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Diis superis, poterit magno favisse poetae.
Nondum deciduos servans tibi frontis honores, Ingeniumque vigens, et adultum mentis acumen. O mihi si mea sors talem concedat amicum, Phoebaeos decorasse viros quitam bene norit,
Arturumque etiam sub terris bella moventem! Aut dicam invictae sociali foedere mensae Magnanimos heroas; et, O modo spiritus adsit,
Be Id. Platon. Note on v. 27. Mercury is the god of eloquence. 73. –magno favisse poetae.] The great poet Tasso. Or a great poet like your friend Tasso. Either sense shews Milton's high idea of the author of the Gerusalemme. 74. —lento sub fore senectus Vernat, &c.) There is much elegance in lento sub flore. I venture to object to tjernat Senectus. 79. Phoebaeos decorasse viros, &c.] Phaebaeos is intirely an Ovidian epithet. Epist. Heroid. xvi. 180. Metam. iii. 130. And in numerous other places. 80. Siquando indigenas revocabo in carmina reges, Arturumque etiam sub terris bella moventem! &c.] The indigenae reges are the ancient kings of Britain. This was the subject for an epic poem that first occupied the mind of Milton. See the same idea repeated in Epitaph. Damon. v. 162. King Arthur, after his death, was supposed to be carried into the subterraneous land of Faerie or of Spirits, where he still reigned as a king, and whence
he was to return into Britain, to renew the Round Table, conquer all his old enemies, and reestablish his throne. He was, therefore, etiam movens bella sub terris, still meditating wars under the earth. The impulse of his attachment to this subject was not entirely suppressed: it produced his History of Britain. By the expression, revocabo in carmina, the poet means, that these ancient kings, which were once the themes of the British bards, should now again be celebrated in verse.
Milton in his Church Government, written 1641, says, that after the example of Tasso, “it “haply would be no rashness, “ from an equal diligence and “ inclination, to present the like “offer in one of our own ancient “ stories.” Prose Works, i. 60. It is possible that the advice of Manso, the friend of Tasso, might determine our poet to a design of this kind.
82. —socialifaedere mensae, &c.] The knights, or associated champions, of King Arthur's Round Table.
Frangam Saxonicas Britonum sub Marte phalanges!
Tandem ubi non tacitac permensus tempora vitae, 85
Forsitan et nostros ducat de marmore vultus,
90. —parva componi molliter urna :] I take this opportunity of observing, that Milton's biographers have given no clear or authentic account of the place of his interment. His burial is thus entered in the Register of Saint Giles's Cripplegate, “John “Melton, gentleman. Consump“tion, Chancel. 12 Nov. 1674.” I learn from Aubrey's manuscript, “He was buried at the “upper end in S. Gyles Cripple“gate chancell. Mem. His Stone “ is now, 1681, removed; for “about two years since, the two “steppes to the communion“table were raysed. I ghesse “Jo. Speed and he lie together.” Hearne has very significantly remarked, that Milton was buried in the same church in which
Oliver . Cromwell was . married. Coll. MSS. vol. 143. p. 155. In the Surveys of London, published about the beginning of the present century, and later, Milton is said to be buried in the chancel of this church, but without any monument. The spot of his interment has within these few years been exactly ascertained. In 1777, Mr. Baskerville, an attorney of Crosby-square in Bishopsgate street, an enthusiastic admirer of Milton, wished on his death-bed to be buried by Milton's side. Accordingly, on his death, the proper search was made in Cripplegate church; and it was found, that Milton was buried near the Pulpit, on the right hand side at the upper end of the middle aisle. Milton's coffin was of lead, and appeared to be in good preservation. 90. A body supposed to be that of Milton was disinterred, and, exposed to the curiosity of the public, in 1790. But there seems good reason to conclude that these remains were not his. Todd. -- 92 Nectens aut Paphia myrti aut Parnasside lauri Fronde comas,) So Ad Patrem, v. 16.
