The juvenile productions of Milton, particularly his Ode on the Nativity of Christ, his L'Allegro, and Il Penseroso, and his Comus, would alone have perpetuated his fame. In the Ode, we see the first bold flights of a rising genius. The L'Allegro and Il Penseroso are highly beautiful in themselves, and more so in their contrast: the personifcation to them is striking:
Sport that wrinkled care derides,
And laughter holding both his sides, &c.
His Masque of Comus was the best that the world had ever seen; and, as altered for the stge by Mr. Dalton, is one of its highest entertainments at present. See the Interregnum, Class VIII. and IX, and the next reign.