In one of his Defenses, Milton refers to classical authors to defend his own use of invective:
[http://books.google.com/books?id=G-ewXj ... ns&f=false]Tuque frustra Marcum Tullium inclamas; qui si “in aureo” illo quem citas, “de Officiis libro,” illud jocandi genus elegans, urbanum, ingeniosum, facetum arbitratur, quo genere non modò Plautus et Atticorum antiqua comoedia, sed etiam philosophorum Socraticorum libri referti sunt, id quod illic legisse poteras, non ille mihi quidem nimis angustos, non nimis severos decori statuisse fines videtur, ut cuiquam difficile sit intra eos fines sese continere; nedum ut ego me non continuerim.
I translate as, "In vain you call upon Marcus Tullius, who if he in that "golden book On Duties," which you cite, treats of that elegant, urbane, ingenious, pleasant kind of jesting (with which style not only Plautus and the ancient comedies of the Attics, but even the books of the Socratic philosophers are full, that which you would have been able to read in that place), he [Cicero] certainly does not seem to have imposed overly stark limits on decorum, so that it is difficult for anyone to contain himself within those limits; still less that I could not contain myself within them."
It might just be Milton being Milton, but I'm having a hard time understanding his point at the end of this sentence. I'm foggy on the last phrase, in particular. How does he view Cicero's opinion, especially in relation to himself? And what exactly is this "jocandi genus elegans, urbanum, ingeniosum, facetum"?
I'll assuredly post more of Milton's sentences here; he's a phenomenal Latinist, but I find his phrasing to be very obscure at times.