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there are, which a man cannot do himself; and then it will appear that it was a sparing speech of the ancients to say that a friend is another himself;' for, a friend is far more than himself. Men have their time and die many times in desire of some things which they principally take to heart, the bestowing of a child, the finishing of a work, or the like. If a man have a true friend he may rest almost secure, that the care of those things will continue after him; so that a man hath, as it were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a body, and that body is confined to a place, but where friendship is, all offices of life are, as it were, granted to him and his deputy, for he may exercise them by his friend. How many things are there
which a man cannot with any face of comeliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them. A man cannot sometimes brook to supplicate or beg, and a number of the like. But all these things are graceful in a friend's mouth, which are blushing (1) in a man's own. So again, a man's person hath many proper relations which he cannot put off. A man cannot speak to his son, but as a father; to his wife, but as a husband; to his enemy, but upon terms; whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it sorteth with the person. But to enumerate these things were endless. I have given the rule where a man cannot play his own part: if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.
THE AGE OF TRANSITION.
JOHN MILTON was born in London on the 9th of December 1608. He studied at Cambridge and took his degree of M. A. in 1632, after which he led for some time a private life. In the year 1657 he set out on his travels to France and Italy. He visited Galileo, then a prisoner in the Inquisition, was introduced to many of the great scholars on the Continent, and was everywhere received with the honours due to his talents and genius. He remained abroad for fifteen months; at the end of which period he was recalled to his country by the contentions which had arisen between the royalist and parliamentary parties. Milton, on his return to England, established an institution for classical instruction; but in the year 1641 he emerged from this comparatively retired life, and appeared on the political stage. He sided with the Puritans, and published several very clever controversial works, all of them proving the most ardent attachment to republican principles. In the year 1653 Milton's wife died; this loss was soon after followed by one still more melancholy, viz.: a total deprivation of sight. The composition of his most noble poem, Paradise Lost, occupied
five years, and was finished in 1665; the subject is the fall of the Angels from Heaven, the creation of the world, and the fall of man. This wonderful composition is universally considered the finest epic poem in the English language. The subject, the grandest that could have been chosen, and of the greatest interest to all human beings, was one admirably suited to the deeply learned poet. In every part he seems to have succeeded in describing the beauties and delightfulness of heaven, and the dreadful and desolate kingdom of the Prince of Darkness. His Adam and Eve are at once so pure and yet so human, that they are highly fitted for appearing as inhabitants in a spot not yet degraded by the wickedness of fallen man. In 1670 Milton published a history of England, and also several minor works in 1672; but his health had already begun to decline, and in the year 1674 he expired, aged 66, Amongst his other poetical works we must mention 'Paradise Regained,' 'L'Allegro,' 'Il Penseroso' and 'Comus.' He has also written many prose works and several controversial pamphlets, but his strength lay in poetry, as must be observed by all who peruse his productions.
The chariot of Paternal Deity, Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn,
Itself instinct with spirit, but convey'd
(1) Calculated to make him blush.
Of beryl, and careering fires between;
Amber, and colours of the showery arch. (1)
Attended with ten thousand thousand saints,
He on the wings of cherub rode sublime
As from the centre thrice to the utmost
fire, With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous
He soon discerns: and welt'ring by his side One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named
Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after
Obsequious: Heaven his wonted face renew'd
Raphael continues to relate how Messiah pursues the enemies towards the wall of heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep.
declared his pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell therein.
"This also thy request, with caution ask'd, Obtain; though, to recount almighty works, What words or tongue of seraph can suffice, Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
'Know then, that, after Lucifer from heaven Nine times the space that measures day and night (So call him, brighter once amidst the host To mortal men, he with his horrid crew Of angels, than that star the stars among) Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf, But his Fell with his flaming legions through the deep Confounded, though immortal. Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the Into his place, and the great Son return'd 5 Victorious with his saints, the Omnipotent thought Eternal Father from his throne beheld Both of lost happiness and lasting pain Torments him. Round he throws his baleful Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake: "At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who thought
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
once, as far as angels ken, he views 10
Their station; heaven, yet populous, retains | Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound!
With ministeries due, and solemn rites:
One kingdom, joy and union without end. 35
His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect. 40
Glory they sung to the Most High, goodwill
Good out of evil to create; instead
On his great expedition now appear'd,
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
Like things to like; the rest to several
From the armoury of God; where stand of old 65 Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodg'd To journey through the aery gloom began Sphered in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle Sojourn'd the while. God saw the light was good; And light from darkness by the hemisphere
Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand,
Amid the waters, and let it divide
The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
Of this great round; partition firm and Whose seed is in herself upon the earth."
And heaven he named the firmament: so ev'n
And morning chorus sung the Second Day. 'The earth was form'd, but in the womb as yet
Of waters, embryon immature, involv'd, Appear'd not; over all the face of earth Main ocean flow'd, not idle; but, with warm Prolific humour softening all her globe, 145 Fermented the great mother to conceive, Satiate with genial moisture; when God said, "Be gather'd now, ye waters under heaven, Into one place, and let dry land appear.' Immediately the mountains huge appear 150 Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave
Into the clouds; their tops ascend the sky:
Capacious bed of waters; thither they 155
On the swift floods; as armies at the call
Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed, And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind, He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till then Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd, Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad Her universal face with pleasant green; Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd,
The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed Embattled in her field, and the humble shrub,
And bush with frizzled hair implicit : last Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread
Their branches, hung with copious fruit, or gemm'd Their blossoms: with high woods the fields were crown'd,
With tufts the valleys, and each fountain side;
With borders long the rivers: that earth now Seem'd like to heaven, a seat where gods might dwell,
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt 195 Her sacred shades. Though God had yet not rain'd
Upon the earth, and man to till the ground None was: but from the earth a dewy mist Went up, and water'd all the ground, and each
Plant of the field; which, ere it was in the earth, God made, and every herb, before it grew
On the green stem; God saw that it was good:
So ev'n and morn recorded the Third Day. 'Again the Almighty spake, "Let there be lights
High in the expanse of heaven, to divide 205
And let them be for lights, as I ordain Their office in the firmament of heaven, To give light on the earth;" and it was so. And God made two great lights, great for their use
To man, the greater to have rule by day, The less by night, altern; and made the stars,
And set them in the firmament of heaven,
first, Though of ethereal mould: then form'd the
Hither, as to their fountain, other stars Repairing, in their golden urns draw light, And hence the morning planet gilds her horns;
By tincture or reflection, they augment Their small peculiar, though from human sight
So far remote, with diminution seen.
And seems a moving land; and at his gills Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores,
245 (1) Rocks. It. scoglio.