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he says, 'ætatis duodecimo vix unquam ante mediam noctem à lucubrationibus cubitum discederem;' and Aubrey adds, that when Milton went to school, he studied very hard, and sate up very late, commonly till twelve or one o'clock, and his father ordered the maid to sitt up for him.' In a letter to his preceptor, dated not long after his time, he says-Hæc scripsi Londini, inter urbana diverticula, non libris, ut foleo circumseptus.'
Thus early and deep were laid the foundation of his future fame. His studies were in a great measure poetical. Humphrey Lownes, the printer, who lived in the same street, supplied him with Spenser and Sylvester's translation of Du Bartas: his admiration of the former is known to all ; the attention which he paid to the more obscure, and now almost forgotten poet, was pointed out more fully than before, by my late ingenious friend Mr. Charles Dunster, in a little work which he called Milton's Early Reading, or the Prima Stamina of Paradise Lost.12
Aubrey says, Milton was a poet when only ten years old. Those who are interested in watching the early dawning of genius as it opens on the youthful mind; and in comparing the different periods in which great talents have displayed both the promise, and the direction of their future power; will not be displeased at my recalling to their memory the passage in that elegant biography of Cowley, which Sprat addressed to their mutual friend Martin Clifford, and in which he mentions the age when
12 That Milton read and borrowed from Sylvester in his early poems, no one who reads Mr. Dunster's book can reasonably doubt. Sylvester had the jewels, and Milton set them beautifully. See what Mr. Campbell says on Milton's obligations to Sylvester, in his Specimens of the British Poets, vol. i. p. 182, &c. Du Bartas's fame is now in full bloffom in Germany, and has received the praise of Goethe himself. He is considered at Dresden and at Weimar as one of the greatest poets that ever appeared, and so once he was esteemed in England -“Who is there, as Mr. Trvra, a m IW muure : isr11, 727 al Einsce snce zunei va is rue; le va sreta qr Ines, ai vienas Pies vere salatei nte zur 'anguage, se Faire un tied setore it."
5 Birch was pres e dares the perince of Cen's eriet
1530. Om Shakespeare Tie ariet NTD verg et Vra, 15;:. rs Wr. Huar, are dhe ines in Shake:peare See len 3:2 , 3:0 Oosteezes See Hai': C3010, i. 163: “Esn, in us vouger irs. teufion, afttag warh unters, ad u usi ergre:fico. See is Prea on Snakesease; bue ce rigcur is gee us or persiseure er Lize, enabled him so break istoga se inserempus vicis maite."
* Aarhony Wsce ad Tciazi ziert hat he was sent to Cancruge in ais freeach year, but errcnecay. See B.-* : L.,
to the very first musicians of the age. He saw the early promises of genius in his son, and encouraged them by a careful and liberal education. Milton was at first placed under the domestic tuition of Thomas Young, a learned puritan minister, and native of Essex; to whom he was in after life much attached, and to whom his fourth elegy, and the first of his Latin Epistles, are inscribed. A portrait of him, by Cornelius Jansen,' when only ten years old, shows the affection of the parents for their handsome and accomplished child, who even at that early age was forming the first flower of his youthful genius; and whose vernal promise was ripening fast into works of finished and exquisite beauty.
Younglo quitted England in 1623, and it is probable
8 On a work called “ A Sixefold Politician, together with a Sixefold Precept of Policy, 1609," attributed to him, see Mr. I. P. Collier's Poetical Decameron, vol. ii. p. 305, Philips says, “That as I have been told and I take it by our author himself, that his father coinposed an Il Domine of forty parts, for which he was rewarded with a gold medal and chain, by a Polish prince, to whom he presented it, and that some of his fongs are to be seen in old Witby's Set of Airs, besides fome compositions of his in Ravenscroft's Psalms, v. p. xli. Milton's Poetical Works, ed. Pickering, 1826. Some beautiful lines in Milton's Poem * ad Patrem' allude to his father's skill in music.
• Ipse volens Phæbus se dispertire duobus,
Dividuumque deum genitorque, puerque tenemus.' See Burney's Hift. of Mufic, vol. iii. p. 134. In a little book which I possess, the Psalms, by W. Slayter, 12mo. 1643, one of the tunes is by J. Milton. See also Todd's Milton, vol. i. p. 4, and vi. p. 337, and Aubrey Letters, vol. iii. p. 439, and Hunter on Shakespeare's Tempeft, p. 56.
This picture was in the possession of T. Hollis, Esq., and is engraven by Cipriani, in his Memoirs, p. 96, it represents the youthful poet in a richly worked collar, and striped jacket. It was purchased by Mr. Hollis at C. Stanhope's sale, who bought it for twenty guineas of the executors of Milton's widow. The picture of Milton when about twenty, was in the possession of the Right Honourable Arthur Onslow.
