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That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher Than his Casella, whom he wood to sing Met in the milder shades of purgatory.
XIV. * On the religious memory of Mrs. Catharine Thomson, my christian friend, deceas'd
16 Decem. 1646. When faith and love, which parted from thee never, Had ripen’d thy just soul to dwell with God,
9. and verse must lend ber tory, and wooing him to fing in
wing] There are three manu: these terms, script copies of this sonnet, two by Milton, the second corrected, and se nuoua legge non ti toglie the third by another hand; and in Memoria, o uso à l'amoroso all of them we read mus lend her canto, wing, which we prefer to muft fend Che mi folea quetar tutte mie ber wing, as it is in the printed voglie; copies.
Di ciò ti piaccia consolar al
quanto 12. Dante shall give &c] These L'anima mia
Tbyer. verses were thus at first,
* To this sonnet, which was first Fame by the Tuscan's leave shall printed in the edition of 1673; we set thee higher
have added the title which is in Than his Calelle, whom Dante Milton's Manuscript. Who this woo'd to sing &c.
Mrs. Thomson was, we cannot be
certain; but I find in the accounts 13. Than his Casella, whom he of Milton's life, that when he was
woo'd to fing &c] This refers first made Latin secretary, he lodge to the second Canto of Dante's ed at one Thomson's next door Purgatorio, where the poet relates to the Bull-head tavern at Chahis meeting with Casella in purga. ring-Cross. This Mrs. Thomson
Meekly thou didft resign this earthy load
Of death, cáll’d life; which us from life doth sever, Thy works and alms and all thy good endevor
5 Stay'd not behind, nor in the gravé were trod; But as faith pointed with her golden rod,
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever. Love led them on, and faith who knew them best
Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple beams
And azure wings, that up they flew fo drest, And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes
was in all probability one of that 12. And spake the truth ] There family.
are also three manuscript copies of
this sonnet, two by Milton, the 3. Meekly thou didft refign&c] In second corrected, and the third by thé Manuscript these lines were another hand; and in all of them thus at first,
we read And spake the truth, which Meekly thou didît resign this is more agreeable to fyntax, and earthy cled
better than And speak the truth, as Of flesh and fin, which man from it is in the printed copies. Heav'n doth sever.
* This and the two following 6. Stay'd not behind, &c) Instead fonnets are not found in the ediof these lines were the following at tion of Milton's poems in 1673, first in the Manuscript,
and the reason of omitting them in Strait follow'd thee the path that the reign of Charles II is too obfaints have trod,
vious to need explaining. They Still as they journey'd from this were first printed at the end of Phi. dark abode
lips's life of Milton, prefixed to Up to the realm of peace and the English translation of his tatejoy for ever,
letters, in 1694, which was twenty Faith mow'd the way, and the who years after his death ; they were saw them best
afterwards cited by Toland in his Thy hand-maids &c. life of Milton 1698; and as far as
Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid theě rest
XV. * To the Lord General FA Í ŘFA Ý. Fairfax, whose name in årms through Europe rings,
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise;
5 Victòry home, though new rebellions faile
I can perceive, they were not in, 2. Filling each mouth] In the ferted among his other poems till printed copies it is, the fifth edition in 1713. But the
And fills all mouths &c: printed copies, probably being taken at first from memory, are won- but it is better to avoid the beginderfully incorrect ; whole verses are ning of so many lines together
omitted, and the beauty of these with and. - fonnets is in great measure defac'd and destroy'd. It is therefore a
that daunt remoteft kings, ] fingular piece of good fortune, that How much better is. this than mod
of the printed copies, they are still extant in Milton's Manuscript, the first in his own
which daunt remoteft things! hand writing, and the others by another hand, as he had then lost
5. Thy firm unshaken virtue] In his fight: and having such an au
the printed copies it is, thentic copy, we shall make it our Thy firm unshaken valor ftandard, and thereby restore these but valer occurs again in the sonnet. fonnets to their original beauty, This to the Lord General Fairfax 6. —though new rebellions raise appears from the Manuscript to &c) At this time there were sevehave been address'd to him at the ral insurrections of the royalists, fiege of Colchester, which was and the Scotch army was marching carried on in the summer of 1648. into England under the command
Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays
Her broken league to imp their serpent wings. O yet a nobler talk awaits thy hand,
(For what can war, but endless war still breed?).
Till truth and right from violence be freed,
Of public fraud. In vain doth valor bleed,
XVI. * To the Lord General CROMWELL. Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
of Duke Hamilton. In the printed These lines are thus in the printed copies we have
copies, - while new rebellions raise &c.
For what can war,
but acts of war
ftill breed, 8. Her broken league to imp their
Till injur'd trutb from violence ferpent wings.] In the printed
be freed, copies it is
And public faith be rescued from - to imp ber ferpent wings:
the brand &c. but ferpent vings refers to the same as Hydra beads; and the insurrec- fcription, but blotted out again, I
• In the Manuscript was this Intions in England were to have been know not for what reason. To the supported by the Scotch army Lord General Cromwell, May 1652. marching into it at the same time. On the proposals of certain ministers I know an ingenious person who
at the committee for propagation of proposes to read
the gospel. : Her broking league
1. —who through a cloud &c ] as if the whole intent of the solemn In the printed copies it stands thus, league and covenant had been ta
that through a crowd get money
Not of war only, but diftration 10. For what can war, &ç ]
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
and truth thy glorious way haft plough’d, ind on the neck of crowned fortune proud
5 Haft rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains To conquer still; peace hath her victories
1ο No less renown'd than war: new foes arise Threatning to bind our souls with secular chains :
Help but a cloud of war is a classical ex- 7. While Darwen stream &c] In , pression, and we have nubem belli the printed copies it is in Virgil Æn. X. 809.
While Darwent freams &c 4. To peace and truth] With an The Darwen or Derwen is a small allufion perhaps to some of the river near Preston in Lancashire, filver coins of the Commonwealth, mentioned by Camden ; and there which have this inscription round Cromwell routed the Scotch army the edges, Truth and peace. 1651. under Duke Hamilton in August
1648. The battels of Dunbar and 5.
And on the neck of crowned for. Worcester are too well known to tune proud
be particulariz'd, both fought on Haft rear'd God's trophies, and his the memorable 3d of September,
work pursued,] Instead of these the one in 1650, and the other in two glorious lines there is this single 1651. one in the printed copies,
9. And Worcester's laureat wreath.] And fought God's battels, and bis It was so corrected, very much for works pursued :
the better, from what was before
in the Manuscript, and this defect in the number of
And twenty bastels more verses utterly spoils the harmony of the stanza.
peace hath ber victories