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Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch'd,
If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd;

But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
For one carrier put down to make six bearers.
Ease was his chief disease; and, to judge right,
He died for heaviness that his cart went light:
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
That ev'n to his last breath, there be that say't,
As he were press'd to death, he cried, More weight!
But, had his doings lasted as they were,

He had been an immortal carrier.

Obedient to the moon, he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate
Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas;

Yet, strange to think, his wain was his increase:
His letters are deliver'd all and gone;

Only remains this superscription.

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BECAUSE you have thrown off your prelate lord,
And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy 4,

To seize the widow'd whore Plurality

From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorr❜d;
Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword

To force our consciences that Christ set free,
And ride us with a classic hierarchy e

Because ye have thrown off your prelate lord, &c.

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In railing at establishments, Milton condemned not episcopacy only: he thought even the simple institutions of the new reformation too rigid and arbitrary for the natural freedom of conscience; he contended for that sort of individual or personal religion, by which every man is to be his own priest. When these verses were written, which form an irregular sonnet, presbyterianism was triumphant: and the independents and the churchmen joined in one common complaint against a want of toleration. The church of Calvin had now its heretics. Milton's haughty temper brooked no human control: even the parliamentary hierarchy was too coercive for one who acknowledged only King Jesus. His froward and refining philosophy was contented with no species of carnal policy: conformity of all sorts was slavery. He was persuaded that the modern presbyter was as much calculated for persecution and oppression as the ancient bishop.-T. WARTON. d And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy.

The Directory was enforced under severe penalties in 1644. The legislature prohibited the use of the Book of Common Prayer, not only in places of public worship, but in private families.-T. WArton.

And ride us with a classic hierarchy

In the presbyterian church now established by law, there were, among others, classical assemblies: the kingdom of England, instead of so many dioceses, was now divided into a certain number of provinces, made up of representatives from the several classes within their respective boundaries: every parish had a congregational or parochial presbytery for the affairs of its own circle; these parochial presbyteries were combined into classes, which chose representatives for the provincial assembly, as did the provincial for the national. Thus, the city of London being distributed into twelve classes,


Taught ye by mere A. S. f and Rotherford g?
Men, whose life, learning, faith, and pure intent
Would have been held in high esteem with Paul,
Must now be named and printed hereticks
By shallow Edwards h and Scotch what d'ye calli:
But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
Your plots and packing, worse than those of Trent j;
That so the parliament

May, with their wholesome and preventive shears,
Clip your phylacteries, though bauk your ears k,
And succour our just fears,
When they shall read this clearly in your charge;
New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ large 1.

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each class chose two ministers and four lay-elders to represent them in a provincial assembly, which received appeals from the parochial and classical presbyteries, &c. These ordinances, which ascertain the age of the piece before us, took place in 1646 and 1647. See Scobell, "Col." P. i. p. 99, 150.-T. Warton.

Taught ye by mere A. S.

The independents were now contending for toleration. In 1643 their principal leaders published a pamphlet with this title, "An Apologeticall Narration of some Ministers formerly exiles in the Netherlands, now members of the Assembly of Divines. Humbly submitted to the honourable Houses of Parliament." This piece was answered by one A. S., the person intended by Milton.-T. WARTON.

8 Rotherford.

Samuel Rutherford, or Rutherfoord, was one of the chief commissioners of the church of Scotland, who sat with the Assembly at Westminster, and who concurred in settling the grand points of presbyterian discipline. He was professor of divinity in the university of St. Andrew's, and has left a great variety of Calvinistic tracts. was an avowed enemy to the independents, as appears from his "Disputation on pretended Liberty of Conscience, 1649." It is hence easy to see why Rotherford was an obnoxious character to Milton.-T. WARTON.

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h By shallow Edwards.

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It is not the "Gangrena" of Thomas Edwards that is here the object of Milton's resentment, as Dr. Newton and Mr. Thyer have supposed. Edwards had attacked Milton's favourite plan of independency, in two pamphlets full of miserable invectives, immediately and professedly levelled against the "Apologeticall Narration above mentioned, 'Antapologia, or a full Answer to the Apologeticall Narration, &c., wherein is handled many of the Controversies of these Times. By T. Edwards, minister of the gospel. Lond. 1644." However, in the "Gangrena," not less than in these two tracts, it had been his business to blacken the opponents of presbyterian uniformity, that the parliament might check their growth by penal statutes.-T. WARTON.

i And Scotch what d'ye call.

Perhaps Henderson, or George Gillespie, another Scotch minister with a harder name, and one of the ecclesiastical commissioners at Westminster.-T. WARTON. Your plots and packing, worse than those of Trent.

The famous council of Trent.-T. WARTON.

Clip your phylacteries, though bauk your ears.

