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No long petition, speedy death,
650 The close of all my miseries, and the balm.
656. All chances incident to pressed from what we quoted man's frail life, &c.] There is before from Horace, epist. i. i. a full stop at the end of this line 34. in all the editions, but there Sunt verba et voces quibus hunc should be only a comma, as the lenire dolorem sense evinces, the construction Possis. being And consolatories writ with 660. But with th' afflicted &c.] &c. to the bearing well &c. Milton Here was another error perpehimself corrected it in the first tuated through all the editions, edition; but when an error is once made, it is sure to be
But to th' afflicted gc.
perpetuated through all the editions. Milton himself corrected it, and
658. -and much persuasion certainly their sound prevails with sought] I suppose an error of th' afflicted is better than prevails the
press for fraughi. Warbur- to th' afflicted. ton.
661. -or rather seems a tune I conceive the construction to Harsh, and of dissonant mood be, consolatories are writ wilh &c.] studied argument, and much per- Alluding to Ecclus. xxii. 6. A
A suasion is sought &c.
tale out of season is as music in 659. Lenient of grief] Ex- mourning. Thyer.
And fainting spirits uphold.
God of our fathers, what is man! That thou tow'ards him with hand so various, Or might I say contrarious, Temper'st thy providence through his short course, 670 Not ev’nly, as thou rul'st Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute, Irrational and brute. Nor do I name of men the common rout, That wand'ring loose about
675 Grow up and perish, as the summer fly, Heads without name no more remember'd, But such as thou hast solemnly elected, With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd To some great work, thy glory,
680 And people's safety, which in part they'effect : Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft Amidst their height of noon
667. God of our fathers, what term for this lower class of moris man! &c.] This and the fol- tals. They style them arago@pcos lowing paragraph to ver. 705. or avagépentos, men not numbered, seems to be an imitation of the or not worth the numbering. Chorus in Seneca's Hippolytus, Thyer. where the immature and unde- 683. Amidst their height of served fate of that young hero is noon] Milton is accustomed to this lamented. Act iv. 971.
expression. See below, v. 1612. -sed cur idem,
The feast and noon grew high. Qui tanta regis, sub quo vasti So in P. L. iv. 564. Pondera mundi librata suos Ducunt orbes, hominum nimium This day at height of noon came to Securus abes ; non sollicitus
my sphere. Prodesse bonis, nocuisse malis ?
Compare P. L. v. 174. and Il Pens. &c. to the end.
68. So in Harrison's Description Thyer.
of Britaine, prefixed to Hollings677. Heads without name no head, « The husbandmen dine more remember'd,] Milton here at high noone, as they call it.” probably had in view the Greek T. Warton.
Changest thy count'nance, and thy hand with no regard Of highest favours past
685 From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
Nor only dost degrade them, or remit To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission, But throw'st them lower than thou didstexalt them high, Unseenly falls in human eye,
690 Too grievous for the trespass or omission; Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword Of heathen and profane, their carcases To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captív'd; Or to th’ unjust tribunals, under change of times, 695
Οιωνοισι τε πασι.
this, I had the pleasure to find To dogs and fowls a prey, ]
that I had fallen into the same Plainly alluding to Homer's Iliad, vein of thinking with Mr. Wari. 4.
burton: but he has opened and --αυτους δ' ελωρια τευχε κυνεσσιν pursued it much farther with
a penetration and liveliness of 695. Or to th' unjust tribunals, fancy peculiar to himself. under change of times, &c.] Here God of our fathers- to ver. 704. no doubt Milton reflected upon is a bold expostulation with Prothe trials and sufferings of his vidence for the ill success of the party after the Restoration: and
good old cause. probably he might have in mind
But such as thou hast solemnly particularly the case of Sir Harry
elected, Vane, whom he has so highly With gifts and graces eminently celebrated in one of his sonnets.
adorn'd If these they scape, perhaps in To some great work, thy ry. poverty &c; this was his own In these three lines are described case; he escaped with life, but the characters of the Heads of lived in poverty; and though he the Independent Enthusiasts, was always very sober and tem
-which in part they effect: perate, yet he was much afflicted with the gout and other painful That is, by the overthrow of the diseases in crude old age, cruda monarchy, without being able to senectus, when he was not yet a
raise their projected republic. very old man:
Yet toward these thus dignified, thou
oft Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff'ring
Amidst their height of noon The punishment of dissolute days.
