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His complexion was fresh and fair.10 His hair, which was of a light brown, was parted in front, and hung down upon his fhoulders.11 He was of a moderate ftature, or rather below the middle fize. His eyes were of a grayish colour; and when he was totally deprived of fight, he fays that they did not betray the lofs. His voice and ear were musical. He was vigorous and active, delighting in the exercise of the sword. Of his figure in his declining days, the following sketch has been left by Richardfon.-An ancient clergyman of Dorsetshire, Dr.

felf, "A quibufdam audivi, nuper domina," &c. Virgil was called "Parthenius." See his Life.

10 On the portraits of Milton confult Todd's Life (second edit.), pp. 235-240.; that I also faw one of him, when young, at Lord Townfhend's at Rainham, but many years have passed, and I cannot recollect any particulars. Charles Lamb, Efq. poffeffed an original portrait, left by his brother, and accidentally bought in London. A miniature by S. Cooper has been lately placed in the Duke of Buccleuch's poffeffion. Confult alfo T. Warton's Milton, p. 331. As regards his portrait by W. Marshall, prefixed to his Poems (and which Salmafius did not dislike), he fays, in his Defenfio contra Morum, "Tu effigiem mihi diffimilimam præfixam Poematibus vidifti. Ego vero fi impulfu et ambitione librarii, me imperito Sculptori, proptereà quod in urbe alius eo tempore belli non erat, in fabri fcalpendum permifi, id me neglexiffe potius eam rem arguebat, cujus tu mihi nimium cultum objicis." v. Profe Works, vol. v. p. 303; but Morus had drawn a different conclufion. "An deformitatem tibi vitio verterem, qui bellum etiam credidi maxime, poftquam, tuis præfixam Poematibus comptulam iconem illam vidi?" Salmafius reproaches him with the loss of his beauty. "Malo ifto magnam partem tuæ pulchritudinis deperiiffe, pro eo ac debeo, doleo: nam in oculis maxime viget ac valet formæ decus, quid Itali nunc dicerent, fi te viderent cum ifta tua fæda lippitudine." Salmas. Refp. p. 15. I have heard that an original portrait of Milton (about thirty years of age) has been discovered by Mr. R. Lemon of the State Paper Office.

In this he differed from his friends the Puritans: fee defcription of the Puritan hair cropped in Col. Hutchinson's Memoirs; and fee Howes's Perfius, p. 105.

12 See Fenton's Notes on Waller, p. cii..

Wright, found John Milton in a small chamber hung with rufty green, fitting in an elbow chair, and dressed neatly in black; pale, but not cadaverous; his hands and fingers gouty, and with chalk-ftones. He used alfo to fit in a gray coarse cloth coat, at the door of his house near Bunhill Fields, in warm funny weather, to enjoy the fresh air. And fo, as well as in his room, he received the vifits of people of distinguished parts, as well as quality. 13


His domeftic habits were those of a severe and temperate ftudent. He drank little wine, and fed without any luxurious delicacy of choice. In his youth, he studied till midnight; but warned by the early decay of fight, and his difordered health, he afterwards changed his hours, and rested in bed from nine till four in the fummer, and five in the winter months. If at these hours he was not disposed to rife, he had a perfon by his bedfide to read to him.15 When he had risen, he had a chapter in the Hebrew Bible read to him, and studied till twelve. He then took some exercise for an hour in his garden, dined, played on the organ, and either fang himself, or made his wife fing, who had a good voice,

13 Richardfon's Life of Milton, 1734, p. iv.

14 The bed on which Milton died was given by Mr. Hollis to Akenfide the poet, who was delighted with the prefent. See Hollis's Memoirs, p. 112.

15 Milton had taught his two younger daughters to pronounce exactly the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, and French, without understanding the meaning of the languages. This at length became fo irksome, that, on their expreffing their uneafinefs, they were fent out to learn embroidery, &c. Elwood, Ed. Philips, and Skinner read to him. He used to say, in his daughters' hearing, that one tongue was enough for a woman. v. Philips' Life, p. 42. Milton's memory and learning were almost as wonderful as his genius; and after he grew blind, it is not likely that he would defire to have any foreign books read to him, but fuch as he was well acquainted with. See Beattie's Essays, p. 273.

though not a musical ear. He again ftudied till fix ; entertained his visitors16 till eight; and supped upon olives, or fome light thing," and after a pipe of tobacco, and a glafs of water, went to bed. That Milton and his wife used to dine in the kitchen, as appears in the affidavit of their maidservant, Mary Fisher, I suppose might be owing to the homely and fimple cuftom of the times among plain people, and cannot be adduced as a mark of poverty or meannefs.18


He compofed much in the night and morning, and dictated in the day, fitting obliquely in an elbow chair, with his leg thrown over the arm. Fortune, as Johnson obferves, appears not to have had much of his care. loft, by different casualties, about four thousand pounds: yet his wants were fo few, and his habits of life fo unexpenfive, that he was never reduced to indigence. He fold part of his library before his death, and left his widow about fifteen hundred pounds. She fold the re

16" He was vifited by the learned, much more than he did defire." v. Aubrey Lett. vol. iii. p. 443. "Foreigners came much to see him, and admired him, and offered to him great preferments to come over to them; and the only inducement of feveral foreigners that came over, was to fee O. Protector and Mr. J. Milton: and would see the house and chamber where he was born. He was much more admired abroad than at home."

