Of institutions we may judge by their effects. From this 42 wonder-working academy I do not know that there ever pro ceeded any man very eminent for knowledge; its only genuine product, I believe, is a small History of Poetry, written in Latin by his nephew Philips, of which perhaps none of my readers has ever heard '.

That in his school, as in every thing else which he under- 43 took, he laboured with great diligence, there is no reason for doubting. One part of his method deserves general imitation: he was careful to instruct his scholars in religion. Every Sunday was spent upon theology, of which he dictated a short system, gathered from the writers that were then fashionable in the Dutch universities 2.


He set his pupils an example of hard study and spare diet 3; 44 only now and then he allowed himself to pass a day of festivity and indulgence with some gay gentlemen of Gray's Inn *.

He now began to engage in the controversies of the times, and 45 lent his breath to blow the flames of contention 5. In 1641 he published a treatise of Reformation, in two books, against the

Not in E. Phillips' Theatrum Poetarum, but (as Johnson told Malone) his Tractatulus [Tractatus] de Carmine Dramatico, &c.,1679. JAMES BOSWELL, JUN., Johnson's Works, vii. 77 n. For Milton's pupils see Masson's Milton, iii. 656.

2 Phillips says (Milton, p. 19) that part of the Sunday's work was the writing from his own dictation some part, from time to time, of a Tractate which he thought fit to collect from the ablest of divines, . . . a perfect System of Divinity.' See post, MILTON, 83 n., 166 n.

3 He gave an example to those under him of hard study and spare diet.' Phillips' Milton, p. 20.

The diet in an academy 'should be plain, healthful, and moderate.' MILTON, Works, i. 285.

'Plain living and high thinking.' WORDSWORTH, Sonnet written in London.

'Once in three weeks or a month he would drop into the society of some young sparks of his acquaintance, the chief of whom were Mr. Alphry and Mr. Miller, two gentlemen of Gray's Inn, the Beaus of those times, but

nothing near so bad as those now-a-
days; with these gentlemen he would
so far make bold with his body as
now and then to keep a Gawdy-day.'
Phillips' Milton, p. 20.
'To-day deep thoughts resolve with
me to drench

In mirth that after no repenting

Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause.'

MILTON, Sonnets, No. xxi.

5 T. Warton (Milton's Poems, Preface, p. 13) lamented that 'those years of his life in which imagination is on the wing were wasted on temporary topics.... Smit with the deplorable polemics of puritanism he suddenly ceased to gaze on "such sights as youthful poets dream" [L'Allegro, I. 129]. For Pattison's expansion of this passage see his Milton, pp. 65, 88, and for John Morley's defence of the poet see Crit. Misc. ed. 1886, iii. 160, and for Goldwin Smith's see his Review of Pattison's Milton in Lectures and Essays, 1881.

Of Reformation in England, and the Causes that hitherto have hindered it, Works, i. 1.



established Church; being willing to help the Puritans, who were, he says, inferior to the Prelates in learning'.'

Hall, bishop of Norwich, had published an Humble Remonstrance in defence of Episcopacy, to which in 1641 six ministers, of whose names the first letters made the celebrated word Smectymnuus3, gave their Answer. Of this answer a Confutation was attempted by the learned Usher'; and to the Confutation Milton published a Reply, intituled Of Prelatical Episcopacy, and whether it may be deduced from the Apostolical Times, by virtue of those testimonies which are alledged to that purpose in some late treatises, one whereof goes under the name of Fames, Lord Bishop of Armagh 5.

I have transcribed this title to shew, by his contemptuous mention of Usher, that he had now adopted the puritanical savageness of manners. His next work was The Reason of Church Government urged against Prelacy [Prelaty], by Mr. John Milton, 16427. In this book he discovers, not with ostentatious exultation, but with calm confidence, his high opinion of his own powers; and promises to undertake something, he yet knows not what, that may be of use and honour to his country 8.

'This,' says he, 'is not to be obtained but by devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit that [who] can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his Seraphim with the hallowed fire of his altar to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases. To this must be added industrious and select reading, steady

''Ministris, facundiam hominis, ut ferebatur, aegre sustinentibus, suppetias tuli.' Works, v. 233. See also Newton's Milton, Preface, p. 19.

2 Post, DRYDEN, 344; POPE, 380. He was at this time Bishop of Exeter; he was translated to Norwich the same year. Gardiner's Hist. Eng. ix. 107, 274. For 'the significance of the very title' of his work see ib. x. 41; also Masson's Milton, ii. 123, 214.

