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untoward events : in bad | Adria,

the Adriatic Sea, east sense,

(especially of the northern part) of Violences. Abstract noun applied as Italy; so called from the town

concrete and general. Taylor is very Adria, near the coast, between fond of abstractions : cf. (below) the mouths of the Po and the

hollowness and a prodigious Adige. drought,' &c.

Threnes, dirges, lamentations, wailings. St Jerome, or Hieronymus (3312—420 Gr. thrēnos.

A.D.), born at Stridon (Dalmatia Comets. Gr. komētēs, from komē (hair): or Pannonia), was most zealous a hairy star, a star with a train or against heretics. He wrote com- tail (Jeremy Taylor says a beard) of mentaries on several books of the light. So the Romans called a Bible, and is accounted as perhaps comet stella crinita (from crinis, the most learned amongst the Latin hair). Fathers.

The substance of the passage may be given in simple language, greatly condensed, and free from very long sentences.-Compare the structure of long sentences in Taylor and in Milton.

JOHN MILTON.-1608-1674. JOHN MILTON, our greatest epic poet and one of the most strenuous assertors of liberty, was born in London, and educated at St Paul's School, and at Christ's College, Cambridge. After graduating M.A. (1632), he spent some five years in close study in the house of his father, who had given up business and retired to Horton in Buckinghamshire. He then went abroad and travelled in France and Italy (1638–9). On his return, he settled in London, and, in addition to his ‘literary pursuits,' undertook the education of two nephews, by-andby receiving a few more pupils, 'the sons of gentlemen who were his intimate friends.' When the rupture took place between king and parliament, Milton wrote most vigorously on the popular side; and on the establishment of the Commonwealth or Republic (1649), he became Foreign or Latin Secretary to the Council of State (March 15). Early next year, under instructions from the Council, he set about preparing his first Defence of the People of England (published 1651), ‘in answer to the book of Salmasius' defending King Charles; and this effort, his eyes being very weak before, brought on total blindness. Nevertheless, he continued with undiminished energy his exertions for the good old cause,' which were so distinguished that he was exempted from the act of indemnity on the Restoration (1660), and had to remain in hiding till his friends secured his pardon. The rest of his life was spent in sedulous literary labour.

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Milton's earliest writings were short pieces in verse. The Hymn on the Nativity (1629), the Epitaph on Shakspeare (1630), and some others, were written before he graduated. Comus, Arcades, L'Allegro, I Penseroso, Lycidas, &c., belong to the time of his residence at Horton. During his settlement in London, down to the Restoration, he wrote a large number of pamphlets and treatises on civil and religious liberty, as well as some Sonnets. Paradise Lost, which he was revolving in his mind twenty years earlier, was begun probably about 1658, and, after narrowly escaping mutilation at the hands of the licenser, at last appeared in 1667. It ranks as one of the great epics of the world. A History of Britain, down to the Norman Conquest, was published in 1670. Next year, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes were given to the public. Milton wrote also on Logic, Grammar, and many other subjects. Poetry he considered his 'one talent ;' in writing prose, he said, “I have the use, I may account, but of my left hand. But such a left hand !

'It may be doubted whether the Creator ever created one altogether so great; taking into our view at once (as much, indeed, as can at once be taken into it) his manly virtues, his superhuman genius, his zeal for truth, for true piety, true freedom, his eloquence in displaying it, his contempt of personal power, his glory and exultation in his country's' (Landor).



What needs my Shakspeare for his honoured bones
The labour of an age in pilèd stones ?
Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid ?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name ?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving,
And so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.



1. Shakspeare. These lines-frequently

but improperly called a 'sonnet'were composed in 1630, 14 years after Shakspeare's death. Milton

was but 21-22. 4. Star-ypointing. The y (ancient ge)

belongs properly to the past parti

ciple. This is a wrong formation, 7. Wonder and astonishment. Emphatic

repetition of meaning; commend

able tautology. 10. Numbers, poetry. The reference is

to the measured regularity in the syllables of poetry or verse. Cf. Sidney, A pology for Poetry: 'that numbrous kind of writing which is called verse;' and see note to 'numbrous' (p. 83). Pope, Prologue to the Satires, 128: 'I lisped in numbers, for the numbers

-That: in full, whilst that.' Both 'whilst' and 'whilst that' are used; and when the regular conjunction 'whilst' stands alone at the head of a first clause, 'that' is often brought in alone at the head of a co

ordinate second clause. 11. Unvalued, not valued ; whose value

has not been (and cannot be) esti

mated; invaluable. Cf. Shak., Rich. III. i. 4, 27: 'Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels ;' and Shelley, Arethusa : 'heaps of unvalued

stones.' 12. Those Delphic lines : 'those inspired

lines.' Delphi, a small town of Phocis in Greece, lying on the south slope of Mount Parnassus, was celebrated in ancient times as the chief seat of the worship of Apollo. The god delivered oracles by the mouth of a priestess, who sat on a tripod over a chasm in the centre of the great temple, and was inspired under the influence of intoxicating exhalations from the ground below her. The responses of the god were in verse; if the priestess spoke prose, attendant priests at once turned her words into verse. Milton's main purpose is to imply that Apollo, who was the god of song and music, had inspired Shakspeare.

Took. We should now consider 'took' as 2 blunder. Yet took'is good English till much later. Cf. 'shook' (178), page 120, 'spoke' (51), page 134, &c.


The last six lines (9–14) are usually not quoted, being regarded as quite unworthy of the others. ‘Bad, however, as the conceit in them may be, the fault is not one of vapid bombast, but of an unripe genius, of an over-active ingenuity . Milton's Epitaph, though it has a flaw in it, is a genuine diamond, and, when that flaw is cut out, shines in lasting brilliancy' (C. J. Hare, Guesses at Truth).


(From Areopagitica.) [The Areopagitica, an unspoken speech, written as if addressed to the Parliament, was an elaborate argument in eloquent and energetic protest against ' An Order of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, for the regulating of Printing, &c.,' which ordained, inter alia, that no ‘book, pamphlet, paper, nor any part of any such book, pamphlet, or paper, shall from henceforth be printed, bound, stitched, or put to sale by any person or persons whatsoever, unless the same

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