« הקודםהמשך »
the consequence. With this resolution he went to Rome the second time, and Itaid there two months more, neither concealing his name, nor declining openly to defend the truth, if any thought proper to attack him: And yet, God's good providence proteding bim, he came fafe to his kind friends at Flo. rence, where he was received with as much joy and affection, as if he had returned into his own country.
Here likewife he staid two months, as he had done before, excepting only an excursion of a few days to Lucca. From thence, crossing the Appenine, and paling through Bologna and Ferrara, he went to Venice, in which city he spent a month ; and having thipped off the books which he had collected in his travels, and particularly a chelt or two of choice mufic books of the beat masters flourishing at that time in Italy, he took his course through Verona, Milan, aud. along the lake Leman, to Geneva. In this city he tarried some time, meeting here with people of his own principles, and contracted an intimate friendship with Giovanni Diodati, the most learned professor of divinity, whose annotations upon the Bible are pubbished in English. From thence returning througlı France, the same way that he had gone before, he arrived safe in England, after a peregrination of onę year and about three months, having seen more, and learned more, and conversed with more famous men, and made more real improvements, than most others in double the time,
His first business after his return was to pay his du. ty to his father, and to visit his other friends. But this pleasure was much diminished by the loss of his dear friend and school-fellow Charles Diodati in his absence. While he was abroad, he beard it reported that he was dead; and upon his coming home he found it but too true, and lamented his death in an excellent Latin eclogue, intitled, Epitaphium Damonis. This Diodati had a father originally of Lucca: but his mother was English. He was born and bred in England, studied phyfic, was an admirable fcholar, and no lefs remarkable for his fobriety and other
virtues, than for his great learning and ingenuity, One or two of Milton's familiar epiltles are addressed to him; and Mr. Toland says, that he had in his hands two Greek letters of Diodati to Milton, very handsomely written. It may be right for scholars now and then to exercise themselves in Greek and Latin; but we have much more frequent occafion to write letters in our own native language, and in that therefore we should principally endeavour to excel.
Milton, after his return, had taken a private lodging in St. Bride's church.yard, but soon after removed to a handsome garden-house in Aldersgate-street, situated at the end of an entry, which was the more agreeable to a studious man for its privacy, and freedom froin noise and disturbance, In this house he continued several years. His sister's two sons were put to board with him, first the younger, and afterwards the elder. Some other of his intimate friends request, ed of him the same favour for their fons, especially fince there was little more trouble in instructing half a dozen than two or three: and he, who could not eafily deny any thing to his friends, and who knew that the greatest men in all ages had delighted in teaching others the principles of knowledge and virtue, undertook the office; not out of any fordid and mercenary views, but merely from a benevolent difpofition, and a defire to do good. His method of education was as inuch above the pedantry and jargon of the common schools, as his genius was superior to that of a common schoolmaster. One of his nephews has given us an account of the many authors, both Latin and Greek, which, (besides those usually read in the schools), through his excellent judgment and way of teaching, were run over within no greater compass of time, than from ten to fifteen or fixteen years of age. Of the Latin, the four authors concerning husbandry, Cato, Varro, Columella, and Pal. Jadius; also Cornelius Celsus the physician, a great part of Pliny's natural history, the Architecture of Vitruvius, the Stratagems of Frontinus, and the philofophical poets Lucretius and Manilius.' Of the
Greek, Hefiod, Aratus's Phenomena and Diofemeia. Dionyfius Afer de fitu orbis, Oppian's Cynegetics and Halieutics, Quintus Calaber's Poem of the Irojan war continued from Homer, Apollonius Rhodius's Argonautics ; and in prose Plutarch's Placita Philofophorum, and of the education of children, Xenophon's Cyropædia and Anabasis, Ælian's Tactics, and the Stratagems of Polyænus. Nor did this application to the Greek and Latin tongues hinder the attaining to the chief oriental languages, the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, so far as to go through the Pentateuch, or five books of Mofes, in Hebrew, 10 make a good entrance into the Targu n or Challee paraplırale, and to understand several chapters of St. Matthew in the Syriac Teliament, besides the modern languages, Italian and French, and a con.petent knowledge of the mathematics and astronomy. The Sunday's exercise for his pupils was for the most part to read a chapter of the Greek Testament, and to hear his learned exposition of it. The next work after this was to write from his dictation some part of a system of divinity, which he bad collected from the ableft divines, who had written upon that subject. Such were his academic institutions. And thus, by teaching others, he in some measure enlarged his own knowledge; and, having the reading of so many authors as it were by proxy, he might possibly have preserved his fight, if he had not moreover been perpe. tually buried in reading or writing something himself. It was certainly a very recluse and studious life that both he and his pupils led: but the young men of that age were of a different turn from those of the present; and he himself gave an example to those under him of hard study and spare diet; only now and then, once in three weeks or a month, he made a gaudy day with some young gentlemen of his acquaintance; the chief of whom, says Mr. Philips, were Mr. Alphry and Mr. Miller, both of Gray’s-inn, and two of the greatest beaus of those times.