3 The five (not six) ministers were Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow. W was represented by uu. Young was Milton's old tutor. Ante, MILTON, 6. 'There is something like proof that Milton had a hand in the pamphlet.' The postscript was written, in whole or in

part, by him. Masson's Milton, ii. 238, 260. It is to be hoped that he had nothing to do with the passage where the Copernican theory is cited as a delusion. Ib. ii. 221. For the title of the book, too long to quote, see ib. ii. 219.

The Judgment of Dr. Rainoldes touching the originall of Episcopacy more largely confirmed out of Antiquity. London, 1641.

'Usher, Johnson said, was the great luminary of the Irish Church; and a greater, he added, no Church could boast of, at least in modern times.' Boswell's Johnson, ii. 132. 5 Works, i. 60.

[blocks in formation]

For Milton's savageness' see post, ADDISON, 83.


Works, i. 78.

8 Ante, MILTON, 25.

observation, and [deleted] insight into all seemly and generous arts and affairs; till which in some measure be compast, [at mine own peril and cost,] I refuse not to sustain this expectation.

From a promise like this, at once fervid, pious, and rational, might be expected the Paradise Lost2.

He published the same year two more pamphlets upon the 48 same question3. To one of his antagonists, who affirms that he was 'vomited out of the university,' he answers in general terms:

'The Fellows of the College wherein I spent some years, at my parting, after I had taken two degrees, as the manner is, signified many times [ways] how much better it would content them that I should [would] stay.-As for the common approbation or dislike of that place as now it is, that I should esteem or disesteem myself the more for that, too simple [and too credulous] is the answerer [confuter], if he think to obtain with me [or any right discerner]. Of small practice were the [that] physician who could not judge, by what [both] she and [or] her sister have of long time vomited, that the worser stuff she strongly keeps in her stomach, but the better she is ever kecking at, and is queasy: she vomits now out of sickness; but before it be well with her she must vomit by strong physick. The university in the time of her better health, and my [mine own] younger judgement, I never greatly admired, but [so] now much less".

This is surely the language of a man who thinks that he has 49 been injured. He proceeds to describe the course of his conduct,

1 Works, i. 122. 'It is not necessary to turn to the grander poetry of Milton for verses more harmonious than those adduced; we find them even in the midst of his prose.... "When God commands to take the trumpet

And blow a shriller and a louder blast,

It rests not in Man's will what he shall do,

Or what he shall forbear."

This sentence in his Treatise on Prelaty is printed in prose; it sounds like inspiration.' LANDOR, Longer Prose Works, ii. 207.

The sentence runs in the original: 'But when God commands to take the trumpet, and blow a dolorous or a jarring blast, it lies not in man's will what he shall say, or what he shall conceal.' Works, i. 115.

2 Professor Masson believes that

Milton had in view a poem on King Arthur. Masson's Milton, ii. 95; post, MILTON, 86.


Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence against Smectymnuus, 1641, and An Apology against a Pamphlet call'd A Modest Confutation of the Animadversions of the Remonstrant against Smectymnuus, 1642, Works, i. 152, 207; Masson's Milton, ii. 257, 398.

'Thus being grown to an imposthume in the breast of the University, he was at length vomited out thence into a suburb sink about London, which, since his coming up, hath groaned under two ills, Him and the Plague.' Preface to A Modest Confutation of a Slanderous and Scurrilous Libel, &c., 1642, attributed to Bishop Hall. See ante, MILTON,


5 Works, i. 219.

and the train of his thoughts; and, because he has been suspected of incontinence, gives an account of his own purity: That if I be justly charged [have been justly taxed],' says he, 'with this crime, it may come upon me, [after all this my confession,] with [a] tenfold shame '.'

$0 The style of his piece is rough, and such perhaps was that of his antagonist. This roughness he justifies, by great examples, in a long digression. Sometimes he tries to be humorous:


'Lest I should take him for some chaplain in [at] hand, some squire of the body to his prelate, one who [that] serves not at the altar only, but at the Court-cupboard, he will bestow on us a pretty model of himself; and sets [sobs] me out half a dozen ptisical mottos, wherever he had them, hopping short in the measure of convulsion fits; in which labour the agony of his wit having scaped narrowly, instead of well-sized periods, he greets us with a quantity of thumb-ring posies.'—And thus ends this section, or rather dissection, of himself2.

