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and during the bloom of the latter, (Commonwealth,) the poet Milton was educated and formed; and he furvived the latter, and all the fond hopes and aspirations which had been its life; and fo in evil days, standing as the representative of the combined excellence of both periods, he produced the Paradise Loft as by an after-throe of nature. There are some perfons' obferves a divine, a contemporary of Milton's of whom the grace of God takes early hold, and the good fpirit inhabiting them, carries them on in an even conftancy through innocence into virtue, their Christianity bearing equal date with their manhood, and reafon and religion, like warp and woof, running together, make up one web of a wife and exemplary life. This' he adds is a most happy case, wherever it happens; for, besides that there is no sweeter or more lovely thing on earth than the early buds of piety, which drew from our Saviour fignal affection to the beloved difciple, it is better to have no wound than to experience the most fovereign balfam, which, if it work a cure, yet ufually leaves a fcar behind.' Although it was and is my intention to defer the confideration of Milton's own character to the conclufion of this Lecture, yet I could not prevail on myself to approach the Paradife Loft without impreffing on your minds the conditions under which fuch a work was in fact productible at all, the original genius having been affumed as the immediate agent and efficient cause; and these conditions I find in the character of the times, and in his own character. The age in which the foundations of his mind were laid, was congenial to it as one golden æra of profound erudition and individual genius;-that in which the superstructure was carried up, was no less favourable to it by a fternnefs of difcipline and a show of self-control, highly flattering to the imaginative dignity of an heir of fame, and which won Milton over from the dear-loved delights of academic groves and

cathedral aifles to the anti-prelatic party. It acted on him, too, no doubt, and modified his ftudies by a characteristic controverfial fpirit, (his prefentation of God is tinted with it)—a spirit not less busy indeed in political than in theological and ecclesiastical dispute, but carrying on the former almost always, more or less, in the guise of the latter. And fo far as Pope's cenfure 73 of our poet, that he makes God the Father a school divine-is just, we must attribute it to the character of his age, from which the men of genius, who escaped, efcaped by a worfe disease, the licentious indifference of a Frenchified court.

"Such was the nidus or foil, which conftituted, in the ftrict sense of the word, the circumftances of Milton's mind. In his mind itself there were purity and piety abfolute; an imagination to which neither the past nor the present were interesting, except as far as they called forth and enlivened the great ideal, in which and for which he lived; a keen love of truth, which, after many weary pursuits, found a harbour in a fublime listening to the still voice in his own spirit, and as keen a love of his country, which, ́after a disappointment still more depreffive, expanded and foared into a love of man as a probationer of immortality. These were, thefe alone could be, the conditions under which fuch a work as the Paradife Loft could be conceived and accomplished. By a life-long study Milton had known

• What was of use to know,

What best to say could say, to do had done.
His actions to his words agreed, his words

To his large heart gave utterance due, his heart
Contain'd of good, wife, fair, the perfect shape;'

and he left the imperishable total, as a bequest to the ages coming, in the PARADISE LOST."

73 Table Talk, vol. ii. p. 264.


The Houfe at Chalfont St. Giles, co. Buckingham, to which Milton retired during the Plague in 1665; and where he planned and wrote bis Paradife Regained. See Life, p. ci.


P. ix. Life.

ILTON confines himself to praise of the fellows, but he makes not the flightest mention of the Mafter, Doctor Bainbridge, who is recorded to have been a moft rigid difciplinarian, and that on thofe very points which Milton particularly difliked. He admits that his difpofition could not brook the threats of a rigorous mafter, by whom it is most reasonable to fuppofe he meant Dr. Bainbridge, the head of his college.-Watkins' Lit. Anecdotes, p.


P. xi. Gaddius (de Scriptoribus non Ecclefiafticis) mentions that I. Scaliger read the two poems of Homer in twenty-one days; and the remainder of the Greek poets in four months. P. xix. "That the manner and genius of that place (Paris) being not agreeable to his mind, he foon left it."-Wood's Faft. Ox. vol. ii. 1635, col. 481.

P. xx. Leo Holften, who received Milton kindly at Rome, had refided fome time in England, making researches in the libraries. He maintained a friendly correfpondence with N. Heinfius, to whom he had shown much civility when Heinfius was at Rome; I read through the collection of Holften's letters, with the hope of finding fome addreffed to Milton, but in vain; Milton's widow had a great many letters by her from learned men of his acquaintance, both of England and beyond fea.-See Milton's Life, p. lxxxii.

P. xx. Mentioning Bacon's ftudies at the Univerfity, Lord Campbell fays "It is faid he ran through the whole circle of the liberal arts as they were taught, and planned that great intellectual revolution, with which his name is infeparably connected. But all that is certain is, that at his departure he carried away with him a profound contempt for the course of study pursued there." "When he was commencing at the University (fays his chaplain and biographer Rawley) about fixteen years of age, he first fell into a diflike of the Philofophy of Ariftotle, not for the worthleffness of the author, to whom he used to afcribe all

high attributes, but for the unfruitfulness of the way - being a Philofophy (as his lordship used to fay) only strong for difputations but barren of the production of work for the Life of man -in that mind he continued to his dying day." *

In his Advancement of Learning' he speaks of those of sharp and strong wits and fmall variety of reading, their wits being fhut up in the cells of a few authors, chiefly Aristotle, their dictator, as their perfons are shut up in the cells of monafteries, and colleges, and who knowing little hiftory either of nature or time, did fpin cobwebs of learning admirable for the fineness of the thread, and work, but of no fubftance or profit." - See Campbell's Lives, vol. ii. p. 227.

That the fame fyftem of Scholaftic Logic and Metaphyfics, pervaded the foreign Univerfities at the fame period, appears from the following paffage, which I met with in a well known work of great literary information.

"Rien n'a tant multiplié la race de fophiftes, que l'introduction de la scholastique contretemps dans les écoles de la philosophie et de theologie dans les univerfités de l'Europe, et particulierement en France. C'eft ce qui nous a attiré ce grand deluge de productions monftrueufes de l'efprit humain evaporé dans fes propres penfées; c'eft à dire, tous ces grands patrons, d'antipredicaments, des grandes et petites logicales, de principes fophiftiques, de conclufions fophiftiques, de fens compofés et divifés, de fophifms choifies, et fubtilités, de conféquences, et antécedences, de toutes fortes de quodlibetiques, et de quolibets, des puiflances actives et paffives, des inftances, des quiddités, des formalités, des formules, des fallaces, des infolubles, ou questions inexplicables, des impoffibilités, fans parler d' un grand nombre de commentaires fcholaftiques fur Ariftote," &c.-v. Baillet, Jugemens des Scavans, tom. i. p. 182.

P. xxi. "A. D. 1635. A year memorable in the annals of the University of Cambridge, as the one in which John Milton and Jeremy Taylor both were incorporated Masters of Arts in it." -Welby's Lives of Eminent English Judges, p. 55.

P. xxii. I have heard it confidently related that for his faid refolutions, which out of policy and for his own fafety might have been then fpared, the English priests at Rome were highly dif gufted, and it was queftioned whether the Jefuits, his countrymen there, did not defign to do him mifchief.-Wood's Ath. Ox. Fafti, A. D. 1635, vol. ii. col. 481.

P. xxiv. "Lord Ellesmere was the friend and patron of Poets. He was particularly kind to Spenfer, with whom he was connected by marriage, and affifted him in his fuits, both in Ireland, and at the court of Elizabeth. We mention that he

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