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The ratling boughes, and leaues, their parts

did beare; Her eies vnclos'd beheld the groues along Of fwaines and shepherd groomes, that dwell

ings weare;
And that sweet noise, birds, winds, and wa-

ters sent,
Prouokte againe the virgin to lament.

6. Her plaints were interrupted with a sound, That seem'd from thickeit bushes to proceed, Some iolly shepherd sung a luftie round, And to his voice had tun'd his oaten reed; Thither she went, an old man there she found, (At whose right hand his little flocke did

feed) Sat making baskets, his three sonnes ainong, That learn'd their fathers art, and learn'd his song.

7. Beholding one in shining armes appeare The feelie man and his were sore dismaid ; But sweet Erminia comforted their feare, Her ventall vp, her visage open laid, You happie folke, of heau'n beloued deare, Worke on (quoth fhe) vpon your harmlesse

traid, These dreadfull armes I beare no warfare

bring To your sweet toile, nor those sweet tunes

you sing.

But father, since this land, these townes and

towres, Destroied are with sword, with fire and spoile,


To entertaine me as a willing mate
In shepherds life, which I admire and loue;
Within these pleasant groues perchance my

hart, Of her discomforts, may vnload some part.

16. If gold or wealth of most esteemed deare, If iewels rich, thou diddest hold in prise, Such store thereof, such plentie haue I seen, As to a greedie minde might well suffice; With that downe trickled many siluer teare, Two christiall streames fell from her watrie

eies ; Part of her sad misfortunes than she told, And wept, and with her wept that shepherd old.

With speeches kind, he gan the virgin deare
Towards his cottage gently home to guide ;
His aged wife there made her homely cheare,
Yet welcomde her, and plast her by her side.
The Princesse dond a poore pastoraes geare,
A kerchiefe course vpon her head she tide ;

But yet her gestures and her lookes (I gesse)
Were such, as ill beseem'd a shepherdesse.

18. .
Not those rude garments could obscure, and hide,
The heau’nly beautie of her angels face,
Nor was her princely ofspring damnifide,
Or ought disparag'de, by those labours bace;
Her little flocks to pasture would she guide,
And milke her goates, and in their folds them

place, Both cheese and butter could she make, and

frame Her selfe to please the shepherd and his dame.


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I He Life of Milton has been already writ, ten in so many forms, with such minute enquiry, that I might perhaps more properly have contented myself with the addition of a few notes to Mr. Fenton's elegant Abridgement, but that a new narrative was thought necessary to the uniformity of this edition.

JOHN MILTON was by birth a gentleman, descended from the proprietors of Milton near Thame in Oxfordshire, one of whom forfeited his estate in the times of York and Lancaster. Which fide he took I know not; his descendant inherited no veneration for the White Rose.

His grandfather John was keeper of the forest of Shotover, a zealous papist, who difinherited his son, because he had forsaken the religion of his ancestors.

His father, John, who was the son disin. herited, had recourse for his support to the profession of a scrivener. He was a man eminent for his skill in musick, many of his compositions being still to be found; and his reputation in his profession was such, that he grew rich and retired to an estate. He had probably more than common literature, as his son addresles him in one of his most elaborate Latin poems. He married a gentlewoman of


the name of Caston, a Welsh family, by whom he had two sons, John the poet, and Christopher who studied the law, and adhered, as the law taught him, to the king's party, for which he was awhile persecuted, but having, by his brother's interest, obtained permission to live in quiet, he supported himself by chamber praćtice, till, soon after the accession of king James, he was knighted and made a judge ; but, his constitution being too weak for business, he retired before any disreputable compliances became necessary.

He had likewise a daughter Anne, whom he married with a considerable fortune to Edward Philips, who came from Shrewsbury, and rose in the Crown-office to be secondary : by him she had two sons, John and Edward, who were educated by the poet, and from whom is derived the only authentick account of his domestick manners.

John, the poet, was born in his father's house, at the Spread -Eagle in Bread-street, Dec. 9, 1608, between fix and seven in the morning. His father appears to have been very folicitous about his education ; for he was instructed at first by private tuition under the care of Thomas Young, who was afterwards chaplain to the English merchants at Hamburgh; and of whom we have reason to think well, since his scholar considered him as worthy of an epistolary Elegy.

He was then sent to St. Paul's School, under the care of Mr. Gill; and removed, in the beginning of his sixteenth year, to Christ's College in Cambridge, where he entered a fizer, Feb. 12, 1624.


He was at this time eminently skilled in the Latin tongue ; and he himself, by annexing the dates to his first compofitions, a boast of which the learned Politian had given him an example, seems to commend the earliness of his own proficiency to the notice of posterity, But the products of his vernal fertility have been surpassed by many, and particularly by his contemporary Cowley. Of the powers of the mind it is difficult to form an estimate: many have excelled Milton in their first ef. says, who never rose to works like Paradise Lojt.

At fifteen, a date which he uses till he is fixteen, he translated or versified two Psalms, 114 and 136, which he thought worthy of the publick eye ; but they raise no great expectations: they would in any numerous {chool have obtained praise, but not excited wonder.

Many of his Elegies appear to have been written in his eighteenth year, by which it appears that he had then read the Roman authors with very nice discernment. I once heard Mr. Hampton, the translator of Polybius, remark what I think is true, that Milton was the first Englishman who, after the revival of letters, wrote Latin verses with clasfick elegance. If any exceptions can be made, they are very few : Haddon and Ascham, the pride of Elizabeth's reign, however they may have succeeded in prose, no sooner attempt verses than they provoke derision. If we produced any thing worthy of notice before the elegies of Milton, it was perhaps Alablaster's Roxana.


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