Such is the controversial merriment of Milton; his gloomy seriousness is yet more offensive 3. Such is his malignity that hell grows darker at his frown*.

His father, after Reading was taken by Essex, came to reside in his house 5; and his school increased. At Whitsuntide, in his thirty-fifth year, he married Mary, the daughter of Mr. Powel, a justice of the Peace in Oxfordshire".


Works, i. 226. 2 lb. pp. 237-9.

3 Mr. C. H. Firth (Milton, p. 94) quotes the following remark` from Coleridge (Misc. Aesthetic and Literary, ed. Ashe, p. 310) on this passage:-The man who reads a work meant for immediate effect on one age with the notions and feelings of another may be a refined gentleman, but must be a sorry critic. He who possesses imagination enough to live with his forefathers, and, leaving comparative reflection for an after moment, to give himself up during the first perusal to the feelings of a contemporary, if not a partisan, will, I dare aver, rarely find any part of Milton's prose works disgusting.'

For instances of the roughness of Milton's style see Masson's Millon, iii. 320.

'that hell

Grew darker at their frown.'
Paradise Lost, ii. 719.


He brought her to town

Reading was taken on April 26, 1643. Gardiner's Civil War, i. 129. Milton's father had been living in that town with his younger son. The rest of his life he spent in his elder son's house. Phillips' Milton, p. 21.


❝ 'About Whitsuntide [1643] he took a journey into the country... After a month's stay, home he returns a married man that went out a bachelor.' Ib. p. 20.

His wife was seventeen. Her father was worth at least £310 a year-equivalent, say, to £1,000, at the present day.' So early as 1627, he owed Milton's father 312, who transferred the claim to his son. The debt was still owing. Milton must have run some risk in going to Forest Hill, so close to the king's head quarters at Oxford. A month later Hampden fell at Chalgrove hard by. Masson's Milton, ii.493-505. Sir William Jones wrote of Forest

with him, and expected all the advantages of a conjugal life. The lady, however, seems not much to have delighted in the pleasures of spare diet and hard study; for, as Philips relates, 'having for a month led a philosophical life, after having been used at home to a great house, and much company and joviality, her friends, possibly by her own desire, made earnest suit to have her company the remaining part of the summer; which was granted, upon a promise of her return at Michaelmas ".'

Milton was too busy to much miss his wife; he pursued his 52 studies, and now and then visited the Lady Margaret Leigh, whom he has mentioned in one of his sonnets 2. At last Michaelmas arrived; but the lady had no inclination to return to the sullen gloom of her husband's habitation 3, and therefore very willingly forgot her promise. He sent her a letter, but had no answer; he sent more with the same success. It could be alleged that letters miscarry; he therefore dispatched a messenger, being by this time too angry to go himself. His messenger was sent back with some contempt. The family of the lady were Cavaliers *.

In a man whose opinion of his own merit was like Milton's, less 53 provocation than this might have raised violent resentment. Milton soon determined to repudiate her for disobedience3; and, being one of those who could easily find arguments to justify inclination, published (in 1644) The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, which was followed by The Fudgement of Martin Bucer, concerning Divorce; and the next year his Tetrachordon, Expositions upon

Hill in 1769:-'The tradition of Milton having lived there is current among the villagers; one of them showed us a ruinous wall that made part of his chamber, and another, who had forgotten the name of Milton, recollected him by the title of The Poet.' Teignmouth's Jones, p. 86.

Phillips' Milton, p. 21.

2 Sonnets, No. x; Phillips' Milton, p. 23. She was daughter of the Earl of Marlborough. Masson's Milton, iii. 57.

3 'She found it very solitary; no company came to her; oftentimes heard his nephews beaten and cry.' AUBREY, Brief Lives, ii. 65.

Phillips' Milton, p. 23. 'Two opinions doe not well on the same

boulster. She was a royalist.' AUBREY, Brief Lives, ii. 65.

5 Phillips' Milton, p. 24. He tells how a man 'shall find himself bound fast to an uncomplying discord of nature, or, as it oft happens, to an image of earth and phlegm, with whom he looked to be the copartner of a sweet and gladsome society.' Works, i. 356.

"When Milton writ his book of divorces, it was presently rejected as an occasional treatise, because everybody knew he had a shrew for a wife.... It is a piece of logic which will hardly pass on the world, that, because one man has a sore nose, therefore all the town should put plasters upon theirs.' SWIFT, Works, viii. 109.

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