10 In Mr. Fellowes's translation of Milton's Letters printed in Dr. * Regii Sanguinis Clamor,' repeated the calumny. “Aiunt hominem Cantabrigiensi academia ob flagitia pulsum, dedecus, et patriam fugisse et in Italiam commigrasse.' •The former tract,' Milton says in his Apology for Smeltymnus, ‘was reported to be written by the son of Bishop Hall.'
critical and hackney course of literature to get their living by, and dazzle the ignorant, or else fondly over studied in useless controversies, except those which they use, with all the spacious and delusive subtlety they are able, to defend their prelatical Sparta.'-And in his Apology for Smectymnus, he says, "That suburb wherein I dwell shall be in my accounts a more honourable place, than his University; which as in the time of her better health, and mine own younger judgment, I never greatly admired, so now much less ;17—and in his third letter to his friend and tutor Alexander Gil, he expresses the same opinion, concerning the superficial and fmattering learning of the University and of the manner in which the clergy engage with raw, and untutored judgments in the study of theology, patching together a sermon with pilfered scraps, without any acquaintance with criticism or philosophy; again, in his Animadversions on the Remonstrant's Defence, he says,—“What should I tell you how the universities that men look should be the fountains of learning and knowledge, have been poisoned and choked under your governance ?"
Milton's natural genius, cultivated by the care of those excellent scholars, who had conducted his education, and enriched by his own indefatigable study, had doubtless made great advances in those branches of knowledge at once congenial to his mind, and conducive to its improvement; and he might feel unwilling to be diverted from them, into the barren and unprofitable pursuits, which the old system of collegiate education too often required ; 18
17 Sce his tractate on Education, where he speaks against the preposterous exaction of composing Themes and Orations, and the ill habit they got of wretched barbarizing against the Greek and Latin idioms,-'and then having really left grammatical flats and shallows, to be presented with the most intellectual abstractions of logic and metaphysics, to be tossed and turmoiled in the fathomless deeps of contro
versy, to be deluded with ragged notions and brabblements, to be dragged to an afinine feast of low-thistles and brambles.'— With these opinions, when called upon by the college for Latin themes on logical and metaphysical subjects (see his Prolusiones) cannot we easily conceive the rebellion or discontent, the out-breaks and flashes of his fiery mind?
18 The following passage in Milton's Prolusiones has been overlooked, which throws some light on the subject of his discussion with the college, and his renewed union. (v. p. 115.) He disliked some parts of their studies, probably their logical and metaphysical Theses (specimens of which may be seen in Cleaveland's Works, p. 132), and expressed his opinion too freely, or perhaps did not perform the talks that were required. I feel convinced that the whole ground of offence, so much disputed, is to be found in this point.
• Tum nec mediocriter me pellexit, et invitavit ad has partes subeundas vestra, (vos qui ejusdem eftis mecum Collegii) in me nuperrime comperta facilitas, cum enim ante præteritos menses, aliquam multos oratorio apud vos munere perfuncturus essem, putaremque lucubrationes meas qualescunque etiam ingratas propemodum futuras, et mitiores habituras judices Æacum et Minoa, quam e vobis fere quemlibet, fane præter opinionem meam, præter meam fi quid, erat speculæ, non vulgari ficuti ego accepi, imo ipse senfi omnium plausu exceptæ sunt immo eorum qui in me alias propter fudiorum di fidia ellent prorsus infenfo, et inimico animo; generosum utique fimultatis exercendæ genus, et regio pectore non indignum, fiquidem cum ipsa amicitia plerumque multa inculpate facta detorquere soleat, tunc profe&tio acris et infefta inimicitia errata forsitan multa, et haud pauca sine dubio indiferte difta, leniter et clementius quam meum erat meritum interpretari non gravabatur. Jam semel unico hoc exemplo vel ipsa demens ira mentis compos fuisse videbatur, et hoc facto furoris infamiam abluiffe. At vero summopere oblector, et mirum in modum voluptate perfundor, cum videam tantâ doétisimorum hominum frequentiâ circumfufum me, et undique ftipatum, &c. Consult also on this subject Glanville's Ne plus ultra, p. 119, and on Aristotle, p. 78, and Epiftolæ obfcurorum virorum, p. 108, ed. 1757, and on the scholastic studies then in vogue, and the subtleties of the Dialectic Art, Knox's Life by Macrie, p. 7. Even so late as the time of Swift, it is said in his Life, that he passed his time in reading books of history