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Tbe city which thou seest no other deem
Furadiee Regained, IV. 11.
Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount,
1 Satan, persisting In the temptation of our Lord, shown him Imperial Rome In Its greatest pomp and splendor, and tells him tliat he might easily expel the Emperor Tiberius, and take possession of the whole himself, and thus possess the world. Baffled In this, he next points out to him the celebrated seat of anaieut learning, Athens, and Its celebrated schools of philosophy; pronouncing a blitbly dolshed panegyric on the Grecian musicians, poets, orators, and philosophers of the dlUcrcnt sects
Seo there the olive grove or Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;
There flowery hill Hymettus with the sound
Of bees' industrious murmur oft invites
To studious musing; there Ilissus rolls
His whispering stream: within the walls then view
The schools of ancient sages; his who bred
Great Alexander to subdue the world,
Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
There shalt thou hear and learn the secret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand; and various-measured verse,
jtolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,
And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer call'd,
Whose poem PhCEbus challenged for his own:
Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught
In chorus or iambic, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight received
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life j
High actions, and high passions best describing:
Thence to the famous orators repair,
Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democratic,
Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece
To Maccdon and Artaxerxes' throne:
To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
From Heaven descended to the low-roofd house
Of Socrates; see there his tenement,
Whom, well inspired, the oracle pronounced
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
Mellifluous streams, that water'd all the schools
Of Academics old and new, with thoso
Surnamed Peripatetics, and the sect
Epicurean, and the Stoic severe:
These here revolve, or, as thou likest, at home,
Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight:
These rules will render thee a king complete
Within thyself j much more with empire join'd.
rsraditt K'lAutd, IV. Of
Samson's Lamentation For His Blindness.
O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
In power of others, never in my own;
Su>nto?\ Affwiittti, 67.
SONNET ON HIS OWN BLINDNESS.2
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, " God doth iioi need
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
l "Few passages in poeti y are Bo affecting as this; and the tone of the expression la peculiarly Miltonie."—Bridget.
* " Milton's sonnets are, In eaay majesty and severe beauty, unequalled by any other composltlona of the kind."— Ktu. AUiandrr Vyce. *'Of all the sonnets of Milton, I am most Inclined to prefer that 'On His Blindness.' It has, to my weak taste, such various excellences as I am unequal to praise wiiBctenUy. It breathe* doctrines at once Bo sublime and consolatory, as to gild the gloomy paths of our exl&tence here with a new and singular light."—Brydga,
a He BpeaJcs here with allusion to the parable of the talent*, Matt, xxv., and with great modify of himself, as if he had not flvr, or two, but only one talent.
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
TO CYRIACK SKINNER.1
Cyiiack, this three years day, these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
Right onward. What supports me, dost Uiou ask *
In liberty's defence,3 my noble task,
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNO LADY.
Lady, that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shunn'd the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,
Chosen diou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure,
Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastful friends
Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.
The prose works of Milton4 are scarcely less remarkable than his poetry. They are mostly of a controversial character in Religion and Politics, and, as such, have lost some of the interest with which they were invested in tho
1 Oyriack 8kinncr was the son of William Skinner, Esq., a merchant of London. Wood says tint * he was an Ingenious young gentleman, and a scholar to John Milton."
2 "Of In art or hope," &c. "One of Milton's characterisucs was a singular forUtnde or mind, arising from a consciousness of superior abilities, and a conviction that his cause was Just."— Warton.
3 When Milton luul entered upon the labor of wriUng his "Defence of the People of England," one or Ills eyes was almost gone, and the physicians predicted the loss of both If be proceeded. But be wys, " I did not long balance whether my duty should be preferred to my eyes." And yet [prak ftuiar.') ihis masterly work was, at Uie Restoration, ordered to be burnt by the common hangman 1
t "The summit of feme is occupied by the poet, but the base of the vast elevation may justly be said to rest on b.d prose works; and we Invite his admirers to descend from the former, and survey ths region t hat lies round about the lattera less explored, but not less magnificent domain."—Brydgti
"The prose wriUngs of Milton deserve the attention of every man who wishes to become acquainted with the full power of the English language. They abound with passages compared with which the finest declamations of Burke sink Into inslgniflcance."— Afaemtay.
stormy ami eventful times in which his lot was cast; but they "breathe throughout,'' says Burnett, "that sublime, ethereal spirit, peculiar only to him. We are continually astonished and delighted at his never-failing abundance of sentiments and imagery—at that majestic stream and swell of thoughts with which his mind always flows. He was a man essentially great; and whoever wishes to form his language to a lofty and noble style—his character to a fervid sincerity of soul, will read the works of Milton."
Milton early commenced his ecclesiastical controversies, and in 1642 published "The Reason of Church Government urged against Prelacy." The following is a part of the preface of the second book, and is particularly remarkable as giving a prophetic assurance of the proudest monument of his fame—Paradise Lost.
MILTOX CONSECRATES HIS POWERS TO THE CAUSE OF TRUTH HIS
STUDIES AND PREPARATION FOR HIS GREAT WORK.
Surely to every good and peaceable man, it must in nature needs be a hateful thing to be the displeaser and molester of thousands; much better would it like him doubtless to be the messenger of gladness and contentment, which is his chief intended business to all mankind, but that they resist and oppose their own happiness.
But when God commands to take the trumpet and blow a dolorous or jarring blast, it lies not in man's will what he shall say or what he shall conceal. If he shall think to be silent as Jeremiah did, because of the reproach and derision he met with daily, "and all his familiar friends watched for his halting," to be revenged on him for speaking the truth, he would be forced to confess as he confessed; "his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary with forbearing, and could not stay."
Which might teach these times not suddenly to condemn all things that are sharply spoken or vehemently written as proceeding out of stomach virulence and ill-nature; but to consider rather, that if the prelates have leave to say the worst that can be said, or do the worst that can be done, while they strive to keep to themselves, to their great pleasure and commodity, those things which they ought to render up, no man can be justly offended with him that shall endeavor to impart and bestow, without any gain to himself, those sharp and saving words, which would be a Vrror and a torment in him to keep back.
For me, I have endeavored to lay up as the best treasure and solace of a good old age, if God vouchsafe it me, the honest liberty of free speech from my youth, where I shall think it avail able in so dear a concernment as the church's good. For, if I be, whether by disposition, or what other cause, too inquisitive, or suspicious of myself and mine own doings, who can help it?
Concerning therefore this wayward subject against prelates, the