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“ King's order because, as a follower of Albemarle, he helped by “ his counsels to bring about the desired return of Charles. He
married, for his sole wife, the widow of Sir William [George ?] “ Clarke, Knt. ; from the society of which most happy mate, after “ he had for sixteen years exhibited a rare example of conjugal love,
Death, which alone had the power, tore him away March 21, “ 1681-2, the love of the survivor remaining yet unbroken. He “ died aged 57.") From this it would appear that Barrow had been born about 1625, and was therefore Milton's junior by about seventeen years.
From 1671 onwards to his death in 1682 I find him mentioned in Chamberlayne's Anglie Notitia as one of the “Principal Physicians who now practise in London” and one of the Licentiates of the Royal College of Physicians. All in all, in 1674, when Barrow's verses were prefixed to the Second Edition of Paradise Lost, he must have been a man of considerable note in London and of intimate Court connexions; and it is interesting to find among Milton's greatest admirers at that date so eminent a Restorationist. Several of Milton's best-known friends, it may be noted, were physicians; and Barrow had probably the liberality of mind natural to his profession, and had moreover been an associate of Cromwellians in the Commonwealth time. He survived Milton more than seven years; and his widow, who appears to have erected the slab to his memory in Fulham Church, survived him till 1695, when the fine monument to her described by Lysons was put up in the same church. —The verses prove that Barrow had been a diligent and intelligent reader of Paradise Lost, and are scholarly enough. As Todd has pointed out, he has taken the liberty, in the title to his verses, and in the first line, of making Paradisus feminine, whereas the Greek and Latin writers make the word masculine. In this he has been followed, however, by some of the translators of parts of the Poem into Latin. In the last four lines Barrow may have had in recollection the eulogies by Salzilli and Selvaggi prefixed to Milton's Latin Poems in the editions of 1645 and 1673.
English Verses by A. M. (i.e. Andrew Marvell).—When these verses appeared, Marvell was about fifty-four years of age, had been M.P. for Hull for about fourteen years, and was a marked man both for his political honesty and for his literary ability. The last he had recently exhibited, with much popular effect, in his celebrated satire, The Rehearsal Transprosed (1672-3), directed against Dr. Samuel Parker, who, after a youth of peculiarly strict Puritan professions, had turned renegade at the Restoration, was receiving ecclesiastical promotion on his way to the Bishopric of Oxford, and had published several works of a notoriously time-serving character. For Marvell's intimacy with Milton, and official connexion with him before this date, see Memoir, I. p. 41, Introd. to Paradise Lost, II. pp. 57—60,
and Introd. to the Lines Ad Christinam among the Latin Poems (I. pp. 273-281). The Rehearsal Transprosed contains proof that the intimacy had not ceased in 1672. Milton is mentioned with great respect in one passage in the Second Part, in which Marvell thus addresses Parker, with reference to allusions he had made to Milton: “At his Majesty's happy return J. M. did partake, even as
you yourself did, of his regal clemency . . . and has ever since
expiated himself in a most retired silence. It was after that, I “ well remember it, that, being one day at his house, I there first “ met you, and accidentally. . . . But then it was, when you, as I “ told you, wandered up and down Moorfields, astrologising on the “ duration of his Majesty's Government, that you frequented J. M.
incessantly, and haunted his house day by day. What discourses you there used he is too generous to remember.” Marvell, we may add, promised Aubrey, after Milton's death, to write his recollections of Milton for the use of Wood in his Athena et Fasti Oxonienses ; but he himself died in August 1678, four years after Milton, without having performed his promise. The present verses on Paradise Lost and the mention in The Rehearsal Transprosed are, therefore, the chief extant tributes by Marvell to his friendship with Milton. -There is a curious and subtle connexion between the verses and The Rehearsal Transprosed. When Marvell adopted this title for his prose attack on Parker, he had in view the famous burlesque called The Rehearsal, by Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, acted in 1671, and published in 1672. As Buckingham had there burlesqued Dryden, under the name of “Bayes," so, under the same nickname of “ Bayes,” was Parker ridiculed in Marvell's 'transprosed' adaptation. But in these verses on Paradise Lost Marvell reverts to the original Rehearsal and to the “Bayes” of that burlesque,-i.e. to Dryden. See the story of Dryden's application to Milton for leave to turn his Paradise Lost, or part of it, into a rhymed drama, Introd. II. p. 18; and read lines 17–30 and lines 45–54 of Marvell's present piece in connexion with the details of that story. The full significance of Marvell's reference to Dryden and his rhyming will then be felt, and it will be seen that Milton must have talked with Marvell about Dryden's odd proposal, and reported to Marvell his answer of grim civility : “Yes, Mr. Dryden, you may tag my verses if you please." Dryden, it is to be remembered, had been, since the Restoration, the champion of Rhyme, and especially of the Rhymed Drama. In his Essay on Dramatic Poetry (1663) he had discussed the question, and given the preference to Rhyme; and his practice had in the main corresponded. But, at the time with which we are now concerned, he was being beaten on the question. The popular taste had revolted from his efforts to establish a Drama of Rhymed Declamation in England, and was calling loudly for a
afterthought in 1668, for insertion into the copies of the First Edition that still remained to be bound. (See Introd. II. pp. 12, 13.) Many readers had “desired” a Prose Argument as a directory to the Poem ; and the publisher Simmons, having applied to Milton for such an Argument, had obtained from him also "a reason of that which stumbled many others, why the Poem rimes not.” Had Dryden been among those who were stumbled ?