That is, although your ears cry out that they need clipping, yet the mild and gentle parliament will content itself with only clipping away your Jewish and persecuting principles.-Warburton.

The meaning of the present context is, "Check your insolence, without proceeding to cruel punishments." To "balk," is to spare.-T. WARTON.

1 Writ large.

That is, more domineering and tyrannical. -Warburton.



WHAT slender youth bedew'd with liquid odours,
Courts thee on roses in some pleasant cave,
Pyrrha? For whom bind'st thou

In wreaths thy golden hair,

Plain in thy neatness? O, how oft shall he
On faith and changed gods complain, and seas
Rough with black winds, and storms
Unwonted shall admire!

Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold,
Who always vacant, always amiable
Hopes thee, of flattering gales
Unmindful. Hapless they,

To whom thou untried seem'st fair!



Me, in my vow'd


Picture, the sacred wall declares to have hung

My dank and dropping weeds

To the stern god of sea.


BRUTUS thus addresses DIANA in the country of Leogecia:

GODDESS of shades, and huntress, who at will

Walk'st on the rowling spheres, and through the deep:
On thy third reign, the earth, look now and tell
What land, what seat of rest, thou bidd'st me seek,

What certain seat, where I may worship thee
For aye, with temples vow'd and virgin quires.

To whom, sleeping before the altar, DIANA answers in a vision the same night:

Brutus, far to the west, in the ocean wide,

Beyond the realm of Gaul, a land there lies,
Sea-girt it lies, where giants dwelt of old;
Now void, it fits thy people: thither bend
Thy course; there shalt thou find a lasting seat;
There to thy sons another Troy shall rise,
And kings be born of thee, whose dreadful might
Shall awe the world, and conquer nations bold.


Aн, Constantine! of how much ill was cause,
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
That the first wealthy pope received of thee!




FOUNDED in chaste and humble poverty,

'Gainst them that raised thee dost thou lift thy horn,
Impudent whore? where hast thou placed thy hope?
In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth?
Another Constantine comes not in haste.


THEN pass'd he to a flowery mountain green,
Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously:
This was the gift, if you the truth will have,
That Constantine to good Sylvester gave.


WHOм do we count a good man? Whom but he
Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,
Who judges in great suits and controversies,
Whose witness and opinion wins the cause?
But his own house, and the whole neighbourhood,
Sees his foul inside through his whited skin.


THIS is true liberty when freeborn men,
Having to advise the publick, may speak free;
Which he who can and will deserves high praise:
Who neither can, nor will,
hold his peace :


What can be juster in a state than this?


-LAUGHING, to teach the truth,

What hinders? as some teachers give to boys
Junkets and knacks that they may learn apace.


JOKING decides great things, Stronger and better oft than earnest can.


'TIS you that say it, not I. You do the deeds, And your ungodly deeds find me the words.


THERE can be slain

No sacrifice to God more acceptable,

Than an unjust and wicked king.


Done into verse, 1653.

BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
In counsel of the wicked, and in the way

Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat
Of scorners hath not sat. But in the great
Jehovah's law is ever his delight,
And in his law he studies day and night.
He shall be as a tree, which planted grows
By watery streams, and in his season knows
To yield his fruit, and his leaf shall not fall;
And what he takes in hand shall prosper all.
Not so the wicked; but as chaff which fann'd
The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand
In judgement, or abide their trial then,
Nor sinners in the assembly of just men.
For the Lord knows the upright way of the just,
And the way of bad men to ruin must.





Done August 8, 1653. Terzette.

WHY do the Gentiles tumult, and the nations
Muse a vain thing, the kings of the earth upstand
With power, and princes in their congregations
Lay deep their plots together through each land
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?

Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand
Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,

Their twisted cords: He, who in heaven doth dwell,
Shall laugh; the Lord shall scoff them; then, severe,

Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell

And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith he,
Anointed have my king (though ye rebel)

On Sion, my holy hill. A firm decree


I will declare the Lord to me hath said,
Thou art my son, I have begotten thee

This day ask of me, and the grant is made;


As Thy possession I on thee bestow

The heathen; and as thy conquest to be sway'd,

Earth's utmost bounds, them shalt thou bring full low




Metrical psalmody was much cultivated in this age of fanaticism. Milton's father

is a composer of some of the tunes in Ravenscroft's Psalms.-T. WARTON.

"A literal version of the Psalms may boldly be asserted impracticable; for, if it were not, a poet so great as Milton would not, even in his earliest youth, have proved himself so very little of a formidable rival, as he has done, to Thomas Sternhold." Mason's "Essays on English Church Music," 1795, p. 177. In the last of these translations, however, as Mr. Warton observes, are some very poetical expressions -TODD.

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