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that of Ely. 'Twas then also that he compos'd his fine poem on the gunpouder treason; concerning all which and the reft of his juvenil pieces, the judicious MORHOF, in his Polybiftor literarius, fays, that MILTON's writings fhew him to have bin a man in his very childhood; and that these poems are excedingly above the ordinary capacity of that age. He continu'd in Cambridg seven years, where he liv'd with great reputation, and generally belov'd, till taking the degree of mafter of arts, and performing his exercises with much applause, he' left the univerfity: for he aim'd at none of those profeffions that require a longer stay in that place. Som of his academic performances are still extant among his occafional poems, and at the end of his familiar letters. The five fucceding years he liv'd with his father in his country retirement at Horton near Colebrook in Barkshire, where at full leifure he perus'd all the Greec and Latin writers; but was not fo much in love with his folitude, as not to make an excurfion now and then to London, fomtimes to buy books, or to meet friends from Cambridg; and at other times to learn fom new thing in the mathematics or in mufic, with which he was extraordinarily delighted. It was about this time he wrote from London a Latin elegy to his intimat friend CHARLES DIODATI, wherin fom verfes reflecting on the university, and preferring the pleafures of the town, gave a handle afterwards to certain perfons no lefs ignorant than malitious, to report that either he was expel'd for fom mifdemeanor from Cambridg, or left it in discontent that he obtain❜d no preferment: and that at London he

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fpent his time with leud women, or at playhoufes. But the falfity of this ftory we fhall in due place demonftrat, and in the mean time infert thofe lines for the fatisfaction of the curious.

Me tenet urbs reflua quam Thamefis alluit unda,
Meque nec invitum patria dulcis babet.
Jam nec arundiferum mihi cura revifere Camum,
Nec dudum vetiti me laris angit amor.
Nuda nec arva placent, umbrafque negantia molles,
Quam malè Phabicolis convenit ille locus!
Nec duri libet ufque minas perferre magiftri,
Cæteraque ingenio non fubeunda meo.
Si fit boc exilium patrios adiffe penates,
Et vacuum curis otia grata fequi,
Non ego vel profugi nomen, fortemve recufo,
Letus & exilii conditione fruor.
O utinam vates nunquam graviora tuliffet
Ille Tomitano flebilis exul agro;
Non tunc Ionio quicquam ceffiffet Homero,

Neve foret victo laus tibi prima, Maro.
Tempora nam licet hic placidis dare libera Mufis
Et totum rapiunt me mea vita libri.
Excipit bine feffum finuofi pompa theatri,
Et vocat ad plaufus garrula fcena fuos.
Et paulo poft:

Sed neque fub tetto femper, nec in urbe, latemus,
Irrita nec nobis tempora veris eunt.
Nos quoque lucus babet vicina confitus ulmo,
Atque fuburbani nobilis umbra loci.
Sæpius bic blandas fpirantia fidera flammas
Virgineos videas præteriiffe choros.


He wrote another Latin elegy to CHARLES DIODATI; and in his twentieth year he made one on the approach of the fpring: but the following year he describes his falling in love with a lady (whom he accidentally met, and never afterwards faw) in fuch tender expreffions, with thofe lively paffions, and images fo natural, that you would think Love himself had directed his pen, or inspir'd your own breaft when you peruse them. We fhall fee him now appear in a more serious fcene, tho yet a child in comparison of the figure he afterwards made in the world. The death of his mother happening likewise about this time facilitated his defign, which was with his father's leave to travel into foren regions, being perfuaded that he could not better difcern the preeminence or defects of his own country, than by obferving the customs and inftitutions of others; and that the ftudy of never fo many books, without the advantages of converfation, ferves only to render a man either a stupid fool, or an infufferable pedant. First therfore he procedes to France with one fervant, and no tutor: for fuch as ftill need a pedagog are not fit to go abroad; and thofe who are able to make a right use of their travels, ought to be the free mafters of their own actions, their good qualifications being fufficient to introduce 'em into all places, and to prefent 'em to the most deserving perfons. He had an elegant letter of direction and advice from the famous Sir HENRY WOTTON, who was a long time ambassador from king JAMES the first to the republic of Venice. Being arriv'd at Paris, he was moft kindly receiv'd by the English ambaffador, who B 4


recommended him to the famous GROTIUS, then ambaffador alfo from queen CHRISTINA of Sweden at the French court: for we may easily imagin that MILTON was not a little defirous to be known to the first person then in the world for reading and latitude of judgment, to speak nothing of his other meritorious characters. From hence he parted for Italy, where, after paffing thro feveral noted places, he came at length to Florence; a city for the politenefs of the language, and the civility of the inhabitants, he always infinitly admir'd. In this place he ftaid about two months, and was daily affifting at those learned conferences which they hold in their privat academys, according to the laudable cuftom of Italy, both for the improvement of letters, and the begetting or maintaining of friendship. During this time he contracted an intimat acquaintance with feveral ingenious men, most of which have fince made a noife in the world, and deferve a mention in this place: I mean GADDI, DATI, FRESCOBALDE, FRANCINI, BON MATTEI, COLTELLINO, CHIMENTELLI, and feveral others. With these he kept a conftant correfpondence, particularly with CAROLO DATI, a nobleman of Florence, to whom he wrote the tenth of his familiar epiftles, and who gave him the following teftimonial of his esteem.


Juveni patria, virtutibus eximio,

VIR IRO qui multa peregrinatione, ftudio cunéta orbis terrarum perfpexit, ut novus Ulyffes omnia ubique ab omnibus apprehenderet: Polyglotto, in cujus


ore linguæ jam deperdita fic revivifcunt, ut idiomata omnia fint in ejus laudibus infacunda ; & jure ea percallet, ut admirationes & plaufus populorum ab propria fapientia excitatos intelligat. Illi, cujus animi dotes corporifque fenfus ad admirationem commovent, & per ipfam motum cuique auferunt: cujus opera ad plaufus bortantur, fed venuftate vocem auditoribus adimunt. Cui in memoria totus orbis: in intelle&tu fapientia: in voluntate ardor gloria: in ore eloquentia. Harmonicos cæleftium Sphærarum fonitus, Aftronomia duce, audienti; chara&eres mirabilium naturæ, per quos Dei magnitudo defcribitur, magiftra Philofophia legenti; antiquitatum latebras, vetuftatis excidia, eruditionis ambages, comite affidua autorum lectione, exquirenti, reftauranti, percurrenti. At cur nitor in arduum? Illi in cujus virtutibus evulgandis ora Fame non fufficiant, nec bominum ftupor in laudandis fatis eft, reverentiæ & amoris ergo boc ejus meritis debitum admirationis tributum offert Carolus Datus Patricius Florentinus,

Tanto bomini fervus, tante virtutis amator.

I don't think the Italian flourishes were ever carry' further than in this elogy, which notwithstanding is fincere, and pen'd by an honest man. FRANCINI is not lefs liberal of his praifes in the long Italian ode be compos'd in his honor, which, because it dos juftice to the English nation, and foretold the future greatness of MILTON, I have annex'd to this difcourfe. That he correfponded afterwards with BONMATTEI, appears from the eighth of his familiar letters, which he wrote to him on his defign of publishing an Italian Grammar, and is not more elegant than pertinent.

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