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“and after some further discourse about it, I pleasantly said to him, ‘Thou hast said much of Paradise Lost, but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found?' He made me no answer, but sat some time in a muse; then broke off that discourse, and fell upon another subject.” When Elwood afterwards waited upon him in London, Milton showed him his “Paradise Regained,” and in a pleasant tone said to him, “This is owing to you, for you put it into my head by the question you put me at Chalfont, which before I had not thought of.” It is commonly reported, that Milton himself preferred this poem to the “Paradise Lost;” but all that we can assert upon good authority is, that he could not endure to hear this poem cried down so much as it was, in comparison with the other. For certainly it is very worthy of the author, and contrary to what Mr. Toland relates. Milton may be seen in “Paradise Regained," as well as in “Paradise Lost.” If it is inferior in poetry, I know not whether it is not superior in sentiment; if it is less descriptive, it is more argumentative; if it does not sometimes rise so high, neither does it ever sink so low; and it has not met with the approbation it deserves, only because it has not been more read and considered. His subject, indeed, is confined, and he has a narrow foundation to build upon ; but he has raised as noble a superstructure, as such little room and such scanty materials would allow. The great beauty of it is the contrast between the two characters of the Tempter and our Saviour, the artful sophistry and specious insinuations of the one refuted by the strong sense and manly eloquence of the other. This poem has also been translated into French, together with some other pieces of Milton— “Lycidas,” “L’Allegro,” “Il Penseroso,” and the “Ode on Christ's Nativity;” while it has met with commentators of equal ability with those who have devoted their labours to “Paradise Lost.” His “Samson Agonistes” is the only tragedy that he has finished, though he has sketched out the plans of several, and proposed the subjects of more, in his manuscript preserved in Trinity College Library: and we may suppose that he was determined to the choice of this particular subject o the similitude of his own circumstances to those of Samson blind, and among the Philistines. This I conceive to be the last of his poetical pieces ; and it is written in the very spirit of the ancients, and equals, if not exceeds, any of the most perfect tragedies which were ever exhibited on the Athenian stage when Greece was in its

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glory. As this work was never intended for the stage, the division into acts and scenes is omitted. Bishop Atterbury had an intention of getting Mr. Pope to divide it into acts and scenes, and of having it acted by the king's scholars at Westminster; but his commitment to the Tower put an end to that design. It has since been brought upon the stage in the form of an oratorio ; and Handel's music is never employed to greater advantage, than when it is adapted to Milton's words. That great artist has done equal justice to our author's “L’Allegro," and “Il Penseroso," as if the same spirit possessed both masters, and as if the god of music and of verse was still one and the same. There are also some other pieces of Milton, for he con tinued publishing to the last. In 1672, he published “Artis Logicae plenior Institutio ad Petri Rami methodum concinnata,” an institution of logic, after the method of Petrus Ramus; and the year following, a treatise of true religion, and the best means to prevent the growth of Popery, which had greatly increased through the connivance of the King, and the more open encouragement of the Duke of York; and the same year, his poems, which had been printed in 1645, were reprinted, with the addition of several others. His familiar epistles, and some academical exercises, “Epistolarum familiarium, Lib. I., et Prolusiones quaedam Oratoriae in Collegio Christi habitae,” were printed in 1674; as was also his translation out of Latin into English of the Poles' declaration concerning the election of their king John III., setting forth the virtues and merits of that prince. He wrote also a brief history of Muscovy, collected from the relations of several travellers; but it was not printed till after his death in 1682. He had likewise his state letters transcribed at the request of the Danish resident, but neither were they printed till after his death in 1676, and were translated into English in 1694; and to that translation a life of Milton was prefixed by his nephew, Mr. Edward Philips, and at the end of that life his excellent sonnets to Fairfax, Cromwell, Sir Henry Vane, and Cyriac Skinner on his blindness, were first printed. After a life thus spent in study and labours for the public, he died of the gout at his house in Bunhill-row, on or about the 10th of November, 1674, when he had within a month completed the sixty-fifth year of his age. It is not known when he was first o by the gout; but he was grievously afflicted with it several of the last years of his


