« VorigeDoorgaan »
(1646) the wife of Milton produced her first
fortify each of his lines with example, or, in defect of example, would, at least, advance for his deed the plea of reason, and would attenipt to conciliate criticism with the effect of har.' mony: but to neither of these dictates of prudence has he invariably attended. For some of his verses individual example will be sought for in vain, while in others, not strictly conformable to those models which they most nearly resemble, the less severe and fastidious will admit the principle of construction not to be wholly contrary to the genius of the latin language; and will acknowledge that the rhythm distinguishes them from the asperity of their neighbours. With lines of this description may be classed the following:
Quæstorque gazæ nobilioris,
(The two last verses are not Phalæcians, whatever Milton may
Authorum Graiæ simul ac Latinæ,
The five last lines are too cumbrous with spondees, but they are constructed after the manner of Pindar, the most beautiful and the most frequent of whose verses are formed by prefixing or postfixing trochaics to dactylics-e. g.
child," a daughter, baptized by the name of
These lines, though not very strictly formed on any model and indefensible by example, may be admitted as not deficient in rhythm; but others are to be found, in this composition of Milton's, not only unprotected by the strong bulwark of authority, but unrecommended also by the wily influence of harmony; monsters, such as Seneca, or whoever was the author of Edipus and Agamemnon, scarcely ever begot, or Georgius Fabri. cius christened. To reject disdainfully such specimens, as are contained in the following list, requires not the superbum aurium judicium. King Midas would have disapproved of them; and we may decide dogmatically, and may animadvert severely, without caution and without delicacy, on a fact which is so obvious, and on uncouthness which is so barba
Insons populi, barbitoque devius.
As Antispastics, (a measure though difficult and obscure, yet not lawless and licentious,) are in use only among the Greeks, and were rejected by the Latins, as unpleasant to their ears and repugnant to their accent, it would be in vain to justify the preceding lines by referring them to that metre, to which they may, perhaps, bear some shadowy resemblance: with
* July 29.
Anne, who was lame either from her birth, or in consequence of some accident in her early infancy. In the following year, in which our author's father died, his allies, the Powells, returned to their own mansion, and his house, being once more resigned to lite
any degree of resemblance, they could not be permitted to avail themselves of such far-fetched and foreign authority citra mare nati.
Of the remaining lines of this ode, it will be sufficient to say that they are good, and that most of them are well-known and well authorized, without entering into a tedious detail of the names of dactylics, iambics, trochaics, asclepiadeans, &c. &c. The dactylic, Clarus Erectheides, would sound fuller and better if the diphthong ei were resolved puncto dialyseos. Dawes has well observed that these words Tudaidrs, ATFELOS, &c. never occur in Homer where they must be trisyllables, but only where they may be quadrisyllables. Add to this the words of Eustathius not far from the beginning of his Ilaçenολαι εις την Ομήρε ποιησιν. Οι Αίολεις πολλάκις εν ταις διφθόγγοις έκ αποβαλλεσιν, αλλ' αρκένται μόνη διαφθάσει, ως εν τω Alptions, 'Aryệions Apy'élos. Pindar sometimes uses the dialysis, and sometimes not.
I cannot help admiring that Seneca should so studiously affect an anapæst in the fifth place of a senarius, to the almost entire exclusion of a tribrach and an iamb.
rature, “ looked again,” to use his nephew's expression, 66 like a house of the y Muses." In this house, however, in which his second child, Mary, was born, he did not continue long," exchanging it for one of smaller dimensions in High Holborn, the back part of which opened into Lincoln's Inn Fields. His next removal of residence was occasioned by his acceptance of the office of latin secretary, which rendered a situation nearer to Whitehall an object of convenience to him.
As those writings of Milton, which will soon occur to our notice, are intimately connected with the great political transactions of his time, it will be necessary to throw a. cursory
view upon these interesting events; before we proceed again in the prosecution of our more immediate subject.
The victory at Naseby, gained on the 14th of june, 1645, by the army under Fairfax and Cromwell, may be considered as
y Philips, p 27.
2 Octob. 25, 1648. a The date of this change of residence is not precisely ascertained. It is said to have been soon after the march of the army, in april 1647, under Fairfax and Croinwell to suppress the insurrection, excited in the city by Massey and Brown. Milton's official appointment took place in 1649, soon after the establishment of the council of state. He occupied his house, therefore, in High Holborn about two years,
having terminated the war between the Par
liament and Charles, a civil war honourably E.com distinguished from every other by the ge
neral benignity of its spirit, and the admirTO
able moderation of the victor. From the mo
ment of this defeat, the unhappy Monarch cieli was, in truth, in the possession of his enemies,
and the few months, which intervened before his surrender to the Scots, were passed in a species of captivity at Oxford.
In the april of the following year, he fled to the army of the Scots, before Newark, under the command of the earl of Leven, by whom
he was detained as a prisoner, and, in no chiesa long time, delivered to the commissioners of
the Parliament. By them he was "conducted to Holmby, or Holdenby-house, in Northamptonshire: where he remained, in easy if not in honourable confinement, till he was
seized, in the following june, by the army; ; Pand, after some removals, was settled by to them, in a state of delusive liberty and splendour, at Hampton-Court.
At this crisis of his fate he was presented with an opportunity of recovering his fallen fortunes, and replacing himself on the throne. The Presbyterians, now in the fulness of their power, with the Parliament, the city of Lon