Milton's protest for Blank Verse was, at all events, dead against the teachings and practice of Dryden, and is perhaps the most thoroughgoing declaration on that side of the question yet to be found in the language. It calls Rhyme “the invention of a barbarous age to set off wretched matter and lame metre," and speaks of it as "a thing of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no musical delight,” consisting merely in "the jingling sound of like endings,” and in fact "a troublesome and modern bondage” to poets. Though this is said of it more especially in relation to “longer works,” the application is hardly limited to them, but is extended even to shorter works, save in so 'far as one might be weak enough to yield to custom in their case.
This is not the place to discuss the question of theory so raised; about which a great deal might be said for Rhyme that is left unsuggested in Milton's brief decision. It is more relevant to glance at Milton's sketch of the history of the question :Rhyme, he truly says, had been utterly unrecognised, if it was not even systematically discountenanced, in Greek and Latin poetry. It was a mere invention of the Middle Ages, he adds, without inquiring, as later research has done, whether its origin was Celtic or Oriental, or to what natural causes its origin among the races that first used it, and its rapid adoption everywhere in the vernacular poetry of modern Europe, are to be attributed. The fact of such universal adoption, sanctioned by the example of the first famous poets of the different nations, he admits,-not caring, apparently, to qualify the admission by any reference to the Anglo-Saxon Alliterated Rhythm which persisted some time among the English in competition with the Rhymed Metres of Chaucer and others, and which had its analogues among other Northern nations. At length, however,-i.e. in the sixteenth century,—there had been an awakening on the subject.
“ Some both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note" had rejected Rhyme both in longer and shorter works. Among the Italian poets whom Milton may have had in view in this reference Todd and other commentators recognise these : Trissino (1478—1550), Rucellai (1475—1525), Alamanni (1495—1556), and Tasso (1544—1595). The use of versi sciolti, or blank verse, among the Italians may
be traced farther back than any of these; but all of them had stamped that kind of verse with their approval in at least portions of their
writings, -Tasso, for example, in his Sette Giornate del Mondo Creato. Among the first noted Spanish writers of blank verse Bowle and Todd mention Aldana, in a translation of Ovid's Epistles, Gonsalvo Perez, in a translation of the Odyssey, Boscan (1500— 1544), and Garcilasso de la Vega (1503-1536). Milton takes no notice of early French attempts in Blank Verse; nor does he notice Surrey's memorable first introduction of the same into English in his translation of the Second and Fourth Books of the Æneid, written before 1547, though not published till 1557. over likewise Surrey's immediate English successors in the practice of Blank Verse even in non-dramatic subjects, to note more expressly the remarkable phenomenon of the sudden adoption of Blank Verse for English Tragedy by Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, in 1561, and the general persistence in that form by all the subsequent Elizabethan dramatists. But, though citing this prevalence of Blank Verse in English Dramatic Poetry for nearly a century past as a precedent in his favour, and though doubtless aware that there had been stray specimens of English non-dramatic poetry in blank verse subsequent to Surrey's, he closes his Preface, truly enough, with a claim for his own Paradise Lost “to be esteemed an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recovered to heroic poem from the troublesome and modern bondage of riming." In other words, Milton regarded himself as the first to apply English Blank Verse to a great epic subject and to show how the music. of Blank Verse might be modified for epic purposes.
I have said that this Preface of Milton to his Paradise Lost is perhaps the most thoroughgoing invective against Rhyme to be found in the English language. Nearly a hundred years before, however (1570), Roger Ascham had written against Rhyme more at length and as strongly. The passage is in his Schoolmaster, and must have been known to Milton. "This matter,” says Ascham, after expressing his opinion that the verse of Plautus and Terence and of the oldest Latin poets generally is very poor and crude, “maketh me gladly remember my sweet time spent at Cambridge, “and the pleasant talk which I had oft with M. Cheke and M. “ Watson of this fault not only in the old Latin poets, but also in “our new English rhymers at this day. They wished, as Virgil “ and Horace were not wedded to follow the faults of former fathers “ (a shrewd marriage in greater matters), but by right imitation of “ the perfet Grecians had brought Poetry to perfetness also in the “ Latin tongue, that we Englishmen likewise would acknowledge "and understand rightfully our rude beggarly Rhyming, brought “ first into Italy by Goths and Huns when all good verses and all "good learning too were destroyed by them, and after carried into