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17 It was when he was infirm and fick, that he addressed his wife, as Mary Fisher tells us fhe overheard, "Who having provided fomething for deceased's dinner which he very well liked, he spake to his faid wife, thefe or the like words, as near as this deponent can remember. God have mercy, Betty, I fee thou wilt perform according to thy promife, in providing me fuch dishes as I think fit while I live; and when I die, thou knoweft I have left thee all."" Milton had two fervant-maids, Mary and Elizabeth Fisher. See his Will. His man-servant was B. Green. See Milton's Agreement in the Appendix.

18 Milton was in tolerable circumftances. See Jackson's Thirty Letters, p. 234.

19 He is faid to have borrowed fifty pounds of Jonathan Hartop of Aldborough in Yorkshire, who died in 1791, at the age of 138. He

mainder of the Poet's books to a bookfeller at Shrewfbury. Fenton fays, "Though he abode in the heritage of oppreffors, and the spoils of the country lay at his feet, neither his confcience, nor his honour could ftoop to gather them."

It has been agreed by all, that he was of an equal and cheerful temper, and pleasing and instructive in conversation.20 His daughter faid, "her father was delightful company, the life of the converfation; and that, on account of a flow of fubject, and an unaffected cheerfulness and civility." Richardfon fays, "that Milton had a gravity in his temper, not melancholy, or not till the latter part of his life; not four, nor morofe, or ill natured, but a certain ferenity of mind, a mind not condescending to little things:" and Aubrey adds, "that he was fatirical. » 21

His literature was unquestionably immense; his adverfaries admitted that he was the most able and acute scholar living. With the Hebrew, and its two dialects, he was well acquainted, in the Greek, Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish languages, he was eminently skilled. In La

returned the loan with honour, though not without much difficulty, as his circumstances were very low. Mr. Hartop would have declined receiving it, but the pride of the Poet was equal to his genius, and he sent the money with an angry letter, which was found among the curious poffeffions of the venerable old man." See Eafton's Human Longevity, p. 241, (a book however of little authority). Toland fays, "towards the latter part of his time he contracted his library, both because the heirs he left could not make a right use of it, and that he thought he might fell it more to their advantage than they could be able to do themselves. v. Life, p. 142.

20 See Newton's Life, p. xci.

21 In the Paradife Loft, indeed in every one of his poems, it is Milton himself whom you fee. His Satan, his Adam, Raphael, almost bis Eve, are all John Milton, and it is a fenfe of this intense egotism that gives me the greatest pleasure in reading Milton's Works. The egotism of fuch a man is a revelation of spirit." See Coleridge's Table Talk, vol. ii. p. 240.


tin, his knowledge was fuch, as to place him in the first rank of writers and critics. He himself relates that his round of study and reading was ceafelefs; and that his life had not been unexpensive in learning and voyaging about. The claffical books, in which he most delighted, were Homer, whofe two poems, Toland fays, he could almost repeat without book, Ovid's Metamorphofes, and Euripides; his copy of the latter poet, with fome critical obfervations in the margin, was in the poffeffion of the late Sir Henry Halford.23 Lord Charlemont, defcended from a fifter of Mr. King, the Lycidas of Milton, poffeffed his Lycophron, in which are some remarks written in his clear and beautiful hand. As a further proof of the diligence and exactness with which he read books of not common occurrence, I fhall mention, that I have seen a copy of the Sonnetti of Varchi that belonged to him, in which the most curious expreffions, and the more poetical paffages were underlined, and marked with extraordinary care. He is faid to have read Plautus repeatedly, in order " to rail with more choice phrase at Salmafius." Plato and Demofthenes are fuppofed to have been his favourite authors in Greek profe; and among the Roman hiftorians, he has decreed to Salluft" the palm of fuperiority. His skill in Rabbinical literature, in which

22 Deborah, his daughter, informed Dr. Ward, that "Ifaiah, Homer, and Ovid, were works which they were often called to read to their father." In his Prolufiones, p. 81, he calls "Ovidius poetarum elegantiffimus."

23 T. Warton has traced this book from its poffeffor, Bishop Hare, in 1740, to Mr. Cradock, who bequeathed it to Sir Henry Halford. See his Milton, p. 569. See fome letters concerning it in Cradock's Memoirs, vol. iv. p. 137-140. Milton's emendations of the text are given, I think, in Jodrell's Euripides. Milton's Copy of Aratus with his Autograph and MS. Notes, formerly in the poffeffion of Mr. Upton, is now in the British Museum.

24 See his Latin Letters, (ed. 1674) p. 53.

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