Oxford * in civilisation by at least fifty or fixty years; which is more honour, we believe, than Dr. Johnson desired Mr. Warton fhould confer upon it.

Mr. Warton fays, “This” (meaning the whipping-bout] “ explains more “ fully a paffage in one of Milton's “ elegies : : ........ .

66 Nec

:*“ In the public statutes of Oxford, the in--
“ junction of inflicting corporal punishment on
* boys under fixteen remains unrepealed, and
“ in force at this day ; but the execution of this.

law, fo repugnant to every liberal and decent

idea, has been long abolished. Yet this code " of statutes was compiled no longer ago than: " the year 1635. It was, however, no’uncoin“mon practice at a college in Oxford, where the « foundation-scholars are elected very young, 66 actually to punish with the rod as far down as “ the beginning of the present century."

s : Gent. Mag. 1779, p. 493.


“ Nec duri libet usque minas perferre

“ magistri, “ Cæteraque ingenio non subeunda

| meo.” Where, in Mr. Warton's ideas, cætera fignifies flogging. But Dr. Johnson having noted that it fignifies something else besides threats, interprets it into something more, i. e. more severe, namely, punishment. But he seems to be in doubtwhether that punishment was whipping or banishment; and with reason, for cætera may signify something more, i.e. something over and besides threats, and yet something else besides either whipping or rustication. The most na. tural interpretation of the second line seems to be, that those college-exercises



known by the name of impositions (oftentimes prescribed as punishments) did not fuit Milton's genius, being indeed even within our memory calculated rather for the drudgery of an industrious plodder than suited to the genius of a youth of parts and spirit. Wonderful must be that genius which has a taste for being flogged or banished !

" It seems plain,” says the new narrative, “ from his own verses to Diodati, 6 that he had incurred rufiication, a tem* porary disinislion into the country, with « perhaps the loss of a term.”

Milton was admitted of Christ's Cole lege, February 12, 1624-5. He took his bachelor's degree in 1628, so that without a perhaps he loft no term. In

every college there is or should be a register, in which are entered all orders for expulfion and rustication of delinquents. This is necessary for the justi-fication of the master and fellows against whom appeals and consplaints are often lodged by the sufferers, either before the visitor or in Westminster-Hall. We have been informed, from the best authority, that there is an entry in the register of this very college, importing, that a candidate for a fellowship *, being rejected by the society, was, upon calling in the vifitor t, established in his right, not without some severe expressions inserted

* The late Dr. Hutton, Archbishop of Čan. terbury.

# Bishop Sherlock, then Vice-chancellor.

in the sentence, which the visitor, upon application, refused to expunge.,

If therefore the Registers of Christ's College are filent with respect to the expulsion of John Milton, it is not plain that he was either expelled or rusticated, not to mention that the terms, vetiti laris et exilium, may refer to twenty causes besides that assigned by the new Biographer." If Milton's return to college was voluntary, it would be invidious to ascribe his absence to compulfion; unless you will suppose that the prohibition was the effect of his father's æconomy, which

is by far most likely to have been the 3 cafe. cur . indir. . '

Milton however was certainly out of humour with the universities (except


« VorigeDoorgaan »