Changest thy count'nance Some time after I had written After Richard had laid down, all VOL. III.
And condemnation of th' ingrateful multitude.
In crude old age;
Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff’ring
power came into the hands of The trials and condemnation of the enthusiastic Independent Re- Vane and the Regicides. The publicans, when a sudden revo- concluding verses describe his lution, by the return of Charles own case, II. broke all their measures.
If these they şcape, perhaps in po—with no regard
vertyOf highest favours past
Painful diseases and deform'dFrom thee on them, or them to thee of Though not disordinate, yet causeless service.
suff'ring That is, without any regard of
The punishment of dissolute days : those favours shown by thee to His losses in the Excise, and his them in their wonderful successes gout not caused by intemperance. against tyranny and superstition But Milton was the most heated [Church and State), or of those enthusiast of his time; speaking services they paid to thee in of Charles the First's murder in declaring for religion and liberty his Defence of the People of [Independency and a Republic). England he says, Quanquam Nor only dost degrade &c.
ego hæc divino potius instinctu Too grievous for the trespass or omis. gesta esse crediderim, quoties
memoria repeto fc. By the trespass of these precious 700. In crude old age;] Crude saints Milton means the quarrels old age in Virgil and in other among themselves: and by the writers is strong and robust, omission the not making a clear
cruda Deo viridisque senectus. stage in the constitution, and new-modelling the law as well as But Milton uses crude here for national religion, as Ludlow ad- premature and coming before its vised.
time, as cruda funera in Statius: -captiv'd;
old age brought on by poverty Several were condemned to per
and by sickness, as Hesiod says petual imprisonment, as Lambert Egy. 93. and Martin.
Αιψα γαρ εν κακοτησι βροτοι καταγή. Or to th’unjust tribunals under change
ρασκoυσι. of times &c.
So deal not with this once thy glorious champion, 705 The image of thy strength, and mighty minister. What do I beg ? how hast thou dealt already? Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end.
But who is this, what thing of sea or land? 910 Female of sex it seems, That so bedeck’d, ornate, and gay, Comes this way sailing Like a stately ship Of Tarsus, bound for th’isles Of Javan or Gadire With all her bravery on, and tackle trim, Sails fill'd, and streamers waving, Courted by all the winds that hold them play, An amber scent of odorous perfume
714. Like a slately ship &c.] Merry Wives of Windsor, act iii. The thought of comparing a sc. 8. speaking of the ship-tire, woman to a ship is not entirely says, “it was an open head
Plautus has it in his Pæ- “ dress, with a kind of scarf nulus, i. ii. 1.
depending from behind. Its
name of ship-tire was, I preNegotii sibi qui volet vim parare, Navem et mulierem, hæc duo com
sume, from its giving the parato.
“ wearer some resemblance of a Nam nullæ magis res duæ plus ne- ship (as Shakespeare says) in gotii « all her trim : with all her
penHabent, forte si occeperis ornare, &c.
“ nants out, and flags and Of Tarsus, there is frequent men- “ streamers flying. Thus Milton tion in Scripture of the ships of " in Samson Agonistes paints Tarshish, which Milton as well
“ Dalila. This was an image as some commentators might con
“ familiar with the poets of that ceive to be the same as Tarsus 6 time. Thus Beaumont and in Cilicia: bound for thisles of “ Fletcher in their play of Wit Javan, that is Greece, for Javan “ without Money-She spreads or Ion the fourth son of Japheth“ sattens as the king's ships do is said to have peopled Greece
canvas &c.” and Ionia: or Gadire, radelge, 720. An amber scent of odorous Gades, Cadiz. Mr. Warburton perfume] Ambergris was now in his notes upon Shakespeare, in high repute for its fragrance.