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mons; the other in crayons was drawn when he was about sixty-two, and was in the collection of Mr. Richardson, but has since been purchased by Mr. Tonson. Several prints have been made from both these pictures; and there is a print done, when he was about sixty-two or sixty-three, after the life by Faithorn, which though not so handsome, may yet perhaps be as true a resemblance, as any of them. It is prefixed to some of our author's pieces, and to the folio edition of his prose works in three volumes printed in 16985.

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. Let meaner poets make use of such expedients to raise their fancy and kindle their imagination. 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 any thing that was most in season, or easiest to be procured, eating and drinking (according to the distinction of the philosopher) 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 nothing of his riding or hunting; and having early learned to fence, he was such a master

See Mr. Warton's account of the pictures and prints of Milton,

note †, In Effigiei Ejus Sculptorem. E.

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 bed side 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

See Mr. Warton's note on El. v. 6. Milton in the defence of his own character in the introduction to his Apology for Smectymnuus gives this account of himself at an earlier period of his life. "Those morning haunts "are where they should be, at "home; not sleeping, or con"cocting the surfeits of an irre"gular feast, but up and stirring, "in winter often ere the sound of “any bell awake men to labour or to devotion; in summer, "as oft with the bird that first rouses, or not much tardier, to "read good authors, or cause

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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 wanteth 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.

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Some objections have indeed been made to his temper; and I remember there was a tradition in the university of Cambridge, that he and Mr. King (whose death he laments in his Lycidas) were competitors for a Fellowship, and when they were both equal in point of learning, Mr. King was preferred by the college for his character of good nature, which was wanting in the other; and this was by Milton grievously resented. But the difference of their ages, Milton being at least four years elder, renders this story not very probable; and besides Mr. King was not elected by the college,

but was made Fellow by a royal mandate, so that there can be no truth in the tradition; but if there was any, it is no sign of Milton's resentment, but a proof of his generosity, that he could live in such friendship with a successful rival, and afterwards so passionately lament his decease. His method of writing controversy is urged as another argument of his want of temper: 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.


Richardson says, (p. xv.) that he had a gravity in his temper, not melancholy, or not till "the latter part of his life, not sour, morose, or ill-natured; "but a certain severity of mind, "a mind not condescending to "little things." According to Aubrey he was extremely pleasant in his conversation, but satirical; and of a very cheerful

humour, cheerful even in sickness: and though he was severe to his pupils in his way of edu cation, yet otherwise he was most familiar and free in his conversation with them. E.

His youngest daughter Deborah, (Mrs. Clarke,) when speaking of him, many years after his death, to the numerous inquirers whom his fame brought to her,

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, as all the men of letters did at that time in England; and he not only wrote elegantly in it, but is highly commended for his writings by the most learned of the Italians themselves, and especially by the members of that celebrated academy called Della Crusca, which was established at Florence for the refining and perfecting of the Tuscan language'. He had read almost all

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affirmed, that " he was delightful 66 company; the life of the con"versation, not only on account "of his flow of subject, but of "his unaffected cheerfulness and "civility." (Richardson, Remarks, p. xxxvi.) Isaac Vossius, in a letter to N. Heinsius, dated June 8, 1651, (Burm. Syll. iii. 618.) describes Milton as "comem, affabilem, multisque aliis "præditum virtutibus," and this on the authority of his uncle, Francis Junius, the writer of "De Picturâ Veterum," who was intimate with our author. And N. Heinsius, in a letter to Gronovius, dated Aug. 14, 1651, mentions the general report of his being a man of a mild and courteous disposition. Virum esse miti comique ingenio aiunt, quique aliam non habuisse se causam

profitetur Scribonium acerbe insectandi, quam quod ille et viros è maximis celeberrimisque multos nihil benignius exceperit, et quod in universam Anglorum gentem convitiis atrocissimis injurius valde fuerit. (Burm. Syll. iii. 276.) Salmasius is the person designated in this correspondence by the name of Scribonius. In Milton's whole deportment, however, there was visible a certain dignity of mind; and a something of conscious superiority, which could not at all times be suppressed or wholly withdrawn from observation. Symmons.

'See Algarotti's ingenious criticism on his works. Opere del Conte Algarotti, Ven. 1794. tom. x. p. 39, &c. Todd.

See also the note on v. 83 of the verses Ad Patrem. E.

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