Secreti hac aliqua mundi de parte videbo,
Ridens, purpureo suffundar lumine vultus,
ARGUMENTUM. Thyrsis et Damon ejusdem viciniae pastores, eadem studia sequuti, a pueritia amici erant, ut qui plurimum. Thyrsis
animi causa profectus peregre de' obitu Damonis nuncium
Domum postea reversus, et rem ita esse comperto, se, suamgue solitudinem hoc carmine deplorat.
autem sub persona hic intelligitur CARollus Deodatus ea urbe Hetruriae Luca paterno genere oriumdus, captera Anglus; ingenio, doctrina, clarissimisque casteris virtutibus, dum viveret, juvenis egregius.*
Et memoris laureta sacri Parnassides umbrae.
Ovid, Metam. xi. 165.
Ye Myrtles brown, &c. .
* See notes on El. i. Charles Deodate's father, Theodore, was born at Geneva, of an Italian family, in 1574. He came young into England, where he married an English Lady of
the Princess Elizabeth,
good birth and fortune. He was a Doctor in Physic; and, in 1609, appears to have been physician to Prince Henry, and afterwards Queen of Bohemia. Fuller's Worthies, Middlesex, p. 186. He lived then at Brentford, where he performed a wonderful cure by phlebotomy; as appears by his own narrative of the case, in a Letter dated 1629, printed by Hakewill at the end of his Apologie, Lond. 1630. Signat. Yoy 4. One of his descendants, Mons. Anton. Josuè Diodati, who has honoured me with some of these
HIMERIDES nymphae (nam vos et Daphninet
Et plorata diu meministis fata Bionis)
notices, is now the learned Librarian of the Republic of Geneva. Theodore's brother, Giovanni Deodati, was an eminent theologist of Geneva; with whom Milton, in consequence of his connection with Charles, contracted a friendship during his abode at Geneva, and whose annotations on the Bible were translated into English by the puritans. The original is in French, and was printed at Geneva, 1638. He also published, “Theses Lx de Peccato in Genere “et specie, Genev. 1620.”—“I “sacri Salmi, messi in rime Ita“liane da Giovani Diodati, 1631. “ 12mo.”—“An Italian Trans“ lation of the Bible, 1607.”— And “ An Answer sent to the “ Ecclesiastical Assembly at * London, with marginal ob“servations by King Charles the * First. Newcastle, 1647." But this last is a translation into English, by one of the puritans. Perhaps the only genuine copy of it, for there were many spurious editions, is now to be seen in the Bodleian library. See Lord Orrery's Memoirs by T. Morrice, prefixed to State Papers, ch. i. In which it is said by Lord Orrery, who lived a year in his house, that G. Deodati was not unfavourably disposed towards the English
hierarchy, but wished it might be received under some restrictions at Geneva; that he was a learned man, a celebrated preacher, and an excellent companion. The family left Italy on account of religion. Compare Archbishop Usher's Letters, Lond. 1686, ad calc. Lett. xii. p. 14. 1. Himerides nymphael Himera is the famous bucolic river of Theocritus, who sung the death of Daphnis, and the loss of Hylas. Bion, in the next line, was lamented by Moschus. In the Argument of this Pastoral, “Rem ita esse comperto," Tickell has ignorantly and arbitrarily altered comperto to comperiens. He is followed, as usual, by Fenton. 1. The first syllable of Hylas is unquestionably short. This, however, was only a slip of Milton's pen ; in his seventh Elegy the quantity of Hylas is right. Himera is only twice mentioned by Theocritus. But according to some he was born at Syracuse; which, however, is only connected with the Himera as it is in Sicily. Symmons. 5. The structure of Milton's hexameters in this poem is, for the most part, of that appropriate kind which, according to Terentianus Maurus, is called the bucolic as distinguished
Postguam te immiti rapuerunt funere, Damon!
Siccine nos linquis, tua sic sine nomine virtus
Ignavumque procul pecus arceat omne silentum.
Ite domum impasti, domino jam non vacat, agni. Quicquid erit, certe nisi me lupus ante videbit, Indeplorato non comminuere sepulchro,
from the epic. The proper structure of the bucolic verse, observed more by Theocritus than by Virgil, is where the first four feet are not as in this line linked by a syllable to the
fifth, but left distinct, as Non; - verum MEgonis;
28. Indeplorato non comminuere sepulchro, Ovid, Trist. iii. iii. 45.
mihi tradidit AEgon.
13. Thyrsis, or Milton, was now at Florence. It is observable,
Sed sine funeribus caput hoc, sine