is Arbiter format criticus. Ovid is Antiquarius ingens. An ill smell is shunned Offačius tetricitate sui. And in the same page, is nugato
tion half Latin and half English. It is not so much that Cowley wanted a knowledge of the Latin style, but that he suffered that knowledge to be perverted and corrupted by false and extravagant thoughts. Milton was a more perfect scholar than Cowley, and his mind was more deeply tinčtured with the excellencies of antient literature. He was a more just thinker, and therefore a more just writer. In a word, he had more taste, and more poetry, and consequently more propriety. If a fondness for the Italian writers has sometimes infected his English poetry with false ornaments, his Latin verses, both in dićtion and sentiment, are at least free from those depravation.
Some of Milton's Latin poems were written in his first year at Cambridge, when he was only seventeen: they must be allowed to be very correót and manly performances for a youth of that age. And confidered in that view, they discover an extraordinary copiousness and command of ancient fable and history. I cannot but add, that Gray resembles Milton in many instances. Among others, in their youth they were both strongly attached to the cultivation of Latin
poetry. . But I hasten to give the reader an account of
my design and conduct, and of what he is to expećt, in this edition. . - My
This volume exhibits those poems of Milton, of which a second editon, with some slender additions, appeared in 1673, while the author was yet living, under the title, “Poems upon seve“ral occasions, by Mr. John Milton. Both En“glish and Latin, &c. Composed at several “ times.” In this colle&tion our author did not include his PARADISE REGAINED and samson AG on Is TEs, as some later editors have done. Those two pieces, forming a fingle volume by themselves, had just before been printed together, in 1671, for Milton here intended only an edition of his Juvenile Poems.
The chief purpose of the Notes is to explain our author's allusions, to illustrate or to vindicate his beauties, to point out his imitations both of others and of himself, to elucidate his obsolete dićtion, and by the addućtion and juxtaposition of parallels universally gleaned both from his poetry and prose, to ascertain his favourite words, and to shew the peculiaries of his phraseology. And thus some of the Notes, those I mean which relate to his imitations of himself, and to his language, have a more general effect, and are applicable to all Milton's writings.
Among the English poets, those readers who trust to the late commentators will be led to - believe, believe, that our author imitated Spenser and Shakespeare only. But his style, exprefion, and more extensive combinations of dićtion, together with many of his thoughts, are also to be traced in other English poets, who were either contemporaries or predecessors, and of whom many are now not commonly known. Of this it has been a part of my task to produce proofs. Nor have his imitations from Spenser and Shakespeare been hitherto sufficiently noted.
When Milton wrote these poems, many-traditionary superstitions, not yetworn out in the popular belief, adhered to the poetry of the times. Romances and fabulous narratives were still in fashion, and not yet driven away by puritans and usurpers. To ideas of this sort, and they corresponded with the complexion of his genius, allusions often appear even in Milton's elder poetry: but it was natural that they should be found at least as largely in his early pieces, which were professedly written in a lighter strain, at a period when they more universally prevailed, and were more likely to be caught by a young poet. Much imagery in these poems is founded on this source of fićtion. Hence arose obscurities, which have been overlooked or misinterpreted: and thus the force of many strikingly poetical passages has been weakened or unperceived, because their origin was unknown, - - unexplored,