But he was not so fond of this academical life, as to be an indifferent spectator of what was acted upon
the public stage of the world. The nation was now in a great ferınent in 1641, and the clamour run high against the Bithops; when he joined loudly in the cry, to help the Puritan ministers, (as he says himfelf,) they being inferior to the Bishops in learning and eloquence; and published his two books, Of reo formation in England, written to a friend. About the same time, certain ministers having published a treatise against Episcopacy, in answer to the humble remonstrance of Dr. Joseph Hall, bishop of Norwich, under the title of Smećtymnuus, a word consisting of the initial letters of their names, Stephen Marshal, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow; and Abp. Usher having published at Oxford a refutation of Sinectymnuus, in a tract concerning the original of bishops and metropolitans; Milton wrote his little piece, Of Prela. tical Episcopacy, in opposition chiefly to Usher; for he was for contending with the most powerful adversary; there would be either little difgrace in the defeat, or more glory in the victory. He handled the fubject more at large in his next performance ; which was, The reason of church-government urged against Prelaty, in two bocks. And Bp. Hall having problished a defence of the humble reinonítrance, he wrote animadversions upon it. All these treatises he published within the course of one year, 1641; which show how very diligent he was in the cause that he had undertaken. And the next year he set forth his Apology for Smestymnuus, in anfwer to the confutation of his animadversions, written, as he thought himself, by Bp. Hall or his son. And here very luckily ended a controversy, which detained him from greater and better writings which he was meditating, more useful to the public, as well as more suitable to his own genius and inclination: But he thought all this while that he was vindicating ecclefiaftical liberty, In the year 1643, and the 35th of his
mar. ried Mary, the eldest daughter of Mr. Richard Powel of Foresthill, near Shotover, Oxfordfhire, a justice of the peace, and a gentleman of good repute and figure
in that country; for his family, now growing numerous, required a mistress at the head of it, and his father was coming to live with him; which he did, and continued with him in tranquillity and devotion to his dying day. Mrs. Milton had not cohabited with her husband above a month, before she was earnestly solicited by her relations to come and spend the semaining part of the summer with them in the country. If it was not at her instigation that her friends made this request, yet at least it was agreeable to her inclination ; and she obtained her husband's consent, upon a promise of returning at Michaelmas. In the mean while his studies went on very vigorously; and his chief diversion, after the business of the day, was now and then in an evening to visit the Lady Margaret Lee, daughter of the Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer of England, and President of the Privy Council to King James I. This Lady, being a woman of excellent wit and understanding, had a particular honour for our author, and took great delight in his conversation; as likewise did her husband Capt. Hobson, a very accomplished gentleman. And what a regard Milton again had for her, he has left upon record in a sonnet to her praise, extent among his
Michaelmas was now come, but he heard riothing of his wife's return. He wrote to her, but received no answer. He wrote again letter after letter, but received no answer to any of them. He then dispatched a messenger with a letter defiring her to return;' but the positively refused, and dismissed the messenger with contempt. Whether it was, that she had cona: ceived any dilike to her husband's person or humour; or whether she could not conform to his retired and philosophical manner of life, having been accustomed to a house of much gaiety and company; or whether being of a family Atrongly attached to the royal caule, the could not bear her husband's republican principles; or whether she was overpersuaded by her relations, who poflibly might repent of having matched the eldest daughter of the family to a man fo diltin