life, and was weakened to such a degree that he died without a groan, and those in the room perceived not when he expired His body was decently interred near that of his father (who had died very aged about the year 1647), in the chancel of the church of St. Giles's, Cripplegate; and all his great and learned friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the common people, paid their last respects in attending it to the grave. A monument has been erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey by Auditor Benson, in the year 1737; but the best monument of him is his writings. In his youth he was esteemed extremely handsome; so that, while he was a student at Cambridge, he was called the Lady of Christ's College. He had a very fine skin and fresh complexion: his hair was of a light brown, and, parted on the foretop, hung down in curls waving upon his shoulders; his features were exact and regular; his voice agreeable and musical; his habit clean and neat; his deportment erect and manly. He was middle-sized and well-proportioned, neither tall nor short, neither too lean nor too corpulent, strong and active in his younger years, and, though afflicted with frequent headaches, blindness, and gout, was yet a comely j well-looking man to the last. His eyes were of a light blue colour, and from the first are said to have been none of the brightest; but after he lost the sight of them (which happened about the 43rd year of his age), they still appeared without spot or blemish, and at first view, and at a little distance, it was not easy to know that he was blind. In his way of living he was an example of sobriety and temperance. He was very sparing in the use of wine or strong liquors of any kind. He wanted not any artificial spirits: he had a natural fire and poetic warmth enough of his own. He was likewise very abstemious in his diet; not fastidiously nice or delicate in the choice of his dishes, but content with anything that was most in season, or easiest to be procured; eating and drinking (according to the distinction of Socrates) that he might live, and not living that he might eat and drink. So that probably his gout descended by inheritance from one or other of his parents; or, if it was of his own acquiring, it must have been owing to his studious and sedentary life. And yet he delighted sometimes in walking and using exercise, but we hear no thing of his riding or hunting; and, having early learned to fence, he was such a master of his sword, that he was not afraid of resenting an affront from any man; and, before he lost his sight, his principal recreation was the exercise of his arms; but after he was confined by age and blindness, he had a machine to swing in for the preservation of his health. In his youth he was accustomed to sit up late at his studies, and seldom went to bed before midnight; but afterwards, finding it to be the ruin of his eyes, and looking on this custom as very pernicious to health at any time, he used to go to rest early, seldom later than nine, and would be stirring in the summer at four, and in the winter at five in the morning; but if he was not disposed to rise at his usual hours, he still did not lie sleeping, but had somebody or other by his bedside to read to him. At his first rising he had usually a chapter read to him out of the Hebrew Bible; and he commonly studied all the morning till twelve, then used some exercise for an hour, afterwards dined, and after dinner played on the organ, and either sung himself or made his wife sing, who (he said) had a good voice but no ear; and then he went up to study again till six, when his friends came to visit him, and sat with him perhaps till eight; then he went down to supper, which was usually olives or some light thing; and after supper he smoked his pipe, and drank a glass of water, and went to bed. He loved the country, and commends it, as poets usually do; but after his return from his travels, he was very little there, except during the time of the plague in London. The civil war might at first detain him in town; and the pleasures of the country were in a great measure lost to him, as they depend mostly upon sight, whereas a blind man wants company and conversation, which is to be had better in populous cities. But he was led out sometimes for the benefit of the fresh air; and in warm sunny weather he used to sit at the door of his house near Bunhill Fields, and there, as well as in the house, received the visits of persons of quality and distinction; for he was no less visited to the last both by his own countrymen and foreigners, than he had been in his flourishing condition before the Restoration. Some objections indeed have been made to his temper, to which his method of writing controversy might seem to give colour; but some allowance must be made for the customs and manners of the time. Controversy as well as war was rougher and more barbarous in those days than it is in these. And it is to be considered, too, that his adversaries first began the attack: they loaded him with much more personal abuse, only they had not the advantage of so much wit to season it. If he had engaged with more candid and ingenuous disputants, he would have preferred civility and fair argument to wit and satire: “To do so was my choice, and to have done thus was my chance,” as he expresses himself in the conclusion of one of his controversial pieces. All who have written any accounts of his life agree that he was affable and instructive in conversation, of an equal and cheerful temper; and yet I can easily believe that he had a sufficient sense of his own merits, and contempt enough for his adversaries. His merits, indeed, were singular; for he was a man not only of wonderful genius, but of immense learning and erudition; not only an incomparable poet, but a great mathematician, logician, historian, and divine. He was a master not only of the Greek and Latin, but likewise of the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, as well as of the modern languages, Italian, French, and Spanish. He was particularly skilled in the Italian, which he always preferred to the French language; and he not only wrote elegantly in it, but is highly commended for his writings by the most learned of the Italians themselves. He had read almost all authors, and improved by all, even by romances, of which he had been fond in his younger years; and as the bee can extract honey out of weeds, so (to use his own words) “ those books, which to many others have been the fuel of wantonness and loose living, proved to him so many incitements to the love and observation of virtue.” His favourite author, after the Holy Scriptures, was Homer, whom he could repeat almost all without book; and he was advised to undertake a translation of his works, which no doubt he would have executed to admiration. But (as he says of himself in his postscript to the “Judgment of Martin Bucer") “he never could delight in long citations, much less in whole traductions.” He was possessed too much of an original genius to be a mere copier. “Whether it be natural disposition,” says he, “ or education in me, or that my mother bore me a speaker of what God made my own, and not a translator." After his severer studies, and after dinner, as we observed before, he used to divert and unbend his mind with music, of which he was as much a master as was his father, and he could perform both vocally and

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