« VorigeDoorgaan »
viously to his d bably induced cutrix would
lidity; and was accordingly set aside by a decree of Sir Leoline Jenkins, the judge, at that time, of the Prerogative Court. This will gave the whole of the testator's actual possessions to his widow, assigning nothing to his daughters but their mother's marriage portion, which had not yet been paid; and the sums which he had expended on their education. The property, besides the goods, which was thus bequeathed to the widow, is said to have been about fifteen hundred pounds.“
Disinterestedness, and a contempt of money had uniformly distinguished the elevated mind of Milton. It is, at least, doubtful whether he received any pecuniary compensation from his pupils; and of his small patrimony he is stated to have lost two thousand pounds by an injudicious confidence. Of an equal sum, which he had saved from the emoluments of his office and had placed on government security, he was deprived by the change of things at the restoration; and his paternal house in Bread Street was con
p In some of the depositions attached to his will, it is stated that he had frequently declared, “that he had made provision for his children in his life.time, and had spent the greatest part of his estate in providing for them." The depositions were made before Doctor afterwards Sir William Trumbull, who was Secretary of State, and the friend of Pope.
tain their jus chasers of bo with those in afluent who curiosities wa less. The sal library, as M posed to hav large part, il which he be an Euripides
Listen sumed in the great fire of London in 1666. Jeziana But, with his paucity of wants, it was diffi
cult to sink him into indigence; and, after all
his losses, he was enabled, as we have seen, W
to leave nearly three thousand pounds, (including the 1000l. still remaining in the hands of the Powells,) for the subsistence of his family.
We are not told, and it would be idle to conjecture what sum was raised by the sale of his books, a measure which was taken pre
viously to his decease, and to which he was promade a content
bably induced by the persuasion that his executrix would be less likely than himself to obtain their just value. In his days the purchasers of books were few, when compared with those in our's, and the number of the affluent who expended large sums in literary curiosities was still, perhaps, proportionably less. The sale, in the present times, of such a library, as Milton's may reasonably be supposed to have been, would alone produce a large part, if not the whole of the property which he bequeathed. Of this collection, an Euripides is now in the possession of Mr. Cradock, of Gumly in Leicestershire; and a Lycophron, (as Mr. Todd, on the authority of a Mr. Walker, informs us,) is preserved in the library of the Earl of Charlemont. The
with which he was early afflicted, confined terval till seven him, in a great degree, to his house, he con- from seven ti. trived a swing for the purposes of exercise; while some aut and to exercise, in one form or other, as the tated as some essential preservative of health, he regularly with its pen. allotted one hour in the day.
hour of exercis Having injured his constitution in his
was commonly youth by night studies, whence immediately wards, for the proceeded those pains in his head of which early and fruga we have before spoken, and that weakness it was finished in his eyes which terminated in the loss of creation of my sight, he corrected this erroneous practice as he advanced in years, and retired to his bed at the early hour of nine. The moments, however, which he gave to sleep in the beginning of the night, he took from the drowsy power in the morning, rising in summer generally at four o'clock, and in winter at five. When, contrary to his usual custom, he indulged himself with longer rest, he employed a person to read to him from the time of his awaking to that of his rising.
The opening of his day was uniformly consecrated to religion. A chapter of the Hebrew scriptures being read to him as soon as he was up, he passed the subsequent in
mind at once music he was with its science
"In relation to
the effect it had upon
In his Tractate
and I suspect that gentlemen, who were not of the military profession, very seldom, if ever, wore any weapon but the small sword.
I feel gratified ! name of the great & life, like that of Mi for the acquisition all his species to perpetually straini
is current terval till seven o'clock in private meditation.
From seven till twelve, he either listened e pad while some author was read to him, or dic
tated as some friendly hand supplied him
with its pen. At twelve commenced his I like hour of exercise which, before his blindness,
was commonly passed in walking, and after... wards, for the most part, in the swing. His will early and frugal dinner succeeded; and when ... and tra it was finished he resigned himself to the re
creation of music, by which he found his mind at once gratified and restored.' Of
music he was particularly fond, and both se. Ths with its science and its practice he was more
"In relation to his love of music," says Richardson," and the effect it had upon his mind, I remember a story I had from a friend, I was happy in for many years; and who loved to talk of Milton, as he often did. Milton hearing a lady sing finely,
Now will I swear,' says he, this lady is handsome. His ears were now eyes to him.” Rich. Remarks on Milton, p. vi.
In his Tractate on Education, as we have seen, Milton advises, for the students, this recreation of music after meals, as peculiarly salutary to the mind: and Mr. Hayley reminds me that the same indulgence has been recommended by Sir William Jones, from his own experience, as favourable to mental exertion, and producing the good effects without any of the disadvantages of sleep.
I feel gratified by any opportunity of bringing forward the name of the great and admirable SIR WILLIAM JONES; whose life, like that of Milton, was one continued and ardent struggle for the acquisition of knowledge; and who sought to advance all his species to that perfection, after which he himself was perpetually straining.
been very im fourteen year dismission frc
than superficially acquainted. He could compose, as Richardson says that it was reported; and with his voice, which was delicately sweet and tuneable,' he would frequently accompany the instruments, on which he played, the bass viol, or the organ. His musical taste had, beyond question, been fostered by his father; and the great author's love of this delightful art is discovered in every part of his writings, where its intimation can in any way be made compatible with his subject.
From his music he returned, with fresh vigour, to the exercise of his intellect, to his books or his composition. At six he admitted the visits of his friends: he took his abstemious supper at eight; and at nine, having smoked a pipe and drunk a glass of water, he retired, as we have before observed, to his repose.
It is not pretended that this precise and uniform distribution of the day could at all times be maintained without interruption. When he was in office, many of his four and twenty hours were unquestionably engaged by business; and, as a table was allowed to him by government for the entertainment of
disturbance; complete, an attentions of
When he by his thank to be gratifie strangers; to island, he sti
curiosity and of Cromwell the continen
Several of 1 of their quality, before his door, weather to enjoy circumstance, pr good fortune to clergy man in D small house, he pair of stairs, w. Milton, sitting enough, pale by and with chall himself to this him, bis blicu
1 « He (Milton) had a delicate tuneable voice," says Wood, “ an excellent ear, could play on the organ,” &c. Fasti Oxon.